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BizLETTER Champions of Transformation

4 BizTucson

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Fall 2012

Volume 4 No. 3

Publisher & Owner

Steven E. Rosenberg Brent G. Mathis

Creative Director Photo: Steven Meckler

This issue of BizTucson highlights how some of Tucson’s truly transformative leaders are impacting our region and, in some cases, our world. Take Ventana Medical Systems, the focus of our 60-page special section. Celebrating its first 25 years of innovation, Ventana – inspired by founder Dr. Thomas Grogan – changed how cancer is diagnosed and ultimately treated. Ventana is providing hope and a pathway to the most effective treatment possible for people with cancer throughout the world. The potential for growth seems limitless. As Dr. Ray Woosley, president emeritus at Critical Path Institute, sees it, Ventana could be the next Raytheon. Speaking of Raytheon, there’s a new annual award inspired by last year’s 60th anniversary salute to Tucson’s largest global powerhouse. The Raytheon Spirit of Education Award, presented at a benefit for Tucson Values Teachers, will salute Jim Click as its first-ever individual honoree. His visionary leadership and philanthropic support of institutions, including San Miguel High School, Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson, Linkages, Reid Park Zoo, Tucson Values Teachers and the University of Arizona, helped transform our community. Legendary community icon Roy Drachman once called Jim Click “the most valuable individual addition to Tucson in 75 years.” The business community will honor Click, our generation’s community icon, on Dec. 12 at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort. Shaping a community takes vision and lots of hard work, and for the past 30 years, Angel Charity for Children has helped transform the lives of children through both. Angel Charity was founded in memory of 9-year-old Michael Thomas. After Michael’s tragic death from cancer, his mother, Louise Thomas, invited Jane Loew Sharples to help her form the organization with the goal of aiding children in Pima County. Drive along any major thoroughfare and you’ll see bricks-and-mortar evidence of Angel Charity’s impact. From the Ronald McDonald House in 1983 to numerous child-based organizations since then, these angels on earth are responsible for funding capital campaigns and major gifts that support children.

And then there’s El Tour de Tucson, the cycling event that put Tucson on the global map 30 years ago. Richard DeBernardis had a vision of roadways around the 108-mile perimeter of our valley filled with cyclists from all over the world. He succeeded beyond his wildest dreams. The race has been a major catalyst for tourism and funded local nonprofits to the tune of $26 million. Thanks to DeBernardis, Pima County, Metropolitan Tucson Convention & Visitors Bureau and corporate sponsors – including University of Arizona Medical Center and Casino del Sol – El Tour is thriving. We also report on the impact of two motivated leaders relatively new to Tucson. Tony Penn, president and CEO of United Way, reenergized that organization over the past two years, engaging the business community and increasing donations. And Tucson Metro Chamber President & CEO Mike Varney, who arrived a year ago, is spearheading exciting new pro-business initiatives. Outgoing chair Wendell Long has provided exceptional leadership, along with a “dream team” board of business leaders. New chairman Bruce Dusenberry has hit the ground running. On the economic development front, Accelr8, with roots in bioscience and diagnostics, will move its medical technology firm to Tucson. Kudos to Joe Snell and the team at Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities, plus Pima County for its commitment to build out the wet labs needed. Welcome Accelr8. Finally, our community lost a pillar of the community in Bill Valenzuela. A true inspiration, this quiet and humble servant, great family man and successful self-made business leader will be sorely missed. Steven E. Rosenberg Publisher & Owner, BizTucson

Biz

Contributing Editors

Gabrielle Fimbres Donna Kreutz

Contributing Technology Director

Mike Serres

Contributing Cuisine Writer Edie Jarolim Contributing Event Coordinator

Yvette Critchfield

Contributing Writers

Sarah Burton

Larry Copenhaver Mary Minor Davis Pamela Doherty Gabrielle Fimbres Edie Jarolim Sheryl Kornman Donna Kreutz Christy Krueger Ethan Orr David B. Pittman Anna Rasmussen Steve Rivera Dan Sorenson Monica Surfaro Spigelman Eric Swedlund Valerie Vinyard Teya Vitu Romi Carrell Wittman

Contributing Photographers Carter Allen

Jackie Alpers Kris Hanning Steven Meckler Chris Mooney Howard Paley Balfour Walker

Member:

Metropolitan Tucson Convention & Visitors Bureau Tucson Advertising Federation Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Tucson Metro Chamber Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities (TREO)

BizTucson Phone: 520.299.1005 Subscription Information:

www.BizTucson.com subscriptions@BizTucson.com Advertising information:

Steve Rosenberg 520.299.1005 or 520.907-1012 steve@BizTucson.com BizTucson is published quarterly by Rosenberg Media, LLC. ,Tucson, AZ © 2012 All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Opinions expressed in columns or articles do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher.

POSTMASTER:

Please send address changes to: BizTucson, 4729 East Sunrise Drive, #505 Tucson, AZ 85718.


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BizCONTENTS

FALL 2012 VOLUME 4 NO. 3

DEPARTMENTS

48 150

4 28 36 40 46 48 52 54 58 62 68 71 72 136

BizLETTER From the Publisher BizSPORTS El Tour de Tucson Turns 30 BizRETAIL The Dream of an Artist BizSPORTS Rich Rod Storms the Desert BizSALES Guru Jeffrey Gitomer BizMEDIA Savannah Guthrie’s Meteoric Career BizPLANETARY Out of Curiosity: UA Explores Mars – Again BizLEGEND Jim Click Honored as Pillar of Support BizBENEFIT Raytheon Spirit of Education Award BizMILESTONE Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Turns 60 BizTOURISM Time Stands Still at Miraval Q & A with Steve Case BizLOCAL Power the Economy: Shop Local BizBIOSCIENCE Industry is Growing Strong

138 Accelr8 BizCOMMERCIAL 140 Always Innovative 142 144

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From Swim Coach to High-Tech Broker BizINTERNATIONAL Cross-Border Collaborations

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BizHONORS Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Noche de Exitos Gala & Bi-National Awards BizLEADERSHIP Recharging United Way BizMILESTONE 30 Years of Miracles: Angel Charity BizTREND Localism Thrives BizCHARITY Patriot Day Golf Honors Military BizRETAIL House ‘N Garden’s Playful Atmosphere BizAEROSPACE Marana Aerospace Solutions BizMEDICINE Oro Valley Hospital’s Robotic Knee Surgery BizEDUCATION Small School with a Big Heart BizARTS Making Music BizLEADERSHIP Tucson Metro Chamber Tackles Five Priorities First Impressions Project BizENTREPRENEUR Startup Tucson BizEDUCATION Corporate Tuition Tax Credit BizCHARITY Musical Marathon for Open Inn BizTRIBUTE Bill Valenzuela BizCUISINE Tucson Culinary Festival

BizSPECIAL REPORT CONQUERING CANCER: 84 86 90 94 100 102

Ventana Medical Systems’ First 25 Years of Innovation Timeline of Milestones Q & A with Mara Aspinall, President Renaissance Man: Dr. Thomas Grogan Chief Medical Officer: Dr. Eric Walk Economic Impact

108 110

The New Frontier: Companion Diagnostics Digital Pathology: Quicker & More Accurate

ABOUT THE COVER

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147 150 152 162 164 166 168 170 172 174 176 180 184 186 190 192 194 112 114 116 118 122 126 128 130 132

Scientist Helped Develop His Own Cure Biopsy 101: Diagnosis to Treatment Commitment to Sustainability Where Innovation Lives Recruiting the Best & Brightest Community Involvement is Essential Inspiring Young Minds Artistic Creation, Scientific Innovation Faces of Ventana Medical Systems

Ventana Medical Systems’ Founder Dr. Thomas Grogan – The colorful background on the cover is the PAS stain from Ventana Medical Systems. The stain demonstrates stored sugars and fatty substances in tissue and certain cancers. Fatty substances are magenta, cell nucleus is purple and cell cytoplasm is violet. Cover by Design Guru Brent Mathis, BizTucson’s Creative Director; Photo of Dr. Grogan by BalfourWalker.com


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BizSPORTS

El Tour de Tucson Turns 30

PHOTOS: CHRIS MOONEY

Raised $32 Million for Charity

www.BizTucson.com

Richard DeBernardis remembers the day as though it was yesterday. It was early July 1983 and he was riding around the perimeter of Tucson with a young rider and looked at Tucson’s landscape, took a breath, and decided it was time for him to step up and put on a 100-mile plus bike race. He was an energetic 38 year old, riding with a then 19 year old taking in the perimeter of Tucson. He looked and saw the majestic views of the Catalina, Santa Rita and Rincon mountains. It was there the El Tour de Tucson was born. Not conceptually, but in DeBernardis’ head he had a vision of what he wanted. “I was thinking someday there would be thousands and thousands of people that will ride this event,” he recalled. “Look how beautiful Tucson is. And this is the summer time. Imagine if we did this in the winter time. We’d have people coming from all over the world.” Ta da! El Tour – as it’s simply known in these parts – has become international. It’s been that way for some as it celebrates its 30th ride in November. DeBernardis expects a record number of participants on Nov. 17, surpassing the event’s 25-year anniversary when 9,122 riders participated. DeBernadis said a “magical number” of nearly 10,000 riders could take part. “El Tour has become a landmark event in Tucson, and through it all, it’s been a great ride,” said Dr. Charles Gannon, a board member for Perimeter Bicycling Association of America.

A great ride indeed. El Tour attracts all kinds – from seasoned veterans to novice riders to all economic statuses and cultures. DeBernardis said participants come from at least 16 countries. “What it’s done is bring bicycling credibility to the community,” said Chuck Huckleberry, Pima County administrator, who has been part of El Tour every step of the way in one capacity of another. “What this event has become – in the long term – is a catalyst in the region.” More than 137,000 riders later, El Tour de Tucson has been as consistently strong as any event in Tucson – and that includes any sport at the University of Arizona and any other in Southern Arizona. Maybe even the state. El Tour de Tucson is, well, more like El Tour de Force. “What Richard has done is create a prototype for others to clone,” Huckleberry said. Or at least attempt to mimic. Through the years, the event has raised more than $32 million for local charities, helping grow the list of charities from one (in the first year) to what DeBernardis hopes is 30 this year. Entering the summer it was close to 20. “In the first five to seven years, the help we received from El Tour meant that we existed,” said Liz McCusker, executive director of Tu Nidito Children and Family Services. “That’s how important it was. It enabled us to start our services and expand our programs to all families who need our services. continued on page 30 >>> Fall 2012 > > > BizTucson 29


BizSPORTS

continued from page 29

Since 1997, Tu Nidito has received more than $3 million. It’s a reason why McCusker encourages her staff and families to ride in the event. “We try to make sure everyone understands the importance and rally around it,” she said. CEO of the University of Arizona Medical Center Karen Mlawsky knows the importance. UAHN is the title sponsor of the event. Mlawsky estimates about 300 employees take part in the event. UAMC sponsors training rides for staff and anyone in the community who wants to take part in preparation for El Tour. There are skills training, safety training and more for inexperienced or veteran riders. “It’s about our community and the wellness in our community,” said Mlawsky. “Our staff and our patients all rally around the tour. It’s a great showcase of Tucson and shows the im-

It’s a great showcase of Tucson and shows the importance of being well and being fit. We’re proud to be part of it.

– Karen Mlawsky CEO, University of Arizona Medical Center, Title Sponsor of El Tour de Tucson

portance of being well and being fit. We’re proud to be part of it.” As is Wendell Long, Casino Del Sol Resort’s CEO. Casino del Sol is the event’s presenting sponsor. “It’s very important to us because it’s a tradition that is important to Tucson

because it brings people from around the world and it impacts our community,” said Long, who like Mlawsky will see employees and PasquaYaqui tribe members all participate in the event. “We realize that the bicycling industry is very important and an important part of the tourist industry,” Long said. “This is a premier event.” In simple terms, it’s huge. DeBernardis said an economic study hasn’t been done since 1999-2000. Back then it showed the economic impact on ride weekend was between $1.5 million and $2 million for every 1,000 cyclists. If that were still the case – and he’s well aware that it is not because of inflation – last year’s Tour could have generated between $13.1 million and $17.4 million. DeBernardis estimates that every rider brings 2.5 members with them (family, friends). It’s also been estimated that El Tour has a year-round economic impact equal between five to 10 times the

PHOTOS: CHRIS MOONEY

Liz McCusker Executive Director, Tu Nidito Wendell Long CEO, Casino del Sol Resort

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economic impact on the weekend of the ride. Conservatively that would be $65.5 million to $174 million. In earlier interviews DeBernardis estimated – perhaps optimistically – the economic impact was about half a billion dollars when everything bicycle was included. He’s rethought those numbers to say it’s anywhere from $200 to $300 million a year. The state might be a billion. He said an economic impact study is forthcoming from the Arizona Department of Transportation. Specific to El Tour, DeBernardis is pleased with the numbers – in part because he estimates 65 to 75 percent of the riders return on a regular basis to ride. He said it’s not uncommon to hear riders – from stories relayed to him – speak of the race while the Tour de France is going on. “They’re there on the front line and ask each other if they are going to the Tour,” he said, with a chuckle. “Not the Tour they are in – but El Tour.”

Chuck Huckelberry Pima County Adminstrator

In the first five to seven years, the help we received from El Tour meant that we existed. That’s how important it was.

– Liz McCusker Executive Director, Tu Nidito Children and Family Services

Earlier this summer, Outside Magazine listed Tucson as the #1 bike town in the nation.

Not surprisingly, Tucson and the event have attracted some big names through the years. Greg LeMond (three-time winner of the Tour de France), Jeannie Longo (considered the best women’s cyclist of all time), John Howard (one of the fastest sprint riders) have been through and competed. Throw in Paul McCartney, Bill Walton, and Barry Bonds (the latter two participated in 2011) and you never know who you will see on two wheels in mid November in Tucson. It’s clear others have seen the charm DeBernardis saw nearly 30 years ago while on that bike ride that early July morning. “Before I moved to Tucson I said, ‘who in the world would ever move to the desert?’ Then I began to see what Tucson really is – an oasis in the winter and the scenery is just gorgeous. And the people are just wonderful.” And they’ve made El Tour a gem in the desert. Biz

Karen Mlawsky CEO, University of Arizona Medical Center Fall 2012 > > > BizTucson 31


BizSPORTS

Mike Harris Launched Ride to End Polio Mike Harris simply would be proud. Really proud, in fact. The bike race in his honor has grown tremendously over the last couple of years, going from raising $5,000 in its first year just three years go to potentially raising $200,000 this year as part of the El Tour de Tucson. “He’d be very, very pleased,’’ said Charlotte Harris, his wife of 46 years. “The community has risen above what his initial thoughts were.’’ Harris, at the age of 72, passed away in March of 2011 from cancer. He was slated to be president of the Rotary Club of Tucson this year. Now, nearly 18 months after his passing and in its fourth year to raise money to end polio, organizers have hit a nice stride in their efforts to make this the Mike Harris Memorial Ride to End Polio. Last year was a perfect indication of its potential. More than 70 Rotarians and their families joined in the bicycling fun in the group’s contribution toward ending polio. Rotarians staffed the largest aid station making sure every cyclist was met with a smile, refreshments and a helping hand. They’ll do it again, with a bigger contingent of volunteers and riders.

MIKE HARRIS MEMORIAL BIKE RACE During 30th annual El Tour de Tucson Saturday, Nov. 17 Register to ride or donate. www.perimeterbicycling.com www.ridetoendpolio.org 32 BizTucson

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This year John Hewko and his wife, Margarita, will be participating. He’s the general secretary and CEO of Rotary International and The Rotary Foundation. “People come from all over the world,’’ Charlotte said. “It’s a wonderful thing for our community.’’ They come for the cause and they come in the memory of Mike, a huge influence on the Tucson business community and local charities. Born in Chicago, Harris moved to Tucson more than 50 years ago. He wore many hats here, from longtime CEO of Tucson General Hospital and interim director of the Pima County Health Department to being a top agent at what is now Long Realty. He was a Rotarian for more than 40 years, in addition to being a member of the Tucson Conquistadores. At the forefront of his passion was his philanthropy. “He absolutely loved the Tucson community,’’ Charlotte said. “He was always trying to make life better for those who were here.’’ Race organizer Gary Hirsch said Harris’ close friendship with El Tour founder Richard DeBernardis was the starting point for the race. It was Mike’s idea to get involved in the race and have Ride to End Polio be an official El Tour beneficiary “Mike and I co-chaired the event the first year and the second year, well, he doesn’t ask people, he tells people – so I was going to chair it the second year,’’ Hirsch said, with a laugh, figuring “he’d be around to help.” Harris soon passed. But he’s left a strong legacy and commitment to and for the community. He was a “get things done’’ guy, Hirsch said. “He was a special guy and one who did a lot,’’ Charlotte said.

Ride for a Child Cyclists who are riding in El Tour de Tucson can elect to Ride for a Child and raise money for Tu Nidito Children and Family Services, the leading beneficiary of the race. Tu Nidito provides support for seriously ill children and for children who have experienced the death of a loved one. Ride for a Child represents more than 10 percent of Tu Nidito’s annual operating budget. Last year, 170 cyclists raised $130,000 for Tu Nidito kids. Each Ride for a Child cyclist sets a goal to raise a minimum $500 for Tu Nidito. The nonprofit helps participants set up a fundraising webpage to connect with friends and family. Riders receive a Rider Kit once they’ve registered for El Tour with Perimeter Bicycling. Tu Nidito pays the El Tour registration fee, so cyclists who pledge only have to pay the Perimeter processing fee. The Rider Kit includes the photo and story of the specific Tu Nidito child to be celebrated. The kit also contains instructions on how to get the website up and running, plus fundraising tips. The night before El Tour, Tu Nidito hosts a dinner for cyclists and families. Tu Nidito also hosts a training ride each month. To register visit the Perimeter Bicycling website, complete the registration process and select “Fee Level 4 – Ride for a Child.” This year Tu Nidito also introduced Ride for a Child Junior – for children age 14 and younger to ride and pledge to raise $250. This is for kids who ride in the 10, 5 or quarter mile Diamond Children’s El Tour Fun Rides.

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To learn more, visit www.rideforachild.com or www.tunidito.org. Tu Nidito is one of more than 20 nonprofits supported by El Tour de Tucson.

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BizBRIEFS Mutual of Omaha Bank Names Kevin Halloran President Mutual of Omaha Bank promoted Kevin Halloran to state president for Arizona. Halloran is responsible for leading the strategic growth and management of Mutual of Omaha Bank’s statewide operations, including 10 full-service community bank locations in metro Phoenix and Tucson. He has nearly 30 years of banking experience. He served as senior VP and senior commercial bank manager for Mutual of Omaha Bank in Arizona since 2008, leading the commercial and real estate lending team, growing the bank’s Arizona loan portfolio, increasing revenues and ensuring high credit quality, according to Kevin Hale, executive VP of community banking. Halloran earned his bachelor’s degree in finance from Indiana University and is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma Banking School and the Executive Leadership Coaching Program. Halloran serves on the board of directors for the Boys and Girls Club of Phoenix. Mutual of Omaha Bank is one of the fastest-growing banks in the nation. It is a subsidiary of Mutual of Omaha, insurance and financial services company founded 1909.

Biz

Sundt Promotes Kevin Burnett to CFO

Sundt Companies promoted Kevin Burnett to senior VP and CFO. He will oversee the accounting, finance, treasury and risk-management areas while serving as chairman of the finance committee for the employee-owned general contractor. A Sundt employee since 1998, Burnett served as VP and controller, then as senior VP of acquisitions and investments. He replaces retiring CFO Ray Bargull. “Kevin was hand-selected to fulfill the CFO position as he not only has extensive financial experience but has also been a key member of our team for a long time,” said Dave Crawford, president and CEO of Sundt. Burnett previously worked as VP corporate controller for Evans Withycombe Residential and as senior audit manager with Ernst & Young. He holds an MBA from the University of Arizona as well as a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Rochester. Burnett is president of the Valley of the Sun Construction Finance Managers Association, vice chairman of the YMCA of Southern Arizona and a member of the board of Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities.

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Georgeanne Fimbres Owner, Villa Feliz Flowers

Dream of an Artist

The

PHOTO: KRIS HANNING

By Valerie Vinyard

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BizRETAIL Entering Villa Feliz Flowers is a bit like walking into an enchanted garden. Visitors immediately will notice two large stuffed teddy bears to the right. One is sitting in an old pre-school-sized wood and metal desk chair with the word “Adam” inscribed on the back slat in a kid’s scrawl. That “Adam” is Villa Feliz owner Georgeanne Fimbres’ grandson, who now attends the University of Arizona. Large refrigerated glass cases display countless stems of blooming flowers. The riot of colors include orchids, zinnias and, of course, roses. To the left, shelves of glassware, greeting cards by local artists, gifts and plants are for sale. Villa Feliz was opened in May 1971 in a storefront at Kolb Road and Broadway by Guy Fimbres, Georgeanne’s husband.

In 1988, Villa Feliz moved from Kolb and Broadway to the El Mercado plaza, 6358 E. Broadway. The almost 1,300-square-foot shop is tucked around the corner from El Charro Café. During a recent visit to the shop, Fimbres brought out a Black Magic stem, one of about 35 rose varieties Villa Feliz carries. Impossibly gorgeous, the deep red rose was the size of a softball. Its $5 price seemed a small one to pay for such beauty. And it’s a price that hasn’t changed in 11 years, Fimbres said, noting that she can offer something for any budget. “A lot of people stop in for just one gorgeous flower,” Fimbres said. “It doesn’t have to be a lot if it’s beautiful.” Fimbres offers simple tips for preserving floral life to her customers. One is to recut the stems and change the water

said Yaeli, 26. “She works so well with our environment.” Fimbres visits once a week to change the arrangements, which are throughout the spa at the Westin La Paloma Resort. “The quality of her flowers is unlike any other,” Yaeli said. “It’s really hard to make flowers last in a spa environment – so she uses sturdier, more tropical kinds.” A few months ago, a local farmer walked into the store and said he farmed flowers and wondered if she was interested. Fimbres was most impressed, however, with what he had to say. “He said he was farming not to make a living, but to make a difference,” said Fimbres, who now carries some of his zinnias, dahlias, amaranthus and chiles.

A lot of people stop in for just one gorgeous flower. It doesn’t have to be a lot if it’s beautiful. –

“It was his dream and he was a great artist,” Fimbres said, gesturing around the store’s walls where some of his paintings hang. “I loved his concept. When you look at gorgeous flowers, it really is art.” Like her husband, Georgeanne studied and appreciated art. The Phoenix native moved to Tucson in 1952 at age 13 and attended the University of Arizona. She studied fashion, earning a degree in home economics – “that’s what it was called at the time” – and later a master’s in education. Fimbres never thought she’d be running Villa Feliz – but when her husband passed away in 1993, she took control. “I feel like his dreams are really here,” she said. Now the shop has nine employees, including a driver for the shop’s daily deliveries. The vast majority of the flowers come from California, Washington, Oregon and Arizona. www.BizTucson.com

Georgeanne Fimbres, Owner, Villa Feliz Flowers daily. She also recommends cutting the stems and laying the entire blossom under water to rehydrate. Fifteen minutes and the flower has a fresh start, she said. Customers often compliment Fimbres on the staying power of her flowers. One of those customers is Katie Yaeli, the assistant GM at Red Door Spa in Tucson. She met Fimbres through her grandmother-in-law and first contacted Fimbres for personal reasons: She wanted Fimbres to do the flowers for her October 2010 wedding. “I went into her shop and I told her what I was looking for, and she made me a bouquet right there,” Yaeli said. “I fell in love with it. She has the biggest roses I’ve ever seen and the orchids are so vibrant. Sometimes people say the orchids look fake because they’re so perfect.” When Yaeli started working at Red Door, she immediately went to Fimbres. “She’s the best florist I’ve ever met,”

Fimbres then pulled out a gloriosa lily from a small California farm and laid it on the table. The long-stemmed flower had delicately twisted pink and yellow petals and deviated in style from more traditional blooms. Even in the uncertain economy, Fimbres remains dedicated to supporting charities – from Angel Charities for Children to Pima Council on Aging. She’s donated decor for fundraising galas for nonprofits like Tu Nidito and spectacular designs for the annual Bouquet to Art event at University of Arizona Museum of Art. Interior designer Lori Carroll said, “There was this very contemporary painting that just inspired me. I knew the materials I wanted to incorporate for a floral design that would complement the art.’’ She brought her ideas to Fimbres who outdid herself. “It was an amazing piece of work,” she said. continued on page 38 >>> Fall 2012 > > > BizTucson 37


BizRETAIL

I had a vision. She took my vision and ran with it. Tucson is fortunate to have someone who has such a passion for what she does.

– Lori Carroll, Owner, Lori Carroll & Associates

continued from page 37 “Georgeanne’s been a true delight because she listens and follows through and is one of the most positive professionals I have every run across,” Carroll said. They’ve collaborated for several years, including on flowers for the 30th anniversary celebration of Lori Carroll & Associates. “I had a vision. She took my vision and ran with it. Tucson is fortunate to have someone who has such a passion for what she does.” Another Villa Feliz advocate is Amy Hendrick, who has worked with Fimbres for at least 10 years, starting when she was an owner of Dakota Café. Hendrick sold the restaurant last year but remains its catering manager. She continues to use Villa Feliz for centerpieces and other arrangements during her catering events. “Not only is her quality of work excellent, but I also think it’s her personality and how she works well with people,” Hendrick said. “I think it’s her attention to detail that makes her stand out.” That attention to detail includes Fimbres pinning on every boutonniere and deftly arranging every flower just so in the wedding chain of command – from the flower girl to the bride. Fimbres recently pulled out a candid photo of a bride-to-be turning in her makeup chair, a wide, delighted smile on her face as she sees for the first time the bouquet she’ll carry. “What she can create and come up with is so beautiful,” Hendrick said. “When people want a florist for their centerpieces and their bridal bouquets, I refer them to her.” It’s easy to see why. Biz 38 BizTucson

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Rich Rod

Storms theDesert

UA Wins Big in Oklahoma St. Shocker

Rich Rodriguez, Head Football Coach, University of Arizona 40 BizTucson

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PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

By Steve Rivera


BizSPORTS The Whiz Kid from West Virginia has started to work his magic in the Arizona desert. Let the fun – and the stun – begin. Sure it’s a weird fit, but Rich Rodriguez has a knack for finding a way to fit in. All Arizona fans are looking for is someone who is engaging, dynamic and personable. And, of course, someone who can pull off victories when no one else says it’s possible. Voila! Rodriguez orchestrated his first miracle in Arizona Stadium – beating No. 18 Oklahoma State 59-38 for Arizona’s first win against a ranked team in two seasons. Undersized and seemingly undermanned, Arizona outquicked, outplayed and, well, outdid the Cowboys in a victory that has Arizona relevant again, even if for the moment. “We’ll have to be comfortable being uncomfortable. I was uncomfortable all

and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson Steak & Burger Dinner. “Being in the public is part of a head coach’s job but there is a refreshing level of authenticity about Coach Rodriguez,’’ said Armando Rios, the clubs’ CEO. “He took a sincere interest in our kids and our organization. He did everything we asked of him and agreed to host our dinner again next year for the kids. Also, he made it a point to include his family, which so many people admired about him.’’ It’s a sign of a winner. Now, he must get there for Arizona, a team coming off a 4-8 year with plenty of rebuilding to do. Rodriguez is working his tail off in his rebirth as a coach and what amounts to a second chance after his Michigan experience, with rules violations and a messy departure. First, just as any good businessman

dream big? “Why not Arizona?’’ Rodriguez has said a number of times. Why not the Rose Bowl? Why not a BCS Bowl appearance? Why not a national championship? Why not, indeed? Byrne likes what he hears. “Arizona has a great chance to be successful,’’ Byrne said. “We have so many strengths here, including the environment, weather, great academics and a good fan base. “Arizona teams have won a lot of national championships in other areas (so) why not come out here for football?’’ Arizona and Byrne are making sure the digs won’t be a problem, with the multi-million revamping of Arizona Stadium. It’ll include turf, where speed will thrill and maybe, in time, kill (offensively). How Arizona reacts to Rodriguez’s spread offense behind senior Matt Scott

We have to establish a Rose Bowl-type culture here. –

Rich Rodriguez, Head Football Coach, University of Arizona

night,’’ said Rodriguez, 49. “But it was a nice win. The guys played hard.’’ And that’s all he’s asking. In addition to being tough, smart and efficient. And, oh yes, don’t forget that it’s a process to make progress. It’s about moving the ball behind his ball-is-everywhere offense and stopping opponents with a gritty, determined bunch that has to overachieve every play. Play like it’s your last play. Play with a purpose. And play together. So far, so good. “The first year is always the toughest because of the preparation,’’ Rodriguez said. “Things have come together as well as I have hoped.’’ What he has done is ingratiate himself to Tucson. When he arrived last November, he was everywhere. From function to function he went. Have speaker, will travel – working his oneliner magic on a number of organizations, including the Southern Arizona Football Hall of Fame awards banquet www.BizTucson.com

would say: the mentality of the company – in this case team – must buy into what it has to sell. And at Arizona, it’s about winning, and winning consistently. The Wildcats didn’t do that enough under former coach Mike Stoops. In comes Rodriguez, a smooth-talking storyteller who has a quick wit and a sometimes self-effacing take on things. Still, Rodriguez, who had West Virginia on the brink of a national title a handful of years ago, has an ego, like most good coaches do. “There’s never a day at my job where I don’t say, ‘What are my competitors doing? Can I do this better?’ And that’s in football, recruiting, developing players …’’ Rodriguez is frequently at the podium talking about the future of Arizona football. Athletic Director Greg Byrne knew exactly what he was getting when he plucked him from his sports analyst job with CBS. Affable. Available, with a can-do attitude. If you’re going to dream, why not

will be the key. Rodriguez already has said the “huddle is the biggest waste of time in football.’’ And Rodriguez isn’t one to waste time. “Our coaches understand, as do our players, that anything worth value is worth working for.’’ Again, Byrne likes what he hears. “He was the best fit for this job,’’ said Byrne, who hired the West Virginia native to the tune of $9.5 million for five years. “He’s competed at the highest levels. I didn’t feel he was a good fit at Michigan. We’re very pleased in what he’s done from a commitment standpoint, and that’s athletically and academically.’’ Now, if Rodriguez can get the commitment he’s hoping for from his players. “We have to establish a Rose Bowltype culture here,’’ Rodriguez said. “As hard as we’ve worked, we have to work even harder.’’

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BizSPORTS

ILLUSTRATIONS: COURTESY ARIZONA ATHLETICS

A glimpse of what the Lowell-Stevens Football Facility and the north end zone will look like.

Lowell-Stevens Football Facility By Steve Rivera It’s about the experience. It’s about the football. It’s about the fans. The Lowell-Stevens Football Facility – the name Arizona Athletic Director Greg Byrne wants everyone to remember – will give Arizona Stadium a new look and might breathe new life into the entire fan experience. Maybe even the football program? At least that’s what Byrne is hoping and why Arizona has invested $72 million to make it happen. Come August 2013, Arizona Stadium’s north end zone will be a remodeled gem in the desert. Arizona’s big screen on one end and big screams on the other. All around in surround sound. 42 BizTucson

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“It’s something we have to continue to try and work on – that fan experience,’’ Byrne said. “People on that side of the stadium as well as the fans on the east and the west will have a brand new facility to use.’’ The space will feature a club area that will include a hospitality lounge with food and beverage service and an outdoor seating area with 576 exclusive seats, including Club Boxes, Premium Club seating and Club Seats. The concourse will have expanded concessions and new restrooms that will sit just above the area’s lower-bowl seating area, where there will be chairback seats. In total, 4,000 seats, or about 200 more seats than before.

It’ll be a four-floor facility with strength training, sports medicine, coaches’ offices, locker rooms, meeting rooms, equipment and facility service areas. Arizona fans will have to contain their excitement, however. The LowellStevens Facility won’t be available until next year, with orders being taken now. “This is the biggest project from a financial prospective we’ve ever taken on,’’ said Byrne. “Hopefully, it’ll set the stage for other facility improvements and modern amenities we feel we need for the next 30 years.’’

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BizBRIEF

Northwest Medical Center Plans $50 Million Expansion Northwest Medical Center plans to invest almost $50 million to add a new surgical wing that will feature four new operating rooms, bringing its total capacity to 16 operating rooms. The new rooms will be outfitted with minimally invasive operating room suites, and expanded to accommodate new technology including the da Vinci Robot. An increasing number of surgeries are minimally invasive and the new suites will better accommodate that technology. NMC plans to break ground in the winter of 2012, with construction completed within 18 to 20 months. Kim Chimene, Northwest’s marketing director, said the construction will be

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done in phases and there will be no disruption of services to the public. Dr. Richard Chua, chairman of the Department of Surgery and chief of staff, said this expansion “really demonstrates Northwest’s commitment to both its patients, physicians and staff to stay on the cutting edge of health care in the Tucson community.” The new surgical wing will be extended from the current building out onto the existing surgery parking area. The expansion will also allow for future vertical growth of the hospital as the need arises.

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BizSALES

Sales Moves Think the “write” way. Do the “write” thing. by Jeffrey Gitomer

RELAX! You’ve heard that word since the first time you got angry or upset. Or maybe it’s a word in your head that beacons reality. Pent up frustration, worry, or concern about the present or the future, nervousness about what’s about to happen in the world, at work, at home or in your personal life. RELAX! Oh so easy to say and hard to do. Here are my secrets for maintaining inner peace and fulfillment in a world filled with distractions, diversions and distortions: 1. Write down all the crap clogging your brain. Get rid of your mental clutter. As soon as you write the details, you no longer have to dwell on them or remember them – and your mind is free to think. Try it. It’s amazing and mentally relaxing (almost a relief). The bonus of an uncluttered mind is that ideas and resolutions to your issues and challenges will begin to manifest themselves daily. 2. Write down your present situation. What’s going on in your life right now? What’s the status of all things work, family, friends, life and self ? More amazing than unclogging, writing your present situation actually creates answers to situations that have been bugging you. Oh, and it also helps relax you. 3. Write down your dreams and thoughts. Everyone has thoughts of “one day I’ll…” or “someday I’ll…” Those words are usually just spoken. Reality – those thoughts are just pipedreams until they’re written down, formalized and crystalized. Writing your dreams will help you see a more clear and focused picture of them. 4. Find a quiet park or garden where you can sit and think, read or write for an hour. Invest quality time with yourself every day. This is the most relaxing of all outlets – if you have done the first three things recommended above. 5. Read something positive and write down the most inspiring quotes. Create a mailing list of important people to share them with. (Do make sure you acknowledge the author.) 6. Mentally go to positive places where you’ve been before. Those thoughts will lead you to stories and lessons. Write them down right away – then blog them. 46 BizTucson

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6.5 Blog your thoughts, ideas and experiences. Blogging not only creates a public avenue for you to publish and express yourself, it positions you and your views for the world. Your ideas may matter to some people and the accomplishment will give you a feeling of personal pride and fulfillment. I decided that 2013 will be my “year of the blog,” consisting of an intensive, daily effort for me to talk about and video about sales, business and life. You can see my blog history at www.salesblog.com. Got blog? Air your thoughts to the world. Here are other things you can do beyond writing to relax: • Play with a kid. It’s an amazing elixir for relaxing and having fun. • Go shopping for yourself. It makes you feel good to do things for you. • Make a list of ten people from high school or college you want to reconnect with. Call them, don’t just Facebook them. These are people you knew in your responsibility-free days. • Take a walk someplace you’ve never been. Look around as you walk. Marvel at things. Take a few pictures. Write a few notes. Sit down and soak it in. • Book a weekend trip. Make a list of the places you’ll go and the things you’ll do. Often just the action of writing and planning a getaway will change your mood and your thinking – and that can calm you. Gotta get away? Need a vacation? That’s because you’re not relaxing every day. When the “need to get away” is a dominant thought, it’s a symptom, not a problem or a goal. The reality is you’re not relaxing on a daily basis. Relaxation reality: It’s likely you will need to make some personal changes if true relaxation is to permeate your life. Avoid negative events, negative things, negative news – and especially – negative people. “Jeffrey I can’t eliminate these things,” you exclaim. Relax dude. Just RELAX!

Biz

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Customer Satisfaction is Worthless Customer Loyalty is Priceless, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, The Little Black Book of Connections, The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude, The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way, The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching, The Little Teal Book of Trust, The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! His website, www.gitomer.com, will lead you to more information about training and seminars, or email him personally at salesman@ gitomer.com. © 2012 All Rights Reserved. Don’t even think about reproducing this document without written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer. 704/333-1112 www.BizTucson.com

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PHOTOS: ANDREW ECCLES/NBC

BizMEDIA

Savannah Guthrie (above) NBC’s Today Show, Season 2012 -- Pictured From left: Al Roker, Savannah Guthrie, Matt Lauer, Natalie Morales

Savannah Guthrie A Meteoric Career

Tucson’s Golden Girl has arrived – on the morning set of NBC’s Today Show, that is. Savannah Guthrie, who grew up in Tucson after being born in Australia, is now sharing the morning spotlight with Matt Lauer, Al Roker and Natalie Morales. To say Guthrie is a rising star would be an understatement. In fact, her star’s been on a rising trajectory since her days at Tucson’s local NBC affiliate KVOA in the mid-to-late 1990s. The former Amphitheater High and University of Arizona graduate has made the Old Pueblo – and those who know her – proud. Guthrie’s new job came with a ticket to the 2012 Olympics in London where she met Tucson’s other national TV celeb – Dan Hicks of NBC Sports. “Navigating your way through the Olympics just after you’ve been named the co-anchor had to be a bit nerve-wracking for her – but she eased right in as if she’d been there for months,” Hicks said. “That is not an easy job. Matt makes 48 BizTucson

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it look easy and I think Savannah has the same kind of quality about her – easy to listen to and very pleasant – that works well that early in the morning every day. If any personality can get on the public’s nerves, it’s at that hour every day. I think she’ll do great. She’s got girl-next-door appeal with a smart wit and intelligence. I think NBC made an outstanding choice and look forward to waking up with her and Matt.” Like Guthrie, Hicks is a UA grad who got his start at KVOA. “Savannah embraces all of the qualities of a great journalist,” said Cathie Batbie-Loucks, KVOA news director. “She is dedicated, hard-working and loyal to the pursuit of good journalism. I was one of the lucky ones who had the opportunity to work with Savannah in her early years and her passion for news was contagious. Savannah has had a storied broadcast career and her KVOA family couldn’t be more proud of her success. We know the rest of the world will love her as much as Tucson does.”

Lisa Contreras agreed. She, too, worked with Guthrie early in the Tucsonan’s career. “In my nearly 20 years in broadcast journalism, I had the privilege to work with a number of incredibly promising young talents,” said Contreras, former KVOA news director (1999-2005) and executive producer (1994-1996). “It’s easy to see which ones had the tenacity to become shining stars, and for all the right reasons. Savannah was certainly one. I remember telling her more than once that I was confident she’d someday be a network news anchor. I am so glad I was right. “Her ability to learn and understand any subject, connect with the people she interviews, remain humble about her accomplishments and enthusiastic about every news day – those are rare and wonderful qualities.” It was never more apparent than during the tragedy on Jan. 8, 2011 when then U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was critically wounded. It put Tucson in a story – and in a situation – www.BizTucson.com


PHOTO: COURTESY KVOA-TV

few could only imagine. After being an attorney for Guthrie, who flew in to do a few years, she landed on the story for NBC, could. “Court TV” reporting on “After the January 8th all things legal, including the shooting, we were grateful Michael Jackson trial. From to have a hometown voice there she became NBC’s on the national stage,” said White House corresponLaura Shaw, senior VP of dent. marketing and communicaSense the meteoric rise? tions for Tucson Regional From there, she was moved Economic Opportunities. into the third hour of the “Savannah embraced her Today Show and now is sitpersonal connection to Tucting alongside Lauer giving son and her reporting rein- From left: Cathie Batbie-Loucks, KVOA-TV News Director; the nation’s top news. forced the message that we Savannah Guthrie, Today Show co-host; Lisa Contreras, Director, “In just a few short years are a strong, caring commu- External Communications, Carondelet Health Network and Former Savannah has become a nity in a way that otherwise KVOA-TV News Director & Executive Producer standout member of the wouldn’t have been posnews division as well as the me figure out what I wanted to do.” sible.” ultimate team player,” Steve Capus, Who would have thought she’d have Oddly – but in a good way – reportpresident of NBC News, said in a statethe career she’s had – starting on caming the news wasn’t Guthrie’s career ment when she took the job. pus at KUAT-TV (now Arizona Public Also in a statement, Jim Bell, execuchoice. Initially, she had intended on Media), no less, just to have a job in coltive producer of Today, said Guthrie being a business major while attending lege? “has a one-of-a-kind combination of UA. But, with a suggestion from her She’s done it well. Figure that once sharp wit and approachability, and our mom to take some journalism courses, she got her degree from UA, she was she “got hooked” on the profession. viewers value her journalistic skills and one of 634 people to take the Arizona “I love to write and I was encouraged legal background just as much as her bar exam, earning the highest score by the professors,” Guthrie told UA humor and charm.” among the group. She eventually gradNews while in Tucson to give the 2011 That’s no news bulletin to those in uated from Georgetown University, commencement speech. “It all helped Tucson who already know her. passing the Washington, D.C. bar.

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BizBRIEF

IdeaFunding 2012 Celebrates Innovation The highlight of IdeaFunding 2012 is entrepreneurs who think they have the next big idea speed pitching to investors looking for new startups to fund and nurture. Since 1995 the annual IdeaFunding conference brings together bright minds from all segments of business and service in Southern Arizona. The conference attracts entrepreneurs, innovators, mentors and investors. IdeaFunding 2012 will be held Oct. 25 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Tucson Marriott University Park. It’s presented by the University of Arizona and sponsored by Cyracom. At IdeaFunding 2012, the region’s

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top innovators will take center stage and connect with leading early stage investors and mentors. The program includes keynote addresses, roundtable discussions and presentation of the Thomas R. Brown and the Emergent Entrepreneurs Awards. This year’s topics include Tech Launch Arizona one year later, plus economic development, investment and educational outcomes, challenges, capital status and regional returns. Finding the right resources, partners and capital to execute on an idea is one of the greatest challenges entrepreneurs face. IdeaFunding brings all the players together at one place.

IDEAFUNDING 2012: PITCH ARIZONA •4 hours •40 pitches •4 finalists •4 ways to win Thursday, Oct. 25 2 to 6 p.m. For more information visit www.ideafunding.org. To register, call (520) 621-4823.

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PHOTO: COURTESY NASA/JPL-CALTECH

BizPLANETARY

This artist’s concept features NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover, a mobile robot for investigating Mars’ past or present ability to sustain microbial life.

Out of Curiosity UA Explores Mars – Again By Eric Swedlund When Curiosity perfectly executed the astonishingly difficult series of maneuvers to land on Mars, University of Arizona scientists cheered another milestone in a long history of planetary exploration. UA scientists have been involved in every NASA planetary mission and Curiosity is no different. This latest mission’s scientific goals were refined by UA discoveries and its landing site picked with the help of UA images. “The history of the University of Arizona with planetary exploration is truly extraordinary and unique,” said Joaquin Ruiz, dean of the College of Science, in his opening remarks delivered to a crowd of 400 gathered to watch the landing via live NASA feed at the Michael J. Drake Building. From the founding of Gerard P. Kuiper’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory in 1960 to the research that UA geologist Bob Downs and graduate student Shaunna Morrison will conduct with Curiosity’s CheMin instrument analyzing mineralogy on 52 BizTucson

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Mars, the UA has built a reputation as the world’s leading academic center for space science. Ruiz said UA scientists have brought in more in federal research grants and contracts than all the university’s top peers added together. In keeping with NASA tradition, the crowd ate peanuts while watching the white-knuckled JPL control room. Peter Smith, lead investigator of the 2008 Phoenix Lander mission, provided additional commentary as Curiosity ticked off its entry, descent and landing phases – the difficult “seven minutes of terror.” Applause followed each successful step through the thrilling final moments and touchdown brought the crowd to its feet. Smith said Phoenix’s discovery of perchlorate in soil samples at Mars’ icy northern pole prompted a tantalizing reassessment of how scientists conceive of life on Mars. For more than three decades after the Viking missions, life had been considered impossible. www.BizTucson.com


The history of planetary exploration here is peppered with heroes. Our history is rich and full of exquisite search.

– Joaquin Ruiz Dean, University of Arizona College of Science

But with the UA’s HiRISE camera and NASA’s Spirit and Opportunity rovers all contributing evidence to suggest a wet past for Mars, Smith says Curiosity’s exploration has potential for groundbreaking discovery. “What’s really exciting about this mission is we can for the first time know if the ingredients for life exist on Mars,” Smith said. “My prediction over the next two years as this laboratory is searching for organics is we will finally measure organics at 10 parts per million or more.” The morning after the landing, Alfred McEwen’s HiRISE team released a spectacular shot of Curiosity, captured mid-descent. HiRISE has returned more than 26,000 images – including one of Phoenix, also mid-descent – since the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter began circling the red planet in 2006. Still, those images have captured less than 2 percent of Mars’ surface. Detailed HiRISE images of the Martian surface have guided NASA’s selection of landing sites for both Phoenix and Curiosity. The event drew members of the university’s Galileo Circle of science supporters, state lawmakers, U.S. Rep. Ron Barber and researchers. “It’s extraordinary to see the community support. The crowd was exhilarated,” said UA President Ann Weaver Hart. “The faculty presented the excitement, the anticipation and the science very, very well.” Biz www.BizTucson.com

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BizLEGEND

Raytheon Spirit of Education Award

Jim Click Honored as Pillar of Support

Jim Click addresses a classroom of students at San Miguel High School 54 BizTucson

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PHOTO: CARTER ALLEN

By David B. Pittman


2012 RAYTHEON SPIRIT OF EDUCATION AWARD

San Miguel High School, a Catholic preparatory school that provides hope to underprivileged students on Tucson’s south side, would not exist if not for him. The same man created Linkages, a nonprofit agency that has been placing disabled Tucsonans in jobs for 16 years. He also serves as chair of the organization’s board and is its biggest benefactor. And he was the single largest contributor to the 2007 initiative campaign that resulted in passage of Proposition 400, creating the Pima County Joint Technological Education District. He was a visible leader and primary funder of Tucson Values Teachers, a group that supports classroom teachers. He has given to a multitude of University of Arizona programs and projects, including the library, Arizona Cancer Center, Adaptive Athletic Program and the Jim Click Hall of Champions that bears his name. His first milliondollar gift to the university benefited disabled athletes. “Mr. Click’s support has enabled us to become the largest adaptive sports program at any university in the nation,” said Janet Olson, program coordinator of the UA Disability Resource Center. “We have more than 70 athletes and five competitive teams. This year we had seven of our athletics competing in the Paralympics in London. He has made this all possible.” Tucson auto dealer Jim Click Jr. is a pillar of support for this community and on the evening of Dec. 12 at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort he will become the first individual winner of the Raytheon Spirit of Education Award. Last year, the inaugural award was given to its namesake at the “Salute to Raytheon Missile Systems” event. But wait. There’s more to the list of Click accomplishments on behalf of education and children. Click was the capital campaign chairman for a nearly $2 million construction and renovation project at the Salpointe Catholic High School campus in 1990. He orchestrated an amazing turnaround of the once-failing Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson some 30 years ago – and ever since has helped expand the

number of children served by the organization from 1,000 to 8,000. Other organizations benefitting from Click’s goodwill include Junior Achievement, Special Olympics, Primavera, Beacon Foundation and Pima Community College. Click also provided a $1 million contribution to the Reid Park Zoological Society to make the Click Family Elephant Care Center at the zoo a reality. Click is a product of public schools. He remembers virtually every teacher he ever had. His recollection is that the best teachers “were the ones that made me work the hardest.” He graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1966 with a bachelor’s degree in business. He was captain of OSU’s Cowboy football team. He’s since received OSU’s Distinguished Alumni Award and was inducted into

Tucson is a better place because of Jim Click.

– Ron Shoopman, President Southern Arizona Leadership Council

OSU’s Hall of Fame. In 1971 he moved to Tucson and purchased his first auto dealership. Click is troubled by the state of public education today, but is not convinced just throwing more money at schools is the answer. Instead, he chooses to invest his time and resources in programs that are making a difference. “Obviously paying the teachers more would be helpful,” he said. “I think tenure probably needs to be changed so that if you get a bad teacher – and I didn’t have many bad teachers – you can get rid of them. I think we ought to pay for performance, like we do in the private sector. “It’s concerning to me that we haven’t had more people from the business community running for school boards,” Click continued. “We need

business people to step up and run for school boards.” Click is a believer in competition, both in business and in education. He said many charter schools are getting good results and he hopes some other Tucson-area schools will try to emulate the successful model of San Miguel, the high school on Tucson’s south side that Click built. San Miguel High School

San Miguel High School would not have happened without Click. He identified and purchased the land at 6601 S. San Fernando Ave. where it was built, organized the processes leading to construction and personally arranged the financing by providing a $3 million charitable donation and a $7.9 million no-interest loan to the school. “We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the support we received from Jim and Vicki Click,” said Leslie Shultz-Crist, president and CEO of San Miguel, a part of the Cristo Rey Network. “Not only did Jim and Vicki give us $3 million, but Jim has brought numerous people to us that gave another $3 to $4 million. Jim has opened doors that otherwise would not have been opened.” The no-interest loan Click provided was paid off last year when the school took out a mortgage, which has been paid down to about $4 million. Of that, San Miguel has received pledges of almost $3 million. “So we are very close to paying it off in the big picture,” said Shultz-Crist. “It’s a great facility, but the facility doesn’t make the school,” Click said. “It’s the teachers, the principal, the students and the parents.” Click is no stranger at the school. He recently showed up there with a group of executives from Enterprise Rental Car, who presented 25 iPads to a group of sophomores selected by the faculty. From an academic standpoint, San Miguel boasts amazing results. The school began operating in 2004. The number of students has grown every year and has now reached 330. “We’ll top out at 400,” said ShultzCrist, “and we hope that happens in the 2014 school year.” There is only one hard-and-fast rule continued on page 56 >>>

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2012 RAYTHEON SPIRIT OF EDUCATION AWARD

BizLEGEND continued from page 55

regarding attendance. Students at San Miguel must be from low-income circumstances. “If you meet the income requirement, you qualify to go through the interview process,” said Shultz-Crist. “This year we had about 375 applications for 100 spots. So there were many students we were not able to service.” The majority of students start San Miguel below grade level. Why are people lining up to get in? “It’s hope,” said Shultz-Crist. She said Click realizes how incredibly important the long-term impact of San Miguel could be for the Tucson community. “He got it that this had the potential of promoting work force development and changing the trajectory of kids’ lives out of poverty, out of the cycle of violence and out of teen pregnancy,” she said. “Ninety-eight percent of our students graduate from high school – and 100 percent of that 98 percent are accepted into a college or community college. Those are good numbers.” There is another aspect to the school that is unique – stuTucson Values Teachers dents at San Miguel take a full load of school work, but also participate one day a week in a four-year work program that pays the majority of their tuition. Through this program, each student works in a professional setting (such as law firms, media, utility companies, manufacturers and auto dealerships, to name a few). Shultz-Crist said workplace experience allows students to Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson apply and make connections from the classroom to the world of work. She said the combination of classroom and workplace learning prepares students for success not only in high school, but in years after. In the view of Shultz-Crist, no one is more deserving of the Raytheon Spirit of Education Award than Click. Boys and Girls Clubs of Tucson

Local Boys and Girls Clubs officials say Click has personally given about $4 million to that group over the past 33 years. “Jim Click has no ability to say no to the kids at the Boys and Girls Clubs – much less any organization that helps 56 BizTucson

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kids, especially those most at-risk or from disadvantaged circumstances,” said Mark Irvin, a friend of Click’s who is also a longtime supporter of the Boys and Girls Clubs. Because of Click’s leadership on behalf of the Boys and Girls Clubs, the organization’s most prestigious award, “The Click for Kids Award,” was created in his name to honor those who have provided dedicated service to the clubs over a long period of time. Click was also recognized with emeritus board status more than 25 years ago. “Jim Click is the hero of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Tucson, and has been since 1979,” Irvin said. “I am humbled by what he does and how he does it.” Salpointe Catholic High School

In 1990, a decade before his involvement at San Miguel, the Clickswere involved in raising money for a $1.9 million construction and renovation project on the campus of Salpointe Catholic High School. The reason for the couple’s involvement was understandable. Their son, Chris, was a senior at the school at the time. Charlotte Harris, who was Salpointe’s director of development, also worked on the campaign. Harris said that as capital Campaign chairman, click was not a figurehead, but actively worked with the school’s principal at the time, Rev. Leo McCarthy, as a team of two making calls for major gifts. Harris said the majority of Click and McCarthy’s calls were successful. “Not only was the Click family major donors to the campaign, but Jim put us in touch with a professional fundraiser, who put together a plan for action that added to the success of the project,” Harris said. The end result brought the school a new theater, a practice gymnasium, renovation of an existing gymnasium, and a free-standing mathematics building. “Jim’s leadership and financial support made the Salpointe experience more meaningful by providing classrooms and school facilities that created a competitive edge for students at the school,” said Harris. Linkages

Click’s involvement in Linkages has attracted the attention of national political leaders from both major parties. Former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole, Poster for Jim Click Run N’ Roll at UA JimClick Hall of Champions

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2012 RAYTHEON SPIRIT OF EDUCATION AWARD

R-Kansas, made an appearance at the grand opening of Linkages in 1996. And in 2000, then-President Bill Clinton invited Click to the White House where he received the President’s Award for his efforts in creating Linkages to improve the lives of people with disabilities. Click created the organization when he learned that community agencies working with disabled people were unable to place them in jobs. The name Linkages was chosen because its mission was to bridge the gap between disabled people and the business community. Since Linkages began, Click has been its biggest donor, contributing more than $1.5 million. Mark Ziska, a Linkages board member who owns Chief People Office, a strategic and human resources consulting firm, said Click also gives of his time, serving as board chairman of Linkages since it was launched 16 years ago. Besides employing disabled people within his own auto dealerships, Click is also remarkably persuasive in convincing other business owners to do the same, Ziska said. Like many people familiar with Click, Ziska spoke of his amazing energy and passion. “Jim Click is the most passionate and energetic person I’ve ever met on any front,” Ziska said. “His passion and commitment goes out to those with disabilities and anyone who needs help.” Ethan Orr, executive director of Linkages, said the organization would not exist if not for Click. “Jim’s vision is the driving force behind Linkages,” said Orr. “His compassion and commitment to people with disabilities is an inspiration to me and the hundreds of people who work in this field.” Proposition 400

Click also receives praise for helping pass Proposition 400, which created the Pima County Joint Technical Education District, and for his continuing support. “Jim Click was instrumental in the establishment of the Pima County JTED,” said a statement from the office of Alan Storm, JTED superintendent. “Mr. Click was one of the first and most substantial contributors to the Proposition 400 campaign. His contribution allowed the campaign to be advertised and promoted. His continued support of area high school automotive programs allowed students to participate in internships in his dealerships, and in many cases led to subsequent employment. “Mr. Click has maintained a longtime sponsorship of the high school automotive awards program that recognizes outstanding high school seniors. Additionally, his support of JTED Project SEARCH, a program for developmentally disabled high school students, led to the placement of the program at the University of Arizona Medical Center South Campus.” Reid Park Zoo

Diana Whitman, development director of the Reid Park Zoological Society, said Click became interested in touring the zoo after learning a Kresge Foundation grant would be available to the zoo if $1 million were raised from private sources. “Mr. Click knew about the matching piece from the Kresge Foundation,” said Whitman. “He was here half a day touring continued on page 58 >>> www.BizTucson.com

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2012 RAYTHEON SPIRIT OF EDUCATION AWARD

BizLEGEND continued from page 57

the zoo. His daughter and granddaughter were with him. He was very attentive, enthused and excited about what he saw. It was a treat for us to watch because of his level of enthusiasm.” Click donated $1 million to the society, which resulted in the organization receiving $750,000 from the Kresge Foundation. The money was used to build the Click Family Elephant Care Center. “Besides viewing the elephants and taking in the beauty of these wonderful animals, visitors receive a conservation message and the ability to see behind

the scenes to learn how these animals are cared for and why zoos are important,” said Whitman. “This new exhibit is providing educational experiences every day for all generations” said Nancy J. Schlegel, executive director of Reid Park Zoological Society. “Grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, young and old alike have learning experiences while they are also enjoying the time outdoors together that the zoo provides. “When Jim Click visits to the zoo, you see him in action – talking to children, asking about the animals, what they eat, how endangered they are in the wild and engaging with the guests. He is a

blur of energy as he shares his love for the zoo with children of all ages. He is our best ambassador and has connected us with many people who otherwise wouldn’t have known about this treasure in the heart of Tucson.” Whitman added, “We can’t find the words to express how appreciative we are for what he’s done.” The late Roy P. Drachman – himself an iconic example of community commitment and caring – once said, “Jim Click has been the most valuable individual addition to Tucson in 75 years. He is a dear friend who has proven time and time again that he is for real. If he says that he will do it…he’ll do it.” Biz

Raytheon Spirit of Education Award By David B. Pittman

PHOTO: CARTER ALLEN

worthy recipient,” said Lawrence. “The future of Arizona and When the business community comes together Dec. 12 to the nation is dependent on a skilled workforce and it takes dedipresent Jim Click with the Raytheon Spirit of Education Award, cated people like Jim and his team to help make that happen.” there will be a great deal to celebrate. First, they will celebrate Jim Click’s four decades of compas Ron Shoopman, president of the Southern Arizona Leadersion, care, generosity and leadership for education and countship Council, said no one is more deserving of the 2012 Rayless other causes throughout Tucson and Pima County. theon Spirit of Education Award than Jim Click and the Jim Click Automotive Team. Second, they will celebrate a new tradition – thanks to Taylor W. Lawrence, president of Raytheon Missile Systems, and a “Once again, the business, nonprofit and educational compair of University of Arizona leaders. munities responded enthusiastically to make it possible for us to say thank you to another unique and deserving organization,” Last year, a sellout crowd of more than 600 came together he said. “This year, we celebrate Jim Click and his automotive at Loews Ventana Canyon in “A Salute to Raytheon Missile Systeam for their leadership in education and for so much more. tems.” That event was organized by myriad Tucson business Tucson is a better place because of Jim Click.” leaders to demonstrate their appreciation for Raytheon’s six decades of contributions to the Southern Arizona economy and its This year educational and child-based organizations that longtime efforts to improve education and the local workforce. have benefitted from Click’s philanthropy – such as Tucson Values Teachers, the UA, San Miguel High School, Salpointe Cath Lawrence was so moved by last year’s event, that he said he olic High School, Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson, Linkages, Reid and Raytheon would host future Raytheon Spirit of Education Park Zoo, Pima County Joint Technological Education District Award presentations so other deserving companies and busiand Pima Community College – ness leaders could receive will set up exhibits at the event. the recognition they deserve. Oh yes, there is a third reason That prompted former UA to celebrate. Proceeds will go to President Eugene Sander to support Tucson Values Teachers, pledge the university would an organization which the Jim co-host the event along Click Automotive Team and Raywith Lawrence. New UA theon founded. Last year’s event President Ann Weaver Hart raised $30,000. agreed to honor Sander’s “Jim Click believed in the vision commitment. of TVT from the beginning and And so the second-annual has been an advocate for the “Raytheon Spirit of Educalast four years,” said Jacquelyn tion Award” will celebrate a Jackson, executive director. “We brand new business tradition could not be where we are today in our community. without his strong support and be “Raytheon was so honlief in our teachers.” ored to receive this award Jakob Merriman, Jim Click, Priscilla Hart, Scott Clemmer last year, and we are proud at a recent San Miguel High School event. that it will go on to another

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BizBRIEF

Staff Grows at UA Research Parks The University of Arizonaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Office of University Research Parks added two new staff members and promoted two others. New are Patrick Murphy, facilities and construction manager, and Heather Spitzer-Dominquez, business development coordinator. Anita Bell and Jessa Turner were promoted to senior managers. Murphy is responsible for directing the design, construction and maintenance of research park facilities, as well as planning, allocating and tracking space requirements and allocations for the research parks. Murphy brings 15 years of experience ranging from site planning, budgeting and engineering to procurement and construction management. Heather Dominquez has 10 years of experience in sales and marketing and primarily will assist the business development director with business recruitment and attraction for both the UA Tech Park and Bio Park.

Bell was promoted to senior client services manager at the Arizona Center for Innovation, a business incubator located at the Tech Park. She manages business development programs and activities that assist start-up companies. Turner was promoted to senior media and public relations manager for the Office of University Research Parks, which oversees the UA Tech Park, Bio Park and Arizona Center for Innovation. Turner manages public and media relations as well as community relations, working with communities surrounding the Tech Park and Bio Park.

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Arizona - Sonora Desert Museum

Scientific Wonder Turns 60 By Monica Surfaro Spigelman

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A Tucson treasure, this place for all seasons, is embraced worldwide for ground-breaking, natural exhibitions and enchanting desert wilderness. With new programs to celebrate its 60th year, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is ready for a new close-up. Raptors soar in flight and prompt a long exclamation from the crowd. An endangered Mexican wolf roams an expansive habitat as spellbound onlookers enjoy an intimate encounter with wildlife. Otters. Prairie dogs. The bighorn ram. You know what we’re talking about – you’ve been here. These up-close encounters speak to everyone at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, the internationally renowned center of education, research and Sonoran desert life. Now there are new wonders in store – a Great Blue Heron at home in the cienega habitat, watching the animal keepers up close at work, and in December, the new Warden Aquarian exhibit Rivers to the Sea. Far more than a world-class zoo, this showcase of natural desert and all its interconnections is also a botanical garden and natural history museum that’s uniquely woven into the fabric of Tucson. “Without question, its economic impact on our region is significant and contributes to our distinct sense of place and quality of life,” said Allison Cooper, marketing director for the Metropolitan Tucson Convention & Visitors Bureau. “The Desert Museum is not only a natural attraction for visitors seeking an authentic and memorable experience, it’s also becoming a globally recognized scientific wonder for the most elite scientists and travel ‘purists.’ ”

While more than 600,000 annually have experienced delightful moments in this picturesque living museum, the new programs launching during the Desert Museum’s 60th anniversary year will make Tucsonans and tourists alike want to head back there again. What’s New Part of the Labor Day 60th anniversary kick-off highlighted the Great Blue Heron/Cienega exhibit – a natural habitat showcase for the tall North American water bird commonly found near shores and wetlands. The Desert Museum’s graceful heron was a patient at a Seattle wildlife sanctuary after sustaining injuries, likely from an eagle attack. Unable to return to the wild, the museum accepted the heron as an educational bird and created an artful, airy enclosure in the Desert Grasslands area adjacent to the prairie dog exhibit. Visitors also will discover a newly constructed library in the Baldwin Education Building. This research center

This desert sea has over 2,500 miles of coastline and is home to thousands of marine species, making it one of the most diverse seas on the planet.

– Stephane Poulin Curator of Herpetology Ichthyology and Invertebrate Zoology Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

contains the Desert Museum’s digital library – more than 6,000 books, periodicals and audio-visuals of relevance to the natural history and interpretation of the Sonoran desert region. The collection also includes 30 boxes of archival materials, more than a thousand black-and-white photos and negatives, 30 films and 32 scrapbooks of clippings concerning the museum’s history from 1952 to present. The library includes the new Garden Room, a space that increases classroom capacity for the museum’s Art Institute. There are already so many ways to engage with the desert at every trail or enclosure. Yet the museum is promising even more close-up interactions with desert wildlife. The Animal Keeper program allows visitors to watch keepers work with the animals in a variety of ways – through feedings, enrichment activities or training exercises to prepare the animals for vet procedures. At scheduled intervals, one of the museum’s 18 keepers will talk with visitors about the behaviors of various wildlife, like the scent marking of javelinas and foraging of coatis. Check the information board at the entry ramada for Animal Keeper interaction options. Wonder of Water The aquatic life of the desert – from the Colorado River down through the Gulf of California – is intrinsic to the desert, yet its story has never been told completely. That will change in December when the Desert Museum opens its new Warden Aquarium and exhibition Rivers of the Sea. “The waters that flow from the Colorado to the Sea of Cortez are of immense importance to the life of the desert,” said Stephane Poulin, the Desert continued on page 64 >>>

1. Harris’ hawk, a star of the Raptor Free Flight program (photo: Howard Paley) 2. George L. MountainLion (photo:Howard Paley) 3. Sonoran desert toads (photo:Howard Paley) 4. Fishhook barrel cactus in bloom (photo: Mark Dimmitt) 5. One of 200 docents interprets a Barn owl for students (photo: Jackie Alpers) 6. Visitors enjoy a desert vista with Saguaro backdrop (photo: Jackie Alpers) 7. Conservationist-in-the-making checks out the Ancient Arizona exhibit (photo: Jackie Alpers) 8. Bighorn sheep native to the Sonoran Desert’s “sky island” habitats (photo: Howard Paley) 9. Purple Owl Clover (photo Jim Honcoop) 10. A black-tailed Prairie dog at the Museum – one of the few places in Arizona where they can still be seen (photo:Howard Paley) 11. Visitors exploring a portion of the Museum’s two miles trail system (photo: Jackie Alpers)


BizMILESTONE continued from page 63 Museum’s curator of herpetology, ichthyology and invertebrate zoology. “This desert sea has over 2,500 miles of coastline and is home to thousands of marine species, making it one of the most diverse seas on the planet,” he said. “Nowhere else does the ecosystem contain such vital natural resources that influence life to such a degree.” The 1,100 square-foot aquarium, with its 14 tanks highlighting both freshwater and saltwater aquatic life is one of a kind – because no other institution has assembled such a comprehensive undersea ecosystem of the wa-

Then…

Mere minutes west of the city, this center devoted to the interpretation of the geographic area including Arizona, Sonora and the peninsula of Baja California, plus the Gulf of California, opened in 1952 in Tucson Mountain Park. Originally the word “trailside” was in its title. There were 70,000 visitors the first year.

ters impacting the Sonoran Desert. “Where some places give you a little of everything, the Warden Aquarium is an in-depth exploration of our area. You won’t get textbook details here. Instead, you’ll have the complete story – as told by our own experienced research staff.” The exhibit will showcase about 50 different species within an environmentally conscious, accessible facility created in an expanded footprint of the original, smaller aquarium. Walking through the exhibition area, visitors will follow a progression of the region’s rivers all the way to the Gulf of Cali-

Its existence was sparked by William H. Carr, who earlier founded Bear Mountain Trailside Museum in New York, affiliated with the American Museum of Natural History. His love of native plants and animals and his vision to create a regionally focused collection was shared by Arthur Pack, himself a conservationist and editor of Nature magazine. At the time, there were no paved roads over Gates Pass to the site, which was

fornia. There will be two touch tanks with invertebrates on a rotating viewing schedule. Bi-lingual labels will provide species information while digital displays will allow fast and accurate modifications. Simple backgrounds will give each of the tanks, ranging in size from 200 to 2,000 gallons, a feeling of open space. “With the interpretive focus primarily on the waters of the Colorado River and the Sea of Cortez, visitors will be able to marvel at our region’s aquatic wonders while learning how it’s relevant to our conservation mission,” Poulin said. continued on page 66 >>> mostly natural desert with a few buildings. One structure, known as the Mountain House, was originally built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1937. It is now part of the Desert Museum’s entry. Other original structures still in use include the Caretaker’s House (now home to the Interpretive Animal Collection) and the Stable (now used by the maintenance department).

New Aquarium

Now…

There are two miles of trails around the museum’s 21 developed acres housing more than 230 animal species and 1,200 plants. More than 175 of the plants and animals are of conservation concern in the Sonoran Desert region. The 98 acres of the Desert Museum continue to be owned by Pima County and leased to the museum.

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An amazing 82 percent of Desert Museum members are local, with 12 percent out of state. There are more than 500 volunteers, 200 of whom are docents. The museum’s television series collaboration, known as “The Desert Speaks,” still is broadcast in cooperation with the local PBS affiliate – Arizona Public Media – in 200 markets.

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Pacific Seahorse One of the many marine species that will inhabit the Sea of Cortez Gallery

Research and conservation continue to be priorities. This includes the Species Survival Plan work on the Mexican wolf and thick-billed parrot, as well as many fishes, amphibians and reptiles. The Desert Museum has grown up from its beginnings. The museum is regularly listed as one of the top 10 zoological parks in the world and has received numerous achievement awards from the Association of Zoos & Aquariums.

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Photo: Alex Kerstitch

Conceptual Design


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continued from page 64 Sonoran State of Mind All this impacts the quality of life for a region already rich in lifestyle and natural resources. This is of particular importance as the region’s burgeoning high-tech industries bring a changing workforce to the city. There’s a need for institutions like the Desert Museum to satisfy new cultural and recreational priorities, according to Robert C. Koch, VP of communications and external affairs for Raytheon Missile Systems and vice chair of the museum board of trustees. “These high-tech professionals value learning, exploring and discovering new things, and they expect high-quality cultural amenities like the Desert Museum,” Koch said. “They place a high priority on doing something worthwhile while having fun. The museum is fertile ground for these talented people – because the programs and facilities in this vibrant environment satisfy a wide variety of interests and foster a quality of life that is expected.” More Anniversary Plans Other experiences are planned during the museum’s 60th Anniversary year to create lasting impressions of our desert. A new Diamonds in the Desert collection, a twist on the 60th Diamond jubilee, will be an adjunct to the Museum’s popular Mineral Madness Program and the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show. The museum also will create Then and Now vignettes encompassing both on-line (virtual) and on-site (tangible) elements dedicated to the anniversary. Visitors, members and fans can contribute their memories and photos via the museum’s website and Facebook page. Some vignettes also will be positioned on the grounds, with photos of past exhibits. Special sightings around town of the museum’s popular Desert Ark Studebaker will add fun and prizes to the celebration. “We know people want interesting and important activities that enrich and inspire,” Koch said. “There’s the commonplace and the colorful here. Behind the scenes, there are educators and volunteers who keep the place humming. This is so much more than a leisure venue. Very few projects have as strong an impact on the region as the Desert Museum.” Biz

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When Alexandra Fisher walked through the doors of the new spa at Miraval Resort & Spa, “it felt like Mother Earth was welcoming me.” Fisher, who has been a regular visitor of the spa since 2008, had long been enchanted by the services, the practitioners and the spa itself. But the St. Louis resident was taken by the simple beauty of the new 16,000-squarefoot Life in Balance Spa with Clarins, which opened in May. The spa is not about excess and opulence, but life-enhancing minimalism, said Philippe Bourguignon, chairman of the board of Miraval. “You can hear yourself like nowhere else,” Bourguignon said. “Miraval creates experiences that make life more magnificent.” Under the direction of Clodagh Design, the spa features minimalism at its most glorious, with 23 rooms that include six outdoor treatment rooms. New is a VIP Spa Suite designed for couples – featuring a jasmine-scented courtyard, relaxation room, treatment room for two, fireplace and outdoor whirlpool and shower. Spa director Simon Marxer offers a variety of signature Miraval treatments, including Nâga Thai Massage, which uses silk scarves and gentle stretches, to Mountain Berry Clay Renewal Ritual to nourish the skin. “The response to the spa has been tremendous,” said Miraval CEO Michael Tompkins. “In the industry we are hearing great buzz.” Carol Stratford, VP of marketing at Miraval, said news of the new spa has been in more than 100 media reports worldwide. “We have always had tremendous therapists and now we have the facility to support what they do,” Stratford said. Biz

PHOTOS:COURTESY MIRAVAL SPA & RESORT

Miraval Partners with Clarins in New Spa


Time Stands Still at Miraval By Gabrielle Fimbres flights to Tucson prompted Miraval to look closer to home. “We wanted to make ourselves very visible to Phoenix and Tucson,” Tompkins said. “This was the first year that Miraval focused most of the summer advertising budget in the Phoenix market, and we are seeing more folks coming from Tucson and Phoenix.” Miraval has become involved in local charitable organizations – from Angel Charity for Children to the local Adopt-a-Roadway program. The resort supports arts organizations, including Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Arizona Theatre Company and others. In July, Miraval hosted the Women at the Top annual retreat, and about 75 Tucsonans in the women’s networking group discovered the tranquility and sense of peace the place has to offer. Lupita Murillo, a reporter at KVOA-TV, found that sense of peace – along with a conga line she started during a Dance Infusion class. The group participated in physical, spiritual, educational and spa activities, Murillo said, and were “amazed at the talent in the kitchen,” with Executive Chef Chad Luethje. “Some of America’s top companies have been to Miraval and here it is in our own backyard and many continued on page 70 >>>

Michael Tompkins CEO, Miraval Resort & Spa Carol Stratford, VP of Marketing Miraval Resort & Spa

PHOTOS: KRIS HANNING

Drive through the gates at Miraval Resort & Spa – and everything stops. Life’s constant rushing, worrying, texting, tasking. The rat race comes to a glorious and magnificent halt at Miraval. Surrounded by inspiring mountain views, heavenly cobalt skies and heady desert perfume, visitors from around the globe journey to Miraval to feed the soul. Tucked away at the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains on 400 acres north of Tucson, Miraval has long been a favorite spot of celebrities and TV stars, from Dr. Oz and Ellen, to the Portland Trailblazers and billionaire philanthropists. But with a brand new spa and plans for expansion, Miraval is finally getting noticed at home as well. “We have been Oprah’s favorite spa – but in downtown Tucson, you might not have even heard of us,” said Michael Tompkins, Miraval’s CEO. With signature spa services, outdoor challenge activities and opportunities for personal growth, Miraval has been named “Favorite Spa in the United States” by SpaFinder and one of the “World’s Best Places to Stay” by Condé Nast Traveler, among a mighty list of industry awards. “Our original demographic was New York and Chicago,” Tompkins said. But the struggling economy and a dwindling number of direct

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Life-Transforming Experiences Await at Miraval In 2008, David Smith seemed destined for a heart attack. He was living the pressure-cooker corporate life as CEO of One On One, a St. Louis company that provides marketing and other services to senior housing communities. But he was unhealthy and unhappy. “We were in the mode of work, work, work,” said his partner Alexandra Fisher. Fisher recalled reading about Miraval, and she suggested he go. Smith reluctantly agreed. A Miraval van picked Smith up at the Tucson International Airport, and on the long drive he plotted his escape. “I almost jumped the van,” he recalled. But then Smith arrived at this oasis and had, as they say, a moment of clarity. “I thought OK, I’ll stay for a day. I was here for a month. It totally transformed my life.” Today Smith is in shape and in control. He’s healthy and happy and has life in perspective. And he said he has Miraval to thank. “It allows you to be in the present and slow things down,” Smith said. “I have developed a better way of dealing with conflict.” Smith and Fisher have visited Miraval seven times since 2008. “I believe it’s a necessity. It’s a place I recharge,” said Fisher, who credits Miraval with helping her reconnect with her artistic work as a painter. “It’s really home.”

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People are not just looking for a vacation.They are looking for personal growth. We are not just a destination, but a destination with a purpose. Our experience is unique. – Michael

Tompkins, CEO, Miraval Resort & Spa

continued from page 69 of the women had never been there,” she said. Miraval, which is based on a core philosophy of mindfulness and living in the moment, is known worldwide for activities that include the Miraval Equine Experience – where a guest’s relationship with a horse can teach a great deal about life – to the Desert Sky Zipline and Quantum Leap II, where guests leap from the top of a 35-foot pole. More than a quarter of a million guests have visited Miraval since its opening in 1995. “Our experience is unique,” Tompkins said. “People are not just looking for a vacation. They are looking for personal growth. We are not just a destination, but a destination with a purpose.” Jean Case and her husband, AOL Co-founder Steve Case, discovered Miraval nine years ago. They were so enthralled that Steve Case became majority owner in 2004. “Miraval really transformed us in a number of ways, personally and professionally,” Jean Case said. The two own one of 16 private villas on the property, and visit as often as they can. Through his experiences, Steve Case saw the opportunity to grow Miraval into a global lifestyle brand. To get the message to the greater community, a series of six Miraval books has been launched, with mindfulness at the core. The first, Mindful Eating,

was released earlier this year. “We have been able to take the knowledge of our providers at Miraval to help people change their lives in a positive way,” Tompkins said of the books. Also new is Miraval Journeys, where groups travel to “authentic destinations around the world combining beauty, great food and the principles of mindfulness,” Tompkins said. The first journey is to Croatia in October. Expansion of properties in other locations is in the works as well. Tompkins said folks are in need of a place like Miraval – and a concept like mindfulness – to survive the chaos of life. “All of us are juggling a heavy work load and living stressful lives,” Tompkins said. “Whether you are a soccer mom or dad shuttling kids around or the CEO of a major company, when do you get an opportunity to stop and just be and encase yourself in a world of calm?” He credits his staff of 350 for the resort’s success. “Very few spas out there have the breadth of talent that Miraval does. The single most important feature of Miraval is our staff. They create a great experience.” Rates start at $299 per night per person for a stay in one of 117 casitastyle rooms, and special packages are offered to locals in the summer. “We’re a great destination right here in your backyard,” Tompkins said.

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PHOTO: KRIS HANNING

Steve Case, Co-founder, AOL and Majority Owner, Miraval Resort & Spa

Q & A with Steve Case Tucson venture capitalist Harry George caught up with Steve Case, cofounder of AOL and majority owner of Miraval Resort & Spa, at the debut of the new spa facility. Case and his wife Jean own a villa at the world-class resort, visiting several times a year. Here’s what the two entrepreneurial gurus discussed: George: BizTucson readers will be interested to know how you first found out about Tucson and Miraval. What brought you here? Case: We first came to Miraval about nine years ago. My wife had done the research and we wanted a getaway vacation – but not just a sitting-by-thepool vacation. We wanted to be active and relax and chill a little bit. We fell in love with it. We fell in love with the place and the people and the program. The first visit we just went to Miraval but now we like to get out and see things in Tucson. It is a fabulous community. George: How much time do you spend in Tucson? Case: We probably spend a total of a month a year – we come four or five times a year. We don’t spend more time here because we still have kids in high school. We are a couple of years away from being empty nesters and my guess is we will be able to spend more time here. Tucson is a great community, with great cuisine and a lot of physical activwww.BizTucson.com

ities – hiking, mountain biking. It gives you the ability to so much that builds on this healthy lifestyle. George: What prompted you to invest in Miraval? Case: We loved the place. We loved what was already there, but we thought we could – while preserving some of the core legacy and ingredients – we thought we could take it to the next level. George: With the unveiling of the new spa, would you say that Miraval is rebranding? Case: It’s evolving – but we are not changing the branding. When we bought it eight years ago it was widely viewed as one of, and in some cases, the best spa in America. The spa itself was not great. What people loved about it was the setting and the people and the programs, the cuisine, the treatments and the massage. The actual physical site was good but not great. We thought it was the final step in the evolution of the experience to have a flagship spa that was spectacular that we could be proud of and serve as a model as we look to expansion in other places. George: Tell us more about this brand extension: Case: We saw the opportunity to build the brand and then over time build other Miravals in other destinations – both

in terms of resort destinations and in a primary living community opportunity we call Miraval Living. It might be a condo in a city where you take some of the key ideas from Miraval and make it available for people to live there 365 days a year, not just occasionally on vacation. The final component is wellness – people taking more responsibility for their health and taking steps to stay healthy and not just deal with a problem when they get sick. What is happening here at Miraval could be a model for others to follow. We have a series of books coming out that started with Mindful Eating as well as other intellectual property. George: From a 30,000-foot level, does your investment strategy key in to the aging population? Case: Absolutely. The good news is people are living longer. The bad news is the products and services to help in those later years are not as flexible or affordable or effective as we think they could be. We can take some of the Miraval ideas into that sector over time. George: What would you say is the overall theme of your investing? Case: The broad theme is we invest in people and ideas that can change the world. We are investing in products and ideas that give people more choice in key aspects of their lives.

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PHOTO: CARTER ALLEN

BizLOCAL

Tucson members of the Local First Arizona Foundation board (L to R): Keith Simmonds, Bank of Tucson; Deanna Chevas, Local First Arizona membership coordinator; Mary Rowley, Strongpoint Marketing; Don Luria, Tucson Culinary Foundation

Power the Economy

Shop Locally By Teya Vitu What if everybody shifted a mere 10 percent of their shopping to locally owned stores rather than national retailers? Kimber Lanning insists that alone could go a long way to restore a robust economy for Arizona. “We can create jobs tomorrow,” Lanning said. “We’re not anti-global. With a small correction in the way we’re spending our money, we can correct our economy and have a higher quality of life.” She’s been on a crusade since 2003 to espouse local shopping as an economic development power tool. Lanning is the founder and executive director of Local First Arizona, a nonprofit coalition of more than 1,200 Arizona businesses dedicated to making shoppers and community leaders aware that dollars saved at a national retailer could be dollars lost for a local school or police department. About 350 Local First member businesses are in Tucson. Until 2009, this was a one-woman (paid staff) crusade, but in the last three years Local First has grown to seven staff with the latest addition being Deanna Chevas as the first full-time membership coordinator for the Tucson region. Lanning expanded the Phoenix-centric Local First to Tucson in 2008 at the behest of City Councilmember Karin Uhlich and since then has added 18 rural communities in every corner of the state. Local First Arizona is resonating with 72 BizTucson

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more than 10,000 Facebook “likes” and nearly 13,000 Twitter followers. “The concept was marginalized early on,” Lanning said. “Now economists are looking at our numbers and saying this is right.” Studies consistently show that when you shop at a locally owned business rather than a national retailer, an additional $30 of every $100 spent remains in the local economy. Chevas became aware of Local First while working at Perri Jewelers downtown. Perri quickly joined Local First and immediately benefitted from the extensive business listing on the Local First website. “It got us much more exposure on the Internet,” Chevas said. “It got the owner thinking of marketing in a way he never had before. It helped facilitate a shift from relying on older clientele to reaching someone new who didn’t come here because their parents came here.” Chevas’ big focus in her opening months as membership coordinator is producing a Tucson version of Local First’s Small Wonders guide – a foldable, CD-sized brochure with map, 2¼ -by-2¼-inch ads with photo, a blurb for about 25 businesses, plus a “happenings” event calendar. Small Wonders guides are now in Scottsdale, Tempe, Downtown Phoenix, Glendale and Verde Valley. The Tucson guide, www.BizTucson.com


With a small correction in the way we’re spending our money, we can correct our economy and have a higher quality of life.

– Kimber Lanning Founder & Executive Director, Local First Arizona

expected by early fall, would focus on downtown, 4th Avenue and Main Gate Square – the future streetcar route. “It sells a sense of place. It’s meant to stay in your car,” Chevas said about the Small Wonders guide printed on sturdy stock. “It’s meant to last.” With Chevas on board, Local First will have more speaking engagement in Tucson, more events, more hands-on interaction with members. Advocacy is a huge priority at Local First – whether it’s Lanning giving her spiel to breakfast and lunch meetings at the legislature or League of Cities and Towns, or working with the City of Tucson procurement office to give more preference to local companies for government purchases. Since Local First’s arrival in Tucson, the city’s limit for giving preference to local businesses for goods and services has increased from $25,000 to $50,000. The City Council increased the local procurement preference to $1 million for goods and services, excluding construction related enterprises. “Generally, courts have upheld (local preference) if there are legitimate reasons, such as stimulating the economy,” said Mark Neihart, director of the city procurement department. Tucson city government generally does about 55 percent of its spending at locally owned businesses. “Local First has been instrumental in giving us policy guidance,” Uhlich said. Bookman’s Entertainment Exchange was a Local First member in Phoenix years before the Tucson presence was established. “It’s a sense of brotherhood in arms to buy local,” said Michelle Armstrong, Bookman’s community relations director. “For us, it’s about our community partners, the businesses and nonprofits we work with. Any time I partner with two or three groups, Local First is willing to promote it.” Mary Rowley, owner of Strongpoint Marketing, is one of three Tucsonans on the Local First Arizona Foundation board, along with Keith Simmons, Bank of Tucson and Don Luria, founding president of Tucson Originals and Tucson Culinary Festival. “To me it makes a lot of sense because all boats rise in the state if we can keep work here,” Rowley said. “To have even a slight preference for our local small business has an effect on our economy.”

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BizBRIEFS Jose Rincon New VP at Dependable Nurses Jose Rincon is the new VP, Staffing Manager for Dependable Nurses, a locally owned and operated nurse staffing agency. Rincon has more than 20 years of medical sales and marketing experience. He’s a graduate of Salpointe Catholic High School and the University of Arizona, where he earned a business degree and participated in the Eller entrepreneurship program. He also holds a master’s degree in management from the University of Phoenix. He is a member of the Tucson Conquistadores and sits on the Board of the Catholic Diocese Foundation. He’s been involved with the Boys and Girls Clubs, The Cascade Foundation, Ben’s Bells and in 2009 was recognized as a Father of the Year by the Father’s Day Council Tucson at a benefit to raise money for the Steele Children’s Research Center. In October Dependable Nursing will celebrate its 20th anniversary.

Biz

Wells Fargo Names John Gibson Southern Arizona Area President As the new area president for Wells Fargo in Southern Arizona, John Gibson will be responsible for 582 team members and 42 banking locations with $2.5 billion in deposits. His office is at Wells Fargo downtown. “His experience, commitment, and focus on the customer and on the community will serve him well as he assumes this new expanded role for community banking in Southern Arizona,” said Pam Conboy, lead regional president for Wells Fargo Arizona. Gibson began his career with Wells Fargo in 2005 as a teller and since that time has served as a personal banker, service manager and store manager. Gibson most recently served as district manager for the greater Tucson metro area where he was responsible for 275 team members and 17 stores. He’s held leadership positions within the metro Phoenix east region as business champion, credit champion and communityinvolvement coordinator. Gibson earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in business administration from Arizona State University and currently is enrolled in the Pacific Coast Banking School at the University of Washington. He serves on the board of directors and the executive committee for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Arizona and is a former member of the board of directors of the Chandler Chamber of Commerce. Biz 74 BizTucson

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www.BizTucson.com


SPECIAL REPORT 2012

THE REGION’S BUSINESS MAGAZINE

Ventana Medical Systems 2 5 Ye a r s o f I n n o v a t i o n

Founder: Dr. Thomas Grogan


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SPECIAL REPORT Cancer – it’s a word we all dread. A disease that once was a virtual death sentence is now more manageable and sometimes even curable. Critical in the fight against cancer is fast and accurate diagnosis, – and that is what Ventana Medical Systems is all about. Tucson’s own Dr. Thomas Grogan pioneered life-saving cancer diagnostics at Ventana that are used in 91 countries today. The University of Arizona pathology professor and Ventana Medical Systems founder is a transformational figure in the history of our region – with three of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies in the world maintaining a presence in Tucson. Dr. Grogan’s technology has improved the lives of millions of people with cancer, including Cathy Gawronski and Stephen Jones, two of Ventana Medical Systems’ own. Grogan’s technology was used to quickly diagnose and precisely treat these two survivors. This is what Ventana Medical Systems brings to our community and the world. The central focus for the Fall 2012 BizTucson edition is “Conquering Cancer” – an in-depth special report on this company’s first 25 years of accomplishments, as well as a look at what lies ahead. Journalists David B. Pittman, Romi Carrell Wittman, Gabrielle Fimbres, Eric Swedlund and Donna Kreutz have done an exceptional job reporting the milestone achievements of this team of global health care visionaries. Meet Dr. Grogan, the iconic founder, and other researchers who are pushNote to readers: Look closely at the bottom banner across each page of this special section. These are “cancer stains” – magnified images of what cancer researchers view every day in their fight against cancer.

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photo by: Steven Meckler

Conquering Cancer

ing the frontiers of science. Look to the next 25 years with Mara Aspinall, the visionary president of this global giant with annual revenues of $600 million. The company that Grogan started in a garage was acquired by Swiss-based Roche in 2008 for $3.4 billion. With Ventana developing personalized diagnostic technology and Roche producing the treatments that target specific cancers, this is a modern day miracle of science. This region’s expanding biotech industry has the potential to become a game-changing pillar of prosperity. We have more than 120 small bioscience companies in the region. This is a rapidly growing and vitally important clean industry that offers high-wage jobs, with Ventana at its core. Dr. Ray Woosley, president emeritus at Critical Path Institute, predicts Ventana Medical Systems could be the next Raytheon. Congratulations, Ventana Medical Systems. We look forward to your next 25 years of innovation. Steven E. Rosenberg Publisher & Owner BizTucson

BizTucson is published quarterly by Rosenberg Media, LLC. © 2012. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Opinions expressed in columns or articles do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. About the Special Report Cover: By Creative Director Brent G. Mathis, Photos by Chris Mooney and courtesy of Ventana Medical Systems.

PAS LG Fungus Lung Tissue Stain


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BizBIOSCIENCE

Conquering

Ventana Medical Systems’ First A lump, a biopsy, a diagnosis. The fight against cancer starts with a test, the critical first step in the battle against the devastating disease that – in one way or another – touches us all. A precise diagnosis can mean the difference between life and death. Leading the effort to improve diagnostics and patient care for people around the globe is Ventana Medical Systems, a pioneer in providing physicians with the tools to more effectively diagnose and combat cancer. In business for 25 years, the Tucson bioscience giant has one goal – to improve the lives of all patients afflicted with cancer. And now with the backing of Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche, which

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purchased the locally-grown startup in 2008 for $3.4 billion, Ventana truly is global. Last year, Ventana products were used in the care of as many as 8 million patients in 91 countries. Armed with state-of-the-art, tissue-based diagnostic tools, the company today is raising the standard of patient care through digital pathology and workflow automation. The scientific team at Ventana has created more innovations and been granted more patents than any other pathology or laboratory company globally. It all comes back to the lofty 10-word mission statement crafted when the company incorporated in 1987: “To improve the lives of all patients afflicted

with cancer.” “Our mission is so unique and powerful, I believe every one of our employees knows why we are here,” said Ventana President Mara Aspinall. “We are a business and we have a responsibility to the business – but our fundamental reason for getting up in the morning is to make a difference in the lives of the patients that depend on us.” Ventana’s impact on personalized medicine and the growth of a biosciences cluster in Tucson cannot be overstated, said Harry George, a venture capitalist who has invested in 44 earlystage life science, information technology and clean-tech companies though his Solstice Capital. “Ventana Medical Systems puts Tuc-

FISH Insertion Prostatectomy Composite


Biz

Cancer

25 Years of Innovation son on the bioscience map nationally and internationally,’’ George said. “It has been nothing short of transformational for Tucson.’’ The man behind the technology is Ventana founder Dr. Thomas Grogan, a University of Arizona pathologist, researcher and world-renown expert in lymphoma. For 25 years, his vision, uncommon character and resolve have permeated this company that he started in a garage. Grogan pioneered the automation and standardization of tissue biopsy testing – a life-saving discovery that has resulted in speedier, more accurate and greatly expanded cancer testing. But Grogan didn’t stop there. Knowing that body tissue contains a wealth of

information that is vital beyond cancer diagnosis, he expanded his objective to research the chemistry of cancer biopsies. In the process, he and Ventana have enabled physicians to personalize cancer diagnosis and treatment options for individual cancer patients. “There’s something here that’s very special. It’s a level of engagement and passion that we are on this shared mission to improve the lives of all patients afflicted with cancer,” said Dr. Eric Walk, who succeeded Grogan as Ventana’s chief medical officer. “When you speak to people who visit us, even from other parts of Roche, they immediately recognize the energy and the buzz. “Even though we have competitors,

By David B. Pittman

it’s my view that we’re unique in our industry,’’ Walk continued. “Yes, we’re a diagnostic company – but we’re the only company that really has a vested interest and is passionate about driving the future of the field of pathology through innovations in diagnostics that will lead to changes in the practice of medicine and real changes in how patients are treated.’’ That spirit of innovation is spurring growth in the biosciences industry in Tucson, said Leslie Tolbert, UA senior VP for research. “Having Ventana here … helps to make the science environment bigger and stronger and more prominent,’’ Tolbert said. “It has created a special zing around the biosciences here. continued on page 86 >>> Fall 2012 > > > BizTucson 85


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BizBIOSCIENCE continued from page 87 growth arrow pointing upward ever since. “We went public the old-fashioned way,” said Grogan. “After we made money and showed we could operate profitably, we were allowed to go public. In those days, that was the way it was done.” Ventana stock was initially offered in June 1996 at $10 per share, which was the start of an amazing run in which Ventana never fell below market expectations in any quarter over the next dozen years. Grogan never regretted that Ventana went public. “If you are going to change hospital practice and the practice of medicine, the denominator of capital that you need is in the hundreds of millions of dollars,’’ he said. “How could you start in a garage off of Grant Road and become a global company without raising capital? And where else are you going to get $100 or $200 million? I happen to be very positive about Wall Street because of its old-fashioned mode of supplying capital for ideas like this. That’s when Wall Street is brilliant.” In 1997, Ventana sold 500 systems. In 1999, the company, which long ago had established locations in Europe, opened offices in Japan and the Asian Pacific. Virtually every year, Ventana improved its medical devices, introduced new models or came up with new products. In 2000, the rapidly growing company purchased land in Oro Valley where it began construction of its modern campus. In 2001, Ventana moved into its new home at Innovation Park, which originally included 182,000 square feet in four buildings. Ventana experienced huge change in 2008. Three more buildings were constructed at the Oro Valley campus, bringing it to its current size of 360,000 square feet in seven buildings. Next, Ventana was purchased by Roche for $3.4 billion. Grogan was among the majority of Ventana board members who favored the Roche buyout offer because Roche gives the company a significantly greater global footprint and the capital required to speed growth. 88 BizTucson

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In late 2010, Ventana announced it would add 500 workers and embark on a $184 million capital investment plan for new buildings and equipment at its headquarters at Innovation Park. The planned expansion translates into an economic impact of $640 million over 10 years for the region, reflecting a ripple effect of jobs, capital investment and increased productivity. Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities, the Town of Oro Valley, Pima County and the State of Arizona provided a $12.2 million economic development incentive package to ensure the Ventana/Roche expansion occurred in Oro Valley.

The technology and approach at Ventana could go forever. Now with the backing of Roche, I think it could be as big as Raytheon one day.

– Dr. Ray Woosley President Emeritus Critical Path Institute

The deal includes $8.2 million in property tax reduction from Pima County, $3 million from the state that came from federal stimulus funds and a rebate of up to $1 million in infrastructure impact fees from Oro Valley. George, of Solstice Capital, said Roche could have chosen to pull Ventana from Tucson. “When a company gets started in Tucson, as the company grows and goes public and often gets acquired, there is always a risk that when it gets acquired we will lose it, as we did with BurrBrown,’’ he said. “It is a great success that it has grown, it has gotten to this

scale and that it is planning to continue to grow in Tucson. “You really couldn’t overstate the impact that Ventana has and will have on Tucson’s knowledge-based economy, and especially the biotech sector,’’ George added. “It’s the single most important influence.’’ After the flurry of planned expansion is complete, Grogan said more will come. He said Ventana “is only 1/20th” of what it will eventually be. “In 2011, our products were used to run 32 million assays, or tests, in more than 90 countries,” said Grogan. “It usually takes four tests per patient, that’s the norm. So that means we were involved in the care of 8 million patients. But that’s a drop in the bucket. We want to be in every country in the world, and our big brother Roche is going to help get us there.’’ Aspinall, who became Ventana president in 2011, believes the next decade will bring tremendous change. “In 10 years, I believe every patient’s tissue sample will be digitized so it can be viewed and shared across one health system or across the world by experts in a specific cancer,’’ Aspinall said. “It will also reduce health care costs and provide more specific and faster diagnosis – which will save lives.’’ Aspinall does not believe a single miraculous cure for cancer is coming. Instead, she believes improved diagnostics and therapies may transform cancer from a potential death sentence to a chronic disease. “Given the diversity of the cancer challenge, I don’t believe there will be a one-size-fits-all solution. I believe it is all about diagnostics on day one, and day 30, and day 60, and day 90, and throughout the patient’s treatment and fight against cancer.’’ Ventana is poised to develop the technology to conquer some forms of cancer, and make others manageable. “We think big and out of the box,’’ Aspinall said. “We have earned the right, through our large size, to create new opportunities and push the edge of the envelope.’’ Reporter Eric Swedlund contributed to this report.

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Q&A with Ventana Medical Systems’

Mara Aspinall By Romi Carrell Wittman

Ventana at 25: Revolutionizing Cancer Diagnostics

PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

What did you do when you turned 25? Maybe you went out to dinner with friends. Maybe you noticed your car insurance premiums went down. Maybe you felt like you were finally an adult. But what does 25 mean to a company? More specifically, what does it mean for a company that, in a 25 year span, went from a tiny start-up to a global behemoth that has revolutionized the field of cancer diagnostics?

Ventana Medical Systems is about to find out. Founded by University of Arizona pathologist Dr. Thomas Grogan in 1987, the company has exploded in growth and today employs more than 1,200 people locally. As it looks ahead to the next 25 years, it’s poised to further revolutionize cancer diagnostics and treatment.

As Ventana celebrates this quartercentury milestone, BizTucson wanted to get Ventana President Mara Aspinall’s take on where the company has been, as well as where it’s headed. We also wanted to hear her thoughts on Tucson and its budding biosciences sector. BizTucson, along with several biosciences leaders, posed the following questions:

BizTucson: What is Ventana’s greatest achievement over the past 25 years? What are you most proud of ?

Leslie Tolbert, University of Arizona Senior VP for Research: What novel products do you imagine Ventana Medical Systems might be making and marketing in 2022? 2032?

Aspinall: We are most proud of transforming the pathology laboratory, bringing automation to cancer diagnostics, increasing patient safety and introducing revolutionary new tests that allow physicians to do specific tumor profile analysis. In the past five years we’ve taken transformation to a new level. We’ve applied it to the area of digital pathology and workflow automation. It’s not just automating the processes occurring in the labs, but we’re now using this new technology to give pathologists even greater ability to analyze samples for patients. Twenty-five years ago pathology was dependent on the individual skill of the technologist and pathologist, and you saw tremendous variability. Today, our automation and quality systems – with our customers’ knowledge base – have enabled labs to produce consistent, reliable results. This has had a huge impact in raising the standard of patient care. Overall, we are proud to live our mission to improve the lives of all patients afflicted with cancer and to have become the world’s leading developer and manufacturer of tissue-based diagnostic instruments and tests for the detection of cancer.

Aspinall: I love looking out 10 and 20 years. We have 244 biomarkers today that help physicians differentiate between one sub-type of cancer and another. I see that number doubling in the next decades as more biomarkers are developed that allow us to subdivide cancer into more relevant and more patient-focused segments. Secondly, we will see Ventana revolutionize the pathology lab again through digital pathology. In 10 years, I believe every patient’s tissue sample will be digitized so it can be viewed and shared across one health system or across the world by experts in a specific cancer. This is just the beginning – our technology supported by automated analysis will perform detailed and complex analysis of an individual patient’s case to ensure that pathologists have the best data to help them advise oncologists to make the best treatment decisions. It will also reduce health care costs and provide more specific and faster diagnosis – which will save lives. continued on page 92 >>>

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BizBIOSCIENCE

Diagnostics can be and should be the core of bioscience expansion in Southern Arizona.

Mara Aspinall

President, Ventana Medical Systems continued on page 84 >>> Fall 2012 > > > BizTucson 91


BizBIOSCIENCE Ventana Medical Systems & Roche By the Numbers

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Ventana Medical Systems Founded in 1987 by Dr. Thomas Grogan, professor of pathology at the University of Arizona

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25 years of commitment and innovation to improving the lives of patients with cancer

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6,000+ systems installed in more than 3,000 labs worldwide More than 244 diagnostic tests – world’s largest ready-to-use menu of antibody products

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Ventana products sold in 91 countries

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229 worldwide patents granted, plus 292 worldwide patents pending

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1,500+ employees in the U.S., with more than 1,200 in Tucson

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275+ scientists, engineers and physicians

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Research and development, manufacturing, marketing, sales, business development and other operations at Tucson headquarters

Revenue over $600 million with robust annual growth of more than 15 percent

300+ employees in 34 countries outside the U.S.

Four acquisitions in three years to expand product portfolio

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Roche

Founded in 1896 in Basel, Switzerland World’s largest biotech company with top ranking in the global in-vitro diagnostics market

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80,000+ employees in 150 countries across all continents

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2011 sales – 42.5 billion Swiss francs or about $43.6 billion

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2011 research and development spending – 8.1 billion Swiss francs or $8.3 billion Source: Ventana Medical Systems

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continued from page 90 You’ll also see Ventana continue to expand its international market reach. Our commitment to cancer patients is global. Cancer knows no boundaries, and our resolve to fight it does not stop in the United States. Roche has enabled us to sell our products in 91 countries today. Joan Koerber-Walker, Arizona Bioindustry Association CEO: Medicine is changing through a new generation of diagnostics from being reactive to proactive. How is Ventana leading this change? Aspinall: Ventana is changing medicine in two ways. First, our exceptional scientific team has created more innovations and been granted more patents than any other pathology or laboratory company in the world. Second, we’re changing the paradigm for patients. We are enabling personalized medicine. Cancer patients have always been treated based on where their cancer first appears. So lung cancer patients are treated by lung cancer experts. Colon cancer patients are treated by colon cancer experts. I believe that to go from reactive to proactive, we will have to change that paradigm. In the future, patients will be diagnosed and treated by the biological mechanisms that are currently and potentially active in their particular disease – revealed by relevant biomarkers – that have caused the cancer. So your surgeon will know whether your tumor is in your lung or your colon, but your oncologist will treat you based on what gene or protein is driving your cancer. That is the foundation of what Tom Grogan created here. BizTucson: What do you see as Ventana’s biggest impact on the community? Aspinall: Skilled and attractive jobs for the Tucson region. That clearly translates to a positive economic impact, directly or indirectly through our many employees and their families. Something I’m really proud of is our support of the local community. Whether it’s our work on math and science education, our employees volunteering in schools, or Ventana’s Young Scientist’s Day where high school kids come here, wear a lab coat and experience our technology side by side with our scientists in the lab. We also give directly to commu-

nity causes. Last year we hosted the Couture for Cancer, a fundraiser for Diamond Children’s Medical Center. We’re very proud to give back – it is our responsibility to the community. ‘To whom much has been given, much is expected.’ ” We’ve had the privilege of growing a business and we want to ensure that it helps our surrounding community. Koerber-Walker: For 25 years, Ventana has been a leader in the Arizona bioscience community and a prime example of a company that was born here and grew here. What does our state need to do to bring more Ventanas to life? Aspinall: Arizona has to continue to be an easy place to do business, and the regulatory and tax burden must be at least competitive, if not better than neighboring states. We also need Arizona to be a great place to live. To do so we must ensure we have a world-class education system that is attractive to the highly talented parents who consider a job in Tucson. This is a personal passion of mine. We have some great schools here – public, private and charter – but we need to ensure that all of our public schools, from pre-K through high school, are truly excellent. In order to do that, we need open and cooperative communication between the schools, government and business to work together to improve the schools. We need to recruit the best teachers and ensure they’re happy here and continue to grow. Our biggest asset is our knowledgeand skill-based intellectual community – we must continually improve our strong statewide university system. We need to ensure that we attract the best students at the undergraduate level and at the graduate level. We can do that by expanding world-class research in the sciences and by making sure that Arizona’s university programs are second to none. Several of those stars exist today – information science, optics, physics, engineering and basic biomedical sciences. Lastly, we need a technology transfer system that can take the innovations that happen at the universities and ensure there is a mutually profitable and expedient way to get those innovations into the private sector. It is really hard to build a new business, and great ideas from great universities are just a starting point. It takes enormous concerted effort and cooperation to bring them to the clinic so they can be utilized by patients.

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Ronald Shoopman Southern Arizona Leadership Council President: The Bioscience Leadership Council of Southern Arizona and the Flinn Foundation have worked hard over the last decade to support the growth and development of bioscience in our region. How important has that effort been? Aspinall: This work has been critical and great progress has been made over the last decade implementing Arizona’s biosciences roadmap, bringing us to a higher level of national competitiveness. We need to ensure this work continues and accelerates. Let me give you some numbers: From 2002 to 2012, bioscience jobs increased here by 41 percent, adding nearly 8,000 jobs. National Institute of Health funding in Arizona grew faster than the top 10 funded states. We grew NIH funding 25 percent during that time, which is truly extraordinary. Tolbert: What do you envision as essential components of a successful innovation ecosystem? Aspinall: There are three components. Number one, a strong private sector – companies and investors. Two, a strong intellectual community with universities at its center with a willingness to out-license technology. Three, a strong infrastructure with a www.BizTucson.com

PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

BizTucson: DxInsights was recently announced. Tell us more about that. Aspinall: Co-located in Tucson and Boston, DxInsights is an independent, nonprofit, non–partisan, non-lobbying group dedicated to improving the level of knowledge about diagnostics. It’s not about one type of diagnostics vs. another – it’s about educating on the power that comes from accurate test results. Diagnostics has been around forever. But over the last 20 years, diagnostics has been radically transformed from a sector that performed critical, but relatively basic, single analyte tests. Today it’s an industry that still includes those important tests, but has expanded to look at proteins, genes and other markers, giving physicians a far more nuanced and sophisticated look at disease. Diagnostics has been undervalued in part because many in the health care industry do not understand the current power of diagnostics. DxInsights will bring that education to bear through a website with all things diagnostics, informational events for health care stakeholders and industry-wide research that no one company or lab could undertake on its own. BizTucson: What is unique about Ventana? Aspinall: Ventana is a center for innovation. It’s a place where risk taking flourishes. While we have customers who depend on our current products and services day in and day out, we’re still a place that can take risks by trying new things. We think big and out of the box. We have earned the right, through our large size, to create new opportunities and push the edge of the envelope in a way that you can’t do when you’re a small company. It’s all made possible by a tremendously passionate and dedicated group of employees who come to work every day to make a difference. Cancer is everyone’s number one fear. You remember where you were in the happiest moments of your life and the saddest ones. Often cancer is that saddest moment. At Ventana, we give people the confidence their diagnosis is as accurate and precise as humanly possible. It’s what drives us.

Biz

PHOTO: COURTESY VENTANA MEDICAL SYSTEMS

Aspinall: I believe that diagnostics can be and should be the core of bioscience expansion in Southern Arizona. The infrastructure necessary for diagnostics is well suited to our community. The capital necessary to create and grow a diagnostics company is far less than any other type of health care investment, in addition the relative risk for diagnostics is much lower than for other investments in the health care industry. With Ventana and the other companies located here, we have a talent pool that is knowledgeable in the sector. Yes – there are many synergies between the science sectors that will only expand as technologies become more complex and integrative.

deep talent pool and innovation-friendly local and state government.

PHOTO: COURTESY VENTANA MEDICAL SYSTEMS

Dr. Raymond Woolsey Critical Path Institute Founder: Should diagnostics be the highest priority for the region’s focus on bioscience? Could the aerospace, optics and diagnostics programs be synergistic?

Fall 2012 > > > BizTucson 93


Ventana Medical Systems’

Renaissance Man

Photo: BalfourWalker.com

By David B. Pittman In a crowded lab at the University of Arizona in 1979, Dr. Thomas Grogan saw the need to change the world of cancer diagnostics, and decided he was the man to do it. That realization led Grogan to start Ventana Medical Systems, where he has saved lives around the globe through a more precise system of diagnosing – and ultimately treating – people with cancer. A year earlier, when Grogan was at Stanford University, monoclonal antibodies were first made available to probe proteins in the human body. That advancement opened a new world to Grogan. “All of the sudden, when you put a little dye on those antibodies you could see where they went, and if you cut a slice of tissue you could look at that breast cancer and say, ‘Hey, I’m seeing estrogen receptors,’ ” Grogan said. “Then when you told that to the oncologist, he would say, ‘Hey, I’ve got a drug for that.’ ” It wasn’t long before all the doctors treating cancer patients at what was then University Medical Center were asking Grogan to perform tissue biopsy testing on all of their patients. But that was impossible because each process took five days to complete. Grogan quickly realized the process needed to be done on every patient. Asked if anyone had ever thought of that before, Grogan responded: “Well, I hap94 BizTucson

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pened to have been first in that matter.” It was the first of many discoveries as Grogan built Ventana Medical Systems from a garage startup into a world leader and innovator of tissue-based diagnostic solutions that was acquired by Roche four years ago. Since those early days in his lab, Grogan has transformed medical science and cancer treatment and saved millions of lives. Grogan did this by transforming cancer diagnostic testing procedures that had to be performed in a laboratory by hand, and sometimes took weeks to complete, into a quick, automated process. “The discoveries Dr. Grogan and a number of people here at Ventana have made are foundational in nature,” said Ventana VP Doug Ward, who is lifecycle leader of companion diagnostics. “Ventana is the shadow of Tom Grogan. We’ve been successful because of Tom and the brilliant people he has surrounded himself with, people who get things done and aren’t afraid to take risks and learn from those things and keep bringing better and better solutions to cancer diagnostics.” Grogan’s story begins in 1945, when he was born just outside of Boston in Amesbury, Mass. His father, a Navy veteran of World War II, later had a career in the U.S. Foreign Service, which took Grogan and his family to such countries as Cyprus, Liberia and Germany. Gro-

gan attended high school in Frankfurt. Always a good student, Grogan loved science, particularly biology. By the time he was 12, he knew he would be a medical doctor. He said his mother, a registered nurse who later became a librarian, worried he was “too bookish,” although he ran track and played quarterback on his high school football team, which one year was crowned European champions. Grogan left Germany to attend the University of Virginia, and later George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C., where he earned his medical degree. A pathologist, Grogan did post-graduate work at Stanford before coming to the UA in 1979 to do medical research, practice medicine at what is now University of Arizona Medical Center and the UA Cancer Center, and to teach medical students. Grogan was recruited to UA by Dr. Jack Layton, a professor and head of the Department of Pathology at the UA College of Medicine. “Jack said if I came here he would pay for a lab for me,” Grogan recalled. “That was pretty unusual in those days.” It was in that lab that Grogan started jotting notes on a yellow note pad, notes that would lead to automated cancer diagnostic testing. The process he emulated was similar to the shift from developing film by hand in a darkroom to automated film development. continued on page 96 >>>

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BizBIOSCIENCE

Tom Grogan knew he wanted to change the practice of pathology to have a better impact on patient outcomes and it took a lot of hard work. It gives a human face to what can happen with perseverance.

– LeslieTolbert UA Senior VP for Research

Dr. Thomas Grogan

Founder, Ventana Medical Systems

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BizBIOSCIENCE continued from page 94

$89.50 per share, or about $3.4 billion, transparent and the university received to acquire Ventana. an equity position in the company. It was “Back in those days, you didn’t do After receiving legislative approval to among Barr’s final accomplishments in PowerPoints, you did Kodak film,” Grostart his company, Grogan embarked office. Following the 1984 regular sesgan explained. “So, I talked to some guys on what he said proved to be his most sion of the legislature, Barr was upset in in a photo lab and got them to take the difficult accomplishment – raising the the Republican primary for governor by top off of an automatic film processor. investment capital needed to get Ventana Evan Mecham. Barr never held elected It occurred to me that what we were dooff the ground. office again. ing by hand had similarities to that. The As a result of the bill, UA received In 1987 and 1988, Grogan was repiece of glass we put the slice of tissue 100,000 shares of Ventana Medical Sysjected 35 consecutive times by venture on was like a piece of film. So then the tems. However, because of sour business capital firms. It wasn’t until his 36th question became, how do you develop dealings that did not involve Ventana, pitch that Grogan hit pay dirt and found the film?” UA officials decided to sell all university a firm, Crabtree Ventures, willing to Having come from Stanford, Grogan private business holdings in the midplunk money down on his visionary busibelieved the development of his discov1990s. UA’s Ventana shares were sold ness plan. The leaders of Crabtree Venery should be done in the same fashion for $2 per share. In 2008, Roche paid tures, John Patience and Jack Schuler, as a technology enconvinced a firm terprise started by that had previously a couple of graduturned Grogan ate students named down to reconsider Hewlett and Packand back the effort. ard at the Bay Area In the first investschool. ment round, the In 1984, Grogan two venture groups received a business provided $5 million license, but before to Ventana. he could get started “But remember, it on his venture he was many years bewas ordered to cease fore we started makand desist from his ing money,” said entrepreneurial acGrogan. “Those tivities by the univertwo kept putting up sity attorney. PHOTO: COURTESY VENTANA MEDICAL SYSTEMS money. Altogether, At this time there were those who Ventana Medical Systems leadership rings the NASDAQ bell at initial public offering in 1996. they provided half of the $100 million were highly critical of equity investment we needed before we Grogan, describing him as a “wheelerbecame profitable.” dealer, get-rich-quick 1980s scam artist.” Ventana got up and running from a Grogan chuckles at the characterization, structure that consisted of a small office saying it took him 12 years before his inand garage located just off Grant Road, vestment in Ventana moved from the red just a pitching wedge east of Interstate and into the black. He said his goals were 10. always altruistic: To better medical prac “That’s where we built the prototype,” tices and patient care. said Grogan. “By then I had found some Despite the criticism, Layton and othother risk-takers to join me.’’ The first ers at the university were in Grogan’s of those was Ross Humphreys, who was corner. They took him to see then-UA Ventana’s first president and CEO. President Henry Koffler, who believed Grogan and Humphreys brought in a advanced research and product develhandful of chemists, engineers and docopment should come from universities. tors that made up the original team that Koffler took the matter to the Arizona developed the initial medical devices. Board of Regents, who had legislation The number of employees grew quickly prepared governing start-up companies as the company began manufacturing at universities. The proposal was handed products in 1991. off to the last true political boss at the In 1993, after the company had outArizona Capitol, House Speaker Burton grown the garage and moved to a facilBarr. ity near I-10 and Prince Road, Grogan – Dr. Ray Woosley Barr quietly pushed through the legiswas particularly dejected following a President Emeritus lation, which allowed professors to work board meeting in which more losses in private-sector firms spun off from Critical Path Institute were reported. However, after that meettheir research, provided all business was

Grogan is a renaissance man who had the foresight to change the practice of medicine, and in the process save the lives of millions of people.

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ing, Grogan was cheered by one of the investors – Jack Schuler, formaly CEO of Abbott Laboratories – who threw an arm around Grogan and expressed confidence that Ventana was on the right path. The optimism of that investor was based on the fact that Ventana had sold an instrument to the Cleveland Clinic. Ventana officials were certain if patient results at the Cleveland Clinic were positive, it would provide proof to doctors and hospitals everywhere of the success that could be achieved by the breakthrough. “So we did everything possible to achieve success at the Cleveland Clinic,” recalled Grogan. “We had two guys – one of them is still working for us, Mike DeGroff – who actually slept right in the Cleveland Clinic lab. Within a year, we had completely transformed that lab and they were buying more instruments and doing everything by our method.” The results at the Cleveland Clinic were phenomenal and Ventana was soon selling its systems to hospitals and research facilities not only in the United States, but in foreign countries as well. In 1995, Ventana had its first profitable year. In 1996, Ventana went public, selling shares on the NASDAQ under the symbol VMSI. That began an amazing run in which the company met market expectations every quarter for 12 consecutive years. During those years, Grogan oversaw the development of new and improved products and took part in the company’s move to Innovation Park in Oro Valley. While at Ventana is continuing to grow, the 67-year-old Grogan is beginning to slow down. “The lab I started, my successor now runs. I still participate in lab meetings and look at some of the biopsies. I retired from the practice of medicine. I am now a professor emeritus – doing less playing and more coaching.” Grogan’s titles at Ventana now are founder and senior scientific advisor to the company’s president. Grogan also runs a mentoring program for promising young doctors, scientists and researchers at Ventana. “I don’t work full time now, but I do work on specific projects. There are two of them, the next two inventions, that are near and dear to my heart,”

Grogan said. “I have gone to grandfather status, which is good work if you can get it. In that mode, I can probably go a long time without retiring.” Although Grogan is world famous in scientific and medical circles, he has had only one celebrity experience while carrying on everyday activities in Tucson. “It was about 10 years ago and I was buying tennis shoes at Tucson Mall,” Grogan recalled. “I laid my credit card on the counter and this teen-aged kid takes my card and asks, ‘Are you Tom Grogan?’ “I answered, ‘Yes.’ “He asked, ‘The Tom Grogan?’ “I answered, ‘Possibly, why do you want to know?’ “And he said, ‘Because I own shares in Ventana.’ ” Grogan said his wife, Cande Grogan, is better known and treated more as a celebrity than he because she co-founded Café Terra Cotta and was the founder of Ovens, a pair of popular Tucson restaurants. “People frequently walk up to my wife and ask for the recipe for Thai Chicken Pasta or some other dish,” he said. The Grogans are active in philanthropy. Grogan’s causes are the UA Cancer Center and College of Science. Among his wife’s charities is the Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona. Grogan and his wife have two children, Andrew, a geographer at General Dynamics, and Emily, an actress. He enjoys spending time with his grandkids, and encourages them to doodle – not unlike those legal pad doodles that started it all more than three decades ago. Biz Reporter Eric Swedlund contributed to this report.

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Grogan’s earliest sketches and notes resulted in ground-breaking diagnostics technology. These sketches are displayed in the hallways of Ventana’s medical innovation building.

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BizBIOSCIENCE Dr. Eric Walk

Fueled by Passion for Patient Care

Chief Medical Officer Ventana Medical Systems

Photo: BalfourWalker.com

By Eric Swedlund

www.BizTucson.com

Dr. Eric Walk’s career has hinged on some good advice and good fortune. As chief medical officer at Ventana Medical Systems, Walk brings his pathology training and his strong background in drug development and molecular biology – a perfect fit for a leading diagnostics company eying the future of personalized medicine. Walk’s father – an obstetrician-gynecologist who’s still practicing at age 75 – encouraged him to find his true calling and pursue a career in which he could be 110 percent engaged. And that is exactly what he has found at Ventana. “My father always told me that no matter what you do in life, make sure you’re passionate about it. You should do something that you enjoy so much it doesn’t even seem like work,” Walk said. “It’s the single piece of advice that’s always stuck with me.” As an undergraduate at Johns Hopkins University, Walk found that medicine was his calling. “When I applied for medical school, I remember distinctly my personal statement, writing, somewhat naively, that my goal was to make a lasting impact on the field of medicine,” he said. “That was a motivating factor for me to do what I was passionate about in medicine, which is pathology, but also through pathology to make an impact on how patients are cared for. That nicely ties to what I do here at Ventana.” Walk wanted to combine clinical medicine with the strong interest in molecular biology he developed at Johns Hopkins. His studies there coincided with breakthroughs scientists made in the late 1980s in terms of understanding the circuitry of cancer cells. “Pathology, in contrast to other medical specialties, is about the study of disease itself and the mechanisms underlying disease. Your job is to fundamentally understand what disease is, what makes disease processes like cancer tick. That really resonated with me,” he said. After graduating from the University of Virginia Medical School in 1995, Walk went into pathology. He’d receive specimens from the operating room and examine them under the microscope to find the diagnosis. But after a couple years in private practice, the day-to-day hospital practice of pathology wasn’t fulfilling. He kept up on breakthroughs in genetic research and was intrigued by differences he saw in how patients with seemingly identical cancers responded to treatment differently. “The molecular piece, back when I was first practicing pathology, really wasn’t part of the field,” he said. “I began to wonder what makes certain continued on page 100 >>> Fall 2012 > > > BizTucson 99


BizBIOSCIENCE

Understanding Cancer By Eric Swedlund “The one-drug-fits-all model is essentially gone and we now are more intelligently thinking about molecular subtypes of cancer and how they differentially respond to therapies,” says Dr. Eric Walk. The chief medical officer for Ventana Medical Systems said that places the company’s diagnostic capabilities at the forefront of future cancer treatments. “We know now that cancer is not one type of disease, even within an anatomical category. Within breast cancer, there may be a dozen or more molecular diseases and the same is probably true in other cancers,” he said. “Our challenge now is to figure out, using diagnostics, how to profile cancer patients and to understand what is making those cancers tick, what are the driver mutations in these cancers that underlie their growth and their aggressiveness.’’ Once the cells are profiled, the right cancer drugs can be administered. The approach faces several challenges looking to the future, including a growing understanding of the complexity of cancer growth and the possibility of acquired resistance. Some of the most promising targeted therapies have proven to be initially successful in selected patients, but over time, and it can be as little as six months, the tumors grow back. “What we’re learning is even though we’re successfully killing the population of cells that the drug was designed against, the tumor is ‘smart’ enough to not have all its cells be genetically the same,” Walk said. “If 80 percent of a tumor is driven by a gene that you’re targeting with a specific therapy then you’ll kill that 80 percent and the tumor will shrink, but you 100 BizTucson

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have 20 percent left that’s driven by a different gene and that tumor clone will grow and eventually be the same size or larger than what you started with.” One potential solution is not using just one drug, but using a selected combination approach based on the cancer’s profile. It’s an unproven hypothesis being explored now. “That’s why you come back to diagnostics. Our challenge is to build a portfolio of assays that can profile these different tumors and help oncologists identify which tumors need which drug combination,” Walk said. “It only strengthens the value of diagnostics.” Another question challenges the assumption that groups cancers and treatments according to where they are in the body. “We know now that not all breast cancers are the same, but could it be that certain breast cancers, colon cancers, pancreatic cancers and brain cancers – even though they come from different anatomic sites – share a molecular profile? Maybe instead of being focused on diseases, we need to be focused on these gene profiles.” Ventana is also concerned with the implications of ongoing diagnostics throughout treatment, adapting the therapy based on the evolving profile of cancer’s mutating cells. “It’s great to be in the diagnostic industry as personalized health care continues to evolve because we can look out across different therapeutic modalities and the different drugs that emerge and stay focused on developing solutions that can be used to combine drugs or show which drugs are better than others,” Walk said. “It’s a true revolution in the fight against cancer and I’m tremendously excited to be part of it.”

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continued from page 99 cancer cells different at a molecular level when at the microscopic level they looked the same. I wanted to investigate these sorts of questions.” Fate intervened in 2002 with a call from a headhunter with an unusual job offer. Novartis Oncology was looking for a pathologist to be a part of a new group in translational medicine. The term was new to Walk – he had to Google it after the phone call – but it has been at the core of his career since. “It’s the concept of going from the research bench to the bedside,” he said. “What it means is taking research from the lab and applying those learnings to clinical patients, translating those discoveries into applications. In reality the cycle continues because what we learn in patients is then the basis for continued bench research. “In a single interview conversation with a VP at Novartis, I instantly knew that’s what I needed to do. It was a visceral sort of feeling. I had to do it, because of what my father always told me, but also because it was clear to me that it would allow me to do what I sought out to do in medical school – to make a long lasting impact in medicine,” he said. Walk joined a multidisciplinary team of researchers and drug developers tasked with creating a new portfolio of targeted drugs, very different from traditional chemotherapy. Novartis’ success with the drug Gleevec in treating chronic myeloid leukemia and later gastrointestinal stromal tumor represented a tantalizing leap into new possibilities for Walk. At Novartis, Walk was part of a team pioneering a new concept known as companion diagnostics, using targeted testing to identify patients who would respond to the drugs. “When I was at Novartis working on all these drugs, we needed to develop diagnostics. It was my job to find a diagnostic partner that was high quality and strategically aligned with this new philosophy of translational medicine and personalized health care. I very quickly found Ventana,” Walk said. “During that time I was a customer of Ventana and would fly to Tucson to review assays and slides, providing feedback on the development of new tests.

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technology and develop into a robust diagnostic that can be used by pathologists around the world to provide critical cancer information.” One of the most profound implications of the emerging personalized health care model is in how crucial the diagnosis becomes. Having the highest quality, most accurate diagnostic tools in a standardized format that can be run routinely around the world is critical. “Our challenge is to do that with ever increasingly complex tests. It’s one thing to do that with a very bread-andbutter standard test. It’s quite another thing to do that with a complex molecular test,” Walk said. Now, virtually all oncology drugs are developed with a companion diagnostic in mind, which means pharmaceutical companies have to come to Ventana to develop a robust test in time to embed it into their human trials. “Often times now drug companies are using the diagnostic tests that we develop to select the patients to go on the trials. The old way to do a trial was to enroll everyone and later figure out who responded and who didn’t. Now with these companion diagnostics, you know the population that is likely to respond,” Walk said. For Walk, keeping pace with research also means anticipating different types of discoveries and how scientists might reassess their understanding of cancer. It’s a shift in the field of pathology itself since the start of Walk’s career, and one that places pathology on the cutting edge. “I come from a drug development background and drugs used to be viewed as sexier than diagnostics. I now think diagnostics are sexier than drugs because you can’t use these drugs unless you have the diagnostic information to appropriately target them. “Diagnostics is the hub of personalized medicine. At Ventana we take that very seriously. We alone can’t drive the future of pathology but we have a critical part to play in making sure the pathologists of the future have the tools they need to contribute,” Walk said.

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Photo: BalfourWalker.com

I got to know the people here very well.” Good fortune again found Walk in 2005, with an offer to go from simply a Ventana customer to joining the company. But having grown up on the East Coast, both Walk and his wife had never spent any significant time in the West and the logistics of uprooting the family seemed daunting. Walk turned Ventana’s offer down. But Ventana was persistent. Walk had spoken to Dr. Thomas Grogan on the phone but had never met the Ventana founder. One meeting was all it took to seal the partnership. “After speaking to Tom and seeing how visionary and sincere he was in serving patients through anatomic pathology, I realized the opportunity to work with someone like that was something I couldn’t pass up,” Walk said. “As a pathologist interested in personalized health care and innovations that will drive the entire field of oncology and medicine forward, I can’t think of a better role for myself. I knew that working with Tom, I couldn’t go wrong.” Walk’s role with Ventana is two-fold: representing the company’s medical and scientific vision externally as CMO and overseeing seven subgroups internally as senior VP of medical and scientific affairs. The company’s future hinges on Walk’s medical innovation team, the engine that paves the way for new ideas and products. “We feel that the real growth for Roche overall, including Ventana, will come from ‘medical value’ products: diagnostic products that will allow clinicians to make a decision they weren’t able to make before because the information we provide through this diagnostic test is unique,” Walk said. “We look comprehensively across disease areas and identify – through looking at the literature, through staying in close communication with the top academic leaders worldwide – the most recent and compelling discoveries being made that could be a game-changing diagnostic. “It’s a combination of an art and a science. There are many articles written, many presentations given and we survey all of that information and try to find the diamonds in the rough that we can then combine with our proprietary

Cancer Survivor

Cathy Gawronski received the terrifying news – the lump she found in her breast might be cancer. She underwent a biopsy and tissue was sent off for testing. She spent 10 agonizing days waiting for the results. “The waiting is brutal,” she recalled of her 2002 breast cancer diagnosis. After her successful treatment, Gawronski was compelled to work at Ventana Medical Systems. “As a cancer survivor, I wanted to work in a company that supports cancer patients across the board,” she said. “It is an issue that is very dear to me.” She joined the team seven years ago, and is customer service manager. Three years ago, a second lump was found, this time in her other breast. Gawronski made sure Ventana products were used in this diagnosis. After waiting three days – not 10 – the news came again. Cancer. This time it was a different form of breast cancer. She soon underwent surgery and has a clean bill of health. All new employees at Ventana Medical Systems hear her story in a 30-minute video. “What we do really matters to patients,” Gawronski said. “Every sample that goes through this diagnostic process at laboratories and hospitals worldwide is somebody’s life.” By Gabrielle Fimbres Fall 2012 > > > BizTucson 101


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Economic Impact Ventana Medical Systems By Donna Kreutz Think of Ventana Medical Systems as a money magnet for Tucson and Pima County, attracting dollars from all over the globe. “Ventana is an export-based bioscience business. It does not exist to serve the people of Tucson and Pima County like a Home Depot,” said Dennis Hoffman, professor of economics in the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. “They export technology and in return dollars flow to Tucson and dollars flow to Pima County. “Ventana is able to leverage highly trained, highly skilled personnel to build sophisticated products that are exported around the planet – products that contribute to the welfare of all of society. “Ventana is a key strategic asset,” he said, like Raytheon Missile Systems, which also is an export-based company. Tucson needs to attract more exportbased companies. “If you try to trace the origins of prosperity for a region, it is in the number and importance of the key export industries that reside in that region,” Hoffman said. Bioscience in particular is sustaining. It “feeds a demand that will certainly be prevalent across Europe and the U.S. as the boomer generation ages. Developed countries and even developing countries are keen on investing in those pursuits that promote human welfare and health,” he added. “Ventana would not exist were it not for another key strategic asset – the University of Arizona and its research medical school. Research universities attract star scientists and those star 102 BizTucson

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scientists end up coming in either as consultants with businesses in the community, or as in this case, forming their own businesses.” The university also produces the future workforce for hightech companies. Hoffman said, “The growth of Ventana is very key to growth of Pima County and Tucson. It’s something to be nurtured. “Ventana is a jewel – one you’ve got to keep polished and treat well – or find

The growth of Ventana is very key to growth of Pima County and Tucson. It’s something to be nurtured.

– Dennis Hoffman Professor of Economics W.P. Carey School of Business Arizona State University

out it leaves some day. “These types of businesses are generally mobile. They count on the production and retention of highly skilled people in the region,” Hoffman said. Even though Ventana has deep roots here, “trust me – if you stop producing and are unable to supply the talent, or if you can’t get the talent to come to Tucson, they would leave.”

To reach critical mass in the bioscience sector in Southern Arizona, Hoffman said, “frankly you need a few more Ventanas.” Hoffman said it is essential for this region to think ahead and address important regional issues like transportation, workforce development, water and energy. “Everything needs to be geared toward keeping these types of businesses happy,” he said. Arizona’s economic developers “work really hard at economic development and understand most of the issues. But the average Arizonan – and perhaps more of our legislators – need to understand that we need more than low taxes and few regulations for businesses like Ventana to flourish. “Ventana wouldn’t exist without the major investments made at the UA. That’s what it has got to take – continued major investment in education programs, buildings, faculty, teachers, workforce training and all the humancapital investments.” Add to that the need for substantial investments in telecommunications, transportation, water, infrastructure and more. Think big. In the future, there will be megapolitans and megaclusters of cities serving high-tech export businesses, Hoffman said. “We’ve got to think about the investments that need to be made to promote some vibrant linkages” in Arizona’s Sun Corridor with Southern California, he said. “We’ve got our work to do to maintain the competitive advantage here.”

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Doug Ward VP, Lifecycle Leader of Companion Diagnostics Ventana Medical Systems

PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

BizBIOSCIENCE

The New Frontier Companion Diagnostics By Eric Swedlund Ventana Medical Systems leadership envisioned the future of health care, with personalized medicine at its core. That vision – coupled with investments and the groundwork that prepared the company to become a leader in the field – led to the companion diagnostics group at Ventana. The group endeavors to identify, develop and gain approval of biomarkers that will help pharmaceutical companies determine which patients will receive the greatest benefit from their drugs. “Over the last several years, after we established market leadership in laboratory efficiency through our platforms, we evolved our strategy to include high medical value tests that run on those platforms. Companion diagnostics and my part of the business are a key component of our overall strategy for the future,” says Doug Ward, VP and lifecycle leader of companion diagnostics. In the companion diagnostics arena – which pairs a particular, targeted diagnostic test with a companion drug – Ventana has 180 current projects, with more than 40 partnerships with pharmaceutical and biotech companies. “Companion diagnostics is about identifying the specific population of people whose disease can be characterized by genes, proteins or other 108 BizTucson

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biomarkers as the best responders, or, conversely, identify patients who won’t respond to a specific therapy,” Ward said. Building pharmaceutical partnerships is a challenging and rewarding process, Ward said, similar to the drugdevelopment process itself. “There’s an early stage to developing partnerships, which is all about innovation. Ventana has innovated not only the science and medicine, but the

Ventana delivers diagnostic tests that change the guidelines for managing and treating disease. – Doug

Ward

business model for successful pharmadiagnostics partnership as well. “Once we have a strong scientific hypothesis, we then need to prove the concept. Working with the team and the infrastructure we’ve built here in Tucson, we deploy an assay-development group to make innovative prototype assays and utilize them in initial studies with the pharmaceutical companies. Those biomarkers that are proven to be companion diagnostics are then advanced to the highly regulated assay develop-

ment process that has proven so successful over the years for Ventana.” The drug and companion diagnostic progress together through the trial stages. Then Ventana and its partners develop the products and prepare them for FDA or other approval, then co-register and co-commercialize the products. “Companies know that Ventana has such a strong brand and success in this field that they will call us and ask to work with us. That’s a testament to all the years Tom (Grogan) and the team have put into proving our credibility,” Ward said. “We’ve earned that with a lot of hard work.” Ventana doesn’t publicize its pharmaceutical contracts unless the drug company chooses to do so, but Ward said several new partnerships are highly visible, including ones with Roche, Pfizer, Bayer, Merck and Clovis Oncology. The future looks promising with companion diagnostics forecasted to be the fastest growing sub-segment within the diagnostic industry and targeted therapies as the fastest growing segment within oncology drugs. “We anticipate many more public announcements and successes in bringing drugs and their companion diagnostics to market over the next few years,” Ward said.

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PHOTO: COURTESY VENTANA MEDICAL SYSTEMS

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Steve Burnell, VP Digital Pathology Ventana Medical Systems

Digital Pathology Provides Quicker, More Accurate Diagnosis By Eric Swedlund Ventana Medical Systems’ digital pathology group is working to transform how clinicians worldwide assess disease, with more efficient and accurate diagnoses that will accelerate the era of personalized health care and targeted therapies. “Our products essentially digitize what has been a manual process for over a hundred years,” says Steve Burnell, VP for Digital Pathology at Ventana. “Anatomic Pathology is one of the few visual diagnostic arenas that has not gone completely digital. It represents a huge opportunity for Ventana to innovate to improve patient care. “Digital pathology enables Roche’s strategy of companion diagnostics and targeted therapy by streamlining the testing and diagnosis process,’’ he continued. “It provides the ability to share vast quantities of data, link with the electronic health record and boost the value of biomarker-based diagnoses by fully enabling highly multiplexed or quantitative tests,” Burnell said. “Digitizing pathology slides provides a huge number of benefits. The most obvious are in the workflow, having digitized images of what previously required the pathologist to look through a microscope. Other benefits include efficient sharing of images amongst physi110 BizTucson

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cians for second opinions, reduction in archiving and storage costs and breakthrough opportunities in computer-assisted diagnosis that are more advanced than current technology allows.” He said Ventana Medical Systems is developing “highly multiplexed diagnostic tests, where we’re putting multiple signals on one glass slide. Digital pathology allows for numerous new tests to be run and for accurate quantification of the biomarkers present.”

We can now provide physicians a whole range of information that’s diagnostically important – much of which wouldn’t be possible with the naked eye. – Steve

Burnell

Burnell sees digital pathology as a key enabler of personalized medicine. It builds on the company’s long-standing strengths in high-quality staining platforms, assays and innovative workflow solutions that deliver a complete endto-end solution for pathology.

“Our Knowledge Management initiatives focus on integrating information to add extra value to the diagnostic paradigm. Ventana and Roche are in a unique position to bring together information across different diagnostic modalities and provide what will be the integrated patient report of the future,” Burnell said. Looking forward, Burnell said the challenges lie in balancing the extraordinary number of opportunities in digital pathology and the desire to quickly address them. “The number of opportunities in digital pathology is immense and obviously our resources are finite,” he said. “Our biggest challenge right now is prioritization, and that’s a good problem to have.” It’s another brand-new market that Ventana has gained an advantage in by jumping in early. “Advances in our knowledge of cellular biology, chemistry and imaging technologies are combining to drive the widespread adoption of digital pathology. We’re in a very good position,” Burnell said. “Our leadership in digital pathology, combined with our core strengths in assay development, staining and companion diagnostics make Ventana a powerful force for good in the fight against cancer.’’

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Photo: BalfourWalker.com

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Stephen Jones, Former Biomedical Scientist & Project Leader, Ventana Medical Systems

Scientist Helped Develop His Own Cure By Gabrielle Fimbres Not long ago, Stephen Jones stood before nearly 1,200 co-workers at Ventana Medical Systems and thanked each one for saving his life. “The people in the audience cured me,” said Jones, 52, who battled lymphoma last year. “They not only built the equipment and made the tests, they sold them to the right people and they trained those people. They enabled that pathology to be able to fix me. The bigger family, Roche, made the drug that cured me.” As biomedical scientist and project leader at Ventana, Jones oversaw the development of groundbreaking technologies using antibodies, from concept to market. The technology became highly personal in March 2011 when this very fit Brit was diagnosed with lymphoma. “I had some stomach issues and I wasn’t able to sleep,” said Jones, who spent six years commuting between Tucson and California, where his wife lives. “It was keeping me awake at night. I put it down to stress.” His doctor in California thought it might be acid reflux, but a variety of medications provided no relief. An ultrasound revealed a shadow behind his pancreas, and a biopsy found it likely that Jones had lymphoma. 112 BizTucson

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If you ever want to be at the right place at the right time, this is it.

– Stephen Jones Former Biomedical Scientist & Project Leader, Ventana Medical Systems

One of the first calls Jones made was to Dr. Thomas Grogan, Ventana founder and world-renown expert in lymphoma. “Tom, I think I’ve got lymphoma,” were his words to Grogan. “OK, this is what we need to do,” was the response. “Get me the slides.” As a pathologist in California was assessing tissue taken from a lymphnode, Grogan was conducting his own diagnosis. “Mission Hospital in Laguna Hills had all Ventana’s instruments, they had all our tests, they were using antibodies I had helped develop,” Jones said. Almost simultaneously, the California pathologist and Grogan made the same diagnosis – with the exact makeup of

the cells and the treatment most likely to be successful. Jones recalls his conversation with Grogan: “The pathologist got the diagnosis spot on because of the tests he had run on our instruments,” Grogan told him. “I’ve spent 40 years being able to get to this point and this guy can do it in two days.” Jones was treated with Rituxan, made by Roche, the company that owns Ventana. “The story of having Tom as the world’s expert, having Roche providing the drug and having our equipment and tests performing the diagnosis – it was like the perfect storm,” Jones said. “If you ever want to be at the right place at the right time, this is it.” He thanked his co-workers at an employee meeting, sharing his story. Jones recently left Ventana to return to California where he is taking his passion, most recently joining one of Ventana’s bigger customers. There he is bike riding, paddle boarding, kayaking and learning to kite surf. He has been cancer free for a year. “I might not be in the condition I am in now if I hadn’t had Ventana and Roche,” Jones said. “To contribute to what Ventana can provide to patients – that is what you do this for.” Biz

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Photo: BalfourWalker.com

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Dr. Lupe Manriquez Principal Pathologist Ventana Medical Systems

Breast Cancer Ductal

Biopsy 101:

Fascinating Path from Diagnosis to Treatment By Romi Carrell Wittman Mara Aspinall, president of Ventana Medical Systems, says that cancer is the one thing everyone is afraid of. “It’s affected all of us in one way or another.” Ventana is on the cutting edge of cancer diagnostics and is taking the concept of personalized cancer treatment from drawing board to reality. But where does it all start? The answer lies in the biopsy. Dr. Lupe Manriquez, a principal pathologist at Ventana, outlined this critical and highly complex process as it pertains to breast cancer. When breast cancer is suspected, a needle core biopsy is performed. “They’ll use ultrasound to locate the mass,” she says, “or they’ll go in if the mass is palpable.’’ A cutting needle is used to cut four very tiny pieces of breast tissue, roughly 114 BizTucson

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a centimeter or so long. The apparatus is not unlike a very, very small apple corer. The tissue is sent to the lab, where it is preserved, a process that takes a minimum of eight hours. “The solution has to penetrate the tissue,” Manriquez explained. “This is referred to as ‘fixing’ the tissue.” Once that’s complete, the tissue is placed in a processor, which dehydrates it and prepares it for cutting. Next it’s placed into an organic solvent that makes it transparent and, finally, it’s embedded in wax to prevent it from drying out. A histotechnologist cuts the sample four microns thick and places it on slides. The slides are placed in an oven where they are heated to make the tissue adhere to the glass slide. After that,

the samples are stained. Next the pathologist examines the slides for diagnosis. “Based on the architecture of the tissue, we can put it into broad categories,” Manriquez said. If it’s cancer, it gets a panel of immunohistochemical stains to classify the kind of cancer it is and to provide additional information. “We want to find out if the patient’s tissue has estrogen receptors on it. If it does, we know to use tamoxifen therapy to block the estrogen from stimulating or feeding the tumor,” she added. The pathologist looks for key markers on the cells because these markers tell the doctor how aggressive the cancer is. “Depending on the results of these tests, we can offer options for treatment based on the individual’s tumor.’’

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PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

Crystal Diaz takes part in the company’s Household Hazardous Waste Collection.

Neil Lautaret, director of facilities and site services at Ventana Medical Systems

Recycling Day

Commitment to Sustainability By Romi Carrell Wittman “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.’’ This Native American proverb sums up the concept of sustainability, which, in its literal definition, means the capacity to endure. While many companies have the best intentions when it comes to adopting “green” programs, it’s easy to get lost in a sea of eco buzzwords – reducing your carbon footprint, being green, triple bottom line. Often these initiatives fizzle out after a short while as the next new buzzword grips the business world. Not at Ventana Medical Systems. 116 BizTucson

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The global leader in tissue diagnostics has made sustainability part of its core business values and, to back it up, sets yearly goals to meet or exceed. “It’s part of our DNA,” said Neil Lautaret, director of facilities and site services at Ventana. “It’s part of our corporate strategic focus, at Ventana and at Roche.” The heart of the company’s sustainability initiative is its VERDE team, a group of committed Ventana employees who volunteer their time to promote and enact sustainability measures. The team’s focus is to seek out new ways for the company to reduce the amount of

waste it produces, the amount of energy it consumes as well as the amount of water it uses. “We get many great ideas from them,” Lautaret said. And those ideas are working. Thanks to the company’s aggressive energy-efficiency measures, it has realized a significant drop in energy usage. “Last year we had a per-employee energy reduction of more than 4 percent,” Lautaret said. “And we’re on target for another 4 percent this year.” Ventana also uses passive water harvesting to minimize storm water runoff and lessen the need for irrigation. These measures, along with others, resulted in

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a savings of some 650,000 gallons of water last year. Day lighting is used to minimize the need for artificial light, and a solar thermal water-heating project is planned. Further, Ventana is installing electrical car-charging stations to support employees in their efforts to be sustainable. Reducing waste as well as recycling waste products is an integral part of the sustainability initiative at Ventana. Said Lautaret, “We’re always looking at different ways we can improve landfill diversion. We look at how we can reduce, reuse and recycle everything we come in contact with.” The company’s wastereduction efforts resulted in a savings of 520 cubic yards of landfill space last year. In addition to Ventana’s robust recycling program – some 160 tons of waste were recycled last year – Ventana donates old computer and laboratory equipment, as well as old furniture to World Care, which gives the items to various nonprofits, churches, schools and family services organizations in need.

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In 2011, World Care rebuilt 16 Ventana computers for use in a World Care civilian relief center. In addition, Ventana sent 20 computer systems to Tanzania to establish a computer lab at a girls’ school, and another 128 computers were sent to nonprofit agencies in Tucson. World Care also sells Ventana’s rebuilt computers and uses the proceeds to support World Care humanitarian programs. Last year, Ventana’s contributions generated more than $10,000 to support these programs. The company is also taking a careful look at seemingly mundane things like copy paper. “It’s company standard to print on both sides,” Lautaret said, a practice that has led to a substantial reduction in paper usage. To promote sustainability in the community, last year Ventana held its first Household Hazardous-Waste Collection, an on-campus event in conjunction with Pima County and the City of Tucson. Employees collected more than 1,500 pounds of hazardous waste and 950 pounds of computer equipment that could potentially have ended up in landfills. Because of the positive re-

sponse of the first event, collections will take place annually. The company is also a big supporter of Earth Day, which has become a weeklong celebration. “On Earth Day this year, we had a trade-in-yourtrash-can day,” Lautaret says. “People brought their office trash cans and traded them in for a recycle bin.” Such festivities are just one of the many ways Ventana engages employees in important initiatives. The belief is that overarching corporate goals can be met only if employees are engaged, knowledgeable and accountable. Corporate goals become department goals and, finally, they become individual goals. In this way, sustainability becomes everyone’s responsibility. The Ventana VERDE group is hard at work developing new programs as well. “Alternate transportation and food waste are high on the list,” Lautaret said. It all comes down to one simple concept. “How can we use our resources more effectively? We look at it as vital to our success.”

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PHOTOS: CHRIS MOONEY

PHOTO: COURTESY VENTANA MEDICA SYSTEMS

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Where Innovation Lives The Ventana Campus By Romi Carrell Wittman Standing in the breezeway near the lobby of Ventana Medical Systems headquarters in Oro Valley, it’s easy to believe the Catalina foothills sprout straight out of the building. The purple rock outcroppings look close enough to touch. The cacti, mesquite and palo verde trees that cover them look like something out of a travel magazine. The million-dollar view is undeniably inspiring, an imposing yet gorgeous feature of the campus, as much a part of the company as the buildings and the employees. The Ventana campus covers about 40 acres along Innovation Park Drive, just east of Rancho Vistoso and north of Tangerine Road. It’s an aesthetically 118 BizTucson

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pleasing area, filled with pristine desert as well as some well-planned development, including Oro Valley Hospital and the pharma giant Sanofi, as well as Oro Valley Marketplace, a shopping center with anchor stores, a movie theater and restaurants. The Ventana facility is roughly 360,000 square feet in size and is comprised of 10 buildings of offices, manufacturing and laboratory space. Ventana owns another 20 acres at the site, which it will use for expansion when the need arises. In all, some 1,200 employees work at the site. The beautiful, cohesive campus is a far cry from the company’s beginnings. At one point, it had office, lab

and manufacturing space scattered over 20 buildings in three separate locations across Tucson. But, as the company’s growth skyrocketed, the need to consolidate operations in a single location became apparent. In 1999, the Ventana board charged a team of staffers with finding a location. Rick Reynolds, senior manager of facilities at Ventana, was part of that original team. “We decided that, to get the facility we needed we had to start from the ground up and build our own,” he said. “We wanted a campus that was conducive to bringing people together. And Oro Valley is just so beautiful.” continued on page 120 >>>

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BizBIOSCIENCE continued from page 118 Gregg Forszt, principal project manager at Ventana, was also a team member. “We looked at an area out by the airport and a more central location,’’ he said. “We narrowed it down to a few sites and when the board saw the Oro Valley site, they said that’s where we wanted to be.” The site was open desert back then, lacking even basic infrastructure like sewer, water or electricity. To give the board of directors some sense of what the final product would look like, Ventana staffers, along with the developer, plotted out the outline with white PVC pipe. Developers provided Ventana with incentives to help them become the first

design other buildings on the campus. The company’s move to Innovation Park had a domino effect on the development. Once it moved in, other companies followed, among them Oro Valley Hospital, which opened in 2005. The hospital lured many medical and dental offices to Innovation Park, and today Innovation Park is home to an array of doctors, dentists and lab facilities. Most recently, Sanofi moved to its newly constructed Innovation Park home in 2009. The Ventana campus was designed with an eye toward beauty and functionality. “Being a high-tech company, we wanted a campus that portrayed that image,’’ Forszt said. “We wanted something employee focused with amenities employees would like to have.”

critical mass. The little guys want to be around the big guys, the big guys want the little guys around for talent and technology.” The long-term vision for Innovation Park is always in site for Neil Simon, a co-partner of Venture West, the firm that acquired Innovation Park in 2005 from Vistoso Partners. “We view Innovation Park as the location in Southern Arizona that is most like other successful bioscience, high-tech and professional office campuses around the country, like, for example, Denver Tech Center, Research Triangle (in North Carolina), Torrey Pines Mesa (near San Diego),” he said. And this is only the beginning, Simon added. “Our vision is to build on this great start, to attract other companies

Architects, engineers, everyone associated with the project was local. – Garry

tenant of Innovation Park. The Town of Oro Valley was also supportive and assisted the company in getting the necessary permits in time for a November 2001 move-in date. Ventana Medical Systems turned to local companies for the construction project, including Matt Sears with the firm HDR as the architect, BFL Construction and Schneider Structural Engineers. It was a fast-paced job, but a fun one. “Tom Grogan is the visionary that got the whole thing rolling,” said Garry Brav, president of BFL Construction. “Architects, engineers, everyone associated with the project was local. We had so many people on the site that we had our own security team out there. Looking back, the construction of the Ventana Medical Systems campus was a defining moment in the history of our company.” After the first phase was constructed, Ventana looked to Advantech Facility Design, a local architecture firm, to 120 BizTucson

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Brav, President, BFL Construction

To that end, the campus boasts a cafeteria as well as several spaces for fitness classes such as Tai Chi, yoga and spinning. An auditorium can accommodate up to 120 people. Ventana is also well known for its commitment to the arts. The hallways at Ventana are dedicated to showcasing the work of local artists, many of them employees. Ventana has a longstanding partnership with the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance and the two groups work together to mount art exhibitions each quarter. Innovation Park as a whole continues to thrive. Robert Davis, senior VP at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, the broker representing Innovation Park, said that what’s happening here is the birth of a biosciences hub in Oro Valley. “These two global brands, Ventana and Sanofi, are attracting all kinds of things. DxInsights is moving there, Bio5,” Davis said. “Similar industries in an area…that’s what we mean by

– small and large – to an exciting business park which will continue to be developed to the highest standards.” Oro Valley Mayor Satish Hiremath said it is difficult to overstate the impact that Ventana and Innovation Park have had on the area. When Hiremath took office two years ago, the town was struggling to create an identity, a name brand and reputation that would be recognizable at a regional, state and even national level. Hiremath said that, with the global presence and local ties of Ventana, Oro Valley is finally putting itself on the map and attracting top-notch companies as well as high-caliber employees to staff them. Hiremath echoes Davis’s thoughts on the synergistic qualities of bioscience. “Ventana started a chain reaction,” Hiremath said. “Oro Valley is being branded as the next big biotech region in Arizona. Ventana single-handedly helped Oro Valley create that identity.”

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PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

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Jen Prescott, VP of Human Resources Ventana Medical Systems

Recruiting the Best & Brightest By Gabrielle Fimbres Ventana Medical Systems recruits locally and globally to bring the best and brightest to the team. Mara Aspinall, Ventana president, said that while the company recruits employees aggressively within Arizona, it’s important to recruit from throughout the United States and the world because Ventana strives for a “diversity of thought” among its staff that is truly global. “We have people from the East Coast, the West Coast and from throughout the entire U.S.,” she said. “We also recruit those who were educated abroad because we need to represent our customer base – and our customer base is the world.” Employees recently received statewide recognition for their achievements as the company was awarded AZ Business Magazine’s Most Admired Business Award. Ventana was selected based on leadership excellence, customer opinion, corporate and social responsibility and workplace culture. Jen Prescott, VP of human resources, said Ventana taps into the Roche network to recruit a workforce that is diverse in gender, ethnicity and background. “It adds so much more to the workplace when you can bring in people with different thoughts and values and 122 BizTucson

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different ways of thinking and looking at things,” Prescott said. About 20 percent of the almost 1,200 local employees are from Tucson. Another 300 employees work elsewhere. The staff expands by about 100 annually. Ventana partners with the University of Arizona and Bio 5 Institute to recruit locally. “We get a number of scientists and engineers from the UA. We offer internships every summer in the sciences or engineering. They come with so many good ideas.” After they graduate, many go on to become Ventana employees. Ventana is home to world-renown scientists, but also provides jobs in manufacturing, sales, customer service and other areas. “You don’t have to be a scientist to work here,” Prescott said. One recruiting challenge Ventana faces is a misconception about Tucson. “We find issues in getting people to come to Tucson.” Prescott said. “People have this perception that Tucson is something different than it is. Part of it is selling Tucson to them. Once they come here they are awestruck by the beauty of the area and a lot of our employees are really into hiking and biking and what better place? You just have to get them out here.” Employees are drawn by cultural and

sporting events offered by the UA and other organizations. Employees also enjoy the lifestyle and schools Oro Valley has to offer. Being part of Roche – with 80,000 employees worldwide – provides an opportunity for Ventana employees to work abroad and for employees from around the globe to work in Tucson.

With Roche, we now have a whole world full of jobs. – Jen

Prescott

Employees are drawn to the culture at Ventana, said Jacqueline Bucher, senior director of corporate communications. “There’s a very entrepreneurial spirit here. We encourage innovation.” Aspinall said the collegial attitude makes for “a very interesting atmosphere where people can work together – but think differently and challenge each other to do a better job. “We have a saying: ‘See it, own it, solve it,’ ” she continued. “We need to be focused, as we are, with continuous improvement. We do that by having a diverse group of passionate employees who wake up each day to come here and really make a difference.” Biz

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Community Involvement is Essential By Gabrielle Fimbres Ventana Medical Systems employees spend their days creating tools vital in the fight against cancer. Outside of the lab and office and manufacturing plant, employees also dedicate their time to charitable work helping Tucsonans battling cancer and other challenges. “We believe community involvement is essential to being a good corporate citizen,” said Jacqueline Bucher, Ventana’s senior director of corporate communications. “Ventana employees collectively volunteer thousands of hours a year in community service,” she said. “It’s part of our mission, part of who we are. We encourage our employees to involve themselves with community projects, both because they have valuable skills to contribute and because community service is personally enriching. Providing employees time and support for volunteer work is something Ventana and Roche feel very strongly about.” Said Jen Prescott, VP of human resources, “It’s just part of the passion people have here in terms of contributing both through work and their outside activities.” Among recent and ongoing events supported by Ventana:

• Arizona Distance Classic – This fundraiser for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society starts at Ventana’s campus, with employees, family members and friends participating and helping to organize the race.

• Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure – Ventana employees race and contribute to this annual event that raises money for breast cancer research and education, with 150 employees, friends and relatives racing in 2012.

PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

• Movember – Employees grow moustaches

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– or sport faux staches – to raise money for prostate cancer research. Ventana employees grew 85 moustaches for a cure last November.

• Couture

for Cancer – This unique 2011 fashion show held on the Ventana campus incorporated images of colorful histologi-

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Employees unite to fight cancer

cal stains pathologists use for diagnosis into the fashions worn by employees and professional models raising $60,000 for Diamond Children’s Medical Center Oncology Unit.

• Corporate match – Ventana matches employee contributions to cancer-related charities, up to $200 per employee per year.

Ventana, as part of Roche, annually participates in a Children’s Walk, with Roche employees participating all over the world. A portion of the proceeds raised locally benefit Casa de los Niños, which cares for abused and abandoned children. Susie Huhn, executive director at Casa, said funds from the walk help care for children living in shelter. She walked in the event last year, getting to know employees and sharing Casa’s mission with them. Partnering with corporations “really raises awareness about some of the community challenges,” Huhn said. “It was nice to walk and talk about these issues.”

Everyone has been touched in some way by cancer and everyone wants to make a difference.

Bucher Senior Director of Corporate Communications Ventana Medical Systems

Ventana employees – including Mara Aspinall, president and CEO – are involved in organizations that include Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities, Bioscience Leadership Council of Southern Arizona, the University of Arizona and others. While employees are involved in many philanthropic activities, the charities that help people with cancer remain closest to their hearts. “When people get hired they will tell you that it is very rewarding to them that they can work at a place that contributes to the welfare of people who have cancer,” Prescott said. Bucher added, “You have that common spirit and passion here at Ventana. Everyone has been touched in some way by cancer and everyone wants to make a difference.”

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Couture for Cancer fundraiser for Diamond Children’s Medical Center PHOTO: COURTESY VENTANA MEDICAL SYSTEMS

– Jacqueline

Komen Race For the Cure

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PHOTOS: COURTESY CHANCE AGRELLA/TREO

Photo: BalfourWalker.com

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Christie Pennington Clinical Research Associate Ventana Medical Systems

Students from Sunnyside Unified School District at Young Scientist’s Day

Inspiring Young Minds By Gabrielle Fimbres Every spring, more than 100 young scientists converge on Ventana Medical Systems, donning lab coats and spending the day with scientists and engineers as they explore the world of innovation. During the company’s Young Scientist’s Day, high school students peer through microscopes, get a close look at cancer cells and learn how cancer is diagnosed and attacked. The annual event was dreamed up in 2008 by Christie Pennington, who was a high school chemistry teacher before joining the Ventana team. She’d been on the job a few months and thought Ventana provided a great opportunity for students to get excited about careers in science, technology, engineering and math. “I loved teaching, but I was almost driven to get a job at Ventana because of their mission,” said Pennington, a clinical research associate. She approached Ventana leadership about her idea for Young Scientist’s Day. “I put in a proposal and it was approved,” Pennington recalled. “Twenty-five students came the first year. I made everything that year by hand, and it was a wild success.” 128 BizTucson

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The program quickly grew, and now as many as 120 students – freshmen through seniors – attend. About 75 Ventana employees spend the day guiding students through hands-on learning experiences. Ventana selects a different school or district each year. Mara Aspinall, Ventana president, and Dr. Thomas Grogan, Ventana founder and University of Arizona pathologist, speak to the students, inspiring them about the possibilities. Last year, 50 teens from Sunnyside High School and 50 from Desert View High School took part in the program. “It was fabulous,” said N.J. Utter, director of college readiness at Sunnyside Unified School District. “They got to see scientists and engineers at work. One of the things that struck me was how enthusiastic they all were about their jobs and their passion for what they were doing.” Utter said cancer has touched many Sunnyside families, and the students had an appreciation for the importance of their work. The Ventana team reinforced Utter’s mantra: “You can do this.” She said the commitment by Ventana

and other corporations is critical in supporting schools. “We all know that money is one resource that schools need – but this is a great example of a company giving their time and reaching out and sharing their enthusiasm with the students. That made a huge impact.” Pennington said the intent of the program is to show students that “science is real and it comes in a myriad of activities at Ventana.” It also serves as a myth buster when it comes to stereotypes. “If I ask students to draw A picture of a chemist, 99 percent draw a man in a white coat with pencils in the pocket,” Pennington said. “Here they get to see these energetic, fantastic people who are making a huge difference. We’re not all just nerds.” Jen Prescott, VP of human resources at Ventana, said the day allows girls to see women thriving in science fields. “How great for young girls to say, ‘I can do that.’ Clearly women are underrepresented in the sciences.’’ Cultivating student enthusiasm benefits Ventana as well, Prescott said. “They are our future. They are potential future employees for us.”

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Cathy Gawronski Customer Experience Manager Ventana Medical Systems

Artistic Creation Leads to Scientific Innovation By Romi Carrell Wittman Famed sculptor Henry Moore once said, “To be an artist is to believe in life.” Much the same can be said for simply enjoying art. Art transports us. Art illuminates us. Art inspires us. “Art in the workplace inspires creativity which in turn is the engine of innovation,” says Cathy Gawronski, customer experience manager at Ventana Medical Systems. “It not only looks good, it makes people feel good about coming in to work.” Inspiring innovation is one of the driving forces behind Ventana’s commitment to the arts. The company has the largest free, public art gallery in Southern Arizona and it routinely hosts art shows featuring the work of local, regional and national artists. The company has long been active in the arts community. Dr. Thomas Grogan, founder of Ventana, and Cande, his wife, have been patrons of the arts for many years. Mrs. Grogan spruced up the previous Ventana facility with artwork and when the company moved 130 BizTucson

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into its current facility, she reached out to her contacts in the art world and turned the hallways of the new facility into an art space. Building on that concept, in 2006 Ventana partnered with the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance to display quarterly art shows on the Ventana campus. Artwork consists primarily of paintings and photography, but some other mediums like jewelry, sculpture and even origami are represented. Last year, Ventana held an exhibition of works created by Ventana employees. The show was so popular it’s now an annual event. The company kicked off the 2nd Employee Art Exhibition with a gala reception this past July. The show will run through September. 
 “This is a way we continuously use our gallery for creative inspiration to innovate and help patients,” Gawronski said. “As employees, we are defined by more than what we do at work. The Annual Employee Art Exhibition is a way for employees to use their creativity in different ways, and it’s enriching for

everyone here and for the community.” Ventana plans to expand its arts program further. In the fall, the company will host a show that focuses on cancer survivorhood, Gawronski said. The company is building its permanent collection of art, something that parent company Roche strongly supports. “Roche has a huge commitment to the arts and they have a tremendous collection in Basel at their headquarters,” Gawronski said. The collection, which focuses on modern art, is so large Roche employs a full-time curator to staff its archive. “In the arts and in science and technology, Ventana and Roche are really a marriage made in heaven,” she said. The Ventana Gallery is open to the public by appointment Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., as well as the first and third Saturdays of the month, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Appointments are required with a minimum 48hour advance notice. Call the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance at 797-3959 for details.

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Faces of Ventana Medical Systems

Years at Ventana Medical Systems: 12

s s

Name: Hiro Nitta Title: Scientific Fellow The best thing about my job: Many of my friends have lost loved ones to cancer. I lost my father to cancer right after I joined Ventana Medical Systems. I know how difficult it is to have a family member or a friend who is facing the reality of cancer. Since I was 18, I have dedicated my life to histology. It is my mission to improve cancer patientsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; lives by creating new, innovative tissue-based cancer diagnostic tests.

Name: Himanshu Parikh. Years at Ventana Medical Systems: 1 The best thing about my job: Delivering quality products on time to empower our customers to treat patients afflicted with cancer.

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PHOTOS: CHRIS MOONEY & COURTESY VENTANA MEDICAL SYSTEMS

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Bioscience Industry Growing Strong By Eric Swedlund

In the 25 years since Ventana Medical Systems launched in Tucson, bioscience and biotechnology have become key components of the industrial base of Tucson and Southern Arizona, while improving health care in the region. Education and business leaders in the last decade have been guided by Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap, commissioned by the Flinn Foundation with research by Batelle, which set forth a strategy of expansion that focuses on current strengths, plus leverage provided by collaborations. “There’s been a huge impact of biosciences on the economy,” said Leslie Tolbert, University of Arizona Senior Vice President for Research and co-chair of the Biosciences Leadership Council of Southern Arizona (BLCSA). “It’s really been amazing in the decade since the roadmap was laid out for us. According to the council, the Flinn Foundation and the UA:

• In

the past decade, the state has grown from about 68,000 jobs in biosciences to more than 90,000, a growth rate triple the national average that has continued through the recession. Bioscience, along with optics, aerospace and solar, is an advanced, high-tech and high-paying industry, with jobs paying an average of $57,000.

• Statewide, bioscience generated $21

• The Tucson area has more than 120

• The UA generates more than $600

billion in annual revenues, with the state reaching all-time highs in National Institutes of Health grants and research and development expenditures. In Southern Arizona, employment growth from 2002 to 2009 was 33 percent in research and 20 percent in hospitals.

Bioscience is the new industry on the block and it’s doing very well and that’s really exciting.

The region’s bioscience leaders include:

– Leslie Tolbert Co-chair, Biosciences Leadership Council of Southern Arizona

private bioscience companies, generating $6.9 billion in annual revenue and employing a skilled workforce of more than 2,000. million in annual research funding, drawing federal, state and private revenue, and has spun out more than 30 companies since 2005.

• With dedicated industry clusters like

Innovation Park in Oro Valley, the UA’s Science and Technology Park on the southeast side and the centrally located UA BioPark, the region has both established zones and plenty of room to grow for the next 20 years.

• Successful

companies and research groups that have emerged include Ventana Medical Systems, HTG Molecular Diagnostics, Sanofi, Critical Path Institute, Azbil BioVigilant and SynCardia, plus the UA’s Bio5 Institute and iPlant collaborative.

“What we’re seeing is that the bioscience area is having a huge impact on the high-tech economy that we want. I can’t say we predicted it – but we hoped for it,” Tolbert said. “Arizona has a history of being strong in aerospace and IT, but bioscience is the new industry on the block and it’s doing very well. That’s really exciting.” Biz

1. Leslie Tolbert, Senior VP for Research, University of Arizona 2. Dr. Fayez K. Ghishan, Director, UA Steele Children’s Research Center 3. Dr. Carolyn Compton, President & CEO, Critical Path Institute 4. Roger Vogel, President & CEO, Vante Medical Technologies 5. Judy Rich, President & CEO, Tucson Medical Center, BLCSA Leadership board 6. Dr. Laurence Marsteller (left), COO, and Michael Voevodsky, President & CEO, SalutarisMD 7. Ken Wertman, Scientific Director, Sanofi Tucson Research Center 8. Harry George, Managing Partner, Solstice Capital 9. T.J. Johnson, CEO, HTG Molecular Diagnostics 10. Michael Garippa, Chairman, CEO & President, SynCardia Systems 11. Marie Wesselhoft, President & Co-Founder, MSDx 12. Dr. Fernando D. Martinez, Director, UA’s Bio5 Institute Photos by Balfour Walker, Chris Mooney, Carter Allen and courtesy of Vante Medical Technologies and SynCardia Systems 136 BizTucson

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From left:Chris Kaselemis, Administrator, City of Tucson; David Welsh,VP, TREO; Sharon Bronson, Pima County Supervisor; Joe Snell,President & CEO, TREO; Lawrence Mehren, President & CEO, Accelr8; Debbie Chandler, Economic Development Manager, City of Tucson; and Chuck Huckelberry, Pima County Administrator.

Accelr8

Builds Biotech Momentum By Dan Sorenson Accelr8 – a Denver-based medical technology firm gearing up to produce a potentially groundbreaking new diagnostic system for hospital-acquired bacterial infections – is moving its operation to Tucson. The publicly traded company plans to fill at least 55 of 65 high-skill positions locally within three years, grow to as many 300 workers within eight years, and make an estimated economic impact of $255 million. Business and government leaders also expect the presence of Accelr8 will attract more biotech industries to the region. Accelr8’s planned product, BACcel, would use computer and automated optical analysis of samples of the bacteria causing hospital-acquired infec138 BizTucson

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tions – such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (better known as MRSA) – as a one-day diagnostic tool that’s faster and more effective than the current culture-growing method that takes two or three days. “Instead of growing and analyzing cultures, we analyze individual bacteria using high-speed optics,” said Accelr8 President and CEO Lawrence Mehren. This can be done because “we don’t need bacteria to grow.” Mehren said that’s highly beneficial because while the bacteria are growing in the petri dish waiting to be analyzed in the old system, they’re growing in the patient too. The system also watches the growth in the presence of antibiotics which, ideally, could give physicians informa-

tion on which drug would be the most effective. That would offset the problem of what Mehren said is referred to as “nuking” – using powerful often toxic broad-spectrum antibiotics against hospital-acquired bacterial infections. “They throw four or five different antibiotics, not just one broad spectrum, at the patient in the hope of covering everything” that could possibly be causing the infection. Overuse of antibiotics is not only potentially toxic to organs, Mehren said, but is thought to contribute to the growth of bacteria immunity to many types of antibiotics. “Most people believe you give the right patient the right drug at the right time and you’ll have a significant impact” on what he said is “a very significant epidemic” of hospital-acquired

PHOTO: KRIS HANNING

BizBIOSCIENCE


infections, including MRSA. The company estimates there is a multi-billion dollar market for the product. There are 1.7 million hospital-acquired infections each year in the U.S., including 100,000 deaths – more than the annual death toll from colon cancer. The hoped-for development and production of Accelr8’s pioneering BACcel isn’t the end of this company’s anticipated impact on the region. Those involved in the deal to bring Accelr8 here say the greatest benefit of the move may be the long-term effect sparking further growth in the area’s medical technology sector. Accelr8’s arrival could be another significant step in the growth that’s been spurred by Ventana Medical Systems’ success in recent years. “With our company’s relocation we believe this region will now have the sustainable critical mass in biotech that will draw other companies like ours to the region,” Mehren said at a press conference held here in mid-August to announce the Accelr8 move to Tucson. Pima County Supervisor Sharon Bronson said, “We may now be at the tipping point” in the expansion of the biotech sector. Mehren and the two principals in the private equity firm that recently invested heavily in Accelr8 are former Ventana directors and/or executives before it was sold to Roche. John Patience was vice chairman and Jack W. Schuler was chairman of Ventana’s board. Patience and Schuster are founders and principals of Crabtree Partners, a private equity firm investing in medical technology, including Ventana and Stericycle. Mehren’s last position at Ventana was as COO, head of global business. Pima County Supervisor Ramon Valadez said the county-constructed wet lab space Accelr8 will use in its development and pre-production phase will become incubator space for later entrepreneurs. “This wet lab space will be able to serve many bioscience companies for years to come. It should prove to have a good return on investment.” This particular biotech expansion, at least for now, will take place on the city’s south side in a new Pima County facility rather than at Oro Valley’s Innovation Park, where Ventana Medical System and Sanofi are the sector’s big success stories. www.BizTucson.com

Mehren said his first contact was with the Tucson mayor’s office, after which he was put in touch with Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities, Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry and the Arizona Commerce Authority. “My experience was really good, very good,” he said. “We’re thrilled to attract a publiclytraded headquarters in a key, targeted industry,” said Joe Snell, president and CEO of TREO. “Accelr8 represents another building block as we emerge as a leading biotech hub.” Mehren said the parties cooperated enthusiastically to get them the wet lab space that is critical so the company can move into the next stage of devel-

With our company’s relocation we believe this region will now have the sustainable critical mass in biotech that will draw other companies like ours to the region.

– Lawrence Mehren President & CEO, Accelr8

opment. He said the decision by the county and state to help with the relocation and act quickly to build custom wet lab space in 15,000 square feet of leased space at the county’s Herbert K. Abrams Public Health Center, 3950 S. Country Club Road, was key in the decision to move here. He said neither Colorado nor Michigan, two of the other areas in the running, had as much to offer. Huckelberry said the build out of the wet lab space should have the company operational in the new labs by early 2013. Huckelberry recommended the board approve taking a $700,000 lowinterest loan from the Arizona Commerce Authority and $700,000 from the Pima Health System’s transition fund

to make improvements to the space for Accelr8. The six-year lease gives Accelr8 a reduced lease rate of $9.25 per square foot for the first three years, then rising to market rate in the second half of the lease. Mehren and the private equity firm specializing in medical technology only closed the deal to buy into Accelr8 in late June for an estimated $35 million. Because of competitor and regulatory concerns affecting publicly traded companies, Mehren said he couldn’t talk about the present stage of development of the product, or a schedule for producing it. But he acknowledged that it would be reasonable to assume the company has the technology needed and is working toward the next stage in development, to be followed by manufacturing. When the move was announced, Mehren said, there were just 10 employees at the Accelr8 Denver headquarters – but they included key people in the development of the BACcel technology. He said they were “primarily scientists, multi-disciplinary guys. One of our lead scientists is a chemist. But actually he’s much more of a microbiologist, although he is a degreed chemist. “This company has been doing research… for almost a decade. The technology was very advanced. So we were enthusiastic about it. Our job is really to move it into development and commercialization. The research has largely been done. We’re quite good at that.” Whether the manufacturing stage, assuming product development is successful and FDA device approval is obtained, will take place here is something about which he was much more forthcoming. “That is a reasonable expectation,” Mehren said. “Our experience is that you don’t want to outsource manufacturing. There are really good reasons for not wanting to outsource. There’s a very good tier one, tier two supplier base (here) for the kind of things we do. It serves a number of industries, it serves aerospace, electronics and it also serves the Ventanas of the world. There are a lot of very skilled machinists, there are (circuit) board manufacturers that are already here. It’s really quite a good place to do business in that regard.”

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Always Innovative From Left: Neil Simon, Partner, Venture West Fred Steiniger, Partner, Venture West 140 BizTucson

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PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

By Teya Vitu


BizCOMMERCIAL Venture West Real Estate Services has sailed the shifting real estate winds with great aplomb for 30 years. In brief, Venture West describes itself as a “full-service development and construction company, specializing in professional and medical offices and corporate headquarters.” In short, that sells Venture West short. Glancing over its accomplishments, Tucson-based Venture West, founded in 1981, built Tucson’s tallest skyscraper… reinvented and ran the Peter Piper Pizza chain for a decade… then essentially pioneered the corporate center concept in Tucson (check out Swan Road at Camp Lowell). Yes, Tucson’s largest office developer owned Peter Piper Pizza – and gave it the fun-for-kids-and-adults vibe you find there today. Pizza was a perfect entrepreneurial fit during a decade-long real estate lag that straddled the millennium. And now comes something completely different from Venture West. “There’s a lot of Monty Python going on here. We’re still looking for the holy grail,” said Fred Steiniger, Venture West majority partner. Wit indeed is the hallmark element for Venture West, founded by Neil Simon, who’s often confused with the playwright. If not that, “many people think I’m the singer Neil Diamond or Paul Simon.” The partners have their eye on a crown jewel, or holy grail, that could well exceed all of the above business adventures – Innovation Park. The global pharmaceutical giants sanofi and Roche’s Ventana Medical Systems, plus Oro Valley Hospital, are the first anchors at Innovation Park, which has another 200 developable acres from the park’s total of 275 acres. That’s out of 535 acres with all the open space that Venture West pieced together from 2005 to 2009. “We think Innovation Park is going to be the premiere address in Southern Arizona,” Simon said. Why? “I’d start with location, what’s inherently there,” Steiniger said. “There is the infrastructure the Town of Oro Valley has put into Innovation Park already and the zoning. The opportunity exists there that may not exist anywhere else.” Innovation Park could have 7,500 to 10,000 employees as the park gets substantially built out over the next five to www.BizTucson.com

15 years. That could include up to another half dozen global bioscience or other tech giants – plus a hotel, retail along Oracle and Tangerine Roads, and dozens of smaller companies, like the half dozen medical operators already in place at the park’s Innovation Corporate Center. Before Innovation Park, Venture West reinvented a Peter Piper Pizza chain that was past its prime. They shrunk the Phoenix-based chain from 150 eateries to 100, then built it back up to 135 with new establishments designed and built by Steiniger. “We broadened the age range of games,” he said. “We broadened the appeal of the dining area – so couples could eat lunch.” Go to Bashas’ on Swan Road and look across to the east and you’ll see what Venture West did in the early 2000s – Swan Corporate Center and Village Offices. They also built a pair of La Cholla Corporate Centers. “In the late 1990s, we saw a need for individual built-to-suit offices that professionals could buy and own,” Steiniger said. “Because we did everything, clients could come to us with ‘this is what we need’ and then they could go back to their professions. We’d find the land, do the zoning and infrastructure, design and build and permit each building.”

Venture West’s Office Park Developments 2000 – Swan Corporate Center, 103,668 square feet, Swan Rd. and Camp Lowell Dr. 2001 – La Cholla Corporate Center, 105,040 square feet, La Cholla Rd. north of Ina Rd. 2002 – Village Offices, 129,250 square feet, Swan Rd. and Camp Lowell Dr. 2003 – La Cholla Corporate Center II, 125,583 square feet, La Cholla Rd. north of Ina Rd. 2005 – Tanque Verde Place, 129,001 square feet, Tanque Verde Rd. east of Sabino Canyon Rd. 2007 – Innovation Corporate Center, 100,000 square feet, Innovation Park Dr. and Vistoso Park Rd. 2008 – SwanLee Offices, 33,800 square feet, Swan Rd. and Lee St.

Simon came to Tucson in 1982 via Harvard, Yale and Boston Consulting Group – where he worked with Mitt Romney and today’s Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “I knew them well,” Simon said. He headed West, first to Denver, where he founded Venture West in 1981 with a second office in Tucson, which became his home a year later. Denver was booming and Tucson, well… “I began to think why shouldn’t things be happening in Tucson? Why don’t I buy up a piece of downtown?” Simon recalled. Simon envisioned building a downtown skyline around two existing towers today known as Bank of America and the Legal Services buildings. In 1986 he co-developed the United Bank Tower, the city’s largest skyscraper, today known as One South Church and, until last year, the UniSource Energy Tower. The intent was to build twin towers. The utility plug for the phantom second tower still juts out of the ground at Broadway and Stone Avenue. Simon even had a third tower sketched out across Broadway. “There was never enough demand to do more than the first tower,” Simon said. “People who come to Tucson want to work where they live and play. People want to go to a single-story building, drive up, and walk into the building.” Steiniger joined Venture West in December 1990. Born in Queens, New York, he moved to Los Angeles at age nine, studied construction engineering at Arizona State University, then headed back to L.A., got married and worked for a big utility. “Laura and I were disenchanted with L.A. We wanted to build a life in a smaller community,” said Steiniger, who arrived here in 1974. “We gravitated to Tucson, where some of my friends had already blazed a trail.” Steiniger joined Empire West in 1977 and designed and built 8,000 units in 25 apartment communities – mostly in Tucson, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas and El Paso. He took a break in 1987 before joining Simon at Venture West. Venture West is the rare developer to diversify so widely. “We’re flexible within our capabilities,” Simon said. “Nobody else has a turn of phrase like that,” Steiniger said with an admiring smile.

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Bob Davis Senior VP Newmark Grubb Knight Frank

From Swim Coach to High-Tech Broker

Site model for Oro Valleyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Innovation Park 142 BizTucson

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PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

By David B. Pittman


BizCOMMERCIAL Bob Davis, a prominent and successful Tucson commercial real estate broker, earned a reputation as a relentless proponent for high-tech and bioscience business development in metro Tucson – and for his devotion to the University of Arizona. Davis comes by those interests naturally. A Tucson native and UA alumnus who majored in biology, he is a former Wildcat swimming coach and associate athletic director. He bleeds cardinal red and navy blue. Today, Davis is a senior VP of the global commercial real estate firm of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank – but he still does an enormous amount of work, both professional and charitable, for UA. Tom Knox, today a principal at PICOR Commercial Real Estate Services, hired Davis into the commercial real estate business in 1985 when he was VP and regional manager of Coldwell Banker Commercial Real Estate Services. He said Davis is widely recognized by his peers as one of Tucson’s top commercial real estate brokers. “Bob is very smart and I have a high regard for his integrity,” said Knox. “He is an excellent broker.” Davis has negotiated many of the biggest transactions in the region, particularly when it comes to the biosciences and technology. After graduating from UA in 1971, Davis (a former life guard) landed what he called “my first real job” as a biology teacher and swimming coach at Tucson High School. “I was fortunate enough to have an Olympian in 1972 that won a bronze medal and a world record holder in 1973 right at the time the University of Arizona was emphasizing its minor sports programs. I got the job as UA swimming coach,” he said. Davis did a phenomenal job of turning the Wildcat swimming team around and began a tradition of UA swimming excellence. During the five years Davis coached the team, the UA won four Western Athletic Conference championships. Davis left coaching in 1978 to accept a position as UA associate athletic director for development, a job he held until 1985 when he started his new cawww.BizTucson.com

reer in commercial real estate at age 38. “It was a difficult transition. I had to learn the basics kind of on my own,” he said. “You have to have a feel for the product, a feel for the market and a feel for the industry. Those things eventually fell into place, but the first couple of years were tough.” However, Davis soon began to shine as a solid, competent and hardworking real estate professional in the industrial market. And because of his interest in UA and his knowledge of incubator bioscience and high-tech research efforts there, he developed a specialty in brokering property transactions involving dynamic, innovative science and technology companies and the university. `

He has built a reputation for being keenly focused on bioscience and high-tech industries and for giving his time, energy and funding support to the university. He’s a good man. – Michael

Kasser, President Holualoa Companies

One of the earliest and biggest of those deals occurred when IBM downsized its operations in Tucson. Davis was part of the team that represented IBM in the sale of its Rita Road site to UA for use as the UA Science and Technology Park. Davis was involved in brokering more than 1.7 million square feet of leases with IBM, Hughes Missile Systems (now Raytheon) and Microsoft at the tech park. He also procured the first biotech, software and internet tenants at the facility. Davis brokered other sales resulting in UA acquiring major properties, such as the UA Mars Phoenix Mission Headquarters, UA Biosphere 2, UA Phoenix Biomedical Plaza, and UA Bio5 Labs in Oro Valley. He has brokered nearly $300 million in real estate transactions involving UA.

Davis is optimistic about the possibility that the Tucson region could become a national biosciences leader. He notes that two of the world’s largest global pharmaceutical companies each have a huge presence in Tucson – Sanofi, a French company that acquired Selectide Corp. and Roche, a Swiss company that purchased Ventana Medical Systems. The roots of both Ventana and Selectide stretch back to cancer research at UA. “Roche and Sanofi could have taken those companies anywhere, but they’ve chosen to grow here – which is huge for Tucson, Oro Valley and all of Southern Arizona,” Davis said. With Sanofi and Roche leading the way, and about 120 smaller biotech firms already in the region, Davis said metro Tucson has a good start in “creating the critical mass needed” to become a national biotech leader. “We are very lucky to be one of a dozen communities in the country that has developed a foothold in biosciences.” Davis’ high-tech, bioscience and research and development clients have included, among others, Critical Path Institute, DxInsights, Accelr8, Solstice Capital, UA Center for Integrative Medicine, Molecular Power Systems, Derma-Wound, Ridgetop Group, Brock Technologies, Medipacs, Ventana Medical Systems and Sanofi. Davis represents select developers, including Venture West for Innovation Park in Oro Valley. He also represented Target.com in its 975,000-square-foot Rita Ranch fulfillment center. Davis, who will be 66 in January, says he has no plans of retiring. “As long as I’m healthy, having fun and providing value to things I’m interested in, I’ll keep doing what I’m doing,” he said. Michael Kasser, president of Holualoa Companies, a global real estate investment and development firm headquartered in Tucson, said Davis is an asset to Tucson and the UA. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with Bob on several projects,” Kasser said. “He has built a reputation for being keenly focused on bioscience and high-tech industries and for giving his time, energy and funding support to the university. He’s a good man.” Biz Fall 2012 > > > BizTucson 143


Sonoran Gov. Guillermo Padres Elias and Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer

PHOTO: COURTESY ARIZONA-MEXICO CCMMISSION

BizINTERNATIONAL

Cross-Border Collaborations

Create Opportunities By Gabrielle Fimbres Some 60 miles south of Tucson, an invisible line divides Arizona and Sonora – two states forever united in complex issues that include economic development, energy, safety and health. The Arizona-Mexico Commission brings the two states to the table to strategize solutions to a host of challenges and create opportunities for both. More than 400 participants from both sides of the border attended the AMC 2012 Summer Plenary Session in June. “Arizona and Sonora: Taking Charge of Change” was held over three days at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Tucson Resort & Spa. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and Sonora Gov. Guillermo Padres Elias spoke about the importance of both states working together. “A true partnership is the way we provide for the future of our children – facilitating trade, commerce and tourism – and enhancing our shared goal of economic prosperity on both sides of the border,” Brewer said. Padres cited recent economic growth in his state, and stressed the importance of creating jobs in Sonora in the aerospace, mining and clean-energy sectors. “It’s very important to grow the economy so we can be good neighbors,” Padres said. Since 1959, the Arizona-Mexico Commission has brought together stakeholders from both sides of the border – both public and private – with a united goal of strengthening bonds between the two nations by promoting a cooperative relation144 BizTucson

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ship through advocacy, trade, networking and information. The commission meets twice a year, once in Arizona and once in Sonora. Committees, headed by chairs from both states, work throughout the year on a variety of projects. Larry Lucero, senior director of customer programs and services at Tucson Electric Power and UNS Energy, is the first AMC board president from Tucson. “Taking charge of change is about finding opportunity for cross-border collaborations that can help the citizens of both states,” Lucero told the group. Margie Emmermann, AMC executive director, has said the commission is crucial in helping Arizona compete against California and Texas in cross-border trade. Last year, $26 billion flowed through the Arizona-Sonora border in imports and exports. “That’s a record year,” Brewer told the Tucson audience. “It’s necessary for us to make the commitments today to ensure that Arizona and Sonora remain beacons of competitiveness, innovation and sustainability,” Brewer continued. “If we fail to act, I can guarantee you that our competitors will act – and trade and investment and jobs will go to other places along the U.S.-Mexico border region,” she said. Brewer shared details of the recent expansion of ports in Nogales and Yuma, allowing commerce to flow more freely. Among the highlights of the conference was the day-long session, “Meeting the Energy Needs of the 21st Century.” Participants toured solar-generating facilities in Tucson during the forum that “showed us how much our energy needs www.BizTucson.com


have changed in the past 10 years,” Lucero said. “We brought together leaders from both nations interested in learning more about energy conservation and renewable energy,” said John Hoopes, VP of Salt River Project and cochair of the AMC energy committee. Opportunities for expansion in cross-border aerospace manufacturing partnerships were also hashed out by the economic development committee. During the closing session, chairs from more than a dozen other committees provided updates on their work. Among them:

• Education

– Students who leave Arizona often arrive in Mexico without complete school records and are not allowed in school. The committee is working on a project that would allow the electronic transfer of records. “This will provide for better educated students, a better workforce and a better economy for both states,” said Ralph Romero, deputy associate superintendent of the Arizona Department of Education.

• Emergency management – Lou Trammell, director of

the Arizona Division of Emergency Management, reported that the committee is training bi-national emergency response teams in Hermosillo and Rocky Point.

• Financial, business & legal services – Carlos Emmermann,

in business development and trade banking at Sonoran Bank, said the committee is investigating strategies to support and grow the mining industry.

www.BizTucson.com

• Health services – Will Humble, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, said equipment and training have been provided to Sonoran health officials to better diagnose valley fever.

• Real estate – Judy Lowe, commissioner of the Arizona Department of Real Estate, reported on a bi-national conference promoting the real estate industry and cross-border collaborations.

• Security – Robert Halliday, director of the Arizona Department of Public Safety, recapped a program designed to improve safety on both sides of the border. Officers are being trained on high-risk vehicle stops and officer safety.

• Tourism – Felipe Garcia, executive VP at the Metropolitan

Tucson Convention & Visitors Bureau, summarized ongoing meetings to promote tourism and expedite border crossing time.

• Transportation, infrastructure & ports – John Halikowski,

director of Arizona Department of Transportation, announced that funding was secured for additional technology to measure vehicle wait times at the border.

• Water – David Roberts, manager of

water rights and contracts at Salt River Project, shared details on a workshop in Hermosillo to explore options for water transfers for both states.

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Photo Courtesy of: Rep. Giffords’ Office

Photo: BalfourWalker.com

BizHONORS

Joel Valdez

Gabrielle Giffords

Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Legacy Award

Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce La Estrella Award

Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Awards Articles by Romi Carrell Wittman

Tucson has long had a vibrant and culturally rich Hispanic business community. With our close proximity to Sonora, Tucson is truly a melting pot of diverse people as well as businesses. The Noche de Exitos and Bi-National Awards is a special night to celebrate this unique and important community and what it means to the Southern Arizona and Northern Mexico regions. On Oct. 13, the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce – or THCC – will bring folks from across Southern Arizona and Sonora together at Casino Del Sol Hotel & Resort. There the THCC will recognize individuals and nonprofit organizations and corporations that have made significant contributions to the Hispanic business community over the past year. This year’s event will be the 18th annual Noche de Exitos Gala. This year marks the first time the event has included bi-national categories. THCC moved to include these categories because it felt it was important to recognize the importance of the Mexican market to our local economy. The THCC will present awards in some 11 categories. Omar Mireles and Alma Gallardo will be recognized as the THCC Hispanic Business Man and Business Woman of the Year. Joel Valdez, former senior VP of the University of Arizona and Tucson city manager, is receiving the THCC Legacy Award for www.BizTucson.com

advocating for the Hispanic community and increasing the awareness of the importance of our region’s bicultural and bilingual heritage. Three nominees are vying for the title of THCC Southern Arizona Corporation of the Year: Arizona Canning and its La Costena, Carondelet Health Network and O’Rielly Chevrolet. These companies have demonstrated leadership in a variety of areas, including serving the Hispanic market, promoting U.S.-Mexico trade, as well as serving as an example of the benefits of bicultural, bilingual enterprise. Two individuals and one organization have been nominated for the Bi-National Business Ambassador Award: Mike Hammond of PICOR; Jorge Santa Cruz of Bancapital and Caballeros del Sol. The Mano a Mano award recognizes organizations that have made strategic decisions which result in the betterment of the Hispanic community in Southern

NOCHE DE EXITOS AND BI-NATIONAL AWARDS presented by Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Oct. 13, 6 p.m. Casino del Sol Hotel & Resort $125 per person; $1,200 table of 10 www.tucsonhispanicchamber.org.

Arizona and/or Sonora. The THCC is recognizing seven outstanding organizations for this honor: El Rio Midnight Hoops Program (El Rio Neighborhood Center); Operation School Bell (Assistance League); Mi Carrerra (YWCA); Pio Decimo (Catholic Social Services); Digital Advantage, Tech Savvy District (Sunnyside School District); Corporate Internship Program (San Miguel High School) and Salud, Salsa Y Sabor (YMCA). Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords will also be honored with THCC’s La Estrella award, a singular honor given to an individual in recognition of exceptional service to the Hispanic community in the border region of Southern Arizona or Northern Mexico. Other awards include the Mexican Business of the Year, Bi-National Business Ambassador, New Member of the Year and Public Servant of the Year in Arizona and Sonora. THCC President Lea MarquezPeterson said the event provides an opportunity to recognize the region’s many outstanding individuals and businesses and their importance to the city. “This event is important to the Hispanic community because it highlights the fast-growing Hispanic market in Pima County – the fastest growing business segment in the nation,” she said.

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Omar Mireles Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Man of the Year Omar Mireles laughed and shook his head when asked about being selected Hispanic Business Man of the Year by the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “I shouldn’t be here,” he said. “I’m here because of all the people around me.” Mireles’ modesty is refreshing in an age when people tend to overshare and jockey for the limelight. But it’s typical of the way he goes about his life. Born and raised in Nogales, Ariz., Mireles moved to Tucson when he was 10 years old. He lived with his aunt and uncle, Czarina and Humberto Lopez, so he could go to school here. He eventually attended Salpointe Catholic High School, and later graduated from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. From there, he moved to New York City where he worked in investment 148 BizTucson

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banking. But he found himself pulled in a familiar direction. “I gravitated to real estate,” he said. His uncle made repeated offers asking Mireles to join his firm, HSL Properties. Mireles, who loved his work in New York, turned him down – at first. However, Lopez didn’t give up easily and eventually Mireles accepted a position with HSL Properties and returned to Tucson about nine years ago. Today he is executive VP. With the economy slowly rebounding and more people choosing to rent instead of buy a home, Mireles says HSL Properties has been very busy. Mireles has been involved with work on several projects, including the recent opening of the luxury apartment complex located at River Road. and La Cholla Boulevard, and another planned in the Dove Mountain area, near The RitzCarlton, Dove Mountain.

In addition to his work at HSL Properties, Mireles is active on many boards, including Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities, Salpointe Catholic High School and Tu Nidito Children and Family Services. Family also plays a key role in his life, including his wife and children, ages four and two. Mireles is also a strong supporter of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “Clearly, I believe in the chamber’s mission,” he said. “I feel it’s a key player in the promotion of business in Tucson.” On being named Man of the Year, he said, “I’m extremely honored, humbled and even a little embarrassed. There are a lot of people a lot more deserving.” Again, he points to the people around him. “We are no one without the people we surround ourselves with. This is their award.” Biz

PHOTO: CARTER ALLEN

BizHONORS


PHOTO: CARTER ALLEN

BizHONORS

Alma Gallardo Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Woman of the Year Connecting with people is one of Alma Gallardo’s strongest talents. She has a special ability to relate to people and to figure out what they need – even if they themselves don’t know or can’t put into words what they need. That skill served her well in her 20+ year career in sales and marketing, but it’s also helped her make a deep impact on the community. The Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce recently selected Alma Gallardo as its Hispanic Business Woman of the Year in recognition of her tireless efforts to support the community and help other Hispanic business owners thrive. It’s an honor that took Gallardo by surprise. “I almost fainted,” she said, laughing. Gallardo is motivated to help others find the opportunities and resources available to them. She’s assisted the Hiswww.BizTucson.com

panic Chamber for the past three years, focusing on growing membership, as well as educating members and giving them critical information. “Being Hispanic,” she said, pausing, “It’s not easy – especially right now.” She says the Hispanic culture, coupled with the demands of running a small business, often prevents Hispanic business owners from reaching out when they need help. “You have to take them and hold their hands. They won’t come by themselves,” she said. “My biggest cause, my passion is to give them all the information they need.” A native of Magdalena, Mexico, Gallardo often visited the United States as a child. She attended Arizona State University, then returned to Hermosillo to complete her studies in English and marketing. Her career path led to KEVT 1030 AM in Tucson. Though she knew noth-

ing about radio and no one in the business, within five years she was station manager. Since then, she’s held a positions including marketing coordinator for a restaurant, general sales manager at a Hispanic TV station and director of an advertising agency. Five years ago, she and her husband, Jesus Rodrigues, purchased Arizona Bilingual Magazine, which also hosts events to foster a closerknit Hispanic community. Gallardo and Rodriguez also own MultiMedia Group, and work in radio as well as electronic billboards along the border. The chamber is there for the Hispanic community. “The Hispanic Chamber offers a lot of different opportunities for investment for business,” she said. “We need to help them. We need to help the community. Not everything is about money.”

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Recharging United Way The world may be experiencing an energy crisis – but not the United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona – not with Tony Penn running the show. “Tony has just been a dynamo. He has re-energized the United Way, and he has – through great effort and energy – returned the organization and the campaign to a level of credibility,” said John Bremond, a board member. “He’s really a remarkable guy.” Bremond is president of investment firm Bremond Company and a retired KB Homes executive. Penn was hired two summers ago as president and CEO of United Way. “When Tony came to Tucson, he brought a whole new level of enthusiasm and professionalism and just revitalized the United Way. I like the respect he is garnering in the com-

munity. Everywhere you go, Tony is there. It’s amazing. But good Lord, when does the guy sleep?” said board member Daisy Jenkins, executive VP and chief administrator of human resources for Carondelet Health Network Systems. United Way works with more than 70 nonprofit agencies to advance the common good of the more than 100,000 local residents they serve. The focus of United Way is education, income and health, said Penn, 56. He served as senior executive of the YMCA of Greater San Antonio for eight years. Before that, Penn worked in the for-profit sector including 23 years with Teradyne Corporation. He’s also is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. Penn graduated from the Southwest Leadership program of

the University of Arizona Eller College of Management. He also earned a degree from the University of Texas and the Executive Education program at Harvard Business School. He’s married to Linda Penn who serves as a judge pro tempore at Pima County Justice Court. Jenkins said, “His drive to truly create an inclusive and high-performing organization is so incredibly evident. But that’s not what Penn found in Tucson when he made the move from the neighborhoods of the River Walk to the Sonoran Desert. “There were issues,” Penn explained, tiptoeing so as not to lay criticism of the prior regime that saw contributions fall short of goals and management problems that shed a negative light on the organization.

Tony Penn, President & CEO, United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona 150 BizTucson

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www.BizTucson.com

PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

By Larry Copenhaver


BizLEADERSHIP Penn called those issues the “elephant in the room.” He said, “You can’t shy away from the fact that we had issues. I’ve learned from my experience that when you have issues, don’t hide them. I defined the issues as the ‘elephant in the room’ so we could talk about them and solve them. Now we are way past the elephant in the room. “During my first six months, I went to every place I could find to explain the role of United Way – even if only half a dozen people were willing to sit and listen to the plan of where United Way was headed,” he recalled. The result? “The community believes in the brand of the United Way. We, the Tucson community, restored confidence. And we were able to build on that brand and increase the value proposition for the community and our partners,” Penn said. “That value proposition is why the United Way, why the model for the United Way, can work very well – because we have restored best practices on how to make it work in a community.” Recently, United Way announced that it reached and surpassed its 2011-12 campaign goal of $9.1 million. “As the poverty rate continues to climb in Southern Arizona, United Way and our partner agencies are being called upon to provide even more help,” Penn said. “This has been a remarkable year – thanks to the extreme generosity of local corporations and individuals.” That’s what happens when you have the right person at the helm, said board member Judy Rich, chair of last year’s fundraising campaign and president and CEO of Tucson Medical Center. United Way needs Tony Penn. “You’ll never find anyone with more passion for the work of serving our community. He has incredible heart and clarity about how we can improve our services,” Rich said. “I’ve seen him make decisions and give direction about where we should be putting our energy in the United Way. When you are resource constrained, you are always making decisions about the highest and best use, and I’ve watched him do that. “It’s a great talent that he has. Tony works with a broad base of stakeholders, as does Tucson Medical Center. We are aligned. We have the same goals.” “If I were giving grades, I would definitely give Tony an ‘A,’ ” said Jason Ott, board member and public affairs officer for Citi. “He came into a difficult situation www.BizTucson.com

at the tail end of a difficult economy, and I don’t think that, reputationally speaking, things were going very well for us at the United Way. It was disheartening. Our staff had never worked so hard and programs were successful – but we came up short in a couple of key areas. “There was a void of leadership, and he jumped in there,” Ott continued. “He was Tucson’s busiest person. He knew the value of that connective tissue for the United Way throughout Tucson. Morning, day and night, I know for a fact, he was meeting with people. He got neutral people to be cheerleaders, and he brought back some people who had moved away from the mission over time. I think the benefit is a stronger United Way.” Ott credited Penn for quickly joining the Tucson Metro Chamber. “I think that sent a strong signal to Tucson business leaders. This nonprofit was not hiding in the shadows of some bad press and ill will. He was out there making decisions and driving the United Way mission forward.” Never underestimate the value of a strong United Way for economic development, noted Michael Varney, president and CEO of the chamber. “There are companies that look for a good Untied Way if they are going to take employees to a new community. It’s a metric by which the community is judged. “A good United Way makes it possible to serve those who drop through the safety net. And when you return people to being productive citizens, there are positive turnarounds,” Varney said. “A good United Way is important.” And that’s what Tucson now offers. “Tony is held in very high esteem for taking the United Way to a much different and much higher performance. I’ve never heard a negative word about Tony. When Tony speaks people listen,” Varney said. Though Penn exudes confidence and is well aware of his leadership qualities, there is one thing missing from his skills – a good handicap in golf. That’s slipped away from lack of practice, the old “use it or lose it cliché.” “I’ve had very little time to play golf since I’ve been here. I wish I had more time to play,” he said. After two years of rigorous campaigning to rebuild the United Way Penn figured he and his wife would take lessons to get their skills back. “I recently cancelled that instruction because Linda and I wouldn’t have time to attend,” he said, shaking his head. “I think that if I could break 100 it would be a good day. And that’s a wish.”

United Way’s Mission “It’s important to understand the mission of the United Way. No longer is United Way just looked at as a pass-through funding agency. That’s not our business model. That’s not who we are. That’s not what we do,” said Tony Penn, president and CEO of United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona. “Distribution and allocations are just a small part of the value of having a great United Way in a community like Tucson. “The real value proposition is that United Way mobilizes the Tucson community to focus on three targeted, strategic needs – education, income and health, in that order. “That helps us prioritize – using the basic building blocks of what it takes to do United Way’s mission. That mission is to build a better community for all. “Right now, we have 70-plus agencies that do great work in those specific areas of education, income and health. We support those organizations through mobilizing the community to advocate, volunteer and give as it relates to the three initiatives. The organization also has 87 grant-funded partnerships.”

Volunteers

Each year, thousands of folks from the greater Tucson community volunteer time, talent and energy to United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona projects. In the past year, some 3,000 volunteers gave of themselves at 100 nonprofit agencies and schools to make an impact on the lives of children, families and seniors. United Way invites all Tucsonans to be part of these important services. For more information contact United Way at Daysofcaring@ unitedwaytucson.org.

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PHOTO: KRIS HANNING

30 Years of Miracles By Sheryl Kornman

Angel Charity For Children 2012 Executive Board Members Front row from left: Erin Vincent, 2011 General Chairman; Amanda Saffer, 2012 General Chairman; Lynne Wood Dusenberry, 2012 Vice Chairman. Back row from left: Louise Thomas, Founding Chairman; Monica Arreola; Cheryl Cox; Carla Keegan, 2011 Vice Chairman; Margaret Larsen; Sue Gibbs; Pattie Feder; Shelene Taylor; Linda Schultz, 2013 General Chairman elect. 152 BizTucson

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BizMILESTONE It is a charity like no other in Tucson. With no paid staff, Angel Charity for Children has raised more than $21 million over three decades, providing 68 gifts for capital improvements to more than 60 local entities and helping one million of Pima County’s most needy children. “It’s satisfying to look at all that has been accomplished for so many agencies that serve our children,” said Lynne Wood Dusenberry, an attorney who became an Angel volunteer in 1989. She and her husband had two young children and worked fulltime. “I could never do the social service work that our beneficiaries do. I don’t have that skill set. But I can read their financials. I can help get the money to have a better building or to help them provide more services to children in need. “Today, we have 900 donors. We have schoolchildren who give us jars of pennies. Every amount counts. It makes you proud to do what we do.” In 2008, a gift of $760,153 to Wings on Words at The Child Language Center, 202 E. Speedway Blvd., expanded the facility – where children with speech delay problems get help from professionals – to a state-of-the-art campus. Today it serves more than 100 children in a “language-enriched preschool environment,” said Barbara Kiernan, the center’s director. In 2011, a gift of $350,000 to Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson, enabled the human services agency to refurbish its Roy Drachman Clubhouse, which now

serves up to 250 children a day. CEO Armando Rios Jr. said Angel’s gift is helping children in “one of the community’s highest-stressed neighborhoods where the school dropout rate is 50 percent.” The 1,200 a year served by the agency annually “learn healthy lifestyles, improve academically, develop good citizenship and an appreciation of the arts,” he said. “That is a direct reflec-

ANGEL CHARITY FOR CHILDREN 2012 FUNDRAISING EVENTS

•Pret-a-Portea

Children’s fashion show & afternoon tea October 7 – 2 to 5 p.m. Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa $125 per person • Poker Party October 12 – 5:30 p.m. Union Public House $200 buy-in to play • Broken Halos Comedy Show Comics from ‘Chelsea Lately’ October 27 – 7:30 p.m. Fox Theatre Tickets at www.foxtucsontheatre.org Price TBA • Angel Ball 2012 December 8 – 5:30 p.m. Cocktails, casino & ball Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa Details at www.angelcharity.org

tion of the investment Angel Charity for Children provided the young people we serve.” Children living with diabetes and other challenging diseases are being helped today as a result of two gifts from Angel Charity. In 1990, a gift of $781,683 helped build a wing for genetic research on the fourth floor of the Steele Children’s Research Center at the University of Arizona. In 2001, a gift of $790,000 helped build medical facilities at the center for children with diabetes. “Thanks to the profound generosity of Angel Charity, the UA Steele Children’s Center was able to create the only clinic in Arizona entirely devoted to children with diabetes and other endocrine disorders,” said Dr. Fayez K. Ghishan, director of the center. “Moreover, their support has enabled us to establish labs for our researchers to investigate the genetic foundations of pediatric illnesses. Discoveries made at the Steele Center would not be possible without donor support and, for that, we are so grateful to Angel Charity – our partners in improving children’s health.” Louise Thomas, a mother whose son Michael died from cancer, started Angel Charity in 1982 with a friend, Jane Loew Sharple, to ensure her 9-yearold’s short life would have special meaning, Dusenberry said. Thomas and Sharple formed the new charity with a singular mission – to improve the lives of children in Pima continued on page 155 >>>

Angel Charity Capital Improvement Gifts

2011 – Boys & Girls Club of Tucson Roy Drachman Clubhouse renovation, 5901 S. Santa Clara Ave.

2010 – Northwest YMCA construction of 5,300-square-foot Angel Youth Center, 7770 N. Shannon Road. 2009 – St. Elizabeth Health Center Dental Clinic, 140 W. Speedway Blvd., expansion and renovation of pediatric dental care unit, plus built four operatories. 2008 – Child Language Center Wings on Words Preschool, 202 E. Speedway, Angel Wing built for children with speech and language disorders 2007 – TMM Family Services, 1550 N. Country Club Road. Demolished unsafe facilities, built four group homes, renovated and furnished building to crewww.BizTucson.com

ate receiving, assessment and visitation center.

2006 – Tu Nidito Children and Family Services, 3922 N. Mountain Ave., constructed new building and expanded existing building. 2005 – Ronald McDonald House, Charities of Southern Arizona, 3838 N. Campbell Ave., construction of 12 rooms at 28-room Ronald McDonald House on grounds of University of Arizona Medical Center. 2004 & 1993 – Tucson Urban League, 2305 S. Park Ave., built and equipped computer technology and recreation center and expanded and renovated existing center. 2003 – Arts for All, Third Street Kids, 2520 N. Oracle Rd., expanded and

renovated facilities, retired the mortgage on facilities that provide arts education and training to children, especially those with special needs. 2002 & 1995 – Pio Decimo Center, 848 S. 7th Ave., existing 6,000-squarefoot building renovated and expanded to 10,500 square feet. Kindergarten classroom and testing and conference room built, playground built. 2001 & 1990 – Steele Memorial Children’s Center at University of Arizona Medical Center, 1601 N. Campbell Ave., built wing for genetic research, wing for children with diabetes. 1989 – Casa de Los Niños Crisis Nursery, 1138 N. 5th Ave, built and furnished 40-bed nursery for children ages birth to five years. Fall 2012 > > > BizTucson 153


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BizMILESTONE continued from page 153 County. They recruited business leaders, community leaders and friends who believed in the mission. Together they raised more than their goal – and with a gift of $305,000 – retired the mortgage on Ronald McDonald House. Angel Charity’s 2012 general chairman is Amanda R. Saffer, who began volunteering with the charity in 2004. She said the vetting process for applicants is rigorous and all 150 Angel Charity members have the option of voting on the finalists. Two are chosen each year. “The Charity Selection Committee goes through applications and financials with a fine tooth comb,” she said. “We look at the most critical needs in the community.” The evaluation process includes a site visit for the finalists, so the charity’s decision makers can see for themselves where the need is greatest. “We look for sustainability. It’s not a one-year thing,” Dusenberry said. “We are responsible to our donors to identify appropriate agencies and projects with staying power and to raise money the right way.” The charity’s two 2012 beneficiaries are Our Family Services and Tucson Nursery School & Child Care Center. Our Family will use $613,754 to build an emergency shelter for children ages 12 to 17. This is the only agency in Tucson with a state contract to provide emergency housing for older children. Many of them are removed from their homes by Child Protective Services and some are sent out of town because of a shortage of beds here. Executive Director Patti Caldwell said the new shelter “will make a huge difference for these young people on their path to adulthood, keeping them safe and off the streets.” The shelter will serve up to 400 children annually. Tucson Nursery Schools & Child Care Center, the oldest continuously operating nursery school in Tucson, opened in 1949 to serve children living in poverty in the Pueblo Gardens neighborhood. Today it provides child care to infants as young as six weeks, said Sherry Rollefstad, the school’s executive director. “We service a lot of children in Child Protective Services cases. Their parents are dealing with stress,” Rollefstad said. The facility provides three meals and two snacks a day, along with “consiscontinued on page 156 >>> www.BizTucson.com

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BizMILESTONE continued from page 154 tency and enrichment programs. And we encourage them to continue their education.” Angel’s gift of $241,441 will be used to retire the building’s mortgage, freeing up monies for day-care scholarships to families on Department of Economic Security waiting lists for child care subsidies.

Angel Charity’s membership today, its decision makers, still are mostly women. Instead of primarily being the wives of professional men, many now are business owners and professionals themselves. “We would love to get more men involved. We don’t discriminate,” Dusenberry said. “All are welcome.” Every one of the charity’s 150 members is also a donor.

One of the youngest donors is Saffer’s daughter, who is learning early on about philanthropy and donated her tooth fairy money to Angel Charity. For more on Angel Charity, to become a donor, to find out about fundraising events, and read a report on the charity’s impact by the UA Eller College School of Management, go to www.angelcharity.org.

Biz

Fiscal Responsibility By Sheryl Kornman “We are incredibly fiscally responsible. We have no paid staff. There is no excess to cut in this organization,” said Carla J. Keegan, 2012 capital campaign and underwriting coordinator for Angel Charity for Children. Angel Charity remains self-sufficient by staging events to raise money for its own operating costs, for instance, utilities at its first permanent office, at 3132 N. Swan Rd. The charity bought the building last year “when the market was low.” Guardian Angel member Margaret Larsen, a real estate broker, handled the deal and waived her commission. The money for the purchase came from invested board-designated funds. Keegan’s firm – Keegan Linscott & Kenon – provides Angel’s pro-bono accounting services, reviewing financial documents of potential Angel Charity recipients to make sure they are sound and likely to continue to operate effectively. “We don’t want to fund anyone with financial issues. We don’t

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fund people on the brink of disaster. We review the financials and (if they are selected) help them do things they can’t do themselves – like get rid of their mortgage,” she said. Nonprofits who apply for Angel funding may not be chosen the first time they apply, Keegan said. “We really vet them carefully.” At its October Halo for Hire event, they meet with prospective applicants. “We give them feedback and help them do better in the grant application process. They may restructure, get their financial health in order and then reapply. Though Angel’s entire membership solicits donations and donates themselves, the charity depends on greater Tucson to meet its 2012 fundraising goal. “We need money. We need help from the community,” Keegan said. Fundraising for the two 2012 beneficiaries is “about half way there.” Donations can be mailed to the charity at P.O. Box 14225, Tucson, 85737.

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BizBRIEFS

Larson Camouflage Honored for Disguised Cell Towers Larson Camouflage received a 2012 Manufacturer of the Year award from the Arizona Manufacturers Council in May. Gov. Jan Brewer gave the keynote address at the awards luncheon and congratulated Larson for its achievements. The company was honored for creativity in camouflaging antennas for wireless network developers. Wireless tower concealment components made by Larson include saguaros for Arizona customers, flagpoles, faux water tanks, church steeples, broad-leaf trees, palm trees, and various conifers complete with realistic bark and needles. In accepting the award, Larson’s president Andrew Messing said, “We are grateful to companies like AT&T Mobility that challenge us to create the most aesthetically pleasing towers that blend into their natural environment. Our motto has always been ‘You dream it, we’ll build it.’ ” Larson Camouflage pioneered the disguised cell site industry when it built the first cell tower disguised as a pine tree in Denver 20 years ago. Steve Macias, chairman of AMC, said, “The breadth of today’s awardwinning industries – electronics, heavy metals, telecommunications and chemicals – shows that manufacturing is very much alive in Arizona and, with a business environment that is increasingly attractive to manufacturers, will only continue to grow.”

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PHOTO: COURTESY TUBAC GOLF RESORT & SPA

BizBRIEFS

Tubac’s Balloon Festival to Light up the Night Sky The Hot Air Balloon Glow and Festival in Tubac will take off this year on Nov. 10, starting at 3:30 p.m. The property will be abuzz with folks of all ages who come for the food, entertainment and huge, colorful balloons. This is quickly becoming one of Tubac Golf Resort & Spa’s most popular events Kids’ activities will keep the young ones busy while adults enjoy live music and a selection of food vendors. Featured attractions will be daytime tethered balloon rides, for a fee, and a 10-balloon glow starting at sunset, approximately 5 p.m. The previous balloon festival, held in 2010, attracted nearly 5,000 attendees.

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Adult tickets are $10 and kids 12 and under will be admitted for $4. Parking is free. A VIP package also is available with a deluxe buffet dinner, private cash bar and special parking for $48 per person. Reservations are required and may be made by calling 520-3983531. The resort is also offering a room package for $169. Based on availability, it includes a Posada guest room and two adult festival tickets.

Biz

For details visit www.tubacgolfresort.com or call 800-848-7893 for room reservations.

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Omni Ranked No. 1 by J.D. Power & Associates By Christy Krueger

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The award wouldn’t be possible, he emphasized, without outstanding employees. “We have 250 associates to serve our guests with the same goal to exceed their expectations. Our staff works hard every day, and to receive the (J.D. Power) award shows we’re doing the right things.” Biz PHOTO: COURTESY OMNI TUCSON NATIONAL RESORT

Receiving a J.D. Power and Associates No. 1 ranking in customer satisfaction can be a powerful marketing tool for a business – especially if you’ve made the grade five times. That’s the case with Omni Hotels & Resorts. Omni’s prior top finishes came in 2000, 2005, 2006 and 2010. For those affiliated with the hotel group, it’s a good indicator that they’re delivering exceptional service and have a strong commitment to the brand. Omni Tucson National Resort GM Danny Goldmann said Omni placed No. 1 this year in seven areas of guest satisfaction within the upper-upscale hotel category. This includes such competing properties as Hyatt, Westin and Hilton. “Creating memorable experiences for guests is a top goal for us.” Goldmann has been with Omni for 25 years so has been part of every team earning the J.D. Power awards. An example of the local affiliate’s high level of customer service is its tradition of announcing guests as they enter the lobby after a quick stop at the front gate. “We know your name. It makes the stay personalized,” Goldmann said. “In addition, we’ve renovated the guest rooms, which are very comfortable, and we have four restaurants.”

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PHOTOS: LEIGH SPIGELMAN

BizTREND

Localism Thrives Customers Seek Products Sourced Closer to Home By Monica Surfaro Spigelman A grassroots energy is spreading and it’s called localism. Localism is balancing the need for volume and variety with the customer demand for sourcing products closer to home. Ultimately, this is good human-scale economics, sparking new life in the region’s businesses. What’s produced locally cycles through the community generating retail sales, creating jobs and keeping people healthier through fresher, more natural products. “There’s a change in the way we use our resources, and markets are being transformed as a result,” said Sara Putnam, marketing field associate who oversees marketing for Whole Foods Market in Arizona. Whole Foods is the world’s largest retailer of natural and organic foods and a leader in the emergence of Tucson-focused localism since opening here in 2007. “Retailers need local sourcing to add a point of difference,” Putnam said. “It puts a face and a story to the food or products that we source and it means we’re offering product at its freshest.” Under the 2008 Farm Act, products are considered locally or regionally produced if transported less than 400 miles. For Whole Foods, products must be produced or grown within the state. That’s led the company to work with more than 250 Arizona vendors, with approximately 40 in Southern Arizona. “The quality of our local producers and growers is on par with any of our national vendors,” Putnam said. “It’s about a connection to the food and the people that produce it.” In mobilizing both industry and community to focus on locally sourced ingredients, markets are getting to the core of goals like sustainability. That translates to an ethic that works for Sunizona, a family farm founded in Willcox in 1996. “Our farm was pretty typical,” said Janice Smith, farm founder, who originally used conventional growing methods and shipped produce to brokers all over North America. Then Sunizona changed gears in 2003, switching to sell162 BizTucson

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ing more locally. By 2008, 95 percent of its produce was sold in Arizona. Then Sunizona transitioned from only growing hothouse cucumbers to growing a wide variety of heirloom variety tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant and packaged salads, including micro greens, herbs and heirloom lettuces. The farm also began switching to a certified-organic Veganic growing method in 2008. “It was the best thing we could have done,” said Smith, whose family came to Arizona from British Columbia, where they had grown hydroponic hothouse cucumbers and tomatoes for 11 years. In addition to Whole Foods, Sunizona sells to AJ’s, Bashas’, New Frontiers (in Prescott, Flagstaff and Sedona), as well as several resorts and restaurants. Sunizona also sells direct through FarmBox, a community-supported agriculture program, and at farmers markets. “People deserve to know where their food comes from,” Smith said. “Food from big factory farms typically takes about two weeks to get to consumers – and by then it has lost much flavor and nutrition.” Whole Foods employs an Arizona forager to source locally produced products. “The forager program focuses on finding the region’s best in terms of products and people,” Putnam said. That was the case with Santa Cruz Chili and Spice Co., a Southern Arizona company sourced by a Whole Foods forager. “Usually I’m calling on customers – but this time the Whole Foods forager found me,” said Jeanie England Neubauer. Her father, Gene England, began growing red Anaheim chiles at the family Amado farm along the Santa Cruz River in 1943. With the soil and climate perfect for producing chiles, her father started a side business that grew into the premier supplier of pastes and powders for Arizonans, along with restaurants in the Midwest. The company manages a retail spice and chile center from one of the original chile factory buildings in Tumacacori. There’s also a museum, started by Neubauer’s www.BizTucson.com


mother, to build awareness about ranching. “Our chile and spices are often the beginning of a new cooking adventure into healthier eating for tourists and residents who visit,” said Neubauer, who had a career in banking but came home to manage the company after her father’s death in 1981. In Tumacacori and Amado – where the company still dries chiles the old-fashioned way to achieve the distinctive flavor and bright red color – Santa Cruz has six full time employees. In 1997 the family opened a 9,000-square-foot processing plant near Pearce, employing four more. “We’re a tiny company but we represent something becoming less and less familiar – a family farm that has employed the same families across generations.” Santa Cruz hand harvests the wild native chiltepin, known for its traditional uses in native food, medicine and folklore. The company also is developing a new chile paste soon to be introduced in Tucson Whole Foods Markets. “The demand for local is definitely growing. We know there are lasting lessons to be learned from our area’s farm and ranch heritage,” Neubauer said. Localism goes beyond farm-to-table and impacts other niche markets. Kuumba Made is a Tucson producer of fragrances, oils, herbal first aid and body care products from wild-harvested, organic ingredients. Herbalist Kuumba Piazza began grinding and blending infused coconut oils from West Indies folk recipes 30 years ago. Her passion for gardening and natural botanicals grew from a kitchen-table hobby into an herbal garden enterprise originally based in Wendell, Mass. The company moved to Tucson about 19 years ago, and now employs 14. The 6,500-square-foot facility includes space for processing, offices and a research kitchen. There’s a small garden at this Fort Lowell complex, with larger Kuumba gardens farther south, growing lavender, sage and other native plants. Handcrafted in small batches, Kuumba Made sells 10 lines to Whole Foods as well as other natural markets across the country. Piazza also has created Desert Offerings, five products made from desert ingredients. “We know many plants in our region provide healing benefits and we decided what better way to make a new line than to go to our back yard,” she said “Several years ago, when the economy began to recess, Kuumba Made decided we would not hold back and act in fear, but would commit to abundance and expansion,” Piazza said. “We now have three buildings and recently completed a total renovation on the back building. It has become easier to do business, with more people desiring pure products and organic ingredients.” The ‘think global, act local’ concept continues expanding in Tucson. There’s more hiring on a year-round basis. Sources often work with other local businesses to print labels, construct displays or even handle local deliveries. At Whole Foods, Local Vendor Days are becoming increasingly popular, where more vendors connect with customers. Whole Foods now employs close to 150 at markets on Oracle Road and Speedway Boulevard. The company started construction on a third store at River and Craycroft Roads. After that, it will remodel the Oracle store. “Working synergistically with the growers and producers is a win-win for everyone,” said Putnam. “It’s the real thing, for business and the community.” Biz www.BizTucson.com

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PHOTO: COURTESY PATRIOT GOLF DAY

BizCHARITY

From left: Steve Morling, Patriot Golf Day Committee Member; Anna Colasanti, scholarship recipient; Tara Malone, scholarship recipient; Mike Graydon, Committee Member and Lt. Col. Doug Hadley, Committee Member.

Patriot Golf Day Honors Military By David B. Pittman Golfers who spray their shots all over the course, instead of hitting the ball straight, often jokingly refer to their game as “military golf.” That’s because they go left, right… left, right… left, right… A golf event to honor those who serve in our military and their families was played in September, with more than 200 people taking part in the 3rd Annual Patriot Golf Day at Ventana Canyon Golf and Racquet Club. The first two Patriot Golf Days at Ventana Canyon raised a total of $80,000. This year the goal was to raise $50,000. “What drives the members of Ventana Canyon Golf and Racquet Club to participate in this event is to simply show their support for our troops,” said Steve Morling, a member of the Patriot Golf Day Committee at the club. “It is one of the few ways we have of saying, ‘thank you for your service to our country.’ ” Proceeds from this local Patriot Golf Day event go to:

• Folds of Honor Foundation, a national nonprofit that provides college scholarships for children and family members of U.S. soldiers who have been killed or disabled while serving their country. Last year, the Ventana club was among the top 15 Patriot Day contributors to the foundation. • The Jimmy Jet Foundation, a nonprofit that serves members of the Air National Guard 162nd Fighter Wing at Tucson International Airport and members of their families. • Patriot Golf Day round of golf and lunch at the Ventana facility for more than 100 golfers from active duty and reserve military units in Tucson. • Two $5,000 scholarships for children and family members of Tucson-area soldiers killed or injured while performing their military duty.

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Colasanti, 18, who will attend Pacific Northwestern College of Art in Portland, Ore. “It’s a very expensive art school,” said Colasanti. “I wouldn’t have been able to pay the tuition without this scholarship.” Colasanti’s father died as a result of exposure to chemical pesticides while serving as an army photographer in Panama. Colasanti was just 10 when he passed away. Malone said receiving the scholarship “means my family will not be financially burdened paying for my education.” She said she is receiving other scholarship assistance and the addition of this one means her senior year tuition is paid in full. Malone’s husband, a recipient of a Purple Heart, was shot in the leg during a battle against Al Qaida forces in Afghanistan. Malone had a titanium rod placed in his leg and had to re-learn how to walk. Patriot Golf Day fundraising efforts include Ventana club members making direct contributions, recruiting local businesses to donate by sponsoring holes played, receiving donations of gifts and services for an on-line auction, and getting local corporations to donate funds, goods and services. Lt. Col. Doug Hadley, of the 162nd Fighter Wing of the Air National Guard, said “enlisted men and women who enjoy golf are very appreciative of the opportunity to play at the high-quality courses at Ventana Canyon and enjoy the country club experience.” Folds of Honor Foundation was founded in 2007 by Major Dan Rooney, a former F-16 pilot, golf course owner, PGA professional and USGA member. A major in the Air National Guard and a decorated military aviator, Rooney served three combat tours in Iraq. Since 2007, more than $12.8 million has been raised nationwide through Patriot Golf Day, allowing Folds of Honor to award more than 3,500 scholarships. Former President George W. Bush serves as honorary chairman of Patriot Golf Day.

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PHOTO: CARTER ALLEN

BizRETAIL

Joanne & Tom Tudor, Owners, House ’N Garden

House ’N Garden Exudes Playful Atmosphere By Anna Rasmussen In the corner of the House ’N Garden floor display sits a wrought-iron patio chair. Beside it is the original 1955 ad from the year it was sold. Despite 57 years of wear, the chair remains in mint condition, a standing testament to the products of Tucson’s oldest patio furniture store. “I keep this chair here as a representation of how durable our products are,” said co-owner Tom Tudor, “The style and prices may have changed, but the quality is still here.” Founded by Harlan Davis in 1951, House ’N Garden has remained in the family and now belongs to his daughter Joanna Tudor and her husband Tom. Now in its 61st year, House ’N Garden has developed from 166 BizTucson

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its original inventory of swing sets and wicker chairs to customized patio and casual furniture. A portion of the store is dedicated to a boutique shop that includes outdoor accessories and seasonal artisan crafts. They carry American-made brands including Woodard, O.W. Lee, Brown Jordan, Winston, Tropitone and Palacek. “We like to have our products made in the U.S. and we always carry Tucson artists,” said Joanne. The Tudors attribute the business’s lasting success to a combination of high-quality products, engaged sales team and commitment to the store. “We don’t let the store run itself,” Tom said. “We take care of our customers because they are www.BizTucson.com


We like to have our products made in the U.S. and we always carry Tucson artists. – Joanne

Tudor, Co-Owner, House ’N Garden

our customers, not the manufacturer’s.” House ’N Garden also offers free onsite outdoor consultations with an exterior designer. “They are personal, thoughtful and have good aesthetic judgment,” said Nils Hasselmo, a customer of House ’N Garden who’s used their patio consultation service. “They have helped greatly with color, design and finding products that are both durable and attractive.” Unlike most patio furniture, which is purchased in a complete set, House ’N Garden works to create a unique and personalized outdoor living room for clients. In addition, everything is serviced and delivered directly from the store. The Tudors have worked with manufactures on many of their designs to create products relevant to Southwestern clientele. One set of wrought-iron furniture is simply called “The Tucson.” Adapting to the climate of Arizona, House ’N Garden carries fabrics that are resistant to sun and water damage. “We try to match the fabric with the colors of the desert – sandy tones, reds that match flagstone and muted greens,” Tom said. “We are interested in customizing each piece so that it can have a real personal feel,” said Joanne. The Tudors use a combination of social media and wordof-mouth referrals to maintain a steady client base. In the past year they’ve also updated their website which gives a comprehensive catalog of all the store’s products, including images and sizing options. Returning customers and referrals remain the primary marketing focus. “When we do our job well and make someone happy, that’s the best advertising we can get,” said Joanne. Despite changes in the market they’ve been able to alter buying methods to accommodate the demands of customers and make economical decisions regarding price and scale. Looking towards the future, the Tudors are optimistic. “We’ve created a great, fun atmosphere here,” said Joanne, “We like what we do because we enjoy working with each other, our staff and our customers.”

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Photos: Courtesy of Marana Aerospace Solutions

BizAEROSPACE

Marana Aerospace Solutions

Seeks New Business Heights By David B. Pittman Evergreen Maintenance Center, which operated for more than 30 years within the Pinal Air Park in Marana, is now Marana Aerospace Solutions. Along with the new name come a new logo, a new website and a new attitude – launched by new owners seeking to take Marana Aerospace Solutions to new business heights. Relativity Capital, a private equity firm headquartered in Arlington, Va., purchased the 460-acre commercial aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul facility – the largest of its kind in the world – from Evergreen International Aviation in 2011. “With the growth we have planned, along with added training, enhanced processes and updated tooling, we intend to build our extensive range of service offerings to meet the needs of our expanding global base of customers,” 168 BizTucson

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said Hal Heule, the company’s newlyappointed CEO. The new ownership team unveiled its rebranding and revitalization efforts this spring at a luncheon ceremony attended by more than 300 employees, dignitaries and elected officials from the Town of Marana and the Pinal County Board of Supervisors. Marana Aerospace Solutions even introduced new company uniforms for its employees that included jackets, pants and shirts in blue and gray color schemes. “Everybody here is going to look the way we work – sharp,” said a company spokesman. Aviation technicians at Marana Aerospace Solutions provide federally certified service for the industry’s most advanced aircraft, including those manufactured by Boeing, Airbus

and McDonnell Douglas. The 6,850foot runway is suitable for takeoff and landing of all aircraft types, including large commercial and military aircraft. The maintenance center has ramp and storage capacity to accommodate 400 aircraft, as well as more than 350,000 square feet of repair shops for avionics, components servicing, interior configuration, painting, testing and inspections. “Our facility will continue to focus on operational excellence, with a renewed commitment to deliver outstanding customer service and satisfaction,” said Joyce Johnson-Miller, a co-founder of Relativity Capital who chairs the board of directors of Marana Aerospace Solutions. Johnson-Miller said Relativity Capital was looking to purchase an existing maintenance, repair and overhaul facility and the choices came down to the www.BizTucson.com


From left: Hal Heule, CEO, Marana Aerospace Solutions; Ed Honea, Mayor, Town of Marana; Joyce Johnson-Miller, Chairperson, Marana Aerospace Solutions

Marana operation or one in California. She said major factors in choosing to locate in Marana were metro Tucson’s “excellent aerospace and defense workforce” and the fact that Arizona’s tax structure is much preferable to the Golden State from tax and investment perspectives. She also said the facility within Pinal Air Park already had a fully approved

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Marana Aerospace Storage

FAA Part 145 Repair Station – a unique certification that allows Marana Aerospace Solutions to conduct “a one-stop shop” that allows commercial airlines and aircraft leasing companies the greatest array of options in managing and maintaining their fleets. Ed Stolmaker, president and CEO of the Marana Chamber of Commerce, welcomed the new ownership group

to the community. He said the new owner’s involvement “not only ensures existing jobs (at the aircraft maintenance center) will be maintained, but also increases the likelihood of future growth.” He said the decision to put Marana at the forefront of the facility’s new name will bring increased recognition, publicity and stature to the town.

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PHOTO: KRIS HANNING

BizMEDICINE

Dr. Kevin Bowers and Dr. James Benjamin with the Rio system at Oro Valley Hospital

Advancing Knee Surgery By Mary Minor Davis Oro Valley Hospital is the first hospital in Southern Arizona to provide patients with a revolutionary surgeoncontrolled robotic-assisted procedure for partial knee resurfacing. The Rio Robotic Arm Interactive Orthopedic System allows surgeons to treat patient-specific knee conditions with a level of accuracy and precision not previously possible. Arizona now joins 35 states in the nation using MAKOplasty partial knee resurfacing technology. For the patient, robotic surgery means nearly a third less time in the hospital and about half the recovery time. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, knee replacement surgery has become one of the most successful of all joint replacement procedures in the country. The Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality reports that more than 600,000 knee surgeries are performed annually. The knee is the largest joint in the body, located at the juncture of the femur, the tibia and patella. The femur and the tibia are connected by the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments. During movement, the joint is cushioned by the meniscus, a tough cartilage material. The patella, or kneecap, is a small bone encased in tendons, that glides up and down in the groove on the top of the femur when the knee is flexed or extended. Where the femur meets the tibia, there is an inner (medial) and 170 BizTucson

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outer (lateral) compartment. The patella makes up the third compartment. Previously, there was no way to repair a single compartment in the knee. When degeneration occurred, a total knee replacement was required. With this new technology, surgeons can now conduct a minimally invasive procedure to remove early stages of osteoarthritis that have not yet reached all three compartments of the knee. Unlike other robotic systems, the Rio is controlled completely by the surgeon in the operating room, allowing for the greatest precision and saving as much of the knee and surrounding tissue as possible. From a surgeon’s perspective, the robot provides for an increased level of accuracy,” said Dr. Kevin Bowers, an orthopedic surgeon who has performed nearly a half-dozen partial knee replacement procedures at Oro Valley Hospital. “The robot provides an element of control and an increased level of accuracy that is estimated at two to three times the traditional procedure. Getting that precise alignment can be the key to the longevity of the procedure. The robot’s biggest advantage is that level of accuracy.” Bowers said he just saw his first patient at his two-week follow up and the patient came into the office without the use of any walking aids. “It’s doing what we expect it to be doing.” Partial knee replacement procedures

had been tried over the years, but with mixed and often disappointing results, Bowers said. “Partial knee replacement can be a little persnickety,” mostly because the ability to provide proper alignment among the three compartments, and to accurately remove degenerative tissue. About 10 years ago there was a revival in the interest in partial knee replacements as technological advances continue to drive research into ways of improving the ability to prolong joint and bone life, he said. Partial knee resurfacing is not for everyone. Osteoarthritis must be in the early stages, and the procedure is not recommended for patients with inflammatory arthritis as that tends to extend to other parts of the body and caring for a joint at one source will unlikely solve the issue elsewhere. There are two surgeons using the Rio system at Oro Valley Hospital – Dr. Bowers and Dr. James Benjamin. More orthopedic surgeons are seeking certification, but are not yet using the robot to perform surgeries on patients. To find out if you are a candidate for this procedure, Oro Valley Hospital hosts free seminars. Biz To learn more, visit www.orovalleyhospital.com or call the seminar registration line at (866) 694-9355.


www.BizTucson.com

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BizEDUCATION

Small School with a Big Heart By Teya Vitu Smarts and a college degree will only get you so far. You have to be able to play well with others to get ahead in the world. That’s the score at Green Fields Country Day School: you get plenty of smarts, and pretty much every graduate goes off to college – usually an elite institution. But the heart and soul of Green Fields is building what Head of School Rebecca Cordier calls “social competence.” Building social skills from kindergarten through 12th grade matters just as much at Green Fields as Advanced Placement courses in history, biology, calculus, French, government, chemistry and music theory. “They are able to build relationships with peers and adults as well,” said Cordier, a long-time Green Fields faculty member who was named head of school in April 2012. “They can move from a small school to any size school in any place.” A critical milestone moment is the second semester of ninth grade, when the Green Fields game plan calls for students to have achieved tolerance, an appreciation of each other, self-awareness, social maturity and academic independence. “They are self-aware,” Cordier said. “They know where they are going. They know they have college in their future. That adds up to a confident young person.” Green Fields has been around forever, since 1933, on the north side near Orange Grove Road and Camino de la Tierra. It is Arizona’s oldest independent school and the only one in Southern Arizona offering a full K-12 program. Green Fields is a different place. The name alone should tell you that. There are green fields, and the grass quad is a student favorite. You do think you’re 172 BizTucson

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in the country on these 22-acre sylvan grounds, where much of the architecture is 1930s brick. “We don’t have a cafeteria,” Cordier said. “Everybody eats outside.” That allows for daily casual mingling among students. Interaction among different grades is a hallmark at Green Fields, be it the student council initiated “Bigs and Littles,” where high school students pair up with middle school students, or the blurring of distinct grades on the high school level. “In high school, there are not really those clear distinctions between grades,” Cordier said. “There are a lot of classes where there are mixed ages. Lots of friendships happen between grade levels. If you’re in with the kids up in maturity, you reach for that. It encourages them to get on the same playing field.” It all starts in the early grades. “Teachers know very clearly what students are ready for,” Cordier said of the elementary school faculty. “Developmental stages don’t necessarily equate with grade levels with each child. What they do is encourage them to get to the next level.” Starting in fourth grade students also get a taste of the outside world with Interim, a one-week trip each year close to spring break. Each teacher leads a trip or other activity away from school. “Students learn how to travel,” Cordier said. “You see things you don’t see everyday. It increases understanding things in a new way. Kids often say: ‘That’s not like I thought it was.’ ” Then comes that sticky wicket known as middle school. “That’s really fun,” Cordier said. “The middle school years are tumultuous. Our students are no different than middle school students anywhere else. They are noticing all these crazy differences in themselves and each other.”

Kids say mean things to each other. Green Fields faculty nip the taunting at the bud with dialogue, instilling in students to “be responsible for what you do and say. “We offer them chances to make good choices,” Cordier said. “We encourage them to make the choice to build people up instead of tear them down.” By the time the students get to Green Fields high school, they have basic relationship skills and the concepts of getting along down pat. “Their energy and focus is on academics,” Cordier said. Brothers Russell and Michael True, who jointly own White Stallion Ranch, know first-hand and second-hand what a difference a Green Fields education makes. Older brother Russell attended Marana High School while Michael was sent to Green Fields. “Simply put, when I left high school and went to college, I had to work pretty hard in school. I had to step it up significantly,” said Russell True, who is past president of the Green Fields board. “Michael left and said the University of Arizona was a lot easier than Green Fields. That’s the difference.” True went on to put two sons through Green Fields. The older went on to Cornell University. “If he didn’t go to Green Fields, he probably wouldn’t have gotten in or wanted to,” True said. About 170 students are enrolled at Green Fields, which is not the province of rich families. Some 40 percent receive financial aid, which, based on need, can be as much as 75 percent of the annual $14,200 high school tuition. “Our parents are those who have found a way to make a sacrifice so their kids can come here,” Cordier said.

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Back row: Russell True, past Board President, and Becky Cordier, Head of School, Green Fields County Day School

PHOTO: KRIS HANNING

Front row from left: Green Fields Students, Aurora Olson, Grade 5 Astrid Olson, Grade 2 and Matthew Nordlund-Calderon, Grade 4

Green Fields Through the Years 1933 – Howard and Rubie Atchley buy a 77-acre alfalfa farm and establish a boarding school for boys that blends East Coast academic traditions with Western ranch life. 1957 – Frederick Baltzell purchases the school, which ceased to be a boarding school in the 1960s. 1966 – Green Fields goes coed. 1981 – Actress Lillian Gish dedicates the new Center for the Performing Arts. 1987 – Astronaut Dick Gordon dedicates the new gym. 2010 – The school goes wireless, becoming one of the first high schools in Southern Arizona to offer the complete Google Apps suite. Every upper school student receives a Chromebook laptop.

Green Fields Outdoor Classroom

Founder Howard Atchley

HISTORIC PHOTOS: COURTESY GREEN FIELDS

Founder Rubie Atchley

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Making Music Leslie & Michael Faltin, Owners, Instrumental Music Center 174 BizTucson

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PHOTO: KRIS HANNING

By Dan Sorenson


BizARTS The “siege” just passed – the annual back-to-school onslaught of school band and orchestra students and their parents descending on Instrumental Music Center to rent and buy new instruments. When the numbers are tallied, Michael and Leslie Faltin will learn whether the $100,000 they laid out for a shiny pile of new brass retail and rental instruments paid off. In truth, there isn’t much drama anymore. With the exception of a couple down years during the recession, Instrumental Music Center has piled success upon success. It was just 13 years ago when the couple – he was a band director at a Sunnyside School District middle school and she was selling lasers for a local optics firm – mortgaged their house and opened Instrumental Music on the northwest corner of Speedway Boulevard and Kolb Road. After the recession’s hiccup years, when they quickly tightened up expen-

some smaller stores that mixed lessons and retail sales.) You can’t out-do Guitar Center, said Leslie of the futility of going head-tohead with the huge retail chain that, with the recession and the boom in online sales, crushed scores of mom-andpop stores nationwide over the last 10 years. So, Michael said, they do some things Guitar Center and many of the other stores don’t do. They rent out eight rooms to music teachers for lessons, bringing in students and parents year around. They do repairs. And, something learned during the recession, they found their niche and trimmed highpriced instruments from their inventory. “We changed parts of our inventory as the economy went south,” Michael said. “Most people aren’t going to come in and drop $2,000 on an acoustic guitar. Ten years ago they would. But I can sell you a solid (wood) top acoustic guitar by Yamaha for $200 and it’s a great guitar. For a long time, we didn’t have

When minivan moms come in the store, they see clearly posted prices, close enough to the bone to compete with the online sellers. And the staff doesn’t do high-pressure pitches. “Everyone in the music industry works on commission,” she said. “We don’t. I don’t want the mom talked into the $600 guitar if that’s not what works best for her student.” The team works closely with local school teachers to get instruments into the hands of kids. Laurie McBride, who has taught music at Tucson’s Castlehill Country Day School for 15 years, said Instrumental Music “is near and dear to my heart.’’ “Hands down, Mike and Leslie operate the most organized music store in Tucson,’’ McBride said. “Instrumental Music Center is quick with special orders, they have reasonable turn around times on repairs and excel at customer communication and service. It has been my pleasure doing business with them since their store opened.’’

I have more $300 and $400 guitars than anybody. We buy things that fit the Tucson market. –

ditures to roll with the economic punches, they’re again racking up rising sales figures, have expanded the store twice, and last year added a second location at 405 E. Wetmore Road. In June they were on the cover of Music Inc., a leading retail music industry magazine that took note of what they’re doing right. To put a number on it, they went from mortgaging their house to doing $1.8 million last year, Leslie said. The success isn’t in merely surviving the recession. They also swam upstream against the online sales and chain store trends that devastated the independent retail music stores that once dominated this business locally and nationally. (Beaver’s Band Box, a leader in the Tucson school band and orchestra retail business for decades, went under during the recession, as did Guitars Etc. and www.BizTucson.com

Michael Faltin, Co-owner, Instrumental Music Center a guitar over $1,000. But I have more $300 and $400 guitars than anybody. We buy things that fit the Tucson market – what I call a value market.” But even so, there are plenty of places customers can shop in that value end of the market. “We know that our closest competitor is the closest smart phone,” Leslie said of the competition from online sellers. They handle that competition by knowing their clientele. “The bulk of our business is school musicians. It’s moms and minivans,” Leslie said. The partners understand that – and not just in the marketing sense. Leslie’s 41, Michael’s 47 and they have two kids, 7 and 8. “We’re really mom and pop. My mom works for me. My sister – the inventory queen” – works for me, too,” Leslie said.

The Faltins learned some valuable lessons during the recession, and in the battle against chains and the Internet. That’s not to say they’re fighting it out in some desperate battle against the competition and the economy. In fact, they attribute some of their success to a positive, and tangible, attitude. “We’re doing great. Things could always be far worse. We don’t live in Darfur. People need to keep that in perspective,” Leslie said. “I meet a lot of music industry people who are down in the dumps. But there’s always something you can do. And we’ve done it – make sure we’re not too extravagant. “And one of the biggest things is not to bitch about the economy. Nobody wants to do business in a place that’s not doing well. That’s kind of a downer.”

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BizLEADERSHIP

Tucson Metro Chamber Tackles Five Priorities

Mike Varney President & CEO Tucson Metro Chamber 176 BizTucson

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Photo: BalfourWalker.com

By Christy Krueger A change of leadership last year at the Tucson Metro Chamber resulted in new strategies for the local business community and an increase in membership. Mike Varney began his role as chamber president and CEO on May 9, 2011, coming from the North Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce. Right away he started sitting down with business people to hear their thoughts. “I did a lot of listening when I first came to Tucson. I tried hard to be impartial, to hear all the viewpoints and understand these first – before forming opinions,” Varney recalled. “My number one opinion is we haven’t lived up to our potential. There’s more we can do to work together.” He gave examples of Rosemont Copper and the quest for the F-35 aircraft training program as issues that split the community. “We live in a polarized environment nationally and we see things as one way or the other. We need to agree to live in the gray area,” Varney said. He feels that downtown and land use are two areas where we can come together. Varney’s next step was to establish goals with his board of directors. They call these the Top Five Priorities. On June 26, shortly after Board Chair Wendell Long turned the gavel over to Bruce Dusenberry, the group held its inaugural Chairman’s Luncheon, where 400 members and guests were treated to lunch at the Manning House. “The idea was to explain chamber programs and accomplishments to the membership,” Dusenberry said. During the luncheon Dusenberry detailed the five priority areas. The first goal of the chamber, he said, is to super-serve small businesses. Elements of this include offering members benefits such as Office Depot and health insurance discounts and workers’ compensation insurance dividend bonuses. “We also started breakfast meetings with the board almost every week. It’s for small business owners to sit with the chamber chairman, president and board members to build relationships.” Government affairs is another area of concentration. Committees were formed to work on electing pro-business candidates to local offices and to create and promote pro-business public policy, Dusenberry said. They also formed a super PAC, now certified by the State of Arizona, which required 500 people to donate at least $10 each. Next on the list, Dusenberry said, is the economic development segment – the goal of which is to expand and retain businesses. “The chamber makes sure existing businesses stay and grow and expand.” “It is the responsibility of the Tucson Metro Chamber to ensure that doing business in the Tucson Metropolitan Statistical Area is as easy as possible. Business goes where it is welcomed and where starting up and operating is easy. The Tucson Metro Chamber works very hard to make Tucson MSA as fertile and welcoming as possible,” Varney said. Education is another important issue that the group is addressing. “We have a committee headed by Guy Gunther of CenturyLink,” said Dusenberry. “A passion of his is improving education and having good continued on page 178 >>>


BizLEADERSHIP

Tucson Metro Chamber provides an environment where small, medium and large businesses can come together to network, share best practices and collaborate on identifying and addressing the most important needs of Tucson. This teaming unites groups and maximizes resources to provide focus and raise awareness on key initiatives, such as education and job and economic growth, that drive the quality of life in Tucson.

– Wendy West, Site Operations Manager, IBM

Tucson Metro Chamber strongly supports the nonprofit business sector, which represents $4.5 billion in revenues and employs more than 23,000 people in Pima County alone. The most important benefit is its ability to be the strong voice for business. I am certain that under the effective leadership of Bruce Dusenberry and Mike Varney, our chamber will continue the positive growth in building a more business-friendly atmosphere throughout our region.

–Tony Penn, President & CEO, United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona

“ ” “

Tucson has been very good to the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and Casino Del Sol Resorts. Helping Tucson Metro Chamber build a stronger business community makes good business sense – since a stronger Tucson business economy will lead to increased revenue for us, too. – Wendell Long, CEO, Casino Del Sol Resort

The Chamber has made great strides in the past year in its effort to advocate for the business community. It has reached out to the city, the county, the state and other business organizations to work together in solving the complex issues facing Tucson. There is a lot of work to do on improving the business climate in Tucson, however under Mike’s leadership the Chamber has made a tremendous amount of progress.

– Judy Wood, CEO, Contact One Call Center

I really like the energy and direction at the Tucson Metro Chamber and I believe they are a strong advocate for entrepreneurship in Tucson. I can see all of the pistons in Southern Arizona’s economic development engine beginning to fire in unison, and the Chamber is an integral part of that.

– Len Jessup, Dean, Eller College of Management, University of Arizona

As chamber members, we have gained valuable business resources, leads and strong relationships. Simply looking at the unique makeup of the Tucson Metro Chamber team and its dedication to making a marked difference in our community has inspired me to do my part in support of all efforts. I anticipate the membership will continue to rise and that businesses will realize they are missing the boat if they aren’t involved.

– Colleen Edwards, Outside Sales, TWS Premium Appliance Center

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BizLEADERSHIP continued from page 176 schools for his employees’ children. The committee works on business-industry alignment and measures education metrics.” The fifth area, community affairs, is about improving quality of life. One example Dusenberry gave is the First Impressions project – an initiative to beautify the gateway to Tucson International Airport. “We want people to have a good impression when they leave the airport to drive into town. That’s our project for this year.” He credited Richard Underwood, president of AAA Landscape, for taking the lead on this project to redefine Tucson Boulevard from Valencia Road. to the airport into a positive landscape, art and cultural experience. Funding for First Impressions will come from a grassroots community effort. Dusenberry also credited Cody Ritchie and Chris Clements for being “the squeaky wheels” behind the project. Varney confirmed that work has begun on all five priorities. One project he’s especially excited about is the purchasing preference the City of Tucson has agreed to – in which decision makers will look first at local businesses before buying products and services. It didn’t hurt, Dusenberry added, that Mayor Jonathan Rothschild also had this on his 180-day plan. Since the Chairman’s Luncheon was held, the board made some tough decisions about the chamber’s expenses and ended up eliminating positions. “Any business has to look at the bottom line,” Dusenberry said. On an up note, Dusenberry offered numbers on membership growth. Revenue in this area grew 16 percent from fiscal year 2010-2011 to 2011-2012. “And membership retention was up 13 percent this year over the prior year,” he added. This is an important growth area for the chamber because membership dues make up approximately 50 percent of its annual revenue. Overall, Varney is proud of the progress made so far. “Helping members get to where they need to be is our highest priority. We’re working toward the dream of making the local economy stronger. A side benefit is it increases employment and provides tax revenues to the city and county treasuries, and then we can have public services such as parks and schools. We’re doing all we can to grow the private sector.”

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BizLEADERSHIP

The Tucson Metro Chamber plays a vital role in ensuring a strong business community, which benefits all businesses in Tucson. Raytheon is happy to partner with the chamber to help expand the support and services it provides to sustain and grow the business base in the region.

– Colleen Niccum, Director of Community & Government Relations, Raytheon Missile Systems

A strong chamber is absolutely essential to the long-term viability of our city and our community. I am very pleased that so many business leaders – large and small – recognize this fact and are providing their support and vision to the Tucson Metro Chamber.

– Lisa Lovallo, VP, Cox Communications

Sundt is excited to support the fresh vitality and exciting initiatives being undertaken by the chamber’s new leadership and staff. A strong chamber is crucial to growing our local economy and Tucson Metro Chamber has already demonstrated its ability to be a relevant voice on behalf of all Southern Arizona businesses.

– Kurt Wadlington, Senior Project Director, Sundt

When I think of Mike Varney and the great work he and his team are bringing to our chamber members, I am reminded of a quote from Charles Swindoll – ‘We are all faced with a series of great opportunities, brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.’ Mike and his team are making a real difference in providing great opportunities for our Tucson community.

– Bob Ramirez, President & CEO, Vantage West Credit Union

The mission of the Tucson Chamber matches the vision of CenturyLink – to strengthen businesses and connect communities. CenturyLink invests in the chamber to support the local business community and to connect the tremendous resources here in Tucson and Southern Arizona. Mike Varney has done an excellent job during these tough economic times. He’s brought great leadership to the chamber in a short period of time.

– Guy Gunther, VP & GM, CenturyLink

Tucson Metro Chamber works daily to ensure the expansion and vitality of local businesses which, in turn, allows Tucson to flourish. The chamber’s devotes itself to many important areas that improve quality of life, including strengthening our local education system and improving our infrastructure. They are aspects of community life that Carondelet cares greatly about and they align with our mission and values.

– James G. Beckmann, President & CEO, Carondelet Health Network

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BizLEADERSHIP

A Better First Impression for Air Travelers By Dan Sorenson By the end of the year, visitors driving out of Tucson International Airport should get a much more appealing first impression of the Old Pueblo – and leave taxpayers with a good feeling as well. That’s because Tucson Metro Chamber’s $350,000 First Impressions median landscaping project won’t cost the taxpayers a dime. The First Impressions project aims to make the sixth-tenths of a mile of Tucson Boulevard between the TIA terminal and Valencia Road as beautiful as the entrance to an upscale gated community – “a Dove Mountain, Rancho Vistoso or Rancho Sierrita,” said Richard Underwood, who is spearheading this initiative as chair of the chamber’s Community Affairs Committee and president of AAA Landscape. While anyone can enjoy the improved vistas, Underwood said the target audience is really business visitors – particularly those who, given the right first impression, might bring their operations to Tucson. Underwood is an advocate for native and regional species and said most everything that’s in the median now will go “except for a couple ironwoods.” Species on the renderings for the project include some of the flashiest examples of indigenous Sonoran and adapted Chihuahuan plant life – including silver queen agaves, golden barrel cactus, saguaros, beaver tail prickly pear and ocotillo. Fundraising is well underway and the plans have been taken before the city and revised, Underwood said adding that some businesses have already committed as much as $25,000 each. If things continue to go as planned, First Impressions will involve more than AAA Landscape and other chamber members businesses. Citizens and non-chamber-member businesses will be asked to contribute to the cause. “I want the people in Tucson to have a chance to get involved too, something where people can have pride of ownership. We’ll have a website where you can click and use a credit card to make a donation.” 180 BizTucson

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Underwood credited the yeoman effort of Colleen Edwards, who is spearheading the fundraising. “She has brought our vision to fruition. Since asking her to her serve in this position, Underwood said, “you better be on board or get out of the way – ’cause she will steamroll you!” The project grew out of what Underwood said was the chamber’s interest in doing something upbeat for the community. “The thinking is, we can make a difference in Tucson (and) get the chamber back in the forefront as a really relevant organization,” Underwood said. “Everybody complains about our medians, complains about our streets,” Underwood said in a phone interview as he drove to Phoenix at dawn. With AAA Landscape divisions in Phoenix and San Antonio, and contract work in other Southwestern cities, he gets to see the competition and understands what recruiters are up against here. He said he’s heard stories about Tucson business recruiters who bring prospects in at night to avoid seeing our street view. “I thought, well, why don’t we clean up the medians? I have some knowledge of that. What if we took this area and landscaped it like you would the entrance to a planned community? That would be the first thing they saw when they flew into town – and the last thing when they left.” Bonnie Allin, president and CEO of Tucson Airport Authority, said, “We are excited to see the business community rally around this project. The airport is such an important part of this community and we embrace this type of collaboration to ensure our travelers have the best first and last impression of our region when they visit Southern Arizona.” For more details about First Impressions and how your company can contribute, contact Carissa Fairbanks, Communications Director, Tucson Metro Chamber at cfairbanks@tucsonmetrochamber.org or (520) 792-2250 ext. 133

Biz

www.BizTucson.com


Why don’t we clean up the medians? What if we took this area and landscaped it like you would the entrance to a planned community? That would be the first thing they saw when they flew into town – and the last thing when they left. Underwood, President, AAA Landscape

ILLUSTRATION: COURTESY OF FIRST IMPRESSIONS

– Richard

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BizBRIEFS Tucson Metro Chamber

Copper Cactus Awards Presentation Nov. 13 The Tucson Metro Chamber Copper Cactus Awards celebrates the accomplishments of Southern Arizona’s small businesses in categories such as innovation, work environment, growth and community stewardship. The awards will be presented Nov. 13 at Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa. “Our region’s small businesses are one of the most vital sectors of our community. We are celebrating the backbone of American business – the small business operations that employ the most people and create the greatest part of the GNP,” said Michael Varney, Tucson Metro Chamber president and CEO. Small business makes up approximately 85 percent of chamber membership. The awards nominees must be forprofit businesses, locally owned and operated for at least two years, with 250 or fewer employees. The award categories are:

• Best

The Business Traveler’s Home Away From Home • Renting Made Easy • Beautifully Furnished • Corporate Rentals From 1-Month Duration–Special Rates

520-299-2100

www.tucsonfoothills.com

Place to Work – businesses that encourage and support professional growth, education and development for employees.

• Business

Growth – businesses that successfully tackle marketplace challenges.

Community Service – businesses that demonstrate uncommon civic leadership.

• Nextrio Innovation through Technology – businesses that are technology-led and/or look to IT to solve problems and increase efficiency.

• Small Business Leader of

the Year – exceptional leadership by a manager or owner who is active in the day-today activities of his or her company.

The Tucson Metro Chamber Copper Cactus Awards will be held Nov.13 from 5 to 9 p.m. at The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa. Wells Fargo is the presenting sponsor. Other sponsors include Casino Del Sol Resort & Conference Center and Intuit.

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For more information, visit www.tucsonchamber.org.

ALWAYS HIRE A NARPM MANAGER 182 BizTucson

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Classics Club Adds Appeal for Tucson Classics Car Show Sponsors Everybody loves a car show – reminiscing about the first car you drove in high school, dreaming about the sleek little convertible you’d like to own. That’s why every fall the Tucson Classics Car Show brings out 20,000 attendees to see more than 400 of the Southwest’s finest automotive specimens. Mark your calendar – October 13 will be the sixth year the Rotary Club of Tucson has hosted this event at St. Gregory College Preparatory School. Like sporting events, the car show presents a great opportunity to entertain clients, employees and friends. The Classics Club was introduced last year to provide an upscale area at the car show where sponsors can host their guests, relax in a cooled tent with shaded seating, and enjoy complimentary food from Zivaz, plus beer, wine and sodas. The Classics Club also features high-definition TV to keep up on Saturday sports, separate restroom facilities and other upgraded amenities, including onsite parking. Sponsors at the $1,000 level and up receive tickets to the Classics Club. Multiple-ticket packages also are available. Individual Classics Club tickets are $50.

Lucky Wishbone is the Title Sponsor of the Tucson Classics Car Show for the third year, and likes the addition of the Classics Club. “This is a real win-win-win for us – supporting three major local charities, broad media exposure and now a VIP venue where we can entertain our guests at the show,” said Arnie Jacobsen, co-owner of Lucky Wishbone. Whether through sponsorship, a $50 ticket to the Classics Club, or a $5 admission/raffle ticket, all proceeds from the Tucson Classics Car Show stay in Tucson and are donated to local charities. Rotary Club of Tucson is continuing its major support of Reading Seed Children’s Literacy Program, a program of Literacy Connects. Funds from this year’s show also will be donated to Pima Council on Aging so meals can be delivered to more frail and elderly adults who can’t prepare their own food, and to the YWCA for the YWORKS program that addresses the employment needs of women who are unemployed, underemployed, and women who have serious barriers to employment.

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TUCSON CLASSICS CAR SHOW SPONSORED BY LUCKY WISHBONE Oct. 13, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., St. Gregory College Preparatory School $5 per person – includes entry for drawing to win 2001 Corvette or $10,000 Call (520) 440-4503 or visit www.tucsonclassicscarshow.com Proceeds benefit local charities

Ronald Collins Joins Hilton Tucson El Conquistador Resort Ronald Collins is the new director of sales and marketing at Hilton El Conquistador. He will oversee all aspects of sales and marketing for the award-winning resort that plans to complete a $6 million transformation this summer. “We are very pleased to welcome Ronnie back to Tucson and to the Hilton family,” said Lynn Ericksen, GM of the resort. “We look to his expertise and leadership to optimize our business development.” Most recently, Collins served as director of sales and marketing at The Westin La Cantera Hill Country Resort, San Antonio. Before that he was director of sales and marketing for The Westin Park Central Hotel in Dallas. He’s also held management positions in sales at the Wigwam Golf Resort & Spa in Phoenix and Hyatt Hotels and Resorts. He began his career in hospitality in 1993 at the Lantana Grille at Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak in Phoenix.

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PHOTO: KRIS HANNING

BizENTREPRENEUR

Back Row from left: Kerry Stratford, Jeff Kaufman, Sherif Morgan, Linsay Craten; Front Row from left: Warner Onstine, Justin Williams, Aaron Eden

Startup Tucson

Connects Entrepreneurs With Resources By Teya Vitu You have a promising concept for a startup business – specifically a business in the knowledge or tech sector with fast-growth and out-of-state sales potential. In high-tech shorthand, that’s a gazelle. Gazelles are the quarry for Startup Tucson, itself a startup organization that sees itself as a matchmaker between budding entrepreneurs and the various business, mentoring and financing resources scattered throughout Tucson. Startup Tucson founders include Justin Williams, former executive director of the Arizona Technology Council, and Harry George, managing general partner of Solstice Capital, Tucson’s only venture capital fund, and an investor in 24 startup companies that fit the gazelle model. The Startup Tucson team is already steeped in the local startup community. They know all the resources that could help budding entrepreneurs. They also know that many of these resources operate in silos – that is, not necessarily in concert with each other. 184 BizTucson

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That is Startup Tucson’s charge – getting these disparate resources to collaborate on behalf of startup gazelles. “We provide the connective tissue to build a startup ecosystem in Tucson,” Williams said. Any entrepreneurs or resources who want to join Startup Tucson can contact Williams at justin@startuptucson.com. Williams saw the need for a Startup Tucson structure a year ago as he staged a one-off Startup Weekend. This was designed for hopeful entrepreneurs to present their business ideas. Fifty people made a one-minute business pitch. Those 50 picked the best 11 ideas and the remaining 39 formed teams around those ideas to come up with a prototype or business plan by the end of the weekend. Six ideas reached viability over that August weekend and all became startup businesses, two of them currently tenants at the Arizona Center for Innovation business incubator. A second Startup Weekend took place Sept. 7-9. www.BizTucson.com


“The question was – what are we going to do after the event?” Williams said. Williams was launching Startup Tucson at the same time George was leading the Entrepreneurial Economy for Tucson Task Force to draft a vision for Tucson – a blueprint to provide the essential ingredients for entrepreneurial businesses. (This was published in full in the Spring 2012 issue of BizTucson.) “We have to grow our own companies,” George said. “Every place that has been successful has not asked companies to come there.” Williams’ grass-roots efforts and George’s visionary endeavors complemented each other – and quickly the two merged efforts. “I realized one was top down, one was bottom up,” George said. Williams set up a Startup Tucson website relevant to startup entrepreneurs, for now mostly a calendar of events and aggregate source of news articles. “We’re trying to be the newspaper of record for the startup community,” Williams said. Startup Tucson and the entrepreneurial task force joined up for their coming-out party with 250 people at the University of Arizona Eller College of Management on April 18 to launch the task force’s report on powering an entrepreneurial economy. “It was the end of the research and writing, and the beginning of the implementation,” Williams said. Startup Tucson had a June 25 retreat with 30 people from the City of Tucson, Desert Angels, Tucson Regional Econom-

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ic Opportunities, the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship, Arizona Center for Innovation, Eller College, Gangplank Tucson, Tucson Young Professionals and Arizona Commerce Authority. “They came up with eight recommendations – and we were already doing six of them,” Williams said. “The retreat was a big step.” George wants to keep this group active by hosting Startup Roundtables three times a year to match resources with startup companies. George envisions roundtable attendance with representatives from the city, Pima County, Tucson Metro Chamber, Southern Arizona Leadership Council, TREO, the Desert Angels, AzCI and several from the UA. “We will review all the startups in town and make sure every resource is connected to the startups,” George said. “If we do that right, we can provide tangible help.” Entrepreneurs feed off each other. To foster this collaborative spirit, Startup Tucson is teamed up with Gangplank Tucson, a come-together work space donated by Bookmans Entertainment Exchange, located near Palo Verde and Irvington roads. Gangplank offers desks, Wi-Fi and – most important – an environment that fosters interaction among participants. About 50 to 75 people make use of Gangplank work space during a week. Gangplank hosted the first two days of Startup Weekend. “It’s about building momentum, getting new connections and getting visibility in the community,” said Aaron Eden, Gangplank’s director and a Startup Tucson co-founder.

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BizEDUCATION

Corporate Tuition Tax Credit Supports Private Schools By Christy Krueger Tucson business leaders are constant-

ly reminding us how important good education is to the economic health of our community. Now companies doing business in Arizona can support that goal through a tax incentive program that gives students more opportunities for quality education. The Arizona Corporate Tuition Tax Credit, passed by the state legislature and administered by Arizona Department of Revenue, allows corporations to redirect their tax obligation to pay for private school scholarships for students in grades K through 12. Participating businesses must be Ccorporations that owe taxes in Arizona, even if they’re not located in the state. Insurance companies that pay premium taxes also qualify. After being pre-certified by ADOR and if the annual cap has not been reached, the corporation selects a School Tuition Organization that dis-

Salpointe Catholic High School

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tributes the funds to the private schools it represents – in the form of student financial aid. Bruce Beach, founding partner and CEO of BeachFleishman, compares

This tax credit is an unparalleled opportunity for Arizona companies. We have a need for an educated workforce. This is a way companies can make it happen – and it doesn’t cost them anything.

– Kay Sullivan, President, Salpointe Catholic High School

St. Gregory College Preparatory School

this program to the more familiar school tax credit for individuals who can reduce their state income tax liability by making a donation to schools and military families. “The corporate credit is the same – but there’s no limit,” Beach said. “And they can parcel it out where they want,” meaning the company can indicate where the dollars go, selecting a certain STO or even a specific school. “This doesn’t take money from public schools. It gives parents and kids a choice.” Salpointe Catholic High School President Kay Sullivan concurs on this point. “The tax law was started on the basis of offering school choice. For example, this funding makes Salpointe more accessible to students who could not otherwise attend. It’s ultimately breaking a cycle of poverty,” she emphasized. This program is specifically intended to help low-income students attend private schools.

Pusch Ridge Christian Academy


Students requesting corporate tax credit scholarships must meet certain income requirements. “To qualify, the family income can’t exceed 185 percent of the income required to qualify the child for federal reduced-price lunches,” Sullivan said. According to Arizona Leadership Foundation’s website, that amount is approximately $75,000 for a family of four. Students who have received funding from any tuition tax credit in the past, and who qualify financially, may receive corporate tax credit funding support. More than 100 Salpointe students are receiving corporate need-based funding this year out of a student population of 1,100. Although tuition is $8,000 per year, the most a Salpointe student can receive in total scholarship money, including other sources of financial aid administered by the school, is $4,000, Sullivan said. “The need of our families is so great that we don’t have enough money for all who qualify,” she said. Limiting aid to 50 percent of tuition allows more students to benefit. “We had more than 400 families qualify for financial aid this year.” As a tax credit beneficiary school, Salpointe receives contributor lists from its STOs. “Companies in Tucson that participate in the corporate tax credit include Tucson Electric Power, United Healthcare, Bank of Tucson, Compass Bank, Waste Management and many others,” Sullivan said. She is not only grateful that students

St. Augustine Catholic High School

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are receiving assistance through the tuition tax initiative, she’s thrilled that it’s leading to more diversity among the students – at Salpointe and at other private schools throughout the state. “Salpointe draws from 70 middle schools in Southern Arizona, from almost every zip code within a 60-mile radius of Tucson,” she said. “We have a reputation of being a rich white school – but whites are actually in the minority here. Academically, ethnically, culturally and even spiritually, diversity is Salpointe’s middle name.” Most would agree that the corporate tuition tax credit program is giving more students across Arizona the opportunity to attend the school of their choice. But it’s also good for companies, schools, the state and business in general. “The state saves money because it gives the credit and it doesn’t have to provide financing to those kids, and private schools can offer scholarships,” said Beach. “I believe this tax credit is an unparalleled opportunity for Arizona companies,” Sullivan added. “We have a need for an educated workforce. This is a way companies can make it happen and it doesn’t cost them anything. We all complain that our dollars go to Phoenix. Keep your money here in Southern Arizona. Make a difference for Tucson’s future. I am hopeful that more companies will realize the positive difference they can make by reinvesting their tax liability in education.”

Partial list of Arizona Student Tuition Organizations There are scores of Student Tuition Organizations representing private schools in Arizona. Here’s a sampling: Arizona Independent Schools Scholarship Foundation www.aissf.org or (520) 798-0900 Arizona Leadership Foundation www.arizonaleader.org or (928) 231-2122 Catholic Tuition Support Organization www1.ctso-tucson.org or (520) 838-2571 Foundation for Corporate Tax Credit www.foundationforctc.org or (520) 327-6395 Independent Schools Corporate Tax Foundation www.isctf.org or (602) 381-4546 Institute for Better Education www.ibescholarships.org or (520) 512-5438 Jewish Education Tax Credit Organization www.jetco.org or (520) 647-8442

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Tucson Hebrew Academy

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Scholarships Increase Diversity at Private Schools By Christy Krueger

St. Gregory College Preparatory School began re-

ceiving funding through the Arizona Corporate Tuition Tax Credit program three years ago, according to Rachel Villarreal, the school’s director of development. Forty percent of its total student population in grades 6-12 receives some form of financial aid, she said, and 15 percent are provided scholarships specifically through the corporate tax credit. Arizona Independent Schools Scholarship Foundation and Foundation for Corporate Tax Credit are among the School Tuition Organizations that provide financial aid and scholarships to St. Gregory. (The school is named for the patron saint of education but has no religious affiliation.) Many kids depend completely on such help, Villarreal said. “The only way they can come is through corporate tax money. It allows students to come here who wouldn’t otherwise. It’s a great opportunity for them.” Like Salpointe Catholic High School, St. Gregory has increased its student diversity through the program. “That’s been one of the wonderful opportunities of the tax credit for us,” Villarreal noted. Its corporate tuition tax credit contributors range from large national chains to local biotechnology companies and family-owned businesses. Villarreal feels that as more eligible companies become aware of the program, more will participate. Pusch Ridge Christian Academy (grades 6-12) and its sister school, Cornerstone Christian Academy (grades

K-6) received $1.9 million for scholarships from all tax credit sources, allowing 460 out of 627 students to attend on financial aid during the 2011-2012 school year. Between June 1 and August 15, $100,000 came in through corporate credits, benefiting 27 students. Carol Mifflin, the Pusch Ridge/Cornerstone business office manager, reported that most students on financial aid receive 50 percent scholarships. Approximately 5 percent of the student body receives 90 percent scholarships. The schools use several STOs, including Institute for Better Education and Tuition Organization for Private Schools, but Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization is the primary one. Canyon Community Bank and Waste Management are two donors who designated Pusch Ridge and Cornerstone for funding. 188 BizTucson

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BizEDUCATION Mifflin feels the schools are fortunate to receive enough funds to help all its students who are in need. “Every year one of my largest prayer requests is, ‘Lord, help us fill the need.’ We never had to turn anyone away. We can give some level of scholarship to every student requesting it.” She agrees that one of the greatest benefits of the program is that it offers educational options. “It’s a tremendous program. It allows free choice to parents, to families out there. And it makes it possible. We’re very pleased.” St. Augustine Catholic High School has been taking advantage of state tax credits since the programs started, according to President Dave Keller. Surprisingly, he’s noticed that corporate tax credit funding is lagging behind that of the individual tax program. “Credit from the Catholic Tuition Support Organization (the school’s major provider of funding) was about $4 million from individual tax and $2 million in corporate tax in the year 2011-2012,” he said. To a smaller extent, St. Augustine also uses Arizona School Choice and Institute for Better Education as another STO. The school, which draws students from approximately 20 zip codes, still falls short of scholarships. “Some (students) don’t get any because we run out of money. And some can’t attend because we don’t have enough to provide,” Keller said. He added that most scholarships offered at St. Augustine are partial, although some approach full, and sometimes benefactors make up the difference. Overall, Keller believes giving students a choice of where to attend school and the use of tax programs are great for the community. “My take is it benefits society because it may result in better education for the kids, and it has economic benefits – if all kids attending Catholic schools went to public schools, the cost to the state would be much higher. Millions of dollars are saved.” Tucson Hebrew Academy Head of School Arthur

Yavelberg and his staff make a point of connecting with local corporations that can fund student scholarships through the corporate tuition tax credit. “We’re actively pursuing new organizations,” he said. “It’s up to both the STOs and the schools. It’s in our best interest to pursue companies because we benefit.” Tucson Electric Power has supported the school in the past. Jewish Education Tax Credit Organization and Institute for Better Education are two STOs helping Tucson Hebrew Academy locate companies that can send scholarship dollars its way through Arizona’s tax credit program. Sixty percent of students at the K-8 school are on scholarships, Yavelberg said. This translates into 90 students who receive financial aid of varying amounts. Yavelberg said the program is not only good for students, but also the state and local businesses. “As far as I understand it, private schools like THA benefit the state. It costs the state more to educate public school students than we can do here. And businesses have a vested interest in education because these students are their future employees.”

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PHOTO: COURTESY CHRIS RICHARDS

BizBENEFIT

Paula Fan & Steven Moeckel

Musical Marathon Benefits Homeless Youth Virtuoso violinist Steven Moeckel and pianist Paula Fan are taking on a new artistic challenge as the duo plays a 12-hour marathon to benefit Open Inn. “Paula and I have been playing together for 10 years and we wanted to celebrate by doing something for the community,” said Moeckel, concertmaster, concerto soloist and recitalist. “The issue of homeless teens is an important one,” Moeckel added. “Social services are so vital to our community and they have been challenged by the recession.” The event is slated for Nov. 18 at the Scottish Rite Cathedral, 160 S. Scott Ave. Fan, a regents professor at the University of Arizona School of Music and pianist with Tucson Symphony Orchestra, said she is “thrilled” to be performing at the Scottish Rite Temple. “Music has always been a part of this resonant space – I played there in the late '60s,” Fan said. “The historic backdrops are full of atmosphere, reminiscent of a genteel time when the arts were the center of everyday life. We hope that as many people as possible can join us as we play something for ev190 BizTucson

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eryone in support of a cause that is as inclusive as the music we play – Open Inn.” Fan and Moeckel, known as Duo Amabile, met in Tucson in 2002 and have performed locally and internationally. They have released three CDs. They are seeking corporate and individual sponsorship to make the fundraiser a success. Here is the expected schedule: • 10 a.m. to noon – Recital • Noon to 2 p.m. – Two concertos • 2 to 4 p.m. – Youth musicians join the duo • 4 to 6 p.m. – Chamber music with members of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and Phoenix Symphony Orchestra • 6 to 8 p.m. – Make a Wish, with concertgoers making a donation to request a musical selection • 8 to 10 p.m. – Light fare, including jazz and electric violin There will be a silent auction, edibles and breaks throughout. “It was important for us to do this downtown,” Moeckel said “There are

so many great things going on downtown.” Open Inn is “very much a downtown agency,” said Kenneth McKinley, executive director at Open Inn, adding that many youth served are in the downtown area. Founded in Tucson in 1974, Open Inn provides shelter, crisis intervention, case management, transitional and independent living, life-skills education and other services to youth and young adults. Open Inn serves more than 1,300 annually. “It’s a creative and unique way to help homeless kids in Tucson,” McKinley said of the marathon.

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STEVEN MOECKEL AND PAULA FAN 12-HOUR MARATHON CONCERT TO BENEFIT OPEN INN Nov. 18, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Scottish Rite Cathedral, 160 S. Scott Ave. $50 for a day pass $10 per two--hour segment. Free parking. Tickets available after Oct. 1 at www.openinn.org. Call (520) 670-9040.


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BizTRIBUTE

Bill Valenzuela

Lived the American Dream By David B. Pittman of the American Dream,” said Ron Shoopman, president of the Southern Arizona Leadership Council and friend of the Valenzuela family for 25 years. “From humble beginnings and with little formal education, Bill built a vibrant and successful business, a broad, inclusive and long list of friends, and most important to him, a wonderful family to which he was the heart and soul.” Valenzuela was a Marine reservist who served two years of active duty beginning in 1950. Returning to Southern Arizona after his military service, he worked as a carpenter’s apprentice. His hard work in that trade permitted him to rise from applicator to VP in the A.L. McCune Drywall Co., where he remained – until he used $50,000 in savings to start his own company. W.G. Valenzuela Drywall steadily grew over the years, reaching revenues PHOTOS: COURTESY VALENZUELA FAMILY

Words frequently used to describe the late William G. Valenzuela include humble, patriotic, kind, soft spoken, honest, dedicated, hardworking, loyal, caring, influential and charitable. He was a man who started from humble beginnings and through hard work and perseverance built a multimillion-dollar business – W.G. Valenzuela Drywall. After achieving financial success, he selflessly volunteered his time and resources to assist many worthy causes. Though he was often honored, he never sought credit or reward in return for any of his good deeds. Known to all as Bill, Valenzuela was a true leader in his community and he will be missed. He died Sunday, July 8, 2012, of complications from acute respiratory distress syndrome, a condition he was diagnosed with only a few weeks before his death. He was 79. “Bill Valenzuela was a living example

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of $27 million and employing 350 people at its peak in 2006. Business dropped off considerably since then because of the struggling economy. Today the business has about 80 employees and revenues of $7 million. Of all things, Bill most loved his wife of 60 years, Celina, and their large family. He is survived by six children (five girls and a boy), their spouses, 17 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren. Today, Cindy Arino, Valenzuela’s daughter, and her husband, Mike, are among those who work in the family business – along with his son, two other sons-in-law and two grandchildren. “The business was very important to him, but he was comfortable with us running the day-to-day operations,” said son-in-law Mark Cordova. “He was always there for us if we needed advice. He always stressed to us to be

“I knew Bill Valenzuela was a special person the first time I met him. He was not about small groups. Bill was a man of Tucson – all of Tucson. He was a patriot who loved his country and worked hard to preserve all that is special about it.” – Mike Varney, president and CEO, Tucson Metro Chamber “I was a member of the Father’s Day Council Board the year he was named one of the Fathers of the Year (2001). Bill said it was important for our group to remember that dads working minimum wage to feed their families are good dads, too, and deserve our respect. He said it’s a lot harder for a guy working construction to take time off work to see his kids play Little League and we ought to take our hats off to them. It was a powerful and heartfelt tribute that I have long remembered.” – Kate Maguire Jensen, assistant VP Marketing, University of Arizona “Southern Arizona lost one of its strongest advocates, a quiet leader who gave generously to others. Bill was a true gentleman in every sense of the word – kind, thoughtful and always helping others. He left a legacy that will be hard to duplicate. We are fortunate to have his wonderful family who share his values and the successful business he built here in Tucson. This community will continue to benefit from his selflessness for many years to come.” – Bonnie Allin, president and CEO, Tucson Airport Authority


aware of how our decisions and actions affected our customers, our business and our family. Hopefully, we can honor his legacy in the same way he honored the community.” When Valenzuela started his drywall company in 1979, Cindy was a junior in high school. She remembers that in the company’s first years, her father had few employees and worked long days. However, she said her dad (affectionately known as Tata within the family) was always on time for family dinner. Though Valenzuela achieved significant wealth, he and his wife never moved from the modest home near Prince and Flowing Wells Roads where they raised their children. Valenzuela was a huge supporter of the Air National Guard’s 162nd Fighter Wing at Tucson International Airport, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and the proposed deployment of the Air Force’s new F-35 fighter jet in Tucson. He also encouraged everyone who would listen to hire military veterans into civilian jobs. “I was fortunate to know Bill both professionally and personally. He was the same person regardless of the situation. He lived his faith every day in all his relationships. He was an inspiration to all of us,” said Mark Mistler, president of the Southern Arizona region

for BBVA Compass Bank. Valenzuela was Arizona State Chair Emeritus for the National Committee of Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve. He was also the first recipient of the “Tucson Light: William G. Valenzuela Legacy Award,” which annually recognizes exemplary service to the community. There have been many other special jobs, awards and honors. Valenzuela was a past chairman of the Tucson Airport Authority and the Tucson Metro Chamber. He was the 2003 winner of the Construction Industry’s Good Scout Award, and the 2004 recipient of the Tucson Chamber Man of the Year Award. In 2008, he not only received the Patrick Henry Award from the National Guard Bureau of the United States, but he was also inducted into the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame. Overall he’s received numerous awards and served on dozens of boards for banks, councils, charities and civic groups. “My dad did so many things for so many people, but he never wanted recognition for it,” said Arino. “He did things because they needed to be done. He always wanted to help and he was glad to do it.” Arino said her dad always stressed the importance of education and work-

ing hard in school to his children. She said he “was an awesome father” and that many of the most important lessons he taught were done by example. “He treated everyone with dignity and respect,” she said. “It didn’t matter what walk of life they were from. My mom and dad opened their door to everyone. On Thanksgiving, my father frequently brought people who didn’t have a place to go for dinner to our house. We always had plenty of food and extra chairs.” Shoopman recalled he once took Valenzuala up in an F-16 Fighter in recognition for all he had done for the 162nd and its members. “It was a memorable experience for both of us. As we taxied onto the runway, Bill’s entire family gathered close by to watch us take off. Following our vertical climb out of sight over the airport, I was told his youngest grandson tugged at his grandmother’s pants and asked, ‘Tata go to heaven?’ “On that enjoyable day Bill got a little closer to heaven for a while, but returned to earth and his loving family. Now, nine years later, Tata has gone to heaven for good and he will be sorely missed. Bill enriched the lives of so many people. My life was made better for knowing him.”

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PHOTO: PATRICK GRIMES

From left: Roy & Yolanda Valenzuela, Mike & Cindy Arino, Mark & Shelly Cordova, William G. & Celina Valenzuela, Walter & Eileen Cochran, Kim & Elva Dillavou, Richard & Debbie Baxter (Photo taken in 2001, when Bill Valenzuela was honored as “Father of the Year” by the Father’s Day Council Tucson)

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BizMILESTONE

Clockwise from top left: Chef Chris Singleton, Agustin Brasserie; Chef Maria Mazon, Boca Tacos y Tequila; Chef Sam Alboy, Mama’s Hawaiian Bar-B-Cue; Chef Angel Fabian, Noble Hops; Chef Coralie Satta, Ghini’s French Caffe

Tucson Culinary Festival Turns 10 The 2012 Tucson Culinary Festival celebrates 10 years of local culinary creativity at two separate events. It kicks off on Oct. 6 with the Reserve & Grand Tastings at Casino del Sol Resort, followed by the World Margarita Championship on Oct. 26 on the plaza at the Tucson Museum of Art. The food fest showcases the fresh original flavors of Tucson. A portion of the proceeds from both events will benefit Tucson Values Teachers and the Tucson Hispanic Foundation Scholarship Fund on behalf of Cox Charities. The festival is sponsored by Tucson Originals, a group of 50 independently owned local restaurants. The Reserve Tasting gives guests a rare opportunity to taste small-production boutique wines seldom available by the glass, along with special dishes to complement the wines created by Tucson Original chefs. It will be held in the pool area and breezeway just outside the Casino del Sol Grand Ballroom from 5 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $100 per person in advance or $125 at the door and include admission to the Casino del Sol Grand Tasting that follows. 194 BizTucson

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The Grand Tasting will be in the Grand Ballroom and foyer from 6 to 9 p.m. More than 100 wines are featured from the top growing regions of the world, along with a wide selection of micro brews and beers and tastings of signature dishes from more than 40 Tucson Original restaurants. Admission is $65 per person in advance or $80 at the door. The seventh-annual World Margarita Championship will be at the art museum Oct. 26 from 6 to 9 p.m. This event features competitions among Tucson’s mixologists, each trying to best the other with unique creations of Tucson’s favorite beverage – the margarita. In addition to sampling margaritas from each of the challengers and dishes created for the event by Tucson Originals chefs, attendees will vote for their favorite for the 2012 People’s Choice Award. A panel of local “celebrity” judges including former UA basketball star Joseph Blair, food mavens Jennifer English and Edie Jarolim, plus mixology expert Robert Plotkin, will select the winner of the 2012 World Margarita Championship. Tickets are $45 in advance or $60 at the door. Biz Tickets can be purchased at www.tucsonculinaryfestival.com/tickets.shtml

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BizTucson Magazine Fall 2012 Issue