The Southeast Arizona Economic Development Group (SAEDG) is a 501(c)(6) non-profit corporation. The Executive Board Members are:



David DiPesoDavid DiPeso - President


David is a life long resident of Benson, Cochise County, AZ. After graduating from Benson High School, he received his AA degree from Cochise College and completed his BS degree from the University of Arizona.  David completed studies at the Hogan School of Real Estate and obtained his real estate sales, broker and appraisal license.

David’s business experience as a loan officer and appraiser for Farmers Home Administration, owning and operating the Red Bird Ranch in Cochise County (for 12 years) and since 2000 owning and operating DiPeso Real Estate and Appraisal allows David to offer varied business perspectives for numerous civic organizations.  

David has actively participated in the following organizations: Past Member of Benson Planning & Zoning commission, Benson City Council, Mayor of Benson, AZ.  President of MLS of Cochise County, President of Benson San Pedro Valley Chamber of Commerce.  Benson Task Force leader and Vice President of the Southeast Arizona Economic Development Group.  Board Member of the Cochise College Governing Board, Member of Cochise College Foundation Board.


Cindy BattenCindy Batten - Treasurer


Cindy Batten was born in Phoenix, AZ in 1962 but has lived in the Benson area her entire life. In 1980 she graduated from Benson Union High School, continued her education at Northern AZ University and then earned her AA in Business from Cochise College. She has been in the banking industry for the past 25 years, starting her career as a teller and working her way up through the ranks including Customer Service Manager, Branch Manager, District Operations Manager and Director of Customer Experience. Currently she is Assistant Vice President and Branch Manager of the local National Bank of Arizona branch.

Cindy stays involved in the community by volunteering with various sports related events through the local schools and is currently very active in the Arizona Roadrunner travel softball organization. She is now serving as Treasurer of SAEDG.

Cindy is married to Ernie, her husband of 32 years. Together they have 4 daughters, 3 grandsons and 2 granddaughters.



Gil LuskGil Lusk - Board Member


Gil Lusk comes to the SAEDG Board with a distinguished and varied career.  After completing his college education Gil was assigned to the U.S. National Park Service enjoying positions in Vienna, VA, Valley Forge, Big Bend National Park, Glacier National Park, the Montana Nature Conservancy and concluding his National Park career by serving as the Special Assistant to the Director of the National Park Service.


After relocating to Arizona in 1997 Gil became involved in the Sonoran Institute and has worked in real estate development and the Solar Park Foundation.  You can read more about Gil here.



Kevin ObergKevin Oberg - Board Member


After receiving his Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Arizona and his Master of Business Administration from the University of Southern California Kevin worked for two publicly held corporations. Deciding he enjoyed his independence he left and became a partner in a southern Arizona development company. Since that time he has been actively involved in many different businesses in southern Arizona.


With his commitment to Benson and Cochise County, he looks forward to assisting in the future economic prosperity of the area.



Mark M. FennMark M. Fenn - Board Member


Mark has been a Benson resident since 1973, and graduated from Benson High School in 1978. After serving a mission for the LDS Church in Spain for two years, he married Carrie Crockett and they have raised their family of five children in Benson since 1995, all five graduating from Benson High School. Mark has been a commercial and residential general contractor for 25 years, first in California and then Arizona. He is the owner of Fenn Homes, which has built several custom homes and commercial properties in the greater Benson area. He also owns and manages commercial lease properties in Benson, among them the Prickly Pear Corner center and the Old Homestead building. Mark served on the Benson City Council for four years and as the Mayor of Benson for four years, completing his second term in 2011. Recently he has worked on foreign LDS temple projects, living in Argentina for three and a half years and currently in Rome Italy on a temporary assignment. He and Carrie have their permanent residence in Benson and enjoy the company of two of their grown children and their families also residing in the Benson area. They are the grandparents of 12 grandchildren.



Jerry DeGraziaJerry DeGrazia - Board Member


Jerry is a graduate of the University of Arizona with a BS degree in “Area Development”. After he left Arizona, he held positions in city, county and regional planning. Later, he moved to the private sector to work in real estate and land development. He returned to Tucson in 1994. This and his knowledge of the economy of southern Arizona, uniquely qualifies him as a contributing board member for SAEDG.






George ScottGeorge Scott - Executive Director


George Scott was born on January 1, 1947 in Tucson, Arizona. George is a lifelong resident of Benson, Arizona. Graduating from Benson Union High School in 1965. He attended Arizona Western College in 1965-1966 on a football scholarship. In December of 1966 he joined the US Army and served until December of 1969 to return home with a honorable discharge as a Sergeant E-5.

Upon returning to Arizona George managed the family Redi-mix/Sand and Gravel company in Benson while attending Cochise College and raising his family. He graduated from Cochise College in 1974 and continued managing the family business until it was sold in 1976.

From 1977 through 1990 George worked in the Real Estate Business as a Sales Associate and Broker in the Benson and Southeast Arizona markets.

1991 through 1994 George worked for Ryder Truck leasing in Tucson, AZ.

In 1995 George worked in RV sales in Tucson and Sierra Vista, AZ. To gain knowledge of the RV industry.

In 1996 George and his wife built a 105 space RV park on property owned by them in Benson, AZ. They owned and  managed the RV park (Pato Blanco Lakes RV Park) that catered to the winter visitors  until it was sold in July of 2005.

In 2001 George was elected to serve as Vice-Mayor of Benson, AZ. He served two years as Vice-Mayor and then four years until 2007 as Mayor of Benson. He was elected to help clean up the small town  politics and  bring new business and progress to the area. Under his tenure new home development got a start. New retail businesses located to Benson to include a Super Wal-Mart. City revenues increased and to this day show positive growth due to policies enacted under his term.

After leaving the Mayors office in the summer of 2007 George and a group of local businessmen formed the Southeast Arizona Economic Development Group to help promote business in Cochise County. George is the Executive Director of the 501c6 non-profit group. “Our goal is to responsibly develop and expand the economy of Cochise County”. At this time he is working on Solar projects for Benson and other Cochise County Communities, along with resurrecting  two failed housing projects in Cochise County.

George is married to MaryAnn, between them they have five adult children and ten grandchildren.



Carol TreuberCarol Treuber - EDS


Carol studied Mass Communications at the University of South Dakota and Accounting at Southwest Tennessee Community College in Memphis Tennessee. In her early college years she worked at the campus radio station as a DJ and was homecoming parade chairman for the University of South Dakota. She has done volunteer work as an event coordinator and communications coordinator.

Carol has lived in Benson for over two years and began working with SAEDG in 2017. She has many years of experience with non-profit organizations and the tourism industry.

Carol is currently furthering her education in Economic Development and non-profit management. With her skill set and continuing education she intends to assist the Southeast Arizona Economic Development Group with the economic development of Benson, Cochise County and Southern Arizona.