Phoenix Rises

Joanna de'Shay shines in the Valley of the Sun

When you think of Phoenix, you’re likely to visualize red rock terrain, arid weather, and a small-town, cowboy lifestyle. These features are a golden lure for golf course developers, technology manufacturers, and progressive urbanites who are staking their worth on this emerging Southwestern city.

Joanna de’Shay, a native of Accra, Ghana with Russian roots, is uniquely informed about her adopted hometown through her role as the community development manager at power company Arizona Public Service, as chairman of the board of the Arizona Black Film Showcase (www.azblackfilm.com), and through her volunteer involvement with Sedona Jazz on the Rocks (www.sedonajazz.com). “We’re not just sand, rocks, and rodeos,” avows de’Shay, 30. “We have eight lakes that are within an hour’s drive of the city and over 21 Native American tribes and 23 reservations. No other state has that many tribes, not even New Mexico. And golf is huge here. Because of the climate, you can golf every day of your stay.” The 2005 FBR Open golf tournament attracted 500,000 visitors this in February.

The Greater Phoenix metropolitan area has a population of 1.4 million. Its thriving tourism business creates more than 225,000 jobs in Phoenix alone. And the presence of Intel, Motorola, and Boeing are a testament to the area’s industrial prominence.
november 2005 : BLACK ENTERPRISE : blackenterprise.com

Newcomers will find a slew of engineering openings and jobs for technical, data-oriented people, says de’Shay, who cites the annual Arizona Black Expo as an established channel through which employers seek to diversify their workforce. The International Auto Show, Maricopa County Home & Garden Show, and the Bridal Fashion Review & Wedding Expo are other prominent conventions. In 2006, Phoenix will also host BLACK ENTERPRISE’s inaugural Women of Power Summit, a four-day professional leadership conference for women executives of color.

AROUND TOWN : PHOENIX
ACCOMMODATIONS

  • Suites with charcoal walls and platform beds and the clever use of space makes the James Hotel (7353 E. Indian School Road, Scottsdale; 888-500-8080; www.james hotels.com) a memorable and recommendable hotel for de’Shay. “This place is in the heart of everything that anchors downtown Scottsdale. You can walk to the Scottsdale Center for the Arts, the salsa club, dining, and bars.”
  • “If you are a traveling family, like my family, with a husband who is a diehard golfer and a 2-year-old who lives in water, the Pointe South Mountain Resort is heaven!” says de’Shay. Pointe South Mountain Resort (7777 S. Pointe Parkway, Phoenix; 877-800-4888; www.pointesouthmtn.com) “It’s got a huge water park in the center of the property, sandwiched by a spa and golf course.”

RESTAURANTS

  • To dine amid one of the most spectacular vistas in the Valley of the Sun, make a reservation at Elements at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain (5700 E. McDonald Drive, Paradise Valley; 800-245-2051; www.sanctuaryoncamel back.com). The menu boasts farm-fresh ingredients and Asian accents. An exclusive mountainside location provides seclusion and tranquility, and a community table offers a unique dining experience for adventurous patrons willing to make new acquaintances.
  • Bistro 24 at The Ritz-Carlton (2401 E. Camelback Road; 800-241-3333; www.ritzcarlton.com/ hotels/phoenix/) is a networking hub for business
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