COTTONWOOD -- Coleen Gilboy has gone from being the office manager for the busy Ledbetter Law Firm to director of the Verde Valley Fair.
"It is definitely not a normal (career) jump, totally unexpected on all parts. It was all me," said Gilboy.
Gilboy's first memories are growing up on rural property in northern Michigan "We had cattle and sheep and used to winterize horses for area resorts on pasture land," the new fair director said.
It's love of the community that is important and drives Gilboy. She is active in Girl Scout activities. Once again, she will organize the Cottonwood Christmas Parade as she has last three years.
"This year the Parade will be held on Dec. 7, so our theme is going to be 'A Patriotic Chistmas,'" said Gilboy.
Gilboy was hired and was on the job at the Verde Valley Fair just days before the wraps were off the 2013 Fair.
She admits she is still amazed at the huge number of volunteers who come together and are involved in presenting the fair. Gilboy said she really misses all the friends she made in the law office, but there is a difference. Issues are always confidential and sober at the law office, where there is a lot of enthusiasm with Fair operations.
"It definitely was a shocker to me to have been given this opportunity. It is a great, great, thing for me," said Gilboy.
"The Fair is such a team effort. You are talking Camp Verde, Cornville, Cottonwood, the Christian School, Catholic school, the high school and grade schools. It is just amazing the number of people who are involved in putting it all together. Livestock judges, the art building, everything is put on by volunteers. It is phenomenal. We are working with all organizations: FFA, PALS, 4H and the City of Cottonwood Arena."
She said planning has already begun for the 2014 Fair.
"People forget that we rent out camp sites. The MS Bike Run rented camp sites from the Fair. The Arizona Flywheelers spend four days with us in buildings and camp sites and different activities. The horse arena is run by the city, but they tend to spill over onto the fair grounds. Mingus Union on the Hill is held in June and they will have 500 people coming here."
"We also try do improvements during our fiscal year. A big dream is to have some kind of ground surface, so the dust doesn't blow all the time," Gilboy said. Another goal is to fit the Commercial Building with bathrooms and a kitchen.
She is also looking at other events. "We brought in the rodeo, and that is a huge endeavor, but people like those events."