Meet Our Team
Steve Chucri is the quintessential American story. A native of Mesa, Arizona, he comes from Lebanese lineage on both sides of his family. His maternal grandfather, Tony M. Coury, Sr., was a true entrepreneur in becoming the first licensed automobile dealer in Arizona. Steve draws inspiration from his grandfather who couldn’t read or write, but whose hard work and success afforded Steve first-hand insight into the complexities of running a business. That experience at an early age led to successful careers in both the public and private sectors. Of the many jobs Steve has today, he would say the most important is that of a devoted father to his two young sons, and loving husband to Christine, his wife of 20 years.
For the past 18 years, Steve has served as the President and CEO of the Arizona Restaurant Association (ARA). Leading an organization that promotes dining out is a perfect fit for Mr. Chucri, who had scorched so many dinners he had begun to wonder if “burnt” was a food group. The insight Steve has gathered through his experience with the restaurant association was a contributing factor in his decision to run for public office. In 2012, Steve was elected to serve as Maricopa County Supervisor for District 2 and has been proudly serving his constituents since he took office in January 2013. Steve works with his County colleagues to eliminate excess regulations and create an environment that invites innovation and sustains entrepreneurial growth with a Best in Class mindset. Recently, Steve was appointed by the Republic of Estonia to be the Honorary Consul for Arizona. This distinction builds upon his experience having traveled around the world on delegation missions, visits with foreign dignitaries, sampling a variety of cuisines, and engaging in unique foreign customs.
Steve remains focused on adopting policies that enhance the business cache of the County, eliminating unnecessary burdens, and implementing strategies that make it more affordable and attractive to operate a business in Maricopa County. Prior to his work with the restaurant association and at Maricopa County, Supervisor Chucri spent 6 years on Capitol Hill working for an Arizona Congressman. This prestigious position afforded him many opportunities that further reaffirmed his affinity for America and gave him a real sense of what it is to be an elected official.
Steve is an alumnus of Brophy College Preparatory and went on to obtain his post-secondary degree in Business Administration at the University of San Diego. He has received the Sentinel Award from the Greater Phoenix Chamber and the Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 award. Steve serves as a Board Member for the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, the University of San Diego Alumni, Boys Hope Girls Hope, MAG Regional Council, Valley Leadership, Phoenix Downtown Partnership, National Restaurant Association, Department of Homeland Security Regional Advisory Council for the Central Region, AZ Consular Corps and is past president of the Council of State Restaurant Associations.
Jana Shelton is the Arizona Restaurant Association’s Vice President of Administration. She has served the ARA for 17 years forming valuable and lasting relationships with the ARA’s partners, restaurant and vendor members alike. Prior to the ARA, Jana worked in the finance industry for several years.
Interacting with ARA members on a daily basis, supporting the ARA Board of Directors and providing direction to staff are just a few of Jana’s favorite aspects in her role.
When away from the office, Jana enjoys spending time with her family, watching sports (Go D-Backs!) and dining at ARA Member establishments.
Reach Jana at Jana@azrestaurant.org
Dan Bogert is the Arizona Restaurant Association’s Chief Operating Officer. Dan came to the ARA in September 2016 after spending four years with the County Supervisors Association of Arizona (CSA). In addition to his legislative duties at CSA, he was responsible for developing revenue and expenditure projections, state fiscal analysis, and assisting counties in their budget development process. Prior to joining CSA, he worked on county and special district issues at Barnes and Associates as a legislative liaison and analyst. Dan also served as a campaign manager and consultant for several local races and a congressional race.
Dan is a Graduate with Distinction with a degree in economics and business from the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) where he received the second highest score on the Major Field Test in Business. While at VMI he was an NCAA Division 1 swimmer and captain of the swim team. Shortly after returning to Arizona, Dan became a firefighter with the Mesa Ranger District for the U.S. Forest Service before realizing that offices have air conditioning.
In his free time, Dan enjoys cooking and testing new cocktails, hiking, camping, scuba diving, and traveling. Dan currently serves as an instructor for the United States Air Force Explorers, a service academy preparatory program, and also teaches wilderness survival classes several times a year.
Reach Dan at Dan@azrestaurant.org
Brynn Johnson-Beam is a native Arizonan. Her paternal grandfather, Woody Johnson, started in the restaurant industry in 1946 with Woody’s El Nido, and shortly after opened his first Macayo’s location. Brynn draws inspiration from her grandfather and father, whose hard work and success afforded Brynn first-hand insights into the complexities of running a restaurant business.
Brynn studied business administration and Spanish at the University of Colorado. She studied and worked abroad in Seville, Spain, deepening her grasp and understanding of the Spanish culture, prior to moving home and working in the family business. In the entrepreneurial spirit of her grandfather and father, Brynn started a business focused on the field of children’s education in technology. After years of great experience working with valley leaders and foodies, she began working with the Arizona Restaurant Association, a natural fit given her passion for education, collaboration, and food.
Brynn serves as an Associate Board member for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale and has also served on the board for the Valley of the Sun Active 20-30 Club, both organizations standing by her passion for working with the Valley’s youth. In her free time, Brynn loves to spend time with family, exercising her culinary abilities at home, teaching yoga, traveling, and volunteering with various local children’s organizations.
This May, Jamie Stone celebrates her two year milestone as Director of Marketing for the Arizona Restaurant Association (ARA). Through her prior experience working at advertising agencies, Jamie brings a multitude of skills to her role with the ARA including creative thinking, quick execution, multi-tasking, project management, copywriting, social media, and web development.
Jamie brings a high level of knowledge to the ARA, where she enjoys using her marketing skills while focusing her work and energy on one great organization — and, of course, all of its members. Jamie loves the community feel at the ARA and its wonderful members that have been a part of the organization for so long. She finds supporting them and sharing in their impact on Arizona’s food and beverage industry to be a very rewarding element of her position.
Outside of work, Jamie loves spending time with her family, which consists of her husband and their dog Bron. Together they enjoy traveling throughout Arizona and supporting the food and beverage industry through many meals out at their favorite local restaurants and by meeting up with friends at favorite bars to catch any game that may be playing!
Reach Jamie at Jamie@azrestaurant.org
Susie Timm has been the public relations advisor to the ARA for 10 years. She owns and operates Knife & Fork Media Group, specializing in restaurant and hospitality PR and marketing. Timm is a graduate of Arizona State University and has a diverse background in banking, prior to her decade of experience in PR. For fun, Timm plays tennis and enjoys the rich local cuisine our state has to offer. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org