The economy is humming. Employment is at record highs. So what does it take for business leaders to distinguish themselves in an optimistic economy and make them one of the leaders to watch in 2019?

“Every leader should have respect for people,” says Pam Kehaly, president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona. “A company is not defined by a building, computers, or desks. It is the people. Recognizing and respecting the value that employees bring to a business is crucial to making the organization stronger.”

Not only should business leaders honor those that make them look good, one of Az Business magazine’s Most Influential Women in Arizona Business says it’s important to remain humble while respecting others.

“Every leader should possess the leadership characteristic of humility,” says Stephanie Fierro, a partner at Jaburg Wilk. “Though often overlooked, humility begets most other admirable leadership traits such as responsibility, empowerment, and inspiration. A leader who is humble enough to listen, delegate, and empower those around them will build a great team that can achieve outstanding results.”

These business leaders to watch in 2019 have shown such superior leadership, they are in new positions of influence that will allow them to impact Arizona’s business community like never before. Not only do these leaders have great teams around them, but they are innovative, engaging and are changing the landscape and best practices of their respective industries.

Lorry Bottrill

President and CEO

Mercy Care

Background: Bottrill is responsible for Mercy Care’s financial and operational results. Mercy Care serves more than 450,000 AHCCCS-eligible Arizonans. Mercy Care’s contracts include the Regional Behavioral Health Authority for Maricopa County, AHCCCS Complete Care, Arizona Long Term Care System, Developmentally Disabled and Medicare Dual SNP.

What to watch in 2019: “One opportunity is transforming the care delivery system to increase quality and effectively manage costs. Mercy Care does this through innovative value-based provider contracts, along with our work through the Practice Innovation Institute. PII provides data-sharing tools, processes and other support to provider practices. The impact: a healthier community.”

Jeff Friesen

President of the Arizona Region

Enterprise Bank & Trust

Background: Enterprise Bank named Friesen president of the Arizona region in 2017. Friesen is responsible for growing client relationships resulting in increasing loans, deposits and non-interest income. As such, Friesen oversees the commercial team of the bank, including the C&I, CRE and Treasury Management divisions.

What to watch in 2019: “As a nationally ranked organization, we have all the capabilities of the largest financial companies but with the unique lens of a community bank. Last year, our Phoenix market grew by 56 percent and we are on track to continue this growth with more privately-held companies especially in the healthcare, aerospace and industrial real estate distribution centers.”

Julie Giese


ISM Raceway

Background: Giese oversees promotion and operation of the facility that is a top motorsports and entertainment destination in the Phoenix market. She previously served as the managing director of business operations for ISC Design & Development, leading the coordination between ISC’s 13 race tracks, internal corporate departments and the design and development team.

What to watch in 2019: “We want to position ourselves as a premier motorsports and entertainment destination. The completed $178 million modernization project provides a significant amount of opportunity and it’s important that we host a variety of events. The idea is to get more people here to showcase the first-class facility we’ve built.”

Mike Hummel

General manager and CEO


Background: Hummel leads the nation’s third-largest public power utility. Hummel serves on the Board of Trustees for the Arizona Science Center and The University of Arizona Foundation.

What to watch in 2019: “It is a time of positive change and economic growth for the Valley and SRP. SRP is leading efforts to discover new and better ways to deliver reliable and affordable water and energy to our customers, while seeking their increased participation. Advances in renewable energy, energy storage, energy efficiency and communications technologies are providing innovative ways for SRP to expand its offerings to meet customers’ needs and important corporate sustainability goals.”

Sandra Kennedy


Arizona Corporation Commission

Background: Kennedy was first elected to the Arizona Corporation in 2008 on a platform of promoting solar energy in Arizona and as a fierce consumer advocate. She served on the commission until 2012, but returned in 2018 and earned a spot as the only Democrat on the Commission.

What to watch in 2019: “We have an opportunity to create some jobs. During my last stint on the Commission, we created nearly 3,000 jobs within the first six to nine months. I would like to see us double that or even triple that in the next four years. I have some high expectations.”

Leonardo Loo

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Phoenix office managing partner

Quarles & Brady

Background: In October 2018, Quarles & Brady and its firm chair, Kimberly Leach Johnson, named Loo its Phoenix office managing partner.

What to watch in 2019: “As we expand our services to meet the changing needs of our clients’ business realities, I want to continue to attract amazing attorneys to our fold.  Each member of our team is vital to our success and it is our responsibility that they have the resources to succeed and provide quality services to clients with whom we partner.  At the same time, I want to carry on our firm’s tradition of being an active and responsible partner in our community.”