Tag Archives: Bill Heckman

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 scottsdaleleadership.org 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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Scottsdale Public Art – A Legacy for Generations to Come

By Bill Heckman, ‘The Great’ Class VIII
Heckman Marketing, Inc.

Scottsdale Public Art (SPA) is entering its 25th year and has built a reputation as one of the top quality programs of its kind in the entire country. This is due to the vision of past civic leaders who created a funding mechanism through city ordinance in 1985. The AIPP ordinance mandated a 1 % contribution for public art applied to all new Capital Improvement Projects (CIP). A companion ordinance for a 1% contribution to Public Art in Private Development (AIPD) insured a balance of public and private funding and ability to create engaging art experiences throughout Scottsdale.

Today, we are proud of having 86 projects in private development and 70 world class public installations with another 17 AIPP plus 5 AIPD in various stages of development. Additionally, we have been able to fund numerous ‘time based’ or temporary installations to augment civic art events and create an artistic-surprise like the Red Ball project. Few cities of any size can equal what has been accomplished in Scottsdale.

From our magnificent freeway art walls to citizen driven projects like the new War Memorial to the Love Sculpture by Robert Indiana and ranging from the entrance signs that grace our parks to the citizen involved crochet ‘Coral Reef’ project in the downtown main library, Scottsdale Public Art has enhanced our city’s cache. It has enhanced Scottsdale’s cultural reputation and has received tremendous local and national recognition.

Despite our accomplishments, new challenges have arisen due to the difficult economy and maturing nature of our Public Art Program. Efforts have been underway for several years to amend the SPA funding to insure stability & continuity for the program. After two years, the AIPP ordinance revisions were completed and approved by the city council in conjunction with the new city contract for the Scottsdale Cultural Council. The AIPD ordinance is not yet complete but when approved will be expanded city wide to create a broader income stream and offset loss of AIPP revenues. Meanwhile, the program has had to make substantial cuts to marketing, conservation & programming. Our long term trust fund will be depleted in just two more years unless new sources are found. Rest assured that the SPA Staff and Board are working to provide long term stability and growth of our program.

Scottsdale Public Art’s newest installation are the 14 foot tall horses along Indian Bend Road between Scottsdale and Hayden. If you’ve not seen them, threat yourself with a drive to see these four magnificent steeds. You will want to park and walk down to get a closer view. It is worth every minute and is symbolic of the power of our investment in public art for ourselves and as our legacy to the generations yet to come!

Please visit us at www.scottsdalepublicart.org to see many of the exciting completed projects and mark your calendar for events surrounding our 25th Anniversary year starting this fall with the completion of the Soleri Bridge project across the canal at the Scottsdale Waterfront. This ambitious project will add to the excitement of the Herb Mignery Bronze ‘Passing the Legacy’ and Donald Lipski’s ‘The Doors’ already on site.

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Filed under Alumni, Art, Community