Tag Archives: McDowell Mountain Preserve

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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Scottsdale Leadership and a Vision for Scottsdale

Scottsdale Leadership Class 24

The City of Scottsdale is viewed differently by various people.  There are those who view it as the “Beverly Hills” of Arizona. Others relish in the old established neighborhoods that flourished under the “Western Town” image of the 50’s through the 70’s.  Hikers enjoy walking through the beauty of the desert in the McDowell Mountain Preserve while the partiers love the weekend action at the Waterfront.  Scottsdale is the venue for exciting events such as the Barrett Jackson Auto Auction, the Arabian Horse Show and the Open at the TPC.  It is the home of world class resorts, an active local airport, a budding bio-tech incubator and one of the most successful shopping centers in the country, as well as a number of massage parlors and strip clubs.  It is considered the “fifth whitest city in the U.S.” but has led the way in promoting diversity.

This is Scottsdale today but what will the City be like tomorrow?  What is our vision for the future?  Scottsdale Leadership provides the city’s future leaders with a comprehensive view of most aspects of our city; the services that are provided to our citizens, the venues used for the exciting events that provide some of the revenue for those services, the historical locations that have served as foundations for the present, the inner workings of our government.  By putting together an understanding of how all of these pieces come together, we can work with the current leadership of Scottsdale to build a vision of the future.  That vision takes the city’s core values and defines what Scottsdale will look like five or ten years from now.

While learning about the city and developing their leadership skills, members of Scottsdale Leadership Class XXIV can contribute to Scottsdale’s future by addressing the following questions:

  • What are Scottsdale’s core values?
  • If we adhere to those core values now and into the future, what will Scottsdale look like five and ten years from now?
  • What specific things can we do as committed citizens to make that vision come about?

Visions become reality through dialogue and discussion.  What better place to have this dialogue and discussion than through Scottsdale Leadership?  This dialogue is open not only to members of Class XXIV but to alumni, as well.  It’s almost a certainty that there will be diverse views and not everyone will agree.  However, by submitting your ideas to this blog, we will have a compilation of how a group of creative and committed leaders view the future of their city.

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