About Us Draft Jan 8 2021

About Us

A distant Pavilion seen through palm trees and yucca plants
Kelly Hadden

is found in the middle of a rural oasis in the Arizona Sonoran Desert outside Eloy, midway between Phoenix and Tucson. Composed of halls, meeting spaces, a large professional kitchen, dormitories, a swimming pool, and rental units, DRBI is a charitable, not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization that is inspired by the peaceful and unifying teachings of the Bahá’í Faith

Our Vision

Desert Rose is a community-based centre of learning, guided by Bahá’í principles, that creates an atmosphere of spirituality which inspires positive human development.

Our Mission

The Mission of Desert Rose is to serve the community at large through phased development of activities and institutions that promote spiritual, artistic, intellectual, agricultural, and other practical education for people of all ages and backgrounds.

Governance Structure

The Board of Directors is appointed by the Corporate membership of the Institute, the Local Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Scottsdale Arizona, and consists of the following members:


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Taj Sabet BBA:  Chair.  Taj is a trilingual businessman /entrepreneur who is currently focused in real estate investment. Taj has served as Chairman of the  Board for the past six years, has lived and worked around the world and is also the great-grandson of Shu’a’u’llah ‘A’la’i, one of the two Hands of the Cause to whom the institute is dedicated. 

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Dr. Marjaneh Gilpatrick Ed.D: Secretary.  Marjaneh is the Associate Dean in the College of Education at Grand Canyon University. In that role she oversees the college’s outreach, research, and development efforts. She is particularly passionate about providing culturally responsive opportunities that enrich the underserved students for whom English is an additional language.

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Dwight Cox: Vice-Chair.  Dwight joined the DRBI Board in 2015 after he moved his Aviation business into the Eloy Sky Dive property just down the road.  Dwight’s degree in Aviation Mechanics belies his passion for reclaiming the desert as viable land.

A man with white hair and a moustache is dressed in a suit and tie

Harry Walker B.Sc. MBA: Treasurer.  Harry is an accomplished business strategist, corporate finance manager, and economic development strategist. Specializing in economic development and emerging markets, Harry brings creative thinking to the challenge of financial sustainability for not-for-profits.

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Mooi Yong Ng Khosraviani BSc: Board member.   
Mooi Yong is the accounting
manager for Flowers Bakery
stationed in the Phoenix area. Born and raised in Malaysia, she has served the Faith in multiple countries before settling inArizona.


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Marguerite Sears: Board member.  
As the namesake and grand daughter of the founder of DRBI, Marguerite has a unique connection to the Institute. She specializes in envisioning events and activities that will inform even more people about Desert Rose.

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Jeanne Sheridan: Board member. 
Jeanne and her husband Duffy were some of the first people to come to DRBI and, after a short absence, we are thrilled to welcome her back. Jeanne helps drive many of the Arts and cultural programs at the Institute.

Executive Director

The Executive Director oversees the administration of the Institute, executing strategies proposed by the board, and oversees all operational positions.

Management Team

As a Not-for-Profit 501c (3) DRBI has long relied on the generosity of skilled  individuals within the community to administer the day-to-day activities of Desert Rose.  This can mean everything from answering queries on the phone to scheduling tours, managing accounts payable, completing maintenance and orchestrating landscaping. 

You may call them Volunteers; we call them EXTRAORDINARY!

DRBI’s extraordinary Management Team is:
John Hanke, Gayle Hanke, and Rob Prater.

a man is looking sideways towards the camera and smiling. He has grey hair and glasses and one hand on the refrigerator door.
Photos by Glen Darling
A smiling woman with glasses and a purple top stands in front of a magenta wall.
A man with dark glasses and a sun hat smiles at the camera.

These three are the core team who keep the Institute running like a charm, assisted by various other volunteers both on-site and off, who are happy to serve DRBI in any way they can. 

They can be reached at (520) 466-7961 and at info@drbi.org.


Volunteers are the lifeblood of any non-profit operation. Volunteer service allows DRBI to offer exceptional programs to our local, national, and international audiences. And what’s in it for you?  Volunteering can help you make friends, learn new skills, advance your career, and even feel happier and healthier.

Service opportunities exist in the areas of farming, landscaping, food service, housekeeping, maintenance, programming, events coordination, bookstore, library, and more.

DRBI could not exist if it were not for the generous, skilled involvement of our many volunteers.

Volunteer Opportunities now available:

Executive Director

The Executive Director role is ideal for a volunteer with a successful track record of leading teams within property or small business management.  As the key liaison between the Board of Directors and the day-to-day operations of the DRBI campus the Executive Director leads the volunteer and paid employee team in the implementation of board directives.

Facilities Manager

The Facilities Manager ensures that the Institute is maintained at the highest standard, while overseeing the general upkeep of all the grounds, buildings and structures on campus.

Office Administrator

The Office Administrator ensures that the Institute’s administrative functions are performed in a welcoming, professional and thorough manner while representing Desert Rose to external, internal and virtual clients. Tech skills are a must to use the day-to-day essentials like office and facilities booking apps.


The DRBI Bookkeeper ensures that financial accounts are properly recorded.