Tag Archives: Scottsdale Leadership Class 25

Submissions Encouraged for Scottsdale Live!

Kelly Tope, Class 25
Senior Marketing Manager, Scottsdale CVB

I am fortunate enough to not have a fear of public speaking.  Now, before you go throwing things at me, I don’t mean like absolutely, positively no fear. But, I’m not throwing up behind the curtain either.  Call me crazy, but I think it’s actually fun to get up on stage, especially if you have an exciting topic.

Which is why I was so excited when I heard about the format of our (Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau) annual meeting this year.  Rather than bringing in one or two keynote speakers, we decided to engage the community through high-energy, fast-paced lightning talks.  Anyone can submit a topic (so long as it is somehow relevant to Scottsdale) and will have 20 slides and 5 minutes to talk about their passion.  Seriously, how cool is that?

So, if you’ve got a passion and a familiarity with Scottsdale (could I be talking to a more perfect audience), I encourage you to submit a topic to be considered for our annual meeting, which will take place October 19.  We welcome anything that could reveal the unique personality of Scottsdale – from fascinating people and thought-provoking ideas to intriguing experiences. So . . . What are you always talking about in conversation? What gets you bubbling over with excitement? What do you do in your spare time? What don’t others know that you think they should? Why do you love living, working or playing here?

Before you shut me out because you’re the person throwing up backstage (I’m sorry, I really don’t envy you), just think about it.  Could your desire to talk about your passion override your stage fright?  And, for anyone who is worried about staying on track (trust me, we’ll boot you after your five minutes), we’ve got you covered – the founder of Ignite Phoenix will be meeting with speakers to help coach them on giving a lightning-fast, timed presentation.

What are you waiting for?  Get on over to www.ScottsdaleCVB.com/AnnualMeeting for more info and to submit your topic. Submissions are due September 23.  Oh, and if you just want to come and watch it all go down, you can buy tickets at the same site.

What’s Your Passion? The Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau is inviting you to share it!


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Jeff Klefstad – Class XXV Continues to Look Ahead!

Jeff Klefstad, Class 25
Sr. Key Account Manager, SRP

Community Involvement:
SRP Employee Boosters Association Coordinator and Contributor
Society of St. Vincent de Paul Christmas Adopt-a-Family Volunteer
Scottsdale Culinary Festival Volunteer
Habitat for Humanity Volunteer
Andre House Volunteer
Junior Achievement of Arizona Volunteer

As a Scottsdale resident for over 25 years and counting, I thought I knew my beloved city. The more I learned, compliments of Scottsdale Leadership, the more I realized just how little I knew. The on-site experiences, classroom presenters, new friends and the Pay it Forward projects was a valuable learning gift to all of us. We grew, learned and became better leaders.

There were so many great opportunities available for the “Silver Bullets” of Class XXV, yet one that quickly comes to mind was actually not a class day but an alumni event, “Restaurant Week”. This was an evening event for all current classmates and past Scottsdale Leadership graduates to gather and keep abreast of a current topic. In addition to meeting the Honorable Jim Lane, Mayor of Scottsdale and his wife Joanne, we also were treated to a inspiring presentation by Kimber Lanning of Local First Arizona. Kimber encouraged us to spend our dollars with a locally owned business rather than a national business, whenever possible. I could not have agreed with her more.

I’d like to share some advice to those fortunate enough to be chosen for the upcoming Class XXVI program. Please meet, participate and as equally important, “listen” to each of your classmates at each class/event/project meeting. Sit with a different group of classmates you have not spent time with so you equally have the opportunity to get to know each other. You will develop great friendships with many of your classmates so maximize this opportunity for yourself and others. Extend your hand to everyone and appreciate the possibility of long term friendships as you take pride in your class!

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Ethical Leadership: Is it in you?

Robert DeLeon, Scottsdale Leadership Class 25

Everyday media headlines tell us about leaders in society struggling with leadership issues and people questioning their integrity or ethics.  A lot of discussion on the issue is being labeled as ethical leadership.  Why are there numerous examples of leaders not setting the example, at least according to the media?  Who has the moral high ground on ethical leadership, democrats or republicans, pro life or pro choice, capitalist or socialists?  The list could go on and on.

What is ethical leadership?  A newsletter article by Edward Freeman and Lisa Stewart, “Developing Ethical Leadership”, stood out and helped answer the question.  It states that society typically describes ethical leadership as an executive with good character, one that sets the example for others to follow.  However, it goes on to say that it is not that simple.  It describes the characteristics of ethical leadership as being complex and having multiple components.

According to the article ethical leaders (a) Walk the talk and instill it in the organization, (b) Put the company first before themselves, (c) Find people with integrity to hire and develop, (d) Make ethics and values part of the conversation everyday, (e) Allow and encourage challenges to leadership, (f) Look for the good in others, (g) Make tough choices, allowing innovative remedies, (h) Understand values have their limits based on the situation, (i) Know the impacts of their actions to others and the organization, and (j) Allow people to learn and grow, making mistakes all in the context of organizational growth.

On the surface it appears to be a simple process, a recipe for success.  But, if it is so simple, why can it be difficult to succeed?  I believe a vast majority of people in leadership roles show up to work everyday wanting to succeed, not fail and lead people in a positive way.  However, from time to time we all need reminders.

In my opinion, ethical leadership has two important beginning points.  First of all, we assume or expect that all of us have the same set of values, expectations.  Yet, people are split essentially down the middle on many issues?  Are half of the leaders of each issue without ethical leadership or wrong?  This polarization of many facets of society is at times sobering.  Whether it is religion, politics, executive pay, profit, shareholder interests, each side has a position that seems to be rigid and less tolerant.  The key is to understand the viewpoints of others and know each has valid reasons for their positions and bring value with their diversity of insights.

The second point is how we develop ourselves.  In the case of ethical leadership what has been done to ensure we walk the talk?  Did we read an article or take a class that gave us the recipe for success?  Freeman has eight questions everyone should ask themselves to become an ethical leader.  There is one key question and subsequent response that relate to defining the ethical leadership in us.  If you were asked about any situation or issue at work related to your behavior, would your response instinctively include some component of ethical leadership?  This is the real life indicator of ethical leadership.

Ethical leadership, is it in you?  I leave you with a thought.  Is what you consider your set of values and principles well defined and are they put on paper for all to see?  Based on this, how would you rate yourself on ethical leadership?

Note:  This internet communication can be found at http://www.corporate-ethics.org/pdf/ethical_leadership.pdf

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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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Class 25 to Pay It Forward

Scottsdale Leadership Marketing & Resource Development Manager

As part of their nine-month community leadership program, members of Scottsdale Leadership’s Class XXV 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 on April 15 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 six projects are as follows:

11 – 11:35 a.m. P.E.T. Pantry (Pets Eat Too) by team Reigning Cats & Dogs, 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.
Team members: Ken Brooks, Ruth Ingall, Valarie Miceli, Scott Popp, Kelly Ries, Lisa Johnson Stone and Cynthia Wenstrom

11:35 – 12:05 p.m. Come Take a Stand by team LEADR7, implemented an awareness campaign educating youth in understanding effective bystander strategies to apply when witnessing cyber-bullying. School curriculum was developed to support Scottsdale’s eighth grade students.
Team members: Kerri Callidora, Greg Cohen, Bob DeLeon, Kristina Dyrr, Jeff Klefstad, Dana Sherman and Kristi Staab

1:05 – 1:40 a.m. Seeing Is Believing by Seeing Is Believing team, provided under-represented children with the gift of vision. Striving for all children to have eye-exams and glasses, the team raised funds and created community collaboration between individuals, businesses and schools.
Team members: Stephanie Connelly, Greg Hand, Cynthia Hill, Pele Peacock, John Thomas, Fran Watkins and Jessica Zambo

1:40 – 2:10 p.m. Growing Greatness at Camelot Therapeutic Horsemanship, by Enchanted
Garden team, transformed an unused plot into a special spot for children and adults who face physical challenges and obstacles. The project team recruited contributors and constructed a wheelchair accessible, raised bed garden.
Team members: Paul Dwight, Jan Marvin, Peg Mulloy, Yvonne Murphy, Ryan O’Daniel, Kelly Tope, Drew Vallorano and Katherine Yu

2:25 – 3 p.m.  Foundation for Sustainable Senior Centers by team Sanctuary, created a nonprofit foundation serving Scottsdale’s seniors and senior centers and bridging the gap between city services and community needs, including health, safety and medical.
Team members: Denise Lewandowski, Kathie May, Michael Ritter, John Schloz, Kristi Small and Travis Yarlagadda

3 – 3:30 p.m. Bridging Generations by the Bridging Generations team, created a platform for sharing, learning and interaction between seniors and elementary school students. The project was designed to enhance the curriculum for children and quality of life for seniors through interviews related to history.
Team members: Korey Boals, Dianne Fitzgerald-Verbonitz, John Froelich, Jim Grosso and
Jessica Moreau

3:55 p.m. Recognition of Winning Project

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Airing the laundry with Class 25…

Doreen Reinke, Class 17 Member, President of Board Scottsdale Leadership
Vice President, Operations, Scottsdale Insurance Company

I had the pleasure of “airing the laundry” with Class 25 and getting to know our new class members last Friday at their orientation day and evening reception. What a great class to represent Scottsdale Leadership’s 25th anniversary year.

Each class member gave a 90 second commercial and shared their personal stories. Early on in the commercials it was apparent this is a class with a lot of originality, diversity and international experiences.

One creative class member decided to “air his laundry” and share his story presenting a laundry basket full of shirts representing the important people and events of his life. As I listened to each commercial I took away so much about our class members both individually and collectively.

Let me introduce to you Scottsdale Leadership’s Class 25.  They are:

A soccer mom
A marathon runner
A guitar player
A singer
A reality show addict
A Disneyland junkie
Four Attorneys
A professional tennis coach
And a spouse who lost a bet and married his wife

We have class members who were born and raised in Paris, Australia and Germany. We have other class members who traveled and or worked throughout the world bringing to us a global perspective of community leadership.

Collectively, Class 25 has 53 children and 40 dogs!

They share passions around education, healing and helping others, innovation, diversity, family, friends and their community.

The local leader they would most like to meet is Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane who they all met on September 3 at their Welcome Reception at the Hotel Valley Ho.

They are husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, aunts and uncles, good friends and Scottsdale Leadership’s Class 25.

I encourage you to take the time to get to know Class 25 on your own throughout the core program.

Let’s all welcome and congratulate Class 25.


Filed under Community, Leadership