July 1 signaled the beginning of the Chamber’s fiscal year and a change of guard so to speak on the Chamber Board of Directors. 

I wanted to take a minute to thank one of our outgoing Board members, welcome an incoming Board member and introduce you to the rest of the Board.

I want to give a big shout out to Patrick Jones who served on the Board for six years.  Patrick is owner/broker of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Sonoran Desert Properties.  In the six years Patrick served on our Board he has held the office of Secretary and Chairman of the Board.  He was a key player in creating the Chamber’s four key strategies, updating our by-laws, recruiting new members and volunteers as well as assisting in retention of members.  I can’t thank him enough for his leadership and mentoring.

New to our Board is Larry Hevner owner of EmbroidMe North.  Welcome Larry!  We are excited for your ideas and leadership.  Larry has an extensive background in the radio industry and being an entrepreneur.

Jennifer McGirr with National Bank of Arizona is the new Chairwoman, Nick Stelfox co-owner of Carefree Outdoor Living is our Immediate Past Chairman, Lena McCoy manager of the Gold Mine Thrift store is our In-coming Chairwoman, Shelly Spence owner of Images AZ is our Secretary/Treasurer and rounding out our Directors are Mark Waters co-owner of three local UPS stores, Rustyn Sherer who is the Community Affairs Manager-East Valley for Arizona Public Service (APS), Marie Vale co-owner of Harold’s Corral and Dr. Debbi Burdick, Superintendent of Cave Creek Unified School District.

I want to thank this tremendous group of people for all that they do for this Chamber.

Evening Mixer - August 9th @ 5:30
Keystone Homes -Eastwood - 8601 E Cave Creek Rd, Carefree

$5 for members; $15 for Non-members (non-members may attend twice before joining) Raffle Tickets only $1 each!

Interested in promoting your business to other members? Get a 30 second commercial about your business by bringing a $30 door prize.

50/50 cash prize and many chances to win! 
August 31 @ 8am @ Harold's Corral.

Speaker:  Louise Rochford, Career and Technical Educator, Cave Creek Unified School District

Is your business hiring part-time employees?  Have you considered hiring a student from Cactus Shadows High School?  I highly encourage you to attend and learn more about how your business can participate in the Internship partnership that the Carefree Cave Creek Chamber of Commerce and the Cave Creek Unified School District have shared for the last eight years.

$8 for Members & $15 for Non-Members.  
Join us and our Ambassadors for another fun networking activity!

Membership 101
748 Easy Street Carefree
August 25 @ 8-9:30am

Whether you are a brand new member of the Chamber or you have been a Chamber member for years…this event is for you!  Please join me, staff and Ambassadors on Friday, August 25, from 8-9:30AM at the Chamber office to receive information about how to get the most out of your Chamber benefits.
Space is limited! RSVP 480-488-3381 or  colleen@carefreecavecreek.org

Breakfast featuring Senator Jeff Flake
An event of the SRP Good Government Series, this breakfast will bring together Chamber members with US Senator Jeff Flake for a candid, informational discussion on a variety of business related topics, including the latest news from Washington, DC

Well Adjusted Chiropractic is committed to promoting health and wellness in the community. We are looking for community partners to join our efforts in improving the overall health and well-being of the community. During this event, we are looking for health conscious business to join our efforts and participate in the event. Participation can be as simple as setting up a booth at the event, donating promotional materials or raffle prizes, or simply distributing event information to your employees or customers. If you have any additional questions or would like to participate, please contact me for more information. 


New York Life - 43 years

Carefree Physical Therapy – 30 years

Thunderbird Artists – 22 years

Foothills Accounting – 21 years

Kendrick Wealth Management – 11 years

Russ Lyon Sotheby's International Realty – 10 years

Arizona Ace – 9 years 

American Federal – 5 years 

Phoenix Plumbing & Drain – 5 years 

Silverado Senior Living – 4 years 

Cave Creek Chapel – 3 years 

Senior Solutions of AZ – 3 years 

Bella Donna & Cane (formally Bella Donna Boutique) – 2 years 

Brugo’s Pizza – 2 years 

Healthy Body Harmony – 2 years 

Mariachi Plaza – 2 years 

My Sweet Blessings – 2 years 

PostNet at the Summit – 2 years 

Dream Home Services – 1 year 

Landmark West Builders – 1 year 

Merrill Gardens at Anthem- 1 year 

Simple Email Strategies – 1 year


Welcome to the Chamber of Commerce community! We look forward to seeing you at our events.

Rayne of the North Valley

Carefree Pet Resort

911 Pest Defense/Hotshots Weed Control, LLC

Ashley Hutson Realty

Well Adjusted Chiropractic

Home Instead Senior Care

Charity Plumbing

Vantage Point

Cave Creek Casas

Thrivent Financial

For complete monthly list please visit the Chamber website.

Desert Foothills Library - Various events and days, see website.

Fearless Art Works - Daily Yoga ScheduleVarious events and days, see website.

Foothills Academy  - S.T.E.A.M Camp - July 31-Aug 4

Holland Community CenterVarious events and days, see website.

Kiwanis Club -  Regular Meeting Aug 2 - Lone Mountain Memory Care.

Sonoran Arts League - Free Art Classes for Veterans - June 8, Fine Art Fridays - June 9.

What is Kiwanis?
Kiwanis is a service club whose mission is to serve the children in the community by sponsoring AKTION Club (community service for young adults with special needs), Key Club (service leadership organization for teens that teaches leadership through service to others), scholarships ($50,000 awarded in 2016), Science Fairs and other Science and Engineering related education activities and Terrific Kids & BUG programs.  They are able to sponsor these activities through fundraising at their Bi-Annual Pancake Breakfast, sales through the Marketplace re-sale store and through generous donations from community and club members.
What's in it for you to become a member of Kiwanis?
Fellowship and fun: Kiwanis members don't just do service-they have fun. Members make new friends by being part of the club where they attend meetings and participate in social events. Our local Kiwanis club also provides excellent networking opportunities for professionals. Members meet new people from all over their community through service projects, fundraising and by attending the weekly meeting.
The Kiwanis Marketplace is located just across the street from Dairy Queen at:
6535 East Cave Creek Road, Cave Creek, AZ 85331
Marketplace Phone Number:  480.488.7169

History Highlights

From the Cave Creek Museum

Kraig Nelson, historian and docent


Sunday, November 5, 1871 was the end of the line for six passengers riding the Arizona Stage Line about six miles outside of Wickenburg, another died later, and one passenger lived to tell the story. This frightening event is known as the Wickenburg Massacre of 1871. The retinue included one stage-driver, six men, and one twenty-four-year-old woman. They were attacked by Mohave-Apaches (Yavapai) and no valuables were stolen. Gravely wounded, two escaped that terrifying day including the only woman passenger, Miss Mollie Sheppard. Mollie eventually made it to California but died of infected wounds per the only survivor, Mr. William Kruger. Each had been shot three times. Mollie and William were armed with revolvers and managed to wound two attackers. During their harrowing escape, Molly left behind expensive jewelry and $15,000 in cash ($300,588.00 in 2017). She had recently sold her successful business in Prescott, her brothel.

Paradise Valley Community College at Black Mountain is the neighborhood choice for pursuing your educational goals. Fall enrollment is ongoing, and classes are filling up! Stop by our office today, or call (602)493-2600, to speak with an academic advisor. Advisors can assist you with registering for classes, making payments, and determining the steps necessary reach your educational goals.

If you are 65 or older and a resident of Maricopa County, consider taking advantage of our senior citizen tuition rate discount. Eligible residents receive a 50% discount on credit classes at all of the Maricopa Community Colleges, including PVCC at Black Mountain. Popular classes include digital photography, Tai Chi, history, and contemporary cinema. For more information visit https://www.maricopa.edu/senior-citizen-tuition-rate , or stop by to speak with an advisor today!

Are you ready to take classes? Don’t forget your college placement tests! PVCC at Black Mountain offers Accuplacer placement tests. Available tests include reading, writing, and math. Testing is free, and no appointment is necessary. A photo ID and Maricopa student ID number are required to take a placement test, so apply now at my.maricopa.edu! Testing is available Monday through Thursday from 1:00PM – 6:00PM in Orion Hall. If you have any questions about placement testing, call (602)493-2600.

On September 14, Paradise Valley Community College at Black Mountain will unveil its 14 inch Cassegrain telescope for a first light viewing party from 7:00 – 9:45 PM. “First light” refers to the first time that a telescope is used to take an astronomical image. The telescope, located on the PVCC at Black Mountain campus, collects 3,136 times more light than the human eye. It will allow viewers to see the colors of the Orion nebula, storms on Jupiter, and the structure of the Andromeda galaxy that is located 2.5 million light years away. Prior to the first light viewing party, there will be a STEAM night highlighting health and emergency medicine through hands on activities. The STEAM night will run from 6:00-7:00 PM. Both events are free and open to the public. To RSVP, email events@pasaz.org.
Realty Reality
August 2017
Multiple Listing Service (ARMLS) data published July 2017
Kraig R. Nelson, Associate Broker
Carefree-Sold volume (dollar amount) was 77.74% higher; active listings [107] were 8.55% lower; and the median sold price [$675,000] was 43.01% higher, compared to one year ago. 
Average days on market were 248.    11 residential units closed escrow.
Cave Creek-Sold volume (dollar amount) was 27.94% higher; active listings [257] were 20.68% lower; and the median sold price [$465,000] was 10.06% higher, compared to one year ago. 
Average days on market were 114.     97 residential units closed escrow.
Scottsdale-Sold volume (dollar amount) was 15.91% higher; active listings [2,657] were 12.40% lower; and the median sold price [$438,000] was 12.73% higher, compared to one year ago.
Average days on market were 100.     843 residential units closed escrow.
Phoenix (city only) -Sold volume (dollar amount) was 12.91% higher; active listings [3,831] were 6.81% lower; and the median sold price [$235,000] was 6.33% higher, compared to one year ago.
Average days on market were 62.    2,267 residential units closed escrow.

Kraig’s Comments-
  • Distressed sales (short sales and lender owned) represent 2.10% of the total sales volume.
  • There is a 2.35-month supply of residential inventory in the Phoenix Metro Area. A balanced market for buyers and sellers is considered to be about 6 months.
  • Total residential inventory is 10.40% lower [22,069 units] than one year ago.
  • Entire Phoenix Metro Area: median sold price is $245,000; 6.52% higher than one year ago Average days on market were 77.
  • Average sold price compared to original list price is 96.84% in the Phoenix Metro Area. This means a home listed for $400,000 sells for about $387,360.
  • Production new-home “spec” (or speculation) count is 2,457; 132 fewer than 6 months ago. (from Ultimate New Homes Newsletter)
  • Total Phoenix Metro residential units sold and closed last month: 9,270. This is 5.36% higher than one year ago.
  • Total dollar amount for Phoenix Metro residential units sold and closed: $2,826,198,002. (that’s 2 billion, 826 million- rounded for conversation). This is 13.53% higher than one year ago.
Mayor Les Peterson

Marketing and Economic Development Go “Hand in Hand”

With an increased amount of interest in new business and development in the area, sometimes marketing is seen as Economic Development. Are they one of the same? What are the differences and do they overlap? How important are they?

Let’s start with marketing in the context of the town of Carefree. Currently, Carefree’s primary marketing objectives include communications and incentives to help generate awareness of and create a brand that personifies the deserts beauty however offering a progressive town. Secondly, marketing attracts people to visit the downtown commercial area of Carefree who have never visited. Rarely is there an immediate or direct “payback” in destination marketing and it is understood to be a process that requires repetition. It can take years to develop a “brand” that is seen as unique to all the other cities and towns in the Valley.  As the economic landscape changes so will the marketing. Existing businesses play a part of the overall strategy of the town marketing when they advertise or host an event. Their personality and what they offer is seen as part of the brand, and can add to it with every experience a visitor receives.

An example of the Town taking ownership of an event to help enhance the brand is that of the Pumpkin Festival. It perpetuates an artistic environment, creative, and a unique feel while offering a broad audience appeal. Carefree has been prudent to select an artist like Ray Villafane who is world renowned, the best in his field.  He has a following across the globe. In less than a two years, the Town has executed well received, signature events attracting 60,000 or more people to view his outstanding pumpkin carvings but also a platform to experience the beautiful Town. We have garnered exposure not only for the local community and region but also for potential new businesses looking to make the area their new home. Not bad for a town with a population of 3,700.

For Carefree, success in economic development is establishing ourselves as a home for businesses that offer “unique” appealing experiences, products and services to enhance the quality of our resident’s life as well as attracting visitors from all over the world. Construction tax and sales tax are healthy and core funding that feeds the local economy and maintains the level of town services. Without new ideas, partnerships, growth, change and enhancement of the existing landscape the town will die.

Marketing attracts people to the town and gives them a since of what to expect when they arrive. Economic development delivers that experience through viable and memorable services and products.

So to answer the question. Marketing and economic development go “hand in hand” and work together to provide a healthy economy that attracts people and dollars to the Town. Without either of them the town will slowly deteriorate. Over time the marketing we are doing today will launch the perception and awareness of Carefree and help strengthen the adoption of new business. As the economic landscape changes in Carefree for the better, the marketing will change right along with it. 

  The Town of Cave Creek is seeking candidates for the position of Deputy Town Engineer

Job Elements:

  • Assists the current Town Engineer in the day-to-day operations of the Engineering, Utilities and Public Works Departments including administration of: Roadways, Right-of-Way, Utility Easements and Deeds-of-Gift, Storm Water and Flood Control, Maintenance, Water Treatment/Distribution, Wastewater Collection and Treatment, and other assignments as needed to provide for the efficient operation of this division.
  • Assists in the oversight of roadway maintenance of 144 miles of paved and unpaved roadways using tools outlined in the Town’s current Pavement Management Program.
  • Assists in the development, implementation and oversight of the annual Capital Improvement Program budgets for the Engineering, Utilities and Public Works Departments.
  • Assists in planning, negotiating, and administering of various Public Works and Utilities construction and services contracts.
  • Assists in supervising Engineering, Utilities and Public Works Departments staff.
  • Must have the ability to read and interpret engineering plans and documents in an understandable fashion, both verbally and in writing.  Must be able to utilize public relations skills in all contact with the Public.
  • Prepares and presents written and oral reports on Public Works issues to the Town Engineer.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Requires a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering, Construction Engineering, or a related field and four (4) years of professional engineering work in the public sector, including supervision of personnel and managing Engineering, Utility and other related technical projects. 
  • An EIT certificate is required; a current Arizona PE license is strongly preferred.
  • A valid class D Arizona Driver’s License is required.

Selection Process:  Applications will be screened for the minimum qualifications and special requirements.  Applicants meeting the minimum qualifications will be placed on an eligibility list; the hiring department will contact those candidates they wish to test and/or interview.
Carefree Cave Creek Chamber of Commerce
748 Easy St.,  P.O. Box 734
Carefree, AZ 85377