Martha Neese

Retiring and learning to play golf didn’t really happen for the 2012 Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce Business Woman of the Year, Martha Neese.

Instead, Neese spends her time marketing her meat shop, networking with other business professionals, and working as an attorney at the Beauchamp Law Office in Ahwatukee Foothills.

Neese, a former nurse and then attorney, had visited her in-laws in Ahwatukee for years before she and her husband decided to retire here and become snow birds between Arizona and Minnesota. While they were living in Arizona during the winter they began to miss their old meat market back home.

“We were literally taking our meat in our suitcases and bringing it down here when we came for a couple weeks to live here in Ahwatukee while we were vacationing,” Neese said. “We went to the grocery store here and were almost becoming vegetarian, so we brought our meat in our suitcases.”

Neese and her husband decided to ask Von Hanson to partner with them and they opened Von Hanson’s Meats and Spirits in Chandler in 2004. Neese got involved with the marketing of the store and began networking with different groups across Ahwatukee Foothills and Chandler.

All of her networking led her to volunteer work. Neese has been a volunteer for the Festival of Lights and has been on the board of the Ahwatukee Children’s Theatre and the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce. Von Hanson’s also makes appearances at many local festivals like Taste of Kyrene, Taste of Ahwatukee and Taste of Chandler.

“It’s fun to get to know people and help people and charitable organizations,” Neese said. “I really believe in helping community. I believe when the recession hit you really saw how powerful local citizens connecting could be. It’s all about helping the dollar stay in our local economy. It’s why we have nice schools and parks, and all that we have in Ahwatukee and the East Valley.”

Neese said she’s proud of the good quality of the meats at Von Hanson’s. The shop has 80 kinds of sausage and brats, which are their own recipes.

This was Neese’s third year being nominated for the Palo Verde Award. Last year, she met Melanie Beauchamp of Beauchamp Law Office, a co-nominee for the award. After getting to know Beauchamp, Neese decided to come out of retirement and go back to practicing law at Beauchamp Law Office. She now helps with personal injury litigation.

Neese was awarded the Women in Business Palo Verde Award during a gala on Saturday, Nov. 3. For more information on Von Hanson’s Meats and Spirits, visit the shop at 2390 N. Alma School Road, call (480) 917-2525, or visit

Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or

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