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Staff Profiles

Christine Mackay, Director

Christine Mackay was named Community and Economic Development Director with the city of Phoenix in August 2014.  She is responsible for leading the Business Development Team, including the areas of business attraction, business retention and expansion, small business and entrepreneurial efforts, downtown development, international, retail and workforce development. 

 Prior to coming to Phoenix, she was with the city of Chandler for 16 years as a member of the Economic Development Team, with the past six years in the position of Economic Development Director.

 During the past five years, she has helped locate or expand more than 150 companies into the Region, brought 22,000 jobs, added nearly 3 million square feet to the industrial/office base and brought more than $6 billion in capital investment in to the community.  Some of the larger companies Christine has worked are Bank of America, eBay/PayPal, Marvell Technologies, Wells Fargo, Intel, Freescale, International Rectifiers, Isola, General Motors, Verizon Wireless, Orbital Sciences, Honeywell, Toyota Financial Services, Garmin, Pearson, CDW, Hensley, Air Products, Avnet, EDMC, Qualcomm and Ports America, to name a few.

 In 2007, Christine was named the "Economic Developer of the Year, Large Community" by the Arizona Association for Economic Development (AAED).  In 2010, she was named "Leader of the Year in Economic Development–Public Policy" by the Arizona Capital Times, and in 2011 she was named "Industry Leader of the Year – Economic Development" by Arizona Commercial Real Estate and in 2012 she was named "One of the 50 Most Influential Women in Arizona."

Christine is a member of the Economic Development Director's Team for Greater Phoenix, which focuses on enhancing the region, and she participates in committees that include Maricopa Association of Government's "Building a Quality Regional Community," the Biosciences Roadmap committee through the Flinn Foundation, the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), Commercial Office Real Estate Executives (CoreNet) the Arizona Association for Economic Development (AAED) and the Arizona Business Incubator Association.

 She grew up in Scottsdale, but moved to Chandler is 1992, and has spent most of her career in commercial real estate in the Metro Phoenix area, including work at a private sector commercial real estate where Christine was the Research Director for a commercial brokerage firm.


 Hank Marshall, Executive Officer

Hank BioPic Hank Marshall was named Economic Development Executive Officer in March 2013. He oversees the department's International, Business Development and Business Retention/Expansion programs and initiatives. The team is charged with the pursuit of opportunity that advances economic prosperity for the city of Phoenix.

Prior to joining the city of Phoenix, Hank was Senior Vice President of International at the Arizona Commerce Authority. Hank was one of the key executives that assisted with the launching of the Arizona Commerce Authority in July 2011. From 2005 to 2011, Hank served as the CEO of AISLE21, an international consulting firm.

Hank also serves as the British Honorary Consul to the state of Arizona. Marshall was raised overseas and spent many years in international corporate assignments. Marshall received his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Rutgers University in 1982. He resides in Ahwatukee with his wife Ann while his two sons attend university.



Roberto Franco, Assistant Director

Roberto FrancoRoberto E. Franco joined the city of Phoenix in February 2002 as the Assistant Director for the Community and Economic Development Department. Roberto has 25 years of professional experience with emphasis in contract administration, strategic planning, negotiation, financial, marketing, management, and administering and developing economic development projects.

In addition to being Assistant Director, Roberto also serves as President, Vice-Chairman, and board member of the Phoenix Community Development and Investment Corporation (PCDIC), which has been awarded a total of $263 million of New Market Tax Credits (NMTC) allocation from the U.S. Department of Treasury's Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). He assisted with public-private partnerships with GMAC, Prudential Insurance, Mutual of Omaha Bank, M&I Bank, US Bank and others throughout the NMTC process.

Roberto is well experienced in working with service, manufacturing, telecommunications, back-office operations, and retail companies. He has negotiated contracts with Fortune 500 executives, site selection consultants, CEOs, bank presidents, local, state and federal governmental entities.

Before joining the city of Phoenix, Roberto served as Director of Economic Development for the City of El Paso, Texas for more than 10 years. He graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso, with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, with a major in marketing and accounting. He received his Masters of Business Administration, also from the University of Texas at El Paso.



Scott Sumners, Deputy Director

Scott SumnersScott Sumners leads the city's downtown redevelopment, transit-oriented development and central city real estate development initiatives for the department. His background includes 18 years of experience in both the public and private sector.

Sumners originally joined the city of Phoenix in 1996 as a Project Management Assistant in the Community and Economic Development Department and has progressively worked his way up in the organization in a number of city departments. Previously, Scott worked as Deputy Director of the Convention Center Department where he managed the $600 million Phoenix Convention Center Expansion and Symphony Hall Renovation projects. He also worked as Special Project Administrator overseeing the preliminary phases of the PHX Sky Train at Sky Harbor International Airport.

After a five-year stint in the private sector as an owner's representative managing complex hospitality and residential projects for U.S. and international developers, Scott returned to the city in 2011 as Deputy Director in the Public Works Department, responsible for management, maintenance and repair of city buildings.

Sumners received a Bachelor of Science in Urban Planning in 1993, and a Master of Public Administration degree in 1999, both from Arizona State University. In 2011, he was awarded Project Management Professional (PMP) and Certified Construction Management (CCM) credentials.  An Arizona resident for over 25 years, Scott is married with two children.



Michelle Pierson, Deputy Director

Michelle Pierson Urban HeadshotMichelle Pierson is a rising leader and visionary in the field of Economic Development in the Southwest. Born and raised in Nogales, Arizona, Michelle brings more than 15 years of experience in community and economic development.

As a Deputy Community and Economic Development Director with the city of Phoenix, she oversees the Business Retention Division that boasts some of the most innovative programs in the country, including leading the effort in developing comprehensive business retention and expansion program along with Arizona Public Service and the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce in 2003. In addition, under Michelle's leadership the first dedicated Business Advocate/Program for businesses impacted by light rail construction was created in response to the Phoenix City Council's desire to provide a deeper level of one on one business assistance to businesses and is unique to Phoenix.

Other initiatives fostered and improved during Michelle's tenure at the city include the oversight of workforce development, technical and financial assistance programs for existing Phoenix companies. Pierson's dedication to collaboration also assisted the city of Phoenix in submitting a highly successful application to the U.S. Department of Treasury in 2002, which netted the city the country's largest allocation of $170 million in New Markets Tax Credits. Most recently, under Michelle's leadership, the Business Retention Division is forging new territory as it relates to fostering and growing local entrepreneurship in collaboration with several business association partners.

Prior to moving to Phoenix, her career in economic development included, but was not limited to, initiatives related to business attraction, retention and expansion, sitting on the Pima County Workforce Investment Board and chairing the Pima County School to Work Board, bringing the city's Film Office to the Office of Economic Development and overseeing two federally funded programs known as HOPE VI.



Diane Nakagawa, Management Assistant III

Diane Pic 2Diane Nakagawa is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Management Services Division which includes the Fiscal, Administration, Information Technology, and Human Resources Sections as well as overseeing the department's $32 million budget. Diane also assists the Director with special projects including strategic planning, developing policies and procedures and city-wide initiatives.

Diane spent her first five years in the city with the Community and Economic Development Department working on downtown development initiatives including transit-oriented development efforts and the Arizona State University Downtown Phoenix campus as well as managing the budget and administrative aspects of the department. Prior to rejoining the department Diane spent three years at the city's Aviation Department as an Economic Development Program Manager where she focused on long term planning efforts for Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Prior to joining the city, Diane spent several years with the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce overseeing business development efforts.  Diane earned her Master of Public Adminsitration from Arizona State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Hawaii.



Cynthia Spell Tweh, Deputy Director

Cynthia Spell Tweh Urban HeadshotCynthia M. Spell Tweh, Deputy Director for the city of Phoenix Community and Economic Development Department, has more than 19 years of work experience in workforce and training programs with community based organizations and local government, including both county and city municipalities. Cynthia is currently responsible for administering the Community and Economic Development Department Phoenix Workforce Connection Workforce Investment Act Title IB Adult, Dislocated Worker and Youth Program services. Services offered through the workforce system enables job-seeking individuals to identify and build appropriate work skills to meets business and industry needs.

Cynthia serves on a number of local, statewide and national boards and advisory groups. She has presented workshops on workforce development related topics at several national and statewide conferences. She currently chairs the Arizona Association for Economic Development -Economic and Workforce Development Committee and is appointed to the Arizona Career and Technical Education Stakeholders Committee. Cynthia holds a Master of Social Work degree from Arizona State University and is licensed through the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners. Cynthia proudly served in the United States Marine Corps and United States Marine Corps Reserves for more than 18 years.



Paula West, Protocol Program Administrator
Executive Director, Phoenix Sister Cities, Inc.

Paula West Urban Headshot

Paula West serves as the Deputy Director of the Community and Economic Development Department's International Relations Division and concurrently as the Executive Director of Phoenix Sister Cities, Inc. (PSC), a private, not-for-profit organization established to oversee and coordinate the city's Sister Cities program.

As the Director of the International Relations Division, Paula and staff serve as the city's primary point of contact for international visitors and related activities with the Mayor, City Council and city departments. The division serves as the city and business community's source for official, international and protocol matters.

Paula serves as an elected member of the Sister Cities International (SCI) Board of Directors and serves on the Board's Executive Committee. She formerly served as SCI's state coordinator for Arizona and is a founder and former president of the Arizona Sister Cities State Chapter. Other affiliations include Protocol and Diplomacy International.

Paula is a graduate of the University of Phoenix, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in business management. She is a 36-year resident of Phoenix and has two children and six grandchildren. Her son and family reside in Gilbert, Arizona and her daughter and family reside in Jakarta, Indonesia.




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