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Ioanna Morfessis: Most Influential Women in Arizona Business

Ioanna Morfessis, founder, IO.INC

As an economic development executive, including time as the founder of GPEC, Morfessis helped attract nearly $30 billion in private capital investment and created more than 200,000 new direct jobs.

Greatest accomplishment: “Helping to improve the quality of life and economies in the communities I served.”

Childhood aspiration: “I dreamed about being a ballerina. This aspiration helped me realize that the entire world is a stage, and each of us has a distinct and important role to play in the theater of life.”

Reception: The 2015 Most Influential Women in Arizona Business will be recognized at the Most Influential Women in Arizona Cocktail Party on August 27, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Chateau Luxe. Click here to purchase tickets.

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Az Business honors Most Influential Women in Arizona

They are the best business minds in Arizona. They are innovators, trailblazers and leaders of industry.

They are Az Business magazine’s Most Influential Women in Arizona Business for 2015, as selected by the editorial team at Az Business magazine and a panel of industry experts.

“While their resumes and career paths may differ, the women we selected have all procured influence in their respective fields through hard-earned track records of profitability, business ethics and leadership,” said AZ Big Media  Publisher Cheryl Green. “Az Business magazine is proud to congratulate the women who earned the right to call themselves one of the Most Influential Women in Arizona Business. They are changing the face of Arizona business.”

Members of the 2015 list will be recognized at the Most Influential Women in Arizona Cocktail Party on August 27, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Chateau Luxe. Click here to purchase tickets.

The women selected to this prestigious list for 2015 are:

Amy Abdo, director, Fennemore Craig

Jennifer Anderson, senior vice president and regional manager, Wells Fargo

Karen Anderson, researcher, ASU’s Biodesign Institute

Lauren Bailey, founder, Upward Projects

Glynis Bryan, CFO, Insight Enterprises

Rita Cheng, president, NAU

Judith S. Gordon, associate professor and associate head for research at the University of Arizona Department of Family and Community Medicine

Alisa Gray, shareholder, Tiffany & Bosco

Sue Hasenstein, BMO Harris Bank

Melissa Ho, Polsinelli

Bo Hughes, CFO and COO, Pinnacle Bank

Veronique James, CEO, The James Agency

Isabelle Jazo, senior vice president of strategy, LaneTerralever

Carolyn J. Johnsen, Dickinson Wright

Eileen Klein, Arizona Board of Regents

Rosey Koberlein, CEO, Long Companies

Becky Kuhn, executive vice president, Banner Health

Betsy Kuzas, chief operating officer, Phoenix Children’s Hospital

Michelle Lawrie, economic development director, Goodyear

Nona Lee, SVP and general counsel, Arizona Diamondbacks

Hope Leibsohn, member, Sherman & Howard

Stacey L. Lihn, Gallagher & Kennedy

Tina Machado, president, CodeRed-I

Carol May, president, Wisdom Natural Brands DBA SweetLeaf

Sara McCoy, first female to manage a power plant for SRP

Erica McGinnis, president and CEO, AIG Advisor Group

Tammy McLeod, vice president, APS

Rose Megian, president and CEO, Health Net of Arizona

Dion Messer, general counsel – intellectual property, Limelight Networks

MaryAnn Miller, senior vice president, Avnet

Ioanna Morfessis, president, IO.Inc.

Harriet Mountcastle-Walsh,VP and General Counsel, Honeywell

Annette G. Musa, Arizona market president, Comerica Bank

Christine Nowaczyk, senior vice president, Bank of Arizona

Deborah Pearson, Arizona State Credit Union

Susan Pepin, president and CEO, Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust

Suzanne Pfister, president and CEO, St. Luke’s Health Initiatives

Christina Roderick, principal, REDW

Patricia Rourke, market president, Bankers Trust

Lisa Sanchez, COO, The CORE Institute

Adelaida V. Severson, president and CEO, Bushtex

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-AZ 9th District

Sherri Slayton, Alliance Bank of Arizona

Wendi A. Sorensen, Burch & Cracchiolo

Molly Stockley, vice president of hospital growth, CTCA

Cathy Valenzuela, president, Arizona Business Bank

Kimberly Van Amburg, CEO, Casino Del Sol Resort

Cheryl Vogt, managing director, Marsh

Cynthia Walter, president, BAGNALL

Lori L. Winkelman, Quarles & Brady LLP

In addition to the Most Influential Women in Arizona Business, Az Business also selects five “Generation Next” women who are making an impact on Arizona, even though they are less than 40 years old. Those women selected for 2014 are:

Denyse Airheart, interim director of economic development, City of Maricopa

Jessica Benford, shareholder, Ryley Carlock & Applewhite

Dr. Ivana Dzeletovic, Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center

Stephanie Parra, executive director, T.W. Lewis Foundation

Teresa M. Pilatowicz, of counsel, Garman Turner Gordon

To select the best and brightest women to recognize each year, the editor and publisher of Az Business magazine compile a list of almost 1,000 women from every facet of Arizona’s business landscape — banking, law, healthcare, bioscience, real estate, technology, manufacturing, retail, tourism, energy, accounting and nonprofits. Once that list is compiled, we vet the list, narrow it down to about 150 women who we feel are most deserving, and then submit the list to 20 of their peers — female leaders from a variety or industries — and ask them to vote. If they want to vote for someone whose name is not on the list of those submitted for consideration, voters are invited to write in the names of women who they think deserve to members of this exclusive club.

Az Business also does not allow a woman to appear on the list most than once.

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GPEC names Chris Camacho new CEO

The Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) Board of Directors unanimously selected Chris Camacho as the organization’s fourth president and CEO during a special meeting today.

Camacho has served as executive vice president of GPEC since joining the organization in 2008. He oversaw the organization’s top line performance measures, including domestic and international business development and market strategies. Camacho has also served as a primary conduit to Maricopa County and cities in the region.

“Chris is one of the leading economic development professionals in the country and unquestionably the best candidate for the position,” said Don Smith, GPEC board chairman and CopperPoint Mutual president. “His proven leadership acumen and depth of experience will enhance the momentum of the organization and propel our work forward. Following an extensive evaluation, the Board was confident in the strength of our leadership succession plan. Chris has the full support of our communities and stakeholders.”

Over the course of his career, Camacho has earned regional and national recognition. This month, he was recognized by Consultant Connect as a Top 50 Economic Developer in North America. He has served as president of the Arizona Association for Economic Development, and was named Economic Developer of the Year by the organization in 2011. Both the Phoenix Business Journal in 2012 and Development Counsellors International in 2013 recognized him as one of the 40 under 40.

“I am fully invested in seeing the future sustainability of our region supported by significant business growth and collaborative economic development initiatives,” said Camacho. “I am humbled by the board’s decision and the outpouring of support I have received from the community. Greater Phoenix has become home to me and my family.”

During Camacho’s tenure, GPEC has led the attraction of 174 companies, creating 26,688 jobs and $2.2 billion in capital investment. Notable projects include Silicon Valley Bank, Zenefits, GoDaddy, Yelp, Amazon, Garmin and General Motors, among many others.

Previous GPEC CEOs include Ioanna Morfessis, Rick Weddle and the most recent president and CEO, Barry Broome.

Strategic Economic Development Plan

Gilbert’s Strategic Economic Development Plan To Focus On Science, Technology

Economic Development Plan

The Gilbert, Ariz., Economic Development Office (EDO) is actively developing a strategic plan to attract companies and researchers from around the world to its community.

Operating under a mandate from its town council, the EDO organized citizen work groups and has held numerous meetings with business and community leaders to discuss opportunities, challenges and initiatives to enhance its economic policies, workforce development and marketing and branding. Eliciting input from the work groups ensured that the needs of the business community were fully understood and that all stakeholders would be represented in the strategic plan.

Economic development consultant Dr. Ioanna Morfessis was contracted by Gilbert to facilitate collaboration and prioritize recommendations within the work groups to help Gilbert achieve its goals.

“This five-year Strategic Economic Development Plan will effectively channel Gilbert’s resources into producing positive, measured results to meet its goals,” Morfessis says.

As a result of the Gilbert Town Council mandate and Summer 2011 work group meetings, it was determined that Gilbert should focus its economic development strategy on science and technology industries with an emphasis on biotech and life sciences. Gilbert is recognized as a regional leader in life science research and treatments for cancer and for research and therapies utilizing adult stem cells.

“Attracting companies from the biotech and life science industry sectors will strengthen Gilbert economically and provide immeasurable future benefits to our community as we work to become a net importer of these jobs over the next 20 years,” says Gilbert Mayor John Lewis. “I would like to personally thank the participants of our recent work group meetings for their time and valuable contributions to our strategic plan.”

“The Greater Phoenix region is emerging as a leader in personalized medicine, and Gilbert is a great example of a progressive and strategic effort toward the biomedical and health science community,” says Barry Broome, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. “Gilbert’s wealth of health care assets, like MD Anderson, make it particularly well positioned under this mantle in the delivery of personalized care in the oncology sector.”

“Gilbert is fortunate to have several world-class anchor institutions, innovative private corporations and community assets that make it uniquely attractive to life science companies,” says Morfessis, founder of the international consulting firm, IO.INC.

Morfessis was recently recognized by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) with the Lifetime Achievement Award for her esteemed career of empowering communities and companies to prosper. She was the founding president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, working with Gilbert and other regional communities to attract more than 200 firms that generated more than 165,000 new direct jobs during her tenure.

For more information about Gilbert’s Economic Development Office and the five-year Strategic Economic Development Plan, visit gilbertaz.gov/econdev.