Teresa 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.
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?