At its annual meeting, the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) Regional Council elected Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton to lead the organization as chair over the coming year.

Other officers selected during the MAG Annual Meeting held Wednesday night include Buckeye Mayor Jackie Meck as vice chair and Queen Creek Mayor Gail Barney as treasurer.

Helping make businesses export ready is on of Mayor Stanton’s key goals as chair of the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG).

“No other organization is better suited to make a regional impact on exports than this one,” Mayor Stanton said of MAG during a Passing of the Gavel ceremony. “We don’t fit neatly into anyone else’s jurisdiction, so let’s make a positive change. Let’s become more relevant than ever before by taking our services directly to businesses, and let’s help build a more regional export-based economy,” he said.

Specific proposals outlined by the mayor include:

  • Expand Phoenix’s successful ExporTech program by hosing a regional “exporting boot camp.” ExporTech is administered by the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) to help “export-curious” businesses become “export-ready.”
  • Host a regional export and trade summit. MAG would partner with Metro Phoenix Export Alliance, the Global Chamber of Commerce, ACA, Consulate offices, and stakeholders. The summit would help keep the region on track with regional goals to double global exports by 2025.
  • Team with the Pima Association of Governments to recognize “innovative and inspiring” export success stories through a new “Sun Corridor Global Excellence Award.”

Stanton also will work to be more strategic in attracting foreign capital to our region.

“We can define the target industries we most want to attract.  We need to look at not only the most profitable industries, but also the industries that are the best fit for our region. Companies that share our values and have more than just a financial interest in seeing our region succeed,” he said.

MAG is a Council of Governments and Metropolitan Planning Organization that provides a regional forum for discussion, analysis, and resolution of regional issues, including transportation, air quality, economic development and human services. MAG prepares the 20-year Long Range Transportation Plan and five-year Transportation Improvement Program for the region. Founded in 1967, MAG will celebrate its 50th Anniversary on April 12, 2017.

Officers are elected for one-year terms. Mayor Stanton will lead the organization for the next year and will preside over the MAG Executive Committee. The Executive Committee serves as MAG’s finance committee and holds many administrative responsibilities, such as amendments to the budget and contract selections.

Mayor Stanton has served on the MAG Regional Council and on the MAG Executive Committee since 2012, serving first as treasurer and then as vice chair. He also currently serves on the Transportation Policy Committee and the Economic Development Committee.

In addition to the officers noted above, those nominated to serve as at-large members for the MAG Executive Committee are El Mirage Mayor Lana Mook, Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers, and Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell. Scottsdale Mayor W.J. “Jim” Lane remains on the committee as past chair.

Also during the Annual Meeting, Mesa Mayor John Giles was elected to serve as chair of the MAG Transportation Policy Committee, and Avondale Mayor Kenneth Weise as vice chair.