Linda Buchanan, Treasurer
Linda Wolfe Buchanan is the community education coordinator at Yavapai College. Her education includes an A.A. degree from Yavapai College, a B.S. from Old Dominion University and M.Ed. from Northern Arizona University in Educational Leadership. Linda is recognized for her work in public/private sector partnerships and community development. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Sustainable Economic Development Initiative (SEDI) of Northern Arizona and Verde River Institute. She is a member of Arizona Town Hall and the Focused Future planning teams in Camp Verde, Clarkdale and Cottonwood. Linda brings to the Board of Verde Valley Agriculture Coalition a strong commitment to the “value chain” approach to building community capital through collaboration.
Eric Marcus is the Executive Director of the Northern Arizona Sustainable Economic Development Initiative (SEDI). His education and professional experience have been in information systems, corporate and technology law, business strategy and senior management. His training includes a B.A. in Mathematics from Occidental College and a J.D. from Loyola Law School. His academic activities include being an adjunct professor at the University of Wisconsin, a guest lecturer in law at Marquette University and in business strategy at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and DePaul University. He is an internationally recognized keynote speaker, seminar leader and author. Eric also serves on the District Governing Board Verde Valley Advisory Committee for Yavapai College. Since moving to the Verde Valley in 2013, Eric has become a gentleman farmer, raising Alpacas on his Cornville farm.
Casey Rooney, Past Chair
Casey Rooney is the Economic Development Director for the City of Cottonwood. Casey is involved in many aspects of local, regional and state economic development. He is a staunch advocate for regional advancement. Casey is leading the effort to brand Cottonwood with a new strategy, logo and tagline: “Cottonwood, Arizona: The Heart of Arizona Wine Country.” Old Town Cottonwood has become a model of creative reuse of old buildings. Casey prides “effective regionalism” with the entire Verde Valley being consistently recognized as a top travel destination. The City of Cottonwood recently won the inaugural Arizona Commerce Authority 2015 Sustainable Economic Growth City of the Decade award. Casey has a B.S. from Bowling Green State University in Ohio, and an MBA from the University of La Verne, CA. He is also a graduate of the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma and a recent graduate of the state-wide Project CENTRL leadership program. Casey is a member of the following Boards of Directors: Cottonwood EDC, Cottonwood Old Town Association, NACOG EDC, Arizona Rural Development, Arizona Town Hall, Verde Valley Regional Economic Organization, Verde Valley Agriculture Coalition, Sustainable Economic Development Initiative and Verde Valley Arts Council. Professional affiliations include: International Economic Development Council, Arizona Association for Economic Development.
Ron Moler, chef at Reds Restaurant in Sedona, gained a passion for cooking at an early age from his mother and from there realized his dream in life was to be a chef at a restaurant where he could share his creations with great people. Ron has worked at the best resorts in Tucson where he trained under the acclaimed Chefs Jamie West and Jason Jonilonis. Working side by side with these accomplished chefs, he gained the training necessary to become one of the Verde Valley’s most recognizable faces in the culinary scene. Working with many of the local vineyards and farms, Ron has used local products to create some great dinners for very special occasions. As a Chef Rotisseur of the Chaine de Rotisseurs Sedona Chapter, Ron has shown his talents in using great local product to create some high end dinners paired with local wine. Chef Ron has been honored to cook for the Vice President of the United States Joseph Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Arizona Senator John McCain. Hollywood Celebrities such as Susan Sarandon, Jane Seymore, Francis Fisher, Paul Sorvino, Leah Thompson, Ed Asner, Mariel Hemingway, Joan Collins, Peter Bogdanovich, and Michael Moore and musical legend Robert Plant.
Denise owns The Farm on Oak Creek where she raises turkeys, hunts for chicken eggs, writes novels, makes jams and jellies on her 8 acre rock-ridden plot of land in Cornville. An avid naturalist, she loves watching life happen around her except when the mountain lions, bobcats, coyotes, otters, eagles, black hawks and red tails are trying to get themselves a free lunch. Luckily, she has livestock guardian dogs!