IMPACT E7: Mia Hansen and Peter Hughes

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Mia Hansen is the Founder of Southern Arizona Adaptive Sports (SAAS) serving the community through the provision and promotion of fitness, recreation and competitive sports opportunities for people with disabilities. Mia serves on The City of Tucson Commission on Disability Issues, the Pima County Health Department Ethics Committee, and The Chuck Huckleberry Loop Advisory Committee advocating for the disability community. 

Mia is a Festival & Event producer. She had produced performance art, cultural and sporting events in 25 countries. She choreographed and performed in two NFL Super Bowl Halftime shows and traveled the world with the international organization Up with People.  

In 2010 Mia became the first Executive Director of Tucson Meet Yourself, building management capacity and growing Tucson’s iconic folk life festival to a sustainable model through its 40th year. Mia consults to the festival and event industry, producing concerts, festivals, cultural events and spectacles of all sizes. 

She volunteers with refugees resettled in the Tucson area from war-torn countries and has coordinated Tucson World Refugee Festivals. Mia is a Cultural Frontrunner for the Embassy of Denmark. Mia served on the Tucson Pima Arts Council Grants Committee as well as the Boards of Ballet Tucson, Up with People International Alumni Association and was a co-founder of the Festivals & Events Association of Tucson & Southern Arizona (FEATSAZ). 

Summary of your regular work in the community. What is the IMPACT you are striving for now? 

Southern Arizona Adaptive Sports (SAAS) provides and promotes fitness, recreation and competitive sports opportunities for people with physical disabilities. We offer wheelchair basketball, wheelchair tennis, wheelchair softball, handcycling and recumbent triking, outdoor adventures like hiking and birding. Our programs are free and open to anyone who might want or need adaptations in order to play a sport, recreate or exercise. We offer recreational activities including Art on Wheels, creating art out of unsalvageable wheelchairs, crutches and other medical equipment.  We serve over 250 people annually in our sports programs and IMPACT another 500 people through our new program SAAS CARES. 

We launched SAAS CARES in April 2020 to serve our community during the COVID 19 pandemic. SAAS CARES provides home delivery of food, medical equipment and supplies to people otherwise unable to access resources. We have developed a Peer & Family Mentoring program to support newly injured patients as they transition from hospital to home. We started PROJECT RENEW, a wheelchair repair program that empower people to repair and maintain their own wheelchairs while refurbishing donated chairs that we redistribute to people in need. 

Organization Website URL: 

Organization Facebook Page URL:

Other: Phone 520-370-0588


Athletic Director | Adaptive Athletics  
The University of Arizona
520-626-5499 |  |
The University of Arizona Adaptive Athletics program started in 1975 with wheelchair basketball and has steadily grown since those early days. Now the largest University college-based program in the nation U – Arizona Adaptive sports program actively supports 8 sports teams.   

They include Men’s and Women’s Wheelchair basketball, Wheelchair Tennis, Wheelchair Rugby (2x defending national champions), wheelchair track and Road Racing, Handcycling, Adaptive swimming and adaptive golf.

This is more that 2x the number of programs offered anywhere else in the United States.  

Student-Athletes are recruited from all around the world and are usually provided some form of athletic scholarship to attend the University. UArizona is the 3rd largest producer of Paralympians in the USA. having 38 Paralympians already come through our program and we expect to add several more in the 2020 Paralympics held in 2021.   

The goal of the program is to provide individuals with disabilities the opportunity to chase their academic goals while pursuing their athletic dreams.  Our ultimate goal is to support any athlete (regardless their disability) in any sport (provided we can support in Tucson…No downhill skiing!).   

The University of Arizona coaching staff is supported by the University, but all of the operating costs are supported through donations from the public.   

About the Host

Barbara McClure, Executive Director  
IMPACT of Southern Arizona 
3535 E Hawser Street 
TucsonAZ  85739                                                    
Phone: 520-825-0009

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Barbara McClure wakes up each morning passionate about going to work at a place that improves lives and inspires futures every day! She has been the Executive Director of a Tucson social service nonprofit called IMPACT of Southern Arizona, for ten years. What is it that keeps you passionate about your role Barbara? 

Barbara has been a visionary and planner with decades of experience as a small business owner and in nonprofit leadership; her innovative ideas and strategic thinking, along with a talent for bringing the community together, has helped grow IMPACT five-fold in a very short time. Her talents and interests are diverse but all center around helping people, improving the community, bolstering education, building capacity and sustainability, being vocal about the rights and conditions of others, experiencing art, nurturing all inhabitants of your garden, and enjoying life to the fullest. 

And now Barbara is about to experience another exciting chapter in her life with hosting a brand-new Radio Show Podcast here on the Tucson Business RadioX Network starting in November. 

IMPACT of Southern Arizona is a 20 – year old social service nonprofit stabilizing families and seniors, and moving people out of poverty. IMPACT’s programs are designed to stretch household budgets so earned income can be spent on necessities such as improved housing conditions, fuel to get to work, utilizes, and needed medical attention and prescriptions Its clients are your neighbors! People come to IMPACT because it is a welcoming place where they are always treated with dignity and respect, and where they find resources, referrals, coaching, and help to attain the skills that can move them forward into self-sufficiency. 

Barbara grew up in Pasadena CA, moved to Long Beach for college, got married and started our family then moved to Seattle area ten years later. Took our youngest son on an 11-month motorhome trip to get to Tucson – Homeschooled for 10th grade. 

We vacationed at a rustic cabin when I was growing up, where we had no phone or television; and spent all our time outside fishing, hiking, horseback riding, listening to old radio shows, playing pool, reading comic books from the local small grocer, and using our imaginations all day long. I always admired the superheroes who defended people and cities like Gotham and Metropolis, so when our three boys were born, we named them after familiar character: Colin (Bryce for an overlay of Bruce Wayne, Kent, and Parker. Our first grandchild was born last year, and as in the family tradition, named Logan, after the Wolverine. I used to always tell them they were my superheroes – and they still are today! 

Barbara loves working with numbers and has always loved math and the organization of things, so accounting seemed perfect, but I soon realized that I if I became a CPA I would have to spend many months inside doing tax returns, and that did not appeal to me as a longterm career! I have a great imagination and enjoy creating things, so thought I should find a better path that might nurture that side of my personality. I was working in the shipping industry in SoCal at the time and fell in love with import and export, so shifted my majors to Marketing and International Business. Those were wonderful fits, and I imagined graduating and moving to the largest port on the planet, in Germany; then, I met my future husband and things took a different turn. 

A little bit about how Barbara got into Nonprofit work: 

All along with my husband and I were always involved in nonprofits and community volunteer opportunities, and often said it was too bad we could not make a living doing those things we loved so much. Leadership roles in PTO, Boy Scouts, Historical Societies, Junior League, Elks, Rotary and more. Then when we moved to Tucson I looked for a local opportunity to impact my community. A Board position was about to open at IMPACT, and my local bank branch manager, Peggy Smoot, suggested I would be very passionate about getting involved in the mission work there. I worked in the Food Bank. 

There are thousands of nonprofits in Tucson. What makes IMPACT Unique is that they bring the community together to stabilize families and move people out of poverty. Our true success lies in partnering with a large number of businesses, agencies, social clubs and other nonprofits. We invest $2.5 million in the community each year, and we do it all with a lean staff of amazing professionals supported by more than 170 volunteer shifts each week! We have put great systems in place to run efficiently, effectively and with a commitment to sustainability and integrity, protecting the community’s investment in our work, striving for perfect audits, being innovative, building capacity and most importantly – treating everyone with dignity and respect. We are an award-winning nonprofit with numerous nods to incredible customer service. Our clients are your neighbors… We improve lives and inspire futures of people living in Southern AZ.  

So, IMPACT is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and you have been at the helm half that time. Share with me the things IMPACT has accomplished over the years, and the things you have planned for this celebratory year. 

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