After an extensive search and multiple interviews, the Ahwatukee Recreation Center’s independent interview committee has named Amy Nicholls as its new general manager.

The former general manager of the facility, Dan O’Brien, who had been with the Ahwatukee Recreation Center (ARC) for 10 years, recently retired and moved to North Carolina.

Nicholls has been the activities director at the ARC for six years, operating the website, scheduling different activities, and making sure each activity goes off without a hitch. Now she’s stepping into a new role working with the ARC’s three committees (activities, finance and properties) and the ARC Board of Directors to make sure the entire operation is running smoothly.

“It’s a facility,” Nicholls said. “There are three buildings, over 2,500 members. It is well used. Things are going to break or need to be replaced. You have to do things to keep evolving to keep up with people’s interests. I think that’s where I fit into the picture is working with the different communities to keep them in line with the direction of the board.”

Nicholls said she doesn’t have any changes planned just yet. She has been on the job for a month, but said she’d like to take some time to listen to the members and the committees and find out what their needs are.

“I’m here to serve them and hear what their interests are,” Nicholls said. “This is here as a service for the members. I can only do my job as well as I know what their interests and needs are. That has to be done through communication. It doesn’t do any good to talk about things amongst themselves. They need to let me know and the committees know so we can take action… I’m not alone in this position. There are great people on the committees and on the board and they are wonderful resources to be able to use.”

As activities director, Nicholls said she fell in love with the people at the ARC. When a new position came up within the organization she was excited to apply.

“This is the first job I’ve had in my progression of careers where if you tell someone something is going on, they remember and they ask you about it later,” she said. “They are genuinely concerned about you and not just the job you are doing, but you as a person. What attracted me to this position is just wanting to make it better for them.”

Deb Powers, who has been working for the ARC for a year doing administrative work, is taking over as activities director.

The Ahwatukee Recreation Center is part of a homeowners association for a 55-plus community. It is operated under the direction of a board of directors. For more information on the ARC, visit

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or

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