Energy for Caring
The first time Amy Cassidy visited Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center, she quickly assessed this was a special place with an important mission. The occasion was a dinner for a small group of people, that included Amy and her husband Joey, hosted by Executive Director Eric Simonson and his wife Michelle.
Amy listened to Eric describe how the center provides hospitality to retreaters who are on a journey of renewal, whether for one day or one week. She said, “I am drawn to ministries that emphasize hospitality and serve with grace.” When she walked the beautiful nine-acre campus that day, Amy felt a spiritual connection to the retreat center. She told Eric she wanted to be a part of Spirit in the Desert by volunteering in any way she could, especially helping in the kitchen.
Her offer to be a volunteer and her feeling of connection to Spirit in the Desert excited Eric and caused him to think about how best to use Amy’s talents as a volunteer.
Amy is a Master’s level nurse who has worked as a Nurse Practitioner at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, and where she was on the faculty at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. She and her husband returned to Phoenix, their hometown, in 2010 and Amy accepted a position with the Mayo Clinic in its department of internal medicine on a team researching cancer and valley fever. With her entrepreneur skill and energy, she began a skincare business that now requires her full time focus with sales teams in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Japan.
Service for those in need is a high priority for Amy. She provides personal care and financial aid to orphans in Sierra Leone, West Africa, and she supports poverty eradication programs in Puerto Pensasco, Mexico, among other philanthropic and personal service activities.
Eric realized that Amy could provide valuable volunteer support to Spirit in the Desert as a member of the Board of Directors. He recommended her to Spirit’s Board of Directors and she was appointed as its newest director in July 2021. Amy said, “I am thrilled to be a part of Spirit in the Desert and support its mission of providing spiritual renewal for retreaters.”