City of Mesa
City of El Mirage
Regional Economic Development Program Manager
Regional Economic Development Analyst III
Regional Economic Development Planner II
Management Analyst I
Regional Economic Development Intern
The role of the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) Economic Development Committee (EDC) is to develop opportunity-specific and action-oriented initiatives that fosters and advances infrastructure in the MAG region, especially transportation infrastructure that would further economic development opportunities. The EDC consists of 36 members, which is comprised of 20 MAG member agency elected officials and one representative from the Arizona Department of Transportation appointed by the MAG Regional Council. The committee also includes 15 business representatives.
David Luna, Chair
Councilmember, City of Mesa
Alexis Hermosillo, Vice Chair
Mayor, City of El Mirage
NZ Legacy, LLC
Daniel J. Spitza, P.E.
Vice President, Achen-Gardner Construction, LLC
Councilmember, City of Apache Junction
Vice President of University Engagement, Arizona Christian University
Senior Vice President, Infrastructure, Arizona Commerce Authority
Associate Vice President for University Affairs, Arizona State University
President and CEO, Arizona Trucking Association
Councilmember, City of Avondale
Gregory J. Donovan
Superintendent, Career Technical Education District
Vice Mayor, Town of Carefree
Councilmember, City of Chandler
East Valley Partnership
President, El Dorado Holdings, Inc.
Stephen Roe Lewis
Governor, Gila River Indian Community
Councilmember, Town of Gilbert
Vice Mayor, City of Glendale
Councilmember, City of Goodyear
Board Member, Great Phoenix Economic Council
President and CEO, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce
President and CEO, Greater Phoenix Leadership, Inc.
Supervisor, Maricopa County Board of Supervisors
Chief of Workforce and Economic Development Officer, Maricopa County Community College District
Director, Office of International Affairs, Arizona Department of Transportation
Councilmember, City of Peoria
Vice Mayor, City of Phoenix
Vice Mayor, City of Maricopa, PInal County
Mayor, Town of Queen Creek
Councilmember, City of Scottsdale
Vice Mayor, City of Tempe
Mayor, City of Tolleson
President and CEO, Westmarc
Mayor, Town of Youngtown
Appointed to fill the vacant District 5 seat in September of 2013, David Luna became the first Hispanic elected to the Mesa City Council when voters elected him in August of 2014. His term on the Mesa City Council runs until January of 2019.
Luna works as a Community Outreach Specialist for Mesa Public Schools. He is also an adjunct professor at both Arizona State University and Mesa Community College. He spent 27 years as the Director of Education Television for Mesa Public Schools, directing and managing channel 99 and edtv99.org.
Luna has also been recognized for his community involvement with numerous awards, including the Mesa United Way Volunteer of the Year Award in 2006, the City of Mesa National Emergency Preparedness Recognition in 2007, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Silver Circle Society, the NAACP East Valley Chapter Humanitarian Award in 2008, Arizona Hispanic School Administration's Outstanding Administrator Award in 2008, the Valle del Sol Hall of Fame Award in 2011 and the Mesa United Way Spirit of Mesa Award in 2012. He was also named the City of Mesa's Citizen of the Year in 2012.
Luna began his career in broadcasting in Tucson, working as a camera operator and floor director for KVOA Channel 4 and with the Tucson Unified School District as a video/media specialist before joining Mesa Public Schools. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Radio/Television from the University of Arizona in 1979, a Master of Mass Communication from Arizona State University in 1999 and his Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University in 2012. He is also a 2002 graduate of the Mesa Leadership Training and Development program.
David is married to Hilda Luna, Director of Nursing Services at University of Arizona Cancer Center at Dignity Health. They have two adult daughters, Melina Smith and Marissa Luna, and two grandchildren, Sophia and Henry Smith.
Alexis Hermosillo is a proud fourth-generation resident of the City of El Mirage. Alexis currently works for a public transportation company in the Maricopa county area, and previously worked for the U.S. House of Representatives as a district representative for Congressman Raúl Grijalva.
Alexis is a firm believer that knowledge is power. She holds an M.A. in journalism and a B.A. in interdisciplinary arts, and is currently pursuing her doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership. In her spare time she puts her knowledge and skills to work supporting opportunity youth in El Mirage.
Alexis is committed to the empowerment of women. She serves on the Board of the YWCA of Metropolitan Phoenix, and has worked with the Hispanic Women’s Corporation, supporting their national youth initiatives. Alexis believes that investing in today’s youth is an investment in our future, and has dedicated herself to engaging and motivating Latino youth through leadership development programs, including with the National Council of La Raza (UnidosUS).
Senator Bob Worsley has been a State Senator from Mesa since 2012 until Jan 2019. He and his wife Christi and 6 children (28 grandchildren and one great granddaughter) have lived in Arizona for almost 40 years.
He came to the senate bringing with him an array of entrepreneurial skills having been named 1999 Arizona Entrepreneur of the Year. He began his career as a CPA with Price Waterhouse, went on to found SkyMall in 1989, and sold it to Rupert Murdoch 13 years later. He then founded NZ Legacy, which has been active in real estate, energy and mineral developments since 2002.
He built an $80 Million 27-MW biomass energy plant, fueled by the remains of the Rodeo-Chediski fire which burned over 450,000 acres of Arizona forest land in 2002; Novo Power is currently fueled by 15,000 acres per year of forest-thinning and is staffed with over 100 employees and contractors.
In the Senate, he was involved with energy and technology issues, citizen engagement, data collection and the required infrastructure for our future autonomous vehicles. Along with County Attorney Bill Montgomery and other civic leaders, he has actively been seeking a long-term, compassionate solution to immigration challenges in Arizona.
He chaired the Transportation and Technology Committee, and served on the Commerce and Public Safety, Finance and Judiciary committees but announced in June 2018 his retirement from politics “until his party wakes up from its nap that started in 2016.”.
He also served on Boards of Mesa United Way, Mesa Urban Renewal Lab, United Families, Institute of American Values in NYC, Arizona Aerospace Association, Scoutmaster for troop of 36 scouts, LDS Mission to Uruguay and Paraguay, Hispanic congregation leader for almost a decade and numerous other civic, Church and philanthropic endeavors.
His wife Christi founded Consolari in 2012 to add to the Mesa Arts Center to create a World Center for Song that would include a 2,000 seat acoustic hall to rival Carnegie Hall in NYC. The building would transform from unamplified music to a Broadway venue of 2,500 seats that would eventually replace the 50+ year old Gamage facility on ASU Campus. We firmly believe that Music can heal and create social cohesion helping to counteract our current polarized political environment.
Senator Worsley was named by Capitol Times as “2018 Legislator of the Year”.
Mr. Spitza is Vice President at Achen-Gardner Construction, LLC and focuses his efforts on managing the firm’s design phase services and industry relationships. He started his career in Arizona in 1985, and throughout the years he has amassed a diverse infrastructure construction resume including the management of regionally significant projects for the Arizona Department of Transportation, Maricopa County Department of Transportation, and almost every public agency in Maricopa County (and several in Pima and Pinal Counties). He joined Achen-Gardner Construction as an Estimator and Project Manager in April 1998 and has experience in a variety of positions including project engineer, project superintendent, and design services manager. His almost 30 years of experience in the Southwest construction industry, knowledge as a registered professional civil engineer, and grass roots background have enabled him to effectively evaluate construction methods and management systems at Achen-Gardner. His efforts have allowed the firm to consistently achieve new levels of excellence and be rewarded with steady increases in Achen-Gardner’s competitiveness, annual volume, and market share.
Dan is a registered Arizona professional engineer (AZ Civil No. 24434). He is currently serving on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors for the Arizona Chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America (AZAGC) and is also an active member of the Alliance for Construction Excellence (ACE), Arizona Chapter American Public Works Association (AzAPWA), American Council of Engineering Companies of Arizona (ACEC AZ), AZ Water Association (AWA), Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA), and the Arizona Transportation Builders Association (ATB, previously TUCA). His expertise and ability to establish important professional relationships has been instrumental in Achen-Gardner’s recognition as one of the most respected heavy civil and public works construction companies in the state of Arizona.
Achen-Gardner Construction, LLC is a heavy civil general contractor specializing in wet utility, roadway, and heavy civil construction. The firm has extensive experience in delivering complex infrastructure projects for both private and public sector clients throughout the Southwest and is committed to providing superior construction and construction management services. Whether it is Design-Bid-Build, Construction Manager at Risk, Design-Build or Job Order Contracting, the Achen-Gardner team is dedicated to service and quality. The firm stands out among its peers and is committed to creating win-win relationships with its clients while providing the highest quality products and innovative services available.
Mr. Spitza is a second generation civil engineer born and raised in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area and holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Wisconsin (Madison, WI). Dan is married to Monica and has two boys, Jack and Max. Dan and his family have resided in the City of Phoenix since moving here in 1985.
Robin Barker was re-elected to Apache Junction’s City Council in 2016, and has served as a Councilmember since 2007. She was elected as Vice Mayor in 2013 as well as serving as Vice Mayor from 1993 to 1995. She also sat on the council from 1989-1997.
Ms. Barker earned her Master's Degree, from Northern Arizona University, her Bachelor's Degree from Arizona State University, and her Associate's Degree from Central Arizona College. Ms. Barker is the publisher of the Apache Junction and Gold Canyon News and is a retired English teacher for Mesa Public Schools and Central Arizona College.
Associations that Ms. Barker has served on include MAG Regional Council, MAG Domestic Violence Council, Pinal County Alliance, Pinal Partnership, Pinal County Domestic Violence Coalition, Apache Junction Focal Point Enhancement Project, and Apache Junction Centennial Project. She is also a Soroptimist member and served on the City Planning and Zoning Commission from 2003-2007. She assisted in establishing both the City Health and Human Services Commission, and the City Citizen Leadership Institute.
Ms. Barker has four children, nine grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
James Griffiths is the Vice President of University Engagement at Arizona Christian University. Prior to joining ACU, James was a Development Officer for FamilyLife (a CRU ministry) for 8 years, where he worked with high net-worth financial partners to the organization in the areas of personal stewardship, corporate philanthropy, and planned giving.
A dual graduate of the University of San Diego (B.S. in Political Science magna cum laude in 1999, Juris Doctorate 2003) James spent the first nine years of his career as an attorney, specializing in the areas of constitutional law, religious freedom, and business litigation. He remains licensed to practice law in his home state of California.
Marisa Walker began her professional career at the University of Arizona, where for more than a decade she held positions that advised the University’s Associate Vice President for Economic Development on Arizona-Mexico and NAFTA issues; analyzed border economic development opportunities and competitive advantages; and organized forums and symposiums on trilateral collaborations among academic institutions in Canada and Mexico in the areas of university research parks, agricultural biosciences and optical sciences-photonics. She has authored several reports on subjects including cross-border economic integration and development; targeted industry assessments of Arizona’s Bioscience and Software Industries; and women entrepreneurship and business ownership in the state.
Ms. Walker also served as the Executive Director for the Arizona Governor’s CANAMEX Task Force where she was responsible for managing projects and priorities regarding transportation and telecommunication infrastructure; technology and process enhancements for cross border shipments; and international trade policy.
Currently, Ms. Walker leverages the relationship between economic development strategies and infrastructure assets/investments. Key areas include the CANAMEX Corridor, the recently designated I-11, multimodal logistic centers, and Arizona’s international gateways – notably along the Arizona/Mexico border.
Angela Creedon is the Associate Vice President for University Affairs at Arizona State University and is responsible for community relations, local government relations and presidential and provost special events. Before joining ASU, she was the East Valley Community Development manager for APS, the State of Arizona’s largest private electric utility.
Angela has spent many years working in community and government relations and was awarded the 2002 Athena award by the Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce, 2008 Tempe Business Woman of the Year and received the 2010 Segner award from the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce. Angela has a bachelor of business administration from the University of Phoenix, certification in Economic Development from the University of Oklahoma and an advanced certificate in Corporate Community Relations from Boston College.
Tony Bradley is the President and Chief Executive Officer for the Arizona Trucking Association and the Executive Director for the Arizona Transportation Education Foundation. Bradley has more than 17 years of experience in public policy, government relations, and public affairs. He is a double Sun Devil, with a Juris Doctorate and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Arizona State University.
Daniel “Mike” Pineda was elected in 2016 to serve on the Avondale City Council in the capacity of Council Member; his 4-year term began in January of 2017.
Council member Pineda has been involved in his community for many years. He previously served on the Littleton Elementary School District’s Governing Board in the capacity of member, Vice President and President during his tenure. Mike has also served as a coach for youth sports in both football and baseball. Currently, Council member Pineda serves on the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) Economic Development Committee and the Human Services Coordinating Committee. He is also part of the Avondale Council Subcommittee for Boards & Commissions and serves on the Estrella Mountain Community College Business Advisory Board.
Employed as a Small Business Analyst at Estrella Mountain Community College through a partnership with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Mike works with individuals looking to develop and grow their business. He holds certifications in Profit Mastery, GrowthWheel and as an SBDC Counselor. Prior to joining the SBDC, Mike was an instructor at Rio Salado Community College as part of their Small Business Start Up program. He has been with the Maricopa Community College District since 2013. From 2008 – 2012, Mike and his wife owned a real estate company in the west valley. He also proud to have taught 8th grade Social Studies and Science at the former Under Down Junior High School in the Littleton Elementary School District. Council member Pineda has a Bachelors in Business Administration and a Masters in Secondary Education from Grand Canyon University.
Mike is lifelong West Valley resident and has lived in Avondale since 2001. He attended Avondale elementary schools growing up and is a proud graduate of Agua Fria High School. He and his wife, Olivia, are the proud parents of four children. Mike enjoys watching sports with his family and golfing at various west valley golf courses.
Gregory J. Donovan serves as the Superintendent of Western Maricopa Education Center (West-MEC) public school district #402, the Joint Technological Education District (JTED) currently serving twelve school districts primarily in Western Maricopa County. Donovan has served as Superintendent for thirteen years, the entire history of the JTED. Ten years prior to that position, he was with Northern Arizona University’s Institute for Future Workforce Development developing and implementing statewide Career and Technical Education (CTE) curriculum and facilitating teacher development. He also worked at the Arizona Department of Education in the CTE division and was a teacher and program director in local school districts. Overall, Donovan has thirty-four years of educational experience, including eight years of service on the Peoria Unified School District Governing Board.
John Crane is a 29-year resident of Carefree and has enjoyed actively serving the community in various roles. He was appointed to the Carefree Town Council in 2012 and elected to the Town Council in 2013. John currently serves as Vice Mayor. Previously, John served on the Carefree Subdivision Committee and as the Vice Chairman of the Carefree Planning and Zoning Commission. John is serving his 11th year as president and board member of the Carefree Foothills Homeowners’ Association, is a Desert Foothills Land Trust board member and is an Arizona Site Steward monitoring Indian archeological sites in the Cave Creek / Carefree area.
John earned a BS degree in Mathematics from Villanova University in 1978 and a MS degree in Systems Management from the University of Southern California in 1985. After serving seven years as a nuclear submarine officer, he entered the electronics field. For the past 24 years, as a business owner, he has served as a sales representative for Asian, European, and US semiconductor material and equipment suppliers to customers in North America.
John believes local government, as the level of government closest to the people, must be transparent and responsive and must work. While successful economic development is key to the Town’s future, a balance must be struck between citizen and commercial interests and fiscal restraint.
Vice Mayor Terry Roe became a resident of the Southeast Valley in 1965 and moved his family to Chandler in 1988. He began his first term on the City Council in January 2015.
In the late 1970s, Terry was the managing photographer of the Williams Air Force Base photography lab and eventually took a position with Grand Canyon Color Labs as a lab supervisor and a wholesale accounts manager. Over the past 20-years, he has stayed active in wedding photography and commercial video production through a small business he owned and operated at the time.
In 1987, Terry completed the Phoenix Regional Police Academy and began a 20-year career with the Mesa Police Department. While serving as a police sergeant Terry worked in the DARE unit, Robbery Detail, The Center Against Family Violence and the Auto Theft and Burglary Unit.
Terry has an extended history of volunteer and leadership service in the community. In 1999, Terry was appointed by Governor Jane Hull to the Arizona Parent’s Commission on Drug Education and Prevention, serving two terms. He also was a Scout Leader and a two-term board member on the Mesa Police Benevolent Fund.
Today, Terry is a Chandler Kiwanis Club member and serves on the Salvation Army Chandler Corps Advisory Board. He also is an Advisory Board Member for the Chandler Coalition for Youth Substance Abuse and serves on the Downtown Chandler Community Partnership and Maricopa Association of Governments Domestic Violence Council. In the fall of 2016 he joined the board of the Phoenix Silent Witness Program.
Terry attended Mesa Community College and studied business administration and management at the University of Phoenix. In 1981, he married Cheryl, his Gilbert High School sweetheart. Today they have two children, Paul and Katie, and three wonderful grandchildren.
Paul D. Cardon is a real estate investor with various business interests. Currently, he manages a real estate investment fund that primarily provides loans to real estate investors. The fund has originated over $588 million in over 3,300 loans. While the fund lends in four states, a majority of the loans are collateralized by real property located in Maricopa County. In 2019, he co-created a title and escrow company—Covenant Title Agency.
Mr. Cardon previously practiced real estate law for the law firm of Tiffany & Bosco, P.A. in the Phoenix office. He is a licensed Mortgage Loan Originator in Arizona.
His education includes a Juris Doctorate from Arizona State University and B.S. of Finance from Brigham Young University.
Jim Kenny is the president of El Dorado Holdings, Inc, a land investment and development company of properties mainly in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area. He manages over $300m of active real estate investments including residential, office, retail, and industrial, and income producing properties such as multi-family and single family detached housing. Under his direction, El Dorado 's team works with equity investors, municipal, county, federal and state government representatives, and other groups to acquire, zone, plan, engineer, and develop properties for end users. Prior to joining El Dorado , Jim served as a division president for Richmond American Homes, and also practiced law with a focus on real estate transactions, insurance coverage and defense litigation, and general business activities.
Jim has been actively involved in GPEC for several years, and currently serves on its board of directors and chairs GPEC's Community Building Consortium. Through El Dorado Holdings, Jim is a member of Valley Partnership, Pinal Partnership, Urban Land Institute, and other professional and charitable organizations. A graduate of Holy Cross College, Jim is the president of the Holy Cross Club of Arizona, and a past board member of the Holy Cross General Alumni Association. In his free time, Jim also coaches youth tennis.
Stephen Roe Lewis was raised in Sacaton, “Gu-u-Ki”, on the Gila River Indian Community. His parents are Rodney and Willardene Lewis. His paternal grandparents are the late Rev. Roe Blaine and Sally Lewis. His maternal grandparents are the late Willard and Catherine Pratt. Mr. Lewis has an eighteen year old son, Daniel.
Stephen Roe Lewis graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelors Science and pursued graduate studies at John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Governor Lewis has served the Community as a Gaming Commissioner for the Gila River Gaming Commission, as a member of the Board of Directors for the Gila River Telecommunications, Inc., and as a member of the Board of Directors for the Gila River Healthcare Corporation.
Governor Lewis was the first Native film curator for the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah and was an Associate Producer for the groundbreaking and critically acclaimed TBS six-part feature documentary, "The Native Americans."
Governor Lewis has worked on numerous political campaigns and organizing projects throughout Indian Country including Native voter organizing and Native voter protection in 2002 and selected as an Arizona delegate and Co-Chairing the Native American Caucus for the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Currently Governor Lewis proudly serves on the Board of Directors for the Native American Rights Fund (NARF), the Executive Board for the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) and the Board of Trustees for the Heard Museum of Phoenix.
Governor Lewis currently oversees the implementation of the Community’s Water Settlement of 2004 (the largest water settlement of its kind in United States history). Governor Lewis advocates for renewable and green technologies guided by O'otham agricultural history and cultural teachings. Governor Lewis’s vision is to support a new generation of Community member agriculturalists with the goal of promoting and protecting the Community's shudag (water) and agricultural development for future generations.
Governor Lewis has made it a priority of his administration in two critical areas: To expand services for Community Veterans by proposing the Community’s first Veteran's and Family Services Department and by committing more resources to protect the Community's children by advocating for the protection of the Indian Child Welfare Act both at home and nationally.
Governor Lewis previously served the Community as Lieutenant Governor before being elected Governor in 2014.
Scott September was appointed to the Town of Gilbert’s council in April of 2020. Born and raised in the Midwest, he has lived in Arizona since 1981, calling Gilbert his home since 2004. Scott has worked in the telecommunications industry for over 25 years and is currently a Regional Manager with Crown Castle International. Before being appointed to Council, Scott served on the Planning Commission. Currently, Scott is the Planning Commission liaison and also serves on the MAG Economic Development Committee, The League of Cities and Town’s Budget Finance and Economic Development Policy Committee and the East Valley Partnership. Scott believes it is important to preserve the appearance and feel of our community, parks and city services while fostering a positive, thoughtful approach to future development of the economic drivers that support these resources with an eye on technology.
Scott and his wife have two teenage sons and he enjoys watersports, camping and other outdoor activities with his family.
Vice Mayor Ray L. Malnar has been a resident of Glendale for 26 years. He has owned and operated a local business for the past twenty-one years, following a career in accounting and financial management at United Parcel Service. Malnar holds a Masters’ Degree in Business Administration as well as Bachelor’s Degrees in both speech communication and finance from the University of Utah. He has served the community in various volunteer roles including, as a board member of Choice Academies, a hearing officer and mediator for the Maricopa Justice Courts, as a Scout Master and other positions within the Boy Scouts of America and as a volunteer in his church and political party. He also served 8 years as a board member for the West-Mec School District.
Councilmember Brannon Hampton was elected to his first term in 2017. He was an active member of the 2025 Goodyear General Plan committee and graduated from the Goodyear Citizens Academy in 2016. His service in these two capacities inspired his priorities as a Councilmember, to include: managing the city’s growth effectively and efficiently, increasing economic development, and maintaining a conservative balanced budget without compromising our quality of life.
Brannon is a financial planner with Edward Jones and works with clients to achieve their financial goals, plan for retirement and live in retirement. Prior to joining Edward Jones, he was employed at the Palo Verde Generating Station for over 17 years in various roles focusing on performance improvement, quality assurance and project management. Brannon has served as a Board Member for the Arizona Small Business Association and volunteers his time at several non-profits organizations.
Continuing his education, Brannon received his Masters’ Degree in Business Administration (MBA) with an emphasis in leadership from Grand Canyon University. Before achieving his MBA, he received his Bachelors of Science in Business Administration, Associates of Mechanical Maintenance Engineering, a Masters Certification in Business Improvement, and the Project Management Professional Certification (PMP).
Currently, he represents Goodyear on the Maricopa County Community Development Advisory Committee, the City Council Audit Subcommittee, and the National League of Cities’ Community and Economic Development Federal Advocacy Committee.
Brannon and wife, Rebecca, have lived in Goodyear for over 10 years with their three children.
Mr. Betts is the recently retired President and CEO of SunCor Development Company, a subsidiary of the Pinnacle West Capital Corporation, and developer of master planned communities throughout the Mountainwest and large-scale office, industrial, retail and mixed use urban projects in metropolitan Phoenix.
During his five-year tenure leading SunCor, the company experienced unprecedented growth, and Mr. Betts was named Developer of the Year by the Arizona Chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Park Developers as well as a Most Admired CEO by the Phoenix Business Journal, and his company was awarded Developer of the Year by Southwest Contractor Magazine.
Prior to taking the helm of SunCor, Mr. Betts was a prominent land use and governmental affairs attorney for almost two decades, heading the practice groups of first Streich, Lang P.A., and later Gallagher and Kennedy. He was the architect and/or champion for landmark Arizona land use legislation such as the Growing Smarter Acts and the Arizona Preserve Initiative, and key economic development legislation such as the Tourism and Sports Authority Act, the Community Facilities District Act and the Military Airport Authority Act. For his work he was recognized with a Governor's Proclamation, and with two Planning Recognition Awards from the Arizona Planning Association.
Mr. Betts is currently the Chairman of the Urban Land Institute-Arizona District Council, Chairman of the Teach for America Phoenix Board and a member of the TFA National Council, on the Executive Committee of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, Vice-Chair of the Arizona Town Hall, Chairman of the Interstate 11 Coalition, and Senior Advisor and Deputy Campaign Manager for Senator McCain's campaign committee. He has served as the Chairman of Valley Partnership, as a member of Greater Phoenix Leadership, as Honorary Base Commander of Luke Air Force Base and a member of the Growing Smarter Commission.
He received his law degree with honors from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois, and a B.A. with honors from Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois.
Todd Sanders became the president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce in May 2009 after more than three years as the GPCC's Vice President of Public Affairs and Economic Development. In that role Sanders worked on behalf of the business community on important issues such as immigration reform, tax policy and health care. He oversees a staff of 30 and works with the Board of Directors to develop and implement long-range goals and strategy for the state's oldest and largest business organization.
Throughout his career, Sanders has worked to improve his community and has championed the interests of business. During seven sessions as a policy analyst in the Arizona House of Representatives, Sanders developed considerable political experience though his work in the areas of energy law, municipal policy and trust land reform. His previous experience includes serving as campaign chairman for the Coconino County Attorney and contract work for British Petroleum.
A native of Bogota, Colombia, Sanders came to the United States as a boy and went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from Northern Arizona University. The bilingual Sanders also serves on the Board of Directors for the Arizona Mexico Commission, which works to promote cooperation with Mexico and Latin America through advocacy, trade, networking and information.
Neil Giuliano serves as President/CEO of Greater Phoenix Leadership (GPL), which for forty years has been the forum for CEO leaders to collaborate with the government, education and philanthropy sectors to create and sustain a safe, healthy and prosperous community.
From 2010-2015, Giuliano was CEO of San Francisco AIDS Foundation (SFAF), one of the largest AIDS service organizations in the world. SFAF provides comprehensive HIV/AIDS and sexual health programs and services in the city where HIV first reached epidemic levels. Prior to his work in San Francisco, Giuliano was bi-coastal (NYC & LA) as president of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and executive producer of GLAAD Media Awards from 2005-2009. At GLAAD, the third largest LGBT advocacy organization in the US, he expanded the organization’s media and anti-defamation work to include religious and faith-based communities, sports and advertising media.
Before becoming a national activist and NGO executive, Giuliano was a city councilmember, 1990-1994, and then the youngest person ever elected mayor of Tempe, Arizona, a post he held from 1994-2004. The creation of Tempe Town Lake, The Tempe Performing Arts Center and the implementation of the regional light rail system were all advanced under his leadership. Tempe was named an All-American City in 2003, considered the “Oscar” for local government achievement. Concurrently to holding public office, Giuliano worked at Arizona State University, including roles as Director of Federal Relations and as Co-Director of the October 13, 2004 Presidential Debate between President George Bush and Senator John Kerry. He created and taught a course in Personal Leadership Development at ASU for twenty years and has been a leadership coach and philanthropy advisor via his firms Vision Achievement and Philanthropy Design, respectively.
Giuliano is the author of “The Campaign Within: A Mayor’s Private Journey to Public Leadership” (Magnus Books 2012) and has received numerous awards and honors for his work in public policy and community activism, including the Barry Goldwater Equality Award from Equality Arizona, Tempe Humanitarian of the Year in 2014, 2017 Most Admired Leader Award from the Phoenix Business Journal and in November 2017 was named the 69th Man of the Year by Valley Leadership. He served as a distinguished lecturer at the William J. Clinton School of Public Service at the Clinton Presidential Library and as an endurance cyclist completed the 545-mile/seven-day San Francisco to Los Angeles bike ride six times.
He currently resides in Tempe, Arizona.
Mr. Jack Sellers is a Supervisor with the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. He is also the Vice Chair of the Arizona State Transportation Board.
He is the retired Facilities Manager for the General Motors Desert Proving Ground in Mesa, Arizona, and he has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from New Mexico State University.
Mr. Sellers currently sits on Maricopa Association of Governments’ Regional Council. His previous Maricopa Association of Governments committees include Regional Council, Economic Development Committee as well as serving as Past Chair of the Transportation Policy Committee.
Mr. Sellers is part of the Ari-Son Megaregion Group, Arizona-Mexico Commission and he is a member of the Transportation Committee.
As part of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, Mr. Sellers served as a member of the International Leadership Council, Past Member of the Board and Executive Committee, as well as a Board Member of the East Valley Partnership.
Other association position that Mr. Sellers has held include Member of Transportation Business Partners; President of Chandler, Arizona Sister Cities; Vice President of Arizona Sister Cities; Member and Past Board Member of Arizona Town Hall; Member of the Chandler Chamber of Commerce; Member of Intel Corporation Community Advisory Panel; Past Chairman of the City of Chandler Transportation Commission; and Past Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Mesa Chamber of Commerce.
In 2004 Mr. Sellers was awarded Business Leader of the Year.
Darcy Renfro the Chief of Workforce and Economic Development Officer of the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD), where she is responsible for strategic alignment as well as advising the Chancellor on government affairs. MCCCD is one of the largest community college systems in the nation serving 200,000 students and nearly 10,000 faculty and staff members across 10 colleges in the metropolitan Phoenix area. In addition, Ms. Renfro is helping to lead the Maricopa Transformation to fundamentally transform the student experience to meet the education and employment needs of the community.
Prior to her current role, Ms. Renfro served as the policy advisor to Governor Janet Napolitano for economic development and higher education, and was founding Director of The Arizona We Want Institute at the Center for the Future of Arizona, where she was responsible for strategic direction and management of its statewide efforts to reconnect citizens with leaders in all sectors who actively support clear and positive steps to move Arizona forward. She previously worked as the founding Director of the Arizona STEM Network at Science Foundation Arizona.
Ms. Renfro is a licensed attorney in Arizona and has practiced at the Phoenix offices of Fennemore Craig, P.C. Prior to law school, she worked on Capitol Hill for U.S. Senators Dennis DeConcini (AZ) and Howard Metzenbaum (OH).
Ms. Renfro is a native of Tucson and received both her undergraduate and Juris Doctor Degrees from the University of Arizona.
Mark is the Director of the Office of International Affairs, and Innovation Group for the Arizona Department of Transportation. His role consists of working closely with his Mexican counterparts to ensure a strong binational relationship, which includes participating in transportation projects that benefit both countries, through safety and the smooth flow of commerce.
As the head of the innovation Group, Mark is tasked with generating new revenue streams by leveraging ADOT transportation assets, without relying on taxpayer funds.
Mark is a graduate of Northern Arizona University, La Universidad de Granada, Spain, and a Flinn-Brown Fellow.
Jon and his wife Brenda have been married since 1991, and they have lived in Peoria since 2001. The Edwards have three children who all attended local district schools.
Mr. Edwards was elected Vice Mayor in 2015 and re-elected in 2017. He was appointed to the National League of Cities Community and Economic Development Committee in 2015. He was appointed by the Mayor the Peoria Not-For-Profit Committee in 2014 and was appointed to the City Council Policy and Appointments Subcommittee in 2013.
Betty Guardado grew up in south central Los Angeles. Her father worked as a butcher until Betty was 11 years old, when he had an accident that left him disabled. At that time, Betty’s mother went to work cleaning houses and Betty took care of the household – cooking, cleaning, and taking care of her two younger brothers.
While working as a room attendant at the Century Plaza Hotel, Betty became involved in her union, UNITE HERE Local 11. After much success as a union organizer for hotel workers in Los Angeles, Betty moved to Arizona in 2007. As the director of union organizing in Phoenix, Betty has conducted campaigns and negotiated contracts for thousands of hotel and food-service workers around Maricopa County. She also helped to lead successful independent voter turnout campaigns to elect several Phoenix City Council members, developing young leaders, and empowering working-class families.
In 2018, Betty decided to run for Phoenix City Council. In May of 2019, she won her election by 25 percentage points, sweeping every precinct in the District. Today, Betty represents Phoenix District 5, one of the most diverse districts in the city. She is working to raise living conditions in those neighborhoods, while helping to bring responsible economic development to all of Phoenix.
She and her husband have lived in the Maryvale neighborhood for twelve years – where they raise their two children.
Councilmember Nancy Smith graduated at the top of her class with a degree in Electronic Technology and was immediately hired by Motorola. While working for Motorola, she advanced her education by receiving a degree in Business Management. She has spent the majority of her career in military technology and project management for major government programs. While at Motorola, she extended her work experience by specializing in finance and budgeting. She increased her experience in project management when she accepted a new position at General Dynamics. The success and talents she acquired at Motorola and General Dynamics are transferable to the duties and responsibilities of the Maricopa City Council.
Councilmember Smith moved to Maricopa prior to the city's incorporation. She has continuously served the community since she moved to the community. She is one of the co-founders and a previous board member of the F.O.R Maricopa food bank. She served as Co-Chair of the American Cancer Society – Maricopa Relay for Life. She has a passion for non-profits and enjoys serving at church, in various school committees and many city-wide events. Councilmember Smith participated and graduated from the first Maricopa Citizen Leadership Academy and she is currently a member of the Maricopa Advocate Program.
She was very proud to be invited to serve as a board member of the Pinal Partnership Board of Directors. The purpose of Pinal Partnership is uniting the vision for Pinal County. As part of this position, Councilmember Smith invests time in ensuring Maricopa’s needs and vision are included in the mission. She focuses attention on Transportation, Infrastructure and Economic Development topics.
Councilmember Smith was asked to serve on the MAG (Maricopa Association of Governments) Economic Development Committee. MAG was founded in the spirit of unity and cooperation. MAG members believe that they can solve common problems, take an active role in long-range regional issues and address concerns that affect all communities. By serving on the Economic Development Committee Councilmember Smith is able to bring new information quickly back to Maricopa as well as participate in decisions and training opportunities.
She is the proud mother of two children and a trusted mentor to a large extended family. Her husband and family spend their free time playing sports and watching their favorite sport teams compete. Although Arizona is not her birth state, she thoroughly loves living in Arizona and feels as though she is a native.
As one of the Councilmembers for the City of Maricopa, Nancy is focused on an agenda that builds a strong and sustainable economy that moves Maricopa from a bedroom community to a place we live, play and work.
Gail Barney was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Town Council in January 2002 and was elected Mayor in June 2010. He served on the Planning and Zoning Commission from 1998 to 2002. As Mayor, Barney represents Queen Creek on the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) Regional Council, on MAG’s Executive Committee and Economic Development Committee, the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Authority Board of Directors, as Chair of the Maricopa/Northern Pinal Gateway Alliance and represents the Town Council on the Queen Creek Public Safety Retirement Board.
Barney earned an associate degree from Mesa Community College and a Bachelor of Arts from Arizona State University. He is an Eagle Scout. A lifelong Queen Creek resident, he operates his family farm in the community.
Councilmember Virginia Korte began her second term on the Scottsdale City Council in January 2017.
She has an extensive background in business and non-profit management as well as community service. In 1981 she joined her family business (Ray Korte Chevrolet) to work with and learn from her father where she served in various roles until becoming general manager and dealer in 1991.
After selling the dealership in 1998, Virginia was hired as a biology professor at Scottsdale Community College and became their first Center for Native & Urban Wildlife (CNUW) Executive Director, serving until 2002.
In 1996, Virginia was named to the Board of Directors of the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce, and in 2002, she was hired as President and CEO. Virginia left the Chamber in 2008 to take on another challenge where she served as President and CEO of Scottsdale Training and Rehabilitation Services (STARS) until 2014. She currently serves as a member of the board for Arizona Town Hall and Business United for Scottsdale Schools (BUSS).
Throughout her time in Scottsdale, Virginia has also served on a wide variety of volunteer boards and committees focused on serving the community.
Randy Keating moved to Tempe in 2003 and, as soon as he arrived, he was impressed. His older brother, a native Tempean, picked him up from Sky Harbor and they took the 202 Freeway to his apartment. When he and his brother passed Sun Devil Stadium (which at the time stood alone), Randy decided Tempe was going to be his new home.
Though Randy was only supposed to be visiting, he quickly began looking for a job and applied to Arizona State University. His brother lived near Mill Avenue in downtown Tempe, which to a young man from a small town, seemed like the center of the universe. He knew that Tempe was clearly a very special city. Randy found a job in a matter of days at a cyber café on Seventh Street and Mill Ave, and was accepted to ASU, where he studied physics and astronomy.
In late 2009, after he saw what he believed were too many injustices in the world, Randy made a decision to follow the guidance of Gandhi and be the change he wanted to see in the world. Once he started, Randy found real satisfaction in helping others, and it quickly became a lifestyle. Randy didn’t know it at the time, but his life was about to take an immense turn.
Randy devoted countless hours as a community volunteer, on top of the time he spent running his own small business. Through this work, he also began meeting community leaders and developing professional relationships that inspired him and would eventually lead to Randy’s candidacy for Tempe City Council. Randy was recognized for this work in the community when he was awarded the City of Tempe’s MLK Diversity Award in January 2016.
Though Randy had been working to better his community for several years now, he still felt Tempe has given him so much, and was compelled to give back in every way he could. Because of Tempe, Randy has friends, family, employment, his own business, and now, a seat on the City Council.
Mayor Anna Tovar was elected to the Tolleson City Council in 2016. Developing regional partnership and collaborating with local and state elected officials to advocate for her constituency is one of her top priorities. A lifelong Arizona resident, Mayor Tovar was a teacher for five years, and served on the Tolleson City Council for seven and a half years and was Vice Mayor for two years until she joined the House of Representatives in 2009. In 2009, she became Senator Tovar and served as the District 19 representative for Avondale, Tolleson and West Phoenix until January of 2015.
As a former Tolleson teacher and mother, she understood the issues demanding immediate attention such as schools, infrastructure needs, affordable healthcare, and building a strong economy and worked rigorously to address those matter at a state level. As Senator Tovar she developed a well-earned reputation as a legislator who fought for the dignity of underserved people. In 2011, she championed the effort to restore funding for nearly 100 patients on the transplant list after funding for the program was lost saving many lives.
During her time at the state she was member of the Senate Judiciary, Senate Appropriations, Joint Legislative Budget Committee and the Joint Committee on Capital Review. She served as Senate Minority Leader and Latino Caucus Chair. During her time as Senator Tovar she worked as a Campaign Director for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. She fundraised to find a cure for cancer and to assist cancer patients. As a two time cancer survivor, Mayor Tovar is passionate to help find a cure for cancer.
Throughout her career at the state, she knew one day she would return to her hometown Tolleson and once again serve as a local elected official. She is proud of her roots in Tolleson, Arizona, proud to be a product of the public school system and proud to have given back as a teacher, mentor and leader in her community. Mayor Tovar and her husband have been married for 20 years and have two wonderful sons.
Sintra Hoffman is the President and Chief Executive Officer of WESTMARC. She previously served as Assistant Division Director for the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT). Her professional background includes more than 19 years of experience in local, state and federal government. Sintra lead ADOT’s Office of Public Affairs which focused on building and sustaining relationships with leaders in Arizona’s cities, towns, counties and business community. Prior to her time at ADOT, she spent 10 years with the City of Surprise, serving as the Director of Intergovernmental Relations and Deputy City Manager. Sintra was recognized as by Arizona Business Magazine as one of the Most Influential Women in 2016. Sintra has been recognized for her accomplishments in transportation lobbying and problem solving. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Masters of Administration in Public Administration.
Biography coming soon.
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