The Arizona Small Business Association (ASBA) has removed the “Interim” title from Jack Lunsford and named him president and CEO.
Lunsford, a former ASBA Board member, has served in the interim role since July.
“Jack has taken his commitment to Arizona’s small businesses and combined it with his contagious energy to bring an excitement and attitude to the Board and staff that ASBA hasn’t seen in many years,” noted ASBA Board Chair Nick Petra.
In July, the ASBA’s previous CEO, Rick Murray, left the Association to serve as an executive at Bolste, a Scottsdale-based technology company. Murray joined the Association in 2012.
The federal government defines small business in the U.S. as those businesses having less than 500 employees. That means that 97 percent of the businesses in Arizona are small businesses, and ASBA represents those businesses as well as major companies.
“We are reshaping and rebuilding ASBA to be more relevant for our members and to provide them with more innovative services,” Lunsford said. “We intend to be the voice of small business in Arizona providing leadership, services, and advocacy throughout the state.”
Nonprofit leadership is a very familiar role for Lunsford, who has served as President and CEO at WESTMARC, the Greater Maricopa Foreign Trade Zone, and the Arizona Community College Coordinating Council.
While with WESTMARC he received the ASU West Visionary Award jointly with WESTMARC.
“There’s no question about Jack’s record as a well-known business, public policy, and community leader throughout the valley and state”, remarked Jason Trujillo, ASBA’s 2017 Chair. “He is a visionary thought leader and change agent and ASBA will greatly benefit from his outstanding leadership as we move forward creating a new ASBA with more and better benefits and services for our members and our community.”
A Phoenix native, Lunsford has more than 40 years’ experience in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. In 2014 he served as Special Assistant for Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, supporting him on economic development, education, transportation, healthcare and homelessness issues. He is also the founding director of the Office of Government Relations and External Affairs for the Maricopa Community Colleges where for 20 years he was the chief policy and political advisor to the Chancellor and Governing Board.
Lunsford has twice held elected office: as Coconino County Assessor (youngest in state history) and as a board member of West-MEC (a Maricopa County JTED school district). He is twice an Arizona banking officer, was a rural Arizona radio station executive, and is a former account executive for Mountain Bell/AT&T. Lunsford remains President of The Lunsford Group, an Arizona small business.