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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.



​​Michelle Pierson, Deputy Director

Michelle Pierson Urban HeadshotMichelle brings years of experience and knowledge in all facets of economic development; business retention and expansion, small business/entrepreneurship, attraction and workforce.

As Deputy Director with the City of Phoenix Community and Economic Development Department, Michelle provides oversight and manages a team of 12 professional staff that focuses on Business, Retention and Expansion (BRE) of existing Phoenix companies.   The BRE team's focuses on the growth of the existing business community.  These efforts include developing and enhancing relationships with employers, gathering business intelligence through business visits, providing customized programs and services while helping to ensure businesses retain and expand their operations in Phoenix.  Under Michelle's leadership, some of the most innovative programs in the country have been created, implemented and have become nationally recognized; such as:

A robust Business, Retention, Expansion and Workforce visitation program geared towards existing Phoenix companies to facilitate business expansion and net new jobs.

  • Strategic sector partnerships in Health Care, Service Centers, Manufacturing and Cyber Security to increase Phoenix's competitive advantage.
  • Phoenix Business and Workforce Development Center that is business focused.
  • City-wide Management Technical Assistance Program that provides a deeper level of one on one business assistance at no cost to our existing small business community.

Prior to moving to Phoenix, her career in economic development included, but not limited to, initiatives related to business 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.

Born and raised in Nogales, Arizona, Michelle comes from a family of small business owners and entrepreneurs which created the foundation of giving back to the community through public sector work.



 Eric Johnson, Deputy Director

Eric Johnson is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Administration, Research and Marketing Division which includes the Fiscal, Administration, Information Technology, Marketing, Research and Human Resources Sections as well as overseeing the department's $42 million budget.

Eric's career spans two decades of management, planning, code enforcement, transit and economic development experience in the public sector. During his time in Community and Economic Development, he led many of the city's major economic development efforts including public private partnerships, numerous revenue sharing and incentive agreements, transit-oriented development, Arizona State University Downtown Phoenix campus, Phoenix Biomedical Campus, and mega events such as the 2008 and 2015 Super Bowls.​

Eric joined the City of Phoenix in 2004 and prior to working the Community and Economic Development Department has worked in the city's Downtown Development Office, Office of Customer Advocacy and the Development Services Department (now Planning and Development Department). Prior to working in Phoenix, Eric worked in Glendale, Arizona and Avon, Colorado. He is a graduate of the University of Colorado at Denver, with a Master of Public Administration, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, with a Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning, and is certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners.

Rita Marko, Protocol Program Administrator
President/CEO, Phoenix Sister Cities, Inc.

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

As Deputy Director of the International Relations Division, Rita 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.




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