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/biotechnology 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 Office 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 office building award specific to SkySong Building 3.
Harper’s personal business achievements have earned considerable praise as well. She landed NAIOP’s 2019 Award of Excellence, and she also 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 excellency 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’s commitments extend far beyond business, however, and they include a variety of causes, volunteer efforts and appointments across Arizona and beyond. Most recently, Harper earned the 2019 Inés Pascal Award for Generous Service by Brophy College Preparatory Academy and an Award of Excellence from NAIOP Arizona, and in May, 2019, she was inducted into the Arizona Women’s Hall of Fame.
She currently serves as immediate 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 Vice Chairman of the Trustees of ASU. 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 also served as National Finance Chairman for Arizona Senator John McCain during his 2000 and 2008 presidential runs.