Explore Class 3 Kicks Off With Foundations Day

April 1, 2024

We kicked off our third class of Valley Leadership’s Explore program last month and could not be more excited to experience Arizona with this wonderful cohort! We started our day with Valley Leadership’s CEO, Dave Brown, guiding introductions and welcoming the group before we delved into how we will get the most out of the program experiences together and an overview of what to expect from the program as a whole.

Our program sponsor, Sprouts Foundations, provided us with lunch before the Hip Historian, Marshall Shore, guided us through some of Arizona’s history with a focus on the cities we will visit, and of course, sprinkling in some of his signature quirky historical facts.

The cohort then got their bodies moving with team building exercises led by Dorian Lenz and Annika Wines from the Neighborhood Comedy Theater. The improv activities accomplished exactly what we hoped for, and made everyone just uncomfortable enough to bond and begin to build connections. This day really establishes the foundations for the rest of the program experience, and the relationships built among the participants of the program are an invaluable outcome. 

Finally, we had Sarah Porter from ASU join us to share the details of our water challenges in Arizona, and provide us with enough knowledge to confidently ask questions and discuss this unique issue with the partners we will meet throughout the program. The day wrapped up with the Explore Program manager, Jen Gastelum, reviewing the many frameworks that the program was built off of, as well the themes and essential questions used to reflect on the experiences as a group. 

As we venture into our third program year of Explore, we look forward to meeting new leadership throughout the state, expanding knowledge about unique experiences and perspectives, and building connections that will foster positive impact throughout Arizona.

For more photos, please visit our Facebook album.

Special thanks to all of our community partners who made the trip such an incredible experience!

Lynn RomeroJ. Orin Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute
Marshall ShoreHip Historian
Dorian Lenz Neighborhood Comedy Theater
Annika WinesNeighborhood Comedy Theater
Sarah PorterWater Expert – Arizona State University

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