Mesa, Arizona is what could be called America’s biggest small town. With nearly 500,000 people Mesa rivals in population better known cities like Philadelphia and Miami and yet many people still have never heard of it. Peter Sterling hopes to change all that. As the new CEO of the Mesa Chamber of Commerce, Peter Sterling is a man of vision who wants to make Mesa known both nationally and internationally as a premier business and vacation destination.
Charlie Deaton was head of the Mesa Chamber of Commerce which will be celebrating its 100th Anniversary next year. Since the early 1990’s Charlie set the foundation for growth both for the Chamber and the City of Mesa when he formed a catalyst by which the business community could be involved with advocacy and important city planning and economic development decisions.
Part of this community advocacy is the Mesa Business in Education Foundation whose major program at this time is Mesa Leadership Training and Development which cultivates community leaders many of whom went on to populate several city and state board positions as well as volunteer advisory boards. Many MLTD graduates went on to be informed leaders and elected officials for the community and State. Because they were educated in the program about the history and inter-workings of city government taught by the 9 month program effective ways to get things done in the community.
After 18 years at the chamber Charlie felt it was time to retire and took an active role in finding just the right person that he could feel comfortable to hand over the reigns. Luckily for Charlie and for the city of Mesa, Arizona that Peter Sterling had moved to town from the O.C., Orange County California looking for as many who move to Arizona do, to be closer to family. As a pilot he looked forward to enjoying the beautiful blue skies. Mesa boasts being one of the top locations for the most fly days in the world. Sterling and Mesa were a good match.
It was Peter Sterling’s love of flying that introduced him to the Mesa Chamber of Commerce and its members including Tom Rhodes, President of the Chamber’s Board of Directors. In support of Mesa Mayor Scott Smith’s H.E.A.T. platform (Healthcare, Education, Aeronautics and Tourism) the Chamber was open to creating a program to promote more Aviation in the area. Through this work Peter caught the attention of key decision makers in Mesa who felt Peter was their man. An offer was made and the rest is history.
As a former East Valley Partnership Executive with a strong Marketing background as a Vice President at BBDO an advertising agency that has been named “Most Awarded Agency Network in the World” by The Gunn Report in 2007, for the second year running. Sterling shows the forward vision and energy needed to take Mesa forward to a prosperous future. With Mayor Scott Smith’s work in his first term in office Building a Better Mesait seems with this economic vision the two will have a cohesive working relationship that will be great for economic development in Mesa, Arizona.
Peter Sterling took over January 1, 2011 and when asked how long he’ll be around he answered “At least as many years as Charlie… maybe more.”