Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
Real estate investor Lew McGinnis has held leadership positions at a number of nonprofits over the years. For a period, Lew McGinnis served as director of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Foundation. The museum plays an important role in research and preservation of the desert.
Through the Conservation Education & Science Department, the museum spearheads ecological research of the Sonoran Desert that influences conservation policies and makes its research readily available to the public. In addition, the department offers various outreach education programs so that children and adults alike can learn about important issues affecting the desert. These educational efforts reflect the various ways that people learn with hands-on programming, as well as place-based learning and inquiry-based education.
The research undertaken by the museum is essentially interdisciplinary in nature, with experts in biology, earth sciences, botany, and ecology all working together along with specialists in ornithology and ethnobiology. Because about two-thirds of the Sonoran Desert is in Mexico, the museum also partners with researchers, educators, and conservationists across the border to ensure that findings reflect the entire ecosystem and protection efforts can be implemented across the whole desert.
Yoho National Park
A real estate investor in Oklahoma, Lew McGinnis has more than 55 years of industry experience. Outside of work, Lew McGinnis has traveled both domestically and abroad and has even been to British Columbia.
Located on Canada’s west coast, British Columbia is rich with natural beauty. The following are a few places to visit in British Columbia:
– Yoho National Park. Yoho National Park is teeming with natural beauty, including waterfalls, snow-capped mountains, and its famous Lake O’Hara. Visitors should also check out Takakkaw Falls, which drops 1,260 feet and is among North America’s highest falls.
– Whistler Blackcomb. The venue for the downhill ski competition in the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, Whistler Blackcomb is Canada’s main ski area. Visitors to the area should also check out Whistler Village, which features numerous restaurants and shops.
– Butchart Gardens. Located on Vancouver Island at the site of an old quarry, Butchart Gardens features a unique mix of plants, trees, and flowers that change with each season.
Criminal Justice and Mercy Ministries
In addition to his decades-long career in real estate, Lew McGinnis has also been an outspoken advocate in the area of criminal justice reform. Through his work with Criminal Justice and Mercy Ministries, he has helped former inmates in Oklahoma and throughout the country break the cycles of imprisonment and addiction.
One of the hidden costs of incarceration is damage to the family, and Criminal Justice and Mercy Ministries reaches out to the children of incarcerated parents through its New Day Camp. Children with at least one incarcerated parent can attend these camps, which last less than a week during the summer, and spend time with other children in similar situations.
Much of the time at camp is spent in small group activities. During these activities, young people develop friendships and interact with one another. They also study Christian tradition through worship and spiritual activities. Group counseling and medical care are also available. For children who are unprepared for camp, Criminal Justice and Mercy Ministries operates a camp store, where children can receive new clothes or shoes to replace missing, improperly-sized, or worn-out camping gear.
Criminal Justice and Mercy Ministry (CJAMM)
Self-made investor Lew McGinnis rose above his humble beginnings to create a successful real estate development and management organization. His real estate investment career began with the purchase of a single apartment complex, and he ultimately expanded his business to encompass apartment communities throughout the midwestern and western United States and as far as Alaska. Throughout the course of his career, Mr. McGinnis has owned over 100,000 apartments. In the philanthropic area, his modest roots helped fuel his desire to help those in need. Involved in multiple charities, Lew McGinnis is particularly passionate about the Criminal Justice and Mercy Ministry. He serves as finance chairman of the organization.
Based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the Criminal Justice and Mercy Ministry (CJAMM) was founded to help alleviate some of the burdens associated with incarceration. CJAMM focuses its efforts on both inmates and former inmates. For incarcerated individuals, CJAMM provides worship services and opportunities for relaxed meals and socialization. It also runs New Day Camp for the children of inmates. The camp provides counseling, worship services, and recreation.
To assist newly-released individuals, CJAMM runs Exodus House, which provides temporary housing for former inmates and their families for up to six months. The furnished, decorated apartments are supplied with food until the person finds employment. All items within the house are donated by the public, and the family can keep them when they leave. A case manager works with the former inmate to help him or her reacclimate into society.
The City of Hope
Tucson, Arizona, resident and successful real estate investor Lew McGinnis has been recognized by a number of organizations for his service and philanthropy. One of the organizations that has honored Lew McGinnis, presenting him with the “Man of the Year” award, is the City of Hope Cancer Research Center in Duarte, California.
The City of Hope features the Beckman Research Institute, dedicated to conducted research in deadly diseases. The research done by the Beckman Research Institute seeks to discover how diseases like HIV/AIDS and cancer develop. The Institute provides symposiums and lectures throughout the year with guest speakers who are the leading researchers in the field.
The Beckman Research Institute has received grants from the National Cancer Institute regularly for over 30 years for the research it conducts. The world-famous Beckman Research Institute was established in 1983 by Arnold and Mable Beckman through the Beckman Foundation.
Paper Airplane Contest
Developer and entrepreneur Lew McGinnis has spent a lifetime investing in residential properties in the state of Arizona. Lew McGinnis’ philanthropic work includes support of the Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona.
One of the largest privately funded organizations of its kind, the Pima Air and Space Museum exhibits more than 300 aircraft. Its mission is to maintain the history of air and space flight. As part of this goal, the museum offers several special programs, one of which is the Great Paper Airplane Fly-Off. The next Fly-Off will take place in April 2017.
The event is open to children age six through 14. Contestants construct an airplane from one 8-1/2” x 11” sheet of 20-weight paper and throw it in competition for the furthest flight. A Guinness World Record holder for paper airplane flight instructs the children in folding and throwing their planes.
The winners in each of three age subgroups get to enjoy an hour-long flight over Tucson. Everyone is eligible to win door prizes, including another tour of Tucson by air, plus tickets to NASCAR races and Mars chocolate candy. Further information and registration is available at www.greatpaperairplane.org.
Distinguished Speakers Series
A skilled entrepreneur and real estate agent with more than 50 years of experience, Lew McGinnis manages his own real estate investment firm in Nicholls Hill, Oklahoma. Lew McGinnis maintains a high level of community involvement outside his professional responsibilities and formerly held positions on the board of directors for numerous organizations and educational institutions. He previously served on the board of directors for the Oklahoma-based Heritage Hall High School, which offers a Distinguished Speaker Series for students.
The Distinguished Speaker Series acts as an extension of Heritage Hall’s commitment to a rich education and engages students in compelling discussions about art appreciation, history, and current events. It features prominent speakers and performers from a variety of professions, in addition to Heritage Hall alumni members. Open to students and members of the public alike, the series also includes informal receptions at the end of each presentation that give attendees the opportunity to meet the speakers.
For more information about the Distinguished Speakers Series and a list of past and future guests, visit www.heritagehall.com/programs/distinguished-speaker-series.
Stingray Touch Exhibit
Lew McGinnis possesses more than three decades of experience in entrepreneurship and real estate with a history of establishing several successful businesses in Oklahoma and Arizona. The owner of his own real estate investment firm in Oklahoma, Lew McGinnis also previously served as the director of the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum Foundation. On August 5, 2016, the museum opened a new exhibit called Stingray Touch.
Stingray Touch invites guests to experience a new element of conservation for the Sonoran Desert through the introduction of a stingray touch pool. Stingrays are plentiful in the Gulf of California where the Sonoran Desert meets the Sea of Cortez and hold an important place in the ocean’s ecosystem. Additionally, their presence helped the Sonoran Desert earn its reputation as the lushest desert on earth.
Visitors to Stingray Touch will receive the opportunity to interact with de-barbed cow nose stingrays and participate in scheduled feeding times. Stingray pups featured in the pool were raised at the Phoenix Zoo and their sustainable seafood diet is made possible through a partnership with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch.
To learn more about the Stingray Touch exhibit, visit www.desertmuseum.org/stingrays.
An experienced real estate investor, Lew McGinnis also has a long history of philanthropic activity and community volunteerism. Lew McGinnis formerly served as director of the Pima Air and Space Museum.
Opened in 1976 and located in Tucson, Arizona, the Pima Museum has grown to become one of the world’s largest aviation and space museums not funded by a government. It features more than 300 historical aircrafts and hosts a variety of programs and events.
A STEM program designed to get kids excited about math and science, Pima’s Soarin’ Saturdays takes a hands-on approach to imparting valuable instruction about flight and aerospace topics. The focus of the program changes throughout the month. For example, the first Saturday of each month is devoted to model airplane building while the second concentrates on rocketry experimentation. The program’s Young Flyers Fun session occurs on the fourth Saturday of each month, with an encore session offered the fourth Wednesday of each month.
Held in the Space Gallery Classroom, Soarin’ Saturdays sessions are always free with admission and require parent participation. They last approximately 90 minutes.
The owner of a real estate firm in Nichols Hill, Oklahoma, Lew McGinnis has been investing in residential properties for more than 55 years. In addition to his nationwide property investments, Lew McGinnis was an original founder and president of the Kino School.
A Catholic school that serves students from primary to high school, the Kino School (formerly the Kino Learning Center) is located on First Avenue in Tucson, Arizona. As part of its dedication to “individualized educational programming” and the “basic values of progressive education,” the school offers a range of educational field trips and community apprentice work.
The Kino School is intent on regarding the wider world as an extension of the classroom. In addition to traditional school outings, such as visiting various museums, Kino offers extended field trips to engage students in activities, such as studying marine biology and camping and hiking throughout the western United States.
These activities are an integral part of the school curriculum and serve as valuable educational tools. School leaders also use them to hone students’ sense of responsibility and to stress the importance of taking an active role in the community at large.