The National League of Cities (NLC) First Tier Suburbs Council Small Business Economic Resiliency Conference Featuring Phoenix East Valley Cities is a two-day conference identifying new strategies and practices for supporting small businesses, developing resiliency, and promoting equity and inclusion in small business recovery. 

This year, the City of Mesa and the towns of Gilbert and Queen Creek were selected by NLC to participate in the NLC’s First Tier Suburbs Development Program. This innovative program provides a forum for suburban and exurban communities to respond strategically to pressing economic challenges. The First Tier Suburbs Economic Development Program was developed in partnership with TIP Strategies (TIP), a nationally renowned economic development consulting firm based in Austin, Texas. 

*All times are listed in Eastern Standard Time*


8:00am – 11:00am
Note: Events are Pacific Daylight Savings Time

8:00 – Welcome 

  • Mayor John Giles, Mesa 
  • Vice Mayor Yung Koprowski, Gilbert 
  • Mayor Gail Barney, Queen Creek 

8:05 – Importance of First Tier Suburbs

  • Adrian Hernandez, First Tier Suburbs Council Chair, National League of Cities (NLC)

8:10 – American Entrepreneurship Trends & Resources  

  • Jenn Steinfeld, Director of Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, NLC

8:25 – Keynote Speakers

  • Jeremy Hartman, Vice President, Venture Forward, GoDaddy
  • Alexandra Rosen, Director, Venture Forward, GoDaddy
  • Stacy Cline, Director, Corporate Social Responsibility & Sustainability, GoDaddy 

9:30 – East Valley Small Business Research & Findings + Q&A 

  • Jeff Marcell, Senior Partner and Jenn Todd-Goynes, Consultant, TIP Strategies

10:00 – Panel Discussion & Q+A 

  • Kimber Lanning, Founder and Executive Director, Local First Arizona Foundation
  • Jenny Poon, Founder, CO+HOOTS
  • Kimberly Roland, Director of Innovation & Entrepreneur Programs, Better Business Bureau Serving the Pacific Southwest

10:50 – Closing

8:00-11:00 am 
Note: Events are Pacific Daylight Savings Time

8:00 – Panel Discussion + Q&A: Success Stories from the PHX East Valley Cities

  • Jaye O’Donnell, Assistant Economic Director, City of Mesa
  • Dan Henderson, Economic Development Director, Town of Gilbert 
  • Doreen Cott, Economic Development Director, Town of Queen Creek

8:30 – Small Business Resiliency + Q&A: PHX East Valley Small Business Owners

  • Brian McKean, Old Ellsworth Brewing Company, Town of Queen Creek
  • Eric Hervey, Mythical Coffee, Town of Gilbert 
  • Adam Small, Urbix Resources, City of Mesa 

9:10 – Breakout Sessions Discussions 

  • Leveraging resources and developing partnerships for regional success
  • Reaching business owners: marketing programs and services 
  • Providing equitable and inclusive small business support services
  • Preparing small businesses for a post-COVID economy

10:00 – Breakout Session Share-Out + Discussion

10:30 – Closing, TIP Strategies

  • Jeff Marcell, senior partner, TIP Strategies


Download a copy of the agenda HERE.