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Influential Men

Meet Four Men Making Their Mark

Mike Nealy

Executive director, Fiesta Bowl

Growing up surrounded by a family of doctors, Minnesota native Mike Nealy knew from an early age he wanted to help people.

“However, medicine was just not in the cards for me,” says Nealy, a standout high school athlete who first began helping by coaching youth football upon graduation in 1983. 

Over the next 10-plus years, while earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Minnesota and getting his start at a Fortune 500 company, Nealy would continue to coach, winning eight league championships along the way, until hanging up his whistle in 1994. 

“But sports would come calling again soon enough,” Nealy says. 

That opportunity came in 2001, when the NHL’s Minnesota Wild recruited him for their leadership team. Then in December 2005, the then-Phoenix Coyotes reached out. He advanced to president and CEO in 2010. 

“Though the work fed my soul, I began to dream about finding a way to marry my business, sports, and volunteer passions long-term,” says Nealy. “Enter the Fiesta Bowl.”

In 2014, Nealy became the organization’s executive director. Since taking on the role, the Fiesta Bowl raised its status in local philanthropy, and donates millions annually to hundreds of local youth, sports, and education-focused organizations, including more than $16 million in giving over the past five years alone. 

Barry Chasse

Founder and president, CHASSE Building Team

Barry Chasse is working to ensure the Valley of the Sun is, was, and always will be, the Valley of the Sun… Devils. 

A proud Arizona State University (ASU) alum, Chasse is the founder of CHASSE Building Team, an award-winning general contractor that oversees more than $250 million in local construction projects annually. Chasse founded the company in 2007 with a simple mission statement: Building to Make a Difference. 

“For me, that meant making a difference for our customers through innovative work, but also making a difference in the lives of our team and to the community,” says Chasse. 

Beyond leading the team that recently completed Overture Kierland and is hard at work finishing a re-build of Hohokam Elementary School in Scottsdale— not to mention more than a dozen LEED-certified projects in town—the happily married father of two is a life director with the Arizona Builder’s Alliance, and has volunteered for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Scottsdale since the early 2000s, currently serving on the board of trustees. He also spearheaded his team in the charitable donation of more than $3.5 million in recent years, and in 2020 was named for the third consecutive time to the Sun Devil 100, a program that celebrates the achievements of ASU alumni who own or lead innovative businesses worldwide.

Peter Harden

Roving concierge, Scottsdale Fashion Square

There is being a “people person,” and then there is Peter Harden.

A San Antonio native, Harden spent much of his early life making throngs of fans sing and dance as the lead singer of several bands.

“Love brought me here in 1995, as it is my wife’s home state,” says Harden.

Harden began working in maintenance upon moving here, despite having never picked up a hammer in his life. He never got used to working outdoors in the heat, so in 1997 he found himself at Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall, looking for a new opportunity.

“I’d never sold a stitch of clothing before, but earned a job at J. Crew after voluntarily coming in for a week and simply chatting with customers,” says Harden. “That position led to one in mall security.”

Harden’s personality was so delightfully infections that in 2000, mall leadership created the position of “roving concierge” for him.  

Today, the unofficial “Mayor of Scottsdale Fashion Square” delights in visiting with patrons he first met as children, often meeting their own children and building new bonds. He’s also charmed the biggest of celebrity visitors, notably Robin Williams, who was so taken by the roving concierge that he once hosted Harden on an all-expense paid vacation to see him perform in New York.

Joseph M. Ciolli

Chief executive officer, Grimaldi’s Pizzeria

Joseph M. Ciolli knew he was destined to be an entrepreneur—he just didn’t know it would be 2,500 miles from his native New York.   

“There was a program in high school called ‘Teen Tou,r’ where students visited colleges and cities outside of New York in the summer,” says Ciolli, who chose the West Coast Tour at 16.  

Impressed by Arizona State University, Ciolli made the move to Arizona in 1987.

After earning his business degree, he purchased and ran two popular bars—Minder Binders in Tempe and Bum Steer in Tucson—before moving back to New York in the late 1990s to run what was then called Patsy Grimaldi’s Pizzeria with his father.  

“Patsy—Uncle Patsy to me—was a family friend, and we were honored to continue his legacy,” says Ciolli, who built the business to the No. 1 independent pizza restaurant in New York, falling in love with wife Ivy, an Arizona native he met in New York, along the way.  

After 9/11, the Ciollis decided to make Arizona their permanent home, as well as to bring the Grimaldi’s brand with them, opening the first Arizona pizzeria in 2003.

Ciolli has since grown the brand to nearly 50 locations nationwide, while also championing hundreds of community causes including Childhelp and Phoenix Theatre Company through board leadership and fundraising support.  

  • Barry Chasse
  • Barry Chasse
  • Barry Chasse
  • Joseph M. Ciolli
  • Joseph M. Ciolli
  • Joseph M. Ciolli
  • Joseph M. Ciolli
  • Mike Nealy
  • Mike Nealy
  • Mike Nealy
  • Mike Nealy
  • Mike Nealy
  • Peter Harden
  • Peter Harden