Sat, Aug. 17

2013 Verde Pride Awards: Businessperson of the Year: Dena Greenwood

Dena Greenwood

Dena Greenwood

Dena Greenwood gets to do what she loves every day - talk about birds and the beautiful land we live in.

As manager of Jay’s Bird Barn in Sedona for the past three years, she has connected customers and other visitors to the natural environment. She guides, she teaches, she coordinates. And she’ll also sell you all the birding equipment you can need for a day out in the field.

Greenwood is this year’s Verde Pride Awards Businessperson of the Year.

“The thing I love about it is I get to talk about what I love,” she says. “It’s more about education than selling.”

The ever-changing and dynamic world of birds in the Verde Valley is the center of her daily life. Greenwood leads bird walks every day and teaches visitors what the birds mean to the Verde Valley. She has been involved with nature since she was a child. Dena received her Master’s Degree in Environmental Biology with an emphasis in Ornithology, Botany, and Geology. She has been an Arizona State Parks ranger, where she started leading bird walks.

She has also been involved with the National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service. She has also been an instructor at Yavapai College. And she illustrated a technical field guide for Northern Arizona University entitled “Plants of Northern Arizona Forests.” She leads field trips for the Northern Arizona Audubon Society and is a guest field trip leader for the Sedona Westerners Hiking group.

Greenwood was nominated for the Verde Pride Award by Jackie Klieger and Kathy Dunham. They wrote: “One of Dena’s many assets is her wealth of knowledge and information and her willingness to share it freely. On any given day she can be seen at Jay’s Bird Barn efficiently overseeing all aspects of the retail store and visiting with customers answering questions about birds they have seen in their back yards, places to observe birds and other wildlife, where to take an injured animal and many other nature related questions. She is particularly passionate about working with children and helping to instill a lifelong interest in conservation and nature.”

They credit Greenwood’s leadership for the expansion of Jay’s Bird Barn last year when the store moved to double its space and inventory and became a “community hub” for birding.

“She has a unique ability to foster enthusiasm and a desire for continued learning in those she touches,” Klieger and Dunham stated in nominated her for the award.

Greenwood calls the nomination an honor and a surprise. She is just sharing her love and knowledge, after all.

“They say that it tunes them in more than any other outdoor activity,” she says of her bird ventures. “It’s almost like meditating. They’re concentrating on that one bird, so they see more and understand more.”

Those that know her call that contributing significantly to the betterment of the Verde Valley community.