GPEC hires Sharon Hwang as COO

The Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) announced the hiring of Sharon M. Hwang as Chief Operating Officer. In this role, Hwang oversees daily operations of GPEC and prioritizes initiatives and projects for the organization.

“We are always developing strategies to increase our efficiency and staff communication at GPEC,” says Chris Camacho, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. “Sharon has expressed dedication to improving these aspects in her everyday work, making her a valuable addition to our team.”

“Greater Phoenix has endless opportunities. I was specifically drawn to GPEC by the hustle, ambition and pride the staff has in both its work and the region,” Hwang said. “I’m eager to leverage my background in the cross-section of real estate, education and healthcare to Greater Phoenix, which is already regionally and nationally competitive in these spaces.”

Before GPEC, Hwang worked with Turner Impact Capital where, as social impact officer, she performed due diligence on multi-family housing acquisitions, managed portfolio assets, and partnered with over 100 schools, hospitals, law enforcement, and nonprofit institutions to create community-enriching programming. Turner, based in Santa Monica, CA, is a real estate investment firm positioned to create over $3 billion in innovative and sustainable infrastructure in underserved markets.

Social Venture Partners announces new CEO

Social Venture Partners Arizona announced the selection of Latasha Causey as its new Chief Executive Officer.

Latasha is coming to SVPAZ from her position as Director, Regional Site Management for USAA’s North Phoenix Campus. She has been responsible for strengthening USAA’s brand in the Phoenix market and leading local philanthropic efforts through creating a strong community outreach program to make differences within the Phoenix community.

Latasha has created valuable partnerships within the local nonprofit community. She is a culture leader and development advocate for over 4,000 employees within the Phoenix USAA campus. Latasha joined USAA in 2007, as part of the HR Talent Acquisition team, supporting and leading recruitment efforts across all USAA locations. 

Prior to working at USAA Latasha worked for Charles Schwab and Wells Fargo in various Human Resource leadership roles, having a vast knowledge of the HR field. Latasha holds a Bachelors degree in Communications fromArizona State University, Masters of Arts Degree with a concentration in Organizational Management and Professional Human Resources certification (PHR). 

Local Motors adds VP of sales

Local Motors by LM Industries Group Inc., known for 3D-Printed mobility solutions, has named Nicholas Cole as its new Senior Vice President of Sales. A veteran of the transit industry, Cole will lead the company’s sales operations with an acute focus on ushering in autonomous mobility products for commercial adoption.

Cole, who serves as a highly-respected industry consultant, most recently led expansion and transformation efforts for Avis Budget Group’s Zipcar International, a station-based, car-sharing network introduced in Europe, Middle East and Asia. Based in London at the time, Cole developed a franchise model to allow Zipcar to expand into emerging markets, and he facilitated partnerships with local governments and businesses to introduce the car-sharing service into new markets.

“Nicholas understands mobility without a doubt, but beyond that, he has a global mindset that can only be gained from the experience he’s had introducing new transit options around the world,” Jay Rogers, CEO and co-founder of Local Motors, said. “The autonomous technology we are developing at Local Motors is in the hands of a highly-qualified and incredibly experienced ambassador eager to debut it on a world stage.”

Cole’s mobility experience extends beyond his role with Avis Budget Group. He spent several years with Daimler N.A. Corporation, launching a start-up, car-sharing division known as Car2go. The on-demand free-floating network of 10,000 vehicles provided point-to-point transit options for 700,000 users worldwide.  He also has over a decade of experience with Daimler’s commercial vehicle business.

Jason Barraza promoted to Veridus director

Veridus announced that Jason Barraza has been promoted to the role of Director.

Jason has been with Veridus since 2009; he was named a Senior Associate Director in 2016. With this promotion, Jason joins Wendy Briggs, Jeff Sandquist, Jay Kaprosy and Matthew Benson as Directors of the firm.

“Jason has been an instrumental part of our growth, success and recognition as Arizona’s leading firm for government relations, strategic communications and public affairs,” said Jeff Sandquist, Veridus Director. “This well-earned promotion is a reflection of Jason’s work ethic, policy expertise and character – all of which have made him a trusted and respected figure at the State Capitol and across our community. We are fortunate to have Jason on our team and know he will continue to do great things in this new role.” 

In addition to his government relations work on behalf of a range of corporate and non-profit clients, Jason also has been involved in numerous political campaigns. He provided on-site logistical assistance as part of each Democratic National Convention between 2000 and 2016. Prior to joining Veridus, Jason assisted the coordinated campaign for the Arizona Democratic Party between 2002 and 2008.

“This promotion to a Veridus directorship is an enormous honor,” Jason said. “It has been a privilege to work with such a respected group of professionals and to represent some of the best clients and causes in Arizona.”