The Desert Foothills Leadership (DFL) ACADEMY is driven by a strong community desire to be a part of the creation of our future leaders. The partnerships mission is to educate, energize, and engage emerging leaders with a goal of enriching community life while responsibly mapping our future and sustaining our natural resources for generations to come. All of this is done through a focus on strengthening participants understanding of the Past, Current, and Future potential of the Sonoran Desert Foothills.
The Desert Foothills Leadership (DFL) Academy was founded in 2018 through an exclusive partnership between The Carefree-Cave Creek Chamber of Commerce and The Holland Center.
“The Academy was created after an unmet need was identified through focus groups and discussions with our members and community stakeholders,” said Patty Villeneuve, President/CEO of the Carefree – Cave Creek Chamber of Commerce.  “Our hope is to fill this need and become an important component in the development of future leaders.”
“There is so much to know about the Desert Foothills Community and our partnership with the Chamber will allow us to tap the necessary resources and knowledge base. Our graduates will gain the insight needed to best serve our community,” said Jennifer Roswell, Executive Director of the Holland Center.”
·        Enhance your personal leadership and professional skills
·        Build the confidence and skills required to take on leadership roles in the Desert Foothills Region
·        Broaden your breadth and scope of knowledge about the Desert Foothills Region  
·        Create relationships with region
·        Develop valuable professional networks 
·        Gain insight as to where your talents and goals will best serve the Desert Foothills Region

The Academy will take place over an 8 month period and include both on-site and “classroom” training incorporating subject matter experts presentations, on-site tours, panel discussions, and hands-on training. Areas to be covered include Health Care, Tourism, Technology, Sustainability, Innovation, Education, Land Usage/Growth, Social Services, Arts, Local Issues, Transportation, Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG), Leadership Training/Styles, and Public Safety. The Inaugural Academy is scheduled to begin January 2021 and include up to 20 participants. For additional information or to apply for the Academy, please visit us at: www.desertfoothillsleaders.org
Join your fellow Chamber Members for a a virtual tour, Q & A and monthly opportunity to network!
Always the second Wednesday every month.
ZOOM Login:
Meeting ID: 602 295 9422
14 Years
Big Bronco
Custom Eyes
13 Years
Indian village  
11 Years
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Sonoran Properties 
Bryan’s Black Mountain Barbeque 
10 Years
Foothills Granite 
8 Years
Good Shepherd Episcopal Church
The Grotto Café 
7 Years
Dynamic Door Service Today 
6 Years
Cognitum School of Languages 
Institute for Healing of Memories 
Total Sports Therapy 
4 Years
Market Street at DC Ranch   
Paws and Whiskers Pet Sitting Service 
5 Years
Brugos Pizza of Cave Creek
3 Years
Carefree Christian Academy 
Eclip’s Salon 
Real Premier Team REMAX 
2 Years
Clearview Title & Escrow Agency
Extra Mile Painting  
1 Year
Keelers Neighborhood Steakhouse 
Welcome to the Chamber of Commerce community! We look forward to seeing you and getting to know you at our events.

Kumon Math & Reading
Scott Foundation            
Connect Couples Therapy, PLLC
Golfer’s Performance Studio
T.R. Hill Executive Coaching & Consulting, LLC
Opening up in a Pandemic.
I would like to call out two Carefree business I have had the pleasure of getting to know, Healthy Creek and Sweet Suzan’s.  These two businesses had the unenviable task of opening a business at the start of the pandemic and statewide shut down. At some level, I feel a kindred spirit with these two businesses, as I too started anew with Carefree, two days before I was sent to work from home for a month, unsure of what my future held, my confidence a little rattled and unsure if we would even have any businesses left after this was all over. Then I met Brittney Truman, the owner of Healthy Creek, and Tim and Laura Harrington of Sweet Suzan’s. 

I was in awe of the drive and tenacity I saw in Brittney, meticulously finalizing her vision, while fully knowing her first customers couldn’t even walk through the door. It was extraordinary to watch the Harrington’s, as they set tables, finished painting and added their finishing touches, which would have been difficult, without also having to manage their 3 young children, who couldn’t be in day care. I mean Laura literally had her 8-month old on her hip for hours. And while many small business owners can relate, imagine doing so in such an extraordinary and uncertain time, not knowing if any customers would even be allowed to even enter their establishments, for the foreseeable future, let alone, if the business itself would be successful. 

Brittney, Tim and Laura, exemplify the pinnacle of the human spirit, the ability to take a dream, move forward in the face adversity, to put every ounce of energy you have in, while putting everything you have on the line. They lit a fire in me, and I am honored to have met them, to know them, and to watch them come out the other side, and hope that we will be able to enjoy their shakes, teas, gelatos and sorbets for years to come. But most importantly, I hope to continue to see their smiles, and someday, in a future far from now, here them laugh about how they opened a business amidst the great pandemic of 2020. 

“So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.” – Christopher Reeve
  As I write this on the 21st of October I think back to previous messages here.
Normally I'd be talking about the weather turning cooler and the Winter Visitors returning
and the beginning of "The Season". The ending of the financial drought for many of our Tourist dependent businesses.

So today I can only securely welcome the return of cooler weather as time rolls on. I don't have a crystal ball but if I did, on January 1st this year I would have turned the calendar to 2021.
 I'm tired of the heat, fires, lack of rain, but most of all campaign lies that bombard the television, fill my voicemail, and text messages. I've just had it with 2020!

 As the Late Great Merle sang, "If We Make It Through December".
We'll get there I'm sure, but who knows what calamity follows?
 Happy Thanksgiving!
Kraig Nelson, Cave Creek Museum Historian
At least one “Boot Hill” or Pioneer Cemetery has been lost to history in Arizona - Cave Creek’s. The Pioneers’ Cemetery Association which is “dedicated to preserving historic cemeteries in Arizona,” doesn’t mention the old Cave Creek Cemetery in their archives. Did you know Cave Creek had a Boot Hill cemetery? The name “Boot Hill” became a generic term for cemeteries where men (usually) died violently and quickly with their boots on, quickly enough so they couldn’t remove their boots prior to meeting their maker.
The historic Cave Creek Boot Hill Cemetery is located on the east bank of Cave Creek (the stream), about a half-mile south of today’s Rancho Manana Golf Resort. It is just south of the first Cave Creek Anglo settlement (1877) of Jeriah and Amanda Wood. In the 1880s this location was called Cave Creek Station, accommodating the first local miners and ranchers with a variety of supplies.
By 1900, Cave Creek Station was the town-center and owned by the “Sheep King of Cave Creek,” James D. Houck. Mr. Houck’s wife Beatrice, and daughters, would bury ranch-hands, destitute tubercular patients , and local denizens in the creek-side cemetery. Frances C. Carlson, in her book Cave Creek and Carefree, Arizona- A History of the Desert Foothills, states “the little cemetery beside the creek…was forgotten when the town-center shifted eastward.”
Vandals have desecrated the sacred site; headstones have been stolen. In June 1964 one headstone remained (now gone), and was photographed with the following inscription: “In memory of David Wesley Vaughn…born July 28, 1891…died September 25, 1893…aged 2 years and 2 months and 7 days…A blest one from us is gone…The one we loved is still…A place is vacant in our home…which never can be filled.”
 Cave Creek’s Boot Hill Cemetery is now protected by the accredited Desert Foothills Land Trust located in Carefree. It is part of the P.A. Seitts Preserve at Go John Canyon.
748 Easy St., P.O. Box 734
Carefree, AZ 85377