Community leaders James A. and Carol May, as well as Roc Arnett, have each recently been recognized for their many contributions of service and excellence in their respective fields.
Brother and Sister May of the Mesa Mountain View Stake’s Thayer Park Ward have been recognized for more than 30 years of hard work in bringing stevia, an alternative natural sweetener, to market. James A. May was one of the first people to introduce stevia to the United States. On March 11, 2016, he and his wife Carol were inducted into the Hall of Legends at the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, California.
What began as a small Arizona-based business in their home garage has grown into an international company. Brother May is the founder and CEO of Wisdom Natural Brands®, the parent company of SweetLeaf®, a manufacturer of stevia products, and Sister May is the company president. Together they have raised five children while building Wisdom Natural Brands®. The company was honored with the President’s “E” Award, the highest recognition any U.S. entity can receive for making significant contributions to the growth of U.S. exports.
SweetLeaf® Stevia Sweetener products have won more than 21 awards for taste and innovation. Brother May, known as the “Father of Stevia,” has been recognized by the American Stevia Foundation and the President of Paraguay for his work in that country. Sister May was awarded the Lifetime Achievement in Business and named Female Executive of the Year and one of Arizona’s Most Influential Women in Business.
Brother Roc Arnett and his wife Sydney are members of the Mesa 30th Ward, Mesa East Stake. A native of Mesa, Brother Arnett was called by Elder Wilford Anderson to be the Metro Phoenix Public Affairs Counsel Director about 12 years ago. This opportunity allows him to build bridges with members of other faiths.
At the 5th Annual East Valley Mayors’ Prayer Breakfast held at Chandler-Gilbert Community College on March 16, 2016, Roc Arnett was awarded the Leaders of Faith Lifetime Achievement Award.
Brother Arnett has arranged lunches for Catholic bishops and leading staff of the diocese with visiting members of the local Area Seventy. He also hosted a reception prior to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir performing in Phoenix for 500 people, many of whom were not Latter-day Saints.
“Arranging and participating in the special guest events of the Gilbert and Phoenix Temple Open Houses was one of the highlights of my church service,” says Brother Arnett. He invited Arizona Governor Jan Brewer to luncheons at both temple open houses. Having already been a guest at the Gila Valley Temple Open House, she called being at the Phoenix Temple her “trifecta of temple visits.”