During his 2020-2021 term as President of our HOA, Jon Held and the rest of the Board faced two very different challenges impacting the Continental community.
The first was how Continental would manage its facilities during the height of a global pandemic. The second was the tough decision to address Continental’s long-standing fiscal issues by filing for Chapter 11 protection.
Continental got through the worst of the pandemic in 2020 surprisingly well with a net profit ahead of budget. Resolving the community’s overall fiscal health and securing its future, however, is still a work in progress.
Although he is now the Board’s Past President, Jon remains the point person for Continental’s Chapter 11 efforts, representing the community (along with General Manager Tahlia Murray) during the numerous court hearings that are part of the bankruptcy and reorganization process.
His professional experience, coupled with his love of our community, make him an excellent representative for Continental.
Jon is originally from Wisconsin, where he lived until moving to Arizona in 1985. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in accounting and began his career working for the Price Waterhouse accounting firm.
He served as CFO for another company before joining Central Newspapers Inc., publisher of The Arizona Republic, in 1995. After Gannett purchased the paper in 2000, Jon continued to advance. When he retired, he was the senior vice president of finance and business planning for Gannet’s entire domestic publishing division, meaning that he was in charge of the finances, printing and distribution of an organization with more than 100 newspapers, including USA Today.
During much of this time, Jon and his wife, Dawn, lived in Scottsdale. But visits to friends in Flagstaff convinced them that a home here was in their future.
“It’s a great setting amongst the pine trees and a great escape from the Valley,” he said. They purchased their home here in 2005.
In 2019, Jon joined the Board of Directors because he wanted to contribute to keeping CCC a great place to live, especially for families. Not long after, Continental’s fiscal challenges began to come to a head. Years of low dues, the lack of a reserve fund and the ongoing legal disputes surrounding Lake Elaine created a situation that demanded action.
In early 2021, the Board made the difficult decision to seek Chapter 11 protection while developing a reorganization plan.
“Bankruptcy was the best way, albeit difficult, to help CCC overcome its financial and legal challenges,” Jon said. “I had hoped the process would have moved faster than it has. I am appreciative of the engagement from homeowners and the overall support the board is receiving. I look forward to a favorable resolution to the bankruptcy which will put CCC on a strong financial footing.”
That resolution should allow our community to continue to have access to all of Continental’s great amenities and keep CCC a desirable place to live with high property values, he added.
When he’s not busy spearheading our reorganization efforts, Jon keeps busy with golf, pickleball and singing. He also enjoys spending time with friends and his family, which includes two children and five grandchildren who enjoy visiting Flagstaff when they can.