Tag Archives: Pay it Forward

Why I Joined, What I Learned, and What I’ll Do with It!

Sandy Adler, Class 26
Realtor, Arizona Best Real Estate

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.

I love to volunteer my time to help others and to encourage organizations and programs that are particular passions of mine.  I have never had a lot of time to volunteer…but I have always volunteered consistently with at least one organization at a time.  When you volunteer at the same place for any length of time, it seems a natural progression that you end up in a leadership position in that organization. Leadership is different than volunteering.  It involves helping others to reach their goals in supporting the organization and providing meaningful volunteer experiences for them that will also further the goals of the organization.

I also love Scottsdale. As a resident for 17 years (I am originally from Michigan) I have enjoyed all the wonderful things Scottsdale has to offer from the schools (my kids are all graduates of Chaparral High School) to the Preserve to the cultural life and much more. We live in a very special place and there is nowhere else I’d rather live.

The combination of these two loves led me to Scottsdale Leadership. It has proven to be a program where I have learned so much about our community and how it functions. I also learned how to improve my leadership skills so that I can be a guide to people who want to make our community even better.

Having lived here for such a long time, I thought I knew Scottsdale very well. I volunteered as a downtown Scottsdale Ambassador for a couple of years, so I certainly knew the downtown area well. I am a Realtor and I’ve heard so many of our city employees speak at meetings about the history of the city and issues such as transportation and development and zoning. But it turns out that I only knew a small slice of the challenges and opportunities that our citizens experience.

Scottsdale Leadership taught me about some incredible programs, many of them started by volunteers who saw a need and worked to fill it, that support our citizens who may need a leg up during difficult times. I learned about our city government and how it works: about the city council, the mayor and the commissions and staff that support them. I learned about the police and fire departments and what they do every day to protect us and keep us safe in our community. I will never look at their jobs the same again. A day at the state capital meeting our representatives was also a fantastic education.

I also learned in more detail about things that we just take for granted: The beautiful public art that is all around us and how it came to be; the cultural activities that are available year around to enhance our lives; the McDowell Sonoran Preserve that provides entertainment, beauty and education about our environment.

Through our Pay It Forward Project, I learned that an idea to better the community can be executed quickly and with great success by a dedicated team. Honestly, I was skeptical at first. But I saw not just my group but four other groups create and execute wonderful programs in just a few months that will continue to thrive in our community.

Mostly, learning about all these other things, I learned about what makes a good leader by being introduced to amazing leaders in our community, and through leadership classes that were built-in to the Scottsdale Leadership program. We heard the stories of these leaders and had opportunity to interact with them and ask questions. We were introduced to concepts about the responsibilities and expectations of leaders that have changed the way I think about my role as a leader in a non-profit organization.

So, the most difficult question to answer is: What will I do with this new knowledge? How will I use it to improve my community? I have renewed my commitment to the non-profit that has been my passion for a number of years by taking on some additional responsibilities. I am enthusiastic about supporting the Dream Fair project that our team created for at least the next year. I hope to continue to support Scottsdale Leadership in its goal to support and nurture more leaders.  I see clearly now that volunteers and visionaries make the lives of all those around them better and more meaningful.

What will you do with your knowledge and how will you use it to improve your community?

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Scottsdale Leadership Solicits Project Ideas from the Community

Contact: Rachel Brockway, Marketing and Resource Development Manager
(480) 627-6717  rbrockway@scottsdaleleadership.org

Each year forty diverse individuals are selected to participate in Scottsdale Leadership’s nine-month community leadership development program. The program consists of topic days, skill development and a community service project titled Project Pay It Forward.

In an effort to broaden the range of possible projects and to give exposure to current needs, Scottsdale Leadership is requesting project proposals from the community.

August 30 is the deadline for project proposal submission. Projects may be proposed by any community organization or individual. The project must affect a need within the Scottsdale community and have a sustainable component. Project guidelines, timeline and submission form may be found at: scottsdaleleadership.org

Proposed projects will not discourage Scottsdale Leadership class members from developing their own unique project ideas, nor does it guarantee that any submitted project will be undertaken.

Past Scottsdale Leadership class projects have included establishing a Pet Pantry to be part of the Vista del Camino food bank; providing eye exams and eye glasses for Yavapai school students; planting trees in a city park; developing a donor database for STARS; building a wheel-chair accessible garden at Camelot Therapeutic Horsemanship.

Since 1987, Scottsdale Leadership has graduated more than 850 individuals who are prepared to take on leadership roles in an ever-changing world. Scottsdale Leadership alumni have had a significant impact on the Scottsdale community, spearheading preservation of open space; improving the education system; championing public art; mentoring at-risk youth; and raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for charities.

For more information call the Scottsdale Leadership office at 480-627-6710.

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Scottsdale Leadership Class XXV Pays it Forward

PET Pantry

 Congratulations to P.E.T. Pantry by team Reigning Cats & Dogs

As part of their nine-month community leadership program, members of Scottsdale Leadership’s Class XXV formed six teams with the goal of developing a community service project that would provided them with hands-on experience giving back to the community. On April 15, the teams presented their projects during Project Pay It Forward Day at the Scottsdale Civic Center Library auditorium.

A panel of judges selected P.E.T. Pantry (Pets Eat Too) by team Reigning Cats & Dogs as the winning project. As a result Concerned Citizens for Community Health (CCCH) will receive a $2000 donation.

P.E.T. Pantry keeps pets with their owners during times of financial crisis through a collaborative effort between Vista del Camino Food Bank, Animal Guardian Network and Scottsdale Community College. This project embraces public awareness, direct donations and practicality for food banks.

For more information visit: http://scottsdalepetpantry.org/.

Team members: Ken Brooks, Ruth Ingall, Valarie Miceli, Scott Popp, Kelly Ries, Lisa Johnson Stone and Cynthia Wenstrom

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‘Pay It Forward’ Project Inspires Scottsdale Citizens to Think Big

By MELISSA RZEPPA, Class 23
Partner & PR Director – Serendipit Consulting

Suzanne Paetzer, a member of Scottsdale Leadership‘s class 24 (and soon-to-be graduate) wrote a great “Letter to the Editor” that was published in the Arizona Republic – Scottsdale Edition today about the Pay It Forward projects and the positive impact the projects had on Scottsdale citizens.

In the article, Suzanne says that she is “inspired to think big and deliver big results.” We hope that everyone who attended the presentations left with that same inspiration! Read the full article on AZCentral.com here.

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Scottsdale Leadership Pays it Forward

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

As part of their nine-month community leadership program, members of Scottsdale Leadership’s Class XXIV have been challenged to Pay It Forward. Class members formed six teams each with the purpose of developing a community service project that provided them hands-on experience giving back to the community.

The public is invited to attend Project Pay It Forward Day, sponsored by Discount Tire, on April 9 at the Scottsdale Civic Center Library auditorium. A panel of judges will select the winning project and a $2000 donation will be made to their charity.

The presentations are as follows:

8:30 a.m. OlymPALooza! ConnectinGenerations created bridges of communication, appreciation and mutual respect between seniors and youth. Team members: Marc Blonstein, Johnny Cervantes, Jennifer Clark, Ken Levine, Laurie McCammon, Suzanne Paetzer and Craig Whitten

9:15 a.m. Project Scottsdale STARS focused on raising awareness and funds for Scottsdale Training and Rehabilitation Services. Team members: Zack Barna, Nicole Corning, Patrick Eichen, Suzette Gibson, Jeff Jameson, Sylvia McDowell and Paige Perry

10:15 a.m. The mission of Check the Box project was to raise awareness and funding for the Scottsdale Cares program. Team members: Jacky Burke, John Damiris, Mia Darling, Mary Holman, Branch Johnson, David Valencia and Julius Williams

11 a.m. The Meet Green project focused on how community and/or business groups can conduct “green” meetings.  Team members: Kathy Coster, Michelle Evard, Kathleen Glenn, J.E. Pizarro, Charlie Popeck, Sheri Rayes and John Zicarelli

1:00 p.m. Project It’s Your Turn’s mission was to increase awareness of prostate cancer, fundraise, and encourage men to be responsible about their health. Team members: Kevin Classen, Chauna Cox, Stacey D’Abate, Brent Mekosh, Juliana Norvell, Jose Penalosa and Elizabeth Teitel

1:45 p.m. Providing the necessary tools to maximize the educational experiences of local K-5 students was the goal for project Classroom WishesTeam members: Deanne Boynton Grupp, Theodore Collins, Sona Koltookian, Joe Laux, David Nelson, Bridget Schwartz-Manock and Mike Seiden

2:45 p.m. Recognition of Winning Project

Photos can be seen at www.flickr.com and we hope you can join us to see all the amazing projects!

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Courageous Conversations Before Lunch!

By SUZANNE PAETZER
2009 Scottsdale Leadership Class Reporter

The Scottsdale Leadership Experience
This is the seventh 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.

On December 4, Scottsdale Leadership class day was a bit different than normal. Instead of covering one topic the day consisted of three elements. Class 24 started with a Leadership Academy, continued on to Scottsdale Leadership’s 10th Annual Spirit of Community Leadership Awards Luncheon and then the class spent the afternoon working in on our Pay it Forward team projects.

How fierce is Scottsdale Leadership’s Class 24?
Not in terms of demeanor, but in how we approach conversation. Having a robust, intense, powerful conversation isn’t easy. In fact, 85% of the population feels public speaking is easier than resolving an intense situation, and we all know how much we love public speaking!

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

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