Scottsdale Rotary Roundup

Scottsdale Rotary Roundup

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski

Chris Haines gives an update on SCC

The Rotary Club of Scottsdale welcomed Scottsdale Community College President Chris Haines to its recent meeting at McCormick Ranch Golf Club. 

When introducing Haines, Rotarian Mike Savastio said she has been working within the Maricopa County Community Colleges District since 1989. She held various leadership positions and/or was an adjunct instructor at Mesa, South Mountain, Chandler-Gilbert and Scottsdale community colleges. From 2015-2018, she served as Phoenix College interim president.

Her resume also includes stints as coach and instructor at Baker University in Baldwin City, Kansas, and Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. Haines, who was the first in her family to earn a college degree, majored in political science/education at Black Hills State University and earned a master’s degree in educational counseling from NAU.

During her talk, she said she was grateful to her mentors, former Rotarians Drs. Jan Gehler and Art DeCabooter, both of whom are former Scottsdale Community College presidents. Afterward, Rotarians were curious about SCC’s funding and tuition.

In closing, she said she spends 50% of her time raising dollars for the school and promoting the school’s major departments like arts, business, education, health professions, humanities, protective services, science, technology, math and trades and personal services.

At the meeting, Rotary Club of Scottsdale’s President Don Loose acknowledged Rotarians Craig Miller and Jason Brock, who have been in the group for 24 and 25 years, respectively, for having perfect meeting attendance.

Rotarian Jolene Hale was presented with her “blue” membership badge after she completed her new Rotarian assignments. Justine Hurry was welcomed as Rotary Club of Scottsdale’s newest member.

The club members announced they would wrap presents for 30 adopted families on September 21.

Brophy shares history of Aztec Land and Cattle Company

The Rotary Club of Scottsdale welcomed native Arizonan Steven Brophy, CEO of Aztec Land and Cattle Company, as its keynote speaker at a recent club luncheon.

Aztec has a vested interest in development of transportation and commerce. Brophy’s family immigrated to the United States from Ireland in 1879.

Brophy said the Aztec Land and Cattle Company purchased a 1 million acre tract of land in northern Arizona from the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad in the late 1880s. He imported about 32,000 head of cattle with the Hashknife brand from Texas and began his Arizona operations.

Land owned by the Aztec Land and Cattle Company stretches from Holbrook and Joseph City to the north, to Heber on the southwest and slightly south of Snowflake/Taylor. Its eastern border is mainly along State Route 77. Most of the property is in sections checker-boarded with federal Bureau of Land Management sections and State Land sections. A section is 1-square-mile.

As of 2017, Aztec and its affiliates own approximately 240,000 acres in Navajo County and 320,000 acres of minerals rights (some without surface ownership) in Navajo and Coconino counties. Aztec is the second-largest private landowner in Arizona and holds one of the state’s few remaining large-scale tracts of rural private land available for development.

Aztec, with a partner, also owns the Apache Railway, a Class III short-line railroad running for 55 miles off the BNSF Railroad’s transcontinental mainline near Holbrook. The Apache Railway serves much of Aztec’s land, providing access to national and international markets. It has operated continuously since its incorporation in 1917.

During his talk, Brophy discussed the impact of land surveys, U.S. deed grants and land exchanges; mineral rights; water supplies and Aztec’s impact on the U.S. Forest Service and Tonto National Forest. Per Brophy, 82% of Arizona land is public and 18% is private, making Arizona one of the most densely urbanized areas within the United States due to its strong link to Salt River Valley’s Roosevelt Dam and its canals.

Also at the meeting, Loose welcomed new Rotarian Todd Armstrong. ν