The Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce (GPCC) today announced the official launch of Phoenix Forward, a collaborative and strategic approach to economic development. In partnership with the Arizona Commerce Authority, the City of Phoenix and Maricopa County, this innovative program connects with and supports local businesses in targeted industry sectors that are poised for growth.

Phoenix Forward has a laser focus on supporting retention and expansion opportunities with Arizona-based companies that create high-quality jobs in high-growth sectors. GPCC has raised more than $1.5 million in initial private investment and has built a team of dedicated economic-development professionals to support this strategic initiative.


“Approximately 80 percent of new jobs are created by existing businesses, and this unique partnership identifies opportunities and works collaboratively to meet the needs of existing Arizona companies and industries,” said Todd Sanders, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. “Together with the City of Phoenix, the Arizona Commerce Authority and Maricopa County, we are removing barriers to success and enabling existing businesses to continue to grow, expand and create new jobs.”

“Phoenix Forward concentrates on the critical businesses and expansion of the greater Phoenix basin,” said Ed Munson, GPCC Chairman of the Board and Vice President & General Manager of KPHO-TV CBS 5 and 3 TV KTVK. “This work is critical to the creation of new jobs in the metro area. CBS 5 and 3TV are happy to be partners in building a diverse and sustainable work force.”

“The Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce continues to be a great friend and ally to the City of Phoenix,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “Thank you for your leadership on the Phoenix Forward initiative and for what you do every day to grow our economy.”

“Collaboration is the key to success for the Phoenix Forward economic development initiative,” said Steve Chucri, Chairman, Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. “We support Phoenix Forward’s mission to foster a pro-business environment focused on the creation of quality jobs, robust business retention and expansion efforts and increased capital investment in the region.”

“Collaboration among our state leaders, economic development organizations, cities, towns, academic institutions and the business community is essential for building a sustainable statewide economy,” said Sandra Watson, president and CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority. “Phoenix Forward will strengthen the metro region’s competitiveness and our ability to leverage Arizona’s strategic assets and resources supporting local innovation, investment and corporate expansion.”

In addition to business retention and expansion efforts, Phoenix Forward gathers and analyzes industry intelligence, promotes the region, and tackles policy and regulatory challenges that face the four targeted industry sectors: Transportation & Logistics, Advanced Business & Financial Services, Bioscience and Health Care. Each industry sector is led by its own leadership council.

The leadership councils, led by co-chairs in their respective industries, facilitate knowledge-sharing for the mutual benefit of the targeted industry businesses to compete more effectively both nationally and internationally. The leadership councils analyze and act on intelligence gained through business outreach efforts and industry trends to strengthen the industry sector.

The leadership councils are comprised of respected and distinguished professionals in their industries:

–  Dr. Edgar Staren, President of Advanced Individual Medicine, LLC
–  Thomas Sadvary, CEO of HonorHealth

Health Care
Stuart Flynn, Dean of the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix
–  Linda Hunt, CEO of Dignity Health of Arizona

Transportation and Logistics
Mary Peters, President & CEO, Mary E. Peters Consulting Group
–  Karrin Taylor, Executive Vice President, DMB Associates, Inc.

Advanced Business and Financial Services
Dave Ralston, Chairman & CEO, Bank of Arizona
–  Don Smith, President & CEO, CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company

To learn more about Phoenix Forward, visit If you would like to visit with an economic development specialist, contact Jennifer Mellor, Vice President of Economic Development at or 602.495.6491.


About the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce
Representing 2,400 businesses across Metropolitan Phoenix, the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce is Arizona’s largest Chamber. The Chamber supports the growth and development of business by offering networking and marketing opportunities, money-saving programs and a voice in government, keeping its members informed, connected and prosperous. The Chamber also enhances members’ success by promoting economic development, entrepreneurship and a connection to the community.

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Jill A. Brownley
O: 602.495.6472 |  C: 602.509.4311


Posted by Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce

The Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce supports business growth and drives economic development in the region by helping members stay connected and prosperous, growing the economy through Phoenix Forward, our collaborative economic development partnership, and advocating for pro-business policies.