By Kim Edwards, Class 14
I kept putting off going through the Scottsdale Leadership program for many years because of my hectic work and travel schedule. I had initially worked as a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines before founding my own agency, Kim Conway and Associates. Even then, I flew around the world to London, Canada, etc. to work with my clients and knew that the program would require my attendance and my participation.
So many of my colleagues and friends had been through the Core Program at Scottsdale Leadership and I think I just got tired of everyone asking me what class I was in – so, in spring 1999, I made the commitment for the class schedule, applied and was accepted into Class 14. Looking back, that decision became one of the best 10 decisions I have made in my life both professionally and personally! Scottsdale Leadership is all about connections to your community and networking.
As required for our class program, I opted to do the 4-hour block for Public Safety Day with the Scottsdale Police Department. Scheduled for January 28, 2000, my client was delayed in traffic and missed meeting me at Pischke’s. Knowing of our ad deadlines, I was calling to cancel my ride-along when my client buzzed back and said it was impossible for her to make it across town and we would have to meet Monday morning. Realizing the time, I packed up and headed over to the Police Department just in time to meet my future husband on my ride-along.
During the briefing for the ride along, I was assigned to Tim Edwards (who I later found out was not at all thrilled to be doing a ride-along because it wasn’t his turn). However, he took me anyway. Following briefing, we went to the beat office where I waited until he put away his lunch and paperwork. While waiting, K-9 Officer JR Parrow asked me if I was an officer’s wife doing a ride-along. When I replied, “No.” He laughed and remarked, “You just mean, not yet.” Officer Edwards kept me for the entire 10-hour Friday night shift and we even went to dinner between calls at the SHC Osborn Hospital Cafeteria.
At the end of the night, Officer Edwards handed me his business card with his personal phone number and pager on it. A few days later, I wrote him a thank you note for the experience (Scottsdale Leadership always encourages you to write thank you notes!). Having learned I was a competitive ice skater and loved hockey during our time together, Officer Edwards wrote back and asked if I would like to go to dinner and a Coyotes game. I accepted. We had an amazing time and twenty-four days later he proposed to me and 78 days later we were married. Today, we’ve been married 15 years and have two beautiful daughters who are 10 and 12 years old: Tristi and Laguna.
In addition to my personal experience I have to say that I am so proud to be a Leadership graduate. I love being from Scottsdale and love more the people that make it one of the greatest places to live in the US. Scottsdale Leadership opens doors that might never open, it connects people in the most unlikely ways and these interactions are better than any awards you could aspire to get in life.
Back in 2007, I was struck from behind in a terrible car accident which totaled my car. Surviving with eight disc bulges, three spinal tears, two pressing into my spinal cord and a right blown rotator cuff, that one crash changed my life in an instant. Despite all of the back surgeries and rehab I have been through, I could no longer pick up my daughters two and four at the time. The incident changed my life totally and I know how very blessed I am as a wife, mother, sister, daughter, client, friend. My number one priority today is giving back! Currently serving on the Phoenicians Board at the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, I still continue marketing, but I love to volunteer. Whether it is for our girls’ school at Great Hearts Cicero, the Outreach & Recruitment Committee for Scottsdale Leadership or special events, giving is the best gift of all.
By the way, what class are you from?