Tag Archives: leadership blog

Social Services in Scottsdale

By Chris Rivera, Class 26
Project Manager, DMB Associates

The City of Scottsdale’s two senior centers, Granite Reef and Via Linda, are described on the city’s website as an “integrated system of services, resources and opportunities to help people improve their lives, neighborhoods and community through recreation, social services and health and wellness services.” I recently had the opportunity to volunteer at Granite Reef Senior Center and was amazed by the breadth of its services.

The Granite Reef Senior Center’s goal is to provide avenues of connection through the diverse services, groups, and activities they operate as an all‐inclusive conduit for senior adults in the south Scottsdale community. Judging by the variety of food programs available to seniors at the center or through ancillary social services programs, it is clear that the city is committed to providing nutritious meals to seniors in a setting that is most comfortable to them. The programs include bread distribution, home delivered meals, congregate meals, and the ability to pick‐up bagged groceries one day a week. I participated in the grocery bag program, called Scottsdale Brown Bag Gleaners, and in Granite Reef’s lunch time food program.

The Scottsdale Brown Bag Gleaners program runs every Thursday year‐round with the exception of July and August. I met up with other volunteers at the Via Linda Senior Center to pack brown bags full of groceries delivered by truck via St. Mary’s Food Bank in Phoenix. The mix of volunteers ranged from young to mature, some of whom were volunteering so that they could receive a bag of groceries for their efforts. I was struck by how organized the process was and the anticipation of what type of food that would be delivered that day. I was told that on good days the bags will be overflowing with fresh vegetables, bread and canned goods. The day I was there the selection seemed to fall somewhere in the middle. As I packed groceries I imagined the seniors who would receive them and hoped that some of the goodies would bring a smile to their faces. When all of the bags were packed we drove over to the Granite Reef Center to unload and distribute the bags of groceries. It happened to be raining that morning and business was slow because many of the seniors at the center do not have cars. I thoroughly enjoyed my morning with the staff and the other volunteers. I met some interesting new people and hopefully contributed to making someone’s day a little bit better.

I also helped set‐up, serve, and clean‐up during the congregate meal at the Granite Reef Center. The Tempe Community Action Agency provides a hot nutritious meal at the Center Monday through Friday.  The lunch service was also very organized and several volunteers work during lunch every day. I chatted with some of the seniors about their day and their experiences at the center. I struck up a conversation with “June” who was looking at travel books while she was waiting for lunch to be served. I learned that she walks three miles to the center every day so that she can use the library, eat lunch, and catch‐up with her friends. This is especially significant considering that she had little use of one leg and required the use of a modified cane that looked a bit like a crutch. As the volunteers cleaned up the tables, June blushed when I came to her table because she was embarrassed about how much she was eating. Leftovers were available that day and she was taking full advantage of that. We both laughed and I could see that she was happy to be having a big meal. I enjoyed volunteering during the lunch service and hope to return and get to know some of the other regulars at the center.

I also spent some time talking to Tim Miluk, Human Services Manager at the Granite Reef Senior Center. Tim gave me a tour of the center and explained some of the programming available to the seniors. It was clear that there are many additional services Tim would like to offer if funds existed. Community leaders could make a big impact by offering pro‐bono professional services such as legal advice, estate planning/will preparation, technology consulting, etc. Some of these services are available at the center in a limited manner, but they could definitely benefit from additional resources.

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Finding my Passion and Making a Difference!

By Stefanie Lerner, Class 23
Director of Sales & Marketing at Encore Creative

I began the Scottsdale Leadership program with what I thought was an open mind.  I knew I wanted to get deeper involved in my community and thought Scottsdale Leadership would offer exposure to a host of opportunities, that it did.  I assumed with my professional background and areas of interest I would connect to the arts community or something of that nature. Little did I know that my heart would be grabbed by Phoenix Youth at Risk’s New Pathway’s mentoring program for freshmen at Scottsdale’s Coronado High School.

Fast forward to me signing up, being selected as a mentor, and being paired with Cheyenne for our 10 month journey.  I know that this program, and my involvement in it, is helping to change the trajectory of a young person’s life.  When I met Cheyenne (14 years old) she was prone to gang involvement, drug/alcohol use and self abuse as ways of dealing with life.

After 10 months in this program and with its amazing self empowerment curriculum and community building, Cheyenne found she has a talent and love of writing poetry.  Together we found some poetry open mic readings at Mama Java’s Coffee House and I brought her to hear other poets read.  She got up on that very first day (poems in her pocket…  I didn’t even know about) and read publicly.  She’s since been “publishing” her poetry on Facebook and even signed up to read her poetry at the New Pathways Talent Show….and was awarded …Best Overall Talent. There is no greater pride than seeing her proud of herself, proud of her accomplishments, and making positive choices.

Phoenix Youth at Risk is always looking for new mentors and they run several programs. While I’m just one person, volunteering a small amount of time, I know I am doing something extremely important.  I am making a difference.

For more information on Phoenix Youth at Risk please visit: http://www.phoenixyouthatrisk.org/

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Are you ready to save my life?

By Rachel Brockway, Class 23
Scottsdale Leadership Marketing and Resource Development Manager

As leaders in our community, we continually attend events and activities where many people are in attendance. Would you know how to respond if one of these people goes into cardiac arrest? Could you save them? New CRP methods have a much higher success rate and are hands only which means it is  not mouth to mouth. The Scottsdale Fire department, celebrating its fifth anniversary on July 1st will be offering 13 free hands only CPR presentations delivering rapid chest compressions.

When I attended Public Safety day as part of Scottsdale Leadership the main thing I remember is not to worry about hurting a person when you do CPR; because you can’t hurt someone who is dead! A person in cardiac arrest is already clinically dead. ..but you can change that!

Advance registration for these classes will be required, as space is limited. To view the dates and times for the CPR classes and to sign up, visit www.scottsdaleaz.gov/fire/HandsOnlyCPR or call (480) 312-8000.

Remember you can save a life!

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Looking for a Muddy Place to Volunteer?

By RACHEL BROCKWAY, Class 23
Scottsdale Leadership Marketing and Resource Development Manager

We all spend time volunteering and recognize the importance of doing it. But how many of us have a chance to get really dirty when we volunteer? Are you looking for a new way to get involved in Scottsdale? You can volunteer for the 35th annual Mighty Mud Mania event sponsored by Henkel!!

The City of Scottsdale is looking for 200 volunteers for the Mighty Mud Mania on Saturday, June 19th.  Also, if you don’t want to get really dirty, there are some clean jobs available! The Magnificently Muddy sponsors include: Clifkid, Arizona’s Tooth Doctor for Kids, Cricket Communications and Universal Fog Outdoor Misting Systems and Henkel.

To volunteer, contact Terry Erickson, Class 11, by Friday, June 4 at terickson@scottsdaleaz.gov.

To learn more, visit http://www.scottsdaleaz.gov/mightymudmania.

Mark your calendar, SATURDAY, JUNE 19th!!

Don’t miss this great opportunity to volunteer with fellow alumni and community leaders at a fun community program for kids!

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Effective Leadership and Emotional Intelligence (EI) Part 4

By TERRI RABICOFF
Scottsdale Leadership Class XIX

This is the fourth of a multi-article series discussing the relationship of leadership and emotional intelligence.

Organizations continually face the challenge of finding their next generation of leaders. According to an article published in the Northeast Human Resources Association (NEHRA), “Identifying leaders is not about simply reviewing a performance appraisal and making a selection based upon what the individual knows or does not know about getting the job done. Just because someone excels in a functionally specialized role – say, as an accountant or a computer programmer – does not guarantee that he or she has the qualities to effectively lead an organization from an enterprise-wide perspective” (2004).

The ability of organizations to improve performance through emotional intelligence (EI) adds to their bottom line and shareholder value by hiring and retaining a higher caliber of employees, reduced turnover, employee satisfaction and financial results.  Goleman, Boyatzis and McKee (2001) examined the question of what drives an organization’s bottom line performance and determined that EI was a major factor in successful leadership.

Over the past 10-12 years there has been the development of several multi-rater or 360-degree surveys that have been designed to measure emotional intelligence in the workplace. Many of these are based on a model of emotional intelligence called the Emotional Competence Inventory (ECI).  These surveys and raters have been useful in providing feedback on (a) someone’s individual strengths and weaknesses compared to others in the same organization or in a similar role, and (b) they also provide feedback on the gaps or discrepancies between a person’s self-perceptions and how they are rated or perceived by others.  These feedback systems are great for enhancing self-knowledge, leading to improved leadership behaviors, effectiveness and performance.

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Leadership Experiences should be shared

By RACHEL BROCKWAY, Class 23
Scottsdale Leadership Marketing and Resource Development Manager

In today’s Scottsdale Republic an article by Russell Helwig titled “Share Leadership Experiences” was very engaging. From time to time you may read articles by John Hersey or books like Stephen R. Covey’s, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, but how often do you share your experiences? We each have knowledge that could benefit others.  To make a difference in our community we need to not only listen to what others have to say but also contribute our knowledge so others can learn.

The article discusses how we should be taking the lead and share a story, tip or leadership lesson. Helwig says “Leadership is not about thinking you have all the answers” and I agree. He is asking you and I, as leaders, to voice our opinions so we can share are experience with all.

Now I want to know, what knowledge will you share today?

Inspirational speaker Russell Helwig writes a leadership column for the AZ Republic.  He can be reached at 623-334-1641 or russ@inspireandlead.com.

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Interfaith Movement – Peace and Harmony as Everyday Thought

By PAIGE PERRY,Class 24
Major Gifts Officer, Mayo Clinic

While Arizona is known for our sunshine and golf, we are sadly not known as one of the first states to observe the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. As a longtime Arizona resident, I remember the arguments from both sides about whether we should observe this day in Rev. Dr. King’s honor, which is why it was an honor for me to attend the 25th Anniversary of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Interfaith Prayer Breakfast on March 11th and hear from the advocates for this holiday.

The most enlightening portion of the morning was the “Prayers for God’s People.” This set the tone for a morning advocating understanding, peace and love through communication and education. Dr. Paul Eppinger called on different religious leaders to say a prayer. We heard a beautiful Muslim prayer that sounds more like a song, Hindu and Christian prayers, a spiritual song for the people of Haiti. It’s amazing to me that while all the prayers that were said were about love and honoring a higher power we have a few extremists whose actions have caused religious wars throughout the years and through the lands.

Rev. Warren Stewart, senior pastor at First Institutional Baptist Church, presented a powerful message focused on justice and righteousness, inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr. In a world that seems determined to use violent force to make our opinions known, it is good to hear about impactful people, such as Martin Luther King, Jr., who centered their fight around love and non-violent resistance. He wanted the civil rights movement to be fought in the spiritual world and through prayer, as opposed to violence, anger and fear. Through his mission of “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” he proved himself to be a man who represents love and peace.

Dr. Stewart took us through Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Prayer and Action, which asks for prayer for God’s help and guidance, and racial and economic justice. Dr. Stewart asked that the members of the audience add to the list with a few more things that may be worthy of prayers and thoughts, such as praying for revolutionary love for all human beings, which has the greatest power to transform. He had us think about praying for peace and an end to violence. He assumed most of us would not shoot someone out of anger, but we do express or dwell on our hatred of that person, which also expels negativity into the universe. Lastly, he had us think about praying for just immigration reform, remembering that our ancestors were also immigrants.

While I’m not religious in a conventional way, I do consider myself spiritual. This may be why I think it is so wonderful we have Dr. Eppinger leading the Interfaith Movement. So much more can be accomplished by having a diverse group of people gather to create peace and understanding through education. This would be an event King Jr. would be proud to attach his name to.

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