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Thu, Oct. 21

Sedona allocates $2.1 for Sedona Chamber of Commerce

Candace Carr Strauss is the executive director of the Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau.

Candace Carr Strauss is the executive director of the Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau.

The Sedona City Council approved the SCC&TB’s FY22 Destination Resiliency Plan last week with a proposed budget of $2.1 million.

I want to thank City Manager Karen Osburn for guiding the discussion. In the wake of our unexpected tourism-led economic rebound, which saw record-breaking FY21 city tax collections, no funds were allocated for destination marketing but rather destination management services.

The chamber will focus on consumer education with the Sedona Cares Pledge, 7 Principles of Leave No Trace, Tread Lightly, and Recreate Responsibly messaging to set behavioral expectations for our visitors.

We will continue to encourage visitors to experience all Northern Arizona has to offer, working with groups such as the Sedona Verde Valley Tourism Council and utilizing assets like the Sedona Secret 7.

We look forward to facilitating a Master Forest Plan with the USFS Red Rock Ranger District to ensure a sustainable future for our public lands.

New responsibilities for us include expediting solutions on our trails and roads. Initially, we will be assisting in the marketing of Sedona public transit and initiating trash removal services and placing temporary toilets at specific city trail heads.

We recently welcomed six new board members who will help lead our organization. I want to thank outgoing Board Chair Lonnie Lillie for serving an extra year as part of our response to the COVID pandemic. Thank you, Lonnie.

New FY22 board members:

• Dr. Beth DuPree - Breast Surgeon Cancer, Medical Director of Oncology Services, Cancer Centers of Northern Arizona  2020’s NAH Physician of the Year for Verde Valley Medical Center, Beth leads a nationally accredited breast cancer program. She was VP of Holy Redeemer Health System in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Surgery at The University of Pennsylvania.

• Gary Glenn – Gary Glenn Portraits  After 40 years in Australia, Gary found Sedona in 2013 when he attended the Sedona International Film Festival after one of his films was accepted there. A photographer, videographer and business consultant, Gary has helped hundreds of businesses improve sales and management.

• Julia Kaiser GM, The Arabella Sedona  Julia’s local hotelier resume includes the Enchantment Resort and Mii Amo Spa, the Sedona Rouge Hotel & Spa, and the Hampton Inn before her current position. She believes in the chamber’s role convening all stakeholders to make Sedona and the Verde Valley better.

• KC Kinsey GM, Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock  A VOC resident, KC has operated some of the West’s finest resorts including two Waldorf Astoria properties. He has experience on tourism councils and community boards and is a Board member of The Warburton, a fundraising event for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

• Ed Rose GM, Sedona-Oak Creek Airport Authority   Ed’s 40-year aviation management career includes service as President of the New York Airport Manager›s Association. He has broad experience with governments and chambers of commerce integrating aviation with managed growth. 

Four current Board members are advancing to executive positions. They are

• Al Comello of Comello Media Services, Board Chairman

• Jennifer Perry, Regional Director of the Arizona Community Foundation of Sedona, Vice-Chair

• Wendy Lippman, General Manager and Resident Partner for Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village and Tlaquepaque North, Board Secretary

• Mike Wise of Arizona Prime Real Estate, Sycamore Group, Board Treasurer. 

Our outgoing members have served the community well, especially during the pandemic. They are ex-officios Jerry Hayman, Linda Goldenstein and Mike Hermen, and members Whitney Cunningham, Kyle Larson, and Ralph Woellmer.

I encourage you to get involved by attending the Community Pulse at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre, August 25 from 8-10 a.m. sponsored by APS. You will hear about solutions from regional leaders – including Camille Cox, Chair Big Park Coordinating Council – to our region’s challenges. Space is limited, so register today at

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