For North Valley father W. Scott Jenkins, Jr., family traditions have played a crucial role throughout his life – even influencing his name.
“The W. stands for William. I am named after my father and grandfather and have now passed the name on to my oldest son, who goes by Will,” says Jenkins, who is an award-winning litigator by profession, serving as chair of Quarles & Brady’s Arizona Bankruptcy Group as well as co-chair of its Recruiting Committee.
But more than just his family name has been passed down through generations. A history of charitable involvement also runs in his blood.
“My family was always involved with nonprofits growing up; the importance of giving back is probably the greatest lesson I learned from my parents,” says Jenkins. “My father has always been involved with local charities, while my grandfather and uncles served on a number of prominent local nonprofit boards” says Jenkins.
Jenkins’ own journey with community stewardship began in 2004 when he began volunteering on the board for St. Mary’s Foundation, which serves St. Mary’s High School, his alma mater.
“My main goal was to help St. Mary’s raise scholarship funds so that students could have the same great experience I had as a Knight,” says Jenkins. “St. Mary’s has always been a melting pot of Phoenix, and it really taught me so much about working together with people as well as many other important life lessons that I continue to use today.”
Jenkins also began volunteering on the Junior Achievement of Arizona’s (JAAZ) Central District board of directors that same year, further sparking his passion for giving back. JAAZ works to educate K-12 students about entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy.
“I had JAAZ as a kid and found the entrepreneurial experience to be fascinating, so it’s been extremely rewarding to be involved with JAAZ still today,” says Jenkins, who himself became a father in 2006, first with Will, 13, and Sam, 11.
With a deep love of Arizona, Jenkins continued building his career and connection to other local community organizations. In 2012, Jenkins was selected to the Fiesta Bowl Committee, adding another organization to his local involvement.
“Most people only know about the football game, which just saw Ohio State take on Clemson in the recent National Semi-Final game,” says Jenkins.
According to Jenkins, the Fiesta Bowl was born in 1971, when its founders worked diligently to secure a new college football bowl game for Arizona. Their goal was to enhance the stature of our state with a high-profile event that would draw tourism and stimulate population growth.
“From the start, they were committed to community service, championing charitable causes, driving economic impact and creating innovative events on and off the field,” says Jenkins.
But even the founders could never have guessed the true impact the Fiesta Bowl and corresponding charity would have all these years later.
In 2015, Jenkins continued his community involvement when he was invited to join The Thunderbirds, now preparing for his fifth Waste Management Phoenix Open, which will be played January 27 – February 2, 2020 at TPC Scottsdale. “The People’s Open” has been named the Tournament of the Year by the PGA TOUR four of the last six years (2014, 2015, 2018, and 2019) and has gained legendary status for being one the most unique events in golf. The 2020 edition will mark the 85th playing of the event (one of the five oldest events on the PGA TOUR) and the 11th as the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
After serving as the security chair in 2019, Jenkins will take on even more responsibility in 2020 by serving as the assistant tournament chairman in preparation for his role of tournament chairman in 2021.
“To be selected into leadership of The Thunderbirds is not only a great honor but carries with it the responsibility of making sure the Waste Management Phoenix Open continues its legacy as one of the best sporting events in the world,” says Jenkins, noting The Thunderbirds were founded in 1937 with the mission of promoting the Valley of the Sun through sports.
The Thunderbirds consist of 55 ‘active’ members and more than 280 ‘life’ members, raising a record $13.2 million for charity from proceeds from the 2019 WM Phoenix Open. According to Jenkins, it has also eclipsed $147 million in charitable giving since its inception in 1932.
When Jenkins isn’t assisting with the largest golf tournament in the world, selling tickets to the Fiesta Bowl or in the courtroom, you can find him on the baseball field with his boys. Jenkins serves as the vice president and member of the board of directors for Cactus-Horizon Little League, where he also coaches his sons’ baseball teams, including the league’s All-Star teams during the summer months.
“Growing up, I loved playing baseball and having my dad coach my little league team,” recalls Jenkins. “It’s been amazing to come full circle and to be able to spend that time on the field coaching my own sons today. It is truly special to me!”
Even with all these responsibilities, Jenkins continues to prioritize time for volunteering with his own family – just like his parents did with him.
“Part of being a lawyer is helping people, that’s our family approach to everything,” says Jenkins. “My wife, Brandi, is super involved in the community as well – she previously worked at the American Cancer Society and currently serves on the women’s auxiliary board for UMOM New Day Centers.”
Jenkins keeps his sons involved in the community, volunteering with charities including Homeward Bound and Special Olympics Arizona, and joining him at various Thunderbird charity events throughout the year.
“Remembering to not only take care of your family, but also your neighbors, is important to us,” says Jenkins.
Many would say it’s a family tradition.
Written by: Annelise Krafft
Annelise Krafft, the daughter of local reporter Steve Krafft, earned her Bachelor of Arts in Strategic Communication with a dual emphasis in Public Relations and Advertising and a minor in Spanish from Northern Arizona University before settling into the world of freelance writer and public relations at HMA Public Relations in Phoenix earlier this year. In her spare time, the Arizona native enjoys spending time with her boyfriend, Daniel, playing with her two dogs and tracking the latest celebrity gossip. firstname.lastname@example.org.