Stephen DeVol's love for the Sedona area began the moment he stepped off the plane at the small Sedona airport in 1987, leaving behind in California a successful career in Thoroughbred horse racing photography. From 1987 to 1999, DeVol owned and operated One Hour Photo Express at the "Y", the first on-site photo lab in Sedona. He expanded the lab to offer digital imaging services and improved sales by 200% in two years, in part due to his "hands on, whatever it takes" management style and his innovative reconfiguration of the processing work flow.
Involvement in the local community has been one key to his business career. Over the years, DeVol has overseen many media projects in Sedona's political arena. Also taking a roll behind the scenes for the Voice of Choice for State Route 179, a non profit group, DeVol oversaw the radio promotions for the group's various projects. He also produced two videos which were pivital in presenting the group's view point to the citizens and members of the state government. DeVol also holds the title of secretary for Keep Sedona Beautiful. For DeVol, community service is fundamental to living in Sedona. Producing video and photography in the public arena has allowed him the opportunity to not only provide a product that has community benefits but has opened doors to government that might not have otherwise been opened. Exposure to the inner workings of government has shown DeVol the value of team work and partnerships with the public and the government.
DeVol's community service has spanned his entire tenure in Sedona. Working behind the scenes he provided his time, energy and photo lab resources to the Historical Society of Sedona, Jazz on the Rocks, and Western Americana Week. Other activities included membership in the Uptown Merchants Association, support for the Sedona movement to incorporate, and various committees on Keep Sedona Beautiful. His passion and commitment to Sedona have been one of DeVol's trademarks. His most recent project was producing the 2006 Keep Sedona Beautiful Awards presentation (see the video link above to review 2005 award winner's and www.KeepSedonaBeautiful.org). In 2002 he also produced a video on water in the Verde Valley, which was presented to the Arizona State Legislature demonstrating the connectivity between the Verde River and the City of Phoenix.
In 1999, DeVol launched Sedona Arizona's first commercial independent television station via the Sedona Channel , which NPG Cable provided distribution on channel 57. The following year, the station was upgraded as a regional cablecaster, and relaunched as The Arizona Channel moving to the channel 18 dial position. The new station became the only local television outlet serving the Verde Valley, and Northern Arizona, for the exception of Gannett Owned NBC affiliate KNAZ-TV 2 in Flagstaff. The Arizona Channel provided local community news, political talk shows, sports, as well as classic syndicated programming such as The Lucy Show , and Bonanza . In 2001, the station became an affiliate of the national AIN Television Network , and generated income via Ad Tech 's new automated TV insertion system.
Serving the station as Owner, and General Manager, DeVol saw advertising revenue in the red rocks becoming more divided. After increased competition in the marketplace, and several new media entities launching in the area, DeVol decided to move on and explore new projects. The Arizona Channel's popular online portal continued, as Channel 18 changed ownership, and changed format to a tourist outlet currently known as the Sedona Now Network .
DeVol's new direction kept him in the media spotlight, as an independent television producer, creating content from Sedona. Projects included production for the Discovery Health Channel , and the LMNO Cable Group . Former cross town competitor KNAZ-TV also hired DeVol to supply local news gathering from the Sedona area. DeVol also co-produced the syndicated music video series Crank It Up! , with current associate Guy Giuliano.
In 2003, DeVol took his management skills, and local knowledge into the real estate field, and joined Thunder Mountain Properties. Still a licensed real estate agent in Sedona, DeVol now focuses his real estate interests into photography where he provides architectural photography, virtual tour photography, and produces rteal estate videos.
In the fall of 2005 DeVol signed up for the Zaki Gordon Institute of Independent Film Making and his film "Opera Diva" won best documentary in the student film festival. "Opera Diva" premiered in the independent film festival circuit at the Sedona International Film Festival in February 2007. In March 2007 DeVol received another award from the Zaki Gordon Institute for Best Camera for his camera work in "Daddy's Girl".
DeVol continues to hone his video skills in documentary filmmaking and photography in and around the Greater Sedona area.