Tag Archives: los cedros

Scottsdale Treasures and Leadership Stories

Prince_Madison CropBy Madison Prince
SRP

Class 29 Blog: This is a blog series about the experience and impact of Scottsdale Leadership’s Core Program. The views expressed here represent those of class members and not those of Scottsdale Leadership.

Initially I thought, history + bus tour = BORING. Little did I realize I would be anything but bored! Part of our journey in this program is to understand and develop our leadership style and this day really helped me identify the qualities I value in a leader. First and foremost it is PASSION! At each stop we heard stories of passion, vision and failure? YES failure (and lessons learned) is a big part of leadership and ultimately success!

The first inspiring leader of the day was Fred Unger. In his introduction, he said ” I like simple but simple doesn’t like me!” He told us how his vision for an urban downtown Scottsdale grew from his passion for making Old Town a great destination for everyone to work, live and visit. Though he encountered failure along the way, he has never given up. His vision is thriving today and can be seen by walking along the remarkable downtown waterfront and South Bridge, filled with residents, retail and restaurants. He sees some challenges ahead: how to keep the city vibrant, to keep media (like ESPN) coming back and to attract more businesses when every inch of buildable space is taken. Great leaders are problem solvers and he shared his future visions (and solutions) that gives Old Town residents like me goose bumps about what is to come!

talienin2The next stop was Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright’s living museum and a Scottsdale treasure I had never visited. He is from Wisconsin, the same as me, so I can appreciate the lure of a sunny Arizona oasis every winter! His passion was nature and this is reflected in his architecture. Taliesin means “shining brow” and describes his philosophy of building into nature. Best quote from the tour (said to his apprentices): Bring nature into your design; it will never let you down. He not only taught it, he lived it! The houses were constructed from rocks on the land, they used water from a natural spring and didn’t use electricity for many years. Apprentices attending the School of Architecture still live out in the desert in small shelters they design.

Los CedrosThe next stop was Los Cedros. This Scottsdale treasure is owned and developed by Miguel Sfeir as a result of his passion for citadel architecture and Arabian horses! Beauty can be seen from any vantage here: the outside views are spectacular, the intricate details of the design inside are remarkable and the horses are majestic. It’s a fun place to escape the city, while still being in the city.

SinghMy personal highlight of the day was Singh Farms and listening to Ken Singh’s story of passion. A commercial farmer for many years, he was most passionate about making money. It was later in life when he realized the importance of taking care of the earth, and this is his passion today. He said to us: In 50 years, the top soil will be eroded, making growing food difficult and if we don’t have food to eat, it doesn’t matter how much money you have! His organic farm is a model of responsible farming, and allows him to educate people about sustainability. It’s an important situation we (and future generations) will be facing and an issue I’m very passionate about!

The theme of the day was history but we also learned some interesting things about leadership. To be a great leader you must have passion but ACTION is what turns passion into reality. Taking action is not without sacrifice or failure and those who leave the biggest impact are seemingly not afraid of either. My biggest take away about leadership is that fear can be a limitation or a motivation, depending on how strong your passion is. Good things to think about!

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4 (Somewhat) Hidden Gems in the Scottsdale Area

Andrea AkerBy Andrea Aker, Class 28
Aker Ink®

Class 28 Blog: This is a blog series about the experience and impact of Scottsdale Leadership’s Core Program. The views expressed here represent those of class members and not those of Scottsdale Leadership.

Scottsdale Leadership serves as an incredible knowledge bank for lifelong residents and newbies alike. At some point during each class, a collective “I can’t believe I didn’t know that” is uttered from the group. History & Treasures Day was no exception. While gaining insights about popular landmarks such as the Scottsdale Waterfront and Scottsdale Airpark, we also toured these lesser-known-yet-just-as-special icons:

IMG_4838Singh Farms – Just off the 101 and Thomas, a line of unassuming trees encases an oasis of sorts from the surrounding dirt plots, pavement and traffic. A charming farm with organic fruits, veges, flora and fauna is literally steps from the highway – but seemingly in the middle of nowhere upon entering. Come on Saturdays between 9am and 1pm to meander through the gardens, sip on a freshly squeezed juice and stock up on seasonal produce. Learn more: https://www.facebook.com/singhfarms

IMG_4856Cosanti/Paolo Soleri Studios – Famed architect, artist and philosopher Paolo Soleri is known for many endeavors and art forms, including a particular style of bronze bells, which can range from about $100 to more than $150,000. You can see how these bells are created at his personal studios in Paradise Valley. Catch live demos and tour the facility where he lived and worked. Learn more: http://arcosanti.org/cosanti

IMG_0359Los Cedros – Many folks wouldn’t think of a performance horse training facility as a destination. Yet most facilities of this nature don’t double as an ancient Moroccan citadel, complete with an authentic Moroccan throne room. This venue is open to the public to peruse, or to rent for corporate events. Take a quiet stroll through the gardens or stables. You may even catch a horse swimming in a special exercise pool. (And yes, apparently horses can swim.) Learn more: http://www.loscedros.com

Cattle Track Arts Compound – Discretely located within a residential neighborhood near Miller and McDonald, this 13-acre property brings you back to a time when this region was primarily open space and dirt roads, earning its name as a pit stop for ranchers moving cattle north. Old West structures now house artist studios, a blacksmith shop, gallery and two old-fashioned letterpresses. Visit 10am to 5pm Monday through Saturday to catch artists in action. Learn more: (480) 607-3658.

What other hidden gems have you found around Scottsdale?

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The Scottsdale story

Braden Love
Director IT Business Consulting, Scottsdale Insurance Company

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.

This is the toughest blog assignment I’ve had for Class 26.  The sheer volume of content we were exposed to during the day alone makes for a tough summarization job.  But it was more than going to a bunch of cool places and meeting interesting people, there was a thread of the Scottsdale story throughout the day.  I’ll see if I can do it justice and try to tell that story.

The much hyped Buss Tour Day lived up to its billing.  Hats off to David Valencia and Kelly Tope for putting together an action packed day that told a great story of the history of Scottsdale and who we are now.

Starting the day on top of the Waterfront Tower we listened to Joan Fudula, Scottsdale historian, telling us the early history of Scottsdale while we drank in a sweeping view bathed in the early day sun.  While we were a little bit windblown and chilled – it was a perfect way to frame the day.  Seeing the vision of modern Scottsdale while hearing about the vision of our early Scottsdalians wrote the first and last chapters of the day’s story.  The rest of the story was written as we toured Old Town, the Talking Stick Resort, Liberty Wildlife, West World, DC Ranch, Los Cedros, Taliesin West, and Yelp.  (Yes, we did this all in one day and on schedule – are you impressed with Kelly and David now?)

As we walked around Old Town and to the Little Red School House the roots of our city emerged literally below our feet.  Agriculture was the foundation of Scottsdale starting with the Hohokam inhabitance of the valley and later Winfield Scott establishing an agricultural community.  When visiting the Talking Stick resort I was struck at the juxtaposition of a gorgeous resort overlooking the desert and farm fields where a lone tractor working the field left a trail of dust lingering in the air.  It perfectly symbolized how Native Americans once pushed inside arbitrary boundaries and hired as hands are now thriving by driving the tourism economy and sustaining the area’s appetite for luxury.

We saw modern Scottsdale foreshadowed in the stories about those who first created the city.  Winfield Scott not only worked a ranch and recruited people to come live in Scottsdale; he also started a tradition of tourism by hosting people on his property so they could rejuvenate.  Fast forward to today and you see that tradition sustained from early guest ranches, through mid century hotels such as the Hotel Valley Ho and Safari, then on to the resorts we all enjoy so much today. During the mid century Scottsdale’s personality of arts and fashion emerges.  We saw pictures of a mid century fashion show put on in the dusty streets and heard about the early craft studio that is now surrounded by the Arts District.

Our visit to Taliesin West provided another reminder of how ingrained the arts are in our city’s personality.  It was a privilege to learn from Arnold Roy, a man who may well have literally walked in the shoes of Frank Lloyd Wright.

Scottsdale’s identity is formed by just being “out West” and among the Sonoran desert.  We saw how that thread of being the west’s most western town continues to drive our economy and form our personality at West World and Los Cedros.  Of course our signature horse show is nothing short of the romantic and exclusive Arabian horse.  And Los Cedros houses those horses alongside an accurate reproduction of a Moroccan throne room with imported tapestries, rugs, furnishings and architectural features fit for a king. How Scottsdale.

Today we value our Sonoran desert and nurture that resource.  Liberty Wildlife exemplifies that passion.  It provides an outlet for people to care for injured wildlife and helps out our feathered neighbors in this great place.   I imagine there are a lot of Scottsdalians in the volunteer pool there.  We heard too how DC Ranch supports the McDowell Sonoran Preserve knowing that it provides their version of beachfront property and that DC residents value their unique geography.

Somewhere in this whirlwind several people from the class shared their personal histories and ties to Scottsdale.  What a nice treat to learn more about your friends while learning about the area.

Finally our last stop – the Yelp office. You could feel the energy in the office.  The office was all about sales and the Yelp IPO was earlier that day. I was trying to figure out how that fits into our story.  Then as we were sitting listening to the old-timer director of the office who has five years in with the company, which is almost as long as the company has been around, I got it.  This is Scottsdale in the new economy.  Scottsdale is supporting a thriving business with an entrepreneurial spirit, independence and rapid growth I’m sure Winfield Scott would have recognized.

There was so much more to this story and the bus tour day.  But I hope you can see what we did.  We saw a vibrant, modern city that is still in touch with its roots.

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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?

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Beep Beep…Tour de Scottsdale!

By SUZANNE PAETZER
2009 Scottsdale Leadership Class Reporter

The Scottsdale Leadership Experience

This is the sixth of a 17 article series recapping Scottsdale Leadership’s nine-month Core Program. The program educates, connects and empowers citizens who are interested in community leadership.

Is it possible to see all of Scottsdale in a day? No. But class 24 members were up for the challenge to strengthen our historical and geographical perspective on History and Bus Tour Day held on November 20, 2009.

Scottsdale, The West’s Most Western, town incorporated as a city on June 25, 1951. Scottsdale’s downtown was only one square mile radius! We have Winfield Scott to thank for finding this oasis in the west in 1888. The first mayor, Malcolm White had plenty to do with a population of about 2,000.

To read the rest of Suzanne’s blog click here.

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