Ambassador Steering Committee

Meet our FY22 Steering Committee

The Ambassador Steering Committee plays a pivotal role in ensuring our Ambassador Program aligns with the organization’s key objectives and mission. Members advise on the strategic direction of the Ambassador Program, serving as a sounding board for emerging initiatives, along with supporting the program implementation.

Committee Members

Favorite Ambassador Experience

“Modern Manufacturing, because it touched on how technology is impacting companies, reshoring some industries, and the role FDI plays.”

Ambassador Program Value

“Building a robust economy and growing new industries in our region requires collaboration.  The GPEC ambassador program creates and informs dynamic leaders to support this vital task”.

Daniel Benson

Committee Member since FY22

Economic Development Specialist, City of Glendale

Wally Campbell

Committee Member since FY21

Councilmember, City of Goodyear

Gene Carl

Committee Member since FY21

Manager, Public Sector Enterprise Sales, Cox Communications

Ambassador Program Value

“Being part of the growth process is rewarding to me. My wife and I have lived in the Valley since 1972 and have watched as the area grew and matured.”

Why GPEC?

“Working collaboratively with other municipalities for a true regional approach to economic development is a great concept, and since we cover the Phoenix valley with clients and projects, GPEC was a perfect fit.”

Ambassador Program Value

“Connection. It has been said it is not what you know, but who you know. At GPEC you get an opportunity to have both.”

Larry Cox

Committee Member since FY18

Vice President of Culture, Sunstate Equipment Co.

Jeff Dalton

Committee Member since FY22

Vice President, FCL Builders

Laura Davis

Committee Member since FY18

Workplace Consultant, Atmosphere Commercial Interiors

Importance of Economic Development for the Community

“Growing our communities in thoughtful and strategic ways helps to protect the overall economy through the cycles, and provides diverse employment opportunities while considering the socio-economic, environmental and political aspects unique to our 22 member communities.”

Ambassador Program Value

“The value I get from the GPEC Ambassador Program is exposure to and education on the important and emergent subjects that uniquely position Arizona for long-term success, as well as provide opportunities to engage in conversations that identify opportunities to strengthen our competitive position.”

Why GPEC?

“GPEC has the future-thinking mindset that our economy needs to make the right decisions for economic development in our communities.”

Andrea Drozdowicz

Committee Member since FY18

Senior Vice President, Investor Real Estate Advisory, Wells Fargo

Chase Farnsworth

Committee Member since FY22

Senior Project Development Manager, Mortenson

Kirsten Hall

Committee Member since FY22

Business Attraction Project Manager, City of Surprise

Memorable Ambassador Experience

“In addition to excellent programming, the energy, passion and dedication of every person on the GPEC team is evident and it spreads to others.”

Ambassador Program Value

“GPEC provides an opportunity to work with other business leaders to develop and implement a diverse economic vision for the future of Arizona.”

Why GPEC?

“Our company invests with GPEC because we understand and are also committed to the importance of building a stronger community by bringing growth and opportunity to the marketplace.”

Paige Heavey

Committee Member since FY22

President, Bridge Relocation Concierge

Don Helton

Committee Member since FY18

Vice President, Business Development, Brycon Construction

Garrett King

Committee Member since FY21

Manager, Event Development, Arizona Diamondbacks

Advice for New GPEC Ambassadors

“Be a sponge and take in as many of the programs that GPEC sets up. Many of us are the only representative of GPEC, so getting others in your firm involved with what GPEC is and what they do is such an important part of providing value back to GPEC for all the value they give us as companies.”

Favorite Ambassador Experience

“All have been great, but the one that stands way out was the helicopter ride over the different SRP lakes.”

Being Part of the Community

“I feel like I’m part of something dynamic and growing, but most of all, my family and friends are here and I love them very much.”

Kirk McClure

Committee Member since FY22

Senior Client Solutions Manager, JE Dunn

David Patch

Committee Member since FY18

Strategic Account Manager and Senior Sales Account Executive, Air Products and Chemicals

Michael Patterson

Committee Member since FY18

Partner, Spencer Fane LLP

Importance of Economic Development for the Community

“Economic development is important to business growth in job creation, industry diversification, improving quality of life.”

Value of the Ambassador Program

“The value received is broad-based and is far-reaching. Whether we are explaining to others what we have learned from our close-knit discussions on critical economic issues/topics, or how and why a company decides to locate to the Phoenix metro area, there is never a loss of information to be had and learned by being a GPEC Ambassador.”

Why GPEC?

“It is the premier source for regional economic development news, access to information regarding new business opportunities for my company, and networking with other professionals who seek to further the growth and diversity of the Arizona economy.”

Kim Poole

Committee Member since FY22

Vice President, CLAYCO

Mayor Christian Price

Committee Member since FY18

Mayor, City of Maricopa

Rock Rickert

Committee Member since FY18

Principal, Business Development, Archicon

Ambassador Program Value

“The ability and responsibility in serving our communities, to be apart of a greater vision for the advancement of future generations and the betterment of our community.”

Favorite Ambassador Experience

“My favorite GPEC Ambassador experience so far has been a tour of the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station. We were able to get a behind the scenes look at this key regional asset to better understand how it works and supports our communities.”

Russell Skuse

Committee Member since FY22

Associate II Land Development and Planning Group Manager, Horrocks Engineers

Marc Valenzuela

Committee Member since FY22

Senior Economic Development Project Manager, SRP

All Certified Ambassadors

David Patch Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.
Elissa Rubman Alliance Bank of Arizona
Calvin Bovee APS
Michael Denby APS
Kelly Patton APS
Cameron Robb APS
Rock Rickert Archicon Architecture and Interiors, L.C.
Heath Anderson Arizona At Work- Maricopa County
Kevin Dumcum Arizona At Work- Maricopa County
Garrett King Arizona Diamondbacks
Scott Pompe Arizona Republic/LOCALiQ
Paola Garcia Hidalgo ASU
Caden Gillespie ASU
Jodie Gutierrez ASU
Andrew Nelson ASU
Chris Richardson ASU
Kelly Sandin ASU
Jenni Thomas ASU
Jeffrey Anderson Atmosphere Commercial Interiors
Laura Davis Atmosphere Commercial Interiors
Karen Bottesch Bank of America
Christy Withgott Banner Health
Paige Heavey Bridge Relocation Concierge
Don Helton BRYCON Construction
Billy Price Burns & McDonnell
Bill Bayless CBRE
Pat Feeney CBRE
Maggie Niescier CBRE
Michael Sokol CBRE
Cathy Teeter CBRE
Vanessa Vogel CBRE
Carly Figman Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation (CEI)
Ann Marie Rucker Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation (CEI)
Lisa Gonzales Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc.
Robin Barker City of Apache Junction
Janine Solley City of Apache Junction
Suzanne Boyles City of Buckeye
Craig McFarland City of Casa Grande
Richard Wilkie City of Casa Grande
Edyie McCall City of Chandler
Diana White City of Chandler
Thomas Doyle City of El Mirage
Daniel Benson City of Glendale
Wally Campbell City of Goodyear
Laura Kaino City of Goodyear
Georgia Lord City of Goodyear
Christian Price City of Maricopa
Bryan Smith City of Mesa
Karen Calivas City of Peoria
Robert Goodhue City of Peoria
Sheila Hunt City of Peoria
Susana Trasente City of Peoria
David Valenzuela City of Peoria
Juan Batres City of Phoenix
Phil Bradstock City of Phoenix
Kedrick Ellison City of Phoenix
Melissa Huffman City of Phoenix
Pam Lindley City of Phoenix
Joseph Macewan City of Phoenix
Martin Perez City of Phoenix
Michelle Pierson City of Phoenix
Karla Scott City of Phoenix
Denise Yanez City of Phoenix
Josh Utterback City of Scottsdale
Skip Hall City of Surprise
Kirsten Hall City of Surprise
Jeanine Jerkovic City of Surprise
Maria Laughner City of Tempe
Parrish Spisz City of Tempe
Stephanie Handley Clayco
Kim Poole Clayco
Thomas Brophy Colliers International
Phillip Hernandez Colliers International
Paula Bommarito CopperPoint Mutual
Mitchelle Makanjuola CopperPoint Mutual
Jessica Morin CoStar Group
Sheldon Caldwell-Meeks Cox Communications
Gene Carl Cox Communications
Matt Even Deloitte
Michael Loeschen Deloitte
Jacob Weinberg Deloitte
Rick Dircks Dircks Moving & Logistics
Jim Kallof Dircks Moving & Logistics
Dale Snyder Dircks Moving & Logistics
Shawn Dunivant Equality Health
Sharla Fisher Equality Health
Smita Mehta Equity Land Group
Jeff Dalton FCL Builders
Michael King Gammage & Burnham
Debbie Hartland Goodmans Interior Structures
Isac Artzi Grand Canyon University
Haley Fagerlie Grand Canyon University
Dwight Farris Grand Canyon University
Chris Petroff Haydon Building Corp.
Paul Vidano Honeywell Aerospace
Russell Skuse Horrocks Engineers
Dennis Wiensch Industrial Storage
Kirk McClure JE Dunn Construction
Bill Honsaker JLL
Damian Glaze Kitchell Corporation
Valerie Kelly Kitchell Corporation
Matt Nebeker Lee & Associates
Marc Pierce Lee & Associates
Michael Stavros M Culinary
Emilio Cabrera Maricopa County Community College District
John Catapano Maricopa County Community College District
Kimberly Faust Maricopa County Community College District
James Jones Maricopa County Community College District
Patti O’Brien Maricopa County Community College District
Harvey Smith Maricopa County Community College District
Julie Stiak Maricopa County Community College District
Michael Voss Mesa Community College
Matthew Avila Mortenson
Tammy Carr Mortenson
Chase Farnsworth Mortenson
Michelle Johnston Northern Trust
Jennifer Zonneveld Northrop Grumman
Todd Kinney Okland Construction
Chip Griffith OneAZ Credit Union
Jonathan Sylvie Page
Maria Reyes Phoenix College
Lourdes Sierra PNC Financial Services Group
Kyle Steinbuch PNC Financial Services Group
Terry Switz PNC Financial Services Group
Cathleen Walker PNC Financial Services Group
Gretchen Kitchel Salt River Project (SRP)
Karla Moran Salt River Project (SRP)
Marc Valenzuela Salt River Project (SRP)
Mike Miller Savills-Studley
Melanie Burm Scottsdale Community College
Milena Dankenbring Scottsdale Community College
Gregory Falls Sherman & Howard
Azim Hameed Sherman & Howard
Matt Hesketh Sherman & Howard
Samantha Spadaro SmithGroup
Gerald Morales Snell & Wilmer, LLP
Jody Isaac Social Television Network (STN)
Eric Sperling Social Television Network (STN)
Larry Holly Southwest Gas Corporation
Mike Patterson Spencer Fane LLP
Larry Cox Sunstate Equipment Company
Michael Martella Town of Gilbert
Doreen Cott Town of Queen Creek
Michael LeVault Town of Youngtown
Ellen Bublick University of Arizona
Justin Finnerty University of Arizona
Cortez Smith University of Arizona
Mark Strickling University of Arizona
Julie Trujillo University of Arizona
Jeffrey Hendrickson University of Phoenix
Patrick Fitzhugh USAA
Roger Beguiristain Wells Fargo Bank
Andrea Drozdowicz Wells Fargo Bank
Peter Drozodowicz Wist Office Products Company

Interested in getting involved?

Contact our Engagement Strategy and Marketing Director, Lindsay Hahn, at lhahn@gpec.org or 602-262-8609.