At their first issue day, Class XI explored community topics including: youth, economic development, art, and concerns over drugs in the community. In addressing the concerns Class XI was given the opportunity to participate in a question and answer session with the economic development directors for the community, and presentations by MATForce, Kids at Hope, and Verde Valley Artist, Joan Bourque.
In addition to issue days, members of VVL attend field trips throughout Arizona. In November Class XI enjoyed a kayak trip on the Verde River, moderated by Clarkdale Mayor, Doug Von Gausig, also of the Verde River Institute. This is not the average kayak trip. The Mayor talks about the fragile eco system of the river, explains its history and its value to Arizonans as the only flowing perennial river left in Arizona. Another field trip attended by members of the class was the “Toast to Tourism” held at the Blaz’n M Ranch in Cottonwood. Presentations by the Arizona Office of Tourism and Global Sustainable Tourism Council expressed the value of the Verde Valley and how it has become “the” place to create experiences. With its rich history, the Verde River, beautiful red rock formations, and successful wine industry, the Verde Valley has become an ideal vacation destination. Visit www.VerdeValleyNatGeo.com and find out how partnering with National Geographic has introduced the whole world to the Verde Valley.
VVL offers class members “Toolbox Training” such as presentation skills. Al Filardo, of the Filardo Group, Inc. conducted the year’s training on how to give a professional presentation. The class participated in activities designed to make class members more comfortable presenting in front of a group. As stated by Filardo, “the majority of people would rather die than give a presentation.” The training culminated with a ten minute presentation prepared by each class member, and critiqued by Filardo and the VVL Board of Directors.
Experiences through the Verde Valley Leadership Program are endless. Those interested in learning more about the community and getting in on the valuable opportunities, please contact President-Elect, Tammy Yoakum at VVLPresidentelect@gmail.com.