Skip to content

Phoenix Business Journal’s 2023 Most Admired Leaders announced

Phoenix Business Journal

The Phoenix Business Journal has another outstanding class of professionals to be honored and celebrated at the 14th annual Most Admired Leaders event on Thursday, May 11, at Phoenix Art Museum.

The 24 honorees come from diverse industries running the gamut from arts and culture and financial institutions to local government and universities. They are recognized for their contributions to the community as well as their integrity, values, vision and commitment to excellence. This year’s winners were nominated by a panel of former Most Admired Leader award recipients. Arizona Bank & Trust is the sponsor of the event.

The Lifetime Achievement Award winner this year is Sybil Francis, who was recognized as one of Phoenix Business Journal’s Outstanding Women in Business in 2011. She is CEO of the Center for the Future of Arizona (CFA), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that brings Arizonans together to work collectively on issues regarding education, workforce development and civic health.

Francis is part of the founding team for CFA and has worked with the organization for more than 20 years. She is also the founding leader of Arizona State University Foundation’s Women and Philanthropy, an organization established to increase university engagement and give women an outlet for collaboration. The initiative has awarded nearly 100 grants totaling more than $4 million to the university’s programs since its inception in 2002.

Click here to register for the in-person awards event.

Meet the 2023 Most Admired Leaders:

  • Bobb Cooper, Executive Director, Valley Youth Theatre
  • Jose Luis Cruz Rivera, President, Northern Arizona University
  • Victor Goldman, CEO, GoldBook Financial
  • Tom Grote, CEO, Banner|Aetna
  • Sintra Hoffman, CEO, WESTMARC
  • Lloyd Hopkins, CEO and Founder, Million Dollar Teacher Project
  • Stephanie Maderazzo-Hughes, CEO, Canyon State Electric
  • John Merwin, CEO, 3Z Brands
  • Marcia Mintz, CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley
  • James Murphy, CEO, Willmeng Construction, Inc.
  • Erik Osland, CEO, evolvedMD
  • Heather Personne, Partner, Evolve Ventures
  • Martha Picciao, CEO, Whiz Kidz Preschools
  • Spencer Self, Director, City of Phoenix – Neighborhood Services
  • Anthony Sharett, President, Pathward
  • Nava Singam, CEO, Kind Hospitality
  • Alex Stavros, CEO, Embark Behavioral Health
  • Daniel Stellar, Arizona State Director, The Nature Conservancy
  • J.K. Symancyk, CEO, PetSmart
  • Karen Tepper, CEO, Terros Health
  • Aaron Thompson, President, NOX Innovations
  • Matt Widdows, CEO, HomeSmart
  • Derek Wright, President, Suntec Concrete Constructors, Inc.
  • Steven Zylstra, CEO, Arizona Technology Council

Read about last year’s winners, the 2022 Most Admired Leaders’ honorees, here.


Register for the Council’s upcoming Phoenix and Tucson tech events and Optics Valley optics + photonics events.


Media Inquiries

Need some insight from the Council about Arizona’s thriving technology ecosystem? We’re happy to help. Fill out this form to send your inquiry to the Council’s team. We’ll get back to you shortly!