Tag Archives: Michelle Rider

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WESTMARC seeks ‘Best of the West’ nominations

WESTMARC is seeking nominations for its 20th anniversary Best of the West Awards ceremony scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 1, at the Renaissance Glendale Hotel.

At the anniversary event, WESTMARC will announce three West Valley award winners: Economic Engine Award, Quality of Life Enhancement Award and the Excellence in Innovation Award. Nominations are due Wednesday, Sept.12, by 5 p.m. Nominations can be emailed to events@westmarc.org or mailed to WESTMARC’s Peoria office at 14100 N 83rd Avenue, Suite 150. The cost for each nomination is $25 for members and $50 for non-members. Nomination forms are available www.westmarc.org and require one to three high resolution images.

“The Best of the West Awards will recognize outstanding contributions to the image, lifestyle and economy in the West Valley,” said Michelle Rider, president and CEO of WESTMARC. “With all the significant activity in the West Valley this past year, the challenging part will be narrowing our awards to only three winners.”

Nominations are sought from those individuals and organizations west of Interstate 17. The Economic Engine Award will recognize individuals and organizations which have created a significant economic impact in the region. Nominees will be judged on economic impact in proportion to the size of the nominee or to the population.

Potential nominees for the Quality of Life Enhancement Award will recognize educational, community, arts and recreational programs, facilities or leaders enhancing the quality of life in the West Valley.

The Excellence in Innovation Award will recognize individuals and organizations demonstrating an innovative concept or fulfilling a need that preserves the region’s assets and resources and create an economic benefit for West Valley residents.

A special 20th anniversary award will be presented at the ceremony to the Luke Forward community engagement campaign which was pivotal to the recent effort to secure the new F-35 training center at Luke Air Force Base. WESTMARC will also present the John F. Long Lifetime Achievement Award and the WESTMARC Leadership Award.

“A special thank you to our Presenting Partner, Cox Communications, and all of our sponsors for their continued generous support,” added Rider. Sponsorship opportunities are still available.

WESTMARC Logo - AZ Business Magazine July/August 2011

New WESTMARC President Leverages GPEC Experience To Benefit Organization

Michelle Rider, President and CEO, WESTMARCIn June, Michelle Rider was named WESTMARC president and CEO. On July 1, she officially replaced Jack Lunsford, who had held the post for seven years. For nine years, Rider has held key positions with the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC).

How is the West Valley economy fairing compared to last year?

The West Valley still faces the challenge of having lost 300,000 jobs in recent years, as well as being affected by the housing bubble. It has also had several recent wins for its economy with the addition of companies such as Sub-Zero in Goodyear and Gestamp Solar Steel in Surprise.

What needs to be done to help the West Valley’s economy get back on track?

The West Valley has an opportunity to attract new quality employers. Bringing major employers in will create new jobs directly, but will also help provide a customer base for struggling small businesses. West Valley community mayors and councils aggressively compete for these opportunities.

How do you think your work at GPEC translates to your role at WESTMARC?

Everything I have done at GPEC translates in some way to leading WESTMARC. I have worked with many of the public and private sector leaders through GPEC on projects including fundraising, public policy and stakeholder engagement.

What new initiatives or policies will you implement for WESTMARC members?

We are developing a new strategic plan. I am fortunate that WESTMARC’s leadership (board and executive committee) is dedicated to prosperity in the West Valley. We look forward to creating a clear, measurable road map to guide the organization.

What sets the West Valley apart?

Most of the next decade’s growth projected for Greater Phoenix will occur here. We have the opportunity to define ourselves by leveraging and managing that growth to provide quality jobs.

Michelle Rider WESTMARC president and CEO

Arizona Business Magazine July/August 2011