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Showcasing Our Strengths


By Mary Minor Davis

It’s been only three years since Guy Gunther and his family moved to Tucson from Denver, but already the VP and GM for Greater Arizona CenturyLink has a keen sense for Southern Arizona’s business assets and its potential to be a global market leader. Serving as TREO’s chairman of the board, Gunther is excited about the opportunities he sees not only for his company, but for Arizona’s economic success. “I stepped in just as some interesting things were happening,” he said, referring to the growing concept of the Sun Corridor, the proposed Interstate 11 project, recent business interest in Tucson and the Blueprint Update. “I see a lot of opportunity for growth, not only for CenturyLink, but also an opportunity to rebrand TREO and the region and establish a strong competitive market.” Rebranding is something Gunther is familiar with. Having been a part of Qwest Communications and the merger with CenturyLink in Colorado, he came to Arizona to showcase the business services offered by CenturyLink and grow market share. “From the CenturyLink perspective, we see a lot of opportunity for growth,” he said. “My role is to look for those additional opportunities to grow the business portfolio. I quickly realized that Tucson and Southern Arizona have a lot to showcase.” CenturyLink’s mission – improving lives by connecting the community and strengthening business – aligned well with TREO’s mission, Gunther said. “The challenge that I saw early on is the fractionalized nature of the community,” he added. “There are different groups out there that all want the best for the region, but I’m not sure that people connect how it all goes hand-in-hand.” As a newcomer, Gunther has read studies conducted by Arizona State University, Arizona Forward, Imagine Greater Tucson and others. “They show we share the same core values – moving forward environmentally, economically and socially. “I see the role of TREO as creating that coalition and seeking defined commonality with the ultimate goal of creating jobs and economic prosperity.” This cannot be accomplished by TREO alone. Gunther is reaching out to groups in the community – neighborhoods, businesses, government entities and other business groups. “We need a coalition that speaks with one voice so that those who are making the larger decisions hear us.” Supporting this effort is a TREO board of “relentless leadership,” Gunther said. “It is remarkable to me the people we have involved are spending time day in and day out because they care about this region and our success. That makes me very proud and it’s what makes it fun for me.” Biz

Guy Gunther VP & GM, Greater Arizona CenturyLink

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