Guest Editorial: Making Scottsdale History (Think Harleys, Super Bowl ads and Cher)

By Staff Report

What do you get a guy who is a billionaire, owns a Harley-Davidson dealership and has owned what used to be Cher’s mansion in Hawaii?

Well in the case of Bob Parsons, the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce is inducting him and his wife, Renee, into the Scottsdale History Hall of Fame.

The Chamber will induct a new class of members into the Scottsdale History Hall of Fame on Thursday, May 9th.

The class is led by Bob and Renee Parsons, Cactus League President Jeff Meyer and the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community.

The inductees are being honored for their significant contributions and impact on the Scottsdale community.

Parsons is a big dog and a bigger personality in the Scottsdale and Arizona business communities and social scenes. His life story and style are worthy of recognition.

The Baltimore native’s style, interest in motorcycles and penchant for racy Super Bowl commercials at GoDaddy is far from most more button-down corporate executive types.

Parsons has plenty of business acumen. He is the founder of web domain firm GoDaddy (Nasdaq: GDDY). He also owns YAM Worldwide which has real estate investments. Parsons also owns Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale, GO AZ Motorcycles, Scottsdale National Golf Club and Big YAM advertising.

The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation is one of Arizona’ s leading philanthropic groups. Its donations include grants to the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale, Inc., Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona, Child Crisis Arizona, Girls Scouts AZ Cactus-Pine and Make-A-Wish Foundation of Arizona Inc.

Renee Parsons is president of PXG Apparel. She is also active in managing expansion and events at Scottsdale National Golf Club.

Parsons had humble beginnings in Baltimore, enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and served in Vietnam. He started Parsons Technology in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The accounting technology company was bought by Intuit in 1994 for $64 million.

Intuit is the developer of TurboTax and QuickBooks.

Parsons will have some company in the History Hall of Fame.

The Sugar Bowl restaurant, which opened in Old Town in 1958, Jim Wellington and Ken Harder are also being inducted.

Wellington is a former board chairman of the Scottsdale Unified School District. He was also a former utility executive.

Harder is a former chair of the Scottsdale Chamber and Scottsdale Charros. He has also been a banking executive.

Meyer has served on the Cactus League board for 17 years.

The Cactus League is a huge tourism machine while the Salt River community has become a prime economic driver for the Scottsdale area.

It is the 26th year for the History Hall of Fame. The event is being held at the Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch on Thursday, May 9th from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The event is being presented by the Scottsdale Charros.