Board of Directors

Alana Langdon

Head, Government Affairs and Global Policy, Nikola Corporation

Alana leads Nikola’s external government affairs engagement, advocacy and global policy strategy with elected officials, regulators, government agencies, industry partners and ally organizations. In her enterprise-wide role, she is responsible for collaborating with internal and external stakeholders to cultivate broad understanding and support for advancing the deployment of zero-emissions vehicle technology and fueling infrastructure, and building a hydrogen economy.

Prior to joining Nikola, Alana worked for several years at Arizona Public Service (APS), as a Senior Community Affairs Representative for Strategic Partnerships and brings more than 20 years of experience working in various roles in the public and private sectors. During her career, Alana has advanced key initiatives impacting emerging transportation and clean energy technologies; corporate engagement and community giving programs, strategic partnerships, diversity/inclusion and multicultural relations; workforce/vocational training; regional/inter-regional governance and planning; regulatory rule-makings; federal, state and local policy development, community (re)development projects; political campaigns, issue positioning, grassroots coalition building; PR/advertising/media campaigns; and international economic affairs/trade.

Alana holds a Bachelor of Science in Organizational and Intercultural Communication and a Master of Public Administration, with a focus on comparative administrative systems, from Arizona State University. Committed to continuous education, training and leadership development, in 2019 Alana was selected to participate with a cohort of female employees in an “Exploring Leadership Series” at Arizona Public Service and joined the Valley Leadership Institute’s Class 40 program. In 2015, Alana completed an Executive Education program, “Leading Economic Growth”, focusing on emerging economies and community economic health, at Harvard University’s JFK School of Government and Center for International Development.

Recognitions include: Valley Leadership’s Class 40, Phoenix Business Journal’s “Forty Under 40”, Arizona’s “Who’s Who in Business 2011” – Highest Ranking Women in Business, Arizona State University Alumni Association Woman of the Year and Arizona State University Homecoming Queen.

Community service includes working on issues pertaining to transportation, public safety, education, healthcare, international relations, workforce development, urban revitalization, accessibility/diversity/inclusion and autism awareness.

A strong believer in education and vocational opportunity, Alana supports and collaborates with various organizations dedicated to implementing programs serving youth from disadvantaged backgrounds and with special needs.

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Mark Gaspers, Chair

Senior Manager, Government Operations, The Boeing Company

Mark Gaspers serves as Senior Manager, Government Operations at The Boeing Company in the southwest. Prior to this role, Mr. Gaspers was a Trade Control Specialist in support of Boeing’s Space Exploration division.

Before joining Boeing, Mr. Gaspers was a policy analyst for defense, homeland security, veterans, and NASA issues for the Senate Republican Policy Committee (RPC) under the chairmanship of Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ). Mr. Gaspers also served as a senior legislative assistant for Representative Lincoln Diaz-Balart and as Senator Kyl’s health care legislative correspondent. He completed the Air Command and Staff College with the Air Force Fellows section while working for Representative Diaz-Balart.

Mr. Gaspers received his master’s degree in national security studies from Georgetown University in 2001. While at Georgetown, he served as an associate editor of National Security Studies Quarterly and worked as a research assistant for the Kennedy Institute of Ethics. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

Mr. Gaspers currently serves as chair the board of directors for the Arizona Manufacturers Council. He resides in Tucson with his wife, Dr. Mary Gaspers, and their two children.

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Dawn Grove, Immediate Past Chair

Vice President/Corporate Counsel, Karsten Manufacturing Corporation (PING)

Dawn Grove is VP/Corporate Counsel for Karsten Manufacturing Corporation, the parent company of PING and related subsidiaries, and has served on the board of directors of Karsten Manufacturing Corporation continuously since 1995.  KMC’s main subsidiary, PING, is one of the top golf equipment brands in the U.S. and exports about half of its products outside the U.S.  In 2015, she was appointed to the U.S. Manufacturing Council, which advised the U.S. Secretary of Commerce on issues related to strengthening U.S. manufacturers and achieving policy solutions that allow them to remain globally competitive.   In  2016, Governor Ducey appointed her to chair the Workforce Arizona Council, the state’s workforce development board pursuant to the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.  Ms. Grove also serves on the board of the National Association of Manufacturers and chaired the Arizona Manufacturers Council from 2016-2020.  In 2020, she became chair of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

She has received many awards including the Manufacturing Institute’s STEP Ahead award for women leaders in manufacturing nationally, Pepperdine Outstanding Alumni/Women in Leadership, the Arizona Manufacturers Council’s inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award, and AZ Big Media selected her as its Private Company Counsel of the Year winner in 2021.

Prior to going in-house with Karsten Manufacturing Corporation, Ms. Grove practiced law in California and Arizona, primarily representing manufacturers. She received her Doctor of Jurisprudence from Pepperdine University School of Law.

Ms. Grove is married to Rawleigh Grove and they have three children.  She serves in non-profit organizations that provide community service, and enjoys songwriting and mentoring young adults.

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Mike Buseman, Vice Chairman

Mike Buseman

Executive VP, Global Operations, Benchmark Electronics

Mike Buseman serves as Benchmark’s Executive Vice President of Global Operations with responsibility for all worldwide manufacturing operations. Mike is an accomplished executive with broad experience in operations, quality and customer relationship management. He has an extensive background in EMS and related industries.

Mike served as Chief Global Logistics and Operations Officer of Avnet, Inc., a global electronics components company,
and was Executive Vice President of Global Manufacturing Operations at Plexus Corp., having served as their Vice President of Global Technology, Quality and Facilities previously. Additionally, Mike served as Vice President and General Manager of Operations of Celestica, Inc., as well as their Director of Operations, Engineering, and Technology. Mike began his career in 1983 with Unisys, Inc., holding positions of increasing responsibility, including Principal Process Engineer and Director of Advanced Design Manufacturing Services.

Mike holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from South Dakota State University and an MBA from the University of St. Thomas, Minnesota.

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Lucas Narducci, Secretary

Partner, Snell & Wilmer

Lucas Narducci has more than 27 years of experience in environmental and natural resources law. Luke regularly guides clients through administrative hearings, litigation and other forms of dispute resolution, striving to protect their assets and keep their business goals in mind. He has extensive experience in acquisitions, divestments, expansions, mergers, ventures, operational compliance, employee work space safety, work place and third-party toxic exposures, audits, risk reductions and control methods. He also advises on policy and legislative developments that affect or could impact his clients and their businesses. He has been a lead counsel in the divestment, acquisition, operation, curtailment, reclamation and closure of several copper, gold, coal and uranium mines.

Luke’s practice has taken him across the United States, as well as to Canada, Mexico and several countries in South America. He participates in many significant business, industry and manufacturing associations in order to advance the interests of those associations and his clients, and to influence rule-making, regulatory, policy and legislative processes.

Luke has extensive experience under all significant and some less recognized federal and state permitting and environmental assessment processes working with the government agencies and regulators to achieve client goals.

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Daniel Barajas

Daniel Barajas

Associate Vice Chancellor, Maricopa County Community Colleges District

Daniel Barajas serves as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Workforce Development for the Maricopa County Community Colleges District, Phoenix, Arizona.

Daniel has over twenty-three years of experience working in post-secondary education. He has held many positions within both the academic and student affairs areas, with years of service as Dean of Academics and Career and Technical Education, currently serving as Associate Vice Chancellor.

With a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University, Daniel has a passion for marrying educational opportunity and solutions to industry and community need. Daniel has served on many councils and boards during his career. This is exemplified in his past role as the President for the Arizona Occupational Administrators Council, and current role as Board member for the City of Phoenix Business & Workforce Board.

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Katherine Dei Cas

General Manager North America/Europe, EMD Electronics

Katherine serves as the General Manager of the North America/Europe Delivery Systems & Services business within EMD Electronics. She has demonstrated more than 20 years of experience in the delivery and storage of specialty gases and chemicals for the semiconductor and display industries.

At the start of her career with EMD Electronics (previously Versum Materials and Air Products), Katherine served as a Project Engineer and was responsible for the execution of a large-scale semiconductor greenfield project. Following the completion of this project, she served as a Production Superintendent overseeing the manufacturing of specialty chemicals. Demonstrating her deep understanding and experience in semiconductor manufacturing and delivery systems, she has successfully held various customer-facing commercial management positions over the past 15 years.

In her current position at EMD Electronics, Katherine is responsible for managing a cross- functional regional team supporting manufacturing, engineering, quality, field services, and sales for specialty gas and chemical equipment product lines and services. Katherine also serves as an advocate for her peers by actively driving the implementation of the company’s diversity and inclusion strategy and serving on the SEMI US DEI Advisory Council.

Katherine holds a B.S in Chemical Engineering from Bucknell University and a M.B.A. from Arizona State University. Katherine is very active in her community and serves as a member on the Board of Directors for Child Crisis Arizona and has offered her spare time as a volunteer for the Kyrene Youth Lacrosse and 1Mission organizations.

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Michael McCormack

Michael McCormack MBA

Mike is President & CEO of CP North America. CPNA is a design and manufacturer of rugged and custom computer hardware, data communications and UAV system solutions for both the defense and industrial markets.

Mike has extensive experience both domestically and internationally of managing multi-site manufacturing operations. His experience has been with Emerson, Invensys, Channell Commercial Corporation and Jonathan Engineered Solutions.

Before his commercial experience, Mike served in the USAF as an Airborne Command Post Communications Systems Engineer.

Mike also serves on the board for the Center for the Future, Prescott Regional Opportunity Foundation.

 

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John Alan Doran, Ex-Officio

Attorney, Sherman & Howard Labor and Employment Department

John Alan Doran is an attorney for Sherman & Howard’s Labor and Employment Department and has over 25 years of experience counseling and successfully representing employers in all facets of employment law matters. He regularly represents employers in mass employment, wage/hour class and collective action litigation, as well as employment discrimination, public accommodations discrimination, and wrongful termination litigation. In addition, John represents employers in restrictive covenant and trade secret matters in state and federal courts. He also regularly counsels clients on prevention strategies, executive employment contracts, downsizing and personnel policies.

John is a noted speaker and author addressing labor and employment issues and presents regularly at conferences and trade association events throughout the country. In addition, he is regularly acknowledged as a leading lawyer in his field and has been recognized for his work in labor law by Best Lawyers in America every year since 2007. He was recognized by Best Lawyers in America as “Lawyer of the Year” for 2012 in Phoenix in the area of Labor Law – Management. He has been ranked in Chambers USA in the area of Labor & Employment Law every year since 2005 and has been recognized by Southwest Super Lawyers every year since 2007.

John was recognized as one of the “Top 100 Lawyers in Arizona” by the AzBusiness magazine and ranked Band 1 – Labor & Employment by Chambers USA in 2020.

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Thomas Smelker

Vice President & General Manager, Microsystems

Mr. Smelker is the Vice President and General Manager of Mercury’s Microsystems business. In this business, he is responsible for the programmatic and technical execution of the latest 2.5 and 3D microelectronics for rugged defense applications.

These capabilities are aimed at accelerating mission critical applications at the tactical edge. Tom Smelker leads a highly innovative Mercury Systems team focused on delivering high-performance signal processing solutions at the sensor edge for major defense and intelligence programs across air, ground, sea, and space platforms.

Mr. Smelker has over 22 years of experience leading and designing high assurance microelectronics for defense sensors and weapons applications. In his previous role, he was a Senior Fellow at a defense prime and was the Chief Architect and Chief Technologist for secure processing.

Under Tom Smelker’s leadership, Mercury collaborates with the leading semiconductor and defense companies as the trusted and secure conduit for the latest generation microelectronics into sensor edge applications for defense.

Tom Smelker and his team enables Mercury Systems to deliver best in class domain capability across the sensor processing chain, enabling our customers to obtain innovative, tailored solutions that meet the cost, schedule, performance, and technology demands of today’s defense industry.

Mercury’s Microsystems business is making leading edge processing profoundly more assessable under Mr. Smelker’s leadership.

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David Green

David Green

President & CEO, Vitalant

David Green currently serves as President & CEO for Vitalant, headquartered in Scottsdale. Formerly known as Blood Systems and founded in 1943, Vitalant is one of the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit transfusion medicine organizations employing over 5500 employees. As a licensed manufacturer of biologics, Vitalant provides approximately two million finished blood products annually to over 1,000 hospital customers in forty states nationwide.

Vitalant’s BioCare for-profit subsidiary has wide-reaching distribution capabilities to quickly and efficiently deliver therapeutic biologicals such as albumin, coagulation factors and Rh immune globulin to hospitals, clinics and physician offices. CanyonCARE Rx, part of BioCare, is a full service pharmacy specializing in medications for hemophilia, von Willebrand disease and other bleeding disorders. Vitalant is also a partner in the operation of Creative Testing Solutions, the largest independent blood donor testing organization in the U.S. with six high volume laboratories testing 75 percent of the nation’s blood supply. Additionally Vitalant operates a Research Institute, which is engaged in scientific studies ranging from blood donor epidemiology to cellular therapy to virus discovery with locations in San Francisco, Denver and Pittsburgh. Finally, Vitalant is self- insured with our wholly-owned subsidiary Canyon State Insurance.

Dave is active in industry leadership roles and is past chair for Blood Centers of America (national Co-Op), past President for America’s Blood Centers (industry trade association) is a board director for the American Association of Blood Banks (national accrediting and standards organization), and current board chair for the Alliance of Blood Operators, an international alliance.
Prior to moving to Arizona, Dave was the President and CEO for Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center (MVRBC) where he served in that capacity for nearly 15 years. While in the Midwest he was active in volunteer work serving as Board Chair for United Way, Friendly House, Quad Cities First (economic development company) and the Quad Cities Chamber. He also served as an active duty Army officer in a variety of command and staff assignments.

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John Hetrick

John Hetrick

Manager of Strategic Engagement, Salt River Project (SRP)

John Hetrick is currently the Manager of Strategic Engagement with the Salt River Project (SRP). The group is responsible for managing SRP’s Political Action Committee and Chamber/Business Relationships. John has worked for SRP for over 21 years in numerous roles including leading the Sustainability Group, developing renewable energy projects, and in water strategy. John currently sits on the Board of the East Valley Chamber of Commerce Alliance and the Phoenix Parks Foundation. Hehas a M.A. in Geography from Arizona State University and a B.A. from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Heis a graduateof Project CENTRL, and the Western Energy Institutes’ Business Acumen for Emerging Leaders program. In his free time he enjoys running, mountain biking, traveling, and hiking in South Mountain Park with his partner Trish Murphy and their two vizslas.

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Joe Varela

Joe was asked to join Southwest Gas Corporation as a pipeline engineer in 1995 after a successful five-year internship.  In 1998, Joe became an Industrial Gas Engineer in Key Account Management.  There he supported the continued use of natural gas and promoted new natural gas uses with SWG’s commercial/industrial customers.  Joe has negotiated service agreements, and bypass rate agreements.  In his current role as Director of Energy Solutions, Joe focuses on maintaining SWG relevance through the promotion of emerging natural gas technologies such as compressed natural gas, renewable natural gas, combined heat and power and Hydrogen.  Joe also oversees SWG’s new Utility Energy Service Contract (UESC) program that is moving the company into new areas of service that could result in significant increased margin for the company.   Joe was part of a team that pursued and received approval from the Arizona Corporation Commission for a compression tariff and a renewable natural gas tariff.

Joe holds both a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and MBA from the University of Arizona.  His industry experiences combine operations, economic development, regulatory, public affairs and customer management.

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Jeff Homer

Corporate Director for Environmental, Health and Safety, SUMCO Phoenix

Jeff Homer is Corporate Director for Environmental, Health and Safety for SUMCO Phoenix.  He has worked for more than 30 years in various aspects of industrial environmental and safety compliance and in hazardous materials management. He is the immediate past chairman of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Environment Committee.  Jeff also serves on the TRUWEST Credit Union Board of Directors.

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Kate Conway

Director of Government Relations, Honeywell

Kate serves as Honeywell’s Director of Government Relations supporting business interests at the local and state levels in the western states.

Most recently, Kate supported government relations and regulatory compliance efforts for the U.S. Coast Guard facilitating uninterrupted commerce in strategic ports along the Pacific coast. She partnered with federal, tribal, state, and local entities to ensure existing laws adequately safeguarded the maritime community, secured critical port infrastructure, and sustained environmental protection standards. Kate also led external engagements with Congress, intergovernmental agencies, and the media in southern California. Previously, she served as a political appointee in the White House Office of Management and Administration.

She earned her master’s degree from the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University, and her bachelor’s degree from Northern Arizona University. She resides in her hometown of Phoenix, Arizona and enjoys golfing.

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Philip Lagas, R.G.

Chief Client Officer/Principal Consultant, Haley & Aldrich

Phil Lagas earned his reputation for delivering what clients value by adhering to a simple tenet: “When we listen, we understand. When we understand, we find the best path to solve our clients’ needs. And only then can we deliver the value our clients seek.” Phil is expanding that philosophy to Haley & Aldrich, ensuring staff use active listening and creative thinking to develop and deliver approaches that address clients’ unique needs.

Phil leads Haley & Aldrich’s consulting and construction operations with that client focus. He is responsible for meeting strategic and business objectives and works with client and technical leaders to develop and implement market and project delivery strategies.

He has nearly 40 years of experience working with private and government clients. He also works with industry associations and regulatory agencies to develop and improve environmental laws and regulations. He is a registered professional geologist in Arizona.

“I can truly say I love what I do. I have a career that combines my deep appreciation for the outdoors with my desire to connect with others. I like to promote a team environment internally and with our clients where we have fun while working hard to solve environmental challenges to preserve our world for future generations.”

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Steve Macias

President & 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, which has resulted in a five-fold increase in sales since 2002.

In addition to sales and financial duties at Pivot, Steve is also involved in promoting the small business community and the manufacturing industry. He currently serves on the Governor’s Council on Small Business and helps to explore and examine ways government can help promote and aid Arizona businesses.

Steve has worked with various congressmen and participated in small business roundtables in order to find ways to encourage small business utilization. He has also worked with staff from the Senate Committee on Small Business and the Minority Business Development Agency in Washington DC on issues ranging from cost of healthcare to contract bundling.

A native Arizonan, Steve and his wife Carrie make their home in Central Phoenix with their three boys. He has been involved with his sons as a coach in both Pop Warner football and Little League baseball. Steve earned both his B.S. and his M.B.A. from Arizona State University.

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Sondra Radcliffe

General Manager , Raytheon Technologies

Sondra Radcliffe is General Manager for the Oxygen & Passenger Service business, part of Raytheon Technologies, where she leads a team of roughly 700 engineering, manufacturing, project management, and product assembly employees located across 5 global sites. She has had a successful career as an attorney at an Am Law 100 firm, as in-house counsel for United Technologies Corp., and as a business executive at Raytheon Technologies.

Sondra’s result-oriented approach and willingness to take on challenging assignments led to her selection by the Collins Aerospace senior leadership team as 1 of 60 women for the WILL RISE program, hand-picked for advancement in P&L roles to meet Raytheon Technologies’ commitment to gender parity in senior leadership roles by 2030.

Prior to her role as General Manager, Sondra was Senior Director of the Program Management Office where she was responsible for program management governance as well as spearheading a business transformation project across 35 global sites following the acquisition of Rockwell Collins. Before the acquisition of Rockwell Collins, Sondra served as Associate General Counsel supporting the Interiors, Actuation and Propeller Systems businesses. Prior to joining Collins Aerospace, Sondra was an attorney with two national law firms where she worked with companies in healthcare, financial services, and other highly regulated industries. She also served as a Business Development Analyst for alcoholic beverage distributor Mesa Distributing Co.

Sondra holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Master of Business Administration from the University of San Diego, Calif., as well a Juris Doctor from the University of San Diego School of Law. In addition, she earned executive education certifications for the Emerging Leaders Executive Education Program at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business in Singapore, the Global Leadership Development Program at INSEAD, and the Women on Boards Executive Education Program at Harvard Business School.

Sondra has received the following awards and recognitions: 2021 Women’s Advocate Award (Collins Aerospace), 2020 Technology Leader of the Year Award (Arizona Capitol Times); 2018 Finalist: Arizona Corporate Counsel Awards; 2013 Top Young Attorney Award (San Diego Daily Transcript); 2012 Finalist: Women Who Rock (San Diego Metro Magazine); and 2011 Top Young Attorney Award (San Diego Daily Transcript).

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Steve Coppinger

Vice President, Corporate Services, CalPortland

Steve has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of UCLA’s Executive Management Program and is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of California. Steve is a Senior Member with the IEEE and has been a member for over 30 years. He is currently a member of the Executive Committee on the IEEE Cement Industry Committee (CIC) and was previously IEEE CIC Chair, Vice Chair, Nominating Chair and Automation Working Group Chair. Steve participates on several industry committees and holds the position of Energy Subcommittee Chair for the Portland Cement Association and Chair of the California Large Energy Consumer’s Association. Steve founded CalPortland’s energy management program in 2003 and since that time the company has received 12 national EPA ENERGY STAR Awards for Partner of the Year in a row.

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Angela Creedon

Arizona Public Affairs Manager , Intel

Angela Creedon joins Intel as Public Affairs Manager for County, City and Higher Education for Intel Arizona. Previously, Angela was Associate Vice President for Innovation Zone Development and Corporate Engagement at Arizona State University. Angela also served as an East Valley Community Development manager for APS. Angela has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Phoenix, with advanced certifications in Economic Development and Corporate Community Relations.

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