CAMP VERDE - At the ripe, old age of 24, Renee Bartlett-Webber has a knack for leadership.
Since arriving in the Verde Valley barely two years ago, Bartlett-Webber has been working as Committee chairman, Heritage and Recreational Affairs for the Camp Verde Chamber of Commerce, while also serving as secretary of the Board for the Verde Valley Archaeology Center, manager at The Horn restaurant and as Class VII with Verde Valley Leadership.
On Aug. 3, Bartlett-Webber will be on her way to Los Gatos, Calif., to work with her aunt at Testarossa Winery.
Bartlett-Webber loves history. But until she got her proverbial feet wet in the Verde Valley, she had no taste for wine.
"When I got here, I wasn't interested in wine," Bartlett-Webber said. "But with my time at The Horn, and with taking classes, I became excited about wine. I now have a passion for wine.
"This is a really cool opportunity."
Bartlett-Webber came to Camp Verde as an intern with the Verde Valley Archaeology Center's summer internship program. Bartlett-Webber liked the Verde Valley so much, she chose to make it her home.
"I came back here as soon as I graduated college," Bartlett-Webber said. "I love Camp Verde, and I love the Verde Valley. I will definitely be back to visit, maybe to live [here again].
Though Bartlett-Webber will be moving to Northern California, she will not be entirely gone. Bartlett-Webber is in the middle of a 2-year commitment to Verde Valley Leadership. She completes the final course of her first year with the Verde Valley Leadership on July 26.
Ken Zoll, executive director of the Verde Valley Archaeology Center, said he will miss working with Bartlett-Webber, who in 2012 was elected secretary of the VVAC. Besides serving as secretary, Bartlett-Webber ran the center's intern program.
"She kind of shepherded the [interns'] assignments," Zoll said. "That turned out very well. She also did our Facebook, set it up and maintained it. And she did our bi-monthly e-newsletter and participated in field schools in Colorado. And she performed the secretary duties - brilliantly.
"Renee has been a treasure to work with," Zoll said. "We have appreciated her enthusiasm and professionalism that she applied to every task."
For the time being, Alex Goetting, son of The Horn owners Steve and Barb Goetting, will take over as restaurant manager.
"I think the world of Renee," Barb Goetting said. "In the two years since she arrived, she's come light years from where she started out. I can't speak too highly of her. She's self-motivated. She goes and she does. And she'll be sorely missed around here."