Tag Archives: Virginia Korte

When You See Opportunity – Seize It

Davis_MikeMike Davis, Class 28
DMB Associates, Inc.

Class 28 Blog: This is a blog series about the experience and impact of Scottsdale Leadership’s Core Program.   The views expressed here represent those of class members and not those of Scottsdale Leadership. 

On Community Stewardship Day, Scottsdale Leadership Class 28 experienced several amazing examples of community stewardship.  Each example carried a common theme – a recognized need leads to an opportunity.  What was unique about this class was the opportunity for us to witness community stewardship through several different pairs of eyes.

PreserveOur day began at the McDowell Sonoran Preserve – a beautiful 27,800 acres of preserved land in the McDowell Mountains.  We learned about the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy which seized the opportunity to secure the Preserve for the benefit of the community and where 400 volunteers help to provide public access to the Preserve, protect the Preserve through research and stewardship and increase the community’s understanding and appreciation of the Preserve through educational programs and community events. We then walked one of the nature trails, escorted by volunteer guides.

Mary KingNext, we traveled to STARS where keynote speaker, Mary King, shared her thoughtful story on her inspiration to get involved.  She hadn’t planned to be involved in serving those with developmental disabilities – but she seized the opportunity when she recognized the need.  We toured the campus and saw countless examples of stewardship through the life changing work that the staff at STARS does every day.

Panel

Lastly, we saw practical community stewardship in an impassioned debate regarding the 2013 City of Scottsdale Bond Election.  Bothsides were represented – those for the bond, and against.  Each side made compelling arguments for their position, encouraging us, as members of Scottsdale Leadership, to make up our own minds.

Community Stewardship day showed me that there are many opportunities to participate, Mary King inspired me to seize those opportunities.

I am passionate about mentoring, and I expect to find an opportunity to serve as a mentor, possibly on the board of an institution providing mentoring services.  So now I’d like to hear from you … given your passion, what do you think your opportunity will be and how do you think you’ll get involved?

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Scottsdale’s Got Stewardship!

Nick Molinari, Class 26
City of Scottsdale

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.

Last Friday morning, as I walked into Scottsdale Leadership’s Community Stewardship Day, I thought I had things pretty much figured out. I have grown up in Scottsdale and I love living here. Being a City of Scottsdale employee I have been fortunate to be part of many projects and be exposed to many areas, programs and people in our city. I thought that my varied experiences in Scottsdale were enough to adequately prepare me to comprehend and articulate what Community Stewardship is all about. Boy was I wrong! I learned a lot on this day from some very impressive folks.

Class 26 was privileged to have some dynamic community leaders to help guide us through our journey…Virginia Korte, Melinda Gulick, Coucilwomen Linda Milhaven, Tim Gray and Rick Kidder to name a few. They are all phenomenal examples of strength, guts and perseverance that have a hand in molding our great city into one of the finest in the world. So what would they teach our class of young leaders about being good community stewards?

First, what is Community Stewardship?  Our class had some varying thoughts, but we came up with a basic consensus. Community stewards care for the resources that make Scottsdale special and how we choose to spend our time and allocate our resources must align with the values and vision of our community. More importantly these leaders actually fight the battles and do things to make this a reality.

The presenters also provided us with historical accounts of how and why Scottsdale has become such a phenomenal city. There have been so many dedicated community members over the years that were integral in making Scottsdale a success and they didn’t want to simply settle for good or okay. They wanted better and best and to protect, preserve and enhance all of the beautiful assets that make Scottsdale a special community. These folks demonstrated ownership, passion and dedication.  It certainly made a difference.

Things became even clearer after listening to Mary King, founder of Scottsdale Training and Rehabilitation Services (STARS), talk about making Scottsdale a better place for individuals with disabilities. Mary’s story was inspiring. For me personally I realized that STARS is a model of what partnerships can do for a community. The City of Scottsdale, Jaycees, Scottsdale Unified School District and countless other organizations were integral in the development of STARS.  Finding other partners or organizations that also truly believe in and live community stewardship is evidenced in STARS success and the continued impact that it is having on so many individuals in Scottsdale.

Mary had another message for our class that really hit home for me – “use what you have.” As the wife of a city councilman and later as a Scottsdale employee, Mary had a great deal of contacts to draw upon during her grassroots effort to develop services for those with disabilities.

I love the impact of the quote and it gives me a more clear perspective on viewing challenges, projects and partnerships and using the connections, relationships and experiences that I have. Secondly, her tenacity and follow through were quite inspirational. She stated that she just kept “stepping through the door” which not only gives a great visual, but provides a philosophy when you are on a quest, project or mission by embracing the opportunities that arrive before you.

After listening to these leaders and community stewards, I ask you the following:

  • How will the relationships you make today impact our community tomorrow?
  • How will each of us “use what we have” to make Scottsdale a better community?
  • When opportunities become available to you, and how will you “step through the door?”

 

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Principles for Civil Dialogue

Cynthia Wenström, MBA/GM, Class XXV
Faculty, University of Phoenix

It was 8 months ago when Class 25 Day Chairs, Virginia Korte (Class 3) and Rob Millar (Class 17) introduced the topic of civil discourse. The impetus of the topic was an ‘unruly discussion’ between two Tucson-area politicians making headlines at that time.

The lively afternoon produced a first pass at the ‘Code of Civility’ and a team volunteered to move the project forward. The following day, January 8th, Senator Gabriel Giffords was shot and the need for civil discourse really rang close to home. The event seemed a clear signal to move forward with the initial class-day work effort.

Fast forward to May 2011 and the project resumed, put on hold due to the rigors of Class 25’s Pay It Forward projects and twice-monthly class days. The civility team now consists of several Class 25 and Class 24 alumni, as well as Chris Irish, Executive Director.

With diligent work, the original ‘Code’ was rewritten, removing references to ‘code’ or ‘oath’ and was condensed. More importantly, the team’s Principles for Civil Dialogue was unveiled to Scottsdale Leadership’s Board of Directors at the August 2011 Board meeting, passing unanimously for adoption by the organization. The Principles will appear on the website, the blog and in literature with the Mission Statement and other core values of the organization.

Principles for Civil Dialogue

As a member of the Scottsdale community, I will:
Genuinely listen, Speak respectfully and Be accountable for my words and actions.

‘Genuinely listen’ means I will listen for the purpose of understanding the speaker’s point of view, without prejudging whether that point of view is right or wrong.

‘Speak respectfully’ means I will voice my point of view calmly and respectfully without losing the passion of my position and commitment, discussing the issues without personal criticisms.

‘Being accountable’ means I accept responsibility for my words and actions.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Presenting the Principles for Civil Dialogue to other Scottsdale organizations is the next milestone, while growing the enthusiasm for the Principles organically. As energy continues to build on this initiative, the ultimate goal is presenting the Principles to the Scottsdale City Council for adoption.

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WineStyles Evening this Saturday

By Katy Kelewae
STARS Development Associate & Volunteer Coordinator

As any nonprofit can attest, the current economy isn’t making the business of charity any easier. Scottsdale Training and Rehabilitation Services (STARS), a local nonprofit serving adults with developmental and cognitive disabilities for nearly 40 years, is appealing to individuals social side to raise money after the heavily-government funded nonprofit suffered significant cuts during the past year.

Scottsdale Leadership alumna Virginia Korte, Class 3 is the current President/CEO of STARS. Alumni that currently serve on the board of directors for STARS include:
Katherine Hutton, Class 19, Thunderbird School of Global Management
Carder Hunt, Class 7, Retired
Senator Carolyn Allen, Class 1, District 8 Senator
Hanna Khleif, Class 15, Chaparral Suites
Wendy Lyons, Class 13, Community Stewardship Scottsdale Healthcare
Alesia Martin, class 22, Scottsdale Insurance Company
Willie McDonald, Class 23, City of Scottsdale

This Saturday, May 15, from 5 to 8 p.m., WineStyles at Tatum and Shea is donating portions of sales to STARS. WineStyles offers five wine tastings for only $15 – but from 5 to 8 p.m. this Saturday, $10 of every tasting goes directly to STARS. Likewise, 20 percent of all wine sales will be donated as well.

What could be easier than bringing out some friends to enjoy some great wine and support a local nonprofit?

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Scottsdale’s Unique Oasis

By SUZANNE PAETZER
2009 Scottsdale Leadership Class Reporter

The Scottsdale Leadership Experience
This is the 13th 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.

Does staying Calm, Relaxed and surrounded by Natural Beauty factor into your Quality of Life?

If so, you would have really enjoyed Scottsdale Leadership’s Quality of Life and Sustainability class day.  Held in Scottsdale’s own backyard – the Gateway to the McDowell Sonoran Preserve – this pristine recreational area is amazing!

Completed in May 2009, the Gateway adjoins 383 acres and is part of Scottsdale’s vision to preserve 36,400 acres.  That’s 1/3 of Scottsdale’s total land mass!

If you don’t hike, mountain bike or ride horses along the 45 miles of trails, maybe the 8,800 SF building (pending LEED Platinum certification) would catch your eye. It has rammed earth walls and uses recycled/regional materials.  With its solar energy performance (producing 105% of annual demand), rainwater harvesting (providing 100% irrigation), water efficiency (saving 250,000 gallons annually) this building is a marvel in the desert.

Or you can take a short stroll to the Amphitheater and enjoy the amazing views. The amphitheater serves as an ideal field classroom for lectures, too. For those physically challenged, there is a ¾ mile accessible interpretive trail – one of the few in existence.

Whatever route you take, I guarantee you’ll be touched by the beauty of the land and its ability to restore calm!

Scottsdale Leadership, Class 24 not only experienced the Preserve but spent time with Virginia Korte, Class 3, and president/CEO of STARS who shared the history of preserving Scottsdale’s land since the 1960’s and how the Preserve came to fruition.

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

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