Az Business and AZRE magazines announced the publications’ lists of the Most Influential Women in Arizona of 2023, including Stephanie Handley, vice president of economic development at Clayco. In celebration of the 12th anniversary of the Most Influential Women program, is profiling one of the Most Influential Women of 2023 each day leading up to the Most Influential Women of 2023 dinner and reception.

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The Most Influential Women for 2023 will be honored at a reception on Thursday, August 17 at Chateau Luxe in Phoenix. For sponsorship information, email For information about the event honoring the Most Influential Women, email or click here. To buy tickets, click here.

Stephanie Handley, vice president, economic development, Clayco

BACKGROUND: Stephanie Handley is a commercial real estate professional with more than 25 years of experience, consistently exceeding sales and operational goals. Her focus is on building meaningful relationships built on trust and accountability that increase market share and profitability while retaining top clients.

Handley is a results-driven, loyal and strategic thinker with experience in sales, marketing, property and project management, client advocacy and document control. A passionate contributor, she concentrates on delivering client solutions that ensure success at all levels of an organization. She is a dynamic communicator with excellent written and presentation skills.

Handley is an active member of Urban Land Institute (ULI); Arizona Association for Economic Development (AAED); AZCREW and GPEC. She lives in Scottsdale with her husband and two kids. She volunteers regularly with her daughter through National Charity League, with her son through boys team charity, parent teacher organizations, St. Vincent de Paul and more.

CAREER PATH INSPIRATION: “When I transitioned from journalism and media sales to commercial real estate, I really dug into learning and absorbing all I could. I cut my teeth in real estate development at a small, family-owned firm. I asked every question from everybody I met. I put myself in the room where I could learn and grow and offer meaningful suggestions. I made myself invaluable to all areas of the business. I learned that I really love people, and being inquisitive and tenacious has served me well in business development.”

SOURCE OF PRIDE: “I’ve often been told I’m the nicest person in the room. I think as a woman in business and in commercial real estate, in particular, there is a pull to exhibit a posture of strength and firmness. But I think you can be strong and have firm boundaries while still being approachable and kind. I’ve found great reward in being accessible to my peers and colleagues.”

SOURCE OF INSPIRATION: “My first boss in real estate development took a chance on me, gave me a voice, an open path to learn and to ask questions, share opinions and tell him when I thought he was wrong. I was fortunate to learn every aspect of the development business. Now that I am in another aspect of the business, he still takes my call on the first ring, talks through business challenges I may have, offers advice, a good walk down memory lane and would do anything for me or my family.”

SURPRISING FACT: “I never wanted children. I didn’t think I’d be good at parenting. I was destined to be the best, most fun aunt on the planet. I even convinced my now-husband that to be with me, meant a life without our own children. But I changed my mind about six years into marriage, convinced him to change his too, and I cannot even imagine my life with my two kids — now 13 & 15. We have the very best time together; learning, growing, laughing, volunteering, adventuring and living our very best lives. Along with my marriage, they are what I am most proud of.”