Wesselhoff new president of Sedona Chamber

Jennifer Wesselhoff is the new president and chief executive officer of the Sedona Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber announced the retirement of previous president Char Beltran in December 2006. After a six-month transition period, Wesselhoff officially took the high post June 1.

The Sedona Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors voted unanimously to promote Wesselhoff.

Wesselhoff was the vice president and director of tourism for the last six years.

"I'm extremely excited to be part of such a vibrant organization," said Wesselhoff.

"Together, we will accomplish great things. We will enrich and maintain a thriving business environment, remodel and create a state-of-the-art visitor center in Uptown Sedona and we will enhance our sense of community."

The new visitor center will have Internet kiosks inside for tourists to use during center hours. Also, there will be an Internet kiosk on an outside wall for 24-hour access.

"But, we will still depend on our 70 valuable volunteers to continue offering that intimate, personal attention," Wesselhoff said.

She said the center is coming along nicely and should be completed by the fall.

The center is just one of the projects slated for this year.

"Our program of work, which I helped develop, is in place for 2007," Wesselhoff said. "We will continue to develop and work on those goals."

For 2008, the new president said she is looking forward to working with the community to help enhance business, especially on Arizona 179, where many say construction has hurt shop owners.

Wesselhoff said the Arizona Department of Transportation is "working really hard to not have such a negative impact" and is "being very responsive to our concerns."

The roadway construction project is expected to be completed by the end of 2009.

Over the next five years, the 33 year-old former overseas English teacher and hospitality industry worker plans to position Sedona as an art, cultural and spiritual destination, she said. "We're really trying hard to be creative with our marketing techniques."

She also hopes to enhance the partnership with the Verde Valley Tourism Council, stating that regional promotion is very important. She co-developed the Verde Valley Tourism Council and the Scottsdale-Sedona Alliance.

Wesselhoff has knowledge of three foreign languages and holds bachelor's degrees in French and communications.

She taught English in Japan and worked in Interlaken, Switzerland for three years. She has ties with several national and statewide professional organizations.

She is a certified film commissioner with the Association of Film Commissioners International and is in the process of completing her Certified Destination Management Executive certification with Destination Marketing Association International.

Board of Directors Chairman Edd Zielinski said, "We are very pleased to have such a capable and enthusiastic person in this position and look forward to working with her to make the foundation of the Sedona Chamber of Commerce stronger and more visible...The chamber and the community of Sedona are honored to warmly welcome Jennifer into her new position as President/CEO."


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