The ACA Board of Directors unites some of the state’s most powerful, proactive state officials with its globally recognized leaders of business – creating partnerships that both attract and cultivate commerce throughout the state. Led by Chairman Governor Doug Ducey, the Board of Directors consists of some of the most successful minds in both the public and private sectors, including the state’s Senate President, Speaker of the House and three public university presidents. The ACA leverages this incredible collection of subject matter expertise with business and policy experience to facilitate every facet of corporate expansion, strengthening the state’s overall economy.  The ACA Board consists of voting members and ex-officio members.


Governor Doug Ducey

Governor Doug Ducey


Governor Doug Ducey was elected on November 4, 2014 and was sworn into office on January 5, 2015, becoming Arizona’s 23rd Governor.

As governor, Ducey’s priorities are growing the economy, creating jobs, improving outcomes in K-12 education and balancing the budget. A champion of limited government, economic development and Arizona businesses and families, Governor Ducey has pledged to work every day to ensure “Opportunity for All.”

Prior to taking his oath as governor, Ducey served as Arizona’s 32nd state treasurer, a position he held since his oath of office in January 2011. As Arizona’s chief banker and investment officer, Ducey managed more than $13 billion in state assets and served as an investment manager for local governments. He also served as chairman of Arizona’s State Board of Investment and State Loan Commission, as Arizona’s Surveyor General and was a member of the State Land Selection Board.

As state treasurer, Ducey notably led the opposition of Proposition 204, a tax increase that would have cost Arizona taxpayers $1 billion per year. With Ducey’s leadership, the proposition was soundly defeated by a nearly two-to-one margin. During his tenure, Ducey also oversaw the Permanent Land Endowment Trust Fund. Under his watch, the trust fund surpassed $5 billion for the first time, with 90 percent of the earnings allocated toward K-12 education.

Before being elected state treasurer, Ducey was chief executive officer of Cold Stone Creamery. An Arizona-born concept, Cold Stone expanded from a handful of locations to more than 1,400 worldwide under Ducey’s management.

Governor Ducey was born in Toledo, Ohio. He moved to Arizona to attend Arizona State University’s business school, where he earned his bachelor of science in finance in 1986. Governor Ducey and his wife, Angela, live in Phoenix with their three sons, Jack, Joe and Sam.

Gary Abrams

Gary Abrams

CEO and President, Abrams Airborne Manufacturing

Gary L. Abrams began his career as a second generation leader of Abrams Airborne Manufacturing, Inc., a precision sheetmetal manufacturing company that was founded by his father in 1965. Mr. Abrams currently serves as the President of Abrams Airborne. He is also the President of Vltor Weapons Systems, a weapons manufacturing company that supplies weapon accessories to the US Military and many law enforcement agencies. He is an owner and the President of Milkor USA, Inc., a manufacturer of the M32A1 multi-shot grenade launcher.

As a lifelong pilot, Mr. Abrams’ passion of flying and his drive for business enabled him to establish two companies in the field of aviation. He is the President of Pima Aviation, which acts as the long-term lease holder of the Marana Regional Airport, as well as the President of a FBO at Marana Regional Airport, titled Tucson Aeroservice Center. Mr. Abrams has been an active member of the Pima Air and Space Museum for many years serving as a past President, and currently serving as the Trustee on the Board of Supervisors.

Richard Adkerson

Richard Adkerson

President and CEO, Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold

Richard C. Adkerson is President and Chief Executive Officer of Freeport- McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. FCX, with headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona, is the world’s largest publicly owned copper producer and the principal supplier of copper to the United States. FCX operates the Grasberg mining complex in Papua, Indonesia, the world’s largest copper and gold mine in terms of reserves, and conducts significant mining operations in North and South America and the Democratic Republic of Congo. He is also Co-Chairman of McMoRan Exploration Co., a New York Stock Exchange company engaged in oil and gas exploration and production offshore and onshore in the Gulf of Mexico region of the United States. McMoRan is an industry leader in drilling deep natural gas wells in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Mr. Adkerson graduated from Mississippi State University with a Bachelor of Science degree with highest honors and an MBA degree. In 2010, he received an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from Mississippi State. He also completed the Advanced Management Program of the Harvard Business School in 1988. Prior to joining Freeport-McMoRan in 1989, he was Partner and Managing Director in Arthur Andersen & Co., where he headed the Firm’s Worldwide Oil and Gas Industry Practice. From 1976 to 1978, he was a Professional Accounting Fellow with the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Adkerson currently serves as Chairman of the International Council on Mining and Metals and on the Executive Board of the International Copper Association. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, The Business Council and the Business Roundtable. He serves on the Host Committee for the 2011 APEC CEO Summit, on the Advisory Council of the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States and as a member of the Clinton Global Initiative. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Arizona Commerce Authority, Greater Phoenix Leadership, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council and the Dean’s Council of 100 for the Arizona State University W. P. Carey School of Business. He is Vice-Chairman of the National WWII Museum, serves on the Board of Visitors of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, and is Campaign Chair of the Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center, “Cancer Has Met Its Match” campaign in Phoenix. He served as President of the Mississippi State University Foundation Board of Directors, chaired its “State of the Future” capital campaign, and serves on the University’s Advisory Board for the College of Business. He was inducted into the American Mining Hall of Fame in 2010, named National Alumnus of the Year of Mississippi State University in 2011, received The American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers Charles F. Rand Memorial Award in 2011 and named Executive of the Year by the W. P. Carey School of Business Dean’s Council at Arizona State University in 2011. In each of the past four years, Mr. Adkerson was named The Best CEO in Metals and Mining by Institutional Investor magazine and was named The Copper Man of the Year 2009 by The Copper Club.

Craig Barrett

Craig Barrett

Retired CEO/Chairman of the Board, Intel

Dr. Craig Barrett is a leading advocate for improving education in the U.S. and around the world. He is also a vocal spokesman for the value technology can provide in raising social and economic standards globally. In 2009, he stepped down as Chairman of the Board of Intel Corporation, a post he held from May 2005 to May 2009.

Dr. Barrett was born in San Francisco, CA. He attended Stanford University from 1957 to 1964, receiving Bachelor of Science, Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees in Materials Science. After graduation, he joined the faculty of Stanford University in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and remained through 1974, rising to the rank of Associate Professor. Dr. Barrett was a Fulbright Fellow at Danish Technical University in Denmark in 1972 and a NATO Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Physical Laboratory in England from 1964 to 1965.

Dr. Barrett joined Intel Corporation in 1974 and held positions of vice president, senior vice president and executive vice president from 1984 to 1990. In 1992, he was elected to Intel Corporation’s Board of Directors and was promoted to chief operating officer in 1993.  Dr. Barrett became Intel’s fourth president in 1997, chief executive officer in 1998 and chairman of the Board in 2005.

Dr. Barrett served until June 2009 as Chairman of the United Nations Global Alliance for Information and Communication Technologies and Development, which works to bring computers and other technology to developing parts of the world.  He chairs Change The Equation, a national education science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) coalition, Achieve and Dossia, co-chairs the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Advisory Board, and vice chairs Science Foundation Arizona and the National Forest Foundation.  Dr. Barrett is chairman of the Governor’s Arizona Ready Education Council, president and chairman of BASIS Schools and a member of the Board of Directors of K12, Society for Science and the Public, Arizona Commerce Authority Board and Tallwave.  He was appointed by the President of the Russian Federation as International co-chairman of the Skolkovo Foundation Council and serves on the Council for Foreign Relations Task Force on U.S. Education Reform and National Security, the advisory boards of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation and the Montana Family Foundation, the faculty of Thunderbird School of Global Management, and is Chairman of the Irish Technology Leadership Group.

Dr. Barrett has served on numerous boards, policy and government panels and has been an appointee of the President’s Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations and the American Health Information Community. He has co-chaired the Business Coalition for Student Achievement and the National Innovation Initiative Leadership Council and has served as a member of the Board of Trustees for the U.S. Council for International Business and the Clinton Global Initiative Education Advisory Board.  Dr. Barrett has been a member of the National Governors’ Association Task Force on Innovation America, the National Infrastructure Advisory Council, the Committee on Scientific Communication and National Security, the U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum, past chair of the National Academy of Engineering, and formerly served on the Board of Directors of the U.S. Semiconductor Industry Association, the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, and TechNet.

Michael Bidwill

Michael Bidwill

President, Arizona Cardinals

After practicing law for six years as a federal prosecutor, Michael Bidwill joined the Cardinals organization in 1996 as Vice President/General Counsel and today serves as team President. In that time, his influence over the club and his role in shaping its success has been undeniable.

In addition to his prominent role in guiding the Cardinals, Mr. Bidwill has established himself as an influential leader in the greater Phoenix business community where he has been a strong advocate for economic growth and development.

Within the NFL, Mr. Bidwill chairs the League’s Security and Fan Conduct Committee, a group of eight club executives that oversees and develops best security practices for NFL facilities. He also serves on the board of the National Football League Foundation, which in 2013 will award more than $23 million in grants to support youth and high school football programs, health and safety efforts, as well as community health initiatives, including NFL PLAY 60. Mr. Bidwill has also been a member of the league’s Business Ventures Committee since 2007 when Commissioner Roger Goodell appointed him to it.

Mr. Bidwill additionally serves on Arizona’s Super Bowl Host Committee. That group not only oversaw the successful staging of Bowl XLII at University of Phoenix Stadium in 2008 but attracted the 2015 game (Super Bowl XLIX) and its half billion dollar economic impact to the state.

From 2008-10, Mr. Bidwill served back-to-back terms as Chairman of Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC). He is also a board member of Greater Phoenix Leadership (GPL), an organization composed of the region’s top business and civic leaders. In July of 2011, Mr. Bidwill and 16 business leaders in the state were appointed to the Arizona Commerce Authority Board of Directors. He is also a member of the board for the Pat Tillman Foundation, which carries on the legacy of the former Cardinals safety killed in Afghanistan in 2004.

Richard L. Boals

Richard L. Boals

President and Chief Executive Officer, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona

As president and chief executive officer of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBSAZ), Richard L. Boals provides his strategic vision and expertise to the state’s leading health insurer.

Mr. Boals joined BCBSAZ in 1971 and has served in a variety of capacities, seeing the company through numerous years of stability and success. Prior to his appointment to chief executive officer in April 2003, Boals served as president and chief operating officer.

Mr. Boals is a member of the board of directors for BCBSAZ, as well as for the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.  He is chairman of the board of directors for TriWest Healthcare Alliance. In addition, Boals serves as president and board member of CSA General Insurance Agency Inc., a BCBSAZ subsidiary.

His commitments don’t end there: Mr. Boals is also active in the community, and has been involved with countless professional and local organizations. He chooses to be aligned with Arizona organizations that focus on youth and education, health, wellness and human services, economic and civic development, and arts and culture.

Mr. Boals is on the board of directors for Arizona Commerce Authority, Greater Phoenix Leadership, Arizona State University W.P. Carey School of Business Center for Services Leadership, Arizona State University President’s Club, Arizona State University Dean’s Council of 100, and the Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation. He is a member of the Translational Genomics Research Institute’s board of governors, Arizona Educational Foundation’s advisory board, and the Phoenix Police Reserve Foundation board of directors.  He is chairman of the board of directors for O’Connor House.

Awards recognizing Mr. Boals’ role as a community and business leader include the ASU Alumni Leadership Award, the Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation’s Heroes of Education Award, the Victoria Foundation’s Advocates for Education Award, the American Jewish Committee’s National Human Relations and Centennial Leadership Awards, the Anti-Defamation League’s Jerry J. Wisotsky Torch of Liberty Award, the Greater Phoenix Urban League’s Whitney M. Young, Jr. Individual Award, and the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation’s Globe and Anchor Award. He has also received recognition for his contributions to the Kidney Foundation and Arizona’s Children Association. The Business Journal Phoenix added Mr. Boals to its Silver Anniversary Honor Roll, which recognizes leaders whose work in the Valley over the past 25 years has left a lasting impact and value for all.

Mr. Boals received his associate’s degree from Phoenix College and bachelor’s degree in accounting from Arizona State University. He has completed executive development courses at Fuqua School of Business a tDuke University, Haas School of Business at the University of California, Harvard University and University o fMichigan. Mr. Boals served four years in the United States Air Force before beginning his career at BCBSAZ.

Drew Brown

Drew Brown

Founder and Chairman of the Board, DMB Associates

Drew Brown is Chairman of DMB, a real estate development and investment firm doing business in Arizona and other western states.

Prior to co-founding DMB in 1984, Mr. Brown was a partner and director in the Phoenix law firm of Fennemore Craig, where he specialized in real estate and commercial lending matters.

He earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Dayton and received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Notre Dame Law School.

Mr. Brown has been active in a number of professional, civic and community organizations. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Phoenix Art Museum, Greater Phoenix Leadership, The Flinn Foundation, Scottsdale Healthcare, Arizona Commerce Authority, and is a member of Notre Dame Law School Advisory Council and Urban Land Institute. Drew and his wife Laurie are past Co-Chairs of the Tocqueville Society of The Valley of the Sun United Way.

Mike Ingram

Mike Ingram

CEO and President, El Dorado Holdings

In 1987, Mike Ingram, founded El Dorado Holdings, Inc., a Phoenix based land and development business, and as CEO, he has built the company into one of the largest private land holdings in the greater Phoenix and Maricopa County region, with holdings exceeding $1.0 billion. Since El Dorado’s inception, Mr. Ingram has acquired, managed, developed and sold tens of thousands of acres of property throughout Arizona, numerous office buildings and commercial centers.

Prior to his involvement with El Dorado Holdings, Mr. Ingram was president of one of the largest animal health distribution companies, Sunwest, Inc. Sunwest held 12 branch offices in eight states and was frequently recognized by the industry for growth, management and performance.

A New Mexico native, Mr. Ingram graduated from Roswell High School in Roswell, New Mexico. Following high school, he attended Texas Tech University and in 1966 received a Bachelor of Science degree from New Mexico State University.

Mr. Ingram is a member of many business and civic organizations and serves on a number of local and national boards, including the Arizona Commerce Authority, Arizona-Mexico Commission, Barrow Neurological Foundation (Emeritus), Joe Foss Institute, Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) Foundation, C.M. Russell Museum, Shikar Safari Club International Foundation, and the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. He is also actively involved with Pinnacle Forum, Focus on the Family, and Campus Crusade for Christ and its ministries within.

John Kaites

John Kaites

Owner, Public Policy Partners, LLC

Mr. Kaites is the owner of numerous companies from Global Security to Public Affairs. He currently owns the government relations firms of Public Policy Partners, LLC as well as the branding and advertising firm of World Class Service and the marketing and advertising firm of Avant Strategies, LLC. He is a founding partner in Global Security Intelligence Strategies and owns parts of businesses ranging from Real Estate, Construction and Water. He is a partner in the Law Firm of Ridenour, Hienton & Lewis in Phoenix, Arizona. He has been a leader in the High Technology Sector; Energy & Biotech Sectors and he helped in the formation of the Arizona Commerce Authority and has been a member of many efforts to recruit businesses to Arizona and has participated in the International Trade Delegations in support of the Arizona Commerce Authority. He is a leader in Business and Policy in Arizona.

Mr. Kaites also has extensive experience with professional sports franchises and leagues. Over the course of his career, he has represented fourteen Major League Baseball Clubs, two NBA Basketball Teams, the National Hockey League, an Arena Football Franchise and a Minor League Baseball Team.

Mr. Kaites is a graduate of the Duquesne University School of Law in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania were he was a member of The Order of Barristers.  He began his legal career in 1989 as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Arizona in the Organized Crime and Racketeering Division.  Mr. Kaites later served three terms in the Arizona Legislature.  During his tenure in the Arizona Legislature, he was the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Banking & Insurance Committee.  Mr. Kaites authored the Securities Litigation Reform Act, the Interstate Banking & Branching Act, and The Privilege of Self-Critical Analysis for Products Liability Act.  He also sponsored the final draft to the Arizona Criminal Code and the Arizona Juvenile Justice Code.  In 1998, Mr. Kaites was recognized nationally by the American Legislative Exchange Council’s 3,000 legislative members and received The National Outstanding Legislator of the Year Award.

In May of 2012 Mr. Kaites graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary with a Certificate of Christian Studies.

Mr. Kaites is married with two (2) children.




James P. Keeley

James P. Keeley

Founding Partner, Colliers International Scottsdale Office

James Keeley is the Scottsdale Partner in Colliers International and leads the office in production.  He is considered to be one of the leading commercial real estate experts in regards to the Loop 101 Employment Base (Scottsdale Airpark, Desert Ridge and Deer Valley).

Since 1981, Mr. Keeley has specialized in the site selection, development process and sale of office, flex, industrial buildings, land and aviation.  He has more than 30 years of industry experience as a sales leader, developer and consultant.

Mr. Keeley is a graduate of The University of Arizona with a Bachelors Degree in Business.  He is currently serving on several local Boards including the First Fidelity Bank.  He has previously served as a Board Member on Moss Adams: CPA Firm, the Phoenix FBI Citizens Academy, Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce, the Scottsdale Airport Advisory Commission, the Scottsdale Airpark P.O.A. and is a Lifetime Member of the Scottsdale Charros.

Mr. Keeley has published and/or been quoted in more than 230 magazine and newspaper articles and has produced the Annual Greater Scottsdale Airpark 2010 Report and nowGreater Scottsdale Airpark 2030 Report since 1989.

Steve Macias

Steve Macias

President and CEO, Pivot Manufacturing

Steve Macias is a co-owner of Pivot Manufacturing and has been the President and CEO since the company’s inception in 2000. Pivot has grown from a small job shop to a company that does machining, assembly and contract management for a variety of industries including aerospace and defense, semiconductor and oil and gas.

In addition to sales and financial duties at Pivot, Mr. Macias is also involved in promoting the small business community and the manufacturing industry in Arizona. He currently serves as Chairman of the Arizona Manufacturers Council and sits on the Executive Board of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry as well as the main Chamber Board. Mr. Macias also serves on the Governor’s Council on Small Business and is on the board of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. Macias works with variety of elected officials on both the state and federal levels, specifically bringing a focus to the Defense and Aerospace industries and the importance they play in the economy by helping expand and develop additional manufacturing opportunities as well as creating and providing high-wage jobs.

Mr. Macias earned both his Bachelor of Science degree and his MBA from Arizona State University.

Brian Mueller

Brian Mueller

President and CEO, Grand Canyon University

President and Chief Executive Officer Brian Mueller, joined Grand Canyon University in July 2008 to usher in a new era for the institution – from an entrepreneurial venture to a market-supported public company. Taking the successes he experienced at Apollo Group (the parent company of the University of Phoenix), Mueller guided Grand Canyon University to the first IPO on Wall Street after a nearly four-month drought when it went public in November 2008.

With his rich background in higher education, Mr. Mueller brings to GCU the professional perspective of leading a highly profitable, customer-centric higher education company with his experience as a university professor and basketball coach.

Immediately prior to joining Grand Canyon University, Mr. Mueller was president and a director of Apollo Group. He also served in a variety of positions with the University of Phoenix Online including CEO, chief operating officer and senior vice president. Under his leadership online enrollment grew from 3,500 to 340,000.

Mr. Mueller began his higher education career as a professor at Concordia University. Mr. Mueller earned his Master of Arts in Education degree and his Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from Concordia University.

Victor Smith

Victor Smith

President and Owner, JV Farms

Victor Smith is CEO and owner of JV Farms (Yuma, AZ), Agricola El Toro (Baja, MX) and Skyview Cooling Co. (Yuma, AZ & Center, CO). He is second generation in the fresh vegetable industry with Skyview Cooling started by his father, John B. Smith after a successful law career in Colorado. The Smith family has other agri-business entities in Colorado including Skyline Potato Co., Southern Colorado Farms and Skyline Land Co.

JV Farms and Agricola El Toro specialize in winter leafy green vegetables working with the major shipper/handlers in California including Dole, Fresh Express, Taylor Farms and Earthbound Farm. Their combined program covers more than 12,000 acres which includes 4,500 acres of certified organic vegetables.

Mr. Smith has been in the industry for more than 30 years, starting in the cooling and distribution sector in Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and California. He started the production farming in 1991 with JV Farms and then in 1992 with Agricola El Toro.

Mr. Smith grew up in southern Colorado and attended the University of Colorado in Boulder, studying economics and business law.

Sandra Watson

Sandra Watson

President and CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority

Sandra Watson brings more than 20 years of economic development leadership and experience to Arizona. She and her teams have successfully attracted to Arizona hundreds of companies that have invested billions of dollars in capital and created more than 100,000 quality jobs.

In her 17 years with the Arizona Department of Commerce, and now the Arizona Commerce Authority, Ms. Watson served in multiple positions with increasing responsibilities and results. She has led Business Development, Business Attraction, Workforce and Marketing. She has also served as Director of Innovation and Technology, and she continues to be a leading participant in these sectors.

Ms. Watson began her career in Canada and brings not only a wealth of knowledge on the regional, state and national levels but can execute effectively on an international scale.

Ms. Watson is a collaborative leader who excels in strategic thinking and relationship building.  She worked tirelessly as a leader to implement the exciting new vision for the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA), providing invaluable energy and stability during the transition from the Department of Commerce. Her leadership and strong relationships with Arizona’s Governor and legislators has resulted in consensus in creating the ACA as well as the establishment of its aggressive business plan the organization is currently executing.

Sandra Watson earned an Honors Bachelor of Commerce Degree, and she has completed the Global Leadership Certification Program at the Thunderbird School of Management. In addition to sitting on numerous regional and statewide Boards of Directors, Ms. Watson serves on the National State Science and Technology Institute Board.

In 2013, AzBusiness magazine recognized Ms. Watson as one of the “50 Most Influential Women in Airzona Business.” In 2012, the Phoenix Business Journal recognized Ms. Watson among the “Top 25 Women in Business.”   In 2004, the Phoenix Business Journal also recognized Ms. Watson as an up-and-coming Arizona leader, with its “Forty Under 40” designation. Ms. Watson is also a two-time recipient of the Arizona Technology Council Chairman’s Award – 2004 and 2010.