Two CEOs of their organizations and two vice presidents for their companies are the newest members of the Arizona Technology Council board of directors after being elected unanimously to serve three-year terms at the quarterly board meeting in January.
“This group of dynamic leaders has worked in Arizona’s technology community for many years and knows what it takes to advance our position as a premier technology hub,” says Steven G. Zylstra, the Council’s president and CEO. “The expertise, hard work and energy that each of these individuals brings to the table will have an immediate positive impact on our board and our members.”
The four newly elected members are:
Sandra Watson, president and CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority
Watson and her teams have successfully attracted to Arizona more than 750 companies that have committed to invest nearly $10 billion in capital and create more than 125,000 jobs. During her tenure with the Authority and predecessor Arizona Department of Commerce, she served in multiple positions with increasing responsibilities and results. Watson has led the business attraction, business development, innovation and technology, workforce, and marketing divisions. She also has served as executive director of the Governor’s Council of Innovation & Technology to help advance the state’s innovation roadmap.
Sheila Kloefkorn, CEO, KEO Marketing Inc.
Kloefkorn founded the business-to-business marketing agency that specializes in marketing strategy, messaging, digital infrastructure, execution and analytics. Her company helps grow Fortune 1000 companies, as well as medium-sized businesses. She has been named one of the Top 10 Business Leaders of the Year and Top 25 Dynamic Women in Business by the Phoenix Business Journal and one of 15 Arizonans to Watch by The Arizona Republic. Kloefkorn has also been involved with the Council as a facilitator of roundtables, committee chairperson and chair of the Governor’s Celebration of Innovation.
Aaron Zeper, vice president, Customer Demand, MDSL
Zeper oversees marketing, business development, and alliances and partnerships. He is responsible for the client experience, which includes aligning offerings and marketing efforts, as well as ensuring sales methodology integrates with MDSL’s delivery team. Zeper was most recently at CloudCover, where he served as executive vice president of sales and marketing. He also has been a member of a number of organizations, including Microsoft Infrastructure Partner Advisory Council.
Austin Harris, vice president, Commercial Banking, Alliance Bank of Arizona
Harris began working for Alliance Bank of Arizona as a senior underwriter. He facilitated the underwriting and due diligence of new credit commitments for one of the most productive regions in the bank’s footprint. Within 18 months of placement in the position, Harris achieved a promotion from assistant vice president to vice president. He began his professional career with Zions Bank National Real Estate Group as a credit analyst. Harris facilitated the financial due diligence for commercial real estate projects across the county as a secondary market lender.
The Council’s board of directors serves an advisory and fiduciary role by representing the interests of the state’s technology industries in the group’s strategic planning and ongoing operations. The board currently includes 33 members representing a diverse set of organizations.