With a goal of building on the strengths of one of the fastest-growing areas of metropolitan Phoenix, Jeffrey B. Guldner has assumed an 2-year term as chair of East Valley Partnership.

Guldner will work alongside Denny Barney, who began his duties as president and CEO of the organization last month. He will balance his volunteer leadership position with his role as executive vice president, public policy, and general counsel of Pinnacle West Capital Corporation and Arizona Public Service Company. 

“We will focus on aerospace, transportation and other economic engines in the East Valley,” Guldner said, “along with the Connected Place around the Internet of Things and growing applied research.  We will also ensure that everyone understands our role in the PHX East Valley, particularly what we can offer our members, communities and other interested parties.”

The Partnership was formed 36 years ago as a cooperative effort among the communities of the PHX East Valley region.  Today, the PHX East Valley boasts a combined population of 1.3 million in Apache Junction, Chandler, Fountain Hills, Gilbert, Mesa, Queen Creek, Tempe and Gila River Indian and Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Communities. Because of its talented and highly educated workforce and favorable quality of life, the region has become a magnet for new businesses and entrepreneurial ventures, particularly in industries such as aerospace and aviation, technology, financial services and healthcare.

“Jeff brings many talents to our board,” Barney said, “including a deep understanding of our region and a strong track record of community service.”

Guldner said the Partnership would continue to drive the business interests in the region by acting as a convener and taking a collaborative approach to economic development.

“When you look at the PHX East Valley, there is tremendous infrastructure, a dynamic and engaged population and a great educational base, including the strong presence of ASU and a world-class community college network,” he said. “These are the key ingredients for the region’s continued growth and prosperity.”