Katherine Yu, Class 25 Class Blogger
Sr. Scientist – Henkel Consumer Goods Inc.
The Class 25 Blog: This is a blog series about the experience and impact of Scottsdale Leadership’s seventeen core program days. The program informs, inspires and empowers leaders to champion and strengthen the interests of the community.
Like many Arizonans, I am not a native of Arizona. I was born and raised in Houston, Texas, went to college in California, and reluctantly followed my husband here when he found a job in Phoenix. Adjusting to the culture shock of the Southwest was hard at first. I felt like I had left my heart in San Francisco. But over the years, we’ve become more comfortable here in the Valley as we have built our careers, friendships, and family. Then I experienced History and Bus Tour Day in the Scottsdale Leadership Program and had a revelation. I’m falling in love with Scottsdale!
We started at the breathtaking Skyline Rooftop at the Hotel Valley Ho. We took an expert tour of downtown and learned about the Little Red Schoolhouse, where so much of Scottsdale’s history is housed. Then we headed north to Taliesen West and were graced by the presence of prominent architect Vern Swaback, who was a former apprentice and Director of Planning for Frank Lloyd Wright. We toured the immaculate grounds of the Four Seasons Resort, and ate lunch at the iconic Greasewood Flats. We saw handsome Arabian horses housed in a citadel at Los Cedros. Who knew? We experienced raw desert beauty at the McDowell Mountain Preserve. And finally we toured Scottsdale Stadium and the new Salt River Fields, all in the course of ONE day.
Along the bus route and as part of our “homework”, the class members shared tidbits about Scottsdale’s history taken from Joan Fudala’s book Historic Scottsdale: A Life from the Land. It was intriguing to learn that many of my classmates have lived in Scottsdale their whole lives. All could remember Scottsdale’s humble beginnings and incredible growth over the past few decades. One even water skied behind a pickup truck along the canals. I even had my own piece of history to share. I recalled Dial’s Center for Innovation (DCI), where I worked before Henkel relocated two miles up the road. DCI’s building existed for 32 years, was demolished, and replaced with what is now the Scottsdale Quarter.
Scottsdale is sophisticated, but wild at heart. It can give you refined art and architecture, but also sports, entertainment, and unparalleled beauty. There are numerous exciting and incomparable experiences in Scottsdale making my love affair with our city stronger everyday.
Why do you love Scottsdale?