69th Valley Leadership Man & Woman of the Year Honorees Announced

November 1, 2017
EventsNews and Announcements

Valley Leadership announces Neil Giuliano and Sharon Harper as the organization’s 69th Man & Woman of the Year. The pair will be honored for their long-term contributions and commitment to our community at the Annual Man & Woman of the Year awards luncheon on March 8, 2018 at the Arizona Biltmore.

See photos from the surprise announcement:


Each year an outstanding Valley man and woman are selected based on their vision, innovation, measurable impact on the lives of others, and their extraordinary service to our community.

Giuliano and Harper join a prestigious list of past Man & Woman of the Year award recipients. U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater was honored as the inaugural Man of the Year and most recently David Tierney and Dr. Maria Harper-Marinick were recognized.

Giuliano serves as the President/CEO of Greater Phoenix Leadership (GPL). Prior to returning to Arizona full-time with GPL, Giuliano was CEO of San Francisco AIDS Foundation (SFAF), one of the largest AIDS service organizations in the world, from 2010- 2015.

Giuliano was the youngest person ever elected mayor of Tempe, Arizona, a post he held from 1994-2004. He was the first directly-elected openly gay mayor in the United States. He served on the board of directors of the National League of Cities (NLC) and as ViceChair of the National Advisory Council of NLC. In 2003, Tempe earned the “All-American City” award, a coveted honor bestowed on local governments demonstrating exceptional success in problem solving. Concurrent to his work as a public official, he held numerous senior roles at Arizona State University, including director of federal relations and 2004 co-chair of the final presidential debate between President George W. Bush and Senator John Kerry.

Giuliano is the author of “The Campaign Within: A Mayor’s Private Journey to Public Leadership” (Magnus Books 2012) and has received numerous awards and honors for his work in public policy and community activism. He was named among the “Out 100” by Out Magazine, served as a distinguished lecturer at the William J. Clinton School of Public Service at the Clinton Presidential Library, received the Barry Goldwater Human Rights Award from Equality Arizona, and was named Tempe Humanitarian of the Year in 2014. In 2013 he executive produced the play 8, written by Academy Award winner Dustin Lance Black, for a one-night-only, sold out performance in Phoenix, AZ.

“Giuliano’s work to date is a true point of pride for our state,” said Sue Glawe, Vice President of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona and friend of Giuliano. “His innovative leadership style and approach is an invaluable resource as we chart the future of our community together.”

Harper is President, CEO and co-founder of Plaza Companies, a development, leasing and management company with nearly 10 million square feet of Arizona medical office properties, senior living facilities and bioscience/biotechnology centers. She was recently named Chairman of Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s 2018 campaign, and was the Chairman of the Prop. 123 campaign in 2016. She and her husband Ollie are currently co-chairman of ASU’s President’s Club for 2017-2019, and also have been given a Lifetime Achievement Award by Phoenix Theatre. She currently serves as immediate past Chairman of Greater Phoenix Leadership, serves on the Executive Board of GPEC, and was appointed to the Trustees of ASU, a board of leaders that serve as advisors for the university and President Michael M. Crow. She is also a Trustee for the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, and was appointed to the executive board of Gov. Doug Ducey’s Arizona Zanjeros, a business leadership group created to help promote Arizona’s economic development and reputation as a national epicenter of business and commerce. She is also an active member of the Inaugural Valley Leadership CEO Circle. Past appointments include stints on the Board of Directors for the Arizona Community Foundation, Past Chairman of Banner Health Foundation and Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Brophy College Preparatory School.

“Sharon’s deep commitment to our state is unmatched,” said Bill Post, former Chairman and CEO of Pinnacle West Capital Corporation and long-time friend and colleague of Harper. “Her commitment and impact shape our community now and will be felt for generations to come.”

“On behalf of Valley Leadership and its Board of Directors, we are truly honored to celebrate the impact these two leaders have had on Arizona for decades,” said President and CEO, David Brown.

The newest inductees will be formally recognized at a luncheon on March 8, 2018, at the Arizona Biltmore. For more information or to purchase seats or sponsorships, call the Valley Leadership office at (602) 952-6760 or visit www.valleyleadership.org.

About Man & Women of the Year

Valley Leadership’s Man & Woman of the Year luncheon is one of the premier business and community recognition programs in the Phoenix Metropolitan area. It is attended by approximately 1,000 of the Valley’s most prominent business and community leaders and serves as the primary fundraiser for Valley Leadership, the oldest and largest leadership development organization in greater Phoenix. Nominations for this prestigious award are accepted each year from the public at large. A committee of past honorees and community leaders then selects a single man and woman to be honored at a spring luncheon

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