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SUMMER FALL 2012 2014

THE REGION’S BUSINESS MAGAZINE

Mara Aspinall President & CEO Ventana Medical Systems

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SPECIAL REPORT: TECH PARKS ARIZONA TOURISM UPDATE WOMEN OF THE HEART www.BizTucson.com

SUMMER 2014 • $2.99 • DISPLAY UNTIL 08/30/14


Lock-Griffith Group at Morgan Stanley

Family Matters...

Your Estate Plan is in Place… But is Your Family Prepared? Learn How to Start the Conversation.

Marc H. Lock

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

Wayne F. Griffith, CFP®

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

www.morganstanley.com/fa/lockgriffithgroup Helping clients manage investment decisions since 1986. / 5255 East Williams Circle Suite 5000, Tucson, AZ 85711 Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM and federally registered CFP (with flame design) in the U.S. Morgan Stanley and its Financial Advisors do not provide tax or legal advice. Individuals should seek advice based on their particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor.

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC.

520.745.7038 CRC734825 09/13


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BizLETTER Women Who Lead

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Summer 2014

Volume 6 No. 2

Publisher & Owner

Steven E. Rosenberg Brent G. Mathis

Creative Director Photo: Steven Meckler

Our summer edition offers wonderful insights about remarkable women who lead and why they have been so successful in their careers. These women head some of the largest companies in this region. The largest public sector employer is University of Arizona – headed by President Ann Weaver Hart. Other inspirational leaders profiled are Tucson Medical Center’s Judy Rich, Geico’s Martha Furnas, Long Realty’s Rosey Koberlein, Cox Communications’ Lisa Lovallo, CRT Partners’ Laura Olguin and Boys & Girls Clubs’ Linda Wojtowicz. On the cover is Mara Aspinall, who took the reins of Ventana Medical Systems just three years ago, expanding our perspective on what this region can become in the world of bioscience – specifically diagnostics – as she and her world-class team are waging war against cancer. Aspinall declared “I want Tucson to be the hottest place for diagnostics. The best is yet to come.” Other reports in this issue tie directly to Aspinall’s leadership, vision and passion. The Flinn Foundation’s 10-year Bioscience Roadmap details the strategies of Aspinall and other statewide leaders to develop Arizona’s prominence as a hub of innovation. This year Ventana Medical Systems presented its 10th Tucson Global Science Symposium, attracting cancer scientists from around the globe. “Women of the Heart” introduces you to the women who are leading the UA Sarver Heart Center – including Dr. Nancy K. Sweitzer, the new director and chief of the cardiology division; co-director Carol Gregorio, professor of molecular, cell biology and anatomy; and Sarver researcher Dr. Jil Tardif, who holds the Steven M. Gootter Endowed Chair for the Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Death. This team is all about collaborative multidisciplinary research. Check out our resort report for staycation opportunities this summer, following a record-setting season – thanks in part to the Polar Vortex winter. Forbes has rated Tucson as one of the Top 20 cities for innovation, in part because we are home to Fortune 500 companies including Raytheon Missile Systems, IBM’s data storage division and Ventana Medical Systems. These companies stay in Tucson because we

have one of the nation’s top research universities to provide a workforce of engineers and scientists. Now for our special report on Tech Parks Arizona….

Two decades ago, the UA established its first science and technology park which evolved into an economic engine with an annual impact of $2.4 billion. UA Tech Park now is home to more than 40 businesses including six Fortune 500 companies with nearly 7,000 employees. This park includes the world’s largest solar research and development facility, The Solar Zone. Today Tech Parks Arizona includes the original 1,345-acre campus near I-10 and Rita Road, plus a 65-acre second park closer to the UA with infrastructure already in place. Both parks are crucial elements of the university’s strategic planning. The smaller site, formerly the Bio Park, is now called the UA Tech Park at The Bridges. Long-term projections estimate the park will have about 4 million square feet of developed office and laboratory space and support 18,000 to 20,000 employees. This future-focused enterprise is a synergistic collaboration between Tech Launch Arizona, UA Tech Parks and the university. This is where Arizona’s innovations move from concept to prototype to actual product for the global marketplace. On the economic development frontline, we report on TREO’s new Economic Blueprint, charting a collaborative course to create 40,000 new high-wage jobs over the next five years. We are indeed are poised for a bright future. Steven E. Rosenberg Publisher & Owner BizTucson

Contributing Editors

Gabrielle Fimbres Donna Kreutz Diane Luber Dave Petruska David B. Pittman

Contributing Technology Director

Mike Serres

Contributing Writers

Mary Minor Davis Gabrielle Fimbres Kate Maguire Jensen Tara Kirkpatrick Sheryl Kornman Christy Krueger David B. Pittman Steve Rivera Dan Sorenson Eric Swedlund Valerie Vinyard Romi Carrell Wittman

Contributing Photographers Carter Allen

Kris Hanning Amy Haskell Brent G. Mathis Chris Mooney Drew Simboli Tom Spitz Balfour Walker

Member:

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

BizTucson Phone: 520.299.1005 Subscription Information:

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

Steve Rosenberg 520.299.1005 or 520.907-1012 steve@BizTucson.com BizTucson is published quarterly by Rosenberg Media, LLC. ,Tucson, AZ © 2014 All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Opinions expressed in columns or articles do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher.

POSTMASTER:

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

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BizCONTENTS

FEATURES

SUMMER 2014 VOLUME 6 NO. 2

COVER STORY: WOMEN WHO LEAD

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BizLEADERSHIP Mara Aspinall: Waging War Against Cancer Martha Furnas: From Answering Phones to VP Ann Weaver Hart: UA President Pushes Bold Goals Rosey Koberlein: CEO Persists Through Tough Economy Lisa Lovallo: Big on Community Stewardship Laura Olguin: She’s Got Jack’s Back Judy Rich: A Nurse at Heart, Believes in Teamwork Linda Wojtowicz: Takes on Challenge at Top Speed

DEPARTMENTS

Spring 2011 Summer 2014

BizVETERANS Red Cross: Backing Our Veterans

BizLETTER From the Publisher

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BizFINANCE Loan Fund a Bridge for Nonprofits

BizRETAIL Retail Titans Share Strategies

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BizFITNESS Summer Fitness Tips

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BizENTREPRENEUR Sportswear Firm Blends Style, Sun Shield

BizVISION 124 TREO Plan for Prosperity

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BizLEADERSHIP Lasting Impressions

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BizRESEARCH Women of the Heart Sweitzer Brings Researchers Together

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BizTOURISM Resorts Rebound $4.5 Million La Quinta Renovation Visit Tucson: “Free Yourself” Campaign

BizSPORTS Balancing Act: Gymnastics World

BizSPECIAL REPORT

TECH PARKS ARIZONA 96 104 108 110 112 115 116

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Flexible, Focused Future of Innovation Interactive Ground: UA Grows Tech Companies GlycoSurf: Benefits from Tech-to-Market Process Tech Parks Offer Business Advantage Solar Zone Provides Insights Testing The Limits Robots & Solar Go-Karts

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BizMILITARY Mission Strong: Supporting Region’s Military Assets BizMILESTONE Truly Magnificent at 75 BizAUTOMOTIVE Subaru, Volvo Dealerships Expand BizMEDICINE Global Science Symposium

BizBIOSCIENCE 145 New Roadmap Provides Growth Strategies BizWOMEN 148 Small Business Sisterhood BizAWARDS 150 Cornerstone Building Foundation “Dream Team”

BizHONORS 152 BBB “Torch Awards”

BizSPORTS 154 NASCAR Back at Local Racetrack ABOUT THE COVER WOMEN WHO LEAD Mara Aspinall, President & CEO, Ventana Medical Systems Created and Photographed by Brent G. Mathis www.BizTucson.com


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BizRETAIL

Retail Titans Share Strategies Wisdom Flows at Global Retailing Conference By Tara Kirkpatrick Every spring, Macy’s Chairman, President and CEO Terry J. Lundgren and his eponymous Terry J. Lundgren Center for Retailing at the University of Arizona lure the best and brightest business minds to Tucson for a two-day conference on what’s next and how to succeed in the modern, ever-evolving world of retail. It’s a strategic home run for Southern Arizona as leaders from The Home Depot, Whole Foods Market, Nike, GoDaddy, Blue Nile and even a futur-

ist from Intel Corporation appeared. Bobbi Brown, founder of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, shared her personal story of success. “We are here to talk about the biggest business in the world,” UA President Ann Weaver Hart said in her opening remarks at this year’s Global Retailing Conference. Lessons and tips shared at this gathering, held in April at Loews Ventana Canyon, benefit any business that serves customers.

Titled “Ignite the Customer Experience,” the stellar conference offered take-home strategies to engage customers – the lifeblood of today’s quixotic business landscape. “We’ve really worked hard to broaden our presentations this year,” UA graduate Lundgren said. Takeaways from the 2014 Global Retailing Conference include knowing the customer, empowering employees and embracing technology.

PHOTOS: DREW SIMBOLI

From left – Terry J. Lundgren, Macy’s Chairman, President & CEO; Tom Litchford, VP, National Retail Federation;

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Show Integrity

“It’s not what you sell, it’s what you stand for,” said Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market. “Customers today want honest retailing and 100 percent transparency.” Whole Foods empowers employees to make decisions that benefit customers on the floor, and backs them up on those choices, Robb said. “The moment of experience when a salesperson has made a connection with the customer – it’s serendipitous.” Hence, employees want to work at Whole Foods, Robb said, even voluntarily allowing 1 percent of their paychecks to go toward community-bettering foundations. “If you say you’re about something, put that in action so customers and your team see who you are,” he said. Ken Langone, an investor and cofounder of The Home Depot, said retail is about people. “You’ll have a much better chance of success in retail if you like being around people.” The Home Depot also bolsters its employees to solve problems. “We tell our kids on the floor, if you can think of a better way to do it, try it out,” he said. “A mistake is not a failure, it’s a stepping stone.” He recalled never entering the store in the morning without pushing in a few carts from the parking lot. “Listen, I’m no better than they are,” he said of employees. “We are partners.”

Praise for the Global Retailing Conference “This is a very impressive group of innovative thinkers.” – Terry J. Lundgren, Chairman, President and CEO, Macy’s. “This is a gold mine for Tucson.” – Tom Redd, VP of Strategic Communications, SAP Global Retail Business Unit “We really benefit from the most influential minds of retail.” – Martha S. Van Gelder, Director, Terry J. Lundgren Center for Retailing

The Home Depot also rewards its employees with a Success Sharing incentive program based on sales performance. “It’s the best money you will ever spend,” Langone said. “Let them understand that they are precious and watch what you will see from that person.” “We want the customer to feel better having come in,” Lundgren said. “Do what it takes to engage the relationship.” To that end, he personally receives about 50 customer emails daily, both critical and complimentary. “I want to know,” he said. Know the Customer

The emerging power consumers – the millennials or “digital divas” – are

20-something multi-taskers, using an average of four devices, said Rob Garf, VP of industry strategy for Demandware, an E-commerce platform provider for retailers. Women, who are earning college degrees at a higher rate than men, also will have profound implications on retail, said Michael P. Kercheval, president and CEO of the International Council of Shopping Centers, a global trade association. “Women will dominate every aspect of our industry,” Kercheval said. “If you are not going after the millennial customer, you are missing the boat,” Lundgren said of the generation born between about 1977 and 1992. “They will be the largest group of consumers in the world.” Macy’s launched 14 new brands last year aimed at millennial shoppers. Macy’s also partnered with Finish Line and Sunglass Hut, two popular millennial brands. “We have to organize ourselves to where the customer is going,” Lundgren said. “The product must drive the millennial into the store.” Blue Nile, the largest online retailer of certified diamonds and another millennial favorite, has succeeded because of its devotion to educating and guiding the customer. “As an Internet company, we like people to call us, we want them to call in with questions,” said Harvey Kanter, Blue Nile’s president, CEO and continued on page 24 >>>

Ashlee Aldridge, senior VP, chief information officer and chief integration officer, Golfsmith; Rob Garf, VP of Industry Strategy, Demandware

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BizRETAIL continued from page 23 chairman of the board. The strategy works because customers routinely submit glowing feedback for Blue Nile. Embrace Technology

Intel Corporation Futurist Brian David Johnson gave the audience a taste of what might be ahead for retail:

• Hologram stores • Intelligent fashion – clothes that interact with the retail space, telling the store when inventory is low

• Intelligent shelves – displays that can, for example, hide or cover products that have peanuts from shoppers who suffer peanut allergies

• Drones – small, flying robots that can deliver online orders within minutes or hours – a technology already noted by Amazon as a future pursuit

“Silo” systems, in which one computer program solved one problem in the past, won’t keep up with today’s savvy consumer. One comprehensive, seamless platform is essential for retail. “We can’t move fast enough,” said Ashlee Aldridge, senior VP, chief information officer and chief integration officer for Golfsmith. “The customer experience must be the same across the platform.” Even more, associates must be technology-proficient within the store. “Technology is only as good as the people who are using it,” she said. Express parking via mobile phone app, same-day delivery of purchases and online menu ordering in food courts are some of the new technologies that will transform malls and lure shoppers outside their homes – courtesy of systems such as Deliv and iBeacon. “The future is not a shopping center, but an experience center,” said Kercheval of the ICSC. A new boutique called Hointer is creating huge buzz in Seattle. The store – and its technology – enable customers to use their mobile phones to scan and study clothing, send choices to a dressing room, summon a stylist and then pay for the items on the way out. Founded by former Amazon executive Nadia Shouraboura, Hointer has cut inventory costs and freed up store associates to talk to customers instead of hustling back and forth to find sizes, she said. “If you have a phenomenon where the store is cheaper to run and the experience is better, it’s going to take off,” Shouraboura said. SAP, a German multinational software corporation, released the results of a survey at the conference in which UA students asked roughly 100 retailers a series of marketing questions. The survey found that social media, digital customer data and brand awareness are retailers’ top challenges. Half of participants said they know social media and other “listening” digital strategies are important, but see a gap in their ability to use them. “The marketing of your business is the real power,” said Tom Redd, VP of strategic communications for SAP’s Global Retail Business Unit. “How you market your business is critical. Technology is a weapon in retail.”

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PHOTO: AMY HASKELL

BizENTREPRENEUR

(Back) (Front)

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Frank & Beth Naughton Michael & Amy Huether


Sun Chic

Sportswear Company Blends Style, Sun Protection By Tara Kirkpatrick No matter how much sunscreen the Naughton family slathered on every weekend, it was never enough for the active, fair-skinned group. “We would all just burn,” said Beth Naughton, an avid tennis player and mother of two. “I figured a shirt would be the best option, but most shirts are aimed at a much older demographic.” She often talked about the problem with good friends – Tucson skin cancer surgeon Dr. Michael Huether and his wife, Amy. Natives of South Dakota, the Huethers also loved outdoor sports and had six, fair-skinned children – three of whom competed in regular golf tournaments. “We have personally tried many different sun protective shirts over the years,” said Michael Huether. “Although they offered adequate sun protection, they were uncomfortable and didn’t allow for heat to escape when working out. Also, the styles we tried were unflattering.” In a classic story of necessity breeding invention, Uvida Sportswear was born, and after less than a year on the market, it’s beginning to thrive. Uvida’s chic UV-protective shirts are sold in country clubs, clothing boutiques and dermatologists’ offices throughout Southern Arizona, and – perhaps soon – throughout the entire sun-worshipping country. “Sun protection is really the main thing we can do to minimize our risk of developing skin cancer,” said Huether, whose surgical practice focuses entirely on skin cancer treatment. Indeed, roughly 1.4 million U.S. cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year, he said. “The best sun-protective clothing is not effective if people won’t wear it because of how it makes them look or if it’s uncomfortably hot.”

With that in mind, the four friends – and now business partners – pursued their new venture. Amy Huether, a lawyer, provided legal assistance while Frank Naughton, owner of Naughton’s Plumbing, Heating and Cooling, became the financial mind behind Uvida. They set Beth Naughton – who honed her product sales and marketing skills at Weiser Lock and Abbott Laboratories – to develop a shirt that would meet their demands. She studied fabrics, met with seamstresses and researched manufacturers that might deliver the right combination. “I spent a great deal of time measuring 20 girlfriends of all different body shapes and sizes,” Naughton added. “What did they like? What did they not like? That’s how we developed the fit for the shirt. We wanted it to be stylish and to make you look good.” Naughton then went one step further. Her tennis team at Tucson Country Club had qualified for national competition, so her teammates spent the entire summer practicing in the prototypes. “We practiced from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the hot sun,” she said. “Some players would wear these skimpy tank tops and they actually got hotter in them. The long-sleeved shirts kept us cool.” The result of two years of exhaustive research – as modeled by Naughton’s friends on Uvida’s website, www.uvidasportswear.com – is a lightweight, drywicking line of sportswear available for women in bold colors, including pink, purple and green, alongside the traditional black and white. Manufactured in California, the shirt blends nylon, polyester and spandex. Each Uvida shirt has distinct features, including elongated sleeves that reach the knuckles and chafe-resistant flat seams that contour all shapes and sizes for a stylish fit.

“There is enough stretch, so if you are swinging a racket or a golf club, you have room,” Beth Naughton said. Most importantly, the line provides a UPF or ultraviolet protection factor of 50+ and reflects 98 percent of the sun’s rays. The claim was meticulously tested at New York’s Vartest Laboratories with UV light meters to confirm its protection, she said. Uvida’s manufacturing strategy was U.S.-driven. “When we were looking at making and sewing it, we looked overseas and even Colombia, but I really felt like I wanted to keep it in the United States. That was challenging, but I was able to work hard to get price competitive with garments that are made in China and Vietnam.” Uvida crew-neck shirts retail for $65 and the zip-front version is $70. The shirts have been a success at destinations including La Paloma Country Club, where the pro shop just renewed an order for the newly launched shirts. “They are going over well in our tennis and golf community,” said Samantha Gephart, La Paloma’s merchandising manager. “Our members really like the fun colors, but specifically the sun protection,” Gephart added. “As women, in some athletic clothes, we don’t even want to leave the house because they are too tight. These are really light and fit to your skin.” Dr. James Schwartz sells Uvida in his Tucson dermatology practice. “The shirts are selling well,” he said. “We are getting great feedback from the people who have bought them.” Tennis player Jenn Staples recently outfitted two of her Tucson Racquet Club teams in the Uvida shirts as part of their uniform. “They look good on everyone,” she said. “Plus, it’s great to support a local business. The fact that it’s made in the USA is even better.”

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Balancing Act

Gymnastics World celebrates 35 years of success By Valerie Vinyard

Don Gutzler & Yoichi Tomita Owners, Gymnastics World 28 BizTucson

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PHOTO: AMY HASKELL

BizSPORTS

Over the years, scads of kids have tumbled through Gymnastics World’s doors. Besides learning balance, discipline and a variety of skills and routines, many students would say they have become better people because of their experiences there. The kids mainly have two people to thank – owners Don Gutzler and Yoichi Tomita, who have been partners in Gymnastics World for 34 years. Today the gym has two locations and about 50 employees. Tomita arrived in Tucson in 1979, where he was part of the national coaching staff for USA Gymnastics. Gutzler, an Illinois native, attended Southern Illinois University. While there, he realized his university had a terrific gymnastics team, and he thought it was a great sport. “Even though I couldn’t do it, I wanted to be involved,” said Gutzler, a former high school math teacher turned accountant who was living in Tucson when Tomita arrived. Tomita, a decorated gymnast in Japan and the United States, has an impressive gymnastics resume. He also excelled in the sport at Long Beach State University.

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continued from page 29 “I was lucky enough to be one of the very best,” he said. “I was able to travel around the world with the best gymnasts. Now we are affecting people’s lives in a positive way.” Nathan Goff, a longtime Gymnastics World student who has learned much from Tomita, agreed. “Yoichi is a really good coach,” Goff said. “He’s part of the Olympic selection committee and he really knows his way

School, the West Point gymnastics coach began emailing him to express interest in recruiting him. Goff responded and the rest soon fell into place. “I think a lot of opportunities will arise if I go there,” he said. Goff started at Gymnastics World when he was 3 years old. That sounds young, but the gym accepts kids starting at 18 months. Parents must accompany their kids until they turn 3.

Gymnastics is good for everybody. You learn discipline and a good work ethic. –

Don Gutzler, Co-Owner, Gymnastics World

around gymnastics.” Tomita and Gutzler subsequently joined forces. Though both do many things when it comes to running the business, 58-year-old Tomita focuses on coaching some of the 1,500 kids a month who walk into the gym, while 67-year-old Gutzler handles the business side of Gymnastics World. They employ several other coaches for both locations. One of those coaches is Goff – one of the gym’s many success stories. The 18-year-old Tucson native will leave this summer to attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in New York. During Goff ’s junior year at Canyon del Oro High

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“I always ran around a lot and was jumping from the monkey bars – so my parents decided to put me in,” said Goff, whose specialty is the pommel horse. “I learned that you need to have dedication and to work really hard and to never give up. Gym has taught me a lot. You can achieve great things.” At 5 feet 8 inches and 144 pounds, Goff is tall for a gymnast. That hasn’t stopped him from excelling, however. Goff has made it to nationals five times and can be found at the Gymnastics World on Fort Lowell Road with his five teammates five days a week, three to three-and-a-half hours at a time. On Thursdays, he coaches younger kids.

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BizSPORTS “It’s a great way to learn life values,” Goff said. “Yoichi always says if you put in the work you’ll be successful, no matter how talented you are.” Still, there are downsides to excelling in a particular sport or activity, Goff noted. “It takes away all your time. You can’t really go to school functions like football games. I don’t care though – I love it so much.” Goff tried his hand at other sports growing up, such as soccer and wrestling, but injuries and lack of time sealed his decision to focus on gymnastics. “It made me realize that if I want to get good at gymnastics I couldn’t do other sports,” he said. Gymnastics World has cultivated and trained some of the nation’s top gymnasts over the years. One of the gym’s claims to fame is coaching Kerri Strug, who nailed her final vault on an injured ankle to win the Olympic gold medal for the team in 1996. People have moved to Tucson from New York, Los Angeles and Texas to train at Gymnastics World. The gym still offers one of the top boys programs in the country. Gymnastics World has come a long way since its start in 1978 at a location on First Avenue and Grant Road with about 80 kids. Since then, they’ve coached about 50,000. In 1981, the gym moved to a 10,000-square-foot building at 201 E. Fort Lowell Road, where it coaches the higher levels and still welcomes hundreds of kids a month. Another slightly smaller location opened in 1993 at 6985 N. Camino Martin,

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near Ina and Thornydale Roads. Gymnastics among girls remains very popular, but the number of boys participating has declined over the years because of the popularity of other sports such as football, basketball and baseball. And once gymnasts finish college, they’re usually finished with the sport. As Goff puts it, in terms of competing, “there’s not really anything to do after that.” Gutzler, who is married to Tucson broadcaster Lupita Murillo, enjoys seeing the kids develop over the years and says that competing shouldn’t be the goal of everyone. “Gymnastics is good for everybody,” Gutzler said. “You learn discipline and a good work ethic.” Tomita agreed, noting “it requires dedication.” He said there’s a common misconception that gymnastics is dangerous. “It’s done under a really controlled environment,” he said. “You can start at any age, or any level.” The two don’t have plans to retire yet, but eventually they hope to pass the business on to someone who will continue the tradition. “The beauty of what we’re doing – it’s not just a job, it’s a passion,” Tomita said. “Parents come in and say, ‘I used to be your gymnast,’” Gutzler said. “If someone comes in with their grandchild and says, ‘I used to be your gymnast’ – then we know it’s time to retire.”

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BizLEADERSHIP

Tucson Metro Chamber First Impressions project groundbreaking ceremony, March 31 From left – Mike Varney, Tucson Metro Chamber; Brent DeRaad, Visit Tucson; Danielle Batista, Desert Diamond Casinos & Entertainment; City Manager Richard Miranda, City of Tucson; Jim Click, Jim Click Automotive Team; Kurt Wadlington, Sundt Construction and 2013-14 Tucson Metro Chamber Chairman of the Board; Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, City of Tucson; Richard Underwood, AAA Landscape; Cody Ritchie, Crest Insurance; Councilman Francisco Munoz, Pascua Yaqui Tribe; Robert Ramirez, Vantage West Credit Union; Bonnie Allin, Tucson Airport Authority

Lasting Impressions By David B. Pittman That all-important first impression can influence an opinion forever – set it in stone, so to speak. That’s why the Tucson Metro Chamber, in partnership with AAA Landscape, has launched the First Impressions project. The collaboration – which includes support from six other Tucson businesses – aims to beautify a six-tenths-of-a-mile stretch of Tucson Boulevard between Tucson International Airport and Valencia Road – the gateway to Tucson for air travelers. “Some 3.6 million travelers go in and out of our airport every year,” said Mike Varney, president and CEO of Tucson Metro Chamber, at a groundbreaking ceremony to launch the project. Instead of what has been “a plainJane landscape,” six large medians outside the airport entrance will be beautified with colorful Southwestern landscapes, as well as art and cultural treatments designed to bring “memorable experiences” and produce a throng 32 BizTucson

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of positive first impressions of the Old Pueblo, Varney said. The project would not have happened without the financial assistance of six business sponsors, each of whom contributed $60,000. Sponsors are Crest Insurance Group, the Jim Click Automotive Team, Casino Del Sol Resort, Desert Diamond Casinos & Entertainment, Vantage West Credit Union and Visit Tucson. AAA Landscape designed the improvements and will complete them at a significantly discounted rate. Discussion of the First Impressions project started about three years ago when Richard Underwood, founder and owner of AAA Landscape and chairman of Tucson Metro Chamber’s community service committee, first came up with the concept. “As I have driven in and out of the airport, I have often thought that influential business people and site locators visiting our community don’t get a good

first impression as they drive from the airport to wherever,” Underwood said. “I thought, ‘What if we took the road just outside the airport and landscaped it like a resort or a master-planned community?’ I pitched that to the chamber and they thought it was a pretty good idea.” Efforts to raise funds to pay for the project were slow to get off the ground and the project languished for about two years until Kurt Wadlington, who heads Sundt Construction’s Tucson operation, took over as chair of the chamber’s board. “Fundraising for the project didn’t take off as we had hoped,” Wadlington said. “Of course the economy had a lot to do with that. It’s difficult to raise $300,000 or $400,000 when businesses are struggling.” His tenure as board chair recently ended and he now serves as past chair. Fundraising was also challenging because many business owners believed it www.BizTucson.com


was the responsibility of government to provide landscaping on public property. Determined to make the project happen, Wadlington devised a plan to solicit six major contributors, each of whom would fund work on a specific median. The plan allows for signage crediting the sponsors for their contributions. Wadlington turned to Cody Ritchie – president of Crest Insurance Group and a chamber board member – to lead the revamped fundraising campaign. “When Kurt asked me to get involved, I felt I had to step up to the plate because I’ve been talking about this for a long time,” Ritchie said. “This is an economic development effort. If we can make a better first impression on business executives that fly into Tucson, it will allow them to focus more on the great things in our area.” After agreeing his company would be first to commit $60,000, Ritchie solicited other sponsors. He said raising the money was easier than he anticipated. “My first call was to Jim Click,” Ritchie said. “Mr. Click didn’t hesitate to step up. Then both casinos jumped on board. Visit Tucson was fantastic. Then we approached Bob Ramirez (president and CEO) of Vantage West, who is a very, very good corporate citizen. He didn’t even bat an eye when we approached him.” Underwood and other chamber leaders praised City of Tucson officials at the groundbreaking ceremony for providing approvals to get the project started on an expedited basis. Mayor Jonathan Rothschild praised the chamber and its members “for moving this community in the right direction.” Bonnie Allin, president and CEO of Tucson Airport Authority, thanked the chamber, project sponsors and city officials for “coming together to work so hard to make this airport the economic asset it can and should be.” Construction of the project is expected to wrap up this summer. There is still one “last” benefit to be reaped from the project. “That first impression is also a last impression when that same visitor leaves Tucson,” Varney said.

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From Left

Dr. Jil Tardiff

PHOTO: AMY HASKELL

Researcher, Sarver Heart Center

Dr. Nancy K. Sweitzer

Director, Sarver Heart Center

Carol Gregorio

Co-director, Sarver Heart Center 34 BizTucson

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BizRESEARCH

Women of the Heart

Aligning Research from Bench to Bedside By Eric Swedlund With a new director at the helm, the University of Arizona’s Sarver Heart Center is moving forward on an expanded research mission – aiming to increase clinical trials and translate molecular and genetic discoveries into innovative therapies. Dr. Nancy K. Sweitzer, who took the reins on March 1, is the first woman to lead the Sarver Heart Center, which was founded as the University Heart Center in 1986. Only about 15 percent of cardiologists nationwide are women – which makes the Sarver Heart Center stand out – with Sweitzer, co-director Carol Gregorio and renowned researchers like Dr. Jil Tardiff. “The concentration of female leadership here is incredible and very unusual in medicine. It makes for a very vibrant atmosphere and it was definitely attractive to me looking at this position,” Sweitzer said. “The fact that we have women here in prominent roles will certainly help us draw other exceptional women to Arizona. It creates a culture where women see role models and thus are attracted to stay in that environment and, over time, are groomed for leadership themselves.” The Sarver Heart Center membership includes more than 30 women physicians and scientists among its 170 members – women who are conducting clinical and basic science research focusing on heart disease, stroke, diabetes, nutrition and exercise. Sweitzer takes over for Dr. Gordon Ewy, who was recruited to join the fledgling College of Medicine in 1968 www.BizTucson.com

as one of the founding fathers in cardiology. He took over as director of the University Heart Center in 1991 and led an era of fundraising that gathered donations from the Sarver family and many others, leading to 13 endowed chairs. Perpetual sources of funding

The endowments create dedicated, perpetual sources of funding that allow for strategic, prestigious hires – like Tardiff, an expert in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, one of the most fre-

My first priority is to expand the clinical operation to see more patients, to bring more people in and deliver excellent care to those people. –

Dr. Nancy K. Sweitzer, Director Sarver Heart Center

quent causes of sudden cardiac death. Tardiff, a dual M.D. and Ph.D., was recruited away from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York to serve as the first Steven M. Gootter Endowed Chair for the Prevention and Treatment of Sudden Cardiac Death. “I’ve looked at a number of chief of cardiology jobs around the country and as chief of cardiology, like

the chairman of anything these days, you’re expected to do more with less. Doctors are working harder and often making less, and research is very hard now because the NIH (National Institutes of Health) budget is so poor,” Sweitzer said. “But the unique thing about the Sarver Heart Center was the philanthropic aspect and the tremendous involvement of the donor community in maintaining heart disease research – even in these lean times. The intensity and dedication of that group – and the support the faculty feel – made it a very attractive opportunity. That extra dimension that exists here is really rare and really special to Tucson.” Sweitzer, like Tardiff, is a dual M.D. and Ph.D. She said several particular strengths of the Sarver Center drew her in – including the UA’s storied history in heart transplants and the development of the artificial heart, the world-renowned muscle biology group, a growing bioinformatics effort, and collaborations not only with other medical colleges, but with maincampus researchers in engineering and optics. Enormous opportunities for collaboration

“I am a very collaborative person, a very multidisciplinary person,” she said. “I’ve increasingly become the bridging person. My own research has expanded in a way that involves collaboration with radiology. I’ve done collaborative work with the School of Nursing in Wisconsin, and I’m startcontinued on page 37 >>> Summer 2014 > > > BizTucson 35


PHOTO: KRIS HANNING

From left – Andrew Messing, Claudine Messing, Rich Rodriguez, Humberto Lopez, Czarina Lopez

Foundation Raises Record $500,000 Provides Life-Saving Devices, Supports Research By Eric Swedlund The Steven M. Gootter Foundation, dedicated to preventing death from sudden cardiac arrest, is putting lifesaving devices in the hands of Tucson police officers. Since minutes – and even seconds – count when a person experiences a sudden cardiac event, the Gootter Foundation is donating 50 automated external defibrillators to the Tucson Police Department. Police often are first on the scene when a cardiac event occurs and trained officers with AEDs in patrol cars can provide a greater chance for patients to survive a sudden cardiac event, said Gootter Foundation President Andrew Messing. “We’re really excited about the donation to TPD. It makes sense for our police cars to be equipped with these lifesaving devices,” Messing said. “I really think we have the opportunity to make Tucson a model city for the rest of the country. The more AEDs we place in our community, in locations where they are most likely to be used, the better the odds are that lives will be saved.” The donation of 50 AEDs, at a cost of $100,000, extends a strong five-year track record in which the Gootter Foundation has distributed more than 50 other AEDs to schools, churches, recreational centers and other public spaces across Southern Arizona. With each AED donation, the Gootter Foundation provides training on the use of the devices and on continuous chest compression CPR. The Gootter Foundation, with a mission of both research support and public education about sudden cardiac death, began in memory of Steven Mark Gootter. A vibrant and athletic 42-year-old, he woke early on Feb. 10, 2005, and as usual took his morning jog. Gootter, a non-smoker with no history of heart disease and no prior warnings, died of sudden cardiac arrest. In 2012, the Gootter Foundation reached its goal of $2 million to establish an endowed chair at the Sarver Heart Center. The University of Arizona recruited Dr. Jil Tardiff to fill the position, researching sudden cardiac arrest. The foundation also continues to invest in research through investigator awards that enable scientists to pursue promising research ideas with the hope that the early data they obtain will enable them to compete for national grants.

Much of the foundation’s fundraising comes via the Gootter Grand Slam, an annual tennis tournament and gala dinner. This year’s event – the ninth – raised a record for the foundation, more than $500,000. Held in March, the Grand Slam for the first time featured former female tennis pros,with two-time U.S. Open singles champ Tracy Austin and multiple Grand Slam and Olympic champion Gigi Fernandez joining 1993 French Open doubles champions Murphy and Luke Jensen. Arizona Wildcat football coach Rich Rodriguez also attended as both a competitor and chair umpire. “The tennis event is great fun. (Coach Rodriguez) has a tremendous personality and he can play, too. He has a great time and gets the crowd into it,” Messing said. At the gala, the Gootter Foundation awarded Humberto and Czarina Lopez with its 2014 Philanthropic Award. “The Lopezes were truly deserving of our Philanthropic Award as they do so much for the Tucson community. They embraced the Gooter Foundation’s mission and were instrumental in our record year of fundraising,” Messing said. With the endowed chair already in place, the foundation for the past two years has been able to make grants directly to the Sarver Heart Center’s Resuscitation Research Lab, this year giving $150,000 for research. Like with the investigator awards, the grants are seed money to push research to the point the scientists are competitive for grants from the National Institutes of Health and American Heart Association. “Steve was an inventor. To be able to fund young investigators is important to us because it’s something we know Steve would appreciate. In the spirit of who he was, we’re following that mission,” Messing said. The Gootter Foundation maintains programs in public outreach on continuous chest compression, developed at the Sarver Heart Center. Public service announcements featuring former UA basketball greats Channing Frye and Steve Kerr have aired during Phoenix Suns and Arizona Wildcat basketball games. “It’s a great way when you’ve got a captive audience to teach them about continuous chest compression. We call it the chain of survival. The more people who know how to save a life, the greater the outcome will be for victims,” Messing said.

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BizRESEARCH continued from page 35 ing to build those bridges with the College of Nursing here. “I’ve done collaborative work with engineers and obviously that’s attractive at the University of Arizona. Cardiology is very attractive to engineers. We do a lot of electrical and mechanical research. You can usually get biomedical engineers excited about it and they add an exciting and innovative dimension to the work.” Sweitzer said the UA’s heart muscle cell biology group is probably the best in the world – but hasn’t been able to fully translate that work into human disease models until recently. “So there’s an enormous opportunity there for collaboration that will be truly translational and impact care of patients with heart disease,” she said. Gregorio, who served as interim director of the Sarver Center after Ewy’s July 2013 retirement and chaired the search committee that selected Sweitzer, directs the Molecular Cardiovascular Research Program and is the Luxford/ Schoolcraft Endowed Professor of Cardiovascular Disease Research. Research at the molecular level

A specialist in how proteins in the heart’s cells control contractions of the muscle, Gregorio is an integral part of the translational research – which aims to align research from “bench to bedside,” solving questions on a continuum from molecules in the basic laboratory to individual patients. “One thing that is relatively unique as far as our mission and our focus is to get clinical and basic researchers to collaborate more,” Gregorio said. “That’s a general direction that’s very important. With NIH funding now, they emphasize this translational focus. It’s really hard to be good at everything, but we have an amazing amount on both sides.” Gregorio’s research, combined with the collaborative efforts of other world-class scientists and physicians at the Sarver Heart Center, works to build a greater understanding of the development of the heart at the level of individual molecules, so that mutations that cause disease can be identified at their very beginning. “What we try to do is figure out why disease occurs, how a mutation goes from a protein alteration to the clinical problem – and we’re making huge progress on understanding what goes wrong,” Gregorio said. “That will allow us and others to design screening, therapy and hopefully repair for heart disease. That will have huge impacts.” So while the Sarver Heart Center’s history includes some of the world’s greatest advances in transplants and artificial hearts, as well as the now widely accepted chestcompression-only CPR Ewy is known for, Gregorio and Sweitzer envision a future in which problems can be caught and treated long before cardiac arrest occurs. How does genetic mutation cause a disease?

“We’re going from the whole organ to the molecular level, going back to say what caused cardiac arrest? Can we screen for it?” Gregorio said. “We study heart development. It’s very important when you think about congenital disease or when things go wrong during early human decontinued on page 38 >>> www.BizTucson.com

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BizRESEARCH continued from page 37 velopment. How do genetic mutations cause a disease?” The vast amounts of data required to perform scientific research at the genetic level requires a greater collaboration with bioinformatics and

career development to help the scientists with discovery – and that’s a problem. Finding a biostatistician who will dedicate time and thought and effort to (our research) has been difficult historically – but in the last 10 years, biostatisticians have figured out there’s a great deal to be discovered in these

team members in patient-oriented research,” Sweitzer said. Opportunity for “big leap” in clinical trials

The Sarver Heart Center is committed to UA President Ann Weaver Hart’s goal of doubling university re-

I’m going to strive for excellence in all phases of our operation – from delivery of care to the research enterprise to the philanthropic enterprise to our educational enterprise. We’re going to examine everything we do and work to do it better. –

Dr. Nancy K. Sweitzer, Director, Sarver Heart Center

biostatistics – evolving fields that are finding themselves aligned more with translational research than their theoretical pasts. “Historically, university departments of biostatistics are filled with biostatisticians who are doing math discovery,” Sweitzer said. “They’re coming up with new ways to analyze things and that’s how they built their careers. It doesn’t help them in their

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collaborations.” Sweitzer is seeking faculty members in medical departments who have backgrounds in bioinformatics as well as crucial skill sets that combine bigdata management and medical understanding. “You’ll see faculty moving here who bridge those skill sets as well as bioinformatics faculty who have medical backgrounds and become integral

search activity by 2020, and Sweitzer is looking to clinical trials as one area that has an opportunity to make a big leap. “The doubling of the research enterprise at the Sarver Heart Center, in the beginning, is going to be in the clinical and translational areas – where we take things the scientists are discovering and put them into patients,” she said.

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“Dr. Sweitzer is nationally recognized for her strong leadership and experience in clinical research,” said Dr. Joe G.N. “Skip” Garcia, senior VP for health sciences and professor of medicine at the UA. “These unique talents will help her build impactful bridges between the clinical and basic science enterprises, and increase discovery in the areas of translational and personalized
cardiovascular medicine.” Sweitzer is a board-certified advanced heart failure and transplant cardiologist with her Ph.D in physiology. She said her focus has always been on providing the best care to the sickest patients with heart disease. “From my perspective, what I need here are patients. We need patients so we can have opportunities to try new therapies on people with the diseases,” Sweitzer said. “What I see myself inheriting is a really strong scientific enterprise here – but one that is very basic and not very patient-oriented on a day-to-day basis.” Despite the size of Tucson and the size of the UA, the clinical enterprise at the Sarver Heart Center – with doctors actively seeing patients – is rela-

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tively small. “My first priority is to expand the clinical operation to see more patients, to bring more people in and deliver excellent care to those people,” Sweitzer said. “Simultaneous to that is building a clinical research infrastructure and operation so every patient who comes in who is eligible gets offered the opportunity to participate in a trial of a new therapy or a change in the way we diagnose or treat heart disease.” The infrastructure historically for clinical trials at the Sarver Heart Center has been a bit rudimentary, Sweitzer said. Some investigators have been very successful, but everybody built what they needed individually to be effective. To boost clinical trials, Sweitzer will build a clinical infrastructure available for all faculty to use, with experienced clinical trial nurses and staff to draw on. Looking for genetic markers

“It will give the patients at the University of Arizona and the Sarver Heart Center access to more cuttingedge therapies in heart disease,” she

said. “I’m hoping we can get a group of patients who are getting terrific, state-of-the-art cardiovascular care but the opportunity also to see what’s coming and participate in that.” For an example of the opportunity in larger clinical trials, Sweitzer pointed to one national project in which she participated – a longitudinal study of more than 4,000 heart failure patients that looks for genetic markers that can predict the course of the disease. “There’s tremendous potential. As we’ve gotten into the molecular intricacies of the disease, we’re getting smarter. It’s not just the gene – but it’s what happens to that protein when it’s made and how it’s modified afterward,” she said. “I’m really excited and I’m hoping to build, along with Dr. Garcia, scientific strengths in this area so that we can start drilling down at the individual level to what are the molecular abnormalities in a patient’s heart disease and how we can address those so your heart works best.” Though the terms elsewhere might be individualized or personalized medcontinued on page 40 >>>

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BizRESEARCH continued from page 39 icine, the preferred name at the UA is precision medicine – which better connotes the alignment between diagnostics and treatment. “The therapy right now is if you have clinical heart failure and you meet two or three features, you get

reputation of the Sarver Heart Center and the University of Arizona as they begin their own research careers. “We’re really focused on the next generation of scientists, the students we teach. One initiative is to bring in stronger graduate students and build the program. They’re the ones that

cate better – and to approach research, patient care and education in a more scholarly way, learning and improving every day. “The one word that guides whatever I do is excellence. My philosophy is no matter how good you are, you can always be better,” Sweitzer said.

When a donor asks me how to make a big impact, I suggest giving money for cutting-edge research and for training the next generation of scientists. –

the same five drugs as everyone else. They work in most people – but not everyone,” Sweitzer said. “It’s very imprecise now.” Next generation of scientists

Another priority for the Sarver Center is improving the competitive rankings of the graduate programs and attracting students who will boost the

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Carol Gregorio, Co-director Sarver Heart Center

leave and build their own labs for cardiovascular research,” Gregorio said. “When a donor asks me how to make a big impact, I suggest giving money for cutting-edge research and for training the next generation of scientists.” Sweitzer also has a leadership development agenda that spreads across the Sarver Heart Center. Those goals include teaching doctors to communi-

“I’m going to strive for excellence in all phases of our operation – from delivery of care to the research enterprise to the philanthropic enterprise to our educational enterprise. We’re going to examine everything we do and work to do it better.”

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BizRESEARCH

Sweitzer Brings Researchers Together Sarver Heart Center Poised to be a Real Force By Eric Swedlund Dr. Nancy K. Sweitzer is the type of physician-scientist who thrives in a collaborative, interdisciplinary environment like the University of Arizona’s Sarver Heart Center. Though she didn’t come from a medical family, Sweitzer set her sights on becoming a doctor when she was 17 after losing her grandfather to colon cancer. In college, her adviser pointed her toward M.D.-Ph.D. programs, where she could learn the skills necessary to go into medically relevant scientific research. “My initial experience in science was in a basic laboratory – working in cells and molecules and studying the heart muscle in that way,” Sweitzer said. “As I developed in my medical career, it became clear I didn’t want to spend my time in a lab at a bench. I wanted to work with people.” Sweitzer took over as director of the Sarver Heart Center on March 1, recruited from the University of Wisconsin, where she was an associate professor of medicine and director of numerous programs, including clinical research, quality, and the heart failure and cardiac transplant programs. “The University of Arizona and the Medical Center are attracting leaders who thrive on change. I find the new leadership exciting and fun to work 42 BizTucson

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with. We get each other and are striving for the same thing,” Sweitzer said. “I’ve found the transition from Madison to Tucson for me very easy. The people are similar in their openness and their friendliness. I’ve found people here more collaborative and more interested

The University of Arizona and the Medical Center are attracting leaders who thrive on change. We get each other and are striving for the same thing. –

Dr. Nancy K. Sweitzer, Director Sarver Heart Center

in building bridges and networking. It has been an easy transition for me and it’s going to be a good place to accomplish what I want to accomplish.” Initially considering specializing in obstetrics and gynecology, Sweitzer switched to a cardiac muscle project during her physiology training, then found her love of cardiology in medi-

cal school, working at a Veterans Affairs hospital. Treating three veterans suffering from heart failure, Sweitzer removed 100 pounds of fluid in a week. “I love my clinical job because when you remove fluid from patients, they get better,” she said. “Everybody talks about heart failure being the cancer of cardiology – but my therapy makes people feel enormously better and that’s very gratifying.” After earning both her medical degree and doctorate in physiology at the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 1993, Sweitzer completed her internship and residency in internal medicine, and fellowships in cardiology, heart failure and cardiac transplantation at Harvard Medical School and at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where she remained as an instructor in medicine from 1999 to 2001, when she returned to Wisconsin. Sweitzer’s research includes clinical trials in heart failure – testing new therapies in the heart failure population in search of superior ways of treating patients. “That’s an area of work I do collaboratively with multiple investigators across the country and the world, but I have had leadership roles in a number of trials and that aspect of my career is www.BizTucson.com


developing rapidly,” Sweitzer said. Another of her research programs involves a system approach – studying how heart failure impacts other parts of the body. Sweitzer focuses on the interaction of the dysfunctional heart muscle in heart failure with the vasculature and kidneys to better understand how to improve symptoms and organ function in heart failure patients. In patients with a diagnosis of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction, the heart appears to pump normally, but the body does not perceive that it’s getting a proper blood supply. The properties of the aorta will impact the efficiency and effectiveness of the heart’s ability to pump blood. But the aorta changes properties as we age. “We’ve been working to look at how those organs are working together and how that might become dysfunctional with age, particularly in women,” she said. The disease disproportionately affects elderly women, in their 70s and 80s. The age-related changes in the aorta may ultimately affect other organs, like the kidney and brain in heartfailure patients. Sweitzer is also part of a large-scale, long-term longitudinal study of heart failure patients. Sweitzer and colleagues from the University of Pennsylvania and Case Western University are tracking more than 4,000 patients, looking for markers and proteins in the blood as the diseases progress. The goal is to find biomarkers that can predict the progression of the disease, both for better and for worse. “I am looking forward to the unique opportunity to lead cardiovascular research efforts, coupled with a successful center of excellence in the UA Sarver Heart Center. The potential to make a significant impact is far greater than most cardiology opportunities,” Sweitzer said. “The Sarver Heart Center and the talented and dedicated staff are poised to be a real force in the Tucson community as well as the regional Southwest for improvement of care disparities, cardiovascular disease awareness, treatment of advanced heart disease and large-scale preventive heart disease efforts.” Biz www.BizTucson.com

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BizLEADERSHIP

Waging War Against Cancer

Fueled by Vision and Passion By Eric Swedlund

As a girl, Mara Aspinall had a teacher who told her she could never be a doctor. As an adult, with an international relations degree from Tufts University and an MBA from Harvard, Aspinall became a volunteer for the American Cancer Society. She points to both as formative moments that helped guide her career, developing her focus on fighting cancer and leading companies devoted to healthcare innovation and discoveries. “I think my whole life has been proving that teacher wrong. My whole life has been getting back to healthcare,” Aspinall said. “When I was a volunteer, I had the opportunity to work firsthand with cancer patients and see their struggle and see the fact that this is a disease that’s so pernicious, that seemingly is so random and attacks so viciously.” After volunteering with cancer patients, Aspinall became chair of the science committee and chairman of the board of the American Cancer Society. “We have to make a difference. We cannot relent. We have to use every resource we have to help,” she said. Now president and CEO of Ventana Medical Systems, Inc., a member of the Roche Group, Aspinall is in the right place to apply her expertise and dedication to the fight against cancer from the leading edge of diagnostics. “I don’t want to be naïve about it – 44 BizTucson

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but I think we are getting close to a tipping point in cancer,” she said. Aspinall cites two reasons. First, from the drug side, scientists are beginning to understand the true pathways for the development of cancer. The breakthrough comes in knowing not just what cancer does as it becomes its most active and aggressive, but understand-

I want Tucson to be the hottest place for diagnostics. The best is yet to come.

– Mara Aspinall President & CEO Ventana Medical Systems

ing what pathways need to be activated in order to make it become aggressive. Secondly, diagnostics are becoming far more sensitive and specific, far more precise and accurate, allowing doctors to diagnose disease at a far earlier stage. “The two of those pieces coming together – the understanding of how cancer works at the molecular level and better diagnostics – bring us closer and closer to a tipping point in the fight against cancer,” Aspinall said.

Before joining Ventana Medical Systems, Aspinall was founder, president and CEO of On-Q-ity, a start-up diagnostics company focused on circulating tumor cell technology. She spent 12 years with Genzyme Corporation, where she held senior leadership roles including president of genetics and president of pharmaceuticals. Aspinall is a diehard baseball fan who just celebrated her 32nd straight Red Sox home opener at Fenway Park. Signed baseballs decorate her office, along with Oreo cookies from around the world, with different languages, packaging and flavors. Both, in a way, present valuable lessons in leading a company. “I’m fascinated, from a business point of view, on how to build a brand and how to take a brand like Oreo and truly make it not just a country-specific one, but one that has global power and impact,” she said. But to achieve that global impact, Oreo had to meet people on their familiar terms. “Healthcare in particular is critical that way. It’s an industry in terms of our products, our instruments, our reagents, but so much of healthcare is delivered on a local level,” she said. “The question going forward is how local is local? We now have a physicianbased model, but increasingly we see the big hospitals having smaller units, continued on page 46 >>> www.BizTucson.com


PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

WOMEN WHO LEAD

Mara Aspinall

President & CEO Ventana Medical Systems

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BizLEADERSHIP continued from page 44 we see the Minute Clinics and they are very efficient for some types of healthcare. Will we see more healthcare going into the home? Will we see more wearable devices, where you will get your own data and the diagnosis will be continual? I think we will.” The baseball lessons, Aspinall said, relate to persistence and teamwork. “The bigger issue from the Red Sox is that healthcare and biosciences is a team sport,” she said. “One person can make the difference, as in Ventana. It was Tom Grogan’s vision that started the company – but Tom would be the first one to say that it takes a passionate and brilliant team to really translate a vision into reality. It’s the same as baseball. You can’t make a difference without a strong team.” Grogan, a pathologist who launched Ventana in 1987, remains as chief scientific officer. Grogan’s example is what attracted Aspinall to the company. “What drew me in is the ability to truly make a difference and Ventana’s strong reputation, history of innovation and the ability to move forward and take risks to improve what we can offer,” she said. Between 65 and 75 percent of all biopsies around the world are analyzed on Ventana equipment. Diagnostics account for 60 percent of the decision making in healthcare – but only 2 percent of the cost. “Without an accurate diagnosis you have nothing,” Aspinall said. “In many ways, the term of the industry is a misnomer. It’s not just for diagnosis anymore. It’s for screening, sub-typing, prognosis, treatment and monitoring.” The discovery of biomarkers increases the chances of success for new drugs. All diagnostics are growing at about 5 percent, but companion diagnostics – which are intended to assist physicians in making treatment decisions for their patients – are growing by about 30 percent. “This is real today,” she said. “Amidst a contraction of broad National Institutes of Health funding, there is exponential growth in biomarkers.” The discovery of biomarkers has led to tremendous innovation. For example, drugs designed for blood cancer can be used to target stomach cancer because 46 BizTucson

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of a shared biomarker. “Today cancer is an organ-based treatment. If you have a growth in your lung, you go to the lung building. But the world is changing. The future is all about those biomarkers,” she said. The future also is about demographics and Arizona is in a position now to make a strong push for expanding clinical trials in the state, which can serve as an economic engine as well as improve healthcare. “We have the population today (in terms of age) that many people believe

Ventana Medical Systems • Launched in Tucson in 1987 by Dr. Thomas Grogan • Sold to Roche Group in 2008 for $3.4 billion • 8 million patients in 91 countries • 1,100 employees in Tucson, plus 300 elsewhere • Sales revenues of $756 million per year • Among biopsies that require more advanced molecular testing in North America, 50 percent are performed using a Ventana automated staining platform • No. 1 in tissue pathology market share in every region of the world • 372,000 square feet in 9 buildings Source: Ventana Medical Systems

will be the U.S. population in 20 years. Let us use that information to build a stronger Arizona today,” she said. “In healthcare we have the opportunity of the future, we have the diversity and the age range that will be America. Let’s use it now to get those clinical trials.” Though an emerging state in the biosciences, Arizona remains a hidden gem, Aspinall said. “We need to be able to tell the Tucson story, the Arizona story – not just locally but in the Southwest, in the U.S. and around the world. The future is bright,” she said. “But we have to recognize what we’re lacking in. We have to continue to build infrastructure, to bring risk capital to Arizona companies, to more aggres-

sively out-license technologies from the universities and hospitals and lastly, in the short term, make Arizona a place where innovation happens.” Arizona has good momentum, but leaders in business, government and academia can’t risk resting on their laurels. “As strong as our effort is, we have to acknowledge that about 48 other states have their own efforts to create critical mass in the biosciences and that’s just the U.S.,” Aspinall said. “Bioscience is a hot field and it’s one in which everyone wants to get in, wants the jobs and wants to make a difference for their population. The key is using all the assets we have to improve our differentiation.” But Arizona’s reputation – like cancer treatments – may be nearing a tipping point of its own. “It’s in the next 10 years where we must take the infrastructure that has improved over the last 10 years, we don’t take that for granted, and we build on it and we pick niches – like diagnostics, like optics, like imaging – and take that to the next level,” Aspinall said. “We won’t be everything to everyone. We’ve got to pick our spots and ensure that we have the strength in those areas, and do that in an integrated way – with business, with government, with universities and with our healthcare system.” Diagnostics can be a key to the region’s success. “Few if any states have these kinds of strengths in all different aspects of diagnostics. This is the epicenter and it’s the opportunity we need to take,” Aspinall said. “I want Tucson to be the hottest place for diagnostics. The best is yet to come.” When asked what advice she has for future leaders, Aspinall said, “My advice for the next generation is to have courage – come up with ideas, try new things, take risks, do not be afraid to fail. Treat it like your heart and body. Exercise it. The future is not set in stone. You get to compose it. That’s a phenomenal thrill, but you’ve got to be bold, because you won’t always get things right. Embrace failures as opportunities to learn and grow. Clutch that mindset – and stay curious. One person can make a difference.”

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“Just Forge Ahead” From Answering Phones to Regional VP By Romi Carrell Wittman Martha Furnas had been to the desert just once – Palm Springs, Calif. – and she knew it wasn’t for her. It was just way too hot and she left thinking she would never come back. But in 2002 she visited the desert again, this time the Sonoran Desert of Tucson, and she would eventually make it her home. Furnas was part of an executive team scouting locations for GEICO’s next office, which was to be located in the Mountain time zone. There were several reasons the team selected Tucson over possibly more obvious choices like Phoenix. “A great university is what tipped the scales in Tucson’s favor,” she said. A large talented workforce, affordable housing and a vibrant arts and culture scene didn’t hurt – not to mention the friendly vibe of the town. “Tucson is a wonderful community and it’s the kindest group of people you’ll ever meet. That’s a really good thing for customer service.” With the site secured, GEICO invited Furnas to run the new office and build it from the ground up. It was a formidable task, but she leapt at the opportunity. “I came by myself with my laptop,” she said. She secured a facility – the 125,000-square-foot office at Speedway Boulevard and Kolb Road that formerly housed HealthNet – and began the process of throwing down roots, hiring staff and getting operations up and run48 BizTucson

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ning. It was a huge endeavor, but she didn’t let the enormity of the task faze her. “It takes a lot of support and stamina. You simply have to put one foot in front of the other and just forge ahead,” Furnas said.

We strongly believe in promoting from within. I could give you 20 examples of people with experiences similar to mine – 80 percent of our executive level management started out on the phones. –

Martha Furnas Regional VP GEICO

That same mentality and positive outlook has governed much of her career.

When Furnas joined GEICO in 1981, she thought she’d stay for six months and save up some money so she could continue to pursue her degree in physical therapy. Thirty-three years later, she is a regional VP and heads GEICO’s Tucson regional office – which serves Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington. Today the center employs more than 1,500 associates and is on track to hire some 300 more by year’s end. “That’s the great thing about GEICO,” Furnas said. “We strongly believe in promoting from within. I could give you 20 examples of people with experiences similar to mine – 80 percent of our executive level management started out on the phones.” Furnas, who was born in the Bronx and grew up in Connecticut, was a kid right out of high school looking for a way to pay the high rent of San Diego when she got the job. “My older brother wanted to be a marine biologist like Jacques Cousteau,” she said. “He moved to San Diego to study at the University of California in San Diego and I followed him.” She got a job as a courier for June’s Attorney Service delivering documents to various offices downtown. “This was back when San Diego’s downtown was very different than what it has become today. It was pretty gritty,” she said with a laugh. “Plus, I have the worst sense continued on page 50 >>> www.BizTucson.com


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WOMEN WHO LEAD

Martha Furnas Regional VP GEICO

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GEICO Associates Donate Time, Talent, Dollars for Tucson Though GEICO is a national company, having a local footprint and being engaged with the community is mission critical, said regional VP Martha Furnas. She’s talking serious investment in the community – both in terms of dollars and volunteer time. To begin with, GEICO offers on-site Pima Community College classes for employees. When asked why GEICO chose to bring classes on-site, Furnas laughed and said, “Parking is one of the hardest things about college. Seriously, it can be a hassle. I remember. We wanted to make it easier for people to get their degrees.” GEICO employees take pride in community activities. Since 2011, employees have contributed more than $1 million to the United Way. They also operated the Cystic Fibrosis phone bank, taught Junior Achievement students, held Special Olympics events, sponsored carseat safety classes and worked on Habitat for Humanity homes, among other outreach programs. Furnas sits on the board of directors for the United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona. GEICO’s Tucson office has been recognized as a Top 25 Employee Campaign giver for three years running. The company received the United Way’s Spirit of Tucson Award in 2013. GEICO’s Tucson office was named one of the “Top Companies to Work for in Arizona” last year – and the team hopes to bring home repeat honors.

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of direction in the world. It was not a good job fit.” Her $100 paychecks didn’t cover her $275 rent and she knew she needed to find something that paid better. “Someone at the office told me to check out GEICO because they offered part-time work for college students. I thought I’d work there while I figured out how to be a full-time student,” she said. Her first job was making outbound calls to people who had requested a rate quote for auto insurance. “This was before the Internet. People would mail in cards and we would call them back and close the sale.” She quickly realized the opportunity that GEICO presented. “The quality of the company was becoming clear to me even though I was really young,” she said. While working as an associate, she continued her studies and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business. She credits GEICO’s robust tuition reimbursement plan – one that’s still in place today – for helping her. GEICO’s generous education policies can be attributed, at least in part, to Warren Buffett, who has stated that the best investment a person can make is the one they make in themselves. Buffett, of course, is the famed “Oracle of Omaha” and president of Berkshire Hathaway, which wholly owns GEICO. GEICO – which stands for Government Employees Insurance Company – has more than 12 million policyholders and is second only to State Farm Insurance in nationwide market share. “We’ve been the fastest growing auto insurance company for the last 10 years,” Furnas said. “When you’re growing quickly, hiring the most talented people and developing them into leadership is really important. It’s about staying ahead of the curve.” In keeping with the culture of promoting from within, GEICO promoted Furnas several times and, in 2001, she was tapped to attend its executive assistant program in Chevy Chase, Md. After she graduated, GEICO offered her the opportunity to open the new Tucson office. Paul Bonavia, the recently retired CEO of UniSource Energy, parent

company of Tucson Electric Power, worked with Furnas on the United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona board. He said he was struck by her drive and determination. “Martha is full of energy,” he said. “The thing that impresses you about her is her enthusiasm. She consistently demonstrates strong leadership skills and a real commitment to our community.” Furnas says she’s amazed by her long, rewarding journey at GEICO and is proud of what GEICO offers. “We provide very stable, quality jobs to the community. Insurance is almost recession proof,” she said. “We promote from within. We want people to come and make a career with us.” Founded in 1936, the nationwide GEICO has more than $28 billion in assets – and a sense of humor. In 2000 the firm introduced its very natty and charming spokes-lizard. The GEICO gecko came to be because people tended to mispronounce GEICO as gecko. When asked her leadership advice to the next generation, Furnas doesn’t hesitate. “Attitude is everything. Develop yourself, learn and grow,” she said. “Demand the very best of yourself and of others. We’ll all have headwind in life – but you can overcome it by having a positive attitude and being authentic in everything you do.”

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GEICO at a Glance • GEICO founded in 1936 • More than 30,000 employees nationwide • $28 billion in assets • Opened Tucson regional office in 2002 • Tucson office serves Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah & Washington • 125,000-square-foot facility at Speedway Boulevard and Kolb Road • 1,500 associates with plans to hire some 300 more by year’s end

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President Hart Pushes Bold Goals Never Settle Strategic Plan Sweeps Across UA By Gabrielle Fimbres As Ann Weaver Hart leads the region’s largest public employer into the future, she envisions the University of Arizona as a mighty economic engine – one that partners with industry in innovation powerful enough to change the world. “Partnering with our communities and our industries is a major theme for us moving forward,” said Hart, who has been at the helm of the university for nearly two years. “We want to be the economic engine we know we can be.” Hart is leading the university’s Never Settle strategic plan and the accompanying Arizona Now capital campaign – which aims to raise $1.5 billion over the next several years to support the ambitious goals of the plan. More than half has already been raised. “It’s a unified approach and we hope it will lay the foundation for years to come for a very bold, very creative, very innovative new approach to a great university with a tremendous history,” she said. Among Hart’s top goals:

• Doubling

research expenditures – from about $600,000 to $1.2 million over the next decade

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• Expanding the reach of

the university’s land grant mission, bringing knowledge and information to industry and communities

• Creating more opportunities for stu-

dents to learn and apply knowledge outside of the university walls in partnership with industry

We fill a critical niche in the Arizona economy – and in the higher education community in the nation and the world.

Ann Weaver Hart President University of Arizona –

“The University of Arizona is a super land grant university,” said Hart, UA’s 21st president. “We have research at a level recognized by the Association of American Universities – an elite collection of 63 American and Canadian universities recognized for their achievements. We fill a critical niche in the Arizona economy – and in the higher education community in the nation and the world.” UA is poised to be a leader in partnering with industry with a common goal of a stronger economy and society, Hart said. “We developed a framework that we believe captures both our tremendous tradition and a very proactive vision for the future in which we never settle for anything but the best in everything we do.” The focus is on “a two-way active engaging between the learner and the learning leader, very tied into the many innovations that we are now using and that we see down the road that we think will be available.” She said this engagement will be tied to faculty promotion and tenure. “The application of new knowledge that we create through our research, scholarship and creative work to new continued on page 54 >>> www.BizTucson.com


PHOTO: COURTESY THE UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA

WOMEN WHO LEAD

Ann Weaver Hart President University of Arizona

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We developed a framework that we believe captures both our tremendous tradition and a very proactive vision for the future in which we never settle for anything but the best in everything we do. Ann Weaver Hart President University of Arizona –

continued from page 52 and different settings and applications,” Hart said, “is now directly recognized as a contribution for the promotion and tenure criteria and the reward structure – which is very revolutionary for a research university with our level of achievement.” She said the new strategy will result in business partnerships with industry to aid in the shift away from dependence on dwindling state funding. “We are modeling our new vision of partnering after some really good examples that already take place at the university,” Hart said. “The wonderful work that (the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences) cooperative extension educators do with businesses around the state – from all kinds of turf grass for the golf industry to animal science and cattle growers, cotton growers, vegetable growers, leafy vegetable farmers in Yuma – all of that is mutually beneficial and interactive.” She said other UA programs, including the Department of Mining and Geological Engineering, engage students in hands-on, real-world experiences in applying knowledge that result in 100 percent employment following graduation. The Arizona Now capital campaign is a crucial part of Never Settle, Hart said. “Philanthropy provides us with a partnership with philanthropists where we bring their passions and interests together with our capacity and talent. Together we do more than we would ever do on our own. Arizona Now is meant to communicate that urgency of Never Settle. We all need to be a part of this new University of Arizona.” She said part of the vision is to secure funding before tackling new projects – much in the way VP for Athletics Greg Byrne planned for McKale Center’s current remodeling. 54 BizTucson

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“We didn’t even begin that project until we had cash in hand from donors,” she said. “That’s a very different way of approaching our capital projects. When we plan a project now, every component of the private fundraising that is committed to the project must be upfront – so we don’t get ourselves in the position of starting a project, not raising the money and having to draw from other sources that would have been spent on the university.” She said all departments must be on the lookout for opportunities to enter business relationships with industry partners for mutually beneficial collaboration. “We must be constantly in motion, always scanning for opportunities to bring new ideas together in creative and different ways that capture the way Never Settle expresses our vision of the future and results in engaged learning on the part of students.” This engagement will build leadership skills and opportunities to help prepare students for careers, Hart said. Hart, the UA’s first female president, served as president of the University of New Hampshire and Temple University before leading the UA. She hails originally from Salt Lake City, and she and her husband, Randy, are the parents of four grown daughters. She is frequently asked what advice she has for the next generation of women leaders. “I emphasize the importance of recognizing that there are many paths to leadership,” Hart said. “They should not be discouraged or be limited in their thinking about the opportunities that come their way – but should be constantly vigilant for unexpected opportunities that become available from unexpected directions. “The key is to prepare themselves with the knowledge and skills they will need so that they are ready when opportunities come their way.”

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University of Arizona • Economic impact – $8.3 billion, including the UA Tech Park and UA Health Network • Students – 40,621 • Number of academic programs offered – 356 • Full-time equivalent employees – 12,291 • Total payroll – $861 million • Annual research gifts and grants – $561 million • National Science Foundation ranking among public universities for research and development expenditures in science and engineering – 18

Source: University of Arizona

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Let the Good Times Roll

CEO Persists Through Tough Economy By David B. Pittman Rosey Koberlein has presided over Southern Arizona’s largest and most successful residential real estate company in the best of times and the worst of times. And now, in her 10th year as CEO and president of Long Realty, she is eager for the good times to roll again. Koberlein joined Long Realty as an agent in 1991, became a branch manager in 1993, and was named GM by then-CEO/President/Owner Steve Quinlan in 1998. In 2004, Koberlein took over as CEO and president of Long Realty Companies, as Quinlan moved to chairman of the board. During her first two years at the helm of Long Realty, Koberlein could do no wrong as a decade-long real estate boom continued on an unprecedented record-breaking run. In fact, in 2005, Long Realty surpassed $5 billion in annual sales volume, still an all-time market high in Southern Arizona. But in 2006, the real estate bubble burst, setting off a prolonged market downturn that didn’t reverse itself until September 2011. “Downward trends in real estate normally last a year and a half max,” Koberlein said, “but this one was far from normal and ended up lasting six years. It was a rough, rough ride.” Through it all – the initial downturn, the financial crisis, finally striking bottom and a subsequent market dominated by foreclosures and short sales – Koberlein and Long Realty Companies accomplished something remarkable: Turning profits, albeit small ones, each and every year of the Great Recession. 56 BizTucson

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“I’m definitely ready for good times,” Koberlein said. “When we were in a state of crisis with decreasing unit sales, falling values and declining revenue, many very unpleasant decisions were necessary.” Koberlein did not waiver in taking the tough actions needed to keep Long Realty in the black, such as slashing company staff – which did not include real estate agents, who are independent contractors working on commission – by about 53 percent and lopping off about 55,000 square feet of leased of-

Long Realty • 1926 – Founded by Roy H. Long in his home with two other agents • Mid -1990s – Began diversifying into multiple aspects of the real estate business • 1999 – Acquired by HomeServices of America, an affiliate of Berkshire Hathaway, run by Warren Buffett • 2005 – Surpassed $5 billion in annual sales volume, the all-time market high in Southern Arizona • More than 1,000 licensed agents • Companies include Long Title, Long Mortgage and Long Insurance • The Long Cares Foundation celebrated its 10th anniversary last year and has given back more than $2 million to the community

Source: Long Realty

fice space by consolidating the number of branch offices from 16 to 10. “When you are in a crisis, it’s very clear what you have to do,” she said. “It’s just a matter of execution and having the bravery to do what is necessary.” When tough times hit, Koberlein said, one of her best decisions was to be candid and honest with Long employees. “I pulled all of the employees together and told them what was happening,” she said. “I promised them I would tell them the truth, without sugar coating anything, no matter how painful it was. I kept that promise.” Koberlein said a key factor in Long Realty successfully weathering the lengthy economic downturn was “revenue diversification” and the “consolidated revenue stream” it provided. Long runs its own title, mortgage and home insurance operations through joint ventures with other companies. The company began diversifying into multiple aspects of the real estate business in the mid-1990s and has expanded that process ever since. “Diversification was a consumerdriven process,” Koberlein said. “Our customers wanted an ease of transaction that allowed them to go to one place and get it all done simultaneously.” Long is also at the forefront of hightech advancements that are providing home buyers and sellers with more up-to-date market information than ever before. For instance, the company continued on page 58 >>> www.BizTucson.com


PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

WOMEN WHO LEAD

Rosey Koberlein President & CEO Long Realty

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BizLEADERSHIP continued from page 56 introduced a sleek new consumer-facing mobile app for Android, iPhone and iPad that provides data from multiple listing services, including information formerly reserved for agents. To strengthen the marketplace position of Long Realty agents, Koberlein said, the company “has created about 35 different monthly housing reports that our sales associates can have personalized to fit individual consumer needs.” Prior to joining Long Realty, Koberlein served as a branch manager at Mason McDuffie Financial Corporation in Northern California and director of employment and training programs for the City of Cleveland, Ohio. She received a master’s degree in public administration from Kent State University. Long Realty’s roots go back to 1926, when Roy H. Long began the business from his Tucson home with two other agents. Today, Long Realty boasts more than 1,000 licensed agents. In recent years, the company expanded into new markets. “We do not count those agents in our overall count because they are part of separately owned and operated franchises,” Koberlein said. “They pay us a fee to use our name, reputation and tools. It has been very successful for us. We now brand ourselves as an Arizona Real Estate Company. We have 33 franchise offices that start on the north end of Maricopa County and extend into Rocky Point.” In 1999, HomeServices of America, the second-largest residential real estate brokerage in the nation, purchased Long Realty Companies. HomeServices of America is an affiliate of Berkshire Hathaway, an American multinational holding company headquartered in Omaha, Neb. It’s chairman, president and CEO is Warren Buffett, widely considered the most successful investor in modern history. Koberlein said Long Realty has remained independent, autonomous and in control of its “day-to-day destiny” because it has always achieved its financial goals and delivered “what we say we’re going to deliver.” HomeServices is comprised of an ever-expanding family of affiliate companies operating in 37 states. When it started, it made a practice of purchasing the number one real estate company in a community and then allowed it to operate as its brand. “So HomeServices has affiliates like Long Realty in Tucson, Edina Realty in Minneapolis, Iowa Realty in Des Moines and CBSHome in Omaha, to name just a few,” said Koberlein. “We get to share best practices and ideas with each other. We not only have a very strong local presence, but we also have a very strong national and global presence. HomeServices is a fabulous collective that provides Long Realty with the best of both worlds.” Koberlein has met the man known as the “Wizard of Omaha” several times at meetings attended by the various CEOs of HomeServices companies. “Warren Buffett is very smart, very quick to laugh and very personable,” she said. “You can tell he doesn’t do anything he doesn’t totally enjoy – and clearly he loves to work.” Asked about her own future atop Long Realty, Koberlein replied, “I got this company through the downturn and now I get to have some fun in terms of growing it back. Until I’m not enjoying myself, I’m here.”

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Making Connections

Lovallo Big on Community Stewardship By Sheryl Kornman Lisa Lovallo’s success as an entrepreneur, along with her high energy and ability to communicate and connect, are what help her succeed as market VP for Cox Communications Southern Arizona. The University of Arizona graduate’s reach extends from Tucson to Douglas, Sierra Vista, Benson, Tombstone and Huachuca City. Lovallo serves on the boards of 10 nonprofits and is committed to the success and well-being of Southern Arizonans, especially children. In 2013, Cox provided grants to Arizona Special Olympics, Arizona Theatre Company, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona and Boys & Girls Clubs in Phoenix, Casa Grande and Scottsdale. The company’s Connect2Compete program provides broadband access to Arizona families whose schoolchildren are on free or reduced-price lunch programs. When Lovallo joined the company in 2008 after working for Procter & Gamble in Los Angeles, she had already started an import-export food business composed of more than 20 European manufacturers and 80 food service and grocery distributors throughout the U.S. After North American Enterprises was sold in 2004, she taught as an adjunct professor in the UA Eller College of Management and was director of student advancement and development in the UA Division of Student Affairs. In 2008 Cox hired her, though she had no background in the cable and communications industry. What she did 60 BizTucson

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have was an entrepreneur’s daring, international business success, intellectual curiosity and many deep relationships in Southern Arizona. Lovallo credits Steve Rizley, Cox’s senior VP and GM for the Southwest Region, for bringing her to the company from academia and allowing her room to flourish. “Steve Rizley had the foresight to put those pieces together. I was the right person at the right time for the company,” she said. “I had to learn the business quickly – but my boss realized

Cox Communications’ Economic Impact in Arizona • 2,900 jobs with a payroll of nearly $195 million • 3 million voice, data and video services for more than 1 million homes and businesses • $123.3 million in goods and services purchased in 2013 • More than $86 million in taxes and fees generated to city, county and state governments in 2013 • More than $3 billion in infrastructure upgrades invested in Arizona communities since 1996 • Nearly $17 million contributed annually in cash and in-kind support for community nonprofits, primarily for youth and education programs • 39,100 hours of community service provided in 2013 by Cox employees in the cities Cox serves

it was easier to teach me the business than teach me the community. Now I know enough to be dangerous about a lot of things – fiber optics, broadband. I can pinpoint a problem and help solve the problem quickly.” Lovallo is a former UA basketball player and student body VP. She came to Cox with leadership skills and the knowledge of how to grow a business and found a place where she could thrive. “One of the reasons my leadership has been effective at Cox is that Cox has a corporate culture committed to diversity and to supporting and helping people,” Lovallo said. “At my core, I’m very entrepreneurial. When I came back to corporate, I felt very comfortable here because of Cox’s commitment to the diversity piece – gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation. “Fifty percent of the team here in the Southwest region is female, and at Cox Communications corporate, the No. 2 is a female and a good role model. I never found it to be a barrier here.” When she came to Cox, “the die was cast,” Lovallo said. “The company values creativity and looks for unique ways to solve problems. For me that was very motivating. It’s a good fit for me – my personality, background and experience.” As a steward of the community for Cox, Lovallo is 2013-14 co-chair of the United Way campaign and serves on boards of directors that include Tucson Regional Economic Opportunicontinued on page 62 >>>

Source: Cox Communications Current Annual Report

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PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

WOMEN WHO LEAD

Lisa Lovallo

Market VP Cox Communications Southern Arizona

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BizLEADERSHIP continued from page 60 ties, Tucson Airport Authority, Southern Arizona Leadership Council, Tucson Metro Chamber, UA Cancer Center and Davis-Monthan Air Force Base Community Advisory Panel. She also is on the advisory board of the UA College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. In 2010 Lovallo was named Woman of the Year by Tucson Metro Chamber and has been honored as a Woman on the Move by the YWCA Tucson. Lovallo said she chooses a high level of community involvement with a variety of organizations to be an effective steward for Cox. “It’s tough to find the time to do all these things well,” she said, but “as an executive it’s important to keep yourself sharp and growing. You have to learn new things. I have a high level of intellectual curiosity. And I’m fortunate that I am in a company that expects you to engage the community. Why wouldn’t I take advantage of that?” Among Cox’s charitable efforts, she takes “a great amount of pride and personal satisfaction in the company’s commitment to and my engagement in the Connect2Compete program that gives families of children who are on reduced or free lunch the tools that can be life changing.” In November 2013, Lovallo was named the first female chair of the Southern Arizona Leadership Council. She said she would very much like to be the first woman member of the Tucson Conquistadores. “I think I’d be a great contributor. I’ve never been asked, but I would be happy to accept,” she said. Outside of work, her sporting life continues. For a time, she played in a men’s basketball league with local leaders Mike Hein, Larry Hecker and others at Green Fields Country Day School – but now she plays golf instead “to keep my knees” and avoid broken bones. It is true she trained, tried out and skated for the Furious Truckstop Waitresses, a roller derby team, under the name Ace Benedict for a year in 2009. She did it on a dare from Congressman Ron Barber. It was fun, but she was “black and blue all the time” and her boss worried she might get some teeth knocked out so she quit. Now she’s in the air, learning to fly a Cessna 172 four-seater prop plane at Ryan Airfield. “My landings are pretty good,” she said, so she’s taken her mother and two nieces, 12 and 14, for a ride. Her work continues to be challenging as Cox invests millions in broadband infrastructure in schools, adds and reinforces fiber optics for downtown businesses to allow for more economic growth with the coming of the new streetcar, invests significant capital at the UA Medical Center bringing its infrastructure forward to meet the present-day demands of healthcare, and is working with Carondelet Health Network and with physicians who want to integrate with hospitals. Residential telecommunications expansion is growing at the rate of the local economies, she said, and Cox continues to help small businesses expand. Upgrades are coming, along with faster internet speeds and faster broadband connections. A newer product, Cox Home Security, helps customers secure and manage their homes remotely from their mobile devices.

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She’s Got Jack’s Back

Olguin Sizzles in Fast Food Market By Steve Rivera You can forgive Laura Olguin for saying the most famous person she’s met is Jack. Yes, that Jack – the round-faced, pointy-hat-wearing funnyman who pitches all things fast food. There wasn’t even a close second. In fact, there was no second. Of course she’d back Jack. She’s a company woman who knows plenty about good business and branding. And, well, she owns 34 Jack in the Box restaurants throughout Southern Arizona and New Mexico. When you’re Olguin and you are the owner and CEO of CRT Partners, you know the right thing to say. She is savvy and sure. She didn’t get where she’s at by not seizing opportunities. She has done everything possible on the way to the top of the Jack in the Box chain. She bought into the Tucson market in 2000 as a minority partner when there were 18 locations. “The reason I do what I do is because of the people that work for me and seeing them develop,” she said. “I like seeing them grow, and I like creating opportunities for people. Being in a leadership role you have the ability to create opportunities for people.” She knows of what she speaks. For Olguin, who was born and raised in Mexico City until she was 13 years old, it was all about opportunity meeting preparation. Of course, she also had a vision of success. There was never a doubt. Failure was never an option when she was a teen. She landed her 64 BizTucson

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first job at a Jack in the Box as a maintenance worker and three years later became a manager. Family fueled her drive. She had a then-ill mother, an elderly grandmother and two very young siblings to care for. Fast tracks up tough ladders aren’t a problem when real life is at the door. “I was real motivated out of personal

I’ve learned a lot and I’ve met some great people. I’ve been able to help a lot of people grow, advance and develop.

– Laura Olguin Owner & CEO, CRT Partners

need to support my family, to try and advance in the company as quickly as possible so that I could provide a better income for them,” she said. She has “ganas” as she put it. In her native Spanish, it translates into a desire to succeed. “I’ve always had that in my life,” she said. “The sky was always the limit. Any obstacle can be overcome and every problem has a solution.”

She got past the problems through people skills, her forward thinking and use of psychology. She received a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1985 from Cal State-Long Beach. She earned an MBA from Pepperdine University in 1992. And pssst, don’t mess with her, she is a sixth-degree black belt in Hsin Lu Kung Fu. “I have a passion for psychology,” she said. “The strong background is a definite asset in managing people.” Yet her philosophy in successful business is as easy as Biz 101. “Our strategy is focusing on providing a great experience to every one of our guests,” she said. And the guests keep coming back. In addition to selling all those burgers, sandwiches, fries and more, her restaurants serve 3 million tacos per year. But does she have enough time to stop and enjoy her successes? Celebrate victory? “You have to,” she said. “You put time, effort and vision behind it. When you do achieve a level you have been striving for, you have to stop and smell the roses. You stop and enjoy the moment and move onto the next.” So, she does. “I tell my kids it’s about the journey, not the destination,” she said of her children Daniel, 16, and Celine, 15. “You have to enjoy it. I’ve learned a lot and I’ve met some great people. I’ve been able to help a lot of people grow, continued on page 66 >>> www.BizTucson.com


PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

WOMEN WHO LEAD

Laura Olguin Owner & CEO CRT Partners

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BizLEADERSHIP continued from page 64 advance and develop.” Tucson has benefited. She’s been in Tucson for more than 14 years and has been part of numerous volunteer activities, including Wingspan (board president), St. Michael’s Parish Day School, St. Francis in the Foothills United Methodist Church and numerous others. Her mom, who passed away more than 30 years ago, would be proud. “She was then and is now from up above,” she said. How could she not be? She raised a daughter who is self-made and dedicated. But she is also a woman who does know defeat. Nearly 30 years ago she pursued her dream of becoming an actress after watching the Mexican musical “Mame” and actress Silvia Pinal. “If you want to be an actress what do you have to do? Go to Hollywood,” she said. “I went and tried to make a run for it.” But she realized three things. “I wasn’t very good,” she said. “I didn’t have a lot of luck and I didn’t have a lot of money. One of the three was required to make it in that world. I gave it up. But I already had a career at Jack in the Box. I just decided to make it a career.” Olguin offers this advice for anyone wanting to become a CEO: • You must have the desire to become who you want to become. • You cannot see obstacles but instead see opportunities. • You must relentlessly pursue your dreams and never give up on those dreams.

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Laura Olguin • Occupation – Owner/CEO CRT Partners • Managed first Jack in the Box at age 19 • Owns 34 Jack in the Box locations – 27 in Southern Arizona 7 in New Mexico • Employees – 870 • Revenues – $26 million

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A Nurse at Heart TMC’s Rich Believes in Teamwork By Sheryl Kornman Tucson Medical Center CEO Judy Rich is committed not only to excellent patient care for all, but also to making sure all patients have a say in their care. Rich was a nurse before she became a nursing administrator and now a hospital administrator. “I was and will always be a nurse,” she said. At TMC and its El Dorado campus, Rich said, listening to patients and to employees helps to make her leadership effective. And she loves her work. “I see everything through the eyes of a nurse,” she said, and that enables her to work with more than 3,000 TMC employees to figure out “how to be better than we were yesterday. I can’t think of a place I’d rather work than a hospital.” Her commitment to patients is key. “We do nothing to you without you,” she said. And “if we make a mistake, we tell you.” TMC’s “driving vision is to be accessible to the community,” Rich said. “We evaluate carefully where the need is and make sure systematically we are filling the needs,” she said. “The hospital’s commitment to patients means that patients always have to be included in their care. What they think and need matters and we want to hear from them and their families. “We have turned the paradigm around from the paternalistic model (of healthcare delivery) and the first thing we do is tell our patients everything we know and support them in making decisions. It’s a very different milieu now. We should all be smart about how we 68 BizTucson

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get our own care.” As a female executive, Rich said she has never fallen into feeling like she has to prove herself because she is a woman. She was given opportunities to grow professionally elsewhere and she now gives them to others. “The female gene has served me well in my ability to work with other people,” she said. “When you put women on teams they get the job done and with

I am really open to collaboration and supporting each other and rallying around the mission and values.

– Judy Rich CEO, Tucson Medical Center

more collaboration and on time – the Harvard Business School has studied this. I am really open to collaboration and supporting each other and rallying around the mission and values. It’s easy for me to embrace it and hold it up high for employees. “My goal (as CEO) was to be very approachable. I made it a core value for me to never make anyone feel they can’t

come and tell me anything, or that what they say would be trivialized and not valued.” That includes any employee, she said. Rich first came to TMC in 2003 as COO and left in December 2005. When she returned in July 2007 as executive hospital administrator, the hospital was in trouble and the TMC board was considering whether TMC should become part of a larger system. When the decision was made to stay local after several years of profitable operations, the board promoted Rich to her present post as CEO. “It was an incredible opportunity,” she said. “They saw I was committed to the organization, and there was no place to go but up.” The hospital had considered a somewhat controversial $800 million rebuild that would have transformed the onestory hospital into a high-rise and disrupted its carefully tended grounds and courtyards. Instead TMC added to existing structures, spending $250 million to add a state-of-the-art surgical and orthopedic tower, took over the campus of the former El Dorado Hospital, now TMC’s El Dorado Health Campus for outpatient treatments and surgeries, built a child-friendly pediatric emergency room and added a parking garage to the West Campus improvements. Also, EPIC software was purchased for digital recordkeeping and OneChart was added to provide an electronic medical records system. The hospital has also continued on page 70 >>> www.BizTucson.com


PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

WOMEN WHO LEAD

Judy Rich

CEO Tucson Medical Center

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BizLEADERSHIP continued from page 68 expanded its pediatric and mother/ baby facilities. “We haven’t lost our charm, our courtyards and our beautiful grounds,” Rich noted. For those at the end of life, TMC Hospice provides in-home care as well as inpatient respite care and pain management at Peppi’s House. Peppi’s House is located in the northwest part of the campus and has 16 beds, including two that flex as pediatric beds. TMC provides inpatient palliative care to patients with chronic illnesses. Rich said a new medical director of palliative care will begin work this summer. In January 2015, TMC will provide the medical services at a geriatric psychiatric center on the campus of Handmaker. The center will have 15 patient beds. During her tenure, TMC has partnered with Ventana Medical Systems to improve its pathology laboratory diagnostics and the outcomes for patients, especially those with cancer. Rich’s father died from Hodgkin’s disease a few days after she graduated from high school. There was no cure then. “I spent my senior year watching my father die. I almost didn’t go to college at all,” she said. But she did and she studied nursing. She moved from Philadelphia to Florida and to Tennessee and now Tucson to grow her career. Her first big management opportunity came at 28 when she was the nurse manager of the neurology intensive care unit at Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. She was willing, she said, to take the job knowing that the first person offered the job dropped out. “I realized I had been given the chance to do something special,” she said. The hospital had a spinal cord center and the work was challenging. She remained at Jefferson, a teaching hospital, for seven years. Rich has three children, 28, 27 and 21, and has been a very “hands-on mom,” she said. Her children have helped to hone her communications skills. “My children have given me a lot of insight into how I interact with people. My daughter reminds me constantly how I should behave and value continued on page 72 >>> 70 BizTucson

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continued from page 70 other people. I’ve learned how to listen to my children.” As medical care and hospital care evolve, Rich and TMC must meet the changing needs of providers, payers and patients. “The challenge of leading a hospital today is that the expectations are rapidly increasing on the part of payers and patients,” Rich said. “Our mandate is to be better and better. And better means you can never say what we are today is good enough. The challenge for me now is to continuously improve, to make sure every day we are figuring out how to be better than we were yesterday. “We realize more and more care will be happening outside the hospital and we have to be able to support the highest quality of healthcare in the most efficient way. Our outpatient vision is to deliver care in people’s homes and outpatient settings as much as possible. We understand nobody wants to be in a hospital – unless they are having a baby – and we are taking care of people when they are most vulnerable.”

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Tucson Medical Center and El Dorado Health Campus • Number of employees – More than 3,100 • 2014 budgeted operating revenue – $450 million • Total budgeted operating expenses – $448 million • Net operating income budget – $1.6 million • Operating margin – 0.34 percent • Dollars spent 2009-2013 on construction, expansion and other capital projects – $260 million In 2013: • Emergency visits – 84,920 • Total admissions – 30,654 • Inpatient surgeries – 8,997 • Outpatient surgeries –12,356 In 2012: • 5,602 babies delivered Source: Tucson Medical Center

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Pedal to the Metal

CEO Takes Challenge at Top Speed By Kate Maguire Jensen Linda Wojtowicz, recently appointed CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson, started thinking about a new challenge when she realized she wasn’t “driving fast to work anymore.” Previously part of the senior leadership team at Tucson Medical Center, she believed she had accomplished what she set out to do. When she started at TMC, the hospital was having a difficult time. “It was a wonderful opportunity for me to help with the turnaround,” she said. “You don’t get to do that very often.” She helped change the culture of the organization and says she loves the responsibility of a leadership role. “They say the lifespan of a healthcare executive is three to five years,” but Wojtowicz stayed with TMC for nine years – first as southeast service administrator, then chief nursing officer/ VP for clinical operations and finally as COO/senior VP. She got her start in healthcare working as a nurse in Chicago in oncology, then in critical care. Rather than move up the ranks in clinical positions, she chose to pursue a career in administration. The job that got her to Arizona was COO of Sierra Vista Regional Health Center. After two years, she was promoted to interim president/CEO, a position she held for a year and a half before moving to TMC. This is a woman who embraces new challenges. When she moved to Arizona, she took up horseback riding – something she had never done. And now she’s all about mastering ballroom dancing. In 2012, she traded the TMC boardroom for a ballroom, stepping out as one of Tucson’s stars in “Dancing with the Stars” to raise money for the Diaper Bank of Southern Arizona. When the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tuc74 BizTucson

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son position opened up, several community members encouraged her to apply. She liked the clubs’ mission and was impressed with the organization’s reputation. “This organization is really special,” she said. “I’ve never seen a board this committed. The board members are emotionally connected to our mission and to each other. They all spend time in the clubhouses.” The organization just celebrated its 50th anniversary of helping thousands of children and teens by providing a safe place after school and programs to teach a broad range of life skills. The clubs provide direct services to more than 6,000 at-risk kids in six clubhouses and indirectly serve 5,000 more kids through programs and activities. This new CEO is excited about stepping into a well-established nonprofit with an outstanding board and making it better. She said the clubs are uniquely positioned to create meaningful collaborations with other nonprofits that serve kids. “I told the search committee that if they wanted change, ‘I’m your gal.’ At this point in my career, I’m not afraid of taking risks,” she said. “It’s easier to take risks for the right reasons. I know it sounds too altruistic, but it’s really

Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson • Provides direct services to more than 6,000 at-risk children and teens in six clubhouses • Indirectly serves 5,000 more kids through programs and activities • Annual budget of $3 million • 55 employees and hundreds of volunteers

true. I want to be involved in something larger than myself.” While she is not afraid of taking risks, Wojtowicz said she is committed to protecting the organization’s outstanding reputation and legacy, while propelling it forward. She’s been on the job only a few months, and one of the best days she’s had at work so far was when she took several teenage girls from the clubs to dinner. It made her realize how much we take for granted, like being able to eat out at a local pizza place, something none of the girls had ever done. What advice would she give younger women about achieving business success? “Confidence and self-control are paramount,” she said. “Look the part, dress for success, do research, prepare yourself. Respect others’ time by being ready and looking like you did your homework. Don’t be afraid to show your passion, because that is what is best about you, but learn to temper it with facts. Remember to find your personal joy. Others don’t want to be around unhappy people. Success won’t bring you happiness – happiness will bring you success.” What legacy does she hope to create at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson? She’s working toward enhanced sustainability and serving more kids every year. “I hope that BGC of Tucson is seen as a collaborator with other organizations that serve kids, bringing the right people around the table so that in the end, the kids have enhanced experiences.” One gets the sense that she’s driving fast to work again – and every place else she goes.

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PHOTO: TOM SPITZ

WOMEN WHO LEAD

Linda Wojtowicz

CEO Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson

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Resorts Rebound

Frigid Snowy “Polar Vortex” Boosts Bookings By Mary Minor Davis

Want to create a great business climate for luring hordes of winter tourists to Tucson and big profits for Southern Arizona resorts and spas? Then let it snow, let it snow, let it snow – at least across the Midwest and Eastern portions of the U.S. – which is exactly what happened in the winter of 2013-14. Tucson’s sunny skies, warm temperatures and dry winter weather, which was even more perfect than normal, combined with a long, bleak, frigidly cold season back East and in the nation’s heartland, produced skyrocketing occupancy rates and profits for Tucsonarea resorts and spas. “The Polar Vortex conditions that the East Coast faced this winter resulted in an increase of guests seeking an escape to Tucson for our beautiful warm weather,” said Alexandra Williams, a public relations specialist for Canyon Ranch. Michael Tompkins, CEO of Miraval Resort & Spa, was obviously pleased weather conditions came together as they did. He said last year and the first part of 2014 have been “the best years in history” for Miraval and produced record-breaking revenue. Tompkins is not alone. Officials throughout the Southern Arizona resort and spa industry are not only reporting substantial business growth, but also are making optimistic prognostications that those trends will continue. “We are encouraged to see that people are traveling more in 2014 than in the past several years,” said Patti Todd, director of sales and marketing for Tubac Golf Resort & Spa. “We are experiencing significant increases in leisure vacation travel, group meeting business and weddings. Our forecast for the rewww.BizTucson.com

mainder of 2014 and into 2015 is stronger than at this time last year.” Todd said being named one of 14 “must see” and “up-and-coming destinations in the world” by Conde Nast Traveler and one of the 10 best coldweather getaways in the country by USA Today also helped to spur a 30

The Polar Vortex conditions that the East Coast faced this winter resulted in an increase of guests seeking an escape to Tucson for our beautiful warm weather.

– Alexandra Williams Public Relations Specialist Canyon Ranch

percent growth in revenue for the Tubac resort this year. Kim Van Amburg, senior VP at Casino Del Sol Resort, said the resort’s market share has had steady growth during its first two years of operation and predicted that trend to continue over the next year. “Our ability to grow our share of the market is because of all we have to offer at one destination – beautiful accommodations, an unbelievable concert schedule, Tucson’s best casino – and we are Arizona’s only Forbes 4-Star rated casino resort,” she said.

Also reporting increased business was Ryan Bunker, director of sales and marketing at Loews Ventana Canyon. He said the resort “continues to see improvements in occupancy and average daily rate year over year with an increased demand in both group and leisure travel.” Chris Sabala, director of sales and marketing at The Lodge at Ventana Canyon, credited much of the improvement within the Southern Arizona resort market to Visit Tucson’s new brand and marketing campaign, which he said has been effective in attracting leisure travelers. “Our Visit Tucson office has done a masterful job getting the word out about our fine city,” he said. “Continued partnerships with the City of Tucson, Oro Valley and Marana remain strong as the hospitality industry works hard to bring guests to Tucson to experience the wonderful and many great things we have to offer.” White Stallion Guest Ranch, as well as several other area resorts, has had growth in both American and foreign customers. Susanne Walsh, head of marketing at White Stallion, said 2014 “is promising to be a very busy year for both domestic and international travelers. We are fortunate to have a significant number of guests who return every year. Our emerging markets are Italy and France and the outlook is currently quite good, based on airfares and exchange rates.” The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain gained international recognition as the host of the Accenture Match Play golf tournament over the past eight years. Even as it’s possible the tournament will move on, Mike Kass, hotel manager, continued on page 78 >>> Summer 2014 > > > BizTucson 77


BizTOURISM continued from page 77 said the resort’s outlook is bright. “We are optimistic about the future as (the resort) has clearly come into its own,” he said. “Our guest offering is compelling. Our increasing repeat business is a clear indicator of this. It is also gratifying, and a true tribute to our team and the region, to win so many awards and accolades from major national travel and luxury publications. Being named to the Travel + Leisure top 100 resorts in the world list is a tremendous motivator for all of us.” Representatives of the Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa, Westward Look Wyndham Grand Resort and Spa and Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort also reported increased numbers of visitors and promising forecasts of future business. Visitors to Tucson resorts aren’t the only ones receiving needed TLC. Many of the region’s resort attractions are undergoing extensive additions and renovations. For example: • Last October, an 18-month, $35 million rejuvenation of the Westin La Paloma was completed. • Room renovations and the ballroom makeover at the JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa that have been ongoing for the past year are finished. • Loews Ventana Canyon recently upgraded furnishings throughout its property.

A number of resorts are also introducing new programs and activities. Here are highlights of activities going on at the leading Southern Arizona resorts – along with a snapshot of this summer’s staycation specials. 1. Canyon Ranch Canyon Ranch has expanded both its facilities and programs. To support its enlarged Spirituality Program, it opened a new 3,000-square-foot Spiritual Wellness Center in February within the Health and Healing Courtyard. Phase II of this project includes the addition of a Zen garden, which is expected to be completed later this year. A new Equine Inspiration Workshop, a partnership with Rancho Bosque, allows participants to experience the spiritual connection between human and horse. The workshop is led by Dr. Allan Hamilton, a Harvard-trained brain surgeon and author of the award-winning book “Zen Mind, Zen Horse.” Other new activities this summer at Canyon Ranch include aerial yoga – a combination of yoga and acrobatics, rebound exercises using kangaroo jumps and indigenous spa services. For information about summer savings, log on to http://www.canyonranch.com/ tucson/rates-specials/specials. 2. Miraval Resort & Spa New to the Miraval Resort & Spa in 2014 is the Miraval Gives Back program, a charitable endeavor designed to give the gift of wellness to individu-

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als who may not otherwise have the opportunity to visit the famed resort. Launched on March 4, Miraval’s philanthropic endeavor invites people to nominate friends and loved ones in the United States who have experienced a difficult time and could benefit from the Miraval experience. Nominations can be made anytime on the resort’s website. This summer, Miraval Resort & Spa is giving guests an unprecedented $1,000 of resort credits and 20 percent off all stays of five nights or more. The resort credit can be used toward spa treatments, workshops, activities and exclusive Miraval programming, food and non-alcoholic beverages, complimentary shuttle transfers from Tucson International Airport or complimentary parking and a welcome gift. Nightly rates start at $343.20 per person. The program runs through Aug. 15 and is subject to availability. For reservations, visit www.miravalresorts.com or call (800) 232-3969. 3. Tubac Golf Resort & Spa This summer, Tubac Golf Resort & Spa is offering three packages: • “Check in early/Stay late.” Check in at 11 a.m., check out at 3 p.m. The package is based on a two-night stay and includes discounts on golf and spa services, plus breakfast for two one morning. Rates start at $149. • “Unlimited Golf Day of Play” includes unlimited golf on the 27-hole

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championship golf course, unlimited use of practice facilities, club storage, unlimited use of the fitness center and discounts on spa services. Package starts at $158. • The “Girlfriends Getaway,” a package that includes two cruiser bike rentals for one day, two 50-minute spa treatments, two cocktails and a casita suite with two queen beds. Prices start at $158. To book reservations or for more information go to http://tubacgolfresort. com. 4. The Ritz-Carlton,

Dove Mountain

The resort has added spa cabana services for couples and groups who can enjoy select outdoor poolside spa treatments. Techies of all ages will enjoy the new poolside technology butler, who charges electronics and cleans screens for connected guests at the pool. This summer, the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain offers two special packages for guests. The Summer Fun Package starts at $239 per night and includes a $100 nightly hotel credit. The Summer Return Package starts at $214 per night and offers a $50 nightly hotel credit. Both programs are available until Sept. 11. To make reservations visit http://www.ritzcarlton.com/ dovemountain or call (800) 241-3333. 5. White Stallion Ranch The third generation of Trues has taken the reins at the ranch, as Steven and David True follow in father Rus-

sell’s steps. It is a tradition that each member of the family gains a working knowledge of the entire ranch by working in all facets of the operation. David is currently working in the corrals and the kitchen, while Steven is handling personnel, payroll and inventory management. This year’s special, “Summer Bonanza,” will be available until June 15. Packages include lodging, all meals, horseback riding (except Sundays), cookouts, airport transfers from Tucson International Airport and daily ranch activities. The Four Night/Five Day package starts at $669 per person (double occupancy), and the Seven Night/ Eight Day package starts at $1,113 per person (double occupancy). To make reservations visit www.wsranch.com, or call (888) 977-2624 or (520) 297-0252. 6. Hilton El Conquistador

Golf & Tennis Resort

The Hilton El Conquistador Golf & Tennis Resort is a popular destination for locals and travelers alike. It boasts 45 holes of championship golf on three courses. Families love the variety of programs and amenities, including the water slide for the kids. The resort is launching a new offseason program – “Conquer the Summer.” Rates start at $89 per night and include activities for the whole family. Guests receive a passport packed with 14 discounts and access to a special lineup of summer programming and entertainment. Activities include live music every weekend, poolside dive-

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in movies and s’mores, stargazing and solar tours, cooking classes, junior archery and more. Discounts are offered from Memorial Day to Labor Day. To make reservations or for more information visit hiltonelconquistador.com/ conquersummer. 7. JW Marriott Starr Pass

Resort & Spa

For summer visitors and local residents looking for a staycation, popular morning and evening rituals at the hotel – such as the daily complimentary Tequila Toast and self-guided hikes on Bowen Trail – will continue this summer. The fitness center at the Hashani Spa has been upgraded, and the kids and Teen Club offer great activities for families. Keeping cool in the popular Lazy River and water slide is always a hit when the temps reach into the 100s. For summer specials and last-minute deals, visit http://www.marriott.com/ hotels/hotel-deals/tussp-jw-marriotttucson-starr-pass-resort-and-spa/, or call (520) 792-3500. 8. Casino Del Sol Resort For families, there’s “Family Fun in the Sun Staycation – Parents Night Out” for $125. This includes a onenight stay in a standard room for two adults and two children, ages 4-12. The package includes food, entertainment, movies and welcome gifts for the kids and a party for the kids. See the resort website for more information. Use the continued on page 80 >>>

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continued from page 79 code FAMILYFUN when booking. For concert nights, there’s the “Party Like a Rock Star” package. Rates start at $299 for a standard room, $399 for a suite, and include two tickets to the show, a $50 band merchandise credit and a $50 resort credit. Reservations must be booked 14 days in advance. Some restrictions apply. Use code ROCKSTAR when booking. In July, rooms start at $99 per night at Casino Del Sol Resort and include a $20 resort credit for each night, valid July 1 through July 20. Some restrictions apply. Use code 20YEAR when booking. For more information or to make reservations, visit www.casinodelsolresort.com.

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9. Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort Guests at Hacienda Del Sol have always raved about the food, with the onsite garden providing fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables. New this year are culinary and beverage classes so customers can take some of their favorite tastes home with them. This summer the boutique resort is offering a summer staycation package starting at $199 per night that includes a $100 dining credit, a bottle of wine for adults, and a packet of housemade chocolate chip cookies. Use the Summer Staycation booking code STAY. In addition, guests can stay two nights and get the second night at 50 percent off. Use the booking code AA3. For reservations and information, visit www.haciendadelsol.com, or call (520) 299-1501. 10. Westin La Paloma Resort This year the resort will completely redesign the Westin La Paloma’s Kids Club as the model for a new brand standard for Westin properties nationwide. The new design will include expanded offerings for younger guests – ranging from cooking classes to craft projects. This summer the resort is offering Beach Party packages starting at $99 per night that include a $50 food and beverage credit with a two-night minimum. There are eight uniquely themed beach parties available – (including Hawaiian Heat, Margaritaville, Under the Sea, Life’s a Beach, Survive Our Skills Challenge, Surf and Safari, Fifties Flashback and Beach Patrol – along with a July Fourth All-American Barbeque. Packages are available until Aug. 31. Visit www.westinlapalomaresort. com/beach-party-packages/ or call (888) 716-8137 and note SAVINGS (F&B offer) or SUM2014 (rooms only). 11. Westward Look Wyndham Grand Resort and Spa Regardless of your age, Westward Look is the place to spend the summer, boasted David Yamada, general manager of the resort. “Westward Look offers three resort pools and a world-class, all-organic Chef ’s Garden,” he said. “Combined with our tennis courts, bicycle paths and horseback riding opportunities, it is an ideal summer destination for adults and children alike.” This summer, Westward Look is offering the following programs: • The Baja Bound summer special allows guests to relax in a beach atmosphere with margaritas by the pool and Baja Coast cuisine in Tucson – now through Sept. 18. Rates start at $99 per night and include a Passport to Savings at shops and continued on page 82 >>>


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continued from page 80 restaurants, as well as for spa services, tennis and horseback riding. For reservations, visit www.westwardlook.com, or call (800) 722-2500. • A weekday summer camp for children ages 6 to14 is offered through Aug. 1. Fees include tennis, basketball, volleyball, swimming, crafts, snacks and more. Registration is $20. Weekly camp for a full day is $210, for half day $155. Options for meals are available separately. To learn more or to register, call (520) 297-1151.

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12. The Lodge at Ventana Canyon The Lodge at Ventana Canyon sits against the backdrop of the Santa Catalina Mountains. Nestled within this spectacular setting is a Lodge with just 50 suites and two Tom Fazio-designed championship golf courses. This summer rooms start at $105 per night. For golf specials and group packages, visit www.thelodgeatventanacanyon.com or call (800) 828-5701. 13. Loews Ventana Canyon Also offering spectacular scenery and opportunities to play the aforementioned 36 holes of golf designed by Tom Fazio is Loews Ventana Canyon, which features summer rates as low as $99 per night. The Lodge has been a prestigious AAA Four Diamond property for 18 consecutive years. Guest suites offer 800 to 1,500 square feet of touches like full kitchens, large bathrooms, private patios or balconies as well as flat screen televisions, a new expanded fitness center, junior Olympic size pool and 12 lighted tennis courts including a stadium court, plus a spa. The award-winning boutique resort is offering a variety of special promotions, including: • “Eat, Drink, Our Treat,” which includes a $25 food and beverage credit per night • “Spaaahh Package,” which allows those staying in luxury accommodations a free spa credit toward the treatment of their choice • “Third Night’s a Charm,” which offers up to 20 percent off room rates for those who stay at the resort for three nights or more. For reservations, call (800) 234-6397 or book online at www.loewshotels.com. 14. Desert Diamond Casino & Hotel Treena Parvello, director of public relations and communications for the Tohono O’odham Gaming Enterprise, said Desert Diamond Casino & Hotel “is looking forward to a busy summer of staycations and meetings as residents beat the heat.” This summer’s specials include the Summer Treat Package – with rates starting at $119 per night for a deluxe room, continental breakfast, a $20 food credit, a $14 in-room movie credit, a $6 gift shop credit and complimentary beach ball. Make reservations at www.ddcaz.com or at (877) 777-4212. In addition, Desert Diamond is promoting the Summer Meeting Special, which requires a 25-guest minimum. Room rates start at $69 per person. Add $34 per person to receive continental breakfast, morning beverage break, buffet lunch, afternoon break and audio/visual package for group presentations. To book a summer meeting, call (520) 342-3030.

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From left – Omar Mireles, Executive VP, and Humberto S. Lopez, President, HSL Properties

$4.5 Million Remake Now La Quinta Inns & Suites By Mary Minor Davis Three years ago, Humberto Lopez announced he was putting Randolph Park Hotel & Suites up for sale. The hotel, a throwback to the ’60s era, was acquired by Lopez’s HSL Properties in 1982. Lopez stated in 2011 that the cost of renovations was too great, and he wanted to invest his resources in his apartment projects. Good thing for Tucson that Lopez changed his mind about that sale. In February, Lopez, along with property manager Jerry Fischer of Desert Hospitality Management, unveiled a state-of-the-art La Quinta Inns & Suites centrally located across from Reid Park. Gone are the shaggy carpets, deep purple bedspreads and drapes that hung haphazardly from the walls, as well as the tight, closed-in space that represented the lobby’s “data center.” “Every inch of the property has been touched,” Fischer said, walking through the lobby and indicating every door knob and lighting fixture. The main entrance was relocated to www.BizTucson.com

the south, offering a broader portico for arriving guests. Upon entering the expanded lobby, one is greeted by light and open space from the extended ceilings, made possible by removing four guest suites. A full-service bar and dining room provide welcome refreshment. The modern furnishings and subtle Southwest colors give the lobby a warm and inviting feel not seen in your typical economy-priced, efficiency hotel. The $4.5 million renovation includes a new pool with an expanded pool deck. Twenty poolside patio rooms and a conference center surround the pool area. In all, the hotel offers 152 rooms, with 29 suites available for executives or traveling families. Both rooms and suites are comfortable and updated, with open space and amenities such as microwaves and large in-room refrigerators for the extendedstay traveler. Fischer said the tie to the national brand allows visitors to take advantage of awards points and other brand initiatives – which appeal to busi-

ness travelers and families alike. “We’re also really marketing to our local businesses for the conference and meeting space,” Fischer said. The conference facilities are ideal for a wide range of local meetings and events and can easily support the United States Tennis Association tournaments held across the street at Reid Park and smaller University of Arizona leagues and events. The hotel represents one of only a handful of renovated properties by the national La Quinta Inns & Suites brands, which holds more than 800 properties worldwide. The company typically will only build new properties from scratch, according to Robert Clasby, director of development for the national brand’s central and west locations. “We don’t do a lot of conversions, we’re very picky,” Clasby said. “We really like what they’ve done with this property. This is now our flagship Tucson hotel.”

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BizTOURISM

‘Free Yourself ’ Campaign Connects with Travelers By Mary Minor Davis “Free Yourself in Tucson” – a new branding campaign launched by Visit Tucson to increase tourism in the Old Pueblo – has been resoundingly successful. “It exceeded all expectations,” said Allison Cooper, VP of sales & marketing at Visit Tucson, of the media campaign launched last fall. This was the first advertising to use the new “Free Yourself ” message developed after extensive market research. The success is measured by tracking visits to the Visit Tucson website. Results show:

Visit Tucson videos were viewed more than 1.14 million times by targeted consumers.

• The New York City market had an 86 percent increase in visitors to the Visit Tucson site, the largest among the top 10 feeder markets.

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The Chicago market delivered the largest increase in year-over-year traffic with an uptick of more than 26,500 unique visits to the website.

Cooper said year-over-year results of the campaign showed double digit increases across all Internet measurements for www.visitTucson.org. Since the December 2013 launch, overall traffic to visitTucson.org increased 59 percent year over year through February 2014. Year-over-year traffic increased 50 percent in March and 47 percent in April. Time spent on the site, averaging between 6 to 8 minutes, has doubled. Page views also were up by 27 to 32 percent. In addition to the 86 percent increase in the New York City market, the percentage of new viewers visiting the website in the other top 10 markets this win-

ter were: Atlanta, 74 percent; Chicago, 75 percent; Dallas, 82 percent; Denver, 29 percent; Los Angeles, 78 percent; Phoenix, 76 percent; San Francisco, 81 percent; Seattle, 83 percent; and Washington D.C., 83 percent. Of course Mother Nature also had a hand in the new campaign’s success. Tucson had “exceptional” weather while the Midwest and Northeast regions of the country had some of the worst winter storms in history – which resulted in more visitors coming to Tucson seeking warmer, sunnier conditions. Visit Tucson President and CEO Brent DeRaad said Tucson-area resorts overall are anecdotally reporting increased room revenue of about 10 percent for the winter season. Did the phenomenal increases in Internet traffic to the Visit Tucson website correlate to more tourists in Tucson and www.BizTucson.com


The bottom line is we have seen an increase in leisure travel this year.

– Brent DeRaad President & CEO Visit Tucson

Southern Arizona? “This campaign was primarily targeted to the leisure market. Leisure impact is more difficult to track than group sales,” DeRaad said. “There has been a significant increase this year, part of that due to the resorts’ efforts, part of that due to ours. But the bottom line is we have seen an increase in leisure travel this year. “There’s no question that the research we conducted played a huge part in allowing us to achieve these results. We now know who our customers are right down to the zip code.” In June of last year – at the same time the Metropolitan Tucson Convention and Visitors Bureau freed itself of its stodgy and laborious six-word name to become known as simply Visit Tucson – the quasi-governmental organization announced it would soon be launching the new, rebranded Free Yourself campaign. On its website, Visit Tucson eloquently describes the “Free Yourself in Tucson” message in this way: “Tucson inspires a sense of freedom among all who visit. Freedom of thought and expression. Freedom to discover and explore. And the freedom to be yourself. Tucson is calling you – the free thinker and the free at heart – to explore without boundaries. “Our natural landscape draws visitors outdoors where there is plenty of room to roam. A bit off the beaten path, Tucson’s unique attractions and accommodations beckon you to discover and explore, and our arts and culture scene makes Tucson a place that’s authentic and comfortable. Savor the unapologetic passion for food that inspires Tucson’s cuisine, or come as you are and experience our vibrant nightlife. An oasis from continued on page 86 >>> www.BizTucson.com

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BizTOURISM

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the unoriginal and pretentious, Tucson is a place that you want to be.” The Free Yourself campaign was developed after more than a year of extensive marketing research to help identify specific visitor demographics, key target markets and new marketing strategies and media tactics. Visit Tucson also hosted meetings and focus groups with hundreds of individuals and groups in Tucson and in top visitor feeder markets to gain their perspectives on Tucson’s assets and vibe. This in-depth research led to the first iteration of the new branding campaign. DeRaad credited Pima County’s ongoing investment and the City of Tucson for increasing its investment in the tourism bureau, which made the expanded marketing efforts and redirection of resources to Free Yourself possible. Visit Tucson’s budget increased from $6.4 million in 2012-13 to $7 million in 2013-14. Looking ahead, DeRaad noted future challenges that could detract from efforts to increase Tucson tourism. He said there has been a large reduction in government travel to Tucson. Another trend that worries him is the impact of vacation rental homes on the lodging industry here. “If you go into any of these vacation rental websites and type in ‘Tucson,’ you’ll be astounded at the number of properties that come up,” DeRaad said. “That’s a disturbing and difficult issue because rental homes provide direct competition with hotels and resorts. This can’t help but negatively impact occupancy in our hotels and resorts.” In addition, vacation rentals are not similarly regulated and nor do they contribute to local bed taxes. On the positive side, DeRaad said international travel – particularly from Europe, Canada and Mexico – will be a growth market throughout the U.S. over the next 10 years. Next up, Visit Tucson will incorporate the Free Yourself message in a “Get Wet in Tucson” summer campaign, an initiative directed at Phoenicians that will promote family fun and active adult lifestyles – while also emphasizing the Tucson region’s higher altitudes, its cooler weather and its unique and unapologetic personality. Biz www.BizTucson.com


BizVETERANS

Backing Our Veterans Red Cross Program Provides Short-Term Help By Steve Rivera

PHOTO: COURTESY OF RED CROSS OF SOUTHERN ARIZONA

Mary Laughbaum joined the American Red Cross Southern Arizona Chapter nearly two years ago and helped start the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program. “I’m really proud of the team – they are amazing,” said Laughbaum of her 11 employees, many of whom have military backgrounds. “They do amazing work every day. I’m just happy to be part of it.” The SSVF program is funded by Veterans Affairs and provides services to low-income or out-of-work veterans, homeless veterans or veterans at risk of becoming homeless. Officials emphasized it’s a short-term relief program. “Without this program they would otherwise be homeless,” said Bob Graham, program coordinator. The program started in October 2012 and helped 189 families through the end of 2013. This year, it is expected to help more than 250 families from five counties in Southern Arizona. “Each case is different and each veteran is different,” said Laughbaum, director of the American Red Cross Southern Arizona Chapter’s Service to Armed Forces & Veterans. The program assists with housing counseling services, education/ employment assistance, temporary financial assistance, legal services referrals, transportation services, financial planning services and health services. “It could be something like a veteran who has a job and that job doesn’t pay them for a week and the rent is due,” she said. “Sometimes it’s more than that. It could be utilities or back rent.” Sometimes the veteran is waiting for disability payments, which take time to process. Laughbaum said the program is www.BizTucson.com

“very careful regarding the parameters and guidelines” of each case. Her husband is retired Col. Kent Laughbaum, former commander of the 355th Fighter Wing at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. Their daughter and son-in-law also are in the military. The SSVF staff has social services knowledge and ties to the military. “They would understand and/or translate the culture or cross those barriers between a veteran and a civilian,” said Laughbaum. “These people have a heart for the mission.”

The program appealed to her heart when she first heard the Red Cross had been offered two grants to help veterans in need. “The passion for helping and serving the military community really drove me to help them,” she said. “I was definitely called to this, absolutely.” The local Red Cross chapter is in the process of putting in another bid for next year for the program, one considered very successful. “The VA feels that putting the veterans in housing eliminates that stress factor so they are better capable of focusing on the other things they need to become self-sufficient,” Graham said. Graham, who served in the Air Force for more than 10 years and was also in the National Guard, said the program is essential because many veterans are in need of help. Graham recalled a story of a veteran who didn’t realize he was eligible for VA healthcare services, but the program helped him. He is also being helped with housing. “The military culture is an odd duck compared to the general civilian population,” Graham said. “They operate on a different way of doing things. They are so reluctant in reaching out and being a burden on other resources that we don’t see them until they are really in desperation.” It’s the reason the SSVF is here to help. “Having someone who has been in the military makes it easier for us to relate to the client because they know that we are not here to make any judgments but are here to take care of their needs,” Graham said. “We are honored they served our nation. We have a staff of military veterans or those married to veterans. We get the culture and understand it.”

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PHOTO: AMY HASKELL

BizFINANCE

Helaine Levy

Vice Chair, Nonprofit Loan Fund of Tucson and Southern Arizona

Loan Fund a Bridge for Nonprofits Market-level rates relieve cash-flow gaps By David B. Pittman Nonprofit organizations aren’t in the business of making money – but that doesn’t mean they can lose money. To survive, the revenue of nonprofits must exceed expenses. That has not been an easy task in recent years. “The recession hit everyone hard – but it has been particularly hard on nonprofits because they’ve had to serve more people with fewer resources,” said Helaine Levy, executive director of Diamond Family Philanthropies. “One of the things I’ve seen as a major funder in the community is that contributions promised to nonprofits continued to come in – but often at a slower pace. That has resulted in many nonprofits experiencing cash-flow gaps requiring bridge funding.” But many Pima County nonprofit organizations do not have the tangible assets required to qualify for traditional bank loans. It is for these nonprofits that the Nonprofit Loan Fund of Tucson and Southern Arizona was created. The organization, which has already raised more than $500,000 of its $1 million goal to bankroll the program, began granting loans last December. The nonprofit loans range from $10,000 to $50,000, have interest rates at market levels and must be repaid within 12 months. The loans are available to help achieve financial stability, seed new programs, bridge a cash-flow gap, purchase 88 BizTucson

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needed equipment or expand existing services. To be eligible for assistance, the applying group must: • Be a 501(c)(3) organization in Pima County • Have minimum annual revenue of $250,000 • Have at least a three-year operating history • Have three years of financial statements (audited preferred) and tax returns • Have a verifiable source of funds for repayments The new fund provides loans that a bank would not. For instance, of the first three loans approved, the first was backed by the promise of a future grant, the second was personally guaranteed by two supporters of the organization receiving the loan and the third was secured by money to be raised in an upcoming fundraiser. “There is no bank that is going to say, ‘We hope your golf tournament is successful,’ ” said Levy, a founding member of the NPLF board of directors. “We are trying to fill a niche and we will take more risk than a bank would.” The new program operates under the auspices of the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, a nonprofit whose primary mission is to connect financial donors to the causes they care about. Clint Mabie, president and CEO of the foundation, said the NPLF fits nicely under his organization’s umbrella because it www.BizTucson.com


already had the back-office functions in place that were needed to establish the new loan program. “It also gives us another arrow in our quiver” in helping Southern Arizona nonprofits, he said. Mabie said another goal of the NPLF is to provide needed financial education and expertise to Southern Arizona nonprofits. The impetus behind the creation of the loan fund came from Levy, who had seen similar concepts work in other communities around the nation. About three years ago she approached Mabie and Tony Penn, president and CEO of the United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona, about creating the loan program. “The three of us decided to do a basic survey of nonprofit leaders in our community to determine if this was something that would be helpful to them,” Levy said. “The consensus was overwhelmingly positive.” Next, it was determined that business leaders and banking representatives needed to join the conversation about creating the loan fund. Levy said she contacted auto magnate and former bank owner Jim Click “to help us convene a group of people representing the business, nonprofit and banking sectors.” The result was “the formation of a core committee that morphed into what is now the board of directors,” she said. Don Jenks, executive VP and chief compliance officer of Bank of Tucson, recently succeeded Michael Hammond, president and CEO of Cushman & Wakefield | PICOR Commercial Real Estate, as president of the board of NPLF. Hammond remains on the board. Levy serves as vice chair and Debbie Chandler, a business consultant, is secretary/treasurer. Other members of the board include Michael McDonald, executive director of the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona; Frank Valenzuela, executive director of the Community Investment Corp.; Sean Murray, business relationship manager at Wells Fargo Bank; Steven Banzhaf, a retired Bank of America executive and community volunteer; Ray Lancaster, CEO of Pyramid Federal Credit Union, and Christina Rossetti, a nonprofit consultant. “It’s an amazing board,” Levy said.

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PHOTO: COURTESY OF TUCSON JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER

BizFITNESS

Susan Frank

Director of Health & Wellness Tucson Jewish Community Center

Focus on Fitness By Christy Krueger Susan Frank’s advice to business professionals and anyone who wants to stay fit? Keep moving. “You don’t have to be intimidated by exercise,” said Frank, recently named director of health and wellness at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. “You can live to a full, ripe age if you keep moving.” A passion for fitness and all things good for the body led Frank to her new position. While she was initially a bit apprehensive about working for someone else after being self-employed for many years, she believes the role fits her perfectly. Frank’s background includes an architecture degree from the University of Arizona and running her own design practice. After moving into Tucson’s Barrio Historico neighborhood, she became active in the downtown scene – opening O2 Modern Fitness and establishing the Old Pueblo Grand Prix, a professional-level bike event held on the streets of the city center. 90 BizTucson

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Tips for Success on the Journey to Better Health • Short, intense workouts can have a truly dramatic effect. “It’s far superior to not moving at all. It’s not a little difference in results – the payoff is enormous – but the commitment is short.” • Learn what you love. “Start to explore and once something clicks – follow that. The only way to sustain exercise for life is to go toward what you can do.” • Have an event-based agenda. “Sign up for an event and train for it. A charity is a good motivator. There are so many events for a good cause – walking, walk-runs and bike rides. Or start one with your company. Do something outside yourself to benefit others.” Source: Susan Frank, Director of Health and Wellness, Tucson Jewish Community Center

When she closed her fitness studio in late 2013, Frank thought she’d take time off. But a business associate suggested she apply for the JCC position. “I hadn’t worked for a company since I was 21 years old. But I’d always been a fitness enthusiast,” Frank said. She went on an interview and liked what she heard. She started the position in March 2014. “My responsibilities are overseeing the fitness programs – training, classes, the fitness area, personal trainers.” She’s especially excited about expanding JCC’s community outreach. “There will be a family wellness expo (Nov. 18, 2014). It’s a free day for members and non-members who will be exposed to everything we consider wellness – all parts of life and well-being,” she said. In April 2015, JCC will partner with Tucson Medical Center to hold a family mini triathlon – a great activity for introducing kids to a healthy lifestyle, Frank said. Almost anyone can start a fitness program, she added.

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SPECIAL REPORT 2014

THE REGION’S BUSINESS MAGAZINE


BizINNOVATION

Bruce A. Wright

Associate VP Tech Parks Arizona, University of Arizona

David N. Allen

VP Tech Launch Arizona, University of Arizona 96 BizTucson

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Tech Parks Arizona Focused on the Future of

Innovation

PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

By Eric Swedlund Tech Parks Arizona is leading the University of Arizona’s tech parks into a new era – with plans designed to expand business engagement into areas that reflect the university’s research strengths, help faculty bring innovation to the marketplace, and build research and development facilities for companies employing thousands of high-tech workers. This year is the 20th anniversary of Tech Parks Arizona, which began in 1994 as the UA Office of Economic Development and included a single park that is known today as the UA Tech Park. “The UA Tech Park’s first goal was to reach financial self-sufficiency. Thus, our mission and focus were initially to recruit revenue-producing tenants,” said Bruce A. Wright, associate VP for Tech Parks Arizona. His unit is part of Tech Launch Arizona, which focuses on technology

commercialization and industry-sponsored research with the goal of moving knowledge and inventions developed by students and faculty into the market. “Now we are at a point where we can be more strategic in the enterprises, companies and programs we recruit into the park and the types of partnerships we form. The benefit of our success is that we have been able to use our financial resources to expand the UA Tech Park and also acquire land for a new park,” Wright said. The UA Tech Park, located about 13 miles southeast of the UA campus and managed by Tech Parks Arizona, was purchased in 1994 from IBM. The park helped commercialize UA-developed technologies as part of a broad regional economic development mission. In 2007, the UA also acquired property three miles continued on page 98 >>>

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20 Years of Innovation 1993 Hughes Aircraft/Raytheon

Missile Systems begin operations at UA Tech Park

1994 University of Arizona

purchases site from IBM to develop a university-affiliated research park

1996 Microsoft leases space at the UA Tech Park

1997 Vail High School and Arizona International Campus begin offering classes onsite

1998 Integrated Biomolecule Corpo-

TIMELINE

ration, the UA Tech Park’s first new tenant, begins operations at the park

1999 NP Phototonics – the UA

Tech Park’s first UA-faculty-led company – begins operations

2001 Association of University

Research Parks honors UA Tech Park as the nation’s “Outstanding Research Park”

2003 Arizona Center for Innovation, a business incubator, opens at the UA Tech Park

2004 Citi becomes a major tenant

and moves into Building 9060

2006 UA South begins offering classes onsite at the park

2007 UA acquires land at 36th

Street and Kino Boulevard for UA Bio Park

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terprises,” Allen said. south of the UA’s main campus – at a “Over the past 20 years the UA Tech location called The Bridges – for a secPark has emerged as a major employond technology park. Originally conment center – a major concentration ceived as a bioscience park, the focus of technology workforce – and because has since expanded to embrace other the park is now in a positive financial technologies. The new park is now situation, we can be confident that as called UA Tech Park at The Bridges. we take some new strides and do things “We are trying to differentiate the differently, we can indeed take its imparks,” Wright said. “Each will propact to a higher level.” vide faculty, students, companies and employees with a different array of reHistory of Research Parks search and development assets, opporThere are more than 175 universitytunities and benefits.” affiliated research parks in the United Both parks are crucial elements of States. These parks have played a major university strategic planning – includrole in creating high-tech, high-paying ing President Ann Weaver Hart’s Never jobs. Settle plan and the roadmap developed IBM originally built the park in southby Tech Launch Arizona a year ago east Tucson in 1979, a state-of-the-art to transform technology creation and facility designed for its Storage Systems commercialization at the UA. Division. When the UA purchased the “There’s been a confluence of opfacility, IBM remained as one of two portunity and performance that has tenants – the other been woven into being Raytheon a strategy for the Missile Systems, parks,” said David which located N. Allen, VP of 1,200 employees Tech Launch Arion-site. Microsoft zona. signed on in 1996 “Within roughand by the end of ly a six-month the decade, the period, we had Tech Park had 17 major changes companies with a and refinement in $1.5 billion total focus and orientaeconomic impact. tion for where the In 2001, the Assouniversity is going ciation of Univerin its research ensity Research Parks deavors, where it’s named the UA going to be makTech Park the top ing its investments university research for research enpark in North deavors, and how America. TLA and the Tech The quick sucParks will work tocess was by design. gether.” “I’m a student The maturation of research parks of the UA Tech – Bruce A. Wright and I’ve studied Park itself is a big Associate VP, Tech Parks Arizona what’s happened reason it has been in the United incorporated into States over the last a greater vision 60 years,” Wright said. “I’ve taken a for how the UA can expand its research pretty hard look at top research parks commercialization efforts, Allen said. in North America and there have been “It’s been a facility, a program, a netsome generational changes.” work – and it has reached a level that A number of parks sprang up after is not seen by many universities. Most the success of early leaders like the universities have to continually pour Stanford Research Park, which was money into their technology park en-

As the result of the success of the UA Tech Park, we’ve had the resources to acquire the land at The Bridges and begin developing a second park with a different physical form and different development approach.

www.BizTucson.com


BizINNOVATION Facilities at the UA Tech Park

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF TECH PARKS ARIZONA

founded in 1951 and became the cornerstone of what is today known as Silicon Valley. North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park was formed in 1959 to capitalize on the strengths of three nearby universities. Wright characterizes that first generation of university research parks as simply the foundation, with a focus on acquiring land and beginning operations. The second generation of parks hinged on technology transfer, taking particular innovations into the marketplace. The third generation found university research parks reaching outward to build partnerships and relationships with their communities and industry. “I think we’re now in generation four, which asks, ‘What specifically can research parks offer to this whole process of technological innovation, commerce and development?’” Wright said. “A number of the parks are becoming more focused in terms of what they provide, the business services they offer and the initiatives they pursue.” Having multiple sites provides distinct advantages in terms of flexibility and choices for businesses navigating a complex environment. “We came to the conclusion that we had a great advantage with the UA Tech Park with its size and location – but at the same time we needed a park closer to the main campus of the university,” Wright said. “Some companies like the suburban setting and other companies really want their employees in an urban environment. We’re trying to respond to different requirements that different businesses have.” Alignment with the University’s Strategic Plan To maximize the effectiveness of Tech Parks Arizona contributions to advancing the UA’s mission, Wright and his team are focusing on a defined set of research strengths. Those areas include – aerospace, defense and security; water, environmental sciences, agriculture and arid lands; solar and renewable energy; mining technology; and life sciences and biosciences. The UA’s strengths in optics and informatics also are foundational in these areas. continued on page 100 >>> www.BizTucson.com

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20 Years of Innovation continued from page 98

2008 Tech Parks Arizona initiates

Global Advantage program for international business development

2009 Arizona Board of Regents

approves the UA Bio Park master land use plan

2009 UA receives a $4.7 million

grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration for infrastructure improvements for UA Bio Park

2010 Vail Academy and High

TIMELINE

School construction is completed and classes begin

2011 Phase 1 of the Solar Zone, a joint venture between the UA and Tucson Electric Power, is completed – a $2.6 million infrastructure project that generates 23 megawatts

2011 The UA Bio Park is

“development ready”

2012 Tech Launch Arizona is

officially formed and Tech Parks Arizona named a component part of TLA

2013 Security Innovation Hub

Program, a laboratory for the testing and evaluation of border technologies, successfully hosts inaugural Border Technology Showcase See more at www.techparks.arizona.edu

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relations, research commercialization, “The idea now is to use those spestarting new companies – can be aided cializations as guideposts to go out and by Tech Parks Arizona, Allen said. attract technology companies into the “We’re trying to align the Tech Park region at one of the two parks. Those and particularly the Arizona Center translate into some powerful industry for Innovation (Tech Parks Arizona’s areas,” Wright said. business incubator) as an integral part By choosing to focus on just research of the services Tech Launch Arizona areas that have the biggest advantage is providing to the university and the for the university, the mission will be community,” he said. “That is the clearer and the outcomes will help build quintessential role of TLA that we talkcritical mass. ed about from the very beginning. TLA “The other part of it is to use the is more than just the sum of its parts. parks as an asset and a tool for our reThe parts can interact with each other search and educain a way to prestional enterprises ent something you in the same areas. would not have The opportunity otherwise.” for faculty to take The interminadvantage of dogling and interdeing research projpendency of difects, doing testing, ferent resources, doing demonstrapeople and skills tion of their projcentered on the ects at either park university’s knowlis an important edge base is crucial part of what we’re in taking innovatrying to do,” tions to market. Wright said. “To be able to To attract comput small amounts panies, Tech Parks of resources into Arizona and TLA proof of concept – David N. Allen are putting toand be able to do VP, Tech Launch Arizona gether a series of it in environments “attraction teams” that are nimble centered on those core strategic areas. like the UA Tech Park is something that “We’re putting in-house staff toother people in my seat would salivate gether, we’re putting technical and over,” Allen said. marketing expertise around that particular area, we’re involving key people Two Parks – Dual Potential from the university and we’re bringing The 1,345-acre UA Tech Park now in representatives of Tucson Regional has more than 40 businesses – includEconomic Opportunities, Pima County ing six Fortune 500 companies – with and the Arizona Commerce Authornearly 7,000 employees, and contribity,” Wright said. “We’re fashioning an utes $2.4 billion annually to the region’s attraction team that can reach out and economy. bring companies in and connect them The UA Tech Park at The Bridges is throughout the university and the com65 vacant acres, with infrastructure in munity and thereby enhance the opporplace and, most importantly, no debt tunities for successful recruiting of that to be paid. Initially intended to focus company. strictly on bioscience, this park’s mis“We’re proactively going out and sion has been expanded to include all identifying companies – primarily small technologies. and midsized technology companies – “The bad news is that the developthat are looking for a relationship with ment of The Bridges was slowed by the the university and an entry point into Great Recession. But the good news is the marketplace.” that it’s given us an opportunity to step Everything Tech Launch Arizona back and be more reflective and stratedoes – technology transfer, corporate gic – and align that with what President

We’re working to align the Tech Parks as an integral dimension of the services Tech Launch Arizona is providing to the university and the community.

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PHOTOS: COURTESY OF TECH PARKS ARIZONA

BizINNOVATION Hart is doing with the Never Settle plan and with Tech Launch Arizona. It’s a grand opportunity for us,” Wright said. “David Allen has created a technology innovation and commercialization model that is unique in the United States,” Wright said. “He’s taken the best from other areas and adapted them to the specific context of Tucson and the president’s strategic plan for the university. Tech Parks Arizona is doing the same thing. We’re not replicating a model that’s anywhere else. There are elements of what we’re doing, but it is a unique configuration between these two.” Less than three miles from campus, at East 36th Street and Kino Parkway, The Bridges will be more urban and dense and offer a closer connection to both the main campus and the Arizona Health Sciences Center. “The physical form will be different. It won’t have quite the suburban look of the UA Tech Park. It will have more of a vertical look. Some of the difficulties – for example, the distance between main campus and the UA Tech Park – will be solved by a closer option,” Allen said. “It is a different opportunity in the way we see it developing and the kinds of engagement it will have with the university – partly because from the very beginning we’ll build that engagement differently.” The Bridges’ long-term plan calls for about 4 million square feet of developed office and laboratory space that could support about 18,000 to 20,000 employees onsite, given the planned urban density. Even before Never Settle, planning for The Bridges was centered on a longterm vision, one the university could guide from the start – a very different beginning scenario than that of the first property at the UA Tech Park. “With the Tech Park, we were handed the existing infrastructure system IBM built and had to grow it and maintain it,” Wright said. “With The Bridges, we built the infrastructure to exceed the foreseeable research and technology needs of our target companies – because we needed to be ready for whatever the technology world is going to demand from us in the future.”

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BizINNOVATION

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PHOTO: COURTESY OF TECH PARKS ARIZONA

Interactive Ground UA Grows Tech Companies By Eric Swedlund Ground becomes the core element of everySuccess is built on collaboration, strategic thing that happens at the southeast side UA alignments and shared goals. The University Tech Park, which pumps $2.3 billion annually of Arizona’s Tech Park, now 20 years old, is providing that connection through what it calls into the region’s economy, Wright said. Interactive Ground. A second park with infrastructure in place is “We are a place that brings together the comready to be built out on 65 acres located less munity, industry and university resources to than three miles south of UA main campus. achieve innovative technology advancement, This site was recently renamed UA Tech Park and ultimately, comat The Bridges. mercialization of that The UA Tech Park proinnovation,” said Bruce vides an alternate location Wright, UA associate VP for university classes and of Tech Parks Arizona. can be a place where variTech Parks Arizona ous departments or prois part of Tech Launch grams can engage in speArizona, an office that cial projects with industry. reports directly to PresiBoth UA South and the dent Ann Weaver Hart Outreach College offer and focuses on technolclasses at the park. ogy commercialization “The park can be a and industry-sponsored great big working, living research efforts. TLA is laboratory for both facabout moving knowledge ulty and students who see and inventions developed a need to advance their research,” Wright said. by students and faculty “We’re not a research from the lab to the mar– Ken Marcus center for the university ketplace where they can Director in the pure sense. We’re have a tangible impact UA Tech Park on the region’s economy. a facility and environ“Tech Parks Arizona is ment for applied research not just a set of buildings,” Wright said. “It’s – but we really see ourselves fitting in a couple a place that is trying to create an environment of different areas,” Wright said. “We operate and a set of programs that will add value to the at the midstage of business incubation by helpefforts of both the companies we engage with ing companies move their product through the and the university.” development process. The whole idea of taking technology from the design through first-generFocusing on the value that Tech Parks Ariation manufacturing is one of our key areas of zona can offer and fostering that Interactive

Our job is to create environments where connections are forged, innovation is nurtured and companies grow by meeting market needs.

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BizINNOVATION continued from page 104 focus.” For the community, the tech parks are an important asset that contributes to advancing the economic development goals of Tucson and the Southern Arizona region. “With respect to the community, we’re a connection point for tech business activity. We offer community organizations the opportunity to come here and use the park as a place to engage with technology companies and industry,” Wright said. On the industry side, the tech parks are an attractive resource for both new companies and those looking to grow. “Over the past few years, we’ve been trying to understand how the UA Tech Park fits into the larger goal of attracting technology companies into the re-

gion and growing technology companies that are emanating from research conducted at the university,” Wright said. “We began to really ask, ‘What is the value proposition that the park offers to industry and to the university?’ “From the outside in, we’re a place that can attract technology companies – whether they’re startups or mature companies – and bring them into a location that gets them connected to the university. That’s a primary focus – to attract companies that will both benefit from the university connection, as well as link back into the university as it continues to do research and address those big questions facing society.” That connection can provide companies access to faculty and relevant re-

search, access to a workforce in the form of work-ready graduates, and access to essential lab and production space. For new companies, the tech parks can provide assistance in the entire process of moving technologies through the early stages of product development, prototyping and first-generation manufacturing, then providing market access as well. “Our job is to create environments where connections are forged, innovation is nurtured and companies grow by meeting market needs,” said Ken Marcus, director of the UA Tech Park, describing the essence of the park’s Interactive Ground ideal.

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The 65-acre Bio Park three miles from the University of Arizona campus was recently renamed UA Tech Park at The Bridges. The new name is part of a larger, more strategic plan to expand the park’s scope to encompass all technology companies seeking to connect with this top-tier research university.

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Cliff Coss

UA Researcher & Co-founder, GlycoSurf

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GlycoSurf

Benefits from Tech-to-Market Process By Dan Sorenson developing a business, the new company then became a In a year or so, products made by GlycoSurf, a University tenant at the UA Tech Park, which offered services, facilities of Arizona spinoff, should find their way to store shelves as and equipment necessary to further develop their invention key components of sunscreens, anti-aging creams and other and manufacturing processes. With its business model cen“cosmeceuticals.” tered on a specialized chemical process, GlycoSurf needed Based on the company’s hard work and success develto scale up production and advance from a small-scale fume oping and validating its invention – as well as honing its hood into a dedicated laboratory bench that could accombusiness strategy – that should all come to pass according to Cliff Coss, UA researcher and co-founder of GlycoSurf. modate its new 7-foot reactor. GlycoSurf uses technologies developed at the UA that The UA Tech Park’s laboratory space was ideal because are in the final stages of being licensed to a company coof its structure and support. The park customized the lab founded by Coss and UA scientists and professors Jeanne to accommodate GlycoSurf ’s specialized equipment, allowE. Pemberton with the Department ing Coss and his teammates to rent a of Chemistry and Biochemistry and work-ready space without having to Raina M. Maier with the Departsink additional time into laboratory ment of Soil, Water and Environdesign and construction. The park’s mental Science. “rent-a-bench” program allows comThis promising startup is taking panies the flexibility to expand their full advantage of services provided laboratory space while ramping up by Tech Launch Arizona to move their operations to support their growth. In addition, the UA Tech through the business development process – from proof of concept on Park offers a best-practices environtoward first-generation production. ment, having adopted Good Laboratory Practice standards for conductTech Launch Arizona is a unit dedicated to maximizing the university’s ing nonclinical research. impact through commercializing the With the space and equipment inventions born of research. challenges addressed, the company – Cliff Coss, UA Researcher “We’re a chemical materials manthen worked on its business strategy and Co-founder, GlycoSurf ufacturer,” Coss said. “We make sugwith the Arizona Center for Innovaar-based surfactants and therapeutic tion, a business incubator located at agents. Our target markets are cosmeceuticals – anti-aging the UA Tech Park that provides the hands-on business decreams, sunscreens, skin-lightening creams. We sell the acvelopment assistance that new ventures need to start and tive ingredient for those products. grow successfully. “The surfactants that are currently produced are laborLooking at the entire process of taking an invention born intensive and the purity is relatively low,” he said. GlycoSof research all the way to market, GlycoSurf bubbles up urf ’s process efficiently produces surfactants that are more as a prime example of how the University of Arizona supthan 95 percent pure. And even though the products are ports the entire technology commercialization continuum. synthetic, their process is also more environmentally friendIt all started with Coss simply reaching out to Tech ly than the established method. Launch Arizona with an idea for an environmentallyInitially, GlycoSurf worked with Wheelhouse Arizona, friendly product. the unit within Tech Launch Arizona that helps develop From that point on, TLA’s resources were put to work new ventures. GlycoSurf has collaborated with Wheelhouse to help this innovative researcher take that vision from a on a proof of concept project, which provided funding to concept to full-fledged company. And today, Coss and his ready their early stage technology for the marketplace. partners are on their way to contributing to a better world To bridge the gap between proof of concept and through successfully launching a better, smarter product into the marketplace. Biz

Our target markets are cosmeceuticals – anti-aging creams, sunscreens, skin-lightning creams.

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Tech Parks Offer Business Advantage By Eric Swedlund More often than not, even the largest, most successful companies need to look beyond their own people and resources to advance. They need access to fresh talent, innovative ideas and new markets. Tech Parks Arizona offers an attractive array of services and initiatives designed to address those needs, giving companies a clear business advantage.

“Those five technology clusters are all areas in which the University of Arizona has very strong research programs and can have a direct connection to the Southern Arizona economy,” Wright said. “We think we can be very competitive in attracting international companies to the region, drawing upon strengths in those technology sectors.”

Global Advantage Global Advantage is a partnership between Tech Parks Arizona and The Offshore Group, which owns and operates manufacturing communities in Mexico and provides integrated support services to international companies who participate in these communities. The innovative collaboration is designed to leverage the benefits and assets of the Arizona-Sonora region. “Traditionally, many of the technology companies that are trying to enter the U.S. market come through the East or West coasts,” said Bruce A. Wright, associate VP president of Tech Parks Arizona, a unit of Tech Launch Arizona. TLA is a cabinetlevel office focused on the UA’s technology commercialization and industry-sponsored research efforts, moving knowledge and inventions developed by students and faculty into the market. “Tech Parks can be an alternate way to enter the U.S. market – particularly in areas where we have world-class strengths at the university, or existing technology bases. We’re putting together a program that allows for a soft landing for some of these companies.”

These additional key technology areas cross through all tech areas:

Key technology areas are:

• Advanced energy • Mining technology • Defense and security technologies • Bioscience and health • Agriculture, water and arid lands technology

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• Sustainability • Imaging (optics/photonics) • Advanced manufacturing • Informatics Launched in October, the Global Advantage initiative is reaching out to businesses, offering help in locating facilities, market analysis, regulatory compliance and access to a qualified workforce. “We’re ramping up a marketing campaign and we’re putting together a whole array of business support services that can assist those companies with their market entry,” Wright said. The partnership with Offshore, which operates three manufacturing parks in Mexico, is crucial. It allows companies that do research and prototyping at the UA Tech Park to ramp up manufacturing at more competitive rates. Arizona Center for Innovation The Arizona Center for Innovation, a component of Tech Parks Arizona, fosters startups and assists emerging and mature technology companies in the development and commercialization of ideas, discoveries and products. AzCI provides resources such as co-working space, full-service offices, professionally managed state-of-theart laboratories and equipment, an innovative business development curriculum, and connections to business experts and continued on page 113 >>> Summer 2014 > > > BizTucson 111


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Igniting Synergy at the Solar Zone By Dan Sorenson The Solar Zone at the UA Tech Park is one of the world’s largest multitechnology, testing, evaluation and demonstration sites in the world. Out in this simultaneously experimental and functional sea of solar panels, eight companies employing a variety of technologies are generating 23 megawatts of power.

Through its strategy as an alternative energy proving ground, the Solar Zone brings university researchers together with industry to address these very real-world challenges. Such partnering not only powers innovation, it is one of the core tenets of the UA’s Never Settle strategic plan.

The Solar Zone is a working laboratory for University of Arizona researchers – with the capability of monitoring how multiple types of technologies perform side by side under identical operating conditions. University researchers are testing everything from solar power forecasting to the environmental impact of solar energy installations.

This is where ideas can move from proof of concept and prototype testing to incubating a startup company and launching a new product – all with the help and support of Tech Parks Arizona.

Not everything about solar energy is cutand-dried, good and green. A solar photovoltaic system might not seem so green if you’re the neighbor next to a square mile solar farm that turns into a heat island at night. And it now appears that the blindingly bright desert sun might not even be the best place for solar production. Two groups of University of Arizona scientists working out of the UA Tech Park say there was a lack of solid research on those aspects of solar farming, so they are using the Solar Zone to research the interaction of environment and solar energy production. 112 BizTucson

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Clouds Blowing in the Wind Not surprisingly, solar electric production plunges when clouds obscure sunlight. So, accurately predicting cloud cover minute to minute could be of great value to power companies, said Alex Cronin, associate professor in the UA College of Science Department of Physics. Electrical utilities must have the capacity to make up for momentary variations in power generated by a solar plant that occur with changes between bright sky and cloud cover, he said. “From individual (residential) rooftop photovoltaic systems I have seen solar power generation drop 50 percent in

three seconds from a thick cloud passing by at the speed of the wind,” Cronin said. “The variation in power generation when clouds pass by is also very dramatic for large utility-scale systems. “In short, if we are going to take solar power generation to its next evolution, we must develop a much better understanding of the close relationship between the performance of solar power generation systems and the environment where they do their work.” Optimal Temperatures for Solar While it’s obvious solar energy production only works when the sun is out, and multiacre solar panel and collector farms

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Solar Zone The Solar Zone is one of the largest multitechnology solar testing, evaluation and demonstration sites in the world. It provides a single location for all elements of solar energy including generation and distribution; research and development; assembly and manufacturing; product development; testing and evaluation; training for a suitability-minded workforce; and public education, outreach and demonstration. “It’s testing and evaluating different kinds of solar generation and how you integrate that into the utility grid and manage environmental factors,” said Ken Marcus, director of the UA Tech Park. Phase 1 of the Solar Zone – a joint venture between the UA and Tucson Electric Power – is nearing completion, with eight companies generating 23 megawatts of power. For Phase 2, the focus is on new solar and renewable technologies that need to be tested and introduced to the marketplace, particularly in energy storage. “We’re reaching out to companies that have new technologies in storage to convince them they should move the technology to the park for testing,” Wright said. continued on page 114 >>> www.BizTucson.com

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF TECH PARKS ARIZONA

continued from page 111 mentors-in-residence. Companies that have participated in AzCI programs have attracted grant funding, investments and employees, and established new products in the marketplace contributing to the local economy. AzCI serves as the Interactive Gound for startups, creating a rich and diverse culture that inspires and encourages further innovation. The center provides opportunities for startups and emerging companies to access the resources and connections new ventures need to move forward. “We recently updated our programs and facilities to create a dynamic environment that inspires, encourages and empowers entrepreneurs to transform their startups and emerging companies into successful and sustainable companies,” said Anita Bell, acting director of AzCI. “We are focused on providing the best support possible for each individual company.” AzCI is an established and integral component of the region’s entrepreneur ecosystem. It is an active member of the National Business Incubator Association and a founding member of the Arizona Business Incubation Association. AzCI was launched in 2003, and its extended history and partnerships enables it to bring proven best practices to the companies and community it serves.

continued from page 112 could have some effect on adjoining properties, other less obvious concerns are worth a look, said Nathan S. Allen, assistant staff scientist and sustainability coordinator at the UA’s Biosphere 2. For instance, the brightest places may not be the best. Like most electronic devices, photovoltaic panels perform better and more efficiently at lower temperatures, Allen said. So, counterintuitive as it might seem, if the amount of sunlight remains equal, cool Colorado might be better for making power from the sun than sizzling Arizona. The already higher ambient temperatures of the desert might reduce the efficiency – and return on investment – for solar systems in hotter environments. And the “heat island” effect – the retention and delayed release of heat by man-made materials – could be bad news for neighbors living next to massive solar systems, Allen said. “Basically, the work we are doing is a response to concerns about rapid development of solar-generation farms in the area. A number of local neighborhood associations and environmental groups raised concerns about heat islanding and there wasn’t any research. Measuring ‘Heat Island’ Effect “The Tech Park, with a variety of sizes of solar systems, is providing a good laboratory for measuring heat islanding effects,” Allen said.

He’s is working with Greg BarronGafford, assistant professor in the UA School of Geography and Development, to find answers to some of the questions about heat island effects. Working with the Solar Zone at the UA Tech Park is great, he said. “The site has large tracts of solar and also large tracts of undisturbed desert, as well as parking lots and buildings. We set up monitoring in those different areas.” Barron-Gafford said he and Allen went into the project not just wondering whether the solar installation would create a solar heat island, but also whether the heat island effect really matters. The questions being considered, Barron-Gafford said, included “How big is that island?” and “Would any heat island reach far enough outside the installation to have a detectable effect in those neighboring areas?” Allen said, “From a human-environment perspective, this is a great chance to think about how we want more renewable energy in our domestic portfolio, but these questions about the impacts come up.” So far Allen and Barron-Gafford have a year’s data from the project at the Solar Zone, Allen said. While they have yet to complete and publish their findings, what they learn will surely affect our perspectives on how – and where – to take the future of solar energy generation.

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BizINNOVATION continued from page 113 Other areas of focus are next-generation solar, such as integrating solar generation into the skin of a building, the roof of a car or even clothing fabric. “We have whole groups of faculty across campus working in the area of renewable and solar energy, so there is a lot of connectivity with the university,” Wright said. Read more about leading edge solar research on page 112. Security Innovation Hub The Security Innovation Hub is an initiative that supports new and existing border security technologies, focusing on Southern Arizona’s growing industry and UA research strengths around homeland defense and border security technologies. “We’ve been working with a group in the College of Engineering to put together rapid- response teams – because many times federal government or civilian companies will put out an RFP and they want a quick response to evaluate that technology,” said Molly Gilbert, director of university and community engagement, Tech Parks Arizona. “We’ll work with faculty and students to conduct third-party analysis of these systems.” In addition to independent thirdparty testing, the initiative focuses on connecting the broader industry to the UA Center for Excellence in Border Security and Immigration funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the new UA Defense and Security Research Institute. The hub initiative is a natural effort to take advantage of the university’s strategic location near the U.S.-Mexico

border and strategic military installations. Capitalizing on the university’s strengths, the region’s security sector is growing – with more than 50 border technology companies currently operating in or near Tucson. “We are a border community and we have strengths in this area,” Wright said. “This also not only brings the technology forward for economic development, but addresses this concern about border security while allowing legitimate trade

We see opportunities through the tech parks to provide critical infrastruture for advanced manufacturing

– Bruce A. Wright Associate VP, Tech Parks Arizona

to move across the border. “The big question is how to solve what appears to be an inherent conflict between legitimate free trade and the ability to interdict the bad guys or drugs being brought across the border. This has huge impact on Tucson and Southern Arizona.” Read more about leading edge security research on page 115.

Advanced Manufacturing Hub As the demand for cutting-edge materials in fields such as biological sciences and nanotechnology increases, the role of manufacturing in the U.S. economy is shifting. The Obama administration has undertaken a number of initiatives intended to support advanced manufacturing in the United States. Tech Parks Arizona is taking steps to leverage this movement and position the Tucson region as a hub for making the tomorrow’s products and materials. “We want to be part of that as a university, and as a community. We see opportunities through the Tech Parks to provide critical infrastructure for advanced manufacturing,” Wright said. The foundation of the Advanced Manufacturing Hub has begun to take shape, with the UA receiving a planning grant from the federal government to put together a regional strategy over the next year, with the goal of positioning Southern Arizona to participate in this next-generation business. Then, with partners from Yuma, Ariz. to Las Cruces, N.M., the coalition could submit a proposal to get federal designation as an advanced manufacturing region. “Our planning process is going forward, pointing toward certain technological areas and the supply chains necessary to support an advanced manufacturing effort,” Wright said. By identifying supply chains that provide the exact manufacturing expertise and are in alignment with the university’s research strengths, Tech Parks Arizona is one step closer to creating an advanced manufacturing hub that can respond to market needs and ultimately generate a greater economic impact for the region.

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Testing the Limits By Dan Sorenson Trying to test or evaluate a modern border security or military weapons system with tools made for machines from an earlier time is like servicing a Formula One race car with a Model T tool kit. “If you’re the Department of Defense, maybe you’re used to testing missiles. That’s fine. But security and defense technology is so much broader today,” said Ricardo Valerdi, associate professor of systems and industrial engineering in the University of Arizona College of Engineering. “It’s now cybersystems, robotics or drones – things emerging so quickly that you can’t predict behavior, response or failure of the technology. There’s so much more intelligence in these products that traditional testing methods do not work.”

In world of high-tech advances, university researchers play a critical role. Technology concepts need to be tested and validated before they can be developed into products for the market – which is especially important when that market is defense and security. University of Arizona experts evaluate these ever-evolving technologies, not just in the laboratory but also www.BizTucson.com out in the real environment.

The testing and evaluation of new technologies is an essential focus as academics, companies and government agencies collaborate to develop these technologies and sculpt them to address today’s challenges – and tomorrow’s as well.

It’s now cybersystems, robotics or drones. There’s so much more intelligence in these products that traditional testing methods do not work.

– Ricardo Valerdi Associate Professor College of Engineering The University of Arizona

Valerdi is the developer of testing and validation methods for the Security Innovation Hub, which Tech Parks Arizona established to provide independent thirdparty testing, demonstration and evaluation for border, defense and security technologies. The Security Innovation Hub serves as a connection point where

researchers like Valerdi are developing testing and evaluation methodologies for new and existing technologies to validate their effectiveness outside a controlled environment such as a laboratory. “We have the capability at the UA Tech Park to test these technologies in an outdoor environment. Instead of just testing them in a lab, researchers can test proposed technologies in the field with reallife conditions, like wind, rain, sun and interferences from radio frequencies and electromagnetic fields. This provides industry and governmental agencies with the benefit of seeing the technology demonstrated in action. “The basic idea is if you have a system that has an unlimited combo of configurations, you can’t test all possible configurations. You have to do smarter testing, combinations most likely to break the system. You want to break the system as soon as you can.” “Right now a lot of it is about cybersecurity – hackers. But it could be applied to unmanned aerial vehicles, drones – any system that has software. Not only do we have the technology to do the testing, but the methodologies. And smarter means less expensive. We want to build a methodology that becomes smarter over time.”

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Robots & Solar Go-Karts By Mary Minor Davis The mission, should the team choose to accept For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and it, is to construct a robot that can carry out a seTechnology – is an organization that develops a ries of actions, both on its own and controlled new game each year where teams of 25 or more by a team of operators, to compete in a complex students must build a robot that can actively pergame in a carefully constructed arena. Points are form the actions in the game specifications. awarded. Competitors are eliminated in each seTeams have six weeks to build complicated ries, and alliances are formed as the competition robots, a process that requires not only a deep draws to its final conclusion with one robot winunderstanding of engineering and technical ning the battle. principles, but also the know-how to apply them While this may sound like an outline for a to real-world problems. They must develop a business plan and raise money to offset the nearly high-tech Hollywood sci-fi thriller, it is actually the basis for the FIRST Robotics Competition, $15,000 required for materials, registration and travel fees to partician international competition in which students pate in the regional in grades 9 through 12 competition. employ STEM – sciAdams said Caterence, technology, enpillar has generously gineering and math – committed to sponsoring the costs of one concepts, formulas and regional competition principles to construct and operate robots that each year, with the meet the challenge. UA Tech Park providThe program is one of ing a workshop for the two high school STEM team to use to build projects supported by their robot. Employees Tech Parks Arizona. from Raytheon MisMolly Gilbert, direcsile Systems, IBM and tor of university and other Tech Park tenengagecommunity ants volunteer as men– Molly Gilbert ment for Tech Parks Artors for each group of Director of University and izona, said supporting competitors. Community Engagement STEM projects makes “The whole thing is Tech Park Arizona based on teamwork, good business sense. “We look at this as strategy and cooperapart of workforce development for the region,” tion,” Adams said. “Our goal is to build relationshe said. “For our employers here at the Tech ships and to give kids exposure to a STEM enviPark, a large part of their success is dependent ronment that is fun and competitive. I think we on the ability to attract quality talent. We believe accomplish this very well.” Tiffini Tobiasson, a recent graduate of Vail that by supporting these types of programs, we Academy and High School who has participated can help spark interest in STEM careers.” in the program for four years, including serving The FIRST Robotics Competition was started as co-captain for a year, couldn’t agree more. in 1992 to provide a platform for “smart people This fall, she will attend the Illinois Institute of to compete,” according to Don Adams, an inTechnology on a full scholarship, studying chemstructor at Vail Academy and High School and ical or mechanical engineering with a minor in the robotics team coach. FIRST – which means continued on page 118 >>>

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The approach we’re taking is not just telling kids these are good careers, but showing them why they are. And there’s fun involved too.

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PHOTO: CREDIT: DANA GRANT PHOTOGRAPHY.

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The BoxerBots placed third in the FIRST Robotics Competition 2014, Aerial Assist. Aerial Assist, the name of this year’s game, combines the two features of the game: obtaining assist points by passing the yoga ball to other robots and then launching the ball into the air for even more points. continued from page 116 business administration. “The FIRST robotics program and team have been my inspiration for life,” Tobiasson said. “Before I joined the team I knew nothing about what I wanted to do. But after joining I fell in love with the people, the lessons and the principles. I learned the principles of engineering and this is where I found my place. “I have always loved to make things, but I never really thought that I could make a career out of it until I joined the team. I know that I will always be involved in FIRST because it stands for so much more than just building robots. It teaches confidence.” In addition to the robotics competition, Tech Parks Arizona initiated Racing the Sun, a solar go-kart race now in its third year. It’s held at the Mussleman Honda Circuit facility near the Pima County Fairgrounds. Michael Keck is a teacher at Cienega and the coach for the solar go-kart club. Utilizing STEM applications, he said, students construct a solar-powered vehicle, incorporating solar panels do118 BizTucson

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nated by Global Solar, a local solar panel employer. Racing the Sun competitors must also develop a business plan, a budget, a marketing and public relations plan, and fundraising goals. As part of the annual race, they are also required to make a presentation to a panel of judges. For the first two years, three teams from Tucson participated. After promoting the competition during the annual Association for Career Technical Education of Arizona conference last year, Tech Parks Arizona opened registration statewide and participation increased with nine total teams participating in the race. In Tucson, the race drew teams from Canyon del Oro, Cienega, Rincon/ University, Sabino and Santa Rita high schools. Phoenix-area high schools that competed were Desert Vista, Dysart, Ironwood, McClintock and Shadow Ridge. “What makes it fun for me is seeing the light bulb go off with these kids once they solve a ratio or understand the relationship between the mechanics of the vehicle, the design, weight and

speed,” Keck said. “The project drives the learning.” Gilbert added, “When I was in high school, no one was showing me what it looked like to be an engineer or a scientist, so I didn’t know what it meant to do those kinds of jobs. I didn’t like math and I knew engineering required a lot of math – but if someone had shown me what it was like to be an engineer, that might have changed my perspective. That’s part of what we’re trying to do with these programs. “The approach we’re taking is not just telling kids these are good careers, but showing them why they are. And there’s fun involved, too.” For the community, programs like these help feed into larger workforce development goals and create better jobs, Gilbert said. They also support Tucson’s mission to train and retain high-tech talent and become a hightech city. “We need to have the employee base to attract those companies,” Gilbert said. “Programs that inspire like these help foster that goal.”

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Local HR Society Seeks Nominees for Awards

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By Steve Rivera Now is the time for local business executives and human resource departments to pat their fellow employees on the back. Brag a little by nominating them for a Society for Human Resource Management of Greater Tucson Award. SHRMGT will hold its 11th Celebrating Innovation in the Workplace event on Nov. 13 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Tucson-Reid Park. “This is an opportunity for any organization, regardless of size, in the greater Tucson area to be able to speak about some exciting and innovative things that they are doing with their people,” said Lori Prince, co-chair of Celebrating Innovation in the Workplace. “It’s as it pertains to the people in their organization.” SHRM is looking for businesses to submit entries for categories involving individuals, teams and companies. The categories vary and can be found at www.shrmgt.org. Nominations close July 15. Judging runs from Aug. 15 to Sept. 15 and finalists will be notified by Oct. 1. Prince said the nomination doesn’t have to come from human resource professionals but could also be from business owners who are nominating their HR department or an HR department that’s nominating events/issues going on with employees in their company. “It’s an opportunity for people to brag and get people excited about what they are doing and what’s going on in their organization,” Prince said. The nominations may cover use of resources and significant impact relative to the size of the organization in technology/process improvement, diversity and inclusion, community impact and leadership. The organization has been around since the 1940s, starting as the Tucson Personnel Club. In 1989, it affiliated with SHRM. It is one of more than 485 chapters in the United States and has more than 385 local businesses as members. The organization provides HR-related information on education and influence. Through the years more than 100 awards have been given out at an event where companies and their employees enjoy the night out with people who have similar business acumen but varying ideas. Networking is also very popular. “More importantly, it’s about the people and the excellent practices they have in their workforces,” said Garrett Kowalewski, SHRM-GT’s president. “What it shows is higher efficiency and higher morale, lower turnover and better productivity. It’s about business excellence with an emphasis on business.” Biz www.BizTucson.com

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BizVISION

TREO Plan for Prosperity

5-Year Collective Goal – Create 40,000 Regional Jobs By Gabrielle Fimbres The Great Recession left our region reaching for economic footing as we lag behind the nation in wages and job growth. Arizona’s been slow to emerge from the economic crisis, and the Tucson region has recovered only 35 percent of the 31,400 jobs lost between 2008 and 2010. Now the region has a plan to recover more quickly and close this prosperity gap. Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities – known as TREO – brought together a diverse group of the region’s thought leaders to develop “We Win as One,” the 2014 Economic Blueprint Update, with the goal of advancing prosperity in Southern Arizona. At the heart of the Blueprint Update is a five-year goal of creating 40,000 jobs – or 8,000 per year – with the focus on higher-wage export jobs that bring money to the Tucson region from elsewhere.

4 Areas Key to ‘We Win as One’ By Gabrielle Fimbres Key focus areas of the “We Win as One” 2014 Economic Blueprint Update are talent, infrastructure, business environment and healthcare. Here are recommendations from the committees: Talent When it comes to talent, it’s been a debatable whatcame-first situation, the chicken or the egg? 124 BizTucson

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This is not just TREO’s responsibility – the job goal is a region-wide collective effort, according to Guy Gunther, TREO chairman and Greater Arizona VP and GM for CenturyLink. “Everyone has a stake in economic development – as many organizations contribute expertise in infrastructure, financing, workforce development, policy and other initiatives. Together, we must prioritize decision making that gives us the best chance to succeed as a region,” Gunther said. “Now more than ever, private and public sectors must work together to grow the economy,” added Joe Snell, TREO’s president and CEO. “We need a unifying, overriding goal to achieve success,” Snell said. “With the 2014 Blueprint serving as the framework, our collective work will pay dividends down the road.” Gunther said the 2014 Blueprint Update “sets us up for success. “We have the leaders of the com-

The prevailing belief in earlier economic climates was that if you brought great jobs to a city, talent would follow. A reality born from the recession, however, indicates the opposite – the communities that boast great and diverse talent win the jobs. “We will not experience economic growth in our community if we don’t address the issues of talent – recruitment, attraction, development and retention,” said Daisy Jenkins, president of Daisy Jenkins & Associates, who chaired a committee of business, education and government leaders. Her company specializes in human resources consulting and executive and developmental coaching.

Summer 2014

munity saying we are not just going to talk about what needs to be done – we are going to roll up our sleeves to put together the recommendations and then follow through on them,” he said. TREO, the region’s lead economic development coordinator, created Southern Arizona’s first Economic Blueprint in 2007. For decades, this region had relied on in-migration, construction and housing for job growth. TREO was tasked with coordinating regional efforts to diversify the economy and attract high-wage jobs. The 2007 Blueprint outlined industry strengths and examined economic trends and opportunities. But then came the Great Recession, and families and communities suffered job losses and financial devastation. “The Great Recession hit us and it changed the world as we know it forever,” Snell said. It was important to go back to business, government and community lead-

The committee made five recommendations: • Industry must partner with education and training institutions to better understand industry needs. • Industry and education must work together to define 21st Century skill terms and align curriculum to those skills. • The business community must strengthen its relationship with the Workforce Investment Board to implement a shared vision of workforce development and partner with education leaders, young professionals, the University of Arizona and veterans to support talent development and retention.

• Support Tucson’s urban renaissance by aligning talent development strategies with downtown revitalization efforts. • Connect existing pockets of excellence. Too often, high-paying jobs go unfilled. TREO found about 2,500 open positions among the top 20 employers – jobs that remain unfilled because employees with the right skills cannot be found. “More than ever we need to have a cohesive, collaborative approach to develop the talent strategy – and that is what the Blueprint Update gives us,” Jenkins said.

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Photos: BalfourWalker.com

Joe Snell

David G. Hutchens

ers to analyze the region’s competitiveness in a new economic landscape. At the top of the priority list is job creation. The region’s annual job growth averaged about 7,700 jobs per year in the decades leading up to the recession. The community must work together to improve Tucson in order to make the region more attractive to business investment and return to this 2-percent average growth rate, Snell said. The key focus areas of the 2014 Blueprint, which was sponsored by Tucson Electric Power, include talent, infrastructure, business environment and healthcare, with emphasis on four industry clusters:

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Aerospace and defense Bioscience and healthcare Alternative energy and natural resources • Transportation and logistics

Infrastructure Creating a corridor of commerce with Southern Arizona at the hub would power economic growth for generations to come. “Well-planned transportation infrastructure projects are the key to global competitiveness,” said Dennis Minano, chair of the Infrastructure Committee and vice chair of the Sonoran Institute. Recommendations include: • Achieve seamless connectivity to Mexico and other business markets through inclusion of the southern segment of I –11 through Pima County to Nogales, complete Arizona State Route 189, and maximize

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Developing talent through education and training is critical for the region, where only 24 percent of residents have bachelor’s degrees, Snell said. Also critical is building infrastructure. He said the region is positioned well to serve as a logistics hub. “Of the 83 companies we’ve helped expand or relocate in this region in the last eight years, many are logistics-related,” Snell said. “We need to look at our connectivity with Mexico and look at expanding the role of the airport.” The region also boasts strengths in the aerospace and defense industry, with the fifth highest concentration of aerospace workers in the nation – as well as the bioscience/healthcare and the alternative energy/natural resources industries. “We are in a competition to win additional opportunities – whether they are relocations or expansions – and we must address our gaps, leverage our strengths, put in measurements, put the right leaders in place and collaborate together,”

investment in U.S.-Mexico ports of entry. • Support Tucson International Airport and rail-asset capacity-growth planning and local mobility initiatives that connect business and commerce centers. • Develop funding mechanisms. “There is a growing and sophisticated economy in not only Sonora, but in all of Mexico,” Minano said. “We historically have had excellent business relationships in export and import with Mexico and Canada. We must build on that success and have the infrastructure needed to accomplish this.”

Guy Gunther Snell said. Gunther said companies are now less interested in incentive programs. “The number one thing they are using as their criteria in deciding where they will go is the availability of talent. That is the new reality.” The 2014 Blueprint Update will be followed by the launch of the Southern Arizona Dashboard Project – a joint initiative of the Southern Arizona Leadership Council, the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona and the University of Arizona. The Dashboard will track key indicators related to the economy – workforce, quality of place, infrastructure, health and education. Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry said the update signifies an important coming together of government and private interests in all areas, including infrastructure. “It’s primarily important that we integrate business interests with local continued on page 126 >>>

He said companies are increasingly interested in nearshoring – using manufacturing facilities in Mexico instead of China. “There is an opportunity to increase the area’s annual $80 billion product value by positioning ourselves as a gateway for nearshore products originating in Mexico and South America via gulf ports – leveraging existing trade agreements,” Minano said. Being creative in securing funding for infrastructure projects is crucial. “We are looking at various funding strategies, and the vision people are talking about can be a reality,” he said.

Business Environment When companies are considering relocating or expanding in the region, it’s important for business leaders to know they can get things done here. “They want to know if there is coordinated effort between all of the entities they will have to deal with,” said David G. Hutchens, chair of the Business Environment Committee. Hutchens, president and CEO of Tucson Electric Power, UNS Energy Corporation and UniSource Energy Services, said it is crucial that efforts be unified. continued on page 127 >>>

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government interests,” he said. “While it’s all good and well that local and state governments are interested in infrastructure, unless the business community participates, it typically doesn’t go anywhere. “Southern Arizona is poised to be at the crossroads of a major logistics center. Between huge markets in California and Texas, our proximity to Mexico to the south and points north puts us at the hub of the spokes of the wheel so we become perhaps in the future one of the more important logistics hubs in the Southwest.” Creating an international interstate that includes the Tucson region – whether part of Interstate 11 or another project – is critical for the economy, Huckelberry said. Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild said his office has worked extensively with community partners, including TREO and the city’s Office of Economic Initiatives, to attract business to the region with significant success. “Tucson has a lot to offer – tech expertise, a transportation and logistics hub that’s perfectly suited for trade, and an outstanding quality of life. The more we promote these very real, very important positives, the more we help ourselves as a region,” Rothschild said. Supporting military assets, encouraging innovation and engaging in collaboration between regional governments were also among topics explored. Satish Hiremath, mayor of Oro Valley, chaired the Regional Governments Committee, and said the process created a rare coming together of leadership. “The biggest thing that came out of it is that government leaders, elected officials and private leaders have to understand it’s got to be a 50-50 partnership,” Hiremath said. “When the economy is good, people can afford to play by themselves and not interact with surrounding elected officials and municipalities. This recession exposed structural weaknesses. We were operating as silos. “We now understand we need each other to be successful. That’s a huge step for us. We have leadership at the government level that is truly concerned with the entire metro Tucson region and not so much so with their own community.” David G. Hutchens, president and CEO of Tucson Electric Power, UNS Energy Corporation and UniSource Energy Services and chair of the Blueprint Update Business Environment Committee, said TEP sponsored the project with the goal of creating a stronger region. “It’s the community we have chosen to live in and we want to make sure we support it,” Hutchens said. “And we have the same goal of growing profitably as any other business out there. Our business is dependent on the success of the communities we serve.” Gunther said the Blueprint has the capacity to bring about real, positive change. “The TREO team quarterbacked what was a remarkable team effort that involved industry leaders and public sector leaders meeting numerous times and putting together very actionable recommendations to improve the region,” he said. “It set us up for success. We are in it together. We can do this. Despite the challenges we face, we have a lot going for us in this community. Now it is time for us to take it to the next level.” Biz www.BizTucson.com


continued from page 125 “We need TREO coordinating all efforts to put our best foot forward and speak with one voice when businesses or their site selectors come in and start kicking the tires in our community,” Hutchens said. While all jobs are good, good jobs are better, Hutchens said, and the focus must be on export jobs – with products leaving the region and wealth coming in. “It’s important that we have jobs that bring in money from other areas, so we are not just recirculating the same money.” Among the committee’s recommendations: • Focus on export jobs. • Recommit to a regional approach. • Measure success using common economic development goals and metrics. • Generate adequate resources among public and private sectors. • Deliver a coordinated business voice. Healthcare Could Tucson become known as America’s healthiest region? That’s the goal of the Healthcare Committee, chaired by Fletcher McCusker, CEO of Sinfonia HealthCare. It’s a tall order – with Tucson now ranked 140th out of 189 cities, according to the Gallup-Healthways WellBeing Index. The committee believes the region can leverage assets in healthcare, bioscience strengths and wellness/healthy living to position itself as a healthy place to live and work. McCusker said the process brought about collaboration previously unheard of among healthcare leadership. “I have been in Tucson 40 years and there has never been a time that I am aware of that we collaborated,” McCusker said. “The need to collaborate just resonated with everyone.” The committee launched a marketing campaign last fall to enroll Southern Arizonans in healthcare programs. That was so successful, it was recognized by the White House. “It has demonstrated that we can in fact collaborate toward the good of the entire region,” McCusker said. Creating and promoting “America’s Healthiest Region” will attract employers and build medical tourism, McCusker said. Among other goals: • Involve local government and medical leadership in increased region-wide health education. • Develop campaigns that foster healthy living, illness prevention and early access to personalized healthcare. Find the 2014 Blueprint Update at www.treoaz.org/ index.php/about-treo/2014-blueprint-update.

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BizBRIEFS

Derek H. McCann

Ryan Bunker

Loews Ventana Canyon Names GM, Sales & Marketing Director Loews Ventana Canyon has named Derek H. McCann as GM and Ryan Bunker as director of sales and marketing. McCann, who has nearly two decades of management experience at hotels and resorts across the U.S., is responsible for all operations at the foothills resort. Prior to his arrival in Tucson, McCann was hotel manager of Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn. He also worked as the director of rooms for Gaylord in Nashville, Tenn. and Grapevine, Texas. During his time in Nashville, McCann was actively involved on the boards of University of Tennesseeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s School of Retail, Hospitality and Tourism Management and the Junior Achievement of Middle Tennessee. McCann got his start in hotels and hospitality in 1997 as an assistant front office manager of the Sheraton Gateway at Los Angeles International Airport. Born and raised in Scotland, McCann earned a Bachelor of Science in hotel administration from Cornell University in 1996. Bunker joins Loews Ventana Canyon after serving as director of sales and marketing at Tucson Marriott University Park, where he was responsible for the hotelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s year-overyear growth in all key metrics. Previously, Bunker was senior sales manager at Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa for nearly five years. He held the same position for the last three years of a seven-year run at Hilton Tucson El Conquistador Resort and Spa. Bunker, a native of La Crescenta Calif., received a Bachelor of Arts from Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, Calif., in 1998.

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Brule-Fisher Named 2015 TAR Board President Realtor Nicole Brule-Fisher with RE/MAX Trends was elected 2015 president of the Tucson Association of Realtors. She will replace current president Steve Redmond of Long Realty Company, whose one-year term expires at the end of this year. Brule-Fisher became a Realtor in 2002 and joined RE/ MAX in 2013. She was the Tucson region’s first EcoBroker and also the first to earn Green certification. She was the TAR Realtor of the Year in 2010. Brule-Fisher is active in the TAR Green Committee, Government Affairs Committee and serves on the board of the Tucson Realtors Charitable Foundation. She has served on the National Association of Realtors board and is a graduate of the NAR Leadership Academy. She is a member of the NAR Land Use Property Rights and Environment Committee and the Public Policy Committee. Her NAR designations include Accredited Buyer Representative, Certified Residential Specialist, E-digital Professional and Graduate Realtor Institute. Joining Brule-Fisher as 2015 TAR officers are President Elect Eric Gibbs of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, VP McCown of Century 21 1st American, Treasurer Lynn Hellwig of HomeSmart Advantage Group and Redmond. Steve Van De Beuken of Sunstreet Mortgage was elected as the board’s affiliate member director. Other members of the 2015 board are:

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Ignacio Castro of Castro Real Estate Service

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Barbara Lasky-Wilson of Tierra Antigua Realty

Christie Rich of Choice Property Management & Real Estate Group

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Pam Ruggeroli of Long Realty Company

Christopher Cobb of Cobb Realty Ginny Huffman of Imagine Realty Services Darla Johnson of Vista One Realty Group

Krista Johnson of Keller Williams Southern Arizona Patricia Leahy of Tierra Antigua Realty

Louis Parrish of Keller Williams Southern Arizona

Wendy Trush of Tierra Antigua Realty Laury Watson of Vail Realty

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BizMILITARY

Mission Strong

Alliance Supports Region’s Military Operations By David B. Pittman Southern Arizonans strongly support U.S. military facilities and operations where they live. If there was doubt about that sentiment, it was erased by a recently released public opinion poll, commissioned by the Southern Arizona Defense Alliance – or SADA – which shows 92 percent of Southern Arizonans support area military installations and 75 percent of those surveyed indicated their backing of those military operations was “strong” or “very strong.” The survey, conducted by Strongpoint Marketing, also shows the vast majority of Southern Arizonans recognize the importance of local military operations. For instance, 88 percent of those polled said military installations benefit the local economy, 85 percent said they are important to national defense, and 80 percent said they create a sense of pride in their communities. The poll was released in conjunction with Mission Strong, a community outreach campaign from SADA aimed at informing the public of the importance of U.S. military installations in our region and providing Southern Arizonans the opportunity to express their support of continued military operations here. The survey of 617 was conducted in Pima, Yuma, Cochise and Santa Cruz counties, as well as in parts of Pinal County considered within metro Tucson. “It’s evident from recent announcements by the Department of Defense that Southern Arizona’s military assets could be in serious jeopardy – which would take a great toll not only on our communities, but on our national de130 BizTucson

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fense,” said Mike Varney, president and CEO of Tucson Metro Chamber, and immediate past chair and a founding member of SADA. “It’s also very clear that we Southern Arizonans support our military but have had no central place to come together and vocalize that support. We now have that with Mission Strong.” According to a Bloomberg Government Study released in 2011, nearly $5 billion in federal defense dollars flows into the metropolitan Tucson region, making it the seventh top recipient of

We presented the results of the survey and we certainly had a change of attitude.

– Mike Grassinger Immediate Past President DM50, SADA Founding Member

defense dollars among all U.S. cities and number one in Arizona. A study released in 2008 by the Arizona Department of Commerce entitled “Economic Impact of Arizona’s Principal Military Operations” concluded the state’s military industry, which includes military operations and the businesses they support, was responsible for creating 96,328 jobs and $9.1 billion in economic output.

The U.S. military budget, which underwent 10 percent cuts because of the Defense Act of 2011, is further threatened by the continuing effects of sequestration, which mandates acrossthe-board federal spending reductions unless Congress agrees on a deficitreduction plan. There is widespread belief among political and military leaders that growing federal deficits will force a new Base Realignment and Closure process after the next presidential election. Five previous BRAC rounds conducted in 1989, 1991, 1993, 1995 and 2005 resulted in the closure of more than 350 military installations. “There is a danger in a BRAC,” said retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Donald Shepperd, who makes his home in Tucson. “I do not think a BRAC will come before 2017 – but you will start hearing about it being set up because the nation has 30 percent too many bases, according to the Department of Defense.” Shepperd, who formerly served as a military analyst for CNN, said the coming BRAC would put Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and Southern Arizona’s other military assets “in competition” with every defense installation in America. Ron Shoopman, a retired brigadier general and president of the Southern Arizona Leadership Council, said that in a future BRAC process “only the best bases – the ones that are the most efficient, most effective and most supported by their communities – will survive.” A major reason SADA commissioned the public opinion survey was to meacontinued on page 132 >>> www.BizTucson.com


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PHOTOS: COURTESY OF SADA

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1. Mike Varney, President & CEO, Tucson Metro Chamber, and immediate past chair and a founding member, SADA 2. Amber Smith, Executive Director, Metropolitan Pima Alliance 3. Philp Tedesco, CEO, Tucson Association of REALTORS/MLS 4. Air National Guard 162nd Fighter Wingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s F-16 5. David G. Hutchens, President & CEO, UNS Energy, Tucson Electric Power and UniSource Energy Services 6. Mission Strong Website 7. Mike Grassinger, CEO, Planning Center, immediate past president, DM50, and a SADA founding member 8. Ron Shoopman, Retired Brigadier General and President, Southern Arizona Leadership Council

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BizMILITARY continued from page 130 sure the amount of support residents of Tucson and Southern Arizona have for their military installations. Like Shoopman and Varney, Mike Grassinger, CEO of the Planning Center and immediate past president of DM50, is a founding member of SADA. Grassinger said local business leaders visited Washington, D.C., in July 2013 to discuss the future of Southern Arizona military installations with leaders in both Congress and the Pentagon. “One of the things we heard very clearly at that time, particularly from people at the Pentagon, was that they were uncertain about the level of support of the Tucson community when it came to supporting the military,” Grassinger said. In March 2014, just after polling results were compiled showing overwhelming community support for Southern Arizona military installations, Grassinger was part of another Tucson business delegation that visited military and political leaders at the nation’s capital. “We presented the results of the sur-

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vey and we certainly had a change of attitude” among military brass, said Grassinger. “If there is a future BRAC process, local support for military installations could make the difference between communities as to whether a base gets closed or not.” Another development causing concern regarding the future of Tucsonarea military installations is a proposal from the Department of Defense to retire the Air Force’s entire fleet of A-10 Thunderbolt attack aircraft, which is the primary aircraft stationed at DavisMonthan. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel wants to mothball nearly 300 A-10s by 2020, and replace them with F-35s – a fifth-generation, all-purpose stealth fighter jet currently being developed. Hagel said parking the A-10, which he called an outdated aircraft, would save $3.7 billion over five years. The F-35, the most heavily softwaredriven aircraft in history, is also expected to eventually replace several other military jets, including the F-16. The Air National Guard’s 162nd Fighter Wing at Tucson International Airport is the International F-16 Training Wing

for the U.S. Air Force. Members of SADA have said it would be disastrous to Tucson’s economy if future F-35 training is not undertaken here. “We are trying to grow the aerospace and defense industry in Southern Arizona,” said Varney. “Having the F-35 here is a critical component of the future of that industry.” The SADA-commissioned poll indicated there is moderate local awareness of the F-35 aircraft. Sixty-two percent of those surveyed indicated they knew of the F-35, while 24 percent said they’re “very aware” of the aircraft. According to the poll, support for the F-35 is strong among those who are most aware of the aircraft. Among those who said they knew about F-35 development, 82 percent are in favor of having it stationed in Southern Arizona, while fewer than 10 percent are opposed. The survey also indicated that among those living closest to where the F-35 would be stationed, 80 percent are in support of having the aircraft stationed here, while 12 percent are opposed.

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PHOTO: TOM SPITZ

Michelle Nolen Senner

Director of Marketing & Advertising Truly Nolen Pest Control

Scott Nolen

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BizMILESTONE

Truly Magnificent

Firm Expanding its Tucson Presence By Dan Sorenson There’s a lot more to Truly Nolen Pest Control than an old Tucson company with yellow VW Beetles painted up as mice and vintage cars parked on street corners. Topping the list of things most Tucsonans probably don’t know about one of the city’s most familiar companies is that it’s actually a nationwide and international company with operations in more than 50 countries, including France, Argentina, China and the United Arab Emirates, including the Burj Al Arab, the famous 7-star, sail-shaped hotel in Dubai. The company crossed the $100 million annual revenue mark two years ago – just before celebrating its 75th anniversary last year, said Michelle Nolen Senner, director of marketing and advertising at corporate headquarters in Tucson. By the way, those old cars parked all over the place with the company’s name on them? Many of them run. And, there really is a Truly Nolen. In fact, there have been a few of them. Truly David Nolen, the 86-year-old

ranking Truly Nolen, is still active – putting in five-day workweeks, but from Naples, Fla., rather than Tucson, where he moved in 1955 to start the company we know today. Truly is a family name, he said. He’s the third generation Truly – and not the last. In addition to a son named Truly, there are seven other children with vari-

It’s not the chemicals, it’s the knowledge. – Scott Nolen CEO & President Truly Nolen Pest Control

ations on the name – including Sincere Leigh and Really – along with some more conventionally named offspring, several of whom are involved in the company here and elsewhere. The patriarch is not only still involved in the company, he’s sometimes

Truly David Nolen with antique cars in front of Tucson office in 1964

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paying attention to the day-to-day, even minute-to-minute operations. Longtime employees, including family members, say it’s almost like he’s still in the familiar, brightly colored offices at 3636 E. Speedway Blvd. Calls from Florida are frequent and insightful, they say. Indeed, Senner, his daughter, said that here’s a business with hundreds of employees, offices all over the U.S. and much of the rest of the world and an exec in his mid-80s living 2,000 miles away – yet he still notices that a line employee who made some minor mistake a few years ago hasn’t had a raise recently. So, he calls up the corporate office one morning and out of the blue asks, “Say, we’re not holding a grudge are we?” He casts a long shadow, though not a threatening one, Senner said. The community involvement is institutionalized in the company – and not just as a matter of good public relations. She said her father is generous by nature, instinctively doing little things, like lending out one of his old cars to an elderly continued on page 136 >>> VW truck fleet in1958

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BizMILESTONE continued from page 135 couple celebrating an anniversary so they could be reminded of a first date. That kind of attention to detail, and concern about employees, is at least partly responsible for the high percentage of employees who have been with the company 20 years – some 40 years – as the business celebrated its 75th anniversary. It started with grandfather Truly Wheatfield Nolen, who founded a pest control company in Miami during the Great Depression. And it got legs when her father earned an entomology degree from the University of Florida, then struck off on his own after completing his studies to work for a company in Philadelphia. What Senner calls her father’s voracious lifetime love of reading – “he reads a ton” – spurred the jump to Tucson. While in Philadelphia he saw a story in National Geographic magazine that said termite damage was rampant in Tucson. “And because it was the desert I thought that was contradictory to the normal behavior of termites,” he recalled. “So I moved out and started the business in 1955.” Another twist of fate came about after he came to Tucson to set up that new company. He just missed the telephone directory advertising deadline. “Most people, when they wanted an exterminator, they looked to the Yellow Pages. Back then they only came out once a year. I had a long wait, so I (painted) a phone number on our only vehicle – and it broke down. I left it at a gas station for repairs. It sat for quite a while because the station didn’t want to repair it, or it wasn’t worth it. “Meanwhile, I bought a second car and the same thing happened at a different gas station. And the calls picked up. I was going door-to-door, so at first I thought it was people I had left brochures with. But no, it was because of the cars. By the third car I actually went out and bought a real antique rather than just an old car.” Son Scott Nolen, the company’s CEO and president, said there was, and still is, more going on with the old cars than merely a novel way to advertise. “People make an association – old cars, stability, reputation,” he said. “I got cars back as far as 1906,” the elder Nolen said, adding proudly that the Smithsonian accepted his 1908 Sears for its collections. “People don’t realize you could buy a car in a catalog.” The company has about 150 cars now, down from a high of 320. “We have two acres of land there over on Kleindale. We had it filled up.” It was so backlogged because “people wanting to work on these cars are few and far between.” In addition to staying active in the business well into his 80s, Nolen said, “I fly, I have a sailboat and I scuba dive.” His daily ride is a 1957 Ford Thunderbird convertible. “Bronze color. I’ve never seen one like this before. It’s in good condition.” He attributes the company’s phenomenal success to welltrained employees – and an oddity of the pest control business. “The people who have bug problems usually don’t put it off,” he said of demand for pest control. “We’ve actually never had a down year because the econcontinued on page 137 >>> 136 BizTucson

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continued from page 136 omy doesn’t affect us very much. And we have a very good training department, which gives us kind of an edge. A lot of small companies can’t afford a substantial training department. Sending employees for months of training is expensive. It has to be looked at as an investment.” The company recently purchased a 26,000-square-foot, three-building complex in the Williams Centre, including space for future building, said Greg Weatherly, executive VP of Truly Nolen. The first phase of the development at the Tucson site will be a remodeling job to create a training center for Truly Nolen company-owned and franchise operations in the western U.S. There’s already an eastern U.S. training center in Orlando, Fla., where employees from Dallas, Houston and points east go for training. Western states employees are currently trained at the company’s 10,000-square-foot facility in Phoenix. By July, Weatherly said, the training segment of that operation will be moved to Williams Centre. He sees the relocation to Tucson, in close proximity to headquarters, as a way to enhance the company’s connection with its people in the field. When they come in for training, people from the home office will get a chance to meet them in person. To that end, Weatherly said, the first phase of the Williams Centre complex build out will include an outdoor patio and barbecue where Truly Nolen workers here for training can meet and mingle with corporate staff. New employees, people coming for continuing education and franchise purchasers will receive training in Tucson and be introduced to the Truly Nolen way of doing things. It’s a lesson learned from the Orlando training center, which is co-located with what Weatherly calls their East Coast “mini corporate” center, housing their international and domestic franchise offices. That corporate staff gets to interact with everyone. “There’s a lot of culture and team environment that goes on there,” Weatherly said. The Orlando facility also has what’s referred to as a “bug house,” which has Plexiglas walls and features a live bug display with a living termite colony. There are no plans, for now, to build a separate live bug house in Tucson. Weatherly said the company will duplicate the exhibits for training and educational purposes that demonstrate construction types and how service protocols and equipment are used for various construction types. Additional phases for the Williams Centre build out, both new construction and conversion of existing buildings after existing tenants move out, will include an expanded training center with a conference center and training areas that include a simulated commercial kitchen and warehouse. There’s also room to accommodate the company’s existing corporate offices and Tucson operations, now outgrowing their three buildings on Speedway, Weatherly said. “It’s not the chemicals – it’s the knowledge,” Scott Nolen said of this company that also uses non-chemical strategies to control pests. He said the company’s future lies in its staff of well-trained employees and the new training campus for extended education in pest control – giving the highly visible and internationally successful business an even larger local presence.

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Rocky and Michael DiChristofano,

PHOTOS: CARTER ALLEN

Owners, Tucson Subaru and Volvo of Tucson

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BizAUTOMOTIVE

Growing Up & Out

Local Subaru, Volvo Dealerships Expand to Meet Demand By Romi Carrell Wittman Consider it another sign that the local economy is rebounding – two hometown businesses are expanding to meet the automotive needs of Tucson consumers. Brothers Rocky and Michael DiChristofano, owners of Tucson Subaru and Volvo of Tucson, say that business is good – so good that they’ve constructed a new facility for one dealership and will expand another by year’s end. The brand new Tucson Subaru facility near Oracle and River roads boasts some really swanky amenities. In addition to a state-of-the-art service department, there’s a fully loaded Internet lounge and a comfortable waiting area with sofas, sodas and snacks. There’s a play area for the kids to work off their wiggles, and soon there will be a doggie rest area, too. “A lot of people bring their dog when they buy a car,” said Rocky, who manages the day-to-day operations of the Subaru franchise. “We want them to be comfortable, too.” The dealership formerly resided on Speedway Boulevard and was landlocked. There was simply no room to expand the showroom or the service department. Tucson Subaru now occupies 8½ acres and is centrally located, just around the corner from the Tucson Auto Mall. Though the land is ideal in terms of location, it was not without its challenges. The site, which at one time was home to a boat retailer and later Metro Auto Sales, sat in a hole. The property was several feet below street level, which made for poor visibility, not to mention www.BizTucson.com

grading and drainage issues. Several tons of fill dirt were required to raise the property up to eye level with Oracle Road, at a cost of roughly $200,000. “Oracle slopes upward,” Rocky said. “If we hadn’t filled in the property, our showroom would be probably 5 feet down from where it is now.” Despite these issues, the 31,000-square-foot showroom was constructed on time and on budget, at a cost of $9.8 million. It opened in January and held its official grand opening in March. Just around the corner on Wetmore Road in the Tucson Auto Mall, Volvo of Tucson is expanding as well. Michael manages day-to-day operations there and said he’s excited about the project. “We have a lot of new products coming in next year,” he said. “This will give us a beautiful facility to display everything.” He’s referring to the lease of property adjacent to the Volvo dealership. The acre-sized residential parcel contained a home and a wall – which greatly reduced the visibility of the Volvo lot from Wetmore and limited any expansion. With the lease finalized, Michael said Volvo has applied to have the land rezoned for commercial business – something he expects will take six to nine months. Once that’s out of the way, the land will be prepped, then paved to create a display area. The target date for completion is spring of 2015 – just in time for the unveiling of an entirely new Volvo product line. The DiChristofanos are excited

about the changes taking place and see them as a culmination of a lifetime of dedication and hard work. They were raised in the car business, working at their father’s dealership while growing up. Both attended the University of Arizona. Their father, Frank DiChristofano, moved to Tucson from Illinois in 1972 and took over Tucson’s existing Volvo dealership, then called Wigglesworth Volvo. In 1982, he partnered with a Phoenix dealership and changed the name to Broadway Volvo. He eventually purchased it outright in 1991, roughly the same time his sons began working there. When Frank retired in 1995, the brothers took over. In 2009, the DiChristofanos purchased Emich Subaru. “We felt it fit with the Volvo brand,” Rocky said. The past few years have been very good for Tucson Subaru. “The brand has grown about 17 percent each year since 2008,” Rocky said. “The last two years it’s grown 26 percent a year. I think it’s because Subaru has developed a really great product.” Rocky believes the new location will be a boon. “We’re really central here and on the River Walk. I’m really excited about the charity events we can hold right here at the dealership,” he said. Michael said Volvo has weathered the economic storm as well and has many positive changes in store. “Volvo is becoming more competitive,” he said. “The new cars have brand new engines and new platforms. It’s evolving and we’re on the precipice of an exciting time.” Biz Summer 2014 > > > BizTucson 139


BizMEDICINE

Tucson Emerges as Global Leader in Fight Against Cancer By David B. Pittman Tucson is recognized as a global leader at the forefront of medical research, diagnostics and treatment in the war against cancer by the world’s top scientific minds. That is because of the work performed at Ventana Medical Systems and the annual medical conference the company sponsors that bears the city’s name – the Tucson Symposium. This year’s 10th annual Tucson Symposium at the Hilton Tucson El Conquistador Golf & Tennis Resort proved to be the biggest and best ever as 500 of the world’s leading research scientists, academics, oncologists and pathologists – all of whom are thought leaders in

their respective fields – came to Southern Arizona to collaborate, network and learn from their colleagues in an effort to positively impact cancer treatment around the world. In 1985 Dr. Thomas Grogan, a pathologist who practiced medicine and performed medical research at the University of Arizona, founded Ventana Medical Systems, Inc. a member of the Roche Group. Ventana Medical Systems manufactures instruments and reagents that automate tissue processing and slide staining for cancer diagnostics. It is the most successful entrepreneurial spinoff in the history of the UA.

PHOTOS: CARTER ALLEN

Dr. Thomas Grogan, Founder, Ventana Medical Systems

A decade ago, Grogan launched the Tucson Symposium because “Ventana was coming of age scientifically and it was time for us to expand intellectual horizons, multiply our inventive reach, and to learn what we did not know,” Grogan said. “We reached out to worldrenowned researchers in pharmacology, oncology, cellular and molecular biology, chemistry and immunology. “The idea of founding this conference was to cross the boundaries into the science that surrounds medicine that is not yet part of medicine,” he continued. “As a company, what we do is take things being published – say by an academic in a scientific journal –

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When all these smart people come from afar and they see what is happening here, it helps put us (Tucson) on the map in terms of medical enterprise and medical science. After all, they are coming to us. We are not going to them. –

Dr. Thomas Grogan, Founder, Ventana Medical Systems

that look interesting and promising, but it is a very rigorous process to take those ideas and convert them into the practice of medicine. That is what we do as a company.” Some 165 researchers participated in the Tucson Symposium’s inaugural year. The conference has expanded every year since, growing to 450 scientists in 2012 and 480 in 2013. Grogan, who now serves as Ventana Medical’s chief scientific adviser, and Mara Aspinall, president and CEO, announced that the number of participants will be limited to 500 in future years. “We’ve taken the decision to limit it to 500 people and part of that is the intent that by familiarity with one another we will have a great deal of interchange, as opposed to a massive meeting where everyone is a stranger,” Grogan said. Participants at this year’s symposium hailed from 35 countries. Of the roster of 32 speakers, 18 were from foreign

lands. “Usually, when I greet these people for the first time, I say ‘welcome to the edge of the known universe,’ ” Grogan said. “The second thing I say is ‘the reason we are where we are is because the company (Ventana) was born out of the University of Arizona, which is a Science One University.’ “So when all these smart people come from afar and they see what is happening here, it helps put us (Tucson) on the map in terms of medical enterprise and medical science. It is saying we are part of this major process. After all, they are coming to us. We are not going to them.” Conference participants said the Tucson Symposium is world renowned and that they were highly impressed by the speakers and the opportunities to network and exchange ideas with innovative leaders in many scientific fields. Dr. Hytham Al-Masri is president and CEO of Hematogenix Labora-

tory Services in Chicago, which performs oncology testing and diagnostic services. He said the Tucson Symposium, which he has attended twice, “is a very important conference because the topics they choose to explore are very relevant to what is important today in medicine.” When Al-Masri founded Hematogenix seven years ago, the company consisted of himself and another employee. Today, the company employs 80 scientists and physicians. Al-Masri said the symposium is growing in popularity and stature within the medical and scientific communities. “There is no doubt the Tucson Symposium is world renowned. I’ve met people at the symposium from Germany, Switzerland, England, Argentina, China, Hong Kong, Australia, Italy, Qatar and several other countries.” Gustavo Baretton, director of the Institute of Pathology at University continued on page 142 >>>

Gustavo Baretton, Director, Institute of Pathology, University Hospital, Dresden, Germany

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continued from page 141 Hospital in Dresden, Germany, said he attends many conferences annually, but 2014 marked his first Tucson Symposium. He described the symposium as “first rate” and Tucson itself as “a beautiful place. “The Tucson Symposium is excellent,” he said. “It features top speakers, provides very good opportunities to exchange knowledge and network and is extremely well organized. The topics here are on the cutting edge of pathology and leading toward important strategic decisions that will be made. Tucson is world renowned because of the symposium. “I must say, this is the first time I have been in Tucson and from what I have seen of the landscape and the city itself, it is very impressive.” Dr. Teresa Marafioti is a reader in haematopathology, a consultant histopathologist and an associate professor at University College in London. She has attended the Tucson Symposium five times. “I value the scientific impact of the

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The topics here are on the cutting edge of pathology and leading toward important strategic decisions that will be made. Tucson is world renowned because of the symposium.

– Gustavo Baretton Director, Institute of Pathology University Hospital, Dresden, Germany

conference. For me, every year there is something new,” she said. “This conference provides the opportunity to meet many people who are well known in specific areas. People not only want to

come here to learn, but also to connect with the company (Ventana Medical Systems) and share with them their scientific experience. It is a win-win situation. So, I come to contribute, but I also go back home taking new information that is useful for my practice and ultimately for my patients.” Marafioti said she has fallen in love with Tucson. “If I find a job I would immediately move to Tucson and work for Ventana,” she said. “It’s a dream.” Exciting advancements in cancer treatment have been made in the areas of personalized healthcare and immunotherapy, which made them hot topics at the symposium. Personalized healthcare – which fits the right treatments to the patient based on an individual’s particular genetic makeup – is extremely important because expanding knowledge of disease mechanisms and individual genetic variation is enabling doctors to provide more precise diagnoses and targeted treatment options to their patients. Baretton said the conference helped him see increased strategic value in the

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use of personalized medicine. “I got some new impressions regarding where the research goes and where new developments are heading.” Immunotherapy is the treatment of disease by inducing, enhancing or suppressing an immune response. Al-Masri said the symposium provided important information about immunotherapyrelated drugs and treatments that are in the development pipeline to help cancer patients. Aspinall discussed advancements in immunotherapy in her welcoming remarks to symposium attendees. “Our knowledge is increasing about how the evolution of cancer is influenced by intricate interactions between tumor cells and the host’s immune response,” she said, “and more importantly, how specific patterns of immune activation are linked to cancer patient survival. These remarkable achievements in immunotherapy have improved toxicity profiles, albeit different profiles, so we need to better understand. This progress gives us cause for optimism as harnessing the body’s

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We need to be bold and focused as we try to create a world free from cancer.

– Mara Aspinall President & CEO Ventana Medical Systems

own immune system could be a powerful tool.” Aspinall said many questions remain regarding cancer research and treatment, including:

• How do variations in age or racial/

ethnic groups affect the immune response to tumors and impact patient outcomes? • Why do some therapies work in some patients, and not in others – even if their molecular profile looks the same?

BizMEDICINE “What is clear is that we need to attack cancer on all fronts with effective therapies with tolerable toxicity, early detection and prevention,” she said. Aspinall spoke of the purpose of Ventana Medical Systems and the symposium it sponsors. “At Ventana, 1,000 employees come to work every day with a single mission – to improve the lives of all patients afflicted with cancer. It is a mission that we share with everyone in this room. And this Tucson Symposium is our opportunity to learn, to improve and to exchange ideas that will help us address your challenges, uncover novel biological insights and stimulate new innovative approaches that will lead the way in making a difference. “We are at an extraordinary time in the history of medicine,” she added. “We need to be bold and focused as we try to create a world free from cancer – not just for our children, but for us, too. We must always remember, patients are waiting for us.”

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BizBIOSCIENCE

Arizona’s Multibillion Biosciences Industry Roadmap Provides Strategies for Growth By Eric Swedlund Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap sets concrete goals for the next decade designed to transform the state into a national leader in this critical industry sector, with an expanded vision that highlights a commitment to improving healthcare. Making Arizona more nationally and globally competitive in the bioscience sector will strengthen and diversify the state’s economy by creating more highpaying jobs and providing access to the latest healthcare innovations, said Jack Jewett, president and CEO of the Flinn Foundation. “All 50 states have pursued the biosciences, so what differentiates Arizona? That’s what the Roadmap is about – identifying areas where we have a competitive advantage and leveraging that into profound gains,” Jewett said at a Tucson luncheon to introduce the updated Roadmap. The long-term strategic plan – commissioned by the Flinn Foundation and compiled by Battelle Technology Partnership Practice – builds on the original 2002 Arizona Bioscience Roadmap and will guide the bioscience sector in Arizona through 2025. The first decade of the Roadmap emphasized the aspects that led to Arizona’s quick ascent, primarily the development of a solid research infrastructure. The plan for the next decade calls for maintaining and increasing momentum, emphasizing commercialization, entrepreneurship and the need to create a critical mass, both in terms of bioscience companies and the talented workforce the state needs to compete. In the 10 years since the launch of Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap, the www.BizTucson.com

state has added jobs in that sector nearly four times as fast as the national average – sustaining double-digit growth even through the recession. “This process has knit Arizona together in a way,” said Martin Shultz, chair of Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap steering committee. “The collaborative gene has been nothing short of tremendous. It’s a great start – but we need to keep up the momentum. We’ve come a long way, but what’s really important is the next 10 years. “For the biosciences to truly take root in Arizona, it has to be understood and embraced by the general community,” he added. Taking Arizona from a state with an emerging bioscience reputation to one that is truly globally competitive and a national leader in select areas will require a more sustained commitment to attracting top talent, boosting home-grown businesses and finding serious investment dollars for both startup companies and the educational structure – from K-12 to university research laboratories. “We’ve had remarkable results, but it’s now time to look forward. When we commit the energy we’ve put in before – but in a more focused way – it will really put us on the worldwide stage,” said Ron Shoopman, president and CEO of Southern Arizona Leadership Council and vice chair of Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap steering committee. The list of bioscience success stories in Southern Arizona – which includes Ventana Medical Systems, SynCardia Systems, HTG Molecular Diagnostics and the Critical Path Institute – is growing, Shoopman said. “It’s that kaleidoscope of effort that

we’ve put forward under the banner of Roadmap that is making the difference. We have proved in this state that remarkable things will happen when you put people around the table and settle on a common goal. The challenge continues for all of us to find the niche where you can contribute,” Shoopman said. “The impact that it has on the quality of our lives and the vibrancy of our economy are significant. It’s a noble goal that is worth investing our time and effort to support.” The new Roadmap includes five central goals, each with specific strategies to achieve them: • Entrepreneurial Hub – Form a hub of bioscience entrepreneurs and new enterprises across Arizona. • Research into Practice – Increase the ability of research-performing institutions to turn bench research results into improved disease/illness prevention, detection and treatment, plus bio-agriculture and industrial biotechnology products. • Bio-Talent – Make Arizona a biotalent powerhouse where talent is developed, educated, trained and retrained. • Connectivity – Promote Arizona to economic partners in neighboring states, Canada and Mexico as a place where bioscience research, healthcare delivery and commercialization seamlessly interact. • Collaboration – Pioneer a new level of commitment to partnerships to sustain and enhance the state’s “collaborative gene” reputation. continued on page 146 >>> Summer 2014 > > > BizTucson 145


BizBIOSCIENCE continued from page 145 “We aren’t anywhere near the critical mass of companies we need for the long haul to be in the top tier of states,” said Walter Plosila, senior adviser to the Battelle Technology Partnership Practice. “A substantial increase in private and public investment will be necessary over the next decade to realize the Roadmap’s goals.” The Roadmap includes a candid evaluation of Arizona’s current situation and finds the state far behind its competitors in some areas. With a decadelong decline in venture funds for bioscience – from $111 million in 2002 to $22 million in 2012 – the state’s gains were made despite the dearth of risk capital. For the state to develop the necessary talent pool for high-tech, high-paying jobs, the report calls for “considerable expansions” in community college, technology prep and university bioscience programs, plus a strong growth in K-12 programs for STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – education. Based on industry data from 2012 (the latest available), Arizona has

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We’ve come a long way, but what’s really important is the next 10 years.

– Martin Shultz Chair, Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap Steering Committee

106,846 bioscience jobs spread across 1,382 employers, with an average annual wage of $62,775. That amount is 39 percent higher than the privatesector average. Most of those jobs are in hospitals, with other bioscience segments accounting for 23,545 jobs at an even higher average annual salary of $85,571. The growth in Arizona’s nonhospital bioscience sector has accelerated dramatically over the last several years, the report found. The Roadmap was developed with extensive research and interviews with more than 150 local and national bioscience leaders and incorporated input from a steering committee of statewide

leaders in science, business, academia and government. Six industry segments comprise the biosciences in Arizona: • Agricultural feedstock and chemicals • Drugs, pharmaceuticals and diagnostics • Medical devices and equipment • Research, testing and medical labs • Bioscience-related distribution • Hospitals A new economic-impact analysis by Battelle estimates Arizona’s total annual bioscience revenue to be $14 billion – or more than $36 billion including hospitals. “An emphasis on the full spectrum of the biosciences – from research to hospitals to bio-agriculture – and a renewed focus on resources, collaboration and long-term patience is needed for Arizona to continue its ascent in the biosciences,” Shultz said. “The impact can be profound – the biosciences are a multibillion-dollar industry for Arizona.”

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From left – Patty Richardson,President; Ronda Lane, Treasurer; Beth Dannheim, Secretary; Dianne Kelley, Past President; Reba Kalil, Incoming President.

Small Business Sisterhood By Christy Krueger

As archaic as it sounds, up until the late 1980s some states required women to have a male relative sign for a business loan. That all changed in 1988 when President Reagan signed into law HR 5050 – the Women’s Business Ownership Act – thanks, in part, to the dedicated work of the National Association of Women Business Owners – or NAWBO. The new law eliminated discriminatory lending practices by banks, clearing the path for a new generation of women-owned businesses. NAWBO was established in 1975 and has grown to 60 chapters across the nation. The goals of its founders are providing a supportive peer network, building strategic alliances and giving 148 BizTucson

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women business owners a voice in political arenas. The NAWBO chapter serving greater Tucson opened in 1995 and has 140 members, according to Patty Richardson, outgoing president. NAWBO Tuc-

I can pick up the phone and call another member about a business problem.

– Reba Kalil Incoming President NAWBO Greater Tucson

son has been called the “sisterhood” of small businesses because members are willing to donate time and expertise to help other women become more successful. Richardson, owner of Casa Linda Designs, became a member of NAWBO in 2007 and soon joined the board. “It’s a great organization – but you have to get involved to make the relationships that help you succeed,” she said. When she was elected president in 2013, Richardson’s primary goal was to impart this belief in relationship building to members. “Most (members) aren’t in retail – they’re in service or have products and you must have people who trust you. You do that by www.BizTucson.com

PHOTO: KRIS HANNING

BizCOMMUNITY


becoming involved and it helps to grow your business.” The chapter’s incoming president, Reba Kalil, plans to continue this focus. “We’re divided into teams and we’re very active on the membership side. We want them to stay and gain something and be active, investing time and energy into making personal and professional relationships.” Kalil, an accountant who owns Kalil & Associates Accounting Solutions, joined NAWBO in 2008 and became treasurer six months later. Men are welcome to join NAWBO, and the women value these relationships and the male perspective. “We don’t discriminate,” Richardson said. “The men come for the same reasons as the women.” While time is allowed for networking during most NAWBO events, education and discussion of business issues are a significant part of the agenda. “One time a month we have a luncheon with a featured speaker, and a monthly breakfast, which is more intimate. We have a monthly mixer sponsored by a member for networking and socializing, and monthly professional development, which moves around town,” Kalil said. “These are 90-minute workshops – on social media, updates on employment law, the healthcare law,” Richardson added. “Members or outside people give these. We draw from our partners first.” The chapter forms affiliations with other organizations that support business, including the Better Business Bureau, Arizona Small Business Association and Microbusiness Advancement Center. Corporate sponsors support the group in various ways, some with monetary donations. A mentoring program will likely be added in the future. Annual events include a holiday auction and a health and wellness fair. “We’ve done such a good job with these, people had good feedback,” Kalil noted. “I’m eager to take these forward.” The greatest benefit Kalil said she’s received from her NAWBO membership is what she calls “brain trust” – tapping into the resources of her fellow members. “I can pick up the phone and call another member about a business problem. I have also received business through NAWBO.” Richardson agrees. “I like to know someone with a similar problem with a client. I have 140 others to look to in solving an issue.” She explained that for some members, NAWBO provides a business community. “A good percentage of members have never been in business before. This is like a trade association but with many trades, so we help them be part of an organization.” Kalil said the benefits go beyond good business. “I have made some of the best friends of women and men I’ve ever known in my life – that’s valuable.”

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BizAWARDS

Cornerstone Awards Picks 2014 Dream Team By Christy Krueger ships to three groups – $5,000 to the UA College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture, $800 to Pima Community College and $3,000 to the Arizona Builders’ Alliance apprenticeship program. The selection process begins several months before the ceremony. Cornerstone members nominate their favorite industry partners in eight award categories. The selection committee then whittles them down to a final group of honorees. Choices are based on best business practices – such as quality of workmanship, community contributions, proficiency in financial management and emphasis on collaboration. Partner organizations are: • American Institute of Architects Southern Arizona Chapter • Arizona Builders’ Alliance Southern Division • American Council of Engineering Companies of Arizona • National Association of Women in Construction • Construction Specifications Institute • Society for Design Administration • Southern Arizona Architects and Engineers Marketing Association

Iaconis Wins Community Service Award In 2010 the local construction industry lost one of its best-known members, Jerry Wyatt. Every year since the foundation has presented this award to an outstanding person who best emulates Wyatt’s efforts to improve Tucson and the construction community. The 2014 recipient of the Community Service Award is David Iaconis of BeachFleischman. Iaconis is COO of the firm’s accounting and assurance practice and one of its founding shareholders. He’s served his clients and his community for 30 years. Biz

David Iaconis

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Rick Bright Architect of the Year Bright Design Associates Rick Bright

Rick Bright has been a licensed architect since opening his firm in 1986. He is also a member of the American Institute of Architects and Arizona Builders’ Alliance. This is the second time he has been honored as Architect of the Year. The first was in 2005. He and his staff have completed projects of all types around the state – from tenant improvements to industrial and commercial buildings.

Randy Harris Design Consultant of the Year Western Technologies Randy Harris

When founded nationally in 1955, Western Technologies pioneered many of the professional services it still provides today. These include geotechnical and environmental engineering, construction materials testing, special inspection and nondestructive testing services. The company opened its Tucson office in 1960 and is housed in a well-equipped facility where its culture of providing high-quality, timely and cost-competitive services to clients continues.

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF CORNERSTONE BUILDING FOUNDATION

One of the most anticipated events of the year for many in Tucson’s construction industries is the Cornerstone Building Foundation Awards. Held at the Tucson Convention Center in March, the ceremony marked the 20th anniversary of both the organization and its key annual event. Each year the foundation selects a construction industry dream team of eight honorees – including architects, designers, general contractors, professional service specialists, and subcontractors and suppliers. Recognizing the best of the building community was a primary goal of Robert Hershberger when he established Cornerstone in 1994. At that time he was dean of the University of Arizona College of Architecture. Other objectives included providing educational opportunities for members, encouraging the exchange of ideas between those in various building careers and raising scholarship funds for local students. Southwest Gas has sponsored the awards banquet for 20 consecutive years. Since 1999 CBF has donated more than $100,000 to scholarships, endowments and construction-related projects. This year at the awards banquet Cornerstone presented $8,800 in scholar-


Winners of 2014 Cornerstone Foundation Awards

Bill E. Lloyd and Brad Lloyd General Contractor of the Year (Projects greater than $2 million) Lloyd Construction Company Bill E. Lloyd and Brad Lloyd

Now in its 45th year of doing business in Southern Arizona, Lloyd Construction has built many Tucson landmarks. It has grown to become one of the largest and most highly respected locally owned and operated general contractors in Tucson.

Blake Johnson Professional Service Company of the Year Minard-Ames Insurance Services Steve Minard, Blake Johnson and Mike Sprecht

These principals are experienced in the areas of risk management and surety for the construction industry and believe it is this focus that sets the company apart, serving contractors all across the state of Arizona.

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Jamie Olding General Contractor of the Year (Projects less than $2 million) Building Excellence Jamie Olding and Tara Olding

After opening its doors in 2007, Building Excellence survived the recession by implementing conservative and responsible fiscal strategies and establishing solid business relationships. In its young life, the company has developed a diverse team of professionals with a combined 75 years of construction experience. The firm’s leaders hope to grow into one of Tucson’s top general contracting companies.

Marla Endicott and Merry Bowman Supplier of the Year Precision Tool and Construction Supply Marla Endicott and Merry Bowman

Started in 1988, this supplier is a 100 percent woman-owned business. Precision has grown to a 15-employee company serving industrial, mining, construction and military markets throughout Southern Arizona.

Mark Riggi Subcontractor of the Year Millwork by Design Mark Riggi

Mark Riggi and his staff believe their 12 years of success in the custom cabinetry business can be attributed to providing superior craftsmanship, a commitment to excellence and top-notch customer service.

Peter Dourlein Owner of the Year University of Arizona Planning, Design and Construction Robert Smith and Peter Dourlein

This team leads the university’s award-winning building program, developing a campus that is an inspiration to students, faculty and staff. The planning, design and construction leaders credit department members for their efficiency and productivity while creating superior designs and construction.

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Margret and Richard Huebner Commercial Cleaning & Restoration

Jon Volpe and Raymond Desmond Nova Home Loans

PHOTOS: COURTESY BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU

BizHONORS

Gary Oschmannn Oschmann Employee Screening Services

Tucson Businesses Honored with Torch Awards By David B. Pittman Oschmann Employee Screening Services, Nova Home Loans and Commercial Cleaning & Restoration received 2014 Torch Awards from the Better Business Bureau Serving Southern Arizona. Oschmann received the Ethics Award, given for trustworthiness and consistently exhibiting honorable business practices. It is BBB’s oldest and most prestigious prize. “Success in Oschmann’s industry is dependent on the trust and confidence they earn from their clients and employees,” said Nick LaFleur, media relations specialist for BBB. “They’ve built that integrity by exceeding their commitments, displaying honesty and adhering to the rules and regulations surrounding their work.” Gary Oschmann, company president, said he and his staff were honored to receive the award, which “validates our commitment to our clients of the highest level of service, integrity and accuracy.” 152 BizTucson

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Other finalists for the Ethics Award were Tucson College and Native TeleData Solutions. Nova Home Loans received the Good Neighbor Award, recognizing outstanding commitment to community service. “It is part of Nova Home Loans’ company culture to give back to this community,” LaFleur said. “In the past 10 years, Nova has donated more than $700,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson as its primary charity. But Nova has also given impressive amounts to other causes. For instance, every year Nova collects over 2,500 toys to give to Tucson’s most needy children.” Raymond Desmond, Nova’s president and founder, and Jon Volpe, company CEO, said in a statement, “We have long felt that true business success can only be achieved by being connected to the people of the city with a sincere dedication to making Tucson a better community. We truly believe our success and market presence is directly

related to our efforts to be an active participant in so many economic and charitable initiatives.” Other finalists for the Good Neighbor Award were Decorating Den Interiors and Salon Nouveau. The Customer Excellence Award went to Commercial Cleaning & Restoration. “Commercial Cleaning & Restoration has built long-lasting relationships, exceeded customer expectations and achieved a reputation for excellence,” said LaFleur. “While many businesses seek to create satisfied customers, Commercial Cleaning & Restoration seeks to cultivate raving fans.” Other finalists for the Customer Excellence Award were Essential Pest Management and BRAKEmax Car Care Centers. More than 70 Southern Arizona business organizations were nominated for the awards.

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BizBRIEF U.S. names Oschmann Employee Screening Services sole transportation enrollment center for Southern Arizona The Transportation Security Administration, a federal agency within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, named Oschmann Employee Screening Services the exclusive Universal Enrollment Center in Southern Arizona. The Tucson company will be providing enrollment services at their offices at 3360 S. Palo Verde Road for three TSA programs – the Pre-Check, Transportation Worker Identification Credential and HAZMAT Endorsement Threat Assessment programs. The Pre-Check Program allows lowrisk travelers to experience faster and more efficient screening at participating U.S. airport checkpoints for domestic and international travel. The TWIC program is a vital security measure to ensure people who pose a threat do not gain unrestricted access to secure areas of the nation’s maritime transportation system. Prior to this enrollment center opening, area transportation workers were required to travel to port cities in California and Texas to enroll or renew their TWIC identification cards. The HAZMAT Endorsement program conducts threat assessment for any commercial driver seeking to obtain, renew or transfer a hazardous materials endorsement on a state-issued commercial driver’s license. Locally owned Oschmann Employee Screening Services is a national provider of drug and alcohol testing, employee background checks and motor carrier safety services. It is accredited by the Drug & Alcohol Testing Industry Association.

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From left – Bob Duvall, Senior Director of Business Development, NASCAR; Brad Corneliusen, Advisory Board Chair, Tucson Speedway, and John Lashley, President, START Tucson.

PHOTO: COURTESY OF NASCAR

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Need for Speed NASCAR Back at Local Racetrack By Steve Rivera NASCAR is returning to Tucson. It was a no-brainer for Bob Duvall, the senior director of business development for NASCAR in Daytona Beach, Fla. Duvall came to Southern Arizona this past winter to see if Tucson Speedway was worthy of becoming NASCAR’s 58th affiliated track and was quickly impressed. “They’ve obviously put some time and money into the track and John (Lashley) is very passionate about growing Tucson Speedway,” Duvall said. “He has a vision. When you see a promoter with that passion, you can tell he’s a man of his word. We just thought it would be a great partnership.” Lashley obtained the lease on the dormant Pima County-owned track, formerly called Tucson Raceway Park, in 2012. He said he put “a few hundred thousand dollars” and thousands of man hours into refurbishing it. He now has it looking better than ever. Lashley reopened the property in April 2013. “We habilitated it and returned it to its prominent status,” Lashley said. Duvall called it a “great marriage and a great partnership.” It’s something Tucson and Southern Arizona might want to look at. With professional baseball gone and other sports all but out of the market, NASCAR is making a comeback. Brad Corneliusen, Tucson Speedway advisory board chairman, estimates the track has an economic impact of $1 154 BizTucson

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million. “That counts everything from racers, to building cars to bringing in people for events,” he said. That would be for a full season that runs from March to October. This season will be a shortened 10-race season that begins in July and runs to October. “The excitement has really built the last six months,” Corneliusen said. What Tucson will have – when the NASCAR racing beings in July – is the feeder system into the bigger NASCAR world as we all know it. “It’s the starting blocks to get to the top,” Duvall said at a press conference to announce NASCAR’s return to Tucson. Duvall called it a grass-roots program with the next level being the Touring Series and the top level being the National Series. Will big-time drivers like Kevin Harvick, Greg Biffle, Kurt Busch or Ron Hornaday Jr. make a stop in Tucson? All raced in Tucson in the past and Busch also attended the University of Arizona – but Duvall makes no promises. “Sometimes they could come back,” he said. “It could be for fun – maybe to promote a race or two. People like that do come back and race (at these venues) from time to time. Opportunities do exist.” Who thought that was possible just months ago when the track was withering away near the fairgrounds? But with Lashley giving new life to the facil-

ity as president of the nonprofit group START Tucson, anything is possible. It’s been rebranded to Tucson Speedway and has, well, picked up speed. It hosts races weekly and played host to the 2013 Arizona Pro Stock Championship and a number of events. More are scheduled this year and next. Clearly, the historic short track isn’t your father’s racetrack any more. There are more bells and whistles and activities that don’t involve fast cars going around a .375-mile oval. “It’s not just a track, but an entertainment venue,” Corneliusen said. There will be a playground, a petting zoo and more for children. “If you haven’t gone, you need to go,” Lashley said. “Bob showed up at the track and said, ‘This is one of the prettiest tracks in America. What are those mountains out there?’ ” Those would be the Catalinas – so it’s racing with a view. “That’s when he said, ‘we (NASCAR) want you to be part of us,’ ” Lashley said. It was as if Lashley had hit the racing jackpot – or the very least a racecar bonanza. “NASCAR is a hard-hitting thing, a marketing thing,” Lashley said. “I thought, ‘could we afford this’? Then I thought – ‘can we not afford this?’ ” And voila – NASCAR is back.

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