Dean Riesen, Chairman
Dean Riesen is Managing Partner of Rimrock Capital Partners, a real estate investment company based in Phoenix. Before he founded Rimrock, Riesen was Chief Financial Officer of Carlson Holdings, Inc. (parent of Carlson Companies, TGI Fridays, Radisson Hotels, Seven Seas Cruises, Carlson Wagonlit Travel) and General Partner and CEO of Carlson Real Estate Company, LP. Riesen serves on the boards of Famous Dave’s of America, Inc. and Meridian Bank, N.A. Riesen was a founding director of the Center of the American Experiment (a state-based conservative think tank in Minneapolis, MN). He also served on the board the Taxpayer’s League of Minnesota and was Finance Chairman of the Republican Party of Minnesota. In 2002, Riesen was Director of Policy for Minnesota Governor-elect Tim Pawlenty’s transition team. Since moving to Arizona he has joined the board of the Goldwater Institute.
Eric Crown is the founder of Insight Enterprises, a $3 billion computer sales company based in Tempe, Arizona. Currently a venture capitalist, Crown is still an active board member of Insight. Crown is also active in Arizona politics. He is a leading figure in the effort to prohibit Arizona tax dollars from being spent on politicians and their campaigns. Crown is a graduate of Arizona State University and is a member of the board of the ASU Sun Angels and the Phoenix Zoo.
Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pa., Sam Garvin completed his bachelor of arts degree with a dual major in political science and German studies at the University of Pittsburgh in three years. After serving in the Reagan administration as a staff assistant on the Presidential Commission for the German-American Tri-Centennial, he began working for Heinz U.S.A. as a sales merchandiser where he learned the marketing of packaged goods from the ground up. In 1988 when he was 24, he graduated from Thunderbird, the American Graduate School of International Management, with a Masters of International Management specializing in marketing. After a short stint at a promotion fulfillment firm, he started CPG from the trunk of his car, borrowing from credit cards to get seed money. In 1989 he became a Suns fan by purchasing single game tickets in the upper bowl from a friend and continued coming to Suns games at every opportunity over the next sixteen years.
In 2003, Mr. Garvin was awarded a Doctor of International Law degree (Honoris Causa) from Thunderbird, the American Graduate School of International Management. He is currently a member of the Board of Trustees at Thunderbird and is a trustee at Phoenix Country Day School (PCDS). In June 2004, Mr. Garvin purchased his interest in the Phoenix Suns and currently serves on the Executive Management Board of the Phoenix Suns. Other boards he serves on include Phoenix Suns Charities, and AliLaur LLC. Sam has a keen interest in venture capital and is a limited partner in several Sequoia Capital funds. He also is active in real estate and private equity investing through Garvin Holdings, LLC. He resides in Paradise Valley with his wife Rita and three children.
Bob Hobbs, Sr
Bob Hobbs is Chairman of Naumann/Hobbs Holding Company, and President & CEO of B.T. Leasing Corporation. He is the former President & CEO of Naumann/Hobbs Material Handling, Inc. Bob has served on several charitable and civic organizations board of directors. He is currently a board member of the ASU College of Business Dean’s Council of 100, the Sun Angel Foundation, and the Patron’s Committee for United Methodist Outreach Ministry – New Day Center, the largest homeless shelter in Arizona. He was Chairman of the Sun Angel Foundation from 1996 to 1998, and is a founding member of the Arizona State University President’s Club. Bob graduated from Arizona State University in 1963. He is an Arizona native.
Dave Thompson is the owner of Thompson Industries, a Gilbert, Arizona Company involved in a diversified group of businesses, including aerospace and defense consulting, Arizona venture capital, and investment management. Prior to starting Thompson Industries, Thompson was the Founder and President/CEO of Spectrum Astro, Inc., a fast-growing aerospace company that specialized in designing, manufacturing, and testing of high performance satellites for space missions. Founded in 1988 near Los Angeles, California, Spectrum Astro moved to Gilbert, Arizona in 1992 and has twice been named to the INC 500 List of America’s fastest growing private companies. Thompson graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 1978 (Distinguished Graduate) where he earned a BS degree in Electrical Engineering. He received his Masters in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University in 1981. In 2004, Thompson was the chairman of the No on 400 committee, which was formed to revamp Maricopa County’s transportation funding priorities.
Steve Voeller was the original President of the Free Enterprise Club. Voeller started in politics in 1993 as Field Director for Jon Kyl’s U.S. Senate campaign. In January 1995, Voeller went to Washington, DC to work for Congressman Matt Salmon. Voeller later returned to Arizona to manage Salmon’s two re-election campaigns and became Salmon’s Arizona District Director. In 2001, Voeller became Congressman Flake’s first Chief of Staff and oversaw Flake’s re-election victories in 2002 and 2004. Flake is one of the leading conservatives in Congress and has become a national figure in cutting taxes, limiting spending, and spurring economic growth. After establishing the Club as one of the leading organizations in Arizona, Voeller left the Club in 2012 to become Chief of Staff for Senator Jeff Flake.