Ken Harder

Ken Harder, a career banking executive, former chair of the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce and past Scottsdale Charros Baseball Chair, has served on city boards and commissions for over 25 years.

The Past Presidents’ Council of the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce will honor five individuals, a nonprofit and an Old Town Scottsdale company at the 26th annual Scottsdale History Hall of Fame May 9.

The five individuals who will be inducted at the Hall of Fame event include former chair of the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce Ken Harder, president of the Cactus League Jeff Meyer, Scottsdale-based philanthropists Bob and Renee Parsons and former Scottsdale Unified School District board member Jim Wellington, who will be recognized posthumously.

The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and beloved restaurant of 61 years, Sugar Bowl, will be inducted as well.

“I am extremely grateful to receive this prestigious honor from the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce,” said Meyer, a business owner and past patron and foundation chair of the Scottsdale Charros.

All six inductees have had a significant impact on the history of the greater Scottsdale area, said Cheri’ Valentino, vice president of the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce.

“They have contributed immensely to enhance the quality of life, economic vitality, environmental preservation and tourism of our great city,” she added.

Each year, the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce honors individuals and organizations at the annual dinner.

This year’s event is presented by the Scottsdale Charros, and Valentino said they expect 400 people to attend the event held at the Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Scottsdale Historical Society and its Little Red Schoolhouse.

Last year’s event raised and provided $2,500 to the Scottsdale Historical Society.

“The Scottsdale Historical Society is a nonprofit with a mission to present, preserve and interpret the prehistory, history and cultural heritage of Scottsdale and the Southwest,” Valentino said, adding:

“The Past Presidents’ Council of the Scottsdale Area Chamber is proud to host the Scottsdale History Hall of Fame event and provide a portion of the proceeds to the historical society to support the volunteer-run organization and its ‘free’ museum access to the public.”

Over the past 25 years, the Council has inducted 135 past and present Scottsdale leaders and 25 organizations into Scottsdale’s History Hall of Fame.

Inductees date back to its modern-day founding in 1888 by Army Chaplain Winfield Scott.

Harder, a career banking executive, who was also a past Scottsdale Charros Baseball Chair and served on City Boards and Commissions for over 25 years, said the Hall of Fame event is a celebration of the community and a tribute to how people working together can accomplish great things for Scottsdale.

“It has been my good fortune to serve our community for almost 30 years as a business, community and civic leader,” he said. “We are fortunate that Scottsdale is a place where citizen involvement is both encouraged and supported and where City leaders listen to informed citizen input. I am humbled by the honor but also realize that I must share it with scores of business and community leaders and citizens with whom I’ve worked to ensure that Scottsdale is the premier place to live, work and play.”

Bob, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and internationally-renown entrepreneur of hi-tech, retail and media businesses, said he and Renee are humbled and appreciative to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

“I believe that Arizona is one of the last great states, and Scottsdale is one of the best cities in which to live and do business,” he said, to which Renee added:

“Scottsdale is a very livable city in a state that is pro-business development, and the quality of life is excellent. That is why we choose to live, work and support the community here in Arizona. We are proud to play our small part in Scottsdale’s rich history,” she said.

Individual tickets to the Hall of Fame event are $90 each. A table of 10 is $900, and a corporate sponsor table is $1,250.

“Scottsdale is a special place, and I can’t begin to count the number of fabulous people I’ve met in my business and civic careers here. Congratulations to the other Hall of Fame inductees, and I look forward to celebrating with them,” Meyer said.

To register, visit

If you go

26th Annual History Hall of Fame

When: May 9, 6-9 p.m.

Where: 7700 E. McCormick Pkwy.

Tickets: $90-$1,250