Voices of the Community

Meet our contributors!  

They say, “It takes a village to raise a child.” And the same holds true for a community magazine. It takes a village to engage, entertain and, we hope, inspire the community we serve. That’s our mission, and we could not do it without the help of our valued contributors. They do so much more than just write about our community; they live, work and play in our community. They represent the very best of Prescott’s public and private sectors. And, every other month, they bring us the stories and reports that matter. On behalf of our team, our readers and our advertisers, we thank you!


Dr. Hojat Askari

Dr. Hojat Askari

Founder & Medical Director, Thumb Butte Medical Center

Dr. Hojat Askari, or “Dr. A,” is founder and medical director of Thumb Butte Medical Center at 3124 Willow Creek Road, Prescott, with over 20 medical professionals specializing in family medicine, internal medicine, cardiology, allergy treatment, and foot and ankle surgery.


Martha Baden

Martha Baden

Manager, Public Services, Prescott Public Library

Martha is library manager, public services at Prescott Public Library. Still enjoying a lifelong love of connecting people with information they need and books they’ll love, she has worked in school or public libraries in four states over the last 20 years.


Debora Black

Debora Black

Chief of Police, City of Prescott

Chief Black was appointed Chief of Police for the City of Prescott in July 2016. Prior to this, she was the chief of police for the City of Glendale, Arizona, where she served since first joining as assistant chief in 2006. Chief Black began her career in 1980 as a patrol officer with the Phoenix Police Department. She has been awarded the Medal of Valor, three Medals of Lifesaving and two Police Chief’s Unit Awards.


Margo Christensen

Margo Christensen

Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations, Ponderosa Hotel Management Services

Margo serves on the board of directors for the Prescott Chamber of Commerce and the Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association. She is also a founding member of the City of Prescott Tourism Advisory Committee.


Dennis Gallagher

Dennis Gallagher

Founder and President, Prescott Western Heritage Foundation

Dennis is the founder and president of the Prescott Western Heritage Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, whose mission is to preserve and promote our Western heritage. He is also a Western artist/bronze sculptor, and an active volunteer for numerous community events. He and his wife, MaryAnn, have been married 50 years and have resided in Prescott for 10 years.


Sandy Griffis

Sandy Griffis

Executive Director, Yavapai County Contractors Association

Sandy is executive director of Yavapai County Contractors Association, and has lived in the Prescott area for 21 years. Sandy has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and an MBA in business with a minor in music from San Diego State.


Sheri L. Heiney

Sheri L. Heiney

President/CEO, Prescott Chamber of Commerce

Sheri was hired as the President/CEO of the Prescott Chamber of Commerce in January 2017. She moved to Arizona from Michigan, and has over 23 years of chamber professional experience.


Tracey Horn

Tracey Horn

Owner, Helken & Horn Advertising Agency

Tracey Horn launched Helken & Horn Advertising Agency, Inc. in Prescott, Arizona in 1995 with cofounder Robin Helken. In 1997, in an amicable parting, Tracey retained the already successful agency’s original name. Through the years, Helken & Horn has created more than 1,000 campaigns for local businesses, small and large.


Leslie Horton, MA, MCHES

Leslie Horton, MA, MCHES

Director of Yavapai County Community Health Services, County Health Officer

Leslie was appointed Director of Yavapai County Community Health Services of the public health department in March 2017. With 15 years of public health experience, Horton currently works to ensure the effective and efficient delivery of public health services throughout Yavapai County. She is a member of the MATFORCE and Northland Cares boards of directors.


Lori Kennedy

Lori Kennedy

Communications Coordinator, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Lori has worked in the hospitality industry for 30 years and has been an active participant in the explosive growth of the health and wellness industry.


Ken Lain

Ken Lain

Owner, Watters Garden Center

Ken grew up in Prescott, attended Yavapai College and obtained his degrees from ASU. He married his college sweetheart Lisa Watters-Lain and has four children. His garden advice can be heard each week on the radio. Throughout the week, Ken can be found at Watters Garden Center.


Greg Mengarelli

Greg Mengarelli

Mayor, City of Prescott

Greg has lived in Prescott since 1995, and has been the Executive Director for United Christian Youth Camp for the past 23 years. He grew up in small, rural communities in Kansas, and graduated from Kansas State University. He is active in community affairs, and is currently the President of the Prescott Unified School District Board.


Ray Newton

Ray Newton

Journalist and Professor-Administrator Emeritus, Northern Arizona University

A veteran of mass media ranging from weekly and daily newspapers to directing writing workshops for the Reader’s Digest, from book editing to book writing — Ray has been there. He is a professor-administrator emeritus from Northern Arizona University, now retired and residing in Prescott with his wife, Patty.


Dr. Billie Orr

Dr. Billie Orr

Prescott Mayor Pro Tem & Councilwoman

Billie has served as a teacher, principal and Associate Superintendent for Arizona K-12 public schools, and also at the national level while promoting high standards and accountability. She is a member of Frontier Rotary and serves on the boards of Arizona Townhall, Western Heritage Center, CYMPO, Yavapai Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Phippen Museum, Read On Prescott Steering Committee and is a proud Big Sister to Mariah.


Kell Palguta

Kell Palguta

Mayor, Town of Prescott Valley

Kell Palguta moved to Prescott Valley in 1996 from a small town in Maine. In 1998 he began his career in public service as a police officer, where he earned numerous honors. Palguta earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Northern Arizona University and a master’s degree in criminal justice administration from New Mexico State University. He takes great pride in being elected the youngest Mayor in Yavapai County, and his goals are to ensure that every citizen’s voice is heard and to ensure that the Town of Prescott Valley constantly strives to be the best community in Northern Arizona.


Sheila Polk

Sheila Polk

President, CEO – Renovations, Your Complete Remodel Resource

Sheila is a native Arizonan, who has served as the Yavapai Attorney for the last 17 years. A career prosecutor, Sheila chairs MATFORCE, the countywide substance abuse coalition, and is the driving stimulus behind the nationally renowned law enforcement course “What You Do Matters: Lessons from the Holocaust.”


Marnie Uhl

Marnie Uhl

President and CEO Prescott Valley Chamber of Commerce

Marnie has been the President/CEO since 2006 and successfully led the Chamber to a national accreditation through the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Federation. She was selected as Prescott Area Leadership’s Woman of the Year 2017 and serves on many professional and nonprofit boards. Marnie has been in the Chamber industry for 20 years.


Fred Veil

Fred Veil

Executive Director, Sharlot Hall Museum

Fred is the executive director of the Sharlot Hall Museum. He is a Marine Corps veteran and former Sheriff of the Prescott Corral of Westerners International, he conceived and organized the Western History Symposium. He is a board member of the Arizona History Convention and member of the Tourism Advisory Committee for the City of Prescott.


Loree Walden

Loree Walden

Marketing Manager, Yavapai Humane Society

Loree is originally from Hawaii and moved to Prescott in 2010. Her background spans a variety of careers, including 20 years of taxes, 8 years of radio traffic and now as marketing manager for Yavapai Humane Society, where she gets to advocate for and help animals find furever homes. toria “Tori” Ward is a cruise and resort specialist with a master’s degree in political science. She has completed more than 30 certification courses with the cruise and tour industry including the most advanced certification, Commodore, from Princess Cruise Lines. Tori is a member of the Cruise Line International Association.


Tori Ward

Tori Ward

ROX Travel, Cruise and Resort Specialist

Victoria “Tori” Ward is a cruise and resort specialist with a master’s degree in political science. She has completed more than 30 certification courses with the cruise and tour industry including the most advanced certification, Commodore, from Princess Cruise Lines. Tori is a member of the Cruise Line International Association.


Donna Werking

Donna Werking

Owner, Marketing Agency, Northern Arizona Social, LLC

Donna holds 15 years of marketing experience. Her agency produces Northern Arizona’s most powerful and innovative marketing strategies for web, social and traditional media. She supports Prescott by serving on committees, promoting events and volunteering for nonprofits. She currently sits as board marketing chair for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Arizona (BGCCAZ).


Prescott Parks & Rec Department

Prescott Parks & Rec Department

  • Samara Rice-Cummings, Recreation Services Administrative Specialist
  • Patti Crouse, Recreation Services Administrative Coordinator
  • Rick Hormann, Recreation Services Supervisor
  • Michelle Stacy-Schroeder, Recreation Services Coordinator
  • Kelly Tolbert, Recreation Services Coordinator