Thank you to all who helped make the 2018 AZ Tech Innovation Summit “the” tech event of 2018!
Health Solutions Partners – Managing Director
John J. Donahue, has a 30-year track record of innovating solutions, leading high performance teams and creating value in healthcare and technology. He was most recently the Co-Founder, Chairman & CEO of axialHealthcare, the nation’s leading. opioid use disorder and pain care solutions enterprise. He was also an early operating executive and investor at Remedy Partners, the premier Bundled Payment for Care Improvement (BPCI) company.
Prior to that, he was the President & CEO of Cogent Healthcare. He was the Co-founder/CEO of the pioneering Radiology Benefit Management company, National Imaging Associates (NIA), which was sold to Magellan Health Services (NASDAQ: MGLN). Earlier in his profession, he worked in Paris, France as the CFO of Rhone- Poulenc Rorer’s European Business, now Sanofi (NYSE: SYN). Throughout John’s career, he has collaborated extensively with the CMS, testified before Congress on various healthcare matters and currently serves on select healthcare and HCIT company boards. He and his family reside in Scottsdale.
Arizona Commerce Authority – President & CEO
Sandra Watson has led economic development efforts in Arizona for more than 28 years. She and her teams have worked with nearly 1,000 companies that have committed to creating over 160,00 projected new jobs and making more than $15 billion in capital investments in Arizona. Ms. Watson serves as President & CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority and as Governor Ducey’s Senior Economic Policy Advisor. She also chairs Governor Ducey’s 21st Century Economy Goal Council, oversees the Workforce Arizona Council, serves as a Trustee for the State Science & Technology Institute and holds seats on boards of directors including the Institute for Automated Mobility, Invest Southwest, AZBio and Make-AWish Arizona.
InvisionAZ – Chief Executive Officer
John Ragan serves as the Chief Executive Officer of invisionAZ, a non-profit organization that is creating, promoting and leading the framework that will allow tech, innovation and investment to flourish in Arizona.
Additionally, John is a Founding Partner and the Managing Director of Health Care Futures, LLC (HCF) which owns and runs Liability Exchange and Denial Management Solutions, two revenue cycle businesses in the healthcare sector. He is also President of 80/20 Healthcare Solutions, a third party liability business which serves hospitals and physician groups around the country.
John also served as Vice President of Business Development, Government Affairs, and Communications for TPI Composites, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of composite wind blades and military vehicle applications. John was a Founding Partner of The Symington Group and Managing Partner of The Symington Group’s private equity interests.
Previously, John spent a number of years on Capitol Hill, working for US Senator Jon Kyl (Arizona) as a Legislative Assistant and for US Congressman Matt Salmon (Arizona) as his Chief of Staff.
John is committed to giving back to the community and currently serves on, or has served on, a number of boards including: St. Thomas The Apostle School, Arizona’s Make-A-Wish Foundation, The John C. Lincoln Foundation and The Arizona Chamber Foundation.
Thiel Capital – Managing Director
John R. Selby (Jack) is a technology entrepreneur. His current primary role is as Managing Director at Peter Thiel’s family office, Thiel Capital, in Los Angeles.
As a “PayPal Mafia” member, Jack co-founded, along with Peter, Clarium Capital Management, a macro hedge fund after selling PayPal to EBay in October 2002. At PayPal, Jack joined as an original employee and later served as a Corporate Officer/Senior Vice President, overseeing the company’s international and corporate operations.
As an active technology investor and advisor, Jack is involved with companies such as SpaceX, Bird, Affirm, Blend, FreedomPay, Q Bio, POPSUGAR and many others.
Jack received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Hamilton College and currently serves on its Board of Trustees.
Trinity Capital Investment – Founder and Managing Partner
Steve Brown is the Founder and Managing Partner of Trinity Capital Investment, a leading provider of venture loans and equipment leases to emerging growth companies. A trusted industry veteran, Brown founded Trinity on the premise that it’s not how you act on your best day but how you react on your worst day that defines a relationship or partnership. This philosophy is deeply embedded in the firm’s approach, and leverages Trinity’s financial, technical, and operational expertise.
Brown’s 30 years of experience in venture equity and venture debt is apparent in his ability to adeptly manage sales and strategic business operations working with early-stage companies. He served as general partner at Point Financial Capital Partners, a venture leasing fund and held a prior role as the president and CFO of InvestLinc Financial Services, an early-stage private equity fund and consulting firm. He has also worked as a partner at Cornerstone Equity Partners, a private equity fund.
Brown has a B.S. in business administration and marketing from McNeese State University and is a current Small Business Investor Alliance – Western Regional Committee member.
GPEC – President & CEO
A proven leader with more than 10 years in executive management roles, Chris Camacho serves as the President & CEO at one of the longest standing public private partnerships for economic development across the country. He previously served as the organization’s Executive Vice President.
During his tenure, GPEC has led the attraction of more than 322 companies creating 55,617 jobs and $5.6 billion in capital investment. Some of the more notable projects include Apple, Deloitte, Infosys, Creighton Medical School, Silicon Valley Bank, Zenefits, GoDaddy, Yelp, Amazon, Garmin, General Motors and many others.
He oversees the domestic and international business development and market strategies while serving as GPEC’s executive leader in community interactions. He has particular expertise in emerging technology, tax policy and international economic development. Since 2008, he has taken an active role in addressing the region’s competitiveness position on cost and taxation.
In 2018, Chris was named a Most Admired Leader by the Phoenix Business Journal. In 2015 and 2016, he was named to Consult Connect’s Top 50 U.S. Economic Developers. In 2013, he was named among an international group of “40 Under 40” by Development Counsellors International, a New York-based firm recognizing rising talent in economic development. And in 2012, he also received a “40 Under 40” award from the Phoenix Business Journal, which each year identifies talent throughout Arizona. Camacho is the past president of the Arizona Association for Economic Development (AAED), the statewide association of economic development practitioners. In 2011, AAED named him Economic Developer of the Year.
Prior to GPEC, Camacho served as President & CEO of the Greater Yuma Economic Development Corporation (GYEDC) from 2006-2008, after serving as the Business Development Manager for two years. During his tenure, GYEDC helped 35 companies and 3,500 jobs locate in Greater Yuma, resulting in more than $350M of capital investment in the region. Some of the larger manufacturing projects included Alside Window and Door, Northwestern Industries Inc., Johnson Controls, and Shaw Industries.
Viewed as a dynamic community figure, Camacho was recognized as the Chamber of Commerce Leader of the Year in 2007. In 2006, he served on the Arizona Global Network Board, which was developed to create a foreign-direct investment platform for the State of Arizona. He also developed Yuma’s first Business Retention and Expansion Program to support the local manufacturing and food technology sector. Prior moving to Arizona, Camacho worked as a research analyst at The Alliance, a regional economic development firm in Greater St. Louis.
He is involved in community non-profits including Chicanos Por La Causa, and sits on the boards for the Arizona Business Education Coalition, Year Up, the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Valley of the Sun United Way, as well as the International Economic Development Council and the Economic Innovation Group Policy Council. In 2016 he was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to serve on the U.S. Investment Advisory Council, to advise the Secretary on foreign direct investment policies and strategies. Camacho is also an Honorary Commander at Luke Air Force Base and a member of The Thunderbirds.
He graduated from Southern Illinois University with an undergraduate degree in Psychology and a graduate degree in Public Administration and Policy Analysis. Camacho also attended the University of Oklahoma for the Economic Development Institute. He resides in Scottsdale with his wife and three children.
Mayo Clinic – Chief Financial Officer
Dennis E. Dahlen, CPA, MBA serves as Chief Financial Officer of Mayo Clinic, a $12 billion enterprise that includes clinical practice, research, and medical education operations. Prior to Mayo Clinic, he held the same position at Banner Health, an $8 billion integrated health care delivery system in Phoenix, after serving in several other executive positions from its inception in 1999.
Dennis earned an MBA in finance from Minnesota State University, Moorhead, and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks.
Dennis has served or is currently serving on the boards of InvisionAZ, Greater MSP, the Ronald McDonald House, Charities of Phoenix, Sonora Quest Laboratories, Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center, University of Arizona Health Plans, and MediSun. He just completed his term as chairman of the board of directors for the Arizona Chamber of Commerce. Dennis and his wife, Mary, have three daughters and maintain homes in both Rochester, Minnesota and Phoenix, Arizona.
Offerpad – Founder
Jerry Coleman, Offerpad founder, is a serial entrepreneur and pioneer in the institutional single-family rental industry. In 2012, he partnered with the Blackstone Group to co-found Invitation Homes which acquired, renovated and managed over 50,000 single-family homes, and deployed over $10B in investment capital. Invitation Homes went public in early 2017. Jerry has also started several other businesses, including Elevation Home Energy, one of the Southwest’s largest solar companies and Alliance Investment Group, which acquired, entitled and developed over 10,000 acres of land. He supports numerous professional and charitable organizations including invisionAZ, the Anasazi Foundation and Forever Young Foundation, and is a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute. He holds an accounting degree from Arizona State University and a Juris Doctor from Brigham Young University.
CenturyLink – Director of Regulatory and Legislative Affairs
Michael DiMaria is the Director of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs for CenturyLink. Michael is responsible for interaction with all Elected Officials and their staffs. Michael has more than 27 years of experience in the Telecommunications and Public Policy field.
Prior to joining CenturyLink, Michael worked for numerous Fortune 500 companies, including AT&T, Comcast, and Cox Communications.
Michael holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Telecommunications and Marketing from Eastern Michigan University. Michael is Past Chairman the Arizona Tax Research Association (ATRA) and the Western Maricopa Coalition (WESTMARC). Michael sits on the Executive Committee of both the Arizona Chamber and ATRA.
Carvana – Founder and CEO
Ernie Garcia, III co-founded Carvana and has served as President and Chief Executive Officer since the inception in 2012. Mr. Garcia is also Chairman of the Carvana Co. Board. Prior to founding Carvana, Mr. Garcia held various roles at the DriveTime Automotive Group, Inc. from January 2007 to January 2013. From January 2007 to December 2008, he served as a financial strategist. He was a managing director of corporate finance from December 2008 to November 2009. From November 2009 until January 2013, he served as a Vice President and Treasurer and Director of Quantitative Analytics.
As Director of Quantitative Analytics, Mr. Garcia was responsible for the firm’s ongoing development of consumer credit scoring models, and its utilization of those tools in retail vehicle sales deal structuring and vehicle price optimization. Prior to DriveTime, Mr. Garcia was an associate in the Principal Transactions Group at RBS Greenwich Capital from 2005 to 2006, where he focused on consumer credit based investments.
Mr. Garcia holds a B.S. in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University.
APS – President
Jeff Guldner is president of Arizona Public Service Company (APS), the primary subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corporation. Based in Phoenix, APS is Arizona’s largest electric company and serves 1.2 million customers across the state.
Guldner was named president in December 2018 and is responsible for all areas of APS, excluding nuclear generation. He also continues to lead regulatory and government affairs activities at the local, state and federal levels as executive vice president, public policy, for Pinnacle West.
Prior to joining APS in 2004, Guldner was a partner in the Phoenix office of Snell & Wilmer LLP, where he practiced public utility, telecommunications and energy law. Before practicing law, Guldner served as a surface warfare officer in the United States Navy and was an assistant professor of naval history at the University of Washington.
Guldner actively serves on external boards, including the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, the Partnership for Economic Innovation, the National Association of Manufacturers, and Arizona Theatre Company. He is chair of the East Valley Partnership board of directors.
He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Iowa and graduated magna cum laude from the Arizona State University College of Law. Guldner also completed the Reactor Technology Course at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Advanced Management Program at Columbia Business School.
Arizona Chamber of Commerce – President & CEO
Glenn Hamer is President and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which over his decade-plus of leadership has become the state’s most powerful advocate for job creators.
He serves as chair of the U.S. Chamber’s Committee of 100, sits on its Public Affairs Committee, and serves on the U.S. Chamber’s Board. He also serves on the board of the Arizona Mexico Commission, serves as Chair of the Arizona Charter Schools Association, is on the Arizona Council of Economic Education Board, and is a member of the National Association of Manufacturers’ advisory committee on the modernization of NAFTA.
DLA Piper – Managing Partner
Steven Pidgeon is a corporate partner in the global law firm DLA Piper. He concentrates his practice on public and private securities offerings, mergers and acquisitions, and other corporate matters. He has worked on over $40 billion in transactions.
Steve’s clients operate in a wide variety of industries, including technology, sports and entertainment, financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, transportation, homebuilding and consumer goods.
Steve is the Co-Managing Partner of DLA Piper’s Phoenix office.
Arizona Strategies – Founder & President
Karrin Taylor Robson is a respected and long-time Arizona business leader and land-use expert. She is Founder and President of Arizona Strategies, a premier land use strategy firm headquartered in Phoenix. Throughout her extensive career, she has entitled more than 20,000 acres including more than 35,000 homes and over 25 million square feet of commercial uses.
Karrin has worked with national organizations representing major landowners and stakeholders across the country to advance balanced federal environmental law and policy on endangered species acts and wetlands issues. In addition, she has advanced multiple public-private partnerships, leveraging private sector capital to deliver public infrastructure and other public benefits.
Karrin also serves on the boards of numerous government, community and economic development organizations. In June 2017, she was appointed by Governor Doug Ducey to the Arizona Board of Regents which is responsible for the governance of the state’s public universities, Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University and the University of Arizona. She currently serves as the chair of the Joe Foss Institute, a board officer of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, and a board member of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and invisionAZ. In addition, Karrin serves as a member of the Civic Leaders Group for the Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force.
Prior to forming Arizona Strategies, Karrin served as Executive Vice President of DMB Associates, Inc., a Scottsdale based master-planned community developer where she was responsible for ongoing land use entitlement matters and other value-enhancing efforts for its communities and businesses.
Earlier in her career, Karrin was a principal with the law firm of Biskind, Hunt & Taylor, P.L.C., where she practiced in the areas of land use, development and zoning law representing large landowners on significant and complex land use cases.
Her deep Arizona history and professional experience have shaped her perspective on our culture today and helped define her personal priorities. She believes that being actively involved in the community is a prerequisite for being an American.
Through her numerous professional, community and philanthropic commitments, Karrin advocates daily for building and sustaining a dynamic and diverse economy, protecting property rights and creating value in real estate, developing a world-class education system with options for all types of learners, fostering civic engagement and supporting the men and women who serve in our military.
Cox – Senior Vice President
John Wolfe is Senior Vice President & Region Manager of Cox Communications’ Southwest Region, responsible for the company’s overall operations in Arizona and Nevada. A 28-year Cox veteran, John joined the company’s Southwest Region in Phoenix in September 2014 after two years as Cox’s senior vice president and general manager of the Northeast Region. Before moving into operations, John was Vice President of Government and Public Affairs for Cox’s Northeast region, responsible for the development of government, public affairs and communications strategies for the company.
Prior to joining Cox, John was New England Director of Public Affairs for Times Mirror Cable Television. John joined Times Mirror in 1991 from the National Cable Television Association where he was Director of Public Information and served as the Association’s press spokesperson on public policy issues. Prior to joining NCTA, he was Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief for CableVision Magazine and Managing Editor for Arlen Communications, a Washington, D.C.-based telecommunications publishing and consulting company.
John serves on the boards of Greater Phoenix Leadership and the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. He is the current President of the Southwest Cable Communications Association board of directors, and is a 2018 inductee into that organization’s Pioneer Hall of Fame. In 2015, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey appointed John to the Arizona Zanjeros, a statewide business advocacy group.
John earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science and English from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He and his wife, Kristen, live in the Cave Creek area.
InvisionAZ – Executive Director
Mara Pernick serves as the Executive Director of invisionAZ, a non-profit organization that is creating, promoting and leading the framework that will allow tech, innovation and investment to flourish in Arizona.
Prior to working for invisionAZ, Mara served as the Director of Business Development for BDO, the fifth largest global accounting, tax and consulting firm. Mara was responsible for developing, implementing and executing BDO Arizona’s overall new business and marketing strategy. Previously, Mara served as the Vice President of Business Development for the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) where she provided assistance to companies that were evaluating the Greater Phoenix region for corporate expansion. Mara also served as a legislative aide in Washington DC, working on Capitol Hill for US Senator Dennis DeConcini (Arizona) and US Congressman Benjamin Gilman (New York).
With specialized expertise in assisting Arizona businesses, Mara has more than 20 years of experience in providing advisory and consulting services to publicly traded and privately held companies. Mara is actively involved in several business organizations and supports numerous charitable causes.
Mara is a member of Valley Leadership, Class 40. She received an MBA from George Mason University and a BA from the University of Arizona.