Carla Williams hits ground running as new member of Village community
Carla Williams and her husband Don came here on vacation and went hiking in the red rocks (this sounds familiar, right?)
They did a Pink Jeep Tour and upon returning to Uptown, wandered across the street to a realtor’s office. The next day they had picked their place to retire, and four years ago they moved from Alaska to the Village.
Carla originally went to Alaska to work on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System and stayed 40 years. She has recently published a book about that time called Wildcat Women, Narratives of Women Breaking Ground in Alaska’s Oil and Gas Industry.
“It tells both my story about those early days and the stories of 14 other women in the industry,” Carla says. “The female workforce was about 10 percent of the industry back then. When I first went to the North Slope to work in the ‘80s, sometimes I would be the only woman in a dining room of about 300 men.”
Carla’s book has received the 2019 Alaskana Book award and is available on Amazon.
During this same time, Carla was a volunteer women’s health lobbyist. In 2001 she was given a Governor’s Award for her work in passing the Alaska Breast Cancer Treatment legislation for low-income women diagnosed with breast cancer.
“For 18 years this program has provided breast cancer treatment for hundreds of Alaska women. Even though the women who go through the program don’t know me or why they are getting free cancer treatment, I know, and that’s good enough for me.”
Not surprisingly, Carla hit the ground running when she moved here to “retire." She manages the Litter Lifter program for Keep Sedona Beautiful, is on the board for Affinity Films, and recently became a Big Park Regional Coordinating Council Representative for Oak Creek Country Club Estates.
Perhaps her favorite job is working part-time at Enchantment Resort as a hiking guide.
“It’s perfect for me. I enjoy meeting interesting people from all over the world, I get to be outside enjoying the lovely scenery, and I get exercise without having to go to the gym.”
The Williams love their current home and neighborhood here and understand that The Village, like communities all over the country, has serious challenges coming its way.
“Highway SR179 is one of only 31 All-American Roads considered the “best of the best” in the United States. It’s right up there with Alaska’s Seward Highway and the Big Sur Coast Highway,” Carla says.
“These are iconic vista highways, and we have one right in our back yard. Preserving the vistas is key to our health and future economy. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. The County needs to find a way to help us protect our Village from vista-blocking developments.”
The Village of Oak Creek is full of extraordinary people, and Carla and her husband are no exception. Our community is lucky to have them as neighbors.