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Sun, May 16

Beverly Copen earns Village Partnership’s Shining Star Award
Author, photographer, entrepreneur philanthropist recognized for 15 years of community service

Don Groves, president; Gwen Hanna, director; Damian Bruno, director; Bev Copen, honoree and recipient of Shining Star Award; David Gill, vice president; Danielle Giann, director.

Don Groves, president; Gwen Hanna, director; Damian Bruno, director; Bev Copen, honoree and recipient of Shining Star Award; David Gill, vice president; Danielle Giann, director.

The Sedona Village Partnership selected Beverly Copen for its first-ever Shining Star Award, which was presented at a dinner event April 6 at the home of Don and Jan Groves.

The award recognizes significant community achievement and contribution, and honors one of the organization’s founding members, on the eve of her relocation to Rome, Georgia.

Explaining the basis of the award, Vice President and co-founder David Gill said, “She co-founded and was the leader of the Sedona Village Partnership in its beginning years, contributing her own time and talent, and inspiring others. Beverly has worked tirelessly to improve our Village. In my opinion, no single person has had a greater positive impact in the last 15 years than Ms. Beverly herself.”

Beverly moved to the Village of Oak Creek in 2004 with her husband, Dr. Mel Copen. They plunged into community activities and causes, taking on leadership roles in myriad organizations.

In 2012, Dr. Copen died, and a non-profit was formed and funded in his memory for the purpose of supporting the quality of life in the Village and with a vision of one day creating a community center.

Originally named the Vision Alliance, that organization evolved into the Sedona Village Partnership, which today provides funding and volunteer support to a variety of worthy projects in the Village.

The organization’s first president was Beverly, and she has served continuously as officer and/or director since.

In addition to her philanthropic work, Ms. Copen is a well-known professional photographer whose work has been widely displayed, and is featured in eight printed collections. In 2011 her photograph titled Sunset of the Century won the Arizona Highways Grand Prize and was featured in the magazine.

She has also authored and published four non-fiction books, including the recently released “It’s Your Life, Isn’t It?”, originally published in Japanese and more recently in Spanish. Other books include “For Better or For Worse: Dealing with Chronic Illness”

Remarkably, the achievements in photography and writing for which Beverly is well-known in Northern Arizona came about as passion pursuits in the years after she moved from her home base in Georgia.

Beverly’s 45-year “first career” was as a businesswoman and entrepreneur. She founded and built a modeling/talent agency in Atlanta, which is still in business today.

As the first film representative of Georgia, she was instrumental in putting Atlanta on the map as a film location - today Atlanta is the third most used filming location in the United States.

She became a recognized expert in sales and marketing and has been a featured speaker around the world. She has served on the boards of numerous large institutions and nonprofits, including the prestigious Committee of 200 (c200.org). She is currently a member of the International Women's Forum-Arizona.

“Beverly has graced this community with a spirit like none other," said Camille Cox, SVP partner and president of the Big Park Regional Coordinating Council. “She’s a quintessentially wise soul - timeless, deep, generous and full of light. How many women become a pacesetter in so many realms - business, the arts, community leadership? She has been a source of encouragement and inspiration for so many, and though we wish her the best, her absence will be profoundly felt."

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