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November 2023 

Executive Director's Corner

Lee Ann Witt

I am so thankful for each of you and the opportunity to serve Scottsdale Leadership as Executive Director.  This year is extra special as we have tried some new things, and the results are fantastic!  Class 38 began with our first overnight class retreat.  City Government Day was spent over two class days as we dove deeper into boards, commissions, budget, planning and getting to know our City Council.  Diversity Day will parallel the past to the present with Lessons in Leadership from the Holocaust and facilitator Todd Larson. We are adding Technology Day in January. I am thankful for our staff who are creative, dedicated, and determined, as well as our working Board of Directors who strive to ensure we stay true to our mission of developing community leaders.


We are excited to introduce you to ShaRon Rea, our 2nd Dr. Art DeCabooter Scholarship Award recipient.  Giving Tuesday is November 28th and Scottsdale Leadership directs all giving efforts towards the Dr. Art DeCabooter Scholarship.  Join us in this global movement to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity. 


We sincerely thank all American veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.  We have a number of Scottsdale Leadership alumni that have served, and I encourage you to read more about U.S. Navy Veteran and submariner, Ryan Rybarczyk from Ohio.


I cannot wait to see you all at the 23rd Annual Spirit of Community Awards Luncheon December 8th when we gather to celebrate our Drinkwater, Hodges, and Jenkins Award winners.  The holiday spirit will be alive at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess.  The “12 Days of Christmas Silent Auction” will roll out November 27th online so share it with friends and family and get ready to shop!  Our gift to you is free parking with “Santa’s Secret Code” to stay as long as you wish that day.


"Look for our

12 Days of Christmas Silent Auction

rolling out November 27th!"

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Meet Your
Board Members

Matt White, Class 33 - Treasurer

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Become an Active Alumni Donor!


Hi there, I’m Matt White of Class 33. I currently serve as the treasurer for Scottsdale Leadership. For my day job I serve as the CEO for Storefront, which is a financial technology company based here in Scottsdale.


I’d like to thank all those who have pledged to be a part of alumni giving this year. Your contributions go a long way to ensuring the vitality and sustainability of our organization. This year we are working hard to return to pre-COVID levels of operations which means that we are stretching in both revenue goals and our spending to add value to our current class as well as alumni programming and engagement.


To keep our growth on track, we depend on our alumni base for giving and to open doors with sponsors. If you aren’t currently an active alumni donor I encourage you to join as an Ambassador level giver for $15/month over 10 months. Additionally, if you are connected to a local business or a large corporation with a footprint in Scottsdale we can use your help in growing our sponsorship base. There are many ways for businesses to partner with Scottsdale Leadership and you can help by simply providing an introduction to Lee Ann or a member of our sponsorship committee.


Thank you all again for what you do to keep Scottsdale Leadership thriving into the future.


Blast from the Past

In honor of Veteran's Day,

we spent some time getting to know Navy Veteran, Ryan Rybarczyk of Class 36. He served from 1995 to 1999 on a fast attack submarine while in the Navy.  The military taught him teamwork and inner strength that he has used his whole life. Ryan has faced a lot of unpredictable moments of happenstance in his life that could have sidelined a less disciplined person.  We think you will enjoy hearing about his varied background, and join us as we celebrate his success.


Ryan Rybarczyk, Class 36
Written by: Craig Miller, Class 7 and Dr. Frances Mills-Yerger, Class 16

Mentoring Program Gets Underway


The Mentoring Committee really knocked it out of the park

with the "Level Up Your Mentoring" panel discussion, as well as the "Meet Your Mentor/Mentee" rooftop social gathering where this year's group got to know one another.

Giving Blood, Saving Lives


Class 38 and Scottsdale Leadership Alumni came on strong with our Blood Drive with Vitalant!  

Teresa Milner and Anna Oliver of Class 38 celebrate Teresa's 80th blood donation. Way to go, Teresa! Anna is the Sr. Manager of Donor Recruitment with Vitalant and reported back that Scottsdale Leadership impacted about 66 patients! If your organization would like to hold a blood drive, contact Anna at: 

Packing Healthy Packs


The energy was high and a great time was had by all

as we packed "Healthy Packs" for  our community kids who struggle with food insecurity on the weekends. Together we packed enough for 1,600 kids to have food on the weekend for a month. Well done crew! 

Canal Convergence 2023


Canal Convergence !

Anthony Washington, Gina Zulek and Sara Johnson of Class 38 take in the sights and sounds of this amazing public art  show on the Scottsdale Waterfront!

2023-2024 DeCabooter Scholarship Recipient

Congratulations ShaRon Rea!

ShaRon is our 2nd Dr. Art DeCabooter Scholarship Award recipient.  ShaRon is a Life & Family Coach, author, ambassador, facilitator, and community servant leader, many of the same attributes shared by Dr. Art DeCabooter, who served as President of Scottsdale Community College for 30 years, with a dedication to the environment, education, and community collaboration.  We are thankful to both ShaRon and Dr. Art DeCabooter, for their community contributions.  

Parada del Sol Float Committee

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We Need Your Help!


Share in the fun of creating our float for the

Parada del Sol Parade and sign up Here!



Congratulations to these Alumni serving our community as new Board/Commission Appointees

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Ashley Adams, Class 37

Human Relations Commission

Eric  Leshinski, Class 38

McDowell Sonoran Preserve

Board of Directors

Mike Vreeland, Class 37

Parks and Recreation Commission

Class 38 
City Government Days 


Class 38 sits in the Driver's Seat at City Hall 

Class 38 participants take a deep dive into how our city operates in two consecutive City Government Days!


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Thank you for investing in Scottsdale Leadership!


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

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