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THE REGION’S BUSINESS MAGAZINE

MAJOR SHIFT IN HEALTHCARE LANDSCAPE

SPECIAL REPORT:

TUCSON METRO CHAMBER ACCELERATING THE LOCAL ECONOMY

www.BizTucson.com

FALL 2014 • $2.99 • DISPLAY UNTIL 12/31/14


Lock-Griffith Group at Morgan Stanley

Purpose...Guidance...Care Marc H. Lock

Senior Investment Management Consultant Senior Vice President Financial Planning Specialist Financial Advisor marc.h.lock@morganstanley.com

Wayne F. Griffith, CFP®

Senior Investment Management Consultant First Vice President Financial Advisor wayne.f.griffith@morganstanley.com

www.morganstanley.com/fa/lockgriffithgroup 5255 East Williams Circle Suite 5000, Tucson, AZ 85711

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM and federally registered CFP (with flame design) in the U.S.

© 2014 Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC.

520.745.7038 CRC954910 06/14


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BizLETTER Streetcar Named Prosperity

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Volume 6 No. 3

Publisher & Owner

Steven E. Rosenberg Brent G. Mathis

Creative Director Photo: Steven Meckler

Tucson’s Modern Streetcar ignited $900 million in investments along a four-mile route that connects downtown with Fourth Avenue, the University of Arizona and UA Medical Center – all before the first passenger took a ride. It’s an historic time for our urban core, and journalist David B. Pittman provides an exceptional overview of Sun Link’s economic impact and origins. He takes us back to 1903, when Louise Marshall, founder of what is now Main Gate Square, invested in the Tucson Street Railway, paving the way for Tucson’s first electric trolley system. Flash forward more than a century to Shellie Ginn, a driving force behind the streetcar concept, plan, design, construction and operation. Ginn is project manager for the City of Tucson, overseeing Sun Link operations. In other markets with streetcars, it’s been said that if you have major healthcare employers on the route, streetcar operations are likely to thrive and have greater economic impact. Along the Sun Link route is UAMC and the new El Rio Congress Health Center, with Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital nearby. In the words of El Rio’s Sandra Leal, “I have placed my car up for sale because the Sun Link meets most of my transportation needs.” Since our last issue, there’s been a seismic shift in the region’s healthcare landscape. Journalist Dan Sorenson kicks off our coverage, as UA Health Network is poised to merge with Phoenix-based nonprofit Banner Health. With the absorption of 6,300 UAHN employees, Banner would become the state’s largest employer, with about 37,000 employees. Carondelet Health Network, meanwhile, has signed a letter of intent to create a joint venture with three national healthcare systems – Tenet Healthcare Corporation, Dignity Health and Ascension Health (CHN’s parent corporation) – that would own and operate Carondelet. Romi Carrell Wittman fills us in on the details. Providing insight on what we can expect after the dust settles is Sinfonía HealthCare Founder and CEO Fletcher McCusker, who offers commentary on what these “big league” healthcare deals mean for our city, our citizens and our economy. Also on the healthcare front, Tucson Medical Center unveils the new Joel M. Childers, M.D. Women’s Center. As the leader in OB/GYN care in Pima

County, TMC serves 42 percent of the women’s population in the region. Mary Minor Davis reports on the $12.5 million redesign and renovation of the women’s services department. Rounding out our healthcare coverage is a look at the new $14.1 million El Rio Congress Health Center. Established in 1970, the El Rio Community Health Center Network was created to serve neighborhoods that had little or no access to healthcare. Wittman provides us with details on this organization that has grown to serve 81,000 patients with an annual budget of more than $100 million. A highly energized group of community leaders are at the forefront of accelerating the local economy. Tucson Metro Chamber President & CEO Michael Varney leads the charge, as the Chamber, with 1,400+ investors, has become the voice of business for the region. This year’s chairman of the board is United Way President & CEO Tony Penn, who has boosted the local UW organization by erasing a $3 million debt and making it the fourth most successful United Way in the country. BizTucson’s team files a special report on the Chamber’s exciting initiatives, which include superserving small business, improving education, collaborations with government, supporting emerging leaders, workforce development, business expansion and recruitment and more. Mark your calendars for two important events featured in this issue: Nov. 10 – Salute to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base (page 96) Dec. 18 – Raytheon Spirit of Education Award, Honoring Tucson Electric Power (page 40) Steven E. Rosenberg Publisher & Owner BizTucson

Biz

Contributing Editors

Gabrielle Fimbres Donna Kreutz Diane Luber Dave Petruska

Contributing Technology Director

Mike Serres

Contributing Chow Editor Edie Jarolim Contributing Writers

Mary Minor Davis Pamela Doherty Gabrielle Fimbres Jay Gonzales Edie Jarolim Kate Maguire Jensen Tara Kirkpatrick Donna Kreutz Christy Krueger David B. Pittman Steve Rivera Dan Sorenson Eric Swedlund Valerie Vinyard Romi Carrell Wittman

Contributing Photographers Carter Allen

Kris Hanning Amy Haskell Brent G. Mathis Jesse Montanez Chris Mooney David Sanders Tom Spitz Thomas Veneklassen Jeffrey Volker Balfour Walker

Member:

Arizona Builders’ Alliance Greater Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce Tucson Advertising Federation Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Tucson Metro Chamber Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities (TREO) Visit Tucson

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 © 2014 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

FEATURES

84

COVER STORY: 78 84

BizSTREETCAR Development Booms Along 4-Mile Route Driving Force for Modern Streetcar

DEPARTMENTS

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92 96 155

BizMILITARY From Afghanistan to Tucson Salute to Davis-Monthan BizENTREPRENEUR Call Center All-Star

4 23

BizLETTER From the Publisher

26 32

BizFASHION Tucson Fashion Week

36

BizARCHITECTURE Dynamic Design Duo

40 44

BizEDUCATION TEP Invests in Children Teachers in Industry

48

BizMILESTONE Therapeutic Trailblazers

52

BizDINING Top of the World: Vivace Thrives

BizMILESTONE 180 Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona at 75

56 60

BizAWARDS ASID Design Excellence Awards

BizHEALTHCARE 186 El Rio: Downtown Health Gem

BizMANUFACTURING Garage Start-Up Now Flying High

BizAVIATION 192 $26 Million Air Traffic Control Tower

BizBUZZ Balloon with a View

BizENTREPRENEUR Rincon Rises from the Ashes

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BizMILESTONE Certified Success

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BizHQ Mister Car Wash CEO Eyes Fortune 100

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BizDOWNTOWN Fab Collaborative: Co-Working Spot

Affirmed: Quarles & Brady Marks 30

99 BizSPECIAL REPORT Tucson Metro Chamber

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FALL 2014 VOLUME 6 NO. 3

104 112 116 120 124 128 130 134 140 142 148

Accelerating the Local Economy Super-Serving Small Business BEAR Survey ‘It’s in Our Hands’ Individual Wins Benefit All Q&A with Michael Varney Q&A with Tony Penn Board of Directors Emerging Leaders Greater Tucson Leadership Government Relations

BizBIOSCIENCE 158 Diagnostics Summit BizHEALTHCARE 162 Banner Health Deal for Tucson BizRESEARCH 168 Stopping Spread of Colon Cancer BizHEALTHCARE 170 Changes Ahead for Carondelet

BizANALYSIS 172 Healthcare Big League Coming BizHEALTHCARE 174 TMC Unveils New Women’s Center

BizFINANCE 196 Investment Firm Targets Wildcats BizHONORS 199 Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 202 204

BizSPORTS Special Olympics El Tour de Tucson New Game in Town for PGA TOUR

BizFITNESSS 206 Family Wellness Expo at JCC BizEVENTS 208 Classics Car Show

BizARTS 210 From Artist to Author ABOUT THE COVER

MODERN STREETCAR Created and Photographed by Brent G. Mathis www.BizTucson.com


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BizBUZZ

Tucson Firm On Track for Commercial Spaceflights

Taber McCallum

CEO, Paragon Space Development

Jane Poynter

CEO, World View Enterprises

Balloon with aView Tucsonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s World View Enterprises completed a scaled test of its commercial spaceflight balloon this summer, setting a world record by taking its vehicle to the edge of space. The five-hour milestone test flight validated the full flight profile of the spaceflight system, working with a 10 percent scale model. The flight launched from Roswell International Air Center in New Mexico on June 18. continued on page 24 >>>

PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

By Eric Swedlund

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BizBUZZ 1

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PHOTO: J. MARTIN HARRIS

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4 1. A 20 million cubic foot high-altitude balloon offers World View voyagers an entirely different and more affordable way to access nearspace. 2. The capsule’s design is derived from decades of experience and reliable technology. 3. Voyagers gently soar in a comfortable, stylishly outfitted, specially designed space capsule. 4. Floating up more than 100,000 feet, safely and securely sailing, skimming the edge of space for hours. Images Courtesy World View

continued from page 23 “It was a very exciting day for us to have accomplished this test flight because it was the first time we put all the pieces together,” said Jane Poynter, CEO of World View. “This was an early test of the entire flight, from launch to 120,000 feet and back down again, and it worked brilliantly.” The smaller system was launched to test and prove the concept, design and technologies. The next step is to build a fullscale system and fly that, Poynter said. Tucson-based Paragon Space Development Corporation formed World View with the promise of offering a spaceflight experience that is gentle, comfortable and life changing. The first flights are slated to launch in 2016. “We want to be able to give people that amazing and spectacular experience of seeing the world from space,” Poynter said. Once limited to astronauts, spaceflight is now closer to being within the grasp of everyday people. Poynter offers statements from astronauts as a glimpse into what the experience will offer. “Just about every one of them talks about it in incredibly poetic terms. It changed the way they view the world they live in,” Poynter said. “I had a similar experience in Biosphere 2, but from the opposite perspective. I was very cognizant of the biosphere.” Poynter was a founding member of the Biosphere 2 design, development, test and operations team, and a crew member in the first two-year mission, living and working inside the 24 BizTucson

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closed ecological system. World View Enterprises envisions its passengers – called voyagers – floating peacefully to the edge of space for a twohour flight, similar to sailing. The two crew and six voyagers will travel inside a specially engineered and luxuriously appointed capsule, transported by a parafoil and high-altitude balloon. Poynter calls the 360-degree views of the Earth below and the blackness of space beyond “the world’s most spectacular panorama.” World View aims to make that view and that experience as broadly accessible as possible, ultimately allowing for educators, researchers, private companies and government agencies to have affordable access to the near-space environment. “We want to lower the barriers for entry for people who want to go to space,” Poynter said. “The idea of going on a rocket is very scary for people, so we wanted to give people something that is a more gentle experience.” World View isn’t the only commercial space flight company, but each one offers something different. “None of us feel that we’re in competition,” Poynter said. “Virgin is giving such a completely different experience from ours. Ours will be slow and you’ll be able to stay aloft for hours enjoying that spectacular view.” World View flights are priced at $75,000, far less expensive than Virgin Galactic’s $250,000. “Unfortunately we aren’t able to bring it down below that www.BizTucson.com


We want to be able to give people that amazing and spectacular experience of seeing the world from space.

–Jane Poynter, CEO, World View Enterprises

yet, but over time we will be working to make it more accessible,” Poynter said. World View is not disclosing numbers, but Poynter said the company has booked several flights. “An entire family has booked a flight,” she said. “We have couples booking flights. We’re trying to make space travel a family affair.” One advantage of the balloon and parafoil system is the relatively low infrastructure needs when compared to rocket-based flights. Because of that, World View can build multiple launch sites. Page, in northern Arizona, might be one of the primary launch sites because of the weather, and World View is also looking at other spots in Arizona and New Mexico. “Because we are weather dependent, we probably will have several launch sites so that we’re able to launch most of the year,” Poynter said. The June test flight focused on four main areas – launch and ground operations, a redundant landing system, parafoil aerodynamics and precision-guided landing. The parafoil performance was especially exciting, Poynter said. Parafoils routinely fly about 30,000 feet, but have never before achieved the altitude that World View achieved. “It represents a foundational achievement that moves us one step closer to offering a life-changing experience to our voyagers,” Poynter said. World View’s operations depend on a change to state law passed this year. On June 18, Gov. Jan Brewer signed a bill giving spaceflight companies in Arizona the liability protections necessary to support the industry. State Rep. Ethan Orr, R-Tucson, sponsored the bill, which passed nearly unanimously. “With the governor’s signing of this bill into law, Arizona becomes a favorable option for World View’s commercial flight operations,” said Taber McCallum, CEO of Paragon Space Development Corporation and an original crewmember of the Biosphere 2 experiment. “With beautiful views of the Grand Canyon, ideal weather conditions, a skilled workforce and a favorable business climate, Arizona represents an ideal location for World View flight operations,” McCallum said. “We extend our gratitude to Arizona lawmakers for their support and look forward to working with the state to bring commercial spaceflight to Arizona.”

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1) John Hornbeck, GM, Mercedes-Benz of Tucson; 2) Melanie Sutton, Co-Creative Director, Tucson Fashion Week; Jonathan Rothschild, Mayor of Tucson; Paula Taylor, Co-Creative Director, Tucson Fashion Week; 3) Sutton; Shelli Hall, Director, Tucson Film Office; Allison Cooper, VP of Sales & Marketing, VisitTucson; Taylor.

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PHOTOS: AMY HASKELL

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Wear it Well

Style Mavens Present Tucson Fashion Week By Valerie Vinyard Sitting at a table at Goodness, a juice bar and restaurant on Campbell Avenue, Melanie Sutton and Paula Taylor exemplify the term “fashionista.” With stylish clothing outfitting their slim figures, fashionable accessories and cute wedge heels, the duo looked ready for their own runway show. The two, who have a combined total of almost 40 years in the fashion world, will be running Tucson Fashion Week as creative directors and owners for the second year. Elizabeth Denneau of CandyStrike, who started TFW in 2010 and passed the torch to Taylor and Sutton in 2012, will do a presentation on the last evening. TFW, which will take place Oct. 16-18, has continued to blossom with Taylor and Sutton at the helm. About 30 designers – local and beyond – and local retailers will showcase their work. This year, continued on page 28 >>>

Tucson Care Card 20 percent discount at a variety of Tucson merchants and restaurants www.BizTucson.com

BizFASHION

Tucson Care Card Savings Plus Charity Donation

Tucson Fashion Week has come up with another way to give back to the community. The creators of the event have introduced the Tucson Care Card that provides a 20-percent discount at a variety of Tucson merchants and restaurants plus donations for a local nonprofit. Shoppers can use the card at participating retailers from Oct. 3 through Oct. 12. The Care Card costs $30 and 100 percent of that fee will go to the Steven M. Gootter Foundation this year. The nonprofit was established in 2005 and works toward defeating sudden cardiac death. Its namesake, Steven Gootter, was a 42-year-old father of two who died from SCD in February 2005. Tucson Care Cards can be used at participating merchants (see list). Cards can be purchased online at www.tucsoncarecard.org or at Pottery Barn, Williams-Sonoma, Brooks Brothers and St. John at La Encantada.

Sponsors:

Perfection Plastic Surgery & Skin Care, La Encantada, Fox Tucson Theatre, Mills Touche, Alfonso Gourmet Olive Oil & Balsamics. Media Sponsors are BizTucson and Journal Broadcast Group

Participating merchants include: • Acacia • Armani at Firenze Boutique • Armitage • Base Concepts • BCBG MAXAZRIA • Blanco’s Tacos and Tequila • Blocks Skate Shop • Brooks Brothers • Buffalo Exchange • Contigo Cocina Latina • Creative Juice • Cup Cafe • Fed by Threads • Firebirds • Goldies • Gourmet Girls • J Crew • Loop Jean Company • L’Visage • Megan Murray Daisy Diamond Salon • North • Pear Tree House • Perfection Plastic Surgery & Skin Care • Pottery Barn • Red Monkey Pilates Studio • Sauce • Shaffer Dry Cleaning • Shlomo & Vitos • Spirit of Santa Fe • Spirit Salon • St. John • The Robert Graham Shop • The Walking Company • Tommy Bahama • Whimsy • Wildflower • Williams-Sonoma • Zin Burger Fall 2014 > > > BizTucson 27


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We stand by our mission having TFW put Tucson on the national fashion and retail landscape. We really are making our mark.

– Melanie Sutton Co-Creative Director Tucson Fashion Week

continued from page 27

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1. David Zyla October 17 Tucson Botanical Gardens The Garden Party (Special Guest)

(Special Guest & University of Arizona Alumnus)

2. Mila Hermanovski October 18 Fox Tucson Theatre Project Runway Showcase & Project Arizona (Project Runway Designer)

5. Peach Carr October 18 Fox Tucson Theatre Project Runway Showcase & Project Arizona (Project Runway Designer)

3. Daniel Esquivel October 18 Fox Tucson Theatre Project Runway Showcase & Project Arizona (Project Runway Designer)

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4. Nathan Colkitt October 17 Tucson Botanical Gardens The Garden Party

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6. Joey Rodolfo October 17 Tucson Botanical Gardens The Garden Party (Special Guest Designer & University of Arizona Alumnus)

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9 7. Bert Keeter October 18 Fox Tucson Theatre Project Runway Showcase & Project Arizona (Project Runway Designer)

8. Korto Momolu October 18 Fox Tucson Theatre Project Runway Showcase & Project Arizona (Project Runway Designer)

9. Al Tucci October 18 Fox Tucson Theatre Project Runway Showcase & Project Arizona (University of Arizona Former Faculty)

the “week” will take place over four days instead of three. In addition, TFW will feature industry pros across a myriad of industries – including authors, stylists, activists, architects and musicians. “They’re not going to see three nights of boring runways shows,” said Taylor, the author of “How to Produce a Fashion Show from A to Z” and former owner of Pour Moi boutique in Tucson. “We’re going to stick with our original plan to showcase ‘creatives’ from different channels of the industry who are influential in fashion.” Some of those creatives hail from the University of Arizona. UA alumni include Nathan Colkitt, founder and CEO of the architecture firm Colkitt and Co., who has designed more than 100 PUMA stores. Taylor said that bringing in an architect to TFW demonstrates “the iconic collaboration across industry channels” that fashion represents. continued on page 30 >>> www.BizTucson.com


BizFASHION

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They’re not going to see three nights of boring runways shows. We’re going to stick to the original plan which was to showcase ‘creatives’ from different channels of the industry who are influential in fashion. – Paula Taylor Co-Creative Director Tucson Fashion Week

continued from page 28 “Each night is its own unique story and platform,” Taylor said. For the first night, Sutton said that the TFW event is launching Connect Coworking, a new collaborative workspace next to The Rialto Theatre. Six to 10 designers will be creating a garment inspired by Nathan Lee Colkitt’s SoHo PUMA building. The featured designer on the runway will be Lawless Denim, a salvage denim company from Phoenix. The second night will be The Garden Party at the Tucson Botanical Gardens. Two industry leaders will be featured – UA alum Joey Rodolfo, SVP of men’s design for Tommy Bahama, and David Zyla, an Emmy Awardwinning stylist and best-selling author. Zyla will be hosting The Color Story with local retailers Loop Denim Company, W Boutique and Posh Boutique in the intimate show. He will be discussing colors and trends as they go down the runway. The night will close with a retrospective show of Rodolfo’s 30-plus years of work in the fashion industry. The final night featuring Project Runway Showcase and Project Arizona will take place at the Fox Theatre. Film Tucson is the host. Stars from “Project Runway” will be on hand and showing capsule collections. continued on page 31 >>> 30 BizTucson

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BizFASHION continued from page 31 An added event on Oct. 19, hosted by Tucson Ladies Council, will be a brunch for 150 people at Playground Bar and Lounge that will feature stars from “Project Runway.” Tickets cost $50, and clothing and accessories also will be for sale. A percentage of ticket sales and beverage sales from TFW events will go to various charities such as Youth On Their Own. “We stand by our mission having TFW put Tucson on the national fashion and retail landscape,” Sutton said. “We really are making our mark.” Event sponsors include MercedesBenz of Tucson, Film Tucson, Visit Tucson, Shaffer Dry Cleaning, Fringe Hair Studio, Ford Robert Black, FIDM, UA Bookstores and many more. “Designers are artists and entrepreneurs and Tucson is a city that welcomes both – along with the new ideas they bring,” said Mayor Rothschild. “Tucson is a destination city, but we really shine as a setting for things like this that are new, individual, and eclectic.”

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TUCSON FASHION WEEK OCT. 16-18 Oct. 16, 6-9 p.m. TFW Launch Party, Designer Competition and Fashion Show at Connect Co-working Oct. 17, 6-10 p.m. Garden Party at Tucson Botanical Gardens Oct. 18, 5-10 p.m. Project Runway Showcase and Project Arizona at the Fox Tucson Theatre Cost: Per-event cost: $35 general admission VIP price for three nights: $285 Oct. 19 Brunch at Playground Bar and Lounge Tickets: $50. Clothing and accessories will be for sale. Information: tucsonfashionweek.com

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PHOTOS: BRENT G. MATHIS

BizENTREPRENEUR

Ron & Kelly Abbott Owners, Rincon Market

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Rising Ashes from the

Business Booming Since Reopening of Rincon Market By Larry Copenhaver

Rincon Market is back and better than ever after a devastating kitchen fire threatened to shutter the charming 1920s-era corner market forever. The red-brick market is one of several ventures for foodie entrepreneurs Kelly and Ron Abbott, who are preparing to launch Johnny Gibson’s Downtown Market later this year. Chardonnay and celery, bread and bagels, burgers, bass and sushi – not to mention some of the best chocolate éclairs in town – and more are ready for visitors to Rincon Market, an iconic grocery store and eatery a mile east of University of Arizona Stadium. The market, 2513 E. Sixth St., is open following nearly a year of renovation after electrical wiring sparked a ravaging fire in the ceiling near the kitchen. Fortunately, the Abbotts, a husband and wife team, had reworked their insurance coverage with Crest Insurance Group after purchasing the place and moving in Feb. 1, 2008. The

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updated insurance covered most of the $3.2 million restoration, employees’ ordinary wages for a year and remuneration to the owners for lost income. “Without the catastrophic coverage we had, it would have been too massive moneywise to ever reopen Rincon,” Kelly said. Since the June 27 reopening of this neighborhood treasure, crowds have been unprecedented, growing from about 750 per day prior to the fire to more than 1,000 now. “We had gotten stagnant, and so did our clientele. But since the fire, everyone seems grateful that we are here, and we are grateful they are coming in,” most often for the salad bar, but also the delicatessen, hot deli, grill and grocery. Rincon Market is often filled for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Courting a following is a two-way street, so the owners have stepped up and dropped prices, especially on groceries, even though groceries are low

profit items, Kelly said. “There is no money in selling a can of soup for 15 cents more than you pay for it, and I didn’t want to put any effort into that in the past. Now, I see I was wrong not to give it the attention needed. It’s about reputation and taking care of customers. Reputation is worth a lot.” The Abbotts said their grocery items are competitive with many full-sized grocery stores. “And we put in a beer, wine and coffee bar,” Ron said. “We realized a lot of people want their privacy, maybe even do a little book reading, so we have an area for that. We moved produce and drinks out of the front, and that way it is kind of private. And we have free Wi-Fi.” While there are many elements to like at Rincon Market, for architect Chuck Albanese, a longtime customer, the fish there is a prized commodity. It’s all graded and inspected by the store’s longtime fish guru, Yuri Rabayev. His continued on page 34 >>>

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continued from page 33 expertise gives customers confidence, and he has turned into a bit of an ambassador for the store, Albanese said. One popular entree missing at Rincon Market is pizza, but not for long. New pizza ovens, to run evenings, are coming soon. The effort is appreciated, said Albanese, who likes the location near his Sam Hughes neighborhood home. He claims to spend more time at Rincon Market than on his own couch. “I always find someone there I know,” said the longtime UA faculty member. Allowing extra time for a stop at the market is prudent to facilitate chatting. Meanwhile, the Abbotts also own two catering venues, one called Park Avenue Weddings in the Lost Barrio. The other, Stardance, is near Sanctuary Cove in the Cortaro area. The former accommodates 175 wedding guests while Stardance, with glorious views, seats 300 for weddings and up to 500 for less complex events such as corporate meetings. It’s a service in demand, Kelly said. “We already are booked out for wed-

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dings on Saturdays until June 13, 2015, and we have no Saturday openings in September, October or November 2015. Fridays and Sundays are nearly full for fall and spring.” She already has reservations into March 2016. Food for weddings is prepared at Rincon Market and transported in vans. Most weddings are $60 a plate and include table linens, bartending, catering and DJ, an amount the Abbotts consider well below the $100 charged at some venues. Costs for decorations, cakes and other services are optional. But for the Abbotts, Rincon Market is the center of the action. Seeing the store get back into doing what is does best – serving its considerably enthusiastic public, brings a smile to the face of Breck Grumbles – president and owner of Abracadabra Restoration. The local businessman, who has been a commercial and residential general contractor for more than 20 years, did the renovation and restoration at Rincon Market. “We started Abracadabra Restoration on April 1, 1981, as a carpet clean-

ing company. Then we quickly moved into water damage restoration and repairs,” Grumbles said. “We aligned the company with the unique needs of the insurance industry.” Grumbles figures he is the largest locally owned restoration company in Tucson. He compared his local roots to the Abbotts. “They are a husband-and-wife success story.” The fire at Rincon Market was July 2, 2013, and Abracadabra was hired the following day. The first task was to board up the building and protect it from imminent summer rains, Grumbles said. “Then we began to mitigate damage to the interior by extracting water, disposing of the spoiling merchandise – produce and other food that was rotting since there was no electricity to operate cooling units. We also had to dry out the building and make sure it was safe for forensic engineers to conduct their investigation of cause and origin.” It took two to three weeks for the insurance investigation to be completed.

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BizENTREPRENEUR Then the salvageable business property was removed to Abracadabra’s warehouse for cleaning and safe storage. Many items of UA memorabilia were saved, to the relief of the Abbotts. The restoration company brought in an architect and engineer to make sure that repairs were sound and complied with current city building codes. That, he said, was the most challenging issue because the owners wanted to retain the “ambiance and wonderful character of the Rincon building in the Sam Hughes neighborhood.” There were two special projects for Abracadabra Restoration. One included removing damaged floor tile to expose the original concrete slab, poured in 1926, stain it and restore it to its original condition. “The other was re-engineering the gorgeous bowstring domed ceiling on the west side that had been covered by a drop plaster ceiling. That was quite an ambiance upgrade,” Grumbles said. Codes were met and charm was salvaged, he said. “I am very proud of our employees and subcontractors who

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worked on the job. They really worked hard and worked well together.” The Abbotts, married in 1978, previously worked together for her familyowned business, a window and door manufacturing and installation company called American Openings. They learned about the opportunity to purchase Rincon Market by accident, she said. “About a year and a half before we bought it, Rincon Market had catered our son’s wedding and we became friends with the owners, the Cisek family. In a casual conversation, they offered to sell the whole operation. “We have two children and lots of grandchildren, and we knew we needed to do something to feed the family, so we checked into getting a loan, which was okayed just before the economy tanked,” Kelly said. “We hit it perfectly. It wasn’t difficult to get a $1.5 million loan.” The balance of the $1.9 million price tag came from other sources, mostly the Abbotts’ pockets. “We still have three-and-a-half years to get that taken care of,” she said.

And things have turned out pretty much as imagined. Elder son John is the GM and daughter-in-law Amy is the CFO. Other family members work in baking, cake decorating and other areas. It’s a full platter for the Abbotts, often to the tune of 15-hour days, seven days a week if a wedding or event is scheduled for a weekend. But that’s not stopping them from opening Johnny Gibson’s Downtown Market in the building at 11 S. Sixth Ave. that for years was occupied by the late Johnny Gibson, a fitness guru who was a World War II paratrooper and battlefield hero, former Mr. Arizona and a fixture behind his downtown barber chair for decades. That 6,000 square-foot grocery is expected to open around Christmas. The Gibson family will rent the area to the Abbotts, and it will maintain the Gibson name. Paul and Christi Cisek plan to partner with the Abbotts in operating the Gibson store.

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BizARCHITECTURE

Dynamic Design Duo FORS Defines Downtown Dining

Tucson architect Sonya Sotinsky says she’s seen exponential change in Tucson’s design scene since the late 1990s when the city was “held hostage by kokopellis.” Today she believes that “people are finally feeling free to love the desert and the history of this place, and are embracing a more eclectic style.” Without much of a stretch, one could easily make the case that Sotinsky and her architect husband, Miguel Fuentevilla, are a big part of the changing design aesthetic in Tucson. Partners in FORS architecture + interiors, the pair has been responsible for dozens of Tucson restaurants and hotels, including nine downtown restaurants and bars – The Hub, Proper, Penca, Pizzeria Bianco, Playground, Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails, Gio Taco, Diablo Burger and Good Oak Bar. They also are designing the shell for Johnny Gibson’s Downtown Market, which is scheduled to open later this year. The two met as undergrads at the University of Arizona, at an architecture party. After graduation, Sotinsky pursued a master’s degree in architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, which is where the duo started working in tandem. The company name was born of necessity. They had just completed their first project together – a beach house – and were submitting it to Metropolitan Home for the “home of the year” competition. It was 11p.m. and by morning they needed a name and a logo. With no time for a focus group or a graphic designer, they took the ‘F’ from Fuentevilla and the ‘S’ from Sotinsky and put ‘OR’ in the middle. It must have worked. They won the award and the name has stayed. 36 BizTucson

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They married in 1997 and soon after moved back to Tucson. “We realized that we couldn’t achieve all the things we wanted – start a firm, buy a house, have babies – in the Bay Area in the time frame we wanted (immediately),” Sotinsky said. “We made a good-sized list of possible cities and Tucson ended up winning because of family, cost of living, housing costs, weather, landscape, Rio Nuevo hopes of downtown renewal, the University of Arizona and the potential ability to make an impact with our work (versus being in a major market). “We started small for sure, working out of our home. Some of our Bay Area clients came with us, so that helped with the transition.” Sotinsky’s background was residential, Fuentevilla’s commercial. In Tucson they began to make their mark in the hospitality industry. “With hotels and restaurants, you often get to be part of the entire process,” Fuentevilla said. “Our design process includes controlling the spatial expeAll Around Town In addition to nine restaurants and bars downtown, FORS architecture + interiors has designed casual and upscale eating establishments all over town including: • Mr. An’s Teppan Steak, Sushi & Seafood on Oracle Road • Noble Hops in Oro Valley • Poppy Kitchen at The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa • Sushi Garden in Broadway Village • Tavolino Ristorante Italiano at Plaza Colonial • Union Public House on Campbell Avenue • Zinburger at River Road and Grant Road

rience inside and out. Many times we also design the interiors, even selecting small details such as millwork. It’s very satisfying to set design principles and to see them interpreted – to take a project from the earliest design phase to seeing people move in.” The architecture duo develops design through storytelling, including creating the brand. They create storyboards for each project, just like what you’d find in a full-service marketing firm. Covered with fabric swatches, design fragments, fashion elements, landscapes, photos of people, words and phrases – the storyboard outlines the experience they want to create and becomes their design bible, a litmus test of sorts. Each design element is weighed against the storyboard to ensure brand consistency. To keep their design sense fresh, they travel a lot – at least five design trips a year. For Fuentevilla, there are two kinds of vacation. “We either wear out a pair of shoes – or sit on the beach and do nothing.” When they visit a city like San Francisco, they’ll check out up to 30 projects a day – hotels, museums, neighborhoods, window displays. They try to visit New York every year, combining work with visiting family. “The window displays in places like Soho, London, Paris, Madrid are amazing,” he said. “Travel helps us build up a mental library of images. We just used a few design elements from something that inspired us on a trip to Miami a few years ago.” While they collaborate well, one partner is always the creative director on a project. “That reduces squabbling,” Sotinsky said. She serves as the company’s CFO, while her husband takes on more design projects and does a lot of the early client contact. “It’s a balance and continued on page 38 >>>

Images Courtesy FORS architecture + interiors

By Kate Maguire Jensen


PHOTO: AMY HASKELL

PROPER

PLAYGROUND

PENCA

THE HUB

Miguel Fuentevilla & Sonya Sotinsky Owners, FORS architecture + interiors

DOWNTOWN KITCHEN + COCKTAILS

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BizARCHITECTURE continued from page 36 we’re starting to develop more office procedures. We’re a small firm, so we wear a lot of hats.” In addition to running a very busy architecture firm, they are also parents to two daughters, ages 12 and 14, so balancing work and family is a high priority. “Having our business has been huge for the family – it’s allowed us to spend more time together,” she said. “Our daughters do their homework here after school and, like us, they try to get it all done here, not take it home with them. “We do really try to unplug at home,” Sotinsky said. “No phones. No cable. No Internet. And I try to create boundaries – like I never talk on the cell phone when one of my daughters is in the car – even if my mother calls.” The other thing that helps, she said, “is sheer exhaustion.” What’s next in architectural design? “We’re seeing a massive shift from what the baby boomers want in homes to what millennials want,” Fuentevilla said. “Millennials have totally different wants and needs. They want to travel and to eat out. We are starting to design projects with multiple demographics in mind.” They are huge proponents of downtown. In addition to their office downtown, they created a small store at the front of the office on Congress Street, selling “modern amenities” like highdesign gifts, jewelry and home accessories. The couple reports that from June 2013 to June 2014 was their busiest year ever – with more than 50 projects finished or in the queue. They are now picking up commercial office work because of their restaurant work and half of their business is coming from out of town. When asked if they want to grow the business bigger, they collectively answer with a resounding “No.” They’re sandwiched in an office in proximity to many of the restaurants they’ve designed. They have eight full-time employees, which they say is a great size. “I’ve learned the importance of building a good team, Sotinsky said. “Our team now is the strongest it’s ever been.” That may be why a lot of their clients are repeat clients and new client prospects are starting to say, “I’ve heard of you guys.”

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BizEDUCATION

Community Relations Manager Tucson Electric Power

David Hutchens

President & CEO, Tucson Electric Power 40 BizTucson

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PHOTO: DAVID SANDERS

Sharon Foltz


TEP Invests in Children

Recipient of Raytheon Spirit of Education Award By Gabrielle Fimbres Five-year-old Lily Blewett and her little brother, Luke, dash through Tucson Electric Power’s Electri-City exhibit at Children’s Museum Tucson, experimenting with magnetism and creating electricity. Lily and Luke are among thousands of Tucson children getting a hands-on, up-close look at science, thanks to TEP. The company annually invests about $1.4 million in programs and organizations like the Children’s Museum, with the goal of improving education and boosting the future of our children. For its contributions, TEP is the 2014 recipient of the Raytheon Spirit of Education Award. A toast to TEP will be held Dec. 18 at The Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa, with proceeds benefitting Tucson Values Teachers. Kathleen Bethel, CEO of the Southern Arizona Research, Science and Engineering Foundation, one of TEP’s beneficiaries, said the company makes the region a better place for children. “When you say organizations change lives, it sounds so overused – but TEP really does,” Bethel said. “TEP is so important in our community.” Children’s Museum Executive Direc-

tor Michael Luria said TEP is the “epitome of what a true partnership looks like between a nonprofit and a business organization in the community.” Giving of resources, time and talents has been a core value of the company for more than 20 years, said David Hutchens, president and CEO of TEP. In the past five years combined, TEP and its nearly 1,400 employees have invested 88,000 volunteer hours and $6.5 million in grants and in-kind materials for education programs and youth organizations. Education is at the heart of improving quality of life, Hutchens said. “A rising tide lifts all boats is a cliché – but the concept really applies when you’re talking about how to improve a community,” Hutchens said. “One of the fundamental ways to improve a community is by providing a quality education.” About 325 schools and youth organizations benefit from TEP’s philanthropy annually. The $1.4 million TEP donates to education and youth efforts is just part of $3.5 million that the company and sister company UniSource Energy Services donate annu-

TEP’s Mary Fosdick, a senior chemical and environmental engineer, prepares one of her after-school LEGO robotics teams for an upcoming competition.

ally in grants, volunteerism and in-kind contributions to 350 nonprofit boards or committees, said Sharon Foltz, TEP community relations manager From sponsoring students in lowincome neighborhoods to attend science field trips, to providing meaningful summer employment to STEM teachers, and partnering with University of Arizona students to develop more efficient solar technology, TEP’s involvement in education efforts is diverse and sustained. TEP is in good company in winning the Raytheon Spirit of Education Award. The inaugural award honored Raytheon Missile Systems in 2011. The 2012 award went to Jim Click and last year Sundt was the recipient. “TEP does so much in our community,” said Katie Rogerson, interim executive director of Tucson Values Teachers, a nonprofit organization that TEP has supported since inception. Backed by the Southern Arizona Leadership Council, TVT is aimed at attracting, retaining and supporting quality teachers. continued on page 42 >>>

TEP VP and Controller Frank Marino reads to kids during a recent Junior Achievement event.

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BizEDUCATION

Funding Brighter Futures

Tucson Electric Power is a driving force behind a number of agencies that educate our children. The company is truly on the ground floor at the Children’s Museum Tucson, sponsoring the engaging and colorful Electri-City, the first exhibit to greet visitors. The exhibit was updated last year with a $120,000 grant from TEP to showcase renewable energy technology and careers of the future. Over the years, TEP has given more than $250,000 to the museum. “What I admire and applaud TEP for is their understanding that organizations like the Children’s Museum cannot do it alone,” said Michael Luria, the museum’s executive director. “It requires partnership – and TEP has been great in stepping up and standing with us.” Kathleen Bethel, CEO of the Southern Arizona Research, Science and Engineering Foundation, said TEP employees have served as board members and volunteers and the company has provided financial backing for the organization’s annual science and engineering fair. TEP provided a grant that allowed SARSEF to start a community outreach program aimed at schools that are underrepresented at the fair. SARSEF encourages teachers, students and parents in low-income communities to take part in the fair. Today, about 50 percent of fair participants are from Title 1 schools – about double the previous number – and half are girls. A decade ago, only 38 percent of participants were female, Bethel said. SARSEF has reached 26,000 parents and students in communities that include Tucson, Yuma, Florence, Douglas and Nogales. TEP also provides $10,000 annually to sponsor the fair. “TEP is a great corporate partner in so many ways,” Bethel said. Craig Ivanyi, executive director at the ArizonaSonora Desert Museum, is pleased to see TEP recognized for valiant community efforts. “Aside from being a delight to work with and the fact that TEP has been a major supporter of the Desert Museum ever since its early days, we appreciate and value the community support and leadership they offer.” Biz 42 BizTucson

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continued from page 41 “TEP’s Community Action Team is really fantastic,” Rogerson said. “It’s not just the company giving money and resources. Employees are giving time and talent to help kids and support education. TEP is investing from the ground up.” Hutchens said preparing children for a quality education and future success starts early in life. “Success in education isn’t just about the four walls of the classroom and the curriculum. It’s about family support. It’s about kids having a proper diet and nutrition.” TEP supports programs that provide prenatal education, abuse prevention, nutrition and other efforts that get kids ready for success in school. The company also supports education in STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – from preschool through college. “Jobs are getting more technical and our community needs a more highly skilled workforce,” Hutchens said. “We want our kids to have the best opportunities they can have, so preparing them to have good jobs begins at a young age.” Hutchens said TEP – like other major corporations – is facing a “brain drain” as skilled employees prepare to retire. “One of the things that we see on the horizon is an increasing number of skilled employees retiring from the company,” Hutchens said. “As they leave our workforce with so much knowledge and experience, we have to figure out ways of replacing them. “If you have technical and specific needs like we have and your community doesn’t have a talent pool with the skills to fill those jobs, then you have to hire from the outside. Having a good local education system and having institutions like the University of Arizona provide us with opportunities to pull folks from the community into our workforce.” When employees are ready to retire in large groups, meeting the demand is challenging. “If you have one or two people retiring a year, you can go out to the marketplace and hire someone and move them here – but when you look forward and see that a huge portion of our workforce is retiring, it requires a holistic, internal look,” Hutchens said. “We have to help folks within our company and within our community to prepare for these jobs. That’s why we support K-12 education that feeds the university and feeds Pima College. Hopefully, kids in our community can grow up here, go to college here and come to work at a company like ours and have a family here. You get tired of sending your kids off to jobs in another state,” said this father of two UA students. TEP has partnered with companies that include Arizona Public Service, Salt River Project and Freeport-McMoRan to secure grant funding to build utility industry careers at the community college level, Foltz said. TEP is also aimed at strengthening Pima County Joint Technological Education District, which trains students in technical careers. Through a partnership that started with the Arizona Research Institute for Solar Energy and continues with the UA’s Renewable Energy Network, TEP has funded research and partnered with UA physics graduate students to study, measure and report on the impact of different renewable solar installations around Southern Arizona. TEP’s annual funding contributions have exceeded $200,000 in some years. continued on page 43 >>> www.BizTucson.com


continued from page 42 “They help us provide the cleanest energy at the most effective cost,” Hutchens said. “That’s our function in life.” Foltz said representation on community boards is also near and dear to the company’s heart. “You don’t get a strong nonprofit community without strong boards.” TEP is effective in bringing organizations together to solve problems, Foltz said, and was the first local organization to step up in partnership with an innovative Pima County program called Pay for Success, which is funded by the Federal Reserve and private financiers. It’s the county’s embarkation into the new territory of social impact bonds – or “venture philanthropy” – in which investors put up money to help solve a social problem and, if successful, receive a modest return on their investment. “It’s going to change service delivery and revenue models for social service issues – child wellness around healthy births, domestic violence prevention, child abuse prevention, drug treatment for petty criminals. If we can change those models to be more effective, that will save our community millions of dollars every year,” Foltz said. Since TEP and sister company UniSource Energy Services have customers and employees throughout the state, its philanthropic reach goes beyond Tucson to include Springerville, Chino Valley, Cottonwood, Kingman, Lake Havasu, Nogales, Rio Rico and more. “We get involved in things that make our local communities better,” Hutchens said. Biz

4TH ANNUAL RAYTHEON SPIRIT OF EDUCATION AWARD HONORING TUCSON ELECTRIC POWER Thursday, Dec. 18, 5 to 7:30 p.m. Hosted by the University of Arizona and Raytheon Missile Systems The Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa $75 per person Sponsorships from $1,000 www.tucsonvaluesteachers.org (520) 327-7619 Fall 2014 > > > BizTucson 43


Barbara A. Nichols, EKV Program Operations Manager, Raytheon Missile Systems, and Brian Anguiz, Teacher, Sahuarita Middle School

PHOTOS: AMY HASKELL

Tracie Van Ert, Teacher, Tucson Unified School District, and Hunter Rosen, Principal Engineer, Raytheon Missile Systems

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Teachers in Industry

STEM Educators Gain Real-World Experience By Gabrielle Fimbres Peering through a pair of safety goggles, Tracie Van Ert inspects particulates that fluoresce brilliantly as she determines the most effective way of cleaning telescopes at Raytheon Missile Systems, aided by a robot. For this Tucson Unified School District teacher, this is more than just a summer job. Van Ert is learning valuable industry skills in Raytheon’s fusion innovation lab to take back to her students. Van Ert is one of 38 educators who are part of Teachers in Industry, a program of Tucson Values Teachers and the University of Arizona. She was among seven teachers who worked at Raytheon this summer, earning industry wages. The business-education partnership features a UA master’s degree program for full-time STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – teachers who are placed in industry in the summer. Teachers gain experience in workforce needs, which they take back with them to the classroom. Van Ert is earning a master’s degree in teaching and teacher education from the UA College of Education while working throughout the school year at TUSD as an instructional technologist for language acquisition. “How can we prepare kids for the business world if we’ve never been part of it? My experience at Raytheon allows me to tell kids what the opportunities are,” said Van Ert, 35. Hunter Rosen, a principal engineer at Raytheon and Van Ert’s supervisor, said the program benefits both education and industry. “Tracie brings a tremendous benefit www.BizTucson.com

to our team – her creativity, problemsolving, looking at things from a different perspective,” Rosen said. “It’s rewarding to know not only are we getting a benefit but that Tracie and

Respect, Reward, Invest in Teachers It’s a tough time to be a teacher. Roughly half a million U.S. teachers either move or leave the profession each year, according to a report from the Alliance for Excellent Education, a turnover that costs the nation’s school’s as much as $2.2 billion a year. The National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future estimates that onethird of new teachers leave after three years, and 46 percent are gone within five years. Tucson statistics are also concerning. According to a 2013 survey of 1,417 Southern Arizona teachers conducted by Strongpoint Marketing and sponsored by Tucson Values Teachers: • 27 percent report they are not likely to be teaching in Southern Arizona five years from now • Nearly two-fifths are not likely to recommend their profession to others The goal of TVT, which is supported by the business community, is to attract and retain quality teachers. “Business leaders realize the quality of the teacher in the classroom is the single most important factor in student achievement,” said Katie Rogerson, TVT’s interim executive director. “Business leaders want to make sure we value our teachers. Respect, reward and investment in our teachers all goes toward that.”

other teachers are taking their experience to their schools.” Van Ert studied how efficient carbon dioxide “snow” is in removing particulates without using harmful chemicals. “It hits the surface with particles that evaporate without leaving residue behind,” she said. Remaining particulates fluoresce in different colors, depending on their size. Based on her work this summer, Van Ert was inspired to hold a competition among her students on creating the most effective water filter, and Raytheon engineers will judge the results. Van Ert got a firsthand look at the collaboration, creativity and communication that take place at Raytheon. “There is a wonderful cooperative spirit here, and these are skills students need,” she said. “I can take this back to the classroom.” Brian Anguiz, a 30-year-old math teacher at Sahuarita Middle School, spent this summer creating a template to automatically track drawing changes for Raytheon’s Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle program. It required trial and error, and learning high-level Excel programs. “What Brian is doing for us is creating a template that in the long run will save the company money,” said Barbara Nichols, operations manager for the EKV program. The EKV is designed to defend the United States against intercontinental ballistic missiles. “It will help engineers know what’s going on at any given time,” Nichols said. Anguiz joined Teachers in Industry for professional development credit. continued on page 46 >>> Fall 2014 > > > BizTucson 45


BizEDUCATION continued from page 45 The professional development option differs from the master’s degree program. “I wanted to do something that would enhance my teaching,” Anguiz said. “I want to be a master at what I do. What I like about this program is it broadens horizons for my students.” Rachel Anger is a senior principal engineer who coordinates Teachers in Industry at Raytheon. “We are helping teachers to bring the real world into classrooms, where they are able to impact hundreds and even thousands of students,” Anger said. The program depends on high-tech companies to provide summer employment to teachers. “Raytheon has been the corporate champion since the very beginning,” said Ronald Marx, dean of the UA College of Education. Other Tucson corporations that support the program by offering summer employment to teachers are Tucson Electric Power, B/E Aerospace, Freeport-McMoRan, Sanofi-Aventis, Sundt, Texas Instruments, Vante and Ventana Medical Systems. The program, which was originally called MASTER-IP, was rebranded last year, said Katie Rogerson, interim executive director of Tucson Values Teachers. Dedicated to raising the status of the teaching profession, TVT exists in collaboration with Southern Arizona Leadership Council. Teachers in Industry has spread to other parts of the state, including Chandler, Springerville, Willcox and Maricopa. Students outside of Tucson complete coursework through a stateof-the-art telepresence classroom at the UA College of Education, connected through a laptop or iPad. Since inception, 22 teachers have graduated and 13 are expected to graduate this year, Rogerson said. Another eight teachers received professional development credit this summer, she added. “Through these teachers, students can see exactly how science, technology, engineering and math are used in real life,” Rogerson said. The program originally relied on a grant from Science Foundation Arizona to pay a portion of tuition for each teacher. The program now relies on funding from the Freeport-McMoRan 46 BizTucson

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Foundation. Marx said the program is helping to address a “notorious teacher turnover problem” and attracting STEM teachers. “People finish degrees in a science or a STEM field and never practice in the field as a professional,” Marx said. “Getting a degree prepares you to teach, but you don’t actually do the science. “This gives them that experience and it helps them link the work of the curriculum more directly to how that content is used in business and industry. It makes them better teachers and it’s fabulous for the kids.” One unforeseen benefit is the reputation the program gives teachers.

Through these teachers, students can see exactly how science, technology, engineering and math are used in real life.

– Katie Rogerson Interim Executive Director Tucson Values Teachers

“It turns out it gives enormous street cred to teachers in the eyes of the students,” Marx said. “ ‘You worked at Raytheon this summer? You worked at Ventana Medical Systems?’ We didn’t think about that, but it happened.” Lisa Kist is a graduate of Teachers in Industry, a science and virtual reality teacher at TUSD’s Gridley Middle School and a board member of TVT. She gained tons of street cred through her summer employment. Kist worked at Raytheon over three summers, one in the immersive design center, where products are virtually designed. She brought some of the

technology to Gridley. Raytheon donated computers, a 3-D projector and other technology. Students and Raytheon volunteers work together to design virtual reality projects and then step into their creations through a state-of-the-art 3-D screen called “The Cave.” “My classroom is modeled after what I saw in industry, using the teamwork and critical thinking skills used in industry,” Kist said. She is committed to the lesserknown STEAM – adding arts to the equation. Her students are creating their own video games, animated movies and other technology. “The motivation in this classroom is through the roof, and it has created student leaders,” she said. “I am very proud of that because that is what industry is looking for.” Colleen Niccum helped develop the program when she served as director of community and government relations at Raytheon before retiring. She is now VP of education for Southern Arizona Leadership Council and is the founding president of Tucson Values Teachers. The program was the brainchild of SALC President Ronald Shoopman, Niccum and local business and education leaders including Marx. Employers are impressed by the analytical, professional summer employees they gain through the program, Niccum said. The goal is to develop great STEM teachers and encourage them to stay in the profession, Niccum said. “Industry gains a better appreciation for teachers through the program,” Niccum said. “It builds great relationships between business and education that are critical.” Julia Olsen directs the program through the College of Education and helped to write the original grant proposal. “Little did I know that it would turn out to be as awesome as it is,” Olsen said. “The greatest impact is how teachers are rethinking what they are bringing to students. They are changing how they are teaching, and engaging students in real-world projects. “It’s a very collaborative program that benefits industry and education. Everybody wins.”

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PHOTO: KRIS HANNING

BizMILESTONE

Kristen Revis, TROT occupational and speech therapist, works with Laura Walton, 9, and her horse, Newta. Laura has Rett syndrome. Historical photos of TROT students and volunteers over the years.

TROT Timeline 1974 Therapeutic Riding of Tucson founded by Nancy McGibbon and Barbara Rector. First therapy classes offered at Bazy Tankersley’s Al-Marah Arabians. 1986 Long-term lease signed on a rental agreement for the current home on Woodland Road. 1994 Equine-facilitated learning and psychotherapy programs launched from gift from Sierra Tucson’s Bill O’Donnell. 2001 TROT receives Angel Charity for Children grant, adds therapy for additional 25-30 students per week.

2010 Thanks to Angel Charity, TROT Therapy clinic opens, offering physical, occupational and speech therapy

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2014 TROT offers more than 2,000 sessions annually to children and adults with disabilities

PHOTOS COURTESY TROT

2006 TROT launches one of the nation’s first Equine Veterans Horses for Heroes Programs.


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Therapeutic Trailblazers TROT Celebrates 40 Years of Miracles By Mary Minor Davis In 1973, Barbara Rector had a neardeath experience when the horse she was riding in a local competition took a bad turn. Both the horse and rider flew through the air. Both landed on their backs – the horse on top of Barbara. Neither was breathing when paramedics arrived. Several months later, Rector was still recovering at what is now University of Arizona Medical Center. No one knew whether she would ever walk. She refused to accept that possibility and committed to riding horses again. With the help of her friend, Nancy McGibbon, an occupational and physical therapist, she not only rode again – but the horse provided the therapy her body needed. “The rhythmical movement of the horse – which we now know can help in spinal injuries – helped to regenerate the spine,” Rector said. When she shared with her doctor what she’d been doing, he asked her, “If it’s working so well for you, why don’t you share this?” Rector and McGibbon set out to do just that. A chance meeting with Bazy Tankersley, owner of Al-Marah Arabian Farm, led to the organization of Therapeutic Riding of Tucson – known as TROT. Maudie Hunter Warfel, a renowned equine therapist for people with disabilities, was brought in to provide the training and consultation on the equipment needed. Volunteers gathered or made what was needed. TROT held its first class in the fall of 1974 at Al-Marah with four deaf students from the Arizona State Schools www.BizTucson.com

for the Deaf and the Blind. Forty years later, TROT has grown into an internationally renowned organization that blazed new trails in establishing programs for people of all ages with both mental and physical challenges. More than 2,000 riders and clients participate in the programs annually. “We had no money,” McGibbon said. “We just said it had to be done – and we did it. It was a labor of love for many, many years. Still is.” TROT found a permanent home in 1986. Working with Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry, TROT coordinated a deal with the Tucson and Pima County parks and recreation departments, the Flood Control District, Tucson City Council and the Pima County Board of Supervisors for a long-term lease at 8920 E. Woodland Road, which is off East Tanque Verde Road.

TROT’S RUBY JUBILEE CELEBRATION 1974-2014 Open House Saturday, Sept. 27, 4 to 8 p.m. 8920 E. Woodland Road Tours, demonstrations, food and fun Call (520) 749-2360 or email info@trotarizona.org

“I believe these five points of government collaboration was testimony to Tucson’s support of the TROT mission and purpose,” Rector said. But they were so focused on the students “that we really didn’t focus on the fact that we were building a business – until we had to,” Rector said. “We really felt at that point that it was real.” The board hired staff, found horses and implemented more in-depth training for the horses and volunteers. The John Parelli Natural Horsemanship training program was adopted and learned by all volunteers to ensure every horse would have the same training, ensuring consistency in behavior. TROT holds certification in the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International. In the beginning, everything was called “therapeutic riding,” which consists of recreational activities designed to enhance behavioral, physical, mental and cognitive abilities. Over the years, equine therapy started to become more specialized. So did TROT. In 1994, TROT added psychotherapy and hired a mental health specialist. In 2006, TROT started one of the first programs to work with veterans. In 2010, with support from a grant from Angel Charity for Children, TROT added a clinic offering hippotherapy, a form of physical, occupational and speech therapy in which a therapist uses the characteristic movements of a horse to provide carefully graded motor and sensory input. Unlike therapeutic continued on page 50 >>> Fall 2014 > > > BizTucson 49


BizMILESTONE continued from page 49 horseback riding, the movement of the horse is a means to a treatment goal and isn’t about teaching riding skills. All riders make their way to TROT by referral, working with the academic and medical community. Dave and Tina Walton discovered TROT two years ago. Their daughter, Laura, 9, has Rett syndrome, which prevents her from speaking, walking or using her hands. Tina said Laura suffers from a lack of muscle tone, needs to be moving constantly for flexibility and has trouble initiating communication. After one year working with Kristen Revis, TROT’s occupational and speech therapist in the hippotherapy program, and her horse, Newta, the Waltons see improvements at many levels. “It’s amazing,” Tina said. “Riding has given her balance that she didn’t have before. She shows initiative and reaction to things. Simple communication is a major celebration. She gets so excited coming here.” Tucson artist Diana Madaras, this year’s honorary chair for TROT’s 40th anniversary open house, got involved more than 15 years ago when TROT asked for a donation. Since then, she helped develop other fundraising programs and even donated her horse, Bisbee, to TROT. “They’re just very compassionate people,” she said. “I see the faces on the children and the veterans when they interact with these animals. It’s very lifechanging.” Laurel Brown, president of the board, believes TROT has room to grow. It does not have a covered arena, which limits the ability to run programs and can limit the types of riders they serve, because many disabilities are affected by climate. TROT would like to expand its veterans program, and this year TROT will extend its partnership with Tu Nidito Children and Family Services, a nonprofit in Tucson that works with critically ill children and their families. TROT will take a moment in September to thank the community for its support. Madaras said TROT also hopes to raise awareness for those who have yet to discover that “it does a lot of good for a lot of people.” Biz 50 BizTucson

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PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

Daniel Scordato Owner, Vivace

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BizDINING

Top of the World Vivace Thrives in Foothills By Edie Jarolim

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in Plaza Palomino in 1986. Anticipating and riding the 1990s wave of creative new eateries in Tucson, the restaurant continued for several years past Scordato’s involvement with it. It also served as a learning experience for him. Among other things, Scordato realized that his financial priorities for Daniel’s were skewed. “I put more money into the kitchen than into the dining room, which was silly,” Scordato said. “People are very visual. They don’t think about what’s in the kitchen” – as long as what comes out of it is good, of course. So when Scordato opened the first incarnation of Vivace in the Crossroads Festival shopping center in 1992, it was airy, stylish and inviting. It was here that he began devising his signature dishes. Although Scordato’s paternal grandparents were from Sicily, Vivace’s food never hewed to one regional style – or even, in many cases, to strict Italian traditions. Scordato calls the menu Italianinspired, geared toward American preferences. For example, he said, “Italians would never eat pasta as a main course,” but Vivace offers six entree-size pasta dish-

PHOTOS: THOMAS VENELKLASEN

Daniel Scordato is on top of the world these days – literally as well as figuratively. When the chef-owner of Vivace moved his popular restaurant from St. Philip’s Plaza to the foothills aerie long occupied by Anthony’s in the Catalinas in March 2014, he acquired breathtaking vistas of Tucson spread out in the valley below. He also improved business by about 30 percent. For longtime Tucson residents, the name Scordato is synonymous with high-quality Italian food. The closeknit family moved in 1963 to Arizona from New Jersey, where they had a restaurant, because 5-year-old Daniel had asthma. In 1972, they opened Scordato’s on the west side, making it the first formal Italian restaurant in town, with a serious wine list and tuxedoed servers. Daniel was involved in the day-to-day operations from age 14. This might explain why, when Scordato struck out on his own at age 27, he was confident enough to put his own name on the venture and to attract investing partners. Daniel’s, which served innovative Mediterranean fare, opened

es, along with nine meat entrees and a fresh fish of the day. The menu has evolved over the years, but you can depend on finding such items as the crabstuffed chicken breast and penne with sausage. When Scordato relocated Vivace to St. Philip’s Plaza in 2001, the dining room became a bit more formal, with marbled walls, Italianate columns, white tablecloths and a romantic patio strung with tiny lights. Although as friendly and accommodating as before to patrons wearing all kinds of attire, the restaurant now catered to special occasion diners, too. To fill the casual niche, Scordato debuted Intermezzo, featuring lighter, less expensive Italian fare, in Williams Centre in 2003. He sold the cafe a year later to concentrate on Vivace – the very hands-on restaurateur found it hard to divide his time between dining rooms on different sides of town – but never lost his interest in having a more informal Italian spot. This idea came to fruition again in 2009 with Vivace Pizzeria – now Scordato’s Pizzeria – which is in St. Philip’s Plaza. continued on page 54 >>>

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BizDINING continued from page 53 According to Scordato, the trend of high-end restaurants opening casual offshoots started some 15 years ago and took off in the last decade. He briefly considered opening a burger spot, but realized that staying with the same general dining concept made more sense. That way, he figured, both restaurants could share the same high-quality ingredients. Not that Scordato generally cares about trends. “My goal is to please my customers as much as I can,” he said, “and that means consistency in both food and service.” It also means appealing to more than just one age group. “I want them all, millennials, baby boomers, everyone. I’m not going to go with the latest fad just to have a place that’s packed for two months and then totally dead because people move on to the next new thing.” He clarified, “Some new things are fine, like using fresh herbs or finding a great new source of fresh fish. But I’m not going to go for bacon ice cream.”

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The other thing that’s crucial for Scordato is providing good value. He advised other restaurateurs, “Don’t get greedy. Don’t try to take your margins so low and charge so much that you alienate your customers. I don’t stint on ingredients, and I don’t raise prices and run specials on a few items. I’d rather have a product that’s a good value every day of the week. That’s what the customer wants.” So Scordato kept his menu, including the prices, the same at the new place. He also used the same interior decorator he used at St. Philip’s Plaza, Shannon Patterson, which means the style is essentially the same. With 9,000 square feet of space and endless city and mountain vistas from floor-to-ceiling windows, however, the Italian villa effect is more dramatic. Although it looks much larger, the dining room seats only 25 more people than it did before – the tables are just farther from each other than they previously were, Scordato said. As a result of the servers having greater distances to cover, as well as the addition of a

banquet room, he has had to take on additional staff. Given his greater overhead, including a higher rent, how did Scordato increase his profits by 30 percent? He attributes his success, in part, to the banquet room, but figures the rest is the result of keeping loyal customers from the former location, which is only about five minutes down the hill, and acquiring new ones in this very popular dining and shopping nexus on the corners of Skyline Drive and Campbell Avenue, which includes La Encantada shopping center. He is considering transforming Anthony’s vast former wine cellar to a room offering bottle service – similar to the type that’s offered in Las Vegas, only with fairly priced wine, not $500 bottles of vodka. He doesn’t, however, have any plans to invest much more money in the kitchen, having learned what his priorities are some three decades ago. Still, Scordato said, referring a little wistfully to the kitchen at Daniel’s, “It was great, state-of-the-art equipment. I wish I still had it.” Biz

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BizAWARDS

and The Winners are... ASID Design Excellence Awards By Donna Kreutz Every year the Arizona South Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers recognizes excellence in the field of interior design, both residential and commercial. A total of 30 awards were presented for 2014. Commercial design winners include:

Singular Commercial Space First Place The challenge was to turn a large gray shell in a shopping center into a stateof-the-art retail showroom for outdoor living. The dirt floor was filled in with a variety of surface materials and walls of rammed earth and rock were added to divide the 3,125-square-foot space into multiple vignettes where clients can view a variety of creative and innovative concepts in outdoor living. The vignettes are designed to feature

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full kitchens, water features, furniture, lighting, sculpture, art and accessories â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and for ease in keeping the spaces fresh, on-trend and merchandized throughout different shopping seasons. This multi-functional space also serves as an office for design staff, an area for product seminars and private events, a retail showroom and a conference/presentation area.

Interior Designer Liz Ryan Liz Ryan Design Project Solana Outdoor Living Photographer William Lesch

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Singular Commercial Space Second Place This themed café is located inside the oldest car dealership in Tucson. When the facility had to be updated with national branding and imaging, it was an opportunity to also upgrade the ’50s-style Corvette Café with its red and white vinyl seats that harkened back to a simpler time. Since the modern Corvette is much more sophisticated, the car itself became the featured element of this space. A commissioned photograph was taken of the current model Corvette on an iconic road in the Tucson area, then printed on a 3-D panel and mounted on the front of the serving counter. Tire tracks etched into the floor connect with the tires of the car on the panel to give the car movement and depth as customers walk by. Other style elements include headlight-shaped light fixtures, custom windows with original wheels – and the reupholstered original bar stools. Interior Designer Sally Chavez STG Design / Office Space Design Project O’Rielly Chevrolet Photographer Jeffrey Volker

Singular Commercial Space Third Place Arizona Designs Kitchen & Bath wanted to create a working kitchen in its showroom for group presentations by chefs, cookbook authors, dieticians – a functional space where clients could convene for all types of education and demonstration events. A transitional theme was created using two cabinet finishes and showcasing Dekton, the ultimate carefree counter surface in a lightly textured finish that evokes a feeling of rusted metal. A complement of SubZero/Wolf appliances provides state-of-the-art cooking and refrigeration equipment. A tall cabinet with bi-fold doors offers quick and easy access to a combination pantry, microwave and prep area. Lumicor backlit panels enhance the color palette. The 228-square-foot demo-kitchen can accommodate up to 16 people – with 24inch bar stools plus aisle space behind for an additional set of 30-inch director-style stools. Interior Designer Janice O’Brien Arizona Designs Kitchens and Baths Project ADKB Showroom Kitchen Photographer Jeffrey Volker continued on page 58 >>> www.BizTucson.com

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BizAWARDS continued from page 57

Commercial Space Over 8,000 Square Feet

Commercial Product Design

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First Place O’Rielly Chevrolet is the oldest local car dealer in Tucson and began this extensive project to update and bring the dealership facility in line with national design standards. The main sales floor is designed to be spacious and welcoming, with two or three cars on the sales floor and approachable sales stations that are open and comfortable. Customer lounges are located throughout the dealership and have custom lounge chairs with wide arms to accommodate drinks and electronic devices, and plenty of handy outlets for recharging. Office areas underwent the biggest improvement as they hadn’t been updated in more than 25 years. Implementing efficient work flow and a more modern work environment created spaces that support employee productivity and satisfaction. Interior Designer Sally Chavez STG Design / Office Space Design Project O’Rielly Chevrolet Photographer Jeffrey Volker

First Place This custom menu stand was developed for the Corvette Café, a themed café inside O’Rielly Chevrolet. The modern Corvette itself became the inspiration, offering many opportunities for stylish design, iconic symbols and classic elements. Fabricated from steel, the menu stand is derived from an iconic Stingray model emblem and is a sophisticated and sturdy floor stand that surprises and delights customers. Interior Designer Sally Chavez STG Design / Office Space Design Project O’Rielly Corvette Café Custom Menu Stand Photographer Jeffrey Volker

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We’ve gone against popular trends in that we have added a lot of what we do in-house, rather than conform to outsourcing.

Gary L. Abrams

CEO & President Abrams Airborne Manufacturing

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PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS


BizMANUFACTURING

Garage Start-up Now Flying High By Dan Sorenson

Look up. Chances are good there is now or soon will be something flying overhead – aboard a satellite, commercial or military aircraft, or even the International Space Station – that was made right here in Tucson at Abrams Airborne Manufacturing. Abrams is proof Silicon Valley doesn’t have the market cornered on garage start-ups. Abrams Airborne dates back to the early 1960s when Harold L. “Bud” Abrams, a native Tucsonan, Tucson High grad and World War II Army Air Corps veteran, decided he wanted to make things out of metal. Since then, Hughes Aircraft (now Raytheon Missile Systems), Motorola and General Dynamics are just some of the prime U.S. Department of Defense contractors that have used Abrams to make precision components for their products, along with dozens of other aerospace, computer and medical device makers both large and small. Yet this all came perilously close to not happening. Gary L. Abrams, 61, the firm’s CEO and president, and son of the founder, said his father didn’t even have the garage to start out. Bud Abrams couldn’t get a bank loan and had to get an established local businessman to co-sign so he could build and equip a garage next www.BizTucson.com

to his young family’s home on Wetmore Road. Gary, then 11 years old, said his dad started with just a heliarc welder, a foot shear and a six-foot hand brake – basic metalworking tools, the kind of stuff one would see in a high school metal shop. “The business started in that one-car garage with my dad being the brains of the outfit,” Gary said. “My mom was the secretary, and I was slave labor along with my sister. That was 1963. In ’65 they built the first little building here on this property.” Today there’s a campus of buildings on Romero Road covering roughly 160,000 square feet and employing 200 FTE employees. Barbara remains active in this stillheavily-family-run business as chairman. Gary’s been CEO since 1992. “Our primary mission through the decades has been a job-shop environment for a lot of prime contractors. We have quite a diverse customer base. We still do a lot of job-shop work, custom metal fabrication, prototyping and short-run (production). Most of that comes to us on a bid basis through preengineered product,” meaning they are building metal products to the exacting plans submitted by those prime contractors.

Over the years the company changed, though not in the way most in the industry have. Gary said. “We’ve gone against popular trends in that we have added a lot of what we do in-house, rather than conform to outsourcing. “We do a lot of things in-house around our two primary missions – sheet metal fab and machining. We brought our own mechanical, aerospace and electrical engineering in-house. We have our own (metal) plating facility. We have our own painting facility. We do all of our own welding and engraving. We have graphics people and do our own silk screening in-house. Any process we do frequently, we control under one roof. “Most people try to stay with their core values, and then they outsource the peripherals. I’ve gone the other way. We’ve brought it all in-house so we can control it – not only on delivery but on the quality side. Quality has always been high on our priority list. We’ve always stuck to our guns on the quality side of it. Even when it wasn’t popular, when cheap was the way out, we always stuck to our guns on quality. We’re at a higher level of a standard ISO certification. We’re AS9100 – which is the aerospace specification of ISO 9001.” (ISO continued on page 62 >>> Fall 2014 > > > BizTucson 61


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Abrams Airborne Manufacturing has three subsidiaries co-located within one building. One is VLTOR Weapons Systems, specializing in highend assault rifles and upgrades for foreign weapons lockers. Milkor USA is a company whose sole product is 40mm multi-shot grenade launchers. Currently under contract with the U.S. Marine Corps and also being used by a few other groups.

continued from page 61 stands for International Organization for Standardization.) Not all their products are airborne. The company developed a military and law enforcement weapons and weapons accessory subsidiary called VLTOR Weapon Systems. A 40mm grenade launcher and other VLTOR products are seen in video games including Grand Theft Auto, and movies including “Inception,” “Transformers” and “Iron Man II.” “The V in old Latin was pronounced like U, and Ultor was the god of revenge under Mars, the Roman god of war,” Gary said “We kind of married aerospace engineering into the small arms world. We build a lot of accessories and firearms for the U.S. military 62 BizTucson

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1) VLTOR’s Modular Upper Receiver for assault rifles being assembled. 2) The MUR being put onto a rack to go into a shot peen cabinet, a finishing/ deburr process that gives it the matte look before anodizing. 3) A Steyr AUG receiver post machining op being checked in quality control. 4) Milkor USA’s 40mm multi-shot grenade launcher. 5) Finished section for Tomahawk missile.

and law enforcement.” Those products range from small accessories for weapons up through complete weapons platforms. “And from that we got off to what are known in the weapons world as ‘destructive devices.’ ” He said that’s what the federal government calls anything larger than .50 caliber. “So we started designing and building 40mm grenade launchers. We’re very active in the 40mm grenade world, building multi-shot launchers for the U.S. military, primarily for the U.S. Marine Corps and SOCOM – Special Operations Command.” Another part of the Abrams way – in fact the part that has probably led to the ability to continue doing things the Abrams way – is the family’s rejection of attempts to take the company public. “There’s been pressure to sell, go

Images Courtesy Abrams Airborne Manufacturing

public,” Gary said. “But as a family we decided we would try to keep some opportunity for those future generations. So we’re keeping it private, we’re doing our own. We’re not moving our manufacturing to China. We’re trying to teach people vocational skills. We’re trying to stand on old values, to where we have somebody who is actually answering the telephones. And our word actually means something – which is unusual today. We’re kind of like old dinosaurs.” And Abrams does it family style whenever possible. The company’s CFO is one of Gary’s nieces and another niece is the organizational development manager. “There are first cousins once removed here,” Gary said, continued on page 63 >>> www.BizTucson.com


We’ve brought it all in-house so we can control it – not only on delivery but on the quality side.

– Gary L. Abrams, CEO & President Abrams Airborne Manufacturing

continued from page 62

with more family in the wings. “There’s never a dull moment.” Gary said the company suffered from bucking the outsourcing trend. While most military work has to stay in the U.S., not everything they do is for defense contractors. “Where we’ve been hurt a lot is on the commercial side, as far as outsourcing. I’ve been asked to start operations in China and in Mexico. I won’t say never – but so far have refused to do that. We’re of the mindset that we live and die here, and we’re going to survive here.” VP Jenny Abrams Wilson added that standing firm may be working. She sees a change coming. “It’s all coming back now – that seems to be the trend anyway. “It’s coming around,” she said. Gary is a bit more hesitant. “It’s starting to,” he said, not wanting to jinx the trend by calling it too soon. VP Christopher R. Abrams, who oversees the company’s mainstay metal fabrication operations, said there are interim steps happening, noting that some manufacturing is leaving China, though not necessarily coming back to the U.S. “Japan is starting to become a player now – Australia and Japan.” Though they would not build a manufacturing plant in China, “part of the survival strategy does involve trying to get into foreign markets, but it’s not easy,” Gary said. “We’re trying to push our way into some international markets – hoping that those budgets are standing up, compared to domestic budgets.” continued on page 64 >>> www.BizTucson.com

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PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

BizMANUFACTURING

From left: Shannan Wilson, CFO; Calley Carpenter, director of organizational development; Jenny Abrams Wilson, VP; Barbara Abrams, chairwoman of the board; Gary Abrams, president & CEO; Christopher Abrams, VP; Dustin Abrams, customer service

continued from page 63 Meanwhile, “our pipeline is pretty full right now – but a lot of that is from money from years ago that is still coming through the system,” he said. “With sequestration and budget cuts, we’re expecting some hard times on any domestic outflow. But we’re trying to compensate for that with a lot of our own

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product line, and pushing on the international markets.” Sticking to values, yet being flexible on expansion, has worked to build and maintain a loyal and highly skilled workforce for the Abrams family business. And loyalty to customers has kept them relatively stable in an industry known for huge peaks and deep valleys.

“We tend to be pretty traditional and we have a lot of really long-term employees. I think we have over 30 employees who have been here over 25 years,” Gary said. “We like to maintain a workforce that is committed, just as we are, to the business. We do diversify and it keeps things interesting.”

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PHOTO COURTESY RAYTHEON MISSILE SYSTEMS

BizBRIEF

U.S. Senator John McCain (center) stands with Raytheon Missile Systems President Dr. Taylor W. Lawrence and members of “Team Tomahawk” at a recent Town Hall meeting on the Raytheon plant site in Tucson. McCain was instrumental in restoring

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funding to keep the Tomahawk production line open after 2015. An important program for Raytheon, Tomahawk is a highly sophisticated cruise missile that has been successfully used in every major recent military conflict. Biz

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Accounting Firm Celebrates 20 Years of Service By Pamela Doherty

PHOTO: AMY HASKELL

Certified Success

From Left

Carla Keegan

Founding Partner

Chris Linscott

Founding Partner

Bret Berry

Audit Department Director

Tony Kenon

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It was 1994 when CPAs Carla Keegan, Chris Linscott and Tony Kenon saw the writing on the wall. Their employer, accounting giant Coopers & Lybrand – now PricewaterhouseCoopers – was closing offices around the country. As a pre-emptive strike, the three banded together to form their own firm before the doors did shut and their colleagues were compelled to relocate. They, however, were determined to stay in Tucson. This year, Keegan, Linscott & Kenon celebrates two decades in business. KLK is the third largest accounting firm in Southern Arizona with about 50 employees. The three founding partners continue to lead the company, together with Bret Berry, who assumed a director’s position for the audit department in 2012. KLK has had a continual presence downtown at 33 N. Stone Ave. KLK offers audit and tax services and support and expertise for litigation, bankruptcy and fraud. The firm provides other corporate offerings such as business planning, payroll and interim controller services and audits in conjunction with federal contracts. Clients include for-profit and nonprofit entities, family-owned businesses and individuals. KLK works with a variety of industries, including mining, high-tech, real estate, hospitality and healthcare. Many clients have a multistate and international presence. “Public accounting is not for the faint-hearted,” said Keegan, director of taxation. Filing deadlines, meticulous audits and oncoming court dates may require as much as 80 hours a week in the office. “Life as we know it ceases to exist for periods of time,” Keegan said. The allure? It’s the opportunity to problem-solve, said Keegan, who articulates a sentiment echoed by her partners. “We’re not just doing debits and credits. We are a resource for what works and what doesn’t work in business,” she said. Even in a rule-laden industry like accounting, there is opportunity to be creative. www.BizTucson.com

“We can be innovative in recommending how clients should structure real estate deals and other business transactions, and how they can maximize returns and minimize taxes,” said Linscott, director of litigation, forensic accounting and bankruptcy support services. Linscott has led numerous companies through reorganizations during his tenure, including the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson in 2005 and Bashas’ Grocery Stores in 2010. “It’s gratifying when a client emerges healthier and stronger than before,” he said.

We’re not just doing debits and credits. We are a resource for what works and what doesn’t work in business.

Carla Keegan Co-Founder Keegan, Linscott & Kenon –

Kenon is a director of the audit department and the administrator in charge of the firm’s quality control, staff training programs, healthcare and government contracts. “We’ve had a few bumps during the years, but we have always believed that if we work hard, we will be successful,” Kenon said. Kenon attributes his firm’s longevity to some luck, the supportive nature of Tucson’s business community, and the caliber of staff KLK has attracted and retained. KLK has enjoyed a 10-year alliance with McGladrey, one of the top accounting firms in the country. This gives

KLK the ability to tap national and international experts, take advantage of training and advances in technology and to stay abreast of ever-changing regulations and standards. KLK is one of 90 member firms and the only one in Southern Arizona. As for governance, the KLK partners run their operation by consensus. The four senior executives gather weekly and make critical decisions as a committee. “We are philosophically congruent, and we agree to agree,” Kenon said. This model makes for some long meetings on occasion, but the founders describe their collaborative approach with enthusiasm. “We have very different styles, and we focus on different practice areas, but we respect and admire each other, and that’s important,” Keegan said. The partners also place a high priority on creating a team-oriented culture and on a succession planning process that brings up the next generation of employees. The company’s strategic planning committee is comprised of staff members who formulate direction for the future, but it does not include any of the founders. KLK holds annual retreats and invests heavily in professional development. “We want everyone to be part of this firm, and we want to hear about ideas that are percolating from within the firm,” Linscott said. During the recent recession, KLK faced a decline in workload as some clients – particularly in the area of real estate – went out of business. Rather than lay off employees, KLK paid professional staff to take on pro-bono assignments for local charities. Current business practices allow all staff to carve out 60 hours a year in the community while on the KLK clock. As a collective, employees participate in daylong service projects. Keegan, Linscott and Kenon are well known for their own civic engagement. Each has served on several boards of directors, and each contributes expertise to the nonprofit community, all while running a company that has endured and prospered for 20 years.

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BizMILESTONE

Affirmed

Quarles & Brady Marks Three Decades as a Legal Force By Tara Kirkpatrick Quarles & Brady celebrates its 30th anniversary in Tucson this year with a distinguished legacy of respected attorneys who handle significant cases locally and across the country. Lauded nationally for its commitment to diversity, its family-friendly policies and its promotion and support of women in the profession, Quarles & Brady brings an enviable concentration of legal expertise to the Tucson community as part of a national network of more than 475 attorneys.

“The attorneys at Quarles & Brady are some of the finest talent in Southern Arizona, and they are people I respect for their commitment to the practice and to our community,” said James Morrow, a senior partner specializing in commercial real estate and complex financial transactions. It was Morrow and partner Dale Pontius who established the original law office in Tucson in 1984, operating then as Streich, Lang, Weeks & Cardon. More than a decade later, the firm

would join the Quarles & Brady network, which itself formed in 1974 from the merger of two firms – Brady, Tyrrell, Cotter, & Cutler and Quarles, Herriott, Clemons, Teschner & Noelke. The simpler-named Quarles & Brady now has offices in Phoenix, Chicago, Indianapolis, Madison, Wis., Milwaukee, Naples, Fla., Tampa, Fla., and Washington, D.C. The Tucson office offers expertise in real estate, bankruptcy, energy, environmental and intellectual property law.

PHOTOS: CHRIS MOONEY

From left – Gavin Milczarek-Desai, Tucson Office Co-Managing Partner; Craig Kaufman, Tucson Office Co-Managing Partner; Kimberly Johnson, National Firm Chair

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I’m proud of our overall firm and its commitment to provide high-quality service to our clients. It’s also a place where people want to come to work. It’s a great firm and a great place to practice. –

Three decades is just the latest milestone that Quarles & Brady lawyers here have attained. Among other recent recognition this branch has received:

• Senior

partners Morrow, Susan Boswell and Craig Kaufman are included in the 2014 Southwest Super Lawyers magazine, a rating service for outstanding lawyers in more than 70 areas of practice.

• Lawyers Elizabeth Fella, Nikia Gray and Marian LaLonde were named to the magazine’s list of Southwest Rising Stars.

Susan Boswell, Senior Partner, Quarles & Brady “I’m proud of our overall firm and its commitment to provide high-quality service to our clients,” said Boswell, who has helped Quarles & Brady develop a national practice in business reorganization and restructuring. “It’s also a place where people want to come to work. It’s a great firm and a great place to practice.” Boswell mentors young attorneys, particularly women and working mothers. A longtime partner in the Tucson office, this mom has become one of the nation’s leading bankruptcy attorneys, representing both creditors and debtors in numerous corporate industries for 29 years.

Boswell aided the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson in filing for Chapter 11 protection in 2004 – one of the first Catholic dioceses across the nation to take this step. She was also named a Fellow at the American College of Bankruptcy, a position achieved based on a proven record of professionalism and service to the legal profession and the community. Nationally, 37 percent of Quarles & Brady attorneys are women – a statistic reflected in the Tucson office. Working Mother magazine ranked Quarles & Brady one of the top U.S. law firms for diversity in 2013. continued on page 70 >>>

From left – Elizabeth Fella; Lori Winkelman; Nikia Gray; Susan Boswell, past Tucson Office Managing Partner; Kimberly Johnson, National Firm Chair; Marian LaLonde

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BizMILESTONE continued from page 69 “Women (and men as well) can work part-time and still pursue and achieve partner status, which is not common in the industry, and mothers returning to work are allowed to phase their way back to full-time hours over several months,” Boswell said. The firm also is committed to training and mentoring within its ranks. “We have an extensive training program, both firm-wide and within the practice groups,” Boswell said. “We make an effort to provide additional training to our associates by having them attend court hearings and participate in depositions and other activities unique to their practice areas so they can observe more-experienced lawyers in those settings. “We also have a significant mentorship program, assigning to all associates a mentor outside their practice group, who acts as a sounding board and career guide. Diverse associates benefit from a second, diverse mentor as well, in order to ensure that they are fully prepared for career advancement.”

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Quarles & Brady’s local focus is widely praised. “While Quarles & Brady is a national firm, there is a deep commitment and often decades of work supporting each of the cities where we have offices,” Morrow said. “They have been an invaluable asset to the chamber for years and years,” said Michael Varney, president and CEO of Tucson Metro Chamber, which has relied on Quarles & Brady’s pro-bono assistance. “Not only has that saved us money, but we feel we are in the hands of the ultimate legal talent,” Varney said. “Whenever a legal issue arises, we know we have people whom we can turn to, who will be there for us.” Michele Mirto, director of the Volunteer Lawyers Program for Southern Arizona Legal Aid, said Quarles & Brady has helped her program for more than 20 years. “I think they realize that they are uniquely qualified with a skill set to help the community, Mirto said. “They’ve been an enormous help to our pro-

gram.” The firm recently lent its legal secretaries to SALA for a new administrative support initiative. Attorneys support and volunteer at Carrillo Intermediate Magnet School’s reading program, Tucson Community Food Bank, Children’s Village, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and the United Way Days of Caring, Morrow said. Earlier this year, Quarles & Brady, with its proficiency in intellectual property law, partnered with the University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law to launch a new legal clinic aimed at the complexities of start-up companies. The firm offers its experts to the clinic, in which students act as junior attorneys representing such companies, advising them on IP protection, venture funding and commercializing their innovations. “I’m proud that Quarles & Brady attorneys have a high level of professionalism and integrity, and they bring genuine passion to their legal practice and client representation,” Morrow said.

Biz

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BizBRIEFS

The Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa Adds Three Employees to Management Team

Arthur Gordon, who has 25 years of

Susanna Cota-Robles, the organiza-

David Toler is the greater Washing-

hospitality experience, is the East Coast account director focusing on corporate, financial and insurance accounts. He recently served as a national account director for Salamander Hotels and Resorts.

tionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new marketing manager, previously worked at Property Management Rincon. She has held marketing, management and communication positions in the Hawaii, Seattle and Tucson markets.

ton, D.C., area and select Arizona account director. He was previously associate director of sales at Westward Look Wyndham Grand Resort & Spa in Tucson. He has 25 years of industry experience.

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BizBRIEFS

Fitzgerald to Direct TAA Marketing, Public Information and Community Relations Betsy Belden Fitzgerald has been named director of marketing, public information and community relations for the Tucson Airport Authority, which operates Tucson International Airport and Ryan Airfield. Fitzgerald will oversee efforts to raise awareness of TAA, communicating the benefits of using TAA product and service offerings with all airport stakeholders. She comes to TAA with extensive experience in brand communication, marketing and advertising, most recently as the senior marketing manager at Long Realty, where she worked for 10 years. Biz

Bond Appointed GM at Starr Pass Resort & Spa Russ Bond, who has worked in the hospitality industry for more than 30 years, has been appointed GM at the JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa. Bond comes to Tucson from St. Petersburg, Fla., where he managed The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club for 14 years. Under Bondâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s guidance, the Vinoy was named the Renaissance brand Hotel of the Year in 2005 and 2012. Bond has worked in management positions at resort hotels in Scottsdale, San Francisco, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and White Plains, N.Y. He is a graduate of Purdue University.

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John Lai

CEO, Mister Car Wash 74 BizTucson

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PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

Cleaning Up in Downtown


BizHQ

Mister Car Wash CEO Eyes Fortune 100 Listing From Reborn Site By Larry Copenhaver John Lai, CEO of the nation’s largest full-service carwash, finds himself backed into a corner – and there is nowhere else the head of Mister Car Wash would rather be. “This is a dream come true for me,” Lai said. His company’s new national headquarters is surrounded by the University of Arizona just to the east, pressed on the southwest by a re-emerging and promising revitalized downtown, and next door is the college-student magnet known as Fourth Avenue and the historic West University neighborhood. Running through these centers of growing economic activity is the city’s much touted and spanking new modern streetcar line. “The location is perfect – downtown and near UA and a block away from the new streetcar,” Lai said. And now the former eyesore – once a graffiti-covered, three-story, double brick, abandoned church school – provides 25,350 square feet of uptown headquarters space at 222 E. Fifth St. The design and ambiance of the place that opened June 1 meld with the company’s philosophy. The integrity of the structure of the former First Baptist Church School remains, and is brought to the forefront with exposed brick walls and open steel

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trusses that contrast with vibrant modern colors, materials and floor covering, said Rob Paulus, owner of Rob Paulus Architects. The transformation is pivotal in creating a new model of business moving back to the core of the city with a workforce that is engaging and vibrant.

We have known for a while that Tucson’s recent growth has created an environment where people want to work and live and will allow Mister Car Wash to attract top talent to grow our team, while retaining our current experienced industry experts. –

John Lai, CEO, Mister Car Wash

So the building was designed to put people first. Paulus turned the pyramid upside down to create an environment of collaborative workspace Lai calls “spontaneous interaction – water cooler moments where people are encouraged to swap ideas, bounce things off each other and be more connected. The minute you walk in the door you feel a positive energy that’s contagious.” It’s a company where the duty of corporate leadership is to support company stores and employees, all 4,800 working at 134 car washes and 32 express lubes in 14 states, including eight in Tucson. The company services more than 15 million vehicles annually. “Employee happiness is the magic ingredient to our success. We work really hard at creating a culture that’s employee centric.” And this downtown headquarters promotes just that. “We have known for a while that Tucson’s recent growth has created an environment where people want to work and live and will allow Mister Car Wash to attract top talent to grow our team, while retaining our current experienced industry experts,” he said. Despite some workforce concerns, the company is not hobbling along without talented employees, and those continued on page 76 >>>

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continued from page 75 folks are looking for world-class headquarters. For the 85 Mister Car Wash corporate employees in Tucson, the location offers access to a variety of eateries within easy walking distance. For those seeking a little exercise or lunch at more distant restaurants, the company has at the ready four shiny new bikes, complete with safety equipment. Use them and return them to the alcove, where they are parked in the lobby. In the lower level there’s a workout area with showers and a lounge that spills onto a shaded, landscaped entry courtyard. An extra large farm-style table, specially designed for the area, encourages employees to sit together to eat – a sort of barrier-breaking strategy. Plans are underway to launch an intern program that schools younger professionals to look at the carwash industry as a career path, said Lai, who earned a degree at UA. “We’ve recently hired a number of Eller College of Management MBA’s who have already made an impact on our company.” While Lai said renovating the old school – built in 1952 and closed since 2007 – into a functioning administrative center fulfills one of his dreams, he is eying another goal. He wants Mister Car Wash to be included in the prestigious Fortune 100 best places to work list, a list of elite publicly and privately held companies. It’s a lofty aspiration, but an achievable one, he said. Mister Car Wash is the largest conveyor carwash company in America, but even then it serves but 1 percent of the market, a market grossing $8.2 billion and growing 3 percent annually. He’s got a plan. Acquisition – perhaps as many as 20 stores a year across the country – is conceivable, Lai said. There are 24,000 conveyor carwashes in the U.S., and ownership is highly fragmented, with 95 percent of the industry owning fewer than five stores per business. Mister Car Wash was founded in 1996 by Brown, McMillan & Co. to “roll up” some of the fragmented car wash industry through acquisitions and create a national company. In 1999, it leased space at La Paloma Corporate Center, and in 2007, the company was acquired by a private equity firm that moved the headquarters downtown. 76 BizTucson

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BizHQ To further capitalize on this acquisition strategy, the company in August 2014 was acquired by Leonard Green & Partners, a private equity firm based in Los Angeles. “Leonard Green is a company that has a conscience and has been built on a pillar of core values. In my wildest dreams, I could not have picked a better partner to help us accelerate growth,” said Lai. Paulus said Lai “has taken on the philosophy of not only building corporate, he’s building community. It’s part of a national trend to create a fun environment to work in. John Lai is doing that in Tucson, and I cannot speak highly enough of his company and his vision.” The car cleaning company is expected to create nearly $2.9 million in direct and indirect additional tax revenues over eight years. Because of that, the city of Tucson agreed to give Mister Car Wash an eight-year property tax exemption on the headquarters building through the Government Property Lease Excise Tax program. The city also agreed to waive impact fees and some permit fees. Mister Car Wash expects to qualify for the Primary Jobs economic development incentive, which provides a credit of construction sales tax. “We are good for Tucson because we are creating jobs, a lot of white-collar professionals in top-paying jobs. I’m very proud of what we are doing,” Lai said. The HQ renovation was completed on a tight schedule with the major portion being finished in four months, said Tommy Roof of W.E. O’Neil Construction, the contractor who did the renovation. “The project is a great example of adaptive reuse of an existing building, using an existing structure in a responsible, sustainable manner to meet the needs of a new user,” Roof said. “In addition to saving an existing building, the project includes a number of sustainable design elements, including use of sustainable materials and energy efficient building systems,” Roof added. “The project was a true team effort, with developer Mike Wattis, the realty group CBRE, Rob Paulus Architects, Mister Car Wash and W.E. O’Neil Construction working closely to turn vision to reality.” Biz www.BizTucson.com

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Streetcar Sparks Renaissance Development Booms Along Four-Mile Route

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BizSTREETCAR It could be called a streetcar named prosperity. Even before it carried a single passenger, the newly constructed Sun Link streetcar had sparked an explosion of investment in Tucson’s downtown and along its four-mile rail line. Now that Tucson’s Modern Streetcar is fully operational, developers, commercial real estate experts, city officials, transportation planners, downtown promoters and business owners are predicting the economic development renaissance in the city’s urban core will pick up steam. Downtown Tucson Partnership estimates that combined public and private investment in the downtown/Sun Link corridor is more than $900 million. The organization estimates when investments from other commercial districts along the streetcar line are included, that investment jumps to $1.5 billion. Considered one of the largest and most complex construction initiatives in Tucson’s history, the project features continued on page 81 >>>

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PHOTOS: BRENT G. MATHIS

By David B. Pittman

Fall 2014 > > > BizTucson 79


BizSTREETCAR

Dream Revived Marshall Invested in Early Streetcar in 1903 David B. Pittman Louise Foucar Marshall, a legendary figure in the history of Tucson, was a bright scholar, a savvy businesswoman and a generous philanthropist. She was also a visionary, in more ways than one. It was 84 years ago that Marshall founded the Marshall Foundation, which has provided about $18 million to Pima County charities over its lifetime. The foundation has given about half of its donations to the University of Arizona. Marshall did a great deal before that. In 1900, at 36 years old, she became the first female professor at UA. The next year she became head of the Department of Ancient and Modern Languages at the university.

PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

While still teaching, Marshall began purchasing properties near the campus. She believed she could buy and develop land, then use the rental income to provide scholarships to deserving students. In 1903, she resigned her position at UA to concentrate full time on her growing business interests.

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Also in 1903, Marshall bought three shares of stock in the Tucson Street Railway, which at that time was a horse-drawn rail system that was expanding its line from downtown to the university. We know about the purchase because Jane McCollum, GM of the Marshall Foundation today, possesses the certificate of record of the transaction. According to Gene Caywood, an expert on historic trolley operations in Tucson, the Tucson Rapid Transit

Co. acquired the Tucson Street Railway on Sept. 30, 1905 and began converting the line into Tucson’s first electric trolley system, which began operating in 1906 with five used trolley cars brought in from Los Angeles. In 1922, Marshall developed and owned what is considered Tucson’s first suburban shopping center. The site of that development is at what is now known as Main Gate Square, the heart of the real estate empire Marshall left to her foundation. That first trolley system that Marshall invested in was shut down in 1930, but it was followed by other Tucson trolleys. And Main Gate Square and downtown Tucson are among the activity centers that are now connected by Tucson’s new modern streetcar. “She (Marshall) recognized 11 decades ago that Tucson’s central business district needed to be connected to the UA,” McCollum said. Incidentally, Caywood is president and CEO of Old Pueblo Trolley, which operates a nonprofit museum at the Tucson Historic Depot. Old Pueblo Trolley also maintained and operated restored historic trolley cars on University Boulevard and Fourth Avenue for more than 18 years until construction began for the SunLink modern streetcar. Asked if the Old Pueblo historic trolley system would again be operational, Caywood replied, “It’s too soon to say – but we are encouraged with the discussions we are having with the city.”

Biz


continued from page 79 23 stops connecting downtown Tucson to the University of Arizona, the Arizona Health Sciences Center, the University Main Gate Square Business District, the 4th Avenue Business District and the Mercado District west of Interstate 10. The overall cost of the $197 million streetcar system includes project oversight, construction of the rail line, a maintenance and storage facility and eight new streetcars, each of which can carry about 150 people. The City of Tucson and the Regional Transportation Authority, or RTA, co-managed the project.

A number of developers and entrepreneurs said that they wouldn’t have given one cent to invest in downtown Tucson – until they heard the modern streetcar was coming.

– Steve Christy, Former Chair Regional Transportation Authority

“We are seeing investment all along the streetcar line,” Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild said during the July 25 ceremony at Fifth Avenue and Congress Street celebrating the streetcar opening. “The change is incredible downtown and it’s continuing, with both a grocery store and a hotel in the works. And I know from the folks who come to my office every week that this is only the beginning. “This development in our city center benefits our city as whole. First, downtown is for everyone, not just the folks who live and work here. Workers with in-demand job skills want to live in cities with a vibrant downtown. Many young people want to live downtown. Increasingly, people want to live in cities with multi-modal transportation options. And employers want to be where their workers want to live.” Steve Christy, immediate past chairman of the RTA and current chair of the Arizona Transportation Board, said there is no question the streetcar was the www.BizTucson.com

driver of downtown Tucson’s recent economic resurgence. “I’ve talked to a number of developers, private capital people and entrepreneurs, and they have said to me time and time again that they wouldn’t have given one cent to invest in downtown Tucson – until they heard the modern streetcar was coming,” Christy said. “Then, all of a sudden, they jumped in.” The streetcar’s launch in late July was a joyous celebration in which some 60,000 passengers made every streetcar standing room only during a three-day weekend of free rides that played out against a backdrop of ribbon cuttings, open houses, meal specials and latenight festivities. Michael Keith, president and CEO of Downtown Tucson Partnership, was ecstatic about the success of the streetcar opening. “It was huge. It was packed with VIPs, merchants and residents. It was a rolling party, a standing-room rocking celebration all weekend.” Even a week after the launch, when riders were required to pay, ridership was exceeding all estimates and expectations. About 3,600 passengers per day were jumping aboard the streetcar, ridership levels expected when the University of Arizona is at full enrollment, not the dog days of summer. Cash is not accepted on the streetcar, but it can be used at machines at streetcar stops to buy a $4 one-day pass. In addition, you can buy SunGO passes online or at regular SunTran merchants. Discount fares are available for low-income residents, seniors and disabled passengers. In one of his last acts as Tucson’s city manager, Richard Miranda praised downtown businesses for being cooperative and understanding during the nearly two years of streetcar construction. Miranda’s retirement from the city became effective Aug. 1. “I want to thank the business owners and the merchants along the streetcar line – your sacrifice from an economic standpoint was unprecedented,” Miranda said. “All of us who were involved in this project want to thank you for sticking with us throughout this project. It was a hardship and we understood it would be, but it was worth it because this project is already launching an economic turnaround.” Buzz Isaacson is among the top commercial real estate brokers in Southern continued on page 82 >>>

“Colorful street banners by artist Eleonor Leon express the brand new vibe that Downtown Tucson is generating,” said Michael Keith, CEO of the Downtown Tucson Partnership. DTP collaborated with the Tucson-Pima Arts Council to review concepts submitted by 18 artists. Leon’s visual impressions were transformed into the banners now displayed at 40 downtown locations. A longtime Tucsonan, Leon owns La Fashionista, a vintage clothing shop near Broadway and 6th Avenue. Fall 2014 > > > BizTucson 81


continued from page 81 Arizona, but when it comes to downtown Tucson, he is unquestionably number one. Isaacson said the promise of the streetcar not only drew developers and business owners to locate along the streetcar route, but also was a major factor in attracting the capital investment needed to fund downtown’s revitalization. “Financial institutions have had good success investing where cities have made long-time commitments and investments in their downtown areas,” Isaacson said. “Streetcars have a record of success in creating economic development in many cities. Government investment in the streetcar has made private projects in downtown Tucson more financeable.” Isaacson predicted that the “lasting legacy” of the streetcar will be its role in leading the UA, a largely landlocked institution, into expanding downtown. “Five years from now the UA will have a greatly expanded presence downtown,” Isaacson said. “The streetcar is a big deal because it connects downtown and the university.” In comments made during the July 25 streetcar opening, UA President Ann Weaver Hart made it clear that she backs the streetcar system and wants it to flourish. “Great cities need great universities, but great universities need great cities to be a part of,” Hart said. “Our students care about the communities in which they live. And they want to be part of the city in which they live. We are very excited to partner with the Regional Transportation Authority and the City of Tucson in helping to make the university and the city even more interdependent and mutually successful going into the future. “We are going to help our students, faculty and staff with half the cost of their streetcar passes to encourage them to buy passes and use the streetcar.” The university already has a footprint downtown with programs related to its College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, Drachman Institute, Social and Behavioral Sciences, College of Law, and Institute for Civil Discourse already in place there. And the streetcar was responsible for bringing the Plaza Centro/Cadence Project, which has major connections to UA, to a site formerly occupied by the Greyhound Bus Depot next to the Fourth Avenue underpass. Plaza Centro, which consists of nearly 20,000 square feet of stores, restaurants and bars, and The Cadence, a 456-bed student housing complex affiliated with the UA, has transformed the eastern gateway to downtown into a vibrant, stylish urban setting. The project – developed by Tucsonan Jim Campbell and Capstone Development Corp., a leading developer of student housing facilities based in Alabama – is the first private sector, ground-up development in downtown Tucson in 30 years. Plaza Centro and The Cadence are on the streetcar line. Campbell said without the streetcar, his project would never have been built. Downtown Tucson Partnership reports that 194 new businesses opened downtown since 2008 and that 158 of those are still open. Keith said the partnership interviewed business representatives from every one of those new businesses. “To a person they said they came down here because they wanted to be part of a redevelopment effort,” he said. “They thought it was time for downtown Tucson to join the revicontinued on page 83 >>> 82 BizTucson

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continued from page 82 talized ranks of all the other major cities in the West. Most of them said they didn’t come down here for the money. Some even went so far as to say they probably could have made more money in other parts of town, but they liked the vibe that was happening down here and wanted to be a part of it. “But, to a person, they all said the final part of their decision was based on the fact that the streetcar was coming and on their belief that future economic development would accompany it.” Hundreds of companies were part of constructing the streetcar system – thousands, if suppliers are counted. According to the RTA, about 1,200 direct construction jobs were created during construction of the streetcar system. Downtown Tucson Partnership reports about 3,500 new and relocated jobs coming downtown since 2008. The hard-bid streetcar project was successfully constructed by Old Pueblo Trackworks, a joint-venture partnership between Granite Construction, a Tucson firm, and RailWorks Track Systems, a Minnesota company. Granite Construction performed all the civil work, including removals, relocation of numerous underground utilities, grading, forming and casting the track slab, pavements, curb and flatwork. RailWorks supplied and installed 3.85 miles of embedded doubletrack. A RailWorks’ subsidiary, L.K. Comstock National Transit, installed six traction-power substations and procured, installed and tested overhead lines, signals and low-voltage feeder cables for the substations. “This is an exciting time for Tucson residents,” said Todd Keller, VP and Arizona region manager of Granite Construction. “The streetcar connects more than 100,000 people living and working within a half-mile of the route.” GLHN Architects & Engineers, a Tucson company, designed the streetcar maintenance and storage facility. D.L. Withers Construction, which has offices in Phoenix and Tucson, built the facility. Tucson’s eight modern streetcars, which were among the first streetcar vehicles built in the U.S. in six decades, were manufactured by Oregon Iron Works.

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PHOTOS: BRENT G. MATHIS

PHOTO: TOM SPITZ

BizSTREETCAR

Shellie Ginn

Project Manager, City of Tucson

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Driving Force for Tucson’s Modern Streetcar Shellie Ginn Helped Steer Project to Fruition By David B. Pittman Though thousands of people played a role in creating Tucson’s Modern Streetcar, none was as intricately involved for a longer period of time than Shellie Ginn. Ginn has been working on the streetcar concept, plan, design, construction and operation for 10 years, practically from start to finish. She served as the city staff member for the citizen’s committee that first recommended and endorsed the development of the streetcar to thenMayor Bob Walkup and the Tucson City Council. She was part of the team that pitched the idea to the Transportation Authority, which included it in a package of proposals approved by voters. She was among those who successfully procured federal funds to build the project. As streetcar program administrator for the city’s Department of Transportation, Ginn was involved in selecting the companies that built the project and oversaw construction of the streetcar rail line and its maintenance facility. And after the streetcar system was built, she was involved in testing it and in planning and overseeing its eventual operation. “Shellie was there from the beginning and she was there all the time,” said Walkup. “After her involvement with the Citizens Advisory Commitwww.BizTucson.com

tee, she worked through planning issues with the city and the actual design of the streetcar at a time when a lot of critical decisions had to be made. She did a superb job overseeing construction of the project. We could not have been successful without her and people

I really would love my legacy to be leaving this city a better place than when I came into it. I love public service for that reason.

– Shellie Ginn Project Manager, City of Tucson

like her.” Ginn, a Tucson native, began her transportation career in parking and transportation services at the University of Arizona. She later worked for

seven years in operations and planning at a public transit system in Vancouver, Wash. In 2000, she returned to Tucson where she took a position as bicycle and pedestrian coordinator in the city’s transportation department. Initially, the idea of a rail system in Tucson was considered impractical and was pooh-poohed by transportation planners and political leaders. However, supporters worked hard to change that view. Steve Farley, now a state lawmaker, was among the founders of Tucsonans for Sensible Transportation, a small grass-roots group that gave presentations about the possibilities of rail transit to neighborhood groups, Rotary clubs and anyone else who would listen. Tucsonans for Sensible Transportation helped pave the way for consideration of the streetcar. When Ginn was selected to oversee the 35-member citizens committee to look into ways to improve transportation connectivity in Tucson, she had a well-rounded transportation background. However, at that time she had no idea she was about to embark on a decade-long endeavor that would ultimately lead to the creation and operation of Tucson’s Modern Streetcar. “The committee was looking at how we might connect our activity centers continued on page 86 >>> Fall 2014 > > > BizTucson 85


continued from page 85 and if the streetcar was the right mode to accomplish that,” Ginn said. “At that time, it was just a study.” It was just another citizens’ group doing another analysis that would be bound into another voluminous publication to gather dust on a shelf or be used as an office doorstop. But this time something unusual happened – it became a reality. “When the group got started on this, we had no funding,” Ginn said. “We had enough funding to do planning, but there was absolutely no funding to make it happen.” Ginn said the group also had something that is often missing from such endeavors – an open-minded willingness to explore possibilities and work together. “No one came in with preconceived notions,” she said. “We had representatives from many of the neighborhoods and all the special interest groups like the Bicycle Advisory Committee, the Commission on Disabilities, the University of Arizona and representatives of downtown and Main Gate Square. “Remember, this was early in the 2000s and in the decade earlier we had gone through the widening of several roadways and intersections. The intersection of Campbell and Speedway was an example of that. We wanted to think of a different way of providing additional transportation capacity on the roadways without moving the curbs. Clean air and energy efficiency were on everybody’s mind.” The citizens group considered several options, including rubber-tired trolley cars, more optimized buses, a streetcar system – or doing nothing at all. Ginn said what really clinched the streetcar for the group and brought environmental, business and political interests together was the economic development potential of the streetcar. “The Citizens Liaison Group and business owners were able to listen to and talk to developers from Portland (Ore.), who discussed their successful efforts building projects along a streetcar line there,” she said. “They explained that there were a lot of similarities between their first starter line and what we were considering for Tucson.” Ginn said soon thereafter the group came up with the concept that, for the most part, is the four-mile streetcar system that began operating July 25. It is a system that connects major activity centers – UA, the Arizona Health Sciences Center, the Main Gate Square Business District, the 4th Avenue Business District, downtown and the Mercado District. It wasn’t until 2006 – the year local voters approved a Regional Transportation Authority proposal authorizing $87.7 million to build the streetcar system – that Ginn began believing the streetcar proposal actually had a chance of coming to fruition. However, there was still a major hurdle to clear because the RTA spending was contingent on the city also receiving federal funding for the project. Ginn successfully presented the streetcar proposal to the RTA, which put it on a list of transportation projects that went on the ballot. “When the RTA package was approved by the voters, the federal government perked up and showed a lot more intercontinued on page 87 >>> 86 BizTucson

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BizSTREETCAR continued from page 86 est in what we were doing,” Ginn said. “We had been working with the Federal Transit Administration for a long time, but with voter approval and a local commitment to provide funding, they began taking us much more seriously.” After several unsuccessful attempts to capture the needed federal money, the city hit pay dirt in 2010 when it received a $63 million Transportation and Infrastructure Generating Economic Recovery grant from the FTA, which was part of a stimulus package pushed by President Barak Obama for “shovel ready” projects. “We spent the summer of 2009 putting together an application for the TIGER grant and getting it in,” Ginn said. “It was February 2010 when we received it. That was when the streetcar became a reality. That was when I could finally say, ‘Oh my God, we did it.’ ” The truth is, in many ways, the work was just beginning. “From 2010 to now, a lot of things happened in a very short period of time,” Ginn said. “All of the design, going out for bids on a massive construction project, actual construction of a maintenance facility, a huge underground effort of moving and expanding utility infrastructure downtown and the actual construction of a four-mile streetcar rail system. It was a huge undertaking. “This project is a great benefit to this community and it was accomplished by a massive team of people that I am proud to have been a part of. It was one of those unique, signature projects in which all of us who worked on it already realize how special it is. You don’t get handed this kind of project on a regular basis.” During construction, Ginn said, she met weekly, often daily, with a project management team that worked diligently to ensure “everyone was highly aware of what was going on at all levels and that we weren’t working in silos. Then if we needed to dig down into something in great detail, we could do that.” When asked to describe Ginn’s contribution to the streetcar project, Steve Christy, immediate past chairman of the RTA and current chairman of the Arizona Transportation Board, said, “Shellie’s contribution was phenomenal. She put her heart and soul into the whole project. There were certain issues that came up from time to time – such as underground utility issues, delays in manufacturing the streetcar up in Oregon and many others – but she was able to work through all those problems and stay on task.” Farley also praised Ginn’s involvement in planning, building and operating the streetcar. “Shellie Ginn has been amazing,” he said. “She understands all aspects of the project and really cares about it. I am grateful to her for all she has done.” So what will Ginn do when operation of the streetcar system is considered routine? “I work in Tucson transportation and there is a lot to do,” she said. “It’s not going to be a problem of not having anything on my plate. “I really would love my legacy to be leaving this city a better place than when I came into it. I love public service for that reason.” Biz www.BizTucson.com

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PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

BizDOWNTOWN

Emerson Budd

Stephanie Bermudez

Connect Coworking, Community Director

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PHOTO: AMY HASKELL

Connect Coworking, Operations Manager


Fab Collaborative Downtown Co-Working Spot Provides Unconventional Office Space By Eric Swedlund Tucson’s newest co-working spot is alive in the historic Rialto Theatre block, a flexible and soon-to-be bustling office and workspace perfect for entrepreneurs, small businesses and freelancers. From the development team of Scott Stiteler and Rudy Dabdoub comes Connect Coworking, the latest venture at Fifth Avenue and Congress Street and one that has transformed the upstairs into a well-appointed hub for professionals who want more than traditional office space. Stiteler said the prominent downtown location, the well-restored building and the attention to detail at Connect serve to make it a thriving part of Tucson’s economy. “It’s a building that’s romanced a lot of people – myself included – over the years,” Stiteler said. “Probably four or five developers before me have all tried to figure out what to do with such a historically and architecturally significant building that had fallen into disrepair. “Figuring out how to bring that building back alive has taken a lot of patience,” he continued. “We had somewhere around 60 offers from different businesses – everything from a 10,000-square-foot sports bar to mainstream offices for lawyers.” Deciding to launch a co-working venture came from taking ideas that Stiteler saw working elsewhere and modifying them for Tucson. “I live in San Francisco and the city gives me so many different ideas, from restaurants to co-working spaces, from www.BizTucson.com

business models to different designs that work with old buildings,” he said. “Coworking has exploded in this area, from a word I’d never heard three years ago to articles in the newspaper about every month about new spaces opening.” To conceive and design Connect, Stiteler visited more than 50 similar places in the Bay Area, learning what made co-working successful and incorporating the best ideas he saw elsewhere.

Rudy Dabdoub & Scott Stiteler “Two years ago, we’d done a lot of the heavy lifting restoring the buildings and had this culinary destination and some wind at our back,” he said. “At that point, we needed to do something other than restaurants and take that next big step. It was time to deliver different uses to the area and co-working satisfies so many of those different needs.” The power of Connect will come

from having about 200 professionals from diverse backgrounds and all parts of Tucson collected in one building with personality and character, all wanting to build their businesses. It’s a power that Stiteler says can transcend Connect to impact the greater economy. “I hope we can look back in three years and say ‘Here are the 10 companies that started at Connect with one desk and now they’re 20 people or 50 people,’ ” he said. “I’d like to look back in five years and have an example or two of a company that has 100 people and in a perfect world they locate downtown. Those stories are powerful and build on each other. It’s such a great location, such a great building and we didn’t cut any corners on the business, the amenities, the technology or the way we’re treating our members, so they have all the resources to thrive and grow.” Connect members have 24/7 building access, mail service, conference and meeting room access, copy and printing services and more. Connect offers everything from day use to full, multiperson offices. “Working in an environment with other people who are trying to be productive and share ideas is necessary. If you don’t have that in a community, you just fall farther and farther behind,” Stiteler said. “In San Francisco, when you walk into the powerful co-working spaces, it’s palpable the commerce that’s continued on page 90 >>> Fall 2014 > > > BizTucson 89


BizDOWNTOWN continued from page 89 happening and idea generating that’s happening there. It’s serious and it’s incredible to watch.” One tenant company is Injected Media, a firm that brings technical expertise to the ream of marketing, offering a specialty service, targeting new technology products. “We’re a company that’s similar to a creative agency or a marketing firm, but we know the tech side and that makes us really valuable to people who are trying to sell science or technology products,” said owner Dominique Villela. “Being close to downtown, being close to the University of Arizona, being close to the patent office, all makes it a lot better for us to do business.” Villela began working on his idea as a UA undergraduate in 2010 and founded Injected Media the next year. The company has grown to six people, all UA graduates or students, and has worked with biotech, optics, aerospace and software. “My team is looking for vibrancy,” he said. “We’ve had executive suites in town, very high end, very beautiful, very exclusive, but we really didn’t care about all that. We left it because the value we were looking for was in interaction. My employees need to feel positive and they need to see people and interact with people and Connect has that culture.” Working from home for nine years was enough for Lisa Healey. The Boston transplant works as director of credit for Presidio, a national networking solutions company. “It just got to be too much, too lonely,” she said. “I wasn’t staying focused on work. A friend mentioned this co-working space and I knew it was for me.” Since Healey adjusts her work schedule to match the Boston office, Connect’s 24-7 access matters. After struggling for years to find the right fit, Healey said Connect offers the long-term solution she’s been looking for. “I’ve worked in coffee shops – it was just too noisy,” she said. “I’d go to the library, but have to go outside to take a phone call. I thought about renting a small office, but it would be the same as my home office. I definitely need a professional environment, otherwise I would be lost. I wouldn’t be able to stay as productive as I need to be. I’ve tried a few things, but this is perfect.”

Biz

Need Space?

• $25 a day drop-in during regular business hours

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• $400 to $475 per month for 24/7 secured access, resident desk and chair, six conference room hours per month, mailbox and office services

• Starting at $600 per month for private office 90 BizTucson

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with 24/7 secured access, eight conference room hours and more www.BizTucson.com

PHOTOS: AMY HASKELL

• $150 per month for unlimited monthly drop-in


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From left – Lt. Gen. Tod D. Wolters; Retired U.S. Air Force Col. Kevin E. Blanchard; U.S. Air Force Col. James P. Meger, new commander of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base

PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

BizMILITARY

From Afghanistan to Tucson Davis-Monthan Welcomes New Commander By David B. Pittman U.S. Air Force Col. James P. Meger, who recently served a yearlong tour of duty in Afghanistan, is the new commander of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. He will also command the 355th Fighter Wing, the host unit at the base. Meger is no stranger to Tucson and Davis-Monthan. Before serving in Afghanistan, he was the vice commander of the 355th Fighter Wing, a military unit that operates the A-10 Thunderbolt II, a jet aircraft that provides close air support to ground forces of the United States and its allies. Meger also served at D-M in 1993-94 as a young pilot just beginning his military career. While serving in Afghanistan, Meger was vice commander of the 9th Air Expeditionary Task Force, Assistant NATO Air Commander in Afghani92 BizTucson

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stan, Assistant Deputy Commander of U.S. Air Forces in Afghanistan and Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff-Air, Inter-

We are going to stay ready, we are going to stay focused and we are going to take care of the people who make this installation among the best in the world.

– U.S. Air Force Col. James P. Meger, Commander Davis-Monthan Air Force Base

national Security Assistance Force Joint Command in Kabul, Afghanistan. Meger oversaw three expeditionary air wings and three expeditionary groups of more than 6,900 airmen directly engaged in combat operations in Afghanistan. Meger, 44, succeeds Col. Kevin E. Blanchard, who was commander of D-M and the 355th Fighter Wing for two years. Blanchard retired from the Air Force after more than 23 years of military service. There are 6,450 active-duty military personnel serving at D-M. There are also 2,884 civilian employees and 1,076 Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard and trainees at the base. In all, D-M has a workforce of 10,410, making it the third-largest employer in Southern www.BizTucson.com


Arizona. Honoring time-tested military protocol, Lt. Gen. Tod D. Wolters, a threestar general who commands the 12th Air Force, passed the organizational flag of the 355th Fighter Wing from Blanchard to Meger during an installation ceremony in August. The event was held in a large airplane hangar and attended by D-M servicemen and servicewomen, members of DM50 (a Tucson business group that provides support, assistance and advocacy to the base and its soldiers) and a contingent of dignitaries and elected officials. Meger said he was ecstatic to again be serving at D-M and living in Tucson, which is the hometown of his wife, Kari, who graduated from the University of Arizona. They have three children. “I am honored and humbled to be the commander of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and the 355th Fighter Wing,” Meger said during the ceremony. “I just watched what your airmen from Davis-Monthan did down range (in Afghanistan), and it truly was amazing. We are going to stay ready, we are going to stay focused and we are going to take care of the people who make this installation among the best in the world.” Blanchard and Wolters also spoke at the ceremony. Blanchard called his twoyear stint as D-M’s commander “the highlight of my career.” He thanked the Tucson community, DM50 and the Tucson Metro Chamber’s Military Affairs Committee “for the support and patriotism shown to those serving Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.” As commander of the 12th Air Force, which is a tenant organization headquartered at D-M, Wolters oversees the combat readiness of 10 active-duty wings, four Air Force Reserve wings and 13 Air National Guard wings. The 12th Air Force also serves as the air component to U.S. Southern Command – the Unified Command responsible for Central America, South America and the Caribbean. This responsibility includes staff oversight, coordination and supervision of Air Force assets engaged in counter-narcotics missions. continued on page 94 >>> www.BizTucson.com

Brian Harpel President, DM50

DM50 Provides Longtime Support for D-M By David B. Pittman Brian Harpel, president of DM50, said the best thing about being part of the organization is the opportunity to interact with airmen from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base who make incredible sacrifices to protect our nation’s freedom. “This past year a squadron was returning from deployment and when the plane landed, the first groups off the plane – ahead of the command staff – were the airmen who had a child born while being deployed,” he said. “It’s a tear-jerker, but it truly exemplifies their commitment to our country.” The DM50 is a nonprofit, volunteer service organization formed in 1986 by a group of greater Tucson civic and business leaders to “promote and preserve Davis-Monthan Air Force Base” and to “improve the quality of life for D-M airmen and their families.” Since its inception, DM50 has raised more than $1 million for dozens of initiatives. Among those are: • Operation Cope – Helping airmen and their families deal with the stress of deployment • Child Car Safety Seat Program – Supplying more than 150 car seats annually to young airmen with families

• DM Day UA Tailgate & Football – Providing 2,500 airmen and their families with a tailgate lunch outside Arizona Stadium and tickets to a University of Arizona football game • DM50 Annual Picnic – Hosting a picnic with entertainment for all D-M military and civilian personnel at Bama Park, which is on the airbase • Blake Down Annual DM50 Golf Tournament – Hosting an annual golf outing for military and civilian personnel at Blanchard Golf Course on the base • Military Community Relations Committee – A community-wide forum to exchange and discuss ideas about land use, base operations and other important topics related to DavisMonthan Harpel, who owns and operates a Tucson commercial real estate firm, said there is no doubt that those stationed at D-M are appreciative of what DM50 does for them. “Virtually every airman we come in contact with comments that Tucson is the friendliest and most supportive environment they have ever experienced,” he said. “It is very gratifying.”

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BizMILITARY continued from page 93 Wolters praised both Blanchard and Meger for their outstanding military service and spoke of the concept of “succeeding greatness” – in which Meger is counted on to continue the positive tradition of past commanders and make the base and its operations “greater than before.” During Meger’s first stint at D-M as a young A-10 pilot in training, he was awarded the Top Academic and Top Gun awards in his class. Still an active pilot, Meger will serve as an A-10 instructor pilot in addition to his management and administrative duties. “I’ll be flying with our youngest A-10 pilots, and it will give me opportunities to not only connect with them, but to connect directly with the mission,” he said. “If you are not part of the mission and viewing it firsthand, you can’t see how it is being executed and evaluate it properly. I’m in charge of evaluating the readiness of this wing.” Asked about uncertainty concerning the future of the A-10 aircraft because of federal budget difficulties, Meger said those concerns “are above my pay grade” and that his focus is on military readiness and training. Meger graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., with a bachelor’s degree in engineering in 1992. He received a master’s degree in military arts and sciences from the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. A command pilot with more than 3,200 hours in fighter aircraft, Meger has served in a variety of Air Force assignments, including as commander of the 1st Operations Support Squadron at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia. Meger has earned a long list of major military awards and decorations that include the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, a Bronze Star, a Meritorious Service Medal, an Aerial Achievement Medal, an Air Force Commendation Medal, an Army Achievement Medal, a Combat Readiness Medal, a Kosovo Campaign Medal, a Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, an Afghanistan Campaign Medal, a Korean Defense Service Medal and a NATO Medal.

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Photo: BalfourWalker.com

BizMILITARY

DM50

To Host Celebration Honoring Davis-Monthan Air Force Base Nov. 10 By David B. Pittman A special celebration honoring Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and the significant contributions it has made to Tucson and Southern Arizona for nearly nine decades will be hosted by DM50 on Monday, Nov. 10, at the Pima Air & Space Museum. All proceeds from the event, which will be from 4 to 8 p.m. the day before Veterans’ Day, will go toward advocacy efforts aimed at keeping Davis-Monthan Air Force Base active and operating. Tickets are $50. Sponsorships also are available. “It is important both for U.S. national security and the economic well-being of Tucson and Southern Arizona that operations at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base continue,” said DM50 President Brian Harpel. “It is one of the most diverse bases in the U.S. Air Force and carries out multiple, highly critical military functions. “Davis-Monthan is also extremely important to the economy of Tucson and Southern Arizona,” Harpel continued. “The base is one of Tucson’s top three employers and its annual economic impact on Tucson and Southern Arizona is estimated at more than $1.4 billion.” Another reason for the celebration honoring Davis-Monthan is that DM50 wants to demonstrate the strong support that those in Tucson and Southern Arizona have for the base and those stationed there. 96 BizTucson

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“We not only want the men and women who serve at DavisMonthan Air Force Base to know how much respect we have for them and how welcome they are in Tucson,” Harpel said, “we also want our political leaders in Congress and our military leaders at the Pentagon to know of the strong community support for continued base operations here.” DM50 and other organizations – such as the Tucson Metro Chamber, the Southern Arizona Defense Alliance, Metro Pima Alliance and Tucson Association of Realtors – are concerned about the future of Davis-Monthan for two reasons. The first is because of uncertainty surrounding the A-10 Thunderbolt II, a single-mission aircraft based at D-M that has had phenomenal success in providing close air support to ground forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. Despite that exemplary war record, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has recommended replacing the A-10 with the F-35 Lightning II, a multi-purpose, stealth fighter aircraft. The second is the likelihood that Congress will authorize a Base Realignment and Closure process. In a Feb. 24 speech, Hagel said the Defense Department will ask Congress to begin a BRAC round in 2017 that would cut billions of dollars from its infrastructure costs. The Defense Department estimates the nation has 30 percent more military bases in the United States than are needed. www.BizTucson.com


It is important both for U.S. national security and the economic well-being of Tucson and Southern Arizona that operations at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base continue. – Brian Harpel, President, DM50

A growing problem for the Department of Defense is federal budget cuts mandated by sequestration, which requires $1.2 trillion in automatic spending reductions to be split equally between defense and various domestic spending programs over the next decade. There is widespread belief among political and military leaders that unless Congress eliminates sequestration, a future round of BRAC is inevitable. DM50 supports any flying mission that the Air Force would place at Davis Monthan. Currently the 355th Fighter Wing at Davis Monthan operates the A-10. Members of DM50 believe it is only a matter of time until the A10 is retired. For that reason, DM50 supports having F-16s or other flying missions moved to D-M because if the F16s are based at Davis-Monthan they will logically be replaced by F-35s, which the Air Force and other military branches view as the aircraft of the future. Harpel and DM50 point to several other important reasons Davis- Monthan should remain open. D-M has:

• A proven record of efficiency as the winner of the prestigious Commander-In-Chief ’s Award for Installation Excellence in 2012.

• An advantage over other bases because of its proximity

to the Barry M. Goldwater Air Force Range. The cost of flying an F-16 averages $25,000 an hour and an F-35 $35,000 an hour. The closeness of D-M to the Goldwater Range provides economic incentives to keep the base open because of increased operational flight time from Tucson than other locations.

• Airspace that is void of heavy commercial overflight. • Incredibly great weather for flying jet aircraft. • And the largest solar installation of any military base in

the country. The $40 million solar project, which was completed last February, will save the base as much as $500,000 annually in electricity costs over the next 25 years. continued on page 98 >>>

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BizMILITARY

The base is one of Tucson’s top three employers and its annual economic impact on Tucson and Southern Arizona is estimated at more than $1.4 billion. – Brian Harpel, President, DM50

continued from page 97 Col. James P. Meger, who recently became the commander of DavisMonthan Air Force Base and the 355th Fighter Wing, praised DM50 for its strong support of the base and the soldiers stationed there. “The community in and around Tucson is absolutely phenomenal,” Meger said. “Those of us serving at DavisMonthan are, quite honestly, the envy of those at other installations. Other wing commanders can’t believe how much support we get from the community here and from DM50, a phenomenal organization that steps up and

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does things for the base, our people and their families that otherwise wouldn’t be provided.” The roots of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base go back 87 years to 1927. That was the year the City of Tucson moved its municipal airport from its original site, where the Tucson Rodeo Grounds is today, to property that is now on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. The new Tucson municipal airport was called Davis-Monthan Field in honor of Lieutenants Samuel Davis and Oscar Monthan, a pair of Tucson aviators who died in separate airplane crashes after World War I.

Following years of stalled negotiations between city officials and the U.S. War Department, the Tucson City Council authorized the purchase of the 1,280-acre site and transferred airport operations there in hopes the U.S. military would reconsider and establish an aviation branch in Tucson. That didn’t happen for another 13 years. As a result of expanding conflict in Europe, the War Department did take over the air field in Sept. 1940. It opened an Army Air Base at the site on April 17, 1941 and the 1st Bombardment Wing Headquarters assumed command. The first base commander

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SPECIAL REPORT 2014

THE REGION’S BUSINESS MAGAZINE

SPECIAL REPORT CORPORATE SPONSOR


By David B. Pittman

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The business of the Tucson Metro Chamber is business. It’s about serving small business and big business – and everything in between. It’s about meeting the membership’s needs, helping them get the job done and providing value for their investment in the Chamber. That’s why Chamber President and CEO Michael Varney and his staff call Chamber members “investors.” Look at the Tucson Metro Chamber’s organization chart and at the top you will see the investor base of more than 1,450 firms that employ some 110,000 full-time workers. That base includes everything from large, well-known corporations to home-based momand-pop companies. Small business makes up 75 percent of the membership, which mirrors the overall metro area business community. Those investors are represented by the Chamber’s board of directors, which make up the second tier of the organization chart. It’s not until you get to the third tier that you get to paid staff and volunteers. In the three years since Varney became president and CEO, the Chamber has engaged in numerous outreach and research projects to learn what Chamber investors want and need so the chamber can adPHOTO dress those issues. “We’ve internalized what our investors’ issues are, their likes and preferences, their needs and challenges. We are on a constant mission to reinvent ourselves to be relevant and provide value to the people who pay us to be a chamber of commerce,” Varney said. Varney is widely viewed as a hard-charging, straighttalking, no-nonsense representative of the business community who listens to his investors and is determined to get results that benefit them. continued on page 106 >>>

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PHOTO & COVER PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

BizLEADERSHIP

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BizLEADERSHIP

We are on a constant mission to reinvent ourselves, to be relevant and provide value to the people who pay us to be a chamber of commerce.

– Michael Varney, President & CEO, Tucson Metro Chamber continued from page 105 Chamber first if they have a problem. “We just completed a focus group, a “Since taking the helm at the ChamIf any of our investors have a problem, research project with small businesses, ber, Mike Varney and the entire board we want them to give us a written subto find out what they like about the of directors have revitalized the Chammission online.” Chamber, what their challenges are, ber, making it a driving force for posiIt’s a one-click portal to get to the We what the Chamber should be doing that tive change affecting the business and Can Help desk. it’s not doing and what the Chamber political landscape in Tucson,” said “We will solve the problem if we should be doing better,” Varney said. Craig Kaufman, office co-managing can,” Varney said. “If not, we will find One result of that research is the partner for the law firm of Quarles & somebody who can and we will triangucreation of an ambitious new program Brady. late the relationship.” – an online help desk called We Can Varney and the Chamber staff are The We Can Help program is underHelp. dedicated and working hard “to make way. The marketing program, already “The symbol for this program is a Tucson a more vibrant business comoutlined, will roll out around the first of life preserver,” Varney said. “We want munity,” Kaufman said, adding that next year. any business of any size to think of the the Chamber “is on track and moving The Chamber also has programs in the right direction.” to help small businesses make money, From a financial and membersave money and network with potenship standpoint, Varney has been tial clients. extremely successful during difficult Mission “One of the ways we help small economic times. Overall membership The mission of the Tucson Metro Chamber business make money is by holding has grown steadily during his tenure is to promote a strong local economy refederal procurement seminars,” Varand membership among larger comsulting in business growth, ample employney said. “We’ve done four or five panies has skyrocketed. ment and improving quality of life for all in the last couple of years and every “When I got here, the number of citizens. one of them has been completely full. investors that I would call major inEven though the federal government vestors – at our Chairman level or Vision is tightening its belt, it will continue higher – could be counted on one The Tucson Metro Chamber is the pre-emito be a big player in Tucson. Many hand,” Varney said. “Today, there nent resource and advocate for business in federal agencies and Davis-Monthan are more than 100 major investors at Southern Arizona. Air Force Base are looking for small those higher levels.” businesses to work with – but there is The result is a big-league jump in Core Fundamentals a special protocol for doing that. Small revenue that has put the Chamber businesses that don’t know that protoon solid financial footing following • Promote a strong local economy col will find it difficult to do business tough times experienced during the • Provide opportunities for you to build with this very big customer called the Great Recession. relationships and gain access federal government.” “The Chamber brand is back, the The Chamber has several special faith is back, the confidence is back • Deliver programs to help you grow discount programs that help investor and the value is back,” Varney said. your business businesses save money. One of the Virtually every program or action • Represent and advocate on behalf of most successful is the Chamber’s Copthe Tucson Metro Chamber underbusiness with government perPoint worker’s compensation botakes is motivated by a commitment nus dividend program, which rewards to forward one of these top four pri• Enhance commerce and increase businesses with top safety records. orities: quality of life through community “It was a real surprise when we stewardship To super-serve small business received our bonus check earlier this • Increase public awareness of year from the workers compensation To lead government relations and your business dividend program,” said Thomas public policy Bohn, contract supervisor at DVA • Provide symbols of credibility To help develop the local economy Consulting, a company that supervises To improve workforce readiness and maintains professional employees Source: Tucson Metro Chamber and education for multiple clients in multiple fields. continued on page 108 >>>

Chamber’s Mission

• • • •

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BizLEADERSHIP

Mike Varney and the entire board of directors have revitalized the Chamber, making it a driving force for positive change affecting the business and political landscape in Tucson. – Craig Kaufman Office Co-Managing Partner Quarles & Brady

continued from page 106 “We got back a significant amount of money. In fact, it exceeded our Chamber membership dues – by far. Considering how much we saved, it would be unwise for us not to be Chamber members.” Last year, in a fact-finding effort dubbed the Business Expansion and Retention Project – now known as BEAR – the chamber polled leaders of larger businesses. Chamber investor volunteers surveyed 129 CEOs of companies doing business in metro Tucson that have 100 or more full-time employees. “Those surveyed spoke clearly and loudly,” Varney said. “They want a better interface between the private sector and the public sector. They also want the streets and roads in the City of Tucson and in Pima County to be fixed – yesterday. They are tired of excuses. They are tired of seeing money diverted to other things when that is what everybody wants, whether as part of the business community or as a private citizen. Nobody wants to drive on these streets. We are working with our elected officials to make this a higher priority.” Not only is the Chamber leading the effort to improve Tucson roads, it has also created a program it calls Interface, which provides business executives four opportunities a year to communicate directly to Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and four opportunities to speak with Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry. “We encourage openness, transparency and robust discussion,” Varney said. The Tucson Metro Chamber government affairs division is responsible for advocating on behalf of the business community with federal, state and local government entities to ensure an atmosphere in which businesses can thrive. The Chamber also attempts to recruit and elect business-friendly leaders to ensure an atmosphere in which businesses can succeed, create jobs and build a prosperous community. It also goes to bat for its investors. For instance, the Chamber helped push a bill through the Arizona Legislature that was signed into law by Gov. Jan Brewer that encourages and improves the viability of commercial space flight in the state. World View Enterprises, a Tucson-based company now in the test-flight stage, intends to launch passengers as high as continued on page 110 >>> 108 BizTucson

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BizLEADERSHIP One of those pies continued from page 108 is special events. The 120,000 feet, which Chamber hosts more it describes as “the than 50 of them anedge of space” in a nually to provide balloon-powered capbusinesses with the sule. opportunity to netTaber MacCallum, work, make stratechief technology ofgic connections and ficer of World View learn from business and one of the origileaders, elected ofnal crew members at ficials and industry Biosphere 2, said the experts. Chamber played an In January, after instrumental role in delivering the State the passage of HB of the State message 2163. at the Arizona Capi“During the last tol, the governor will legislative session, the travel to Tucson to Tucson Metro Chamdeliver the Southber played a central ern Arizona version role in getting the bill of that speech at a Jane Poynter,CEO, World View Enterprises; Ethan Orr, Arizona State Representative; passed,” MacCallum Gov. Jan Brewer; Eddie Farnsworth, chair of the House Judicary; Michael Varney, luncheon hosted by said. “They lobbied President & CEO, Tucson Metro Chamber the Chamber. In state lawmakers and March, the Chamber recruited other busiwill host a similar luncheon in which Mayor Rothschild will ness organizations to support our cause. They were there deliver the State of the City address. whenever we needed help.” Other major Chamber events include the Multi-Chamber World View’s first test flights, which have been done with Business Expo, the Chairman’s Breakfast, the Copper Cactus scaled-down flying equipment, have been successful. The Awards and the Holiday Legislative Reception. There are also company plans on testing a full-sized balloon and para-wing monthly Chamber XChange networking mixers held at invesearly next year and for commercial operations to begin at the tor businesses. end of 2016. These events offer investors opportunities to reach a broad MacCallum said future commercial flights will carry six segment of the local business community. passengers and two crew members. Several flights are already “Aligning your business with Tucson Metro Chamber events booked at a cost of $75,000 per passenger. MacCallum prethrough sponsorships puts your company in front of business dicts the cost will drop significantly over time. professionals and civic leaders,” Varney said. “Regardless of “We want to fly from Arizona locations. We want to set up your company’s size or business objectives, there are marketmanufacturing of balloons in Tucson. We are working with ing opportunities to meet your company objectives.” the Chamber to make that happen as well,” he said. “The Biz Chamber has their fingers in a lot of pies.”

Banzhaf Promoted to Tucson Metro Chamber Executive VP Lori Banzhaf was recently promoted to executive VP of Tucson Metro Chamber. She now oversees membership sales, advertising, sponsorships and events. “Much of the Chamber’s success in reaching its goals can be attributed to Lori’s hard work and dedication to the Chamber’s mission of promoting a strong local economy,” said Michael Varney, president and CEO of the Chamber. Banzhaf joined the Tucson Metro Chamber in June 2011 as VP of business development.

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Before that she was director of major gifts and planned giving for the TMC Foundation. She also founded Monsoon Marketing, a fullservice event consulting and management firm which she ran from 2002 to 2008. In all, she has nearly 25 years of sales and marketing experience. Banzhaf was recognized as one of the 2010 Women of Influence by Inside Tucson Business. She is a member of the Western Association of Chamber Executives. She and her husband, Steve, are the 2015 Tucson Heart & Stroke Ball chairs.

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BizLEADERSHIP From left – Tucson Metro Chamber’s David Long, Carol Gatewood, Edgar Martinez, Valerie Vargas, Leticia Valenzuela, Sarah Akers, Jill A’Hearn, Tammy Jensen and Marta Balcerak. Not pictured: Jason Cook and Shirley Wilka

Super-Serving Small Business 24/7

PHOTO: AMY HASKELL

By Valerie Vinyard Michael Varney and his Tucson Metro Chamber team have created something unique in the chamber world. As part of the Tucson Chamber’s first priority to “super-serve” its investors, a new help desk has been unveiled, designed especially for small businesses. So what does it mean to super-serve a business? “We help small businesses make more money and save more money,” Varney said. Varney said that 75 percent of the businesses that join the Chamber have 25 or fewer employees. The Chamber already helps them in a variety of ways. One example is the Money in Your Pocket program offering discounts, including “super discounts” through a contract with Office Depot. The Chamber also presents seminars and workshops year-round for its investors. Varney said the new We Can Help 112 BizTucson

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desk, which launched the last week in June, will help smooth the way for some of the Chamber’s 1,450 investors. “I think it will have a positive effect on recruitment of new investors – and it will be a brand-new tool to retain the investors that we have,” said Varney, who has been the president and CEO of the Chamber since May 2011.

“All of the investors in the Chamber naturally have challenges. Nobody’s business runs on autopilot. Many times businesses need help, and in many cases, they don’t know where to go.” At first, the Chamber didn’t actively promote the help desk. People who explored the Chamber’s home page – www.tucsonchamber.org – found out about the new service. Now that they’ve had a test run, Varney is hoping more investors will reach out to We Can Help. In the past, investors would phone in with their questions or concerns. Now the more streamlined method has people describe their problem or question in an email. The message then goes to a central receiving area and is forwarded to the most appropriate person. As small businesses grow, new challenges emerge. Often other businesses have already been there and done that. continued on page 114 >>> www.BizTucson.com


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BizLEADERSHIP

The Tucson Chamber is very pro-business and very pro-growth for the Tucson region. We like their stance on jobs affiliated with construction and mining, too. That’s why we joined.

– Ed Greer, Store/Regional Manager Atlas Copco – Mining, Rock Excavation and Construction

continued from page 112 There is no need to re-invent every wheel. The Chamber can be an invaluable resource. Varney said the help desk meshes perfectly with the Chamber’s top priority – to help its investors. “We are trying to position the chamber as the problemsolving organization,” he said. “Whatever the issue is, we will either have an answer inside our building or we will help triangulate the relationship. We can certainly connect people.” Answers and solutions will be provided. Sometimes, the Chamber saves the day. Ed Greer is the store/regional manager of Atlas Copco – Mining, Rock Excavation and Construction. The Swissbased business, which has 28 employees in Tucson, had purchased a building and some land near the airport. “We needed some rezoning and the city had stalled on it,” Greer said. “Mike was able to bring the mayor in and get the ball rolling. The Chamber really jumped on it.” Though that specific issue took place before the help desk was officially in place, Greer plans on using the new service. “We have stores around the country, and we don’t usually join the chambers because they normally don’t help as much,” he said. “The Tucson Chamber is very probusiness and very pro-growth for the Tucson region. We like their stance on jobs affiliated with construction and mining, too. That’s why we joined.” Greer also likes the events and meet-and-greets with government officials and local business leaders set up by the Chamber. “I’m sure we’ll use the help desk – but already the Chamber is very attentive to Tucson-area businesses,” he said. Varney has been in the chamber business for more than 14 years. Before Tucson, he worked for two chambers in Las Vegas. He has noticed that chambers of commerce tend to experience the same issues. “Challenges that businesses face in cities across the country are very similar,” Varney said. “There isn’t a city in the country that isn’t having a problem developing its 114 BizTucson

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workforce, where small businesses get bumped around more than big businesses in the economy.” Another way the Tucson Metro Chamber stands out from other chambers is by interviewing political candidates. It also has a PAC called Southern Arizona Business Political Action Committee that endorses and financially supports business-friendly candidates. “So much is riding on who does public policy,” Varney said. The Chamber “represents the best interests of business in the halls of government” because what happens there has a positive or negative impact on business and the economy. Even in better economic times, businesses – especially small businesses – will always have their share of challenges. “Problems haven’t changed,” Varney said. “Small businesses are still focused on ringing their own cash registers. Larger businesses are more aware of issues facing the whole community, while the small businesses want to make sure they make payroll and are making a profitable enterprise.” Varney is eager for investors to use this new resource and share their experience with others. With the help desk, “you’ve got an access point that you can use 24/7.”

Biz

Super-Serving by the Numbers • $450,000 – Market value of marketing and business plans created for local businesses with University of Arizona Eller College of Management • $360,000 – Amount raised for First Impressions project to beautify the road to and from Tucson International Airport • 357,000 – Number of online referrals – plus 1,200 online training and business resources • $143,323 – Total of CopperPoint workers compensation insurance bonus dividends awarded based on local businesses’ safety records • $90,000 – Office Depot savings awarded to Chamber investors

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BEAR Survey

Business Leaders Voice Priorities By Larry Copenhaver

We live in a beautiful, likeable area with a great climate, and we care about our community and our neighbors, according to a Tucson Metro Chamber survey of 129 local employers that have at least 100 employees. But respondents to the Business Expansion and Retention survey were clear â&#x20AC;&#x201C; they have a high level of dissatisfaction with local government on how it treats businesses and how it maintains

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infrastructure â&#x20AC;&#x201C; especially streets and roads. Many business leaders perceive government as more of an impediment than an ally in promoting business prosperity, stability and job creation. Instead, they said, local government adopts unnecessary regulations, levies job-killing taxes and fees, and prefers to support neighborhood organizations that embrace anti-business attitudes.

Understanding the perceptions of business leaders and working to remediate differences with government officials will help the Chamber retain businesses in Tucson as well as find avenues for expansion. The BEAR survey was taken between July 2012 and November 2013. Michael Varney, president and CEO of the Tucson Metro Chamber, said the data is clear, especially when compar-

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People want government to help them grow their companies and create more jobs, or at least not be an impediment for them to be able to do that. Michael Varney President & CEO Tucson Metro Chamber –

ing cities similar in size to Tucson. For example, the Tucson Metropolitan Statistical Area lags behind 11 peer MSAs slightly bigger than Tucson and five MSAs slightly smaller than Tucson in economic measures. The 2012 sum of all goods and services produced in the Tucson MSA – $33.4 billion – ranks tenth out of 11 cohort comparisons and represents about 34 percent less than the average for the

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group, the survey found. The only MSA to rank lower than Tucson is Fresno, Calif., with its $31.9 billion gross metro product. The top MSA was Birmingham, Ala., at $59 billion. “We need a more robust economy to pull out of our slump before it turns into a death spiral,” according to the Chamber survey. The destiny of the local economy “is in our hands, and we need to have

a dialogue between public and private sector leaders to make sure we are doing everything we can to be business friendly and welcoming,” Varney said. So where to begin? Though costly, repairing asphalt may be the easiest task. Potholes are not controlled by any outside force and they are not going to be controlled by Phoenix or the feds, Varney said. “There are problems that are in our hands and we have local continued on page 118 >>>

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BizLEADERSHIP continued from page 117 solutions. “We asked every person who responded to the survey for their comments,” Varney said. Regarding roads and infrastructure, one respondent wrote: “This town is dirty and ugly. I am ashamed to bring clients and customers and recruits from the airport to my business.” In April the Chamber organized and executed a beautification project along South Tucson Boulevard, the street that carries most airport auto traffic into the metro area. And, to the city’s credit, in November 2012, a $100 million road improvement bond package was approved by voters, which has resulted in new surfacing on more heavily traveled streets. The estimated price tag to bring all Tucson streets up to par is $800 million, Varney said. Fixing the relationship between government and business is more complex than fixing streets. “I hear it all the time – people want government to help them grow their companies and create more jobs, or at

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least not be an impediment for them to be able to do that,” Varney said. The hope is that “elected officials put an objective ear to what these people are saying. “Remember, the best weapon on poverty is a paycheck,” Varney said. Varney is quick to credit Mayor Jonathan Rothschild for his attitude

We need to work very hard to upgrade the education of our workforce.

Michael Varney President & CEO Tucson Metro Chamber –

and leadership. “The mayor has always made himself available to share concerns. There is a willingness by the mayor to listen and to send a message to various city departments that we need to take a look at how they conduct business at the public level because people at the private level are trying to grow,

trying to expand and we need to do everything we can to help them.” Also credited for helping business is retired City Manager Richard Miranda, Varney said. “He has always brought the right people to the table whenever there was an issue that rose to his level, and for that we are grateful. But some systemic changes have to take place in how departments interface with businesses.” Education is the most complex issue to address. There also are some social issues that must be addressed. But businesses cannot grow without qualified workers, Varney said. “We need to work very hard to upgrade the education of our workforce. “To that end, kudos to Tucson Unified School District Superintendent H.T. Sanchez, who in a very short period of time, just over a year, has brought some very good and fresh ideas to improve K-12 education. We think he’s got the right answers. He listens well, and he knows there is a problem. It is complex – but you have to start someplace. We are big H.T. Sanchez fans.”

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‘It’s in Our Hands’ Are We on the Road to Success? By Jay Gonzales

Michael Varney knows that the Tucson community is going places. But here is the question: Is it headed for “Winnerville” or “Loserville”? “That’s what I can’t tell you with a degree of certainty,” said Varney, the Tucson Metro Chamber’s president and CEO since 2011. “I think most communities are in between. But it’s not where you are today that matters as much as where you’ll be five, 10 years from now.” The Winnerville/Loserville distinctions come from the book “When the Boomers Bail” by economic development expert Mark Lautman, which discusses the impact of the ongoing retirement of the 72 million so-called “baby boomers” in the United States. The book suggests there are seven metrics that can determine the long-term fate of a community during the 15-year period of the boomers’ retirement. Varney has embarked on a project he calls “E is Greater than P” to measure the Tucson community on those seven metrics – economy, population, ecosystem, education, crime, housing and healthcare. Lautman’s overall premise is that communities must do well on those metrics to grow their economy – the E – faster than the population – the P – to have better odds of landing in Winnerville. “Our concern at the Chamber is 120 BizTucson

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where do we stand given the key metrics?” Varney said. “What are we doing well and what do we need to change to be one of the cities that reside in Winnerville?”

We’re in a

very bad place in education in Tucson. Our local school systems are not putting out a qualified workforce.

Michael Varney President & CEO Tucson Metro Chamber –

Even in the early stages of Varney’s project, he has found that education is showing up as a metric that is driving this community toward Loserville. “We’re in a very bad place in education in Tucson,” Varney said. “Our local school systems are not putting out a qualified workforce.” For example, Varney said, the Uni-

versity of Arizona and Pima Community College are offering an increasing number of remedial courses because high school graduates are not where they need to be when they arrive. Yet on the flip side, Varney said, the makeup of Tucson’s population puts it on the path toward Winnerville. While Tucson is often seen as a retirement community, or at least a community with an aging population, the demographics do not bear that out. There actually are more young people with long-term employment potential than people heading into retirement. “We’re in a good place there,” Varney said. “That’s due in large part to the fact that 30 percent of our population is Hispanic, and Hispanics have a high birth rate. We’ve got warm bodies. Then the question is, in those warm bodies, do we have a qualified workforce?” With baby boomers retiring at a rate of 10,000 per day, the need for qualified workers to replace them is a challenge every community faces. The competition to get those workers into your community is fierce. “We’re in the early stages of it, but it will only get worse,” Varney said. “It’s really a fight for survival.” And the implications are long term. Lautman suggests that once a commucontinued on page 122 >>> www.BizTucson.com


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We’ve got to put aside

personal and political differences to move this community forward. Michael Varney President & CEO Tucson Metro Chamber –

continued from page 120 nity lands in Loserville, it’s hard to leave. “In Loserville, as the number of qualified workers continues to decrease and as companies have trouble finding workers, they will either move to a community that’s richer in qualified workers or they will stop doing business altogether,” Varney said. “That creates a chain reaction that includes unemployment, more of a demand on social services and a reduction of tax base. Cities get into what Lautman calls a ‘death spiral’ where you can’t pull out of it. Streets go into disrepair. There are cutbacks in public safety. It becomes a less and less attractive community to live in – so people move out. “In Winnerville, it’s the exact opposite. There are plenty of qualified workers earning good money. The tax base rises. There are nice parks, nice schools, good public safety, all of the things that tax dollars pay for. And the delta between Winnerville and Loserville will only increase going forward.” To keep from winding up in Loserville, Varney said, there is another factor that needs to be solved in the Tucson community – the prevalence of petty turf battles and focus on personal agendas. In a political climate where, at least nationally, turf and agendas seem to stunt any effort at progress, Varney said the local community has to focus on what it can control – itself. “I can’t speak for the country, which is going to do what it wants to do,” Varney said. “But locally we have total control for what we do. The future of our community is not in anyone else’s hands. It’s in our hands. We’ve got to put aside personal and political differences to move this community forward. “When you look across the country, communities that have Republican mayors and Democrat mayors have all been successful in doing this. This is not a party thing where one party is better at this than the other. It’s just a question of will and putting the community’s best interests in front of personal power and turf. That may be asking too much of people who are more concerned with their personal agendas than with the community’s agenda. But if those are the types of leaders we have, then we’re in a bad place.” And that place might be called Loserville.

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Individual Wins Benefit All

Municipalities Collaborate By Christy Krueger with our aquatic center.” He added that without the alliance When a biotech company moves into Oro Valley, or Sawith Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities, Roche would huarita successfully recruits an aerospace firm, or Marana sets not have expanded Ventana Medical Systems here, “and they homebuilding records, the individual towns don’t celebrate employ more than 1,000 people.” alone – because the entire Tucson metro area wins. Hiremath’s relationship with The best way to grow the reTREO led to his leadership of a gion, according to the area’s leadnew group – one that brings toers, is to collaborate and work toConnect with City, gether the area’s mayors, county ward common goals. County Leaders representatives and tribal leadOne way the communities are ers. “I was named chair of this connecting with one another Interface is a program that provides invesregional government group that’s is through the recently formed tors four opportunities per year to communia subcommittee of TREO,” he Southern Arizona Chamber of cate with Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and four opportunities to speak with Pima said. “We work with other comCommerce Alliance, which holds County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry munities on how to partner with monthly lunch meetings – usually about public policy and doing business in the private sector. No matter how with a guest speaker. Southern Arizona. much the government wants to get Michael Varney, president and something done, it won’t get done CEO of the Tucson Metro ChamThe host speaker opens with a 15-minute without the private sector.” ber, said the alliance “benefits all presentation and then takes questions and The mayors of our area’s towns communities by information sharcomments from those attending. have become comrades in a way ing. It’s good to do – so we’re not Registration is free and meetings are held that wasn’t always the case, Hirein a vacuum. We promote regional from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m at the Tucson math said, and they enjoy the supcooperation and good communiMetro Chamber, 465 W. St. Mary’s Road. port from their peers. cation.” City of Tucson Mayor Jonathan Joint advocacy is another result Meetings are scheduled as follows: Rothschild said he feels fortunate of the towns coming together. to have close working relationships After Pima Community College City of Tucson Pima County with the area’s mayors and recogChancellor Lee Lambert spoke to Nov. 20, 2014 Oct. 23, 2014 nizes how much they have in comthe alliance, its members were inmon. “The municipalities face the spired to help the college retain its Feb. 26, 2015 Jan. 22, 2015 same issues and have the same accreditation by writing letters of May 21, 2015 April 23, 2015 sources of revenue. So we meet support to the school’s accreditor. regularly and exchange ideas and “These days, it’s an environment Aug. 27, 2015 July 23, 2015 best practices.” we will only survive if we intenNov. 19, 2015 Oct. 22, 2015 Town of Marana Mayor Ed tionally partner with each other,” said Town of Oro Valley Mayor Honea reported that Marana curInvestors can register at TucsonChamber.org rently has the highest number of Satish Hiremath. “Tucson Metro by using the event calendar or by contacting housing starts in the county, yet Chamber was involved with the Shirley Wilka at (520) 792-2250, ext. 132. he understands that many of the expansion of Securaplane (in Oro Valley), and Visit Tucson helped continued on page 126 >>> 124 BizTucson

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High-Level Investors Keystone Investors Casino Del Sol Resort Diamond Ventures Hudbay, Rosemont Project Port of Tucson Providence Service Corporation Raytheon Missile Systems Tucson Electric Power Wells Fargo

Chairman Investors AAA Landscape Aerotek Agape Hospice & Palliative Care AGM Container Controls Alliance Bank of Arizona American Family Insurance American Fire Equipment Sales & Service Corp. American Openings Amity Foundation APAC Customer Services Arizona Army National Guard Arizona Daily Star Arizona State University ASARCO Atlas Copco – Mining, Rock Excavation & Construction

Avalon Southwest Rehabilitation Bank of America BBVA Compass BFL Construction BizTucson Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona Bombardier Aerospace CAID Industries Caliber Group Carondelet Health Network CenturyLink Chase Bank Circle K Citi Climatec BTG Community Partnership of Southern Arizona Convergys Corporation CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company Coventry Health Care – First Script Network Services Cox Communications Crest Insurance Group Cushman & Wakefield/ PICOR CyraCom International Desert Diamond Casinos & Entertainment

Pima Federal Credit Union Pima Medical Institute Quarles & Brady LLP Royal Automotive Group Serrato Corporation Securaplane Siemens Industry Sinfonia Healthcare Corp. Southwest Airlines Southwest Gas Corp. Sundt Construction Target Commercial Interiors Tech Parks Arizona Texas Instruments The Jim Click Automotive Team The Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa TM International Tucson Medical Center Tucson Unified School District UA College of Science UHS of Tucson dba Palo Verde Behavioral Health Union Pacific Railroad Company University of Phoenix – Southern Arizona Campus Vantage West Credit Union Vertech Walgreens Walmart

DVA Consulting El Rio Health Center Empire Southwest Encantada Luxury Apartment Homes Farhang & Medcoff Film Creations Finley Distributing Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Golden Eagle Distributors Granite Construction Company Graybar Holualoa Arizona HSL Properties Institute for Better Education Intuit Jacobs Engineering Journal Broadcast Group KVOI Lazydays Lovitt & Touché Madden Media Hyperlocal Online Solutions MC Companies McDonald’s Nextrio Northwest Medical Center Norville Investments Pima Community College

Teamwork Tucson Metro Chamber works collaboratively with Southern Arizona officials. Together we are helping create a more business friendly environment. We appreciate the leadership team that helps make this possible.

Chuck Huckelberry Pima County Administrator

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Jonathan Rothschild Mayor City of Tucson

Satish I. Hiremath Mayor Town of Oro Valley

Ed Honea Mayor Town of Marana

Duane Blumberg Mayor Town of Sahuarita

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BizLEADERSHIP

Chamber Investor Benefits • Access to the online We Can Help desk to solve business problems

• Business Resources – Free subscription to BizTucson (first year only)

• Savings through the Chamber’s affinity programs:

– Free subscription to Inside Tucson Business (first year only)

– Save up to 45 percent on office supplies with Office Depot

– Free copy of the Book of Lists (first year only)

– CopperPoint workers compensation insurance bonus dividends • Access to Peerspectives executive roundtable to solve business problems (additional fees may apply) • Increased exposure through enhanced online directory listing – Company logo – Business description – Map link – Keywords – Photo gallery – YouTube video

– Free subscription to The Chamber Edge quarterly news magazine • Tools for Business resources to help you grow your business • Invitation to a Breakfast with the Board event with the Chamber CEO and one board member • Investor postings of job openings • Coggno online training programs (additional fees may apply) • Opportunities to engage in volunteer activities and committees

– Search result summary • Free marketing opportunities – Display your company brochure in Chamber lobby – Listing in the Chamber’s printed Buyer’s Guide and Investor Directory – Post investor news announcements – Post upcoming events on Community Calendar – Post Hot Deal coupon offers for investors and non-investors • Business referrals from online and call-in sources

Join the Tucson Metro Chamber Growing Businesses. Building Communities.

The chamber offers an assortment of member­ship investment levels with varying portfolios of products, services and benefits to meet the needs of small businesses, those in a stage of growth and the interests of large businesses.   Contact Lori Banzhaf, executive VP, to learn more about membership and how it can benefit your business or organization: (520) 792-2250 x 152 or lbanzhaf@tucsonchamber.org.

continued from page 124 town’s residents work in Oro Valley or Tucson. “A rising tide raises all boats and we all benefit in getting jobs and opportunities,” he said. Town of Sahuarita Mayor Duane Blumberg agrees. “I strongly believe if a new business comes to Tucson, Oro Valley or Marana, or a business expands, it’s good for us, too.” Although the end result wasn’t as hoped, both Blumberg and Honea cited Grand Canyon University as an example of regional cooperation. Honea recalled, “Satish Hiremath called me when Grand Canyon University was looking at a site on Naranja,” in Oro Valley. “He said if Grand Canyon comes to Naranja, would you support it? I said, ‘Put my name on a shovel.’ It’s a win for the whole region.” More recently the Arizona Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery in Marana did receive a green light. Although the federal government provided a grant to fund the project, Marana needed $1 million to build an access road – money the town didn’t have. So Honea reached out for help. “We worked with Pima Association of Governments and they approved the money to build the road. It will benefit the whole area.” Sahuarita leaders hope to contribute to the region’s growth by attracting aerospace and defense firms, which Blumberg believes will diversify the economy. “There are a number of aerospace businesses in Sonora, Mexico, and our location gives us an advantage.” Blumberg recognizes Tucson as the supportive hub for the area’s smaller communities and the economic driver of Southern Arizona. Rothschild’s view is that all our towns contribute. “As mayors, we look at it as one valley – and we represent the valley as a whole,” he said. “When cities work together, we can do a lot for our region.”

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PHOTO:CHRIS MOONEY

Michael Varney President & CEO Tucson Metro Chamber

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Q&A

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with

Michael Varney By David B. Pittman When Michael Varney arrived in Tucson to take over the reins of Tucson Metro Chamber in 2011, he inherited an organization that was reeling from the recession and struggling with declining membership and revenue. Those involved in Varney’s hiring were impressed that during the interview process, he unveiled a list of 20 ways to improve the Chamber and outlined a long-range business plan. After accepting the position, Varney wasted no time implementing probusiness initiatives designed to superserve small business, take a leadership position in government relations and public policy, encourage and assist development of the local economy and improve workforce readiness and education. New Chamber programs introduced by Varney were aimed specifically at improving the value of Chamber membership. In fact, Varney and his staff now refer to Chamber members as “investors,” reinforcing the proposition that businesses can expect to get their money’s worth from joining the Chamber. Varney’s efforts have proved successful. Overall membership rebounded substantially and membership among larger firms skyrocketed. The result is the Chamber is again on solid financial footing. Varney, a native of Madison, Wis., earned a bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts from the University of Wisconsin. www.BizTucson.com

He is the chair-elect of the board of directors of the Western Association of Chamber Executives and serves on the boards of the Arizona Chamber Executives and the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives as well as local civic and nonprofit boards.

provider and we will be judged by the quality and relevance of the services we provide. We are on a constant mission to reinvent ourselves to be relevant and provide value to the people who pay us to be a chamber. Everything we do concerns our membership’s needs.

Q. What changes to

Q. You mentioned

the Chamber have you brought since taking the job?

A.lish good connections in public

We have tried very hard to estab-

policy at the local and state levels to ensure the voice of business is at the table. The things we advocate are heard differently and reacted to differently by the various public policymakers – but all of them will hear the voice of business through the Tucson Metro Chamber. We’ve made changes internally that are not seen by the public. We have reconstituted almost all of the staff. We have very accomplished people in every position – communications, government affairs, finance, events, revenue development – you can go right down the line. They are working hard and are extremely productive. We’ve also made it a point to listen very intently to our customers, our investors, who are the people we serve. We never lose sight that we are a service

efforts to establish positive public policy connections. How have you done that?

A.anced approach in listening to

We’ve made sure we take a bal-

the community. Shortly after I got here, we balanced our candidate evaluation committee and our PAC – the Southern Arizona Business Political Action Committee. Previously, it did not have much balance. Now there is a balanced number of Democrats, Republicans and Independents who evaluate candidates. Our candidate evaluation committee makes recommendations to the political action committee, which can decide to act on those recommendations, or not. Acting on a recommendation might mean a candidate gets an endorsement, or it might mean they get an endorsement and some money. The people that serve on these committees, whatever side of the aisle they are from, are pro-business. We wanted continued on page 132 >>> Fall 2014 > > > BizTucson 129


PHOTO:CHRIS MOONEY

Tony Penn Chairman of the Board Tucson Metro Chamber

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Q&A

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with

Tony Penn By David B. Pittman Tony Penn, president and CEO of the United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona, is the 2014-15 chairman of the board of the Tucson Metro Chamber. Penn arrived in Tucson in May 2010 to take the helm of the United Way, which was mired in debt and management difficulties. Penn proved to be a masterful turnaround artist, erasing a $2 million debt. Penn also streamlined the organization by reducing full-time United Way employees from 75 to 52, curtailing the cost of doing business from 18 cents of every charitable dollar raised, to a dime per dollar. In fact, an analysis done in 2013 measuring 25 different statistical categories rated Tucson’s United Way among the top five United Way organizations – no small feat considering there are 1,400 United Way branches in 41 countries. Tucson’s United Way partners with more than 80 charitable agencies to help more than 100,000 people annually in the areas of education, financial stability and access to healthcare. In 2012-13, more than 13,000 employees from nearly 300 companies invested in the United Way, surpassing its $10 million fundraising campaign goal by nearly $147,000. Before moving to Tucson, Penn was a senior executive for the YMCA in San Antonio for eight years. He also worked 23 years at Teradyne Corp., a large,

high-tech designer and manufacturer of automatic test equipment, where he rose from field engineer to regional manager. A U.S. Air Force veteran, Penn graduated from the Southwest Leadership Program of the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management. He also earned certificates from the University of Texas and the Executive Education program at Harvard Business School. Penn is a board member for Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities.

Q. What is a nonprofit CEO doing chairing the Chamber of Commerce anyway?

A.advocating for every day are not The fact is the people I enjoy

the folks who are standing on the side of a road with a sign. The folks I enjoy working for are at the bus stop at 5 a.m. going to their first job. Those folks really need our United Way. They aren’t looking for a handout – they’re looking for a hand up. They’re hardworking people that want more and better jobs to lift their families. The Chamber is all about strengthening the local economy and creating the best environment possible for economic development. It is about retaining major employers and assisting small busi-

ness so both can grow and hire more people. The Chamber is about improving workforce readiness, increasing high school graduation rates and endorsing pro-business public policy. Improving Tucson’s economy is good for everyone. It means more jobs, higher wages and a larger tax base. It means more money for schools and roads and charitable giving. A growing economy benefits everyone. Being on the board of the Chamber is something I aspired to because every successful community I’ve lived in has had two things – a successful United Way and a successful chamber. When I arrived in Tucson we couldn’t make that claim. Our Chamber was not where it is today. No knock on any previous administration or individual, but we are leaps and bounds ahead of where we were four years ago. Under Mike Varney’s leadership, there has been an infusion of participation at the Chamber.

Q. You and Michael

Varney both took jobs where you faced some difficult situations around the same time. Have the two of you ever discussed that? continued on page 132 >>>

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BizLEADERSHIP Tony Penn

continued from pg. 131

A.We were both able to manage A.needs Yes, more than a couple of times.

in very challenging circumstances and create the turnaround necessary to strengthen the organizations we represent.

Q. What steps did you take to turn around the United Way?

A.and image development. When It began with communications

you have a bump in the road, it is crucial to face the music. I was willing to talk to any group that would listen. I titled my presentation “The Elephant in the Room.” The second step was strengthening our board. We needed to make it more reflective of the community and ensure all the necessary skill sets needed were represented. We’ve done both. The third step was reducing the costs of doing business. We’ve cut business expenses and are running a tight, taut ship. The fourth step was great financial development. Not only have we validated to the community that we’re efficient, we’ve also validated our performance through outcome metrics, which measure how effective we are in making positive transformation in the lives of children, families and seniors in our areas of focus. We have high expectations of our partners to do likewise. United Way has a great track record of building a “collective impact” in communities. “Collective impact” is a phrase we like to use. It is about creating positive transformations cost effectively. United Way’s business orientation and its use of volunteers is a huge part of its magic.

Q. What would you

like to accomplish during your tenure as chairman of the Chamber board?

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I believe that while business community, community also needs business. In my humble analysis, we need greater alignment between the various chambers and other business and economic development groups, such as TREO and the Southern Arizona Leadership Council. We’ve also got to have cross-sector coordination with other major economic interests, such as large healthcare and educational institutions. For these discussions to be successful everyone would have to check their guns at the door and be willing to give a little. This is what we need to start the ball rolling. It is something I will work to accomplish. Biz

Michael Varney

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to shake off the notion that it was a hard-right, closed-door, good-old-boy process. It’s not.

Q. When will the First

Impressions project be competed – the more than $360,000 landscaping effort the Chamber undertook to beautify a nearly half-mile stretch of Tucson Boulevard at the entrance to Tucson International Airport?

A.for the project in mid-NovemWe expect to have a dedication

ber. It’s looking great and it will look even better when the individual pieces of art are mounted. We couldn’t have done this without the generosity of AAA Landscape and our six corporate sponsors: Casino Del Sol Resort, Crest Insurance Group, Desert Diamond Casinos & Entertainment, Jim Click Automotive Team, Vantage West Credit Union and Visit Tucson.

In order to attract companies and a qualified workforce, we need to have an attractive community with amenities. It’s one thing to whine and complain that we need things fixed. It’s another thing to go do it and put your money where your mouth is. We hope the First Impressions project triggers other organizations, other businesses, and maybe the city and county to do more to beautify our community.

Q.

Many of our public officials – particularly one or two among our congressional delegation and the majority of the Pima County Board of Supervisors – oppose the Rosemont Copper Mine. Why does the Chamber support the mine?

A.should be allowed to operate the We believe Hudbay Minerals

Rosemont Copper mine if it can meet permitting and operating standards expected of it by regulatory agencies. Thus far, Hudbay seems to be meeting or exceeding those requirements and we trust they will do so going forward. No mine in history has gone to the lengths the Hudbay, Rosemont project has to employ 21st-century technology, mining techniques and mitigation and reclamation measures. The other thing that is often overlooked when we say no to business opportunity is that we are also saying no to increased sales and property taxes that could be used to fix our streets, build better schools, upgrade our parks and hire more police and firefighters. Tucson is impoverished compared to many cities. We need the high-paying jobs and tax revenue the Hudbay, Rosemont project would bring.

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Vice Chairman Tom McGovern

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Immediate Past Chairman Kurt Wadlington

VP/Regional Manager Psomas

Tucson Building Group Leader Sundt

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Treasurer Robert D. Ramirez

President and CEO Vantage West Credit Union

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Secretary Cyndy A. Valdez

VP General Counsel Golden Eagle Distributors

McGovern manages the Arizona operations of Psomas, a top-ranked engineering firm. He’s a past member of its board of directors and current chair of its retirement committee. His involvement with the Tucson Metro Chamber includes working with the executive committee and the government affairs committee. McGovern also contributes his time to Southern Arizona Leadership Council, American Council of Engineering Companies, American Society of Civil Engineers, Arizona Forward and TREO’s Blueprint Infrastructure Committee. He is also the vice chair of Pima Association of Government’s economic vitality advisory committee.

Wadlington oversees Sundt’s Tucson building operations, ensuring his team’s delivery of pre-construction and construction services are consistent with client goals and objectives. He is involved in numerous business and community organizations in the Tucson area including Greater Tucson Leadership, Southern Arizona Leadership Council, Arizona Forward and Habitat for Humanity.

In addition to his involvement with the Tucson Metro Chamber, Ramirez is active in numerous community organizations, including DM50, Pima Community College Foundation, 162nd Fighter Wing Air Guardians and Ronald McDonald House Charities. He serves on the board of directors for Mountain West Credit Union Association and the Credit Union Executive Society, as well as the Carondelet Foundation board of trustees.

Valdez provides legal counsel and guidance to Golden Eagle’s officers and upper management. She’s vice chair of the Arizona State Liquor Board and is an active member of several state and national liquor industry organizations. These include Beer and Wine Distributors of Arizona, Beverage Alcohol Community Information Council, National Beer Wholesalers Association and the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America. In addition, she serves on the board of directors for Greater Tucson Leadership and Arizona Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel.

William R. Assenmacher

James K. Beckmann

Timothy Bee

Jim Burns

Assenmacher presides over the dayto-day operations of a $50 million business that manufactures a wide variety of engineered products, both domestic and international. He is active with the Chamber in development and in improving job opportunities. Assenmacher is founder and president of Southern Arizona Business Coalition and chairman of AMIGOS. In addition, he is active with The Centurions, Tucson Airport Authority and Southern Arizona Leadership Council.

Beckmann is responsible for the strategic direction, vision and fulfilled mission of Carondelet Health Network. Since his arrival in 2011, he has instilled a vision of providing excellent patient care while focusing on the expansion of four key service lines – neurological, cardiovascular, orthopedic and breast cancer care. Beckmann serves on the Chamber’s nominating committee and is a member of Southern Arizona Leadership Council, TREO Chairman’s Circle and various industry organizations.

CEO CAID Industries

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President and CEO Carondelet Health Network

Senior Associate VP Legislative and Community Relations University of Arizona Bee leads the University of Arizona’s federal, state and local government and community relations teams. He serves on the Chamber’s government affairs committee. Other community activities include commissioner of Arizona Commission on the Arts and member of Vail Community Action Board. He also serves on the public policy committee for United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona.

Former CFO/Interim CEO Casino Del Sol Resort Burns provides financial expertise to the Tucson Metro Chamber board of directors. Until recently he oversaw more than 1,500 team members and was responsible for the daily management of the casino resort and related properties. He’s currently in transition seeking new challenges. He is a member of the Arizona CPA Society and the Reid Park Zoological Society board of directors. He’s also a past member of the board of governors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale.

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Sherry Janssen Downer

Director Fennemore Craig

Downer represents businesses in the areas of employment and labor law and commercial and business litigation. She’s an adjunct professor at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, teaching employment topics. Downer is peer recognized as one of the Best Lawyers in America and a Southwest Super Lawyers Rising Star in employment defense and has received the highest rating available, AV Preeminent, by Martindale Hubbell. She was honored in 2013 as a Woman of Influence and one of Tucson’s 40 Under 40. She was also selected as a 2014 Up and Comer.

Robert E. Lenhard

President Hallmark Business Consultants Lenhard’s career leading Hallmark Business Consultants spans 26 years, since its founding in 1988. The firm represents buyers and sellers of all business categories and has completed more than 500 transactions. Hallmark also provides formal business appraisals to banks that lend to companies. Lenhard is active with Tucson Metro Chamber’s business expansion and retention committee and small business advisory council. Additional community involvement includes Hallmark’s charter membership with the Arizona Business Brokers Association and the Merger and Acquisition Source. In 2003 he received an award of excellence as Arizona’s broker of the year.

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Guy Gunther

Stephanie Healy

VP & GM CenturyLink

Director of Public Affairs Cox Communications

Dusenberry helps customers through personal and business transitions by providing outstanding moving experiences. His former company, Horizon Moving Systems, is now part of the Suddath Companies with operations in 23 cities nationwide. He serves on numerous boards, including Southern Arizona Leadership Council, Southern Arizona Defense Alliance and DM50. He was named Tucson Metro Chamber’s Man of the Year in 2009.

Gunther is responsible for sales, operations, marketing, community development and overall P&L performance for the greater Arizona market. CenturyLink is the third-largest telecommunications company in the nation, providing data, voice and managed services through its advanced fiber-optic network. Gunther is the immediate past chairman of Tucson Metro Chamber’s education committee and is chairman of the board for TREO. He’s active with Southern Arizona Leadership Council and other local organizations.

Healy oversees government affairs, public relations, community development and media relations in Southern Arizona for Cox Communications. She is a Flinn Brown fellow and has received a number of leadership awards in the community. Her civic participation and board memberships include El Rio Health Center Foundation, Arizona Forward, DM50, City of Tucson’s Economic and Workforce Development Commission, the City’s Charter Commission, University of Arizona College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Silver & Turquoise Board of Hostesses.

Larry Lucero

Jill Malick

Walter Richter

Malick oversees a team of eight Wells Fargo bankers who provide financial services to business customers in Tucson and Nogales. She co-chairs the bank’s Southern Arizona community advisory board and is a recipient of its national sales and service excellence award. Malick is one of Tucson Metro Chamber’s newest board members and also serves on the Southern Arizona Leadership Council board of directors.

Richter oversees community and consumer affairs, as well as local government relations for Southwest Gas throughout Southern Arizona. He serves on the Tucson Metro Chamber candidate evaluation committee and the Southern Arizona Business Political Action Committee. In addition to his work with the Chamber, Richter serves on the boards of TREO and the Downtown Tucson Partnership.

Bruce Dusenberry

Business Development Consultant Suddath Relocation Systems

Senior Director of Government Relations and Economic Development UNS Energy Corporation and subsidiary Tucson Electric Power Lucero assists in advancing the interests of the utility and its customers. He’s a member of Tucson Metro Chamber’s government affairs committee and also works with a variety of community organizations. Among those are TREO, Chicanos Por La Causa Southern Arizona Advisory Council, Campus Research Corporation and Tucson Youth Development/ACE Charter High School.

VP Business Banking Manager Wells Fargo

Administrator Corporate Public Affairs Southwest Gas

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Cody Ritchie

Steve Rosenberg

Owner and Publisher BizTucson Magazine

Partner and Owner Lazarus, Silvyn and Bangs

Keri Lazarus Silvyn

Lea N. Standridge

Ritchie oversees the operations of Crest Insurance in Tucson and Phoenix, concentrating on the agency’s sales and marketing functions. He serves on the First Impressions committee with the Chamber and is active with other community groups, including Rio Nuevo, Tucson Conquistadores, State Compensation Fund Broker Advisory Board and San Miguel High School. Ritchie also volunteers as a youth coach.

Rosenberg is founder of BizTucson, the region’s quarterly business magazine. In addition to the Chamber, he serves as a board member for DM50, Visit Tucson, Raytheon Spirit of Education Awards and Steven M. Gootter Foundation. Rosenberg is the founding chairman and a board member of Father’s Day Council Tucson. BizTucson has produced the CEO Leadership Summit and the Healthcare Summit, which are issues-based community forums.

Silvyn is a land-use attorney, working predominately with property owners and developers to help create responsible development throughout Arizona. She holds several positions with Tucson Metro Chamber, including chairwoman of the editorial committee. Silvyn is founder of Imagine Greater Tucson and a member of TREO. In 2011 she received the Small Business Association Athena Award, and in 2013 Greater Tucson Leadership named her Woman of the Year.

Standridge holds many responsibilities with Raytheon, which include overseeing strategic growth planning, and developing collaborative integrated mission solutions for its missile defense programs. In addition to Tucson Metro Chamber, she devotes time to the Casa de los Niños board of directors and is chair of Children, Youth & Camping Services at Tucson Jewish Community Center.

Howard Stewart

Cristie Street

Richard Underwood

President AAA Landscape

CEO Contact One Call Center

Stewart manages AGM Container Controls, which manufactures products for container, missile, electro-optical, automobile, packaging and public facility markets. He was recognized as Tucson’s Small Business Leader of the Year in 2002 and his company received a U.S. Chamber of Commerce designation as America’s Small Business of the Year in 2009. Stewart is the 2014-2015 campaign cabinet chair for United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona and serves on the Greater Tucson Leadership board of directors.

Heading up this locally based IT firm’s team of professionals keeps Street on her toes. The company sponsors the Chamber’s Copper Cactus Awards, saluting innovation through technology. With Street’s dedication, it also supports Ronald McDonald House, United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona, Social Venture Partners, Mobile Meals, Arizona Public Media and other local nonprofits.

In addition to presiding over AAA Landscape, Underwood is a partner with Arid Solutions Wholesale Plant Nursery and chairman of the Chamber’s First Impressions committee. Underwood serves on Arizona State Landscape Contractors Advisory Board, Metropolitan Pima Alliance, Southern Arizona Leadership Council and the Dean’s Executive Advisory Board for the University of Arizona College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape. He’s director of Canyon Community Bank and a member of Tucson Airport Authority.

Community outreach, special projects and business development make up Wood’s primary job functions with Contact One Call Center. She serves on the government affairs committee and nominating committee for the Chamber. In addition, she’s active with Beacon Group, Arizona Commerce Authority, Governor’s Council on Small Business, Women at the Top and Southern Arizona Leadership Council.

Managing Director Crest Insurance Group

President and CEO AGM Container Controls

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Managing Partner Nextrio

Business Development Raytheon Missile Systems

Judy Wood

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Local Corporate Headquarters Accelerate Diagnostics Arizona Canning Co. (La Costeña) Arizona Community Physicians ASARCO

Chamber Reaches Out to Next-Gen Leaders

Ascent Aviation Beacon Group

By Romi Carrell Wittman

Buffalo Exchange CAID Industries Canyon Ranch Carondelet Health Network Catalina China/HF Coors Darling Industries Eegee’s Fall Line Testing and Inspection Golden Eagle Distributors HJ3 Composite Technologies IBM Tucson Jim Click Automotive Team Long Realty Modular Mining Systems MineSight/Mintec Offshore International Precision Shooting Equipment Providence Service Corporation Raytheon Missile Systems ReliaSoft Corporation Sargent Aerospace & Defense Texas Instruments Tucson Sundt Tierra Antigua Realty Truly Nolen UNS Energy Corporation (Tucson Electric Power) Universal Avionics Systems Corporation Ventana Medical Systems Walbro Engine Management Source: Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities

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With so many social media tools available, it’s oh-so-simple to find and meet up with like-minded people, especially for young professionals. But it is not so easy to connect with people who can help young business owners and leaders grow their business, develop leadership skills and find mentors to share their expertise. That’s the goal of the Tucson Metro Chamber’s new Emerging Leaders Council – to connect business leadership across generations. “This is basically a roundtable of young business owners and leaders that we want to bring into the room so they can have a discussion about the issues they’re facing in their businesses,” said Robert Medler, VP of government affairs for the Tucson Metro Chamber. The hope is that the chamber and its investors, with resources throughout the region, can address those concerns, enabling local small businesses to thrive. The idea came from a series of discussions between Michael Varney, president and CEO of the Chamber, and Tony Penn, CEO of United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona and chairman of the Chamber board. Varney mentioned his vision to invest in and support young leaders in the community. That was when Penn had an “a-ha moment” – why not connect the chamber with the United Way’s Young Leaders Society and its chair, Whitney Thistle. From there, Thistle and Varney brainstormed and the new council

became a reality. “This will be an intimate group of entrepreneurs and business owners, people who are invested in Tucson, who believe in it and will stay,” Thistle said. “The possibilities are endless.” Ben Korn, owner of Safeguard Tucson and an active community leader, was tapped to serve as chair of the new council, which will be based at the Chamber offices. Thistle, manager of volunteer programs at the United Way, remains the guiding force behind the effort and will be very active as well. Both Thistle and Medler are most excited about the council’s mentor program. “We are always hearing that the younger generations are looking for mentors, but there has been a disconnect of being able to find one,” Medler said. “So we’re going to start a mentor-matching program to address that need.” Mentees from the council will be paired with experienced mentors who are Chamber investors. “The idea is that you pair the mentee with someone outside his or her circle, someone they can turn to for input. And the goal is for this to be a longterm partnership,” Thistle said. Thistle said they have been careful not to over-plan the council or its mission. “We’re starting small and investing in a core group of about 18 to 20,” she said. “We’re leaving it open-ended. We want the group to guide us by telling us their most pressing needs.” Medler, who serves as the Chamwww.BizTucson.com


This council is going to address a big need for millennials in our community and, hopefully, help them become the next wave of Tucson’s leaders.

– Robert Medler VP of Government Affairs Tucson Metro Chamber

ber staff liaison to the new council, said that they also were careful not to duplicate what other community organizations, like Tucson Young Professionals and Greater Tucson Leadership, are doing. TYP is a very active social and business networking group while GTL is an intensive yearlong leadership and community education program. The Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Raytheon Missile Systems also have their own leadership training programs. “We may find people to serve on the council from those groups,” said Medler, “but our purpose, our function, is very different.” With the program just getting off the ground, there is still a lot to be figured out, but Thistle and Medler are confident the council will succeed and make a difference. “This council is going to address a big need for millennials in our community,” Medler said, “and, hopefully, help them become the next wave of Tucson’s leaders.”

Biz www.BizTucson.com

Tucson Metro Chamber Event Calendar COPPER CACTUS AWARDS Thursday, Oct. 30 Casino Del Sol Resort

5 p.m. Cocktail Reception 6:30 p.m. Dinner & Awards 9 p.m. After Party www.tucsonchamber.org/coppercactus

The Tucson Metro Chamber Copper Cactus Awards presented by Wells Fargo celebrates our region’s best small businesses – one of the most vital sectors of our community. Fiftytwo businesses and four business leaders in Southern Arizona have been selected as finalists in award categories that include Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona Best Place to Work, CopperPoint Small Business Leader of the Year, Cox Business Growth, Nextrio Innovation through Technology and the new Tucson Electric Power Charitable Nonprofit Business award. OUTLOOKS LEADERS FOR CHANGE Wednesday, Dec. 3 Westward Look Wyndham Grand Resort & Spa

7:30 a.m. Registration and Networking 8 to 9 a.m. Presentation 9 to 10 a.m. Speaker Meet & Greet www.tucsonchamber.org/outlooks

The Tucson Metro Chamber presents “Navigating Economic Whitewater” with economist and public policy expert Jim Rounds. Learn how data, public policy and community development combine to create budget priorities in cities, counties and at the state level. Get an up-close-and-personal perspective on the dynamics that govern the tug-of-war for funds and doing the people’s work in Arizona. Rounds is senior VP and senior economist with Elliott D. Pollack and Co. in Phoenix. He specializes in preparing economic analyses for both public and private sector organizations, including economic overviews related to the national and state economies. Rounds regularly advises the Arizona Legislature, Gov. Jan Brewer, mayors, city council members, county board members and other public and private leaders in the community. Prior to his current position Rounds served as a senior economist and senior budget analyst with the Arizona Joint Legislative Budget Committee. STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESS January 2015 Location to be announced

10 a.m. Business Expo 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Luncheon & Address www.tucsonchamber.org/stateofstate

The Tucson Metro Chamber hosts Arizona’s new governor, who will deliver the State of the State address detailing the issues affecting not only Southern Arizona, but the entire state. This event attracts more than 800 people. Tucson Metro Chamber Business Expo will be held in conjunction with this event. This large expo provides exhibitors the opportunity to showcase their products and services to the community. STATE OF THE CITY ADDRESS Friday, March 6, 2015 JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa

10 a.m. Multi-Chamber Business Expo 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Luncheon & Address www.tucsonchamber.org/stateofcity

The Tucson Metro Chamber will host the annual State of the City luncheon where Mayor Jonathan Rothschild addresses more than 1,000 people detailing the goals, planned policies and objectives for Tucson in the coming year. The Multi-Chamber Business Expo will be held in conjunction with this event. This large expo provides exhibitors the opportunity to showcase their products and services to the community. GOOD MORNING TUCSON Wednesday, April 22, 2015 Location to be announced

7:30 Registration and Networking 8 to 9 a.m. Presentation 9 to 10 a.m. Speaker Meet & Greet www.tucsonchamber.org/gmt

Join the Tucson Metro Chamber for a special event that will inspire individuals and businesses to be great leaders. Bill Graham presents “The Power of Likable Leadership.” This promises to inform and inspire attendees, regardless of company size or industry. Fall 2014 > > > BizTucson 141


PHOTO: DAVID SANDERS

BizLEADERSHIP

Greater Tucson Leadership is an annual class that builds community leaders who are knowledgeable and connected change agents. The 2014 graduates and participants include from left: Front row – Paul Caser-

Cook, Tucson Metro Chamber; Jeffrey Scott, Cushman & Wakefield/PICOR; Anne Rounds, Ronald McDonald House Charities; Jessica Galow, United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona; Evan Feldhausen, Beach Fleishman

tano, Pima Association of Governments; Heather Hiscox, Seven Degrees Consulting; Melinda Vollmer, Casino Del Sol; Jerusha Schmalzel, Tucson Symphony Orchestra; Amanda Iverson, Pinnacle Plan Design; Francine Schooling, Tohono O’odham Gaming Entertainment

Second row – Jennifer

Chenault, Lovitt &Touche; Diana Valenzuela, Casa de la Luz Hospice; Jennifer Harris, Long Realty; Jerah Yassine, Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities; Debby Shively, University of Arizona Bookstores; Charles Everett, Raytheon Missile Systems

Third row – Brett Rustand,

Crest Insurance Group; Kelly Lensink, Bank of America; Karyn Damschen, Retirement Navigators; Hilary Van Alsburg, Humane Society of Southern Arizona; Matt Landon, Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort

Fourth row – Patrick Dooley, Sundt; Katie Grogan, Focus HR; Jason

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Not pictured – Marcus Diaz, Casino Del Sol Resort; Sherry Downer, Fennemore Craig; Jaclyn Gutmann, Raytheon Missile Systems; Patricia McDaniel, Casino Del Sol Resort; Nicola Hartmann, San Miguel High School; Eliza Holland, UA Health Network; Allie Jones, Northwestern Mutual; Donna Lewandowski, Arizona State University; Meredith Lipscomb, Junior League of Tucson; Amber Mazzei, American Lung Association; Linda McCollum, Pima County Attorney’s Office; Laura Nagore, Tucson Metro Chamber; Lesah Sesma-Gay, Casino Del Sol Resort; Devin Simmons, Raytheon Missile Systems; Milton Soditch, B/E Aerospace

Fall 2014

GTL Grads Make Measurable Impact By Romi Carrell Wittman People talk about making the community a better place and “giving back” – but the 2014 class of Greater Tucson Leadership made this a measurable reality. Instead of taking on a singular class project, the 37 class members signed a formal agreement to become community leaders. Then they got down to business. At the June graduation ceremony following their 10-month GTL program, the class members reported the results of that commitment – some 1,525 volunteer hours served and nearly $20,000 in contributions to local nonprofits, with a total financial impact of $92,945 in the community. They presented their im-

pact study and detailed their future leadership plans at the sold-out breakfast graduation event called Leaders in Action held at Hacienda Del Sol Resort. Ben Korn, president of the GTL governing board, said, “This is a reflection of the power of the program and the engagement of the individuals and organizations who invest their time and resources to make Tucson a better place for future generations.” GTL’s mission is to inspire, develop and promote leadership, as well as identify leaders who impact the Tucson region. GTL shapes these up-andcoming leaders by connecting them to the tools and resources continued on page 144 >>> www.BizTucson.com


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The vast majority of our graduates lead by example and continue on to do great things for years to come. –

continued from page 142 they need to effect positive, long-lasting community change. Class members, selected through an application process each spring, meet monthly for daylong Issue Days, which involve both classroom and field work. Each day focuses on a different aspect of the community and its challenges, offering different perspectives and viewpoints and challenging participants to go outside their comfort zone to come up with meaningful solutions. Each Issue Day also features professional development activities designed to help participants strengthen their leadership skills. Korn said, “GTL provides a way for people to maximize their ability to make a positive difference because

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Ben Korn, President, Greater Tucson Leadership Governing Board

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they’re knowledgeable and connected. The vast majority of our graduates lead by example and continue on to do great things for years to come.” Founded in 1980, GTL is a nonprofit, nonpartisan leadership organization dedicated to providing leadership education, community development and civic engagement for the greater Tucson community. Since its inception, more than 900 people have graduated from the program. GTL is the only formal, local civic leadership education program in Southern Arizona. In 2012, GTL became a partner program of the Tucson Metro Chamber and moved into the Chamber’s downtown offices. At that time, GTL also took over the annual Man and Woman of the Year and Founders Award event,

which has become GTL’s signature event. Nominations for the 2015 Man and Woman of the Year and Founders Awards will be accepted from Oct. 1 through 22. Tickets go on sale this fall for the Feb. 7 event to be held at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort. The 2015 GTL class got underway in August with a class retreat. Suzanne McFarlin, GTL’s executive director, said she expects this experience to be life-changing for the class members. “The Class of 2015 launched with enthusiasm,” she said. “Throughout the class, they will become more knowledgeable about the community, better connected and schooled in how to create social force and serve as strong change agents in our community.”

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Chamber Investors Speak Up

Quarles & Brady has been a proud member of the Chamber for the last 32 years. It has been our privilege to have a strong partnership with the Chamber over this time. Since taking the helm at the Chamber, Mike Varney and the entire Board of Directors have revitalized the Chamber, making it a driving force for positive change affecting the business and political landscape in Tucson. The Tucson partners at Q&B greatly appreciate all the hard work and dedication of the entire Chamber staff to make Tucson a more vibrant business community. We are on track and moving in the right direction.

– Craig Kaufman, Office Co-Managing Partner, Quarles & Brady

The Tucson Metro Chamber is relentless in helping support the small business interest in Southern Arizona and Tucson. With so many services and programs offered, you can’t go wrong. You just need to get involved.

–Bruce Seely, Sales Manager, Brady Industries

The Chamber has truly enhanced our efforts in connecting with other members in the community. We have been able to provide a higher quality of services to our clients because of our involvement with the Tucson Metro Chamber.

– Danielle Fowler, Employment Specialist, Southern Arizona Association for the Visually Impaired

The Chamber is extremely important to all. By acknowledging and supporting new members, it not only helps us create new relationships, but helps our Old Pueblo develop a stronger economy – and thus a more attractive city to live in.

– Ed Palma, Business Development Manager, The Jim Click Automotive Team

Being an Ambassador for the Tucson Metro Chamber allows me a great opportunity to get an inside perspective of a new business member and to meet the management staff of these organizations during their company’s ribbon cuttings and one-on-one meetings. It is a wonderful way to connect and welcome a new company to the community.

– Gloria White, New Business Development Director, United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona

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Government Relations From Herding Cats to Collaboration By Jay Gonzales

Getting divergent government relations groups in the Tucson area headed in the same direction is a challenge comparable to herding cats. Yet accomplishing that coordination is critical for business, the community and even the governments themselves. Since the arrival of Michael Varney as Tucson Metro Chamber president and CEO in 2011, the Chamber has worked to take a leadership role in bringing various government relations entities together to build consensus and drive change in the Tucson community that will benefit businesses and, consequently, the entire Tucson community. “Mike has a philosophy of when business is good, life is good,” said Robert Medler, the Chamber’s VP of government affairs. “We know that a thriving local economy can fix a lot of the problems in our community.” The challenge, then, is in developing a consensus on what comes first, and then how to pull the various factions together to head in the same direction, solve problems and give businesses a chance to make Tucson a better place. Medler said the key to that is action. The Chamber has become involved in a wide range of government relations efforts and, in doing so, has tried to demonstrate that it can help to bring different entities together to face up to tough issues. “I’m a firm believer in action speaks louder than words,” Medler said. “When you see an idea, follow it all the way through. You’re not always going to succeed. But you’ve got to at least try. I think people respect that.” Medler points to the rewrite of Tucson’s Land Use Code as a success story that shows what can happen when factions with varying ideas about what’s good for Tucson come together and 148 BizTucson

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put in the work to reach a consensus. Medler was on the committee that completed the rewrite and he said word has spread that compromise can happen – at a time when the very thought of it seems to be lost in our current political climate. “It was business, developers, neighborhood representatives, architects – a wide spectrum of individuals who always fought over issues in rezoning,” Medler said. “It took four years. It… was…challenging. “But when we had an issue we would figure it out. Sometimes it was something simple. Other times the process was rigorous. When we got to the end, it was a compromise document and everyone for the most part was very happy. You have to sit down and sweat it out and spend the time and the effort because in the end, it’s worth it. But everyone has to buy in at the beginning. With Land Use Code we had that because people were tired of the fight.” One of the ways the Chamber has tried to engage business is to tap one of Tucson’s longtime and most respected government relations executives to lead its Government Affairs Committee. Larry Lucero, senior director of government relations and economic development for UNS Energy Corporation and subsidiary Tucson Electric Power, has run those programs for the utility since 1992. Before arriving at TEP, he was Pima County’s head of economic development. Lucero said the Chamber’s approach has already opened doors that had been pretty well slammed shut for longer than anyone can remember. In addition, it’s becoming an expectation that the Chamber will be deeply involved in government relations matters for the benefit of businesses.

“They have been put on the spot and held a lot more accountable than perhaps the old regime,” Lucero said. “It has gotten the attention of the local governments, particularly the city and the county, and as a result, dialogue has begun. I think we’ve entered a new era – perhaps not yet collaboration, but certainly communication. We want to get to a point where there is collaboration.” And there are plenty of issues to go around where collaboration is going to be needed. Foremost on the Chamber’s plate are this year’s elections; the continuing discussion of changing the Tucson City Charter; approval of the Hudbay, Rosemont project, an issue that the Chamber firmly supports; the pending court decisions to force state government to make up as much as $3 billion in funding for education; and an issue that hits home with everyone in the community – transportation and roads. “The pendulum has swung back toward a more collaborative approach among all the Tucson organizations,” Lucero said. “Tucson still is a very small town quite frankly. I think you can still see there are opportunities to have frank conversations as neighbors and colleagues. And that’s what sets Tucson apart from other communities. “One of the beauties of Tucson is that there is a lot of crossover between folks who are part of TREO, the Chamber, Southern Arizona Leadership Council, the DM50 and so on. The advantage of that is that hopefully there is more of an understanding of what everybody’s role is and what everybody is trying to accomplish. I think we’re doing a much better job today.”

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PHOTO:CHRIS MOONEY

BizLEADERSHIP

The Tucson Metro Chamber executive team includes from left – Carissa Fairbanks, Communications Director; Jackie Chambers, Member Services & Affinity Director; Michael Varney, President & CEO; Lori Banzhaf, Executive VP; Robert Medler, VP of Government Affairs; Tony Penn, Chairman of the Board. Not pictured – Laura Nagore, VP of Finance & Operations.

Executive

Communications

Michael Varney President & CEO

Carissa Fairbanks

Lori Banzhaf Executive VP

Government Affairs

Member Services

Special Events

Communications Director

Robert Medler

Jackie Chambers

Events Manager

David Long

Leticia Valenzuela

VP of Government Affairs

Communications & Graphic Design Specialist

Shirley Wilka

Executive Assistant

Finance & Operations

Business Development Business Development & Advertising Director

Edgar Martinez

Member Operations Manager

Valerie Vargas

Operations Administrative Assistant

Business Development Executive

Events Coordinator

Member Services & Accounting Coordinator

VP of Finance & Operations

Marta Balcerak

Tammy Jensen

Jason Cook

Sarah Akers

Laura Nagore

Jill A’Hearn

Government Affairs Coordinator

Member Services & Affinity Director

Carol Gatewood

Member Services Administrative Assistant

Contact us: Call (520) 792-1212 – E-mail info@tucsonchamber.org Stop by: 465 W. St. Mary’s Road, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday Learn more at: www.tucsonchamber.org 150 BizTucson

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BizENTREPRENEUR

Judy Wood

PHOTO: KRIS HANNING

CEO Contact One Call Center

Call Center All-Star Contact One Provides Personal Touch By Steve Rivera Judy Wood is proud of her employees at Contact One Call Center, who have made talking to people and getting problems solved an art form. For 12 consecutive years, Wood’s company has been one of the best in the business. Customer service is key for Wood – and the reason that Contact One continues to garner the Call Center Award of Distinction from the Association of TeleServices International. Being reliable, motivated and courteous has proved to be good business for Wood, the firm’s CEO. “It’s a reflection of the great team of employees that we have,” Wood said. “They take a lot of pride in receiving the award each year.” The key to Contact One’s success? Hiring good people and making them “the best in the business.” Wood and her business have come a long way since she became the owner of what was then A-1 Metro Answering Service. Nearly 20 years ago, after adding a number of new www.BizTucson.com

services, the name was changed to what it is today. “Obviously, I bought it with the hope to grow it – and we have,” said Wood, who started with eight employees and now has about 50. “We’ve always had the vision of wanting to grow into a premier call center where the client was our focus.” Wood serves a few hundred clients – from locals to national chains and international companies. Among them are the Arizona Office of Tourism, Pima Heart Associates, University of Arizona Health Network and P.F. Chang’s China Bistro. Contact One offers fast and efficient after-hour support, customer service assistance, order taking, e-mail help and livechat services to its clients. There are no outbound sales campaigns. Instead the primary focus is providing customer service support to the clients. It’s a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week service. And, sí, se habla español. continued on page 156 >>> Fall 2014 > > > BizTucson 155


BizENTREPRENEUR continued from page 155 “We want to add value to their business,” Wood said. “That has been our focus since we started.” Contact One employees strive to know all there is to know about their clients. Training is intensive. A caller has a question? Contact has the answer. Ad rates? Check. Company hours? Check. Who is who? Check and recheck. “We hope to continue to grow and in a way not to compromise our commitment to adding value to our clients and our premier customer service,” Wood said. “We also help our clients by providing services when a disaster affects their ability to take calls and service their clients,” Wood said. Calls come in from all over when disasters hit. Tucson is a perfect place to handle these calls because “we don’t have hurricanes or forest fires or tornadoes.” Contact One clients value the services they receive. Jack M. Jordan is customer care manager for the University of Arizona Health Network. He said, “Since 1997, the University of Arizona Health Plans have utilized Contact One to handle our after-hours and weekend needs for our AHCCCS and Medicare population. As they have grown, Contact One has become a valued partner assisting with outbound call campaigns to members and providers, and acts as our emergency backup when there have been power outages or system failures. Contact One is an integral part of UAHP’s compliance with state and federal regulations and assists the health plans in maintaining our high member and provider satisfaction results.” Sherry Henry, director of the Arizona Office of Tourism, said, “Judy Wood and the Contact One Call Center have done an amazing job in helping us promote Arizona as a travel destination. They are an integral component to our overall marketing program and we certainly appreciate all their efforts in what they do to educate travel consumers about how to enjoy Arizona.” Wood has done well for herself in a family-owned company. And she remains busy with a number of local charities and boards. She currently serves on the boards of the Tucson Metro Chamber, the Beacon Group and the Arizona Commerce Authority. “This is how I give back to the community,” she said. “And it’s good business. It’s important for local businesses to get involved.” Jeff Wood, her son, is the company’s president. Daughter Jennifer Hoffman is the CFO and human resources director. Wood is a fourth-generation Arizonan. Her company could be headquartered in just about any city, but she has kept it in her hometown. More than 30 years later, Contact One is one of the best in the business. “I thought I’d build it up and sell it,” Wood said. “But I’ve been pleasantly surprised that my children were interested in the business. They are taking it to the next level. Their participation has allowed me to more involved in the community.” Biz 156 BizTucson

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VP of Innovation and Strategy University of Arizona

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PHOTO: CARTER ALLEN

Joaquin Ruiz


BizBIOSCIENCE

Diagnostics Summit Attracts Global Audience UA/Miraval Institute Event Provides Pathway to Better Health By Romi Carrell Wittman

Many of the top medical minds in the country gathered on an early summer evening for a welcome reception of cocktails and conversation, all in the shadow of the gorgeous Santa Catalina Mountains. It was a friendly meeting of the minds offering professional fellowship and, most important, the furthering of medical diagnostics innovations and the field of personalized medicine. This first-ever University of Arizona/Miraval Institute Diagnostics Summit was held at the Miraval Resort and Spa north of Tucson. Program organizers hope it will become an annual event. Mara Aspinal, then the CEO of Ventana Medical Systems, welcomed attendees. She was instrumental in orchestrating the agenda, gathering experts in the diagnostics field to support and attend the conference. The keynote speaker was John Kao, chairman of the Institute for Large Scale Innovation, based in San Francisco, and an angel investor in emerging technology companies. The conference itself is the brainchild of Joaquin Ruiz, University of Arizona VP of innovation and strategy and dean of science,, and Michael Tompkins, former CEO of Miraval. “John and I talked about an innovation institute,” Tompkins said. “Joaquin and Mara talked about having a diagwww.BizTucson.com

nostics summit. Joaquin and I thought we could collaborate and do something here at Miraval,” Tompkins said. Ruiz brought the parties together to brainstorm ways for the various entities to collaborate, and the result has been a series of UA/Miraval Institute events at the resort, which covered a wide range of topics from healthy living to personalized medicine.

It’s important to show up and blow on the sparks. I want to support the next phase of Southern Arizona’s game plan.

– John Kao, Chairman Institute for Large Scale Innovation

Aspinall said the concept stemmed from a shared desire to bring diagnostics industry leaders to Tucson to showcase the best diagnostic innovations in research today. “This was a perfect fit with the University of Arizona/Miraval Institute’s focus on health and wellness,” she said. She said the conference also dovetailed with Southern Arizona’s economic development initiative to make Tucson a center for excellence in diagnostics. Using Miraval as the setting for the event made sense, too. The resort, which opened in 1995, is not far from Biosphere 2, the UA’s highly regarded science research center. Ruiz had long wanted to collaborate with Bio2’s world-famous neighbor. Miraval is situated on 400 acres of pristine desert and features 116 casitastyle luxury spa accommodations. The resort offers a variety of health and wellness activities and treatments. The property made global headlines back in 2004 when Steve Case, co-founder of AOL, became the majority owner of Miraval. Keynote speaker Kao brought his big-picture vision and his love of the Tucson region to the event. “Diagnostics is about innovation,” he said. “I’ve been coming to Miraval for 3 1/2 years continued on page 160 >>> Fall 2014 > > > BizTucson 159


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continued from page 159 and I’ve been building relationships and seeing how the community views diagnostics. What mix of ingredients does Tucson need to grow this industry?” Kao envisions Tucson as a center for thought leadership in the diagnostics field, a global innovator – and this is one of the main reasons he lent his support to the nascent event. “It’s important to show up and blow on the sparks,” he said. “I want to support the next phase of Southern Arizona’s game plan.” Another speaker, Michael Cima, professor of materials science and engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said, “Diagnostics is an important area of medicine that’s only getting more important. Individualized healthcare is critical because healthcare spending can be impacted with better diagnostics.” When Aspinall reached out to him, he jumped at the chance to network with colleagues in the field. “And it was a pleasure to come out here after a long winter in Boston,” he said. Aspinall called the summit an unqualified success. It attracted a senior group of national healthcare leaders – including the head of diagnostics for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She says future diagnostics conferences will have two primary objectives. The first is to show the broader national healthcare industry that diagnostics is a hotbed for innovation and is critical to improving patient care and reducing system costs across all disease areas. The second objective is to emphasize that Tucson and the Southern Arizona region is the place to be for the diagnostics industry. Aspinall said diagnostics is and will continue to be critical in patient care and the field of individualized treatment. She summed it up simply: “Without an accurate diagnosis, patients have nothing.”

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PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

BizHEALTHCARE

Banner Deal for

Phoenix-Based Nonprofit to Handle

By Dan Sorenson Massive changes in the healthcare landscape today are inevitable. That’s why Banner Health – a highly rated, Phoenix-based nonprofit hospital group with more than two dozen facilities in six states – sits poised to take over the operation of University of Arizona Medical Center and other UAHNrelated medical facilities and programs. The intent is to create a statewide healthcare organization and a comprehensive new model for academic medicine. The pending agreement spans 30 years. The rapidly changing U.S. health system requires a seismic shift. “It is unsustainable to keep healthcare in this country the way it is, costing what it does and providing what it does. We can’t do it. It’s impossible,” said Steve Lynn, chairman of the board of the University of Arizona Health Network. 162 BizTucson

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Change is coming, “if not now, later. If not Banner Health, it would have been another hospital system – at least if the clinical facilities related to the UA College of Medicine were to survive the changing times, let alone expand and excel,” Lynn said. UA and UAHN officials view this acquisition as not an act of desperation for an organization operating in the red but a positive change that benefits all parties. In the simplest terms, Banner would replace UA Health Network, the nonprofit that now operates the spectrum of university-affiliated healthcare – including UAMC, other facilities on the UAMC campus such as Diamond Children’s and the UA South Campus (still known to some Tucsonans as Kino Hospital), University of Arizona Physicians, University of Arizona Health

Plans and affiliated physician offices and clinics. The package also provides a dedicated clinical resource – Banner Good Samaritan Hospital – for medical students at the UA’s College of Medicine-Phoenix. Terms of the deal that have UA parties excited include:

• Banner

Health investing $500 million in facilities and improvements in Tucson over the first five years.

• Establishing

an Academic Enhancement Fund, an endowment intended to generate $20 million annually to support academic enhancements, faculty recruitment and program development at UA colleges of medicine in Phoenix and Tucson for the duration of the 30-year deal. www.BizTucson.com


Health Tucson

Operations for UA Medical Facilities

• Eliminating

all outstanding UAHN debt, estimated at more than $300 million.

All told, the proposed transaction is anticipated to generate approximately $1 billion in new capital, academic investments and other consideration and value beneficial to UA and the community, according to the initial news release issued by UAHN, UA and Banner Health in June. “Our health sciences center and college (of medicine) are really good. With the resources and capital investments by Banner, we can be outstanding – and be a premier academic health center,” said Joe G. N. “Skip” Garcia, interim dean of the UA College of Medicine-Tucson and senior VP for health sciences. “We can move to being in the top quartile (of U.S. medical schools). We’re

not in the top half now.” Garcia said those rankings, determined by U.S. News & World Report and National Institutes of Health, depend in part on research – something that stands to benefit from the UA’s proposed relationship and funding from Banner. “Research is a big part of that. The reputation of your medical school is a big part of that as well.” This helps attract top doctors and prospective medical students. And, ultimately, those things are good for patients, Garcia and other involved parties said. Research and treatment both benefit from a larger patient base, something that comes from being associated with a larger organization, said Dr. Michael Waldrum, president and CEO of UAHN and a professor of medicine at the UA College of Medicine/Tucson. “I wouldn’t categorize Tucson as continued on page 164 >>>

Our health sciences center and college (of medicine) are really good. With the resources and capital investments by Banner, we can be outstanding – and be a premier academic health center.

– Joe G. N. “Skip” Garcia Senior VP of Health Sciences University of Arizona

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PHOTOS: CHRIS MOONEY

BizHEALTHCARE

From left – Peter S. Fine, President and CEO, Banner Health; Dr. Michael Waldrum, President and CEO, UAHN and Professor of Medicine UA College of Medicine/Tucson; Ann Weaver Hart, President, the University of Arizona; Dr. Ronald J. Creasman, Chairman, Banner Health Board of Directors; Rick Myers, Treasurer, Arizona Board of Regents

continued from page 163 small,” Waldrum said. “But really, to be able to do healthcare in the future requires large groups of people, big data. You have to have access to critical amounts of populations, of people to manage. With the new payment methods, having large populations becomes important. “The traditional way that academic medical centers have run is they just concentrated on the sickest patients and very specialized services like transplants, those kinds of things. For instance, we are the only Level One (trauma center) in Southern Arizona. “But in the future it will be hard to be successful financially if you’re just doing that – because you have to have large populations to feed those highend services. And so scale and population becomes important. And scale and having information available to do research helps.” The numbers are impressive for Banner, too. With the absorption of UAHN’s 6,300 Tucson-area employees, Banner Health will become the state’s largest employer, with roughly 37,000 employees. Banner already operates 16 healthcare facilities in Arizona and has 12 164 BizTucson

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more in six other states, according to its corporate website. And with that size, come economies of scale, said Banner

We haven’t spoken with one business person who hasn’t listened to the deal and said, ‘That’s a no brainer. Why wouldn’t you do that?’

– Steve Lynn Chairman of the Board University of Arizona Health Network

President and CEO Peter S. Fine. “We will be looking for opportunities to take advantage of our supply chain expertise to reduce costs.” While there is little detail about the organization that will emerge when the deal is done, Lynn said there’s no denying that spending a half billion dollars in Tucson over five years will have an economic impact. “The thing that strikes me is the business implication for Tucson – beyond the increase in overall quality of medical care,” Lynn said. “There’s going to be an exceptional health impact. There’s going to be an unbelievable research impact. There’s going to be a very, very good academic preparation education impact on the college of medicine. “But what is the business implication for Tucson beyond the increase in the overall quality of medical care? One of those things is that within five years there will either be built, or committed to be built, a half billion dollars in new facilities in Tucson – which will create jobs and which will increase the quality of medical care by virtue of the facilities that it produces. And that’s just one part of the deal. continued on page 166 >>> www.BizTucson.com


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continued from page 164 “We haven’t spoken with one business person who hasn’t listened to the deal and said, ‘That’s a no brainer. Why wouldn’t you do that?’ They get it. Business people get this deal because it is an exceptional business deal on the one end. And it is an exceptional healthcare deal for the community and the state. It is literally a win-win. There is no loser here.” Questions raised at the press conference announcing the deal and in newspaper letters to the editor reflect concern that this pending acquisition by Phoenix-based Banner Health might threaten the primacy of Tucson. Indeed, the proposal includes Banner providing clinical facilities for students at the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix, which while a part of the UA, has its own dean, administration and faculty. Yet Lynn said the effort to provide clinical opportunities for physicians in training at the UA College of Medicine-Phoenix was actually the seed for the larger deal that now is to include UA’s Tucson operations. He said that deal was in the works when it occurred to UA and UAHN officials that a larger vision might be the better answer. They asked Banner to consider a larger strategy. When asked about the effects of privatizing staff at UAMC, Lynn said workers haven’t been state employees since the 1980s, when the regents leased the hospital to University Medical Center Corporation, which evolved into part of UAHN. Lynn said that’s when the first deal was made between UA and an outside group to run what was then known as UMC. University Physicians that later became University of Arizona Health Network. Banner executives would only say that current UAHN employees are guaranteed their jobs and benefits for six months after the closing planned for Jan. 1, 2015, and would not speculate about any changes in total number of jobs, pay or benefits. Fine said that though this is Banner’s first takeover of an academic-based medical institution, it is not completely new ground. “The acquisition of Sun Health by Banner (in 2008) was similar 166 BizTucson

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in that it involved two hospitals, a research facility and more than 4,000 employees. However, this is the first time Banner has been involved in an agreement that involves a long-term commitment to an academic institution.” Lynn said that although the Principles of Agreement document signed by Banner and the Arizona Board of Regents is the result of only a few months of negotiations, a UA deal with Banner has been in the wind for a few years. He said it is common knowledge that Banner executives had also talked with Tucson Medical Center and Carondelet Health Network (which operates St. Mary’s and St. Joseph’s hospitals) officials in recent years about collaboration, but nothing came of it. Lynn said scale has an impact on institutions’ capabilities, which is particularly true of academic medical institutions. He said metropolitan areas of fewer than 5 million residents rarely are home to major medical colleges because the patient pools are typically too small, particularly to support certain kinds of medical research, programs – including transplants – and specialized training. The Banner connection with UA College of Medicine-Phoenix, which has not had a primary hospital and clinics for training its students – plus its much larger potential patient base – could benefit the Tucson campus as well, Lynn said. “There are those who fear any sort of change and therefore change is the enemy,” Lynn said. “And in healthcare if you feel that way, it’s going to be a really bumpy ride because there isn’t anything that’s staying the same. Change is everywhere and change will be constant over a long period of time. “The question is how do you react to that? Do you follow it – or do you try to lead it? Do you accept it or reject it? Do you try to imagine where you should be and get there? Or do you wait until it hits you in the face and try to react to it? “Those are all questions healthcare entities have to grapple with, and I think UAHN took the path that we weren’t as much interested in having it done to us as we were interested in figuring what to do and doing it for ourselves.”

Biz

PHOTOS: CHRIS MOONEY

BizHEALTHCARE

With the absorption of UAHN’s 6,300 Tucson-area employees, Banner Health will become the state’s largest employer, with roughly 37,000 employees.

– Dr. Michael Waldrum President and CEO, UAHN Professor of Medicine UA College of Medicine/Tucson

We will be looking for opportunities to take advantage of our supply chain expertise to reduce costs. – Peter S. Fine President & CEO Banner

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BizRESEARCH

Stopping the Spread of Colon Cancer By Gabrielle Fimbres A team of researchers led by the University of Arizona Steele Children’s Research Center has discovered a mechanism by which the spice turmeric appears to halt the spread of colon cancer. The team found that curcumin – the bioactive molecule derived from turmeric – blocks the protein cortactin in colon cancer. This protein is often overexpressed in cancer, making it easier for the disease to spread to other organs. Curcumin has been studied in numerous types of cancer, and has been

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shown to have a chemopreventive effect – the ability to reverse, suppress or prevent the development of cancer. It can also sensitize cancer cells to chemotherapy and radiation therapy. “What’s novel about our research is that our study identified one of the mechanisms by which curcumin can prevent cancer cell metastasis in colon cancer,” co-investigator Dr. Fayez Ghishan said of the research, which is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Ghishan is director of the Steele Children’s Research Center, physician-

in-chief at the University of Arizona Medical Center – Diamond Children’s, head of the UA Department of Pediatrics and the Horace W. Steele Endowed Chair in Pediatric Research. Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States and the third most common cancer in men and women. In addition to Ghishan, the study was led by Pawel Kiela, associate professor in pediatrics, and Vijay Radhakrishnan, assistant scientist in pediatrics. It was conducted in collaboration with Jesse

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Dr. Fayez K. Ghishan

Martinez, a professor at the UA Cancer Center, and Eugene Mash, professor of chemistry and biochemistry. Turmeric gives curry its yellow color and flavor. It has been used for thousands of years to treat colds, inflammation, arthritis and other ailments, including cancer. Researchers discovered that in contrast to other types of cancer, the cortactin gene is not amplified in malignant colon tumors. “Instead, it is hyperactivated through an excessive process called phosphorylation within the active part of the cortactin protein, known as Phospho-Tyrosine 421,” Kiela said. Phosphorylation is responsible for

www.BizTucson.com

Vijay Radhakrishnan

Pawel Kiela

turning proteins on and off, altering the protein’s function and activity. Too much cortactin, and its activation by phosphorylation, has been linked with aggressiveness in cancer.

Our findings have laid the foundation for future research to develop treatments using curcumin to prevent cancer’s deadly spread to other organs.

– Dr. Fayez K. Ghishan Director, University of Arizona Steele Children’s Research Center

Researchers treated human colon cancer tumor cells with curcumin. “We discovered that curcumin turns off the active form of cortactin,” Radhakrishnan said. “Thus, when cortactin is turned off, cancer cells lose the ability to move and can’t metastasize to other parts of the body.” Ghishan said treatments aimed at the suppression of cancer metastasis remain an “urgent therapeutic need.” “Our findings have laid the foundation for future research to develop treatments using curcumin to prevent cancer’s deadly spread to other organs,” Ghishan said.

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BizHEALTHCARE

Changes Ahead for Carondelet Health Network By Romi Carrell Wittman

A proposed joint venture to take over Carondelet Health Network – Southern Arizona’s only Catholic hospital system – would change Tucson’s healthcare landscape in what is seen as an unusual healthcare partnership. Carondelet Health Network and its parent company, Ascension Health, in July signed an exclusive, non-binding letter of intent with a subsidiary of Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare Corporation to create a joint venture among three large national healthcare systems – Tenet, California-based Dignity Health and St. Louis-based Ascension – that would own and operate Carondelet. It is anticipated that Tenet would be the majority partner, Ascension would retain a minority interest and the joint venture would maintain Carondelet’s Catholic identity. Arizona’s oldest hospital, Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital with 400 beds,

and its sister facilities, Carondelet St. Joseph’s Hospital with 486 beds, and Carondelet Holy Cross Hospital in Nogales with 25 beds, are part of the discussions between Tenet, Dignity Health and Ascension. The three organizations are currently going through a period of due diligence, expected to last at least until October. It was unclear whether the new entity would remain a nonprofit organization. Under terms of the deal, Tenet would take responsibility for management of day-to-day operations for the three Carondelet hospitals and two specialty institutes, Carondelet Heart & Vascular Institute and Carondelet Neurological Institute. Tenet would also manage the operations of the medical practices, Carondelet Medical Group and Carondelet Specialist Group, as well as all of Carondelet’s ancillary businesses, according to a statement by James K.

Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital

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Beckmann, Carondelet’s president and CEO. Carondelet Health Network has faced financial challenges over the past several years, including operating losses, restructuring, layoffs and the postponement of expansion plans. For Carondelet, this joint venture would mean the system would become part of a statewide healthcare strategy with Tenet and Dignity Health, which Beckmann said could open up possibilities for growth, innovation and opportunities to improve healthcare delivery to communities throughout Arizona. Tenet, a for-profit and publicly traded company, owns and operates 79 hospitals across the country, including six in the Phoenix area. The company also operates 193 outpatient care centers, four of which are in the Phoenix area. Dignity Health in Arizona operates several healthcare facilities in the Phoenix area, including four hospitals. The

Carondelet Holy Cross Hospital

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Like Carondelet, Tenet and Dignity Health are committed to providing high-quality, low-cost, person-centered care. The people of Tucson and Southern Arizona will continue to benefit from the tremendous dedication and talent of Carondelet’s associates and physician partners. firm operates imaging centers, clinics, specialty hospitals including the Barrow Neurological Institute, urgent care centers, an insurance provider, an accountable care organization and other clinical partnerships. In his statement, Beckmann said Carondelet Health Network must evolve to meet community needs. “Like Carondelet, Tenet and Dignity Health are committed to providing high-quality, low-cost, person-centered care,” Beckmann said in the release. “This relationship is an opportunity to strengthen those efforts, enhance healthcare across Arizona and continue Catholic sponsorship of Carondelet. The people of Tucson and Southern Arizona will continue to benefit from the tremendous dedication and talent of Carondelet’s associates and physician partners,” he added. Keith Pitts, vice chair at Tenet, is quoted in the news release: “Tenet looks forward to the opportunity to partner

with a dedicated group of healthcare colleagues to improve healthcare delivery to communities of the Southern Arizona region.” At Dignity Health, Linda Hunt, president and CEO of the Arizona Service Area, said in the release that the proposed agreement will “preserve the remarkable legacy of Carondelet in Arizona, while launching a new organization capable of maximizing the changing landscape of healthcare today and meeting the growing demands for quality care in Southern Arizona.” Officials declined further comment beyond the news release, pending negotiations of the agreement. With 4,170 employees, Carondelet Health Network is Southern Arizona’s 14th largest employer, according to the 2014 Star 200, the Arizona Daily Star’s ranking of the region’s 200 largest employers. The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet – a congregation established in

France in 1650 – were asked by the bishop of Tucson to leave their home in Carondelet, Mo., to teach in the barrios of Tucson and at Mission San Xavier del Bac. On May 26, 1870, seven sisters arrived in Tucson, welcomed with celebrations and fireworks, and soon set up schools. A decade later, responding to the needs of the injured workers of the Southern Pacific railroad’s westward expansion, they were asked by the bishop to open Arizona’s first continuously operating hospital – St. Mary’s. The sisters led the transformation from a small hospital on Tucson’s west side to the modern day Carondelet Health Network. They have overseen the growth of St. Mary’s, the addition of St. Joseph’s in 1961, Holy Cross Hospital in Nogales in 1981 and the many areas of specialization. Ascension Health acquired the Carondelet network in 2002. Biz

Carondelet St. Joseph’s Hospital

James K. Beckmann

President & CEO Carondelet Health Network www.BizTucson.com

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF CARONDELET HEALTH NETWORK

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


BizANALYSIS

Healthcare Big League Coming to Tucson “Tucson is on the national healthcare map now and it will not be business as usual,” said Fletcher McCusker, who has overseen healthcare companies for 35-plus years and serves as chair of the healthcare committee for Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities. “You have two of the largest, most successful healthcare conglomerates coming to Tucson largely with rescue missions – Tenet Healthcare and Banner Health.” Banner is set to merge with University of Arizona Health Network and Tenet is key in the acquisition of Carondelet Health Network. McCusker said these national companies “are huge, IT-driven systems. They use data daily in the management of their business. They drive profitability through managing costs and making sure staff-to-patient ratios are affordable and they invest in facilities and technology. We will see state-of-the-art operating rooms, new ambulatory care centers, wellness clinics and community storefronts.” UA Health and Carondelet systems “have not had that kind of accountability – and certainly not their ability to invest in capital projects. Tenet is a forprofit system. Banner is not – but acts like it is. This is going to be a new awakening in terms of healthcare delivery.” As chair of TREO’s healthcare committee, McCusker suggested that TREO reach out and welcome these healthcare giants coming to Tucson. McCusker is CEO of Sinfonía 172 BizTucson

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HealthCare Corp., a Tucson-based healthcare company formed to provide home-based medical services as an alternative to out-of-home care, and its new subsidiary SinfoníaRx, a spinoff partnership with the UA College of Pharmacy. “We have enjoyed these local, notfor-profit independent systems, somehow sustaining significant losses year in and year out,” McCusker said, underscoring that Carondelet and UAHN together have lost more than $100 million dollars in recent years. “Those are not survivable numbers.” With these pending deals, Tucson is catching up with the rest of the country. “This has happened in every market in the world except possibly Tucson – increased competitiveness, significant in-

Fletcher McCusker

vestment in facilities and technology in an effort to attract new physicians and new patients. Think Houston,” he said. McCusker predicts that Tucson consumers will see more access to some healthcare. “You will see them be very concerned about intake and referral and admissions and getting into the right people quickly. I think you will see waiting times go down in emergency rooms, expansion in urgent care, community storefronts and wellness clinics.” However, some of the pricey, higherend services might be at risk, McCusker said, including transplant, trauma and other specialized programs. “These things don’t make any money. In the Banner agreement, there is a handsoff period for that – but only for six months.” He also predicts new care delivery models for doctors, making them more like partners with the health system. “Fee-for-service days are long gone.” These changes will bring “new blood to town” in terms of hospital leadership. “They are going to be systems people and they are going to come from other places in the system – and frankly they are going to kick butt. “And all this is happening as we have new healthcare enrollees – hundreds of thousands of people now have an insurance card and they are accessing care. It’s an interesting time to be in healthcare.”

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PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

By Gabrielle Fimbres


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TMC Launches

Joel M. Childers, M.D.

Women’s Center

TMC Women’s Services by the Numbers

• 5,602 babies born • 2,261 total gynecological surgeries

• 438 da Vinci Surgical System gynecological surgeries

• 110 da Vinci

non-gynecological surgeries

• 5,335 mammograms Source: Tucson Medical Center, 2013

ILLUSTRATION COURTESY TUCSON MEDICAL CENTER

By Mary Minor Davis With recent hospital-wide improvements under its belt, Tucson Medical Center has unveiled plans for a state-of-theart women’s center. TMC recently launched a $12.5 million, two-phase redesign and renovation of the women’s services department, which will result in a newly configured Joel M. Childers, M.D. Women’s Center, four additional labor and delivery rooms, three new, larger surgical rooms and a dedicated surgery suite for da Vinci Surgical System robotics technology. The center is named for Dr. Joel M. Childers, a gifted and world-renowned gynecologist and surgeon who incorporated minimally invasive surgery into the care of women with cancer. He practiced at TMC before his death at age 47 from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident in 2002. The plans call for changes that will result in a better experience for women, said Dr. Gayle Dean, department chair for TMC’s Women’s Services. “Women are affected by aesthetics, especially when going through a stressful time like having a baby,” Dean said. “The more pleasant we can make the environment, the better we can make our patients feel. The patient experience is very important at TMC.” As the leader in obstetrics and gynecological care in Pima County – serving 42 percent of the region – TMC has a history of firsts in women’s care that goes back to 1989, when it established the first antepartum program in Southern Arizona. In the late 1990s, the hospital established the region’s first 24-hour perinatology coverage in labor and delivery, and since then has invested millions of dollars to create a sophisticated center for patients experiencing healthy or high-risk pregnancies, or who are in need of gynecological diagnosis and treatment. The Childers Women’s Center is the latest in a string of TMC upgrades that started in 2010. First there was the financial turnaround that put the hoscontinued on page 176 >>> Fall 2014 > > > BizTucson 175


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A Force for Fitness By Mary Minor Davis Tucson Medical Center is on a mission to get women, families and the community healthier, starting with the hospital’s employees. Last year, TMC spent more than $4.8 million – 7.5 percent of its total budget – on community outreach and education. “We’re working on programs that are taking health and wellness out into the community so that people can bring it into their homes and into their own lives,” said Mary Atkinson, TMC’s director of wellness. TMC is joining forces with local organizations to get Tucson moving. On Nov. 9, the Tucson Jewish Community Center and TMC are partnering in the hands-on, interactive Family Wellness Expo at the J. (See story, page 206.) Closer to home, TMC is helping to boost the fitness of its own employees and their families in the 5,000-square-foot Optimal Results Fitness and Wellness Center, built in what once were operating rooms. Like many women, TMC employee Jessica Mitchell put her family’s needs before her own. After finding excuses not to exercise for five years, she realized it was time to end her unhealthy lifestyle. Optimal Results is helping Mitchell, a TMC community outreach specialist and wife and mother of two, reach her goals. “About five years ago, I was a regular gym go-er. I came home from work every day, changed and went to the gym for an hour,” she said. “Then life happened – a marriage,

a family, a job. I had no energy. I wanted to be able to play with my lively 2-year-old in a way she deserves. It was time to start feeling better about myself again.” She now works out at the Optimal Results – the O.R. – daily. “I wouldn’t be able to do this without the support of the people I work with, and for that I am thankful.” The gym was built after TMC President and CEO Judy Rich told employees that if they reduced their healthcare claims by $500,000, she would build it. The O.R., which boasts a membership of more than 700, opened last year. “We hope that leading by example will encourage the community to take control of their own health and wellness,” Atkinson said. Among other TMC programs is the Canyon Ranch Institute Life Enhancement Program, a free program offered through TMC’s Healthy Living Connections. The program for older adults offers classes and one-on-one interaction on topics that include nutrition, pharmacology, physical activity and behavioral and integrative health. “Having participants set their own realistic goals and then celebrating each success that comes during the journey is very fulfilling,” Atkinson said. “We are trying to shift people’s thinking from what they can’t do to what they can do.”

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pital in the black and on a path of revitalization. Then there was the $120 million makeover that raised the hospital’s standards of care with innovative programs and technology to better serve the needs of the community. TMC’s new tower has provided room for better surgical facilities, and a partnership with Tucson Orthopaedic Institute. All private rooms and a state-ofthe-art electronic records system have improved patient communication. A new parking garage provides better access for visitors. “When I look back at 2005 at the $800 million plan that was in place, and I see what we’ve been able to accomplish today at a fraction of that cost, I’m just amazed,” said Judy Rich, president and CEO of TMC. Richard Prevallet, VP of facilities and construction at TMC, described the Childers Women’s Center project as a combination of redevelopment of the existing footprint with renovation of part of the old surgical department left vacant after the opening of the tower. Prevallet explained that when TMC moved the surgery department to the new wing, it left several operating rooms unused. Most were renovated into a gym for employees, but four remaining will be renovated for a separate gynecological surgical department. Three of the new ORs will be large – 650 square feet. “The old ORs, to give you some perspective, were about 500 square feet, and an entire OB/GYN team had to work in there,” Prevallet said. “This will be a big plus for our doctors.” The fourth room will be dedicated to the da Vinci Surgical System, a robot used by surgeons to conduct minimally invasive procedures. Plans also call for a major reconfiguration that will create a self-sustaining surgery area for women, including lobby, registration and family waiting areas. The first phase launched this summer and is expected to be completed early next year. The second phase will involve reconfiguring the southeast entrance and remodeling 12,000 square feet to improve the patient experience. Four additional labor and delivery rooms will be added. continued on page 178 >>>

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Da Vinci Goes Viral

Robotics Aid in One-Fifth of TMC’s Gynecological Surgeries By Mary Minor Davis scopic – or minimally invasive – surgical procedures were excited about the next level of technology that would continue to allow them to perform more intricate surgeries with less trauma and greater benefit to the patient. More traditional surgeons, however, felt robotic technology was expensive and unnecessary. Today, the technology has become “a mainstream option as adoption by hospitals went viral on a national level,” Hallum said. With multiple robotics systems focusing on general surgery, gastroenterology, joint replacement and other procedures, Hallum said the da Vinci system has become a leading platform for the treatment of gynecological surgeries, not only at TMC, but nationally. Controlled by surgeons, the da Vinci is used to treat fibroids, abnormal menstrual cycles, endometriosis, ovarian tumors, pelvic prolapse and cancer. Gynecologists can also perform hysterecto-

mies, myomectomies and lymph node biopsies using the technology. Hallum said he averages 200 cases a quarter. He said he uses the technology “five to one da Vinci versus traditional surgery. If I can do a surgery with the da Vinci, that’s my first choice.” The technology allows for improved physician movement during a procedure, Hallum said. “You don’t have to do a lot of gymnastics to get into an area. It’s really cool, and patients like it.” Dr. Gayle Dean, department chair for TMC’s Women’s Services, agreed. “Hands down, it is much better at visualization, magnification and 3-D imaging,” she said. “We don’t have the ability to see this level of detail with the naked eye. And it’s so much better for blood control and management. If I can do the da Vinci, that’s what I’m going to do.”

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PHOTO COURTESY TUCSON MEDICAL CENTER

When the new Joel M. Childers, M.D. Women’s Center expansion is complete, one operating room will be dedicated to procedures conducted with help from the da Vinci Surgical System, the leading robotic technology used in nearly one in five gynecological procedures at Tucson Medical Center. The technology, which was introduced at TMC in 2010, can provide better patient outcomes in gynecological surgeries, said Dr. Hank Hallum, an Arizona Oncology physician who performs robotic surgeries at TMC. Hallum said in appropriate cases, the da Vinci is preferred over traditional surgery because of improved patient outcomes, which include reducing the length of stay in the hospital, reduced blood loss, shorter recovery times and a low morbidity rate. He said the da Vinci was introduced in the United States to mixed reviews. Surgeons who had embraced laparo-

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We rely on really good relationships with our doctors – particularly our surgeons and oncologists – to help us always do things for the right reasons. – Judy Rich President & CEO Tucson Medical Center

continued from page 176 Work is scheduled to begin in January. Dean said the current design “is challenging and not a good patient flow for labor and delivery. Today when women come in for evaluation, they have to walk through labor and delivery to get to triage – most places have triage as the first step so that evaluation can determine action.” Dean said additional labor and delivery rooms will help accommodate volume. While birth rates have dropped regionally, TMC has experienced an increase. Another positive outcome of the reconfiguration of operations after the tower opened was the availability of space to support Obstetrix Medical Group of Arizona, maternal-fetal specialists. Located at TMC, Obstetrix allows patients immediate access to critical services and provides physicians better access to patients. Obstetrix, which has been housed in a modular building since 2009, was able to take 9,000 square feet of vacated space to move their pre- and post-catheter services for patients into the main building, closer to labor and delivery and Caesarean section rooms. Genesis OB/GYN has taken advantage of space vacated in the Wyatt Building – now known as the 2424 Building – after Tucson Orthopaedic Institute moved in to the new tower. Michael Duran, VP and chief development officer at TMC Foundation, who oversees fundraising for projects like the Childers Women’s Center, said these improvements will be attractive to physicians and patients. “The adjacency of space is very important to how these specialties practice medicine today,” Duran said. “It’s really critical for the patient experience. This is what distinguishes us in the market.” Rich said the project has been designed in partnership with physicians who serve TMC, who have brought patients’ needs to the discussion. “In the last four to five years, we’ve been more strategic in involving patients, families and our physicians,” Rich said. “When we started this planning process several years ago, it was their advice and their helping us to understand what’s important in terms of how they practice and what patients need. “We rely on really good relationships with our doctors – particularly our surgeons and oncologists – to help us always do things for the right reasons,” Rich said.

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Debbie Rich Executive Director Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona

Beating Breast Cancer By Mary Minor Davis It was January 2014 when Debbie Rich, executive director of the Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona, went for a long-overdue mammogram at Tucson Medical Center. She was not prepared for the phone call asking her to come in. Something suspicious was spotted, and her doctor wanted to perform a biopsy. “From there, it becomes a whirlwind of activity,” Rich recalled. “It just becomes what you’re living for that period of time.” At the time of her breast cancer diagnosis, Rich was involved in an intense grant request with Angel Charity for Children. She lists the next few months off like she’s checking off items on her “to do” list – “I had surgery in February, then the Angels’ presentation, then another surgery in March, then recovery followed by 30 radiation treatments.” Rich was pronounced cancer free in July. A two-time cancer survivor – she battled lymphoma in 2009 – Rich said this experience left her with a deep appreciation for life. “In 2009, I called my cancer my ‘no big deal lymphoma,’ ” she said. “I didn’t ask questions, or take time for my care. “This time, I still called it my ‘no big deal breast cancer,’ but it is a big deal. I have to respect cancer. I took it very seriously.” www.BizTucson.com

Rich’s care team included doctors from TMC and Arizona Oncology – “a great partnership,” she said. “They made it seamless.” David Ressler, TMC’s senior VP and COO, said the hospital’s long-standing partnership with Arizona Oncology focuses on working together to emphasize the importance of addressing patient needs. “We work closely together to leverage our respective expertise, technology and resources to provide the highest quality care in the most efficient manner,” he said. “We continue to work together to develop specific services and programs that address our patients’ needs.” Rich’s daughters, Laine and Lesley, were by her side throughout her treatment, as was her partner, 94.9 MIXFM DJ Bobby Rich. Laine, an attorney, grilled the care team on what was taking place, whether it was about anesthesia, short- and longterm goals and what they could expect for their mom. “They were really good about keeping us informed,” Debbie Rich said. “They have a great understanding of where the family is coming from and what is needed for them. “I like people to see me as a human being and not a diagnosis and I felt like they understood that. They believe they’re the community hospital – it’s not just a tag line.”

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BizMILESTONE

Healthy at 75 Local Touch Helps Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona Thrive By Gabrielle Fimbres The year was 1939. Judy Garland enthralled audiences in “The Wizard of Oz,” Superman flew off the page in his daily newspaper comic strip debut and World War II gripped the globe. It’s the same year that Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona opened its doors, starting small and growing into the largest Arizona-based health insurance company. Today, the nonprofit has nearly 1.4 million customers, with offices in Phoenix, Tucson, Chandler and Flagstaff. The Tucson office, which opened in 1957, employs about 50. Jeff Stelnik, senior VP for strategy, sales and marketing, said this homegrown company is dug into the community. “One of the unique aspects of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona is that all of our employees are located here in Arizona,” Stelnik said. “We have a deep-rooted understanding of the community. Not only do our employees love our company and believe in our company, but they love the community and it shows in how we do business.” Having 75 years under the belt and strong relationships with Tucson hospitals and physicians allows BCBSAZ to help Tucsonans navigate the rapidly evolving healthcare landscape and the sometimes murky waters of healthcare reform, Stelnik said. “One of the advantages of having been around 75 years is we have seen a lot of changes, from the old indemnity plans into networks,” he said. “Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona was one of the first to have an HMO type of policy. We believe all that has helped us prepare for some of the change that is occurring with healthcare reform.” He said healthcare reform is “the biggest change to the healthcare system 180 BizTucson

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in the United States, far and away.” “We believe that the law itself will be a little bit of a journey,” Stelnik said. “You will see a continual journey in trying to balance the opportunity that it affords people who didn’t have access to the healthcare system in the past, with the high costs associated with healthcare reform.”

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona by the Numbers

• 140,000 Pima County

members – about 1 in 5 people with insurance.

can afford healthcare, thanks to federal subsidies and people with pre-existing conditions who cannot be turned down. Like any new system, there are problems, Stelnik said. “We are acting as advocates for customers on what is not working for them with legislators and regulators, to help voice their concerns,” he said. Controlling healthcare costs is among the company’s prime objectives, he said. “We often hear from potential customers that costs have been rising at a rate much greater than salaries have, and that’s a huge challenge, especially in this economy.” Among BCBSAZ programs aimed at reducing healthcare costs are:

Mi Consejero Azul, or My Blue Adviser, a unit that Stelnik describes as a “concierge-like unit for our Latino partners.” The program walks Spanish-speaking customers through problems that can arise.

The Patient Centered Medical Home program offers incentives to doctors who work closely with patients to improve chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. “Managing chronic diseases improves the health of patients and saves the healthcare system money,” Stelnik said.

The Transition of Care program helps customers who are admitted to a hospital avoid unnecessary readmissions. “The two biggest drivers of whether you have a readmission are whether you took your prescription drugs and whether you followed up with a doctor,” Stelnik said. The program follows up with continued on page 182 >>>

• Nearly 1.4 million members statewide

• 1,300 employees statewide, with 50 in Tucson

More than 500 hours spent annually in employee volunteer work

He said the company’s history “allows us to have very good conversations with hospitals and doctors and community leaders. We are the best positioned to be able to help shape the journey and educate individuals on the healthcare reform law.” Stelnik said reform is expanding healthcare availability through the expansion of Medicaid, which is the biggest growth driver nationwide. Also growing are the numbers of people who

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Jeff Stelnik

Senior VP for Strategy, Sales & Marketing Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona continued from page 180 patients after release, resulting in a reduction in admissions and “saving our customers tens of millions we anticipate this year, which leads to lower premiums down the road,” he said.

A mobile app helps customers find urgent care centers, helping to avoid pricy emergency room visits when urgent care is appropriate, and a pharmacy cost calculator allows customers to compare prescription costs at different pharmacies.

In 2015, BCBSAZ will introduce a tool that Stelnik described as a cost and quality tool, where patients can review facilities and physicians and view quality metrics, helping customers to make informed choices.

“It’s not all about cost,” Stelnik said. “You need to find the best doctor to give you the right treatment, but cost is a big factor. We can help customers manage their health and wealth.” Rich Boals, BCBSAZ president and CEO, said staying local allows the company to understand customers’ needs. “Members can count on local service from an organization that knows them,” Boals said. “And we’ll continue to listen to Arizonans so we can develop products and programs that meet our state’s specific healthcare needs.” The company expects to grow by 60,000 to 70,000 customers this year and has experienced growth every year for more than a decade, Stelnik said. This fall will bring open enrollment for the Medicare Advantage program for seniors. The company hopes to branch into Medicaid in the future. Another area of potential growth is Pima County’s uninsured population of about 200,000. “We want to be at the forefront of education to these individuals to help them understand the value of insurance, the intricacies, complexities, opportunities and challenges of the healthcare law and the value that Blue Cross brings continued on page 184 >>> 182 BizTucson

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PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

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BCBSAZ employees helped spruce up a new home for a disabled veteran.

Building a Healthier Pima County Making Pima County a better place to live is a goal of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona. “We’ve been deeply ingrained in the community since 1939 and have grown up side by side with many Arizona institutions – including Casa de los Niños, Tu Nidito Children and Family Services and the Children’s Museum Tucson,” said Rich Boals, BCBSAZ president and CEO and a company employee for 45 years. BCBSAZ has supported these organizations and other nonprofits with one goal, Boals said. “Part of our mission is to improve the quality of life for Arizonans. One way in which we are able to deliver on that promise is investing in community organizations. We support partners throughout the state who work to help youth, further education, arts and economic development and enhance the health of our residents.” As part of its 75th anniversary celebration, BCBSAZ is taking part in community service efforts in every county in the state. The campaign launched in Pima County with these projects: • A Doolen Middle School science classroom received a makeover. Science teacher Ivan Yocum received the Top Science Teacher award, and the company recognized Doolen and Yocum for their “outstanding ability to inspire middle school students in science, technology, engineering and math.” The grant will be used to purchase classroom technology and a field trip to the Arizona Science Center in Phoenix. • A disabled veteran got a new home. BCBSAZ provided a grant to Habitat for Humanity Tucson to assist the veteran and his wife, who had been living in a home deemed uninhabitable due to deterioration and mold. A home swap was arranged, with a previously owned manufactured home moved to the location where the couple lives. BCBSAZ volunteers helped paint, landscape and get the home ready for occupancy. BCBSAZ takes part in other community initiatives that aim to improve health and education for children. Two Marana teachers were recently awarded $5,000 grants for their schools to fund programs with the goal of fighting childhood obesity. Winning grants were Cathy Missler of Coyote Trail Elementary and Lisa Rickel of Thornydale Elementary. Biz 184 BizTucson

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to the table,” he said. Joel Johnson, CFO at Paragon Space Development Corporation in Tucson, said the company of 54 employees has partnered with BCBSAZ for health insurance for about a dozen years. He said Paragon has remained a customer “for many reasons, including the network of quality healthcare providers, employee individual circumstance support, overall health plan design support, collaborative partnership relationship and BCBSAZ’s consistently competitive pricing.” He said the company provides Paragon with analysis that aids in making decisions and budget planning. “BCBSAZ has been a fabulous and collaborative partner that I would absolutely recommend.” Making BCBSAZ a solid partner are the employees, many who have been with the company for decades, Stelnik said. “Statewide, more than 50 employees have been with the organization 35 years or more, and about 150 employees have been with the company 25 years or more,” he said. He pointed to Jody Chandler, senior VP and chief service officer, who started as a claims processor in 1964, when the Beatles topped the charts with “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” Some employees are multigenerational, including Matt Wandoloski, VP of strategy and informatics, who is involved in Tucson organizations including Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities and Southern Arizona Leadership Council. His son, Matt Jr., is also an employee. “We are ingrained in the tapestry that built this state,” Stelnik said. “Our people feel that and it’s one of the reasons they stay.” While he said the company describes itself as innovative, there is stability. “We are not a shareholder-owned, for-profit company,” Stelnik said. “That allows us to think five, 10, 20 years in advance and to not shift the company’s priorities to meet shareholder needs. I think employees value that. They know they are working for a company that is going to be around for a long time, and they understand how they contribute to the greater good of Arizonans by improving their health.”

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Downtown Health Gem

El Rio’s Congress Street Site Offers Quality Care By Romi Carrell Wittman When you walk into the new El Rio Congress Health Center at 839 W. Congress St., you’re greeted with soaring, cathedral-like ceilings, skylights that bathe the lobby in soft, natural light and colorful, gleaming new furnishings. There is an information kiosk to help you navigate your way through the brand-new 54,000-square-foot modern healthcare facility and even a cafe to grab a quick bite and a drink to fortify you on your way. While the facility is beautiful, what’s even more striking is the sheer number and diversity of people bustling about. There are toddlers impatiently waiting with their parents, elderly folks, as well as young men and women – hundreds of people from every age group – here to receive comprehensive healthcare. Located near the last stop of the new modern streetcar, the El Rio Congress Health Center opened to the public on July 30. The new facility houses 25 full-time providers plus an additional 155 medical and support staff. The two-story building features 72 patient exam rooms – an increase of 24 rooms over the old facility – and 12 provider team offices. There are also group visit rooms, a demonstra-

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tion kitchen to provide patients with hands-on nutrition education, an educational center for expectant mothers and new parents, and greatly enhanced pharmacy, radiology, ophthalmology, lab, behavioral health, pharmacy-based diabetes and same-day clinic care areas. With the additional space and staff, El Rio expects to serve nearly 7,000 more patients a year at the site. El Rio’s proximity to the streetcar is a boon for both patients and staff alike. “Now that the streetcar is operational, it runs by my house to El Rio and all the way to the College of Pharmacy,” said Sandra Leal, the site’s medical director of clinical pharmacists. “I have placed my car up for sale because the Sun Link meets most of my transportation needs.” The construction of the new facility is a culmination of El Rio Community Health Center CEO Kathy Byrne’s vision. When she joined the organization some 10 years ago, she set a personal goal to replace the Robert Gomez building at the Congress campus – the birthplace of El Rio Community Health Center. The 36,000-square-foot, single-story building had served hundreds of thousands of people since it opened continued on page 188 >>>

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Photo: BalfourWalker.com

El Rio Congress Health Center

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From left PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

in 1978, but with demand for services growing, El Rio was bursting at the seams. The building was also showing signs of age. Construction of a new building was approved in 2013 when the federal government awarded the health center $5 million toward the $14.1 million total project cost, while $800,000 came from private contributions. El Rio worked with BBVA Compass Bank on low-interest financing for the balance of the project. BWS Architects designed the building, while BFL Construction built it. The project was completed on time and on budget, taking just one year from start to finish. Phase 2 of the project â&#x20AC;&#x201C; which involves tearing down the original one-story building and converting the area into a parking lot â&#x20AC;&#x201C; is next on the agenda. In addition, a community garden and others landscaping enhancements are planned to provide a

Kathy Byrne, CEO, El Rio Community Health Center Brenda Goldsmith, Executive Director El Rio Foundation

continued on page 191 >>>

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PHOTO:TOM SPITZ

El Rio Vecinos are ready to party for a good cause.

El Rio’s Black Tie Block Party Raising Funds for Children’s Dental Services By Romi Carrell Wittman Tuxedos and black ties. Jeans and flip flops. If you’ve ever attended an event in Tucson, you know you’ll find people at every point along the sartorial spectrum. The folks behind the Black Tie Block Party have created an event they believe fits Tucson’s casual, eclectic vibe. The Sept. 27 party at the Manning House, which benefits El Rio Health Center’s pediatric dental program, is hosted by El Rio Vecinos. This group of young professionals, ages 25 to 39, is dedicated to supporting El Rio’s mission of serving the community by raising funds and awareness of the many positive ways El Rio impacts the community. Sponsored by Avilla, the event will feature food tasting, specialty drinks and cocktails, live art and music. “We’ve assembled a lot of great restaurants. We really put a premium on the quality of food,” said Anthony Schaefer, a realtor with Long Realty and an event chair. “We also have a few surprises planned.”

BLACK TIE BLOCK PARTY TO BENEFIT EL RIO CHILDREN’S DENTAL PROGRAM Saturday, Sept. 27, 7 p.m. Manning House 450 W. Paseo Redondo $50 general admission $75 VIP elriovecinos.org

“We wanted to create an event unique to El Rio,” said Belinda Rivera, a project manager at Intuit who is also chairing the event. “El Rio already has a gala and a golf tournament as fundraisers so we wanted to create something new. Our theme is ‘Leave the tux at home and grab your bow tie.’ ” El Rio Community Health Center serves more than 80,000 people annually, including more than 30,000 children. “Anyone can come here, with or without insurance,” said Brenda Goldsmith, executive director of El Rio Health Center Foundation. “We have sliding scale fees for those who don’t have insurance.” El Rio provides quality care to those who cannot afford medical and dental services, thanks to the foundation’s fundraising efforts. Over the years, the foundation has raised more than $12 million to fund health and wellness programs and capital projects. continued on page 190 >>>

Here’s a taste of the restaurants participating in the Black Tie Block Party Beyond Bread Bluefin Seafood Bistro El Charro Café Elliott’s on Congress Goodness Juice Bar & Fresh Food HUB Restaurant and Ice Creamery Johnny Gibson Downtown Market La Indita Restaurant Mexicano Maynards Market & Kitchen Nox Kitchen & Cocktails

On A Roll Sushi•Bar•Restaurant Pasco Kitchen & Lounge Prep & Pastry Reilly Craft Pizza & Drink Sanar @ Agustín Tavolino Ristorante Italiano Thunder Canyon Brewery Union Public House Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar Fall 2014 > > > BizTucson 189


BizHEALTHCARE continued from page 189 Grooming the next generation of leaders who will carry the El Rio mission forward is critical. To achieve that goal, El Rio Vecinos – which means “neighbors” in Spanish – was founded by Board Member Dan Chambers. “Dan worked hard to get the group going,” Goldsmith said. Chambers assembled a core group of young professionals eager to give back to the community. From there, the group began to grow and thrive on its own. “The Vecinos group has been two years in the making,” said Rivera. “We now have 40 members from a variety of professional backgrounds, people from different cultures.” Unlike some professional groups where the focus is on networking and social events, the Vecinos have a core mission of supporting El Rio. “There are expectations of the people that serve on the Vecinos,” Schaefer added. “We work really hard.” That’s not to say that members don’t have fun. Regular social events have helped Vecinos forge long-term bonds. “What’s been really great is meeting people, becoming friends with people you wouldn’t otherwise have met,” Schaefer said. “When you work as hard we have on this event, you’ve got to bring the fun, too.” The goal this year is to raise $100,000 for El Rio’s pediatric dental program, which helps meet a critical community need. “It’s debilitating when you have tooth issues,” Goldsmith said. “A lot of kids aren’t getting check-ups. Much of this is because of a lack of knowledge and a lack of financial resources.” “Dental health is an indicator of overall health,” Schaefer added. “The funds we raise will go toward emergency dental care as well as varnishes to protect against cavities.” El Rio is unique in its approach to dental care. When children go to the pediatrician for check-ups, dental hygienists often meet with the children first, talking to them about good oral care and applying a fluoride varnish. The funds raised at the Black Tie Block Party will help El Rio to expand its reach. “We’ll be able to help anywhere from 2,500 to 4,000 kids,” Goldsmith said. Rivera hopes the block party will educate Tucsonans about needs in the community. “We hope it makes people see how important early dental care for children is.”

Biz Support the El Rio Foundation

To support the work of El Rio Community Health Center, consider attending upcoming fall fundraising events – the Sept. 27 Black Tie Block Party or the 13th annual El Rio Gala on Oct. 10 at The Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa. Sponsorships are available for both events. Other support options include naming one of the rooms at El Rio’s Congress site. Go to www.elrio.org for more information or contact Jill Rodriguez at (520) 205-4947.

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El Rio’s Congress location is the heart of the health center. It now encompasses a state-of-theart, integrated healthcare service delivery system, which is welcoming to patients and staff.

– Kathy Byrne, CEO, El Rio Community Health Center

continued from page 188

quiet, relaxing space for visitors and a way to tie the Congress site together. Byrne is understandably quite proud of the new facility, but she is even more proud of the enhanced care the facility can now provide patients. “El Rio’s Congress location is the heart of the health center,” said Byrne. “It now encompasses a state-of-the-art, integrated healthcare service delivery system, which is welcoming to patients and staff.” The Congress site serves more than 15,000 patients each year, both those with and without health insurance. For those without insurance, El Rio offers a sliding scale payment system. Established in 1970, the El Rio Community Health Center network was created specifically to serve local neighborhoods that previously had limited or no access to quality healthcare. The University of Arizona’s Dr. Herb Abrams was instrumental in laying the groundwork for the center by gathering the input and support of neighborhood associations and social and governmental agencies. The original facility was designed to serve roughly 10,000 people, but it quickly became apparent that far more people needed El Rio’s medical services. Since it opened more than 40 years ago, El Rio has grown to serve more than 81,000 patients throughout Tucson and, with an annual budget of $100 million, it’s one of the largest community health centers in the nation. It employs 1,000 staff at 17 sites throughout the region, and provides more than 300,000 healthcare visits annually. Last year, the organization provided more than $20 million in charity care. El Rio Health Center has big plans for the future, including a move to the 37,000-square-foot Manning House downtown. After renovations of the site are complete, more than 200 El Rio employees will be relocated. Local firms CDG Architects and BFL Construction have been hired to oversee the renovations, which begin this fall.

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BizAVIATION

$26 Million Air Traffic Control Tower

Neon ‘Tucson’ Tower to Remain By David B. Pittman The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration recently began construction of a new, $26 million air traffic control tower at Tucson International Airport. At 250 feet tall, the new facility will be more than double the height of the current tower, which is the second oldest control tower operated by the Federal Aviation Administration at a commercial airport in the country. The new control tower will provide air traffic controllers with better airfield views and make it easier for them to determine the positions of aircraft on the ground and in the skies. The 55-year-old existing tower, which features neon lettering that spells “Tucson” on two sides, is considered by many to be a local landmark and, consequently, will not be torn down. The FAA expects to begin operating the new facility in 2017. “This project is a great example of the FAA’s commitment to continually reinvesting in our nation’s transportation infrastructure,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Improving our facilities and making them as environmentally friendly as possible helps maintain a cutting-edge transportation system and makes the most efficient use of taxpayer dollars.” “The new tower’s more central location will give controllers improved views of the entire airport surface as well as the approach paths to all of the runways,” said FAA Administrator 192 BizTucson

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Michael P. Huerta. “It will make a safe airport even safer, while providing our hard-working controllers with greatly improved working conditions.” The new tower will sit atop a 13,000-square-foot base building that will house computer equipment, administrative offices and a backup power system designed to automatically activate in case of a commercial power outage. Bonnie Allin, president and CEO of the Tucson Airport Authority, praised the FAA’s decision to build the new facility.

The new tower’s more central location will give controllers improved views of the entire airport surface as well as the approach paths to all of the runways.

Michael P. Huerta Administrator Federal Aviation Administration –

“This has been many years in the making and we are very, very excited that the Federal Aviation Administration is investing in our community and, most importantly, investing in the safety of Tucson International Airport for our users,” she said. TIA is Arizona’s second busiest airport, with about 140,000 aircraft operations in 2013. It is served by six airlines and is home to the largest F-16 Air National Guard Base in the United States. Numerous environmental features at the new facility will be used to minimize energy and water usage, including: • A 1,600-panel solar farm adjacent to the base building • Landscaping with desert plants • Installation of motion detectors for low-energy, indoor lighting • Use of a light-colored roof to reflect the sun’s heat away from the building • Triple-pane windows to reduce energy needed to cool the controller work area Hensel Phelps Construction is the general contractor of the project. URS did the design work. The total project cost – including computer equipment, electronics, fire suppression systems, and heating and air conditioning systems – is estimated at $42 million. U.S. Rep. Ron Barber, D-Tucson, said that while the new tower is needed continued on page 194 >>> www.BizTucson.com


President & CEO Tucson Airport Authority

PHOTO COURTESY TUCSON AIRPORT AUTHORITY

Bonnie Allin

PHOTOS: CHRIS MOONEY

Allin Named Airport Director of the Year

Airport Revenue News, an industry trade publication, has named Tucson Airport Authority President and CEO Bonnie Allin as its 2014 Director of the Year in the small airport category.

Allin was selected for her achievements in the areas of leadership, community work, service and efforts to advance the airport industry, according to the editors of the publication. Ramon Lo, editorial director at ARN, said the award is not only a celebration of Allin’s work at Tucson International Airport, but “an acknowledgement of her career in serving our industry.”

Breaking ground at the new air traffic control tower are, from left, Mark Kimble, from U.S. Rep. Ron Barber’s office; Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and Cassandra Becerra, from U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva’s office.

Allin began her career with TAA before moving to Corpus Christi International Airport, where she ended her tenure there as director of aviation. She returned to Tucson and the TAA as VP of aviation services before becoming president and CEO in 2002. Allin is chair of the International Association of Airport Executives, chair of the Airports Council International-North America’s Government Affairs Steer-

ing Committee, and she is a member of the Policy Review Committee for the American Association of Airport Executives. She serves on the boards of the Southern Arizona Leadership Council and Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities. Allin will be profiled in the October issue of ARN and receive her award at the culmination of the 2015 Airport Revenue Conference and Exhibition, which will be held March 9-11 in San Diego.

A study conducted by the University of Arizona reported that TIA provides an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion to metro Tucson and Southern Arizona and supports nearly 35,000 jobs directly and indirectly throughout Pima County. TIA serves about 3.6 million passengers annually. Allin, who was born in Chicago but grew up in British Columbia and Alberta, Canada, is only the fourth person to head TAA since the organization was formed in 1948.

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BizAVIATION continued from page 192 for current and future operations at the airport, he is pleased the old tower, will be preserved. The lights of the old tower “have become a familiar welcome-home sight every time we return to the Old Pueblo,” Barber said. “I am glad to hear there are plans to save the iconic tower.” Other new construction projects underway or being planned at TIA include: • A two-year, $42 million project that is more than 50 percent complete to replace 173,000 square yards of pavement in areas where aircraft park around both concourses. The FAA and the Arizona Department of Transportation are funding 95.5 percent of the project cost, with TAA providing the other 4.5 percent. Granite Construction is the contractor on the project. Design work was performed by Stantec Engineering. The project is expected to be complete in June 2015.

• A lighting upgrade project began in

August in which all outdoor lighting is being replaced within airport property along roads and within parking garages, parking lots and along aprons and gates around the terminal. The project is expected to be complete by the end of the year. The budget for providing the new, more energy-efficient lighting is $800,000. However, it is estimated the upgrade will save $130,000 annually in replacement and maintenance costs.

• Planning for a new terminal optimi-

zation program is now underway. It calls for relocating security checkpoints from the center of the terminal to more peripheral locations. The remodeling is possible because airline consolidations have reduced space needed for ticket counters. The project will increase the area used for security, create room for more concessions and allow for electrical, plumbing and other infrastructure improvements. It’s expected the design phase will go through next year, with construction starting in late 2015 and continuing through most of 2016. The total price tag for this multi-million dollar project should be determined by the end of this year.

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BizBRIEFS

Brilz Named Senior VP at Rancho Sahuarita Rancho Sahuarita, a master planned community of about 15,000 residents nine miles south of Tucson, has hired Mike Brilz as the company’s senior VP. A real estate industry veteran with more than 25 years of experience in land development, Brilz will be responsible for the implementation of the Rancho Sahuarita Community Facilities District, along with strategic planning for Rancho Sahuarita Management Company, the Sahuarita Water Company and the Rancho Sahuarita Home Owners Association. He will be involved with Rancho Sahuarita builder and commercial sales, entitlements and new business development. Before joining Rancho Sahuarita, Brilz was the Arizona division VP of land for national homebuilder Pulte-Del Webb. Biz

Brown, DeLone Join Homewood Suites Team Charles Brown has been named GM of the Homewood Suites by Hilton Tucson St. Philip’s Plaza University, which is scheduled to open in October at 4250 N. Campbell Ave. The 122-suite hotel will be the first Hilton extended-stay brand in Tucson. Brown will direct all areas of the hotel’s operations, including guest services, sales and marketing efforts and hotel administration. He previously was GM of the Homewood Suites-Oakland Waterfront. A University of Arizona graduate, he brings more than 25 years of experience in the lodging industry. Catherine DeLone has joined the team as director of sales. She will engage with local businesses, facilitate marketing efforts and oversee sales initiatives. Biz www.BizTucson.com

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BizFINANCE

From Left

JoAnna Westcott PHOTO: CARTER ALLEN

President Bill Westcott, Inc.

Bill Westcott

Founder Bill Westcott, Inc.

Camille Coyle

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Investment Firm Targets Wildcats Bill Westcott, Inc. Focus on Pensions for Higher Education Employees By Christy Krueger Brilliantly colored, framed art embellishes the office walls at Bill Westcott, Inc. and photos of familiar faces such as Lute Olson are scattered through the well-lit hallways and comfortable conference room. It’s no coincidence that the creators of the artwork are current and former University of Arizona employees or that the investment firm is located just blocks from campus. Proprietors Bill Westcott and JoAnna Westcott specialize in retirement planning and investment management for employees of higher education institutions – primarily the UA – “from presidents to plumbers,” Bill said. He is chairman of the board. She is president. The company’s roots date to 1921 when Bill’s grandfather, C. D. Kessler entered the financial services business. “I’m the last of the legacy and I’ve been in practice here 35 years,” Bill said. JoAnna is from Des Moines, Iowa, and lived in Kansas City, Mo., and Phoenix before meeting Bill at a training course. She had a background in securities and data communication and eventually moved to Tucson to marry and work with Bill. “Universities’ retirement plans are different from what is available in the private sector, and the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Labor and the Arizona Board of Regents all have specific rules governing college rewww.BizTucson.com

tirement plans,” JoAnna said. Knowing the complexity of investment choices that university employees face, the Westcotts considered UA to be an attractive market – and it was nearby. Here’s another reason for targeting this clientele – “At UA there’s $8 billion in retirement dollars in one square mile,” Bill said. “So why would we go to a larger geographic area? And it’s culturally cohesive.” Breaking into this market, however, proved to be no easy task. Bill realized from the start that he’d have to reach out to potential clients on an individual basis, so he pounded the pavement in search of professors who would talk to him.

At UA there’s $8 billion in retirement dollars in one square mile. So why would we go to a larger geographic area? –

Bill Westcott, Founder Bill Westcott, Inc.

He attended Arizona Board of Regents meetings, lobbying to expand university employees’ control over their retirement plans. His persistence paid off. His firm now serves hundreds of university employees. Over the years, some of their UA clients moved to other Pac-12 schools. “We have clients at Washington State, Stanford and Cal-Berkeley. A lot are sports-related,” Bill said. “In 1995 we started a relationship with Lute Olson, so they’re mostly coaches that came out of that era, then went elsewhere.” JoAnna calls herself the relationship developer of the business. Bill says she’s very good at communicating with clients, using language they understand. This is especially important, they both believe, when relaying financial information from the clients’ attorneys and accountants, as well as translating news in the media that might be relevant to them. An example is their response to events of Sept. 11, 2001, when terrorists crashed planes into the World Trade Center towers. On that day JoAnna and Bill, like most of us, were glued to the TV. “Bill said to me, ‘We need to go to the office and write a letter to our clients and tell them we’re here for them,’ ” JoAnna said. And that’s exactly what they did. “To me, that said it’s about how we take care of other people, how what’s continued on page 198 >>> Fall 2014 > > > BizTucson 197


BizFINANCE continued from page 197 going on in the world affects them.” Then the real estate market plummeted and the recession hit. JoAnna continued to educate and communicate with clients, but she wanted to do more. “ ‘Events’ in the economy and the stock market can affect people like an earthquake. While we cannot change what has happened, we can help our clients understand how those events affect them, so I created a PowerPoint presentation and invited investors for food and wine. After the first meeting, women loved the way I explained things. They felt like it was a safe place to ask questions – and it was fun,” she said. As the meetings evolved beyond the typical women-and-investing seminars, she struggled with what to call them. About that time, in 2010, Camille Coyle joined the firm as a compliance administrator. “The more I got to know Bill and JoAnna, it became clear that I was a better fit to handle the creative elements of marketing and public relations,” said

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Coyle, who was given the title VP of Community Relations. Coyle came up with the name Women’s Salon Series for the ongoing seminars. “In French,” she said, “salon means parlor – a room where conversation is created.” She brought in speakers from around the community, started holding events every other month at Skyline Country Club. The Women’s Salon Series audiences began to grow. Seminar topics evolved away from investing and into an emphasis on health and wellness, arts, culture, nonprofits and environmental issues. A special CEO presentation, focusing on life balance, takes place every April. This year’s event featured University of Arizona President Ann Weaver Hart and attracted 143 people. Hart talked about her unconventional road to success – from her days as a stay-at-home mom to heading universities. Her advice to the audience was, “Never settle. Go forward with passion and with what works for you and your family. Reject the myth of perfection. And reject guilt.”

Other speakers for the Women’s Salon Series and CEO series have included Laura Penny, executive director of Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona; Richard Carmona, former U.S. Surgeon General, and Louise Francesconi, former president of Raytheon Missile Systems. Because of their mutual love of art, Coyle and the Westcotts like to keep their marketing, community involvement and, of course, office décor artcentric. Bill is proud of the firm’s Arizona Public Media service announcements in support of the University Libraries and the Confluence Center. “As a little boy my grandfather said, ‘If you are successful, do something that turns your success back to the community.’ That is why we support the arts, the Tucson Pops and the Women’s Salon Series – all of which are beneficiaries of our corporate success.” Securities are offered through LPL Financial FINRA/SIPC. Bill Westcott, Inc., BizTucson and LPL Financial are unaffiliated entities. Biz

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BizHONORS

25-Year Celebration for Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Articles By Romi Carrell Wittman On Oct. 18, community and business leaders from all over Southern Arizona and Mexico will come together for a night of fun, celebration and a little reflection – at the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Noche de Exitos gala and Binational Business Awards. “We will be celebrating the chamber’s 25th anniversary and also honoring our founders. We’re very excited,” said Lea Marquez Peterson, president of the chamber. “This is a significant milestone.” The event at Casino Del Sol Resort, Spa and Conference Center will honor distinguished Hispanic business leaders and public servants – including former Arizona governor Raul Castro. Founded in 1989, the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is the largest Latino business organization in Arizona. One of the primary goals of the organization is to build awareness of the huge economic impact that Hispanic businesses in Southern Arizona and Northern Mexico have on the region. The chamber advocates for its 1,000plus business members, as well as promotes and supports the bilingual, bicultural business community in Southern Arizona and Northern Mexico. Honorees at Noche de Exitos (which means Night of Success) include David Crowe and Claudia Zanes, the 2014 Hispanic Business Man and Business Woman of the Year, respectively. Crowe is president and co-founder of Tucson Embedded Systems, the fast-growing avionics software and manufacturing company, while Zanes manages Zanes Law, Arizona’s leading personal injury law firm. Each was selected on the basis www.BizTucson.com

of their distinguished entrepreneurial leadership as well as their community involvement. Castro – the first Hispanic governor in the United States – will receive the Legacy Award. Now age 98 and the oldest living former state governor in the nation, Castro has a distinguished background in public service. Born in Mexico, Castro immigrated to the United States as a child and attended the University of Arizona where he graduated from the College of Law. He later became deputy Pima County attorney, then served as U.S. ambassador to El Salvador from 1964 to 1968 under President Lyndon Johnson. From 1968 to 1969, he was U.S. ambassador to Bolivia, appointed by President Richard Nixon. He served as governor of Arizona from 1975 to 1977, then as U.S. ambassador to Argentina from 1977-1980 under President Jimmy Carter. “We are so honored to have the opportunity to recognize him and thank him for his years of service,” Marquez Peterson said.

NOCHE DE EXITOS GALA AND BINATIONAL BUSINESS AWARDS.

Presented by Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Saturday, Oct. 18 6 p.m. Casino Del Sol Resort, Spa and Conference Center 5655 W. Valencia Road

Other awardees are:

Desert Diamond Casinos and Entertainment, the 2014 Southern Arizona Corporation of the Year. Desert Diamond, an enterprise of the Tohono O’odham Nation, has a long history in Southern Arizona for the past 30 years.

Collectron International Management, the 2014 Mexican Corporation of the Year. The firm has been Mexico’s leader in maquiladora services for more than 40 years.

Priscilla Storm, VP of Diamond Ventures and former THCC board member, the La Estrella Award for her leadership and work to build awareness of both the Hispanic market in Arizona as well as the economic impact of Mexican trade on Arizona.

Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, Arizona Public Servant of the Year, and Mexican Consul Ricardo Piñeda, Mexican Public Servant of the Year. The event, which is presented by Collectron International Management, sold out last year and Marquez Peterson said she expects this year’s event will as well. “This is our signature event,” she said. “We’re raising the visibility and awareness of fast-growing Hispanic businesses and market. We’re celebrating something the average person may not be aware of. It’s a chance to celebrate success.”

$125 per person $1,200 for table of 10 Sponsorships available (520) 620-0005 www.tucsonhispanicchamber.org

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2014 Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year

David Crowe When David Crowe was summoned to the front office, he thought his employees had put together a birthday surprise for him. It wasn’t birthday wellwishes, so celebration that awaited him came as a shock – Crowe was named the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s 2014 Man of the Year. Crowe was overwhelmed. “It was a good surprise,” he said. “I was very honored – but the award really belongs to everyone in that room.” As co-founder of Tucson Embedded Systems, Crowe has been a long-standing presence in Tucson’s aviation and defense sectors. Crowe – who attended Brophy College Preparatory School in Phoenix and later graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in computer and electrical en200 BizTucson

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gineering – started TES in 1998 to address the software needs of local avionics firms. Today TES employs 85 people – mostly computer, electrical and mechanical engineers. The company provides software and specialty manufacturing services for the U.S. military, defense contractors and the oil and natural gas industries. Crowe credits the firm’s success to its innovative ideas and ability to shift focus according to market needs. He said that the sequestration and the ongoing recession have not been easy for the company, but it is poised to achieve even greater success as the economy rebounds. “We’ve laid the groundwork,” Crowe said. “If we just did the same thing as

PHOTO: UNIQUE PHOTOGRAPHY – COURTESY TUCSON HISPANIC CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

BizHONORS

usual, we would not survive. But we’re doing all of these other things. We’ve been able to survive because we continually reinvent our company.” THCC President Lea Marquez Peterson said that Crowe exemplifies every aspect of the Hispanic Business Man of the Year criteria. “David’s company is one of the 50th fastest growing manufacturing companies in the United States,” she said. “He exemplifies Hispanic entrepreneurship, management and community leadership.” Crowe is looking forward to the October awards celebration and plans to bring several TES staff and his family. “This award is really for all of us and all the hard work everyone put in,” he said. “It’s about how well the whole team worked together.” Biz www.BizTucson.com


PHOTO: UNIQUE PHOTOGRAPHY – COURTESY TUCSON HISPANIC CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

BizHONORS

2014 Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Woman of the Year

Claudia Zanes

You probably know Claudia Zanes. You see her on television. You see her face on Sun Tran buses. She’s smiling at you in newspaper and magazine ads. The ubiquitous nature of her face and name demonstrate just how successful and talented she is at marketing her family’s personal injury law business. Zanes helms of one of Arizona’s most successful law firms – Zanes Law. In recognition of her many entrepreneurial and community achievements, she was named the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s 2014 Woman of the Year. “Claudia is a role model to so many women business owners in our community,” said Lea Marquez Peterson, president of chamber. “She’s a marketing professional and has grown her compawww.BizTucson.com

ny with her husband dramatically over the last decade. Claudia was selected for this honor because of her business success and her commitment to giving back to the Southern Arizona community.” Zanes grew up in Nogales, Ariz., and had a highly successful career in sales before joining her husband, attorney Doug Zanes, to start Zanes Law. She loves the entrepreneurial nature of running one’s own business and has committed herself fully to it. As a result, the firm grew from just one attorney to more than 40 employees in just 10 years. Though not an attorney herself, she has been instrumental in growing the business into a multimillion-dollar company and one of the most recognized legal brands in Southern Arizona. Zanes is also committed to serving

her community and actively supports a number of organizations and causes – including No Hungry Kids Tucson, Dancing in the Streets Arizona and the American Heart Association of Southern Arizona. In 2014, she was awarded the RADICAL Entrepreneur Award, which recognizes and honors women who depart from the usual, expected or ordinary to take charge of her professional and personal life. In 2013, she was named one of the “Women of Influence” by Inside Tucson Business. “I’m honored to be recognized by the community in which I’ve put my heart and soul into for the last 11 years,” Zanes said. “I’m incredibly proud that this recognition is coming from the nation’s No. 1 Hispanic Chamber.”

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PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

BizSPORTS

Special Olympics El Tour de Tucson 3-year deal big boost for cycling By David B. Pittman Special Olympics International has stepped up as the new title sponsor of El Tour de Tucson, ensuring the continued existence of one of Tucson’s premier events and raising hopes that the cycling race will grow bigger and more lucrative than ever. The 32nd annual El Tour de Tucson, scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 22, will be called The Special Olympics El Tour de Tucson. “I’ll tell you, I’ve been on pins and needles until this contract was signed,” said Richard J. DeBernardis, founder and president of El Tour de Tucson. “Now that we have a title sponsor, I am confident El Tour de Tucson will be around for a long, long time. “I think we’ve done an exceptional job with the resources we have – but if 202 BizTucson

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we’re going to grow and if we want to keep El Tour vibrant, we have to go to the next level. The Special Olympics has operations in 170 countries and has a strong organizational structure. They can attract many more foreign cyclists, bring new tourism to our community and spread the name of El Tour de Tucson around the world.” Since the first El Tour event in 1983, there have been 11 title sponsors. In 2013, El Tour did not have a primary sponsor. According to the Visit Tucson website, El Tour has an annual economic impact of about $20 million on the Tucson metro area – more than any other single event with the exception of the Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase, a three-week extravaganza

with an annual economic impact of about $100 million. El Tour is also credited as a major drawing card in introducing cyclists to Tucson, which has been ranked by national magazines as one of the top cycling cities in America. Cycling tourism brings about $70 million to the Tucson community annually, according to studies. Last year, El Tour attracted more than 8,000 cyclists, 35,000 spectators and widespread media coverage. The Tucson race, which is the seventh largest cycling event in the United States, has raised more than $40 million for various charities during its 31-year history. In addition to becoming the title sponsor, Special Olympics will become www.BizTucson.com


the primary charitable beneficiary of the race. In 2013, nearly $4 million was raised by El Tour for more than 35 charitable organizations, even though it rained steadily throughout the day for the only time in the event’s history. Kelli Seely, chief development officer for Special Olympics International, said the organization was “incredibly pleased” to be associated with the Tucson race. “Wow. To say we’re thrilled is an understatement,” she said. “The funds raised by the cyclists will make a tremendous impact on our ability to enhance the programs we are able to offer Special Olympics athletes – 4 million of them worldwide and 16,000 of them here in Arizona.” Seely said Special Olympics is putting up $180,000 annually to sponsor the event, which is 10 percent of the $1.8 million it costs to put on the race. “If we were to try to put on an event like this ourselves, it would be extremely expensive,” she said. “We are very fortunate that there was an existing, successful event that we could partner with.”

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Now that we have a title sponsor, I am confident El Tour de Tucson will be around for a long, long time. –

Richard J. DeBernardis Founder El Tour de Tucson

While Special Olympics will replace Tu Nidito Children and Family Services as El Tour’s primary charitable beneficiary, Tu Nidito will continue to be among the dozens of charities that benefit from the event. Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild called landing the Special Olympics as title sponsor “quite a coup,” and said

the organization would bring “great visibility and prestige” to Tucson and El Tour. “We look forward to making sure their experience is a very positive one,” Rothschild said. El Tour de Tucson is run by the Perimeter Bicycling Association of America. The nonprofit PBAA, founded and led by DeBernardis, is based in Tucson and was founded to promote bicycling and raise money for charity. DeBernardis said Special Olympics has the contractual right to sell the title sponsorship of El Tour, which is something DeBernardis and Perimeter Bicycling would not oppose. “We are a small nonprofit group with just 14 staff members, while Special Olympics is a sophisticated, international organization that is known and respected throughout the world,” DeBernardis said. “Special Olympics could bring us a large sponsor, like a Budweiser or a Coca-Cola. We don’t have ties to large, multinational businesses – but the Special Olympics does.”

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PHOTOS COURTESY TUCSON CONQUISTADORES

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1. Tom Lehman 2. Fred Couples 3. Tom Watson 4. Colin Montgomerie 5. Omni Tucson National Resort Golf Course

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New Game in Town

PGA TOUR Champions Tour Replaces Match Play By Steve Rivera For Tucson golf fans it’s in one era and out the other. After eight years in Tucson, the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship is out and the PGA TOUR’s Champions Tour is in. Professional golf, and all its viewing wonder, is alive and kicking in Tucson. Say goodbye to Tiger Woods, Bubba Watson and Rory McIlroy but welcome Fred Couples, Colin Montgomerie and Tom Watson. “Our goal,” said Judy McDermott, executive director of the Tucson Conquistadores, “has always been to keep professional golf in Tucson.” And so, it’ll happen. Since 1945, it’s happened. Why would 2015 be any different? Names of yesteryear – recognizable to be sure – will be in Tucson competing for the $1.7 million purse at the Omni Tucson National Resort. The event will be held March 16-22. The PGA TOUR says it’s the perfect time of year to be in Tucson, and the tourney should have one of the best fields, as it is the only Champions Tour event in March. “We’re happy,” McDermott said. Fans will be able to see a full field of 81 players for three days – Friday, Saturday and Sunday. And then there’s the return of the pro-am, always a fun event for fans. “The pro-am is like going to fantasy golf camp,” McDermott said. “We haven’t had a pro-am since we had Match Play.” Champions Tour names roll off like a feel-good 1990s TV sitcom – Couples, Montgomerie, Watson and many others. www.BizTucson.com

Welcome home, gentlemen. “People are really going to know these guys,” McDermott said. “In Match Play, you may have had the top 64 players (in the world here), but you probably only knew 24 of them.” It’s a great get for Tucson and the Conquistadores, who will attempt to raise the usual $1 million for local youth sports charities through the Champions Tour. The Conquistadores and pro golf have been partners since 1966, when the organization took over the Tucson Open.

We’ve been working for several years on something like this because we always knew Match Play wouldn’t be here forever. We felt the Champions Tour would be the best route to go.

Judy McDermott Executive Director Tucson Conquistadores –

“We’re excited to have the opportunity to partner with the Tucson Conquistadores on this new event,” said Champions Tour President Mike Stevens. “They’ve had a tremendous history with the PGA TOUR and an outstanding reputation of conducting exceptional events over the years, and we

know that their experience and enthusiasm will pay huge dividends,” Stevens said. “Many of the players currently on the Champions Tour played in Tucson during their careers, and they are thrilled to have the opportunity to return.” Millions of dollars were generated through Match Play, and Tucson and Marana benefited from the TV coverage. The Golf Channel will return to broadcast the event. A title sponsor is still being sought. “We’re excited to have it here,” said Hank Atha, Pima County’s deputy administrator for economic and community development. “It’s certainly a major contributor to the Tucson economy, and more important, it displays Tucson in a good light when televised.” McDermott said, “We consider it a win-win. The fans are just ready for this.” She said the Champions Tour makes sense, fitting in with the demographics of Tucson. There are plenty of seniors in the area, and they know the players from the past. “It’s going to be a fun event and more casual,” she said. “They will be friendlier because there is no cut.” Match Play has since moved to the San Francisco area, but it is still without a sponsor. Accenture ended its sponsorship after last year. “We’ve been working for several years on something like this because we always knew Match Play wouldn’t be here forever,” McDermott said. “We felt the Champions Tour would be the best route to go. Everything is along the lines of what we’ve been doing … just different.”

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BizHEALTH

Family Wellness Expo at The J Good health is at the core of any thriving community. The Tucson Jewish Community Center and Tucson Medical Center have teamed up to boost wellness among Tucsonans at the free Family Wellness Expo. The community-wide health and wellness event, hosted Nov. 9 at the JCC – now referred to as The Tucson J – is sponsored by TMC. Inspired by The Tucson J’s new President and CEO Todd Rockoff, this first-ever expo is designed to bring families of all ages together in a unique and experiential setting that will “showcase the myriad of wellness programs throughout the community,” he said. Susan Frank, director of health and wellness at The Tucson J, said the event is the result of ongoing discussions with TMC to develop programs that provide both organizations with a stronger presence in the community, with the focus on family engagement in activities that promote healthier lifestyles. “We always knew there was a connection between our organizations,” Frank said. “We just needed to keep talking to discover what it was.” The Tucson J is hoping for as many as 1,500 attendees and 50 exhibitors. The all-interactive event will benefit the J’s programs, and Frank hopes to

make this the signature fundraiser for the community center, with fees paid by exhibitors. Among the booth highlights are healthy trail mix prep, fitness challenges that test your burpee and pushup mettle, family hot shot basketball, tricycle races and upcycled jewelry. “This is an event that will focus on the full spectrum of wellness and interactive health, and highlights everything that we do at the J,” Frank said. “Every vendor has to have an activity to communicate their message or program. This isn’t just a hand-out-a-flyer event.” Participants will explore wellness

TUCSON JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER’S FAMILY WELLNESS EXPO Presenting sponsor Tucson Medical Center

Sunday, Nov. 9, noon to 4 p.m. The Tucson J, 3800 E. River Road Free Information – Susan Frank (520) 299-3000, ext.197

through hands-on activities in the areas of fitness, nutrition, finance, culture and more. Mary Atkinson, director of wellness at TMC, said the hospital was attracted to partnering in the expo for a number of reasons. “We support programs that encourage families being active together, and this event does that,” Atkinson said. “We really liked the engagement component – the hands-on approach that the J is taking. And we hope that this will allow TMC to reach a new demographic. The J has the community reach we don’t necessarily have into a healthier population.” Rockoff agreed. “We believe a key to success (in building a healthy community) is collaboration. The Family Wellness Expo is an example of organizations and agencies working together towards a common goal. We’re grateful for all of our partners.” Sharing TMC’s mission to deliver more programs to Tucsonans, Frank said the J is “shifting attention to getting out into the community more and not waiting for people to find us.” Planning is under way for a second community event with the J and TMC as collaborators – the Tucson Family Triathlon, scheduled for April 2015.

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PHOTO COURTESY OF TUCSON JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER

By Mary Minor Davis


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PHOTO:CHRIS MOONEY

BizCHARITY

Madelyn and Levi Anderson, grandchildren of Rotarian Mike Anderson, with 2014 Tucson Classics Car Show Chair Pat Zumbusch – pictured with the 50th Anniversary 2003 Corvette in background. Tickets are $5.

Driving a Love of Reading Rotary Club Classics Car Show Backs Reading Seed By Cindy Godwin When the Rotary Club of Tucson selected the Reading Seed children’s literacy program as its Centennial Project in 2005, its members knew firsthand the importance of literacy to their businesses and the future of the local economy. “As an employer in Tucson I am often shocked and appalled to discover how illiterate many would-be employees are,” said Roger Harwell, principal with GLHN Architects & Engineers, who has been with the firm 32 of its 50 years. “In the architecture and engineering community, everything we do has to be communicated clearly and concisely among co-workers, constructors and clients,” he said. “Too few young people coming out of the Tucson school system are able to do that. Clearly the fundamental skill that is missed, by way too many kids in their early years, is reading. Anything we can 208 BizTucson

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do to bolster the reading skills of a generation of young students will pay dividends to employers and the overall Arizona economy.” Rotary Club of Tucson’s leadership in funding – more than $1.2 million – and promoting literacy over the last 10 years has been corroborated by Arizona’s mandate that all children must be reading at grade level by the end of third grade. And much help is needed to make that happen. According to Southern Arizona Indicators’ report of 2012 AIMS results, 32 percent of Southern Arizona’s third-graders are not proficient readers. Third-grade reading is so critical because after third grade, children must be able to read to learn. Students who are not reading by the end of third grade will continue to fall behind their peers, often dropping out of school. They will lack the www.BizTucson.com


A young person will never stay in school, much less succeed, if he doesn’t have proficiency in reading. –

Pat Zumbusch, Founder & CEO Wellspring Financial Partners

ability to seek and gain employment to support themselves and their families and end up relying on government support to just get by. That’s why Reading Seed, now a program of Literacy Connects, continues to be the primary beneficiary of the Rotary Club of Tucson’s Tucson Classics Car Show, slated for Oct. 18 at The Gregory School, which recently underwent a name change from St. Gregory College Preparatory School. Being able to help children learn to read motivates Pat Zumbusch, car show chair and Wellspring Financial Partners founder and CEO. With more than 2,000 nonprofits in Southern Arizona, why does he support Reading Seed? “A young person will never stay in school, much less succeed, if he doesn’t have proficiency in reading,” Zumbusch said. “Not everyone gets math or science easily, but we can all read if someone helps us. The Reading Seed program is a volunteer-driven effort to provide that help. “If young people can read, the chance of them staying in school increases dramatically. That provided assistance then allows them a level playing field with others in their class. If we can’t do that as a society, we’ve failed.” Zumbusch said his wife “believes so deeply in this assistance that she outsells me at every event where we sell raffle tickets. She’s excited, and so are the people who can help this cause by parting with a mere $5.”

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EIGHTH ANNUAL TUCSON CLASSICS CAR SHOW Saturday, Oct. 18, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Gregory School (formerly St. Gregory College Preparatory School) 3231 N. Craycroft Road $5 for admission and entry in raffle for a 50th anniversary Corvette convertible or $15,000, or four other prizes. Children under 18 admitted free with a paying adult. The event is sponsored by TucsonHouses.com. Tickets available online at www.RotaryTCCS.com, from any Rotary Club member or at the show.

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BizARTS

Diana Madaras

From Artist to Author Charity Event Features Her First Book By Valerie Vinyard Sitting behind a desk at her airy foothills art gallery, Diana Madaras looks more like a self-assured corporate executive than an acclaimed artist. But an artist she is, and after 18 months of hard work, the Southwest artist will add publisher and author of her first coffee table book – “Private Spaces” – to her list of accolades. The book is about “art and life” and includes photographs of more than 150 of her paintings. Madaras will showcase her book at two upcoming events in November. Not bad for a woman who first tried her hand at painting while in high school but received little encouragement. “I thought I was mediocre,” said Madaras, who has been voted Tucson’s Best Artist four times. “I didn’t ever think of it as a career possibility.” As a result, Madaras first used her degrees in physical education at Rutgers University and her master’s in biomechanics from the University of Arizona and entered the marketing world upon graduating. For years, she published sports programs and arts playbills, worked in sales and promotions and even opened her own firm. But painting had a hold on her. “I’ve always had this creative angst,” Madaras said. As a UA student, Madaras had traveled to the Bahamas and tried painting again. UA professor Chuck Albanese saw her work and invited her to join 210 BizTucson

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a small group of artists going to the Greek islands to paint for a month. “She was a woman with a passion for painting,” Albanese said. “I saw her come on fire.” Madaras eventually opened an art gallery in Tucson in 1993 that featured 25 artists, but sold it in 1997 to become a full-time painter. Immersing herself into her craft involved studying with a number of well-regarded artists from around the country, something she still tries to do once or twice a year. These artists, such as Frank Webb and William Hook, taught her “the science of painting” and technical skills, such as how to handle edges and contrast in a painting. Finally, she opened Madaras Gallery on East Broadway in 1999 and had 100 people on her mailing list. Today, there are more than 25,000. Her second gallery, on Skyline Drive, opened in 2004. Animals remain an important part of

MADARAS GALLERY 3001 E. Skyline Drive (520)615-3001 www.madaras.com BOOK SIGNING PARTY

Nov. 9, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. No admission charge

“PRIVATE SPACES” CHARITY NIGHT

Nov. 13, 5-7 p.m. No admission charge Autographed book is $75, with $25 donated to buyer’s choice of featured charities

Madaras’ life. She estimated that she’s donated $200,000 to animal causes in Southern Arizona. And she’s a mom to two dogs and two horses. The November event will include two animal charities. Attendees can purchase the autographed book for $75 and choose which of seven charities will get a $25 donation of the proceeds. The charities are American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, Boys and Girls Club of Tucson, Humane Society of Southern Arizona, the Jewish Community Center, TROT and Tucson Symphony Orchestra. Albanese, her mentor and friend, thinks Madaras’ book is a wonderful story of her life. “It gives her whole career development context,” said Albanese, a retired dean of the University of Arizona College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. “Her work has continued to grow, evolve and develop, and it has become a signature of its own.” Albanese also is an artist, and a variety of his watercolors and oil paintings are for sale in Madaras’ gallery. In her spare time, Madaras and her dance-instructor husband, Miroslaw Tymosiak, travel around the country competing in dance competitions. Madaras hopes her book serves as an inspiration to others. “It highlights the fact that it’s never too late to follow your passion,” she said.

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