Notice: Trying to get property 'session_id' of non-object in /home/lwestorg/public_html/wp-content/plugins/charitable/includes/public/class-charitable-session.php on line 407

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/lwestorg/public_html/wp-content/plugins/charitable/includes/public/class-charitable-session.php:407) in /home/lwestorg/public_html/wp-includes/feed-rss2.php on line 8
Leadership West Forging the Future of West Valley Fri, 06 May 2022 16:36:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Leadership West 32 32 197255149 Leadership West: Effective Community Leaders on AESD Scoop Tue, 02 Nov 2021 21:03:07 +0000 Avondale Elementary School District Scoop: Podcast
Connecting beyond the classroom. Leadership West Feature

The post Leadership West: Effective Community Leaders on AESD Scoop appeared first on Leadership West.


Michelle Hess had a wonderful time speaking with aesd on how Leadership West is impacting our West Valley and forging the future of leaders.

The post Leadership West: Effective Community Leaders on AESD Scoop appeared first on Leadership West.

]]> 0 891
The Piano Tue, 02 Nov 2021 20:35:05 +0000 "Pianos may come and go and be of different types and styles, but a piano is still a beautiful treasure to own no matter it’s style or type." Written by Alumni Betty S Lynch

The post The Piano appeared first on Leadership West.


Years ago, when Cindy was getting to the age to take lessons, we’d gone piano shopping in Fairfield, CT. We quickly discovered our bank account had  no appetite for the price of the beautiful pianos. However, there was a couple looking for a piano for their older daughter and they could afford the new pianos. Jack was talking with them and learned they had an older piano they wanted to sell so he got their information and after, returning home, he contacted them.

Their piano was a large Steinway Grand piano in need of tuning and in pretty bad appearance. He knew he could remedy both so we bought the piano and had it delivered to our home   We had it tuned and Jack totally and beautifully refinished it. It was a Steinway. Cindy took lessons on it for many years. I continued to play my hymns and favorite songs as well.

Each time I had a conference anywhere, either Cindy or Jack usually accompanied me. By 1994, Cindy was married and living in Michigan so if we could afford such, Jack would come along and check out the area while I attended classes.

Thus, during a National Conference of the Cities, we were in Iowa. Jack decided to check out the area. Since we both loved anything musical, and he’d always had a dream of taking piano lessons, as he could play some by ear, he wandered into a piano store and was looking around. While doing so, he was checking out the various pianos.

He came upon an unusual Samick grand piano which was a smaller version of the Steinway Grand piano we currently owned. This one could be plugged into the wall, played itself, played using cd’s built for it, had built in musical instruments to accompany the player, while being played manually or automatically. Samick at the time and later was also building Steinway pianos according to some research I’ve done. He was fascinated with this piano.

While we were at dinner that evening he told me of his excursion. Since we were staying on a day or so after my convention, he insisted I see the piano. I realized later he had an ulterior motive as anything designed and made of mahogany held a special place in my heart. Not only was this a beautiful mahogany but was also burgundy in color and had a bench which matched perfectly which held the sheet music. 

Although, we still had the piano, Jack convinced me we should upgrade to this new one. It wasn’t extremely hard as I really loved it. So, we made an offer to purchase it. Unfortunately, it was out of stock in our color; but they guaranteed they’d get one, deliver it and we’d enjoy owning it. 

Of course, on returning home, to Connecticut, we had to deal with the huge Steinway we owned. We advertised it for sale. A young couple, with a darling little girl came to look at it. They could afford it but needed to get it moved. We had a friend with a  large truck who agreed to help. The legs were removed from the piano, piano blankets from a job Jack had had as a young man were wrapped around it, and between the three men, it was loaded, legs and all. Jack followed to help unload and assemble. So, two little girls had been made happy with pianos under much the same circumstances many years apart.

Several months later, our beautiful burgundy piano was delivered and Jack stated taking lessons. One evening his sister and her husband were visiting for dinner,  I mentioned Jack’s lessons and suggested he pay for them. We’d already agreed he’d use the player part vs actually playing. However, it the midst of it all,  he began to laugh and they figured out what has occurring. He did, however, play a song he’d learned,  

Shortly thereafter, we made the move to from Ct to Arizona. Jack continued taking lessons, I played my favorite songs and hymns as I’d always played since I was quite young. Almost 20 years later came the time for me to move to La Loma. What to do with the beautiful piano?

Since none of my family is nearby,  I have a dear friend and former co-worker who is in charge of my affairs if anything should happen to me. She has two sons, who are the only grandsons I’ll ever have. I chose to give them the piano for their upcoming lessons. They took lessons at the school they attended at their church in Laveen. I attended several recitals. Will, the eldest is in high school there now and had also learned from his Dad  to play the guitar. He then taught his younger brother to accompany him. Recently, he’s begun to learn the accompanying instruments on the piano.

A week or so ago, I attended an event at Boswell Hospital where their new COO was to speak. However, while introducing the COO, an officer of Sun Health showed a picture of a beautiful Samick full sized grand piano that had been gifted to Boswell and stands near it’s Donor wall in the lobby. She said she was amazed and pleased to walk in and find the COO playing the piano. 

Of course, I realized I had a story to write. Pianos may come and go and be of different types and styles, but a piano is still a beautiful treasure to own no matter it’s style or type.

The post The Piano appeared first on Leadership West.

]]> 0 877
Council of Wonders Tue, 05 Oct 2021 16:43:00 +0000 Shelby Duplessis, Leadership West, Past President shares the importance of connecting.

The post Council of Wonders appeared first on Leadership West.

So often during the pandemic we were faced with many challenges, from scarcity of essential supplies to maneuvering relationships and working and schooling at home. However, it also gave us time to reflect on our priorities and learn how to “do life” in other ways.

For me, the epiphany came when I realized I have a decade birthday soon to be celebrated, taking stock of my future, and analyzing how much time I spend doing for others, and not focusing on self-care. With so much concern for others and their physical and emotional well being at home and work, it dawned on me that in order to achieve my optimal performance as a professional, mother, friend, partner, and community volunteer, I needed a group of people, my tribe, to help me clarify my needs. I call them my Council of Wonders because they help me learn how I can fully experience a balance of work and life using the four dimensions below. Seeing the wonderfulness of life is a value I hold dear to me and helps me be the best version of myself.

Often we see asking for help as a sign of weakness, or being selfish. I view it as not just asking for help, but manifesting my needs in order to make me and others, stronger. I truly believe, you are no good to others if you are not good to yourself. According to the Crisis and Trauma Resource Institute, Lynda Monk, author, there are four key dimensions of Self-care:

Physical (the body) – to live, move, and breath – Physical self-care involves ensuring an overall healthy lifestyle that includes eating healthy, drinking lots of water, and getting plenty of exercise. Consider decluttering your home and office so that you have a feeling of spaciousness and manageability. Take time away from computers, TV, and your smartphone (sedentary lifestyles are a health issue). Enjoy moments to rest and replenish.

Emotional (heart) – to love, care, and be in relationship with yourself and others – Emotional self-care might include setting clear boundaries on your time and energy. Engage emotional boundaries within helping relationships, surrounding yourself with positive people and affirmative and inspiring messages. Address any issues or problems so that they don’t build up. Give and receive love, kindness, and support. Spend time with people you care about and who care about you.

Psychological (the mind) – to learn, think, and grow – Psychological self-care activities might include personal and professional development. Give attention to things that are in your control (your sphere of influence). Take time for personal reflection. Notice your inner experiences, thoughts, and feelings. Cultivate self-awareness through things such as journaling, getting feedback from others, meditation, coaching/counselling, and consultation or supervision – places where you have the opportunity to grow, learn, and reflect.

Spiritual (the spirit) – to connect with essence, purpose, and meaning – Spiritual self-care might include prayer or meditation. You may want to visualize, practice gratitude, spend time in nature, and be aware of the non-material aspects of your life. Identify what is meaningful to you in your work and life. Practice mindfulness and being present in the moment.

In my work life as a civil engineer and president of the Empire Group of Companies, I am called upon to strategically negotiate, lead, purchase and develop land and projects and focus on the enhanced quality of life for residents. As a mom, it is to guide and model opportunities for my children, and as a volunteer in my community, it is to help others see the value in making a difference. Using these four dimensions help center me and I believe will help you as you negotiate your future.

As we all look at our pandemic lessons, keep them as a reminder of how you and others can build on the experiences and use your own Council of Wonders to help you care for yourself and I promise, you will be stronger and more resilient and ready to face any challenge that will be presented to you. Good luck as you build your tribe!

The post Council of Wonders appeared first on Leadership West.

]]> 0 845
West Valley Youth Leadership Scholarship Tue, 05 Oct 2021 16:10:42 +0000 Leadership West and WESTMARC together provide an annual West Valley Youth Leadership Scholarship, presented by the WESTMARC Education & Workforce Committee.

The post West Valley Youth Leadership Scholarship appeared first on Leadership West.

To positively impact up and coming leadership talent, the scholarship is presented to a West Valley graduating high school senior who had demonstrated exemplary leadership qualities, and who plans to attend a college, university or post-secondary vocational school located in the West Valley. The West Valley Youth Leadership Scholarship aims to keep outstanding, young talent here in the West Valley.

Accomplished high school graduates may apply for the scholarship here.

Eligible candidates:

· graduated from a West Valley high school

· plan on attaining higher education in the West Valley

· can share about a time when they’ve exhibited leadership skills

· can speak how they intend to use their studies to impact the West Valley

· participate in their communities to enhance leadership capacity

Leadership West and WESTMARC seek creative partnerships to grow the scholarship fund to ensure its sustainability to benefit students into the future. If you are interested in donating to the scholarship fund, please contact

Best of the West Youth Scholarship Winners

Luisa Rodriguez from Best of the West 2020 (LEFT)

Mariah Washington from Best of the West 2019 (CENTER)

Alexis Killian from Best of the West 2018 (RIGHT and VIDEO)

The post West Valley Youth Leadership Scholarship appeared first on Leadership West.

]]> 0 838
Invest in West Valley Leaders Mon, 30 Aug 2021 06:53:15 +0000 Forging the Future, in Partnership with the Great Organizations in West Valley.

The post Invest in West Valley Leaders appeared first on Leadership West.

Empowering leaders to advance commerce and quality of life in the West Valley is a great undertaking. Leadership West is a 501c3 that relies on the support of people and organizations who believe that the West Valley deserves to develop and retain exceptional leaders.

We cannot do it without you. Find a suitable investment opportunity!

BenefitIssue Day Sponsor $1,000Single Event Sponsor* $2,000Strategic Sponsor $2,500Visionary Sponsor $5,000Pinnacle Sponsor $7,500
President’s Circle Member  XXX
Flagship Program Participant   12
Leadership West Institute Participant  124
Tickets to President’s Circle Luncheon  111
Tickets to West-X Summit  244
Tickets to C-Squared Event  224
Alumni Dues Covered  124
Segment on an Issue DayX   X
Support with Youth Council or Commission Training  XXX
Logo on WebsiteXXXXX
Logo in NewsletterXXXXX
Social Media Recognition1X2X3X4X5X
Access to Alumni Database  XXX
Naming Rights*    X

*Naming Rights:  Leadership West Flagship Program, Institute, and Alumni Association are unique groups with their own branding and presence. Naming Rights opportunities are limited, so this benefit is first come, first serve.

*Single Event Sponsor: Focus a contribution on a specific event that resonate with your organization. Events to sponsor include C-Squared events, the West-X Summit, Mixers, Graduation, and the annual alumni event.

Leadership West is the only organization in the West Valley that offers programs promoting a behind-the-scenes look at issues facing the West Valley. Topics that leaders and cohorts focus on include civic engagement, healthcare, education, public safety, quality of life, sports and entertainment, job creation, water, and infrastructure.

Our nonprofit represents every aspect of the region. We are mayors and council members; school board members and educators; real estate developers and architects; medical providers; small business owners and corporate giants; grass roots activists; media executives; municipal employees; non-profit directors; lawyers; municipal employees; artists and more.

Start Your Investment & Contact Leadership West:

The post Invest in West Valley Leaders appeared first on Leadership West.

]]> 0 656
West-X Leadership Summit Mon, 30 Aug 2021 06:40:52 +0000 We're showcasing leaders who are charting new paths & pushing the envelope each year at our West-X Leadership Summit.

The post West-X Leadership Summit appeared first on Leadership West.

Find innovative, disruptive and powerful leadership ideas at the annual West-X Leadership Summit by Leadership West Alumni Association (LWAA).

Join Leadership West each February for a collective burst of leadership adrenaline. In a showcase of advanced West Valley leadership, experience high-energy, Ted Talk style presentations from proven trailblazers – leaders who are charting new paths, pushing the envelope and challenging the status quo.

Ready to be provoked, challenged and invited to consider new and different perspectives? West-X Leadership Summit is for you. Depart from the summit with ideas to enhance your leadership abilities.

Become a sponsor of West-X Summit! Contact to learn more and secure sponsorship.

BenefitSilver $600.00Gold $1,000.00Platinum $2,500.00
Table of 8 with logo recognition on table
Logo on all printed materials, including advertisements in email and print marketing materials, social media presence, program and recognition on signs at event.
Verbal recognition at Summit     
Welcome the keynote speaker     
Welcome the first speaker     

The post West-X Leadership Summit appeared first on Leadership West.

]]> 0 642
What are C-Squared Events? Mon, 30 Aug 2021 06:35:10 +0000 Controversial + Consequential. We explore & encourage leaders to dive right into topics with varying perspectives.

The post What are C-Squared Events? appeared first on Leadership West.

Don’t be shy.
Leadership West is not ‘hush hush’ over topics that are controversial and consequential for the West Valley. We encourage leaders to dive right into the issues, and learn about all of the perspectives surrounding them along the way. A great leader is eager to see all sides - Inquiry before Advocacy!

Examples of topics that have been discussed and debated at C-Squared events include common core, immigration, marijuana and open primaries. Leadership West hosts these events so you can: 

1) gain a balanced understanding of hot-button issues;

2) further develop leader to leader relationships with students and alumni; and

3) enjoy a delicious meal with others who love the West Valley.

C-Squared events aim for clarity, not consensus. Leadership West arms leaders with the same facts so that they have an understanding of each opposition’s point of view. Claims are challenged and understandings are broadened when credible spokespersons from all sides are present. Debates at C-Squared events are overseen by a highly-skilled moderator.

The post What are C-Squared Events? appeared first on Leadership West.

]]> 0 639
2020 Regional Impact Project – Stand Up, Speak Up, Save a Life Conference Mon, 23 Aug 2021 15:25:25 +0000 While Leadership West graduates can be found engaged in various service project in the West Valley throughout the year, the Leadership West Alumni Association (LWAA) hosts an annual Regional Impact Project for alumni to engage in the community together at a specific location in need.

The post 2020 Regional Impact Project – Stand Up, Speak Up, Save a Life Conference appeared first on Leadership West.

Leadership West alumni take ownership in the West Valley together.

In 2020, LWAA’s Regional Impact Project was the Stand Up, Speak Up, Save a Life Conference. Three colleagues from the Leadership West Flagship Program Class XXII reviewed reports stating that 768 Arizona children died in 2018, and that 39 percent of the deaths were preventable. Often cited was the stigma of not being comfortable asking for help as well as missed warning signs that seemed to accompany every school tragedy. These Arizona statistics furthered the call to action:

  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death in youth 10-34 years old.
  • Arizona loses a teenager to suicide every 5.5 days
  • For every completed suicide, there are over 200 attempts.
  • 1 in 5 children will be bullied in the upcoming school year

The Stand Up, Speak Up, Save a Life Conference was held on January 21, 2020 at Grand Canyon University, and brought together more than 5,000 students, staff, families and communities from public, private, and charter schools, as well as youth groups. At least 500 volunteers helped facilitate the event.

“The conference has grown to impact over 380,000 students in anti-bullying and suicide prevention efforts in schools throughout Arizona,” said Shelby Duplessis, President of Leadership West. “As a parent, I always want to know my children are safe and secure and being involved gives me the chance to help my children feel empowered to speak up.”

The conference had many lasting components, including parent and community meetings across the Valley, and partnerships with local organizations to help everyone Stand Up, Speak Up and Save Lives. It’s not too late to join the movement – visit

Visit the Leadership West events page for more information about upcoming Regional Impact Projects.

The post 2020 Regional Impact Project – Stand Up, Speak Up, Save a Life Conference appeared first on Leadership West.

]]> 0 547
WESTMARC & Leadership West Top Golf Partee Photo Recap Tue, 10 Aug 2021 14:58:29 +0000 A visual recap of our event at Top Golf West Valley with WESTMARC.

The post WESTMARC & Leadership West Top Golf Partee Photo Recap appeared first on Leadership West.


WESTMARC and Leadership West Topgolf Tournament

The post WESTMARC & Leadership West Top Golf Partee Photo Recap appeared first on Leadership West.

]]> 0 381
The Civic Ownership Mindset Is What Sets Leaders Apart Mon, 19 Jul 2021 21:21:14 +0000 We often hear about the need for greater Civic Engagement, but what does that mean exactly? Getting involved? Running for office? Serving on a board or commission?

The post The Civic Ownership Mindset Is What Sets Leaders Apart appeared first on Leadership West.

You have the power to influence decisions that impact the fabric of your community. You can make life better for everyone.

Each of us operate personally and professionally in a large civic ecosystem that is the West Valley. If you employ your leadership skills to improve quality of life and commerce for all, you might just be a 4th Quadrant Leader.

A 4th Quadrant Leader is an individual with a highly developed set of leadership skills combined with an equally developed Civic Ownership Mindset.

The Civic Ownership Mindset is the highest manifestation of Love of Community. It’s about selflessly taking action to protect, promote and give back to the people and businesses that make up a community. Think William Wallace. Joan of Arc. Ghandi.

4th Quadrant Leaders are rare. Not all wonderful leaders know how to leverage their skills in benefit of the community. Not all civic-minded individuals have the leadership skills required to be an effective steward of change. That’s where Leadership West steps in.

Through the Leadership West Flagship Program, courageous leaders in the West Valley are exposed to the realities and issues surrounding their region, so that they can better serve it. The program empowers leaders to hone in on their leadership skills and realize that it is themselves who will ensure the region’s prosperity.

The complexity and significance of challenges and opportunities in the West Valley continue to grow. The region needs 4th Quadrant Leaders who will make the best of both to ensure onward and upward growth. You have what it takes to be a 4th Quadrant Leader. Further develop your leadership skills and civic ownership mindset through the Leadership West Flagship Program.

Getting in the right frame of mind.

We often hear of the need for greater civic engagement. What does that mean, exactly? Getting involved, running for office, or serving on a board? To Leadership West, it means more engagement in the form of action, combined with a selfless motive.

An individual’s engagement can help the community or hurt the community – but it’s still ‘engagement.’  Those seeking to benefit themselves by engaging in the public sphere don’t necessarily make things any better, yet they are civically engaged.  What society needs – what the West Valley needs – is more individuals that become civically engaged with the right mindset – the Civic Ownership Mindset. The term ‘ownership’ refers to stewardship, not possession.

Become part of the Leadership West Flagship Program to further develop your Civic Ownership Mindset.

The post The Civic Ownership Mindset Is What Sets Leaders Apart appeared first on Leadership West.

]]> 0 166