Category Archives: Uncategorized

Raising a Glass to Raise Funds for Veterans Resource Center

Four Peaks Brewing Co. steps up in a big way to help Mesa Leadership’s Class of 2018

The Mesa Leadership Class of 2018 has been making their mark with their spirit of cooperation and unity, and this has carried into the planning for their class project, which involves a Reflection Garden at the Mesa Veteran’s Resource Center. So far, the class has raised $15,000 to landscape and pave the garden, which is designed to be a place of quiet for veterans who may be struggling, or just in need of calm and peace.

The class approached Arizona’s own Four Peaks Brewing Co., which responded with a generous offer to help fund the project. Now through February 19, Four Peaks will donate $1 toward the Reflection Garden when you buy a pint of Pitchfork Pale Ale, at any of their locations in the Valley, up to $5,000.

Mesa Leadership Four Peaks

The Veterans Reflection Garden is a plaza that will be located adjacent to the Mesa Veterans Resource Center at 165 N. Centennial Way in Mesa. The garden will also provide a space for veterans groups to gather, host events and increase public awareness of veterans’ issues.

“When we heard the garden was in need of funds, we knew we had to help,” the company said in their blog. “So we’re ‘pitching in’ the best way we know how: By selling beer. From January 19 to February 19, we’re donating $1 from every pint of Pitchfork Pale Ale sold at bars across the Valley—up to a maximum of $5,000—to the project.

“Supporting our veterans through the creation of this garden was a no-brainer for us,” said Four Peaks founder and head brewer Andy Ingram, whose father served in the U.S. Air Force. “Whether they’re friends or family, everyone knows a veteran who deserves a space like this to relax.”

In addition, there will be a happy hour celebration at Four Peaks’ 8th Street brewpub at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 19.  They will be hosting the class and other volunteers and donors who’ve collaborated  to help make the reflection garden a reality. The public is also invited to attend, and thank this group for their efforts.

Want to donate to the project but prefer to skip the suds? No problem. Just visit the Veterans Resource Center donation website.

Welcome to the 2017 Class

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.

Jared Archambault
Mara Benson
Polly Bonnett
Larry Burke
Sare Burke
Justin Cardwell
Lori Chaplin
Lindsay Deitch
Jennifer Dennison
Sabine Ellis
Talona Felix
Kelly Hammer
Wallace Haws
Nicholas Kenny
Denise Konkol
Justin Krehbiel
Tracy Langston
Dustin Loehr
Deb McLean
Danny Ray
Ivan Smith
Marilyn Stromsness
Leanne Thomson
Terry Valerio
Dan Walker
John Zielonka

Class Project – Playground Improvements

PlaygroundThis 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.






Class Project – Mural

MuralCollageThe 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.

The 2016 Mesa Leadership Class is Having a Great Year!

How do I know? I’ve been reading all about it in Jill Adair’s blog. Jill is a Freelance Journalist and an Associate Faculty Member at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications. She is writing about her experience going through the Mesa Leadership Training and Development Program.

Her description of the Greenfield Water Reclamation Plant was hilarious and informative. The MARC Community Resources post was touching and interesting. And there’s a lot more.

Follow her blog at:

And look for her articles in The Arizona Republic and on azcentral. Here’s a link to a recent one.

Thanks for Making a Difference

Our Make a Difference Day was a HUGE success! On Saturday October 24 a group of about 25 volunteers worked on cleaning the public garden and some vacant lots in the Washington/Escobedo neighborhood. Thanks to all of the volunteers from the neighborhood and from Mesa Leadership. People brought friends and family. We did a lot of great work in just a few hours. Much appreciation to the organizers who brought us all together for a fun and productive Sunday morning.

Maria, a representative from the neighborhood, who was helped get us focused and organized said, “Thanks to you, the Washington-Escobedo neighborhood woke up to a happier, beautiful, and more livable place!”

daidone group1

littlegirl IMG_0318

IMG_0304 IMG_0309


IMG_0324 IMG_0315 IMG_0313


September Class Focuses on Diversity, Social Services and Advocacy

The September Class will be held at Benedictine University. Guests will include Vice Mayor Dennis Kavanaugh, Mesa Sister Cities President Dustin Ewert, Mesa MLK Jr Committee President Angela Booker, Paz de Cristo Board Member and Human Resources Manager for St Vincent de Paul Dr. Michael Fleming and Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement Coordinator Jacque Starks. Activities will include a diversity exercise and a social services roundtable. It should be a great session for this remarkable class.

Class of 2016 Gears Up for First Class Session

The first class will be held on Friday August 7 and focuses on Mesa Past and Present. Mesa Past will be the Changing Facades of Mesa presented by Vic Linoff. Marc Garcia and Michelle Streeter from Visit Mesa will talk about Mesa Present. There will be a personal perspective from long-time Mesa resident Ivard Brimley. There will also be Leadership Activities and Presentations from Terry Benelli and Bob Caldwell. The day will end with a dinner for the participants at the beautiful Mesa Country Club. A fantastic class getting off to a great start. Special thanks to Visit Mesa for hosting the class day, Hilton Phoenix/Mesa for providing the lunch, all the presenters and the board members and curriculum committee who work to make the experience educational and memorable.