Maire Simington, PhD, Class 12
Director, Care Management Services, Banner Health
I knew Scottsdale Leadership was a special organization right from the outset. I had sent in my application at the suggestion of my friend Katherine Cecala who thought it would be interesting if we went through the program together. We were both working at Mayo Clinic at the time and submitted our applications. I had to miss my in-person interview because my mother passed away. Sherri Statt, then president, called me afterward and we had a pleasant conversation at the end of which she said that the board had decided to save a seat for me. It was a very difficult time in my life and I was so touched by this kindness.
Katherine and I became classmates, making new friends along the way. One of my friends then with whom I still have contact with is Judy Register. Over the years, both Judy and Katherine have inspired me.
Katherine is the epitome of community service. Even though she had a demanding job at Mayo Clinic, she managed to take on community leadership roles and be an advocate for blind children, people suffering with HIV/AIDS, girls who needed good role models and mentors, and much more. While I had always been involved in the community – primarily with arts and civic organizations, Katherine’s stewardship was extraordinary. Katherine has since moved on to a new position that exemplifies service to the community. She is the COO of Valley of the Sun United Way.
My other friend, Judy, suggested that I become part of the board for Friends of the Scottsdale Public Library, a role which I enjoyed. Judy also suggested the Arizona Humanities Council which she had chaired. I was interviewed and selected for the board and have happily served with this organization since 2005.
During my year in Scottsdale Leadership, I learned much about the community’s needs. From social services and education to law enforcement and the needs of the elderly, I examined my own leadership style and thought about how I could best continue to make a difference.
It was during that time that I worked with a physician at Mayo Clinic to nurture the development of the Transplant House at Brusally Ranch. We recruited volunteers, cleaned the house and worked at getting donations. The house filled a significant need for transplant patients and the house north of Shea Blvd. grew and thrived. Today it has evolved to become the casitas at Mayo Clinic Hospital. It was thrilling to be able to mobilize people behind a vision.
Scottsdale Leadership really focused my thinking on the enduring value of volunteering and the significant difference volunteer leaders make in the community.
It was a tremendous experience!