Class 30 Blog: This is a blog series about the experience and impact of Scottsdale Leadership’s Core Program. The views expressed here represent those of class members and not those of Scottsdale Leadership.
For someone who is not a native of Scottsdale, our Community Stewardship & History Day proved to be particularly fascinating, especially since history was not my favorite subject. Joan Fudala’s passionate account of Scottsdale’s history left me in awe and inspired by the dedication, vision and commitment of the men and women who turned a small agricultural town into the booming and bustling “metropolis” that we live in today.
Stewardship is defined as an ethic that embodies the responsible planning and management of resources. Throughout its history, Scottsdale has been fortunate to have had leaders that have been good stewards of their own resources as well as the resources they saw around them and selfless in their pursuit of community development and progress. What was notable was how these leaders built upon each opportunity to lay the foundation for Scottsdale’s eminence in the arts, tourism and environmental preservation.
What better way to tell the story of our western spirit and heritage than in the dramatic works of art featured in Scottsdale’s Museum of the West. Located in the center of the famed Scottsdale Arts District, it gives credence to Scottsdale’s slogan “The West’s Most Western Town”. Not to be outdone is the Cattle Track Art Compound, tucked away in the residential area of McDonald Drive where we saw artists at work on fabulous pieces. Janie Ellis, General Manager, took us back to the 1930’s not only with a moving account of her family’s history but also with a tour of her charming abode filled with old, western items that she has managed to turn into beautiful collectibles. With so much talent in our midst, no wonder Scottsdale has become one of the country’s centers for the arts, attracting thousands of visitors every year.
The class also toured three other tourist attractions and historic landmarks: the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park and the Scottsdale Stadium. These places are all remarkably managed and operated by countless volunteers who are passionate about their mission of preserving these historical treasures for us and future generations.
Passion and dedication once again took center stage as the volunteers of STARS (Scottsdale Training and Rehabilitation Services) introduced us to the various programs that provide special needs individuals with opportunities to enjoy activities and develop skills they need to live normal, happy and productive lives.
What stood out for all the volunteers that spoke to us on this day was that they are all extremely talented individuals who strongly manifest four common qualities: a sense of ownership, a sense of responsibility, a sense of accountability and a sense pride in sharing their talents for the common good. This is what makes for true stewardship.
“In this period of crisis today, it is important not to turn in on ourselves, burying our own talent, our spiritual, intellectual, and material riches, everything that the Lord has given us; but, rather to open ourselves, to be supportive, to be attentive to others. Set your stakes on great ideals, the ideals that enlarge the heart, the ideals of service that make your talents fruitful. Life is not given to us to be jealously guarded for ourselves, but is given to us so that we may give it in turn.” (Pope Francis, April 24, 2013)
Which of your talents can you share for the greater good?