AAED Appoints New Executive Director to Lead Organization Into the Future

Sep 19, 2023 | Media Release

PHOENIX, ARIZ. (September 19, 2023) — The Arizona Association for Economic Development (AAED), Arizona’s unified voice for economic development professionals, is thrilled to welcome Katie Hurst as the organization’s new Executive Director.

Katie brings more than a decade of leadership experience to AAED, having worked with multiple SaaS companies to build and scale their operations and marketing teams. She was also an early catalyst in expanding Arizona’s coworking and entrepreneurial programs, having served as the Executive Director at Gangplank, a nonprofit workspace formerly based in Chandler, and as Operations Director at Galvanize Phoenix, a collaborative workspace and coding school located in the Warehouse District. Katie’s knack for team development, process optimization, and shaping strong brands has consistently positioned her clients as industry thought leaders while growing community engagement.

“Katie brings the level of business acumen, energy, and leadership that myself, the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors were looking for to move AAED into a more proactive strategic approach,” said AAED President, Vincent (Skip) Becker. “AAED will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2024 and is committed to bringing value to stakeholders across the state, and Katie will play an intricate role in leading AAED into the next 50 years.”

In her role as Executive Director, Katie will oversee the organization’s day-to-day operations and manage staff development. She will also play a critical role in implementing AAED’s three-year strategic plan implementation and providing support to AAED’s Board of Directors, committees, and events.

“Working behind the scenes with both startup and enterprise organizations has given me a deep respect for the ecosystem that supports these businesses, their employees, and the communities in which they exist,” said incoming Executive Director, Katie Hurst. “I’ve had the tremendous pleasure to collaborate with many economic development professionals over the years and have seen firsthand the impact they’ve had in developing Arizona as a premier destination for industry and individuals alike.”


About the Arizona Association for Economic Development

AAED, founded in 1974, has a mission to serve as Arizona’s unified voice for responsible economic development through professional education, public policy, and collaboration. For more information on AAED, visit www.aaed.com or call (602) 240-2233.