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Have You Met?

Have You Met Jamye Katz?

This personable, organized, and self-described people person has been in the Arizona real estate market for the last 12 years. “My background was in retailing and advertising, with my first college job working at Neiman Marcus. But now I thoroughly enjoy real estate - it’s a true people business! And it’s interesting working for myself. A person just has to have a great work ethic when they have only themselves to answer to” emphasizes Jamye.

These same qualities of organization and people skills have also influenced Jamye Katz’s volunteer activities. In July, 1998, Jamye and five other friends located in the Valley of the Sun founded Banner of Hope, a nonprofit dedicated to raising funds for breast cancer prevention, education, treatment and cure. Today it continues to be an all volunteer organization that educates women and their loved ones about good breast health and the options and treatments available when facing a diagnosis of breast cancer.

“Five years before we founded Banner of Hope, I was a manager of a small retail store at Biltmore Fashion Park. During that time my assistant Joan was diagnosed with breast cancer, and I just lived through her diagnosis and treatment with her. This experience greatly affected me, and it directly involved me in the cause of breast cancer.”

Jamye’s father was a career US Air Force pilot. During the Vietnam War he flew for Air America, so Jamye spent the war years in Thailand. “I basically grew up in Southeast Asia, mostly in Bangkok, Thailand. It was actually a great place to live and grow. It was a diverse culture with lots of military families living there, and with a huge English school. The experience definitely did not affect me negatively. The Thai people and the country were beautiful to me.”

And although Jamye has lived all over the world, for the last twenty years she and her husband Evan and daughter Erin have made Arizona their home. “After living for a number of years in the Northeast, what I like best about Arizona is the benign weather; I love that I can be outdoors all I wish, year round. I really don’t even mind the heat, I’d much rather have that than the cold!”

Besides her professional life and volunteer duties, Jamye confesses “I’m a devoted lover of fine food, cooking, eating, good restaurants, and experiencing different cuisines. I’m also an avid reader; one of my favorite activities is to curl up with a good book!”

Jamye Katz is pleased that Banner of Hope’s Annual Luncheon has grown from its first year total of 100 people, to this year’s over 400 guests. “With one out of nine American women facing breast cancer, we know that our organization is fulfilling an important role! My primary duties with Banner of Hope are as the developer of graphics for invitations, overseeing our printed matter, and writing the newsletter. As a matter of fact, The Breast Darn Newsletter has grown to be a wonderful source of information for those diagnosed with breast cancer, their families, and really all who are affected by this disease. I also enjoy meeting our breast cancer survivor models each year, learning their individual stories, and writing their biographies which are read by our Master of Ceremonies as they walk down the runway.”

What are your volunteer activities? Co-Founder of Banner of Hope, an all-volunteer, non-profit organization dedicated to educating women and their loved ones about breast health and options of treatment when facing breast cancer.

Which social event is your favorite? Banner of Hope’s Annual Luncheon & Fashion Show held each October during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Favorite Restaurant? I have a lot of favorites but I particularly love Binkley's in Cave Creek as it is small, intimate and the food is spectacular.

Who is your hero and why? My father, Jim Weeks, who was one of the most honorable, brave and loving men who ever walked the planet.

Who is the most interesting celebrity you have ever met? Stanley Marcus, the founder of Neiman Marcus. He was instrumental in the development of my early career in retailing and was particularly supportive of a young 19-year old college student.

What gives a woman/man style? Kindness and intelligence.

Do you have any Pets? Three dogs and two cats.

When you move, what will your home tell its next owner, about you? This home feels well loved plus I’m sure these people must have had pets.

What was your first job? Telephone receptionist at the Air America office in Bangkok, Thailand.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Too detail-oriented.

What is the trait you most deplore in others? Impatience.

What is your greatest indulgence? Great food.

What is the greatest gift you have ever given and received? My daughter, Erin.

What or who is the greatest love of your life? My husband, Evan.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement? My daughter, Erin.

What is your most treasured possession? My family and friends.

What is the quality you most like in people Curiosity and open-mindedness.

Favorite books / Writers? Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl; Also like Anne Rivers Siddons, David Baldacci and Vince Flynn.

What is the best advice you have ever received? Keep it simple.