From buying and selling homes online to helping emerging fashion designers compete, entrepreneurs in the PHX East Valley not only have reinvented their business models but also transformed their billion-dollar industries.

These business owners will share their success stories at the PHX East Valley Thought Leader Forum, from 3:30-5:30 p.m. Dec. 6 at F.A.B.R.I.C., Fashion and Business Resource Innovation Center), 132 E. 6th St. in Tempe. 

Thriving Through Disruption: How They Did It, will feature a panel of experts from throughout the region, including: 

• Sherri Barry, co-founder of Fashion And Business Innovation Resource Center, or F.A.B.R.I.C. Tempe, an innovative fashion incubator; 

• Jerry Coleman, founder of OfferPad, which created a new business model for buying and selling homes; 

• Rob Fullmer, executive director of Arizona Craft Brewers Guild, which carved a niche in the beer industry; and 

• Clate Mask, co-founder and CEO of Infusionsoft, which developed a proprietary customer relationship-management tool for small business owners. 

• Lee Benson, CEO of Execute to Win, which helps organizations improve alignment to get better results, will serve as the panel moderator.

“PHX East Valley is a major driver of economic development in metropolitan Phoenix,” said Denny Barney, president and CEO of East Valley Partnership. “Not surprisingly, we also have an increasing number of business owners who are doing things differently and taking their companies and industries by storm.”

At the event, East Valley Partnership will honor a business and individual with its annual Excel Awards for their contributions to the region. Intel will receive the Kerry Dunne Sustaining Leadership Award and Mesa Mayor John Giles will be presented with the Dwight Patterson Lifetime Achievement Award for the lasting impact they have made on business and the quality of life in the community.

“To say they are deserving of these awards is an understatement,” Barney said. “From millions of dollars in investment to new high-paying jobs and tireless service to our community, Intel and Mayor Giles represent the pinnacle of achievement in our region and state.”

SRP is the event’s presenting sponsor and Execute to Win, Southwest Airlines and Clifton Larson Allen are the event’s premier sponsors. 

Tickets are $75 for East Valley Partnership members and $85 for non-members. Ticket packages also are available for $1,250. 

To register, visit by Dec. 3.