Phoenix Symphony selects Suzanne Wilson as president and CEO

The Phoenix Symphony Board of Directors has selected performing arts industry veteran Suzanne Wilson as the organization’s new President and Chief Executive Officer.

Wilson will succeed Jim Ward, who led The Phoenix Symphony in the same position since 2011. Ward is retiring from the symphony to pursue work in the private sector. 

Wilson has an extensive background in both the performing arts and in education — the two primary missions of The Phoenix Symphony. She previously served as the Executive Director of the Midori Foundation, a preeminent provider of high-quality music education to New York City public school students in underserved communities. She also served as Chief of Staff for the New England Conservatory in Boston, one of the nation’s premiere music institutions.

Previously, Wilson worked as Director of the Office of External Affairs and Partnerships for the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, as well as Vice President of Education and Community Engagement for the Celebrity Series of Boston. She completed Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Program, Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management. Wilson has a background in performing arts as a singer as well, and is a graduate of Kenyon College. 

“I am incredibly excited and proud to join an organization with the kind of impact and reputation The Phoenix Symphony enjoys,” Wilson said. “It is my honor to collaborate with Tito, the talented musicians, dedicated Board of Directors, committed staff and the entire Valley community to advance this treasured musical institution. Together, The Phoenix Symphony will continue to create the highest quality music experiences, bolster economies and educate the next generation of musicians and audiences.”

Rosendin’s Ben Mlinar graduates from leadership program

Ben Mlinar of Rosendin, the electrical contracting industry’s largest employee-owned firm, recently graduated from the Arizona Builders Alliance’s Leadership Development Forum on December 5. The exclusive year-long program has been running since 1993 and develops construction professionals into informed, knowledgeable and active members of the industry while preparing them for future leadership roles within their companies. The program has received both state and national awards and has graduated over 800 constructors over the past 25 years.

Mlinar, one of thirty professionals selected to be part of the 2019 cohort, has been with Rosendin for the last nine years and has rapidly increased his responsibility within the company. Initially starting out as a Project Assistant in 2010, Mlinar has received four promotions during his career at Rosendin and now serves as a Site Manager where he oversees 30 office employees and more than 500 field personnel.

“From all of us at Rosendin, we congratulate Ben for completing the ABA Leadership Development Forum,” said Brandon Stephens, Division Manager for Rosendin’s Arizona operations. “Finding quality talent for high level roles in the construction trades can be a challenge, especially as the industry in Arizona continues to grow. We are committed to training Rosendin employees at all levels of our company, and know that Ben’s continued leadership at Rosendin will ensure our future success.”

Throughout the year-long program, Mlinar and his cohort participated in a variety of workshops and courses focused on leadership, public speaking, finance, legislation, research, contracts, management, among other topics relevant to the construction industry. The 2019 cohort also completed a service project.

Owner announced for NewACUnit.Com, a local e-commerce company, announced its Owner and CEO, Bodie Bryan. Bryan is the son of Owner and Founder, Erik Bryan, who owns award winning Precision Air & Plumbing in Chandler, founded in 1995. Bodie grew up studying under his father, working alongside him since he was just 12 years old. is disrupting the way consumers buy new air conditioning units,” says Bodie. “We are the “Uber” of AC units, everything is upfront and you can easily compare savings, talk to an expert and purchase the unit in just 10 minutes without ever having to pick up the phone or leave the couch.” 

Founded in 2016, the Chandler-based company,, developed an online platform where buyers can easily enter their information from their current air conditioning units and homes to compare the efficiency of new models and the differences in price. From there, they simply place their order, does all the rest for you. Every price – from the equipment to the installation fee – is posted up front and customers can call at any time with questions. 

“We’ve taken all of the guesswork and “pain points” out of the process,” says Bodie. “So many consumers have confusion about makes and models, uncertainty about fair pricing, and how to know if an installer is trustworthy, but allows consumers to see everything upfront without pushy salespeople and our reviews speak for themselves at up to half-off conventional estimates.”

Steven Gross named chief marketing officer for University of Phoenix

After an exhaustive national search, University of Phoenix has named Steven Gross as Chief Marketing Officer. Gross will be responsible for the University’s strategic marketing, advertising and communications activities, including brand development, performance marketing, national and regional advertising, digital and social media, strategic communications and alumni relations, among other responsibilities. Gross joined the University in July as interim CMO.

“Steve is an accomplished marketer and business leader with an impressive depth of expertise that will serve this role and the University very well,” said President Peter Cohen. He has been an outstanding addition to our leadership team, and a true service leader who is passionate about our mission to serve the underserved adult learner. We are thrilled he will be continuing his impact in a permanent capacity.”

Before joining the University, Gross was chief executive officer of Calvert Education, which supports virtual learning worldwide through a digital curriculum experience. Prior to that he was senior vice president of global marketing for Pearson, a global education content, service and resource producer. Before Pearson, Gross worked in advancing marketing leadership roles for LexisNexis and PepsiCo. His MBA in marketing and finance is from The Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania. His bachelor’s is in political science and economics from the State University of New York at Albany.

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