Gus LaZear

PHOENIX, Ariz. (June 25, 2014):  Gus LaZear, whose background includes more than 17 years experience managing major programs and initiatives in rehabilitative medicine, recreational therapy, outdoor adventures and other adaptive programming for people with disabilities, has been named Vice President and General Manager of the Virginia G. Piper Sports & Fitness Center for Persons With Disabilities (SpoFit), a program of Arizona Bridge to Independent Living (ABIL).

For the last six years, LaZear handled responsibilities as lead therapeutic recreational therapist at the Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix

“With Gus’ significant experience and expertise, he will guide SpoFit to the next level of excellence and service to the community,” said ABIL President and CEO Phil Pangrazio.  “He is a tremendous addition to our committed SpoFit management team and front-line staff.”

LaZear, a Chandler resident, earned a Master’s of Business Administration with an emphasis in Health Systems Management from Grand Canyon University and a Bachelor of Science in Therapeutic Recreation from California State University Northridge.

Before joining St. Joseph’s, LaZear had been with Casa Colina Centers for Rehabilitation in Ponoma, Calif. working on the Outdoor Adventure team that organized adaptive surfing, skiing/snowboarding, sailing, fishing, camping, dog sledding, rock climbing, scuba diving, horseback trips, kayaking, outrigger canoeing, wheelchair sports and cycling programs.

LaZear’s licenses and certifications include Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, National Council of Therapeutic Recreation; Certified Pool Operator, National Swimming Pool Foundation; Certified in Aqua Stretch (Aquatic Therapy Technique); Certified in Ai Chi (Aquatic Therapy Technique); Water Safety Instructor, Red Cross of America; Lifeguard, Red Cross of America; Advanced Scuba Diver, Professional Association of Diving Instructors; Certified Dive Buddy, Handicapped Scuba Association and Member of American Therapeutic Recreation Association.  He also serves as a guest speaker for the Barrow Neurological Institute Stroke Symposium, SCI Symposium, and Brain Injury Symposium and for the Arizona State University Therapeutic Recreation Department.  LaZear remains as a consultant to Casa Colina Centers for Rehabilitation in California.