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Scottsdale Leadership celebrates its 38th graduating class — a focus on those experiencing homelessness

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A view of the 38th graduating class of Scottsdale Leadership. (Photos Courtesy: Scottsdale Leadership/DigitalFreePress)
Scottsdale Leadership continues to define civic leadership in local community
Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

Scottsdale Leadership is announcing the graduation of its 38th leadership class.

Chosen from a wide field of qualified applicants, the 44 class members represent a strong cross-section of our community and join a family of more than 1,300 Scottsdale Leadership alumni, according to a press release.

During the nine-month leadership development program, each class participates in delivering impactful, sustainable projects through its Project Lead It Forward program, the release states.

The community-based projects allow established and emerging leaders to apply classroom learning to real-time projects that leave a life-long footprint. This year the focus of the four projects was on homelessness. Class 38 presented their projects on May 10, to alumni, family, and community leaders:

Community House – Welcome Room & Business Plan Development

Community House exists to invite those without a physical home or relationship stability to experience community, dignity and hope. The project purpose was to help Community House with their Strategic Plan, create an organized welcome room and a place in which people can get their hair cut and washed. The team repurposed an underutilized room for supplies and a salon station for haircuts, cleaned the room, painted, set up new shelving, and moved supplies from the previous area to a higher functioning work area.

The Strategic Plan through 2027 included Board Growth, Staff Growth, Development Growth, Partnership Growth and Impact Growth, Fundraising Plan with an Events and Fundraising Calendar, Marketing Plan, Policies/Procedures, Goals Summary, Competitor Analysis, Financial, Future Plans, and Milestones.

Family Promise – Outdoor Social Lounge and Activity Area

Family Promise vows to keep children, parents and even their pets together. They help families facing homelessness secure stable housing through safe shelter, caring connections, and building a community of support. The project purpose was to assist Family Promise by taking an underutilized outdoor space and redesigning it into an outdoor social lounge area for families and children of all ages to be able to commune and share fellowship throughout the day. This outdoor social lounge will provide families the space and comfort to play games, lounge and socialize in an area uniquely designed for engagement and fellowship.

The transformation involved comprehensive steps, including excavation, laying cement, installing sport court flooring, and artificial turf to create a versatile recreational area. Pavers formed a welcoming pathway leading to an adult lounge, complemented by in-ground lighting for evening gatherings. An interior wall enriched by an artistic mural gave a more visual appeal. Moveable seating and an array of yard games like cornhole, giant connect four, and giant Jenga were procured to encourage interaction and play among families.

Save the Family – Revitalization of Space

Established in 1988, Save the Family Foundation of Arizona is a leading provider of housing, case management and supportive services to more than 650 homeless and impoverished families annually throughout Maricopa County. They work to equip families to overcome underlying issues that lead to homelessness-ensuring stable homes, safe children, and strong families.

The project purpose converted an existing, limited computer lab and community areas at Escobedo at Verde Vista Affordable Housing Complex into a vibrant Community Resources Center that matches the existing aesthetic of the overall facility. The project allowed Save the Family to maximize and fully use the storage resources, as well as providing a dedicated space for residents to research future housing, enroll in enhancement classes, and explore career development options. The team revitalized the existing computer lab, replaced all outdated computers, obtained a new printer, upgraded furniture, as well as repainted the entire space.

UMOM – Project BIG

UMOM’s mission is to end homelessness by restoring hope and rebuilding lives. They offer an emergency shelter, temporary or affordable housing along with services (job skills training, clothing, wellness, new home set-up) for people experiencing homelessness. The team did two projects within one large scope. They overhauled the current 10,000-square-foot warehouse inventory management by implementing an electronic inventory management system along with the significant reorganization and culling of existing warehouse goods.

They took the original “clothing closet” and made it more functional/appealing for UMOM clients that involved evaluating additional spaces, determining construction requirements and redesigned the retail experience. UMOM now has a system to monitor its inventory so that they can go out to its contributors and request specific items or share abundance with related organizations.

Moreover, the Threads of Hope Shop not only provides an elevated shopping experience, but allows for more intuitive inventory tracking, which when combined with the warehouse inventory system will allow more efficient management of the space.

Scottsdale Leadership is extending congratulations to:

Kelly Adams |Senior Assistant Vice President Brokerage Excess Quality | Nationwide Insurance

Angelica Backalukas | Allied Health Program Director | Scottsdale Community College

Scott Beilke | Managing Director | Brighton Leadership

Sarah Beloshapka | Senior Environmental Coordinator | Salt River Project

Jill Boehm | Police Operations Support Director | City of Scottsdale

Christopher Brown | Partner | Jones, Skelton & Hochuli

Bryce Buchanan | Real Estate Advisor | Launch Powered by Compass

John Campbell | Senior Vice President, Senior Managing Director | Northern Trust

Lauren Dessis | Vice President | Dessis Agency

Kristi Gagnon | Fire Marshal | City of Scottsdale

Austin Grizzell | Associate Financial Advisor | SJS Investment Services

Stacey Gross | Producing Branch Manager | Nations Lending

Betty Hancock | Financial Advisor | Merrill Lynch Wealth Management

Aaron Howard | Founder | Howard Wealth Advisors

Daniel Ishac | Retired Consultant/Actuary

Rachel Jensen | Director of Supply Chain | TAG-The Aspen Group

Dr. Sara Johnson | Assistant Principal Arcadia High School | Scottsdale Unified School District

Albert Johnson | Senior Engineer | Salt River Project

Steven Johnson | Owner | Safe Haven Defense

Steve Kelly | Associate Vice President | Nationwide Insurance

Kelly Kunst | Concierge Resident Services | RPM Living

Kelsey Lamper | Operations Supervisor Adaptive Services | City of Scottsdale

Dr. Eric Leshinskie | President | Scottsdale Community College

Thomesa Lydon | Owner/Operator | LYDON Senior Pathways Re/Max Excalibur

David Masters | Financial Advisor | Edward Jones

Teresa Milner | Senior Wealth Advisor | Pearl Capital Management

Michelle Myers | Vice President Marketing | Experience Scottsdale

Dan Newhart | Vice President Ticketing | Fiesta Bowl

Anna Oliver | Senior Manager Donor Recruitment | Vitalant

ShaRon Rea | Life and Family Coach | The Whole Family Coaching

Quita Remick | Founder/Principal | Hiit Pause

Christian Sanft | Branch Director | Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale

Dale Shafer II | Founder/Financial Advisor | Life Moves Wealth Management

Ryan Sheade | Founder/Clinical Director | Integrated Mental Health Associates

Mike Snyder | Irrigation Systems Supervisor/Contract Administrator | City of Scottsdale

Rachel Tarman | Business Development Manager | VIP Mortgage

Donna Tew | SkillBridge Specialist | HonorHealth

Kimberley Valentine | Vice President/Chief Advancement Officer | Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

Lindsay Vanegas | Arts & Education Coordinator | DC Ranch Community Council

Kristy Visconti | Vice President/Financial Advisor | Merrill Lynch Wealth Management

Anthony Washington | CEO/Co-Founder | RaisinBread

Melanie White | Realtor | My Home Group

Jordan Woods | Senior Director Orthopedics & Sports Medicine | Banner Health

Gina Cosentino Zoulek | Manager E&S Business Operations | Nationwide Insurance

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