The Southeast Arizona Economic Development Group (SAEDG) is a 501(c)(6) non-profit corporation. The Executive Board Members are:
David DiPeso - President
David is a lifelong resident of Benson, Cochise County, AZ. After graduating from Benson High School, he received his AA degree from Cochise College and completed his BS degree from the University of Arizona. David completed studies at the Hogan School of Real Estate and obtained his real estate sales, broker and appraisal license.
David’s business experience as a loan officer and appraiser for Farmers Home Administration, owning and operating the Red Bird Ranch in Cochise County (for 12 years) and since 2000 owning and operating DiPeso Real Estate and Appraisal allows David to offer varied business perspectives for numerous civic organizations.
David has actively participated in the following organizations: Past Member of Benson Planning & Zoning commission, Benson City Council, Mayor of Benson, AZ. President of MLS of Cochise County, President of Benson San Pedro Valley Chamber of Commerce. Benson Task Force leader and Vice President of the Southeast Arizona Economic Development Group. Board Member of the Cochise College Governing Board, Member of Cochise College Foundation Board.
Mark Fenn – Vice-President
Mark has been a Benson resident since 1973 and graduated from Benson High School in 1978. After serving a mission for the LDS Church in Spain for two years, he married Carrie Crockett and they have raised their family of five children in Benson since 1995, all five graduating from Benson High School.
Mark has been a commercial and residential general contractor for 25 years, first in California and then Arizona. He is the owner of Fenn Homes, which has built several custom homes and commercial properties in the greater Benson area. He also owns and manages commercial lease properties in Benson, among them the Prickly Pear Corner center and the Old Homestead building. Mark served on the Benson City Council for four years and as the Mayor of Benson for four years, completing his second term in 2011. Recently he has worked on foreign LDS temple projects, living in Argentina for three and a half years and currently in Rome Italy on a temporary assignment.
He and Carrie have their permanent residence in Benson and enjoy the company of two of their grown children and their families also residing in the Benson area. They are the grandparents of 12 grandchildren.
Cindy Batten - Treasurer
Cindy Batten was born in Phoenix, AZ but has lived in the Benson area her entire life. She graduated from Benson Union High School, continued her education at Northern AZ University and then earned her AA in Business from Cochise College. She has been in the banking industry for the past 31 years, starting her career as a teller and working her way up through the ranks including Customer Service Manager, Branch Manager, District Operations Manager and Director of Customer Experience. Currently she is Assistant Vice President and Branch Manager of the local National Bank of Arizona branch.
Cindy stays involved in the community by volunteering with various organizations and local events. She is currently on the board for National Bank of AZ Charities, on the Community Facilities District Board for the Villages at Vigneto and serving as the Treasurer of SAEDG.
Cindy is married to Ernie, her husband of 32 years. Together they have 4 daughters, 5 grandsons and 3 granddaughters.
Hal Ashton – Board Member
A native Tucsonan, Hal founded Diversified Design & Construction, Inc. in 1976. Hal currently serves as Chairman of Diversified. He has many years of experience in design, development and construction.
With his knowledge and service as Chairman of Diversified Hal brings a valued voice to the board of directors at SAEDG.
Jerry DeGrazia - Board Member
Jerry is a graduate of the University of Arizona with a BS degree in “Area Development”. After he left Arizona, he held positions in city, county and regional planning. Later, he moved to the private sector to work in real estate and land development. He returned to Tucson in 1994.
This and his knowledge of the economy of southern Arizona, uniquely qualifies him as a contributing board member for SAEDG.
Gil Lusk - Board Member
Gil Lusk comes to the SAEDG Board with a distinguished and varied career. After completing his college education Gil was assigned to the U.S. National Park Service enjoying positions in Vienna, VA, Valley Forge, Big Bend National Park, Glacier National Park, the Montana Nature Conservancy and concluding his National Park career by serving as the Special Assistant to the Director of the National Park Service.
After relocating to Arizona in 1997 Gil became involved in the Sonoran Institute and has worked in real estate development and the Solar Park Foundation.
Kevin Oberg - Board Member
After receiving his Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Arizona and his Master of Business Administration from the University of Southern California Kevin worked for two publicly held corporations. Deciding he enjoyed his independence he left and became a partner in a southern Arizona development company. Since that time, he has been actively involved in many different businesses in southern Arizona.
With his commitment to Benson and Cochise County, he looks forward to assisting in the future economic prosperity of the area.
George Scott - Executive Director
George Scott was born on January 1, 1947 in Tucson, Arizona. George is a lifelong resident of Benson, Arizona. Graduating from Benson Union High School in 1965. He attended Arizona Western College in 1965-1966 on a football scholarship. In December of 1966 he joined the US Army and served until December of 1969 to return home with an honorable discharge as a Sergeant E-5.Upon returning to Arizona, George managed the family Redi-mix/Sand and Gravel company in Bensonand attended Cochise College. He graduated in 1974 and managed the family business until 1976.George has experience in the Real Estate Business, Truck Leasing and RV sales.In 1996 George and his wife built a 105 space RV park,Pato Blanco Lakes RV Parkin Benson AZ. They were owner/managers until it was sold in 2005.
In 2001 George was elected to serve as Vice-Mayor of Benson, AZ. He had served two years as Vice-Mayor when he was elected as the Mayor of Benson. George was elected as Mayor to help clean up the small-town politics and bring progress to the area. Under his tenure new home development was approved and new retail businesses located to Benson including a Super Wal-Mart. Because of George’s efforts City revenues increased and continues to show growth.
After leaving the Mayor’s office in the summer of 2007 George and a group of local businessmen formed the Southeast Arizona Economic Development Group to help promote business in Cochise County.
George is married to MaryAnn; between them they have five adult children and ten grandchildren.
Carol Treuber - Associate Director
Carol is currently studying Business Management at Cochise College. She has also studied Mass Communications-Broadcasting and Accounting. Carol has a certificate in nonprofit Management and is working toward the AZ Economic Development Pro Certificate with AAED. She continues to add to her education with many classes offered in AZ to enhance her knowledge of both business management and economic development.
Carol began working with SAEDG in 2017 but has lived in Benson since 2016 where she worked both as a volunteer communications coordinator and did an internship for business management at an old west movie set. She has experience with nonprofit organizations, the tourism industry and economic development. She is the owner of Biztreuber, LLC which provides Notary services, Review Management, Web site content/editing, Non-profit management and Private Event services. Carol is on the AAED Rural Development Committee and is Board Secretary for Western Heritage Cultural Center.
With her skill set and continuing education she intends to assist the Southeast Arizona Economic Development Group with the economic development of Benson, Cochise County and Southern Arizona.