A proven leader with over 10 years in executive management roles, Chris Camacho serves as the President & CEO at one of the longest standing public private partnerships for economic development across the country. He previously served as the organization’s Executive Vice President.
During his tenure, GPEC has led the attraction of more than 322 companies creating 55,617 jobs and $5.6 billion in capital investment. Some of the more notable projects include Apple, Silicon Valley Bank, Zenefits, GoDaddy, Yelp, Amazon, Garmin, General Motors and many others.
He oversees the domestic and international business development and market strategies while serving as GPEC’s executive leader in community interactions. He has particular expertise in emerging technology, tax policy and international economic development. Since 2008, he has taken an active role in addressing the region’s competitiveness position on cost and taxation.
In 2015 and 2016, Chris was named to Consult Connect’s Top 50 U.S. Economic Developers. In 2013, he was named among an international group of “40 Under 40” by Development Counsellors International, a New York-based firm recognizing rising talent in economic development. And in 2012, he also received a “40 Under 40” award from the Phoenix Business Journal, which each year identifies talent throughout Arizona. Camacho is the past president of the Arizona Association for Economic Development (AAED), the statewide association of economic development practitioners. In 2011, AAED named him Economic Developer of the Year.
Prior to GPEC, Camacho served as President & CEO of the Greater Yuma Economic Development Corporation (GYEDC) from 2006-2008, after serving as the Business Development Manager for two years. During his tenure, GYEDC helped 35 companies and 3,500 jobs locate in Greater Yuma, resulting in more than $350M of capital investment in the region. Some of the larger manufacturing projects included Alside Window and Door, Northwestern Industries Inc., Johnson Controls, and Shaw Industries.
Viewed as a dynamic community figure, Camacho was recognized as the Chamber of Commerce Leader of the Year in 2007. In 2006, he served on the Arizona Global Network Board, which was developed to create a foreign-direct investment platform for the State of Arizona. He also developed Yuma’s first Business Retention and Expansion Program to support the local manufacturing and food technology sector. Prior moving to Arizona, Camacho worked as a research analyst at The Alliance, a regional economic development firm in Greater St. Louis.
He is involved in community non-profits including Chicanos Por La Causa, and sits on the boards for the Arizona Business Education Coalition, Year Up, the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Valley of the Sun United Way, as well as the International Economic Development Council and the Economic Innovation Group Policy Council. In 2016 he was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to serve on the U.S. Investment Advisory Council, to advise the Secretary on foreign direct investment policies and strategies.
Camacho graduated from Southern Illinois University with an undergraduate degree in Psychology and a graduate degree in Public Administration and Policy Analysis. He also attended the University of Oklahoma for the Economic Development Institute. He resides in Scottsdale with his wife and three children.