Tag Archives: Ph.D. in Scottsdale

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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Countdown to Graduation

By CHRIS IRISH
Scottsdale Leadership Executive Director

This is the time of year that I always get a little melancholy.  Class 24 graduates tonight! I know I’ll miss the time we spend together on Scottsdale Leadership Fridays.  I have thoroughly enjoyed learning alongside them, gaining an understanding of their perspectives and seeing the “lights come on” when a topic or cause ignites their interest.  It’s been rewarding for me to be part of the journey that has helped them identify how they can best give back to the community.

So yes, I’m sad; but I’m also proud.  The members of ‘Class 24 – 24 Karat Gold’ have made good use of the last nine months.  They connected with the theory of “the cycle of poverty”.  They debated the effectiveness of the AIMS test.  They discussed how personal responsibility must be part of healthcare. They relished the opportunity to talk one-on-one with elected officials and slowly digested the personal sacrifices it takes to be a true community steward.

On Public Safety Day, Class 24 literally put out a fire.  On Quality of Life Day they hiked the preserve.  And perhaps most impressive, Class 24 planned and implemented six community service projects that will benefit thousands.

Funny, I’m not feeling sad anymore!  Scottsdale Leadership Class 24 is a success story that is going to get more interesting as time progresses. I look forward to each and every class member increasing their impact on the community by taking the lead… they are ready, willing and able!

Congratulation to the newest graduates of Scottsdale Leadership!

Zack Barna, GuideLight Marketing
Marc Blonstein, Berens, Kozub & Kloberdanz, PLC
Deanne Boynton Grupp, Scottsdale CVB
Jacky Burke, Body Definitions
Johnny Cervantes, Scottsdale Police Department
Jennifer Clark, DC Ranch Community Council
Kevin Classen, FirstBank of Arizona
Ted Collins, retired
Nicole Corning, MetLife Home Loans
Kathy Coster, Scottsdale Public Library
Chauna Cox
Stacey D’Abate, Henkel Consumer Goods, Inc.
John Damiris, UMB Bank Arizona
Dr. Mia Darling
Patrick Eichen, U of A – Eller College of Mgmt.
Michelle Evard, Evard Financial Advisors, PLLC
Suzette Gibson, SRP
Kathleen Glenn, TBA Global
Mary Holman, Enterprise Bank and Trust
Jeff Jameson, Jameson Associates
Branch Johnson, Vault Financial, LLC
Sona Koltookian, Monster.com
Joe Laux, Northwestern Mutual Financial Network
Ken Levine, Scottsdale Insurance Company
Laurie McCammon, self-employed piano teacher
Sylvia McDowell, RE/MAX Fine Properties
Brent Mekosh, Mekosh Financial Services of Raymond James
David Nelson, Scottsdale Insurance Company
Juliana Norvell, Arizona Capitol Times
Suzanne Paetzer, TriAra Consulting, LLC,
Jose Penalosa, Jr., Penalosa & Associates, P.C.
Paige Perry, Mayo Clinic
Jay Pizarro, Foodies Like Us
Charles Popeck, Green Ideas
Sheri Rayes, Arizona Dept. of Economic Security
Bridget Schwartz-Manock, Central Arizona Project
Mike Seiden, retired president of Western International University
Elizabeth Teitel, Gebert Contemporary Art Gallery
David Valencia, EJM Development Co.
Craig Whitten, UBS Financial Services
Julius Williams, retired
John Zicarelli, CAME, LLC

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Teamwork, great projects make us want to dance

By ROBERT LEGER, Class 21
Opinions editor of the Scottsdale Republic and Phoenix Republic

The tune was current, one all the elementary school children recognized as they ate lunch. They started dancing. A few minutes later, the youngsters were joined by silver-haired women who quickly learned the shuffle.

It was one of those “aha moments.” No one had planned this. It just happened, giving the people who put together this day of sharing between young and old all the affirmation they needed. Two generations connected.

Feel-good movies tell us one person can make a difference. But what can happen when seven talented, motivated people get behind an idea? Scottsdale Leadership has an answer, and it is amazing.

To read the rest of Robert’s blog on the Arizona Republic’s website click 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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Turtle Leadership

By SUZANNE PAETZER
2009 Scottsdale Leadership Class Reporter

The Scottsdale Leadership Experience
This is the 10th 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.

Class 24 participated in another exciting Leadership Academy last Friday. The Leadership Academy’s mission is to illuminate ideas, provoke thought and stimulate dialogue to help class members cultivate their own leadership style. Class 24 focused on expanded leadership teamwork through a “turtle” exercise, led by Dr. Frances Mills-Yerger, Class 16, Workshops for Youth and Families. We were put into smaller teams and our assignment was to get our whole team across a massive flowing river using turtles (don’t worry, no turtles were harmed), and navigate leadership decisions to reach the other side.

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

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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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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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