During a special ceremony in June, the Maricopa Association of Governments will honor nine partnerships and individuals who have been selected to receive the 2012 Desert Peaks Awards. The prestigious awards are presented to those agencies and individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to promoting, recognizing, and attaining the ideals of regionalism.

Recipients will be honored during the Maricopa Association of Governments Desert Peaks Awards on Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at the Downtown Sheraton Hotel, 340 N. 3rd Street, Phoenix. The ceremony begins at 6:15 p.m. More than 200 people, including elected officials and business leaders, are expected to attend the ceremony.

Awards will be distributed in six categories: Public PartnershipPublic-Private PartnershipProfessional Service (two recipients were selected for this honor), Regional Partnership (two recipients were selected for this honor), Regional Excellence (two recipients were selected for this honor), and a  new category added this year, Outstanding Economic Development Champion.

This year, two individuals were selected to receive the program’s highest honor for Regional Excellence, Avondale Mayor Marie Lopez Rogers and Tempe Councilmember Shana Ellis. Mayor Rogers was nominated “for her regional leadership in guiding the transformation of not only Avondale but the entire region through her direct engagement to ensure its economic, social and cultural vitality.” Councilmember Shana Ellis was cited for being instrumental in having the Regional Public Transportation Authority (Valley Metro) and METRO light rail work in tandem to realize significant efficiencies through a combined, streamlined regional agency.


  • Public Partnership: Regional Emergency Transportation Service
  • Public-Private Partnership: City of Avondale and the Gangplank Collective
  • Professional Service: Mr. Ed Beasley, City Manager, City of Glendale; and Mr. David Smith, former County Manager, Maricopa County
  • Regional Partnership: Domestic Violence Protocol Evaluation Project; Regional Wireless Cooperative/Topaz Regional Wireless Cooperative
  • Regional Excellence: Mayor Marie Lopez Rogers, City of Avondale; Councilmember Shana Ellis, City of Tempe
  • Outstanding Economic Development Champion: The Flinn Foundation

Costs of the event are being offset through sponsorships. Gold Sponsors include Atkins North America; Cambridge Systematics; HDR Engineering; and Parsons Brinckerhoff.

Silver Sponsors include APS; Arizona Lottery; Delta Dental; Kimley-Horn and Associates; MJ Insurance; Mariscal, Weeks, McIntyre & Friedlander, P.A.; Wells Fargo, N.A.; and Wilson & Company, Inc. Engineers and Architects.

Bronze Sponsors include Arup; Burgess & Niple; The CK Group, Inc.; ECOtality, Inc.; Jacobs; Technical & Business Systems; TerraSystems Southwest; and Triadvocates.

Recipients were selected by a distinguished panel of judges who represent diverse interests from throughout the Valley. The judging panel for the 2012 Desert Peaks Awards included James K. Ballinger, director of the Phoenix Art Museum; Don Cassano, former city of Tempe councilmember and ombudsman for the Arizona Department of Transportation; Angela Creedon, assistant vice president of public affairs with Arizona State University; Michael S. Ellegood, senior consultant of public works with PSMJ Resources; Lloyd Harrell, former city manager of Chandler; and Jack Lunsford, former executive director of WESTMARC.

For more information on the Desert Peaks Awards, visit Maricopa Association of Government’s website at azmag.gov.