City of Glendale
Senior Policy Program Manager
The role of the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) Economic Development Committee (EDC) is to develop opportunity-specific and action-oriented initiatives that foster and advance infrastructure in the MAG region, especially transportation infrastructure that would further economic development opportunities. The EDC consists of 36 members, which is made up 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.
Ray Malnar, Chair
Councilmember, City of Glendale
Stephen Roe Lewis, Past Chair
Governor, Gila River Indian Community
Vice President of University Engagement, Arizona Christian University
Senior Vice President, Infrastructure, Arizona Commerce Authority
Government Relations Outreach Manager, Arizona Department of Transportation
Executive Director, Office of Government and Community Engagement, Arizona State University
President and CEO, Arizona Trucking Association
Vice Mayor, City of Avondale
Councilmember, City of Buckeye
Councilmember, City of Chandler
CEO, El Dorado Holdings, Inc.
Mayor, City of El Mirage
Councilmember, Town of Fountain Hills
Councilmember, Town of Gilbert
Councilmember, City of Goodyear
President and CEO, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce
Board Member, Greater Phoenix Economic Council
Mayor, City of Maricopa
Supervisor, Maricopa County Board of Supervisors
Mike Markham, Jr.
President, Markham Contracting
Councilmember, City of Mesa
CEO, NZ Legacy, LLC
Vice Mayor, Town of Paradise Valley
Councilmember, City of Peoria
Councilmember, City of Phoenix
Board Member, Phoenix East Valley Partnership
Councilmember, Town of Queen Creek
Vice Mayor, City of Scottsdale
Vice Mayor, City of Surprise
Co-Founder and CEO, TapRoot Interventions and Solutions
Councilmember, City of Tempe
President and CEO, WESTMARC
Mayor, Town of Youngtown
Councilmember Ray L. Malnar has been a resident of Glendale for 26 years. He has owned and operated a local business for the past twenty-eight 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.
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.
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.
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.
Ruben Alonzo is an Executive Director for Government and Community Engagement at Arizona State University. Prior to joining ASU, Alonzo served as Mayor Stanton's Chief of Staff for Operations, a role he took on after successfully managing Stanton's mayoral campaign. Born and raised in the border town of Somerton, AZ, Alonzo moved to the valley to attend Arizona State University as a Flinn Foundation Scholar. After graduating, Alonzo worked on various political campaigns, including serving as Campaign Manager for Attorney General Terry Goddard's re-election in 2006 and Ruben Gallego's primary election bid to replace retiring Congressman Ed Pastor in 2014. He also served as a Senior Policy Advisor to Goddard in the Attorney General's office. Alonzo is also on the board of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and lives in central Phoenix with his wife Catherine.
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. He was re-elected for a second term starting January 2021 and was elected to serve a two-year term as Vice Mayor on January 2023.
Vice Mayor 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, Vice Mayor 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. Vice Mayor 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.
Jeanine Guy started her career working for the City of Buckeye in 1992. During that time period, Councilmember Guy held the positions of Library Director, Director of Parks, Recreation and Library Services, Community Services Director, Assistant Town Manager and Town Manager. She retired from the City of Buckeye in 2010.
Councilmember Guy was elected and served on the Buckeye Union High School District Governing Board from 1997-2004. She served in the offices of both clerk and president. She was also elected to the Western Maricopa County Education District Governing Board and served from 2012-2016. She served as both Vice-Chairman and Chairman.
Councilmember Guy and her husband Jerry have lived in the Downtown/Mainstreet area of Buckeye for 36 years. They have three sons and eight grandchildren.
Councilmember Guy serves as the Council Liaison to the Buckeye Youth Council and the Maricopa County Community Development Advisory Committee (CDAC).
Jane Poston was elected to the Chandler City Council starting in January 2023. As a former city employee, Councilmember Poston has worked with every department and possesses a strong understanding of the workings of municipal government from the inside out, including the budget, economic development, Mayor & Council and community events. In short, she understands how government works, and which questions to ask. She is an advocate for fiscal responsibility, government transparency, communication and responsiveness.
Councilmember Poston owns J2 Media, a 22-year video production and communications company, in partnership with her husband Jason. Together, they have raised a family and built their business in Chandler, while devoting time to supporting their community through service. As a small business owner who grew up in the East Valley, Councilmember Poston has experienced the enormous growth of Arizona, and managed and grown her successful small business through times of prosperity and times of national crisis. She plans to apply her business experience to develop a creative and innovative vision of what Chandler can be.
Councilmember Poston’s community experience includes serving in leadership roles on several board and committees including the 2021 Citizens Bond Committee (Airport), Chandler Chamber Board, Women in Leadership, CUSD Bond and Override Marketing, Chandler Education Foundation Board, East Valley JCC, Arizona Center for Blind and Visually Impaired, Pro bono work for Chandler Firefighter Charities, AZCEND, ACEE, and Fans Across America.
Jim Kenny is the CEO 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.
Alexis Hermosillo, a fifth-generation resident of El Mirage, serves her second term as Mayor. She is dedicated to enhancing the lives of residents and has a strong commitment to her community. Her background includes roles at a major public transportation company in Maricopa County, managing a radio network under the Cesar Chavez Foundation, and serving as a District Representative for Arizona Congressional District 3.
Mayor Hermosillo is an advocate for climate improvement through carbon pricing and provides support to nonprofits at both state and national levels. She is actively involved in various boards and committees, such as the City of El Mirage Public Safety Personnel Retirement System Committee, League of Arizona Cities and Towns Executive Committee, several leadership committees at the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG), among others.
Passionate about women's empowerment, she has served on the YWCA of Metropolitan Phoenix's Board of Directors and collaborated with the Hispanic Women’s Corporation on youth initiatives. Mayor Hermosillo is committed to investing in youth and participates in leadership development programs, including with UnidosUS. She holds degrees from Arizona State University, including a master’s in Journalism and a bachelor’s in Interdisciplinary Arts and Performance. Currently, she is pursuing a doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership from Grand Canyon University.
Peggy McMahon relocated to Fountain Hills from Southern California in 2001 and hasn’t looked back! She loves living in Fountain Hills and being part of our unique community.
Councilmember McMahon spent about thirty-five years working in estate planning and taxation areas of law. In Arizona, she worked for Snell & Wilmer law firm, as a VP Trust and Estate Tax Officer with JPMorgan in Scottsdale and Chicago, and as a State Licensed Fiduciary with the Maricopa County Public Fiduciary. She has a Juris Doctor (not licensed) and a Paralegal Degree. She recently served a term as Vice Mayor.
Councilmember McMahon enjoys volunteering for good causes and has served in many different volunteer positions with Hospice of the Valley, Homeward Bound, the Volunteer Expo and has participated in various local community events. She is involved with Friends In The Hills Women’s Group, FH Women’s Club, the FH Stitchers Of Hope (making masks for frontline workers, and clothes for children in third world countries) and various local women business owners associations.
Councilmember McMahon is married to David Adkins and between them have four adult sons and five grandchildren. Before retiring, she and David were partners in Global Business Management Consultants LLC specializing in Project Management for companies and universities worldwide. Councilmember McMahon enjoys international travel, golf, fly fishing and making quilts.
Chuck Bongiovanni was born and raised in Rochester, New York and moved to Gilbert, AZ in 1989. He graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Psychology in 1993 and then a Master’s degree in Administrative Social Work in 1995. He also completed an MBA from Ashford University in 1997.
Chuck started a senior-related company, CarePatrol, in Gilbert in 1995 which grew into a national franchise system and was purchased in 2018 by a multi-national private equity firm. In 2020, he started a second senior-related franchise system, Majestic Residences which franchises residential assisted living across the nation and in the Dominican Republic.
Although he has not served in public office before, he has served on many national and local Board of Directors including the Association of Assisted Living Homes Association, The National Placement and Referral Alliance as well as several national Advisory Boards in the senior-related industry. He is a highly sought after speaker nationally on topics ranging from healthcare, patient choice and senior housing issues.
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.
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.
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.
Mayor 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.
Mayor 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.
Mayor 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.
Mayor Smith was selected to fulfill the remainder of former Mayor Christian Price's term on Tuesday, August 16, 2022. 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.
Terms: 2014-2016; 2016-2020, 2020-2024
Councilmember Mayor Smith is currently serving:
· MAG (Maricopa Association of Governments) Economic Development Committee
· Pinal Partnership Board of Directors
· Pinal Partnership Economic Development Committee
· Pinal Partnership Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
· Maricopa Chamber of Commerce Government Committee
· Maricopa Budget, Finance, and Operations (BFO) Committee
· Maricopa Marketing & Communications Committee
· City Council Liaison Age Friendly Advisory
· City Council Liaison Parks, Recreation & Library Committee
· City Council Liaison Heritage District Advisory
· City Council Liaison Arts Committee
Thomas Galvin was appointed on December 8, 2021 in a unanimous vote by the Board of Supervisors to represent District 2.
Tom is an attorney and his practice area focuses primarily on matters related to land use and development law, as well as water issues, which are beneficial in service of a fast-growing district and county.
Tom is a long-time Republican and is considerably familiar with government. As part of his legal career, he has worked with other governmental decision makers at the local, state and federal levels on a variety of land use and government affairs related issues. Tom believes that public service has never been more challenging or more important than at this moment, and he is excited for the continued opportunity to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives and in the region’s future. He looks forward to working with other members of the Board and serving his constituents with honor.
Tom received an A.B. from the College of the Holy Cross and a J.D. from the University of Notre Dame.
District 2 includes parts or all of Apache Junction, Carefree, Cave Creek, Fountain Hills, Gilbert, Mesa, Paradise Valley, Phoenix, Scottsdale, as well as the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation and Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.
Mike Markham Jr. has been working in the construction industry since 1995 and has a B.S. in Construction Engineering from Arizona State University.
Mike has been a part of the Markham management team since 2001. He actively participates in the Valley Partnership, and attends various committee and liaison meetings for the AGC (American General Contractors Association), ACEC (American Council Of Engineering Companies of Arizona) and ASA (American Subcontractors Association). Mike has been a member of Vistage, an executive leadership program since 2007, and became a LEED AP in 2008.
In 2010 and 2011 he was recognized by AZRE People to Know in the General Contractors and Subcontractors categories. ENR Southwest has recognized Mike in the Top 20 Under 40.
Mike believes in giving back to the community by being involved in organizations such as Valley Partnership’s community projects where he serves on the planning committee focusing on improving facilities for children. Some of the projects include the Boys & Girls Club, Foundation for the Blind, Magee’s Place and multiple playgrounds for the Salvation Army . He was project manager for the award winning Associated General Contractors of America Chapter volunteer project, Sunshine Acres, a children’s home for those who have been separated from their parents.
Scott Somers was elected to return to the Mesa City Council starting in 2023. He previously served from 2006 to 2014, including two years as Vice Mayor. Somers represents District 6, a rapidly growing jobs hub anchored by Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. He is the Chair of the Council’s Economic Development Committee.
Councilmember Somers has served in regional leadership roles including Chair of the Valley Metro RPTA, and on the Boards of Directors for the Mesa Chamber of Commerce, East Valley Partnership, and Visit Mesa, as well as the inaugural Arizona Aerospace Institute Advisory Board.
The Arizona Republic called Somers “a seemingly tireless cheerleader for proactive economic development efforts” (July 24, 2014). During his previous terms, Somers helped lay the foundation for Southeast Mesa’s current booming economy by spearheading efforts to create the Mesa Gateway Strategic Development Plan. He established the Elliot Road Technology Corridor, a unique zoning overlay that expedites the entitlement process for technology-related uses. He collaborated with ASU Polytechnic to create LaunchPoint, a technology small business accelerator to support local entrepreneurs.
Somers is an advocate of infrastructure investment as economic development. He approved an innovative financing agreement between Mesa and ADOT to construct the first leg of the State Route-24 interchange. SR-24 has been a major catalyst for economic development projects resulting in billions of private investment in manufacturing and logistics.
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”.
Vice Mayor Scott Moore has volunteered for Paradise Valley for several years on various boards and commissions and was elected in 2016 to serve on the Town Council. He was nominated by the Mayor with unanimous support from his fellow Council Members to serve as your Vice Mayor in 2019 and again appointed by the Mayor and Council in 2023 to serve as Vice Mayor. He previously served as a voting member on the Experience Scottsdale Board of Directors, the Paradise Valley HOA Forum, and as Council liaison for the Paradise Valley Arts Board. He currently serves as Council liaison for the Paradise Valley Veterans Appreciation Vintage Car Show Committee. Prior to his election win in 2016 Council Member Moore served on the Board of Adjustments, the Planning Commission, and the Hillside Building Committee.
Vice Mayor Moore is Executive Vice President for a large real estate investment and development company with a real estate portfolio throughout the United States. Vice Mayor Moore has over 35 years of experience in acquisitions, zoning entitlements, civil engineering, private and municipal infrastructure development, including commercial, industrial and residential building. He is currently licensed as a General Commercial and General Residential contractor and holds an Arizona Department of Real Estate license.
Vice Mayor Moore is a member of the American Planning Association and a former member of the Urban Land Institute, and the Arizona Homebuilders Association. Vice Mayor Moore has been donating his time and resources towards private and charitable organizations that counsel and help troubled teens.
As a second-generation native Arizonian, Vice Mayor Moore has three children who were raised in Scottsdale and Paradise Valley.
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.
Councilwoman Ann O'Brien is the elected representative of Council District 1.
She is an Arizona native and has been a resident of District 1 since 2004. She made her mark in the community as an advocate for quality education--first as an active parent and volunteer in the Deer Valley Unified School District, and then as an elected Deer Valley Unified School District (DVUSD) Governing Board Member in 2014. She was reelected to the DVUSD Board in 2018 and is currently the Governing Board President.
Councilwoman O'Brien's extensive volunteer service to her community includes providing support to students, teachers and staff as a committee member of the of the Stetson Hills Elementary School Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) and the Sandra Day O'Connor Academy of History Booster Club. In 2017, she was elected to the Arizona School Board Association (ASBA), where she is currently the President and the appointed chairperson of the 2020 Legislative Committee.
Professionally, Councilwoman O'Brien is a proud Sun Devil, who has worked in project management with the Arizona Department of Child Support Enforcement and as a business broker for a local company.
With Council District 1 on the brink of great economic growth, Councilwoman O'Brien's focus will be preparing the community for incoming industries and developments in the area, ensuring that transportation, housing and key infrastructures are part of the overall plan. Equally important to her are the community's concerns surrounding homelessness and public safety. Her goal is to work closely with neighborhood associations and Block Watches to understand their issues and public safety needs and determine a roadmap that provides a strategy in finding solutions.
Family time is of great value to Councilwoman O'Brien. When she needs a refresh, she spends time with her husband of 27 years, Terry, along with their daughter, Amanda, and son, Thomas, both graduates of Sandra Day O'Connor High School and Northern Arizona University.
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.
Dawn Oliphant was first elected to the Town Council in June 2010. She was re-elected in November 2014, and again in August, 2018. Council Member Oliphant was appointed by Mayor Barney in January 2021 to serve as Vice Mayor for a one-year period ending in January 2022. She served as previous Chair of the Town Council Budget Committee, and represents the Town on the Greater Phoenix Economic Council.
Council Member Oliphant is retired from a successful 17-year career in local government with the City of Tempe. Her municipal experience includes positions held in the Tempe Police Department, Sales, Tax and Licensing, Tempe Municipal Court and as a Senior Learning and Organizational Development Associate for the Tempe Learning Center (TLC), Tempe’s corporate university for municipal professionals.
Oliphant holds a Master of Business Administration in Management, a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies and graduated from Queen Creek's Citizen Leadership Institute in 2010.
Oliphant moved to Queen Creek in 2005 with her husband Rick and two sons, where she manages an environmentally green business. For nine years she was also actively involved in community philanthropic work as a member of Epsilon Sigma Alpha.
Councilmember Durham grew up in a small town in Iowa and attended Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude in 1977, with majors in philosophy and history. He has served on Cornell's Board of Trustees for several years and has been elected as Secretary of the College and as chair of various committees.
After graduating from Cornell, he attended New York University Law School in New York City, graduating in 1980. During his time in law school, he served as research editor of the Review of Law and Social Change, one of the law school’s journals.
After graduation from New York University, he joined the Mayer Brown law firm in Chicago, an international law firm with offices throughout the United States, Europe, South America, and Asia. Councilmember Durham specialized in tax controversy, representing the firm’s clients in audits, trials, and appeals of local, state, and federal tax cases. During his time at Mayer Brown, he was recognized by Chambers USA as one of the top 25 tax controversy lawyers in the U.S.. Councilmember Durham retired from Mayer Brown in April 2015 and soon thereafter became a full-time resident of the city of Scottsdale.
Councilmember Durham served as treasurer of the Protect Our Preserve political action committee, which was responsible for placing Proposition 420 on the ballot in November 2018. Since moving to Scottsdale, he has served as mock trial coach at a local high school, teaching trial skills, teamwork, and the rules of evidence to high school students.
His wife Martha serves as an Episcopal Deacon at a local church and they have two sons.
Chris Judd was elected as the District 6 (D6) Councilmember in August 2018 to serve a four-year term that began January 1, 2019. He was re-elected in August 2022 to serve another four-year term that began January 3, 2023 and was selected as Vice Mayor for a one-year term beginning January 18, 2023. He previously served as Vice Mayor in 2020. He is currently the Chair of the Surprise Community Outreach, Partnerships & Grants Committee and a member of the Audit Committee.
Vice Mayor Judd is a native Arizonan and graduate of Arizona State University. He has been part of the Surprise business community since the mid-’90s, and he and his family of five have been coming home to Surprise for over a decade. As an independent businessman and former owner and manager of local small businesses, Vice Mayor Judd was very active with the Rotary Club of Surprise, and the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce. He served as the Rotary Club President in 2015-2016, and served on the Board of Directors for the Rotary Club of Surprise Community Foundation. He previously served as Chairman of Taste of Surprise, a charity event organized by the Rotary Club and run entirely by volunteers. He is a member of the Executive Board for the White Tank Mountains Conservancy and MAG Economic Development Committee.
Vice Mayor Judd began working in Surprise in 1996, right out of college, and spent 14 years as General Manager of a local small manufacturing plant. He holds a professional designation as a Life Underwriter Training Council Fellowship from the College for Financial Planning, as well as a Bachelor of Science degree from ASU.
Vice Mayor Judd and his wife Jenna have been married for over 20 years, and are most proud of the work they’ve done, and are doing, raising their three wonderful daughters. The family loves the great outdoors and they spend as much time as they can together camping and hiking in and around the beautiful backcountry of Arizona’s deserts, mountains, and forests.
Scarlett Spring is Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of TapRoot, creators of Ella®, the first personalized care management platform for persons with Alzheimer’s disease and mental illness. Ella uses artificial intelligence to help caregivers decrease problematic episodes, avoid unnecessary medications, and reduce costs while improving caring for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive impairments.
Scarlett spent ~20 years in various leadership roles at Fortune 500 companies Merck and AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals and prior to TapRoot, Scarlett served as President and Chief Commercial Officer of VisionGate, a vertically integrated oncology pharmaceutical and diagnostics company focused on the prevention of cancer deaths through early cancer interception. She has provided companywide leadership with focus on strategy, commercialization and successfully raised capital for early-middle stage companies.
Currently, Scarlett serves on three boards: Board Director for AVEO Oncology (2019 – present), serving as Chair of Compensation Committee (current) and serving on the Audit Committee (2019-present); Republic Bank of Arizona (2014-present); Chair of Asset and Liabilities Committee (current). She is also a member of the volunteer board, the Arizona Sports and Tourism Association (Chair 2017-2019); Finance Committee (2017-current) and a member of Greater Phoenix Leadership, Chair Economy Taskforce, and Co-Chair of Flinn Risk Capital Committee.
TapRoot is a winner of the 2022 Arizona Innovation Challenge, Venture Madness and Maude’s Venture Competition.
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.
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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