Cadence Community Champion: Michael Hughes

Helping Change Lives one Mesa Family at a Time

A safe home, food on the table, a healthy child, good job or financial security…. each of these is a difficult challenge facing many in Mesa and across the East Valley. However, Michael Hughes and Mesa non-profit A New Leaf are providing hope to more than 20,000 local neighbors in need.

Each month, Cadence at Gateway recognizes Arizona leaders working to improve the East Valley region in the business, education, government, non-profit and faith based community. This month, we are proud to recognize A New Leaf CEO Michael Hughes as our East Valley Community Champion. 

A New Leaf is a Mesa-based non-profit that helps families across the East Valley rise above difficult circumstances. A New Leaf offers homeless and domestic violence shelters, youth services, workforce support, community assistance programs and behavioral health counseling.

A former special education teacher and Mesa Schools Board member for 20 years, Michael has also been serving as A New Leaf’s CEO for more than 40 years, and dramatically impacting East Valley individuals and families for the better. A New Leaf’s influence is broad and meaningful. Currently it is:

  • Serving 200,000 meals annually
  • Providing 150,000 nights of shelter annually
  • Hosting 12,000 counseling sessions annually
  • Reaching 24,275 individuals and families with critical resources

A New Leaf accomplishes its mission by building a community for self-reliance, teaching life skills, sharing tools, and partnering with stakeholders through 25 programs across the Phoenix metro area. Life-saving services are delivered through the work of generous supporters and donors, committed volunteers, and positive, passionate team members like Michael.

Michael’s never-ending service also includes time on the Board of Directors of Mesa United Way, Mesa Arts Academy, Family Life Center, Magellan Governance Board, Arizona School Boards Association and ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation and for which he’s received numerous awards including Mesa Man of the Year and Kiwanis Club Legion of Honor.

Thank you Michael Hughes for being a Cadence Community Champion as you change families’ lives and provide new hope, continue to be a champion for education in Mesa and lift our entire region with your talents, professionalism and passion. To learn more about Michael Hughes and A New Leaf visit

Know an individual or organization improving life in Mesa, Gilbert, Apache Junction, Chandler or Queen Creek? Send your Cadence Community Champion nominations to

Photo credit A New Leaf.