Tag Archives: Genia Kehayes

Did you Know?!

Kehayes, GeniaGenia Kehayes, Class 27
VP Finance Administration, Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau

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.

…that Scottsdale Stadium sits on what used to be cotton fields? … Harper’s Bazaar magazine staged a major fall fashion show and photo shoot in downtown Scottsdale in 1950? …the Rusty Spur Saloon is housed in what used to be a bank?  We learned these things and more as Class XXVII went on a whirlwind tour of Scottsdale during our History and Treasures Day.

We started out at Scottsdale Stadium, and I never knew that a number of teams called the stadium home before the San Francisco Giants settled there.  Next was a walking tour with Joan Fudala.   This lovely lady is a tremendous source of information about Scottsdale; she shared the information I opened with and more.

The Little Red Schoolhouse was our next stop and contains many historical artifacts of Scottsdale.  The museum manager told us that her parents actually attended school there and the “Rules for Teachers” posted on the wall brought to life how dramatically times have changed.

Did you know there’s an organic farm, Singh Farms, just east of the 101?  It has an almost forest-like atmosphere with garden beds interspersed throughout.  You owe it to yourself to attend the farmers market on Saturdays.  Spending just a brief time there proved to be very relaxing.

Liberty Wildlife

I really enjoyed Liberty Wildlife, which rehabilitates injured animals.  Those that cannot be released back into the wild as a result of their injuries are retained as education animals.  We saw a couple of eagles, a red-tailed hawk and my favorite, a desert screech owl named Ivan.

Scottsdale Airport was next, and it’s important to note what a major economic driver the airport is to our city, both in attracting employers and in the tax revenue it generates.  We were told that it gets utilized to capacity during our events season, but during the short time we were on the tarmac several jets took off and landed.

Los Cederos

We headed north to the Desert Foothills Family YMCA for a tour and more Scottsdale history.  Next was Los Cedros, modeled after a Moroccan Citadel.  It is rented out for events and meetings and houses some of the most beautiful Arabian horses.


We then focused on the Arts and headed to Taliesin West, the winter home of Frank Lloyd Wright.  Upon arrival one does get the sense of the experimental atmosphere that was intended for those studying there.

Finally, we went to Cattle Track Art Compound.  Ms. Ellis, the general manager, recounted a dynamic history of Cattletrack and what it was like to grow up there.  Photographers, painters, costume designers and hot rod shops still are housed there.  There was so much to see that we were encouraged to return to spend some time visiting the various shops and artists.

Even though I’ve lived here for years, I learned so much.   What little-known facts do you know about Scottsdale?



Filed under Art, Class, Community

Do You Walk the (Art) Walk?

Scottsdale LeadershipGenia Kehayes, Class 27
VP, Finance & Administration, Scottsdale CVB

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.

Have you ever been to a Scottsdale Art Walk? If you haven’t, you owe it to yourself to attend one soon.  It takes place every Thursday night from 7 – 9 p.m. and it’s free! There is energy in the air and a remarkable assortment of art to see.  Class27 enjoyed a very special art walk and visited the Scottsdale Museum of Modern Art (SMoCA) and three galleries featuring very different types of art;  Contemporary (The Marshall/LeKae Gallery of Fine Art), Native American (River Trading Post) and African (Hatuma African Gallery).  Throughout the night, I wondered how we define what art is and what it means to us.

One of the statements made by our host at SMoCA was that contemporary art needs to be explained; it needs context.  As the night went on, I thought about that statement a lot. In discussing this issue with a classmate, we concluded that perhaps artists seeking to make a social or political statement need to have their art explained, but this is not true of all contemporary art.  There have been many times that I have enjoyed a piece of art because of the energy conveyed by the brushstrokes or the feelings evoked by the use of color.  For example, the featured artist at Marshall/LeKae Gallery used a stained glass painting technique that created energy and movement.

At the River Trading Post, we met a young artist named Harold Stevens who is also an apprentice medicine man.  He told us that his father taught him everything he knows about their culture.  His sand paintings used beautiful natural pigments and he believes that through his art, he can heal.  Have you ever looked at a piece of artwork or listened to music that made you smile or that made you think of a happy time in your life?  Maybe that’s what Mr. Stevens meant.

By the time we arrived at Hatuma African Gallery, it was more crowded and noisy and our host said that he didn’t need to speak because his art would speak for him. That was an important moment for me. When I looked around the gallery I realized that the artwork made an emotional impact.  Moreover, it seemed that the artists must have enjoyed the process of making their art because it seemed to celebrate life in all of its phases.  The joyful spirit was further enhanced by the musicians playing percussion instruments just outside the door.

Some artwork can be very cerebral and thought provoking but I truly enjoy art that makes an emotional impact.  Maybe that’s because I have a career that requires me to be very analytical and the emotional response I get from seeing a vivid landscape or listening to uplifting music is a welcome respite.  It was fun to notice that different people were drawn to different styles of art.  Perhaps art, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

How do you define art?

Leave a comment

Filed under Class, Community, Leadership

The Opportunity to Lead is a Gift

Arizona LeadershipGenia Kehayes, Class 27
VP of Finance and Administration, Scottsdale CVB

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.

“Leadership is a Gift of Opportunity”

Of all of the wonderful quotes we heard or developed in our class about community stewardship, this one really resonated with me.  I had never before thought of volunteering one’s time or leading a project group as an opportunity.  We are constantly pulled in many directions between work, family, hobbies, etc. and I began to wonder how I could fit community service (or community stewardship, as we referred to it) into an already busy lifestyle.  Thinking of stewardship as an opportunity gives a whole different perspective to spending one’s time addressing an issue, or “noticing an opportunity”.

The quote I opened with came from Mary King, one of the board members of Scottsdale Training and Rehabilitation Services (S.T.A.R.S.).  We were treated to a site visit to learn more about this wonderful facility, which provides services for developmentally disabled adults in our community.  Ms. King founded a similar organization in California and talked to us about how she did it.

I found her presentation to be inspiring and reassuring.  She emphasized that in finding an opportunity to lead, one didn’t necessarily need special skills or a large list of wealthy, influential friends.  She talked about “using what you have”:  finding people to help you and keeping your mind on the people you’re serving.

Another concept we discussed was that stewardship entailed leaving a legacy for the future.  During our day, we visited the McDowell Mountain Preserve Gateway.  I am familiar with the Gateway because when the weather is cooler I enjoy light hiking there and I know that creation of the Preserve has taken decades.   After having participated in our class, I am even more in awe of the vision of those who got the ball rolling in creating the Preserve.  Clearly, a number of people saw an opportunity to create a lasting legacy for future generations.

During the day, we heard from community members who volunteered their time on local, regional and national issues.  Their discussions did not focus on the specifics of their work but rather, what community stewardship meant to them, why they got involved in the issues they represented, and how they fit it into their otherwise busy lives.  It was gratifying to learn that there are so many ways to serve the community.  There are social services programs we all are familiar with, but there are also opportunities in small neighborhoods, politics, the arts, etc.

There were some great takeaways regarding Community Stewardship that they shared:

  • “What you’ve done to help others can’t ever diminish in value.”
  • “Stewardship is part of your life.” (Not something to fit in)
  • “If you don’t love what you’re doing and the cause you’re working for, find another one.  There is plenty of opportunity to make a difference.”

Today was overwhelmingly inspirational and made me think of leadership and volunteering in a whole new way.  Now I want to know… Where do you lead in our community and what does community stewardship mean to you?

1 Comment

Filed under Class, Community, Leadership