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FALL 2020 2012

THE REGION’S BUSINESS MAGAZINE

REGION FOCUSED ON ECONOMIC

RECOVERY REASONS FOR OPTIMISM &

SPECIAL TRIBUTE: Lute Olson Olso n – A Legend in Basketball and Life FALL 2020 • $3.99 • DISPLAY UNTIL 12/31/20

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BizLETTER

While communities everywhere are far from free of the grips of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tucson region finds itself in a spotlight of sorts. In May, Tucson was highlighted in a Forbes magazine article about a Moody’s Analytics study that included this region as one of “the 10 U.S. cities best positioned to recover from coronavirus.” Then in July, the Site Selectors Guild, an association of site selection consultants that advises large companies trying to find the right cities for their businesses, listed Tucson among the top 11 mid-sized U.S. cities for relocation and expansion. As the pandemic hit full stride, Tucson had the highest increase in Google searches by Internet users who were looking up “homes for sale.” All of this inspired our team to do a “deep dive” into the economic implications of these rankings, independent reports from industry sectors and other national media and website reports. While acknowledging that the global pandemic crisis is far from over, we think you’ll be fascinated to read our “Region Focused on Economic Recovery: 10 Reasons for Optimism” editorial package, written by Jay Gonzales and Tara Kirkpatrick. To wrap up the package, Sun Corridor Inc. has assembled a blueribbon panel of business leaders, creating a recovery and resiliency plan called “The Pivot Playbook.” As a community, we’re fortunate to be home to a top-tier research university, several Fortune 500 companies and military installations at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and the 162nd Fighter Wing. Add to that a revitalized downtown, a world-class culinary scene and abundant residential real estate and new home offerings amid picturesque mountains and desert landscapes. And there’s so much more. It is important to recognize that Tucson is still experiencing life-altering effects of the economic downturn. At the top of the list, our nonprofit community greatly needs our support. In addition, our region’s $2.5 billion tourism industry is developing new strategies for recovery. Romi Carrell Wittman and Loni Nannini file reports from the front lines, with some silver linings from major nonprofit 4 BizTucson

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Photo: Steven Meckler

Region Focused on Economic Recovery 10 Reasons for Optimism

institutions like United Way of Southern Arizona and Community Foundation of Southern Arizona. In other news, on May 1, our team launched the BizTucson News Update, a twice weekly e-mail newsletter designed to help the region’s businesses stay connected with timely business news. This new venture is in response to an exceptionally high news demand from our readers. In fact, we experienced a 266% increase in digital readership with the Spring 2020 edition. The news highlights above and many others first appeared on the News Update and on BizTucson.com. Finally, you’re sure to be inspired by a special tribute to Lute Olson, a Hall of Fame legend in basketball and in life. Olson was truly a great family man who was loved and admired by all. Olson was honored as Father of The Year in 1995, at the inaugural Father of The Year Awards Gala, presented by the Father’s Day Council Tucson. For nearly four decades, he was unwavering in his dedication and support to our community through events like the Lute Olson Celebrity Chefs Benefit, Lute Olson/ SAHBA Golf Tournament, benefitting research at UArizona Arthritis Center, the UArizona Cancer Center (Bobbi Olson Endowment for Ovarian Cancer Research), the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson and many other nonprofit organizations. Longtime sportswriter Steve Rivera provides this tribute, while Jay Gonzales offers a glimpse of Olson’s leadership principles. As always, we are grateful for our loyal readers, our advertisers and our committed editorial team.

Fall 2020

Volume 12 No. 3

Publisher & Owner

Steven E. Rosenberg Brent G. Mathis

Creative Director Contributing Editors

Donna Kreutz Tara Kirkpatrick Jay Gonzales Elena Acoba Romi Carrell Wittman

Contributing Technology Director

Mike Serres

Contributing Project Coordinator

Maricela Robles

Contributing Writers

David Pittman Loni Nannini Steve Rivera Darci Slaten Monica Surfaro Spigelman Romi Carrell Wittman

Elena Acoba Rodney Campbell Mary Minor Davis Jay Gonzales Tara Kirkpatrick Christy Krueger

Contributing Photographers

William Lesch Brent G. Mathis Chris Mooney Robin Stancliff Balfour Walker

BizTucson News Update (Email Newsletter)

Brent G. Mathis Tara Kirkpatrick Member:

American Advertising Federation Tucson DM-50 Southern Arizona Leadership Council Sun Corridor Inc. Tucson Metro Chamber 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 © 2020 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:

Steven E. Rosenberg Publisher & Owner BizTucson

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

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BizCONTENTS

FEATURES

FALL 2020

VOLUME 12 NO. 3

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REGION FOCUSED ON ECONOMIC RECOVERY: 10 REASONS FOR OPTIMISM

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Forbes Ranks Tucson in Top 10 Cities Best Positioned to Recover

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New Homes and Residential Real Estate Sales Surge

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Top Companies Choose Tucson, Poised for Growth

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Startup Central: Tucson’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

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Rio Nuevo Projects and Others Expand Downtown Skyline

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Pima County Businesses are Ready For You

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Tucson Targets Remote Workers to Relocate

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Millennials Drawn to Mid-Sized Cities

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Tucson’s Industrial Development Authority, Building Development Finance Corporation Help Community Thrive

PHOTO: WILLIAM LESCH

COVER STORY:

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BizTECHNOLOGY Pima Community College’s New Advanced Manufacturing Building

102 The Pivot Playbook: Sun Corridor Inc.’s Resiliency & Recovery Plan

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BizTRANSPORTATION Regional Transportation Authority’s 20-Year Plan

DEPARTMENTS

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BizMEDICINE Critical Path Institute: Paving the Way for Global Drug Innovation

122 124

BizMILESTONE Greater Tucson Leadership Celebrates 40 Years

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BizLETTER From the Publisher

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BizHEALTH Children’s Clinics Marks 30 Years

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BizLEADERSHIP Jan Lesher: A Driving Force for Pima County

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BizMILESTONE Copenhagen Imports Marks 50th Anniversary

BizMUSIC Tucson Desert Song Festival

BizTOURISM Hotels, Venues Challenged to Adapt, Recover BizRECOVERY Nonprofits, Arts Persevere in Pandemic

BizHONORS Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson: The Levitz Family with Click for Kids Award Tom & Cindy Robertson with Youth Impact Award

BizTRIBUTE 126 Lute Olson A Legend in Basketball and Life

ABOUT THE COVER REGION FOCUSED ON ECONOMIC RECOVERY: 10 REASONS FOR OPTIMISM Creative Design by Brent G. Mathis Photography by William Lesch

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PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

BizHEALTH

Jared Perkins

CEO Children’s Clinics

Gemma Thomas

Chief Administrative Officer Children’s Clinics

Children’s Clinics Marks 30 Years

Coordinated Care Model Adeptly Serves Southern Arizona Youth Children with complex medical needs and their families have found respite in Children’s Clinics for the past 30 years. This special Southern Arizona medical facility provides family-centered comprehensive medical, rehabilitative and social care for more than 5,500 children challenged with severe illnesses, chronic diseases or conditions with functional impairment. A welcoming, coordinated point of healthcare access for these special kids is the goal, said Jared Perkins, CEO of Children’s Clinics. “It’s often difficult to navigate care because treatment is so complex,” he explained. “There are critical gaps beyond emotional and financial, and our kids need intensive support. They need coordination through one medical home, and we provide it for them.” 26 BizTucson

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Square & Compass Origins

Children’s Clinics is housed in a 50,000-square-foot facility on the campus of TMC Healthcare, built in 1991 by philanthropic partner Square & Compass, a nonprofit with a legacy of caring for medically challenged children of Southern Arizona and northern Mexico for more than 75 years. The partnership began in post-war Tucson in the late 1940s, when the polio epidemic was at its peak. With no rehabilitation center available for vulnerable children, a group of Freemasons, led by Tucson businessman Ted Walker, converted a backyard, 500-square-foot playhouse near Fort Lowell and Country Club roads into a therapy center. When hundreds of children began overwhelming the small playhouse each week for therapies, a plan for a permanent facility was put in place. With

help from local carpenters, brick layers and Sundt Construction, a new facility opened on Broadway in 1950 under the name, Square & Compass Crippled Children’s Clinic. Its name honored the two architectural tools that best represent the masons’ craft. “Children are always at the core of our service,” said Square & Compass Executive Director Amy Burke. Decades after the Broadway clinic opening, continued expansion of services included orthopedics, cardiology, audiology and orthodontics. When the healthcare system began a dramatic overhaul in the 1980s, Walker saw that the system required a new approach, Burke recalled. Children’s Clinics opened on the TMC campus with a uniquely coordinated model.

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PHOTOS: COURTESY CHINDREN’S CLINIC

By Monica Surfaro Spigelman


Rehabilitation through State Models

Under Arizona’s Children’s Rehabilitative Services program, originally created in 1929, children with complex healthcare needs who are served under the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System can receive services through one of the state’s four Multi-Specialty Interdisciplinary Clinics, or MSICs. Children’s Clinics is the MSIC serving all of Southern Arizona except Yuma. Communication is at the heart of the MSIC care model, said Dr. Sydney Rice, medical director of Children’s Clinics. “It sounds so simple, yet it’s actually incredibly difficult to coordinate the time of what may be 10 or more specialists for the care of one sick child,” Rice said. “The co-location of needed specialists allows families to schedule multiple appointments during the same visit. Because transportation alone causes stress for families, the ability to see more than one doctor and receive therapies on the same day is essential for the wellbeing of families who just want the best care for their child. The MSIC model pulls it all together.” Children’s Clinics coordinates with clinical partners TMC Healthcare, BannerUniversity Medical Center, University of Arizona College of Medicine and physicians and dentists from across the community. There are more than 20 different medical specialties, primary care, rehabilitative therapy services and behavioral health programs offered. Siblings also may receive care at the Children’s Clinics, which had more than 40,000 visits in 2019. “There’s a comprehensive standardized care plan for each child,” said Rice. “The success of the clinics lies in its commitment to provide families with the resources they need to successfully support the total child. We really treat the patient and family together as one unit – our approach is focused on the family, and we stay with that family even as the child grows through teenage years and young adulthood.” This approach recognizes that a child’s necessities go beyond physical health. “Our kids will miss traditional childhood rituals, such as playing a team sport, because of their conditions,” said Perkins. “And so, our team organizes both adaptive recreation, like dance or basketball, and special events, like Halloween, back-to-school haircuts or riding in El Tour on bikes we customize. We want all the kids to have experiences and the memories that go along with them.” Focusing on the Future

“It’s important to remember that we’re always in pursuit of our mission, because www.BizTucson.com

the mission evolves as special needs of our children change,” Perkins said. “Behavior was a care area often under the radar for our children, but Children’s Clinics now is uniquely prepared to evolve and respond to take care of behavioral health needs just as complex as the physical conditions.” Multidisciplinary care for children diagnosed with behavioral issues recently gained momentum when Children’s Clinics was selected as a 2019 Angel Charity for Children beneficiary. This accomplishment resulted in a $1.5 million facility remodel, creating the Angel Charity Center for CARE (Comprehensive Autism and Rehabilitative Excellence). The remodel includes six physical and occupational therapy gyms, three sensory rooms, two feeding therapy rooms, seven consult rooms for speech therapy, nutrition, audiology, an outdoor multi-use therapy space and experiential activities for the lobby area. Another ongoing priority is research. “We saw an opportunity to help our kids with cerebral palsy, who tend to dislocate their hips,” said Perkins. “If we could identify markers to catch problems before the hip dislocates, we could do therapy adjustments that would reduce surgeries, costs, and, most importantly, stresses for the children and families.” Because Children’s Clinics cares for most children with cerebral palsy in Southern Arizona, they coordinated with physicians and providers to develop a “hip surveillance program.” A system was developed and implemented two years ago, effectively stopping at least four hip dislocations. Children’s Clinics was the first to establish such a program in the United States. Shared Vision

Making Children’s Clinics’ ambitious agenda all the more possible are the partnerships which further the conversation about wellbeing for challenged children. “There’s a shared community conscience behind our success, which actually is the success of all Tucson healthcare,” Perkins said. Mimi Coomler, the former Children’s Clinics CEO who now is senior vice president and COO for TMC Healthcare, agreed: “Organizations are built on community priorities. There was the question, ‘how do we best set up a system to serve these children?’ You need a set of very specific resources to support them. And Children’s Clinics is the one Tucson center where partners can come together and ensure that children with these complex needs have care all in one place.” Biz Fall 2020

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BizMUSIC

Tucson Desert Song Festival Honors Founder By Elena Acoba work part of our festival on an ongoing basis,” Hanson said. Green is a retired insurance adjuster who moved with his wife to Tucson in 2003. Another festival highlight is several performances with acclaimed soprano Corinne Winters and True Concord Voice and Orchestra. “The Trailblazer” series will honor women composers and includes a new work by Jocelyn Hagen that commemorates the 100th anniversary of U.S. women’s suffrage. Other performances of note include an Arizona Opera recital presentation of festival-artist-in-residence tenor Bryan Hymel. Tenor Carlos Zapien will be in recital with guitarists Misael Barraza and Edwin Gutierrez, presented by Tucson Guitar Society. The festival has scheduled 17 artists in 15 performances. It opens with a free lecture and musical selections around songs of love. It starts at 7 p.m. Jan. 20 at the University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music. “The ability of the human voice through music to connect us to our feelings is perhaps the most compelling aspect of our art form,” Hanson said. “Music connects us to each other. This is a powerful and important message, especially today.”

PHOTOS: COURTESY TUCSON DESERT SONG FESTIVAL

“Songs of Love” is the theme of the Tucson Desert Song Festival 2021 and is dedicated to the late festival founder Jack Forsythe. He died this year of cancer. The ninth annual celebration of song runs Jan. 15 to Feb. 12 at nine performance venues throughout the Tucson metropolitan area. “Jack has left a remarkable, unique legacy in creating the Tucson Desert Song Festival,” said Jeannette Segel, the event’s board president and sponsor. “Part of our mission now is to honor his contribution to the cultural life of Tucson.” The festival will feature the world premiere of a song cycle by opera composer Jake Heggie, considered to be among the most important of his generation. Heggie will debut the commissioned work on piano with mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton in a Feb. 4 recital. “Commissioning a work from a composer like Jake Heggie makes an enduring contribution to the art song repertoire and draws attention to TDSF and Tucson,” said festival coordinator George Hanson. Heggie’s new work will be the second from the festival’s Wesley Green Composer Project. The first was the 2020 premiere of a work by composer Richard Danielpour. “With thanks to Wesley Green, sponsor of the commissioning project, we expect to make a newly commissioned

For information on performances and tickets, visit the festival website, TucsonSongFest.org.

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From top – Corinne Winters, Jake Heggie, Jamie Barton 28 BizTucson

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Jan Lesher

Chief Deputy Administrator Pima County

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PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

WOMEN WHO LEAD

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BizLEADERSHIP

Jan Lesher

A Driving Force for Pima County By Tara Kirkpatrick It’s not enough to say that Jan Lesher loves her hometown. In a substantive career that has launched her from a University of Arizona graduate to business owner, to Tucson’s Woman of the Year, to chief of staff for a governor and national secretary to Pima County official, Lesher’s devotion to her hometown drives everything she does. “I was born here, I’m going to die here,” said Lesher, Pima County’s chief deputy administrator. “I come to work every day because I get to have some small way of impacting a variety of elements like finances, taxes, animals. I’m proud of this community.” Perhaps Janet Napolitano, former Arizona Governor and former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, said it best: “If the taxpayers are paying Jan’s salary, those are dollars well-spent.” Lesher’s resume is a testament to public service and leadership. A political science graduate and former cable company executive, she founded Lesher Communications in 1990 to handle corporate and government relations. Besides working several years for Napolitano, she also served as director of the Arizona State Department of Commerce. Lesher has lent her time to countless organizations, including the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, Arizona Town Hall, La Frontera, the Rotary Club of Tucson and several economic development groups. Lesher was named 2005 Woman of the Year by the Tucson Metro Chamber www.BizTucson.com

and Arizona Capitol Times Leader of the Year in Public Policy in 2008 among many leadership nods. “She knows how to get things done, and to motivate others to join with her,” said Laura Shaw, senior vice president of Sun Corridor Inc., the region’s economic engine. As chief deputy under the leadership of Pima County Administrator Chuck

What I love and respect about Jan is she always has the end goal in mind. What are we trying to accomplish? Who needs to be involved or know about this? How will this benefit our community?

Laura Shaw SVP Sun Corridor Inc. –

Huckelberry, Lesher helps to oversee a public agency that has tackled the crippling COVID-19 pandemic head on and is readying the region for recovery with responsive planning, data collection and innovative collaboration. The

county’s Back to Business steering committee and Ready for You initiatives are just a glimpse of significant behind-thescenes work by Huckelberry, Lesher and several others to help businesses, restaurants, schools, health centers and all stakeholders impacted by the crisis. “We have really tried to find this balance of physical and financial health, helping businesses survive, but also recognizing the reality that people will not come back until they feel it is safe,” she said. Yet, even in these unprecedented times, Lesher can look to her past for experience. As chief of staff for Napolitano in Washington D.C., she worked in a Department of Homeland Security managing the H1N1 flu virus epidemic. “There was not a Health and Human Services Secretary named yet so it fell upon us to run point on it. We had so many of these same discussions on a slightly larger scale,” she recalled. Lesher first ran Napolitano’s Southern Arizona office when she was governor in 2003, then became her chief of staff in Phoenix and ultimately, followed her to the nation’s capital in 2009 to oversee a staff of 200,000-plus. “Jan is just a wonderful person,” Napolitano said. “She has good judgment, she’s able to identify issues and priorities and she has the ability to disagree without being disagreeable.” “Her heart has always been with Pima County,” Napolitano said. “After a year-plus in D.C., her heart called continued on page 32 >>> Fall 2020

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BizLEADERSHIP continued from page 31 her home.” Lesher joined the county in 2010 and has served as deputy county administrator since 2011. “I have always admired the work of the county,” said Lesher. “To be offered an opportunity to come back to my hometown and work for a government I admire greatly has been an amazing opportunity. I’m given so many opportunities to be creative. Not everyone in government gets to do that.” Huckelberry especially lauds Lesher’s problem-solving acuity. “I brought her on to be one of the top management team members because of her prior experience in state and federal governments. She is very bright and an effective problem solver.” One of her goals when Lesher first returned was to look critically at Pima Animal Care Center, where at the time, less than half of the animals were adopted – a live release rate of 49%. Because of her work and ensuing community investment, the live release rate is now above 90%. In 2019, the center set a record with 11,300 adoptions. “This community has demanded that quality of care for their animals,” she said. “Now, we have an extraordinary facility and extraordinary staff. Quality begets quality.” Added Huckelberry: “She spearheaded an entire change in attitude. Remember, we used to call it ‘animal control’ and that had a negative connotation. She led a whole change in philosophy.” Amid the pandemic, the county has been praised for its distribution of accurate, timely data. “It’s so important to us. We want to be the clearinghouse of unbiased, accurate information,” Lesher said. “We also see a strong role as convener. We may not have all the answers, but that’s why we convene many groups of people. We need to hear what they are seeing every day.” Shaw, who chaired the county’s community updates subcommittee, has been pleased with the comprehensive efforts, as well as, Lesher’s determination. “What I love and respect about Jan is she always has the end goal in mind,” Shaw said. “What are we trying to accomplish? Who needs to be involved or know about this?  How will this benefit our community?” Biz 32 BizTucson

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PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

Emily Hansen

Digital Marketing & Web Manager Copenhagen Imports

Jorgen Hansen

Co-founder Copenhagen Imports 34 BizTucson

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BizMILESTONE

Copenhagen Imports Marks 50th Anniversary By Christy Krueger This year, the popular Copenhagen Imports marks a momentous milestone: 50 years of service to Southern Arizona. Three generations of Hansens have influenced the pathway to success of Copenhagen Imports, one of Tucson’s most popular contemporary furniture stores. Unfortunately, the family will mark this important achievement without founder Erik Hansen, who passed away in February 2020. Erik’s brother, Jorgen Hansen, remembers him fondly. “Erik was a wonderful brother, devoted to his family – not only as a brother, but also to his wife, children and grandchildren. His dedication, hard work and passion for contemporary design has shaped our company and made it possible for us to continue his mission.” That mission began when the brothers were introduced to the business as children growing up in Denmark. They lived above their family’s store, Mobellageret, which translates to “Furniture Warehouse.” As young adults, the brothers emigrated to the United States and, along with Erik’s business partner, Tony Christensen, opened the first Copenhagen showroom in Phoenix. In 1977, Jorgen moved to Tucson and opened a 10,000-square-foot Copenhagen store on Speedway Boulevard. Just a few short years later in 1984, they moved to a larger, 60,000-square-foot showroom at Fort Lowell Road and Dodge Boulevard, where the store operates to this day. The brand also expanded in the Phoenix area and opened stores in San Antonio and Austin, Texas. Copenhagen truly is a family-run business. Erik’s wife, Lise Hansen, is very much involved, as is their son, Jens Hansen, who serves as the president of www.BizTucson.com

the company. Jorgen’s daughter, Emily Hansen, returned to Tucson after graduating from Princeton University and is now the store’s assistant manager as well as digital marketing and web manager. The store is known for its range of contemporary designs for every room of the house. “Copenhagen’s collection of furniture is exceptional in its variety and value, and the company offers delivery, design and service options for all customers within its service areas,” Emily

We negotiated with our longtime suppliers and collaborated to create an exclusive 50th anniversary collection with over 150 unique pieces, all at 20-30 percent less than our everyday prices.

Jorgen Hansen Co-founder Copenhagen Imports –

noted. Its products come from around the world, including the U.S., Canada and Europe. COVID-19 has presented challenges for Copenhagen’s employees and customers. In April, the company temporarily closed its showrooms and warehouses. “During this time, we had as many of our employees working from home as possible and created avenues to communicate and help our customers, like an online chat functionality,” Em-

ily said. Since reopening, employees are adjusting to new policies to ensure a safe environment. This includes allowing customers to make personal appointments outside normal business hours. Thanks to these accommodations, customers have continued to make purchases and Copenhagen has seen increased sales in three key areas: power motion and home theater furniture, ergonomic office chairs and sit-stand desks, and extendable dining tables. Jorgen credits the store’s longevity to offering merchandise that is classic in design and of high quality. Empathetic customer service, dedicated employees, many of whom have been with the company for 15-40 years, and customers who come back again and again are also at the heart of the company’s success. Emily feels that relationships in the community also contribute to Copenhagen’s continued success. “We believe strongly in supporting local nonprofits and philanthropies that provide vital services to our community and contribute to Tucson’s cultural development.” These include partnerships with Tucson Museum of Art, the Humane Society of Southern Arizona and Tucson Desert Song Festival, among many others. “Each year we host cultural and arts events that benefit each of these philanthropies.” To celebrate its 50th anniversary, Jorgen’s team compiled a catalog of more than 80 pages of designs ranging from contemporary to classic Danish Modern. “We negotiated with our longtime suppliers and collaborated to create an exclusive 50th anniversary collection with over 150 unique pieces, all at 20-30 percent less than our everyday prices.” It’s a way, he said, to thank customers for their business and trust.

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BizPEOPLE Sandra SagehornElliott Vantage West Credit Union of Arizona has announced Sandra Sagehorn-Elliott as its new president and CEO after a nationwide search. Sagehorn-Elliott has more than 20 years of experience in the financial services industry and comes from Workers Credit Union in Fitchburg, Mass., where she was EVP and COO of the $1.6 billion organization since 2015. During her tenure there, Sagehorn-Elliott was responsible for all operations and oversaw a commercial lending portfolio of $165 million. Biz

Joe Erceg

A native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa and graduate of Iowa State University, Joe Erceg has been named a Membership Director of Arizona Sands Club. Erceg began his professional career in Tucson at Gates Learjet Corporation, leaving to become a partner in Erceg, Sitton & Bratt Advertising. For more than 30years, Joe managed and marketed several ad agencies and worked in account management for local radio, television and outdoor companies. As a professional and as a volunteer, he has worked heavily in the event management and sports marketing arenas. Biz

Courtney Miller Courtney Miller has been named a Membership Director of Arizona Sands Club. Miller was born and raised in Seattle but moved to Tucson in 2003, where she began her hospitality career with food and beverage operations at the Hilton El Conquistador Resort in Oro Valley. She served as the director of events and catering for The Gallery Golf Club in Marana, then as group sales manager at the Westin La Paloma Resort. Miller joined the Arizona Sands Club in March. Biz 36 BizTucson

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BizPEOPLE

Michele Smith The Lodge at Ventana Canyon Golf and Racquet Club has named Michele Smith as its vice president of marketing and sales. Smith joins the executive team with 30 years of experience in marketing and branding in the luxury travel, leisure, hospitality and wellness industries. Most recently, she was vice president of marketing for Canyon Ranch.

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Steve Hatch The Lodge at Ventana Canyon Golf and Racquet Club has named Steve Hatch as its new director of golf. Hatch is a golf professional with 34 years in the hospitality industry. After serving as an assistant golf professional for several years, including at the Four Seasons Resort and Club in Irving, Texas, he became head golf professional and assistant general manager at St. James Bay Golf Community in Florida. He was golf director at The Club at Horseshoe Bay in Texas and at The Clubs of Kingwood in Texas.

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BizTECHNOLOGY

Pima Community College’s New Advanced Manufacturing Building By Rodney Campbell It’s common knowledge for Pima Community College students who want to sign up for a welding course when the new semester schedule is released: Be quick and have a reliable WiFi connection. The courses aren’t available long. The schedule is posted at midnight and the classes are filled within half an hour. It’s a testament to welding’s popularity among students. But it’s also a sign that the college needs to ensure that similar courses keep up with growing demand. 40 BizTucson

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“Space has been a real problem,” said Greg Wilson, dean of PCC’s Applied Technology since 2014. Wilson and the college will take a huge step toward solving that issue when ground is broken this fall on an advanced manufacturing building at its downtown campus. The facility, which will be three stories and approximately 100,000 square feet when it opens in spring 2022, will be the centerpiece of the college’s efforts to attract students and aid in regional economic development.

The new facility will be the hub of PCC’s Center for Excellence in Applied Technology. It will bring together machining, welding, automation/robotics, optics and computer-aided design. The new facility will be the biggest building on campus, a necessary addition for growing programs. The plan for the $35 million facility started in 2017. Knowing it would be securing a revenue bond to cover construction costs, PCC held an industry continued on page 42 >>> www.BizTucson.com

IMAGES COURTESY PIMA COMMUNITY COLLEGE

Planned Centerpiece for Regional Skilled Workforce, Economic Development


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BizTECHNOLOGY continued from page 40 summit that fall that drew 120 industry partners to Tucson to provide input and guidance on how the new building would best be used, including opportunities for those already in their careers. “Our industry partners made it clear that they send their employees to Phoenix for training,” Wilson said. “This building isn’t just a place with shiny new equipment. It’s part of a much bigger picture for what the college is doing for Southern Arizona.” That spirit of cooperation continued throughout planning. Wilson calls the building a “maker space” where all three stories will provide opportunities for industry partners and students to collaborate. “It’s a space where ideas can germinate and grow,” Wilson said. The advanced manufacturing building will be part of a three-facility complex that will include 45,000 square feet of space for auto technology and 20,000 square feet for building and construction technology – 10 times the room it has now.

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The applied technology programs combined have 1,250 students. Wilson plans to eventually triple that total by building on existing relationships with the University of Arizona, high schools, programs such as Pima Joint Technical Education District and local industry. “We want to strengthen our partnerships with high school students,” Wilson said. “We also want to help students who start at JTED make seamless transitions to Pima or industry.” Wilson and his team are also finding support from corporations. PCC has a partnership with Caterpillar, which moved its Surface Mining and Technology Division to Tucson from the Midwest last year. Caterpillar is sending its applied technology academy engineers to PCC to learn machine welding and prototyping methods. Trane is ready to begin working with the building and construction and robotics programs. DMG Mori, one of Germany’s largest manufacturers of cutting machine tools and a manufacturer of CNC-controlled lathes and milling machines, sent 36 of its best technicians to Tucson for training as part of its apprenticeship pro-

gram. Each participant went through 120 hours of training. These alliances are beneficial to Pima and its students. The jobs that students seek are in high demand across the country, but it would be nice to have the option to stay in Tucson. The local economy would benefit, too. “A program of this caliber that offers the right kind of training for highdemand positions will have immediate and longterm impacts on those in the program and communitywide for employers,” said Amber Smith, president and CEO of Tucson Metro Chamber. The program’s real potential will be realized once the advanced manufacturing building opens and students don’t have to burn the midnight oil to sign up for the more popular courses. Better class availability will provide more opportunities to learn – a recipe for regional success. “We intend to bring a lot of industry to Tucson,” Wilson said. “We want the rest of the country to know we have a skilled workforce in Southern Arizona. We’re going to be a draw.”

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BizBRIEF

Golf Cars of Arizona Earns Club Car Elite Status Golf Cars of Arizona has earned the 2020 Black & Gold Elite partner status. The recognition comes from the Club Car Black & Gold Rewards Program. Owned by Dareck Makowski, Golf Cars of Arizona is the largest golf cart dealership in Southern Arizona and the region’s only Club Car golf cart dealership. Founded in 1980, Makowski took over the business in 2012. Elite status is awarded to the top 25 Club Car golf car dealers in the United States. “Some of these are in much larger markets. You look after your customers and they keep coming back,” Makowski said.

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Dareck & Megan Makowski

The dealership offers new, reconditioned and rental carts, and has locations in Tucson, Green Valley and Catalina. It also offers the Club Car Carryall commercial brand of utility vehicles. Though this year’s pandemic has scuttled the dealership’s usual cart rentals to golf tournaments and special events, Makowski said sales have increased among those who have stayed here rather than returning to their pre-pandemic homes elsewhere. Golf Cars of Arizona also celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.

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Region Focused on Recovery:

10 Reasons By Jay Gonzales

Region Focused on Recovery: 10 Reasons for Optimism

It would be incredibly difficult to find anyone who would say the COVID-19 pandemic has been anything but devastating. With three months to go in 2020, the deaths, the disruption of the economy, the political divisiveness, the isolation and, for Tucson, a destructive forest fire this summer,

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have made this one of the worst years of the modern era. Yet, to focus a bit on optimism, many in the region are hoping the pandemic’s aftermath could be Tucson’s moment to shine. Momentum is building that suggests living and working here, post-COVID-19, could be brighter than many cities

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in America. From the quality of life to the steady economic progress over the past decade, our region holds great promise. In fact, Tucson has been named in numerous publications and studies as being well-positioned for a post-COVID-19 rebound, including a noteworthy Moody’s Analyt-

Forbes Ranks Tucson in Top 10 Cities Best Positioned to Recover Citing a Moody Analytics report, Forbes published a story in May that included Tucson among the potential post-COVID-19 winners – thanks to its low population density, growing tech hub status and home to higher education campuses. Page 46 New Homes & Residential Real Estate Sales Surge After an initial pandemic drop, sales of new and existing homes across Tucson have sharply increased with a promising forecast. Page 50

Top Companies Choose Tucson, Poised for Growth Tucson has curated a steady employment base, bringing Fortune 500 companies such as Amazon and Caterpillar to Southern Arizona, while also seeing expansion by established giants such as Raytheon Missiles & Defense. Page 68 Startup Central – Tucson’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem New ideas and new companies thrive here, thanks to a substantial support network fostered by the University of Arizona Center for Innovation, Startup Tucson, Tech Parks Arizona, UAVenture Capital and more. Page 72 Rio Nuevo Projects and Others Expand Downtown Skyline Several new commercial construction projects are nearing completion throughout downtown Tucson, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Page 82

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BizRECOVERY

for

Optimism

ics study published in Forbes magazine that ranked Tucson as one of the top 10 cities poised for a recovery. As UAVenture Capital CEO Fletcher McCusker told BizTucson in this issue: “Pre-pandemic Tucson was being considered the next Austin: tech jobs, rich culture, great university and, moreover, deal flow.” None of those things

have changed. Still, regional leaders insist there is much work to do. “It’s great that we have some independent groups that are saying we’re well-positioned,” said Joe Snell, president and CEO of Sun Corridor Inc., the region’s economic development engine. “We do think that there are going

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to be some trends that carry forward post-COVID that do put us in a great position. This is largely building on some of the things that we’ve already been winning with.” With this in mind, BizTucson has dedicated this issue to a list of 10 reasons for optimism for the Tucson region as we focus on recovery.

Pima County Businesses are Ready For You Notice all those new Ready For You blue stickers on businesses? Pima County was out front with a comprehensive plan to assure the public that favorite haunts were safe and virus-vigilant. Page 92

Tucson Targets Remote Workers to Relocate Startup Tucson has launched an ambitious campaign to recruit workers who are already employed, yet working remotely, to relocate with incentives and networking to keep them here. Page 94

Millennials Drawn to Mid-Sized Cities Tucson has what millennials want – the great outdoors, increasing tech jobs and an affordable, urban-minded community where they can get in on the ground floor. Page 96

Tucson’s Industrial Authority and Business Development Finance Corporation A little-known but expertly managed financial assistance program can help first-time home buyers with mortgage payments and even small business loans. Page 98

Resilient & Ready – Sun Corridor Inc. Looks Ahead The region’s top business leaders have noted the national attention for Tucson and are ready to seize on it with a devoted working group and a detailed plan forward. Page 102 Fall 2020

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Forbes Ranks Tucson in Top 10 Cities Best Positioned to Recover

Poised for Recovery Forbes Ranks Tucson in Top 10 Best Positioned U.S. Cities By Jay Gonzales

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While communities everywhere are far from free of the grips of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tucson region finds itself in a spotlight of sorts. To start, Tucson was highlighted in a Forbes magazine article on a report by Moody’s Analytics, earlier this year, that lists the region as one of “the 10 U.S. cities best positioned to recover from coronavirus.” In July, the Site Selectors Guild, an association of site selection consultants that advises

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large companies trying to find the right cities for their businesses, listed Tucson among the top 11 midsized U.S. cities for relocation and expansion. And after the pandemic took full force in March, Tucson had the highest increase in searches on Google by internet users searching the term, “homes for sale.” This all suggests that the word is out that Tucson may be one of the places to be in the post-COVID-19 economy for jobs, for lifestyle, for industry and for relocation.

“These are smart people that are projecting this,” said Joe Snell, president and CEO of Sun Corridor Inc., the region’s economic development engine. “We can’t just sit back and say, ‘Well, it’s gonna happen because they ranked us.’ It’s going to be cities that get ahead of the curve now that win.” The first welcome news hit in May with the Forbes article, released amid the stay-at-home order and the overall shutdown of the economy. At that point, good news was hard to come by. www.BizTucson.com


BizRECOVERY The Moody’s report concluded that sweet spot where we’re big enough, but Tucson is attractive to big-city residents small enough.” who see the population density of places In fact, the region’s economic development and business leaders have been like New York, Chicago and San Franbuilding the very base of industry and cisco as a safety issue in the post-COemployment that positions Tucson to reVID-19 environment. “Small college cover more quickly than others. towns” and “fast-growing tech hubs” are two more characteristics that helped For example, one of the four industry Tucson earn the ranking, according to clusters that has been a focus for sevForbes. eral years is transportation and logistics. “The generation that is growing up The region has attracted distribution today could recenters for Amamember the impact zon, Target and of the COVID-19 HomeGoods. It pandemic on large, boasts an inland densely populated port in the Port of urban areas and be Tucson. Access to more likely than ports in Southern its predecessors to California and to opt for less densely the U.S.-Mexico packed pastures border via interin the decades to state highways and come,” the Moody’s Union Pacific rail report said. “Firms lines adds to the will need to follow region’s prowess those workers.” to fuel the imporThe Site Selectant supply chain. tors Guild essenTuSimple, a company developing tially echoed the report, self-driving truck Moody’s noting “the pantechnology, is demic has brought building and testsuburban areas and ing the technology mid-size cities into here. the forefront of con“The disrupsideration for future tions that hapsite selection projpened (in the supects. When Guild ply chain) as a – Joe Snell members were asked result of COVID CEO about locations that have companies Sun Corridor Inc. are ‘likely’ or ‘very rethinking how Photo by Chris Mooney likely’ to be considthey’re responding ered by corporations to that and where looking to expand, relocate or open new they’re going with their businesses,” said facilities in the next 12 months, 64% Steve Eggen, a retired CFO of Raythechose suburban areas, 57% chose midon Missile Systems. Eggen is heading up size cities, 31% chose rural areas, and a Sun Corridor Inc. committee developjust 10% chose large urban areas.” ing a post-COVID-19 recovery plan. Tucson fits nicely in there, and has for “When you look at the characteristics some time, Snell said. that we have in our region, it becomes at“For us, this isn’t about COVID at tractive being close to the rail lines, being all. It’s about resuming and building on close to the border, being close to access success we saw going into the COVID to two areas of the country that have a stuff,” he said. “It’s great that we have lot of high manufacturing,” Eggen said. some independent groups that are say“They’re very accessible to us.” ing we’re well-positioned, but it is largely Factor in the biggest disruption for building on some of the things that we’ve companies – the need for employees to already been winning with. We fit that continued on page 48 >>>

It’s going to be cities that get ahead of the curve now that win.

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Forbes/Moody’s Analytics Top U.S. Cities Best Positioned to Recover from Coronavirus Boise, ID Denver, CO Durham, NC Madison, WI Provo, UT Raleigh, NC Salt Lake City, UT San Jose, CA Tucson, AZ Washington, D.C.

Site Selectors Guild: Top U.S. Cities for Corporate Expansion, Relocation Boise, ID Colorado Springs, CO Columbia, SC Columbus, OH Greenville, SC Huntsville, AL Indianapolis, IN Kansas City, MO Raleigh-Durham, NC Reno, NV Tucson, AZ Cities are alphabetically sorted, not listed in order Fall 2020

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BizRECOVERY continued from page 47 work remotely – and Tucson has the potential to capitalize on what may be a decentralization of businesses from the big cities as employees can work virtually from anywhere. “We’re seeing that companies are probably never going to go back to the way things were,” Snell said. “More people will be working from home. We know that. We realize that with that trend, that lack of density is definitely playing out.” Still, challenges lay ahead. As a college town – one of the factors cited by Forbes – pivotal for Tucson is the University of Arizona’s ability to recover from its financial hit. UArizona is the region’s largest employer with more than 15,000 employees and an annual $4 billion economic impact. “We play a really central role on so many fronts, including economic development,” said UArizona President Dr. Robert Robbins. And while UArizona must find ways to work through a massive financial crisis, Robbins said the university’s standing as a major research institution puts it in position – and even gives it the duty – to help with the recovery. “We’re one of the top-ranked, globally recognized research universities in the world,” Robbins said. “There are so many positive things that are going on; the university is going to continue to be an engine for economic development in Southern Arizona, across the state, the nation and the world. We take that stewardship responsibility very seriously.” Snell noted the region has learned many lessons, after struggling for decades before it reached the point where it was solidly attractive to companies like Caterpillar Inc. and Raytheon Missiles & Defense for relocation and expansion, respectively. “This turnaround in the last five years – it’s taken 15 to get here with all this learning and some tough lessons,” Snell said. “It’s our time, and shame on us if we’re not smart enough to go answer the door and step through the threshold.”

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New Homes & Residential Real Estate Sales Surge

New Home Builders Embrace Surge in Sales Homebuyers Flood Tucson Market By Jay Gonzales

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Sales and construction of new homes and master-planned communities across Southern Arizona barely hit a speed bump in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. “It’s a real head-scratcher,” said Carson Mehl, VP of Cottonwood Properties and developer of Dove Mountain, a 6,200-acre, high-end master-planned community at the base of the Tortolita Mountains. “When the pandemic first came down, we had a big, quick, abrupt dip. We didn’t know what to expect. “I was pretty pessimistic and worried,” he said. “But I never would have anticipated the strength of the rebound that was to come. And it didn’t take very long.” Whether it was new homes or existing homes, high-end homes or first-time buyers, mas-

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ter-planned communities or individual developments, a brief lull in sales and construction was followed by a pre-summer jolt. Even better, there is nothing to indicate the market will weaken as the region continues to battle the virus into winter. “I don’t want to speak for all the builders – but it’s obvious all the builders are very active, purchasing more land, trying to get it developed and trying to get communities open to continue to serve this demand,” said Amy McReynolds, president of KB Home Tucson Division, which has 13 active subdivisions, including in the masterplanned communities of Gladden Farms, Rocking K and Rancho Sahuarita. The numbers definitely tell a story. In mid-August, new home sales accounted for 17% of all home sales in the region, up from

14.6% in 2019. In 2011, the market share for new homes was under 10%, she said. A May report by LendingTree, an online mortgage broker, said that in April, Tucson had the largest 2020 increase in Google searches for the term “homes for sale.” Good news that was echoed in multiple publications and studies that suggested Tucson is poised for post-COVID-19 recovery. “It looked pretty dire,” said Will White, a land broker for Land Advisors Organization, which represents several of Tucson metro’s large master-planned communities in their lot sales to homebuilders. Builders “all stopped spending money. They put their land deals on pause. They didn’t want to spend money on land development. Some of them didn’t want to spend money on vertical construction of houses.” www.BizTucson.com


PHOTO: WILLIAM LESCH

Rocking K

BizRECOVERY

Then, just like that, homebuyers flooded the market, some in April, more in May, and then a surge in June and July.

Dove Mountain

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted many people to mull a move away from the U.S. most populous cities. With that in mind, there’s never been a better time to see what your money buys. An analysis by PropertyShark.com shows just how much square footage that $250,000 will buy:

– Will White Land Broker Land Advisors Organization

Then, just like that, homebuyers flooded the market, some in April, more in May, and then a surge in June and July. “It was a very interesting time and we approached with caution so as not to overreact,” said Jeff Grobstein, division president for Meritage Homes in Tucson, which has 11 developments active or in the final stages of opening in the region. “We were in an aggressive growth mode prior to the pandemic. We took our foot off the gas for a pause but did not slam on the brakes. It proved to be an excellent strategy as it was much easier to get back to business as usual.” According to statistics provided by the Southern Arizona Homebuilders Association, there was a steady rise in homebuilding permits over the previous 12 months headed into March. Then, permits for March were only 6.62% ahead of March 2019. In April, during the height of the stay-at-home order, permits dropped by 39% compared to April 2019. May showed a slight increase over 2019 and by June, the increase was back to its pre-COVID level at 22%. In Marana, single-family resident building permits were up 14% in June over June 2019. “Single family home permits have not slowed down in Sahuarita during the pandemic, and in fact, things have actually accelerated a bit compared to prior years,” said Michael Jansen, economic development specialist for the Town continued on page 53 >>> www.BizTucson.com

Mountain View Ranch

In the United States: Tucson – 2,282 sq. ft Dallas – 1,722 sq. ft Austin – 1,139 sq. ft Denver – 673 sq. ft Seattle – 565 sq. ft Los Angeles – 524 sq. ft Boston – 397 sq. ft San Francisco – 269 sq. ft Manhattan – 232 sq. ft In Arizona: Tucson – 2,282 sq. ft Phoenix – 1,485 sq. ft Scottsdale – 971 sq. ft

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BizRECOVERY

Site of Miramonte Homes new luxury community, Moonlight Canyon at Saguaro Ranch

What I think has also been a good sign is that when the COVID-19 case numbers spiked in July, you didn’t see a slowdown in home sales.

David Godlewski President Southern Arizona Homebuilders Association –

Coyote Creek

We know that right now we’ve got an inventory that’s going to last probably 12 months.

– Peter & Debbie Backus Coyote Creek Development

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Miramonte Homes

Fairfield Homes

Gladden Farms

‘People are going out and buying’ “In March, when all the dominoes started to fall and you saw the shutdown of the economy, there was significant level of concern that we were looking at a recession that was going to mirror the 2008 Great Recession,” Godlewski said. “But there were those within homebuilding who saw that, this time around, all fundamental elements of the housing market were still in intact. We didn’t have the crazy potential for the number of foreclosures and some of the mortgage and lending situations that we had in 2008. “What I think has also been a good sign is that when the COVID-19 case numbers spiked in July, you didn’t see a slowdown in home sales,” Godlewski said. “That’s certainly an indication that even with a situation where there’s a rising number of (COVID-19) cases, it’s not deterring people from going out and buying.” One builder suggested that the pandemic paused, yet did not end, the desire for purchases. Hungry buyers were just waiting for the right moment. “Say you had 148 people that wanted to buy a home in March, and then you had 148 people that wanted to buy homes in April. All those people waited until May and June,” said Tamra Williamson, a retail specialist for Bourn Advisory Services, which handles sales for Fairfield Homes. The pandemic has actually made it more efficient for builders to sell homes. People are making sure they can buy a home before they even start looking. “The quality of the buyer has improved in general,” Godlewski said. “The people who are just looking for something to do on the weekend and go to the new communities, they’re not out there. And, I certainly think the low resale inventory – we have such an incredibly low number of resale homes on the market – is also pushing those buyers over to new homes.” Tucson – Among Top Cities for Migration Despite uncertainty for the future, there are massive investments in master-planned communities and developments throughout the region – including Dove Mountain, Gladden Farms

Coyote Creek

Gladden Farms www.BizTucson.com

continued from page 51 of Sahuarita. The town issued 465 single-family permits in its fiscal year ending June 30, the highest total since 2009. SAHBA President David Godlewski said it looks like the market simply adjusted to functioning in the pandemic environment, both for buyers and sellers. Then, it became business as usual – only busier.

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BizRECOVERY

It’s obvious all the builders are very active, purchasing more land, trying to get it developed and trying to get communities open to continue to serve this demand.

KB Home

continued from page 53 and Red Rock Village on the north and west sides, Star Valley to the southwest, Rancho Sahuarita south of Tucson, La Estancia near I-10 and Kolb Road, Mountain View Ranch in Vail, and the long-planned Rocking K development north of Vail. “We have a 90-day track record, so that’s enough to make a trend,” White said. “We’re seeing pretty powerful statistics as far as demand for new housing. If that continues, or even continues in some portion of that, they’ve got to go buy land and replace those subdivisions that they’re going to sell out. “I think what you’re going to see is builders acting on what the demand is and what they need to provide for the consumer. You don’t have any real clarity as to whether people are going to go back to normal or back to what we used to know. They’re also looking at new product types. They’re looking at ways to offer more stay-at-home amenities. We’re looking at all this right now and trying to absorb all this information.” One thing is certain – the demands of the consumer are changing, and builders are responding with new product types. In Rocking K, for example, the product was alcontinued on page 56 >>>

Amy McReynolds President KB Home Tucson Division –

KB Home

I never would have anticipated the strength of the rebound that was to come. And it didn’t take very long.

Dove Mountain

– Carson Mehl VP of Cottonwood Properties & Developer of Dove Mountain

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BizRECOVERY continued from page 54 ready in the works that takes full advantage of open space and outdoor living – precisely why Tucson has been receiving such national attention as a nice alternative to big cities, post-pandemic. According to an annual report issued in May by UHaul International, the national moving truck rental company, Tucson already was among the top 20 cities for migration from other cities. UHaul’s rankings are based on the number of one-way truck rentals going to various cities.

Meritage Homes Meritage Homes

We were in an aggressive growth mode prior to the pandemic.

– Jeff Grobstein Division President Meritage Homes in Tucson

Coyote Creek

Master-Planned Communities Rocking K is a 2,000-acre master-planned community by developer Diamond Ventures that has been in the works for more than two decades. After years of planning, it launched a 558-home first phase last year with three builders – KB Home, Lennar and Pulte Homes. “We designed Rocking K to be very open. It’s an outdoor experience,” said David Goldstein, president of Diamond Ventures. “Our amenities are trails, parks, the ability to hike Saguaro National Monument, etc. These are the types of things we did before COVID. Then COVID hit and we thought, geez, you would think we designed it for COVID.” Rocking K is one of a number of masterplanned communities and developments around the perimeter of Tucson that are seeing plenty of activity. Builders on the outskirts are finding that the commute is becoming less of a factor for buyers at developments like Coyote Creek, near Rocking K at the base of the Rincon Mountains, Mountain View Ranch near Vail, and masterplanned communities like Red Rock Village at the Pima and Pinal County line. “The traffic is incredible out here,” Debbie Backus said of the number of interested buyers Coyote Creek saw after the pandemic kicked in. “It’s been very exciting.” “I just went to our engineer to start another phase,” said Peter Backus, Debbie’s husband and the developer of Coyote Creek. “We know that right now we’ve got an inventory that’s going to last probably 12 months and we will need new blood out here just to satisfy the demand.” New Bridge a ‘Game Changer’ One of the biggest improvements for the builders in the Vail area is an extension of Valencia Road from Houghton Road to Old Spanish Trail that includes a bridge over the continued on page 58 >>>

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BizRECOVERY Mountain View Ranch

Mountain View Ranch

If you’re the kind of buyer who appreciates a little more space, living in nature, or being closer to nature and having a little more room, this is a good place to be.

– Rick Kauffman CEO Holualoa Companies Developer of Mountain View Ranch Southeast of Vail

Rocking K

Gladden Farms

continued from page 56 Pantano Wash. The extension will dramatically increase access to the developments like Rocking K and Coyote Creek, and to Vail in general. “That new bridge that’s coming in is a big game changer for us,” said Debbie Backus. “For all the Raytheon people, they’re going to cut 15 minutes off their travel time.” The $14 million project, expected to be completed by the end of 2020, is a public/private partnership with Pima County and Rocking K Development. Without the extension, getting to the area was via Old Spanish Trail from the north and west, or Mary Ann Cleveland Way which runs parallel to Interstate 10 on the north side of the freeway. The new road provides a direct path to Rocking K and the developments around it. The pandemic also has forced companies everywhere to accept that their employees can be productive working from home – to the point that working remotely may be a way of doing business and saving costs going forward. Homebuyers are now looking for designs and floor plans that include office space and even classroom space for their students who might be taking classes from home for some time. For some builders, like KB Home, those items have been an option – only now they’re seeing more demand. “You’re looking at what you have and you’re determining what you want and what makes sense as you move forward,” McReynolds said. “A lot of apartment dwellers are realizing how they were stuck in that space, with no backyard, no amenities,” said Craig LeMessurier, senior director of public relations and communications at KB Home. “They’re starting to realize, ‘Wow, I can’t live like this.’ They want to find a larger home.” “Many of our floor plans have flex spaces for home offices as well as pocket offices,” Grobstein said of the demand they’re seeing at Meritage Homes. “We also have floor plans with lofts so kids who are doing classwork online have a great place for that.” Tucson ‘Poised to Do Well’ For homebuyers coming from other places, there’s no question that the beauty of the desert is a selling point as they spread out throughout the region. “If you’re the kind of buyer who continued on page 60 >>>

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continued from page 58 appreciates a little more space, living in nature, or being closer to nature and having a little more room, this is a good place to be,” said Rick Kauffman, CEO at Holualoa Companies, the developer of Mountain View Ranch southeast of Vail. Within shouting distance of Mountain View Ranch and the Vail community are the aerospace corridor where Raytheon Missiles & Defense and World View are located, the UA Tech Park at Rita Road and Interstate 10, or in the other direction Benson and some of the rural towns to the southeast. Even a commute into downtown isn’t all that difficult with the proximity to the Interstate.

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Rocking K

We designed Rocking K to be very open. It’s an outdoor experience.

David Goldstein President Diamond Ventures Developer of Rocking K –

“I moved out here from Pennsylvania and one of the things that hit me when I first moved to Southern Arizona was the mountains and just how beautiful the area is,” Kauffman said. “If you’re living on the east coast,

you’re surrounded by trees. Here, you get those magnificent vistas and you wake up to that every day. That’s a special thing.” Business has been brisk all around, not just at the new communities popping up in the region. Many More Choices for Housing “I’ve never seen Tucson more poised to do well,” said Rocking K’s Goldstein. “I mean, we’ve got all the elements in housing. I’m very proud of what we do at the Rocking K. But if you think about it, there are so many more choices for housing. “If you want to live downtown, you continued on page 62 >>>

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BizRECOVERY continued from page 60 can rent an apartment. You can buy a condominium. If you want to be in a luxury apartment, you can be in a three-story, luxury apartment, or you can be in a single-story detached apartment. Or if you want the suburban lifestyle, you can go to the Rocking K.” Rancho Sahuarita broke ground nearly 20 years ago as a first-time home buyer community south of Tucson. It’s business model still has legs even though some of its signature amenities like clubhouses, gyms and community pools have had to close for periods during the pandemic, said Jeremy Sharpe, president of Sharpe and Associates, the

developer of Rancho Sahuarita. “I give our builders a lot of credit for finding innovative ways to provide

I give our builders a lot of credit for finding innovative ways to provide what people are looking for in a house.

Rancho Sahuarita

what people are looking for in a house,” Sharpe said. “As we come out of this, home will be something different. It’s where we play. It’s where we work. It’s where we dine. It’s where we teach. It’s a school, it’s a restaurant, it’s a hotel. “I saw our builders kind of feeling the same way. Our approach to our builders was really, how do we work together? This is something that none of us could have planned or projected, how do we work together to come out of this even stronger? I feel like we’ve done that.”

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Rancho Sahuarita

Jeremy Sharpe President Sharpe and Associates Developer of Rancho Sahuarita –

Rancho Sahuarita Meritage Homes

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BizRECOVERY

Real Estate Rebound

Sales of Existing Homes Sputter, Then Surge By Jay Gonzales It’s not just new houses here that are in demand. As the housing market confronted the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, resales of existing homes hit a speed bump in the spring but have since rebounded substantially. While it wasn’t all-out panic, there was certainly concern in the housing industry earlier this year when the state’s stay-at-home order was issued. Not to mention, the order came at a time when the market was “cruising along,” said Billy Mordka, a local realtor and president of the Tucson Association of Realtors, a trade association that represents more than 5,600 real estate professionals in Southern Arizona. Low interest rates, affordability and an attraction to Tucson fueled a market that was certainly healthy. “People were feeling good about the economy,” Mordka said. “People had a lot of equity in their houses…a good chunk of change that they were using to upsize.” And then COVID-19 became a fullblown pandemic. “When that happened, a lot of people just hit the brakes,” Mordka said. “I lost two deals personally. I know a lot of people had deals fall out because people got really scared, and that lasted for about three to four weeks.” And then, just like that, business was back and a stampede of buyers need64 BizTucson

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ing houses immediately collided with a market that had scaled back some of the inventory.

The trends now are that people are looking at not living in the large cities. They’re looking at a place like Tucson that does have a little bit more suburban feel where you can get a little more space.

Randy Rogers CEO Tucson Association of Realtors –

TAR CEO Randy Rogers recalled the feedback from his membership: “They were, ‘Wow, what’s really going to happen? I’m really worried.’ And then, they were like, ‘I’m busier today than I’ve ever been.’” “We hear anecdotally that everybody’s coming here from California,” Rogers said. “But I think we’re hearing that they’re coming from all over the country. The trends now are that people are looking at not living in the large cities. They’re looking at a place like Tucson that does have a little bit more suburban feel where you can get a little more space.” The TAR monthly indicators report revealed such in June. New listings dropped 17.7% from the previous June for single-family homes, while pending sales increased 31.7% over the same month in 2019. During the month, inventory decreased by 48.9% for singlefamily homes. Another telling stat was the number of houses in inventory vs. the number of sales that closed. The two numbers were nearly even in June – 1,263 closed sales and 1,349 homes in inventory. Mordka said that’s one month of inventory when a normal “healthy” market would have six months of inventory for the market to cycle through. “There was really a deceleration of sellers and an acceleration of buyers,” Mordka said. continued on page 66 >>>


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BizRECOVERY

There was really a deceleration of sellers and an acceleration of buyers.

– Billy Mordka Realtor & President Tucson Association of Realtors

continued from page 64 A buyer, for example, who was willing to rent an apartment or a house while looking to purchase, no longer wanted to move more than once, largely because of the pandemic. Those buyers wanted directly into a purchase. While realtors were averaging two, three or four offers on a house during a steady market, instead they had eight to 10, he said. This, while the median resale home price was inching from $223,000 in June 2019 to $230,000 in June 2020. With interest rates set extremely low due to the pandemic, price increases were not a factor. “We always say in real estate that real estate is local. This is Tucson. Are we getting killed here? Not in the residential resale market,” Mordka said. “I think as long as these interest rates are where they’re at, this is going to be a constant for the foreseeable future.” The type of employment the region has attracted in recent years also has produced many buyers despite the level of unemployment, Rogers said. “I think another thing that fits in here, is that Tucson from an economy perspective, has pretty stable markets,” Rogers said. “Some of the companies that have come in recently have not been impacted greatly by COVID. “Of course, a lot of our small businesses are being impacted dramatically. But some companies, short of trying to figure out the work-from-home policies, are still strong. We’re not losing people in Tucson because businesses are leaving Tucson. We’re simply trying to re-adjust to some of the housing.”

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Top Companies Choose Tucson, Poised for Growth

Amazon

Companies Choose Tucson Region Offers Established Employers Room to Grow By Jay Gonzales

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For the last several years, the Tucson region has been building a base of stable employers that now has economic development experts and site selectors beaming at the possibilities. As the nation climbs out of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tucson is a region that sees itself as “resilient” because of the employment gains made with companies like Raytheon Missiles & Defense, Caterpillar, Amazon and others. “It’s very difficult to say some places are COVID-proof,” said Steve Eggen, a retired Raytheon Missile Systems executive. “If you look at what’s happened, there have been some pretty substantial impacts. But, I

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think you can say we have a certain resiliency in our community that lends itself to being responsive, being quick to act, being able to provide the kinds of things that are now more in demand than they were previously.” In 2004, Sun Corridor Inc., then known as Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities created an Economic Blueprint that was later updated to emphasize four industry clusters as targets for relocation and expansion. The clusters are now aerospace and defense, bioscience and healthcare, renewable and mining technology, and transportation and logistics. Joe Snell, president and CEO of Sun Corridor Inc., said those clus-

ters are a fit with the region’s talent base and efforts to strengthen it further. “If we can get the right talent, companies will follow that. Labor drives all market decisions. It has for a long time.” In all, 72 companies have relocated or expanded in the region over the last five years, bringing in 16,125 jobs, according to Sun Corridor Inc. Notably, Tucson has seen the recent expansion of Raytheon Missiles & Defense, the arrival of Caterpillar’s Surface, Mining & Technology Division, three Amazon centers and autonomous truck driving startup TuSimple, among many developments. Just this fall, continued on page 70 >>> www.BizTucson.com


BizRECOVERY Corporate America in Tucson A look at some of the regionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s top companies: Accelerate Diagnostics ADP Amazon AXISCADES Bayer Bombardier

Caterpillar

Caterpillar Centene CenturyLink CitiGroup Comcast Cox Communications Ernst & Young GEICO Hexagon Mining HomeGoods Honeywell IBM

Roche Tissue Diagnostics Raytheon Missiles & Defense

Intuit Meggit Modular Mining Systems Optum Raytheon Missiles & Defense Roche Tissue Diagnostics Samsung Sargent Aerospace & Defense Texas Instruments Target TuSimple Verifone Fall 2020

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BizRECOVERY continued from page 68

IBM GEICO

PHOTO: BALFOUR WALKER

Target.com Fulfillment Center

Nanomoneo, a biotech instrument company, announced it will open an operation here after a nationwide search. Pima Community College and University of Arizona are providing the workforce development programs to fuel these companies. “When companies are looking to relocate or companies are looking to expand, one of the central questions centers around, ‘Can I get my talent needs met?’ ” said Lee Lambert, chancellor of Pima Community College. “A lot of those talent needs are going to be met through the educational system in your community and how well that educational system functions in partnership with business and industry.” PCC just announced a $2.5 million gift from the Thomas R. Brown Family Foundation that will bolster training programs in the school’s Center of Excellence in Applied Technology. Among the systems that will get new resources are those that power smart grid, autonomous automobile systems, robotics and pilot avionics. UArizona also has numerous workforce development partnerships in place to serve area employers, including a College of Engineering mining graduate certificate program with Caterpillar. UArizona received a $2.5 million award from the FreeportMcMoRan Foundation in 2019 to advance responsible mining in the region. Eggen, who is heading up a Sun Corridor Inc. committee focusing on recovery postcovid, said going forward, Tucson needs to focus on retraining displaced workers and lowering its unemployment rate. “We’ve been listening,” Lambert said. “All the work we’ve been doing leading up to this crisis, building those relationships, aligning what we do with the needs of business and industry are now starting to pay off. “We have the relationships. We have the infrastructure in place so that as employers tell us they need X, Y or Z, we can pivot to help meet X, Y and Z. A lot of what you’re seeing in this part of the country is a focus around advanced manufacturing, a focus around IT (information technology), a focus around healthcare. We already are doing the work in those critical areas to support the employer community here and making sure we provide the workforce talent that they’re going to need.” Lambert said.

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Startup Central – Tucson’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Startup Success Strong Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Yields Record New Ventures By Darci Slaten

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Tucson is home to a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem that enables new companies and ideas to launch and thrive, thanks to the efforts of a vast academic and techdriven network across the University of Arizona along with groups such as Desert Angels, BlueStone Venture Partners, DVI Equity Partners and more. In fact, in FY 2020, a record 19 new ventures were launched out of UArizona alone, through Tech Launch Arizona, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. “This accomplishment is the result of strategic collaborations between inventors and the right mentors, experienced entrepreneurs, and other community collaborators,” said Douglas Hockstad, assistant VP for Tech Launch Arizona. BizTucson asked several key players in the region to reflect on Tucson’s standing as an innovative, supportive home base for startups.

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Tucson’s Progress

What progress within your organization has placed Tucson in a position of entrepreneurial strength?  “Even during the pandemic, innovation and entrepreneurship at UArizona  haven’t  slowed,” said Hockstad. Among the 19 new startups, two repositioned themselves to directly address the pandemic: Botanisol Analytics and SaiOx. At the start of the COVID-19 crisis, “incubators across the nation made the assumption that startup activity would drop as entrepreneurs rarely make a salary at the beginning of their journeys, and there would be an increased need for them to get paid jobs,” said Eric Smith, executive director of

UArizona Center for Innovation. “Across the nation, incubators saw 40 to 60% of their startups go out of business, but we have not lost one to date here at the UA Center for Innovation. “About 50% of the startups we serve are UArizona affiliated startups and the other half come from the larger Tucson community. We also serve a handful of startups from around the nation and globe.” Liz Pocock, CEO of StartUp Tucson, said, “We have launched several initiatives designed to support entrepreneurs – especially those who have had to pivot during the pandemic. For example, we have developed a ‘Startup Fundamentals Series,’ added new technical workshops and revamped our mentorship program.” Desert Angels pivoted quickly after the pandemic hit, moving business online while still making a positive impact. continued on page 74 >>> www.BizTucson.com


Mara G. Aspinall

BizRECOVERY

PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

The Key Players

PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

Robert Griffin

IMAGE COURTESY TECH PARKS ARIZONA

Carol A. Stewart

Mara G. Aspinall Managing Director, BlueStone Venture Partners, a best-in-class life sciences venture capital fund focused on entrepreneurial companies in the southwestern United States. Robert Griffin Managing Partner, DVI Equity Partners, which specializes in micro-cap investments in startup and early-stage companies. Doug Hockstad Assistant VP, Tech Launch Arizona, a division of the University of Arizona that creates social and economic impact through commercializing inventions stemming from college research. Joann MacMaster CEO, Desert Angels, a nonprofit organization of accredited investors who look to invest in Southwest startup or early-stage companies. Fletcher McCusker CEO, UAVenture Capital, a venture fund designed to commercialize UArizona science, technology, services and products. Liz Pocock CEO, StartUp Tucson; Dre Thompson, executive VP, StartUp Tucson, a community-oriented nonprofit organization supporting a community nonprofit that supports small business and entrepreneurship. Eric Smith Executive Director, UArizona Center for Innovation, a technology business incubator network serving UArizona, Tucson and the international community. Carol A. Stewart Associate VP, Tech Parks Arizona, which directs the UA Tech Park, the UA Tech Park at The Bridges and the UArizona Center for Innovation Fall 2020

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PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

BizRECOVERY

Fletcher McCusker

continued from page 72 “Our members invest capital, but often, will also provide additional mentoring and expertise, industry connections and other resources to science and tech companies,” said Desert Angels CEO Joann MacMaster. “We are now working on a new strategic plan that will continue these efforts while building value for our members, the companies with which we engage and our community partners.” “Doing business online gives us new opportunities to connect with our members and community partners, collaborate with other angel groups, and meet with a broad range of companies regardless of geographical location. In short, we’re seeing more activity and our members are actively investing,” said MacMaster. Tucson’s Appeal

Why is Tucson the place to start a new venture? Mara G. Aspinall, managing director for BlueStone Venture Partners, listed several reasons why Tucson is a prime market:

• Interesting place to live and work • Low cost of living and company overhead resources and education to assist • Community with early ventures • Access to talent coming out of UArizona • Tech transfer opportunities with UArizona

Joann MacMaster

PHOTO COURTESY TECH PARKS ARIZONA

Eric Smith

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Fletcher McCusker, CEO of UAVenture Capital added, “Pre-pandemic, Tucson was being considered the next Austin with its tech jobs, rich culture, a great university, great ideas, great leaders looking for financial partners and, moreover, deal flow.” The region has “access to good, well-educated technical talent, a growing population, tax benefits, a municipality that supports the entrepreneurial spirit and access to people that have done it before and have had successful exits,” said Robert Griffin, managing partner at DVI Equity Partners. “Tucson’s appeal as one of 10 best cities for startup costs, compared to other markets across the nation, is gaining momentum,” said Carol Stewart, associate VP of Tech Parks Arizona. “We are a connected community dedicated to seeing Tucson startups succeed by providing the best level of business development support possible. Here at the Tech Parks, we create interactive communities, where emerging companies and technology giants work side by side,” Stewart said. “That environment is rightfully gaining national attention.” “Startups feel supported in Tucson,” said Eric Smith, executive director of the UArizona Center for Innovation at Tech Parks Arizona. “Our innovation ecosystem continued on page 76 >>> www.BizTucson.com


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BizRECOVERY continued from page 74 is very in sync and operates as one support umbrella for our companies. We often find that our startups take advantage of other programming, community mentors and local connections. Entrepreneurs that take advantage of the resources our community has to offer tend to be more successful in our incubator.” Further, startups in previous “hot spot” regions, such as the Bay Area or Seattle, are looking at Tucson as a better environment to succeed. “In fact, we are in the process of working with a venture capital firm that did a competitive nationwide location search and chose to locate one of their newly formed biotech startups here at the UACI in Tucson,” said Stewart.

Innovation, talent, capital and expertise, said MacMaster. “Tucson offers resources that startup founders want: a diverse and welcoming community, a reasonable cost of living, an exciting Old Pueblo history that connects the past to the present, networking and collaborative events that enable founders to share stories and ideas and, of course, more than 320 days of sunshine,” she said. continued on page 78 >>>

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PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

What resources does Tucson have that startups and talent can access to succeed?

Liz Pocock

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BizRECOVERY

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The innovation ecosystem is expanding on several fronts. The University of Arizona Center for Innovation broke ground last year on its new incubator, UArizona Center for Innovation at Oro Valley. “Additionally, we are building our first building at UA Tech Park at The Bridges, which will focus on innovation,” Stewart said.  Strategies Going Forward

What will make the entrepreneurial ecosystem even stronger? Dre Thompson, executive VP for StartUp Tucson, offered a few strategies going forward:

the playing field – Create • Level greater balance between the incen-

tives and support given to large, external companies and the support provided to homegrown companies, especially in accessing online markets.

to capital – Continue to • Access make capital accessible to local entrepreneurs, with a focus on those who have been blocked from traditional forms of capital.

workforce resilience – • Long-term Enable more workforce development and training through expanding entrepreneurial education to adult learners, focusing on accessible coding schools to support the growing tech sector.

risk – Advocate for poli• Minimize cies that better allow entrepreneurs to “take the leap” without severe risk and provide an effective social safety net.

The entrepreneurial community should also focus on diversity – not only within inventors’ ethnicity, gender and backgrounds, but also in multiple industries and geographic locations, Aspinall said. continued on page 80 >>> www.BizTucson.com

IMAGE COURTESY TECH PARKS ARIZONA

continued from page 76 Pocock added, “Tucson has grown a lot as an ecosystem of partners that support entrepreneurship over the last few years. With so many new resources, we created the Tucson Startup Ecosystem Guide, made possible by the Southern Arizona Leadership Council.” It’s a free guide outlining all regional resources available to entrepreneurs. Hockstad also reinforced the importance of UArizona. “A strong public research university is a key component in nearly every successful innovation ecosystem, supplying both innovation and a pool of young talent,” he said. Within UArizona, Tech Launch Arizona  offers  resources to bolster technologies that form the basis of startups. Its asset development program provides funding to reduce the risk of early-stage inventions. Its venture development group helps the inventing team create a viable company, while other programs help navigate the customer discovery process and commercialization strategy.


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BizRECOVERY continued from page 78 “Tucson has many of the key elements of an ecosystem that lead to success – entrepreneurs and innovation, talent, expertise and opportunities for collaboration,” said MacMaster. “We’re positioned for the next stages of growth and we’re gaining momentum.” Griffin said Tucson must “continue to evolve our ecosystem or fall behind. It’s very competitive – everyone wants the next Google or Amazon and will market themselves as the best place for these young startups. We have to market the city and its capabilities. We have to push for that competitive advantage that makes us rise to the top – whether it’s tax incentives, the best infrastructure, cheap clean power, data center availability or the biggest, fastest communications capability in the southwest U.S.” “We must keep our focus on translating UArizona discoveries to society,” Hockstad said. “To achieve that, we’ll need continued investment funds available for these nascent startups, a growing base of experienced entrepreneurs, along with ongoing engagement from companies at all stages of evolution – startups, growing companies and mid- and largesized companies.”

Doug Hockstad

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Top Companies Choose Tucson, Poised for Growth

Amazon

Companies Choose Tucson Region Offers Established Employers Room to Grow By Jay Gonzales

3

For the last several years, the Tucson region has been building a base of stable employers that now has economic development experts and site selectors beaming at the possibilities. As the nation climbs out of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tucson is a region that sees itself as “resilient” because of the employment gains made with companies like Raytheon Missiles & Defense, Caterpillar, Amazon and others. “It’s very difficult to say some places are COVID-proof,” said Steve Eggen, a retired Raytheon Missile Systems executive. “If you look at what’s happened, there have been some pretty substantial impacts. But, I

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think you can say we have a certain resiliency in our community that lends itself to being responsive, being quick to act, being able to provide the kinds of things that are now more in demand than they were previously.” In 2004, Sun Corridor Inc., then known as Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities created an Economic Blueprint that was later updated to emphasize four industry clusters as targets for relocation and expansion. The clusters are now aerospace and defense, bioscience and healthcare, renewable and mining technology, and transportation and logistics. Joe Snell, president and CEO of Sun Corridor Inc., said those clus-

ters are a fit with the region’s talent base and efforts to strengthen it further. “If we can get the right talent, companies will follow that. Labor drives all market decisions. It has for a long time.” In all, 72 companies have relocated or expanded in the region over the last five years, bringing in 16,125 jobs, according to Sun Corridor Inc. Notably, Tucson has seen the recent expansion of Raytheon Missiles & Defense, the arrival of Caterpillar’s Surface, Mining & Technology Division, three Amazon centers and autonomous truck driving startup TuSimple, among many developments. Just this fall, continued on page 70 >>> www.BizTucson.com


BizRECOVERY Corporate America in Tucson A look at some of the regionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s top companies: Accelerate Diagnostics ADP Amazon AXISCADES Bayer Bombardier

Caterpillar

Caterpillar Centene CenturyLink CitiGroup Comcast Cox Communications Ernst & Young GEICO Hexagon Mining HomeGoods Honeywell IBM

Roche Tissue Diagnostics Raytheon Missiles & Defense

Intuit Meggit Modular Mining Systems Optum Raytheon Missiles & Defense Roche Tissue Diagnostics Samsung Sargent Aerospace & Defense Texas Instruments Target TuSimple Verifone Fall 2020

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BizRECOVERY continued from page 68

IBM GEICO

PHOTO: BALFOUR WALKER

Target.com Fulfillment Center

Nanomoneo, a biotech instrument company, announced it will open an operation here after a nationwide search. Pima Community College and University of Arizona are providing the workforce development programs to fuel these companies. “When companies are looking to relocate or companies are looking to expand, one of the central questions centers around, ‘Can I get my talent needs met?’ ” said Lee Lambert, chancellor of Pima Community College. “A lot of those talent needs are going to be met through the educational system in your community and how well that educational system functions in partnership with business and industry.” PCC just announced a $2.5 million gift from the Thomas R. Brown Family Foundation that will bolster training programs in the school’s Center of Excellence in Applied Technology. Among the systems that will get new resources are those that power smart grid, autonomous automobile systems, robotics and pilot avionics. UArizona also has numerous workforce development partnerships in place to serve area employers, including a College of Engineering mining graduate certificate program with Caterpillar. UArizona received a $2.5 million award from the FreeportMcMoRan Foundation in 2019 to advance responsible mining in the region. Eggen, who is heading up a Sun Corridor Inc. committee focusing on recovery postcovid, said going forward, Tucson needs to focus on retraining displaced workers and lowering its unemployment rate. “We’ve been listening,” Lambert said. “All the work we’ve been doing leading up to this crisis, building those relationships, aligning what we do with the needs of business and industry are now starting to pay off. “We have the relationships. We have the infrastructure in place so that as employers tell us they need X, Y or Z, we can pivot to help meet X, Y and Z. A lot of what you’re seeing in this part of the country is a focus around advanced manufacturing, a focus around IT (information technology), a focus around healthcare. We already are doing the work in those critical areas to support the employer community here and making sure we provide the workforce talent that they’re going to need.” Lambert said.

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Rio Nuevo Projects and Others Expand Downtown Skyline

The Bautista

Downtown Energized Commercial Construction Forges Ahead By Christy Krueger

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Despite the pandemic, downtown construction is robust and optimism abounds for its future. New buildings are popping up, parking garages are going in and major renovations are becoming the new norm with plenty more to come. “We don’t see any slowing down for now,” said Brandi

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Haga-Blackman, administrative director of Rio Nuevo, the tax increment finance district that helps finance much of downtown’s development. Rio Nuevo Chairman Fletcher McCusker weighed in on the significant efforts put toward keeping downtown alive this year and going forward. “Rio Nuevo

authorized $2.5 million to go directly to merchants impacted by COVID-19. We have distributed about half of that. Expect another round as the virus lingers around. Of note, during the pandemic we have advanced about $350 million of new construction, much of it financed by out-of-town lenders who express real optimism about continued on page 84 >>> www.BizTucson.com


The Flin

BizRECOVERY

Tucson Convention Center Parking Garage

IMAGES: COURTESY RIO NUEVO

DoubleTree by Hilton Tucson â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Downtown

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75 Broadway

BizRECOVERY

continued from page 82 Tucson’s future. “Lenders from Utah, Boston, developers from Dallas, Scottsdale and elsewhere are investing in downtown,” McCusker said. “If others believe Tucson will thrive post-pandemic, so should we. We just have to get past the current crisis.” Here are highlights of new projects opening in the downtown area. 84 BizTucson

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HSL Properties is converting La Placita Village into a six-story, 243-unit, energy-efficient luxury apartment community. Amenities include a rooftop deck, fitness center, movie theater, meditation garden, pet play area and on-site parking. HSL expects construction, led by general contractor Tofel Dent, to be completed in January 2021.

75 Broadway

Dabdoub Schwabe Properties will soon begin its latest project – a 19-story mixed-used development that combines new construction and the renovation of existing historic buildings. Ground and second floors are designed for retail and commercial/flex space, while luxury residential apartments will be available continued on page 86 >>> www.BizTucson.com


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continued from page 84 on floors 15-18. The remainder will include office space and parking. Residents and workers will find the convenience of modern streetcar stops on both sides of the building. Estimated completion of the project is fall of 2022. DoubleTree By Hilton Tucson – Downtown

Arizona-based Caliber Companies has developed the 170-room hotel designed by Swaim Associates Architects, with Ryan Companies as the general contractor. Located in the east parking lot of Tucson Convention Center, the hotel features five suites, including a presidential suite, and a second-level swimming pool and bar. It is expected to open in December 2020 and will help fulfill downtown’s need for accommodations near the convention center.

Sunshine Mile

The section of Broadway Boulevard between Euclid Avenue and Country Club Road is known as the Sunshine Mile, the result of a citywide naming contest in 1953. The name faded away for decades, but was brought back in 2012 by a group of area merchants. In May, the Sunshine Mile, once an important high-end shopping district, was added to the National Register of Historic Places, a move that will boost the preservation and rejuvenation of many historic properties while also qualifying them for tax credits. “Rio Nuevo took the lead to redevelop along Sunshine Mile and acquired several properties,” Haga-Blackman said. In addition, Rio Nuevo is creating development guidelines to ensure the Sunshine Mile is a walkable, enticing entertainment center as it is envisioned. Tucson Convention Center Renovations

TCC contractors have been busy with numerous projects. Last fall, Lloyd Construction finished work to update the TCC Arena ice rink. This $3.1 million project included a complete replacement of the rink, concrete slab and mechanical and refrigeration systems. One of two planned new parking garages, TCC East Garage, will be completed by the end of this year as a four-level, pre-cast garage on TCC’s eastside parking lot. Other improvements underway include upgrades and additions to the main convention complex, Leo Rich Theater and Tucson Music Hall. Eckbo Plaza is undergoing historic landscape restoration with guidance from the Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation.

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The VFW

Historic Building Awaits Modern Future By Christy Krueger Ross Rulney was one of Tucson’s first contemporary mixed-use developers, buying his first property in 1999, years before the downtown streetcar came along. Today, he continues buying up properties and transforming them as part of downtown’s 21st century revitalization. Rulney’s most recent purchase is the Veterans of Foreign Wars building at 124 E. Broadway, built in 1948 as Post 549, Arizona’s largest VFW post at the time. More recently, it housed Access Tucson, a public access television station. After closing the station in 2015, the city put the building up for sale. “I wanted it for 10 years,” said Rulney, who owns the entire Julian Drew block on which it sits. He watched as 88 BizTucson

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the building went in and out of escrow, until this year when he was able to make an offer the city accepted. “I’m vested in the block and other projects. It’s a great contributing project.” Because it’s a historic building, the city required preservation of the original north façade, where there are large terra cotta tiles, according to Rulney. He’s also restricted from adding to the height. On a historical note, the Julian Drew building next door opened in 1917 as a mixed-use operation, combining a hotel and retail space – long before the mixed-use trend of today. This will be Rulney’s first experience working with Bill Williams of Engberg Anderson Architects. “Bill is an urban core designer and architect,” Rulney

said. Sundt Construction will be the general contractor and is also currently working on his Benedictine Monastery renovation project. Named The VFW for now, Rulney has a clear vision for the property. “It’s a more interesting building on the inside than I expected. They don’t build them like this anymore,” he said. “It has great height, with 17-foot ceilings on the top floor,” which will become nine loft apartment units, with a rooftop deck available to residents. The street level is being developed for a restaurant, retail and a possible coffee shop, with a total of approximately 6,500 square feet, including courtyards and a patio. The 6,000-square-foot lowcontinued on page 90 >>>


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continued from page 88 er level is set to become offices. While it’s currently underground, a portion will be opened up for natural lighting. “We’re carving out the west side and putting in windows,” Rulney said. “There will be an outdoor garden to bring in light. “I’m doing the infrastructure for a restaurant,” Rulney added. “I want to take advantage to build it now while interest rates are favorable. That allows me to do things now that I might not have the option for later in a healthier

market.” Demolition of the building’s interior is underway, and Rulney estimates completion by the end of this year. Rio Nuevo is giving funding support to The VFW, which is designated as a Government Property Lease Excise Tax project for property tax abatement. The VFW is also a Qualified Opportunity Zone development. “Rio Nuevo is involved in VFW and the Julian Drew block and they’ve partnered with me on that. Without the Opportunity Zone Fund and Rio Nuevo’s participation,

this might not have happened,” Rulney said. He praised Rio Nuevo for its backing of downtown’s redevelopment efforts over the past several years. “I think Rio Nuevo has been instrumental in positive growth and support of downtown. Without its partnership, a number of projects wouldn’t have happened, like AC Marriott and some smaller projects. The confidence the state has with the local Rio Nuevo board is extremely strong and that’s why we’ve had positive growth.” Biz

520.571.0101

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PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

Loni Anderson

Division Manager Pima County Health Department

Chuck Huckelberry Pima County Businesses are Ready For You

Pima County Administrator

Ready For You Pima County’s Path to Public Reassurance By Tara Kirkpatrick

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In the mess that was March, Gov. Doug Ducey had just issued the stay-home order and businesses across Tucson closed. The pain of the COVID-19 pandemic truly took hold. Pima County and regional leadership started working on a plan forward. “The pandemic had caused a great deal of stress and chaos for people personally,” recalled Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry. “We had been in that position for a month and things were really beginning to be felt. Our view was

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that we needed protocols in place for when we were able to reopen. We needed to do it carefully.” On April 21, after a Pima County Board of Supervisors meeting, the Back to Business Steering Committee was announced that would not only devise cohesive strategy for businesses to reopen, but also launch a “Ready For You” initiative to certify to the public that their favorite haunts were taking precautions to be virus-vigilant. The steering committee, helmed by Huckelberry and University of Arizona President Dr. Robert C. Robbins, enlisted business and

community leaders and county staff. Subcommittees of the larger group tackled community updates, expediting government regulation, needs of the faith community, employee wellness and overall recovery. One key effort was to establish a framework of hygiene and social distancing norms, guided by health officials, for phased reopenings that applied to restaurants, hotels and resorts, gyms, daycare centers, personal hygiene services, attractions, theaters and event centers. “When the public was ready to return, they needed some reaswww.BizTucson.com


BizRECOVERY surance that they were going to visit a place that was using all the best protocols,” said Huckelberry. The bright blue and gold “Ready For You” stickers now affixed to the doors and windows of many reopened businesses across Tucson are the emblems of their efforts. The stickers assure customers that the businesses are adhering to a baseline of health and safety measures set by Pima County, including sanitizing, social distancing, symptom checks and protective gear. “It’s the perfect opportunity for the health department to engage with business operators to ensure they have COVID-19 protective measures in place,” said Loni Anderson, division manager for Pima County Health Department. “With trying times for everyone, we are working to educate and provide guidance as staff learn to implement the additional safety precautions. “When you enter a business displaying the Ready For You gold check mark, you know you’re in a business that has pledged to follow these safety guidelines and is being monitored for compliance,” said Laura Shaw, SVP of Sun Corridor Inc. and chair of the Back to Business Community Updates subcommittee. Her group was charged with informing the public about the wideranging efforts. “Our goals for this campaign and messaging were very clear: this community is a safe place to do business together, we take our health and wellbeing seriously by following sciencebased practices to stop the spread of COVID-19. Pima County is the voice of authority and central place to go for our latest information and regulations,” Shaw said. Flores Concepts, which runs the El Charro and Charro Vida restaurants among others, not only displays the www.BizTucson.com

Ready For You stickers, but created their own 100-point safety plan for employees. “COVID is the biggest bump in the road that anyone in business could have ever imagined and our family quickly responded with our own plan in the beginning,” said Ray Flores. “I think the Ready For You program doubles down and backs us up. It gives the public

something to consider when navigating where to eat.” “We have an amazing restaurant community in Tucson,” added Flores. “While we remain competitive, we are a family. Many of my competitors work with me on a daily basis to communicate best practices. Without our guests, we have no business.” Flores commended Pima County for also offering ServSafe, a national food

When the public was ready to return, they needed some reassurance that they were going to visit a place that was using all the best protocols.

– Chuck Huckelberry Pima County Administrator

safety training course, for free to area restaurants though its online portal. Maricopa County did not offer that, he said. “I give them huge gratitude for making this possible. That’s the No. 1 thing that has come out of all of this is that I think there is understanding that restaurants want to be in compliance. They want to serve people safely.” He added that, at press time, no COVID-19 outbreaks were tied to restaurants here. “Restaurants in Pima County have an amazing track record of food safety since way before COVID.” In addition to the steering committee, Pima County also worked with Downtown Tucson Partnership to offer two types of grants to downtown businesses. One program provided up to $5,000 to expand or enhance their outdoor seating areas. The other helped offset businesses’ costs to reopen under new safety guidelines. Both grants were funded by the federal CARES Act. The owners of 1055 Brew Pub received a grant and constructed a new outdoor café in their front parking spaces. Urban Fresh, Raptor Canyon Café and Café 54 combined their grants to create the Pennington Street Outdoor Food Court. DTP also helped distribute personal protective equipment to downtown businesses, acted as a liaison through the Ready For You certification process and has developed a reopening campaign for October. “This is changing the face of downtown,” said Kathleen Eriksen, CEO of Downtown Tucson Partnership. “Twenty-two Outdoor Café grants have been approved. All these cafes are creating vitality on our streets with great visual interest. Pima County has been a huge supporter of downtown for many years...but their level of partnership throughout the pandemic has been unsurpassed. We are so grateful to them.” Biz Fall 2020

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Tucson Targets Remote Workers to Relocate

Change of Place

Startup Tucson Aims to Recruit Remote Workers to Tucson By Tara Kirkpatrick

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You’re already working a high-paying job remotely. Why not do it in Tucson? If the beautiful blue skies and 300-plus days of sunshine don’t convince you, there’s also affordable housing, limitless outdoor recreation, cultural spotlights and all-around better living in our City of Wellness. It’s the motivation behind a bold, new campaign called Remote Tucson, launched this fall to lure successful remote workers to Southern Arizona, offering them a retreat from pandemic-hit big cities while also bolstering younger demographics, and ultimately, the local economy. “Remote work is here to stay in some form or another,” said Liz Pocock, CEO of Startup Tucson, a community nonprofit committed to fueling

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small business and entrepreneurship. “Unlike traditional talent attraction, for this program, workers will stay employed in their current positions, allowing them to continue to have pull in outside markets and maximizing their lifetime economic impact in Tucson.” Tucson is among several cities vying to recruit highly paid, remote workers who may be looking to flee big cities after the COVID-19 pandemic. Remote Tucson estimates each worker’s individual economic contribution amounts to more than $32,000 for basics, entertainment and business – an estimated local impact of more than $3.2 million, based on a goal of 100 recruits. The pilot program this fall will start with 10. “They won’t only be funneling outside dollars into our economy, but by not replacing current opportuniwww.BizTucson.com


BizRECOVERY

Even before COVID, Tucson was being recognized nationally as an up-and-coming hot spot for those looking for a different quality of life and lower cost of living than available in large metros like Silicon Valley.

Liz Pocock CEO Startup Tucson –

Photo by Brent G. Mathis

ties for local residents, these new residents result in net positive growth for Tucson,” Pocock said. The initiative’s targeted recruits are workers aged 21 to 45 years old who live in cities with direct flights or cities drivable to Tucson. Working in high tech sectors is a plus. Interested talent would apply to the Remote Tucson program and if accepted, receive guidance, networking and incentives intended to help them make a soft landing here. “We are thrilled that Startup Tucson is launching this program and the timing couldn’t be more perfect,” said Barbra Coffee, director of economic initiatives for the City of Tucson. “The pandemic has created more interest in the idea of choosing where you want to live, if you can work from anywhere, and when someone chooses Tucson, they can be sure we have the ecosystem in place to successfully support them.”   “Even before COVID, Tucson was being recognized nationally as an up-and-coming hot spot for those looking for a different quality of life and lower cost of living than available in large metros like Silicon Valley,” Pocock said. “Now is the time to take advantage of this national attention.” www.BizTucson.com

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Millennials Drawn to Mid-Sized Cities

Attention Millennials This Mid-Sized City Wants You By Tara Kirkpatrick

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Just last year, BizTucson ran a story that listed many reasons why millennials are a perfect match for this region, highlighting the very desires that drive America’s largest generation. Today, young leaders are hopeful that these reasons become even more attractive as Tucson looks to emerge stronger, post-pandemic. “Rather than harm, COVID-19 has created new avenues for talent retention and attraction, and new opportunities to brand Tucson as a city primed for what comes next,” said Zach Yentzer, executive director of Tucson Young Professionals, a group that works to attract, retain and promote young people here and acts as their regional voice. He and TYP VP Josh Belhumeur have talked at length about this optimistic moment.

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Millennials, those born between 1981 and 1996, are now the largest living adult generation in America, surpassing baby boomers in 2019 at 72.1 million people, according to Pew Research Center. Between the ages of 24 and 39, they are well-educated, seek deep purpose in their work and have largely sought out tech jobs, given they provide the needed satisfaction and flexibility. As BizTucson wrote in 2019, Tucson can meet their wish list. It’s an authentic, mid-sized city that offers affordable living and outdoor recreation in a spacious desert setting with less population density than the pandemic-hit, large metro areas. The region is solidifying its base as a tech hub with aggressive commitment by the University of Arizona and Pima Community College to train the workforce of

the future. Over the last several years, Fortune 500 companies, such as Amazon and Caterpillar, have taken notice and opened facilities here. The city’s nightlife, while on pandemic pause, is ready to return when it’s safe. “We know that both individuals and organizations, right now, want to be in places with a little less density (but not ‘no density’), a good outdoors, but also a thriving entrepreneurial community and a talented workforce and opportunities to engage in the community,” Yentzer said. “Tucson has a better chance to solidify its story and its opportunity, now more than ever.” TYP, which has taken a leading role on the Tucson Metro Chamber’s Talent Attraction and Retention Taskforce, has since spearheaded a “Live Tucson” project. It’s a community branding camwww.BizTucson.com


BizRECOVERY

Emerging Leaders Council

El Rio Vecinos

paign to tell Tucson’s story. “Why it’s a great place to not just visit for 33 hours, but to live for 33 years,” Yentzer said. The group is also partnering with Startup Tucson on an ambitious Remote Tucson initiative. “We will scour the country for successful remote workers and incentivize their relocation to Tucson,” said Dre Thompson, executive VP Startup Tucson, a nonprofit organization committed to fueling entrepreneurial development. “We are working with incredible partners to offer compelling packages that include not only cash incentives, but also a ton of perks.” “Other cities that have tried this type of program have seen millions added to their economy and young, talented folks added to their community,” Thompson said. “In marketing the program nationwide, we will be reaching thousands of millennials, making the case for Tucson.” Belhumeur, also a managing partner of BRINK creative agency, added, “The remote Google employee that lives in Tucson might start working on the next billion dollar company on the side.” Equally important, Yentzer said, are efforts to retain young professionals here too, including re-engaging “boowww.BizTucson.com

Tucson Young Professionals

photo by Chris Mooney

merangs” – students who began here, moved away, but may be looking at Tucson to return. He said TYP takes great motivation from the book, “The Next American City: The Big Promise of Our Midsize Metros,” penned by Mick Cornett, former mayor of Oklahoma City. Cornett wrote that young professionals will invest in urban-minded communities because they want to take risks, dream and succeed, but also afford to fail. “We believe that Tucson provides

We are working with incredible partners to offer compelling packages that include not only cash incentives, but also a ton of perks.

Dre Thompson Executive VP Startup Tucson

both: an opportunity to engage and shape a community into its 21st century future, an opportunity to get in on the ground floor and a place where young professionals can take big risks and dream about the future,” Yentzer said. Still, Tucson leaders must be steadfast on a collaborative, unified pitch to lure millennials searching for the next up-and-coming city, Thompson said. Phoenix has already developed a full marketing strategy and post-pandemic pitch, while Tucson has been slow to do the same, Yentzer added. “Tucson is at a tipping point, with a city story that meets the needs and desires of young professionals right now.” Our story should also continue to highlight our nightlife, entertainment and cultural events, even in their absence. “I don’t necessarily think about this in a short-term lens,” said Belhumeur. “I think we should still highlight everything, even what can’t happen right now while we are social distancing, because the shift to remote work for many is not going to be temporary. That said, when you do need to social distance, what better setting than the beautiful, open Southwest?”

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Tucson’s Industrial Development Authority and Business Development Finance Corporation

Johnny Gibson’s Downtown Market Tenant improvements and equipment purchase for market located downtown

Helping Homebuyers, Small Business A Lifeline During COVID-19 By Jay Gonzales

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A little-known financial assistance program in Tucson has the funding and heart to help those in need of a loan for a small business, a down payment or the chance to buy a first-time home. The Tucson Industrial Development Authority is a selffunded corporation set up in 1979 by a City of Tucson resolution to provide monetary assistance in three areas – first-time

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homebuyers, small businesses with capital needs and large projects eligible for bond financing. With a volunteer board of local business leaders, the IDA can make loans on its own and participate with other organizations, such as the local Business Development Finance Corporation and the Pima County IDA to make its money go even farther. During the COVID-19 pan-

demic alone, the Tucson IDA has already doled out $1 million in loan help. “We were trying to be ready in different ways when all this started,” said Patricia Schwabe, an IDA board member and small business owner. “I think we’re able to jump fast – faster than other organizations to make decisions to be able to support small businesses in the community.” www.BizTucson.com


An initial $500,000 earlier this year portfolio – the main focus of the orgawent directly into the paycheck protecnization is assisting first-time homebuytion loan program administered by the ers and providing capital for affordable City of Tucson to help small businesses housing. avoid layoffs and stay in business during “The three functions of the IDA are the pandemic. Simultaneously, the IDA pretty cut and dried, but historically, the froze loan payments for businesses with Tucson IDA has focused on affordable existing loans from the corporation, inhousing. Period. End of discussion,” Lufused another $500,000 into the loan cero said. “By affordable housing, we’re program and participated in the Downtalking everything from A to Z in affordtown Tucson Partnership’s Gift Card Inable housing.” centive Program to aid downtown busiThat includes funding for affordable nesses. multi-family housThe timely paning – apartments demic assistance is – for the general workforce and for sejust a small example niors. Funding also of what the IDA can helps the first-time do with the funds it generates through homebuyer, primarits loan programs, at ily with a program no cost to taxpayers. that cuts the time a The IDA receives no buyer must save for public funds, grants the substantial down or donations. Fundpayment needed ing for its loans comes on homes with a from revenue the IDA median price over draws from loans and $300,000 for new services in its portfoand about $225,000 lio. Proceeds go right for resale. back into more loans The down payfor businesses and inment assistance dividuals without acprogram essentially cess to capital. loans the down “Sometimes these payment – up to businesses don’t have 6% of the home that relationship with loan amount – to a commercial bankthe buyer, but the er,” Schwabe said. buyer doesn’t have “They don’t have to make loan paya history with their ments, said Karen business. It might be a Valdez, a BDFC new business.” program manager “Our priority is and IDA adviser. If – Larry Lucero women-owned, mithe buyer keeps and President nority-owned, veterlives in the home for IDA an-owned enterprises three years, the loan Photo by Brent G. Mathis in target areas that is 100% forgiven. A the city has deemed maximum income a priority for them,” said IDA President of $109,000 is required to qualify. Larry Lucero, one of the board’s six The tax credit program gives the volunteers. “Downtown is one, but we buyer up to a $2,000 tax credit per year also have other parts of the community for as long as they live in the home. The where we need to focus our attention. credit is available for households with They really don’t have access to the regincome up to $72,000 and can be up ular banking system, so we fit right into to 40% of the yearly mortgage interest that niche.” paid, capped at $2,000. While the IDA is there for small busicontinued on page 100 >>> nesses – it has 19 loans currently in its

PHOTOS: ROBIN STANCLIFF PHOTOGRAPHY

BizRECOVERY

Billy Russo Managing Director Arizona Theater Company Community loan for annual working capital

Our priority is women-owned, minority-owned, veteran-owned enterprises in target areas that the city has deemed a priority for them.

www.BizTucson.com

Carly Quinn Owner Carly Quinn Designs Community loan for purchase and renovation of a commercial building at new business location

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BizRECOVERY

Scott J Cummings Owner Corbett Brewing Community loan for refinance and renovation of building

Kaelen Harwell Owner Kaelen Harwell Organic Day Spa Community loan for purchase of equipment and working capital

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The Tucson IDA is a particular win for young professionals who move here, especially post-COVID-19 – a handy recruitment tool for businesses trying to attract them. “The majority of the borrowers are single, right out of college,” Valdez said, noting that the youngest person to use the program to buy a house was single and 22. “It’s perfect because their income is at a level where it’s going to grow. The income limits are for qualifying only. Once you’re in the program and if your income is now outside of that limit, you don’t get kicked out.” In its long history, the Tucson IDA has also managed to avoid defaults in providing loans to businesses and individuals not traditionally viewed as low risk, Lucero said. Since 1979, only two loans have defaulted--one individual and one business. “We have a high level of confidence that these (individuals and businesses) are going to be successful and this is going to help them get there,” Lucero said. “It’s interesting to note that these people are not considered by a regular bank because of their size or maybe because they’re a startup. “But then, you meet with them and connect all those dots and you come to the conclusion that these people are as bankable as anybody else, yet nobody wanted to take the risk. And so, the IDA and the BDFC step in and play that role, which the mayor and council of the city of Tucson have seen as an absolutely valuable tool.”

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PHOTOS: ROBIN STANCLIFF PHOTOGRAPHY

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PHOTO: WILLIAM LESCH

Resilient & Ready – Sun Corridor Inc. Looks Ahead

Pivot Playbook The

Sun Corridor Inc. and Team Focus on Resiliency, Recovery Plan By Jay Gonzales

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The region’s top business leaders are ready to capitalize on Tucson’s growing reputation of post-pandemic resilience with a comprehensive roadmap forward. They have formed a working group within Sun Corridor Inc., the region’s economic development engine, on a post-COVID-19 recovery plan. The group comprises a broad base of local business <<<

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and government leaders, headed by retired Raytheon Missile Systems executive Steve Eggen, a former CFO at the company. “We have never before faced a crisis of the scope and scale we are now confronted with, and community/business leaders from the region recognize the need for a single, focused Recovery & Response Plan to address the impacts of COVID-19,” said an introductory statement outlining strategies

for the working group. “We can’t just sit back and say, ‘Well, it’s gonna happen because they ranked us,’ ” added Joe Snell, president and CEO of Sun Corridor Inc. “It’s going to be cities that get ahead of the curve now that win.” That’s exactly where Tucson is trying to be as the pandemic continues to batter the nation’s economy. Though unemployment remained high through the sumwww.BizTucson.com


BizRECOVERY Recovery & Response Plan Committee Steve Eggen, Raytheon Missile Systems (retired), Chair Sharon Bronson, Pima County Brent DeRaad, Visit Tucson Ali Farhang, Farhang & Medcoff Alex Horvath, TMC HealthCare Chuck Huckelberry, Pima County David Hutchens, UNS Energy/Fortis

When you think about what Tucson has to offer, we’re not high-density, we’ve got affordability, we’ve got a great university.

Steve Eggen Former CFO Raytheon Missile Systems –

Photo by Balfour Walker

Bill Kelley, Diamond Ventures Wes Kremer, Raytheon Missiles & Defense Lee Lambert, Pima Community College Lisa Lovallo, Cox Communications Ted Maxwell, Southern Arizona Leadership Council Fletcher McCusker, Rio Nuevo Ian McDowell, Sundt Construction Dennis Minano, General Motors (retired) Omar Mireles, HSL Properties Mark Mistler, BBVA

mer, there were a few glimmers of hope with a recovering local housing market and businesses reopening. A Site Selectors Guild survey released in July noted that mid-sized cities like Tucson will be the winners of future corporate relocations and expansions. “As advisors on corporate location strategy across all industries, Guild members are the first to see emerging trends and changes in corporate location decisions before they are ever made continued on page 104 >>> www.BizTucson.com

Judy Rich, TMC HealthCare Dr. Robert C. Robbins, University of Arizona Bill Rodewald, Harsch Investment Properties Mayor Regina Romero, City of Tucson David Smallhouse, Miramar Ventures

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BizRECOVERY

It’s going to be cities that get ahead of the curve now that win. – Joe Snell President & CEO Sun Corridor Inc.

continued from page 103 public,” said Jay Garner, Site Selectors Guild board chair. “When you think about what Tucson has to offer, we’re not high-density, we’ve got affordability, we’ve got a great university,” Eggen said. “We have a situation where we have a smaller town with all of the benefits of a larger community.” “We said let’s talk about what we really want to do as a group of leaders positioning ourselves for this recovery,” he said. “We started asking the questions – what do we need to do in order to be positioned? Not only do we have to think about our health recovery, but how do we think about our economic recovery?” The first order of business was to define focus areas for the working group, based on the existing Economic Blueprint developed in 2007 and updated by Sun Corridor Inc. in 2014. The blueprint identified four industry clusters that have been the focus of regional economic development efforts: aerospace and defense; bioscience and healthcare; renewable & mining technologies; transportation and logistics. To continue to serve those industries, Sun Corridor Inc. has identified a series of issues to be addressed for the industry clusters – workforce, supply chain, infrastructure, capital and other resource availability, education and training, business climate, technology and automation, quality of life, access to markets, utilities and governmental impact. The next step, Eggen said, is to establish facilitators for the focus areas and develop strategies that will be refined and incorporated into a formal plan to be released the first quarter of 2021. “I expect that will be a result of everyone’s effort,” Eggen said. “Everyone will have had an opportunity to give their input and we’ll then take it forward. “It can be overwhelming, but that’s the thing, you’ve got to take the nuggets and polish them up so that you’ve got a little jewel,” he said. “If we let ourselves take too long, we will miss the opportunity. We’ve got to be fast and we need to make decisions and make them quickly and move forward.”

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PHOTOS: COURTESY VISIT TUCSON

BizTOURISM

Clockwise from top: Tucson Museum of Art; Fox Tucson Theatre; Katchner Caverns; Tucson Botanical Gardens; Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Saving Tucson Tourism Hotels, Venues Challenged to Adapt, Recover By Romi Carrell Wittman Arizona has long been known for the five “C”s of Copper, Cattle, Cotton, Citrus and Climate. This year, the state added an unwelcome sixth ‘C’ to that list: COVID-19. As Arizona instituted the Stay Healthy, Return Smarter, Return Stronger Executive Order on May 12, the hope was the state’s economy would gently reopen while keeping residents safe. Unfortunately, the number of COVID-19 cases across the state climbed throughout the summer, landing Arizona on many states’ travel restriction lists. At press time, while the total number of cases had decreased, the pandemic’s effects on the leisure and tourism industry in Arizona and Tucson, have been chilling. Indeed, Old Tucson just recently announced its indefinite closure. Last year, tourism was Arizona’s top export, raking in more than $25 billion 106 BizTucson

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and supporting nearly 200,000 jobs. That translated to $3.78 billion in state tax revenues – a marked contrast to 2020. Economist George Hammond of the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management reported in his 2020 Quarterly Update that Arizona saw some of its largest job losses in the leisure and hospitality industry. Local hotels and venues have tried to adapt in a variety of ways, hoping to attract travelers while assuring them – and their staff – of their health and safety. There’s also a push to attract locals. Dale McDaniel, area managing director at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, said measures must go beyond simply communicating cleaning protocols and statistics. The company has instituted its “Welcoming You Like Family” program to address these needs and concerns.

“Our team members are well-versed in finding opportunities to connect with and care for guests, even in our currently physically distanced environment,” McDaniel said. “Through ‘Welcoming You Like Family,’ we look forward to serving our guests and each other thoughtfully and intuitively, just like family.” At Visit Tucson, adapting to the “new normal” has meant a shift in marketing. “Normally we wouldn’t be celebrating 40% hotel occupancy for June, but we were happy to see that. We beat San Diego,” said Brent DeRaad, president and CEO of Visit Tucson. “We’ve focused on the concept of staycations and making sure folks who live here understand the safety protocols everyone has been taking.” DeRaad said while sports events, conventions and meeting bookings have continued on page 108 >>> www.BizTucson.com


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BizTOURISM continued from page 106 halted for now, Tucson is prepared for the day when they resume. “Right now, we’re reliant solely on leisure travel. We’re working to get meetings back.” To support local attractions like the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Reid Park Zoo and Tucson Botanical Gardens, Visit Tucson also spearheaded the Tucson Show of Support, which offered membership deals to locals. “The idea with Tucson’s Show of Support was to do something for a sector of our business – the attractions – to try to help sustain them until tourism returns in full force, similar to what we tried with the To-Go version of Sonoran Restaurant Week earlier this year,” said Dan Gibson, Visit Tucson’s senior director of communications. “The recovery of this industry will be more of a marathon than a sprint, so our goal is try to think of solutions in the most creative way possible to solve a problem no one could have foreseen.” The zoo, which welcomed baby elephant Mapenzi during the pandemic, has creatively opened with a new, modified guest experience – a daily “Wildlife Walk.” Visitors must reserve tickets in

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advance for the walks, wear masks and social distance while at the venue. Amy Draper, owner and operator of the Armory Park Inn, said the downtown boutique inn had virtually no guests over the summer, then saw a late surge. “We were slammed (in August) because of parents moving their kids back to school,” she said. Draper’s inn was approaching its first anniversary when the shutdown hit. “As a new business that was just beginning to hit its stride, it was surprising to see things slow down so quickly,” she noted. Yet, Draper said it’s given her valuable time to examine and improve business practices for a post-COVID-19 world. “While my happy place is definitely working ‘in’ the business interacting with guests, this downtime has given me a golden opportunity to work ‘on’ the business,” she said. This has included not only increased cleaning protocols, but also assessing the overall guest experience. “As a small venue with lots of modern, low-touch amenities like keyless door entries and dedicated HVAC systems for each guest room, we were already pretty well positioned to accommodate guests dur-

ing the pandemic. ...We promote these amenities through our ‘Stay Small, Stay Safe’ marketing initiative aimed at easing travelers’ safety concerns and emphasizing the intimate, less crowded hotel experience that we offer.” The news is not all bleak. As Moody’s Analytics ranked Tucson among the cities best positioned to recover from the pandemic, the region is pushing to recruit remote-working professionals looking to take advantage of Tucson’s low population density and high education attainment. Tourism officials are joining the recruitment efforts. DeRaad said, “We’re working with Startup Tucson to attract workers who can work anywhere. I think there are opportunities there.” “We need to present a unified brand and message on a national platform,” added Liz Pocock, CEO of Startup Tucson, a community nonprofit committed to fueling small business and entrepreneurship. “Partners like City of Tucson, Visit Tucson, the Tucson Metro Chamber, Tucson Young Professionals and Rio Nuevo are going to help us do just that, amplifying the message and getting the word out far and wide.”  

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BizRECOVERY

Nonprofits, Arts Persevere in Pandemic

Collaboration, Investment Vital to Regional Survival By Loni Nannini

In the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, hard-hit Southern Arizona nonprofits and arts organizations are using innovation, collaboration and sheer determination to counter the crisis and plan for the future. The impact is massive for more than 3,000 regional nonprofit organizations. The coronavirus has touched every type of charity, from those that promote animal welfare and the arts to those that fill basic needs such as hunger and housing, as well as groups that promote community development, education, the environment, health and human services. Statewide, estimated revenue losses for nonprofits could top $270 million by the end of the fiscal year, according to a study by the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits. “It is staggering,” said Kristen Merrifield, CEO of the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits. “With nonprofits, you have not only the loss of revenue to the organization and to its employees who have lost jobs, but the impact to the community with the loss of services that the nonprofit provides. The result is an exponential loss to the community.” Nonprofits Embrace Collaboration

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generate 56,493 jobs, the economic ramifications are daunting. “People often think of nonprofits for their surface value,” said Merrifield. “We visibly see the work they do, the causes they support and the people they serve, but we don’t talk about the fact that they are a vital part of our economic engine. It is equally important for all of our communities that we have a healthy nonprofit sector.” Among the lynchpins of a robust nonprofit sector are organizations such

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

as United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona, which impacted more than 173,000 lives last year. United Way had just completed a banner annual campaign that exceeded fundraising goals by 11% and brought total annual revenue to more than $13 million. When the pandemic hit, the organization shifted immediately into crisis mode with a three-pronged plan involving response, recovery and volunteer coordination, said Tony Penn, president and CEO of United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona. “The economic downturn looms large for us, as it does for all nonprofits,” Penn said. “We are fortunate in that we have a diversified revenue stream that includes an annual workplace campaign with corporate partnerships throughout the region and a grant-writing machine at the United Way that was able to obtain significant funding – to the tune of $9.3 million-plus – after the first of the year.” The response has included implementation of the United for Southern Arizona COVID-19 Fund, which has raised $550,000 to date to assist more than 30 nonprofit partners providing front-line, basic needs. The United Way also continued its practice of looking beyond the community for support. “We are local in our services continued on page 112 >>> www.BizTucson.com


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continued from page 110 and in our impact because the funds we raise stay here in Southern Arizona,” Penn said. “However, we intentionally leverage the gifts and donations generously shared in our local community to raise resources from private foundations and corporations outside of our community that are interested in the work we do with our partners on the ground. That is a significant part of our strategy involving diversification,” Penn said. A collaborative philosophy is imperative to the recovery of all nonprofits moving forward, he said. Such a philosophy is facilitated through the Volunteer Center at United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona, which helps nonprofits replenish critical volunteer manpower lost during the pandemic. In another cooperative effort, the United Way’s Annual Days of Caring will mobilize 3,000 volunteers in 150 work projects throughout the region at the end of October. “The term we use at United Way is ‘collective impact,’ and the best way to create that is through collaboration,” Penn said. “It is more important now than ever before. Through collective impact, we can create effectiveness, efficiency and innovation. Being creative and innovative is key during a crisis like this.” Innovation is actually the silver lining of this crisis, Merrifield said. “Organizations are finding new ways to do things that they never thought was possible pre-COVID,” she said. “They are delivering services online, collaborating to share resources or offices and finding new ways to work together efficiently. Permanent collaborations and mergers in the for-profit sector can be seen as strategic business decisions to accomplish more together and we are trying to promote that message with nonprofits.” Technology and technical support have emerged as key aspects of such innovation, said Clint Mabie, CEO of the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona. By partnering with local businesses, foundations, and individuals, CFSA has distributed almost $2 million to 100 local nonprofits through COVID-19 Response Funds. CFSA also offers technical assistance through Catchafire. org, a nonprofit skills matching service, and through strategic partnerships with Eller College of Management and the College of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture at the University of Arizona. “The No. 1 request we have had from nonprofits is for additional cash assistance, but the No. 2 need is technical assistance,” said Mabie. “Nonprofits are trying to shift business plans and modify technology to hold meetings via Zoom and to reach donors through the web when they can’t have special events to raise money, so we have moved to technical assistance at scale.” Virtually and in real time, a newly collaborative attitude is being embraced by nonprofits across the board, said Michael McDonald, CEO of the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona. The food bank, which distributed more than 70 million pounds of food to 200,000 people last year, saw demand for services more than double month-over112 BizTucson

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BizRECOVERY month after COVID-19 hit. “During a crisis like the pandemic, people understand the need to support nonprofits that provide basic human services,” McDonald said. “We are so grateful for the strong support that we have received, but arts organizations and other types of nonprofits are very much struggling and they are critical to the spiritual, emotional and psychological health of the community as well.” Protecting the Arts

Performing arts organizations and venues such as the iconic Fox Tucson Theatre have faced significant challenges. The Fox, which offered more than 150 film screenings, concerts, community gatherings and special events annually pre-COVID-19, has lost roughly $2 million in projected revenue since it closed its doors on March 12. “The depth and breadth of impact on the performing arts is complete for several reasons,” said Bonnie Schock, Fox Tucson Theatre’s executive director. “First, the performing arts are designed to gather people together in groups, which makes us particularly vulnerable in this situation.” Worse, the Fox and many other arts organizations typically utilize advance ticket sales or subscriptions as working capital to fund new projects. In addition to the loss of new earned revenue, they have been faced with refunding those monies. Social distance protocols and concern from artists and patrons about returning to group settings also make it difficult for performing arts venues to implement working business models. Schock said public determination – along with federal legislation such as the proposed Save Our Stages Act – will be vital to sustaining the arts post-pandemic. The bill seeks $10 billion in funding to rescue arts venues across the country. “Survival will take community will: Our collective statement that this matters enough to invest. We have to ask ourselves, ‘What is important to us?’ and ‘What actions can I take to ensure this industry survives?’ ” The arts draw people together, generating goodwill and understanding about the human condition. Since they also serve as anchors for the community, sparking revitalization and infrastructure, they will become even more relevant as cities poise for recovery, Schock said. “Everyone knows that the arts are the secret sauce in economic development,” she said. “If you want to transform a community, investing in the arts is a key ingredient.” “This may be a long recovery for people economically and many people will need support for a period of time,” added McDonald. “Everyone is experiencing stresses and anxiety and fatigue, but it is imperative that the community comes together for the long haul. Resiliency is the name of the game.”

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BizTRANSPORTATION

Silverbell From Grant to Goret

Kolb Connection to Sabino Canyon Rd.

Tangerine from La Canada to Dove Mtn Blvd

Road Revamp

New Regional Plan to Address Next 20 Years

Increased safety, reduced congestion, and prettier, more scenic roads. These are just some of the benefits Southern Arizonans gained from the 20-year regional transportation plan and half-cent sales tax passed by Pima County voters in 2006. That plan will soon end and the Regional Transportation Authority is looking ahead at a plan for the next 20 years. Since the passage of the first plan, the RTA has provided more than $1.2 billion for construction, maintenance and services on highways, streets, bridges, intersections, sidewalks, transit, bus pullouts, bike paths, pedestrian crossings and signal technology throughout 114 BizTucson

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the county. As of May, more than 860 RTA projects have been completed throughout Pima County. In the process, the RTA created tens of thousands of construction jobs to address infrastructure improvements, which, in turn, induced vast private commercial investments and enormous economic growth. The current RTA plan expires in June 2026 and, looking ahead to the next 20 years and slate of projects, the RTA Board has tasked a 35-member Citizens Advisory Committee to produce a new plan. The CAC’s members represent all parts of the county and will work in tandem with the RTA Technical Man-

agement Committee. Pima County Supervisor and RTA Board Chair Ramon Valadez said the “ultimate objective is to present a regional plan to voters that they will support and agree to fund through an extension of the RTA tax. This fund is critical to supporting our infrastructure needs, so it’s important we work together to get the draft plan voter-ready to meet our goal of providing an enhanced regional transportation system.” Based on suggestions from the citizen’s committee, several guiding principles for development of a new regional plan have been articulated. These incontinued on page 116 >>> www.BizTucson.com

IMAGES COURTESY REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY

By David Pittman


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BizTRANSPORTATION continued from page 114 clude a prioritization of regionally significant transportation needs, an implementation timeline with a budget and specific projects identified, enhancement and improvement of the system’s overall efficiency, and identification of future funding committments from each jurisdiction. Providing safer bicycle and pedestrian facilities, maintaining or improving air quality, creating better access to workplaces, and adding functionality to key corridors are also on the list. Valadez, a member of the RTA board since its inception, said the second RTA plan will be developed utilizing the same “citizen driven, accountable and transparent” methods as the first. And most importantly, will be designed “together as one region absent of jurisdictional boundaries or turf wars.” The original RTA legislation gave both Pima County and the City of Tucson unilateral veto power over any action of the RTA, but no such veto was ever issued.

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“During an RTA discussion meeting of the PAG Regional Council in 2004, I surrendered the Pima County veto and invited my friend, Tucson Mayor Robert Walkup, to do the same – which he did,” Valadez recalled. “We did this because we understood that if we were to be successful, this had to be a collaborative effort of all partners in our region.” Thomas McGovern, principle emeritus/consultant at Psomas, a leading

We understood that if we were to be successful, this had to be a collaborative effort of all partners in our region.

– Ramon Valadez Pima County Board of Supervisors RTA Board Chair

Southwestern U.S. engineering firm, is chair of the CAC. He, too, is no stranger to the RTA process, having served on the CAC that developed the first RTA plan. A prominent Tucson business leader, McGovern is a board member of the Southern Arizona Leadership Council and a former board chair for the Tucson Metro Chamber. McGovern said the CAC is in the early stages of creating the first draft of the new plan. After the initial plan is completed, he said there must be increased public input, plan refinement, and a final review by the RTA board and the various jurisdictions involved. No dates have been set for completion of the plan or the upcoming election. “The RTA board would like our committee to work with all due haste in producing the plan so it can be examined by the public,” McGovern said. “In the end, voters must say ‘yes’ to the plan twice. In addition to approving the proposal itself, they must also pass the sales tax for another 20-year period.”

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PHOTOS: CHRIS MOONEY

BizMEDICINE

Dr. Joseph Scheeren President & CEO Critical Path Institute

Martha Brumfield Past President & CEO Critical Path Institute

Dr. Klaus Romero Chief Science Officer Critical Path Institute

Critical Path Institute

Paving the Way for Global Drug Innovation By Mary Minor Davis The Critical Path Institute, a groundbreaking nonprofit organization that helps expedite medical product development and regulatory review processes, celebrates 15 years in Tucson as its global headquarters. Founded by Dr. Raymond Woosley in 2005, C-Path opened its doors in this desert city with just six employees. Today, nearly 100 scientists, pharmaceutical industry leaders and medical professionals staff the institute and its board. Today, the institute’s global presence includes a European headquarters in Dublin, Ireland. The work of C-Path is renowned, uniting medical stakeholders and their intellectual and financial resources to bring effective drugs and treatments to fruition faster. The institute is truly a jewel in Tucson’s crown, and yet, it almost wasn’t. “In our early conversations with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, there were people trying to take the program to California,” said Woosley, who 118 BizTucson

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was dean of the University of Arizona College of Medicine before he founded C-Path. “The people in Washington, D.C., wanted us to move it there, saying it would never survive being so far away. I was really afraid they might be right, but here we are.” Here, C-Path has thrived. Under Woosley’s leadership, the institute was a first-of-its-kind venture supported by the FDA, which was incubated within UArizona, to help implement the FDA’s Critical Path Initiative. The initiative’s aim was to tackle the “pipeline problem” – a gap between the number of new biomedical discoveries and the declining number of new medical treatments being submitted for FDA approval. As a neutral, trusted third party since 2005, C-Path facilitates shared knowledge and science for a more streamlined approach. “C-Path has done that at a scale I never thought would be possible,” Woosley said. “I always believed that the drug industry would come together as

long as the FDA was encouraging them. Their participation convinced me that C-Path has far exceeded what I expected. The scope of illnesses that are being addressed is just phenomenal.” C-Path’s model involves the formation of creative teams, or consortia, that are created when the institute is approached by regulators, patient groups or industry leaders to solve an unmet need. There are currently 23 consortia and programs involving stakeholders in academia, industry, regulatory bodies, medical societies, healthcare and patient groups. Each team is led by an executive director and focuses on a specific clinical area such as Parkinson’s disease, pediatrics, neonatal care and drug safety. Members share research, data, ideas, patient experiences and costs to develop the tools to move medical products forward. Dr. Klaus Romero has been with CPath since 2007. In his role as chief science officer and former executive direcwww.BizTucson.com


PHOTO: BALFOUR WALKER

The scope of illnesses that are being addressed is just phenomenal. –

Dr. Raymond Woosley Founder Critical Path Institute

tor of Clinical Pharmacology and Quantitative Medicine, he has seen the institute’s successful trajectory first-hand. “It was like going to the moon,” Romero said. “We created something from scratch and built a rocket, and we reached the moon. Today, we can now conquer the entire solar system with all of the work that we are doing to expedite medical product development through the different solutions that we generate.” “When we started our (Critical Path to Tuberculosis Drug Regimens) consortium in 2010, the last drug that had been approved for the treatment of tuberculosis was in the 1950s,” he said. Integrating data, enabling discussions and using previous groundwork, the first new TB drug in a half century was approved in 2013. There are now over 20 TB drugs in the pipeline. Moving forward, Romero hopes C-Path’s proven expertise and biowww.BizTucson.com

pharma models can be expanded to other product classes, including medical devices and biologics. C-Path’s proficient leadership has been instrumental in its success. CPath President and CEO Dr. Joseph Scheeren took the helm in 2019 with a resume of more than 35 years in the pharmaceutical industry. He succeeded Martha Brumfield, who with more than 20 years of experience with Pfizer and other regulatory work had expertly guided CPath’s stable growth since 2013, after Woosley retired. Under Scheeren’s leadership, the organization has grown from 68 to 100 employees in his first year, a move he said is powered by global growth and demand. After initiating activities in Europe, C-Path provided the model for the Innovative Medicines Initiative in the European Union and is actively involved in three current projects, creating an continued on page 120 >>>

C-Path Benefits Local Research, Patient Education By Mary Minor Davis The Critical Path Institute’s innovative model in obtaining data that benefits early pharmaceutical developments around the world has also helped researchers and patient groups in Tucson. When Dr. Roberta Brinton, director of the University of Arizona Center for Innovation in Brain Science, wanted to design a clinical trial for the first regenerative therapeutic for patients in rapid progression for Alzheimer’s, she turned to C-Path for consultation. While her earlier research had shown encouraging results, she needed to expand her trial. “Being the innovative people that they are, they rolled up their sleeves, started looking at the data and we designed a trial that really asks the question, ‘Can the brain regenerate?’” Brinton said. “They provided all of the statistical analytics to help us design the trial.” C-Path also continued to push for support for the trial within the medical community. “We’re about to start phase two of that clinical trial,” she said. “It shows the power of creative, innovative and disruptive thinking.” The institute’s work has also helped local groups that support patients and their experience. Sarah Jones is CEO of PMD Alliance, a Tucson nonprofit providing free education and support programs for people and their caregivers suffering from movement disorders, including Parkinson’s disease. She joined CPath’s consortium on Parkinson’s about a year ago. “We interpret the data that C-Path gathers at the human level,” Jones said. “For example, a survey that says 60% of people with Parkinson’s experienced profound anxiety, as do their care partners. We share with C-Path the stories about why that is and what’s happening.” Jones said there’s a synergy between the alliance and C-Path in that both organizations explore the unknown and work to find shared answers. “We both have that commitment to not duplicating resources but tapping into areas that haven’t been looked at.”

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BizMEDICINE Critical Path Institute Marks 15 Years 2020

C-Path talent surpasses 100 people Collaboration launches to identify new uses of existing drugs against infections, including COVID-19 FDA selects C-Path to lead collaboration to enhance pediatric medical device development

2019

Collaboration launches to power the development of rare disease therapies Postdoctoral fellowship program begins for Model-Informed Drug Development First-of-its-kind collaboration starts with Japan’s PMDA Qualification of new diaries for patients to self-report asthma symptoms

2018

Qualification of brain imaging marker for drug development against Parkinson’s First-ever qualification of a clinical safety biomarker Qualification of new questionnaire for patients to self-report lung cancer symptoms University of Arizona and C-Path launch graduate certificate program in regulatory science

2017

Qualification of new questionnaire for patients to self-report depression symptoms Operations in Europe grow with office in Dublin, Ireland C-Path receives $1.1 million grant, partners with Arizona’s TGen to advance tuberculosis research

2016

Launch of database to integrate clinical data on novel treatments against tuberculosis

2015

Qualification achieved for laboratory platform to optimize drug development against tuberculosis First-ever qualification of a kidney imaging biomarker for drug development against polycystic kidney disease WHO selects C-Path to host tuberculosis clinical trials data

2014

C-Path establishes Data Collaboration Center with support from a $1 million grant

2013

First-ever regulatory endorsement for Clinical Trial Simulation Tool to optimize drug development against Alzheimer’s disease

2011

Development of first-ever regulatory-grade data standards for Alzheimer’s disease

2010

First-ever globally accessible integrated database of clinical trials in Alzheimer’s disease

2008

First-ever qualification of biomarkers to optimize kidney safety in drug development

2005

continued from page 119 international collaboration. “We’re developing programs for the global community,” he said. “We are trying to develop tools in such a way that medical products that become available in the U.S. can also be approved for patients globally, at an accelerated pace.” To succeed, Scheeren said several things must be in place: streamlined review processes, a common language to interpret global clinical trials, global data, and other tools that “speak the same terminology” when talking about biomarkers and other quantitative information. Data sharing has traditionally been a barrier as countries were unwilling to open up their research to others, but Scheeren said, “those walls have come down. We’ve made it clear that these things can be done while preserving data privacy for the patient.” Managing the complexities of more data moving forward will be crucial to meet the FDA’s Critical Path Initiative, and similar global goals. “We need a solution that balances the need for open science with the push for data protection and data privacy, because those same things are extremely important topics that society is grappling with right now,” Scheeren said. Other future C-Path programs include developing fellowships and internships with U.S. universities to mentor students on the institute’s role and expanding network. The COVID-19 pandemic has also made the public more aware of the need for science, as well as the necessary phases to gather information and make key conclusions. C-Path leadership hopes this awareness will continue. “Here’s how science works,” Scheeren said. “It works by making mistakes, as well as making discoveries. Each builds on the other for successful outcomes.”

The Critical Path Institute is established as a nonprofit based in Tucson, led by Dr. Raymond Woosley and six employees

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Greater Tucson Leadership Class of 2020 Back Row: Maggie Hammerstrom, Mark Hamilton, Valarie Vargas, Aimee Trueblood, Marissa Amezcua, Yvette-Marie Margaillan, Corey Doggett, Lara Iacobucci Middle Row: Justin Lukasewicz, Sara Habib, Leah Noreng, Kasey Barghout, Alan Stockellburg, Caryn Barman, Ryan Shirley, Joe Rottman, Jason Winsky, Bridget Vergara, Mark Flanigan Front Row: Lance Meeks, Kara Festa, Joey Rodgers, Sydney Chong, Stephanie Chavez, Rozana Villanes, Camila Martins-Bekat, Mikaela Knuston, Veronica Saiz, Emma Mendenhall, Jennifer Moore, Daryl Finfrock

Greater Tucson Leadership Celebrates 40 Years Shaping Civic Leaders for the Region, Future By Romi Carrell Wittman Turning 40 is a momentous, though not always eagerly anticipated milestone. At Greater Tucson Leadership, it’s cause for celebration. “We are so excited to mark this occasion,” said Kasey Hill, GTL’s executive director. “Though in-person cel122 BizTucson

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ebrations are postponed, we can’t wait to bring together our alumni and past board members.” A nonprofit, non-partisan organization dedicated to providing leadership education, community development and civic engagement for the Tucson

community, GTL is the only formal, local civic leadership educational program of its kind in Southern Arizona. Founded in 1980, GTL had its beginnings as a Tucson Metro Chamber program called Leadership Tucson. However, the organization broke away www.BizTucson.com


BizLEADERSHIP

GTL is such a wonderful, dynamic organization that has become an integral part of the community.

PHOTOS: COURTESY GREATER TUCSON LEADERSHIP

in 1986 and rebranded itself as Greater Tucson Leadership, an independent nonprofit organization. The organization experienced some ups and downs in the years that followed and eventually rejoined the Chamber in 2012 as a partner program. Under the leadership of Suzanne McFarlin and, later, Hill, GTL has become the go-to resource for people in both the corporate and nonprofit worlds to hone their leadership skills. While GTL is best known for its flagship leadership training program, it also hosts the annual Man, Woman and Founder of the Year awards. This year, it launched a third element – the Civic and Political Leadership Program, an eight-month, non-partisan program which aims to help people determine how to run for office, how to effectively govern and how to get legislation passed at the local and state levels. GTL alumna Kate Hoffman is the founder, creator and executive director of Earn to Learn, a program that teaches financial literacy and assists students in saving money for college. Hoffman, who graduated from the GTL Class of 2008, said GTL was instrumental in helping her make her vision a reality. “GTL opened my eyes up,” Hoffman said. “It opened my eyes to so many issues in the community and helped me see ways I could make a positive impact.” Hoffman, who had previously worked in the financial services industry, found a new calling: supporting students in graduating with financial literacy and www.BizTucson.com

Kasey Hill, Executive Director, Greater Tucson Leadership

no student loans. “GTL gave me the knowledge, the insight to make Earn to Learn a reality,” she said. The Earn to Learn program is now poised to be rolled out nationwide. When former Tucson Mayor Jona-

Kasey Hill Executive Director, Greater Tucson Leadership than Rothschild wanted to create a resource to help people become more civically engaged, he turned to GTL. “In my eight years in office, as well as the many years I spent assisting people in getting elected or involved in the electoral process, I came to the conclusion that I could help the future of our community by offering them a course, not just a course telling them how to get elected, but also what to expect when you get there,” Rothschild said. “I had the idea but I needed people to make it happen. GTL was the first group I thought of.” McFarlin, a GTL alumna in addi-

tion to past executive director, said, “As a student, I really felt GTL allowed me to understand and claim my voice. That was enormous to me as a woman. It made me realize that what I have to offer is valuable, that my contribution is valuable.” Another part of GTL classes stuck with her: “The real significance for me was the realization of ‘If not me, then who?’ ” McFarlin said. “I felt an ownership of the community, that I am the community and I can create an impact.” Hill, who joined GTL as its first fulltime executive director in 2016, is excited not only to celebrate GTL’s anniversary, but also its future. “During the past year, we’ve seen tremendous growth in our organization,” Hill said. “We have hired a full-time development director, and a Public Ally, who is helping us with capacity building and program development. In addition to the Civic and Political Leadership Academy, we’ve also developed workshops to help organizations with strategic planning and team building, and are working to develop additional leadership programs in the future.” “GTL is such a wonderful, dynamic organization that has become an integral part of the community,” she said. “I look forward to our future.”

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BizAWARD Top row: Brendan Burke, Elissa Levitz David, Avery David, Kali David, Julia David, Scott Hilkemeyer. Bottom row: Lindsay Levitz Burke, Luke Burke, Sam Levitz, Valerie Levitz, Amber Levitz

Levitz Family Recognized with 2020 Click for Kids Award By Loni Nannini For more than six decades, the Levitz family has helped Tucsonans create homes and spaces that nurture body, mind and spirit through Sam Levitz Furniture. They have also quietly supported charitable endeavors that do the same, especially the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson. The Levitz family’s dedication was recognized this summer with the 2020 Click for Kids Award. Created in honor of longtime friend and supporter Jim Click, the pre-eminent award is granted by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson for exceptional leadership and impact over a significant period of time. “We are honored to recognize the Levitz family for their ongoing and generous support of our young people and programs,” said Debbie Wagner, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson. “We want to thank the three generations of Levitz family members who have believed in the next generation of Tucson, making an outstandingly positive and consequential impact on the lives of almost 100,000 youth who need us most.” That impact was even more evident during the COVID-19 pandemic, throughout which Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson offered virtual and in-person 124 BizTucson

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programs and childcare for essential workers. “Because donors and community supporters like the Levitz family stood shoulder-to-shoulder with (Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson) since the early days of the pandemic, we have been able to remain open to meet this crisis headon, serving a critical role for our youth and families as they struggle to manage home and work responsibilities with limited options and resources,” said Wagner. The Levitz family commitment began with patriarch Sam Levitz, who served on the board of directors for 13 years. He and his wife, Lee, left a legacy planned gift to support youth in perpetuity at the clubs. Their son, Sam R. Levitz, is an alumnus who played basketball and boxed at the Clubs. He and his wife, Valerie, support programming. “My grandad, Sam, was passionate about the clubs,” said Amber Levitz, director of merchandising at Sam Levitz Furniture/Ashley HomeStores. “My dad learned from him about the critical role they play in the community and is particularly passionate about helping children. It just expanded from them to the rest of our family.”

The family’s dedication over the past 30 years encompasses $200,000 in support, as well as in-kind donations of more than $100,000. It also includes 1,000-plus hours of hands-on assistance with planning, design and renovations of Clubhouse Teen Centers. Amber and her sister, Lindsay Levitz-Burke, corporate advertising manager at Sam Levitz Furniture/Ashley HomeStores, consult with Club youth on how to best provide functional, comfortable spaces. “It is so admirable that these kids are at the Clubhouses working hard and studying and learning leadership skills that will better their lives,” Amber said. “We want to reward them with cool, uplifting, fun places to hang out. These are just happy spaces.” Amber and Lindsay have worked with their father to implement programs such as Hope to Dream and Blocks for Beds, which provides beds and bedding to ensure that no child sleeps on the floor. The Levitz family is also a multi-year major sponsor of The EVENT, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson’s largest annual fundraiser. It seeks to raise $200,000 for Clubhouse operating costs.

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BizAWARD

Tom and Cindy Robertson honored with 2020 Youth Impact Award By Loni Nannini For Tom and Cindy Robertson, investing in the future and creating art are second nature. They have incorporated both in their philanthropic efforts with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson. The couple’s three decades of dedication culminated in the HeARTworks program and the recently completed Catalina Rotary Creative Arts Center at the Frank & Edith Morton Clubhouse, a mammoth effort recognized with the 2020 Youth Impact Award. The annual award was created to honor an individual, couple or business that has made a consequential impact on Club youth through innovative program enhancement. HeARTworks was the brainchild of Cindy, a pharmaceutical sales representative-turned-artist who modeled the program after a Mississippi project for the homeless. “I thought this was a tremendous vehicle for the kids,” she said. “They have a wonderful fine arts program at all the clubhouses, but this allows kids to learn about the whole process, from studying art and learning from visiting artists, all through production and sales, through an art show in which 100% of proceeds go back into the program. www.BizTucson.com

“Until you witness it, you can’t believe what it does for their self-esteem,” Cindy said. “They are like flowers blooming right before your eyes and the art they create is magnificent.” Cindy spent at least 30 hours weekly working hands-on with youth in the program before the COVID-19 pandemic, and later implemented virtual programming. Tom, a past president of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson board of directors, said the program gives young people the chance to “close the circle.” “When I say, ‘Close the circle,’ I mean the HeARTworks Art Show offers an innovative way for these kids to sell their work and raise money for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson,” said Tom, senior VP of Presidio Group Wealth Management. “This gives them pride in their work and helps them take ownership of programs at the clubs.” The Robertsons initially underwrote HeARTworks and then helped facilitate a small grant from Catalina Rotary, of which Tom is a longtime member and past president. He also served as assistant district governor in Rotary District 5500 in Southern Arizona.

“Catalina Rotary was looking for a project that involved the arts, literacy and youth. Research shows how vital a good arts program is for a young person’s education: That is why it is called STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) and not STEM,” Tom said. As interest in HeARTworks expanded, Catalina Rotary pledged an additional $50,000 and considerable manpower to convert administrative space into the 1,800-square-foot Catalina Rotary Creative Arts Center, which now has a stage and studios for recording, painting and dance. “At every Clubhouse there is a picture of a door, with the words, ‘Great Futures Start Here,’ which is the national tagline for Boys & Girls Clubs,” said Cindy. “When we started HeARTworks, we designated the key as our symbol, so every painting and piece of art has a key on it somewhere. The theory is that the key will unlock the door to a brighter future and it has been a tremendous honor and blessing to try to do that with these kids.”

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BizTRIBUTE

Lute Olson

A Legend in Basketball and Life By Steve Rivera At a recent function, Lute Olson’s players were given two minutes each to talk about their former coach. The University of Arizona players talked about his aura, presence, style and grace. They talked about attention to detail, the importance of team and family. Ben Davis talked. And talked. And talked. Ten minutes later, he was done – and he could have continued for another 10 minutes. That’s the impact that Coach Olson had on them. Lute – as he was legendarily known – died in August at age 85. “He was a father figure,” said Davis, a junior-college transfer to UArizona in the early 1990s. “He always had and always gave confidence to all his players. It’s something that we all carry with us to this day.” Olson transformed a once down-andout basketball program into a powerhouse, and without question, the best college basketball program in the West for nearly three decades. Arizona was 4-24 the previous sea-

son when Olson walked into a press conference in 1983 as the new head coach. With a regal, towering presence, Olson told fans to buy their tickets now because it would soon be the toughest ticket in town. Five years later, Tucson was the toast of the NCAA tournament, reaching its first NCAA Final Four in 1988. “We all know what kind of job he did, but how quickly he did it was tremendous,” said Paul Weitman, considered Lute’s best friend for four decades and constant companion on basketball trips. “He came here when they had little success, winning just four games before he arrived. He won at a great rate. Then, it was all over.” Over – as in other schools couldn’t keep up. Arizona, under Olson, would ultimately reach four Final Fours and win 15 Pac-10 conference and tournament titles. Olson went 589-187 in 24 years at Arizona, finishing 781-279 in his coaching career. His 73.7 winning percentage ranks 14th overall in NCAA history. Ol-

son was a five-time national Coach of the Year and seven-time Pac-10 Coach of the Year. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002 and the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006. “Besides a good friend, we lost a very good basketball coach,” Weitman said. “I always thought he was one of the best at what he did with talent and how hard he worked. He developed them. He was the best.” Maybe, even underrated. Former Wildcat and NBA star Richard Jefferson said on ESPN his former coach didn’t get enough credit for developing his players. Thirty-one former players would play in the NBA – 12 were firstround draft picks. Collectively, they’ve earned more than $1 billion dollars in the NBA. “Guys like Sean Rooks, Tom Tolbert and Luke Walton – guys who were never heralded or just above average college basketball players … he taught them how to play the game the right way and continued on page 128 >>>

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PHOTO: COURTESY OLSON FAMILY

Lute & Family


PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

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Lute Olson

PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

Lute’s Lessons in Leadership By Jay Gonzales

Success doesn’t just happen. Even if luck comes into play, there must be principles in place for the business or the team to contribute to success.

Lute Olson’s career as a successful college basketball coach was built on a highly organized plan with principles that any CEO could benefit from, according to his former colleagues and players who have thrived in basketball and in business. BizTucson has compiled some of those tenets for success that are true takeaways from Olson’s legendary career at the University of Arizona:

Family First. Olson’s priority on his family was center stage the moment thenUArizona Athletic Director Cedric Dempsey began courting Olson to come here. In a recent Tucson radio interview, Dempsey recalled the beginning of the interview process that demonstrated the priority Olson placed on family. Olson brought his wife, Bobbi, and the entire family to an initial breakfast meeting, he recalled. “They formed kind of a semicircle with chairs around me and I’m thinking, ‘Who’s being interviewed here, Lute or me?’ I learned very quickly that Bobbi was a very key player in his coaching and in his life.” Talent Acquisition and Culture. “Coach Olson always said good people will find a way to succeed and bad people will find a way to fail,” said Ryan Hansen, coordinator of basketball operations for Olson from 1997-2005. Hansen is now the president and COO of Bon Voyage Travel. “When we recruited people, Coach O wanted to make sure they were a good fit. Culture doesn’t just happen. You have to put the system in place.” Do Your Job. “Do your job is an all-inclusive mantra that focuses on personal responsibility and your importance to the team,” said Richard Paige, associate communication services director for Arizona basketball from 2000-2013. Paige is now associate director of communications and marketing at Wabash College in Indiana. “Everyone is here with a purpose. Your responsibility – no matter your role – is to do your job as well as you possibly can. The success of the team demands that. Don’t worry about others or things you can’t control. Simply, do your job.”

Preparation. “One of the most important principles I learned from Coach Olson was the importance of preparation,” said Corey Williams, a player from 1993-1996 and a team captain. Williams is VP of employee benefits for Crest Insurance in Tucson. “I spent my first few years on the scout team, helping the starters get ready for games. He understood our importance and role in giving our team the best chance for success. Being prepared is the first step to success. Then, you simply have to look in the mirror and push yourself. As I became an adult, I realized how many people never realize or achieve the first step. To this day, that is my approach to everything I do in business and life.”

Time and Score. “Coach O always used to talk about ‘time and score,’ He always used it at the end of the game.” Hansen said. “He wanted players to understand the situation, understand what it was going to take to win. It’s understanding situations and making decisions under adversity. In your business, it’s the same situation. Understanding where you’re at. What’s the time and score in a pandemic? I’ve got to make some adjustments to how I operate or I won’t be in business in 2021.”

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continued from page 126 at such a high level, that they were able to go on and have (long) careers,” Jefferson said. “Those are the guys who are indicative of how great of a coach he was.” Lute Olson was CEO of the program, a builder of men and teams. He helped a city feel proud, helped a school gain national recognition and helped an athletic department reap the rewards. “He was an icon,” said Cedric Dempsey, the former UArizona AD who brought him to Tucson from the University of Iowa. “He brought credibility to the program. He was the best basketball coach in the conference for years. His success helped us get other coaches, as well.” Mike Candrea, the legendary head coach who led UArizona softball to eight national titles, arrived after Olson in 1986. “The biggest impact he had on me was his attention to detail with recruiting,” Candrea said. “They had a system, making sure that when a kid got here for a visit they were going to sign here. I was always impressed with that.” Candrea, who had a locker next to Olson at McKale Center, said he “was always willing to talk and share information. I loved how he built the culture as a family. I got a lot of that from him. We had a great friendship over the years. I felt I was (working) next to John Wooden. He was a remarkable man.” Olson’s leadership skills would have made him a successful company CEO, Candrea said. “He had a presence and it was very powerful when he walked in a room,” he said. “He could capture the attention of people very quickly.” Whether it was the coiffed hair, the reputation for not cursing, the stylish attire or the made-for-TV smile, Olson had it. When he walked into a room, everyone knew it. “Being in his presence was like being around the president, it was just that aura he had about him,” said former player Pete Williams. “It was his stature, his demeanor. It went as far as the meticulous way he wore his suits. It was about the detail. He was spot on. Honestly, he’s unlike anyone I’ve ever been around.” “Everything I am as man, father, friend and mentor is owed to the man I idolize like no other!,” Williams tweeted after Olson’s death. My heart, like so many others I’m sure, aches so badly...I Love You Coach O!” It’s what all his players felt. “It’s really hard to put into words the impact that he’s had on me and the entire Tucson community,” Sean Elliott, a native Tucsonan and arguably the best player in UArizona history, said on ESPN. “I always joke to people that when I was in high school, Tucson is where all the scouts stopped to gas up on their way to (Los Angeles). No one was coming to watch basketball in Tucson. www.BizTucson.com


“Coach just changed that entire landscape,” Elliott said. “He was larger than life … Just to be around him, he was a legend in the city, but he was a legend to us as players too...you almost felt like he was a god, like he was immortal.” As a young UCLA coach, Steve Lavin remembered Olson’s “engaging personality and his gift for communicating with a certain aplomb and ease.” Lavin recalled meeting Olson in 1989 at the annual Fiesta Bowl Classic in the host hotel’s hospitality room. “Given his stature as a highly successful coach, Lute maintained a rare deference and interest in others,” Lavin said. “He’d ask questions of where I grew up, what college I attended and the teams in the tournament. He made guests feel welcomed and comfortable. In my view, those are exceptional traits of a leader.” No coach knew Olson better than his longtime assistant coach, Jim Rosborough. “I learned everything from him,” said Rosborough. “When I was at Iowa, I didn’t know anything in terms of terminology. He was a teacher. He was as good a practice coach as there was in the country – every solitary thing was covered.” Ryan Hansen, president of Bon Voyage Travel, said he wouldn’t be where he is today without Olson. “He set me up for everything in my entire career,” said Hansen, a former team manager and administrator for UArizona basketball. “I don’t grow in that athletic department, becoming an assistant AD, without coming from the Lute program. It set me along the path to grow.” Few were closer to Olson than Steve Kerr, heralded Arizona player, NBA star and NBA coach. When Kerr’s father, Malcolm, was murdered overseas in 1985, the Olsons became his surrogate family. “One of the most important things that I learned right away playing for him was the importance of the team really feeling like a family,” Kerr told the San Francisco Chronicle. “It’s about that connection to people, and the importance of those relationships that exist beyond basketball. “Lute Olson was so much more than a basketball coach,” said University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins. “He was an educator, a motivator, a husband, a father, a grandfather and a friend to so many. He was a true leader in every sense of the word and displayed such integrity and compassion in every endeavor.

PHOTOS: COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA ATHLETICS

BizTRIBUTE

Lute Olson 1983 Press Intro 1997 National Championship Celebration

Lute & Steve Kerr

Mike Bibby, Jason Terry & Lute

Lute & Bobbi

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Steve Rivera covered Lute Olson and the Arizona men’s basketball program for 17 years for the Tucson Citizen. He’s the author of five books, including the Arizona Basketball Vault.

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BizBENEFIT

Tucson Classics Car Show Canceled, Fundraising Continues Due to COVID-19, the Rotary Club of Tucson has canceled the 14th Annual Tucson Classics Car Show on Oct. 17, but will continue fundraising to benefit Pima Joint Technical Education District and Make Way for Books. The car show, sponsored by WeBuyHouses.com, has been an anticipated family event for the past 13 years in Tucson and will return on Oct. 16, 2021 with the celebration of the Rotary Club of Tucson’s Centennial. “We are deeply sorry we will not be sharing the many classic vehicles with our community this year,” said Cliff Bowman, chair of Tucson Classics Car Show 2020. However, the Rotary Club of Tucson will still hold its annual Corvette raffle on Oct. 17 and an online auction on Oct. 16, with all net profits going to Pima JTED and Make Way for Books. The goal is to sell 30,000 tickets at $5 each.   The Rotary Club of Tucson is the largest of 135 Rotary Clubs in Arizona. It was chartered in Tucson in 1921 and serves the Southern Arizona community. The Tucson Classics Car Show is its signature fundraising event and has resulted in over $1.6 million in donations to local charities for children’s literacy, vocational training, women and teens in need. Biz

Sponsored by WeBuyHouses.com Visit www.RotaryTCCS.com to purchase $5 raffle tickets, review the list of prizes and view updates on the online auction items. Grand prize is a 2007 Corvette or $15,000 cash. Additional prizes include a $3,000 shopping spree at a Sam Levitz furniture store, $2,500 in cash from Wellspring Financial Partners, $2,000 in appliances from Tucson Appliance Company, $750 massage package from Tucson Family Wellness and a $500 car care package from Jack Furrier Tire & Auto Care. Donations from individuals and businesses will make up the items for the online auction, available for public viewing and bidding from Sept. 16 through Oct. 16. Contact Jeanne Zetah at Jeanne.zetah@hotmail.com or (612) 859-6137 or make a donation online at biddingforgood.com/auction/item/donate.action?auctionId=341696381

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PHOTO: COURTESY TUCSON CLASSICS CAR SHOW

THE ROTARY CLUB OF TUCSON FUNDRAISING EFFORTS


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