By leading innovation, championing causes and demonstrating outstanding leadership, these visionary leaders are invested in the community and helping to shape the future of Greater Phoenix.

Congratulations to the 2018 Annual Event Awardees

Published: 10/01/2018
Updated: 11/07/2018

By leading innovation, championing causes and demonstrating outstanding leadership, these visionary leaders are invested in the community and helping to shape the future of Greater Phoenix.

Each year, Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) honors leaders and organizations in the community who have played an integral role in building the economy of Greater Phoenix. We’re inspired by their tenacity, passion and commitment. It is through their leadership that we’re continuing to build a competitive region that is future focused and ready to embrace innovation and opportunity.

Join us in honoring and celebrating the 2018 Annual Event awardees.

Community Impact Award: Adam Goodman

By leading innovation, championing causes and demonstrating outstanding leadership, these visionary leaders are invested in the community and helping to shape the future of Greater Phoenix.

Adam Goodman, president of Goodmans Interior Structures, is the third generation to lead the family business. Following the tradition of innovation established by his father and grandfather, Adam has used his leadership roles to help Goodmans adapt to changing markets and anticipate opportunities for growth. Goodmans challenges customers to understand the purpose of office space and to rethink traditional office-planning paradigms.

Under Adam’s leadership, Goodmans has developed many innovative programs to give back to the community, including the Aeron Hockey Tournament, Goodmans Eye for the Good Guy, AIM to Make a Difference and more. In 2009, Goodmans won the first-ever ACE Award for Community Impact and in 2011 became the third certified B Corporation in Arizona. In 2012, Goodmans won the overall Impact Business of the Year Award and in 2013, Goodmans was the Better Business Bureau’s Ethics Award winner.

Adam and the Goodmans family have been generous supporters of the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC) from its earliest days. Adam is leading in-kind donation efforts for First Place® AZ and serves as a member of its capital campaign cabinet.

Hear what they’re saying about Adam!

“Adam is a pillar in our city. He is a tremendously successful businessman but his real impact comes through his commitment to community. Not only does he serve on the boards of numerous associations and non-profits, he also passionately believes in helping local business and always ensures he has time to mentor local entrepreneurs and business owners. His Twitter handle is 100% correct – A. Damn. Good. Man.” 

– Greg Stanton, former mayor, City of Phoenix

“Adam Goodman has mastered the art of selfless giving and his ability to inspire others are his greatest leadership skills. I have never worked directly with him but I have been positively influenced by his spirit many times. Our community is stronger because of Adam.”

– Craig DeMarco, Founder, Upward Projects

“Adam Goodman is the embodiment of Community Impact. He has committed himself and his family business to accelerating economic activity in our region by inspiring, assisting and furnishing non-profits and entrepreneurs when they need help the most – at the beginning.  Thank you, Adam.”

– Wes Gullett, CEO of OH Strategies

“Adam has become one of the true leaders in the Phoenix business community. Through his “conscious capitalism” efforts and tireless commitment to our local cultural and business institutions, he is helping create our history and civic pride which is so important for a young city like ours.”

– Gary Linhart, founding partner, ViaWest Group

Distinguished Service Award: Karrin Taylor Robson

By leading innovation, championing causes and demonstrating outstanding leadership, these visionary leaders are invested in the community and helping to shape the future of Greater Phoenix.

Karrin Taylor Robson is the founder and president of Arizona Strategies, Arizona’s premier land use strategy team headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona.

Prior to forming Arizona Strategies, Karrin served as executive vice president of DMB Associates, Inc., a Scottsdale-based master-planned community developer, where she was responsible for ongoing land use entitlement matters and other value-enhancing efforts for its communities and businesses. She continues to provide strategic leadership for DMB at the local, state and federal level.

Prior to DMB, Karrin was a principal with the law firm of Biskind, Hunt & Taylor, P.L.C., where she practiced in the areas of land use, development and zoning law representing large landowners on significant and complex land use cases.

In addition, she has worked with experts to successfully obtain approval of municipal finance incentives and tools that provide well over $500 million of value to her clients. Cumulatively, she has entitled more than 20,000 acres including more than 35,000 homes and over 25 million square feet of commercial uses.

As a business leader in Arizona, she serves on the boards of numerous government, community and economic development organizations. In June 2017, Karrin was appointed by Governor Doug Ducey to the Arizona Board of Regents.

Hear what they’re saying about Karrin!

“Karrin’s professionalism and commitment to excellence have made her a well-respected member of Arizona’s business community. She has made significant contributions to economic development and higher education in our state. I congratulate Karrin on being honored with the Greater Phoenix Economic Council’s Distinguished Service Award – Arizona is fortunate to benefit from her leadership and service.”

– Arizona Governor Doug Ducey

“Karrin has enthusiastically tackled a wide range of priorities and activities during her tenure with GPEC.  Whether it is arranging high profile meetings with military brass during GPEC DC missions, tenaciously pursuing new opportunities with potential investors, or advancing GPEC’s strategy and vision, Karrin always pours her heart and soul into GPEC related work and always does it with a smile!”

– Andy Warren, President, Maracay Homes

“If there was one word that captured the meaning of thoughtful, diligent, persuasive, hard-working, smart, dedicated public servant, graceful and fun, I would use that word to describe Karrin.”

– Jeff Guldner, Executive Vice President, Public Policy, APS

“I have known Karrin for decades and she is a model of consistency, integrity and high achievement. Let’s face it – Karrin is the most devoted Arizona champion I have ever known. Her love of Arizona is evidenced in her commitment and hard work to improve things around her, including GPEC. She has actively recruited many of GPEC’s board members, she has influenced the way that many of our stakeholders rely on GPEC, she has helped to shape GPEC’s strategic plan and D.C. trips and she has worked tirelessly to increase the private sector support of GPEC. Thank you, Karrin. You are very deserving of the GPEC Distinguished Service Award.”

– Chris Zaharis, Executive Vice President, Empire Southwest

Regional Contribution Award: Dr. Michael Crow

By leading innovation, championing causes and demonstrating outstanding leadership, these visionary leaders are invested in the community and helping to shape the future of Greater Phoenix.

Michael M. Crow became the 16th president of Arizona State University (ASU) on July 1, 2002. He is guiding the transformation of ASU into one of the nation’s leading public metropolitan research universities, an institution that combines the highest levels of academic excellence, inclusiveness to a broad demographic, and maximum societal impact—a model he terms the “New American University.”

Under his direction the university pursues teaching, research and creative excellence focused on the major challenges of our time, as well as those central to the quality of life, sustainable development and economic competitiveness of Arizona and the nation. He has committed the university to sustainability, social embeddedness and global engagement and championed initiatives leading to record levels of diversity in the student body.

During his tenure the university more than quadrupled research expenditures, completed an unprecedented infrastructure expansion and was named the nation’s most innovative school by U.S. News and World Report in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Hear what they’re saying about Dr. Crow!

“There’s no one with a bolder vision of the Arizona of tomorrow than Dr. Michael Crow.  He and I share a belief that we are living in a world-class community and that our explosive growth comes with both opportunity and responsibility.  He knows progress doesn’t happen when we act alone; it happens when we work together in service of something bigger than ourselves, bigger than this moment in time.  I’m confident Dr. Crow and ASU will continue to be strong partners as we build a Maricopa County that creates more opportunities for residents—current and future—to build better lives.”

– Steve Chucri, Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman, District 2

Dr. Michael Crow is a visionary. Through his leadership, not only is ASU producing elite scholars that are job ready, but he is also transforming the higher education system to be accessible to everyone. I admire him tremendously and appreciate his fearless leadership. His regional impact will be felt for generations to come. 

– Sharon Harper, President and CEO, Plaza Companies

“Dr. Michael Crow’s vision for ASU and Arizona has connected so many of our cities.  He is a true regional thinker. His creativity sets him apart and has been the driving force in developing the nation’s top university in innovation. I look forward to continuing the momentum in downtown Mesa and at ASU Polytechnic.”

– Mayor John Giles, City of Mesa

“Michael Crow has done more to improve the positive image of Arizona over the past decade than anyone I know. His laser focus on economic development and social justice is unequalled.”

– John Graham, President and CEO at Sunbelt Holdings

Ambassador of the Year: Don Helton

By leading innovation, championing causes and demonstrating outstanding leadership, these visionary leaders are invested in the community and helping to shape the future of Greater Phoenix.

Don Helton is the business development director for Brycon Construction. With over 18 years of design and construction experience, Don is a proven leader in identifying strategic market sectors and creating strategic partnerships to achieve objectives. He has experience in evaluating potential market direction and has an extensive network of private and public sector relationships.

As a business leader in Greater Phoenix, Don is actively involved in numerous committees and organizations including the Arizona Association of Economic Development, Greater Phoenix Economic Council, National Association of Industrial and Office Properties, Alliance of Construction Excellence, CoreNet and more.

Don earned his bachelor’s degree in business communications from Eastern Kentucky University.

Hear what they’re saying about Don Helton!

“Don embodies what an Ambassador for GPEC should be by always assisting GPEC and its allies in any way possible. Don does this knowing that GPEC must be successful in order for Phoenix and his company to be successful.”

– Clay Wells, Vice President of Business Development, Schuff Steel

“Don is an incredible ambassador for the Greater Phoenix community and truly one of the best in the field when it comes to relationship development. He is a true connector of people and never hesitates to make an introduction, even if it’s to one of his competitors, if it means it will help someone. Don is extremely active in several organizations around the metro area focused on enhancing the region. He is at every meeting and event as a means to learn more about what he and his organization can do to participate in growing Greater Phoenix.”

– Kelly Patton, Senior Economic Development Consultant, Statewide Programs, APS

“Don is as committed to promoting economic development for Greater Phoenix even though he doesn’t work directly for an economic development organization! He truly understands the value that GPEC brings to the state and seeks to form strategic partnerships with GPEC staff and fellow investors that yield success for the region. Congratulations Don on being recognized as GPEC Ambassador of the Year!”

– Rock Rickert, Principal, Business Development, Archicon Architecture & Interiors

“Don is a Rockstar! His persistence and ability to understand complex build-outs makes him an invaluable resource for the brokerage community and our clients…..beyond just being an all-around awesome guy to spend some time with socially! Cheers and congratulations!”

– Steve Larsen, SIOR, Senior Vice President of Industrial Brokerage, JLL