Mesa Chamber of Commerce announces chair, board members - East Valley Tribune: Business

Mesa Chamber of Commerce announces chair, board members

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Posted: Saturday, March 2, 2013 8:58 am

James Christensen of Gateway Bank has been named 2013 board chairman of the Mesa Chamber of Commerce.

Christensen has worked in the banking industry for more than 27 years, mostly in business lending and management. Prior to joining Gateway Bank in 2007, he served as president of a community bank in Kansas for a decade. Under Christensen’s leadership, Gateway has grown to $82 million in total assets and was profitable by its third year of operations.

Christensen grew up in the midwest and is a graduate of Baker University. He is very active in the local community, has served on the board and several committees at Love of Christ Lutheran Church, and has taught Junior Achievement. He is currently a board member of the Mesa Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Community Depository Advisory Board for the San Francisco Federal Reserve, Economic Development Committee at East Valley Partnership, Mesa United Way board member and campaign chair and the Mesa Rotary Club.

The board of directors is comprised of successful business leaders in the Mesa community who seek to provide guidance and leadership within the chamber.

The Mesa Chamber also recently appointed five to its 2013 board of directors. They include: Garilyn Bourgeois, Rob Gould, Craig Lohman, Kevin Thompson and Jo Wilson.

Bourgeois is the director of marketing for Eastmark, DMB’s new large-scale community development in Mesa at Ellsworth and Ray roads. At five square miles, Eastmark represents a future-forward, long-term environment where business, residents, and civic associations can easily align to support economic growth and a balanced quality of life in Mesa. Bourgeois formerly served as vice president of marketing at DMB Realty Network in where she led marketing efforts for numerous master developments and real estate brokerages throughout the western U.S. and Mexico. Bourgeois will also be serving on the Chamber’s Promotional Council.

Gould is the chief executive officer of Banner Desert Medical Center, Mesa’s largest acute care hospital. While Gould is new to Mesa, both as a business leader and as a resident, being part of his community is not new to him. He has previously served on the West Valley Arts Council Board, Montessori in the Park Board, Maryvale Revitalization Corp Board, as well as the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce Board.

Gould has been with Banner Health in various leadership roles since 1992. He is married to Amy, and has two daughters.

Craig Lohman is a Partner with Lohman Company, PLLC, a Mesa based Certified Public Accounting and Business Consulting Firm. His responsibilities include serving as partner-in-charge of the firm’s assurance department as well as acting as the firm’s chief financial officer, chief operations officer and chief technology officer. Lohman focuses his expertise on closely-held business, technology, real estate, construction, manufacturing, distribution, service, franchise industries and nonprofit entities and employee benefit plans.

Lohman and his firm have been members of the Mesa Chamber since 2011. He has been an active chamber participant and is currently the chair of the chamber’s Stewardship Council. Lohman is also on the chamber’s executive council.

Thompson is an employee of SouthwestGas Corporation, a local distributor of natural gas. Thompson has been employed by Southwest Gas for 15 years; 11 of those years in operations, and the last four in public affairs. Thompson currently acts as the liaison between the operations departments and county and local municipalities throughout Southwest’s operating territories in Arizona. Southwest has been a member of the Mesa Chamber of Commerce since 2003, where Thompson is currently a board member and a member of the Business Advocacy Council.

Wilson is Senior Administrator and Special Assistant to the executive vice president of Benedictine University at Mesa. Her role is to provide leadership for the establishment of a new campus in downtown Mesa. Benedictine University at Mesa is a part of the mayor’s HEAT initiative and is scheduled to offer its first classes this fall at 222 E. Main Street. Benedictine has been a member of the chamber since it opened its service center this past summer.

Wilson has served on the executive board and chaired the economic committee in the past. Today she serves on the Arts, Education & Cultural subcommittee of the Non-Profit Vitality Council.

“Each new board member brings a variety of skills and knowledge that are necessary to make the Mesa Chamber a more thriving business advocate,” said chamber acting president Sally Harrison. “I look forward to working with each of our board members as we continue to move forward in 2013.”

For more information on the Mesa Chamber of Commerce, visit

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