2024-2025 Rural Candidates for Board of Directors

Mar 27, 2024 | Uncategorized

Candidates are listed in alphabetical order.


Cutter Chamberlain, AZED Pro
Economic Development Administrator
Town of Prescott Valley

Cutter Chamberlain is a well-rounded professional who has experience in Management, Marketing, Customer Service, Sales, Advertising, Logistics, Event Planning, Economic Development, Project Management, Facility Management, Graphic Design, and Public Administration. He has experience working with non-profits, local, state, national and international government organizations, small to large businesses and soliciting sponsorships. As a person who thrives in high-pressure and fast-paced situations, Chamberlain strives for positive results and thoroughly enjoys working. He has an aptitude for optimizing performance and motivating colleagues. He can visualize success and identify innovative and effective strategies for achieving it. Mr. Chamberlain is passionate about city management, economic development, and tourism. He possesses an associate degree in political science from Arizona Western College, a bachelor’s degree in management and a Master of Public Administration Degree with an emphasis in Government and Policy from Grand Canyon University. He is certified through the Arizona Association for Economic Development as an Arizona Economic Development Professional (AZED Pro).

He is a very enthusiastic individual with a great work ethic and his leadership and innovation strengths have enabled his professional growth. He has 8+ years’ experience working in administration in a management setting for non-profits and local governments. 12+ years’ experience in marketing, public speaking, advertising, developing commercials, business development, and management. 20+ years’ experience in customer service, logistics, and public Relations. In his current position, he works closely with the Town Manager and Council as the Economic Development Administrator, and in his role, he manages the economic development department and tourism strategies for the town. His current economic development strategies are to focus primarily on commercial/industrial business attraction and work closely with developers, commercial real estate agents, regional municipalities, local non-profit organizations, and retail site selectors to help drive the local economy in the region.

Please describe your involvement in AAED.

Since joining AAED, I have attended 2 Fall Forums, 3 Spring Conferences, one holiday celebration, and one PHX Summit, and I plan to continue attending events regularly. I obtained my AZED Pro certification in October of 2021. I am Chair for the Northern Committee and before that I was the vice chair, I have also been attending the Summits Committee meetings. I am currently on the Board of Directors and would love to continue. My desire to be involved with AAED comes from my passion for the organization and what it has done for me professionally.

Why do you want to serve as a member of the AAED Board of Directors?

I would like to be considered for a seat on the board to be an advocate for my region and all rural Arizona. As a person who is passionate about Economic Development, I want to do my part to ensure the continued success of AAED and help to promote the organization to increase membership and sponsors. I would like to use my knowledge, experience and skills to do everything that I can to enhance the organization. I believe that I would be a good fit for the board because of my passion and drive not only in the realm of Economic Development, but also in leadership, strategic planning and public administration.


James Smith, CEcD
Economic & Workforce Development Director
Pinal County

James Smith has over 25 years of municipal government experience, primarily in business/economic development. He assumed the role of Economic and Workforce Development Director for Pinal County in November 2021. In this position, he leads the County’s efforts to attract capital investment and jobs to the region, while also seeking to help ensure the workforce is prepared for the jobs of the future. Prior to assuming his current position with Pinal County, he served as the Economic Development Director for the Town of Fountain Hills, AZ. Previous experience also includes over 12 years with the City of Chandler, where he assisted in the location or expansion of a number of major corporations, including several Fortune 500 companies.

He holds Bachelor’s (Economics) and Master’s (Public Administration) degrees – both from San Jose State University. A graduate of the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute (OUEDI), he is recognized as a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD). In addition, he has achieved the Certified Public Manager (CPM) designation through Arizona State University.

Please describe your involvement in AAED.

Since becoming a member over 17 years ago, I have been continually involved in AAED, attending events, including the Spring Conference and/or Fall Forum, during most years. In addition to attending many of the AAED luncheons, I have served as a panelist and/or moderator at several of these events and summits over the years. I have also been a frequent participant in the Rapid Fire presentations at the Spring Conference. In the past, I was part of a team that organized joint ICSC/AAED Retail Symposiums and was recognized with the President’s Award for efforts related to those events. For approximately two years, I served as Vice Chair of the Events Committee, helping plan, organize, and conduct AAED events. I have also participated in the Government Affairs Committee off and on for many years, including assisting in organizing events such as Lunch on the Lawn and the Policy Impact Celebrations. For the past two years, I have served as a Board Member representing rural areas of the state. During this time, I have also served on the Awards and Spring Conference committees and acted as Board Liaison for both groups. In each of my roles in economic development in Arizona, I have utilized my time and budget capacity, where effective, to support donations and/or sponsorships of various AAED events. Over the past several months, I have also served as a Mentor in the AAED Mentorship Program.

Why do you want to serve as a member of the AAED Board of Directors?

I would like to continue as an AAED Board Member in the coming years as I believe I have a lot to offer the organization. My experience in economic development as a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) and in both urban and rural communities helps me to advocate for programs and strategies that will support growth throughout the state. I also believe my experience serving in AAED at the event, committee and the board level has provided a solid overall knowledge of the operations of the organization. This knowledge is also the basis for being able to suggest improvements and for making sound decisions regarding AAED’s operations. I firmly believe the organization needs to evolve. It must provide the networking opportunities that our private sector partners expect, while also providing learning and growth opportunities to the next generation of economic developers. I would like to continue helping the organization through this transition. I also believe the organization has an important role to play as an advocate for legislation at the state level that supports economic development, and that keeps the state competitive. I would continue to seek to be involved in that effort. In addition, I would like to see the organization start to play a role in pushing back on the NIMBYism that is becoming more and more prevalent. I would like the organization to seek to support our communities and their elected leaders by taking principled stances when solid economic development projects come under attack.


Tim Suan
Deputy Town Manager
Town of Wickenburg

Tim Suan is the Deputy Town Manager for Wickenburg where he oversees the areas of Economic Development, Community and Neighborhood Services, Recreations, Library and Special Events. He serves as the acting Town Manager in the Town Managers absence, among other duties. Most previously, Tim served as the Community & Economic Development Director for the City Page, a recipient of the AZ Rural Broadband Grant.

Before working for the City of Page Tim held a similar role with the Town of Gila Bend and served in interim leadership roles for the Public Works, Water & Wastewater, and Airport Departments. He currently serves on the Board of the Arizona Association for Economic Development and served on Northern Arizona Council of Governments Economic Development Council before recently moving back to the valley.

Tim has been a presenter to the International Association of Economic Development and helped successfully secure millions of funds at the Arizona State legislature for rural broadband.

He is an Air Force Veteran, holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Arizona State University and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Public Administration from Northwestern University.

Please describe your involvement in AAED.

For years, I’ve actively contributed to AAED as a board member, committee participant, and co-chair, specifically with both the Northern and Rural groups. Engaging both formally at events and functions and informally in collaborative groups across the state, I’ve been a consistent speaker and presenter dedicated to enhancing our organization’s impact.

Why do you want to serve as a member of the AAED Board of Directors?

I am driven to serve on the board because I recognize the unique challenges and untapped potential of rural Arizona. With the majority of the state being rural, these communities boast incredible advantages but also face significant hurdles. My passion lies in understanding the needs of rural areas and actively working to bridge gaps. I aim to bring in best practices, resources, and opportunities to communities that may not have the means to focus on economic development full time, operate on limited budgets, and are geographically isolated from others. My goal is to continue to foster growth and prosperity for these often overlooked regions.