Thirteen years ago, Don Ruff had what turned out to be a lucky idea for the Scottsdale Historical Museum. Ruff, a former vice president with Bank One, suggested a Scottsdale History Hall of Fame to fellow members of the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce.
The idea took off, infusing new life into the museum.
"We are documenting for the future the history of Scottsdale," Ruff said. "There’s a great deal of self-satisfaction to any of us who have worked on this."
The hall will add five people and one organization at its 12th annual dinner at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Chaparral Suites Resort Scottsdale, 5001 N. Scottsdale Road. Proceeds from the banquet benefit the museum.
Environmentalist Carla (her legal name); Scottsdale Healthcare CEO Max Poll; community volunteer and businesswoman Marion Saba; former City Councilman Tom Silverman; and the late Lloyd Kiva New — one of Scottsdale’s first nationally known leather craftsmen and designers — will be inducted along with Creative Women of Pinnacle Peak, a nonprofit organization that raises funds for local charities.
The inductees are profiled in today’s Tribune.
"The hall was a grass-roots effort," said Art DeCabooter, president of Scottsdale Community College and one of the hall’s founders. "We wanted to recognize people who have an impact on Scottsdale and the Valley. It has really grown over the years."
Counting this year’s additions, the hall now has 85 members and nine community organizations.
For information or to buy tickets at $60 per person, call (480) 949-2174. CARLA Carla (her legal name) and her brother Greg Woodall organized one of Scottsdale’s first recycling projects while they were Coronado High School students three decades ago.
Her environmental activism has only accelerated since then.
Today, Carla is credited as a driving force behind Scottsdale’s quest to protect almost a third of its land area as natural open space by expanding the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.
"Without her leadership and commitment the preserve (effort) would not be where it is today," said Art DeCabooter, chairman of the city’s preserve commission.
Carla helped lead campaigns and task forces that ignited the city’s preservation program. Since 1998, she’s been executive director of the nonprofit McDowell Sonoran Land Trust, which advocates for land conservation locally and statewide.
Said land trust board chairwoman Christine Kovach: "Carla’s vision for the preserve and her contributions have helped make Scottsdale the unique place that it is."
CREATIVE WOMEN OF PINNACLE PEAK
Contrary to its name, the Creative Women of Pinnacle Peak is not a group of Scottsdale artists or actresses.
Instead, it is a group of Scottsdale women, from teachers to businesswomen, who use their varied talents to help local charities.
The philanthropic organization has raised roughly $1.8 million since it was founded in 1991.
Through staging four major fundraisers each year including fashion shows, dinner dances like the "Rhinestone Cowboy," golf tournaments and the annual Trash to Treasures sale, this group of 240 women raises money for the Thomas J. Pappas Elementary School for homeless children, Homeward Bound and Waste Not.
With no staff and no overhead, the donations go straight to the charities, said president Kathleen Kaplan.
This year a record number of charities applied for small grants from the group. It was able to assist 26 with small amounts of funds. "The needs is growing and growing," she said.
LLOYD KIVA NEW
Scottsdale’s emergence as a center of fine arts and highquality American Indian crafts can be traced in large part to the work of Lloyd Kiva New.
He was one of the first artists to gain prominence through the Arizona Craftsmen Center in Scottsdale in the late 1940s, and later helped bring success to other American Indian artists at his Kiva Crafts Center on Fifth Avenue.
He would go on to become a founder and president of the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe in the 1960s and ’70s.
"I credit him as being the father of the contemporary movement in Indian art," said Joe Baker, a curator for the Heard Museum, which will open a major exhibit of New’s leather craft works at the Heard Museum North in Scottsdale early next year.
Even after his death in 2002, New’s innovations continue to influence the direction of American Indian art, Baker said.
"He was at the cutting edge and the forefront of international design. . . . We aspire to continue his work." he said.
When Max Poll moved to Scottsdale in 1992, he envisioned making an impact on the community. The president and chief executive of Scottsdale Healthcare will be honored Tuesday for doing just that.
A health care administrator for more than 30 years, Poll has become a community leader.
"For the most part, people who make the decision to live in Scottsdale have a set of expectations," he said. "There’s a high energy and passion to obtain and attain things that will make a better environment to work and play in.
"Most people would give anything to obtain or retain good health. I believe in extending myself to my community through my career and other work."
Poll also has been a leader in the redevelopment of downtown Scottsdale, the establishment of Valley-based International Geonomics Consortium and creation of the LINKS Community Collaborative.
When Marion Saba gets involved with a cause, it’s for the long haul. The Arizona native said she has enjoyed every minute of giving to Scottsdale during the 43 years she has lived there.
"I have to really believe in a cause before I get involved," Saba said. "I have tried to do things that make a difference in peoples’ lives."
Saba, 62, known for the western wear stores that bear her family surname, has served in leadership roles with the Scottsdale Prevention Institute, Las Madrinas, STARS and the city’s human services commission and housing board.
The institute, which she helped found in 1986, continues to be one of her favorite projects.
"Back then, no one wanted to believe there were drugs in Scottsdale," Saba said. "Today, it’s back to square one. People don’t want to believe there’s such a problem here, but there is. I’ve just tried to make a difference by making the school district and city aware that people need help.
"It’s worth everything to have even one person’s life change for the better."
As the general manager of his family-owned Scottsdale Chaparral Suites, Tom Silverman has deep roots in the Scottsdale community.
When Tom’s parents, Ray and Lee, moved to the city in 1953, they opened the Paradise Valley Guest Ranch, a 12-unit complex complete with hayrides, horses and a swimming pool. The family sold the ranch in 1978.
"Then we opened the Chaparral Suites on that very same corner in 1980, and I’ve been running it ever since," Silverman said.
He runs the 311-room hotel with his sister, Carole, who is in charge of the food service side of the family business.
Silverman is a graduate of Scottsdale High School, and he also graduated with the first Scottsdale Leadership Class of 1987. He was the first recipient of Scottsdale Leadership’s Frank Hodges Alumni Achievement Award.
Silverman has served as a statewide leader in the tourism industry, as well as a key leader in many local civic organizations, including a four-year term on the Scottsdale City Council.