Since 2013, we have been planning a stunning, new home to share with guests in the beautiful Verde Valley.
Now that our kids are grown, we have left our corporate world careers in pursuit of this opportunity to serve world travelers and the community of Cottonwood.
Jeff is almost an Arizona native, having grown up in Goodyear, southwest of Phoenix.
A proud graduate of Agua Fria Union High School, he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering degree from Arizona State University and a Master’s Degree in Information Management from the University of Phoenix. He is also a Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP) and a Project Management Professional (PMP).
His corporate career was predominantly spent with a major credit card & travel management company, in roles supporting the design and management of customer servicing and/or information management.
So, naturally, Jeff was destined to become an Innkeeper! Well, perhaps not, but he is able to apply much of his experience toward creating an excellent customer experience.
Jeff likes to say he spent 50 summers in Phoenix … and that that was enough. Cottonwood is consistently 10 degrees cooler than Phoenix, which makes a significant impact on one’s enjoyment of summer. Though it still gets hot here (and quite cold in winter), the beauty of the landscape makes even the hardest outdoor labor an enjoyable experience.
Originally from Minnesota, Karen has spent the majority of her adult life in non-snowy Arizona. She grew up in Hastings (southeast of Minneapolis/St. Paul), so living near a river is not new to her. She graduated from Hastings High School, then from Winona State University with Bachelor degrees in Math and in Computer Science. After serving as a high school teacher for two years, she moved to Phoenix and into the corporate world. As she progressed in her career, she took on roles with increasing leadership responsibilities. Most of her corporate life was spent within UnitedHealthcare (UHC). Passionate about ensuring health care is provided to those who can least afford it, she ended her career as the Chief Operating Officer for UHC’s AZ-based Medicaid program (AHCCCS).
Becoming an Innkeeper was Karen’s idea, but not her first choice; her ideal role would be as a chocolatier (try her chocolate-covered strawberries, or her hand-made truffles, and you’ll understand why). Karen makes the “artfully delicious breakfasts” that you will enjoy. Her penchant for research and trying new things has allowed her to hone her skill at food preparation (as has Jeff’s appetite for her cooking). When you contact us, it will likely be Karen you interact with, as she plays the lead role in communicating with our past, present and future guests of Origins B&B.
Married in 2007, Jeff and Karen each brought two children into their marriage.
The oldest lives in Portland, OR, and works in marketing & communications for a public engineering firm. Two have established careers in the Phoenix, AZ area – one as a journeyman electrician and the other as a civil engineer specializing in vehicular traffic design. The ‘baby’ recently graduated from university with a degree in visual arts and is currently residing in Tempe, AZ.
The successes and independence of our children allow us to focus on this new Origins adventure!