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Sat, Feb. 22

<i>Women Today</i><br>Karen Pfeifer has balancing act of responsibility

VVN/Angela De Welles

KAREN Pfeifer is a member of the Cottonwood City Council and Chamber of Commerce a well as an office manager and grandmother of 15.

She's a busy woman with a number of responsibilities but somehow she manages to juggle it all.

"I have a very wonderful family that's very understanding," she said. "[Having] a type A personality doesn't hurt either."

Besides recently becoming a great grandmother, Pfeifer keeps busy on the Cottonwood City Council, chamber of commerce and a number of other volunteer organizations. Pfeifer is a founding member of the Main and Mingus Block Watch group and she works a full time job. Pfeiffer is the office manager and agent at Kelly Cathcart's American National Property and Casualty.

Pfeifer explains that it's harder for her to relax than it is for her to be doing something, anything. Her husband says any chair she sits in is a hot seat, because she's not in it for long.

"I have a hard time with down time," Pfeifer said.

The councilwoman waited until her children were grown before she decided to give so much of her time to others.

For Pfeifer, all the work is not taxing. She loves what she does.

"I like people," Pfeifer said. "I enjoy seeing the progress that we've been able to accomplish."

How does she fit it all in?

Pfeifer explains that a lot of her committee and council meetings happen in the evenings after work. She does a lot around the home and spends time with her family over the weekends.

"I love to cook, but I love to cook when I have time," she said.

Her life is not all about her work.

"We have a lot of family time and a lot of fun together," she said.

Council meetings, work sessions, chamber obligations, block watch meetings and work take up her time during the week. When she does get home at night she'll respond to her email.

She claims it's an easy balancing act. Being a mother to seven children and a grandmother to 15 may have given her much experience in time management.

"I think women are the better multi-taskers," she said. "I think we pretty much come by it naturally."

Pfeifer has lived in the Verde Valley since 1972 and says she's seen the changes that have taken place.

One of the best changes has been more jobs and industry. That has made it easier for families to stay in the area together, Pfeifer said.

It's easy to see that family is important to Pfeifer. But her community is also special.

The councilwoman recently took a trip across the country with her husband. At the end of it, she said out of all the communities she saw there was no place she'd rather live.

"The community's great," she said.

Being involved on so many levels actually helps Pfeifer with her decision making. She gets more insight on what's good for Cottonwood.

"I hear things at the chamber level, at the council level … it intermingles an awful lot," she said.

Whatever decisions she does make for the city, citizen feedback is important.

"You can't plan things for people without their input," she said.

Pfeifer credits her husband, her employer and her friends for making it easier for her to give her time to the community.

Now that she has to prepare for a re-election campaign, (Pfeifer is running unopposed for a seat on the Cottonwood City Council) she'll need the support even more.

When she gets ready to retire, she may slow down, she said. But that also may give her more time to volunteer.

She knows her limits, though. If she can't give a task her all, she won't volunteer for it.

"You can't be everywhere," Pfeifer said. "Wonder Woman is on television."

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