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August 29, 2012

Contact: Shaun Rachau, City of Goodyear
Office: 623-882-7059 or

Goodyear Selects Sheri Wakefield-Saenz as Development Services Director

GOODYEAR, Ariz. – The City of Goodyear announced today that Sheri Wakefield-Saenz has been hired as Development Services Director, according to Interim City Manager Brian Dalke. Wakefield-Saenz was selected following an interview process that included finalists from Arizona and another state among the 109 total applicants.

Wakefield-Saenz has more than 20 years of experience working in various economic development, planning and zoning and community development roles with companies and government agencies in the private and public-sector.

“Sheri has a unique perspective for this newly created position at the City of Goodyear because of the variety of experiences she has had throughout her career,” Dalke said. “In developing a one-stop shop to offer community services for our residents, businesses and projects, her leadership will allow the Development Services Department to have a customer-focus culture and understand the City’s vision by taking steps every day to ensure we are meeting our goals.”

Earlier this year, the City of Goodyear created the Development Services Department after merging the Building and Life Safety Division and Economic Development and Community Development Departments into one unit to increase efficiencies within the major development services functions. Wakefield-Saenz will be tasked with supervising and directing activities among all functional areas of the Development Services Department, providing direction for development services process and building safety practices, establishing economic development programs and practices that lead to private-sector projects in Goodyear and leading the City’s current and long-range master planning efforts, among other duties.

Wakefield-Saenz was most recently the Manager and Liaison for Public Policy Initiatives at ASU’s School of Public Affairs after spending a total of 16 years during two stints with the City of Tempe (1990-95, 2000-11). As Tempe’s Community Development Manager and Economic Development Director from 2000-11, she helped stimulate hundreds of millions of dollars in capital investment and thousands of jobs through the attraction, retention and development of businesses, including IKEA, Papago Park Center, Arizona Mills Mall and Tempe Marketplace. She and her staff also executed more than $1 billion in development and redevelopment of projects ranging from hotels, office and retail development in and around Tempe Town Lake, Downtown Tempe and throughout the community. Wakefield-Saenz also led business development departments for CF Jordan Construction and Sundt Construction from 1996-2000 after serving in roles with the Arizona Department of Commerce and Arizona Small Business Development Centers. She has also worked as a lead to develop and implement general plan, zoning plan and building safety codes in the development process throughout her career.

“Goodyear is really poised for tremendous growth,” Wakefield-Saenz said. “The foundation that the City Council and the City’s leadership have laid in terms of quality development, diversity, zoning and general plan use for anticipated future growth provides a unique opportunity to create a quality of life and sustainability of growth that we have not experienced in the Phoenix metropolitan area.”

Wakefield-Saenz, who is currently working towards a Doctorate of Philosophy and Public Administration, received her Bachelor’s in Political Science and Master’s in Public Administration from ASU. She is a Certified Economic Development Professional and has been or is currently a member of the following organizations; Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC), Arizona City/County Managers Association, International Economic Development Council (IEDC), Arizona Association of Economic Development (AAED), Cornet Global and International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Wakefield-Saenz is scheduled to begin working in her new role on Sept. 4. 


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City of Goodyear • 190 N. Litchfield Road • Goodyear AZ 85338 • Phone 623-932-3910 • Toll-Free 1-800-872-1749