We recently caught up with a very busy VVCC Member Elizabeth McFarland. What follows is a summary of our conversation.
Word on the street is that you've been selected for a prestigious volunteer award. Congratulations. Could you please tell us about the award and what you did to achieve it?
The award was by the Arizona Community Foundation of Sedona and was the Verde Valley’s Spirit of Sedona Volunteer of the Year for 2019.
“How” I came to be a volunteer is because of my parents. Both my parents modeled volunteering and expected me to volunteer. I am modeling volunteerism for the next generation.
“Why” I volunteer is because it is a win-win life strategy. Not only does the organization and community benefit from the volunteer’s efforts, so does the volunteer. Volunteering provides opportunities for building social support networks that benefit both community members and volunteers.
“What” I did to receive the award included, in part, pro bono legal work for many local nonprofits too numerous to list, but including drafting the documents to form the Sedona Red Rock Trail Fund, and also included service on nonprofit boards of directors to take advantage of my legal and business expertise.
Volunteering the hours I do while working full time is only possible with the love and support of my husband Larry Lineberry who mans the home fort and the hard work of my paralegal Lori Arnold who mans the office fort.
Wow! What other volunteer activities have you had?
When serving on the Boards of Northern Arizona Healthcare and the Arizona Community Foundation of Sedona and the Verde Valley, I helped both entities transition to a new board structure, while focusing on the entity’s best interest and striving to enhance each entity’s reputation.
While serving on the ACF Board of Advisors, I chaired the Scholarship Committee where I reviewed applications and awarded scholarships, established an ACF scholarship application training program at Red Rock and Mingus Union High Schools and inaugurated the Verde Valley Cash for College.
Another example of my volunteering to respond to a transition occurred when I represented the Benefactors of Red Rock State Park. After the financial crisis, the State of Arizona swept the budget of the State Parks into the general fund, which meant that Red Rock State Park would close to the public. On behalf of the Benefactors, I negotiated with the Arizona State Parks and the City of Sedona to come up with a solution. The resulting intergovernmental agreements were crucial to keep Red Rock State Park open with its full recreational and education program for the public’s benefit.
How long have you been practicing law?
How long has your practice been in the VOC?
Since January 2002.
What does your practice specialize in?
Estate planning, guardianships and conservatorships, probate, and business transactions.
What's your next big adventure?
Cycling cruise from Dubrovnik to Venice fall 2020. On a ship small enough to go into all ports, the road cyclists can see less trafficked places (as well as the must-see tourist destinations). For ten days, no unpacking, but riding every day in a different area, sometimes two if the ship travels between islands at lunch.
Are you a roadie, mountain biker or both? Both
Where are your favorite places to ride?
Mountain: Aerie, Campbell’s Mesa, AZ Trail out of Aspen Corner, Brown’s Ranch (Scottsdale), 50 Year Trail (Tucson), Rainbow Rim (North Rim), Phil’s World (Cortez, CO), and Galloping Goose (Telluride/Lizard Head Pass, CO).
Road: Santa Barbara, CA, Lake Mary Road, AZ Highway 179
Both: Northern Idaho/Eastern Washington/Western Montana
What are you currently riding?
Road – Specialized Sequoia 27 speed (3x9) - Came perfect stock (just add pedals) from our friends at Absolute Bikes
Mountain – Trek Fuel Ex 8 27.5” 1x12 with disc brakes - Added bar ends, pedals and elliptical chain ring from our friends at Verde Valley Bicycle Company
What advice would you give to the VVCC to better serve its sponsors and members?
As both a member and sponsor of VVCC, I applaud the VVCC Board and its members for all their hard work and dedication. Each director’s efforts have strengthened the community and sense of belonging in Sedona. However, I would suggest, not as a criticism of the current Board, but to improve what is already there, that the VVCC Board actively work to diversify the VVCC Board to include directors with different ages, sexes, races or ethnicities, work status (working or retired), bicycling backgrounds, and professional experience because research shows that a diverse board produces diverse perspectives, which results in better decisions for the entity and its members. VVCC could better achieve its mission by drawing on the skills, talents, and perspectives of a broader and more diverse range of leaders. In my view, the Board itself is a reflection of the organization’s commitment to the community.