Opinion: Investment in organizations like MEDA and GPEC is critical

Business News | 29 May, 2019 |

El Dorado Holdings, Inc. is about building Arizona, not just real estate, by building solid foundations for families, businesses and the vitality of the state.

We’ve been investing here in our state since 1986 beginning with one historic property, once owned by a member of Hollywood royalty known as “The Duke.” El Dorado Ranch, in Maricopa and owned by John Wayne for 42 years, was acquired by El Dorado Holdings in 1987, becoming the foundation for our company’s future endeavors.

El Dorado measures success by how our community grows and flourishes. That’s why we are involved in efforts as diverse as strengthening the state and regional economy, showcasing the arts and culture of America’s Western heritage, citizenship education, and relationships with key strategic partners in the communities we serve. 

One important but often unrecognized relationship is the one between a community’s government and education system on one side and its business community on the other.   Where integrity and commitment exist within each group, the relationship between the public and private stakeholders in a community will be strong and mutually supportive.

Jim Kenny serves on the boards of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council and the Maricopa Economic Development Alliance.

In the City of Maricopa – all of these interests – business, government and education – fuse together under the leadership of Maricopa Economic Development Alliance (MEDA), a private-public partnership that was established in 2009.

MEDA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit City-focused platform that identifies and supports issues and initiatives that raise Maricopa’s profile, making it more competitive and desirable from a business location perspective.  Additionally, MEDA serves as a sounding board for discussion among the stakeholders of ideas, concerns and potential solutions that will benefit our entire community. 

I am unaware of any city that has such a valuable and unique resource for itself.  A resource where rather than the City or the private community trying to figure things out in a vacuum, through MEDA, all parties have a strong relationship characterized by commitment and high integrity.  It is through this partnership that the City of Maricopa is growing, innovatively and responsibly.  

That is why El Dorado is proud to support organizations like Maricopa Economic Development Alliance. 

On a more regional level, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) brings together a broad range of stakeholders and interests on behalf of its 22 member communities, of which the City of Maricopa is one, as well as Maricopa and  Pinal  counties.   Since its very early years nearly three decades ago, GPEC has consistently been regarded nationally as a best-in-class regional public-private economic development organization in the United States.

The professional success of its leadership, the breadth of its network and the quality of its research and data capabilities make GPEC an invaluable resource for the region, one of the first choices for CEOs and site selectors looking to expand or relocate their business.

Only GPEC’s members have access to these important decision-makers.  Additionally, GPEC offers a forum to its member communities and their local economic development leaders to access best practices and education, learning from the successes and setbacks of their colleagues. 

The knowledge and opportunities provided by GPEC shorten the learning curve and lessen the growth pains for young cities like Maricopa. 

The investment in organizations like MEDA and GPEC are critical to El Dorado’s success.   El Dorado succeeds through relationships grounded in long-term commitment and integrity.  MEDA and GPEC share these important values and as such, we value these private-public partnerships as a critical current and future asset for economic development and prosperity in our region and state.


Jim Kenny, president, joined El Dorado Holdings, Inc., in 2007. As president, he directs activity on existing investments and locates new investment opportunities in multiple real estate sectors, with a focus on properties where El Dorado can bring its market knowledge and experience to increase value for investors. Kenny serves on the boards of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council and the Maricopa Economic Development Alliance, and represents the real estate development industry on the Maricopa Association of Governments Economic Development Committee.

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