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Scottsdale’s Rising Stars

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 Scottsdale and surrounding areas below.

Clark Wu

How my story started is not too different from many others; this is an immigrant’s tale. I was born in China. My mother left behind her family and a familiar world to seek a better future for her children in the land of opportunity. We landed in Los Angeles, California, a melting pot of cultures, and California became home. I was six-years-old at the time. I remember being awestruck when we first landed at LAX—the lights, the people, the high rises, the overall grandeur of it all. It was a bit overwhelming for a young child to take it all in at once. But I loved it. I knew I was home. Read more>>

Baylee Ann

I was born and raised in the weather stubborn Midwest, in Indianapolis to be exact! I moved to Arizona very shortly after I turned 18. I moved here by myself, knowing very few people, just some family friends, as well as one friend I had known since middle school. My number one goal was always to move out of Indiana when I turned 18, and that’s exactly what I did. My hometown was fun, but I craved something more! I thought, “if other people can move 1,700 miles+ away from home, then I can too”. I’ve been in Arizona for a year now. I decided to move to Arizona to pursue acting at Arizona State University. Read more>>

Lisa Schofield

I have been a full-time Realtor since 2001 and have been through the ups and downs and uncertainty of our local market. I wanted something to supplement this uncertainty and I refer out a lot of business on my client’s behalf in addition to my own properties. Since I am an entrepreneur by nature, I saw a need for better carpet and tile cleaning. My experience, along with many of my clients, was that the cleaning was a quick fix. The dirt resurfaced and the grout cleaning really didn’t make it brighter. Read more>>

Miranda Rico

I fell in love with photography at a young age when I received my first point and shoot camera for my 10th birthday. Ever since then, my cameras and I have been inseparable. I have since spent the past ten years growing my photography business from the ground up and more recently, I have come to feel at home in my passion for wedding photography. Over the past two years, I have travelled the world and taken photos along the way. Meeting people from different walks of life and experiencing their different cultures has become the lifeblood from which my photography is influenced. I decided to take my wedding photography and my traveling to the next level, and thus, Southwest Sonder was born. Read more>>

Dr. Vanessa Ruiz

I started out as a busy nurse in NYC. During that time, I faced several health challenges, which were really an outcome of my high-stress job and burnout. After attempting to help myself through medications with little success and palliation, I stumbled upon a naturopathic doctor, Dr. Peter Bongiorno, who mentored me and showed me more natural ways towards improving my mental health and well-being. Meeting him changed the trajectory of my life, as it showed me what was possible for health and helping others. While it was a difficult time for me due to my poor health, it helped me to clarify my purpose and calling: to become a naturopathic doctor and help those with mental health issues and to give back to the many nurses who faced the same challenges I did. Read more>>

Melanie Stasny

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a strong desire to help others. I wanted to be of service and inspire people to live their best lives. In 2011 I graduated with a Bachelor’s in Psychology and Sociology. Two months before I graduated, my brother was involved in an accident and had a severe traumatic brain injury. The left side of his skull was removed from his head due to the swelling. My family was told that the chances of him being able to walk or talk again were slim to none. We lived in the ICU unit with him for nearly a month before he was transferred to outpatient rehabilitation. Read more>>

Tasia Custode

I studied Journalism at University while simultaneously beginning my career in Broadcasting. I credit Rogers TV in Brantford, ON Canada, for allowing me to hone my skills both on and off camera. My time there truly helped launch my television career. After more than a decade of hosting and producing weather, live call-in, and tech shows on Canadian and international TV, I moved to Scottsdale, AZ, in 2014. I quickly noticed a need for affordable, quality video production in Maricopa County. I decided to take the leap into business ownership and Brio Media was born in 2016. Read more>>

Susan Speidel

I started in 1998 with a small coffee shop (450 sqft) in the park where the Scottsdale Culinary and ArtFest are held. Right across from Scottsdale Center for the Arts. After a few years, I outgrew the space and moved in the same building to a larger space and opened Orange Table. Orange Table became quite popular with the locals. We stayed busy and sold in 2011. I stayed out of the restaurant business for six years and the siren song called me back again. I wanted, this time to be in South Scottsdale. I wanted to have something easily accessible for locals. I opened Inner Circle Cafe in November of 2017. This life of food and coffee is definitely a labor of love. Read more>>

Inna Korenzvit

I was born in the former Soviet Union into a working-class family. Despite their long working hours and our very meager living conditions, I grew up in a loving and caring family. Unfortunately, my father passed away at a young age when I was just a child, and shortly thereafter, my mother, my older brother and I decided to leave the USSR to escape political and religious persecution. When we crossed the border and embarked on our journey to a new and better life, our physical possessions consisted of three suitcases, $42, and the clothes on our backs. I was a young teenager when our family arrived in Canada, by way of Italy (so that we could get documentation to enter Canada). Neither I nor my mother spoke English, but our determination to work hard, learn, and succeed had kept us going. Read more>>

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