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Inspiring Stories from Surprise

The heart of our mission at VoyagePhoenix is to find the amazing souls that breathe life into our city. In the recent weeks, we’ve had the privilege to connect with some of the Greater Phoenix area’s finest artists, creatives, entrepreneurs and rabble rousers and we can’t begin to express how impressed we are with our city’s incredibly deep talent pool. Check out inspiring stories from Surprise and surrounding areas below.

Gina Machovina

Growing up in Southern California, I found beauty and a sense of freedom in music! Rock and roll were my first love and I would find meaning in every melody and lyric… every song was written for my life alone. Attending festival concerts was my favorite occupation… and without a doubt, I wanted to dive into the live music scene heart and soul. The guitar is such an expressive and versatile instrument. I sought to learn as much as I could and express whatever feelings that my words weren’t sufficient for. There was a Yamaha music school near my home and I began the study of classical guitar. Read more>>

Margherita Riello

I am a Body Transformation Expert, certified ISSA Personal Trainer, Precision Nutrition Student, and FAI Certified Coach. Michael, my fiancée, and business partner is a Tolleson and U of A graduate, he is a Speed and Agility Certified Coach, a NESTA- Certified Personal Trainer, and a former NFL Super Bowl Champion. Our common passion for fitness and people is what pushed us to open Bell Fitness 6 years ago, formerly Fit Body Boot Camp, Litchfield Park. Read more>>

Audra Colson

When my husband and I first moved to the City of Surprise in 2001, we were actually the 3rd house in our subdivision. There was only a stop sign at our nearest crossroads and empty fields all around us. The population of Surprise at that time I believe, was a little over 38,000. When our oldest daughter reached middle school I was on a fast track to promotion and offered a regional position at my place of employment. Read more>>

Amber Williams

I was born and raised in beautiful San Diego, California. My story starts there, my roots are there. The story starts as a young teen mother. Commited to overcoming the “statistics.” I had many obstacles, but the illumination of my dreams was Dever dimmed by all the odds that were stacked against me. I dedicated and evolved from the struggle of teen pregnancy, and poverty and poor choices. I became a teen mom at the age of 14, and had my second child at 15 I was married by 16. Read more>>

Sarah Browne

It was a happy accident. What I mean by that is one day about four years ago, my sister-in-law asked if I could take some headshots for her because I happened to own a DSLR camera from taking journalism classes in college. I was happy to help a family member out with some picture taking and editing skills that I picked up in college, but little did I know that I would discover my passion in life: capturing rare and beautiful moments through my lens. Read more>>

James Tomlin

For starters, comedy has always been a natural part of my days growing up in St. Louis, MO, and this is because my family are all very comical and talented. Music was also very instrumental due to my mother singing in her band and would rehearse at the house before going to a performance. So between her playing music on a regular throughout the house or rehearsing for a performance, we were all doused with music from sun up to sundown. Read more>>

Kawika Henderson

I’ve been a Surprise resident for over 20 years!!! I’ve seen Grand & Bell Rd go from a 4-way intersection to what it is today. Also, I have seen the Orange groves and the flower fields slowly disappear and transition into the communities that we have today. That amazes me. This is how I started. I was raised to always stick up for people that could stick up for themselves. Read more>>

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