Denny Barney, a sixth-generation Arizonan, a Maricopa County Board of Supervisor and a successful business owner, has been named president and CEO of East Valley Partnership effective June 1. 

Barney, 48, will replace John Lewis, who will step down from his position at the end of May to serve as a mission president of the LDS Church in Cambodia.

“Denny is a dynamic business leader whose knowledge and deep relationships will continue to move our organization forward at a critical juncture in our region’s history,” said Rhonda Curtis, chair of the Partnership.

The Partnership was formed 35 years ago as a cooperative effort among the communities of the PHX East Valley region.  Since then, the region has experienced exponential population growth and added thousands of new jobs. Today, the PHX East Valley boasts a combined population of 1.3 million in the cities and towns of 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 area also continues to be a magnet for new businesses and entrepreneurial ventures, particularly in industries such as aerospace and aviation, technology, financial services and healthcare.

Barney will serve as part-time CEO, balancing his duties with his role as principal of Arcus Private Capital Solutions, a specialized realty investment and finance company. He also will continue to represent District 1 on the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors until 2019.

Joining Barney on the Partnership’s leadership team will be Mike Hutchinson, a longtime PHX East Valley leader and former city manager of the City of Mesa, who will serve as full-time executive vice-president.

“The Partnership has played an indelible role in the growth and development of the PHX East Valley,” Barney said. “I appreciate the service of our outgoing President and CEO John Lewis. John has done an incredible job serving the people of the East Valley for over a decade. I feel honored to be able to take the baton from such a great leader. I look forward to working alongside my colleagues at the PHX East Valley cities and towns to continue the momentum and make the region the best place to live and work.”

Barney was elected to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in 2012 and served as board chairman in 2014 and 2017.  As supervisor, his priorities have been finding creative solutions to address the demands of the fastest growing county in the nation, seeking ways to reduce inmate recidivism, improving regulatory processes and customer service, and collaboratively addressing regional homelessness.

Barney represents the Board of Supervisors on the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) board of directors and the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) Regional Council. He also served as a Maricopa County planning and zoning commissioner and a member of the Board of Health.  

In addition to his business and political endeavors, Barney serves on the advisory board of Arizona State University’s Morrison Institute of Public Policy and Mesa United Way board of directors. He is an ex-officio director of the East Valley Partnership and a former member of Greater Phoenix Leadership. He also is a past president of the Mesa Baseline Rotary Club and has served on the boards of the United Food Bank, Arizona Board of American Indian Services, Commission on Excellence in Education and various Banner Health advisory boards.  

Barney earned a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and a law degree from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. He lives in Gilbert with his wife Nichole and their four children.

Since becoming president and CEO of the Partnership in 2015, Lewis has played an integral role in making the region a mecca for business, launching a mentoring forum for PHX East Valley business owners and entrepreneurs and forming a healthcare leadership council. He also worked with regional officials and Arizona Tech Investors to start the PHX East Valley Angel Investor Initiative, designed to catalyze economic growth by raising awareness of the importance of angel investing and enhancing access to early-stage funding for East Valley tech startup companies.

Previously, he served as mayor of Gilbert for seven years, where he was active in numerous town, region and statewide initiatives.