Meet our TeamSteve Chucri – President & CEO»
Jana Shelton – VP of Administration»
Dan Bogert – Chief Operating Officer»
Brynn Johnson – VP Partnerships & Development»
Kalinda M. Stephenson – VP Marketing & Events»
Kalinda M. Stephenson is the Arizona Restaurant Association’s Vice President of Marketing and Events. She joined the ARA team after moving to Arizona from the Washington, D.C. area, having spent nearly five years working on Capitol Hill where she focused on a range of topics including human rights, international religious freedom and foreign policy issues.
Having organized Congressional hearings, high-level meetings for heads of state and other political events, Kalinda is excited to bring a fresh, new perspective to the ARA and its events and marketing strategy. Fluent in several languages, Ms. Stephenson has a B.A. in Government and Politics and a minor in Portuguese from the University of Maryland, College Park and a professional certificate in Social Media Management from Georgetown University.
When away from the office, Kalinda enjoys cooking, going out to eat, traveling and spending time with her two chihuahuas, Dolce and Bambi.
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 devoted father to his two young sons, Grant and Will, and loving husband to Christine, his wife of 17 years.
For the past 15 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.
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 to travel around the world on delegation missions, visit with foreign dignitaries, sample a variety of cuisines, and engage in unique foreign customs 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, Community Bridges, Inc., Boys Hope Girls Hope, Mesa Chamber of Commerce, Mesa Downtown Visioning Committee, Valley Leadership, the Phoenix Downtown Partnership and the National Restaurant Association.
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.
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 after a short stint on the East Coast, 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.
Brynn Johnson is the Arizona Restaurant Association’s Vice President of Partnership & Development. An Arizona native, Brynn has been in the restaurant industry essentially since the day she was born. Brynn joined the team after managing the marketing for Macayo’s Mexican Restaurants.
Brynn earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Colorado. After her collegiate experience, she lived in Seville, Spain studying Spanish, teaching English, and working for a local cultural integration organization. Upon return to Arizona, Brynn started a small business teaching computer classes for young children throughout the valley, while simultaneously working with Macayo’s Mexican Restaurants in their catering and marketing departments.
In her time outside of the ARA, Brynn can be found testing recipes in her own kitchen, spending time with family, traveling, conquering Arizona's best hikes, and volunteering with local organizations.