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Kevin has the ability and drive to see how technology can help us all lead better lives. This attribute is why he is so valuable to Class 38 as he presented their Technology Day.
Blast from the Past
Kevin Maxwell, Class 29
We could not think of a better way to start of 2024 than to sit down with Class 29 member and newly minted 2023 Frank W. Hodges Alumni Achievement Award recipient Kevin Maxwell. Kevin is truly an inspirational person. He proves the point that if you really want something and follow your dreams, it can happen. We were fascinated to hear about all the things Kevin has done in his life, and how he has overcome grief and loss in his personal life. We think you will enjoy getting to know Kevin just as we did.
Kevin was born in Hutchinson, Kansas which is located right in the middle of the state. His parents were involved in commercial airline management and received different job postings every 4 years of so. One of those stops was in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is there that he found one of his true passions in life which is playing the drums. They eventually moved again to Utah where he earned a music scholarship to attend the University of Utah. But even with the scholarship, money was tight and eventually he left college early to get a job. As fate would have it, right around that same time he visited his mother here in Scottsdale and fell in love with our area. He called his friends back in Utah and told them to pack up his stuff and send it down to Scottsdale. That was 1984 and he has been here ever since.
Kevin told us that for as long as he can remember, he loved tinkering with computers. That hobby eventually shaped his whole career. He followed in his parent’s footsteps and got a job in the airline industry. He eventually worked his way up to being a supervisor in the Alaskan Airlines reservations call center. He soon realized that the ticket agents he supervised were wasting valuable time and energy waiting for their computer terminals to catch up with their actions as they doing their jobs. So, on his own, he recommended that they add more memory to the terminals and by doing that they would be much more efficient. Well Alaska Airlines tried it and it worked. He knew right then that being skilled in technology was his future.
In 2011 another seminal event happened in his life. He met his wife Bronwyn who gave him the strength to follow his passions and yet also be mindful of the practical things he needed. Bronwyn, who is a Special Education teacher in the Scottsdale School District, also went through Scottsdale Leadership as a member of Class 34. To make their life even more tied into Scottsdale, Bronwyn is the sister of former Scottsdale City Council member and Leadership alumna, Linda Milhaven. Kevin’s desire to keep getting better prompted him to go back to college to finish his degree. So, in 2012 he enrolled at Arizona State University and got his degree in entrepreneurship.
After college Kevin worked for a few smaller companies and did some consulting on his own. After a while, Kevin and Bronwyn realized that he needed to work for a large company with better benefits and more stability and structure. In 2013 he began working for State Farm Insurance in Tempe. His innate talent allowed him to move on to bigger roles within that company. A great example is that after he completed the technology certification offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS) he has been part of the team that is moving legacy State Farm customer data from old, expensive computer servers to the AWS Cloud. He has been doing that for over three years and he thinks that process will be going on for many more.
Kevin has the ability and drive to see how technology can help all us lead better lives. This attribute is why he is so valuable to our new class as he presented their Technology Day in January of this year. A real-life example of that is his collaboration with Don Henninger and his organization called SCOTT which stands for Scottsdale Coalition for Today and Tomorrow. He and Don put on a weekly podcast that is an excellent way for people to keep up with the activities going in our city.
Kevin believes strongly that Scottsdale Leadership has a very important role in training and developing our city’s servant volunteers for the future. In addition to hosting Technology Day for Scottsdale Leadership, he serves on the board of many local organizations like Family Promise and the Scottsdale Unified School District Foundation. Kevin is also proud of his collaboration with the Scottsdale Charros and their Coronado High School Promise program.
Kevin and his wife Bronwyn love our community and feed off each other in terms of doing good things for very deserving people. They enjoy going to movies together and spending time with her family. Both of Kevin’s parents have passed away. And tragically, his two brothers have both died within the last 5 years. That void in his heart has been filled by their love for each other. Kevin still enjoys playing his drums. He still practices like his Mom wanted him to do when he first started out. He is also an avid golfer.
Scottsdale Leadership rightly honored Kevin for his efforts in helping our community, but he assured us that he is not nearly done yet. His dedication and talent, along with so much experience and unique life skills, make him a great mentor for all of us and someone we can look up to. We can’t wait to see what he does next.