Tag Archives: Dick Bowers

Welcome to Class 26

Jenifer Dymek
Sr. Advertising Strategist, Salt River Project

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.

The first day of Scottsdale Leadership’s Class 26 was like the first day of school. Maybe it was the excitement of being on a school campus (our first class was held at Scottsdale Community College), or maybe just the chance to meet other people ready to embark on an adventure. A new place where we’ll all be pushed to be better, and stretch a little higher. The hum of the room and the excitement touched everyone, from members of the class to the alumni and staff.

So what makes up this class of leaders? In the amazing 90-second commercials, we found out that we have poets and football fanatics. A crockpot chef and a police chief named Jeff. An amazing baker, a nail polish fanatic, a ringside announcer and animal lover. Still remember what makes Nick tick? Lawyers and CPA’s and realtors, oh my! A marathon runner and rock and roll singer, this class is loaded with leadership ringers!

There are so many to name, and so many new faces to get to know. This class is filled with amazing and interesting people and we’ve only seen the very tip of the iceberg.

But what is a leader? Former Scottsdale city manager Dick Bowers shared his experience and inspirational thoughts:

  • There is nobility in public service
  • You can make change happen despite your surrounding situation
  • Discuss the un-discussables
  • Create tension
  • Controversy is a seed to grow
  • The relationship with the person directly below you is less important than the one with the person several layers below you
  • Keep your vision within people’s grasp

In the words of our Scottsdale Leadership president Brian Bednar, it’s our time to be present and take advantage of this amazing opportunity.

Good luck to all!

5 Comments

Filed under Class, Leadership

Developing vision like a tango, but it takes more than two

By ROBERT LEGER,  Class 21
Opinions editor of the Scottsdale Republic and Phoenix Republic and an assistant editorial page editor of the Arizona Republic.

The first question answered itself:

“Does Scottsdale have a vision for its future?” the audience member asked a panel that had spent nearly an hour discussing vision and how a community develops one.

The city hasn’t been through a formal visioning exercise in nearly two decades. City staffers have sought residents’ thoughts about specific areas, such as the Airpark or downtown, but not for the city as a whole. No one has updated the vision adopted in the early 1990s that, among other things, called for creating a large Sonoran mountain preserve.

Does the city have a map to its future?

“Yes,” replied former City Manager Dick Bowers, who moderated the discussion. “Whether it’s in concert with the views of citizens is a question you have to answer.”

If he was tempted to leave it at that, the temptation didn’t last long.

“Vision is not something that seven people sit in a room and create. It’s not only the loudest voice,” Bowers said. “Vision comes only from conversation with the entire body that will carry it out. In my view, no, there is not a clear vision. It’s up to you to determine what it should be.”

Many in the crowd at the Scottsdale Leadership community forum left ready to do that. Board members said they will bring up the idea of promoting a vision process at their next meeting. Scottsdale Community College President Jan Gehler offered her campus as “neutral ground for difficult conversations.”

Here’s hoping the passions of the morning don’t fade away. Every community needs to regularly re-examine its goals. Scottsdale is due.

To read the rest of Robert’s blog on the Arizona Republic’s website click here.

4 Comments

Filed under Community, Events

20/20 Perfect Vision: It’s Possible!

By SUZANNE PAETZER, Class 24
President- TriAra Consulting, LLC

20/20 Vision: Our Citizen’s Prescription for the Future – Scottsdale Leadership’s annual community forum sponsored by Scottsdale Republic/The Arizona Republic, APS and Scottsdale Area Association of Realtors.

Your vision is a primary sensory source – taking in your surroundings and making key decisions.  Quickly your eyes note the meaning of facial expressions in a conversation.  Colors and textures in nature are discerned. Vast publications of knowledge are absorbed. BlackBerry’s and TV’s send us countless images that influence our lives.

Your vision is not something to take for granted. It creates wholeness in your world and isn’t seeing 20/20 the ultimate goal?

On Thursday, April 29th a distinguished group of community leaders challenged the audience at Scottsdale Leadership’s  7th Annual Community Forum to create a vision for Scottsdale.  Scottsdale hasn’t set sight on defining a citizen-driven vision for more than 20 years. What do our citizens want for the future?

The panel, facilitated by Dick Bowers, former Scottsdale city manager, consisted of: Jane Rau, co-founder of the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy, sharing an activist’s vision; Charlie Smith, former Scottsdale council member, providing a hindsight perspective; Peter Kasperski, owner of Cowboy Ciao and Kazimierz, lending a future perspective; and Trevor Barger, founder Espiritu Loci, highlighting the key components of vision.

What is Vision?
I view the path of vision like a tree.  At the very root of vision is just one idea.  Then vision takes on an element of natural growth developing one branch.  As ideas are nurtured, more branches of new ideas stem from conversations that feed the knowledge tree.  Eventually, one idea has grown and taken shape and now becomes a solid foundation upon which more growth occurs.  Sometimes the final vision is very different than the very first idea that planted the seed of thought for growth.  Vision grows naturally and can’t be forced.

Trevor Barger resonated with my tree vision when he talked about a community vision and its premise of starting with a believable idea created by looking in the present with passion to the future.  We must see the potential of an idea but not merely change an existing issue.  We need to be bold about the vision of future potential of an idea.  You know when a vision has taken hold when it culminates by influencing and inspiring people to take action because the vision touches their soul.  Just like the deep roots of a magnificent tree firmly planted, vision inspires and takes hold on solid footing and branches out and grows naturally.

It’s Time Scottsdale
There is no citizens-driven vision for Scottsdale.  We need to know where we want to go or we will never get there. A small group of seven, who in the past decided to increase the size of Scottsdale’s original one square mile, made a difference!

There are countless examples of people from the past who said, “Why not _______?” Fill the blank in with build a stadium, create an Old Towne, preserve the desert, etc.  You can make a difference.  We must gather as citizens of Scottsdale and explore the vision we want.

The Challenge to Scottsdale Leadership, Class 24
As a member of the soon-to-graduate Class 24, I propose a challenge to my esteemed classmates.

We talked about the need for a vision in Scottsdale during one of our classes.  It was even proposed by Mike Seiden, Core Program Vice-Chair for Class 25, we abandon our six community projects and all focus on creating the groundswell for Scottsdale’s vision.  Well, we all participated in six amazing and impactful projects that touched the community in so many ways.  Thank you Scottsdale Leadership for having the foresight to not heed our plea, for our projects changed our lives and impacted many others.

So, now that we are a united force of 42 with community presence, I challenge my classmates to join in the offer from Dr. Jan L. Gehler, President of Scottsdale Community College, to meet at her college and start the dialogue and groundswell for our community vision.

We can make a difference even if it is only a small group of seven.  We may not know “how” it will turn out or even “what” the vision is but isn’t that exciting?  What we do know is that it will be revealed to us as we share ideas and perspectives, conduct difficult conversations and envelope it in courageous leadership.  The time is now.  And, it’s up to us.  What better way to serve our community than to help create its future!

If you’re in, let me know.  I’m willing to take the first step to get it started with you.  Let us take our time, talents, passion, pride and leadership and create a legacy for Scottsdale.  If we don’t, who will?

“Never look down to test the ground before taking your next step; only he who keeps his eye fixed on the far horizon will find the right road.”
Dag Hammarskjold (1905-1961, Statesman and Secretary-General of the United Nations).

2 Comments

Filed under Alumni, Leadership

Scottsdale Leadership to Start Dialoge for a Citzen’s Vision

WHAT CAN VISION DO FOR A COMMUNITY?

HOW CAN CITIZENS ENGAGE?

By RACHEL BROCKWAY, Class 23
Scottsdale Leadership Marketing & Resource Development Manager

On Thursday, April 29, Scottsdale Leadership will host its 7th Annual Community Forum, 20/20 Vision: Our Citizen’s Prescription for the Future.

The forum, sponsored by The Arizona Republic, APS and the Scottsdale Area Association of Realtors, will be held from 7:15 – 9 a.m. at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale at Gainey Ranch, 7500 E. Doubletree Ranch Rd.

More than two decades have passed since Scottsdale participated in a citizen-driven visioning process. Scottsdale Leadership wants to start the conversation. “Communities that have vision achieve amazing results and perhaps it is time for this community to engage in a discussion of its future,” said Dick Bowers, former Scottsdale city manager and panel moderator for the forum. “It is the citizens’ responsibility to say they want to create a shared vision and participate in its formation.”

During the forum, panelists will share their insights on and experience with vision. The panelists include:

20/20 Foresight – Restaurateur Peter Kasperski will discuss how he created a vision for his business which has cumulated into several successful establishments in Scottsdale that attract people from all over the country.

20/20 Hindsight – Former city councilman Charlie Smith will provide a historical perspective on Scottsdale successes that originated with a citizen-driven vision plan.

An Activist’s VisionJane Rau, conservation activist and cofounder of the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy, will share how she brought her vision for the City’s preserve to fruition through her grassroots effort and community dialogue.

3-D ViewTrevor Barger, founder of Espiritu Loci Inc., a land planning and development assistance company, will provide insight on creating a citizen-driven vision for a community.

For some, vision may be difficult to define. Put simply, Barger says vision is about “what we want to see, not what can we fix.”

For more information, or to purchase tickets, contact Scottsdale Leadership at (480) 627-6710, or visit www.scottsdaleleadership.org. Tickets are $40, $30 for dues-paid alumni and $350 for corporate table of eight.

4 Comments

Filed under Community, Events, Uncategorized