Linda Herold Takes Her Social Editor Hat Off
You could call her the Fairy Godmother of the Valley’s social seen.
Although Linda Herold is officially semi-retiring, she is still waving her wand and crafting magical deeds. Since this elegant and fashionable woman set foot in the Arizona desert in 1997, she has made every minute count.
Her first project was spotlighting Arizona’s leading women in The Herold Report. It was the beginning of a new era in supporting women, their deeds, leadership and philanthropy.
Relocating from New Orleans, where women had opportunities to meet in smaller groups on a regular basis, she was astounded to find little of this type of social structure in Valley. “What I found here was a lot of commercial networking, but nothing that provided a more elegant way for women to connect,” she explains.
She took a genteel and social approach that women appreciate, married it with the business community and created three very successful organizations: Women of Scottsdale, Central Phoenix Women and West Valley Women.
Women of Scottsdale provides a quality environment for women to connect and develop each other. There are women of all ages, experiences and backgrounds. From retired executives to newly graduated young women, Women of Scottsdale offers a wide range of introductions. Central Phoenix Women began from Linda’s desire to create an upscale experience for female leadership with a more corporate feel. “It’s purpose is to educate, enlighten and connect serious businesswomen.”
“Nothing happens until you meet someone. Creating those pathways is very valuable. It helps to have access first,” she points out about her groups.
Linda Herold is not only an amazing and natural connector, but she is an award-winning journalist. Her writing has covered a wide-ranging scope of industries from fashion and business to philanthropy. Working for The Arizona Republic as a Social Editor had Linda attending a myriad of events. After seeing a lack of coverage for a lot of very important causes, she began writing a social column for Frontdoors. “It gave me the ability to shed light on groups that were not getting covered,” she says with appreciation.
After leaving Frontdoors, Linda felt compelled to continue her journalistic duties documenting the history of the Valley’s philanthropy. You might expect that she dusted her hands off after archiving her written work to the Scottsdale Historical Society. Her work wasn’t quite finished.
Linda had spent a lot of time creating relationships, friendships and a trust that was too big to give up. She had built a unique and vast resource of people doing great work across the community. And she knew them personally. “It’s a real mistake to believe that you can do it by social media and the web. It really takes relationship building over time,” she mentors with a quick glance to her computer screen.
The next step felt obvious.
“Everybody was contacting me. I started getting so much information that Linda Land made sense,” she affirms. So, a blog was born. It became a place where society’s stories of leadership, culture, fashion and philanthropy could live digitally. She began posting photos she took at Valley events, telling stories and linking the community to philanthropy.
To further her plan of bringing the resource for success together, Linda designed the Society of Chairs Dinner for The Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix in 2009. “I identified significant nonprofit leaders and their major gala volunteers for a special evening.
The purpose was for them to connect with each other,” Linda says.
Through it all, Linda Herold has become a grand observer of all types of moments.
“I’ve seen people at their very best and pretty bad moments. You have to be forgiving. Everybody has a bad moment,” she openly says. It’s times like these when social responsibility can easily be lost. “If there’s one thing I would say to people it’s there is not enough kindness in this world,” Linda offers.
Linda’s coverage of society in the Valley has been a powerful and impactful process for so many. “I am the one who has been privileged to be a part of the community. These organizations have made me their partner. They trusted me to tell their story.” She has documented the social and philanthropic history during a time of tremendous growth in Arizona. You might say she has been at the table of many organizations as they found their way across the landscape of fundraising.
It has been a herculean task. Now, instead of covering life’s events, Linda is focusing on herself and her creative nature. She hopes to create an art studio where she can focus on watercolor painting. Currently, she is planning a trip to France with her husband Dr. Martin Bell. After 34 years of marriage where her husband had to share his wife with an entire city, a well-deserved vacation is in order.
Although Linda is putting down her pen, being a Fairy Godmother never ends. She may not be covering the Valley’s swanky events, but she is still actively involved with her women’s groups, serving on a few community boards, and carrying out her passion to bring people together to achieve great things. Linda’s wand of influence will continue to be wielded and we could not be more delighted.