Meet Your Neighbor: Greg Kruzel calls Scottsdale home

Scottsdale resident Greg Kruzel (submitted photo)

Name: Greg Kruzel

Where I live: In Scottsdale, walking distance from Lost Dog Wash in the Preserve.

When & why I moved here: I moved in 1987, the week the stock market crashed and the Phoenix residential real estate market peaked. I moved here for quality of work/practice and quality of life.

What I like most about living here: After 31 years, we still feel like we are on vacation. My children still love to visit for holidays. How can you turn down Scottsdale for Thanksgiving or Christmas? Plus, where else can you be three hours from canyons, valleys, desert, wine country and Red Rocks?

Activities I enjoy: Hiking, food and wine, movie going and community activities.

Clubs/organizations I’m involved in: In the past, Arizona Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, the American Red Cross, Xavier College Preparatory Foundation, Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation, and Boy Scouts of America. Presently, the Arizona Community Foundation, the Catholic Community Foundation, and I serve as the Board Chair of the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy.

My favorite charity or volunteer activity and why it deserves support from others? Obviously, the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy. The Sonoran Desert is a treasure, and the Preserve is the largest urban land preserve in the United State. We assure the sustainability of the Preserve for not only today but for decades to come.

My No. 1 suggestion to new residents looking for ways to get involved in their community: Listen to your neighbors, find a passion and get an introduction to someone involved in that activity. Folks here are extremely forthcoming and more than willing to not only talk to you about their passion, but they will always let you know how to get involved.

What one thing would you like to see changed in Scottsdale? I would like us to adopt a sustainable revenue stream to fund our infrastructure needs. For years, Scottsdale has grown from 100,000 to 200,000 to 250,000 and soon, over 300,000. We grew largely on the backs of that development. However, as we approach buildout in the city, it is about maintaining and enhancing our infrastructure. You asked for one suggestion, in Scottsdale. However, for the state, Arizona has to get serious about funding education, in particular, if we are going to compete in the 21st century economy.

My family: I have been married 36 years to my wife, Kathy. She has worked for 39 years as a statistical programmer for The Nielsen Company. We have two children: our son Mark is a banker with Citi in New York in specialty liquidity solutions for companies in the Americas, and our daughter Sara is a bone marrow transplant nurse at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore.

What I do: I practice law in an estate planning, business planning and estate planning firm for the past 20 years in Phoenix (but we have a Scottsdale address!) in Kierland. Yes, I am one of those Scottsdale interlopers.

People who are an inspiration to me: My parents, both deceased. I think about them every day. Work hard, don’t seek attention and earn everything.

My advice to today’s youth: Work for someone other than your parents as soon as possible. Get a great education … but more importantly, get two or three great internship opportunities/summer jobs before you complete college. Figure out what you like, make mistakes before you head off into the work force, and you will learn that not only is 80% of life is showing up but that few people are graduating with real work experience.

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