2021 Spirit of Community Leadership Award Recipients Announced

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Scottsdale Leadership Honors Community Leaders through Hodges, Drinkwater and Jenkins Awards

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - eTradeWire -- Scottsdale Leadership proudly announces Don Carson and Raoul Zubia as community leaders recognized for their commitment to our community through two awards – The Drinkwater Community Leadership Award and the Hodges Alumni Achievement Award.  Outstanding student Zack Okun was announced as the recipient of the Bill Jenkins Youth Leadership Award.

The 2021 Drinkwater Leadership Award winner is Don Carson.  Don led the community to reinstate the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday when the Governor Meacham eliminated it.  Don's leadership forged the way for businesses, starting with the Scottsdale Chamber and the hospitality/convention tourism industry, to join with others to bring this to a state-wide vote of the citizens.  Don, and his beloved Cubs, helped create the Spring Training aura, the Spring Training reality we have today in our city.  He rallied for the baseball stadium as well as other sports venues across the state.  Don was Chairman of the Board of the Chamber, supporting all businesses in Scottsdale.

This year's Hodges Alumni Achievement Award recipient is Raoul Zubia.  By nature, Raoul is a humanitarian.  He demonstrates through service and action his care and concern for the welfare of others.  He served on the Partners for Paiute board for six years and has recently returned to board service.  Raoul served on the City of Scottsdale's Human Services commission from 2010-2016 and chaired this commission during his last year. He volunteers for many city wide initiatives like the annual Back to School events that equip needy children with backpacks and school supplies. Raoul is a true servant and Ambassador for Scottsdale and our community members. He is an SL Alumnus, graduate of Class 22.

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Zack Okun is the 2021 Bill Jenkins Youth Leadership award winner. Zack is a junior at Desert Mountain High School with a plan to pursue Mechanical Engineering and Robotics Engineering at ASU. He has written that, "As a leader I want to be the voice of those who are afraid to speak up, but should be heard."  In his high school career, Zack has co-founded two campus clubs – Technological Entrepreneurship Society and Future Innovators of America – as well as started a non-profit organization STEMducate Foundation that pushes STEM education for all.  Other groups he works with include Student Government, SUSD Student Advisory Board, and is a 3rd Degree Blackbelt in Karate.

"Herb Drinkwater, Frank Hodges, and Bill Jenkins would be so proud to see their legacy continued by awarding these men for their passion, commitment and leadership they have exhibited through the years and will continue to do so in the future," stated Lee Ann Witt, Executive Director.  "It is our privilege to honor these elite leaders, both past and present."

About the awards:

The Drinkwater Community Leadership Award is named after the Honorable Herb Drinkwater who served as Scottsdale's Mayor and as a City Council member for more than 25 years.  He was always willing to introduce Scottsdale to people who might be interested in becoming a part of our city.  It is because of Herb's on-purpose living and positive intent for the community that Scottsdale Leadership honors a similarly-purposed community leader each year.

The Hodges Alumni Achievement Award honors Scottsdale Leadership alumni who illustrate the passion and commitment Frank Hodges, Scottsdale Leadership Class 1, had for his community.  Frank was an Assistant Fire Chief with Rural Metro and his dedication to the people of Scottsdale knew no boundaries.  His efforts were tireless, and his legacy lives on through the lives he touched.  His life, spirit and dedication are honored through this annual Alumni Achievement award.

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Both awards are based on Community Service and Involvement which demonstrates commitment to Scottsdale Leadership's core values; Leadership that is recognized by others for roles in various organizations or community initiatives; Consistency of Community Involvement over an extended period of time, and Humanitarian Values that exemplify inclusivity and concern for different groups of people with varying backgrounds.

The Jenkins Youth Leadership Award honors William C. (Bill) Jenkins.  As a 29-year Scottsdale High School teacher and Scottsdale Mayor (1974-1980), Bill worked tirelessly for his students in the Social Sciences department and as their student government advisor.  As a mayor, Bill took Scottsdale through rapid growth and through a recession.

Since 1986, Scottsdale Leadership has graduated more than 1,200 individuals who are prepared to take on leadership roles across our communities.  Through powerful, transformative experiences during its leadership development programs, Scottsdale Leadership enhances the ability of leaders and creates engaged citizens who ensure a sustainable future for our community.

For more information, call Scottsdale Leadership at 480-627-6710 or visit

Media Contact
Lee Ann Witt

Source: Scottsdale Leadership

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