Sell One, Give One — Scottsdale Company Supports Area Animal Rescues

—By Jeff Rosenfield

Max and Neo, a for-profit online dog accessory store with a warehouse based in Scottsdale Airpark in North Scottsdale that donates weekly to 3,500 rescues around the United States, will be donating an extra “Christmas” box of pet supplies — each box worth about $275 — for the second year in a row.

Kenric Hwang stands next to three towers of Max and Neo Christmas donation boxes at the Max and Neo warehouse in the Scottsdale Airpark. Max and Neo will donate 3,500 boxes like these this December.

Since being founded by Kenric Hwang in September 2015, Max and Neo has made weekly donations to all the animal rescues on their list, over 100 of which are Arizona-based. For every one product they sell, they donate one item to an animal rescue.

Hwang said Max and Neo donates because he wanted to find a way to help rescues and customers both benefit from donations; the rescues receiving free items for their animals and customers buying an item and knowing another item will be donated too.

“At the end of the month we add up all the collars we sold and then we donate that many collars out and spread it amongst the rescues on our donation list,” Hwang said.

By the end of the year, Max and Neo will have donated over 180,000 pet products — worth nearly $3 million in retail — to rescues around Arizona and the United States in 2019, owner Hwang said.

On average, Max and Neo donates about 125 boxes of supplies — worth $47,000 in retail — per week to rescues, Hwang said.

Max and Neo keeps a list of 3,500 rescues it donates products to, which is available on the business website. They give to between 125 and 150 rescues each week, according to Hwang.

“We try and make it fair so that every rescue gets at least three boxes a year from us,” Hwang said.

These donated boxes — each worth between $350 and $400 — contain eight leashes and 12 collars of varying size, supplements, toys and other items, Hwang said.

Max and Neo asks each rescue to choose from 10 different boxes to best suit their needs.

“Some rescues only use harnesses; some rescues are really particular about their collars,” Hwang said.

For those rescues, Max and Neo will donate a box with only leashes upon request, Hwang said.

There are four boxes that contain all sizes of collars and leashes, for rescues working with more than one size dogs. Five boxes contain collars and leashes in the sizes: extra-small, small, medium, large or extra-large for rescues specializing in one size of dogs, Hwang said.

“A chihuahua rescue is not getting any collars larger than a small. They’re not getting dog toys that only a big dog can chew up.”

Hwang said he feels “fulfilled” for donating to rescues and that he is sure they are making an impact.

Liz Stegmeir, the founder of the AARF Animal Rescue and Sanctuary, based in Mayer, north of Phoenix, agreed.

“They’re helping a lot,” she said. “There’s $300 worth of items here. That helps us not having to go out and buy collars for the dogs.”

“That’s just in one box. They’ve sent us three different boxes. That’s almost $1,000 worth savings for us,” Stegmeir said.

A Christmas donation box, including a chew toy, a bag of holiday-themed leashes, a bottle of fish oil and more at the Max and Neo warehouse in Scottsdale Airpark.

Hwang said that the Christmas boxes are smaller than Max and Neo’s standard donation box, containing 18 holiday-themed items instead of 25 regular items because their donation list increased more than sales did.

“The collars are green and red and there’s a custom dog toy in there for Christmas,” Hwang said.

Hwang said the holiday-themed items were made by Max and Neo staff uniquely for the Christmas box.

“You couldn’t find the same leash or dog toy in our store,” Hwang said.  “They were only made for the donation boxes.”

Stegmeir said she was excited when she received an email from Max and Neo saying their Christmas box would arrive.

“We just got one less than a month ago, so I was shocked we’re getting another one so soon, and I think it’s great,” she said.

Karen Franklin is the founder of the Arizona animal rescue 2DaRescue, based in Gilbert.

Joining Max and Neo’s donation list a year ago, her group has received three small boxes with pet toys, leashes and collars, Franklin said.

“Their products are really good quality and we appreciate their help,” she said.

Last year was the first time Max and Neo tried donating to every rescue on their list during the holiday season. They only had about 2,000 rescues on their list and the boxes were brown instead of green with shapes such as bells, reindeer, snowflakes, presents and socks on the side.

“It gets harder as more and more rescues get on the list,” Hwang said.

“We just gotta get our sales to catch up to the number of rescues that are on the list.”

Jeff Rosenfield is a student at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

DAC Presents ‘Raptors in Your Backyard — Up Close’

Area residents have probably seen hawks circling overhead and heard the owls hooting in the evening and early morning, but they may not have a grasp of the true superpowers these birds exhibit.  At the next Desert Awareness Committee (DAC) seminar, guests will not only see them up close, but will be more aware of the struggles they face and how, as a local resident, to help.

Wild at Heart is a raptor conservation organization located in Cave Creek that rescues, rehabilitates and releases wild raptors. Join Jack Holloway Monday, Dec. 2, at the Holland Community Center, 34250 North 60th Street in Scottsdale, for this free seminar sponsored by the Desert Awareness Committee of the Foothills Community Foundation.  The seminar will be held 6:30-8pm. Registration is not necessary; a $5 donation is suggested for each seminar.

For additional information, visit

Photo by c.miles on / CC BY-NC-SA

Living Water Lutheran Church Hosts Community Pet Festival

A free, family-friendly community event featuring furry friends and more will be held Sunday, Nov. 17. All people and pets are invited to attend this annual festival. Highlights include Blessing of the Animals, native wildlife rescued by the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center, Elvis the Camel, Zuni the Mustang, cart rides for children by Nickel the Miniature Horse, music and refreshments.

Residents are invited to join the fun Sunday, Nov. 17, 1-4 pm, at Living Water Lutheran Church, 9201 East Happy Valley Road in Scottsdale. All pets must be leashed or otherwise secured.

For additional event information, visit, or call 480.473.8400.

Photo by m01229 on / CC BY

Pinners Conference Returns to Scottsdale Nov. 8–9

The Pinners Conference returns to Scottsdale this month for two days of crafts, workshops, shopping and more. The event takes place at WestWorld of Scottsdale, located at 16601 North Pima Road, Friday, Nov. 8, and Saturday, Nov. 9, and features more than 100 classes taught by some of the nation’s top experts, influencers and creators as well as an entire shopping floor representing nearly 300 local and national brands.

“Our goal is to facilitate an inspiring experience,” says Roxanne Bennett, co-founder of the Pinners Conference with Kendall Bennett. “We hope our attendees leave feeling enlightened, encouraged, creative and happy.”

The Pinners Conference, which brings the spirit of Pinterest to life, invites crafty guests to learn, create and connect through a series of workshops and opportunities that allow attendees to customize their experience while connecting to other passionate crafters, experts, influencers and retailers — all through one fun event. Class themes include beauty and fashion, home and décor, health and fitness, DIY and crafts, food arts, photography, party planning and more, with some of the nation’s top experts, influencers and creators leading sessions on popular trends.

Event hours are 10am to 8pm, Friday, Nov. 8, and 9am to 7pm, Saturday, Nov. 9. Admission tickets range from $10 (general admission with access to all exhibitors, shopping and make-and-takes) to $139 for a VIP pass, including VIP party the night before the show with swag and prizes, a two-day class pass, early shop times, full access to in-show VIP room with no wait times and more. Other package options are available.

For tickets and complete package information, visit

Superintendent’s Message: Dr. John A. Kriekard, Scottsdale Unified School District

Dr. John A. Kriekard, Scottsdale Unified School District

The 2019–20 school year is off and running, and our nearly 23,000 students continue to show us every day their curiosity and thirst for learning. Whether they are building a robot, their mathematics fluency or a theatrical set, Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) provides myriad opportunities that combine to prepare our learners for their future.

So, too, is the District looking ahead, with the Governing Board’s recent decision to rebuild Kiva and Hohokam Elementary schools with 2016 voter-approved bonds. To date, those bonds have rebuilt two elementary schools (Hopi and Pima), added a science lab and gymnasium to a K–8 school (Cheyenne Traditional), and replaced tracks and football fields at four high schools (Arcadia, Chaparral, Coronado, Saguaro). Bond proceeds are helping restore Navajo Elementary School from a devastating August 2018 fire and they will build the new Cherokee Elementary School, starting this winter.

SUSD’s 19 kindergarten programs will be on display the week of Nov. 11–15, when “open house” tours and events take place on each elementary grade campus. If you will be enrolling a kindergartner with us next school year, this is your opportunity to visit our outstanding early education programs to find the right school for your littlest learner. Please check for the schedule.

Every year, SUSD also welcomes students from outside our boundaries through the open enrollment process, which, for the 2020–21 school year, began on Nov. 1. Open enrollment is an option, as well, for our in-district families wishing to change their student’s school of attendance.

Regardless of residence, open enrollment is the only way to enroll students in one of our three “schools of choice,” Cheyenne Traditional School (K–8), Echo Canyon School (K-8) and Pueblo Elementary School (K–5), home of the District’s Spanish dual language immersion program.

To find out more about becoming part of SUSD through open enrollment, please visit Regular enrollment ( for the 2020–21 school year for resident families begins Dec. 1.

Read more about the good things happening in SUSD in the Fall/Winter edition of Showcase magazine, online at The magazine features the District’s Annual Report, provides an update on all of our current bond projects and includes articles on our unique, two-tier, middle school sports program, the role of high school clubs in student engagement and achievement and our new Challenge Coin program. There’s a handy directory of all SUSD schools, as well, and a current school year calendar. We hope you find it an informative and enjoyable read!

To reach Dr. Kriekard, call 480.484.6120. To learn more about the Scottsdale Unified School District, visit  

Russo and Steele Announces New Venue Location for 20th Anniversary Event

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Russo and Steele Collector Automobile Auctions will return home to Scottsdale at the epicenter of Arizona Car Week. Located just south of the North 101 Freeway and Scottsdale Road, the site will offer an array of dramatic improvements, including high profile visibility, easy access with ample parking, significantly larger display area and improved weather contingency, all strategically located in the northeast sector of the Valley.

“We are at the picture-perfect location for everything that has to do with Arizona Car Week,” said Drew Alcazar, auction president and CEO. “Our team has put together an incredible layout that gives sellers and buyers the best platform to experience an unforgettable year.”

The location also continues a long-standing partnership between Russo and Steele, the City of Scottsdale and the Arizona State Land Department.

“Our partnerships are important to us,” said Alcazar. “We are local and family-owned. Arizona is where Josephine and I have raised our family. Coming home to Scottsdale for our 20th Anniversary just feels right.”

Running Jan. 15–19, the dramatically larger site offers unsurpassed visibility from the main freeway servicing all of North Scottsdale. Further enhanced with easy access off the Scottsdale Road exit, acres of contiguous and close proximity parking will greet attendees along with valet parking directly at the main entrance. In addition, the centralized location in north Scottsdale assures easy access between all Arizona Car week events.

“I’ve never been more excited to have that microphone in my hand and feel the crowd’s energy from our unique ‘Auction In The Round’ format,” Alcazar said. “This will be our chance to say ‘thank you’ to the many close friends, clients, sponsors and vendors who have been rabidly loyal to Russo and Steele for two decades. We have been fortunate to enjoy an exciting journey these last 20 years, and we cannot be more enthusiastic to celebrate our important milestone this coming January in Scottsdale!”

For more information about Russo and Steele, visit

Scottsdale Unified School District Launches Vaping Awareness Campaign

The Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) has taken to its social media channels to share information with parents and students about the health dangers of vaping and e-cigarettes to young people’s brains and bodies.

“Vaping is becoming a national epidemic, and we know that many teenagers, and perhaps even parents, do not fully understand the many health risks of using vaping devices,” says Dr. Steven Chestnut, SUSD executive director of Support Services. “Student safety is always our top priority, so it is incumbent upon us to share this still-developing, yet already alarming, information with parents, so they can begin important conversations with their children about our expectation that students be tobacco-free.”

Through its social media channels — Facebook, Twitter, Nextdoor and the District’s website — SUSD kicked off a 60-day public information campaign in October. The messaging contains links to Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) and National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention resources.

“There are severe consequences for SUSD students who are caught vaping or using e-cigarettes on campus,” says Chestnut, “including required participation in a diversion program, suspension and even expulsion. We also cooperate fully with our local law enforcement partners, adding another level to the consequences.”

Medical research has found that the human brain keeps developing until around the age of 25 and that using nicotine products under that age can harm the part of the brain that is responsible for memory, attention and learning. Despite that, the ADHS reports:

  • Fifty-one percent of Arizona high school students have tried a vaping device.
  • Teens who vape are nearly four times more likely to start smoking cigarettes.
  • More than two times as many Arizona youth vape than smoke cigarettes.

To view the messaging being shared through school and District social media accounts, visit For more information, visit, or contact Student Services office at 480.484.6113, or your child’s school nurse.



Kazimierz Wine and Whiskey Bar Hosts Esteban & Teresa Joy Nov. 2

Celebrated guitarist Esteban will perform an intimate music concert with his daughter and violinist Teresa Joy at 6pm, Saturday, Nov. 2, at Kazimierz Wine and Whiskey Bar, 7137 East Stetson Drive, in Scottsdale.

Attendees will be treated to classical Spanish fusion with a contemporary rock influence as well as newly composed songs. Grammy award-winning drummer Joe Morris and Raul Yanez, pianist and Arizona State University professor of music, will play alongside Esteban and Joy.

Tickets are limited and start at $75 per person. To purchase, visit

Critically acclaimed, Esteban has topped numerous billboard charts and toured throughout the country. Launching his career in Arizona, Esteban and Joy played in the mid-90s where they won “Best of Phoenix” for eight years. Renowned for their emotive performances, the duo is a favorite within the Arizona music scene.

For more information or to contact Kazimierz Wine and Whiskey Bar, call 480.946.3004 or visit

SMoCA Announces 24 Artists in Fall Exhibition

Ana Teresa Fernández, “Of Bodies and Borders 1 (performance documentation),” 2017, Oil on canvas, 54 x 94 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Gallery Wendi Norris

Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) will premiere its first large-scale group exhibition of performance art, “Counter-Landscapes: Performative Actions from the 1970s – Now,” accompanied by a catalog and collaborative components, Oct. 26 — Jan. 19.

In the history of the Museum, this is the first time its galleries will be dedicated to performance art, despite the increasing prevalence of performance in contemporary art. A fall opening celebration will be held at 7pm Friday, Oct. 25, with free admission for the public to preview the galleries with curators, artists and the community.

As a counter to the established ideas of land art, “Counter-Landscapes: Performative Actions from the 1970s – Now” presents leading artists working with performance who have brought about new ways of seeing and interacting with the environment. Through a focused selection of key historical and contemporary works, “Counter-Landscapes” illuminates how the strategies of women artists in the 1970s and 1980s are employed by artists today, especially those interested in issues of social, environmental and personal transformation. The works present a dialogue across generations, locations and genders, featuring photography, video, sculpture, performance and installation. The selection of artists — 24 total — includes early practitioners (1970s – 1980s), the next generation (1990s – 2000s) and new commissions (2019) by contemporary artists Maria Hupfield (Toronto, and a member of the Anishinaabe Nation at Wasauksing First Nation, Ontario) and Saskia Jordá (Phoenix, Arizona).

“‘Counter-Landscapes’ pairs important historical works — some on loan from the Tate in London — with new works, including four large-scale installations by contemporary artists, one performance commission and a series of public programs to deepen the understanding of the works on view,” said Jennifer McCabe, SMoCA’s director and chief curator.

The exhibition brings together the work of a pioneering generation of women artists who forged new ways of making art in the 1970s and 1980s — Agnes Denes, Rebecca Horn, Suzanne Lacy, Adrian Piper, Bonnie Ora Sherk, among others — with pieces by a younger cohort who have adopted and extended their strategies. These artists (both male and female), who rose to prominence in the 1990s and 2000s, create work that addresses social, environmental and personal transformation. “Counter-Landscapes” shows how, in the process of overcoming the extraordinary obstacles they faced as women, artists working in the landscape in the late 20th century developed inventive strategies that have profoundly influenced younger artists and changed the face of the art world.

“‘Counter-Landscapes’ tells a new story about how women artists were groundbreaking in the 1970s and ’80s and how relevant and timely the work remains,” McCabe continued.

Artists include: Marina Abramović, Allora & Calzadilla, Francis Alÿs, Eleanor Antin, Agnes Denes, Angela Ellsworth, VALIE EXPORT, Ana Teresa Fernández, Rebecca Horn, Maria Hupfield, Saskia Jordá, Leslie Labowitz, Suzanne Lacy, Ana Mendieta, Christian Philipp Müller, Adrian Piper, Pope.L, Lotty Rosenfeld, Bonnie Ora Sherk, Sarah Cameron Sunde, Beth Ames Swartz, Zhou Tao, Mierle Laderman Ukeles and Antonia Wright.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a self-published, four-color, approximately 150-page catalog, designed by Fernando Espinosa. The catalog reflects extensive research and new scholarship, with essays by McCabe and additional invited scholars, Dr. Natasha Boas and Dr. Jolene Rickard. “Counter-Landscapes: Performative Actions from the 1970s – Now” will be available In January 2020.

In anticipation of this multi-gallery exhibition, the galleries will be closed during installation. However, the Museum’s Shop@SMoCA and James Turrell Skyspace will be open 11am–5pm, Oct. 15 until Oct. 24. The Museum will reopen at 7pm Friday, Oct. 25, for the public during the fall opening celebration. Normal hours resume Saturday, Oct. 26.

For additional details about the exhibit, as well as related programming, visit Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art is located at 7374 East Second Street. For additional information, call 480.874.4666.

LDV Winery Tasting Room Celebrates One Year

The LDV family invites guests to join them in celebrating the one-year anniversary of the LDV Winery Tasting Room Sunday, Oct. 20, from noon to 6pm at its Stetson Drive location in Old Town Scottsdale. In honor of this milestone, LDV Winery will be releasing its 2014 Grenache — a true representative of the winery’s estate located in the southeastern Arizona Chiricahua Mountains — made with estate-grown, 100 percent Grenache that has been aged for 34 months in 100 percent new French oak barrels. During the event, guests can enjoy a complimentary first taste of this new release along with birthday cake to celebrate the occasion.

LDV Winery Tasting Room is located at 7134 East Stetson Drive, Suite B110, in Scottsdale. For additional information, call 480.664.4822 or visit

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