Sharon Harper
Sharon Harper
Chairman & CEO

As CEO, Chairman and Co-Founder of Plaza Companies, Sharon Harper oversees all facets of company operations, including the ownership, development, leasing or management of nearly 13 million square feet of Arizona urban transformational projects, medical healthcare companies, senior living communities and bioscience centers.

With Harper at the helm, Plaza Companies’ properties and projects have received significant recognition within the real estate, construction, senior living, technology and medical sectors, and the company has proved instrumental in setting a national standard of excellence in the ownership, development, management and leasing of award-winning facilities throughout these sectors. Her forward-thinking commitment to commercial real estate has helped Plaza Companies emerge as one of the premier real estate firms in the Southwest, earning numerous awards and designations under her leadership.

Harper has been heavily influential in the widespread success of SkySong, The ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center, of which Plaza Companies is the master developer. In addition to earning NAIOP’s “Best of NAIOP” Economic Impact Project and Spec Offce Building (for SkySong 4) awards in 2017, Plaza’s project earned recognition as a RED Award finalist that same year. Plaza also secured the AZ Big Media RED Award for “Mixed-Use Development of the Year, 2015” for SkySong as well as two 2015 “Best of NAIOP” awards, including the “Economic Impact Award” for SkySong and an additional offce building award specific to SkySong Building 3.

One of the region’s most recognizable icons, SkySong has received considerable recognition through the years for its e orts in green building and sustainability. SkySong’s buildings have received LEED Silver Certifications from the U.S. Green Building Council and an Energy Star designation from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The project also earned inclusion among the “Best of NAIOP” by the National Association of Office and Industrial Properties – Arizona Chapter, and it also secured an “Award of Merit” from Valley Forward. SkySong has also proved instrumental in attracting cutting- edge technology and innovation companies to the area as well as more than 2,000 jobs, and the project has cemented itself one of the premier economic engines in the Southwest. When complete, SkySong will include 1.2 million square feet of mixed- use space as well as offices, a hotel, retail facilities, apartment residences and numerous other amenities.

Plaza Companies is also the co-developer of the renovation of the Park Central Mall property, which earned Best of NAIOP awards “Mixed Use Project of the Year” in 2022, “Transaction of the Year” and “Talk of the Town” nods in 2019 as well as Redevelopment Project of the Year recognition from AZRE Magazine in 2020. Plaza will play a key role in converting the space into an innovative, modern new o ce and retail development that will once again serve as a hub for central Phoenix. Construction of Phase I of Park Central is now complete, and transformational projects under construction on site include the Creighton University Health Sciences Campus and a 10-story parking deck.

Recent Plaza Companies awards include 2022 RED Award and Best of NAIOP Award for the Creighton University building, 2022 Award of Distinction from Arizona Forward, 2021 RED Award for the Catalina Parking Structure at Park Central, a 2021 AZRE Real Estate and Development Awards BEST of the BEST, and 2021 Global Export Awards from Phoenix Sister Cities.

Harper’s hard work and tireless dedication have also helped make Plaza Companies an integral component of the local and national real estate industry. Its properties and projects have seen considerable successes, with the Plaza team playing an instrumental role in the development, construction, leasing and management of numerous on and o-campus projects. Notable medical projects include the Banner Estrella Medical Center of Phoenix, a 300,000 square-foot ambulatory medical campus considered the epicenter of cutting-edge health care in the West Valley, Paradise Valley Medical Plaza and numerous other on and o-campus projects. Harper and Plaza Companies also played a prominent role in the development and management of many of Arizona’s premier senior-living facilities, including Vi at Silverstone and Vi at Grayhawk, the latter of which has earned a “#1 Independent/Assisted Living Community in Arizona” nod for eight consecutive years. The facility also earned inclusion on U.S. News and World Reports’ “Best Nursing Homes” list in numerous years, and earned a nod as one of the “Best Places to Work in the Valley.” The facility also scored its 14th- consecutive “Top Independent Living Provider” nod from Ranking Arizona: The Best of Arizona Business.

Tucson’s Splendido at Rancho Vistoso retirement community also earned numerous accolades. The Arizona Health Care Organization recently named it the #1 health care center in the state, while readers of the Tucson Explorer, Marana News and Foothills News named it the “Best Active Living Community” in 2018. Readers of the Arizona Daily Star, meanwhile, named it “Best Retirement Community” in 2017, while Interfaith Community Services awarded Splendido its “Spirit of Philanthropy” award that same year. Splendido was also listed among “America’s Best Nursing Homes, 2015” by U.S. News and World Reports, and the facility was also the recipient of the “Outstanding Arts Leader Award” by the Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance, the “Good Deal” and Help Others” awards by Habitat for Humanity, Tucson, and the “Go for the Gold” award by Crandall Corporate Dietitians. The company continues to assist with the development and management of numerous other senior-living projects in and around central Arizona’s Maricopa County.

Harper’s personal business achievements have earned considerable praise as well. She received NAIOP’s 2019 Award of Excellence, was named among the 2019 Leaders of the Year in Public Policy for the Economy by Arizona Capitol Times, earned recognition as 2017’s “Woman of the Year” by Valley Leadership, and was listed among the Phoenix Business Journal’s “Landmark Leaders” the year prior. She and her husband, Dr. Oliver Harper, also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Phoenix Theatre. Plaza, meanwhile, earned a “Top Companies to Work For” in 2019 nod from azcentral.com, and NAIOP recognized several specific Plaza projects for excellence in 2019, too. Plaza’s Park Central project earned “Transaction of the Year” and “Talk of the Town” nods in 2019, while Estrella Medical Plaza II scored a “Medical Office Project of the Year” acknowledgment. Plaza also earned recognition as one of the top real estate development and brokerage firms by the Phoenix Business Journal in 2016 and 2017 and landed on AZ Big Media’s lineup of Arizona’s leading real estate companies in 2017.

Harper also served as Chairman of Governor Doug Ducey’s re-election campaign in 2018 and Chairman of the Prop. 123 campaign in 2016, and she was the recipient of the “Distinguished Service Award” by the Greater Phoenix Economic Council in 2014. She also earned inclusion among AZRE’s “People to Know in Commercial Real Estate,” Real Estate PEORIA | PHOENIX | SCOTTSDALE | TUCSON Forum’s “Women of Influence” and AZ Big Media’s “20 Most Influential Women in Commercial Real Estate” that same year. She was also the recipient of the “Lifetime Achievement Award for Most Admired Leader” by the Phoenix Business Journal and received the “Citizen Leadership Award” from the International Economic Development Council in 2013, and she also earned a spot on AZRE magazine’s “50 Most Influential Women in Arizona Real Estate” in 2012 and Arizona Business Magazine’s “50 Most Influential Women, 2012.” She is also an active member of the Counselors of Real Estate. Harper’s commitments extend far beyond business, however, and they include a variety of causes, volunteer e orts and appointments across Arizona and beyond. In 2022, Harper was recognized for her contributions to bioscience in Arizona at the Socierty of Chairs Gala, and she was named a member of the Titan 100. Harper earned the 2019 Inés Pascal Award for Generous Service by Brophy College Preparatory Academy. In May, 2019, she was inducted into the Arizona Women’s Hall of Fame. She received the 2020-21 Legacy Award from the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the 2020 Women of Lifetime Achievement Award from In Business Magazine.

She currently is on the Arizona Commerce Authority Board of Directors, past Chairman of Greater Phoenix Leadership, a board member for TGen, an executive board member for GPEC, a trustee on the Creighton University Board of Trustees, Chairman of the Creighton University Advisory Board and Chairman of the Trustees of ASU effective May 2022. She is also a Trustee for the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, and was appointed to the executive board of Gov. Doug Ducey’s Arizona Zanjeros, a business leadership group created to help promote Arizona’s economic development and reputation as a national epicenter of business and commerce. She also serves on the Board of Trustees for the McCain Institute.

Past appointments include stints on the Board of Directors for the Arizona Community Foundation, Past Chairman of Banner Health Foundation and Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Brophy College Preparatory School.

Harper has also been named Honorary Commander of Luke Air Force Base and was the recipient of the “Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser Award” by the Association of Fundraising Professionals in 2013, the “Building New Futures Good Scout Award” by the Boy Scouts of America in 2008 and the Sandra Day and John O’Connor Award for Outstanding Community Service in 2007. She earned the Creighton University Alumni Achievement Citation in 2006 and the Best of the West Leadership Award by WESTMARC, the Western Maricopa Coalition in 2003. She was a Community Honoree for the Catholic Community Foundation in 2012, is a member of Charter 100 and the Governor’s Arizona Film and Television Commission, and a board member for the Maricopa County Arts Cultural Task Force and the Creighton University National Alumni Board. Harper also served as National Finance Chairman for Arizona Senator John McCain during his 2000 and 2008 presidential runs.