Welcome to Golden Corridor LIVING’s Leaders in Business and Community section where we highlight people who have helped Pinal County take its place as the heart of Arizona’s agricultural, industrial and cultural life.
People from throughout the county are making the lives of their neighbors more comfortable, more adventurous, and more enjoyable through finding them new homes, new pets, new off-road vehicles, and many more add-ons to their lifestyles.
These people and many others are taking our region in new and positive directions — including paths to leadership.
Designated Broker/Owner, The Maricopa Real Estate Co.
In 2021 The Maricopa Real Estate Co. hit a major milestone in Pinal County as the agency surpassed a billion dollars in sales, cementing its status as the No. 1 brokerage in the region. Headed up by Steve Murray, the company has approximately 70 agents with 90% of the sales in the Maricopa area.
Murray and his two sons, Ryan and Brady, have led the way with major commercial and development deals around the city, working with investors and City Hall itself. Major recent transaction includes a 15-acre parcel, which was sold to the city for $6 million intended for mixed-use commercial.
“Steve and the The Maricopa Real Estate Co. are successful because Steve sets the bar and believes in both what we do as a company and as a part of the community,” Ryan says.
As Brady says “It’s not sacrificing when you love what you do. Steve loves the company, the agents, the community, and the business itself with all the people he meets and helps every day.”
“Real estate is the center of business activity in Maricopa,” says Murray, “In so many aspects, whether it is sales and acquisitions or with all of the home services that revolve around it, we work with local companies first because when it comes down to it, like us, they are the backbone of this community.”
Steve has sponsored such local events as the recent Scrabble Tournament and the Chihuahua Festival and Car Show.
21300 N. John Wayne Parkway No. 101
Maricopa, AZ 85139
Attorney, A.A. Raymond Law Firm
Angel worked as a private criminal defense attorney in Mesa prior to starting her own firm in Maricopa over two years ago.
As a defense attorney, Angel fights hard for her clients and has successfully litigated felony jury trials. She passionately advocates on behalf of her clients and works hard to protect their constitutional rights.
In addition to her criminal defense work, Angel is an experienced estate planning attorney. She has a deep understanding of the intricacies of proper estate drafting and knows how to meet her client’s succession planning goals. Angel uses her knowledge of the law to draft wills and trusts which will protect you and your family for generations to come.
Attorney, A.A. Raymond Law Firm
Leo has been practicing law since 1994 and has extensive experience in personal injury claims investigation, negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and litigation. Leo presently represents persons who have been negligently injured in collisions involving automobiles, commercial vehicles and semi-trucks, motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians, and on dangerous premises and construction sites.
Leo moved to Maricopa, AZ in 2019 and formally joined A. A. Raymond Law Firm as a Partner in 2021.
co-owner Mankel Mechanical
Eddie Mankel says leaders aren’t born, they’re made. He drove a tractor and truck at age 7 for Custom Farm Services; was a busboy/dishwasher at the Chatterbox Restaurant; and at 12 during the summer of 1974, Eddie started working summers for Vern Hancock learning the plumbing trade.
Eddie worked underground at Hecla Mine as an oiler, then for various plumbing companies in the Phoenix area, then was owner of a sprinkler installation business. In 1999 he started Mankel Mechanical, a plumbing company specializing in new residential, commercial and industrial plumbing.
When Eddie started, Mankel Mechanical, Manny Lopez extended credit to the business based only on a handshake; the two have been business partners for 22 years. Four years ago, the business was expanded to include Two Brothers Plumbing.
Eddie taught his two sons — Vaughn and Shea — how to be plumbers and now relies on them to get the jobs done.
Sales Manager/Realtor®, Coldwell Banker ROX Realty
Kelly Herrington is the sales manager and a top-producing Realtor with Coldwell Banker ROX Realty. Kelly manages an office of 25 Realtors. She also serves as the member engagement chairperson of WeSERV (West and Southeast Valley Association of Realtors). In 2019 & 2020 she was honored to be named the Pinal Realtor of the Year for WeSERV. Kelly is extremely active not only in her career, but also in volunteering in the community. She has helped co-chair the Realtor Memorial Run for the past five years; all proceeds benefit the local Alliance Cancer Support Center. She has a marketing degree from the University of Arizona. Bear Down! Kelly has a supportive husband and two amazing children. When she’s not busy working or giving back to her community, she enjoys golfing, running and trying not to kill all the plants in her garden!
520.423.8250 | roxsells.com
Each office is independently owned and operated.
Julia Romero Gusse
Realtor, The Maricopa Real Estate Company
Julia Romero-Gusse was born and raised in Southern California and served in the U.S. Air Force at the National Security Agency prior to moving to Arizona. In 2005, Gusse and her family moved to Maricopa.
In 2008, she joined the city staff as a secretary for the planning and zoning department and administrative assistant for development services. Her experiences inspired her to run for city council. She served two terms.
Gusse focused on helping women and minority entrepreneurs, as well as veteran services. She has been a part of ZONTA, National League of Cities Women in Municipal Government board member, the Maricopa/Ak-Chin STEAM Foundation Board, and the Maricopa Hispanic Chamber.
Other organizations include:
- University of Arizona (M.A. class of 2010)
- Veterans Upward Bound Alumni
- Latino Family Initiative, board member
- Former Commander, Maricopa American Legion Post No. 133
- Pinal Hispanic Leadership Institute Alumni
- VetIT, founder and former board member
Manager, Iron City
Growing up on a farm between Casa Grande and Maricopa, Ryan Wiles perfected a strong work ethic early in life. Moving off the farm and into his uncle’s company, Empire Glass, Wiles learned his initial business lessons replacing one windshield at a time.
Joining Arizona Production Machinery & Supply 15 years ago, Wiles took on the challenge of marketing Massey Ferguson compact and utility equipment with an enthusiastic understanding and ability.
With a new company spin-off in 2010, he stepped into his leadership role for Iron City with the sales team in Polaris ATV and UTV sales. Following up his accomplishments in sales, Ryan was presented his biggest career challenge when he accepted the position of managing a new location for Iron City in his hometown of Casa Grande.
General Manager, Kooline Plumbing; City of Maricopa Councilman
Rich Vitiello says working for Kooline Plumbing-Heating & Air is one of the best working experiences he has ever had.
Careful to balance time between his Council, family, and other duties, Vitiello also puts his money where his mouth is and is willing to get in the trenches. Overall, Kooline’s owners, Mohammed and Farzana Nazeem, have seen the business increase by 35%.
Kooline’s high-profile projects include: the new Maricopa Animal Hospital, the Apex racing facility, and Exceptional Healthcare Hospital, Maricopa’s first hospital.
Kooline currently employs 25 people and looks to continue its growth both commercially and in residential services.
Vitiello is running for re-election in 2022.
State Farm Agent
Vanessa McDill came with her family to Maricopa in 2005. When looking for a job, she responded to a listing at Lance Lane State Farm Insurance.
From receptionist to office manager to agent, Vanessa has worked for State Farm for 10 years.
Maricopa is “the right place to launch my business because I have established my community; the place where my children have roots; and my family has relationships that I wish to continue to cultivate both professionally and personally,” she says.
Her office will move to the new Sprout’s shopping center later this year. Vanessa says she is “excited to move into this new development that’s bringing new businesses to our community.”
Her goal as an agent is to “be the neighbor you can rely on.”
Vanessa enjoys being involved in the community and has donated to Blue Star Mothers, the Izzy Softball Tournament, The Boys and Girls Club, and donated senior portrait sessions to local graduates.
Insurance Agent, American Family Insurance Agency
New Jersey native Chris Cahall has been living in Maricopa with his wife Jocelyn and kids Elliott, Ethan, and Emerson for the past 11 years. He opened his American Family Insurance Agency in 2011.
As an insurance agent, Chris provides policies for many local businesses and farms. The insurance agency also covers nonprofit organizations.
Chris recently has been active in Boy Scouts, the Maricopa Police Foundation, and previously headed up the Maricopa Chamber of Commerce.
As a small business owner, Chris says one should give back to the community not only financially but also with an investment of time. Whether that is helping with fundraising organization or just cooking hamburgers to raise money, whatever it takes to contribute, Chris says he is always willing to step up.
CP/ACP, CLDP, CNSA, Founder/CEO, Glover Court Solutions & Estate Planning
Patricia Glover of Maricopa has helped individuals and businesses navigate complex legal matters for more than 15 years.
Early in her career as a legal professional, Patricia recognized a need for low-cost legal services. As a licensed legal document preparer, she is authorized to prepare legal documents without the supervision of attorneys. This licensure gives Patricia the ability to empower individuals to take an active lead in their legal matters while reducing costs.
Patricia spends most of her free time surrounded by friends and family, participating in community events, and supporting small businesses. In 2020, she and her husband Christian founded C.P. Glover Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving natural families, assisting families through temporary crisis situations, and reuniting families who have been separated via adoption.
In 2021, Glover successfully helped pass a bill into law that will allow certain Arizona-born adoptees access to their original birth certificates.
Valley Humane Society
Crystal Armioia joined Valley Humane Society in 2016 and was named Shelter Manager in 2017. Since that time, Crystal has established innovative, cost-effective, and people-friendly initiatives, programs, and safeguards.
Crystal works tirelessly, hands-on with the animals (including bottle babies at home), writing grants, and implementing health and safety protocols. The best example of the Shelter’s growth and success during her tenure is the increase in both animal intakes and adoptions. In 2016, VHS brought in 814 cats and dogs and adopted out 869; In 2020, those numbers were 1895 intakes and 1837 adoptions!
VHS is extremely lucky to have Crystal!
Skin Diva Aesthetics Studio
Jacqueline, licensed aesthetician, is focused on treating, nourishing, and healing the skin while making sure each guest is comfortable and relaxed. Her motto “Pampering with a Purpose” rings true with every service she provides. Jacque believes in continuing education and certifications to keep up with the latest in her industry. By listening to her client’s concerns and using her 18 years of experience, Jacque is committed to helping her clients reach their skincare goals. Her objective is to help them achieve clear, radiant, and glowing skin with long-lasting results! Skin Diva Aesthetics Studio is located in old town Casa Grande, AZ.
410 N. Marshall St. | CG
520.483.0818 | www.skindivaaesthetics.com
Honeycutt Coffee and Wine Bar
The owner of Honeycutt Coffee and Wine Bar has been hit with every kind of business challenge every start-up wants to avoid, namely major construction at the entrance of the shop followed by a global pandemic. Tanya has persevered from nearly being out of business to exploring expansion possibilities.
Honeycutt has now become “City Hall” away from City Hall, where business and city leaders meet up in a more casual setting. In the last year, Honeycutt was recognized as the Best Small Business by the Chamber of Commerce, Best Patio, and Best Coffee Shop in Pinal County through Golden Corridor Living, and voted Creme De La Copa, Best Coffee Shop from the Maricopa Monitor.
Community-minded, in August, Tanya gave free coffee all month to first responders as a “thank you.” With the return of winter visitors, Powers is setting up weekly events.