Meet Tonya June Moore. Tonya is a very recognizable Sedona Media Personality! She is also a coach to individual entrepreneurs.
Q: Tell us what you do and what inspired you to your current career?
A: I do a couple of things. I am a member of the Sedona Media Services with my two business partners, Ron Melmon of Zippo Productions and Angelo LaMarco of Digital Edge Video. We do live events and have a show called “SedonaCentric” – it’s all about what happens in Sedona. I am also an Entrepreneur Coach and empower others to transform their business and their life.
Q: How long have you lived or worked in Sedona?
A: Almost 11 years.
Q: What has led you to your success?
A: I’m passionate about helping other people be seen, heard, have their voice, and be validated by as many as possible. I love this movement of acceptance that we’re currently experiencing. I came from a small town, Shepherdsville, Kentucky, and I never dreamed that I would be doing what I’m doing today.
Q: What keeps you motivated?
A: Just believing in my own worth and picking myself up by my bootstraps. Not that I haven’t had lots of help because I’ve had so much assistance. I have a great tribe. But each time that I am knocked down, I will come back more forcefully. It’s not just winning for me – I feel like I need to show my strength to others so that they learn they can do it too!
Q: Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in Sedona?
A: It would be hard for me to single out anyone, but I would say Steve DeVol. We just lost him. He was quite an inspiration in my life, and I didn’t realize that until now. He’s the one that put me in front of the camera for the first time. I don’t even remember how we met or connected, but he called me out of the blue and said, “I think you need to be on camera. I know when I see talent”. He paid me for my first gig in cash and said, “Let this be a sweet beginning for you.”
I don’t even know how to explain Steve other than he was this beautiful wreck in a good way. He had so much stuff going on, and he was so out of control, but when you were in the room with him, you were the only one that mattered. He was in tune with you, and I respect that. I try to emulate that. He was a blessing. He and my dad are the most significant influences of the male gender in my world for sure.
Q: What advice would you give to others?
A: So many things. Stop the negative self-talk. Start listening to your inner voice and unlearn all that crap that we were taught because none of it matters. If you want to live a joyful, abundant, wonderful life, stop caring about and expecting others to validate your existence. Validation is terrific, but it comes from within.
Q: What is your favorite restaurant in Sedona?
A: We’ve been in quarantine for a year, and I have not eaten out, to be honest. I love Dellepiane and Steakhouse 89. I enjoy going to Elote when we come into town, Nick’s West Side, because it’s close to me. I love Picazzo’s. I am a foodie. I can’t eat gluten, I have an auto-immune deficiency, and gluten sets me off. I’m very blessed here in Sedona because when I go to New York, they look at me like I’d grown three heads. I can go to any restaurant in Sedona and say, I can’t do any gluten, and they will accommodate me.
Q: What is your favorite music?
A: I enjoy all kinds of good music. My family played with Mama Mae, Maybelle Carter, Loretta Lynn, and other country stars. My cousin was on the Grand Ole Opry House band for 35 years, and my mother had number one hit songs back in the late seventies and early eighties. I’ve met Dolly Parton, sat on a Charlie Daniels knee, and been in the studio with some of the greats. Bluegrass is a part of my soul. I used to hate it, but I love it now. One of my all-time favorites is Willie Porter. A lot of people may not know who he is. He performs with a guitar and an amp and sounds like a full band. He makes up songs on the spot! That creativity is unparalleled.
Q: If you could choose anyone with whom would you love to have lunch and why?
A: There are two people. I’ve interviewed him once, and I would love to sit down with him again – John Paul DeJoria. He was on my vision board for many years, and he happened to show up here at the film festival. I want to sit down with my dad now that I am well into adulthood. He’s passed on 21 years now. I had a close relationship with him, so I’d love to pick his brain.
Q: Where do you see yourself in five or ten years?
A: Well, that’s a pretty easy one. I intend in the next five or ten years to have my own empire. And that empire is going to give so much back to the world globally in some way. We are all empowered to be better, be more connected, be more positive and be more inclusive with what we do in this world. And I think when you become wealthy, whatever success looks like to you, the best thing that I could do is take others with me. My goal for the rest of this existence is to have my empire and empower others to be great.
Q: What three words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
A: Educational, life lessons and not where I want to be now. I don’t have three words, ha-ha.
Q: When friends visit you here in Sedona, where do you take them for fun?
A: First of all, I start pointing out all the best trail systems that I trust they won’t share. There are some hidden spots that I would like our locals to continue to enjoy, so I force them to turn their GPS off so they are not geotagged. I also love sending them to the crystal shops, the healers, and the alien hunters. And if they want to look at the best art, I will reach out to John Soderberg.
Q: Is there anything I haven’t asked you that you’d like somebody to know about you?
A: I think I mentioned Annie Oakley earlier, but she was one of my idols growing up. I want to be a sharpshooter on my pony with my little pop gun.
You must have had a great upbringing.
A: I did! The love of my dad’s life, which wasn’t my mother, is an incredible influence, her name is Opal, and she’s here. I just talked to her the other day. She’s gentle, kind, tough, strong, and a pioneer. Their love was something special. When I settle down a little bit, I’m going to write that whole love story. They spent 50+ years loving each other and never being together. I think we need to all love those around us. I’m an ‘I love you person.’ I say I love you to everybody, and I mean it!