Chamber Volunteers Provide Unparalleled Service with a Giving Spirit



October 7, 2022


The Sedona Chamber and the League of Women Voters of Northern Arizona are hosting the next Mayoral Candidate Forum. On Wednesday, October 12 you can hear directly from Scott Jablow and Samaire Armstrong.  The event will take place at the Sedona Performing Arts Center on 995 Upper Red Rock Loop Road from 6:30 – 8 p.m. For details go to

One in four Americans volunteer, so you likely know at least one person who enjoys giving back. By volunteering, our Sedona neighbors show their kindness, generosity, and willingness to share their knowledge and ability at no cost. Spending time with these cheerful, caring people is one of the best parts of my job.

As a nonprofit with more than 130 non-profit members, we know Sedona’s social infrastructure depends on volunteers to man the counters, deliver the meals, feed the animals, process the paperwork, maintain facilities, care for the dispossessed, and, in our case, offer business guidance to our members while welcoming and educating visitors. In addition, our volunteer Board of Directors accepts a vast responsibility in setting our policies and strategic direction.

I was grateful for the chance to recognize this inspiring group at our annual Volunteer Event at Poco Diablo Resort Sunday. I’m happy to share some of the highlights.

John Reass is our Volunteer of the Year. John has greeted and guided guests at the Uptown Visitor Center every Saturday morning for 25 years. A Long Islander who discovered Sedona on a day trip from a Scottsdale sales conference, his dream of retiring here with his wife came true in 1996, and he has been a delightful Visitor Center presence since 1997. Patient and cheerful, John loves seeing the excitement and amazement of first-time visitors – a feeling he remembers well. Thank you, John, and it was a special treat to also present you with a 25-year Service Award Sunday.

Visitor Center volunteers are the point people in our educational outreach, sharing information on shuttle use, Leave No Trace principles, dispersed tourism sites around the Verde Valley, and more. Thirty-three volunteers help keep the Center open year-round. Thank you, Meredith Athereley, Cheryl Barron, Carole Bell, Wade Bell, Deborah Brockner, Anita Capps, Vito Caprio, Barbara Earnshaw, Jeanne Fischer,  Donna Foreman, John Freeman, Mary Ann Freeman, Elinor Friedman Peter Gendron, Karen Hazzard, Gary Kincaid, Marty Krepcho,  Bea Logan, Sharon Madison, Tom McCabe, John Reass, Carl Saban, Debbie Schwartz, Ray Schwartz, John Smith, Michelle Snyder, Lynn Svenningsen, Joe Tomala, Dick Weisbaum, Greg Williams, Jim Wilson, Karen Yeamans and Dick Youngberg.

Three volunteers greet guests at our monthly mixers while running raffles and games. They are Sandi Schenholm, Julie Spector, and Joyce Weber.

Our volunteer Board Executive Officers are Jennifer Perry (Chairman), Wendy Lippman (Vice Chairman), Stan Kantowski (Secretary) and Mike Wise (Treasurer). Board members are Jesse Alexander, Cheryl Barron, Shlomo Danieli, John Davis, Dr. Beth DuPree, Gary Glenn, KC Kinsey, Lonnie Lillie, Clifford Loader, Julie Richard, Mackenzie Rodgers, Ed Rose, and Al Comello (Immediate Past Chair).


We are deeply grateful to the following individuals who achieved significant milestones this year:

Dick Youngberg: 467 hrs.

Gary Kincaid: 368 hrs.

Elinor Friedman: 320 hrs.

Michelle Snyder: 300 hrs.

Five-year service awards: Greg Williams, John Freeman, Mary Ann Freeman, Barbara Earnshaw.

Ten-year service awards: Carl Saban and Karen Yeamens.


A special thanks to partners who donated gifts for the volunteers: 89 Agave, Bennali’s on Main, Body Bliss, Canyon Breeze, Cheers, Chocola Tree Organic Oasis, Dahling It’s You, Don Diego, Gayle’s Chocolates, El Rincon, Gerardo’s, Isn’t She Lovely, Javelina Cantina, Mercer’s Kitchen, Mountain High Flowers, Mystical Bazaar, Oak Creek Brewery, Open Range, Out of Africa, Rainbow Adventures, Sedona Pizza, Soundbites Grill, The Hideaway House, The Melting Pot, Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village, and Vino di Sedona

I think of our Sedona team whenever I recall the words of Arizona’s own Erma Bombeck, who wrote, “Volunteers reflect America’s compassion, unselfish caring, and just plain loving one another.”

Thank you, volunteers!

Michelle Conway, President/CEO
Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau