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SUMMER FALL 2012 2021

THE REGION’S BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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SPECIAL REPORT: DSW Commercial Real Estate Sun Corridor Inc. – The Pivot Playbook SUMMER 2021 • $3.99 • DISPLAY UNTIL 09/30/21

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BizTucson Magazine is proud to announce the inaugural Women Leading the Region Awards, honoring the exceptional women who are guiding Southern Arizona toward greatness. Our stellar slate of honorees excels in the fields of medicine, technology, energy, bioscience, healthcare, communications, business, commercial real estate, aviation, banking, economic development, human resources, government, sports and more. These remarkable women have navigated the region through the COVID-19 pandemic, brought profitability, innovation and excellence to their companies and organizations, and are leading the way toward an exciting future for our urban desert. And if that’s not enough, they’ve all played a role with numerous leadership initiatives for nonprofits and some of the most critical community causes. You’ll truly appreciate their unwavering dedication and commitment! Tara Kirkpatrick files an inspirational and compelling editorial package profiling 15 women leaders in the region. All were photographed individually, instudio, by Chris Mooney. Through the magic of digital technology and creative direction by Brent Mathis, the final composite photo created this high-impact BizTucson cover. Women Leading the Region will now be an annual recognition featured in our quarterly publication, online and in our bi-weekly newsletter. Speaking of our future, Jay Gonzales provides us with an in-depth report on the The Pivot Playbook, which is the title of Sun Corridor Inc.’s Post-Covid Economic Recovery Plan, enlisting some of the region’s top business leaders. Gonzales writes, “It’s unlikely anyone will openly suggest that the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has had any redeeming qualities worth the medical and economic destruction it has caused. But that isn’t stopping many communities – the Tucson region among them – from trying to squeeze an ounce of good from an otherwise horrific and generational occurrence in an arguably historic display of collaboration in the region. Private- and public-sector leaders have come together to build a game plan for a post-COVID-19 economic recovery in Southern Arizona. The Pivot Playbook is the outcome of a nearly yearlong effort to capitalize on the national atten4 BizTucson

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PHOTO BY STEVEN MECKLER

BizLETTER

tion the community received as a region poised for recovery.” The Pivot Playbook is divided into five segments: company recruitment, talent acquisition and retention, workforce development and training, shovel-ready and real estate and the hardest hit industry – tourism. On the tourism front, we report on two resorts that have weathered the storm of the past year. Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort has nearly completed a $9.6 million expansion. Managing Director Tom Firth provided some great insights on this Tucson treasure. Our next stop was the Tubac Golf Resort, as Managing Director Noel Daniel shared the strategies that guided the resort through the challenges of the past year. And recently, the idyllic town of Tubac recently made national news as USA Today named Tubac the #1 Best Small Town Arts Scene in America. This edition also features a Special Report focused on DSW Commercial Real Estate, as the company marks two decades in business. Rodney Campbell provides a great report on this dynamic real estate development and property management company and its plans for expansion through diversification. The two principals, Michael Sarabia and James Hardman, are constantly studying the market and anticipating trends. Portfolio diversity is more important than ever. Campbell provides us with an exciting look at this local success story. As always, we are grateful for our loyal readers, the tremendous support of our advertisers and our exceptional editorial team and their high standard of journalism. Steven E. Rosenberg Publisher & Owner BizTucson

Summer 2021

Volume 13 No. 2

Publisher & Owner

Steven E. Rosenberg Brent G. Mathis

Creative Director Contributing Editors

Donna Kreutz Tara Kirkpatrick Jay Gonzales Elena Acoba Diane Luber Romi Carrell Wittman

Contributing Technology Director

Mike Serres

Contributing Project Coordinator

Maricela Robles

Contributing Writers

Elena Acoba

Loni Nannini David Pittman Monica Surfaro Spigelman Romi Carrell Wittman

Rodney Campbell Mary Davis Jay Gonzales Tara Kirkpatrick Donna Kreutz Christy Krueger Thomas Leyde Contributing Photographers

Kris Hanning Tyler Kinzer Thomas Leyde Brent G. Mathis Chris Mooney Taylor Noel

Solaris Photography Zack Weinstein

BizTucson News Update (Email Newsletter)

Brent G. Mathis Tara Kirkpatrick Member:

American Advertising Federation, Tucson DM-50 Southern Arizona Leadership Council Sun Corridor Inc. Tucson Metro Chamber Visit Tucson

BizTucson Phone: 520.299.1005 Subscription Information:

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

Steve Rosenberg 520.299.1005 or 520.907.1012 steve@BizTucson.com BizTucson is published quarterly by Rosenberg Media, LLC., Tucson, AZ © 2021 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:

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


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BizCONTENTS

FEATURES

SUMMER 2021 VOLUME 13 NO. 2

COVER STORY:

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DEPARTMENTS

BizPHILANTHROPY 120 Social Venture Partners’ Fast Pitch

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BizLETTER From the Publisher

BizSTARTUP 124 IdeaFunding Awards $65,000 in Prizes

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BizMILESTONE Rotary Club of Tucson at 100

BizCONSTRUCTION 126 New Projects in the Region

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BizCUISINE Two Downtown El Charro Restaurants

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BizBIOSCIENCE Roche Tissue Diagnostics Expands in Marana

BizTOURISM 130 Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort’s $9.6 Million Expansion

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BizECONOMY The Pivot Playbook Sun Corridor Inc.’s Post-Covid Economic Recovery Plan

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BizMILESTONE Tucson Association of Realtors at 100

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BizHEALTHCARE Diamond Children’s Cancer Center

BizTOURISM 108 Tubac Golf Resort & Spa 112 114 116

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INAUGURAL “WOMEN LEADING THE REGION AWARDS” Adia Barnes Danette Bewley Jill German Susan Gray Daisy Jenkins Adriana Kong Romero Jan Lesher Lisa Lovallo Barbi Reuter Judy Rich Regina Romero Calline Sanchez Laura Shaw Amber Smith Carol Stewart

BizAWARDS ASID, Arizona South Chapter Design Excellence Awards: Commercial Division BizEDUCATION Earn To Learn and Pima Community College Catholic University of America Offers Business Management Degree in Tucson

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BizPHILANTHROPY Humberto & Czarina Lopez Give $3.5 Million in Endowments to University of Arizona

BizENTREPRENEUR 134 GermFree Puts Science Behind Disinfecting BizBUZZ 136 NEW: Tucson On The Radar How The Region Is Getting Noticed BizTRIBUTE 138 Mayor Bob Walkup

SPECIAL REPORT 91 SPECIAL REPORT 2021

THE REGION’S BUSINESS MAGAZINE

DSW

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

ABOUT THE COVER Inaugural “Women Leading The Region Awards” Creative Design & Art Direction by Brent G. Mathis Photos and Composite By Chris Mooney Special thanks to Gadabout Salon Spas, who provided hair and makeup services for the honorees.

DSW Commercial Real Estate at 20 Years

20 YEARS

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PHOTO BY BRENT G. MATHIS

100

15TH ANNUAL TUCSON CLASSICS CAR SHOW

Title Sponsor: WeBuyHouses.com Saturday, October 16, 2021 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at The Gregory School, 3231 N. Craycroft Rd. Ticket price: $10 Raffle prizes: 2021 C8 Red Mist Stingray Corvette or $50,000 in cash, plus 4 other great prizes

From left – Jim Lubinski, Foundation Chair and Centennial Event Chair; Bobby Larson, 2022 Car Show Chair; Jen Hoffman, current Rotary President; Mark Irvin, incoming Rotary President, and Joni Condit, 2021 Car Show Chair.

CENTENNIAL GALA

Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021 Dinner with live auction and many items - including a private tour for two of Jay Leno’s Garage, which includes airfare and accommodations Proceeds to benefit Pima JTED To learn more or purchase raffle tickets go to: https://tucsonclassicscarshow.com or call 440-4503  

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BizMILESTONE

Going Big for the Centennial Rotary Club of Tucson Plans Anniversary Celebration

Things that turn 100 years old in 2021: Wheaties, White Castle burgers, Maricopa Hall on the University of Arizona campus and Rotary Club of Tucson. With a Centennial Celebration planned for Sept. 25, the Rotarians are ramping up their efforts throughout the year to do what they’re passionate about – working to meet community needs. “Back in 1921 a group of Tucson businessmen met at the Santa Rita Hotel and elected to go with Rotary,” said President Mark Irvin. “This is the largest Rotary Club in Arizona with 250 members, the 38th largest in the U.S. and 55th largest out of 35,000 clubs internationally.” Rotary is a service club with more than 1.2 million members worldwide. Irvin, founder of Mark Irvin Commercial Real Estate Services, has spent a majority of his adult life contributing to Tucson’s growth and improving the quality of life for its residents. He’s worked with the Tucson Rotary for over 25 years and also serves on the Rio Nuevo District board of directors. In return for his endless service to the community, Irvin has received numer-

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ous accolades, including the Greater Tucson Leadership Man of The Year Award in 2019. “Service above self ” is how he describes Rotary’s mission. “We should find ways to be impactful in our community. Our hot button is education. We incorporated and administered the Reading Seed program and, through a merger, it is now a program of Literacy Connects. Our goal is to have every kid reading at a third-grade level by third grade.” Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic the Tucson Rotary has amazingly continued to grow in memberships, donated funds for the community and generating excitement for its major fundraiser, the Tucson Classics Car Show. The annual event has raised more than $1.8 million in its 15-year history and is a favorite among attendees. This year JTED is the sole beneficiary. The goal is to raise $250,000. In 2020, after several years of supporting Reading Seed and Make Way for Books, Tucson Rotarians overwhelmingly selected Pima Joint Technical Education District as its new major beneficiary, committing $250,000 from continued on page 26 >>>

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PHOTOS COURTESY ROTARY CLUB OF TUCSON

By Christy Krueger


continued from page 25 car show proceeds and other fundraising sources. Pima JTED, which is funded by the state and through local property taxes, offers high school students tuition-free career-training programs in dozens of growing fields. “This is for their new building at The Bridges,” Irvin said. “There’s great need for JTED, and they needed one campus instead of being all over. So far we’ve paid them $75,000, and we’ll pay them the rest after the car show. Our goal is to give JTED more than we told them we would.” Joni Condit, a 30-year Rotarian and this year’s car show chair, said members wanted to select an organization that could make the greatest impact in the community. “JTED has so many career paths. That’s giving back in a big way.” Condit, CEO of La Posada in Green Valley, credited fellow Rotary member Jon Wang for coming up with the car show idea. “He said we need a signature event in the community,” she said. “It should be fun, do good work. We use our labor and other people’s money.” The car show annually draws more than 20,000 attendees to The Gregory 26 BizTucson

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School, and “people look forward to it,” Condit said. About 400 cars are displayed in categories according to type and decade. “Some exhibitors sign up a year in advance,” she said. “We’re trying to find a 1921 car for our centennial year.” In exchange for the use of the school’s property, Rotary takes care of its field and donates a scholarship for a student to attend The Gregory School. Classic cars attract attendees to the event, but the raffle is the money maker. A $10 ticket gets attendees into the show and a chance to win a car – usually a used Corvette. Rotarians wanted to up the ante for the centennial year and do something extra special. Irvin went to his friend Rob Draper at O’Rielly Chevrolet, who said he’d talk to the Chevrolet people about getting involved. “We were able to secure a new C8 Corvette Stingray Performance Package,” Irvin said. “This will enhance the car show and raffle.” And if the winner would rather have cash than the car, that person will take home $50,000. “The color is red mist. They only made 2,000 last year, and it’s a hot item,” Condit said. “It has an $85,000

value and it’s very beautiful.” Rotarians began selling raffle tickets in the spring. As of May 1, Irvin was leading the pack with 1,200 sales. “He’s setting the bar for the rest of us,” Condit admitted. The general public can buy tickets at www.tucsonclassicscarshow.com and scroll to “Buy Tickets.” If referred by a Rotarian, put in that person’s name. As Irvin prepares to take his new position as president July 1, he praised his predecessor, Jennifer Hoffman, for her work in keeping the organization rolling during a difficult year. “We have migrated from not being able to meet to actually growing during the pandemic due to her leadership,” he said. Those leadership skills were likely honed in Hoffman’s current position as VP of operations at Contact One Call Center, started by her mother in the 1980s, that provides customer service support for 450 clients nationwide. Hoffman has found a great amount of fulfillment since joining Rotary in 2011. “I wanted to find a way to give back to the community,” she said. “It was such a warm, welcoming group who continued on page 28 >>> www.BizTucson.com

PHOTOS COURTESY ROTARY CLUB OF TUCSON

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BizMILESTONE continued from page 26 had similar views of giving back and a focus on literacy. I wanted to be involved.” For the past year-plus, members have met virtually and in small groups, which resulted in some feelings of isolation. To help bridge the gap, they upped their technology usage and turned to Switcher Studio for high-quality video production. “It connects multiple Apple products, so iPhones and iPads can interconnect and we can have up to five cameras at different angles in one room,” Hoffman explained. It allows virtual-meeting participants to feel more like they’re present. “Despite the pandemic, people have wanted to connect and give back,” she said. While the car show may be Rotary’s most visible event, the organization is also involved with causes with international reach. Polio was last seen in the U.S. in 1979, but it still exists in Pakistan and Afghanistan. In 2009, local Rotarian Mike Harris decided to act. He started Ride to End Polio as part of El Tour de Tucson to raise funds to eradicate polio. Several fellow Tucson Rotary members joined up and pedaled in support. “We sent a pile of money to Rotary International,” Irvin said. This caught the attention of John Hewko, general secretary and CEO of Rotary International, who came to Tucson and rode in El Tour. We’ve raised $10-$12 million every year since, and Rotarians come from around the world to participate. This is the largest fundraiser to rid polio in the world – right here in Tucson.” Cyclists and supporters can participate by visiting www. rotaryd5500.org/page/ride-to-end-polio. In addition to running meetings, participating in community service projects and fundraising, one of Irvin’s biggest goals during his one-year presidential term is to balance the membership’s demographics. “I’d like us to be in the 50-50 range of men and women. Now we have 28-30% women.” That’s already changing, as seven of the last 10 new members were women. “Another focus is to support diversity in our club with more people of color,” he said. “I’d also like to take the average age and reduce it significantly, focus on younger members of our community.” And then there’s the big Centennial Gala on Sept. 25 at Tucson Convention Center. Members and guests will bid on auction items with proceeds benefiting JTED and view an in-depth video of the club’s 100-year history. Produced by Rick Rose of Film Creations, the video will include narration by Hoffman and Irvin and recordings of several past Tucson Rotary presidents. The event chair is Jim Lubinski, CFO of Bookmans. Irvin said he is eager to get started in his new position and proud to lead this group. “They’re 250 of the best do-gooders in Tucson, always trying to find a way to do more.” After meeting at the Doubletree Hotel for more than 30 years it was recently decided that the Rotary Club of Tucson will now conduct its weekly meetings at the TCC. Those interested in attending a meeting or becoming a member can visit www.tucsonrotary.org or call the office at (520) 623-2281.

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Did You Know? “The Original El Charro Cafe was founded by our Great Tia Monica Flin in Tucson, AZ back in 1922. Still operating today, El Charro Cafe of Tucson is America’s Oldest Mexican Restaurant in continuous operation by the same family,” according to the Flores Concepts website.

Ray Flores

President Flores Concepts & Si Charro Restaurants

Carlotta Flores,

Executive Chef-Owner Flores Concepts & Si Charro Restaurants

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BizCUISINE

Two Downtown o Restaurants r r a h El OneCShared Menu – By Land and Sea The El Charro restaurants boast a significant footprint in Downtown Tucson. There’s the original El Charro Café at 311 N. Court Ave., which is celebrating its 99th year in operation and offers Mexican dishes including its famous carne seca – a dried, flavorful shredded beef. Then there’s Charro Steak and Charro del Rey, conveniently located next to each other on Broadway Boulevard. Charro Steak opened about five years ago and featured grass-fed beef and cage-free poultry in a comfortable, classy dining room. The restaurant specialized in mesquite wood-grilled steaks. A couple of years later, Charro del Rey debuted and focused on offering sustainable seafood with a Mexican flair. The side-by-side restaurants are separated by a hallway, which made it tempting for some guests who were dining at one restaurant wanting to order a dish from the sister restaurant. “You know how there’s a secret menu at some restaurants?” said

Carlotta Flores, executive chef-owner Flores Concepts and Si Charro Restaurants, during a recent interview. “People would be at Charro Steak and they would want a fresh oyster from del Rey, or if they were at del Rey would want to order mini chimis from Charro Steak. “It became very problematic running back and forth. It became really hard for inventory.” That resulted in a logistical nightmare. So, in 2019, even before the pandemic started, Flores and her family had a conversation about merging the two concepts. “We thought, ‘Why can’t we?’ ” she said. “All of the pieces fell into place.” Now known as Charro Steak & del Rey, the restaurants went back on May 4 to serving dinner seven days a week. The décor and signage of each restaurant remains the same, but both now share a menu. “It just made sense,” Flores said. They kept the Charro Steak phone number, streamlined the menu by removing a couple of salads but still will offer intermittent specials. The guts of

both menus have merged, including the seafood towers, steaks and seasonally changing sides. “There was an opportunity to expand and create another vibe,” Flores said. “It rose to the occasion.” She said that the company has continued its commitment to sustainability, which includes buying local when possible, as well as continuing a partnership with the University of Arizona’s Community School Garden program. Because of the Flores family’s veteran status of opening and operating restaurants, they were able to pivot when all restaurants became takeout-only last year because of the pandemic. Now that many restaurants are open for dining again, Flores hopes to introduce diners to the wonderful ambiances of her places. “Charro Steak is really cool and hip kind of upper-scale Mexican Western style steakhouse,” said Flores, noting it is Downtown Tucson’s only steakhouse. “When you go into Del Rey, it is like being in another place. It is so San Francisco, so New York, it’s cute. They both have a Mexican component continued on page 32 >>>

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PHOTOS: BRENT G. MATHIS & COURTESY EL CHARRO RESTAURANTS

By Valerie Vinyard


BizCUISINE

continued from page 31 to them.” With two bars, larger dining room and private dining spaces, Charro Steak is twice the size of El Rey’s long room and one bar. Diners can make reservations and be seated at either restaurant. Both restaurants offer small patios for outdoor dining. This menu merger will come in handy when a carnivore and a pescatarian meet up for dinner. Roberto Valenzuela used to visit Charro Del Rey occasionally with his girlfriend, Elena Marquez. But deep down, he preferred red meat over seafood. “My girlfriend doesn’t eat beef, so we always would eat at the seafood restaurant,” Valenzuela said. “I got a little tired of it. I’ll be happy to try the new menu that has stuff from both restaurants.” Flores talked about how the restaurant spaces have personal significance to her. “I have a lot of memories of what Downtown was in the 1950s,” said Flores, 75, noting that the steakhouse’s location used to be a Western Union, then a Studebaker car dealership. Back then, Flores said the steakhouse located Downtown “didn’t have that New York vibe; there wasn’t really anything sexy. Dressing up in Tucson could be Levi’s and a dress shirt.” Flores is happy how things have evolved for her restaurants. “Now you can have the best of both worlds,” she said.

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Safer and Stronger At the start of the pandemic all Flores Concepts operations pivoted to what is called the Si 100 Plan – which outlines 100 specific initiatives designed to operate safer and stronger at all locations. That includes all Si Charro restaurant brands and Flores Concept operations. The focus is on safety considerations including UVC lighting purification in the air conditioning systems, notouch restroom services, smart phone order and pay portals, daily crew member health checks and helping create access to testing for the more than 400 individuals who work for them, according to Ray Flores, president of Flores Concepts. These initiatives are in place at the four El Charro Cafés, including one at Tucson International Airport, plus Charro Steak & del Ray, Charrovida, Charro del Rey, Pub 1922 and Carlotta’s Kitchen. For locations, menus and hours visit floresconcepts.com.

Charro Steak & Del Rey

188 E. Broadway Blvd. (520) 485-1922 Open 3-9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays; 3-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Happy hour 3-6 p.m. daily. www.charrosteak.com 32 BizTucson

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BizBIOSCIENCE

Roche Tissue Diagnostics is expanding its presence in Marana with the addition of a 60,000-square-foot state-ofthe-art building. The new construction, just east of its existing facility, will house instrument and service production for the company, which is the leading global supplier of cancer diagnostic systems to the pathology market. The project, which broke ground in May 2021, allows for the expansion of diagnostic assay production at the company’s main site in Oro Valley’s Innovation Park. Diagnostic assays are used to detect cancer and other diseases. For efficiency with production materials and flow, a 30-foot-long corridor will connect the new building to the current 60,000-square-foot facility near Interstate 10 and Tangerine Road. Total cost of the project is estimated at $43.5 million, which includes remodeling the manufacturing building in Oro Valley. Completion of the new Marana building is expected in 2022. About 150 existing team members will be located at the new Marana facility. “With our expanding footprint in Marana, we can efficiently serve the growing number of patients and healthcare providers who depend on us globally,” said Jill German, head of Roche Tissue Diagnostics. “In cancer and all 34 BizTucson

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diseases, fast, accurate and personalized results are critical to patient care, when each minute counts. We are committed to improving quick access to meaningful cancer diagnostics to patients and their providers no matter where they are in the world.”

With our expanding footprint in Marana, we can efficiently serve the growing number of patients and healthcare providers who depend on us globally.

Jill German Head Roche Tissue Diagnostics –

Roche Tissue Diagnostics provides more than 250 cancer tests and associated instruments and technologies, impacting more than 27 million patients around the world annually.

“Roche Tissue Diagnostics is committed to local economic development and to the growth of the bioscience industry in the region as we expand our state-ofthe art facilities, which ultimately make us more competitive globally,” said Himanshu Parikh, VP of Roche Global Operations. Terri Johnson is VP and Head of Facilities, Real Estate, Site Services and Safety, Health and Environmental. She said, “Roche is a leader in the protection of the environment and has been recognized as the most sustainable company in the pharmaceuticals index of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices. We will bring that commitment to sustainability into the design of this new building as we do with all new builds.” Founded as Ventana Medical Systems in 1985 by University of Arizona pathologist Dr. Thomas Grogan, the company was acquired by Roche in 2008. As a strong employer that offers competitive wages and benefits in support of the local community, Roche employs about 1,700 full-time and contract employees in the Tucson area dedicated to the research & development, commercialization and manufacturing of cancer diagnostic systems.

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IMAGE COURTESY ROCHE TISSUE DIAGNOSTICS

Roche Tissue Diagnostics Expands in Marana


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PHOTO BY BRENT G. MATHIS

THE PIVOT PLAYBOOK – 5 FOCUS AREAS

Joe Snell

President & CEO Sun Corridor Inc.

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Pivot Playbook BizECONOMY

The

Sun Corridor Inc.’s Post-Covid Economic Recovery Plan

Private & Public Sector Leaders Build Game Plan

By Jay Gonzales

It’s unlikely anyone will openly suggest that the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has had any redeeming qualities worth the medical and economic destruction it has caused. But that isn’t stopping many communities – the Tucson region among them – from trying to squeeze an ounce of good from an otherwise horrific and generational occurrence. In an arguably historic display of collaboration in the region, private- and public-sector leaders have come together to build a game plan for a post-COVID-19 economic recovery in Southern Arizona. The Pivot Playbook is the outcome of a nearly year-long effort to capitalize on the national attention the community received continued on page 38 >>> www.BizTucson.com

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BizECONOMY

Pivot Playbook

The

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COMPANY RECRUITMENT Addressing long-standing challenges to keep the momentum of recent years in attracting quality companies and jobs to the region.

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TALENT ACQUISITION AND RETENTION Attracting talent or keeping talent here is a multi-faceted task beginning with developing easy-to-find resources for those who want to build a career here.

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WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT AND TRAINING Massive job losses during the pandemic means workers need to be retrained and re-skilled to find new ones.

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SHOVEL-READY AND REAL ESTATE The companies looking to locate or expand in the region are facing a shortage of shovel-ready real estate.

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TOURISM Arguably the hardest hit industry in the area, tourism has a long road to recovery.

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PHOTO BY BALFOUR WALKER

Focus Areas

Clockwise from top: Judy Rich, President & CEO, Tucson Medical Center and Chair of Sun Corridor Inc.; Steve Eggen, retired Raytheon Missile Systems executive and Committee Chair of Sun Corridor Inc.; Adriana Kong, Market President for Bank of America in Tucson and Southern Arizona.

continued from page 37 as a region poised for recovery. It is a formal blueprint to address a number of economic development issues, some of which have plagued the region for decades. Sun Corridor Inc. assembled what it called a COVID-19 Recovery and Response Steering Committee made up of organization leaders and board members who engaged additional business leaders in a detailed process to build the plan. It provides specific action items in five focus areas: company recruitment, talent acquisition and retention, workforce development and training, shovelready real estate and tourism. There were 24 members on the steering committee chaired by retired Raytheon Missile Systems executive Steve Eggen. Each focus area had a subcommittee headed by an expert in the field. The report

was released in an online presentation in May. “The best thing that happened is that we had those senior business leaders from both the public and private sector engaged in this,” Eggen said. “These folks are tuned in to what’s going on not only in their businesses, but what’s going on in the community. It became very obvious where we needed to go.” Among the “obvious” were the region’s roads, which are hundreds of millions of dollars behind in needed repair and reconstruction, having an inventory of shovel-ready real estate available to attract new business, and the all-encompassing task of developing a long-term talent pool to support companies that want to come here. But it wasn’t so much the various recommendations coming out of the continued on page 40 >>> www.BizTucson.com


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BizECONOMY continued from page 38 Pivot Playbook to address long-standing issues that impressed those involved. It was that the group of diverse business leaders with their own business agendas so easily came to agreement on what was important for the overall economic health of the region. That collaboration hasn’t always been so easy among business leaders. “I think good begets good and positive energy creates positive energy,” said Judy Rich, current board chair of Sun Corridor Inc. and president and CEO of TMC Healthcare. “We got good news in the middle of a horrible pandemic and we would be wise to take advantage of the good things that are being said by people outside of Tucson. “I really believe that’s why the teams came together. It was not about protecting turf or a political agenda. It was about how do we, in the middle of this horrible pandemic, do the best thing for our region?” “The Pivot Playbook is a shining example of the willingness to collaborate, work together and overcome the impacts COVID-19 has had on our region,” said Adriana Kong Romero, senior VP and Tucson market president for Bank of America which sponsored the project. “With the Pivot Playbook in place and business leaders on board to implement these strategies, we will be in a great position to foster a stronger and more competitive community.” Joe Snell, president and CEO of Sun Corridor Inc. and chair of the Company Recruitment subcommittee, said there was no time to waste when Tucson was being mentioned last spring by national economic development opinion leaders as being in prime position to have one of the quickest recoveries from the pandemic. “We had to work cooperatively across all these industries, across all these players, and we had to move with some urgency and some flexibility,” Snell said. “I feel like we are in such a great position going forward. We’ve got well-thought-out strategies. We know this needs to be a living document.” The Pivot Playbook was introduced to the community on May 20 in an online presentation of a 30-minute video produced by Sun Corridor Inc. The video and the Pivot Playbook document can both be found on the organization website at www.suncorridorinc.com. Now comes the time to put all the ideas and recommendations in the Pivot Playbook to work, Eggen said. “It has very specific focus areas that, even though they’re interlinked in what the outcome can be, each one can be addressed within itself,” Eggen said. “For instance, tourism has a specific action plan to be carried out. It doesn’t rely on what we’re going to be doing over here on workforce development. “And how do you know whether it’s a success? I think we’re going to know it’s a success with how we’re able to bring in companies, how we’re able to retrain the displaced employees and how they do. What Sun Corridor is going to do subsequent to this is put together the right continued on page 42 >>> 40 BizTucson

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BizECONOMY

continued from page 40 metrics so that we know if we’re making progress in the direction we want to go. You can’t do anything without the metrics.”

Sun Corridor Inc. Implementation Recommendations Moving forward, Sun Corridor Inc. will take the lead role in advancing the Pivot Playbook recommendations by:

• • • •

Developing an implementation plan

Enhancing and accelerating communications of key elements. Disseminating the plan to community and business leaders

• •

Establishing success metrics

Interacting with Arizona Department of Transportation and Department of Education about needs that build on our successes in these areas

Monitoring and reviewing actions on a regular basis

Identifying critical partners to be at the table Identifying resources necessary

Involving appropriate partners to facilitate key recommendations

Briefing state and federal elected officials on the plan to demonstrate our unity of purpose and resolve

Visit ThriveinTucson.com powered by Sun Corridor Inc.

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PHOTO BY BRENT G. MATHIS

BizECONOMY

Caterpillar

Raytheon Missiles & Defense

Joe Snell

President & CEO Sun Corridor Inc.

Company Recruitment By Jay Gonzales

THE PIVOT PLAYBOOK – 5 FOCUS AREAS

With the table set by the national rankings that place the Tucson region as a post-COVID destination for companies, the hard work begins now to get them here. Joe Snell, president and CEO at Sun Corridor Inc., knows that the longstanding issues that have to be addressed in Southern Arizona remain no matter what outsiders say about the region’s attributes as a place to be post-COVID. The hope, he said, is that the dialogue generated by the rankings and the Pivot Playbook will accelerate progress on issues such as roads and infrastructure and shovel-ready real estate. Snell said the region had a head start because when the pandemic hit, instead of pulling in its resources to wait it out, Sun Corridor Inc. pushed harder in its marketing efforts to get the word out about the region’s attractiveness. Continuing to aggressively market the region is one of the recommendations in the company recruitment focus area. “I think that strategy helped create a dialogue and a greater awareness among the development community, both internally and externally,” Snell said. The condition of Tucson’s roads and infrastructure is a constant demerit 44 BizTucson

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against the region when companies are taking a look at locating here. It finally has to be addressed, and quickly, Snell said. “You’ve got to prioritize it,” Snell said. “It goes to the heart of our economic well-being. “It’s not just roads. Infrastructure needs to be addressed. You have to have water, sewer, electric and roads all to a site if you’re going to have shovel-ready sites. I think there’s an awareness among the public sector and the private sector that this is a top issue.” In developing the recommendations for the focus area, Snell said the subcommittee began by validating the targeted industries that have been the foundation for Sun Corridor Inc.’s recruitment strategies that came out of the economic blueprint formulated in 2007 and updated in 2014. The four targeted industries in the 2014 Economic Blueprint Update are Aerospace & Defense, Bioscience/ Healthcare, Renewable and Mining Technology and Transportation & Logistics. “We just wanted to make sure that the industries that we’ve been operating with for 15 years were still valid,” Snell said. “I can tell you that we’re pretty

confident that the industries we picked 15 years ago are not only valid, but they’re thriving.” “The second question was, are there any new industries that we need to add because of the pandemic?” Snell said more needs to be done on identifying potential new industries arising from the pandemic and it will be an ongoing process as more economic data from the last year becomes available. One of those is exploring how the region can provide incentives for companies that want to continue to have employees work remotely so they will set up their operations here.

Company Recruitment Recommendations • Capitalize on targeted industries to benefit the region • Aggressively market and brand Tucson and Southern Arizona • Increase inventory of large industrial land parcels and industrial facilities • Prioritize roads and infrastructure • Develop incentives that match the postpandemic landscape www.BizTucson.com


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Amazon

PHOTO BY CHRIS MOONEY

BizECONOMY

GEICO

Alex Horvath

Senior VP & Chief HR Officer TMC HealthCare

IBM

Talent Recruitment & Retention By Jay Gonzales

THE PIVOT PLAYBOOK – 5 FOCUS AREAS

As the Pivot Playbook subcommittee on Talent Recruitment & Retention began its work, Alex Horvath had a good feeling that Southern Arizona was in a position of strength as a destination region for employees from everywhere. What is needed, the subcommittee decided, are strategies to make sure businesses are aware of the region’s attributes and that the business community here addresses the many emerging factors that are drawing employees’ and employers’ attention. “We all really felt after significant discussion and research that Tucson was certainly poised to be a leader to both entice new employees and new organizations to our region,” said Horvath, the subcommittee chair and senior VP and chief human resources officer at TMC HealthCare. “So, No. 1 was making sure that there was extremely strong and no-holds-barred highlighting of Tucson to the nation, to the world, to the region, so that people know we have so much to offer. “No. 2 for us was, with the movement from large metro areas to mid-sized markets like ours, that we have the infrastructure in place.” To that end, the subcommittee is recommending that the business community collaborate to make it as easy 46 BizTucson

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as possible for employees and employers looking to make a move to find the resources they need to make informed decisions about relocation – and then to have easy access to support once they’re here. The primary piece of that effort is to develop a so-called “one-stop shop” or portal where employees and employers looking at the Tucson region get information on issues such as quality of life, education, key industries that are strong here and opportunities for dual-career families. Young professionals coming out of Arizona’s institutions of higher learning are perceived to frequently be looking for reasons to leave the region rather than looking for reasons to stay. The committee is recommending developing resources in that portal for young professionals to get to that information easily and to convince them that Tucson has something for them. “That was a great discussion for our team and there were a couple of keys,” Horvath said. “One was making sure that there is a connection to the support organizations for young professionals who are seeking new opportunities and that we connect them to those opportunities. “The other part is making sure there

are mentoring programs and a connection to the people that are already established in the community, especially younger people in their 30s and 40s who can connect to those younger graduates so that they can see that it is really a positive if they stay here. There are jobs. There’s upward mobility. There’s the ability to have a great life.” ThriveinTucson.com is live and is being promoted by a social media campaign. “Our young people are all about the social media piece,” Horvath said. “We as employers want to put resources into that because it serves us and it serves the community.”

Talent Recruitment & Retention Recommendations • Leverage current trend toward moving to mid-sized markets such as Tucson • Develop an on-line talent portal – ThriveinTucson.com • Demonstrate Tucson’s strengths for young professionals • Create business/community support for dual-career families www.BizTucson.com


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PHOTO BY BRENT G. MATHIS

BizECONOMY

Lee Lambert

PHOTO BY BRENT G. MATHIS

Chancellor Pima Community College

Workforce Development & Training By Jay Gonzales

THE PIVOT PLAYBOOK – 5 FOCUS AREAS

As it became apparent that the COVID-19 pandemic’s affect on jobs was going to require a recovery plan, Pima Community College Chancellor Lee Lambert was fielding invitations to get help on the way for displaced workers. One of the first came from Sun Corridor Inc. which asked him to chair a workforce development subcommittee on the COVID-19 Recovery and Response Steering Committee. Not long after, Lambert was asked to lend a hand to a national recovery effort. Both efforts had the same overall objective – figure out how to get the millions of displaced and affected workers into new jobs with new skills. “The Sun Corridor request was actually ahead of what was happening on a national level,” Lambert said. “Not too long after, the National Governor’s Association in partnership with the American Association of Community Colleges decided to pull together a re-skilling and recovery network. The interesting thing is much of the work that was happening across the country really aligned well with what we were looking to do here in our region.” A necessary first step, Lambert said, is to identify who are the workers that are 48 BizTucson

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losing their jobs because of pandemic and other factors, and then begin to determine the opportunities for massive re-skilling and re-training efforts, and how they are going to get it done. “A big part of that is really starting to develop a better assessment of displaced workers or folks who need to be re-skilled or upskilled especially as a result of the pandemic,” he said. “We’ve got to assess where that individual is to make sure we’re putting them on the right path.” As the assessment goes on, Lambert said, workers will fall into one of three categories: those who need “a little brush-up” because they have transferable skills but need a few more skills to get a new job in a new, more stable field; those who can be re-skilled or upskilled within six months; those who might need to get into school and will need support for a longer period of time. “We’ve got to know which one are you and then be able to support you better through that process,” Lambert said. “I’m hoping most individuals will fall in that middle group because then we can move them a little quicker.” Rapid advancements in automation will make this effort more than a re-

sponse to the pandemic. Workers in jobs that are being automated will need support for the long term to get new jobs and new skills for the future. “Even pre-pandemic, we knew the areas that were going to be impacted,” Lambert said. The University of Arizona “was already projecting that about 40% of individuals would be impacted by automation. So then the pandemic comes and all it did was accelerate this reality.”

Workforce Development & Training Recommendations • Support the establishment of a Southern Arizona technology and innovation workforce development fund • Prioritize and scale up micro-pathways • Expand CTE dual credit enrollment cap to increase early college participation • Increase work-based learning and apprenticeship opportunities • Expand IET models in adult education • Design for Industry 4.0 www.BizTucson.com


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BizECONOMY

Chuck Huckelberry

PHOTO BY BRENT G. MATHIS

Pima County Administrator

Shovel Ready & Real Estate By Jay Gonzales

THE PIVOT PLAYBOOK – 5 FOCUS AREAS

Chuck Huckelberry has pretty good sense of a real estate owner’s definition of a “shovel-ready” property. “If you ask someone who owns a piece of property, it’s always shovelready,” said Huckelberry, the Pima County Administrator since 1993. “The issue is, how do you distinguish between actual shovel-ready and reality? What are the ranges of shovel-ready? What is the array of shovel-ready that you need to provide a full array of opportunities?” Those are the multi-million-dollar questions that need to be answered for the Tucson region to be in a position to attract major businesses looking for real estate which can lead to bringing highpaying and stable jobs to the area in the post-COVID environment. They are the questions that members of the subcommittee on Shovel Ready & Real Estate Offerings in the Pivot Playbook felt needed to be addressed so that any dialogue on the issue could proceed with clarity and understanding of what needs to get done to develop an inventory of real estate for companies looking at the region. “Economic development is a competition,” Huckelberry said. “The array of 50 BizTucson

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different shovel-ready opportunities you have demonstrates that you’re actually paying attention to market forces. And it also shows you’re trying to fit specific needs that may vary dramatically among either expanding companies or relocating companies.” Joe Snell, president and CEO at Sun Corridor Inc., has said that there was barely a flinch in the number of prospects coming into the organization during the pandemic. In fact, business was so good, it put a spotlight on the region’s lack of large, shovel-ready real estate inventory to accommodate the number of companies looking at Tucson. “As we started this dialogue,” Snell said, “there was a board member that called me and said, ‘I didn’t know this was such a challenge for us.’ ” The subcommittee’s work became a task of defining the various levels of shovel-ready real estate, figuring ways to close the wide gap between the inventory of property needed and the inventory available, and then establishing a way to market property to companies who are searching. Simple concepts, but complicated for a number of reasons, Huckelberry said.

The shovel-ready real estate focus area in the Pivot Playbook lays out various definitions of “shovel-ready” from bare land with no infrastructure up to properties with fully functional industrial buildings that are looking for tenants. One of the long-standing challenges in the region, though, is piecing together parcels that are side-by-side with multiple owners to create large parcels that can be marketed as ready for a company to purchase or lease to locate a work site. “This is all a continuous pipeline,” Huckelberry said. “You’ve got to have the full array of options available. It’s really important that there be very close coordination among local governments, utilities and the people who build infrastructure to bring a job center online.”

Shovel Ready & Real Estate Offerings Recommendations • Further identify shovel-ready sites • Evaluate gaps and determine what investments are needed • Strategically market shovel-ready sites www.BizTucson.com


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PHOTO BY BRENT G. MATHIS

BizECONOMY

Brent DeRaad

PHOTO BY BRENT G. MATHIS

President & CEO Visit Tucson

Tourism Recovery By Jay Gonzales

THE PIVOT PLAYBOOK – 5 FOCUS AREAS

Tourism in Tucson drew the short straw to arguably be the industry that had the swiftest impact from the COVID-19 pandemic and to be the industry that took the hardest economic hit. Because of that, it was the one major industry that had its own focus area in the Pivot Playbook. Brent DeRaad, president and CEO of Visit Tucson, said he just appreciates the attention the industry is receiving as a key component of the region’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. “What I really appreciated was just the look from people who may not be thinking about tourism everyday with some of their questions, their thoughts, their suggestions,” DeRaad said. “That helped us in a big way, just trying to take a look at the travel product in particular, and maybe what role we at Visit Tucson can play out there as well.” The work to get tourism back to preCOVID levels will take years and has many layers, DeRaad said, from the obvious task of getting Tucson back in the tourism pipeline for visitors, meetings and events, to more complicated issues like dealing with a talent shortage since so many workers in the industry left for 52 BizTucson

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jobs in other fields they consider more stable and less sensitive to the ongoing issues related to the pandemic. At the top of the tourism focus area’s subcommittee recommendations is just developing community support for the many tourism businesses that have been taking a beating during the pandemic. Restaurants closed and the momentum that had been generated for Downtown Tucson businesses took a huge hit. At Visit Tucson, funding during 2020 dropped from more than $10 million to around $7.2 million because of a drop in the tourism tax revenue that supports the organization. “We’re going to try to get back as quickly as we can just so that we can compete against the other cities and regions out there,” DeRaad said. He added that there needs to be a focus on getting back the businesses that have made Tucson a tourism destination and there has to be investment in other quality-of-life issues beyond tourism. Then there has to be a concerted effort to get the word out through marketing and promotion. “We just want to ensure that the Tucson that people know and love – to the

extent possible – that we can bring that same experience to those visitors when they come back,” DeRaad said. “It’s just incumbent upon Visit Tucson to take a role in trying to partner with the city, the county, the business community, the private sector to just take a look at how we make Tucson a better place, because the more people that move here and want to raise their families here, it means better schools, more tax revenue, and it just means a better overall community.

Tourism Recovery Recommendations • Help tourism industry businesses • Invest in quality-of-life initiatives • Support funding for tourism marketing, promotion and sales • Vaccinate U.S. residents as quickly as possible • Support opening the U.S. borders with Mexico and Canada • Assist Tucson Airport Authority by flying TUS www.BizTucson.com


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100 1

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1) Diane Marzione, President of T.A.R., and Randy Rogers, CEO of T.A.R. 2) Capt. Josh Campbell of the Tucson Fire Department

Tucson Association of Realtors Celebrates 100 Years Committed to Strengthening Community By Tom Leyde The Tucson Association of Realtors celebrated its 100th anniversary on the date of its founding, April 27, at the group’s building on Tucson Boulevard. A century from its origin in 1921, TAR is the largest trade association in Southern Arizona. It has 6,500 members involved in the sale, lease, appraisal and development of residential and commercial properties. It also is involved in the mortgage and lending industry. “Realtors know that the work we do is important to strengthening our com54 BizTucson

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munity,” said Randy Rogers, TAR’s CEO. “What a huge milestone for the association. I’m proud to be a part of it.” The day began with a press conference, followed with a drive-through event with more than 300 members who picked up goodies bags and celebrated this milestone day. The Pima County Board of Supervisors marked the occasion by reading a proclamation. A purple ribbon was cut to celebrate the anniversary and to usher the group into its next century. Diane Marzonie,

TAR’s president, and Judy Lowe, commissioner of the Arizona Department of Real Estate, did the honors. As a guest speaker, Lowe said the accomplishments of TAR are amazing. “Realtors are a pillar of every community in Tucson, Arizona, the United States and the world,” she said. Lowe added that one of her toughest decisions was giving up her Realtor’s license, a move required for her to serve on the Arizona Department of Real Estate. She said Realtors are not only prowww.BizTucson.com


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PHOTOS COURTESY THE TUCSON ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS

3) Maj. Gen. Ted Maxwell (Ret), President & CEO of SALC 4) Nikki Halle of the Diane and Bruce Halle Foundation 5) Peggy Hutchison, CEO of Primavera.

fessionals – they are miracle workers. “The real work is pulling the strings of the miracle of the (sale) closing and making friends for life with the customers.” Lowe challenged Realtors to do it – complete real estate transactions – the right way. “And the Arizona way is the right way,” she said. Ret. Major Gen. Ted Maxwell, former commander of the Arizona Air National Guard, pointed out that TAR does more than deal in real estate. As president and CEO of the Southern Arizona Leadership Council, he has high regard for TAR. “TAR is in the engagement of making our community a better place to live,” he said. “They take a stand and they get involved.” TAR, he said, has played a large role in the passage of local and state propositions aimed at improving the community. It also makes political endorsements and takes a stand against propositions it feels would be a detriment to the community. “Congratulations,” Maxwell said. “One hundred years is one heck of an achievement.” Former Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild said members of TAR are a diverse group. “It’s a group that spends www.BizTucson.com

its day talking to the community. TAR is a group that has the pulse of the community.” He said TAR has helped the city pass initiatives to raise property taxes to improve such areas as parks and policing. “That support was game changing,” he said.

TAR is a group that has the pulse of the community. Jonathan Rothschild, Former Tucson Mayor

One of the initiatives that TAR worked to pass was Proposition 101, which increased sales taxes. That sale tax increase, said Capt. Josh Campbell of the Tucson Fire Department, helped the department buy new fire trucks and other safety equipment. The department also was able to remodel Station 11 at 4075 E. Timrod St. There is yet another side to TAR –

raising funds for nonprofit organizations. In the past 10 years TAR raised $250,000 for nonprofits, said Denise King, president of the TAR Charitable Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization. The foundation has launched a $100 for 100 Years Challenge. Donations will benefit the Arizona Housing Fund, Habitat for Humanity, The Hearth Foundation, JobPath and the TAR Charitable Foundation. Details are available at www.tucsonrealtors. org/trcf. Another charitable group associated with TAR is Primavera, whose motto is “providing pathways out of poverty.” Primavera has several housing programs for needy individuals. “I’d like to thank all (TAR) members,” said Peggy Hutchison, CEO of Primavera. “There is no smarter thing for someone to invest in than a house.” TAR members help Primavera clients purchase homes and educate them about real estate. On that note, Nikki Halle of the Diane and Bruce Halle Foundation announced that the foundation is launching a $100,000 matching grant fundraiser for Primavera, challenging TAR members to donate and increase that amount.

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BizPEOPLE

Carmala Garzione Named UArizona College of Science Dean Carmala N. Garzione joins the University of Arizona as the dean of the College of Science. In her role, Garzione will lead the development and implementation of a broad strategic vision for growing the college’s programs. A distinguished earth scientist, Garzione earned a doctorate in geosciences from the University of Arizona. Her research interests include the interaction between climate and tectonics, stable isotopes in terrestrial paleoclimate-paleoenvironmental studies and sedimentary basin evolution and tectonic history of mountain belts. She was a pioneer of methods to estimate the past elevations of mountain belts, which have allowed scientists to understand the time frames and geodynamic processes that build mountains and the role that such belts play in the evolution of regional and global climate. Her research focuses on the interface between the tectonics and climate systems in the Andes and the Himalaya-Tibetan mountain belts. In 2020, the Society for Sedimentary Geology awarded Garzione the Dickinson Medal for a mid-career scientist whose research contributed to major shifts in scientific thinking. In 2016, she was named the Helen F. and Fred H. Gowen Endowed Professor at the University of Rochester. Her work in teaching earned her the Goergen Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching at the University of Rochester. Garzione joins the University of Arizona from the Rochester Institute of Technology, where she served as associate provost for faculty affairs and was responsible for developing policies to support faculty recruitment, onboarding, promotion and tenure, and retention.

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BizHEALTHCARE

Clockwise from top left: Dr. Emmanuel Katsanis, chief of the Tucson-Phoenix Integrated Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and director of the Banner/University of Arizona Cancer Center Hematopoietic Cellular Therapy and Transplant Program; Dr. Chad Whelan, CEO, Banner - University Medicine Tucson; Adia Barnes, Head Coach, University of Arizona Women’s Basketball

Diamond Children’s Cancer Center

New $3 Million Clinic Opens for Specialized Care By Loni Nannini Banner Health recently provided a life-changing infusion for pediatric cancer patients and their families: a $3 million investment in Diamond Children’s Cancer Center, a state-of-the-art outpatient clinic that opened in April. The clinic offers a hospital-based hub featuring comprehensive care and therapies for children undergoing treatments for cancer, blood disorders and other serious diseases. The 7,600-square-foot space is located adjacent to Diamond Children’s Hospital. 58 BizTucson

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“Our vision across all of Banner is to bring comprehensive care to patients whenever possible rather than asking patients to go to multiple places to receive the complex care they need, and this clinic is designed to do just that,” said Dr. Chad Whelan, CEO of Banner - University Medicine Tucson. That vision is implemented through leading-edge care for kids and young adults up to age 29, said Dr. Emmanuel Katsanis, chief of the Tucson-Phoenix Integrated Division of Pediatric Hema-

tology/Oncology and director of the Banner/University of Arizona Cancer Center Hematopoietic Cellular Therapy and Transplant Program. “A few years ago when the new hospital was built by Banner, some of our families spoke up and said they needed a clinic,” Katsanis said. “Even though there was no space, Banner listened and, somehow, a space that used to be a gym has become a beautiful new clinic. Now, we have the only pediatric oncolcontinued on page 60 >>> www.BizTucson.com


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BizHEALTHCARE continued from page 58 ogy clinic in Southern Arizona, which is attached to Diamond Children’s where we treat our inpatients.” Regimens for children undergoing cancer treatments are more intensive than adult protocols and can frequently result in hospitalizations. Many patients also experience suppressed immune systems and resulting infections that can require inpatient care. The hospital offers a blood bank for transfusions and the equipment and specialists required for complex bone-marrow transplants. The new clinic sees an average of 30 patients daily and features both semiprivate and private transfusion and procedure rooms with custom-designed recliners and televisions “to make what can be very long, hard days just a little easier,” Whelan said. Also offered are private exam rooms, kid-sized furnishings, gaming systems and administrative offices. The welcoming atmosphere is highlighted by colors and shapes. A vibrant 900-square-foot outdoor mural by Tucson artist Joe

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Our vision across all of Banner is to bring comprehensive care to patients whenever possible rather than asking patients to go to multiple places to receive the complex care they need, and this clinic is designed to do just that.

Dr. Chad Whelan CEO Banner - University Medicine Tucson –

Pagac is visible from many of the spaces. The mural was coordinated by DPR Construction, the general contractor on the Cancer Center, and Matt Thrower, DPR’s project executive. The ability to offer specialized cancer care and access to clinical trials in the technically advanced, kid-friendly space is a dream come true for Katsanis, who has overseen growth of the hematology/oncology program since 1997. In the past two decades, it has evolved from shared space in the general pediatric ward to an entity that provides state-of-the-art pediatric hematology and oncology services, infusion therapy, immunotherapies and groundbreaking pediatric hematopoietic transplant and cell therapies. Under his direction, the cancer center has also garnered a national reputation for its pediatric haploidentical bone marrow transplant program. A haploidentical – or “half-matched” – transplant is a partial match attained most often from a parent, while a full match can possibly be found from a sibling or unrelated donor registry. Kat-

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sanis said chances of finding a full match from the registry are close to 80% for those of white or Northern European backgrounds. They drop to 45% for Native Americans, 35 to 40% for people of Hispanic descent, and less than 20% for African Americans. The center has now performed close to 50 pediatric haplo-bone marrow transplants with the best outcomes in the nation. “Our survival rates are greater than 90% and equivalent to matched sibling transplants. While our outcomes are excellent, haplo-BMTs are complex and, therefore, should be performed in centers with experience such as ours,” he said. Katsanis also spearheaded a collaboration between Diamond Children’s Cancer Center, Banner Children’s at Thunderbird in Glendale and Banner Children’s at Desert in Mesa. The fully integrated division includes 10 pediatric hematology-oncology physicians and 10 pediatric oncology nurse practitioners who work with pa-

tients and families and provide services that include stem cell transplantation, CAR-T cell therapies and other immunotherapies. The integration of the Banner facilities with the implementation of Phase I, II and III clinical trials through the Children’s Oncology Group and Pediatric Transplantation and Cell Therapy Consortium and the University of Ari-

zona Cancer Center opens up additional opportunities for patients. “We have the only pediatric hematology-oncology and hematopoietic cell therapy and transplant program in Southern Arizona,” Katsanis said. “We continue to get referrals from outside of Tucson and even from out of state.”  DPR Construction was the General Contractor for this project.

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BizAWARDS

By Tara Kirkpatrick BizTucson Magazine is proud to announce its inaugural Women Leading the Region awards, honoring the women who are guiding Southern Arizona toward greatness. In the fields of medicine, technology, energy, communications, business, commercial real estate, aviation, government and sports, these women have powered the region through the COVID-19 pandemic, brought profitability, innovation and

excellence to their companies and organizations, and are leading the way toward an exciting future for our urban desert. Our sincere gratitude goes to Gadabout SalonSpas, who provided hair and makeup services for the honorees. Women Leading the Region will now be an annual recognition featured in our quarterly publication, online and in our bi-weekly newsletter. continued on page 68 >>>

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Head Coach, University of Arizona Women’s Basketball By Tara Kirkpatrick Even before stepping on the court in the NCAA Women’s Basketball National Championship game, Adia Barnes had already won the Final Four weekend. UArizona’s fiercely authentic, engaging women’s basketball coach was heralded for her honesty about being up early changing diapers, pumping breast milk for her baby daughter at halftime and doing all the necessary things moms do while under the most intense spotlight of her career. “I think you just figure it out,” said Barnes, a Pac-10 Player of the Year while playing at Arizona and a WNBA champion. “That’s what women have always done. You just figure it out and you do the best you can. I am blessed to be a mom.” Barnes, now in her sixth year as head coach, has made history at UArizona and brought the region back to elite sports status after coaching her unstoppable team to its first-ever Final Four win over traditional power Connecticut against everyone’s odds. After ESPN’s Holly Rowe publicly lauded Barnes’ perseverance as a mom and coach, the world has taken notice. The ensuing media attention has included an NBC special featuring Barnes as one of three trailblazing women in sports today and a Mother’s Day segment on ESPN2. “Women need to stop being an afterthought and start being celebrated and supported,” she said. Looking ahead, Barnes is committed to building a national championship program here and just landed a five-year, $5.85 million new contract. “I think a lot of people counted us out and thought we got lucky,” she said. “I am in pursuit of getting us back there. Now, we are hungry.” Her “Leave a Legacy” message has definitely taken root with her players. “You’ve got to love the process. The process is good. Sometimes there is adversity, but you grow in uncomfortable times,” she said. “I am incredibly proud of the job Adia has done building Arizona women’s basketball into a household name in college basketball,” said UArizona Athletic Director Dave Heeke. “The team’s run to the national championship game of the NCAA Tournament was a memorable and powerful display of what the Wildcat Way stands for and can achieve.” “We are thrilled that she will be with us for years to come, and we have no doubt that the young women in her program will continue to proudly represent our university, the athletics department and the community,” Heeke said. “Adia’s leadership, enthusiasm and compassion as a coach, mentor and a Wildcat is unrivaled.”

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DANETTE BEWLEY President & CEO Tucson Airport Authority

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By Tara Kirkpatrick

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At a pivotal moment for the Tucson International Airport, as it emerges from the pandemic and embraces a new future with a new runway, a leader with aviation in her DNA is at the helm. Danette Bewley, the daughter of a fighter pilot and a flight attendant, is taking the Tucson Airport Authority to new heights. “Danette is from a fighter pilot family and that truly sums up who she is,” said Lisa Lovallo, chair of the TAA board of directors when Bewley was appointed CEO in 2019. “She is so focused and sharp as a whip, but also very caring about people.” The airport, known as TUS, lost more than half its passenger traffic in 2020 because of COVID-19, but it used the time to enhance its safety profile, adding myriad touchless upgrades and sanitization procedures. That earned the airport a coveted Star Accreditation from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council. “TUS was the fifth airport in the world to earn the coveted GBAC Star Accreditation,” Bewley said. “Because of the many successes, TUS is often called by other airports for guidance and assistance in touchless innovation and sanitation processes.” “Also, I must mention the amazing relationship we have with the eight airline partners serving the Southern Arizona region. During the pandemic we struggled together, we supported each other, and we are stronger for it. Now, we are on a path to recovery of air service.” The airport is poised to further bolster its safety profile with the addition of a new parallel runway. The complex project, which broke ground in October, demolishes a runway that was used only by general aviation aircraft and reconstructs it to Federal Aviation Administration standards to serve all types of aircraft. It also adds a center taxiway between the runways. “A project like this does not happen without close coordination and support by many stakeholders and federal and state agencies, who provide grant funding, and congressional representatives, who provide support,” she said. Bewley’s focus continues to be on safety, security and customer service. After more than 32 years serving airports in regions such as Reno-Tahoe, Nev.; Jacksonville, Fla.; and San Diego, she is ready to make Tucson her final destination. “I have lived and worked on both coasts and in different cities, and this is the region I plan to retire in.”

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Head Roche Tissue Diagnostics By Tara Kirkpatrick At Roche Tissue Diagnostics, Jill German oversees a groundbreaking team that is ensuring cancer care is no longer a one-sizefits-all approach. “As the science behind cancer biology grows exponentially, we are revolutionizing the way in which cancer is diagnosed,” said German, who heads the bioscience company in Oro Valley. “Last year, our tests and technologies impacted the lives of more than 27 million patients around the world.” Roche Tissue Diagnostics is the leading global supplier of tissuebased cancer diagnostics to the pathology market, providing more than 250 biopsy-based cancer tests and associated instruments. “I am incredibly inspired by the Roche Tissue Diagnostics team,” German said. “From cancer researchers and engineers to pathologists, manufacturing experts, business professionals, support teams and so much more, some of the brightest minds locally and internationally are drawn to our company by our vision – innovating diagnostics, shaping healthcare, changing lives.” Just this year, Roche received FDA approval for the first companion diagnostic to identify endometrial cancer patients eligible for immunotherapy – another important step toward personalizing therapies. “Through our innovations and advances, our goal is to help patients live longer, healthier lives and ultimately help provide cancer cures,” said German. “I lost my grandmother and stepfather to cancer several years ago, and with each of our testing advancements, I anticipate a future where our loved ones live longer, healthier lives.” Growing up on an Indiana farm, German was an athlete who initially wanted to study sports medicine. But after a pivotal summer job at Roche, the Purdue University student was hooked. She began her career with Roche Applied Science and has since amassed more than 20 years in commercial and operational leadership. “I first met Jill when she was new in her career, selling antibodies to companies like ours, so it’s wonderful to see her come full circle,” said Dr. Thomas Grogan, the pathologist who founded Ventana Medical Systems here, which Roche acquired in 2008. “Jill is a truly excellent leader based on her strong capabilities, her inclusivity and the fun she brings to the business. In a complex industry Jill leads with clarity and vision.” “We are thrilled to be part of the Tucson community, with close ties to the University of Arizona, Pima Community College and K-12 schools,” German said. “We serve on local boards and take part in philanthropic work. Nearly 40 percent of our Oro Valley and Marana colleagues actively support their local communities, making the region a better place to live and work.”

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SUSAN GRAY

President & CEO Tucson Electric Power – UniSource Energy

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By Tara Kirkpatrick

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When Susan Gray started working in Tucson Electric Power’s male-dominated operations group, her coworkers called her “the girl.” But now they call her President and CEO - the first woman ever to lead the 129-year-old company. The longtime Tucsonan and former University of Arizona swimmer – one of just a few young women in her college electrical engineering classes – has risen steadily through the TEP ranks from intern to CEO and is now working to usher in an exciting new era of clean energy for the region. “Susan’s potential was obvious even during her earliest days at TEP,” said David Hutchens, CEO of TEP’s parent company, Fortis, and Gray’s predecessor. “She came prepared, learned quickly and never settled for just doing things the way they’ve always been done. She helped make sure our 129-year-old utility company was ready for a new century of service to Southern Arizona.” “I had a lot of people pour confidence into me when I was growing up,” said Gray. “I believed I could do anything and that the only limiting factor was my own belief in what I could do.” She now hopes to inspire the next generation of women to follow, starting right inside TEP. Gray co-founded Women in Energy, a leadership development program to inspire and equip women to be successful. “We’re continuously working to bring this support not just to women, but to the men who work alongside us,” she said. “As I was considering starting this resource group at our company back in 2015, I heard from one employee that she was never invited to go to lunch with the men in her department,” Gray recalled. “They’d talk shop over lunch and when they all convened for a meeting later that day, the path forward was already decided. My gender wasn’t a barrier I couldn’t overcome, but as I heard these stories, it became clear that not all women were having my same experience.” Gray values listening as the gateway to effective leadership. “At its core, listening is about discovery, which is critical as our industry navigates dynamic change and drives innovation. Sometimes leaders think they have to have the best ideas, but more often than not, the best solutions come from the collective whole working together to create better outcomes. This value has really begun to permeate our organization.” Hutchens couldn’t agree more. “She listens, collaborates and makes sure that everyone feels connected to our vision and mission, which helps her get the most out of our team and produce great results.”

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Author – President Daisy Jenkins & Associates By Tara Kirkpatrick The first woman of color to serve as a VP at Raytheon and its first director of global diversity, Daisy Jenkins knows a few things about thriving in the workplace. “I was continuously under the microscope knowing that my professional performance and achievements helped lay the foundation for the inclusion of more women and people of color into the leadership pipeline,” said the now author, speaker and president of her consulting firm, Daisy Jenkins & Associates. “Of utmost importance to me was lifting others up along the way, sharing my lessons learned and helping to create equity and inclusion long before it was on the corporate radar,” she said. Starting as a clerk at then-Hughes Aircraft Co., Jenkins climbed the ranks to VP of human resources at what is now Raytheon Missiles & Defense. She served the company for 29 years before working at Carondelet Health Network as its chief HR and administrative officer from 2010 to 2013. A respected authority on workplace issues, her recent views on leadership have been influenced by the COVID-19 crisis. “It’s not enough for leaders to only pay attention to the bottom line,” she said. “There are issues and opportunities around optimizing technology, demonstrating innovative communication, retaining women in the workplace, addressing mental health needs and promoting a culture that embraces the well-being of all employees.” The 2007 Tucson Woman of the Year and a Phenomenal Woman of the Year by the University of Arizona Black Alumni Association, Jenkins has written three books and for publications such as Huffington Post and Ebony magazine. Once a part of the Wildcat Mentor Society at the University of Arizona, she continues to mentor students, professionals and leaders across the nation. She is also a UArizona Foundation Board Trustee. Jenkins credits her husband of 54 years, Fred Jenkins, Jr., for always being her biggest supporter. Tony Penn, president and CEO of United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona, praised Jenkins’ extensive service on its board, as a former board chair, as a master of ceremonies at events and working with the agency’s leadership council for older adults. “Daisy’s commitment to all facets of our work, across the entire life cycle, has significantly contributed to our growth, stability, innovation and ability to impact more than 200,000 children, families and seniors annually,” said Penn. “On a personal note, Daisy’s support and investment in community has also been an inspiration to me, and helped to make this some of the greatest work of my career.”

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ADRIANA KONG ROMERO President Bank of America Tucson

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By Tara Kirkpatrick

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As a child of educators, Adriana Kong Romero first saw the potential to change lives through a banking internship while she was a Douglas High School student. Now, as both the president of Bank of America Tucson and the Global Banking and Markets West region market executive, that experience and drive to help others remains her inspiration. “To play a role in helping a client realize and plan their financial goals – buying their first home, saving for their children’s college or assisting a small business – is what inspired me back then,” said Kong Romero. “It still inspires me today as I continue connecting our clients to the wide range of Bank of America’s capabilities to help them achieve their goals and economic opportunity.” After high school, Kong Romero worked as a bank teller while studying finance at the University of Arizona. When she was named market president of Bank of America at age 35, she was one of the youngest to achieve that position at the multinational bank. “I love working for a company that invests in diversity and women,” said Kong Romero, noting that half of the bank’s workforce is female. “The bank invests in women within our company and in our communities by focusing on being a great place to work for our female employees, making the financial lives of our female clients better, and advancing the economic empowerment of women around the world.” Kong Romero is the region’s enterprise leader, helping local companies achieve their goals and promoting economic mobility in the community – missions that became supremely tested this past year by the pandemic, protests over racial justice, and civil unrest. “We navigated through this by helping our teammates, communities and clients manage through uncertainty by accelerating our efforts to support racial equality and economic opportunity,” she said. “Across Arizona, we donated nearly 100,000 articles of PPE (personal protection equipment) and hand sanitizer to local nonprofits and agencies, and directed $5.5 million in philanthropic support with a focus on reaching our hardest hit communities of color.” That support included a $1 million award to Pima Community College to help students of color complete the education and training needed to enter the local workforce, addressing skills gaps and underlying issues that have caused barriers to success. “Adriana’s expertise and enthusiasm have been instrumental in the success of our collaboration with Bank of America to close critical skills gaps, and move the bar on graduation and workforce success for our learners of color,” said PCC Chancellor Lee Lambert.

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Chief Deputy County Administrator Pima County By Tara Kirkpatrick One of Jan Lesher’s former employers once remarked that any taxpayer dollars used to pay her salary amounted to money wellspent. That employer was Janet Napolitano, former Arizona governor and secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Napolitano, whom Lesher once served as chief of staff, is one of many fans of Pima County’s chief deputy administrator. Here’s another one: Betsy Bolding, longtime consumer affairs director for Tucson Electric Power, a former journalism teacher and once director of former Gov. Bruce Babbitt’s Tucson office. “From her earliest days – debate team at Tucson High School – to today, Jan Lesher has enhanced her environment, workplace or otherwise, with high-level ideas, innovation, management skills and perfection,” Bolding said. “Always smart, quick and oftentimes with humor, she adds thoughtful quality and excellence to everything she touches.” Lesher, a native Tucsonan and Tucson Woman of the Year in 2005, is an ardent steward of the region. As chief deputy administrator, she works tirelessly for the state’s second most-populous county – a job with tremendous challenges this past year alone in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. “I learned that the phrase ‘we don’t do it that way’ can safely be removed from everyone’s vocabulary,” said Lesher. “I’ve always felt that predictability is important and that part of our role as leaders is to provide stability. The challenge was to find ways to continually provide accurate and up-to-date information and to explain how things were changing.” But even before the pandemic, Lesher has been devoted to bettering the community where she was born and raised. In one of many examples, she helped turn around the Pima Animal Care Center, a county agency once known as “animal control.” It once had a live release rate of 49%. Today, the live release rate is above 90%. “I knew that this community cared greatly for our pets, yet we were euthanizing animals at a rate that didn’t reflect our standards,” Lesher said. “And that’s what drew my interest. Staff did our homework and went to the public and the Board of Supervisors, asking for their support and trust as we added significant staff positions, built a new facility and modified standards of care.” Lesher always has the end goal in mind and values the teachable moments. “Your ability to lead and make good decisions often comes from the lessons learned when, in retrospect, you might have made a bad decision.”

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LISA LOVALLO

Market Vice President Southern Arizona Cox Communications

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By Tara Kirkpatrick

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In the game of life, Lisa Lovallo has always been a fierce competitor. From her days as a University of Arizona basketball player and student body VP, to now leading Cox Communications and serving on myriad corporate and nonprofit boards, Lovallo attributes her tenacity and work ethic to a high level of intellectual curiosity. “I can sit in a Zoom meeting and I feel like every single person I touch base with, I can learn something from,” said Cox’s Market VP for Southern Arizona. “It’s the same in my personal endeavors. I don’t just garden, I harvest seeds. I have a greenhouse. I try to take it to a different level of learning.” Lovallo credits this region and the caliber of its people for pushing her to be her best. “What keeps me in Tucson and why I love it so much are the relationships I have built across different communities, from elected officials to nonprofits,” she said. “There are a lot of people here who have your back. They are going to pull me aside and give me a talking to if I need it. They want you to succeed.” She joined Cox in 2008 after working for Procter & Gamble in Los Angeles and after many years running her own global import/ export food company. She also taught at the Eller College of Management and was the director of student advancement and development in UArizona’s Division of Student Affairs. The Tucson native’s contributions to the region are numerous, including serving on the Chairman’s Circle for Sun Corridor Inc., Southern Arizona’s economic engine. During her tenure, the blueprints that are modernizing this region have been created, including an expansion plan for commercial development along the Tucson International Airport corridor. Lovallo helmed the steering committee for the ambitious vision. “Lisa has helped move our community into the future through her leadership,” said Joe Snell, Sun Corridor Inc. president and CEO. “Whether it is working with Sun Corridor, the Tucson regional airport or the zoo, her contributions will be felt for years to come.” Lovallo was named Tucson’s Woman of the Year in 2010, and just three years later, became the first female chair of the Southern Arizona Leadership Council. She has also chaired the Tucson Airport Authority board of directors and served on at least 10 other corporate and nonprofit boards over the years. “What I’ve learned is that it’s most important to be your authentic self as a leader,” said Lovallo. “It’s a way of creating trust with others. You’ve got to have courage to be your authentic self. It’s especially difficult for women – but I feel that younger generations are getting better and better at it.

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President & CEO Cushman & Wakefield | PICOR By Tara Kirkpatrick Barbi Reuter found her drive at an early age. A self-described “happy product of public schools and a grateful recipient of subsidized lunch,” Reuter now leads one of the region’s top commercial real estate firms and is poised to take on an even larger leadership role. “While I might have dreamed about moving away, opportunity knocked and I became part of something that opened doors and lit my fire,” said the president and CEO of Cushman & Wakefield | PICOR. She began working there during her first year in college and soon launched a management services practice for the company. Reuter then climbed the ranks to COO, president and eventually CEO in 2020. In total, she has amassed three decades in property management. “The work we do in commercial real estate is tightly linked to job creation, economic prosperity and community well-being,” she said. “With her energetic leadership as CEO and president of CW|PICOR, we just experienced our most successful year in our 35-year history,” said Mike Hammond, founder and principal of PICOR Commercial Real Estate Services. “Considering how tumultuous 2020 was, that is a remarkable achievement, but why am I not surprised!” Reuter is a past chair of the Tucson Metro Chamber and Tucson’s Woman of the Year in 2019. She is a founding member of the Tucson chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women, an association for women in the real estate field that focuses on networking, education and advancement. Earlier this year, she was elected to CREW’s global board of directors and in 2022, will be the first Tucsonan to serve as president of the 12,000-member organization. “This global board leadership role is one I couldn’t have imagined several years ago, and I wouldn’t have been ready for it,” Reuter said. “It’s a career honor to serve with and for a group of leaders I admire and respect, advancing a mission that positively impacts women’s careers and lives.” Reuter is a passionate advocate for women in the workplace. “If you don’t ask, you don’t get,” she said. “This is especially important for women. We think when we excel, our accomplishments will be recognized, but it’s not always the case that someone taps us on the shoulder. “I coach young women that they deserve a literal and figurative seat at the table and urge both men and women to be allies for others, calling them ‘in’ rather than ‘out.’ Be a servant leader and a ‘go giver,’” she said.

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JUDY RICH

President & CEO TMC HealthCare

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By Tara Kirkpatrick

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Before she took the helm of Tucson Medical Center, Judy Rich helped architect a complete financial turnaround for the hospital, taking it from nearly $11 million in the red in 2007 to a surplus. A registered nurse who became executive hospital administrator, Rich helped achieve the crucial turnaround in 2008 with shrewd staff cuts, renegotiating supply costs, restructuring debt and bolstering communication systemwide. A year later, she was named CEO. Her steady leadership has since made TMC one of the top 100 hospitals in the nation and, during the COVID-19 pandemic, a beacon of readiness. “To be a good leader, you need to be a good listener,” said the 2020 Tucson Woman of the Year. “Really hear what your colleagues, your patients and your community are telling you and then make decisions based off of that. Secondly, always remember that you are there for your staff; if they feel seen, heard and appreciated, they will work harder and be happier doing it.” This past year was surely a monumental test for the CEO of a hospital, caring for a barrage of COVID-19 patients, managing personal protective equipment for workers and collaborating with other area hospitals to best manage the regional spikes in cases. During all of that, Rich also served on the Pima County Back to Business steering committee and was chair of the Sun Corridor Inc. Chairman’s Circle. “I’ve learned that it takes true teamwork and collaboration to get through something as monumental as a pandemic,” Rich said. “You can’t do it alone! Collaborating and working with other leaders in the community and in our organization to have a unified message and unified strategy has been paramount to getting us through all of this. You help each other, and you ask for help when you need it.” Rich even created a school at TMC for staff children who struggled with online school and its mental toll, forcing their parents to choose whether to work or stay home with their kids. “I would say the lesson here is that you do what you can to be there for your staff when it is needed most,” she said. “Judy is an outstanding leader,” said Joe Snell, Sun Corridor Inc. president and CEO. “She has tackled some of the biggest challenges of our time with focus and determination. Judy’s leadership during the pandemic has allowed us to fare better than most. I am thankful we have Judy Rich on our team.”

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Mayor City of Tucson By Tara Kirkpatrick

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked global devastation, killed more than 3 million people and brought economies to their knees. That was Mayor Regina Romero’s first year in office. “It was an incredibly difficult year,” Romero said. ”It was very challenging and sad, but we were not going through it alone. We were going through it with the world and with other mayors throughout Arizona and the United States.” The daughter of immigrant farmworkers, Romero made history as Tucson’s first female and first Latina mayor when she was elected in 2019. Just months later, she was in the trenches, making decisions on curfews and mask mandates as the region grappled with spikes of COVID-19 cases. Then, outrage over the death of George Floyd spilled into downtown Tucson as protesters damaged buildings. Romero was there afterward, helping to clean up the mess. “What I’ve learned about leadership is that it is instinctual and it’s a combination of instinct and knowledge,” said the University of Arizona graduate. “Being able to tap into that has been an incredibly big learning experience.” As the region rebounds, Romero is optimistic. “We all know that change, although challenging, creates opportunities,” she said. “The opportunity to innovate from one day to the next, especially in the City of Tucson. We are reimagining how we do business. We are learning to be flexible and resilient.” A champion of climate protection, Romero is also excited about the city’s Million Trees Initiative, a pledge to plant one million trees here by 2030. “It’s such a simple and scientific proven way to clean CO2 emissions from our air,” she said. “There’s research that proves that planting trees and having an urban forest helps people be happier, helps them with depression. Planting trees has so many values.” For the first time in city history, an urban forestry manager has been hired to oversee the initiative, she said. “There is so much to her leadership that I admire,” said City Councilwoman Lane Santa Cruz. “She is a master strategist when it comes to her solutions-based approach and that’s a skill that comes from deep listening. But one of the most important things I have learned from her is to be vulnerable and accept that in our journey we’re going to make mistakes, but it’s how we learn and respond that takes courage. “I’m grateful that her North Star is deeply rooted in family and community and she brings so much heart and intellectual rigor to her role as mayor.” 80 BizTucson

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CALLINE SANCHEZ

VP Global TSS Service Planning & Premium Support IBM – Arizona & New Mexico State Executive

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By Tara Kirkpatrick

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For Calline Sanchez, IBM is a great big candy store of innovationand opportunity. The current VP of global TSS service planning and premium support at the multinational tech giant, Sanchez heads a team thatdelivers systems technology services to companies and clients. She leads IBM’s efforts in the Southwest, as the Arizona and New Mexico state leader. “The ‘candy’ so to speak, ranges from enterprise storage, which includes all storage media types – tape, flash, disk and softwaredefined solutions like data de-duplication and virtualization,” said Sanchez, who has two bachelor’s degrees and an MBA from the University of Arizona. “Additionally leading the worldwide technical university programs – was the sugar on top. Helping employees, customers and business partners learn to be smarter about the technology IBM serves – that is extra sweet!” The eldest of seven children, Sanchez began her IBM career as a software engineer intern in 1999 after working at Sandia National Laboratories as a coder, database developer and lab technician. After joining IBM fulltime in 2001, she has held several executive leadership positions and overseen the company’s storage technology. This past pandemic year, Sanchez has worked to build new skills, adding new platforms such as Slack, Trello, Mural and WebEx to her tech arsenal. “As with all of us, this past year has offered new, interesting challenges,” she said. “Truly, we are all in this together and I am learning how to be a virtual collaborator.” Sanchez has been a role model for women in engineering. “I’ve been especially proud of the women I have helped support over my 20-year career at IBM,” she said. “Many of these strong, tremendous leaders have gone to lead global teams, and engineering in storage technology, product services, service planning, support and technology innovations.” She serves on UArizona’s MIS board of advisors, the Southern Arizona Leadership Council and the board of directors for the Arizona-Mexico Commission, which works to build a cross-border community of professionals in different industries. “Calline is a distinguished, effective and innovative leader,” said Juan Ciscomani, Gov. Doug Ducey’s senior advisor for regional and international affairs who has worked closely with Sanchez for many years. “She has served on the Arizona-Mexico board of directors since 2019, playing a vital role in fostering the unique Arizona-Mexico relationship while representing Southern Arizona. Her experience and expertise have been instrumental in advancing and strengthening our priorities with our state’s top trading partner.”

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Senior Vice President Sun Corridor Inc. By Tara Kirkpatrick A former CEO once told BizTucson, “If you want something done in Tucson, you go to Laura.” It’s a reputation that has definitely stuck for Laura Shaw, senior VP of Sun Corridor, Inc., both as a driver of developing this region and one working tirelessly behind the scenes to better it. “I am proud of that reputation – I think it’s important to be a trusted source,” said the Vanderbilt University graduate and Tucson transplant. “Early mentors taught me to always look at the bigger picture – why are we doing this and what value does it bring? Once you establish that, you can bring together the right team and resources to make it happen.” She easily did both during the COVID-19 pandemic. Chairing the Pima County Back to Business Communications subcommittee, Shaw helped devise strategies to reopen regional businesses after last year’s lockdowns. That was in addition to her day job at the region’s economic engine where as part of the leadership team, which has for years mapped out successful blueprints for development, she helped create a comprehensive “Pivot Playbook” to plan Tucson’s post-pandemic resurgence and seize the opportunities brought on by national rankings and media mentions of it as a top 10 region to recover. “When I started in my current position 15 years ago, Tucson was not on the national radar,” she said. “Fast forward to today, and our name is beginning to appear alongside Austin, Portland, others. Now, I feel we’re on the cusp of really being cool. I want Tucson to be the buzz of the nation.” Shaw came to Sun Corridor with two decades of marketing, stakeholder engagement, revenue generation and strategic planning experience and has since worked on numerous boards, including most recently Visit Tucson, Eller College of Management National Advisory Board, MAP Dashboard and Bayer Community Advisory Panel. “When we moved here 20 years ago, I decided to get involved in as many facets of the Tucson region as I could so that I could understand the community deeply,” she said. “I want to leave Tucson in a better position for my kids - and their kids. Being in a position to have an impact on that is pretty awesome.” “I believe there are two critical keys to leadership: Be a problem solver, and build relationships that can stand the test of disagreement and difference of opinion. In business, I believe it all comes down to relationships. Nothing happens without that.” Sun Corridor Inc. President & CEO Joe Snell said, “Laura is an outstanding leader. Her attention to detail and problem-solving abilities have helped propel our economy forward.”

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AMBER SMITH

President & CEO Tucson Metro Chamber

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By Tara Kirkpatrick

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You won’t catch Amber Smith resting on her laurels. The Tucson Metro Chamber president and CEO is constantly in motion, whether it’s at the office, at numerous government, business and community meetings or advocating for regional business interests. Even on weekends, she’s busy in her garden or cleaning out closets. “Getting stuff done makes me feel relaxed,” Smith said. “Even as a kid, I was ambitious, career-minded, driven to make good grades with the desire to serve in leadership positions like Student Council. Plus, I was raised by a single mother and my mom drilled it in me that I needed to be financially independent and educated.” “Those two things in combination have created a must-do attitude more than a can-do attitude,” said the University of Arizona graduate and former head of the Metropolitan Pima Alliance. “For me, my speech when I graduated from UA with my undergrad, was that I genuinely wanted to make the world a better place. I see problems and I automatically want to jump in and fix them. I can’t help it.” Since taking the reins as the chamber’s first female president and CEO in 2018, Smith has driven collaboration and innovation as key tenets of her leadership. When the pandemic hit last year, the chamber created a centralized COVID-19 resource page to help businesses, advocated to lessen the burden for restaurants amid the lockdowns and reopenings and lobbied the City of Tucson to increase small business grants, among many other initiatives. Most recently, after months of data collection, the Chamber released five recommendations to enhance and improve the region’s workforce development and talent attraction efforts. Under her leadership, the Chamber aims to be a “100% resource for business.” Smith has clear goals of what she wants to accomplish. “That vision is pulled through with everything my team does,” she said. “My staff knows they are the ones bringing the vision to life and that I’ll pull a team together and collaborate to problem-solve a minor internal issue or to tackle a community-based initiative. I genuinely believe success isn’t a reflection of the work of just one person, but rather the ability to place the right people in the right seats.” “Amber is a true believer in collaboration and innovation,” said Ted Maxwell, president and CEO of the Southern Arizona Leadership Council. “Her favorite quote is, ‘I have an idea...’ It is her leadership ability that brings others together to support her vision.”

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THE 2REGION 0 2 1

Associate Vice President Tech Parks Arizona – University of Arizona By Tara Kirkpatrick Carol Stewart has often said that “nobody goes to school to learn how to run a tech park.” Yet, the University of Arizona associate VP has been so successful doing just that, perhaps she could teach the first class. A seasoned leader in research park management in Canada, Stewart came to UArizona in 2018 for the opportunity to build what is now a thriving Tech Parks Arizona, a successful hub of innovation, an incubator network for startup companies and a center for entrepreneurial power that will drive the region’s technological future. “This was an incredible opportunity to work with a great leader like President (Dr. Robert C.) Robbins, and put into play all my lessons learned and best practices from the first 13 years I have been in this space,” said Stewart, who helmed the David Johnston Research + Technology Park, affiliated with the University of Waterloo. “I wanted to bring my experience and passion to this community to do something great and make long-lasting impact.” Stewart regularly connects with the Association of University Research Parks, the International Association of Science Parks and the International Business Innovation Association, which focus on innovation and developing parks and incubators across the nation and the world. “Together, we all set the bar and build best practices for our industry,” she said. “We haven’t lost a startup due to the pandemic, which is not the norm across the US,” Stewart said. “In fact, we have increased our number of startups to 53.” Stewart’s leadership has ensured advancement with the construction of the new UA Tech Park at the Bridges, as well as a new incubator in Oro Valley. COVID-19 also pushed Stewart’s team to new levels of creativity. A “Tamales and Tech Parks” campaign, in which potential clients were sent specialties from Tucson Tamale Company to enjoy during a Zoom meeting, recently won an award from the International Economic Development Council. “I never stop seeing the potential for new opportunities and collaboration,” said Stewart, “whether that be with the university, industry, nonprofit organizations, government, etc. We need to work together to create innovative solutions to the challenges we face as a community. “Every business is important to our success. From the two-person startup to the tech giant, I give all that I have to help them be successful.” “It is truly fitting to see Carol Stewart honored as a Woman Leading the Region,” said UArizona President Robbins. “Her vision and leadership of Tech Parks Arizona is creating vital growth in Southern Arizona’s innovation ecosystem. My sincere congratulations to Carol for this recognition of her outstanding work.”

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PHOTO BY CHRIS MOONEY

W MEN LEADING

CAROL STEWART


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BizPEOPLE

Elisa Ross

Tara Tocco

Hughes Federal Credit Union Promotes Ross, Tocco Hughes Federal Credit Union has announced the promotions of Elisa Ross and Tara Tocco. Ross will serve as VP of marketing, sales and service, leading efforts to strengthen the credit union’s mission to provide superior personalized service and high-quality financial products to its members while maintaining the credit union’s long-term financial stability.   She said she will leverage her skills and experience to develop strategies, objectives and marketing communica-

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tions programs to increase market share through membership growth and continue to broaden relationships with business and community partners. Ross is a founder of the Global Women’s Leadership Network of Southern Arizona. Hughes has named Tocco as the VP of Internal Audit and Compliance. She will lead the Internal Audit and Compliance departments responsible for ensuring the strength of the compliance program, including policies designed to safeguard credit union assets and com-

ply with all state, federal and local regulations. Tocco has more than 20 years of experience at Hughes. Tocco earned the Credit Union Compliance Expert Certification and Internal Auditor Certification from the Credit Union National Association. Also, she was awarded the Randy Manscill Excellence in Service Award from the Association for Credit Union Internal Auditors.

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BizPEOPLE

Brian Sinotte

Northwest Healthcare has announced that Brian Sinotte will assume the role of Market CEO on June 1. Sinotte will lead the strategic growth and development efforts for the entire Northwest Healthcare system, which includes Northwest Medical Center, Oro Valley Hospital, Northwest Medical Center Sahuarita, Northwest Primary & Specialty Care, two free-standing emergency departments, and urgent cares throughout Pima County.

Lori Simmons Lori Simmons has joined Business Development Finance Corporation as a business development officer. A Northern Arizona University graduate, Simmons brings over 25 years of commercial underwriting, lending and relationship management experience to BDFC, a U.S. Small Business Administration Certified Development Company that provides affordable, long-term financing to small businesses. Simmons is a member of CREW, CCIM and 100+ Women Who Care Tucson among other volunteer organizations. 90 BizTucson

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SPECIAL REPORT 2021

THE REGION’S BUSINESS MAGAZINE

DSW

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE 20 YEARS


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DSW at 20

Motivation Meets Opportunity By Rodney Campbell

The story of DSW Commercial Real Estate begins with the unlikely combination of grocery store equipment, a business plan written on a cocktail napkin and good cigars. Principal, CEO & Designated Broker Michael Sarabia is celebrating 20 years in business with DSW this year. His road to success started when he met Mark Schnuck, DESCO Group’s chairman, in 1998. DESCO has acquired, developed and redeveloped more than $1 billion of property in its history. Schnuck’s family also owns more than 100 grocery stores in the Midwest. Before starting DESCO’s Tucson office, Sarabia was part of a family business that sold refrigeration cases for storing meat and produce in grocery stores. Motivation, meet opportunity. “We were chatting about real estate,” 94 BizTucson

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Sarabia said. “We shared a good cigar. We started a nice relationship.” Mutual interests kept the two in touch. Eventually, talk about opening a DESCO office in Southern Arizona turned serious. It was an opportunity to take advantage of a growing market. “I loved grocery stores and understood them,” Sarabia said. “I went to visit him in Missouri a couple of times, and we hatched a plan to open DESCO Southwest. We wrote a business plan on a cocktail napkin, and he sent me a check to open the office.” Jim Gillespie was Sarabia’s first business partner in the Tucson office. Gillespie’s parents, Ann and Bruce, opened another DESCO office in Phoenix in 2003. “Jim was a big influence on our office in the early days,” said Sarabia, who at-

tended the University of Arizona with Gillespie. “Bruce and Ann were good teachers. The Gillespies are a big real estate family.” Eventually, Jim Gillespie’s career took him in another direction and Sarabia was ready to go on his own. He first raised the topic of a buyout of DESCO while duck hunting with Schnuck in Missouri. Sarabia said he wanted to “grow and grow,” while Schnuck and his family preferred to hold back. “They wanted to make sure their assets were doing OK,” Sarabia said. “They were not of the mentality to buy a bunch of other assets.” After talking it over with his family, Schnuck agreed in 2016. Sarabia and his current business partner, James Hardman, negotiated the terms and DSW was born. “God has been walkwww.BizTucson.com


ing with us over the years and helping to guide us,” Sarabia said. Schnuck also took the extra step of giving Sarabia a year of further training and legal assistance. It was just another in a line of generous gestures – Schnuck helped finance the business for the first two years when Sarabia and Gillespie were partners in the early 2000s. “We inherited a very good platform that had been running for 75 years,” Sarabia said. “Mark was a great mentor. He really helped us.” Sarabia hired his sister, Sandra, as a property manager at DESCO in 2015, and when DSW was formed, it truly became a family business. She handles the company’s office and medical center accounts. “It is great working with Sandy,” he said. “She loves helping people and is really a team player.” Sandra Sarabia said her priority is to ensure that DSW’s clients are treated as well as her family. Sandra drew inspiwww.BizTucson.com

ration from her mother, Delia, whose many wise words of advice guide her actions today. “One of my mom’s sayings was, ‘Always leave a place better than you found it,’ ” she said. “DSW Commercial has a relatively small staff for the portfolio we manage and own, so we are a family and treat our tenants and partners as such. When we are entrusted with our partners’ assets, our goal is to make sure that it progressively gets better than when it was placed in our care. “Exceeding the needs and expectations of tenants creates loyalty and increases value. We want our company name to be synonymous with outstanding, responsive service.” The Sarabias’ father, Jose Luis, also played a key role in establishing the family work ethic. He was an immigrant from Mexico who came to the United States to fulfill his dreams. After serving in the Korean War, “Louie,” as friends called him, settled in

Tucson and worked nights while studying at the UArizona. After graduating, he worked as an accountant for a grocery supply company that he eventually bought, turning it into a successful family business. “When we were kids, he used to drive around to show us nice homes in the Foothills,” Michael said. “He would say we should set our sights on something like that. He said a house like that would be ours if we worked hard and stayed out of trouble. He influenced us to work hard and strive to be better.” Louie was also active in the community, joining service organizations, including the Knights of Columbus and Rotary Club. Michael has followed in those footsteps as a member of Southern Arizona Leadership Council and numerous other regional organizations. “He always said you have to give back to help the less fortunate,” Michael said. “He showed us by example. continued on page 96 >>> Summer 2021

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PHOTO COURTESY DSW COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

BizREALESTATE


BizREALESTATE continued from page 95 He helped a lot of people. The best way to help people is by leaning back and pulling them forward.” DSW uses that approach when working with business partners. Michael Sarabia said no one wins when only one side benefits. “We have vendors on our projects that tell us costs are going up,” he said. “If they’re doing a good job, we won’t stop working with them. Sometimes, the cheapest price isn’t the way to go. It will all work out longterm.” Sarabia tries to use as many Tucson vendors as possible. DSW has eight fulltime employees and almost 20 others who work on a contract basis. While Sarabia sometimes looks to the Phoenix market for talent, he aims to stick closer to home. “We really believe ‘Tucson first’ is not just a business model. It helps all of us,” he said. “Our architects, engineers, legal counsel, accounting and roofing companies are all from Tucson.” Sarabia and his team have been working with tenants to keep them go-

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ing during the coronavirus pandemic. Many had to close at least temporarily, and all made major adjustments to the way they do business. That required a delicate balance between helping tenants and ensuring that investors who work with DSW had their interests protected. A little compromise served both sides well. “During COVID, our role was to advocate for our tenants’ needs while protecting our owners,” Sandra Sarabia said. “We were able to get rents abated or reduced for several tenants who then extended their leases for a comparable period to offset the reductions. This allowed us to help several businesses remain open and survive that challenging time yet minimally affect our investor’s returns.” Looking back over the past 20 years, Michael Sarabia chalks up much of his success to the support he received from Schnuck and the DESCO team.

What he learned along the way was the importance of setting up longterm goals and resisting the lure of the quick buck. “He didn’t want to show me how to buy an apartment complex or a Starbucks and sell it,” Sarabia said of Schnuck. “He wanted to show me the business of owning a portfolio of assets. Mark taught me how to build a model that could sustain our business and families for another generation.”

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PHOTOS: COURTESY SWAIM ASSOCIATES


James Hardman

Principal & Director of Asset Management & Leasing DSW Commercial Real Estate

Michael Sarabia

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BizREALESTATE

From Mentor to Partner DSW Team ‘Treats People Right’ By Rodney Campbell In 2004, when Michael Sarabia brought James Hardman on board at DSW Commercial Real Estate, then known as DESCO Southwest, he saw a world of potential in the recent University of Arizona graduate. Better yet, he saw a young man with some real-estate experience who could be trained to fit the way the three-yearold company did things. Hardman was a fresh slate, eager to learn the business. “When James started working for us, he didn’t have any bad habits,” Sarabia said. “We encouraged him to get here early and make sure everything was handled before he left for the day. We groomed him to be a manager.” Seventeen years later, Sarabia and Hardman are business partners. Hardman became DSW’s principal and director of asset management and leasing in 2016 when he and Sarabia negotiated a buyout of DESCO. When that deal came together, Sarabia knew his younger counterpart had earned a prominent role. “When the buyout happened, I was the owner of the company,” Sarabia said. “I decided to make James a partner. I wanted someone to stand shoulder to shoulder with me.” Real estate was part of Hardman’s life growing up. His mother owned a company named SHS Management before partnering with his father to www.BizTucson.com

form Hardman Real Estate Services. At its peak, the company managed 3,000 units. Hardman earned his real estate license at age 18 and sold houses while in college. His first job was at Long Realty, but he learned that residential real estate wasn’t his calling. Commercial real estate was his future and Hardman credits Sarabia for teaching him the ins and outs. “He’s really a mentor to me in many ways,” said Hardman, who has a bachelor’s degree in regional development. “He was that way when we started working together. He got me pretty green and showed me the ropes. I’ve learned a lot from him.” Hardman’s and Sarabia’s strengths complement each other. Sarabia enjoys what he calls “big-game hunting” – trying to find significant deals that will raise the company’s profile and boost the bottom line. Hardman handles the operations side, meeting with Sarabia numerous times a day to develop strategies and bounce ideas off one another. “We have totally different personalities,” Sarabia said. “I like the big picture, the view from 30,000 feet. I appreciate putting the big deal together, finding the partners. James is good at keeping the details moving forward. He’s great on the management and operations sides. I look to him on that.”

Hardman appreciates Sarabia’s local connection. Sarabia is a member of Southern Arizona Leadership Council and volunteers for numerous organizations in the region. The lifelong Tucsonan also coaches football at Salpointe Catholic High School. “Mike’s a great people person,” said Hardman, who’s a member of the Urban Land Institute and the Metropolitan Pima Alliance. “He’s always out there. He’s really civic-minded. He knows everybody in town. I know people, but he’s to the nth degree.” Sarabia lauds Hardman’s ability to work with clients and vendors. Hardman oversees DSW’s third-party asset management, lease administration, office association management and facilities management. “James is a hard worker who has an extremely high moral compass,” Sarabia said. “He’s going to do what’s right on the deal. That’s important when you’re managing your and other people’s property.” Together, they are part of the leadership of a company that has been in business for two decades in an unpredictable industry. Hardman said there’s a simple secret to their success. “At our core, we’re just a couple of guys who treat people right,” he said. “Going by the ‘Golden Rule’ is how we treat our customers and vendors.” Biz Summer 2021

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A Legacy Property

Campbell Plaza a Treasure for DSW It took more than one serious effort for DSW Commercial Real Estate to acquire Campbell Plaza. The property means that much to DSW’s team, which is filled with Tucson natives who grew up shopping at the plaza. When the plaza went on the market 10 years ago, DSW and Michael Sarabia, the company’s principal, CEO and designated broker, made a strong offer on the property, which measures more than 190,000 square feet and is situated in a valuable link between the University of Arizona and Catalina Foothills. Unfortunately for the locally owned company, a California group submitted the winning bid. But that wasn’t the last shot that Sarabia and his team took. The outof-state group put Campbell Plaza, on Campbell Avenue between Blacklidge Drive and Glenn Street, back on the market in 2017 and DSW jumped at the second chance, adding the plaza to its portfolio. “We did significant financial analysis on that property,” said James Hardman, DSW principal and director of asset management and leasing. “There’s intrinsic value in having 17 acres on Campbell.” DSW leadership also believed in the importance of local ownership for the property. It’s one of the reasons why 100 BizTucson

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they were so dogged in their pursuit. “It’s imperative in a lot of ways to have local ownership,” Sarabia said. “When you understand history, you want to make the property better. I’m in that corridor five times a week. It’s important to have local people put their hearts into it.” Sarabia and Hardman are Tucson natives. Both graduated from high school and college here and had parents who owned local businesses. Sarabia’s were in the grocery store equipment field and Hardman’s owned a real estate services company. “I’m a central Tucson guy,” Hardman said. “I remember going to Coffee, Etc. when I was in school. (The plaza has) been around forever. It’s a good central location. Campbell is more than a road. It’s a major economic corridor.” The purchase price was the largest in DSW’s history at the time. It’s continued to invest by making improvements to the property, including a revamp of the Albertson’s grocery store, better lighting and more attractive landscaping. They also are filling empty spaces with the types of businesses that should be successful in the area. “Campbell Plaza is in a great location,” Sarabia said. “Money comes down the street from the foothills. It has a great grocery store, and a World Gym

is going in there. There are salons there, and a new restaurant is going into the former Old Chicago space. It will bring more energy to the corridor.” Academies of Math and Science has had an office in the plaza for two years. In that time, DSW and the charter school have formed a strong partnership. “DSW has been extremely attentive to all of our needs,” said Ettor Strada, AMS director of exceptional student services. “Every time we reach out to them, for any reason, they make us feel as if we are the only tenants and immediately address our needs. “They are a fantastic organization to work with in order to ensure our business has a stable environment to conduct our day-to-day operations.” A legacy property, Campbell Plaza has several lifetimes left. DSW intends to continue making it a relevant part of Tucsonans’ lives by giving tenants exceptional service and keeping the plaza ahead of customer expectations. “For us to be able to take the plaza to the next generation by giving it better curb appeal is something we really treasure,” Sarabia said. “A lot of people from the university, foothills and downtown areas shop there. It’s going to move into the next generation.”

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PHOTO COURTESY DSW COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

By Rodney Campbell


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IMAGE MCMAHON DESIGN BUILD, LLC

BizREALESTATE

Diverse and Agile

DSW Keeps Its Options Open for the Future When COVID-19 shook the commercial real estate world, firms had to rethink their business models. The world changed quickly as people started working from home, retail went even further online and uncertainty reigned. Fortunately for DSW Commercial Real Estate, its two principals, Michael Sarabia and James Hardman, are constantly study-

ing the market and anticipating trends. Their willingness to pivot has made the company an example of how to win as some competitors are losing. They occasionally take chances, pull back when they must and always keep an eye on the horizon, even when the outlook is hazy. “We love retail, but post-COVID, we’re looking at grocery-anchored centers,” Sarabia said. “They did well during the downturn. We like that space.”

Portfolio diversity is more important than ever. The DSW team believes retail has its place, but the company is being more selective in its pursuits. Forbes magazine reports that existing premium office space prices dropped an average of 13% last year. Even as those markets have become unstable, new opportunities are popping up. “Retail used to be the darling, but that has changed to industrial and multi-family,” Hardman said. DSW has a team of eight employees, each hand-picked for their abilities to contribute to the company’s success and ensure that it thrives. Hardman, who is responsible for day-to-day operations, has seen the team mature in his 17 years with the company and believes everyone in the office has strengths that will help the company grow. “Our team feels like a good family,” he said. “We have a good company cul-

PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

By Rodney Campbell

continued on page 104 >>> From left: James Hardman, Michael Sarabia, Mandy Verdugo, Chris Lundin, Sandra Sarabia and Lorraine Bentley

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BizREALESTATE continued from page 102 ture and would like to build on that. It’s important to have the right people with good skill sets. We want them to be visionary and enjoy the business. “We need people who have a passion for what they do. With the right team in place, the business could be perpetual.” DSW manages more than 1 million square feet of property. The team has a number of priorities, including making smart acquisitions that help the bottom line and keeping current tenants happy through preventive maintenance and enhancements that increase curb appeal. “Making sure we perform on the things we own is important,” Hardman said. “Some owners don’t put a lot into their properties. Normal maintenance is important to ensure that everything is the quality we want.” Property management is an increasingly vital revenue stream for DSW. It manages well-performing spots in Tucson such as Wilmot Plaza and Sky-

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line Esplanade. It also manages Mesa Grand Spectrum and other properties in the Phoenix metro area. “Growing our third-party business is always important,” Hardman said. “Those opportunities will continue to present themselves.”

Retail used to be the darling, but that has changed to industrial and multi-family.

– James Hardman Principal & Director of Asset Management & Leasing DSW Commercial Real Estate

Hardman and Sarabia keep an eye on how companies react when the business atmosphere changes. Their studies include competitors and even world-

wide conglomerates that have nothing to do with commercial real estate. What have they learned? Being agile and open to change are vital to sustained success. “We have always been students of the market, and we aren’t afraid to implement business strategies that have proven successful in other markets,” Sarabia said. “I always look back at the IBM example. They did it their way for many years and their competitors passed them.” While the commercial real estate business will always have peaks and valleys, DSW has survived and thrived. Twenty years in, the team is looking years down the road. “I am very proud of what Michael and James have built here at DSW and the many ways that we try to pay it forward in the Tucson community,” said Sandra Sarabia, Michael’s sister and a DSW property manager. “We are expanding into new markets, which will allow us to continue to be diverse and agile well into the future.”

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BizECONOMY

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS Each issue in BizTucson will highlight new companies and companies expanding their operations in the Tucson region. Information is provided by several sources including Sun Corridor Inc. as well as the companies. “We thank these companies for placing their trust

Amazon

Amazon is adding a sortation center in Tucson to support customer fulfillment and delivery operations. The Tucson site is expected to open later this year and create hundreds of new full- and part-time jobs. The new center is located at South Alvernon Way and East Corona Road. Construction has begun. The Tucson facility will span more than 270,000 square feet and will help with critical package sortation needs. This will be Amazon’s fourth building in Southern Arizona.

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BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company)

BD, a leading global medical technology company, will invest $65 million to construct a state-of-theart facility in Tucson that will be a hub for the company’s supply chain, serving as a final-stage manufacturing and sterilization center. The new 120,000-square-foot facility will be built on approximately 32 acres at the northeast corner of Valencia Road and Kolb Road, and is planned to be operational in mid2022. BD plans to add approximately 40 new jobs including engineers, scientists, quality control specialists and other skilled talent. Sun Corridor, Inc. projects that BD’s investment will have a $122 million economic impact over the next 10 years.

in our community and making an investment in our region,” said Joe Snell, President and CEO of Sun Corridor Inc. “As a strong strategic location in the southwest and a region offering critical assets for business growth plans, Tucson and Southern Arizona continue to attract top names nationwide.”

CIS Global

Edmund Optics

PVB Fabrications

CIS Global, a manufacturer of linear motion slides and power distribution products for the IT, data center and consumer appliance sectors, announced plans to expand its headquarters in Tucson. CIS Global plans to lease 31,730 square feet at 1601 W. Commerce Court to accommodate administrative offices and a new production facility. The new headquarters will include an expansion of 100 jobs, primarily in production, quality control, operations management and engineering. CIS Global is currently headquartered at 1791 W. Dairy Place, and employs over 800 worldwide. The full expansion over five years will create an economic impact of $139.3 million.

Edmund Optics®, the premier provider of optical and imaging components, has opened a new assembly and advanced design facility in Tucson where the company has had a presence since 1998. The 21,225-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility expansion at 2650 E. Elvira Road, will support advanced design efforts and highvolume manufacturing services, including cleanroom assembly and incoming inspection with numerous testing capabilities such as MTF, straylight, thermal cycle, shock and vibration. Fifty new technology jobs will be created in the expansion.

PVB Fabrications, Inc., a general contractor and provider of quality welding and fabrication services, broke ground in January for its headquarters expansion on 10 acres at 11871 N. Breakers Road in Marana. The new facilities will include a 15,400-square-foot administrative office building plus a separate 35,000-squarefoot fabrication/ production facility. A future phase of construction will include a second 35,000-square-foot fabrication/production facility. The full expansion over 5 years will add an additional 169 jobs primarily in operations, project management, quality control, engineering, business development and finance. The total capital investment over the next 5 years will be approximately $17 million, resulting in a total economic impact of $48 million.

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The month of April 2021 was our second busiest month in 15 years. Weddings are off the charts as last year’s cancelled weddings have been rescheduled for this year. I am optimistic that by the fourth quarter, our corporate group business will rebound to pre-2020 levels.

– Noel Daniel Managing Director Tubac Golf Resort & Spa

Noel Daniel

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BizTOURISM

Tubac Golf Resort & Spa

Golf, Guests Helped Resort Through Pandemic

PHOTOS: BRENT G. MATHIS

By April Bourie Throughout the long history of Tubac Golf Resort & Spa, the storied property south of Tucson has seen many ups and downs and most recently was able to weather the COVID-19 pandemic. The resort, a Southern Arizona treasure with beautiful casitas, a famous golf course, luxurious spa and the historic Stables restaurant, was able to keep about 10 of the 98 casitas available for guests during the height of the pandemic, according to Noel Daniel, the resort’s managing director. “Golf kept us alive,” said Daniel. “We had several golf members that continued to play, and they even reached out to our laid-off employees by donating meals to an employee fund. Many of them would also order dinner for themselves from the Cantina, which was basically grab and go, just to help out the resort.” The resort was also able to quickly pivot and cut expenses where necessary

to keep it afloat financially. Paycheck Protection Program loans were utilized to pay employees and other qualifying bills, Daniel said. It’s welcome news for a property with a wealth of history. It all started in 1789 when Don Toribio de Otero obtained the property in a Spanish land grant and built a farmhouse that still stands north of the Stables restaurant – which once served as the property’s original stables. In the early days, these buildings saw Spanish and Mexican soldiers living nearby or passing through as a result of attackson the farm and in the area by local Native American tribes. The farm was eventually passed down to Otero’s grandson, Sabino, who grew it into the largest cattle ranch in the state of Arizona by the mid-1800s. By 1959, it was owned by an investment group headed by actor Bing Crosby,

who wanted to create a golf resort. That group added the first fairways and named it Tubac Golf Resort. It was very important to Crosby that the resort reflect the property’s history. In the 1990s, the resort famously served as the location for many of the golf scenes in the movie Tin Cup, which starred Kevin Costner and Rene Russo. The resort has since ceremoniously marked the locations where those scenes were shot. In 2002, the property was purchased by another group of investors led by current owner Ron Allred. He built additional casitas, a wedding chapel, spa and an additional nine holes of golf. Allred also added a herd of cattle to the golf course in 2006 to pay homage to the property’s cattle ranching heritage. He ensured that the historical integrity of the location came through in all of continued on page 110 >>>

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BizTOURISM

Tubac Named Nation’s Best Small Town Arts Scene

continued from page 109 these new developments. The resort today is also equipped with ballrooms, boardrooms and a presidential suite available for group events – all enveloped in the resort’s rich history. Now, after a challenging year, guests are returning. “The month of April 2021 was our second busiest month in 15 years,” Daniel said. “Weddings are off the charts as last year’s cancelled weddings have been rescheduled for this year. I am optimistic that by the fourth quarter, our corporate group business will rebound to pre-2020 levels.” This is important, Daniel said, as rooms, food and beverage are the top revenue streams for the resort. One challenge the resort is currently experiencing is employing enough staff to fill needed openings. “It’s tough because so many previous employees have found other positions or are getting enough unemployment to stay home,” said Daniel. “Our current employees are having to multi-task. For example, we have used golf course and sales employees to set up for weddings. “But the good news is that everything is looking posi-tive, and we are busy, “ she said. “Many hotels have had to pull back on their marketing, but that isn’t our strat-egy for now. We are working to create more infrastruc-ture and increase wages in some areas to attract more employees so we can handle the business coming in.”

USA Today recently named Tubac as the #1 best small town arts scene in America. The national newspaper reported: “Bigger isn’t always better, especially when it comes to these 10 small towns, each with a population of fewer than 30,000 people (as of the last census). What each lacks in size, it makes up for with a big art scene – museums, art galleries, performing arts and busy event calendars.” Tubac topped the USA Today list. “This sleepy town’s art shops and galleries specialize in colorful arts and crafts,” the report said. Tubac is roughly 50 miles south of Tucson. The town website describes the scene: “Art galleries, museums and enchanting shops and jewelry stores await your visit, as does clean air in a beautiful high desert rural environment.” Taos, New Mexico was the only other location in the Southwest on the USA top 10 list – landing the #7 spot. Two other Western towns in the top 10 were Cody, Wyoming and Manitou Springs, Colorado. A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to pick the initial nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.

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BizAWARDS 3

ASID, Arizona South Chapter Design Excellence Awards: Commercial Division 1.

SINGULAR 1ST PLACE Space:

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SINGULAR COMMERCIAL SPACE UNDER 5000 SF 1ST PLACE INTERIORS IN DESIGN Eva Murzaite Brandy Holden Ana Fernandez Space: Rams Pointe Photographer: Zack Weinstein Photography

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SINGULAR COMMERCIAL SPACE OVER 5000 SF 1ST PLACE INTERIORS IN DESIGN Eva Murzaite Brandy Holden Ana Fernandez Space: Children’s Clinic for Rehabilitative Services Photographer: Solaris Photographyy

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2ND PLACE LORI CARROLL & ASSOCIATES Lori Carroll Kat Saucedo Space: Retina Associates Photographer: Kristen Hanning

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RESIDENTIAL OR COMMERCIAL HISTORIC SPACE 1ST PLACE 180* DESIGNS Jennifer Kea Space: Law Offices of Christopher Scileppi Photographer: Tyler Kinzer Photography

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COMMERCIAL SPACE INTERIORS IN DESIGN Eva Murzaite Brandy Holden Ana Fernandez Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Arizona Photographer: Solaris Photography

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PHOTO BY CHRIS MOONEY

BizEDUCATION

Kate Hoffman

PHOTO BY BRENT G. MATHIS

Founder & CEO Earn to Learn

Lee Lambert

Chancellor Pima Community College

Earn to Learn

Skill-Building Program Helps Students Financially Many college and tech school students get a “free ride” – paid tuition and other expenses – courtesy of having great grades, sports scholarships or wealthy parents. Others go into debt. Still others pay through a variety of resources – and that’s where an Arizona program comes in. That program, called Earn to Learn, offers an 8 to 1 match for students who qualify for a Pell Grant. The program will go national if the Earn to Learn Act, backed by Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema and Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, goes through. “You do your part, you’re going to be 114 BizTucson

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successful. That’s an important aspect of the program,” said Pima Community College Chancellor Lee Lambert. “Ultimately you have to put in the effort.” Earn to Learn has been in place for nearly 10 years in Arizona. “Earn to Learn is a skills-building program. You’re learning the skills of financial management, which is so important to individuals. Also time management, which is so important,” Lambert said. “You’re also getting an incredible support system that goes along with it, so it’s much more than you making a $500 investment. It helps you in so many ways.” The program also includes one-on-

one coaching for students that includes personal finance training, college readiness training and ongoing support from the first day at the university all the way through graduation. “You learn things from working that you don’t learn in the classroom, and I think that sometimes that gets lost.” Lambert himself funded his upperlevel education using a combination of grants, work-study programs, working as a residents’ assistant, student loans and a U.S. Army program that matched what he contributed when he was a soldier. “That earning part is you having skin in the game. So I think that is, to a dewww.BizTucson.com


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grants to provide the tuition assistance and financial literacy training. Sinema has said, ““Education was my key to opportunity, and I’m committed to ensuring all Arizona students have the same access to higher education that I did. Creating a college-matched savings program helps Arizona students save for school while teaching the importance of money management.” Earn to Learn scholars have a firstyear retention rate of nearly 90 percent, and the majority graduate with little or no student loan debt, according to the press release. Earn to Learn is supported by businesses, financial institutions, nonprofits,

educators, credit counselors and others committed to enhancing the economic well-being of Arizonans. All recognize that higher education is the primary mechanism of upward economic mobility for low-income individuals and is essential to reducing poverty and improving local communities. “I applaud sponsoring Sens. Sinema and Romney for their efforts to make this innovative program available to students across the country, fostering economic opportunity for low-income American families and helping to break the cycle of multigenerational poverty,” said Kate Hoffman, Earn to Learn founder and CEO. Biz

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PHOTOS COURTESY PIMA COMMUNITY COLLEGE

gree, why I’ve been successful in my career. I didn’t just go to learn. I had to do the earning part.” In Arizona the school with the most students participating in Earn to Learn is Pima Community College. “Through the program’s financial literacy component, Earn to Learn helps students learn money management skills that they’ll be able to use the rest of their lives,” Lambert said. The money goes to the student’s school after enrollment. The Earn to Learn Act sets up educational savings accounts for students to save for higher education. Participating states and nonprofits are awarded


PHOTO BY THOMAS LEYDE

BizEDUCATION

From left: Jim Click, president, Jim Click Automotive Team; first-year student Brittney Orozco; Keiran Roche, program director for CUA Tucson; and Gloria Valadez, bilingual recruiter for CUA Tucson. On the screen is Humberto S. Lopez, chair and co-founder of HSL Properties. Photo taken at the HS Lopez Family Foundation Center of Opportunity.

Catholic University of America Offers Business Management Degree in Tucson By Tom Leyde The prestigious Catholic University of America has launched a four-year business management degree program in Tucson that could be a template for similar programs elsewhere in the United States. CUA was established in 1887 and is based in Washington, D.C. The satellite program in Tucson began in the fall of 2020, in association with Pima Community College. It started with 12 students, known as “trailblazers.” This fall the program hopes to enroll 25 students. Tucson-area students were attracted to the program because of its size, affordability and connections to local employers, school officials said. Through local scholarships and grants, students have an opportunity to graduate with little or no student debt. CUA began working with more than 116 BizTucson

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300 members of the Tucson business community in 2017 to create the program from scratch. Its goal was to offer a high-quality, low-cost, career-oriented business degree to underserved students in the Southwest. CUA invested about $1.79 million in the Tucson program, including about $200,000 contributed by the Tucson business community, said Keiran Roche, CUA Tucson program director. The cost of the four-year program is about $35,000, compared to about $30,000 annually for Arizona residents attending the University of Arizona. Brittney Orozco, 25, of Tucson enrolled in the pilot program last fall as a freshman. She had attended the University of Arizona, but wasn’t sure what kind of career she wanted. “I am so glad I enrolled in the new

Tucson business program,” she said. “I can tell I am a part of something special that will set me up for a rewarding career.” Orozco said that after graduating she would like to find a job in resource development and marketing. She was attracted to CUA Tucson because of the low cost and the size of the classes, which are taught at the downtown campus of Pima Community College. Elaine Yee, 40, of Tucson has enrolled for this fall’s term. “I need a business background to do what I want to do here in Tucson,” she said. “I want to stay in Tucson.” The program is overseen by CUA’s Metropolitan School of Professional Studies in collaboration with the Busch School of Business. Roche said the procontinued on page 118 >>> www.BizTucson.com


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continued from page 116 gram emphasizes Catholic values. “We offer a liberal arts degree and (instruction on) how to be a force for good,” he said. “Show up and commit and we will support you,” he told parents and potential students at a May 1 presentation at Victory Outreach Tucson. Besides graduating with a BA degree, students who complete the four-year program also will earn an Associate of Arts degree from Pima Community College. “All in all, it’s a fantastic experience,” Roche said. Roche described the classes offered as hybrid. The first two years classes are taught by PCC instructors. CUA instructors teach classes in years three and four. “I urge you to take advantage of this program,” Humberto S. Lopez told the audience at Victory Outreach Tucson in a Skype appearance. Lopez is chair and co-founder of HSL Properties. “I’m committed to this program,” said Jim Click, fpresident of Jim Click

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I am so glad I enrolled in the new Tucson business program,” she said. “I can tell I am a part of something special that will set me up for a rewarding career.

– Brittney Orozco First-year Student

Automotive Team. Click and Lopez are offering local students scholarships of $3,000 a year for four years. Coupled with a Pell Grant (about $6,300 a year), students are fairly certain of graduating with no outstanding student debt. Paid employment projects and internships are also part of the program. Two of the first-year students worked part time at a Jim Click auto dealerships. “I’d love for the business community to open up to internships and gig work,” Roche said. “We are setting you up for success.” To enroll at CUA Tucson, visit cuatucson@cua.edu or call (520) 409-6413. The deadline is in August. Tucson-area businesses who have employees interested in attending school while working are invited to contact Catholic University of America Tucson. There are opportunities for employees to start college or continue their studies. Call (520) 409-6413 or visit cua-tucson@cua.edu.

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PHOTO BY THOMAS LEYDE

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BizPHILANTHROPY

Nonprofit All-Stars

Fast Pitch Finalists Stand Out in Virtual Showcase By Monica Surfaro Spigelman A pandemic was the unlikely catalyst that led Social Venture Partners Tucson to retool its Fast Pitch competition showcase – which has strengthened infrastructure, built leadership and pumped positive impact into Tucson’s nonprofits in its six years. “Operating as we have in the past simply was not good enough,” said SVP Tucson CEO Ciara Garcia. The traditionally in-person networking fundraiser morphed last spring into

an online interactive experience. The result was Fast Pitch’s largest ever ticketed audience – 570 (355 purchased, 215 sponsored) from 23 cities and five countries – Japan, Australia, Spain, India and Canada. Multi-language chats posted alongside pitch videos raised some $218,762 in sponsor awards, community donations and matching grants – the most since the program’s inception.

“This diverse class and their stories were unique in many ways,” Garcia said. “We have never seen this level of connection among the participants, despite the virtual aspects required.” Since 2015, SVP Tucson has injected more than $1 million into the community and trained 78 nonprofits in effective donor connection. Fast Pitch 2021 featured these organizations.

Boys & Girls Clubs bgctucson.org Yvonne Pysher, presenter SVP Tucson Together Award ($1,000) Steve Goulding Celebration of Life Award ($2,000) Marshall Foundation Class of 2021 Award ($500)

Boys To Men Tucson’s volunteer mentors strengthen communities by guiding middle and high school boys on their journey to manhood. Mentors are recruited and supported with a variety of programs and events, including adventure outings and intergenerational healthy masculinity initiatives.

Make Way for Books makewayforbooks.org Fernando González, presenter SVP Tucson Together Award ($1,000) Steve Goulding Celebration of Life Award ($2,000) Marshall Foundation Class of 2021 Award ($500)

The Boys & Girls Club of Tucson gives youth access to caring staff and safe spaces that enhance lives and shape futures. The clubhouse provides programs on education, careers, character, leadership, arts, health and life skills.

JobPath jobpath.net Sarah Henderson, presenter SVP Tucson Together Award ($1,000) Steve Goulding Celebration of Life Award ($2,000) Marshall Foundation Class of 2021 Award ($500)

Make Way for Books provides early-literacy programs, services and resources to 30,000 Southern Arizona children, parents and educators.

Boys To Men Tucson btmtucson.com Michael Brasher, presenter AZ Complete Health Community Transformation Award ($5,000) Connie Hillman Family Foundation Community Catalyst Award ($15,000) Steve Goulding Celebration of Life Award ($2,000) Marshall Foundation Class of 2021 Award ($500)

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JobPath helps underserved adults get into in-demand, high-wage careers by fast-tracking education and job-training programs. The Pima County Interfaith Council and other community leaders founded the workforce development and advocacy agency to remove barriers in education and career development.

Native Music Coalition nativemusiccoalition.org Vince Flores, presenter Community Foundation for Southern Arizona Equity Award ($5,000) Maley-Schaffner Innovative Solutions Award ($5,000) Steve Goulding Celebration of Life Award ($2,000) Marshall Foundation Class of 2021 Award ($500) Indigenous artists formed the Native Music Coalition to help tribal youth combat

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drug and alcohol dependence by preserving their culture. Events and workshops promote self-identity through community building, education, oral history and traditional musical arts. Second Chance Tucson secondchancetucson.org Daniel Howe, presenter Connie Hillman Family Foundation Impact Award ($15,000) TEP Power to the People Award ($15,000+ Startup Tucson spotlight/training features) Steve Goulding Celebration of Life Award ($2,000) Marshall Foundation Class of 2021 Award ($500) Second Chance Tucson is a coalition of nonprofit, faith-based, government and law enforcement agencies that provide employment opportunities for former convicts. It focuses on reducing recidivism and increasing community awareness about reentry. Sunnyside Foundation sunnysidefoundation.org Patrick Robles, presenter SVP Tucson Award ($10,000) Steve Goulding Celebration of Life Award ($2,000) Marshall Foundation Class of 2021 Award ($500) Alumni-founded Sunnyside Foundation invests in Sunnyside Unified School District education programs in fine arts, music, literacy, science, technology, engineering and student wellness. Therapeutic Riding of Tucson trotarizona.org Margaux DeConcini, presenter SVP Tucson Together Award ($1,000) Steve Goulding Celebration of Life Award ($2,000) Marshall Foundation Class of 2021 Award ($500) TROT introduces thousands of individuals with special needs to the benefits of horseback riding in an experiential learning approach. TROT helps develop life skills for educational, professional and personal goals. TMM Family Services tmmfs.org Raymond Wells, presenter SVP Tucson Together Award ($1,000) Steve Goulding Celebration of Life Award ($2,000) Marshall Foundation Class of 2021 Award ($500) TMM Family Services annually serves more than 3,350 individuals with housing and program support for families at risk, children in foster care, veterans, seniors and residents who are or at risk of becoming homeless. YWCA Southern Arizona ywcatucson.org Imelda Esquer, presenter Citi Welcoming What’s Next Award ($5,000) Steve Goulding Celebration of Life Award ($2,000) Marshall Foundation Class of 2021 Award ($500) YWCA programs and special events aims to eliminate racism, empower women and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity.

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BizTOOLKIT You’re Not the Owner, You’re the Head of HR By Jason Flax Benefits Executive, AssuredPartners of Arizona – SHRM-GT Legislative Director You had a great idea, found the money, and the location was perfect. You convinced a couple of friends to come work for you and then launched your new business. What an amazing feeling! The business is growing faster than you imagined. Years go by and suddenly the growth stops. Frustration sets in. You start questioning everything. What’s wrong? Why aren’t people doing their job? You have meetings to tell your employees what to do. They already feel frustrated and overworked. Employees start to quit. You have meetings about meetings. More people quit. Why is it so hard to find good people? Nothing is working. Sound familiar? Being a business owner isn’t always the dream you thought it would be. It’s a lot of hard work. You’ve put yourself into a position you may have never been in before. You are now responsible for every person

who works for you. Let that sink in for a second … you are responsible. Maybe it’s time to ask some important questions. Are you a leader or a manager? What does the business need? Who can help me figure this out? “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others,” according to Jack Welch, chemical engineer, author and longtime General Electric chairman and CEO. What is human resources? A simple definition of HR is a person or team that oversees every aspect of the employee life cycle in an organization. As an owner, HR should be one of your closest advisers. This is because they have the pulse of the employees and can help you create an environment where employees have a high level of engagement and can thrive. This environment creates consistent growth and profits.

That environment should consist of five core items: 1. A clear vision with goals: If everyone knows where to go, they’ll figure out a way to get there. 2. Tools/technology: Does everyone have what they need to get the job done in the most efficient manner? 3. Training and development: How to do the job and especially how to be a manager/coach. 4. Career growth opportunities: No one wants to do the same job forever. 5. Compensation/benefits: Paying the appropriate wage for the job/skill level and a benefit package that accommodates all generations in your workforce.

Have a plan, hire for attitude, train/ develop skills, get out of the way and reward for excelling at the job. Congratulations! You are now the head of HR.

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BizSTARTUP

Ku’Panda

Micro Safari

IdeaFunding Awards $65,000 in Prizes By Loni Nannini Though the economy is still feeling the reverberations of the global pandemic, the startup scene in Southern Arizona is on fire – and Startup Tucson just added virtual fuel to the flames. In April, the local nonprofit and a group of community partners awarded more than $65,000 in prizes to small businesses through IdeaFunding, the region’s largest entrepreneurial conference and annual pitch competition. In addition to the cash prizes, the digital day-long conference offered priceless exposure for 80 competing companies to an audience spanning 326 cities. “We had people watching from London, Chicago, New York, Austin, Seattle and cities around the world, with a high percentage of viewers identifying as investors. IdeaFunding has always been magical because it is the opportunity for local entrepreneurs to come together and meet mentors and investors. This year we found that streaming offered a great opportunity to elevate our startup ecosystem,” said Dre Thompson, executive VP of Startup Tucson. 124 BizTucson

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Since its inception 24 years ago, IdeaFunding has facilitated that goal by providing mentorship, encouragement and training for a range of small businesses and new business starts. The one-on-one training and support, courtesy of the University of Arizona Center for Innovation, culminated in a fiveminute presentation for each business at the competition. The event serves as a springboard to help participants grow – and sometimes sell – their businesses. “In addition to an opportunity to showcase our ecosystem and talent, IdeaFunding is a learning tool designed to build relationships and help businesses hone their communication and pitch skills for thais conference and others around the country,” said Thompson. IdeaFunding has grown steadily over the years through partnerships with Pima Community College and the University of Arizona McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship. The 2021 title sponsor was the Arizona Commerce Authority. UAVenture Capital provided the $10,000 cash for

the MainStage Pitch Prize, which also included a year of incubation by the UArizona Center for Innovation (valued at $10,000). The highly coveted prize was awarded to Micro Safari, which markets self-contained microecological system habitats and the tools needed to view them – including microscopes that attach to smartphones and tablets. The startup, founded by Tucson native Soroosh Hedayati, also topped the Consumer Products category. The Biotech and Life Sciences category winner was Metfora, which analyzes metabolites in the blood to diagnose diseases. The Software as a Service prize went to Patter, a software application for organizing and managing meetings. The Science & Tech winner was Paramium Technology, which commercializes technology for fabricating antennas. Women businesses and BIPOCfounded businesses (which stands for black, indigenous and people of color) were honored with the Adelante Arizona Awards, which were taken home www.BizTucson.com


Left

Dre Thompson

Executive VP, Startup Tucson

Liz Pocock

CEO, Startup Tucson

We had people watching from London, Chicago, New York, Austin, Seattle and cities around the world, with a high percentage of viewers identifying as investors. by Ku’Panda, creator of vegan, handcrafted herbal tea skincare products, and Obánj, a luxury designer jewelry loan business. Revolute Robotics received the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship Young Entrepreneur Prize. Diabetes Now won the United Way Social Impact Award, and the Optic Valley Optical Award went to USA Technologies. Thompson said that the diverse nature of the participating businesses illustrates the depth of talent and innovation in Tucson and Arizona. “When people think of startups, they often just think software or tech companies. We value the role they play in job creation and innovation and making Tucson what it is – but we really expanded this year in light of COVID to make sure small businesses, main-street businesses and creatives were getting the attention and spotlight as well,” said Thompson. Innovation and grit demonstrated during the pandemic were acknowledged with Community Resiliency www.BizTucson.com

Prizes presented to five local businesses – La Luna Coyote, Blax Friday, True Concord Voices & Orchestra, This n’ That Creative Studio and Boss Women Unite. Local musicians, mixologists and comedians also received awards. Collectively, the businesses represent entrepreneurs who pivoted during the past year to keep their businesses afloat – a feat highlighted by IdeaFunding’s “Resilience and Recovery” theme and illustrated by Micro Safari. “Soroosh is such a COVID story. Prior to the pandemic, his main customers were science and children’s museums. When they shut down, he had to figure out how to go direct-to-consumer. It was really a triumph of pivoting to maintain his business,” Thompson said. Hedayati, 26, who describes his product as “similar to Sea Monkeys but built for the 2020s,” was thrilled about the IdeaFunding awards and the resulting exposure, which he described as monumental. “I am continuing to explore potential partnerships and synergistic rela-

tionships with various folks who have reached out because of IdeaFunding,” he said. Ultimately, Hedayati believes that Tucson offers a unique small business community characterized by strong resources, a relatively low cost of living and affordable labor. “Tucson is blessed to have a very robust startup ecosystem. It is a very good place to start a business. I moved back to Tucson specifically because I knew I could build Micro Safari here,” he said. Startup Tucson and its partners have cultivated that community, sparking a regional renaissance among small businesses and startups, which comprise 99.4% of businesses statewide. “It feels like a renaissance on the ground, but it is uniquely Tucson in nature. Companies from other cities say that we are an exceptionally inviting and warm community, and even as we continue to grow, the thing that makes Tucson so distinctive is the support,” said Thompson.

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PHOTOS COURTESY IDEAFUNDING

– Dre Thompson, Executive VP, Startup Tucson


BizCONSTRUCTION

N E W

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M A R K E T

Project: Mt. Lemmon Hotel Location: Mt. Lemmon/Summerhaven Owner: Andrea and Justin Hafner Contractor: Dennis Cozzetti Architect: Cavco Industries and Rick Engineering Completion Date: Phase I: April 2021 Construction Cost: Cost: $3 million-plus Project Description: A private hotel getaway in the heart of Summerhaven, offers family- and pet-friendly options for visitors.

Project:

Joel D. Valdez Main Library 4th Floor Renovation Phase I Location: 101 N. Stone Ave. Owner: Pima County Contractor: MW Morrissey Construction Architect: Edward Vergara II Completion Date: April 2021 Construction Cost: $530,000 Project Description: This Phase I renovation project includes new flooring, paint, electrical and HVAC modifications.

Project: Location: Owner:

Two Oracle 7315 N. Oracle Road, Oro Valley Oracle Ina Investors, a joint venture between Larsen Baker and Volk Company Contractor: Epstein Construction Architect: Seaver Franks Architects Completion Date: First quarter 2021 Construction Cost: N/A Project Description: This is a 60,000-square-foot adaptive re-use project repositioned for restaurants, retail, fitness and office space.

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N E W

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Project: The Eddy Hotel Location: 4626 N. Campbell Ave. Owner: Capri Tucson Eddy Hotel Contractor: W.E. O’Neil Construction Architect: JRA Architecture & Planning Completion Date: Summer 2022 Construction Cost: N/A Project Description: The Eddy Hotel Tucson is a new 106-room upscale Hilton Tapestry boutique hotel featuring meeting rooms, a resort pool and open lobby and bar area.

Project: Tucson Convention Center Meeting Room Expansion Location: 260 S. Church Ave. Owner: Rio Nuevo Contractor: Sundt+Concord Architect: GLHN Architects & Engineers Completion Date: February 2022 Construction Cost: $11.6 million Project Description: This major expansion will encompass 10 new meeting rooms in 34,000 square feet and two stories, plus courtyards and parking.

Project:

Pima County Public Defense Services New Building and Addition Location: 2231 E. Ajo Way Owner: Pima County Contractor: Lloyd Construction Architect: BWS Architects Completion Date: April 2022 Construction Cost: N/A Project Description: The project entails a new defense services building and an addition to the existing legal services building for the Office of Children’s Counsel.

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Room to Grow

Hacienda Del Sol Undergoes $9.6 Million Expansion By Mary Minor Davis Five weeks before the COVID-19 epidemic was declared, the owners of Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort had secured financing and signed development contracts to begin a $9.6 million expansion of the property – the second largest such project in less than 10 years. Just as the ink was drying, parts of the world went into quarantine and everything in the U.S. seemed to stop in its tracks. Well, almost everything. Tom Firth, managing partner for the Hacienda, decided that commitments needed to be met, and work had to continue to keep people employed and the project on track. “There were a lot of unknowns,” he said. “The tourism industry wasn’t predicted to return until 2022. We weren’t 130 BizTucson

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sure if we were going to become a bankowned property.” In 2016, the Hacienda embarked upon its first major multi-million-dollar expansion in half a century. In addition to major property upgrades, 32 Catalina rooms and suites were built in six twostory buildings. Outdoor showers were new features in several guest rooms. “We’ve received a lot of positive feedback from guests on the Catalina rooms, so we wanted to create something that had a village feel to it but also complimented other development that stayed true to the look and feel of the Hacienda,” he said. Rincon Ridge Village added 40 queen and king bedrooms with most boasting views of the Rincon Mountains, and sporting outdoor shower facilities.

“There’s just something so refreshing about outdoor showers,” Firth said, “especially when you’re looking out at the mountains.” The Hacienda’s tradition of showcasing local artists continues with many additional indoor and outdoor art pieces displayed throughout this latest expansion. Longtime interior designers Rene and Judy Tinsley returned to inject their signature hand-painted accents. The rooms also feature custom furniture designed and provided through Antiqua Mexico. Other contractors included Frank Mascia with CDG Architects and general contractor Chestnut Construction. Just north of the entrance to the Hacienda is a 3,400-square-foot home recently purchased to become The Spa at www.BizTucson.com


BizTOURISM

While we’ve grown a lot over the past 26 years, we feel we’ve continued to showcase the best of the Hacienda and that translates to a first-class, intimate guest experience.

Hacienda del Sol. There is also a small fitness center at the new lap pool installed in the village. When Hacienda del Sol first opened its doors in 1995, it had 30 rooms. “We were really just a food and beverage operation with some sleeping quarters,” Firth said. Today, with 97 keys and the additional amenities, the Hacienda is in an “efficient place as a premier Tucson resort,” he added The current partnership has served as the longest ownership, second only to original owners John and Helen Murphey, who built the Hacienda in 1929 and operated a girl’s college preparatory school from 1930 to 1948. The elite families of Pillsbury, Vanderbilt, Maxwell and Westinghouse were among www.BizTucson.com

those attached to the school. The property traded owners for many years before it was purchased by managing members Mike McGrath, Firth, Mike Stilb, Jeff Timan, Paul Ginsburg and Rick Fink (since deceased). “We’re now the longest owners of the Hacienda, surpassing the Murpheys by several years,” Firth said. That continuity of ownership and the planning that has taken place over the years ensured that each expansion complemented what existed. That’s evident throughout the property. Fortunately, the prediction that the tourism industry wouldn’t make a comeback until 2022 is proving to be untrue at the Hacienda. The Rincon Ridge Village started releasing rooms in

May and was fully opened in early June. Firth said the Hacienda has seen high occupancy this spring, and weddings and corporate events are coming back. Additional rooms, higher occupancy and more events mean the Hacienda is hiring. “We’re looking for people in every department,” Firth said, noting that, like others in the hospitality industry, finding the right people has been a challenge. “We’re really proud of the Hacienda and have worked hard to respect its history,” Firth said. “While we’ve grown a lot over the past 26 years, we feel we’ve continued to showcase the best of the Hacienda and that translates to a firstclass, intimate guest experience.”

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PHOTOS BY BRENT G. MATHIS

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


PHOTOS BY CARTER ALLEN

BizPHILANTHROPY

Czarina & Humberto Lopez

Humberto & Czarina Lopez Donate $3.5 Million in Endowments to University of Arizona By Tom Leyde In late fall of 2020, scientist Carol Gregorio attended a dinner party. There were more people there than she expected and there was a wrapped package on the table. When she asked what was going on, Czarina M. Lopez told her, “We missed your birthday,” Gregorio recalled. She told the group her birthday is in June. “Just open the box,” Lopez said. Gregorio opened the box. Inside was a white lab coat with her name on it and the surprising news that she was the recipient of the inaugural endowed chair for excellence in cardiovascular research at the University of Arizona’s Sarver Heart Center. The center is part of UArizona’s College of Medicine. The $2 million gift was part of a 132 BizTucson

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$3.5 million endowment for two chairs at UArizona from community leaders Humberto and Czarina Lopez. The other gift $1.5 million established the Dhaliwal-HSLopez Chair in Accounting at the Eller College of Management. It is in honor of Dan Dhaliwal, a 1977 alumnus who was head of the accounting department from 1996 until his death in 2016. The Lopezes are longtime UArizona supporters and volunteers. Humberto Lopez is a UArizona graduate, a CPA and founder of HSL Properties, real estate development and property management firm. He was instrumental in the creation of the Sarver Heart Center. Gregorio said receiving the endowed chair “was the biggest surprise of my

life. Apparently a lot of people knew about this and nobody told me. It’s amazing. They (the Lopezes) just really want to make a difference, and I’m not going to disappoint them. It’s such an honor, it’s such an honor, and you could say I’m speechless still.” “We trust Carol will put the money to good use and help people with problems related to heart disease, which has affected us,” Humberto Lopez said in a university news release. Czarina Lopez received a kidney and heart transplant. “Carol is capable and highly thought of. This addition will help advance her research. We expect her to do great things.” A 25-year UArizona employee, Gregorio has a doctorate degree in molecuwww.BizTucson.com


lar immunology. She does research in cardiac muscle biology and cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscle that makes it harder for the heart to pump blood to the rest of the body. This can lead to heart failure. “I try to understand how a mutation results in disease and the primary cause that leads to disease,” Gregorio said. “What I want to know is how do you go from that mutation to the problem” and then studying the problem in reverse. The $2 million endowment will be invested and Gregorio will use the interest about $80,000 a year to further her research. She said the endowed chair will enable her and her team to do research much quicker. Gregorio is co-director of Sarver Heart Center and also directs its program on molecular cardio research. “Endowed chairs are a wonderful way to provide our most talented with funding to do new and creative ideas,” said Dr. Nancy Sweitzer, Sarver Heart Center director, a professor of medicine and chief of cardiology at the UArizona College of Medicine.

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Carol Gregorio In contrast, attempts to gain national funding stifles innovation, she said, since awards gravitate to research with a high chance for success “An endowed chair is really important for people like Dr. Gregorio,” she said. “That’s where breakthroughs come from. It’s important for them to pursue creative ideas.” “They (the Lopezes) couldn’t have

picked a better person (for the endowed chair recipient),” Sweitzer said of Gregorio. “She’s an incredibly successful scientist. She’s pursuing the latest and most interesting discoveries in molecular cardiology. She’s just a really great thinker.” At the Eller College of Management, Dean Paulo Goes said the college expects to name the recipient of its new endowed chair in September. Dan Dhaliwal was an outstanding accounting professor, Goes said. “He was very well known in the accounting research field in the area of tax accounting.” Goes said the endowed chair is special to him because of Dhaliwal’s reputation as a department head. “He was very interested in helping people around him. He was a great mentor. He helped me personally when I first moved to the University of Arizona,” he said. Humberto Lopez and Dhaliwal got to know each other, and the endowed chair is “the perfect combination of legacies,” Goes said. It “will create a chance for us to honor a great researcher.” Biz

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James Titone

Owner and Co-Founder GermFree Disinfecting

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BizENTREPRENEUR

A Pandemic Plus

GermFree Disinfecting Responds to Need

PHOTOS BY TAYLOR NOEL

By Christy Krueger In future years, the devastating COVID-19 pandemic will be a memory most people would prefer to forget. But, as often happens, unexpected benefits may arise from the challenges we overcome, such as the development of new technology, processes and habits that will keep us safer going forward than ever before. James Titone and Doug Airulla met 10 years ago when both were in the midst of busy careers – working for somebody else. Airulla was an executive with JPMorgan Chase. Titone was a physician’s assistant at Ironwood Dermatology and previously an Army medic. They often talked about their shared passions and striking out on their own. When the pandemic hit, it got them thinking about disease prevention. They conducted research and realized, in a lot of cases, janitorial cleaning wasn’t enough for these times. On June 1, 2020, the partners were up and running with their new company, GermFree Disinfecting, born in response to the question of how to keep Tucson-area businesses and homes safe for employees, customers and inhabitants. All disinfecting solutions used are safe for humans and leave no residual trace. A University of Arizona professor of bioscience engineering helped them develop their services. Titone and Airulla created a threelevel approach to disinfecting and fighting pathogens. GermClear is an eradication process used when there’s an active presence of an infection. An example would be a gym owner who calls and says he thinks there’s a MRSA outbreak in one of the locker rooms. By www.BizTucson.com

Pima County law, according to Airulla, all biological outbreaks must be reported, and an outbreak is defined as one case or more. “These Pima County people educate businesses in person-to-person and surface spread prevention. We’re versed in disinfection,” Airulla said. “Sometimes a business will close for two weeks, but we go in wearing biohazard suits and we can get you back to business in one day.” He said the whole-room dry fog process they use has been proven in clinical studies to effectively eliminate dangerous pathogens, and “it reaches everything.” For clients who want ongoing treatment, the GermSafe program actively prevents infection before it happens. It is generally done every three months and includes electrostatic spraying technology. Like electrostatic painting, a charge is used so the spray wraps around and sticks to all objects in a room, including doorknobs. Last August, American Airlines started using the same type of system on airplanes. The polymer film forms a bond, which remains for a minimum of 90 days, according to a UArizona study. GermFree Certification involves educating clients on how to develop and maintain health and safety procedures, including training employees and providing educational materials and window stickers. “There really has to be a push to continue wearing masks and for a better understanding of what surface disinfecting is, especially in restaurants and in education,” Titone said. Another simple habit is increasing ventilation. Studies have shown that keeping windows and doors open reduces infec-

tions. Marana Unified School District, one of GermFree’s clients, keeps windows open in its school buses. The company’s commercial client list includes restaurants, healthcare facilities, schools and other businesses. GermFree is promoted in the community through its website, social media and traditional print and television advertising. Daniel Scordato uses the GermSafe preventive services at his restaurant Vivace. “I started four or five months ago and they’ve been here twice – once a quarter. Plus, we do our own wiping. They really are thorough and check that everything is done and double check.” He noted that GermFree personnel wipe some areas and spray all hightouch surfaces. “The way they explain it is when you coat with the sprayer, we don’t have to wipe as often because the coating stays. I feel good about it. I’ll keep doing it when this is over.” Although Airulla recently left the company for other pursuits, Titone is enthusiastic about GermFree’s future. His primary goal is “to increase awareness of cleaning for health, not just appearance, and for our systems to be integrated in service operations of larger institutions and schools – places where large groups of people are going in and out.” Even when the current pandemic lessens, Titone believes there will always be a need for GermFree’s services. “More infection prevention is what we have to have. It has to be everyone’s concern so we can all be healthy.”

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Tucson – On How the Region is Getting Noticed

Pima County is No. 1 in U.S. for Biggest Gains in Talent Attraction Emsi

Where to Travel Next – 2021 Hot List Conde Nast Traveler.com

5 Unexpectedly Awesome Cities to Visit in the U.S. Esquire.com

Top 25 Cities Most Likely to Attract Gen Z Realtor Magazine

The Chuck Huckelberry Loop Voted No. 1 for Best Recreational Trail USA Today “10 Best Readers’ Choice”

The international labor market data company announced that Pima County has made the biggest gains in the nation in attracting talent to the region – based on an analysis of population and migration data, growth of skilled workers, regional competitiveness and educational attainment. The county jumped from 546 to 91.

Tucson makes the travel magazine’s annual picks of destinations and hotel and industry openings that editors are excited about.

Tucson ranks in the top 5 domestic cities to travel this year, according to the national men’s magazine.

Tucson ranks in the top 25 U.S. cities to attract those born between 1997 and 2012, based on living conditions and job prospects, according to the official magazine of the National Association of Realtors.

The internationally distributed newspaper names The Loop the best recreational trail in the United States, as voted by readers.

Tucson Among Top 10 Commercial Tucson has been named one of the top 10 commercial real estate markets for 2021, according to the National Association of Realtors. “The top commercial real estate markets that are expected to outperform the rest of the nation are generally affordable and able to draw new residents with a greater flexibility to work from home,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “These growing markets also offer much lower office and retail rents and are, therefore, able to attract new and expanding businesses.” In selecting the top 10 markets, NAR considered 25 indicators on an area’s economic, demographic, housing and commercial market conditions in the 136 BizTucson

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multifamily, office, industrial, retail and hotel property sectors. Some of the indicators included GDP growth, unemployment rate, median household income, consumer spending, number of business openings, population growth, homeownership rate, rental vacancy rate, building permits and apartment rent, among other variables. NAR unveiled the top commercial markets during its first-ever Commercial Real Estate Forecast Summit earlier this year, which featured a panel of leading economists who discussed the pandemic’s impact on commercial real estate, including the multifamily, office, retail and industrial sectors as well as real estate investment trusts, or REITs. 

“A recovering economy and the near certain job growth will steadily lead to the absorption of commercial properties,” Yun said. “The apartment rentals market could once again experience very low vacancy rates by year’s end.” Calvin Schnure, Nareit’s senior VP of research and economic analysis, said that REITs have performed well overall in spite of COVID-19, although some variance exists depending on the market segment. “The impact of the pandemic on commercial real estate varies widely across property types,” Schnure said. “REITs have been resilient due to their strong balance sheets and liquidity and solid operating fundamentals when the www.BizTucson.com


BizBUZZ

The Radar Tucson Ranks in Top 10 Remote-Ready U.S. Cities Livability.com

Tucson is One of Hottest Housing Markets in 2021 Redfin

Remote Tucson – 5 Creative Incentive Programs That Might Inspire Your Next Move Livability.com

Underappreciated American Cities You Should Totally Move To Thrillist.com

Best Cities for an Active Lifestyle in 2021 WalletHub.com

Tucson ranks in the Top 10 list of top cities where remote workers could move, based on broadband access, local jobs that can be done at home, affordability, a robust regional economy and quality of life, according to this website that ranks America’s most livable small and mid-sized cities.

The national real estate brokerage, Redfin, predicted that Tucson will be one of this year’s hottest housing markets.

Remote Tucson, a program started by Startup Tucson to recruit remote workers here, gets a mention on this website that ranks America’s most livable small and mid-sized cities

Tucson ranks among several cities in which people can find “exemplary food scenes, communal green spaces, an undercurrent of creativity, thriving LBGTQ communities and ample nightlife,” according to this online media website that focuses on food, drink, travel and entertainment.

Tucson ranks No. 19 out of 100 U.S. cities as most accommodating to an active lifestyle, based on 36 indicators including fitness club fees, bike scores and share of physically inactive adults. WalletHub is a personal finance website.

Real Estate Markets in U.S. crisis erupted. “Some sectors have been harder hit, especially lodging, resorts and retail REITs, while sectors that support the digital economy – including data centers, cell towers and industrial and logistics facilities – have enjoyed a surge in demand.” Gay Cororaton, NAR senior economist and director of housing and commercial research, anticipated the multifamily, industrial and retail sectors will drive the commercial real estate recovery this year, but said it may take longer for office occupancies to reach pre-pandemic levels. “Multifamily and industrial remain the commercial market’s bright spots,” Cororaton said. “With wide differences www.BizTucson.com

in commercial and apartment rents across metro areas, development will turn to less expensive markets that are closer to the gateway cities. “However, office vacancy rates will remain elevated, even with full office-job recovery by the middle of 2022, due to some shifting toward a nationwide work-from-home culture.” The National Association of Realtors® is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.4 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. In alphabetical order, the top commercial real estate markets are:

Austin-Round Rock, Tex. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla. Charleston-North Charleston, S.C. Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nev. Nashville-Davidson-MurfreesboroFranklin, Tenn. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz. Raleigh, N.C. Salt Lake City, Utah Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash. Tucson, Ariz.

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BizTRIBUTE

Mayor Bob Walkup A True Statesman

Bob Walkup, a popular former Tucson mayor who served in the office from 1999 through 2011, died on March 12 following a lengthy battle with pulmonary fibrosis, a deadly lung disease. He was 84. Walkup, the city’s 40th mayor and the last Republican to serve in that capacity, is remembered by Democrats and Republicans alike as a cordial, humane and diplomatic leader who often demonstrated a unique ability to bring people of diverse views together to solve difficult Tucson problems. “Mayor Walkup was a born statesman who always strived to create the best Tucson possible,” said current Mayor Regina Romero, a Democrat. “Our city is better because of him. “I had the privilege of serving with Mayor Walkup for four years on the City Council. When I was elected in 2007, Bob was nothing but gracious and approachable, and I still consider him a mentor to this day. His leadership on issues ranging from economic development, water security and transportation positioned Tucson for a strong recovery out of the Great Recession.” Romero said Walkup “always had a vision to create a lively, bustling downtown for Tucsonans to eat, work, live and play. His advocacy in helping secure a TIGER grant to build the modern streetcar laid the groundwork for the thriving downtown we see today.” Walkup, a three-term mayor, won his first election in 1999 by garnering 53.7 percent of the vote against Democrat Molly McKasson. His second run against former Democratic Mayor Tom Volgy was closer, with Walkup taking 49.5 percent of the vote to Volgy’s 47.7 percent. Walkup faced no Democratic opposition in coasting to victory for a third term in 2007. He did not seek election a fourth time and was succeeded as mayor in 2011 by Democrat Jonathan 138 BizTucson

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Rothschild, a Tucson lawyer who described Walkup as quite different from most politicians. “Bob Walkup, for the most part, was a political outsider,” Rothschild said. “He spent many decades in the private sector as an engineer and an aerospace executive and he viewed his role in office as being a citizen servant rather than a partisan who saw government as an us-against-them proposition. Bob was a problem solver who truly was about trying to build consensus in the community.”

Bob Walkup Born Nov. 14, 1936, Walkup was raised in Ames, Iowa, where he graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in industrial engineering. After serving in the Army Corps of Engineers, Walkup worked for three decades in the aerospace industry as a high-ranking executive. He first worked at Fairchild Republic, where he oversaw production of the A-10 Thunderbolt jet aircraft, and later at Hughes Aircraft, today known as Raytheon Missiles &

Defense, building avionics equipment, military and commercial aircraft and national defense systems. Jim Click – a well-known auto dealer, philanthropist, Republican activist and political contributor – first met Walkup in 1999 after he decided to make his first run for mayor. Click was immediately impressed by Walkup and said the two became close personal friends. “Bob was a helluva guy, and you can quote me on that.” Click said. “He was bright, articulate, outgoing, polite and he had a great sense of humor. His outlook was always optimistic, he never had a bad word to say about anybody and he did a great job as mayor. He got a lot accomplished, even though the Democrats were always in the majority while he was in office. He worked tirelessly to improve the Tucson community. and he will be greatly missed.” When another Tucson auto dealer, Bob Beaudry, led an effort to place restrictions on the use of Colorado River water through an initiative known as Proposition 200, Click and Walkup were among those who successfully campaigned against the plan. Click said that, if passed, the proposal would have restricted the City of Tucson from using its allocation of Central Arizona Project water for home delivery and curtailed economic growth. Among many other things, Walkup also played key roles in the consolidation of various economic development groups into a single regional economic organization, today known as Sun Corridor Inc.; and was instrumental in establishing the Regional Transportation Authority, which Pima County voters approved in 2006. To date, the RTA has invested more than $1.2 billion to improve roadway corridors, safety, transit and the environment in Tucson and Pima County.

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PHOTO BY BALFOUR WALKER

By David Pittman


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Profile for BizTucson Magazine

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