White has been with Dignity Health Arizona for 30 years. During that time, she has had progressive management positions throughout the organization, including her most current role as president and CEO.
Surprising fact: “I grew up 9 miles outside of a rural town in Missouri, a farmer’s daughter. We depended on the land for everything. I was even born at home before it was popular.”
Biggest challenge: “Work/life balance is really difficult in a fast-paced environment. I love to exercise, so I made a commitment to take the time to make that happen. Every morning, I get up at 4:30 to fit exercise into my schedule. I have been running with the same group of friends for 20 years.”
Watson has more than 20 years of economic development leadership and experience. She and her teams have attracted hundreds of companies to Arizona that have invested billions of dollars in capital and created more than 65,000 quality jobs.
Surprising fact: “My career in economic development began in Canada. When my family and I moved to Arizona, I continued economic development work with the City of Chandler and then the state of Arizona.”
Biggest challenge: “Economic development during the recession was extremely challenging. Working with Gov. Brewer and our elected leadership to create the Arizona Commerce Authority and lay the foundation for a more sustainable economy has been incredibly rewarding and is already paying dividends through quality job creation for Arizonans.”
Spicer brings 26 years of gaming experience to AIGA, which represents 19 Tribes. Most recently she was CEO of Gaming Strategies Group, where she promoted business development with tribal enterprises, governments and consulted tribal and individually owned businesses. Spicer has been named as a Great Woman of Gaming, a Proven Leader by Casino Enterprise Management magazine, and as one of the “Top 25 People To Watch” by Global Gaming Magazine.
Surprising fact: “I spent three years as an 18-wheel truck driver, cross-country hauling computers and fine art, including a Diego Rivera painting.”
Biggest challenge: “As single mom, my biggest challenge was balancing a strong commitment to my family and my career, which requires working twice as hard at both.”
Robertson began her nursing career at Banner Health in 1988 at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center. A cardiac nurse with nearly 20 years experience, she has served in a variety of staff and management positions, including Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit director. In 2010, she was named CEO of Banner Baywood and in 2012, she was named CEO of Banner Heart Hospital, which is on the same campus of Banner Baywood.
Surprising fact: “Exercise is my stress reliever and it provides me balance. I run six miles a day every morning.”
Biggest challenge: “Balancing a family and a career. I stay focused and make each a priority.”
Rich has held roles in healthcare that range from staff nurse to CEO. Rich joined TMC HealthCare nearly 10 years ago and was COO for Tucson Medical Center until 2006 before she was named president and CEO of the 650-bed nonprofit hospital in 2007.
Surprising fact: “I often come to TMC on the weekends when my daughter is volunteering with Therapeutic Ranch for Animals and Kids, introducing the ranch’s rabbits, chicks and other small animals to TMC’s pediatric patients.”
Biggest challenge: “As CEO, it’s important to zoom in to understand the seemingly minute details of operations, as well as zoom out to see the organization from the 10,000-foot level. Balancing between the two is challenging and takes discipline.”
Parry oversees all aspects of planning and executing the 2015 Super Bowl, working closely with the NFL and numerous constituents in Arizona. The Super Bowl Host Committee is responsible for achieving a $25 million fundraising goal and then executing Arizona’s plan to maximize the impact of hosting the Super Bowl.
Surprising fact: “I come from a family of birds, meaning, my two sisters’ names are Robin and Piper. I was surrounded by strong women ‘in the nest’ from an early age.”
Biggest challenge: “Succeeding in male-dominated industries and professional sports has its challenges. I wear higher heels and what that really means is be yourself and true to your leadership philosophies no matter what the circumstances are.”
Lind oversees the strategic direction and day-to-day operations of the largest trade association in Arizona. Prior to becoming CEO, Lind served as the primary legal advisor to the association and was integral in the development of AAR’s contract forms. Lind began her legal career at Jennings, Strouss & Salmon and later joined two other lawyers and became a partner in Combs, Mack & Lind, a law firm focusing on real estate litigation and transactions.
Surprising fact: “Prior to attending law school, I was a registered nurse working in obstetrics and out-patient surgery.”
Biggest challenge: “My biggest challenge has been balancing my professional life and personal life. I try to overcome the challenge by setting priorities both at home and at the office.”
Lechter, winner of National Bank of Arizona’s fourth annual Women’s Financial Group (WFG) Woman of the Year Award. is a local businesswoman, investor and financial literary activist whose philanthropic work has helped establish, educate and train professional women in the Valley. She also is the co-author of “Rich Dad Poor Dad,” a financial selfhelp book that has sold more than 26 million copies worldwide.
Surprising fact: “I am as comfortable and happy driving an ATV through the Tonto National Forest on our ranch as I am sitting in a corporate board room negotiating a multi-million dollar deal.”
Biggest challenge: “Creating legislative change to require financial education be taught in high schools… and the battle goes on.”
Jones has been with UnitedHealthcare for more than a decade and currently oversees employer and individual markets for Arizona, Utah and Idaho. Prior to taking this role, Jones was chief of staff for the West Region of UnitedHealthcare, responsible for strategy and execution of the regional vision and business plan. Jones holds a B.S. degree in accounting from Northern Arizona University and is a C.P.A.
Surprising fact: “I co-owned a hot-air balloon.”
Biggest challenge: “Public speaking. It hasn’t been easy, but as the CEO of a major healthcare company, I had to get use to speaking in front of groups, on TV and about myself, which I wasn’t very comfortable doing.”
Jameson, who earned a 2011 White House “Champion of Change” award, has developed and launched multiple technology companies as both a consultant and founder. This includes a multinational consulting organization, her self-owned company, Potentiate, and Colnatec. Colnatec is the only company in the world designing and developing state of the art manufacturing process control sensors for thin film measurement of high temperature processes.
Surprising fact: “I’m an introvert. I’m loud and seemingly outgoing, but I’m far more comfortable with a good book.”
Biggest challenge: “Allowing myself to take some credit for Colnatec’s wins. I’m not as good at recognizing my own contributions as I am in recognizing others’ contributions.”
Espinoza has been selling residential real estate since 1997 and currently works with HomeSmart Elite Group. In 2012, she started a women’s group called Platform Scottsdale. This group welcomes everyone from the stay-at-home mom to the business owner and serves to connect, promote and inspire local women.
Surprising fact: “My family and I were on ‘Family Feud’ in 2010.”
Biggest challenge: “Going through a divorce. Coming from a family where my parents have been married over 40 years, I was not prepared for this overwhelming life change … To surround myself with supportive, wonderful women, I founded Platform Scottsdale … I discovered that I can accomplish much more with the support of these women, and create lifelong friendships that I will forever cherish.”
Mara Aspinal – President and CEO, Ventana Medical Systems
Aspinal, who holds an MBA from Harvard, joined Ventana as president and CEO in 2011. She founded the European Personalized Medicine Association and advised the Obama and Bush administrations on diagnostics and genomics.
Surprising fact: “I will attend any live sporting event – from baseball to rodeo – any chance I get.”
Biggest challenge: “My approach to my first leadership role in manufacturing was that I asked lots of questions, studied our business vs. competitors and put a strong team in place. In three years, we turned the business around and had the industry’s best profit margins. The lesson for me is not to be afraid of new challenges, take the time to learn and then trust the data alongside your gut.”
Diane Brossart – President and CEO, Arizona Forward
Brossart joined the nonprofit civic group — which aims to move Arizona forward environmentally, economically and socially — as a member 30 years ago. She was appointed to her leadership role in 1991, when Valley Forward focused exclusively on Maricopa County. Rebranded as Arizona Forward is 2012, its expanded statewide sustainability agenda includes: land use, transportation, air quality, energy, water and environmental education.
Surprising fact: “I believe my mother who passed away nearly 10 years ago lives as a rabbit in my backyard.”
Biggest challenge: “Taking Valley Forward statewide after 43 years as the Valley’s voice for balance. I’m bringing the best and brightest talent around Arizona together to help make the Grand Canyon State the greatest place in America to live.”