Board of Directors
The Maricopa Economic Development Alliance (MEDA) is Maricopa’s private-public partnership for economic development. As a 501(c)3 corporation, the organization champions strategies and solutions that foster economic growth and prosperity in the City of Maricopa by bringing together the business, government, education and civic sectors to identify and advance forward-looking policies that facilitate investment, growth and workforce development. MEDA’s board is comprised of the leading executives of Maricopa’s major business sectors, representing expertise and experience in utilities, finance, development, health care and infrastructure development. Equally important are the elected officials and public sector executives who bring the essential representation of the City of Maricopa’s City Council, City Management and Economic Development functions.
MEDA BOARD OFFICERS
CHAIRMAN - Mr. William H. Stacy
Electrical District 3
Bill Stacy was appointed General Manager of Electrical District No. 3 in July 2008. Since taking the helm of this nonprofit electric company, its customer base has grown from 17,000 to 22,675 customers. Under Mr. Stacy’s leadership, the organization also has established important new partnerships with other electric providers, including Salt River Project, Tucson Electric Power, Southwest Transmission Cooperative, Electrical District 2 and Electrical District 4 and 5 to provide the South Eastern Valley transmission project.
TREASURER - John D. Shurz
President and General Manager
Orbitel Communications and Western Broadband
John Schurz is the President and General Manager of Orbitel Communications and Western Broadband, Schurz Communications, Inc.’s Arizona cable properties. These cable systems serve the communities of Maricopa, Sun Lakes, SunBird, Robson Ranch, SaddleBrooke and SaddleBrooke Ranch. Mr. Schurz is a fifth-generation executive of Schurz Communications, a 141-year-old privately held family owned and operated business.Download John's Full Bio.
Board Secretary - Jim Kenny
El Dorado Holdings, Inc.
Jim Kenny joined El Dorado Holdings, Inc. in 2007. As president, he directs activity on existing investments and locates new investment opportunities in multiple real estate sectors with a focus on properties where El Dorado can bring its market knowledge and experience to increase value for investors. El Dorado Holdings was the visionary for the City of Maricopa, beginning with the acquisition of the El Dorado Ranch, once owned by John Wayne. Today, El Dorado Holdings is one of Arizona’s largest private landowners with assets of more than $1 billion.
DIRECTOR - Denyse Airheart
Interim Economic Development Director
City of Maricopa
Denyse Airheart was appointed as Maricopa’s Interim Economic Development Director in May 2015. She joined the City of Maricopa in August 2013 to support and broaden the City’s retail, commercial and industrial base. Since then, the City has enjoyed substantial growth in the retail sector, and prospects for commercial and industrial projects are promising.
DIRECTOR - Jennifer Alai
Southern Arizona Market President
Great Western Bank
Ms. Alai is a devoted professional offering financial solutions with sound financial strategies tailored to meet her client’s needs. She manages the Southern Arizona Group including 7 bank locations, 300 Million in assets and 3 lines of business: Commercial lending, Cash Management, and Retail. Jennifer has been in the financial services industry for over 15 years in multiple capacities giving a broad range of knowledge to her customers as well as her team.
DIRECTOR - Brian Bernardo
Senior Director, Strategy and Planning
Brian Bernardo is a Senior Director in the Strategy & Planning Department at Banner Health, supportng the medical group and the ambulatory strategy across Arizona. His projects have included the seven Phoenix Area Health Centers which opened in 2012 and 2013 - including Banner Maricopa Health Center.
DIRECTOR - Marvin L. Brown
City of Maricopa
Marvin L. Brown and his wife Helen joined the Maricopa community in June 2006. Selected as one of the original members of the City's Merit Board, he stepped down when elected to the City Council in May 2008.
As the council representative to the Industrial Development Authority Board and Pinal County Augmentation Authority, and the liaison to the Gila River and Ak-Chin Indian Communities, Brown demonstrates his strong commitment to regional relationships and economic development.
DIRECTOR - Dr. Steve Chestnut
Maricopa Unified School District
Dr. Steve Chestnut brings a distinguished record of achievement and excellence in school administration to his position as Superintendent of the Maricopa Unified School District.
In the past year, Dr. Chestnut has facilitated several initiatives on behalf of the school district. A strategic plan was developed with a stakeholder committee and approved by the Governing Board in September, 2013. Six district schools became charter schools at the beginning of the 2013-14 school year.
DIRECTOR - Ron L. Fleming
President – Regulated Utilities
Global Water Resources
Ron Fleming is the President of Global Water’s Regulated Utilities. He is responsible for each company’s strategic plan and growth, in addition to all core utility business functions including operations, client services, corporate affairs, regulatory affairs, engineering and construction. Mr. Fleming has a B.S. in Construction Management from the School of Engineering at Northern Arizona University, with an emphasis in Heavy Civil and a minor in Business Administration.
DIRECTOR - Bryan Hartman
Santa Cruz Ranch Partnership
As a fourth generation Maricopan, Bryan Hartman exemplifies success in 21st century agriculture. As a principal in the Santa Cruz Ranch Partnership, Mr. Hartman is responsible for the management of this 2,000-acre farm operation whose major crops include alfalfa, corn and cotton. In addition, Mr. Hartman is the owner of the C Spear Ranch, located in Benson, Arizona, where primary operations are comprised of pasture crops and a cow calf operation. Previously, Mr. Hartman was manager of the Hartman Ranch Partnership, consisting of his family’s original homestead and farming operations.
DIRECTOR - The Honorable Christian Price
City of Maricopa
Mayor Christian Price has been a resident of Maricopa since early 2005. After moving from Chandler with his wife, they purchased their first home and started a family. Mayor Price immediately got involved with his community by running for his HOA Board of Directors and was president for six years. He is very active in the community and volunteers his time whenever possible to non-profits, churches, and a host of other community service organizations.
DIRECTOR - Gregory Rose
City of Maricopa
Gregory E. Rose was appointed City Manager for the City of Maricopa, Arizona in February 2014. As the city manager, he is responsible for the implementation and execution of Council policies and direction, strategic planning, and oversight of all departments, with the exception of the City Attorney. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Rose served as the principal for Rose and Associates from December 2009 - February 2014. He also served as City Administrator for Hyattsville, Maryland and City Manager for the City of North Las Vegas, Nevada from July 2003 - December 2009. Under his leadership, the City of North Las Vegas lowered its crime rate and made significant improvements to its parks, streets, and residential neighborhoods.
DIRECTOR - Adam Saks
General Manager, Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Ak-Chin Circle Chief Operating Officer, UltraStar Cinemas
Adam Saks joined MEDA’s Board of Directors in December 2015. He is General Manager of UltraStar Multi-tainment Center at Ak-Chin Circle and Ak-Chin’s Elements Event Center and Chief Operating Officer of UltraStar Cinemas. He has been an integral part of the development of their vision while building several strategic partnerships for the Ak-Chin Community with such companies as Live Nation, AZ Rattlers, and the Scottsdale Charros.
DIRECTOR - Bud Walters
Supervisor of Energy Solutions
Southwest Gas Corporation
Bud Walters is a Supervisor of Energy Solutions for Southwest Gas Corporation (Southwest) in Tucson, AZ. He has over 26 years of energy industry experience. In his current position, Bud supervises commercial new business development in the state of Arizona. Over the years, he has gained extensive experience in every market sector and district within Southwest’s Southern Arizona Division.
Senior Advisor to the Board of Directors
Ioanna T. Morfessis, Ph.D.
As a business and economic development executive, Dr. Ioanna Morfessis has focused her professional life on helping communities and companies create and execute successful change and growth strategies. She founded three best-of-class economic development organizations in the U.S.: Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore, Greater Phoenix Economic Council and Montgomery County, MD Office of Economic Development. During her tenure in these organizations, her work led to the attraction of nearly $30 billion of private capital investment and the creation of more than 200,000 new direct jobs in these markets.