Tempe, Arizona
Tempe, Arizona

HELO 2017 Annual Leadership Retreat

Aug 09 - Aug 12, 2017
Tempe, AZ
Registration Rates and Information

HELO Member Registration Rates

  • Early-Bird:  $150.00 Until July 7
  • Standard:   $200.00 

HELO Non-Member Registration Rates

  • Early-Bird:  $250.00 Until July 7
  • Standard:   $350.00 

Spouse/Guest/Youth Registration Rates*

  • Early-Bird:  $85.00 Until July 7
  • Standard:   $95.00 

*Mobile Tour: Please note, registrations made after Friday, July 7th will not include the mobile tour to Nogales, Mexico. 

*Spouse/Guest/Youth/Student Attendance
In order for individual spouses/guests/youth/students to attend any or all HELO Annual Leadership Retreat activities and meal functions, each individual must be officially registered for the conference and wear registration badges at all times for admittance to sessions/meals.

Event Cancellation Policy
Any registration cancellations occurring after July 7, 2017, will be subject to a $50 cancellation fee. Requests for cancellations must be made in writing and sent via email to constituencygroups@nlc.org.


Schedule at a Glance

Wednesday, August 9  
5:30 - 8:00 pm HELO Board of Directors Dinner/Mobile Tour of Tempe
Presiding: Joel Navarro, Councilmember, Tempe, AZ, HELO President
Thursday, August 10  
8:30 - 10:30 am HELO Board Meeting
10:30 am - 5:00 pm Conference Registration
11:00 am - 2:00 pm NLC University Seminar: Healthy Cities - Thriving Cities 
(Earn 2 credits with NLC University)
2:30 - 2:45 pm Conference Kick-off
2:45 - 4:15 pm

Business Trade Between the U.S. and Mexico

Speaker: Christopher Wilson, Deputy Director Mexico Institute, Wilson Center in DC (Invited)

Moderator: Michael Patterson, International Trade Attorney, Polsinelli


  • Charlie Hess, President, St. Clair Technologies
  • Tim Grein, President, Walbar Engine Components
  • Marisa Walker, Vice President, Arizona Commerce Authority
  • Ing. Edmundo Chavez Mendez, Executive Director, Port of Guaymas

This session will explore why Mexico is an important trading partner for the United States and how your community can establish trade opportunities for your local economy. Learn about the economic impact of U.S. trade with Mexico, emerging industry sector opportunities, where this trade relationship is headed and how establishing strategic cross-border business relationships can further economic development in a global economy.

4:30 - 6:00 pm

Immigration & Border Security

Moderator:  James D. Garcia, Director, Communications & Public Policy, Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce


  • Erik Lee, Executive Director, North America Research Partnership
  • Raquel Rubio-Goldsmith, Adjunct Lecturer, University of Arizona Migration Institute
  • Lisa Soronen, Executive Director, State and Local Legal Center
  • U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement
  • Enrique M. Lucero, Field Office Director, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Immigration and border security continue to be issues facing our country. Differing policies on immigration reform have created intense passions and varied opinions about how to secure the border. What policies are needed to protect our borders while also building our international relationships and maintaining a welcoming environment for immigrants?

6:30 - 8:00 pm Opening Reception - Membership Networking Opportunity
Friday, August 11  
7:00 - 7:15 am Mobile Tour Meetup and Overview
7:30 am Mobile Tour Departure Time
9:00 am Arrive Port of Tucson - Presentation and Site Operations Tour
10:30 am Depart Port of Tucson
11:30 am

Arrive Nogales, AZ

Luncheon Presentations:

  • Fresh Produce Association of the Americas/Warehouse Operations
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection & Video of Mariposa POE 
1:00 pm Tour of Mariposa POE - Commercial Section
2:15 pm Leave Nogales, AZ - Enter Nogales, Sonora
2:45 pm Carlisle Manufacturing Facility Tour
5:00 pm

Dinner w/ U.S. & Mexican Officials in Nogales, Sonora
Location TBA 

8:30 pm Departure Time
11:30 pm Arrival in Tempe, AZ
Saturday, August 12  
8:00 am - 12:00 pm Conference Registration
8:00 - 9:00 am Continental Breakfast
9:00 - 10:00 am

HELO General Membership Forum – 2017 HELO Priorities & Strategic Planning Discussion

Presiding: Joel Navarro, Councilmember, Tempe, AZ, HELO President

10:15 - 11:30 am

Housing Trends

Mark Stapp, Executive Director, Master of Real Estate Development, W.P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University

Learn insights into housing trends shaping communities across the country. The housing market has dramatically shifted based on demands from millennials to baby boomers. What are the future needs for affordable housing, single-family homes, and apartments? What will they need to look like?

11:30 am - 12:00 pm Break - Hotel Checkout
12:00 - 2:00 pm

Plenary Luncheon: Mentoring & Leadership within the Hispanic Community: How to Become a More Effective Leader

Presiding: Joel Navarro, Councilmember, Tempe, AZ, HELO President

Moderator:  TBA

Speaker: TBA




Charlie Hess Charlie Hess graduated in 1994 from the University of Waterloo, Ontario, CA, B.E.S. In 1996, Charlie Hess relocated from Ontario, Canada, to Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico, to greenfield a manufacturing operation for a Canadian family-owned automotive electrical system manufacturer.  Hess lived onsite in Mexico and grew sales from $500k CDN, to $12M CDN in 5 years as an operations manager.  He is currently acting as President and 25% stakeholder in St. Clair Technologies Inc. (SCT), with electrical sales in a diverse range of industries, such as: Tier 1 automotive, RV, heavy truck, transit & school bus, off-road vehicles, electric vehicles, alternative energy, engines, military, & aviation.  SCT currently employs over 1000 technicians & assembly specialists, with operations in all 3 NAFTA countries, and sales exceeding $100M CDN.  Hess is an active member of the CABC & GPEC, with a primary office located in Chandler, AZ, to support operational expansion and performance in Mexico. 
Edmundo Chavez

Edmundo Chavez Mendez is a native of Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico. He received his Industrial Administrator Engineering degree from the Universidad de Sonora and a Masters in Science with a specialization in Investigation of Operations by Institutio Technologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterry, ITESM Campus Monterrey. In 1975, Edmundo Chavez Mendez headed the Programming Department of the Social and Economic Development committee in the State of Sonora at the Presidential Secretary and the Programming Delegation of the Program and Budget Secretary of Sonora. Among other accolades, Edmundo Chavez Mendez has served as President of multiple organizations and institutions, and was named the Director of Port of Guaymas, API Guaymas in 2014. 

Enrique Lucero Enrique M. Lucero was named Field Office Director for the ICE Phoenix Field Office on June 12, 2016. With an area of responsibility encompassing 113,635 square miles, 15 counties and six Ports of Entry in Arizona, the Phoenix Field Office is one of the largest field offices in the United States. Mr. Lucero is responsible for a staff of more than 450 employees, an annual budget of more than $100 million, and management of detention space for more than 2,600 detainees.  Prior to this assignment, Mr. Lucero served as Field Office Director for the San Antonio Field Office and Washington, D.C. Field Office. Mr. Lucero received the ICE Director’s Award for International Achievement in 2014 for his superior collaboration and diplomacy that strengthened national security by implementing initiatives resulting in the cost avoidance of over $75 million a year.
Lisa Soronen Lisa Soronen is the Executive Director of the State and Local Legal Center (SLLC). In this role, Lisa files amicus curiae briefs to the United States Supreme Court on behalf of members of the Big Seven (National Governors Association, National Conference of State Legislatures, Council of State Governments, National League of Cities, United States Conference of Mayors, National Association of Counties, and International City/County Management Association) in cases affecting state and local government. Prior to joining the SLLC, Lisa worked for the National School Boards Association, the Wisconsin Association of School Boards, and clerked for the Wisconsin Court of Appeals. She earned her J.D. at the University of Wisconsin Law School and is a graduate of Central Michigan University.  
Erik Lee Erik Lee is Executive Director of the North American Research Partnership and is co-editor and author of the State of the Border Report: A Comprehensive Analysis of the U.S.-Mexico Border Region (2013) and “Realizing the Strategic National Value of Our Trade, Tourism and Ports of Entry with Mexico” (2013). He is also co-editor of Latino Politics and Arizona’s Immigration Law SB 1070 (2013) and The U.S.-Mexican Border Environment: Progress and Challenges for Sustainability (2012) and served as managing editor for North America Next: A Report to President Obama on Building Sustainable Security and Competitiveness (2009). His work and commentary have been featured by numerous media outlets including the Associated Press, the New York Times, The Economist, and the Arizona Republic
James Garcia James Garcia is a journalist, playwright and a Valley-based media and communications consultant. He is the director of communications and strategic public policy for the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the owner of Creative Vistas Media. As a journalist, he has worked as a reporter, columnist, foreign correspondent and television and radio commentator. He was the founding editor of Latino Perspectives Magazine in Phoenix; the first Latino Affairs correspondent for KJZZ, the Valley's National Public Radio affiliate; and the first Latino editor of major alternative news weekly in the U.S., the San Antonio Current. An accomplished playwright and theater producer, James is the founder and producing artistic director of New Carpa Theater Co., which stages Latino and multicultural works. He is the author of more than 30 plays and he dabbles in acting and directing. His media and communications consulting clients have included Mesa Public Schools, the Smithsonian Institution, One Arizona, Promise Arizona, Ohio Against Hate, the Arizona Opera, Gina’s Team, the Arizona Latino Arts and Cultural Center, the family of former Arizona Gov. Raul H. Castro, and United Cerebral Palsy of Central Arizona.
Marisa Walker Marisa Walker began her professional career at the University of Arizona, where for more than a decade she held positions that advised the University’s Associate Vice President for Economic Development on Arizona-Mexico and NAFTA issues. She authored several reports on subjects including cross-border economic integration and development; targeted industry assessments of Arizona’s Bioscience and Software Industries; and women entrepreneurship and business ownership in the state. Ms. Walker also served as the Executive Director for the Arizona Governor’s CANAMEX Task Force. Currently, Ms. Walker leverages the relationship between economic development strategies and infrastructure assets/investments.  Key areas include the CANAMEX Corridor, the recently designated I-11, multimodal logistic centers, and Arizona’s international gateways – notably along the Arizona/Mexico border.
Mark Stapp Mark Stapp is a professor and well-known expert in Phoenix-area real estate. Stapp teaches future real estate leaders at the highly ranked W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University and is an accomplished real estate developer himself. He also serves as a faculty associate at ASU’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. Outside ASU, Stapp has been part of various business enterprises and development projects across the United States for more than 30 years. Stapp’s lengthy industry resume includes several leadership positions. He is a managing member of investment and development firm Pyramid Community Developers, LLC and president of Cahava Springs Development Corp. He previously served as president of U.S. operations for Swiss investment company Naef International Management; chairman of the board of Taliesin Architects, Inc.; vice president of planning and development services for Lendrum Design Group; managing director of Mountain West Research; and senior vice president of The Ellman Companies. He founded, operated and then sold First City Homes, a Phoenix-based homebuilder. He is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers’ North American Research Task Force and serves as co-chair of its academic research committee. He was named a Distinguished Fellow of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP). He serves on the boards of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation in Phoenix (LISC), the Valley of the Sun YMCA and Arizona Forward.
Michael Patterson

Michael Patterson is a shareholder with the national law firm Polsinelli. He specializes in helping businesses resolve their legal needs cost-effectively by quickly identifying key issues, focusing the right expert resources, and executing on the plan. As a business lawyer, Mike focuses on corporate, compliance and securities matters and has extensive experience with domestic and international mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, strategic alliances, equity and debt offerings, foreign direct investment, EB-5 investments, general corporate matters, distribution, agency and licensing matters and market entry strategies. He regularly advises U.S. and foreign clients in connection with the establishment, structuring, and compliance of their international operations, including the establishment of international distribution networks. 

Raquel Rubio-Goldsmith

Raquel Rubio-Goldsmith earned her undergraduate and graduate degree in law and philosophy at the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico, D.F. She taught at Pima Community College until 1999, when she retired.  While establishing history courses in the history of the Mexican Americans, Yaquis, and Tohono-O’odham nations, Rubio-Goldsmith focused her historical research on the history of the Mexicana/Chicana on the U.S. Mexico border.  Several scholarly articles presented at conferences were published both in the United States and in Mexico.  As a member of Manzo Area Council and later the Coalicion de Derechos Humanos, she has developed numerous community-based research projects targeting the effects of U.S. immigration border enforcement on Mexicano and Latino communities.  Joining other faculty, she has helped establish the Binational Migration Institute at the Department of Mexican American Studies at the University of Arizona, where she conducts collaborative research with faculty, students, and the community.  

Tim Grein Tim Grein is currently the President & CEO of Walbar Engine Components after having acquired the company in partnership with Cornerstone Capital in 2016.  Prior to acquiring Walbar from UTC, Mr. Grein was with a middle-market private equity firm for 10 years where he focused on investing and operating manufacturing companies, with a particular focus on aerospace manufacturing and metal forgings.   In his earlier career, Tim filled a variety of roles in operations, business development and M&A at industrial companies, such as Avery Weigh-Tronix and GE Power Systems.  Prior to joining GE Energy, Mr. Grein was an officer in the U.S. Army for five years.
Joel Navarro

Joel Navarro was elected to the Tempe City Council in May 2008 and won re-election in 2012 and 2016.

With a commitment to public service and public safety, Navarro has served as a trained captain/paramedic with the Phoenix Fire Department since 1995. As a fire captain and paramedic, he has worked with other public safety agencies across Maricopa County.

In 2001, Navarro was appointed to the City of Tempe's Human Relations Commission, serving as chair in 2006. For that commission, Navarro chaired various subcommittees including Day Labor and Emerging Issues. He is a graduate of Tempe Leadership Class XIX and has spent many hours volunteering for the Tempe Community Council to help allocate grant money to a variety of local nonprofit organizations.


The Hispanic Elected Local Officials (HELO) constituency group was created to serve as a forum for communication and information exchange among Hispanic local government elected officials and NLC colleagues.  HELO also provides training and information services to its members.

Attend this year’s Annual Leadership Retreat to:

  • Enhance your network with Hispanic elected officials and statewide leaders
  • Learn about timely issues in special seminars that help to expand your skill sets
  • Strengthen your governance skills
  • Adapt community arts programs as best practices for your community
  • Attend the HELO Membership Forum
  • Find solutions to challenging problems in your hometown
  • Consider becoming a future leader in HELO and NLC


Information coming soon.

Comments or Questions?