Category Archives: Events

Scottsdale Leader Recognition

Rachel Brockway, Class 23
Scottsdale Leadership Marketing and Resource Development Manager

Scottsdale Leadership is now accepting nominations for the 13 Annual Spirit of Community Leadership Awards.
Nominations are open for the following:
Frank W. Hodges Alumni Achievement Award
Presented by Prestige Cleaners, this award commemorates Class I graduate, Frank Hodges, by recognizing an alumnus of Scottsdale Leadership who has made a significant and notable contribution to the community. Nominations are due September 7. Click here for nomination form.

Drinkwater Community Leadership Award
Presented by Merrill Lynch, the Drinkwater award commemorates former Scottsdale Mayor Herb Drinkwater’s commitment to Scottsdale. Nominees for this award are not alumni of Scottsdale Leadership, but rather those who have demonstrated outstanding community leadership and service. Nominations are due September 7. Click here for nomination form.

Corporate Leadership Award
Presented by Henkel Consumer Goods, Inc. This award honors a company that supports a philosophy and process for involving employees in community service, honors humanitarian values, and positively impacts the community through leadership and financial support. Nominations are due September 7. Click here for nomination form.

Youth Leadership Award
Presented by Scottsdale Active 20-30 Club & Foundation, this award honors a youth leader in their junior or senior year of high school. Nominees are leaders in their school, family, community and extracurricular activities. Nominations are due September 14.   Click here for nomination form.

Award recipients will be honored at Scottsdale Leadership’s 13 Annual Spirit of Community Leadership Awards Luncheon, on Dec. 14. For more information, call 480-627-6710 or visit .

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Play it Forward project wins the prize!

Scottsdale Leadership Executive Director

Class 26’s Project Pay It Forward Day presentations were inspiring. Five teams made huge impacts by developing projects that addressed needs in our community. Held at the Civic Center Library and sponsored by the Scottsdale Charros, a panel of judges selected Play it Forward as the winning project.

Play it Forward is a new program developed to benefit Ear Candy Charity. Team members are Jeff Miller, Linda Walton, Tyler Butler, Jerry Scheirer, Terri Blau, Joe Holmes, and Todd Miller; Team advisor Denise Pruitt.

“Two things really stood out about this project”, said Vice-Mayor Linda Milhaven and member of the judging panel. “The fact that they engaged teenagers to help younger children and the thoroughness of the how-to-manual they wrote.”

The goal of the project is to get instruments out of people’s closets and into the hands of aspiring young musicians.  The project consisted of two components, a pilot musical instrument drive and developing a manual, ‘You Can’t Mess This Up’ Guide to Musical Instrument Drives, that provides marketing materials, guidelines and the support needed for any group to run a successful drive.

The pilot drive was held in conjunction with Arcadia High School’s Contemporary Music and Sound program (CMAS). With the project team’s assistance, CMAS students collected 34 instruments and raised $1000 to fund instrument clean-up and repairs prior to placing them in schools.

The manual provides any group, corporations, civic groups, high schools, etc., with the tools to run their own successful musical instrument drives, to benefit their local elementary and middle schools.

The team collaborated with Ear Candy to enhance their online donation system, to give future groups the ability to create and host their own Play it Forward page through the Ear Candy website.  This enables any group to direct potential donors to their specific drive and track their results in real time.  Teachers can request specific instruments so they are placed in classrooms where they are needed most.  Each instrument placed in a school provides immediate access for low-income children, impacting up to 10 children per year.  Instruments remain in the classroom, benefiting the following year’s students as well, compounding the impact.

Ear Candy is a local organization and intends to use Play it Forward to expand their reach and benefit music students across the country.  In honor of the project win, Ear Candy receives a $2000 donation from Scottsdale Leadership.

For more information on Ear Candy Charity and Play it Forward:

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Charting a course in a new economy

By Kimberly Crowther, Class 22
Communications Director, DC Ranch Community Council

The last few years have left most of us feeling lost at sea when it comes to the economy, but calmer waters in recent months have given individuals, businesses, and the public sector a glimpse of renewed prosperity on the horizon.

On April 18, Scottsdale Leadership provided the community the opportunity to gather its bearings at the 8th Annual Scottsdale Leadership Community Forum at the Scottsdale Resort and Conference Center. The crew leading the discussion included facilitator Jason Rose of Rose+Moser+Allyn Public Relations; Sherman Jennings from The Boeing Company representing the corporate sector; Susie Timm, a banker-turned-entrepreneur and owner of Girl Meets Fork Marketing & Media; Gangplank founder and innovator Derek Neighbors; and Len Jessup, Ph.D., Dean of University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management.

In summary, these were the points on the panelists’ compasses for navigating change in a new economy and charting a course for prosperity:

Innovation. Focus on solutions rather than policy when looking to the future. And don’t be unsettled by chaos when looking for those creative solutions.

People. Gone are the days of top-down communication. Thanks to social media, everyone has a voice. Engage employees and the community in the conversation and really listen to their opinions. You never know what valuable insight they have unless you do.

Passion. Discover what you or your business is really good at and do it. Catering to the masses doesn’t always provide the best return on investment. Discover the niche markets that share your enthusiasm and who will appreciate what you can do for them.
Sustainability. Investigate opportunities for collaboration and create mutually advantageous partnerships. Strong relationships with others help to ensure long-lasting success.

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Scottsdale Leadership Class 26 Pays It Forward

Scottsdale Leadership Class 26 Pays if Forward
Graduating class of Scottsdale Leadership poised to leave a lasting legacy in Scottsdale

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – As part of the nine-month community leadership program, members of Scottsdale Leadership’s Class 26 were assigned to teams and challenged to plan and implement five community service projects. The goal was to identify a community need and develop a project that positively affected that need, while gaining hands-on experience as community leaders.

“The teams had to quickly organize and create a project that will pay it forward for years to come,” said Brian Bednar, board president of Scottsdale Leadership. “We are beyond impressed and proud of class 26.  Their accomplishments are a reflection of what Scottsdale Leadership stands for. It proves that, even with limited time and resources, a few passionate people can make a tremendous impact on a community.”

The projects underway include:

Play it Forward
Play it Forward is dedicated to getting musical instruments out of retirement and into the hands of students, particularly to those in low-income areas who might not otherwise have access to musical education.  The team, in partnership with Ear Candy Charity and Arcadia High School Contemporary Music and Sound, is conducting an instrument drive benefiting schools in the Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD).  Project Play it Forward Group was featured on Channel 12 news at:
How to get involved: Donate musical instruments at the front desk at Arcadia High until April 15. To make a donation to help repair and place the instruments with those in need, visit and click on CMAS drive.

Everybody Dance Now! Scottsdale
Everybody Dance Now! Is dedicated to enhancing the lives of youth through dance, leadership and community involvement by starting a chapter of Everybody Dance Now! in Scottsdale. The project team is partnering with the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale to provide weekly dance programming to middle and high school youth who would otherwise not have access to such opportunities.  Everybody Dance Now! is a youth-run nonprofit dedicated to inspiring students through positive opportunities that promote healthy and active lives. The first class begins on Wednesday, March 28 at the Rose Lane Branch of The Boys & Girls Club.
How to get involved: Participate in two upcoming golf tournaments which will raise money for Everybody Dance Now!. A Good Friday Golf Tournament will take place at Stonecreek Golf Club on Friday, April 6 and a NFL Alumni Golf Tournament will take place at Whirlwind Golf Club on Friday, May 4. Golfers may contact Tim Jorden at to reserve a golf foursome. Also, volunteers will be needed to teach dance classes, particularly teens and college students with hip-hop experience. Interested volunteers can contact the local Everybody Dance Now! program at

Paiute Community Garden
This team partnered with the Paiute Neighborhood Center to create a multifaceted edible garden with raised planting beds and an art-inspired seated reading area. The Paiute Community Garden will be a beautiful place for children and adults to grow an edible garden while layering an educational curriculum to inspire healthy food choices. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for Tuesday, April 10 at 10 a.m.
How to get involved: The program is happy to accept gardening materials and cash donations to assist the program. Make your donations at the Paiute Neighborhood Center located at 6535 E. Osborn Road in Scottsdale.

Healthy Packs Program
The mission of Healthy Packs program is to aid children in Title 1 schools experiencing weekend hunger by sending them home from school with food on Friday afternoons. Good weekend nutrition ensures the children arrive to school on Monday well-nourished and ready to learn. Project partners include Vista Del Camino Food Bank, Scottsdale Leadership, SUSD, Police Officers of Scottsdale Association, Scottsdale Sunrise Rotary Club, Bethany Lutheran Church, and Concerned Citizens for Community Health. Healthy Packs kicked off on Friday, March 23.
How to get involved: The project will continue to need volunteers and donations. You can volunteer with the Vista Del Camino Food Bank to help pack bags, deliver bags or collect funds for the program. You can also donate online at for the Healthy Packs Program. Non-perishable food donation can be made directly to Healthy Packs at Vista Del Camino or to the Healthy Pack food donation boxes located at all SUSD elementary schools. Donations boxes will also be available at select middle schools and Desert Mountain High School.

Dream Fair
The goal for the Dream Fair was to inspire Coronado High School students entering 9th and 10th grade and their parents to be more involved in school to help them realize their dreams for graduation and beyond. Increased student and parental involvement are key contributors for better educational performance and decreased dropout rates. The Dream Fair on March 24 featured former White House Doctor Connie Mariano and Craig Jackson of Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction and a former Coronado High School graduate. Both shared how school helped them reach their dreams. The event included free food, prizes and activity booths from the school and community.
How to get involved: This year’s events is complete, but stay tuned  for chances to donate your time and resources to next year’s  Dream Fair.

Teams will present their projects the community during formal presentations on Friday, April 27 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Scottsdale Civic Center Library Auditorium. Project Pay It Forward Presentation Day is sponsored by the Scottsdale Charros. A panel of judges will evaluate the projects and the winning team will receive $2,000 from Scottsdale Leadership to be donated to the team’s benefiting organization.


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Navigating Change in a New Economy

Contact:  Rachel Brockway, Marketing Manager
(480) 627-6716,

Diverse panel to provide insight on the new economy and its effect on employment and education in Scottsdale

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – On Wednesday, April 18, Scottsdale Leadership will host its 8th Annual Community Forum, Navigating Change in a New Economy. The forum, sponsored by The Arizona Republic and the Scottsdale Area Association of Realtors, will be held from 7:30 – 9:30 a.m. at the Scottsdale Resort and Conference Center, located at 7700 E. McCormick Pkwy.

In an ever-changing economic climate, empowered leadership is imperative to strong communities. Scottsdale Leadership wants to start the conversation about what the new economy means for the future of employment and education in this community.

“Scottsdale has evolved from the west’s most western town to one of the most dynamic and youthful cities in America,” said Jason Rose, president, Rose+Moser+Allyn Public Relations, and panel moderator for the forum. “The forum panelists will shed light on how people can carve out their niche in this amazing community. Who couldn’t benefit from participating in this type of discussion?”

During the forum, Rose will lead panelists to share their personal stories of success and provide insight on what the future holds for employment and education in Scottsdale and Arizona. The panelists include:

Derek Neighbors, Co-founder, Gangplank, discussing innovators –The next generation may look different and speak somewhat differently, but they are fearless in taking the business world by storm…their terms, their rules.

Sherman A. Jennings – Human Resources Site Leader, Rotorcraft Systems, The Boeing Company and Chair, Governor’s Council on Workforce Policy, discussing the corporate sector – How are  large conventional corporations recruiting and hiring? What opportunities and obstacles are they facing?

Susie Timm, Head Cheese, Girl Meets Fork Marketing and Media, discussing the new entrepreneurs – Many professionals  are leaving (forced or by choice) their conventional jobs and making a career by applying their skills/experience as an outsource resource.

Len Jessup, Ph.D. – Dean of University of Arizona Eller College of Management, discussing the education perspective – How are educational institutions preparing students for the new economy? What has changed or is different?

For more information, or to purchase tickets, contact Scottsdale Leadership at (480) 627-6710, or visit Individual tickets are $40; $30 for dues-paid alumni. Corporate tables are $500 for a table of eight.

Since 1987, Scottsdale Leadership has graduated more than 850 individuals who are prepared to take on leadership roles in an ever-changing world. Scottsdale Leadership alumni have had a significant impact on the Scottsdale community, spearheading preservation of open space; improving the education system; championing public art; mentoring at-risk youth; and raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for charities. For more information, call the Scottsdale Leadership office at 480-627-6710, or visit,

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Help Recruit Scottsdale’s Future Leaders and Win a Prize!

Scottsdale Leadership in now accepting applications for Class XXVII! We know alumni are the best resource for recruiting and that alumni love to win contests!

Do you know individuals who have the drive to become great community leaders? If so, please talk to them about Scottsdale Leadership and email their name, address, email and phone number to

Contest: If you refer a potential applicant to Scottsdale Leadership Class XXVII and they apply to the program you will be entered into a contest to win a two night stay that includes breakfast at the Embassy Suites Biltmore.

The Applicant’s Reception will be held March 21 at 5:30 p.m. at the Phoenician. Tickets are $25; dues-paid alumni are free. Please register by March 15 online or by calling 480-627-6710.

Applications post online February 1:

Give back. Make a difference. Leave a legacy.

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Russo and Steele Preview Charity Gala

Jeff Miller, Class 26
Senior Vice President Marketing and Development, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale

Russo and Steele has partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale for its annual Preview Charity Gala. The event will be held on Jan 18 to raise money for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale’s “Angels for Kids, Mentors for Life” program and will feature live entertainment, a hosted bar, and appetizers from some of the valley’s top chefs and a silent auction.

Date: Wednesday, January 18
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location:  Russo and Steele Event Site Main Tent, Mayo Blvd & Scottsdale Road
Tickets: $100

Only 750 spots are available for this exclusive event, which is open to corporate sponsors, registered bidders, and invited guests.  This extravaganza has been SOLD OUT each year. For more information or to purchase tickets visit:

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