Community prepares to honor Diane Cusack for leadership

Diane Cusack will receive the 2018 Drinkwater Community Leadership Award Friday, Dec. 14, for “60 years of inspired volunteer leadership.”

“The tireless, insightful, inclusive and compassionate leadership of Diane Cusack proved to be instrumental in Scottsdale’s development, including Indian Bend Wash, McDowell Sonoran Preserve, Civic Center, master-planned communities, the Cure Corridor and focus on health and wellness,” according to a release.

Diane Cusack

She “embodies the definition of the Drinkwater Community Leadership Service Award,” named after former Mayor Herb Drinkwater. The Drinkwater Community Leadership Award is sponsored by Sacks Tierney P.A., a Scottsdale-based law firm.

Ms. Cusack will be honored at the 19th Annual Spirit of Community Leadership Awards Luncheon, which will take place 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Dec. 14 in the Alhambra Ballroom Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia, 4949 E. Lincoln Drive.

Ms. Cusack arrived in Scottsdale with her husband Joe in 1957 and, while raising three children, became involved in youth and church activities.

In 1961, she was recruited to serve as a founding board member of the planned City Hospital of Scottsdale, which has evolved into today’s HonorHealth system of hospitals, clinics and research facilities.

She also served as president of the League of Women Voters in the early 1960’s and had two terms on the city’s planning commission prior to terms on the City Council in the 1980’s.

According to the release, Ms. Cusack’s Harvard business school education and work in market analysis was an important component in the city’s growth over the years.

She chaired “the forward-thinking CityShape 2020 process in the late 1990s, which mapped the future of Scottsdale based on the citizen-derived Scottsdale Visioning themes,” the release stated. “She also served on the city’s Redevelopment Board in the 1990s, which particularly focused on the McDowell Corridor, now a city point of pride.”

Among her awards, she was named Scottsdale’s Woman of the Year, received the Arizona State Nurses’ Association honors for her work on behalf of the Maricopa County Hospital, was honored with the Clarence Salsbury Medal from the Maricopa County Board of Health and was inducted into Scottsdale’s History Hall of Fame in 1997, the same year as her friend and City Council colleague Mr. Drinkwater.

For more on the upcoming event, visit

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