Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce Chronology


On July 2, Army Chaplain Winfield Scott and his wife Helen paid $2.50 an acre for land that is the present corner of Scottsdale Road and Indian School (640 acres, filing on Section 23, Township 2 North, Range 4 East of the Gila and Salt River Base and Meridian, Maricopa County, Arizona, under the Desert Land Act of 1877). In December, Scott’s brother George Washington Scott moved to the land where they planted barley, then citrus trees.  Chaplain Scott advocated for the town’s first school, the area as a health and tourism destination and welcomed Scottsdale’s first artist.  He was often called a ‘one man chamber of commerce’ through his death in October 1910.



Scottsdale’s first retail business – the J.L. Davis’ General Store – opened at what became the southwest corner of Main Street and Brown Avenue in Old Town Scottsdale.



First Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce informally organized, with offices in a room behind the then-new Farmers State Bank on the south side of Main Street (where Rusty Spur Saloon is now). That same year, the chamber’s office in the bank also housed the town’s first public library, which volunteers opened Aug. 7, 1921, and offered a variety of farming and ranching bulletins.



The Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce provided business, economic and community information to the annual end-of-December issue of The Arizona Republican that highlighted the assets of the unincorporated town of Scottsdale.



The Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce office closed when the Farmers State Bank closed during the Great Depression’s 1933 national “bank holiday;” however, the chamber continued to operate informally through the early 1940s before disbanding.



The 1940/41 Arizona Business and Professional Directory listed H.B. Ross as president and E.H. Richardson as secretary of the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce, stated the population of Scottsdale as 2,400 in the unincorporated area and listed farming the principal occupation.



Population of unincorporated Scottsdale area:  approx. 2,000.  Principal economy:  agriculture, with growing importance of tourism and arts/crafts.


The first edition of the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce News (Vol. 1, No. 1) was published in January.  It began with, “Dear Friend:  The Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce is starting a New Year and every person in Scottsdale is needed to get a few things done.  We needn’t do anything drastic but there are lots of little things that could be cleaned up if we got the backing of you people.”  It listed many new businesses that had opened during 1946 and the need to spruce up the town for an influx of winter visitors.  It invited the entire town to an organizational meeting of the chamber on January 9 at 8 pm in the cafeteria of the Elementary School (Scottsdale Grammar School #2/Loloma School).  Dave Hulet of the U.S. Soil Conservation Service was the guest speaker, explaining about the Indian Bend Soil Conservation Program; coffee and doughnuts served.


Wes Segner, representing the new Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce was among state-wide chamber presidents who met in February to form a state-wide chamber organization “to develop more co-operation between Arizona communities,” according to the Feb. 8 Arizona Republic.


The Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce officially incorporated (registered with the State of Arizona) as of March 6 with Wes Segner elected president. Ben Fox served as 1st Vice President, Reverend Leslie Ross as 2nd Vice President, Thurman Tyler as Secretary/Treasurer and A.V. Halterman as Member-at-Large.  In its early years, Cliff Carpenter served as the chamber’s manager (as an unpaid volunteer) as well as its board president (1949-1952).  The chamber’s board of directors met in various board members’ business locations (often the Arizona Craftsmen Center at Brown and Main) and, for general membership meetings, in the basement cafeteria of the Scottsdale Grammar School at 2nd Street and Marshall Way (later renamed the Loloma Elementary School).  Early dues:  $10.


From the minutes of the first board of directors meeting of the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce, March 6, 1947: “Discussion was had concerning…the affairs of The Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce…Particular emphasis was placed upon the activities of the chamber in having the County of Maricopa building a guard rail adjacent to the bridge of Paradise Road and of the Canal and of the erection of signs thereabouts tending toward the minimizing of the hazards of the highway at the intersection of Camelback Road and Paradise Road….Particular emphasis was also placed upon the action of the chamber in initiating the building of a bus terminal shelter and the establishment of a bus terminal adjacent to Earl’s Market….Discussion was also had concerning the sponsorship by the chamber of a youth program and the aid given by the chamber to the Scottsdale 4H Club.”


And from the minutes of the general membership meeting of the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce during its first year, 1947:  “The Scottsdale 4H Fair at present is the only yearly affair, and it was felt that there is a need for more attractions that could be established as yearly events to attract tourists and visitors.”


Other programs/projects mentioned in 1947 chamber meeting minutes included:  investigating possibility of street lights for the town, raising money for regular street oiling to keep the dust down, working toward getting Scottsdale established as a fire district with its own fire department, studying the possible incorporation of the Town of Scottsdale into a city, renaming streets and publishing the first official map of Scottsdale, publishing the area’s first tourism promotional literature, establishing Scottsdale’s first Community Chest fund for charitable and welfare activities in Scottsdale, encouraging the use of Western-style architecture throughout the town and promoting interest toward a Community Center.


The Aug. 17 edition of The Arizona Republic reported, “Fired by a rejuvenated chamber of commerce, the western community spirit has taken hold of Scottsdale and plans for 20 major projects are brewing – topped by a drive for an organized volunteer fire department.”


The Scottsdale Chamber sponsored the first Hi Neighbor Day for residents and families over Labor Day Weekend; Chamber President Wes Segner was chairman of the event, which was held on the Scottsdale High School grounds.


Scottsdale Chamber formed the Scottsdale Community Chest as a subsidiary…to fund town welfare and civic programs.  After two successful drives, an independent Community Chest organization formed in 1949, independent of the chamber.


The Scottsdale Chamber facilitated the reorganization of the Scottsdale Farm Bureau in December to serve the major driver of Scottsdale’s economy.


The Scottsdale Chamber urged Scottsdale businesses to build/remodel buildings with Western-type architecture to continue the town’s unique character and adopted the slogan “The West’s Most Western Town,” coined by business owner Malcolm White.



Attorney Robert Yount served as Scottsdale Chamber board president; the president’s and board members’ terms were calendar-year based through the early 1980s.


According to minutes of the board of directors, the (chamber) “President urged action on the following for 1948:


Barry Goldwater showed ‘sound-color films’ on Navajo land and shooting the Colorado River rapids at the May general meeting of the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce, held in the Elementary School Cafeteria (Scottsdale Grammar School #2/Loloma School), according to the May 20 issue of The Scottsdale Booster.


The Scottsdale Chamber enlisted the help of Boy Scout Troop 101 to survey all Scottsdale households.  Purpose was two-fold – to create a city directory for Scottsdale and to ‘determine the number of prospective users of natural gas, to assist the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce in its efforts to influence the Public Utilities to grant the community such service,” according to the May 20 Scottsdale Booster.


Scottsdale Chamber hosted the 2nd Annual Hi Neighbor Day family picnic July 10 on the Scottsdale High School athletic field.


The chamber’s goal of getting fire service was realized; Lou Witzeman started the Rural Fire Service with one truck, providing Scottsdale’s first subscription fire service for residents and businesses.


The Scottsdale Chamber sponsored a drive to raise funds for an iron lung during the national polio epidemic.  At a March 1949 chamber meeting, Carol Snell was made an honorary chamber member for her March of Dimes leadership, and money raised for the iron long was turned over to Maricopa County for purchase of a larger ‘lung’ for St. Monica’s Hospital in Phoenix.


First permanent Scottsdale Chamber offices were in the Walker Building on the southwest corner of Scottsdale and Grammar School Road (south of 2nd Street); no rent charged, compliments of Matlock real estate.


At its December meeting the chamber set three priorities for early 1949:  street paving, advertising signs and a horse rodeo.  It proceeded with the street and rodeo projects but formed a committee to study the advertising signs.  At the end of its second year, the chamber had 115 members (businesses as well as residents).



Cliff Carpenter served as chamber president for four consecutive terms, January 1949 through his resignation in September 1952.  During its first decades, members of the chamber’s board of directors were elected by the general membership, and, often, the president was the board member receiving the most votes to become a board director.


Scottsdale Chamber sponsored the Scottsdale Horse Rodeo, held February 12-13 at Camelback and Invergorden Roads (at the old Loveland polo field just east of Jokake Inn).  Scottsdale’s own internationally-renown trick rider Dick Griffith was the headliner.  The chamber requested everyone in Scottsdale to dress ‘Western.’  After the rodeo, the chamber donated lumber used to erect the rodeo stands to the Boys’ Club.


The Scottsdale Community Chest, mentored by the chamber in its first two years, became a stand-alone organization in February.


Sponsored by the Scottsdale Chamber, the Scottsdale Retail Trade Bureau formed in March with Andy Swick as its leader.   Without an official business licensing system in an unincorporated town, the newly formed Retail Trade Bureau asked businesses and potential businesses to apply for a chamber-issued “green card” before doing business here.  Goal was to “keep away gyp artists” and limit solicitations.  The Retail Trade Bureau also organized cleanups of downtown streets and alleyways and encouraged the elimination of fire hazards around businesses.


One of the Scottsdale Chamber’s first economic development success occurred when the Bank of Douglas opened on Main Street in April, the first financial institution in Scottsdale since 1933.


In early April, the Scottsdale Chamber began hosting public meetings to discuss and hear from experts about the pros and cons and process of Scottsdale incorporating as a town.


On behalf of the community Scottsdale Chamber President Cliff Carpenter welcomed CALAPCO’s natural gas service to Scottsdale at a celebratory event held on West Main Street April 29.  While it welcomed natural gas service, the chamber also met to oppose the route of the Davis Dam power line through Paradise Valley, contending that it would be unsightly and damage the area’s scenic reputation.


At the first general membership meeting of the fall season of the Scottsdale Chamber, after the business meeting ended, The Westernaires barber shop quartet performed.  It was common to have entertainment at most of the general membership meetings, ranging from films and speakers to music and other performances.


Chamber’s Paving Committee, chaired by Mort Kimsey, worked with merchants to get parts of West Main Street, First Avenue and Marshall Way paved, fighting the perennial menaces of dust and mud.


A Scottsdale Chamber committee worked with a Phoenix ad agency to design and erect the first street signs in Scottsdale.


In September, the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce moved its offices to the Al Lindsey Insurance Agency on East Main Street (next to the Spur Café and compliments of Mr. Lindsey).


The Scottsdale Chamber agreed to continue to ask property owners to maintain a Western motif, according to a Nov. 5 Arizona Republic article, with “false fronts, board awnings and porches, and all the trimmings.  The chamber also decided to encourage more persons to travel into the community on horseback and reported it will hire Spanish serenaders to sing in the town on Saturdays.”


The chamber helped the community officially open the winter tourism season with a dinner featuring a four-foot-square chicken pie, reported the Arizona Republic’s Dec. 14 edition.  More than 150 people attended the event at the American Legion Hall which also featured “hillbilly music and square dancing.”



The Scottsdale Women’s Club donated a lot located at the northwest corner of 1st Ave. & Marshall Avenue to the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce for a future community center.  When the community center was located elsewhere (by the Civic Coordinating Council and, later, the Town), the chamber conveyed the property back to the Women’s Club in 1960.


The Chamber again sponsored a two-day Horse Rodeo in February, which included a parade led by artist Oscar Strobel.  Over 400 horses participated.


The Scottsdale Chamber unveiled its first membership card (displayed on the front page of the March 9 Scottsdale Progress).


The chamber arranged for Western musical groups to play street music in the downtown area during March.  The chamber also organized a square dance held on East Main Street April 8.


After a fire destroyed the Arizona Craftsmen building on the southwest corner of Main and Brown, the Scottsdale Chamber and its members “pledged moral, financial and other aid to the extent of their ability to any of the occupants of the craftsmen’s building that might be in need of such help” according to the May 6 issue of The Arizona Republic.  The Craftsmen reopened in November at a new area north of town that would eventually be called Fifth Avenue.


The Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce softball team played “an aggregation of lawyers, grocerymen, druggists, theater owner, service station operators, real estate men and clerks,” according to the May 15 Arizona Republic.  Final score was a tie, 7 to 7.


The chamber erected a sign at the corner of Scottsdale Road and Main Street that pointed the way to the chamber office (on Main), listed times/dates/places for chamber membership meetings and included a blackboard where local groups (with chamber approval) could post notices of their events.  The sign was constructed and painted by Carl Daughtry, E.O. Brown, and B.L. Waggener.


The Chamber announced that it would begin an incorporation petition drive in early January 1951.  Dr. Phil Schneider chaired the committee.


The Sept. 9 Scottsdale Progress reported that the Scottsdale Chamber and the Los Latinos Club (Jesus Corral, president) were planning a Spanish Fiesta featuring street dances, to be held in early November to open the winter tourism season.  “Participating in the dances will be Spanish-American groups, Yaqui, Pima and Apache Indians.”



A chamber committee led by Dr. Phil Schneider began circulating petitions as of January 11 to support incorporating Scottsdale as a town.  “Petitions were so worded by Carl Tisor, Scottsdale attorney and chairman of the Chamber legal committee, that if signatures of two-thirds of the resident property owners can be obtained the town will automatically be declared by the [Maricopa County] Board of Supervisors.  If more than 10 percent but less than two-thirds sign, an election will be called by the Supervisors,” according to the January 11 edition of the Scottsdale Progress.


On Saturday, January 13, the Scottsdale Chamber, along with Goldwater’s Department Store and the Southern Pacific Railroad, sponsored the Harper’s Bazaar “Sunset Pinks” fashion show on a 500-foot runway ramp, extending down Main Street, from Scottsdale Road to Brown Avenue.


In April, the chamber erected five Western-style way-finding signs in or near Scottsdale to aid visitors in finding Scottsdale.


The chamber sponsored the Street Pavers Ball April 28 at the Camelback Inn to raise funds for paving the streets around the Scottsdale Grammar School to control dust.  The event, chaired by Dr. Phil Schneider, raised over $6,000.


After years of study and public hearings conducted by Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce, Scottsdale was incorporated as a town. which the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors declared as of June 25, 1951 without the need for an election.  Scottsdale Chamber member and merchant Malcolm White was appointed the town’s first mayor, serving July 1951 – June 1958.  The new municipal area was approx. half a square mile with a population of 2,032.


A chamber goal since organizing in 1947 was realized in October when the new Town Council signed a six-year contract for fire protection with the Scottsdale-based Rural Fire Protection Company.


Scottsdale Chamber sponsored the 1st Annual Sunshine Festival (forerunner of Scottsdale’s annual Parada Del Sol) in partnership with the Scottsdale Riding Club on November 17 to officially open the winter tourist season.  The daylong event included a parade, barbeque, and street dance.



During the fall, the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce erected the wooden Cowboy Sign at northeast corner of Scottsdale Road and Main Street where local groups could post information about their upcoming public events.  It was designed by local artist Monte Flagg, made of Masonite ® and featured a chalk board inside the cowboy’s lasso for posting event information.


The Civic Coordinating Council was formed, with the Scottsdale Chamber, other non-profits and concerned citizens joining to organize and fund recreation and welfare programs for Scottsdale residents.


Paul White assumed the chamber presidency in October at the resignation of four-term president Cliff Carpenter, who remained on the board of directors.  At the same October board meeting Walker McCune showed a color film of the Nov. 1951 Sunshine Festival.


Captain W. W. Whiteside, USN, retired became the voluntary, unpaid Scottsdale Chamber Manager.  His wife served as voluntary chamber secretary.


Scottsdale Chamber offices relocated to the Village Patio Shops on the north side of Main Street between Scottsdale Road and Brown Avenue ($50/month on a one-year lease from Orme Lewis).  Celebrating with a public open house on Oct. 8, the office opened in time for the fall tourist season kickoff; however, the chamber closed during summer months.


The Scottsdale Chamber published perhaps its first Classified Directory of Scottsdale Business Houses, Craftsmen and Gift Shops.   A comprehensive list, those businesses who were chamber members were highlighted in bold type.


Members of the Scottsdale Chamber decorated a 30-foot Christmas tree at the corner of Scottsdale Road and Main Street, touted on the front page of the Scottsdale Progress as the “Valley’s Largest.”



John Colwell, manager of the Bank of Douglas, was elected president of the chamber.


KTYL disc jockey Dick Gilbert was awarded a life membership in the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce for his ‘plugging’ of The West’s Most Western Town.


The chamber published a street map and business directory, designed by Wes Segner, and supported by chamber member advertising.


The chamber convened a committee to study much needed ambulance service in Scottsdale.


In September, the Scottsdale Chamber hired Skipper Ross as office manager and publicity director; her salary was $300 a month.


The Scottsdale Junior Chamber of Commerce/Jaycees formed; Scottsdale Chamber board member Sax Pettit served as chamber liaison to the new group.


The 3rd Annual Sunshine Festival took place Nov. 21, sponsored by the Civic Coordinating Council — the Scottsdale Chamber turning over the reins for the event after initiating and hosting it for its two inaugural years.  The 1953 event featured a parade, puppet show, barbeque, and talent show.



Mort Kimsey, manager of the Scottsdale APS office, was elected Scottsdale Chamber president.


In May, the chamber offices relocated to the Indian Arts Building at Pima Plaza, 43 W. 1st Ave. ($50/month rent).


The Scottsdale Town Council took the first steps to create a sign ordinance in Scottsdale by limiting large billboards.  As the sign ordinance tightened restrictions, businesses were impacted, and a chamber committee was formed to study the impact and offer suggestions to the Town.


The Scottsdale Chamber funded a study of Scottsdale’s business environment, conducted by the students in the Arizona State College School of Business (which was also conducting similar surveys in Tempe, Mesa, and Chandler).



Joe Lincoln, artist and entrepreneur, was elected Scottsdale Chamber board president.


A Scottsdale Chamber committee was appointed to discuss the need for a community hospital; the first site considered was north of Scottsdale High School.


Citing ‘acute financial distress,’ the chamber closed its offices temporarily in August, according to the Aug. 5 Scottsdale Progress.


In September, the Scottsdale Chamber hired its first full-time manager, Bob Bennett, who also assumed duties previously performed by Skipper Ross


The Scottsdale Chamber sponsored the Scottsdale Community Fair at Scottsdale and Indian School roads in September, crowning Judy Duff as queen of the fair.


The Scottsdale Jaycees took over the Sunshine Festival, moved it to a mid-winter date and renamed it Parada Del Sol.


Lee Brown published a Scottsdale street map for the chamber to distribute.



Mayor Malcolm White officially proclaimed January 22-28 Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce Week in Scottsdale.


K.T. Palmer, lawyer and developer, was elected Scottsdale Chamber board president.


The Scottsdale Chamber’s tourism efforts received a significant boost when the Baltimore Orioles made the new Scottsdale Ballpark their Spring Training home.


Scottsdale Chamber urged the Scottsdale Town Council to establish a Scottsdale airport.  The Chamber Board said in the April 27, 1956, edition of the Scottsdale Progress: “It was unanimously agreed that an airport classified by the FAA as general secondary is necessary for support and the need for increased light aircraft traffic in this area.  It was also agreed that a Scottsdale airport would prove of high value to the area and would greatly aid the existing economic growth of Scottsdale and Paradise Valley.”


The Scottsdale Chamber and its Hospital Committee continued to advocate for a hospital to locate in Scottsdale and helped potential organizers evaluate appropriate sites for a hospital.


The Scottsdale Chamber board approved application to register the following trademarks:  The West’s Most Western Town, Arizona Resort Capital, Resort Capital of Arizona, and Showplace of Phoenix.



Banker Vick Swanson was elected Scottsdale Chamber board president.


From the Feb. 6 board minutes: “A general discussion followed regarding volunteer contributions toward a Chamber of Commerce Building to be designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.  It was agreed that the Chamber was not in a financial position to undertake this project at this time.  The Manager was instructed to contact Charles Montooth and suggest that he bring more concrete information containing stipulated amounts of pledges, etc. whenever such information was available.”


Incoming and outgoing calls on the single phone line to the chamber were rapidly becoming too congested and many people were not able to reach the chamber; a second phone line was installed.


President Vick Swanson, on behalf of the chamber board, published a resolution opposing all legislation proposing or creating federal aid or intervention in school construction financing (in answer to a proposed bill in the 85th U.S. Congress).



Scottsdale APS Manager Chet Smith elected as Scottsdale Chamber board President.  He was the founding president of the Civic Coordinating Council.


The Scottsdale Chamber hired David Hallstrom as Executive Director by unanimous vote at a special board meeting February 21.  His starting salary was $625.00 a month.


Mort Kimsey, past president of the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce, became Mayor of Scottsdale, serving April 1958 to April 1962.


The Scottsdale Chamber sponsored the Most Courteous Person contest for the Scottsdale area.  A Courtesy Jamboree began April 21 with classes on courtesy conducted in the chamber office.


The Tourist Development Committee of the Scottsdale Chamber met for the first time on July 21.


Due to the increased number of inquiries concerning light industry in Scottsdale, the Scottsdale Chamber formed a Business Development Committee; Donald Orton was appointed chair.


Scottsdale Chamber board unanimously voted to make Dizzy Dean an honorary member of the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce.


At a general membership breakfast in August, Scottsdale Chamber members unanimously and enthusiastically agreed to retain and enhance Scottsdale as “The West’s Most Western Town.”


The Scottsdale Chamber leased billboard space for $45/month at Scottsdale Road and Apache Boulevard advertising Scottsdale and directing traffic in the town’s direction.


In September, the Scottsdale Chamber organized a meeting of local architects to discuss individual and community problems and whether the architects should form an organization of their own.


From October 1958 until June 1959, the Scottsdale Chamber was housed in temporary, 50-foot trailer, located at NW corner of Scottsdale Road & Main Street.  “The deluxe Zimmer trailer is furnished through the courtesy of Jim Mathews of the Oasis Mobile Park and Big Jim’s Sales.  He’s donating the use of the trailer and is ‘footing the bill’ for the setting it up in the central location,” according to the October 31 Scottsdale Progress.


The Scottsdale Chamber sponsored Christmas decorations throughout the downtown area and hosted a Santa Claus Parade on Nov. 29.


The Scottsdale Chamber had 512 members at the end of 1958, according to an article in the Jan. 25, 1959, Arizona Republic.



Real estate developer Mark Cockrill served as Scottsdale Chamber board president.


The Chamber board authorized the Scottsdale Baseball Club to organize a Boston Red Sox Boosters Club, with a membership card stating it was ‘sponsored by the Baseball Committee of the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce.’


The Scottsdale Chamber created its Convention Division; Ms. Bobbie Ball was hired part-time to run it.


The Scottsdale Chamber sponsored “Oldtimer’s Day” March 17. The event began with lunch and featured many legendary baseball players, who rode on buckboard wagons, stagecoaches, and vintage cars from Mountain Shadows Resort to the Scottsdale ballpark, where they were greeted by Gov. Paul Fannin.


The Scottsdale Chamber hosted a membership meeting focused on Scottsdale’s traffic problems and parking situation on March 18 at the Safari Hotel.  Town Manager Gordon Allison was scheduled to field questions/complaints, along with Mayor Kimsey and members of the Town Council.


The Scottsdale Chamber and its board president Mark Cockrill received a Certificate of Appreciation from the U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce and the Scottsdale Jaycees organization “for the inestimable benefits which have accrued from a cordial relationship.”


The Scottsdale Chamber’s Community College committee was formed.


The Scottsdale Chamber sponsored a “Street Fashion Show” on West Main Street; Sally Neary served as chair.


In June the Scottsdale Chamber offices moved from a temporary 50-foot trailer into office space in the new Western Savings Building on the northeast corner of Scottsdale Road and 1st Street (33 S. Scottsdale Rd.).  Employees were Dave Hallstrom, manager; Karen Lovegrove, receptionist; Mildred Chene, typist and Marion Heinze, receptionist.  The chamber held a public open house at the new office June 18.  Later in 1959, Neil Van Ness was hired as the chamber’s public relations director.


With the chamber’s encouragement, downtown merchants began a Thursday Night Shopping Parade marketing/advertising campaign.


Mayor Mort Kimsey declared September as Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce Month and urged “all business and professional people in the area to lend their support to this organization.”


The Scottsdale Chamber commissioned a report on public library needs for Scottsdale.


The Scottsdale Chamber formed the Scottsdale Community Parking Corporation to facilitate leased off-street parking areas in the downtown district, including the site of Thunderbird Homes (which was scheduled for demolition).  William Bird, Norman Saba, Dick Houseworth, Lyman Tiftt and Roy Petsch served as officers of the new corporation.


In a speech Scottsdale Chamber Manager Dave Hallstrom gave in September to civic groups, he stated “In a recent survey conducted by the Chamber of Commerce, there are some 778 businesses in the school district which is the same area commonly referred to as our trade area.”  He also reported that more businesses were staying open during the summer.



Scottsdale population is 10,026 in a 4.9 square mile area.


Bank executive Dick Houseworth served as the Scottsdale Chamber’s board president.


In February, the Scottsdale Chamber board endorsed the proposed Town Charter and launched a get-out-the-vote campaign in support of the charter election.  The City of Scottsdale Charter was adopted by voters at a special election held Oct. 31, 1961, and approved by Gov. Paul Fannin Nov. 16, 1961, thus elevating Scottsdale from Town to City status.


The Scottsdale Chamber convened a public meeting in June for merchants and other concerned businesses to review the Town’s proposed imposition of a ¾ of one percent sales tax and other taxes.  As an increase in sales tax would make buying in Scottsdale more expensive than in Phoenix, businesses objected to its potential impact on competitiveness.  A six-member Chamber/City appointed emergency committee convened and made recommendations that would hopefully meet the needs of both Town coffers and business activity.  The three chamber representatives were Lute Wasbotten, Ted Decker, and Jim Boyd; Chamber President Dick Houseworth moderated the tax committee.


A ¾ of one percent sales tax, a property tax, a flat fee license tax for service and professional businesses and a tax on liquor sales were passed by the Town Council in Scottsdale at the July 5th Town Council meeting.  According to the July 7 Scottsdale Progress, “The formula, designed to raise approximately $175,000 in municipal revenue, was identical with that decided upon by the group at a special meeting last Thursday.  Protests from merchants that an increase in sales tax would hurt local business and from property owners that the city should guarantee more services if they adopt a property tax were heard.”


Sen. Barry Goldwater spoke at the Sept. 27th Scottsdale Chamber membershop meeting at the Safari Hotel with a topic “The role of chambers of commerce in influencing and drafting federal, state and local legislation.”


According to the Aug. 30 Scottsdale Chamber board minutes, Candy Bedner, Chairman of the Girl’s Organization Committee, reported that the committee had decided upon selecting 12 girls between the ages of 16-19 at the Safari Hotel Sept. 10th for the purpose of publicity and welcoming conventions and dignitaries.  The tentative uniform of these girls will be a white felt hat, white leatherette skirt (designed by Lloyd Kiva), white boots and blue western shirt.  The next meeting will be Sept. 6th, at which time a name for the group will be selected. “ Initially called the ‘Welcome Girls,” the group was named the “Howdy Dudettes.” Bobbie Ball was first advisor to the newly formed group of high school co-eds.


At the request of the Scottsdale Town Council, the chamber board agreed to provide leadership and manpower to the annexation program of the Town.  Ralph Henley, chair of the chamber’s Civic Development Committee continued to attend meetings and shared annexation maps with the chamber board.


Chamber committees listed in the 1960 Program of Work:  Commercial and Industrial Development, Tourism Development, Publicity, Convention, Specialty Shops, Retail Merchants, Christmas Decoration, Baseball, Civic Development, Congressional Action, and Membership.  Chamber budget for the year: $51,370.  Events sponsored/hosted included:  Junior Sidewalk Art Show, Fashion Parade, Arts & Crafts Festival, Spring and Fall Round-ups for chamber members, and co-sponsor of the Miracle of the Roses Pageant.



Developer/investor Roland “Rollie” Feltman served as Scottsdale Chamber board president.  In June he gave the dedicatory address at the opening of the new Municipal Building immediately west of Town Hall/Police Department.


Scottsdale Chamber Executive Director Dave Hallstrom resigned in July.  John Wise began as the new Executive Director in September.


The Scottsdale Charros formed at the urging of the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce to promote sports and other civic activities, and to assume the duties of the Scottsdale Baseball Club in hosting Major League Baseball Spring Training at Scottsdale’s ballpark.  Membership would be held to 30 active members, all under age 45 and with a proven record of community service.  Officers of the new group:  Pat O’Day, Patron; Carl Plumb, Segundo; Dick Houseworth, Ladron; John Wise, Secretario (two past presidents of the chamber and the current chamber executive director).


Chamber Executive Director John Wise welcomed Santa Claus as Scottsdale’s first official winter visitor.  Every morning during December Santa was driven in a red convertible through Scottsdale to his seasonal location at Papago Plaza.



Sugar Bowl owner Jack Huntress served as the Scottsdale Chamber board president.


At a Jan.18 Scottsdale Chamber luncheon former Mayor of Cincinnati Charles Taft told the audience that the solution to Scottsdale’s parking and traffic issues were parking meters and one-way streets.  Neither suggestion was implemented, as Scottsdale’s downtown is not like that of downtown Cincinnati.


In January, the Scottsdale Chamber began a program to recognize “Visitors of the Week,” presenting a plaque to selected tourists vacationing at area resorts/hotels.  First recipients were the Frank Buttons from Nebraska.


According to the Feb. 13 chamber board minutes, “The ‘Meet Your Candidates Forum’ scheduled for Feb. 8 was a complete failure according to President Huntress.  No one attended other than a few city officials, the candidates, and the Howdy Dudettes.  After discussion, Jack Huntress and John Wise concluded that the Chamber of Commerce and politics do not mix, so future forums of this type were excluded from the program.”


The Scottsdale Chamber realized another long-term goal when the City Hospital of Scottsdale opened in May on the corner of Osborn and Ballpark Plaza.  It became Scottsdale Baptist Hospital in November 1962 and later became Scottsdale Memorial Hospital, Scottsdale Memorial Health System Inc., Scottsdale Healthcare, and, after merging with John C. Lincoln, HonorHealth, headquartered in Scottsdale.  A second hospital – Physicians & Surgeons Osteopathic Hospital opened in July 1962 on McDowell Road at Granite Reef.


The City of Scottsdale passed an ordinance prohibiting new billboards, not popular with many chamber member businesses.


In August, the Scottsdale Civitan Club presented the key to a new community service booth to the citizens of Scottsdale.  Located at West Main Street and Scottsdale Road, the booth was administered by the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce.


The Scottsdale Chamber, in cooperation with the Scottsdale Police Department, inaugurated a system to alert businesses to the presence of ‘bad check passers’ in the area.  The chamber also offered educational materials to businesses to help identify forged, stolen, or phony checks.


The Chamber’s Health and Education Committee, chaired by Dr. Merlin Webb, helped organize the Scottsdale Cleanup Campaign held in late October.


Cliff Carpenter, one of the founders of the chamber and its president from 1949-1952 as well as its volunteer manager, was installed as the first honorary director of the Scottsdale Chamber at the December board of directors meeting.



Don Chambers of Chambers Moving and Storage, served as Scottsdale Chamber President, leading an organization of 550 members.


In January, members of the Women’s Committee of the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce began staffing the Civitan-donated information booth at Scottsdale Road and Main Street to help acquaint visitors with the Scottsdale area.  Women’s Committee members also volunteered in the chamber office and helped with registration of attendees at Scottsdale conventions.


Scottsdale Chamber Executive Director John Wise resigned in March.  The new Scottsdale Chamber Executive Director, A.J. Collins began in July.


The Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce and 10 Scottsdale resorts began sponsoring the Senior Golf Fiesta in April.  It became an annual golf tournament, drawing senior golfers from throughout the U.S.


Just for fun and networking, the chamber sponsored a bowling team at Papago Lanes, and held Scottsdale Day on Sept. 15 at Legend City.


The Chamber Improvement Committee began work in October to landscape a strip on both sides of West Main Street between Scottsdale Road and Marshall Way.  Merchants paid for the landscaping, which included planters and trees.


In late fall, the Scottsdale Chamber’s sign ordinance committee proposed alternate wording for the City’s restrictive sign ordinance.  The chamber also voiced opposition to the city’s proposed high-rise ordinance.


The chamber presented a trophy, donated by Art Batty of the American Heritage Was Museum, to the merchant with the most attractive Christmas decorations.  Adobe Pharmacy was the winner.


The Scottsdale Chamber sponsored a campaign to identify and honor the ‘nicest people in town.’  In December, four candidates were named, two of which were to be selected by a chamber committee as ‘king and queen of courtesy.’



Carl Plumb, vice president of First National Bank’s Scottsdale office, served as Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce board president.  His duties were varied, from serving as a judge in the Miss Scottsdale contest, to welcoming new businesses, like Paddock Pools headquarters to Scottsdale, to speaking at the National Secretaries Association dinner.


Scottsdale Chamber moved around the corner, still in the Western Savings Building, but now at 20A E. First St. (across from then-Mag’s Ham Bun).


The chamber’s newsletter, “Our Town” invited businesses, restaurants, resorts, etc. to bring in their logoed matchbooks for the ‘take one’ bowl at the chamber office’s Tourist Counter, a popular freebie for visitors stopping at the chamber.


Star of “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” William Demarest and the film’s director Stanley Kramer were guests of honor at the Scottsdale Chamber’s annual Spring Roundup, held at the Camelback Inn for chamber members.


The United Retail Board formed as a committee of the Scottsdale Chamber in July.  It represented all areas of Scottsdale’s retail community, working for better legislation, training, service, and courtesy.


In September, the Maricopa Safety Council presented the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce, the City, and the school district an award for the city’s bicycle safety campaign.


The Scottsdale Chamber sign ordinance committee continued to meet with City officials to craft an acceptable sign ordinance for Scottsdale.


Scottsdale’s first Scottsdale Town Enrichment Program (STEP) committees organized in November; many Scottsdale Chamber board members and businesses participated.  After months of discussions, the committees’ initial recommendations included developing a Civic Center, establishing a municipal airport and junior college, developing a parks system, creating an arts center and Western Museum, and undergrounding all future utilities.


Restaurateur Dale Anderson served as Scottsdale Chamber board president. Among his priorities was industrial development at the newly rezoned industrial property surrounding Thunderbird II Airfield (to become Scottsdale Airport).


A 13-member Scottsdale Chamber committee evaluated city zoning which allowed buildings up to 10 stories high in certain areas.


Kempner, Carlson Advertising of Scottsdale developed a tourism advertising and promotion campaign for the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce.


In December, the chamber’s Howdy Dudettes welcomed 60 Vietnam combat veterans for an all-expense-paid R&R stay at Camelback Inn for the holidays.



Valley National Bank executive Len Huck served as Scottsdale Chamber board president.


The chamber’s Health and Education Committee, chaired by Dr. Joe Best, put its emphasis on a junior college with a branch in Scottsdale.


Town & Country magazine visited Scottsdale to research its article, “Desert Hideaways,” and interviewed Chamber President Len Huck as well as Barry Goldwater, Guy Stillman, and Thomas Cain.



H. William Welch, Motorola Scottsdale executive, served as Scottsdale Chamber board president.


Chicago Cubs Manager Leo Durocher was the guest speaker at the Scottsdale Chamber’s annual banquet Feb. 17 at the Safari Hotel.


In March, the Scottsdale Chamber moved to the Fine Arts Building, 102 W. Main St. (at Marshall Way) (after street re-numbering, the address was 7064 E. Main St); phone number was 945-8481, a phone number the chamber retained for several decades.


In June, Scottsdale Chamber members enjoyed a Roaring Twenties-themed bash at the Camelback Inn.


A long-term chamber goal of an airport for the city was realized in June when Scottsdale Municipal Airport opened at the former Thunderbird II Airfield site.  The chamber fielded numerous inquiries from companies considering locating in the adjacent, developing industrial park.



Walter Gray, vice president of Dickson Electronics, served as Scottsdale Chamber board president.


The Scottsdale Chamber received an award for its beautification efforts from the Governor’s Committee on Arizona Beauty.


The Scottsdale Chamber board endorsed the $9.9 million bond issue to provide construction funds for the Maricopa County Junior College District that would provide $3.1 million for a Scottsdale campus to be built on Chaparral Road on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.


The newly formed Scottsdale Historical Society, championed by long-time residents Mort Kimsey and Clara Beauchamp and the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce, led the community effort to save the Little Red Schoolhouse from razing for redevelopment.


The City of Scottsdale, with the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce as a partner, formed the Scottsdale Industrial Development Corporation, aimed at bringing more industry to the Scottsdale area.



Insurance executive Howard Ryan served as Scottsdale Chamber board president.


City of Scottsdale enacted an even stricter sign control ordinance


The Chamber hosted the 1st annual Cactus Capers familiarization visit for travel professionals from throughout the U.S.


The Scottsdale Chamber board endorsed the Scottsdale Unified School District’s request for $12.9 million to expand the schools to meet enrollment needs of 18 elementaries and four high schools.


The Scottsdale Chamber produced a promotional 16mm film about Scottsdale, “Hegira,” to send to travel agents throughout the U.S.  Kenyon and Charles Swartwout of Swartwout Enterprises produced the film; script was written by Bruce Henry.  The film premiered at the chamber’s Fall Roundup held at Mountain Shadows Resort.


The Scottsdale Chamber led the community effort to raise funds for preserving and renovating the Little Red Schoolhouse, the 1909-vintage Scottsdale Grammar School #1.


The chamber honored its National Advertising Committee, headed by Joe Dambrova, as top committee of the year and the Scottsdale Daily Progress (publisher Jonathan Marshall and Managing Editor Jerry McElfresh) with the chamber’s annual Community Award for civic development and improvement.



Scottsdale population is 67,823 in a 62.20 square mile area.


Ed O’Neill, vice president of Arizona Title Insurance and Trust Company, served as Scottsdale Chamber President.


The 2nd Annual Cactus Capers familiarization program sponsored by the chamber May 21-24 hosted more than 250 travel professionals at area resorts.


The chamber board voted to make Chicago Cubs Leo Durocher, Lou Boudreau, and Ernie Banks honorary chamber members, with plaques presented to each at the Old Timers Day brunch.


Scottsdale Chamber’s Ambassador Committee called on members and prospective members throughout the downtown area, treating merchants to coffee from a cart the group had on West Main Street.


The Chamber, along with the Boys Club, Scottsdale Real Estate Board, Jaycees, and the City, conducted the City of Scottsdale Beautification Kick-off Day May 9.  Dual purpose was to encourage Scottsdale citizens to beautify their community and to raise funds for the Boys Club.


In June, the Scottsdale Chamber held a membership breakfast at Big Surf, Tempe (which had opened in 1969).


The Scottsdale Chamber appointed an Indian Affairs Committee to work with the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community on matters of mutual interest and to help plan the All-Indian Day Celebration in September.


In November the Scottsdale Chamber ran a full-page ad in the Scottsdale Daily Progress urging readers to “Shop at Home,” promoting local businesses and the benefits to Scottsdale that local merchants’ sales taxes generate.  On Dec. 31, the chamber ran a full-page ad in the Progress wishing readers a Happy 1971 and listing all its member businesses.


The chamber declined to support a one-percent sales tax increase proposed by Mayor Bud Tims and the City Council citing its potential competitive disadvantage to businesses in adjacent cities.



G. A. “Jack” Bradley, Scottsdale District Manager for Mountain Bell, served as Scottsdale Chamber board president.  Chamber staff included Manager A.J. Collins, Karen Cohen, Earl Passwater Phebe Peterkin, and Jackie Thornhill.  Committees included:  Convention and Tourism, Industrial Development, Membership Relations, City Beautification, Senior Golf Fiesta, Convention Study Center, Indian Affairs, Public Relations and Publicity, Health and Education, Junior College Development, Arts and Crafts, Western Heritage, Legislative Action, United Merchants Association, Parking and Transportation and the Restaurant Association.


The Scottsdale Chamber sponsored three performances by the Royal Lipizzan Stallions of Austria in April.


The Scottsdale Retail Trade Bureau was established as an affiliate of the Scottsdale Chamber to enable better business relationships and to publish unified advertising materials.


Mayor Bud Tims endorsed an idea floated by Guy Stillman that Scottsdale should have a Visitor’s Bureau that would be a central room reservations service for area hotels/resorts.


The chamber sponsored a series of Ft. Huachuca vendors’ days at which personnel from the post’s procurement office interviewed businesses for potential contracts.


Rawhide Western Town opened on the southeast corner of Scottsdale and Pinnacle Peak Roads.  The Scottsdale Chamber held countless events there until it moved to the Gila River Indian Community in 2005.


Chamber President Jack Bradley, Chamber Executive Director A.J. Collins and several chamber board members were among 67 Scottsdalians who participated in the Scottsdale Town Enrichment Program series of seminars conducted by The Brookings Institute through 1972.


Throughout the year, the chamber was in discussions with the City and Scottsdale Historical Society regarding saving and renovating the Little Red Schoolhouse for use as the chamber’s offices and visitor center.  In November, the chamber board voted to accept the City’s offer to lease the historic building for $1 a year and agreed to raise funds to restore it for chamber occupancy.


In May, the Scottsdale Chamber and Scottsdale Jaycees co-sponsored the 1st Annual Trash Bash, a community effort to clean up litter, especially in the downtown area.  The Chamber had a standing Cleanup and Beautification Committee that sponsored events and presented awards to businesses who upgraded their exteriors.



Sam Pendleton, president of KDOT radio, served as Scottsdale Chamber President.  He advocated a new slogan for the chamber: “Make It Happen”


Scottsdale Chamber committees and programs listed in a Dec. 31, 1971 ad in the Scottsdale Daily Progress:  Convention and Visitor Development, Cactus Capers, Desert Sun and Surf, Airline Sun Country Holiday, National Advertising and Publicity, Howdy Dudettes, Restaurant Committee, Retail Trade Bureau, Parking and Transportation, Movie Task Force, Cleanup and Beautification, Little Red Schoolhouse, Health and Education, Industrial Development, Fiesta Bowl Activities Committee, Meetings Committee, Membership Relations, Ambassadors, Business Counseling, Inquiries (Real Estate and Accommodations), Visitor Center and Information, Local/County/State Government, Legislative Action and Scottsdale Image Committee.  The ad stated that there were more than 850 chamber member businesses.


The Scottsdale Chamber and the Scottsdale Historical Society began selling commemorative school slates (mini blackboards) to raise funds for renovation of the Little Red Schoolhouse.  Renovation cost was estimated at $58,000.  Work began on the restoration, including help from the Key Club at Scottsdale High School (whose members removed old plaster to prepare for renovation).  In May, Old Town merchants held a street sale, with proceeds benefitting the schoolhouse renovation.


Chamber employee Earl Passwater joined Councilman Herb Drinkwater and City Parks Director L.B. Scacewater in the Scottsdale Daily Progress Rain Derby promotion, attempting to predict when it would rain again in Scottsdale.


In September, the chamber began urging its members and Scottsdale businesses and residents to vote for the state revenue sharing proposal on the November ballot.


The Scottsdale Chamber hosted The Little Red Schoolhouse Dedication Ball Nov. 4 at Mountain Shadows to celebrate the preservation and renovation of the historic property, which became the Scottsdale Chamber offices in February 1973 (through May 1991).


The Scottsdale Chamber and the Scottsdale Charros began supporting programs for the new Fiesta Bowl (in its second year).  For example, the Howdy Dudettes welcomed the team; the Charros hosted the teams at a steak fry at Rawhide and sponsored the Fiesta Bowl Marathon.



Dentist E. Paul Gledhill, DMD served as Scottsdale Chamber board president.


In January, the new home of the Scottsdale Chamber – the Little Red Schoolhouse – was used as a backdrop for an Oxydol commercial.  The Chamber/City/SHS effort to save the schoolhouse was selected by Oxydol as the Community Project of the Year, chosen from a pool of 50 applicants.  The one-minute commercial was aired nationally during March.  Chamber member and banker Don Ruff was among the ‘extras’ in the commercial.


The Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce hired Leslie Nyquist; she served as office manager and executive assistant to the chamber CEO for 41 years, retiring in 2014.


In February, the Scottsdale Chamber moved into the recently restored, historic Little Red School House (six employees, 400 members, budget of $94,00/year and AJ Collins as executive director).  The chamber signed a 25-year lease with the City of Scottsdale, paying $1.00 a year for use of the building.


The Scottsdale Chamber ran a full-page ad in the Scottsdale Daily Progress urging residents to vote yes on a bond issue to fund the Indian Bend Wash Greenbelt Flood Control Project.



Car dealer C.M. “Bud” Brooks served as Scottsdale Chamber board president.


The chamber’s Education Committee worked with Dr. Stevens of Scottsdale Community College to set up a citizens’ advisory committee to help plan future needs of the business community into the college curriculum.


Chamber Executive Director A.J. Collins resigned in July after serving in the position for 11 years.  The new Scottsdale Chamber Executive Director hired was John Marks.


Chamber had 600 member businesses.



Valley National Bank executive David Dennerline served as Scottsdale Chamber board president.


In light of the city’s fiscal difficulties, the Scottsdale Chamber called on the City to undertake “an immediate austerity program,” according to the Scottsdale Daily Progress.


Jennings Morse, a long-time resident of Scottsdale, real estate executive and descendant of telegraph inventor Samuel Morse, began volunteering as the Scottsdale Chamber’s special projects coordinator.


A chamber task force studied the feasibility of a bed tax in Scottsdale, as requested by Mayor Bill Jenkins.  After careful consideration of the city’s proposal, in May the chamber task force did not recommend instituting a bed tax.  Two years later, with support from Scottsdale hoteliers and the chamber, voters passed, and the Council enacted, a bed tax (transient occupancy tax).


The Scottsdale Chamber gave a preview of the ‘under construction’ Scottsdale Center for the Arts to hotel, resort, airline, and travel representatives in September. The center opened in late October.


The Scottsdale Exchange Club donated a planter and “Chamber of Commerce” sign, and the Scottsdale Historical Society donated a flagpole for the chamber’s offices in the Little Red Schoolhouse on the newly-opened west side of Civic Center Mall.


The Scottsdale Chamber conducted a three-day career educational forum at Scottsdale Community College for high school seniors, introducing them to over 40 different career fields.


The chamber published “The Scottsdale Story,” a magazine-style relocation guide for residents and businesses


The chamber had a weekly 5-minute radio program on KDOT radio station based in Scottsdale.



Real estate executive and musician Al Overend served as Scottsdale Chamber board president.  Chamber staff included Executive Director John Marks, as well as Linda Kray, Leslie Nyquist, Wayne Lambert, Maryanne Strelchuk and Margaret Brickley.


The “Little Red Schoolhouse,” built in 1909 as the Scottsdale Grammar School and home of the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce offices since 1973, was listed on Arizona’s Register of Historic Places.


The Scottsdale Chamber hosted the first annual OctoberFair Oct. 1 – 3, with 27 local non-profit organizations staffing booths on Civic Center Mall.  Proceeds of the event benefitted Scottsdale charitable organizations and causes.


In cooperation with the Scottsdale Police Department, the Scottsdale Chamber began a Crime Alert Program.


To celebrate the reopening of Scottsdale Road after months of closure for renovations, the Scottsdale Chamber sponsored Open Road Days, held Dec. 3-6.  Scottsdale Road had been closed between Indian School and Osborn Roads, significantly impacting downtown business access.



Roger Good, MD began the year as Scottsdale Chamber board president; he resigned after a few months, and hotelier/developer Bob Karatz began his tenure as Scottsdale Chamber board president.


The Scottsdale Chamber strongly urged the city to create and appoint a Scottsdale Airport Commission to ensure continued vitality of this asset to Scottsdale’s economy.


The Scottsdale Chamber worked with the City of Scottsdale and Scottsdale Charros to study how to improve spring training facilities to ensure the Chicago Cubs stayed to play in Scottsdale.


The Scottsdale Chamber/City of Scottsdale got approval from the voters to levy a two percent bed tax, a portion of which would be used by the Scottsdale Chamber for tourism promotion and by the City/Charros to upgrade Scottsdale Stadium.  It took effect June 1, 1977.


The Scottsdale Charros donated a new IBM Memory Typewriter to the Scottsdale Chamber, valued at $5,000.  According to a photo cutline in the Oct. 11 Scottsdale Daily Progress, showing chamber executive secretary Mary Anne Strelchuk at the machine with Charros Myron Deibel and Bill Mack, “The advanced typewriter features a memory which permits repetitive sentences to be typed automatically at 180 words per minute.”



Insurance executive G. Herb Caywood served as Scottsdale Chamber board president.


The Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce, in cooperation with Phoenix, sponsored a “Sun Bus,” bringing visitors from the downtown Phoenix Hyatt Regency and Adams Hotels to shop on Scottsdale’s Fifth Avenue.


A key element in the Scottsdale Chamber’s economic development strategy was to advocate for an expanded Scottsdale Airport to accommodate corporate jets from major cities and hubs.



Banker Roy Johnson served as Scottsdale Chamber board president.  There were 10 chamber task forces:  Ambassadors, Business Expansion & Retention, Development & Review, Free Enterprise, Legislative, Producers, Retail Affairs, Today Award, Tourism Promotion and Transportation.  Johnson pledged to carry on an aggressive program of economic development jointly with the City.  He also pledged to have the chamber continue its active role in issues affecting Scottsdale’s school system.


Chamber’s tourism promotional theme, “Scottsdale-A Vacation Place for All Seasons,” appeared on billboards and in a new film.


The Scottsdale Chamber’s retail committee launched the “Shrewdies Shop Scottsdale” campaign in the Valley, promoting retail merchants in Scottsdale via print and radio advertising.  A cartoon of “Shrewdie” was available for use in merchant advertising.


The chamber contracted with Alan M. Voorhees & Associates to conduct a major parking study of Scottsdale’s downtown area, bounded by Camelback, Osborn, 68th and Miller.  Traffic flow and potential shuttle concepts were also considered.



Scottsdale population is 88,622 in a 88.60 square mile area


Attorney Lou Jekel served as Scottsdale Chamber board president.


Chamber appointed a Blue-Ribbon Committee to study downtown parking issues, and submitted recommendations to City Council in 1981.


“For All Seasons” was the title of Scottsdale’s new 10-minute motion picture produced for the Scottsdale Chamber by Swartwout Film Productions for tourism and convention promotion.  A public premiere was set for May 28 at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts.


In July, the Scottsdale Chamber announced it had formed a political action committee, “Scottsdale Committee for Responsible Government,” which would facilitate the donation of funds to business-oriented candidates.  It would be administered as a separate entity but affiliated with the chamber.


The first Molly the Trolley system began seasonal downtown service during the winter 1980-81, organized by the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce.  As a privately funded transportation system, advertising was available on the trolley interiors and exteriors. One of its goals was to alleviate parking problems in the popular downtown shopping areas.



John E. Miller, Jr., assistant vice president and manager of Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner and Smith, served as Scottsdale Chamber board president.  He handed out buttons with the message “I’m bullish on Scottsdale,” and told the Scottsdale Daily Progress in its Jan. 9 edition that among issues he saw the chamber “tackling this year are the runway expansion at Scottsdale Municipal Airport, the continuation of good relations between the Chamber and the City, and implementation of a campaign to spruce up rundown parts of the city.”


Chamber had over 1,200 members


Les Brown and his Band of Renown, having just performed at President Ronald Reagan’s inauguration in Washington, D.C., again headlined the Scottsdale Chamber’s annual dinner Feb. 7 at Del Webb’s Mountain Shadows Resort.  Tickets were $25 per person; 600 attended.


After years of advocacy by Scottsdale Memorial Hospital, the Scottsdale Chamber and other groups, the AZ Dept. of Health Services awarded a Certificate of Need to construct a 120-bed hospital on Shea Boulevard to be known as SMH-North.  It opened in January 1984.


Chamber officials announced that the preferred site of a proposed convention center would be on the southeast corner of Indian Bend and Scottsdale Roads.


The Scottsdale Chamber’s Scottsdale Pride Committee, chaired by Comer Wadzeck II, organized a community-wide clean-up/spruce up campaign from Sept. 15 to Nov. 30, targeting junk cars, lawn trash, discarded household items, broken fences, neglected lawns and general home and commercial building repairs.


The Scottsdale Chamber retained Economics Research Associates to study the need for a conference/meeting facility in Scottsdale


Scottsdale’s new tourism promotions carried the slogan “Scottsdale—A Place for All Seasons;” brochures and film sent nationwide to travel professionals.


Scottsdale Chamber Executive Director John Marks resigned in August to become Director of the Arizona Office of Tourism; the chamber board hired Lex J. Byers, formerly of the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, as the new Scottsdale Chamber Executive Director


Scottsdale Chamber hosted a Golf Tournament & Mixer Sept. 11 at the McCormick Ranch Golf Club; cost was $20 to play.



Von E. Dix, president of Dix Construction Co. Inc. served as Scottsdale Chamber board president


In December the Scottsdale Associated Merchants (SAM) announced it would merge with Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce.  SAM had been formed in the early 1970s “when many merchants believed the chamber was preoccupied with promoting the city’s tourism industry and ignoring interests of small businesses,” according to the Dec. 8, 1982, Scottsdale Daily Progress.  The city’s proposal in the 1970s to install barrier medians on many downtown streets also led to SAM’s creation, as well as merchants’ objections to the city’s rules on non-conforming signs.


The Scottsdale Chamber contracted with Natelson Co. of Los Angeles to conduct an economic development study.  Among the findings: “Scottsdale, with about 790 vacant acres at its industrial airpark, should court the high-end market of computer, electronics and aerospace industries,” reported the Dec. 12 edition of The Arizona Republic.  The report also recommended that Scottsdale needed to narrow its marketing to distinguish itself.



Scottsdale Chamber adopted the Red Stetson as its official logo


Vice President of Valley National Bank Don Ruff served as Scottsdale Chamber President.  Among the chamber’s goals for the year was to expand the Retail Affairs Committee’s role, study the ongoing concern of tourism seasonality and develop programs to enhance year-round tourism, advocate for improved transportation to stimulate economic growth and work closer with the city to streamline the development process (to overcome excessive red tape).


Chamber had 1,350 members


The Scottsdale Chamber ran a “Shoplifters Will Be Prosecuted” ad in the Jan. 26 Scottsdale Daily Progress, suitable as a sign for merchants to post in windows.


The Scottsdale Chamber honored Mayor Herb Drinkwater at its annual dinner in February, dubbing him “Mr. Scottsdale.”


The Scottsdale Chamber and the City hosted a breakfast program, “Economic Growth in Scottsdale,” held at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts and featuring Councilmember Jeff Schubert and Chamber President (and Valley National Bank Executive) Don Ruff.


The merger between the Scottsdale Associated Merchants (SAM) and the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce took effect.


The chamber expanded its seasonal trolley system to accommodate a ridership in excess of 250,000 people.


Chamber Executive Director Lex Byers resigned in July; the chamber board hired Bill Clinger as the new executive director; he began in November.


The Scottsdale Chamber hosted a reception for the Canadian Trade Mission visiting Scottsdale in October, welcoming 50 Canadian businesspeople and the Canadian Ambassador to the U.S.


The chamber’s Free Enterprise Committee conducted a day-long program for 50 students from Scottsdale schools that provided insight to the world of business.


The Scottsdale Daily Progress provided the chamber with weekly ad space to be used as a community relations tool; Scottsdale Scene Magazine provided the chamber space via a monthly column to communicate chamber activities, issues and programs to businesses, residents, and visitors.


Chamber introduced a comprehensive marketing and promotional economic development campaign, “Scottsdale—It Sounds Like Success,” and distributed cassette tapes and brochures to economic development prospects.


Chamber members toured the new Scottsdale Memorial Hospital-North at a December Mixer (several weeks before its official dedication).


The Scottsdale Chamber’s float entry in the Fiesta Bowl parade was an oversized stagecoach.  Chamber President Don Ruff, Chamber Executive Director Bill Clinger and Chamber board member/VP of Small Business Pam DelDuca waved from the float to the thousands along the parade route in Phoenix.  The float won the Kachina Award for the most outstanding non-commercial entry.  NBC Today Show weatherman Willard Scott visited the float at the start of the parade.



Regional Vice President of Sentry Insurance John Schwantes served as Scottsdale Chamber President.  In a Jan. 4 article in The Arizona Republic, Schwantes said Scottsdale’s Downtown Plan was the chamber’s top priority.  Chamber staff at the start of 1984 included Executive Director William H. Clinger, Director of Convention/Tourism Dept. Carol Pound, Director of Economic Development Dept. Cynthia Neumann as well as Teresa Wells Woolson, Leslie Nyquist, Tauna Driscoll, Sylvia Langston, Karen Doran, Brenda Samchuck, Michael Cosenza, and Anna Knowlton.


Final annexation of 36 square miles north of Scottsdale put Scottsdale’s municipal area at 184.5 square miles.


The McManis and Associates Inc. economic study was commissioned by the Scottsdale Chamber and City to analyze the community’s assets and liabilities and what types of businesses would be best suited for Scottsdale.  The McManis Report identified target industries that should be attracted here (corporate headquarters/regional offices, professional national association headquarters, research & development firms and business and professional services organizations).  M. Ross Boyle, Sr. VP for McManis, headed the study team.


Scottsdale Chamber, with Scottsdale Center for the Arts and the Academy of Motion Pictures, sponsored the Scottsdale Film Festival, designed to lure film productions here.


At its September board meeting the Scottsdale Chamber board voted to allow reporters to attend general chamber of commerce board meetings (prompted by a request of Scottsdale Daily Progress publisher Jonathan Marshall).  The board also approved a recommendation to be sent to the Scottsdale City Council to move ahead with a freeway for the proposed Outer Loop/Pima Freeway and to expedite its construction to 10 years (versus the proposed 30 years).


Chamber President John Schwantes and a group of Scottsdale Charros attended the All-Star Game in San Francisco to meet with MLB and San Francisco Giants officials to heighten Scottsdale’s visibility as a potential site for baseball-related meetings.


Mayor Herb Drinkwater was featured in the Scottsdale Chamber’s national advertising to meeting and convention planners.  The ads declared “We’ll Give You the Shirt Off Our Mayor’s Back,” and showed Herb opening his shirt to show the words “Meeters Meet Better in Scottsdale” on his t-shirt.



Hotelier and president of W.G. Arthur Construction Co. Inc., Bill Arthur served as Scottsdale Chamber board president


Chamber Executive Director Bill Clinger resigned in May, and the chamber board asked board member and former Chamber Manager (1958-1961) David Hallstrom to take the job, beginning in May.


The Scottsdale Chamber’s first annual Small Business of the Year was awarded to By George! Inc. (Pam DelDuca).  The award was presented at the chamber’s first annual Small Business Week luncheon.  Eileen Rogers of American Speedy Printing was honored as the 1985 Young Entrepreneur and Bonnie Fifer of Vacation Ventures Travel Agency was honored as the 1985 Outstanding Woman Business Owner.


The chamber sponsored its first annual member tennis tournament, held at the Registry Resort.


Scottsdale City Council approved a 43.9 percent increase in the city’s contribution to the overall 1985-86 Scottsdale Chamber budget.  According to the July 24 issue of The Arizona Republic, “the city will give the Chamber $693,000, a 38.6 percent increase for the 1985-86 period for convention and tourism promotion; and $285,000, a 5.3 percent increase, for economic development.  The majority of the money comes from the city’s bed tax.  An additional $9,000 will be contributed from the city’s general fund.”  Chamber Executive Director David Hallstrom said the total chamber budget was $1.7 million, comprised of membership dues, private-sector funding, and county funding as well as the funds designated by the City of Scottsdale.


The Scottsdale Chamber unveiled a 20-page color brochure, “Scottsdale—See It For Yourself” for use in convention/meeting attraction.  The chamber also installed a toll-free 800 number for use by meeting planners and travel agents.


A delegation of 25 representatives of the Scottsdale Chamber and City of Scottsdale visited Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota; Mayo had just broken ground on its new Mayo Clinic-Scottsdale on Shea Boulevard, which opened in June 1987.


The Scottsdale Chamber began an independent business counseling program; retired retail executive Lenny LaBelle was the first volunteer counselor (he served until retiring in 1996).



Retail executive/president of By George! Pam DelDuca served as Scottsdale Chamber board president.


The Scottsdale Partnership (incorporated as Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce Partners) was formed to promote economic development, working as an affiliate organization to the chamber and funded by the City of Scottsdale and private sector investors.  It had its own board of directors and fund-raising campaigns.  When the Scottsdale Chamber reorganized in 2000/01 and stopped accepting funding for economic development from the City of Scottsdale, the Scottsdale Partnership dissolved (in 2002).


The Scottsdale Chamber opened a Visitors Center on Fifth Avenue during the winter season, staffed by two people.


The Scottsdale Chamber sold its three downtown trolleys after stopping the service in November 1985.


According to the chamber’s February 28 Insiders Report, the City of Scottsdale was recently recognized for its outstanding effort in installing and implementing a comprehensive city-wide computer system.  Office Administration and Automation Magazine named Scottsdale the recipient of the Gold First Award for 1985.  The Scottsdale Chamber had recently installed an identical system with assistance from City staff members.


After much input and involvement from the Scottsdale Chamber, the Scottsdale City Council unanimously adopted a new downtown zoning ordinance.  City planners believed the new ordinance would ensure downtown Scottsdale’s economic viability through the year 2005, attracting new developments and reinvestments (per the chamber’s Feb. 28 Insiders Report).


On March 31, the Scottsdale Chamber hired Rachel Sacco to head its Convention/Tourism Division, replacing Carol Pound.  Sacco served in that chamber executive position through 2001, when the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau became an organization independent of the chamber (and she continued as the President/CEO of the SCVB and Experience Scottsdale).


The Insider’s Report, the former monthly chamber newsletter, was updated, expanded and renamed Scottsdale At Work.


The Scottsdale Leadership program was created by the Scottsdale Chamber, City of Scottsdale, and Scottsdale Community College.  Chamber human resources manager Martha Green served as Scottsdale Leadership’s first executive director (1986-1997) and Scottsdale Leadership offices were housed at the Scottsdale Chamber (initially in the Little Red Schoolhouse).  After several months of organizing and recruitment, the first class began in January 1987 and graduated in June 1987.  Initial tuition was $350.


The Scottsdale Chamber hosted its first annual tradeshow, “Business Showcase ’86,” held at the Safari Resort. Ninety-seven chamber members participated as vendors and almost 1,000 chamber members attended the event during Small Business Week in May.


The chamber’s Retail/Small Business division published a monthly Small Street Journal.


Chamber honored Discover the World Marketing/Doug Rhymes as Small Business of the Year at the second annual Small Business Week luncheon May 16 at Camelview-A Radisson Resort.  Lewis Medansky of Lewis Steven’s Distinctive Catering was recognized as the Young Entrepreneur of the Year and Gary Shapiro of Shapiro Realtors, Inc. was designated as the first annual Small Business Advocate.  Karl Eller, Chairman and CEO of The Circle K Corporation was the event’s keynote speaker; U.S. Sen. Dennis DeConcini also attended.


Zina Kuhn was named Scottsdale Citizen of the Year at the Scottsdale Chamber’s annual dinner in May.


The chamber’s convention/tourism advertising began using the slogan “Scottsdale – What the World Is Coming To.”  The C/T division also introduced a convention sales department.


The Scottsdale chamber held its first annual membership golf tournament.



Bob Solem, a partner in the Tryhus Co. land investment firm in Scottsdale, served as Scottsdale Chamber board president.  A former Motorola executive he had served on the chamber’s board and committees for over six years.  The chamber had 23 full-time employees, an annual budget of $1.8 million and 2,400 members.


The chamber’s convention/tourism promotions got a huge boost when the Phoenix Open PGA golf tournament moved permanently to the new TPC-Scottsdale in January.  The tournament was broadcast nationally.  Tourism promotion also got a boost from the WCT tennis tournament, the Scottsdale World Championship Tennis Open, played at the new Scottsdale Princess Resort stadium.


The Scottsdale Chamber introduced Operation Outreach networking breakfasts.


In advance of the City of Scottsdale’s smoking pollution ordinance taking effect in February, the chamber sponsored a public forum to explain the ordinance and the possible fines for non-compliance.


Mayo Clinic Scottsdale opened in June, a major economic development coup that the chamber played a key part in facilitating.


Chamber honored American Temporary, Inc. as Small Business of the Year


A chamber task force studied the Rio Salado Project and the proposed funding method prior to Maricopa County voters considering the funding plan in a Nov. 3, 1987, election.



Scottsdale Community College President Art DeCabooter served as Scottsdale Chamber board president.


The Scottsdale Chamber assisted in formation of Scottsdale Gallery Association.


The Scottsdale Chamber’s Campbell Dalton visitor perception study led to the development of a new strategic plan for tourism development.


The chamber board passed a resolution, as suggested by the Transportation Committee, placing a priority on the completion of Valley freeways.  The chamber’s position emphasized that the original one-half percent sales tax should be extended an additional 10 years to provide adequate funds for the freeway system; and the fund provided by the second one-half percent sales tax finance a transportation plan that targets completion of the freeway system first, and once completed, rapid transit.


Mayor Herb Drinkwater proclaimed March 2-3 “Chamber Days” in Scottsdale, declaring “We are fortunate to have a chamber of commerce that is one of the best in the nation.”


A newly designed chamber member plaque featured the chamber’s traditional red Stetson with metallic silver accents, set against a black background, and debuted in March.


Chamber hosts first annual Sunsational Scottsdale meeting planner familiarization program.


Scottsdale Chamber adopted a new logo, a stylized sun, as its convention/tourism logo, and the tag line, “Scottsdale – For the Sunshine of Your Life.”  Artwork/graphics by Michael Ives also featured on convention/tourism materials.  Moses Anshell became the chamber’s new tourism advertising agency.


The chamber appointed an Art Gallery Task Force that met weekly to plan and implement promotional opportunities for Scottsdale’s art community, especially the 82 galleries operating in the city.


Chamber honored Tom Hopkins International as Small Business of the Year.



Banker Gene Davis served as Scottsdale Chamber board president


City’s Hospitality Commission (later named the Tourism Development Commission) formed at the chamber’s urging; bed tax increased from 2 to 3 percent to fund tourism development and event promotion.


The Scottsdale Chamber hosted a seminar for Scottsdale employers who must comply with a new law for employee travel reduction (commuting) – a law that went into effect in Maricopa and Pima Counties January 1, 1989.  The Greater Scottsdale Transportation Management Association (TMA) was formed as a joint effort of the Scottsdale Chamber and the City of Scottsdale and was housed at the chamber with former Mayor Bill Jenkins as its executive director.  Its mission was to facilitate employer compliance with travel reduction plans under the state’s Air Quality Act of 1988.  The chamber also took part in the Clean Air Force’s “Don’t drive one in five” campaign.  The chamber also formed a Transit Committee to examine public transit needs in Scottsdale.


Chamber honored Rodel Products Corporation as Small Business of the Year


Dave Hallstrom retired as Chamber Executive Director on June 30. Phil Carlson was hired as the new Executive Director as of July 1.


Growth Strategies Organization produced The Boyle Report on the chamber’s economic development program; it outlined a blueprint for the future.


Scottsdale voters passed largest bond ever ($289 million) to build new baseball stadium, expand library and improve parks and roads, with significant advocacy by the chamber and its members.



U.S. Census set Scottsdale population at 130,075 in a 184 square mile area


Throughout the 1990s, the Scottsdale Chamber continued to host a Spring and Fall Business Showcase trade show at sites such as The Registry Resort, Embassy Suites/Chaparral Suites, and the Celebration of Fine Art tents on Highland.


Orthopedic surgeon Richard “Dick” Collins, MD served as the Scottsdale Chamber board president.


Chamber honored Arizona Sun Products as Small Business of the Year (Bob and Ellen Wallace)


The Scottsdale Chamber sponsored “Maricopa County Growth Forecast 2000 – A Vision for the Future.”  Speakers presented topics ranging from economic development to international business, tourism and sports.


In April, the City of Scottsdale, Sasaki Associates, and other consultants presented plans for revitalizing the Arizona Canal Bank.


Dr. Barry Asmus, senior economist at the National Center for Policy Analysis and named by USA Today as one of the five most requested speakers in the U.S., was the keynote at the chamber’s annual luncheon June 6.


The Scottsdale Chamber and the Scottsdale Charros hosted the 1990 Senior’s Softball World Series in Scottsdale.  It generated over 2,300 room nights at Scottsdale hotels/resorts.


A proposition that was to provide a paid Martin Luther King holiday in Arizona for state employees failed on the statewide November 6th ballot (although a majority of Scottsdale voters were for it).  Scottsdale (and other AZ cities) began to experience a negative impact when meetings and conventions cancelled coming here.  The Scottsdale Chamber and its convention/tourism division led a community effort to remedy the situation (voters approved the holiday via passage of Prop 300 in November 1992).  The chamber itself instituted a paid MLK holiday, as did the City of Scottsdale.



Hotelier (Scottsdale Embassy Suites) Tom Silverman served as Scottsdale Chamber board president.


In February, the Scottsdale Chamber hosted a forum “North Scottsdale Development Update.” City staff and northern Scottsdale development experts gave an update on major development projects underway or due to begin in the next few years.


Chamber honored graphic design firm Bold Impressions, Inc. (Kathleen Shipe, founder) as Small Business of the Year during Small Business Week in May.


Chamber offices moved out of the historic Little Red Schoolhouse to 7343 Scottsdale Mall (formerly Jed Nolan’s Music Hall and adjacent to the schoolhouse).  The first-floor lobby served as Scottsdale’s Visitors Center.  Public Open House and ribbon-cutting held June 5, 1991.


Chicago Bears football great Gale Sayers, who owned Scottsdale Airpark’s Crest Computer Supply, keynoted the chamber’s annual luncheon June 13.


City, chamber, citizens participated in the Shared Vision project, with several chamber board members and past presidents on the Citizens Visioning Advisory Committee and on task forces created by the Visioning report.


After much study by the Scottsdale Chamber and City, the Environmentally Sensitive Lands Ordinance was adopted by the Scottsdale City Council; several chamber members served on the city’s task force to create the new ordinance.


Although the chamber ‘got out of the trolley ownership’ business in the late 1980s, it was instrumental in helping select a contractor – Atypical Transportation Company – to resume trolley service in the downtown Scottsdale area.



First Interstate Banker Larry Baker served as Scottsdale Chamber board president.  There were nearly 2,100 chamber members with nearly 700 active on over 50 committees and task forces.


During FY 1991/92, the chamber’s volunteer business counselors – Lenny LaBelle, Harry Brenner, and Dr. George Doran — met with 325 prospective start-up or existing entrepreneurs.


Conducted over two years, the chamber’s Business Outreach Survey Program contacted 300 businesses, 92 percent of which rated Scottsdale as a good to excellent place to do business.


Among public policy issues the chamber and its committees were involved in:  proposed changes to Scottsdale’s Parks Master Plan, working with the city to streamline zoning application procedures, the ongoing plans for revitalization of the Arizona Canal Bank and supporting an Education-Business Partnership in Scottsdale.


Scottsdale Chamber’s Convention Tourism Division published its first annual Scottsdale Destination Guide, 4-color magazine for tourism promotion


Chamber honored About Me! Of Arizona (Susan Ratliff) as Small Business of the Year.


The Arizona Technology Incubator (ATI) debuted Oct. 1, the first tech business incubator in the state.  Several chamber board members and staff served on the ATI board and committees, along with City, ASU, and other state-wide representatives.  Dr. Robert Calcaterra was ATI’s President/CEO.


The chamber and city inaugurated the Scottsdale Business Link Program, sending a pair of Chamber and City senior representatives to visit Scottsdale businesses to listen to their concerns and issues.


With intense involvement of the Scottsdale Chamber and area tourism representatives who advocated passage of the MLK Holiday Ballot Issue, Arizona voters passed Prop. 300 on Nov. 3rd.


Due to the expense, the chamber-organized annual participation in the Fiesta Bowl parade with a Scottsdale-themed float ended after the Dec. 31, 1992, parade. (Scottsdale’s float sponsorship had begun in 1977).  The chamber turned over responsibility for the Scottsdale float to the City of Scottsdale.  The chamber and its convention/tourism division, however, remained ardent supporters of the entire Fiesta Bowl, continuing to bring Fiesta Bowl affiliated events and attendees to Scottsdale.



Restaurateur Don Carson, owner of Don & Charlie’s, served as Scottsdale Chamber board president.


The Scottsdale Chamber began its Principal for a Day program April 7, pairing 25 local CEOs and chamber board members with principals in the Scottsdale Unified School District system.


The Scottsdale Chamber awarded its first annual Excellence in Business Award to Mayo Clinic Scottsdale; it also honored Cimmaron Adventures & River Company as Small Business of the Year.


Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist from The Arizona Republic – Steve Benson – as well as Gov. Fife Symington spoke at the chamber’s annual luncheon June 16 at The Registry Resort.


U.S. Conference of Mayors awarded Scottsdale its prestigious “Most Livable City” award, citing the city-chamber Canal Bank Downtown Revitalization Project as a key element of earning the honor.  Zagat also recognized Scottsdale as “The Best Resort Community” that year.  The Chamber and City held a program for area public relations representatives to coordinate use of a logo and the tagline, Scottsdale: Most Livable City/Best Resort Community.


The Scottsdale Chamber board urged the U.S. Congress to pass the North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA).  In support of trade opportunities in North America, the chamber held conversational Spanish classes in partnership with the GateWay Small Business Development Center.


Scottsdale Chamber formed a 501c3 corporation, Scottsdale Chamber Foundation, Inc.  Its first project was to fund a home in the Paiute neighborhood for a Scottsdale Police Officer.



Scottsdale Airpark News publisher Diana Smith served as Scottsdale Chamber board president.


Scottsdale Chamber, with the City as partner, published the first annual Scottsdale Almanac, the official, 4-color residents and relocation guide (which included a chamber member directory). It debuted at the annual Mayor/Council State of the City breakfast.


The Past Presidents’ Council of the Scottsdale Chamber sponsored the first annual Scottsdale History Hall of Fame Induction Dinner April 27, honoring 15 of Scottsdale’s “history makers.”  Proceeds from the dinner benefitted the Scottsdale Historical Society.


On May 13 the Scottsdale Chamber honored CartridgeCare (Irene Conlan, principal) as Small Business of the Year and Rural/Metro Corporation with the Excellence in Business Award.  The awards breakfast was held at The Registry Resort.


Colorful and beloved Southwest Airlines Founder/Chair/CEO Herb Kelleher was the featured speaker to a sell-out crowd at the Scottsdale Chamber’s Annual Lunch June 10, held at The Registry Resort.


Based on results of a poll of its members regarding pending federal health care reform proposals, the Scottsdale Chamber urged market-driven reform and opposed a government-managed health care system.


In a fall survey, Scottsdale Chamber members listed completing the Pima Freeway as the biggest priority for local businesspeople, followed by better public safety and preservation of the McDowell Mountains and surrounding Sonoran Desert.


As of December 1994, the chamber had 2,200 members, 37 full-time and 10 part-time staff and a budget of $4 million (combining dues, non-dues revenue and funds received for tourism and economic development from the City of Scottsdale).  Between Sept. 1993 and 1994, the chamber’s visitors center (open seven days a week) received 172,698 phone calls.



Tim Bray, principal of Southwest Community Resources, served as Scottsdale Chamber board president


City of Scottsdale involved citizens in the CityShape 2020 General Plan Review process; chamber took an active role on committees.


Throughout 1995, the Scottsdale Chamber and the City of Scottsdale worked to prepare for the Valley’s first Super Bowl, set for January 28, 1996.  The chamber hosted two seminars (over 600 attended) to let small businesses know how to apply to be a bowl vendor or tie into events before and during the big game weekend.  The Chamber and City also produced a monthly Super Bowl update newsletter.


The Scottsdale Chamber formed a Los Arcos Business Task Force to evaluate and recommend chamber input to the City’s Los Arcos Area Revitalization Plan for the McDowell Road corridor.


Citizens voted for a 2/10s of one percent sales tax increase to fund land purchases for the newly established McDowell Sonoran Preserve.  Prior to the election, the Scottsdale Chamber submitted questions and concerns about the ballot language to the City and held a public forum to look at all sides and impacts of the initiative.  The Scottsdale Chamber and the tourism industry were strong supporters of the ballot issue, despite the impact an increase in sales tax might have on businesses.


Project E-RACE HATE launched in May, a community-wide effort to keep Scottsdale free of hate crimes.  Chamber President Diana Smith, on behalf of the board, released the statement: “The Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce, in keeping with its mission to improve Scottsdale as a place to visit, meet, do business and live, supports and applauds the E-Race Hate Project of the Scottsdale Community Diversity Council.  A Scottsdale which is a culturally enriched and enriching place will enhance our efforts to retain and expand existing business and sell our community as a visitor destination, meeting place and business location.  We join with all of Scottsdale in keeping the flame alive.”


Chamber honored Scottsdale Airpark News (Diana Smith) as Small Business of the Year and Desert Mountain Properties with the Excellence in Business Award


Chamber launched a new tourism advertising campaign, “In A Perfect World”


In June the Scottsdale Chamber took immediate, positive action on behalf of its members to ensure that City of Scottsdale officials understood the significant and long-term consequences to the business community and the over all Scottsdale economy that a proposed 18-month ban on issuing building permits in Scottsdale would have (which the City of Scottsdale was considering due to water availability concerns).  The chamber hosted an open forum where businesses and developers could air their opinions to local officials.  The moratorium was never put into place.


The Scottsdale Chamber hosted the first annual Salute to Retail Week in September.  Nationally renowned retail ‘guru’ Peter Glen was the keynote speaker with his “Wake Up Call” infotainment” talk at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts.



Northern Trust Banker Ken Harder served as Scottsdale Chamber board president.  As he began his tenure July 1, 1996, the chamber had 2,300 members, a 21-member board of directors and a professional staff of 43 operating from locations on Scottsdale Mall and in the Scottsdale Airpark.


During January, the chamber and its members welcomed the Dallas and Pittsburgh teams as well as thousands of fans to the Valley’s first Super Bowl, played Jan. 28 at Sun Devil Stadium at ASU.  The chamber distributed over 10,000 welcome kits to visitors, produced a ‘reporter’s notebook-style’ media kit distributed to hundreds at the media center (and it won a grand award from the American Chamber of Commerce Executives Association for its creativity) and participated in special events that benefitted the economy and lifestyle for visitors and residents.


In January, Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce’s Convention Tourism Division debuted an Internet website,


Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce Airpark Center held a grand opening at 15000 N. Airport Dr. (first floor of the Scottsdale Airport Terminal) May 17; Jerry Robison managed the new office.


The Scottsdale Chamber likely became the first chamber in the U.S. to offer an electronic membership plaque in the format of a screen saver on a diskette.  For many businesses operating electronically or virtually, this was an extension of the chamber’s ‘pride of membership’ to an increasing number of its members.  The chamber hosted a series of seminars to help its members transition to the various new forms of technology and e-commerce.


Scottsdale Chamber Foundation’s first project, “Neighborhoods Are Our Business” helps a Scottsdale Police Officer move into a house across from the Paiute Neighborhood Center.


Chamber honored China Mist Tea Company as Small Business of the Year and Scottsdale Embassy Suites with the Excellence in Business Award at the chamber’s annual business award breakfast May 21 held at the Embassy Suites Resort.


Chamber worked with City of Scottsdale on a new water, sewer development fee structure.


To help businesses anticipate disruptions caused by construction of the Pima Freeway through Scottsdale – especially as Pima Road closed between Via Linda and Shea Boulevard and further north – the chamber hand-delivered Arizona Department of Transportation information, held public meetings with DOT officials and provided updates in the chamber’s Scottsdale at Work newsletter.


Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce celebrated its 50th anniversary March 6, 1997. Scottsdale population was 175,000, Chamber had over 2,400 member businesses and 43 professional staff.  Featured guest was the chamber’s first president Wes Segner, who donated four of his historic Scottsdale watercolors for permanent display at the chamber offices.



At the Scottsdale Chamber’s Annual Business Award event, Great American Events, Inc. was honored as the Small Business of the Year and Scottsdale Healthcare received the Excellence in Business Award.  Event was held June 14 at the Radisson Resort (formerly The Registry).


On July 2, the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce put itself and its entire membership on the Internet @; and the chamber gave members access to all 43 staff members with new email addresses.  The chamber’s tourism division also created an interactive CD-ROM to distribute to meeting planners and tour operators


Pacesetter opened its heart pacemaker manufacturing facility in the Perimeter Center; the Scottsdale Partnership/Chamber was instrumental in attracting them to the city.


Hotelier (Safari Resort) Ron Parodi served as Scottsdale Chamber board president.


The chamber’s 2,400 members had the opportunity to participate in a full menu of committees:  Ambassadors, Business Awards, Entrepreneurial Enhancement and Operation Outreach Networking in Membership Division; Airpark Area/Airport, Community Development, Downtown, Education, Legislative Affairs and Scottsdale Papago (Los Arcos) Revitalization in Community Development; as well as committees within the Convention/Tourism Division.


Scottsdale was named a finalist in the National Civic League’s All-America City competition; the chamber was co-sponsor of the effort.


At the Scottsdale Chamber’s annual Business Awards Luncheon June 24 at Monterra at WestWorld, Paul-Koehler consulting Structural Engineers, Inc. was honored as the Small Business of the Year and PCS Health Systems received the Excellence in Business Award.



The Convention/Tourism Division of the Scottsdale Chamber began calling itself the Scottsdale Convention and Visitors Bureau.


During FY 1997/98 over 10,000 individuals attended chamber networking events; more than 1,100 participated in chamber seminars, workshops, tours, and forums; and 9,195 Scottsdale Almanacs were mailed to individuals requesting relocation information.  In its first full year online, the website generated 114,000 hits from a global audience interested in doing business in Scottsdale, resulting in economic development leads and one solid prospect.


As the world was concerned about the potential impact on technology when 1999 turned into 2000 (called Y2K), the chamber held a seminar on how small businesses could address/prepare for potential Y2K computer system issues.


The Scottsdale Chamber board urged chamber members to vote “Yes” on several ballot issues in the Nov. 3 election:  Scottsdale Proposition 411 – Preserve Boundary Expansion, Scottsdale Prop 412 – Expenditure Base Adjustment; and Arizona Proposition 303 – Appropriation for Open Space Land – Growing Smarter.  Each issue endorsed by the chamber passed.


Scottsdale Healthcare President/CEO Max Poll served as Scottsdale Chamber board president.



In February, the chamber’s Convention & Tourism Bureau unveiled a new marketing campaign, “Be Here Now in the American Southwest.”  The campaign encompassed direct sales, public relations, relationship marketing, advertising, and niche marketing programs.


At the Scottsdale Chamber’s annual Business Awards Luncheon, PAR Technologies, Inc. was honored as the Small Business of the Year and the Scottsdale Cultural Council with the Excellence in Business Award.


Just as the 1969-vintage Los Arcos Mall on McDowell Road closed its doors to shoppers and diners, the chamber’s Los Arcos/Papago task force and the chamber board urged voters to approve a multi-use facilities district on the May 18 ballot to enable redevelopment of the site, possibly for a Coyotes hockey arena.


In September, Scottsdale and the East Valley got a new area code – 480 (after many years sharing the 602 area code with the rest of Phoenix metro).  The chamber’s long-time phone number then became 480-945-8481, the last seven digits of which the chamber had for decades.


Although favored by the chamber, voters defeated plans for a major downtown renewal project, “The Canals of Scottsdale.”


The Scottsdale Airpark became one of the top three employment centers in the state, with over 25,000 employees at approximately 2,100 companies


Henry & Horne PLC Partner Mark Eberle served as Scottsdale Chamber board president.



Scottsdale population is 202,260 on a 184.6 square mile area


EVP/COO of Sunbelt Holdings Curt Smith served as Scottsdale Chamber board president.


The Scottsdale Chamber revamped its annual business awards program, renaming it the Sterling Awards and adding a non-profit category.  At the 15th Annual Business/Sterling Awards Luncheon held Nov. 3 at the Scottsdale Hilton Resort, The Martz Agency was honored as the Small Business of the Year, Motorola-Integrated Information Systems Group as the Big Business of the Year and Scottsdale Prevention Institute as Non-profit of the Year.


Renowned broadcaster/news anchor and Scottsdale resident Hugh Downs headlined the chamber’s Celebrate Downtown Scottsdale event April 5 at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts.


The Scottsdale Chamber’s Airpark Area office moved from within the Scottsdale Airport terminal building to 8585 E. Hartford Dr. (across from FFCA/Fleischer Museum in the Perimeter Center).


The chamber commission a comprehensive research study of Scottsdale business, conducted by Behavior Research Center.  The study segmented the city’s business districts as:  Airpark, Midtown and Downtown.


The Scottsdale Chamber launched its Workforce Development Initiative, led by member and retired executive Ted Tyler.



Wells Fargo Bank Executive Linda Milhaven served as Scottsdale Chamber Chair (top volunteer leader’s title changed from board president to board chair)


During its Reinvention Process, the Scottsdale Chamber severed contractual ties with the City of Scottsdale (no longer accepting economic development and tourism promotion funding) and the Scottsdale Partnership economic development organization’s mission was absorbed by the chamber.  The chamber also changed its name to the Scottsdale Area Chamber: The Business Alliance.  It became more assertive on behalf of its members on issues impacting the business environment and community at large.


After 54 years as a function of the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce, the chamber’s Convention & Tourism Division spun off as the separate Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau.  For its first two years as a separate entity, it continued to share office space with the Scottsdale Area Chamber at 7343 Scottsdale Mall.  Rachel Sacco, head of the chamber’s C/T Division since 1986, became the President/CEO of the Scottsdale CVB.


Mayor Mary Manross declared the week of March 19 as Scottsdale Airpark Week; the chamber sponsored an executive airpark breakfast (keynoted by Jim Pederson, CEO of The Pederson Group) and tour, an Airpark Expo tradeshow in which 39 airpark companies exhibited and golf tournament.


At its annual Scottsdale History Hall of Fame event, the Scottsdale Chamber honored the City of Scottsdale’s 50th anniversary of incorporation by inducting the City and all its residents into the SHHF.


Following the terrorist bombings in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania on Sept. 11, the chamber worked to assist its members deal with the economic downturn that ‘9-11’ generated.


At the 16th Annual Sterling Awards Luncheon Nov. 29 at the Scottsdale Hilton Resort, the Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction was honored as the Small Business of the Year, The Dial Corporation as the Big Business of the Year and Scottsdale Foundation for the Handicapped as the Non-profit of the Year.


In the October edition of the chamber’s Scottsdale At Work newsletter, it was reported that during the past 15 years of the chamber’s economic development initiatives, over 30,000 mew jobs were created, ‘predominately by luring nearly 300 companies to the community.’


The Scottsdale Area Chamber “that severed its contracts with the city in June, has cut its staff from 23 to 14,” according to the Dec. 5, 2001, Arizona Republic.  Chamber President/CEO Phil Carlson was quoted as saying that the staff cuts were part of the chamber’s reinvention and restructuring process, and not due to financial shortfalls.  The chamber intended to involve members more and focus on supporting small business.  To that end, it formed a Small Business Services Division ad a Small Business Advisory Council.



In January the chamber hosted an economic summit, “Leading Issue for Scottsdale’s Tomorrow,” focusing on challenging, volatile economic times.


The Scottsdale Chamber, through its SACPAC, began endorsing candidates for Scottsdale City Council prior to the March 12 election, a move made possible through the chamber’s reinvention process when it divested its official ties to the City of Scottsdale (no longer accepting funds for economic development and spinning off the Scottsdale Convention & Tourism Bureau as an independent organization).  The chamber urged its members to vote for incumbents Cynthia Lukas and Robert Pettycrew and new candidate John Rooney in the March 12 primary election.


In March, the Scottsdale Area Chamber and Scottsdale Community College debuted “Chamber University,” a program designed to provide basic business skills and professional development opportunities.


On July 1, Principal of Ray Korte Lease Co. Virginia Korte began serving as Scottsdale Chamber Board Chair


Phil Carlson, Scottsdale Area Chamber President/CEO since July 1, ,1989, retired as of July 1.  Chamber COO Suzanne Walden-Wells served as interim President/CEO.


In September, the Scottsdale Area Chamber began a collaboration with the Maricopa Community College Small Business Development Center to provide free business counselling at the chamber offices.


Chamber board chair Virginia Korte resigned her volunteer leadership position Oct. 31 to become the President/CEO of the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce as of Nov 1.  There were approx. 1,750 chamber members (down from a high of about 2,400 which had included hospitality businesses that transferred out with the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau in 2001).


Wells Fargo Bank Executive Linda Milhaven again served as Scottsdale Chamber board chair after Virginia Korte resigned the position Oct. 31 to head the chamber staff as of Nov. 1.


At the 17th Annual Sterling Awards Luncheon Nov. 21 at the Scottsdale Hilton Resort, Justice Services, Inc. was honored as Small Business of the Year, Cactus Flower Florists as Big Business of the Year and Leadership Workshops Foundation as Non-profit of the Year.  Iconic trumpeter Jesse McGuire played the national anthem; emcee was Phoenix Business Journal Publisher Don Henninger.


In November, a group of Scottsdale residents, many of whom were past chamber board members/leaders (e.g., the PAC’s Chair Dr. Art DeCabooter), formed a political action committee aimed at passing a budget override for the Scottsdale Unified School District.  Called “Yes to Children Committee,” its goal was to get voters to pass the override March 11, 2003.



The chamber resumed calling itself the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce (adding back on the ‘of commerce’) due to popular demand (and universal chamber of commerce name recognition).


Sr. Vice President of Scottsdale Insurance Co. Mike Horsman served as Chamber board chair (stepping up as chair-elect when chair-elect Darren Smith accepted a position at a South Carolina resort).


The Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau moved from its Scottsdale Civic Center Mall location that it had shared with the Scottsdale Area Chamber to new offices at the Scottsdale Galleria Corporate Centre.


The Scottsdale Area Chamber launched its Business Roundtable program in January, designed to nurture the success of small business professionals by providing a safe, secure, and strictly confidential forum to shar ideas and experiences with peers.


The Scottsdale Area Chamber and major corporate leaders sponsored the Morrison Institute study, “Which Way Scottsdale,” a landmark visioning of the city’s future direction.  The Chamber and Morrison Institute presented its findings at a March 26th breakfast.


The Scottsdale Area Chamber received a grant from the Scottsdale Industrial Development Authority to develop a comprehensive business attraction/marketing program for the southern portion of Scottsdale.  The plan developed was called “Building on Success.”  Throughout the year and in years to come, the chamber took an active role in planning the redevelopment of the former Los Arcos Mall site and the surrounding McDowell Corridor.


The Scottsdale Area Chamber board opposed Props 200 and 201, ballot questions on whether Scottsdale should continue to contract with Rural/Metro for fire service or the city should create its own in-house fire department, issues on a May 20 election ballot.  Voters voted ‘no,’ thus approving the retention of the Rural/Metro contract; however, within a year, R/M declined to continue, and the city created its own fire department as of July 1, 2005.


The Scottsdale Area Chamber hosted “Stars Among Us,” the First Annual Segner Business Volunteer Awards & Celebration June 25 at the SunBurst Resort.  Eight chamber volunteers received the first Segner Awards:  Jayne Bongiovanni, Mark Eberle, Deb Eldridge, Jim Gardner, Gary Held, Tom Hawbaker, Linda Milhaven and Ted Tyler.  The awards honored the memory of the chamber’s first president (1947), Wes Segner.


In August, Chamber public policy VP Rick Kidder told the Scottsdale Airport Commission that the chamber supported the idea of tunnel under Scottsdale Airport to ease airpark/airport traffic congestion and flow.


The Scottsdale Area Chamber unveiled a new logo and corporate identity package, reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Scottsdale designs.  ChamberConnect debuted as a weekly email blast to members.  The chamber also began a weekly Scottsdale Business Edge email blast, providing members with updates on local issues that impact business.


The 18th Annual Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce Sterling Awards were held on November 21 at the Scottsdale Hilton Resort. Three businesses were nominated as finalists for each of 4 categories, with one honoree selected for each category. Honorees were:  MicroBusiness: Exhibit Experts; Small Business: Newport Furnishings; Big Business: Cox Communications; and Non-Profit: Scottsdale Leadership.



Mike Horseman served a second term as Chamber board chair


The Scottsdale Chamber, through its PAC, ran ads urging a ‘no’ vote in the March election on Proposition 300, which would provide city subsidies (from tax dollars) to the developer of the former Los Arcos Mall site.  Voters agreed and turned it down.  The chamber continued to work on more viable solutions for this vital corner of commerce in southern Scottsdale.


The Scottsdale Area Chamber hosted the 2nd Annual “Stars Among Us” Segner Business Volunteer Awards event, held June 17 at the Scottsdale Resort & Conference Center.  Judy Egan and Mike Ryan received the Rising Star Award; John Avianantos received the Segner Award and Art DeCabooter received the Legacy Award.  The chamber also held a write-in contest in which chamber members could nominate “Scottsdale’s Business Best” in a variety of categories, from Best Business Lunch Spot to Best Staff Party Spot and many more.


The Scottsdale Area Chamber and AZSNAP (Arizona Scottsdale Networking Airpark) merged as of July 1st.  AZSNAP had been organized in 2002.


Scottsdale Area Chamber introduced a members-only section on its website,


In June, the Scottsdale Area Chamber board unanimously voted to support a $217 million school construction bond slated for the Nov. 2 ballot.  If approved by voters, bond funds would rebuild four high schools in the Scottsdale Unified School District.


The Chamber, through its PAC, successfully warded off a referendum regarding the city’s plans to partner with Arizona State University to develop the former Los Arcos Mall site into a technology and innovation center.  Several years later, the site housed the successful SkySong: ASU/Scottsdale Center for Innovation and Technology.


In September the Scottsdale Area Chamber hosted Downtown Week, holding a tradeshow, “Insider’s View of Specialty Retailing Experience” seminar, downtown trolley tours and a tie-in with Art Walk.


The Chamber Board recommended a ‘no’ vote on Arizona Prop 200 in the November election, a measure which would require proof of citizenship to vote and verification of immigration status to receive public benefits.


At the 19th Annual Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce Sterling Awards on November 19 at The Phoenician Resort, the four honorees were: MicroBusiness: Casa del Oso Luxury Homes; Small Business: Merestone; Big Business: The Arizona Republic/Scottsdale Republic; and Non-Profit: Camelot Therapeutic Horsemanship (honoree).


The New Foundation became the first Scottsdale Area Chamber member to receive a dividend check from the chamber’s workers’ compensation program, according to an article in the Nov. 6 Arizona Republic.  The $22,402 check helped pay for a new roof for the facility.



Attorney Kurt Brueckner served as chamber board chair


In June, Scottsdale Area Chamber President/CEO Virginia Korte announced her resignation, effective in December.  The board promoted the chamber’s public policy vice president Rick Kidder (on staff since 2001) to serve as the next President/CEO.  Under Korte’s leadership, the chamber’s membership grew 43 percent, to about 2,000 members.


At the 3rd Annual Business Volunteer Awards June 16, Eileen Rogers received the Legacy Award, Curt Smith the Segner Award, Thaine Fischer the Rising Star Award and Tom Gunn for his three-year stint as the chamber’s small business advocate.


After its devastating impact became known in September/October, many Scottsdale organizations and businesses raised money to donate to Hurricane Katrina relief.  For example, the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce donated $26,000 to relief efforts, all from local contributions.


At the 20th Annual Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce Sterling Awards on November 17 at The Phoenician Resort, honorees were: MicroBusiness: Doggie Domain; Small Business: Prestige Cleaners; Big Business: Scottsdale Insurance Company; and Non-Profit: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy.


ESI Corporation prepared a “Scottsdale Fifth Avenue Tenant Mix Study” commissioned by the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce and the Fifth Avenue Property Owners.


During 2005 the chamber hosted over 120 networking, education, and social events; welcomed over 2,000 attendees to two tradeshows and published a relocation map containing member ads.



Attorney Kurt Brueckner served a second term as chamber board chair.


As of January 1, the Scottsdale Area Chamber’s VP-Public Policy Rick Kidder became the President/CEO; former president/CEO Virginia Korte resigned to take another local non-profit executive position


The Chamber moved from its Civic Center Mall location to 4725 N. Scottsdale Rd., Suite 210 (at Highland Avenue) in April.  In honor of her then-33 years as office manager, the reception area was named for Leslie Nyquist.  Once the chamber’s former location at 7343 Scottsdale Mall was vacated, the building was torn down and a new, 3-story building, Clayton on the Green, was built on the site.


The chamber and its PAC urged voters to pass Scottsdale Prop 402, allowing the city to raise its expenditure limitation.  It passed in May, despite vocal, misleading opposition.  Post-election, an OpEd in the Scottsdale Republic cited the Scottsdale Chamber as one of the ‘winners’ in the May election, in which the candidates and proposition it backed all won, increasing the chamber’s influence in the community.



At its 20th anniversary, Scottsdale Leadership paid tribute to the Scottsdale Chamber for mentoring its first 10 years of operation.


Sportscaster and local resident Joe Garagiola Sr. headlined the 4th Annual Stars Among Us! Segner Business Volunteer Awards Dinner June 22 at the Hilton Resort.  Receiving awards:  Dale Fingersh, Don Scher, Geoff Beer, Michael Famileti, Michael Horsman and Wendy Springborn-Pitman.


In the runup to the Nov. 7 election, the chamber board of directors opted not to take a position on Scottsdale’s Prop 401, a referendum on the City of Scottsdale’s ‘new sex club law.’  It did endorse Arizona Prop 106, the citizens’ land reform ballot initiative called Conserving Arizona’s Future.


Volunteers Patty Badenoch and Darlene Peterson gave the chamber’s iconic Cowboy Sign on the northeast corner of Scottsdale Road and Main Street a much-needed facelift.  During the redo, the Scottsdale Republic invited readers to name the cowboy (unnamed since 1952, it remained unnamed, although over 50 readers sent in suggestions).


The 21st Annual Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce Sterling Awards were held November 9 at The Phoenician Resort.  Honored were: MicroBusiness: Advanced Strategy Center at Pinnacle Peak; Small Business: Ollie the Trolley; Big Business: Sleep America; and Non-Profit: Arabian Horse Association of Arizona.  The Sterling Awards Luncheon was emceed by Sharon Harper, President and CEO of The Plaza Companies.


The Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce held a toy drive during December at North Scottsdale Collision Center.  The 300 attendees brought toys and filled a 16-foot-long trailer bound for the U.S. Marines Toys for Tots program.


During the year the chamber held over 60 ribbon cuttings to celebrate new member businesses and provided over 200 networking opportunities for its members.



Scottsdale Healthcare President/CEO Tom Sadvary served as Chamber board chair.


The Scottsdale Chamber surveyed its members on Scottsdale transportation issues, particularly those impacting customers and employees of Scottsdale area businesses.


From the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Strategic Plan 2007: “The Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit, membership-driven organization representing over 2,000 member businesses and individuals.  Our mission is to provide partnership opportunities though programs and services designed to help our members meet their business goals.  Membership in the Chamber is open to all businesses that maintain a voluntary annual dues investment.  Benefits of membership include information access, community involvement, political advocacy, image enhancement, networking and educational opportunities, business discounts and benefits and heightened credibility.”  The plan listed four core areas of the chamber:  Member Services, Economic Development, Public Policy, and Community Vision.  Chamber member committees included:  Airpark Committee, Ambassadors, Business Advisory Council, Champions Breakfast Advisory Committee, Economic Development Advisory Council, Membership Advisory Council, Public Policy Advisory Council and Workforce Development Task Force.


Scottsdale @Work, the Scottsdale Area Chamber’s newsletter, was upgraded to a four-color magazine, published by Media Publishers Group.


The chamber hosted its first Job Fair and Career Expo in partnership with Scottsdale Community College.


The chamber hosted its first Going Green Expo and launched its First Friday Airpark Breakfast events.


The Scottsdale Area Chamber celebrated its 60th anniversary at the annual Business Volunteer Awards event June 15 at the Scottsdale Resort and Conference Center. Honored at the event were U.S. Sen. Jo Kyl (Polaris Award), Michele Yates (Rising Star Award), Don Matheson (Segner Award), Mark Eberle (Legacy Award) and Marc C. Paquette (Ambassador of the Year).  Office Manager Leslie Nyquist received the Chairman’s Award.


The Scottsdale Area Chamber joined forces with the East Valley Chamber of Commerce Alliance to advocate for regional issues affecting businesses.


At the 22nd Annual Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce Sterling Awards on November 8 at The Phoenician Resort, the chamber honored Souvia Tea as MicroBusiness; LifeScape Medical Associates, PC as Small Business; Nautilus Insurance Group as Big Business; and Bridging AZ Furniture Bank as Non-Profit.



Former Tribune Newspapers publisher Karen Wittmer-Jekel served as Chamber board chair


The Scottsdale Area Chamber joined with the Scottsdale Charros and the City of Scottsdale to celebrate over 50 years of MLB Spring Training baseball in Scottsdale at a luncheon at Chaparral Suites Feb. 7.  Among the baseball luminaries attending:  Bob Brenly, Rickey Henderson, Ferguson Jenkins, Marty Keough, George Zuverink, Joe Garagiola, and Jim Bruner.


Building on the popularity of its ProWomen series, the chamber hosted the Inspire Luncheon Series to provide businesswomen with a network of support for personal and professional development.  High profile speakers shared the values and experiences that have shaped their success.


The Scottsdale Area Chamber organized a workforce development initiative called GET Phoenix to provide young professionals with networking opportunities and to attract and retail young professionals to the metro Phoenix area.


The Scottsdale Area Chamber joined Scottsdale Healthcare, the City of Scottsdale, SUSD, the Scottsdale Republic, Scottsdale Boys and Girls Clubs, the Scottsdale CVB and Arizona Senior Olympics in sponsoring Fit City Scottsdale, challenging residents, and businesses to get fit and focus on health.


In April, the chamber initiated the Scottsdale Campaign for Economic Development


In June, the chamber conducted the Scottsdale Citizen Attitude Survey


At the 6th annual Business Volunteer Awards event, held June 6 at the Scottsdale Resort and Conference Center, the chamber honored:  Dr. Art DeCabooter (Polaris Award); Dale Fingersh (Legacy Award); Eric Larson (Segner Award); Jennifer Boniovani (Rising Star Award).


At the 23rd Annual Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce Sterling Awards on November 13 at The Phoenician Resort, the chamber honored as MicroBusiness: One-Eleven Companies; as Small Business: Interior Motives, Inc.; as Big Business: Henry & Horne, LLP; and as Non-Profit: Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale.


The Scottsdale Area Chamber launched “Scottsdale Campaign for Economic Development 2008-2009,” commissioning Behavior Research Center to conduct a survey of registered voters to assess how they felt about our city, or direction and the tie-ins between economic growth in our community and maintaining or enhancing our quality of life.



Karen Wittmer-Jekel served a second term as Chamber board chair.


The Scottsdale Area Chamber continued to host events for professional women, called INSPIRE.


In January the chamber debuted the CEO Forum Series on Healthcare, Transportation and Education.


Scottsdale’s “Ollie the Trolley” took chamber volunteers, event sponsors, chamber staff and award judges to each honoree’s place of business to present the chamber’s annual Business Volunteer Awards May 15.  Honored were Tom Sadvary (Legacy Award); Steve Helm (Segner Award); Mary Christmas (Ambassador of the Year); and Holly Schor (Rising Star Award).


At the 24th Annual Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce Sterling Awards in November at the Scottsdale Resort & Conference Center, the chamber honored as MicroBusiness: Express Digital Solutions; as Small Business: Kohler Academy; as Big Business: Harkins Theatres; and as Non-Profit: Devereux Arizona.


Scottsdale Area Chamber was involved in a lawsuit filed by City of Scottsdale over the 2008 mayor/city council election campaign and the method of the chamber’s endorsements.  According to the Feb. 25, 2009, Arizona Republic, “The chamber was accused of violating campaign laws by sending mailers and paying for television ads that pointed out four candidates who ‘support Scottsdale’s quality of life’ during elections for mayor and City Council last fall.”  The lawsuit was settled in the chamber’s favor in 2011.



Scottsdale population is 217,385 on a 184.5 square mile area


Kurt Zitzer, partner with Meagher & Geer PLLP, served as Chamber board chair.


The Scottsdale Area Chamber debuted Give It Forward, a community outreach initiative designed to provide chamber member-to-member assistance to the chamber’s non-profit members.  The concept came from the chamber’s Ambassador Committee and began by focusing on the city’s youth-serving non-profits, and raised $2,500 for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale.


The Scottsdale Area Chamber honored its top volunteers at the 2010 Business Volunteer Awards bus tour.  Honorees:  Virginia Korte (Legacy Award), Marion Kelly (Segner Award), Andrew Bourne (Rising Star Award) and Laureen Leston as Volunteer of the Year.


Scottsdale Area Chamber conducted a community-wide visioning process, “Next Steps Scottsdale: Building an Action Plan for Economic Growth,” including a full-day symposium Sept. 15.  Its purpose was to update the 2033 “Which Way Scottsdale” report.


In October, the chamber convened the Executive Forum: The Collective, Independent Business Voice


The Scottsdale Area Chamber, at its 25th Annual Sterling Awards Luncheon, honored Celebration of Fine Art as the Micro-business of the Year, Human Capital Strategies as the Small Business of the Year, Scottsdale Fashion Square with the Big Business of the Year and St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance as the Non-profit of the Year.


Business United for Scottsdale Schools (BUSS) debuted as a business-to-education workforce development initiative in which the strength of Scottsdale’s schools can be enhanced through collaborative relationships with the business community. With the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s 501.c.3 organization at its center, BUSS was a collaboration of various entities including the City of Scottsdale Economic Development Department, Scottsdale Community College, the Scottsdale Charros, the Scottsdale Unified School District, the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce, and the business community.



Kurt Zitzer served a second term as Chamber board chair


In January, the chamber created two new member committees: Business Attraction and Business Retention.


The Scottsdale Chamber held “Scottsdale Forward: A Path for Progress & Economic Development” forum at Scottsdale Community College March 3.  A second Scottsdale Forward was held in September, each addressing economic development accomplishments, opportunities, and challenges.


More than 1,000 attended the Scottsdale Area Chamber’s Airpark Tradeshow at Monterra at WestWorld April 7, which featured 50 booths of chamber member businesses.  The chamber had been hosting an Airpark area trade show annually since 2005.


The Scottsdale Area Chamber honored members at its 2011 Business Volunteer Awards program:  Eric Larson (Legacy Award), Mark Eberle (Segner Award), Bryce Lloyd (Rising Star Awards), Andrew Chippindall (Dale Fingersh Volunteers of the Year Award), Sergio Dabdoub (the first Unsung Hero Award) and Tom Sadvary and Brad Casper were co-winners of the Chairman’s Award.


The Scottsdale Area Chamber endorsed Scottsdale’s proposed General Plan update, citing the plan’s maintenance of open space, character of the city and sensitivity to neighborhoods. Scottsdale voters rejected the update to the General Plan in a March 13, 2012 special election.


The Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce, at its 26th Annual Sterling Awards Luncheon, honored DMB Associates as the Big Business of the Year, GlobalMed as the Small Business of the Year, Reliable Background Screening as the Micro-business of the Year and Gabriel’s Angels as the Non-profit of the Year.



Eric Larson, AVB Development Partners, served as Chamber board chair.


The Scottsdale Area Chamber celebrated its 65th anniversary with a gala May 11 at Chaparral Suites Resort.  The event also honored members with Business Volunteer Awards.  Radio personality Pat McMahon was emcee; special honorees were U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl and retired AZ Sen. Carolyn Allen.


The chamber moved its offices from the Highland Building to the Forever Living Building at 7501 E. McCormick Parkway, Suite 202N, Scottsdale, AZ  85258.


At the 27th Annual Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce Sterling Awards November 13 at Chaparral Suites Resort, honorees were: MicroBusiness: Amplify U; Small Business: McDowell Village Senior Living; Big Business: Scottsdale Healthcare; and Non-Profit: STARS (Scottsdale Training and Rehabilitation Service).



Eric Larson served a second term as Chamber board chair


In March, ASU President Michael Crow headlined the chamber’s annual Scottsdale Forward event at SCC.


The Scottsdale Area Chamber held the inaugural Run the Runway 5K run-walk and kids’ dash April 6 at the Scottsdale Airport.  The event benefitted the non-profit Playworks.


The Scottsdale Area Chamber honored top members May 21 at its annual Business Volunteer Awards event.  Honorees:  Bill Heckman (Legacy Award), Kurt Zitzer (Segner Award), Jim Walker (Rising Star Award), Matthew Wright (Volunteer of the Year)


The Scottsdale Area Chamber endorsed passage of City of Scottsdale bond issue; however, voters rejected the ballot issue in the November election.


At the 28th Annual Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce Sterling Awards on November 14, honorees were: MicroBusiness: Pro One Media Productions; Small Business: Telesphere; Big Business: Scottsdale Community College; and Non-Profit:  Banner Behavioral Health Hospital.



FirstBank of Arizona Executive Bryce Lloyd served as Chamber chamber chair


The North Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce closed in December 2013 and its members transitioned into the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce.


As the Valley prepared to host Super Bowl XLIX, the chamber hosted “Breakfast With a Side of …the Super Bowl 2015,” featuring Jay Parry, CEO of the Super Bowl Host Committee.  Attendees at the February breakfast learned how to get involved personally and professionally with the big game.


The Scottsdale Area Chamber registered SACPAC 2014 as a political action committee to weigh in on the 2014 elections.  The PAC endorsed Linda Milhaven, Jennifer Peterson, and Dennis Robbins for Scottsdale City Council.


In June, the Scottsdale Area Chamber celebrated its members at the annual Business Volunteer Awards event.  Honorees:  Bryan Bertucci (Dale B. Fingersh Volunteer of the Year), Chris Cole (Mark F. Eberle Rising Star Award), Jane Blacker (Segner Award) and Camille Hill (Legacy Award).


Leslie Nyquist retired as Executive Assistant to the President/CEO and office manager; she began her 41-year tenure working at the Scottsdale Chamber in January 1973.  She passed away in 2020.


At the 29th Annual Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce Sterling Awards on November 14, at Chaparral Suites Resort, honorees were: MicroBusiness: Signs By Tomorrow; Small Business: Nussbaum Gillis & Dinner, P.C.; Big Business: Vi at Silverstone; and Non-Profit: Feeding Matters.



Bryce Lloyd served a second term as Chamber board chair


Money Radio, 1510AM, hosted a weekly “Chamber Chat” program, with Scottsdale Area Chamber President/CEO Rick Kidder talking about chamber and community news and information


Rick Kidder resigned as Pres/CEO in July; former chamber board chair Eric Larson served as interim CEO. Mark Hiegel was hired as President/CEO as of Oct. 1.


At the 30th Annual Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce Sterling Awards on November 20 at Chaparral Suites Resort, honorees were: MicroBusiness: Splash Printing & Marketing; Small Business: Chick-Fil-A; Big Business: McKesson Specialty Health; and Non-Profit: Franciscan Renewal Center.



Scottsdale Fashion Square Manager Steve Helm served as Chamber board chair.


GoDaddy and YAM Worldwide founder Bob Parsons headlined the chamber’s annual Scottsdale Forward Event at Scottsdale Community College March 10.


The Scottsdale Area Chamber recognized its top volunteers at its annual Business Volunteer Awards event – a breakfast at Scottsdale’s Museum of the West on June 8.


At the 31ST Annual Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce Sterling Awards Nov. 18 at Embassy Suites Scottsdale, Homeowners Financial Group was honored as the Big Business; Two Men and a Truck was honored as Small Business; Arizona Best Real Estate as Micro-Business; and Arizona Helping Hands as the Non-Profit.



Steve Helm served a second term as Chamber board chair.


The Scottsdale Area Chamber, in partnership with the City of Scottsdale and Experience Scottsdale held several “Downtown Small Business Gathering” networking and educational events, held at Scottsdale’s Museum of the West.


At the chamber’s annual Business Volunteer Awards event Jan. 5, honorees were:  Rachel Tarman (Dale B. Fingersh Volunteer of the Year Award), Wiliam “Bill” Smith (Mark F. Eberle Rising Star Award), David Bentler (Legacy Award), Randy Nussbaum (Segner Award) and Tom Keal (Unsung Hero Award).


At the 32nd Annual Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce Sterling Awards at Embassy Suites Scottsdale, honorees were:  MicroBusiness: The Dhaba; Small Business: Bolste; Big Business: Scottsdale Village Square; and Non-Profit: Family Promise of Greater Phoenix.


The Scottsdale Area Chamber endorsed Question 1 on the Nov. ballot, endeavoring to keep Scottsdale’s fair share of Maricopa County transportation taxes.


The chamber introduced regular events for its Scottsdale Rising Young Professionals (SRYP)group.  The SRP was created to bring forward developing young professionals and connect them to established leaders of the Scottsdale community.



Dale Fingersh, The Right Direction executive, served as Chamber board chair


Mark Hiegel resigned as Scottsdale Chamber President/CEO; Don Henninger served as interim CEO.  Mark Stanton was hired as the new President/CEO and began in May.


Business Volunteer Award honorees for 2018 were:  Brad Beller (Dale B. Fingersh Volunteer of the Year Award), Chris Gammel (Mark F. Eberle Rising Star Award), Pam Kelly (Segner Award), Jane Blacker (Legacy Award).


The Scottsdale Area Chamber, at its 33rd Annual Sterling Awards Luncheon Nov. 16 at Embassy Suites Scottsdale, honored Justo’s Gym as the Micro-Business of the Year, Titus Brueckner & Levine as the Small Business of the Year, Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty as the Big Business of the Year and Community Celebrating Diversity as the Non-profit of the Year.



Insurance executive Doreen Reinke served as Chamber board chair.


At the Jan. 10 Business Volunteer Awards event at the McCormick Ranch Golf Club, honorees were: Danielle Heywood (Dale B. Fingersh Volunteer of the Year Award), Matthew Benson (Mark F. Eberle Rising Star Award), Doreen Reinke (Segner Award), Steve Helm (Legacy Award).



In April, founder/former chair of Starbucks Howard Schultz, spoke to a group of Scottsdale Chamber members.


The Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce, at its 34th Annual Sterling Awards Luncheon Nov. 15, honored 10 to 1 Public Relations as the Micro-Business of the Year, TraVek Inc. as the Small Business of the Year, Plexus as the Big Business of the Year, and the Phoenix Herpetological Sanctuary as the Non-profit of the Year.



Scottsdale population is 254,995 on a 184.5 square mile area


Doreen Reinke served a second term at Chamber board chair


In March, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most chamber events were moved to Zoom/virtual or cancelled.  The chamber and City of Scottsdale partnered to support businesses significantly impacted by pandemic closures and protocols.


Within weeks of the start of the COVID pandemic in March, the chamber hosted a public safety webinar featuring Mayor Lane, Fire Chief Shannon, and Police Chief Rodbell, all addressing COVID safety concerns.  The chamber also distributed colorful “Scottsdale Good to Go, Open for Business” banners for businesses to display to alert customers that they were open during the height of COVID closures.


The chamber conducted both a Mayoral and a City Council Candidate Forum online via Zoom in June, prior to the August primary election.  With masks on and social distancing in place at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, the chamber hosted a Mayoral debate in September, prior to the November general election.


In September, after the City of Scottsdale lifted its COVID face mask ban, the Scottsdale Area Chamber joined with HonorHealth to urge Scottsdale residents and businesses to continue wearing face masks as a pandemic preventative measure and to allow people to safely get back to work and shop.


Due to the pandemic, the chamber’s annual Scottsdale History Hall of Fame, Business Volunteer Awards and Sterling Awards events were all postponed to a safer date in the future.


The Scottsdale Area Chamber began hosting networking events, forums, seminars, and committee meetings virtually via Zoom.



Matthew Benson, Veridus LLC executive, served as Chamber board chair.


Due to continuing concerns of public gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic, the chamber again postponed its Business Volunteer Awards event to a later date.


Many of the chamber meetings and events continued to be held virtually, or ‘hybrid,’ both in person and online via Zoom.


The chamber held its annual Scottsdale Forward program March 9 via VIMEO.


The chamber was recognized as one of 15 long-standing civic organizations for its contributions to Scottsdale with a permanent plaque at the Scottsdale Civic Center Library.


At the 35th Annual Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce Sterling Awards Nov. 19 at Embassy Suites Scottsdale, honorees were: Micro Business: DebitFire LLC; Small Business: Civic Center Pharmacy; Big Business: Reputation INC.; and Non-Profit: Scottsdale/PV YMCA.



Matthew Benson served a second term as Chamber board chair.


The Scottsdale Chamber held its Scottsdale Forward event at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts in March with appropriate COVID-19 precautions.


After a two-year delay due to COVID restrictions on public gatherings, the Scottsdale Chamber held the 27th Annual Scottsdale History Hall of Fame induction dinner honoring Paul Messinger with a Lifetime Achievement Award and inducting Denny Brown, Melinda Gulick, Dennis Robbins, Gregg Tryhus, SRP, and Experience Scottsdale into the hall of fame.


During the 2022 Scottsdale City Council election season, the Scottsdale Area Chamber hosted in person candidate forums which were also available on-line for those still sheltering due to lingering COVID-19 concerns or with schedule conflicts.


From March 6 and throughout 2022, the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce commemorated its 75th anniversary, culminating at the September 21 Member Palooza event held at Scottsdale Stadium.  An 80-page commemorative book was also published by the Scottsdale Area Chamber, highlighting its history, and supported by member advertising.


Researched and compiled by Joan C. Fudala, Scottsdale community historian.  Information sources include:  Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce files and publications, Scottsdale Historical Society archives, Scottsdale Heritage Connection archives at Scottsdale Civic Center library, various editions of Scottsdale Progress, The Arizonian, The Arizona Republic/Phoenix Gazette, Scottsdale Scene/ScottsdaleLife, Scottsdale Magazine, Scottsdale Airpark News, Scottsdale Citizen, Scottsdale Booster, recollections of former Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce officials and staff, websites, and original research/personal knowledge of author.