Pinal Partnership making leadership changes, Harold Christ to serve as president and CEO; organization positioned for further growth


(Editor’s note: News releases are published unedited, unless they contain factual errors.)

Pinal Partnership to Have New President, Executive Director and Chair of the Board

Florence, AZ: Pinal Partnership is experiencing exciting changes in the coming months. Sandie Smith has served as president and CEO of the organization since 2008. Her leadership and knowledge have built the Partnership into what it is today. In January of 2017, Smith will hand her torch to current Chairman of the Board Harold Christ as he will serve as President and CEO thereafter. Smith will serve as an ambassador for the Partnership while Christ assumes and expands her previous responsibilities.

Harold Christ has been a land developer in Pinal County for the past 40 years. He was the original developer of Gold Canyon Ranch, a 3,300-acre master planned community – the first master planned community to be approved and developed in Pinal County. In 2000 he acquired the property that is now The Windmill Winery in Florence where he and his wife host over 250 weddings a year. He is a survivor of multiple economic down turns and continues his role as visionary for his company and Pinal County. Jordan Rose, President and Founder of Rose Law Group and one the founding members of Pinal Partnership, says, “Harold has served as the Chairman of the Board so well and provided amazing leadership that it just seemed appropriate to have him serve as the president of the Partnership. His unique background and continued success will help raise the organization and Pinal County as a whole to the next level.”

Christ will continue to serve as Chairman of the Board until the Executive Board brings forward and votes on a new Chair, as early as December of this year.

In August of 2016, Pinal Partnership brought on Melissa Johnson to serve as the executive director and work closely with the president to aid in the growth of the organization. Christ says, “The members of Pinal Partnership are our strength. We have a renewed focus on maximizing the benefits of being a member, at any level, as well as raising our awareness and bringing on new members – which is exactly why we knew we had to have Melissa on our team.  There are countless important things happening in Pinal County right now so getting more people involved in our efforts to move the county forward will benefit the entire state of Arizona.”

Johnson comes to the Partnership with years of experience in online marketing and journalism. She studied business and political science at Arizona State University and then spent almost 8 years at Rose Law Group building her knowledge of government, business operations, the real estate industry and marketing. As executive director she will manage the Partnership’s marketing efforts and help the organization continue to grow with a focus on membership.

The Pinal Partnership Board of Directors wishes to thank Edward Farrell for the dedication he has given to Pinal Partnership over the years. Edward is now employed by Earnhardt Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram.

About Pinal Partnership: Pinal County has become the fastest growing county in Arizona with some of the most exciting possibilities in the country. With so many diverse resources and so much opportunity, Pinal Partnership<> was formed to bring together all the people and ideas that will ultimately lead Pinal County to its full potential. In addition to monthly breakfasts about timely topics, the Partnership brings together stakeholders to advocate for efforts such as the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) highway improvements designated by the Governments of Pinal County and Pinal County’s Cities and Towns. Active Pinal Partnership committees that support issues facing Pinal County are: Education; Parks, Trails, Open Space and Public Lands; Health and Human Services; Government Relations; Economic Development; Transportation and Infrastructure and Water Resources.

Melissa Johnson

Cell: 602-459-5265



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September 2016