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Acclaimed Local Business Leader Assumes Role as CEO and Executive Director

Acclaimed Local Business Leader Assumes Role as CEO and Executive Director at Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., May 17, 2023 – Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, announces today the appointment of highly experienced local business and community leader Todd Bankofier as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Executive Director, effective May 12, 2023. Bankofier will be at the forefront of Western Spirit’s crucial next phase of growth and development.

Western Spirit Board’s search committee conducted a national search that spanned over six months for the CEO and Executive Director position. Bankofier stood out among the applicants due to his extensive experience in Arizona-based business leadership roles as well as his inspirational work in local community service. Bankofier brings decades of knowledge in formulating, defining, and executing short- and long-term business strategies and a proven success record in transforming companies and organizations, pivoting on new tactics, and building healthy cultures, all while consistently exceeding overall expectations.

“I am truly honored to have been selected to lead this esteemed organization," said Bankofier. "Countless talented people have dedicated so much of their time and treasure to bring about this museum and make it what it is today. I am committed to working with the outstanding team at Western Spirit to continue advancing the museum’s mission and vision, ultimately guiding our award-winning institution to even greater heights.”

David Sherf, Interim CEO of Western Spirit expressed his enthusiasm for hiring Bankofier. "We are so pleased to welcome Todd to our team as the new CEO and Executive Director. Given his proven track record of success in both business and the nonprofit sector, we are confident in his ability to help shape a bold new vision for Western Spirit. With his broad knowledge of cutting-edge technologies, we look forward to seeing Todd leverage the latest innovations to help us engage and inspire audiences worldwide.”

Bankofier's background includes working as a legislative aide to Senator Paul Laxalt, serving as Chief of Staff to Jim Bruner of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, CEO of the Arizona Technology Council, and holding various executive positions at the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, XO Communications, and Ensynch. He was the CEO of publicly traded digital-accessibility company Audioeye, the founder and CEO of Fairmont Capital Group, and the Co-founder and CEO of seed-stage SaaS start-up CyberPassport.

He has won awards for Top 10 “Valley’s Most Influential” under 40 by The Business Journal (2002), the Valley’s Most Influential Business Leaders (2004), voted one of Arizona’s Top “Young Leaders” in Business (2005), and “Father of the Year” by the American Diabetes Association (2007).

Bankofier holds a BS in business management from Arizona State University and is a 35-year resident of Scottsdale.

Western Spirit features regularly changing and permanent exhibits of Western and Native American art and artifacts, entertaining events, and informative programs that bring the West’s heritage, culture, and community to life. Featuring The Gather: A Portrait of the American West by Scott T. Baxter and upcoming exhibits such as Werner Segarra: Vaqueros de La Cruz del Diablo, and Western Pop: Andy Warhol & Billy Schenck; and The Railroad Opening Up the West, a model train exhibition.

Permanent exhibitions continually on display include Canvas of Clay: Hopi Pottery Masterworks from The Allan and Judith Cooke Collection, which features 65 of the finest examples of Hopi pottery spanning six centuries, the Frankie and Howard Alper Collection of John Coleman Bronzes; and The Abe Hays Family Spirit of the West Collection, a showcase of more than 1,400 saddles, spurs, cowboy gear, and other Old West objects.

For more information on Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, go to

About Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West

Within months of opening in January 2015, Western Spirit qualified as a Smithsonian Affiliate. The museum has also received the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, enjoys a 4.5 out of 5-star rating on both TripAdvisor and Yelp, and is continually recognized as one of the “Nation’s Best Western Museums” (2022 Editors’ Choice, True West magazine). Also, named to Phoenix Magazine’s 2022 Best of The Valley Readers' Choice: “Best Museum You Probably Don’t Know About”, Arizona Foothill’s Best of Our Valley: “Best Museum” & “Best Annual Charity Event: Saddle Up” and the winner of Your Valley’s “East Valley Favorites” for the museum category.  For more information, visit

Social Media: Twitter @SMoWest, Instagram @smowest, Facebook @scottsdalemuseumwest.

Media Contact:
Alison Rose