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Susan Bitter Smith has served as Executive Director of the Arizona-New Mexico Cable Communications Association since 1980. She earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees in Business Administration from Arizona State University and is a Past Chairman of the ASU Alumni Association. In addition, she serves as the Honorary Chair of the ASU MBA Alumni Association, is a Past Chairman of the Walter Cronkite Foundation, Past Chairman of the Arizona First Amendment Coalition, and is the Chairman of the Arizona Competitive Telecommunications Coalition.
Susan received her Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation in 1987 and is a Past President of the Arizona Society of Association Executives. She received AzSAE’s Executive of the Year Award in 1988 and again in 1998. She is a Past Chairman of the American Society of Association Executives (first Arizonan to ever serve as Chairman), a member of the ASAE Government Relations Section Council, Past Chairman of the ASAE Government Affairs Committee, and an ASAE Fellow.
A native of Arizona, she has served as a member of the Scottsdale City Council and was Vice Mayor. She has just completed her second six year term as an elected member of the Central Arizona Water Conservation District Board of Directors, having served the last four as President of the Board (the first woman to hold this position) and was a candidate for Congress in Arizona’s District Five. As a member of the CAWCD Board, Susan was instrumental in working with Arizona’s Congressional Delegation in the successful settlement of the CAWCD Repayment Settlement dispute with the United States Department of the Interior and the federal finalization of the Gila Indian Water Rights dispute. As President of the Board, Susan has led the effort to operate the Yuma Desalting Plant with a consortium of both Federal and local players. In addition, she has led the fight to mitigate the EPA’s efforts to close the Navajo Generating Station, the primary power source that operates the Central Arizona Project. She is a founding member of “Women in Water”, a local group of women involved in water policy. “Women in Water” honored Susan in December 2010 for her leadership. Susan has spoken to numerous water and energy groups throughout the region including the Colorado River Water User’s Association, Agri-Business Council, and the Water Utility User’s Association. She is currently reorganizing the Central Arizona Project Association, whose purpose is to support the success of the CAP and other water providers.
In addition, she was Co-Chair of Arizonians for Bush/Quayle in 1988 and 1992 and Chair of the Forbes in Arizona Campaign in 1996. Susan was a founder of Arizona Women in Cable and the Valley of the Sun Cable Club. In 2001, the American Society of Association Executives bestowed its highest honor, the Key Award, on Susan. Arizona Girls Scouts has honored Susan with its “Advocacy” Award. Recently, the Arizona Capitol Times honored Susan and the CAWCD Board as the Public Policy Government Leaders of the Year.
Susan is married and has two children. She is a frequent guest of local radio and television hosts providing commentary on local and national political issues. She is a contributing columnist to the “Arizona Republic” and has served as the co-host of the “Arizona Almanac” Radio Show.