Tag Archives: Henkel Consumer Goods

Cardboard City Constructed

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Kiem Ho, Class 26
Director of Business Development & Innovation, Laundry Care, Henkel Consumer Goods, Inc.

On a cool October 26th night, I camped out with my 3 elementary-aged children under the stars.  However, instead of sleeping in a cozy tent under the stars in the forest, we were camped out in our own make-shift and I may add drafty (I guess duct tape can’t fix everything) cardboard box home situated under the dim lights of Scottsdale Stadium.  My family was not alone as 350 other people also camped out in their own constructed cardboard boxes that ranged from the elaborate such as a castle with a functioning drawbridge to a simple box that was opened on both ends.  This “campout” was part of Family Promise’s second annual event called Cardboard City, an event which helped bring awareness to a growing problem in our community- family homelessness.

photo 2I participated in Cardboard City not only due to being a board member of Family Promise but also because of my association with the Scottsdale Leadership Board, which came to support this community need.  Pattie Counce (Board President), Carol Damaso (President Elect), Suzanne Paetzer, Tom Billard, Kevin Donovan, Mike Merucci along with Chris Irish (Executive Director) were instrumental in volunteering and in securing products from Forever Living and Henkel Consumer Goods that were packed throughout the night making up 1,000 hygiene kits.

Ultimately, Cardboard City successfully raised $40,000 (net) with significant support from Mark-Taylor Inc., which also donated a year of free rent for 2 families.  Local media covered the event bringing needed awareness to this issue.  The potential effect of this kind of community support was best summarized by a recent graduate of the Family Promise program who highlighted how Family Promise not only gave her family shelter but also the loving support necessary to move beyond homelessness.  This single mother is currently enrolled in law school.

photo 5At the end of the night, I was glad to know that my box sleeping days were temporary.  Unfortunately, this is not the case for many families which have to endure homeless nights uncertain for how long.  I’m thankful that Scottsdale Leadership could join with Family Promise and others to make a difference for homeless families in our community.  Find out how you can make a difference by visiting:  familypromiseaz.org.

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They say you never get a chance to make a first impression…

Kiem Ho, Class 26
Director of Business Development & Innovation,
Laundry Care, Henkel Consumer Goods, Inc.

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.

I have a problem with the ever seeming permanence of the “first impression”.  If life ran only on first impressions, how misguided and short would this run be?  Take me for instance, when I, seated at the back of a large congregation, saw my future wife giving a discourse from the pulpit, I immediately turned to my friend and shared my first impression: “That Caroline is pretty but she is way too serious, I would never date a girl like that”.  I cannot fathom how less complete my life would have been had my first impression not turned out so wrong.  Similarly, Scottsdale Leadership Social Services Day for Class 26 provided us all with the opportunity to build upon our respective first impressions.

Social Services Day started out with:

  • Learning the seemingly paradoxical topic of homelessness in our beautiful city from the executive director of St Joseph the Worker.  I was surprised to find how much homelessness affected everyday families. And did you know the average age of a homeless person is 9 years old.  
  • Discovering from staff who work at Vista del Camino,that poverty hits close to home with 18.6% or 1.2 million Arizonans living below the poverty line.
  • Finding out what a gem we have in the Granite Reef Senior Center! It is world renowned for its leading edge sustainable architecture and its efforts to assist seniors in getting access to disability and food benefits in a timelier manner.

As our social schooling continued, I could not help but reflect upon how incomplete my first impression was of the various social issues.  Homelessness and poverty were things that happen to “them” or that “they” had to deal with.  Instead, I learned that these issues can and do happen to “us” and that “we” ought to deal with it.  80% of homeless people don’t stand at the corner with a cardboard sign which is our first impression. They are like you and me and for whatever reason (loss of employment, death of a breadwinner, medical issue, etc); find themselves without a place to turn and without a voice to be heard.  They become the Silent Majority or even an Invisible Nation.

By the end of the day I was a bit overwhelmed.  Human services needs in Scottsdale seem insatiable when it comes to needing greater awareness, funding, engagement and even time to deal with them all.  We role-played as Human Service Commissioners and even in the short period of time a healthy appreciation of the demands and difficulty in generating funds was evident to our class.

As class 26 continues to debunk our first impressions around the issues that face Scottsdale, I hope that we can internalize “them” so that “they” become personal and our issues.  I believe our class can and will build more positive lasting impression from our experiences.

Nevertheless, how far reaching will our efforts be?  Can our efforts effectively change the many more incomplete “first impressions” out there?  I don’t know.  Do you?

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Community, leadership and a jar of jellybeans

Kiem Ho, Class 26
Director of Business Development & Innovation, Laundry Care, Henkel Consumer Goods, Inc.

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.

I asked my second grader to define community and he said it is a city where a lot of people live. He clarified that a lot is 2,000. To me, a couple thousand isn’t a lot, but when you think about it, for a 7-year old, 2,000 is huge. If you have ever seen the wild guesses that some children make when presented with an estimation jar full of jelly beans, you get this.

Here is an excerpt from a conversation with my son in front of such a jar in his class:

“Caleb, you sure you want to guess that?” I start. “Yes Dad”, Caleb confidently replies. “You know if you’re closest, you get the whole jar of jelly beans”, I say thinking the prize will motivate a higher number. “I knooooow Dad!” he says a little impatiently adding “65 is my answer”.

The jar has actually 1,222 jelly beans. Caleb and the rest of his class are disappointed because they all guessed way too few to win the jar. Maybe it is better this way. Can you imagine the shock of some unfortunate parent dealing with a child hyped up on sugar like some frenzied shark in chummed waters?
All is not lost; the silver lining in all of this is that the class divided up the jellybeans. More importantly, the class learned there is sometimes more than what they can see.

When it comes to communities, their success is more than the number of people that you see in them. Communities rarely come together spontaneously or without effort. This is where leadership plays a vital role in forging the connections that develop communities and make them strong. I’m not talking about the kind of leadership of one bigger than life character that can move the masses. Sometimes this happens. Rather, the leadership I am talking about comes from the small and simple actions in the daily lives of every man and woman who realize, “If it is to be it depends on me”.

For any community to develop and thrive, it is dependent on individuals taking personal responsibility and being accountable for making a difference. This leadership begins in families where the connections are obvious to broader communities that develop as individuals form connections in neighborhoods, schools and work. Whether the community is made up of 2, 65 or 2000, their success depends on the strength of each individual’s engagement.

Going back to my son, I also asked him what a leader is. He simply stated “Someone that is good.” To me, this means leadership is not a scarce commodity found only in a few. Instead, we can all be leaders if we take action to make a difference. Said a little differently by Edmund Burke, “All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men (I would add women) to do nothing.”

Is it too idealistic to believe that every person can be a leader in the community?

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Nominate the Leaders Who Inspire You!

Contact: Rachel Brockway
Marketing and Resource Development Manager
(480) 627-6710

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Scottsdale Leadership, Inc., a nonprofit organization serving Scottsdale and the surrounding community, is now accepting nominations for the 2010 Spirit of Community Leadership Awards.  The awards are the Drinkwater Community Leadership Award, Frank W. Hodges Alumni Achievement Award, Corporate Leadership Award, and Youth Leadership Award.

The Drinkwater Leadership Award, presented by Merrill Lynch, commemorates former Mayor Herb Drinkwater’s commitment to Scottsdale by honoring a member of the community who has made a significant and notable contribution to the greater Scottsdale community. Scottsdale Leadership alumni are not eligible to receive this award. Previous recipients include Marc Miller, Bill Soderquist, Paul Messinger and Sam Campana, among others.  Nominations for the Drinkwater Leadership award are due September 3, 2010.

The Hodges Alumni Achievement Award, presented by Prestige Cleaners, commemorates Frank W. Hodges, a graduate of Scottsdale Leadership Class I, by honoring a Scottsdale Leadership alumnus who illustrates exemplary community service and humanitarian values. Previous recipients of this award include Kurt M. Brueckner, Linda Milhaven, Virginia Korte, and Cindy Slick, among others.  Nominations for the Hodges Alumni award are due September 3, 2010.

The Corporate Leadership Award, presented by Henkel Consumer Goods, Inc., honors a company that supports leadership as a key organizational philosophy. Companies eligible for this award have in place a process for encouraging employees to become involved in community service, honor humanitarian values, and positively impact the community through leadership and financial support Previous recipients of this award include Scottsdale Insurance Company and APS. Nominations for the Corporate Leadership award are due September 3, 2010.

The Youth Leadership Award, presented by Scottsdale 20-30 Foundation, recognizes a teenager who exhibits leadership skills within their school, community and extracurricular activities. Nominees must be a high school junior or senior. Nominations for the Youth Leadership award are due September 10, 2010.

Award recipients will be honored at Scottsdale Leadership’s 11th Annual Spirit of Community Leadership Awards Luncheon, on Dec. 10, 2010 at The Scottsdale Resort and Conference Center. To download an award nomination form or for more information, visit www.scottsdaleleadership.org, or call (480) 627-6710.

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Scottsdale Leadership is proud to celebrate 25 years of serving the community through its leadership development and alumni programs. Scottsdale Leadership prepares citizens to take on leadership roles in an ever-changing world.  To date more than 800 graduates have been empowered to lead youth, civic, and philanthropic organizations in Scottsdale and throughout Arizona.

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