If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that it would be impossible to project an accurate economic outlook for 2024. However, as we head into the new year, one thing is for certain: The 50 people and 50 companies who made the AZ Big 100 list for 2024 are going to have a tremendous impact on how the business landscape is shaped this year. The editorial board for Az Business magazine met with Arizona industry leaders to identify the 100 people and companies who will shape Arizona’s business community in 2024. Learn more about the 50 Arizona business leaders to watch in 2024 below.

AZ Big 100: 50 commercial real estate leaders to watch in 2024

Coming tomorrow: 50 Arizona businesses to watch in 2024

Susan Anable

Phoenix market vice president // Cox Communications

A 2020 Most Influential Women in Arizona Business alumni, Anable took over the role of Phoenix market vice president in March. She has been with Cox for upwards of two decades in various roles and has received several company and industry awards for government relations and public affairs initiatives. Before Cox, Susan was part of the Arizona State Senate research staff, serving as Staff Director and Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment Analyst.

Justin Bayless

Founder and general partner // Ten Figures and The Journey Venture Studios

Since November 2022, Bayless has been busy changing the healthcare tech landscape with the launch of two companies to support underrepresented entrepreneurs: Ten Figures and The Journey Venture Studios. After noticing this lack of access to capital and resources, Bayless created a vehicle that enabled the development of underrepresented entrepreneurs. In January 2024, he plans to relaunch a new healthcare company under his family name Bayless Integrated Healthcare.

TAKING THE REINS: A recognized leader in the credit union industry, Andrew Britton was named president and CEO in April 2023. (Provided photo)

Andrew Britton

President and CEO // Hughes Federal Credit Union 

After serving in the U.S. Air Force from 1984 to 1991, Britton began a long and successful 32-year career in the credit union industry. He joined the Hughes Federal Credit Union team in 2003 as the collections manager. Britton took on the additional responsibilities of consumer lending in 2006, when he was promoted to lending and collections manager. 

During his tenure, Britton helped navigate the Credit Union through challenging financial times, including the Great Recession, by providing much-needed assistance to members. He was promoted to vice president of lending in 2010, becoming responsible for all consumer lending, mortgage, collections and loan servicing needs. He has been a member of the Hughes Federal Credit Union Delinquent Loan Committee for 20 years, Asset Liability Management Committee for 12 years and also served on the Facilities Planning Committee. 

In April 2023, Britton was promoted to President of Hughes Federal Credit Union and now serves on the Hughes Federal Credit Union Board of Directors as treasurer. 

Starting in 2011, Britton implemented a loan growth strategy that has allowed Hughes Federal Credit Union to grow from $294 million in member loan balances to $1.9 billion by year-end 2023.

Learn more: hughesfcu.org

Teniqua Broughton

Executive director // State of Black Arizona

Through her work as CEO of the State of Black Arizona (SBAZ), Broughton is pioneering what no one else in any other state is accomplishing at this level. SBAZ is Arizona’s only nonprofit business data repository specific to the experiences of African Americans. SBAZ focuses on creating a space to catalog, empower and promote partnerships among Black businesses in Arizona, providing research, resources and solutions to create actionable change.

Amy Bruske

President // Kolbe Corp.

In her role as president and owner at Kolbe Corp., Bruske advises high-level governmental agencies and leading healthcare organizations; consults for top companies in industries ranging from food to electronics to insurance; helps investment bankers and semiconductor manufacturers; and leads projects for Fortune 500 businesses and local community non-profits alike. Amy also serves as chair of the board for the Center for Conative Abilities.

COMMUNITY LEADER: Shannon Butler of CVS Health is a member of the board of directors for the Greater Phoenix Chamber. (Photo by Bruce Andersen, Az Business magazine, a publication of AZ Big Media)

Shannon Butler

Executive director of government affairs, Western Region // CVS Health 

Part of the CVS Health organization for more than a decade, in her current role, Butler directs and oversees government and regulatory relations for several western states with her team. She is asked to develop political strategies, input on public policy and manage legislative and external issues that affect the CVS Health enterprise, including Aetna and Caremark. 

Butler’s career has included representing an array of clients in private and non-profit sectors. She specializes in matters addressing healthcare and insurance policy, retail and pharmacy issues as well as mergers and acquisitions. 

“[Our] old strategy was not delivering winning results and others were creating our narrative,” Butler says. “It’s easy to stay in the status quo and survive the day to day, but we completely revamped everything — messaging, partnerships, memberships and lobbyists. Recognizing the missing voice of commercial health plans, we worked to set up a new organization. Two years later, the restructure is creating winning results. Now, we are developing a strategy a few years out. We’ve applied this model in other states and I encourage my team to fix what is not working for them.”

Learn more: cvshealth.com

Monica Coury

Vice president of legislative and government affairs // Arizona Complete Health

Coury is vice president of legislative and government affairs for Arizona Complete Health, a subsidiary of the Centene Corporation, which serves Arizonans through individual and family coverage on the Marketplace, Medicaid, Medicare and other programs. She leads the company’s state and local public affairs strategy, including guiding the company’s state and local government strategy, advocacy efforts, community relations, media relations, marketing and stakeholder engagement.

TRENDSETTER: As CEO of The Colibri Collective, Gaby Cardenas has led her firm to receive a multitude of awards for excellence in innovative marketing. (Provided photo)

Gaby Cardenas

Founder and CEO // The Colibri Collective 

The daughter of immigrant business owners and a proud native of Mexico, Cardenas brings a unique perspective and unwavering passion to the dynamic world of marketing. Her journey started with a successful track record in diverse industries, where she generated millions of dollars for media companies. 

Fueled by an entrepreneurial spirit and a dream of making a meaningful impact in advertising and marketing, Cardenas embarked on the exciting venture of founding her firm, The Colibri Collective. The Colibri Collective, a pioneering Latina-owned digital marketing firm based in Phoenix, was founded by Cardenas in 2017. With a commitment to creating positive change, the company’s focus extends beyond profit margins to establishing and maintaining meaningful partnerships. 

In 2022, Cardenas’s leadership and expertise were recognized when The Colibri Collective became the official multi-cultural public relations firm for the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee and the NFL for Super Bowl LVII. In just six years, The Colibri Collective expanded its footprint to work in 17 states. 

“As a trendsetter in the marketing world, we have evolved into an award-winning full-service agency, continuing to grow with a substantial nationwide presence,” Cardenas says.

Learn more: thecolibricollective.com

Washington Covena

Director, commercial verticals and strategy // Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona

Covena says he joined Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona to be part of the effort to help Arizonans get healthier faster and stay healthier longer. Not only does Covena hope to impact the health of Arizonans, he hopes to impact his community as a board member for the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Theodore Cavender 

INNOVATOR: Theodore Cavender co-founded Vulcreate, which helps fellow entrepreneurs develop their products using advanced 3D visualization and modeling. (Provided photo)

Co-founder // Vulcreate 

Cavender founded Vulcreate with a focus on empowering product development and innovation through advanced engineering and prototyping. Vulcreate’s services accommodate a broad range of clients, from budding entrepreneurs to established companies. Specializing in bringing ideas to life, this innovative company facilitates the transition from concept to final product. With the expertise needed to develop any creation from consumer products to industrial equipment and medical devices, Vulcreate ensures the successful realization of innovative products for a variety of industries, underscoring Cavender’s commitment to supporting innovation around the world. 

“Founding Vulcreate was undoubtedly my most innovative decision,” Cavender says. “The vision was fed by the universal presence of people with great ideas, stumped by the over-bearing technical knowledge that comes with engineering and prototyping.”

Vulcreate was created to be a one-stop platform, providing the engineering expertise needed to go from concept to manufacturing, empowering creators globally — whether, students, entrepreneurs, startups or established companies.

Learn more: Vulcreate.com

John Dinius

President and CEO // Casino Arizona and Talking Stick Resort

Appointed president and CEO of Casino Arizona and Talking Stick Resort in February of 2023, Dinius has more than 20 years of experience in casinos across California. Prior to his most recent position, Dinius was CEO of Table Mountain Casino in Fresno, where he helped spearhead the opening of the new multi-million-dollar casino-resort.

Jolean Flecke

Vice president of people and organizational development // Delta Dental of Arizona

In her current role as vice president of people and organizational development, Flecke works to shape the company’s culture and create an enriching experience for employees. With a focus on building a strong, high-performing team, she is also responsible for leadership development and employer branding. In 2023, under her leadership, Delta Dental of Arizona won the platinum healthy worksites award after earning gold for several years prior. 

FORWARD THINKING: Sybil Francis is president and CEO of the Center for the Future of Arizona. (Provided photo)

Sybil Francis

President and CEO // Center for the Future of Arizona (CFA)

A member of the organization’s founding team, Francis brings her passion for creating positive change, her love of Arizona and her considerable prior national public policy experience to her leadership of CFA. 

Under her stewardship, CFA advances “The Arizona We Want,” based on Arizonans’ shared public values and aspirations for the future of the state. As a self-proclaimed “do-tank,” CFA also impacts education, workforce and civic engagement through its innovative programs aimed at changing the trajectory of Arizona for the good and benefit of all Arizonans.

Earlier in her career, Francis served as a senior policy director in the U.S. House of Representatives and later in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Francis is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a Global Futures Scholar, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory. She also served on the board of The Nature Conservancy of Arizona for 12 years and chaired its Conservation and Public Policy Committee for much of her tenure. She was a founder and remains the standing chair of ASU’s Women and Philanthropy program, and is a member of the Arizona Women’s Forum and Charter 100.

Learn more: arizonafuture.org

Kentay Garvin

Chief executive officer // United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) of Central Arizona

With more than 20 years of experience in executive leadership, finance and managing complex healthcare systems, Garvin is responsible for strategic operations and creating innovative solutions across UCP’s four business lines. UCP of Central Arizona provides comprehensive services to individuals with disabilities and their families by providing physical and developmental support as well as educational growth, which is the foundation for independent living.

Xavier Gutierrez

President and CEO  //  Arizona Coyotes

GAME-CHANGER: Xavier Gutierrez is the first Latino president and CEO in the National Hockey League, leading the Arizona Coyotes. (Photo by Bruce Andersen, Az Business)

Gutierrez was named as the Arizona Coyotes’ president, CEO and alternate governor in the summer of 2020. And what a time to take over a sports franchise — at the beginning of COVID. Of course when Guiterrez was initially approached by Alex Meruelo, chairman and governor of the Coyotes, he — nor the rest of the world — knew of the impending pandemic. 

“Alex called me in February of 2020,” Gutierrez says. “I’m sitting in my office, overlooking the beach in Santa Monica, and he’s on the phone saying, ‘I think you should move to Arizona and I think you should move your family.’”

After some deliberation and coaxing, Gutierrez and his family ultimately made their way to the Grand Canyon State in spring of 2020. His position as president and CEO was announced in May 2020, and by June, the hockey season came to a dead stop. But Guiterrez didn’t mark this period as a time of defeat. In fact, he became more determined than ever to capitalize on the many silver linings that presented themselves.

“I’ve been executing on what Alex really centers around: the impact and incredible power that we have in professional sports,” Guiterrez says. “During COVID, you saw the power of sports even more, right? We were one of the first sports teams to bring fans back.”

Uniting people together is something for which Guiterrez takes immense pride and has immense talent. As the first and only professional sports’ team president who is Latino, he also takes this unique position to heart, advocating not only for the latino/latina community — but all underrepresented demographics.

“Our fans are of all types of backgrounds,” he says. “To sit in this chair and have the opportunity to open those doors, it means a lot. And I’ve never taken it lightly.”

Because of his dedication to formulating the Coyotes as a platform for community leadership and bridge to Arizona’s growth cohorts (Latino as one example), he’s been able to form partnerships with organizations like Goodwill, which sponsored the largest youth hockey Street League sponsorship in all of the NHL here in Arizona. 

Moving forward, Guiterrez looks forward to the many exciting opportunities ahead — including upcoming announcements regarding a permanent Coyotes home — and ways the Coyotes can positively impact Arizona. 

“First and foremost, everything we do is around this concept of impact,” he says, “both on the ice, off the ice and as a business enterprise, as a community enterprise. That’s what really drives us.” 

Learn more: nhl.com/coyotes/

Rachael Goodwin

Town manager // Town of Fountain Hills

Before taking over as town manager, Goodwin served on the town staff for more than nine years and served in the municipal government for almost 20 years. In her role, she provides overall administrative leadership, including the implementation of Town Council policies, administration of the organization, delivery of services to the community and more.

TOP LEADER: Reine Hamilton was one of Az Business magazine’s Most Influential Women of 2022. (Provided photo)

Reine Hamilton

Senior vice president, commercial banking manager // Bell Bank 

Hamilton oversees the specialty markets group, which encompasses banking nonprofit organizations and professional groups, property management and complex deposit structured accounts. Hamilton has more than 26 years experience in financial services, including working with nonprofit organizations and boards. She has been highlighted as a Trendsetter to Know and one of the Most Influential Women in Arizona. 

Bell Bank (Member FDIC) is one of the nation’s largest family- and employee-owned banks, with more than $13 billion in assets. Since 2008, Bell’s Pay It Forward initiative has empowered more than $27 million in employee-driven giving. 

“Because my passion revolves around helping others and affecting positive community impact, my most innovative act has been finding ways to collectively improve processes and influence positive change through our everyday interactions,” Hamilton says. “At Bell Bank, we help each other succeed as a team and embrace giving back to our local communities, and we proactively make time to support many causes and local nonprofits.”

Hamilton notes that because of Bell Bank’s consistent engagement in the community, stemming from the company’s core values and solid roots, it has — and continues — to create a positive impact. 

“That impact builds strong connections and trust among our business and community partners, employees and loyal customers,” she says.

Learn more: bell.bank/business

Veronique James

Founder and CEO // The James Agency

James founded The James Agency (TJA) in 2005 with the goal of creating an agency focused on open communication and transparency with clients and employees. Today, the award-winning, integrated agency specializes in consumer advertising, public relations and digital and continues to exemplify James’ original vision. She and her team announced an expanded business model — Stratagem — this year.

MONEY MAN: Tom Hosier is the chief lending officer at Stearns Bank N.A. (Provided photo)

Tom Hosier

Chief lending officer // Stearns Bank N.A.  

Hosier has been with Stearns Bank since 2005, specializing in small business and commercial lending. As chief lending officer, Hosier leads by example, taking a hands-on approach in the lending process as well as in community impact efforts. 

With a focus on creating great places to live, work and visit, Hosier is an active advisory board member of Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and is an advocate of Habitat for Humanity and other community-focused organizations. “Helping developers realize their dreams and supporting entrepreneurs as they start and grow businesses has always been fulfilling for me,” he says.

In terms of innovation, Stearns Bank strives to remain on the forefront of the latest trends and processes. 

“Together, we refuse to be stagnant in our approach, processes, services and tools,” Hosier says. “We strive to go beyond the ordinary and make a profound impact on our customers, the community and beyond. I join my colleagues in making the choice to eagerly welcome new ideas, explore cutting-edge technologies and forge partnerships that open doors to possibility. We learn new information to stay ahead of the curve and let go of the constraints of tradition, paving the way for new successes.”

Learn more: stearnsbank.com

Cody Graham

Founder and president // Neon Logistics

Graham is dedicated to advancing the careers of young professionals. He has established invaluable mentorship programs that provide guidance, support and insights to emerging talents for Neon Logistics. Through mindset coaching, offered by Neon Logistics and interactive panel discussions featuring industry leaders, Graham ensures that young professionals have access to the knowledge, skills, and networks necessary for their career advancement. 

RISING UP: In October, TruWest Credit Union announced the promotion of Chris Kearney to president. (Provided photo)

Chris Kearney

President and chief information officer // TruWest Credit Union  

Kearney’s journey with TruWest began in 2012, as senior vice president & chief information officer, then executive vice president, and now, serving as the organization’s president and chief information officer. During his tenure with TruWest, Kearney has championed vital strategic initiatives, including the implementation of fintech partnerships and the introduction of artificial intelligence. 

Before TruWest, Kearney held roles in several technology management positions in the credit union movement. He began his professional career at Accenture, providing consulting services to clients. He holds a Bachelor’s in technology and an executive MBA from Arizona State University. 

“As the leader of TruWest Credit Union’s modernization campaign, ‘Brilliance,’ I spearheaded the drive for digital efficiency and accessibility,” Kearney says. “Gathering ideas from across the organization, I recruited leaders and established processes to prioritize and execute high-value projects, fostering new tech partnerships and revitalizing existing ones.”

Adds Kearney, “This initiative challenged legacy assumptions, paving the way for transformative change. The outcome included more streamlined processes, saving thousands of internal and member hours, the implementation of cutting-edge systems and the establishment of a solid foundation for TruWest to excel in the digital landscape.”

Learn more: truwest.org

Jim Hayden

Founder and CEO // Board Developer

Hayden has helped place thousands of people on different boards of directors, developed a state-of-the-art assessment tool, cracked the code with professionals and organizations seeking to be their best and successfully founded and now independently sustained four non-profits. He has helped add millions of dollars of value to the balance sheets of his clients through his commitment and passion for the power of serial entrepreneurship.

Israel Ortiz

COMMUNITY IMPACT: Israel Ortiz, vice president at PNC Bank, is a member of the board for the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. (Provided photo)

Vice president and relationship manager // PNC 

Ortiz is a relationship manager for PNC commercial banking in Arizona. He has more than 20 years of experience in commercial and business banking, retail and leadership. His banking expertise includes serving clients in for profit and nonprofit sectors, including lending, deposit, cash management, working capital and acquisition solutions. 

A seasoned consultant and problem solver, Ortiz understands complex businesses and delivers insight into the ever-changing world of finance. “I believe the lone-wolf mentality in business is not sustainable,” he says. “Banking is a people business at the core, and effective collaboration and communication lead to the best results for my clients and team. I focus on asking engaging questions and put myself in the clients’ shoes to fully understand their priorities and company strategy. As a relationship manager with PNC Commercial Banking, I attend client meetings as a strategic partner, not as a vendor looking to complete a single transaction.”

Ortiz is an Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce board member and DreamSpring credit committee member. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University and an MBA from Grand Canyon University.

Learn more: pnc.com

Michelle Hess

Executive director // Leadership West

As executive director of Leadership West, Hess is a centralizing force for the West Valley, facilitating connections between a consortium of players representing a variety of industries. In her role, Hess is an influencer for transforming and aligning representatives that drive growth, while initiating strategic partnerships to engage business and community leaders she is also helping expand the organization’s institute, events and outreach.

Shay Hobby 

Senior vice president of commercialization and sales // PepsiCo Beverages North America

As senior vice president of Commercialization and Sales at PepsiCo Beverages North America West Division (PBNA), Hobby oversees the division topline (retail and food service) as well as commercial strategy, including her key role in the recent opening of the Goodyear distribution facility — one of the city’s largest master-planned industrial centers in Goodyear.

John Ramirez

WELL SCHOOLED: John Ramirez completed his MBA, Master of Science and Bachelor of Science degrees with the University of Phoenix. (Provided photo)

Dean of operations for the College of Doctoral Studies // University of Phoenix 

A native of Phoenix, Ramirez served in the U.S. Army for 27 years and retired in 2004 as a Command Sergeant Major. Since November 2004, Ramirez has worked for the University of Phoenix, currently serving as the dean of operations for the College of Doctoral Studies. 

Ramirez was the recipient of the Association of Latino Professionals for America’s (ALPFA) National 2017 Veteran of the Year Award, and in 2020, was inducted into the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame. He currently serves as the chairperson of the board for the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

“As Chairperson of the Board for the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and a University of Phoenix leader, I am privileged to help create collaborative and long-lasting relationships with business leadership, corporate partners, small minority businesses, entrepreneurs, members and students across our community, by providing products, programs and services related to market intelligence, capacity building, advocacy and education to members, and the wider Hispanic and minority communities,” Ramirez says. “Through service and fostering a spirit of teamwork, collaboration, caring and mutual respect, my intent is to empower them to succeed and prosper in the state, national and global business community.”

Learn more: phoenix.edu

Miles Kastner

Market manager // Desert Financial Credit Union

A key leader in Desert Financial’s expansion into Northern Arizona, Kastner’s work includes recruiting, hiring and training successful sales teams and leading strategic change to enhance member experiences, meet sales goals and establish business continuity. He has been instrumental in building relationships with the Prescott, Flagstaff and Prescott Valley communities.

Mary Kelly

President and CEO // StrataTech Education Group

Kelly is passionate about making the skilled trades industry a diverse and inclusive place for all. She oversees five technical career trade schools under the StrataTech umbrella — including The Refrigeration School, Inc. in Phoenix and Tulsa Welding School campuses in Tulsa, Houston, Dallas and Jacksonville. Over the past several years, she has facilitated partnerships with several local nonprofits to provide scholarships, classes and mentorships for women and individuals from underserved populations throughout Arizona. 

GIVING BACK: “Rafi’s Hope,” launched by Brandon Rafi, has elevated community resource allocation, outreach and appreciation to new heights within the state. Collaborating with charities such as St. Vincent de Paul and St. Mary’s Food Bank, Rafi’s Hope has made a transformative impact on the lives of individuals in need. (Provided photo)

Brandon B. Rafi

Founder // Rafi Law Group 

Rafi, Arizona native, founder of Rafi Law Group and dedicated philanthropist, learned the value of hard work from his immigrant parents at a young age. A Brophy College Preparatory and University of Arizona alum, he established his firm eight years ago, prioritizing unparalleled care and confidence for clients.

When it comes to how innovation has manifested in his career, Rafi says, “My most innovative act in business has been the intentional cultivation of an inclusive and diverse company culture at Rafi Law Group. Recognizing that innovation thrives in an environment that values different perspectives, backgrounds and experiences, I have championed a workplace that fosters creativity and collaboration. Enforcing diversity and inclusion has not only enlivened our workplace but also sharpened our problem-solving skills.”

By prioritizing a healthy work-life balance, mental health resources and professional development opportunities, Rafi and his team members have created a workforce that is not only highly skilled but also fulfilled and engaged. “Innovation, for me,” he explains, “extends beyond legal strategies and business growth; it involves shaping a workplace culture that values individual contributions and empowers every team member.”

In 2024, Rafi predicts that ethics and social responsibility will take an even bigger role in law. “Clients now seek legal partners who embody values like transparency, diversity and sustainability,” he says. “It’s not just about the law; it’s about a shared commitment to social responsibility. Recognizing the importance of client experience adds a crucial dimension to the industry’s landscape, complementing the focus on technology, ethics and adaptability.”

Committed to community upliftment, Brandon’s philanthropic mission aligns with his passion for helping others. Outside work, he cherishes time with his family, indulging in sports, travel and cultural appreciation.

Learn more: rafilawgroup.com

Stephanie Lopez-Gillmore

District manager // Wells Fargo

Lopez-Gillmore’s career with Wells Fargo began in 2005 as a personal banker. Since that time, she has served as a business specialist, acquisition program manager, branch manager and currently a district manager, where she is responsible for managing 150 team members and 12 banking branches, totaling $3.3 billion in household relationships.

Simer Mayo

Chief executive officer // Valor Global

Mayo’s commitment to fostering a positive company culture, exemplified by “The Valor Way,” has resulted in low attrition rates and a highly skilled workforce. Additionally, Valor’s AI-driven platform demonstrates a forward-thinking approach, addressing customer needs proactively. Their outcome-based pricing model and strategic scalability demonstrate a forward-thinking mindset, positioning Valor Global as a key player shaping Arizona’s business environment in 2024.

Steven Sheets

INNOVATIVE LEADER: Steven Sheets, an innovative leader in behavioral health, was appointed to the position of president and CEO of Southwest Behavioral & Health Services in January 2019. (Provided photo)

President and CEO  // Southwest Behavioral & Health Services (SB&H) 

Sheets has been with SB&H since 2013 and has served as president and CEO since 2018. He has been in the behavioral healthcare industry since 2009. Sheets earned his Bachelor’s degree from Grand Canyon University and his Master’s in professional counseling from Ottawa University. He has held an Arizona Independent Professional Counseling license since 2016. In addition to sitting on the Grand Canyon University Counseling Advisory Board, he is also a board member of both the Arizona Council of Human Service Providers and MHCA (formerly Mental Health Corporations of America, Inc.).

“Innovation is never completed by one specific person; at Southwest Behavioral & Health Services, innovation is one of our core values and is approached in an all-inclusive manner,” Sheets says. “As the largest school-based provider in Maricopa County, our team is continually committed to expanding this much-needed service to areas throughout the state.”

Southwest Behavioral & Health Services’ vice president of Northern Arizona, Eddy O’Brien, has developed relationships with educational leaders in Mohave County. As a result, over the past year, SBHS has become the largest school-based provider in that region. 

Learn more: sbhservices.org

Vicki Mayo 

Chief executive officer // Global Market Innovators (GMI)

Her leadership of a minority and woman-owned business is a testament to Mayo’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. Under her guidance, GMI is transforming the approach to secure technology solutions, bridging the critical gap between technology and security expertise. 

David McIntyre

President and chief executive officer // TriWest Healthcare

In 1996, McIntyre co-founded TriWest Healthcare Alliance, leading the company in its commitment to ensure that veterans in roughly half the nation have access to high-quality healthcare when it is unable to be provided directly by the Veterans Administration. He has upwards of three decades of experience in national health care policy development, business development and leadership in both government and the private sector.

TAKING THE REINS: In October, Davis Miles McGuire Gardner, one of Arizona’s leading and largest law firms, announced Alan Soelberg as its new managing partner. (Photo by Bruce Andersen, Az Business magazine, a publication of AZ Big Media)

Alan Soelberg

Managing partner // Davis Miles McGuire Gardner 

Soelberg  joined the Davis Miles Law firm in April 2016, bringing extensive and wide-ranging legal experience — both general counsel and traditional law firm expertise. Upon joining, he quickly became a leader within the firm in terms of both practice growth and cultural fit. He and firm Partner Mike Ferrin are responsible for the firm’s top ranking status among corporate transactions law firms in the Valley, as well as its highly regarded estate planning and asset protection practice. 

In his role as managing partner, Soelberg leads more than 70 lawyers and 130 staff in a firm that ranks among the state’s largest.

“Alan’s ability to produce results while building lasting client and firm relationships makes him a natural fit for this leadership role,” says Michael Ferrin, chair of the firm’s Transactional Practice.

In addition to focusing on his existing clients in business transactions, estate planning and asset protection, Soelberg also directs the focus of the firm’s C-level executives and works closely with the firm’s equity partners. His guiding principle is the firm’s growth — both in terms of quality lawyers and expanding personalized, precision legal services across Arizona, Utah and New Mexico. 

Learn more: davismiles.com

Christina Mercado-Gonzalez

Vice president, external affairs market manager for Arizona // Comerica Bank

In her current role, Mercado-González supports Comerica Bank’s community commitment and engagements as she stewards community reinvestments in the market. She has more than 20 years of experience as a results-oriented multicultural marketing and advertising professional, specializing in the U.S. Hispanic market. Most recently, she served as the vice president of corporate partnerships for the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. 

Brandon Michaels

President and CEO // OneAZ Credit Union

With more than 20 years of leadership experience in banking and finance, Michaels is passionate about driving technological innovations that provide members with outstanding banking experiences and improve their financial well-being. He is a third-generation banking CEO, following in the footsteps of his mother and grandmother, who were both credit union CEOs.

Hattie Mitchell

Senior manager and tribal consultant // REDW LLC

In January 2023, Mitchell was appointed to the Governmental Accounting Standards Advisory Council (GASAC). A senior manager and tribal consultant in REDW’s National Tribal Practice, and member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation (PBPN), Mitchell is based in REDW’s Phoenix office and will serve a two-year term with the GASAC. In addition to her GASAC appointment, Mitchell serves on the Oklahoma State University (OSU) Tribal Finance and Accounting Advisory Board.

Jacob Moore

Advisor to the president on American Indian Affairs // ASU

Moore is responsible for the intergovernmental affairs between ASU and tribal nations and communities. Previously, he was managing partner for Generation Seven Strategic Partners and also worked as an economic development analyst and special assistant on Congressional and Legislative Affairs for the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.

Buu Nygren

President // Navajo Nation

Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren is a carpenter, public servant, and father. After serving Navajo communities throughout the pandemic, President Nygren committed himself to securing the basic necessities for every Navajo home: Water, power, and reliable roads. President Nygren’s focus on combating poverty is a guiding principle for the Navajo Nation Executive Branch programs. President Nygren is married to Arizona State Representative Jasmine Blackwater Nygren. 

Jennifer Nelson

Vice president and general counsel // Honeywell Aerospace 

Since joining Honeywell in 2006, Nelson has served as the general counsel for the $6 billion Americas Aftermarket team, where she provides legal counsel to the commercial, business jet and defense space sales channels. Nelson is a founding member of Aerospace Women’s Leadership Council, and she participates as a sponsor in the Women and Diversity Career Advancement Programs.

Jeremy Nelson

Senior vice president and chief marketing officer // Desert Financial Credit Union

Nelson has brought new strategic direction and focus to Desert Financial’s marketing team and the organization as a whole. Under his leadership, the marketing team has tripled in size and has positioned Desert Financial to be an innovative brand in the financial industry. Nelson has also enhanced digital marketing efforts, which have increased digital accounts opening by 48% year over year.

Maureen Noe

President and CEO // Arizona Helping Hands 

As a certified Six Sigma Black Belt, Noe has strategically created cross-functional teams and implemented nimble project management. With a laser focus on improving access, she has led the organization to pivot and establish new programs. These shifts allowed three times the number of children in foster care access to essential needs across the state — everything from clothes to birthday gifts.

Dr. Ronald Quang

Medical director // ClearSky Rehabilitation Hospital

InJune, Dr. Quang has been named medical director of ClearSky Rehabilitation Hospital of Avondale. The medical rehabilitation hospital serves patients with disabling injuries or illnesses such as strokes, brain injuries, hip fractures, spinal injuries, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, or other medically-complex conditions like COVID-19. Board certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation, Dr. Quang is a Fellow of the American Academy of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. 

Lisa Rehurek

Founder and CEO // The RFP Success Company

Rehurek has built an impactful seven-figure business and is among the top 2% of women business owners. In 2023, she led her company to be one of Inc. 5000’s fastest-growing private companies in America. The prestigious ranking follows The RFP Success Company’s three-year revenue growth of 232%. Rehurek is also a best-selling author, speaker, trainer and podcast host.

Jeremy Sharpe

Managing partner // Rancho Sahuarita

As the managing partner of Rancho Sahuarita, Sharpe has used his people-first development methodology to successfully create a bridge between the built environment and community connection, ensuring that residents of Rancho Sahuarita have everything they need to live a fulfilling and happy life right in their own backyards. Rancho Sahuarita is home to more than 18,000 residents and more than 5,800 homes.

Dr. Steven Siwek

Founder // The Pain Center of Arizona

Dr. Siwek founded The Pain Center in 2002, growing his practice to 13 locations across the Valley. He became the first physician in Arizona to perform a minimally invasive treatment called a Spinal Fuse. Dr. Siwek’s influence extends into community engagement. One remarkable aspect of his outreach this past year is hosting monthly “Difference Maker Dinners,” inspired by Jon Levy’s book “You’re Invited.”

Sam Swift

CEO, advisor, shareholder // TCI Wealth Advisors

“Being a good person. Doing the right thing. Putting others’ interests first. Those are just some of the important lessons I learned at an early age and were the backbone behind TCI Wealth Advisors when it was founded in 1990,” Swift says. “It’s still the philosophy of our firm and I am deeply honored to continue the TCI legacy as the CEO, an advisor and a shareholder.”

Mayra Uribe

Vice president, multicultural banking // National Bank of Arizona

After starting her banking career as a teller in Yuma, Uribe’s responsibilities now include representing NB|AZ in community activities and working with nonprofit organizations, cities, counties, state, military and private entities to develop programs to promote services for minority and women-owned small businesses. She is currently a board member for the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Trevor Wilde

CEO // Wilde Wealth Management

The past several years have been a whirlwind for Wilde and his Wilde Wealth Management Group, an award-winning firm providing comprehensive retirement, investment, real estate, insurance, legal and tax planning services all under one roof. Since the company was founded in 2003, the team has grown from one office to one of the largest comprehensive wealth management teams in the Southwest.