The City of Mesa Office of Economic Development has hired Maria Laughner as Deputy Director of Strategic Initiatives. She will focus on development priorities related to southeast Mesa, redevelopment in west Mesa, and other economic development projects of strategic importance to the city.
"Maria will be a tremendous asset to our high-performing team," Mesa Economic Development Director Bill Jabjiniak said. "We look forward to her leadership."
Previously, Maria worked for the City of Tempe as the Deputy Economic Development Director.
"I'm excited to join the Mesa economic development team," Laughner stated. "This opportunity allows me to bring my many years of development experience to the table for a dynamic community."
Laughner has spent more than twenty years in marketing, communications, and business development management in both the public and private sectors. She has experience in various industries including biotechnology, healthcare, higher education, manufacturing, economic development, and non-profits.
Her career highlights include working with five start-up bioscience and technology companies, establishing an Arizona campus for the College of St. Scholastica, and negotiating deals that resulted in more than 2 million square feet and 15,000 new jobs at both the municipal and state level.
Laughner earned a BA from Marquette University, an MS from New York University, and an MBA in International Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.
Laughner began her position with the City of Mesa on Sept. 11.