Lonnie Lillie passes Sedona Chamber board gavel

This year’s once-a-year Sedona Chamber of Commerce husband or wife assembly might have had a…

This year’s once-a-year Sedona Chamber of Commerce husband or wife assembly might have had a new appear, a new face at the podium and a new time of working day, but the information of going forward and performing collectively remained the identical.

The occasion, which was held on Thursday, June 24, at the Sedona Golfing Resort, was the very first for Chamber President and CEO Candace Carr Strauss. It was not only held at nighttime, but it served as a fundraiser for the chamber. When the awards presentation — and recognizing business anniversary milestones — did not come about, Strauss confident the 100-plus friends in attendance that they will return subsequent June. As an alternative, praise was directed to other people.

“In the wake of the world wide pandemic, we want to take this chance to rejoice all of our frontline employees — in well being care, our community servants such as law enforcement and hearth personnel and lecturers, our hospitality workers staffing our lodging, eating places, retail, points of interest and all chamber member firms,” she mentioned. “This consists of those people from around the Verde Valley who participated in the Risk-free.Thoroughly clean.Ready application.”

In advance of Strauss retook the podium afterwards on to reflect upon the past calendar year and chat about what is in store for the future, there was a passing of the baton — or in this circumstance gavel. It took area among outgoing board chairman Lonnie Lillie and incoming chairman, Al Comello.

“It has genuinely been an honor to serve this business, which usually means serving you all,” Lillie claimed. “As someone who has been below since 1984, as an 18 calendar year previous out of Iowa, and just rising with the local community, it’s been an honor.” He went on to say, “In my 37 yrs right here we have usually come jointly as a neighborhood and normally will. This business enterprise local community gets it. We’ve normally been the silent bulk but perhaps it is time now to be that boisterous greater part and spend attention to what is occurring with funding and every thing else.”

Comello then took the podium to categorical his gratitude for acquiring been picked as the new chairman.

“Following in the footsteps of an individual I have terrific admiration for, very well, I have a extensive ways to go to fill his sneakers,” he stated of Lillie. “Thank you, Lonnie, and thank you for your inspiration. For the past 12 months you have been there for the chamber and this group by some really tough periods although accomplishing points way above the simply call of duty as anyone who is the chairman of the board of the Chamber of Commerce.

“We’re in a post-COVID environment and none of us really know where by we’re going. Sedona as a group to dwell, perform and stop by is truly magnificent. I appear forward to currently being your chair and will do my ideal to use the capabilities and abilities I have to depict you with a degree of honesty and candor. I’ll also be that man or woman that makes a distinction when dealing with another person. At times they might have a detrimental considered — it’s my position to convert it into a positive assumed.”

Strauss, who was hired late final yr, acknowledged the sponsors of the evening, the chamber board and the chamber users, but especially her staff members, which is working at half capability, and the ordinarily 80-furthermore volunteers, which at this time stands at 20 thanks partially to COVID-19 and the absence of housing.

“As the voice of small business in bigger Sedona, the Sedona Chamber will advocate for the electric power of travel as the financial driver for the Northern Arizona area, making certain coverage that gives for a optimistic business enterprise local weather on behalf of our 750-plus company partners in this distinctive area we get in touch with Sedona,” Strauss mentioned. “We are a chamber of commerce after all.”

Strauss reported the chamber’s board of directors affirmed the organization’s determination to currently being a 3-C chamber — a catalyst for organization expansion, a convener of leaders and influencers to remedy regional problems and a winner for a flourishing group — to provide its business enterprise partners and the community at substantial.

“Recognizing that a membership firm is deeply rooted in interactions, the companion assembly was the first phase in convening a broader-centered small business coalition inclusive of the Village of Oak Creek and other unincorporated locations like Oak Creek Canyon, and regional enterprises all through the Verde Valley, in addition to our main city of Sedona-based associates, to be a part of us in delivering on our mission,” she reported.