Learn from top Arizona private development leaders & owners in-person at the Doubletree by Hilton Tempe on May 10th!

The 8th Annual BEX Private Development Summit brings together hundreds of A/E/C professionals each year to get an inside look into Arizona’s upcoming Commercial Real Estate development projects, trends and the people behind the deals. Each year a variety of market sectors are covered including:

 Don’t miss your chance to get a broad and comprehensive overview of the local market all in one afternoon. Register Today!


The 2022 speaker lineup is currently being selected, more speakers will be announced soon!



Rebekah started the twice-weekly AZBEX publication in February 2010, and has since grown the service into a multi-faceted resource for local Commercial Real Estate & A/E/C firms to find leads on upcoming projects, industry news, trends, and market insights. In 2015, AZBEX started producing events and now features four annual half-day conferences and six breakfast panels known as the Leading Market Series. In 2016, the AZBEX Database or DATABEX was launched. Both the events and database are engineered to bring opportunities to clients – whether it’s the contacts made at a half-day conference or bi-monthly breakfast program or the early stage notice of a project in the database, every service of AZBEX is focused on bringing opportunity to clients. Rebekah’s background as a large General Contractor enabled her to spot the opportunity to start BEX, but it is her grit, determination and eternal curiosity for the industry that has kept it going and growing each year. In her spare time (what spare time?!?), Rebekah enjoys reading, cooking, hiking and playing with her three kids. It is her dream to travel more. Realistically, that’ll happen when the youngest turns 18.


Vice President | Banner Health

Mark joined Banner in 2007, where he’s currently serving as senior project executive in Development & Construction. Over the years in that position he’s been responsible for the overall planning, budgeting, scheduling, coordination and implementation of all construction projects at five of Banner’s Phoenix-market hospitals. Before Banner, he held similar leader roles such as VP of facilities and real estate for Abrazo Healthcare, as well as director of planning development and construction for BJC HealthCare. Mark has a reputation for being a collaborator, a solutions-oriented leader, team focused, and a trusted partner. He contributes global thinking, insight, and thoughtful approaches in his areas of focus. Mark has the breadth of experience, both within and external to Banner Health which positions him well for success in this role. Mark earned his bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering, as well as his master’s degree in Electrical Engineering with specialization in Clinical Engineering from the University of Arizona.


Studio Manager, Architecture | Ware Malcomb

Braden Blake is Studio Manager, Architecture at Ware Malcomb, an award-winning international design firm. In his role, Braden is responsible for overseeing the growth and management of the Phoenix office’s architecture studio, while managing select projects. Braden excels in helping a project take shape from design through construction. His experience includes overseeing conceptual design, guiding projects through complex planning and permit approvals, detailing and technical system research, and construction administration. He has worked on a wide variety of project types including industrial, commercial office, retail, restaurant, cultural, and mixed-use buildings. A registered architect in the state of Arizona, Braden holds a Bachelor of Design and a Master of Architecture from Arizona State University. He is a member of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, the Phoenix Metro chapter of the American Institute of Architects, and the Arizona Chapter of NAIOP.


Vice President & General Manager | Alston Construction

Mike Bontrager is a visionary and makes it real through sound strategy. He grows organizations by understanding market trends and leveraging talent and resources with relentless execution. He is a servant leader energized by solving complex problems for customers, colleagues and other organizations. Respected as creator of high performing cultures, a strategic decision maker and good communicator. Mike Bontrager oversees the strategic direction and overall growth performance of the Arizona office. With over 37 years of construction experience, he directs all activities including pre-construction, scheduling, project and field management, marketing and business development. Mike’s expertise includes growing organizations through market introduction, market sector growth and a service-oriented culture. His role extends to showcasing Alston’s reputation for integrity, community involvement and client-centric solutions. He is currently the Chair of the Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation. In addition, he serves on: Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, The Better Business Bureau Board of Directors and Beatitudes Campus Board of Directors. Mike has a Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering degree for Iowa State University.


Economic Development Specialist | City of Eloy

Jeff began his career in development related industries in the early 70’s splitting his experience between public, private and not for profit organizations. He joined the City of Eloy four years ago with responsibility for economic development activities after providing the same services for the City of Avondale, AZ. Prior to Avondale, Jeff was Vice President and Business Development Manager for the Southwest District of Sundt Construction. He has also served as the Economic Development Director for Peoria, the Greater Casa Grande Valley and the Mesa Chamber of Commerce. In the late 70’s Jeff was a community development planner with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and Planning (OEPAD), a very early iteration of the Arizona Commerce Authority. In 1995 Jeff was awarded the Arizona Economic Developer of the Year by the Arizona Association for Economic Development and in 2010 he was honored with the William W. Lampkin Award for Long Term Excellence in Economic Development. Jeff has served on numerous Boards and Commissions including the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Chair of the Phoenix Chamber’s Economic Development Committee, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council Board of Directors (GPEC), chaired the Economic Development Directors Team (EDDT) and the Community Building Consortium (CBC). Jeff is a native of Phoenix and has a blended family of 4 children, 5 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.


Economic Development Coordinator | Town of Queen Creek

Marissa Garnett serves as the Town of Queen Creek’s Economic Development Coordinator, and has over 10 years of experience in planning and economic development. Marissa uses her passion for data analysis to promote Queen Creek investment opportunities in all industries, from retail to industrial, as Queen Creek transforms with unprecedented growth. Marissa holds a Master’s degree of Business Administration from Benedictine University, a Master’s degree in Urban and Environmental Planning from Arizona State University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Spanish from Clark University. She is a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD), a certified planner (AICP), and an Arizona Economic Development Professional (AZED Pro).


Business Attraction Project Manager | City of Surprise

Kirsten Hall is the Business Attraction Project Manager for the City of Surprise Economic Development Dept. She’s been with the city of Surprise for three months and has been in the economic development field for over 20 years. Her role at the city of Surprise is to create and support development industry engagement opportunities and to target and meet with prospects in the targeted employment industry sectors. Her background includes workforce strategy at a regional and state level, and community and international higher education. She was co-author of the West Valley Pipeline, a workforce strategy that brings together business and industry with educational partners to develop a competitive talent pool that supports the economic development activity in the west valley. She’s worked at Thunderbird Graduate School of International Management, Estrella Mountain Community College, Arizona Commerce Authority, and the City of Peoria. She is currently adjunct faculty at Grand Canyon University teaching marketing. She has a bachelor's degree in Business Management from University of Phoenix, an MBA from Grand Canyon University and is a west valley graduate of Alhambra High School and Barcelona Elementary School. Kirsten has two children and five grandchildren.


Senior Vice President | TSMC

Mr. Brian Harrison is Senior Vice President of TSMC Arizona, a wholly owned subsidiary of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC). He is responsible for the successful operation of TSMC Arizona including its development, strategy and management and has been crucial in helping to build the Arizona operations from the ground up. He brings more than 40 years of international, high-technology industry experience, working in large scale companies, covering a diverse set of roles from process engineering and factory management to international marketing and corporate integration. Prior to joining TSMC, Mr. Harrison served as Chief Operating Officer at View, a leader in smart building technologies, where he was appointed to expand the company’s manufacturing footprint and ensure operational excellence. Before this, Mr. Harrison was Senior Vice President, Integration, at GLOBALFOUNDRIES where he was responsible for integrating the IBM Microelectronics business into the company. Harrison was also president and CEO of Numonyx, which comprised of the merged memory businesses from ST Microelectronics and Intel. Mr. Harrison began his career at Intel where, over a 24-year span, he held various executive leadership positions in manufacturing, sales and marketing, business unit P&L, factory management, engineering and technology transfer, eventually rising to become Vice President of the company’s Flash Memory Group. Harrison earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering at Stanford University and an MBA at Santa Clara University.


Senior Managing Director | JLL

For over 30 years Mr. Lydon has been serving the needs of corporate real estate users, institutional owners, and supply chain entrepreneurs throughout Arizona and North America. He has facilitated over $6 billion in transactions. Tony served on the Board of Directors for the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals/Arizona (CSCMP), a global organization of over 9,000 professionals. He is a former member of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR). Lydon has been named Top Industrial Broker by Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC), an economic development organization representing Maricopa County. He currently serves as a GPEC ambassador. He previously served on the board of directors for the National Association of Industrial and Office Parks (NAIOP), Arizona, and has twice been recognized as Industrial Broker of the Year. He has been recognized as a Metropolitan Phoenix “Power Broker” by CoStar Group and Commercial Property News. Mr. Lydon received his Masters Degree in Business Administration from DePaul’s Kellstatdt Graduate School of Business and a Bachelors of Science Degree from DePaul University College of Commerce. He is a past President of DePaul University’s Alumni Association. He has been a supporter of: Brophy College Prep (President’s Club); Scottsdale Bible Church; National Multiple Sclerosis Society; St. Malachy School; Hadassah Southern California; American Martyr’s School (Manhattan Beach, CA); Brother Rice High School, St. Luke’s Hospital and Sto4Kidz. Mr. Lydon is a part owner of the Lansing Lugnuts, a Michigan-based Class-High-A (Oakland A’s) minor league baseball team. He is an angel investor in supply-centric companies such as: True Salt (www.truesaltco.com); AfterMaster (www.aftermaster.com) and Iveda (www.iveda.com).


Land Use & Zoning Partner | Gammage & Burnham PLC

Ashley Z. Marsh is a Partner at Gammage & Burnham and concentrates her practice in Land Use and Zoning. She represents property owners, developers, and homebuilders throughout the Valley in each step of the zoning and land use entitlement process on a wide variety of sites and asset classes, ranging from 1-acre infill properties to large master planned communities. Ashley’s practice includes initial due diligence, rezoning, plan amendments, variances, use permits, development agreements, site planning and post-entitlement development matters such as permitting. Ashley also has experience litigating and arbitrating cases to hearing, which forms her strong advocacy skills. Her prior practice experience also equips her to navigate complex matters with multiple stakeholders, and to think outside of the box to find creative solutions to a range of issues. An Arizona native, Ashley has been recognized by Business Insider as a 30 Under 35 Rising Star in Real Estate, by AZ Big Media as one of its 20 Young Commercial Real Estate Leaders to Watch in 2021, and also as by Super Lawyers as a Rising Star for Land Use & Zoning in 2020, 2021 and 2022. Ashley earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Southern California and her Juris Doctor from the University of Arizona.


Economic Development Deputy Director | City of Goodyear

Harry has over 25 years of experience in the economic development field serving communities in Arizona and Southwest New Mexico. He also holds the professional designation of Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) with the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). He has been with the city of Goodyear since July of 2007 and prior to Goodyear he worked for the city of Chandler. During his years in economic development, he has had the opportunity to work in all types of developments including retail, industrial, mixed-use, and downtown developments, and has extensive knowledge on Foreign Trade Zone and Military Reuse Zone sites.


Vice President of Industrial Construction | Clayco

Todd Peters is the Vice President of Industrial Construction with extensive experience managing high budget industrial, distribution, office, retail, manufacturing, and commercial projects. With more than 30 year experience, he is highly proficient in preconstruction, operations, and estimating, leading teams with an utmost attention to safety, customer service, and quality control. Todd leverages an advanced understanding of client needs with a diligent attention to detail that consistently results in client satisfaction.


Manager of Business Development | Cuhaci & Peterson Architects

Jade Nunes joined Cuhaci Peterson’s business development team with a background in marketing and sales, and more than five years of experience in the commercial architecture and construction industry. As Assistant Manager of Business Development, Jade supports strategic growth initiatives in each of the firm’s defined markets. Jade is passionate about building relationships with both internal and external stakeholders. By leveraging the skills of technical staff, client leaders and principals, she assists in the acquisition of new work opportunities, while identifying and addressing prospects’ needs and pain points. Prior to joining the firm, she built go-to-market plans at a regional general contractor and supported corporate marketing efforts at another nationally licensed architecture firm. Jade is an active member of both Innovating Commerce Serving Communities (ICSC) and the AZ Chapter of the National Association of Office and Industrial Properties (NAIOP). She is the past-president of an Arizona-local philanthropic group, GET Phoenix Young Professionals, and is currently working to complete her Professional Business Developer certification through the Business Development Guild. When not working and building relationships within the industry, Jade can be found on any number of Arizona hiking trails, or at a local concert or art gallery.


President | Newport Commercial Partners LLC

Brett Shaves has over 24 years of real estate experience covering corporate real estate, development, finance and syndication encompassing various product types. Over the last 15 years, Brett has specialized in syndications, entitlements, and development for industrial and multi-family projects in the Western US, completing multiple transactions as a principal, specifically in California, Nevada, Arizona, Montana and Hawaii. He is currently focused on industrial development in the Phoenix area.


Chief Executive Officer & Founder | SimonCRE

Joshua began his career in commercial real estate in 2004, and it wasn’t long before his headstrong attitude allowed him to forge ahead and start SimonCRE in 2010, during some of the toughest of economic times. As Founder and CEO, Joshua leads the company’s growth strategy while directing the daily operations. He carries the torch for a team committed to developing projects that benefit clients and the communities they serve. SimonCRE develops properties all across the country. To date, the company has completed over 245 projects across 22 states, equaling a total value of more than $645 million. When Joshua isn’t in the office (which is rare), you’ll likely find him advocating for the CRE community. He applies his boundless energy toward supporting and giving back to the industry he loves. He’s served on a number of boards and routinely presents as an industry expert at conferences like ULI Deep Dive and ICSC Next Generation, as well as forums for AZRE and Bisnow, among others. SimonCRE isn’t Joshua’s first foray into entrepreneurship either. He previously started a hosted VoIP company which he sold to a publicly-traded company four years later.


Economic and Workforce Development Director | Pinal County

James Smith has over 24 years of municipal government experience, primarily in business/economic development. He assumed the role of Economic and Workforce Development Director for Pinal County in November 2021. In this role, he is leading the County’s efforts to attract significant capital investment and jobs to the region, while also seeking to help ensure the workforce is prepared for the jobs of the future. Prior to his position with Pinal County, he served as Economic Development Director for the Town of Fountain Hills, AZ. Experience with the City of Chandler included managing numerous business attraction projects for operations of major corporations, including Allstate, Liberty Mutual, Voya Financial and Republic Services. In addition, he contributed to City efforts related to expansions by Northrop Grumman, NXP Semiconductor, and Rogers Corporation, which resulted in the relocation of their corporate headquarters to Chandler. Further experience was related to the redevelopment and reuse of commercial properties through the administration of the City’s Commercial Reinvestment Program/Infill Incentive Plan as well as leading efforts to implement an adaptive reuse program. He holds Bachelor of Science (Economics) and Master of Public Administration degrees – both from San Jose State University. A graduate of the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute, he is recognized by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) as a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD). In addition, he has obtained the Certified Public Manager (CPM) certification through Arizona State University.


Priincipal | Butler Design Group

Korey assumes many roles at BDG, including leading teams through all levels of the project development, company operations, and technology advancements. He represents the first of the next generation at BDG and was named one of the first Associates and ultimately the first new Principal. He currently serves as the Principal in Charge of Operations, directing day to day operations, schedules, and management of the firm in addition to his project workload. Korey is the go-to person for many of BDG’s most complicated projects. With over 23 years of experience in the industry, 22+ of which at BDG, Korey has an acute knowledge of design and development of office, medical office, industrial, specialty, and retail projects. In his CRE career he has managed various teams on over 170 projects totaling over 20 million square feet with over a $1.5 billion collective valuation. His detailed approach to integrating the design and constructability into cost effective solutions is invaluable to the team, to the project, and to our clients. Korey directed/managed/oversaw the design, documentation, and construction phase service efforts on large developments all over the valley including Rivulon (Isagenix, Deloitte, etc.) in Gilbert, SkySong III, IV, V and VI in Scottsdale, PV 303 (DSG, REI, Ball, etc.) in Goodyear, Woolf Logistics (Rauch, Red Bull, Mark Anthony Brewing, and Ball) in Glendale and Rio 2100 in Tempe as well as multiple medical office buildings and infill retail developments around the valley.


Senior Partner | Snell & Wilmer

Nick Wood is a senior partner in Snell & Wilmer’s Phoenix office. His practice is concentrated in zoning and land use planning, real estate entitlements and tax structured real estate development. He has been ranked by Chambers USA as a Leading Lawyer for Business, Real Estate and Zoning/Land Use since 2004 and is peer rated as Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell®. Nick has also been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America®, for Real Estate Law and Real Estate Litigation.



event program


Emcee -Jade Nunes, Manager of Business Development, Cuhaci & Peterson

12:00pm - Deep Dive: Outlook on CRE –Rebekah Morris, President & Founder, BEX

What’s hot, what’s heating up and what’s cooling off in the Arizona Commercial Real Estate market? BEX President and Founder Rebekah Morris offers up the latest insights and statistics on market drivers and the state of the industry, along with a peek at what’s to come.

12:40pm - Quick Hit - Pinal County Project Overview & Update – James Smith, Economic and Workforce Development Director, Pinal County

After some rough stops and starts, Pinal County has come into its own as a development and growth powerhouse for employers and residents alike. Economic and Workforce Development Director James Smith will provide a snapshot of the county’s latest and greatest efforts, along with insights as to where one of the state’s hottest areas is headed next.

12:50pm - Overcoming Challenges Facing New Development – Even though Arizona development opportunities are bursting at the seams, winning and executing new projects is harder than ever in some ways. Our panel of guest experts will offer up cutting-edge insights into current challenges, including: Zoning & Entitlement; NIMBY-ism; the Skilled Labor Shortage, and Water Availability. Attendees will hear from:
● Mike Bontrager, Vice President & General Manager, Alston Construction
● Ashley Marsh, Land Use & Zoning Partner, Gammage & Burnham
● Alan Stephenson, Planning and Development Department Director, City of Phoenix
● Moderator - Korey Wilkes, Principal, Butler Design Group

1:35pm - Quick Hit - Banner Health Projects Overview & Update - Mark Barkenbush, Vice President, Banner Health

1:45pm - Quick Hit -TSMC Project Overview & Update - Brian Harrison, Senior Vice President, TSMC

2:15pm - Industrial Panel - Coverage of the blazing hot Industrial sector raises as many questions as it answers: When will Industrial cool off? How much runway is left in the sector? How are prices and materials prices availability impacting growth? Hear the answers to these questions and many more from some of the top developers in the space.
● Tony Lydon, Senior Managing Director, JLL
● Todd Peters, Vice President of Industrial Construction, Clayco
● Brett Shaves, President, Newport Commercial
● Moderator - Braden Blake, Studio Manager, Ware Malcomb

3:00pm - Quick Hit - Prasada - Project Overview & Update - Josh Simon, Chief Executive Officer & Founder, SimonCRE

3:10pm - Moving from the Exurbs to the Suburbs - Far-flung cities around Phoenix are filling up with new residents at a rapid pace, with new commercial and supporting development following closely behind. Officials from cities impacted by explosive growth will detail exactly how they are working to attract new development for services and employment to accommodate their burgeoning populations.
● Marissa Garnett, Economic Development Coordinator, Town of Queen Creek
● Kirsten Hall, Business Attraction Project Manager, City of Surprise
● Harry Paxton, Economic Development Deputy Director, City of Goodyear
● Moderator - Jeff Fairman, Economic Development Specialist, City of Eloy

3:55pm - Closing Remarks - Nick Wood, Senior Partner, Snell & Wilmer

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registration is now open!

Prefer to register for this event outside of Paypal?

No problem! Please call or email Beth Beeson at (815) 904-2360 or bbeeson@azbex.com to pay with a credit card or request an invoice for payment by check. Please note: Refunds are offered without exception up to three days prior to the event. Within three days, we can exchange ticket types (from in person to virtual for example) or switch the attendee’s name. Unfortunately, refunds are not offered within 48 hours or the day of the live event.

Are you a Public Agency Employee or a Private Real Estate Developer who wants to learn about this topic? We have reserved a small block of complimentary tickets for persons who qualify. Reach out to Beth Beeson to verify eligibility and availability by email at bbeeson@azbex.com or (815) 904-2360. Restrictions apply.