Five go after three Chamber seats

The Camp Verde Chamber of Commerce election is next month for the 2005-07 term.

Five candidates are running for three vacant seats — Christina Parker, Wells Fargo Bank; Kala Pearson, Luna Vista Bed & Breakfast; Bill Redden, Simplicity Salon & Barbershop; Mary Taylor, Taylor & Padgett Financial Group; and Jerome Tobish, Ancient Bear Gallery.

Those expiring seats belong to President Merilee Fowler, Donna Berry, secretary, and Milton Pate, director. None of the three have chosen to rerun and their positions must now be filled, according to Chamber Director Ron Luczak.

The chamber board typically has seven members on two-year rotating terms.

Parker is a 17-year resident and manages the Wells Fargo Bank in Camp Verde while raising four children. She is interesting in getting involved and helping the community.

"I'm running because I believe the Chamber is great help to promoting the community. And, to the board, I bring management and financial experience," Parker said.

Pearson, co-owner of Luna Vista Bed & Breakfast, arrived in the Verde Valley two years ago with 27 years management experience including work with government and non-profit organizations specializing in public administration and economic development. She's interested in promoting area tourism and fostering economic growth for the membership.

"I believe as an integral part of the community, the Chamber can play two major roles in preserving the beauty and resources of the Verde Valley. The first role is by developing and sharing its resources with the numerous area visitors and tapping into the millions of tourism dollars that drive past our community every day. The second is by supporting and promoting area businesses to its residents, visitors and neighboring towns; and doing both of these in a environmentally and fiscally responsible manner," Pearson said.

Redden, co-owner of Simplicity Salon & Barbershop, is a second generation Arizonan. He was coordinator of several group homes and shelters for abused, neglected and at-risk teens in the Phoenix area. He and his wife, Cindi, moved to Camp Verde two years ago. He wants to help the future growth and promotion of business and economic development.

"One of the main reasons I'm running is that when moving from Phoenix to Camp Verde, we wanted to be part of the community. Being a chamber member is big part of the community, and I'm interested in our community," Redden said.

Taylor was born in Prescott but raised in Camp Verde. Besides building her own business and working for Taylor & Padgett Financial Group, she sits on the board of Y.E.S. the ARC in Cottonwood plus is coach for two high school sports, track and soccer.

"I'm running to participate in public service. I can provide youth and enthusiasm," Taylor said.

Tobish recently opened the Ancient Bear Gallery in the new Wingfield-Sutler Plaza. He and his wife, Therese, have lived in Camp Verde since 2000. He comes to the area with an extensive background in gaming security. Among other things, he designed closed circuit TV systems and aided in the prosecution of numerous cases.

"I've made Camp Verde my home and invested in the community with my business. I want to see the best happen for the town I live in. I can help that by being on the board," Tobish said.

All ballots must be returned to the chamber no later than Nov. 15.

"I think we have five very well qualified candidates," Luczak said.

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