Valley Leadership names Man & Woman of the Year, Person of the Decade Award

Independent Newsmedia
Posted 10/31/19

Valley Leadership announces Kenneth J. Schutz and Karrin Taylor Robson as the organization’s newest Man & Woman of the Year.

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Valley Leadership names Man & Woman of the Year, Person of the Decade Award


Valley Leadership announces Kenneth J. Schutz and Karrin Taylor Robson as the organization’s newest Man & Woman of the Year.

The pair will be honored for their long-term contributions and commitment to the community at the Annual Man & Woman of the Year event on April 2, 2020 at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts.

There will also be an inaugural Person of The Decade award honoring the late Senator John Sidney McCain III for his impact on Arizona.

The event’s first Person of The Decade award is a once-in-a-decade recognition of other “once-in-a-decade-leaders and ‘doers’ whose grit and determination in taking on and solving Arizona’s most pressing issues” reflect Valley Leadership’s five principles of doing and commitment to cultivating leaders working to accomplish things civilly, according to a press release.

Continuing Valley Leadership’s Pivot Toward Impact, the gathering of Arizona’s diverse leadership will feature a new format leading with the organization’s first Impact Expo highlighting the formation and progress of four impact teams including education, health, child well being and jobs and the economy.

“Valley Leadership’s vision is for a broad spectrum of Arizonans to work together to impact the issues that matter most, setting the example for leadership,” says Valley Leadership President and CEO David Brown, in a prepared statement.

“On behalf of Valley Leadership and its board of directors, we are truly honored to celebrate the impact these leaders have had on Arizona and the example they set on leadership both here in Arizona and around the globe.”

About the Honorees

Karrin Taylor Robson, a long-time Arizona business leader and land-use expert, is the founder and president of Arizona Strategies, a premier land use strategy firm headquartered in Phoenix.

Throughout her career, she has entitled more than 20,000 acres including more than 35,000 homes and over 25 million square feet of commercial uses. She serves on boards of numerous government, community and economic development organizations.

Kenneth J. Schutz, Desert Botanical Garden director, has held executive leadership positions in cultural institutions for more than 30 years, serving the Desert Botanical Garden since 2001.

During his tenure, he has managed construction of $35 million in new facilities, more than doubled local attendance, initiated numerous new education and research projects, and raised more than $15 million in gifts and pledges for the Garden’s endowment. He serves on the board of the Institute for Museum and Library Services and as an accreditation commissioner for the American Alliance of Museums.

John Sidney McCain III, whose record of leadership and experience embodied a lifetime commitment to service, was the son and grandson of distinguished Navy admirals. He deeply valued duty, honor and service of country.

Upon graduation from the United States Naval Academy, he launched a 22-year career as a naval aviator. From narrowly surviving the first of many near-death experiences during his lifetime, to being taken as a prisoner of war, he retired from the Navy in 1981 and served two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives before he was elected to the United States Senate in 1986.

Valley Leadership has a proven and long-standing track record of impacting the community since the late 1970s, when a group of Valley visionaries recognized the need to identify and develop the next generation of leadership, according to the release.

The founders are noted to have imagined an annual succession of educated change agents dedicated to bettering the future for the region. Almost 40 years later, the vision has produced nearly 3,000 alumni, going beyond traditional leadership programs by empowering youth and high-potential, proven leaders to advance their passions and accelerate their pursuits.

For complete biographies of honorees and more information, visit