__MAIN_TEXT__

Page 1

WINTER FALL 2012 2020

THE REGION’S BUSINESS MAGAZINE

&

SPECIAL REPORTS: Sun Corridor Inc. El Rio Health WINTER 2020 • $3.99 • DISPLAY UNTIL 03/31/20

www.BizTucson.com


www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2018

>>>

BizTucson 195


www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2018

>>>

BizTucson 195


BizLETTER Energizing Economy

4 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

Winter 2020

Volume 11 No. 4

Publisher & Owner

Steven E. Rosenberg Brent G. Mathis

Creative Director Photo: Steven Meckler

As we begin a new decade, our region’s economy is well positioned for continued growth. Sun Corridor Inc.’s President and CEO Joe Snell states, “Economic development is a team sport.” Sun Corridor Inc. has an impressive lineup of Southern Arizona’s top executives – pictured on our cover. The “Chairman’s Circle” is comprised of leading CEOs such as Dr. Robert C. Robbins of the University of Arizona, Wesley Kremer of Raytheon Missile Systems, David Hutchens of UNS Energy/Tucson Electric Power, Lee Lambert of Pima Community College, Jean Savage of Caterpillar, Marc Beaudette of Bombardier, Sandra Watson of the Arizona Commerce Authority, Fletcher McCusker of UAVenture Capital, Judy Rich of Tucson Medical Center, Lisa Lovallo of Cox Communications and Danette Bewley of Tucson Airport Authority...and the list goes on. Our team presents a Special Report focused on Sun Corridor Inc.’s 15th anniversary as the region’s economic engine. Southern Arizona’s economy has posted strong growth for the past five years, as Sun Corridor Inc. continues to build an impressive record of expansion and recruitment of Fortune 500 companies, including Raytheon Missile Systems, Caterpillar Surface Mining and Technology Division, GEICO, Amazon, Comcast, Texas Instruments, Roche Tissue Diagnostics, Hexagon Mining, Target.com, HomeGoods, Ernst & Young and more. In fact, since 2003, Sun Corridor Inc. has facilitated the attraction or expansion of 173 companies as of December 2019 – creating 50,989 jobs and an economic impact of $29.5 billion. Our next Special Report is quite an inspiration, as El Rio Health celebrates 50 years of innovation. When President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a “war on poverty” in the late 1960s, federal grants were provided for community health centers. As a result of this new funding, El Rio opened its first neighborhood health center on the westside in 1970. El Rio has received national recognition for its comprehensive network of community health centers and for its exceptional and compassionate model of healthcare. El Rio Health’s CEO Nancy Johnson has said that the organization’s growth is the result of a singular focus on their

mission – and the compassionate care for which it is known. “It’s exciting to see the growth and to see people realize that this model is not just for the most vulnerable populations,” she said. In fact, more than 70% of El Rio’s patients have health insurance. For this report, we assembled an historic timeline of achievements over the past five decades – El Rio Health’s citywide impact is immense as its 12 locations serve more than 107,000 patients annually and the current number of full-time healthcare professionals is 1,395. One devastating disease afflicting 50 million people worldwide is Alzheimer’s. Currently 3 million Americans are living with the degenerative disease, and by 2050, the total is expected to reach an estimated 14 million Americans. Roberta Diaz Brinton is an Alzheimer’s research pioneer who was recently awarded a $37.5 million research grant. She’s the Director of the Center for Innovation in Brain Research at the University of Arizona. Brinton said, “We are here for a purpose that is greater than ourselves. We bring our extraordinary talents, our passion and our commitment to this challenge of curing neurodegenerative diseases.” It’s exciting to note that UArizona is now ranked in the Top 20 research institutions in the nation, with more than $687 million in total research activity in fiscal year 2018. In closing, four remarkable leaders are being recognized for their contributions to our community. Congratulations to Mark Irvin (Man of the Year), Barbi Reuter (Woman of the Year), Gen. Ron Shoopman (Founders Award) and Kate Hoffman (Greater Tucson Leadership Alumni Excellence Award). A toast to these champions of our city! Steven E. Rosenberg Publisher & Owner BizTucson

Contributing Editors

Donna Kreutz Elena Acoba Tara Kirkpatrick Diane Luber Darci Slaten Romi Carrell Wittman

Contributing Technology Director

Mike Serres

Contributing Project & Event Coordinator

Maricela Robles

Contributing Writers

Elena Acoba Lee Allen Rodney Campbell Mary Minor Davis Anthony Gimino Jay Gonzales Tara Kirkpatrick Tiffany Kjos Christy Krueger Tom Leyde David Pittman

Steve Rivera Darci Slaten Valerie Vinyard Romi Carrell Wittman

Contributing Photographers

Carter Allen Deanna Dent Brent G. Mathis Chris Mooney Chris Richards David Sanders Kevin Van Rensselaer Member:

Arizona Builders’ Alliance DM-50 Southern Arizona Leadership Council 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 ©2020 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:

Biz

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


www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 5


6 BizTucson

<<<

Spring 2011

www.BizTucson.com


www.BizTucson.com

Spring 2011

>>>

BizTucson 7


8 BizTucson

<<<

Spring 2011

www.BizTucson.com


www.BizTucson.com

Spring 2011

>>>

BizTucson 9


10 BizTucson

<<<

Spring 2011

www.BizTucson.com


www.BizTucson.com

Spring 2011

>>>

BizTucson 11


BizCONTENTS

FEATURES COVER STORY: 58

ENERGIZING ECONOMY Sun Corridor Inc. Chairman’s Circle

4 24 34 36

BizLETTER From the Publisher BizMILESTONE O’Rielly Chevrolet at 95 BizDOWNTOWN New Vision for Transit Center BizTECHNOLOGY Tucson Enters 5G Race

DEPARTMENTS

40 24

40 120

WOMEN WHO LEAD BizRESEARCH Roberta Diaz Brinton Alzheimer’s Research Pioneer UArizona Center For Brain Science BizLEADERSHIP Debbie Rich, CEO, Girl Scouts 158 BizLEADERSHIP Nancy Johnson, CEO El Rio Health BizRESEARCH 198 Jil Tardiff, Endowed Chair UArizona Sarver Heart Center BizDEFENSE 109 110

158

112 114 116 118 124 126 131 132 134 136

WINTER 2020 VOLUME 11 NO. 4

138 140 142

BizHONORS YMCA Honors Air National Guard BizSPORTS Sponsorship Boosts Pima Community College Athletics BizSALES Sales Guru Jeffrey Gitomer BizTOURISM JW Marriott Starr Pass’ $3.5 Million Renovation BizHR SHRM-GT Innovation in Workplace Awards BizCOMMERCE Port of Tucson – A Logistics Gem BizHONORS Man of the Year: Mark Irvin Woman of the Year: Barbi Reuter Founders Award: Gen. Ron Shoopman Alumni Excellence Award: Kate Hoffman Living Memorial Salutes Veterans, Military, 1st Responders BizSPORTS PGA TOUR Champions’ Cologuard Classic BizAWARDS Tucson Metro Chamber Copper Cactus Awards

144 182 184 190 192 194 196 200 204 208 BizTRIBUTE 210 Robert Sharpe

Raytheon’s Economic Impact BizSOLAR Roche Tissue Diagnostics + TEP Partners for Sustainability BizCITIES Former Mayors Share Successes BizWORKFORCE “Career Crawl” Targets Graduates SPECIAL REPORTS BizECONOMY Sun Corridor Inc. 49 “Tucson Pipeline” Unveiled BizNONPROFIT Social Venture Partners “Fast Pitch” BizEDUCATION Raytheon Leaders in Education Awards BizCUISINE Trattoria Pina – A Family Tradition BizREALESTATE CCIM Real Estate Forecast BizAWARDS 145 El Rio Health’s 50th Anniversary MPA Common Ground Awards BizCOMMERCIAL DSW Commercial Real Estate BizHONORS Heroes Day Honors First Responders SPECIAL REPORT 2020

THE REGION’S BUSINESS MAGAZINE

EL RIO HEALTH

ABOUT THE COVER

12 BizTucson

<<<

Winter Winter2020 2020

ENERGIZING THE ECONOMY   Members of the Sun Corridor Inc. Chairman’s Circle.  Read their economic insights beginning on page 58. Creative Direction and Image Manipulation by Brent G. Mathis Photography by Chris Mooney

50 YEARS OF CARING

www.BizTucson.com


y

www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 13


6 BizTucson

<<<

Spring 2011

www.BizTucson.com


www.BizTucson.com

Spring 2011

>>>

BizTucson 7


8 BizTucson

<<<

Spring 2011

www.BizTucson.com


www.BizTucson.com

Spring 2011

>>>

BizTucson 9


10 BizTucson

<<<

Spring 2011

www.BizTucson.com


www.BizTucson.com

Spring 2011

>>>

BizTucson 11


12 BizTucson

<<<

Spring 2011

www.BizTucson.com


www.BizTucson.com

Spring 2011

>>>

BizTucson 13


14 BizTucson

<<<

Spring 2011

www.BizTucson.com


www.BizTucson.com

Spring 2011

>>>

BizTucson 15


Rob Draper

President Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Rielly Chevrolet

24 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

www.BizTucson.com


BizMILESTONE

O’Rielly Chevrolet Celebrates 95 Years

PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

By David Pittman O’Rielly Chevrolet, the oldest existing auto dealership in metro Tucson, is celebrating its 95th anniversary. Rob Draper, president of the dealership, said his family and O’Rielly employees are proud of the company’s history while business priorities remain on present and future performance. “We bring our heritage and longevity into the mix as an indicator of our commitment to the community and the fact that we are going to be here – but we really have to be about how we serve people right now and coming down the road,” he said. Remarkably, there have been only three leaders at the helm of the dealership over those 95+ years, all of whom represent three generations of the O’Rielly family: Frank O’Rielly, the company founder; his son, Richard “Buck” O’Rielly, a legendary businessman/civic leader/philanthropist; and Draper, son-in-law to Buck O’Rielly and husband to Amy O’Rielly Draper. “Our history has been great and we have a lot people to thank for being in business for nearly 100 years – yet we are not looking back, but forward,” Draper said. “When we reach our 100-year milestone, I think a smart way to look at it is not as the close of a century of service, but as the beginning of our second hundred years. This is a vibrant, ever-changing business, so we should stop for a

minute and celebrate our longtime loyal customers and a lot of hard work by our employees, and then roll up our sleeves and get to work.” O’Rielly Chevrolet remains one of the largestvolume Chevrolet dealers in the nation. Draper attributes that

In 2014, O’Rielly received the Tucson Metro Chamber’s Copper Cactus Award for being Tucson’s ‘Best Place to Work.’ I’m very proud of that award because it shines the spotlight on the best part of our company – our loyal, talented team.

Rob Draper President O’Rielly Chevrolet –

success to the dedication and longevity of its employees. “In 2014, O’Rielly received the Tucson Metro Chamber’s Copper Cactus Award for being Tucson’s ‘Best Place to Work.’ I’m very proud of that award,

more than any sales volume award or other recognition – because it shines the spotlight on the best part of our company – our loyal, talented team,” Draper said. “We are firm believers in the idea that if you make your company a great place to work, employees will stay and excel at what they do, which will ensure that customers are satisfied and keep coming back – and that makes the whole thing sustainable over time,” he said. “Our 95th anniversary is therefore rightly a celebration of our people.” Draper said he feels fortunate to be so closely connected to the entire history of the company’s ownership. “Almost any aspect of the company’s genetic makeup can be explored by speaking directly with Buck O’Rielly – or can be gleaned from what he conveys and has perpetuated through so many years regarding Frank O’Rielly’s vision.” “There is an evolution going on in the marketplace toward crossovers and sport-utility type vehicles – and we expect that to continue,” he said. “Chevrolet will continue to be a pioneer in performance vehicles with the mid-engine Corvette and the next generation of Camaro.” O’Rielly Chevrolet first opened in late March of 1924, which means the close of the 95th anniversary year will be the end of March 2020. Draper said it is likely the dealership will host one more anniversary sale in early 2020.

Biz

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 25


BizMILESTONE

O’Rielly Chevrolet Milestones By David Pittman After serving in the U.S. Army Air Service during World War I, Los Angeles native Frank O’Rielly moved to Tucson to work at Babbitt Brothers, a Buick and Cadillac dealership. The year was 1921, and though the automobile industry was in its infancy, it was growing rapidly. Three years later, convinced he could run his own car business, O’Rielly formed O’Rielly Motor Company and set out to be a Studebaker dealer. In a lucky break for O’Rielly, a Studebaker business was unavailable in Tucson, but a Chevrolet franchise was. In 1924, O’Rielly and a sales staff of five opened the doors to Tucson’s first Chevy dealership at 55 N. Sixth Ave. It was front-page news in the Tucson Citizen, which announced the opening in a story that ran below a banner headline. Over the last 95 years, during good times and bad, O’Rielly Chevrolet has been a Tucson constant: In 1929, the dealership moved to a new facility at 415 N. Sixth Ave. In order to secure financing for construction, O’Rielly had it designed so it could be repurposed as a bowling alley. The bowling alley never happened, and O’Rielly Motor Co. operated from the location over three decades.

26 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

Buck O’Rielly

Ground Broadw breaking of th e ay Boule vard an dealership at d Wilm ot Road

www.BizTucson.com


1942

O’Rielly Motor Co. suspended new and used auto sales. World War II was underway and Detroit auto factories converted from building cars and trucks to producing tanks, airplanes, ships and other military equipment for U.S. troops. The company survived WWII solely on its mechanical service, body shop repairs and its parts business. Consumer vehicle production and auto sales resumed after the war ended.

1947

O’Rielly created the O’Rielly Family Foundation to help fund community and charitable endeavors in the Tucson area. The foundation is still active today.

1951

O’Rielly opened its first satellite used car dealership at the corner of Drachman Street and Stone Avenue.

1951

A

1953

The company sold its first Corvette.

1957

The business became known as O’Rielly Chevrolet.

1962

Buck O’Rielly was a founding member of the Tucson Conquistadores.

1965

O’Rielly Chevrolet had outgrown its facility built in 1929 and construction of a state-of-the-art dealership at Broadway Boulevard and Wilmot Road began in January 1965. It opened in March 1966. The introduction of the Chevy Camaro in 1967 was one of the dealership’s first big events.

1972

Buck O’Rielly was named Arizona Auto Dealer of the Year. Frank O’Rielly, founder of the Chevrolet business that bears his name, died in Tucson.

www.BizTucson.com

1982

Buck O’Rielly helped organize and served as president of the Southern Arizona Water Resources Association, which successfully built community and political support for completion of the Central Arizona Project, which supplies Colorado River water to Tucson. In 1986, Buck was a founder of DM50.

2009

A third generation of leadership joined O’Rielly Chevrolet. Rob Draper, son-in-law of Buck O’Rielly and husband of Amy O’Rielly Draper, became president of the business. In 2010, Draper succeeded O’Rielly as dealer principal and oversaw a renovation of O’Rielly facilities, including improved customer service and increased technology use.

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 27

PHOTOS: COURTESY O’RIELLY CHEVROLET

1979

second generation of the O’Rielly family joined the business. Richard B. “Buck” O’Rielly – a University of Arizona grad and former Air Force pilot – once again went to work at the dealership with his father. Buck had worked at the business while in junior high and high school, first as a parts runner and later in the service department. In 1959, Buck was promoted to vice president and general manager.


6 BizTucson

<<<

Spring 2011

www.BizTucson.com


www.BizTucson.com

Spring 2011

>>>

BizTucson 7


BizBRIEFS

Jed Gold Former Yum! Brands officer Jed Gold is now CFO for Mister Car Wash. Gold has 20 years of financial and accounting experience, including as assistant treasurer and CFO for KFC Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan. He earned a bachelor of science degree in accounting from the University of Utah and an MBA from Indiana Universityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Kelley School of Business. Mister Car Wash has more than 330 operations in 21 states.

Biz

Robin Large Land-use law firm Lazarus, Silvyn & Bangs added former Oro Valley planning commissioner Robin Large as a senior land-use planner. Large has more than 14 years of private and public land planning experience â&#x20AC;&#x201C; managing projects, leading multidisciplinary teams and handling stakeholder negotiations. She has an undergraduate degree in history and a graduate degree in planning from the University of Arizona. Lazarus, Silvyn & Bangs has offices in Tucson and Phoenix.

Biz 30 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

www.BizTucson.com


www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 31


BizBRIEFS

Pima Federal CU Named a Top Credit Union in the Mountain West Pima Federal Credit Union was named Credit Union of the Year by the Mountain West Credit Union Association. The honor, presented last fall at the association’s foundation gala, recognizes Pima Federal as the best among 123 member credit unions in Arizona, Colorado and Wyoming. The association has been giving this award since 2012 and Pima Federal is among 11 that have earned it. The award recognizes a credit union for its innovation and outstanding achievements in day-to-day operations, financial prowess and member service. Pima Federal won in the category of credit unions with assets over $500 million.

32 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

At the end of fiscal year 2018 – the year in which Pima Federal was judged for the award – the credit union had record earnings of $6.7 million, resulting in a capital ratio of 11.22%. It also had record assets of $551.4 million. There were nearly 60,500 members – a 4.5% jump over the previous year. Market share growth was 12.6%. Its 2018 efficiency ratio of 64.3% improved 13.2% over 2017. In 2018, Pima Federal eliminated or reduced fees, enhanced its mobile app, launched a new website and adopted a universal service model. It introduced lending and financing programs for commercial, small business and construction clients.

“For Pima Federal, 2018 was a notable year as we experienced the most financial success, membership growth and efficiency improvements in our history,” according to a company statement. Pima Federal continued with its community activities, including conducting financial education at schools and seminars on credit scores and home buying. It also raised $50,000 for community groups at its annual golf event. Sixteen teachers founded the credit union in 1951, starting with $84 in deposits. It now has eight branches in Tucson, Marana, Oro Valley and Green Valley, plus a home loan center at 6840 N. Oracle Road.

Biz

www.BizTucson.com


James C. Wyant

Fletcher J. McCusker

Doug Stetson

Louise Hecker

Governor’s Celebration of Innovation Awards Four people associated with the University of Arizona were honored at last fall’s Governor’s Celebration of Innovation Awards. Fletcher J. McCusker, co-founder and CEO of UAVenture Capital Fund, was recognized by the Arizona Technology Council and Arizona Commerce Authority as the Ed Denison Business Leader of the Year. McCusker, a 1974 UArizona graduate, is known as one of Tucson’s biggest advocates. He chairs the Rio Nuevo board of directors, the agency charged with guiding downtown redevelopment activities. McCusker and co-founder Michael N. Deitch started the home-based healthcare company Providence Service

www.BizTucson.com

Corporation in 1997 and grew it to $55 million when it went public in 2003. It eventually became a billion-dollar business. Fletcher and Deitch left Providence in 2013 to help UArizona spin out SinfoníaRx, a pioneer in medication therapy management. When that company was sold, the pair founded UAVenture Capital, which invests in UArizona spinoffs of faculty, student and staff commercial enterprises. Its portfolio has 14 companies. One of those companies, FreeFall Aerospace, was honored at the innovation awards as Innovator of the Year. FreeFall, co-founded by Doug Stetson, is developing lightweight, steerable antenna systems that use low power. Deployed both in space and on the ground,

the equipment moves large volumes of data at low cost. Associate professor Louise Hecker was named Innovator of the Year for leading a team researching treatments for fibrotic disorders. She works in a lab at the College of Medicine-Tucson. Professor emeritus James C. Wyant was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award. He is the founding dean of the James C. Wyant College of Optical Sciences. “I am very proud of our showing at the governor’s ceremony,” said university President Robert C. Robbins. The awards are presented annually to celebrate the spirit of innovation in technology that drives the Arizona economy. Biz

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 33


BizDOWNTOWN

A New Vision for Downtown Transit By Rodney Campbell Downtown Tucson’s Ronstadt Transit Center is a utilitarian facility with the sole purpose of getting people into and out of the area. Yet Peach Properties has a new vision for the 4.2-acre bus center on Congress Street. It wants to transform it into an inviting spot for people to spend more than a few minutes waiting for a ride. “The transit center as it exists now is just kind of a dead zone,” said Peach Properties President Ron Schwabe, whose company was awarded the work by the City of Tucson in 2015. “It’s a suburban model that’s planted in our downtown. We want this project to be a real centerpiece of downtown. Hopefully what we end up doing there will be important.” Plans include mixed-use retail, offices, live/work lofts, public spaces, an openair market alongside the new transit mall, and a parking garage. 34 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

“This plan will transform the current Ronstadt Center while maintaining transit functionality,” Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild said before stepping down at the end of 2019. He played an active role in helping move the project forward. “It can take the downtown to another level of prosperity.” The plan requires Federal Transit Administration approval. The development agreement has been sent to the agency, which has up to 30 months to review it. Schwabe said he believes the timeline will be much shorter, possibly as short as six months. “They seem to be moving things a lot quicker,” he said. Schwabe estimated that vertical construction could begin in 2022. The first order of business is building a temporary transit center elsewhere to clear the way for a new one on the current site. That step will take the better part of a

year after the project receives FTA approval. “It’s kind of a long process,” he said. “In this case, where you have public works to perform, it’s a whole different deal. It takes a tremendous amount of lead time.” Peach has carried out more than a dozen downtown projects. They include the Brewery Block at Broadway and Fifth Avenue, home to Cartel Coffee, Thunder Canyon Brewery and the Tucson Metro Chamber. Another is the Market Inn at Seventh Street and Sixth Avenue, where Exo Coffee, Desert Vintage and Tap & Bottle are located. Schwabe and his team have several other active projects downtown, making the area a nice home base for a company that works across the region. “We have done our little piece,” he said. “Now, downtown has critical mass.” Biz www.BizTucson.com

PHOTO: COURTESY DOWNTOWN TUCSON’S RONSTADT TRANSIT CENTER

Feds Examining Plans for Multi-Use Bus Center


www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 35


BizTECHNOLOGY

Tucson Enters 5G Race DVI Equity Partners Invests in ED2 Corporation By Rodney Campbell In the race to grab a share of the 5G technology market, DVI Equity Partners found a ready-made partner. Tucson-based ED2 Corporation, which focuses on next-generation wireless products, fits the model of an organization that DVI supports. The venture capital firm is part of Diamond Ventures, a dominant force in the Tucson real estate and investment fields since 1988. It’s a firm that knows Southern Arizona well, from established businesses to promising startups. “DVI Equity Partners has an intentional focus on investing in Arizonaand Tucson-based companies and our expertise in commercial and industrial real estate reinforced the importance of 5G,” said DVIEP Principal Ngoc Can. ED2, founded in 2007, spent its first decade focusing on marine radio wireless applications and research and development solutions. When current CEO Sergio Cardona bought the company in 2018, he shifted its focus to emerging technologies. 5G is short for fifth-generation cellular wireless. Compared to 4G, 5G offers greater speed, lower latency and the ability to connect many more devices at once. Wireless carriers are dipping their toes in the market as they battle to lead the technology. 5G is already being rolled out in some markets across the nation and the industry is expected to 36 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

greatly expand starting in 2021. “The speed, latency and bandwidth will allow people to better communicate,” Cardona said. “At ED2, we are focusing on transforming those benefits into innovative, new ways to communicate. 5G will make it easier for people to talk to others, to things, and to experience machine smartness.”

We believe ED2 is well positioned to help overcome many of the 5G challenges that carriers and suppliers are faced with in deploying this new technology. Ngoc Can Principal DVI Equity Partners –

DVIEP started in spring 2018 with a mission to invest in early-stage, emerging technology companies specializing in disruptive technology. It emphasizes efforts with companies founded and led by women and minorities. The firm evaluates companies that create business-to-business value in national security, enterprise software, artificial intelligence, data storage and analysis and other areas. DVIEP was drawn to ED2’s impressive portfolio, which includes: • Low-cost, band-pass technology for 5G radio, radar, cellular, mobile, general wireless, lot and millimeter wave applications that filter out interfering frequencies and provide clean signals

• A first-of-a-kind universal 5G wire-

less software-defined repeater that can extend current 5G range by 10 times, providing greater penetration through glass and walls and around corners • A 5G antenna—which is low cost and has low power consumption— that can moderate noise and expand the range and power of 5G, satellite and other communications applications “The U.S. and U.S.-based telecom providers transitioning to 5G are faced continued on page 38 >>> www.BizTucson.com


PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

Bob Griffin

Managing Partner DVI Equity Partners

Sergio Cardona CEO ED2 Corporation

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 37


BizTECHNOLOGY continued from page 36 with serious infrastructure challenges, including costs that impact their ability to become competitive and gain industry dominance,” Can said. “We believe ED2 is well positioned to help overcome many of the 5G challenges that carriers and suppliers are faced with in deploying this new technology. ED2’s leadership and capabilities are strong, and their novel and low-cost components are in great demand. We are pleased to support their success.” ED2 VP Ernie Nedder introduced Cardona to DVIEP Managing Partner Bob Griffin to get the partnership started. Cardona and Griffin had a lot in common, most notably their success in startup ventures. They also saw huge growth potential in the 5G market. “We started discussing the importance of 5G and ED2’s core competency,” Cardona said. “Bob and I had an immediate connection and the relationship naturally grew.” As a result, DVIEP became the lead investor in a Series A funding for ED2, providing $2.6 million. It also will provide business and operational assistance to accelerate ED2’s growth in the global 5G market. Griffin joined ED2’s board of directors. “We have been blessed from day one,” Cardona said. “We have an incredible team with noble values and ethical leadership. The culture or vibe of the company is apparent to any outsider. “Additionally, we are blessed to have partnered with DVIEP. The DVIEP family is filled with caring visionaries and is very thorough. We enjoyed a smooth due-diligence process.” The partnership has excellent potential for success and profit. The radio frequency front-end components market is estimated to rocket from $18.77 billion in 2019 to $39.71 billion by 2025, according to international market research company Yole Développement. “Next-generation 5G wireless technology promises to be game-changing by offering speeds up to 100 times faster than today’s wireless LTE technology,” Can said. “ED2 is providing new, high-performance and low-cost components for 5G to assist the emerging ultra-fast mobile broadband standard achieve their promised high speed.” Cardona is no stranger to startups and innovative programs like the Yuma Center of Excellence for Desert Agriculture. He left Raytheon in 2013 to start nMode Solutions, which provides high-frequency electronic component and system designs, and Triton Microelectronics. After a successful exit from both, he acquired ED2. “Sergio is a repeat entrepreneur with prior successes in growing and exiting technology companies,” Can said. Griffin and his team have a strong entrepreneurial track record. They started Knowledge Computing, a Tucsonbased company that was eventually purchased by IBM. They are convinced this partnership will deliver similar success. “We proved that a tech company can be created, grown and succeed from Tucson,” Can said. “We aim to replicate the success with ED2’s revolutionary technology and domain expertise.” Biz 38 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

www.BizTucson.com


www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 39


WOMEN WHO LEAD

Roberta Diaz Brinton

Director Center for Innovation in Brain Science University of Arizona

40 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

www.BizTucson.com


BizRESEARCH

Roberta Diaz Brinton

Alzheimer’s Research Pioneer Awarded $37.5 Million Grant By Darci Slaten

www.BizTucson.com

and her team at CIBS a $37.5 million clinical trial grant to research a potential regenerative therapy for Alzheimer’s. The award supports the goals of the National Alzheimer’s Project Act, a U.S. law that calls for a stepped-up national effort on research, care and services for Alzheimer’s and related dementias. The grant is one of the largest that the UArizona Health Sciences has ever received. “If successful, this study could be the next step in developing the first regenerative therapy to prevent – and potentially cure – Alzheimer’s,” Brinton said. According to the Alzheimer’s Asso-

ciation, more than 50 million people worldwide, and 5 million Americans, are living with the degenerative brain disease. By 2050, that number is expected to increase to 14 million Americans. In Arizona, more than 200,000 people age 65 and older will be living with the disease by 2025. Research, Innovation and Impact

Brinton’s study, “Allopregnanolone as Regenerative Therapeutic for Alzheimer’s: Phase 2 Clinical Trial” is funded by the largest grant she has received during her stellar career. And it is indeed stellar: Her groundbreaking Alzheimer’s research has been continuously funded by the National continued on page 42 >>> Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 41

PHOTO: CHRIS RICHARDS

The moment you meet neuroscientist Roberta Diaz Brinton, you are amazed by her profound sense of purpose, her brilliant mind, her ability to clearly articulate complex ideas and her welcoming demeanor. Then, as you listen to Brinton describe her groundbreaking Alzheimer’s research, you realize she is a modern-day pioneer – boldly trailblazing a new frontier to find the cure for this debilitating disease. In 2016, Brinton was appointed the inaugural director of the Center for Innovation in Brain Science (CIBS) at the University of Arizona Health Sciences. In August 2019, the National Institute on Aging awarded Brinton


BizRESEARCH continued from page 41 Institutes of Health for more than 20 years. Brinton is well-equipped to lead this pioneering research project. It is a fiveyear, national multisite Phase 2 clinical trial. The primary aim is to determine how effective the neuro-steroid allopregnanolone, or allo, is as a treatment. Although the specific cause of Alzheimer’s is still unknown, researchers do know the disease causes brain cells to die and the connection between the cells to decrease. Research has established that individuals with healthy brains have higher levels of allo in their brains than those with Alzheimer’s. Before arriving at UArizona, Brinton had a highly successful career at the University of Southern California. At USC, Brinton and her team discovered that allopregnanolone activates neural stem cells in the brain, generating new nerve cells. This was a stunning discovery, and Brinton still has the image showing the first regenerated brain cells. After this discovery, the team designed and conducted a Phase 1 clinical trial to evaluate the safety of allo in treating mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease. Their results confirmed that allo is safe and well tolerated in the target population, and they determined the correct dosage levels to advance to the Phase 2 clinical trial. These promising results laid the groundwork for the team to design the next stage of the research – the Phase 2 clinical trial. Brinton said she is optimistic that allo could be the first regenerative therapy for individuals with early-stage Alzheimer’s who have the genetic risk factor for the disease. “The most prevalent risk factor for Alzheimer’s is the APOE4 gene,” Brinton said. “Previous research established that allo has the most effect on individuals who have this gene, so we will be recruiting individuals with APOE4 for the Phase 2 study.” Brinton and her team are working with physicians from Banner Alzheimer’s Institute in Phoenix and Tucson. They plan to start the recruitment process this spring. “I believe wholeheartedly in the 42 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

collaborative relationship between researchers and physicians,” said Brinton. “It’s essential when conducting translational research.” “I am impressed by Dr. Brinton’s comprehensive understanding of what it takes to accelerate research and ensure its public impact – in this case for people impacted by Alzheimer’s,” said Elizabeth “Betsy” Cantwell, senior VP for research and innovation at UArizona. “She is charting a course of ex-

University in Top 20 for Research Funding By Darci Slaten The University of Arizona jumped into the top 20 research spending campuses among U.S. public research institutions, with more than $687 million in total research activity in fiscal year 2018. The ranking comes from the National Science Foundation’s Higher Education Research and Development survey, which ranks over 900 colleges and universities based on their research and development expenditures. UArizona saw an increase of more than $55 million over fiscal year 2017, resulting in a three-spot increase in the NSF’s rankings to No. 20 among all public institutions. Its No. 35 ranking overall puts UArizona in the top 4% in the survey. The university retained its No. 1 ranking in expenditures for astronomy and astrophysics research. “The research enterprise at the University of Arizona has life-improving results on a global scale,” said UArizona President Robert C. Robbins. “From exploring the deepest corners of our solar system to solving the issues we face on Earth, our students and faculty are at the forefront of some truly groundbreaking discoveries.”

cellence in innovation at this university that has the potential for statewide and global impact.” UArizona President Dr. Robert C. Robbins also had praise for the neuroscientist. “Dr. Brinton is spearheading innovative clinical research that is vital to advance our pursuit of cures for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s,” he said. “The global challenge of extending the cognitive health span to match our life spans is a strategic priority for the university, and we are primed to be a global leader in this important area – thanks to Dr. Brinton and her team of world-class translational Alzheimer’s researchers.” Awards, Accolades and Accomplishments

Brinton is an internationally acclaimed neuroscientist and STEM educator and has garnered a host of awards and accolades over her career. Of note, she was the first woman to receive the 2017 Melvin R. Goodes Prize for Excellence in Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery for her substantial contributions toward developing treatments and cures for Alzheimer’s. In 2016, she was named Science Educator of the Year by the Society for Neuroscience. Two years earlier, she was named Woman of the Year by Los Angeles magazine for her Alzheimer’s disease research. Brinton was awarded one of the nation’s highest civilian honors – the Presidential Citizens Medal – presented by President Barack Obama in 2010. That was for her work in promoting careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) among minority students. U.S. News & World Report listed her as one of the Ten Best Minds in 2005. Brinton has more than 200 articles published in scientific journals and has authored more than 30 book chapters and invited reviews. She has delivered more than 250 presentations worldwide. What’s more, she holds numerous patents and founded two startups. She also is a proud Wildcat. Brinton earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and biology, a master’s degree in neuropsychology and a doctorate in continued on page 44 >>> www.BizTucson.com


Trust The Clements Team To Protect You & Your Business The Clements Agency, LLC is a member of Trusted Choice®, offering the smart way to buy insurance. Trusted Choice® agents and brokers represent multiple insurance companies, offering you a variety of coverage choices and customized plans to meet your specialized needs. Most importantly, as Trusted Choice® agents we are not employees of an insurance company, so you have someone who works for you, not the company.

P ro p e r t y I n s u r a n c e Liability Insurance Auto Insurance Wo r k e r ’s C o m p e n s a t i o n Bonds Personal Insurance Employee Benefits

est .

2000

Left to right: Sean, Jack & Jim Clements

520.624.3456 6 2 4 5 E . B ro a d w a y, S u i t e 3 1 0 , Tu c s o n , A Z 8 5 7 1 1 480.477.5245 8 3 5 0 E . R a i n t re e D r. , S u i t e 2 3 5 , S c o t t s d a l e , A Z 8 5 2 6 0 928.774.6631 F l awww.BizTucson.com gstaff Insurance

w w w. c l e m e n t s i n s u r a n c eWinter .com 2020

>>>

BizTucson 43


BizRESEARCH continued from page 42 neuropharmacology and psychobiology from the UArizona. Brinton’s Beginnings

A native of New Jersey, Brinton moved to Tucson in her early 20s. Soon after arriving in Tucson, Brinton explained, she was “divinely fortunate” to land a job at the UArizona as a lab technician in the Department of Pediatrics clinic. While there, she taught interns, residents and medical students how to conduct laboratory procedures and how to interpret lab results. “I was incredibly fortunate that Dr. George Comerci was the director of the clinic at the time. He and the entire pediatrics team were fabulous. The physicians, nurses and team members were incredibly welcoming,” Brinton recalled. I’m very grateful and conscious to this day how wonderful these people were.” Through Brinton’s work at the pediatrics clinic, coupled with the encouragement she received from her colleagues, she gained confidence that she had the intellect, fortitude and determination to accomplish anything she set her mind on. While working full time as the lab technician, Brinton took night classes at the university. Eventually, she was able to use retirement funds she had accrued to attend classes full time. “I still had to take out loans, but I realized I could do it, even as a slightly older student in my mid-20s,” she said. Brinton excelled at the university. She completed her bachelor’s degree program in two years, graduating summa cum laude and as a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honors society. It was as an undergraduate student that Brinton came to realize she was captivated by the brain. “This was at a time when neuroscience was just emerging,” Brinton said. As her fascination grew, Brinton advanced in her studies. Her master’s studies and research focused on learning and memory function in people with brain damage. The outcomes surprised her. “While people with brain damage often recovered sensory and motor function, they rarely recovered cognitive learning and memory function,” she 44 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

said. “I was so intrigued that I changed my course of doctoral research to investigate the molecular mechanisms that allowed the brain to encode new information – that is, learn, remember and retrieve information.” Brinton worked in UArizona professor Hank Yamamura’s lab, where she successfully mapped a receptor system involved in learning and memory. “This was an extraordinary experience, and Hank was a wonderful mentor,” she said. Her time in Yamamura’s lab was foundational for Brinton and impacted her future research in the area of neurodegenerative diseases.

We are here for a purpose that is greater than ourselves. We bring our extraordinary talents, our passion, our commitment to this challenge of curing neurodegenerative diseases.

Roberta Diaz Brinton Director Center for Innovation in Brain Science University of Arizona

After completing her doctorate, Brinton was a post-doctoral fellow at Rockefeller University’s Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology in New York. She then was an invited scientist at the Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel), the Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neuroscience (the Netherlands), and the Netherlands Institute for Brain Research. In 1988, she joined the USC Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology. Purpose-Driven Leadership

When asked about her leadership style, Brinton is clear. “My style is very mission- and pur-

pose-focused,” she said. “At CIBS, we are here for a purpose that is greater than ourselves. We bring our extraordinary talents, our passion, our commitment to this challenge of curing neurodegenerative diseases. We’re grateful to be the people who can bring these cures to life.” CIBS reflects that leadership style. “Every expertise brought by each person is valued and valuable,” she said. “We work very effectively as a team. We are committed to deliver on the covenant we have with the University of Arizona – to deliver on the promise to discover a cure to those who need it today. The patients may not see us, but we come to work every day with them in mind. And that’s what inspires me as a leader.” “Dr. Brinton is a visionary mentor and leader,” said May Khanna, a CIBS colleague and assistant professor of neuroscience and pharmacology. “She has opened my eyes to new opportunities and helped me recognize my own potential, both as a researcher and a mentor, in pursuing cures for complex neurodegenerative diseases.” The Center for Innovation in Brain Science

CIBS was launched in 2016 with Brinton returning to Tucson to become its inaugural director. At the time, Brinton had a distinguished career at USC, and she and her husband, Theodore, were happy living in Southern California. She seriously contemplated the opportunity to return to her alma mater. “I asked myself the question, ‘What would it take to pull up stakes and move my research enterprise back to the UA?’ ” Brinton said. “After considerable deliberation, the answer to my question was that in the 21st century there is not a single cure for a single neurodegenerative disease. “Based on this challenge, I created a vision, mission and plan for the Center of Innovation in Brain Science to achieve what has, thus far, alluded big pharma, university-based research and biotech. “After submitting my plan, I was doubtful that such an ambitious and audacious idea would be considered. continued on page 46 >>> www.BizTucson.com


www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 45


BizRESEARCH continued from page 44 However, it’s the University of Arizona – pioneering, bold and committed to tackling grand challenges that have global and personal impact. They accepted my plan and CIBS was created.” CIBS brings together UArizona researchers and clinicians across the spectrum of neurodegenerative diseases and pairs them with faculty in several specialties: computational systems biology, biomarker design, synthetic chemistry, translational drug development, clinical trial operations and regulatory affairs. Brinton called it an “all-brains-on-deck research environment.” “At CIBS, we are focused on four ageassociated neurodegenerative diseases – Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS,” Brinton said. “Our mission is to bring innovations in brain science of the future to those who need a cure today.” Under Brinton’s visionary leadership, CIBS has made remarkable progress that includes an impressive portfolio of therapeutics, research awards, trans-

46 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

I am impressed by Dr. Brinton’s comprehensive understanding of what it takes to accelerate research and ensure its public impact – in this case for people impacted by Alzheimer’s.

Elizabeth Cantwell Senior VP for Research and Innovation University of Arizona –

formational educational programs and contributions to the growth of Arizona’s biotech sector.

In addition to the $37.5 million grant, funded projects at CIBS include a $10.3 million grant to study why women are at a greater risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease than men – which she detailed in a 2017 BizTucson article – and a $5.9 million grant to develop precision medicine interventions to prevent Alzheimer’s. There is also a $1.8 million grant to develop a cross-disciplinary and translationally oriented workforce to discover new drugs for Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases, and a $1.3 million NIH grant to train Navajo students in neuroscience programs. Brinton said she sees Tucson as an entrepreneurial community that supports UArizona’s efforts to bring research to market. Tucson has the critical mass that allows for effective, innovative collaborations. “We are at the right place at the right time and we are a ‘can do, will do, must do,’ bold, pioneering environment,” she said. “Here at CIBS, we are creating innovations in brain science of the future for those who need a cure today.”

Biz

www.BizTucson.com


www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 47


BizBRIEFS

Neal Eckel Neal Eckel is now a partner with the Farhang & Medcoff law firm. He specializes in construction, business and employment law, which includes corporate formations, contract drafting and review, and business and employment disputes. He is a graduate of the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law and has been recognized as a top lawyer in Tucson and nationally. He most recently was a partner with closed Durazzo, Eckel & Hawkins.

Biz

Eric Hawkins The Farhang & Medcoff law firm added Tucson native Eric Hawkins as a partner. Hawkins, formerly with closed Durazzo, Eckel & Hawkins, focuses on all aspects of construction, business and employment law. He graduated from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law. He teaches seminars and classes for businesses, contractors and attorneys. Topics include state Registrar of Contractors hearings, mechanicsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; liens, construction defects claims and contract disputes.

Biz 48 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

www.BizTucson.com


50 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

www.BizTucson.com


www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 51


52 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

www.BizTucson.com


Sun Corridor Inc.

BizECONOMY

Mastering the Megaregion Region’s Economic Engine Hits 15 Years, Looks to Future By David Pittman

Historically, economic development in Tucson has been known for division, infighting, disappointment and missed opportunity. But it’s a new dawn in the Old Pueblo. Sun Corridor Inc. – in collaboration with business, community leaders, higher education and state and local government – has steadfastly built a national reputation for Tucson as a vibrant, emerging market that is successfully recruiting high-quality, high-tech and high-wage business and industry to Southern Arizona. It didn’t come easily or quickly. It didn’t come without extensive planning or hard work. But entering its landmark 15th year, Sun Corridor Inc. has evolved into an economic development juggernaut. Tucson’s economy has posted strong growth for five consecutive years as Sun Corridor Inc. has built an impressive record of recruiting A-list companies to relocate or expand here. The list includes Amazon, Comcast, Texas Instruments, GEICO, Caterpillar, Hexagon Mining, HomeGoods, Accelerate Di-

agnostics, Target, Ernst & Young and Raytheon Missile Systems. Since 2005, Sun Corridor Inc. has facilitated the attraction or expansion of 173 companies as of December 2019 – creating 50,989 direct/indirect jobs and an economic impact of $29.5 billion.  “We have proven year after year that we are a professionally focused, worldclass economic development team,” said David Hutchens, CEO of Tucson Electric Power and chair of Sun Corridor Inc. “Private- and public-sector leaders have worked together with educators and nonprofit groups on numerous projects that have contributed to our economic growth. “It wasn’t always that way. But after Tucson missed out on some significant opportunities, a group of key stakeholders committed to working together to put us in a position to attract Caterpillar, the Raytheon Missile Systems’ expansion and other projects that have contributed to our success.” Economic comparisons of Tucson to Austin, once just wishful thinking, are now reality.

The Oliver Wyman Forum, a global management consulting firm, has listed Tucson among the fastest growing metro areas in the country, reporting that the city tied Austin with 33% increased high-tech job growth from 2007 to 2017. Even more impressive, the global commercial real estate services and investment giant, CBRE, ranked Tucson as the No. 1 “Opportunity Market” in its 2019 “Scoring Tech Talent Report.” “Tucson added more high-tech jobs on a percentage basis than any other market in North America,” said Spencer Levy, CBRE head of research and senior economic advisor. He described Tucson as “a momentum market on the rise in tech.” Levy said the report shows increased levels of high-tech growth within “emerging markets like Tucson that have large universities to create both talent and a live-work-play environment where people want to live.” Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, in a recent editorial column in the Arizona Daily continued on page 54 >>> continued on page 38 >>>

www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 53


BizECONOMY continued from page 53 Star, praised Tucson’s success in attracting high-tech, high-wage jobs, saying the city has earned “a reputation as one of the fastest growing and most attractive tech hubs” in the nation. “Tucson has seen its tech jobs increase a whopping 90% over the last five years.” It wasn’t always so. Tucson economic development was faltering before Joe Snell was hired president and CEO of TREO – Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities – later rebranded as Sun Corridor Inc. Snell previously succeeded in starting and reorganizing similar organizations in Albuquerque and Denver. “Looking back, we are the longeststanding economic development group in Tucson history,” Snell said. “When we started, a lot of people didn’t believe we would last four years – because none of the groups that did this before us had.” In fact, five different Tucson economic development groups shuttered between World War II and the creation in 2005 of what is now Sun Corridor Inc. “That’s unheard of,” said Snell. “It caused Tucson to have a poor reputation in the economic development field and made many people wonder, ‘What’s wrong with Tucson?’ I saw potential in Tucson, but it had no foundation and no formula. One of the stipulations I had before accepting the job was that we had to develop a business plan, which we called an ‘Economic Blueprint.’ ” Development of the blueprint, underwritten by Tucson Electric Power, is credited with giving Sun Corridor Inc. a recipe for success. “The blueprint was created by a steering committee made up of a diverse group,” Snell said. “That plan was our guidebook, and I told our staff we wouldn’t buy a pencil unless it could be traced to the blueprint.” The document prioritized the attraction of high-wage jobs, emphasized the need for business, higher education and government to work collaboratively, and prioritized key growth industries that already had a strong presence here. Those industries included aerospace and defense, bioscience/healthcare (specifically diagnostics), transportation and logistics, and renewable/mining technologies. But other organizational changes were required before Sun Corridor Inc. could begin running on all cylinders. 54 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

“We needed to turn TREO into a different type of organization,” said Snell. “The next step for us was changing our financial model. If we hadn’t, we’d have become Tucson’s sixth failed economic development group.” Under its initial model, 90% of Sun Corridor’s budget was from local government and just 10% percent from the private sector. “The model Tucson had adopted of ‘the public sector funds it, but the private sector runs it’ wasn’t working,” Snell said. “It created parochial infighting and not enough direction from business interests. Who is going to pay for something and have somebody else run it? Long story short, we reached a decision that the majority of our budget should come from private interests.”

The growth of our pipeline is because our reputation is stronger than ever and site selectors are on our radar screen. –

Joe Snell, President & CEO Sun Corridor Inc.

Today, 80% of Sun Corridor’s money is from business, 20% from government. “We have just one public contract, which is with Pima County because they are regional,” Snell said. “Changing the funding structure was a watershed moment for us.” Before Sun Corridor Inc. could reverse Tucson’s economic development misfortunes, the Great Recession struck the city hard in 2008, forcing business closures and skyrocketing bankruptcies, double-digit unemployment and a high volume of home repossessions. As for Sun Corridor Inc., it may as well have hit a brick wall. Damage was felt across the nation, but Tucson was slower to recover from the recession than most cities.

Good economic news arrived in 2012, when Fletcher McCusker became chair of the struggling Rio Nuevo Multipurpose Facilities District. With a reconstituted board, the group began accomplishing what Rio Nuevo was meant to do – revitalize downtown. Since McCusker arrived, every $1 in tax money spent by Rio Nuevo has produced $10 from private interests for downtown projects. More good news came in July 2014, when the Tucson Streetcar began operating along a four-mile route connecting downtown to the University of Arizona, Main Gate Square, Fourth Avenue and the Mercado District west of Interstate 10. Even before the streetcar was running, developers and financial institutions began investing along the streetcar line. Soon, new restaurants, stores, housing and mixed-use projects were rising in downtown. “Downtown Tucson has been the center of Tucson’s resurgence,” said McCusker, CEO of UAVenture Capital and a member of the Sun Corridor Inc. Chairman’s Circle. “Caterpillar moved their headquarters downtown. We have light rail. And real estate investment banks have collaboratively created 21 projects downtown, partnering with the city and county.” McCusker said Caterpillar’s decision to locate its Surface Mining & Technology Division near “A” Mountain was a monumental victory for Tucson. “Tucson was in direct competition with Denver in recruiting Caterpillar,” he said. “Everybody thought it would go to Denver, but Tucson won out. It was a game changer for Tucson.” When TREO was first established, Snell said, state government was nearly nonexistent in Southern Arizona economic development efforts. Not anymore. McCusker said Ducey “played a key role” in convincing Caterpillar to select Tucson. Snell said Sandra Watson, president and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority and a Sun Corridor Inc. Chairman’s Circle member, “is committed to increasing economic development within the entire state. We work hand and glove with the commerce authority. Their office is 50 feet from ours.” In fiscal year 2014-2015, Sun Corridor Inc. had a banner year, supporting the relocation or expansion of 16 companies – with an economic impact of www.BizTucson.com


nearly $2.6 billion. Also in 2015, TREO became Sun Corridor Inc. and expanded its geographic horizons from metro Tucson into a megaregion that stretches from northern Mexico to northern Pinal County. Its boundaries include Pima, Cochise, Santa Cruz and Pinal counties. Sun Corridor Inc. leadership believes expanding its boundaries increases collective assets to better compete, encourages greater binational commerce, and increases the organization’s credibility and influence. Today, Sun Corridor Inc. has a 67-member board that comprises influential leaders from business and industry; municipal, county and state government; higher education; and nonprofits. “It’s a pretty decent-sized army where everyone checks their politics at the door and works together,” Snell said. In March 2017, the Site Selectors Guild brought its annual conference to Tucson for the first time – another coup for Sun Corridor Inc. “The economic development industry is driven by about 400 site selectors who are hired by major corporations to assist in making decisions about business expansions and relocations,” Snell said. “Many of those attending the conference had never been to Southern Arizona and we were able to profile what a great community Tucson is. It was very beneficial for us.” Sun Corridor Inc. has recently conducted sales missions across North America. “We’ve hit California countless times, from San Diego to Los Angeles to San Francisco. We’ve also been to Toronto, Salt Lake City, Dallas, Atlanta, Boston and Denver, to name a few. “We do something called investor sales missions where we will take business leaders and blanket a market,” Snell said. “We just got back from New York City. It’s a force multiplier for us because we can take 25 people and we all call on site selectors and bombard the market over three or four days.” Snell said Sun Corridor Inc. has built the largest, highest-quality pipeline of businesses to pursue in the region’s history. “The growth of our pipeline is because our reputation is stronger than ever and site selectors are on our radar screen,” he said. That bodes well for the future of this dynamic megaregion.

Biz www.BizTucson.com

Amazon Loves Tucson Logistics Team Effort Got Fulfillment, Distribution Centers Opened By Tara Kirkpatrick Logistics. It’s what lured a global online giant to Tucson not once, but twice. Amazon, one of the world’s largest companies, opened its first facility at the Port of Tucson last year. The 855,000-square-foot fulfillment center on the southeast side employs more than 1,500 people and is expected to have a $600 million economic impact to the community over the next five years. The company has since opened a second, complementary center on the city’s west edge – one of the first locations for its new “last mile” concept that focuses on improved delivery. “We have long been a center for logistics and distribution,” said Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry. “If you look at the locations of their facilities, they are near interstate highways, rail, the airport – everything they need.” Tucson had already set the blueprint when Target opened its 975,000-square-foot center on the city’s southeast side in 2009. Then, in 2016 HomeGoods opened its immense West Coast distribution center near the Tucson International Airport. Amazon is just the latest company to take advantage of Southern Arizona’s lucrative gateway to Mexico and California – a true megaregion that Sun Corridor Inc. has helped to develop over the past 15 years. “Economic development is a team sport,” said Joe Snell, Sun Corridor Inc.’s president and CEO. “Successful projects like Amazon – now with two facilities in Tucson – do not happen with just the efforts of one group. Sun Corridor Inc. will quarterback the project, but everyone plays a critical partnership role.” Pointing to local and state organizations – including the Arizona Commerce Authority – Snell added, “In this case, Pima County, the Port of Tucson, ACA, the City of Tucson and others were at the table every step of the way.” Amazon’s larger Tucson fulfillment center will receive, store and ship auto parts, electronics, appliances, groceries, and other products – while also handling customer returns and direct customer pickup. Amazon’s facility on Tucson’s west side will focus on “last mile” systems, which move product from a receiving center to the final destination. The “last mile” center aims for shorter delivery times by enabling individual drivers and contractors to pick up packages for faster delivery. “There are a variety of factors that we take into account when deciding to launch a building – such as customer demand, a dedicated and talented workforce and great local support – and we’ve found all of those in Tucson and surrounding communities,” said Zeshan Kazmi, Amazon’s regional public relations manager. Huckelberry said a recent Amazon hiring event for its facilities pleased Amazon officials. “They have been impressed with our workforce,” he said. “We are thrilled to be a member of the Tucson community and thankful for the support we’ve received from city, state and community leaders,” Kazmi said. “We look forward to even more ways to better serve our customers. Our fulfillment center and delivery station in Tucson allow us to reach even more customers.”

Biz Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 55


BizECONOMY

Airport Eyes G Aerospace, New TUS Blueprint Charts Vision for Land Use By Tara Kirkpatrick

Plans are really taking off for the Tucson International Airport. An ambitious blueprint – helmed by Sun Corridor Inc. and guided by more than 120 community stakeholders – would see the Tucson airport expand, as well as offer new commercial space to companies. “Traditionally, when you think of an airport, you think of passenger traffic, you think of airlines,” said Joe Snell, Sun Corridor Inc. president and CEO. “They’re becoming much more. At least they need to. They are convergence centers – a place where people, freight, ideas, infrastructure – all converge in one nucleus point.” Sun Corridor Inc. released the blueprint last fall, laying out plans across three substantial land parcels that would provide ample room for companies drawn to Tucson’s aeronautical and logistics prowess. It details a new, more attractive airport entrance and an extension of roadways in and out of the airport. “I think the blueprint is an opportunity for us to look at the opportunities that the Tucson International Airport 56 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

can bring to this community beyond air service,” said Lisa Lovallo, chair of the Tucson Airport Authority board of directors and the TUS Blueprint Steering Committee. “It’s got an amazing amount of land and resources in that part of our community that really haven’t been captured to their fullest potential.” The auspicious plan calls for the development of a 550-acre strip of former mining land south of Aerospace Parkway, a 1,400-acre parcel southeast of the Aerospace Parkway tract and a 600-acre parcel on the airport’s northeast side. It also calls for two new interchanges on Interstate 10 – one at Country Club Road and another at Alvernon Way, at the proposed Sonoran Corridor to link State Route 210 from downtown to State Route 410. Sun Corridor Inc. and the Tucson Airport Authority partnered in 2018 to advance commercial development around the airport, which ranks among the top 10 in the country in total acreage, 8,282 acres. The blueprint states that airports

around the nation are gateways to growing regions and control large tracts of land for development. Locating near an airport presents a business with many opportunities for growth. With a steering committee of 20 leaders and organizations, Sun Corridor Inc. and the TAA sought out the advice of more than 100 employers to generate the plan. Retired General Motors executive Dennis Minano chaired the targeted industries/opportunities committee during the process. “Airports are easily a part of any economic regional success and we have a well-run airport,” said Minano, immediate past chair of Sun Corridor Inc. “It was important that our plan for the airport align well with the economic activity that is already underway – and that it is based on what our community can do in terms of education, skills and demographics.” His committee recommended a focus on attracting more companies in aerospace and in transportation and logistics. “Those areas really build on our natural geographic assets,” Minano said. www.BizTucson.com


Growth in , Commerce Raytheon Missile Systems, Southern Arizona’s largest private employer with 13,000 current jobs, is the anchor for the region’s solid aeronautical base of more than 200 companies, according to the blueprint. The strength of the inland Port of Tucson, along with recent distribution centers opened by HomeGoods, Target and Amazon, underscore the region’s burgeoning logistics base. “From a Raytheon perspective, it’s about access – access for our employees, access for our customers,” said Wes Kremer, president of Raytheon Missile Systems. “I think that’s the whole purpose of the aerospace corridor here – to attract additional aerospace and defense companies and to grow that high-tech sector in Tucson. We’re seeing some positive indications that some of our suppliers are very interested in establishing a presence here.” Tucson can also train the needed workforce for this growth. The University of Arizona has its premier James C. Wyant College of Optical Sciences and the Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering program. Pima Community College boasts a nationally ranked www.BizTucson.com

I think the blueprint is an opportunity for us to look at the opportunities that the Tucson International Airport can bring to this community beyond air service.

– Lisa Lovallo Board of Directors Chair Tucson Airport Authority

aviation training program with a 90% graduate placement rate. “Everyone worries about the workforce capability,” Minano said. “We can now say we have the capability of training these people.” Sun Corridor Inc. has a proven track record with economic blueprints – they have all become reality. “The critical next step is to ensure all entities are pulling together to move the strategies forward,” said Steve Eggen, chair of the blueprint’s stakeholder engagement committee. “Sun Corridor Inc. will act as a coordinator going forward.” The blueprint is already stirring interest. A Sun Corridor Inc.-led team of board members and investors recently traveled to New York City to meet with potential site selectors and received a positive response to the plan, Minano said. “We are creating news about this region and about Tucson,” he said. “Word gets out in the site-selector business and they see that something is going on in Tucson. We have to keep that momentum.”

Biz

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 57


SUN CORRIDOR INC. LEADERSHIP What challenges and opportunities for economic development in this region do you see over the next decade?

The opportunities are obvious: If we can maintain the momentum we’ve created through collaboration among our local elected officials and business leaders, we can build on our recent success and continue attracting new and expanding businesses that provide good jobs and create economic growth. The challenge will be making sure that we all keep rowing in the same direction, working together for the betterment of our community. What new infrastructure needs to be in place?

We all know our local roads need serious attention. While we should continue lobbying for additional investment at the state level, we can’t just throw up our hands if that support doesn’t arrive. We need to work together at the local level to identify sustainable, longterm resources to maintain and improve our roads – including large arterial roadways, local streets and bridges. How do we adapt to technological advances and train the workforce for the fourth industrial revolution?

Education is always going to be the key factor in determining whether any group of people is prepared for change. In our business, we talk a lot about building capacity – not only the capacity to generate energy, but also the capacity to accommodate unexpected developments and seize new opportunities. A strong education system – from kindergarten up through the community college and university level – can give our community the capacity to capitalize on new technology rather than being left behind. What is the local outlook in your industry for the coming year?

CHAIR SUN CORRIDOR INC. CEO, UNS ENERGY COO, FORTIS

58 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

David G. Hutchens

2020 is going to be a landmark year in TEP’s ongoing transition to cleaner energy resources. Construction will be ongoing for three new systems – two new wind farms and a solar-plus-storage project – that will more than double our renewable energy resources by 2021. TEP is a leader in our industry’s effort to provide more sustainable energy for our communities. We’ll also be working hard over the coming year and beyond to extend the use of that cleaner energy to power other sectors of our economy, including transportation.

www.BizTucson.com


www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 59


SUN CORRIDOR INC. LEADERSHIP What challenges and opportunities for economic development in this region do you see over the next decade?

Keeping the momentum going in an eventual downturn in the overall economy. Defense and aerospace have a natural home given our climate and airspace. We already have a diverse group of companies in this sector forming a core cluster that will attract others in the industry. Pima Community College has a nationally recognized aircraft maintenance training program providing a skilled workforce other communities can only envy. The importance of Raytheon and DavisMonthan cannot be overstated as anchors of this cluster. Continue to support our innovation economy and create conditions that foster new company formation. Startup Tucson, the University of Arizona’s tech parks, technology incubators and tech transfer programs will continue to play an increasing role in the growth of our economy. Community support of our entrepreneurial economy in turn creates a positive vibe for recruiting new companies and employees. Our proximity to Mexico continues to be a huge area of opportunity. We should leverage our bilingual population and continue to invest in transportation and logistical infrastructure. What new infrastructure needs to be in place?

We need to keep a laser focus on road maintenance. Keeping the Interstate-11 conversation productive, and completing the Sonoran Corridor. The community needs to overcome its “not in my backyard” tendencies. How do we adapt to technological advances and train the workforce for the fourth industrial revolution?

SECRETARY/TREASURER SUN CORRIDOR INC. MANAGING DIRECTOR MIRAMAR VENTURES

60 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

What is the local outlook in your industry for the coming year?

I believe in the next year, Southern Arizona and the national economy will continue to grow as they have in the last few years at a moderate pace. That being said, the risk still exists that a significant geopolitical event may cause a significant downturn in our national and, in turn, our local economy.

www.BizTucson.com

PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

David Smallhouse

Aligning our P-20 educational system will be a key component. Pima Community College and the University of Arizona are making great strides in this regard, but K-12 continues to be a drag. Jobs of the future will require advanced skills, and PCC and UArizona should not have to provide remedial education for incoming students. Also, adults who want to gain new skills or add to their current capabilities need support. Talent development in the region must be a strategic priority.


www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 61


SUN CORRIDOR INC. LEADERSHIP What challenges and opportunities for economic development in this region do you see over the next decade?

The region has been uniquely successful in attracting companies to relocate here. The financial impact and new jobs created show a vibrant trend of success. Our challenge is to maintain that momentum by continuing a unified approach in our messaging. Second, we must build on the collaboration we’ve shown to date among local, city, county and state governments. Third, our education system must keep pace with advancements in technologies by showing an ability to design and offer programs to train and prepare a workforce for the next generation. Our growth targets in aerospace and related businesses present rich opportunities. Specifically, we are home to numerous companies that are customers for these businesses, as is Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. Our University of Arizona is recognized for its advanced work in aerospace programs. Our location provides a supply chain advantage, just in time to leverage the worldwide restructuring of logistics by all industrial sectors. Opportunities are also available in emerging areas of autonomous vehicles and electric vehicles. What new infrastructure needs to be in place?

We need to improve our roads. This requires that local, elected leadership must agree to resolve that issue in a nonpartisan manner. We also need to provide full support to our PAG leadership in developing and vigorously advocating federally supported infrastructure legislation. Federally elected Arizona representatives can’t be constrained by political lines. The community must fully support the economic plans and related infrastructure improvements to achieve the future capabilities of the Tucson airport, which is poised to become a future epicenter of economic activity.

IMMEDIATE PAST CHAIR SUN CORRIDOR INC. MANAGING DIRECTOR, CMM VICE PRESIDENT PUBLIC POLICY CHIEF ENVIRONMENTAL OFFICER GENERAL MOTORS (RET.)

62 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

Successful adaptation depends directly on how well businesses and employees accept that training can no longer be a “one and done” affair. Completing high school and earning an associate degree, a bachelor’s or advanced degree is only a first step because of the rapid development of technology. Businesses and employees must accept that they will need to be continually retrained as technology evolves. Educational  institutions  must be prepared with relevant training programs ahead of the curve. The days of deleting the training budget at the first sign of a financial slowdown are gone if companies wish to remain in business. What is the local outlook in your industry for the coming year?

We are seeing a worldwide thirst for innovation. This trend will open up opportunities for both large and small businesses, which will compete on the basis of their products utility, value and performance. 

www.BizTucson.com

PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

Dennis R. Minano

How do we adapt to technological advances and train the workforce for the fourth industrial revolution?


www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 63


SUN CORRIDOR INC. LEADERSHIP How will Sun Corridor Inc. continue to build economic development momentum over the next 15 years?

First, we need to drive greater exposure of Southern Arizona as a leading business center with site selectors and national business media. We’re known as a tourist center, but not a business center. It takes resources to maintain a sustained program and remain aggressive in sales and marketing efforts. We are building relationships with site selectors, getting on airplanes for meetings and conferences, working with our real estate brokers, analyzing deals, hosting clients. Second, we need to address market gaps such as lack of speculative space. When we were on a New York City sales mission, lack of spec space was a key topic. Lastly, we are positioning the Tucson airport as an economic development asset. Key community leaders are at the table who are ready to make things happen.   What puts Southern Arizona on the radar for site selectors? 

Excellent talent pipeline. The University of Arizona, Arizona State University and Pima Community College are highly ranked, powerhouse institutions serving nearly 200,000 students. Over 8,000 engineering majors graduate annually. Strategic Southwest location with Tucson’s population growth twice the rate of the U.S. for more than 40 years and lack of natural disasters to ensure operations continuity. Our market reaches over 46 million people within 500 miles, including California and Texas. More than 25% of the working-age population speaks Spanish. Low cost of doing business with a good tax climate, including low costs for real estate and personnel. Worker’s compensation and unemployment insurance costs are among the lowest in the U.S. High quality of life with a booming downtown, affordable housing and minimal traffic congestion.

PRESIDENT & CEO SUN CORRIDOR INC.

Being top-of-mind. When considering Arizona, site selectors think of Phoenix, not Tucson. We need a consistent effort to remind site selectors and companies of our market.  We need to maintain and strengthen our unity. CEOs and site selectors consider communities that have strong partnerships and very engaged players who can operate from one platform. Most importantly, we need to invest in our schools and roads/infrastructure.     If another recession or economic slowdown hits, how would this region protect itself and maintain its success?

64 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

We always need to act as though a recession is imminent. There are warning signs that the economy is weakening. How much or to what degree, who knows? What I do know is that the fight is going to get harder. We can’t rest on our laurels, and we have to take advantage of the time now. We’ve been very successful in focusing on targeted industries that pay good wages and diversify our economy. We’ll continue that focus – stay hyper-aggressive in sales efforts and continue to push the boundaries, tell our story to the world. 

PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

Joe Snell

What specific steps are needed to further define this megaregion and keep it competitive?


www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 65


SUN CORRIDOR INC. CHAIRMAN’S CIRCLE What challenges and opportunities for economic development in this region do you see over the next decade?

I work with other economic councils through the Southwest region. The No. 1 question most often asked by companies looking to expand is, “What is the status of the prepared workforce?” We need to develop more innovative partnerships among nonprofits, private sector and education institutions. Tucson has a great opportunity in expanding its relationship with Mexico. Chicanos Por La Causa (CPLC) has an office in Mexico City. Mexican companies are very interested in expanding into the United States. CPLC recently recruited a manufacturing firm from Mexico to expand, creating jobs in Phoenix. There are great opportunities in the areas of research and technology, as well.   What new infrastructure needs to be in place?

Border portals are being expanded, but more needs to be done to continue to compete with other states in the region. Additionally, highways need to be expanded and utilities need to be upgraded to support companies that need access to power, water and technology.       How do we adapt to technological advances and train the work force for the fourth industrial revolution?

We need new creative ways to support the development of a prepared workforce (i.e. what Amazon is doing). Public private partnerships are key to help train a future workforce.

David Adame PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

PRESIDENT & CEO CHICANOS POR LA CAUSA

66 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

www.BizTucson.com


www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 67


SUN CORRIDOR INC. CHAIRMAN’S CIRCLE What challenges and opportunities for economic development in this region do you see over the next decade?

There are many employment opportunities in Tucson for specialized work. Our industry needs airframe and powerplant mechanics, as well as, avionics and structures specialists. Building such a qualified work force and training technicians in aviation is a high priority for our industry, which is continually looking to attract a younger generation in Tucson to careers in aviation. The jobs are available. We must work between our industry and elected officials to ensure that our educational system encourages career paths in aviation. What new infrastructure needs to be in place?

Continuing to improve on public transportation is important. Tucson has done a great job of developing Sun Link, which benefits both transit users and businesses. As the city grows, people will want more options to get around. For example, Sun Link routes can be expanded to access Tucson International Airport. We can also improve Tucson’s roads. We live in a vibrant, growing city. We should strive for a 21st century transportation system that will enhance how our citizens get around and encourage our region to grow. How do we adapt to technological advances and train the workforce for the fourth industrial revolution?

GENERAL MANAGER BOMBARDIER – TUCSON

68 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

What is the local outlook in your industry for the coming year?

The outlook for the aviation industry is positive as our industry continues to grow. In addition to building a work force to maintain a strong aerospace industry, we must adapt with infrastructure, such as larger, modern aircraft hangars to accommodate advanced aircraft, like the Bombardier Global 7500, the industry’s largest business jet. Our focus in Tucson is on world-class customer support and aftermarket services that continue to grow as we deliver more business jets.

www.BizTucson.com

PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

Marc Beaudette

We must reach out earlier to a younger generation and foster a talent pipeline to maintain a strong aviation industry. With an aging work force, our industry must find ways to inspire young people and get them hooked on aviation and also demonstrate that our industry is leading the way for change. Environmental issues and sustainability are important concerns with millennials and the younger generation. Our industry has taken steps to address these issues through improved technologies and the use of sustainable aviation fuel. We can also ensure our educational system stays current. Middle and high school students are fully versed in the latest computer and telephone technologies. Our industry can seize these opportunities to showcase the advances shaping aviation. The key to inspire a younger generation is through consistent exposure to the possibilities offered by the aviation industry, coupled with the right curriculum.  


www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 69


SUN CORRIDOR INC. CHAIRMAN’S CIRCLE What challenges and opportunities for economic development in this region do you see over the next decade?

Site selectors focus on several factors when evaluating a community, including cost of living, education, a skilled workforce, air service, recreational activities, medical facilities and the look and feel of the community. Tucson is well-positioned to compete in these categories and many other areas. To promote economic development and attract businesses to Tucson, the work to improve highways, roadways and connectivity, the beautification of roadway areas, and new air service to critical markets should continue to be priorities. Also, consider the development of an identity that defines the region.  What new infrastructure needs to be in place? 

From the airport perspective and as a major employment center, areas around the Tucson International Airport (TUS) need to provide good access for airport users and smooth traffic flow for employees. The addition of a new Interstate-10 highway interchange that provides passengers and employees a direct route to the airport and access to nearby businesses is essential. Travel times, congestion and airport access are major factors when site selectors consider a location, so expediting commute times is an important factor in our attractiveness to large employers.  How do we adapt to technological advances and train the workforce for the fourth industrial revolution?

PRESIDENT & CEO TUCSON AIRPORT AUTHORITY

70 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

What is the local outlook in your industry for the coming year?

The outlook for the U.S. airport sector remains positive for 2020. Moody’s Investors Service stated in a new report, “growth in the U.S. economy and airlines’ seat capacity will result in enplanement growth above our 3% threshold for a positive outlook.” This infers that TUS will benefit with a continued upward trend in passenger numbers. Through the first 10 months of 2019, TUS surpassed three million passengers, and, over last year, we are seeing an increase of more than 5%. We expect we will continue to grow and see passenger numbers increase. www.BizTucson.com

PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

Danette Bewley

To ensure students are trained with the right skills and prepared for the changing world, educational institutions should focus on revamped models that combine competencies (i.e., technical skills and soft skills, such as communication and systems thinking) in their learning and technology certification programs. To get there, we continue to encourage students and promote education as an avenue to career success and job stability through STEM programs, invest in scholarship opportunities for high school students or those with lower income levels, fund  programs that match grants and build deep employer connections that provide a career path for specialty jobs. Also, recognize educators as a critical resource and ensure teachers’ salaries are commensurate with the industry average.   


www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 71


SUN CORRIDOR INC. CHAIRMAN’S CIRCLE What challenges and opportunities for economic development in this region do you see over the next decade?

Our opportunities are to continue the progress made over the past decade diversifying the local economy, especially with growth in logistics, aerospace and defense industries. The Great Recession wiped out 25% of property value in the county and we’ve only recently returned to pre-recession values, thanks in part to the county’s aggressive Economic Development Plan that emphasizes diversification. Our biggest challenge is workforce development so that our region is able to meet the increasing technological demands of the 21st-century economy, and public infrastructure funding, both of which are addressed in the latest update to the county’s Economic Development Plan.   What new infrastructure needs to be in place?

The area near Tucson International Airport is expected to continue to attract new and expanding logistics companies similar to Amazon and HomeGoods. Development of the transportation infrastructure in the Sonoran Corridor is essential to serve the needs of these companies while aiding in their recruitment to the region. The expansion of Interstate 10 from Interstate 19 to Kolb Road, the extension of Arizona 210 from Aviation Parkway to Tucson International Airport, and the funding and construction of the Sonoran Corridor Auxiliary Interstate Highway are important to the development of the corridor. Regionwide expansion of 5G and fiber optic data transmission systems are paramount. How do we adapt to technological advances and train the workforce for the fourth industrial revolution?

SUPERVISOR, DISTRICT 3 PIMA COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

72 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

What is the local outlook in your industry for the coming year?

I wouldn’t characterize county government as an industry, but we are planning for continued growth in the local economy. Sun Corridor’s business prospects pipeline is full and our region is one of the hottest tourist destinations in the country. We see continued growth in the local tax base, which will aid the county in investing in infrastructure and workforce needs while also lowering tax rates.

www.BizTucson.com

PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

Sharon Bronson

Funding and public-private partnerships. This is an all-hands-on-deck issue. We need leadership and investment from the private sector across all industries, and the alignment of all levels of schooling – as well as federal, state and local workforce programs – with the needs of existing and burgeoning new private sector industries.  


www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 73


SUN CORRIDOR INC. CHAIRMAN’S CIRCLE What challenges and opportunities for economic development in this region do you see over the next decade?

The biggest challenge and opportunity for economic development calls for the acknowledgement by regional decision-makers of the direct correlation between educational attainment and economic competitiveness, and of the pressing need to take rapid, collaborative action to raise our state attainment rate to 60%. Arizona currently lags behind the national average by 4.2%, and that gap is projected to grow to more than 6.4% over 30 years. Our economy is highly reliant on service and manual labor and data indicate that those jobs have a significant risk of being replaced by future automation. As a state, we need to choose to design a resilient economy – or better yet, an anti-fragile one – and develop effective pathways for learners to continue and complete their formal education at scale.   What new infrastructure needs to be in place?

Transformational regional economic development requires the advancement of modern, reliable and sustainable infrastructure and built environment, but those alone are not enough. Entrepreneurial, risk-taking and collaborative public organizations and a world-class engineering school are also critical assets. When matched with well-prepared, skilled human capital and a robust economic culture of networked entities that are anchored in technology development and entrepreneurship, meaningful growth and prosperity are demonstrated outcomes.

Michael Crow PRESIDENT ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY

Training a 21st century workforce requires that we conceptualize new educational models that embrace technology, analytics and personalization to more effectively educate learners of all ages at scale. At ASU, we focus on helping our students to “learn how to learn,” so that they are able to work across disciplines, think creatively and adapt to the ever-changing landscape of the modern, global workforce. Progress is not only about college. We need more people to finish high school. There are 25% fewer jobs in the U.S. economy than in 2007 for people with only a high school diploma. We need them to have varied pathways to continue their education, whether it be technical school, community college, online classes or a four-year college. We also need to address the 1.1 million people in Arizona who went to college and never finished. Nearly 900,000 want to finish, so we are creating new ways to make that possible because we need their talent and ideas. If we do not work together as a state to strategically redesign postsecondary learning to support the kind of economy we want, we should not be surprised to see diminishing prosperity and competitiveness going forward. ASU is moving ahead anyway.   What is the local outlook in your industry for the coming year?

74 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

ASU will continue to evolve as an emerging national service university dedicated to growing in excellence, access and impact through the advancement of technology, entrepreneurship and social engagement. We are already designing our university to meet the future needs of the communities we serve, and we are always looking for partners interested in moving Arizona forward.

PHOTO: DEANNA DENT

How do we adapt to technological advances and train the workforce for the fourth industrial revolution?


www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 75


SUN CORRIDOR INC. CHAIRMAN’S CIRCLE What challenges and opportunities for economic development in this region do you see over the next decade?

It’s critical that students in Southern Arizona are increasingly equipped to compete for jobs in the global economy. Fully understanding the outcomes of local education, taking bolder steps to ensure student preparedness and providing competitive employment packages for local teachers should be top priorities. With the U.S. economy performing so strongly, cities and states are competing like never before to entice new business investment. It’s important that we keep Southern Arizona visible and viable in these competitions, which makes Sun Corridor’s mission even more vital to our region’s future. What new infrastructure needs to be in place?

Direct flights to East Coast airports have represented a longstanding need that, if secured, would speed commerce, stimulate our local economy, and make it easier for vacationers to experience the southern part of the state. The blueprint for continuing to develop the Tucson International Airport is the type of zone-oriented plan that can reap benefits for this area. We also need to keep up the momentum of revitalizing Tucson’s downtown, where a new urban lifestyle is beginning to emerge. We need to continue investing smartly in Tucson’s road quality, which is generally improving. How do we adapt to technological advances and train the workforce for the fourth industrial revolution?

VICE PRESIDENT RAYTHEON COMPANY PRESIDENT RAYTHEON MISSILE SYSTEMS

76 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

What is the local outlook in your industry for the coming year?

Arizona remains among the most attractive states for locating an aerospace and defense business. We continue to urge others in our industry, including Raytheon’s suppliers, to locate in Tucson and will do all we can to motivate them. Aerospace Parkway is a great location for high-tech companies and represents a fine example of what can be accomplished when the public and private sectors work productively together on projects for economic growth.

www.BizTucson.com

PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

Wesley D. Kremer

Inspiring, hiring and developing America’s next generation of innovators requires new approaches to talent development. These include stimulating the pursuit of STEM subjects from an early age, on-the-job apprenticeships, guiding local universities on curriculum development and ensuring the right environment and digital workplaces for retaining top technical talent. Arizona’s educators and training programs should be focusing on advanced computing capabilities such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, software engineering and data analysis. A pipeline of advanced digital talent is required for growing hightechnology jobs.  


www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 77


SUN CORRIDOR INC. CHAIRMAN’S CIRCLE What challenges and opportunities for economic development in this region do you see over the next decade?

Southern Arizona economic development in the 2020s will depend on our region’s investment in its people. Schools must provide the region’s current and future employees with the skills to thrive in industries transformed by rapid technological changes and globalization. We also must invest in families and communities. The challenges so many of our neighbors face regarding healthcare, child care and housing must be addressed comprehensively and holistically. Quality education alone will not bring about a prosperous, equitable society. What new infrastructure needs to be in place?

The schools of the future must be planned and built with the cooperation of business and community partners. They must be equipped with the latest in industry and learning technology. As an example, Pima’s new Automotive Technology and Innovation Center, scheduled to go online in early 2021, will feature instruction not only in traditional gas- and dieselpowered vehicles, but in electric and autonomous vehicle technology. Beyond brick-and-mortar structures, business, government, education and nonprofits must collaborate to build flexible education pathways that make the most of students’ limited time and resources while meeting employer expectations. These initiatives must feature multiple on-ramps that allow everyone – from high school students to incumbent workers – to obtain everything from stackable industry-recognized micro-credentials to higher-education degrees. Given that the amount of new technical information doubles every two years, the real infrastructure challenge will be the ability to quickly react and retool in order to remain relevant.

CHANCELLOR & CEO PIMA COMMUNITY COLLEGE

The fourth industrial revolution – an economic transformation triggered by rapid advances in mobile technology, artificial intelligence, cloud-based computing and the Internet of Things – will certainly lead more educators to incorporate digital competencies into their schools’ curriculum. Equally important, however, is to encourage and motivate students to become lifelong learners. The world will change so rapidly that many of the jobs that today’s students will have, haven’t been invented yet. What is the local outlook in your industry for the coming year?

Pima Community College recently was featured in a national white paper, ”Shift Happens @ Pima Community College – The Future of Working and Learning.”  It described the college’s significant shift from a traditional transfer-focused college to a globally engaged school dedicated to meeting the high-tech training needs of the work force and to closing our community’s skills gaps.  This shift was critical to our continued relevance in our higher education space. 78 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

www.BizTucson.com

PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

Lee Lambert

How do we adapt to technological advances and train the workforce for the fourth industrial revolution?


www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 79


SUN CORRIDOR INC. CHAIRMAN’S CIRCLE What challenges and opportunities for economic development in this region do you see over the next decade?

Too many of our neighbors are living in poverty. Our community must make an authentic and sincere effort to address the root causes of poverty in Southern Arizona. During the Great Recession, we learned how to pull together. Over the past six to eight years, we have had excellent cooperation between the public and private sectors. We are definitely more competitive now and that will serve us well in the coming years. What new infrastructure needs to be in our community?

I believe the RTA, our cities and the county have done a good job of prioritizing our infrastructure needs. There is no secret sauce here – infrastructure projects need funding. We must secure our fair share of state and federal infrastructure resources. If that doesn’t get us there, we have to take matters into our own hands and pass more city and county bonds to fund infrastructure projects.

How do we adapt to technological advances and train the workforce for the fourth industrial revolution?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) will continue to have significant impacts on all aspects of our lives. From hospital stays to home entertainment, consumers are demanding smarter products, more transparency and self-service options. The workforce of today is already adapting to the convergence of people and technology. This is not a new phenomenon. It’s Darwinism. What is the local outlook in your industry for the coming years?

Lisa Lovallo

Telecommunications infrastructure remains a top priority for every community. In Southern Arizona, Cox is building out a new network platform that improves reliability, delivers 10-gig speeds and keeps the region competitive. We are working with all of our regional governments to provide smart city solutions to better manage water resources, traffic flows and public safety. There is no end to the possibilities.

PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

MARKET VICE PRESIDENT SOUTHERN ARIZONA COX COMMUNICATIONS

80 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

www.BizTucson.com


www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 81


SUN CORRIDOR INC. CHAIRMAN’S CIRCLE – DOD LIAISON What challenges and opportunities for economic development in this region do you see over the next decade?

From my perspective as the 162nd Wing Commander, I feel that we help meet the challenges in economic development by taking advantage of our great climate, abundant airspace and land resources. They make for great training and draw financial and other resources here from around the globe to integrate military activity locally. Opportunity comes in areas outside those natural advantages by embracing efforts in cyber, space and other innovative fields. What new infrastructure needs to be in place?  

Arizona has one of the fastest growing populations in the nation. With that, we have a duty to support the need for our nation’s defense. We can do this by continuing our current efforts to improve the strength, redundancy and accessibility of multiple logistics and communication nodes that support increased business in our community.

How do we adapt to technological advances and train the workforce for the fourth industrial revolution?

We need to welcome efforts in technological advances such as artificial intelligence, robotics and cyber. However, we also need a renewed focus on supporting our diverse work force in skilled areas such as welding, metal works and tooling.   Those fields still provide the backbone of most production and manufacturing. In fact, these areas intertwine at times with technological advancement.  What is the local outlook in your industry for the coming year?

Brigadier General

Andrew J. MacDonald

We will invest in new communications equipment and continue innovative efforts in the air, space and cyber environments. Currently, there are multiple innovation labs working on improving military capabilities.  Most recently, the National Guard Bureau funded the creation of a hub-like facility here in downtown Tucson. That facility will focus on developing and testing innovative ideas and technological advances in a multitude of disciplines within the Air National Guard.   

82 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

COMMANDER 162ND WING MORRIS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE

www.BizTucson.com


www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 83


SUN CORRIDOR INC. CHAIRMAN’S CIRCLE What challenges and opportunities for economic development in this region do you see over the next decade?

We must align at every level regarding the value of incentives. Rio Nuevo has used a number of incentives to attract billions of dollars of economic development to downtown Tucson. However, Rio Nuevo is a taxing district exempt from the Arizona constitutional “gift clause” that prohibits every other regional jurisdiction from using tax dollars to incentivize private development. A number of underdeveloped areas in our region could be designated as a Tax Incremental Financing District. We have elected officials who continue to oppose incentives, despite dramatic and positive results. Florida has 207 TIFs. Rio Nuevo is Arizona’s only TIF and the state has had no interest in launching another. That perception has changed in the last year due to the success of Rio Nuevo, the 10-year extension approved by the legislature and the rules of engagement established by the Rio Nuevo Board. It’s time to use the TIF tool to its fullest advantage. What new infrastructure needs to be in place?

The downtown links project needs to accelerate its development pace and traffic planners need an equally creative solution for east/west crosstown traffic. My grandfather moved here in 1929 and we are driving the same surface streets he did when Tucson was a town of 35,000. An improved rail system south to Mexico and north to the western United States could enable Guaymas to serve as a deep-water port with faster access to U.S. markets than the port of Long Beach. How do we adapt to technological advances and train the workforce for the fourth industrial revolution?

CEO UAVENTURE CAPITAL

84 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

What is the local outlook in your industry for the coming year?

As the first venture capital fund dedicated to UArizona science and technology, we are bullish about the outlook for startups in our region. UAVenture Capital has made 13 investments in new startups in 18 months. Combine the availability of growth capital with the rapidly developing startup ecosystem evolving in the region and Tucson will become one of the most welcoming communities in the United States, perhaps the world, for new innovation and company launch activity.

www.BizTucson.com

PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

Fletcher McCusker

Encourage tech jobs, new tech companies, tech spin outs from the University of Arizona, Raytheon Missile Systems and Caterpillar’s Surface Mining and Technology division, smart city commitment and installation of 5G technology. Combine that with aggressive recruitment of tech industries that shows Tucson can compete with Austin, Portland and San Diego. We need to get a higher percentage of our high school students into college or into a technical field so our workforce can keep pace with the disruption generated by the fourth industrial revolution.


www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 85


SUN CORRIDOR INC. CHAIRMAN’S CIRCLE What challenges and opportunities for economic development in this region do you see over the next decade?

I think our opportunity over the next decade is to build on the success we have had in recent years. We don’t always get on the radar of firms who are looking to relocate or expand, so we will be constantly challenged to keep Tucson and Southern Arizona in the conversation.     What new infrastructure needs to be in place?

Much of the infrastructure is right where it needs to be, but we would benefit from more direct flights to major cities, and more class A office space that is ready to occupy. We also need to make sure we are sustaining our economic development infrastructure so that we keep a high profile for our region. How do we adapt to technological advances and train the workforce for the fourth industrial revolution?

We are lucky to have institutions like the University of Arizona and Pima Community College educating our next generation of leadership in Tucson. Industry investment and involvement with these institutions will help to define the needs of the modern workplace.     What is the local outlook in your industry for the coming year?

The construction industry has experienced a resurgence in recent years, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. The recovery has been particularly good in Southern Arizona. The pipeline of projects continues to grow, so the outlook for construction in the near future is also bright. All the architects I know are busy, so that is a good indicator for people in the construction industry.

Ian McDowell

86 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

VP & REGIONAL DIRECTOR TUCSON SUNDT CONSTRUCTION

www.BizTucson.com


www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 87


SUN CORRIDOR INC. CHAIRMAN’S CIRCLE What challenges and opportunities for economic development in this region do you see over the next decade?

The Pima County Industrial Development Authority (IDA) believes the challenges over the next decade to regional economic development in Pima County are three-fold: rising costs in education, rising student loan debts and availability of jobs with attractive wages to meet the new workforce’s financial needs. These challenges must be reconciled in effort to sustain a highquality workforce that the community needs. What new infrastructure needs to be in place?

We at the Pima IDA feel the community’s transportation infrastructure needs to be repaired, maintained, expanded and improved to address the needs of a changing workforce and the economic opportunities in the region. How do we adapt to technological advances and train the workforce for the fourth industrial revolution?

We believe we need to scrap the outdated traditional forms of education and enter a new educational paradigm. Online learning and job-specific training will be essential to training the future workforce. Traditional education needs to adapt to new models that look outward and tailor their programs to meet the specific needs of students in relation to employers. What is the local outlook in your industry for the coming year?

Low interest rates may continue to provide beneficial project based financings, on which the IDA assists, which the Pima County community can always use and which will better our standard of living. The needs in our nonprofit community and for affordable housing will continue in the short-term.

Diane Quihuis

88 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

BOARD OF DIRECTORS & TREASURER PIMA COUNTY INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY

www.BizTucson.com


www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 89


SUN CORRIDOR INC. CHAIRMANâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S CIRCLE What challenges and opportunities for economic development in this region do you see over the next decade?

One challenge to Arizona includes developing a highly educated workforce with the right skills to compete. Currently, Arizona lags most states in K-12 and post-secondary education, and it shows. Top talent leaves the region, especially Southern Arizona, for more lucrative opportunities elsewhere. Many businesses need an educated workforce and want good schools for their own families. Southern Arizona needs to step up and provide quality, affordable education to its residents. Also, the state needs to ensure the right mix of medical doctors and advance-care providers to care for our aging population. What new infrastructure needs to be in place?

In addition to fixing crumbling roads, bridges and 20th-century infrastructure, Arizona needs to ensure high-speed, affordable digital access to all areas throughout the state. The more affordable, the better. How do we adapt to technological advances and train the workforce for the fourth industrial revolution?

The future of health care includes providing the right health care in the right setting at the right time. With an aging population, the need to access quality health care is only going to grow â&#x20AC;&#x201C; especially in rural areas where access to services continues to be a problem. With the right digital tools, a great deal of health care in the future will be delivered remotely. What is the local outlook in your industry for the coming year?

Judy Rich

PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

PRESIDENT & CEO TMC HEALTHCARE

In Southern Arizona, we expect to continue to be challenged to find trained, experienced nurses, doctors and other critical health care professionals. And, while we recruit and train, we also need to look for new ways to expand access without stretching our workforce. People can access a doctor from their smartphone in their homes for minor illnesses. Rural communities are offering telehealth services with specialists to help patients manage chronic conditions. Technology is helping to address a lack of access to care in smaller, more rural areas, which can have a hard time recruiting physicians in primary and specialty care.

90 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

www.BizTucson.com


SUN CORRIDOR INC. CHAIRMAN’S CIRCLE What challenges and opportunities for economic development in this region do you see over the next decade?

One of our biggest challenges is improving educational attainment for Arizona, an area where we have a lot of opportunity. We have amazing potential as a region, and if we can continue to work strategically throughout the K-20 ecosystem to make the most of our unique assets, develop new talent and encourage new ideas to reach fruition, we will have the foundation for long-term success. This means increased degree attainment and training programs oriented to the needs and challenges of the fourth industrial revolution economy. What new infrastructure needs to be in place?

Infrastructure is not just physical. We need a robust, statewide innovation ecosystem, and the University of Arizona is committed to our role. One way we help shape the conditions to retain talented entrepreneurs and innovators in Arizona is with facilities and programs to support companies as they launch. We opened the UA Center for Innovation at Oro Valley, an expansion of the Arizona Center for Innovation. This new location serves as a new bioscience incubator that advances scientific breakthroughs from laboratory to market. How do we adapt to technological advances and train the workforce for the fourth industrial revolution?

We need to stay open to the positive aspects of automation and artificial intelligence. If used wisely, these technologies can relieve employees of routine tasks and free them for more creative, collaborative and fulfilling work. A college education will become more important, as it will be essential at all levels of the workforce to have people who combine a general education rich in the arts and humanities with deep technical knowledge. This ensures highly skilled workers are highly skilled in working with others, which is why our students become stellar team members and critical thinkers.

PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

What is the local outlook in your industry for the coming year?

We are one year into implementing our new strategic plan, with over 65% of our initiatives launched. The University of Arizona is strengthening our expertise in research and education, accelerating the pace of innovation and creating meaningful ways to engage with our community globally to stay on the forefront of the fourth industrial revolution. This includes commercializing products to meet people’s needs around the world. We have incredible partners like UAVenture Capital to help us. We have exciting things to come, including the launch of our health sciences initiatives. We intend to reach our ambitious goals to serve Arizona students; meet our state’s need for healthcare professionals, especially physicians and nurses, and become a national leader in healthcare and health sciences research.

Dr. Robert C. Robbins PRESIDENT UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 91


SUN CORRIDOR INC. CHAIRMANâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S CIRCLE What challenges and opportunities for economic development in this region do you see over the next decade?

The U.S. economy is the big unknown and may represent the biggest challenge. Tucson has done an amazing job of diversifying its job base since the last recession and now counts aerospace, biotech, defense, tourism, mining, design and manufacturing and higher education among its employers, which should lessen the effects of future downturns. The success of Sun Corridor Inc. in attracting significant new businesses in the region is evident. The group identified a need for speculative industrial development to help attract businesses and we are filling that need with a new stateof-the-art project in the airport sub market. We have seen firsthand the collaborative efforts of the county, the City of Tucson, the business community, and the University of Arizona to make our project a reality. What new infrastructure needs to be in place?

A tremendous improvement to area infrastructure has taken place over the last decade. I remember visiting Tucson about 14 years ago to look at potential development sites. The downtown area was largely vacant with little energy that we could see. Things have changed in very positive ways. The Sun Link line has done wonders to bring life to downtown and the new and planned hotels are creating a buzz. The airport area represents a great opportunity for a visionary plan and should play a big part in attracting new business. There is a pressing need for improving existing roads to attract and maintain the tenants we serve. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve had some positive conversations with city and county leaders and remain optimistic that this issue will be addressed. How do we adapt to technological advances and train the workforce for the fourth industrial revolution?

SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT & REGIONAL MANAGER HARSCH INVESTMENT PROPERTIES

92 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

What is the local outlook in your industry for the coming year?

The local commercial brokerage industry provides us with very detailed and professional reports, which show a very low vacancy rate in the industrial sector and very little new product coming on line. Those metrics, combined with the companies that Sun Corridor Inc. is working with to potentially locate to Tucson, provide a great outlook to my industry.

www.BizTucson.com

PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

Bill Rodewald

The key to adaptation will be the ability of the community and its businesses to get ahead of potential issues and opportunities. Understanding which industries will be disrupted and which jobs will be automatable can help prepare for the future. At Harsch Investment Properties, we look at the future of self-driving trucks, re-use options for parking lots and parking structures, the growth of e-commerce and the expansion of artificial intelligence in the warehouse environment.


SUN CORRIDOR INC. CHAIRMAN’S CIRCLE What challenges and opportunities for economic development in this region do you see over the next decade?

Attracting businesses and talent to the region will require an ongoing focus on equipping our schools, colleges and universities to effectively prepare our future workforce. Businesses need a growing pool of talent we can draw from with the type of skill sets we need to be successful in the marketplace. It’s also critical that we maintain a business-friendly environment and tax structure to continue attracting diverse industries to the region. I was excited to learn from Arizona Governor Doug Ducey that Tucson is emerging as one of the country’s leading centers of technology. This is an important distinction to promote as we compete with other cities for business.   What new infrastructure needs to be in place?

First, we need to ensure our current roads and highways are maintained effectively. Traffic will become more of an issue as we continue to grow, so we should be exploring better access points and routes to navigate the city more quickly. We don’t want the workforce spending large amounts of time getting to and from work. Easy and quick access to the city is also critical, so the major expansion planned at Tucson International Airport over the next five years is also a huge plus. How do we adapt to technological advances and train the workforce for the fourth industrial revolution?

Jean Savage VICE PRESIDENT CATERPILLAR SURFACE MINING & TECHNOLOGY DIVISION

PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

There is definitely a race for the top talent in many industries. For example, autonomy is something that many college students want to work on and they want to work at a company with proven results. One of our key focus areas is building the team we need to support the future of the mining industry. We’re working with universities and looking inside and outside of Caterpillar to find and develop the people who will lead us into the future. We need engineers focused on automation and mining to help us research and develop new offerings, as well as, talented people to work on site with our customers to make sure they’re getting the full benefit of what technology and automation can do for their operations. Our employees focused on technology and specifically, autonomy, receive first-hand customer interaction, knowledge and have some of the most coveted jobs in the company.  

www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 93


SUN CORRIDOR INC. CHAIRMAN’S CIRCLE What challenges and opportunities for economic development in this region do you see over the next decade?

Challenges: Pinal County has emerged as a preferred location for new technology startups such as Lucid Motors, an electric car manufacturer, and Nikola Motor Company, a hybrid truck design and manufacturing company. To meet the challenging workforce needs of these industries and many others, a group of diverse partners has banded together to ensure we’re ready to meet all challenges. Pinal County’s prime location between two major metropolitan areas with a growing population of nearly 500,000 people gives us a distinct advantage for finding this talented workforce. Opportunities: Assets that make Pinal County a strong regional partner include a favorable mid-range corporate tax burden and several federally designated Opportunity Zones that offer investors significant tax investment advantages. To build upon the momentum that’s already been created, Pinal County has created the “Arizona Innovation and Technology Corridor.” This corridor encompasses Pinal and much of Maricopa and Pima counties. With the assistance of the University of Arizona, a framework for the corridor is being formulated to manage its growth and foster prosperity. What new infrastructure needs to be in place?

SUPERVISOR, DISTRICT 4 PINAL COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

94 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

How do we adapt to technological advances and train the workforce for the fourth industrial revolution?

This is a national challenge and one that requires a long-term commitment. In Pinal County, educational leaders are working with the business community to implement strategies to serve traditional markets such as housing, mining and the agricultural industry while also meeting the new challenges of our growing number of high-tech businesses.  

www.BizTucson.com

PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

Anthony Smith

Pinal County has a rich inventory of infrastructure assets for moving goods, services and people. The county is home to the Union Pacific Railroad main southern line, two major interstates and has close access to three major international airports. To increase economic development and stimulate additional commerce with Mexico, Interstate-11 is being planned to strengthen an already robust transportation network. Recently, our Arizona senators announced that a $15 million BUILD (Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development) grant was awarded to Pinal County and the city of Coolidge to improve roadways and railroad crossings. This win will benefit not only Pinal County, but all of Arizona.


SUN CORRIDOR INC. CHAIRMAN’S CIRCLE What challenges and opportunities for economic development in this region do you see over the next decade?

Arizona is perfectly positioned to continue our momentum over the next decade. Economist Jim Rounds predicts the 2020s could be our best yet, based on current indicators. Under Gov. Doug Ducey’s leadership, Arizona is experiencing incredible economic success. Since 2015, we’ve added 300,000 new jobs and rank among the top five U.S. states for growth in personal income, employment and population. A recent report from the American Enterprise Institute shows Arizona is first in the nation for inbound migration. This demonstrates Arizona’s excellent economic opportunities and quality of life. The growth we’re seeing in Southern Arizona is especially exciting! Over the last five years, the Tucson metro area has experienced a 90% increase in tech jobs and 29% in wage growth--the top “Opportunity Market” in CBRE’s 2019 Scoring Tech Talent rankings. What new infrastructure needs to be in place?

Our state is consistently recognized for our modern infrastructure – a critical part of ensuring supply-chain efficiency, access to millions of consumers and easy commutes. Southern Arizona’s private sector works with organizations like the Southern Arizona Leadership Council’s Infrastructure Committee, working with local and regional governments to ensure Arizona’s infrastructure continues to facilitate economic prosperity and high quality of life. How do we adapt to technological advances and train the workforce for the fourth industrial revolution?

This is one of the most critical topics discussed worldwide as economic frameworks are being rapidly altered by automation. In Arizona, our business and community leaders are working to train the workforce of the future. A great example of this is the Arizona Advanced Technologies Network, a historic collaboration among Pima Community College, Central Arizona College, Maricopa Community Colleges and private industry facilitated by the Arizona Commerce Authority. The initiative provides a standardized curriculum for advanced manufacturing, ensuring companies can access a steady pipeline of talent.   What is the local outlook in your industry for the coming year? 

As we head into 2020, I’m very optimistic about Arizona’s economic development prospects. My team and I talk to business leaders every day, and there is a high level of interest in what we have going on in Arizona. Gov. Ducey’s commitment to smart policies has earned our state a reputation as a hub for innovation and technology. Arizona is growing new ventures and attracting established players doing amazing work in automated mobility, blockchain, biotechnology, artificial intelligence, the internet of things and cybersecurity. The advancements made by these companies could potentially solve global challenges in health care, access to food and water, urban mobility, connectivity and more.

Sandra Watson PRESIDENT & CEO ARIZONA COMMERCE AUTHORITY

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 95


SUN CORRIDOR INC. CHAIRMAN’S CIRCLE What challenges and opportunities for economic development in this region do you see over the next decade?

Preserving Tucson for what makes it special is important, yet that can present challenges when competing with other cities and regions that may be more willing to adapt and remain flexible. In addition to the natural beauty and resources, we have an internationally known university and a community pride that is palpable. New companies have come in to Tucson recently and existing ones have grown. We need to continue attracting businesses and people who are part of a future-focused, diversified economy. Several cities have figured out how to walk that fine line of being true to their history while growing and thriving in new and different ways. To me, this is both our greatest challenge and opportunity. What new infrastructure needs to be in place?

I believe the two areas of greatest need are a forward-looking regional transportation system to support a growing region and an educational system that prepares our students of today to be the workers and leaders for tomorrow. These systems must imagine future needs and address foundational factors that contribute to the great economic divide we face here. How do we adapt to technological advances and train the workforce for the fourth industrial revolution?

CEO BANNER – UNIVERSITY MEDICINE TUCSON

96 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

What is the local outlook in your industry for the coming year?

While health care is local, the challenges we face are far bigger. Affordability, aging populations, consumerism and rapid technological advances are just some of the forces we face. These uncertainties may seem scary, but I see them as incredible opportunities. We will likely see more provider consolidations, new insurance options and technologies that make it easier for people to access care. Other areas of the country have already had to face many of these challenges, so I believe we can learn from the mistakes and successes of others to make the transitions easier here.

www.BizTucson.com

PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

Chad Whelan

To not only adapt to but also develop these advances, we must create an environment that attracts innovative thinking and partnerships across our economy. Similarly, we need a future-ready workforce. Unfortunately, not every student is prepared for even today’s economy. We need to attract from afar and retain from within those who are trained, but that is not enough. We must invest in programs that start early and continue to assure that all our students are prepared, be it through vocational training, our great community colleges or traditional four-year degrees and beyond.


SUN CORRIDOR INC. BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Mara G. Aspinall

Mara G. Aspinall

Managing Director, BlueStone Venture Partners CEO, Health Catalysts Groups A $50 million venture capital fund focused on life sciences investments in the Southwestern states. Aspinall serves on the board of directors of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Allscripts, Orasure, 3Scan and Castle Biosciences. She’s the co-founder of ASU International School of Biomedical Diagnostics, the only school in the world focused entirely on the study of diagnostics.

Jean-Claude Bernard

Finance Manager – Service Center Network Bombardier – Tucson Global leader in aviation and transportation headquartered in Montreal with over 68,100 employees worldwide and products in over 100 countries. $16.2 billion in revenues for 2018. Tucson facility serves the aftermarket business servicing in-service commercial and business aircraft. Has been present in Tucson since 1975 through Learjet Inc. Largest Bombardier service center in the world, providing aircraft maintenance, interior refurbishment and paint services to customers worldwide.

Jean-Claude Bernard

Don Bourn

Don Bourn

CEO Bourn Companies Founded in 1990 and headquartered in Tucson. Privately held real estate development and investment company, specializing in large-scale mixed-use projects, corporate office and retail properties. Completed more than 4 million square feet of projects across Tucson and the Western United States.

Jaime S. Chamberlain

Chairman Greater Nogales and Santa Cruz County Port Authority Founded in December 2004. Brings together key stakeholders from the area to address improving Arizona’s largest port facilities, streamlining the crossing process at the Nogales ports of entry and enhancing economic development in the Nogales-Santa Cruz County region.

Jaime S. Chamberlain

The Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales processes 600,000 commercial vehicles annually, which equates to $30 billion in imports into the U.S. and $11 billion in exports into Mexico.

Joe Coyle

Managing Director The Patrick Group Management consulting and executive search for the aerospace and healthcare fields. Coyle previously held senior executive positions with Raytheon Missile Systems, Hughes Aircraft, Loral Aerospace and Ford Motor Companies.

Joe Coyle

www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 97


SUN CORRIDOR INC. BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Jon Dudas

Tom Florino

Jon Dudas

Senior VP and Chief of Staff University of Arizona Founded in 1885. A land-grant university with over 45,900 students. Ranks in the top 20 among all U.S. public research institutions and top 35 overall nationwide with more than $687 million annually in total research activity. University’s research ranks in the top 50 in health sciences and No. 1 in astronomy and astrophysics.

Ali J. Farhang

Managing Partner Farhang & Medcoff

Ali J. Farhang

Firm has offices in Tucson and Phoenix. Practices business consultation, commercial litigation, labor and employment law, and various regulatory issues. Co-owner of the Tucson Sugar Skulls, chairman and founder of the Arizona Bowl and member of the Southern Arizona Leadership Council. Pro bono general counsel for the Boys and Girls Club of Tucson and a Salpointe Catholic High School football coach. Co-host of the Sports Exchange, ESPN Tucson Radio 104.9FM/1490AM.

Marc D. Fleischman CEO BeachFleischman

Marc D. Fleischman

98 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

Sarah Frost

entrepreneurs in the U.S., Mexico and Canada. Helps clients enhance profitability, develop strategy, scale growth, save taxes, achieve compliance, improve accountability and protect wealth.

Tom Florino

Senior Manager, Public Policy Amazon Leads economic development for Amazon Studios worldwide. Supports retail operations and corporate expansion in the Western U.S. and Asian-Pacific region. Leads engagement with global emerging markets and indigenous peoples. Manages the economic development compliance team.

Sarah Frost

CEO Banner – University Medical Center Tucson Banner – University Medical Center South Nonprofit health system making the highest level of care accessible for Arizona residents. Nearly 7,000 employees providing exceptional patient care, teaching future healthcare professionals and conducting ground-breaking research. Opened a $450 million hospital in April 2019.

Largest locally owned public accounting and consulting firm in Arizona with offices in Tucson and Phoenix.

Partnership between the University of Arizona and Banner allows for aligned leadership of academic research and clinical care delivery.

“Top 200” largest public accounting firms in the nation.

Banner’s 2018 economic impact in Tucson was $727 million.

Serves more than 7,000 private enterprises, nonprofit organizations and

www.BizTucson.com


SUN CORRIDOR INC. BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Edmundo M. Gamillo

Michael Groeger

Edmundo M. Gamillo

Lawrence M. Hecker

The U.S. consumer and commercial banking business of JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Spent 47 years practicing law in Tucson.

Executive Director Commercial Banking Chase

Serves nearly half of America’s households with a broad range of financial services. Part of Arizona’s history for more than 100 years through its predecessors Valley National Bank and the Gila Valley Bank. 350 employees, 35 branches and 85 ATMs in Southern Arizona. In 2018, donated $260,000 to charities in Southern Arizona, including the Primavera Foundation.

Michael Groeger

Managing Member Hecker & Pew Of Counsel, Sun Corridor Inc.

1993-2020 named among Best Lawyers in America in corporate law; business organizations, including LLCs and partnerships; corporate governance law, and venture capital law. Practice has been recognized among Best Law Firms in America.  

Mary Jacobs

Town Manager Town of Oro Valley Incorporated 1974 Population: 43,565 Median household income: $74,480

VP, Commercial Group & Specialty Sales Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona

Oro Valley is home to global bioscience and high-tech companies.

Committed to helping Arizonans get healthier faster and stay healthier longer.

CEO El Rio Health

Offers health insurance and related services to more than 1.5 million customers with a focus on connecting people with the care they need. A not-for-profit company and an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Employs more than 1,800 people in its Phoenix, Chandler, Flagstaff and Tucson offices. Inspires health through advanced clinical programs and community outreach.

Lawrence M. Hecker

Mary Jacobs

Nancy J. Johnson Founded 50 years ago as a small neighborhood health center. The 20th largest health center in the nation, providing fully integrated health care for over 110,000 individuals in the Tucson community.   Offers medical, dental, behavioral health, laboratory, radiology, pharmacy and health and wellness services at their 12 locations across Tucson.  Has a $180 million budget and over 1,400 employees.

Nancy J. Johnson

www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 99


SUN CORRIDOR INC. BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Ernest Jones

Steve Lace

Ernest Jones

Senior Director, Call Center Operations Comcast Tucson Leads a team of more than 1,100 employees in Tucson and Georgia who provide support for residential products and services. Spanish-speaking employees specialize in customer service online and through social media channels. Sits on the board of directors for United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona.

Bill Kelley

CFO Diamond Ventures Founded 1988.

Bill Kelley

Privately held company specializing in real estate development and private equity investments. 2 million-plus square feet of developed industrial, office and retail projects. 20,000-plus acres of developed and planned residential projects.

Dr. Clinton Kuntz CEO MHC Healthcare Founded in 1957.

Arizona’s oldest community health center and the state’s first nonprofit community health center to integrate medical and behavioral healthcare into one facility. Serves Marana and greater Tucson in primary care, behavioral health, dental, radiology, lab, pharmacy, urgent care, women’s health and WIC. 15 health centers in the MHC Healthcare family serve more than 55,000 patients a year and employ more than 550 employees.

Dr. Clinton Kuntz

100 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

Robert Lamb

Steve Lace

Past President Tucson New Car Dealers Association VP Royal Automotive Group & Lexus of Tucson The Tucson New Car Dealers Association was established 1947 by dealers to offer support for economic development and transportation initiatives.

Robert Lamb

COO GLHN Architects & Engineers Established 1963. Employee-owned company offers services in architecture and mechanical, electrical, civil and technology engineering. 70-plus employees work in Tucson and Phoenix offices.

David Larson

President BFL Construction Co. Ranked among Tucson’s top 10 commercial contractors. $100 million in annual revenues with 50 FTE. In January 2018, BFL Construction Co. became part of JV Driver Group, an international construction firm headquartered in Canada. Has a Phoenix office, as well as the Tucson headquarters.

Clint Mabie

President & CEO Community Foundation for Southern Arizona Created in 1980 to help connect individuals, families and businesses to the causes they care about by serving as a vital link between philanthropy and the community’s needs. In partnership with its donors, has awarded more than $200 million to regional nonprofits and educational institutions.

www.BizTucson.com


SUN CORRIDOR INC. BOARD OF DIRECTORS

David Larson

Clint Mabie

Xavier Manrique

Kelle Maslyn

Edmund Marquez

Xavier Manrique Senior VP Wells Fargo

In 2008 celebrated its 150th anniversary in Arizona, dating from when the Overland Mail came to the state. Service was suspended during the Civil War. Returned to Arizona in 1877 with five offices – including Phoenix and Tucson. Today is Arizona’s fourth largest corporate employer. In 2017 provided over $6.9 million to Arizona nonprofits and schools through corporate and foundation giving and over 113,000 volunteer hours contributed by team members.

Edmund Marquez

Agency Principal Edmund Marquez Allstate Agencies Founded in 1996. Largest Allstate group in Southern Arizona. Serves on the boards of Rio Nuevo, Reid Park Zoological Society and Southern Arizona Leadership Council. Chairs the United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona and is past-chair of the Pima Community College Foundation. Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 2004 Businessman of the Year and 2016 Father of the Year.

Enrique J. Marroquin President, Hunt Mexico Senior VP, Hunt Power

Part of Hunt Consolidated, a diversified holding company for a privately owned group of entities based in Dallas. Includes oil and gas exploration and production, refining, liquefied natural gas, power, real estate, investments, ranching and infrastructure.

www.BizTucson.com

Hunt Power develops and invests in entrepreneurial electric and gas utility opportunities. Hunt Mexico seeks investment opportunities, including infrastructure, power marketing and energy resource management.

Kelle Maslyn

Executive Director of Community & Corporate Engagement, Tucson Arizona State University ASU’s nationally and internationally ranked programs prepare next-generation innovators while advancing pioneering research, strategic partnerships, entrepreneurship and economic development. Top 1% of the world’s most prestigious universities, top 10 for best undergraduate teaching nationwide and in the world for patents, No. 1 in the U.S. for innovation, No. 5 in the nation for producing the best-qualified graduates and No. 2 online degree program in the nation.

Enrique J. Marroquin

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 101


SUN CORRIDOR INC. BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Omar Mireles

Tom Murphy

Omar Mireles

Arizona’s fifth youngest town.

Owns and operates 38 apartment communities in Arizona, including 31 in the Tucson metro area, totaling more than 10,000 apartment homes.

Focus on economic development is embodied in Sahuarita Advanced Manufacturing and Technology Center (SAMTEC), a project that will establish a high-tech business incubator and offer opportunities to firms seeking relocation or expansion.

Owns and operates hotels and resorts, including the Hilton Tucson El Conquistador Resort and The Ritz Carlton, Dove Mountain.

Known for its well-maintained infrastructure, great schools, pristine neighborhoods, highly educated population and strong community spirit.

Mark Mistler

Steve Odenkirk

President HSL Properties Founded 1975.

CEO – Tucson & Southern Arizona BBVA

Mark Mistler

Ranks among the top 25 largest U.S. banks with 672 branches and 15 Southern Arizona branches. Benefits Southern Arizona charitable organizations through employee volunteerism and financial contributions.

Farhad Moghimi

Executive Director Pima Association of Governments/ Regional Transportation Authority Coordinates regional planning efforts to enhance mobility, sustainability, livability and economic vitality of the region. Programs federal, state, regional and local funding for all regional transportation investments. Manages the locally funded RTA and its 20-year, $2.1 billion regional transportation plan.

102 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

Executive Director, Southern Region Manager Alliance Bank of Arizona, a division of Western Alliance Bank. Member FDIC. Founded in 2003. Offers a full spectrum of loan, deposit and treasury management capabilities with 10 offices in Tucson, Greater Phoenix and Flagstaff. Earned the 2018 Corporate Philanthropy Award from the Phoenix Business Journal. Ranked No. 1 regional bank by S&P Global Market Intelligence for 2018 and in the Top 10 on the Forbes “Best Banks in America” list from 2016 to 2019.

Jon Post

Vice Mayor Town of Marana

Tom Murphy

Marana native owns the 6,000-acre Post Farms and the Marana Pumpkin Patch. Crops include cotton, wheat, corn and alfalfa.

Population – 30,225 Median Household Income – $73,579 Full-time-equivalent employees – 129 Incorporated in 1994.

Elected Marana vice mayor in 2013. Served on the board of directors for Trico Electric Co-Op, Cortaro Water Users Association and Cortaro Marana Irrigation District.

Mayor Town of Sahuarita

Farhad Moghimi

Steve Odenkirk

www.BizTucson.com


SUN CORRIDOR INC. BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Jon Post

Charles P. Potucek

Barbi Reuter

Adriana Kong Romero

Walter Richter

Served as chairman of Marana’s Planning and Zoning Commission and was president of the Marana Junior Rodeo Association.

Charles P. Potucek

City Manager City of Sierra Vista Population – 43,888 Home of Fort Huachuca, largest military installation in Arizona. Member of the Great American Defense Communities Class of 2017.

Barbi Reuter

President / CEO Cushman & Wakefield|PICOR Commercial Real Estate Services Founded in Tucson in 1985. A leading independently owned, full-service commercial real estate company. Licensed in Southern Arizona and Sonora, Mexico. Provides services in office, retail, industrial, medical, multi-family and land sectors.

Walter Richter

Public Affairs Administrator Southwest Gas Corporation Founded in 1931.

Serves more than two million residential, commercial and industrial customers in parts of Arizona, Nevada and California.

Randy Rogers

CEO Tucson Association of REALTORS® Represents more than 6,000 members and is the largest trade association in Southern Arizona. Advocates for homeownership and property rights issues. Invests in the community through membership engagement in the Tucson REALTORS® Charitable Foundation.

www.BizTucson.com

Adriana Kong Romero Senior VP Tucson Market President Bank of America

Through its commitment to the community, has invested more than $1.8 million in grants and matching gifts to local nonprofits over the past five years. Last year, employees volunteered more than 3,000 hours in service to the community and provided more than $250 million in loans to Tucson businesses.

Randy Rogers

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 103


SUN CORRIDOR INC. BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Regina Romero

Mary Seely

Regina Romero

Mayor City of Tucson Incorporated: 1877 Population: 535,677 Median household income: $51,425 First woman and first Latina to become mayor. First Latina to be elected to the Tucson City Council. First woman to represent Ward 1 on the Tucson City Council. Co-founder and board member of Arizona Association of Latino Elected Officials (AALEO).

Steven E. Rosenberg

Recipient of the Ohtli Award, the highest Mexican government honor given to a U.S. citizen.

Steven E. Rosenberg

Publisher & Owner BizTucson Founded in Spring 2009, BizTucson is the region’s business magazine BizTucson provides in-depth coverage of the region’s business news, including economic development, university research, downtown revitalization, technology, construction, real estate, space industry, entrepreneurship, education, government, sports, health care, workforce development, the arts, education, tourism, defense, aviation, bioscience, non-profits Published quarterly in print and online at BizTucson.com, the magazine has received regional and national awards

Keri Lazarus Silvyn

Jeffrey S. Rothstein VP & Head of Legal Roche Tissue Diagnostics

A world leader and innovator of tissuebased cancer diagnostic solutions. Provides 250-plus cancer tests with related instruments globally to improve outcomes for the 14 million people diagnosed with cancer annually.

Mary Seely

Lead Human Resources Manager Caterpillar Surface Mining & Technology Division The world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. The Tucson Mining Center is headquarters for its Surface Mining & Technology Division and serves as the division’s primary hub for design, sales and technology. The Tucson Proving Ground and Tinaja Hills Demonstration and Learning Center are in Green Valley. About 700 people work at the three facilities.

Keri Lazarus Silvyn Partner/Owner Lazarus, Silvyn & Bangs

Arizona’s preeminent land-use law firm with offices in Phoenix and Tucson. Specializes in zoning, land use, entitlements, development agreements and project approvals. Represents local jurisdictions to drafting land use codes and ordinances.

Jeffrey S. Rothstein

104 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

Silvyn serves as chair of the Arizona State Land Board of Appeals and serves on the Tucson Airport Authority Board of Directors.

www.BizTucson.com


SUN CORRIDOR INC. BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Kevin Stockton

Kevin Stockton

Regional President and Market CEO Northwest Healthcare An integrated network of Northwest Medical Center and Oro Valley Hospital, Northwest Emergency Centers, Northwest Urgent Care Centers and physician practices, including Northwest Allied Physicians and Northwest Cardiology. Will open Northwest Medical Center Sahuarita in fall 2020 and Northwest Medical Center Houghton in 2021. Offers online check-in for emergencyroom and urgent-care visits and online scheduling for primary-care appointments. Employs more than 2,200 people.

James V. Stover

Medicaid President Arizona Complete Health (Formerly Health Net of Arizona and Cenpatico Integrated Care) Serves about 350,000 Arizonans across 10 counties through Medicare Advantage, Marketplace and Medicaid by using a whole-health, community-based local approach to healthcare.

Offices in Tucson, Tempe, Yuma, Casa Grande, Sierra Vista employ nearly 2,000 with emphasis on supporting diversity and inclusion. A subsidiary of Centene, a Fortune 500 company, a diversified, multi-national healthcare enterprise that provides services to government-sponsored healthcare programs, focusing on underinsured and uninsured individuals.

James Stover

Jim Tofel

Jim Tofel

Managing Member of Development Tofel Dent Construction Formed in 1984. A third-party general contractor specializing in commercial, hospitality and multi-family housing construction in the Southwest.

Col. Sandra L. Wilson

DoD Liaison to Board of Directors 162d Wing Mission Support Group Commander Morris Air National Guard Base Provides primary support for military and civilian functions for the largest full-time force in the Air National Guard, including civil engineering, fire department, communications, contracting, logistics readiness, force support and security forces.

Col. Sandra L. Wilson

Steven G. Zylstra

President & CEO Arizona Technology Council Arizonaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s premier trade association for the technology sector fosters a climate of creativity, innovation and community for its members to enhance technology and the lives of people. Supporting the development, growth and advancement of science- and technology-driven companies in Arizona, by identifying and enhancing capabilities and eliminating impediments that Arizona technology companies face. Creating the destination for technology companies to be, to thrive and to stay.

Steven G. Zylstra

www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 105


SUN CORRIDOR INC. RECENT BUSINESS EXPANSION AND RECRUITMENT SUCCESSES Alicat Scientific Headquartered in Marana, Alicat Scientific is the pioneer of laminar differential pressure flow technology, and manufactures and develops custom flow control, flow meter and pressure solutions for both gas and liquid applications. The company currently has 150 employees and is expanding its presence with the addition of 12,000 square feet to accommodate the addition of 100 office and manufacturing jobs. With the addition of those jobs over the next five years, Alicat’s economic impact will be more than $142 million added to the regional economy. Amazon Amazon, the global e-commerce leader, has opened a “last mile” distribution site that will receive and sort packages from larger warehouses to be transferred onto vans and smaller delivery vehicles. The company plans to create 300 jobs, which will primarily be delivery drivers and warehouse employees. The economic impact of this new delivery center will be $181 million over the next five years. AXISCADES AXISCADES – one of India’s leading technology solutions providers catering to the futuristic needs of aerospace, defense, heavy engineering, automotive and industrial production sectors – opened a Tucson office. The new operation will expand the ability of the company to provide engineering services to clients, particularly Caterpillar, among others. AXISCADES plans to create more than 318 positions at the Tucson office, which will primarily be mechanical and electrical engineers, along with finance, human resources, sales and project management. AXISCADES projects to invest $2.1 million in capital expenditures, bringing its economic impact to $598 million over the next five years. Carondelet Health Network – Eastside Carondelet Health Network has been providing a full spectrum of healthcare in Southern Arizona for more than 135 years. Carondelet is expanding its medical network into Tucson’s eastside. The new hospital will offer emergency and acute-care services. The company plans to hire 37 employees, which will include physicians, medical technicians and office personnel. The economic impact of the new micro-hospital is expected to be over $14 million over the next five years.

106 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

Carondelet Health Network – Marana Carondelet Health Network has been providing a full spectrum of health care in Southern Arizona for more than 135 years. Carondelet is expanding its medical network into Marana by opening a new hospital that will offer emergency and acute-care services. The company plans to hire 37 employees, which will include physicians, medical technicians and office personnel. The economic impact of the new micro-hospital is expected to be over $14 million over the next five years. Distant Focus Corporation Distant Focus Corporation is an R&D engineering firm that has specialized in optical and sensing technologies for more than a decade. The company designs and produces prototype cameras and advanced imaging platforms, as well as multi-sensor electronic circuit boards, microscopes, interferometric systems, fiber-optic solutions and other advanced technologies. Distant Focus relocated its headquarters and manufacturing to Tucson. Distant Focus will hire 15 employees, resulting in over $27 million added to the regional economy in the next five years. Imperfect Foods Imperfect Foods – an online producedelivery company focused on fighting food waste by finding a home for “ugly produce” – has opened its first customer care center in Tucson. The company plans to create 350 jobs, including customer care associates, supervisors and managers. Imperfect plans to make a capital investment of $200,000, creating an economic impact of $137 million over the next five years. La Sonora at Dove Mountain La Sonora at Dove Mountain is a nextgeneration senior-living facility that introduces a mid-range, market-rate product offering a continuum of healthcare and housing options. This facility supports aging-in-place in a vibrant social setting and at a lower cost as compared to the mainstream senior-living market. This new $35 million facility will add 67 jobs in Marana. The project is expected to create an economic impact of more than $27 million over the next five years. MicroMex MicroMex, a privately owned company based in Mexico that provides contract manufacturing to a wide range of industries, is opening a manufacturing and distribution center at the Port of Tucson. The company plans to create 100 jobs,

which will primarily be assembly and warehouse workers. The economic impact of the new Tucson distribution center is anticipated to be $181 million over the next five years. Modular Mining Systems Modular Mining Systems, a global provider of mining equipment management systems, including its fleet management technology, is renovating its Tucson headquarters. The renovation will include a new customer experience center, new work spaces, meeting rooms, lunch rooms, laboratories, training facilities, equipment and infrastructure. Modular Mining plans to create 32 new engineering and administrative positions at its Tucson facility. Modular Mining plans to invest $6.4 million in capital expenditures, which will generate an economic impact of more than $71 million over the next five years. Northwest Medical Center Northwest Healthcare announced a new 70-bed acute care hospital and expanded medical services that will be located on the southwest corner of Houghton Road and Old Spanish Trail. Northwest Healthcare is an affiliate of Community Health Systems, a Fortune 500 company and the largest provider of general hospital healthcare services in the United States in terms of the number of acutecare facilities. This new $94 million facility and related physician offices and services will add 595 jobs in Tucson. The project is expected to create an economic impact of more than $567 million over the next five years. Raytheon Missile Systems Raytheon Missile Systems, the region’s largest employer, continues to grow in Southern Arizona. The company is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, civil government and cybersecurity solutions. Raytheon’s second expansion in recent years results in 1,000 new jobs. Sierra Vista Grant Projects The goal of this two-year grant was to enhance the growth and diversification of budding and established commercial, technological and defense-oriented businesses located in the Sierra Vista area. In order to successfully accomplish the goals of the grant, Sun Corridor Inc. engaged subject matter experts skilled and experienced in the areas of management, manufacturing, capital and finance, human resources and information technology. The grant work resulted in 19 new jobs.

www.BizTucson.com


SUN CORRIDOR INC. INVESTORS & STAFF Southern New Hampshire University Southern New Hampshire University, a nonprofit, regionally accredited university with an 80-year-plus history of providing high-quality education to students online and on campus, will open an operations center in Tucson to better support its growing student body across the nation. The new center will house 350 employees, including additional student-support staff, academic advisors, student financial services staff, admissions and IT support. The economic impact of the Tucson SNHU Operations Center will be $218 million over the next five years. Symboticware Symboticware – an industry leader that provides an industrial Internet of Things hardware and software platform to help customers unlock, collect and analyze valuable data for improved business outcomes in the mining industry – is establishing a U.S./Mexico headquarters in Tucson. Symboticware will add 20 high-tech jobs and invest $500,000 in its Tucson headquarters. The project is expected to create an economic impact of more than $17 million over the next five years. Texas Instruments Texas Instruments, a global semiconductor design and manufacturing company, is building a new facility in Tucson to accommodate future needs. It anticipates moving into the facility in the Williams Center by mid-2020. Texas Instruments plans to create 35 electrical engineering positions at its Tucson facility. The company plans to invest $41.5 million in capital expenditures, which will create an economic impact of $67.8 million over the next five years. TuSimple TuSimple, a global self-driving truck solutions company, plans to expand its operations in Tucson by adding 200 trucks to its autonomous fleet. With 500 trucks worldwide, TuSimple will be the world’s largest autonomous truck fleet. TuSimple will add 500 jobs, primarily engineering and truck-driver positions, along with other technical and administrative jobs. TuSimple’s expansion will create an economic impact of $1.1 billion over the next five years.

INVESTORS Business Development Finance Corporation Caliber Group

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

CBRE DPR Construction Freeport-McMoRan GEICO Hacienda Del Sol Resort Long Realty Madden Media Nextrio Nova Home Loans Rancho Sahuarita SAHBA Trico Electric Cooperative Venture West Visit Tucson Westland Resources

1. Cathy Casper, Senior VP 2. Sydney Chong Marketing Coordinator 3. Susan Dumon VP, Economic Development 4. Daniela Gallagher VP, Economic Development 5. Danielle Gonzalez Administrative Receptionist 6. Skye Mendonca Corporate Administrator 7. Jeff Powell Economic Development Coordinator

520.243.1900 www.SunCorridorInc.com

8. Laura Shaw, Senior VP 9. Joe Snell, President & CEO 10. David Welsh, Executive VP

1985 E. River Rd, Ste 101 Tucson, AZ 85718 www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 107


108 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

www.BizTucson.com


BizDEFENSE

Raytheon Contributes $2.6 Billion to State Economy Raytheon Company, whose missile systems business is based in Tucson, wields a $2.6 billion annual economic impact in Arizona, according to an Arizona State University study. ASU’s Seidman Institute analyzed Raytheon’s contributions to the state in terms of wages, taxes, suppliers and other key indicators. The institute, the consultancy arm of the university’s W.P. Carey School of Business, found that Raytheon’s annual impact in the state has grown by over $500 million in the last three years – fueled by increased sales, new hiring and added infrastructure. That infrastructure includes six new buildings dedicated in 2018, including an advanced testing facility, a multipurpose building and a customer access center. The company also has completed infrastructure upgrades, engineering and manufacturing enhancements and high-powered computing capabilities. www.BizTucson.com

Customer demand is driving additional Raytheon investments and improvements in manufacturing, engineering technology and facilities infrastructure. “Raytheon’s continued growth in Arizona is having a substantial, positive effect around the state,” said Wes Kremer, president of Raytheon Missile Systems. “With nearly 13,000 employees now working in Arizona and a strong, statewide network of more than 500 suppliers, the company provides a significant boost to Arizona’s economy.” Not only does Raytheon directly impact the state’s economy, it’s a driver for further development, especially Pima County’s efforts to attract businesses to the Aerospace, Defense & Technology Research and Business Park south of Raytheon. “This park is being developed to address the increasing need for supply chain locations for the aerospace industry,” according to county marketing information.

One of Tucson’s largest employers, Raytheon recently hired more than 2,000 new workers and has plans to add more over the next three years. The company recognizes the need for top talent and is investing in statewide programs aimed at providing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills training and education. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey called Raytheon one of the state’s most valuable asset. “This high-tech powerhouse is a major jobs creator, and its products help to defend freedom around the globe,” said Ducey. “Arizona will continue to foster a pro-growth tax and regulatory environment that allows Raytheon to thrive in our state for years to come.” Beyond its impact on the economy, Raytheon is a generous partner in the communities where its employees live. They volunteer thousands of hours each year tutoring students and supporting military veterans and their families.

Biz

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 109

PHOTOS: COURTESY RAYTHEON MISSILE SYSTEMS

By Elena Acoba


Roche Tissue Diagnostics campus in Oro Valley

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF ROCHE TISSUE DIAGNOSTICS

BizSOLAR

Roche Tissue Diagnostics + Tucson Electric Power Partners for Sustainability By Darci Slaten More large corporations are working to incorporate sustainability practices into their business decisions. Both Tucson Electric Power and Roche Tissue Diagnostics are committed to sustainability – and not just through lofty language. They walk their talk. Roche Tissue Diagnostics, which develops and produces cancer diagnostic tests and instruments from its Tucson headquarters, is committed to reducing carbon emissions. And TEP provides safe, reliable, affordable and renewable energy. 110 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

The companies are engaged in a partnership that will help both achieve their sustainability goals to protect human and ecological health by meeting present needs without harming future generations – while supporting the expansion of renewable resources in Southern Arizona. TEP GoSolar Shares

TEP’s GoSolar Shares program enables residents and businesses to purchase solar energy in 150-kilowatt hour “shares” to offset their use of electricity from traditional generating resources.

“The GoSolar Shares program provides access to renewable energy in a convenient and an affordable way,” said Ryan Anderson, senior key account manager for TEP, who oversees the partnership with Roche. The solar energy is produced by TEP’s community-scale photovoltaic arrays located throughout Tucson and surrounding areas. For participants, this eliminates the up-front costs and maintenance costs associated with installing solar panels on the rooftops of homes or businesses. Each “share” offsets an equivalent amount of traditional power. www.BizTucson.com


Roche Tissue Diagnostics Goes Solar

In 2017, Roche joined TEP’s GoSolar Shares program. Roche is currently the largest commercial partner using the program. The company, headquartered in Oro Valley, is the leading global supplier of cancer diagnostic systems to the pathology market. It provides a menu of about 300 biopsy-based cancer tests with related instruments and integrated workflow solutions. Roche Tissue Diagnostics products aid in the diagnosis of about 24 million patients globally each year. Dr. Thomas Grogan, a professor and pathologist at the University of Arizona, founded Ventana Medical Systems in 1985. Since then, the company has grown significantly, with about 1,700 full-time and contract employees. The campus includes 11 buildings (totaling 490,000 square feet), spread across 120 acres. The company was purchased by Roche in 2008. Roche’s vision and values include a robust commitment to sustainability. In 2018, the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices recognized Roche, which is based in Basel, Switzerland, as the most sustainable company in the pharmaceuticals industry. Moreover, it has been ranked as one of the most sustainable pharmaceutical companies for the past 11 years. “Roche is committed globally to minimizing environmental impact www.BizTucson.com

related to energy, and we are very pleased to carry out that mission in Tucson by reducing our reliance on fossil fuels,” said Jill German, head of Roche Tissue Diagnostics. Since 2018, all of Roche’s electrical needs have been powered by solar energy – including manufacturing operations, research and development laboratories, office and warehouse space and more. Roche Honored for Sustainability

In April 2019, TEP awarded Roche with the first Go Green Pioneering Partner Award for its remarkable accomplishment of contracting for all solar energy to meet the company’s electrical needs. “Through the GoSolar Shares program, we are able to purchase enough solar energy to power about 1,500 homes,” said Terri Johnson, head of facilities, real estate and safety, health, environmental services for Roche Molecular Solutions. This means the company reduces its carbon dioxide emissions by 15,546 tons each year. “We are proud to have partnered with Tucson Electric Power since 2017 to protect our environment through the use of renewable, clean solar energy,” German said. Further Together

TEP is pursuing its own plan to more than double its wind and solar capacity with three new renewable systems that are expected to be completed by 2021. And Roche continues to be a leader in incorporating sustainability practices in its business decisions. TEP and Roche discovered they can more effectively fulfill their community investment goals by working together. “TEP is proud to support its customers,” Anderson said. “Partners like Roche Tissue Diagnostics play an important role in stimulating investment in renewable energy for our entire community.”

PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

In addition, the power supply costs are fixed for 20 years, which could help participants save money if prices for traditional energy increase in the future. Anderson said TEP is expanding use of large, efficient solar arrays and wind turbines as part of an ambitious, cost-effective plan to generate more renewable power for all customers. Yet the GoSolar Shares program is designed for customers that want to go further. “TEP is here to support our customers, and that means developing programs that help businesses meet their energy-related goals,” Anderson said. “If a customer prioritizes reducing their carbon footprint, this program will get them there.”

Roche is committed globally to minimizing environmental impact related to energy, and we are very pleased to carry out that mission in Tucson by reducing our reliance on fossil fuels.

Jill German Head Roche Tissue Diagnostics –

Biz Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 111


BizCITIES From left are former mayors Greg Stanton of Phoenix, Jonathan Rothschild of Tucson, Francis Slay of St. Louis and Tom Murphy of Pittsburgh.

How to Save a City

Former Mayors Share Successes at TENWEST What it takes for cities to recover, grow and thrive kicked off last fall’s fifth annual TENWEST Impact Festival. A panel of former mayors – and soonto-be-retired city leader – talked about how they turned their cities around economically. As he counted down his remaining days in office, Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild noted that “the only promise I made coming into office eight years ago was that I would work hard every day – and I think I’ve kept that promise.” With that thought, he moderated a “Build Innovative Cities” panel discussion with the former mayors of Phoenix, Pittsburgh and St. Louis. They represented 42 years of political acumen. “Although we all told different stories, all cities have similar issues,” said the animated Rothschild. “To have a thriving city, you’ve got to have a vibrant downtown, and we’ve worked hard to make that happen here. Tucson has a lot to be proud of and I’d like to take some credit for those things because I get blamed for everything else. “There’s an additional step we can take,” he continued, “and that’s figuring out what we put into our core city and intelligently using tax incentives – things like the coming together of the Rio Nuevo District, the arrival of the streetcar and other milestones. I’m convinced we’re currently at 60% of where we can ultimately be. “I’m also convinced we can expand outside downtown’s core, so Pima College’s $60 million dollar investment for the Center of Excellence on North Drachman and expanding into the old warehouses southeast of downtown are 112 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

good examples. Infrastructure drives a lot of successes.” Greg Stanton, mayor of Phoenix from 2012-2018 and now U.S. representative for Arizona District 9, is an unexpected booster of Tucson’s success. During Stanton’s and Rothschild’s tenures, they cooperated on economic projects, working together to benefit all of Arizona. “It’s not a zero-sum game because Tucson’s success is important to Phoenix and vice versa,” Stanton said. “When I read about Raytheon adding jobs in Tucson, I’m cheering because that benefits the entire state and enhances our national and international reputation. I like to leverage assets and resources – and partnering with Tucson has made both cities better. When it comes to advancing the economy in the state, we benefit by working together.” Stanton had his own work to do as Phoenix mayor. “I came into office as Arizona was coming out of the worst recession since the Great Depression,” he said. “Economic diversification was an answer.  “To make that work, we made a 5-year, $31 billion investment to improve public transportation via bus and light rail and revitalized our downtown with a rail system just a quarter mile away from those businesses. That entrepreneurial spirit brought life back into downtown and turned it into the heart of the city.” Tom Murphy found himself in a situation similar to Stanton. He became Pittsburgh’s mayor at the worst possible time. The city’s population was fleeing. Eschewing the collaboration-andconsensus approach that hadn’t worked, he embarked on a no-guts, no-glory ap-

proach to restore the city. He bought up old steel mills, rounded up investment money and invited others to share his dream and become keepers of the future. Murphy spent three terms building public-private partnerships and turning a thousand acres of blighted properties into what is known today as the Industrial Center of America. “We built a new convention center, turned an old red-light district into a cultural district and – with the help of some 50 entrepreneurial startup companies per year – we made things happen,” he said. Francis Slay, St. Louis’ first-ever fourterm mayor, turned his city into a hot bed for startup entrepreneurship – making it viable, vibrant and competitive through collaboration and partnerships. He took 150 vacant downtown buildings, developed the area into fledgling enterprises and turned it into an innovation district. In response, Forbes magazine listed St. Louis as a Top 10 Rising City. “Anything is possible if you have the right people and planning and make the commitment,” Slay said. Entrepreneurship needs partners to become the engines that make cities thrive. That was part of the message by TENWEST keynote speaker Chris Heivley, co-founder of MapQuest. He’s now VP of Techstars, managing director of The Startup Factory and an expert on turning startups into multimillion-dollar companies.  “There are two kinds of people,” he said. “There are entrepreneurs – and there are the rest of us here to help them succeed. Entrepreneurship is not a solo sport, but a team effort.”

Biz

www.BizTucson.com

PHOTO: COURTESY TENWEST

By Lee Allen


www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 113


1

2

114 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

3

www.BizTucson.com


BizWORKFORCE

Message: Stay in Tucson Chamber’s Talent Task Force Career Crawl Targets Students

PHOTOS: DAVID SANDERS

By Tiffany Kjos Long known as a low-wage town where people get their degrees at the University of Arizona and move on, Tucson is now where you can stay, enjoy a low cost of living and gorgeous environs, and find a job with competitive pay and benefits. A group of dedicated Tucsonans have focused their efforts on showcasing the attributes that make students want to remain here, or leave to get experience and then come back. Among them are the leadership of the Tucson Metro Chamber Talent Recruitment Task Force, which hosted the inaugural Career Crawl with nearly 200 students, and 40 businesses representing six career tracks – bioscience, optics, IT/innovation, aerospace, creative and entrepreneurial. A recent study by the UArizona Eller College of Management focused on what students plan to do when they graduate, Chamber VP Michael Guymon said at the September 2019 event’s after-party at Hotel Congress. “A third are going to stay here, a third are going to leave – and they leave because they’re going back to family somewhere else, they’re going to a job that just doesn’t exist here in Tucson. But then there’s another third that doesn’t know,” Guymon said. “Well, let’s target the third that doesn’t know and come up with something that makes it more attractive to stay here.” The event downtown featured lunch with an expert. Students got to choose with whom to meet among top employers or industry leaders in their track. Tucson Young Professionals and the

Talent Store were huge contributors to the event, donating their time to make it a success. “I love Tucson. I’m third generation. It’s very important for me to see these companies succeed, and I think if we all work together we can float all boats. That’s really what the Talent Task Force is about. I’m passionate about that,” said Devon Underwood, lead strategist at the Talent Store and one of the major organizers of the Career Crawl. Rebecca Whitsitt, a graduate student studying optics, said in a press release, “I liked having the ability to talk to company representatives one-on-one. It was nice to be part of an event that showcased Tucson companies, especially since I want to stay in Tucson.” Josh Belhumeur, managing partner of BRINK and a Talent Task Force volunteer, represents the creative track. “We wanted to get students out of their bubbles on their campuses over here to downtown Tucson – experiencing both the culture of Tucson and then the great employers,” Belhumeur said. “The event wasn’t to hire people, but to expose them to what’s available.” One of the most powerful parts of the Career Crawl was entrepreneurs sharing their stories of how they “hustled and found their path to make the career we wanted to make,” Belhumeur said. “If they can hear these examples, they can start thinking they can do this, too.” Belhumeur was gone from Tucson for nine years after graduating from the UArizona and founding BRINK. He moved to Washington, D.C., to open a second office.

“I started getting an itch to come back, and I knew I could make it work,” he said. “My money goes a lot further here. It’s a better lifestyle, more relaxed. I’m more of a big fish in a little pond here.” Organizers were intent upon providing a unique event, said the Chamber’s Guymon. “We wanted to create an event to inform students that there are, actually, companies — local companies — that are expanding, that are doing amazing things. I’m sure you’ve heard about some incredible technologies that are being created right here in Tucson.” Jenny Fiore is also a volunteer with the Talent Task Force. At the Career Crawl she talked about her own experience. “After I graduated in the late ’90s, I bolted. And some of you may be considering bolting. I just wanted to tell you what happened after I bolted.” She worked in places like Seattle; Washington, D.C., and San Antonio. “I had fantastic jobs and I think I built a pretty fantastic career that I really enjoyed.” About four years ago she decided to come back to Tucson. She is now the communication manager at South32, a mining company. “I didn’t come here for the usual reasons. I didn’t come here because I have family here. I no longer have family here. And I didn’t come here for a job,” Fiore said. “I came to Tucson for Tucson. Tucson is a great place to live. This is where I chose to put down roots for the rest of my life.”

Biz

1. Devon Underwood, Lead Strategist, The Talent Store and Talent Task Force Co-Chair and Michael Guymon, VP Local Community & Government Affairs, Tucson Metro Chamber 2. Josh Belhumeur, Managing Partner Brink and member of Talent Task Force 3. Zach Yentzer, Executive Director of Tucson Young Professionals and Talent Task Force Co-Chair www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 115


BizECONOMY

Tucson Pipeline Aims to ‘Skill Up’ Job Seekers Business Community Seeks to Match Openings, Talent By Tiffany Kjos The Tucson Metro Chamber has secured a program valued at half-million dollars that could help lower the poverty rate of Tucson – which makes up nearly a quarter of the city’s population – by helping people get training to work in well-paying jobs. The online platform will match prospective employees with jobs by assessing the workers’ qualifications and putting them on track to get the skills they need. Called the Tucson Pipeline, it’s already had success through a pilot program with 125 veterans, which resulted in 66 percent of participants getting jobs. “That blows the job fair out of the water,” said Michael Guymon, Chamber VP. “When the technology is fully implemented, anticipated in spring, you can look at someone’s profile and if they’re interested in a position but, say, have only 70% of the skills needed, there’s a menu of the programs they can take at Pima Community College, one of our universities or wherever those possibilities exist, to complete the 30% that they need.” The Chamber online platform was created by Futures Inc., a cloud-based company that specializes in job candidate outreach, skills matching and talent outreach. “This will allow people to log in and create profiles and much more effectively and efficiently find the right position,” Guymon said. “On the companies’ end, because we’ve already shown success, they will have a much easier time finding the right kinds of candidates that are open.” Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson’s second-largest private employer, will be adding 3,000 jobs here in the next few years, and the aerospace and defense contractor needs more than engineers, Guymon said. “They need machinists, computer scientists, human resources individuals, they need accountants, they need a lot 116 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

of positions.” Tucson Pipeline will directly reduce poverty if it works the way the venture’s partners hope it does, said Amber Smith, the Chamber’s president and CEO. “The most innovative part is really being able to direct talent as to how they can gain those tools they need in some high-demand, well-paying jobs,” she said. “What we need to do is skill up those who have low skills to mid-level skills. We will then be able to raise the income and the wage of our population for those who need it the most.” The program’s backers are well aware that people with lower-paying jobs don’t have the money or time to invest in time-consuming, expensive training. Instead, they can get degree certificates and licenses. “I see it as an industry marketing platform and hub for talent,” said Devon Underwood, founder of The Talent Store and one of the people volunteering to shoulder a bulk of the work to help launch the program. “There are too many job boards – and that’s part of the problem. When candidates are so dispersed it’s hard to find them. It’s confusing for candidates, and employers have more work to do to find them in different places. It’s hard to connect all the dots when people are dispersed.” Another issue is outsiders’ perception of Tucson as being a “place where you can get a scorpion in your shoe,” and nothing more, Underwood said. “One of Tucson’s challenges is awareness of our industries. The jobs that are all available here are not on the radar. People so often think of Tucson as a retiree or a university town, and there are some interesting STEM companies, biomedical companies and entrepreneurship here.” Although Tucson has a vibrant tourism sector, that’s just one part of the equation. “This software is going to be a digital showcase of the industries in Tucson

– so that we’re pushing out stories and professional content based on what Tucson has to offer professionally, not just mountains and sky,” Underwood said. Tucson Pipeline will end up being a digital platform to showcase industry hubs and professional opportunities and outline the professional landscape of Tucson, she said. “We don’t want people to recreate another job board,” Underwood said. “It is absolutely going to be built to plug into other cities’ and state initiatives that are happening. “We’ll have all different parts of our professional community contributing and idea sharing to make it work for everybody.” The initiative is backed by some of Tucson’s strongest economic development supporters, including Pima Community College, Arizona State University, Grand Canyon University, Pima County One-Stop Workforce Development System, Sun Corridor Inc., Pima Joint Technical Education District, United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona, Southern Arizona Leadership Council, Pima Association of Governments, and the private sector. “What we’re doing is really convening the best of the workplace development efforts happening in the community to exchange, highlight, support and connect talent to them,” the Chamber’s Smith said. “It’s a story of collective impact and organization.” Ian Roark, VP of workforce development and strategic partnerships at Pima Community College, said the program could boost people already working on getting an education. “They may be able to get employment in which they’re training while they’re still in school,” he said. “We believe that our students are the best and they are worth competing for. The more employers know our students, the more it is a win-win for both the employer and future employees.”

Biz www.BizTucson.com


www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 117


BizNONPROFIT All on-stage presenters with Jane McCollum, left, from Marshall Foundation

Winning Nonprofit Stories

Fast Pitch Awards Community Connections If storytelling is still the bedrock of community connection, then Fast Pitch, a signature program of Social Venture Partners Tucson, is the ultimate stage for organizations seeking to deliver their message in a crowded nonprofit landscape. The story of Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest, delivered by Heidi Urbina, its community engagement manager, was the most compelling at the November 2019 Fast Pitch event at the Leo Rich Theater. Urbina convinced an esteemed panel of SVP Tucson partners that hers was the nonprofit to back in the Fast Pitch competition – netting the $10,000 SVP Tucson Award. Also tabbed worthy for cash prizes were: • Southern Arizona Gender Alliance, $5,000 Welcoming What’s Next Award, Citi • IDEA School, $5,000 Community Transformation Award, Arizona Complete Health • Help and Hope for Youth, a program of the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Southern Arizona, $7,500 Connie Hillman Family Foundation Impact Award and $5,000 Judges Award • Therapeutic Ranch for Animals and Kids, $5,000 Tucson Electric Power to the People Award. TRAK also won the BizTucson Award and was the audience choice winner Seven nonprofits out of 14 applicants advanced to ultimately compete onstage following a rigorous two-month training last summer. Each finalist received a $1,000 award from the Marshall Foundation.

118 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

“Stories have power,” said Urbina, who jumped at the chance to participate in 2019 Fast Pitch. Over the past five years, Lutheran Social Services has helped more than 1,500 former refugees make Tucson their home. With government funding drastically reduced for refugee resettlement, community visibility was urgent. “Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest spans many populations and programs – from refugees to children in foster care to older adults – and we wanted to help people understand the importance of this work,” Urbina said. “We hope that this increased visibility and funding will help us recruit more mentors for refugee youth and young adults,” she said. “The additional support through these turbulent times in the refugee resettlement program will help us provide critical services to former refugees who are working to rebuild their lives in Tucson.” Fast Pitch is a catalyst for personal and professional growth as well as organizational branding, helping train participants to think critically and sharpen messages. That’s where the SVP Tucson training process and mentoring come in, said Ciara Garcia, SVP Tucson CEO. “More than a collaboration, Fast Pitch helps craft a win-win mindset,” she said. “Mentoring is that deep-dive session that helps organizations clarify their impact on the community.” Ashley La Russa, one of 30 mentors to the 2019 finalists, agreed. La Russa, founder of Roux Events, spent 11 years in nonprofit work that helped hone her coaching skills. “Fast Pitch involves meticulous work that helps create perfectly designed organic moments,” she said. “Mentoring builds trust in the goal of crafting the concise and authentic pitch.

Mentoring is knowing how to navigate without shutting down a great idea.” Preparing that killer pitch is an important discipline to master – but what really matters in Fast Pitch is the conversation that comes after the pitch, said Garcia. “Fast Pitch influences capacity to break through the clutter, to connect and illustrate influence in a sustaining way,” she said. The process also helps create a return-on-investment roadmap that fits right into the vision of Kristen Merrifield. As CEO of the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits, Merrifield wants to amplify the value of nonprofit impact on the region’s economic and social landscape. She wove that vision into her keynote address at last fall’s Fast Pitch. She cited statistics from 2016: The nonprofit sector was Arizona’s fifth-largest nongovernment employer, generating 8% of the gross state product. “But we need the story as much as the data,” she said, “because the story is what touches our hearts and engages community.” Fast Pitch continues to be a creative pipeline that connects the community with nonprofit passion and vision, Garcia said. “The upside is enormous as Fast Pitch challenges our thinking about what is possible and how to get there. More than the financial incentive, it’s the experience, skills and increased confidence that’s appreciated most.” Since its founding, Fast Pitch has mentored 60 nonprofits, generated more than $600,000 in funding and delivered more than $1 million in skills training in Tucson – accelerating local leadership abilities – while opening opportunity for nonprofits to be recognized in front of an influential community audience.

Biz

www.BizTucson.com

PHOTO COURTESY OF SOCIAL VENTURE PARTNERS TUCSON

By Monica Surfaro Spigelman


BizBRIEFS

Elliot Cheu

Joaquin Ruiz

Michael Luria

Jenna Rutschman

UArizona College of Science Names 3 New Executives Leadership changes at the University of Arizona College of Science include: Elliot Cheu was named interim dean, temporarily stepping into the position held by Joaquin Ruiz. Cheu will lead the college during a nationwide search for a new dean. He joined the UArizona as an assistant professor in 1996 and became the college’s associate dean in 2008. In the midst of that later appointment, he was called upon to serve as interim dean of the UArizona’s Honors College from 2016 to 2017. Ruiz is now UArizona VP of Global Environmental Futures, overseeing the university’s research and education portfolio focused on environmental is-

www.BizTucson.com

sues. That includes Biosphere 2 and the Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill. He served as college dean for 20 years. Two people were named to new positions at the college: Michael Luria is assistant dean of corporate and community engagement. His charge is to increase awareness and help create partnerships for the college and help raise funds for its outreach units – Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium, Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter, Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab, Gem & Mineral Museum and the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research. He also is in charge of College of Science alumni affairs and Science City, put on annually

at the Tucson Festival of Books. Luria most recently was the executive director of the Children’s Museum Tucson. He was also a founder of the family restaurant, well-known Café Terra Cotta. Jenna Rutschman is senior director of marketing and communications. She is responsible for overseeing branding, digital presence and marketing efforts for the college. Rutschman came from the UArizona College of Social and Behavioral Science, where she had similar duties as a director. Before that she owned her own marketing consultancy and worked in digital and advertising agencies in Phoenix.

Biz

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 119


BizLEADERSHIP

Growing Women Leaders Girl Scouts CEO Leads with Humility

The ancient Roman philosopher Cicero once said, “The higher we are placed, the more humbly we should walk.” Debbie Rich, CEO of Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona embodies this with a leadership style that empowers others to take the lead. Since 2009, Rich has led the regional Girl Scouts group with humility, a clear vision and a commitment to empower girls to grow into women of courage, confidence and character. This is done through “servant leadership,” which puts the needs of others first and helps individuals develop their highest potential, she said. Rich – herself a Girl Scout for five years – learned the lessons of servant leadership early in her career through the difficult experience of being fired from an assistant director position at a local nonprofit. Although painful, the experience humbled her and shaped Rich’s leadership style, propelling her to be the successful leader she is today. Rich calls this “failing forward.” “Being fired taught me so much about myself, the way I lead and how I work with people,” Rich recalled. “My leadership style has evolved dramatically over the years. It grew out of ‘failing forward.’ And we talk about this in Girl Scouts – the importance of failure. We learn from failure and move forward – which leads to success.” The Girl Scouts serves more than 6,000 girls with 2,500 volunteers in 120 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

Pima, Cochise, Greenlee, Yuma and Santa Cruz counties, as well as adjacent areas of Graham, Maricopa and Pinal counties. Rich leads 45 permanent staff and an additional 20 temporary staff. Of course, the Girl Scouts are renowned for their annual cookie sales across the United States, yet Rich insists that people know they are so much more. “The Girl Scout Cookie Program propels our movement forward,” Rich said. “The strength of the cookie program is the valuable skills girls learn – decision-making, money management, business ethics, goal-setting and people skills. After participating in the program for several years, they truly have the skills to run a business. More than 3,000

Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona is committed to fueling the region’s workforce pipeline by building girls’ skills through challenging programs. The nonprofit is looking for financial investment, as well as, volunteer expertise for Entrepreneurship, Health and Wellness, and Civic Engagement badges. Corporate Partnerships are available for Social Impact programs and STEM. For more information contact Girl Scouts Deputy CEO Kristen Garcia-Hernandez at (520) 319-3172 or khernandez@girlscoutssoaz.org.

girls invest more than $700,000 into our community through the program – more than other major investors.” That cookie program is what the organization calls the Entrepreneurship pillar that is the foundation of Girl Scouts. The other three pillars are STEM, the Outdoors and Life Skills. Each pillar provides girls with a leadership development experience. As part of the STEM pillar, for example, Girl Scouts recently participated in the nation’s first Raytheon Cyber Challenge in October. Southern Arizona was one of 10 sites in the nation hosting this inaugural event. Girls participated in hands-on activities to learn about critical cybersecurity topics such as cryptography, forensic analysis, encryption, decryption and tracking hackers.  “The Raytheon Cyber Challenge was an incredible learning experience for our girls,” said Rich. “It enabled them to gain confidence through computer science, cultivate critical thinking skills, participate in challenging competitions and consider a career in STEM.” The Outdoors pillar focuses on adventures such as hiking and camping. Girls learn about conservation and stewardship. The Life Skills pillar builds girls’ leadership through service. They are rewarded by Girl Scouts’ highest awards. Bronze and Silver are awarded to girls for their service projects. The Gold Award, the highest attainable, requires continued on page 122 >>> www.BizTucson.com

PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

By Darci Slaten


WOMEN WHO LEAD

Debbie Rich

CEO Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 121


BizLEADERSHIP

continued from page 120 them to facilitate a project that creates sustainable community change. “We are here to feed and fuel their dreams,” Rich said. “We want our girls to know they can do anything – they’re innovators, risk-takers and leaders. They already have that muscle inside them, and our programs train and strengthen that muscle, so our Girl Scouts fuel the leadership pipeline of the future.” Rich reflected on her career path with humility. “Over the years I’ve tried many things in leadership – some have worked well, and some have failed horribly. I have learned from my teams, our girls and volunteers that leadership is a team effort. A strong leader listens and then takes the lead. The most important thing a leader can do is to encourage others to lead.” Currently, Rich sees the bigger picture in her leadership journey. “How do you lead a multi-generational organization that serves girls from ages 5-17, volunteers from 18-85 and staff members who are from Millennials to Gen-Xers to Boomers, and bring that together to focus on helping girls thrive? “That’s what makes leading fresh, exciting and innovative,” Rich said. “We don’t always know the answers, so we need to be lifelong learners, seek out positive role models and mentors.” Rich can see the impact of leadership and mentoring in her own daughters. Rich and her husband, radio broadcaster Bobby Rich, have ensured their two children were raised knowing they could be leaders. Their older daughter, Laine (Sklar) MacDonald, is the municipal judge in Marana. Their younger daughter, Lesley Rich, is the executive director of Therapeutic Riding of Tucson. Neither were Girl Scouts, but Lesley has worked with the organization. “And this is what I want my legacy to be at the Girl Scouts – to raise young women to be servant leaders,” said Rich. “Together, we propel forward.”

Biz 122 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

www.BizTucson.com


BizTOOLKIT

Share Your Stories, Tell Your Truths With Help from PRSA Southern Arizona By Meredith Ford While waiting for a colleague at Beyond Bread recently, I started chatting with a friendly fellow patron as we both picked up our coffee. Upon learning I had been in the public relations field for nearly 15 years, he asked me, “What’s your favorite part of your job?” Without hesitation I responded, “Sharing peoples’ stories.” The modern definition of public relations is “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” It’s a practice that has expanded from an early focus on press and publicity to include engagement and relationship-building with a variety of stakeholders. As I explained to my new coffee compadre, it’s an opportunity for businesses and individuals to share their truths and experiences with each other. The ways we share our truths and experiences are rapidly changing – and the practice of public relations is changing as well. Professionals charged with managing the flow of information between an organization and its audiences must keep pace with industry demands for new skills and knowledge. Successful communicators must be nimble and proactive, keep on top of changes and quickly adjust when presented with new challenges or opportunities. This is what the National Public Relations Society of America affords its members – a myriad of programs and educational opportunities to help PR practitioners prepare for and take an active part in advancing the communications profession. Supported by national resources, the PRSA Southern Arizona Chapter has offered a local perspective on communication topics for more than 40 years. With members representing nearly every practice area and career level, our chapter provides a network of regional professionals. Monthly programming ranges from a half-day business ethics workshop to luncheons with local PR leaders to mixers with University of Arizona PR students. All communicators are welcome to participate in PRSA activities, but joining PRSA offers members discounted pricing and access to additional professional development tools. When local leaders – in business, in nonprofit, in any and all areas of endeavor – have a story to tell, experiences to share or want to engage with different audiences, they can turn with confidence to PRSA professionals. Look to us to help you bring forward accurate information for the betterment of our community. To learn more about PRSA, visit www.prsatucson.org. Meredith Ford is president of the PRSA Southern Arizona Chapter. She oversees the communication efforts at Casa de la Luz, the leading provider of end-of-life care, is an alumna of the Greater Tucson Leadership program and was recently named a Tucson 40 Under 40 recipient.  www.BizTucson.com

Biz

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 123


Zachary Kadera

Jackie Nichols

Larissa Peru

3 Sunnyside Teachers Deemed Best Two Businesses Also Win Honors from Tucson Values Teachers By Tom Leyde Three teachers with the Sunnyside Unified School District were winners in the fourth annual Raytheon Leaders in Education Award program. Freeport-McMoRan, which works closely with a school district, and Pima Federal Credit Union, founded by educators, also were named Spirit of Education Award winners at the November 2019 Stand Up 4 Teachers ceremony. Tucson Values Teachers and Raytheon Missile Systems recognize Pima County education champions – especially educators who are outstanding in the classroom, lead in their schools and communities, and support their peers in a committed teacher workforce. Each top education honoree received $2,500 for themselves and $2,500 for their school. Zachary Kadera is a third-grade teacher at Elvira Elementary School. He’s been with Sunnyside for six years. “I was 124 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

very excited when I found out that all of the work we’ve been doing at the school has been recognized as viable,” Kadera said. He said $2,500 will be used for replacing old desks and chairs, while $2,500 will go for classroom decor and technology and materials. Kadera spends about $3,000 a year of his own money on his classroom. “Every year I make sure every student has everything they need,” he said. Jackie Nichols teaches sixth through eighth grade in STEM, social studies and honors science at Billy Lane Lauffer Middle School. “It’s just great for Sunnyside,” Nichols said. “I think it says a lot about the teachers here. It means a lot for all of us.” She will spend her classroom award for field trips, materials and tools for a competitive class project. Larissa Peru is an 11th- and 12th-grade math teacher at Desert View High School. “I was very excited,” Peru said www.BizTucson.com

PHOTOS: COURTESY TUCSON VALUES TEACHERS

BizEDUCATION


about the award. “I think it was … very validating.” The seven-year district veteran said she’d like to invite speakers on projects the math department can do. She’d also like to buy small motorized devices for lessons in trigonometry, which includes studying objects in motion. It was a fluke that this year’s winners all came from the same school district, said Katie Rogerson, COO of Tucson Values Teachers Six educator finalists received awards of $500. They were

• Grades

K-5: Lindsey Anderson, Esmond Station K-8 School, Vail Unified School District; Latricia Ferguson, Cottonwood Elementary, Vail.

• Grades

6-8: Elizabeth Shaw, Rincon Vista Middle School, Vail; Ivy Sweeney, Marana Middle School, Marana Unified School District.

• Grades

9-12: Ellen Kirkbridge, Flowing Wells High School, Flowing Wells Unified School District; Daniel Schneider, Amphitheater High School, Amphitheater Public Schools.

Copper-mining company Freeport-McMoRan partners with the Sahuarita Unified School District to offer education programs. It allows teachers to do summer work at the company so they can see STEM careers in action. Pima Federal Credit Union’s annual Golf Classic has raised more than $360,000 for Tucson Values Teachers. It also provides gift cards to teachers. The Leaders in Education Award program began in 2015. Eleven years ago, said Rogerson, Raytheon was observing its 60th anniversary and the Tucson business community wanted to honor the company. Raytheon was presented with the Spirit of Education award. The company liked it so much, Rogerson said, it sponsored the business award. The Leaders in Education Award program for educators evolved from that. “When we invest in our state’s best teachers, everyone wins,” said Wes Kremer, Raytheon Missile Systems president. “Quality teachers inspire today’s students to become tomorrow’s leaders, and Raytheon is committed to honoring Arizona’s outstanding teachers through our Leaders in Education awards.” A panel of Raytheon employees, Tucson educators and representatives of the University of Arizona College of Education and from TVT choose winners from nominations. The three winning teachers get public speaking training from Raytheon and are invited to network with business leaders and elected officials. TVT and Raytheon make sure they have opportunities to be ambassadors for the teaching profession – including by attending TenWest Impact Festival and doing an interview on KXCI Community Radio during Teacher Appreciation Week.

Biz www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 125


Fedele and Pina Colosimo with daughter Vanessa and son Fedele-Luca.

126 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

www.BizTucson.com


BizCUISINE

Trattoria Pina A Family Tradition

The first thing you notice about Pina Colosimo is her smile. It’s a wide, gleaming thing of beauty that she shares freely with her customers at Trattoria Pina, the Southern Italian restaurant she owns with her husband, Fedele, in the Catalina Foothills. They started the business in 1993. Born in Montreal, Pina Colosimo graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in political science, but couldn’t shake her desire to open a restaurant. When her parents heard she wanted to open her own place, they “were reluctant, but helped,” she said. “We just kind of jumped in head first,” Colosimo said. “You have to be humble, be gracious.” The eatery first opened as Trattoria Mi Piace, but after a couple of years, a California restaurant with the same name heard about the Tucson restaurant and wanted royalties. So, the restaurant became Trattoria Pina and now employs about 25 people. Trattoria Pina features a “modern meets old” aesthetic of calming colors, white tablecloths and simple décor. With its giant glass windows with views of the Santa Catalina Mountains and seating for 135 inside, 32 in a private party room and 70 outside on the patio, many patrons don’t know that the building used to house a bank. www.BizTucson.com

And a lot of those diners have been around for some time. “I have customers that have been with me the entire time,” Colosimo said. The regulars are easy to spot. During a recent visit, most diners on their way out stopped for a hug or kiss with the owner. One regular customer is Father Jay Jensen. Every Monday – his day off from St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church – the priest is at Trattoria Pina. “At 5 p.m., I’m walking through the doors,” he said. “To me, that’s the best Italian restaurant in town. It’s not a huge menu, It is so good and so consistent and so authentic.” Jensen started dining at the restaurant three or four years ago during a gathering of priests in the restaurant’s private room. “It’s become a nice tradition,” he said. ‘We just developed a really close friendship. I’m a part of their family.” Another longtime customer is Dave Smith, director of sales operations for a division of Staples. “It’s always been the place that we go when we want to do something that’s family,” he said. “It’s special.” Though Smith now lives in Denver, he visits Tucson to see his mom every five continued on page 128 >>> Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 127

PHOTOS: BRENT G. MATHIS

By Valerie Vinyard


continued from page 127 to six weeks. “It’s one of the first places we go,” he said. “When we walk in, Pina has our table.” Actor Tom Selleck is Colosimo’s favorite celebrity visitor, and she remembers former Beatle Ringo Starr occasionally coming in with his mom. Restaurants run in Colosimo’s family. Her parents, Cosmo and Anna, owned DaVinci’s on Fort Lowell Road from 1972 to 2000. That’s where she got her start – answering phones, clearing tables and serving customers with her younger sister, Loretta. Noting that her father trained in Rome and Florence before opening DaVinci’s, Colosimo said of her parents: “They gave me big shoes to fill.” Her recipes are from Southern Italy, so they include a lot of white sauces. “I like the big, hearty meals,” she said. Her parents help create all of the restaurant’s mouthwatering desserts. On a recent visit, about 10 cakes, including red velvet and tiramisu, filled the glass

128 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

cases that are visible when you walk inside. The restaurant’s desserts are so popular that Colosimo keeps a list of people to call when she has certain desserts available, including her limoncello cake. Years ago, her father created the Pope’s Pillow in honor of Pope John Paul II’s 1987 visit to Arizona. It con-

sists of two fluffy, flaky puff pastries that sandwich a mountain of strawberries, custard and whipped cream. Other popular dishes at Trattoria Pina include the polenta and housemade gnocchi, which is her dad’s recipe. “I hope they can taste the love we’re cooking back there,” she said. Colosimo imports the olive oil and pastas from Italy. There are no fried foods and no blender drinks, mainly to maintain a quieter atmosphere in the restaurant. Though the restaurant does a brisk business, it manages to avoid the noise of other open-space restaurants. The menu used to change every six months, but after customers’ feedback, the menu now remains consistent. Daily specials can include seared swordfish, lamb chops or octopus. She’s thankful that all those years ago, what started as “controlled chaos” has worked out so well. “I still sit here and can’t believe I’m still here,” she said. Trattoria Pina is open for lunch and dinner on weekdays and only for dinner on Saturdays. The restaurant is closed on Sundays.

Biz

www.BizTucson.com

PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

BizCUISINE


BizBRIEF

Don Regole

Doug Martin

Mary Swiergol

Steve Earnhart

Sarah Hupp

5 Honored by Tucson Advertising Group Leaders in publishing, broadcasting and agency work were honored at the September 2019 Hall of Achievement ceremony by the Tucson Advertising Federation Education Foundation and American Advertising Federation Tucson . Don Regole, principal and designer of Regole Design, earned the American Advertising Federation Silver Medal Award for his lifelong contributions to Tucson’s advertising industry. After working in design for entertainment companies and an advertising agency, Regole opened his own business in 1989. In 1997, AAFT named him Tucson Advertising Professional of the Year. He’s donated his services to many organizations, including the Tucson Pops

www.BizTucson.com

Orchestra and the Postal History Foundation. He also speaks to students. Doug Martin, who owns Good News Communications with his wife, Mary, was inducted into the Tucson Advertising Hall of Fame. The couple purchased KVOI and grew Good News Radio Broadcasting to seven radio stations. In 2018, they opened their advertising and public relations firm. He was named Advertising Professional of the Year in 2014. Mary Swiergol, founder and publisher of The DesertLeaf, also joined the Tucson Advertising Hall of Fame. Swiergol bought a failed publication in 1987 and started the monthly publication, which has won many AAFT Addy Awards for editorial and design. She serves on the AAFT board and

won its Golden Pen Award in 2011. iHeart Media Senior VP of Sales Steve Earnhart was named Ad Professional of the Year. He worked for several western and southwestern radio stations and Salt Lake City before landing in Tucson in 2014. He’s served on the AAFT board since 2014, included as president in 20192020. AAFT awarded its Next Generation Award to Sarah Hupp, VP of Account Strategy for Madden Media. She has led several award-winning campaigns for tourism groups. She received bachelor of science and MBA degrees from the University of Arizona Eller College of Management. She’s served on the AD2 Tucson board of directors, including as president.

Biz

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 129


130 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

www.BizTucson.com


BizREALESTATE

CCIM Forecast Commercial Real Estate Experts Predict Market Future By David Pittman

the community.” Developments include In 2019, every sector of the Tucson ongoing expansion at Raytheon Missile commercial real estate market expeSystems, the arrival of Southern New rienced its best year since before the Hampshire University student services Great Recession – continuing a fivecenter downtown, Amazon’s developyear trajectory of steady growth. ment of a massive, high-tech wareA question to be addressed at the house and new housing facilities for 29th annual CCIM Commercial Real University of Arizona students. Estate Forecast Competition is whether that economic momentum will continBut Bradley warned that potential ue through 2020. national troubles – prolonged trade disThe CCIM commercial real estate putes, labor shortages, political uncerevent will be Feb. 19 at the DoubleTree tainty or a bearish downturn on Wall by Hilton – Reid Park. More than 300 Street, among others – could dampen people are expected to attend. future growth in the regional economy. James S. Bradley, president of AXIA The CCIM session will address all posReal Estate Appraisers and presidentsibilities. elect of the Southern Arizona CCIM Chapter, said there are many reasons to be optimistic about the future. 28TH ANNUAL CCIM FORECAST “All sectors of the commerCOMPETITION cial market continue to improve Presented by CCIM Southern Arizona Chapter and are now nearing levels that Wednesday, Feb. 19 DoubleTree by Hilton– Reid Park allow for widespread new devel445 S. Alvernon Way opment,” said Bradley, who will Registration and networking – 7:00 to 8:00 a.m. serve as the event’s master of Program – 8:00 to 11:30 a.m. ceremonies. “Tucson has been Breakfast buffet includes coffee, pastries, fruit on a steady upward trajectory in recent years in terms of job creEarly Bird Pricing by Dec. 31 Regular Pricing after Jan. 1 Chapter members – $75 Chapter Members – $85 ation and commercial real estate Nonmembers – $90 Nonmembers – $100 development.” Table of 10 – $900 Table of 10 – $1,000 Bradley said continued deWalk-in Pricing on Feb. 19 velopment “indicates that 2020 Chapter members & nonmembers – $115 should be a really good year for sazccim@tucsonrealtors.org

www.BizTucson.com

The Southern Arizona Chapter’s CCIM Forecast is one of the longest continuous-running events of its type in the nation. Local commercial real estate professionals make predictions about multiple market sectors – industrial, retail, office, multifamily, land and finance. This year’s forecast will include insight into the hospitality sector. Presenters also will provide oversight into commercial real estate activity over the past year. “We have been holding the forecast for 29 years,” Bradley said. “Very few communities in the country have the opportunity to benefit from the knowledge of the various professionals at one meeting.” Nathaniel Karp, chief U.S. economist for BBVA, will present the keynote address. He and Jessica Morin, director of market analytics for the Co-Star Group, will talk about economic conditions nationally and statewide. The local chapter of CCIM was founded in the early 1980s. CCIM – Certified Commercial Investment Member – is an educational designation that conveys knowledge and expertise in commercial real estate. It is recognized by brokers, investors and developers worldwide.

Biz

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 131


Metropolitan Pima Alliance Common Ground Awards

BizAWARDS

Awards Underscore the Importance of Teamwork By Allyson Solomon

Q A

What makes the Common Ground Awards special?

Most awards are about the end product or service and how great that it is. Our awards are more about rewarding the collaborative process that leads to the success. Our winners have had to demonstrate their commitment to working together to overcome great obstacles. We also emphasize atypical collaboration that falls outside of the norm. We especially love to see private and public partnerships that work out well for the benefit of the overall community.

Q

Why is it significant that differing government and private-sector entities work collaboratively?

A

Ehen these awards first started in 2003, government was about projects that created a public benefit and fulfilled a public need while private sector projects were more about capitalism. When the two sectors find common interests and collaborate, it can have a dramatic effect on the ability to fund projects and build them with the highest level of efficiency and community benefit.

Q

Do you think highlighting collaboration might encourage other organizations to work better together?

A

Absolutely. Over the years the number and the diversity of the applications we receive increases, leading me to believe that our event is having an impact on the way the development community interacts with the public sector. The benefits of collaboration are undeniable.

Q A

What do the winners get out of the event?

The winners receive recognition both inside and outside of the land-use and development community. Those who are collaborators on projects are sending a message to the community and the development industry that they value relationship building, positive discourse, creative problem-solving and compromise.   Allyson Solomon is executive director of the Metropolitan Pima Alliance.

Biz

Organizations Embrace Collaboration By Tiffany Kjos Those who collaborate to help our region thrive were the big winners at the 2019 Common Ground Awards last fall. Metropolitan Pima Alliance’s 15th annual awards ceremony was held Nov. 1, 2019, at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa. There, the top 20 land development, economic development and community development projects in Pima County – 10 of whom were winners – were announced. The “Mission Impossible” themed event kicked off on the resort’s terrace, where guests looked over the sparkling 132 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

city that the finalists and award winners have been worked together to help move forward. More than 325 Tucson and Pima County luminaries turned out to meet friends, reestablish connections and see who would be awarded the prestigious Common Ground awards. Twenty projects and programs were recognized for their willingness to collaborate and desire to help the Tucson community as a whole. The awards event began in 2003 and has recognized more than 300 projects

“that embody MPA’s mission to create a prosperous community by promoting collaborative real estate development policies, building partnerships and finding common ground,” according to a Metropolitan Pima Alliance press release. The winners included the Award of Distinction, provided to a large-scale community impact project. It was presented to Pima Community College’s Center for Excellence.

Biz www.BizTucson.com


Metropolitan Pima Alliance Common Ground Awards

The 2019 Common Ground Award winners are:

• Arizona Drought Contingency Plan Process

•Benedictine Monastery Pima Community College’s Center for Excellence Pima JTED Innovative Learning Campus

Development

• City of Tucson Planning &

Development Services Department Tech Tools

• Pima County/City of Tucson Opportunity Zones

• Pima JTED Innovative Learning Campus

• Santa Cruz River Heritage Project

• SB1248 Rule B Legislation Fix • The Monier Building • The Union on 6th • Twin Peaks/Blue Bonnet Sewer Project

The 2019 Common Ground finalists were:

• DM50 Military Spouse Employment Initiative

• DoubleTree by Hilton at the Tucson Convention Center

• H.S. Lopez Family Foundation Center for Opportunity

• NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl

The Monier Building The Union on 6th

• Pima Medical Institute

Consolidated Campus

• Project Ina Business Support Program

• Reactivation of Jácome Plaza • Saguaro Surgical Expansion in Harold Bell Wright Estates

• Town of Marana Sign Code Update

• Valencia/Kolb Road Intersection Improvement Project

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 133


BizCOMMERCIAL

Growing One Shopping Center at a Time DSW Commercial Real Estate Buys, Manages Retail Hot Spots

For one savvy Tucson businessman, what started as a dream to attend law school turned into the opportunity to run a lucrative commercial real estate development company that is improving popular shopping centers around town. Michael Sarabia graduated from the University of Arizona in the late 1980s and considered going back for a law degree. Instead, he found flipping houses to be more profitable, and it led into something much bigger. He joined DESCO, a grocery store chain out of St. Louis, that had ventured into development and wanted to expand into the Southwest. “In 2001 we opened DESCO Southwest, doing property management, development and construction,” said Sarabia, who ran the Tucson office. At this point, he said, the company had close to 1 million square feet of shopping centers and grocery stores all over the nation. The first deal for DESCO Southwest was the Glenn Medical Village on the north side of Tucson Medical Center. “We cut our teeth in entitlement,” which, in the company’s case, Sarabia said, is rezoning the land from residential to offices. Around the same time, DESCO added Phoenix to its list of markets. It first developed the UArizona College of Medicine in downtown Phoenix, followed by a number of office complexes. When the Great Recession hit, Sarabia and his staff took on more tenant improvements and strengthened the property management arm of the business. “We converted properties to strip centers and office complexes. We 134 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

learned that diversification made us better business people.” As the economy improved, Sarabia was involved in buying shopping centers and developing office buildings in Tucson. This was the direction he wanted to go, but not so for the DESCO parent company. “They already owned 170 shopping centers, so they were not as excited as us – they didn’t want to do it here.” Sarabia worked out a deal to break off from DESCO and localize operations. “They fully supported it and sent people here we needed. They sent all divisions. At the end of 2016 we became local.” The name was changed to DSW Commercial Real Estate and Sarabia became CEO. James Hardman, who started working with him in 2004, became Sarabia’s partner and director of operations. With their independence from DESCO finalized, Sarabia and Hardman increased their focus on buying shopping centers. “First we bought Wilmot Plaza (on the northeast corner of Broadway Boulevard and Wilmot Road) for $47 million at the end of 2016. It was already renovated and 90% occupied,” Sarabia said. In November 2018 they bought Campbell Plaza Shopping Center at Campbell Avenue and Glenn Street. “It’s 17 acres one mile north of UA. It’s the deepest piece of land you’ll find around there. Albertsons (the anchor tenant) does very well,” Sarabia said. DSW went to work on the shopping center – paving the parking lot, giving the landscaping a makeover and painting the buildings. “When we bought

it, it was 50% occupied. Now it’s 94% occupied.” DSW’s list of commercial properties it manages increased with the independence from DESCO. “We’ve bought $135 million worth of properties and have 1 million square feet we manage.” That includes Skyline Esplanade at Skyline Drive and Pima Canyon Road, plus NOVA Home Loans and the Foothills Corporate Center at Sunrise Drive and Campo Abierto. Foothills Corporate Center “has gone up to 100% occupancy,” Sarabia said. “The owners are very happy with us.” Their goal is to buy $75 million to $100 million worth of properties every year, Sarabia said. They’re looking at Texas, Salt Lake City and Phoenix. “Grocery as a tenant is good, but there also needs to be entertainment-type businesses and services. We look at demographics and ask, ‘Is this where I would shop?’ ” He lists specialty home stores, fitness centers, wine shops and massage spas as examples of business categories he likes to see in a shopping center. “Our general vision is we’d like to own 3 million square feet of property in five years in the Southwest by buying the right mix of properties,” he said. That includes retail and groceryanchored centers. “We’re Tucson people. We enjoy doing business here. We believe there can be a win-win in any situation. That’s our business model. We give back a lot to help Tucson. It’s our city. It’s a big part of what we do.”

Biz www.BizTucson.com

PHOTOS: COURTESY DSW COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

By Christy Krueger


PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS From left

James Hardman

Director of Operations DSW Commercial Real Estate

Michael Sarabia

CEO DSW Commercial Real Estate

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 135


BizHONORS

From left – Senior Airman Raul A. Martinez, First Lieutenant Jorge I. Pala and Captain John P. Connor

From left – Cesar Fimbres, Corey Minnix, Michael Blute, Alexander Woytenko and Robert Palmer

Heroes Day Honors First Responders Quick Actions Save Lives By Steve Rivera and Tara Kirkpatrick

By David B. Pittman

Heroes emerge at the most unexpected times and in unbelievable circumstances. Yet, it should come as no surprise that they often come from the ranks of professionals who selflessly serve to protect us every day. The 11th annual Heroes Day, held at La Encantada shopping center last fall, honored those who stepped in to save lives when time was limited and circumstances were dire. The event was created to honor fallen Tucson Police Officer Erik Hite. Davis-Monthan Air Force Base Captain John P. Connor, Senior Airman Raul A. Martinez and First Lieutenant Jorge I. Pala The 48th Rescue Squadron at DavisMonthan rescued fishermen stranded off the coast of Mexico after a crane collapsed on their vessel. “Two guys were going to die if they didn’t receive some form of medical care,” said Lt. Col. Ryan Pearce. Connor commanded the nine-personnel rescue team, which spent 58 hours in the comprehensive effort. Martinez, a primary medic and language translator on the team, provided multiple, lifesaving interventions and conveyed crucial information between the team and the Spanish-speak136 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

First responders from five agencies were recognized in the annual event as Hero Honorees or with Awards of Distinction. “We have good people who live among us, surround us and protect us,” said Dr. Andrew Tang, medical director of the Level 1 Trauma Center at Banner-University Medical Center, one of the event’s organizers. Jack Furrier Tire & Auto Care also is a major partner.

ing patients. Pala led two airdrops and one resupply drop during the rescue. Arizona Department of Public Safety: Troopers Michael Blute, Cesar Fimbres, Corey Minnix, Robert Palmer and Alexander Woytenko In July 2019, Blute saw a car moving erratically, hitting a pole and then crashing into another car. The driver was face down, unconscious, with legs pinned in the car. The other four troopers arrived as backup just as flames erupted from the car. Despite the risk to themselves, the team worked to rescue the trapped driver before the car was completely engulfed in fire. “The driver

of the SUV sustained minor injuries as a result of the quick thinking and valiant efforts of Troopers Blute, Fimbres, Woytenko, Palmer and Minnix,” said DPS Commander Marcy Cox. “Their courageous actions involved great personal risk in the face of danger.” Trooper David Rocha Rocha responded to a call about an overturned RV in a remote area of Interstate 8. Rocha took nine minutes to free the occupants of the overturned vehicle, rescuing a child and grandmother from the wreckage. “Trooper Rocha, without hesitation, entered the pile of rubble and started searching for the two,” said DPS Capt. David Nilson. The grandmother survived, but the child died. www.BizTucson.com


Officers Noah Wade (left) and Michael Cooper

Tucson Police Department: Officers Noah Wade and Michael Cooper Wade and Cooper responded to a call about a fight at a midtown apartment. They found a victim with a lifethreatening knife wound to the leg and an apartment on fire. The officers applied a tourniquet to the wound and were able to move people away from the fire. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The composure and professionalism of Officer Wade and Officer Cooper in this extremely high-stress environment, without question, saved a life,â&#x20AC;? said Lt. James Brady. Tucson Fire Department Award of Distinction: Capt. Chris Kelaher and Firefighter Brett Bradshaw Kelaher and Bradshaw rescued a person who was pinned 30 feet above the ground by a heavy limb in a tree. Because of the height and nearby power lines, the officers donned harnesses and climbed 35-foot raised ladders to bring the person to safety. Northwest Fire District Award of Distinction: Deputy Fire Marshal Ian Robinson Robinson was off duty when he encountered a crash on Interstate 10. The deputy fire marshal called for assistance, then stabilized three people who were injured and one who was in critical condition until a rescue crew arrived. His intervention saved lives.

Biz

www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 137


BizHONORS

YMCA Honors National Guard & Reserves Biennial Fundraiser Supports Programs for Active Military, Veterans By Lee Allen

In the spirit of remaining the “land of the free” as long as we remain the “home of the brave,” military personnel were honored last fall at the 2019 YMCA Community Military Celebration. Although May is traditionally promoted as National Military Appreciation Month, the YMCA of Southern Arizona holds its annual commemoration festivities in November. The celebration alternates between a formal military ball on even-numbered years that attracts close to 1,000 active duty and former service members, and a special event that highlights a particular segment of our large military community on odd-numbered years. The festivities in 2019 came in the form of a camouflage-décor-themed dinner-dance at the Morris Air National Guard Base, 162nd Wing, lauding Southern Arizona’s National Guard and Reserve units. Net proceeds from the event fund YMCA programs for local active duty and former military service members and their families. “We hold the yearly event to honor current and former military members and their families and employers and businesses that provide support,” said 138 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

Michael Reuwsaat, the YMCA’s executive director of facilities. “These gatherings also tell the Y’s story of support for armed service members – support we have been providing since the Civil War. The annual celebrations help increase YMCA resources that are dedicated exclusively to military families. “Our aim is to educate and increase appreciation for the value of Guard and Reserve service among the greater Southern Arizona community and to affirm the importance of business and nonprofit organizational support of the Guard and Reserve.” Volunteer event coordinator Priscilla Storm, VP of Diamond Ventures, added, “To celebrate our long-standing agreement on the national level, in 2016, the YMCA of Southern Arizona began celebrating that legacy with an annual event that funds memberships, childcare, programs and special camps for local military and veteran families.” This mission of military support is both long and proud. Shortly after the first U.S. YMCA was founded in 1851, volunteers took to Civil War battlefields – alongside uniformed warriors. The YMCA earned a commendation from President Abraham Lincoln for benefit-

ing those men in uniform. The Y’s program of morale and welfare services for the military expanded when World War I began. In World War II, the YMCA took the lead in forming the USO (United Services Organization). Jason DePizzo, administrative director for the local YMCA, described this year’s event as a casual affair involving food, drink and dancing to DJ music. “For more than 150 years, the Y has had deep ties to our military in both war and peacetime – and it continues to be our honor to provide services to military members and their families in Southern Arizona. “Tucson is decidedly a military town and, as a charitable organization, we’re led to serve, to strengthen the foundation of our community, and one of the ways we realize that duty is by supporting our military families.” In 2017, more than 300 turned out for a breakfast honoring Vietnam veterans. Looking ahead, a Council of Heroes – made up of local veterans – will be honored in November 2020 at the formal Southern Arizona Community Military Ball.

Biz www.BizTucson.com


BizBRIEFS

Majid Arabshahi In early December Rug Gallery made a leap from its previous home in Joesler Village to La Encantada’s busy restaurant area in order to expand its showroom and take advantage of the high-visibility location. Owner Majid Arabshahi calls La Encantada “the best of the best in town.” After 32-plus years, Rug Gallery is known for its high quality Persian and Oriental rugs and antique collectable rugs, which have appeared internationally on the cover of Christie’s Auction House catalog. Biz

Steve Crawford Pepper Viner Homes promoted Steve Crawford to COO. He most recently served the community home builder as director of sales and marketing and designated broker. An Arizona licensed real estate broker, Crawford has spent 30 years in the construction and real estate industry – particularly the new-home market – including land acquisition and development, golf course communities and custom homes. He has been with Pepper Viner Homes since 2013.

Biz www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 139


PHOTOS: COURTESY CHAPMAN AUTOMOTIVE

BizSPORTS

From left – Clyde Kunz, consultant to Pima Community College Foundation, Clyde Kunz & Associates; Markus Beaumonte, director of marketing, Chapman Automotive Group; Neb Yonas, GM, Chapman Automotive Group; Lee Lambert, chancellor, Pima Community College, and Jim Monaco, athletic director, Pima Community College; Right – Pima Community College athletes with Chapman Automotive Group GM Neb Yonas, in suit jacket.

Chapman Automotive Group’s 3-Year Commitment Unprecedented Sponsorship to Boost Pima Community College Athletics By Anthony Gimino

Chapman Automotive Group didn’t merely deliver financial help to Pima Community College athletics. It sent a message. “The beautiful part about it is it’s local,” Pima athletic director Jim Monaco said of Chapman’s commitment to a $210,000 sponsorship deal over three years. “We think that their giving to us, paying attention to us, puts us on the map in the community and tells others it’s time to start backing Pima. The UA is wonderful, but these are our kids. These are our local kids.” Both sides say this level of financial support is unprecedented in Pima’s 50year history and at any point around the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference. “As far as I know, it’s the first of its kind and definitely the largest,” said Markus Beaumonte, Chapman Auto’s director of marketing. 140 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

By David B. Pittman

Chapman has previously supported Pima and other local athletics such as the professional soccer team FC Tucson. The concept of providing more support was born out of the long relationship Chapman has with soccer in Tucson. “Soccer and Chapman are almost synonymous,” said Chapman Auto GM Neb Yonas. “Chapman has sponsored and supported soccer at every level in Tucson, from FC Tucson’s pro team to a majority of local youth and adult clubs and leagues. That is where the relationship with Dave Cosgrove, head coach at Pima, was born and evolved, leading to this great partnership.” “We have been proud to be sponsors of his programs,” Beaumonte said of Cosgrove. “The thing that really kickstarted it was Dave’s and our discussion about expanding.” 

“The benefit is that it is local. Pima students and graduates, by and large, are from here and remain here. And that is beneficial in two ways. It helps Tucson’s workforce and economy, and by extension, it helps us sell cars.” The college’s board of directors approved the deal in September, with the first installment of $35,000 helping upgrade the baseball, softball and soccer fields at Pima’s West Campus on West Anklam Road. The upgrades included scoreboards, bleachers, signage and a Walk of Fame for each respective team’s All-Americans. “Giving back and re-investing in the community is a core principal of the Chapman family,” Yonas said. “We continue to support organizations like Pima that work to enrich the lives of Tucsonans.” Pima is set to receive $35,000 each www.BizTucson.com


January and August, with Chapman holding an option to extend the partnership after the three-year deal. Chapman’s total commitment could increase in the next three years because of other sponsorship opportunities. “I’m hopeful that after we make some improvements that we can start saving some money, that this also goes into a little bit of a nest egg,” Monaco said. The donation comes amid a time of campus-wide budget cuts. The athletic department’s budget was slashed from $2.6 million to $1.9 million before the 2018-19 school year and its football program was axed. At the same time, the Maricopa County Community College District said it would cancel football at several of its campuses starting this year. “We have been short this year, and that money has helped tremendously,” said Monaco, the former Pima football coach who was selected as athletic director in October 2018. “With the extra money, we have been able to do things we weren’t able to do right away.” It also doesn’t hurt to be associated with a winning program: The Pima

www.BizTucson.com

men’s soccer team won the 2018 national title. The men’s basketball team has won three consecutive NJCAA Region I, Division II, titles and reached the national Elite Eight in 2017 and played in the Division II national title game in 2018. It was ranked seventh last season.  The women’s basketball team placed fifth at nationals last season and began this season ranked third. Its softball team has a long history of success, too, with Tucson-area high school graduates often leading the way. “A lot of the programs are successful and we win – and for Chapman to step up and help us out at a time when we really need it just so we can keep things going – it was big,” said women’s basketball coach Todd Holthaus.   “As a coach, I really appreciate it. In my 13 years at Pima, I think a dollar goes further at Pima. I think we can impact people more. It’s gotten tighter over the past few years, but it’s also good in a lot of ways because we’re more conscious of it. There are a lot of hats we wear as coaches, and counting pennies is one of them.” 

Now Holthaus – and everyone else around sports at Pima – has something new to wear: Adidas gear. The school announced in November that it entered into a four-year agreement to make the sports apparel company Pima’s official outfitter, ending 13 months of negotiations that began when Monaco took over as athletic director. “As a coach, as someone who has done something for a long time with kids, they always ask, ‘What do you wear?’ ” Monaco said. “To finally get this done, this was as big to me as the Chapman deal. And Chapman is excited because everything we wear (outside of game uniforms) has a Chapman logo on one sleeve and the Adidas stripes on the opposite sleeve.” Chapman’s infusion of funds has a major practical value while enhancing the community’s perception of the value of Pima athletics.  “What is really wonderful is the integration with the Pima Community College culture,” Beaumonte said. “The enthusiasm going back and forth is what makes this great.”

Biz

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 141


BizSALES

The Secret of Great Customer Service By Jeffrey Gitomer

Customer service comprises two of the most maligned words in our language. So often as customers we are disappointed in the service we receive – or the attitude attached to the service – that we go elsewhere. Amazing. The company made the sale, got the customer and then, through an act of rudeness, indifference, poor follow-up, bad service, slow response, or the like, lost the customer they fought so hard (and spent so much) to get. Seems ridiculous, but it happens thousands of times every day. It’s happened to each of us many times. And boy, do we talk about it. In fact, stats show a disgruntled customer tells 20 times more people than the satisfied one. How good is your customer service?

Once you make the sale, are you as intense to keep the customer as you were to get the customer? I attended a Ty Boyd seminar called, “The Spirit of Customer Service.” I thought I was going to get a great lesson from a great speaker. I was wrong. I got an unbelievable series of lessons from a master presenter. I was rewarded with more than 100 rules, lessons and examples about what to do and what NOT to do in the never-ending quest to serve (and preserve) the customer. How do we lose customers?

Ty offers the Seven Deadly Sins of Service: 1. Putting money or profits ahead of service 2. Complacency brought about by success (getting fat) 3. Organizational layering without creating teamwork (people blaming others or whining “It’s not my job”) 4. Lack of proper employee training, recognition or retention 5. Not listening. Anticipating the answer before hearing the situation 6. Isolationism. Not paying attention to the customer or the competition

7. Lip service, or worse, lying We have probably been victims of every one of these sins at one time or another. Yet if I ask you if you commit any of these, you’ll say, “NO.” Guess what, someone’s lying or living in fantasyland waiting for tickets to the Inaugural Ball. 142 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

www.BizTucson.com


Satisfactory customer service is no longer acceptable.

Customer service is a complex issue critical to the ongoing success of any business. It’s easy to go astray without guidelines and standards. Some of Ty Boyd’s wisdom about customer service includes: • Satisfactory customer service is no longer acceptable. • Customer service begins at 100%. • The customer’s perception is reality. • A mistake is a chance to improve the company. • Problems can create beneficial rearrangements. • Make the customer feel important. • Learn and learn how to ask questions. • The most important art is the art of listening. Ty spoke in depth on refining the skill of listening. It is a vital key in the customer service process. As salespeople, we are prone to talk way too much. Sometimes we lose sales and customers because we failed to hear their true needs and desires. Ty offered the following rules to observe to maximize your listening skills and increase customer satisfaction: 1. Don’t interrupt. (But…but…but) 2. Ask questions. Then be quiet. Concentrate on really listening. 3. Prejudice will distort what you hear. Listen without prejudging. 4. Don’t jump to the answer before you hear the ENTIRE situation. 5. Listen for purpose, details and conclusions. 6. Active listening involves interpreting. 7. Listen to what is not said. Implied is often more important than spoken. 8. Think between sentences.

9. Digest what is said (and not said) before engaging your mouth. 10. Demonstrate you are listening by taking action. Sounds simple, but it ain’t easy.

Biz Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of 12 best-selling books, including “The Sales Bible” “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. © 2019 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

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 143


JW Marriott at Starr Pass Resort Completes $3.5 Million Renovation A transformation of the spa, a redesigned lobby and the addition of Mexican-market-inspired food service are among the features in JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa’s $3.5 million renovation that was completed last fall. “It’s been an exciting year to watch all of these enhancements unfold and come to fruition,” said GM Russ Bond. “We are always striving to stay relevant and ahead of industry trends.” New space was added to the Hashani Spa to provide salon services in the lower lobby. The spa’s new entry on the third level provides an inviting open space with new comfortable seating, invigorating colors, new artwork and an area for quick massages. 144 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

The resort’s refurbished lobby complements picturesque views with cozy seating arrangements in a Southwestern decor. JW Market offers locally inspired take-away snacks and a to-go menu of flatbreads, sandwiches and soups. The setting is reminiscent of open-air festivals and mercados in Southern Arizona and Sonora, Mexico. Happy hour touts specialty wines and beers on tap. A Starbucks previously on the lower lobby has been moved to a bigger space in the upper lobby across from the gift shop. The shop sports new furniture and accents. Open-air Salud Terrace – considered the most popular gathering spot at the resort – got new furniture and more fire

pits. The interior bar that faces the terrace was refinished. JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa, 3800 W. Starr Pass Blvd., sits on 50 acres in the foothills of the Tucson Mountains. Its 575 guestrooms are complemented by a fitness center, six eateries and 88,000 square feet of meeting space. For recreation, the resort offers tennis courts, a 27-hole Arnold Palmerdesigned golf course, programs for kids and teens, and water features that include pools and a meandering “river” where guests can float. The resort has the AAA Four Diamond rating.

Biz www.BizTucson.com

PHOTOS: COURTESY JW MARRIOTT AT STARR PASS RESORT

BizTOURISM


SPECIAL REPORT 2020

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

EL RIO HEALTH

50 YEARS OF CARING


BizHEALTH

HealthOn University

PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

Southeast Health Center

148 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

www.BizTucson.com


El Rio Health

50

at

By Mary Minor Davis When former President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a “war on poverty” in the late 1960s, federal grants were made available for health centers. Tucson jumped at the opportunity. Using these funds, the first nonprofit El Rio Neighborhood Health Center opened in 1970 on the west side. It served 10,000 patients in its first year. Now, 50 years later, the healthcare organization has grown to include 12 locations throughout Tucson and serves nearly 110,000 patients – in all facets of medical, dental and behavioral healthcare. El Rio Health is a national model, not only for community health centers, but in the healthcare industry as a whole. Its commitment to improving the health of the entire community has created an integrated patient-delivery system that not only optimizes patient safety, but also drives costs down. Nancy Johnson, El Rio CEO, said El Rio’s growth is the result of a singular focus on the organization’s mission, and the compassionate care for which it is known. “It’s exciting to see the growth and to see people realize that this model is not just for the most vulnerable populations,” she said. In fact, more than 70% of El Rio’s

patients have health insurance. Over the years, El Rio has blazed a trail, offering healthcare innovations and services long before others. Nearly from the start, El Rio has offered extended hours to better accommodate work schedules. More recently, it implemented a state-of-the-art software system that ensures patient data is available in real time to providers.

Looking ahead, I think we’re going to see more direct contracts and partnerships with employers. –

Nancy Johnson CEO El Rio Health

Johnson said there are many benefits that come from this real-time clinical care system. “From a cost perspective, providers can see what tests have already been completed – avoiding duplication for diagnostics. It helps track prescriptions and other prescribed care, which ensures patient safety.” Carlos Rico, El Rio CFO, recently joined El Rio after working many years for Ventana Medical Systems, now Roche Tissue Diagnostics, in Oro Valley. He was drawn to the organization because of its focus on its mission. Now, he’s involved in its continued growth. “When you’re locally based, you can be available, you can utilize resources collectively and be more nimble when changes are needed,” Rico said. “We believe we have the best care model anywhere and we want everyone to experience that.” He acknowledged that, as the organization grows, El Rio will need to adapt. A key focus of the El Rio Health board of directors is to look at each of El Rio’s services and identify the most profitable areas, while finding ways to support less-profitable areas critical to El Rio’s mission of providing quality continued on page 150 >>>

t

El Rio Senior Leadership pictured from left – Kenneth Sand, Tara Radke MPH, Josh Carzoli PharmD, George Toy, Dr. Greg Raglow, Nancy Johnson RN, Dr. Doug Spegman, Brenda Goldsmith, Mark Hodges RN, Carlos Rico, Rajiv Sehgal Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 149


BizHEALTH Residency programs in medical, pediatric, general dentistry, as well as family nurse practitioners

continued from page 149

PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

care for patients. He pointed to El Rio’s Cost of Care Dr. Douglas Spegman project as key to these efforts. “Are there differences? Should there be? There is now a lot of data, but the challenge is determining the right data to invest in gathering and extracting,” he said. Rico added that El Rio has been tracking these costs for some time, but it is now more important than ever to answer the value questions. “We know the cost of healthcare continues to rise at rates that are not sustainable,” he said. “We can’t control or change that on a macro level, so we’re focusing on what we can control. It will change at some point, and when that happens the industry will be seeking answers from those who are doing it right, and we

TIMELINE 1968

With urging from Barrio residents, El Rio is founded with the help of Dr. Herbert Adams of the UA Medical School.

150 BizTucson

1970

Thanks to federal and county funds, El Rio opens the first site at the Mother Higgins Building. Although designed to serve 20,000 patients, demand exceeds capacity. Staff: 50. Budget: $500,000.

<<<

Winter 2020

1975

A new 35,000 square foot medical facility is built at 839 W. Congress.

1980

In an attempt to make care more accessible to patients, El Rio starts its own health care plan, a financial risk that does not pay off.

1985

Board decides to file for bankruptcy and reorganize. With newly hired executive director Robert Gomez, they turn the organization around.

1991

El Rio builds a second building at the Congress site for pediatrics and dental services, with funding from Angel Charity for Children.

1993

El Rio develops a strong partnership with the Pascua Yaqui Tribe that includes opening a site on the reservation.

www.BizTucson.com


meet the healthcare dently in a clinical setneeds of surroundting. Spegman said more Greta Gill, El Rio’s ing rural commuresident practitioners will Director of Midwifery be an important resource nities,” Spegman to meet the primary care needs of the said. All residency programs are accredited individually, and Spegman ancommunity. ticipates El Rio Health will be the first “The response to the program demnational program to receive accreditaonstrates how nurse practitioners are searching for this type of opportunity, tion by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education in 2020. and they are seeing the need for more El Rio has also launched Arizona’s medical training,” Spegman said. “We first nurse practitioner residency procan’t do it without them.” gram in partnership with Arizona State El Rio’s nurse practitioner residency University. The program received approgram also is addressing the critical plications from students from all over shortage of maternity practitioners, the nation. Six students were selected especially in rural areas. “More than for the first class, including students 50% of the counties in the United who will work at El Rio’s sister centers States have no access to maternal care, in Nogales and Marana after complemeaning care is 50 miles or more from tion of the residency program. home,” said Greta Gill, El Rio’s direcNurse practitioners receive broad tor of midwifery. medical training and practice indepenEl Rio has partnered with other

TIMELINE continued on page 152 >>>

1995 El Rio opens a new Southwest Medical site on Valencia Road.

PHOTOS COURTESY EL RIO HEALTH

want to be one of those providers that is doing it right.” As the organization looks to the future, partnerships throughout the community are central to El Rio’s master plan. About 10 years ago, El Rio began exploring becoming a teaching health center. Dr. Douglas Spegman, El Rio’s chief medical officer, oversees this initiative, which includes residency programs in medical, pediatric, adult and pediatric dentistry, as well as family nurse practitioners. It provides clinical training and chronic care management, but also emphasizes preventative care and wellness. Spegman said the residency in family medicine has expanded and is now part of the first-ever community health center national family residency program in the state of Arizona. “This allows residents to utilize the resources of urban centers to help

2001

El Rio Foundation hires its first executive director & assembles a Foundation Board charged with raising philanthropic support and public awareness.

www.BizTucson.com

2004

El Rio opens new Southwest Dental and Northwest Medical sites. Kathy Byrne replaces retired CEO Robert Gomez & Brenda Goldsmith replaces Jane Chittick as executive director of the Foundation.

2006

El Rio acquires El Pueblo Health Center. Begins process of transitioning to electronic medical records across the organization.

2007

El Rio partners with the Birth & Women’s Health Center.

2009

2010

El Rio opens first ever “green clinic” in in Southeast Tucson and breaks ground on a new El Pueblo building. Nancy Johnson joins as COO.

Winter 2020

>>>

El Rio opens its new El Pueblo Health Center (50,00 sq. ft.).

BizTucson 151


continued from page 51 community healthcare providers to offer more robust maternal care services to patients. Although the practice of midwifery has individually been at El Rio since 1976 and at Tucson Medical Center (TMC) since 1982, the two organizations recently teamed up to create one of the first collaborative birth centers in the U.S., providing midwifery and obstetrics on the same hospital campus. “A birth center is a place to practice midwifery, while labor and delivery in a hospital is for the practice of obstetrics,” Gill said. “What we wanted to do was create a place where both practices can be available. We want to provide the best care for mom, based on her needs and preferences. This is the modernization of an ancient profession.” Most pregnancies are low-risk, and Gill said there is a lot of research that

shows low-risk pregnant women who have access to midwife services have healthier outcomes. Those include nearly 50 percent fewer c-sections, higher breast-feeding rates, more fullterm deliveries and earlier releases from the hospital. Gill said midwifery births in Arizona have doubled in the last 10 years. “But, while there is an increase in women wanting midwifery, there is a decrease in women choosing out-ofhospital birth, so this model provides a place for women to have both,” Gill said. As El Rio serves more patients, it has expanded its number of health centers to ensure that care is close to patients. This includes the El Rio/TMC partnership HealthOn Broadway, which provides variety of health services for those living and working in the down-

town Tucson area. One unexpected service that has grown with this health center is workforce services, including pre-employment physicals and occupational healthcare. “We started by sending our own employees there, and we got more and more requests from downtown employers,” Johnson said, noting that El Rio has worked to provide programs and services for several companies and organizations – Tucson Electric Power, Hotel Congress, Caterpillar, Pima Community College and Pima County, to name a few. “The partnership we have with El Rio Health has been great over the years,” said Jan Lesher, chief deputy county administrator. “We’ve collaborated with them for back-to-school immunization events, flu shot clinics, and on our public health work in continued on page 154 >>>

TIMELINE 2011

El Rio Birth & Women’s Health Grand Opening New Location.

152 BizTucson

2013

Northwest Dental Grand Opening New Location.

<<<

Winter 2020

2014

El Rio Congress Grand Opening new Robert Gomez Building. Nancy Johnson replaces retiring CEO Kathy Byrne.

2016

The Manning House Grand Opening (Re-locate 250 employees downtown).

2017

HealthOn Broadway Grand Opening with TMC.

2019

El Rio Cherrybell Grand Opening (50,000 sq. ft.).

2020 HealthOn University Grand Opening with with TMC, opening January 2020. Expanded El Rio Southeast (40,000 square feet) Grand Opening, Feb. 2020. 50th Anniversary Celebration, April 18, 2020 at Congress Health Center.

PHOTOS COURTESY EL RIO HEALTH

BizHEALTH


www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 153


BizHEALTH

El Rio Health is very open-minded and thinks outside of the box. We’re always talking about ways that we can work together to bring healthy activities to the downtown. –

Kathleen Eriksen, President & CEO, Downtown Tucson Partnership

continued from page 152 the community.” Lesher added that El Rio recently held 22 vaccination events, during which it administered 2,455 flu shots. More than half of those were given to Pima County employees. “Thanks to this partnership with El Rio, we‘re protecting the health of our employees, their families and the larger community,” Lesher said. Kathleen Eriksen, president and CEO of Downtown Tucson Partnership, recently partnered with El Rio for the organization’s Healthy Feet on the Street program. “El Rio provided a podiatrist who

did exams for all of our staff, including blood pressure and health checks,” Eriksen said. “We have 20 safety and maintenance employees who put in a good 10,000 steps in the first few hours on their shift.” “It really provided some health benefits for our staff and a boost in morale,” Eriksen said. “El Rio, and Nancy Johnson in particular, is very open-minded and thinks outside of the box. We’re always talking about ways that we can work together to bring healthy activities to the downtown.” The downtown health center has been so successful that El Rio and TMC opened opened a second loca-

tion, HealthOn University at the new Trinity Building on University Boulevard just east of Fourth Avenue, which began seeing patients in December 2019. “Looking ahead, I think we’re going to see more direct contracts and partnerships with employers,” said El Rio Health CEO Johnson. ”Within the scope of services we provide and the systems we have built around care coordination and population health, we should be able to build some of those preferred networks to keep their employees as healthy as possible while decreasing the cost of care.”

Biz

Cox and El Rio Health share the same strong commitment to the communities we serve In 1970, El Rio Health was one of the first community health centers in the nation. Today, El Rio Health has grown to be one of the nation’s most innovative health care providers with more than 107,000 individuals receiving services at one of its 12 Tucson-area campuses. Congratulations and best wishes for another 50 years in demonstrating how to provide quality, accessible healthcare for all.

154 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

www.BizTucson.com


www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 155


156 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

www.BizTucson.com


BizHEALTH

www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 157


WOMEN WHO LEAD

158 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

www.BizTucson.com


BizLEADERSHIP

Q&A with

Nancy Johnson CEO – El Rio Health By Romi Carrell Wittman A chance encounter during a Tucson vacation changed the course of El Rio Health CEO Nancy Johnson’s life. In 1982, Johnson decided to drop in at the University of Arizona’s College of Nursing. Soon after, she met the college’s dean and, not very long after that, she moved to Tucson to take a faculty position at the university. Later, Tucson Medical Center recruited her to work in nursing education and research. In her 15-year tenure at the hospital, she was instrumental in building its health and wellness programs as well as expanding its community networks. In 2009, Johnson joined El Rio Health as its COO and became CEO in late 2014. She brought with her a wealth of knowledge and practical expertise. She holds two master’s degrees – one in nursing from the University of Illinois and another in marketing from the UArizona’s Eller College

Q. What inspired you to become a nurse?

PHOTO COURTESY EL RIO HEALTH

A.

I’m from a family of many healthcare professionals and grew up in healthcare environments, volunteering and working with people. My very first job after graduating from college was in an inner-city hospital in Chicago. I worked in the intensive care unit. It was really my lesson about how so many other factors influence health. I would see many patients repeatedly with hospital admissions and discharges and it became clear the powerful role that education, poverty, employment and basic safety have on www.BizTucson.com

health. It was why I wanted to work more in community health and prevention.

Q. What inspired

you to join the El Rio Health team?

A.

El Rio had been a healthcare consulting client of mine in prior years, so I was very familiar with the organization and its wonderful work in caring for our community. In 2014, El Rio CEO Kathy Byrne decided to retire. My commitment to El Rio’s strategic plan – as well as my passion for health improvement – motivated me to apply for the position. 

of Management. She later earned a doctorate in healthcare administration from the University of Illinois. Over the course of her distinguished career, Johnson has held positions as a clinician, a faculty member in nursing, in business administration and as an administrator. Though her days are jam-packed leading one of the largest federally qualified health centers in the nation, she continues to serve as an adjunct clinical professor at the UArizona’s College of Medicine. In 2016, Johnson received UArizona’s Cecil B. Hart Humanitarian Award, as well as the Distinguished Alumni Award from Illinois Wesleyan University. Johnson took time to answer questions about her passion for community health, what inspires her, and the future of healthcare.

Q.

Q.

In your time at El Rio, of what achievement are you most proud?

What sets El Rio apart from other healthcare providers?

Rio has a 50-year A.years at El Rio Health, A.Elhistory and has reI am most proud of Team During the past 10

El Rio’s creation of fully integrated, comfortable and welcoming health centers, which strongly support patient quality of care and the utmost safety. I’m super proud of the amazing employees and providers that choose to work at El Rio. They’re passionate about our mission and fully focused on optimizing health and quality of life for all members of our community.

mained consistently focused on the mission of the organization. We’re part of the national health center movement, so we share our commitment to provide great healthcare for our communities. I think some of the unique aspects of El Rio include the long tenure of many of our providers and employees, hence providing continuity of care and service for our patients. continued on page 161 >>>

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 159


BizLEADERSHIP

160 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

www.BizTucson.com


continued from page 159 Maybe what is most unique is our fully integrated model of care with a single health record for our patients encompassing medical, dental and behavioral healthcare, as well as offering all-inclusive laboratory services, radiology and pharmacies in a single health center campus.

Q.

El Rio has accomplished a tremendous amount over the past 50 years. What is on the horizon for El Rio Health over the next year? The next five to 10 years?

A.the El Rio family. We’ll also settle into our new HealthOn We expect to grow about 5% by adding new patients to

University health center as well as our expanded Southeast Health Center. We’ll continue to focus on improved patient services and clinical operational excellence. In the next five to 10 years, we anticipate more virtual visits for our patients via our telehealth app, more emphasis and knowledge about the health of our patients through data analytics, and continually working on improving the efficiency and cost effectiveness of primary care.

Q.

What makes you excited to go to work each day? What motivates you as a leader?

A.our patients and colleagues. Their commitment to conI’m inspired daily in hearing feedback and stories from

El Rio Health at a Glance REVENUE TREND 1990 – $9,978,264 2000 – $24,371,165 2010 – $79,856,149 2016 – $130,373,911 2017 – $140,165,030 2018 – $148,787,911 2019 – $163,256,083 NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES 2000 – 400 2010 – 800 2016 – 1,047 2017 – 1,295 2018 – 1,324 2019 – 1,395

tinual improvement and innovation is very motivating. I truly enjoy being in the health centers, knowing about 2,000 people are accessing care and services daily, and that our team is contributing to their quality of life and good health.

By The Numbers*

Q.

Ages:

How do you motivate and lead your team? What is your leadership style?

A.to identify those shared visions and collaborative opporI think others see me as a leader who builds relationships

tunities. My senior leadership team would say we have a shared vision about what great primary healthcare should look like for our community, and we strive to provide that for our patients.

Q.

What do you think will be the biggest innovations in healthcare in the coming years?

A.for patients, as well as data analytics to target populations The biggest innovations will be greater use of technology

at risk. In addition, strong support for individuals through families, relationships with healthcare providers, and an investment in healthy community infrastructure will continue to play a powerful role in fostering health, longevity and wellness throughout our entire community.

Biz

www.BizTucson.com

Total Patients: 106,920 served

Children 0-17 35,511 33% Adults 18-64 60,604 57% Seniors 65+ 10,805 10% Patient by Insurance Status:

Medicaid Medicare Uninsured Private

54,996 12,912 15,861 23,151

51% 12% 15% 22%

Annual Patient Visits:

429,000+ Annual Patient Visits *2018 UDS DATA

www.elrio.org

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 161


PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

Photos of Block Party, courtesy of El Rio Vecinos

From left â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Paul Loucks, Past President El Rio Foundation Board, Robert Ramirez, President El Rio Health Board, Kate Calhoun, President El Rio Foundation Board, Enrique Serna, Past President El Rio Health Board, Bobby Bakos, President El Rio Vecinos

PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

Brenda Goldsmith Executive Director El Rio Foundation

162 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

www.BizTucson.com


BizLEADERSHIP

El Rio Foundation Poised to Support El Rio’s Growth

PHOTOS COURTESY EL RIO HEALTH

By Mary Minor Davis

www.BizTucson.com

The El Rio Foundation was founded in 2001 by the health center board members hoping to expand the scope and reach of El Rio Health. At that time, El Rio was one of only a handful of community health centers in the nation to have a dedicated fundraising organization. Since that time, El Rio Foundation has become a national model. Thousands of donors – both individuals and corporations – have contributed more than $22 million via the El Rio Foundation, averaging from $1.3 to $2 million each year. Of every dollar donated, 86 cents remain in the community and and are used directly for patient care. “Contributions help fund programs in the areas of dental, asthma, cancer screenings and treatment, immunizations, children’s literacy, wellness, diabetes care, prenatal care and education, mental health, and support for people diagnosed with HIV/AIDS,” said Brenda Goldsmith, El Rio Foundation’s executive director. “El Rio treats one in 10 patients in the community – and El Rio’s vision is to grow that,” said Paul Loucks, former president of the Foundation’s board of directors. “We’ll be there to help them every step of the way.” The foundation also receives support from El Rio Vecinos, which was created in 2013. Made up of young professionals aged 25 to 39, Vecinos members share a singular goal of supporting El Rio and its mission of serving the community’s healthcare needs. El Rio Vecinos is unique among local professional and philcontinued on page 165 >>> Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 163


164 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

www.BizTucson.com


BizLEADERSHIP

In 2019, its signature event, the Vecinos Block Party, raised a record-breaking $116,000. –

Josh Plicht, Past President, El Rio Vecinos

continued from page 163 anthropic groups. While it has networking and social aspects like other groups, its primary focus is to raise money for El Rio’s underfunded programs, which the group votes on each year. In 2019, its signature event, the Vecinos Block Party, raised a record-breaking $116,000, said Vecinos past board president Josh Plicht. “When we put our noses down and set a goal, there’s really not a lot that will keep us from hitting that goal,” he said. “We set a goal to raise six figures and, once we hit that, we kept going and challenging ourselves to raise more.

That’s a credit to everyone in the group and at El Rio.” Kate Calhoun, incoming president of the foundation board, said the foundation is poised to support El Rio’s continued growth. “The health center is growing and so is our support for innovative programs, preventative services and treatment for individuals who need assistance,” Calhoun said. “The foundation is fortunate to have many long-term donors, new contributors, loyal board members and El Rio Vecinos committed to El Rio’s mission.”

Calhoun added that the El Rio Foundation is the first Tucson nonprofit to be accepted into the 2020 Arizona Community Foundation’s Endowment Building Institute. That collaboration will be helpful to the foundation as it works to increase charitable giving and expand its donor legacy program. “As we celebrate our 50th anniversary, we have an opportunity to actively engage those who helped build El Rio Health over five decades and invite new community members to learn about our organization,” she said.

Biz

Biz www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 165


BizHEALTH El Rio Health Foundation Board Raul Aguirre REA Media Group

Christine Helin Retired

Mark C. Mansfield Tucson Electric Power

Rob Assenmacher CAID Industries

Linda Immerman-Stoffers Retired

Dominic Ortega Retired

Kate Breck Calhoun SMG - Tucson Convention Center

Lars Larson Retired

Anthony Schaefer Long Realty Company

Chris Lawler Nova Home Loans

Tracy Sole de Hoop Hexagon Mining

Alex Levin Levin Risk Management

Griff Straw Griff Straw, CMB

Claudia Levin Community Volunteer

Patricia A. Wallace Retired

Edward Leyba Wells Fargo Bank

Mike Webb Jim Click Automotive

Matthew Gaspari Tucson Federal Credit Union Richard Gregson AssuredPartners of Arizona Joanie Hammond Herzing University Stephanie Healy Cox Communications

Paul Loucks Hecker & Pew

Healthcare For All Ages & Stages Spectrum of El Rio Services • Primary Care • Pediatrics • Family Medicine • Internal Medicine • Behavioral Health • OB/GYN • Midwifery • Dentistry • Pharmacy

El Rio Health Accreditations JOINT COMMISSION

• Laboratory • Radiology

The Joint Commission is an independent, not-for-profit organization that accredits and certifies more than 20,000 healthcare organizations and programs in the United States. Joint Commission accreditation and certification is recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting certain performance standards.

• 24/7 Nurse Triage

HEALTHCARE EQUALITY INDEX

El Rio Programs of Excellence

El Rio Health is proud to join 418 leaders in the nation in the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI). El Rio Health is the only organization in Arizona to receive a 100% score. In its 12th year, the Healthcare Equality Index is the national LGBTQ benchmarking tool that evaluates healthcare facilities’ policies and practices related to the equity and inclusion of their LGBTQ patients, visitors and employees. The HEI 2019 evaluates more than 1,600 healthcare facilities nationwide.

NATIONAL COMMITTEE FOR QUALITY ASSURANCE (NCQA) NCQA Accreditation measures the following five areas of performance: 1. Staying Healthy 2. Getting Better 3. Living With Illness 4. Access and Service 5. Qualified Providers

El Rio Health is a level 3 accredited medical home.

166 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

• Patient Navigation

• Asthma • Diabetes • Hepatitis C • HIV/AIDS • Pain Management • Prenatal Care • Wellness www.BizTucson.com


www.BizTucson.com

Spring 2016

>>>

BizTucson 167


PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

BizHEALTH

Miguel Rojas

Dr. Herb Abrams

El Rio’s Roots A History of Innovation

Tucson’s neighborhood groups have long proven to be a strong voice for change, especially when they speak collectively. This was especially true in the late 1960s, when westside and southside residents teamed up to call for the creation of a health center to serve their community needs. One Tucson resident in particular rallied for what would eventually become El Rio Health. Miguel Rojas represented thousands of his neighbors right from the start and he continues to do so today, 45-plus years later, as an El Rio board member. The story began in the 1960s when Rojas volunteered with an anti-poverty program serving South Tucson residents. “We did things for seniors and neighborhoods and helped people get jobs,” he said. “We were funded by the 168 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

federal government, with about $2 to $3 million. I was chairman of our area, and I did it for about six years.” Rojas’ group was part of a community-area counsel with 12 neighborhood groups that met and discussed concerns they had in common. “We talked to people about issues such as the lack of medical facilities and physicians,” he said. “There were only two or three doctors on the westside then. Most were east of Alvernon.” El Rio Health got its start thanks to President Lyndon B. Johnson’s famous War on Poverty. This initiative funneled millions of dollars into cities across the United States with the singular goal of bringing quality healthcare to all Americans. In 1970, the University of Arizona College of Family and Community

Medicine along with community members secured a grant to start a community health center. The group secured land on Tucson’s westside and got the help of Pima County, which leased an old juvenile detention center to El Rio for $1 a year. Additionally, the University, of Arizona College of Medicine’s community medicine department, directed by Dr. Herb Abrams, had doctors who wanted to practice in areas of need. These doctors were among El Rio’s first medical staff. In October 1970, the first El Rio neighborhood health center opened with a small staff of medical and dental professionals to serve about 10,000 patients. “Johnson got Congress to approve a public health bill that provided funding www.BizTucson.com

PHOTOS COURTESY EL RIO HEALTH

By Christy Krueger


PHOTO COURTESY ROBERT THOMPSON

PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

Frank Valenzuela

Robert Thompson

Former Employee and Longtime Patient By Romi Carrell Wittman

for neighborhood health centers. Now there are 1,500 across the nation taking care of 28 million Americans,” said Nancy Johnson, El Rio Health CEO. El Rio Health obtained federal grants that pushed them forward in both facility growth and services offered. With that funding, El Rio was able to build its own permanent facility at 839 W. Congress St., which was expanded with a new 60,000 square foot health center in 2014. In 1974, Rojas and others signed incorporation papers. One item El Rio still needed was a board of directors. “Federal rules and regulations said we needed community people and experts, such as bankers and lawyers, so we got them,” Rojas said. “They required people from poverty areas to be elected by their own areas to be on the board. I was elected. I’m proud of being involved for over 40 years. And I’m involved because things continue to change. We have a dozen health centers now. It’s progressive.” Frank Valenzuela, a banker at the time, joined the board in 1990 and has served as president, VP and now treasurer, and he’s been an El Rio patient for almost as long. He enjoys the dedication, passion and professionalism of continued on page 170 >>> www.BizTucson.com

Back in the late 1970s, Robert Thompson learned that a local healthcare center was in need of someone with computing experience. That center was El Rio Health and Thompson would one day be named its chief information officer. “I’d taken a FORTRAN class and they hired me,” Thompson said. “Their system was in COBOL, which is an entirely different language. But it took them about six months to get the system up and running and, in that time, I took a class at Pima Community College in COBOL, so I was ready to go.” Thompson has fond memories of his career at El Rio, particularly the early days. “In those days, there was only one building and we had lots of potlucks. If you feed IT people, they never leave,” he joked. He said he was able to build a long, prosperous career at El Rio because healthcare IT is always changing. “There’s always something new, something going on – and there was always good food.” Thompson saw El Rio Health purchase one of the earliest mini-mainframe computer systems in Arizona and he helped the organization become one of the first healthcare centers to adopt computerized billing and reporting. Later, Thompson was integral to El Rio’s move to data centers and the adoption of electronic medical records, an innovation that changed healthcare management. Eventually, he was promoted to CIO, where he was responsible for the growing organization’s complex information technology infrastructure. Thompson retired from El Rio in 2019, but uses its healthcare services as a patient, as do some of his family members. Two of his three children were delivered by El Rio mid-wife Sue Ann Breens. Today, one of his grandchildren is a pediatric patient. “I am proud to share she’s a third-generation El Rio Health patient,” Thompson said. “My family and I have used El Rio Health’s medical, dental and healthcare since I started in 1977. The quality, convenience and full-service healthcare is and continues to be exceptional.”

Biz Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 169


BizHEALTH continued from page 168 his fellow board members, as well as the inclusion and ease of being an El Rio patient. “When I became a patient, I saw how accessible it is and how great the quality of care is.” He considers himself a patient advocate with a direct line of communication to the board and El Rio’s leaders. According to Nancy Johnson, 51% or more of board members must be El Rio patients. “If you represent the patients on the board, you need to be a patient,” Valenzuela noted. “If something is not working, we can make recommendations to leadership.” El Rio’s board members, employees and patients have seen many positive changes since its early days. Johnson considered the growth a highly important aspect because it contributes to workforce development. “Not only do we offer affordable healthcare, but El Rio is an economic engine,” Johnson said. “We employ 1,400 people, and over 110,000 people are patients.” For Rojas, some of the greatest changes at El Rio are the addition of

170 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

Not only do we offer highquality affordable healthcare, but El Rio is an economic engine. We employ 1,400 people, and over 110,000 people are patients. –

Nancy Johnson CEO El Rio Health

a program targeted at non-binary patients and an HIV program. “We’re

pioneers for LGBT adults and young adults. We have providers and specialty care.” Rojas said. “Also, our HIV program is recognized nationally for the care we give this special population.” Valenzuela said he believes electronic medical records, the addition of pharmacies, behavioral health services, growth in the number of providers, and integrating all areas of care under one roof are significant achievements during El Rio’s lifetime. Johnson said El Rio is a leader in the model of integrated care. “We offer medical, dental health, vision, women’s care, pediatric, pharmacy, radiology, and preventive care. It’s about keeping people healthier,” she said. She added that it’s about making care convenient by bringing health centers into the neighborhoods and providing flexible hours so patients don’t have to miss work. “Healthcare is all moving in this direction, and we’re proud when people say we like what you’re doing. We often are earning awards for innovation.”

Biz

www.BizTucson.com


continued on page 167 >>> www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 171


BizHEALTH

DESIGN. PRINT. PROMOTE. For over 8 years, Cirrus Visual has supported El Rio Health as a Community Partner with their graphic design, printing and event needs. How can we help you?

520.514.5704 | cirrusvisual.com 601 N. Stone Ave. | Tucson, Arizona

172 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

www.BizTucson.com


www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 173


BizHEALTH

PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

Rajiv Sehgal El Rioâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s CIO

174 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

www.BizTucson.com


Charting the Future Technology and Healthcare By Mary Minor Davis Understanding costs, identifying where services are needed, aligning patient care across provider platforms. Doing this – and doing it well – depends on the quality of data collected and how it’s interpreted. Rajiv Sehgal M.S. E.E., B.TECH. E.E. El Rio’s CIO, has made this a personal mission. Sehgal joined El Rio in July, bringing with him nearly 30 years of global IT experience, including stints in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Sehgal honed his technical expertise by working in a variety of industries, ranging from banking to manufacturing to healthcare. “There is so much data available that can help community healthcare be more preventative than reactive,” Sehgal said. “When you look at census data and overlay patient data, we can develop predictive models to be more ahead of the curve and less reactive. We call this healthcare informatics.” Sehgal’s IT team of 52 is focused on identifying trends in how population and community health interact. They’re also looking at social determinants of health, such as food insecurity, inability to pay for health insurance and living conditions. This data will help the team determine what conditions are prevalent and how El Rio can help with those conditions. “The biggest challenge is being able to serve our patients how they need it, when they need it and how do they need it,” he said. “That is truly patientcentered care.” www.BizTucson.com

To this end, Sehgal said he takes the servicing model down to where the patient is most comfortable, including kiosks, tablets, personal computers and cell phones. “We have these capabilities, but we’re always looking to the next generation. How do we have better communication between providers, healthcare teams, and patients?” The answer for most of these questions will come with the addition of telehealth, he says. According to the Health Resources and Services Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human services, telehealth is the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support longdistance clinical healthcare, patient and professional health-related education, public health, and health administration. Telehealth is becoming more and more popular not only for its convenience and ease of use, but also because many states have expanded reimbursements for this type of care. Sehgal said telehealth not only makes patient care convenient, it can also help drive costs down. El Rio recently launched the service utilizing the technology provided by OTTO Health, a company specializing in virtualvisit technology. “Looking at the next 50 years, we’re going to continue to align around the mission to make sure everyone has access to healthcare,” said Nancy Johnson, El Rio’s CEO. “Telehealth will be

a big part of that. Virtual visits (and) aligning patient data online so that all providers can have real-time access (to that data) will help keep costs in line and provide for safer care.” Geographic information systems (GIS) are another important tool in Seghal’s toolkit. Sehgal’s team is working on a project to map the greater Tucson area, breaking it into smaller quadrants. From there, the team will drill down into specific demographic data for each area. “For example, we know the Grant and Alvernon area has a large immigrant population, low income, and language barriers. From this, we can employ and deploy resources that marry the population health data and identify the needs to be addressed,” Sehgal said. El Rio is using GIS to explore providing better specialty behavioral health services. “When you look at the density of the population, we find that Southern Arizona has a greater need in these areas, trending in the wrong direction,” Sehgal noted. “This informs the services needed in these areas.” Seghal said El Rio is open to adopting and implementing technologies that can be applied in new and innovative ways for healthcare. “We want to buck the trends. We want to be innovative and lead the change,” he said. “If we’re thorough and thoughtful in bringing these things to El Rio, I think we can really make a difference in healthcare for our patients.”

Biz Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 175


BizHEALTH El Rio Health Board of Directors Enrique Serna Retired

Paul Haslam DCMA Raytheon Tucson

Kirk Saunders The Diary Corporation

Robert Ramirez Retired

Renee Hernandez University of Arizona

Mary Spoerl Retired

Rocio Galvez-Martinez Wells Fargo

Sandra Leal SinfoniaRx

Hal Strich College of Medicine University of Arizona

Frank Valenzuela Retired

Francisco Muñoz Pascua Yaqui Tribe

Robert Rauh Hinderaker Rauh & Weisman

Melvin “Pete” Reisinger Retired

Brian Flagg Casa Maria

Miguel Rojas Retired

Kathryn Beatty Retired

Andrea Romero University of Arizona

Alec Berens Sterling Investment Management

176 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

Mary Wright Tucson Police Department

(520) 670-3909 • www.elrio.org

www.BizTucson.com


continued on page 171 >>> www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 177


BizHEALTH

178 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

www.BizTucson.com


continued on page 171 >>> www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 179


BizBRIEF

UA South Renamed College of Applied Science and Technology What the University of Arizona used to call UA South is now the College of Applied Science and Technology. The college, headquartered in Sierra Vista, specializes in a 2+2 pathway program. The new CAST program allows students with associate degrees to enter UArizona as juniors and finish their Bachelor of Applied Science degrees in two years. CAST focuses on career programs, including cyber operations, networking, informatics, intelligence studies, organizational leadership, regional commerce, administration of justice and human services. The National Security Agency has named the college’s cyber operations a National Center of Academic Excellence. It’s one of only 20 programs in the nation with this designation, which shows the program has met the agency’s rigorous academic and technical standards. In 2019, the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency awarded UArizona $1.5 million to create the nation’s first Bachelor of Applied Science degree in intelligence and information operations. Classes for the degree are offered at CAST campus in Sierra Vista. The college draws students from throughout Southern Arizona and beyond with campuses in Chandler, Gilbert and Nogales; at Paradise Valley and Pima East Campus community colleges; at Cochise College in Douglas, and at Arizona Western College in Yuma. It also offers online courses and runs an education center at Fort Huachuca. “The creation of CAST enables us to better serve students not only in Southern Arizona, but all over the world,” said Linda Denno, the college’s interim dean. UArizona offered classes in Southern Arizona satellite locations even before Cochise College was established in 1964. By 1995, the Sierra Vista campus was named a branch of UArizona’s main Tucson location. In 1999, the operation was renamed UA South. Today, more than 100 full- and part-time faculty serve about 630 students each semester. Its Bachelor of Applied Science degree is the second most popular program for students transferring to the university. Biz www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 181


BizHR

Society for Human Resource Management – Greater Tucson

2019 SHRM-GT Awards

Celebrating Innovation in the Workplace Awards By Christy Krueger The Celebrating Innovation in the Workplace Awards consistently offers a lively show, thanks to the hardworking officers and committees of Society for Human Resource Management of Greater Tucson. The 2019 ceremony, which attracted more than 200 members, finalists and other attendees, was no exception. Held at the El Conquistador Tucson, a Hilton Resort, on Nov. 5, 13 individuals and companies in five categories were recognized for accomplishments in their fields and in the community. These are the award categories with acceptance comments, as available, by winning individuals or company representatives:

COMMUNITY IMPACT

planting a seed for innovation and we’re proud our employees recognize it.”

Small Company Winner Educational Enrichment Foundation

LEADERSHIP – INDIVIDUAL

Medium Company Winner Perfection Industrial Finishing Large Company Winner

1 Pima County One-Stop – Evelyn Wright “It’s a great honor. I’m blessed to do what I enjoy and serve the public. We help a whole industry.”

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION 2

Small/Medium Company Winner Southern Arizona Family Services – Donna Gallagher

7

Small Company/Individual Winner Tucson Metro Chamber – Adam Begody

8

Medium Company/Individual Winner Tucson Federal Credit Union – Trish Kordas

“It means a lot to us. We work very hard to make accommodations for those not successful with employment to find success with us.” Medium/Large Company Winner

3 Tucson Electric Power – Mary Vaughan “I’m so honored on behalf of TEP to accept this award, and I’m proud to work for a company that concentrates on diversity and inclusion.”

TECHNOLOGY AND PROCESS IMPROVEMENT Small Company Winner

4 HealthTrio – Kristine Fitzpatrick “It’s an honor to even be nominated. I’m proud to work with HealthTrio and be part of what they do.” Medium Company Winner

5 Golder Ranch Fire District – Chris Grissom “I feel fantastic. It’s a great honor to be nominated for something that has a big effect on our firefighters and to create something so accessible.” 6

Large Company Winner City of Tucson – Ana Urquijo

“I think it’s an award that represents all who have worked for the organization 182 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

9

1

“I’m blown away by this opportunity. Three years ago, I reached out to SHRM to partner. It’s a great honor.”

“I’m incredibly blessed to work with an organization that allows me to innovate. My team supports anything that helps the community. I’m excited for what next year has in store.” Large Company/Individual Winner Goodwill Industries of Southern Arizona – Ila Cipriani

“It’s a culmination of hard work with an amazing team of people.”

5

Company Winner

10 University of Arizona – Diane Brennan “We’re excited to be honored for the work we do to create a positive culture where people and the organization thrive.”

Special 2019 Awards

SHRM-GT Volunteer of the Year Award 11 La Frontera Center & SHRM-GT – Elizabeth Hightower

“It’s exciting. I’ve been a volunteer for three-plus years and I got certified. I continue to volunteer. I love teaching.” Gladys Walker was also recognized for her outstanding work as director of Celebrating Innovation in the Workplace for the past six years. 2019 is her last year in that position.

Biz

8


Celebrating Innovation in the Workplace Award Winners

2

6

9 www.BizTucson.com

3

4

Society for Human Resource Management â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Greater Tucson

7

10

11 Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 183


From left

Mike, Alan & Matt Levin

184 BizTucson

PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

Port of Tucson

<<<

Winter 2020

www.BizTucson.com


BizCOMMERCE

Port of Tucson – A Logistics Gem Arizona’s Only Dry Port Distributes Goods Throughout the West

PHOTOS: COURTESY PORT OF TUCSON

By Jay Gonzales Those who laud Southern Arizona for its growing and increasingly diverse economy have a wide range of businesses and industries that are now part of the discussion. There’s the growing aerospace industry headed by longtime Tucson resident and top employer Raytheon Missile Systems, along with relative newcomers like World View, a commercial satellite launch provider. For decades, mining has been huge business in the region – and now one of the world’s biggest mining-related companies, Caterpillar, has planted a flag here with its Surface Mining & Technology division headquarters. Then there are the core standards you find in most peer communities – such as construction, healthcare and, of course, education – which combine to employ tens of thousands. But did you know that – right off of Interstate 10 with nary a waterway within hundreds of miles – Tucson has a port? The Port of Tucson sits on a spot where Alan Levin stood more than 20 years ago with a vision that has come to fruition. His efforts have made Tucson a player in the logistics industry – shipping and warehousing goods that pass through the region headed to and from major coastal ports in California and north and south, to and from Canada and Mexico. “If you want to be part of the world

economy, you have to have logistics to make it happen,” Levin said. “I’ll never forget the first time I came out here to look at it, standing out by the railroad tracks, watching the trains go by. That’s when I thought, how can we connect to the rest of the world? “It’s a world economy and you’ve got to be part of it with transportation. That’s what it was all about.” Today, the Port of Tucson is 767 acres of land and nearly 2 million square feet of warehouse and distribution space that is essentially an extension of the ocean ports on the West Coast. Shipping containers can come off cargo vessels at, for instance, the Port of Los Angeles or Port of Long Beach in Southern California and be transported directly to the Port of Tucson. Once here, the goods can be warehoused and distributed to their ultimate destinations. Goods can also head the other way on their way to points abroad. The key is the two miles of Union Pacific Railroad track that fronts the Port of Tucson on the north side of I-10 just west of Kolb Road. It’s a lifeline for goods that come and go from all over the Western Hemisphere. The concept and location were so uniquely appealing that Amazon, the multi-billion-dollar retail and shipping behemoth, selected the site for an 855,000-square-foot fulfillment center that opened in 2019. The massive facility sits on land that Amazon purchased

from the Port of Tucson along Kolb Road. “We didn’t really see that one coming,” said Alan’s son, Mike, who is the port’s executive VP. “My goal now is to work with the folks at Amazon and Union Pacific to see how we convert a lot of that Los Angeles freight, international freight, and bring it right to the port and service that building and connect those dots.” That Amazon is even in the picture at the port is the culmination of a story that began in the early 1980s when the Levins, including Mike’s brother, Matt, now the VP of operations at the port, were general contractors building commercial buildings all over Tucson – somewhere in the area of 200 buildings, Mike said. From there, the Levins ventured into building business parks – starting with their own development on 20 acres on Toole Avenue just outside of downtown. There they built 200,000 square feet of warehouse and cold storage space for a number of customers. One of the first was soft-drink distributor Kalil Bottling owned by the late George Kalil. Business was going well for the Levins, Mike said. They had built out their business park with a number of warehouses in the 60,000-square-foot range. Kalil was a huge client. When they added large-capacity cold storage to their portfolio, produce and frozen continued on page 186 >>>

E. Valencia Rd.

PORT OF TUCSON

E. O ld

Vail R

d.

S. Kolb Rd.

324 MILES to Port of Guaymas 806 MILES to Port of Mazatlan

E. Old Vail Rd.

S. Rita Rd.

10

N

Houghton Rd.

IBM IB M CITI Raytheon Missile Systems UArizona Center for Innovation

AMAZON

S. Kolb Rd.

University of Arizona Tech Park

TARGET.COM

UN IO RA N P ILR AC OA IFIC D

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 185


BizCOMMERCE

continued from page 185 storage became a key aspect of their business. “At that point we were developed out. We could have just sat there and been content with the buildings we had and run our freezer,” Mike said. “An opportunity came along to purchase 264 acres out here in 1996, so we took another large risk and came out here. “As we were walking around doing our due diligence, we’d see those stack trains, the container trains going right by, and we were amazed at how many there were and the length of the trains. We weren’t really planning on the railroad side of it until we saw those trains go by and said, ‘Hey, you know what? This would be an opportunity to build warehouses to support that.’ ” The Levins were so well established as a reputable and successful business family that they were approached by Citibank, which had taken over the property through a bankruptcy, to purchase the land in a cash deal, said Matt. After holding the piece of land for more than four years, “they didn’t want to carry any paper on it,” Matt said. “I wasn’t needing more to do, but it was an opportunity,” Alan said. “And I literally sat out here watching the trains go by and I thought this would be a great place for a rail facility.” Matt pointed out that with Alan’s family background in farming in Kansas, they were well aware of the importance of transportation to get product – wheat and corn in the Levins’ case – to market. “In order to get a good price for your product, rail is how it gets from place to place,” Matt said. “You take it to someplace with rail. That was the basis for understanding what rail can bring. That’s the lifeline for a lot of those places.” The transportation industry defines an inland port – or in the Port of Tucson’s case, a “dry port” – as an operation with three characteristics: • An intermodal terminal. The Port of Tucson has 52,000 feet of its own railroad track on the property along with locomotives to move rail cars within the property as needed. • A connection with a port terminal. The Port of Tucson is directly connected to the major water ports in Southern California by Interstate10 and to Mexico by Interstate 19. • An array of logistical activities that support and organize freight brought to the site. The Port of Tucson has 2.2 million square feet of manufacturing, warehousing and distribution space and has room to grow. The port also is a federally designated and activated Foreign Trade Zone and a State of Arizona Enterprise Zone, meaning there are duty and tax benefits on foreign goods that stop there. Having the port is a major selling point for the region as it competes for the high-end industries that need port services without the cost, crowding and delays that take place at the California ports. “There is not another facility like it in the state. This makes it a unique asset we can promote,” said Joe Snell, president and CEO of Sun Corridor Inc., the region’s economic development organization. “The Port of Tucson is located directly on Union Pacific’s main line and provides international ocean container rail service to and from seaports in California and Mexico,” Snell said. “This allows companies to avoid delays at the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach and take advantage of lower freight costs by avoiding over-the-road transportation. Those are big benefits to companies transporting goods through Southern

186 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

www.BizTucson.com


Arizona.” The Levins are on a constant mission to make the Port of Tucson an all-in-one enterprise for anyone moving goods through the region. They are a complete intermodal facility where trucks come and go – somewhere between 13,000 and 15,000 per year, Mike said – without the need for rail infrastructure. They have the infrastructure where rail cars come in and their cargo can be unloaded onto trucks that head to their destinations. Those goods just pass through, so warehousing costs aren’t an issue. And a third component of the port involves providing warehousing and distribution capabilities for goods that come in on rail and need a place to stay for a period of time. The port’s largest such customer is the Biagi Bros., a California-based logistics company. It brings Modelo-brand beers from Mexico by boxcar and then distributes the merchandise throughout California and the Southwest. The company learned about the port from the Union Pacific Railroad, said Jose Lopez, operations manager at the local Biagi Bros. facility. “They recommended the port for their ability to handle our daily boxcar requirements,” Lopez said. “The market in Phoenix could not.” “After 14 years here, we could definitely say it was a great move and we have more than quadrupled our business working with the port,” Lopez said. “They provided us with the warehouse space required, especially in times of fluctuation, and the flexibility to adjust to our needs through the years.” The Levins’ most recent investment is a 230,000-squarefoot “cross-dock” facility. Containers on rail can come in on one side, be sorted to appropriate receivers and go out the other side onto trucks. If needed, the merchandise can stay in the large warehouse for a period of time. “We’ve seen a lot of interest in that,” Mike said. As they did with the port and with their other businesses over the years, the Levins made the investment based on their instinct and sense of where the logistics industry is headed and what it needs. “We didn’t really do it completely on speculation – but we did do the building without a true lease in place,” he said. As one might expect, Mike said, one the biggest challenges for the Port of Tucson is the concept that there even is a port in Tucson. It remains somewhat off the radar for many freight forwarders working out of the major ports, he said. Some forwarders have yet to take advantage of the opportunity the Port of Tucson presents to move goods through the region at a lower cost using rail. “They have their model already set up, which was the model before we put in place what we have,” Mike said. “They’re making their money doing what they’re doing by trucking it. “What we’re always trying to educate the industry about is if there’s any part of their business where they need international transportation – either imports or exports – that we can help them work with Union Pacific, work with the steamship lines, to actually see what type of savings they can potentially get so they can be more competitive globally,” he said.

Biz www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 187


BizBRIEF

Susan M. Gray

Todd Hixon

Cynthia Garcia

Michael Sheehan

Gray Heads UNS Energy, TEP in Leadership Expansion Susan M. Gray has been named president of UNS Energy and its Tucson Electric Power and UniSource Energy Services utilities. She retains her duties as COO, a position she was promoted to in 2018. “Susan is a strong and inspirational leader whose focus on safe, efficient operations has helped us achieve top-tier reliability and strong customer satisfaction,” CEO David G. Hutchens said. “She also has a great respect for our employees that drives her to develop effective strategies through collaboration and inclusion.” Gray became president and COO Jan. 1 when Hutchens stepped down as president. He remains CEO, the company’s top leadership position. He also continues as executive VP of western utility operations for Fortis, the parent

188 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

company of UNS Energy. Gray earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and an MBA from the University of Arizona. She joined TEP as an intern 25 years ago. She was hired as a system engineer in 1997 and advanced through several roles before becoming VP of energy delivery in 2015. When she was named COO in 2018, she also became a senior VP. Gray is part of an expanded leadership team helmed by Hutchens. Three other TEP leaders have been promoted as part of that team. Todd Hixon is senior VP and general counsel with oversight of regulatory affairs, communications, public affairs, information services, physical and IT security, facilities and risk management. He joined TEP as a corporate counsel

in 1998 and most recently served as VP and general counsel. Cynthia Garcia is VP of energy delivery, reporting to Gray. Garcia is responsible for transmission and distribution operations and engineering, as well as corporate safety for UniSource Energy Services and Southwest Energy Solutions. She joined TEP in 2000 as a lead accountant. Her most recent position was as senior director of operations. Michael Sheehan is VP of fuels, resource planning and wholesale marketing under Gray. He manages the company’s longterm resource planning and fuel supply, and provides oversight of wholesale trading and operations. He was an information services specialist when he joined TEP in 1993 and most recently served as senior director of fuels and resource planning. Biz

www.BizTucson.com


www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 189


PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

190 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020


BizHONORS

2019 Tucson Man of the Year

Mark Irvin By Romi Carrell Wittman

Feeling a bit jet lagged after his flight home from a trip to New Zealand, Mark Irvin was looking forward to a quiet day at the office to catch up on work. With just one appointment on the calendar – a 12:40 meeting with his good friend and colleague Ali Farhang – Irvin put his nose down and set to work. “I thought that meeting time was strange,” Irvin said of the appointment with Farhang, a co-founder of the Farhang & Medcoff law firm. “I called his associate and asked what it was about. She rattled off a whole list of things and asked me to come to Ali’s office.” Still thinking the meeting had to do with work, Irvin entered the fourth-floor conference room and found a room full of loved ones, colleagues and Kasey Hill, executive director of Greater Tucson Leadership. Irvin’s initial thought was the gathering might be a belated birthday celebration, though that didn’t make much sense to him. When Hill announced that he had been named GTL 2019 Man of the Year, Irvin was floored. “To say I was shocked is an understatement,” he said. “For the first time in my life, I was speechless.” The GTL Man of the Year award is given each year to honorees who distinguish themselves with active support of a community project, demonstrate excellence in leadership and serve as an inspiration to others. Irvin is a leader in Tucson’s commercial real estate industry and has more than 35 years’ experience in consulting, development and brokerage. He was one of the founding partners of PICOR, then left in 1995 to form his own firm focused on office, medical and investment real estate. Irvin’s community service is impressive, having served in various capacities for many nonprofits – including the Boys and Girls Clubs of Tucson, Pima Community College Foundation, Rotary Club of Tucson and American Red Cross of Southern Arizona. Irvin has volunteered his time for the last 10 years to the Rio Nuevo downtown redevelopment effort. He is recognized as one of the founders of the post-season college Arizona Bowl, and for bringing professional hockey and indoor arena football teams to Tucson.

Irvin serves as an emeritus honorary commander of DavisMonthan Air Force Base, working to promote the base’s interests in the community. Currently, he’s lending his talents to help renovate the current youth center on base and re-create what is essentially a Boys and Girls’ Club – an organization he’s supported for the past 30 years. The goal is a Youth Center of Excellence that will engage Tucson nonprofit organizations and provide a facility and space for them to help with the mission. Irvin said the redesign of the youth center is a model he hopes will serve as a blueprint for communities across the nation Given his long list of contributions and service, many people refer to Irvin as “Mr. Tucson.” Farhang said, “It isn’t just a nickname – it’s a lifestyle for him. He’s the perfect example of what needs to be done to lead Tucson and the region forward.” Much of Irvin’s success can be attributed to his ability to listen, bring people together and foster collaboration. “Mark provides a platform for discussion so individuals and groups can work collaboratively to problem-solve, cultivate appreciation for differing perspectives and inspire others to lead in and around Tucson,” said Timothy M. Medcoff of Farhang & Medcoff. Farhang added, “Mark is a born leader who is all about collaboration, teamwork and doing things the right way. He’s selfless, shuns individual notoriety and always tries to shift attention to the contributions of others. Mark is an inspiration to the vast amount of good one person can bring to the world.” Kym Adair, executive director of the NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl, said Irvin is dedicated to improving Tucson and the lives of its residents. “Mark has impacted this community in more ways than one person can count,” she said. “He’s an incredible example of what true leadership and humility looks like.“ Irvin said he’s humbled by this honor. “I’m better at handing out awards than receiving them,” he said. “I don’t think you do things for recognition. I grew up in a family that said you should contribute whatever you have – whether it’s time, money or influence. You must use it positively.”

Biz

www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 191


PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

192 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020


BizHONORS

2019 Tucson Woman of the Year

Barbi Reuter By Romi Carrell Wittman

It was a day like any other at Cushman & Wakefield|PICOR, so Barbi Reuter thought it odd that she was pulled away and told by the company’s founder to meet in the conference room. She realized something was up when she saw some familiar faces – like that of Kasey Hill, Greater Tucson Leadership’s executive director, who, unbeknownst to Reuter, was there to announce that Reuter had been named the 2019 GTL Woman of the Year. “I was completely shocked,” she said. “I didn’t know I was nominated.” The honor recognizes people who demonstrate extraordinary leadership – using their time and skills to positively impact the community and improve quality of life. Amber Smith, president of the Tucson Metro Chamber, wrote in her letter of support for Reuter, “When you think of female leaders in Southern Arizona who are striving to make a positive impact, Barbi Reuter rises to the top. It’s evident that Barbi is utilizing her skills and expertise to bring forth change in our community.” Reuter has lived in Tucson for 42 years. Growing up in a single-parent home, times were sometimes tough, yet the experience instilled in her a deep commitment to better not only herself, but the world around her. “I grew up in a power single-mom household with sisters,” Reuter said. “We didn’t have a lot, so it’s tremendous to create opportunities for people who might not always have them.” Reuter, who was named president of the commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield|PICOR in 2017, got her start at the Tucson-based company in 1985 as a receptionist while attending college. Supported by a thriving, entrepreneurial environment, she had a meteoric rise and in just seven years – at 26 years old – she was named a partner. That’s a remarkable achievement in an industry dominated by men. Reuter continues to rise to the top. As of Jan. 1, 2020, she is the CEO of the firm, which employs 51 people. “She leads by example with the highest level of integrity – embodying the strength, expertise and knowledge necessary to rise to the ranks typically held by men,” wrote Jennifer Chenault, friend and sales executive at Lovitt & Touche, when www.BizTucson.com

nominating Reuter for the award. ”Moving into this position while retaining an extremely high level of respect by both her employees, peers and other industry leaders is what makes her stand apart.” Reuter is dedicated to creating opportunities for others – particularly young women looking to forge a career in commercial real estate. She has channeled her tremendous leadership and mentoring strengths in her work with Commercial Real Estate Women (known as CREW) and the Building Owners and Managers Association. She has served on the board of Tucson Metro Chamber and just ended her term as chair. ”Barbi has led the organization to innovate and evolve into a broader community-focused entity,” said Smith. “Her guidance has enriched the board of directors and has strengthened the Chamber’s partnerships with others in Southern Arizona.” Reuter makes time to mentor young professionals in the Chamber’s Emerging Leaders Council. Smith said, “Barbi consistently looks for opportunities to build up young leaders – and young women especially. She’s always available to offer advice, guidance and feedback to build individuals up and grow relationships.” Reuter has made significant contributions to the community – including board service for many local nonprofits and work with PICOR’s Charitable Foundation, which has raised more than $967,000 for disadvantaged youth in Southern Arizona. The YMCA of Southern Arizona is also near and dear to Reuter’s heart. She currently sits on its board of directors. One of her passions is her work with the Tucson Girls Chorus, where she served as both board president and board member. “Barbi became immediately involved in the executive committee,” said Marcela Molina, chorus director. “She supported TGC through a difficult transition and unknown future to a solid institution with a clear vision that serves thousands of youth throughout Tucson.” Reuter is among the honorees at the February GTL awards gala. “I know every one of the honorees,” she said. “They’re all people I respect and admire. I’m so honored to be in the mix and to receive this award.”

Biz

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 193


PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

194 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020


BizHONORS

2019 Tucson Founders Award Honoree

Ron Shoopman By Romi Carrell Wittman

It’s difficult to put into words the depth of Air Force Brig. Gen. Ronald Shoopman’s career and service – not to mention the depth of his impact on Tucson and Southern Arizona. One theme runs through every phase of Shoopman’s life and career – an abiding commitment to leadership built on service, trust and working toward common goals. In recognition of his lifetime of service and his exceptional leadership, Shoopman will receive the Greater Tucson Leadership 2019 Founders Award at the February Man, Woman and Founder gala at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort. Longtime Tucson businessman Steve Lynn nominated Shoopman for the award. Lynn first met him when looking for a SALC leader. “I invited him to lunch to get a sense of his personality and leadership style,” Lynn said. “What I discovered in Ron Shoopman is a real renaissance man.” Lynn said Shoopman had the unique experience of serving in the military at an extremely high level, while also possessed a background in the private sector. “Ron had exactly the right combination of military discipline, community mindedness, service experience and workplace achievement to make me really comfortable in recommending him to the board as SALC’s chief executive.” Shoopman would go on to lead SALC to unprecedented membership growth and give the organization a financially strong foundation. Long before Shoopman took the helm of SALC, he led the 162nd Fighter Wing, which was responsible for training both U.S. and foreign pilots flying F-16s. He was in meetings at Randolph Air Force Base in Texas on Sept. 11, 2001, and his unit was immediately tasked with putting F-16s on alert to protect the nation from further attacks. The U.S. Secretary of Defense authorized Shoopman to fly his F-16 home to Tucson, where he led the defensive operation so that he could lead his Wing in defending our nation. On Sept. 12, Shoopman’s F-16 was the only plane in the air west of the Mississippi on a mission unlike any other he had ever flown. “It was a very sobering assignment to tell our pilots that we might be asked to shoot down domestic aircraft filled with American citizens. Thanks to the incredible professionalism and skill of our pilots, the worst never happened,” Shoopman said. “I’m so proud of all the men and women I served with during those uncertain times.” In his role training pilots all over the world, Shoopman honed his leadership and relationship-building skills. “Trainwww.BizTucson.com

ing pilots from around the world and building trust with our allies was a fantastic experience for me and I truly enjoyed it,” he said. After retiring, Shoopman considered leaving Tucson for a job opportunity elsewhere. “Thankfully, the business leaders of SALC convinced me to stay and take the position as SALC’s president and CEO. My wife and I are both Arizona kids, and it was great to stay home in Arizona,” he said. At SALC, Shoopman was instrumental in creating the Southern Arizona Bioscience Roadmap, as well as Tucson Values Teachers, a partnership of business leaders, educators and individuals with a shared mission to help Southern Arizona schools attract and retain highly talented K-12 teachers. In 2007, Shoopman led the Tucson Regional Town Hall to identify the top 10 issues facing Southern Arizona. He also led the development of the Making Action Possible Community Dashboard – known as the MAP – a measure of indicators that compare Tucson to other communities in Arizona and in other states. Shoopman served several community organizations, including the Southern Arizona Health Information Exchange, Military Community Compatibility Committee, Southern Arizona Defense Alliance, Air Guardians, Science Foundation Arizona, Flinn Biosciences Roadmap Steering Committee and Center for the Future of Arizona. While at SALC, Shoopman gained the attention of the state’s top political leaders. In 2014, then-Gov. Jan Brewer appointed him to the Arizona Board of Regents, where he has served for the past six years, including one year as chair. In a letter of support for Shoopman’s nomination, presidents from each of Arizona’s public universities said, “He’s a tireless advocate for education, dedicating his time to meeting with numerous business and community organizations as well as legislators. Regent Shoopman leads by example with the utmost dedication, integrity and honor.” Shoopman said, “For me, leadership is an opportunity to serve. It’s about persuading others to join you in pursuit of a worthy goal. People will step up when they trust you and believe you have their best interests at heart.” Lynn summed up Shoopman: “Good leaders work with others to accomplish common goals. Great leaders inspire others to achieve things they weren’t even aware they were capable of doing. Ron makes people feel like a valued member of the team.”

Biz

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 195


PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

196 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020


BizHONORS

2019 Greater Tucson Leadership Alumni Excellence Award

Kate Hoffman By Romi Carrell Wittman

Kate Hoffman created Earn to Learn to help students for whom the dream of college is out of reach because of cost. That program is the reason she’s been named the 2019 Greater Tucson Leadership Alumni Excellence recipient, an award that honors the highest ideals of service and loyalty to the community and is given to someone who is utilizing leadership skills learned through the GTL program. The general lack of financial literacy among average Americans stuck out to Hoffman as she went through the GTL class of 2008. The organization’s monthly Issue Days made her realize there was a dire need to increase the financial literacy of families so they could manage their finances – especially through economic hardships – and achieve things like pursuing a college education. Hoffman quit her job as a financial advisor with Merrill Lynch – where she managed more than $100 million in accounts – and founded the nonprofit organization Live the Solution. Its singular goal: Give families the knowledge and skills needed to make sound financial decisions. She later rebranded the organization Earn to Learn (ETL). Using the relationships she’d forged through GTL and sheer perseverance, Hoffman built partnerships with several local organizations and launched a first-of-its-kind employerassisted housing program. She soon discovered Assets for Independence, a program offered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to assist low-income families via matched savings accounts. Hoffman realized these funds also could help college students and their families with tuition expenses. Thanks to her collaboration with the Arizona Board of Regents and Arizona’s three public universities, Earn to Learn became a reality. Through Earn to Learn, students and their families can receive up to $8 for every $1 of savings they contribute. A total of $4,000 per student per academic year is available to use toward tuition and other qualified expenses at the University of Arizona, Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University. “Many students come from families where college was never an option,” Hoffman said. “ETL students and their families develop financial capability and stability – and they receive ongoing support that enables them to graduate with little or no debt. ETL helps them see that college is possible.” www.BizTucson.com

Earn to Learn has some impressive stats. Since its inception in 2013, Earn to Learn has procured more than $8.5 million in federal funding for the state of Arizona. With university matching, that figure jumps to almost $17 million in funds available for students, which is enough to offer 3,600 scholarships through 2020. Currently, some 1,500 students are part of the Earn to Learn program. Of the students who receive scholarships, 90% come back after their freshman year. As a point of comparison, the three Arizona public universities have a combined average freshman retention rate of 82%. Further, year-over-year student retention rates are 98%, meaning virtually all Earn to Learn students stick with both the program and their education. Hoffman’s work as chief executive officer of Earn to Learn has gained national attention. Thanks to a nomination by former Senator Dennis DeConcini, Hoffman was appointed to the Obama Administration’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans. This led to discussions at the national level regarding how to scale Earn to Learn’s success and implement a similar program across the country. Amber Smith, president of the Tucson Metro Chamber of Commerce (Chamber), has worked with Hoffman on the Chamber’s workforce development initiative. In a letter of support for Hoffman’s nomination, Smith said, “Kate’s passion for creating a path for student success is a huge benefit for the region and for the state.” While the bulk of Hoffman’s time is dedicated to Earn to Learn, she also makes time for her community. She’s served on the GTL Governing Board, the Tucson Hispanic Chamber Foundation Board, Tucson Values Teachers, and the Child and Family Resources Board, to name just a few. Adam Begody, senior account executive at the Chamber, nominated Hoffman for the GTL Alumni award. “Kate has impacted thousands of students and their families,” he said. “Her accomplishments show all of us that we can be change agents ... all that’s necessary is to care, to be inspired, and to have the passion to see it through.” When asked about receiving the Alumni award, Hoffman was modest. “For me, this is a really exciting honor,” she said. “GTL has meant so much to me. I’m just honored and grateful to receive this award.”

Biz Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 197


WOMEN WHO LEAD

Friday, Feb. 7, 6:30 p.m. The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa 3800 E. Sunrise Road $200 per person Sponsorships available

PHOTOS: CARTER ALLEN

2020 GOOTTER GRAND SLAM GALA Presenting the Steven M. Gootter Foundation Philanthropic Award

Please visit: www.stevenmgootterfoundation.org (520) 615-6430 or info@gootter.org

Honoree Kwan C. An

Dr. Jil Tardiff, Steven M. Gootter Endowed Chair for the Prevention and Treatment of Sudden Cardiac Death 198 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

www.BizTucson.com


BizRESEARCH

Chasing a Cure

Gootter Foundation Fuels Cardiac Research By Tara Kirkpatrick

It’s the drive of the Messing family that motivates Dr. Jil Tardiff every day. Tardiff, holder of the Steven M. Gootter Endowed Chair for the Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Death, said it’s the tireless work of Andrew and Claudine Messing to combat this silent killer that daily inspires her medical research at the University of Arizona. “This is a family that took a horrific tragedy and turned it into a legacy on so many different levels,” said Tardiff, a UA professor of cellular and molecular medicine. “Holding this chair is a daily reminder for me. There’s a greater good that motivates me.” Steven Gootter, Claudine’s brother and a father of two, suffered sudden cardiac death (SCD) while on a morning run in 2005. It’s the same culprit behind half of all U.S. heart disease deaths, killing almost 300,000 people a year. Claudine and husband, Andrew, along with family and friends, created the volunteer-run Gootter Foundation after his death to defeat SCD through research, awareness, education and distribution of AEDs – which deliver a lifesaving shock to SCD victims. SCD begins as sudden cardiac arrest. The heart abruptly stops beating, halting blood flow to vital organs, especially the brain. The victim loses consciousness and will die unless emergency treatment is begun within minutes. The major risk factor for SCD is coronary artery disease, but often there are no signs or symptoms – and thus no warning. Tardiff is one of the most public faces of the cardiac research funded by the Gootter Foundation. Her work focuses on the underlying mechanics of hyperwww.BizTucson.com

trophic cardiomyopathy, a disorder that inhibits the heart from pumping blood efficiently. It’s one of the more common causes of SCD. Her lab is identifying early molecular “signatures” of the disease in young patients with gene mutations. “Any sort of heart disease is much harder to address once the process has started,” she said. “What has become an enormous focus for myself and others in the field is to look at folks who haven’t yet developed disease. That’s a golden opportunity to intervene and change the natural history of the disorder.” Tardiff has opened her own referral clinic for patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. “I see a range of patients who don’t have access to this range of care. That was another thing that I was inspired, in part, by the Gootter example – to go out on a limb to make a difference.” “Jil is one of the most respected experts on SCD in the world,” said Claudine. “We are most fortunate to have someone of her caliber in Tucson.” Along with the endowed chair, the Gootter Foundation finances investigator awards to scientists working on the most promising studies related to SCD. Recent work has focused on enhancing coronary artery development and investigating the link between sleep patterns and the risk of coronary artery disease. “The research we fund is cutting edge and sometimes a lot of people have a hard time wrapping their head around it,” said Andrew. “But this study on sleep looked at the largest data set yet and, sure enough, sleep does have an impact on sudden cardiac arrest.” Much of the Gootter-funded research

garners additional funding by the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association. “We’ve had a lot of success as a beginning-stage funder,” he said. The Gootter Foundation continues to donate AEDs to first responders and have them installed where people gather, worship and go to school. The foundation has handed out more than 350 since 2005. “Until there is a cure for SCD, we know that only an AED and chest compressions can save a life,” said Claudine. “I often think that my brother would be with us today if a shock from an AED had been administered within a few minutes of his cardiac arrest.” “When we donate these AEDs, we just don’t hand them over,” said Andrew. “We actually work with them on getting them trained. And the great thing is, people talk and share, they will teach a friend. That’s an important part of our mission still – getting the word out.” The Foundation raises funds for its programs with an annual gala. This year’s Feb. 7 event will honor Kwan C. An, founder of Mr. An’s and other Tucson restaurants and a major donor to several organizations. “He’s no stranger to SCD and cardiac disease,” said Andrew. “He lost both his father and grandfather to cardiac arrest. He suffered it himself at age 57 and was resuscitated by an AED.” “I’m hopeful we won’t have to be around forever,” he said of the foundation. “I think they will find a cure for SCD one day. That is our goal.”

Biz Winter 2020

>>

BizTucson 199


BizHONORS

Living Memorial Saluting Veterans, Active Military, First Responders By David Pittman

An effort to build a nearly $2 million landmark in Oro Valley to honor veterans, active military and first responders is gathering steam, and proponents have set Memorial Day 2021 as the target date for completion. The proposed Southern Arizona Veterans and First Responders Living Memorial would be a hallowed place in a setting where people can honor, memorialize and learn of the heroic services provided by U.S. military service personnel, police officers, firefighters and emergency medical workers. The memorial – on 2.5 acres in picturesque Naranja Park with its view of Pusch Ridge in the Catalina Mountains – will contain art, monuments and landscaping. Money to build the memorial is being raised privately and the project’s board of directors has established a nonprofit organization to manage the fundraising effort. “We need to raise another $1 million for construction and maintenance of the memorial,” said Vickie Shoopman, an executive board member and

200 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

By David B. Pittman

fundraising chair. “Thus far we have received more than $1 million in pledges and in-kind donations. We need to have 95 percent of our goal in hand before we can break ground, and it is estimated construction will take six months.” Architectural plans for the memorial call for visitors to enter along a “Pathway of Heroes.” There will be 15-foot walls representing various branches of the U.S. Defense Department, U.S. Public Health Service and first responders. Eyes will be drawn to a 24-foot-tall obelisk at the memorial’s center, to represent the strength of the honorees. The venue also will feature a 125-seat amphitheater for educational and community events. The park will be free of charge to visitors. Businesses and organizations can purchase benches, trees, service walls, amphitheater, star floor, pathway of heroes walkway or the 24-foot obelisk. In the future, families of active military, veterans and first responders will be able to purchase pavers to display the name, rank and years of service of their

loved ones. Anyone can donate to the memorial. For more information go to: vfrm.org. Dr. Richard Carmona, who served in President George W. Bush’s administration as U.S. surgeon general, is honorary chair of the effort. “I’ve had the privilege to serve as a U.S. Army Special Forces soldier, a deputy sheriff and U.S. surgeon general,” he said. “Now I have the honor of working with a great team in order to honor all of our fellow military and first responder colleagues who serve selflessly every day to ensure our nation and communities are always safe.” The Town of Oro Valley allocated the publicly owned property for the memorial. Three of Southern Arizona’s most successful businessmen and generous philanthropists – Jim Click, Humberto Lopez and Bill Assenmacher – each contributed $100,000 for the project. Click, who has grown the Jim Click Automotive Team into 10 Southern Arizona locations, said, “Freedom is the

www.BizTucson.com


cornerstone of life in our community and in our nation.” The memorial “will honor the heroes that keep us free and will be a place that educates visitors and teaches our children about those who sacrifice for their future.” Lopez, board chairman of HSL Properties, said, “The men and women who protect us and keep us safe deserve our recognition and appreciation. I cannot think of a better way to honor them than to build the Southern Arizona Veterans and First Responders Living Memorial. I am investing in this memorial because it will be a fantastic place that fully honors their service.”  Assenmacher, former owner and CEO of CAID Industries, said he is passionate about this memorial “because of the experience it will offer all who visit. Its uniqueness, artful design and picturesque setting will touch our hearts and help us reflect on the past, present and future.” Oro Valley community leader Dick Eggerding, who also serves as chair of the project’s executive board, came up

with the idea more than 15 years ago. Since 1991, Eggerding has been active within the town in areas of planning, development, arts, culture, parks, land use, historic preservation and education. Born during the Great Depression, Eggerding was only 2 years old when his father died from injuries incurred during World War I. “My mother raised me with my brother. She had 10 brothers and sisters and there were 21 cousins, all of whom served in the military,” Eggerding said. “Most of them were in World War II, but a couple, like me, served in Korea. I’m the last one standing. I also lost my best friend at the end of the Korean War. He was awarded the Silver Star posthumously. All of this military history impacted me. “When 9/11 hit, it changed the whole paradigm,” he said. “Now we are not just concerned about our military, but also our first responders. It is imperative that a caring community make a strong community effort to provide a permanent reminder of our gratitude

and continued support to these heroes.” Shoopman said those working to build the memorial are deeply committed to creating a “special place” honoring “special people.” “These brave men and women come from all walks of life, but share certain qualities – courage, pride, determination, selflessness, dedication to duty and integrity – found in those willing to serve a cause greater than their self,” she said. “This memorial will help us remember those who are missing in action or were injured or died in the line of duty, whether on a battlefield or while responding to a crisis in our communities. “It will be a place where people will gather for celebrations or learn lessons of freedom, where military and first responders can come together to share experiences, and where local residents and visitors can reflect upon what the memorial represents.”

Biz

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 201

RENDERINGS: COURTESY VETERANS AND FIRST RESPONDERS LIVING MEMORIAL

Closer to Reality


N E W

T O

M A R K E T Project: The Graymont Location: 1125 and 1129 E. 7th St. Owner: Wildcat 32 Contractor: Building Excellence Architect: RAH Architects Completion Date: August 2019 Construction Cost: $2.9 million Project Description: Designed for University of Arizona students, these furnished, luxury townhouses include four bedrooms, private bathrooms, garages and patios.

Project: Desert Diamond Ballroom Renovation Location: 7350 S. Nogales Highway Owner: Tohono Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;odham Gaming Enterprise Contractor: MW Morrissey Construction Architect: HBG Design Completion Date: October 2019 Construction Cost: $1.3 million Project Description: The ballroom and meeting rooms were renovated and existing finishes upgraded.

Project: Iron Horse Quarter Shopping Center Location: 219 N. Third Ave. Owner: Iron Partners Contractor: TBD Architect: A23 Studios Completion Date: Second quarter 2020 Construction Cost: $525,000 Project Description: A 1927 industrial building will be converted to a mixed-use, multi-tenant office/retail center.

202 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

www.BizTucson.com


N E W

T O

M A R K E T

BizCONSTRUCTION

Project: Tucson Convention Center East Garage Location: Tucson Convention Center Owner: Rio Nuevo Multipurpose Facility Contractor: Concord General Contracting + Sundt Architect: Swaim Associates Architects Completion Date: November 2020 Construction Cost: $6.6 million Project Description: A four-level, pre-cast parking garage to be built on TCCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s existing east side parking lot.

www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 203


PHOTOS: CHRIS MOONEY

BizSPORTS

2019 Celebrity Challenge: Chuck Cecil, Oscar De La Hoya, Greg Kinnear, Alfonso Ribeiro

Mark O’Meara the Champion

PGA TOUR Champions Sponsorship Extended Through 2025 Tucson Conquistadores, Cologuard Ink Partnership By Steve Rivera Judy McDermott and the Tucson Conquistadors are focusing on what will be their sixth PGA TOUR Champions event. Gone are the days of worrying about who will be the sponsor for what has turned out to be a major event for Southern Arizona and the children it helps. The worries are over because Exact Sciences – the makers of colorectalcancer screening test Cologuard – announced last fall that it will return as the sponsor for the pro golfing event played at Omni Tucson National Resort in northwest Tucson. The company extended its sponsorship through 2025. “It’s amazing,” McDermott, executive director of the Tucson Conquistadores and tournament director, said about the renewed sponsorship. “Just amazing.” “It’s a really big deal that we got an extension because sports sponsorships are not a given,” she said. This year’s edition of the Cologuard 204 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

Classic is set for Feb. 23 to March 1. “We have fantastic tournament partners: all the Tucson Conquistadores,

By David B. Pittman

COLOGUARD CLASSIC AN OFFICIAL PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS EVENT Omni Tucson National Resort Feb 23 – March 1 Feb 23: Get Your Rear in Gear” Run/Walk 5k Feb 26-27: Jose Cuervo Pro-Am Feb 28 – March 1: Competition of PGA TOUR Helps raise $500,000+ for local youth sports and colon cancer advocacy organizations through the Tucson Conquistadores. Tickets $35 per day or $95 for 3-day general admission Corporate Sponsorship packages ranging from $700 to $50,000. Plus custom-tailored packages. (520) 571-0400 Please visit: cologuardclassic.com

the First Tee of Tucson and our Cologuard ambassador, Jerry Kelly,” said Mark Stenhouse, president of Cologuard at Exact Sciences. “Through just two years, the Cologuard Classic has raised more than one million dollars for the Southern Arizona youth amateur athletics and colorectal cancer nonprofits and advocacy groups,” Stenhouse said. “We look forward to continuing to drive awareness about the importance of early screening and detection of colorectal cancer and continuing to be a part of the great community here in Tucson.” Some of the big pro names expected at the tournament are Fred Couples, Bernhard Langer, Mark O’Meara and possibly Ernie Els, who turns 50 by the time the event tees off. “We want everyone to come out and follow them,” McDermott said. The celebrity challenge – a great success last year – will be back. There will be entertainment off the course, too. www.BizTucson.com


Lee Brice

COLOGUARD CLASSIC Military Appreciation Concert Benefiting Davis-Monthan Air Force Base Airmen and their children. Presented by DM-50 Omni Tucson National Resort Practice Range Saturday, Feb. 29 After the last putt drops All Country, All Night Lee Brice headlines the show which also features his brother Lewis Brice and Lindsay Ell. Lee Brice has taken five radio singles to #1: “A Woman Like You,” “Hard To Love,” “I Drive Your Truck,” “I Don’t Dance” and “Drinking Class.”

PHOTOS: COURTESY TUCSON CONQUISTADORES

Lindsay Ell

Corporate Sponsorships are available for Military Appreciation Concert to benefit DM50. Packages range from $500 to $10,000. Please visit DM50.org

An all-ages concert with children 17 and under admitted free when accompanied by a ticket-holding adult.

This year’s headliner for the Military Appreciation Concert will be Lee Brice, a chart-topping country singersongwriter. The Feb. 29 concert will be at the practice range at Omni Tucson National. “The Cologuard Classic offers fans a week of activities that go beyond golf, and the Military Appreciation Concert is one of them,” said Larry Gibbons, tournament chair. “We are thrilled Lee Brice will be headlining the concert and excited for our fans to enjoy an artist of his caliber.” General admission tickets include access to the tournament and the concert that day. More than 4,500 people attended the concert last year. And don’t forget the parties, McDermott said. There’s one every night. “It’s a weeklong celebration,” McDermott said. “The public is invited to our traditional Friday night party and of course the Saturday night concert.” www.BizTucson.com

All of these events are meant to attract spectators who may not think golf alone is a fun way to spend time. “It’s just a way to get people out to a golf tournament – to realize you don’t have to like golf to get to a golf tournament,” McDermott explained. “It’s a great place to network for business and have fun in the sun.” The Conquistadores know how to throw a party and golf event, having done it for more than 60 years. McDermott has worked on the event for more than 20 years and through many versions – PGA events, Match Play and now PGA Tour Champions. Through it all, the Conquistadores work year round – usually for several months after each event ends – to improve it. The reason? It funds youth amateur athletics and colon cancer advocacy organizations. Cologuard at Exact Sciences became the title sponsor of the event in

2018. Company officials believe the golf event is perfect for its message that early screening is important to discover colorectal cancer. Because the Tucson area is flush with residents and winter visitors who tend to be older, the audience for this message is just right. The suggested age for colorectal cancer screening is 45. The PGA TOUR Champions event also lands during Colon Screening Awareness Month in March. “While tremendous progress has been made in generating awareness for the importance of early screenings and detection of colorectal cancer, it remains the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths among men and women combined in the United States,” Stenhouse said. “It doesn’t have to be. Regular screening can help find cancer in its early stages, before it spreads.”

Biz Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 205


BizBRIEFS

Robert J. Lloyd

Travis Atwood

Caitlyn Mitchell

Matthew Ramirez

Rusing Lopez & Lizardi Adds Partner, 3 Associates Rusing Lopez & Lizardi has added three associates and named one person a partner of the law firm. Robert J. Lloyd, a 40-year practitioner of the law, was RLLâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s senior counsel before becoming partner. He focuses on corporate, securities and tax law. His law degree comes from the University of New Hampshire School of Law. Three associates have been added to the firm. Travis Atwood earned his law degree at the UArizona shortly before joining RLL. He worked in the public defender

206 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

offices of Pima County and Colorado and was a judicial extern for U.S. District Court Judge James Teilborg. He practices in the business transactional area and in litigation. Caitlyn Mitchell previously practiced in Phoenix. She earned her law degree at Arizona State University. She focuses on business formation and corporate governance, bank and credit union representation, and real estate and construction litigation. Matthew Ramirez graduated from the UArizona College of Law and

clerked for RLL while in school. He was honored for his role in creating a neighborhood legal services clinic for Native Americans who live off reservations and in the Tucson area. He works with clients in general business litigation, estates and trust litigation, and gaming and Native American law, among other fields. Rusing Lopez & Lizardi was established in 1992 and has offices in Tucson and Scottsdale.

Biz

www.BizTucson.com


Vantage West Wins Top Member Service Award Vantage West Federal Credit Union’s upgrades to its online and mobile banking services earned it the 2019 Louise Herring Award presented by the Mountain West Credit Union Association. The Herring Award honors credit unions that create internal programs and services that benefit members. Vantage West’s Digital Banking Conversion project won among credit unions with more than $1 billion in assets. It will compete for national recognition by the Credit Union National Association. The Mountain West association represents 123 credit unions in Arizona, Colorado and Wyoming. More than 106,000 members had been using Vantage West’s on-

www.BizTucson.com

line and mobile banking platform when the credit union implemented new services based on member and frontline employee surveys. In April 2019, members were moved to the new platform, which now enables them to get unified access to all of their accounts, instantly move money for person-to-person debit card payment, get more bill-pay service information and see improved alerts and notifications. “It has enabled our members to self-serve on things they previously had to call in or come into a branch for,” said Kelly Mobley, director of digital banking. The new platform – which is the result of two years of planning, study and implementation – allows the

credit union to monitor activity and feedback that could lead to other services and products. “Vantage West has consistently seen high adoption rates for its digital banking services as more members discover the benefits of remote banking,” according to a press release. This is the second Herring Award that Vantage West has earned. It was honored in 2017 for joining the AntiSkimming Alliance with the Arizona Department of Agriculture. Vantage West is the largest credit union in Southern Arizona, and has 19 branches stretching from Douglas to Phoenix. It was established in 1955 to serve airmen at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. Biz

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 207


BizAWARDS Health Information Management Systems

Tucson Metro Chamber’s Copper Cactus Awards

Modern Studios

Rancho Sahuarita Management Company

Snell & Wilmer

Hotsy Industrial Systems

JobPath

Startup Tucson

Emerge Center Against Domestic Abuse

The Hermitage No-Kill Cat Shelter & Sanctuary

Pain Institute of Southern Arizona

By Mary Minor Davis

Barry Chasse of Chasse Building Team was honored as the CopperPoint Small Business Leader of the Year at the 22nd annual Copper Cactus Awards presented by Wells Fargo and the Tucson Metro Chamber. The 2019 awards recognized the accomplishments of the small-business community, along with leadership in charitable organizations and the nonprofit sector. “Small businesses make up more than 70% of the businesses in the Tucson metro area,” Amber Smith, president and CEO of the Chamber, told the audience of 600 at the Sept. 13 event. “They are the backbone of this community.” Chasse founded his construction company in 2007. His philanthropy focuses on children and education. Barbi Reuter, chair of the Chamber board of directors, congratulated the 56 finalists, selected from close to 400 nominations. “You should all feel proud to be here this evening,” she said. The evening included the 12 judges announcing the awards and the criteria for each selection. Nominees were chosen for six categories, broken down by employee size or charitable giving levels.

Biz 208 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

www.BizTucson.com


Other winners of the 2019 Copper Cactus Awards: BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF ARIZONA BEST PLACE TO WORK

3-50 employees: Health Information Management Systems 51-200 employees: Rancho Sahuarita Management Company COX BUSINESS GROWTH

3-50 employees: Hotsy Industrial Systems 51-200 employees: Pain Institute of Southern Arizona TUCSON ELECTRIC POWER CHARITABLE NONPROFIT BUSINESS

$50,000-$500,000: Startup Tucson $500,001-$2 million: The Hermitage No-Kill Cat Shelter & Sanctuary $2,000,001-$5 million: IMPACT of Southern Arizona $5,000,001-$15 million: Emerge Center Against Domestic Abuse NEXTRIO INNOVATION

3-50 employees: Modern Studios 51-200 employees: Snell & Wilmer

PHOTOS: KEVIN VAN RENSSELAER

ARIZONA COMPLETE HEALTH WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

3-50 employees: JobPath 51-200 employees: Old Pueblo Community Services

www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2020

>>>

BizTucson 209


BizTRIBUTE

Bobby Sharpe

Visionary Founder of Rancho Sahuarita By David Pittman Robert “Bobby” Sharpe, a legendary businessman who founded and developed Rancho Sahuarita, died Aug. 28 after a heroic 4½-year battle with brain cancer. He was 67. Sharpe is known as the visionary creator of Rancho Sahuarita, an awardwinning master-planned community 20 miles south of Tucson. He transformed a 3,000-acre dormant cotton farm into a thriving development of more than 18,000 residents and 5,700 homes, along with growing business and commercial operations. Sharpe, who earned a law degree from the University of Arizona in 1982, raised the money needed to buy the Rancho Sahuarita property at bargainbasement prices from the Resolution Trust Corp. in 1993. In 1994, the development was incorporated into the new Town of Sahuarita. In 2002, the first home closed in Rancho Sahuarita. In 2008, it was recognized as the bestselling community in Arizona and the fifth best-selling nationwide. Rancho Sahuarita received widespread accolades. In 2014, it was named a “Project of the Decade” by Metro Pima Alliance. That same year, the Urban Land Institute honored it as one of 13 projects worldwide that demonstrate best practices in building healthy communities. “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,” Sharpe told BizTucson two years ago. “It’s all about offering a lifestyle that makes people’s lives easier – and more meaningful and enjoyable.” To accomplish that goal, Rancho Sahuarita provides residents with a wealth of amenities, including resort-style clubhouses, pools, a 24-hour fitness center and regularly scheduled annual events. There are 17 miles of paved trails, multiple parks, tree-lined streets with sidewalks and a 10-acre, man-made lake. Land was provided for the local school district to build seven campuses. 210 BizTucson

<<<

Winter 2020

Marty Moreno, a former vice mayor of Sahuarita, remembered a discussion she had with Sharpe during Rancho Sahuarita’s early days in which he spoke of his goals for the development. ”We were standing on the deck of the waterpark discussing Sahuarita,” Moreno said. “It was at that moment his most honest intentions were evident. His eyes lit up like a 500-watt bulb when he talked about children growing up in the neighborhoods with mini-parks, soccer and baseball fields near their homes, and the pride of affordable homes for all.

Robert Sharpe “As I listened to him speak of families building foundations here, I came to respect his vision. His intentions were not about national awards or money, but rather about creating a community unlike any other.” About half of the available land for development is occupied, meaning there’s more room to complete Sharpe’s vision. Leadership on that front has been passed to his son, Jeremy, the COO of Rancho Sahuarita Management and president of Sharpe Associates. “Our company is very strong and we are very strong in the community,” said Jeremy Sharpe, who received an MBA

from the UA Eller College of Management in 2012. “We will continue to develop Rancho Sahuarita with the same values and intentions established by my father.” Sharpe was diagnosed in March 2015 with glioblastoma – the same type of cancer that took the life of U.S. Sen. John McCain. Initially, Sharpe was told he had 15 months to live. He refused to accept that prognosis. During his long treatment, Sharpe maintained the same tenacity, persistence and determination he used in business. He made a conscious decision not to succumb to depression or bitterness. Instead, he preferred to be grateful for every day he had remaining. Sharpe made it his mission to raise money and awareness for brain cancer research. He collected more than $1 million for research initiatives through events like the Phoenix Brain Tumor Walk, the 2017 and 2019 Rancho Sahuarita Cancer Walks, as well as personal appeals. “My dad often said everything was about creating memories,” Jeremy said. “So when he traveled to see doctors at university medical centers like Duke and UCLA, our family – which included my mother, me and my two sisters, and all of our spouses – would go on what we called ‘cancer trips.’ Those journeys were filled with laughter and joy because my dad insisted on making the best of every situation. We made memories – and it was very special.” Jeremy said his mother, Deborah Newman Sharpe, “was a rock” throughout his father’s illness. “My mom became an expert in everything about the brain, the cancer and how to best support and take care of my dad. If it wasn’t for her, he wouldn’t have been able to keep going. And if he was here he would say the same thing.” Sharpe is also survived by his 101-year-old mother, Rose Jean Sharpe, and four grandchildren.

Biz www.BizTucson.com


www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2018

>>>

BizTucson 195


www.BizTucson.com

Winter 2018

>>>

BizTucson 195

Profile for BizTucson Magazine

BizTucson Magazine Winter 2020  

The region's business magazine

BizTucson Magazine Winter 2020  

The region's business magazine

Profile for mcserres