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Board of Directors

Michael Mandell 
Organizer, Director and Chairman of the Board

Michael Mandell graduated summa cum laude from Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. After graduation, Mr. Mandell began working as a policy advisor at the Arizona House of Representatives. In 1995, Mr. Mandell began his studies at the Arizona State University College of Law and graduated cum laude in 1998. Shortly after passing the Arizona State Bar, Mr. Mandell began working at the Arizona Court of Appeals. In 1999, Mr. Mandell returned to the Arizona House of Representatives where he served as both Chief of Staff and General Legal Counsel. In 2001, Mr. Mandell joined the law firm of Brown & Bain (now Perkins Coie) where his practice focused on complex business litigation, elections and governmental relations law. In 2005, Michael returned to public service and became the General Legal Counsel and Chief of Staff in the Arizona Senate. Mr. Mandell has also maintained his own law firm, the Mandell Law Firm, is a member of the real estate investment company JSK Properties, serves on city committees within his local community of Chandler, and was recently appointed as a Judge Pro Tempore in the Arizona Superior Court. Currently, Michael serves as Vice President and General Counsel at Husk Partners, Inc., one of the Valley’s premier government relations firms.

 

Elaine Ralls
Organizer, Director and Vice Chairman of the Board

Elaine Ralls has a Bachelors Degree from Ithaca College in Health and Education, a Masters of Business Administration from Arizona State University, and a Doctorate in Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University. Ms. Ralls has owned and operated several businesses in Arizona, each of which was successfully acquired or merged with larger entities. Currently, Ms. Ralls is the President of AIR Marketing, an advertising agency she owns with her son. AIR recently received the Ethics Award from the BBB and is ranked by the Phoenix Business Journal in the Top Places to Work, Top Advertising Agencies, and Top Women Owned Businesses. She is actively involved on the board of directors for the Better Business Bureau and the Arizona Foundation for Women as well as the Lennox Tech Enterprise Center, an organization for CEOs and the Women President’s Organization.

 

Patricia Cole
Director

Patricia Cole is a recently retired banker residing in Arizona. Ms. Cole has 34 years of banking experience. Ms. Cole’s banking career began as a note teller. Her career advanced to a senior commercial loan officer and then to a Vice President & Manager of Business Banking. Ms. Cole retired in 2006 after serving the last 6 months of her career as the Market President for a local bank.

 

James Gerdes
Organizer and Director

James Gerdes attended Arizona State University, where he majored in Mechanical Design Technology and graduated with a Bachelors Degree. He has been a licensed Professional Mechanical Engineer in the State of Arizona since 1985. Mr. Gerdes moved to Phoenix in 1974, where he worked in the Armour Foods Co., Central Engineering Department until 1981. In 1981, he joined Industrial Refrigeration & Boiler Company, which is engaged in design installation and service activities for specialized mechanical systems. In 1982, Mr. Gerdes partnered in the purchase of Industrial Refrigeration & Boiler Company and has held the position of President since that time. He is currently active in his church as well as charitable activities in the Phoenix community.

 

Bruce Huson
Organizer and Director

Bruce Huson moved to Arizona in 1957 and has been an Arizona resident since that time. Mr. Huson graduated from Northern Arizona University, earning a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration with dual majors in Accounting and Management. Mr. Huson is licensed by the State of Arizona as a Certified Public Accountant and has been a member of the Arizona Society of Certified Public Accountants since 1982. Mr. Huson formed his own C.P.A. firm, Bruce E. Huson, CPA, P.C. Mr. Huson is the past-Chairman and a current member of the finance council at his parish church and is a director of Theresa’s Fund, Inc., a Phoenix based not-for-profit organization whose mission is to prevent child abuse.

 

Peter Juergens 
Director

Peter Juergens graduated from the University of Illinois and holds a BFA and MA degree and has completed executive studies at The American Graduate School of International Management (Thunderbird).  Mr. Juergens has been an adjunct faculty member at Northeastern Illinois University, and quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Atlanta Constitution, Arizona Business Journal, and the Business Gazette.   A Chicago native, Mr. Juergens is currently Vice President of Strategic Services for Zion & Zion, a full-service marketing and communications agency.   He has had the privilege of working at and consulting for Fortune 500 organizations and international brands such as: Make-A-Wish International, Wal-Mart, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Louisiana-Pacific, Williams Energy, SunCor Development, St. Joseph Hospital and Medical Center, Qwest Communications, and the Arizona Department of Health Services. Mr. Juergens also serves on the advisory board for Age Nation and Arizona Living for Seniors, and is an avid traveler, cyclist and budding chef. 

 

Ray Russell
Organizer, Director, Executive Vice President and Chief Credit Officer

Ray Russell an Arizona native, graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration, with an emphasis in both Accounting and Finance. Mr. Russell has over 28 years of experience in the Phoenix banking market. He was previously employed as a Regional Credit Officer for a local bank. Mr. Russell also served as a Senior Credit Management Officer where he maintained an individual $8 million credit approval authority and was involved in many of the credit decisions required in connection with a combined portfolio responsibility in excess of $600 million.

 

 

    

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