Keep Sedona Beautiful will hold its next Preserving the Wonder Speaker Series event on Wednesday, January 11 at 5:00 pm. This month’s speaker is Steve Ayers, Director – Town of Camp Verde Economic Development. He will be speaking about “Managing Growth, Wisely and Effectively.” Please visit the KSB website, www.keepsedonabeautiful.org for details.
Steve will share how the Town of Camp Verde has seen a steady pace of growth for the last five years but managed to do it without raising the ire of its residents. This presentation will give a brief history of the community, how it got to where it is today, and share some of the tools that Camp Verde uses to focus growth in a positive manner. Many of these learnings on how to grow in a sustainable manner can be applied to all the communities in the Verde Valley.
Steve Ayers spent 24 years in sales and marketing before earning a B.S. in Strategic Communications and Professional Writing in 2004. That same year he began a career in journalism with the Verde Independent and Camp Verde Bugle newspapers. During his eight-years as a journalist he wrote extensively on the Verde River, environmental issues, local agriculture and Verde Valley history, along with covering community issues in Camp Verde. In 2013 he changed careers again, taking over as the economic development director for the Town of Camp Verde. Over the last ten years he has been instrumental in developing a program that blends traditional economic development initiatives with asset-based, place-making projects and environmental conservation.
In 2016 he was named Economic Developer of the Year by the Arizona Association for Economic Development and in 2019 the Camp Verde Economic Development Department was named the association’s Small Organization of the Year. A third generation Arizonan whose family helped pioneer the state’s cotton and citrus industry, he has also served as president of the Eureka Ditch Company, one for the five major irrigation ditches serving the lower Verde Valley, president of the Camp Verde Historical Society and is one of the founders of the Verde Valley Archaeology Center. He is an avid hiker and homebrewer who lives in Camp Verde with his wife Susan, their two rescue mutts, Jethro and Elly May, and a disagreeable cat named Pita.
For 50 years, Keep Sedona Beautiful has been dedicated to protecting and enhancing the scenic beauty and natural environment of Sedona and the Verde Valley. For more information about Keep Sedona Beautiful, please visit https://www.keepsedonabeautiful.org.
Congratulations to KSB for securing the opportunity for Sedonans to ingest and digest the wisdom of Steve Ayers. As a writer in the Sedona Excentric, I, along with millions of others, read his column with enthusiasm, always learning something, oftimes useful. His knowledge of economic and environmental issues make his offerings invaluable, especially in today’s climate of growth and greed. A dwindling water supply and explosion of growth make northern Arizona a potential target for negative impacts. I have found Steve to be extremely smart, brutally honest and possessing an enviable empathy for the Earth and all its wonders, good and bad. Take notes!