Category Archives: Alumni

Principles for Civil Dialogue

Cynthia Wenström, MBA/GM, Class XXV
Faculty, University of Phoenix

It was 8 months ago when Class 25 Day Chairs, Virginia Korte (Class 3) and Rob Millar (Class 17) introduced the topic of civil discourse. The impetus of the topic was an ‘unruly discussion’ between two Tucson-area politicians making headlines at that time.

The lively afternoon produced a first pass at the ‘Code of Civility’ and a team volunteered to move the project forward. The following day, January 8th, Senator Gabriel Giffords was shot and the need for civil discourse really rang close to home. The event seemed a clear signal to move forward with the initial class-day work effort.

Fast forward to May 2011 and the project resumed, put on hold due to the rigors of Class 25’s Pay It Forward projects and twice-monthly class days. The civility team now consists of several Class 25 and Class 24 alumni, as well as Chris Irish, Executive Director.

With diligent work, the original ‘Code’ was rewritten, removing references to ‘code’ or ‘oath’ and was condensed. More importantly, the team’s Principles for Civil Dialogue was unveiled to Scottsdale Leadership’s Board of Directors at the August 2011 Board meeting, passing unanimously for adoption by the organization. The Principles will appear on the website, the blog and in literature with the Mission Statement and other core values of the organization.

Principles for Civil Dialogue

As a member of the Scottsdale community, I will:
Genuinely listen, Speak respectfully and Be accountable for my words and actions.

‘Genuinely listen’ means I will listen for the purpose of understanding the speaker’s point of view, without prejudging whether that point of view is right or wrong.

‘Speak respectfully’ means I will voice my point of view calmly and respectfully without losing the passion of my position and commitment, discussing the issues without personal criticisms.

‘Being accountable’ means I accept responsibility for my words and actions.


Presenting the Principles for Civil Dialogue to other Scottsdale organizations is the next milestone, while growing the enthusiasm for the Principles organically. As energy continues to build on this initiative, the ultimate goal is presenting the Principles to the Scottsdale City Council for adoption.


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Leadership Out Loud

Eat, Drink and Sleep—The State of the Restaurant and Travel Industry in Scottsdale

Join Scottsdale Leadership as we gather for an exclusive preview of the hottest food week in the Valley. Award Winning Chef Chuck Wiley of Cafe Zuzu has agreed to taste us through his Restaurant Week menu a week before the general public sinks their teeth into his delectable eats. Click here to view the exclusive Cafe ZuZu Restaurant Week Menu

Date: Wednesday, September 14
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Tickets: $55; $45 dues-paid alumni
Location: Cafe ZuZu, Hotel Valley Ho, 6850 East Main Street

Enjoy a 3-course dinner and a glass of wine while you socialize with other alumni and learn about the history and impact the Hotel Valley Ho has had on tourism in Scottsdale. You will also hear from the Scottsdale CVB on the current state of the restaurant and tourism industry in our city.

Limited tickets available! Register online at by September 9 or call 480-627-6710.

Event sponsored by:

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Jeff Klefstad – Class XXV Continues to Look Ahead!

Jeff Klefstad, Class 25
Sr. Key Account Manager, SRP

Community Involvement:
SRP Employee Boosters Association Coordinator and Contributor
Society of St. Vincent de Paul Christmas Adopt-a-Family Volunteer
Scottsdale Culinary Festival Volunteer
Habitat for Humanity Volunteer
Andre House Volunteer
Junior Achievement of Arizona Volunteer

As a Scottsdale resident for over 25 years and counting, I thought I knew my beloved city. The more I learned, compliments of Scottsdale Leadership, the more I realized just how little I knew. The on-site experiences, classroom presenters, new friends and the Pay it Forward projects was a valuable learning gift to all of us. We grew, learned and became better leaders.

There were so many great opportunities available for the “Silver Bullets” of Class XXV, yet one that quickly comes to mind was actually not a class day but an alumni event, “Restaurant Week”. This was an evening event for all current classmates and past Scottsdale Leadership graduates to gather and keep abreast of a current topic. In addition to meeting the Honorable Jim Lane, Mayor of Scottsdale and his wife Joanne, we also were treated to a inspiring presentation by Kimber Lanning of Local First Arizona. Kimber encouraged us to spend our dollars with a locally owned business rather than a national business, whenever possible. I could not have agreed with her more.

I’d like to share some advice to those fortunate enough to be chosen for the upcoming Class XXVI program. Please meet, participate and as equally important, “listen” to each of your classmates at each class/event/project meeting. Sit with a different group of classmates you have not spent time with so you equally have the opportunity to get to know each other. You will develop great friendships with many of your classmates so maximize this opportunity for yourself and others. Extend your hand to everyone and appreciate the possibility of long term friendships as you take pride in your class!

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Scottsdale Leadership does make a difference!

Karolyn KiburzKarolyn Kiburz, CMP, Class XXIII
President, Meetings & Concierges Source, LLC

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 for details.

I graduated from Scottsdale Leadership in May 2009. It was such a fantastic experience that I chose to stay involved with the organization. I’ve have served on a couple of committees and will serve on the Board of Directors in 2011-12.

This year Scottsdale Leadership celebrates their 25th anniversary.  The celebration was held on April 14 with Kurt Warner as the keynote speaker and a joint $25,000 gift to the community by Scottsdale Leadership and the Kurt Warner’s First Things First Foundation. The gift was shared by STARS and The Best Buddies program. The event was one of the organization’s highlights. I can’t wait to see what they have in store for Leadership and the community in the next 25 years!

Kim Conway-Edwards was the alum that inspired me to be a part of Scottsdale Leadership. I have worked with Kim on a professional level since 2000 and we became fast friends. Since I the first time I met her, she encouraged me to apply for Scottsdale Leadership but the timing was never right.  However, she never gave up!

Kim is a true example of the type of leader the community needs. She possesses incredible ethics, has high standards and makes a difference in the activities she’s involved in.  She also encourages others to do the same and give back to the community.

I’m thrilled to be a part of Scottsdale Leadership and cherish the experiences and friendships I have made since becoming involved.

I’ve grown as a community steward too!

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Class 25 to Pay It Forward

Scottsdale Leadership Marketing & Resource Development Manager

As part of their nine-month community leadership program, members of Scottsdale Leadership’s Class XXV have been challenged to Pay It Forward. Class members formed six teams each with the purpose of developing a community service project that provided them hands-on experience giving back to the community.

The public is invited to attend Project Pay It Forward Day on April 15 at the Scottsdale Civic Center Library auditorium. A panel of judges will select the winning project and a $2000 donation will be made to their charity.

The six projects are as follows:

11 – 11:35 a.m. P.E.T. Pantry (Pets Eat Too) by team Reigning Cats & Dogs, keeps pets with their owners during times of financial crisis through a collaborative effort between Vista del Camino Food Bank, Animal Guardian Network and Scottsdale Community College. This project embraces public awareness, direct donations and practicality for food banks.
Team members: Ken Brooks, Ruth Ingall, Valarie Miceli, Scott Popp, Kelly Ries, Lisa Johnson Stone and Cynthia Wenstrom

11:35 – 12:05 p.m. Come Take a Stand by team LEADR7, implemented an awareness campaign educating youth in understanding effective bystander strategies to apply when witnessing cyber-bullying. School curriculum was developed to support Scottsdale’s eighth grade students.
Team members: Kerri Callidora, Greg Cohen, Bob DeLeon, Kristina Dyrr, Jeff Klefstad, Dana Sherman and Kristi Staab

1:05 – 1:40 a.m. Seeing Is Believing by Seeing Is Believing team, provided under-represented children with the gift of vision. Striving for all children to have eye-exams and glasses, the team raised funds and created community collaboration between individuals, businesses and schools.
Team members: Stephanie Connelly, Greg Hand, Cynthia Hill, Pele Peacock, John Thomas, Fran Watkins and Jessica Zambo

1:40 – 2:10 p.m. Growing Greatness at Camelot Therapeutic Horsemanship, by Enchanted
Garden team, transformed an unused plot into a special spot for children and adults who face physical challenges and obstacles. The project team recruited contributors and constructed a wheelchair accessible, raised bed garden.
Team members: Paul Dwight, Jan Marvin, Peg Mulloy, Yvonne Murphy, Ryan O’Daniel, Kelly Tope, Drew Vallorano and Katherine Yu

2:25 – 3 p.m.  Foundation for Sustainable Senior Centers by team Sanctuary, created a nonprofit foundation serving Scottsdale’s seniors and senior centers and bridging the gap between city services and community needs, including health, safety and medical.
Team members: Denise Lewandowski, Kathie May, Michael Ritter, John Schloz, Kristi Small and Travis Yarlagadda

3 – 3:30 p.m. Bridging Generations by the Bridging Generations team, created a platform for sharing, learning and interaction between seniors and elementary school students. The project was designed to enhance the curriculum for children and quality of life for seniors through interviews related to history.
Team members: Korey Boals, Dianne Fitzgerald-Verbonitz, John Froelich, Jim Grosso and
Jessica Moreau

3:55 p.m. Recognition of Winning Project

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A Leader Who Inspired

By Bill Spain, Class 10
Owner and CEO of Provident Partners Companies

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 for details.

It seems hard to believe that fifteen years has gone by since Class 10 graduated from Scottsdale Leadership.  So much has happened within our community to substantiate the continued need for such a worthwhile program. When I look back at the Leadership experience, I recall many fond memories of numerous community leaders giving of their time and talents to benefit Scottsdale and help keep it a special place to live and work. The experience helped open my eyes to the huge opportunities we have to contribute to the betterment of our local community.

At that time I was working round the clock as a Vice-President for Robinsons Department Stores and Manager of the Scottsdale Fashion Square Store. Sixty hour work weeks were the norm and when adding the social responsibilities of the position there was rarely time for anything other than work.

When a good friend and local activist, Bill Heckman, recommended that I commit myself to the Scottsdale Leadership program, I did so not knowing that it would have a major impact on my life.  I met many truly wonderful, civic minded, concerned and involved citizens during the nine month program. I began to look forward to the classes knowing that I would be learning, experiencing so many new things and meeting unique people who invest themselves in community stewardship.

Human and Social Services day was an eye opener for me.  The day chair was Eileen Rogers; a women of such intense compassion and warmth that her very presence and personal belief in helping others and making a difference was mesmerizing. As she guided class 10 through the maze of needs, services and hopes of non profits, the senior center and finally the Scottsdale Foundation for the Handicapped, now called STARS, many of my classmates became enamored with her grace and style, and the manner in which she presented the various opportunities where people could help or contribute their time, talents or financial assistance.

Personally, this was a turning point in my life and Eileen Rogers was the inspiration I needed to make difficult career decisions. After Eileen’s presentation at the Scottsdale Foundation for the Handicapped, I approached her and asked how I could help, how I could make a difference and if I could work with her in some way. She invited me to participate in many projects the following year including becoming a co-chair with her of the Human and Social Services Day for Scottsdale Leadership the following year.  She encouraged me to follow my heart and contribute my time to an organization that I felt connected with. In turn, I joined the Board of Directors of the Scottsdale Foundation for the Handicapped and within a few years served as their President. Fifteen years later, I still contribute to STARS as a past-president and now a Los Padrinos, (Godfather) for their advisory board.

When an opportunity to help guide STARS through a tough financial time arose, Eileen suggested that I consider taking a position with the non-profit, leaving a 25 year career in retail.  I actually did so, in part because of her strength of conviction and an opportunity to put my business skills to use helping a non-profit survive lean times. She helped focus my life in a very positive direction with her keen sense of purpose and dedication to helping others.

Eileen Rogers is a “gem” to many non-profits, boards, commissions and agencies who have had the luck to work with her. She has earned numerous awards and recognition for her continuous efforts to help others, both here and abroad…even as far as Africa. Eileen has been recognized as a true leader in every sense of the word. She is even an Athena Award winner. She deserves each and every one of these accolades and more.  However, when I think back, fifteen years ago, to the moment when Eileen Rogers entered my life, during Human and Social Services day, I can only count my blessings and be thankful for the opportunity the Scottsdale Leadership experience afforded me.  I met a woman who has become a dear friend and continues to be an inspiration to me and so many others.

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Taking pride in Community Leadership

Cindy SlickCindy Slick, Class 4
Retired, APS

Scottsdale certainly had a different feel in 1990, the year of my participation in Scottsdale Leadership Class IV.  But having lived in this beautiful city since the late 50’s, I have seen every decade bring more residents, business challenges, expanded government, school district growth, environmental concerns, increased needs for health and human services and an ever blossoming arts and cultural awareness.

What better forum to dig deeper and learn more about all of these issues, than Scottsdale Leadership?  I still remember the excitement I felt when I found that I had been chosen to be a class member.  I had read an article about the organization in the Scottsdale Daily Progress (our long gone hometown newspaper) and filled out the application.  At the time, my job at APS had nothing to do with being community minded and I feared that if I was selected that I would not be able to get the time off to participate as Scottsdale Leadership held class every other Friday.  But, as they say, all of that is history.

I credit Scottsdale Leadership with the beginning of my career change; APS certainly did support my membership (and many other employees thereafter) and I went on to become the Community Relations Manager.  I just retired after a 31 year career with APS.  Scottsdale Leadership was the perfect training ground for my new job and for getting involved in the community.  I soaked up as much information as I could from each class day but more importantly, I learned so much from my fellow class members.

After graduating from Scottsdale Leadership I served two terms on its Board of Directors and was privileged to attend many National Leadership conferences.  I was so proud to note that Scottsdale Leadership was always one of the best examples of what a leadership organization should be.  In the early 90’s we were one of the first nationally to move away from training a hierarchical style of leadership and began to model servant leadership.  This approach, which includes self discovery and a desire to serve others, certainly enhanced my growth as a leader.

It enabled me give back to many organizations over the years – Scottsdale/Paradise Valley YMCA, ASU Sun Angel Foundation, Fiesta Bowl committee and the Paradise Valley Hospital.

Servant leadership was also alive and well on the board of Community Celebrating Diversity (CCD), where I had the pleasure of serving from 1998 – 2008. We took what started as a breakfast attended by about 35 people to what is now one of the premier events in Scottsdale honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Nearly all of the board members of this organization are Scottsdale Leadership graduates and I always list this as a proud community leadership accomplishment.

Congratulations to all of my fellow graduates and to a remarkable organization on this 25th anniversary.  I will be forever grateful for the difference Scottsdale Leadership made in my life and the lives of so many others.


Scottsdale Leadership is celebrating 25 years of developing community leaders. NFL all-star Kurt Warner will serve as keynote speaker at its 25th Anniversary celebration event on April 14. A $25,000 Gift to the Community will be split between Scottsdale Training and Rehabilitation Services (STARS) and Best Buddies Program in Scottsdale. Tickets and information available by calling 480-627-6710 or online at

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Thank You & Congratulations Scottsdale Leadership

Teresa Kim Hayes-QualeTeresa Kim Hayes-Quale, Class XX
Executive Director, Sonoran National Insurance Group

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 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.

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Leadership Spotlight – Kimberly Crowther, Class XXII

This blog is third in a series from alumni about their experience in Scottsdale Leadership. Kimberly Crowther is a graduate of Class XXII and the Communications Director for the DC Ranch Community Council. Scottsdale Leadership is currently recruiting participants for Class 26. Visit for details.

Name and Class:  Kimberly Crowther Miller; Class 22
Current place of employment, title: DC Ranch Community Council, Communications Director
Community Involvement: Board Member: Workshops for Youth & Families; Scottsdale Leadership

What was your most memorable class day? Each Scottsdale Leadership class day was a new opportunity to become more educated on the real issues affecting our community. The discussion on population growth in Scottsdale during our Community Trusteeship day was particularly memorable to me. Prior to the class, I had never considered how many variables are at play when attempting to manage population growth in a city.

For example, many people support constructing taller residential buildings in Scottsdale to accommodate population growth. But another segment of the community opposes high-rise projects. Since Scottsdale is land-locked and one-third of the city is designated a preserve, new housing projects are limited if buildings can’t be built taller. Of course, the amount of available housing affects cost of living in Scottsdale. If housing in Scottsdale becomes limited and therefore more expensive, many people who want to live in the city are priced out of the market. This then leads one to consider what the socio-economic makeup of the population should be. It was thought-provoking discussions such as these that made my experience in Scottsdale Leadership so valuable.

What advice can you give to future Scottsdale Leadership participants? The best advice I can give to future Scottsdale Leadership participants is to come to each class with an open mind and the intention to participate. Embracing the activities and getting to know each of your classmates is what make the Scottsdale Leadership experience so rewarding.

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Leadership Spotlight – Chelle Barth, Class XXIII

Chelle BarthThis blog is the second in a series from alumni about their experience in Scottsdale Leadership. Chelle Barth is a graduate of Class XXIII and the Founder of Scottsdale Leadership is currently recruiting participants for Class 26. Visit for details.

Name and Class:  Chelle Barth, Class XXIII
Current place of employment, title:, Founder

What do you consider the keys to effective leadership? Having been in several management roles in the past 25 years, you think about the most successful teams and business(es) you’ve been a part of and represented. Three key items are working with authenticity, integrity and creativity.  Have a genuine curiosity and get to know who is on your team – their strengths, coaching needs and what their goals are. Know that your reputation and integrity are your finest assets. Your integrity lives longer than the memory of even the biggest commission check you earned. Creativity…well, don’t know about you, but I’m excited to be working in an industry at a time when digital and traditional media have the opportunity to be creative and effective at the same time.

What was your most memorable Scottsdale Leadership Class day and why? Even thought there was always something to learn, discuss and enjoy at each class, I still think about Education day. Not having any school-age kids, I didn’t realize some of the challenges students, teachers, administrators and parents face today. This class shed light on how education also affects the community, from testing to funding plus so much more.  But, it also made me realize the opportunities and changes that need to take place in order to cultivate a higher percentage of high school graduates.

What advice can you give to future Scottsdale Leadership classes? Participate whenever you can and align your efforts with something you have a passion for. Class 23 was fortunate to have such a great group. Since I “collect people” it offered me the opportunity to meet and admire colleagues that I may have never met. Still today, many are advisors, brainstormers, referral agents and friends.

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