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April 2024

Executive Director


Lee Ann Witt

Executive Director

Interested in serving on a board or commission?

Or, are you looking for great people to fill positions for a board on which you currently serve?  Shoot me an email and let me lend a hand to connect you.  

I am here to help!

A great leader once said... 

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." 
John F. Kennedy

And that is exactly what our Scottsdale Leadership alumni continue to do!  A BIG thank you to all that participated in our Class Challenge on AZ Gives Day!   It was a great success and will enable us to continue our mission of informing, inspiring, and empowering leaders to champion and strengthen the interests of our community. We are also thankful for ALL our volunteers that give of their time and talents in so many ways - as Day Chairs, Mentors, Board of Directors, Advisory Council, Committee members, PLIF Group Advisors, Small Group Retreat Facilitators, and Cub Reporters - THANK YOU to each and every one of you!


Last week we held a Technology Night for alumni which was a “slimmed down” version of Technology Day. Kevin Maxwell, Class 29, did an extraordinary job of condensing our class day down to two hours with speakers Tim Roemer, CGI, and Amanda Ventura, Waymo.  A special thanks to Jason Glenn, Class 37, and to Vanguard for hosting our event. Cybersecurity, autonomous vehicles, and artificial intelligence were the hot topics.  "This has been the best year ever with the variety of alumni events - thank you!" Anonymous Alumni.   


This is an extraordinary year for the History Hall of Fame Dinner, May 7th,  with three of the four inductees being Scottsdale Leadership alumni along with Nationwide and Community Celebrating Diversity which are long-time supporters of Scottsdale Leadership.  Join us to celebrate this prestigious honor that is being bestowed upon our many alumni inductees.  Find all the information HERE


If you are a graduate of Mohave Middle School and/or Saguaro High School, please contact me at  Thank you!


Cool volunteer opportunity! We are seeking readers to review and score Class 39 applications. Each reader will receive 10-12 applications to review May 20th - 23 rd . If you are interested, please let me know.


As we wind down this year, I hope you will join us for PLIF Showcase and Graduation on May 10th, and, our end-of-the-year celebration at Handle Bar J’s on May 15th . We have much to celebrate and there is no better way than celebrating with YOU!

Mark your calendar now ~ so you don't miss any of these important events: 

May 10th  -  PLIF Showcase and Graduationmore details to follow

August 13th   -   Welcome Reception for Class 39more details to follow

December 13th  -  Annual Spirit of Community Awards Luncheonmore details to follow

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Blast from the Past

Kara Greene, Class 33
Written by: Craig Miller, Class 7 and Dr. Frances Mills-Yerger, Class 16

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One of the many reasons that Scottsdale is such a great place to live is that we have easy access to state-of-the-art healthcare.  So, when we sat down with Kara Greene of Class 33, who is the Brand Director for HonorHealth, we asked her why do they even need to tout their brand?  Aren’t they the biggest healthcare provider in Scottsdale already?  Well it turns out it is not that simple after all.  Kara and her colleagues have the mentality that if HonorHealth is not growing and improving all the time, it is falling behind.  After our conversation with Kara, we knew she had the talent and focus to help lead that charge.  We think you will really enjoy getting to know her better.

Inspired Alumni Mentoring for Female Members of Boys and Girls Club of Scottsdale!

"Girl's Night Out"

Alumni Mentors


Sam Mendez Class 37,

Lisa Randall Class 28,

Lee Ann Witt Class 33 and ED,

Andi Robertson Class 30,

Colleen Katz Class 34,

Cynthia Wenstrom Class 25,

LaTonya Bibby Class 31

"Girls Night Out" was an event designed to empower and inspire the young female members of Boys and Girls Club of Scottsdale. Positive role modeling and mentoring, along with a lot of fun, helped to build confidence and create  positive connections that will inspire them to reach for the stars on their path to a great future!

Thanks to everyone who volunteered their time! 

Who's In Your Corner?

Achieve More with our new
Alumni to Alumni Mentoring Group!


Success often comes

as a result of who's on

your support team.

The new A2A mentoring program can help you find alumni with knowledge, skills, and experiences who can enrich your corner and expand your accomplishments. 


What are you trying to achieve? 


  • Start a business and get some advice and assistance?

  • Explore new opportunities in new fields?

  • Connect with more people in the community – network?

  • Explore a run for governmental office?

  • Get some assistance in moving forward in a new or established career?

  • Learn about working more effectively in profit or non-profit organizations?

  • Understand how our community or government works?


If you are interested in joining a group like this, let Jolynn Clarke know and give her your best contact information.


We’ll plan a gathering!

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Scottsdale Mechanical and Railroad Society is Seeking Board Members

The Scottsdale Railroad and Mechanical Society was chartered in 1971 by Mr. Guy Stillman as a non-profit civic support organization to provide assistance with the development of the then McCormick Railroad Park through volunteer labor, technical expertise, and donations.  The Board continues to partner with and support the City of Scottsdale for the betterment of the Park and the citizens of Scottsdale.

We are seeking new Board members. 

If interested contact: Bill Scarbrough at


Mark Your

The Last Class 39 Applicant Reception 
Thursday, April 25th
5:00 pm~6:30 pm

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Want to nominate a friend or colleague? Provide their name using the button below and we will be sure to send them invitations to the Applicant Receptions. 

Join Us to Celebrate
38 Graduation !
Friday, May 10th 

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All are welcome to attend the PLIF presentations and graduation free of charge. Joining us for the fun party afterward? Great! Our Champion and Visionary Donors are free to attend the party. Just use the code: GRAD when putting your name in the RSVP. The ticket price for all others is $25.00. Click the button below to RSVP!

It's That Time Again !

to Mingle with Fellow Alumni and Friends... Celebrate Another Year... Eat, Drink and Be Happy!

Wednesday, May 15th 

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Douglas Sydnor, Class 2
Publishes Autobiography of a
45-Year Career

Douglas Sydnor, Class 2 and Class 5 Chairman, has published a new book titled ‘Sydnor Threads: The Architecture and Stories by Douglas Sydnor.’ It is an autobiography that features personal experiences, civic involvement, and his architecture created over the past 45 years exclusively in Arizona. Scottsdale Historian Joan Fudala provided the Foreword; architect Don Ryden, AIA, the Afterword; and Lindsay Lamonica the graphics and production. Books were printed as a limited edition and all copies are being gifted or donated to select archives, libraries, schools, and family members. They include the Scottsdale Heritage Connection; Arizona Heritage Center; Arizona State University Architecture Library ‘Special Collections;’ Phoenix Burton Barr Central Library ‘Arizona Room;’ State Historic Preservation Office Library; Arizona State Library, Archives, and Public Records ‘Research Library;’ Saguaro High School Library; and Harvard Graduate School of Design Frances Loeb Library. The book was in the making over the past eight years, is hardbound, 9” x 9”, 556 pages, and includes 1,200 images.

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Three Scottsdale Leadership Alumni
to be Inducted into the History Hall of Fame
along with former Scottsdale Mayor, Jim Lane


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Congratulations (left to right)  to Jim Ford, Class 8;  Linda Milhaven, Class 8;  Raoul Zubia, Class 22

and former Scottsdale Mayor, Jim Lane!     Way to go Nationwide and Community Celebrating Diversity! 

29th Annual Scottsdale History Hall of Fame

Tuesday, May 7th ~ 6:00 - 9:00 pm

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Class Day Journals

Arts Day

Submitted By Dr. Sara Johnson


On Arts Day, Class 38 embarked on a journey to unravel the heartbeat of Scottsdale's vibrant arts scene. From the picturesque Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts to the dynamic Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, the day was brimming with discoveries, insights, and unforgettable experiences. From a captivating video by Billie Jo Herberger to the inspiring words of Dennis Robbins and Gerd Wuestemann, President & CEO of Scottsdale Arts, the morning was a symphony of stories, each painting a vivid portrait of the transformative power of the arts. Guided by the knowledgeable Day Chairs, Natalie Marsh, David Itzkowitz, Erin Krivanek and Cece Cole, we embarked on a journey of discovery. From exploring new stages and public art installations to delving into the exhibitions at SMoCA, every step unveiled a new layer of Scottsdale's rich cultural tapestry. With insights from Kati Ballares, Keshia Turley, and Jennifer McCabe, we gained a deeper understanding of the role of arts in shaping communities and enriching lives.

We moved to the Museum of the West for lunch where Todd Bankofier and Jim Bruner extended a warm welcome, setting the stage for an afternoon of exploration with guided tours through the Museum of the West. Afterwards we headed to Scottsdale Artists' School where we were able to embrace our own creativity by creating our own print designs. Heading to Stagebrush Theatre we learned first hand just how integrated our community is in providing an extensive opportunity for kids and teenagers to immerse themselves into the world of the performing arts. Group discussions to conclude the day centered on solidifying our experiences in understanding the vast exposure and opportunity to engage with visual and performing arts right within our community. 

Takeaways for the day included a greater understanding of the vast efforts and talents of many within Scottsdale to ensure we are honoring the arts within our community by providing an extensive opportunity for people of all ages and experience levels to engage with the arts. As current and emerging leaders, there was a lot of reflective dialogue on what our next steps are individually and collaboratively to ensure we are a part of supporting and boosting efforts to continue to expand visual and performing art exposure and support within our community. 

Healthcare Day

Submitted by Rachel Tarman


From the typical doctor’s visit to emergency live-saving care, Scottsdale’s healthcare system has it all.  Scottsdale Leadership participants were treated to a day full of learning regarding the city’s reactive, as well as preventative measures taken to ensure Scottsdale residents are and stay healthy.   Meeting at Honor Health’s Neurological Institute, the day kicked off with a glimpse into the Honor Health system from Hospital Administrator, Jose Romo, Class 36.  Sarah Kearney, of Blue Zones Project and Class 30, then broke down Scottsdale’s efforts to become certified as a Blue Zone.  Blue Zones is a cutting edge program that encourages all residents to take steps to not only get healthy, but stay healthy.  From things like walk a specific number of steps to eating cleaner, individuals and businesses alike can make changes to help ensure that when people decide to live in Scottsdale, they also decide to be health-conscious.

Scottsdale Leadership students then put their critical thinking and leadership skills to the test with real life situations presented by day chairs.  Divided into small groups, participants were faced with four actual examples that occurred and affected the healthcare staff – emotionally, mentally, physically, or a combination of all three.  The practice was one that was extremely eye-opening as to just how challenging healthcare truly can be.  Following the problem-solving activity, the class heard from two experts- one on the effects of food on our health and the other regarding the science of being happy.  Both presenters brought up incredible points and tips on how to be the best versions of humans that we can be. 

Following a healthy lunch provided by Blue Zones, the class heard about NOAH, an organization in our own backyard that ensures all individuals have healthcare access regardless of financial status.  NOAH serves so many people in the community that would otherwise have no where else to go.  The organization is also leading the charge in helping provide healthy food options for those who receive government assistance or are below the poverty level, as healthy food choices tend to be more expensive.  Next we heard more about Honor Health about the programs they offer, as well as the challenges they face: staffing, insurance, scheduling.  There are so many Honor Health locations, from care clinics to large institutes, aiming to improve the health system in Scottsdale.


To finish up the day, Scottsdale Leadership participants ventured over to the Military Partnership Center where they engaged in life-saving training skills, such as wound packing, intubation, and K-9 first aid.  The group also learned about how the Military Partnership helps first responders, military, and other important groups prepare for critical situations.   The day ended on the helipad on top of Scottsdale Osborn Hospital.  Overall, the day was inspirational, emotional and educational.  Scottsdale Leadership Class 38 learned so much and is so thankful to all of our healthcare professionals, including our very own, Donna Tew!!!!

The New LeaderSHOP is Here! 

We have great new merchandise in our LeaderSHOP! Check it out. You can even pick items that can be customized with your class number. AND, if you take a photo of yourself in your new swag and send it to Dana Close you can be in our new promotional video! 


Not To Be Outdone....

by any professional models, our very own Albert Johnson, Class 38 takes the runway modeling some of the stylin' LeaderSHOP SL fashion.  Looking good Albert!!!

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This month's edition of Branching Out is brought to you thanks to our community partner 


Thank you for investing in Scottsdale Leadership!

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