Visitor Center Volunteers



January 15, 2021

Photo taken pre-Covidvolunteer-panoWhich group of Sedonans met with and informed the most visitors about Sedona’s pandemic response and safety standards in 2020?

The answer may surprise you: the 80+ volunteers at the Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau. Throughout 2020, this dedicated group masked up to help visitors at tables at the Visitor Center doors while handling a flood of inquiries by phone, email and online chat.

They shared crucial information about Sedona’s mask mandate, Sedona | Safe.Clean.Ready safety standards and reminders about social distancing, hand washing and staying home when sick.

But pandemic education is just one of their accomplishments. With their expert knowledge, they accurately answer thousands of questions on every imaginable topic. Their kindness and cheerful attitude make a positive first impression of Sedona, enriching every traveler’s experience.

Unfortunately, we could not hold our usual volunteer recognition ceremony in 2020. However, we still want to acknowledge these fantastic people publicly.

Congratulations to Volunteer of the Year Michelle Snyder. Always courteous and efficient, Michelle is at the Visitor Center at all hours, often staying longer than planned to help visitors, staff and other volunteers. She totaled an incredible 550 volunteer hours in FY20. Thank you, Michelle!

Before recognizing our service awardees, we want to remember Ron Slyter and Dixie Carlson, who passed in 2020. We miss Ron and Dixie, and it was a great pleasure to have them in our volunteer family.

Our 2020 Service Awards:

5 Years – Marvin Apter, Anita Capps, Paul Lehnen, Ray Schwartz, Tom McCabe, Elinor Friedman, Susie Fairchild, Michelle Snyder and Caroline Rudat.

10 Years – Jim Wilson

15 years – Harry Grossman and Lynn Svenningsen

Most hours volunteered:

Michelle Snyder – 550, Dick Youngberg – 411, Jeanne Fischer – 394

More than 200 hours:

Tom McCabe, Karen Yeamans, Ray Schwartz, Ed Johnson, Gary Kincaid, Joe Tomala, Bea Logan and Debbie Schwartz.

More than 150 hours:

Elinor Friedman, Barbara Earnshaw, Dick Weisbaum, Peter Gendron, Paul Lehnen, Vito Caprio, DeAnna Lehnen, John Reass, Marty Krepcho, Wade Bell, Carole Bell, Carl Saban, Maria Caroline Rozas, Mary Ann Freeman and Sharon Madison, Tony Cuebas and Julie Pinneo.

More than 100 hours:

Anita Capps, John DeCrescenzo, John Freeman, Donna Foreman, Harry Grossman, Marvin Apter, Lynn Svenningsen, Greg Williams, Kathy O’Connell, Jill Jepson, Melanie Bullock and Becky Anderson.

Most Retail Items Sold:

1st Place – Joe Tomala

2nd Place – Karen Yeamans

3rd Place – DeAnna Lehnen

Most Volunteer Familiarization Tours:

1st Place – Gary Kincaid

2nd Place – DeAnna Lehnen

3rd Place – Paul Lehnen

Fewer than 100 hours:

Fran Beltz, Caroline Rudat, Jim Wilson, Noreen Lisowski, Suzanne Burkey, Laurie Kelso, Susie Fairchild, Tom Beezley, Sheila Knies, Walt Ruess, Belinda Calloway, Lori Schuller, Ginette Haas, Judy Berg, Kristin Brown, Susan Brown, Janet Sabatino, Sandy Immerso, Mikki Fogg, Sue Williams, Marty Feldman, Barrie Thomas, Frieda Metwally, Tony Troianello, Eric Zenk, Bev Jackson, Diane Phelps, Kay Bork, Bill Murdoch, Sandy Murdoch and Jack Singer.

Thank you to our partners for supporting the 2020 Volunteer Appreciation by donating gifts for the volunteers, they appreciate your support in their efforts. Thank you for your continued support.

Alcantara Vineyards, Andrea Smith Gallery, Body Bliss Factory Direct, Cheers, Creekside American Bistro, Dahling It’s You Boutique, Guidance Air, Isn’t She Lovely Boutique, Joe Wilcox Indian Den, Kachina House, Dahl Restaurant Group, Mesa Grill at Sedona Airport, Oak Creek Brewery & Grill, Outlaw Grill, Red Rock Café, Sound Bites Grill, and Village Gallery.

We also want to salute Director of Visitor Services Donna Retegan and Visitor Center Manager Brenda Andrusyszyn for their excellent work assembling, training and scheduling our volunteers.

The pandemic spotlighted our volunteers’ essential role during an emergency. Their flexibility and can-do spirit are inspiring and make us more grateful than ever. The thousands of hours they invest at the Visitor Center, in our Ambassador program, and in so many other roles help Sedona shine. Thank you, volunteers, for all you do!

–Michelle Conway,
Interim President/CEO and Director of Marketing