The 2017 Mesa Leadership Class is filled with talented, energetic citizens. I know they’ll have a fantastic year and do great things for our community.
The new board was elected at our Annual Meeting in May. The all-volunteer Board will serve through the graduation of the 2017 class. The board works hard to provide a quality program for each class and to implement improvements every year.
Dave DiPietro – Chair
Mandy Rogers – Chair Elect
Sharon Brause – Secretary
Dawn Forrest – Treasurer
Melissa Jones – Past Chair
Cristina Brennan – Alumni/Community Events
Kim Gauthier – Communication
Lucia Lopez – Program Advancement
Brian Lawson – Recruitment
Phyllis Reichard-Benson – Social
Mark Organek – Tours/Program Liaison
This is the last installment of the class project series–the office upgrade. Not as glamorous as a mural, a playgound, or the library, but it was an area in need of an upgrade. The class was able to secure donated furniture from SRP. (SRP always comes through for us.)
I know the staff at the Boys and Girls Club appreciate all the improvements that were made. We all hope it helps the kids enjoy their time there and that each one of them go on to fulfill their promise.
Everyone in the class felt that this was such a worthwhile project benefiting the children in our community. Everybody who had a role did an outstanding job. It’s amazing to see what can be done when 25 people set out to use their time, talents, resources and contacts for the benefit of their community!
We appreciate the contributions of the dozens if not hundreds of people and organizations in the community who contributed and participated to make this project a success.
Replenishing the Library at the Boys and Girls Club is one of my favorite elements of this class’s project. The book committee solicited new books from local authors and they were incredibly generous. At last count 243 new books were donated and more than 200 used books were donated.
The class was able to provide a lot of the supplies on the club’s wish list including thousands of pencils (they consider them “gold”). They were also presented a check for $500 for anything else that they needed.
A list of very generous authors.
Carol Schultz “Cracker & Kurt’s Baseball Game” and “Sandy Brown’s Butterflies”
Adam Baker “Maury C. Moose and the Forest Noel” www.maurycmoose.com
Sandra Wardman “Cody the Coyote” www.sandywardman.com
David J Guidera “A Perfect Christmas”
Leslie Carol “Royal Priesthood” and “Adams in Your Courtyard”
Rico Austin “Arizona Is Where I Live,” ” Mexico Got Lucky” and “My Bad Tequila”
Nancy K Arnold “Patriotic Pups”
Dani Miller “Paxton and Mali Find Their Boat”
Plynn Gutman “My Son Dave (the Duck)” and “Your Journal Companion”
Annette Mahon “The Secret Admirer”
R J McMillan “Tell Me About Your God. Available as an ebook in Kindle format through Amazon books. Order the paperback version through the author at email@example.com. Follow on Twitter @RJMcMillan99
This week’s focus is the improvements to the play areas at the Boys and Girls Club. The class repainted the outdoor basketball court lines and added the Mesa Arts Academy logo at center court. The class was able to get contractors to grade the area around the outside of the playground improve drainage and distribute rainwater to the retention basin instead of to the playground area. They also stabilized the area so that gravel doesn’t wash onto the basketball court. Several tons of large rocks around the perimeter of the Club were added to make it look nicer and aid in drainage. The contractors also installed a sidewalk on the west side of the playground for kids and parents to walk from the parking lot to the playground, create a buffer between the playground and the basketball court, and make the park ADA accessible.
The last few weeks of the Mesa Leadership year are always hectic with Graduation, the Annual Business meeting, recruiting for next year’s class. We haven’t had much time to close the loop on the Class Project. The next few posts will focus on the accomplishments this year’s class made at the Boys and Girls Club. The project was ambitious and included a mural, playground improvements, replenishing library materials, and an office upgrade. This week we’ll focus on the mural.
The group’s artist met with the Boys and Girls Club students to design the mural. Their ideas in pictures and words were transformed into a colorful 100-feet-long and 6-feet-high mural. The students and the members of the class all got a chance to paint. The act of creating the mural crossed ethnicities, experience, race, and age. Now the children have this mural to remind them that anything they want to do, they can.
Next week: more about the Playground Improvements.
Mesa Leadership honored 23 graduates at a ceremony at the Hilton on Friday May 6. The graduates were Jill Adair, Journalist; Jerry Bianco, No Slip Arizona; Julie Bigler, Mesa Fire and Medical; Michael Book, HDR Inc; Sharon Brause, Mesa Purchasing; Diane Cantile, Community Volunteer; Diana Clevenger, Mesa Police; Vince Evans, SRP; John Gilliam, Outerwall; Jaime Glasser, Artist; Missy Gleason, DMB Associates Inc.; Lyn Gorton, Relay for Life; Shannon Heinze, Guild Mortgage; Pei Hseih, Good Neighbor Insurance; Robert Kjar, The Fit Stop; Wayne LaMarre, Mesa Energy Resources; Matt Long, Solutions Real Estate; Patti Oskvarek, Mesa Business Services; Kristen Rubi, SRP; Lynn Runyan, SRP; Morgan Sarager, SRP; Susan Tychman, Mesa Chamber of Commerce; and Mark Young, Mesa United Way.
The highlight of the evening was the Keynote Address by Claudia Walters Interim President and CEO of the Mesa United Way. She’s a former Mesa Vice Mayor and Council Member and she was the 2009 Mesa Woman of the Year. She inspired the graduates by telling them about the Power of Yes. Mayo John Giles welcomed the graduates to the fraternity of service.
On Saturday April 9, the Mesa Leadership Class of 2016 participated in the Relay for Life raising over $2,000 for the American Cancer Society and had a lot of fun doing it. They were awarded a Track sign. Track signs are awarded to teams who raise more than $1,000 and are color coded so teams can move up as they raise more money each year. Some of the longer serving teams at the Relay proudly display 6 or 7 Track signs. Congratulations Class and Lyn Gorton, the class member who led the team.
Next year they plan to invite alumni to be involved so be looking for information about this very fun and worthy event in the Spring of 2017.