3/11/2011 1:12:00 PM 2011 Verde Pride Awards: Lisa Pender: Verde
Valley Tourism Champion
Lisa Pender is an integral part of the revitalization of Old Town. She is president of the Old Town Association, and she is directly involved in businesses that are helping to put the historic business district back on the map. Lisa is also the tasting room manager for the Pillsbury Wine Company at 1012 N. Main St.
COTTONWOOD – Lisa Pender has been given the Verde Pride Award this year for Tourism Champion.
While economic growth has been mostly stagnant in Arizona and the Verde Valley in the last couple of years, Old Town Cottonwood has bucked that trend. The area along Historic 89A has been enjoying a rebirth. It is a year-round destination for tourists as well as locals. And the number and types of businesses that have opened in Old Town just keeps growing.
Lisa Pender is an integral part of the revitalization of Old Town.
She is president of the Old Town Association, and she is directly involved in businesses that are helping to put the historic business district back on the map.
Lisa is the tasting room manager for the Pillsbury Wine Company at 1012 N. Main St. She works with her husband, Tom, in the daily operations of Pender Engineering at 1010 N. Main St. And now Lisa has opened the Rendezvous in Old Town in the old Martin’s Garage near the intersection of Main Street and Willard.
The “speakeasy” style tavern will offer music and entertainment, along with Arizona wines and 20 beers on tap.
But Lisa’s involvement in the community at large and Old Town in particular goes far beyond her own business interests. She has been in the Verde Valley for more than 20 years. She moved to Sedona when she was a freshman in high school, then to Cottonwood after graduation.
In 2003 Lisa earned her real estate license, and in May of 2004 she opened Little Lisa’s in Old Town. She serves on the board for the Verde Valley Wine Consortium.
Eight new businesses moved to Old Town during the past year. The businesses that make up the Old Town Association now offer a long list of products and services, such as coffee, wine, olive oil, bread, clothing, gifts, furniture and countertops, art, music, a B&B and motel, yarn and beads, glitter, bikes and antiques.
Also joining the list of businesses in Old Town are lawyers, engineers, realtors, beauticians, yoga, bars and several great restaurants.
One of the latest entities to draw business to Old Town is Cottonwood’s new Business Assistance Center. The BAC provides a location and technology for small start-up business to conduct interviews and do research.
It is this kind of activity that Lisa Pender has believed in and has been working toward for several years.