The Board Members and Staff at GPREP
We greatly value our board members, staff and affiliates who work hard to bring opportunities and business development to the Greater Prescott Region. Continue reading to learn more about these remarkable individuals.
Executive Committee of the Board
President: Dane Beck
Dane Beck holds a Bachelor of Science degree from The University of Arizona in Molecular and Cellular Biology. During the past ten years he has focused his efforts on real estate development as a principle with The Beck Legacy Group. This group develops, owns and operates commercial properties in Arizona, including The Hampton Inn and Suites Prescott Valley, The Days Inn and Suites and Lake Powell Convenience Center in Page, Arizona.
Dane’s community involvement with business action groups includes being the past President of Central Arizona Partnership (CAP). It is here where he focused his talents on launching The Greater Prescott Regional Economic Partnership in 2013. Mr. Beck was elected the President of the GPREP Board of Directors in July 2015.
Vice President: Kelly Patton
Director Economic Development, Arizona Public Service
Kelly Patton currently holds the title of Senior Economic Development Consultant, Statewide Programs at Arizona Public Service (APS). She is primarily responsible for working with the community, regional and statewide partners in the attraction and expansion of business and industry within APS service territory. She also provides information on electrical infrastructure and system capabilities for commercial real estate sites, as well as supports both the metropolitan and rural communities in economic development initiatives and planning.
Before joining APS, Kelly spent eight years in the Gilbert, Arizona Office of Economic Development and five years with the Regional Economic Development Organization in Kansas City Area Development Council. She also sits on several state-wide and regional economic development boards and committees including the Arizona Association for Economic Development (AAED), Greater Prescott Regional Economic Development Partnership (GPREP) in Northern Arizona.
Treasurer: Julie Ruttle
Mortgage Loan Originator, US Bank
Content coming soon.
Secretary: Danny Sullivan
Vice President, Yavapai Title
Danny Sullivan has spent 32 years in the Escrow and Title Insurance industry working with commercial and residential brokerages and agents in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Much of that time has been in sales and marketing. He has been employed by large national title insurance companies and local privately owned title agencies.
Government Representative: Rowle Simmons
Yavapai County Supervisor-District 1
Rowle has spent the bulk of his 37-year career in the electronic communications field in Prescott, Arizona. As the owner of the Communications Center and the Alarm Connection, he has spent more than 30 years providing our local communities wireless communications and security solutions for both homes and businesses.
Rowle feels honored to have served as mayor of Prescott for three consecutive terms. His commitment to serving the public includes a long history of community service. He was a founding board member of the Silent Witness Program here and has remained on that board for over 20 years. He’s a past member of the hospital district board for Yavapai Regional Medical Center and has served on the board of Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Rowle has been a member of the Prescott Rotary Club for more than 30 years and is also a member of the Prescott Chamber of Commerce, the local YMCA, and the Smoki.
Private Sector Board Members
VP Community Relations Yavapai College
Rodney Jenkins is currently the Vice President of Community Relations for Yavapai College. He recently relocated to Yavapai County from Lock Haven, PA where he was the Vice President for University Relations for Lock Haven University. Mr. Jenkins has over 20 years of experience developing and implementing effective public relations, communications, marketing, economic development, and fund development strategies.
Mr. Jenkins began his career in the public sector providing in-home counseling and support services to children and families in distress. In the late 1980’s, after managing several successful election campaigns for members of Cleveland City Council, he was appointed to become the Director of Communications and chief spokesperson for the Cleveland, Ohio’s City Council. Jenkins helped the members create better dialog with their constituency groups and the media.
As the Chief Public Affairs Officer for Cleveland, Ohio’s Mayor, Jenkins was the city’s chief spokesperson and managed several outward facing departments. He also developed and implemented proactive communicative strategies that improved both internal and external relations.
As the Corporate Marketing Manager with Cleveland Public Power, Jenkins’ primary role was to improve and expand corporate relationships. He successfully helped sustain and improve the financial landscape of the utility. Today, Cleveland Public Power is one of the most successful municipal-owned utilities in the nation.
Mr. Jenkins is a dedicated husband, father, and man of God. He enthusiastically serves his family, community, and church. He has served on many community boards and commissions. Jenkins and his wife of 16 years currently reside in Prescott Valley with their two sons. He also has an adult son, Rodney Alexander Jenkins from a previous marriage.
Mr. Jenkins holds both a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Management and his Masters of Management degree (MBA) from Myers University in Cleveland, Ohio.
Regional Human Resource Manager/Safety Manager, MI Windows and Doors
Allison Mendibles currently holds the position of Regional Human Resource Manager/Safety Manager for MI Windows and Doors in Prescott Valley, Arizona. Allison’s background includes over 28 years in the Human Resources field, eighteen of those at MI Windows and Doors. She is primarily responsible for developing organization strategies, managing human resources operations, training and development, compensation and benefits administration, and overseeing the safety team.
Prior to joining MI, Allison spent five years for Manpower Temporary Services in Prescott. Her responsibilities were to recruit and hire for local companies, such as, BetterBilt, Ruger, and Ace Distribution Center. Before moving to Arizona, she lived in Louisiana, where she spent five years working for Snelling Personnel and earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Louisiana, Lafayette.
Allison is a member of PAHRA (Prescott Area Human Resource Association) and the Society of Human Resource Management. She also spent over eight years coaching softball at Prescott High School, four of those years as the head coach. In addition, she coached a local travel fast pitch team.
Public Sector Board Members
City Manager City of Prescott
Michael Lamar is the Prescott City Manager, a post he has held since October, 2016. Mr. Lamar has more than 17 years of professional government executive experience. He served as County Manager in Morgan County, Georgia, for 11 years, preceded by six years as the City Manager of Trenton, Florida. Mr. Lamar is credentialed by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). He holds a Master's Degree in Public Administration from the University of Georgia, and a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from the University of Florida.
Town Manager, Town of Chino Valley
Cecilia Grittman serves as the Town Manager of the Town of Chino Valley, and has worked for the Town since 2001. Cecilia received her Bachelors in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska, and her Master’s degree in Health Services Administration from the University of St. Francis. Cecilia has also been an active Rotarian for 10 years and is a past-president of the Chino Valley Rotary Club.
Prior to joining the Town of Chino Valley Cecilia worked for TD AmeriTrade in Omaha, Nebraska, in the Human Resources Department as well as Creighton University, School of Medicine, Dean’s Office as a Finance Administrator. She has had the privilege of working at two different organizations that have gone public, offering opportunities and experiences not normally experienced by most people in their entire career. Both her daughters have graduated from Chino Valley schools and continue to reside in the area.
Mayor: Harvey C. Skoog
Town of Prescott Valley
Harvey Skoog has served previously as Prescott Valley Mayor from 1993 to 1998. Harvey won the mayoral seat again in November 2004. He was re-elected in March 2005, March 2009, and again in March 2013. His current term expires in December 2018.
On July 30th, 2010, Harvey was appointed by Governor, Jan Brewer to the Homeland Security Senior Advisory Committee for the State of Arizona. He also was honored to serve on the Arizona League of Cities and Towns Executive Board and as the Chairman of the Greater Arizona Mayor's Association.
Harvey grew up in Minnesota and began his education in a 1-room schoolhouse. He completed a series of business courses from the University of Minnesota, and Minnesota School of Business. He then worked in traffic and retail management, customer services as a field representative of a hardware wholesale company, and assistant to the controller of a wholesale grocery company in Arizona. In 1977, Harvey entered the world of self-employment as a tax accountant and business consultant. During the years since, he started, developed, and sold 3 accounting practices.
Harvey has served in many professional, service, and leadership capacities in such organizations as: Arizona Society of Practicing Accountants; Arizona Association of Enrolled Agents; Good Samaritan Nursing Home; Chamber of Commerce; League of Cities and Towns; Northern Arizona Council of Governments; Central Arizona Senior Association; Prescott Valley Councilmember, and Prescott Valley Vice-mayor.
Harvey loves being a part of the dynamic future of Prescott Valley and expects an even brighter future ahead for the Town.
Town Manager Town of Prescott Valley
Mr. Larry Tarkowski is the Town Manager for the Town of Prescott Valley and has held that position for the past 13 years, the longest tenure of any of Prescott Valley’s Town Managers. Prior to his current role, Mr. Tarkowski served as the Town’s Public Works Director for 15 years where, under his leadership, the department grew from just a handful of maintenance personnel to a full service public works department. Before moving to Prescott Valley, Mr. Tarkowski lived in Flagstaff where he worked for 15 years in contracting.
Mr. Tarkowski is a member of the American Public Works Association, serving as a past President of the Northern Arizona chapter. He is also a member of the American Water Works Association and the International City Manager’s Association. He has served as a member of the Governor’s Water Management Commission, as the Chairman of the Northern Arizona Council of Government’s Transportation Sub-Committee, as the Chairman of the Yavapai County Water Advisory Commission, as a founding member of the Northern Arizona Water Users Association and was appointed by three different Governors to serve on the Prescott Area Groundwater User Advisory Council.
Raised in Northern Michigan and a graduate of the University of Michigan, Mr. Tarkowski has called Northern Arizona home since 1976. Larry has two adult sons that were born and raised in Prescott Valley. In his free time, Mr. Tarkowski enjoys refereeing soccer games, hiking and spending time with his grandchildren.
Councilman: Rick Anderson
Town of Prescott Valley
Content coming soon.
Councilman: John Hughes
Town of Dewey-Humboldt
Content coming soon.
Past President, Rutherford Investments
Steve is president of Rutherford Investments, Inc. As a resident of Prescott, he has served the community on several Boards and Committees, most recently the Central AZ Partnership and Prescott Valley Focused Future II. Steve has also served as member, president, secretary, treasurer, and director of the Prescott Valley Early Bird Lions Club. He is a Founding Member and served as the First President of the Badger Football Boosters. Currently Steve serves as the Chairman of Greater Prescott Regional Economic Partnership (GPREP), is a member of the Economic Development Council (EDC, a four county regional entity), is the Yavapai County representative to the Governor’s Rural Business Development Advisory Council.
Steve Rutherford has been supporting economic development work in the State of Arizona and Yavapai County for over 20 years. Prior to helping form GPREP, Steve served 17 years on the Board of Directors of Prescott Valley Economic Development Foundation. Mr. Rutherford was a founding member of GPREP and served as GPREP's initial President of the Board of Directors until July 2015.
Senior VP Rural Development, Arizona Commerce Authority
Keith Watkins serves as the Senior Vice President for Economic and Rural Development for the Arizona Commerce Authority. In this capacity, Keith plays a vital role in advising the ACA and Governor’s office on rural economic development issues and opportunities. As the state of Arizona’s leading economic development agency, the ACA drives the state’s job growth efforts which have resulted in 18,000 new announced jobs that represent over $1.5B in capital investment to Arizona.
Mr. Watkins also serves as Vice Chairman of the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority (WIFA), a public bonding authority that works with Arizona communities and publicly regulated water and wastewater companies to develop, acquire and enhance water related projects. With a bond portfolio of over $1 billion, WIFA serves as a vital financing arm for these core infrastructure needs.
Prior to his work at the Arizona Commerce Authority, Mr. Watkins was Vice President of JF Companies, a privately-held diversified real estate development and water resources firm with holdings in the Western United States. Mr. Watkins managed a real estate holdings portfolio worth nearly $100 million and was responsible for negotiations for property acquisitions, entitlements, public affairs, marketing and dispositions.
Mr. Watkins spent nine successful years at the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC), where he led the organization’s business recruitment efforts, helping to land such companies as Vanguard, Charles Schwab, Midwestern University, and playing a direct role in the retention and recruitment of more than 200 firms that generated over 165,000 new private sector direct jobs and invested more than $2 billion in private capital investment. He also served as a founder of the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore, where he was recruited to startup this new private public partnership that serves the City of Baltimore and five adjacent counties.
Ginger Johnson is a third generation Arizonan and resident of Yavapai County for the past 30 years. Currently working for the Greater Prescott Regional Economic Partnership (GPREP), Ginger is bringing her vast experience with workforce and economic development together to attract quality businesses, capital investment, and quality jobs to the quad cities area.
Appointed by the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors to the Workforce Development Board of Directors, Ginger has a leadership role in decisions involving the local area workforce and training programs. She also serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors for Stepping Stones Agencies, dedicated to ending intimate violence in all forms and promoting individual self-sufficiency, personal growth, self –worth and resiliency in the women and children of our communities.
As President and CEO of Custom Training Solutions AZ, Ginger has been coordinating and building training programs for local and national businesses for the past 15 years. She leads a team of professional instructors for topics ranging from Attitude Adjustment to Six Sigma. Her comprehensive Essential Workplace Skills Program, has been applauded for its ability to enhance the effectiveness of individuals, teams and organizations.
An active community member, Ginger has been nationally recognized for her efforts in helping women break welfare cycles through education and employment.
Having completed three years of study from the International Economic Development Council, Ginger is currently preparing for the prestigious CEcD exam. The Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) program is the leading industry designation.
She has studies completed in the Masters of Education, Human Relations from Northern Arizona University and has been granted a BS in Industrial Relations from California Polytechinic State University.