PEI Board Director Neil Giuliano
PEI will feature a Q&A series with its board members. This week features Neil Giuliano, president & CEO of Greater Phoenix Leadership.
1. How did you first get involved in PEI?
I was approached in early 2016, as the new President & CEO of Greater Phoenix Leadership, to collaborate with GPEC on advancing the important work of PEI. The alignment is a natural one for the region’s CEO leadership.
2. What has been the biggest change to the economy you have seen in the last five years?
Diversification, a maturing of the Phoenix market, greater talent acquisition and a focus on sustainability are combining to improve and strengthen the economy of the region. Here’s my observation: the one thing we know about the changes for our economy is that there is no one change or one answer; to prepare for the future we must be able to focus on and invest in multiple platforms of change to create a more dynamic economy moving forward. If we can’t muster up the capacity to become more – in more than one area – we won’t significantly advance as we must.
3. What do you think could be a game changer for the region?
We absolutely must get our P-20 education infrastructure, policy and funding determined and solidified for the long haul, and bring together all the stakeholders required for success for future generations of skilled, talented and trained workers at all levels.
4. What is something about the region you think people from other markets would be surprised to learn about Greater Phoenix?
The Phoenix market is not retiree driven; it’s young, aggressive, talented and ready to explode into the future.
5. What is your vision for the potential of Greater Phoenix?
We must become more aspirational, define who and what we want to become and then find a way to fund and invest in that future we desire. We can’t continue to cut our way to greatness as a state or as a region. The old saying “you get what you pay for” has been around a long time for a reason: it’s true. We need to clearly articulate what a strengthened future would look like for the region and then create a plan to make it happen. For me, that’s the opportunity we face with PEI and it’s one we need to accept and make a reality.