Nominated by Margie Beach, Yavapai College has been picked by the selection committee of the Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce as the Verde Pride Business of the Year.
Yavapai College was founded in Prescott in the late 1960s. Within a few years the college expanded to the Verde Valley at the Clarkdale Campus. The college continued to grow and provide more class offerings for people of all ages throughout the Verde Valley. Yavapai College now has Verde Valley campuses in Clarkdale, Sedona and Camp Verde.
In order to allow students to continue their education beyond the two-year, "junior college" certificates, Yavapai College has developed partnerships with Northern Arizona University and Old Dominion University. Those partnerships offer students baccalaureate degrees and beyond.
The college has played an instrumental role with Verde Valley Leadership; Verde Valley Wine Consortium; Verde Valley Regional Economic Organization; Cottonwood Economic Development Council; Arts Council of the Verde Valley; and Specialty and Light Manufacturing Association of Yavapai County.
Through these organizations, Yavapai College has become a community partner in every sense of the word.
"They are actively engaged in Verde Valley Leadership," Beach said, "and have reaped the rewards by having employees who are more aware of local issues, have more confidence and better abilities to make a difference."
Beach said Yavapai College has played a leadership role in the activities of the Verde Valley Wine Consortium. The college has offered classes in wine appreciation and viticulture, and it has helped to build the wine business in the Verde Valley.
"Tom Schumacher, executive dean of the Verde Campus, has given of his talents and abilities as a participant and leader in Cottonwood Economic Development Council and Verde Valley Regional Economic Organization," Beach said.
The college also has allowed employee Linda Buchanan, coordinator of the Camp Verde campus, to participate with VVREO, the Camp Verde Chamber of Commerce and to serve on the Camp Verde planning and zoning board.
Virginia Pates, director of the college's fine art department, has been instrumental in creating the Arts Council of the Verde Valley.
"Our Yavapai College is truly a 'community college,'" Beach said.