Independent Q&A: Rick Kidder, Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce

Rick Kidder is president and chief executive officer of the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce.

The Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce has been serving the Scottsdale business community since 1947, and is instrumental in organizing several of the community’s largest events — including the annual Sterling Awards, Women in Leadership and the History Hall of Fame, which is planned April 15.

Rick Kidder

The chamber is located at 7501 E. McCormick Parkway, Suite 202N, Scottsdale. To reach the chamber, call 480-355-2709 or visit

Name: Rick Kidder

Where I live: Beautiful Scottsdale, Arizona

When & why I moved here: Came to the Valley 30 years ago to play golf and never left.
What I like most about living here: Most Livable city on the planet!

My family:

I am the last of my line.

Activities I enjoy:

Golf, the outdoors, eating well, drinking well.

Clubs/organizations I’m involved with:

Trustee, Scottsdale Cultural Council; Rotary Club of Scottsdale.

My favorite charity and why it deserves support from others?

STARS (Scottsdale Training and Rehabilitative Services) because it works with adult developmentally disabled individuals who often are our forgotten citizens.

My No. 1 suggestion to new residents looking for ways to get involved in their community:

Join the chamber!

Why is the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce so vital to the community, and why should residents and businesses support their local chamber?

The chamber is not simply a business organization. It is a steward of the Scottsdale brand and a leader in economic prosperity in our city.

What are some of the key events and activities hosted annually by the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce?

We run more than 200 events per year. Our signature events include the Sterling Awards (the Valley’s most coveted business award); Scottsdale Forward, an economic development symposium; Women in Leadership, a luncheon geared for women in business, and the Scottsdale History Hall of Fame dinner, honoring the people and organizations that have contributed to the greatness of our city.

How did the Great Recession impact the chamber, and are you seeing a rebound in the local business community?

We are a mirror for the business community, and the recession affected us greatly. We became a model for best practices for dealing with challenges in the economy and have begun to thrive again.
Scottsdale is such a diverse community when it comes to businesses — you have the downtown entertainment scene, the resort industry, service industry, Scottsdale Airpark –what sort of challenges does that present to the chamber?

The chamber has worked hard over the years to advance a diversified economic base and to build a live/work/play/learn environment, in part to insulate ourselves against inevitable ups and downs in the economy. The great strength of our economy is the the diversity of the businesses here, even as we develop new and exciting base industries in business services, cutting edge medical and technology.
What is your role with the chamber?

President, CEO and chief cheerleader.

Who have been your biggest inspirations?

For optimism, Ronald Reagan. For business acumen, Tom Sadvary, CEO of Honor Health (formerly Scottsdale Healthcare). For community involvement, Kurt Brueckner of Titus, Brueckner and Levine.

My advice to today’s youth:

Look to do something you love, and never forget to give back because your success came with the help of others.

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