Sedona Chamber International Women’s Day Wrap Up



March 11, 2022



Thank you to everyone who helped energize the room at our fantastic inaugural International Women’s Day Leadership Awards Luncheon Tuesday at the Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock. The packed house and supportive vibe made for an unforgettable event.

Presenting Katie Cook with our first Women’s Business Leadership Award was a special moment. Director of Food and Beverage at the Sedona Golf Resort, Katie set a new departmental monthly revenue record last October, handling 15 weddings in 31 days –  all while building a home and raising two children. Katie always finds time to mentor. Spotting the potential of a long-time server, she promoted her to the new position of Banquet Captain, and continues to encourage her professional growth.

We recognized Makenzie Sulfaro with the Emerging Woman Business Leader Award. As the founder and co-owner of Sultivate, Makenzie instructs people of all generations to stay fit and healthy, contributing to each individual’s opportunity for a long, well-balanced life.  Makenzie boldly chose to remain open in the early months of the pandemic as “The Studio” in Cottonwood. She soon added classes and equipment, creating 11 instructor jobs, a remarkable feat amid uncertain times.

She works to support other women-owned businesses and nonprofits with donations and promotion. Her professionalism and community-mindedness benefit the entire Verde Valley.

We presented two Lifetime Achievement Awards.

We honored Barbara Litrell, in memoriam, for her remarkable career in media and the community. Publisher of McCall’s, Working Woman and Working Mother magazines, Barbara’s dedication to women’s empowerment continued after coming to Sedona with her husband Michael in 2002. She served as President of University Women of Sedona and The League of Women Voters / Greater Verde Valley. In addition, she was President of Keep Sedona Beautiful, a founding member of the Mental Health Coalition of the Verde Valley and served on the Sedona City Council from 2010 to 2014. She passed away in July of last year, yet remains an inspiring example of women as leaders and community-minded humanitarians.


We also recognized Mayor Sandy Moriarty for her decades of tireless public service and women’s empowerment in politics and community life. Born in Seattle, she received an Economics degree from the University of Washington and moved to Sedona in 1972, when we had a population of 4,000 and were unincorporated. Sandy was the only female member of the local group initiating the incorporation process, and Sedona officially became a city in January 1988. She served on the first appointed council for five months and in 2014, was elected mayor. Sandy helped found Sedona Recycles and has been a volunteer with AYSO, Good Morning Sedona, Southwest Public Recycling Association, and the Verde Valley Wine Consortium, helping found the Sedona Wine Festival. “I learned that if you want to see something happen, be a part of making it happen.”

A final announcement from the event was the Sedona Chamber’s $5,000 gift to the Sedona Historical Society to improve the gravesite of our namesake Sedona Schnebly at Cooks Cedar Glade cemetery. Area homebuilder Bob Porter also pledged a $2,500 donation in memory of his beloved deceased wife, CC Porter, helping us to memorialize Sedona’s name in our community landscape forever.

We are grateful for the support of our sponsors and guests, and so proud of all the ladies we honored.

-Candace Carr Strauss