After conducting a thorough search over the last four months that drew candidates from across the country, East Valley Partnership has named Gilbert Mayor John Lewis President and CEO.

Lewis succeeds Roc Arnett, who served as President and CEO of East Valley Partnership for the past 13 years.

Formed in 1982, East Valley Partnership is a regional nonpartisan coalition that actively advocates in areas such as economic development, education, transportation and infrastructure, healthcare and others to improve the business climate and overall quality of life in the East Valley. Phoenix East Valley communities are leaders in Arizona economic development that is driving advanced business expansion, specialized job growth, higher wages, and innovation.                    

East Valley Partnership’s leadership is currently working closely with the Town of Gilbert on a transition plan for Mayor Lewis to assume his new role as the President/CEO during the summer of 2016. East Valley Partnership’s Project Manager, Mike Hutchinson, will serve as interim President and CEO until Lewis assumes his new role. Hutchinson was a long time senior executive for the City of Mesa serving as the City Manager from March of 2000 until his retirement in 2005. He has worked at the East Valley Partnership managing a variety of projects since May of 2008.

Lewis has served as Mayor of Gilbert for nearly seven years and has 28 years of private sector business experience. He spent 19 years with Apollo Group (parent company of University of Phoenix) and nine years with Ernst & Young in various roles including information technology management, leadership development and management consulting.

He also served in a staff position with U.S. Senator Jake Garn in Washington, D.C. Lewis is currently an adjunct professor in the business department at Mesa Community College.

“It’s been an honor to work with John Lewis during the past four-and-a-half years,” said Gilbert Town Manager, Patrick Banger. “Since he was elected mayor in 2009, he’s been fully dedicated to promoting the East Valley throughout the state and on a national level. He’s a proven consensus builder who serves on many boards and committees in various leadership roles. This new role will allow him to continue to be an advocate and champion for all East Valley initiatives for many years to come,” Banger said.

Lewis and his family have lived in Gilbert for 30 years. He serves on regional boards and committees for the Arizona League of Cities Executive Committee, Maricopa Association of Government (MAG) Regional Council and Economic Development Committee, Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Board, Greater Phoenix Economic Council and Arizona BrainFood. He earned his MBA from the University of Houston and a bachelor of science degree from Brigham Young University.

“I am pleased Mayor Lewis will be carrying the torch of the PHX East Valley advantages envisioned by the original Partnership Founders. John’s background in business and government affairs will be a strong resource and catalyst for future growth of the region,” said Roc Arnett, retiring President and CEO.

“John Lewis is a very dynamic and collaborative leader who has successfully led the Town of Gilbert in an unparalleled business-building and sustainability process for the past seven years,” said Brian Campbell, chair of the East Valley Partnership Board of Directors. “We are very excited to have his vision and commitment for the future leadership of East Valley Partnership and in particular our very successful on-going PHX East Valley campaign,” Campbell said.

The PHX East Valley marketing campaign is a national initiative led by the East Valley Partnership in partnership with the cities and towns of Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Queen Creek and Apache Junction to advance business and quality of life in the region. Campaign efforts include coordinated business market reports, public and private sector promotion events, and recruiting emerging economic clusters based on the unique educational, economic and lifestyle assets of the East Valley.  Global companies that already have made substantial investments in the region include The Boeing Company, General Motors, GoDadddy, Intel, Insight, Santander Consumer USA, Wells Fargo, Yelp, Insight, and emerging leaders such as Able Engineering, InfusionSoft and more. Growth among advanced industries has aided a commercial and residential real estate recovery, transforming local cities into bustling urban hot spots attractive to younger workforces, families and empty nesters.