PHOENIX (June 6, 2018)—His accomplishments include bringing 9-1-1 service to the region and helping to develop the regional freeway system you drive on today. Former MAG Executive Director Dennis Smith served the Valley for more than 40 years before his retirement in April. Now, the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) has presented him with its highest award, the President’s Award.

In conferring the award, NARC noted, “His leadership and work has consistently cultivated cooperative relationships, leveraged innovation, and contributed to regionalism.”

Dennis Smith wins NARC Award

Smith began his career at MAG in 1976, when then-Secretary Jack DeBolske hired him as a criminal justice planner. Mr. Smith served in a variety of capacities at MAG and was appointed Executive Director in 2003.

Smith has been involved in numerous regional achievements, including the development of several major transportation efforts, including Proposition 300, which funded the regional freeway system, and Proposition 400, which continues to fund street, transit and freeway projects. Other initiatives at MAG spearheaded by Smith were the formation of the MAG Economic Development Committee, which focuses on making the MAG region and the Sun Corridor more globally competitive; working on greater political alignment for the Intermountain West; and forming a megaregion with Arizona and Mexico, known as Ari-Son.

In addition to the NARC award, Smith will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award during the upcoming 2018 Desert Peaks Awards ceremony. The awards program will begin at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 at the Sheraton Crescent Hotel, 2026 W. Dunlap Avenue, Phoenix.

Smith is a past member of the National Association of Regional Councils Executive Directors Council and a member of the Arizona Council of Governments (COG) Directors Association, where he twice served as Chair. Smith is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. He obtained his bachelor's degree from Montana State University-Billings and his master's degree from Arizona State University.

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