Nick Molinari, Class 26
City of Scottsdale
The Class 26 Blog: This is a blog series about the experience and impact of Scottsdale Leadership’s core program. The program informs, inspires and empowers leaders to champion and strengthen the interests of the community.
Last Friday morning, as I walked into Scottsdale Leadership’s Community Stewardship Day, I thought I had things pretty much figured out. I have grown up in Scottsdale and I love living here. Being a City of Scottsdale employee I have been fortunate to be part of many projects and be exposed to many areas, programs and people in our city. I thought that my varied experiences in Scottsdale were enough to adequately prepare me to comprehend and articulate what Community Stewardship is all about. Boy was I wrong! I learned a lot on this day from some very impressive folks.
Class 26 was privileged to have some dynamic community leaders to help guide us through our journey…Virginia Korte, Melinda Gulick, Coucilwomen Linda Milhaven, Tim Gray and Rick Kidder to name a few. They are all phenomenal examples of strength, guts and perseverance that have a hand in molding our great city into one of the finest in the world. So what would they teach our class of young leaders about being good community stewards?
First, what is Community Stewardship? Our class had some varying thoughts, but we came up with a basic consensus. Community stewards care for the resources that make Scottsdale special and how we choose to spend our time and allocate our resources must align with the values and vision of our community. More importantly these leaders actually fight the battles and do things to make this a reality.
The presenters also provided us with historical accounts of how and why Scottsdale has become such a phenomenal city. There have been so many dedicated community members over the years that were integral in making Scottsdale a success and they didn’t want to simply settle for good or okay. They wanted better and best and to protect, preserve and enhance all of the beautiful assets that make Scottsdale a special community. These folks demonstrated ownership, passion and dedication. It certainly made a difference.
Things became even clearer after listening to Mary King, founder of Scottsdale Training and Rehabilitation Services (STARS), talk about making Scottsdale a better place for individuals with disabilities. Mary’s story was inspiring. For me personally I realized that STARS is a model of what partnerships can do for a community. The City of Scottsdale, Jaycees, Scottsdale Unified School District and countless other organizations were integral in the development of STARS. Finding other partners or organizations that also truly believe in and live community stewardship is evidenced in STARS success and the continued impact that it is having on so many individuals in Scottsdale.
Mary had another message for our class that really hit home for me – “use what you have.” As the wife of a city councilman and later as a Scottsdale employee, Mary had a great deal of contacts to draw upon during her grassroots effort to develop services for those with disabilities.
I love the impact of the quote and it gives me a more clear perspective on viewing challenges, projects and partnerships and using the connections, relationships and experiences that I have. Secondly, her tenacity and follow through were quite inspirational. She stated that she just kept “stepping through the door” which not only gives a great visual, but provides a philosophy when you are on a quest, project or mission by embracing the opportunities that arrive before you.
After listening to these leaders and community stewards, I ask you the following:
- How will the relationships you make today impact our community tomorrow?
- How will each of us “use what we have” to make Scottsdale a better community?
- When opportunities become available to you, and how will you “step through the door?”