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THE REGION’S BUSINESS MAGAZINE

SPECIAL REPORTS: – TUCSON METRO CHAMBER – ORO VALLEY www.BizTucson.com

FALL 2015 • $3.99 • DISPLAY UNTIL 12/31/15


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BizLETTER

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Fall 2015

Volume 7 No. 3

Publisher & Owner

Steven E. Rosenberg Brent G. Mathis

Creative Director Photo: Steven Meckler

It’s all coming together. Our Downtown renaissance continues with the opening of the first grocery market there in 47 years. Even Phoenix with its lauded downtown success has yet to open a grocery – considered essential for attracting residents to the city core. Ride the Modern Streetcar and you’ll see firsthand the impact of nearly a billion dollars of investment from the public and private sectors. Check out Johnny Gibson’s Market on the Sixth Avenue site where the downtown legend ran his barbershop, antique store and fitness business for decades. Dan Sorenson gives us a taste of this expansive food-and-more market – then raises a toast to our burgeoning brew industry downtown and beyond. Our microbrewers even made the national radar in a USA Today report last year. On the cover we feature two up-andcoming brewmasters who would likely be asked for their ID if they were ordering from the other side of the bar. Both are fresh from Eller College at the University of Arizona, ranked #4 in the nation for entrepreneurship. Pueblo Vida proprietors Linette Antillon and Kyle Jefferson may be new to the brew scene but they’re already expanding to meet market demand. They’re part of an emergence of “magnificent millennials” in our community: • R Bar’s Brian Cornelius recently received a $250,000 grant from the Arizona Commerce Authority. This former competitive cyclist turned energy bar manufacturer will be featured at StartUp Tucson’s 10West Festival – a “creative class” gathering of techies, innovators and entrepreneurs Oct. 18 to 24. • Adriana Kong Romero is market president for Bank of America in Southern Arizona. Born in Tucson and raised in Douglas, she’s one of the youngest B of A market presidents in the nation. Community leaders agree she’s a dynamo. • Josh Banayan and Jarrod Carr won an award as Eller students for their business concept for an electronic menu. After graduation, they launched a business called Tuch Tablets with another UA grad Tyler Martin. Tuch Tablets is changing the way diners order at restaurants nationwide.

At the other end of the entrepreneurial spectrum we feature three businesses that have thrived here for decades – the White Stallion Ranch, family owned and operated since 1965; PICOR, an independent commercial real estate brokerage founded here by Mike Hammond in 1985, and BeachFleischman, a garage startup 25 years ago founded by Marc Fleischman and Bruce Beach, now a $22 million CPA powerhouse. Led by President and CEO Mike Varney, the Tucson Metro Chamber is working to make it easier for businesses to succeed – especially small businesses. In our special report “Forging the Future” you’ll learn how the chamber and its committed investors are reaching out to local, state and federal officials to promote pro-business policies, raising a $3 million incentive fund to attract New York nonstop flights, and improving education through the Cradle to Career collaborative partnership. David Pittman reports on chamber activities and provides an in-depth look at the $820 million Pima County bond package that goes to vote Nov. 3. Seven initiatives would fund 99 different projects – yet cost the average homeowner just $17.54 a year. Want to know more about one of the nation’s best places to live, work and play? Check out our special report on the Town of Oro Valley, a community that’s masterminded its own growth over the past 40+ years to establish a diverse foundation of bioscience, art, education, recreation, sports and tourism. Jay Gonzales provides insights on a strategic plan that’s attracted national attention. It is all coming together. This edition of BizTucson fuels our optimism for the future. Steven E. Rosenberg Publisher & Owner BizTucson

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Contributing Editors

Contributing Technology Director Contributing Writers

Gabrielle Fimbres Jay Gonzales Donna Kreutz Diane Luber Dave Petruska Mike Serres Rhonda Bodfield April Bourie Larry Copenhaver Mary Minor Davis Gabrielle Fimbres Jason Freedberg Gerald Gay Jay Gonzales Chuck Graham Christy Krueger David Pittman Steve Rivera Vic Settergren Dan Sorenson Monica Surfaro Spigelman Susan E. Swanberg Eric Swedlund Valerie Vinyard Anthony Vito

Ellen Wheeler

Contributing Photographers

Carter Allen Kris Hanning Amy Haskell Gregg Mastorakos Brent G. Mathis Jesse Montanez Chris Mooney Francois Robert David Smith Tom Spitz Balfour Walker James S. Wood

Romi Carrell Wittman

Member:

Arizona Builders’ Alliance Greater Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce Sun Corridor Inc. Tucson Advertising Federation Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 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 © 2015 All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Opinions expressed in columns or articles do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher.

POSTMASTER:

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


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BizCONTENTS

153

FEATURES

FALL 2015 VOLUME 7 NO.3

COVER STORY: 40

BizBREW Rise of the Microbreweries

190 192 194 200 202 204 210 212 214 214

DEPARTMENTS

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4 20 24 26 5O 54 56 58 60 64 66 70 125 126

BizLETTER From the Publisher BizFASHION Tucson Fashion Week BizARTS Inaugural Tucson Festival of Films BizBENEFIT Gootter Grand Slam BizDOWNTOWN First Market in 40+ Years BizHEALTHCARE Support for Living Well BizDESIGN Clients’ Ideas Realized BizTOURISM Hacienda Del Sol’s Expansion BizMILESTONE PICOR Thrives for 30 Years BizSALES Sales Guru Jeffrey Gitomer BizCOUPLE Brenda and Bill Viner BizENTREPRENEUR Growing Worldwide: Pace Technologies BizBENEFIT Rotary Club’s Classics Car Show BizEDUCATION UA College of Agriculture

BizMILESTONE 130 Silver Lining Startup: BeachFleischman BizCOMMUNITY 138 Big Year, Big Goals for United Way BizPHILANTHROPY 140 Social Venture Partners’ Fast Pitch Program MAGNIFICENT MILLENNIALS 144 Banking: Adriana Kong Romero, Bank of America 146 Technology: Jarrod Carr, Josh Banayan, Tyler Martin, Tuch Tablets 148 Manufacturing: Brian Cornelius, RBar Energy BizCONSTRUCTION 189 New To Market ABOUT THE COVER

Photo taken at Pueblo Vida Brewing, Kyle Jefferson and Linette Antillon Creative Design & Photo by Brent G. Mathis 12 BizTucson

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BizJEWELER Custom Service: Sheffield’s Diamonds BizENTREPRENEUR 10West Festival for Technologists, Innovators BizNONPROFIT Tucson Urban League CEO Deborah Embry BizAWARDS Noche de Exitos: Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce BizMILESTONE White Stallion Ranch at 50 BizGOVERNMENT Pima County Bond Election Overview BizNONPROFIT Salvation Army Opens Hospitality House BizARTS Hanson Takes Charge of Desert Song Festival BizEVENT Family Wellness Festival BizTRIBUTE Irene Sarver

73 BizSPECIAL REPORT TUCSON METRO CHAMBER

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FORGING THE FUTURE Chamber Champions Change to Boost Economy 82 Top Four Priorities: Program of Work Summary 86 Powering Positive Change 90 Cradle to Career Partnership 94 Attracting NY Flights 98 Investing in Pro-Business Change 100 Emerging Leaders Council 102 Q & A with Mike Varney 104 Q & A with Thomas P. McGovern 110 Board of Directors 118 Greater Tucson Leadership

153 BizSPECIAL REPORT TOWN OF ORO VALLEY

158 164 166 170 174 176 180 184

Meet the New Oro Valley Biotech Seed Bed Recreation Arts at the Heart Excellence in Education The Hilton El Conquistador Jewel OV Construction on the Rebound High-Tech Police Pioneers www.BizTucson.com


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PHOTO:CHRIS MOONEY

Clockwise front left â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Melanie Sutton, Co-Owner & Co-Creative Director Tucson Fashion Week; Constance Melendez, Investor; Patricia Shaffer, owner of Shaffer drycleaning ; Debby Shively, Executive Director University of Arizona Bookstores; Jennifer Nunn,general manager at E.W Scripps Company; Claudine Messing,VP of the Steven M Gootter Foundation; Paula Taylor, Co-Owner & Co-Creative Director Tucson Fashion Week Tucson Care Card 20 percent discount at a variety of Tucson merchants and restaurants

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Pictured at Mercedes-Benz of Tucson


Fashion, Photography & Philanthropy

BizFASHION

Tucson Care Card Savings Plus Charity Donation

Participating merchants include: • Acacia • Agustin Kitchen

It’s Tucson Fashion Week

• Arizona Theatre Company

By Valerie Vinyard

• Blanco’s Tacos and Tequila

In October, a few thousand Tucsonans dress up – at least mentally – and enjoy three days of fashion from a cadre of local, regional and international designers. This year’s Tucson Fashion Week will continue to offer the high-quality fashion designs people are used to seeing, but the Thursday through Saturday event will be even more delicious this year. TFW will be adding events that showcase food as art. They’re bringing in Joseph Keller, acclaimed chef, restaurateur and co-owner of such awardwinning restaurants as Bouchon, Ad Hoc and Per Se. Paula Taylor, co-owner of House of PM and owner of Paula Taylor Productions and events creator, is a local fashion icon herself. She and her business partner, Melanie Hebron Sutton of MHS Styling, have helmed TFW for the past three years. As owners of TFW, they also serve as the event’s creative directors. Each year, the pair strives to showcase a different type of art or fashion in addition to clothing, eyewear and accessories. Other than culinary arts, TFW also will focus on fashion photography, by having a competition at a new gallery, the Moen Mason Gallery, on the first night. One of the goals of TFW is to provide opportunities to give unknown but emerging designers a chance. This is what spurs the duo, to let designers showcase their work on professional runways in front of consumers and inwww.BizTucson.com

dustry professionals. “Every year is going to be an evolution,” Taylor said. “We approach every year as a challenge and an adventure. We’re trying to show that fashion is part of the arts.” Sutton hopes each night sells out like last year, and is happy that several major sponsors have remained with TFW, including Mercedes-Benz of Tucson, Shaffer Dry Cleaning, Golden Eagle Distributors, Fringe Hair Studio and Miraval Resort and Spa. On the event’s last night, the University of Arizona mall will open up Old Main and the mall. Outside food vendors will be permitted, which will allow TFW to do a “feast element.” There will be a competition among local chefs, and Chef Keller will choose his favorite dish. UA grad Marc Herman of the Original Retro Brand will be featured. “I’m most excited about the different experiences we’re going to create,” Sutton said. “We love hearing ‘this is amazing’ from the community. They don’t think they’re in Tucson. This is not your typical wine-and-food fundraiser.” Another experience will include a focus on menswear – a first for TFW – with featured guest Jonathan Skow, the creative force behind Mr Turk’s California dapper style. Other features include Preppy Palm Beach and Mr Turk designer Stevie Boi, showcasing showcase his eyewear, which is worn by celebrities ranging from Lady Gaga to Madonna. TFW also gives back to the community. It is offering the $30 Tucson Care continued on page 22 >>>

• Aveda • Brooks Brothers • Firebirds Wood Fired Grill • Fringe Hair Studios • George’s Mens Store • Gourmet Girls • Kendra Scott • Kingfisher • Goldies • L’Occitane • Le Visage Swiss Heritage • Lucy • Micheal Kors • North • Nox • Penca • Pottery Barn • Queen Creek Olive Mill Marketplace • RA Sushi • Shaffer Dry Cleaners • Soft Surroundings • Tommy Bahama • True Religion • White House Black Market • Wildflower • Williams-Sonoma • Zinburger

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BizFASHION

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5 1. Derek Gores October 15 The Block Party

6 4. Jonathan Skow October 16 Premiere Runway & Fashion Presentation

(Special Guest)

(Special Guest)

2. Oscar De las salas October 16 Preniere Runway & Fashion Presentation (MC & Special Guest)

(Special Guest)

6. Marc Herman October 17 Feast & Fashion

3. Stevie Boi October 17 Feast & Fashion (Special Guest)

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5. Joseph Keller October 17 Feast & Fashion

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Card, which provides discounts at local businesses; 100 percent of the proceeds go to the Steven M. Gootter Foundation, which funds research into sudden cardiac death and distributes automated external defibrillators. The YWCA, which is offering a new program that provides scholarships to Latinas, will also be a TFW event beneficiary. Sutton, whose day job includes executing marketing plans and budgets for La Encantada and Promenade at Casa Grande, said another new addition will make fashionistas happy. She said because of requests from event-goers, there will be pop-up shops before or after the events on Friday and Saturday nights, so people will be able to buy what they saw on the runway. Sutton loves how Tucson Fashion Week transforms local venues. “We highlight such a variety of locations,” said Sutton, describing how the Tucson Botanical Gardens turned so beautiful and magical during the event last year, and how the Fox Theatre had an “amazing runway built out into the audience.” “People saw (these venues) in a different light.” TFW is partnering again with FORD/Robert Black Agency, and about 15 to 20 models will be on the runway each night. “This is our passion,” Sutton said. “We work hard. There is a misconception that we’re generating all this income, but we’re not.” One 32-year-old Phoenix resident has happily made the two-hour drive from home over the last two years to enjoy that passion, soak up knowledge and get ideas for her own designs. “It’s so inspiring to see these designers,” she said. “They mostly seem so approachable and normal – they give us fledgling designers hope. I’m really new at this, so anything I can get is valuable for me.”

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Events at a glance The Block Party Thursday, Oct. 15 from 6 to 9 p.m. Ticket holders can experience a TFW Urban Block Party, a fashion photographer collection and an art opening featuring renowned collage artist Derek Gores at Moen Mason Gallery, 222 E. Sixth St. Nine local and regional photographers will present their work in a movable fashion presentation featuring designs inspired by Gores’ works. They include Domingo Toledo, Jeff Weber, Neil Peter, Ricard Chao, Robert Deming, Sean Loui, Sean Stuchen, Tucson John and Vickie Lammne. Spectators will be able to see a special exhibition of his work at the gallery (derekgores.com). Premiere Runway & Fashion Presentation Friday, Oct. 16 from 6 to 9 p.m. TFW will debut its premiere runway and presentation at the Scottish Rite Cathedral, 160 S. Scott Ave. The collections of Jonathan Skow of Mr Turk and his wifeTrina Turk, will be showcased. Mr Turk is the menswear counterpart to Trina’s designs. Returning to the event will be Estaban Osuna, Pretty Lady Apparel (Christina Cornwell), and Yearling (Jamaica Cole). The night also will feature local fashion and cosmetics designer Moni Miller of Cry Baby Couture. Fashion stylist Oscar De las salas of O Productions will emcee the event, as well as designer Shahida Parides. Feast & Fashion Saturday, Oct. 17 from 5 to 9 p.m. Ticket holders will be able to experience Feast and Fashion at the University of Arizona. There will be an exclusive fashion show and presentation by local and regional designers Estrella Sevilla, State Forty Eight, Kimberly Lloyd, Deanna Williams and Theo Doro, LoLochic, Kendra Scott and three emerging designers from Phoenix Fashion Week Cost: $40 general admission and $80 VIP admission. A very limited Chic Seat package costs $685 for two, of which $250 goes directly to the YWCA. Information and tickets: www.tucsonfashionweek.com


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Front row, from left:

Lisa Falk, Native Eyes Film Showcase; Mayor Jonathan Rothschild; Lynn Davis, Tucson International Jewish Film Festival Back row, from left:

Colin Deeds, Tucson Cine Mexico; David Pike, Arizona Underground Film Festival and Tucson Terrorfest; Mia Schnaible, Arizona International Film Festival; Shelli Hall, Film Tucson; Lee McLaughlin, Visit Tucson; Kerryn Negus, Tucson Festival of Films; Herb Stratford, Tucson Festival of Films Absent:

Peggy Johnson, Loft Film Fest Michael Toubassi, Tucson Film & Music Festival

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PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

BizARTS

Eight Enough is not

Inaugural Tucson Festival of Films to Showcase Movies From Other Film Fests By Chuck Graham

Every year Tucson hosts eight very different film festivals, from the vast Arizona International Film Festival bringing pictures here from every part of the globe, to the very specific genre-munching Tucson Terrorfest. So what could make this city even better for sunny cinephiles? Why, having nine film festivals, of course. Mayor Jonathan Rothschild had the same idea. After the huge success of last spring’s Tucson Jazz Festival, he wanted to continue encouraging downtown’s cultural renaissance by creating an autumn celebration dedicated to film. A double feature, so to speak, of destination festivals that would

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help bring Tucson’s name to wider creative circles around the country – jazz in January and movies in October. So cue the spotlight for the city’s inaugural Tucson Festival of Films, presented by Cox Communications and playing Oct. 8-10, mostly at the downtown Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave. This all-star event will showcase one film selected by each of those eight established festivals. Each film will be an Arizona premiere or a Southwest premiere that best represents the spirit of that particular festival. For example, the Tucson International Jewish Film Festival is submitting “Raise the Roof,”

documenting how a traditional wooden synagogue in Poland that was destroyed by the Nazis has been meticulously restored. Meanwhile, the shock-loving Terrorfest has gone to European Georgia for “Landmine Goes Click.” “More than anything, the Festival of Films is an umbrella marketing event to promote each of Tucson’s eight festivals,” said Herb Stratford, co-producing this eclectic weekend blowout in company with movie marketer Kerryn Negus. “I love that we’re able to bring together all these genre film series that Tucson is famous for,” said continued on page 26 >>>

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BizARTS

Our first step is to develop the fest as a destination event, to have an impact on local hotels and restaurants.

Herb Stratford Co-Producer Tucson Festival of Films –

continued from page 25 Negus. “The International Jewish Film Festival as well as Tucson Cine México, the Arizona Underground Film Festival, Native Eyes Film Showcase of Native American cinema and the Tucson Film & Music Festival.” This year the Loft Film Fest’s contribution is to host two days of celebrating the 40th anniversary of Martin Scorsese’s “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore,” one of the most successful films made in Tucson. Details of the celebration at the Loft, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd., were still being worked out at press time. A bus tour of locations from the movie will be included. “Every year we want to feature a heritage Hollywood film with a strong Tucson connection,” said Negus. “This city has always been about more than cowboy movies.” Rothschild wants the festival to emphasize the Old Pueblo’s legacy of filmmaking and also provide one roof for the city’s “longstanding and much loved local film festivals.” “Our budget is around $130,000plus,” said Stratford. Visit Tucson has signed on to be the lead sponsor the first two years. The list of supporting partners includes Bookmans Entertainment Exchange, Cox Communications and the recently opened Downtown Clifton hotel. “This money is used to produce the festival,” said Stratford. “We aren’t competing with the city’s other film festivals. All of the ticket revenue from each screening goes straight to the festival that brings the film.” In addition, some $100,000 of Visit 26 BizTucson

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Tucson’s media budget for targeted marketing in other cities will be used to promote the Festival of Films. Film Tucson, a division of Visit Tucson, is exec-producing the festival. “All of the films in the festival’s 2015 lineup are must-sees,” said Shelli Hall, Film Tucson director. “And within the lineup, films as broad-ranging as a Scorsese classic, a music documentary, and a feel-good indie about women’s rugby were all shot in Tucson,” Hall said. “Film Tucson is using TFOF as a marketing tool to raise Tucson’s profile as a destination production location in the international film industry by inviting filmmakers to expe-

The economic impact that film tourism and film festival events can generate for a community is tremendous. – Allison Cooper VP of Sales & Marketing Visit Tucson

rience Tucson during the festival, by targeted industry advertising, and a festival focus on films that were shot in Tucson.” Allison Cooper, VP of sales and marketing for Visit Tucson, said Tucson’s rich film history makes for a natural fit for the festival, which she believes will bring new tourism dollars to the region. “As a community, we can be really proud of these films and the impressive list of directors who have chosen Tucson as a location to tell their stories,” Cooper said. “The economic impact that film tourism and film festival events can generate for a community is tremendous,” she said. “Visit Tucson is proud that several local festivals have come together for this inaugural event because we now can show film lovers what many legendary directors have known for decades – we are a destination for creating stories and making lasting memories.” continued on page 28 >>> www.BizTucson.com

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We want to encourage lots of interaction in the film community. Kerryn Negus Co-Producer Tucson Festival of Films –

continued from page 27 Stratford and Negus expect to attract upward of 2,000 people this first year. Tickets are $8 for each show. No ticket packages are offered. “Of course we’d like every screening to be a sellout,” said Stratford. “But our first step is to develop the fest as a destination event, to have an impact on local hotels and restaurants.” “We hope that fans of one film fest will take this chance to discover a film from a different festival they have never attended,” Negus said. “We want to encourage lots of interaction in the film community.” While details are still being settled, all the films except “Alice” will be shown at the Temple. Most screenings will be in the evening, employing both the Temple’s main theater and the upstairs Cabaret Space. While a few of the films are definitely edgy, there will be several with more universal messages of positive bonding and support. In this debut year, Negus and Stratford want to cast an inclusive net of programming with wide appeal that also recognizes Tucson’s role in the film world. Leading the list and representing the Loft Film Fest is the heritage Hollywood entry, “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.” Released in 1974 and directed by Scorsese, it stars Ellen Burstyn, Diane Ladd and Kris Kristofferson and also features a young Jodie Foster. “Sounds of Tucson,” a North American premiere, is described by Stratford as “a new doc about Tucson’s music scene by a pair of French filmmakers. It features Joey Burns of Calexico, Howe Gelb of Giant Sand and a bunch of other Tucson music people. Presented by the Tucson Film & Music Festival. 28 BizTucson

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BizARTS “Maïna” is a period film by Michel Poulette depicting when the Innu from the Great Waters and the Inuit from the Frozen Land meet for the first time. Selected by the Native Eyes Film Showcase. “Güeros,” written and directed by Alonso Ruiz Palacios, tells the story of ornery Tomás sent by his mother to live with his older brother Federico, aka Sombra, in Mexico City. Chosen by Tucson Cine México. “Raise the Roof ” has filmmakers Yari and Cary Wolinsky documenting how the traditional wooden synagogue of Gwoździec in Poland was lovingly restored by students, traditional artisans and builders. From the Tucson International Jewish Film Festival. “Death in the Desert,” with director Josh Evans and a cast led by Michael Madsen and John Palladino, becomes a deadly love triangle that sizzles the hot sands and hotter nights of Las Vegas. The choice of the Arizona Underground Film Fest and a Tucson Festival of Films World Premiere. “Landmine Goes Click,” with director Levan Bakhia, tells the story of three American tourists backpacking through the remote countryside of European Georgia when one gets trapped on an armed landmine, launching the true terror. Selected by Tucson Terrorfest. Arizona International Film Festival’s selection is Robert Loomis’ indie crowdpleaser “Dropkick,” a film about love, loss and women’s rugby.

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TUCSON FESTIVAL OF FILMS PRESENTED BY COX COMMUNICATIONS Oct. 8-10 Most films screen at the Temple of Music and Art 330 S. Scott Ave. $8 per show www.tucsonfestivaloffilms.com facebook.com/TucsonFestivalofFilms follow on Twitter @festoffilms and on Instagram @tucsonfestivaloffilms and join the conversation using the hashtag #TFOF2015 www.BizTucson.com

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BizBRIEFS

Pam Crim New President/CEO for BBB of Southern Arizona

Pam Crim has been named the new president/CEO of the Better Business Bureau Southern Arizona. Crim was the owner of Dakotacom.net and has been honored with several awards including two Copper Cactus Awards and the Business and Professional Women/Tucson’s Women of the Year Award. She served on the City of Tucson Small Business Commission and as a committee member at Tucson Metro Chamber. She is an ambassador for Make-A-Wish Arizona and has served on the boards of Junior Achievement of Arizona, NAWBO and the Arizona Business and Professional Women’s Educational Foundation.

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ASBA Names Erceg Southern Arizona Director

Joe Erceg has been appointed the Southern Arizona director of the Arizona Small Business Association. ASBA is the state’s largest trade association and serves the small business community by providing valuable products and services, designing and promoting networking events, advocating for public policy and fostering a positive economic direction powered by entrepreneurship. Erceg has been an advertising executive and has marketed and managed numerous sports and special events since becoming a partner in Erceg, Sitton & Bratt Advertising in 1982. In addition to management positions with several local advertising agencies, he has been a senior account manager in magazine, television and out-of-home.

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BizTOOLKIT

Coaching Identifies Opportunities for Growth Resources Available Locally & Long Distance By Vic Settergren

“You need a COACH!” Not so long ago, getting this message from your boss might have clearly informed you (and probably those around you) that there is something broken and you need to fix it – now! In today’s business world, both domestic and international, being assigned a business or executive coach has become recognition that this person is valued by the business, is driving a critical mission and is demonstrating potential for significant growth in the company. Some even regard it as symbol of status in their organization. Providing a coach, after all, is a business investment in a key business asset. Consider your own career. What circumstances have you encountered where you could have benefited from an independent sounding board, someone who has seen and helped others in similar situations and can help you clarify your perceptions, conclusions and decisions? Employees often rise in an organization because of their ability and motivation to drive results – but as they rise, new tools will be required for success. Some have established success, but the industry, customer preferences or even the employees have changed so that level of success is diminishing. For the best leaders to continually evolve, they need to develop new capabilities to create and communicate vision, build relationships around that vision and work through others to deliver on it – all while developing people and keeping them committed. To remain trusted and effective over time, coaches must practice certain values. The most important of these values is confidentiality with their client. This is a critical factor in establishing the relationship necessary to have frank and direct conversations to become that trusted confidant to the client. Without the freedom to openly discuss thoughts, perceptions and options, a coaching effort is destined to be ineffective. Even though the business may be paying for the coach, boundaries must be established between the coach and client over what can be shared with the business. continued on page 34 >>> 32 BizTucson

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BizTOOLKIT

continued from page 32 Internal coaches, often reporting to HR, have some advantage in that they understand the business and can coach as part of an organizational strategy to drive leadership alignment or strategy. External coaches may not know the specific business or even have deep experience with the industry. However, coaching is not the same as mentoring and so in most cases, it is not required for the coach to be familiar with the specifics of the business or technologies that the leader will face. Rather, they help the leader broaden his or her thinking and make connections that lead to personal insights about choices, options and capabilities. Their value comes from the depth of the questions they raise. Recent data suggests that, especially at the executive level, there is inherently a higher degree of trust with external coaches because they do not have strong relationships or potential conflicts of interest inside the company. While I seldom take on an internal client as a business coach, I do work as an internal coach with succession candidates to accelerate their development for executive level roles. Using a set of self-assessment feedback tools as methods to develop baseline self awareness, I work with each candidate to help build a multiyear development plan. If an external coach would be helpful in that development, I will identify those coaches with specific areas of expertise to support a given leader or executive’s development needs. The client, coach and I review the client’s development plan and assessment data to establish a sixmonth coaching strategy to support the client in exploring new approaches and opportunities for growth within that plan. There are a number of great coaches in the Tucson area, although coaching by phone or teleconference is also becoming much more common, so location is not as restrictive. Once you find a coach that you believe can meet your needs, check references carefully. Unless I am familiar with their work, I look for someone who has an International Coaching Federation accreditation certifying their education, experience and qualification through logged coaching hours and testing of that coach. The Southern Arizona Chapter of the International Coaching Federation can provide recommendations for a certified coach that meets your organization’s specific needs at www.icfsaz.com. Click the “Find a Local ICFSAZ Coach” tab or call 505-1555. Vic Settergren is director of global talent development at Raytheon Missile Systems, responsible for its leadership and executive coaching program. He is a professional certified coach, member of the Greater Tucson Leadership governing board and member the Southern Arizona Chapter of the International Coaching Federation.

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BizBENEFIT

Bryan Brothers

Jensen Brothers

Doubly Good Tennis October 1st. Bryans, Jensens Highlight Gootter Fundraiser By Steve Rivera It’s the 10th anniversary of the Gootter Grand Slam Exhibition, so why not make it one to remember, right? With that, in come the Bryan brothers (twins Bob and Mike) to face the Jensen Brothers (Luke and Murphy) for one of Southern Arizona’s best athletic exhibitions on the calendar. This from an event that last year brought Tracy Austin and Gigi Fernandez and once had former No. 1 Mats Wilander, Jimmy Arias, former Tucsonan Jim Grabb and a host of others. “The Bryan brothers are the best doubles team right now 36 BizTucson

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and one of the best doubles teams in the history of tennis,” said Eric Styrmoe, who put together the tennis side of the event. The Jensen brothers aren’t too shabby either. They were the Bryan brothers before the Bryan brothers were the Bryan brothers. They were chest-bumping and high-fiving before it was vogue more than 20 years ago. Professional tennis started to get its fun back when the Jensens stormed through the French Open in 1993. The Jensens have been “kind of like role models” to the Brywww.BizTucson.com


ans, who were just 15-years-old back then. “They actually got that (chest bumping) from the Jensen brothers,” said Andrew Messing, president of the Steven M. Gootter Foundation. “When the Jensens were coming up in the 1980s (and 1990s), they were the wild Americans who won the French Open.” “Grunge Tennis” was born. And so was having fun again on the tennis courts. Fast-forward to today and the Bryan brothers have amped it up with not only some exciting and competitive tennis but with neon-light fun. More than 600 fans are expected to watch the event at La Paloma Country Club on Oct. 1. “That’s (the kind of crowd) you get when you have the Bryan brothers,” said Styrmoe. “It should be a great show.” It will be personality plus for everyone. The Jensens are hilarious, and then throw in their competitiveness along with the toughness and doggedness of the Bryans and, well, it’s going to be arguably the best tennis event the Gootter Foundation has ever put on. “They’re going to have fun,” Styrmoe said. “It’s going to be a hoot.” The Bryan brothers visit Tucson in the prime of their careers, coming in as the No. 1 doubles team and the all-time best doubles team in tennis. They’ve won Olympic medals (gold in 2012) and have won more professional matches and grand slams than any other duo. Winning comes regularly for the two. “It’s great that they are making time in their busy schedule to come here,” said Messing. “It’s very difficult to get talent of their caliber who are still on the tour to come and do an exhibition.” In addition to the fun and competitive tennis, there will be a VIP experience for 28 tennis enthusiasts wanting to hit against the Bryan and Jensen brothers. Various courts will also have numerous professionals ready to help instruct the tennis players with clinics. “It’s a great sporting event for the community,” said Messing. “Phoenix wants these types of players. We’ve been lucky to get these players. You can tell by the caliber we’ve had is because we have a very good relationship with them.”

Biz

Foundation Funding Research on Sudden Cardiac Death By Steve Rivera Talk about having an impact in a relatively short time. That’s been the case for Tucson-based Steven M. Gootter Foundation. In its first 10 years, the Gootter Foundation has been able to make its mark through a tennis exhibition and gala that has raised more than $3.5 million to help the foundation find a cure for sudden cardiac death. The foundation is named for Steven M. Gootter, who 10 years ago died unexpectedly from sudden cardiac arrest at the age of 42. He went out one morning for a run and never returned. With the help of dedicated volunteers and a strong tennis community, the Gootter Foundation has done well in its philanthropy work. Grants and research money have been awarded because of the success of the foundation. In the first seven years, the foundation raised $2 million to endow a chair at the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center. Additionally, more than 180 defibrillators have been donated to a number of Southern Arizona law enforcement agencies in part because they are the first responders to accidents. Many have been donated for nonprofits like churches and Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Arizona. “We feel that’s a great way to get them into the community,” said Andrew Messing, president of the Gootter Foundation. A defibrillator costs between $1,200 and $2,000.

GOOTTER GRAND SLAM TENNIS EXHIBITION Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015 La Paloma Country Club – 3800 E. Sunrise Drive Doors open at 5 p.m. Exhibition starts at 7 p.m. Admission: $40 Call (520) 615-6430 or visit Stevenmgootterfoundation.org Pictured from left: Drew Messing, Andrew Messing, Lily Messing, Claudine Messing, Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan, Murphy Jensen, Shari Gootter, Debbie Gootter, Paulette Gootter, Max Gootter, Joe Gootter, Sophie Gootter Photos Courtesy Steve M. Gootter Foundation www.BizTucson.com

One of the reasons for the foundation’s success is the participation of great tennis players, including Murphy Jensen, who has been part of the event for a few years. He and brother Luke will be facing No. 1 doubles team Bob and Mike Bryan in the Gootter Grand Slam Exhibition. Murphy has a heart condition “so this is near and dear to his heart and is very meaningful to him,” Messing said. “He is close with the Bryan brothers. Because of these relationships and their interest in what we are trying to do, the community gets the benefit.” Of very good and fun tennis for a worthwhile cause.

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Pacific Northwest Consulting Opens Tucson Office

Pacific Northwest Consulting has opened an office in Tucson to better serve its Southwest clients. Pacific Northwest Consulting is a project-management consulting company that serves developers, property investment companies and owners, providing a variety of feedback and reports on acquisition, due diligence and property condition. The firm also offers development management and construction management, said Owner/Principal Robert Jensen. The company has been in business for 33 years. Its other office is in Beaverton, Ore. The company has projects underway or recently completed across the United States including San Diego, San Francisco, Phoenix, Seattle, Omaha, Santa Fe, Orlando and Kansas City, Mo.

Biz

Bailey Named Home Show Manager at SAHBA

Jennifer Bailey is the new home show manager at the Southern Arizona Home Builders Association. Bailey was previously associate director of development at the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Arizona. Before that, she was director of young leadership development for the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona for 10 years. Bailey has a master’s degree in social work from Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work. She received her undergraduate degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. SAHBA’s first home show was in 1970. It is one of the longest running home shows in the country.

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BizBRIEFS

Target Commercial Interiors Now

Atmosphere Commercial Interiors Target Commercial Interiors is changing its name to reflect the company mission to create an atmosphere for its clients. TCI is now Atmosphere Commercial Interiors. “People have asked, why Atmosphere?” said CEO Mike Litwin. “That’s easy – because we don’t just fill offices or hotel rooms with furniture. We help create spaces that express our clients’ culture, and that meet the needs of their people.” The company plans no changes to its leadership team and will continue to operate seven locations, including locations in Tucson and Tempe. The Tucson location is at 4585 South Coach Drive, Suite 105. Regional VP Jayme Arezzo manages the two Arizona offices.

Jayme Arezzo On June 1, TCI combined with its long-time service partner, Omni Workspace Company, to form a partnership under a single holding company. Operations are not affected by the name change. Offerings from Atmosphere Commercial Interiors span across more than 300 manufacturers. As one of the largest dealers of Steelcase products in the United States, ACI is a three-time Platinum Partner Award winner. Steelcase leads the industry with insightful research on issues facing companies and workers today, and is excited to continue growing the scope and scale of their offerings to our clients. Atmosphere Commercial Interiors can be found online at www.atmosphereci.com.

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PUEBLO VIDA BREWING

Kyle Jefferson & Linette Antillon Co-Owners

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BizBREW

Local Craft Brewers Grow to a Draughty Dozen

PHOTOS: BRENT G. MATHIS

By Dan Sorenson Tucson’s micro and nano breweries – or craft brewers, if you prefer the prevailing lingo of relatively small-scale local commercial beer makers – are growing and thriving. The local brewery count has gone from just two – Gentle Ben’s (now Barrio Brewing) and Nimbus – to at least a dozen strictly local breweries recently. And while it’s a fledgling scene compared to the explosion of craft breweries in Denver and cities in California, Tucson brewers have mostly skipped right past the wildly flavored fru fru beers typical of other cities’ home brewers-turnedpro and moved right to the serious-beerfor-people-who-actually-like-beer stage. That’s not to say there aren’t some fun brews out there. Austin Santos, brewmaster and coowner of 1702 (1702 E. Speedway Blvd.), said they did an homage to Gentle Persuasion, a popular oatmeal and prune (get it?) flavor of ice cream served at the address in its previous incarnation, as Eric’s Ice Cream. “It was an oatmeal stout and went over really well. We did three kegs,” Santos said. “Two of them had the infusion of prune. One didn’t. And the ones that did were the most popular.” Santos, a 30-year-old brewing veteran, said they’ve also done a jasmine flower

saison IPA and a hibiscus Baltic lagered porter. “We’re always rotating out new styles,” Santos said, but a straight-ahead IPA, Rainy Day IPA, is always available. For the most part, Tucson craft brewers aren’t producing beers with flavors that would sound more at home in the candy aisle. Sure, there are summer beers (heck, it’s summer 10 months a year here, why not?) with a bit of citrus or even banana (not as bad as you’d think). But you’d be hard-pressed to find one brew infused with blueberry or strawberry. These aren’t beers for people who would rather have a milk shake or a paper-umbrella cocktail. Those who want Kool-Aid beers will have to stick with big regional and national commercial breweries. Besides, it turns out some of the surprising flavors, including a hint of citrus or banana, are natural byproducts of the grain, hops, yeast and other natural ingredients used to make beer, said Steve Thompson, the brewmaster at Barrio Brewery. The hops, barley and yeast can produce some surprising flavors, much the way wine grapes and other ingredients can produce berry and chocolate flavors in wine. Thompson has formal education in food management science, but honed his brewing skills at Dogfish Head continued on page 43 >>> Fall 2015 > > > BizTucson 41


Arizona Beer Industry Economic Impact – $4.3 Billion A recent report by the National Beer Wholesalers Association said the beer industry in Arizona – from brewers to drivers to bartenders – had an economic output of almost $4.3 billion in 2014, generated more than $800 million in federal and state taxes and was responsible for 38,627 jobs in the state. “Arizona’s beer industry is doing slightly better than most,” said the association’s chief economist, Lester Jones. “It’s marginally above the national average in terms of its economic output, wages, jobs – which is not a bad place to be at all.”

DRAGOON BREWING CO.

Eric Greene Head Brewer

(left)

Tristan White GM

With a gross state product in Arizona of just over $279 billion in 2013, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the beer industry accounted for roughly 1.5 percent of the total GSP. Arizona’s beer industry had the 21st highest economic output in the country and was 19th among the states in terms of wages and jobs, according to the report. Source: Cronkite News, August 2015

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BizBREW

BARRIO BREWING CO.

Dennis Arnold Owner PHOTOS: BRENT G. MATHIS

continued from page 41 Brewery, a big East Coast craft brewer, before coming to Tucson and Barrio. Barrio and Nimbus are at the large end of the local brewing business, selling through their own tap houses, on draught at area restaurants and bars, and retail through grocery and liquor stores. Nimbus has been bottling for years, as well as selling takeout growlers (a glass, ceramic or stainless steel sealable jug) out of its warehouse-sized brewery/tap house on East 44th Street since the mid1990s. And Barrio started up a canning line 20 months ago in a section of its old Quonset hut warehouse/brewery/tap house complex on East 16th Street. Most of the other craft brewers either sell growlers to go, have kegs for restaurant or bar resale, have their own bar, or a combination of all offerings. Whatever the flavors and styles, these local brewers prove beer can be a lot more interesting than the more famous stuff from Milwaukee and St. Louis. And contrary to the craft beer scenes in some cities, visits to Tucson’s microbrew taprooms showed the clientele was short on hipsters with ironic facial hair. The age, gender and ethnic makeup was diverse. Despite being nearly on campus, the drinking age is still 21 and Santos said students don’t make up much of 1702’s clientele. “We’re mostly men 25 to 45.” You may see the occasional beer aficionado holding up a raised pint in one hand and an SRM or EBC card in the other to rate the color at a local brew house. But a survey of Tucson’s breweries didn’t produce any of the pompous pronouncements one still sometimes encounters among the wine crowd.

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BORDERLANDS BREWING

Michael Mallozzi & Myles Stone Co-Owners

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(left)

continued from page 43 Barrio Brewery, a rambling beer hall in an old warehouse on East 16th Street at Toole Avenue, can trace its microbrew roots back to the original, 1970s-era Gentle Ben’s on Tyndall at Second Street. Ben’s moved its business and brewery gear from the old house on the edge of the UA campus a stone’s throw south to its present location on East University Boulevard in 1996. Then the brewing part of the business was relocated to the owner’s new venture, Barrio Brewery, about the time the local scene started to take off for the second time. Santos said that there were a handful of local breweries in the 1980s and 1990s that folded but that some of their equipment helped equip the present crop of microbrews that, to him, seem to be doing well. Brian Alubowicz, a 47-yearold Tucson native and keen observer and participant in the local and regional craft beer scenes, thinks the resurgence here came when regional IPAs became more widely available. “Five to seven years ago the hoppy thing started happening and people really started falling in love with a beer you could taste. It’s not all about the hipsters that are going into these breweries. It seems like (local craft brew popularity) crossed the line with the blue collar guys.” He speculates that part of the widening of the craft beer audience came with local workers dropping by Barrio Brewing, in the middle of an industrial area just south of downtown. Whatever the case, he thinks Tucson microbreweries are doing well. He sees plenty of people going into local bars and restaurants “and paying $6 or $7 for a local beer. There are definitely people making money,” Alubowicz said. continued on page 46 >>>

PHOTOS: BRENT G. MATHIS

BizBREW


NIMBUS BREWING CO.

Jim Counts

Owner/Managing Partner

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BizBREW Local Brew Shops

Iron John’s Brewing Company

1702

1702 E. Speedway Blvd.

1702 is all, or at least mostly, about the beer. It’s the site of the former Eric’s Ice Cream, at its peak in the 1980s. In those days, owner Eric Lepie added food. Eventually the food became the big deal. Then, never one to hold still, Lepie re-opened it as 1702, a pizza place with an ever-growing list of craft and imported beers. A long and wild beer list quickly became the place’s draw. Now, with co-owner and brewmaster Austin Santos, they have their own in-house microbrews, in addition to the hundreds of bottled and on-draught beers, and a bottle shop off-sale store on the side of the building.

245 S. Plumer Ave.

The atmosphere at Iron John’s Brewing Company is like stopping by a friend’s garage on Saturday, except it’s Saturday every day and he’ll sell you a new beer or two in 750 milliliter returnable swingtop bottles every Thursday. Iron John’s, in a small industrial park on South Plumer Avenue just south of East Broadway, is only a year old. But co-owner and brewmaster John Adkisson is a veteran craft brewer, one of the most experienced brewers in Tucson. Partner and “marketing guy” John Markley said they have no intention of getting very big. But they do intend to continue issuing new brews every week on a schedule that runs through 2015. “We want to be your neighborhood brewer,” Markley said.

Dragoon Brewing Co.

Barrio Brewing Co.

1859 W. Grant Road, No. 111

800 E. 16th St.

Dragoon Brewing Co. traces its roots to founder Bruce Greene’s mid-’90s kitchen home brewing experiments. That led to son Eric studying at Vermont’s American Brewer’s Guild and interning at Harpoon Brewery in Boston before returning to Tucson. Here, the Greenes connected with Tristan White to form Dragoon. Its two year-round brews are Dragoon IPA and Stronghold Session Ale. Dragoon’s seasonal dark and full Scout Porter was available December through February. And the specialty release version, a whiskey barrel-aged Scout Porter, is enough reason to hope for a new ice age. It tastes like a shot-and-abeer all in one. Now Dragoon is the second Tucson-area brewery to begin canning its beer onsite.

Barrio Brewing’s roots go back to 1971, when the owner of Gentle Ben’s, the longtime UA hangout, started brewing at the original Ben’s, an old house a block north of the current location. While Gentle Ben’s still sells its handcrafted beers, the brewing is now done at Barrio Brewing near where Toole Avenue crosses the railroad tracks that connect the Union Pacific to Nogales and Mexico. Beers are half price when the crossing gates come down and a screeching freight train shakes the massive beer hall and brewery. Barrio is growing continually, adding a canning production line. In addition to some local brew-friendly liquor stores (such as Plaza Liquors on North Campbell), you can find Barrio Blonde cans (next to Nimbus bottled six packs) at some local Safeways.

Thunder Canyon Brewery Foothills Mall at 7401 N. La Cholla Blvd. & Downtown 220 E. Broadway

Thanks to Thunder Canyon Brewery, northwest Tucson has had local craft brews for more than 10 years. Its well-established Foothills Mall sport-style beer hall and restaurant was an immediate hit. And TCB was early into downtown, opening a sprawling beer hall and restaurant before the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar launched. Its collection of in-house brews and an expansive list of regional and national beers have a loyal following, despite all the emerging competition downtown.

Sentinel Peak Brewing Company 4746 E. Grant Road Sentinel Peak has given near eastsiders a craft brew house to call their own. It’s a remarkably comfortable place for a strip mall storefront operation snuggled between a PetSmart and Trader Joe’s at Grant and Swan roads. There’s a sandwich, salad and appetizerstyle menu, but a surprisingly extensive list of in-house brews. Thanks to an offering of flights – six-ounce pours of your choice of four Sentinel brews for $8 – it’s possible to try a few in one sitting. But you probably shouldn’t get through the whole list in one sitting, as there may be as many as a dozen brews on the list.

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THUNDER CANYON BREWERY

Steve Tracy Owner

www.BizTucson.com

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BizBREW Local Brew Shops continued

Borderlands Brewing

Pueblo Vida

115 E. Broadway

Pueblo Vida Brewing is on the south side of the Rialto-Hub blocks. It’s a stone’s throw from Thunder Canyon’s downtown location, and not all that far from Borderlands and Barrio. But, like much of downtown’s postSun Link Streetcar food and beverage roster, more competition seems to be better. And being just a few steps from the planned AC Marriott Hotel will probably make for an even brighter future. Pueblo Vida’s warm wood-andbrick taproom offers three flagship beers – a hefeweizen, an IPA and a stout – plus a rotating list of seasonal beers. Their coffee-infused brown ale changed a flavored-brew skeptic’s mind.

119 E. Toole Ave.

So what’s the deal with beer and trains? Must be the availability of funky old warehouse spaces. Borderlands, like Nimbus and Barrio, is located right next to the tracks. Borderlands has established a loyal following, not just because of its beer, but through connecting with the community. The brewery taproom and its outdoor courtyard have hosted many groups, from bike racers to Peace Corps vets, and sometimes offers live music. It doesn’t hurt that a Tucson food truck can sometimes be found in the courtyard. And then there’s the beer – a wide spread of styles that can include a nut brown, English bitter, cream ale, Scottish ale, Belgian dark strong and, of course, an IPA. Borderlands brews can also be found in a number of Arizona restaurants, bars and liquor and grocery stores.

Ten Fifty-Five Brewing

Nimbus Brewing

Public Brewhouse

3810 E. 44th St.

3850 E. 44th St.

209 N. Hoff Ave.

This 2-year-old brewery has a high profile for a new place that’s hard to find and hardly ever open. Fortunately, its beers are on tap at several Tucson restaurants, bars and stores including 1702, Proper, 300 E. Congress St., both Whole Foods’ locations (Speedway and River Road), and the Good Oak Bar, 316 E. Congress St., next to the Rialto Theatre. The brewery is open just three days a week: Thursday and Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 2 to 7 p.m.

Nimbus isn’t the oldest local brewery in Tucson, but it’s unquestionably the best known. Founded in the mid-1990s, Nimbus grew explosively. Besides the draw of its boldly flavorful beers, the brewery’s management used food and live music to draw customers to its combination brewery/taproom/restaurant’s obscure location in a sterile-looking modern industrial building up against the Union Pacific tracks between South Palo Verde and Alvernon Way. They could not only try Nimbus beers there and take growlers to go, but also get bottled Nimbus Monkeyshine and Nimbus Blonde in liquor and grocery stores. That might have been a first for Tucson brews.

Public Brewhouse has the feel of 1970s Tucson and a childhood clubhouse – with really good beer. For one thing, its location, North Hoff Avenue, is actually just the alley behind Ermanos (220 N. Fourth Ave., between Eighth and Ninth streets). The brewery and taproom is in an old brick garage or workshop with a concrete floor, exposed rafters and a roughfinished interior. There’s a short bar, some narrow shelf-style tables and metal stools along the walls and an open area with picnic-table seating. But the garage-like ambiance is dressed up by a varied selection of smallbatch brews. And thanks to the miniflight (four beer samples for $5), you can try a few of the latest offerings without falling over. Dino the Dog, a dark English-style ale, was a hit in the tasting room’s first lineup. The taproom sometimes offers live music.

1912 Brewing Co.

2045 N. Forbes Blvd., Suite 105

1912 Brewing Co., like several of Tucson’s new microbrews, is in an unlikely place – but in this case a tree-lined business park along the Santa Cruz just south of West Grant Road. At night, it’s the only thing open on its stretch of road. The coppertopped bar and high-top tables are made from recycled pallets and warm up the stark, high-ceilinged commercial space. Owner Alan Conger said it’s a family operation. Even the band, he said, was hired through a family connection. On a recent Friday night the atmosphere was more like a block party than a bar room. The place was packed and the in-house brews sold out quickly. So the crowd was buying a variety of other microbrewers’ beers. There are bigscreen TVs with baseball games and, some nights, live music. There’s also a BBQ food truck that sometimes sets up shop outside.

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BizDOWNTOWN

First Market in over 40 Years

Johnny Gibson’s Downtown Market Downtown Tucson has trendy restaurants and bars galore, live performance theaters, coffee houses, museums, tattoo parlors, art galleries and a legendary music store and wig shop. But there hasn’t been a grocery store there for years. Now there’s one as diverse as the rest of the place – with gourmet olives, Wonder Bread, Tucson microbrews and Arizona wines, fresh oysters, crayons and brake fluid. And a deli, coffee bar, house-made pastries, fresh produce, meats and seafood, a salad bar, and a thousand other things that one wouldn’t expect to find under the roof of a former barber shop. For those getting breakfast, lunch or dinner at the deli counter, there’s seating inside near the front window, several umbrella cafe tables on the sidewalk outside, and – just past the 16-tap draft beer and wine counter – a covered patio seating area in the rear. Johnny Gibson’s Downtown Market – aka JGDM or, more commonly, Gibson’s – can’t have it all. But co-owner/ manager Paul Cisek said they’re trying to squeeze in as much of what the surrounding community wants as possible. “The whole premise: Figure out who the demographic is. Some of everything. Gourmet, organic, traditional, private label. We are challenged to meet the needs of middle-lower income residents,” Cisek said. “That’s why we take EBT (food stamps) and that’s why we have the private label and the moderately priced stuff – so we are inclusive. It’s interesting because downtown is becoming a rich man’s playground, but the 50 BizTucson

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people who live all around downtown aren’t wealthy. We are the fifth-poorest city in the nation.” Gibson’s is at 11 S. Sixth Ave., sandwiched in the middle of a block bookended by an old-fashioned newsstand and a tattoo parlor, in what was once Johnny Gibson’s Barber Shop. Gibson, a Bronze Star and Purple Heart World War II combat medic and body builderturned barber and longtime Tucson fixture, died in 2010 at age 86 after cutting

The whole premise: Figure out who the demographic is. Some of everything. Gourmet, organic, traditional, private label. We are challenged to meet the needs of middle-lower income residents.

– Paul Cisek, Co-owner/Manager Johnny Gibson’s Downtown Market

hair downtown for six decades. His family still owns much of the block where Gibson cut hair and kept an unflinching eye on Tucson for so many years. For many of those years, Gibson was almost as well-known as the desert boomtown’s mayors and car dealers – and probably better liked than

most. Above the market’s deli counter are giant black and white photographic prints of Gibson the bodybuilder striking muscleman poses. If the photos were of someone else, it might come off as camp in such an urban setting. But anyone who lived here during Gibson’s time would half expect to hear him bark from the grave, “Drop down and give me 20!” at anyone entertaining that thought. Despite the retro roots of Gibson’s, its marketing plan is modern, using twoway social media to stay in touch with customers. A recent Facebook entry: “Many of you have asked....and we have listened! Vegan cupcakes, vegan brownies and vegan cookies will be in the bakery Tuesday morning! Two brownies, three or four cupcake varieties and three or four cookie choices! Thanks for the suggestions...KEEP ’EM COMING!!” The employee-customer vibe in the store is decidedly upbeat and accommodating. “We made a huge investment on this place,” Cisek said, “$1.1 million in leasehold investments, equipment and stock. The folks at the Alliance Bank were very, very helpful in getting us built. We kind of bet the farm on it. We’re not going to let poor customer service sink us. It’ll have to be something else.” Despite a long series of obstacles that delayed the opening and caused a lot of sleepless nights (how about having a brand new and very costly compressor that chilled the salad bar, meat and seafood counters die in late July for a challenge?), Cisek said he’s having a continued on page 52 >>> www.BizTucson.com

PHOTOS: BRENT G. MATHIS

By Dan Sorenson


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BizDOWNTOWN continued from page 50 good time. “Part of the fun is staying open until midnight. That means I’m in here until 2 am. But the 10 o’clock people are fun. I’m an old guy and I’m energized by it. I’m a Motown guy. But I turn that off and at that time I turn on Bruno Mars and Lady Gaga. “The average downtown person is a night timer (with) some propensity for biking or walking,” Cisek said. And that’s a good thing, he said, because daytime parking is a struggle. But that’s also an opportunity for the store to offer deliveries – whether to help customers who bought more than they anticipated carrying or to deliver call-in orders. Cisek said the market is a partnership between two couples, Cisek and wife Christi as operating managers, and financial partners John and Kelly Abbott, the couple that now owns the Cisek family’s former enterprise, the Rincon Market. After selling Rincon Market to the Abbotts several years ago, the Ciseks, restricted by a non-compete clause, operated a market in Tubac, outside the non-compete area. It was during that five years, Cisek said, that they learned what they needed to know to tackle a downtown Tucson market. One of the things that came out of it was the formation of a side business, Arizona Market Makers, a small-store grocery distribution company owned by the Ciseks. Changes in the grocery business have made it increasingly difficult for extremely small stores to stock their shelves, Cisek said. “That’s why you don’t see any small grocery stores any more. We have to have enough volume to buy out of the Bashas’ warehouse in Chandler.” Arizona Market Makers, in turn, distributes groceries to smaller markets in Southern Arizona. “It’s really about being serious about serving an area that doesn’t have a good food source, No. 1, and, No. 2, figuring out what the hell people want. That’s why we have Wonder Bread and really good bread from a really good bakery. And that’s why we have Food Club (peanut butter) at $2.09 and not Skippy at $3.29. That’s why you’ll see organic produce” – and crayons and the brake fluid.

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PHOTO: TOM SPITZ

Support for Living Well

New Palliative Care Practitioners Upgrade Care By Susan E. Swanberg

From left

Kathy Kennel

Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner, Arizona Oncology

Shari Beauregard

Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner, Arizona Oncology 54 BizTucson

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BizHEALTHCARE Nobody understands better than Sandi Homen how unpredictable life can be. “Sometimes it knocks me for a loop, like this cancer did,” Homen said recently. After her diagnosis, Homen, typically an animated woman with a droll sense of humor, found herself feeling depressed. There were difficult decisions to make, symptoms to handle and side effects to navigate. She had a loving, supportive family, but didn’t want to burden those close to her with all of the details of her illness. Dr. Robert Brooks, Homen’s physician at Arizona Oncology in Tucson and a staunch patient advocate, took note of Homen’s struggles, and suggested that she might benefit from the new palliative care services offered by Arizona’s largest cancer practice. In April 2015, two highly trained palliative care practitioners, Kathy Kennel and Shari Beauregard, joined Arizona Oncology’s multidisciplinary medical team. Skilled nurse practioners with years of specialized training in patient care, Kennel and Beauregard are on the cutting edge of palliative care. Palliative care is often confused with hospice care, but they are not equivalent. “Palliative care is about living well, and hospice care is about dying well,” Beauregard said. Palliative care focuses on improving the quality of life for patients suffering from significant, sometimes life-threatening diseases. Even with a good prognosis, a patient dealing with the burden of a serious disease can benefit from additional supportive care. Palliative care specialists work in conjunction with a patient’s physician to help reduce the burdens of illness. Palliative care can involve anything from suggesting complementary medical treatments (like massage) to sharing tips on how to manage symptoms of disease and side effects of treatment or even having a conversation about a patient’s wishes for end-of-life care. Patients find the extra support medically, psychologically and spiritually meaningful. According to Brooks, a graduate of the University of Arizona College of Medicine who is board certified in internal medicine and medical oncology, www.BizTucson.com

the concept of palliative care is not a new one. Early integration of palliative care into an outpatient’s treatment plan, however, is quite innovative. Scientific research suggests that employing palliative care early in the course of a serious disease can improve patient outcomes by reducing pain, controlling symptoms, providing psychosocial relief and even extending life. Kennel and Beauregard, who came to Arizona Oncology as a team, are devoted to their work. Beauregard, tall, slender and graceful, towers over her petite colleague, but the two women are of one mind regarding their goal – to mitigate the medical, psychosocial and spiritual burdens of seriously ill patients. Their practices are formed not only by their specialized medical training, but also by their personal encounters with illness. Kennel shares with ease the insights she gained from her parents’ experiences with cancer, and Beauregard is open about her own bout with cancer and chemotherapy when she was only 19. Beauregard recounts that she was afraid cancer would damage her ability to bear children. Beauregard’s beloved brother was afraid to hug her during her illness and her mother would cry alone out of concern. Beauregard and Kennel make it their business to help patients manage concerns like these. “It’s a friendship,” said Homen, who greets Kennel with hugs and kisses. “We clicked. She listens. … She doesn’t judge. … She has helped me with so many little tricks.” One of those tricks involved Post-it notes. Homen, who was a career woman for more than 40 years, was having memory problems (a side effect of her treatment) and had begun to lose confidence. Kennel suggested that Homen post notes around the house as reminders of everyday tasks like watering the plants and taking the laundry out of the dryer. The suggestion worked, and Homen’s sense of confidence was renewed. Another patient, a horsewoman, was afraid to ride any more because of a medical appliance she wore. The loss of her favorite pastime caused the patient deep emotional pain. Kennel reassured her about the appliance and encouraged her to continue riding her horse, just at a slower pace. The next day the patient rode with her children, an activ-

ity she’d all but abandoned. Arizona Oncology is an early adopter of outpatient palliative care. In spite of its benefits, palliative care is still underused in many areas of the country. Arizona Oncology’s physicians are firm believers in the benefits of the specialty. “I’ve developed a mindset, that anyone who has cancer should have at least one meeting with a palliative care specialist,” said Dr. Bruce Porterfield, a physician in Arizona Oncology’s Green Valley office. “We’re fortunate that we have someone here now.” Porterfield, a graduate of the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine who is board certified in medical oncology, knows from personal experience how palliative care works. When his mother was ill, palliative care specialists did wonders helping with symptoms and finding creative ways to make her comfortable. “That’s when it became clear to me as a young doctor that there was a clear distinction between hospice care and palliative care,” Porterfield said. “Palliative care really helps with your quality of life. We’re so focused on treating the disease that we haven’t really come to grips with how to deal with the side effects of what we do. That’s where the palliative care specialists are so magnificent.” According to Porterfield, early intervention by palliative care specialists is a wave of the future for many chronic diseases, not only cancer. Palliative care “is of value because it provides ideal patient care,” he said. Arizona Oncology is one of the largest medical groups in Arizona, devoted exclusively to providing comprehensive, compassionate cancer care. Through its affiliation with The US Oncology Network, Arizona Oncology is united with more than 1,000 physicians nationwide dedicated to advancing high-quality, evidence-based cancer care. Arizona Oncology participates in clinical trials through US Oncology Research. For more information, call Evelyn Brantley at Arizona Oncology at 429-1410 or Roberta Kafora at (602) 377-1812.

Biz Fall 2015 > > > BizTucson 55


We do high-end design – but with good value to our clients.

Sarah DeWitt Owner, DeWitt Designs

Jim and Sarah DeWitt Owners DeWitt Designs

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BizDESIGN

Clients’ Ideas Realized

PHOTOS: BRENT G. MATHIS

By Christy Krueger

Stepping from the Sixth Avenue sidewalk through the doors of DeWitt Designs is a little like waking up in Oz – an unexpected delight. The 1929 building’s stucco-covered exterior gives way to a sea of soft, eyepleasing fabrics set in a mood of serenity and comfortable luxury. And while the expansiveness of the space could feel castle-like, the smaller rooms, each created as stand-alone vignettes, evoke a feeling of coziness. The showroom/warehouse combined space, situated in Tucson’s warehouse arts district and surrounded by historic neighborhoods, started out as O’Reilly Motor Company, Tucson’s first Chevrolet dealership. It was designed to become a bowling center if the automobile business didn’t work out, and it still has an underground parking lot. According to DeWitt Designs owners Sarah and Jim DeWitt, the car dealership left in the 1960s and the building served as a warehouse for most of the next few decades. Sarah and Jim both grew up in South Dakota, and after moving around for his stint in the military, they went to work for her parents’ chain of furniture stores. Then, with 10 years of retail experience behind them, they made the decision to venture out on their own so Sarah could launch her interior design career. Her husband has been her biggest supporter since Day One, she said. The couple opened a home-state store in 1994. “In 2001 we came down to Tucson for a warm winter break and realized there was a void in interior design businesses. We thought this would be a great place to open a second store,” Jim said. “We bought the building and began renovating. The City of Tucson gave us an incentive check for historic renovation of an old building.” www.BizTucson.com

“One reason we wanted our store here,” Sarah said, “is we were limited with our styles (in South Dakota) and this expanded our opportunities. The climate offers more styles. This area has a wide range – Old World, Tuscan, Hacienda and some contemporary. In South Dakota they’re more traditional.” When asked about her favorite design style, Sarah claimed to have no preferences. She lets her clients’ tastes and lifestyles dictate her designs. “A client can show me pictures and they might not know what draws them – but I take what they like and do what’s right for their situation.” Of course, one of the reasons for having such an extensive showroom is to inspire clients and enable them to verbalize what they like. “We change the showroom,” Sarah said. “It stimulates ideas for clients. We change the walls, drapes, the paint.” The husband and wife team works well together, they said, each bringing specific strengths to the partnership. Jim handles transportation, logistics, deliveries and the financial end of the business. Sarah feels he’s also especially strong in customer relations. Her responsibilities include placing orders, creating business plans and overseeing sales and marketing – in addition to the design work. A guiding principle of the business is creating good designs and buying products at the right price. “We do high-end design – but with good value to our clients,” Sarah said. After 13 years in their Tucson location at 415 N. Sixth Ave., the DeWitts still believe they selected the right spot. The warehouse district offers some of the best values in town for their larger square footage needs. And for high-ticket items, such as furniture, clients are willing to drive farther, Jim said.

“My dad said, ‘Mice will find cheese. People in the foothills will find you.’ ” Foot traffic at the store, which accounts for about 35 percent of business, slowed down at the start of streetcar construction four blocks away. But since the streetcar began operating, traffic to the store has increased noticeably. “The streetcar allowed us to expand here – and there’s less crime now. What’s happening downtown is really exciting,” Sarah said. One bonus the couple found in doing business in Tucson is that sometimes their clients own more than one house. “After we do clients’ homes, we often do a project back at their first home,” said Sarah, who in addition to traveling between Tucson and Sioux Falls, S.D., every two weeks, sometimes gets to see other parts of the nation. One of her favorite out-of-town jobs was in Napa Valley, Calif., where she was selected to design a room in the tower of a winery. “I made it a party room,” she said of the design, which is featured in the September 2015 issue of Traditional Home magazine. An especially fun and fulfilling project, she said, was updating a 1965 home on Tucson’s westside. “It was a smaller project. The woman raised her kids there and she lost her husband. It gave her a fresh setting and it was meaningful to me.” Moving forward the DeWitts have a few goals for the business – building more connections within the community, continuing to make clients happy and, most exciting for them, gaining more visibility nationally. “Our goal is to have one of our vendors carry a line Sarah designs. It could happen soon,” Jim said proudly.

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BizTOURISM

A Sneak Peek Hacienda Del Sol’s Expansion By Mary Minor Davis As you approach Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort from any direction in the foothills, you’ll notice something that hasn’t taken place in the area for more than 65 years – major new construction. Since October of 2014, the property has been buzzing with activity as ground is cleared, concrete is poured and buildings are constructed. The historic resort is undergoing a

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$13 million expansion that will include six new buildings, housing 32 additional guest rooms and suites, plus a new pool and connecting walking paths throughout. The popular Terraza Garden Patio & Lounge has had several upgrades designed to make it a year-round outdoor eatery, and a new building for operations is already in use. “The centerpiece will be a new ballroom accommodating up to 230 guests

for weddings and meetings with tremendous views of the city below,” said Tom Firth, managing partner for the property. He said the greatest challenge has been updating an infrastructure that dates back to the 1920s and 1930s when the property operated as a private ranch school for girls. Firth said the key to the design was ensuring that any new construction sus-

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There’s nothing like the Hacienda Del Sol south of Scottsdale. Our guests come here looking for something completely different. It’s what we refer to as hacienda luxury. –

Tom Firth, Managing Partner, Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort

closed because they were in the line of construction, the Hacienda is still open for business. Construction is scheduled in phases to accommodate guests and other events. “By and large, people are still talking about their great experience here,” on TripAdvisor and through other channels, Firth said. “We’re doing whatever it takes to make sure guests have a positive experience.”

The rooms are being completed in phases, with the final building finished by Oct. 7. The ballroom will be open for business by February 2016.

Biz

RENDERINGS COURTESY OF HACIENDA DEL SOL

tained and honored the historical architectural features of the property. “My partners and I truly feel like stewards of the Hacienda’s history as we usher in a new era. “There’s nothing like the Hacienda Del Sol south of Scottsdale. Our guests come here looking for something completely different. It’s what we refer to as hacienda luxury,” he said. Although about half of the existing rooms were

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PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

Mike Hammond

Founder Cushman & Wakefield | PICOR

Barbi Reuter

COO Cushman & Wakefield | PICOR

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BizMILESTONE

PICOR Thrives for 30 Years

Fiscally Conservative Approach Pays Off By David Pittman Cushman & Wakefield | PICOR, a homegrown Tucson firm founded in 1985, is Southern Arizona’s leading independent commercial real estate brokerage and management company. When Mike Hammond, the company’s founder, president and managing shareholder, opened the business 30 years ago he called it Properties for Industry Corporation. “At first, I wanted the word ‘industry’ in there to show we were an industrial brokerage and because that has always been my background and expertise,” said Hammond. “But it didn’t take long for us to add apartments, retail, medical and office, becoming a full-service commercial real estate group. So I shortened the name to PICOR.” Six years ago, PICOR entered into an affiliation with Cushman & Wakefield, allowing the local firm to partner with an international real estate corporation. Hammond said the affiliation gives his company “the best of both worlds – local ownership combined with global resources.” Thirty years after Hammond planted the seeds that grew into Cushman & Wakefield | PICOR, the company continues to thrive, now exceeding revenue levels posted prior to the financial crash of 2008 that kicked off the Great Recession. Throughout its history, PICOR’s success can always be traced to Hammond. He consistently hired talented employees, provided them with a great work environment and utilized conservative fiscal management that kept the company functioning well – even during difficult economic times. During the savings-and-loan crisis of www.BizTucson.com

the late ’80s and early ’90s, the aftermath of 9/11, and the Great Recession, Hammond didn’t tap lines of credit to keep PICOR afloat. Instead he relied heavily on financial reserves that had been invested in the company during good times. “I’m a saver,” said Hammond. “I think being financially conservative is an important quality – person-

I try to make things comfortable and as stress free as possible so people can think creatively.

– Mike Hammond Founder, Cushman & Wakefield | PICOR

ally and professionally. It lets me sleep at night.” Past and present PICOR employees praise Hammond’s leadership. “Mike is the best. He basically taught me commercial real estate,” said Art Wadlund, the first broker Hammond hired to work with him in 1985. “Mike has always assembled a great team around him, managed them well and

created a great place for them to work. PICOR is Mike.” When Wadlund started, he was one of three employees. When he left a decade later, PICOR had 15 brokers, and Wadlund was among the top apartment brokers in Southern Arizona. He became a founder of Hendricks & Partners, later acquired by Berkadia, a commercial real estate giant owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and Leucadia National. Today Wadlund is a senior partner at Berkadia. A long list of superstar brokers has represented PICOR – such as Mark Irvin, Rob Glaser, Russ Hall, Tom Knox, Tom Nieman, Richard Kleiner, Steve Cohen and the late Peter Douglas, who died last Christmas after suffering a massive stroke. Irvin, who heads Mark Irvin Commercial Real Estate Services, learned the ropes as a commercial broker at PICOR in the mid-’80s through the early ’90s. “I was new to Tucson and Mike took a chance on a young guy from Dallas with little experience,” said Irvin, who worked at PICOR for 10 years before starting his own firm. “My hat’s off to Mike for always gathering a great collection of talent and providing the focus and leadership that allowed PICOR to achieve consistent success. There isn’t anything they can’t handle.” Irvin called Hammond “one of the most disciplined people I’ve ever known” and one who “leads by example.” Many others stayed with Hammond, including Glaser, Hall and Kleiner, who all built long and distinguished careers at PICOR. continued on page 62 >>> Fall 2015 > > > BizTucson 61


BizMILESTONE

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continued from page 61 “We have created a good culture,” Hammond said. Glaser joined PICOR 30 years ago, just a few months after Hammond opened shop. “I was attracted to the company because of Mike Hammond,” Glaser said. “I had come from a residential real estate company where I worked for eight years. At that company, RSL Red Carpet, I was challenged by the people I worked for, I learned a lot and I was very productive. “As I transitioned into commercial real estate, I needed a similar environment. Mike set the bar very high. He was recognized as the top commercial broker in Tucson. He challenged me, he taught me a lot and he was very generous. “As my career progressed at PICOR, Mike offered me and others a share of the company with a path to own equal shares as he. This was something he offered, as he felt this would be the best way to keep his best brokers. It has been a very successful partnership. It allows me to be a part of the company’s strategic initiatives, help other brokers, be free of stress concerning day-to-day operations and share in company profits. It’s been an ideal platform that has enabled company growth by increasing the number of partners under the same formula.” Glaser praised Hammond for establishing an “easy” work environment. “From the beginning, Mike created an office to maximize productivity by removing operational stresses and setting the production bar so high. He created a culture of collaboration and care for both our clients and our community that has made working at PICOR very enjoyable.” Hammond said, “I have no control over the market. The only thing I have control over is how I treat people. I try to make things comfortable and as stress free as possible so people can think creatively. Creating a good work environment is my number one job, not just for salespeople, but for everyone who works here.” Another longtime contributor to PICOR’s success is Barbi Reuter. Hammond hired Reuter, then a University of Arizona student, as a part-time receptionist shortly after PICOR opened its doors. Later she interned with PICOR brokers before starting the firm’s property management division, which she grew to a leadership position in the Tucson marketplace. Today she is COO of the company. “Mike has impeccable judgment and his integrity is beyond measure,” she said. “He attracts quality people and has created a culture that makes people want to stay. PICOR is very entrepreneurial, very flexible and dynamic – as opposed to corporate and rigid – and it is very community minded.” Hammond said he grew up as “a military brat,” constantly moving with his family from place to place. “I was born in Panama, then we moved from Monterrey, Calif. to Norfolk, Va. to Coronado, Calif. to Virginia Beach, Va. and finally to San Diego, Calif. which is where I lived from age 8 to 18. It got to the point where even the Navy didn’t want to move us anymore.” Hammond, 68, has called Tucson home for 39 years. A graduate of the University of Washington, he sold insurance in Tucson before shifting to commercial real estate www.BizTucson.com


in 1978 by taking a job with Bassett, Hayden & Ray, a local brokerage and development company. Hammond said he knew sales coming from the insurance market, but relied heavily on mentor Perry Bassett during his beginning years in commercial real estate. Bassett refutes that version of events, saying he learned as much from Hammond as he taught him. “Mike was a natural, a pure salesman, one of the best I’ve ever been around,” Bassett said. “He’s very smart, he works hard, he follows through and he knows every aspect of the deal.” Before leaving Bassett, Hayden & Ray to start what became PICOR, Hammond had already built a reputation as a leading industrial specialist in commercial real estate in Southern Arizona. “Mike has done a very impressive job of building the company,” said Bassett, now president of Bassett Property Company. “He is a great manager. He hires good people, trains them well and helps them succeed. And though he has accomplished so much, he is a very unpretentious person. Success hasn’t changed him. He is still the same guy I knew 35 years ago.” Hammond, named “Tucson Man of the Year” by Greater Tucson Leadership in 2013, has served in a plethora of leadership positions including with the Southern Arizona Leadership Council, Arizona Association for Economic Development, Community Finance Corp., Arizona Town Hall, Urban Land Institute and Arizona State Transportation Board. Both PICOR and Hammond are well known for giving time and money to various charitable and philanthropic causes. Though Hammond is not contemplating retirement, he said he does plan to step down as managing shareholder within the next year-and-a-half to concentrate on community service work and his growing industrial real estate activities in Sonora, Mexico. “I still love the thrill of the deal – but I want to get out of the management of the company and turn it over to the young guys,” Hammond said. “I don’t have a 10- or 15-year horizon for this company. I’ve got a great crop of young shareholders coming up and they’re the ones who need to be making those decisions.”

Biz www.BizTucson.com

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BizSALES

Uncovering Your Own Secret of Selling By Jeffrey Gitomer

Why YOU buy? Think about the last few things you purchased. They hold the secrets to increasing your sales. Giving a seminar, I was in a stream-of-consciousness talk about buying motives and why people buy. As usual I was focused on the customer side, the probable purchaser side, the buyer side of the equation. Then out of the blue I said, “Think of something that you just purchased. Why did you buy it?” All of a sudden a million-watt light bulb went off inside my head – one of those instantaneous AHA messages. I discovered an answer, and it’s an answer that everyone can understand. If you list the last 10 things that you purchased you will discover the motives behind your own buying decisions – and at the same time, you will discover the formula for why others buy. Those “others” are your prospects, your potential customers, the ones that you are erroneously trying to “sell.” When you list the 10 items, do it on a spreadsheet. In the second column write down whether you needed what you bought, or just wanted it. In the third column, write down whether you could afford it on the spot, or you went over budget and had to charge it. In the next column, write down how you purchased. Did you go to them, did they come to you, or did you buy it online? If you bought it online, you might want to enter what time of day you bought it. It’s interesting to note that a high percentage of online purchases are made after 8 p.m. In another column, write down whether or not you liked the salesperson (assuming there was one). In the next column, write down the percentage of influence that the salesperson had in completing the sale – 1 being the low, 100 being the high. In yet another column, enter your risk factor in making the purchase – 1 being the low, one 100 being the high. In other words, how much did you fear the purchase, and how much did you fear you were making the right purchase before you bought (usually the higher the purchase – home, car – the more hesitancy). In the next column, write the word “price” or “value.” If 64 BizTucson

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you went for price only, write price. If you went for value the most, then write value. There’s a caution here – only put the word “price” if you went for the lowest price in the category, not the lowest price for the item. In other words, if you bought a BMW you didn’t buy price, you bought value regardless of where you bought it. In the next column, rate your experience by percentage, 1 being the low and 100 being the high, 1 meaning “I’ll never come back,” and 100 meaning, “I’ll be back, buy again and tell my friends.” Then, in the final column, write a sentence or two about how it happened – the story. If it takes three sentences, make it three. But write enough so that you understand what caused you to make the purchase of the item, and then what caused you to make the purchase from that specific company for that specific product or service. Now you have enough criteria to identify your own answers. Once you read over the spreadsheet you may find that you want to modify a few points to get closer to your own reality. Pretty simple so far, huh? Let’s take it a little deeper. When you finished buying were you happy? Did you find yourself saying it was OK, but…? It’s important that you note all the “buts.” The buts are the obstacle to your purchases and your sales. Did you learn lessons each time you bought about what you promised yourself you wouldn’t do again? Those are the same obstacles to your sales. And were there cases where you selected one vendor over another? Note those reasons because those are the same obstacles to your sales. Now let’s go all the way to the bottom of the ocean. Compare the way you buy to the way you sell. How congruent are they? How compatible are they? Are you throwing up the same barriers that the people you bought from gave you? Are you missing the same nuances in your selling process that caused you to buy or walk away? And so now it’s time for the ultimate question: Would you buy from yourself ? Unfortunately the ultimate answer is probably not – and the reason is, you haven’t modified your selling process to harmonize with the way your prospects buy. There’s a hidden treasure. Of course there is – whenever you go down to the bottom of the ocean, the object is to find the hidden treasure. The hidden treasure will be revealed to you when you go read (or re-read) “Acres of Diamonds” by Russell H. Conwell. All the sales answers you need are buried in your own back yard. You already possess the treasure. You just haven’t discovered it yet. Biz Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of 12 best-selling books including “The Sales Bible,” “The Little Red Book of Selling” and “21.5 Unbreakable Laws of Selling.” His books are available as online courses at www.GitomerVT.com. For information about training and seminars visit www.Gitomer.com or www.GitomerCertifiedAdvisors.com, or email Jeffrey personally at salesman@gitomer.com. © 2015 All Rights Reserved. Don’t even think about reproducing this document without written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer. 704.333-1112

www.BizTucson.com

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PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

Brenda, Bill & Harry Viner

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BizCOUPLE

A Very Industrious Couple By Valerie Vinyard Though they’re not authors, Bill and Brenda Viner have spun their own riveting life story over the years. When the two met as students on the first day of classes at the University of Arizona, they couldn’t have known that decades later, something they helped create would be attracting scores of thousands of people from all over the nation to that very campus. That creation – Tucson Festival of Books – took place in mid-March for the seventh year. The free two-day extravaganza of the written word was located on the UA Mall and featured 450 authors, including Iris Johansen, Scott Turow and J.A. Jance, and 300-plus exhibitors. Maria Valenzuela, 32, attended the festival the past two years. She’s a big fan, and she likes the variety of vendors and ability to browse and buy books, especially for her daughter, Kristina. “This is so great,” said the Tucson resident. “My daughter loves it, and I love it. I’m surprised that Tucson can get such a big festival here.” The festival started with an estimated 50,000 visitors in March 2009 and a mere three years after its start the Tucson Festival of Books rose to become the fourth-largest book festival in the nation. It’s now in third place, behind Miami and Los Angeles. Brenda said she and her husband, www.BizTucson.com

who married in 1973, were raised by parents who instilled the importance of philanthropy and volunteerism. She said her husband, who is a licensed general contractor and president of Pepper Viner Companies, is a visionary.

I think they see the community as an extension of their family. They want to make the community better for everybody’s family.

– Ken Light Former President & CEO Tucson Jewish Community Center

“His vision was large from the beginning,” she said. Festival co-founder Bruce Beach has known the Viners since doing accounting work for Bill in the 1970s. “They’ve given Tucson two events that are tremendous gifts to the com-

munity,” said Beach, who described the Viners as the “true driving force” behind the festival. “They’re just unbelievable people. The time commitment that they are willing to put in is phenomenal. They’re fabulous people for this community.” The second “gift” Beach referred to was the Fort Lowell Shootout Youth Soccer Tournament (now is known as the Tucson Association of Realtors Shootout – Fort Lowell), which Bill created 25 years ago. The annual soccer competition is ranked seventh in economic impact to Tucson. Viner also has served as chairman of the Tucson Youth Maccabi Games (now the JCC Maccabi Games). Ken Light, former president and CEO of the Tucson Jewish Community Center, met the Viners in 1986 when they were “instrumental” in hiring him at The Tucson J. “Bill was chair of the board,” said Light, noting that eight years later, Brenda would take her husband’s place. “I came to admire their community involvement. They really are very unique people. “They are inclusive in their organizational skills. They don’t railroad anything. They don’t mandate anything. They’re great facilitators.” Part of that facilitating involves coorcontinued on page 69 >>> Fall 2015 > > > BizTucson 67


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continued from page 67 dinating a “small army of volunteers.” What started as a volunteer force of about 200 at the festival now has grown close to 2,000. Brenda credited the volunteers with taking on the lion’s share of the work, including setting up and tearing down, shuttling authors to their respective venues and hotels, and helping the public. The festival is a registered nonprofit organization whose net proceeds help fund literacy programs in Southern Arizona, including Reading Seed, Literacy Connects and University of Arizona Literacy Outreach Programs. To date, the festival has raised well over $1 million. The idea for a Tucson festival began after friends raved about the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. When the Viners checked it out, they were inspired by what they saw and thought, just maybe, they could replicate it in Tucson. After returning from Los Angeles, Bill gathered some people he thought would have the same vision. He found three: BeachFleischman Chairman and CEO Bruce Beach, former Arizona Daily Star President and Publisher John Humenik, and Frank Farias, executive director for UA BookStores. Interestingly, all had entertained similar notions regarding literacy and putting on a book event. “The vision was never to do a book fair,” Bill said. “It was to do a community event that touched all corners of Tucson.” Now retired from UA BookStores, co-founder Farias loves how the Festival of Books has grown. He called the Viners “relentless for the benefit of the Tucson community.” “They are a very industrious couple, to say the least,” Farias said. “They are a couple that sees an opportunity to make a difference and actually make it happen,” said Melissa Vito, UA senior VP for student affairs and enrollment management and senior vice provost for academic initiatives and student success. “They also do a great job of getting their wide circle of friends engaged in their endeavors. And they are humble and do not seek acclaim.” Besides their philanthropy, the Viners are parents to Andy, 36, and Beth, 38. Brenda has found time to serve on a number of boards, such as the Pima County Library Foundation, which she thinks makes it easier to learn the needs of the community. Brenda also was a Lamaze instructor for 14 years. Her accolades include the Ann-Eve Johnson Award from the Junior League of Tucson, the Tucson Chamber of Commerce Woman of the Year and the Jewish Federation Woman of the Year. Bill was chosen as a Father’s Day Council Tucson Father of the Year in 2001. And the University of Arizona Alumni Association selected the Viners to receive the Alumni Achievement Award in 2011. “I think they see the community as an extension of their family,” Light said. “They want to make the community better for everybody’s family.”

BizCOUPLE

Biz www.BizTucson.com

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PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

BizENTREPRENEUR

Cathy & Don Zipperian Owners Pace Technologies

Images are 1,000X magnification Nodular cast iron

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Zinc-aluminum die cast metal

Silicon carbide fibers in silicon nitride matrix


Growing Worldwide

Pace Technologies Wins Presidential Award for Increasing Export Products

IMAGES:COURTESY PACE TECHNOLOGIES

By Dan Sorenson Many of us have probably driven past Pace Technologies without knowing it exists, let alone understanding that this growing local company sells its products worldwide. But somebody in Washington, D.C. noticed. The company’s latest accomplishment is winning a U.S. Department of Commerce “E” Award for continued growth in international export of its products. Incorporated in Arizona in 1998, Pace Technologies sits off Palo Verde Road just north of the Veteran’s Overpass. From there, owner Don Zipperian, a scientist businessman, and 15 employees sell and ship products used in metallographic analysis to 55 countries. Zipperian, who owns the company with his wife, Cathy Zipperian, expects sales of about $5 million in 2015, up from $1.8 million just three years ago. “We first opened the doors in the basement of our house in Minnesota in 1997,” Zipperian said. Before that, between earning a pile of degrees in metallurgy and business, and a doctorate in materials science, Zipperian traveled the world representing a leading company, now a competitor, in the metallography supply business. Metallography, looking at the crystalline structure of metal, is a beautiful part of science. Through a microscope, metals can look like miniature trees, like ice crystals growing on a winter window or something you’d expect to see in a kaleidoscope. But microscopic analysis, done after cutting a cross section of the material with a diamond saw and polishing it, can reveal whether the metal has proper strength or other special properties. “We sell the equipment as well as the consumables about evenly,” Zipperian said. “Saws, polishers, microscopes, www.BizTucson.com

hardness testers, grinding papers, polishing slurries, ceramic abrasives. It’s a nice combination. When the economy is strong, people replace capital equipment. When it gets very competitive for companies and the economy is slowing down, people buy on quality rather than quantity. We actually see more testing when the economy is down. Things are more competitive.” Zipperian said most of Pace’s products are used for quality control or failure analysis. That analysis may reveal,

For us, the U.S. economy has been flat, but our business has continued to grow over the last four or five years. Our sales have tripled and almost all of that has come from international growth.

– Don Zipperian Co-Owner, Pace Technologies as it sometimes does when used on failed aircraft components that led to crashes, that a component had inadequate hardening or that the depth of the surface treatment had been exceeded by wear. Other times, metallography is part of quality control with random samples pulled off an assembly line. It is sometimes used to avoid failures by predict-

ing the safe lifespan of critical parts, or to detect counterfeit parts. Pace has customers in many fields and in many countries, including companies in aerospace and the high-tech component sectors, particularly harddrive makers. Zipperian said the quality control aspect of metallography drives much of the business in Asia. Concerns about quality of materials used in products manufactured under contract in China drive some of that. Zipperian said he knows the Chinese can build good products and compares the progress in quality of Chinese-made goods to those of Japanese manufacturers after World War II. Like Apple, Zipperian said, Pace Technologies has been able to get highquality products from developing countries’ manufacturers, including some of the components for the metallographic analysis products it assembles in Tucson and then sells worldwide. As manufacturing spreads from China to growth areas, notably India, Zipperian said markets for Pace’s products follow. “I think the next (growth area) will probably be Africa.” And that’s where the Presidential “E” Award comes in. Zipperian said the award, presented May 18 by Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, recognized Pace – one of 26 U.S. companies named in 2015 for continued growth year-onyear for four years – for expanding its overseas sales. Zipperian said some of this came through Pace’s use of the government’s relatively inexpensive assistance – both the Department of Commerce’s Export Assistance Center and the State Department’s network of trade specialists at embassies worldwide. “The way the economy has been the last four years, it has been quite remarkcontinued on page 72 >>> Fall 2015 > > > BizTucson 71


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continued from page 71 able that we’ve been able to do that,” he said. “A lot of it is that we’ve developed new products and increased our distribution networks. For us, the U.S. economy has been flat, but our business has continued to grow over the last four or five years. Our sales have tripled and almost all of that has come from international growth.” Cathy Zipperian said it has been “both my honor and my challenge” to work alongside her husband from the garage days to the purchase of a 15,000-square-foot building. “It seems like a blink that we ran out of space and added an additional building onto our premises,” she said. “The many awards Pace has been honored with are truly due to Don using himself as slave labor. And he would do it again in a heartbeat. He is a passionate genius in his field.” Although Don Zipperian said Pace offers quality products, he concedes the consumables don’t vary greatly between suppliers. Not only that, the industry is dominated by two relatively huge companies. But Pace, Zipperian said, absolutely dominates competitors in sales and customer support. He said the company has every bit of documentation, FAQ and trouble-shooting literature a customer could need online for free. “There’s video for things that are a little more complicated. Nobody else in our industry has anything close to that.” And he said contacts made by wouldbe customers are answered ASAP. Pace policy calls for consumable products to be shipped by end-of-day – and he says 95 percent of the time they are able to do that. Larger hardware, which requires certification and final inspections, goes out within the week. That, Zipperian said, wins customers. Zipperian said the company’s goal is summed up in five Fs. “We want to be first to quote. First to follow up. We want to have the fastest delivery and the finest service. The fifth F,” and he admits stretching for this F, but not for the spirit of it, “would be fullest technical support.” And rather than depending on outsourced updates to the company website, Zipperian prides himself on doing it in-house. “I know some HTML. It’s not pretty, but it’s fast because the webmaster is always ‘in.’ ” Biz

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SPECIAL REPORT 2015

THE REGION’S BUSINESS MAGAZINE

SPECIAL REPORT CORPORATE SPONSOR


FORGING COVER PHOTO AND TOP PHOTO:COURTESY SUNLINK

Chamber Champions Change The Tucson Metro Chamber traditionally concentrated its efforts on four priorities – leading government relations and public policy advocacy for the business community, developing the local economy, championing small business, and improving workforce readiness. But the organization and its leaders are making no secret that in the coming year they will be placing increased emphasis on a single, top priority – leading government relations and public policy advocacy. Mike Varney, the Chamber’s president and CEO, said he and his board of directors are pursuing that new, stronger emphasis because Chamber investors want it that way. “The board and the CEO of the Chamber work for the same people – our investors,” Varney said. “They are the people who invest in this organization. They are the real bosses. So it’s up to us to do a good job of listening to the business executives who invest in us every year. What is on their minds? What is keeping them up at night? What are the critical challenges they are facing in running their businesses? “There is a sense among a lot of Tucson business people that they live in a community in which local public policies do not provide the kind of tailwind for business that is provided in many other communities. So the Chamber 78 BizTucson

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will work hard to heighten the awareness of our public policymakers regarding their role in helping to create a strong local economy.”

The number one thing I came away with is just how important it is to go to the offices of our senators and representatives and have a face-to-face dialogue.

– Mike Varney President & CEO Tucson Metro Chamber

Local economy is underachieving

There is plenty of data available that indicates Tucson’s economy is underachieving. For instance, according to 2014 data measured by WalletHub, Tucson’s economy ranked 145th among the 150 largest cities in the U.S. in terms of recovery from the Great Recession. According to a 2014 Milken Institute report, which compared 200 metro ar-

eas for creating and sustaining jobs and economic growth, Tucson ranked 161. And the Tucson Metro Chamber itself has compiled data from U.S. Census reports that show Tucson’s Metropolitan Statistical Area does not rank well economically when compared to 10 other MSAs of similar size. In that comparison, Varney said, the Chamber looked at 11 different metro statistical areas, each of which had a population of about 1 million. Five of the MSAs were immediately smaller than Tucson, five immediately larger. Of the 11 markets, Tucson ranked 10th in gross metro product, which is the sum of all goods and services produced annually and a measure of economic activity and community wealth. “What we found is that the economy of Tucson needs to grow 52.4 percent just to reach the average economic output of these peer metro areas,” Varney said. He noted that Tucson’s ranking was only slightly ahead of last-place MSA, Fresno, Calif. Need for job creation

Varney said the data reveals the need for local elected officials to do everything possible to promote economic expansion and job creation. He said a stronger local economy provides a big payoff to local government, too. “If we have a more prosperous economy, property values will go up, which is good for Pima County; people will www.BizTucson.com


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G FUTURE THE

to Boost Economy spend more money and pay more sales taxes, which are good for Tucson and all the incorporated areas.” However, the Chamber’s new emphasis on government affairs is not just about compiling data and making the case that policy changes are needed. It is also about collaborating with government officials and other organizations to develop and implement policies to bolster the economy. For instance, a pair of brand new Chamber initiatives – the Air Service Project and Project Prosperity – show great promise in bringing nonstop commercial air service between Tucson and New York City, and simplifying the regulatory systems and procedures businesses must hurdle before being allowed to establish or expand operations in the City of Tucson. Demand for New York flights

William Assenmacher, CEO of CAID Industries and a Chamber board member, is leading the effort on both projects as chairman of the Chamber’s economic development committee. He said he feels it is highly likely that a direct flight will be established between Tucson and the New York City area in January, just prior to Tucson’s Gem and Mineral Show. Once the direct flight to and from New York is established, Assenmacher said, the committee hopes to begin working to establish similar air travel arrangements between Tucson www.BizTucson.com

By David Pittman

and Washington, D.C. Tucson International Airport had nonstop flights provided by Continental and JetBlue airlines from New York City in 2006 and 2007. However, those flights were canceled after the financial crash of 2008. Assenmacher and Varney both said there is sufficient market demand to make the Tucson to New York connection profitable. “Tucson is the largest city in the United States that does not have nonstop commercial flights to and from New York,” Assenmacher said. “More than 225 people a day are currently traveling from the Tucson metro area to New York City. They are either taking a connecting flight or they are driving to Phoenix and flying from Sky Harbor Airport. The airplane we are trying to get seats 180. All of the statistics that a private consultant has gathered point to the fact that there is demand for this flight.” Varney praised Assenmacher’s work on behalf of the Chamber, saying his efforts in driving both the Air Service Task Force and Project Prosperity have thus far exceeded everyone’s expectations. “Bill is one of our best volunteers,” Varney said. “When he says he is going to do something, he rolls up his sleeves – and don’t get in his way – he’ll get it done.” continued on page 80 >>>

Chamber’s Mission

The mission of the Tucson Metro Chamber is to promote a strong local economy resulting in business growth, ample employment and improving quality of life for all citizens. Vision The Tucson Metro Chamber is the preeminent resource and advocate for business in Southern Arizona. Core Fundamentals • Promote a strong local economy • Provide opportunities for you to build relationships and gain access • Deliver programs to help you grow your business • Represent and advocate on behalf of business with government • Enhance commerce and increase quality of life through community stewardship • Increase public awareness of your business • Provide symbols of credibility Source: Tucson Metro Chamber

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continued from page 79

PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

From left – Thomas P. McGovern, Mike Ortega, Mike Varney

PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

Focus on business-friendly processes

Change city charter to empower leadership

Mayor Jonathan Rothschild

PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

William Assenmacher

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The Project Prosperity Task Force, which consists of a diverse group of business leaders, is an effort just getting underway in which the Chamber will advocate for specific changes in Tucson’s city government systems, culture and policies to improve public-private interface, simplify and speed regulatory processes placed on business, and encourage business and job growth. Project Prosperity recommendations include seven specific action steps the Chamber and a coalition of business groups have asked the mayor, Tucson City Council and the city manager’s office to enact. “Buy-in has been great so far. Now we need to execute,” Varney said. “Tucson needs jobs, jobs, jobs,” said Assenmacher. “The Chamber and its Project Prosperity Task Force are working with the City of Tucson to improve the local economy. We have met with Mayor Rothschild, the city manager and every member of the City Council to present ideas for positive change – and they have reacted very positively in all respects.” “The goal is not to point fingers and say, ‘This isn’t working.’ It is saying, ‘How do we make things better so it stimulates business.’ If there is a best practice in Phoenix, Marana, Oro Valley or anywhere that has been streamlined and works better than what we are doing here, we need to identify it and implement it.” The Chamber is a strong proponent of city charter changes going to the ballot Nov. 3 that would make city department heads directly accountable to the city manager, rather than the mayor and council, and strengthen the powers of the mayor so he can vote on all issues. Currently the mayor only votes if the council is deadlocked. “The charter used by the City of Tucson is a relic,” said Robert Medler, VP of government affairs for the Chamber. “It doesn’t enable a lot of the changes people want to see. The two things that have made it to the ballot – giving the mayor parity and making city department heads directly accountable to the city manager – are important changes that need to be made.” Tucson Metro Chamber also has endorsed all seven propositions in the $815.8 million Pima County Bond Package. In fact, Chamber Chairman of the Board Thomas P. McGovern, regional director of Psomas, a leading Southwestern engineering firm, is co-chair of the “Yes on Pima County Bonds” political committee working to get the package approved by voters. McGovern said the propositions, which include a total of 99 different projects, will stimulate tourism investment, increase tax revenue, address arts and cultural issues, improve our transportation system, and begin creation of a major logistics hub and aerospace corridor. “These types of investments are well worth the money,” he said. “They will not only create thousands of construction jobs, but also establish permanent improvements in our economy. They will bring new companies to Tucson and Southern Arizona and improve our performance as a region.”


Go face-to-face in Washington, D.C.

For the first time in recent years, Varney and Medler led a contingent of 12 top business leaders and Chamber investors to the nation’s capital to visit with Arizona’s congressional delegation, Pentagon officials and high-ranking officials within the U.S. Department of Transportation. “We saw all the right people. It was a great visit,” Varney said. “The number one thing I came away with is just how important it is to go to the offices of our senators and representatives and to see them in their environment, meet their aides and staffers, and have a face-to-face dialogue. “Email is great, phone calls are great, seeing them when they come home from Washington is great – but usually it’s in a group session and you might have something important to say to them, but so do 100 other people. “When you visit them at their offices in Washington, D.C., you get their undivided attention and you create the agenda. Our agenda was about high-priority issues in Southern Arizona that the federal government has domain over. We talked about military facilities throughout Southern Arizona, but especially Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. We also talked about transportation infrastructure and education.” Varney said in the future, the Tucson Metro Chamber will be visiting the nation’s capital to meet with congressional representatives and other key federal officials on a regular basis. Consider fiscal, economic ramifications

The Chamber is also active at the state government level. The Chamber creates a state agenda and advocates for probusiness public policy at the legislature. In the upcoming year, the Chamber will put together legislation that would require local municipalities to consider the fiscal and economic ramifications before enacting new government actions. “I have the bill completed and I am going to have some attorneys take a look at it and we’re going to find a sponsor to run it next year at the next regular session of the legislature,” Medler said. “Unfortunately, the financial and fiscal impact of local government policy has not always been at the forefront of the discussion. For instance, let’s go back to when the City Council was considering the possibility of Grand Canyon University establishing a campus on Tucson’s westside. If the financial and fiscal considerations had been at the forefront, or even with the rest of the discussion points that were going on at that time, I think we would have had a much different outcome regarding a campus in Tucson for Grand Canyon University.” The Chamber also endeavors to get business-friendly candidates elected to office through Southern Arizona Business Political Action Committee candidate endorsements, based on recommendations from a politically-balanced Candidate Evaluation Committee. The Chamber publishes elected official voting records and encourages its investors to interact with candidates at receptions and special events. Medler already attends many meetings of the Tucson City Council and the Pima County Board of Supervisors. The Chamber has budgeted for the hiring of another government affairs specialist, which will mean the Chamber will be able to attend more government hearings and meetings in other jursidictions. continued on page 83 >>>

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continued from page 81 “We Can Help” for small business

The Chamber also is serious about its mission to champion small business. Last year the organization launched an ambitious new program – the “We Can Help” online help desk. The program encourages its investors to contact the Chamber about any business problem through a written submission online. “We will solve the problem if we can,” Varney said. “If not, we will find somebody who can.” Jennifer Allen of BodyCentral Physical Therapy credited the “We Can Help” desk with solving the problems her business was having. Allen said her small company was trying to grow, but was having difficulty obtaining a needed permit from the City of Tucson. “With one call to the Tucson Metro Chamber we had someone by our side meeting with city officials and had the problem resolved,” she said. “We’ve moved into our facility, hired 15 people and we continue to grow.” The Chamber also operates programs to help its investors make money and save money. Those programs include federal procurement “how to” workshops, Office Depot discounts and CopperPoint Mutual Insurance bonus dividends. Chamber investors benefit from Chamber XChange networking events and Peerspectives CEO Support groups, which help build business relationships. Improving workforce readiness

The Tucson Metro Chamber also is involved in improving workforce readiness and education by:

• Supporting the Cradle to Career program to create better alignment of public and private education resources to address seven key steps in creating a qualified workforce. • Exploring ways to provide work experience and scholarship funding to UA students through the new AZ Earn to Learn program, which is aimed at keeping quality business talent in Southern Arizona. • Advocating for the preservation and expansion of funding for the Joint Technical Education District. • Developing future business and community leaders by collaborating with the Emerging Leaders Council and Greater Tucson Leadership.

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PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

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Laura Nagore Promoted to Chamber CFO Laura Nagore is now CFO of the Tucson Metro Chamber. She joined the staff in August of 2012 as VP of finance and operations. “Laura brings a valuable and diverse set of skills to the Chamber and has demonstrated great leadership in the areas of financial management, HR and operations. We are very grateful for all she does,” said Mike Varney, Chamber president and CEO. Nagore is a graduate of the 2014 Greater Tucson Leadership class and is currently in the Institute for Organization Management’s Class of 2018. She is a member of the Society of Human Resource Management and the Western Association of Chamber Executives, which awarded her the 2014 Gerald W. Hathaway Memorial Staff Person of the Year. She’s also a non-CPA associate member of the American Institute of CPAs. Nagore was selected for the award as a “oneof-a-kind professional” who helped engineer a dramatic turnaround for the Chamber – saving funds, minimizing risk and maximizing staff contributions. She frequently shares her expertise with other nonprofits and small businesses. She also volunteers teaching financial literacy and budgeting classes for Junior Achievement and other Tucson groups. She previously held business and finance positions at Friendship Villas at La Cholla, Commercial Building Maintenance Co. and Modernair Distributors.

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Powering Positive Change

Focus on Roads, Tucson Post Office, Education By David Pittman Mike Varney, president and CEO of the Tucson Metro Chamber, believes the Chamber’s Business Expansion and Retention survey helped persuade the Pima County Board of Supervisors to add $160 million for road repairs to the county bond package. But Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry said it was Varney himself who passionately and convincingly made the case. “The supervisors had requested that the Arizona Legislature increase the gas tax and stop robbing the Highway User Revenue Fund for non-transportation purposes, but state lawmakers have an aversion to even talking about raising taxes,” Huckelberry said. “You don’t usually associate property tax dollars being used for road repairs.” But that view changed when the business community, led by Varney, persuaded county supervisors to add $160 million for repairing crumbling Pima County roads that had not been included in the original package recommended by the Pima County Bond Committee. Huckelberry said Varney “deserves credit for having the courage to advocate for transportation revenue” for needed road improvements. “I think he clearly sees what many others don’t – which is that economic development is directly tied to

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having an efficient system of transportation infrastructure.” Adding increased funds for street repairs probably bolsters the chances of the bond package passing, Huckelberry said, because having quality roads is something that is popular among “all interest groups.” Varney has been a strong proponent of road improvements since the Chamber conducted a survey of 129 executives of large local businesses two years ago and found they were most troubled by two things: the awful condition of Tucson and Pima County roads, and the quality of interface between the private sector and local government departments. Since that time Varney has been actively trying to solve both issues. “More than ever, the Chamber will be emphasizing the need for the business community to be present at public policy meetings of the Tucson City Council, the Pima County Board of Supervisors and other government bodies,” Varney said. “Business must have a voice on a regular basis in these meetings. It is not going to work if it is just the Chamber going to these meetings. The entire business community needs a strong, regular presence at these meetings.” Robert Medler, VP of government affairs at the Chamber, said the Southern Arizona Leadership Council, Tucson Young Professionals, the Chamber’s Emerging Leaders Council and

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Business leaders need to let elected officials know their perspective on issues, how business is performing and what government could be doing better.

– Robert Medler VP of Government Affairs Tucson Metro Chamber

the Chamber’s Board of Directors, have all agreed to regularly send their members to City Council and Board of Supervisors meetings. He hopes other groups within the business community will do the same. “It’s important not only for business leaders to be present at these meetings, it’s important that their presence is acknowledged by elected officials,” Medler said. “Business leaders need to let elected officials know their perspective on issues, how business is performing, and what government could be doing better. And when our elected representatives do something to help promote a stronger local economy, it’s important to thank them.” Medler said that traditionally it’s been difficult to persuade business people to attend government meetings. After all, he said, these are people who are already working long hours trying to build a larger client base and grow their businesses. “Nobody likes to go down to City Hall at 5:30 p.m. on a Tuesday, after having worked eight to ten hours already,” he said. “But it is important to make sure their views are being heard.” Sherry Janssen Downer, a member of the Chamber’s continued on page 88 >>>

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BizLEADERSHIP continued from page 87 board and chair of its government affairs committee, said the Chamber’s decision to put greater emphasis on government affairs is because Chamber membership wants it that way and is willing to participate in the effort. “I am very optimistic about what the Chamber is doing and the direction it is headed,” said Downer, an attorney specializing in business, employment and liability issues at the law firm of Fennemore Craig. “The Chamber is making a difference. It’s a good vehicle for business people to get involved, give back to our community and help support our local economy.” However, the Chamber is not just involved in local issues. It is also very involved in state and federal issues as well. For instance, the Chamber has been a major proponent (along with Tucson City Councilman Richard Fimbres and U.S. Reps. Martha McSally and Raul Grijalva) for keeping the U.S. Postal Service Cherrybell Distribution Center up and running. With the Postal Service losing more than $5 billion a year, Cher-

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rybell was one of 82 postal distribution facilities nationwide slated for closure in July. However, Cherrybell has been given a temporary one- or two-year reprieve from closure by postal officials. The Chamber will continue working to keep Cherrybell operational. Closing the Cherrybell facility would leave Arizona with just one postal distribution center – in Phoenix. That is something Varney finds incomprehensible, considering that some states that are smaller and growing more slowly than Arizona will keep four or five distribution centers. “The Postal Service provided us with a map of the distribution centers they plan to keep – and you don’t have to go any further in school than sixth grade to look at that map and conclude faulty logic was used in putting Cherrybell on the closure list,” Varney said. “For instance, Wisconsin has five postal distribution centers,” he said. “How does Wisconsin end up with five distribution centers, while Arizona ends up with just one? Our efforts to keep Cherrybell open will continue.”

Tucson mail is already being trucked to Phoenix, postmarked Phoenix, then sent back to Tucson or on to its final destination. At the state level, the Chamber has been critical of the legislature for not adequately funding primary and secondary education. It also is committed to protecting and preserving funding of the Joint Technical Education District as part of its formal agenda. Varney had positive things to say about Gov. Doug Ducey’s first-year performance in office. “We are thrilled to have a guy who comes to the governor’s office with private-sector experience,” Varney said. Ducey was formerly CEO of Coldstone Creamery. “There’s no substitute for having the real-world experience of running a business, making payrolls, making a product people want to buy, and risking capital,” he said. “We are very pleased Gov. Ducey has a jobs focus for developing the state’s economy.”

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Cradle to Career Partnership Striving Together to Improve Education By Rhonda Bodfield No matter how skilled, a single person wielding a hammer couldn’t possibly build a bridge of significant size. With all its complexity, a bridge requires a transportation network and a diverse cadre of experts – from engineers to metalworkers and concrete producers. Specialists must hire workers, secure financing and handle procurement. In the same way, no matter how skilled, a single teacher wielding a textbook couldn’t possibly provide everything a child needs to support an educational journey. But what if children were swaddled in support from the cradle – and that focus continued through to career readiness? And what if, as a community, we collectively owned education to better support the experts in the classroom? And what if we managed to tackle a stubborn and intransigent achievement gap, not through new programming delivered by isolated silos, but by working across sectors with one single-minded vision? We just may find out. Pima County is among more than 60 communities across the nation par90 BizTucson

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ticipating in a collective impact model designed to bring together local, influential leaders from the universe of education, government, corporations, nonprofits and community advocacy. The collaborative effort, known as the Cradle to Career Partnership, is not just about making things better in a few schools or a particular development level. It’s far more ambitious. The community leaders who are doubling as education change agents have been meeting since September 2014, creating rigorous expectations that demand moving the needle in seven key areas. They’ve prioritized three: • Students should be ready for kindergarten. • They must graduate from high school. • And there must be ways to re-engage disconnected youth. The participants are coming to the table with unique pressure points.

Tucson Metro Chamber President and CEO Mike Varney reiterated a recent conversation he had with a local businessman who can’t find the staff he needs to fill a dozen critical vacancies in his corporate headquarters, from information technology to marketing. The lack of staff is hurting his acquisition strategy. “If he can’t find the workforce, he may be forced to move elsewhere – and that’s a decision we can’t afford,” Varney said. At Pima Community College, a recent analysis found a majority of students entering from local high schools need remedial coursework in at least one academic area, whether math, reading or writing. That’s a significant de-motivator for students, said Chancellor Lee Lambert. In Pima County Juvenile Court, Judge Jane Butler sees a stunning number of cases where the young people before her haven’t been to school in years and can’t tell her what grade they’re in. Of the 4,000 children currently in foster care locally, the judge notes only 50 percent of them will graduate from continued on page 92 >>>


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BizEDUCATION continued from page 90 high school. Three percent will go to college. “When you consider that all of the jobs worth having by 2020 are going to require a college degree or certification of some kind, it begs the question: What will those other 2,000 children be doing?” The problem isn’t necessarily a shortage of programs, participants say. The bigger challenge is a lack of coordination and a lack of data-driven, evidence-backed investment and focus. “I think people recognize the economic challenges facing school districts, so while we have wonderful support for schools, our efforts are fragmented across multiple entities right now,” said Flowing Wells Unified School District Superintendent David Baker. The idea behind Cradle to Career, spearheaded by United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona, is to set a common, community-wide agenda. By virtue of knowing who’s doing what, and where it fits in the overall im-

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provement plan, duplication should be minimized and dollars allocated more efficiently. “We don’t know what we all do until we start talking,” said Baker. “That is where this initiative is so powerful because it allows us to connect those dots and connect those resources.” The Chamber’s Varney puts it another way: A symphony only works if all the individual instruments play the same music. Leveraging resources to support a common agenda, however, is just one pillar of the effort. Data is the other big one – and the model in its purest form isn’t for those who are squeamish about sharing metrics that show whether their program is making measurable gains. That reliance on evidence-based practice is one of the reasons Raytheon Missile Systems is investing in the model, which is fully privately funded with a budget of about $300,000. Raytheon, which is always seeking engineering talent and has hundreds of

hard-to-fill vacancies at any given point, already invests in significant educational programming here. The company is in local schools hosting STEM programming, supporting math tutoring, mentoring young women to pique their interest in the sciences and technology, and hiring teachers over the summer to send them back to the classroom armed with more information about what skill sets are valuable to corporations. But the Cradle to Career initiative is intriguing because of its drive for continual improvement through more granular data analysis that informs better decision-making and faster changes, said Raytheon’s Jon Kasle, VP of communications and external affairs. “There’s the old adage – What gets measured gets done. By gathering and analyzing data on specific educational outcomes, we can identify best practices and share them throughout Pima County so that they can be replicated,” Kasle said. Here’s an example of how it might theoretically work. Take a recent in-

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triguing finding by one nonprofit literacy partner that does reading intervention work in kindergarten through third grades. While all students made gains with additional reading support, the gains were 70 percent greater in the kindergarten years. More analysis is needed with larger sample sizes, but if the trends hold, it may mean realigning resources to put them where they do the most good. Given the scale of this effort, Amanda Kucich, the senior director of the partnership at United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona, said she’s constantly reminding herself that the way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. It has taken other communities five to eight years to build the systems and see measurable impact. Pima County may not take quite that long, given the momentum she’s seen and the commitment to the collaborative model, but she’s very clear: Profound change on this level isn’t going to happen overnight. It also isn’t going to happen on

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autopilot, said Varney. “The No. 1 key to success is going to be in the execution,” he said. Now that the planning is wrapping up, with baseline data to be published in January, the hard work will begin. The business community that is engaged in continual improvement practices currently, such as Lean or Six Sigma, can help by loaning trainers out to hold workshops for educators and other participants, Kucich said.

Seven Key Areas • Kindergarten readiness • Early grade literacy • Middle school math • High school graduation • Re-engagement of youth not in school • Post-secondary education success • Career attainment

Raytheon’s Kasle said corporations also can assist by helping to finance the backbone staff that will gather the data, crunch the numbers and keep the seven change networks moving. “Without a sustained group of people with the appropriate tools that can support this work, the program won’t be as effective as designed,” he said. Why does it all matter? Judge Butler tells of one young man, abandoned by his parents, who grew up in eight different foster homes or group homes and attended nine different schools. He’s now attending Pima College, pursuing a degree in political science and considering a future in government. She has great hope for him – and for more stories like his. “I have never before seen a commitment like this, with a whole network of professionals who have decision-making power, working together as one collective decisionmaking body. I really hope it’s going to change the environment for our kids,” Butler said.

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$3 Million Raised Chamber Works to Attract NY Flights By David Pittman In a remarkable collaborative effort, the Tucson Metro Chamber is providing a major assist to the Tucson Airport Authority that could lead to establishing nonstop commercial airline flights between Tucson and New York City in the near future. Tucson is the largest city in the country without a nonstop flight to the New York City area. The campaign to bring such a nonstop route to the Old Pueblo requires offering airlines a more than $3 million incentive package. Expressing an interest in establishing the route are some of the nation’s largest airlines – United, American, Southwest and JetBlue, which make up nearly 84 percent of domestic capacity. The Tucson Metro Chamber effort is led by Bill Assenmacher, chair of the Chamber’s Economic Development Committee. He said he has already collected checks, cash and pledges to fund a $3 million revenue-guarantee package that ensures that the airline that creates a New York to Tucson route will not lose money in its first two years of operation. 94 BizTucson

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“Raising that amount isn’t easy and it took a lot of work by a lot of people,” said Assenmacher, an active community leader who is president and CEO of CAID Industries. “But getting this route established is extremely important to the Tucson economy and it has broad-based support.” While Assenmacher declined to name those who have contributed to the effort, he did say it includes resorts, hotels and others in the tourism industry, along with the usual list of successful business leaders and companies known for donating to local charities and important community causes. He said the best part about the $3 million incentive guarantee is that it serves as “a backstop” and if the route is established and proves profitable over its first two years, the operating airline would not tap into the fund and the money would be returned to the donors. Data gathered by airline consultants working for Tucson International Airport and the Chamber indicate there is sufficient market demand to make a

Tucson to New York connection very profitable. “More than 225 people a day are currently traveling from the Tucson metro area to New York City,” Assenmacher said. “They are either taking a connecting flight or they are driving to Phoenix and flying from Sky Harbor Airport. The airplane we are trying to get seats 180. All of the statistics the private consultant has gathered point to the fact that there is demand for this flight. “Right now, almost every city that is trying to grow the number of seats and flights coming into its airport is being asked to create one of these promotion pots,” said Assenmacher. “By law, the airport is limited to what incentives it can provide. That is why the Chamber has stepped up to help raise money for the incentive package and see that it is administered correctly.” TIA is offering a smaller incentive package, the size of which is limited by Federal Aviation Administration regulations. The airport’s incentive investment would provide $100,000 for marcontinued on page 96 >>> www.BizTucson.com


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continued from page 94 keting the NYC service, $100,000 in landing-fee waivers, and up to $100,000 in terminal rent credits, for a total package of $300,000. Establishing new service each way from New York to Tucson is quite expensive. A single round-trip flight would cost the airline an estimated $45,200. That places the annual cost of operating the route at about $16.3 million. In establishing new routes, airlines typically seek risk mitigation of 20 percent or more, which in this case is about $3 million. Airline incentive packages are not unusual. In fact, more than $5 million in various incentives were provided to JetBlue to establish non-stop service from New York to Albuquerque. In operation for 18 months, those flights have been 86 percent full. TIA formerly had nonstop flights to and from New York, but those were canceled following the financial crash of 2008. Reestablishing the connection to NYC would provide a big boost to Tucson tourism and the community’s

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overall economy. Brent DeRaad, president and CEO of Visit Tucson, said a nonstop flight from Tucson to New York would result in meeting planners scheduling a great deal more events in Tucson. “While visitor revenue grew 6 percent in metro Tucson during the past year, tourism will not recover to prerecession levels until we replace the air service we have lost,” he said. “I commend the Tucson Airport Authority and the Tucson Metro Chamber for creating an air-service development fund focused on securing daily, nonstop round-trip service between Tucson and New York. “Ideally, the flight would commence this winter, during our peak tourism season, to give it every opportunity to succeed on its own,” DeRaad said. “Based on the strength of the New York market, we believe the flight will have very high load factors with a significant amount of business travel, including the higher fares typically associated with it.” DeRaad said local resort operators

have indicated they will be able to book East Coast meetings immediately once a Tucson-New York nonstop route begins. “We feel a nonstop route also will create incremental leisure travel between the cities,” he said. “Our biggest obstacle in Tucson to getting East Coast meetings is the lack of nonstop service. It currently takes customers nearly all day to travel from Tucson back to the East Coast, when you factor the timezone change and time lost waiting for a connecting flight in Dallas, Denver or Chicago.” Bonnie Allin, president and CEO of Tucson Airport Authority, said, “Federal regulations limit what airports are allowed to offer for incentive programs. Efforts such as this one by the Tucson Metro Chamber’s Air Service Task Force have shown they can make a difference to airlines. We are extremely appreciative of the work that has been done. It shows the airlines that we have a business community that is supportive of improved air service.”

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Investing in Pro-Business Change Chamber Membership Increases 10-Fold By David Pittman The most frequently asked question of Lori Banzhaf, executive VP of the Tucson Metro Chamber, is “Why should I invest in the Chamber?” “When you look at our mission statement, it says it all,” she said. She then recites that statement – “The mission of the Tucson Metro Chamber is to promote a strong local economy resulting in business growth, ample employment and improving quality of life for all citizens.” Businesses that invest in the Chamber are investors in positive change. “The business community is looking to the Tucson Metro Chamber to be the leader for pro-business change that improves our economy,” she said. “Chamber investors are job creators and risk takers.” “We are there for our business community – small, medium or large. Locally owned or corporate, it doesn’t matter. We help them in any way we can so they can hire people, get people back to work, improve our economy and the quality of life of those who live here. “They may need help with permitting, signage, finding a quality workforce – they look to us to help with all of these things, and we do.” Another question often asked of Banzhaf is, “What does it cost to join the Chamber?” “We have a four-tiered investment schedule based on the needs of the businesses,” she said.

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The membership levels are: • Cornerstone – Designed for small businesses that want to connect, learn, promote and save money. Typically, these businesses range from one-person shops to those with seven or eight employees. The annual membership fee for these firms is $449 to $1,999. • Business Growth – Designed for firms that want to accelerate their growth. The membership fee is $2,000 to $5,499. • Chairman – Designed for larger, community-focused businesses that want to promote a strong local economy. The investment fee for these firms is $5,500 to $14,999. • Keystone – Designed for businesses that want to lead the local economy forward and build a better community. Keystone level investors are Bombardier Aerospace, Casino del Sol Resort, Diamond Ventures, Hudbay, Norville Investments, Port of Tucson, Providence Service Corp., Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson Electric Power, Walmart and Wells Fargo. The investment level starts at $15,000. Four years ago, when Mike Varney became president and CEO of the Chamber, only 12 companies were investing at the Chairman level. Today there are roughly 115.

When Varney arrived on the job, no companies were contributing at the Keystone level because that membership category didn’t even exist. Today there are 11 companies investing at the Keystone level. “The reason more large companies have invested in the Chamber in increasing numbers is because they trust the leadership of Mike Varney – and they want change in Tucson that emphasizes job creation and economic growth,” Banzhaf said. She said businesses at the Chairman and Keystone levels often contribute more than the minimum level required of them because they believe in what the Chamber is doing and want to ensure the Chamber’s success. “Many of our highly successful businesses realize the more they invest in the Chamber, the stronger it will be in helping them and all the other businesses in our community,” Banzhaf said. Banzhaf said Chamber leadership expects 80 percent of metro Tucson’s job growth in the next 10 years to come from existing businesses. “I’ve visited 60 companies in person over the past two weeks,” she said. “That’s a lot of companies to see. I walk into those businesses and I sit down with those CEOs and I learn what their needs are. Often it’s finding quality workers – and sometimes they have issues with government. But whatever their issues might be, I bring them back to the appropriate people at the Chamber so investors can get the help they need.” Biz www.BizTucson.com


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PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

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Emerging Leaders Council Mentors Are Key By Romi Carrell Wittman Tucson has no shortage of groups dedicated to fostering connections, building relationships and cultivating young dynamic leaders. Think Tucson Young Professionals, El Rio Vecinos, Greater Tucson Leadership and the Young Leaders Society. Some work toward a very specific goal, others are more loosely organized around social and philanthropic events. Yet one group stands apart – the Emerging Leaders Council, founded by the Tucson Metro Chamber in 2014.

One core element makes the difference – the ELC mentorship program. No other social or professional development group in town pairs seasoned executives with younger professionals. The idea of learning from someone who has been there, someone who can offer insights and advice was extremely important to Ben Korn – and he knew it would be very appealing to his colleagues as well. Korn is owner of Safeguard Tucson and helped shape the ELC with Melissa Dulaney-Moule, then with Tucson Electric Power, and Whitney Thistle, of the United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona.

Emerging Leaders Council members from left – Front row – Jessica Galow, United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona; Lindsay Welch, Tucson Tamale Company; Ben Korn, Safeguard; ShaVonne Richardson, B/E Aerospace; Andrew Cole, Tucson Electric Power; Second row – Nick Puente, Senior Living Finders; Gabriela Cervantes, AGM Container Controls; Taylor Davidson, University of Arizona; Matt Brownlee, Aerotek; Ken Morris, Merrill Lynch; Third row – Thomas Bersbach, Sundt Construction; Sherry Janssen Downer, Fennemore Craig; Matthew, Rosen, Burk, Hall & Co.; Robert Fischer, Waterfall, Economidis, Caldwell, Hanshaw, & Villamana; Back row – Elie Asunsolo, BBVA Compass, Robert Medler, Tucson Metro Chamber; Not pictured – Joel Black, Crest100 Insurance Group; Jonathan Beaty, at TEP Headquarters. www.BizTucson.com < < < Fall BizTucson 2015Liberty Mutual; Evan Feldhausen, BeachFleischman; Teresa Bravo, Pima County. Photo taken


It was Tony Penn, president of the local United Way and immediate past chair of the Chamber board, who strongly advocated for the creation of the ELC. With the guidance and support of the Chamber board and executive team, the three young leaders honed the concept. “It started out as an open-ended structure,” Korn said. “We wanted to bring together people who are rooted in Tucson and who are looking to take the next step. What do they need to do, or should they do, in this economy?” ELC members – some 25 were accepted to participate in the ELC’s first year – were paired with local senior executives with the idea that these pairs would meet for coffee or lunch every month or two, helping the young executive to gain valuable insight and, hopefully, enrich their career path. But the mentorship didn’t stop there. ELC members were also paired with students from the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management, where they themselves acted as mentors to students preparing to launch their careers. The purpose of the ELC is to integrate emerging under-40 leaders into the Chamber’s leadership – with the underlying goal of accelerating business growth in Southern Arizona. The ELC is made up of 30 young professionals who are proven top performers representing “Best in Class” companies across a variety of local industries including private, public and nonprofit sectors. Once a year, usually in late August, the ELC accepts applications for any open seats. “This younger generation of business executives brings a fresh and often different perspective to the Tucson Metro Chamber’s board of directors, which, like most boards, is dominated by baby boomers,” said Mike Varney, president and CEO of the Tucson Metro Chamber. He said the ELC is important because it helps the Chamber to better reflect the population it serves and adds much-needed diversity. Korn is the current chair of the ELC, as well as board president of Greater Tucson Leadership. He said that in addition to the mentorship program, the ELC meets monthly to discuss political, economic and social challenges facing the business community as well as the people of Southern Arizona. It also features guest speakers knowledgeable in key areas who help to bring insight and understanding to more complex issues. Lastly, the ELC promotes civic awareness and activism as it relates to the local business climate. “The ELC is not a networking group. We don’t have classes or events or fundraisers,” Korn said. “There are a lot of great groups in Tucson that already do that.” Rather, he said, the ELC is strictly focused on increasing its members’ knowledge of the local community, expanding their connections and fostering their dynamic leadership skills. “It’s really a roundtable of emerging leaders getting together on how to get to the next level.” Though the ELC isn’t considered a training ground or “farm team” for the Chamber’s board of directors, Korn was “called up” to serve on the board this past year. Varney said the ELC is vital to Tucson’s future. “The ELC benefits from the counsel of senior executive mentors while sharpening their understanding and opinions about what makes our region tick and what we can do to create a better community,” Varney said. “The energy of the ELC is amazing!”

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Q&A with

MikeVarney By David Pittman

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ern states and Canada. He is also on the board of directors of the Arizona Chamber Executives and the American Chamber of Commerce Executives, as well as many local civic and nonprofit boards.

Q. You’ve said lead-

ership and staff at the Chamber must listen to the membership to best address their business concerns. What steps have you taken to learn from your members? Do you have future plans in this regard?

We do surveys and outreach of A. all different kinds to assess what is on the minds of our investors. The biggest one we’ve ever done was the BEAR – Business Expansion and Retention – survey, where we learned that 129 top business executives at Tucson’s largest companies (those with 100 or more fulltime employees) were very concerned about poor interface between local elected officials and the private sector. In response, we took a hard look at our government affairs agenda to determine what more we could do to ensure the private sector and the public sector are both doing all they can to spur economic growth. It is a big reason we are placing greater emphasis on government affairs in the coming year.

We are now preparing a similar survey to interview leaders of small businesses to learn what’s on their minds and how we can help them. The survey language has been completed, we just need to vet it, tweak it and finalize it. Then we’ll conduct the survey.

Q. Are there any other

new programs or initiatives coming aimed at small business?

Yes. There are all kinds of leads A. organizations – they’re not new – but there aren’t all kinds of them at

the Chamber. We’re working on that. A leads organization is much like a networking group, except it has concrete outcomes. It’s a group of people who get together on a regular basis, but instead of having a few laughs and patting each other on the back, everybody brings actual leads to the meeting. Let’s say you sell business materials and I just met a new builder because I handle his insurance. I would put the two of you together. Leads organizations are about leads and referrals, and the social part is secondary. Our Small Business Council is working on the details.

Q.

What would you say have been the most significant contributions by the Chamber in the past year?

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PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

Mike Varney arrived in Tucson to take the reins of the Tucson Metro Chamber in May of 2011. He inherited an organization reeling from the recession and struggling with both declining investor base and revenue. Those involved in his hiring were impressed that during his job interview he unveiled a list of 20 ways to improve the Chamber and outlined a long-range business plan. Once he accepted the position of Chamber president and CEO, Varney wasted no time implementing probusiness initiatives and programs aimed at specifically increasing the value of membership in the Chamber. In fact, Varney and his staff refer to Chamber “members” as “investors,” reinforcing the proposition that businesses receive their money’s worth from joining the Chamber. Varney’s efforts proved successful. Overall membership rebounded substantially and membership among larger firms skyrocketed. Today the Chamber represents more than 1,450 businesses, employing more than 160,000 workers in metro Tucson. A native of Madison, Wis., Varney earned a bachelor’s degree in communication arts from the University of Wisconsin. He came to Tucson after serving as president and CEO of the North Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce and VP of marketing for the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce. Varney is chairman of the board of the Western Association of Chamber Executives, the premier organization for professional development for chamber executives and staff in 19 west-


Mike Varney

President & CEO Tucson Metro Chamber

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Q&A with

Thomas P. McGovern By David Pittman

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60 employees and is among the largest engineering concerns in Southern Arizona.

Q.

How long have you been a member of the Tucson Metro Chamber and why are you so involved today?

We’ve been Chamber members A. for a very long time – 16 years. We joined before Psomas when we were

McGovern, MacVittie, Lodge & Associates. Back before the passage of the Pima County Regional Transportation Authority in 2006, I was instrumental in forming an infrastructure committee at the Chamber because I felt we had the opportunity to advance Tucson’s infrastructure and that we should focus on that. Our committee ended up advising the Chamber’s board of directors on positions and advocacy to undertake regarding those issues. About five years ago, I was asked to join the Chamber board.

Q.

Is enough being done to maintain and expand our infrastructure?

No. State and federal funding for A. roads and highways have both been woefully short of what is needed.

Just a couple of months ago, except for the usual 11th-hour intervention by Congress, the federal Highway Trust Fund would have become insolvent. I really don’t get it – because infrastructure, particularly transportation, is one of the few non-partisan issues you can find in Congress, the statehouse or locally. It’s not about political parties – it’s only about what people need. As you know, I am very involved in supporting the passage of the Pima County bond propositions (as a cochair of “Yes on Pima County Bonds”) and it concerns me when people are unable to see the need for investing in our infrastructure. Perhaps we just haven’t done a good enough job of showing people the connection between infrastructure and the creation of jobs, sustaining commerce and building a strong and growing economy.

Q.

Do you believe the county bond package will pass?

I hope it does and I am certainly A. going to work as hard as I can to see that it does. It’s a big package. It

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PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

Thomas P. McGovern is a civil engineer who is regional director for Psomas – a leading engineering firm in Arizona, California and Utah – and the 2015-16 chairman of the board of the Tucson Metro Chamber. He’s a Tucson native, graduate of Palo Verde High School and the University of Arizona, where he completed a bachelor’s degree in 1973. He then moved to Los Angeles to join Bechtel, an international civil engineering and construction powerhouse that was then headed by George Schultz and Steven Bechtel. But McGovern grew homesick for Tucson and after two years at Bechtel he returned to the Old Pueblo to take a job at the Pima County Department of Transportation and Flood Control District, where he worked for nearly 10 years. Then McGovern and Lance MacVittie formed a small engineering firm, McGovern, MacVittie & Associates. Tom Lodge later joined as a partner and his last name was added to the company shingle. “We started our business at the beginning of 1986 and we became well-known and successful here in Tucson,” McGovern said. In 2004, the firm merged with Psomas, a large California company that expanded into Tucson, Phoenix and Salt Lake City. Today McGovern is regional director of the company’s Arizona operations, which includes nearly


Thomas P. McGovern

Chairman of the Board Tucson Metro Chamber

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BizLEADERSHIP MIKE VARNEY continued from page 102

THOMAS P. MCGOVERN continued from page 104

The Chamber accomplished a great deal during fiscal A. year 2014-15, which ended June 30, largely because of the leadership of our past board chairman Tony Penn. That

than 99 specific projects, including $200 million in new highway and road preservation. The seven bond propositions represent investments that, in part, will:

• •

Increase tax revenue coming into our community.

Strengthen commerce by improving our transportation system.

Jumpstart a major logistics hub and aerospace corridor through infrastructure improvements and better connectivity.

list of successes includes:

Launching Project Prosperity, which defined specific improvements needed in City of Tucson systems and procedures to make it easier to open and expand businesses in the city. Creation of the Air Service Project, which is in the final stages of negotiating for nonstop air service between Tucson and New York City.

Introduction of the Emerging Leaders Council, to bring the voices of young adults to discussions about the future of Southern Arizona.

Production of the Community Quality Report Card, which measures what’s working and what needs improvement in the Tucson metro area. support for and participation by the Chamber in the Southern Arizona Defense Alliance, a group devoted to protecting and promoting Southern Arizona’s military assets.

These types of investments in ourselves are well worth the money. They will not only create thousands of construction jobs, but will establish permanent improvements in our economy. This will help attract new companies to Tucson and Southern Arizona and improve our performance as a region. We need to approve the entire package.

The endorsement of candidates and issues that received an 85 percent approval rate from voters in last November’s election. Biz

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• Continued •

Improve the quality of life by enhancing some of our arts and cultural mainstays, like the ArizonaSonora Desert Museum, Old Tucson and the Reid Park Zoo.

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

Chairman Investors

AAA Landscape Aerotek Agape Hospice & Palliative Care AGM Container Controls AK & Sons Windows and Doors Alliance Bank of Arizona American Family Insurance American Fire Equipment Sales & Service Corp. American Openings Amity Foundation Andersen, Randall & Richards Arizona Army National Guard Arizona Daily Star Arizona Lotus Corp. Arizona State University ASARCO Atlas Copco – Mining, Rock Excavation & Construction Atmosphere Commercial Interiors Bank of America

Banner-University Medical Center BBVA Compass BeachFleischman BFL Construction BizTucson Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona CAID Industries Caliber Group Carondelet Health Network Casa de la Luz Hospice Cenpatico CenturyLink Chase Bank Circle K Citi Clements Agency Climatec BTG CODAC Behavioral Health Services Common Group Commotion Studios Community Partnership of Southern Arizona CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company Coventry Cox Communications Crest Insurance Group Cushman & Wakefield/ PICOR Desert Diamond Casinos & Entertainment El Rio Community Health Center Elitise Empire Southwest Encantada Luxury Apartment Homes

Expert Global Solutions Fennemore Craig Film Creations Finley Distributing Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Golden Eagle Distributors Granite Construction Company Graybar HealthSouth Rehabilitation Institute of Tucson HDS Truck Driving Institute Institute of Tucson Holualoa Arizona HSL Properties Hughes Federal Credit Union Institute for Better Education Intuit Jack Furriers Tire & Auto Care Jacobs Engineering JE Dunn Construction Jim Click Automotive Team JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa Lovitt & Touché MC Companies McDonald’s Micro Import Services Nextrio Northwest Medical Center Old Pueblo Community Services Paragon Space Development Corporation Pima Community College Pima Federal Credit Union Pima Heart Physicians Pima Medical Institute

Psomas Quarles & Brady Royal Automotive Group Sante of Tucson Scripps Broadcasting Securaplane, A Meggitt Company Serrato Corporation Siemens Industry Simpleview Sinfonia Healthcare Corp SMG – Tucson Convention Center SOLON Corporation Sonora Quest Laboratories of Tucson Southwest Airlines Southwest Gas Corp. Strongpoint Marketing Suddath Relocation Systems Sun Mechanical Contracting Sundt Construction Tech Parks Arizona Texas Instruments TM International Tucson Federal Credit Union Tucson Medical Center Tucson Unified School District UHS of Tucson dba Palo Verde Behavioral Health Union Pacific Railroad Company University of Phoenix – Southern Arizona Campus Vantage West Credit Union Walgreens Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa World View Enterprises

Teamwork

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

Doug Ducey Governor State of Arizona

Chuck Huckelberry Pima County Administrator

Jonathan Rothschild Mayor City of Tucson

Satish I. Hiremath Mayor Town of Oro Valley

Ed Honea Mayor Town of Marana

Duane Blumberg Mayor Town of Sahuarita


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B O A R D

O F

D I R E C T O R S

Chairman of the Board Thomas P. McGovern

VP/Regional Manager Psomas

McGovern is a civil engineer who is regional director for Psomas – a leading engineering firm in Arizona, California and Utah. A Tucson native, graduate of Palo Verde High School and the University of Arizona, he joined Bechtel, an international civil engineering and construction powerhouse in California. He returned to Tucson and worked for 10 years in Pima County transportation before establishing a small engineering firm later acquired by Psomas.

T U C S O N

Vice Chair Robert D. Ramirez

President and CEO Vantage West Credit Union In addition to his involvement with the Tucson Metro Chamber, Ramirez is active in numerous community organizations, including DM50, Pima Community College Foundation, 162nd Fighter Wing Air Guardians, Southern Arizona Leadership Council and Sun Corridor Inc. (formerly TREO). He serves on the board of directors for Mountain West Credit Union Association, the Credit Union Executive Society and El Rio Community Health Center. He is chair of the 2015-2016 United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona Campaign.

William R. Assenmacher

Secretary Cyndy A. Valdez

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

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CEO CAID Industries

Assenmacher presides over the dayto-day operations of a $50 million business that manufactures a wide variety of engineered products, both domestic and international. He is active with the Chamber in local business development and in improving job opportunities. He is also chair of the Chamber’s economic development committee. Assenmacher is founder and president of the Southern Arizona Business Coalition, chairman of Arizona Mining and Industry Get Our Support, as well as serving with Global Advantage and UA Tech Parks, among others.

M E T R O

C H A M B E R

Immediate Past Chairman of the Board Tony Penn

President and CEO United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona Under Penn’s leadership, UWTSA aims to create large-scale positive change for the region while partnering with 80-plus agencies. Together, these organizations touch the lives of more than 100,000 residents annually. He also serves on the Sun Corridor Inc. board of directors (formerly TREO) and is a member of Southern Arizona Leadership Council.

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Treasurer Larry Lucero

Senior Director of Government Relations and Economic Development UNS Energy Corporation and subsidiary Tucson Electric Power Lucero assists in advancing the interests of the utility and its customers. He also works with a variety of community organizations. Among those are Sun Corridor Inc. (formerly TREO), Chicanos Por La Causa Southern Arizona Advisory Council and Tucson Youth Development/ACE Charter High School.

Timothy Bee

Dr. Amy Beiter

Former state senator and senate majority leader Bee now leads University of Arizona’s government and community relations team, a division composed of federal, tribal, state, and community representatives. He also serves on President Ann Weaver Hart’s cabinet. Gov. Jan Brewer appointed Bee to serve as a commissioner of the Arizona Commission on the Arts and he is currently serving his second term. He is a member of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce’s education workforce development committee and the Tucson Metro Chamber government affairs committee.

As president and CEO, Beiter oversees the efforts of more than 1,800 skilled caregivers providing world-class medical care in a compassionate, comfortable environment. Beiter serves as chair of the Southern Arizona chapter of the American Heart Association/ American Stroke Association. She was voted one of Arizona’s Most Influential Women in Business by Arizona Business magazine in 2014. For the years 2014 and 2015 Becker’s Hospital Reviews included her in its list of 100 Physician Leaders of Hospitals and Health Systems in the U.S.

VP Government and Community Relations University of Arizona

President and CEO Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital and Carondelet Heart & Vascular Institute

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B O A R D

O F

D I R E C T O R S

Sherry Janssen Downer

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T U C S O N

M E T R O

C H A M B E R

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Director Fennemore Craig

VP & GM CenturyLink

Guy Gunther

Stephanie Healy

Ben Korn

Downer specializes in employment and labor law as well as business litigation. She serves as chair of the Chamber’s government affairs committee. Her many awards and recognitions include being selected as one of the 2013 Women of Influence and Tucson’s 40 Under 40, and a 2014 Up and Comer; and she is peer recognized as one of the Best Lawyers in America. In 2014 Gov. Brewer appointed Downer to the Pima County Commission on Trial Court Appointments.

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

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

Although new to the board of directors, Korn is already busy helping the Chamber advocate for small business concerns and a better local business climate. He is the chair and speaks on behalf of the Emerging Leaders Council. He purchased his promotional products and printing company two-and-a-half years ago from his parents, who owned it for 30 years. Korn is a member of The Centurions, board president of Greater Tucson Leadership and recipient of the 2014 Copper Cactus Small Business Leader of the Year Award.

Robert E. Lenhard

David Lopez-Monroy

Jill Malick

Walter Richter

As a partner and head of the firm’s international tax practice, LopezMonroy provides tax advisory and compliance services to businesses and individuals involved in crossborder business activities. He’s a new Chamber board member and is active with Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Arizona and Business Executives Leadership League, and serves as a finance council member of St. Cyril Parish. Lopez-Monroy is also a 40 Under 40 award recipient.

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

Richter oversees community and consumer affairs and local government relations for Southwest Gas throughout Southern Arizona. He serves on the Tucson Metro Chamber Candidate Evaluation Committee and the Southern Arizona Business Political Action Committee. In addition to his work with the Chamber, Richter serves on the board of directors for Sun Corridor Inc. (formerly TREO).

President Hallmark Business Consultants Lenhard’s career spans 27 years leading Hallmark Business Consultants since its founding in 1988. The firm represents buyers and sellers of all business categories and provides formal business appraisals to banks that lend to companies. Lenhard is active with the Chamber’s Small Business Council. He’s a member of Arizona Business Brokers Association, International Business Brokers Association and the Merger and Acquisition Source. In 2003 he received an award of excellence as Arizona’s broker of the year.

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Shareholder BeachFleischman

Director of Public Affairs Cox Communications

VP Business Banking Manager Wells Fargo

Owner/Distributor Safeguard Tucson

Administrator Corporate Public Affairs Southwest Gas

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B O A R D

O F

D I R E C T O R S

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T U C S O N

M E T R O

C H A M B E R

2 0 1 5 - 2 0 1 6

Cody Ritchie

Steve Rosenberg

Owner and Publisher BizTucson Magazine

Partner and Owner Lazarus, Silvyn and Bangs

Keri Lazarus Silvyn

Lea N. Standridge

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

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

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

Standridge oversees a team at Raytheon that is focused on leadership excellence and critical safety process compliance. She is the board liaison to the Emerging Leaders Council. In addition to the Tucson Metro Chamber, she serves on the board of directors at Casa de los Niños and Tucson Jewish Community Center.

Howard Stewart

Cristie Street

Richard Underwood

President AAA Landscape

CEO Contact One Call Center

Stewart manages AGM Container Controls, which manufactures products for container, missile, electro-optical, automobile, packaging and public facility markets. He was recognized as Tucson’s Small Business Leader of the Year in 2002 and his company received a U.S. Chamber of Commerce designation as America’s Small Business of the Year in 2009. Stewart is the 2015-2016 chair for United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona’s Tocqueville Society. He also serves on the Greater Tucson Leadership Board of Directors.

Leading this locally based IT consulting firm and its team of technology professionals keeps Street on her toes as they help businesses improve by leveraging smart IT. Nextrio supports the Chamber by sponsoring its annual Copper Cactus Awards, which salutes companies that innovate through technology. Street and her team are active with numerous nonprofit organizations such as Ronald McDonald House, Social Venture Partners, Mobile Meals, Arizona Public Media, Greater Tucson Leadership and Literacy Connects. She is also leading the Chamber’s effort to actualize the Arizona Earn to Learn program.

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

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

President Crest Insurance Group

President and CEO AGM Container Controls

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Managing Partner Nextrio

Production Operations Raytheon Missile Systems

Judy Wood

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Tucson Metro Chamber Event Calendar CHAMBER XCHANGE Monthly Chamber XChange events offer investors and guests opportunities to build relationships and discover new business prospects in the community. Visit the event calendar at www.tucsonchamber.org for dates, times and locations for this interactive monthly event. STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESS Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016 Tucson Convention Center

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey

11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. www.tucsonchamber.org/stateofstate

The Tucson Metro Chamber hosts Gov. Doug Ducey, who will deliver the “State of the State” address detailing the issues affecting Southern Arizona and the entire state. This event attracts nearly 1,000 guests. The Tucson Metro Chamber Business Expo also will be held in conjunction with the State of the State event. This large expo provides exhibitors the opportunity to showcase their products and services to the community. STATE OF THE CITY ADDRESS Tuesday, Mar. 1, 2016 Tucson Convention Center

11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. www.tucsonchamber.org/stateofcity

The Tucson Metro Chamber hosts the annual State of the City luncheon where Mayor Jonathan Rothschild addresses more than 1,000 people detailing the goals, policies and objectives for Tucson in the coming year. The Multi-Chamber Business Expo also will be held in conjunction with this event. This large expo provides exhibitors the opportunity to showcase their products and services to the community. COPPER CACTUS AWARDS Friday, Sept. 9, 2016 Casino Del Sol Resort

5:00 p.m. Cocktail Reception 6:30 p.m. Dinner & Awards 9:00 p.m. After Party www.tucsonchamber.org/coppercactus

The Tucson Metro Chamber Copper Cactus Awards presented by Wells Fargo celebrate our region’s best small businesses – collectively the largest employer in our community. Every year more than 50 small businesses and business leaders are recognized for their accomplishments in award categories including work environment, growth, community stewardship, innovation and leadership.

Mayor Jonathan Rothschild Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry

INTERFACE Connect with city, county leaders Eight sessions per year Interface is a program that provides Tucson Metro Chamber investors four opportunities per year to communicate with Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and four opportunities to speak with Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry about public policy and doing business in Southern Arizona. The host speaker opens with a 15-minute presentation then takes questions and comments from those attending for a lively exchange of ideas and information. Registration is free. Meetings are held from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the chamber offices, 465 W. St. Mary’s Road. Investors can register at TucsonChamber.org by using the event calendar or by contacting Shirley Wilka at (520) 792-2250, Ext. 132. Interface meetings are scheduled as follows:

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City of Tucson

Pima County

Nov. 19, 2015

Oct. 22, 2015

Feb. 25, 2016

Jan. 28, 2016

May 26, 2016

Apr. 28, 2016

Aug. 25, 2016

July 28, 2016 www.BizTucson.com


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BizLEADERSHIP

GTL Cultivates Leaders By Romi Carrell Wittman Greater Tucson Leadership shapes up-and-coming and seasoned leaders by providing the knowledge, connection and leadership foundation for them to effect lasting, positive community change. GTL has been grooming Southern Arizona civic visionaries since 1980. In 2012, GTL became a partner program of the Tucson Metro Chamber with the Chamber providing office space, accounting services and communications assistance to the organization. “Leadership is important in every community,” said Mike Varney, president and CEO of the Chamber. “GTL provides current and future local leaders with an intense ‘back of the house’ experience about the social, political and economic drivers in our area.” Thirty-nine people recently graduated in the GTL Class of 2015. Over the course of one year, class participants, 118 BizTucson

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who are selected through an application and interview process, attend 10 issue days that focus on formative aspects of our community, such as education or the border. Finally, in the spring, the class undertakes a service project – not only to demonstrate leadership, but also to address a specific community issue firsthand with a boots-on-the ground approach. The 2015 GTL class adopted Hiaki High School, an underserved charter school located on the Pascua Yaqui reservation for its service project. Class members gave 22 career day presentations, volunteered more than 800 hours and raised $12,000 in cash and in-kind support. The funds were used to work with the students to install a community garden on the school’s campus – a lesson in sustainability and communitybuilding.

Varney said support of GTL is critical to the community. “The indirect benefit to the Chamber and the community is increased leadership commitment and capacity from a widely diverse group of citizens,” Varney said. The 2016 GTL class is underway and will continue through June 2016. In February, GTL will once again host the Man and Woman of the Year and Founders Award Gala at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort. The event is Feb. 6 and tickets will be available this fall at www.greatertucsonleadership.org. “GTL is committed to developing and promoting leadership in our community,” said GTL executive director Suzanne McFarlin. “Our 2015 Class demonstrated the vision, commitment and inspiration it takes to create positive impact. The Class of 2016 is looking just as promising.” Biz www.BizTucson.com


GREATER TUCSON LEADERSHIP CLASS OF 2015 • Bianka Benson, Greater Tucson Leadership • Helen Bernard, University of Arizona • Tom Bersbach, Sundt Construction • Ben Casey, Pascua Yaqui Tribal Court • Gina Compitello-Moore, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum • Nicollette Daly, Community Food Bank • Carissa Fairbanks, Tucson Metro Chamber • Elizabeth Fella, Quarles & Brady • Gina Gant, Raytheon Missile Systems • Sandra Garcia, Lovitt & Touché • Jodi Gonzales, 390th Memorial Museum • Norma Gutierrez, Southwest Gas • Brian Hagedon, GLHN Architects and Engineers Inc. • Douglas Hanna, Pima County Sheriff • Brian Hoeffner, Casino Del Sol Resort • Niki Hoffman, Girl Scouts Council of Southern Arizona • Douglas Holland, Level 3 Communications • Kevin Kaplan, Long Realty • Tim Keeland, Raytheon Missile Systems • Robert Lamb, GLHN Architects and Engineers Inc. • Linette Majuta-Perez, Desert Diamond Casinos & Entertainment • Edgar Martinez, Tucson Metro Chamber • Veronica Martinez, Casino Del Sol Resort • Jodi McCloskey, Pima County Health Department • Eileen McGarry, University of Arizona • Grassia Melendez, University of Arizona • Ellyn Moore, University of Arizona Health Network • Michele Murphy, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation • Jennifer Nolan, BeachFleischman • Tina Olson, Cushman Wakefield/Picor • Ariana Patton, Lovitt & Touche • Gabriela Porfirio, Pima County Attorney’s Office • Celina Ramirez, University of Arizona • ShaVonne Richardson, B/E Aerospace • Nathan Rothschild, Pima County Superior Court • Shalane Simmons, Raytheon Missile Systems • Yvette Smith, The Centers for Habilitation • Bruce Westberg, Pima County Sheriff’s Department

PHOTO: JAMES S. WOOD PHOTOGRAPHY

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Getting Things Done

Chamber Committees & Councils Ambassadors Chair: Berny Frenzer Quarles & Brady

The mission of the Ambassadors Committee is to educate, energize and empower all Chamber investors with the knowledge and resources needed to be effective and engaged Chamber colleagues. The Ambassadors strive to ensure

a best-in-class membership experience, so that all Chamber investors realize the value of their investment, promote collaboration for business growth and success, and develop meaningful professional relationships.

Candidate Evaluation Chair: Steven Eddy Tucson Electric Power

The Candidate Evaluation Committee interviews candidates for public office and analyzes their background, qualifications and positions on issues affecting Chamber mem-

bership. The committee reports the results of the candidate evaluations to the Southern Arizona Business Political Action Committee, known as SAZPAC.

Economic Development Chair: Bill Assenmacher CAID Industries

The Economic Development Committee works to support local companies and grow new ones. This committee is focused on improving interface between government and

business, solving problems faced by local companies, and promoting the growth of emerging businesses.

Emerging Leaders Council Chair: Ben Korn Safeguard Tucson

accelerate the growth of Tucson’s business climate along with their own careers. Council members are top performers representing organizations across a spectrum of business, be it private, public or nonprofit. At their monthly meetings the

council hosts guest speakers, who include prominent public officials and successful businesspeople. The council is committed to mentorship and promoting a culture of civic activism and political and business awareness.

Government Affairs Chair: Sherry Janssen Downer Fennemore Craig

The Government Affairs Committee monitors legislative processes and analyzes proposals, ordinances and bills brought before lawmakers at local, state and federal levels. Members of the committee are se-

lected by the Chamber’s board of directors and government affairs staff for their knowledge of public policy, political connections and awareness of issues and priorities.

Military Affairs Chair: Ellen Jimenez Viscount Suite Hotel

years. The committee focuses on advocacy, community relations, education, awards and recognition programs aimed at the men and women serving in the U.S. military. The committee supports Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, the 162nd

Wing of the Air National Guard, the University of Arizona ROTC program and other local U.S. military operations. It also conducts seminars to instruct local businesses on how to land business with the federal government, especially at D-M.

into bigger businesses. Its Small Business Council is comprised of small business owners who participate in identifying and developing programs, products and services to help small businesses make and save money, gain access to busi-

ness development opportunities and gain knowledge that leads to profitability. The committee is launching a new leads generation group to help businesses open new channels of business development.

The committee’s activities are centered on creating a more qualified workforce. The committee is engaged in the community-wide Cradle to Career initiative, which has

a vision of supporting the success of every child from cradle to career.

The Emerging Leaders Council consists of upwardly mobile young professionals, whose mission is to

The Military Affairs Committee has been supporting the military and connecting it to business for 86 Small Business Council Chair: Steve Steenson BBSI The Chamber has programs in place to help small businesses grow Workforce Readiness and Education Chair: Gregg Johnson University of Phoenix

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BizLEADERSHIP

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PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

BizLEADERSHIP

Tucson Metro Chamber staff from left – Front row – Shirley Wilka, Leticia Valenzuela; Second row – Lori Banzhaf, Valerie Vargas, Sarah Akers, Jackie Chambers, Jill A’Hearn; Third row – Edgar Martinez, Marta Balcerak, Tammy Jensen, Toree Calloway; Fourth row – David Long, Laura Nagore, Carol Gatewood, Carissa Fairbanks; Back row – Jason Cook, Mike Varney, Robert Medler. Photo taken at TEP Headquarters.

Executive

Communications

Mike Varney

Carissa Fairbanks

President & CEO

Laura Nagore CFO

Government Affairs

Member Services

Special Events

Communications Director

Robert Medler

Jackie Chambers

Events Manager

David Long

Leticia Valenzuela

VP of Government Affairs

Lori Banzhaf

Communications & Graphic Design Specialist

Shirley Wilka

Executive Assistant

Finance & Operations

Business Development

Finance & Communications Coordinator

Executive VP

Business Development & Advertising Director

Toree Calloway

Tammy Jensen

Jason Cook

Events Coordinator

Member Operations Manager

Sarah Akers

Marta Balcerak

Jill A’Hearn

Government Affairs Coordinator

Member Services & Affinity Director

Carol Gatewood

Member Services & Accounting Coordinator

Valerie Vargas

Member Services Administrative Assistant

Operations Assistant

Edgar Martinez

Business Development Executive

Contact us: Call (520) 792-1212 – E-mail info@tucsonchamber.org Stop by: 465 W. St. Mary’s Road, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday Learn more at: www.tucsonchamber.org 122 BizTucson

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PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

Mary Martin, Past President, & Roger Harwell, Chair, 2015 Tucson Classics Car Show

BizBENEFIT

In Gear to Support Women

Rotary Club’s Classics Car Show Backs YWCA Program By Ellen Wheeler Two of Tucson’s oldest community service organizations are joining forces to improve the economic status of local women and children. The Rotary Club of Tucson has named the YWCA of Southern Arizona’s Women’s Center for Economic Opportunity to share in the proceeds of its ninth annual Tucson Classics Car Show on Oct. 17 at The Gregory School. The center was selected as a beneficiary of the Tucson Classics Car Show because of its focus on workforce development, which is one of the club’s priorities. The organization targets women who are unemployed or underemployed, providing education, training, coaching and support to help them move out of poverty. “We have seen that the face of poverty in our community is female, and many of the poor are children,” said Kelly Fryer, executive director of the YWCA of Southern Arizona. She said nearly two-thirds of adults in poverty in this nation are women. Thirty percent of Tucson families are headed by women, and according to 2010 census data, 40 percent of women who head households are living in poverty. “The YWCA has been a voice for women and a force for positive change in this community since it was established here in 1917, and the WCEO continues that role by helping women find and retain employment that will lift them out of poverty and reduce their www.BizTucson.com

dependence on public assistance for good,” Fryer said. “We wholeheartedly support the work that the YWCA is doing at a fundamental level to break the cycle of struggle and poverty, one family at a time,” said Roger Harwell, chair of the 2015 Tucson Classics Car Show and electrical engineer emeritus with GLHN Architects & Engineers. The WCEO provides employment and entrepreneurship education and support for women not only to find jobs but also to find better paying jobs or establish their own businesses. Key program components include one-onone mentoring by professional women for women who are newly employed, management training for low-income women who have the potential to move

9TH ANNUAL TUCSON CLASSICS CAR SHOW Saturday, Oct. 17, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Gregory School 3231 N. Craycroft Road $5 for admission and entry in raffle for a 2006 Corvette C6 convertible or $15,000, and four other prizes. Children under 18 admitted free with a paying adult. Tickets available online at www.RotaryTCCS.com, from any member of the Rotary Club of Tucson or at the show. The event is sponsored by TucsonHouses.com.

from front-line positions to lower level management, and additional training and other support for businesses that partner with the WCEO. More than 2,000 women complete one of the WCEO programs each year. “The WCEO differs from many workforce development programs in that it tries to help those working in low-wage jobs improve their work and leadership skills so that they can win promotions, find better jobs and even start businesses,” said Phil Gutt, 2015-16 president of the Rotary Club of Tucson and owner of Association Managers. “Workforce development is perhaps the best example of Rotary’s growing emphasis on sustainable programs,” he said. “This program also complements the literacy and youth programs that have long been priorities for the Rotary Club of Tucson, founded in 1921 and is the oldest Rotary Club in Tucson.” Other beneficiaries of the 2015 Tucson Classics Car Show are Reading Seed, a program of Literacy Connects; Youth On Their Own, a dropout prevention program that supports the high school graduation of homeless, unaccompanied youth; Imago Dei Middle School and El Rio Foundation. The Rotary Club of Tucson has raised more than $750,000 for local charities through the Tucson Classics Car Show from eight previous car shows and expects to raise another $100,000 this year. Biz Fall 2015 > > > BizTucson 125


Dean, UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

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PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

Shane Burgess


BizEDUCATION

Achieving

‘With What You’ve Got’

Dean Steers UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Through Rough Economic Waters By Gerald M. Gay When Shane Burgess was a young man growing up in New Zealand, long before taking on the role of dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the University of Arizona, he dreamed of traveling the world. His interest in living creatures, big and small, helped him achieve that goal. In a country where the population of roughly 3.5 million in the 1970s was outnumbered by 70 million sheep and 25 million cows, animals and animal commerce were subjects that Burgess could wrap his head around. His dad managed co-op dairies before working as a civil servant in food safety. Every Sunday night, Burgess and his family would eat dinner in front of the television and watch sheep dog trials, one of the most popular programs in New Zealand at the time, he said. It was followed by “The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau.” “I wanted to work for Cousteau,” Burgess, 47, confessed with a smile. “But he wasn’t hiring by the time I was in my high school years.” Burgess instead earned a degree, the first in his family to do so, in veterinary science from Massey University, two hours north of New Zealand’s capital of Wellington. That higher education, along with his subsequent doctoral degree in virology and immunology from the University of Bristol in England, gave Burgess the ability to work at points around the globe, including in Scotland where he served as manager of an aquaculture facility and Western Australia where he is credited with establishing one of Perth’s www.BizTucson.com

first emergency veterinary clinics. He came to the UA in 2011 from Mississippi State University, where he was the director of the Institute for Genomics, Biocomputing and Biotechnology. Since taking the reins, Burgess has captained CALS through rough economic waters, while working on new ways to improve the institution, a purpose-led science, technology, engineering and mathematics college that serves as the primary land-grant component of the UA. CALS prepares students for careers in fields ranging from the environmental and biomedical sciences to retailing and agribusiness. It has 14 undergraduate majors and supports an experiment station, the research arm of the college, and a cooperative extension program in all 15 Arizona counties. “What makes a student successful is their ability to lead themselves, small teams, big teams and eventually large organizations,” Burgess said. “That is where we are focused – not on the process of education or the output of getting their degree, but the outcome of their contribution to our economy.” You don’t have to walk far into the Forbes building, the college’s home for the last century, to see what Burgess and his team have managed to accomplish. The Roman Classical Revival-style structure, constructed in 1915 and named for Robert H. Forbes, dean of the college from 1915 to 1918, recently received an extreme makeover to its lobby, the first renovation to the building since 1962. The new design sports modular fur-

niture, raised ceilings to allow for more natural light and herringbone flooring that mimics the pattern found in the building’s exterior brickwork. On one end of the lobby are offices for the academic advising team. Interview rooms with state-of-the-art teleconferencing equipment, designed to give employers the ability to speak with students in person or from halfway around the world, can be found on the other end in the brand new career center. The nearly $2 million project was paid for through private funding. “It wasn’t just about looking pretty,” Burgess said. “We could make a lot of buildings look pretty if we wanted to and had the money.” This design was all about function and how it would help the students, said Joy Winzerling, associate dean with UA’s Bart Cardon Career and Academic Services. Winzerling worked closely with Burgess and other university members to make the lobby a reality. “The renovations were driven because we were interested in our students and serving them in the best way that we could,” she said. “The new lobby gives them a continuity of support from freshmen through senior year and into their chosen career areas.” Another major project in the works for CALS, under Burgess’ watch, is the development of the new Veterinary Medical and Surgical Program, set to launch in August 2016, pending a Letter of Reasonable Assurance of Accreditation from the American Veterinary continued on page 129 >>> Fall 2015 > > > BizTucson 127


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continued from page 127 Medical Association. It will be the first public program in the state to educate doctors of veterinary medicine and is meant primarily to address the shortage of vets in rural areas, at large animal practices and on tribal lands. The program, funded through a $9 million gift from the Kemper and Ethel Marley Foundation and approved by the Arizona Board of Regents last September, will operate year-round, allowing students to finish their degrees at a faster pace and for less money. On-site clinical education will take place at facilities across the state from Yuma to Douglas to Verde Valley. In addition, students will earn handson experience, by working with private practices and animal health agencies in their final year. “Other vet schools tend to compete with these practices,” Burgess said. “We want to engage our community rather than compete with our community.” Students will initially be taught a curriculum that includes foundational topics such as commerce, human-animal interdependence and the interhealth relationships between humans, animals

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BizEDUCATION and the environment, before moving on to processes such as anatomy, physiology and surgery medicine in phase two of the program. Burgess said that strategy will give the students who don’t make it to phase two a chance to earn a degree in a related field. “It will set you up to be more competitive for employment anywhere, from animal production industries through to biopharmaceuticals.” Bonnie Buntain was the chief public health veterinarian for the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service and helped start a veterinary school at the University of Calgary in 2007. Buntain, who was hired on as a consultant for the new UA program and is currently its coordinator, said learning early on about commerce will be invaluable for students, whether they end up becoming veterinarians or not. “Veterinarians often don’t get enough of the business side of things in school,” Buntain said. “So they get discouraged and often times frustrated in practice. They don’t realize what a big role understanding economics plays. It probably has more of an impact on whether

a practice will survive or not.” Successes aside, Burgess has had the responsibility of making tough decisions since taking over as dean. He has been forced to impose budget cuts three out of the last four years he has been at the UA. The most recent cuts handed down from the state, to the tune of $25 million for the university, have been the most challenging “by a country mile,” Burgess said. The college is working with roughly $1.6 million less than last year. “Some of the most difficult decisions that I’ve had to make here have been within the last six weeks,” he said. “I am completely aware that the decisions I am making are deeply affecting families. That is a tough thing.” Burgess said his focus is on protecting the ability and capacity of his students to get their degrees in four years, using the resources the college has at its disposal. “Success isn’t determined by how much money people give you to spend,” Burgess said. “Success is determined by what you achieve with what you’ve got.”

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BizMILESTONE

Silver Lining Startup

BeachFleischman Celebrates 25th Anniversary as Powerful $22 Million CPA Firm By Rhonda Bodfield In the beginning, there was a garage. Bruce Beach had been Marc Fleischman’s supervisor at a local accounting firm when the two decided in 1980 to strike out on their own. The partners loaded some desks into a pickup truck and moved into a garage with one tiny office and a window air conditioner. It was not a particularly resplendent start, but they could drive their cars right in, so if one were to look for a silver lining, there was the perk of covered parking. In the span of the next dynamic decade, there was incredible growth followed by an ill-fated merger with a national firm that taught them lasting lessons about self-reliance and the importance of local governance. And there was the 1990 rebirth of their own company, stamped with resilience and the wealth of wisdom. Fast forward to 2015, and as BeachFleischman PC celebrates its 25th anniversary, it has the distinction of being among the 200 largest certified public accounting firms in the United States, from a pool of 44,000. From a dozen original employees and five shareholders, the company has grown to a $22 million organization with 6,000 clients, 140 employees and two dozen shareholders. Those in the know point to a multitude of reasons for the firm’s success. At its core, it’s about serving clients exceptionally well. Founding partner David Cohen likes to share with new accounting graduates that “we’re in the customer service business. Clients expect technical expertise. That’s a given. What we provide in addition to that is timeliness and responsiveness.” 130 BizTucson

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And if they remember birthdays, if they send a note to celebrate a client’s milestone, if they attend an event in their honor, so much the better. Tori Meyer, a senior manager in accounting and assurance, said Beach once told her if a client wanted them to tie their shoes, then that’s what they’d do. “That reflects a firm culture that really sets us apart,” Meyer said.

Change creates opportunity. Opportunity creates satisfaction. And satisfaction in your job and in your life is what keeps you going.

– Marc Fleischman President, BeachFleischman

But interwoven with that customer service ethic are three more priorities. The firm strives to be an employer of choice for strong talent. It is deeply embedded in the fabric of the local community. And it’s never static, growing new service lines and entering new markets. “We are people who embrace change,” Fleischman said. “Most accountants don’t, but we as a management group do, because change creates opportunity. Opportunity creates satisfaction. And satisfaction in your job and in your life is what keeps you going.” The company’s core work remains in A D V E RT O R I A L

the area of taxes, but a growing part of the business – as much as a quarter of it – is a host of add-on consulting services, including research and development credits as well as multistate tax and cost segregation studies. “We want our employees to be business advisers, not just accountants, so we are involved with every aspect of a client’s financial life,” Cohen said. Clients may call for advice if they get an offer on their business. They ask for trusts to be set up for their children. They want to know if they should draw Social Security at 62 or wait until 70. They’ve even been known to ask about refinancing the mortgage. “There are a lot of firms out there who see a client once a year when they do their taxes and they don’t see them again until the following year,” Cohen said. “We want our clients to see us as more than a service provider, but as a partner who can help them build their net worth and build their companies.” Through its SOAR services, a function of providing Strategic Operations & Advisory Resources, the company’s business advisers can step in to provide the skills of a CFO – useful for businesses that need that higher-level financial strategy skill set but can’t justify a fulltime, internal position. Also on the menu: strategic planning, leadership development, succession planning and human resources needs. Lori Niederlehner, a shareholder who leads the SOAR effort, shared the experience of a successful manufacturing company that was too small to warrant a dedicated human resources staff but wanted assistance with performance management and compensation philoscontinued on page 132 >>>


Bruce Beach

PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

Chairman & CEO

From left – Shareholder David Lopez-Monroy, Shareholder and Chief Operating Officer-Tax Richard Bratt, Shareholder Peter Beahan and Shareholder Bryan Eto Marc Fleischman President

David Cohen

PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

Executive VP

From left – Shareholder Karen McCloskey, Shareholder Lori Niederlehner, Chief Marketing Officer Eric Majchrzak and Shareholder George Henderson

Iaconis > BizTucson Fall 2015 > >David 131

COO - Accounting & Assurance


BizMILESTONE But it turns out it is also a staff satisfier. “The professionals in our office get to do unique things that are different from what people in the bigger national firms typically experience,” Beach said. “Let’s say you do auditing. You may spend your whole career working in the automobile industry. Here, you get to work in a wide variety of areas, so it is challenging and a lot more fun for professionals.” The company’s geographic footprint also is expanding with a Phoenix office that has the familiar BeachFleischman origin – rooted in humble beginnings to become a thriving hub of growth for the firm. International tax practice is another growing area for the firm. Shareholder David Lopez-Monroy began developing that expertise early in his career to provide service to a few large clients that expanded operations to Latin American countries and needed help with complex international tax issues. Conversely, BeachFleischman helps foreign companies and individuals with the complex U.S. tax regulations that are unique to them. And it consults with foreign investors regarding their U.S. holdings and related U.S. estate and gift tax ramifications. Growth has been fueled by a notable trend in domestic companies expanding operations overseas and vice versa, LopezMonroy said. It was also helped by the U.S. government substantially increasing enforcement of mandatory reporting of foreign activity and assets, given millions of dollars of assets held overseas by U.S. taxpayers. But it’s also just a function of good business sense, he said.

PHOTOS: BRENT G. MATHIS

continued from page 130 ophy. They interviewed a number of consultants and ultimately settled on BeachFleischman because the company brought a business advisory perspective to the human resources arena. “I was able to tie their objectives to the HR processes and stay within their budget, while working through a spirit of collaboration to circulate ideas,” Niederlehner said. Not only will the company be making changes as a result of a compensation study she completed, but the company is now considering succession planning as they prepare to transfer the business to the second generation. In part, the breadth of BeachFleischman’s services is an outgrowth of the big takeaway from the experience with the national firm, which ultimately went bankrupt. “We initially turned to them because we thought in order to keep up with the growth and demand we were seeing, we needed a big firm,” Beach said. “But what we learned is that we would never again rely on anyone else. If our clients needed something, then we were going to figure out how to do it – and we were not only going to do it better than anyone else, but we’d do it at a local level and at local cost.” SOAR provides clients with a one-stop shop. They don’t have to hire one firm for a tax return and another for their auditing and another for their strategic planning. All of it can be done with one trusted adviser and the backing of a team of professionals with deep expertise, Beach said. If litigation expertise is called for, Fleischman has it cold. If partnership taxation is their issue, shareholder Katie Ludwig is all over it. Silos just don’t work in that environment.

From left – Shareholders Kathyrn Ludwig, Bob Harbour, Jay Senkerik and Kim Paskal 132 BizTucson

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“Many companies are now realizing the importance of being able to compete on a worldwide basis,” Lopez-Monroy said. “Having this area of expertise in our firm allows us to quickly identify such opportunities and obligations for our current and future clients.” The firm keeps up with evolving best practices and industry trends through its membership in the Leading Edge Alliance, a professional alliance of more than 100 independently owned accounting and consulting firms. But most of the creativity is of the home-grown variety, with Niederlehner pointing to the international tax practice as an example of the passion for innovation that runs through the firm. Cohen said it has been gratifying to watch the company’s evolution since he was that 29-year-old founding partner. “Twenty five years ago, I looked around at the other people in the room, and I knew this was a good, smart, creative group of people I could learn from professionally and that would provide personal growth,” he said. “Twenty five years later, I was right. And we’ve done a lot of things right to get to this point.” Fleischman acknowledges the growth and scale of the firm wasn’t anything he could have predicted 25 years out. But this time, he has a clear vision of the next 25 years. “At the 50-year anniversary, the people who make up the firm still will be looking at how to make it the best place to work, how to do the best job of serving our clientele and how to continue the growth, whether in the state of Arizona or in surrounding states,” he said. “BeachFleischman will still be around, it will still be a good place to work and it will be the primary choice of young people coming out of college with an accounting degree.”

Biz

Pinnacle Plan Design Pinnacle Plan Design LLC, a subsidiary company of BeachFleischman PC, collaborates with employers and their advisors to design and administer retirement plans that turn tax dollars into retirement benefits. Since 2001, the firm has grown from one employee to 21 and now services more than 850 retirement plans nationwide, including 401(k)/profit sharing, traditional defined benefit and cash balance plans.

Good Advice Matters Experts Help Firms Earn R&D Tax Credits By Rhonda Bodfield There are a few things to know about the state’s research and development tax credit.

It’s more robust than the federal version in that it has a refundable credit option. In practice, let’s say you’re a startup company that has invested in a lot of research and development, but you haven’t made any money yet to actually merit paying income tax. The state will still write you a check for 75 percent of the eligible credit.

Second, the state’s annual cap for this credit is $5 million.

Third, that cap was completely used up on Jan. 2, 2015 – exactly two days into the calendar year. One long holiday weekend could mean the difference between thousands of dollars and a tryagain-next-year message.

Tax experts at BeachFleischman know all of those things. And because they were doing the prep work in November and December, their files were in the queue on Jan. 1. Of the $5 million, 12 percent – or more than $600,000 – went to BeachFleischman clients. “We’re very proactive when it comes to these kinds of things,” said founding partner and shareholder David Cohen, who specializes in tax credits and incentives. “In a broad sense, we are a client’s tax adviser and as a tax adviser, we naturally do tax preparation and planning. But we’re also strategists, and part of being a strategist is to look for opportunities for clients to save more money.” There are more than 100 state and federal tax credits to be aware of. “People are busy with their own lives and running their own businesses. They count on outside consultants and CPAs to help them identify opportunities,” Cohen said. “Most businesses are happy to pay their fair share because it’s part of being a good citizen and it pays for goods and services we receive. But if we are legitimately able to minimize their tax burden, that means they have the cash to do other things, like hire people, develop products and expand their business.

From left – Managing Member & Founder Kevin Donovan and Partner T.J. Orr

“It’s a win for the client and it’s a win for the economy – and it’s why good advice matters.”

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From left – Senior Manager Eric Maneval, Senior Manager Kelly Meltzer, Supervisor Daliah Bui, Manager Lydia Hunter, Senior Manager Jennifer Mansfield and Senior Manager Jon Bickerton

Keeping the Best & Brightest

Strategies Support BeachFleischman’s Success By Rhonda Bodfield Public accounting firms are notorious for high turnover, with crushing hours, stress and a lack of support fueling the churn. BeachFleischman has come up with innovative strategies to keep its talent. We spoke with Human Resources Director Karen Mattull about the firm’s approaches. Greater flexibility.

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their family during the busy season and then wrap up some work from home, we support them. Great client service starts with our employees. We treat our employees with respect.” Training.

“Once a year, all of our staff members work with their mentors to set their plan for continuing education. We recently sent 10 employees to Chicago and Los Angeles for training. We are strong believers in building expertise and keeping up with industry trends. We empower our employees to take ownership of their future with the firm.”

Support.

“We have two mentoring programs. We have the traditional mentoring relationship where management is assigned to a mentee to share success and provide guidance. We also have a reverse mentoring program, where staff members serve as mentors to the shareholders and managers. It’s a chance for people in different generations or life stages to work together to learn about new ways of doing networking through social media, for example, or advances in computer technology. We also have a buddy program, allowing our existing employees to take brand new employees under their wing and show them how to be successful.” www.BizTucson.com

PHOTOS: BRENT G. MATHIS

BizMILESTONE


Wellness.

“We started out with activities like hiking or rock climbing. Then we participated in Jim Click’s Run ‘N’ Roll and our wellness program grew from there. We have two big wellness events a year and monthly raffles for exercise completed outside of work. Employees tell us they enjoy the wellness program because it’s a tangible way that the firm shows employees they care about their health.” Work-life balance.

“It is extremely important to the firm to help our employees balance their priorities at work with their personal lives. The well-being of our employees and their families is essential to our workplace culture. We encourage family members to participate in firm activities like our Family Day in March. On Family Day, our families join us for lunch at the office and spend time getting to know other family members and coworkers. During tax season, the firm brings in gelato and other snacks, provides dinner to those who are working extended hours and we also bring in massage therapists twice during busy season to help employees take a break.” Social networks and community involvement.

“We’ve gone to baseball games, University of Arizona tailgate parties and barbecues, and we have happy hours to celebrate successes when people pass CPA exams. We organize food, toy, and school supply drives. This place is not the stereotype of an accountant in a cubicle crunching numbers. Employees are also encouraged to follow their passion for community service by serving on community boards. The firm allows employees to attend board meetings and activities during work time.” Biz www.BizTucson.com

From left – Manager Evan Feldhausen, Human Resources Director Karen Mattull, Supervisor Jamie Matusiak, Manager Fernando Barraza, Information Technology Director Sean Thomas and Senior Manager Tori Meyer

Plan for the Future

BeachFleischman Poised to Transition to Next-Generation Leadership By Rhonda Bodfield BeachFleischman knows all about succession planning. It’s one of their specialties. Asked to recall some of his most rewarding memories, co-founder Bruce Beach talks about the businesses started by grandparents that transitioned to their children. Now the grandchildren are poised to step in. “It is very rewarding to know you have assisted them in developing the internal controls and everything else they need to be successful from one generation to the next,” he said. As the firm he helped found celebrates its 25th anniversary, he finds himself identifying on a more personal level with the

next step of succession and the continuing leadership of the firm. In January 2016, Beach will step down as CEO of the firm, being more selective in projects. Cofounder Marc Fleischman will step up from president, opening up opportunities for new practice leaders to ascend to higher roles. The company is well positioned for the transition because of its structure and culture. “Many CPA firms work in silos,” Fleischman said. “The accountants are the only ones providing services to a client and no one else really knows them. It’s not really a firm so much as a group of people separately serving clients and sharing overhead.”

“Here, we really work collaboratively to play on the strengths of each of us,” Fleischman added. “We try to break down those barriers of this-ismine and that-is-yours. Instead, the right person here is the person who best meets the needs of the client.” Beach said the most important component in succession planning is making sure the entity that has been created and nurtured can continue without regard to the individuals involved. “The firm will do great because we have done a good job of transitioning clients from individuals to a team, and it’s exciting to have a new, younger group of individuals stepping up who will lead us in the coming generation.” Biz Fall 2015 > > > BizTucson 135


BizMILESTONE

Giving Back

BeachFleischman Supports Employees and Community

PHOTOS: COURTESY BEACHFLEISCHMAN

By Rhonda Bodfield Right around Veteran’s Day two years ago, BeachFleischman staffers had spent the better part of the day at a firm retreat. Commitment to the community is so embedded in the culture that they were soon splitting up into teams to tackle a wish list of needs for local veterans’ organizations, purchasing supplies and gift cards to help the men and women who have served and sacrificed. It’s not a requirement that’s found in writing, but a connection to the community and a passion for service are among the top characteristics recruiters for the company are looking for, said senior manager Karen Mattull, who heads the human resources department. “This is a workplace that functions on service. We provide excellent service to our clients. We provide excellent service to each other, and we provide excellent service to the community,” said Mattull, whose particular passion for service revolves around supporting wellness programming.

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That commitment has its roots in a particular passion of founder Bruce Beach, who has a penchant for reading business books and serves as co-founder of the Tucson Festival of Books. Very early in his career, “Firms of Endearment” resonated with him. “What I took away from that book is that if you want to be successful, everybody you touch has to be successful, too. That means your community has to be successful, your clients have to be successful and the person who serves as your janitor has to be successful,” Beach said. Tori Meyer, a senior manager in accounting and assurance, spent many years working on behalf of families struggling to make it through serious health diagnoses and now serves as president of her Rotary Club. In her case, that translates into a two-hour lunch every Tuesday, but the firm supports that investment of her time. “We work with a lot of powerful companies, so I think working in the community, where you see real need,

really takes you back to ground level,” she said. Sometimes, meeting community needs starts at home. Meyer started at the firm as a 17-yearold high school graduate, perfectly content to be an administrative assistant. Five years in, the two founders encouraged her to go back to school. She’s now a CPA and a senior manager with 20 years of experience. “My life would be totally different,” Meyer said. “I can tell you I would never have gone to college. They encourage people to aspire to be more than they think they can.” Cyndi Bardsley, meanwhile, has served as the administrative associate for the firm since its inception. She’s deeply valued as the first voice a client hears, and she has a knack for recognizing theirs in the future after one introductory encounter. Three years ago, her husband passed away suddenly. Even though the memorial service was just days before the April tax deadline, in a time of height-


This is a workplace that functions on service. We provide excellent service to our clients. We provide excellent service to each other, and we provide excellent service to the community.

– Karen Mattull Director of Human Resources BeachFleischman

ened pressure and pace, 75 percent of the office attended. “I couldn’t ask for a more wonderful place to work that cares so much about people,” she said. Looking back on 25 years, President Marc Fleischman said making a difference is what has made the difference. “I am happiest to be able to reflect on what the firm and its people have given back to the community,” he said. “Tucson is a great place to live and we’ve always believed giving back is among our primary goals. It gives us a good feeling.” Biz

From left – Shareholder Mary Duffy, Shareholder Tracy Hughes, Chief Operating Officer - Phoenix Office Phil Taylor, Shareholder Adam Cary and Shareholder Chris Lutes

Boots on the Ground in Phoenix

BeachFleischman Expands to the North By Rhonda Bodfield

Three years ago, the leaders of the largest certified public accounting firm in Tucson were at a crossroads. And those crossroads looked a lot like the interstate pointing to the Phoenix market. Not only did BeachFleischman have additional untapped capacity for growth, but as one of the two largest CPA firms in the state, it already had about $2.5 million in business with Phoenix clients. If establishing a physical presence in the Phoenix market was a natural choice, it was not necessarily an easy choice for a firm so deeply rooted in Tucson. “If you’re a business looking to expand in the Phoenix market, it’s tremendously important to have the boots on the ground because it is a very different environment,” said shareholder Phil Taylor, who heads the Phoenix team.

“I think Tucson businesses are constantly looking to Phoenix because it’s a huge market that’s only 120 miles away. If I was trying to evaluate those opportunities, I would want a CPA firm with professional advisers who know the banking, legal and insurance communities.” From one staff member in an executive suite with a shared conference room, the office has since grown to 27. “Having common beliefs and common culture is something extremely important to professional service firms,” said Marc Fleischman, the company’s president. “In 40 years of consulting with clientele in the professional services industry, I understand that we all have our own ways of thinking, but if we don’t have a common vision, we might not be able to work as a functional unit. We’re lucky enough to have done that, even with these two very different markets.” Biz Fall 2015 > > > BizTucson 137


PHOTO BY PAUL HOLZE, GROUNDWORK PROMOTIONS

BizCOMMUNITY

Tony Penn (center), President & CEO, and 2015 Campaign Chair Robert D. Ramirez (right), President & CEO of Vantage West Credit Union at Easter Seals Blake Foundation

Big Year, Big Goals

United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona Looks Ahead By Romi Carrell Wittman After an extremely successful – and record-breaking – year, it would be understandable if the folks at United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona might want to take a moment to catch their collective breath. But, on the contrary, they’re doubling down and gearing up for an even busier and better year. In fiscal year 2014-15, United Way raised more money and helped more people than ever in its history. Days of Caring, the organization’s signature volunteer service event held every fall, was the most ambitious to date, with some 3,400 volunteers turning out to contribute 14,000 hours of time on service 138 BizTucson

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projects throughout the region. This is in addition to some 200,000 hours United Way volunteers contributed throughout the year. “It’s great to talk about what we accomplished,” said Tony Penn, president and CEO. “First and foremost, we were able to serve more people in the community than ever before in our education, income and health initiatives.” Penn is looking forward to continuing this momentum with new board chair Daisy Jenkins, president of Daisy Jenkins & Associates, and new campaign chair Robert D. Ramirez, president and CEO of Vantage West Credit Union.

Howard Stewart, president and CEO of AGM Container Controls, rounds out the leadership team, serving as vice chair of the board as well as chair of the United Way’s Tocqueville Society, a group of United Way’s major donors. Jenkins brings considerable expertise and knowledge of the region to the job. Prior to launching her own business, she worked for Carondelet Health Network as its executive VP and chief HR/administrative officer. She also worked at Raytheon Missile Systems and Hughes Aircraft for some 28 years in human resources leadership roles. Jenkins is excited about the year www.BizTucson.com


Days of Caring United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona’s annual Days of Caring is the community’s single largest volunteer event, taking place on Wednesday, Nov. 4, and Saturday, Nov. 7. To register go to www.unitedwaytucson.org or email daysofcaring@unitedwaytucson.org ahead because she has a deep passion for United Way and the work it does in the community. “I have humble beginnings,” she said. “I know what it’s like to need certain services and to have those available — and to have them provided in such a way that the person retains dignity.” As a young up-and-coming leader at Hughes Aircraft, she participated in United Way’s minority leadership development program, an experience she said had a tremendous impact on both her professional and personal growth. One of her current passions is United Way’s Cradle to Career initiative. “It’s critical to give our children a good education so they start out with a solid foundation,” she said. “Cradle to Career is helping to increase high school graduation rates. It’s helping to re-engage people ages 16 to 24, which is a group that falls through the safety net. We want to reach out to them so they can become contributing citizens in our community and feel a strong sense of well-being and self-worth.” Stewart, former United Way campaign chair, said United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona is one of the most successful United Way organizations in the nation. “United Way is being extremely well run under Tony Penn,” Stewart said. “He has decreased administration costs below 10 cents, meaning 90 cents (of every dollar donated) is going to the people we’re trying to help. Tony has been tremendously effective.” Stewart added that United Way also has been extremely effective in fundraising. “For every $1 raised, United Way brings in more with grants and other funds. So for every dollar raised, United Way puts about $5.24 into the community.” Ramirez is ready for another banner year. One of his initiatives is to meet with top-level executives at key workplace campaigns to encourage a “best practices” approach and gain support from corporate leaders. And with Tucson ranking sixth among the nation’s www.BizTucson.com

poorest cities, he plans to devote a lot of resources to addressing poverty and the circumstances that cause it. “We want to increase RUM — Resources Under Management,” he said. “RUM is a measure of the dollars Unit-

I know what it’s like to need certain services and to have those available — and to have them provided in such a way that the person retains dignity.

Daisy Jenkins President of Daisy Jenkins & Associates Chair, United Way of Tucson & Southern Arizona

ed Way can invest to address issues that result in poverty in our community.” United Way and its partners offer a multitude of programs, each designed to address and ameliorate the causes of poverty. There are programs for people at any stage of life – from early education and literacy for children pre-K, to workforce skill development and financial literacy for working adults, to assistance programs for the elderly, with the aim of keeping them healthy and in their own homes as long as possible. United Way also supports programs for veterans, including job placement as well as financial assistance. Many people are unaware that United Way is the largest tax preparation service in Arizona. Last year, qualified volunteers prepared 16,000 free tax returns for low- and moderate-income families, which brought in $22 million in refunds for Arizonans. “That’s important because, as we work to maximize the refund, it helps our economy,” Penn said. “Those dollars are spent right here. We then offer financial literacy training to create financially stable households.” Penn said he can’t wait for the coming year. “We’re extremely excited about Daisy’s leadership and what she brings to United Way as a proven commodity and change agent,” he said. “When we think about uniting a force against poverty, Daisy has great experience in workforce development and she knows how to create the best environment for economic development. She understands what it takes to create lasting change.” When asked what she would tell a person considering getting involved with United Way, Jenkins doesn’t hesitate. “I would tell that person that if they really want to be involved in an organization with a tried-and-true record of having a positive impact on this community, this is the place,” she said. “This United Way is one of the top five United Ways in the nation, so if they really want to make a difference, they don’t have to search around.”

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Social Venture Partners Tucson selected 15 nonprofit organizations, chosen from 57 applicants, to participate in the two-month Fast Pitch program:

• Amistad y Salud • AZ Earn to Learn • Ben’s Bells • CommunityShare • GAP Ministries • Handi-Dogs • Jewish Family and Children’s

Services of Southern Arizona

• • • •

Literacy Connects

• •

St. Luke’s Home

Teen Outreach Pregnancy Services

Youth On Their Own

Make Way for Books San Miguel High School

Southern Arizona Research, Science and Engineering Foundation STEP – Student Expedition Program

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BizPHILANTHROPY

Venture-Capital Model of Philanthropy Investing $525,000 in Local Nonprofits

PHOTOS: COURTESY SOCIAL VENTURE PARTNERS TUCSON

By Monica Surfaro Spigelman Social Venture Partners Tucson brings a venture capital model to philanthropy – investing not only dollars but also expert business mentoring to help stabilize and grow nonprofits in our region. Think of these partners as mavericks in engaged philanthropy who use their capital, their passion and their business acumen to transform local nonprofits. “This is based on a venture-capital model,” said SVP Tucson board member and partner Dr. John Smith, a physician and entrepreneur in multistate HMOs. “We use financial means and the human and social capital of our investor partners – themselves successful business people – to help build organizational capacity in nonprofits. In turn, networking and education accelerate the leadership abilities of our partners. This model equips Tucson to best tackle our challenges together.” SVP Tucson is part of an international network of like-minded philanthropists organized in 39 cities around the world and headquartered in Seattle. SVP Tucson also is a program of Community Foundation for Southern Arizona. Founded in Tucson in 2006, SVP Tucson has pushed the philanthropy envelope in Tucson ever since – via the innovative concept of venture philanthropy. This approach to philanthropy took off in 1997, led by tech innovator Paul Brainerd of PageMaker fame, and grew globally through its entrepreneurial appeal. Around 2004, Tucson philanthropist and community leader Helaine Levy, director of Diamond Family Philanthropies, and Steve Alley, then-CEO of the CFSA, attended an SVP gathering and saw potential in this innovative prac-

tice, ultimately bringing the concept to Southern Arizona. SVP Tucson now has more than 70 partners committed to a strategy that combines effective investment for nonprofits with an equally strong program of educational opportunities for its partners, who are primarily individuals along with a growing core of corporate investors. “Our partners don’t want to just give money to good causes – they want to give of themselves in an entrepreneurial spirit that supports our beliefs directly,” Smith said. “This is the future of philanthropy’s toolbox – helping worthy nonprofits make the quantum leap that breaks through limitations and makes change possible.” The success stories go beyond writing a check. SVP Tucson has helped local nonprofits refine goals, streamline sys-

CONFIRMED FAST PITCH JUDGES Greg Byrne, VP of Athletics, University of Arizona Helaine Levy, Executive Director, Diamond Family Philanthropies Lisa Lovallo, Market VP/Southern Arizona, Cox Communications Ann Lovell, President, David and Lura Lovell Foundation Paul Luna, President and CEO, Helios Education Foundation Ernesto Portillo Jr., Editor and Columnist, Arizona Daily Star Jonathan Rothschild, Mayor, City of Tucson

tems and build human resources. The philanthropic nonprofit has invested more than $525,000 in eight Tucson nonprofits since its founding. SVP’s activist philosophy changes the underlying practices used to construct philanthropy, said Smith, whose insights are gleaned from years of also leading a women-centered nonprofit concentrated on developing countries. “Combining the accumulated on-the-ground experience of thoughtful partners with our unrestricted and long-term grants, we are able to build strong programs that respond more closely to the needs of our community.” Focused on nonprofits dedicated to improving life skills, SVP Tucson selects a single “investee” for a three-year grant cycle, awarding $75,000 in unrestricted funding. A skilled and interested SVP partner team is then matched with the nonprofit in a capacity-building collaboration. One example of how this impact investing works: Through its 2008 award to a collective of Tucson literacy nonprofits, SVP Tucson brought information technology to existing out-of-step data structures and re-engineered processes that reached into the heart of the multiple nonprofits, facilitating a merger between five literacy organizations now known as Literacy Connects. With re-engineering expertise like this, SVP Tucson is bringing another successful capacity-building program to the community. Called Fast Pitch, the ambitious and creative project is modeled after pitching competitions in the venture-capital community, which has already boosted community changemaking in 13 other cities in the SVP global network. “While our traditional grant cycle supports a single investee, Fast Pitch alcontinued on page 142 >>> Fall 2015 > > > BizTucson 141


BizPHILANTHROPY continued from page 141 lows us to spread our impact on a larger scale,” Smith said. SVP Tucson announced Fast Pitch this summer, attracting 57 applicants. Fifteen nonprofits were selected to pair with mentors for a two-month training process aimed at helping nonprofits clarify and position their visionary ideas, while learning from top-tier partners. After the coaching cycle, the process culminates in a Nov. 12 live-pitch showcase at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. “This is an unprecedented opportunity for nonprofits to tell their story, after receiving training to help turn potential into reality,” Smith said. The Fast Pitch fete begins with community networking that brings together broad segments of the community – investors, business leaders, nonprofits and agencies – and prominently features table exhibits from each of the 15 semifinalists. The showcase then moves to The Tucson J auditorium, where humanitarian Craig Kielburger, best-selling author and co-founder of the global children’s advocacy groups Free the Children and Me to We, will deliver the keynote address. “SVP is successful because of individuals who went for their goals,” Smith said. “What better keynoter to bring the principles of innovation to our Tucson audience?” Tucson’s Fast Pitch then becomes a form of creative theater – with the seven semifinalists selected as the finalists telling their stories in “fast pitch” fashion. Tucson buzz-makers – including SVP Tucson co-founder Levy, Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and University of Arizona Athletic Director Greg Byrne – were tapped to judge the persuasive capabilities of the performances to earn awards of more than $40,000 in several prize categories. Fast Pitch is an innovative and fun way for the community to come together for validation, inquiry and conversation about important issues, Smith said. “Everyone walks away energized by the optimism.” Fast Pitch intends to set the tone for a closer look at nonprofits, and to cultivate an interest in maximizing Tucson’s philanthropic strengths. “The collective vision of our partners is our biggest asset,” Smith said. “This is a group of really talented people with strong shoulders who enjoy coming together to make programs work. We want to awaken the spark in our community’s business innovators, to become part of what is the largest network of engaged philanthropists in the world.”

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FAST PITCH – PRESENTED BY SOCIAL VENTURE PARTNERS TUCSON Tucson Jewish Community Center, 3800 E. River Road Thursday, Nov. 12, 4:30 p.m. • Reception and exhibits from Fast Pitch semifinalists • Keynote speaker Craig Kielburger • Fast Pitch competitive entertainment by nonprofit finalists • Awards presentation Tickets $45, $25 for students Purchase at http://www.svptucson.org or (520) 209-2879 142 BizTucson

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PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

Adriana Kong Romero Market President Bank of America

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BizBANKING

Banking Future on the

Romero Balances National Role and Local Needs By Romi Carrell Wittman Adriana Kong Romero is just a little over a decade into her professional career, but already she’s made a huge impact. She’s one of the youngest market presidents in the nation for Bank of America and serves as the company’s enterprise leader in Tucson and Southern Arizona. If that wasn’t enough to fill her plate, she works with small and midsize businesses in the region. In addition, she oversees corporate social responsibility initiatives such as philanthropy and employee volunteer efforts. Born in Tucson and raised in Douglas, Romero attended the University of Arizona, where she received a bachelor of science in finance. She later completed her master of science in organizational management at University of Phoenix. In high school, Romero worked part time at Chase Bank and, later as an undergrad, as a teller at BA. These two experiences convinced her that she had found her niche. She loved not only the job, but the entire banking industry because it appeals to both her technical side and her desire to help people on an individual level. “I always liked the business side of it,” she said. “I loved interacting with different people and being able to help them. Each day was different.” After graduation, she went to work for Bank of America full time and officially began her meteoric rise to the executive level. During her tenure, she’s worked in a variety of leadership roles, including in the Premier Banking division, where she worked in global wealth www.BizTucson.com

and investment management. Despite the corporate responsibilities that sometimes require her focus at national levels, Romero maintains a steadfast focus on the needs of the local community. To that end, she works closely with local business clients to ensure their needs are being met. On the philanthropic front, she spearheads a huge community giving and volunteer services effort. In 2014, BA’s Charitable Foundation provided nearly $310,000 in grants and matching gifts to local nonprofits to address critical needs, with Primavera Foundation and Junior Achievement among the recipients. In addition, local BA employees contributed 3,612 volunteer hours in 2014 to service projects. Romero and Bank of America are also advocates for military service members and veterans, providing assistance funds, financial literacy education, and job placement services. BA is an engaged supporter of the Wounded Warrior program, and actively recruits veterans for positions at all levels of the organization, offering them specialized training programs to ensure their success. The bank also has actively supported the Feeding America program, with the company providing a two-for-one match for donations made during the fall campaign. In addition, BA works with Habitat for Humanity and United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona to provide additional funding to critical services. Romero gives her personal time and resources to serve on United Way’s board of directors.

“I want to ensure we’re a good corporate citizen,” she said. “Volunteerism is in our DNA.” Romero would like to extend this concept of philanthropy and giving back to shaping future generations. “I’ve had great mentors,” she said. “As a Hispanic female, I hope to be a leader and mentor to future up-and-comers.” Looking down the road at the financial services industry, Romero said technology will continue to influence the way we do our banking, and with the constant evolution of mobile technologies, it may morph in ways we can’t imagine today. “Think of the ATM and when those came out,” she said. “It took a while for them to be adopted because they were so new. But mobile technology has been adopted much faster because phones are an extension of us.” Millennials, she added, will be a big part of that shift. “They don’t write checks,” she said. Even though traditional brick-andmortar banking as we’ve known it is going away, people still want a local bank, a place – and people – they know they can rely on. “Technology continues to advance. You can be anywhere [and] do your banking,” Romero said. “But we will protect them as they do business around the world.” As for her own future, Romero is looking forward to it. “I followed my passion and it led me to where I am. I truly believe in what the company stands for – making financial lives better. That’s what it’s about.”

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Josh Banayan Co-Founder Tuch Tablets

Tyler Martin

Technical-Founder Tuch Tablets


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BizMILLENNIAL

Food & Drink at Your Fingertips UA Grads Offer Digital Menus By Jason Freedberg Three recent University of Arizona graduates are making paper food and drink menus obsolete – with touch-screen technology. With a Tuch Tablet, restaurant customers can casually scroll through a menu and drink list – complete with pictures and descriptions, in more languages than just English – and place their order right on the tablet. Josh Banayan and Jarrod Carr hatched their electronic menu idea for a competition in the McGuire Entrepreneurship Program at the University of Arizona Eller College of Management and won second place. The two graduated in June 2011 and decided to turn their idea into reality.

They launched Tuch Tablets in July 2013 with another UA graduate, Tyler Martin, who got a degree in computer science in the fall of 2011. “Meeting Tyler really changed everything,” Banayan said. “Building the right three-developer team was that important.” The tablets aren’t just a gimmick. With Web-based tools, the chef or manager can make menu changes immediately – to offer specials, for example, or delete sold-out items. The systems collect valuable data, tracking sales and trends and assisting with realtime inventory. Customers at Reforma Cocina Y Cantina at St. Philip’s Plaza use

Tuch Tablets to view and learn about the restaurant’s extensive menu choices. Steve Stratigouleas, the owner of Reforma, said the tablets “help his guests navigate through unchartered waters of tequila liquor.” Banayan and Carr started selling their product the old-fashioned way – through person-toperson pitches to local businesses. “Tucson was a great place to start,” Banayan said. Now they market their tablets at three to four trade shows a year. The trio sells or leases the tablets. Either way 10 tablets is the minimum order. For buyers, the tablets cost $200 to $400 each, depending on number purchased. The price includes all software and hardware, Banayan said. They lease the tablets for $10 to $20 per tablet per month, again depending on the number leased. Banayan said they have more than 60 customers worldwide now – including the Beverly Hilton in California and Hard Rock Hotel in Chicago – as well as JW Marriott Starr Pass Tucson Resort and Spa, Saffron Indian Bistro, Kababeque Indian Grill and Reforma here in town. As Tuch Tablets heads into its third year, Banayan credits his team and local support. “We’re so grateful for the start that Tucson gave us,” he said. “Our headquarters are here right now, and as we expand, we plan to keep it here.”

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Founder & CEO RBar Energy

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Brian Cornelius


BizENTREPRENEUR

RBar Energy Thrives withThryve Winner of $250,000 Innovation Challenge Grant By Anthony Vito

Brian Cornelius is an entrepreneur who took a passion and built a business. A native Tucsonan and former competitive cyclist, he was fed up with dry, artificially sweetened energy bars, and he believed that simple, tasty energy bars were missing from the shelves of grocery stores. Cornelius developed his own recipes for all-natural energy bars that typically contain no more than a handful of ingredients. Distinguished by their moistness and cookie-like shape, the bars were a hit among his athletic friends, so in 2010 he started his own energy-bar business, RBar Energy. By the summer of 2014 RBar Energy could count several successes including distribution in Whole Foods’ southern Pacific region, which covers southern California, Arizona, southern Nevada and Hawaii. The energy bars also had found space on shelves in major airports including Newark, LaGuardia and JFK. But Cornelius had hit a wall with funding and needed to figure out how to scale and grow his business. In October 2014, RBar Energy applied to a 12-week scale-up accelerator program called Thryve Next, which is run by Startup Tucson, the local incubator that has been helping businesses primarily under a contract with the U.S. Small Business Administration and with www.BizTucson.com

funding from other private sources. Programs like Thryve Next aim to help launch companies or push existing businesses to achieve higher levels of success. They typically offer mentorship and education, and facilitate the use of space and equipment. “With everybody, we begin with start over,” said Justin Williams, CEO of Startup Tucson. “What is the purpose, the problem, the value? Sure you have $150,000 in sales this year – but that’s far from $1 million in sales, so let’s prove that you can get there.” RBar Energy was accepted into the accelerator program and Cornelius began working with Williams in Janu-

ary 2015. In August, RBar Energy was awarded the Arizona Commerce Authority’s $250,000 Innovation Challenge Grant. “We coached him during his interview process and presentations,” Williams said. “But I think most important was the work we were doing during the program, the curriculum piece, to get him to think about – What does it mean to scale? What is it going to take to get there?” Coachability is significant to the criteria Thryve Next uses when interviewing prospective companies to accept into its programs. “He is super coachable, which was important,” Williams said of Cornelius. For Cornelius, polishing his communication skills with investors was a primary focus during his accelerator curriculum. With mentoring and coaching from Thryve Next, he was able to identify exactly what makes his bars unique. “I knew we had something different, but Startup Tucson and the Arizona Innovation Challenge taught me exactly what is different about our product,” Cornelius said. “We do something that nobody else can because of modifications we made to a piece of equipment.” “This intellectual property is defensible. We’re going to continued on page 150 >>> Fall 2015 > > > BizTucson 149


BizENTREPRENEUR

continued from page 149 apply for a provisional patent on this manufacturing process,” Williams said. “At the end of the day, the biggest impact we had on them was to get them to think of themselves as a technology company.” Instead of thinking of itself as a food company, Williams wanted RBar Energy to think of itself as a manufacturing company that happens to manufacture a food product. “Even if you’re not, if you can start to adopt that mindset, communicate the way they do, use their language, you will appear bolder and have the orientation that gets you conversations you want to have,” Williams said. Thryve Next is currently working with its fourth cohort, or group of companies, and since January 2015 alone has worked with 40 companies. Startup Tucson and Thryve Next are conscious of what Williams calls “the whole ecosystem piece. How do we engage people who are thinking about it but aren’t talking about it? Or people who are talking but aren’t doing anything about it? Or help those who are doing something about it but aren’t doing it well.” Tucson now has tools and programs available for entrepreneurs of any age or level of experience to optimize, grow and eventually scale their businesses. Thryve Next currently runs three levels of business development programs. The first is an express program that lasts five weeks and is meant for early ideas. The next level is a startup incubator, and the third level is a scale-up accelerator, the program that helped Cornelius. “There are different ways to learn, and we’re trying to create low barriers for entry into the programs and for the learning happening in our town,” Williams said. Giving people the opportunity to think and be bold is central to the mission of Startup Tucson and Thryve Next, Williams said. “Tucson is an amazing community to start a business, go through your R&D, hand out samples, because it is very tight knit here,” Cornelius said. “And now I’m discovering that it is actually a great place to grow and scale a business. The resources are right here.” Biz

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SPECIAL REPORT 2015

THE REGION’S BUSINESS MAGAZINE

ORO VALLEY IT’S IN OUR NATURE


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PHOTOS: COURTESY TOWN OF ORO VALLEY

Meet the New Growing Town Hits

When Satish Hiremath arrived in Oro Valley 25 years ago to launch his career as a dentist, he moved into a community where most residents were quietly enjoying their retirement. The Kalamazoo, Mich., native’s first visit to this area was at the invitation of an old tennis coach who brought him to the El Conquistador Resort to meet an acquaintance who would ultimately 158 BizTucson

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help him start his dental career. It was there, in the foothills of spectacular Pusch Ridge, that Hiremath realized he was home. “I fell in love with the area. I fell in love with Pusch Ridge,” said Hiremath, who is serving his second term as mayor of the Town of Oro Valley. “I knew this was the place for me.” Hiremath has seen his home grow

from about 5,000 residents in 1990 to more than 41,000 today. It’s a place of stunning natural beauty where residents of all ages can find everything they need without making the drive into Tucson. With exponential growth came a change in the vision for the community. It’s a town that wants to be everything to its residents, and not just a Tucson suburb. www.BizTucson.com


At 40+, Oro Valley is growing strong, with a vibrant business culture, growth in the bioscience and technology industries, a resurgence in housing development and new and expanded sports, recreation, arts and culture offerings. Whether raising a family, starting a business, launching a career, playing in the outdoors or enjoying the senior years, Oro Valley has plenty to offer.

Oro Valley

its Stride at 40+ “There’s nothing in this town that is done by accident or without a pointed purpose,” Hiremath said. “We don’t just let nature take its course. We’re molding nature into what we want this town to become.” And the rest of the country is taking notice. Oro Valley is listed among America’s 10 Safest Suburbs, the Best Place to Raise Kids in Arizona, a Playwww.BizTucson.com

By Jay Gonzales

ful City Community USA, one of the 10 Best Towns for Families and one of the 100 Best Places in America to Live and Launch a Small Business. It’s a town that originally was content with being a suburb of big sister Tucson. Its founders dreamed of creating the single largest retirement municipality in the country. But Hiremath said growth in the

1990s and beyond was bolstered by the housing bubble during which California homeowners moved here after selling their modest houses at monumental prices. Since then, Oro Valley has seen an influx of families, and with that came the need to provide them with the necessary infrastructure and amenities for a comcontinued on page 160 >>> Fall 2015 > > > BizTucson 159

PHOTO: DAVID SMITH

Among America’s Best


Incorporated 1974 14 miles north of downtown Tucson 36 square miles 41,011 population 17,804 households $71,628 median household income 96.8 percent of residents have a high school diploma or higher 51.5 percent of residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher Source: Town of Oro Valley

1. Ventana Medical Systems 2. Honeywell International 3. Oro Valley Hospital 4. Amphitheater School District 5. Hilton El Conquistador Resort 6. Town of Oro Valley 7. Walmart Supercenter 8. Fry’s Food & Drug Stores 9. Meggitt Securaplane 10. Splendido at Rancho Vistoso Other major employers include Sanofi and Sigma Technologies International Source: Town of Oro Valley

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Oro Valley’s Top 10 Employers

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We expect Innovation Park to take Oro Valley from just a force to be reckoned with in Southern Arizona to putting us on the national and global map.

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munity that was no longer just for retirees, Hiremath said. It needed schools, businesses, jobs and things to do. Oro Valley has a strategic plan comparable to a business plan you would find in the private sector. It provides guidance on the town’s daily operations to achieve the community’s goals and vision. Town Manager Greg Caton is tasked with ensuring the town stays on track with the plan. But even with the broad vision set before him in the strategic plan, Caton said Oro Valley managed through a significant growth spurt in difficult economic times by sticking to the basic values that have been the identity of the town since before he arrived. “We were struggling financially just like any other community across the U.S.,” Caton said about what he saw when he arrived five years ago. “With the Town Council and management, we made some really tough decisions that ensured our future. I say we served ourselves well by sticking to four core pillars. “The first is public safety, which is our brand that is near and dear to who we are. Second is water quality and assurance. Third was roadway infrastructure, specifically in pavement preservation. We don’t have any potholes. We don’t allow it. We’ve really sepcontinued on page 162 >>>

PHOTO: DAVID SMITH

Oro Valley at a Glance

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We don’t just let nature take its course. We’re molding nature into what we want this town to become.

– Satish Hiremath Mayor, Oro Valley

PHOTO: AMY HASKELL

continued from page 155

continued from page 160 companies like Ventana Medical Systems, Inc., a member of arated ourselves from other communities in Southern Arizona the Roche Group; Securaplane and pharmaceutical company with those three things. The fourth pillar where we were a little Sanofi. The town is deeply involved in weak and where we’ve added substantially the development of Innovation Park – is parks and recreation and quality of life the site of Ventana Medical Systems and with arts and culture.” Sanofi – as a hub for coveted bioscience In the last few years, the town has added and high-tech employers. to its arts and culture portfolio by annex“We expect Innovation Park to take ing Tohono Chul Park near Oracle and Oro Valley from just a force to be reckIna roads, developing a partnership with the Children’s Museum Tucson to open a oned with in Southern Arizona to putsatellite museum in Oro Valley, and having ting us on the national and global map,” a continuing partnership with the SouthHiremath said. ern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance. The overall vision, the mayor said, is For sports and recreation, the town into intentionally be a place that it wasn’t vested $5 million in upgrading the Oro when he arrived 25 years ago, where a Valley Aquatic Center to attract national person can literally grow up and do evcompetitions. The town also purchased erything within the confines of the town the El Conquistador Country Club for $1 – go to school, go to work, shop, dine, – Greg Caton Town Manager, Oro Valley play and retire. million and turned it into a community “I knew this was the spot for me,” and recreation center. Hiremath said. “And 25 years later, every day when I wake up, All the while, the town has continued high-level economic I know I’m in the right place.” development efforts that have landed and kept world-class Biz

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BizTECHNOLOGY

Biotech Seed Bed Innovation Grows in Oro Valley

Ventana Medical Systems

By Dan Sorenson It will be tough to match the Silicon Valley-grade local success story that occurred when pharmaceutical giant Roche snapped up a University of Arizona researcher’s 1985 startup – Oro Valley’s Ventana Medical Systems, Inc, a member of the Roche Group – for $3.4 billion in 2008. But that’s the kind of thing the local biotech industry group BIOSA – Bioindustry Organization of Southern Arizona – wants to see happen. BIOSA has launched a new nonprofit organization, BIOSA-Innovation, with the singular goal of building on the potent opportunity for biotechnology expansion in Oro Valley and extending it through Southern Arizona. The vision is to create a biotech subsector like San Diego’s thriving biotech cluster. That’s going to take, among other things, fertile ground for startups. With the goal of developing that fertile ground, BIOSA is supporting a $15 million item in the upcoming Nov. 3 Pima County bond election that would build 50,000 square feet of new lab and office space in Oro Valley’s Innovation Park. The master-planned business park is situated on a 535-acre campus in Oro Valley, and is home to high-tech and medical companies, including Ventana Medical Systems, which is the town’s largest employer, as well as Sanofi and Oro Valley Hospital. 164 BizTucson

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High-tech industry is nothing new to Oro Valley, where scientific collaboration, technological innovation, business opportunity and a well-qualified workforce converge. And while it still has plenty of room to grow, Innovation Park is off to a good start, helped by the fact that Roche didn’t leave town with the goods when it acquired Ventana Medical Systems. The global leader in tissue diagnostics stayed here and grew, and continues to expand its footprint with new buildings currently under construction on the campus. The company’s level of success already has bred and attracted some startups and could spin off even more with the optimal local environment, said biotech industry booster, Dr. Ray Woosley. He said there is a natural flow of innovative thinkers from growing companies who want to strike out on their own. A look at the CVs of executives, board members and lead scientists from several smaller, local biotech firms shows “formerly of Ventana Medical Systems” behind many, if not most names. Oro Valley’s Sanofi Tucson Research Center also adds to the synergy. The startup pharmaceutical research company, Selectide, formed by four UA professors in 1990, was later acquired by the international drug giant. Woosley is on the board of BIOSA, a nonprofit trade group made up of lo-

Oro Valley Hospital

Sanofi cal industry execs and leading scientists. BIOSA is a driving force in the biotech business and research environment that is rapidly expanding in Southern Arizona. Woosley, like others on the BIOSA board, has impressive credentials. He is a physician, pharmacology researcher and professor, and a former VP of the UA Arizona Health Sciences Center and dean of the College of Medicine. He’s also the founder of Tucson-based Critical Path Institute, or C-Path, formed to foster collaboration between private sector, academic and FDA scientists to improve the drug development www.BizTucson.com


Photo of Sanofi: Gregg Mastorakos, courtesy of DPR Construction

and regulatory process for medical products. BIOSA has been very active under the leadership of board chair Nina Ossanna, a former UA technology transfer officer who is now principal of Sonora Bioconsulting. “She’s a natural for knowing exactly what young companies need,” Woosley said. “So she’s made recruiting and supporting young companies the specialty of this trade organization. There’s lots of biotech in the region, but the ones that really need the help now are the ones that are just getting started. “We need to establish a seed-to-success strategy. It must include incubawww.BizTucson.com

tion of scientific discoveries from the university and acceleration from concept through product development by connecting companies to community resources and expertise so that they can grow, prosper and remain in the region.” BIOSA works with the other groups in recruiting, including Sun Corridor Inc. – formerly Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities, or TREO. Woosley said BIOSA worked closely with TREO and the Town of Oro Valley in bringing LCMS Solutions, a clinical testing lab, to Oro Valley from La Jolla, Calif., in March.

The $15 million bond project that would build the new lab and office space in Innovation Park is backed by BIOSA and also has the support of leaders at Ventana Medical Systems and Sanofi, both of which have committed to participating in the tech incubation project. Other organizations that have offered letters of support include the UA, Arizona State University, the biotech trade industry group AZCERT (a nonprofit dedicated to improved outcomes from the use of medications), the Town of Oro Valley, the Greater Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce and Desert Angels venture capitalists. The collaboration includes executives from BFL Construction, which was responsible for the construction of the Ventana facilities. BFL volunteered time and expertise to design the unique type of building that would be required to support collaboration and stimulate successful product development, Woosley said. Venture West, the company that owns and develops much of the real estate in Innovation Park, has also helped develop the plan. Biotech experts who guide and inform investment decisions by the Desert Angels have contributed their time and expertise as well, Woosley said. Ventana Medical Systems’ Chief Medical Officer Eric Walk is a strong backer of the bond item. “This building will facilitate collaborations between our scientists, Sanofi, university translational scientists and others working in biomedical research,” Walk said. “We are proud of this concept having originated in a ‘watering hole’ conference that was sponsored by TREO and hosted by Ventana in 2012. We have watched the vision mature as it has garnered backing from a broad coalition of Arizona leaders and organizations.” Walk, also a member of the BIOSA and BIOSA-Innovation boards said he worked on the proposal and believes it will contribute to high-wage employment opportunities for the region and provide a return on investment for the residents of Pima County. If the bond passes, Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry has indicated that the Oro Valley facility could be operated by BIOSA-Innovation.

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Fun & Games Recreation Contributes to Oro Valley’s Physical and Financial Health By Steve Rivera With a growing population that becomes more diverse by the day, Oro Valley finds itself tasked with finding a wide variety of places for its people to play. Among the latest investments by the town is the purchase of the Oro Valley Community & Recreation Center, formerly known as the El Conquistador Country Club. The new acquisition has 45 holes of golf, 31 lighted tennis courts, two swimming pools, a full-blown fitness center, a restaurant and a bevy of facilities and amenities for meetings and conferences. It serves as the centerpiece of Oro Valley’s efforts to give everyone a place to play. “It’s great,” said Ryan Knox, a former high school tennis player who has frequented the venue for seven years, well before the town took ownership. “I like to play tennis and work out there. I hope to see more people there. It has lots of potential.” Town Manager Greg Caton said membership sales in the first two months of operation exceeded projections for the entire year. Summer youth camps were booked to capacity. Residents have access to a series of free community enrichment programs at the center. “We’ve transitioned it into something everybody in Oro Valley can take part in,” Caton said. “There’s been a massive remodel and it’s created about 50,000 square feet of space to learn a new skill or get healthier.” 166 BizTucson

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But there’s more – including the renovated Oro Valley Aquatic Center – and the town is getting the word out locally and nationally by partnering with Visit Tucson to bring teams and events to Oro Valley, and not just Tucson proper. Visit Tucson and the Town of Oro Valley have partnered for more than a decade and currently are in a contract with three years remaining. “We’re looking to partner with Oro Valley every opportunity we get,” said Brent DeRaad, president and CEO of Visit Tucson. “We’re off to a really good start,” Caton said. “These facilities are phenomenal. They represent a wise investment to ensure the recreational asset of the community. The Town Council decided to make it a strategic goal to develop youth and amateur sports opportunities.” The Oro Valley Aquatic Center is putting the town on the map for national swimming and diving competitions. After undergoing a $5 million renovation two years ago, the center won the 2013 Outstanding Facility Award from the Arizona Parks and Recreation Association. Then it hosted the 2014 National Synchronized Swimming Championships. “For us, it’s a wonderful community amenity,” Visit Tucson’s DeRaad said. “We’re trying to talk to groups throughout the United States and Canada to come here and train during the winter months. We want to lure people here. We’re continued on page 168 >>>

Oro Valley Aquatic Center

Naranja Park off-leash dog park

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Naranja Park multi-use fields

Youth summer camp Oro Valley Community & Recreation Center

Oro Valley Community & Recreation Center

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continued from page 166 certainly going to try to find a lot of additional business to bring into that facility over the next couple of years.” But the Aquatic Center isn’t just a facility for competitions. The renovation included fun features for families, including a water slide, a splash pad and diving boards. “I call it the Oro Valley model,” Caton said. “We built it for the community. However, if you can upsize things for just a minor amount of additional cost and are able to attract events (from all over the country), then that’s good for everyone.” The town is doing the same thing with Naranja Park, which is transforming into a recreation haven. Archery, multi-purpose fields, a dog park and walking paths highlight an already glorious area where people can enjoy the outdoors. And what an outdoors it is – with hiking trails, bike paths, camping and horseback riding, all with wondrous views. The 2010 census made it clear to Oro Valley officials that the growing numbers of families and children would require even more family-oriented opportunities, Caton said. “Naranja Park sat idle for years and now it’s a multi-sport field,” Caton said. “The acquisition of El Conquistador is another improvement, with the opportunity to pick it up for $1 million paid over three years.” The recreation facilities have provided an economic benefit to the town of about $4 million since 2013, drawing visitors from around the country, Caton said. Before the year ends, Oro Valley will hold or participate in:

4 A national college golf team event Youth summer camp

4 El Tour de Tucson 4 Sprint Triathlon 4 10th Annual Harvest for Hope 5K 4 Flying Fish Arizona Swim Team Winter Lights Meet

“Quail Trail,” 2015 Transportation Art by Youth Public Art Project

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The Community Center and its golf and tennis facilities also could be a big draw, DeRaad said. Visit Tucson is looking to bring in professional golf events, such as mini tours. With top-notch tennis facilities, it’s also trying to attract national tennis events, he said. “Oro Valley is a very nice destination,” DeRaad said. “There’s a resort, it has nice hotels and great restaurants. From our standpoint, it’s all about economic development, making sure we bring in the maximum number of people possible to enjoy the area.” Caton said the facilities and their functions are a significant draw to the area. And with youth sports, if the parents like the venue, all the better. “Parents are so involved in their kids’ sports,” he said. “We call that forced tourism in that if the child comes, two or three more people come with them. We want part of that action. Parents will say, ‘Hey, Oro Valley is a great place. Let’s come back and visit and spend more time there.’ That helps our brand.”

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4 Arizona Swimming Age Group State Championships


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BizCULTURE

Art at the Heart Oro Valley Grows Arts and Culture Offerings By Jay Gonzales

For a taste of Tchaikovsky or a peek at Picasso, Oro Valley residents for decades traveled to Tucson or Phoenix for their art and culture fix. Over the last couple of years, however, the town has added to its arts and culture portfolio by annexing Tohono Chul Park, opening a satellite branch of the Children’s Museum Tucson and continuing its strong partnership with the Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance – or SAACA – to give the town an arts and culture heartbeat all its own. It’s all part of a formal plan for the town, said Oro Valley Mayor Satish Hiremath. “We are trying to master plan the community where we have something for residents from birth all the way to death and everything in the middle,” Hiremath said. The most recent major development was the May opening of the first satellite branch of the Children’s Museum Tucson, which is located downtown. The Children’s Museum Oro Valley came to fruition after Executive Director Michael Luria was approached by Hiremath in 2014. “To be honest, it was not something we had thought about,” Luria said about his initial reaction to the idea. “But it aligns with the changing demographics of Oro Valley which has become younger and more family-oriented over time.” Luria and his staff took a hard look at what the museum should be. After surveys and discussions with interested groups, a museum was created for children up to age five. It was all about attention span. “For parents living in Oro Valley, if 170 BizTucson

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you have young ones with a short attention span, how often are you going to drive 30 minutes for an experience that may be from 30 to 60 minutes long, then turn around and drive home?” Luria said. “Our suspicion was not very often. When we did surveys they said they would come more often with young children if it was close to home.” The museum joined the portfolio of arts and culture offerings that has grown with the help of committed arts and culture organizations. One of those was Tohono Chul Park, named “One of the World’s Ten Best Botanical Gardens” by Travel + Leisure Magazine. Tohono Chul was willingly annexed into Oro Valley in 2013. With its gardens, galleries and bistro, it is a nearby haven for Oro Valley residents. Executive Director Christine Conte said the process to become a part of Oro Valley took a little longer than it did for the Children’s Museum, but the town was no less aggressive. “My very first day, I walked into my office and the very first phone call I got was from Oro Valley welcoming me as the new director and they wanted to talk to me about annexation,” Conte said. “It was a multi-year process, and eventually we realized this would be a very good thing because we had so many mutual goals. There was a very genuine desire to make the community better that matched. That’s what we’re here for.” Tohono Chul is now planning an event pavilion expansive enough to host concerts beyond what it can facilitate in continued on page 172 >>>


PHOTOS: DAVID SMITH

PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

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BizCULTURE

continued from page 170 its current performance garden. All this is right up the alley of SAACA, which is focused on bringing a wide range of events to Oro Valley, including concerts, art exhibits, festivals and culinary and car shows. Among its business initiatives, SAACA helps developers in meeting the town’s requirement that 1 percent of all new commercial construction costs be dedicated to public art. You can find beauty throughout the town, from Ventana Medical Systems, Inc., a member of the Roche Group, to Oracle Crossings Shopping Center. Oro Valley artists showcase their creativity at the Art in Oro Valley exhibit hosted by Ventana. SAACA also played a role in the recent installation of the “Quail Trail” sculpture installed in Naranja Park in August, in conjunction with the Town of Oro Valley and Pima Association of Governments. Led by Tucson artists Jason Butler and Hiro Tashima, nine Oro Valley students created a charming, oversized quail family toting a skateboard, arrows and a picnic basket for their park adventure. The whimsical sculptures were constructed from steel and concrete. Born as the Greater Oro Valley Arts Council in 1997, SAACA expanded to become the Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance to widen its audience and reach, making the organization more financially viable during the economic downturn. Executive Director Kate Marquez said Oro Valley continues to get a great deal of SAACA’s attention, and the group gets support from the town. “The intent was to help build a local arts agency that could support the type of activities and programming that the town wanted,” Marquez said of the organization’s roots, adding that there always is a business component involved in what the group puts together. “People know us for all the events we produce year after year,” Marquez said. “What they don’t always know is that each of those is a solid business and arts relationship. We know we have to put an economic development figure on the events and programs that we’re doing in the community. Now we build a case for the arts not founded in art only for art’s sake but in the economic value of the arts.”

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BizEDUCATION

Excellence in Education School Success a Priority in Oro Valley By Jay Gonzales As Oro Valley transformed from a cozy retirement community in the 1990s to a significantly more diverse 21st century community, there were challenges to be addressed, not the least of which was making sure there were enough schools and that they would support the town’s long-term vision of becoming a high-tech employment hub. Oro Valley Mayor Satish Hiremath estimated that 85 percent of the town was made up of retirees when he moved to the community in 1990. But by the 2010 census, the median age had dropped to 49.8 years, families were everywhere among the town’s 40,000-plus residents, and some high-tech companies had planted their flags in town, including Ventana Medical Systems, Inc., a member of the Roche Group, and pharmaceutical company Sanofi. Michelle Mason, head of school at the charter school BASIS Oro Valley, said her organization’s leadership recognized the educational need when it built what is now a K-12 school on Oracle Road. The BASIS high schools have 174 BizTucson

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been consistently ranked among the top high schools in the country. “When high-tech companies are trying to recruit people to come here, one of their concerns is always education,” Mason said. “That’s true whether they’re coming from the East Coast or if they’re recruiting from Europe.” Patrick Nelson, superintendent of Amphitheater Public Schools since 2012, said his district has welcomed the challenge and has long-term plans to address the need for education in the science, technology, engineering and math – or STEM – fields. “We are making a concerted effort to build a STEM education for our students,” Nelson said. “We’ve added engineering classes to the high schools and middle schools. And we’re already planning to build a STEM elementary school that will open in 2017-2018.” The district has the added benefit of being served by a police department that has maintained its school resource officer – or SRO – program while some agencies in Southern Arizona and

throughout the nation have put those programs on the budget chopping block. “When the economy went down, I was adamant that we would not take officers out of schools,” said Oro Valley Police Chief Daniel Sharp. “When talking to educators that had SROs and lost their SROs, they said they started seeing additional problems. “The officers there are police officers, they’re counselors and they’re educators. They’re not campus cops so they truly are a resource to the kids.” While the SROs aren’t assigned to the private and charter high schools – BASIS Oro Valley, Pusch Ridge Christian Academy and Immaculate Heart School – administrators know police are nearby in case a safety issue arises. Working in collaboration with the Town of Oro Valley, the schools are focused on providing safe and engaging learning environments. “It’s been a joy to work with the Town of Oro Valley,” Nelson said. “We talk a lot and we have a lot of issues of mutual interest. Our visions are aligned.”

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From left PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

Omar Mireles

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Executive VP, HSL Properties

Jerry Fischer

Project Manager, HSL Properties

Michael Censky

VP, HSL Construction Services

Ghee Alexander

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GM, Hilton Tucson El Conquistador Golf & Tennis Resort www.BizTucson.com


BizTOURISM

PHOTOS: COURTESY HILTON TUCSON EL CONQUISTADOR GOLF & TENNIS RESORT

Polishing the Hilton El Conquistador Jewel

HSL Properties Invests $16 Million in Oro Valley Resort By Kimberly Schmitz The new local owners of the Hilton Tucson El Conquistador Golf & Tennis Resort are investing $16 million to polish Oro Valley’s gem of a property at the base of Pusch Ridge in the Santa Catalina Mountains. The renovation is expected to make the iconic property an even stronger draw to Oro Valley. HSL Properties bought the 428-room resort for $15 million in 2014, then sold the golf, tennis and country club facilities to the Town of Oro Valley for a below-market price of $1 million. “We are looking to bring the resort back to its roots, enhancing the motif as a distinctively Tucson property, a Southwest property,” said HSL Properties’ Executive VP Omar Mireles. The El Conquistador Resort opened in 1982, and for 31 of its 33 years earned the AAA Four-Diamond Award.

This was the second time that HSL Properties made an offer on the iconic resort. Financial issues led the property to the auction block in 2012. “We first looked seriously at this property a few years ago when we were considering investing as a minority partner,” said Humberto Lopez, president of HSL Properties. “There were complications with the agreement structure and it didn’t work out.” The resort was acquired by key lender Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. In late 2014, Met Life received an aggressive purchase offer from HSL Properties. “This time we were all in the right place at the right time and the deal was done within 30 days from offer to closing,” Lopez said. Lopez and Mireles attended a conference to meet Hilton leadership. There

they encountered Prism Hotels & Resorts. “We felt we didn’t have the tools and resources to manage a property of this magnitude, so we decided to bring in Prism,” Mireles said. Prism took on management of all HSL Properties hotel assets – totaling 1,000 rooms at varying price points – and invested in the El Conquistador property and a Tucson-based management team. The deal included a property improvement plan requiring further investment in the form of functional and cosmetic enhancements to the resort. The $16 million renovation in progress will not only satisfy but also exceed the plan’s requirements, Mireles said, and the hotel will remain open throughout renovation. A possible name change is continued on page 178 >>>

Newly remodeled rooms

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BizTOURISM

continued from page 177 also being explored. Prism veteran Ghee Alexander took the reins of the resort as GM the same month the sale closed. Experienced in previous successful repositioning and renovation projects, his passion and excitement for this property are fresh and contagious. “This area is so unique, beautiful and calming,” Alexander said of Oro Valley. “Our goal is to integrate the region’s indigenous assets to create an experience completely authentic to the area. We’ll strive to create a true sense of Tucson’s corner of the Southwest and make people feel as though they are part of the ecology, environment, and culture – even if they don’t leave the resort.” The resort’s first impressions will be refreshed with new signage, landscaping and sunset viewing area at the entrance and roundabout. The recently renovated lobby will feature registration pods designed to embody Tucson’s welcoming spirit and natural beauty. Retractable doors in the Conquistador Lounge will open onto a spectacular courtyard with stunning mountain views. In the resort’s center, fire pits among leveled gathering spaces, a hummingbird garden, re-decked pools and new slides will provide opportunity for fun under the sun and moon. Activities will include regular Native American sunset flute serenades and tequila tastings. Inside, a business lounge/connectivity zone will adjoin a new coffee shop with grab-and-go menu options. Executive meeting facilities redone in 2012 will benefit from technological updates. Conference and pre-function areas also will be refreshed with new carpet, window treatments and décor. Epazote Kitchen & Cocktails and Sundance Café will receive locally inspired décor enhancements, more patio seating and expanded menus, which already include flights of beer, margaritas and tequila. Guest rooms and casita upgrades will include remodeled bathrooms and updated, regionally evocative décor, and a spa enhancement is in the planning stages. The new management is focusing on all things Southwest, and that extends to experiences offered at the resort. One example from this past summer was Back to True Self, presented by Tony Redhouse, Native American spiritual coach, musician and inspirational speaker. Alexander said he does not believe in making sweeping staff changes and commends the existing team for its accomplishments through the recent economic downturn and transition periods. He values the resort’s employees – some with 10, 15 and 20 years experience – as sources of local pride, institutional knowledge, founts of ideas and agents of positive change. “What we can accomplish here will truly elevate the resort’s offerings to guests and the community – and its profitability,” Alexander said. “This will be something that the owners, staff and I will be proud of all our lives.”

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BizHOUSING Rancho Del Cobre by Maracay Homes

The Uplands at Oro Valley by A.F. Sterling Homes

Stone Gate at Stone Canyon by Monterey Homes

Building Buzz

Oro Valley Construction on the Rebound By Jay Gonzales There’s a buzz around Oro Valley. But it’s not coming from any of the critters living in the desert around nearby Pusch Ridge. It’s coming from Oro Valley itself, said David Williamson, president of Fairfield Homes, one of the many homebuilders active in the town. “The Oro Valley/Tangerine corridor is really doing very well from a sales standpoint and from a permit standpoint,” Williamson said. “It just seems like there’s a lot happening here. It has a buzz.” Fairfield is building 70 high-end homes in the once-financially troubled Stone Canyon development, which is seeing a rebirth with the acquisition of the golf country club a little over a year ago by PGA TOUR golfer Phil Mickelson and his business partner Steve Loy. While the prospects at Stone Canyon are on the upswing, including the building of a new clubhouse, Williamson said his company chose to build in Oro Valley in large part because of the town’s overall attractiveness. There are currently more than a half dozen homebuilders active within the town, including one based in Canada, and permits have either been approved 180 BizTucson

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or are being generated for more than 1,200 homes. Among the builders active in Oro Valley are: • A.F. Sterling Homes • D.R. Horton • Fairfield Homes • Lennar • Maracay Homes • Mattamy Homes • Meritage Homes • Richmond American Homes • Sombra Homes “There’s no question Oro Valley is one of the top sub-markets in Southern Arizona,” said Josh Robinson, division president at Mattamy Homes, based in Toronto. “A lot of that comes from the level of services, the quality of the infrastructure, the quality of the town staff, the scenic setting, and the well-planned and thoughtful designs in and around the town limits.”

Mattamy Homes is currently going through the permitting process to build on 100 acres of land it owns in Rancho Vistoso, the one-time retirement development that has evolved into a much more diverse community with the surrounding growth. Robinson said his company has been satisfied enough with what it has seen so far that it is in the process of purchasing additional parcels in Oro Valley for future development. The builders agree that Oro Valley’s attention to infrastructure and planning are what makes the town attractive to them and others who are active there. “From a planning and road and infrastructure standpoint, they’ve done a nice job being mindful of what it takes to allow for growth,” Robinson said. “Like anything, there’s going to be unforeseen challenges. However, I do think they’ve been thoughtful in how they want to take on the growth.” Keeping the infrastructure in tip-top shape has been a priority for town managers albeit a difficult one to stay ahead of, said Oro Valley Town Manager Greg Caton. continued on page 182 >>> www.BizTucson.com


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BizHOUSING

A Sampling of Oro Valley’s New-Home Development Stone Gate at Stone Canyon by Monterey Homes Stone Gate offers new homes within Stone Canyon, Tucson’s premier private residential golf community. Situated in the foothills of the Tortolita Mountains, new homes range from 2,888 to 3,397 square feet with dramatic designs and fine interior finishes. Rancho de Plata by Meritage Homes Situated at the base of the Catalina Mountains, Rancho De Plata offers new homebuyers an incredible value in Oro Valley. This intimate community of only 50 homes features floor plans from 2,278 to 3,671 square feet, priced from the upper $200s. Quick move-in homes are available for those looking to move before the end of the year. The Uplands at Oro Valley by A.F. Sterling Homes This gated community features spacious three- and four-bedroom homes with an extensive list of luxury appointments and included features, with easy access to schools, shopping, golf and Interstate 10. Rancho Del Cobre by Maracay Homes This development features 68 homesites with one-story home designs ranging from 2,723 to 3,845 square feet and priced from $374,000 to $452,000. Spacious great rooms, walk-in kitchen pantries and a secret passageway from the master closet to the laundry room are featured. CenterPointe Vistoso by Maracay Homes (Opening early 2016): This group of neighborhoods will feature 343 premium homesites and will be one of the final opportunities to build in the master-planned community of Rancho Vistoso. Offered are a variety of floor plans within five gated neighborhoods.

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I think the reason we’re not digging ourselves out of a hole as we’re coming out of this recession is we invested in our infrastructure. – Greg Caton Town Manager Oro Valley

continued from page 180 Knowing that other municipalities were having a tough time maintaining their infrastructure – primarily roads – in a down economy, Caton said Oro Valley wasn’t going to let theirs deteriorate due to a lack of money. They were going to find it somewhere and, he said, they did. “I think the reason we’re not digging ourselves out of a hole as we’re coming out of this recession is we invested in our infrastructure and maintained our previous funding levels,” Caton said. He recalled one of his first budget processes with the town when funding was nearly a half million dollars short of the $1.1 million needed for a pavement preservation project. “Guess what,” Caton said, “Council funded it at $1.1 million because the town engineer said if you don’t, you will never be able to dig yourself out of that hole. You never catch up. That is leadership by Town Council.” Tough choices have to be made every year, Caton said. But, the payoff is evident as voiced by the builders. “As you look at what’s been happening in the county and the city and budget issues and infrastructure challenges,” Robinson said, “Oro Valley has done a lot of things well, and it puts them in position to ultimately be a top destination for both retirees and families and hopefully more employment. They’ve got the whole package.”

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Thin Blue Line Reporting

From left – CEO Jacob Rhoads, COO Justin Harris and Chief Technology Officer Jonathan Rhoads

High-Tech Police Pioneers

Oro Valley PD Partners with Town Techies to Develop Thin Blue Line By Jay Gonzales When a group of tech-savvy entrepreneurs with Oro Valley connections was looking for the perfect law enforcement agency to try out an application they were developing, they had to look no further than their back yards. In the Oro Valley Police Department, they found a chief and a staff with a vision to be at the forefront of modern policing, using available technology and willing to work on developing new ways of operating. “We want to look at the future. We want to look at what’s coming at us,” said Oro Valley Police Chief Daniel Sharp. “We can’t police for today. We have to police for tomorrow.” The three founders of Thin Blue Line Reporting – brothers Jacob and Jonathan Rhoads and Justin Harris – ei184 BizTucson

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ther grew up or lived in Oro Valley. Jacob Rhoads and Harris graduated from Canyon Del Oro High School, and all three earned various bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Arizona while living in the town. Together, they ventured into the hightech industry with an eye toward developing security and law enforcement software. When they developed their application to electronically issue traffic citations, they found the Oro Valley Police Department ready to collaborate with them to perfect it, expand it, and – more importantly – use it. “Oro Valley Police Department is known for their use of technology and forward-thinking and early adoption of the latest and greatest technology,” said Jacob Rhoads, Thin Blue Line’s CEO. Harris is the company’s COO, Jona-

than Rhoads is chief technology officer and Joe Panther is CFO. “We did some test marketing to law enforcement and found there was an overwhelming desire and need for this technology,” Jacob Rhoads said. “The next level was to find a couple of the agencies that fit a couple of criteria. Oro Valley came in as a target agency.” With a department of about 100 officers and an attitude that new technology was a good thing, the Oro Valley PD helped Thin Blue Line get the application ready to put on the streets in early 2014. Today, officers pull out an iPad instead of a pen and pad to issue traffic citations and warnings, gather and exchange information at traffic accidents, conduct accident investigations and write reports. continued on page 186 >>> www.BizTucson.com

PHOTO COURTESY THIN BLUE LINE REPORTING

BizCOMMUNITY


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Oro Valley Police Department is known for their use of technology and forward-thinking and early adoption of the latest and greatest technology. – Jacob Rhoads, CEO, Thin Blue Line Reporting continued from page 184 “Jacob and his crew came and demonstrated that not only could their product help us out with e-tickets and warnings, they could develop software to do collision reports, information exchanges, basic case reports,” said Lt. Chris Olson, project manager on the work with Thin Blue Line. “Right now, we’re working on collaborating with them on a basic investigations module and a school resource officer module.” Thin Blue Line is maintaining its Oro Valley roots by keeping an office in the town – it is planning a move to Innova-

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tion Park – along with an office in Claremont, Calif., where the company has the Redlands Police Department as a client. The company has 25 employees. “The relationship with Oro Valley is definitely a special relationship,” Rhoads said. “We all have roots there. But on top of that, the leadership’s push to bring new technology and innovative companies to Oro Valley has been really helpful.” The application brought two important benefits to the department. By giving officers the ability to do their paperwork in the field with an iPad instead of handwriting – whether issuing tickets

or writing reports – officers can clear a scene quicker to get out of harm’s way and relieve congestion around a traffic incident. There’s also the aspect of showing Oro Valley that its police department is on top of things when it comes to new technology. “Citizens always get the newest and greatest consumer products to make their lives more efficient, and for whatever reason government always tends to be lagging behind,” Olson said. “We feel we’re a very progressive agency.”

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N E W

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BizCONSTRUCTION

Project: Suarez Brokerage Company office/warehouse Location: 1485 N. Mariposa Ranch Road, Nogales Owner: Suarez Holdings Contractor: Cobre Building Systems Architect: David Garcia, Architectural Design Group Completion Date: March 2015 Construction Cost: Estimated $4.4 million Financed By: Bank of the West Project Description: A 30,000-square-foot warehouse with cold-room capabilities and 6,000 square feet of office space for the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s headquarters.

Project: Healthy Skin Dermatology of Oro Valley Location: 2295 E. Vistoso Commerce Loop Road, Oro Valley Oro Valley Medical Building Owner: Contractor: Chestnut Building & Design Architect: Eglin+Bresler Architects Completion Date: January 2015 Construction Cost: Estimated $2 million Financed By: Bank of the West Project Description: Beautifully appointed single-story 9,600-square-foot structure including medical office space and shell space for expansion.

Project: Hooters Restaurant Location: 7280 E. Broadway Blvd. Owner: Circle Plaza Sports Contractor: Division II Construction Architect: Architectural Design Group Broker: Larsen Baker Completion Date: Summer 2016 Construction Cost: To be determined Project Description: An approximately 5,200-square-foot restaurant building on the land parcel east of Circle Plaza Shopping Center at Broadway and Kolb.

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Eric Sheffield

Owner Sheffieldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Diamonds

Jeff Cooper 14kt rose gold and Platinum cushion halo diamond engagement rings; Breitling 18kt red gold Navitimer and Breitling stainless steel Chronomat 44; Effy 14kt rose gold and white gold diamond tear drop pendant.with oval diamond drop earrings. 190 BizTucson

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BizJEWELER

Custom Service Sheffield’s Focus is on Creating Tailor-Made Pieces

PHOTOS: BRENT G. MATHIS

By Valerie Vinyard From the personalized greeting you receive upon entering to the attentive service bestowed upon you, Sheffield’s Diamonds is out to make a great impression. One way the Oro Valley store is doing that today is by offering custom jewelry – and custom experiences. An example of that is MyHeart, the brainchild of 46-year-old owner Eric Sheffield. MyHeart is a heart pendant that looks like it has been dipped in gemstones. It’s up to the customer what gemstones to use. Sheffield, who first started the jewelry business out of his house, dreamed up the MyHeart idea while on a plane to Switzerland. “It’s designed to be affordable,” Sheffield said, adding that the pendants range from $500 to $1,200. “You choose the stones and the colors.” By colors, Sheffield pretty much is describing the spectrum. For example, there are green diamonds, purple diamonds and pink diamonds, not to mention the variety of colors of gold, including blue, green, black, rose and white. “I always dreamt of doing my own thing,” said Sheffield, adding that he has other custom ideas in the works. Before Sheffield was able to do his own thing, however, he needed experience. So he began his jewelry career in 1992 working for Zales. After a few years, he went on to manage Helzberg Diamonds for almost six years. In January 2001, he went to the locally owned Marshall’s Jewelers. At 34, Sheffield put together a business plan and left Marshall’s in June 2004. He opened Sheffield’s Diamonds on Oracle www.BizTucson.com

Road near Ina Road, in October that same year. Sheffield’s started out with six display cases in an older strip shopping center. Within the first five years, Sheffield’s expanded twice until finally opening its store at Oracle Crossings in Oro Valley. The store at 7619 N. Oracle Road recently finished an extensive remodeling that gives it an open, airy feel while still skillfully showcasing its wares. Sheffield’s carries an assortment of pieces from such renowned brands as Breitling, Tacori, Jeff Cooper, Scott Kay, KC Designs and Luminox. Jimmy Gamboa, 37, is GM of Sheffield’s. He and Sheffield met when they were both working at Marshall’s, where Gamboa remained until 2007. He moved on to Intuit as a software consultant for six years, until he heard from a friend that there was an opening at Sheffield’s for a floor manager. “I’ve always been a believer that things happen for a reason,” said Gamboa, who started at Sheffield’s in January. “I think of myself as a sponge. I try to soak up everything I can.” Sheffield’s has a dozen other employees – nine associates, two jewelers and one watchmaker. Sheffield, who grew up in Los Angeles, graduated from the Pasadena Art Center College of Design. Like many of his employees, he is certified with the Gemologist Institute of America and Diamond Council of America. In addition to gleaming product cases, Sheffield’s 2,600-square-foot space has a number of televisions mounted on its walls. At any point in time, they might be showing movies for kids, prod-

uct videos or the news. Of course, on University of Arizona game days, the TVs will be showing the Wildcats. The store recently acquired a 3D printer, which can create the customer’s dream piece in plastic polymer that day. Creating a unique piece starts more simply. A pencil sketch is made of the design to develop an idea of what the customer wants the piece to look like. Then computer-aided drafting helps craft the piece before the 3D printer does its work. Sheffield’s offers many services – jewelry repair, watch repair and appraisals, and the store even buys diamonds that weigh at least .75 carats. Sheffield’s employees pride themselves on having a no-pressure atmosphere. “We’re like a ’50s gas station – we do it all with a smile on our face,” Sheffield said. Gamboa agreed. “We appreciate every customer that walks through our door.” And Sheffield’s customers agree. Barbara Cardinal met Sheffield in the late 1990s when he was working at Marshall’s. “He sold me my first large diamond,” said the Catalina resident. “He’s fantastic – he’s so friendly and easygoing.” Cardinal has worked with Sheffield on more than 10 pieces, including those that use stones from her older pieces of jewelry. She described Sheffield as an artist, and said she receives “so many compliments” on her pieces. “I really trust him,” she said. “I don’t like to leave my diamonds with just anyone.”

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BizENTREPRENEUR 10WEST FESTIVAL Oct. 18-24

10West Festival for Technologists, Innovators

EVENT HIGHLIGHTS IDEAFUNDING Thursday, Oct. 22, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. University Marriott, 880 E. Second St.

By Mary Minor Davis This fall Startup Tucson will launch the weeklong 10West Festival centered on Technology, Entrepreneurship and the New creative class. Various events throughout the city will be presented by Startup Tucson and partners from Oct. 18 to 24. “This collaborative happening embodies the mission of Startup Tucson, which includes creating an environment where technologists and innovators can develop their ideas into real businesses,” said Greg Teesdale, chair of 10West Festival and member of the Startup Tucson board of directors. “Our goal is to foster an entrepreneurial ecosystem throughout the city.” He said “anchor/legacy events” include IdeaFunding, held independently in Tucson for the past 18 years, and the Southwest Regional Angel Capital Conference, now in its fourth year. There also will be more than 60 other activities that celebrate technology, entrepreneurship and creativity. This includes a sustainability festival, leadership conference and technology and entrepreneur workshops. Partners in this entrepreneurial venture include the City of Tucson, Downtown Tucson Partnership, University of Arizona, Tucson Young Professionals, Tech Launch Arizona, Tucson Museum of Art, the Consulate of Mexico, Envision Tucson, Desert An192 BizTucson

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gels and others. Venues include the UA, Hotel Congress, Connect Coworking, Tucson Museum of Art, Mercado San Agustín, YWCA, Rialto Theatre, CoLab at the Pioneer Building, KXCI-FM and The Flycatcher. Music and comedy events will be featured in the evenings. Though this has already attracted interest from Phoenix and Sonora, Mexico, organizers are focusing on a “Tucsoncentric” event this first year as they build the event’s foundation, Teesdale said. He anticipates that thousands will participate. Feedback from participants and partners will allow organizers to enhance and improve the event in future years. “10West will be deemed a success if we can look back five, 10 and 15 years from now and point to this as one of the key drivers for building and fostering an entrepreneurial ecosystem in Southern Arizona,” Teesdale said. Now in its third year, Startup Tucson has helped launch new startups and grow existing companies through a network of mentors, business and leadership courses, interactive “meet-ups” and, most recently, Thryve programs that help entrepreneurs move to the next level.

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Learn more at startuptucson.com or 10West.co.

This 19th annual conference brings together the Tucson entrepreneurial community – from young startups to experienced serial entrepreneurs and investors – to nurture innovation and creativity and showcase those visionary companies that are vital to our region’s growth. Leading up to the event will be a bracketology approach going from 32 companies to the final eight who will then compete in a Shark Tank-like pitch competition. 10WEST TUCSON MUSIC SHOWCASE Friday, Oct. 23, 7 p.m. to midnight Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress St. Tucson’s best and brightest artists will perform on two stages at the historic Hotel Congress. Dance, sway, swoon and groove to XIXA (formerly Chicha Dust), Vox Urbana, Keli and the Big Dream, Katterwaul, Katie Haverly and Tom Walbank. GRASSROOTS – CONNECTING COMMUNITIES THROUGH INNOVATION Monday, Oct. 19, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. University of Arizona Student Union Memorial Center Tucson has pockets of economically disadvantaged communities that could be turned around. Grassroots brings together community and business leaders to tackle these challenges with an approach that leverages public-private partnerships that focus on economic development, workforce development, education, reduction of crime and promoting live-work-play communities. The desired outcome is a new adaptive approach to urban development. TECHNOLOGY SESSIONS Tuesday & Wednesday, Oct. 20-21, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Connect Coworking, 33 S. Fifth Ave. This is a two-day series of innovative demonstrations, workshops and panel discussions. Drill down on cutting edge technologies like Virtual Reality, 3D printing, drones and trends in e-commerce. ENTREPRENEURSHIP SESSIONS Tuesday & Wednesday, Oct. 20-21, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. CoLab, 17 E. Pennington St. Learn best practices from the successes and failures of seasoned business leaders in lively presentations and panel discussions that will help you dream, build and improve your business. For complete schedule, visit 10West.co or contact Greg Teesdale at greg@startuptucson.com or (520) 609-1753. www.BizTucson.com


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PHOTO: AMY HASKELL

BizNONPROFIT

Deborah Embry

President and CEO Tucson Urban League

Moving In & Moving Up

Deborah Embry and the Tucson Urban League Help Tucsonans Better Their Lives By Romi Carrell Wittman Tucson can thank a vicious winter storm for attracting Deborah Embry, president and CEO of the Tucson Urban League, to our community. In the winter of 2012, Mother Nature was not kind to much of the United States. When a particularly brutal storm dumped several feet of snow in Racine, Wis., Embry found herself housebound for three days. As she waited out the storm, she came to a conclusion – she’d had enough. “I was stuck in the house,” she said, “But my parents were in Scottsdale where it was warm and sunny.” She decided that maybe it was time to join her parents out west. 194 BizTucson

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Having worked in nonprofits and the public sector for the majority of her career, Embry saw that the Tucson Urban League was looking for a new CEO. She believed she’d be a great fit for the demanding position. The board agreed and awarded her the job, which she began in May 2013. The organization was established in 1971, making it the 97th affiliate of the National Urban League. The nonprofit advocates for public policies and social services and offers an array of programs and services for low- to moderate-income residents – including affordable housing and home ownership counseling, home weatherization, employment and on-the-job www.BizTucson.com


training services, adult education, job placement, utility assistance and early education, daycare and after-school programs for children. These programs are vital to many Tucsonans. Joaquin and Olga Castro turned to TUL’s weatherization program to make critical home improvements. Weatherization programs like this one result in lower electric bills and more comfortable – and sometimes safer – homes. With the Urban League’s help, the Castros had an air conditioner, air ducts, a water heater and a refrigerator installed. The couple was thankful not only for the work that was done to their home, but also for the way they were treated throughout the process. “The work carried out showed a professional work ethic and high sense of responsibility – without neglecting kindness and respect,” Joaquin said. “We received the same reception and support in their office.” Embry came to Tucson with a solid knowledge of not only the Urban League model, but also nonprofit management. She draws on more than 10 years of nonprofit leadership, including positions at the Canton Urban League and the YWCA. As director of these organizations, she developed programs, created partnerships and collaborations, set longrange strategy and raised money for economic and social empowerment programs for African Americans, women and youth. Then there is Embry’s family. While growing up, both of her parents served as board members for the Urban League at the local and national levels, giving her first-hand knowledge of the intricacies of nonprofit management. Working in nonprofits was not Embry’s original career goal. When she enrolled at Case Western Reserve University-Weatherhead School of Management – where she later received her MBA – her goal was to become an investment banker. She soon discovered, however, that investment banking was not a good fit for her. “I didn’t have the accounting and financial skill sets needed,” she said. It was a volunteer job that opened her eyes to her potential as a director of nonprofits. In her second year of grad school, she volunteered at Northeast Ohio Arthritis Foundation and Marycrest, a residential treatment facility for girls. She would go on to serve on both of those organization’s boards, and eventually became the development director for Marycrest. One day, Marycrest’s executive director pulled her aside and told her that she had what it took to be a successful leader in the nonprofit world and a positive change agent. The die was cast and Embry has worked for nonprofits and public service ever since. Before coming to Tucson, Embry was the director of the mayor’s office of strategic partnerships and grant facilitator at the City of Racine. While she looked forward to leaving Racine’s bitter cold winters behind, she wasn’t quite prepared for Tucson’s “but it’s a dry heat” summers. “That was an adjustment,” she said. Here in Tucson, Embry has racked up an impressive list of accomplishments, most notably strengthened community partnerships, which she hopes will lead to enhanced workcontinued on page 196 >>> www.BizTucson.com

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BizNONPROFIT

We’re rebuilding the economy through workforce and economic development, and job training.

Deborah Embry President & CEO Tucson Urban League –

continued from page 195

force development, education and other critical support services. She’s also shored up the organization’s budget, putting the organization on solid financial footing. “From 2013 to 2014, we reduced our deficit from $577,000 to just $71,000,” she said. “We eliminated unfunded programs and got out of businesses, like rental management, that weren’t making money.” Within the next year or so, she wants to see the deficit reduced even more, if not completely eliminated. C.J. Battle, an entrepreneur and former systems engineer with Raytheon Missile Systems, is chair of the TUL board. He said that Embry brings a unique skill set that’s been instrumental in transforming the organization. “Ms. Embry’s experience in the nonprofit and governmental sector has certainly been an asset to the Tucson Urban League. She is a hard worker and has made great strides during her tenure here,” he said. Embry’s plans are ambitious. She’s focused on transforming the delivery model of programs so they provide economic empowerment rather than simply a Band-Aid. “Tucson has high poverty,” she said. “Our programs help to grow the middle class through job creation.” She cites TUL’s utility assistance program, which helps people when they have a high utility bill they are unable to pay. Rather than simply paying the bill on the person’s behalf, the organization offers them financial literacy courses to help them avoid being in that situation in the future. Looking to the long-term future of TUL, Embry is creating a model of sustainability to ensure its programs remain available to those who need them. She says the support her nonprofit provides is vital to Southern Arizona and plays a key role in its economic future. “We’re rebuilding the economy through workforce and economic development, and job training,” she said. “Much has changed over the years,” Battle said, “but the fundamental challenges remain the same for far too many in this city.” Tackling these challenges is certainly daunting, but Embry remains upbeat and positive about both TUL’s future and that of Tucson. She puts it simply: “I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.”

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BizHONORS

Hispanic Chamber Presents Awards Articles by Steve Rivera

Hispanic consumers spend about $50 billion a year in Arizona, and tapping into that fast-growing market is critical to the success of local businesses. Providing the resources that business owners need to grow in this bilingual and bicultural region is the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “The Tucson community is 42 percent Hispanic and by the year 2030, a majority of Pima County will be Hispanic,” said Lea Márquez-Peterson, who has served as chamber president for six years. “Our message to businesses of every industry focuses on how to reach the fast-growing Hispanic market and how to tap into the $50 billion dollars a year that Hispanic purchasing power represents.” Mexican nationals spend $1 billion annually in Pima County alone, and in Arizona it’s about $7 million a day, Márquez-Peterson said. “We focus heavily on the importance of cross-border trade with Mexico. We do so by hosting trade mission trips to Sonora, Conexiones (connections) events in Arizona and Sonora. We have international trade specialists on staff to assist with technical questions from our members. We also stress the importance of business advocacy at the local, state and federal levels.” The Tucson Hispanic Chamber is one of the fastest growing business organizations in the state, expanding more than 300 percent during the economic downturn. Between 30 and 35 new businesses join each month, and in the last year, the chamber launched a Douglas, Sierra Vista and Ambos Nogales His-

Jim Click

Jim Click Automotive Group, Arizona Corporate Leader of the Year

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panic Chamber. In 2013, the chamber was awarded Large Chamber of the Year by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, selected from 250 Hispanic chambers of commerce in the nation. The group will celebrate business successes Oct. 17 at its Noche de Exitos Gala and Bi-National Business Awards 2015 at Casino del Sol Resort. The chamber helps not only Latinoowned businesses but businesses of all types. Membership is open to all who wish to join 1,200 existing members from a variety of businesses and industries, including manufacturing, services, retail and distribution. Half the member businesses are Latino-owned. Members tend to be younger, and a large percentage of members are women. The chamber addresses the needs of

NOCHE DE EXITOS GALA AND BI-NATIONAL BUSINESS AWARDS 2015

Presented by Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Saturday, Oct. 17 5 p.m. VIP reception 6 p.m. Dinner and Program 9 p.m. Dancing and Band Casino Del Sol Resort 5655 W. Valencia Road

$125 general admission $1,200 table of 10 www.tucsonhispanicchamber.org, (520) 620-0005

Robert Villasenor

Tucson Police Chief, Arizona Public Servant of the Year

members in targeting the business of Mexican nationals and Hispanic Arizonans – two very different markets. The chamber examines all angles of the buying power and market shares, and nothing is overlooked or underappreciated, Márquez-Peterson said. “It’s really about reaching Hispanic consumer-buying power.” While all markets are important, the chamber aims to focus on trade. “So much of the Mexican national dollars spent here are from tourism,” she said. “We at the chamber are trying to change that dialogue to trade.” With Márquez-Peterson at the helm, the chamber is focused on sponsoring events that encourage business members to make connections. “Ultimately, people do business with friends. In the Latino culture and with Mexican nationals, it’s important to have that face-to-face relationship.” One program the group is proud of is The Member Touch Program reaches out to members every few months to see if business consulting is needed or if special programs should be launched. With businesses continuing to struggle in a down economy, much of the assistance is focused on business and marketing plans. “In a recession one of the first things cut are advertising and marketing. We’ve been a great resource to help with grass-roots marketing. About 70 percent of our members have fewer than 25 employees, which is reflective of Southern Arizona. We provide a lot of networking and advertising for them.”

Biz

Dr. Joe G.N. “Skip” Garcia University of Arizona Health Sciences 2015 La Estrella Award

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Jaime Chamberlain 2015 Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Business Man of the Year When Jaime Chamberlain was a little kid, his dreams were to attend the University of Notre Dame and sell tomatoes. “I always wanted to be in the business since I knew about business,” he said. “I never got to Notre Dame, but I sell tomatoes.” A lot of tomatoes, along with bell peppers, squash, cucumbers and beans. It’s been a nice life for the Nogales, Ariz., native who has cultivated his family’s produce distribution business into a thriving one. Chamberlain is president of J-C Distributing, which was established in 1971 by his mom on a $1,000 investment. The Nogales company now earns millions in revenues each year. Chamberlain joined the family business in 1987 after realizing it was his calling. He has had such an impact on his in200 BizTucson

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dustry – politically and economically – he’s one of the state’s leaders in domestic discussions when it comes to dealings with its Mexican neighbors. For his efforts, Chamberlain has been named 2015 Hispanic Business Man of the Year by the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He will be honored Oct. 17 at the chamber’s Noche de Exitos Gala and Bi-National Business Awards 2015 at Casino del Sol Resort. “It’s amazing – I was really surprised,” he said of the award. “They are doing great things for the community and the Hispanic community. It’s a great honor. I saw the list of the last few recipients of the award, and there are some gentlemen who are true business leaders.” Chamberlain is now among them. His résumé is expansive and includes serving as past board chair for the Fresh

PHOTO: JESSE MONTANEZ – COURTESY TUCSON HISPANIC CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

BizHONORS

Produce Association of the Americas. He’s heavily involved with government affairs involving business between the United States and Mexico. “The business of it and our industry is constantly changing,” Chamberlain said. “It’s something you don’t get bored doing. There are constantly challenges and new things coming up – federal regulations or industry changes. That’s what I still enjoy about my job.” This married father of one said the last five years of his life have been the most enjoyable. “I want to get up at 5 a.m. and I want the phones to be ringing as if we were at the stock market,” he said. “I like the fluctuations of prices and I like the competitiveness of people saying they can get tomatoes for $1 cheaper somewhere else, and me convincing them there is a value to a higher price. I still enjoy it.”

Biz www.BizTucson.com


PHOTO: JESSE MONTANEZ – COURTESY TUCSON HISPANIC CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

BizHONORS

Patricia Schwabe 2015 Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Business Woman of the Year

Patricia Schwabe has enjoyed a frontrow seat to downtown development as the owner of two restaurants, a commercial and residential real estate company with a firm focus on the city center. She’s happy to watch downtown flourish. “We are fortunate to be a part of it, to be actively involved,” said Schwabe, owner of Tooley’s Café, Penca and Peach Properties. “We have seen the transformation in the last three to five years. It’s gone from where people wouldn’t come, period, to our busy streets now,” she said. Schwabe and her husband, Ron Schwabe, and their partners “do work that will continue to bring opportunities for others to flourish, and that makes me happy.” For her impact in the community, Schwabe has been named 2015 Hispanic Business Woman of the Year by www.BizTucson.com

the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. She will be honored Oct. 17 at the chamber’s Noche de Exitos Gala and Bi-National Business Awards 2015 at Casino del Sol Resort. “It is a real honor, a surprise too,” she said of the award. “It is humbling to receive an award and to have the recognition of other business people in our community.” Tooley’s has been a Tucson staple since 1988 with its native Mexican cuisine. Penca is the newest sensation, bringing the culinary traditions of Mexico to Tucson’s downtown. She knows what she’s doing, given her Mexican background and the success of Tooley’s. “I grew up in Monterrey, Nuevo León (Mexico), a very industrious city,” she said. “I received a great education there, which to this day I give credit to for the way I am. It’s formed me into a business person. I saw growing up how busi-

nesses were built and how they grew.” Throw in the success of Peach Properties, which specializes in rehabilitated warehouses in historic districts, including Tucson’s downtown, and the package is complete for Schwabe. She also is a dedicated community volunteer, giving her time to organizations such as Tu Nidito Children & Family Services, The Loft Cinema and Museum of Contemporary Art. Her businesses all connect. “They are completely different things, but to me they complement each other,” she said. “Our focus at Peach has been in the downtown area and the warehouse area. Tooley’s continues to grow and flourish in the downtown environment, just as we have been able to do with Penca. Both jobs complement each other. I understand firsthand many of the needs of our tenants.”

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BizMILESTONE

A Legacy of True Dude Ranching By Mary Minor Davis “As long as I can look at those mountains for the rest of my life, I’ll let you throw our lives away.” That’s how Cynthia True gave her blessing to her husband, Allen, when he pitched his idea to purchase a dude ranch in Tucson. Both had been working for the oil industry in Colorado when Allen decided he’d had it with living in the cold weather. On a whim, he flew to Tucson, visited the White Stallion Ranch at the suggestion of a commercial realtor, and decided he wanted to own it. “Just because you worked as a wrangler at Glacier Park at 12, and as a maid a year later, doesn’t mean you know anything about horses or running a hotel,” it is said that Cynthia told her husband, initially vetoing the idea. But Allen was smitten with the idea of buying the ranch, and he ultimately convinced his wife to go along with the move. According to the tale, as told by son, Russell, the 200-acre ranch “needed a lot of work” when Allen purchased it for $200,000 in 1965. Allen moved to Tucson ahead of the family, leaving his wife and young son in Denver, took over the ranch, and began building a house for his forgiving bride. In March 1965, Cynthia, with 5-yearold Russell and his new baby brother, Michael, settled into their new home. The ranch reopened to guests that October and a legacy was born. Today, White Stallion Ranch sits on about 3,000 acres and has grown from 17 to 42 rooms and suites. After adding a pool, spa, tennis courts and a lodge, Russell estimates the property is worth millions. He emphasizes that it’s just an 202 BizTucson

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From left – Michael True and his wife, Kirsten; David and Steven True, Russell’s sons; Russell True and his wife Laura.

estimate as the property has never been priced for sale – but there have been offers. After his parents passed away, first his father in 1991, followed by his mother in 1999, Russell and Michael became co-owners of the property. Dude ranches have a long and colorful history, first opening in the 1800s to people from the East Coast eager to experience the western ranch lifestyle. In the early days, guests worked sideby-side with the family ranchers and

wranglers as they did their daily routine around the ranch. Over time, some dudes acquired ranches of their own – and they still do today. They come, they fall in love, and either buy the ranch where they stayed, or something similar, Russell said. “My parents were dudes, absolutely,” Russell said. “But it takes an unusual guest who is on the receiving end of this experience – in what for many can be life-changing – who can then move www.BizTucson.com


PHOTO: COURTESY WHITE STALLION RANCH

to the service end. My parents understood this, and also knew enough to know what they didn’t know.” Russell said after a number of employment trials and errors − what his father often referred to as the “bum of the month” where he was constantly replacing maintenance and housekeeping staff − they learned how to bring in the right people to meet the service standards and values that White Stallion still exhibits today. “My parents always said, ‘Make everything seem as if the guests never see it happening.’ This is our mantra today,” he said. Where once there were more than 100 dude ranches in the Tucson area, White Stallion is now only one of two remaining operating ranches. They’ve served thousands of guests over the years, from local families to visitors from around the world. Russell admits the six core philosophies of “horses, hats, hospitality, heritage, heart and honesty” have remained the same, but “everything else about dude ranching has changed. “The biggest mistake dude ranches are making today is that they don’t recognize that they run a hotel first and foremost. If they don’t see that, they won’t be successful.” Russell quickly clarifies that providing the ranch experience remains unique, but horses are not always at the heart of what guests are looking for, though they remain an important ingredient for the vacation. People’s expectations of dude ranches in terms of room quality, food quality and amenities have “skyrocketed,” he said. In 2009, in response to the recession’s impact on their annual occupancy, Russell said they made the decision to open year-round. The move has been “highly successful,” he said, with occupancy levels running at or near full occupancy. While they’ve never recaptured the family business lost in the recession, summer and shoulder seasons have made up a lot of the annual occupancy losses. “I believe we’re here for 50 years because we’ve listened to our www.BizTucson.com

guests,” Russell said. “Today’s dude ranches are successful because they’ve raised the quality with people’s expectations.” Wi-Fi, tennis courts, swimming pools and dietary choices have been among the many amenities they’ve added over the years. Between 2012 and 2015, Russell said, the ranch went through a complete reconstruction and renovation project to add rooms and remodel them to provide more contemporary room styles, all while maintaining a western feel. He said they offer “four-star rooms in a dude-ranch way. “We have no business competing with the Westin La Paloma or the Ritz-Carlton – but we can aspire to that level of quality while still maintaining a dude ranch feel, flair and atmosphere,” he said. “Anything else and we’d be trying to be something we’re not, instead of being who we are and doing what we should be.” The biggest change Russell said they had to address is the existence of social media. Once upon a time, it was the Mobil Travel Guide published annually that provided travelers with information and ratings about locations. “Social media is immediate and it has credibility” and it reaches a much larger audience, he said. “One person has more power than that Mobil Guide ever had. If you’re not managing your ranch around social media, then you’re an idiot.” Looking forward, Russell said the family legacy continues. His sons, David and Steven, both have completed their education and are now working the ranch full-time, along with Russell’s wife, Laura, brother Michael and his wife, Kirsten. “We’ve made a huge investment in making this ranch the number one in Tucson,” Russell said. “We plan on being in this community for a long time.” Biz

1965 Allen and Cynthia True purchase the ranch 1968 White Stallion acquires Liggett Ranch, south of White Stallion, to avoid development in the area 1968 A roofer accidentally sets fire to maintenance building. They rebuild and add three more buildings from 1969 to 1972 resulting in 11 additional guest rooms 1967–1971 TV show “High Chaparral” films on the ranch 1968–69 & 1972–73 Allen True is president of Tucson Innkeepers, Ranch and Resort Association 1974 Tennis courts are built 1975 Hot tub is added, pool is renovated 1982 Russell graduates from the University of Arizona and takes head wrangler position 1990 Two deluxe suites are built 1991 Allen True dies 1995–2000 Deluxe doubles are built, adding 16 rooms, while four rooms in main lodge are converted to dining room space

1990 Russell builds family home that later becomes the guest house known as the “Hacienda” 1998–2003 White Stallion Ranch becomes the “Marlboro Ranch” for contest winners in the off season 1999 Cynthia True dies 2002 George Clooney directs several scenes of his directorial debut film “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind” at the White Stallion Ranch 2004 Longhorn conference center is built 2005 Fitness center/spa is built 2007 White Stallion is one of the sites for the Sport Illustrated swimsuit issue 2008 Sunken tennis courts, multigame sport court and recreation room with 27seat movie theater built 2012 Original ranch house (used as the dining room) is completely renovated 2012–2015 All guest rooms completely renovated 2015 Swimming pool and outdoor lounge area renovated

He Wrote The Book About Arizona Dude Ranches Russell True, co-owner of White Stallion Ranch and past president of the Dude Ranchers Association, was contacted by Arcadia Publishing earlier this year and asked to help compile a pictorial history of Arizona dude ranches. The book will feature three sections – Wickenburg, Tucson and other ranches in Arizona. “It’s been a really interesting project,” True said. “Dude ranches ran Arizona tourism at one time. I’ve learned about ranches I’ve never even heard of.” The book will be published at the end of 2015. For more information, visit arcadiapublishing.com. Fall 2015 > > > BizTucson 203


BizGOVERNMENT

Up toVoters on Nov.3

$816 Million in Pima County Bonds Most everything about the Pima County bond package, which will be decided by voters Nov. 3, is monumental. It took a decade to put it together and build the consensus needed to get it on the ballot. There’s not just one issue to consider, but seven different initiatives, Propositions 425 through 431, which in totality contain 99 different projects. The price tag is big, too, befitting the largest bond package in Pima County history. If voters were to approve all seven propositions, the county would be authorized to sell nearly $815.8 million in general obligation bonds over 12 years to fund the projects. If all bond proposals were approved, the owner of a home valued at $152,511 – the current average value of owner-occupied homes in Pima County – would see an increase in property taxes of $1.46 per month, or $17.54 a year. The Bond Advisory Committee – a body of 25 members appointed by the Pima County Board of Supervisors, the county administrator, each city and town in the county, and two Native American tribal governments – conducted more than 100 public meetings since 2006 and heard from thousands of citizens before putting the package together and recommending it to the Board of Supervisors. What the advisory committee came up with is a long-delayed list of gov204 BizTucson

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ernment-funded projects that includes, among other things:

• Creating

jobs and training more skilled workers

• Expanding and building libraries • Promoting increased tourism • Improving and expanding parks, renovating swimming pools and increasing recreational opportunities

• Making

upgrades to museums and

• Bettering

neighborhoods and public

theaters safety

• Building new public health facilities • Expanding affordable housing • Preserving historic properties • Building flood control and drainage •

projects

Creating urban greenways and increasing open-space acquisition

Then, for good measure, after hearing strong pleas from business leaders and other constituents on the need to repair and maintain long-ignored Pima County roads, the Board of Supervisors added another $160 million to repair and maintain existing roads before approving the propositions on a 4-1 vote and sending them to voters. Why so much all at once? Blame it on the Great Recession and the subsequent slow economic recovery. County officials, the Board of Super-

visors, members of the Bond Advisory Committee and County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry were planning to take a comprehensive bond package to voters before this decade began. But before the plan was formalized, the financial crisis of 2008 hit hard, causing the county’s tax base to plummet and jobs to disappear, and making voter approval for a property tax hike next to impossible. County officials, top business executives and community leaders now believe the economy has recovered to the point that it’s time to build and repair needed infrastructure, invest in economic development efforts to lure both tourists and high-tech business operations, and make long-delayed upgrades to myriad programs and services. Larry Hecker, a prominent Tucson attorney, community leader and chair of the Bond Advisory Committee, said voters should approve the entire package. “Today’s skilled workforce can choose where to live and it’s clear they will select a community that invests in its infrastructure, culture, environment and, most importantly, its people. That is exactly what these bond measures do,” he said. “All the propositions should be approved not only for our future, but also for the legacy we will leave our children and grandchildren.” Hecker, who is also co-chair of “Yes continued on page 206 >>> www.BizTucson.com

PHOTOS: CHRIS MOONEY

By David Pittman


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Business leaders voice their support at Pima County Bond meeting. From top left 1. Larry Hecker and Carolyn Campbell, co-chairs 2. Janice Cervelli 3. Francie Merryman 4. Bruce Wright 5. Sarah Frost 6. Garry Brav 7. Damion Alexander 8. Richard DeBernardis 9. Tom Warne 10. Larry Lucero 11. Kurt Wadlington 12. Michael Hannley 13. Michael Varney 14. Richard Underwood 15. Sherry Hoskinson Fall 2015 > > > BizTucson 205


BizGOVERNMENT continued from page 204 on Pima County Bonds,” the political committee leading the campaign, said the most telling thing about the probond campaign committee is the diversity of people who have come together to back all 99 projects contained in the seven different bond propositions. Perhaps nothing shows the powerful wideranging support for the propositions than the list of co-chairs working with Hecker and Yes on Pima County Bonds to get the measures passed by the voters. Co-chairs of Yes on Pima County Bonds include Tom McGovern, regional director of Psomas and chair of the Tucson Metro Chamber; Lisa Lovallo, the top executive for Cox Communications in Southern Arizona and chair of Southern Arizona Leadership Council; Mara Aspinall, president and CEO of ProNeurogen and Rencarex and executive chairman of GenePeeks; Joseph Blair, a former University of Arizona basketball standout who is now executive director of Blair Charity Group; Edmund Marquez, owner of Edmund Marquez Allstate Agencies; Nancy Schlegel, president of Reid Park Zoological Society, and Carolyn Campbell, executive director of the Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection and vice chair of the Bond Advisory Committee. “I can’t remember being with a group as diverse as this that was in full agreement on what needs to be done,” Hecker said. McGovern said the $160 million

A Summary of the Seven Pima County Bond Propositions

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added to Proposition 425 by the Board of Supervisors for road repair and pavement preservation has wide support among business leaders. He noted that two years ago the Tucson Metro Chamber polled leaders of large local businesses with more than 100 employees to learn what they saw as the biggest chal-

Today’s skilled workforce can choose where to live and it’s clear they will select a community that invests in its infrastructure, culture, environment and, most importantly, its people. That is exactly what these bond measures do. – Larry Hecker, Co-Chair, Yes on Pima County Bonds

lenges of doing business in Tucson. “Not surprisingly, we received a resounding shout from our members that repairing our roadways was a top priority for them,” McGovern said. “Furthermore, those local employers said that bonding is a good way to get it done. If we put off these critical infrastructure repairs all it will do is cost us more mon-

Proposition 425 Road and Highway Improvements – $160 million for road repairs, $30 million to create the Sonoran Corridor connection between I-10 and I-19, and $10 million for Science Park Drive improvements.

ey in the long run – both for taxpayers and motorists, who beat up their cars every day on the roads.” Business leaders are also highly supportive of the two other items contained in Proposition 425 – $30 million to construct a phase of the Sonoran Corridor, a highway planned between Interstate 19 and Interstate 10, and $10 million to improve a 1.4-mile stretch of Science Park Drive to improve access to the UA Science and Tech Park at South Rita Road near I-10. National, state and local government officials – including U.S. Sen. John McCain, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and Huckelberry – consider the projects part of a long-range plan building on existing transportation and logistics advantages to make Tucson a regional hub for national and international trade. “If approved, the Sonoran Corridor would be an important step toward helping to generate additional economic growth in the region,” said John B. Patterson, director of public relations and community relations for Raytheon Missile Systems. “Raytheon supports Pima County’s efforts to develop this which would provide better connectivity between Raytheon’s primary campus and its operations at the UA Science and Tech Park.” Aspinall and McGovern also spoke favorably about Proposition 426, which would designate $91.3 million for economic development opportunities. It includes funding for two business startup facilities, two workforce training fa-

Proposition 426 Economic Development, Libraries and Workshop Training – $91.3 million for business startup facilities, workforce training facilities, libraries, a regional orientation center and acquisition of land near Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.

Proposition 427 Tourism Promotion – $98.6 million for tourism-related projects, including expansions and improvements to the Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum, Old Tucson, Reid Park Zoo, Children’s Museum Tucson, Tucson Music Hall, Leo Rich Theatre and Colossal Cave Mountain Park.

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cilities, five libraries, two commercial expansion opportunities, a regional orientation center and the acquisition of private and State Trust Land within Davis-Monthan Air Force Base that would reduce leasing costs at the base and show community support for continued operation of D-M. Aspinall said the two biosciences and technology startup facilities – one at Innovation Park in Oro Valley and the other at The Bridges, a developmentready UA Tech Park near South Kino Parkway and East 36th Street – will create jobs and strengthen the Tucson region’s standing as a leader in biosciences and technology. “Funding startup facilities in biosciences and technology and investing in workforce training facilities is a first step in securing Pima County’s position as a leading international destination for these industries,” Aspinall said. “A yes vote on Pima County bonds is a good investment.” Hecker said voters should approve the entire bond package because “it reflects our community’s values and collective needs.” He said the bond package will “repair our decaying streets, as well as build new roads. It will support economic development, including building on our standing as a world leader in biotech. It will ensure that Davis-Monthan Air Force Base remains a strong economic engine in our region. It will protect important historical treasures, such as San Xavier Mission and the Pima County Courthouse, and it will make

Proposition 428 Parks and Recreation – $191.5 million for parks and recreation facilities, including a bicycle training center and velodrome and soccer/turf sports complex near Kino Sports Complex, six splash pads at regional parks, skateboard and BMX parks, urban greenways and improvements to Marana, Oro Valley, Sahuarita and other local parks and www.BizTucson.com pools.

our community safer and healthier, conserve natural landscapes and increase outdoor recreational opportunities.” Because there are no high-profile national or statewide political races to be decided this fall, Hecker said one of the biggest challenges to overcome would be voter apathy. “We must have a strong grass-roots campaign to win this,” he said. However, there is organized opposition to the bond package being led by

We believe all the propositions contain worthwhile measures that will provide an economic benefit.

– Ron Shoopman President & CEO of SALC

Taxpayers Against Pima Bonds, with the motto, “Vote No on Pima Bonds. Stop higher taxes.” “It’s like David versus Goliath when it comes to the money involved,” said Gini Crawford, campaign manager of Taxpayers Against Pima Bonds. “But we have plenty of enthusiasm on our side.” The political committees aren’t required to file campaign finance reports until October, but Yes on Pima County Bonds is running a very polished op-

Proposition 429 Public Health, Welfare, Safety, Neighborhoods and Housing – $105.3 million for projects to support affordable housing, improve the safety of neighborhoods and expand healthcare facilities to provide improved services.

eration that has received major funding from Campus Research Corp., Tucson Medical Center and Diamond Ventures. Crawford is no stranger to political efforts, having managed the congressional campaign of her daughter, Ruth McClung, who was narrowly defeated in a 2010 attempt to knock off incumbent U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva. Crawford said the Board of Supervisors has been wasteful with taxpayer money in the past and is undeserving of another $816 million, plus interest, from the pockets of Pima County residents. “The Board of Supervisors never control spending and end up struggling to meet their annual budget year after year,” she said. “The result is that our primary taxes keep going up and up. Enough is enough. They have to stop spending. “The county’s debt from past bond issues is about $1.4 billion even before these new bonds are approved. With the debt they are already carrying, they shouldn’t even be thinking of adding to it.” Brad Johns, a retired IBM employee who now operates Brad Johns Consulting, is a spokesman for Vote No on Pima Bonds. He is also a member of the Pima County Planning and Zoning Commission, serving as an appointee of Supervisor Ally Miller. “Primary tax rates in Pima County have gone up 28 percent during the last three years,” he said. “That begs the question of affordability. Is this really continued on page 208 >>>

Proposition 430 Natural Area Conservation and Historic Preservation – $112 million for land conservation, cultural preservation and outdoor recreation, including the creation of new trailheads and the restoration of Mission San Xavier Del Bac.

More information about the 2015 Pima County Bond Propositions can be found at:

Proposition 431 Flood Control and Drainage – $16.9 million for essential flood control and drainage projects to prevent the disappearance of critical desert riparian areas and protect the lives and property of residents.

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continued from page 207 the right time for the county to be doing this? It’s not like Pima County is undergoing robust economic times.” While Johns concedes there are many worthwhile projects contained in the bond proposals, he said the overall package is much too large. He said voters should examine each of the propositions carefully and only support the measures they think are absolutely necessary, and not those that he described as “more of a luxury.” The boards of directors of both the Tucson Metro Chamber and Southern Arizona Leadership Council, or SALC, have endorsed all seven bond propositions. The leaders of those organizations say Pima County is at a critical juncture in which many issues must be addressed and that it is local residents, not state or national officials, who will determine the region’s future. “What it comes down to is what kind of a community we want here in Tucson,” said Mike Varney, president and CEO of Tucson Metro Chamber. “We look at other communities that may have nicer parks, better roads or greater artistic and cultural opportunities, but the future of our community is

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here in Pima County. It’s in the hands of the voters. Nobody is going to walk in from Phoenix or Washington, D.C., and hand us a big check and say, ‘Here you go, spend this and go improve your community.’ It’s up to us.”

The projects in this bond package are well worth the investment.

– Steve Huffman Director of Government Affairs Tucson Association of Realtors

Ron Shoopman, president and CEO of Southern Arizona Leadership Council, said its board endorsed all seven propositions, but that its support of road improvements and economic development initiatives was particularly strong. “Economic development and road improvements were highest on our list because we felt those items are most critical to our local economy,” Shoopman said. “However, we believe all the propositions contain worthwhile measures that will provide an economic benefit.

“We understand that some people don’t like some parts of the package. We believe it is important for voters to get the facts, look at these proposals carefully and make their own judgments about where to invest in our county.” The Tucson Association of Realtors and Visit Tucson also heartily endorse all the Pima County bond propositions. Steve Huffman, director of TAR government affairs, said, “Investments in our roads and parks, in law enforcement and public safety, in cultural resources, in healthcare and in expansion of economic development tools are all necessary for improving the quality of life in our community. As realtors, we know the impact of these factors on people’s decisions to locate their homes and businesses in Pima County “We believe that the projects in this bond package are well worth the investment being asked of property tax payers. The structure of the debt is responsible and prudent for our community.” Brent DeRaad, president and CEO of Visit Tucson, said, “Tourism is one of Pima County’s top economic drivers. It is a $2.3 billion industry that employs about 22,000 people. Proposition 427, if approved, would pump $98.6 million

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into expansion, restoration, renovation and improvements at many of Tucson and Pima County’s leading museums, historical structures, entertainment venues and tourist attractions. “Several of our region’s top attractions would benefit, including the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Reid Park Zoo, Old Tucson, Children’s Museum Tucson, Colossal Cave Mountain Park, Pima Air and Space Museum and more. Investing in these projects creates jobs, enhances visitors’ experiences in our region and will help us attract more travelers and their dollars to Pima County.” As realtors, we know the impact of these factors on people’s decisions to locate their homes and businesses in Pima County “We believe that the projects in this bond package are well worth the investment being asked of property tax payers. The structure of the debt is responsible and prudent for our community.” Pima County has had great success over the last five decades in utilizing voter-approved general obligation bonds to finance major investments, particularly large capital construction and infrastructure projects. Issuing bonds is a way for government jurisdictions to get

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the money needed for major purchases immediately and pay them back over time instead of on a pay-as-you-go basis – much like homeowners pay a 15- or 30-year mortgage rather than buying their homes with cash up front.

Between 1974 and now, we’ve gone to the voters 12 times seeking approval to issue bonds to pay for 54 different propositions – and only three of those failed.

– Chuck Huckelberry Pima County Administrator

“Between 1974 and now, we’ve gone to the voters 12 times seeking approval to issue bonds to pay for 54 different propositions – and only three of those failed,” Huckelberry said. “That’s a pretty good track record.” A state Auditor General’s Office re-

port issued in early 2013 praised Pima County’s past experiences with general obligation bonds as being effectively managed and administered without bias. The audit, which examined bond spending for projects approved in 1997, 2004 and 2006, concluded that Pima County takes a “collaborative approach” in administering its bond programs, which is “unique to all of Arizona.” The report said that by the end of May 2012, Pima County had completed the vast majority of projects included in those bond programs early or on time. The state constitution sets a cap on general obligation debt at 15 percent of the county’s net secondary valuation. In the current 2014-15 fiscal year, for example, the constitutional debt limit is $1.1 billion. However, the actual bonded indebtedness was $422 million, far below the constitutional debt limit. If voters approve the sale of $815.8 million in bonds and the county sells the bonds over 12 years as scheduled, Pima County will remain well below the constitutional debt limit. Pima County has a bond rating of AA-plus, which is just below the top rating of AAA-plus.

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Majors Clements

Evangeline Leslie

Director of Special Services The Salvation Army

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PHOTO: AMY HASKELL

City Coordinator The Salvation Army


Salvation Army Opens Hospitality House 100-Bed Facility Serves Those in Need By Christy Krueger Among the diverse population living in Pima County, approximately one of every 131 residents is homeless, according to a 2013 Department of Economic Security report. Some choose to be. Many have fallen into difficult circumstances such as loss of job or medical debt. Fortunately, The Salvation Army Tucson is here to help and – with its new Hospitality House at 1002 N. Main Ave. – can offer more space and programs to help get people off the streets and back on their feet. English clergyman William Booth founded the original Salvation Army 1865 when his church refused to help the impoverished populations living in the alleyways of East London. It spread to the United States and arrived in Tucson in 1893. In May, its centers across the world celebrated 150 years of serving those in need. Today The Salvation Army Tucson oversees several facilities and programs, including four churches, the Green Valley Service Center, the Adult Rehabilitation Center for men with addictions, and the thrift stores, which financially support the rehab center. Family services and utility-assistance programs are housed in the new building. The goal of The Salvation Army Tucson and its various services is “to help in the time of need, with no discrimination – offering food, shelter, clothing

and faith-based salvation if they want,” said PR Director Shawna Kroh. The contemporary 100-bed Hospitality House has “been in the works for almost 20 years,” Kroh said. The building next door, demolished to make room for a parking lot, was 50 years old and built for men coming out of the war. We had to accommodate more people,” including women and children. The new shelter includes two family units, each with a kitchenette and small living room; a women’s section; men’s transitional and overnight dorms; and an area for veterans. Common areas include a kitchen and dining room, laundry facilities, storage lockers, classrooms, lounges and a chapel. The two-story building – which opened in March – is 34,000 square feet, compared to the original facility’s 12,000 square feet. More than half of the $7.5 million needed for the project came from a capital campaign. “We received $4 million in donations from high-dollar donors and organizations,” Kroh said. Another $1.5 million came from a building-fund grant. “We depleted our reserves and are still looking for donations.” Sullivan Jackson Employment Center partners with Hospitality House to provide a two-week employability skills program. Once the clients complete the course and find work, they can stay at the shelter for up to 12 months while

contributing 10 percent of their income toward rent. The goal is for them to save enough money to transition to permanent housing and become self-sufficient. The Salvation Army Tucson is overseen by husband and wife Majors Clements and Evangeline Leslie, both born on the island of Trinidad. They are supported by hundreds of volunteers. “There are three times as many volunteers as Salvation Army officers. It is very much volunteer run,” Kroh said. The staff includes those who work in human resources, public relations and accounting, in addition to social workers, case managers and intake workers. When she first came to The Salvation Army three years ago after working in healthcare, Kroh was surprised by the homeless situation. “It opened my eyes to see people from all walks of life. Some had good jobs, but then had health issues. It’s hard to see down-andout people here who were once prosperous and with jobs.” She said the greatest need for Tucson’s homeless is jobs. “After transitional housing, it’s hard to find somewhere to live on their own and pay for utilities and food.” The best way community members can help is making monetary donations. Visit www.salvationarmytucson.org for more information.

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Built by Lloyd Construction Company The Salvation Army Hospitality House was built by Tucson-based Lloyd Construction Company, a 46-year-old general contractor overseen by brothers Bill and Brad Lloyd. Construction began in January 2014 and was completed in 15 months. Thirty-three subcontractors worked under Lloyd on the project. The original Salvation Army shelter was required to undergo abatement before its demolition. Lloyd was then able to build a parking lot on the former facility’s footprint, just east of the new Hospitality House. www.BizTucson.com

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Maestro on the Move Hanson Takes Charge of Tucson Desert Song Festival By Mary Minor Davis

When Tucson Symphony Orchestra Music Director George Hanson conducted his last concert in March, the sold-out audiences thought they would be seeing the last of the maestro who had led the TSO for nearly 20 years. Turns out, Tucson wasn’t ready to let him go. Initially, Hanson had planned to move to Germany, where he has often spent summers as a guest conductor. For personal reasons, Hanson cancelled his moving plans and began looking for his next opportunity. Around that time, the board of directors for the Tucson Desert Song Festival made the decision that after three years, it was time to seek a full-time festival director to help move the festival forward. “The festival has done very well,” said Jack Forsythe, president of the board of directors and the leading force behind the festival. “We hit our artistic benchmarks that were set for the five-year mark after just three years.” Forsythe, who also founded the St. Paul, Minnesota, Summer Song Festival in 2002, said Tucson’s festival was always designed to be a world-class destination event, similar to Santa Fe Opera’s Festival of Song in New Mexico. For the first three years, the allvolunteer board, working under a committee structure, put the fes1. American mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton 2. Flamenco and classical guitarist Adam del Monte 3. American soprano Amber Wagner 4. Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke 5. American mezzo-soprano Beth Lytwynec 6. Lyric tenor Alek Shrader

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said. “Having someone to coordinate with the partners tival on without a staff. “If we’re going to be able to reach our goals – bringis critical. There are so many details that need close ating in the best singers possible – we need to grow the tention, as well as fundraising, marketing and logistical planning.” administrative side beyond volunteers,” Forsythe said. The 2015 festival exceeded organizer’s expectations, Hanson said he has already met with festival dowith near sell-out performances in multiple venues and nors to reaffirm the solid financial base that the board the attraction of such world-renowned artists as Susan worked to establish and is now focusing on communiGraham, Katie Van Kooten and Simone Osborne, cating the value of that support for Tucson. Forsythe said. “We’re exclusively collabHanson was offered the orative, in that we provide position and took over as the financial resources to our festival director July 1. partners to bring in a higher “There’s really no one we level of artists than most of could hope for that would be them could afford,” he said. more qualified in terms of “If our supporters are familunderstanding the goals, the iar with the level of talent, standards and the repertoire they understand the value. If than somebody like George, they don’t know these artists, who’s been part of the diswe help them understand how cussions since the beginthe quality of talent raises the ning,” Forsythe said. “This is level of the community and the right opportunity at the the level of the performances right time. It’s very serenpresented by our partners.” dipitous.” On the marketing side, a As for Hanson, he said he contribution from a donor is excited at being involved will allow the festival to con– George Hanson in all aspects of an organizaduct national advertising in Director tion. the Opera News. Hanson has Tucson Desert Song Festival “As an artistic or music dialso met with WFMT radio in rector of a symphony, your Chicago, which has a nationinput into the organizational activities is limited,” he al presence and has promoted the festival in the past. said. “I’ve been in the symphony business since I was And he met with Minnesota Public Radio to discuss 25 years old, so I’ve learned a thing or two. I’m very the 2016 event. In addition, he hired a public relations coordinator to help with social media and other proexcited to run something beyond rehearsals.” Since he started this summer, Hanson said, he’s “hit motional efforts. Forsythe said the next step in the festival’s business the ground running,” reaching out to the partner organizations to identify how communication and coplan will be to expand the board with national repordination can be improved and conducting national resentation. They are already recruiting in the Twin marketing outreach. Cities, Seattle and Denver. “As a partner of the festival in the past, I want to “As long as we can keep up the quality, the energy, take what I know from my experience and work to imthen we’ll continue to move this event forward,” he prove the way the festival interacts with partners,” he said.

PHOTO: FRANCOIS ROBERT

PHOTO: COURTESY TUCSON DESERT SONG FESTIVAL

As a partner of the festival in the past, I want to take what I know from my experience and work to improve the way the festival interacts with partners.

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7. American tenor Richard Cox 8. Exuberant and experimental medieval ensemble The Broken Consort (from left: Peter Walker, Maggie Finnegan, Niccolo Seligmann, Brian Kay, Emily Lau, Christopher Preston Thompson and Julie Bosworth) 9. Mezzo-soprano Daniela Mack

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Free Family Wellness Festival JCC, TMC Co-Sponsor Interactive Event By April Bourie Hearing the words “family wellness,” many will people think of fitness professionals telling families how to exercise more and eat less. If this is true for you, get ready to be happily surprised by the experience at the Family Wellness Festival presented this fall by the Tucson Jewish Community Center and Tucson Medical Center. “The festival will include several themed pavilions that focus on all aspects of wellness in people’s lives,” said Susan Frank, health and wellness director at The Tucson J. “Some pavilion themes are distinct – including literacy, safety, food and physical activity. Others are more flexible, like kindness and gratitude, allowing us to provide variety in our vendors.” No matter what the theme, all vendors are required to make their booths interactive. At the Safety Pavilion, TMC will distribute bike helmets to attendees whose helmets don’t fit or who don’t have one. The pavilion will also include the Tucson Police Department making sure car seats are properly installed. New this year is the Literacy Pavilion. This came about when The J asked the Arizona Daily Star to participate in the event. As a major sponsor of the Festival of Books, the newspaper suggested incorporating the literacy component 214 BizTucson

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because it is a critical foundation needed to make healthier lifestyle choices. The Literacy Pavilion will include a reading corner for kids and performances by Stories that Soar, a nonprofit that acts out stories that children have written. Curious George will greet kids, and a variety of local and national authors and speakers will make presentations. Returning this year are tricycle races for both children and adults. The “big kids” will have larger tricycles to to make the ride more comfortable. The festival will also feature a farmer’s mar-

FAMILY WELLNESS FESTIVAL Presented by Tucson Jewish Community Center and Tucson Medical Center Sunday, Oct. 18, noon to 4 p.m. Tucson Jewish Community Center 3800 E. River Road Themed pavilions with hands-on activities, game, prizes Free admission 520-299-3000 www.TucsonJCC.org

ket in the Edible Baja Pavilion and a “Make Your Own Trail Mix” booth. Todd Rockoff, president and CEO of The Tucson J, said that one of his favorite aspects of the event is watching parents and children participate in wellness as a family. “We decided to host this festival because wellness is beneficial for the whole community. We wanted to be a thought leader by bringing together these various groups to show families how much fun wellness could be.” Frank agreed. “Watching the reactions of the families while they participate in these activities is amazing. The excitement and inspiration created is evident on all their faces. Our goal is that people will act on this inspiration and make healthier choices in any aspect of their life based on their experiences at the festival.” Mary Atkinson, TMC director of wellness, said this partnership makes sense. “Both organizations work toward achieving the goal of a healthier community, but from different perspectives. Whereas TMC is more focused on the physical wellness of the community, The J considers a broader view, including the intellectual, spiritual and emotional aspects. The joining of these perspectives makes for a very impactful event.”

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Remembering Irene Sarver

She Followed the Path of Her Heart

PHOTO: COURTESY THE SARVER FAMILY

By Gabrielle Fimbres As a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, business partner and tireless community leader, Irene Sarver saw the good in everyone. “She lived a life of absolute integrity from beginning to end,” said her daughter, Betty Anne Sarver. “She was authentic in every way. She had the C gene – character.” Sarver, who made an immediate and lasting impact on Tucson after moving here in 1960 from Flint, Mich., with her husband, the late Jack Sarver, died July 6. She was 95. “She was a show-up person,” Betty Anne said. “You could count on my mother in every way.” From supporting family businesses to raising money for charities, being politically active to rolling up her sleeves to share her talents with volunteer organizations, Irene Server had boundless energy for good causes. “My mom had a way about her,” said son Robert Sarver, a Phoenix businessman who is the majority owner of the Phoenix Suns. “She positively impacted www.BizTucson.com

everybody she came in contact with. She was a mentor to many women in the community who went on to do great things. “My mom really loved Tucson and the community loved her back.” Sarver had a sharp business mind and was instrumental in the successes of her husband, who was a businessman, banker and hotel developer. After her husband died in 1980, when her son was a young man, he worried he had lost his business mentor. “I had looked to my dad for business counseling and I thought of my mom as more a mother and caretaker – but the reality is my mom became my biggest business mentor in teaching me the basics of honesty, integrity, work ethic, how to conduct yourself and how to make the right decisions,” he said. “She gave me confidence to take risks. She always believed in me.” And she believed in the community. She was involved in many organizations, including Jewish Family and Children’s Services of Southern Ari-

zona, Hadassah, the National Council of Jewish Women, Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona, Congregation Anshei Israel, Temple Emanu-El and Brewster Center Domestic Violence Services. She was on the first board of the University of Arizona Cancer Center and was a founding member of The Desert Caucus, a single-issue political action committee focused on the U.S.-Israel relationship. At the celebration of her life, Robert told of his mom’s devotion to the West, a volunteer-run retail store at River and Craycroft roads that benefits the Brewster Center and other nonprofits. Irene Sarver was a dedicated volunteer, and on days that business was slow, she worried there would be little money to help those in need. So she would start shopping, often being the best customer that day. Sarver was born in Flint and would rise early to help her mother can fruits and vegetables before she went to continued on page 218 >>> Fall 2015 > > > BizTucson 217


BizTRIBUTE continued from page 217 school, Betty Anne said. She attended the University of Michigan and Michigan State Normal School, where she earned a degree in early elementary education. She taught reading in the poorest neighborhoods in Flint, and would bring apples to her students who came to school hungry. She met Jack Sarver in 1948 and after they married, they moved to Tucson in 1960. They were married 32 years before Jack’s death from heart disease. Not long after moving to Tucson, the Sarvers met Donald and Joan Diamond, and their friendship would last the ages. “The Sarvers were one of the best couples I have seen,” Donald Diamond said. “They worked together on everything, whether political or business or social. They came as a couple with commitment to people and the community. It was quite rare to see.” Talk would often turn to politics. “We had a lot of heated discussions,” Diamond said. “I was a Republican, they were Democrats – Irene was the one that helped us to come together in the middle.” Through it all, Sarver kept her marvelous sense of humor, Diamond said. “People like that make a difference.” Stuart Mellan, president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona, said Sarver “represented a standard of commitment to her family and her community that was unyielding.” “As a senior statesperson, she was able to turn the admiration that people felt for her back into good work for caring for people in the community,” Mellan said. “When people would look at her and see how she gave of herself to the community, they followed her lead.” Sarver did not want loved ones to be too sad or grieve too long upon her death. The celebration of her life included two favorites – kosher hot dogs and a hot fudge sundae bar. “She followed the path of her heart and her heart was enormous,” Betty Anne said. Sarver is also survived by daughter Ellen Dolgen as well as her grandchildren, great-grandchildren and her brother, Jack Magidsohn. The family requests that any contributions be made to the Jewish Family & Children’s Services Jack J. & Gary I. Sarver Counseling Center and the Sarver Heart Center.

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