Feedback: January 2018

by David C. Brown, Neil Giuliano, Tammy McLeod

Question: What is your one pie-in-the-sky wish for 2018 from the standpoint of leadership fostering business growth?

David C. Brown

Chief Executive Officer
Valley Leadership
Sector: Nonprofit

As the new CEO at Valley Leadership and 60 days on the job, I have been amazed to see the level of passion and commitment our alumni and partners have to improving the Valley and the entire state. I’ve met with leaders from all sectors, and there has been a universal theme among their feedback: a thirst to do more for Phoenix and Arizona. Having grown to the nation’s fifth-largest city, Phoenix has its challenges and areas to improve. We’re special in that we get the unbridled enthusiasm of new arrivals coupled with the welcoming “can do” hospitality of our natives that makes us unlike any other city or town.

Phoenix has the right mix of expertise, skill sets and spirit to lead the nation on many fronts: technology, education, startups and more. My hope for 2018, both professionally and personally, is that leaders from all sectors communicate, collaborate and coordinate to stand up and lead on hard issues. If we communicate often and honestly, collaborate intentionally and coordinate strategically, Phoenix will continue its rise.

David C. Brown is the CEO of Valley Leadership, whose mission is to enhance the abilities of leaders to serve and strengthen our communities. His long-standing track record of making deep impacts on the community includes serving as CEO of Home Matters and executive director of the National NeighborWorks Association. He holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting from the University of Arizona and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Southern California. 


Neil Giuliano

President and CEO
Greater Phoenix Leadership
Sector: Nonprofit

There’s one thing we know about business with regard to strong leadership and achieving success: There’s no one thing.

With that in mind, as I look into the crystal ball for 2018, my desires and expectations for business leaders focus on three areas: talent acquisition, fostering innovation and strengthening collaboration.

Let’s ask, “What more can we do individually and collectively to ensure smart, savvy and future-oriented talent selects Arizona, for a new career opportunity or to remain in our great state?” We all know talented people make the difference.

What more can we do to create a sustained culture of fostering innovation when it comes to solving our societal challenges? Business growth is incumbent upon societal improvement.

And what will enable the next level of true collaboration — beyond the norm — and bring people together for the common good? Break the mold and collaborate in new ways for greater success.

If we spend some time on these critical areas in 2018, we will solidly be on the right path for Arizona.

Neil Giuliano is president and CEO of Greater Phoenix Leadership — which, for 40 years, has been the forum for CEO leaders to collaborate with the government, education and philanthropy sectors to create and sustain a safe, healthy and prosperous community — returning to Phoenix from serving as CEO of San Francisco AIDS Foundation. The recipient of numerous awards and honors for his work in public policy and community activism, he served as a city councilmember and, in 1994, was the youngest person ever elected mayor of Tempe. 


Tammy McLeod

President and CEO
Flinn Foundation
Sector: Nonprofit

The Flinn Foundation is a privately endowed philanthropic organization with a straightforward mission: to improve the quality of life in Arizona, to benefit future generations. We pursue that mission through four program areas: arts and culture, the biosciences, civic leadership and higher education.

Internally, we plan to deepen our community impact by making sure our programs mutually reinforce each other and by collaboration with other leaders who share a commitment to strengthening Arizona.

It is common knowledge that one of Arizona’s greatest community assets is our “collaborative gene.” Our state has an established track record — from public servants who united to establish the Central Arizona Project to the visionaries who crafted Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap — of setting aside individual interests for the good of the state as a whole. To take the next leap in an ever more competitive global economy, Arizona’s leaders, in the public sector and especially in the business community, need to recommit to that model in 2018.

Tammy McLeod is president and CEO of the Flinn Foundation. She previously held several executive positions at Arizona Public Service, culminating with the role of vice president for energy resource management, entailing oversight of three company divisions. Her commitment to Arizona nonprofit organizations has included numerous board appointments, currently including the Arizona Community Foundation, the Desert Botanical Garden (vice president) and Expect More Arizona (chair).

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