The second year of VL’s Explore class has wrapped! The Class 2 Explore cohort gathered in mid June for a final reflection of the program and a celebratory dinner. The day was designed to create space for the group to get creative and connect over the shared experiences.
Five years after the launch of Valley Leadership’s “Pivot Towards Impact”, leading philanthropic partners have renewed their investments totaling over $1 million in the organization’s evolutionary shift on how it develops a culture of leadership steeped in values, action and engagement of more leaders.
Explore’s final journey took the class from Flagstaff to Hard Rock, to Monument Valley and back down through Cameron Trading Post; 776 miles and over 13 hours of driving to visit just a few of the many assets that Navajo Nation has to offer. Read more about their final trip.
Explore Class 2 took the program’s 5th trip to Buckeye last week to learn more about economic development, local small business entrepreneurship, and all things sustainability.
To celebrate the start of Pride Month, we interviewed Nate Rhoton, CEO of one-n-ten and Valley Leadership’s Institute Class 38 Alumni, to discuss the importance of hard conversations and how to approach them.
Explore Class 2 recently traveled to Mesa, where participants had the chance to learn about the community’s focus on arts and culture, affordable housing efforts, economic development and immersive media experiences at the ASU MIX Center!
Explore Class 2 took the program’s first trip to South Phoenix last week for a day of farming and learning about the city’s education structures, economic development, and broad community outreach.
Explore’s second trip spent two days in Ambos Nogales (Spanish for “both Nogales”), which refers to the two cities with the same name: Nogales, Arizona, United States, and Nogales, Sonora, Mexico.
Daisy Talavera, Valley Leadership’s new Director of Strategic Learning, dives into her experience with Explore Class 2 and their trip to Yuma! She describes learning about Yuma’s thriving agriculture industry, focus on education, widespread immigration and water issues, and community-oriented values.
Amanda Straight has joined the VL team as the Manager of Strategic Doing! She is excited to work with Valley Leadership to establish stabilities for individuals and families across Arizona.
To celebrate the start of Women’s History Month, we interviewed Ambassador Barbara Barrett, 25th Secretary of the Air Force and alumnae of Valley Leadership Institute Class 1. Learn more about her unique journey in leadership and the various roles she has taken on throughout her career.
Daisy Talavera has joined the VL team as Director of Strategic Learning | Leadership Development. She’s excited to support VL participants on their personal journey to learning how they can activate their leadership to have impact on our state’s most pressing issues.

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