Inspirational Women of North Scottsdale 4

Bold, Daring and Dedicated, These Community Leaders Know How to Make a Difference

Kim Bankofier

Community Relations Manager, Vi at Silverstone

A nearly lifelong Scottsdale resident, Kim Bankofier has been involved in the local community in a variety of capacities.

“I have a lot of experience in a multitude of activities—from school years at Kiva Elementary, Xavier Prep and U of A to my work involvement at Scottsdale Citizen Magazine, Westworld, Russ Lyon Realty, and currently Vi at Silverstone,” she says. “These opportunities have allowed me to be actively involved in meaningful aspects of this community. I also had the great opportunities of being involved as a board member at my church, St. Patrick Catholic Community, and Notre Dame Preparatory High School.”

“My greatest contribution to the community would be using my God-given gifts of networking in ways to help as many people as possible: business to business, nonprofits, mentoring and more,” she adds. “From my position as current Director of Women of Scottsdale to my role as Co-Chair of the Host Committee for the Charles Schwab Cup golf tournament, I truly enjoy connecting all the different resources that make these projects more productive and successful. In my current position at Vi at Silverstone, helping people understand the benefits of a Lifecare community or navigating senior living is another way I can be of help.”

Bankofier has been married for 24 years to her husband, Todd, and the pair has three children.

Get to Know Kim Bankofier:

What makes you so passionate about your community?

I am passionate about our community because I was incredibly blessed to grow up here. When you really love something you need to take care of it.

What is your favorite quote or saying?

“You make a living by what you get, you make a life by what you give,” -Winston Churchill.

Who is your favorite woman from either current times or history?

Other than my amazing mom, who has always been a great example of giving, love and sacrifice to all six of her children, I would have to say Lucille Ball. Anyone that knows me knows that it’s funny movies and comedy that bring me light in a sometimes too serious world.  -MTE

Letitia Frye

Speaker, “auctiontainer” and author

Alice Cooper nicknamed Letitia Frye an “auctiontainer” after watching her rehearse for a charity event—and the label fit like a glove.

“What that title [auctiontainer] equates to is a former model and actress turned professional auctioneer, combining the skills of all those careers into one performance,” Frye explains. “… I only do charity auctions, and I volunteer with and witness first hand every organization I raise funds for. I have been to Haiti to feed orphans, in trial research in cancer labs, volunteer at gay youth camps, rescue horses on the border, grant wishes to sick children, spend days alongside a singer performing in hospital rooms…the list goes on and on.”

Frye estimates that she has helped raise more than $300 million for charity.

“For me, it is the time I spend with those in need that gives me the greatest reward, but knowing I have a career making a positive financial impact on the community as well is nothing short of a blessing either,” she says.

Get to Know Letitia Frye:

Any advice for young women aspiring to start a successful career?

Get a mentor, either in the field you wish to pursue or a woman you wish to aspire to be like. Secondly, we all have fear. It can paralyze you or mobilize you in your career; that is your choice. Use your fear and go with it. Thirdly, believe in yourself. Do not wait for someone else to tell you or justify how talented, smart or useful you are.

Favorite quote or saying?

“It always seems impossible, until it is done.” -Nelson Mandela.

Who is your favorite woman from either current times or history?

Hands down Mother Theresa. I don’t think there has ever lived a more selfless woman with more courage, grit and grace. -MTE

Melissa Fink

Owner, Girly Girlz in Scottsdale 

After many years spent working in the corporate world, Melissa Fink was ready for a change. The business woman and busy mom of two boys wanted to do something where she could have an impact on others, so she set her sights on her hometown of Scottsdale; and came across Girly Girlz, which was currently for sale.

Now approaching her one-year anniversary as owner of the store, Fink has a lot to celebrate. And there is truly no better place to celebrate than Girly Girlz, as the store offers a bevy of entertainment options, from all inclusive birthday parties to private tea parties, day camps and more.

However, the road to successful business ownership wasn’t always easy. In 2004, Fink lost her sister in a drunk driving accident. The news was devastating, but Fink persevered and made it her mission to instill some of her sister’s vibrant spirit into Girly Girlz.

Then in 2009, only a few days after having her first child, Fink suffered a stroke and had to learn how to walk again. It was a trying time emotionally, mentally and physically, yet she was still determined to make it through.

“I have always believed that if you have hope, and you work really hard and keep a good attitude, things will get better,” says Fink.

And they did. With Girly Girlz running at full capacity, Fink finds joy in having the opportunity to brighten the lives of other children, as well as teach her own children the value of hard work.

“It is important for me to have my sons see a strong woman, and a woman owning her own business,” says Fink. “To know what it’s like to have a good work ethic and take ownership of something.”

Get to Know Melissa Fink:

Who has been the most influential woman in your life so far?

Of course I would have to say my mom. Because as a mom, she has influenced me on how important it is to not only be hands-on in my kids’ lives, but also how to raise independent adults.

What is your favorite quote or saying?

“What doesn’t kill you makes to you stronger.” -DA