This blog is part of a series from alumni about their experience in Scottsdale Leadership. Scottsdale Leadership is currently recruiting participants for Class 26. Visit scottsdaleleadership.org for details.
Growing up in Scottsdale during the 1960’s was an idyllic time. We rode our bikes to Fashion Square to buy candy at the drug store. We got our books at the library in the little red schoolhouse on Main Street. We rode horses through the desert in the Indian Bend Wash. We celebrated our birthdays at the Sugar Bowl sitting on a high stool eating an ice cream sundae. As I grew up, so did Scottsdale. Fashion Square became a fashion destination full of department stores, unique boutiques and restaurants. The Scottsdale Library expanded and now is in a beautiful, functional building on the Civic Center Mall. The Indian Bend Wash is a green oasis, a network of parks offering residents recreation and relaxation. Fortunately, the Sugar Bowl is still a place to celebrate with ice cream!
As a child, I didn’t think much about the community leaders who had helped create the Scottsdale I called home. I took it for granted. As an adult, I recognized that a city could be a livable place only with the hard work and effort of its citizens. It was in that spirit that I applied and became a member of Scottsdale Leadership Class XX. I wanted to learn more about Scottsdale and find a way to help my community. I wanted to give back, to preserve the spirit of “old town” Scottsdale while helping prepare the city to face the challenges of the 21st century.
During my year in leadership, our class was privileged to learn about Scottsdale’s history, schools, culture, and government from the men and women charged with securing the future of our city. We asked questions. We tried to come up with workable solutions. We bonded as a group. In the five years since our class graduated, many have moved into leadership positions in governmental and nonprofit organizations with the objective of making Scottsdale a better and better place to live and raise a family. We are all informed and improved advocates for Scottsdale as a result of our Scottsdale Leadership experience.
When I think of the differences made not only by my classmates, but by all whom have graduated from the Scottsdale Leadership program, I am in awe of those accomplishments and grateful to be playing a small part. As Scottsdale Leadership celebrates its 25th anniversary, I want to say personally and more broadly as a resident of our very special community, “Thank You and Congratulations Scottsdale Leadership”. Keep turning out future Scottsdale leaders, the best may be yet to come.