An International Perspective
Julie Yates has managed commercial real estate properties in the United
States and London. After living and working in London for fifteen years,
Julie and her husband Steve moved back to Arizona in 2015 and became
re-acquainted with Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center. She said, “We
loved living in London and experiencing the perspective of an
In 1993, the Lutheran Church was given facilities and land in Carefree
that had been the International Restaurant and the Adobe Inn. Julie,
because of her expertise, was involved with a group of people assessing the property, its potential, and its future use as a retreat center.
One of Julie’s favorite retreats at Spirit in the Desert was “Boundless Compassion” led by Joyce Rupp, a well-known author and retreat leader. Julie liked the emphasis on the power of compassion to change the world. She is encouraged by Spirit in the Desert’s outreach to organizations and people from around the globe. In 2018 the retreat center hosted people from over 21 countries.
In April 2019, Julie was appointed to Spirit in the Desert’s Board of Directors. “I am honored to be a part of this amazing group of leaders and for the opportunity to work with Executive Director, Eric Simonson. The retreat center is in a growth phase and it is exciting to be a part of it.”
Asked what challenges she sees for the retreat center, Julie said, “Currently, opening up our doors to guests again is the biggest one and so out of our control. But we have an amazing staff and Board of Directors to lead us through these most challenging times. I am confident we will come out strong on the back end, whenever that is!”
Julie grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona and attended Prince of Peace Lutheran Church. After completing two years at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, she graduated from Arizona State University and began her career in real estate. Julie and her husband, Steve, have a daughter and son-in-law living in Mesa, Arizona, and they are enjoying the opportunity to babysit their two young granddaughters.