The Surprise Economic Development Staff is committed to the constant pursuit of improving the quality of life and business in Surprise and the Greater Phoenix Area.
Economic Development Director
Jeanine Jerkovic returned to the City of Surprise as the Economic Development Director in December 2014, previously serving as the City’s Economic Development Manager from 2006-2010.
Prior to returning to the Surprise team, Jeanine worked as the Economic Development Manager for the City of Peoria, as Economic Development Administrator for the City of Glendale, and as a Trade Commissioner for the Canadian Consulate in Phoenix. Previous positions held in the economic development profession have included Vice President of International Programs at the Greater Phoenix Economic Council and International Trade Coordinator for the Arizona Department of Commerce.
A lifelong resident of the West Valley, Jeanine had the privilege of being among the first class of Arizona State University West Campus students to graduate from ASU’s Honors College. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and German language and has a Master’s degree in Comparative Politics from the London School of Economics.
Economic Development Manager
Mike Hoover has been with the Surprise Economic Development Department since February 2008. His primary focus includes industrial and office recruitment for the Surprise employment districts. He works closely with the Greater Phoenix Economic Council and other regional organizations to bring quality employers to the City of Surprise.
Mike holds a Bachelor’s in Global Business from Arizona State University-West. His main emphasis was in Marketing. Before Mike enrolled at ASU, he spent two years attending college in Nebraska on a golf scholarship.
Upon completion of his studies, Mike worked for an international data research company for 4 ½ years where his key accounts were in telecommunications and financial services. The desire to get out from behind the desk and in front of endusers motivated Mike to look into a new industry. Mike was recruited by a subsidiary of Japan Energy to take over account responsibilities for Intel, Microchip, and Micron. He successfully expanded each customer portfolio and recruited new business in half the standard time.
Mike’s exposure to large high-tech employers and 10 year marketing career position him to be a key contributor to future Surprise Economic Development.
Economic Development Project Manager
Samantha joins City of Surprise as an Economic Development Project Manager focused on strategic business attraction. In her role, she will analyze trends and economic markets, develop strong working relationships with key industry leaders, negotiate complex agreements, and conduct sales presentations and prospect tours. Sam brings extensive industry expertise with her, including over 10 years of client service experience and a successful record of commercial construction project delivery.
Samantha holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology – Construction Management from Pittsburg State University with an emphasis in Business Management.
Economic Development Coordinator
Julie Neal has a very diverse and engaging professional background from small business owner; to experience in the commercial property management and leasing industry; and currently serves as the manager of the City of Surprise incubator- the AZ TechCelerator.
In 2009, Julie moved to Surprise, Arizona and joined the Surprise Economic Development Department, first as a volunteer assisting with the launch of the AZ TechCelerator and then hired to manage the facility in April 2010.
Julie's experience as a small business owner herself, starting her first company in high school, allows her to be a great resource in assisting local entrepreneurs with the business start up process.
Julie has over 15 years of commercial property management and office leasing experience. She was the corporate sales and leasing manager for Janez Group in San Diego where she was in charge of the in-house office leasing. While in California she served on the Board of CREW San Diego, an association of commercial real estate professionals. Julie also has a California Real Estate License.
Julie has a degree in Graphic Design. She lives in Surprise with her husband and son.
Economic Development Coordinator
Heather Donaldson is the Economic Development Coordinator for the City of Surprise. Her primary focus is to execute the City’s initiatives related to new retail business attraction and business retention and expansion strategies.
Heather began her career with the City of Surprise in 2011, during which time she gained significant experience across multiple departments including Community and Recreation Services, Community Development and Economic Development. Prior to joining the Economic Development Department, Heather was the Planning Project Coordinator in the Community Development Department where she served as a liaison between developers and the City when new or existing projects were submitted for development review and approval.
Heather has over ten years of private sector real estate law experience working within the title and homebuilding industries in addition to approximately ten years of public sector experience at both the Cities of Surprise and Glendale. She graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management.