Tag Archives: Indian Bend Wash

Economic Development… a Blood Sport?

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.

I’m no expert, but I would guess that economic development is challenging work.  The economy is on shaky ground and there’s enormous competition from every direction for business and tax dollars.  Is economic development really a “blood sport”, as Dick Bowers, Scottsdale’s longest tenured former City Manager, recently told Scottsdale Leadership’s Class 26?  You might be surprised.  I sure was.  I mean, those economic vitality folks I’ve met working for the City of Scottsdale over the years didn’t wear gladiator outfits or look vicious in any way.

As I’ve talked to my fellow classmates over the last week, I think there’s general consensus that Economic Development Day put some things into perspective for us.  We’ve had some inspiring moments already, indeed.  Community stewardship, social services, education, youth issues, the arts… they’re all important – critical to the character of our city.  But when it comes right down to it, everything starts with economic development.  Schools, city services, streets, infrastructure, support for those in need… it all rests on our city’s ability to create sustained economic drivers to support the system.

So, what does it take to get the job done in the bloody arena of economic development?  A few things stood out!

  • Economic development demands risk
  • Economic development requires a “get it done attitude”
  • Economic development is not a set of rules, but instead an idea and a vision

Scottsdale has some distinct advantages over other communities.  It isn’t difficult to tout our quality of life to prospective industries.  Our proximity to ASU and world class healthcare systems like Mayo Clinic and Scottsdale Healthcare make us a prime destination for a multitude of businesses. But, Scottsdale is a premier city because we take risks.  The Indian Bend Wash could have been a concrete drainage system, but instead is considered “an engineering wonder of the world” that defines our great city. To remain a leading destination for investment, we must continue to take those calculated risks in areas like the McDowell Road Corridor.  We must continue to be proactive and not reactive.

So, here are a couple of New Year’s resolutions for 2012 that I’ll be working on.

  • INFECT OTHERS!  Be advocates for our community, on any level you can. An advocate for Scottsdale as a destination – a destination for tourism, investment and growth.
  • GET INVOLVED!  If you think bold ideas will help mold our community to be better positioned for the future, let your voice be heard.  We certainly know what many think about a broad range of issues.  More power to them!  They go to City Council meetings, write articles to the newspaper and ensure their opinions are heard.  If you have ideas about bold initiatives, don’t stand on the sidelines.
  • SHOP SCOTTSDALE!  Sound easy breezy?  It should be, but actually it takes just a bit of thought.  If you live in south Scottsdale or the Downtown area, it’s pretty easy to drift into the Pavillions or Tempe Marketplace to shop.  If you are more of a northern bird, Kierland can be enticing.  While some of these areas may have a Scottsdale mailing address, none are actually in our city.  Scottsdale depends on that revenue to maintain the unique character of our city.  This is one thing you can do today that will have an immediate impact on our community.

To sum up his presentation, Mr. Bowers fittingly quoted Mary Kay Ash.  “There are three kinds of organizations.  Those that make things happen, those that watch things happen and those who wonder what happened.”  Scottsdale must continue to be a community that makes things happen!

What are your New Year’s resolutions to make the City of Scottsdale a more sustained economic destination?

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Filed under Class, Community, Leadership

Why Leadership is Important in our Community

Braden Love
Director IT Business Consulting, Scottsdale Insurance

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 am excited to be selected for the 26th Scottsdale Leadership class. So, when filling out the initial paper work for the class I felt compelled to volunteer for something when the first opportunity arose. Of the several options provided I chose contributing to the blog since I felt like it would deepen my engagement and help to create indelible memories like the journals I wrote during my travels before I settled down. Our first assignment – or is it a culling of the weak?- provide a short blog answering the question “Why Leadership is important in our Community”

Nothing conjures up writers block like an ambiguous question on your first test of a class you really want to ace. So like any difficult problem I broke it down and looked outward for inspiration. It was surprising how inspiring Wikipedia was in this case as the story of Scottsdale is peppered with leadership. Breaking it down, my first question; what is leadership in our community? My second question; what has it done for us already?  My third question I’ll save for you later.

Defining leadership is a bit more of an exercise than a blog entry as many books and careers have been made on the subject. I’m not that ambitious here but let’s admit that leadership takes many forms. It could be a formal leadership role like the mayor, it could be driving innovation, it could be having the courage to act, or it could be helping your neighbor. Here are some examples of leadership in Scottsdale’s past and the results.

  • The Hohokam had the vision and ambition to build an extensive network of irrigation canals over a thousand years ago.  They built their community and society around the canals, and in turn, Scottsdale and many other Valley of the Sun communities were founded.
  • Winfield and George Washington Scott were two brothers who came to the area, bought up 640 acres, and started farming.  They were known to have encouraged others to create a desert farming community in the region.  The town they lived in changed its name from Orangedale to Scottsdale in 1894.
  • In 1912 the Ingleside Inn at Indian School Road and 64th Street was the region’s first resort.  That was 40 years before air conditioning was widely available and four years after the first Model T was produced.  Today, Scottsdale is known as a resort destination and tourism brings in millions of visitors and billions of dollars to our community.
  • Indian Bend Wash experienced flooding problems in the 1960’s.  The Federal Government was motivated to solve the problem for both the well being of the residents and the financial impact to the government from the insurance laws at the time.  The Army Corp of Engineers wanted to create concrete canals but some residents wanted to try the then emerging approach of greenways.  The community voted and in a controversial move decided to install the Scottsdale Greenbelt.

While these examples are large scale (or Wikipedia-worthy events) they do illustrate what leadership has done for our community in the past.  Leadership comes from many people and groups at different scales and in many forms.  We’ve seen some examples of what it is and has done for our community.

My last question I’ll pose to you:  “What are some examples of what leadership could do for our community now?”  Please respond and let me know your ideas or share an example of current leadership that has inspired you.

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Filed under Class, Leadership

Thank You & Congratulations Scottsdale Leadership

Teresa Kim Hayes-QualeTeresa Kim Hayes-Quale, Class XX
Executive Director, Sonoran National Insurance Group

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.

Growing up in Scottsdale during the 1960’s was an idyllic time.  We rode our bikes to Fashion Square to buy candy at the drug store.  We got our books at the library in the little red schoolhouse on Main Street.  We rode horses through the desert in the Indian Bend Wash.  We celebrated our birthdays at the Sugar Bowl sitting on a high stool eating an ice cream sundae.  As I grew up, so did Scottsdale.  Fashion Square became a fashion destination full of department stores, unique boutiques and restaurants.  The Scottsdale Library expanded and now is in a beautiful, functional building on the Civic Center Mall.  The Indian Bend Wash is a green oasis, a network of parks offering residents recreation and relaxation.  Fortunately, the Sugar Bowl is still a place to celebrate with ice cream!

As a child, I didn’t think much about the community leaders who had helped create the Scottsdale I called home.  I took it for granted.  As an adult, I recognized that a city could be a livable place only with the hard work and effort of its citizens.  It was in that spirit that I applied and became a member of Scottsdale Leadership Class XX.  I wanted to learn more about Scottsdale and find a way to help my community.  I wanted to give back, to preserve the spirit of “old town” Scottsdale while helping prepare the city to face the challenges of the 21st century.

During my year in leadership, our class was privileged to learn about Scottsdale’s history, schools, culture, and government from the men and women charged with securing the future of our city.  We asked questions.  We tried to come up with workable solutions.  We bonded as a group.  In the five years since our class graduated, many have moved into leadership positions in governmental and nonprofit organizations with the objective of making Scottsdale a better and better place to live and raise a family.  We are all informed and improved advocates for Scottsdale as a result of our Scottsdale Leadership experience.

When I think of the differences made not only by my classmates, but by all whom have graduated from the Scottsdale Leadership program, I am in awe of those accomplishments and grateful to be playing a small part.  As Scottsdale Leadership celebrates its 25th anniversary, I want to say personally and more broadly as a resident of our very special community, “Thank You and Congratulations Scottsdale Leadership”.  Keep turning out future Scottsdale leaders, the best may be yet to come.

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Filed under Alumni, Community