Meet Your Neighbor: Blankenship invests time volunteering in community

Scottsdale resident Joe Blankenship, on right. (submitted photo)

Name: Joe Blankenship

Where I live: Scottsdale, near Cactus Road and the 101

When & why I moved here: Moved here in early 1998 to work with an Arizona investment banking firm that concentrated in municipal bonds; serving cities, counties, school districts and the state.

What I like most about living here: No snow. The beautiful spring and fall weather. Arizona’s natural beauty.

Activities I enjoy: Hiking and pathfinding, working with friends in McDowell Sonoran Conservancy.

Clubs/organizations I’m involved in: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy; Secular Coalition for Arizona; Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix; Child Crisis Arizona

My favorite charity or volunteer activity and why it deserves support from others? 1). Child Crisis Center. Children have no way of changing their surroundings. Those in dire circumstances need help and an opportunity to grow to their potential. 2). McDowell Sonoran Conservancy. The City of Scottsdale provides no financial support for this wonderful group of 600+ volunteers who make the Preserve work and help citizens enjoy its beauty.

My No. 1 suggestion to new residents looking for ways to get involved in their community: As a corporate nomad, I found that volunteering was the best way to get acquainted with communities, social organizations and businesses. I have always volunteered for school districts, child crisis centers and conservation organizations.

What one thing would you like to see changed in Scottsdale? The McDowell Sonoran Preserve is the crown of Scottsdale’s beauty. The City needs to look harder at ways to help support the Conservancy that has shepherded its development, enhancement and welcomed citizens and tourist to marvel at its beauty.

My family: Wife, Pat. Two grown children in Texas who are citizens of the world and wonderful people that would make any parent proud.

What I do: Retired. Full time volunteer and writer.

People who are an inspiration to me: My children. My wife and my friends at the Conservancy. In this completely turned upside down world, it is hard to find people who take their vow to serve the public seriously. The person I would like most to have dinner with is Francis Perkins, who served as Secretary of Labor in FDR’s administration. She is credited with formulating policies to shore up the national economy following the nation’s deepest depression and help to crate the modern middle class with social and safety-net programs.

My advice to today’s youth: Education, Education, Education. The world is changing so fast that understanding one’s role in the world and understanding who you are can only be done by knowing about our past, working to make the present better for all and being able to adapt to an unknown future.

To volunteer in the city of Scottsdale visit

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