Board of Directors
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.
CHAIRMAN & CEO
Mr. John D. Schurz
President & General Manager
Orbitel Communications, LLC
John Schurz is the President and General Manager of Orbitel Communications, Schurz Communications, Inc.’s Arizona broadband properties. These broadband 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 privately held family owned and operated business that was founded in 1872.
Mr. James F. Kenny
El Dorado Holdings
INTERIM BOARD TREASURER
Mr. Ron L. Fleming
Chairman, President & CEO
Global Water Resources
Mr. Michael Adams
Great Western Bank
The Honorable Marvin L. Brown
City of Maricopa
Mr. Malcolm Green
Maricopa Agricultural Center
Malcolm is Director of the Maricopa Agricultural Center, a 2100-acre University of Arizona research facility located in Maricopa, AZ. Notable research programs include agricultural sciences, water quality, food safety, robotics, autonomous systems, soil and water conservation, and sustainable food production.
Prior to joining UA in 2019 Malcolm worked 8 years at Arizona State University, launching and completing significant growth initiatives both for ASU and across Maricopa County. Malcolm began his university career following a long and successful industry career. Major employers included John Deere and Honeywell Aerospace. Collectively he has over 35 years’ engineering, business development, strategic planning, and executive leadership experience.
During his career Malcolm has helped launch 3 successful businesses and championed numerous other ventures. His interests and experiences are diverse, but his passion is building and growing organizations.
Malcolm is a graduate of Texas A&M University where he obtained B.S. and M.S. degrees in Engineering. In 2019 he completed a 3-year appointment to the City of Phoenix Business and Workforce Development Board of Directors. He remains active in workforce development initiatives across Arizona, working closely with high school Career & Technical Education programs.
Mr. Rick Horst
City of Maricopa
Rick A. Horst was appointed City Manager for the City of Maricopa, Arizona on June 25, 2018. As the City Manager, he is responsible for the implementation and execution of Council policies, strategic planning, fiscal sustainability and oversight of all city personnel. Prior to his appointment, Rick served as City Manager for cities in Florida, Utah, and California and brings over thirty-five years of progressive experience in the field of public administration with a proven and verifiable record of creativity, innovation, honesty, and as a results oriented leader “who gets things done.” Rick is a member of the International City/County Manager’s Association and obtained his Credential City Manager certification in 2004.
Mr. Timothy Kanavel
Economic Development Director
Dr. Tracey Lopeman
Maricopa Unified School District #20
Dr. Tracey Lopeman is a career educator entering her 30th year in public education, She is currently serving in her second year as the Superintendent of Maricopa Unified School District. Under her leadership, the district led the state in new National Board Certified teachers, and the expansion of the community preschool program brought quality early childhood education to Maricopa families. She has shared MUSD points of pride on panels, in community forums, and statewide conventions. Dr. Lopeman launched a strategic plan by asking stakeholders to “Start With Why.” Through their work, the Maricopa Why was developed, which serves as a guidepost to develop goals and strategies to steer the District to success.
Dr. Lopeman began her career as a junior high language arts teacher in the Alhambra Elementary School District. After five years in the classroom, she entered administration as a teacher on assignment, assistant principal, and principal. During the thirteen years of her leadership at Alhambra Traditional School, the instructional programs expanded to meet the needs of a diverse population resulting in a 20% growth in enrollment and student achievement that was consistently among the highest in the state. At the district level, Dr. Lopeman worked out of the superintendent’s office as the Executive Director of Strategic Alliances and Government Relations. In this role, she grew partnerships with universities, business, government agencies, and employee and parent groups.
Dr. Lopeman earned her bachelors from NAU and her masters and doctorate from ASU. She is an expert trainer in Leadership Development, Consensus Building, and Participatory Action Planning.
Ms. Bea Lueck
Ms. Bea Lueck is the General Manager of ROX Group overseeing daily activities for a variety of companies including Coldwell Banker ROX Realty, ROX Casa Grande Insurance, and ROX Media Group. Serving as the General Manager and Managing Editor of ROX Media Group, she has over 24 years of experience in multiple advertising media, including print, direct mail, television, and web, and handles the various day-to-day activities necessary to take all of the ROX Media Group publications from concept to print and distribution.
Ms. Lueck also has over 10 years of experience in residential and commercial real estate, and is an Associate Broker with Coldwell Banker ROX Realty. She was recognized with the Coldwell Banker International Presidential Circle Award for Coldwell Banker affiliated sales associates worldwide, placing her in the top 6% globally.
The Honorable Robert Miguel
Ak-Chin Indian Community
Mr. Jason Plotke
Co-Founder & President
Private Motorsports Group
Mr. Plotke is an innovator and leader through entrepreneurship and has founded several high-profile companies throughout his career. Mr. Plotke is currently Co-Founder and President of Private Motorsports Group, which owns and operates a motorsports country club in the City of Maricopa, Arizona, and the closest of its kind to any major metropolitan area in the United States. Apex Motor Club, opened its Phase 1 portion, featuring a 2.27-mile racing circuit and 48 private garages in April of 2019, with plans to add two more additional phases.
Formerly Mr. Plotke served as Chairman and Co-founder of Echo Automotive, Inc, a publicly traded company which developed a multiple award-winning plug-in hybrid conversion product called EchoDrive. He also served as CEO and Co-founder of Innovative Automotive Group (IAG), an automotive accessory designer/distributor/e-tailer. Additionally, as a Co-Founder of SMA, an accessory manufacturer/integrator and Tier 1 Supplier to General Motors, Mr. Plotke was instrumental in providing start-up capital and product innovation for quick market expansion. Mr. Plotke’s leadership helped to rapidly grow the company ten-fold in less than two years, and as well as securing a Tier 1 Supplier position with General Motors within two years of inception.
The Honorable Christian Price
City of Maricopa
Mr. Adam Saks
President & COO
Dynamic Entertainment Group
The Honorable Nancy Smith
City of Maricopa
Vice Mayor Nancy Smith graduated at the top of her class with a degree in Electronic Technology and was immediately hired by Motorola. While working for Motorola, she advanced her education by receiving a degree in Business Management. She has spent the majority of her career in military technology and project management for major government programs. While at Motorola, she extended her work experience by specializing in finance and budgeting. She increased her experience in project management when she accepted a new position at General Dynamics. The success and talents she acquired at Motorola and General Dynamics are transferable to the duties and responsibilities of the Maricopa City Council.
Vice Mayor Smith moved to Maricopa prior to the city’s incorporation. She has continuously served the community since she moved to the community. She is one of the co-founders and a previous board member of the F.O.R Maricopa food bank. She served as Co-Chair of the American Cancer Society – Maricopa Relay for Life. She has a passion for non-profits and enjoys serving at church, in various school committees and many city-wide events. Vice Mayor Smith participated and graduated from the first Maricopa Citizen Leadership Academy and she is currently a member of the Maricopa Advocate Program.
She was very proud to be invited to serve as a board member of the Pinal Partnership Board of Directors. The purpose of Pinal Partnership is uniting the vision for Pinal County. As part of this position, Vice Mayor Smith invests time in ensuring Maricopa’s needs and vision are included in the mission. She focuses attention on Transportation, Infrastructure and Economic Development topics.
Vice Mayor Smith was asked to serve on the MAG (Maricopa Association of Governments) Economic Development Committee. MAG was founded in the spirit of unity and cooperation. MAG members believe that they can solve common problems, take an active role in long-range regional issues and address concerns that affect all communities. By serving on the Economic Development Committee Vice Mayor Smith is able to bring new information quickly back to Maricopa as well as participate in decisions and training opportunities.
She is the proud mother of two children and a trusted mentor to a large extended family. Her husband and family spend their free time playing sports and watching their favorite sport teams compete. Although Arizona is not her birth state, she thoroughly loves living in Arizona and feels as though she is a native.
As the Vice Mayor for the City of Maricopa, Nancy is focused on an agenda that builds a strong and sustainable economy that moves Maricopa from a bedroom community to a place we live, play and work.
Dr. David Valenzuela
Physician Executive, Arizona Primary Care
Banner Medical Group
David Valenzuela, MD, brings more than 15 years of medical and physician leadership experience to Banner Medical Group.
Dr. Valenzuela joined Banner Health as an Occupational Health Services Pool Physician in 2004 and in 2006 became a Staff Physician with Banner Health Clinic Seville. He has helped lead the Banner Medical Group team since 2013, when he took the position of Physician Practice Leader, managing multiple healthcare facilities in the Phoenix metro area. As Division Medical Director, Primary Care – Arizona East, Dr. Valenzuela was responsible for leading more than 75 physicians and APPs and played an integral role in designing and implementing initiatives to expand patient access and increase provider productivity.
Since 2018, he has held the position of Physician Executive, Arizona Primary Care for Banner Medical Group, where he leads the growth strategy and is responsible for more than 30 healthcare locations and 170 physicians and APPs in Family Medicine, Internal Medicine and General Pediatrics.
He received his Doctor of Medicine degree from the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California and completed his Family Practice Postgraduate Residency at Banner Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center.
Honors and recognition include:
- BMG’s Best – Financial Stewardship, Second Quarter 2015
- Linden Scholarship Recipient – Keck School of Medicine of USC
- General Academic Scholarship – Stanford University
Mr. Eric Wilkey
Arizona Grain, Inc.
Eric Wilkey is president of Arizona Grain, Inc., headquartered in Casa Grande, AZ. He joined the company in 1991. From 1996 until 2006 he was Vice President and Director of Merchandising and Risk Management. Mr. Wilkey also is the President of Arizona Plant Breeders Inc. of Arizona City AZ.
Before joining Arizona Grain, Inc. he worked for six years with Continental Grain Co. in various locations throughout North America.
He currently serves as Chairman of the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA). Mr. Wilkey has served as the Chairman of NGFA’s Grain and Feed Foundation as well as chairman of its Country Elevator Committee. Since 2004, he has served the State of Arizona by appointment of the Governor as a member the Arizona Grain Research and Promotion Council, and served as this body’s chairman in 2006-2007. Wilkey is a past Chairman of the Transportation, Elevator, and Grain Merchants Association, serving in 2006 and 2007 in that role.
Mr. Wilkey is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Champaign, with a B.S. in Agriculture Economics.
Mr. Daniel Wolf
District Manager/Division Operations
Southwest Gas Corporation
Mr. Brian Yerges
Electrical District No. 3
Brian Yerges was recently appointed the General Manager of Electrical District No. 3 (ED3) and assumed his responsibilities on May 18th. Prior to ED3, Brian served for approximately 10 years as the City Administrator/Utilities Manager for Plymouth, Wisconsin and served as the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for all of city government including operations of Plymouth Utilities (Electric, Water, Sewer, Stormwater). During his tenure, Plymouth Utilities invested in a multi-year utility modernization effort which included a new utilities operations center, construction of Well #17, construction of Reservoir #3, Automated Metering Infrastructure (AMI) program, fiber network, substation #2 and #4 upgrades, along with other capital investments. Plymouth was recognized by several prestigious state and national organizations with awards during his tenure.
Brian has master’s degrees in Public Administration and Urban Planning from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee as well as a Bachelor of Arts from Wisconsin Lutheran College where he double majored in Political Science and Communications. He has completed a number of executive programs including the Utility Executive Course at the University of Idaho, Utility Management certificate from Willamette University, and the Senior Executive Institute at the University of Virginia.
He holds the American Institute of Certified Planner (AICP) designation, completed the Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) certification program through the National Development Council (NDC), and also holds the International City County Management Association’s Credentialed Manager designation (ICMA-CM). Yerges also earned the American Public Power Manager designation from the American Public Power Association.
Dr. Ioanna T. Morfessis
Senior Advisor to the
Board of Directors
Mr. Andy Kroese
Vice President & CFO
Arizona Grain, Inc.
Andy Kroese is Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Arizona Grain in Casa Grande. Andy joined Arizona Grain in 2013 and is responsible for the company’s accounting and finance functions along with Information Technology and Human Resources. Prior to his current role, Andy spent 25 years in the technology industry most recently serving as the Chief Financial Officer for a semiconductor company, ClearSpeed Technologies. Andy started his career with Hewlett-Packard where he held various executive roles in finance including World Wide financial responsibility for the company’s personal computer supply chain.
Andy grew up in the Phoenix area and holds a Bachelors in Accounting from the University of Southern California and an MBA from the University of Arizona.
Ms. Lisa A. Russell
Branch Manager II
Great Western Bank
Lisa Russell is Branch Manager II at Great Western Bank’s Maricopa Banking Center. A regional bank with more than 170 locations in Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota, Great Western Bank currently has assets of $11.99 billion.
In her capacity, Ms. Russell is responsible for managing all aspects of branch operations, including the hiring and training of staff, loans and lines of credit origination, building rapport with the community to attract business, assisting with customer relations, and ensuring that the branch meets its goals and objectives in a timely manner.
With 35 years banking experience, Ms. Russell has had progressively successful experience in the financial services sector, including leadership and management roles in banks across the U.S. Among her areas of achievement and specialty are bank branch management, mortgage origination and lending, and business development across different product lines.
In addition, Ms. Russell also has a demonstrated successful track record as a Pension Administrator, having worked for McGladrey & Pullen LLP. In her role at that firm, she initiated buy/sells of mutual funds with Charles Schwab, processed 401(k) loans and distributions and represented the firm’s outreach and client development, retention and servicing.
Ms. Russell moved to Maricopa in 2019. She is an Advisory Director of the Maricopa Economic Development Alliance and member of the Maricopa Power Networking Group and Maricopa Rotary.
Mr. Bradley R. Pollock
Snell & Wilmer
Bradley Pollock is a member of Snell & Wilmer’s commercial litigation practice group. Mr. Pollock focuses his practice on complex commercial litigation, financial services litigation, professional liability litigation, and corporate governance litigation.
Mr. Pollock’s financial services litigation practice includes the representation of national and local banks and mortgage lenders. He represents clients in matters involving consumer fraud statutes, the holder rule, demand deposit account disputes involving check fraud, regulatory compliance, the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS), the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), and the Uniform Fiduciary Act (UFA).
Mr. Pollock received his degree from the University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law (J.D., magna cum laude, 2016).