OUR MISSION

Building Bridges of International Understanding and Goodwill

Our mission is to promote the City of Scottsdale and the Scottsdale Sister Cities Association, Inc., as ambassadors of international friendship and goodwill. The mission is accomplished through programs such as student, educational, cultural and economic development exchanges, which create long-term international partnerships.

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Message from the President
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Greetings Friends and Members,

Peace. World Peace. Is any desire more worthy? In these imperfect days, it is easy to despair. 

Has uncertainty ever been more prevalent? Yes. For all of time, mankind has faced the mystery of the unknown. One world moment rages wild and unpredictable... the next shines peaceful, hopeful, full of wonder. 

Has history ever delivered a world of peace to its peoples? Yes. Even in challenging times, resilient peoples persist. 

Has hope for the future ever seemed so elusive? Evolution, change, instability ... are they growing pains? are they natural and normal? are they signals of the decay of society? They rock the world with doubt and fear. They lead us to an unpredictable future. They make us grow. They save us. 

In the face of overwhelming challenges, how does one carry on? We believe. We listen. We appreciate.

We envision a world of health and harmony, moving forward with our mission as ambassadors of international friendship and goodwill … “promoting peace, one individual, one community at a time.”

In partnership,

 

Sandra Zally

Scottsdale Sister Cities Association

President & Art Programs Chair

Our Board of Directors
 
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Sandra Zally

President and Youth Art and Author's Showcase

Sandra Zally studied Fine Art at U. of Southern Maine, and Advertising Art at MCCC. She has created fine art programming for Scottsdale Artists' School, Phoenix Center for the Arts, Phoenix & Peoria Youth Theaters, City of Phoenix Community Centers, Senior Centers, and Arizona State Fair. She currently serves as Youth & Outreach Director for Scottsdale Artists' School, and Department Head for Youth Art & Teen Artist Guild at Phoenix Center for the Arts.

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Neil Ciarfalia

Treasurer

BA & MBA Stanford University. Former CFO of Aztar Corp, ran worldwide customer finance function for SAAB Aircraft.

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Suzan Austin

Kingston Committee Chair

Born in Orange, New Jersey. BA and MA from University of North Carolina, Greensboro. Taught high school English in Burlington, NC for 10 years. Moved the Scottsdale in 1980. Taught English and was a staff developer in the Phoenix Union High School District for 20 years. Retired in 2004 from position as English Department Chair at Metro Tech High School in Phoenix. Member and former officer of the Calgary Committee of Phoenix Sister Cities. Vice President, Annual Meeting Chair, and Chapters Chair of the Arizona Education Association – Retired.

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JoAnn Garner

Killarney Chair

After being raised on a dairy farm in Wisconsin, earned a B.A in Communication Disorders from University of Wisconsin-Madison. Later in career, earned an M.B.A. from Central Michigan University. In early career positions, served as a public-school speech pathologist and a Head Start Director in rural Wisconsin. After moving to California and Colorado respectively, served in domestic and international leadership capacities for fortune 500 companies in training, sales, marketing and project management. After moving to Scottsdale in 2001, served as a director of information technology project management for a Scottsdale-based blood banking corporation until retirement in 2015. Volunteer experience includes children’s rights advocacy, parental education community service, non-profit board training, and animal rescue and adoption.

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Kyle Polen

Junior Board Advisor

Current student at ASU Barrett's Honor College. Former SSCA Youth Ambassador

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Lisa E White

Past President 2018-2020, Interlaken Committee Chair

BA in Education and Psychology from ASU. MAE in Counseling from NAU. Retired after 30 years from Scottsdale Schools and then five at Paradise Valley Community College. Wrote curriculum for Scottsdale Schools and University of Phoenix. Taught in Interlaken, Switzerland for nine months on a Fulbright Teacher Exchange. Has helped coordinate ten student exchanges to Interlaken. Docent at the Phoenix Art Museum. Volunteers in schools with at-risk students with Gabriel’s Angels with her dog, The Dude.

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Emily Wininger

Experience Scottsdale

Born into a military family, Emily moved between 10 states throughout her childhood before settling in Arizona to attend college at ASU. Emily graduated with a BS in Psychology, a BA in Journalism and Mass Communications, a minor in Women Studies and an honors degree from Barrett Honors College where she defended an original thesis on social media practices in the luxury hospitality segment. Emily worked in the travel and tourism public relations sector in Las Vegas for MGM Resorts International and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. Emily has since relocated to Scottsdale, Arizona and currently serves as the Tourism Sales Manager for Experience Scottsdale overseeing international tourism efforts and is glad to be back in her desert home.

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Megan Young

Secretary

Megan works in the SCC Office of Civic & Global Engagement as the Community College Initiative Program Coordinator. She has experience in non-profit management as the former Executive Director of the Welcome To America Project and local organizations. Megan is a Scottsdale native with a passion for culture, hospitality and adventure.

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Donna Hartz

Immediate Past President 2020-2022

A climatologist, with a PhD from ASU and a specialization in climate and health issues. Her research is widely published, and she has had the opportunity to present her research at conferences around the world. She has a passion for encouraging science education in the schools, and a yearning for exploration and travel - visiting 80+ countries on all seven continents.

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Kathy George

Past President 2016-2018 and Membership Committee Chair

Received an MA from ASU. Enjoyed 28 years as an Organizational Consultant for a national association with a focus on strategic planning for effective membership recruitment, retention and engagement. Trained contract negotiations, legislative advocacy, political action and leadership development skills.

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George Hartz

Past President 2012-2014, Cairns Committee Chair

BA Georgetown University. Retired Senior Vice President of CIGNA where he managed international reinsurance business with clients in over 120 countries. He currently provides expert witness consulting for international disputes. George is past Chairman of Scottsdale’s Historic Preservation Commission, director and past President of the Friends of the Library, and on the state and local Boards of the Arizona Historical Society. Signed Uasin Gishu, Kenya as a Sister City during his presidency.

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Bob Rink

Alamos Committee Chair

Bob is a freelance photographer and has a house in Alamos. He served as the city of Phoenix’s photographer for 25 years, and currently assists local governments, organizations and non-profits with their photography needs. His photography has appeared in numerous publications, including Arizona Highways, Arizona Republic, Boston Globe, Mesa Tribune, New Times, Phoenix Business Journal, Sunset Magazine, The Oregonian, USA Today and Washington Post. Bob is also involved with Through Each Others Eyes, a group of Phoenix area photographers who promote global cultural understanding through photography. He has completed exchanges between Phoenix and the following communities: Himeji, Japan; Havana, Cuba; Hermosillo, Mexico; Baguio, Philippines and recently, Cairns, Australia. He and his sister have developed an annual international photo festival with the Sonoran Cultural Institute in Alamos, Mexico, which travels throughout the state of Sonora and Arizona. He is currently serving on the board of the Japanese Friendship Garden located in downtown Phoenix.

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Moulay Zougari

Marrakech Committee Chair

Born in Marrakech, Morocco. BS in computer science from University of Texas. Senior Software Engineer and project management from 1993 to present. CEO and proprietor of a Scottsdale restaurant. Member of Scottsdale Soccer League.