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WINTER FALL 2012 2018

THE REGION’S BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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SPECIAL REPORTS: Tucson Metro Chamber Rancho Sahuarita

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BizLETTER

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Winter 2018

Volume 9 No. 4

Publisher & Owner

Steven E. Rosenberg Brent G. Mathis

Creative Director Photo: Steven Meckler

As we head into our 10th year at BizTucson magazine, we have chronicled the remarkable resurgence and revitalization of downtown Tucson every step of the way. In this issue Rhonda Bodfield and Jay Gonzales report on downtown’s biggest win to date: “It was a mantra that built for more than 40 years – Tucson needs a downtown hotel. After decades of stops and starts, best laid plans and disappointments, the AC Hotel Tucson Downtown, a Marriott property, opened in September, crossing a finish line that had been in the distance for more than four decades.” Scott Stiteler and Rudy Dabdoub’s AC Marriott project “is crucial for downtown,” said Brent DeRaad, president and CEO of Visit Tucson. “It took partnerships – among the developers, the City of Tucson and Rio Nuevo – including tax incentives and unique financing, to make it happen. In many ways this property created a blueprint that is allowing new downtown hotel projects to follow.” Developers Stiteler and Dabdoub seem to have put a jolt into the hotel business downtown as two more properties are in the planning stages – another Marriott, this one called the Moxy, which will be right around the corner from the AC Hotel, and a second hotel by Caliber Hospitality, on the grounds of the Tucson Convention Center. In addition, HSL Properties, owners of the Hotel Arizona, have a plan to reopen that hotel by 2019. Twenty minutes south of downtown, there’s a nationally acclaimed masterplanned community called Rancho Sahuarita, which is the subject of a special report. More than two decades ago, developer Bob Sharpe had a vision for transforming 3,000 acres into a masterplanned community with nearly 6,000 homes, award-winning schools, shopping, lake, walking/running trails, clubhouse, resort, parks, fitness center and safe neighborhoods. Back then, journalist David Pittman interviewed and walked the land with Sharpe and wrote a story for the Tucson Citizen newspaper. Fast forward to today and file this under “meant to be.” Pittman files compelling interviews with Bob Sharpe and his son Jeremy, who, at 29, is now VP of community development for Rancho Sahuarita. Bob Sharpe is an inspiration. In March 2015 he was diagnosed with

glioblastoma, the same brain cancer that afflicts U.S. Sen. John McCain. Sharpe was told he had four to 15 months to live. “This coming March it will be three years since the tumor was removed, which puts me in the 2-percent bracket.” He and his wife Deborah formed a foundation that has raised more than $500,000 for brain cancer research. Another special report is on the nationally acclaimed success of the Tucson Metro Chamber. The Chamber received the prestigious 5-Star Accreditation from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which represents the top 1 percent of 7,000+ chambers of commerce across the United States. The special report features the chamber’s work to foster a pro-business environment, fight retail theft, expand the local economy, develop emerging leaders, lead advocacy and focus on workforce development, military support and many other initiatives. There’s a special focus on retiring President and CEO Mike Varney and his impressive accomplishments over the past seven years. Romi Carrell Wittman files outstanding profiles of Greater Tucson Leadership’s honorees for 2017. The four exceptional leaders are: Bruce Wright, Man of the Year, Lynne Wood Dusenberrry, Woman of the Year, Fred Boice, Founders Award, and a new honor, GTL’s Alumni Excellence Award to Damion Alexander. Congratulations to all four of these dedicated community leaders! This issue of BizTucson offers fascinating insights into a wide variety of business activity in the region. The new year is off to an exciting start. Steven E. Rosenberg Publisher & Owner BizTucson

Biz

Contributing Editors

Jay Gonzales Donna Kreutz

Contributing Copyeditors

Elena Acoba Diane Luber Dave Petruska

Contributing Technology Director

Mike Serres

Contributing Project & & Event Coordinator

Maricela Robles

Contributing Writers

Elena Acoba Lee Allen Rhonda Bodfield April Bourie Mary Minor Davis Jay Gonzales Chuck Graham June C. Hussey Tara Kirkpatrick Contributing Photographers

Tiffany Kjos Christy Krueger David Petruska David Pittman Steve Rivera Monica Surfaro Spigelman Valerie Vinyard Romi Carrell Wittman Roger Yohem Amy Haskell Kris Hanning Lori Kavanaugh Dean Kelly Martha Lochert Brent G. Mathis Chris Mooney David Sanders Tom Spitz Michael Sultzbach Kevin Van Rensselaer Balfour Walker

Member:

Arizona Builders’ Alliance DM-50 Greater Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce Marana Chamber of Commerce Sun Corridor Inc. Tucson Advertising Federation Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Tucson Metro Chamber Visit Tucson

BizTucson Phone: 520.299.1005 Subscription Information:

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

Steve Rosenberg 520.299.1005 or 520.907-1012 steve@BizTucson.com BizTucson is published quarterly by Rosenberg Media, LLC. ,Tucson, AZ ©2018 All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Opinions expressed in columns or articles do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher.

POSTMASTER:

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


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BizCONTENTS

118

FEATURES

WINTER 2018 VOLUME 9 NO. 4

COVER STORY: 92

BizDOWNTOWN New AC Hotel Electrifies Downtown

DEPARTMENTS

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BizMUSIC 171 Tucson Desert Song Festival BizLETTER BizTRIBUTE From the Publisher 172 General Alan Lurie BizCUISINE BizHONORS Culinary Dropout Spurs 176 Man of the Year: Bruce Wright Grant Road Development 178 Woman of the Year: BizBIOSCIENCE Lynne Wood Dusenberry Breakthroughs in Women’s Healthcare 180 Founders Award: Fred Boice 182 Alumni Excellence Award: Ventana Medical Systems’ Damion Alexander Founder Retires BizSTARTUPS BizTECHNOLOGY 184 Get Started Arizona Competition Simpleview’s Revenues Top $32 Million BizENTREPRENEURS 186 Ideas2Doors Conference BizAWARDS 20th Annual Copper Cactus Awards BizSTARTUPS 188 Social Venture Partners BizHEALTHCARE Fast Pitch Winners Ophthalmologist Extraordinaire BizCONSTRUCTION BizDOWNTOWN 190 Jewish Federation’s New Update: Downtown Resurgence Headquarters Tucson’s January 8th Memorial BizHEALTHCARE BizCONSTRUCTION Planning for End-of-Life Care 192 New to Market Projects BizTOURISM BizREALESTATE 194 Casino Del Sol to Expand Commercial Real Estate Forecast BizSALES SPECIAL REPORTS Sales Guru Jeffrey Gitomer Tucson Metro Chamber 33 BizSPORTS PGA Tour Champions Event Scores New Sponsor BizMILESTONE The Climb of Intermountain BizLEADERSHIP Dedicated to Mental Health BizTECHNOLOGY IBM’s Calline Sanchez

100 102 106 108 112 114 116 118 BizHOSPITALITY 122 $35 Million Renovation at El Conquistador Tucson 124 126 166 168

BizFESTIVALS Tucson Named ‘World Festival & Event City’ BizMUSIC Million Dollar Impact in 2 Days BizNONPROFIT Chicanos Por La Causa BizHR Encouraging ‘Intrapreneurs’

SPECIAL REPORT 2018

SPECIAL REPORT CORPORATE SPONSOR

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Rancho Sahuarita SPECIAL REPORT 2018

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RANCHO S A H U A R I TA CREATING A LIFESTYLE FOR ITS RESIDENTS

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ABOUT THE COVER New Hotel for Downtown Photo by Dean Kelly, TAParizona.com Creative Design by Brent G. Mathis

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BizCUISINE

$9 Million Culinary Dropout Fox Restaurant Spurs Grant Road Development By Tiffany Kjos

PHOTOS: BRENT G. MATHIS

Culinary Dropout is like nothing you’ve ever seen in Tucson. But don’t take that from us; take it from patrons dunking pretzel bites into cheese fondue and drinking out of … a paper bag? More on that later. In the meantime, ingest this: It’s the first project Fox Restaurant Concepts has built in Tucson in 10 years, spending $9 million to buy and develop the property where the venerable Grant Road Lumber used to sit, east of North Tucson Boulevard. “I’m going to say it – this is the most significant redevelopment in the city of Tucson. It has so much impact because now we have other users looking at Grant Road, thinking ‘Maybe we can do something,’ ” said Dean Cotlow, who brokered the purchase of the property. The restaurant is 22,000 square feet, about four times larger than the average eatery in Tucson. It employs more than 200 people. And it stands out – a metal and glass wonder in a neighborhood that could use some attention. “The fact that any entrepreneur believes there’s that kind of value and that kind of opportunity in our city is fantastic,” said Andrew Squire, a city of Tucson economic development specialist. “It’s huge.” Tucsonans are familiar with Fox Restaurant Concepts and the local-boy-does-good story about Sam Fox and his bevy of eateries, starting with Wildflower on North Oracle Road. At the helm of Tucson’s Culinary Dropout is Fox’s longtime partner Regan Jasper, who scouted locations on Broadway and Speedway but fell in love with the old Grant Road Lumber site. “There are things to talk about downtown, but midtown doesn’t really have anything to talk about except a widening project on a road. So here’s a win for midtown,” said Jasper, who spends much of his time on the road opening new Fox restaurants. “People asked, ‘Why are you spending that much money at Grant and Tucson?’ ” Short answer: A similar Fox enterprise in a depressed area in downtown Phoenix – at Seventh Street and Montebello Avenue – saw an influx of new retailers, something the Fox team hopes to replicate here. continued on page 18 >>>

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PHOTO: COURTESY CULINARY DROPOUT

Backstory

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By the Numbers Tucson Culinary Dropout $9 million invested in land and development 22,000 square feet 240+ employees 11 managers Fox Restaurant Concepts 18 restaurants to open next year 15 Fox restaurant brands 50+ Fox restaurants in several states 10 years since Fox opened a new restaurant in Tucson 1998 is when Sam Fox opened his first restaurant, Wildflower

Regan Jasper VP of Beverage & Partner Fox Restaurant Concepts

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M A N U FA C T U R E R O F R E S TA U R A N T D I N N E R WA R E

continued from page 16 Squire, the Tucson economic development specialist, said sometimes new retail business creates a ripple effect, attracting other new companies. “There can be a really strong synergy when somebody sees something successful,” Squire said. What about the neighbors?

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JOIN OUR GROWING RESTAURANT FAMILY RESTAURANTS WE PROUDLY SERVE TUCSON Culinary Dropout • Prep & Pastry Commoner & Co. • North Italia Nook • Blanco Tacos and Tequila Coronet Cafe • Penca Beyond Bread The Lodge at Ventana Canyon The Hacienda at the River PHOENIX True Food Kitchen The Henry Culinary Dropout & The Yard Olive and Ivy Arrogant Butcher Matt’s Big Breakfast Scottsdale Resort Kierland Golf Club The Wildflower Bread restaurants in Arizona AND BEYOND The Hillstone restaurants nationwide (HQ Beverly Hills) The Ritz- Carlton, Dove Mountain, Coral Gables & Half-Moon Bay El Tovar at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon La Posada Hotel & Gardens Winslow, AZ

Kingfisher Bar & Grill, which has been at 2564 E. Grant Road for 24 years, is hoping the area will get a boost. “I think it’s great. It brings people to the area. I think Sam Fox has always done a really good job with all his many different food concepts,” said Jeff Azersky, who along with business partner James Murphy owns Kingfisher. The ongoing Grant Road widening project won’t directly affect the neighborhood for several years. Meanwhile, his new neighbor has something that makes Azersky a little envious – valet parking. Culinary Dropout, which was “overwhelmingly” busy right out of the gate, has had to be creative about parking space, borrowing from businesses nearby that close at 5 p.m. Jasper’s office is in Phoenix, but his home is in Tucson, where he lives with his wife. “We want to be a member of this community, this part of town,” he said. “We want families to be here. We want celebrations to be here. We want people to celebrate birthdays and bachelor parties and bachelorette parties here.” With more than 50 restaurants in several different states, Fox Concepts works with many charities, including the Boys and Girls Clubs of Tucson and the Tucson Conquistadores. Culinary Dropout, at 2543 E. Grant Road, is in the “dead center” of Tucson, said Cotlow, the real estate broker. “All of a sudden it changes the whole makeup of Grant Road. I mean it changes it for a long ways west and a long ways east.” Within a short radius are the University of Arizona, downtown and the foothills. “Sam (Fox) has an unbelievable creative eye and he can see all these little details ahead of time,” Jasper said. “It was fun that I got to find this piece of dirt for him and say, ‘Hey, look at this beautiful opportunity that we have.’ It’s almost 4½ acres. It’s a big piece of real estate.” Jasper hoped to recycle the old lumber store, but three fires throughout the years and its age made that impossible, so they razed it and started from scratch. Fox bought the property for Culinary Dropout plus a former car wash to the west that will be home to a retail center anchored by national fitness center Orangetheory Fitness The vibe

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Culinary Dropout is divided into distinct spaces, including a dining room, bar, enclosed patio with games (“The Yard”), and a glassed-in, private area (“The Coop”) that seats around 100 and has its own bar. “You can play a little ping-pong and drink a beer. Or you can have a private-dining party with a set menu for www.BizTucson.com


PHOTO:COURTESY CULINARY DROPOUT

BizCUISINE

Sam Fox CEO & Founder Fox Restaurant Concepts 100 people – all under one roof,” Jasper said. In creating Culinary Dropout, Fox sought to capture diners from students to families to businesswomen who want to stop in for a cocktail: “Edgy, fun, casual, late night.” The menu includes antipasti, sandwiches, soups and salads. Mains include 36-hour pork ribs, cannelloni, ribs and fish and chips. Prices range from $3 to $24. A sandwich or salad will set you back about $12. The eye-popping kitchen is surrounded by glass. “It’s all done fresh. You can see them prepping it right there. Your food is going from a refrigerator to a cooktop,” Jasper said. “It’s bar food but it’s so good.” There are Arizona-brewed beers galore, plus the usual suspects such as Bud and Corona. About that paper bag – for $1.95 you get a can of beer, but the bartender gets to choose which kind. Not so adventurous? Go for a glass of wine or specialty cocktail. Mules, shandies and cocktails run around $11. Beer is $6 or so. Wine starts at $6 a glass or $24 by the bottle. Happy hour runs from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Sipping on a drink recently was Manny Chavez, 36, who’s been to the Culinary Dropout in Tempe, which is among several other Culinary Dropouts and other Fox restaurants in the Phoenix area. “When I was there I was like, ‘I wish they would open one here,’ ” he said. “It’s fun. It’s hip. We need things like this in Tucson.” Biz Culinary Dropout at Grant Road Lumber Yard 2543 E. Grant Road Open 7 days a week. culinarydropout.com/nso/tucson-az (520) 203-0934

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BizBRIEF

Kristie Fowler Wins Golf Award By David Petruska The Ladies Professional Golf Association Teaching and Club Professional Membership named Kristie Fowler of Tubac Golf Resort as its 2017 Professional of the Year. The LPGA T&CP Professional of the Year was established in 1980. It is awarded annually to a professional member of the organization who is primarily engaged in a golf operation, golf association or industry position and who promotes the game through player development, initiatives to grow the game and other golf-related activities. Fowler has been the head golf professional at the Tubac Golf Resort since March. Before that she was an assistant professional at The Gallery Golf Club for 15 years.

Fowler was a four-year letter winner at the University of Arizona and has one professional victory on what is now called the Symetra Tour. She was a talented amateur golfer runner-up in 1984 and 1985 in the national United

States Golf Association’s Women’s Public Links tournament. She also served a stint as an assistant coach for UA’s women’s golf team. She joined the T&CP in 1990 and worked her way up to Master status in 2012. In addition to her work as a full-time golf pro, she has served on the Arizona Women’s Golf Association committee to assist golf programs for Arizona high school girls and has been involved in mentor programs as an LPGA section member adviser. In recognition of her good works, Fowler was named the Central Section LPGA Golf Professional of the Year in 2011 and 2015. She also earned the 2016 LPGA Marilynn Smith Service Award.

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From left

Rebecca Ewald

Director of Global Marketing Roche Cervical Cancer Solutions VP and Global Head Roche Cervical Cancer Solutions

Dr. Eric Walk

Chief Medical & Scientific Officer Roche Tissue Diagnostics

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PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

Tim Himes


BizBIOSCIENCE

Breakthroughs in Women’s Healthcare Led by Roche Tissue Diagnostics By June C. Hussey

After 32 years of discovery and innovation, Roche Tissue Diagnostics, known locally as Ventana Medical Systems, Inc., is widely recognized as the world’s No. 1 tissue diagnostics company. Its tests are used on millions of patients globally every year. Yet somehow, many Tucsonans have no idea what this Tucson-born-and-bred company does or even where it’s located. Here’s what every local citizen should know. Every weekday, close to 1,200 dedicated employees make their peaceful, scenic drive along Tangerine Road in Oro Valley to begin their work day at Roche Tissue Diagnostics. Scientists, engineers, physicians, technicians, fabricators and other colleagues can’t help but be inspired by the rugged grandeur of the Santa Catalina Mountains as they approach the 106-acre campus on Innovation Park Drive. The sidewalks leading up to each building reveal colorful tiles and sculptures replicating cells or DNA as seen under a microscope. To an untrained eye, they look like modern art. To a Roche Tissue Diagnostics employee, they represent the possibility of this day revealing yet another transformative discovery to improve the lives of all people afflicted with cancer. The teams at the Oro Valley location are engaged in the development and production of diagnostic tests that help connect individual patients with targeted treatments through personalized healthcare. Unbewww.BizTucson.com

knownst to many of their fellow citizens, some of the cutting edge scientific research taking place inside these lowprofile buildings in the pristine Sonoran Desert is specifically leading to the latest breakthroughs in women’s health. Roche has recently developed tests in Tucson that help protect women around the world from developing cervical cancer by identifying those at greatest risk. They also develop and manufacture tests locally that are used around the globe to help determine which medicines are most likely to effectively treat specific types of breast cancer.

Parting Advice for Men and Women While everyone at Roche Tissue Diagnostics is proud of the breakthroughs they are creating in women’s health, it’s important to note that HPV is not just a female issue. It also affects men. Incidence of HPV-associated head and neck cancer has surpassed cervical cancer incidence in the United States. Roche’s Rebecca Ewald urges all parents to vaccinate children – boys and girls – against HPV. Although Roche does not manufacture this vaccine, it does strongly advocate its use. “It’s the most effective way to prevent the HPV-related cancer,” she said. Ewald also advised that “women should ask their doctors for an HPV DNA test. The No. 1 most reassuring thing is that if you’re negative, the likelihood that you will develop any kind of cervical disease in the next five years is minuscule and you can go on with your life.”

“Roche is committed to women’s health,” said Rebecca Ewald, a scientist by training who is director of global marketing for the cervical cancer team in Tucson. “We are with them at every stage of a woman’s life. Roche has a broad portfolio of diagnostic tests – from fertility and pregnancy care to cervical cancer prevention, diagnostics for breast and ovarian cancer, menopause and bone health. What is very exciting is that many of our flagship products are being manufactured right here in Tucson.” Three key products in the Roche cervical cancer portfolio, some of which are endorsed by the World Health Organization, are already benefiting more than 100 million women worldwide, a number which, according to Tim Himes, VP and global head of Roche’s cervical cancer franchise, is forecast to grow 25 percent year over year. Together, the cobas HPV test (available globally and approved by the FDA), the CINtec PLUS Cytology test and the CINtec Histology test make up the portfolio of products produced by Roche that are used to screen, triage and diagnose cervical pre-cancers. HPV – or human papillomavirus – DNA testing, as it has in many parts of the world, is expected to eventually replace the Pap smear, a testing method in place since the 1940s, greatly reducing the remaining incidence of cervical cancer worldwide. Himes said, “Actually cervical continued on page 24 >>> Winter 2018

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BizBIOSCIENCE continued from page 23 cancer is probably the only 100 percent preventable cancer that exists. We know that it’s caused by a specific virus, we can vaccinate against the virus, we can detect the presence of the virus – and different from other cancers, it has a long period of precancerous disease. If detected, it can be removed so that cancer never has the opportunity to develop. The fact that women die from cervical cancer today is absolutely unacceptable. Could you imagine if women in the U.S. were still dying from polio or measles?” Despite these advancements, 250,000 women do still die from cervical cancer annually, 4,500 within the United States alone. Most of these fatalities occur in unscreened populations. January is National Cervical Health Awareness Month, when health organizations across the country spotlight issues related to cervical disease, HPV and the importance of screening and early detection. HPV is the causative agent of 99.7 percent of cervical cancers and, according to Himes, it’s as common as the flu. Eighty percent of all adults will at some point in time be infected. The immune system usually takes care of it. At the same time, about 70 percent of cervical cancers are caused by HPV16 and HPV18, the subtypes associated with the highest cancer risk. Ewald explained. “When you’re HPV-positive, it doesn’t mean you’re automatically going to get cervical cancer. According to the landmark ALTS study, the virus clears on its own in 90 percent of women. But how do you know which are the right women to send on for further testing and treatment? That’s where our new biomarker-based tests can really make a difference. We look for transforming events in the cells caused by HPV. Our tests are actually very clever. When you are HPV-positive and positive for the biomarker test, then you go for a closer exam of your cervix. Your doctor may take a biopsy to see whether you have cervical disease requiring treatment. We use a test on the biopsy to see if transforming events are occurring, based on the p16 biomarker.” People outside the industry often say to Himes, “Now that we have a high-tech, scientific method, why isn’t that the standard of care?” His answer: “ ‘Go get your annual Pap smear’ has been the message to every woman in developed countries for the past 60 years, so now we are in the process of changing clinical practice.” Dr. Eric Walk, chief medical and scientific officer, added, “Most women don’t know that Pap smears may miss disease in nearly 50 percent of women with cervical disease. A falsenegative rate that high is simply unacceptable for a screening test. On a quarterly basis, we bring patients impacted by cancer to speak with our employees about their journeys. Last year, we spoke with a patient named Lizzi, who despite having annual Pap smears was diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer. It’s patient stories like Lizzi’s that drive us to create better screening solutions for this disease.” Walk summarized the transformative scientific evolution that’s taken place in our lifetimes, driven in large part by the team at Roche. “The whole field of pathology diagnostics used to be about answering the simple questions: What 24 BizTucson

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does the patient have? Is it cancer or is it benign? If it’s cancer, what type? It ended there. Now, through the use of immunohistochemistry technology, we can also answer two more important questions: If it is cancer, how dangerous is it, or what is the prognosis? And more recently, over the past 10 years, are there specific drugs that can be effective with that cancer? “So that brings us into the era of personalized medicine and immunotherapy. Preventing over-treatment is a key reason that personalized healthcare movement really took hold. In the mid-’90s, we were still in a one-size-fitsall therapy mode. We were looking at breast or lung cancer as single entities. If you look at the data, the response rates were extremely low. We needed something else. “We’re all thrilled that the role of diagnostics has been elevated to quite a high level in oncology – one that is equally as important or perhaps more important than the drugs – because especially with companion diagnostics, these are tests that inform patients and doctors which drugs will and won’t be effective.” It’s exciting to think that the next lifesaving cancer test or treatment could very well be inspired by Roche colleagues in Tucson conversing during a lunchtime hike on the breathtaking nature trails surrounding their worksite, or perhaps by patients who have been invited to discuss their cancer experiences with local researchers, or even by the next Tucson Symposium, an international conference of the world’s leading scientists that the company hosts in Tucson each year. These are just a few of the reasons why Roche Tissue Diagnostics deserves a spot on everyone’s radar and they are certainly among the reasons why neighbors like Walk, Himes and Ewald are excited about their work. Walk concluded, “I’m a pathologist by training. I went into medicine because I wanted to contribute to patient care. As a hospital-based pathologist, I could only impact one patient at a time, maybe 10 patients a week. Here, I get to work with individuals and teams to transform pathology and medicine as a whole. To me it doesn’t get better than that.”

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First trade show

History at a Glance Ventana Medical Systems first took root in 1985 in a garage on Prince Road where Dr. Thomas Grogan, a University of Arizona pathologist, was developing patented technology to improve the speed and accuracy of diagnosing leukemia and lymphoma. Early success and a $100 million in venture capital allowed the company to take off, discovering more and more about cancer and its biology as it did. After a stock offering in 2000, Grogan was able to consolidate 16 spread-out locations into a stunning, original campus on 106 acres in Oro Valley’s Innovation Park. He put half the money into developing the complex and the other half into the company bank account. Such wise financial planning allowed Ventana Medical to thrive. The company was acquired by Swiss-based Roche in 2008.

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BizBIOSCIENCE

The Next Chapter

Ventana Medical Systems’ Founder Tom Grogan Retires By June C. Hussey When Ventana Medical Systems founder Dr. Thomas Grogan, 72, announced his retirement in September, he admitted to feeling both confident and relieved. Confident because he knows the Tucson-based biotech giant he built from the ground up is in good hands. Relieved because, as he put it, “Now that I’m off the payroll, I can do whatever I want.” In his modest office on his first official day as founder emeritus, Grogan smiled at being asked about his future schedule. When he’s not mentoring rising stars at Roche Tissue Diagnostics, known locally as Ventana Medical Systems, Inc., a few half days a week, he’ll spend more time with his wife, Candace, and their five grandchildren. He’ll fly fish the Delores, San Miguel and Gunnison rivers a little more often. And he’ll work on his book “Chasing the Invisible.” Like a grandfather telling a bedtime story, Grogan explained, “It’s about the quest to cure cancer. It means you need to get the last cell. And how do you get the last

cell if you can’t see it?” It’s not a rhetorical question. For 32 years, Grogan has been chasing the invisible, looking for cancer cells he could not see – and finding them – by inventing medical instruments that didn’t exist. Today, thousands of those instruments worldwide and more than 250 related tests are transforming medicine and saving lives in 90 countries. This company, sometimes mistaken by locals for the eastside golf course, holds 900plus patents and is widely considered the global leader in tissue diagnostics. To put it in perspective, if you or someone you love has been diagnosed, treated and cured of cancer, chances are Roche Tissue Diagnostics played a role. When pitching the concept for his mentor role to Ann Costello, CEO, Grogan said, “Ann, imagine when you were a little kid and you went to your grandfather’s birthday and everyone had a grand time and he got up at the end and said, ‘I’m leaving tomorrow

and you’ll never see me again.’ Everyone here is emotionally committed. We are a family. So what’s the appropriate behavior for an elderly member of your family?” In his signature, easy-going style, Grogan explained, “I started the company when I was 40. And since I’ve been a grandfather now for 15 years, I know what that’s like. The parents know what they’re doing. I just want to be here to support them.” Echoing his colleagues, Chief Medical & Scientific Officer Dr. Eric Walk expressed support for Grogan’s next chapter. “For over 30 years Tom has been an integral part of our spirit, culture and DNA, if you will, and we’re absolutely thrilled that he will continue to be part of the Roche Tissue Diagnostics family as founder emeritus. We look forward to continuing to work with him because he has by no means run out of ideas on how to transform medicine and not only will we benefit – but patients around the world will benefit, too,” Walk said.

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Values Worth Instilling Words of wisdom from Dr. Tom Grogan, founder emeritus, Roche Tissue Diagnostics, known locally as Ventana Medical Systems:

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Continuous improvement – “I can remember two generations ago driving with my grandfather and every other Sunday his car used to break down. What we make is vital to a hospital and what we make has to work well for a long time. Everything you learn makes something more reliable.”

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Fiscal conservativism – “We have always used every penny we made to make a better instrument or improve our circumstance.” Local manufacturing – “I’m a firm believer that you want to be close to manufacturing because if you ask people to make something over and over again, I think it is innate in us to think of a better way to make it. I also felt a major competitive advantage due to proximity to the University of Arizona, Pima Community College and ABC Tech. I needed a range of technical abilities and I had it all here. It was a wellspring.” Sustaining the effort – “It’s not a tunnel and there is no light at the end. It’s a maze. The coaching is, ‘You know that wall you just hit? Thank you because now we’re not going to do it that way, we’re going to go back.’ Success is about your ability to sustain the effort. In a number of things we’ve done, we’ve been the first to do it and it wasn’t until the very end that we knew we could.”

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Ryan George

PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

Co-founder & CEO Simpleview

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BizTECHNOLOGY

Simpleview’s Annual Revenues Top $32 Million By April Bourie For the 11th consecutive year, Tucson-based Simpleview is on the Inc. 5000 list, the national magazine’s annual ranking of the fastest-growing private companies in the United States. With three-year sales growth of 58 percent and annual revenues of $32.1 million, the travel technology company took spot 4,376. Companies such as Microsoft, Dell, Domino’s Pizza, Pandora, Timberland and LinkedIn gained their initial national exposure as honorees of the Inc. 5000. If you don’t work in the travel and tourism industry, you may not be familiar with Simpleview. Yet the company’s phenomenal success is well known among convention and visitors bureaus and other travel industry experts. Simpleview’s clients include 38 of the top 50 U.S. convention destinations. The company employs more than 185 people and works with more than 400 customers throughout North America and around the world. With offices in Pittsburgh and Norway, the company is now the global company Ryan George and his fellow founding partners first envisioned Founded in 2001, Simpleview provides destination marketing organizations (known as DMOs) with integrated customer relationship management and content management system platforms. It also offers benchmarking and reporting tools, responsive website creative and design, search engine optimization and digital marketing. “We think of the company as a ‘customer-experience management’ company,” said George, Simpleview CEO and co-founder. “We provide destinations all of the digital marketing solutions that they need to promote leisure www.BizTucson.com

and business travel to their respective markets.” According to George, Simpleview’s competitive edge is that it can provide either a single piece of a client’s digital marketing plan or be a one-stop shop. This option allows customers to streamline both the creation and management processes and to reduce their dependence on several different suppliers. “This saves our customers money and makes it easier to contact someone when there is an issue,” George said. Simpleview’s evolution is as interesting as its success. While attending the University of Arizona, George worked as an accounting intern at a company called Heinfeld and Meech. This experience inspired George to choose accounting as his major and later declare a second major in management information systems. He finished both degrees in four years and stayed on at the firm after graduation. To this day, he counts the founders, Gary Heinfeld and Nancy Meech, as mentors. They started their company from their kitchen table, and during George’s tenure were able to triple the number of employees. Heinfeld and Meech saw potential in George, making him director of information technology responsible for starting their IT consulting division. It was at this time he hired Scott Wood, who today is Simpleview’s COO, and reconnected with and hired an old friend from elementary school named Bill Simpson, now Simpleview’s chief technology officer. The IT consulting division quickly began focusing on database-driven applications and web design. Its clients were mainly school districts and local

companies like Gadabout, the Central Arizona Project and the Metropolitan Tucson Convention and Visitors Bureau, now Visit Tucson. Eventually, the strain of operating two completely different cultures within one business proved to be too much, so George, Simpson and Wood struck a deal with Heinfeld and Meech. The three would continue to support all of Heinfeld and Meech’s internal systems for two years at no cost, while the three men would take their customers, servers and other equipment to start a new business under the name 220solutions. An additional $16,000 loan from George’s dad made the transition possible. The loan was repaid within three months and the company has been profitable ever since. “At this point, we were a ‘we’ll-doanything-for-money’ business,” said George. “But luck was on our side.” While working with Visit Tucson, George met Rich Reasons, the owner of a company called cvbTV, who was pitching a new database-driven website project. As Visit Tucson’s technology partner, 220solutions was invited to the meeting. They quickly realized that combining 220solutions’ platform and Reasons’ connections would create a new travel technology company that could compete in the global marketplace. Simpleview was born and the original vision for the company remains today – to be THE standard for integrated destination marketing solutions built on experienced leadership and meaningful relationships. “These last two are a recurring theme in our company,” said George. “We continued on page 30 >>> Winter 2018

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BizTECHNOLOGY

continued from page 29 built the company around leadership, relationships and technology, and we continue to focus on these aspects to make our company a success. I get my energy from staying connected to our people and our customers.” George attributed the company’s success to a lot of hard work, a lot of luck and surrounding themselves with good people. “You get lucky every once in a while and have to learn to take advantage of the lucky moments. In addition, Scott and Bill are phenomenal and consistent leaders who are good at keeping everyone working toward the same vision. We also hire people smarter than us.” Employee investment is an important tenet of the company. Each employee is budgeted $2,500 per year to use in the professional development programs of their choice. That comes to more than a quarter of a million dollars a year dedicated to professional development. “We’d rather over-educate our people and risk them leaving than under-educate them and keep them stagnant,” George said. This investment sometimes pays off immediately. Because one of their email-marketing employees chose to attend a seminar on software that helps email marketers avoid the junk box, Simpleview was able to improve the effectiveness of one of its client’s email marketing campaigns. In 2007 and 2011, Simpleview was named the “Best Place to Work” in the Wells Fargo Copper Cactus Awards. “We have always worked to make Simpleview a company that people genuinely want to be a part of – and that goes not just for our clients, but for employees too,” said George. “We’ve built our business on relationships and if employees aren’t happy, those relationships fail. Making Simpleview a great place to work isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s also good business.” To further cultivate customer relationships, Simpleview hosts a “users conference” attended by current and prospective clients. The conference hosts approximately 1,000 attendees each year over three days and shows attendees what the company does and how they can be more effective using Simpleview’s services to market their destinations. The conference also gives Simpleview employees a chance to connect face-to-face with their clients and potential clients and explain emerging trends. Simpleview’s investment in customer relationships has paid off. “Simpleview helps hundreds of DMOs throughout the world better operate their businesses,” said Brent DeRaad, president and CEO of Visit Tucson. “Its customer-relationship management platform is an essential business tool that allows us to track and report data quickly and accurately to our stakeholders. We are proud to be one of Simpleview’s original customers.” Word-of-mouth referrals are one of the company’s best sources of marketing. “The travel industry is a very tight-knit community and word travels fast,” George said. In addition, Simpleview markets itself through frequent attendance at trade shows – with five people on the road on any given day. Even after all of his travels, George is happy to call Tucson home both for his family and for his company. Businesswise, Tucson was a great place to start Simpleview and continues to be beneficial to the company’s growth. “Had we tried to start in a larger community, our competitors would be clawing at the talent and make it much harder to succeed. There’s no place I’d rather live or start a business.”

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BizBRIEFS

Tracy Moorman Tracy Moorman has joined BMW Tucson as its GM. Moorman has 38 years of automotive experience in sales and executive management. Originally from Kansas, he’s managed auto dealerships in Scottsdale, Georgia, Kansas and Nevada ‒ most recently at Mercedes-Benz in Reno ‒ before coming to Arizona and BMW Tucson. He is a graduate of the University of Kansas.

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Tony Phillips Tony Phillips is the new GM at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort where he is responsible for overseeing all operational aspects of the 398-room hotel. He brings more than 20 years of hospitality experience to his role, having most recently served as GM of Loews Vanderbilt Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. He has spent the majority of his career at Loews Hotels,, starting as a front office manager in Denver.

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SPECIAL REPORT 2018

THE REGIONâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S BUSINESS MAGAZINE

SPECIAL REPORT CORPORATE SPONSOR


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Tucson Metro Chamber SETTING THE BAR HIGH Ranked in Top 1 Percent Nationwide We have a member of the elite in our midst. It’s truly the efforts are central to promoting the economic well-being of best of the best, the cream of the crop, and it’s been here, Tucson and Southern Arizona. advocating for local business and building stronger communiPresident and CEO Mike Varney came to Tucson to lead ties, for 121 years. the Chamber in 2011. Since then he has recruited and menLast spring, the Tucson Metro Chamber was awarded fivetored a staff of 21 that has initiated new programs and laid star accreditation by the U.S. Chamber a solid foundation. It’s ready to move forward under new leadership after of Commerce, a business federation Varney retires. that represents the interests of more Today the Chamber represents some than three million businesses across the nation. 1,500 businesses in Tucson and SouthThe five-star rating is bestowed on ern Arizona – 60 percent of which are only the very best chamber of comsmall businesses. Together these small merce organizations in the nation. Of businesses with 25 or fewer employees 7,000 chambers in the United States, employ more than 160,000 people and only 106 have received a five-star ratrepresent a major economic force in the ing. This puts the Tucson Metro Chamcommunity. ber in the top 1 percent of chambers of The Chamber advocates for its memcommerce nationwide. bers, which it calls investors, by fostering This recognition is all the more a business-friendly environment. This meaningful because in this day and age advocacy includes interacting frequentof the internet and social media, many ly with local government, supporting chambers have struggled to find a focritical ballot initiatives and providing – Michael Varney cus and ways to provide benefit to their relationship building and educational President & CEO community. The Tucson Metro Chamopportunities to its member-investors. Tucson Metro Chamber ber’s robust lineup of programs, active “Leading and advocating for a succommittees and task forces – which are cessful community” is the Chamber’s made up of Chamber members and one or two Chamber mission. This is evident in virtually everything the Chamber does. Here are some highlights: staff – makes the Chamber unique among its peers. These

If you boil everything we do down to its most basic element, we’re problem solvers. The Tucson Metro Chamber is a problem-solving organization.

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BizLEADERSHIP

By Romi Carrell Wittman

Economic Expansion and Job Creation – The Chamber steadfastly promotes regional economic expansion. It established the Coalition Against Retail Theft, a convening of retailers, law enforcement and prosecutors, to address Pima County’s nearly $6 million in organized retail theft losses last year. It also established the Project Prosperity Task Force to encourage more understanding of and cooperation between business and government. Workforce Development – Workforce development is often cited by businesses as its most critical challenge. Three Chamber programs address this need: Intern-toCareer gives high school students paid internships in a trade, preparing them for employment after graduation. Earn to Learn makes a college education possible for lowincome students across the state. Students save a specified amount of money each semester, then receive supplemental tuition support. The Chamber’s newest program is the Talent Recruitment Task Force, a group of major employers the Chamber will serve by creating a talent and recruitment toolkit to help them be more successful. Public Policy – The Chamber is well-known for its successful Public Policy efforts, supported by its Public Affairs Council. The council communicates critical policy issues to the business community in lay terms, making it fast and easy to digest complex information. The council also works with local businesses to get employees engaged in the election process.

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Leadership Development – The Chamber is committed to empowering new leaders by immersing them in the culture and business atmosphere of the region. The programs include Greater Tucson Leadership, Emerging Leaders Council and the New Executive Welcome. Investor Ambassadors – A chamber of commerce is only as good as the members who constitute its ranks. That’s why the Chamber reaches out to its membership to ensure that its investors meet business colleagues and have access to the local business knowledge and resources that can help them be more effective.

Word of the Chamber’s success and influence has spread. The staff frequently receives calls from other chambers inquiring about business best practices and other issues. They also are invited to present at regional and national conferences. In this way, the Chamber is setting or raising the bar on a nationwide scale. The five-star rating by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce underscores this success. The accreditation process “is a very rigorous look at how chambers of commerce operate, how effective they are, how organized they are,” Varney said. “They evaluate local chambers in nine different competencies. Fivestar means you’re hitting on all cylinders.” Raymond P. Towle, VP of the Institute for Organization continued on page 42 >>>

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BizLEADERSHIP continued from page 41 Management, a program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, said in a media release, “Accreditation validates a chamber as having programs that benefit their local economy and for positively influencing action in their community.”

Over the past three years that I have been actively involved with the Tucson Metro Chamber, I have seen a team that is focused on the growth and success of Tucson’s business community. I see this focus and dedication leading to great results and an overall positive economy for our businesses. –

Sara Hyde, Enterprise Holdings

The U.S. Chamber accreditation is the only national program recognizing chambers for effective business practices and involvement with the local community. The areas of governance, government relations and technology all play a part in the rating a chamber receives. The ratings can vary from simple accreditation to three stars, four stars or five stars. The accrediting board, which is composed of U.S. Chamber board members, has the final say in the accreditation rating. The accreditation process wasn’t a walk in the park for the Tucson Metro Chamber. It took roughly nine months 42 BizTucson

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from start to finish and involved examining every aspect of the Chamber’s operations – from governance, finance and human relations to communication, government affairs and program development, among others. Despite knowing the accreditation process would be intense, it was something Chamber staff knew they had to pursue. “I have often said that the staff of the Tucson Metro Chamber is the best in the business,” Varney said. “Five-star recognition from the U.S. Chamber is extremely rigorous, which is why so few chambers of commerce have achieved this level of designation. The Chamber’s program of economic expansion, advocating for job creators and workforce development is a plan we are very proud of.” And justly so. “In 2011, the Chamber was in a difficult place,” said Robert Medler, VP of government affairs at the Chamber. “When we evolved into our current form through Mike’s leadership, we knew we had a special organization.” Medler said the accreditation process served as a self-evaluation of sorts, proving to staff that the Chamber was as effective and efficient as they believed it to be. “It’s a recognition of doing things right and serving as a leader.” “Not only has the Chamber done the basic blocking and tackling of your typical chamber of commerce, the leadership of Mike Varney has created and mentored an outstanding team of Chamber employees that will continue to provide excellent customer service to our investors,” said Larry Lucero, the 2017-2018 chairman of the Chamber’s board of directors. He also is senior director of government relations and external affairs for UNS Energy and its subsidiaries. Varney said the Chamber very effectively incorporates three brand pillars – the three Cs – to serve as:

• •

Catalyst for business growth

Convener of leaders and influencers

Champion for a stronger community

“If you boil everything we do down to its most basic element, we’re problem solvers,” Varney said. “The Tucson Metro Chamber is a problem-solving organization.”

Chamber Staff Leadership Excels The Tucson Metro Chamber team is recognized locally and nationally for its significant contributions and impact. The Chamber operates with a staff of 21, plus the board of directors and its action committees. Recent staff accolades include: • Mike Varney was named CEO of the Year by the Western Association of Chamber Executives (WACE), based on the Chamber’s overall program of work and organizational achievements as well as Varney’s contributions to the chamber of commerce industry throughout his career of 15 years. • Edgar Martinez, senior executive of business development, was awarded the Lifetime Sales Achievement Gold award and the Circle of Champions Sales award from the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives. Founded in 1914, ACCE serves more than 7,500 chamber professionals around the world. • Susan Manfredi, investor services and affinity director, CFOO Laura Nagore and Communications Director Carissa Fairbanks recently graduated from the Institute for Organization Management, the professional development program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. They now hold the designation of IOM, which signifies the individual’s completion of 96 hours of course instruction in nonprofit management.

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BizLEADERSHIP

Q&A

with

Larry Lucero By David Pittman

Q.

Although Mike Varney announced his decision to retire as president and CEO of the Tucson Metro Chamber in March of 2017, we are at the beginning of 2018 and his replacement has not been named. Why is it taking so long to replace Varney? There is no shortage of people A. interested in the position, but we just haven’t found the right fit. I think

we are going to be successful by being patient and deliberate, which we have been. When Mike joined us more than six years ago, we were at a very low point. Now, in large part because of Mike’s leadership, we are recognized as being in the top 1 percent of chambers nationwide. We’ve done things the right way and accomplished great things. The board has a keen interest in not taking two steps back. We are at an unprecedented level and there are challenging issues this Chamber wants to address. 46 BizTucson

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director in 1992 and was later promoted to director of government affairs. In his current role for the utility, he oversees government relations and economic development with local, state and federal entities, as well as statewide business recruiting and retention efforts. Lucero’s volunteer activities include serving on various boards, including the Southern Arizona Defense Alliance, Tucson Youth Development, Arizona Tax Research Association, Chicanos Por La Causa’s Southeast Arizona Advisory Council and the Arizona-Mexico Commission.

Q.

Could you name a couple of those issues you’d like to tackle? What gets the Tucson Metro A. Chamber team up in the morning and keeps them up at night is find-

ing ways to expand our local economy and create more jobs. How we go about doing that largely falls into two categories – government advocacy and workforce development. As a metro area, we do not produce the level of goods and services a market our size should produce. Our recovery from the Great Recession is slower than other markets our size and the national average. These are big issues that need big solutions. Workforce development is one challenge, which is not just in Tucson, but throughout the nation. Our efforts locally are focused on career and technical education, Pima Community College, the University of Arizona and all of the training institutions you find in this region. Workforce is a continuing component of our community’s ability to thrive and grow. We need to do a better job of recognizing the needs of employers and make sure those needs

are aligned well with the K-12, community college and university systems so we produce qualified individuals for the jobs of the future. We also want to take a look at the large number of residents who don’t live in incorporated cities or towns, which results in our community receiving less state revenue than it otherwise would be entitled to.

Q.

There has been an extraordinary turnaround at the Chamber. Membership and revenue are at new highs and a variety of successful new programs have been introduced. What is responsible for this transformation? It’s a combination of things. A. Mike has hired a good staff. He has brought in a group of individuals who have been focused on innovation and creativity. Before Mike arrived, the Chamber had backed away from its role of being

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PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

Larry Lucero serves as the 2017-18 chairman of the board for the Tucson Metro Chamber. He is the senior director of government relations and external affairs for UNS Energy and its subsidiaries, Tucson Electric Power and Unisource Energy Services. A Tucson native and graduate of the University of Arizona, Lucero is well-known within government, political, business and economic development circles locally, at the state capitol and in Congress. After working a decade in Pima County government, Lucero became TEP’s economic development


Larry Lucero

Chairman of the Board Tucson Metro Chamber

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BizLEADERSHIP continued from page 46 an advocate for business. Re-emphasizing that mission initially meant being somewhat of a thorn in the side of local government, but that has evolved into dialogue and a better working relationship between the Chamber and local governments. Opening a line of communication with elected officials and government staff has been a key factor in the Chamber’s ability to make progress. The advocacy role that a chamber can play doesn’t necessarily have to be adversarial, but the Chamber is committed to holding public officials accountable for decisions that are not beneficial to business, our economy and our community. As a result of our success over the last few years, we have a board made up of both large and small organizations that is very engaged in building liaisons with our investor base. These investors are what’s important and we actively seek out guidance and ideas from them regarding things that need to be addressed.

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Q.

There seems to be more cohesiveness between various local business interests than there was a decade ago. Has the Chamber helped build greater connectivity between the different business groups?

D-M and other Southern Arizona military installations bring to our community. In addition to the Tucson Metro Chamber, SADA includes the Southern Arizona Leadership Council, DM-50, Southern Arizona Home Builders Association, Tucson Association of Realtors, Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Metro Pima Alliance.

A.

What do you believe is the biggest challenge facing the Tucson community today?

Chamber staff has been diligent in looking outward beyond our investor base and establishing relationships with other business and civic groups in the region with common interests. A great example of that came about because of concerns about Davis-Monthan Air Force Base being downsized. The Chamber was part of an effort that led to Tucson’s largest business organizations banding together to form the Southern Arizona Defense Alliance (SADA), which has been instrumental in educating people about the important economic contributions

Q.

I would say infrastructure. The A. key question is how can we move our citizens around more efficiently? Is it roads, public transit or a combination of the two? It’s crucial to our success over the long term.

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BizLEADERSHIP

SETTING THE BAR

Fly Tucson First By Romi Carrell Wittman

When you book air travel, do you search for flights out of Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix? Are you conditioned to look to Sky Harbor first to save money on airfare? If so, you might want to recalculate how much you really are saving. First, consider the time it takes to drive to Phoenix – a minimum of 1½ hours, more if you live on the eastside of town. Next there’s gas, vehicle wear and tear and higher parking costs. Then there are the unforeseen traffic delays. And don’t forget that Sky Harbor is huge and often difficult to navigate. Sure, you may have saved a few dollars on your airfare, but in the long run, you actually may be spending more in dollars and time while increasing frustration. And there’s one other critical consideration: The money you spend when you fly out of Sky Harbor or any other nearby airport is money – and jobs – that aren’t kept in our region. Fly Tucson First, a new initiative by the Tucson Metro Chamber in partnership with the Tucson Airport Authority, aims to change people’s perspectives about flying from Tucson. The goal of Fly Tucson First is to increase air travel at Tucson International Airport and, ultimately, secure additional airlines, routes and improved services. “It’s a community-wide effort,” said Grace Gegenheimer, government affairs manager at the Chamber. “We want to encourage people to consider Tucson first when making decisions for business or personal travel.” The initiative formally launched at the Governor’s State of the State address in January, along with a robust website and an online pledge for businesses to sign. The pledge is a statement of intention to select TUS (TIA’s airport code) whenever possible. Chris Schmaltz, deputy general counsel for TAA, has been heavily involved in getting the initiative launched. He said that 50 BizTucson

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air service is directly related to a community’s economic vitality, in a chicken-and-egg sort of way. “When businesses and the community use the air service that’s available, the airlines respond with more flights to more destinations,” he said. “When that happens, it’s easier for people to come to Tucson to do business and visit, spending vital tourism dollars.” Tucson has seen a fair number of airlines and flights come and go. One of the most recent casualties was the daily nonstop service to New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. Sun Country Airlines has resumed winter and spring nonstop service to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. American Airlines has initiated nonstop service to Charlotte, North Carolina, and Via Air has begun nonstop service to Austin, Texas. Currently, TUS is home to seven airlines, with nonstop service to 18 metro areas and some 60 departures daily. “Losing the JFK flight was part of the conversation,” said Gegenheimer of the push to create the Fly Tucson First campaign. “We began talking last summer about what we could do to attract more flights to the region and we believe it starts with getting more people to use Tucson’s airport.” Though TUS didn’t have the passenger volume to support a year-round direct flight to New York, airline passenger traffic out of TUS continues to show year-over-year growth. The final 2017 numbers are expected to be around 3.4 million passengers – representing an increase of nearly 4 percent compared to 2016. That’s all the more remarkable because the 2016 figures were up 3.4 percent over 2015. In a nutshell, TUS is growing at a steady pace. But this growth isn’t necessarily enough to attract more airlines to TUS or entice existing carriers to offer more flights. Howard Stewart, president and CEO of AGM Container Controls said, “If we all fly Tucson first, and encourage other www.BizTucson.com


Nonstop Destinations Seven airlines offer nonstop service from Tucson International Airport. Some 60 flights take off every day from TUS with more than 6,200 available seats. Nonstop service is available to:

PHOTO: COURTESY TUCSON AIRPORT AUTHORITY

Howard Stewart, President & CEO AGM Container Controls

people to do so, Tucson airport’s existing airlines will likely respond by adding new flights to existing routes and creating routes to new destinations. This is an effort all Tucsonans should get behind.” The Fly Tucson First campaign also hopes to illustrate the importance and impact of TUS on Southern Arizona. The TAA says the airport is an essential economic driver for the region, with an annual economic impact of at least $3.2 billion, not to mention the support of 35,000 jobs. Schmaltz added that increased numbers will be the basis of any persuasive argument to the airlines for new and improved airline service. “I think it’s also worth noting that this is a crucial time for this initiative because passenger traffic is growing. We’re coming up to what could be a tipping point.” If successful, the Fly Tucson First campaign could hasten the momentum and directly result in improved air service. “The return of Sun Country Airlines’ seasonal service is a prime example of this,” Schmaltz said. Gegenheimer said asking businesses to take the pledge is a symbolic gesture, a way for local businesses to show how they actively support the local community. In addition to encouraging individuals to pledge, the Chamber hopes that businesses will take the pledge to heart and encourage their employees to use TUS for business and personal travel. Businesses that sign the pledge will be named on the Fly Tucson First website, FlyTucsonFirst.com. As the pledge states, the Fly Tucson First campaign puts the words of regional employers, community leaders and local government officials into action, creating a stronger, economically robust community. Biz www.BizTucson.com

• Minneapolis/St. Paul

• Austin (starting Jan. 18)

• Oakland

• Charlotte

• Phoenix

• Chicago

• Portland

• Dallas/Fort Worth

• Salt Lake City

• Denver

• San Diego

• Houston

• San Francisco

• Las Vegas

• San Jose

• Los Angeles

• Seattle/Tacoma

Airlines Serving TUS • Alaska Airlines

• Sun Country Airlines

• American Airlines

• United Airlines

• Delta Air Lines

• Via Air

• Southwest Airlines

PHOTOS: CHRIS MOONEY

If we all Fly Tucson First, and encourage other people to do so, Tucson airport’s existing airlines will likely respond by adding new flights to existing routes and creating routes to new destinations. This is an effort all Tucsonans should get behind.

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Chamber Metamorphosis

Mike Varney’s Lasting Impact By David Pittman An important and successful era in the history of the Tucson Metro Chamber – marked by regenerative, transformative change – will soon be coming to a close. Mike Varney’s term as president and CEO of the Chamber is ending. When Varney arrived in Tucson in May 2011 to take the helm of the Chamber, he inherited an organization reeling from the Great Recession and struggling with both declining membership and revenue. Varney immediately began implementing pro-business initiatives designed to super-serve small business, strengthen the Chamber’s position in government relations and public policy, and encourage improvements in workforce readiness and education. A great number of programs introduced by Varney were aimed at improving the value of Chamber membership. Varney and his staff refer to Chamber members as investors, reinforcing the proposition that businesses can expect to get their money’s worth by joining the Chamber. Varney energetically and quickly established himself as one of Tucson’s most eloquent and outspoken advocates of pro-business, free-enterprise policies to grow the economy, create jobs and bolster government tax revenues without the need to raise tax rates. His efforts proved successful. Overall membership in the Chamber rebounded substantially and membership among larger firms skyrocketed. The result is that the Chamber’s financial position is the best it’s ever been. In March 2017, Varney announced 52 BizTucson

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he planned to retire from the Chamber to be able to spend more time with his grandchildren in the Midwest. He’s a native of Madison, Wisconsin, and holds a bachelor’s degree in communication arts from the University of Wisconsin. “I’ve loved my job at the Tucson Metro Chamber and the people I served with,” Varney said. “If it weren’t for some grandchildren that are growing up back in Wisconsin without their grandpa, who is 2,000 miles away, I’d probably do this until I was 100 years old.” In his retirement, Varney said he will split time between Madison and Tucson. During his time as president and CEO, the Chamber was laser-focused on priority areas: Economic Expansion and Job Creation, Workforce Development and Public Policy. While understandably proud of the Chamber’s many accomplishments under his leadership, Varney said none of it was possible without the incredible work performed by his staff. In fact, when asked about his greatest accomplishment at the Chamber, he said it’s been “identifying and hiring really great people. “Because we’ve nearly doubled our top-line revenue in the last six years, it’s allowed us to grow from a dozen employees to 21 and add important new programs and services,” he said. “We have very good people in every position. We had to go through a lot of turnover to get where we are now, but we’ve made strategic hiring decisions

and added great talent.” Varney also praised all those who served as Chamber board chairs and directors during his tenure. He said all of the chairs he worked with changed the organization in positive ways and that he was blessed with board members willing to roll up their sleeves and help get things done. Wendell Long, president and CEO of ARCpoint Labs of Tucson, was the Chamber board chair in 2011 when Varney arrived in Southern Arizona after stints as president and CEO of the North Las Vegas Chamber and VP of marketing for the Las Vegas Chamber. “I was honored to be the chairman of the Chamber in the year we transitioned to a new president and CEO for the first time in 33 years,” Long said. “This is the year we searched, found, hired and let Mike Varney loose to do great things in Tucson. Under Mike’s leadership, community leaders now listen to the business community.” Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry said that under Varney’s leadership the Chamber has been instrumental in creating a more cooperative environment between local government and business. “There is greater communication and understanding between the private and public sector than in the past,” Huckelberry said. “The Chamber is providing a communication conduit to local government officials and acting as a voice for local business.” Varney said a major factor in the Chamber’s success in representing business interests is to seek out the views www.BizTucson.com


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Tucson Metro Chamber’s Accomplishments Under Mike Varney’s Leadership

PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

and opinions of business owners and managers and listen to what they say needs to be done to help businesses grow and succeed. “We ask a lot of questions of our investors,” Varney said. “I compare it to what a doctor does when he’s making a diagnosis. We ask our customers, our investors, ‘What is the biggest problem facing your business? What’s keeping you up at night? How can we help?’ Our work agenda is created based on what the people who pay our freight tell us.” The best example of this approach is the Chamber’s Business Expansion and Retention project, known as BEAR. The project conducted a survey of owners and managers of more than 100 of the area’s largest employers to learn what they consider are their biggest challenges in doing business in Tucson. Varney said two major challenges were revealed by the BEAR survey. “First, business leaders overwhelmingly indicated they wanted a better interface with the public sector,” he said. “They didn’t feel appreciated by local governments and they wanted the public sector to work with them to create jobs and grow their businesses. “A very close second was the need to improve the condition of our streets and roads. As a result, government advocacy and road improvements have been top Chamber priorities.” Those who have served the Chamber as board chairs during Varney’s tenure speak of him in glowing terms. Robert D. Ramirez, president and CEO of Vantage West Credit Union and Chamber chair in 2016-17, called Varney “one of the hardest working CEOs I have ever met,” and said Varney was “constantly working and thinking of the next best thing to introduce to our board members.” Thomas P. McGovern, regional director of Psomas, a leading engineering firm in Arizona, California and Utah, was the 2015-16 board chair. He credits Varney with modernizing the entire Chamber organization and reinvigorating its board. “For the Chamber to rise from where we’ve been to a position of impact and relevance is what it’s all about,” McGovern said. “There’s electricity in the boardroom because things are getting done.”

The list of Tucson Metro Chamber accomplishments under Mike Varney’s leadership since 2011 is impressive. Perhaps most significant is that the Chamber received FiveStar Accreditation from the U.S. Chambers of Commerce, which places it in the top 1 percent of chambers of commerce nationwide. Here are other high-impact highlights: Economic Expansion • Addressed hundreds of requests through We Can Help, a service introduced on the Chamber website to help any business in metro Tucson – whether a Chamber investor or not – solve problems. • Worked to create more urbandevelopment business opportunities through Project Prosperity Task Force, a program spearheaded by the Chamber involving several business organizations in the ommunity, Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and City Manager Michael Ortega. • Initiated a Retail Theft Summit to combat problems associated with organized retail theft, a loss of nearly $6 million annually in Pima County. • Conducted Business Expansion and Retention Survey, known as BEAR, to analyze what businesses like about doing business in Southern Arizona – and what challenges they face as they aim to grow their companies, expand their operations and create more jobs. • Raised $3 million to secure nonstop flights between Tucson to New York City to capture more tourism, convention and business opportunities. • Raised $360,000 and renovated six medians on Tucson Boulevard leading into Tucson International Airport as part of the First Impressions Project. Workforce Development • Formed a partnership with Earn to Learn to make it possible for more needs-tested local high school students to access a four-year university degree. • Developed the Intern to Career program to address the challenge businesses face in finding qualified workers.

• Initiated the Talent Recruitment Task Force, a group of major employers the Chamber will serve by creating a talent and recruitment toolkit to help them be more successful. • Initiated the Emerging Leaders Council, which, among other things, pairs promising young professionals with senior executives to accelerate the professional development of these emerging leaders. Public Policy • Hosted nearly 50 Interface meetings to increase dialogue between local business executives and Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry and Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild. • Met more than 100 times with members of the Tucson City Council; Pima County Board of Supervisors; mayors of Tucson, Marana, Oro Valley and Sahuarita; state legislators, and Gov. Doug Ducey’s office to promote job creation and economic expansion. • Led multiple delegations of business leaders to Washington, D.C., to meet with members of Congress and high-ranking Pentagon officials to advocate for matters important to the growth and prosperity of Southern Arizona. • Helped promote the streamlining of City of Tucson systems and procedures to be more business friendly. • Spearheaded adoption of a Business Bill of Rights platform with Pima County and the City of Tucson to improve business-friendly service delivery. • Worked to defeat anti-business measures related to the City of Tucson’s proposed permanent ½ cent sales tax increase, mandatory paid time off proposal and single-use plastic bag ban. Winter 2018

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SPOTLIGHT ON

Investor Ambassadors

SETTING THE BAR

Advocacy

By Romi Carrell Wittman

By Romi Carrell Wittman Running a business is time consuming. Most executives and business owners simply don’t have the time to keep up with the intricacies of local government, proposed legislation, ordinances and other issues that have the potential to greatly impact their business. This is where the Tucson Metro Chamber plays a key role. For 121 years, the Chamber has served as an advocate for local businesses, connecting them to vital resources and serving as their voice in the halls of government. “We are a catalyst when it comes to public policy and government affairs,” said Mike Varney, the Chamber’s president and CEO. “We’re constantly looking at our radar, at the federal level all the way down to the local level. We make sure business is at the table and represented.” In order to better serve the needs of the Chamber’s investors, the Chamber recently refocused its advocacy efforts. Robert Medler, VP of government affairs at the Chamber, said that the previous advocacy process was top-down and board-centric. “Now we have more of a grassroots effort, with the Public Affairs Council presenting things to the Chamber board for input,” he said. “Our staff has also taken on more of a leadership role and is more proactive rather than reactive with critical issues.” The Chamber’s recent advocacy efforts included working with city government on changes to the sign code, a process Medler said was intensive and involved working closely with many different constituencies. “We had biweekly meetings with the city and other business stakeholders to come up with appropriate changes that serve to improve the code,” he said. Last month, the Tucson City Council voted 7-0 to adopt the improved sign code that is less restrictive towards businesses. 54 BizTucson

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The Chamber also plays a role in the local elections process. “Each year we’re the sole Chamber that makes political endorsements in the region for candidates and initiatives,” Medler said. “A couple of years ago, the Chamber began a concentrated effort to encourage voter participation. Our city and region have very low voter registration and even lower voter turnout. We want businesses to have the information that will help get their employees registered to vote.” Looking ahead, Medler said the Chamber has several advocacy objectives. Foremost is the development of a better platform for grassroots involvement. “For example, when there’s a public meeting, we want to ensure we articulate the position clearly, then ask businesses to follow up and attend public policy discussions and meetings when officials cast votes,” he said. It’s a method that’s been very successful in other parts of the country. Medler hopes it will serve to increase the local business community’s engagement with public policy and other legislative issues. “Our community doesn’t seem to get involved in business issues as much as other communities,” he said. “We want to get business owners and executive management to be invested in policy decisions.” At the end of the day, Medler said the Chamber wants to ensure businesses have the critical information they need when they need it and in a format that’s easy for them to digest. “We want to make it simple. ‘Here’s a number to call, here’s a message you can send.’ If it takes 60 seconds, people are more likely to do it.”

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To learn more about the Public Affairs Council, contact staff liaison Grace Gegenheimer at 520-792-2250 x 182.

Joining a new membership organization can be very exciting. It also can be extremely overwhelming. There’s the basic information overload common with any new experience, coupled with the ongoing day-to-day work-life balance struggles. How do you fit it all in? How do you build on the momentum that motivated you to invest in the organization in the first place? Enter the Ambassadors Committee of the Tucson Metro Chamber. This 60-year-old committee provides vital outreach to new Chamber investors and ensures these new colleagues are aware of the many Chamber resources available to them. Susan Manfredi, director of the investor services and affinity programs at the Chamber, oversees the committee. “Imagine attending a Chamber event as a new investor and you walk in the room and see 50 to 900 strangers, depending on the event,” she said. “Ambassadors are there to welcome Chamber investors and help with introductions to other businesses.” This all-volunteer committee was originally called Los Compadres and, back when the Chamber was much smaller, it served as a membership sales team. As the Chamber grew, it was able to hire a full-time sales staff and the mission of Los Compadres shifted to new-member outreach. In 2013, the group’s name was changed to the Ambassadors, a title more fitting of the committee’s true function. Volunteer Ambassadors have three primary responsibilities – attending ribbon cuttings, assisting at Chamber events by staffing guest registration and serving as greeters, and contacting new and recently joined investors to see how they’re doing. For the past four years, the Ambassadors have been led by Chair Berny Frenzer of Quarles & Brady. Frenzer has devoted countless hours during this time, and the committee’s success can be attributed to his leadership and commitment. At the start of the new year, the Ambassadors welcomed Colleen Edwards of ARCpoint Labs of Tucson as the new chairperson. There are 35 to 40 Chamber Ambassadors. They meet monthly to strategize best practices in outreach as well as methods to quickly and effectively connect new investors. “I can honestly say our Chamber does some pretty amazing work, but we couldn’t achieve what we do without the Ambassadors,” Manfredi said. “They’re critical to the Chamber’s mission and our business community.”

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To learn more about the benefits of becoming a Chamber investor, call (520) 792-1212 or visit the website at tucsonchamber.org. www.BizTucson.com


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The Tucson Metro Chamber provides small- and medium-sized businesses with the opportunity to network and develop peer-to-peer business relationships. These connections are what make business in Tucson unique and special. Our diversity distinguishes Tucson and is a key driver to our long-term success. Tucson thrives on not being like everyone else. The Chamber is our connector to foster these important business relationships. By investing in the Tucson Metro Chamber we are helping our community and are building our business foundation for future generations.

– Berny Frenzer Quarles & Brady

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SETTING THE BAR

Workforce Readiness By Romi Carrell Wittman Cities can gauge economic progress by the number of skilled jobs available. But what happens when jobs are plentiful but qualified workers are scarce? Three Tucson Metro Chamber programs – Intern to Career, Earn to Learn and Talent Recruitment Task Force – are helping to solve that problem. Intern to Career (I2C)

A 2015 Chamber roundtable of major investors revealed that finding qualified staff was a top concern of local businesses. “Local businesses have a difficult time finding qualified, skilled workers,” said Susan M. Manfredi, who oversees investor services and affinity programs at the Chamber. “Southern Arizona is not unique. Many communities are facing that challenge.” As they searched for a solution, the

Chamber discovered a big disconnect between local schools and businesses. Schools weren’t fully aware of workforce talent needs – and businesses weren’t fully aware of what was being taught in high schools. From these early discussions, the Intern to Career program was born. I2C is an internship program that places high school students interested in trade or technical fields into positions that give them on-the-job training. The program launched in 2016 with eight automotive technology students from the Tucson Unified School District. They were placed in six-week paid summer internships with local auto repair shops. Five of those students were offered part-time jobs during their senior year and the remaining three were direct continued on page 58 >>> Winter 2018

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BizLEADERSHIP continued from page 57 hires – meaning they had full-time jobs waiting for them after graduation. In 2017, the number of industry sectors in the program increased to five – automotive technologies, construction, healthcare, engineering sciences and hospitality/culinary arts. The 2017 summer I2C program concluded with 15 students completing their internships. With two years of success, I2C expanded its program and reached out to Amphitheater and Tanque Verde school districts and BASIS, a charter school, for the 2018 internship program. Discussions with Pima Community College and additional school districts are also underway. Manfredi said, “I2C’s benefits go beyond the technical training students receive. This program helps kids learn social skills as well as soft skills such as being on time, how to work as part of a team and how to complete tasks as instructed.” “These are employers who value investing in people and their workforce,” Manfredi said of the participating businesses. “It’s a great solution for both students and local businesses.” If your business would like to participate in the Intern to Career program, contact Susan Manfredi at (520) 792-2250, ext. 127 or smanfredi@tucsonchamber.org. Earn to Learn (ETL)

Arizona boasts many wonderful assets – like a year-round sunny climate and an expanding tech sector, as well as more outdoor activities than can be done in one lifetime. But there’s one critical area where Arizona lags and that’s bachelor’s degrees. According to Cronkite News, roughly 27 percent of Arizonans hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, below the national average of 30 percent. This presents a critical issue for businesses that need highly skilled staff. 58 BizTucson

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Enter the Earn to Learn program. A collaborative effort between the Arizona Board of Regents, Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, the University of Arizona and the Tucson Metro Chamber, ETL targets low- to moderate-income Arizona students and places them in a matched-savings program. Eligible students must save $500 and be admitted to one of Arizona’s three state universities. Once they achieve both of these goals, they’re eligible for a tuition match of $4,000. This means that the students have $4,500 per year for their education costs. The Chamber acts as a link between businesses that need talent and the pool of ETL juniors and seniors seeking internships. The hope, of course, is that interns will ultimately become employees and that this pool of qualified talent will stay in Southern Arizona. Currently, 1,400 students participate in the program with the majority coming from Southern Arizona. Kate Hoffman is ETL’s executive director. As a former financial services executive, she feels this matched-savings model resonates with her. She believes it serves as a catalyst to make students see that college is financially possible. “Many students come from families where college was never an option,” she said. Hoffman added the program does far more than provide funding. “We offer success and financial coaching, we connect students to resources on campus and we help connect them to financial aid, which can be particularly hard to navigate and understand.” Thanks to these extensive resources, ETL boasts an amazing 90-percent retention rate. “We are part of the whole student journey – from high school through college graduation,” Hoffman said. “This is about student success.”

Participating Businesses • El Conquistador Tucson, A Hilton Hotel • Embassy Tire & Wheel“N” • Embassy Tire & Wheel“S” • Hilton Tucson East • HSL Asset Management/ Canyon Oaks • Kittle Design and Construction • Meineke Car Care Center • Parker Automotive • Stuttgart Autohaus • Von’s CARSTAR • Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa

About Earn to Learn Students • 98 percent of students persist year‐to‐year in pursuit of degrees • 86 percent are ethnic minorities • 66 percent are women • 59 percent are the first generation in their family to go to college • 56 percent pursue STEM degrees (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) • 1,400+ students across Arizona participate in the ETL program • Freshman retention rate is 90 percent • Based on early data, Earn to Learn expects more than half of the program’s college graduates to finish with no student loan debt

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SETTING THE BAR

Economic Expansion & Job Creation By Romi Carrell Wittman Tucson Metro Chamber President and CEO Michael Varney said the Chamber’s primary purpose is to be a catalyst for business growth, a convener of leaders and influencers, and a champion for a strong community. He points to the Retail Theft and Project Prosperity programs as evidence of these core values in action and the Chamber’s steadfast promotion of regional economic expansion. Coalition Against Retail Theft

Organized retail theft is a much bigger problem than most people realize. It can cause real and lasting damage to the economy. In Pima County, more than $5.9 million is lost to retail theft each year and it’s the businesses and local customers who foot the bill. This isn’t about desperate parents stealing formula for their baby or even kids swiping things on a dare. Organized retail theft has become its own industry with professional networks of thieves targeting local retailers, stealing high-dollar merchandise, then selling it for cash. “People think retail theft is a victimless crime,” Varney said. “But it costs retailers and, in turn, customers.” To fight back, the Chamber convened retailers, law enforcement and prosecutors to form the Coalition Against Retail Theft, known as CART. Its goal was to change the law to treat these crimes more seriously and to put the word out to thieves that Tucson and Pima County are no-tolerance zones for theft. “Many jurisdictions weren’t photo60 BizTucson

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graphing or fingerprinting these criminals, which made it hard to track prior offenses, which made it hard to get a felony conviction,” Varney said. The Chamber worked with Pima County officials to put a measure before the state legislature to change existing laws. Thanks to those efforts, if someone gets a third misdemeanor charge for theft, they can now be convicted of a felony and serve jail time. In addition to legislative changes, the Chamber launched the “We Watch, We Prosecute” campaign. Law enforcement officers created a 1½-hour workshop to educate retailers about effective theft deterrents, as well as how to report crimes. Retailers also receive We Watch, We Prosecute stickers to display on the doors of their businesses. “Pima County doesn’t see this as a little crime,” Varney said. “And retailers now have the tools they need to deter and report it.” Project Prosperity

Project Prosperity is another example of the Chamber’s work to expand the local economy. In some cities, the local business community and city government sometimes don’t communicate very well. More specifically, they don’t typically know what each other does – and the result is often frustration, bureaucracy and stalled projects. The Chamber’s Project Prosperity Task Force was created to address this issue by promoting a higher level of understanding and cooperation between business and City of Tucson departments.

“We gathered local business leaders, the mayor and the city manager to take a look at the city’s administrative processes. Many needed to be streamlined and simplified,” Varney said. Project Prosperity Task Force members identified seven opportunities for improvement:

• Infill districts and incentives • Business licenses • Permitting and inspection processes • • • •

Sign code improvements Charter change Opportunity qualification Business workshops for public officials

Project Prosperity has been so successful in bringing these various groups together that it was selected by the Metropolitan Pima Alliance as one of the 2017 Common Ground Award Top 20 Projects. Common Ground awards honor community leaders, projects and economic development programs that have overcome great obstacles through collaboration. The program has been extremely effective in simplifying old codes and building a bridge between public and private entities, Varney said. “City government has been very responsive. It’s better now and they understand the role job creators play in community.”

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Greater Tucson Leadership Class of 2017 Front row from left – Ricardo Morales, Kasey Hill, Rhonda Bodfield, Karen Hollish, Kristine Karski, Heather Bachman, Arezu Corella, Adriana Marinez, Brendan Lyons, Missy Eddy, Michael Johnson, Anita Bell, Linda Scheu, Meghan Reinold, Sumi Rowe, Lesley Rich, Judi Simmons, Victoria Hahn, Jenna Finfrock, Desiree Dillard and Matt Nelson Back row from left – Vaughn Price, Aaron Skoczen, Natalya Brown, Amy Haskell, Toree Calloway, Katie Rogerson, Eric Elkins, Nikki Lee, Keith Primeau, Kelly Huber, Isaac Figueroa, Juliet McKenna, Bobby Verenna, Mindy Griffith, Kathleen Brown and Nikki Cain

SPOTLIGHT ON

Greater Tucson Leadership By Romi Carrell Wittman “Developing Tucson’s leaders since 1980” could be Greater Tucson Leadership’s tagline. Though not the real tagline – “Connect. Learn. Lead.” – the phrase perfectly sums up GTL’s mission throughout its 38-year history. GTL, which is a partner program of the Tucson Metro Chamber, is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization dedicated to providing leadership education, community development and civic engagement for the Tucson community. 62 BizTucson

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This is the only formal, local civic leadership educational program of its kind in Southern Arizona. Each year, GTL accepts about 40 emerging and seasoned leaders from diverse backgrounds to participate in the GTL experience. The class hosts a monthly session focused on the following topics: government, economic development, education, arts and culture, criminal justice, healthcare, border and environment. The program provides participants

with an intense back-of-the-house experience highlighting the social, political and economic drivers in our area. “During this 10-month-long program, we foster an environment where ideas are exchanged, skills are developed, and values are identified,” said GTL Executive Director Kasey Hill. “The program provides an experience in which people can truly immerse themselves in Tucson and the region – and they leave the program with a recontinued on page 64 >>> www.BizTucson.com


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BizLEADERSHIP Kasey Hill

Executive Director Greater Tucson Leadership

SETTING THE BAR

During this 10-month-long program, we foster an environment where ideas are exchanged, skills are developed, and values are identified.

Leadership Development

– Kasey Hill Executive Director Greater Tucson Leadership

By Romi Carrell Wittman Being the new kid is always awkward. You don’t know anyone or where anything is located, and it can take a frustratingly long time to get your bearings, let alone be effective. It’s challenging – especially if you’re the boss. The Chamber’s New Executive Welcome, known as NEW, addresses this problem by providing specific resources and education to get newcomers up to speed quickly. “NEW is a two-day crash course that covers Tucson and Pima County,” said Mike Varney, Tucson Metro Chamber president and CEO. “We have new companies moving here and importing executives and we have people being promoted into executive roles. They need to learn about Southern Arizona.” Kasey Hill, executive director of Greater Tucson Leadership, said, “Mike came to me back in August with the idea for the NEW program. He initiated something similar when he was director of the Las Vegas Chamber and it was very successful. At the same time, GTL had been thinking about how to grow its offerings.” Patterned after the GTL program, NEW participants hear from a variety of speakers who cover several key topics – such as education, the economy and government. Participants also have the opportunity to meet local business and community leaders. “It’s a great introduction to the community,” said Hill. “They’re talking to the mayor, members of the county board of supervisors, representatives from Sun Corridor Inc. They’re getting to really learn about Tucson and meet the people leading it.” Varney said the connections people make and the knowledge they take away from the program are invaluable. “Socially, culturally, educationally, they learn about Tucson and Southern Arizona. On their own, it would take years to learn the things we cover in the two days,” Varney said. Hill pointed out that NEW is beneficial for virtually everyone. “Even if you’ve been in Tucson for 10 years, you will get something out of it.” The inaugural NEW program was held in November and another will be held in May. The goal is to hold the training at least twice a year. Tuition is $750 and classes are held at the Chamber’s offices. 64 BizTucson

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continued from page 62 newed sense of pride in their community. This pride, coupled with a strengths-based positive leadership curriculum, prepares a new group of leaders who are equipped with the knowledge, passion and skills to tackle important issues and create a vital sense of place.” Over its 38-year history, GTL has graduated more than 1,000 people from the program. Near the conclusion of the class, participants undertake a community service project. The experience drives them to demonstrate their own individual leadership ability, as well as tackle a specific community issue. Some past class projects include: renovation for • Classroom Youth On Their Own curriculum develop• New ment, new playground

equipment and storage building for Tucson Nursery School

of a commu• Creation nity garden for Yaqui High School

to Read: Walk 100 • “Lead Miles for Literacy” to benefit Literacy Connects

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PHOTO: AMY HASKELL

BizLEADERSHIP

Emerging Leaders Council Front row from left – Jon Beaty, Ariana Patton, Mary Venezia, Erin Paradis Middle row from left – Matthew Rosen, Jonathon Crider, Amy Mendoza, Bryan Schachter, Ben Korn Back row from left – Derrick Polder, Gabriela Cervantes, Jeremy Welch, Taylor Davidson, Eric Smith, Lindsay Welch, Tom Bersbach, Robert Conrath, Juan Francisco Padres, Todd Helmick, Robert Medler

SPOTLIGHT ON

Emerging Leaders Council By Romi Carrell Wittman Getting a foothold as a young executive can be daunting. You’re focusing on your job, growing your business, contributing to the community. For these up-and-coming professionals, a mentor can guide them and help them find their voice in the community. The Emerging Leaders Council (ELC), a program of the Tucson Metro Chamber, aims to shape young professionals as the next generation of community leaders. The ELC meets monthly. Roughly half of the meetings feature roundtable discussions with civic and political leaders. The other meetings focus on professional improvement. “We’ve been eager to become a place of discussion among the young professional crowd,” said Matt Rosen, ELC chair. 66 BizTucson

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Formed in 2014, the council integrates emerging under-40 leaders, managers and executives with Chamber leadership as well as with experienced mentors in the business community. “The ELC also promotes civic activism and increased community awareness, both in the political and business realms,” Rosen said. With an eye toward understanding all facets of the critical issues facing Tucson, the ELC invites experts in key areas to its meetings. Recent speakers included Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and Gabriel Trujillo, the new superintendent of Tucson Unified School District. Rosen said Trujillo’s visit to the ELC was especially eye-opening. “We always hear the negatives about TUSD,” he

said. “We want to counter that with facts and be able to articulate the vision, culture and changes with TUSD. Yes, there is room for improvement – but here’s where and how.” He added, “We now know firsthand what TUSD is doing to change and feel it’s our duty to share that.” A big problem, he said, is that people often only know part of an issue or problem and they may have gotten that information second-, third- or even fourth-hand. The ELC can help get the facts and message out to a larger audience, who can then decide how to act based on correct information and facts. The ELC does not take a stance on issues. “We simply want to educate people with facts versus what we hear through the rumor mill,” Rosen said.

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BizEVENTS

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1 Convener of Leaders & Influencers

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1 State of the City March 9, 2018 The Chamber will host Mayor Jonathan Rothschild to deliver the State of the City address detailing the goals, policies and objectives for Tucson in the coming year.

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2 Business Expo March 9, 2018 Business Expo provides exhibitors the opportunity to showcase their products and services to the community. The Expo is held in conjunction with the State of the City.

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4 Interface Bimonthly Interface provides Chamber investors an opportunity to speak directly with Mayor Rothschild and Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry about public policy and doing business in Southern Arizona.

Issues Over Easy Quarterly Breakfast event designed to keep participants – investors and the public – up to speed on public policy issues and current events that could affect their business and the community. 68 BizTucson

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4 5 Chamber XChange Monthly Chamber XChange is a fun and relaxed event that allows investors and other attendees to make new connections and gather with business colleagues for support, encouragement, ideas, resources and new business opportunities.

Visit the event calendar at TucsonChamber.org for more information and to register

3 6 Copper Cactus Awards Sept. 14, 2018 Small-business awards ceremony celebrates the accomplishments of Southern Arizona small businesses in categories including work environment, growth, community stewardship, innovation and leadership.

7 State of the State January 2019 The Chamber will host Arizona’s governor to deliver the State of the State address detailing the issues affecting Southern Arizona and the entire state. www.BizTucson.com


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Vice Chair Barbi Reuter President/Principal Cushman & Wakefield | PICOR Reuter leads Cushman & Wakefield | PICOR, a Tucson-based, employee-owned commercial real estate firm advising small and large businesses and investors in Southern Arizona and Sonora, Mexico. She was named 2017 Small Business Leader of the Year and C&W | PICOR received Best Place to Work honors in 2016. Reuter serves on the boards of YMCA of Southern Arizona and Tucson Girls Chorus. She’s active in Arizona Town Hall and the Women Presidents Organization. She was named a Real Estate Forum Woman of Influence in 2015.

Secretary Sherry Janssen Downer Partner and Owner Law Office of Sherry J. Downer

Treasurer David Lopez-Monroy Shareholder BeachFleischman

Downer is an attorney who helps her clients navigate complex labor and employment issues and business problems. She serves on the Pima County Judicial Nominating Commission and the SHRM-GT Legislative Committee. She holds leadership positions within the parent organization of her daughter’s school. Downer has earned Women of Influence, Up and Comer and 40 Under 40 honors. Her peers recognized her as a Southwest Super Lawyers “Rising Star,” as one of the Best Lawyers in America and as AV Preeminent, the highest MartindaleHubbell rating available.

As a shareholder and head of the firm’s international tax practice, Lopez-Monroy provides tax advisory and compliance services to businesses and individuals involved in cross-border business activities. He is a board member of the Nonprofit Loan Fund and a member of Nexus Business Executives.

Immediate Past Chairman Robert D. Ramirez President and CEO Vantage West Credit Union

Ghee Alexander General Manager El Conquistador Tucson: A Hilton Hotel

William R. Assenmacher CEO CAID Industries

Dr. Amy Beiter CEO Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital

Responsible for operations of a $1.7 billion credit union with more than 150,000 members and 17 locations in Pima, Pinal, Cochise and Maricopa counties. He is the board treasurer for the Sun Corridor Inc. Chairman’s Circle, chair of the Pima Community College Foundation board, vice chair for San Miguel High School and board member of Southern Arizona Leadership Council, Catalyst Corporate and Mountain West Credit Union Association. He also is past chair of CUES, vice chair for El Rio Health and on the 12th District Federal Reserve Advisory Board in San Francisco.

Alexander is responsible for all aspects of the resort operation – including planning, positioning, financial performance, resource deployment and guest satisfaction. He is an executive board member of the Greater Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Southern Arizona Lodging and Resort Association, and serves on the Children’s Museum Tucson board. In 2014, he was named General Manager of the Year by the Tennessee Hospitality and Tourism Association.

Assenmacher leads Southern Arizona’s largest industrial metal fabricator. The 70-year-old business is headquartered in Tucson and has another location in Calama, Chile. In addition to chairing the Chamber’s Economic Development Committee and Air Service Task Force, Assenmacher is chair of Commercial Bank of Arizona and founder and president of the Southern Arizona Business Coalition. He serves on the boards for Tucson Airport Authority and AMIGOS, and is a UA Tech Parks Global Advantage partner.

Beiter has served St. Mary’s and the community for more than 25 years. Named CEO in 2012, she has overseen significant growth of healthcare services at St. Mary’s Hospital. Board-certified in internal medicine, Beiter is a member of the Society of Hospital Medicine and the American Association for Physician Leadership. For several years she’s been selected one of Becker’s Hospital Review’s “Physician Leaders of Hospitals and Health Systems To Know” in the U.S. and one of Arizona’s most influential women in business by AZ Business. Beiter serves on the board of the American Heart Association/ American Stroke Association.

Chairman of the Board Larry Lucero Senior Director of Government Relations and Economic Development UNS Energy Corporation and subsidiary Tucson Electric Power Lucero assists in advancing the interests of the utility and its customers. He also works with a variety of community organizations. Among those are Sun Corridor Inc., Governor’s Work Arizona Council and Tucson Youth Development.

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Stephanie Healy Director of Public Affairs Southwest Region Cox Communications

Mark C. Irvin Managing Member Mark Irvin Commercial Real Estate Services

Healy oversees government affairs, public relations and corporate social responsibility in Southern Arizona for Cox Communications. She is a Flinn-Brown fellow and has received a number of leadership awards in the community. Her civic participation and community engagement include El Rio Health Center Foundation, Arizona Forward, La Frontera, Southern Arizona Defense Alliance & DM50, University of Arizona College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Silver & Turquoise Board of Hostesses.

Irvin has been engaged in commercial real estate – focusing on office, medical and investment properties – for more than 35 years. He holds real estate designations as both a CCIM and SIOR. Irvin is vice chair/secretary of the Rio Nuevo Board and a member of the Rotary Club of Tucson and Tucson Breakfast Club. He’s also an honorary commander of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and emeritus board member of Boys and Girls Clubs of Tucson. He is a co-founder of the Arizona Bowl.

Wendell M. Long President and CEO ARCpoint Labs of Tucson

Jill Malick Business Banking Manager Wells Fargo

Long owns ARCpoint Labs of Tucson, which offers drug and alcohol testing, background screening, DNA testing and wellness testing of workers. He served as chair of the Chamber board in 2011 and currently chairs the Pima County’s Sales Tax Advisory Committee. Long is active with Tucson Conquistadores, Drug & Alcohol Testing Association, the Substance Abuse Program Administrators Association and Arizona Tech Council. He also is a certified sports official.

Malick oversees a team of commercial bankers who provide financial services to business customers in Tucson and Nogales. She is co-chair of the bank’s Southern Arizona Community Advisory Board. In 2016, Malick graduated with honors from the Pacific Coast Banking School at the University of Washington. She is on the board of the United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona. Malick also is a member of the Southern Arizona Leadership Council.

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Ben Korn Owner/Distributor Safeguard

Robert E. Lenhard President Hallmark Business Consultants

Korn and his team help local businesses grow through targeted marketing, branding and community involvement. Safeguard, a promotional products, apparel and printing firm, has grown 50 percent during his four-year tenure. He is the founder and immediate past chair of the Chamber’s Emerging Leaders Council. Korn is a member of the Centurions and the Tucson Conquistadores. He received the 2014 Copper Cactus Small Business Leader of the Year Award.

Lenhard is an alumnus of four universities and served in the U.S. Army before starting his Wells Fargo banking career. In 1982, he became a business broker. In 1988, he founded Hallmark Business Consultants, successfully transferring ownership of more than 500 businesses. He’s a charter member of the Arizona Business Brokers Association and the International Business Brokers Association. In 2003, he was named Arizona Broker of the Year.

Kelle Maslyn Executive Director of Community Relations Arizona State University

Ian McDowell Vice President, Regional Director Sundt Construction

Maslyn oversees the implementation of ASU President Michael Crow’s University Initiatives and works to build strong connections between the university and the Tucson and Pima County communities. She serves on the boards of directors for Greater Tucson Leadership, Sun Corridor Inc., Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson and DM50. She was named a Woman of Influence by Inside Tucson Business in 2012.

McDowell manages Sundt Construction’s portfolio of business projects in Southern Arizona. His community involvement includes work with Sun Corridor Inc., Southern Arizona Leadership Council, Arizona Builders Alliance and January 8th Foundation.

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Thomas P. McGovern Principal Emeritus Psomas

Tim Medcoff Co-Managing Member Farhang & Medcoff

Mitch Pisik CEO Pisik Consulting Group

Walter Richter Public Affairs Administrator Southwest Gas

McGovern is a former chair of the Chamber board. He represents Psomas, a regional engineering firm, in various outward-facing roles in the Southern Arizona business and civic community. He serves on the executive committee of the Southern Arizona Leadership Council and chairs the Economic Vitality Advisory Committee of the Pima Association of Governments. He also serves on the Pima County Transportation Advisory Committee and is a board member of the Campus Research Corporation.

Medcoff co-manages his law firm and is co-chair of both the commercial litigation and labor and employment groups. His comprehensive trial and litigation experience supports employers in investigations, counseling and the defense of labor and employment claims, as well as in defense of manufacturers in complex product liability claims. He is peer-recognized as one of the best attorneys in America. Medcoff serves on the boards of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Arizona and Therapeutic Riding of Tucson.

Pisik is an award-winning executive coach and business consultant with a primary focus on entrepreneurs. He serves as a mentor and consultant for young entrepreneurs through Tucson Emerging Leaders, Tech Launch Arizona and Startup Tucson. Pisik has been active on boards for Vantage West Credit Union, United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona, Tucson Jewish Community Center and SySTEM, which works with middle and high school students interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Richter oversees government relations for Southwest Gas throughout Southern Arizona. He serves on the Chamber’s Candidate Evaluation Committee. He also serves on the board of directors of Sun Corridor Inc.

Dr. Robert C. Robbins President University of Arizona

Matthew Z. Rosen Managing Director, Registered Principal Burk, Hall & Co. Wealth Management and Investments

Steve Rosenberg Owner and Publisher BizTucson Magazine

J.B. Shockey COO Crest Insurance Group

Rosenberg came to Tucson to attend the University of Arizona and stayed to launch a career in publishing that spans three decades. In 2009, he founded BizTucson, the region’s award-winning business magazine. Rosenberg serves on the boards of DM-50, Visit Tucson, Tucson Values Teachers’ Stand Up 4 Teachers event committee and the Military Affairs Committee of the Tucson Metro Chamber. He is the founding chairman and currently a board member of the Father’s Day Council Tucson, which benefits the UA Steele Children’s Research Center, with the annual Father of the Year Awards Gala.

Shockey has more than 35 years of property/casualty insurance experience and is heavily involved in strategic planning to continue the strong growth of Crest Insurance. A graduate of the University of Arizona, he also attended graduate school at Illinois State University. He has achieved the designations of Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter and Certified Insurance Counselor. He’s actively involved with DM50 and has previously been involved with the United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona and served on the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters in Ohio.

Robbins was named the UA’s 22nd president in June 2017. He came from Texas Medical Center, where he was president and CEO, after serving in several academic and medical association positions as an internationally recognized cardiac surgeon. Robbins serves on the boards of the Arizona Commerce Authority, Southern Arizona Leadership Council and Greater Phoenix Economic Council. He also is a member of the Chairman’s Circle of Sun Corridor Inc. and Greater Phoenix Leadership.

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Rosen helps his clients in Tucson and across the country plan for retirement. His services include financial planning, portfolio management and retirement income planning. He is the chair of the Emerging Leaders Council and was invited to sit on the Chamber board for 2017-2018. He’s been involved in various organizations in Tucson, most recently with the launch of the Empower Coalition in 2016-2017. As a new father, he has devoted his extra time to being involved in his son’s life.

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Lea N. Standridge Production Operations Raytheon Missile Systems

Howard Stewart President and CEO AGM Container Controls

Matt Wandoloski VP, Corporate Strategy & Analytics Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona

Standridge oversees a team at Raytheon that leads strategic planning in its final integration factories, including supporting current production requirements, new product integration, capital improvements, technology upgrades and workforce planning. She is the board liaison to the Chamber’s Emerging Leaders Council. She also serves on the board of directors at Casa de los Niños and Tucson Jewish Community Center.

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

Wandoloski guides the company’s strategy and works with the internal informatics team to utilize data as a strategic asset. His experience in the healthcare industry spans 35 years. He serves on the boards of Sun Corridor Inc. and the Insurance Industry Charitable Association. He co-chairs the Southern Arizona Leadership Council’s healthcare committee and is a member of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council’s healthcare leadership council. He’s also involved with Children and Youth Advisory, a subgroup of Valley of the Sun United Way.

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

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PHOTO: AMY HASKELL

BizLEADERSHIP

Center: Ellen Jimenez, Chair of the Military Affairs Committee. To her right is the 355th Fighter Wing Commander, Col. Scott Campbell. To her left is the 355th Fighter Wing Command Chief, Chief Master Sergeant Shanece Johnson.  They are flanked by airmen of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.

SPOTLIGHT ON

Military Affairs Committee By Romi Carrell Wittman

As the longest-running committee of the Tucson Metro Chamber, the Military Affairs Committee (MAC), provides invaluable outreach to and support of the many military personnel stationed in Tucson. It dates back 87 years. At the heart of this all-volunteer committee is Ellen Jimenez, who has served as chair of MAC for the past eight years. Jimenez does not have a military background. “All I knew was what I’d learned from the media, the movies,” she said. “I didn’t know the full story of what our military families do in their daily lives for us. They sacrifice so much and we can learn a lot from them.” MAC’s mission is to connect Tucson military with Tucson businesses – as well as support the missions, personnel and morale of local military with financial sponsorships, networking, education, continued encouragement and advocacy. This includes Davis-Monthan Air Force Base; the 162nd Air National Guard; all U.S. Army units located in Southern Arizona, including the Western Army Aviation Training Site; the Navy Operational Support Center; the U.S. Marine Corps Bulk Fuel Company; and the University of Arizona ROTC program. “MAC’s role is to support all of our military who are here in Tucson,” Jimenez said. “Our number-one duty is to be the bridge between the business community and the military. We want both groups to be engaged and informed. While our airmen and soldiers are here, they’re Tucsonans.” Roughly 60 members of the business and military community are a part of the MAC. To promote communication and understanding, the MAC participates in regular meetings between the local business community and military personnel, and it organizes luncheons and other events to regularly recognize those in uniform. Jimenez is a familiar face on base and at local military events. She runs MAC’s annual Thanksgiving event for roughly 400 airmen, some of whom are spending their first holiday away from home. In the summer, through Operation Otter Pop, MAC distributes cool treats to airmen just to let them know they are appreciated.

MAC also assembles deployment goodie bags containing sweets, chips, crackers and candy. Jimenez’s hope is that the goodie bag provides a little comfort as the airmen leave their families for an extended period. These bags also contain cards handmade by local students that let the deployed airmen know that the MAC will be there for their families in their absence. The MAC also organizes the annual Operation Zulu, collecting donations of Christmas gifts, then wrapping and shipping them to deployed ‘”Santas,” who then distribute the gifts on Christmas morning wherever the troops are stationed. In 2016, 58 boxes were sent. Every year MAC presents two important awards:

The E.D. Jewett Award recognizes the unit at Davis-Monthan that best represents the finest tradition of military excellence and community involvement in the prior fiscal year. The award is named for retired Air Force Col. E.D. Jewett, a past chairman of MAC and the board of the Tucson Metro Chamber.

The Charles T. Niblett award is presented annually to an outstanding wingman at Davis-Monthan. It is named for retired Air Force Col. Charles Niblett, a past chairman of MAC and a dedicated member of MAC for more than 30 years.

There are dozens of other programs MAC participates in – all with the goal of recognizing and supporting military personnel stationed in Tucson. Jimenez jokingly refers to herself as “Mama Ellen.” “I have a very large family,” she said. “I consider them all my family. I love to find out when they joined and why they joined – let them know that we care about them.” She loves that Tucson is so supportive of the military stationed here. “I feel our military presence makes Tucson a better and stronger place,” she said. “Their energy spreads out through the community in such an amazing way. They make us better.”

Biz

To learn more about the Military Affairs Committee, contact staff liaison Shirley Wilka at (520) 792-2250 ext. 132. www.BizTucson.com

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BizLEADERSHIP

High-Level Chamber Investors Investors in the Tucson Metro Chamber enables the Chamber to be the catalyst for business growth, convener of leaders and influencers and the champion for a stronger community. Today the Chamber represents some 1,500 businesses in Tucson and Southern Arizona, 60 percent of which are small businesses. Together these investor companies employ more than 160,000 people and represent a major economic force in the region. Keystone Investors Bombardier Aerospace Casino Del Sol Resort Caterpillar Surface Mining and Technology Division Cenpatico Integrated Care/ HealthNet of Arizona Desert Diamond Casino, Sahuarita Desert Diamond Casino & Hotel, Tucson Diamond Ventures Jim Click Automotive Team Norville Investments Port of Tucson Raytheon Missile Systems Rusing Lopez & Lizardi

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Arizona Lotus Corp.

Caliber Group

University of Arizona Business Affairs & Tech Parks Arizona

Arizona State University

Canyon Ranch

ASARCO Ascensus

Carondelet St. Maryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hospital

Atmosphere Commercial Interiors

Casa de la Luz Hospice CenturyLink

Bank of America

Chase Bank

Banner-University Medical Center

Citi

Barker Contracting BASIS Charter Schools

CODAC Health, Recovery & Wellness

BBVA Compass

Common Group

BeachFleischman

Commotion Studios

BFL Construction BizTucson Magazine

CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Co.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona

Cox Communications Crest Insurance Group

CAID Industries

Cushman Wakefield | PICOR

Walbro Walmart Wells Fargo

Chairman Investors AAA Landscape AGM Container Controls Alliance Bank of Arizona Alorica

Holualoa Companies

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Tucson Electric Power

American Board of Radiology American Family Insurance American Fire Equipment Sales & Service Corporation Amity Foundation Arizona Daily Star

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Clements Agency

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Downtown Tucson Partnership

Hudbay

Psomas

Sun Mechanical Contracting

DPR Construction

Hughes Federal Credit Union

Quarles & Brady

Sundt Construction

El Rio Health

Institute for Better Education

Realty Executives Tucson

Swaim Associates Architects

El Conquistador Tucson, a Hilton Resort

International Wildlife Museum

Remedy Staffing

Texas Instruments

Elitise

Intuit

Royal Automotive Group

Tucson Airport Authority

Jack Furrier Tire & Auto Care

Sage Desert Living and Memory Care

Tucson Federal Credit Union

Sante of Tucson

Tucson Orthopaedic Institute

Empire Southwest Encantada Luxury Apartment Homes Excel Mechanical

JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa La Paloma Academy

Scripps Broadcasting – KGUN9 & cwTucson58

Fangamer

Law Office of Sherry Janssen Downer

Film Creations

Long Realty

Finley Distributing Co.

Lovitt & Touché

Siemens Industry

G2Mobile

Simpleview

Gibson’s Office Solutions

Maximum Impact Physical Therapy Services

Sinfonia HealthCare Corp

Granite Construction Company

McDonald’s National Bank of Arizona

SMG Tucson Convention Center

Hamstra Heating & Cooling

Nextrio

HDS Truck Driving Institute

Paragon Space Development Corp.

HealthSouth Rehabilitation Institute of Tucson

Pima Community College

HeinfeldMeech

Pima Federal Credit Union

Hensley Beverage Company

Pima Medical Institute

HSL Properties

Pizza Hut of Arizona

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Securaplane, a Meggitt Company

SOLON Corporation Sonora Behavioral Health Sonora Quest Laboratories of Tucson Southwest Airlines Southwest Gas Strongpoint Marketing Suddath Relocation Systems

Tucson Medical Center Tucson Roadrunners Hockey Club U-Haul of Southern Arizona Union Pacific Railroad UnitedHealthcare Universal Wallboard Corporation Univision Communications Vantage West Credit Union Visit Tucson Walgreens Watermark Retirement Communities Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa World View Enterprises

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PHOTO: AMY HASKELL

BizLEADERSHIP

Tucson Metro Chamber Staff First row, from left: Grace Gegenheimer, Government Affairs Manager; Toree Calloway, Communications Specialist; Valerie Vargas, Investor Services Coordinator, Edgar Martinez, Senior Executive of Business Development; Sarah Akers, Investor Services Coordinator; Michael Varney, President & CEO, Susan Manfredi, Investor Services & Affinity Director; Carissa Fairbanks, Communications Director; Laura Nagore, Chief Financial & Operations Officer; David Long, Creative Manager Second row from left: Margarita Arellanes, Office Manager; Tammy Jensen, Investor Operations Manager; Carol Gatewood, Event Manager Third row from left: James Kehl, Accounting Manager; Rosa Herrera, Executive VP Administrator; Shirley Wilka, Executive Assistant Fourth row from left: Jason Cook, Event Development & Services Specialist; Will Olstad, Senior Business Development Executive; Kris Johnson, Senior Business Development Executive; Adam Begody, Business Development Executive; Robert Medler, VP of Government Affairs

Executive

Business Development

Michael Varney President & CEO

Edgar Martinez Senior Business Development Executive

Laura Nagore Chief Financial & Operations Officer

Communications Carissa Fairbanks Communications Director David Long Creative Manager

Shirley Wilka Executive Assistant

Will Olstad Senior Business Development Executive

Toree Calloway Communications Specialist

Rosa Herrera Executive VP Administrator

Kris Johnson Senior Business Development Executive

Government Affairs

Adam Begody Business Development Executive

Robert Medler VP of Government Affairs Grace Gegenheimer Government Affairs Manager

Investor Services

Finance & Operations

Susan Manfredi Investor Services & Affinity Director

Tammy Jensen Investor Operations Manager

Valerie Vargas Investor Services Coordinator

James Kehl Accounting Manager Margarita Arellanes Office Manager

Special Events Carol Gatewood Event Manager

Jason Cook Event Development & Services Specialist

Contact us: Call (520) 792-1212 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; E-mail info@tucsonchamber.org Stop by: 465 W. St. Maryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Road, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday Learn more at: TucsonChamber.org 82 BizTucson

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BizAWARDS

20th Annual Copper Cactus Awards

Celebrating Small Businesses By Mary Minor Davis It was standing room only in the Casino Del Sol ballroom for the 20th annual Tucson Metro Chamber Copper Cactus Awards, presented by Wells Fargo in September. The event celebrates innovation and accomplishments of Southern Arizona’s small businesses and charitable organizations. Awards are categorized by the number of employees for companies and by annual budgets for nonprofit organizations. In all, 16 winners were announced from a field of 52 finalists. “Small businesses do amazing things in our metro area, but often don’t receive the recognition they deserve,” said Mike Varney, Tucson Metro Chamber president

and CEO. “Collectively, small businesses are the biggest employer we have. Copper Cactus Awards is an event that brightly shines the spotlight on these companies for all they do to make our area all that it is.” The awards honor Tucson small businesses for their achievements in creating great workplaces, growing their companies and serving the community. This is Southern Arizona’s oldest and largest recognition program for small businesses. Since the program began in 1997, nearly 170 individuals and organizations have been recognized, and participation has grown from 72 nominations to more than 400 this year. The 2017 winners are:

PHOTOS: KEVIN VAN RENSSELAER, KVR CREATIVE

COPPERPOINT SMALL BUSINESS LEADER OF THE YEAR Barbi Reuter President Cushman & Wakefield | PICOR Reuter heads Southern Arizona’s largest employeeowned commercial real estate firm with 47 employees. She joined the firm part time in 1985 as a student. Named a “Woman of Influence” by local, state and national publications, Reuter is frequently mentioned in online industry-influencer lists.

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BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF ARIZONA BEST PLACE TO WORK AWARDS 3 – 30 employees Fangamer

Founded in 2007, the company specializes in video game merchandising. From left: Michael Ferguson, Tony Kuchar, Jack Murphy, Adil Mohyuddin, Laura Verdin, Charlie Verdin, Coppy the Cactus, Lindsay Moore, Steph Campos, Chris Warriner, Reid Young

31 – 75 employees Contact One Call Center

Founded in 1980 when Judy Wood purchased A-1 Metro, Contact One Call Center provides teleservices for small businesses in the medical, home maintenance and contracting, and spa and salon industries. Wood continues with the company as CEO. Back row from left: Andrew Perry, Ricardo Robles, Judy Wood, Shelly Corrough, Jennifer Harshbarger, Dan Rogers. Front row from left: Jessica Mendoza, Sonia Buelna, Jessica Rutkowski, Destinee San Nicholas, Brandie Starks, Jennifer Hoffman, Jeff Wood

76 – 250 employees Pueblo Mechanical and Controls

Founded in 2001, the company provides HVAC design and installation services for the public and private sectors.

John Carlson, HVAC Solutions, and Mike Finn, Chief Performance Officer

Barbi Reuter

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CENPATICO INTEGRATED CARE WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT AWARDS 76 – 250 employees Casa de la Luz Hospice

3 – 30 employees Village Bakehouse

Founded in 1998 by Lynette Jaramillo and Agnes C. Poore, Casa de la Luz Hospice provides sensitivity, care and support for patients and their loved ones during end of life.

Located in Oro Valley, Village Bakehouse has been providing freshly baked goods and full breakfast and lunch fare for more than 17 years.

From left: Ken Winchester, Natalie Ronstadt, Greg Lamb, Caroline Davis-Cowsky, Meredith Ford, Tyler Kaiser, Piper Frithsen, Kendal Scott, Sandra Tiano, Sharon Sanchez, Lynette E. Jaramillo, William Jaramillo Sr., Andy Poore, Carol Clark, Patti Wisland, Agnes C. Poore, Diana Valenzuela, Jommel Fischer, William Jaramillo, Teresa Niebur, Bonnie Wagner

Paulette Griggs and her son Jesse Griggs

76 – 250 employees AAA Landscape

Brothers Robert and Richard Underwood founded AAA Landscape in 1975. Today it is ranked in the top 50 largest commercial landscape contractors in the United States with more than 400 employees and offices in Phoenix, Tucson and San Antonio. (The number of employees in Tucson puts the company in the 76-250 employees category.)

NEXTRIO INNOVATION AWARDS 3 – 30 employees Silverado Rooter & Plumbing

Family owned and operated, Silverado was established in 1995 by owner and managing partner Art Cake. The company provides a full array of plumbing and rooter services.

Kathy Farmer, Office Manager, Richard Underwood, Co-owner

Silverado staff from left: Matt Montanaro, Dispatch Manager; Karter Jones, GM; Kasey O’Connor, Operations Manager; Art Cake, Owner and CEO; Crystal Magallanes, Director of Marketing and Sales

COX BUSINESS GROWTH AWARDS 3 – 30 employees Re-Bath of Tucson

Founded in 1978, the company now has franchises in 48 states, making the company the largest provider of bathroom renovations in the country. Local owners Jeff and Lisa Walling provide design and installation services throughout Southern Arizona.

31 – 75 employees Paragon Space Development

Founded in 1993, Paragon is a leader in the development of innovative and affordable life-support and thermalcontrol solutions.

Lisa and Jeff Walling, Owners

From left: Joel Johnson, Barrett Locke, Tom Orlando, Brittany Zimmerman, Patrick Pasadilla, Jason Brockbank, Grant Anderson, Tracey Jaloma, Laura Kelsey, Javier Lopez

Walbro is a global market leader in engine management and fuel systems for the outdoor power equipment, recreational, marine and personal transportation markets, and is a leading supplier of high-pressure aluminum die casting to various industries. Walbro is based in Tucson. Griselda Benjamin, Senior Department Coordinator, Steve Thomson, Senior VP and CFO

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PHOTOS: KEVIN VAN RENSSELAER, KVR CREATIVE

31 – 75 employees Walbro

76 – 250 employees Simpleview

Simpleview provides integrated customer relationship management and content management systems to the travel and tourism industry.

Peter Reynolds, CRM Developer, Harmony Hays, Marketing Operations Strategist, Jacquelyn Jones, HR Generalist

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BizAWARDS

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TUCSON ELECTRIC POWER CHARITABLE NONPROFIT BUSINESS AWARDS

BizAWARDS

$50,000 to $500,000 total revenue Tucson Girls Chorus

Founded in 1984 by Margie Kersey, the Tucson Girls Chorus has grown to six ensembles ranging from kindergarten through 12th grade. Executive Director Marcela Molina has led the chorus singers to perform all over the world and record two CDs.

Marcela Molina

$500,000 to $2 million total revenue Literacy Connects

Literacy Connects began when five longstanding organizations merged in 2011. With nearly 100 years of experience providing quality literacy services to children and adults in Pima County and Southern Arizona, Literacy Connects became the largest nonprofit literacy provider in Arizona. From left: Amber Mazzei, Development Director; Bobbie Jo Buel Carter, Chair Elect; Marcia Isbell, Board Chair; Betty Stauffer, Executive Director; Mary Rodenboh, Development Coordinator; Thom Cope, Board

$2 million to $5 million total revenue Youth On Their Own

Known as YOTO, this nonprofit is a dropout prevention program that supports the high school graduation and continued success of homeless, unaccompanied youth in Pima County. The organization was founded in 1986 by Ann Young, a guidance counselor in the Amphitheater Public Schools district who was concerned about the growing homeless student population.

PHOTOS: KEVIN VAN RENSSELAER, KVR CREATIVE

Daniel Armenta, Donor Relations Manager, Nicola Hartmann, CEO, and Matthew Palmer, Director of Finance and Operations.

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$5 million to $10 million total revenue SAAVI Services for the Blind

Southern Arizona Association for the Visually Impaired has worked with blind and visually impaired people since 1964 and serves more than 2,000 blind and visually impaired clients per year. Founded for visually impaired individuals by two sisters, SAAVI has made innovative changes in the past 45 years. Amy Porterfield, COO and Danielle Fowler, Operations Manager

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Dr. Polonski helped Gabby when she needed it the most. When she was injured in 2011 she needed an opthalmologist for a difficult surgery. Lynn was the guy we went to and he did a great job.

– Mark Kelly Gabrielle Giffords’ husband and a retired NASA astronaut

Dr. Lynn Polonski

PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

Ophthalmologist Owner, Catalina Eye Care

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BizHEALTHCARE

Ophthalmologist Extraordinaire Eye Trauma Surgeon Dr. Lynn Polonski By April Bourie eye,” said Polonski. interest in ophthalmology,” he said. Recent efforts to raise funds for This renowned surgeon was also inHis fellowship training in sculoplasTucson’s January 8th Memorial bring to volved in the recent incident where a tics was completed at Case Western mind that horrific and indelible time in Tucson police officer was kicked in the University Hospital. the city’s history. It also brings to mind the miraculous recovery that former face by a woman’s stiletto heel while she “While on faculty at the UA in the U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords achieved was being arrested. The heel ruptured ophthalmology department I covered after surviving a gunshot wound to the the policeman’s eye, tore his eyelid and the facial plastic service for UMC due to head during her “Congress on the Corcaused an orbital fracture. Polonski had a lack of coverage,” Polonski said, addner” in 2011. to remove his eye, reconstruct the socket ing that the UA then developed a facial One of the surgeons who made that and repair his eyelid, including the tearplastics trauma team on which he currecovery possible was Dr. Lynn Polonski, ing system. He again used titanium rently participates. “Three years later, an oculoplastic specialist who stopped plates to reconstruct the socket so that we were able to put together a team of the bleeding by decompressing Giffords’ the policeman could wear a prosthetic physicians who work both inside and orbit (eye socket), then reconstructed eye. outside the UA to cover all of the facial her orbital roof several days later at the In addition to these headline-making trauma issues at Banner - University now Banner-University Medical Center cases, Polonski is well-known for his Medical Center.” Tucson. He was an assistant professor work removing cancerous orbital tuIt’s not only his surgeries that improve at the University of Arizona at the time mors that can often occur behind the his patients’ lives. “Dr. Polonski really and presently is on the clinical faculty eye. This requires removal of a portion gets to know his patients and he’s always of the socket to access the tumors, folfor the Department of Ophthalmology. accessible to them, answering calls anylowed by reconstruction of the socket. “Dr. Polonski helped Gabby when she time – day or night,” Weintraub said. This life-saving work seldom makes needed it the most,” said Mark Kelly, The private practice Polonski estabheadlines, but profoundly makes a diflished continues to grow. Catalina Eye Giffords’ husband and a retired NASA ference in the lives of his patients. Care recently moved to larger quarters astronaut. “When she was injured in Polonski decided he wanted to be at 3925 E. Fort Lowell Road where he 2011 she needed an opthalmologist for an ophthalmologist when he was in his works closely with Weintraub and sura difficult surgery. Lynn was the guy we second year of medical school and now geon Dr. Ovette Villavicencio, who spewent to and he did a great job.” specializes in oculoplastics – surgeries cializes in cataract and corneal surgery “Dr. Polonski has unique and unthat deal with the eye socket, eyelids, including a new technique to reduce the matched surgical skills,” said Dr. Leslie tear ducts and face. His other specialprogression of keratoconus. Weintraub Weintraub, a medical optometrist who works with him at Catalina Eye Care, ties include cataract surgery, lid and lacspecializes in diabetic eye exams, glauthe practice he opened in 2009. “Basirimal disorders and removal of orbital coma management, contact lenses and cally, if you read or hear about an actumors, pre- and postoperative surgery care. cident, shooting or any violence affect“During medical school I was do“One of the unique things about ing someone’s eye, it’s a given that Dr. ing research on retinal epithelial cells Dr. Polonski is that he has tremendous Polonski was involved in their care.” in rabbits. I had to use a microscope to relationships with community and uniEighty-six-year-old Leroy Luetscher do the intricate work, and I found that versity physicians, which allow him to was working in his garden in Green ValI had good hands and good technique create special teams to work on specific ley one day when he dropped his prunworking at that level. That led to my issues and emergencies,” Weintraub ing shears, which landed with said. Doctors from as far away the sharp end in the ground as New Mexico and Southern and the handles upright. As California refer patients to he bent down to pick them him. up, he fell, and one handle Dr. Todd Altenbernd, an went through his eye socket six assistant professor at the UA inches into his head, ending in College of Medicine – Tucson, his neck and pressing his casaid, “Dr. Polonski never says rotid artery. Polonski was able no and that’s good because he to remove the shears and reis the only doctor who will reconstructed Luetscher’s orbital spond to these kinds of needs Dr. Leslie Weintraub Dr. Ovette Villavicencio floor with titanium mesh. “He on an emergency basis. He’s Medical Optometrist Ophthalmologist sees better with his repaired indispensable.” Catalina Eye Care Catalina Eye Care eye now than with the other Biz www.BizTucson.com

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BizDOWNTOWN

AC Hotel Electrifies Downtown PHOTO: COURTESY AC HOTEL BY MARRIOTT TUCSON DOWNTOTWN

Hip, Sleek, Modern, Unpretentious

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By Rhonda Bodfield & Jay Gonzales It was a mantra that built for more than 40 years – Tucson needs a downtown hotel. After decades of stops and starts, best laid plans and disappointments, the AC Hotel Tucson Downtown, a Marriott property, opened in September, crossing a finish line that had been in the distance since the 1970s. It is the first major hotel to open downtown since what was called the Braniff Hotel opened in 1973 at the corner of Granada Avenue and West Broadway near the Tucson Convention Center. The historic Hotel Congress with its 40 rooms has been going solo since the Hotel Arizona, formerly the Braniff, closed its doors in 2012. “We finally did it. We built a hotel in downtown Tucson,” said Scott Stiteler, the developer of the AC Hotel at 151 E. Broadway. “That’s electric.” In doing so, Stiteler seems to have put a jolt into the hotel business downtown as two more properties are in the planning stages, another Marrriott – this one called the Moxy, which will be right around the corner from the AC Hotel – and a second hotel by Caliber Hospitality on the grounds of the Tucson Convention Center. In addition, HSL Properties, owners of the Hotel Arizona, have a plan to reopen that hotel by 2019. “Scott Stiteler’s AC Marriott project is crucial for downtown,” said Brent DeRaad, president and CEO of Visit Tucson. “It took partnerships – among the developers, the City of Tucson and Rio Nuevo – including tax incentives and unique financing, to make it happen. In many ways this property created a blueprint that is allowing new downtown hotel projects to follow.” But it took some convincing just to get it started, Stiteler said. At the hotel’s opening reception in November, he said the Bank of Tucson was the 12th bank he went to for financing, finally getting a $36 million loan that made the hotel a reality. “It was a big risk on their part,” Stiteler said. “They had a lot of faith in this community and in us.” With the recent resurgence of downtown with restaurants, retail, entertainment and places to live, the hotel adds another much-needed piece to the pie of a complete downtown. It continued on page 94 >>>

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PHOTOS: COURTESY AC HOTEL TUCSON DOWNTOWN

BizDOWNTOWN

continued from page 93 means visitors don’t have to commute to the action from other hotels in the area. They can stay right in the middle of it. “Folks that are here on business want to stay close to where they’re doing that business,” said Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild. “The other part of that is that we have a convention center and we have an arena that draws people from out of town. People want to stay within walking distance – or at least convenient transit distance – from where they’re going.” Bradley J. Lloyd, VP of Lloyd Construction Company, which served as the general contractor for the project, said his firm was selected in part because of its commitment to hiring a local workforce to the highest degree possible. “The owners were vehement about putting Tucson first,” Lloyd said, noting the project resulted in more than 700 construction jobs, with the vast majority of subs hailing from the area. “With our 48-year history in Tucson, that’s important to us. What we can keep local, we do.” Lloyd considers the project a flagship for Lloyd Construction, and added that his company was proud to play a role 94 BizTucson

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in the ongoing evolution of downtown. “Growing up in Tucson, I’ve had a lot of experience with the downtown area and I watched it go from bad to worse to devastating,” he said. “But downtown has really seen a rebirth.” Lloyd said he first noticed it about four years ago when he and his wife went to the Tucson Convention Center for a high-school competition. “We saw people walking at night, enjoying the new restaurants, cafes and entertainment venues. Downtown Tucson was alive again,” Lloyd said. “My wife and I were thrilled to see the changes. So, when Lloyd Construction was able to become a part of the revitalization through our participation in the AC Hotel, I could not have been more excited. “We truly believe the hotel will continue to shape a positive downtown experience for Tucsonans and visitors. The elegance and uniqueness of the AC Hotel just adds to the value of everything around it.” A sense of place

The AC Hotel is a boutique hotel design straight out of Barcelona, but with a sense of place. Stiteler’s group set out to incorporate a bit of local flavor into

their sleek new property. Locally distilled Del Bac whiskey is prominently featured in the first-floor bar. Along with local art, big slabs of decorative stone adorn the lobby, an echo of Tucson’s long-running gem and mineral show. Trains get an abstract treatment in large black-and-white murals in the media salons, a nod to the nearby historic train depot. The hotel is both a reflection of downtown’s evolution, as well as simultaneously a potential catalyst for change. And just as it was a long time coming, it’s coming at a pivotal time as Tucson goes through throes of investment and disruption that will shape downtown in the coming decade. A decade in the making

The roots of the hotel date back to 2005. That’s when Stiteler was first approached about the intersection at Fifth Avenue and Congress Street. It was an easy romance. “This intersection, because of Hotel Congress, because of the Rialto block, is very easy to be drawn to. I had an instant attraction to those two buildings.” continued on page 96 >>> www.BizTucson.com


PHOTO: AMY HASKELL

From left

Developers Scott Stiteler & Rudy Dabdoub

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continued from page 94 Soon came the One North Fifth property, which was facing demolition at the time, and the 100 block of East Broadway, where the hotel stands today. That left Stiteler and his partners with a truly remarkable footprint that’s rare in a contemporary urban environment – the ability to chart a course for three parts of a critical intersection. “There were a number of elements that really spoke to me – to be able to play an integral role, the fact that these buildings needed attention and love, and I love challenges. I always go to the tallest mountain,” Stiteler said. It was 2012 when Stiteler got the first phone call from a big hotel that wanted a hotel downtown. A couple of months later came a call from a different company. And then a month later, another. “Now it’s real,” he recalled. They liked what they were seeing in downtown Tucson – and they liked the location most of all. “Sometimes, when you travel and stay in a hotel, you’re three blocks from the action,” said Stiteler. “This one, you walk 10 steps in any direction and you’re at a place that’s local and fun. Not every hotel gets to be right in the center of the action.” ‘Not too expensive or pretentious’

Stiteler had no experience in hotels, but Rudy Dabdoub did. He’d built hotels in Nogales, Sierra Vista and Phoenix – but at the same time, he wasn’t so big that Tucson was just No. 42 on a long list of projects. The two talked. They found their visions aligned. At first, they considered a more modest, maybe safer, product. But when they heard of the AC brand, the business partners were struck by its polished elegance and its potential. Dabdoub said the beauty of it is that his parents stayed at the hotel and felt comfortable, and his college-aged children enjoyed it as well. “It’s not too expensive or pretentious, but it’s also very modern with high quality. It’s hip, but not so hip it scares anybody.” Dabdoub said he hopes the hotel will help with two big goals. A strong downtown, he said, has to draw an infusion of resources and energy from outside visitors – and downtown to date has been supported primarily by local residents. And he hopes a stronger downtown also will help stop the bleed of young talent to other communities with thriving areas where people live, work and play without ever getting behind a wheel. Now Stiteler and Dabdoub are working together on the Moxy, another Marriott brand, atop the Depot Plaza at 45 N. Fifth Ave., to continue capitalizing on the relationship. It all started sinking in for Stiteler the week the hotel opened. There were airmen from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base staying one night, a contingent of state lawmakers the second. As he walked away after a long day of work on the property, he literally stopped on his way to the nearby studio where he stays. “Wait, I can stay in a hotel,” he exclaimed. “That’s a cool feeling.” “The transformation of downtown Tucson in the past five years has been amazing and visitors want to be part of it,” DeRaad said. “The downtown restaurants, coffee bars, retail, live music and nightlife make it a different experience than the rest of the metro area. Having a hip, trendy hotel in downtown has created a strong, new selling point for us.”

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AC Hotel Tucson Downtown a Marriott property

BizDOWNTOWN For Immediate Release September 27, 2017 Contact: Fletcher McCusker (520) 547-0090

Rio Nuevo Board Authorizes $43 Million n Financing for Caterpillar’s Tucson Mining Center

io Nuevo Board this week unanimously approved a motion to authorize its executive officers alize and execute the $43 million loan package issued by Rio Nuevo to finance the construction terpillar’s Tucson Mining Center.

Caterpillar’s Tucson Mining Center

Caterpillar's Tucson Mining Center

Hub Ice Cream Factory

ntire $43 million plus interest will be passed on to Caterpillar by the terms of a multi-year

Tucson’s January 8th Memorial

regular board meeting Tuesday, the Board approved the next phase of construction for the n Mining Center totaling approximately $7.4 million dollars for the foundation work to begin mber 1, 2017. Sundt Construction reported that the project is on time and on budget.

oard also: pproved the final terms of an agreement with Flores Concepts to reinvigorate three downtown roperties. uthorized the hiring of a project manager for improvements to Ochoa Street as part of the athedral Square project.

More Work to do in Downtown Resurgence

reation of the Rio Nuevo Multipurpose Facilities District was approved by Tucson voters in along with an appointed Board, to invest state tax dollars in public and public/private projects ate a vibrant Tucson core. For every dollar the Board invests, the community reaps $10 of ruction activity with projects like the AC Hotel Tucson by Marriott, the Arena, Greyhound, the ado Annex, City Park, the Marist project and Caterpillar. For more information, visit /rionuevo.org.

By Rhonda Bodfield

At one point in October, there were

four cranes towering over downtown Tucson signaling the massive resurgence in progress. As fall gave way to winter, 30 projects were proposed or in the works, from hotels to commercial space and roadway improvements, translating into 1,400 new homes to be built over the next two years, and an additional 750,000 square feet of commercial space. There are the high-profile names: AC Hotel Tucson Downtown, the Caterpillar headquarters, the low-income senior project in the Marist Apartments, the renovation of the historic Pima County Courthouse, the January 8 Memorial in El Presidio Park, and the remodel of www.BizTucson.com

Playground and HUB Restaurant and Ice Creamery. The list goes on, from the Moxy Hotel to the Owls Club speakeasy at the old Bring’s Funeral Home and the Nestlé Toll House Café on Stone Avenue. It’s setting such a blistering pace that pioneering downtown restaurateur Janos Wilder said if your last exposure to the downtown area was even a relative few years ago, you almost wouldn’t recognize it. “It’s a fantastic downtown and it’s changed so much,” Wilder said, “but we’re still in the process of becoming much more.” The growth has translated into making downtown “an overnight success

that was 17 years in the making,” said Kathleen Eriksen, CEO of Downtown Tucson Partnership. The economics are strong enough now that she isn’t a bit worried about the Downtown Links project that will help offload traffic to Interstate 10, reducing some of the congestion along the area’s major arteries. “When you look at the rest of America, highway systems went in, bypassing downtowns – and it killed them,” Eriksen said. “But we aren’t in an environment where we need that visibility of people passing through. We have a climate here that is its own destination.” The partnership is still finalizing a continued on page 98 >>> Winter 2018

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continued from page 97 property inventory, but best guesses by those in the know estimate the current build-out is at 65 percent of developable properties downtown. Here are six ways to make the most of the remaining 35 percent. Ensure the viability of Rio Nuevo When Rio Nuevo Chairman Fletcher McCusker talks about the success of the district, he often starts with numbers. For the first decade as a city-run redevelopment district, Rio Nuevo spent $300 million, with far more concepts than completed projects to show for it. In the years since 2012, the reorganized Rio Nuevo, steered by private-sector leaders with state oversight, has leveraged $30 million and has created more than $300 million in construction activity as a result. The long list of successes includes helping to secure a downtown location for Caterpillar Tucson Mining Center, restoring the obsolete arena at the Tucson Convention Center, relocating the Greyhound bus terminal and reinvigorating the long-stalled Thrifty block west of Stone Avenue on Congress Street. From a shipping container retail village on the west side of downtown, to a public square at the St. Augustine Cathedral, to a Latin-themed nightclub, bar and restaurant concept with the Flores family, owners of El Charro, “you can walk in almost any direction and find a Rio Nuevoenabled project,” McCusker said. For every dollar Rio Nuevo spends in supporting projects, private investors essentially are spending $10. The tax increment financing that drives the district, however, sunsets in 2025 – and that would curtail progress without legislative intervention. “We’re running out of runway to do these kinds of projects,” McCusker said. Expand mobility The key is to continue making downtown welcoming for visitors to the area, as well as for pedestrians, Eriksen said. “We’re so lucky to have the streetcar. Now we need to do more to educate people about how to park offsite and use the streetcar,” she said. Making sure there are alternate modes of transportation – such as safe bike paths – will also be key, she said, along with reassuring visitors that there is plenty of parking downtown. Getting the word out about the Park Tucson app is a start, she said. Not only does it guide visitors to the nearest parking opportunities, but it will ping you when your meter is about to expire and let you reload it from your phone, saving a dart and dash between the main course and dessert. Secure open, public space Livable spaces demand areas where people can sit, read a book, relax or take the dog for a walk. “People are living downtown now and it’s important to have those spaces for respite or connection with others,” Eriksen said. The January 8th Memorial is one opportunity. The partnership also is piloting new programming at Jacome Plaza by the library with plans to also add a dog park to the one-acre Veinte de Agosto Park at the southwest corner of Congress Street and Church Avenue. Enhance business recruitment One of the strengths of Tucson is its unique local flair. That doesn’t mean a downtown shouldn’t have any national presence, Eriksen said. 98 BizTucson

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BizDOWNTOWN “It is my professional opinion that a thriving downtown has a healthy mix of small local businesses and national chains,” she said. Ballparking Tucson’s national downtown presence at about 5 percent of the existing market, she said that could grow 15 to 20 percent if done strategically in anchor locations. “For other businesses, it helps send the message that there is confidence in a successful downtown and it’s safer to take a chance here,” she said. “And for visitors, it gives a certain sense of familiarity.” Increase marketing Quick: How many restaurants and bars are within a quarter mile of the core of downtown? Would you believe 83? The challenge is getting the word out, as well as breaking down old misconceptions. Recently, Eriksen was out walking her dogs when she struck up a conversation with a woman. They chatted about the reasons Eriksen moved downtown and then the woman leaned in and whispered, “But is it safe?” “There’s some preconceived notions from the past about safety, but we really are a very safe area,” Eriksen said. Aside from basic information – like putting tear sheets with downtown maps in hotel and restaurant lobbies – part of the strategy relies on having more promotions. Parents who come watch their son in a performance or their daughter in a parade, or who bring the family for an outdoor movie, may not necessarily make a purchase or take the family out for dinner afterward on the fly. “But what it does is open the door for them to spend time in a clean, safe, vibrant space – and then come back.” Diversify housing Developers are incentivized to build low-income housing. A thriving downtown needs a diverse housing base that also includes market-rate and high-end housing, Eriksen said. It might take some creative work to help bridge the gap so that developers can make a more diverse mix of housing pencil out, she said.

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Rio Nuevo Projects Gaining Speed Construction of the much-anticipated headquarters for the Caterpillar Tucson Mining Division is on time with a move-in date of March 2019 still in the plan. The headquarters are being built west of downtown on the west side of I-10. Phil Swaim, project manager for the project, reported to the Rio Nuevo board that site preparation is complete and the foundation, plumbing and electrical work is in progress. In another development, zoning was approved by the Tucson City Council for a 130-room boutique hotel adjacent to the exhibition hall at the Tucson Convention Center. The hotel is funded entirely by private-sector dollars.

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Photo: BalfourWalker.com

Jim Click Jr.

Crystal Kasnoff

Executive Director Tucson’s January 8th Memorial

Gabrielle Giffords

Campaign Co-chair Tucson’s January 8th Memorial

PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

From left

Campaign Co-chair Tucson’s January 8th Memorial

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Donors Pledge $1 Million Match for January 8th Memorial By Mary Minor Davis Tucson’s January 8th Memorial is one step closer to reality, thanks to the efforts of several donors who announced they will match $1 million in donations to construct the memorial. Crystal Kasnoff, executive director of the nonprofit group spearheading the project, said the match would put them just $500,000 short of the estimated cost of the project. The organization already has raised $2 million. “It’s taken a lot of commitment and time to reach this point,” Kasnoff said. “When the state legislature made the decision not to set aside funds for this memorial, everyone thought the project was dead. Just the opposite has happened.” Kasnoff said the community has been coming together and lifting up the project – much like what was seen on the lawn of then-University Medical Center after the shooting Jan. 8, 2011, which killed six and wounded 13. By the end of November, 2017, the campaign had reached more than half its goal. The largest donors include Raytheon Missile Systems, the Kautz Family Foundation, Jim and Vicki Click, the Click Family Foundation, Tucson Medical Center, Banner Health Employees, Shirley Estes, Renee Morton, Pam Grissom,Tucson Foundations, real estate investor Michael Kasser, the Connie Hillman Family Foundation, Sundt Construction, attorney Mark Rubin and January 8th Memorial Foundation board members. Tohono O’odham Nation also has committed a $21,000 grant. “The foundation would like to thank our campaign co-chairs – former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Jim Click – for their dedication and efforts to see the memorial to completion. The www.BizTucson.com

efforts of Gabby and Jim reflect their giving spirits and love for our community,” Kasnoff said. Click recently wrote in the Tucson’s January 8th Memorial newsletter, “We all remember that day, whether you were here in Tucson or watching the news unfold across the country. The tragic moment that struck our community hit at the very heart of our nation’s democratic process.

This permanent memorial will be an enduring symbol of the strength and resiliency of our community.

– Jim Click Jr. Campaign Co-chair Tucson’s January 8th Memorial

“The way that this community responded in unity, by bridging the divide of politics and ideologies, was truly an inspiration to me and it’s a great honor for me to serve alongside Gabrielle Giffords as honorary co-chair of the January 8th Memorial Foundation. This permanent memorial will be an enduring symbol of the strength and resiliency of our community. It will forever stand as a tribute to the lost, an honor to the wounded, and a testament to the values

of our republic for all the world to see.” Kasnoff said two bills are currently pending in the Natural Resource Committees in the US House of Representatives and Senate that would make the memorial a National Memorial, an affiliate of the National Park Service. The bills are being lead by Congresswoman Martha McSally and Senators Jeff Flake and John McCain. The memorial, designed by Chee Salette Architecture Office, will include symbols for the victims of mass shooting – those who died or were wounded – as well as for first responders, the history of Arizona and aspirations for the future. Kasnoff said there are other elements that honor them, including six trees planted within the memorial and another 13 that will be planted around the outer perimeter of the memorial. There also will be memorial gardens, with three of them dedicated in themes to 9-year-old Christina Taylor-Green, Gabe Zimmerman, who was Giffords’ aide at the time, and U.S. District Court Judge John Roll. “The Butterfly Garden will honor Christina,” Kasnoff said. “Gabe was a hiking enthusiast, so the Hiking Garden is dedicated to him, and John really enjoyed hummingbirds, so that garden is in his honor. “It’s not only going to be a beautiful memorial, it’s going to be meaningful,” Kasnoff said. The capital campaign officially runs through Jan. 8, 2018, but Kasnoff said the foundation will continue to seek donations beyond that to support ongoing operations and maintenance of the memorial.

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To learn more, visit www.tucsonsmemorial.org. Winter 2018

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BizCONSTRUCTION

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Project: University of Arizona Bioscience Research Laboratories Location: 1250 N. Cherry Ave. Owner: University of Arizona Contractor: DPR Construction Architect: ZGF Architects/BWS Architects Broker: N/A Completion Date: December 2017 Financed By: N/A Construction Cost: $79.6 million Project Description: A new four-story plus basement academic laboratory for collaborative clinical translational research, including offices, support and conferencing.

Project: Caridad Community Kitchen Expansion Location: 845 N. Main Ave. Owner: Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona Contractor: Barker Contracting Architect: SBBL Architecture + Planning Broker: N/A Completion Date: August 2017 Financed By: Donations/fundraising Construction Cost: N/A Project Description: Caridadâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 5,000-square-foot kitchen expansion allows for 360,000 more meals to be prepared each year for those in need.

Project: All Seasons of Oro Valley Location: Innovation Park Drive and Vistoso Park Road Owner: Beztak Land Company Contractor: Tofel + Sundt Construction Architect: C+TC Design Studio Broker: N/A Completion Date: July 2019 Financed By: N/A Construction Cost: $34.5 million Project Description: Full-service assisted and independent living community will also house an Alzheimerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wing and include a variety of dwelling configurations.

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Project: Pima Medical Institute Campus Location: 2121 N. Craycroft Road Owner: Summit Development Partners Contractor: Rio West Development and Construction Architect: Seaver Franks Architects Broker: Cushman & Wakefield | PICOR, Rick Kleiner & Tom Nieman Completion Date: Shell buildings summer 2018 Financed By: N/A Construction Cost: Shell building pricing $185 to $195 per square foot Project Description: Medical and professional offices will be available in a wide range of building/space sizes.

Project: Desert Diamond Hotel Renovation Location: 7350 S. Nogales Highway Owner: Tohono Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;odham Gaming Enterprise Contractor: MW Morrissey Construction Architect: HBG Design Broker: N/A Completion Date: December 2017 Financed By: N/A Construction Cost: $3.4 million Project Description: Renovations of existing guestrooms, suites and public areas were recently completed.

Project: University of Arizona Student Success District Location: University of Arizona Owner: University of Arizona Contractor: Sundt Construction Architect: Poster Frost Mirto/The Miller Hull Partnership Broker: N/A Completion Date: Phase I August 2019, Phase II August 2020 Financed By: N/A Construction Cost: $47.8 million Project Description: Project will bring upgraded facilities to Bear Down Gym, the Main Library and the Science-Engineering Library and will include redevelopment of exterior areas.

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DEMAND TOTAL EXPERTISE APPRAISAL James Bradley, CCIM AXIA Real Estate Appraisers jbradley@axiaappraisers.com

FINANCE Mike Trueba, CCIM Commerce Bank of AZ mtrueba@commercebankaz.com

INVESTMENTS Gary Andros, CCIM Andros Properties gandros@ccim.net

Susan Ong, CCIM BroadStone Commercial Real Estate broadstone@aol.com

OFFICE Tari Auletta, CCIM KW Commercial tariauletta@kwcommercial.com

DEVELOPMENT Greg Boccardo, CCIM Boccardo Realty greg@gregboccardo.com

Laurie Weber, CCIM LendAmerica lweber@ccim.net

Swain Chapman, CCIM Chapman Lindsey Real Estate Services LLC

James Robertson, CCIM Realty Executives Tucson Elite jr4CCIM@gmail.com

Isaac Figueroa Cushman & Wakefield/PICOR ifigueroa@picor.com

Paul Rosado, CCIM Commercial Real Estate Broker prosado@ccim.net

Jannie Irvin, CCIM Mark Irvin Commercial Real Estate Services, LLC janine@markirvin.com

INDUSTRIAL David Blanchette, CCIM NAI Horizon

swain@chapmanmanagementgroup.com

James Hardman, CCIM DESCO Southwest jhardman@descogroup.com

David.Blanchette@naihorizon.com

Mick Cluck, CCIM Coldwell Banker Residential Br mick@mickcluck.com

Gary Heinfield, CCIM Advisors In Real Estate gheinfeld@ccim.net

David Gallaher, CCIM Tucson Industrial Realty dave@tucsonindustrialrealty.com

John Hamner, CCIM KW Commercial john@tucsoncommercial.com

Ryan Heinfield, CCIM Advisors In Real Estate rwheinfeld@gmail.com.

Robert Glaser, CCIM Cushman & Wakefield | PICOR rglaser@picor.com

Jane Holder, CCIM Realty Executives Tucson Elite janeyholderaz@gmail.com

Melissa Lal, CCIM Larsen Baker, LLC melissa@larsenbaker.com

J. Terry Lavery, CCIM Realty Executives Tucson Elite jamestlavery@laveryrealty.com

Ed Johnson, CCIM Invest-Com Real Estate ejohnson@ccim.net

George Larsen, CCIM Larsen Baker, LLC george@larsenbaker.com

Brandon Rodgers, CCIM Cushman & Wakefield | PICOR brodgers@picor.com

James Kai, CCIM Kai Enterprises james.kai@kaienterprises.com

Margaret Larsen, CCIM Larsen Baker, LLC mlarsen@ccim.net Jason Wong, CCIM Red Point Development jwong@redpointdevelopment.com

Wayne Lindquest, CCIM Wayne Lindquist Commercial Real Estate Broker waynelindquist@yahoo.com

LAND Bob Benedon, CCIM Russ Lyon Sotheby’s Realty bobbenedon@yahoo.com James Marian, CCIM Chapman Lindsey Commerical Real Estate Services LLC jbm@chapmanlindsey.com Juan Teran, CCIM Realty Executives International jteran@ccim.net MULTIFAMILY Lance Parsons, CCIM ABI Multifamily

lance.parsons@abimultifamily.com

Mark Irvin, CCIM Mark Irvin Commercial Real Estate Services, LLC mark@markirvin.com RETAIL Craig Finfrock, CCIM Commercial Retail Advisors, LLC. cfinfrock@cradvisorsllc.com Debbie Heslop, CCIM Volk Company dheslop@volkco.com Andy Seleznov, CCIM Larsen Baker, LLC andy@larsenbaker.com

INSIST UPON A COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL Discover why less than 1% of the world’s commercial real estate professionals hold the coveted Certified Commercial Investment Member designation.

FINANCIAL ANALYSIS, MARKET ANALYSIS, USER DECISION ANALYSIS AND INVESTMENT ANALYSIS CHAPTERS.CCIM.COM/SOUTHERNARIZONA


BizREALESTATE

Rosy Outlook Solid Growth Expected for CCIM Commercial Real Estate Forecast By David Pittman

The Southern Arizona CCIM chapOptimism about Tucson’s economic The Southern Arizona chapter of ter has moved its 2018 forecast event to future is expected to dominate the disCCIM will also honor a new inductee the Copper Ballroom at Tucson Concussion at the upcoming 27th annual as a “Tucson Real Estate Legend.” Past CCIM Commercial Real Estate Forevention Center, 260 S. Church Ave. honorees include Roy P. Drachman, cast. The keynote speaker is KC Conway, Louise Foucar Marshall, Don DiaGary Andros, owner and designated chief economist of the CCIM Institute mond, Bill Estes, Peter Herder, Robert broker of Andros Properties and VP of and director of research and corporate Sarver, Humberto Lopez, and David the Southern Arizona CCIM chapter, engagement at the Alabama Center for and George Mehl among others. said the economic turnaround underReal Estate at the University of AlaThe approximately 400 people exway this year is widely expected to gain bama. pected to attend the event will hear steam throughout all real estate from the real estate professionals sectors in 2018. who made the most accurate pre“Things continue to look dictions a year ago in each market 27TH ANNUAL CCIM FORECAST bright for downtown Tucson,” sector – industrial, retail, office, COMPETITION multifamily, land and finance. said Andros, who is overseeing Presented by CCIM Southern Arizona Chapter They also will make year-in-review the Feb. 13 forecast competition Tuesday, Feb. 13 presentations in their areas of exand will serve as its master of cerTucson Convention Center (Copper Ballroom) pertise and lead panel discussions emonies. “The AC Hotel opened 260 S. Church Ave. in September, adding 137 rooms among those making forecasts for Registration and networking – Starts at 11:15 a.m. downtown and ground-floor re2018 regarding vacancy levels, Program – Noon to 4 p.m. (Lunch will be served) tail space. In addition, there are interest rates, land costs, construcNetworking reception – 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. (Cash bar) three other downtown hotel projtion prices and other factors that Free parking available ects in the works.” influence the local commercial real Chapter members – $95 Apartment rental rates are estate market. Nonmembers – $115 pushing higher because vacancy CCIM stands for Certified Table of 10 – $1,000 rates in the multifamily market Commercial Investment Member. sazccim@tucsonrealtors.org have fallen to 6 percent, “which It is an educational designation Keynote Speaker historically is a very low rate for that conveys knowledge and exKC Conway Tucson,” Andros said. Vacancy pertise in the field of commercial CCIM Institute Chief Economist rates for office, retail and industrireal estate that is recognized by Director of Research and Corporate Engagement al also are declining and the issucommercial brokers, investors and Alabama Center for Real Estate, ance of residential housing perdevelopers around the world. To University of Alabama mits also is up slightly, he added. achieve the designation applicants Culverhouse College of “The outlook is positive across must attend classes, pass tests and Commerce all sectors of the local real estate document that they have completmarket,” Andros said. ed at least $10 million in real estate transactions.

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BizSALES

Learn Why They Buy to Learn How to Sell By Jeffrey Gitomer

People don’t like to be sold but they love to buy. The power of that statement is also the insight into the selling process. For the last 120 years, salespeople have been taught how to sell. And I say to you that is the least powerful way of completing a transaction. Salespeople learn techniques. Salespeople learn “closes.” Salespeople learn systems of selling. And none of them are more powerful than someone wanting to buy. In fact, all of them are useless if someone doesn’t want to buy or is afraid to buy or doesn’t like the person he or she is buying from. Rather than selling, take a look at buying. Would you rather know how to sell, or would you rather know why people buy? Aha! Why people buy, of course. OK then, Mr. and Ms. Sales-maven, why are you still trying to master HOW TO SELL? You can argue that relationship building, questioning skills, networking, and presentation skills are all part of the “selling process,” and I agree. But I stand firm that buying motives are a million times more powerful than selling skills. Let me help you with buying motives for a moment. A buying motive may have to do with how much money I have. Or it may be about how much of a risk I have to take to make the purchase. Or it might be about, “Will it work when I get it home?” Or it might be about, “Will this produce for me in my office environment?” Or it might be about, “Will this increase productivity in my factory?” 108 BizTucson

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Think of your buying motives. Why do you buy? You decide that you need or want something. Then you justify the need or the want, and you literally search for it. You set out on a Saturday afternoon to spend money. You may go “shopping,” or you may go directly to the establishment that has what you want. Either way, your motive is clear-ownership as soon as possible. If your buying motive is strong enough, spouses, children, parents, and especially salespeople can’t keep you from getting what you want. Oh sure, someone may steer you to a different model, or you may make a compromise. But whatever “it” is, by the end of the day, you’re going to make a heroic effort to own one. And buy the way, that need is defined as an emotion – it has nothing to do with logic. One of the primary motives for buying is an emotional one. And in the emotional state, people will overpay to get what they want. People buy things for emotional reasons and justify the reasons by using logic. I define it as the head being attached to the price, and the heart being attached to the wallet. If I pull on the heartstring, the wallet will pop out of the back pocket, and the only thing that can stop it is logic. Have you identified what moves your customer to a purchase? “But Jeffrey,” you whine, “how do you find out why they buy?” It’s really easy, credit card breath. You ask them why they buy. It never ceases to amaze me how complex selling situations become because they are salestrainer-driven, rather than customer-driven. For many of you, this is a brand new thought. And as with all brand new thoughts, there’s hesitancy based on a lack of experience or success. My two words of advice are: TRY IT. Get six of your customers, take them to a buffet lunch and a small seminar to help them build their businesses. Then begin by asking them why they buy from you. I know it sounds simple. But it’s true. And the information you get will lead you to a lifetime of sales. The important thing to understand is that the old way of selling, which ties persuasiveness to techniques, is nowhere near as powerful as the person with the motive who wants to buy. And your biggest job in sales is to uncover the motive, or lose to someone who has.

Biz

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of 12 best-selling books, including “The Sales Bible” and “The Little Red Book of Selling” and “The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude.” His real-world ideas and content are also available as online courses at www.GitomerLearningAcademy.com. For information about training and seminars visit www.Gitomer. com or www.GitomerCertifiedAdvisors.com, or email Jeffrey personally at salesman@gitomer.com. © 2017 All Rights Reserved. Don’t even think about reproducing this document without written permission from GitGo, LLC, Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer. (704) 333-1112 www.BizTucson.com

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BizBRIEFS

National Award for Hughes Federal Credit Union By David Petruska Hughes Federal Credit Union has received a national excellence award for outstanding approaches to technology. The Credit Union National Association Technology Council awarded Hughes for its entry “Using Biometrics to Build an Efficient Team and Better Member Experiences,” which described how Hughes successfully piloted a palmauthentication system to replace passwords. Rich Griesser, VP of IT at Hughes, said the award is recognition from peers for outstanding approaches to technology that have universal applications for all CUNA-member credit unions. Every secure system has common problems in logging in – forgotten passwords, password resets, insecure password storage and loss of employee productivity because of these issues. Hughes agreed to pilot the Verifast Palm

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Authentication system. It works below the surface of the skin, reading the vascular signature of the palm, which is unique to each person and replaces the need for manually entering usernames and passwords. Griesser said the new program has been a huge success. Hughes manages more than 60 unique applications that implement the palm-authentication system, from deposit and loan systems to online banking and credit card systems.

The system is fast, secure and easy to use. Since implementing this technology, employees have saved hours of time previously spent logging into each application every time they need access and it’s saved numerous hours in help desk support for failed login attempts and password resets. The awards were presented at the CUNA Technology Council’s 22nd annual conference in October. CUNA comprises more than 890 credit unions across the United States. Award winners are voted on by a panel of CUNA Technology Council and Executive Committee members. Winners display finesse in finding the right solutions to intricate technological/operational problems, identifying new approaches and recognizing their universal application to credit union members across the nation.

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Raytheon Achieves Superior Safety Status for 10th Year By David Petruska Raytheon Missile Systems and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are marking the company’s 10th year in the Voluntary Protection Program. VPP recognizes companies that implement and maintain highly effective safety management systems that result in injury rates far below the national average. It promotes effective work-site-based health and safety. RMS, a Tucson-based business of Raytheon Company, is VPP Star-certified. OSHA has recognized only .02 percent of facilities in the United States at this level of superior safety performance. RMS is the largest VPP Star site in OSHA’s Region 9 that includes Ari-

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zona, California, Nevada, Hawaii and Guam. Statistical evidence for VPP’s success shows the average VPP worksite has a Days Away Restricted or Transferred case rate of 52 percent below the average for its industry. “In the last decade, we’ve dramatically increased our production output, yet we continue to practice safety at the highest level, and review and refine procedures wherever necessary,” said RMS president Taylor W. Lawrence in a news release. VPP participants are evaluated every three to five years to remain in the program. A worksite must ensure manage-

ment commitment to worker safety and health protection, have a written safety and health program and analyze existing or potential hazards in the worksite. The evaluation also looks at activities in hazard prevention and control, safety and health training, employee involvement in safety and health activities, and internal annual program evaluations. In addition to the VPP certification, Raytheon has been rated one of America’s Safest Companies in a comprehensive survey by “EHS Today,” a leading magazine for environmental, health and safety management professionals.

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From left: Jose Rincon, Conquistadores President; Jerry Kelly, PGA Tour Champions Player; Maneesh Arora, COO, Exact Sciences; Greg McLaughlin, President, PGA Tour Champions

PHOTO: LORI KAVANAUGH

BizGOLF

Cologuard Tees it up in Tucson Champions Tournament Has a New Sponsor By Steve Rivera Pro golfer Jerry Kelly had been so impressed with the annual Tucson Conquistadores Classic that he convinced Exact Science’s Cologuard it needed to get involved. Cologuard just had to do it. After all, he thought it was an ideal fit. Kelly represents Cologuard, he just turned 50, and, well, Tucson has “always been a favorite” place, he said. It helped that the Tucson Conquistadores put on a top-notch golf event at a venue, Omni Tucson National Resort, that’s held in equally high regard. Cologuard bought in, and the Tucson Conquistadores three-year run without a title sponsor of the PGA Tour Champions event was over. It’s now the Cologuard Classic. “We’re excited,” said J.J. Jewell, the Conquistadores tournament chair. So excited Conquistadores President Jose Rincon couldn’t sleep the night before the official announcement was made. As he put it, he was “giddy.” And why not? Cologuard, an easyto-use, at-home colon cancer screening test, will make its Tucson debut in late February and early March. Because of the colon cancer connection, the tournament will now be played from Feb. 28 to March 4 – two weeks earlier than usual – to welcome in March, which is 112 BizTucson

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Colon Cancer Awareness Month. Perfect timing for an event that continues to keep Tucson and Southern Arizona in the golf spotlight. It means 73 years of continuous professional golf in the city. PGA Tour Champions officials and Exact Sciences, manufacturer of Cologuard, felt the three-year sponsorship was so important they had top-level representatives in Tucson to make the announcement. PGA Tour Champions President Greg McLaughlin and Exact Sciences COO Maneesh Arora spoke.

ANNUAL TUCSON COLOGUARD CLASSIC Feb. 28-March 4, 2018 Wednesday and Thursday (Feb. 28 and March 1) – Jose Cuervo Pro-Am Friday–Sunday (March 2–4) – Stroke Play Competition: 54 holes of stroke play with no cut. Purse : $1.7 million, with first place prize of $255,000 Site: The Omni Tucson National Resort, Catalina Course TV: National coverage on The Golf Channel, Friday–Sunday Tickets start at $35. www.CologuardClassic.com

“We’re not just checking the box of a sponsor but checking the box of the right sponsor,” Rincon said. Given the demographic of the players – and those who watch them play – Cologuard is considered the perfect sponsor. Turning 50 as a pro golfer? Join the PGA Tour Champions. Turning 50 in general? Get Cologuard tested. McLaughlin said the partnership made sense and “is a perfect connection with men over 50.” Rincon added: “We’re getting on the right bus.” It might as well be the party bus come late February when the Cologuard Classic tees off. There’s still the popular proam, the party tent and the casual-butcoolness of the players. “One of the hardest things is making the experience a little bit different every year,” Jewell said. “Yet when it works and it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” The fix may have come in the date. The event has been moved up two weeks from the original date and won’t coincide with the NCAA Tournament, something that wasn’t exactly a problem, but it also didn’t help. Typically, Arizona fans are glued to their TVs watching the Cats or on the road with the team. This year, Arizona will be in town so it’s a win-win. www.BizTucson.com


The deal was contingent on everyone being able to move the dates. “It’s going to be a lot better for us because we’re not up against a major event,” Jewell said. “We tried to accommodate people (with TVs during the tournament). Now it’s a perfect weekend.” Because the Cologuard Classic won’t coincide with the tournament or spring break, the Conquistadores also will be targeting University of Arizona students. “They like social events like this,” he said. Who doesn’t? The Conquistadores just want it to be bigger and better with the hope of continuing to help local charities. Through 73 years, the Conquistadores have given more than $33 million to youth-based sports programs and charities. In the last three years, they’ve given nearly $1.5 million from the PGA Tour Champions event. “The more people who buy tickets, the more money we can give away,” said Judy McDermott, executive director of the Conquistadores. The local business community still loves its golf. McDermott said about 1,200 packages with individual tickets on top of that are sold. According to the Conquistadores website, the event brings in about $25 million to the community annually. “It’s been great but obviously we’d love to see more participate,” Jewell said referring to the local business community. “The Tucson community has embraced it.” And in the last few years, the Conquistadores have become even better at hosting it. “We’ve gotten a lot better operationally,” Jewell said. “For the Accenture Match Play Championship, the PGA Tour did a lot of the operation side. We had to relearn that. We’ve done a very good job behind the scenes to make it seamless.” The week itself is hectic but said to be “electric” because of the players. Expected this year are John Daly, Steve Stricker, David Toms and, of course, Kelly. Event officials are hopeful for Jose Maria Olazabal. “I really enjoy it,” said Jewell, who is in his 10th year with the Conquistadores. “Tournament week is something I enjoy. We are out here for 10 days straight and have a good time.”

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BizMILESTONE

The Climb of Intermountain

Providing Mental Health Care for 45 Years By Valerie Vinyard In its 45 years, Intermountain Centers for Human Development has come a long, long way. The concept began as the Southwest Indian Youth Center, a communitybased, federal grant-funded program on Mount Lemmon for adjudicated American Indian youth. For nearly four years, 70 male teenagers from 18 communities in Arizona, Nevada and Utah resided in the Prison Camp barracks on Mount Lemmon, receiving social and rehabilitation services and attending school in Tucson. The children were delinquent and/or neglected youth who needed a positive, reinforcing environment in which to develop healthy life skills and self-sufficiency. When the federal grant ended, founder David Giles established Intermountain Centers for Human Development to continue the work. The organization has evolved under his tenure. Giles led

1973 Intermountain Centers for Human Development is established on Mount Lemmon at the Old Prison Camp above Molino Basin. 1975 The agency establishes new residential programs for individuals of all ethnicities diagnosed with developmental disabilities, serious mental illness and serious emotional disabilities in Tucson, Flagstaff 114 BizTucson

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the organization in branching out, improving its efficiency and reaching all types of people. Since its inception, Intermountain has developed a variety of programs and services for children and adults. That includes home-based and out-ofhome support for emotionally and behaviorally challenged children, adults with serious mental illness and people with developmental disabilities. Its various programs in Tucson include four group homes, about 120 foster homes and apartments where staff offer daily support. Over the years, Giles has worked to make Intermountain an innovator in behavioral health. The organization continues to strive to be a model for likeminded organizations. “We want to be a model that others can replicate,” said Giles, noting that competition isn’t a goal of the organization. “Our goal is to be a leader and be

and Chino Valley (Yavapai County, Arizona).

1977 Intermountain moves its administrative offices to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the agency’s strength-based residential program has grown to four facilities. 1987

Intermountain initiates home-based therapeutic support services in the Native American pueblos of New Mexico.

Winter 2018

a demonstration model.” Jessica Reese, chief clinical director for Intermountain, agreed. “This field is not about competition,” Reese said. “It’s about how you work with our system partners to create full continuum healthcare.” Paul O’Rourke, Intermountain’s director of marketing and communications, said that decades ago, people with mental illness were institutionalized rather than helped. He said Intermountain relies on evidence-based treatments and is unique in that patients are kept in the community. Each person has an action plan built around his or her strengths and weaknesses. O’Rourke said that Intermountain stands out from other organizations and isn’t afraid of tackling difficult cases. “Our willingness is to take any human problem and help solve it,” O’Rourke said. “The limits are on us – not them.” He is proud of Intermountain’s

1993

A home-based therapeutic support program is established in the Tucson community and the Intermountain administrative office moves back to Tucson from Santa Fe.

1999

Angel Charities provides nearly $600,000 to purchase, renovate and furnish a six-bedroom group home – Angel House – on 5.6 acres of land.

2002

Zia Apartments is opened to serve those aging out of the foster care system, helping them to achieve their educational and vocational goals.

2011

Intermountain develops a foster care provider recruitment strategy targeted at American Indian families.


the art. It originally accommodated students ranging in age from kindergarten to eighth grade. Lininger said that two classrooms have been added each year, with each class accommodating 10 to 12 students. Lininger, 34, said that about 10 percent of students eventually transfer out of the academy to general education

We want to be a model that others can replicate. Our goal is to be a leader and be a demonstration model.

David Giles Founder Intermountain Centers for Human Development –

classes in other schools. Intermountain Academy is important for many reasons. For example, Lininger said that 85 percent of people on the autism spectrum typically go on to be unemployed. To reduce those numbers, the academy has established a Transition to Work program that collaborates with local employers such as Royal Automotive Group, Food Conspiracy Coop and Fox Restaurant Concepts.

Reese said that Intermountain provides autism evaluation for students using a tool called the ADOS – Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule. Normally, there’s a wait of six months to a year for a child to be evaluated nationwide, while in Arizona the average is 45 days. Reese said it’s critical that a child is evaluated for autism before age 5. If the evaluation takes place before age 2, there’s a 50 percent chance that child will be in a general education classroom and achieving a regular IQ of about 100. In Arizona, Reese said the average age of evaluation is 4.3 years. Intermountain performs about 10 evaluations a month. “We’re here to motivate children to love learning,” Reese said. “They are not learning disabled, but they have teaching challenges.” Intermountain CEO Rose Lopez said that Arizona has been well ahead of other states with mental health program innovation, noting that other states sometimes chase dollars rather than put the emphasis on patients. Intermountain has a lofty goal, but it’s a goal that staff and administrators know is possible for at least some of its members. “Our goal is self-sufficiency,” O’Rourke said.

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TIMELINE

2013

Intermountain Academy is opened for grades K-12. This is the only accredited school for kids with autism in Southern Arizona.

2016

Intermountain Academy is scored by AdvancED to be in the top 20 percent of all schools internationally.

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2017

Renovation and expansion plans are developed for several Intermountain programs and a $3 million capital campaign is launched to celebrate its 45th anniversary.

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IMAGES COURTESY INTERMOUNTAIN CENTERS FOR HUMAN DEVELOPMENT

70-percent success rate, compared to typical rates of 30 to 35 percent for substance use rehabilitation, meaning the member is no longer using/abusing substances. He attributed much of this success to the staff. “There are a huge number of dedicated staff that can see a light at the end of a tunnel and are up to the challenge,” O’Rourke said. At one of Intermountain’s facilities, located on Broadway Boulevard near Craycroft Road, more than 500 members meet one-on-one with psychiatrists and therapists each month. Intermountain’s administrative offices are located on South Harrison Road. About five years ago, Intermountain entered the education sector, establishing the Intermountain Academy. The academy serves Tucson children from kindergarten through 12th grade with specialized academic and behavioral needs, including autism spectrum disorder. Giles said Intermountain is creating a national integrative children’s care model, where currently none exits. Kyle Lininger, director of behavior intervention services, oversees the staff and 85 kids at Intermountain Academy. The academy leases the former Menlo Park Elementary School from Tucson Unified School District. It currently has eight classrooms and has been growing by two classrooms a year. With an impressively low student-toteacher ratio, the academy is state of


BizLEADERSHIP

Dedicated to Mental Health

CEO Rose Lopez – Inspiring, Innovative, Strategic, Creative By Valerie Vinyard It takes someone exceptional to run one of the largest nonprofits in Tucson. Fortunately for Intermountain Centers for Human Development, President and CEO Rose Lopez appears to have things well in hand. Though Intermountain reported a $30 million budget last year, many Tucsonans are unfamiliar with the 45-year-old organization. Its 20 or so wide-ranging community, foster care and residential programs, however, profoundly impact hundreds of people with mental illnesses and their families each month. Lopez started with Intermountain in 2004 as CFO, then served as executive VP before taking the helm in 2016. She oversees a staff of nearly 400. “Rose is a leader that this organization has been waiting for,” said Jessica Reese, chief clinical director for Intermountain. “She has her finger on the pulse where behavioral healthcare is going. She has business savvy – and she has a heart.” According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one out of five people are affected by mental health and developmental conditions, including bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and autism. Since its inception, Intermountain has developed a variety of programs and services for all ages and ethnicities. That includes home-based and out-ofhome support for emotionally and behaviorally challenged children, adults with serious mental illness and people with developmental disabilities. Its various programs in Tucson include four group homes, about 120 foster homes and apartments with daily support from staff. About five years ago, Intermountain entered the education sector, serving Tucson children with specialized academic and behavioral needs, including 116 BizTucson

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autism spectrum disorder. Lopez said she grew up with many of the same challenges faced by Intermountain’s current members. However, she was fortunate to be raised by a strong single parent and with strong community support. “If you have a strong community and a healthy family, you can be successful,” Lopez said. “Unfortunately, that’s not always a given. For those who don’t have that support, Intermountain is here.” Lopez happened to be strong-willed and adventurous. Born in Sacaton, Arizona, the youngest of eight was a good student and attended Central Arizona College before impulsively enlisting in the U.S. Army, serving in Europe. She then graduated from the University of South Carolina and worked for Tucsonbased Providence Service Corporation helping to grow its business on the East Coast. She returned to Arizona in 2004. “Rose is a fantastic leader within a complex and ever-changing behavioral health framework,” said Brandt Hazen, Intermountain’s board chair. “She is constantly looking for efficiencies and improvements. Her focus always remains steadfast on the individuals we treat.” Lopez said many myths surround mental health issues – including the belief that most people with mental illness are simply making bad decisions – or that their families should be stepping in to help. She is often out in the community, working to provide positive change and meet mental health needs in Tucson. She said that today’s changing healthcare system has seen big insurance companies enter the mix of mental health services – which often complicate the process. The current state of mental health services is a far cry from Intermountain’s humble beginnings at the Old

Prison Camp on Mount Lemmon. That facility was known as the Southwest Indian Youth Center and provided services to American Indians, Intermountain’s original target market. “Being on Mount Lemmon, there was a vision of what behavioral health should look like,” said Lopez, who calls what has happened since an “evolution.” Dawne Bell, CEO of the Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona, works closely with Lopez, who serves on the WFSA Board of Trustees. “In her role as CEO, Rose leads a dynamic team and impacts thousands of families every year by providing critical behavioral health services in multiple communities throughout Arizona,” Bell said. “Rose is strategic and focused – her approach to systems change is transformative and inspiring. Her innovative work in Pinal County, especially, deserves recognition for creatively approaching workforce development while increasing access to integrated care.” Pat Treeful, retired CEO of Pantano Behavioral Health, which merged with Intermountain, said, “Rose is an innovative, creative and collaborative leader. She always works for system changes where needed to impact positive outcomes for the clientele. Rose understands fully the value of community collaboration and outreach.” Though Intermountain’s mission isn’t necessarily to grow, Lopez said the academy recently formed an alliance with one of Arizona’s leading behavioral health services organizations, Pinal Hispanic Council, which serves nearly 1,000 members. “I love what I do every day,” she said. “Intermountain is a human service organization. We help communities become healthier.”

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WOMEN WHO LEAD

Rose Lopez PHOTO: AMY HASKELL

President & CEO Intermountain Centers for Human Development

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BizTECHNOLOGY

STEM Superstar Calline Sanchez Leads IBM in Tucson

Perhaps one of the wisest voices in Calline Sanchez’s early life was a selfemployed beautician – her grandmother. “She was a really bright, smart woman who was told she could either get married or become a cosmetologist,” recalled Sanchez, vice president of IBM enterprise storage. “She said, ‘Well, I’m going to open up my own business.’ “At every grade growing up, whether it was science or mathematics, she never let me give up. When I would complain, she would say, ‘Well, I guess you need to do more of it.’ ” Sanchez also credits her professor father who, upon noticing she wasn’t reading books so much as memorizing pictures, bought a coding compiler when she was in elementary school. “He thought that was the only way he could teach me to read because it would give me sight words,” she said. The making of this STEM superstar was well underway. The eldest of seven, Sanchez went on to earn three college degrees – bachelor’s degrees in communication and information technology, and an MBA from the University of Arizona. At IBM, she is charged with meeting the enterprise storage needs of a demand118 BizTucson

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ing, data-intensive world. From her office at UA Tech Park at Rita Road, she manages IBM’s disk, flash and tape data storage technologies, leading a worldwide team of engineers and scientists in Tucson, Guadalajara, Tokyo and Shanghai.

I consider this location the ‘Silicon Desert.’ There are all these wonderful engineers and scientists here who are not heralding themselves, just getting the work done.

– Calline Sanchez VP, IBM Enterprise Storage IBM Systems

Tape storage remains the most costeffective means to store data, but flash storage uses less power and offers fast access, she said. “All storage media is relevant. It’s how you tier it and utilize it for the best use.” Sanchez first worked at Sandia National Laboratories – where her grandfather once worked – as a coder and database developer, before joining IBM. “I met so many smart people at Sandia, but some of the stuff I was working on, it would be maybe 10 to 20 years before it was utilized,” she said. “I wanted immediate gratification. It’s a great big candy store here at IBM.” At IBM’s Armonk, New York, headquarters in 2008, she got the chance to work with Nicholas Donofrio, the executive VP of innovation and technology, reporting to then-IBM CEO Sam Palmisano. She helped with various technology, government and corporate projects that took her to more than 25 countries before coming to Tucson in 2009. “I consider this location the ‘Silicon Desert,’ ” Sanchez said of Arizona, where IBM has been doing business since 1948. “There are all these wonderful engineers and scientists here who continued on page 120 >>> www.BizTucson.com

PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

By Tara Kirkpatrick


WOMEN WHO LEAD

Calline Sanchez

VP, IBM Enterprise Storage IBM Systems

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BizTECHNOLOGY continued from page 118 are not heralding themselves, just getting the work done. I really do believe there is untapped talent here.” In 2016, IBM secured 465 U.S. patents in the state of Arizona – 410 of which came from IBM Tucson. The company’s All-Flash DS8886 storage system was named a finalist for the “2017 Tech Innovator Award” by Computer Reseller News. “The technology is super cool,” said Sanchez, who starts each morning with a walk through IBM’s storage lab. “I like to be in the lab, walk around and feel the energy. I want to be able to translate the technology and best explain how it works for client value.” She relishes the problem-solving and strategic facets of her work at IBM, saying that in college she once took a job at a law office that specialized in immigration and thoroughly enjoyed learning the ins and outs of the process. Now a mom herself, Sanchez has become a role model for young women in engineering and works to partner with local organizations, including the Southern Arizona Leadership Council, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and the Southern Arizona Research, Science and Engineering Foundation. She noted that IBM Arizona employees and retirees pledged $514,000 to nonprofit organizations and the United Way in 2016. Her local involvement is noticed. “Within minutes of meeting, she understood the importance of SARSEF’s mission and supported our efforts to encourage underrepresented populations, particularly in areas of poverty,” said SARSEF CEO Kathleen Bethel. “She comes to our events and cheers us on as we reach out to those who might not be so readily seen in our community.” Sanchez’s best advice to young people: “Look around to find people who push you up, who help you.” When you get there, “bring others along with you,” she said. “Pay it forward.”

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Locally Developed Technology Sold by IBM By Tara Kirkpatrick

An IBM software program developed by a University of Arizona Regents Professor to help law enforcement agencies solve crimes faster has been sold to California-based Forensic Logic. COPLINK, created in 1998 by UA professor Hsinchun Chen, founder of the university’s artificial intelligence lab, is a search tool that pools police information and crime details from many different databases, including 911 calls 120 BizTucson

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PHOTO: COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA

and mugshot files, into one easily accessible platform to aid crime investigations. An officer on the street can access it through a laptop. The software also analyzes geographic areas for patterns in criminal activity. Chen founded Knowledge Computing Corp. to bring COPLINK to market, which was bought in 2009 by i2 Holdings Ltd. of the United Kingdom. IBM acquired i2 in 2011. COPLINK is now used by more than 5,100 law enforcement agencies throughout the country. Forensic Logic, founded in 2003, is a fast-growing technology company in Walnut Creek, California, that provides secure search and cloud services to U.S. law enforcement and public safety agencies. “Collaborative user networks have had profoundly beneficial and transformative impacts across the American and global landscape,” said Brad Davis, president of Forensic Logic. “Both Forensic Logic and the COPLINK team have an unrelenting commitment to bring similar capabilities to American law enforcement. We will work to ensure the men and women in blue have the information and technology they need to protect themselves and the communities they serve.” “COPLINK has found the right home,” said Jason Barba, managing director of COPLINK. “When matched with Forensic Logic’s powerful search technology and cloud expertise, COPLINK can continue to provide world-class solutions to the public safety marketplace while greatly enhancing our customer relations processes. We couldn’t be happier about this acquisition.” Biz www.BizTucson.com

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PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS From left

Ghee Alexander

GM El Conquistador Tucson, A Hilton Resort

Omar Mireles President HSL Properties

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BizHOSPITALITY

$35 Million Renovation for El Conquistador Tucson

PHOTOS COURTESY HILTON EL CONQUISTADOR TUCSON

By April Bourie To create a deeper tie to the Southwest, local arts and the surrounding Oro Valley community, the El Conquistador Tucson recently completed the largest renovation in its 35-year history. The project impacted every aspect of the hotel – including its name. “Our goal was to match the look of the resort to elevate the entire guest experience,” said Omar Mireles, president of HSL Properties, which owns the El Conquistador. “The team and the service have always been the highest quality.” The property is now officially called the El Conquistador Tucson, A Hilton Resort. “The name ‘El Conquistador’ has so much goodwill related to it that we wanted to put that first,” Mireles said. “Everyone called it the ‘El Conquistador’ anyway, so we changed the name to reflect that.” “The vision was to create a modern Southwest motif and guest experience that showcases the region,” said Ghee Alexander, the resort’s GM. “One way we achieved this was with the creation of the Artist’s Nest, an area where lesser-known local artists can display their works and interact with guests while producing their art.” Local art and sculpture have also been installed throughout the property. It’s been approximately 15 years since horses were stabled at the resort. Now the stables also are revitalized. Guests can again enjoy one- or two-hour trail rides as well as riding lessons. “Many guests come to Tucson wanting to have www.BizTucson.com

a Western experience, and we can provide that once again,” Alexander said. One goal of the project, according to Alexander and Mireles, was to add energy to the public spaces. Accordion doors in the lobby open up to a large patio looking at Pusch Ridge, bringing the outside in. Community seating around a fire pit on the patio encourages guest interaction. The location of a new Grab N Go café also creates more energy in the lobby and a new Tech Lounge offers seating for small meetings and has a relaxed feel.

The vision was to create a modern Southwest motif and guest experience.

Ghee Alexander GM El Conquistador Tucson, A Hilton Resort –

“During this process we also wanted to strengthen our ties to the Oro Valley community,” Alexander said. The resort now works with the Toscana Gallery to find the artists for its Artist’s Nest. The Linda Hamilton Gallery was involved in choosing most of the artwork inter-

spersed throughout the grounds and open spaces. The Oro Valley Historical Society was involved in the creation of a new history wall located near the lobby. Nature is also showcased. Staff at Tohono Chul Park helped identify the native plants already growing on the property and gave suggestions on how to highlight them. “The landscaping lends to the creation of a uniquely Southwest experience for our guests,” Mireles said. Tohono Chul also helped design and create signs for the new Hummingbird and Butterfly Garden, along with a takeaway pamphlet. The garden and its winged visitors can be seen outside along a path near the pool or can be enjoyed inside from benches facing large windows looking out at the garden. The response to the renovation has been extremely positive. “Internal surveys have shown a marked increase in guest satisfaction, and the resort’s TripAdvisor ranking has improved by more than 50 percent and still is trending up,” Alexander said. “Meeting and incentive planners are also excited and eager to bring groups here, especially since Smart Meetings gave the resort a Platinum Award for 2016 and Meetings Today named El Conquistador among the ‘Best in the West 2017’ for top quality service, meeting space, rooms and amenities.” Another positive has been the impact on the staff. “Our team is reinvigorated, proud and excited about the new look,” Alexander said.

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Yet Another Tucson Triumph

‘Festival & Event City,’ One of Nine Worldwide By Lee Allen Accolades. Kudos. Plaudits. Bring ’em on because Tucson is making its mark in the world…again. Still reveling in the global glory of being named as UNESCO’s first U.S. “City of Gastronomy,” this desert town turned cosmopolitan star has received more honors. For the 11th year in a row, Tucson has been spotlighted with another Playful City USA designation for “putting the needs of families first, so kids can learn, grow and develop important life skills – using play as a solution to challenges facing city residents.” And while that’s cool, even cooler is the most recent acknowledgment of Tucson as a World Festival & Event City, one of nine cities worldwide so honored by the International Festivals & Events Association, the major trade association of event professionals. The honor was given during its 2017 convention held here.

“The IFEA designation is a nice recognition of the dedicated professionals and countless volunteers who make our major events successful, year after year,” said Mayor Jonathan Rothschild. “Along with our World City of Gastronomy honors, this award helps people who’ve never been here understand that there’s more to Tucson than just our great weather and active outdoor lifestyle that takes place in some spectacular scenery,” he said. “This designation is another indication that our cultural strengths are being recognized and Tucson is taking its rightful place as an international city.” The World Festival & Event City award was created as a way for the festival and event industry to openly encourage support and recognize positive local environments for their efforts. “Through this award, IFEA hopes to

create a continuing dialogue between events in cities around the world in support of each other,” said organization president Steven Schmader. “The cities recognized are helping build a strong foundation and example we hope all cities, globally, will work to emulate.” Donovan Durband, president of Festivals & Events Association of Tucson & Southern Arizona, added, “This recognition is a seal of approval and another tool in the toolbox to let the world know what a great place Tucson is. It should be a point of pride for local residents that our culture is so robust and such an integral part of who we are – and how the world views us. There are people in the far reaches of the globe who may know about Tucson only because of our major productions. Festivals and events are undoubtedly part of Tucson’s ‘cool factor.’ ” Tucson didn’t win this one by just being nice guys in the right place at the

1. Second Saturdays 2. NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl 3. Tucson Rodeo 4. Tucson Festival of Books 5. Festival of Lights Parade

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right time. Tucson supports more than 40 festivals and events annually and the nonprofit Visit Tucson organization invests hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to help sponsor events such as the Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase, El Tour de Tucson, Tucson’s rodeo called La Fiesta de los Vaqueros, and the Festival of Books, along with the Tucson Association of Realtors Soccer Shootout and the uniquely Tucson All Souls Procession. Visit Tucson is charged with bringing travelers and their tourist dollars to the region, and events such as these are an important tool in fulfilling that mission. The most recent study of the economic impact of mega-events like the gem show showed that nearly 5,000 exhibitors and 50,000 visitors brought in $120 million to be spread across the local economy. Visit Tucson Marketing Manager Deborah Melcher calls these special promotions “signature events” that take place throughout the year – from the Tucson Jazz Festival and Tucson Desert Song Festival in January through December’s Tamal and Heritage Festival and the annual Christmas Concert at Mission San Xavier del Bac. There is a plethora of promotions offered by Tucson Destination and Visit

Tucson partners that have garnered all sorts of blue-ribbon recognition. Tucson is one of the Best Small American Cities, a Best City for Recreation and a City Where Everyone Wants to Live, as well as one of the Top 50 Meeting Destinations in the United States. Tucson is loved for its Mexican restaurants, biking options, retirement possibilities and as a Best City for Pets. And that doesn’t include all the entertainment and special function opportunities. “Events and festivals impact Tucson in a variety of ways and in a positive fashion, although not all of them have measurable impacts,” said Brent DeRaad, president and CEO of Visit Tucson. “The economic return on investment in the larger events like the Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase and the NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl is obvious in its direct impact on areas like hotel and resort occupancy. Other events bring national and international exposure, like the Tucson Conquistadores Classic, now the Cologuard Classic, and the Major League Soccer preseason. “It’s hard to put a price tag on how events like the Festival of Books, the Fourth Avenue Street Fair and Tucson Meet Yourself add to our quality of life. These festivals and events, like all our

special presentations, are part of the fabric of our community and frankly make Tucson a better place to live and visit.” The Arizona Office of Tourism puts a more precise economic needle on this value, reporting that “6.5 million overnight visitors to Southern Arizona annually represent $2.4 billion in direct spending.” Even the tourism industry folks in that larger metropolitan area to the north are impressed. “Tucson has been consistently attracting visitors to the state for decades through its signature annual events,” said Debbie Johnson, director of the Arizona Office of Tourism. “The gem show has been going strong for more than six decades. The International Mariachi Conference is in its 35th year. And the Tour de Tucson cycling race has been growing since its inception in 1983. “And while these events, unlike some of our even larger attractions such as the NFL Super Bowl and the NCAA Final Four, may not be nationally televised, they bring thousands of people to Arizona from all parts of the world, generate lots of overnight hotel stays and stimulate both regional and state economies.” Biz

6. Agave Fest 7. All Souls Procession 8. Mexican Baseball Festival 9. Fourth Avenue Street Fair 10. Tucson Meet Yourself

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PHOTOS: COURTESY VISIT TUCSON

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Million-Dollar Economic Impact in 2 Days

PHOTOS: BRENT G. MATHIS

By Mary Minor Davis In just three years, the Oro Valley Music Festival has tripled audiences, attracts national award-winning country and pop artists, and proves to be a financial boon for the community. “It’s turned into a pretty neat little festival and we appreciate the continued support from everyone in the community,” said Rob Elias, co-founder of the festival, along with his brother Richard. That’s an understatement, according to Oro Valley Mayor Satish Hiremath. “For the first time, we partnered with Visit Tucson to conduct an economic impact of the event and found the festival contributes just over $1 million to the economy in just two days,” he said. “This music festival is what every city and town look for to put them on the map. Whoever thought that Oro Valley would be known nationally for a music festival?” Hiremath added it is events like this that led to Oro Valley being named the Best Small City in Arizona by WalletHub in 2017. The festival also has contributed $45,000 in charitable contributions and fundraising opportunities for nonprofits at the event. The largest recipient, Shine on Tucson, provides musical comfort for kids dealing with illness or trauma at the Diamond Children’s Medical Center. “One of the best parts of this event is the community support that comes from it,” Elias said. The success of the festival and its growing attendance are indicative of the major demographic shift of the community, Hiremath said. “What was once going to be the largest retirement community in the region has now seen a large infusion of younger families,” he said. “Where we used to be 85 percent retirees, now we are 75 percent non-retired.” 126 BizTucson

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Hiremath, who was one of only two mayors to receive the 2017 Americans for the Arts public leadership award, said his administration is dedicated to growing the arts and cultural scene in Oro Valley. “Oro Valley is a place where memories are created. This is one of those events that can create those memories,” he said. “I’m foolish enough to believe that we can be all things to all people – and this event proves that. From children to people in their 80s – it truly is an event for everyone.” Elias agreed. “I love seeing people of all ages enjoying the music, parents bringing their kids out for their first concert, making those memories together.” Steve Earnhart, senior VP of sales for iHeart Radio, a partner with the festival since its inception, said audience growth has been “phenomenal” – increasing from 2016’s two-day attendance of 10,000 to 20,000 in 2017. The first year was a one-day event with attendance estimated at 3,000. “Residents talk about the festival with pride, it’s a badge of honor,” he said. “It really puts people out for a weekend. Everyone from the residents to the people who work it say, if it puts Oro Valley nationally on the map, it’s worth it. They really own it.” With these kinds of growth numbers, organizers are asking, what’s next? How can the event continue to grow? “We do have a limited footprint,” Elias said about the festival’s current site at The Golf Club at Vistoso. “We are looking at other options as we pushed it pretty much to the limits on Sunday. We need to consider any impacts of expansion – we want to continue to be a good neighbor.”

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Gavin Degraw

Sydney Sierota Echosmith www.BizTucson.com


LeAnn Rimes Brothers Osborne

Patrick Monahan Train

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BizBRIEFS Alan Michaels

Former Tucson broadcaster Alan Michaels has joined MHC Healthcare as major- gifts officer and grants writer. He’s been a fixture in the Tucson community for decades as a radio personality and helped raise awareness and money for numerous charitable organizations. He’s also a lifetime member of the Centurions fundraising organization. Prior to MHC Healthcare, he worked with Wells Fargo, Simply Bits and the Jim Click Automotive Group.

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Kola Janoff

Kola Janoff is now VP of Williams & Associates, following 30 years as owner of Kola’s, which offered screen printing, embroidery and promotional products. “It made perfect sense to join a larger more established company, one that is a three-time Golden Pyramid award winner,” she said. Janoff brings with her two others – Lisa Scoblink in sales and artist Chris Gonzalez.

Biz

Vicki Teeple

Vicki Teeple is the newest member of Tango Commercial Real Estate staff, serving as the chief marketing officer and senior associate. She is responsible for Tango’s overall marketing strategies and initiatives and will be working as a broker in the office and medical domains. The native of Tucson is a University of Arizona grad and spent several years working for Ogilvy & Mather in that firm’s New York offices.

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SPECIAL REPORT 2018

THE REGIONâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S BUSINESS MAGAZINE

RANCHO S A H U A R I TA CREATING A LIFESTYLE FOR ITS RESIDENTS

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PHOTO: AMY HASKELL

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PHOTOS: DAVID SANDERS

BizREALESTATE

Focus on Lifestyle

Rancho Sahuarita ‘Creating Connections’ for its Residents By Christy Krueger More than 20 years ago, Bob Sharpe had a distinct vision for the land he was acquiring that would ultimately become Rancho Sahuarita. “Our promise is simple. We are creating a better life in Rancho Sahuarita, and we are dedicated to fulfilling that promise every day,” said Sharpe of the growing community 20 minutes south of Tucson where 18,000 residents now live. Rancho Sahuarita makes up more than half the population of the Town of Sahuarita, which is at about 30,000. What Sharpe had in mind was creating a “special place” where families would live and experience a quality of life they couldn’t find elsewhere. “It’s all about how to create a better life and create connections,” said Sharpe’s son, Jeremy, VP for community development for Rancho Sahuarita Company. “My dad was and still is a visionary,” Jeremy said. “He understood that people were looking for a place where they could enjoy time with their families, make friends and live their everyday lives, while feeling safe, secure and a part of something bigger.”

A value proposition

Bob Sharpe’s commitment to providing a value proposition much bigger than houses on streets led to booming growth and success that earned multiple awards for the Rancho Sahuarita master plan. It was named the best-selling community in Arizona by RCLCO and was fifth in the country in 2008 in sales. Groundbreaking for Rancho Sahuarita took place in 2000, and the first homebuyers were living there by 2002. Club Rancho Sahuarita, the community’s center of activity, and Sahuarita Lake were built during that time to offer even the earliest homebuyers “a country club atmosphere in an affordable way,” Jeremy said. Providing a high quality of life for residents has always been the number one focus, Jeremy said. Even during the Great Recession, the Sharpes did the opposite of what many builders and developers were doing during that time. They increased their offerings and amenities for the sake of all Rancho Sahuarita residents, a move that speaks strongly to the dedication and priorities laid down from continued on page 136 >>> Winter 2018

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BizREALESTATE continued from page 135 the beginning by Bob Sharpe. The decision – made for an already amenity-rich community – paid off. Throughout the recession, 300 to 400 homes per year were sold, while home sales came to a near standstill in other parts of Arizona. ‘Family, friends and fun’

The team at Rancho Sahuarita emphasizes that Rancho Sahuarita isn’t so much about the homes in the physical sense, Jeremy said, but as a means to be able to live in this desirable environment. “The house is the ticket for the movie, and the movie is all that comes with living in Rancho Sahuarita,” he said. This vibrant lifestyle centers around activities and programming that focus on “family, friends and fun,” Jeremy said. All lifestyle events and classes are compared against specific criteria, to ensure they are a ‘good fit’ for the resi-

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dents of the community. These “guiding principles” help drive much of what the Lifestyle Team has put together over the years, and like the lifestyle itself, will continue to evolve as the community does.

It’s all about how to create a better life and create connections.

Jeremy Sharpe VP for Community Development Rancho Sahuarita Company –

With a continuing trend towards the importance of health and wellness on a global scale, a key piece of the design of Rancho Sahuarita is the opportunity it provides for residents to live healthier lifestyles. The Sharpes and their 100+ employees emphasize healthy living for residents, both with amenities and in programs offered. The community includes a 24-hour fitness center, fitness classes, three pools, 12 parks, 17 miles of paved trails, a water park and basketball, tennis and sand volleyball courts. “In 2018, we’ll have 200 different events, plus over 30 free health and wellness classes per week. Our team does an amazing job with all we offer,” Jeremy said. Something for everyone

Rancho Sahuarita’s target market was, and still is, young families. Homebuyers, on average, are 32 years old. They tend to work for major employers throughout Tucson. “We’re within a

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20-minute drive of a major job sector – the airport, Raytheon, Davis-Monthan, the University and downtown,” Jeremy said. Residents also work for the U.S. Border Patrol and at the nearby mines. New commercial development in Rancho Sahuarita will continue to grow the job base within the community, allowing some people to even walk or bike to work. A new generation of homebuyers are now making moves to communities like Rancho Sahuarita, Jeremy said. While the recession has caused many millennials to buy houses later than previous age groups, they are looking for the same things. “There are 80 million millennials that are starting to enter the market,” Jeremy said. “What we see is that people used to buy homes younger. Now, that’s happening later in life. However, their life stages are the same as other

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A Sampling of Resident Events •

Movies under the stars

4th of July

Rodeo Round up

Father’s Daughter Dance

Dad and Me Camp Out

Story Time for Tots

Kids’ fall, spring and summer sports camps

Coffee socials

Ballet/jazz classes

Zumba classes

• Meditation •

Hiking club

Ultimate boot camp

• Spinning • Bingo •

Farmers market

Healthy Living series

Resident mixers

Community yard sales

generations, just a few years later.” Early advertising stressed the familyoriented lifestyle and the host of activities and amenities. Campaign slogans over time have included, “It’s all in your backyard,” and “Don’t Miss the Boat.” The current promotion highlights actual residents who have grown up with the community, and touts the opportunity to “Come Grow with Us.” “The thing I appreciate most about living in Rancho Sahuarita is the sense of family,” said long-time resident Jamie Comeau. “I appreciate this community because the people you meet here become your family. When times are tough everyone comes together to help each other out.” Some of the features geared towards kids, in addition to being unique, are also educational – such as the Safari Trail with its life-size bronze animal statues and the butterfly garden. Other special programs like the new “Healthy continued on page 138 >>>

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continued from page 137 Living Lectures” and “I Can Cook for Kids” are now possible with the addition of the community’s demonstration kitchen at Club Rancho Sahuarita. Events and activities also move around to the various neighborhoods, giving everyone close access to the fun. Aside from Rancho Sahuarita’s amenities and events, Jeremy said the most important aspects homebuyers are looking for are schools, programs and trails. Collaborations and partnerships

Over the years, Jeremy said, the belief in continuously reinvigorating and reinvesting in the combination of hard and soft amenities has led to key collaborations and partnerships – with the local school district, safety providers and community organizations – which have resulted in additional benefits for residents and mutually beneficial outcomes. “We like that it is a sidewalk community and we love all the amenities, especially the parks and the lake,” said 138 BizTucson

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Rancho Sahuarita By the Numbers •

Construction started in 2000

Currently 5,700 homes

Total capacity 11,000 homes

18,000 residents

3,000 acres

17 miles of paved trails

10-acre lake

200 events a year

2 current homebuilders: Insight Homes Richmond American

6 on-site schools 7th to be built in 2018

350-acre Sahuarita Town Center

resident Candace Geary. “We like that it is safe for our kids to walk and ride their bikes on their own to meet up with friends at the parks or clubhouse. It’s a close-knit community.” Beyond the core offerings focusing on young families, Bob Sharpe also recognized a market need for a place that could deliver something different. He challenged his team to come up with unique offerings that would help differentiate the community in the minds of prospective buyers, and fill the needs of their unique families and family situations. For instance, the community has a full “special needs” program, which offers exclusive events for families of children with special needs and promotes a message of “inclusivity.” “We partner with organizations and do events each month, such as the Valentine’s Day Dance, Easter Egg Hunt or open our Splash Park just for families with special needs to enjoy,” Jeremy continued on page 140 >>> www.BizTucson.com

PHOTOS: DAVID SANDERS

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continued from page 138 said. “These events give those families a chance to experience the lifestyle in a safe and welcoming way. They feel a part of the community and feel supported.” An intergenerational community

While Rancho Sahuarita is known for being predominately young families, the master plan also includes communities that cater to the active adult, which is a significant segment of the Southern Arizona market. There are two active adult communities and numerous activities for those over 55. Rancho Resort, on the west side of I-19, opened in 2000, selling manufactured homes with stucco finishes. Its 20,000-square-foot clubhouse was a big attraction to the original homebuyers and continues to be a popular gathering place with its activities and clubs, including 153 events held last year. Its lifestyle is active, similar to the rest of the community, with clubhouse amenities that include activity spaces, pool area, gym and a full ballroom. Residents are offered everything from movie nights at the outdoor amphitheater to mixers, resident holiday celebrations, new Lifestyle Enrichment presentations and fitness classes, plus much more. Residential growth at Rancho Resort has gone through various phases with different homebuilders, including DR Horton’s Freedom Homes, which currently is building 700 to 1,300-square-foot, traditionally built homes, Jeremy said. “It’s on the same mission as the rest of Rancho Sahuarita. It’s very affordable. This also is very a tight-knit community.” Sold-out Sonora at Rancho Sahuarita by Del Webb is the development’s other active adult community. Located amongst the other neighborhoods, and within the Rancho Sahuarita community, Sonora consists of just over 400 homes. 140 BizTucson

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We’re within a 20-minute drive of a major job sector – the airport, Raytheon, Davis-Monthan, the university and downtown.

– Jeremy Sharpe VP for Community Development Rancho Sahuarita Company

Also unique to Rancho Sahuarita’s value proposition for active adults is a special club, the “Saguaro Club,” developed especially to bring together members of that demographic, Jeremy said. The club is available to residents of Rancho Resort, Sonora at Rancho Sahuarita, and any of the many other seniors who live within the Rancho Sahuarita master plan. Club members pay a one-time annual fee to join and enjoy access to special events, invitations to mixers and free water park guest passes for grandkids. For a small additional fee, they may participate in Explore Arizona excursions, which offers statewide trips, such as to Arizona Diamondbacks games, Tucson art galleries and Bisbee. Through 17 years of growth and with much development still ahead, Rancho Sahuarita has become an example of how homebuilding, business, schools and family lifestyle can be integrated to build a community. It takes planning, time and vision. And it takes leaders who truly care about creating a desirable place for people to live and form connections in all areas of their lives.

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PHOTOS: DAVID SANDERS

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Robert Sharpe Founder Rancho Sahuarita

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‘Today is a Good Day’ Cancer Can’t Slow Rancho Sahuarita Founder

PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

By David Pittman

www.BizTucson.com

Rancho Sahuarita, once only a vision in one man’s mind, is today a master-planned community that is home to 18,000 residents and it is considered among the most successful developments of its type in the nation. The vision belonged to Rancho Sahuarita founder Bob Sharpe. He transformed 3,000 acres of dormant land, located 20 miles south of downtown Tucson on I-19, into a haven of 5,700 spacious homes for the middle class. “We envisioned Rancho Sahuarita as a place where residents could have more time to enjoy what’s really important in life, like family, friends and fun,” said Sharpe, 65. “It’s all about offering a lifestyle that makes people’s lives easier, and more meaningful and enjoyable.” Rancho Sahuarita has been Sharpe’s vision for almost 25 years. He considers the community a lasting legacy for his family. However, he is now tackling a new challenge – his life-and-death struggle with brain cancer. Remarkably, against almost impossible odds, Sharpe is surviving his terminal prognosis and he wants some good to come from his experience. He and his wife,

Deborah, have formed the “Today is a Good Day” foundation that has raised more than $450,000 for brain cancer research in the last year. “I’m optimistic that we can make an impact now that will contribute to the cure and prevention of cancer in the future,” says Sharpe. In March 2015, Sharpe learned that he’d been diagnosed with glioblastoma, the same type of brain cancer that afflicts U.S. Sen. John McCain. “I wanted to deal with it immediately,” Sharpe said. “Within a week of receiving the diagnosis, I underwent surgery to remove the tumor at Banner – University Medical Center. I was very fortunate that Dr. Michael Lemole, who also saved the life of (then-U.S. Rep.) Gabby Giffords, was my surgeon. I was told that if I survived the surgery I would have four to 15 months to live, with only a 2-percent chance of surviving after that. “This coming March, I will have survived three years – which is a miracle to me – and increases my odds of surviving another year to as high as 70 percent.” Following the surgery, Sharpe underwent radiation and 21 months of continued on page 144 >>> Winter 2018

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PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

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Robert Sharpe with son Jeremy Sharpe continued from page 143 chemotherapy, an unusually long period for chemo, but he was combining the chemo with alternative treatments. For now, Sharpe is tumor-free, continuing MRIs every two months, and, as he says, “living each day to the fullest extent possible by appreciating the beauty, the love and the people in my life.” An unobtrusive, soft-spoken, optimistic man who is quick with a kind word and a smile, Sharpe’s experience with cancer forced him to face his own mortality. He made a conscious decision not to be depressed, bitter or disappointed, and he committed himself to having a positive, optimistic and grateful attitude. “I’ve been told that you never truly beat brain cancer and that essentially you’re waiting for another tumor to recur,” Sharpe said. “Waiting for the other shoe to drop can be stressful, but only if I allow myself to waste the precious time I have left by worrying and 144 BizTucson

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postponing doing the things that make me happy today. “Regardless of the time remaining in my life, I am moving forward with the attitude that what will be, will be, and I am appreciating every moment of every day as a new life.” During the first year of Sharpe’s recovery, his son, Jeremy, called him often to ask how he was feeling. Jeremy recalled, “Every day, no matter what was going on, my dad would always say to me, ‘Today is a good day.’ “His optimism and courage during the most difficult of times are inspirational. ‘Today is a Good Day’ became the family mantra, and it’s used as the name for my parent’s cancer-fighting foundation. Now, this saying is on thousands of hats, T-shirts and stickers reminding people to be positive and grateful, no matter what is happening in their lives.” David Arons, CEO of the National continued on page 146 >>>

Regardless of the time remaining in my life, I am moving forward with the attitude that what will be, will be. I am appreciating every moment of every day as a miracle.

Robert Sharpe Founder Rancho Sahuarita –

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continued from page 144 Brain Tumor Society, describes Sharpe as a model of an informed cancer patient. According to Arons, “Bob Sharpe reads the latest research, asks questions of his doctors and continually seeks out the best medical advice. Bob has a great attitude about life. He is constantly making friends, connecting with people, and using his brain tumor experience to try to help find a cure for brain cancer by encouraging the cooperation of many doctors and scientists.” Bob said, “When it comes to brain cancer, unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of answers. They can’t tell me why I got sick or why I’m still alive. But they all recommend that I keep doing what I’ve been doing. So, I’m continuing to smile and appreciate all the little things in life. “I also realized that I had everything to gain by purposely spending the remaining moments of every day of my life trying to help others that have brain cancer who don’t have my resources or connections. I have gotten satisfaction from visiting with other brain cancer patients and sharing with them that they’re not a statistic and there is hope.”

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Sharpe believes that changing his lifestyle has enhanced his recovery. He feels that basic things, such as getting eight hours of sleep nightly, exercising regularly, eliminating stress, and having

His optimism and courage during the most difficult of times were inspirational.

– Jeremy Sharpe VP for Community Development Rancho Sahuarita Company son of Robert Sharpe

good nutritional habits, are contributing to his overall well-being and brain health.

Greg Vogel, CEO of Land Advisors Organization in Scottsdale and a close, personal friend, said the same extensive due diligence Sharpe used in creating Rancho Sahuarita was put to use to combat his brain cancer. “Bob Sharpe has one of the most curious minds that ever existed,” Vogel said. “When Bob decided to build Rancho Sahuarita, he got to know the people responsible for developing the finest master-planned developments across the country. He studied their projects, learned from them, and incorporated many of their most successful ideas into his community, but always at an affordable cost, and it worked brilliantly.” Vogel said Sharpe is the kindest, most thoughtful person he’s ever met. “When I was going through a troublesome period, he actually called me while he was going through cancer treatments to check on my well-being,” he said. “He’s always thinking of others.” Sharpe said he has been able to curtail his work as the managing partner of Rancho Sahuarita, by handing over most of the day-to-day operations to Jeremy, 29.

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PHOTO: DAVID SANDERS

Bob Sharpe at the 2016 Rancho Sahuarita Cancer Walk

“I feel very fortunate that I can rely on my son to manage the tedious tasks of running a master-planned community,” Bob said. “When it comes to the large strategic and financial decisions, I am very much involved since I still like to be creative and focus on the big-picture. My greatest pleasure in business is

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mentoring my team on how to be entrepreneurial and run a business in an efficient and financially sustainable way, which we have managed to do through the toughest of times over the last 35 years.” “Although the last decade has been very tough on the real estate market, we

BizREALESTATE didn’t let one of our 100 employees go,” Bob added. “We have been able to keep everyone employed because we don’t have any debt and we own cash-flowing businesses, like a water company and commercial properties. Our employees have been very loyal to us and we are very loyal to them. We’re a family, and Jeremy is leading our team now.” Last year at a real estate conference, where Bob was sharing his brain cancer story, Vogel made a comment to the group that Bob remembers to this day. “Greg said, ‘Twenty-three years ago, Bob’s chances of developing a successful master-planned community in Tucson were about 2 percent, and with those same odds, I fully expect Bob to also overcome his brain cancer.’ “Considering the incredible success of Rancho Sahuarita and my unlikely, 33-month survival,” Bob said, “it is clear to me that miracles do happen.”

Biz To learn more about Bob Sharpe’s foundation to fight brain cancer or to donate to the cause, visit www.todayisagooddayfoundation.com

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Jobs, Amenities Make for a Bright Future ‘Location Drives Sales’

PHOTOS: DAVID SANDERS

By Christy Krueger and Jay Gonzales

The bustling job corridor on Tucson’s south and west sides – with Raytheon Missile Systems and Caterpillar as the headliners – puts Rancho Sahuarita in position for a long and prosperous future as those incoming engineers and other highpaid workers look for homes. “Location drives sales,” said Ginger Kneup, a residential real estate market analyst who also happens to live in Rancho Sahuarita. “Rancho Sahuarita is near the employment centers around the airport, and there are also a lot of Border Patrol people living there. It’s a good location for a working couple where one person is going south and one person is going north.” Major employment announcements of the past year or so – with Raytheon announcing that it is adding 2,000 jobs to its location near Tucson International Airport, and with Caterpillar announcing a big move here west of downtown – Rancho Sahuarita’s housing mix of young, first-time buyers all the way to the active, over-55 adult means employees looking to fill those jobs www.BizTucson.com

Rancho Sahuarita has the highest level of amenities of any master-planned community in the region. It’s a huge opportunity for builders to be in a community where they don’t have to build any of the amenities themselves because they’re already there.

– Ginger Kneup Residential Real Estate Market Analyst Bright Future Real Estate Research

– no matter where they are in the careers – have a place to look about 20 minutes away. To make sure the masterplanned community is ready, a number of new developments are underway while Rancho Sahuarita makes sure its plentiful amenities remain attractive to potential residents and potential builders. “Rancho Sahuarita has the highest level of amenities of any master-planned community in the region,” Kneup said. “It’s a huge opportunity for builders to be in a community where they don’t have to build any of the amenities themselves because they’re already there. “The builder can really focus on selling homes when they’re in a community like this. They don’t have to commit other resources. They also have the support of Rancho Sahuarita where if a developer has homebuyers, they can send them to the clubhouse and the staff will tour them around. It’s one less responsibility for the builder.” continued on page 150 >>> Winter 2018

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Right

Entrada La Villita 71-lot neighborhood

Far right

Entrada del Rio, 526-home development opening in summer of 2018

Construction by Richmond American Homes has started in Entrada La Villita, a 71-lot neighborhood near Sahuarita Road and La Villita Road. Four different two-story floor plans are being offered. That will be followed by the launch of Entrada del Rio, a 526home development opening in summer of 2018. “The amenity-rich backdrop of Rancho Sahuarita and the continued growth of the town is a major draw for Richmond,” said Michael J. Del Castillo, Tucson division president for Richmond American Homes. “We’re very excited to be building in Rancho Sahuarita again. We’ve experienced great success throughout the years at our previous communities in the master plan, and we’re looking forward to the same at our newest community, Entrada La Villita.” Kneup pointed out that while master-planned communities are back on the drawing board after the lengthy real-estate crash, homebuyers looking for a developer to build another amenity150 BizTucson

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Rancho Sahuarita Homebuilders 2002 – 2018

Rancho Sahuarita is composed of 44 neighborhoods to date, which were built by the following companies: • D.R. Horton • Consolidated Mortgage, formerly known as Townsend Construction • Insight Homes • KB Home • Monterey Homes • Pulte Homes • Richmond American Homes • Robert Spinelli, formerly known as Townsend Construction • Sivage Homes

rich community like Rancho Sahuarita are probably out of luck. “Very few developers are putting in the kind of money that has been put in at Rancho Sahuarita anymore,” Kneup said. “With the foreclosure crisis and the crash of 2008, everyone became very risk-averse. No one is putting money upfront to do things that 12 or 13 years ago made sense. Even when you look at new master plans that are underway, none of them will have the level of amenities that are here in Rancho Sahuarita.” By the end of 2017, approximately 18,000 residents were living in Rancho Sahuarita. They are spread out over 44 neighborhoods. Nine builders have constructed homes here since 2002. For several years following the recession, Rancho Sahuarita’s developers purposely slowed the addition of new neighborhoods to allow the resale market to catch up, while continuing to enhance lifestyles by adding programs and amenities. Doing so helped support existing home values. Now that the houscontinued on page 152 >>> www.BizTucson.com

PHOTOS: DAVID SANDERS

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BizREALESTATE continued from page 150 ing market is recovering, site work is being completed at two new neighborhoods in preparation for the re-start of new home building. “Rancho Sahuarita is benefiting from a combination of rising demand, declining inventory and low interest rates,” Bob Sharpe said. “There has been a recent surge in demand and prices at the entry-level end of the market, allowing existing residents to sell their homes.” Rancho Sahuarita is not only a residential development. Like a small town, it has nearby shopping, services and commercial offerings that enhance the living experience for residents. The residential population has grown to such an extent that it’s catch-up time for the commercial sectors. Rancho Sahuarita Marketplace is considered a vibrant gathering place near I-19 and Sahuarita Road with retail, grocery, dining and banking. “This is one of the top performing Fry’s in the state,” Jeremy Sharpe said.

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Across the street are a gas station and Panda Express. Plans are in the works to add a hotel, offices and more restaurants to the Rancho Sahuarita Marketplace. Excitement is circulating around the new phase of development at Sahuarita Town Center. Current uses include a municipal government complex, post office, fire station, schools, a library and churches. Additional mixed use is planned for the Town Center, including potential for various retail, office and commercial opportunities. A new school, as well as community gathering spaces, are currently under construction. Now in its final design stage is The Place at Rancho Sahuarita, a green gathering spot with an outdoor amphitheater, splash park, lazy river, picnic areas and food truck parking. At buildout, the Town Center will encompass more than 1 million square feet of mixed-use structures and spaces and is expected to be a source of job growth for residents.

Bob Sharpe wrote in Trend Report, a real estate industry publication: “The Town of Sahuarita was recently awarded a $3 million grant to aid in the construction of Sahuarita Advanced Manufacturing and Technology Center, known as SAMTEC. This hub of innovation will house groundbreaking technology-oriented companies that will help grow and shape the future of employment in the region.” Located on the west side of I-19, SAMTEC will be built on 3.76 acres that Rancho Sahuarita sold to the Town of Sahuarita. Two local companies have already indicated they will relocate to the multi-tenant facility – Hydronalix, a maritime robotics manufacturer, and Control Vision, a manufacturer of optical instruments and control systems. “With thousands of jobs expected to be located within 20 minutes, Rancho Sahuarita is well positioned to meet the housing needs of future area residents,” Bob Sharpe said. “Its unique lifestyle combined with a readily available lot inventory will allow Rancho Sahuarita to continue to be successful.” Biz

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BizEDUCATION

Partners in Education

Support for School Critical for Community

PHOTOS: SAHUARITA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

By Christy Krueger

The expression – “You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” – is a fitting way to describe the partnership between Rancho Sahuarita and Sahuarita Unified School District. Neither entity would be as robust as it is today without the other. And they continue to work closely together so they both can thrive well into the future. “One reason young families are drawn to Rancho Sahuarita is the community’s commitment to education,” said Bob Sharpe, founder of Rancho Sahuarita. “Great schools are the foundation of a great community.” Manuel Valenzuela started with the school district in 2005 and became superintendent in 2010. He remembers the relationship already being in place and evolving during the time his predecessor, Jay St. John, led the district. “The relationship has continued to grow over time,” Valenzuela said. “Since then, Rancho Sahuarita has worked with the district to build an extension of a wing at Sahuarita High School, and Mr. Sharpe had donated money for Anza Trail School.” Rancho Sahuarita also donated land for the construction of Copper View Elementary School and helped develop the school district’s Sahuarita Aquatic Center. “It’s a meaningful partnership,” Valenzuela said. “We realized we could offset some of the costs and support the overall development of public infrawww.BizTucson.com

structure, such as building roads. “We are finding common interests and needs to leverage so we can create

We are finding common interests and needs to leverage so we can create something bigger and broader than if we were doing it alone.

Manuel Valenzuela Superintendent Sahuarita Unified School District –

something bigger and broader than if we were doing it alone. The process has produced a cooperative relationship beyond bricks and mortar.” Jeremy Sharpe, VP of community development for Rancho Sahuarita, added: “SUSD remains a key partner for Rancho Sahuarita. Through land donations, being a founding member of Sahuarita Wins, and donating time and money for key academic and school initiatives, we have been able to collaborate with the community to ensure SUSD continues to thrive.” While having a strong educational system is one of the most important elements for Rancho Sahuarita homebuyers, it works both ways since the schools also contribute to the local workforce and the overall economic development of the town. With a major employment sector just 20 minutes away including Raytheon, the budding aerospace industry near Tucson International Airport and downtown, Rancho Sahuarita and other nearby businesses are putting their money and time into assisting SUSD with important educational initiatives. The Freeport-McMoRan Foundation kick started the district’s participation in the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI), making SUSD the first school district in Arizona to become part of the nationwide program. continued on page 159 >>> Winter 2018

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PHOTOS: SAHUARITA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

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continued from page 157 The program provides financial incentives and college credit for students taking Advanced Placement classes, as well tutors, and training and school supplies for teachers. Freeport-McMoRan owns the Sierrita Mine southwest of Sahuarita. Sahuarita Wins! is an initiative spearheaded by businesses in partnership with the SUSD to try to find ways to fill the many needs of the public-school district and how to create opportunities for the students. “We discuss how the school district and businesses can partner and benefit one another,” said Sharpe. “We brought everybody to the table to talk about what the school district needs. What do businesses need? And how do we get students into the business community?” On the trades side of career preparation, the Heavy Equipment Operations program was created through the Pima County Joint Technical Education District. On Nov. 13, the program’s new facility at Walden Grove High School www.BizTucson.com

was dedicated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. It will serve all Pima County JTED member districts. “Dr. Valenzuela is very innovative,” said Sharpe. “He believes in providing

One reason young families are drawn to Rancho Sahuarita is because of the community’s commitment to education.

Bob Sharpe Founder Rancho Sahuarita –

an education for all students. There’s a focus on different trades – kitchen, auto shop, they have a Habitat for Humanity partnership – and also on students attending top colleges.” Health and safety are additional focuses for Valenzuela. “We were recently recognized for a process we developed in management of traumatic brain injuries and concussions,” he said. “We have a multi-facet program with cross disciplines – speech therapists and coaches and beyond – to work with students with concussions to monitor and get them back to the classroom and athletic fields.” The district purchased robotic tackling dummies for the football teams’ use during practice. Valenzuela said the University of Arizona is the only other school in Pima County that he knows of using this new, safer practice equipment. The growth in schools has been significant since Rancho Sahuarita took off, Valenzuela said. “When I came, we had five schools on one main camcontinued on page 160 >>> Winter 2018

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BizEDUCATION continued from page 159 pus.” Since then, Anza Trail, Walden Grove and Copper View Elementary schools have been built, and a ninth, a K-8 school, is under construction in the Sahuarita Town Center. When it is completed, there will be seven schools within the boundaries of Rancho Sahuarita. He said it’s somewhat unusual to have so many schools within a masterplanned community, mainly from a land standpoint. “When you’re building schools, you have to look at the availability of land. Bob Sharpe has been very willing to give land and focus on growth patterns and density.” It makes sense to build schools where people live and where they will be living, he added. Although Bob Sharpe has donated more than 100 acres for schools, funding is still needed to build them. This is where the residents of Sahuarita come in. “Our community is generous with school bonds and overrides,” Valenzu-

ela said. “The overrides support programs like the arts and sports. Some schools were built entirely with bonds. Jeremy has been involved in passing ballot measures. He invests a lot of time to causes he deems worthy, and I’m grateful.” In 2016, voters passed a $25 million bond, $20 million of which is going toward construction of the new K-8 school. The other $5 million will replace modular classrooms with permanent structures. “Jeremy was co-chair of a political action committee for passage of local ballots that go back to school needs,” Valenzuela noted. “He invested a significant amount of time. These are necessary.” The superintendent clearly respects the Sharpes and their advocacy for the town. “Bob Sharpe brought a vision of creating a lifestyle focused on building community and schools. He worked to be partners with private and public sectors that have worked to materialize that vision. It’s unique.”

Sahuarita Unified School District Schools Schools within the boundaries of Rancho Sahuarita: • Sahuarita Primary • Sahuarita Intermediate • Sahuarita Middle • Anza Trail K-8 • Copper View Elementary • Sahuarita High • K-8 in Sahuarita Town Center – not yet named, to open in 2018/2019 In addition, the Early Childhood Center is located in Rancho Sahuarita

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BizEDUCATION

Recent honors and recognition for the Sahuarita Unified School District and administrators The Sahuarita Unified School District serves 5,800 students in preschool through 12th grade. The district has four elementary schools, one K-8 school, one middle school, two high schools, an alternative secondary school, and an early childhood center. Seven of the schools are within the Rancho Sahuarita master-planned community. The following is a list of recent awards and recognition received by the school district.

Cenergistic Energy Excellence Award for energy efficiency, 2016

Metropolitan Pima Alliance (MPA) Common Ground Award, 2015

ASBO Pinnacle Award for Finance, 2015

Scott Downs, Arizona School Personnel Administrator of the Year, 2015

• Brett

Bonner, Arizona School Administrators Distinguished Administrator Award for the Educational Services Division, 2017

Golden Bell for concussion management protocol

First National Math + Science Initiative Arizona School Partner District – 300% increase in qualifying AP scores

University of Arizona Teaching Fellows site

University of Arizona iCats partnership site

Dr. Manuel Valenzuela, All Arizona Superintendent of the Year for Large Size Districts, 2015

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BizBRIEF

Two Awards for Vantage West By David Petruska Vantage West Credit Union took first place in the 2017 Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award and Louise Herring PhilosophyIn-Action Member Service Award (Over $1B Asset Category). These awards recognize credit union initiatives showcasing involvement in the community and a commitment to helping members. The Mountain West Credit Union Association and the Credit Union National Association sponsored the awards. The Dora Maxwell Award, inspired by credit union pioneer Dora Maxwell, is given to a credit union for performing noteworthy social responsibility projects within the community. For its winning entry, Vantage West

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Left Photo: Vantage West Wins 1st Place, Dora Maxwell Award for “A Toy Drive to Remember” Right Photo: Representatives from Vantage West and the Anti-Skimming Alliance receive the Louise Herring Award for its 1st Place win.

partnered with Children’s Clinics of Southern Arizona in holding a “Holiday Toy Drive to Remember.” The drive benefitted children of families living in poverty and who otherwise would not have had holiday presents. As a result of the generosity of credit union employees and members, Vantage West collected toys for more than 2,000 children for the holidays. The Louise Herring Award recognizes a credit union’s efforts to materially improve members’ lives through internal programs and services that mirror the credit union philosophy of “people helping people.” The award is given in honor of Louise Herring, an active supporter, organizer and champion of

credit unions who believed credit unions should work in a practical manner to better peoples’ lives. Vantage West won the award for its involvement in the Anti-Skimming Alliance with the Arizona Department of Agriculture’s Weights and Measures Division and law enforcement. The alliance was formed in response to the alarming number of card skimmers found last year in Arizona gas pumps. In the summer of 2016 alone, Vantage West helped identify 13 locations with more than 26 skimmers in Tucson, Casa Grande and Phoenix, and helped prevent nearly $200,000 in fraudulent activity.

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PHOTO: AMY HASKELL

Magdalena Verdugo

VP of Education Chicanos Por La Causa

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Chicanos Por La Causa Agent of Change By Tara Kirkpatrick Born from a movement to combat oppression, Chicanos Por La Causa is closing in on a half-century of community development in three states and a renewed focus on opportunities in Southern Arizona. CPLC’s goal is to empower the people it serves and help foster self-sufficiency. The agency offers a comprehensive range of bilingual and bicultural services for the underserved regardless of ethnic background. Of its statewide staff of 850, 125 work for CPLC in Southern Arizona. The organization was founded in 1969 as part of the charge led by labor leader Cesar Chavez to fight hardships that Latinos faced in Phoenix. It has since evolved into one of the largest, most respected Hispanic nonprofits in the United States, providing myriad health and human services, housing, education and economic development programs that benefit more than 250,000 people in Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada. President Barack Obama visited one of CPLC’s Phoenix housing developments in 2015. In 2016, the U.S. Small Business Administration honored the group’s lending arm, Prestamos CDFI, as Arizona’s Micro Lender of the Year. Of recent note, CPLC opened a new charter high school in Tucson. CPLC President and CEO David Adame joined the board of directors of Sun Corridor Inc., the region’s economic development organization. Based in Phoenix, CPLC is set to hire a new market president for the area. “As we get ready to celebrate 50 years in 2019, I just felt like we needed to make a deeper commitment and grow www.BizTucson.com

our partnerships here with key stakeholders, including the University of Arizona,” Adame said following the group’s annual scholarship golf tournament at Casino Del Sol last fall. “We are not welfare,” Adame said. “We are business people and we operate like a business. We own and manage for-profit businesses, which help sustain our charitable initiatives.” Indeed, of the group’s $100 million budget, 55 percent is self-generated – a number Adame hopes to push to 75 percent in the future. “Our approach isn’t that we are always asking for donations – we try to find ways to work with the private sector. I want people to do business with us for no other reason than we are good at what we do,” he said. “That’s what we are going to do more of in Tucson. How are we going to move that needle together, build a better community for everyone?” For example, Adame is proud of CPLC’s growing relationship with University of Arizona’s Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health as a partner in public health. CPLC committed to raising $100,000 a year for the next five years for the school. It also awards a $10,000 Los Médicos Scholarship to two Hispanic students attending the UA College of Medicine. CPLC also runs two charter high schools in Tucson through its affiliate CPLC Community Schools. Toltecalli High School serves the city’s southside. Envision High School opened in 2017 at Prince and Oracle roads. Both schools, which together serve about 200 students, offer a non-traditional model providing high school and college cred-

its, as well as counselors on staff, free bus passes and free tutoring. “These are students who may not have graduated otherwise,” said Magdalena Verdugo, CPLC’s VP of education. “They are dealing with a lot more issues. Often they are parents themselves,” she said. “We created a program and are able to get them up to scale in a smaller school environment. This is teacher-led instruction, but very projectbased. Our goal is to give them real-life scenarios.” Verdugo lauded CPLC’s decision to launch adult education classes, including job training and in-demand workforce skills. “Workforce development is very important to us,” she said. “We are looking at where the gaps are so we can start preparing them. We see this as an economic impact we can make.” Yet another initiative CPLC took the lead on recently was the national Cities for Citizenship movement to bolster citizenship among eligible permanent residents of the United States. CPLC initially presented the program to the mayor’s office in Tucson, which now runs it, Verdugo said. CPLC, along with the business partners it brings to the table, offers application guidance, classes to help pass the exam and other services. “It’s still going strong,” she said. “We know that when individuals become citizens they make an economic impact. They get a better education, a better job, they purchase a home and a car.” It’s all part of a long-term commitment to reinforce Southern Arizona, Adame said. “I like to say, we are not looking for a date, we are looking for a relationship.” Biz Winter 2018

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Nancy Lyons

Owner & CEO Clockwork digital consulting

PHOTO COURTESY NANCY LYONS

BizHR

Encourage ‘Intrapreneurs’ To Innovate By Christy Krueger “Being an Employee, Thinking Like a CEO” was the title of Society for Human Resource Management’s September presentation by author and entrepreneur Nancy Lyons, owner and CEO of Clockwork digital consulting. She said the title of her talk means that employees need to come to work ready to do their job and be innovators. “Companies want people to think and be innovative – but young employees are asking employers how to do that,” Lyons said at her presentation. Although Lyons is not an HR professional, she speaks passionately about workplace interactions and organizational effectiveness. She co-authored “Interactive Project Management: Pixels, People and Process” and will soon release her newest book, “How to Succeed at Business by Being Nice to Humans.” This divide she discussed in her presentation is partly because of society expecting things to be the same as they have always been. “We made rules 150 years ago and haven’t figured out how to change now,” Lyons said. “During the Industrial Revolution, work was about transactional exchanges – now it’s relational. Technology is changing us and employers can’t continue running their businesses like in the past.” She also sees differences in the attitudes and working styles of each generation. “Millennials want purpose, work-life balance, flexibility, meaningfulness and connectedness at work. The Boomers were all about work. They invented blue and white collar and educational requirements.” 168 BizTucson

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Whatever the generational makeup of their workforce, employers need to let their employees think outside the box and not be afraid to fail – because that is essential for innovation. “Intrapreneur” is the word Lyons uses for a person who benefits a company when allowed to be innovative. “This is someone in an organization who takes risks to solve problems and grow the business,” she said. Lyons defines an intrapreneur by the following traits:

Proactive – infusing new energy and doesn’t need reminding of the company’s purpose

• • •

Committed – having vision and sticking to it

• • • •

Integrity – having self-respect and respect for others Open-minded – being experimental and tolerant, having big ideas Courteous – to those within and outside the company Resilient and adaptive – not giving up easily Emotionally intelligent – understanding people Authentic – being the same self at work as at home

Lyons said she believes companies have to build a culture that allows workers to extend themselves and contribute. “Create psychological safety. People have room to be creative at work when they feel safe. Give them room to grow and be creative and innovative.” Biz www.BizTucson.com


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BizBRIEFS

Rosi Vogel Rosi Vogel is the new senior program coordinator for Nosostros Comprometidos a Su Salud-Committed to Your Health program within the Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at the University of Arizona. Vogel has 15 years of experience in community outreach and management. She holds a bachelorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s degree in business management from Anahuac University in Mexico City. Nosostros was developed to support research through active community engagement within Tucsonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hispanic community.

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Sara Badilla Sara Badilla has joined the Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort staff as director of marketing. The graduate of the University of Arizona looks forward to creating unique marketing campaigns for the historic property in the Santa Catalina foothills. Hacienda Del Sol opened as a ranch school for girls in 1929.

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BizMUSIC

Tucson Desert Song Festival Celebrates Bernstein By Chuck Graham The sixth annual Tucson Desert Song Festival, Jan. 16-Feb. 4, is counting on its 18-day celebration of the 100th year of iconic conductor, composer, pianist and educator Leonard Bernstein to pump up the festival’s national standing. “Nowhere else in the world, as far as we know, can a listener experience the full spectrum of Bernstein’s genius in such a short period of time, in such a beautiful place as Tucson,” said George Hanson, TDSF’s director since mid2015, following 20 years as music director of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. Pulling out all the stops (as musicians say), Hanson has called on the talents of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Arizona Opera, True Concord Voices & Orchestra, Tucson Guitar Society, Arizona Early Music Society, Arizona Friends of Chamber Music, Ballet Tucson, New York Festival of Song, Tucson Jazz Festival, Tucson International Jewish Film Festival, the University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music and UA Presents. “If there is one word I would use to describe this festival, it is ‘collaboration,’ ” Hanson said. “Bernstein is the most important American musician of all time and one of the most important in the world. He changed everything in the way we think about music,” said Hanson, who worked as Bernstein’s assistant for seven years. Adding still more authenticity is Bernstein’s daughter, Jamie Bernstein, appearing here as artist-in-residence. She will perform the narration in Bernstein’s Symphony No. 3, “Kaddish,” present two programs about her father and host a screening with Q&A at the Jewish Community Center of “On the Waterfront,” scored by Bernstein in 1954. “We are covering everything from his most serious work to the wild and crazy stuff,” Hanson said. “We are advertising this as a festival comparable to the Ravinia Festival near Chicago and the Santa Fe Opera Festival. “We want the TDSF to put Tucson on the map as a cultural destination. This celebration of Bernstein is bring-

ing a lot of attention to the festival, and my connection to him has helped, I believe.” To that end, this lengthy list of local collaborators has combined forces to bring in baritone Jubilant Sykes, mezzosoprano Sasha Cooke, baritone Kelly Markgraf, soprano Kelley Nassief and the artsong duo of Steven Blier and Michael Barrett.

“We just want everyone to recognize what great music sounds like, even if they don’t know the names of the singers,” said Jeannette Segel, who joined TDSF earlier this year as president, after serving as board president and chairman of the board at Arizona Opera. “Our goal is to get groups such as the ballet to begin working with singers,

and to have groups that usually work with singers to hire some to perform with their groups during the festival,” she said. Hanson described his job being festival director as applying “a very gentle form of persuasion” to the collaborating groups to book prominent artists during the festival’s traditional time slot each January. “Then TDSF can help subsidize the booking and assist with advertising that performance. To use the terminology of business, participating in the festival builds the brands of our partners by nationalizing their brands,” Hanson said. “Our goal is to have people in places like Chicago, Seattle and New York say, ‘Let’s see which of our favorite singers is appearing in Tucson at the Desert Song Festival this year.’ That definitely happens for Sante Fe, where people plan their vacations around traveling to the opera festival.” “That was the idea behind this festival from the beginning,” said co-founder John “Jack” Forsythe III, believing in the festival’s national appeal. “Our motto has always been to have everyone think of Tucson in winter the same way they think of Sante Fe in the summer.” Hanson takes it a step further, believing TDSF can become an important player in the city’s ongoing rejuvenation of downtown. Having another nationally prominent music festival in Tucson can only help. “We aren’t inventing culture here, or anything like that, but we are beginning to attract national attention with how we can leverage the arts we do have to be more successful,” Hanson said. “Creating something that is greater than the sum of its parts. We aren’t just bringing in singers to do recitals. “Plus, several recent studies have shown that people who go to arts events spend more money on dinner and related things than people who go to sports events. I don’t think Tucson has quite figured that out yet.” Biz For full festival information, visit www.tucsondesertsongfestival.org

From top: Leonard Bernstein, photo by Paul de Hueck, courtesy of the Leonard Bernstein Office; mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, photo by Dario Acosta; baritone Jubilant Sykes, photo courtesy Tucson Desert Song Festival

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BizTRIBUTE

Remembering ‘The General’ Alan Lurie Always Answered the Call to Duty A Tribute By Roger Yohem While “on duty,” Alan Lurie was a tough advocate for the principles and people he believed in. In my years working with him, I saw a man with intensity driven by discipline and persistence. Those who clashed with him over his views and values typically judged him to be rigid and combative. When “off duty,” his persona flipped to that of relaxed patriarch with a dry wit. He loved family and fly-fishing, the camaraderie of close friends, and his hometown Cleveland Browns and Indians. His life was one of unique stress. Nationally, he was known as a distinguished U.S. Air Force brigadier general, and for 80 months as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. Statewide, he was the high-profile, assertive executive director of the Southern Arizona Home Builders Association for 13 years. To SAHBA members and staffers like myself, he was simply “The General.” In September, Lurie died at age 84 and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. “Alan was a class act, a wonderful person. Impact fees were my major issue and he took them on head-on like a brigadier general would. I appreciated him for that,” said builder/developer Peter Herder, former board chair of SAHBA and the National Association of Home Builders. As a fighter pilot in June 1966, Lurie was shot down and held as a POW in North Vietnam for more than six years. Despite suffering a compression fracture of the spine, he was immediately brutalized. Years later in military and news reports, he characterized the Viet Cong as “professional torturers,” and the beatings, isolation, hunger and endless stress “a terrible thing to endure.” 172 BizTucson

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Like fellow pilot, now-U.S. Sen. John McCain, Lurie ended up in Hoa Lo Prison, known as the “Hanoi Hilton.” When he was released in February 1973, Lurie credited his endurance to his faith in the Lord and confidence in America. After recovering from his injuries, the Ohio State University grad returned to flight duty. Back in Cleveland, thenBrowns owner Art Modell wanted to honor Lurie whose wish was simple: to see highlights of the Browns’ games he’d missed as a POW. Modell hosted a party and they watched football together in his film room.

Gen. Alan Lurie His career back on track, Lurie commanded the 836th Air Division at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base from 1982 to 1984, where he was promoted to brigadier general. After 32 years, he retired in 1987. “Alan’s mentoring had a lot to do with my success. He helped me land positions in the White House and serving the chairman of the Joint Chiefs,” said

Jon Sams, a retired senior master sergeant who served with Lurie at DavisMonthan. “We remained good friends for the rest of his life. I told him many times what an impact he had on my life and career.” When SAHBA challenged regulations, Lurie’s outspoken views “often put him on the wrong side of bureaucracy and environmentalists,” said Herder, a member of President Reagan’s Commission on Housing. For homebuyers “in the battle of impact fees, he was their hero.” Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry said Lurie “treated everyone with respect, strived to understand those with opposing points of view and always worked for what he believed to be the best interests of our community.” He was “a calming influence” during the days of robust county growth that “ran into the pygmy owl in the late 1990s. Alan played a key role in helping find a path out of the chaos,” he added. The solution was the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan, and rather than fight it, “Alan and SAHBA worked with the county to create the best possible plan that served everyone’s interests. For that I will always be grateful,” Huckelberry said. Over time, Lurie shifted from combatant to diplomat. “Through all of the press conferences, Board of Supervisors meetings, and various other mind-numbing meetings, Alan showed his patience and stamina,” said John H. Shorbe, who, like Lurie was honored as a Father’s Day Council Tucson Father of the Year. “At the same time, his outstanding leadership shined through brightly and guided the way for our Association to maneuver around all of the potential political minefields, and www.BizTucson.com


towards an outcome that we felt was fair to all.” To build better media relations, I set up several “backgrounders” to position SAHBA as a community citizen beyond growth issues. Though he resisted, our first lunch was with Jill Jorden Spitz, then the business editor at the Arizona Daily Star. We met at the Old Pueblo Grille and sat outside. After introductions, the iced teas and moods were cold. The chill was broken when Jill’s shoulder was victimized by a pigeon flying overhead that relieved itself. The General quickly gathered linen napkins and instinctively snapped to attention beside her. Amid the embarrassed laughter, she asked him to wipe her back. From there, the dialogue rolled and though they did not connect on every topic, some common ground was established. “I knew Alan to be a strong leader with a great sense of purpose and resolve to accomplish the goals or missions he pursued,” said John Bremond, former president of KB Homes and another Father of the Year honoree. “His military record speaks for itself. He was a true American hero. He possessed that stern let’s-get-it-done attitude but also was kind and caring. He was someone you could always rely on. I believe those who knew him were blessed to have had him in their lives.” “Alan and I would chat and compare stories of our military days,” said Shorbe, who also served in Vietnam. “One fact hit me hard as we chatted one day. I had come away from my year in Vietnam with a bit of bitterness in my heart after seeing what the Viet Cong were capable of, and some of these feelings are still strong today. “Alan, however, spent seven long years as a prisoner of war and was tortured to levels that normal Americans cannot even imagine. And yet, when I asked him if he was bitter or held hatred in his heart, he replied, ‘No, no I do not hold any bitterness or hatred in me.’ It was in that instant that I knew the true level of strength within that man.”

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Roger Yohem came to know Alan Lurie when they worked together at the Southern Arizona Home Builders Association from 2000 to 2009, where Yohem was VP of communications. www.BizTucson.com

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BizBRIEF

OneAZ Credit Union Expands in Oro Valley By Elena Acoba

OneAZ Credit Union tapped a local financial services executive to open and manage its Oro Valley branch when it begins serving the community in mid2018. Cynthia “Cindy” Webb Hanson most recently was a supervisor with BMO Harris Bank’s Oro Valley branch. Webb Hanson has more than 27 years of experience in the industry. She currently is a board member with the Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce and is an active community volunteer. The new branch on North Oracle

Road and North First Avenue will be the fourth OneAZ Credit Union location in the Tucson area. For two of them, the company installed new managers. Vanessa Gonzalez, branch manager at 1001 N. Park Ave., has spent more than 14 years with a number of financial institutions. She is an expert in retail banking. Ryan Hawkins, branch manager at 777 S. Alvernon Way, has more than 12 years of financial services and management experience. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration

Cynthia Webb Hanson

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from the University of Phoenix. The fourth branch location is at 6456 N. Oracle Road. The Phoenix-based company was founded as Arizona State Credit Union in 1951. In 2016, its members approved the name change, which has been rolled out to its 21 branches. The credit union serves more than 140,000 Arizonans. OneAZ is a 10-time winner of Ranking Arizona by “AZ Business Magazine” and a six-time workplace excellence award-winner named by Peter Barron Stark & Associates. Biz

Ryan Hawkins

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BizHONORS

2017 Tucson Man of the Year

Bruce Wright By Romi Carrell Wittman

The word “communitarian” isn’t one you hear much, but it’s one way to describe Bruce Wright for the work he puts into making the Tucson community a better place. As associate VP for Tech Parks Arizona at the University of Arizona, Wright has long championed economic development in Southern Arizona. At the same time, he’s been a workhorse in the community on boards and projects outside his economic development duties. In his 30 years at the university, he’s increased the number of tenants at the Tech Park to 46 companies that employ some 6,000 people and contribute almost $610 million in total wage impact. Wright is also the founder and president of the Arizona Center for Innovation, a technology incubator, and was instrumental in establishing several technology clusters in Pima County. In 2001, he was named Arizona’s Economic Developer of the Year by the Arizona Association for Economic Development. In 2017, he received AAED’s Arizona Best Award for Economic Development. Recently he learned he was selected for yet another honor. He was named the 2017 Greater Tucson Leadership Man of the Year. It’s particularly meaningful to him because he is an early graduate of the GTL program. Jessa Turner, director of communications for UA Tech Parks, nominated Wright for the award. She was motivated to nominate him because of his leadership in moving forward significant regional projects – both business- and communitybased. “He’s inspired me to think beyond what’s been done and to step up when there’s a need. He’s inspired me to be a leader in my community and to be the voice that unites the community into action,” she said. After earning a bachelor’s degree in political science at Willamette University, Wright moved to Tucson to attend graduate school at the UA. Following that, he went to work as Congressman Morris K. Udall’s chief of staff and served as a staff consultant to the House Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs. Wright is particularly proud of his contributions on the Central Arizona Project, which brought Colorado River water to Southern Arizona. Later, Wright joined the UA staff, where he worked in a variety of positions from community relations to economic development. “I’ve worked with seven different UA presidents,” Wright said. “I’ve built a deeply gratifying and rewarding cawww.BizTucson.com

reer and life here in Tucson.” Maria L. Masque of The Planning Center said, “Bruce has shown a rare ability as a visionary leader to create and strengthen public/private partnerships with the Arizona Board of Regents, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Pima County Administration Office, the City of Tucson Mayor and Council, University of Arizona, Vail School District and countless other key state, regional and local institutions, partners and stakeholders with the goal of strengthening our region.” Justin Williams, founder and CEO of Startup Tucson, added that Wright has been a mentor and booster for young professionals, nurturing the next generation of business and community leaders. “Bruce has mentored countless young professionals like myself into becoming recognized local business and community leaders,” Williams said. “Bruce’s leadership and vision for change in our community this and every year has made an enormous impact.” Wright has a deep understanding of and commitment to the community. In addition to his volunteer work with the United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona, Southern Arizona Chapter of the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity Tucson and Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, he has been an active force with the DM50, the Transportation Trade Alliance and the Arizona-Mexico Commission. Suzanne McFarlin, a career consultant and former executive director of GTL, said, “He’s dedicated his life and career to building collaboration among industry, community and the university. He’s donated much of his time to developing leaders by mentoring professionals, providing internships and building STEM programs that connect students to technology.” Wright is humble when discussing this most recent honor. “I was totally surprised,” he said. “This award is very meaningful to me. Tucson is a warm and friendly community and I’ve always tried to be involved and to give back. My wife and I raised our family here, and I’m proud to have played a role in creating jobs and wealth for the community.” The GTL Man of the Year award carries another, even more special meaning for Wright. “I look at the past recipients and it’s an impressive group of people,” he said. “Morris Udall won it in 1968 and it’s very special that I’m now getting the same award.” Biz Winter 2018

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BizHONORS

2017 Tucson Woman of the Year

Lynne Wood Dusenberry By Romi Carrell Wittman

Lynne Wood Dusenberry was doing what she’s known for – supporting a local charitable organization – when she got some unexpected news. Dusenberry was attending the YMCA Foundation luncheon when the emcee said there was a special announcement. When Dusenberry heard it, she was shocked. That’s when she learned she was selected the 2017 Woman of the Year by the Greater Tucson Leadership Council. “It was the furthest thing from my mind,” she said. “I was so surprised and humbled by the honor.” After reading some of the letters of support for her nomination, Dusenberry said she was deeply touched. “It was so nice to hear – and it’s not my funeral,” she joked. Dusenberry’s commitment to Southern Arizona goes back several decades. After graduating from the University of Arizona College of Law, she went to work in the UA Office of the General Counsel. There she built a 33-year law career, eventually rising to the position of VP & General Counsel, Legal Affairs. She retired in 2012. Throughout her career, Dusenberry has worn the proverbial “many hats.” She served active duty in the U.S. Navy, specifically as a lieutenant with the Judge Advocate General’s Corps. After leaving the Navy, she continued to serve in the U.S. Navy reserves. Dusenberry also has long been a driving force in the community, working tirelessly to improve the lives of everyone in Southern Arizona. She has lent her vision and energy to any number of local organizations, including to the Humane Society of Southern Arizona, the Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona, Child and Family Resources, Habitat for Humanity Tucson, the Pima Council on Aging, Arizona Public Media, Angel Charity for Children, the United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona and, most recently, the Arizona Theatre Company. In her tenure at ATC, she helped the organization carry on in the face of dwindling finances and the possibility of closure. Today ATC is again thriving and enjoying its 51st season. “On June 27, 2016, the board determined that – if we did www.BizTucson.com

not raise $2 million in 17 days, we would not have enough capital to successfully complete our 50th season,” said Pauline Urbano Hechler, ATC’s director of development. June 27, 2016, happened to be Dusenberry’s first meeting as board chair. “A lesser person would have resigned,” Hechler said. “But Lynne calmly directed the board and worked with staff leadership in our efforts to meet the challenge. We were successful and opened our doors to one of the strongest seasons ever.” The anecdote embodies Dusenberry’s calm, clear-eyed leadership and tenacity in the face of difficult odds. Over the years, Allison M. Vaillancourt, VP of business affairs and human resources at the UA, has worked with Dusenberry on both professional and personal projects. “Several people and organizations in Tucson have benefited from Lynne’s ‘all in’ approach to life. I am most familiar with the extraordinary leadership she has provided to Angel Charity, United Way and the Girl Scouts,” Vaillancourt said. “Her efforts have raised millions of dollars to make Tucson a safer and more vibrant community. It is said that when you want something done, you should ask a busy person. Lynne is that busy person.” T. VanHook, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Tucson, said, “Lynne is a rare combination of an entrepreneurial spirit driven by kindness and an honest commitment to her family, friends, neighbors and to making the world a better place for everyone.” When asked how she managed to build a successful career while volunteering extensively and raising a family, Dusenberry shrugged. “I’ve had decades to do different things. You just have to set your priorities.” Dusenberry is characteristically humble about being celebrated for her many accomplishments and said she hopes it spurs others to do more. “I’m really grateful. Getting the award wasn’t on my radar. I do things because they need to be done and I hope that encourages others to volunteer and do the things that need to be done for our community.”

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2017 Tucson Founders Award Honoree

Fred Boice By Romi Carrell Wittman

Fred Boice technically is not a native Arizonan, but if you went by his expansive resumé and impressive commitment to bettering Arizona, it would be hard to tell. Having lived in Arizona nearly his entire life, Boice has dedicated himself to public service, giving his time and expertise to a mind-boggling number of local organizations and nonprofits. He was a founding member of the Tucson Conquistadores. He served on the Arizona Board of Regents for eight years. He’s also served on the boards of the Tucson Airport Authority, Arizona Science Foundation, Junior Achievement of Tucson, Arizona State Parks, Tucson Metro Chamber and Trico Electric Cooperative. He has been on the board of trustees for Tucson Medical Center, was president of the University of Arizona Foundation and currently is a member of the Southern Arizona Leadership Council. For his lifetime of business and community work, Boice is the 2017 recipient of the Founders Award by the Greater Tucson Leadership Council. Not many people get to enjoy a career as colorful or as varied as Boice. In addition to his incredible civic involvement, he’s been a rancher, a bank board member, a business owner, a bankruptcy trustee and financial adviser. He’s also been husband to Ann, his wife of 65 years, and father to five children, grandfather to 15 children and great-grandfather to two. “I’ve always said that things have an order in my life,” he said. “My wife is first, my family is second and my country is third.” Given his mother’s medical complications in prior pregnancies, the Boice family traveled to Pasadena, California, in 1930 for Fred’s birth. When Boice was older, the family purchased a home in midtown Tucson in the Encanto neighborhood where the Boice children attended Sam Hughes Elementary, Mansfeld Junior High and Tucson High schools. At age 11, Boice began learning ranching by spending his summers working on an Arivaca cattle ranch south of Tucson. It could be said that cattle ranching is in Boice’s blood – Boice’s father and grandfather were both cattle ranchers and brought the first Hereford cattle to the state. After graduating from Occidental College in Los Angeles with a degree in economics, Boice returned to Arizona and took up cattle ranching full time. He started his own firm – the American Cattle Company – which fed investor cattle in 30 feed yards in nine states. Never one to sit still, Boice became president of the Arizona Cattle Growers Association and served on the executive committee of the National Cattlemen’s Association. This required him to travel to Washington, D.C., frequently, and he often took red-eye flights to minimize his time away from his family. www.BizTucson.com

Boice’s father had also served as president of the Arizona Cattle Growers Association and commuted back and forth to Washington. The one key difference was that, during his tenure as president, Fred had the convenience of air travel. “My dad had to take the train. It took almost seven days just to get there,” he said. Fred soon tired of the back-and-forth travel and sought a better way. He learned to fly and bought his own plane, which also made flying over the ranches where he had cattle-feed contracts much easier and faster. “I never enjoyed it,” he said. “But I needed to be home.” As one of the founding Tucson Conquistadores, Boice was instrumental in getting the first Tucson Open golf tournament off the ground in 1963 and he remains involved with the nonprofit philanthropic group. “Fred is the leader of the pack after all these years,” said Jose Rincon, current president of the Tucson Conquistadores. “He exemplifies living by the Golden Rule. Any of us lucky enough to know him are better off because of it.” In the 1970s and 1980s, Boice and his family sold off their ranching assets and he began investing in other ventures. After the deep recession of the 1980s, Boice began working as a bankruptcy trustee managing assets, businesses and dispute resolutions for the courts. In 2002, he got a phone call from then-governor Jane Hull asking if he would serve on the Arizona Board of Regents. He accepted immediately. “I’ve liked being in a position to help others,” he said. “My goal always has been to help people.” Former gubernatorial candidate, author and civic leader Fred DuVal served on the Board of Regents with Boice. “What I can supply is a personal testimonial to the power of decency, civility and honor that Fred exemplifies. He was the model regent because he is the model citizen – committed, hard-working, articulate and effective,” DuVal said. During his tenure at the Board of Regents, Boice championed higher education by designing a plan that expanded lower-cost degree options with the goal of increasing the number of Arizonans with bachelor’s degrees. He was the first regent to serve two consecutive terms as president, and he said his time as a regent remains one of the most meaningful roles he’s ever held. “It was an enormous responsibility.” “His selfless dedication is truly remarkable, as is his honesty and high integrity,” said Ron Shoopman, CEO of the Southern Arizona Leadership Council. “He represents the definition of a founder – a man with unwavering dedication to improving the Tucson community and a deep caring for all the people who live here. The Tucson region is a better place because of Fred Boice.”

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BizHONORS

2017 Greater Tucson Leadership Alumni Excellence Award

Damion Alexander By Romi Carrell Wittman 60,000 That’s how many miles Damion Alexander estimates he’s ridden over the past decade. Cycling is a big part of his life, yet community collaboration and connection are his true passions. It’s also the reason he will receive the first Greater Tucson Leadership Alumni Excellence Award. “GTL has graduated some exceptional community leaders over the course of its 38-year history,” said Kasey Hill, GTL’s executive director. “The Alumni Excellence Award is a way to acknowledge the positive impact these graduates have had on Tucson and Southern Arizona.” Wendi Lucas, adviser with Horizon Lines, nominated Alexander for the award. “He’s been involved in Tucson for over 30 years,” she said. “He’s a Realtor, but he’s not just looking to sell homes. He takes time with new homebuyers, especially those new to Tucson, to determine their interests and strengths and connect them to community. He really is a community connector focused on collaboration. Damion’s mindset is if you can get everyone at table, you will find solutions that will benefit all,” she said. “He brings that attitude to everything and builds up our entire community.” Alexander grew up in Telluride, Colorado, when it was a small town of just 600. “What you learn growing up in smalltown America is an appreciation and a necessity to work with different people,” he said. “You also get to see that even if you completely disagree with someone on many topics, you still have far more in common than different. You don’t have the option of finding your little niche and living in isolation.” This experience shaped Alexander’s outlook and instilled in him a strong belief that everyone brings something positive to the table. He’s applied this approach to some pretty ambitious projects, most recently creating a plan for the Tucson Origins Park near downtown. The park will be located at the foot of Sentinel Peak, or “A” Mountain, south of Mercado San Agustin and the future Caterpillar regional office and will feature the Convento, a Hohokam Village, the Carrillo House, wildlife corridor, 25-acres of open space with native plants, walking and jogging paths, a bike park with six venues, three used in the Olympics, a Velodrome, BMX, and a mountain bike skills park. It will be on Tucson’s 140-mile multiuse trail, The Loop. www.BizTucson.com

Alexander feels the park will be boon to Tucson. Even though the bond to finance a velodrome failed to pass in 2015, he continues working to build support for the project because he feels the financial investment would reap major returns, attracting new businesses and talent. Alexander knows that garnering support from all stakeholders won’t be easy. “We’re connecting with people who don’t agree, but we are building understanding that if we work together, our ultimate goals can be achieved,” he said. Alexander has volunteered at a variety of organizations – Look! Save a Life, the Arizona Bicycle Center, El Grupo Youth Cycling, Tu Nidito, and the Tucson Association of Realtors’ government affairs committee, to name a few. In 2011, he was named one of the Arizona Daily Star’s 40 Under 40. He currently serves in the appointed position of Pima County Parks and Recreation commissioner. He also is an avid photographer and a fixture at local cycling events. Despite his intense schedule, Alexander said, “I have not missed an El Tour de Tucson since I rode my first one. I try and ride every day. Frequently, I commute to my Long Realty Office on The Loop. I feel The Loop is the best infrastructure project Pima County has created. Even on days when I don’t ride, I frequently will go out for a lunch walk.” Lucas said Alexander deserves the GTL award for one simple reason: “He spends more time, professionally and personally, giving to the Greater Tucson area – creating a legacy of volunteerism and sustainability within our community – than any other full-time working professional with an active family I have met.” Alexander said he seeks to build up others so that the community will see positive change for years to come. “It’s not enough for me to bring about change in our community today. My ultimate goal is to create new leaders who will continue to impact change long after I’m gone.” Alexander will be honored at the GTL Man, Woman and Founder Awards Gala on Feb. 3 at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort. GTL’s Hill said, “We want to celebrate the tremendous contributions of our alumni and, by doing so, share story of our organization’s success and the collective impact GTL has had on the community at large.”

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BizSTARTUPS Emagine Solutions Technololgy won the Get Started Arizona grand prize. From left, Emagine’s Jose Juarez & Courtney Williams with presenter Rod Lewis.

Emagine Solutions Technology $25,000 Winner of Get Started Arizona By Tiffany Kjos Some serious cash was at stake for six Tucson startups that put their best pitch forward at the Get Started Arizona competition hosted by Cox Business, Startup Tucson and Idea Funding. Entrepreneurs selected from more than 70 nominees had three minutes on stage to describe their businesses, then field questions from a panel of high-caliber judges. More than 200 people watched the Oct. 17 event at the Leo Rich Theater. Emagine Solutions Technology hit a home run, winning both the $25,000 pitch contest and $1,000 audience choice award. The company has developed potentially lifesaving ultrasound software that works on cellphones and could address a huge need worldwide. “What keeps me up every night is the fact that 300,000 women and 2 million babies die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth every year,” founder Courtney Williams told the panel. “In fact, while you’re listening to my three-minute pitch tonight, one woman and three babies will die.” Open to the public at no charge, the competition was part of the TENWEST Festival, a nine-day gathering focused on technology, entrepreneurship, the arts and communities. The other startup finalists were Hivemetric, Lum.AI, Oat Mama, PlasmaGlide and Saccadous. “What sets us apart from the rest is we’re committed to serving the Third World,” Williams said. “Our team consists 184 BizTucson

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of software engineers – all of whom have worked for the competition at companies such as Philips, Roche, Siemens – specifically as software-image experts.” The target market for Emagine’s product is nonprofits and large aid groups that help people all over the planet, particularly in rural areas. Other users could be first responders, sports medicine personnel and even veterinarians. The beta version is complete, and Emagine has been approached by a “key U.S. manufacturer,” Williams said. Now it needs people in the medical field to test the product. Judge Angela Kapp said, “It was a very close choice, but we felt that Emagine combined an interesting vision with the founder’s true passion – and though in a super-early stage, a few tidbits that would bode well as a startup. It’s also a for-profit business that, if done well, can have a true social impact.” Asked if Kapp saw TV’s “Shark Tank” in Emagine’s future, Kapp said, “Probably not until they are quite a bit farther along. The founder has passion and is a good presenter – but there needs to be more for it to be network-ready.” Williams said such recognition is a big part of the prize. “The validation that others find value in our mission and technology is a great complement to the added credibility and visibility.” In its fourth year, Get Started Arizona’s grand prize has grown from $5,000 to $25,000. The event was moderated by Rod Lewis, marketing director at Cox Business.

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Q&A with the Grand Prize Winner Emagine Solutions Technology’s Courtney Williams provided these insights into her winning startup: Q: Did any panel question strike you as particularly compelling or challenging? A: The judges asked a lot of thought-provoking questions. The most difficult question was about whether we were more focused on doing good or making money. Our point of view is that those two goals are not mutually exclusive. Q: What will you do with the award money? A: We are working on a strategic plan to ensure the grant goes as far as possible. Q: You’re beta testing now. What’s your next step? A: We are ready to build out our patented advanced-imaging features. Q: Anything else you’d like to add? A: We are grateful for the opportunity to participate in Startup Tucson’s Thryve program, as well as the Arizona Center for Innovation. Both provide invaluable assistance to startups like ours.

Pitching Tips Judge Remy Arteaga, director of the University of Arizona McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship, offers these pitching tips for startups: • Be prepared. Practice, practice, practice and when you believe you are prepared, practice some more. • It’s great to present some validation from the marketplace. Investors feel much better when they can hear potential customers say that they want your product. • At a minimum you need to fully understand the problem, solution, market opportunity, competitive advantage and business model.

Get Started Arizona Judges • Remy Arteaga, director, the University of Arizona’s McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship • Tom Curzon, law partner at Osborn Maledon • Cindy Jordan, founder of Pyx Health • Angela Kapp, board director of the fashion company Crew Knitwear and of the Southeast Asian e-commerce company eCommerce • Greg Teesdale, CFO of Tempronics

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George Vlagos, Founder Oak Street Bootmakers

Randy Arteaga, University of Arizona McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship, talks with Eli & Jen Crane of Bottle Breacher

Super-Successful Entrepreneurs Share Insights Ideas2Doors – A Celebration of Startups By Tiffany Kjos The first-ever Ideas2Doors conference, hosted by the University of Arizona’s Terry J. Lundgren Center for Retailing on Sept. 15, brought together seven entrepreneurs who’ve knocked the socks off the retail world. They are risk-takers, money-makers – the ultimate high achievers – and they’re happy to tell would-be business owners what to do and what to avoid. “Ideas2Doors is a celebration of startups. It’s a celebration of that passion, that ‘I can make this happen’ attitude. And they all did,” said event founder Scott Hessell, director of the UA retailing center. Didn’t attend the event? No problem. We’ve boiled down some of the best advice these international entrepreneurs gave to UA students, high school students, budding entrepreneurs and business owners gathered for the event at the Fox Tucson Theatre. 186 BizTucson

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Oak Street Bootmakers George Vlagos, Founder oakstreetbootmakers.com

Founder George Vlagos followed in his dad’s footsteps, but with a different clientele in mind. His creations are worn by stars and others who want to rock custom-made footwear. He suggests: Get buy-in from friends and family from the start. His sisters and mom were skeptical when George Vlagos, an English teacher, told them of his plans to quit his job and sell specially made boots online. His dad was silent, listening. Vlagos was surprised at what came next. “He said, ‘I think this is a good idea. George needs to do this.’ ” His product exploded onto the marketplace, something else for which he wasn’t prepared. That leads to a hardlearned bit of advice for startups that experience startling success: Stay true

to yourself. “The mission remains the same,” he said. “The difference is how big it is. Know what your company is about and don’t stray from your core beliefs.” Taylor Stitch Michael Maher, Co-founder taylorstitch.com

Michael Maher was barely of drinking age when he started his business with a friend in 2007. They always knew they weren’t meant to toil at regular jobs, although they weren’t sure exactly what their company would be. They ended up landing on affordable custom-made shirts for men – and expanded from there. The unique thing is that they rely on customers to buy clothes even before they’re produced. Their website explains it best: “We design new products. You crowd-fund them and save 20 percent. Our planet www.BizTucson.com

PHOTO: KRIS HANNING

BizENTREPRENEURS


gets less waste. We deliver them when they’re seasonally appropriate. Everybody wins.” What he’s discovered: “It’s not about what you know. It’s about figuring out what you don’t know,” he said. And, to a crowd of UA and high school students, he added, “You’ll learn in one or two years of failure more than in four years of school.” LoveSac Shawn Nelson, Founder lovesac.com

Shawn Nelson’s story is about making something no one knew they wanted. Until they saw it – a giant beanbag chair he made on a whim. His friends wanted one. Their friends wanted one. So he kept making them. Three years later, in 1998, he started his business, and soon ended up with $55,000 in credit card debt. He was 24 years old. Six years later he won $1 million in a contest sponsored by billionaire Richard Branson. Remember, though, in the six years between, he put in a zillion hours, fielded customer complaints and conquered

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hurdles that come with being the firstever person to manufacture a product. “Nothing will drive ingenuity more than a hay shredder shredding foam and a tractor,” he said about his initial, cobbled-together way of preparing the materials for his LoveSacs. Going it alone isn’t necessarily the best road for an entrepreneur, he said. What surprised him? “There are lots of people with lots of money. And they want to give you their money – if you can make it grow,” he said. “That blew my mind.” “There are so many people that want to help you. You’d be shocked. But it isn’t going to find you. You have to chase it down.” From Nelson’s own experience and looking at other inventors – think Ben Franklin and Marie Curie – he’s certain of one thing: “There is nothing that cannot be done. All these things are possible if you keep pushing.”

line presence and helps them grow by gathering them all in one place – Shoptiques.com – so they can compete on a global stage. Sounds easy? It wasn’t. Looking back, Vidisheva said, “I should have been more careful about the culture I wanted to create.” That culture includes critical, one-on-one relationships with other like-minded people whose real motivation is not money, but helping others. “They’re just excited to bring these clothes to women. I really believe in these connections made around the world.” Finally, remember one thing that can easily get lost through the struggle, through failure and success: Don’t lose sight of your happiness. “Enjoy every moment,” she said. “The key to an amazing, fulfilling life is to have everything mean something to you, in a meaningful way.”

Shoptiques Olga Vidisheva, Founder shoptiques.com

Ideas2Doors is seeking sponsors for the 2018 event. Details at ideastodoors.com/sponsors.

Olga Vidisheva finds boutiques around the world that have a small on-

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BizSTARTUPS

2017 Social Venture Partners Fast Pitch Winners from left: Daniela Zasa, Liz Hernandez, Lisa Shipek, Amalia Luxardo, Sean Cronin, L’Don Sawyer, Jennifer Moore

Pitching for a Good Cause

Thousands of Dollars Go to Nonprofits with a Story to Tell By Monica Surfaro Spigelman Compelling storytelling that illustrates the power and value of local nonprofits was in the spotlight Nov. 9 at the Leo Rich Theater. By the end of the sold-out third annual Social Venture Partners Fast Pitch event, seven nonprofit finalists were rewarded for upping the ante for engaged philanthropy, a hallmark of SVP Tucson’s efforts to pump positive impact back into a community’s core. Shaped by pitch competitions in the venture capital community, SVP Tucson’s Fast Pitch brings the community together for inventive fundraising and networking about local issues. Since 2006, SVP Tucson, through its capacity-building grant and Fast Pitch programs, has supported more than 49 local organizations with an investment of more than $862,000, plus more than 25,000 professional volunteer hours. It’s all about transformation, said Ciara Garcia, SVP Tucson executive director. She referenced a jaw-dropping data point from SVP Tucson’s recent 10-year impact study: A 259 percent average growth in the number of individuals served by the nonprofits SVP Tucson supports. That astounding success has grown from SVP Tucson’s formula to invest in nonprofit infrastructure, build capacity and develop leadership. Now, Garcia said, SVP Tucson is looking to move its proven model forward. SVP Tucson recently refined its capacity-building grants program, focusing on a “Pathways Out of Poverty for Children, Youth and Families” strategy. “We aim to break intergenerational cycles of poverty and 188 BizTucson

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provide all of Tucson’s young people with the opportunity to realize their full potential,” Garcia said. “As long as our community has challenges, SVP will be working to transform the problems into potential.” As for this year’s Fast Pitch, the seven participating finalists connected through forceful narratives. They represented Tucson’s complex needs – from environmental to immigrant rights, from children to elderly, from social services to the arts. Each of the presenting organizations earned $1,000 SVP Finalist Awards for sharing their stories. Others were awarded additional prizes in this showcase of life-changing community work that will inspire action long after the 2017 Fast Pitch stage lights have dimmed. River Run Network A program of Watershed Management Group Lisa Shipek, Executive Director SVP Tucson Award – $10,000

The River Run Network aims to restore Tucson’s heritage of flowing rivers that were lost in the 1950s due to decades of mining groundwater. People in the network will scale-up conservation actions at home, recharge the aquifer and restore flow to the region’s waterways: Sabino and Tanque Verde creeks, the Pantano Wash and the Santa Cruz and Rillito rivers. Drought, climate change and decreasing water supply from the Colorado River have made restoration of the local water supply essential for Tucson to survive and thrive as a desert community. www.BizTucson.com


Florence Project Amalia Luxardo, Development and Research Director Judges’ Award – $7,500

Created in 1989, this is the only organization in Arizona that provides free legal and social services to detained adults and unaccompanied children under the threat of deportation. The organization strives to ensure that all immigrants facing removal proceedings in Arizona have access to counsel, understand their legal rights and are treated fairly and humanely. Youth On Their Own Daniela Zasa, Director of Programs TEP Power to the People Audience Choice Award – $5,000 Cenpatico Integrated CARE Award – $5,000

Known as YOTO, this 31-year-old dropout-prevention program serves Tucson’s and Pima County’s homeless and unaccompanied students in grades 6-12. Through YOTO’s Student Living Expense Program, students may earn a monthly stipend by maintaining passing grades and steady school attendance. Last school year, this program helped a record 1,611 students stay in school and 275 earn their diploma. Project Safe Place A program of Jewish Family and Children’s Services of Southern Arizona Liz Hernandez, Director of Marketing & Communications Connie Hillman Family Foundation Impact Award – $5,000

This program provides age-appropriate psychotherapy for victims and witnesses of crime, violence and abuse. Its personcentered therapy uses effective strategies focused on emotional healing. JFCS of Southern Arizona’s core general counseling services and trauma-informed therapy are available to Tucsonans from all faiths, ages, gender groups, ethnicities and races – regardless of ability to pay. The Abbie School Jennifer Moore, Co-founder and Board Director

Founded in 2014 by a group of dedicated parents, the Abbie School educates children with autism and related disabilities. The 4.5-acre campus provides a sensory and sensitive environment that focuses on the whole child. It gives equal value to academics and skills for success in relationships and life. St. Luke’s Home L’Don Sawyer, CEO

This holistic assisted-living community of 64 studio apartments serves low-income elders. Individuals and couples aged 55 and older who live there provide learning experiences for students in partnerships with the University of Arizona and local school districts. Stories that Soar! A program of Literacy Connects Sean Cronin, Arts Integration Coordinator

Literacy Connects tackles the social justice issue that is low literacy with diverse and innovative programs that reach people of all ages. This program, established in 2002, turns original, creative stories of young people into professional theatre productions, visual arts, handcrafted books and primary education activities.

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1. The new Harvey and Deanna Evenchik Center for Jewish Philanthropy building, which is now the headquarters for the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona and Jewish Community Foundation, built by BFL Construction. 2. Fran Katz and Stuart Mellan 3. From left: James Whitehill, Tom Warne, Deanna Evenchik-Brav, Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, Stuart Mellan, Shelly Silverman 4. Hanging above the foyer is a glass sculpture, “Infinite Possibilities” created by Art Neptune and Zak Timan, and a bronze sculpture on the balcony, 5. In the foyer, the Tribute Wall celebrates those in the community who worked to get the building completed and features quotes from many of them. 6. Deanna Evenchik-Brav and Garry Brav


BizCONSTRUCTION

Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona Expands $4.5 Million Facility Celebrates Community By Mary Minor Davis Architect Frank Mascia knew that he wanted the new building for the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona to be more than just another office building. In designing the building, Mascia said he watched the film, “Raise the Roof,” about a couple’s 10-year quest to reconstruct an 18th-century wooden synagogue in Poland. He said he was inspired by architectural elements of the sanctuary, which hinted at the structure of a Turkish tent. After doing some research, Mascia learned of the concept of a welcoming tent and felt this tied to the JFSA’s mission to be a place of meaning. “I wanted to create a building that represented a tent with the feeling of Abraham and Sarah welcoming strangers,” Mascia said. “I wanted it to be a touchstone for the entire community.” Several hundred people gathered in October to celebrate the opening of the building located at the Jewish Community Center, the new home of the JFSA and the Jewish Community Foundation. www.BizTucson.com

The event included remarks by JFSA Board Chair Shelly Silverman, Rabbi Billy Lewkowicz, Mascia of CDG Architects and Stuart Mellan, JFSA president and CEO. Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild led the building’s ribboncutting. Mellan and a group of young people, introduced as the Next Generation of Donors, hung the mezuzah, a doorpost containing a scroll of sacred text. “This building represents all of the good we’ve done in the community for over 70 years and the fruition of the great ideas to come,” Lewkowicz said as he gave the invocation. Hundreds of donors helped raise the $4.5 million for the building and its furnishings. Other artists and private donors provided the artwork throughout the building and along the walkway to the JCC. In the foyer, the Tribute Wall celebrates those in the community who worked to get the building completed and features quotes from many of them. Hanging above the foyer is a glass sculp-

ture, “Infinite Possibilities,” created by Art Neptune and Zak Timan, and a bronze sculpture on the balcony, “My Beloved,” by David Unger. “As you walk through the building, take in the fine points,” Mellan said. “A lot of work went in to making the statement that this is a place of meaning.” Other features include four suites, two conference rooms, a board room that looks out on the Santa Catalina Mountains and event space for up to 150 people. The security system throughout the building requires credentials to enter. The JFSA raised enough funds to upgrade parking lot lighting and install cameras throughout the JCC campus. Solar panels in the parking area will provide power for the new facility. “This building really creates a sense of place, of belonging,” Rothschild said. “It sends a message of togetherness and unification. We are taught to do good deeds, to act. It is our benevolence that must serve as an example to others. This building celebrates that tradition.” Biz Winter 2018

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BizHEALTHCARE

Attendees at the End of Life Care and Planning kick-off event included from left: LaVonne Douville, Chief Impact Officer, United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona; Kelly Huber, Director of Strategic Grants and Initiatives, Community Investments, Community Foundation for Southern Arizona; John Amoroso, Executive Director, David and Lura Lovell Foundation; Keynote Speaker Dr. Jessica Nutik Zitter, Critical & Palliative Care Specialist and Author of “Extreme Measures,” and Mark Clark, President & CEO, Pima Council on Aging.

Planning for End-of-Life Care Foundations Award Nearly $3 Million

Some say it’s both the best of times and the worst of times develop the healthcare workforce and impact public policy. for healthcare providers. Here’s the dilemma: Already recognized by The Chronicle of Philanthropy for its As modern medicine ramps up with new technologies that innovative methodology, the EOLCP now is one of the largest help prolong life, too often these advances subject individuals funded initiatives of its kind in the nation – a model for local who have lost the ability to communicate or don’t know the action to best manage resources effectively. true ramifications to complex procedures – without taking “Our goal is to seed a movement that fundamentally into consideration the patient’s wishes. This ambiguity can changes the way we talk about and plan for end of life,” said lead to costly and emotion-laden conflicts with long-lasting John Amoroso, executive director of the Lovell Foundation, implications for patients, their loved ones and even employers where a broader 24-year focus on integrative health and through lost work time and diminished job focus. wellness has led the foundation to catalyze community efforts The newly transformed Elder Alliance: End of Life Care and better equip organizations to alter systems and address the Partnership aims to tackle this dilemma. The partners intend root causes of social issues. to improve end-of-life experience and care across the state. The CFSA agrees that a collective plan will best magnify the imEOLCP is bringing together healthcare providers, technology pact of local resources on this critical issue. Since 2012, CFSA stakeholders, policy leadership, nonprofits and community has granted $850,000 from the Shaaron Kent Endowment for experts in a structure that will increase their collective ability end-of-life programs in Southern Arizona. According to Santo shape Arizona as a leader in end-of-life care tactics that best dra Nathan, CFSA senior VP of philanthropic services and serve individual and community needs. community investments, studies show that some 70 percent of This collaborative approach was significantly advanced people over age 60 (in an inpatient setting and needing to make several months ago, when the David a decision about treatment during the and Lura Lovell Foundation and the last week of life) were physically unable to communicate their wishes to Community Foundation for Southfamily or clinicians. “Yet only 1 in 3 ern Arizona’s Shaaron Kent EndowEND OF LIFE CARE PARTNERSHIP Americans has completed an advance ment Fund announced their alliance MEETING care plan for end of life,” she said. to award almost $3 million to Arizona Monday, Feb. 12, 9-11 a.m. nonprofits to cooperatively address “Our culture has been obsessed issues related to end-of-life care prowith curing disease and extending TMC Senior Services, 1400 N. Wilmot Road grams. The grants to 10 nonprofits longevity for a long time,” Amoroso Featuring Harriet Warshaw, Executive Director, are for programs that intend to engage said. “We need to learn how to live as The Conversation Project communities, educate professionals well as we can, for as long as we can, Members, prospects and public welcome and patients, institute organizational but also to include thoughtful considNo admission charge and community standards of practice, eration and planning for our dying www.AZEndofLifeCare.org or (520) 903-3911

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PHOTO: COURTESY UNITED WAY OF SOUTHERN ARIZONA

By Monica Surfaro Spigelman


Start the Conversation days, as part of a well-lived life. We all have a stake in that conversation.” While the healthcare sector has a prime stake in advance care planning, the EOLCP underscores the imperative to also bring business, nonprofits, the faith community and community organizations to the table to coordinate an approach that addresses this issue. More than 175 organizations already have signed up to learn more about the EOLCP, with the initial cohort of the 10 grantee organizations agreeing to a set of decision-making principles for implementing their programs. The United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona is the EOLCP convener and backbone organization, promoting dialogue and building public/private collaborations. “United Way does not provide any health-related direct services, but has years of experience bringing people together for a common purpose and agenda,” said LaVonne Douville, United Way senior VP of community development. Collective impact methods and strategies will be used to guide diverse entities in a planning process that will help grantees achieve measurable outcomes and track success over time, she said. The EOLCP is beginning its work to ensure that people have quality end-of-life care and receive it in the place of their choosing, Douville said. Sarah Ascher, a local leader in healthcare advocacy and strategy, has been hired as EOLCP’s senior director. The AZEndofLifeCare.org website went live in November, providing resources and education targeted for both providers and individuals in the community. Grantees meet regularly to share ideas and identify needs. The impact is cumulative and – not surprisingly – the models vary from cultural awareness and youth resilience to healthcare provider training. But the entire value chain has a shared responsibility that extends to all communities across the state, particularly for underserved and vulnerable communities. Douville said one important early implementation strategy involves the work of the Arizona Connected Care and Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association to deliver provider education within the healthcare system. In addition, Interfaith Community Services is developing a community-based education system, including a focus on faith communities, to increase community awareness about the importance of endof-life care plans. AzHHA will provide community education in the balance of the state. From the physician’s perspective, there is a sense of urgency since Medicare began to reimburse providers for their conversations on Advanced Care Planning as of Jan. 1, 2016. “For most patients today death happens after a chronic illness and at a certain point care needs to shift from a curative to a palliative approach,” said Dr. Evan W. Kligman, a family physician in Tucson and former medical director for Casa de la Luz Hospice inpatient unit. He is a member of the Arizona Medical Association/Arizona Osteopathic Medical Association Task Force on End-of-Life Care and liaison to the EOLPC. Joint Task Force Chair Dr. Ron Fischler, a pediatrician in Scottsdale, added, “Historically, both patients and their healthcare practitioners have been reluctant to discuss these issues, leading to dissatisfaction. When patient wishes are not clearly articulated, the default action by healthcare practitioners is aggressive care to the end, which is both costly and often futile.”

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What’s a first step toward a positive approach to the end of life? At any age, it means opening up conversations about your wishes, identifying someone to represent you should you no longer be able to express your wishes, and knowing what medical expertise and community support are available to help you complete an advance care directive. The EOLCP suggests these four tips in exploring those first steps in a most personal and critical healthcare decision: Learn The first step is to become familiar with the issue of end-of-life care planning and the options involved: • Watch “Passing On,” Arizona Public Media’s Emmy-award winning documentary on end-of-life-care and planning, as well as other resources. • The EOLCP September kickoff event featured a leading voice in the interdisciplinary movement to improve endof-life experiences. Dr. Jessica Zitter’s work includes the Oscar-nominated documentary “Extremis .” Her new book – “Extreme Measures: Finding a Better Path to the End of Life” is both a practical guide to navigating the healthcare system and a powerful argument for re-imagining end-of-life care planning to ensure a fulfilling experience that adheres to our wishes. Read this book to explore your relationship with living and dying. Discuss Talking about mortality isn’t the easiest conversation, but it’s an important one. There are resources to help you get started: • Let’s Talk starter kits are available from The Conversation Project (www.TheConversationProject.org/starter-kits) • Receive news from EOLCP about speakers and resources or to attend a community education workshop to learn how to approach end-of-life conversations with family or friends (www.AZEndofLifeCare.org) • Learn about local Death Café meetings (www.DeathCafe. com/deathcafe/4807) Decide Advance care plans are written instructions about what kind of care you do and do not want, and who can speak for you if you are unable to communicate your wishes. In Arizona, these documents are recognized: • The official State of Arizona Life Care Planning Packet. This packet includes a form to designate your healthcare power of attorney (www.Azag.gov/seniors/life-care-planning) • Five Wishes. This form will be available free of charge at EOLCP community education workshops. Share Your Advance Directive should be easy to locate in case of emergency, so that others clearly understand your wishes. Update the document regularly, and give a copy to: • Your healthcare power of attorney • Primary care physician or other healthcare provider • Family members • The Arizona Advance Directive Registry is a free registry to electronically store and access your medical directives (www. Azsos.gov/services/advance-directives)

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BizTOURISM

Casino Del Sol to Add 150+ Rooms When the Pascua Yaqui tribe opened its Casino Del Sol operation west of town in 2011, they did so with a 215-room high-rise resort hotel adjacent to the casino itself and the AVA Amphitheater outdoor entertainment venue. The venue glistened in the desert because of its 26-foot-tall, 11,000-pound, perforated copper dome that lit up the night skies, prompting then-tribal Chairman Peter Yucupicio to predict: “What we’re doing here will be something that will be around for a long time.” Business has been good at the only casino resort in Arizona to earn a Forbes Four-Star and an AAA Four-Diamond rating, so now the decision has been made to literally double down. The Tribal Council has given approval for plans to build a new 150- to 200-room, Three-Star hotel with family-friendly amenities. Total cost of the expansion will be $25 million to $30 million. “The overwhelming support we’ve received since we opened the resort has resulted in unmet demand and this project will allow us to meet that need,” said Kimberly Van Amburg, Casino Del Sol CEO. “We are very fortunate to have consistently high occupancy rates that left us in need of additional guest rooms,” Van Amburg said. “In addition to filling that continual room demand, we wanted to provide a Three-Star experience that would be family-friendly and more economical. The new hotel will also provide additional capacity to accommodate larger groups and conferences than we can currently handle.” Like any work in progress, final details have not yet been solidified, but initial plans call for the site at 5655 W. Valencia Road, currently home to 65,000 square feet of event space, including a conference center, to expand by another nearly 194 BizTucson

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10,000 square feet to include breakout meeting room availability. The punch list as currently envisioned goes on to include construction of a new 11,000-square-foot event center adjacent to Casino of the Sun where meetings, events and entertainment will take place. This is the sister property of Casino Del Sol and the original Pascua Yaqui tribal casino at 7406 S. Camino del Oeste. It offers more than 300 slot machines and recently added blackjack to its gaming mix. Additionally, another 100 to 150 parking slots will be added to the casino’s RV Park. Conceptually, even the architects – Cuningham Group of Las Vegas – are still wrestling with what the new facility will look like. “We’ve not yet created a design, though the hotel will complement the unique Southwestern-influenced, mission-style that defines the Casino Del Sol brand,” said Principal Brett Ewing. “Desert-inspired earth tones will be carried throughout the site, as well as an introduction of bold colors in certain locations. We’re eager to start the design process.” Current Tribal Chairman Robert Valencia pointed with pride at the genesis for the expansion. Already ranked by TripAdvisor among the Top 10 Hotels in Tucson, the need to expand became apparent when bookings at the popular venue repeatedly began to exceed capacity. “We’re focused on pursuing economic development opportunities wherever they might prove beneficial to members of our tribe,” Valencia said. “This expansion project will provide additional jobs for our members and will enhance the overall gaming and entertainment experiences to be found at Casino Del Sol.”

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PHOTO COURTESY CASINO DEL SOL

By Lee Allen


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