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WOi Women

of Influence



2 | 2012 Women Of Influence

Looking back on eight years of Women of Influence Inside Tucson Business

2010 Since 2004, Inside Tucson Business has been

• Jodi Bain opened her own practice, the

priveleged to have now honored more than 100

Bain Law Firm, in July focusing on real estate,

Women of Influence in Southern Arizona.

commercial law, and banking and lending. She

All were nominated by readers as making a

also continues as principal and designated broker

positive difference in the Tucson region. And most

of Prime Advisors, a real estate and business con-

still are. Ten have left the region and some others

sulting service. In June, state Senate President

have retired. Here’s a look back at previous years’ honorees and what they’re doing now.

which she founded in 2003, and is a member of

Steve Pierce removed her as one of his appoint-

Desert Angels investors.

ments to the Rio Nuevo Mulitpurpose Facilities

• Teresa Nowak continues as senior vice

District, replacing her with Fletcher McCusker.

president and commercial loan officer at Com-

• Lori Banzhaf is director of member ser-


merce Bank of Arizona, where she has been since

vices for the Tucson Metro Chamber, where she

• Joni Condit continues as vice president and

2002, and runs her own firm Alpenglow Produc-

started last year. Previously she had been director

tions, an event designer and retreat facilitator.

of major gifts for Tucson Medical Center’s foun-

chief operating officer of La Posada continuing care retirement center in Green Valley. • Winnie Fritz retired last November as CEO of Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital but apparently

• Jan Offret continues as chief nursing officer

dation for three years and before that she was

at Northwest Medical Center where she has been

president and owner of Monsoon Marketing for

since 2004.

5½ years.

retirement didn’t suit her and, as of August, joined

• Rae Orozco continues as senior pastor at

• Kim Bourn is vice president of the Criti-

Agilum Healthcare Intelligence, based in Nash-

Grace to the Nations Church and Family Ministry

cal Path Institute (C-Path) Foundation which was

ville, Tenn., to lead the company’s healthcare per-

Center where she has been since 2002.

started in September 2011 to generate the philan-

formance improvement consulting service.

• Lesli Pintor continues as senior vice presi-

thropy needed to support the institute’s programs

• Tannya Gaxiola continues as president and

dent at National Bank of Arizona where she has

and mission. In her 20 years in Tucson, she was a

CEO of QuikHelp, the legal document preparation

been since 1997. She oversees the Tucson Com-

founder of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure

service she founded in 2009.

mercial Real Estate Division and co-sponsors the

and serves on the boards of the University of Ari-

bank’s networking organization, Women’s Finan-

zona’s Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Pub-

cial Group.

lic Health and Tucson Medical Center’s Pediatric

• Alison Hughes retired last year from the Rural Health Office at the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health after a 25-year career with the University of Arizona.

• Amanda Sapir this year moved to Wash-


ington, D.C., where she is now working in the Fed-

• Katrina Heineking was transferred in

• Michelle Livingston is working on her

eral Trade Commission’s new Bureau of Consum-

February to Austin, Texas, by Professional Tran-

MBA at the University of Arizona and working

er Protection. She and Patty Valera were part of

sit Management (PTM) to be general manager of

for the online media consultancy firm AB Design

U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ office who soldiered

its Veolia Transportation-managed services there.

Strategies, as a strategist and business develop-

on after the Jan. 8, 2011, shooting.

She had been PTM’s general manager of Tucson’s

ment consultant. Earlier this year, she left her po-

• Patty Valera is constituent services super-

Sun Tran and Sun Van since March 2006 and rec-

sition as marketing director at Buffalo Exchange

visor specializing in veterans issues, now in the

ognized as a pioneering woman within the trans-

after 14 years with the company.

office of U.S. Rep. Ron Barber. She was honored

portation industry.

• Shannan Marty continues to run her investment management firm High Roads Ventures,

for those efforts in the office of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

• Katharine Kent continues as owner and CEO of the Solar Store, which she founded in CONTINUED ON PAGE 5

2012 Women Of Influence | Inside Tucson Business 3

Building Leaders and Legacy in Southern Arizona Salpointe salutes women of influence!

Help us continue the legacy of educating leaders in Southern Arizona by designating Salpointe with your Arizona tax credit contribution. CHARACTER COUNTS 1545 East Copper Street ❖ (520) 547-5878

4 | 2012 Women Of Influence

March 1998.

• Ruth Brinkley in January was named pres-

rondelet Health Network, a position she has held

• Maricela Meza continues as an attorney

ident and CEO of KentuckyOne Health, a network

since April 2010. A registered nurse and the au-

focusing on family law with Karp & Weiss, where

of 20 hospitals and 13,000 employees headquar-

thor of the “Handbook of Diabetes Management,”

she has been since May 2010.

tered in Louisville, Ky. In Tucson she had been

she helped Carondelet Health Network develop

• Judy Rich continues as president and CEO

president and CEO of Carondelet Health Net-

what has become a national model for health care

of Tucson Medical Center, a position she has held

work and its four hospitals from 2007 until Oc-


since 2007.

tober 2011 when the parent company, Ascension

• Keri Silvyn in June joined with Larry Lazarus and Frank Bangs to form their own law

Health named her an executive in residence in


Washington, D.C.

• Judy Clinco has retired as president of the

firm, Lazarus, Silvyn & Bangs specializinig in zon-

• Katie Dusenberry is retired from the pub-

Care Giver Training Institute, which she founded

ing and land use. The firm has offices in both Tuc-

lic spotlight but continues as vice president and

in 2000 as the Direct CareGiver Association to

son and Phoenix. Silvyn, who has been practic-

co-owner of Horizon Moving Systems. In her ca-

train workers in adult healthcare. She continues

ing law since 1997, previously was a partner with

reer, Dusenberry had been the first woman elect-

to be an advisor to the organization, while con-

Lewis & Roca where she had been since 1999. She

ed to the Pima County Board of Supervisors.

tinuing as co-owner of Catalina In-Home Servic-

is also chair of Imagine Greater Tucson, which at

• Kim Fernández has embarked on a sec-

the end of September released its vision report

ond career as a licensed financial advisor with

• Megan Davis continues as CEO of the Da-

for Tucson’s future.

Waddell & Reed, 6245 E. Broadway, Suite 540.

vis Consulting Group, which she founded in 1995

• Laura Shaw continues as senior vice

She had been principal and senior architect with

to work with CEOs and business leaders. She was

president of marketing and communications for

ABA Architects, which closed after 20 years last

married to Steven Lightman in 2010 and now

Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities Inc.


goes by the name Mary Davis Lightman.

(TREO), a position she has held since the organization was launched in 2005. • Kimberly States continues as president

es, which she started in 1981.

• Cindy Godwin continues to be an inde-

• Jayne Henninger continues as co-owner

pendent marketer as owner of Godwin Marketing

of Remedy Intelligent Staffing, which she found-

Consulting, which she has run since 2006.

ed with her late husband in 1992.

and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of South-

• Charlotte Harris continues to be active

• Linda M. Johnson continues as a broker

ern Arizona, a position she has held since Decem-

with Rotary Club of Tucson, of which she was

with Long Realty and is the participating real es-

ber 2008.

president in 2008-2009, past chair of the Rotary

tate consultant with the Referral Tree Business

• Ellie Towne is still retired – technically she

Foundation. Among other things, she is also on

Generation Group.

did that in 1996 – but she continues as president

the advisory board for the University of Arizona’s

• Nancy McClure continues as a first vice

of the Flowing Wells Neighborhood Association

College of Education and Norton School of Fam-

president at CBRE, where she specializes in retail

and Community Coalition. Pima County’s Ellie

ily and Consumer Sciences and is chair of the

commercial real estate.

Towne/Flowing Wells Community Center, 1660

marketing committee for Salpointe Catholic High

W. Ruthrauff Road and opened in September


2007, is named in her honor.

out the Tucson region as “Mrs. Green,” who hosts

• Susie Huhn continues as executive director of Casa de los Niños crisis nursery.


• Gina Murphy-Darling, known through-

an Internet program promoting healthy, environmentally aware lifestyles at www.mrsgreen-

• Lisa Lovallo continues as vice president .

• Jessica Andrews runs her own consulting

and system manager of Cox Communications

• Mary Rowley continues as president of

firm, jandrews consulting, which focuses on orga-

Southern Arizona, a position she has held since

the public relations firm Strongpoint, which she

nizational development, fundraising and govern-


founded in 2003.

ment issues for performing arts organizations.

• Diana Madaras continues her watercolor

• Priscilla Storm continues as vice president

She was the first woman managing director of a

painting, which she sells out of her Diana Mad-

of public policy and community planning for Dia-

not-for-profit residential professional theater and

aras Gallery and also uses as a springboard for

mond Ventures, a position she has held since Oc-

had been executive director of the Arizona The-

fundraising efforts for charities.

tober 2001. She is also on the board of directors

atre Company for 15 years before stepping down in June 2009.

• Donna J. Zazworsky is vice president of Community Health and Continuum Care for Ca-

of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. CONTINUED ON PAGE 7

2012 Women Of Influence | Inside Tucson Business 5


Barbara LaWall on being honored as a Woman of Influence

Your commitment, vision, and dedication as Pima County Attorney has made our community a safer place to live and work.


6 | 2012 Women Of Influence

• Mindy Webb in June was named senior

vately held company has grown to 43 stores and

• Elizabeth Gonzalez-Gann co-owns the

vice president of operations for Grandpoint Bank,

three franchises in 16 states, with $72.9 million

Diet of Hope Institute which she and her hus-

which operates in Los Angeles and Orange Coun-

in annual revenue for 2011. In June, she was hon-

band cardiologist Dr. Dietmar Gann started in

ty in California. That bank’s parent company,

ored with a Lumie Award from the Tucson Pima

October 2010. It specializes in disease preven-

Grandpoint Capital, and a group of local investors

Arts Council for the company’s contributions to

tion through weight control. Previously she had

led by Jim Click in 2011 acquired Southern Ari-

the arts.

a business consulting firm and JanCo Janitorial

zona Community Bank, where she had been since 1998, and merged it with the Bank of Tucson.

• Vicki Chandler continues as chief program officer of science at the Gordon and Betty Moore

and was active in the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

• Jana Westerbeke continues as owner of

Foundation in San Francisco, a position she has

• Marian Lupu has retired from her position

Gadabout SalonSpas, which she took over in 2005

held since February 2009. Previously, she was

as executive director of the Pima Council on Ag-

from her mother who had started the company in

the director of the University of Arizona’s Bio5

ing, which she founded in 1967.

August 1980.


• Lea Márquez-Peterson is president and

• Alejandra Dreisbach is now a loan offi-

CEO of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Com-


cer with the nonprofit microlender Acción New

merce, a position she has held since August 2009.

• Vicki Balentine retired in June after a 40-

Mexico - Arizona - Colorado, a position she has

She also operates her own business brokerage

year career in education, the last 12 as superin-

held since July 2010. From 2002 to 2007 she was

firm,, which she started in

tendent of Amphitheater Public Schools.

vice president and CEO of TMC de Mexico, an ef-


• Kerstin Block continues as president and

fort by Tucson Medical Center to market itself in

• Dana Rambow continues as president and

co-owner of Buffalo Exchange, which she and her

northern Mexico and from 2008 to 2010 she was

CEO of AristoCare Home Healthcare Services, the

late husband Spencer founded in 1974. The pri-

a healthcare consultant.

business she founded in 1999 and now has seven CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE

2012 Women Of Influence | Inside Tucson Business 7

locations in Arizona and California. • Debbie Wagner has had a year of mixed blessings. In June, she was named one of Radio

of Quarles & Brady. In September she was named

• Pat Klein since retiring in June as director

among the Best Lawyers in America 2013 in the

of constituent services for the Town of Oro Val-

18th annual peer review selection.

ley, where she had been since February 2008, has

Ink’s Most Influential Women for 2012. In Sep-

• Marty Cortez this year is in a three-way

been volunteering in election campaigns and is

tember, she was replaced as president and mar-

election race in her bid to serve a fifth term on the

currently working on Richard Carmona’s effort to

ket manager for Clear Channel Radio in San Di-

Pima Community College Board of Governors.

be elected to the U.S. Senate. From 1985 to 2005

ego where she had gone in December 2008 after

• Anne Doris in August left her position as

spending most of her 29-year broadcasting career

chief operating office of Academic Partnerships

in Tucson.

in Dallas, where she had been since January 2011.

• Georgia Lacy continues as president and

• Eileen Whalen is executive director of the

In Tucson, from April 2003 to December 2007,

CEO of GEO Advertising, which she founded in

University of Washington’s Harborview Medical

she was vice president and system manager for

April 1981.

Center, a position she has held since July 2008.

Cox Communications’ Southern Arizona opera-

• Frances Merryman continues as vice

She and her husband still own a 13,000 acre cattle

tions before the company moved her to its Cleve-

president and senior wealth strategist at North-

ranch in Southern Arizona. From 2004 to 2008,

land operations where she was through 2010.

ern Trust.

she was district chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Jim Kolbe, who retired.

Whalen was vice president of trauma, emergency

• Dorothy Finley is retired since selling

• Laura Penny continues as executive direc-

and perioperative services at University Medical

her 60-year-old Finley Distributing Company in

tor of the Women’s Foundation of Southern Ari-

Center in Tucson.


zona, a position she has held since July 2004.

• Carlotta Flores continues as chef, owner,

• Leslie P. Tolbert is senior vice president


secretary and treasurer of El Charro Enterprises,

for research at the University of Arizona over-

• Susan Boswell continues as a managing

which was started in 1922 and is Tucson’s oldest

seeing a research portfolio of more than $600

partner and attorney, specializing in bankruptcy

continuously operated restaurant. El Charro Ca-

million as well as the UA’s graduate education

and business reorganization, in the Tucson office

fes have grown to five locations in the region.

programs, and institutional efforts in economic



Your dedication and leadership is an inspiration. Congratulations on being recognized as a Woman of Influence. Christopher, Kimberly, & your Golden Eagle Family Distributing America’s beverages throughout Arizona for over 30 years. 8 | 2012 Women Of Influence

development and technology-related business al-

co-owner of L&B Design, a management consult-

ing Alvarez and Marsal as a director and subject


ing firm she started in December 2007 after sell-

matter expert. From 1996 to 2011, she had been

ing the Explorer newspaper, which she started in

CEO of University Physicians Health Plans Inc.

• Kathy Alexander is owner of Salon de Nouveau, 2004 E. Ft. Lowell Road. From 1983 to 2006, she was Southern Arizona vice president for the University of Phoenix.


• June Webb-Vignery continues as execu-

• Elsie MacMillan continues as owner and president of Sierra Toyota Scion in Sierra Vista,

• Sally Fernandez continues to be involved

which she has owned since June 2002.

tive director of the Metropolitan Education Commission. • Laurie Wetterschneider continues as

in the software/technology industry as president

• Terri Mitchell in August was named vice

co-owner with her sister of Laurie & Lisa Designs

and CEO of Safety Dynamics, the Technology De-

president for IBM’s integration of Texas Memory

jewelry, which they started in 2003. She also

velopment and Research Institute and her own

Systems, a Houston-based developer of high-per-

continues to volunteer as a grant writer for Court

firm, the Fernandez Group.

formance flash memory solutions. She spent the

Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), which she

• Mary Kamerzell is in her 17th year as su-

previous two years similarly working on integrat-

has been doing 2007.

perintendent of Catalina Foothills School District

ing Blade Network Technologies, a developer of

No. 16, making her the second longest tenured

data center switching technology, into IBM. She


superintendent in the Tucson region.

has been based at IBM’s Raleigh-Durham, N.C.,

• Bonnie Allin is in her 12th year as presi-

• Rosey Koberlein continues as the CEO of

operations since leaving Tucson in 2009 after

dent and CEO of the Tucson Airport Authority,

the Long Companies, the first woman to run the

four years as vice president of storage systems

which operates Tucson International Airport and

company in its 80-year history.

and Arizona senior state executive for IBM.

Ryan Airfield.

• Melanie Larson is national marketing di-

• Kathy Oestreich continues as a consultant

• Jo Anne Arvizu continues as manager of

rector for the human resources consulting firm

specializing in health insurance issues running

Jorgenson/Brooks Group, a position she has held

her own firm, Oestreich Consulting and working

• Linda Arzoumanian with no opposition

since November 2010. She is also president and

with Eastwick Strategy Group and this year join-


supplier diversity at Raytheon Missile Systems.







2012 Women Of Influence | Inside Tucson Business 9

in the Nov. 6 general election looks as if she will

• Jana Kooi is president for the online cam-

• Sarah R. “Sally” Simmons is presid-

continue for another four years as Pima County

pus at Florida State College, Jacksonville, Fla., a

ing judge of the Superior Court in Pima County,

Schools Superintendent, a position she has held

position she’s had since May 2011 since retiring

a position she was named to in May 2011. From

since being appointed to it in 1999.

after eight years as president of the Northwest

2002 to 2006, she was a partner in the law firm of

Campus of Pima Community College.

Lewis and Roca. She was appointed to the bench

• Jannie Cox is retired as the CEO of the Carondelet Foundation but she remains active —

• Suzanne Lawder continues as president

in January 2006 and was presiding judge of the

literally — promoting health and fitness as a run-

and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Southern Ari-

juvenile court from January 2009 until this year.

ner owner of CS Ventures LLC, which founded

zona, the position she has held since 1987.

the weekly Meet Me at Maynards running event

• Tammy Stoltz, now Tammy Topp, is semi-

• Jan Lesher is working for Pima County as

retired and living in Punta Gorda, Fla., where she

a deputy county administrator for medical and

has been since 2006 with her husband Dan Topp,

• Mary Gruensfelder-Cox in July became

health services. She was director of former Gov.

who was executive director of the Carondelet

executive director of the Arizona Literacy and

Janet Napolitano’s Tucson office from 2003 un-

Medical Group for 10 years. She remains active in

Learning Center in Phoenix where she has been

til January 2007 when she was appointed the

children’s causes in Florida working with YMCA,

since May 2011 when she went to work as direc-

governor’s chief of staff in Phoenix and later that

Boys and Girls Clubs and others. In 2004, she

tor of corporate foundation relations for North-

year named director of the Arizona Department

was executive director of the Pima Community

ern Arizona University. From 2002 through 2006

of Commerce. In January 2009, she was named

Access Program, a nonprofit providing affordable

she was executive director of the Microbusiness

chief of staff for operations in the U.S. Depart-

access to medical services for uninsured people

Advancement Center of Southern Arizona and

ment of Homeland Security by Napolitano, who

with low incomes, and later was CEO of Chil-

from 2006 through 2009 was executive director

was appointed its secretary by President Obama.

dren’s Clinics for Rehabilitative Services before

of Youth on Their Own.

She returned to Tucson in 2010.

leaving for Florida.


10 | 2012 Women Of Influence

Karen Mlawsky, CEO

Lori Mackstaller, MD

WE’D LIKE TO CONGRATULATE ALL THE WOMEN OF INFLUENCE, INCLUDING TWO OF OUR OWN. Our CEO, Karen Mlawsky, and Dr. Lori Mackstaller have been awarded the title of “Inside Tucson Business Women of Influence.” Not only do they share their designation with other outstanding women here in Tucson, they are also our respected co-workers. We are very proud. To all the women who have been awarded this prestigious designation, we offer an exuberant “Congratulations!”

Academic Medicine Is Smart Medicine.SM

2012 Women Of Influence | Inside Tucson Business 11



INFLUENCE 2012 Carmen Bermudez

By Lisa K. Harris Inside Tucson Business armen Bermudez wants to help others ride the elevator of success. She’s not afraid of heights regardless of how scary the journey. As founder and CEO of Mission Management and Trust, the nation’s first independent trust company run by a minority woman, Bermudez manages $300 million in assets. As Honorary Consul for her native Costa Rica, she lobbies for free trade and promotes using seasonal migrant workers. As a former competitive triathlete she regularly finished in the top five of her age class. And, as a bullfighter she headlined in both Costa Rican and Mexico City bullrings. What motivates Bermudez isn’t fame or money or the number of boards she’s on. It’s reaching out. At Mission, a company she started in 1994, Bermudez developed an internship program to train students. So far, 25 students from the University of Arizona’s Eller School of Management have worked in the program and four have landed jobs with Mission. Tucson “must find a way to keep our talent and not lose students to Los Angeles, Chicago or New York,” she says. Bermudez also works with those not as fortunate as her interns. Mission’s philanthropy program reaches minorities and women, providing educational scholarships, supporting nuns who work in slums in Central America and underwriting programs which better the lives of underprivileged children. “I want to help others rise to the top of their chosen career, whether they get off at the first floor or step into the penthouse,” she says. Bermudez started her own ride in the subbasement. “I grew up in the jungle. There weren’t any roads or telephones or shoes to wear. I didn’t feel deprived because nobody had anything.” Her mother, a single parent of four, struggled to put food on the table. “But she always managed to,” Bermudez said. “My mother told me I was special and I believed her.” In Costa Rica, one way out of poverty was bullfighting. In 1950, at age seven, Bermudez decided to fight. By the time she turned 18 she was one of Costa Rica’s leading bullfighters. “I loved the thrill and danger. Once I entered the ring there was no way to go but forward.” Bermudez took that lesson to heart. The only way to succeed was to keep reaching out to others. Perhaps she should add “elevator operator” to her long list of accomplishments.



Bermudez 12 | 2012 Women Of Influence

What keeps you in Tucson? “Tucson has been my home for 18 years. Our friends are here. Tucson has a great potential for growth, yet it retains a small community feel.” If you had the power, what one thing would you most like to see happen in Tucson? “I would demand that the City Council get their act together and stop stalling the progress toward a productive downtown. We need a bigger convention center, more hotel rooms to house large groups for the gem show, rodeo and future events we could attract. We need a downtown stadium and/or arena for soccer, baseball, football, even U of A basketball. I would also like for Tucson to be foresighted and start doing more business with northern Mexico. Commerce between Arizona and the northern cities of Mexico could be a gold mine.” Outside of home or what you do, where are you most likely to be found in Tucson? “One of my great enjoyments away from home and business is to play golf. I also swim and, with my husband, attend as many U of A games as I can.”



INFLUENCE 2012 Ginny Clements

By Gillian Drummond Inside Tucson Business sk Ginny Clements for a copy of her résumé and you’d better set aside plenty of reading time. Board positions and chairmanships, past and present, run to almost seven pages, from the Arizona Cancer Center and Muscular Dystrophy Association, through the Catholic Foundation and Casa de los Ninos, to the National Beer Wholesalers Association. And then there is the plethora of awards given for her business leadership and her many contributions to charity and education. Some might say she has led something of a charmed life: a popular student, a long marriage and a successful business in beer wholesaler Golden Eagle Distributors. But there have been challenges, and tragedy. Clements is a 51-year-old breast cancer survivor, having found a lump at the age of 15. She lost her husband Bill Clements to lung cancer in 1995, thrusting her into a CEO role she was hugely unprepared for. So she decided to learn from the ground up. “Having never worked in the beer business or, for that matter, at GED (Golden Eagle Distributors), everything was a learning curve for me,” she says. She rode with the company’s drivers, shadowed salespeople, even cleaned taps. She grilled the executive team with questions, networked with other women in business and became active in the National Beer Wholesalers Association. Her children, Christopher and Kimberly, held minor positions at Golden Eagle at the time. They are now CEO and president respectively. “Sometimes I had to speak to them as their boss, which probably, at times, was hard on them because they knew me as ‘Mom,’ but we did work well together,” says Clements, now retired from the daily activities of the firm but still chairman of the board and the majority stock holder. Although she still keeps an eye on sales and expenses and voices her opinion, Clements says: “It hasn’t been hard for me to take a backseat.” Did her early bout with breast cancer teach her any lessons she has drawn on in business? “Nobody should have to go through what I experienced as a teenager. It has taught me to persevere, to be strong, to be the best I can be and to stand up for what you believe,” she says.


What keeps you in Tucson? “My children and grandchildren are here and I have a fabulous group of loving friends who reside here. My business is here as is my husband’s (Tom Rogers). And let’s not forget the beautiful mountains, wonderful sunsets and the near-perfect weather nine months of the year.” If you had the power, what one thing would you most like to see happen in Tucson? “We need to revitalize Tucson. To begin that process, I would bring together our business and city leaders to work together to stimulate job growth by creating a business-friendly environment.” Outside of home or what you do, where are you most likely to be found in Tucson? “Meeting with an array of people on the many volunteer boards and advisory boards that I serve on.”


Clements 2012 Women Of Influence | Inside Tucson Business 13



INFLUENCE 2012 Carolyn Compton

By Gillian Drummond Inside Tucson Business


sk Dr. Carolyn Compton what makes up her day, and the first word she uses is communication. If she’s not talking to staff at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or non-profits in the drug industry, she’s touching base with her own staff to figure out the next step in their five-year plan. Or she’s heading for meetings, by car to Phoenix or by airplane to Washington, D.C., and, oftentimes, Capitol Hill. “My life is about communication on all levels, to the government, to policy makers, lawmakers, other non-profits with similar goals and missions to ours.” Compton took the helm as president and CEO of Critical Path Institute (C-Path) in February after founder Dr. Raymond Woosley retired. Woosley began the non-profit in 2005 with just five employees and an idea: to develop tools and methods to help medical therapies along the “critical path” of development and to being made available to patients. Today, C-Path has a staff of 52 — physicians, scientists project managers and directors — with backgrounds in government, academia and industry. “We’re attracting more brainpower to Arizona,” says Compton, who has made it her aim to turn this well-established startup into a worldwide leader. “I believe the organization has now matured to the point where it has a distinct value proposition and set of expertise. It has earned a reputation as a trusted third party. I want to take C-Path to a whole new level,” says Compton, a graduate of Harvard, a pathologist and most recently a director at the National Cancer Institute. And although moving to Tucson has been a culture shock for this East Coaster, she says she would have moved to wherever C-Path was — that’s how excited she is about its capabilities. Next year will see “significant new activity” for C-Path, as well as new hiring, says Compton. She also wants to take the company into new disease areas. On a personal level, she wants to explore Tucson and the desert. The Desert Museum and Tucson’s opera scene are high on her visitor list.


Compton 14 | 2012 Women Of Influence

What keeps you in Tucson? “This wonderful place where I work, the wonderful people I work with, and the spectacular promise of what we can accomplish for patients.” If you had the power, what one thing would you most like to see happen in Tucson? “Non-stop flights and a high-speed rail link with Phoenix. But also what I’d like to see happen is very much underway right now, which is building this critical mass of organizations who can inter-digitate and synergize, who can accomplish something together that’s more than the sum of the parts.” Outside of home or what you do, where are you most likely to be found in Tucson? “I’ve been starting to enjoy the rich artistic community here — finding places to shop on Fourth Avenue, and the cultural offerings.”



INFLUENCE 2012 Valerie Diaz

By Kristen Lodge Inside Tucson Business alerie Diaz is the sales manager of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe’s Casino Del Sol where she works with international groups and travelers. While often traveling for work, when she is in Tucson she is building community with her passion for people and the ancestry of the region. “I have been blessed with being a conduit between the casino, the ownership (the tribe) and the community, and because of that I’ve been able serve with a unique role as a sales manager,” she said. “When there’s an opportunity for a partnership with the community I ask how we (the casino) can help you, what resources do you have that you would be willing to expose, will it help support tribal youth and elders?” Casino Del Sol is a presenting sponsor of El Tour de Tucson. The company supports the organization and has taken on the idea of when they are involved in community organizations it’s an integrated partnership. “We ask how we can best support the organization, provide resources, and now with the conference center we can. It’s very exciting to come up with concepts of creating a new event or existing event,” she said. Diaz is humbled by her nomination as a Women of Influence but it’s about the community she serves and the work is never done, she said. “I see myself as inclusive as possible. I realize that everyone is different from a cultural perspective, but we are so much more alike. I empower my children and want them to feel comfortable in their own skin in this day and age,” said Diaz. She is part of a Hispanic Women’s national board that focuses on scholarships for Hispanic women. Serving on national boards, job demands and family, Diaz fits it all in to make it work — to make a better community for everyone.


What keeps you in Tucson? “Right now I live in Chandler, but I try to be as involved in Tucson with my work at the casino and with partnerships in the community.” If you had the power, what one thing would you most like to see happen in Tucson? “I would like to work with existing organizations to create a campaign that welcomes international visitors to Tucson because we are such a warm and welcoming community. Also within that campaign, utilize it in our school system where we can use it as a tool for teaching the history; the real history of Tucson.” Outside of home or what you do, where are you most likely to be found in Tucson? “At Cup Café inside the Hotel Congress. It has a good vibe, it’s a great representation of what Tucson does so well. And Rigo’s restaurant in South Tucson. I grew up in Tucson.”



2012 Women Of Influence | Inside Tucson Business 15



INFLUENCE 2012 Colleen Edwards

By Christy Krueger Inside Tucson Business


dvocating for small businesses is a smart move when you’re involved in a small business, as Colleen Edwards is. But her support is not motivated simply by a sense of self-promotion for Tucson Appliance and Tucson Wholesale Supply. She says she does it for the social interaction, a commitment to her family and because she realizes the importance it plays in Tucson’s growth. “In supporting small business, you support our community and it allows us to support non-profits,” Edwards said. It’s no surprise then that Edwards has been actively involved with several local organizations that depend heavily on Tucson’s commercial sector, both in terms of time and money donations. “We support the Humane Society’s Puttin’ on the Dog event. It was one of my dad’s favorites,” she says. Her father was Bill Edwards, who started the company 40 years ago. He died in 2010. Tucson Appliance is a preferred purveyor of Tucson Originals, the alliance of locally owned restaurants that Edwards strongly endorses. “You’ll never find me at a national chain restaurant,” she said. Edwards spent countless hours volunteering with Tucson Medical Center Foundation. She co-chaired its 50th anniversary gala and helped with Rock ‘N Rodeo, its annual fundraiser for Peppi’s House hospice. Through these events she met Lori Banzhaf and Anne Fulton-Cavett, two women she calls her role models. Seeing them at work gave Edwards a great appreciation for the amount of effort that goes into a major fundraiser. “I’ve been privileged to meet amazing people in Tucson and be a part of great events. Figuring out how to put on events was an eye-opener. It’s easy to go to them, but the people who plan them — I have a lot of respect for them,” Edwards said. The Tucson Metro Chamber is fortunate to have Edwards on its board of directors where she serves as secretary, works on the First Impressions project to beautify the entryway into Tucson International Airport and last year helped secure the chamber’s new chief executive officer, Mike Varney. One of Edwards’ proudest moments came when her company won the 2009 Wells Fargo Copper Cactus Award for Community Service, a demonstration that others are paying attention to the business-charity connection. And she’s proud that Tucson Appliance continues to be a vital part of the community, “doing a lot to support southern Arizona and giving back as much as we can.”


Edwards 16 | 2012 Women Of Influence

What keeps you in Tucson? “The weather; I hate being cold. I have extended family and friends and hope we can make Tucson a better place to live and do business.” If you had the power, what one thing would you most like to see happen in Tucson? “Beautifying the city. I think having pride in where we live is truly important. We have such beautiful surroundings - we need to keep it going.” Outside of home or what you do, where are you most likely to be found in Tucson? “At a Tucson Originals restaurant is where you can find me.”



INFLUENCE 2012 Jacquelyn Jackson

By Lisa K. Harris Inside Tucson Business


acquelyn Jackson supports Tucson’s teachers and children. As executive director of Tucson Values Teachers, her organization’s mission is to raise awareness for teachers and the importance of their contributions to Tucson’s future. “Our teachers are undervalued. They work hard, aren’t paid enough, and often use their own money to buy school supplies,” she said. “A child’s education is only as good as the teacher standing in front of the classroom.” If Tucson is to have an educated workforce, Jackson strongly believes we must support teachers with better pay and benefits. Instead of waiting for Washington, D.C., or Phoenix to step up to the plate, Jackson works with area businesses to create community-based solutions. In the six years since she founded Tucson Values Teachers, Jackson has made progress toward her goal. In partnership with OfficeMax, Tucson Values Teachers acknowledges exceptional teachers each month with a $100 gift certificate. “The best part is giving the teacher the award during the school day. The kids are thrilled when we walk into the classroom and tell their teacher how much we think of them,” Jackson said. In a separate program, Walgreens supports Tucson Values Teacher with supplies. “Walgreens donates tissues and paper and we’ve used their support to garner matching grants to pay for other back-to-school supplies,” Jackson said. Making a difference is what motivates Jackson. She and her husband moved to Tucson nine years ago from Washington, D.C. “We visited in June, and decided to come. We had no jobs lined up but made the plunge anyway,” she said. Jackson quit her job as a media lobbyist with the belief she could be more effectual in Tucson than in Washington. Jackson’s values were further cemented Jan. 8, 2011. A one-time staff member for former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Jackson stopped by Giffords’ Congress on Your Corner event that day to say hello to friends and former co-workers and ended up witnessing the shooting that left six dead and 13 others wounded and nearly becoming a victim herself. “It was a game-changer,” she said. “The shootings had a profound effect on my focus and what I want to get done.” Making teachers feel valued is on top of her list.

What keeps you in Tucson? “I can really make a difference here in Tucson, much more so than in Washington, D.C., where my husband and I moved from.” If you had the power, what one thing would you most like to see happen in Tucson? “I would eliminate poverty in Tucson and make sure our children have the best education they can have. Our community was ranked the sixth poorest among metropolitan areas in 2011. Poverty has a huge impact on our kids.” Outside of home or what you do, where are you most likely to be found in Tucson? “Practicing yoga at Yoga Oasis or Yoga Flow or hiking along the Sabino Canyon’s Phone Line Trail or Summerhaven’s Aspen Spring Trail.”


Jackson 2012 Women Of Influence | Inside Tucson Business 17



INFLUENCE 2012 Raena Janes

By Christy Krueger Inside Tucson Business


oundless energy and a philanthropic-based upbringing helped lead Raena Janes to the position she’s in now — as owner of La Paloma Academy, where she’s making a daily impact on hundreds of students and others who surround her. “My parents instilled in me that there are a lot of needy people and you need to give back. It’s always been a part of my family structure,” said Janes. As a result, she’s teaching the same to her charter school students, who each year select local causes to become involved in “to teach the kids the importance of giving back.” Her school group includes three La Paloma Academy campuses in Tucson as well as schools in Phoenix, Williams and Douglas. She started Apex Charter Services in Tucson to manage the business aspects of the schools. Janes’ selfless philosophy doesn’t just benefit students. She’s also gives her employees opportunities for advancement and to learn different facets of school operations. “I want them to be growing, so if they have an interest in other areas of the business, I let them explore. I advocate your own personal and professional development and to continue education and other interests.” Jackie Trujillo, chief academic officer for the schools, said she’s worked with Janes for about 12 years. “She’s the type to follow a dream. She has goals for her life that are bigger than herself. Whatever she does, she knows those around her will benefit. She wants everyone around her to be more successful than she is,” Trujillo said. The most important role model in her career, Janes said, has been Dave Rhodes. As principal of Grace Chapel, where Janes got her start, Rhodes taught her lessons that will always stay with her. “He taught me what excellence looks like, so now everything has to be done the right way,” she said. Outside of her schools, Janes works with Junior League of Tucson and Angel Charity because they impact so many different organizations, especially those that support children. Her overall life goal is to instill a philanthropic mindset in today’s kids so they can have a bigger place in the community. “I can see that if kids get it like I did growing up, the impact would be unreal. It should be that this is part of the responsibility of living in the great city of Tucson,” she said.


Janes 18 | 2012 Women Of Influence

What keeps you in Tucson? “I was born here at St. Joe’s Hospital. I can’t imagine living anywhere else; it’s home. I love the people.” If you had the power, what one thing would you most like to see happen in Tucson? “A freeway across town would make my life easier.” Outside of home or what you do, where are you most likely to be found in Tucson? “Doing things with my kids – sporting events. I love Mount Lemmon. I love being outside.”



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Kathleen LaRose

By Dezirae Archuleta Inside Tucson Business


athleen “Rocky” LaRose gives new meaning to the phrase “Wildcat for life.” Since attending the University of Arizona where she earned both Bachelor of Science and Master’s degrees, LaRose has dedicated herself to all things Arizona. From leading UA softball to its first conference championship title in 1979 to becoming the first woman appointed as interim director of athletics in 2009, LaRose has made a name for herself in an otherwise male dominated field. She is currently serving her last year as Senior Associate Director of Athletics where she oversees all UA sports. “I’m a little bit ambivalent. I always thought that once you reached the level to retire that it was just ‘show me the paperwork and show me the way’, but when you’ve been so honored and blessed to be a part of something so great, it is truly hard to walk away,” said LaRose. LaRose’s hard work throughout the years has allowed her to shape her leadership style in such a way that she has become one of the most influential people to walk through the McKale Center doors. “I think leadership style evolves over your career, and as you gain experience you probably change. We’re part of an educational institution here so I try to take an educational stance and try to make the situation better here,” she said. “I have a little bit of everything in me. Sometimes I think of myself as Dr. Phil, a football coach, or sometimes even Mother Teresa. But mostly I want to work to contribute and make this the best place it can be.” Along with trying to create a better athletic department for the university, LaRose also understands the influence she has, as a woman, to other women. She has enjoyed seeing more females in the department throughout the years. “I hope I have been a role model for other women. Certainly, I’ve considered that one of my major roles, and I do my best to mentor women,” said LaRose. Although this is LaRose’s last year at the athletic department, her love of sports and the Wildcats will not be coming to an end. “I think there’s a time for everything. I am now enjoying mentoring other administrators in our department and looking forward to following their great successes in the future,” she said.

What keeps you in Tucson? “Oh, everything! The university, the people, the mountains, my family, my husband’s family, my friends. It’s the place I want to be and this is a place I’ll be forever.” If you had the power, what one thing would you most like to see happen in Tucson? “Let’s say full stadiums, how’s that? Everybody rooting for the Wildcats!” Outside of home or what you do, where are you most likely to be found in Tucson? “Sabino Canyon. I hike at least twice a week.”


LaRose 2012 Women Of Influence | Inside Tucson Business 19



INFLUENCE 2012 Barbara LaWall

By Kristen Lodge Inside Tucson Business


arbara LaWall is the top prosecuting attorney for Pima County. In 1996, she was the first woman to be elected Pima County Attorney. And LaWall is only the second elected official ever to have been honored as Woman of Influence in Tucson. LaWall has spent all but one year of her entire life in Tucson. That one year she lived in Los Angeles with her husband who was on a medical internship. Her passion: working on behalf of victims. “It keeps me motivated and keeps my energy up,” she said. “Every day I make a difference. It’s a personal expression of myself, preventing young people from getting involved in the criminal justice process. I enjoy working on truancy issues and keeping kids off the street and out of delinquency.” She is particularly proud of her office’s initiative to place a juvenile prosecutor in the schools. The program allows a court official to work with school administrators to assist students in the school environment who may be atrisk. By sharing information with school administration about students who may be victims of a crime, or a student who may be on parole, LaWall hopes this program will keep students in school and keep them out of the system. “If the student is prosecuted, or in court order back to school, the juvenile prosecutor helps by assisting the school and social services,” she explained. LaWall’s position as Pima County Attorney is up for election every four years. And this year is one of those years, however, she is running unopposed. She is chair for the Arizona Methamphetemine Task Force and an advisory board member for the Southern Arizona Children’s Advocacy Center. Her position as a county prosecutor is to protect children and creating programs to benefit them, and the residents of Pima County.


LaWall 20 | 2012 Women Of Influence

What keeps you in Tucson? “I love Tucson. I love the mountains and I love my job.” If you had the power, what one thing would you most like to see happen in Tucson? “I would eradicate crime. Imagine if all the resources we are spending on jail, criminal court, all goes to helping families, and schools. It would be used to make us a vital community. It would eradicate my job so it’s not needed. I would be the happiest person in the world. Think of what the world would be like without crime. Children could bike and play and not worry about being hurt. It would be so amazing.” Outside of home or what you do, where are you most likely to be found in Tucson? “The Loft. I love movies and going to the movies.”



INFLUENCE 2012 Lori Mackstaller

By Christy Krueger Inside Tucson Business


t an age when many people would be settled in their career path, Lori Mackstaller entered University of Arizona medical school. She was 47. “I always wanted to be a doctor,” said Mackstaller, who was raised on a homestead in Alaska and attended nursing school there. She moved to Tucson and became affiliated with the UA Medical Center section of cardiology as a nurse in the 1970s. After her kids graduated from high school, she pursued the opportunity to become a physician. Dr. Gordon Ewy, director of UA’s Sarver Heart Center, has always been a big supporter of Mackstaller, who is now an internist in the section of cardiology at Sarver. She specializes in women’s cardiovascular health. Mackstaller also points to arts advocate Shirley Chann as a role model. “She guides me in my charitable donations,” which have been generous and widespread, primarily in the areas of health and the arts. Twice a month, Mackstaller appears on KVOA 4’s weekday 4 p.m. newscast in a segment called “Living Younger Longer” talking about general medical issues. She holds an endowed lectureship with the UA that allows her to go into the community to speak about health and preventive measures. “I’m proud that I’m respected enough that people listen,” she said. Shortly after the tragic shootings of Jan. 8, 2011, Mackstaller co-founded the Friends of University of Arizona Trauma Center, raising money for the only Level 1 trauma center in Southern Arizona. On the arts side, she is a counsel member of Arizona Theatre Company and loves to attend events through UA’s College of Fine Arts and UApresents, sometimes underwriting performances. “I believe that the arts is how we transmit our history; we must support the creativeness of our students. We need more arts in the community,” she said. Angel Charity is another group Mackstaller supports, and she is an American Heart Association Go Red for Women member. “I strongly believe if you live in a community, you should support it – it’s my personal philosophy,” said Mackstaller. She attributes her drive, motivation and success to her upbringing in Alaska. “I was raised in a log cabin with no indoor plumbing. We were taught to be independent and to believe in ourselves. My parents said you can do anything as long as you work hard for it. It was this belief that I have to earn it that has pushed me to work hard,” she said.

What keeps you in Tucson? “The community, my friends, I love my job and the freedom to interact with the public and changing the health of citizens.” If you had the power, what one thing would you most like to see happen in Tucson? “I’d like to see the women of Tucson be empowered to make healthy decisions about their lives. As a result, it would also change the health of children, and the whole community becomes healthier.” Outside of home or what you do, where are you most likely to be found in Tucson? “It would be socializing with friends at restaurants and doing spin class on weekends – every Saturday and Sunday.”


Mackstaller 2012 Women Of Influence | Inside Tucson Business 21



INFLUENCE 2012 Jeanette Maré

By Dezirae Archuleta Inside Tucson Business


eanette Maré, founder of the Ben’s Bell’s project, has been doing her part to try to keep Tucson kind since 2003 and does not plan to stop. With Ben’s Bells already widely recognized throughout Tucson, the non-profit community art project can only get bigger. “The headquarters will be here in Tucson. We will have chapters around the country and this network of kindness spreading groups that will help make this message national and international, but it will always have this grassroots feel to it. We want to keep the integrity of the project as we grow,” she says. Making the decision to hang Ben’s Bells consistently throughout the year starting in August was a big step, along with the many other kindness programs Maré has developed. However, Maré does not attribute the success of her decisions to her hard work alone, but to the community that has made it all possible. “I very much believe that this thing that I’m doing has its own flow and energy and I don’t have to coerce or force anything on anybody. People are drawn to this on their own by being inspired by it. That makes my job as a leader to keep the people inspired.” Although Maré is in the business of kindness, it’s still a business. She works hard to lead her business from among the people and is committed to taking Ben’s Bells and the message of kindness to the next level without pushing too hard. “This sort of thing cannot be rushed, and the people have to really want it. In our case they responded way bigger than we imagined. It’s been us responding to the demand, and not us creating the demand.” Maré’s efforts to heal herself from tragedy in her own life have helped Tucson heal from its own tragedy in 2011. The nation has taken notice of Maré and her plan to change the world, and the people’s demand to get involved is growing. “I never could have fathomed that this little effort that we started as a way to remember our son and a way to show gratitude could turn into something like this. To be honored in a business magazine and people respond to it is amazing to me. Creating this thing that is so meaningful to me and to the community is definitely what I’m most proud of,” said Maré.


Maré 22 | 2012 Women Of Influence

What keeps you in Tucson? “The people keep me in Tucson. There is an energy here that is really special and things happen here because of it. There’s so much good here and so many good things here. There’s a lot of bottom-up stuff here.” If you had the power, what one thing would you most like to see happen in Tucson? “I would want everybody to be kind to each other! For everybody to realize the power in kindness and that it’s not a weakness and that kindness is an incredible strength characteristic. It doesn’t mean getting walked over but being really thoughtful about how we treat each other.” Outside of home or what you do, where are you most likely to be found in Tucson? “Downtown, Meet Me at Maynards, swimming, running, riding my bike, or doing yoga.”



INFLUENCE 2012 Kelle Maslyn

By Kristen Lodge Inside Tucson Business elle Maslyn is corporate affairs manager for Comcast in Tucson. She won the Governor’s Volunteer Service Award for a Comcast Cares Day project with Rebuilding Together Tucson. Comcast employees refurbished 12 homes in Barrio Hollywood west of Interstate 10 between Speedway and St. Mary’s Road. “There is one day every year - Comcast Cares Day - where I leverage the resources of the employees at Comcast and the community to help a nonprofit in a significant way,” she said. Other community action initiatives where Maslyn uses her community building skills is working with citizens on accountability issues in transportation. The secret to building community in Tucson? “Getting people with a singular vision together,” she said. “Everyone wants transportation to improve. Knowing that baseline, it’s easier to get everyone to work together to what it could be.” Part of her success has been to allow committees to think big and see what their vision is. Another area of her life where she has recently needed “to think big” is her personal evolution in the sport of running. “I love to eat. I ran a few days a week and enjoyed getting outside instead of going to a gym. A confluence of events happened when I got a running magazine and learned about Team In Training. The organization trains people to run endurance events and supports you. Later, I got a brochure in the mail about the local Team In Training and how they help fight leukemia and lymphoma. It was one greatest experiences in my life.” Maslyn and her teammates raised $6,000 for research on her fist Half Marathon, which she ran the day before she turned 45. Her next Half Marathon with Team in Training is Jan. 27 in San Antonio. And another Half Marathon at the popular Oro Valley Distance Classic.


What keeps you in Tucson? “I love the community. I’ve lived all over and I’m originally from western New York State. It wasn’t until I moved to Tucson that it felt like home. I have friends, here people are great, the restaurant scene is great. Tucson feels like home.” If you had the power, what one thing would you most like to see happen in Tucson? “I would make the Food Bank have so much money they could feed all the people who need it with healthy food. I would like the power to instill more nutritional wisdom to people. I would love to have a giant community garden where we learn to grow food from seed to table, and how to prepare it. I could see this happening here in Tucson – there is a local-food passion and a sense of community. We all want to make the community better.” Outside of home or what you do, where are you most likely to be found in Tucson? “At a locally owned restaurant. Most people who know me, know I like to eat out. I am a fan and proponent of locally owned business, and I like to try new places. Jax Kitchen is a favorite and the food is consistently amazing. I have high expectations, and service is wonderful.”


Maslyn 2012 Women Of Influence | Inside Tucson Business 23



INFLUENCE 2012 Jane McCollum

By Lisa K. Harris Inside Tucson Business


ane McCollum is passionate about creating community, both in a physical sense of building places where people gather and in enriching their lives. “I wear two hats,” she said. As general manager of the Marshall Foundation, McCollum manages the foundation’s commercial real estate holdings, leasing, making tenant improvements, marketing property, and creating adaptive re-use plans. Her second responsibility is overseeing the foundation’s charitable donations. Begun in 1930 by Louise Marshall to support education, the Marshall Foundation was the first non-profit foundation in Arizona. Today, nearly half of its annual giving is to the University of Arizona for student scholarships. The rest goes to fund youth-oriented educational programs for Pima County’s underprivileged children. To date, the Marshall Foundation has donated $16 million to the UA and more than 250 local non-profits. “Our goal is to reduce the cycle of poverty,” McCollum said. Because of the foundation’s support, “Many young people living in Pima County experience the symphony, theater, opera, and ballet that otherwise would not.” The Marshall Foundation is an asset-based foundation generating funds from real estate, primarily Main Gate Square, the lively commercial area with restaurants and retail stores along University Boulevard west of the UA campus. Joining the foundation in 2003, McCollum became its first general manager with a background in commercial property management. At the time, Main Gate Square was just an idea on paper. Working with the university and the City of Tucson, she transformed a hodge-podge of buildings and vacant land into what is now a cohesive shopping and eating district enjoyed by both university students and the community alike. McCollum continues Louise Marshall’s legacy. Marshall, the UA’s first female faculty member, began buying and managing property near the campus in 1901, ultimately owning the majority of land on both sides of University Boulevard between Park and Euclid avenues, and the land on which the Marriott University Park Hotel now stands. Marshall built what in retrospect was Tucson’s first strip mall and used the rental income to create a scholarship program. Nearly 90 years later, McCollum, a former teacher herself, has re-developed the area, investing in both the neighborhood and Tucson’s future by way of educational scholarships and supporting youth-oriented programs. McCollum has created a sense of place for students as well as helped them realize their dreams of higher education.


McCollum 24 | 2012 Women Of Influence

What keeps you in Tucson? “I have the perfect job in the perfect city. Tucson has amazing culture with its ballet, theater, opera, and symphony. I love working with students and living in a college town where everybody knows everybody else. When I was a child my family vacationed in Arizona, and living in Tucson makes me feel like I’m on vacation every day.” If you had the power, what one thing would you most like to see happen in Tucson? “I’d snap my fingers and have downtown development done. We should stop talking about our city in negative ways; it makes us carry our baggage for longer than we need to, and prevents us from moving forward.” Outside of home or what you do, where are you most likely to be found in Tucson? “I love being around people and eating, preferably both at the same time. I’ll be at Main Gate Square, eating at Pasco Kitchen or Wilco. Or I’ll be walking my dog near the university.”



INFLUENCE 2012 Linda McNulty

By Kristen Lodge Inside Tucson Business


inda McNulty is a partner with the law firm of Lewis & Roca. In February 2011, she was appointed to the five-member Independent Redistricting Commission, which was responsible for establishing Arizona’s Congressional and Legislative Districts for the next decade as a result of the 2010 Census. Despite being a volunteer position, the job took over her life and “really turned into a full time job.” With more than 100 hearings all over the state, reading pages of transcripts, she wanted to serve because “we live in a democracy where we can vote and speak. We all should participate,” she said. “We had a fabulous staff and great legal advisors who were very focused on the task at hand,” she said. What she got from the experience: “I met wonderful committed people. For every angry self-important person I met, I met a committed person participating in the exercise of democracy.” McNulty also serves as chair of the Pima County Sports and Tourism Authority, whose mission is to expand opportunities for professional and amateur sports in Pima County. “(The authority) was created by Pima County for two purposes,” she said. “To hold on to major league training and to strengthen youth and amateur sports in Tucson. We weren’t able to keep the spring training team, so we are focused now on a county-wide assessment of what people want and what we need here.” By statute, in 2014 voters will choose whether to enact a small revenue measure to raise money, she said. McNulty believes this measure will help create economic development, and continue the success of popular soccer events that brought stars like David Beckham to Tucson last spring. These events stimulated the local economy. “Plus, we’re good at putting on these events,” she said. An area within the organization she is hoping to improve is the opportunities to bring professional cycling to Tucson. While the improvement is for the racers, later, it’s an added bonus for recreation bikers with better roads and amenities, she said. The ultimate goal is to find answers to questions that improve the economic diversity of Tucson and to build on events so they not only bring in dollars to businesses, but improve the recreational opportunities for residents.

What keeps you in Tucson? “The same thing that brought me here: the beauty and natural environment, the openness and friendly people, and interesting culture.” If you had the power, what one thing would you most like to see happen in Tucson? “To have an economy as diverse as the people and natural resources. That we would take advantage of the University of Arizona, the medical centers, sports, and our natural resources.” Outside of home or what you do, where are you most likely to be found in Tucson? “Outside somewhere, especially where there is water, hiking and nature. I like to go to places like Mount Lemmon, to the Santa Cruz River area. Any place where you find nature – it’s the desert at its best.”


McNulty 2012 Women Of Influence | Inside Tucson Business 25



INFLUENCE 2012 Karen Mlawsky

By Gillian Drummond Inside Tucson Business


aren Mlawsky learned a valuable lesson the couple of times she stepped away from healthcare operations and into consultancy roles: she missed a hospital’s patients and its staff. “That connection is what drives me. If I don’t have those personal interactions I lose my mojo,” says Mlawsky, who makes talking to people, particularly patients, an important part of her day. To say Mlawsky has had a busy couple of years would be an understatement. With a background in finance and management information systems, she took over as CEO of University Medical Center in 2010, and CEO of the Hospital division of the University of Arizona Health Network last year. The new network saw the merging of University Medical Center and University Physicians Healthcare, and with it the creation of new GI labs, a Level III Trauma Center, and a Behavioral Health Pavilion. Added to all of that there were the Jan. 8, 2011, shootings that thrust the UA Medical Center into the spotlight. Mlawsky is currently serving as interim CEO of the entire University of Arizona Health Network while the search is on for a permanent CEO. Did wearing two CEO hats take some persuasion? “There was no arm-twisting. When you have a series of interims like we had it creates a level of anxiety (among staff),” she says candidly. Mlawsky had spent a decade in Tucson during and after college, returning in 2006 after 15 years in Ohio, latterly as executive director of the Ohio State University Hospital East. Her predecessor there, Larry Anstine, remains an important influence in her career. “He always took the time to stop, to say hello. He never gave the impression that he had someplace else to go,” she said. Her other mentor is her father, William Felix, a former teacher who taught her “ethics, knowing what’s right and wrong”. Fairness is a key element in Mlawsky’s management style. When she talks about the Jan. 8 shootings when six people were killed and 13 others, including then U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, were injured, her pride lies not just in how well patients were cared for, but the way other individuals were treated. “We treated the media like they were patients’ families. We made sure everybody was comfortable. We respected everybody’s privacy,” she said.


Mlawsky 26 | 2012 Women Of Influence

What keeps you in Tucson? “It’s a place where my husband and I have achieved a balance in our life. We both just worked and worked in Ohio. And we’re closer to family here.” If you had the power, what one thing would you most like to see happen in Tucson? “A bit more economic stability. Tucson to me has always been a bit on the verge of taking that one more step and not quite gotten there. Now there’s the biotech industry, what TREO is doing, attempts to bring manufacturing here. It’s an exciting time.” Outside of home or what you do, where are you most likely to be found in Tucson? “On a trail or riding my mountain bike. I ride between 25 and 30 miles a week. My husband cycles 250!”



INFLUENCE 2012 Cindy Parseghian

By Lisa K. Harris Inside Tucson Business


t make take a village to raise a child, but Cindy Parseghian is the one to call upon to help save a child. Parseghian started the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation for Niemann-Pick Disease Type C and related neurodegenerative metabolic disorders two months after three of her four children were diagnosed with the fatal disease. “Our family was able to act quickly in establishing the foundation,” she said. Parseghian brought her business skills, husband Michael, a physician, developed a scientific advisory board, and father-in-law, Ara Parseghian, the former University of Notre Dame football coach, called upon his network of supporters. Niemann-Pick Type C effects how cholesterol is metabolized and early detection is key to slowing neurological degeneration. Parseghian’s children, Michael, Marcia, and Christa, were diagnosed in 1994. At the time, doctors and researchers knew little about the disease and offered few treatment options. Originally established to help her children, Parseghian quickly widened the foundation’s viewpoint once she met other children who afflicted with the disease. Scientists on multiple continents now focus on Niemann-Pick Type C and the foundation is viewed as a model of how to foster research on rare diseases. The foundation has raised $40 million and funded 70 different organizations for medical research and therapeutic treatment. “So many people have helped us,” Parseghian said. The foundation is a vehicle for people to pitch in, both financially and by giving freely of their time. “We have volunteers that have been with us from the beginning,” she said. Thanks to Parseghian’s boundless energy and focus, as well as the generosity of others, the foundation has made significant progress toward understanding the disease. Researchers have identified the genetic sequence that causes Niemann-Pick Type C and therapeutic drugs that slow the disease’s progression are being tested. While a cure is not on the immediate horizon, a test to screen newborns is, so children may undergo treatment as soon as possible. Before they died, Michael, Marcia, and Christa taught Parseghian to take each day one at a time, and to do something that matters, regardless of how small or seemingly inconsequential. “Even if it’s a smile at the grocery checker, because you have no idea what that person’s day might be like.” Parseghian acts on the lesson. “My kids lived in the moment and made something of each of their days.”

What keeps you in Tucson? “My home will always be in Tucson. I have such wonderful memories of my children in our home. I have been blessed by the help of so many people in Tucson. The close-knit community is what I love most.” If you had the power, what one thing would you most like to see happen in Tucson? “I’d like to see us give our children a well-rounded, high-quality education. If we want our community to have a high standard of living, then we must give our children the best education possible.” Outside of home or what you do, where are you most likely to be found in Tucson? “I’m one of two places: oil painting or playing golf, usually at La Paloma.”


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INFLUENCE 2012 Jane Poynter

By Kristen Lodge Inside Tucson Business


ane Poynter first visited Tucson in 1984 for a conference and made it her home three years later. She’s best known for the two years she spent inside Biosphere 2, and the book she wrote about the experiment titled “The Human Experiment: Two Years and Twenty Minutes Inside Biosphere 2.” But she is also an advocate for science and sustainability and shares her love of science with middle school students in Tucson. The Biosphere 2 project and all that was learned there carries into her work today as co-founder and president of Paragon Space Development Corporation, a company that provides environmental controls for extreme and hazardous environments. “We are part of the earth, and we need to take responsibility for our actions,” Poynter said. She serves on the City of Tucson Climate Change Advisory Committee. “We put together recommendations for the city to adopt. There are a number of ways the city, businesses, and governments can reduced CO2 carbon emissions. Simple things like promoting bike routes,” she said. Poynter also serves as president of the Blue Marble Institute, a program devoted to science and sustainability education. “It’s about breaking down barriers for kids in science. Science is embedded in our lives, any time you use critical thinking. Science is not about lab coats. We work in middle schools and engage the students in topics that will interest them,” she said. The goal is to show students what science can mean and apply hands-on projects with Tucson businesses. “One student group measured electrical use of appliances and created a plan to qualify energy used and a plan to reduce use 10 percent the rest of school year,” said Poynter. These student projects make science relevant. And Poynter, who is passionate about sharing science lessons in her community, makes science relevant every day in her work. “I get to work with some of the coolest people, like aerospace engineers who work with space ships. How can you not get excited about going to work, and thinking about all the crazy things we are going to design today?”


Poynter 28 | 2012 Women Of Influence

What keeps you in Tucson? “Downtown, there are such fabulous businesses.” If you had the power, what one thing would you most like to see happen in Tucson? “Tucson is the best kept secret. Some of the friendliest and diverse people live here. The science community is amazing; the University of Arizona has sent more missions to Mars. Tucson has the most innovative companies, a stunning dramatic town. Tucson is becoming a miniature version of Austin with its science and arts community.” Outside of home or what you do, where are you most likely to be found in Tucson? “I would like to see Tucson become a model of education in the world by investing in the people who are teaching our future leaders. These kids are the future leaders of our city. It can be done, there are tough, complex issue but great innovative things are happening here.”



INFLUENCE 2012 Barbi Reuter

By Lisa K. Harris Inside Tucson Business


arbi Reuter’s metaphorical cup is always half full, never half empty. She’s passionate about helping other women and girls achieve that same attitude. As a principal of Cushman & Wakefield|Picor Commercial Real Estate Services, Reuter is in charge of internal leadership development as well as business development. She has served as a “rock” for many during the weak real estate market, encouraging them to do their best. “I believe in making the most of a situation,” she said. Reuter is an expert at making the most of less-than-ideal circumstances. The middle child of three girls, she financially pitched in to help support her mother and sisters after her parents divorced when she was 12 years old. “I was the one that negotiated a car loan, child support, and helped make money for my sisters and Mom,” she said. To survive, Reuter’s family went without heat in the winter and depended on her grandparents’ vegetable garden for food. “I suppose if you have to go without heat Tucson is the place to live, but it’s certainly not something I would want my kids to live through,” she says. Understanding what living on the edge is like motivates her to stay positive and help others. “I don’t want to ever be poor again,” she said. Reuter is active in Picor Charitable Foundation which funds programs serving underprivileged children. Since 1994, the foundation has given more than half a million dollars to Tucson organizations. The sole fundraising event is a pancake breakfast held at Reid Park. On Oct. 14, Reuter along with fellow Picor employees flipped flapjacks toward their $48,000 goal. Connecting to the community is important to Reuter. She encourages Picor to be involved with local organizations. “I tell my staff that when they take on charitable projects they should plan on being leaders,” she said. The company supports volunteerism by granting time off and offering administrative support to organizations with staff involvement. Reuter walks her talk. “I have a passion for seeing women in my industry advance and to help young girls grow their leadership potential,” she said. To that end, she’s active in Tucson Girls Chorus and Tucson Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW).

What keeps you in Tucson? “On the whole, there is no better place to live. I love the heat and the absence of natural disasters. Tucson has been my home since 1978: Family, community, connections, climate are all factors grounding us here.” If you had the power, what one thing would you most like to see happen in Tucson? “Improve the business climate to attract and grow more quality employers to retain our local talent.” Outside of home or what you do, where are you most likely to be found in Tucson? “Running on the northeast side or at one of many baseball fields and parks cheering my children on.”


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INFLUENCE 2012 Neelam Sethi

By Christy Krueger Inside Tucson Business


ver since she was a youngster growing up in her native India, Neelam Sethi has been an optimistic person. She credits this character trait to her parents, who were positive influences throughout her childhood and beyond. “They instilled in me to be the best I can be, to look at the good in everything. There are two sides of the coin — it’s up to you what you focus on,” she said. Her positive outlook and instinct for giving 100 percent to everything she tackles play significant roles in the impact Sethi makes to this community; that and her love of old things, specifically historic buildings. Sethi is Tucson’s queen of Bollywood and historic preservation. When the Fox Theatre was undergoing renovations in 2005, she felt a strong attraction to the project and jumped in to help, also becoming a member of its board of directors. She then started the tradition of Bollywood at the Fox, a celebration of Indian culture, which raised funds for the historic theater. This was the perfect way for her to express her love for the Fox and share with others the food, music and film of her home country. Proceeds also went to support a spinoff of the event called BollyKids Presents F.A.M.E.: Family Arts and Music Experience. Health is another passion of Sethi’s, as reflected in her work with Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine and with the American Heart Association, where she’s a Go Red for Women ambassador. Sethi is an Angel Charity donor and a member of the India Society of Southern Arizona. No matter what cause she’s working toward, Sethi finds a wonderful satisfaction in helping others. “I’ve learned it gives so much pleasure to give back to the community where you live. And when you give back, you feel more a part of it. It’s made me realize my own potential and the happiness it gives others.” Being somewhat modest about her work, Sethi is quick to give credit to others who help pull off her substantial projects, especially the signature Bollywood celebrations. Included in that group is her husband, Dr. Gulshan Sethi, a cardiologist at University of Arizona Medical Center. “My friends are such giving women who have achieved so much; they’re an inspiration for me. With my husband, we are a great team. We complement each other.”


Sethi 30 | 2012 Women Of Influence

What keeps you in Tucson? “I love everything about Tucson. I feel grounded; there’s something in the light that’s unbelievable, and I get such a spiritual feeling from the mountains. I love seeing how our downtown is being preserved and restored. I am in awe of the quality and workmanship that was present hundreds of years ago.” If you had the power, what one thing would you most like to see happen in Tucson? “I would love to see that all children are happy, healthy and educated because they are our future. What happens with them determines the future of Tucson.” Outside of home or what you do, where are you most likely to be found in Tucson? “I love going places with my friends – for a cup of coffee, lunch, to a movie or a picnic or doing something with them in the community. My circle of friends is comforting to me. And being with my grandkids.”



INFLUENCE 2012 Amber Smith

By Kristen Lodge Inside Tucson Business


ince becoming executive director of the Metropolitan Pima Alliance (MPA) in December 2009, Amber Smith has been able to grow the organization exponentially and says the secret to her success is her ability to identify rational people who want to make a change and bring them together. “There are people out there who want to make a positive change, and believe in consensus building,” Smith says, adding her job is to help them find a common ground in compromise and balance. By blending the private and public sector, she says they they can pave a way for each to be successful. MPA is dedicated to advocating for responsible development in the Tucson region. Part of its mission is to further the interests of real estate and the development industry through education, public policy advocacy and networking. Smith has been involved in politics going back to when she was on the student council in high school. She interned for U.S. Sen. John McCain. She earned a Master’s degree in Public Administration. She has represented clients in both the public and sector. When the recession hit, Smith went to work for MPA as its public relations director and worked to increase member benefits and add events. “In these economic times, it is extremely challenging for everyone to succeed. MPA has grown during this time. Tucson is a great example of working together to be more business-friendly; and the attitude is changing,” Smith said. What motivates Smith to keep moving forward in a environment of confrontation and compromise? “The successes that we have had affected change, and it’s been positive,” she said. “We are making a difference here.”

What keeps you in Tucson? “My husband is a Tucson firefighter.” If you had the power, what one thing would you most like to see happen in Tucson? “We are divided politically, and there are so many business organizations that make the community fragmented, which divides our voice. There are so many chambers and land use organizations that could come under one umbrella to make the business community stronger.” Outside of home or what you do, where are you most likely to be found in Tucson? “I love living in Tucson. I take advantage of the outdoor lifestyle. I have a great husband who is supportive and his job allows us to have flexibility, but it’s a constant balancing act.”


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