Tag Archives: Eileen Rogers

Pssst… Wanna Join a Nonprofit Board?

LloydBy Stacy Lloyd, Class 28
Lloyd Media Group

Class 28 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. 

It is every man’s obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it. -Albert Einstein

Serving on a nonprofit Board is a great way to “put back.” But first, read this blog!

Our last Scottsdale Leadership class was Boardsmanship Day. Honestly, I was fairly confident; it was going to be bor-ring. Imagine my surprise, when it was the exact opposite.

Board Panel Our panel – charged with teaching us the roles, responsibilities and expectations of serving on nonprofit Boards – was a who’s who in the world of Arizona nonprofits. Steve Davidson, Class 10 (CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale), Pam Gaber (CEO, Gabriel’s Angels), Patricia Lewis (ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Innovation) and Eileen Rogers, Class 2 (nonprofit Board all-star) emphasized that it’s important to do your homework before serving on a Board.

Say you’ve found the nonprofit of your dreams. You’ve heard wonderful things about it. You’re eager to join the Board. Whoa… not so fast! Having passion for a nonprofit is critical, but so is doing your due diligence. There are essential things to grasp before joining a Board for the first time. Here goes….

You definitely want to meet the Executive Director.

It’s imperative to know that as a Board member, you are a fiduciary. You’re managing assets for another party, often with the legal authority and duty to make decisions regarding financial matters on behalf of the other party. No matter how the organization is structured or the degree of authority delegated to staff or committees, the Board and therefore the individual members are ultimately accountable.

Inquire if the organization has proper insurance coverage. Patricia Lewis said, “Don’t join a Board unless it has directors’ and officers’ liability insurance.”

Ask financial questions as it’s your responsibility to understand the Board’s financial statements. If you notice any red flags, stay away.

Board members must understand the facts and circumstances of accounting issues and the overall financial health of the organization. To do this, Board members must be actively engaged in the governance process. This means getting educated on Board governance and the nonprofit’s bylaws.

Ask about the Board term length and the expected time commitment. Don’t join something if you don’t have the time to serve. Oh, and be careful of any conflicts of interest.

Wait – you’re not done yet. Our experts said to test-drive the Board first. Join one of the nonprofit’s committees. You can see firsthand the organization’s inner workings. Plus decide if the current Board members are people you want to work alongside.

Don’t go blindly into joining a nonprofit Board. Put on your extra-strength spectacles and do your due diligence.

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It’s Over – NOW WHAT?

Arizona LeadershipBy Kim Hanna, Class 27
Economic Vitality, City of Scottsdale

The Class 27 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. Scottsdale Leadership is an Arizona Leadership Program.

At the beginning it seemed like such a long road.  But now—the fabulous 9-month journey with Scottsdale Leadership is over.  Yikes—NOW WHAT?

This rich experience was not intended to only expose me to a bunch of issues in the community.  It’s about engaging in the community to make it a better place into future generations!

On our final class day, Suzanne Paetzer—our Core Program Chair—reminded us of a T.S. Eliot quote, “To make an end is to make a beginning.”  THAT’S WHAT!  It’s time to make a beginning!

Then came Eileen Rogers who said, “Most of us don’t know what we want—but we’re pretty darn sure we don’t have it!”  Isn’t that the truth?!?

The answer: Life By Design, Not By Default!  Eileen led us through an exercise that rocked my world!  She gave us a list of “life topics” and asked us to circle all of the items that are important in our lives today.  I circled 19 items.  Then she asked us to eliminate all but the top 12…Ouch!  I began feeling guilty about the items I crossed off of my list.  Then she said we needed to further reduce to 7.  Was she kidding?!?

It was about this time in the day that I began talking to myself.  I had to tell myself, “This is just an exercise…I’m sure I’ll learn something from it.  Calm down!”  So, I did.

It wasn’t over—we had to rank the list in order of importance and grade our performance.  My heart sank…I really didn’t want to face the music but the band kept playing.  All of the things I claim as important are also the things I seem to be getting around to when I have a free moment.

“TIME FOR A CHANGE,” I said to myself.  By this time my self-talk was in surround sound with full-on subwoofer!

But there’s more!  Courtney Klein Johnson shared the heart-warming story of the Stuttering King Bakery—way to go Matt Cottle!  Courtney gave us a menu from the bakery which included another nudge for me.  A quote from Walt Disney said, “All our dreams can come true…if we have the courage to pursue them.”

Throughout this 9-month experience speakers told us the key to successful leadership is service through passion.  If you start with your passion, things feel right—you’ll know when you are there.

I’ve decided to take those words to heart.  I have been passionate for a long time about camping, hiking and cooking.  I’ve decided to use my blog www.CampingForFoodies.com as a platform from which to launch my community stewardship adventure.  I have tons of ideas and am thrilled to get started!  I know each and every one of my classmates will be doing the same with their individual passions.

To the Magnificent 27 and our wonderful leader—Suzanne—Thank You for a truly life-changing experience!  See you on the edge!

OnTheEdge

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Leadership Emerging Toolkit

Nick Molinari, Class 26
City of Scottsdale

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.

On May 4, Scottsdale Leadership’s Class 26 capped off a nine-month journey that had a dramatic impact on all of us. The goal of Leadership Emerging Day, which was the last class in the program, was to reflect on the Scottsdale Leadership experience, evaluate our “toolkits” and develop strategies for future community involvement. It is admittedly a bit hard for me to articulate the experience of the class as I got so much more out of it than  expected.

The program days were interesting and packed with information, inspiring stories and tools for successful community stewardship. The leadership academy days addressed critical development areas and our projects were great examples of how small groups of people can have a dramatic impact.

So what were the takeaways?  What each of us learned about Scottsdale – the unique pieces that make our puzzle such a dynamic one – is almost immeasurable.  We have a better understanding of the elements that make our city tick. Each of us has a “lifetime toolkit” that we can draw upon to make a difference in our community. But we all got so much more out of Scottsdale Leadership than that.

The soul of any program is in its people.  While we all learned a great deal about our city, what we got from each other far outweighed anything else. It’s the relationships, friendships and mentors that I gained that will last a lifetime. Hopefully, some of those connections will be the root of change in Scottsdale.

As we look to the future and think about how Class 26 will use our toolkits, here are some things I will keep in the back of my mind:

  • Know yourself:  During our class day Eileen Rogers said, “To be a good steward, you need to know yourself. Your passions and values need to align with your actions.”  These are words to live by, indeed. To be successful leaders, we need to know what is important to us. We need to understand what strengths we bring to the table and how we can apply those skills to make a difference to things that matter to us.
  • Have passion:  If you are going to be of significance, you have to have passion for what you’re doing.  My classmate Ted Taylor exemplifies many of these takeaways.  He definitely knows himself and man is he passionate. Each time I listened to Ted talk about the things that inspired him, I was moved.  Whether he talked about the homeless or immigration or his family, he spoke with such deep conviction that I couldn’t help but be motivated.
  • Enjoy the ride:  You have to enjoy what you’re doing. It shows. Choose purposefully where you spend your time and engage yourself with things and people that make you happy.  We will definitely have a more significant long-term impact if we’re having a good time on the ride.

With that, we draw things to a close. It was a great ride and I’ll miss seeing all my new connections every other Friday. Nevertheless, I anticipate getting many kicks with Class 26 for quite a long time!

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FootPRINTs in the Sands of Arizona

Eileen Rogers, Class 2
Principle, Allegra Marketing & Print

Allegra Marketing & Print has awarded $15,000 in marketing and print services to twenty AZ nonprofit organizations through our FootPRINT fund! Designed to assist AZ nonprofits “leave a lasting footprint” in the community, Allegra’s FootPRINT fund supports local nonprofits by providing marketing strategy and materials. Click here for the full press release here and list of recipients.

The FootPRINT fund project has been a rich and rewarding experience for Team Allegra. We have met many new friends who work tirelessly to make the world a better place. We have also had some thoughtful discussions internally about how each of us can live a life of meaning while creating a legacy (FootPRINTS!) for the future.

One of the phrases that kept popping up was “footprints on the sands of time.” Curious about the origin of the phrase, we did a bit of research and would like to share our findings with you here. The line is actually part of the poem A Psalm of Life written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The poem is a strong call to live life to its fullest and in so doing find your own “inner hero.”
     Lives of great men remind us
     We can make our lives sublime,
     And, departing, leave behind us
     Footprints on the sands of time.
The next stanza speaks to the importance of creating a personal legacy as a means to help others:
     Footprints, that perhaps another,
     Sailing o’er life’s solemn main
     A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
     Seeing, shall take heart again.
And finally, Longfellow ends with a strong call to action:
      Let us then, be up and doing,
     With a heart for any fate;
     Still achieving, still pursuing,
     Learn to labor, and to wait.

That final call to action…to be up and doing…to be willing to work hard…to be persistent…to be patient for the results – truly resonates, does it not?  It also serves as a great message of inspiration as we work together for social profit in 2012.

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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 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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