Mayor Greg Stanton was honored by the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) with its Outstanding Regional Contribution award for his continuing efforts to promote regional economic development a priority.

“Mayor Stanton has been a tremendous advocate for the greater Phoenix region, and an active voice at the economic development table,” said GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome. “He understands the importance of transitioning our region to the next economy and has been a pivotal player in that discussion.”

Stanton said that in today’s innovation-based global economy, where regions – not cities – are the measurable economic unit, communities must work together to succeed.

“Taking a regional view and working together on key issues – trade, education, water – is an absolute must for our city and state to grow even more competitive in today’s global economy,” Stanton said.

Among Stanton’s key regional efforts:

·        A new trade office in Mexico. Two days ago, the Arizona State Trade and Investment Office opened in Mexico City. The effort to kick start Arizona’s relationship with Mexico began when Stanton and Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild decided to work together to determine how to improve the economies of their respective cities. Both had traveled to Mexico together on city business, but realized a permanent presence was needed in the country. They also figured that it would be much more successful if state and regional leaders had a stake in it, too.

·        The Arizona Mayors Education Roundtable. Stanton helped create this group, which brings together mayors, school district superintendents and staff to focus on common issues related to education. The mission is to ensure that all Arizona students are ready for college and careers.

·        Phoenix-Tucson Water Agreements. Last week, the cities of Phoenix and Tucson and the Metropolitan Domestic Water Improvement District in Tucson agreed to a plan that will protect both cities against future drought on the Colorado River. The unprecedented accords will increase the reliability of Phoenix’s Colorado River water supplies over the long term and provide near-team benefits to aquifers in Pima County by increasing their groundwater levels. Making sure Phoenix has a dependable long-term water supply is one of Stanton’s highest priorities.

Stanton’s award is one of three that GPEC will bestow tonight on community leaders who have championed regional economic development. The Distinguished Service Award will go to founding GPEC board director Sharon Harper, who is president and CEO of the Plaza Companies. Rebecca Timmer of Dibble Engineering will receive the first-ever Ambassador of the Year award.

The honors were given at GPEC’s annual dinner at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel.