123RF.com, Dave Broberg
Phoenix Final Four names co-chairs of volunteer board
The 2017 Phoenix Final Four Local Organizing Committee (PLOC) named Debbie Johnson, director of the Arizona Office of Tourism, and Dan Lewis, president and CEO of Native Insight, as co-chairs of its volunteer board.
Johnson and Lewis will provide leadership and oversight for the Phoenix Local Organizing Committee, which is collaborating with the NCAA to host the 2017 Phoenix Final Four, set for April 1 and 3, 2017, at University of Phoenix Stadium.
“We are thrilled to welcome Debbie and Dan to our team,” said Dawn Rogers, executive director and CEO of the Phoenix Local Organizing Committee (PLOC). “They offer a great mix of experience in tourism and major sports events, and their deep, statewide connections will help us maximize this incredible opportunity across Arizona. With their leadership, we will provide an unforgettable experience for the NCAA and its partners as well as the student-athletes, coaches and their fans.”
Johnson has spent the last two decades working in the tourism industry in Arizona. Gov. Doug Ducey appointed her director of the Arizona Office of Tourism in August 2015 to oversee the state’s tourism marketing strategy.
Prior to that, Johnson served as president and CEO of the Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association and Valley Hotel & Resort Association. She has been honored as Arizona’s Tourism Champion of the Year and in 2012 was listed among the Valley’s Most Admired CEOs by the Phoenix Business Journal.
“It is an honor to serve the 2017 Phoenix Final Four,” said Johnson, who also served on the board of the Arizona Organizing Committee of the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship. “Sports are vital to Arizona’s economy. Hosting the Final Four will expose entire new fan bases to our amazing state and provides a wonderful opportunity to strengthen Arizona’s reputation as the leading destination for major sporting events.”
Lewis, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, is president and CEO of Native Insight, a private consulting firm advising both Tribal governments and private sector companies regarding business opportunities and partnerships.
He previously worked as senior vice president of Bank of America where he helped establish the bank as one of the dominant financial institutions serving Indian Country by coordinating a team that was responsible for lending and syndicating loans totaling more than $13 billion.
Lewis began his career in Washington, D.C. representing the Navajo Nation before Congress and various federal agencies. He also worked as a senior aide to Sen. John McCain and was a political appointee of President George H.W. Bush at the Department of the Interior.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to help lead the Phoenix Local Organizing Committee,” said Lewis, who served on the boards of the Arizona host committees of the 2015 Super Bowl and the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship. “This is important because basketball has played an important and constant role in Indian Country.”