Prescottonian Gina Benner Carves Out an Exciting Balance for Living Her Best Life

By Tara Fort

Gina Benner remembers when she decided to change her life. “I woke up one morning and knew I wanted to do the second half of my life differently. I had experienced a significant change in my mindset and approach to life, and that was the beginning of this crazy journey to focus my career decisions on things that meant more.”

Today, Gina’s evolution has given her many gifts through her various roles, each showcasing the anchors that keep her rooted in this next chapter.

A former educator who once taught alongside her dad at Prescott High School, Gina credits a fellow teacher for launching her career in real estate by paying for her schooling and licensure.

“Being an agent in Prescott, I love showing newcomers all the hidden, extraordinary neighborhoods that only a seasoned resident might know about.”

Gina especially loves working with “dog people” who keep their pets at the top of their minds when looking for a new home. “Finding their perfect new backyard is so much fun.”

Gina loves her neighborhood and yard so much that she has become a host for SniffSpot, an app that promotes local puppy play areas rentable by the hour. Visitors and pups can enjoy all the private goodness of a dog park without the distractions of other dogs. Her yard can be booked for up to two hours, with added amenities like an outdoor fire pit. Dog treats, fresh water, and lots of seating are included.

For Prescott’s human visitors, Gina serves another community need. In 2023, she founded Elevate Your Stay. “The idea came out of my own experience with vacation rentals. We found carting everything we needed for meals or special occasions was a hassle. I would spend an entire day hauling, unpacking, and shopping for decorations and food before the real fun of our vacation could even begin. Elevate Your Stay takes care of all this for you. I work with vacation rental owners and managers to have the house completely stocked with whatever grocery items the guest wants and any décor so that everything is ready before guests’ arrival. It’s a win-win for all.”

Adding to her already full cup, Gina is most passionate about an opportunity that started when she met Barb Mumaugh, founder of Barb’s Dog Rescue. “My life changed when I met Barb. I instantly became involved with her organization, serving as a cheerleader for her cause, becoming a frequent volunteer, and finally a board member.”

When Barb became ill, she began to plan the future of her organization, whose mission is saving the street dogs of Puerto Peñasco.

Gina’s role was a part of that vision for Barb, who passed away in June 2023. “I’m humbled and overjoyed to be serving as CEO and Fundraiser for Barb’s Dog Rescue. It is by far the most meaningful work I have ever done. We perform miracles. We fully vet each dog, treat illness and injuries, spay/neuter and vaccinate them, then work diligently to find them forever homes in the U.S.”

Despite having her hands complete with all her roles, Gina is grateful her family moved here from Minnesota many years ago. “I’m busy, and that’s okay! It does not feel like work because I love everything I do. It is all so exciting! I wake up every morning feeling like the luckiest girl in the world. My work keeps me balanced, and I can’t imagine life without all the exciting endeavors.”

For more info about Gina and her businesses and charities, visit,, and