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Committees

AAED Committee Opportunities

Working on an AAED committee is one of the best ways to network with statewide economic developers and private-sector innovators. With numerous committees, there are opportunities for all skill sets and backgrounds to connect.

Below is a list of AAED’s 2024-2025 Committees. Click to expand and view committee leadership information, meeting times, and information and the committee’s responsibilities. If you are interested in joining a committee, please email info@aaed.com.

Awards Committee

Chair: Marc Valenzuela, AZED Pro
Vice Chair: Jeanine Jerkovic, CEcD
Board Liaison: James Smith, CEcD

Meets the third Thursday of the month from 2:00 – 3:00 PM.

Determines awards criteria, nomination opportunities, and oversees the Economic Development Distinguished by Excellence (EDDE) and Golden Prospector awards selection process. The EDDE Awards are presented at the Spring Conference, and the Golden Prospector Awards at the Fall Forum. 

Awards Banquet Committee

Chair: Gabriella Weiss
Vice Chair: Bridgette Blair, CEcD
Board Liaison: Kirsten Hall, CEcD, AZED Pro

Meets the first Wednesday of the month from 10:00 – 11:00 AM.

This committee plans the annual banquet at the Spring Conference. It is responsible for determining the theme, developing the program, preparing presenters, preparing for the banquet, and assisting AAED staff with onsite management of the event.  

Emerging Leaders Committee

Chair: Ashley Mazariegos, AZED Pro
Vice Chair: Ryan Wissmann, AZED Pro
Vice Chair: Amber Knapp
Board Liaison: Suzie Boyles, AZED Pro

Meets the second Wednesday of the month from 2:00 – 3:00 PM.

Design programs that enhance the experience of Emerging Leaders (under 35 or with less than five years of industry experience) within AAED and create opportunities across the state for those entering the economic development profession. The committee also manages AAED’s mentoring program.

Fall Forum Committee

Chair: Melissa Johnson
Vice Chair: Steven Cramer
Board Liaison: Kristen Stephenson, CEcD

Meets the fourth Tuesday of the month from 10:00 – 11:00 AM (April through October).

The Fall Forum provides professional networking opportunities, educational workshops, and hosts knowledgeable speakers. The committee is responsible for program development, including building the schedule, and speaker outreach and preparation. Committee members also assist AAED staff with sponsor outreach, marketing, and onsite event management.

Golf Tournament Committee

Chair: Crystal Pierce
Vice Chair: Erica Lange

TBD

The Golf Committee determines the format, and also manages sponsor and player outreach, event marketing, and onsite logistics.

Government Affairs Committee

Chair: Tim Bourcet
Vice Chair: Chuck Reynolds
Board Liaison: Jennifer Lindley, AZED Pro

Meets the third Thursday of the month from 1:00 – 2:00 PM (increases to bi-weekly during the legislative session).

Educates and informs Arizona legislators and AAED members on economic development issues. This includes developing policy statements, planning an annual legislative forum, overseeing the Economic Development Champion award, and distributing legislative updates and advocacy alerts regarding crucial economic development-related issues. 

Greater Phoenix Events Committee

Chair: Matt Avila
Vice Chair: Francesca Miller, AZED Pro
Vice Chair: MaKenzie Wilson, AZED Pro
Board Liaison: Cameron Robb

Meets the third Tuesday of the month from 2:30 – 3:30 PM.

Designs programs to increase membership value and participation in the Greater Phoenix region and educate about Greater Phoenix issues. Committee members are responsible for planning tours, mixers, and one annual half-day summit in addition to sharing best practices and projects from the Greater Phoenix area.

Membership Engagement Committee

Chair: Chad Schleicher
Vice Chair: Chip Mulkins
Vice Chair: Steven Cramer
Board Liaison: Jaye O’Donnell

Meets the first Tuesday of the month from 12:30 – 1:30 PM.

Works to attract new members, engage current members, and amplify member knowledge and expertise. Committee members publish a monthly e-newsletter, plan two annual member celebrations (Winter and Summer) and assist the Membership & Development Manager with outreach to potential and new members.

Northern AZ Committee

Chair: Diana Soto
Vice Chair: Katherine Anderson
Board Liaison: Cutter Chamberlain, AZED Pro

Meets the first Wednesday of the month from 2:00 – 3:00 PM.

Designs programs to increase membership value and participation in the Northern AZ region and educate about Northern AZ issues. Committee members are responsible for planning tours, mixers, and one annual half-day summit in addition to sharing best practices and projects from the Northern AZ area.

Professional Education Committee

Chair: Russ Scheetz
Vice Chair: Jeffrey Robbins, CEcD
Board Liaison: Heath Vescovi-Chiordi, AZED Pro

Meets the third Thursday of the month from 1:00 – 2:00 PM.

Committee members create and maintain curriculum standards for all AZED Pro certification courses and plan all Academy courses, including developing the schedule, speaker outreach and preparation, and assisting with event marketing. The committee also assists AAED’s Executive Director with planning the Basic Economic Development Course.

Rural Committee

Chair: Tami Ursenbach, AZED Pro
Board Liaison: Jack Fitchett

Meets the second Monday of the month from 3:00 – 4:00 PM.

Designs programs that benefit members in rural communities and monitors legislative issues that impact economic development in rural communities. The Committee holds Rural Roundtables to discuss rural community issues and activities. 

Southern AZ Committee

Chair: Fred Narcaroti
Vice Chair: Alex Magallanes
Vice Chair: Sarah Pacheco
Board Liaison: Michael Jansen, CEcD

Meets the third Thursday of the month from 10:00 – 11:00 AM.

Designs programs to increase membership value and participation in the Southern AZ region and educate about Southern AZ issues. Committee members are responsible for planning tours, mixers, and one annual half-day summit in addition to sharing best practices and projects from the Southern AZ area.

Spring Conference Committee

Chair: Amanda Bruno, AZED Pro
Vice Chair: Ryan Jones
Board Liaison: Karla Moran, AZED Pro

Meets the second Wednesday from 10:00 – 11:00 AM (July through April).

The Spring Conference provides professional networking opportunities, educational workshops, hosts knowledgeable speakers, and celebrates the EDDE award winners. The committee is responsible for program development, including building the schedule, and speaker outreach and preparation. Committee members also assist AAED staff with sponsor outreach, marketing, and onsite event management.

Tribal Committee

Board Liaison: Tom Pitts

Meets the second Thursday of the month from 9:00 – 10:00 AM.

Fosters productive relationships between AAED members and Native American communities in Arizona. 

Workforce Committee

Chair: Rabbanni FurQaan
Vice Chair: Brian Wright, AZED Pro
Board Liaison: Heath Anderson, AZED Pro

Meets the second Thursday from 2:00 – 3:00 PM.

Designs programs to educate AAED members and the public on workforce development issues across the state as well as shares best practices among members.