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 24,260 customers. (The 24,260 replaces the existing 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 joined the City of Maricopa in August 2013. Ms. Airheart received her bachelor’s degree from California State University Fullerton and holds a Master’s in Business Administration. Denyse has more than seven years of experience in business development and recruitment. She joined the City of Maricopa in 2013 to support and broaden the City’s retail, commercial and industrial base. Ms. Airheart manages a number of noteworthy tasks such as marketing the community to retailers and employers, the business retention and expansion program, shop local and the Maricopa Advocate Program. Denyse takes pride in serving as a liaison to the business community, citizen committees, non-profit organizations, special interest groups and neighborhoods by proactively providing information specific to the City’s economic development department.
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 - 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 and CEO of Global Water Resources, Inc. Mr. Fleming has a Bachelor of Science degree in Construction Management from the School of Engineering at Northern Arizona University, with an emphasis in Heavy Civil and a minor in Business Administration. He has over 14 years of experience in the water and wastewater industry, having both constructed large scale heavy-civil projects working for general contractors and serving as the owner-operator of utility systems. Since joining Global Water in 2005, Mr. Fleming has occupied such roles as Senior Project Manager overseeing Global Water’s capital improvement program which deployed over $150 million dollars in infrastructure, to General Manager and President of Regulated Utilities focusing on statewide operations for 12 water, wastewater, and recycled water utilities.
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 - Michael L. Richey
President, Maricopa Ace Hardware
Mike Richey is the President of MM Hardware, Inc., dba Maricopa Ace Hardware. Mr. Richey and his wife, Jacquie, acquired the business in 2010, and in the ensuing years, have established a successful business operation that has contributed to the City of Maricopa’s economic growth and prosperity. Mr. Richey’s business acumen and strong leadership has earned him significant recognition from both his parent company and the community. Maricopa Ace Hardware has been the recipient of the Ace Hardware Pinnacle Award for the last six consecutive years and also is a two time recipient of the Business of the Year Award from the Maricopa Chamber of Commerce.
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 - Daniel J. Wolf
Southwest Gas Corporation
As District Manager for the Southwest Gas Corporation’s Central Arizona District, Dan Wolf is responsible for all facets of management and operations of a natural gas system encompassing a 3,100 square mile service territory and serving over 31,000 customers. In his capacity, Mr. Wolf manages multiple teams comprised of 40 employees and provides the company’s primary interface with local, state and federal governing officials. He also represents Southwest Gas Corporation within the Central Arizona business, government, educational and civic community, and is actively engaged in many community, business and economic development organizations in Central Arizona.
Mr. Wolf joined Southwest Gas Corporation in 2011, and has had a progressively successful career in the company as well as in the energy sector. Prior to his appointment as District Manager, Mr. Wolf served as Southwest Gas Corporation’s Engineering Supervisor for Corrosion Control, supervising employees and contractors and managing day-to-day operations for corrosion control in the entire Phoenix Metro area. In this position, he was responsible for all budgeting, human resources, capital plans, safety and training programs. He also served as Distribution Engineer for Franchise and Corrosion Control, overseeing all project management and design work for the communities of the East Valley region of the Phoenix Metro.
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.