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Chamber News: Chamber brings together array of business backgrounds

Michelle Conway (Submitted photo)

Michelle Conway (Submitted photo)

I love how our staff’s various backgrounds and experiences lend a high level of professionalism to their work, representing a cross-section of Sedona and the qualities making us unique.

Sept. 20, we hosted our first “Meet the Chamber” event at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre, where Chamber members and nonmembers stopped by to learn about the people making the Chamber so effective for Sedona. I could see eyes light up as attendees connected more personally.

For example, among our staff are individuals whose children have been born and raised in Sedona and whose spouse operates a small business in town. Some staffers are relatively new and still thanking their lucky stars they live and work in Red Rock Country or joined us from another country and cultural background. Others came here decades ago and have a real depth of local knowledge that helps inform our policies.

While it is true that we are in the community and for the community, I always remember that we are of the community, too. That shone through at the event. If you attended, thank you! Building those one-to-one relationships leads to better understanding and a more well-informed Chamber.

If you missed it, we have plenty of events coming up in October for you, whether you are a member or not, and of course, we are always ready to welcome new Chamber partners (we presently have more than 730 active members).

On Oct. 5, Social Media Manager and Content Creator Eric Nguyen hosts “Harness the Power of Social Media.” Eric offers expert advice on building a social media presence that creates buzz and impacts your bottom line. Thanks to Arizona Public Service, the workshop is free, with coffee and pastries. It’s happening at the Mary D Fisher Theater at 2030 W. SR 89A from 8:30- 10 a.m. Register for this and other upcoming events at

Oct. 6 brings our Partner Benefit Review, a 9 a.m. online session with Partner Services Director Erin Bruce. We offer members such a variety of services it is important to regularly set aside time to keep everyone aware and taking advantage of all their membership benefits.

A week later, on Oct. 12, I am excited that our Annual Partner Meeting is coming to the VOC with a breakfast event in the Canyon Ballroom at the Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock. It is a major event on our calendar, with hundreds of members gathering for a continental breakfast and presentations covering highlights from FY22, awards and recognition, and a review of plans for FY23. Special Keynote Speaker Jim Rounds, statewide economic expert and consultant, and a Community Leaders Panel will engage and inspire. Doors open at 7:30, and presentations begin at 8 a.m. Partners, please register in advance.

That evening we co-host a public forum featuring Sedona’s mayoral candidates Samaire Armstrong and Scott Jablow at the Sedona Performing Arts Center at 995 Upper Red Rock Loop Road. Guided by the League of Women Voters of Northern Arizona, the forum follows our June and July candidate events leading up to the August primary election. It is all part of our commitment to community service.

The next morning, on Oct. 13, I look forward to welcoming you to my monthly Coffee Chat at 8 a.m. at the Chamber offices at 45 Sunset Drive. Show up bright and early for an invigorating discussion on any issue that concerns you. Due to time and space constraints, we limit the Chat to four people, giving everyone time to share ideas and get answers. Please register in advance at

October is one of our favorite months, with summer heat becoming a memory and so much to do around Sedona. We hope to see you at some (or all) of our events!

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