Lea Marquez Peterson, MBA, IOM is President of Marquez Peterson Group – a public affairs firm specializing in government and community relations in Arizona
Lea has been an entrepreneur in our community for many years and served as the President/ CEO of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber from 2009 until November of 2018. The Tucson Hispanic Chamber serves the business community in the bilingual, bi-cultural region of the Arizona-Sonora border and was recognized as the Hispanic Chamber of the Year in 2013 by the U.S Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The chamber represents over 1800-member businesses and in partnership with the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry is one of the largest chambers in the State of Arizona.
"I’ve always believed in living life to the fullest and pursuing the things I’m passionate about. For me, that has meant taking risk as an entrepreneur while supporting my family and their dreams."
She ran for Congress in Arizona Congressional District 2 in 2018 and won a competitive primary race. During her campaign she was endorsed by Governor Ducey, Senator Kyl, Congressman Kolbe and many local elected leaders. Though the general election results were disappointing, she enjoyed meeting thousands of people in the region and tackling many key issues impacting Arizona.
She previously served as the Executive Director for Greater Tucson Leadership (GTL) from 2005 to 2009 and owned and operated a Business Brokerage Firm from 2005 to 2009 and a chain of six gasoline stations / convenience stores with fifty employees from 1998 to 2005 in the Tucson region.
Lea was appointed by Governor Doug Ducey to co-chair the Arizona Zanjeros, a business leadership group formed to ensure the state continues to flourish economically by driving business growth and promoting Arizona’s extraordinary assets. She was selected to serve on Governor Doug Ducey’s Transition Team in 2014 and co-chaired the subcommittee on Economic Development, Entrepreneurship and Trade. She has also been appointed to serve on the Arizona Judicial Council which advises the Arizona Supreme Court, and the Arizona Finance Authority, the state’s bonding authority. She chairs the Board of Directors of Carondelet’s St Mary’s Hospital and is the former Chair of the Pima Association of Governments Economic Vitality Committee and serves on the Boards of the University of Arizona Foundation and the Pima County Workforce Investment Board. She also serves on the national board for the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
"During my career, I’ve focused on helping small businesses - as a business broker and as a chamber executive of one of the largest business organizations in Arizona. I love my state and my community and my recent appointment to the Arizona Corporation Commission allows me to serve residents throughout the state. I’m proud to be the first Latina in a statewide elected position in our state!"
She formally served as the Chairwoman of the Southern Arizona Business Roundtable, the Past Chair of the Southern Arizona Chamber of Commerce Alliance, the Founder and Past Chair of the Pima County Small Business Commission, the Chairwoman of the University of Arizona Hispanic Advisory Council and is a Past President of the Tucson chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners. She was appointed by the Obama Administration to the National Women’s Business Council where she served for three years. Lea was recognized by the National Football League with a 2015 Hispanic Heritage Award by the Arizona Cardinals, the University of Arizona Eller College with a 2014 Extraordinary Woman in Business award , the University of Arizona Alumni Association with the 2012 Distinguished Citizen Award, the 2011 State of Arizona Minority Business Advocate of the Year, the 2009 Rising Star by the Hispanic Professional Action Committee, the 2008 Business Advocate of the Year by MED Week, a 2007 Woman of Influence by Inside Tucson Business, was recognized as a 40 under 40 recipient and honored with a University of Arizona Entrepreneurial Fellow award. In addition, she is a Flinn Brown Fellow and an Honorary Rotarian. She received her undergraduate degrees in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from the University of Arizona, and her Masters in Business Administration from Pepperdine University. She is married with two children.