Q: What most notably stands out about your leadership style or what is an example of leadership success you can share with our readers?
I’m a firm believer in understanding where we’ve been to be better equipped when planning for our future. Since 1997, I’ve proudly served in the Town of Gilbert in many different roles: as a town volunteer, as an appointed planning commissioner (for more than 14 years), as a councilmember (for more than five years) and, as of my most recent election (in 2020), as mayor. Each position I have held with the town has provided me the opportunity to grow as a leader, as well as afforded me a long historical and in-depth town perspective. This perspective has proven invaluable when I evaluate future plans as I understand the circumstances, reasonings and history of what Gilbert’s accomplished and the strong community roots that residents still cherish and value. I strongly feel that one of my most important responsibilities is that of an educator to both current leaders on the unique perspective as an elected official, as well as to the public on local government code, ordinances, policies and procedures. If there is anything I have learned as the mayor of Gilbert, it is that the bigger Gilbert gets, the smaller it stays. Gilbert has strong and deep community roots that are firmly embraced and revered even today. As mayor, I thoroughly enjoy meeting, learning from and working with my fellow mayors and other regional and national leaders on many different topics and challenges facing our state, region and town. These relationships are invaluable in serving Gilbert residents and make Maricopa County and the East Valley stand out for the way we embrace business and community.
What impact has COVID-19 or the disruptions of the past 18 months had on you as a leader?
During COVID19, we learned that our town staff were able to successfully and safely work remotely while meeting the needs of our organization and the community. This made the once-difficult decision to renovate Gilbert’s Town Hall Complex much easier. Over the last 18 months, we’ve adapted meeting locations to be held in facilities not necessarily designed to hold formal council meetings, neighborhood meetings nor resident meetings. The flexibility embraced by town staff and many of the councilmembers ensured residents still received quality and efficient services. It has been remarkable to observe and, while it definitely hasn’t always been easy, I remain incredibly proud of the way it has all been handled.
What do you feel we can be doing as a business community to empower economic growth here?
I am proud of Gilbert’s business community, which is driven by a strong sense of corporate responsibility and community roots. When I think about Gilbert’s economic development vision, our ability to empower growth within our community and region is unparalleled. We convene, catalyze and empower change that sustains targeted and strategic growth for the good of the community and the region. Driving sustainable economic growth over the long term relies, in part, on our efforts to support safe, strong and healthy communities that provide residents greater opportunities to be prosperous.
What is new and notable for your company’s near future that will impact our economy?
In 2023, we see the continuation of innovations and developments in transformative technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things (IoT), virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR), cloud computing, blockchain, and super-fast network protocols like 5G. These transformational digital technologies do not exist in isolation from each other but rather work in tandem, and, as a business community, we will see new solutions for augmented working, hybrid and remote working, business decision-making, and the automation of manual, routine and creative workloads combine these technologies in ways that enable enhancement amongst each other. This brings us closer than ever to the point where we are able to create “intelligent enterprises” where systems and processes support each other to complete menial and mundane tasks in the most efficient way possible.
Name of Leader: Brigette Peterson
Position of Leader: Mayor
Organization Name: Town of Gilbert, AZ
No. of Years with Organization: Elected to represent Gilbert in 2014
Gilbert Community Volunteer since 1997
Main Local Office Address:50 E. Civic Center Dr., Gilbert, AZ 85296
Phone: (480) 503-6764
Number of offices in Greater Phoenix: 1
Year Established Locally: 1920
City Nationally Headquartered: Gilbert, AZ