VERDE VALLEY - “If Cottonwood had a Poster Child, it would be Coleen Gilboy,” said James Ledbetter of Ledbetter Law Firm, where Coleen works.
As it turns out, Coleen is the equivalent of a Poster Child: she is the 2013 Verde Pride Awards Citizen of the Year.
When asked what Coleen’s actual title is around the firm’s office, Ledbetter laughed: “Allied Supreme Commander,” he said. “And no one will argue with that.”
“When I got the call about being selected for Citizen of the Year, I was literally rendered speechless,” Coleen said.
She quickly added that, for those who know her, they would consider her being speechless as “quite a feat.”
“I am beyond honored and humbled by this award,” she said. “I love the Verde Valley and do everything I can to help others, and to make it the best place to live.”
According to the people the newspaper heard from, Coleen truly does do everything she can to make the Verde Valley a great place to live.
“Coleen is a dear lady who literally goes from one activity to another, squeezing in a few hours of sleep each night,” said Lori Hardt. “She is a hard worker who always finds time in her schedule to do one more thing for the community, and she works full time managing a law office.”
Ledbetter, the head of that law office, agrees.
“Few people would be as deserving of the recognition “Citizen of the Year,” Ledbetter said. “In our office – like in the community – she is the Go To person. She is a problem solver with limitless energy.”
He explained that in the Verde Valley, Coleen provides oversight and leadership to the Girl Scouts of America, Operation Graduation, the Marauder Club, the Chamber of Commerce, the Christmas Parade and MUHS track and field.
Married to a teacher, Coleen has two children, one in college and one in high school. She also frequently helps with concessions at MUHS football games, and she is an active volunteer at her church, Verde Valley Christian Church.
Hardt said that Coleen should be Grand Marshal of the Christmas Parade, which she spends so much time helping organize.
“She’d rather organize it,” Hardt said. “She’s a worker, not the center of attention.”
Coleen admits to being very active on behalf of her community.
“I am active in many civic and volunteer programs, such as feeding the homeless and growing local business through my involvement with the chamber,” she said.
But perhaps most dear to Coleen’s heart is the future of the Verde Valley’s kids. She devotes much time to helping the next generation of citizens. And she doesn’t mind enlisting the help of others.
“If anyone wants to help and is not sure how to get started,” Coleen said, “call me, I have a running list of areas where helpers are needed.”
Hardt says that is in fact who Coleen Gilboy truly is.
“Her heart is service to this community.”