Need to be encouraged? Stop in at Circle K (here in the Village) and have a quick conversation with Jon Bailey, the store manager.
He’s positive, insightful and has such a common-sense approach to life. He is also doing a remarkable job bringing a better quality experience to his customers in spite of an ongoing labor shortage in our area.
Jon has a genuine humility about him, stating that his life has just been average (is there such a thing?), as if he has nothing unique or special to share (he does).
Raised in the Phoenix Valley, Jon attended the same school from kindergarten through half of the 8th grade. Being an only child of a single mom, Jon spent much his time skateboarding and playing video games with friends.
At 15, he moved in with his dad, stepmom and four half-siblings. What a life-changing transition that was. Jon attended Apollo High School all four years.
His first job was at 15. By 16 he was a shift leader, at 17 an assistant manager.
He went on to manage a Dollar Store, a Dairy Queen and then spent 12 years as a Produce Manager with Fry’s Grocery, where he met, Jenn, a coworker.
They dated only a few months and were married outdoors at the Sedona City Hall complex with the beautiful backdrop of red rocks.
They went to Airport Road overlook for wedding pictures.
Long before moving here, Sedona was already a part of their lives.
Coming from broken homes, Jon and Jenn decided to break the cycles they were in. They chose to communicate better, not live in debt, and stay together forever.
Jenn became a social worker and they sometimes collaborated offering hope and vision to at-risk kids/youth.
She would bring a group to the grocery store where Jon would give them a tour of the various departments, speaking to them about opportunities. They would even bring the store’s GM to interact with and encourage the kids.
A family health situation required Jon to take significant time off, but the corporation refused to work with him, so he quit his job declaring that family was far more important.
They found the climate and temperatures in Sedona worked better for their situation.
Having family here made the decision to move even easier. So, almost two years ago, they became "Village People."
Jenn homeschools their 14-year-old son, Adeyn, who happens to be high-functioning on the Autism Spectrum.
After a few years of public education they realized he would receive the best care and education from those who knew him best.
For Jon, family overrides everything else. He loves to travel: whether road trips, heading to Hawaii (his favorite) or Mexico, “It doesn’t matter where you go; it’s about being with family.”
He hopes to get away some day, buy a few acres, set up solar, drill a well, grow their food, “This society isn’t exactly getting better.” So, he’s looking down the road, planning for the needs of his family.
Jim Cunningham, Jr. is a pastor, husband, father, lover of people, friend, neighbor, counselor, teacher, book collector, and jack-of-all-trades. Meet him here each month to become acquainted with yet another Village resident.