Maricopa Economic Development Alliance Board of Directors Elects New Officers and Announces Two Appointments

PHOENIX, AZ – May 12, 2022

The Maricopa Economic Development Alliance (MEDA) has elected new officers and announced the appointment of Dr. Frederick Johnson and Ms. Julie Willoughby to its Board of Directors.

Mr. Ron L. Fleming, Chairman, President and CEO of Global Water Resources, and outgoing MEDA Board Treasurer, has been elected as MEDA’s new Chairman. He will replace Mr. John D. Schurz, President and General Manager of Orbitel Communications, who has served as Chairman and CEO since 2018. Additionally, Mr. Brian Yerges, General Manager of Electrical District No. 3, has been elected MEDA’s new Vice Chair and Treasurer. Dr. Tracey Lopeman, Superintendent of Maricopa Unified School District #20, has been elected as MEDA’s new Board Secretary.

Mr. Fleming stated, “It is with great pride that I assume the role of chair of this great organization. MEDA has served as a cornerstone for Maricopa’s economic development since 2009, bringing together business, government and education to help build a dynamic and thriving city. Now, as we enter a new phase of our evolution, MEDA’s role becomes even more important as we capitalize on opportunities as well as navigate through the challenges that confront all communities across our nation.”

Dr. Johnson, Chief Medical Officer for Exceptional Healthcare Hospital, has been appointed to the MEDA Board of Directors as a new member, and Ms. Willoughby, Chief Nursing Officer and Facility Administrator for Exceptional Community Hospital, has been appointed as Advisory Director.

Dr. Johnson is a seasoned and accomplished healthcare executive, medical leader and educator with a history of devising and implementing business solutions and complex care delivery programs for emergency and matrixes hospital systems. In addition to his leadership role with Exceptional Healthcare Hospital, Dr. Johnson has been a Physician Educator for Adeptus Health since 2016. Dr. Johnson received three degrees from Northwestern University, including his bachelor’s, his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and his medical degree from the Feinberg School of Medicine. He performed his internship and residency in pediatrics at the University of Chicago.

Ms. Willoughby has had an extensive career as a nurse, including her prior work for large hospital organizations. She has successfully worked in various nursing roles, including Trauma Nursing, Nurse Educator and Director of Nursing. Exceptional Community Hospital is a unique concept in the healthcare industry as it is a micro hospital. Ms. Willoughby is familiar with the unique needs of a micro hospital from her time working in a freestanding emergency room and prides herself on her ability to elevate the staff she manages to a level of autonomy and education that many traditional medical staff never learn. Ms. Willoughby graduated from Arizona State University with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

“Healthcare and MedTech is a vital, growing industry in Maricopa, and I am grateful to join the Board of Directors for MEDA, an organization that places much value on this sector,” said Dr. Johnson. Ms. Willoughby agreed and added “I gladly accept this important role to enhance and expand the much-needed healthcare presence in Maricopa.”

Maricopa Mayor Christian Price applauded these appointments, stating “MEDA is excited to welcome Dr. Johnson and Ms. Willoughby as new board members. There is no doubt the critical role healthcare plays in our region’s workforce and economic competitiveness and MEDA will greatly benefit from the knowledge and acute expertise these two highly qualified individuals bring to the organization.”

Mr. Fleming, MEDA’s incoming Chairman, also welcomed the new appointments, stating “The addition of Dr. Johnson and Ms. Willoughby to the MEDA Board further complements the impressive range and diversity of the organization’s leadership and provides an excellent opportunity for the City of Maricopa and Pinal County to focus, refine and grow the region’s Healthcare and MedTech sector.”

About Maricopa Economic Development Alliance (MEDA):

Maricopa Economic Development Alliance (MEDA) is Maricopa’s private-public partnership for economic development. As a 501(c)3 corporation, the organization champions strategies and solutions that foster economic growth and prosperity in the City of Maricopa.

MEDA brings together the business, government, education and civic sectors to identify and advance forward-looking policies that facilitate investment, growth and workforce development. Equally important are the elected officials and public sector executives who bring the essential representation of the City of Maricopa’s Mayor, Councilmembers and City Manager. For more information about MEDA, please visit