Parks & Recreation Advisory Commission

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Commission Photo 020619 Cropped Website

Raquel Landefeld, Commission Chair

Background: I am the Event Coordinator for a software company called Elegant Themes. I am a wife and mother of three teenagers who are all performing artists. I attended Arizona State University and Estrella Mountain Community College where I receive an Associate’s of Arts. Currently, I plan on finishing my Bachelor’s degree after I finish growing up and doing all the things. I own a web design and development e-commerce agency based out of Goodyear and have made Goodyear my home for the past 13+ years.

Interests/Facts: I’m an active and intentional builder of my communities. Those communities are wherever my feet are most. My kids’ schools, my neighborhood, my city, my tech/software world, and my church. I’m a competitive ballroom dancer and I love spending time with my family, traveling, photography, reading, and the arts! Local living and support is super important to me as well as the "urbanizing suburbia” idea. That is, making the suburbs more of a close-knit community in proximity. So more bicycle friendly roads, walkable places, and with more local and independent businesses.

Why I enjoy being involved with the commission: Serving on the Parks and Recreation Commission has provided me another way of pouring into my city’s community. I am very grateful for this as I firmly believe that strong communities are essential for a vibrant future. COMMUNITY = PEOPLE. You can have the best cities, the best schools, the best tech, but if you don’t have people; you don’t have a community. The people (residents) of Goodyear have expressed the importance of our parks and recreation programming for our community and I am honored to be a part of the team that helps bring our city’s plans for Parks and Recreation improvement to fruition.

Annie Stephens, Commission Vice Chair

Background: I moved to Phoenix, Arizona in 1994 from Paris, Texas with my family. I have a large family, five brothers and one sister all living in Arizona. I attended Bourgade Catholic high school graduating in 2003 and continued my education to obtain a BA in Communications from Southern New Hampshire University.
I became a lifeguard at 15 and have maintained my role in aquatics since, as an Aquatic Manager and Event Specialist. I value family recreation, specifically aquatic options. My family: husband, Justin, three children, Andrew, Aubree, and Jillian, and dachshund, Marvin, moved to Goodyear in 2015 and instantly fell in love with the city and community. Currently, I am the Athletic Assistant at Desert Edge High School.

Interests/Facts: I am interested in creating memorable moments and experiences with my family. I enjoy all aquatic fun and my children have swam since age 3, with my newest child, Jillian, beginning to learn this summer, while my husband, Justin, swims very little. “Bones” is a family gathering in my household along with “Impractical Jokers.” When I was a little girl in Texas, I rode in rodeos as a flag girl, showed lambs at FFA events and lived on a farm. A current silly and maybe gross fact about me is that I do not own any socks; she wears mostly flip-flops or sandals for work and play!

Why I enjoy being involved with the commission: I enjoy being involved with the commission as it allows me to have a direct investment in my community. It incorporates my extensive work experience in recreation and involvement as a parent to better our programs and facilities. Being a part of this team, making vested decisions in the community gives me a sense of pride. My involvement allows for improvement and growth in our already great programs; quality recreation programs that are affordable and fun are important components to children, adults, and families. I appreciate the opportunity to represent the community and parents like myself.

Mike Padilla

Background: My family moved to Goodyear over 8 years ago, originally to Estrella Mountain Ranch and now we live near the Goodyear Ballpark. We're from Southern California and find that Goodyear is an amazing city for raising a family. I am an engineer and management consultant for IBM where I am approaching 20 years of service.

Interests/Facts: I enjoy spending time with my family, hiking, biking, and playing at local parks and open spaces. I also enjoy flying, riding and the occasional off-road excursion. We never miss an Arizona Cardinals game and I'm an avid baseball fan.

Why I enjoy being involved with the commission: I enjoy the opportunity to give back to my community that being on the Commission provides. When Parks and Recreation need volunteers, I hear it first, so I'm able to jump in and help out. Most of all I enjoy meeting my neighbors, talking to them about parks and recreation events and facilities and hearing their needs and ideas for enhancing the great parks and programs that what we have.

Kiesha Beard

Background: City of Goodyear resident since 2009.

Interests/Facts: In my spare time, I really enjoy traveling by train!
Why I enjoy being involved with the commission: I like that the city takes an active and inclusive role in the community. It is truly an honor to serve our great city.

Jerry Wilson

Background: Born Gerald D. Wilson in Canton, Illinois and raised on or around the farm, I got an early farm license and learned to plow a straight row. While serving as an Army MP, I participated in the first inauguration of Richard M. Nixon, as well as several demonstrations in and around the DC area. I won't call them 'Peace Marches', that was not our experience. After the Army, I returned to school at Northern Illinois University, then took my first career position in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Interests/Facts: I worked in technical fields as a project manager and software implementation, primarily in Healthcare services, but also did a stint with utility companies, including APS. I worked in all but four states, but also served clients in Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Canada. The year after I completed the APS project, I was on the shore of Hudson Bay, inside the Arctic Circle. I retired from Cableone in 2014 and enjoy traveling with my wife Sharon to visit our 31 grandkids.

Kim Harris

Background: My name is Kim Harris and I’ve been a resident of Goodyear for almost six years and Avondale for two years prior to that. Being new to Arizona, I searched for ways to get to know the area and the community and enrolled in the Avondale Citizen Leadership Academy. Later, I started volunteering for the Super Bowl committee, finding wonderful opportunities like Paint-A- Thon, Avondale’s Boy’s and Girl's Clubs, and later occasionally with the City of Goodyear community events.

Interests/Facts: My husband and I were blessed with a baby girl in 2011, having a family along with a full-time job as an HR Administrator, volunteering was limited. As time went by, my daughter I were privileged to assist delivery for The Joy Bus, a wonderful organization which cooks meals for homebound cancer patients and to be a part of Make a Difference Day at Tres Rios picking up garbage. 

Why I enjoy being involved with the commission: During a search on the City of Goodyear website for ways for my daughter and I could volunteer during Make a Difference Day two years ago, I came across the City of Goodyear board requesting volunteers for the Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission. We enjoy being citizens of the City of Goodyear, love the programs, events, parks, and being outdoors whenever possible. I feel privileged to have an opportunity to be able to make a difference in my community and also to be part of a city that wants the opinion and thoughts of those who live here. This is the city where my daughter will grow up in and I feel proud to show my daughter that even though we don’t volunteer as much, the little we do, does matter. 

Jeremy Sawyer

Background: I have been a resident of Goodyear for more than 10 years. After completing my Masters degree in Business from Grand Canyon University, I obtained a job working for Banner Health as an Employee Relations Consultant. I was raised in the West Valley and have a great sense of pride for our community. My wife and I recently purchased a home in Goodyear’s Travis Park subdivision were I currently serve as the Vice President of our HOA. My wife is a Banner Health nurse so we are known as the Banner family. 

Interests/Facts: I enjoy spending time with my family whom mostly live in Goodyear. I also enjoy traveling and visiting historic sites. My passion for sports motivates me to stay active, so I take part in several adult sports leagues including flag football and basketball. 

Why I enjoy being involved with the commission: The Parks and Rec commission hits home on a couple levels for me. Not only do I love being involved in my community, but I love sports and being active. This commission allows me to have a voice for our residents in what would best serve Goodyear from a Park and Rec standpoint. 

Sharolyn Hohman

Background: Sharolyn Hohman is a long time West Valley resident.  From 2013-2017 she served as a councilmember to the City of Goodyear.  Since 1980 Ms. Hohman worked professionally in the Southwest Valley and currently resides in Goodyear.

Interests/Facts: Sharolyn led the Southwest Valley Chamber of Commerce for twenty-five years as President/CEO retiring in spring of 2013. Sharolyn has a BA degree from Grand Canyon University and a MA degree from Northern Arizona University and is a graduate of Institute of Organization Management.

Why I enjoy being involved with the commission: Sharolyn is a longtime advocate for the parks and other recreation amenities so important to the quality of life in a city.  For many years she has attended the public meetings to have a voice in the development in the city of Goodyear both in newly developed communities but also in the mature communities.  She now serves as the Alternate member to the Goodyear Parks and Recreation Commission. Ms. Hohman is the mother of two grown children and proud grandmother of four.