Tag Archives: Joan Fudala

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

I Heart Scottsdale

Katherine Yu

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?


Filed under Class, Community, Leadership

Discovering Your Sense of Place

Marita Ralston, Class 21
Advertising & Marketing Manager, Arizona Lottery

This blog is the second of a series exploring how and why history is important to contemporary leadership. Fudula is a class 9 graduate and a recipient of the 2002 Frank W. Hodges Alumni Achievement Award.

“Knowing what happened in the past, enables you to find a place for yourself here in the present.” – Joan Fudala

In a state full of people from other places, how do citizens find their “Sense of Place” and does that process differ from that of native residents?

Katherine Conrad, who has moved more than 20 times throughout her life, feels that everyone’s sense of place is influenced through their personal experiences. “I do not feel it is necessarily “roots driven” as much as it is experience driven.”

Conversely, Xavier Castro, a lifetime Arizona resident, says “The ‘native’ brings the history of the community into the equation. Sometimes the reasoning behind a decision or issue is not clear to those that are new to the community. This is where the ‘native’s’ tenure can help. It can also be a hindrance. The ‘native’ is not always open to new and fresh ideas.”

Myself, I’m a transplant. I grew up in Northern California and attended school in Southern California.  When I moved to Scottsdale after 9/11, I found it difficult to find a job and thus difficult to meet people.  After a few years, I’d settled into Arizona life, but still considered myself a Californian who just happened to live here.

Scottsdale Leadership changed all of that for me. I was lucky enough to be working for two Scottsdale Leadership graduates, Mark and Barb Stanton, who sponsored my attendance. The more I learned about the city, particularly its artistic history, a true love was born. FINALLY, I had found my place.

Whether a native or a transplant, how did you discover your sense of place?

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Filed under Uncategorized

A Profile: Joan Fudala

Marita Ralston, Class 21
Advertising & Marketing Manager, Arizona Lottery

This profile of Joan Fudala is the first of a series exploring how and why history is important to contemporary leadership. Fudula is a class 9 graduate and a recipient of the 2002 Frank W. Hodges Alumni Achievement Award.

Joan Fudala, author and Scottsdale historian, has lived in many places. She enjoyed her youth in Ohio, but her interest in the world led her to eventually live in 10 different locales including South Korea.  In 1976, Joan accepted a position as Public Affairs Officer with the U.S. Army at Luke Air Force base, met her husband, Gene, a fighter pilot, and the rest is what we’d call history.

Joan grew up with World War II Depression-era parents who stoked her interest in history with family trips to Smithsonian museums and pre-historic ruins of Native American villages. As for her parents’ community involvement which ranged from theater production to pro bono legal service, “my brother and I got involved in almost all of their community activities, and they got involved in ours” said Fudula.

Later, as Joan traveled and moved around the country she felt like something was missing in her life. Her migratory lifestyle, while stimulating, was proving to be problematic in developing the civic foundation she’d experienced as a child.

Upon settling permanently in Arizona in 1991, Joan immediately felt Scottsdale to be an open and welcoming community in which she could finally put down roots and invest herself. Her exploration of Scottsdale’s history became more than a passion; she has been a full-time historian for 10 years and has written five books.

When asked why history is so important to leadership and the community’s future, Joan stated something that may sound obvious, but that we probably don’t remember often enough: “You’re missing an important perspective if you’re not looking at history. When you study history, you get to know past leaders and it inspires current leadership.”  She went on to clarify, “I’m not advocating that people live in the past; where we’ve been is fascinating, but where we’re going is even more fascinating.”

Do you feel like the past hampers or helps Scottsdale?


Filed under Alumni, Leadership