Welcome

Welcome to Mesa Leadership

The purpose of the Mesa Leadership Program is to cultivate leadership through education, exposure to the community, and interaction between class members. Our ultimate goal is to prepare students for a personal journey along the wonderful and rewarding path to community service.

Ribbon Cutting Planned for Mesa Veterans Resource Center

Mesa Leadership Class of 2018’s project to be unveiled Friday April 27

After many months of planning, collaboration with the City of Mesa, Mesa Community College and the Veterans Resource Center, the Reflection Garden project is ready for its debut. A ribbon cutting has been scheduled for Friday, April 27. The Center is located at 165 N Centennial Way, Suite 101.

An Open House will also be held at 7:30 to 9:30 am, with the Ribbon Cutting at 8:00 am.

The class of 2018 of the Mesa Leadership Training and Development program decided on this space to landscape and improve to provide a quiet space for veterans to find a moment of peace during stressful times. It’s also a place where comrades can sit together and share moments of conversation.

“It’s been an honor in so many ways to be a part of this,”  said Brian Lawson, MVRC Director. “I’m proud of Mesa Leadership as an alumni, and chair of Recruitment in bringing together a fantastic group of students who took on this project and ran with it. To also experience it as the Director and witness what it will bring to our veterans’ overall experience is all the more rewarding. We truly live in an amazing community.”

Mesa Veterans Resource Center help veterans with a centralized location in Mesa that offers one-stop resources in a safe environment with whatever issues our veterans may have. They assist with employment, soft skills training, resume assistance, benefits claims, health care, transportation, workshops, homelessness and mental health to name a few.

“We owe so much to these men and women who have served us, and it’s heartwarming to see the community and Mesa Leadership serve them,” Lawson added.

A New Year in Mesa Leadership is Coming – Will You be a Part of It?

Applications for Mesa Leadership Training and Development’s class of 2019 have been open, but sometimes it takes more than just reading a description on paper to understand the impact taking part in a class can have.

So, we’re excited to announce TWO opportunities to learn more about what’s involved with Mesa Leadership! Monday, April 30 and Wednesday, May 2 are our Open House days at the Mesa Veterans Resource Center from 6-7pm. Bring your questions – there will be alumni, board members and likely a few ready-to-graduate students on hand to give you the answers.

We’d like to boast a little…government leaders, educational leaders, nonprofits and law enforcement officials have all grown through the experience of Mesa Leadership. You will learn a ton about the City of Mesa and its partners. Even if you’ve called the city home for decades, many will tell you it’s an eye-opening experience that has led them to opportunities simply by meeting these leaders through tours or by in-class presentations.

Of course, there’s homework….but it’s what makes the classes so special. We mentioned we’ll be meeting you at the Mesa Veteran’s Resource Center, which is a great location, but it’s also the scene of the latest class project. Read more about it. Imagine what the collaborative efforts of a class that includes YOU can bring to Mesa!

Actually, don’t just imagine it. Do it – we look forward to meeting you Monday or Wednesday! Got questions? Contact recruitment chair Brian Lawson at brianlawson06@gmail.com for any questions on the application prior to the event.

You can also get a glimpse of what a class (this one is from our 2017 graduates) enjoys throughout its 9-month term here:

2019 Leadership: Will You be a Part of It?

Applications are now available for Mesa Leadership Class of 2019

Alumni have called their experiences in Mesa Leadership classes as an excellent Mesa Leadership Mary Cameliopportunity to get to know Mesa more deeply, and make an impact on the community they love so well. They have collectively impacted the Boys and Girls Club, Mesa Arts Academy and other schools, and currently will be changing the lives of Veterans at Mesa Veteran’s Resource Center.

What will your impact be….your legacy? You may never know until you take the bold step to apply for the 2019 Mesa Leadership Training and Development class. Applications are now available, and we encourage you to make the decision early. Deadline for the class applications is May 15, but we hope you take the time to carefully consider what you would like to learn from the class, as well as what talents you will bring to the group, and apply early.

If you’re not sure, you are encouraged to explore our website, visit us on Facebook, or contact us with any questions. Our alumni of 700+ includes council members, Vice Mayors, CEOs, state officials and other heads of companies. We’d love to welcome you into such an awesome company of community and corporate leaders.

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.

A Taste of the Islands in the Middle of the Desert

Mesa Leadership celebrated the holidays with a little hula on November 30, as they gathered for the annual Holiday Party.

This year’s event was held at the Mesa Arts Center in the Brown Sculpture Courtyard, and the food as well as the entertainment was provided by Royal Islanders, which is a Mesa business that has been in the area for about 30 years. The group served up dinner, then served up authentic Polynesian dancing, featuring performers from Tongo, Hawaii and Tahiti.

Tia Tuinei and wife Melekai own Royal Islanders and their daughter and granddaughter are  featured dancers in the troupe as well. As shown in the image in the lower right quarter above, they also believe in teaching and engaging their audience to learn native dances.

Tia strums and sings  authentic tunes from the islands while dancers move to the beat.

Healing and Reflection, Brick by Brick

The Mesa Leadership Class of 2018 is underway in creating their legacy through their class project, and they’ve chosen the Mesa Veterans Resource Center to benefit from their efforts.

Opened in 2017 through the collaboration of Mesa United Way, Mesa Community College and Mesa Chamber of Commerce, the Center facilitates Veterans’ access to a broader scope of service types and providers including homelessness, mental health, education, nutrition, healthcare, transportation, and countless others.

The Class of 2018 will be adding to their ability to offer a place of reflection in their Reflection Garden, which is an extension of the Center. It will include plantings, places to sit and rest, and will be paved with bricks that can be purchased and personalized by donors wishing to fund the project.

Just $75 allows donors to add a message of honor or remembrance for a loved one, or a message of encouragement for these veterans who will benefit from this peaceful place. 

With the holidays upon us, and nearly everyone having someone in their family who has served in the military, this is an ideal and lasting gift to give. Click on the image to visit their website and order your brick today!

We are proud of the efforts of the Mesa Leadership Class of 2018, and hope they realize everyone’s support of this worthy project.

Happy “Hula”Days!

Mesa Leadership to Celebrate the Holidays with Hawaiian Flair

There’s so much to celebrate in Mesa Leadership…our current class represents the 32nd to come through the program, and is promising to continue the legacy of learning and contributing to the community with a great class project. In addition, our alumni contributions and achievements have made Mesa a great place to do business and grow.

So in that spirit we’re inviting all of our alumni, members and current class participants to join us on Thursday, November 30 for our annual Holiday party.

This year’s event takes place at Mesa Arts Center in the Brown Sculpture Courtyard, from 6 to 8 pm. You’re invited to bring one guest, and given our “Holiday Hawaiian Luau” theme, we’d love to see everyone in Hawaiian shirts! The evening promises dinner, entertainment, laughter, meeting new friends and catching up with others.

Please RSVP Shannon Heinze, Events Chairperson, at sheinze@guildmortgage.net to reserve your spot!

Happy New Year, Mesa Leadership!

Mesa Leadership Training and DevelopmentOn a gorgeous Saturday outdoors, the new Board of Directors for Mesa Leadership Training and Development got together inside to set the new year in motion, but no one was complaining.

Many new faces on the board mean exciting new ideas and energy to enhance the experience for our incoming class as well as our longtime alumni. Membership value and offerings were discussed to continue to engage graduates long after they’ve received their diplomas.

The 2017-2018 Board includes:

Chair: Mandy Rogers
Chair Elect: Lucy Lopez
Secretary: Larry Burke
Past Chair: David DiPietro
Recruitment Chair: Brian Lawson
Tours/Program Liaison: Sharon Brause
Program Advancement: Lynn Runyan
Communications Chair: Denise Konkol
Alumni/Community Events: Shannon Heinze
Social Chair: Lori Chaplin
Placement Chair: Dan Walker
Curriculum co-chairs: Diana Clevenger, Dustin Loehr, Mara Benson

Directly after the Board Retreat, many of the members reconvened to start the interview process for our candidates.

“We’re impressed once again by the calibre of talent that our candidates represent,” said Recruitment Chair Brian Lawson. “The word about Mesa Leadership is getting out, and we’re pleased at the response we’ve gotten.”

Our class of 2018 will be announced by the beginning of July 2017, with the first class scheduled for August 4.

Mesa Leadership Graduates 2017 Class

On Friday May 5, Mesa Leadership graduated their 36th class. Congratulations to the vibrant, engaged and diverse members of the class of 2017. We celebrated with some encouraging words from Mayor Giles and an inspirational leadership message from our Keynote Speaker Colonel Frank Milstead, Director of the Arizona Department of Public Safety. The accomplished class members are:

  • 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
  • Marilyn Stromsness
  • Leanne Thomson
  • Terry Valerio
  • Dan Walker
  • John Zielonka

Congratulations to our newest alumni.

2017 Mesa Leadership Class Project

Schools are a vital part of our community, providing a place where learning and relationships grow through lesson plans and classroom activities. Often these goals are sidelined however, not by what happens in the classroom, but rather on the playground.
Recess can be a source of stress, exclusion and bullying for many students, which impacts their performance when they return to class, and in some instances affects student attendance throughout the year. Continue reading 2017 Mesa Leadership Class Project