Behind every great organization are great leaders. And Valley Partnership is no exception. With the Valley-based development group celebrating its 25th anniversary, AZRE magazine posed the following question to its past chairmen:

What was Valley Partnership’s most significant or greatest accomplishment while you were chairman?

Ron Haarer, Sr. - Westwind Aviation
Ron Haarer, Sr., Westwind Aviation
“Valley Partnership’s first Board of Directors was comprised of members of the development community, city officials and community activists. Watching these diverse groups working together was the ultimate reward for months of soul-searching and persistence and 25 years of continual existence.”

John Graham - Sunbelt Holdings
John Graham, Sunbelt Holdings
“I’m proud that a new organization was able to survive a difficult real estate downturn and was a positive participant in working through the RTC era. A large number of people have contributed to (V.P.’s 25-year) success.”

David Scholl - Westcor/Vintage Partners
David Scholl, Westcor/Vintage Partners
“Valley Partnership’s participation in a yearlong discussion with the Regional Transportation Commission, and making efforts in communication and partnership was a success.”

Charlie Byxbee - Byxbee Development Partners
Charlie Byxbee, Byxbee Development Partners
“Sustaining the organization through such a harsh real estate environment. In addition, we were actively involved with the policies of the Resolution Trust Corporation, and Valley Partnership was able to provide input to the RTC, including offering testimony during oversight hearings that were held in Phoenix.”

John Ogden - Suncor Development
John Ogden, Suncor Development
“Staying alive — I served for two years and it was clearly, ‘staying alive.’ We were just coming out of the RTC era and everybody was broke or being sued.”

Meyer Turken - Turken Industrial Properties
Meyer Turken, Turken Industrial Properties
“We hired qualified executive directors and became more politically and legislatively active. Our industry can be proud of the way we led the charge and have made Phoenix and Maricopa County the great metropolis it is today.”

Lee Hanley, Vestar
“Our objectives for 1995 were influencing government positions on real estate, expanding our membership, and providing networking opportunities. V.P. created a new category of membership for government agencies. Perhaps our greatest achievement was to retire a promissory note created in 1987 to finance Valley Partnership operations in the early years. We became self supporting.”

Lee Hanley - Vestar

Tim Terrill, Sella Barr/Walton
“Substantially expanding our public sector membership and broadening out private sector reach. Advocating responsible development and input on real estate and growth policies at the state and local level.”

Tim Terrill - Sella Barr/Walton

Clesson Hill, Grayhawk Development
“Focusing on the growth of the community project and making it into an integral part of Valley Partnership’s membership and the efforts of our active committees.”

Clesson Hill - Grayhawk Development

Jim Pederson, The Pederson Group
“During my tenure, I was most proud of our progress in promoting quality development in Arizona. Such initiatives as ‘Growing Smarter’ provided a set of guiding principles to help Arizona not just grow, but reach for the next level in developing quality growth.”

Jim Pederson - The Pederson Group

Gregg Alpert, Evergreen Development
Valley Partnership and the commercial real estate community lost a leader and a friend on Sept. 25, 2010, when Gregg Alpert unexpectedly passed away. He was 45.

Gregg Alpert - Evergreen Development

Ken Roth, Roth Development
“Valley Partnership’s greatest and most challenging accomplishment was trying to make sense of the events of Sept. 11 and assessing the relationship between the attacks and the real estate business.”

Ken Roth - Roth Development

Heidi Kimball, Sunbelt Holdings
“Valley Partnership assumed a leadership position in formulating the Outreach Task Force that was challenged with creating a coalition to work proactively on issues confronting business and the real estate development industry, thereby leveraging the industry’s influence at the local and state levels.”

Heidi Kimball - Sunbelt Holdings

Pat McGinley, Vestar
“Created the framework for the Annual Sponsorship Program that was instituted for the following calendar year. Also, organized the first Flat Tire Tour and increased financial reserves for Valley Partnership to more than $200,000.”

Pat McGinley - Vestar
Pete Bolton - CBRE/Grubb & Ellis
Pete Bolton, CBRE/Grubb & Ellis
“We needed someone well connected with the Legislature and Governor’s Office and were fortunate to get Maria Baier (as President and CEO). She was considered one of the true experts on the subject (of development). We also put together the Cross Association Collaboration, which included Valley Partnership, NAIOP, ICSC, BOMA and almost every development association.”

Jay Tubbs - Ryan/Monte Vista Counsulting
Jay Tubbs, Ryan/Monte Vista Consulting
“The biggest accomplishments during my tenure were the growth in our membership, Valley Partnership’s leadership role in the effort to achieve reform at the State Land Department and the continued focus and growth of the annual community project, which I consider one of the most important works of Valley Partnership each year.”

Charley Freericks - DMB Associates
Charley Freericks, DMB Associates
“Working closely with State Land Commissioner Mark Winkleman to draft Proposition 106 and staff the lobbying effort. V.P. formed task forces under the county committees, providing prompt review of the proposition.”

Keith Ernest - RED Development
Keith Ernest, RED Development
“Collaborating with our membership to assist suburban municipalities in their efforts to streamline the development processes. V.P. preserved the practice of allocating sales tax revenues toward infrastructure reimbursement.”

Steve Betts - Suncor Development
Steve Betts, Suncor Development
“Bringing together a coalition of business groups, cities and legislative leaders to pass innovative authority for local economic incentive development agreements with the appropriate protections of public interests.”

Sean Walters - Sunbelt Holdings
Sean Walters, Sunbelt Holdings
“The board worked quickly and diligently with CEO Richard Hubbard to cut costs and increase benefits to our partners. We increased our focus on networking and helping unemployed members find jobs with new enterprises. Valley Partnership additionally made adjustments to create a balanced budget for 2010.”

Mark Winkleman - ML Manager
Mark Winkleman, ML Manager
“Valley Partnership’s greatest accomplishment was holding together the primary voice for the real estate community during the toughest economy any of us have ever endured.”

Mindy Korth - CBRE
Mindy Korth, CBRE
“Valley Partnership members re-energized the commitment and focus of the organization and then getting the word out about our accomplishments through a thoughtful and branded communication plan.”

For more information on Valley Partnership, visit Valley Partnership’s website at

AZRE Magazine May/June 2012