BizTucson Magazine - Winter 2022

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WINTER FALL 2012 2022

THE REGION’S BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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SPECIAL REPORTS: Moonlight Canyon at Saguaro Ranch United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona www.BizTucson.com

WINTER 2022 • $3.99 • DISPLAY UNTIL 03/31/22


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BizLETTER

World’s Largest Gem Show Returns*

The region’s tourism industry is ready for a rebound. The Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase has an economic impact of $131 million. Freelance journalist Christy Krueger provides an overview of plans in place for this year’s numerous gem and mineral shows, along with a by-the-numbers list of data that illustrates the impact. With all of the new hotels and Tucson Convention Center renovation, our region is ready for a rebound. With the travel ban lifted in November, leaders are cautiously optimistic. Downtown’s historic Pima County Courthouse Renovation project was just completed and includes the new worldclass University of Arizona Alfie Norville Gem & Mineral Museum, the new Visit Tucson visitors center, the January 8th Memorial and more. Our region’s crown jewel of philanthropy is celebrating a century of service to our community. Loni Nannini files a compelling in-depth special report on the United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona’s 100 years of impact. The wide-ranging impact of our United Way touches one in five Tucsonans and our community has received assistance from early childhood care to care for our aging population. Leading the charge is United Way’s President and CEO Tony Penn, who was also recently named Greater Tucson Leadership’s Man of the Year for 2021. You’re sure to be inspired after reading about the scope of United Way’s remarkable impact on our community. Plus, you’ll read about the collective generosity of the individual donors, corporate partners, all-volunteer board of directors and dedicated United Way team members. As you read through this edition, you’ll literally be blown away by the scope of philanthropy in our community. The best place to start is the United Way special report. This edition only scratches the surface of the level of giving you’ll see in Tucson. From major donations at the University of Arizona and Pima Community College, to the transformative new $17.5 million building for Pima Joint Technical Education District, to the El Rio Foundation and 4 BizTucson

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PHOTO BY STEVEN MECKLER

*Fingers Crossed

smaller grass roots nonprofits, we have quite a giving and inspirational community. This year marks the 60th Anniversary of the Tucson Conquistadores, an allvolunteer army of more than 200 business and community leaders that annually stages a PGA Champions Tour Golf Tournament, along with other fund-raising activities. Since their inception, the Conquistadores have contributed more than $36 million to local and national charities. Four of our community’s shining stars will be honored by Greater Tucson Leadership on Feb. 18. Nancy Johnson will be honored as the Woman of the Year, Wanda Moore will be honored with the Founders Award, Margaret Larsen will be honored with GTL’s Alumni Excellence Award, as noted Tony Penn will be honored as Man of the Year. Our report contains inspiring profiles of these individuals written by Mary Davis. This edition features a special report focused on Moonlight Canyon at Saguaro Ranch, an exclusive enclave being built by Miramonte Homes. It’s definitely the ultimate in executive living. Located in Marana, you enter the community by driving through a tunnel at the base of a mountain. After driving through the tunnel, you enter what can best be described as a setting fitting of a national park. This is a captivating in-depth report by Tara Kirkpatrick, Romi Carrell Wittman and Jay Gonzales, along with visually stunning photography.

Winter 2022

Volume 13 No. 4

Publisher & Owner

Steven E. Rosenberg Brent G. Mathis

Creative Director Contributing Editors

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

Contributing Technology Director

Mike Serres

Contributing Project Coordinator

Maricela Robles

Contributing Writers

Elena Acoba

Christy Krueger Thomas Leyde Loni Nannini David Pittman Steve Rivera Valerie Vinyard Romi Carrell Wittman

Rodney Campbell Mary Davis Jay Gonzales Eva Halvax June Hussey Tara Kirkpatrick Donna Kreutz Contributing Photographers

Brent G. Mathis Chris Mooney Courtney Ryan Zulma Tapia Pete Gregoire

William Lesch Chris Richards

BizTucson News Update (Email Newsletter)

Brent G. Mathis Tara Kirkpatrick Member:

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

BizTucson Phone: 520.299.1005 Subscription Information:

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

Steve Rosenberg 520.299.1005 or 520.907.1012 steve@BizTucson.com BizTucson is published quarterly by Rosenberg Media, LLC., Tucson, AZ © 2022 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:

Steven E. Rosenberg Publisher & Owner BizTucson

Biz

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


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BizCONTENTS

FEATURES

WINTER 2022 VOLUME 13 NO. 4

COVER STORY: 38 42 45 48

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DEPARTMENTS

BizPHILANTHROPY 120 Pima Foundation Receives Record $5 Million Donation BizMANUFACTURING 122 Pima Community College’s New Advanced Manufacturing Building BizAWARDS 124 Cornerstone Building Foundation Honors Industry Excellence

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BizLETTER From the Publisher

BizNONPROFIT 126 Tucson’s “Lead Guitar” Expands Across the Nation

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BizRANKINGS Tucson On The Radar

BizBANKING 158 Mark Mistler of PNC Bank

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BizECONOMY 161 Economic Developments: Corporate Relocations & Expansions 162 BizVETERAN U.S. Army Veteran Gets 164 Mortgage-Free Home BizMUSIC 166 Tucson Desert Song Festival BizTRAVEL 168 New Flights out of Tucson BizSPORTS Tucson Conquistadores Thrive After 60 Years PGA Champions Tour Cologuard Classic Preview 176 BizHR Innovation in the 182 Workplace Awards BizEDUCATION 184 2021 Raytheon Leaders in 186 Education Awards

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BizTOURISM World’s Largest Gem Show Returns BizMUSEUM New Alfie Norville Gem & Mineral Museum BizSCIENCE Minerals Power the World BizRENOVATION Pima County Historic Courthouse Renovated & Reborn

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BizTOOLKIT Cybersecurity

BizPHILANTHROPY 104 El Rio Foundation Marks Two Decades in Healthcare

BizHONORS I-Squared Awards BizPHILANTHROPY UArizona Honors College UArizona College of Pharmacy BizAWARDS PRSA Annual Impact Awards BizHONORS Greater Tucson Leadershp Man of the Year: Tony Penn Woman of the Year: Nancy Johnson Founders Award: Wanda Moore GTL Alumni Excellence Award: Margaret Larsen BizTECHNOLOGY Applied Energetics BizAWARDS Copper Cactus Awards BizTRIBUTE Richard Underwood Rick Rendon

SPECIAL REPORTS 73 SPECIAL REPORT 2022

MOONLIGHT CANYON

BizVISION 108 The Refinery Opens at UArizona Tech Park at The Bridges 114

BizCONSTRUCTION New To Market: Projects and Developments

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BizRESEARCH UArizona Constructs Grand Challenges Research Building

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BizWORKFORCE Pima JTED Building Opens $17.5 Million Career Center

ABOUT THE COVER The World’s Largest Gem Show Returns Creative Design by Brent G. Mathis

THE REGION’S BUSINESS MAGAZINE

EXECUTIVE LIVING:

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SAGUARO RANCH

AN EXCLUSIVE ENCLAVE BY MIRAMONTE HOMES

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Executive Living: Moonlight Canyon at Saguaro Ranch

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129 SPECIAL REPORT 2022

THE REGION’S BUSINESS MAGAZINE

United Way of Tucson & Southern Arizona

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United Way of Tucson & Southern Arizona: 100 Years of Impact

www.BizTucson.com

Y E A R S

O F

I M P A C T


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TUCSON On The Radar

BizRANKINGS

How the Region is Getting Noticed

21 Things That Prove Tucson is the Best City in Arizona Buzzfeed

Tucson Ranks Among U.S. Top Clean Technology Innovation Hubs Cleantech Innovation Hubs Survey, Saoradh Enterprise Partners

Tucson Has, Arguably, the Best Mexican Food in the U.S. National Geographic Traveller Food (United Kingdom)

Tucson Ranks No. 6 in Millennial Magnet Category Business Facilities Magazine’s 2021 Metro Rankings Report

Tucson Keeps Gold Status as BicycleFriendly Community League of American Cyclists

The U.S. news and entertainment website lists 21 reasons why Tucson is Arizona’s “true unsung hero,” including its UNESCO City of Gastronomy designation, Mission San Xavier Del Bac, Saguaro National Park and more. “Tucson is the best city in Arizona, as evident by the food, the art, the drinks, the shopping,” the article said.

Tucson ranks No. 39 on the list of the country’s top 40 clean technology innovation hubs by this Colorado venture capital and research firm. The nation’s top metros were analyzed on their solutions to “improve environment sustainability related to aggregate human welfare and functioning natural ecosystems.”

The magazine celebrates the flavors of Winter by heading to Tucson to make its case that the Old Pueblo offers the tastiest Mexican food in the country.

The report lists Tucson as a draw for millennials because of its diverse, welcoming community. “Tucson offers an outstanding quality of life along with a low cost of doing business,” the magazine said. “Tucson has one of the highest concentrations of startups of any U.S. city its size. Thriving growth sectors in Arizona’s second-largest city include biotech, information technology, optics and solar power.”

For the fourth consecutive time since 2008, the League of American Cyclists named the Tucson and Eastern Pima County region a Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Community. The designation is part of the league’s Bicycle Friendly America program, which aims to make states, communities, businesses and universities more friendly to bikes. Tucson is among 35 communities to receive the gold status out of 497 currently ranked.

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BizECONOMY

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS Company Expansions & Relocations

Leonardo Electronics US

Eurofins CellTx

Leonardo Electronics US, a provider of next-gen technologies for defense, security, medical and industrial applications, and a U.S. subsidiary of Leonardo, announced plans to expand in Oro Valley. The company purchased 12 acres in Innovation Park, at North First Avenue and Tangerine Road, and is planning a new state-of-the-art semiconductor laser manufacturing facility. The new location will have approximately 120,000 square feet of manufacturing and administrative offices. Construction is anticipated to begin at the end of the first quarter of 2022. LEI’s existing Tucson operation has approximately 200 employees. The expansion over five years will add an additional 170 jobs primarily in engineering, production, quality control, information technology, human resources, marketing, business development, purchasing and finance. The total capital investment will be approximately $100 million, resulting in a total economic impact of $374 million over the next 10 years. 26 BizTucson

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Eurofins Donor Testing Services, a company that provides laboratory services for the transplant community, has selected Tucson for its newest laboratory, Eurofins CellTx, at the UA Tech Park, 9052 S. Rita Road. Eurofins CellTx will be FDA-registered for screening human cells, tissues, and cellular- and tissue-based products. CellTx is designed to provide critical testing support for cell and gene therapybased products. The new location will be approximately 15,000 square feet of laboratories and administrative offices. The new laboratory is anticipated to be completed by the second quarter of 2022. The full expansion over five years will add an additional 24 jobs to the Tucson facility, primarily laboratory technicians, technologists and managers. The total capital investment over the next five years will be approximately $3 million, resulting in a total economic impact of $14 million.

Winter 2022

Amazon

Amazon announced plans to open a new distribution facility in Marana creating hundreds of new jobs with an economic impact of $4.3 million over the next 5 years. The facility, to be known as the Silverbell Gateway Distribution Center, will be 220,000 square feet on a 65-acre site at the northeast corner of Ina Road and Silverbell Road in the Town of Marana. The facility will be Amazon’s fifth in the Tucson area. The company first opened in Tucson in 2019 with an 855,000-squarefoot fulfillment center. Amazon has invested more than $16 billion and created more than 30,000 jobs in Arizona since 2010. Project partners included the Town of Marana, Pima County and the Arizona Commerce Authority.

Pacific Trellis Fruit

Pacific Trellis Fruit, one of America’s top year-round growers, shippers and marketers of premium fresh fruits, has opened an office at the UA Tech Park. Pacific Trellis Fruit selected the UA Tech Park to connect with the UArizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences while expanding its North American footprint. The company is formalizing an internship program with UArizona and seeks to collaborate in many other ways. Established in 1999, Pacific Trellis Fruit represents an extensive group of growers from all over the world in addition to farms it operates. “We are excited to open a new office at the UA Tech Park and expand our footprint in the Southern Arizona area to solidify our commitment to existing partners and identify new opportunities for expansion,” said Dan Carpella Jr., senior sales executive for Pacific Trellis Fruit.

Neuro-ID

Neuro-ID, a startup founded to commercialize technology developed at the UArizona Eller College of Management, announced it has raised $35 million in Series B funding led by Canapi Ventures. Existing investors Fin VC and TTV Capital also participated in the round. Neuro-ID will use the capital to accelerate its mission of unlocking conversion and optimizing fraud screening for digital organizations of all sizes. The company was founded based on inventions stemming from research done by company co-founders Joseph Valacich, professor of management information systems at the Eller College, and his former doctoral student Jeff Jenkins, now an associate professor of information systems at BYU. Neuro-ID’s proprietary platform originally developed through the founding team’s work at the Eller College simplifies access to an organization’s behavioral data to reveal key insights into the intent and emotion behind each user interaction.

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BizCHARITY

U.S. Army Veteran Gets Mortgage-Free Home By Elena Acoba U.S. Army veteran Sean Shields and his wife, Bree, recently received the keys to their mortgage-free home, the first in Tucson’s Warrior Village and which Miramonte Homes built in a partnership with Operation FINALLY HOME and non profit Warrior Village, Inc. In a surprise ceremony in October, the couple found out they would receive the home courtesy of Operation FINALLY HOME, a national organization dedicated to providing housing to wounded, ill or injured service members and their families. “It gives us a chance to give back to the community, specifically to our military,” Chris Kemmerly, of Miramonte Homes and Chairman of the Board of Warrior Village, Inc., said at the time of the ceremony. “It’s gratifying to us that we can do this.” 28 BizTucson

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Over 60 trade partners donated materials, labor and other reserves to build the house. The Warrior Village property was donated by a local Tucson business man and is located near Swan Road and Speedway Boulevard. Another seven homes are planned to be built in the community for wounded and disabled service members. Sean Shields joined the U.S. Army shortly after he and Bree married in 2010. In 2013, the U.S. Army specialist was deployed to Afghanistan, where he took part in over 70 combat missions that included several firefights and explosions of improvised explosive devices. Injuries from his service forced him to retire in 2014. The decorated soldier has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress syndrome. Injuries to his knees have forced

him to use a cane or scooter to move around. The couple helps other veterans and their families practice healthy habits. Bree also serves as a caregiver advocate. Operation FINALLY HOME informed Miramonte that an anonymous donor, in recognition of the Connie Hillman Family Foundation, will be contributing $50,000 toward the next home in the Warrior Village Community. Kemmerly started Tucson-based Miramonte Homes in 1992. Its portfolio includes multi-family urban dwellings, custom homes and first move-up communities. It also builds business, office and warehouse spaces.

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2022 Tucson Desert Women of Song By April Bourie

The Tucson Desert Song Festival is more than your typical festival. It’s a rare business model that brings great singers to Tucson, according to George Hanson, the festival coordinator and Tucson Symphony Orchestra’s former conductor. A little over 10 years ago, festival cofounders Jack Forsythe and Cecile Follansbee recognized that there was an opportunity to help local performing organizations bring world-class vocalists to Tucson if they could provide the additional funds needed to attract this caliber of performer. “They began to talk to their circle of friends and asked them to support the concept,” Hanson explained. “Jack knew that Tucson was the winter home of people who lived the rest of the year in major metropolitan centers with artistically rich marketplaces – people with very cultivated experiences and tastes – living in our relatively small regional arts space.” This meant there would be a market both for donors and patrons.

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Forsythe and Follansbee created a board consisting of many friends and then proposed the idea to several local performing arts organizations, including the Tucson Symphony Orchestra

This year’s stars may be our biggest yet, focusing the attention of the vocal world on our pueblo.

George Hanson Coordinator Tucson Desert Song Festival –

and Arizona Opera. They explained that they would provide additional funds to the organizations to book world-class singers to accompany their musicians

Ailyn Pérez

during the first two or three months of each year when the weather is at its best in Tucson. The local organizations would plan and pay for the other aspects of the performance, such as the venue, their performers and sound and lighting technicians. The organizations bought into the idea, and the benefits of hosting worldclass singers quickly became apparent. “The singers don’t just entertain and inspire the audience; they also transform the group they are singing with …. It’s the kind of thing that sticks with the performing group,” Hanson said. “For example, the way one plays Strauss on a violin is the way a great singer would sing it. Singers can show players how to play the music through their voices.” The 10th annual Tucson Desert Song Festival will run from early January to mid-March. The theme is “Women of Song,” and it is dedicated to the memory of founder Forsythe, who died of cancer in May 2020. Participating arts organizations were encouraged to con-

Susanna Phillips www.BizTucson.com

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Song Festival that would be performed elsewhere, not just in Tucson,” Hanson said. Forsythe and a few festival board members approached music enthusiast and donor Wesley Greene, who was known for supporting the creation of new works. He agreed almost immediately to finance the project. The first two composers to participate were Richard Danielpour and Jake Heggie. “Starting off with those two national and internationally known composers was huge. A grand slam is an understatement.” Hanson said. “This project is a calling card for the festival.” This year’s composer is Jennifer Higdon, composing for mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke. “When I heard Sasha sing, my heart responded with a feeling much like that incredible contentment one feels on a summer’s eve,” Higdon said. “It is a composer’s joy to be inspired by the beautiful tone and exquisite artistry of such an artist.” Cooke will present the world premiere of Higdon’s song cycle “Summer

Sasha Cooke

Susan Graham

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Music” on Jan. 20. The performance will be preceded on Jan. 19 by a discussion with Higdon and Cooke about the creative process. All of the performances included in the festival this year will be equally impressive, according to Hanson. “Until you hear these kinds of voices, it’s hard to imagine how rare they are. This year’s stars may be our biggest yet, focusing the attention of the vocal world on our pueblo.” Biz

TUCSON DESERT SONG FESTIVAL Jan. 9 – Mar. 16 various times tucsondesertsongfestival.org (888) 546-3305

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PHOTOS: COURTESY TUCSON DESERT SONG FESTIVAL

sider the theme when choosing the artists they would like to book. “Those that are familiar with the world-class performers who participate in the festival follow these performers religiously,” Hanson said. “One of the benefits of having these enthusiasts on the festival’s board is that they often recognize breakthrough artists who are relatively young but have the level of talent and the ability to sustain a major career.” This has resulted in identifying and booking many singers before they become famous. Featured performers in this year’s festival include Nicole Cabell, Ailyn Pérez, Susan Graham and Dianne Reeves, Sasha Cooke and Susanna Phillips. An important element of the Tucson Desert Song Festival is the Wesley Green Composer Project Commissioning Series. This project brings together major composers who create a piece for a specific artist. “Jack knew if we wanted national and international recognition, we must commission new works

BizMUSIC


BizTRAVEL Danette Bewley

New Flights Added at Tucson International Airport By April Bourie Recent flight additions at Tucson International Airport (TUS) are making it even easier for passengers to visit their friends and family or travel for business from Tucson. New nonstop flights have been added by Alaska Airlines to Paine Field in Everett, Wash., and a new airline, Avelo, is now flying to Hollywood Burbank Airport. Both flights offer the opportunity to use more convenient alternate airports in two of the most popular metropolitan areas for Tucson travelers. Alaska Airlines’ flight to Paine Field, added in November, is on the north side of Seattle and makes for quicker access to the northern Puget Sound region. Opened in 2019, Paine Field’s modern terminal is gaining attention for its ease of use and amenities. In all, Alaska is currently serving six destinations from Everett. Tucson was the only new destination added in 2021. Avelo Airlines flight to Hollywood Burbank was added in December, making Tucson Avelo’s 19th destination nationwide and its 11th destination served from its West Coast base at Hollywood Burbank Airport. 34 BizTucson

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“One of our top priorities has been securing more nonstop flights from TUS to the Los Angeles Basin,” explained Danette Bewley, Tucson Airport Authority President and CEO. “With these new flights, we have a win-win. Southern Arizonans now have an easier and more convenient way to reach many L.A.-area destinations and Southern Californians, who are among our top sources for visitors to Tucson, have another way to come here.” The flights now operate on Thursdays and Sundays, and Avelo also offered additional flights on select Tuesdays and Saturdays during the end-of-year peak holiday season. “Despite the challenges of the pandemic, airlines have shown their confidence in our market and have restored approximately 85% of the flights and seat capacity that were lost during the onset of the pandemic,” Bewley said. “In addition, in December 2021, we reached approximately 95% of our seat capacity as compared to December 2019. In this regard, the Tucson market’s recovery has outpaced national recovery statistics when compared to peer airports.”

Bewley believes Tucson’s more rapid recovery is due to the fact that people continue to want to travel during the pandemic and are looking for outdoor activities and open spaces. “A lot of cities that were hit hard were high density without room to get out and move about,” she said. “People want to come to Tucson because of the opportunity to enjoy the scenery and outdoor activities, and that helped us to attract new visitors.” As exciting as these new flights are, Bewley cautioned that all flights in and out of Tucson are a “use it or lose it” proposition. “Airlines make aircraft scheduling and route decisions in markets where they can gain the highest yield,” she said. “If the airlines’ market research shows that our community is using another airport to get to a destination that is served from Tucson, it hampers our efforts to add more flights and serve markets not currently offered in Tucson. My ask of the community is to choose to fly out of Tucson whenever possible.”

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World’s Largest

Gem Show Returns* $131 Million Economic Impact to

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BizTOURISM

Tourism Rebound Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase 2022

Region

*Fingers Crossed

Tucsonans tend to take for granted the influx of visitors every January and February for the Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase. Yet, this is not just another tourist attraction. This largest annual event in Pima County is the largest of its kind in the world and contributes millions of dollars to the local economy. While the showcase did not take place in 2021 in its usual form, it’s on track to welcome 30 to 40 shows in early 2022. Some shows did get off the ground in smaller numbers last year. Seven shows, primarily in what’s known as the Mineral District, opened up in January, according to Jane Roxbury, director of convention and gem show services for Visit Tucson, the local visitors bureau. “A whopping 27 shows rescheduled themselves and operated successfully in April 2021,” Roxbury said. The 2022 Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase will take place Jan. 29 to Feb. 13 in various locations around town. Tucson Convention Center hosts the weekend finale event, “The Show That Glows,” Feb. 10 through 13, with more than 80 exhibits in the Fluorescent Mineral Society pavilion. The final weekend event at the TCC is always popular with locals and visitors alike. The excitement level has been high for the return of the showcase, said Felipe Garcia, president and CEO of Visit Tucson, which promotes the showcase each year. “People have been questioning if it’s happening – it is. We’re now really excited to be back,” said Garcia. In November, international travel

opened up for vaccinated visitors from several countries. “It’s good news for gem show owners to bring back buyers and sellers,” he added. While the pandemic caused a large loss to Tucson, Garcia said there were positives from the down time. “It’s always good to go back and look at procedures. It was a good time to look at how to become better. There was some talk about going online, but the owners didn’t want to change the model. We’re committed to Tucson.” The other plus of having a year off is that while visitors were away, Tucson’s downtown was busy growing to better accommodate them with new hotels and TCC renovations. “We’re excited. People will be blown away by the new construction, the beautiful places,” Garcia said. “Many meetings are starting to happen again. We haven’t seen this kind of energy in a long time – being able to reconvene.” Hotels have been getting bookings for the showcase since last fall and some will be sold out. Garcia and his staff are doing more promotion to let people know the show is back. “We have great tools and connections to people. It’s important to let people know we’re open and have safety protocols,” which are spelled out on VisitTucson.com. “We have to convey this information and make sure visitors feel safe more than in past years.” There’s also a “How to Gem Show” section on the website for locals and visitors. Those who want in-person help getting around town will have a treat in continued on page 40 >>> Winter 2022

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PHOTOS BY PETE GREGOIRE & BRENT G. MATHIS

By Christy Krueger


BizTOURISM continued from page 39 Visit Tucson’s new quarters. The organization moved to the Pima County Historic Courthouse in January 2020, while parts of the building were still under construction. The move from a small office a few blocks away offers more space, more visibility and easier access for both locals and visitors and the opportunity to expand its offerings with the adjacent visitor center and other attractions in the building. “(Pima County Administrator) Chuck Huckelberry approached us and said, ‘I have an idea’ about moving to the renovated courthouse. We thought it would be a good spot for Visit Tucson,” Garcia said. “The space is beautiful. I talked to visitors and clients. People know where it is. It’s iconic and has charms. We were the first one in. The (county) board of supervisors was great.” Garcia and Roxbury realize the number of owners, vendors and visitors to the showcase will likely be fewer than in recent years, but temporarily losing shows is not new. What often happens if a show shuts down or an owner retires, said Garcia, is the vendors call other owners to join them or a new show will open. “There’s been steady growth over the years.” In the past decade, Visit Tucson has had more assistance with the showcase from local officials. “We started a core group with the city, county, fire and transportation – like a task force,” Garcia explained. “They help talk to owners. It’s made a huge difference in relationships with owners. We also have an opening event to welcome them here. They feel a part of the community.” Something new for the showcase this year is the use of the University of Arizona Alfie Norville Gem & Mineral Museum, which is also housed in the Pima County Historic Courthouse. Visit Tucson has been getting word out to gem show owners about the museum and encouraging them to visit. “Many gem shows will have receptions at the museum. It will be very busy during the show,” Garcia said. There will also be trade group gatherings and afternoon lectures. Now with Visit Tucson for close to two decades, Garcia said he knows 40 BizTucson

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many of the owners who have participated in the showcase, particularly Allan Norville and his late wife Alfie. The museum was named for Alfie because of her love and dedication to all aspects of the showcase, as well as being instrumental in starting Gem & Jewelry Exchange, known as GJX, the couple’s wholesale show that offers colored stones and precious metals. “We started with 33 exhibitor booths; now it’s just under 700, and for the 2022 show we’re full and have a waiting list,” Norville said. “They’ve been a staple of the gem shows and really made a positive change,” Garcia said of the Norvilles. “The museum is a great legacy, them investing back in our community. It’s amazing.” Lisa Josker, Pima County facilities director, is in complete agreement. “Allan is a fascinating person; thanks to him for making the museum a reality. And Alfie has done so much for the community.” Garcia said he realizes that while the showcase generally attracts more outof-town buyers, the locals are important as well. “A challenge we always have is to try to get people to understand it. It’s called a showcase because many operators are putting on a lot of shows. Locally we’re known as the gem show. TCC is the pillar the final weekend, but there are dozens of other shows,” he said. “We encourage locals back. Tell your family and friends, share on social media, tell them to enjoy the shows. And if you see outsiders, welcome them to Tucson. One of the highlights of coming here is our own friendly people.”

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TUCSON GEM, MINERAL & FOSSIL SHOWCASE

EVENT FACTS * Out-of-town buyers traveled to Tucson from 42 states and 17 foreign countries Exhibitors traveled from 45 states and 42 foreign countries Owners’ average length of stay: 26.6 days Economic impact (direct expenditures): $131,426,030 – a 9% growth from 2014 Total number of visitors: 65,604, up from 49,802 in 2014 Largest expenditures: Lodging, followed by food and beverage Other expenditures: Entertainment, transportation, retail shopping (not related to the showcase) and local attractions and tours Local tax revenue estimates: $13,028,205 Out-of-town buyers (35,229) outnumbered Tucson-area buyers (30,375) Repeat exhibitors: 88% have participated in an average of 14 past showcases * Based on Visit Tucson’s economic impact study of the 2019 Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase to profile and measure economic and tax revenue impacts that benefit Pima County by hosting show owners, exhibitors and buyers.

JAN. 29-FEB. 13, 2022 Various locations

www.visittucson.org/events/festivals-and-annual-events/tucson-gemmineral-and-fossil-showcase 1 (800) 638-8350 www.BizTucson.com


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UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA

Alfie Norville Gem & Mineral Museum

Allan Norville and his late wife Alfie (photo in 2011) 42 BizTucson

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A Posh New Home in Pima County Historic Courthouse The University of Arizona’s extensive 103-year-old gem and mineral collection has been literally raised from underground and given a new name and a beautiful downtown Tucson home that’s open to the public. Thanks to longtime Tucson real estate developer Allan Norville’s initial generous gift and the work of other dedicated people, the UArizona Alfie Norville Gem & Mineral Museum, named in memory of Allan’s late wife, now sits just inside the entrance to the recently renovated Pima County Historic Courthouse. Eric Fritz, the museum’s director for the past four years, gives much credit to Allan Norville and Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry for bringing the stunning collection from Flandrau Planetarium’s basement to downtown, where many more people will be able to appreciate it about 10 years ago to move it downtown,” said Norville, a continued on page 44 >>>

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PHOTOS: VISIT TUCSON’ CHRIS MOONEY & BRENT G. MATHIS

By Christy Krueger


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continued from page 43 longtime Tucson developer and owner of Gem & Jewelry Exchange, known as GJX, the largest wholesale participant at the Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase. “We wanted to move it because nobody saw it at UA; it was in the basement. With the gem show, more people will see it in one week than 20 years at Flandrau.” Huckelberry was all for the idea. He stepped up and offered space at the refurbished courthouse. The move took place in July. While housed at Flandrau, Fritz reported, the museum had 4,000 square feet of space. It is now spread over 12,000 square feet on the first floor of the courthouse and uses another 9,000 square feet on the lower level for classrooms, laboratories and storage. “We have 2,200 specimens on display, but there’s a total of about 20,000 specimens in research, education and display,” he said. The museum is divided into three major sections, with samples lit up and beautifully displayed in cases lining the walls of several spacious rooms. Lighting in each room is kept low to contrast with the glowing main attractions. First of the three galleries is Mineral Evolution, which leads visitors through the change of minerals over time. “This follows the theory of there being 50 to 60 minerals when the solar system first formed and now we have 5,600 on Earth alone,” Fritz said. Prevalent in this section are meteorites; mineral crystals; fossils, including petrified wood from Arizona and trilobites from around the world; gem crystals, and rock-forming minerals, which are two or more minerals formed together such as granite and crystals. “You can’t help but appreciate the beauty,” Fritz said. Displayed in the second gallery are minerals from Arizona and Mexico. Here, the emphasis is on turquoise, copper, gold and silver extracted from local mines, including those in Arizona’s Bisbee, Globe and Morenci. “Bisbee has beautiful specimens,” Fritz said. “Miners thought they were so pretty, they couldn’t crush them, and snuck them out in lunchboxes.” The third gallery is titled Gems & Jewelry, with bright and shiny examples of gemstones, gem crystals, precious metals and jewelry. “This room is a favorite with the ladies,” Norville said. The display includes three large pieces of silver, each weighing well over 100 pounds and found with a metal detector in the desert near Globe, Ariz. They’re on indefinite loan to the museum. About half the display specimens are owned by the museum; the rest are on loan. Included in the latter category is a green garnet from the Smithsonian Institution. This garnet is the largest of its kind and will be returned after the 2022 gem show. A grand opening will be held Feb. 3. “The main emphasis,” Fritz said, “is that Allan and his family’s gift made it possible to make the move to the courthouse. It was the perfect timing to memorialize Alfie.” Alfie’s love of gems lead the couple to start GJX, and her passion for the showcase contributed to its growth. “Alfie was the best ambassador, she talked to the dealers and she helped keep the showcase in Tucson when there was talk of it moving,” Norville said. “The family is honored with her name being on it. It’s the right thing because of all she did for the gem show and GJX. We’re proud to have her name on it. And Eric has done so much.” Biz

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BizSCIENCE

Minerals Power the World

UArizona College of Science Dean Invites Public to Upcoming Lecture Series By Tara Kirkpatrick When the University of Arizona College of Science launches its 2022 lecture series on Minerals this spring, it’s fitting that the new dean is a distinguished earth scientist herself. “Our goal is to help people understand how minerals not only tell us the story of the early solar system and evolution of earth, but the value of mineral resources to science and how we will rely on these in the future,” said Carmala Garzione, who earned her doctorate in geosciences at UArizona and took over as dean last year from the Rochester Institute of Technology. The 17th annual College of Science lecture series, Minerals, will kick off in March and April with five, free, one-hour talks at Centennial Hall. The lectures are: Minerals: The Building Blocks of The Solar System, Earth & Civilization; Our Place in Time: The Stories That Minerals Tell; All That Glitters – Gems & Planetary Evolution; Arizona, Copper & The Future of Critical Minerals; and Mining in a Greener Future. Truly, the series couldn’t be more important or timely, especially on the heels of the opening of the new Alfie Norville Gem & Mineral Museum at the Pima County Courthouse and the region’s prowess in mining and mining technology. UArizona just created a new School of Mining and Mineral Resources – a collaboration between the colleges of Science and Engineering. Minerals not only help power the technology that runs our daily lives, they will be in even greater demand as the world attempts to transition off fossil fuels, Garzione emphasized. Manganese, cobalt, lithium are all examples of minerals that power our cell phones and rechargeable batteries. Copper, which Arizona leads the country in mining, www.BizTucson.com

is a crucial element in wiring multiple electronics and the driving force of the electric vehicle infrastructure. “Everything that we build, all of the infrastructure ... making sure we can

Our goal is to help people understand how minerals not only tell us the story of the early solar system and evolution of earth, but the value of mineral resources to science and how we will rely on these in the future.

Carmala Garzione Dean University of Arizona College of Science –

build for decades and even centuries safely – all of that comes fundamentally down to mining and mineral resources,” Garzione said. The first lecture, Minerals: Building Blocks of The Solar System, Earth & Civilization by Bob Downs, will really set the tone, history and background for the entire series, Garzione said. The remaining lectures highlight some of the college’s young, dynamic faculty, including Isabel Barton, Ananya Mallik, Mauricio Ibañez-Mejia and Raina Maier. “When you think about the future of science, it’s really set by those in their early to middle careers,” Garzione said. “They are setting the trends for the next wave of research. We have a particularly strong group of early career faculty who are doing exciting work. We are excited to bring these new perspectives to the audience.” The UArizona College of Science launched its first public lecture in spring 2006 on evolution, bringing together educators and college researchers. That inaugural series has since fostered audiences that have grown over the years in size and passion. The annual series has addressed topics such as cosmology, neuroscience, transformative science, life science, evolution and climate change. Though COVID-19 forced last year’s lecture series to go virtual, it significantly expanded the audience so this year’s in-person talks will continue to have a link online. “We posted those lectures and got thousands of viewers. It eclipsed what we anticipated,” said Garzione. “So, while we are going back to Centennial Hall, our goal is really to reach a broad audience.”

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93-Year-Old Pima County Historic Courthouse Gets New Look

Renovated & Reborn By Christy Krueger

January 8th Memorial After several years of planning and renovations, the Pima County Historic Courthouse in downtown Tucson has a fresh face and a new, more comprehensive purpose. According to Pima County Facilities Director Lisa Josker, all public officials housed in the 93-year-old courthouse were moved to the nearby public services building in 2015. By early 2016, construction began on the historic building with a goal to convert it into a destination for both locals and visitors. “It was empty, public and historic, and we wanted to use it for the public,” said Josker. “We renovated, did 48 BizTucson

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structural enhancements and gutted it.” That process revealed some pleasant surprises. For one, the original exterior paint color was discovered and matched. “We now have an exact replica of the original paint,” said Josker. She described it as an adobe, peach-like color, replacing the pink exterior that covered the structure for years. Also exposed in the rehabilitation process and retained were original concrete floors and original wood hiding behind the walls. In January 2020, Visit Tucson, the city’s visitors bureau, became the first of the new tenants to occupy the reno-

Alfie Norville Gem & Mineral Museum vated building, but after six weeks it was shut down because of COVID-19. Other tenants moved into their restored spaces in phases, and by last summer, all attractions and entities were settled in and welcoming the public. That includes the Southern Arizona Heritage and Visitor Center, University of Arizona Alfie Norville Gem & Mineral Museum, Pima County Attractions & Tourism and the Dillinger courtroom. American gangster John Dillinger was notoriously captured in Tucson in 1934. “We changed the courtroom back to its original look and took the story of www.BizTucson.com


BizRENOVATION

the (John) Dillinger gang capture and made it a radio program,” Josker said. “When you come in, a motion sensor triggers the audio with talks about the capture and the Hotel Congress fire. Lights shine on a Dillinger hat, a newspaper and the court reporter’s chair. It’s like a theater.” The Alfie Norville Gem & Mineral Museum moved from its Flandrau Planetarium location at UArizona to the courthouse in July 2021. It encompasses 21,000 square feet and is not only a tourist attraction, but also an educational and research center for UArizona students and scientists. www.BizTucson.com

Dillinger Courtroom Attractions & Tourism is a nonprofit division of Pima County. Its event planners work with the city, county and other municipalities in the region to attract tourists, Josker said. Tucson’s new, larger visitor center includes a gift shop, mini-theater and interactive displays with information about this region’s natural and manmade sightseeing opportunities. Financing for the courthouse restoration project came from a multi-general fund. Visit Tucson and Alfie Norville Gem & Mineral Museum paid for their tenant improvements.

Josker is passionate about the enhancements to the historic courthouse, saying the project has been rewarding, and she’s excited about all that is now offered to the community. “I think it’s fabulous. There’s not enough to describe the blood and sweat that went into the project. Construction workers were so pleased to be in the building and to be a part of it. They are honored to help bring life back. Our part is to maintain it with respect and honor. It’s our iconic building downtown and we treat it that way.”

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PHOTOS COURTESY PIMA COUNTY

Southern Arizona Heritage and Visitor Center


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Felipe Garcia Named Visit Tucson President & CEO After a national search, Visit Tucson announced that Felipe Garcia, who had been interim president and CEO of Visit Tucson, will lead the region’s destination marketing organization into its next chapter of driving tourism revenue for this community. Garcia replaces Brent DeRaad, who had served as president and CEO since 2012 and resigned in October to head the Arlington Convention & Visitors Bureau in Texas. “It was abundantly clear that Felipe has both the skills and experience for this new challenge,” said John Denker, Visit Tucson’s board chair. “Beyond just already knowing the business and staff of Visit Tucson, his passion for his work and the future of this community shine through in all that he does.” “I am honored to continue to serve this community in this new role,” said Garcia. “Visit Tucson is a leader in both this industry and in driving economic impact for the people of metro Tucson. Along with Visit Tucson’s incredible team, I’m looking forward to finding new opportunities and continuing to be a catalyst towards attracting attention for this region.” Garcia led the Vamos a Tucson Mexico marketing efforts throughout his tenure, along with partnering with area economic development and community organizations. Recently, he was elected VP of the Delice Network, which includes some of the world’s top cities that collaborate on developing strategies to use food and gastronomy as a tourism and economic development platform. His role with Delice fits well with Garcia’s leveraging of Tucson’s designation as the U.S.’s first UNESCO City of Gastronomy. He worked with community leaders for the past six years to maximize the potential of this designation. Attracting the Food Network to Tucson for multiple shows and bringing in Pati Jinich to film two episodes of her award-winning cooking show “Pati’s Mexican Table” are examples of his accomplishments. Prior to Visit Tucson, Garcia worked for the City of Tucson as an economic development specialist focused on trade opportunities between Mexico and Southern Arizona. An attorney, he started his career working on international trade and investment throughout Latin America.

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UArizona Eller College of Management Honors Humberto S. Lopez with Alumnus of the Year Award As a teen, Humberto S. Lopez worked to help support his widowed mother and five younger siblings. Realizing that education was the key to his future success, he made his way to the University of Arizona, where he earned an accounting degree in 1969. While practicing as a CPA in Los Angeles in 1971, he borrowed $1,000 after reading the book, “How to Turn $1,000 into a One Million Dollars,” parlaying it into a multi-million dollar empire. In 1975, he founded HSL Properties, one of the largest owners of apartments and hotels in Arizona. Humberto’s professional success is

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matched only by his generosity. He has supported various community organizations with time, expertise and donations, and has numerous awards recognizing his philanthropy. The H.S. Lopez Family Foundation founded the Center of Opportunity, a homeless shelter that he envisions as a model for the country. Together with his wife Czarina, he is a long-time supporter of the university and the Eller College of Management. Most recently, they have established endowed chairs in Accountancy and Cardiovascular Research. Humberto has supported the university with his time by serving on the boards of the UA

Foundation, the Sarver Heart Center, and the Lute Olson fund for Arizona Athletics. He also participates through the National Leadership Council, and the advisory boards for the College of Medicine, the Eller College of Management, The McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship, and the School of Accountancy. For his remarkable success and his unwavering dedication to the college, the university and the community, the Arizona Alumni Association is honored to name Humberto S. Lopez the 20202021 Alumnus of the Year for the Eller College of Management. Biz

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Megan Powe

Megan Powe joined Carondelet Health Network as market chief strategy officer. She comes to Carondelet from The Hospitals of Providence in El Paso, Tex., where she served in multiple leadership roles within business development and strategy. At The Hospitals of Providence Sierra Campus, she led the strategic development of key service lines resulting in expanded services, certifications and performance in cardiology, orthopedics and neurosciences.

Jill Casey Pintor Vantage West, Southern Arizona’s largest credit union, announced that Jill Casey Pintor has been promoted to VP of corporate communications and training. In her new role, Casey Pintor will oversee internal communications, training, knowledge management and public relations efforts. Casey Pintor has more than 25 years of experience in marketing and communications and has been with Vantage West since 2002, serving in various capacities within the marketing and communications department. 54 BizTucson

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BizSPORTS

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Great Golf and Golfing Greats for Charity

Tucson Conquistadores Raise $36 Million in 60 Years By Steve Rivera Roy Drachman and Bill Lovejoy would be impressed with what’s become of the Tucson Conquistadores. “They’d probably be amazed that it’s been able to endure,” said Fred Boice, one of the original members of the group that – with Drachman and Lovejoy – was started in 1962. “Secondly, they’d be extremely proud. It’s been so successful. And if you total the money that has been raised and been distributed, well, it’s a lot of money.” Sixty years after coming up with the idea of a group of businessmen getting together to help the Tucson community, more than $36 million has been raised. It’s been a group of good friends, good sports and lots of goodwill. Through sports – and everything that goes with it – Drachman and Lovejoy gathered the men to see if they could rally together to have an impact on the community. “There was a sense among the group that regardless of the challenge, the deeper you dig, the richer the rewards,” Barney Confrey wrote in a commemorative piece for the 50th anniversary of the organization. 56 BizTucson

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Since its beginning, the Conquistadores – more than 200 members strong and so many more through the years − have dug deep for their community. “I’m exceedingly proud of all this,” Boice said. “We did have a difficult time getting going.” But when they got going, it was the start of something very special. “No stone was left unturned in the pursuit of selling tickets to raise funds for the kids,” Confrey wrote. Whether it was a sports banquet, a tennis tournament or a professional golf tournament, the Conquistadores were there, on their own time and their own dime to make it a success. Drachman was the spearhead of the group, given his love for sports and, well, Tucson. “Our aim will eventually be to sponsor and support deserving local athletes,” Drachman was quoted after the first meeting back in 1962. “We’ll definitely be a working organization, not an honorary one. We’ll try to get young men that are going to work hard for the betterment of the community in support of local sporting events interested

in this group.” And so, they went to work in their staple blue blazers and gray slacks, their original attire that still stands today. From its initial meeting leading to the famed and funny Joe Garagiola emceeing the Conquistadores’ Sports Award Banquet in 1964 to hosting the Tucson Open for the first time in 1966, the Conquistadores have flourished. No job was too big or small for any of them. “The first year I was the tournament chairman and the next year I was parking cars,” Boice said. “A lot of that has contributed to the success of the Conquistadores because you have guys who run their own companies and have done well, and no one has any sway. We have a job to do and if it’s parking cars, you get it done.” What was – and is – true is everyone has pulled in the right direction. The banquets were star-studded – actor and singer Gene Autry, NFL coach Hank Stram and baseball Hall of Famers Willie Mays and Lefty Gomez attended the first one. “We didn’t raise a lot of money,” Tom Chandler, one of the first members, was www.BizTucson.com


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quoted as saying, “but we knew we were on the right track.” Later, the Conquistadores took over operation of the Tucson Open, the city’s long-standing PGA event, and had pledged to support the Ricky Rarick youth golf organization. By 1966, the Tucson Open was televised, believed to be the first Tucson sporting event to be on TV. Even today, Conquistador officials point out how Tucson gets its money’s worth through television showing the blue skies and great landscapes that are the community’s signature. Tourism and business development have benefitted from the visibility. As the event grew, the celebrities came. Lawrence Welk was here in 1968. Singer and actor Dean Martin became the host and was followed by Garagiola, a baseball legend. The stars continued to align, and the golfing greats showed up, too. Hall of Famer Arnold Palmer was here, winning in 1967 to collect the event’s first five-figure check of $12,000. “That put the Tucson Open on the map,” Boice said. www.BizTucson.com

Palmer came back a year later – which was huge because it made Tucson a golf hot spot – for what was then a $100,000 prize. Conquistadores were asked to help make that number happen. Members were asked to sell $1,000 worth of tickets and if they didn’t, they were responsible for the difference. It helped that not one Conquistador failed to do their job. The event only got bigger and, of course, better. Lee Trevino, Gary Player, Johnny Miller and later stars like Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson won the event that evolved over the years to include match play and more recently became a Champions Tour event. “The final analysis was that the rank and file, the rich and the poor, loved the event,” Boice said. “They bought the tickets. If the tickets hadn’t been sold the tournament would have gone away.” But it’s stronger than ever through dedication and plenty of elbow grease. “You have to give credit to those who have solicited new members and have kept the standards very high,” Boice said. Through the years, the names of

the title sponsors have changed: NBC, Seiko, Chrysler, Northern Telecom, Accenture and Cologuard. No matter the name, the band of business brothers continued to work to put together a great event. After all, it was all about the money being raised for the kids. “That’s always in the back of my mind,” said Brandt Hazen, a past Conquistador president. “I think about the money we’re trying to raise for the kids. When I think about that I know we are making the right move.” Few were closer to the group than Judy McDermott, who was the executive director for more than two decades. “I am proud of the group’s meaningful relationships with sponsors, charities, volunteers and everyone who supports PGA Tour golf in Tucson,” she said. “The legacy of the Tucson Conquistadores is rooted in giving back to the youth in our community, and we should all give thanks for their mission of making a difference in the lives of so many.”

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PHOTOS: COURTESY TUCSON CONQISTADORES

1. Hunter Mahan with the Tucson Conquistadores in 2012. 2. Conquistadores President Paul Weitman presenting to 1985 champion Jim Thorpe, who won backto-back Seiko-Tucson Match Play Championships in 1985 and 1986. 3. Dean Martin and Lee Trevino enjoy a day on the links. 4. Golf great Arnold Palmer gets a warm reception. 5. Kevin Costner takes time out for the fans. 6. Lee Trevino sports the Spanish helmet following his 1969 victory. 7. Roy Drachman.


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Clockwise from top – 2020 Tucson Conquistadores at Omni Tucson National Resort; Jack Clements, Nick Buckelew and Aaron Crowley; Cologuard spectators moving to the next tee at Omni Tucson National Resort

Cologuard Classic Brings Back the Fans and the Party You can’t blame Kevin Sutherland for being excited for his return to the 2022 Cologuard Classic in February. After all, Arizona has been very good for the defending champion of the annual golf tournament. “I do love Arizona,” Sutherland said. “The Champions Tour has been very good, winning twice in Phoenix and once in Tucson.” He recalled playing well in Tucson during the regular PGA Tour and now has a victory to show for it in Tucson. He will be back at Omni Tucson National Resort with the hopes of a repeat when the tournament tees off Feb. 25. A week of tournament activities begins on Feb. 21. 58 BizTucson

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“I enjoy being there and for some reason I play well there,” Sutherland said. “I’m looking forward to it. I always look forward to going to Tucson National.” Sutherland will have to defend his title against 77 of the best senior golfers in the world who will play for a $1.7 million prize pool. There were no major commitments at press time, but among those eligible are Phil Mickelson, former Arizona Wildcat Jim Furyk, Padraig Harrington, David Duval and Steve Stricker. “These guys are amazing players – and the field is only going to get stronger,” said Brandt Hazen, the Conquistadores’ liaison to the PGA. “Last year was the best we’ve ever

had – including Phil,” said Josh Robinson, this year’s tournament chairman. “There’s a chance he’ll come back to Tucson, which would be wonderful.” What’s important is the Cologuard Classic will return with a golf-clapping crowd that has always made professional golf in Tucson so good. Last year’s event – because of COVID-19 restrictions – limited the crowds and yet the tournament raised more than $600,000 for the kids in Southern Arizona. “We certainly learned a lot from it,” said Robinson. “We learned from an operations standpoint and cost perspective to save some money. Obviously, every penny we save we get to give back to continued on page 60 >>> www.BizTucson.com

PHOTOS: CHRIS MOONEY

By Steve Rivera


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continued from page 58 the community – and that’s our objective. “Would I want to go through all that again? No. The fans missed out on an amazing field last year. We want them back and we want to make sure we showcase a great event. We want to give the city the most and best exposure possible.” Robinson said the tournament will attempt more fan interaction, as well as add more hospitality for fans on the 16th hole. There also will be sports betting on site from WynnBet. The Conquistadores, DM 50 and Cologuard Classic officials never disappoint when it comes to the week’s highlight concert benefitting the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base airmen and their families. Country singer Jake Owen and country group Diamond Rio will perform at the Military Appreciation Concert sponsored by Nova Home Loans, DM50 and the Tucson Conquistadores. The concert is Feb. 26 at the Omni Tucson National Practice Range. Admission to the second round of the tournament on Saturday includes both the golf tournament and evening concert. Concert VIP tickets for $150 include admission to the golf tournament, access to the VIP concert area, and complimentary food and beverages. Concert Side Stage VIP tickets are $300, get you closer to the stage and also include tournament admission and food and beverages. General admission to the concert and golf tournament is $55 per person. “We want to put on a great week and raise a lot of money,” Robinson said. “We fully expect to see the full stack of fans back. We do a pretty good job of creating a fun party out there. Even if you don’t like golf, you can come out and enjoy the sun and enjoy a cold beer, walk around and enjoy the outdoors.”

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Diamond Rio

Jake Owen

MILITARY APPRECIATION CONCERT Sponsored by NOVA Home Loans, DM50 and the Tucson Conquistadores When: Saturday, Feb. 26, 5 p.m. Where: Omni Tucson National Practice Range Featuring: Country artists Jake Owen and Diamond Rio

For Concert Sponsorship Packages & Ticket info: www.DM50.org For more information: www.CologuardClassic.com 60 BizTucson

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Society for Human Resource Management – Greater Tucson

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2021 SHRM-GT Awards Celebrating Innovation in the Workplace By Tom Leyde

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local chapter president. “The (nominated) organizations, whether small, medium or large, are the focus. It takes great leaders to achieve the innovation in certain areas,” she said. Awards recognizing Community Impact; Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accessibility; and Leadership were presented to organizations based on their size.

COMMUNITY IMPACT

Small Company Winner Community Foundation for Southern Arizona was the winner of the Community Impact Award for a small organization. The group helps individuals, families, businesses and nonprofits work together to create a stronger community. Creating a stronger community was at the heart of CFSA’s Leadership and Management Certificate program through the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona. The group offered a free training program for 220 people from nonprofit groups to help them develop skills to support long-term sustainability for themselves and their organizations. “The program taught me some new concepts that I was able to implement right away,” said Amanda Bernal-Ransom, VP of resource development at Chicanos Por La Causa. “It was a wonderful learning opportunity.” Kelly Huber, CFSA senior director of community investments, accepted the award. Medium-Size Company Winner HSL Asset Management was honored as the medium-size group for its community impact activities. Marlene Adams, VP of human resources, accepted the award. “We’re obviously very honored to receive it,” Adams said. “It warms our heart. The business (more than 47 years old) was founded on premises of family and community.” HLS has contributed to many essential nonprofits Tucson, including Angel Charity for Children, Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, Youth On Their Own and Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse.

care, specialty care, rehabilitative and behavioral health care. The group’s IDEA Council works in concert with the CARE Committee. Both are employee-led groups working to create an inclusive work environment and to improve clinic experience for patients and families. Jared Perkins, CEO, and Gemma Thomas, CAO, accepted the award.

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DIVERSITY, EQUITY, INCLUSION & ACCESSIBILITY

Small Company Winner Children’s Clinics was honored as the small-size organization in the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accessibility category. The organization serves children with complex medical conditions and is located on the Tucson Medical Center campus on Grant Road. Children’s Clinics offers primary 62 BizTucson

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Medium to Large Company Winner Winner of the medium- to large-size group was BroadPath Heathcare Solutions, which provides managed remote teams of skilled professionals to healthcare, financial services, travel and hospitality and high-growth industries. The teams handle customer experience, sales and back office operations. BroadPath also volunteers time to facilitate learning experiences for clients and employees. Lacey Wilson accepted the award.

LEADERSHIP – INDIVIDUAL

Small Company Kasey Hill, CEO of Greater Tucson Leadership, received the award in the small company leadership category. Hill has served as GTL CEO since July 2016 and before that, was communications director for Develop Danville, a public-private economic development organization in central Kentucky. Medium Company Jennifer Chenault, a sales executive for Lovitt & Touché, was honored for her leadership in a medium-size company. “I am humbled and grateful that the contributions I’ve made have been recognized,” she said. “This is like the icing on the cake.”

SPECIAL AWARDS 7 8

SHRM-GT Volunteer of the Year Award SHRM-GT members Laurel Ragaller and Kerry Barrett, both co-directors of the programs committee, were recognized for their efforts. “We had a great committee and a great partnership,” Ragaller said.

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PHOTOS: CHRIS MOONEY

The Society for Human Research Management of Greater Tucson, also known as SHRM-GT, honored local groups and individuals Nov. 9 during its annual awards event, as members and nominees gathered at the Savoy Opera House in Trail Dust Town. “The focus (of SHRM) is celebrating innovation, so what we’re looking for is innovative practices,” said Cynthi Knight,


Celebrating Innovation in the Workplace Award Winners

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BizPEOPLE Jodi James

Concord General Contracting announced that Jodi James joined the firm as client relationship manager. James brings more than 25 years of marketing and business development experience, most recently working with municipalities and tribal communities to grow economic development initiatives. In her new role, James assists Concord in developing its growing position in the Tucson and Greater Phoenix markets.

Jill Rodriguez

El Rio Health, the largest provider of medical and dental services for the uninsured and Medicaid populations in Pima County, announced Jill Rodriguez has been promoted to major gifts officer with the El Rio Foundation. Rodriguez has been with the foundation as the development coordinator, organizing fundraisers and employee giving and overseeing corporate recognition. She celebrated 15 years with El Rio in December.

Karly Meza

R&A CPAs, one of Southern Arizona’s leading public accounting and business advisory firms, announced that Karly A. Meza was promoted to shareholder. Meza has been an integral member of R&A since joining the firm in 2009. She primarily provides financial reporting and assurance services to clients in a variety of industries. Meza specializes in auditing and reporting for employee benefit plans, not-for-profit organizations, charter schools and construction entities. 64 BizTucson

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BizPEOPLE

Judy Rich

Mimi Coomler

TMC HealthCare Marks Change in Leadership TMC HealthCare expanded the role of its president and CEO, Judy Rich, and named Mimi Coomler as the new CEO of Tucson Medical Center. Rich, who had led TMC HealthCare since 2007, will focus on continued growth of the company as its new system president and CEO. TMC HealthCare is growing the TMC Rincon Health Campus, which houses medical offices, primary care and urgent care. An ambulatory surgery center is scheduled to open in early 2022 and the 50-bed Rincon Neighborhood Hospital is planned for opening in 2023. TMC HealthCare also includes Tucson Medical Center, TMC Medical Network/TMCOne, Northern Cochise

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Community Hospital and Benson Hospital. It manages the TMC Foundation and partnerships with physicians and community providers. It’s a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network. “Our No. 1 priority is meeting the needs of our patients and the communities we serve,” Rich said. “As we expand into the future, we must continue to identify the greatest needs and extend our mission-driven healthcare system to address those needs.” Because of Rich’s expanded role, she relinquished leadership at the company’s flagship Tucson Medical Center, the midtown, 628-bed nonprofit hospital that employs 4,500 people. Coomler will take on those duties. She has been TMC’s COO since 2017

following work as the hospital’s chief nursing officer. Coomler joins other TMC HealthCare hospital chief executives – Julia Strange at Benson Hospital and Monica Sheldon at Northern Cochise Community Hospital. In announcing the leadership changes in October, TMC HealthCare Board of Trustees Chair Louise Francesconi said the reshuffle better positions the company’s efforts to establish a regional healthcare presence. “We are committed to increasing inpatient, outpatient – and even virtual – access points to the region’s nonprofit health system in Southern Arizona,” Francesconi said.

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Kristen Kvaran

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Jessica Jankowski-Gallo

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Megan Lehman

Patricia Perez

Emily Tate

Jennifer Thompson

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BizEDUCATION

2021 Raytheon Leaders in Education Awards Ernesto Somoza

By Elena Acoba

Four educators who among them have over 45 years of teaching experience earned 2021 Raytheon Leaders in Education Awards presented by Tucson Values Teachers. The sixth annual Stand Up 4 Teachers event on Nov. 3 awarded each person, including an educator in a new category of pre-kindergarten, a $2,500 gift. Their respective schools received $2,500. “This year’s Raytheon Leaders in Education Award went to four teach-

Vanessa Hill

THE HONOREES Kristen Kvaran, director and special education teacher, Tanque Verde Community Preschool, Tanque Verde Unified School District The school district tapped Kvaran to create the community preschool, which opened in 2019 and which she now leads. An educator since 2005, she’s taught in Atlanta and Tucson as an elementary school teacher since 2005 and is a local leader in pre-kindergarten education. She holds the title of United Way Literacy Champion.

Jeff Mann www.BizTucson.com

ers who have shown leadership in their schools and innovation in their classrooms, benefitting students across the region,” said Tucson Values Teachers CEO Andy Heinemann. Eight other educators were honored as award finalists and each received $500. Helios Education Foundation received the organization’s Spirit of Education Award to thank them for their significant contributions to education in the community and for their strong support of Tucson Values Teachers.

Megan Lehman, third grade teacher and reading lab specialist, Centennial Elementary School, Flowing Wells Unified School District

A district teacher for 15 years, Lehman is an instructional coach for fairly new teachers and coordinates teams that help teachers support struggling students. She was awarded the school’s 2012-13 Teacher of the Year and 2017-18 Legendary Teacher for her work with various student activities, including cheerleading and student council. Jennifer Thompson, seventh grade math teacher, Flowing Wells Junior High School, Flowing Wells USD Thompson has taught math for 22 years at the school, where she was recognized as a 2020 Teacher of the Year. She shares her mathematics teaching exper-

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BizEDUCATION continued from page 69 tise in conferences throughout Arizona and as an instructor for Teach Arizona’s math methods course at the University of Arizona. She received a 2017 Future Leader Award from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Ernesto Somoza, graphic and web design teacher, Pueblo High School, Tucson Unified School District Somoza is credited with transforming the graphic arts program at Pueblo, where he began teaching in 2015. He’s incorporated the use of drones and 3D printing in his classes. He created the Tech Warriors Club to expose students to these cutting-edge technologies. His varied interests have led to leading students to plant trees at the school, hike and bicycle.

THE FINALISTS Pre-K

Jessica Jankowski-Gallo, Emily Meschter Early Learning Center, Flowing Wells Unified School District

Patricia Perez, Pueblo Gardens PK-8, Tucson Unified School District

Grades K-5 Rachelle Ferris, Innovation Academy, Amphitheater Public Schools

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Vanessa Hill, Rio Vista Elementary School, Amphitheater Public Schools

Grade 6-8

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Christopher Ryan, Dodge Traditional Magnet Middle School, Tucson Unified School District Emily Tate, Tortolita Middle School, Marana Unified School District

Grades 9-12

Lauren Johnson, Marana High School, Marana Unified School District

Jeff Mann, Flowing Wells High School, Flowing Wells Unified School District

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BizTOOLKIT

Chances are in 2022, a supplier, client or insurer will mandate your business catch up by using multifactor authentication, also known as MFA, solutions to protect identity and access to your systems

– Cristie Street Managing Partner Nextrio

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Has Your Cyber Insurer Asked About MFA? By Cristie Street Business advisors have preached the merits of cyber-liability insurance for several years now, but usually with a soft-sell, “don’t you want a safety net” approach, appealing to the more risk-averse, compliance-driven and technically savvy among us. Still, small businesses in the U.S. are behind – some suggest way behind – in data security investments and cyber insurance coverage. Chances are in 2022, a supplier, client or insurer will mandate your business catch up by using multifactor authentication, also known as MFA, solutions to protect identity and access to your systems. You probably use similar technology for your online banking today: logging in requires both a password you know plus a second factor you physically have, like a one-time token, a fingerprint or a code sent to you via text. Not having MFA on at least your business email (think Google Workspace or Microsoft Office 365) and your remote access technologies (remote workers accessing files back at the office, I’m looking at you) means that other businesses may find your company too risky to be around. Since the start of COVID-19, our managed IT services colleagues across the country have reported seeing this significant strategy shift in underwriting and in the last six months, we have seen the same scenarios play out in Southern Arizona as well. Previously, securing cyber insurance involved completing an underwriting questionnaire asking a few broad, even meaningless, IT questions. Then the applications got longer and asked better questions for more relevant underwriting. All in all, that was still a reasonable expectation given the maturation of the market and the ever-evolving data security threat landscape. Then suddenly, facing huge ransomwarerelated losses and even larger forensic workloads, the insurance carriers began to mandate that minimum IT standards be in place before a business can be eligible for cyber insurance. The shift happened so quickly

that one local law firm was caught in a vortex between the time it signed the binding policy agreement with a broker and the time it mailed in a check for the new cyber premium. The carrier thanked the firm for the payment, asked one additional question about its multifactor authentication strategy, and promptly canceled the policy, leaving it unexpectedly operating without a safety net and scrambling to institute additional MFA security technology to reinstate coverage. The good news is MFA really works and the results will fortify the security posture and strengthen the business continuity plan of a significant sector of our economy. While the transition may be bumpy, as users sacrifice convenience in the name of security, it is good to see carriers championing the identity protection efforts of IT gurus everywhere in the same way that doctors and health insurers approach smoking risks. Don’t delay your efforts to conquer this MFA requirement, even if your insurer has not brought it up yet. Selecting and implementing multifactor authentication depends on the system you are protecting but can be as simple as marking a checkbox or take a little more effort to find a solution that protects many systems at once. In all cases, the return on investment is well worth the effort. The business you save could be your own. Five Cybersecurity Facts & Actions: • Multifactor authentication is the de facto minimum • Insurers can deny you coverage if your IT is lacking • Your risk is shared with clients, suppliers and partners • Make new friends: find attorney, insurance, forensics and IT advisors • Create a culture of security

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SPECIAL REPORT 2022

THE REGION’S BUSINESS MAGAZINE

EXECUTIVE LIVING:

MOONLIGHT CANYON at

SAGUARO RANCH

AN EXCLUSIVE ENCLAVE BY MIRAMONTE HOMES

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BizDEVELOPMENT

a National Park The Sonoran Desert is the Backyard By Romi Carrell Wittman Set amid the rocky yet lush desert landscape of the Tortolita Mountains, Saguaro Ranch offers residents and their guests the spacious skies and purple mountain majesties immortalized in our nation’s unofficial anthem. Here, 1,200 acres of pristine Sonoran Desert sit virtually untouched, except for the footsteps of mule deer, javelina, desert tortoises and other native creatures. Located on Tucson’s northwest side at the north end of Thornydale Road, Saguaro Ranch is a hidden treasure 20 years in the making. While generous acre and multiacre lots and luxury homes dot the area, an 80/20 building restriction – that is, no more than 20 percent of the land can be developed – maintains the wild and natural character of the land. Mike Conlin, an associate broker with Miramonte Homes and ranch manager of the property, has been part of the Saguaro Ranch project from the very beginning. “It was the late 1990s and I thought I was going to retire,” he chuckled. But requests from friends seeking a retreat of sorts in the Sonoran Desert put him on a search for an ideal location for year-round outdoor living. He looked all over Pima County and southern Arizona to find the right place. “The goal was to find a place that felt remote, but was close to amenities like a university, shopping and an airport,” Conlin said. That’s when he discovered the Tortolita

Mountains north of Tucson and just east of the Dove Mountain residential development. “It’s an exceptionally beautiful area. The giant boulder formations and the topography are really unique,” he said. They are so unique, in fact, that some foreign visitors assumed the rocks were fakes brought in to “dress up” the area. Conlin assured them they are very much real. Conlin feels the area is the most striking piece of real estate in Southern Arizona, if not the entire state. “It’s a gorgeous, unique area with the look of a national park,” he said. “It has the privacy and the views – and it will stay that way. With protected peaks and ridges, there won’t be any castles on top of the hill or anything like that. Development must recede into the desert and appear like it’s always been there.” The property got its start in the late 1990s. A dramatic 700-foot tunnel was constructed to serve as the property’s main entry and exit point. McClintock’s Restaurant opened to the public and sales volume was strong with 47 of 50 lots sold at an average price of $1 million. Then came the 2008 economic collapse. “The housing collapse took us out at the knees,” Conlin said. Development stalled and, as Saguaro Ranch’s financial backers went into distress, the property was foreclosed. The property continued on page 80 >>>

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PHOTO BY BRENT G. MATHIS

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BRIAN PESCHEL

SCOTT LUNDBERG

continued from page 79 changed ownership several times before being purchased in 2019 by Saguaro Property Development, a firm owned by partners Scott Lundberg and Brian Peschel. Living at Canyon Pass near Dove 80 BizTucson

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Mountain at the time, Lundberg discovered Saguaro Ranch while out running one day. He was struck by the sheer majesty of the area and the feeling of remoteness. Soon Lundberg purchased land in Saguaro Ranch and worked with local architect Ron Robi-

nette of Robinette Architects on the design. Robinette had history in the area and knew it well. Lundberg began attending Saguaro Ranch property-owners’ meetings and learned the property investment firm that owned the land wanted to liquidate www.BizTucson.com


It’s kind of a hidden secret. It’s a very special place and it’s always going to remain special because it isn’t going to be very dense with development.

Scott Lundberg Owner Saguaro Property Development

PHOTOS: COURTESY SAGUARO RANCH

some of its assets, including Saguaro Ranch. “I basically raised my hand and said ‘We might be interested in exploring the purchase,’ ” Lundberg said. After a lengthy due-diligence process, Saguaro Property Development officially purchased the land and began www.BizTucson.com

work to prepare for residential development. The prep included talks with the Town of Marana as well as assurances that the 80/20 restriction, which had been part of the original covenant, was upheld. Of the 1,200 total acres, only about

240 acres will be developed as homesites. The homesites in the Moonlight Canyon subdivision are a minimum of one acre. Lots elsewhere in the development are greater than four acres. “It’s kind of a hidden secret,” said continued on page 82 >>> Winter 2022 > > > BizTucson 81


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BizDEVELOPMENT continued from page 81 Lundberg. “It’s a very special place and it’s always going to remain special because it isn’t going to be very dense with development.” Moonlight Canyon is the second phase of Saguaro Ranch, and it brings together three best-in-class experts to assist homebuyers. Buyers may choose from one of four Ron Robinette-designed floorplans, ranging in size from 2,934 to 3,800-square feet. Miramonte Homes is the exclusive homebuilder in the community, and each homebuyer is provided 10 hours of design consultation time with ASID award-winning interior designer Lori Carroll. Since the homes are semi-custom, the construction timeline is shorter than that of a traditional luxury home, averaging 12 to 18 months, versus 24-plus months for a custom home. The homes feature several high-end design elements, including contemporary chef ’s kitchens, great rooms with modern fireplaces, large windows that blur the boundary between indoors and outdoors, and comfortable outdoor living spaces to embrace yearround outdoor living. Conlin said they’ve gone a step beyond at Moonlight Canyon with large lots to ensure the natural beauty of the area is preserved. “It’s not a standard production subdivision by any stretch,” he said. “We do every lot individually. We don’t clear it or blade it down. We move boulders and replant plants to minimize disturbance.” Chris Kemmerly, owner and CEO of Miramonte Homes concurs. “It’s a one-of-a-kind property,” Kemmerly said. “You have the 80/20 restriction in place and it’s near the Saguaro Ranch Club.” The developers have repurposed the former McClintock’s Restaurant into a members-only amenity with a 25-yard lap pool, two pickleball courts, a state-of-the-art gym, wine lockers, a catering kitchen, as well as gathering spaces members can reserve for parties and other special events. With two renowned golf courses nearby – The Gallery Golf Club and The Golf Club at Dove Mountain – there are no plans to build a golf course. Lundberg said the club also serves as an anchor of sorts for the development. “It provides a center and a focus on health and wellbeing.” Conlin said that since the pandemic, interest in the area has increased dramatically. “With the lockdown, open space and privacy became a hot item,” he said. “That’s what you have at Saguaro Ranch.” With other luxury properties nearby, namely Canyon Pass just to the west in Dove Mountain and Stone Canyon to the east in Oro Valley, Conlin admits that potential buyers tend to check out all three neighborhoods. He said several things make Saguaro Ranch stand out. “First, there’s the tunnel,” he said, which makes a dramatic and long-lasting first impression. “Then there is the climb in elevation, from 2,700 feet to 4,000 feet. You’re tucked inside so you don’t see any other development. It’s very natural, very much a national park feel.” While it may feel tucked away and remote, amenities like shopping, arts and cultural events, libraries and medical offices are just minutes away. For those commuting to the city, a short drive down Twin Peaks Road easily connects to Interstate 10. “It’s a wonderful place to be,” Conlin said.

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Moonlight anyon

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at Saguaro Ranch ‘Its Own World’

PHOTO BY BRENT G. MATHIS

The ambitious new community, Moonlight Canyon at Saguaro Ranch by Miramonte Homes, radiates outward from aBy luxurious Tara stone clubhouse in the nature preserve-like Saguaro Ranch. And, as its developers say, the unspoiled vistas and canyons that serve as the majestic backdrop for these homes make Moonlight Canyon at Saguaro Ranch perhaps the last project of its quality in the region. “This is its own world,” said John Angelini, VP of sales for Miramonte Homes and a designated broker. “We are taking this piece of Tucson and building quality, beautiful homes. You just don’t see this anymore. I don’t think anything compares to Saguaro Ranch.” Located in northwest Tucson, the 1,200acre Saguaro Ranch development is singularly accessed through a magnificent tunnel burrowed into a mountain. It’s unique to any other community in the region. “It really piques your curiosity,” Angelini said. “Once you go

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through that tunnel, it’s like you are not in Kansas anymore. It’s a dream location.” Through a gated reception center, beautiKirkpatrick ful custom homes begin to line a roadway that ultimately winds back to Moonlight Canyon and the new Saguaro Ranch Club, the former home of the popular McClintock’s Restaurant. Now, the refurbished yet glamorously rustic digs serve as the heart of Saguaro Ranch – along with an expansive lap pool, jetted spa, fire pits, custom pickle ball and bocce ball courts and a rooftop fitness facility that offers unrivaled views of scenic Southern Arizona. “This is the last project of this quality left in Southern Arizona,” said Miramonte Homes founder and CEO Chris Kemmerly. “It’s like Saguaro National Park.” That’s taking into consideration the numerous other high-end neighborhoods throughout Tucson, including Dove Mountain, Pima Canyon, Stone Canyon, La Paloma and Ventana Canyon. continued on page 86 >>>

PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

By Tara Kirkpatrick

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BizDEVELOPMENT continued from page 84 “This is really the last of these,” he said. As one of the larger, private local homebuilders here since he launched Miramonte Homes in 1992, Kemmerly clearly has the vantage point to know. Miramonte announced its partnership with the Saguaro Ranch developers in August. “Saguaro Ranch and the Moonlight Canyon community offer a unique opportunity for homebuyers to live in an environment with 80% open space,” Kemmerly said. “The infrastructure improvements that have been made in the community are so extensive that it is unlikely this would be repeated in any other location in Tucson. “It is truly a one-time opportunity for homebuyers to live this close to natural open space while still enjoying the benefits of the infrastructure that has been invested in Saguaro Ranch.”

Moonlight Canyon at Saguaro Ranch offers 43 one- to two-acre lots with a choice of four, single-story models, ranging from 2,934 to 3,800 square feet, each thoughtfully designed by Robinette Architects, the firm instrumental in the design of the newly renovated Saguaro Ranch Club. Each home offers base pricing for contemporary, modern territorial or modern ranch styles and there are two options for adding casitas. “I was fortunate to have been asked to be involved in the design and conceptualization of the Moonlight Canyon lots, street layouts, clubhouse and model homes,” said Ron Robinette, a distinguished Tucson architect whose award-winning footprint here has spanned almost 40 years. “During the land planning of the lots in Moonlight Canyon, I grew to appreciate and understand the beauty and ruggedness of the setting. Moonlight

Canyon offers lots that are rich in character,” he said. “The lots include hilltop lots with seemingly endless views – lots that are hillside settings to overlook the canyon and still other lots that allow a homeowner to enjoy the privacy of the canyon. All of the lots are characterized by dense vegetation and rugged boulders and cacti.” Because these are semi-custom homes, the construction timeline is shorter than that of a traditional custom home − on average 12 to 18 months – compared to more than two years for a fully custom home. “We are really doing the heavy lifting for the buyers,” said Angelini. “We are trying to make the whole building process more efficient for them.” That’s especially helpful for out-of-state buyers unable to travel to oversee a complex, custom build.”

SOME OF THE ELEVATIONS OF HOMES AVAILABLE AT MOONLIGHT CANYON

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her new book, “Circle Square Balance Hue.” Describing the environment as “absolutely incredible,” Carroll said she is looking forward to working with each new buyer. “For me and for our team, this makes a wonderful setting to be creative with rustic and contemporary design elements. With 43 homes, each of the interiors needs to have its own special reflection of the homeowner.” The combination of Kemmerly, Robinette and Carroll is truly Moonlight Canyon’s “dream team” with the trio’s breadth of experience and years of respect across the region. “I think that Ron is incredibly talented and creative. What he has accomplished during his career in Tucson is remarkable.” Carroll said. “And Chris − the knowledge, professionalism and leadership he brings to the table is energizing. As I have moved through my

career, it’s special to be working with such talented individuals. “There are so many new and amazing products that have been introduced during COVID that aid in creating dramatic ambience so each residence is a true reflection of the each homeowner. They are smaller homes requiring delicate balance that is daringly different and infinitely beautiful which provides endless creativity.” “Having worked with both Lori Carroll and Ron Robinette for over 30 years on a variety of projects, it is exciting to be partnering with them again on such a unique project as Moonlight Canyon,” Kemmerly said. “Lori, Ron and their respective teams have many years of experience and expertise in designing luxury custom homes. They understand what features are important to the luxury homebuyer and design homes to fit that lifestyle.”

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PHOTOS: COURTESY SAGUARO RANCH

The Moonlight Canyon semi-custom homes certainly offer the elegant finishes of a full custom home – such as oil-rubbed bronze hardware, brushed nickel ceiling fans, gas fireplaces in the master bedroom and great room, Kichler light fixtures and Emser tile in the entry, kitchen, baths and laundry, granite countertops and more. They are also energy efficient, have tankless water heaters, zoned AC and include smart home compatible features. Award-winning designer Lori Carroll, who has established herself as the region’s preeminent purveyor of luxury desert living over the past three decades, provides 10 hours of design consultation. She has won more than 100 local, national and international awards for her work, has been the focus of more than 200 features in 50-plus publications, appeared on regional and national design shows, and just released


Elegant Amenities, Semi-Custom Designs

LORI CARROLL & ASSOCIATES

Luxury is no longer the darling of the large custom-built home. Buyers in Moonlight Canyon at Saguaro Ranch are proving that living large is more than possible in a smaller space. From stateof-the-art office spaces with hyper-efficient tech and high-end cabinetry to fully equipped outdoor kitchens, they are spending big on luxury finishes. “People are changing their MO,” said Chris Kemmerly, owner of Miramonte Homes, the builders of Moonlight Canyon. “They want smaller, more manageable luxury.” As part of the Moonlight Canyon design process, designer Lori Carroll provides buyers with 10 hours of design team meeting time and Carroll is already impressed with the forethought she is seeing. Clients come prepared with their Pinterest picks and lay out distinctive wants for these homes. In fact, on a recent Zoom call, one buyer told Carroll she wanted to invest heavily in the kitchen, master bedroom and powder room. “These 43 homes we are working with are not 10,000-squarefoot homes,” she said. “They are smaller, concise and there is a lot of beauty wrapped up into a smaller footprint. It allows us to do amazing things.”

LORI CARROLL

Some of the early choices have included heated floors in the bathrooms, a personal driving range and, significant investment in home-office design including stunning custom cabinetry. Potentially driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, functional and high-tech home offices to accommodate virtual work are easily becoming an emerging niche industry. “People in the various business fields can live anywhere today.” Kemmerly emphasized. He also noted that the high-speed internet inside Saguaro Ranch is the best in the area. The Moonlight Canyon home plans also allow for many options for customization, including pre-designed room extensions, central vacuums and audio, video and smart technology upgrades. “There are so many beautiful new products that have come to life during COVID so we can keep pushing to do something different and craft each one so it’s a true reflection of what the client wants,” Carroll said.

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RON ROBINETTE

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The Saguaro

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Ranch Club Focus on Health, Mindfulness & Well-Being By Romi Carrell Wittman At the heart of the expansive and rugged Saguaro Ranch development north of Tucson lies a repurposed and redesigned facility focused on wellness in body, mind and spirit. The Saguaro Ranch Club is a members-only retreat offering residents of Saguaro Ranch a central gathering space to meet and socialize with friends and neighbors, as well as a space to focus on health, mindfulness and well-being. In its former life, the club was McClintock’s Restaurant, a popular restaurant nestled in the Tortolita Mountains. When the sprawling Saguaro Ranch property was purchased by new owners, the development team decided to repurpose the restaurant into a club that would serve as an anchor for the re-conceptualized residential development. It officially opened in October 2021. “We’ve made it into a private club that offers residents a gathering space

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as well as health and wellness facilities,” said Scott Lundberg, owner of Saguaro Property Development and a resident of Saguaro Ranch. After a head-to-toe renovation by the award-winning local firm Robinette Architects, the newly renamed Saguaro Ranch Club offers residents luxurious athletic facilities, recreational and social activities. Aqua Design International, a Tucson-based landscape architecture firm, designed the pool and spa complex, which includes a 25-yard lap pool, a jetted spa and a swim-up bar. Aqua Design International’s work is world renowned, having built pools at resorts such as the Four Seasons Punta Mita resort in Mexico, the Amangiri, a five-star resort in Canyon Point, Utah, and the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix. The club also features two pickle ball courts, a bocce ball court and a rooftop athletic center with state-of-the-art fit-

ness equipment and a panoramic view of Pusch Ridge to the east and the city of Tucson to the south. Gathering spaces are located throughout, both indoors and outdoors, with comfortable seating, and fire features. Residents can use the facility’s wine lockers and attendants are on-hand to assist with snacks and beverages. Outdoor barbeque facilities lend to the festive atmosphere. “Residents can host birthday parties, graduations and anniversary parties, too,” said Mike Conlin, associate broker for Miramonte Homes and Saguaro Ranch Manager. A catering kitchen makes it the perfect venue for wedding receptions, company parties and other special events. “It’s a relaxing space to meet with friends or work out,” Conlin said. “We hope it serves as a gathering spot for residents, their friends and families.”

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PHOTO BY WILLIAM LESCHE

PHOTO: COURTESY SAGUARO RANCH

BizDEVELOPMENT

Tunnel Vision Unique Entrance to Saguaro Ranch By Jay Gonzales

When the developers of Saguaro Ranch envisioned an entrance to the exclusive property tucked up against the Tortolita Mountains, they knew exactly what they wanted. Most of the investor group was from Colorado, said Mike Conlin, who was among the investors that first began developing Saguaro Ranch 20 years ago. Conlin is now manager of the 1,200-acre development at the end of Thornydale Road. “We sat around with some of the other investors and talked about what the entrance should be,” Conlin said. “What we wanted was a dramatic sense of entry.” Safe to say they got it with a 700-foot tunnel through a mountain that opens up to a northern view of the Tortolitas on a road that continues on a winding path through the property. “There were several resort developers at the time in the U.S. and in Ha92 BizTucson

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waii that were picking up on (the idea of tunnels) and we decided to follow that,” Conlin said. “We had options. We could have gone around the ridge but going right through it seemed the most dramatic – especially when you come out the other side on the north.” Twenty years later, the experience of building the tunnel is mainly a memory for Conlin, now 79 years old and still working the property as it continues to develop. It’s such a distant memory, Conlin said he doesn’t recall the name of the firm that designed the tunnel. He does know that the man who led the project by happenstance was living in nearby Dove Mountain at the time and had experience with big-city projects like subways and sewer lines. “Through some mutual friends, we got hold of him and sat him down and talked to him about our concept, and he said, ‘No problem – that’s what I do for a living,’ ” Conlin recalled.

What is firm in Conlin’s memory is the blasting through the mountain, the day they broke through and could see daylight from both ends for the first time, and the precision needed during construction to make the tunnel work. For example, the north end of the tunnel is higher than the south end to give water a place to drain. The drilling and blasting started at the top of the tunnel and worked its way down to the base, not unlike the drilling that takes place in a mine, Conlin said. In fact, he added, most of the workers on the project were hard-rock miners from Kentucky and Ohio. The price tag was about $3 million, and it took about a year and half to complete. “It was just what we wanted,” Conlin said. “Because of the slight uphill, it’s sort of a light at the end of the tunnel as you get closer and closer. It’s become our signature symbol.” Biz www.BizTucson.com


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Let the Buyer

BizDEVELOPMENT

Be Awed

Saguaro Ranch Offers Unparalleled Executive Living By Jay Gonzales Saguaro Ranch is seeing a distinctive shift in the buyer profile for the luxury, multimillion-dollar homes in the development. “Number one, they’re younger,” said Mike Conlin, ranch manager at Saguaro Ranch. “Traditionally we see, (buyers in their) 60s and 70s who are second homeowners. Now, it’s more like 50s and 60s. A lot of them are still working. “They’re from the West Coast. And the No. 1 state on the West Coast is Washington − Washington state, California, Oregon.” Not coincidentally, those are places populated with high tech employers who, since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, are allowing their employees to work from anywhere. John Angelini, VP of sales for Miramonte Homes, which is building the semi-custom Moonlight Canyon at Sa17

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guaro Ranch, said the amenities available, including the best WiFi in the area, are attractive to buyers who want to work from home. “The workspace is changed forever,” Angelini said, because of COVID-19. “If people are working, technology allows them to work anywhere, so you are seeing more money put into these home offices because they want to be comfortable.” If residents have to travel, they have easy access to Interstate-10, the main artery connecting Tucson east to New Mexico and Texas and west to Phoenix and California, via Twin Peaks Road and an improved and widened Tangerine Road. Executives also have their choice of Tucson International Airport and Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport because of Saguaro Ranch’s location on the far northwest side. COVID-19 has had a number of other impacts

on who’s buying at Saguaro Ranch. The seclusion of the development, which can only be entered through its signature tunnel through a mountain, gives buyers a feeling of security and open space. “The pandemic actually helped with that tunnel,” Conlin said. “You have a sense of isolation and being protected. “It’s little things like the popularity of detached casitas as an add-on. That’s an office now for these folks. It’s not for the in-laws.” When the buyers are coming from places like Washington, California and Oregon, the developers say, they have plenty of equity and money to spend whether it’s a second home or a primary residence. Saguaro Ranch homes “are for people with good jobs and professions,” Conlin said. “They’re coming here with equity. It’s a drop in the bucket to spend $2.5 million on a home.”

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BizPEOPLE Howard Stewart

AGM Container Controls CEO Howard Stewart received the Transformation Leadership Award from Gov. Doug Ducey for AGM’s model tuition reimbursement program at the 18th annual Governor’s Celebration of Innovation Awards. The award is presented to an executive and/or organization that has achieved significant business success driving positive, transformational change with measurable outcomes. The event was made possible through a partnership between the Arizona Technology Council, the Arizona Commerce Authority and Avnet.

Steven Zadorozny

Barker Contracting announced the promotion of Steven Zadorozny to the position of general superintendent. Hired in 2011, Zadorozny started out his career with the company as a carpenter. He is now responsible for leading the Barker Contracting field teams and assuring compliance of company policies and procedures regarding safety, scheduling, budget, quality of work and customer service.

Irlanda Cuevas

Hughes Federal Credit Union has promoted Irlanda Cuevas to marketing manager of business development and community relations. Cuevas will lead a team of business development representatives in assisting members and nonprofit organizations to reach their financial and philanthropic goals through financial wellness. Since 2018, Cuevas has served as a business development representative and assisted the credit union with its community and business development initiatives. www.BizTucson.com

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From left

Brenda Goldsmith Executive Director El Rio Foundation

Anthony Schaefer

President, Board of Directors El Rio Foundation

Kate Breck Calhoun

Immediate Past-President Board of Directors El Rio Foundation 104 BizTucson

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BizPHILANTHROPY

El Rio Foundation Marks Two Decades in HealthCare Launches New Fundraising Program

PHOTO BY BRENT G. MATHIS

By Valerie Vinyard

El Rio Health is a one-stop shop when it comes to healthcare. Doctors and providers practice in the same building where patients can get lab work, pick up a prescription at the pharmacy, meet with a nutritionist or even go to a dentist. The community consumer-based health system started in 1970 and has grown from one site on the west side to a dozen locations, serving one in 10 in Tucson. To support patients with no health insurance, expand services and innovate, donations are essential, which makes the El Rio Foundation a critical aspect of the overall operation, raising $1.5 million to $2 million annually for the health center. A “Share Your Heart” employee giving campaign raises over $200,000 annually. The foundation is celebrating its 20th anniversary and is one of the oldest community health center foundations in the country. An impressive 96 cents of every dollar donated goes to healthcare services for www.BizTucson.com

Their gifts ensure that all people can get care.

Brenda Goldsmith Executive Director El Rio Foundation

patients in need, capital projects and quasi-endowment. Individuals who donate to El Rio Foundation and file taxes in Arizona, may receive up to $400 in a state tax credit per person or $800 per couple.

The El Rio Foundation was formed in 2001 to increase financial support and awareness for the health center. Brenda Goldsmith, the foundation’s executive director, said El Rio stands out as one of the few among 1,300-plus health centers nationwide that have started fundraising efforts. Kate Breck Calhoun, director of sales and marketing at Tucson Convention Center, serves as the immediate past board president of the El Rio Foundation. “My passion is healthcare,” said Calhoun, who was drawn to the cause after taking a tour of the Congress Street clinic. As part of its efforts to raise money, the foundation will launch the El Rio 1000+ Club in 2022. Its goal is to increase from 142 individuals who donate $1,000 or more annually to more than 1,000 gifting that much. That will impact more than 100,000 people at El Rio Health. People also continued on page 106 >>> Winter 2022

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BizPHILANTHROPY continued from page 105 can become part of the club through a monthly donation. The ambitious goal will focus on such areas as the cancer treatment fund, youth mental health and children’s services. El Rio CEO Nancy Johnson said the impact of contributions and volunteerism over the past 20 years has been amazing. Donors have given more than $30 million since El Rio Foundation’s inception, with most donations coming from our local community. “As El Rio CEO, I see daily how charitable support impacts our most vulnerable patients and employees, whether it’s access to dental care, cancer screening and treatment, behavioral health care, employee scholarships, or building and equipping our new health centers,” Johnson said. The foundation is comprised of a compact team of five employees, including Goldsmith, who has been with El Rio for 17 years.

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Because medical care is expensive, Goldsmith’s team works to attract donors from corporations, foundations and the community. “Their gifts ensure that all people can get care,” said Goldsmith, adding that more than 13,000 people served by the health center don’t have insurance and rely on El Rio’s services. “Now the community is starting to understand our commitment to public health,” said Goldsmith, noting that the foundation is starting to receive estate gifts from Tucsonans who remember the foundation in their wills. Goldsmith and Calhoun are particularly proud of the other board members and El Rio Vecinos, “neighbors” in Spanish, which started in 2013. The El Rio Vecinos is a group of young professional volunteers between the ages of 25 and 40 who raise money to help children receive healthcare through an annual fundraiser known as the Vecinos Block Party.

In January, Calhoun will be replaced by Anthony Schaefer, a Realtor with Long Realty Company. “As an El Rio Foundation board member, I have the privilege to see the incredible impact our fundraising efforts have on patients in need through innovative programs and expanded health services,” Schaefer said. Nowadays, the foundation also is fundraising for cancer treatment. Goldsmith said that between 12 and 20 patients are helped every year. She also lauded the many health partners, who “are stepping up to discount costs.” “There’s a lot of care that can be done in the primary health setting that don’t need to be in the ER,” she said. Especially in these difficult times, El Rio can be an option for anyone, insured or not. “It could be your neighbor, it could be you,” Calhoun said.

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Refinery

PHOTO BY BRENT G. MATHIS

The

The long-anticipated University of Arizona Tech Park at The Bridges, located on Kino Parkway and Interstate 10, will open its first building known as The Refinery in late January. The Refinery’s 120,000 square feet of office space will be shared equally by UArizona programs and outside businesses wanting to work closely with the university. The first university program moving 108 BizTucson

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into The Refinery is UArizona Applied Research Corporation. It is a separate 501(c)(3) organization that provides products, services and solutions to national security challenges in the U.S. government and industry. Moving into their new spaces in The Refinery in late March will be Tech Launch Arizona, the university’s tech transfer licensing office which moves inventions from university research and technological

innovation into the marketplace, and Research, Innovation and Impact (RII), the office responsible for supporting more than $734 million in research activity at UArizona. The Refinery will also house UA Online, the university’s online educational program, so that all of its staff and professors are headquartered in one location with a focus on growth. A regional outpost for the UArizona www.BizTucson.com


Opens

BizVISION

New Commercial, Academic Hub at UA Tech Park at The Bridges By April Bourie

The Refinery is developed by The Boyer Company, Core Construction and Swaim Associates, ltd Architects

Center for Innovation will open in The Refinery. UACI is an incubator network for science and technology startup companies both from inside and outside UArizona. UACI is headquartered at the UA Tech Park, Rita Road and Interstate 10, and has outposts across the region, including a bioscience incubator in Oro Valley. UACI guides startups through a 27-point program that helps them rewww.BizTucson.com

fine their products and offerings, find success in their product launch and gain sustainability. The program has successfully assisted over 160 startups since its inception in 2003. There are currently a total of 58 startup companies in the program – the highest concentration of startups in any incubator program in Arizona, according to Carol Stewart, associate VP of Tech Parks Arizona.

Several businesses are waiting to get into the UACI program and the bioscience incubator, the latest place to open, is full. Opening the additional regional outpost at The Refinery will allow an additional eight to 12 startups into the program. “President (Dr. Robert C.) Robbins’ vision for the UA Tech Park at The Bridges is for it to become the commercialization hub for the university, and continued on page 110 >>> Winter 2022

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BizVISION

continued from page 109 many of the programs located in The Refinery create a continuum to achieve this vision,” said Stewart. “In addition to RII, a variety of other research organizations within the university work very closely with Tech Launch Arizona (TLA) to determine which research projects have the potential to be viable in the marketplace.” “Once a project is identified, the researchers or professors that created the intellectual property go through TLA’s process to prepare for commercialization. Once they have maximized TLA’s services and support, they decide their next step, which may be to formally apply for the UA Center for Innovation’s incubator program. When the new venture has successfully graduated from the UACI program, they have the option to scale at the UA Tech Park and grow their business in Southern Arizona.” When determining which programs would fill UArizona space at The Refinery, the planning team took into consideration Robbins’ vision, but also discerned how the university does business and how they could positively impact that. “The opportunity to bring together the entire UA Online business 110 BizTucson

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Carol Stewart, Associate VP Tech Parks Arizona

unit was an exciting prospect for The Refinery team and for us,” said Stewart. “Now, they can fast-track their growth plans of online content and services.” Meeting rooms allow students, faculty and businesses to convene at The Refinery. “These spaces will provide purposeful programming for students, community and industry. Tech Parks are all about mashing these groups together,” said Stewart. “All areas of the institution are involved to make this project successful, even UA Parking and Transportation Services. They have augmented their routes and committed

PHOTO BY BRENT G. MATHIS

President Robbins’ vision for the UA Tech Park at The Bridges is for it to become the commercialization hub for the university, and many of the programs located in The Refinery create a continuum to achieve this vision.

to Cat Tran service for The Refinery, allowing students and faculty to easily move back and forth between UArizona main campus and the UA Tech Park at The Bridges.” Half the space in The Refinery is reserved for UArizona programs, but the other half will house companies wanting to work closely with UArizona – part of the “mashing together.” No companies have yet been confirmed, but typically it’s a company that aligns with the specialization of the institution and is dedicated to working with the university through joint research projects and hiring interns or graduates. “We’re talking with some that may not be an obvious connection for someone driving by,” said Stewart. “Some examples are mining companies, aerospace and defense sector companies, health services-based companies ... entities that have a desire to collaborate with the university’s areas of expertise.” This type of connection is very valuable to outside companies, according to Stewart. “The No. 1 thing that keeps CEOs awake at night is talent. Helping these companies navigate to the best continued on page 112 >>> www.BizTucson.com


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BizVISION continued from page 110 talent and expertise typically requires some insider’s help. We work with the different departments at the university to connect the companies to the best talent available for their specialized requirements, whether for research, internships or permanent positions.” The name of the building is an allusion to this. It was named “The Refinery” because of its proximity to the best and brightest that can be mined from UArizona, allowing companies who locate there to directly find talent from the university campus. It could also refer to the “refining” of research and technological innovations to bring them successfully to the marketplace. When completed, the UA Tech Park at The Bridges will encompass 65 acres embedded within a larger 350-acre multi-use development known as The Bridges. In addition to The Refinery, a high-bay research facility will open in October for Steward Observatory to assemble high-altitude balloon payloads and test components for space flights. The building, being constructed

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by Concord General Contracting and designed by Swaim Associates, ltd Architects, will have 40- to 50-foot ceilings to accommodate this research. “It will create a lot of curiosity because it’s a different-looking building that will have a big presence. People will ask, ‘What’s that?’ and we’ll have the opportunity to share the university research work going on in the building,” Stewart said. A Marriott Springhill Suites broke ground at the corner of Tucson Marketplace Boulevard and Kino Parkway at the end of 2021. Managed by HSL Properties, the Marriott veered from the standard building design to align with the design guidelines of the UA Tech Park to reflect the high tech, modern look of other nearby buildings. Four fundamentals help provide guidance for what is planned in the UA Tech Park at the Bridges. “A park like this is opportunity-driven, and we have to weigh each opportunity against these fundamentals to ensure that the right opportunities are acted upon at the UA Tech Park at The Bridges,” said Stewart. Chief among these fundamentals are

the design guidelines, which require all buildings to have high-quality design and development that ties back to building design and fundamentals on the main campus. The second is whether an opportunity is the right fit for an urban tech park campus. Tech Park at The Bridges will be less spread out than the UA Tech Park at Rita Road, and this must be considered when determining the right fit, according to Stewart. “The third fundamental is the magic of the mashup … academia sitting beside startups sitting beside industry. We want all of those different entities meeting up at the water cooler and rubbing elbows at events,” said Stewart. “That’s the magic of what we do.” The final fundamental ties back to the criteria considered for businesses wanting to locate in The Refinery. They must want to collaboratively interact with the university through industrysponsored research and hiring graduates and interns. “Whatever it is, there must be a connection to the university, and we are here to facilitate that collaboration,” said Stewart

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BizCONSTRUCTION

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Project: Reid Park Zoo Front Entryway Improvements Location: 3400 E. Zoo Court Owner: City of Tucson Contractor: Lloyd Construction Company Architect: Torre Design Consortium and Swaim Associates Architects Completion Date: February 2021 Construction Cost: N/A Project Description: Renovation has been completed of the zoo’s entryway, including interior building remodeling and planting 12 mature trees to create a live shade canopy.

Project: Rocking K Ranch Community Park Location: 7735 S. Rocking K Ranch Loop Owner: Diamond Ventures Contractor: Lloyd Construction Company Architect: PHX Architecture Completion Date: April 2021 Construction Cost: $3.9 million Project Description: The 13-acre park in Rocking K planned community features soccer fields, basketball and pickleball courts, playscapes and a splash pad.

Project: Cabana Bridges Location: 1002 E. 36th St. Owner: Holualoa Companies and Greenlight Communities Contractor: Greenlight Construction Architect: WORKSBUREAU Completion Date: March 2023 Construction Cost: N/A Project Description: Cabana Bridges provides 288 attainable residential units with modern designs and desired amenities at attractive rental rates.

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BizRESEARCH

Challenge Accepted

UArizona Constructs Grand Challenges Research Building A landmark new sciences building under construction at the University of Arizona is projected to be the site of research and inventions that scientists haven’t even thought of yet. Ground was broken for the Grand Challenges Research Building in September. It is situated on Cherry Avenue between East University Boulevard and East Fourth Street on what had been a parking lot. It will connect to the Meinel Optical Sciences Building. The $99 million, seven-story building will have nearly 115,000 square feet and is expected to be completed in February 2024. The new building will be a key component of the “Grand Challenges” pillar of the university’s strategic plan, housing initiatives that include space exploration, artificial intelligence, disease prevention and the environment. “Our strategic plan prioritizes building a well-rounded innovation ecosystem, which is one of the ways the

University of Arizona is driving the Fourth Industrial Revolution to ensure technological innovation is humanled and human-centered,” UArizona President Dr. Robert C. Robbins said at the groundbreaking ceremony. “This building will help us expand our interdisciplinary research capacity in areas such as optics, quantum computing, advanced communications and biomedical technologies.” The GCRB will include a ground floor with public spaces, study spaces and meeting rooms for student engagement and instruction, as well as three floors of laboratories and offices for faculty growth in the James C. Wyant College of Optical Sciences. Also housed in the GCRB will be the new Center for Quantum Networks, funded by a $26 million National Science Foundation grant. Saikat Guha, a professor in the College of Optical Sciences, is the lead investigator of the project. Robbins said discoveries made at

GCRB will be translated into practical innovations that will make life easier. Science is changing and evolving and what society will see in the future is hard to visualize, he said. “It’s evolving so rapidly in this industrial revolution of bringing digital, physical and biological sciences that’s going to be the future. And we’re just in the nascent stages of that. So I think the things that will happen from fundamental discoveries will really change the world. And it’s so exciting to be part of that, and think about the future of things we haven’t thought about.” “We’ve been part of the fabric for a long time,” said Elizabeth “Betsy” Cantwell, UArizona senior VP for research and innovation. “The College of Optics was designed and built out of our long history, really, in astronomy and now has become an institution that has research and graduates all over the world whose work stimulate an enormous amount to our economy....”

IMAGES COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA

By Tom Leyde

Pictured above – Attendees at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Grand Challenges Research Building on Tuesday, Sept. 28. From left: Saikat Guha, professor in the UArizona James C. Wyant College of Optical Sciences and lead investigator of the Center for Quantum Networks; Liesl Folks, university senior vice president for academic affairs and provost; John-Paul Roczniak, president and CEO of the University of Arizona Foundation; James C. Wyant, professor emeritus and founding dean of the Wyant College of Optical Sciences; University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins; Thomas Koch, dean of the Wyant College of Optical Sciences; Elizabeth “Betsy” Cantwell, UArizona senior vice president for research and innovation; Lisa Rulney, UArizona senior vice president for business affairs and chief financial officer; and Ron Shoopman, member of the Arizona Board of Regents. Chris Richards/University of Arizona

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PHOTOS BY COURTNEY RYAN & BRENT G. MATHIS

BizEDUCATION

Clockwise from top left – Allen Couture, VP of operations, Raytheon Missiles & Defense; JTED Building; Bill Westcott, executive director of Potoff Private Philanthropy; Jim Click; the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Pima JTED Innovative Learning Center @ The Bridges, held in October; Kathy Prather, Superintendent/CEO, Pima JTED

Pima JTED Center Open for Business

$17.5 Million Career Center Welcomes Students By Tom Leyde They were once known as trade schools, places where high school students who didn’t plan to go to college could learn skills that could lead to stable jobs. These days they might be referred to as career schools where high school students can launch careers as chefs, firefighters, medical assistants or in manufacturing and work their way through college if they choose. Pima JTED (Joint Technical Education District) is that and more for students with the opening of a new facility. A ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house was held Oct. 8 at the new Pima JTED Innovative Learning Center @ The Bridges, 3300 S. Park Ave. City, county and state officials turned out for the event, which included tours 118 BizTucson

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of the two-story, 50,000-square-foot building. Demonstrations were presented by students enrolled in Pima JTED classes. Culinary students served food prepared on site. Those in the 3D Animation & Game Design program gave visitors a chance to see their projects through Oculus virtual reality devices. Veterinary science students talked about their training. And robotics students flew drones. The Innovative Learning Center @ The Bridges, built by BFL Construction, was 16 years in the making. A property tax increase that voters passed overwhelmingly helped pay for the $17.5 million building. Ground was broken in May 2019. The private sector chipped in, too.

The Rotary Club of Tucson committed $250,000. Philanthropist Ross Potoff donated $1 million through Potoff Private Philanthropy. “I think that we are vastly underestimating the capabilities of our students and our ability to merge them into a career that is meaningful and substantial, to give them the opportunity to build a life that everybody dreams of in this country,” Bill Westcott, executive director of Potoff Private Philanthropy, said at the ribbon-cutting. Mark Irvin, president of Rotary Club of Tucson, said Pima JTED was one of several proposals presented to the club for funding. “We were blown away with what JTED had to say,” he said. “We thought it was an amazing presentation that they made. I think a lot of us had www.BizTucson.com


a strong understanding of what JTED is and what they wanted to do. We are just honored to be a part of this ribboncutting today.” Raytheon Missiles & Defense also stepped up to help the project. It paid $100,000 for naming rights to the Raytheon Event Center in the new building. “Facilities like this absolutely help us meet our goals and our growth,” said Allen Couture, VP of operations at Raytheon. “I met a few students today that I’ll one day see walking down our halls at Raytheon Missiles & Defense.” “I expect some of the students and staff will come visit us out on our campuses to really understand what we’re doing and how it relates to the learning that’s happening in these facilities,” Couture said. Gabby Durazo, 18, is in her second year in JTED’s licensed vocational nursing assistant program at the Sonoran Science Academy in Tucson. “My goal is to become an OB/GYN nurse and then become a doctor,” she said. “I have a very high goal and I know I will accomplish it.” Ethan Lopez, 18, is a third-year student in the Advanced Student Culinary Arts program. “I’ve always had a passion for cooking since I was very little,” he said. Lopez plans to go on to a culinary arts school. Eventually, he wants to work for the Walt Disney Corp., which has one of the largest culinary arts programs in the world. Simon Cook, a junior at Tanque Verde High School, is involved in the Precision Manufacturing program through JTED. “I’ve always been interested in handson work, and I would like to get into a career in welding and manufacturing,” he said. Classes are held at the new building during the day and in the evening. Students younger than 22 can attend classes even if they don’t have a high school diploma, said Greg D’Anna, director of public relations for Pima JTED. JTED offers 65 different educational programs on 35 school campuses in Pima County. The program partners with Raytheon Missiles & Defense, Pima Community College and the University of Arizona, among others. More than 100,000 students have gone through JTED. The building at The Bridges is located within 25 minutes of 52,000 Tucson area high school students. Biz www.BizTucson.com

Mark Irvin

Rob Draper

Rotary Club of Tucson Donates to Pima Joint Technical Education District By Tom Leyde The Rotary Club of Tucson plans to donate $250,000 or more to the Pima Joint Technical Education District. The club, which celebrated 100 years in 2021, chose Pima JTED as the prime beneficiary for its centennial year funding project. A significant boost to the gift comes from the club’s annual Tucson Classics Car Show, held in October. Part of the event was the raffle of a brand new 2021 Chevrolet Corvette, which was the most successful car raffle in the club’s history because of the popularity of the new C8 Corvette. Despite the fact that the C8 is in short supply, with most buyers enduring a months- or even years-long waiting list, the club was able to obtain the car for the raffle through a special allocation by General Motors, in response to a request by O’Rielly Chevrolet that Chevrolet support the Rotary Club’s centennial event. After the car show and the Rotary Club’s announcement of a successful raffle, Rotary Club of Tucson members got a surprise when a group of them went to thank Rob Draper, president of O’Rielly Chevrolet, for helping the club procure the Corvette. “We wanted to go in and thank Rob and tell him what the financial impact of the car he helped us secure was and how it benefitted JTED,” said Rotary Club President Mark Irvin. “Rob congratulated me on a successful term as president during Rotary’s centennial year and announced that O’Rielly Chevrolet would like to make its own donation to JTED in further celebration of the club’s centennial and to support JTED’s automotive programs.” Pima JTED, which trains high school students for multiple careers, will use the Rotary Club Centennial Fund grant for its capital fund for its new Innovative Learning Center at the Bridges, said Kathy Prather, Pima JTED superintendent and CEO. Specifically, the grant will outfit the new building with the latest equipment. One purchase will be a high-tech medical simulator mannequin that uses augmented reality, which will be shared by students in all JTED medical programs, Prather said O’Rielly Chevrolet’s donation will be used to provide scholarships for high school students wishing to attend automotive technology classes at Pima Community College’s new Automotive Technology and Innovation Center.

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PHOTO BY ZULMA TAPIA

BizPHILANTHROPY

Larry Adamson, Director, Connie Hillman Foundation and Marcy Euler, President Pima Foundation

Pima Foundation Nets $5 Million Challenge Grant Largest Gift in Its History Pima Foundation received a $5 million challenge grant from The Connie J. Hillman Family Foundation to fund new programs and workforce development initiatives across the region. It’s the largest gift in the history of Pima Community College and its foundation, which acts as its fundraising arm. The gift is a two-to-one matching grant over the next three years. For every two dollars Pima Foundation raises, the Hillman Foundation will match one dollar up to $5 million. To receive the full $5 million, Pima Foundation must raise a total of $10 million over the next three years. “What we’ve learned from doing these challenge grants is that it’s helped charitable organizations much more than just an outright grant,” said Larry Adamson, director of the Hillman Foundation, “It permits those funds to be an incentive to make it easier for an organization to go out and ask people to step up and meet the challenge.” PCC, like many community col120 BizTucson

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leges that serve predominately minority populations, has been hit hard by the pandemic. Overall enrollment dropped 20% over the past two years, as prospective students opt for jobs to support their families or take care of sick relatives instead of school. “The pandemic worsened financial barriers already faced by prospective minority and first-generation college students,” said Pima Community College Chancellor Lee Lambert. “Our challenge is to fund new targeted workforce initiatives that will help those in our underserved communities get back to school and on a path to a family-sustaining career.” Though raising $10 million to take full advantage of the $5 million challenge grant will be a formidable task, Foundation President Marcy Euler said the college is up to the challenge. The foundation has an endowment of $8 million. “We know there is a tremendous need in our underserved communities to ease

the financial challenges of going back to school,” said Euler. “Without additional aid, we are losing a generation of students and potentially widening the poverty gap in our region. There is a real urgency to reversing the damage to our minority students caused by the pandemic.” Pima Foundation plans to appeal to large and small individual donors, local businesses and industries and other foundations. Founded in 2011, The Connie J. Hillman Family Foundation has awarded more than $14 million to local nonprofit organizations. Its pledge of $5 million in matching funds to Pima Foundation is its largest commitment in the region. Pima Foundation, established over 44 years ago, champions Pima Community College by cultivating relationships for lasting positive impact. The foundation oversees more than 200 funds, including endowments, monies for PCC programs and student scholarships.

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BizMANUFACTURING

Model of Industry

Pima Community College Raises Beams on New Advanced Manufacturing Building By Loni Nannini Pima Community College is taking advanced manufacturing to the next level, literally and figuratively, with the start of construction on Phase 3 of the Center for Excellence in Applied Technology. At the Downtown Campus the beams were raised this past fall for the Advanced Manufacturing Building, which features nearly 100,000 square feet of space on three levels with state-of-theart equipment and learning spaces. Slated to finish later this year, the project has a budget of approximately $35 million. It is the hub of the Centers of Excellence, which includes a 45,000-square-foot Auto Technology facility, a 60,000-square-foot Science and Technology Building and the re122 BizTucson

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cently expanded Aviation Technology Center. “The Advanced Manufacturing Building is a working model of how industry operates,” said Greg Wilson, PCC dean of applied technology. “Our goal is to produce a ready-skilled workforce for industry that builds the local economy, and this building reinforces that mission. We know that our industry partners are desperate for folks with skills, and this building allows us to stay current and to follow – and perhaps even to help drive – industry trends.” Students can gain first-hand experience through programs in machine tool, welding, automation/robotics and computer aided design. The facility features a Flexible Industry Training (FIT)

Lab, which will provide learning space where local industry can network with PCC to up-skill and re-skill employees and students, and a 10-ton gantry train that utilizes “Smart Crane” technology to deliver heavy and large materials directly from flatbed trucks to specified areas throughout the facility. “There is also an Idea Lab, which is a ‘maker space,’ if you will, on the first floor for students and faculty to collaborate and bring ideas to fruition,” Wilson said. “The Advanced Manufacturing Building will also feature an Optics and Photonics Lab developed in partnership with Optics Valley, the world-class businesses and institutions hub in Tucson that provides research, services and products in optics, photonics and aswww.BizTucson.com


Our goal is to produce a ready-skilled workforce for industry that builds the local economy, and this building reinforces that mission. Manufacturing Building, along with the Auto Technology Building and other spaces, serve as places to see new models for workforce education emerge that integrate 21st century skills with industry-recognized credentials as part of flexible workforce pathways and micro pathways. These pathways don’t necessarily require a whole semester or a whole year for learners to walk away with something tangible and meaningful as part of their educational journeys.” Lambert and Wilson emphasized that the entire building construction project, designed by DLR Group with the Chasse Building Team as general contractor, has been made possible with the support of local, regional and national

industry partners such as Caterpillar, Raytheon Missiles & Defense, PVB Fabrications, Competitive Engineering, CAID Industries, M3 Engineering & Technology, GLHN Architects & Engineers, Nolato GW Tucson, Sargent Aerospace, AGM Container Controls and many others. The companies recognize the value of investing in education that will deliver a workforce with 21st century skills for the entire community, according to Wilson. “In the long-term, spaces like this help to attract more businesses to the area, which helps to drive the economy and provide better-paying jobs for everyone,” said Wilson.

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IMAGES COURTESY PIMA COMMUNITY COLLEGE

tronomy. This is key for sectors such as aerospace and defense, microelectronics, medical instrumentation, automotive and nanotechnology.” The building is crowned on the third floor by a CAD department with topof-the-line visualization and prototyping technologies that will enable students to tie together planning, ideas, design and implementation. The space also has offices and a business incubator to further encourage project-based learning, exchange of ideas and innovation with local startups – all to enrich student experiences. “We are really on the frontier of reshaping what education will look like going into the future,” said PCC Chancellor Lee Lambert. “The Advanced www.BizTucson.com

– Greg Wilson, Dean, Applied Technology, Pima Community College


BizAWARDS

Cornerstone Building Foundation Honors Industry Excellence Adds $60,000 Scholarship By Tom Leyde

1. The Jerry Wyatt Community Service Award Brad Lloyd, VP Lloyd Construction Company

The Jerry Wyatt Community Service Award went to Brad Lloyd. The award is named for the late Jerry Wyatt, who received it posthumously. It is given to a person who best emulates Wyatt’s efforts to improve the Southern Arizona construction industry and the Tucson community. “I definitely feel that I don’t deserve it,” Lloyd said upon receiving the honor, “but I’m thoroughly grateful. It’s an amazing set of shoes to fill in Southern Arizona.” 2. Subcontractor of the Year Achilles Inc. Jon Achilles President

Nine awards were presented at the banquet as well as two scholarships. A new scholarship was also announced. The foundation is approaching $300,000 donated for scholarships and other construction-related programs. The new scholarship to help people training to be engineers was announced by Chris Monrad, principal VP of Monrad Engineering. Named after his father, Lawrence E. Monrad − now retired − the scholarship will provide $60,000 over four years in a partnership with the University of Arizona and Cornerstone Building Foundation. The following awards were presented at the banquet:

4. Small General Contractor of the Year (Projects less than $2 million) Kittle Design & Construction Tom Kittle, GM Susan Petrus, Project Manager

“This event really reminds us about how important our industry is and how much of what we do affects so many people,” said Tom Kittle. 5. Professional Service Company of the Year ARCpoint Labs of Tucson Colleen Edwards Executive VP

“We couldn’t have done it without you. … We appreciate your faith in us,” said Colleen Edwards. 6. Supplier of the Year

“We get to work with some amazing contractors here in Southern Arizona. Without the opportunity you have given us we wouldn’t be here right now,” said Jon Achilles. 3. Design Consultant of the Year

CalPortland Robert Romero Aggregate Sales

The company operates eight plants and has plans for three more, supplying ready mix concrete and aggregates and cement.

7. Owner of the Year Pima JTED

The high school district provides career and technical education programs for 20,000 high school students. It held a ribbon cutting and open house for its new building at The Bridges in October. 8. Large General Contractor of the Year (Projects $2 million or more) Concord General Contracting Grenee Martacho, CEO JV Nyman, President

“We recognize that we are a company built on success because of every single one of our employees,” said Grenee Martacho. 9. Architect of the Year Repp + McClain Design and Construction Page Repp, President Rick McClain, Partner

“We are just a small architecture firm and we live and breathe this stuff every day,” said Page Repp.

GLHN Architects & Engineering Robert Lamb CEO

An employee-owned firm founded in 1963. “Our success has come from you helping us,” said Robert Lamb. “We are a team and I’m blessed to be able to work with this team.” 124 BizTucson

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PHOTOS: CHRIS MOONEY

Nothing much gets designed or built in the Tucson area without members of the Cornerstone Building Foundation. The foundation, formed in 1994, held its 27th annual Awards Banquet Nov. 9 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Tucson. The group, composed of design and construction companies, is committed to honoring the best in project delivery through the awards program and recognizing members of the building community in a “dream team” format. It also raises money for scholarships and other worthy projects related to the design and construction industry.


Winners of 2021 Cornerstone Building Foundation Awards

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PHOTO BY BRENT G. MATHIS

From left

Marc Sandroff,

Co-Founder, Lead Guitar

Brad Richter

Co-Founder, Lead Guitar

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BizNONPROFIT

Music Takes the Lead Tucson Nonprofit Expands Music Education Across the Nation

INSET PHOTOS COURTESY LEAD GUITAR

By Eva Halvax At a guitar workshop in Page, Arizona in 1999, guitarist Brad Richter was struck not only by the musical talent of a young group of Diné students, but by their dedication to teach themselves music in the absence of resources in their school. Richter continued to work with the school in Page and four years later, Richter met Marc Sandroff a guitar player, businessman and philanthropist who credits the roots of his career success to the discipline he learned studying music as a kid. Together, the two founded Lead Guitar, a nonprofit organization in Tucson that provides guitar classes to students in schools that are systemically underfunded and neglected. Lead Guitar seeks to use music as a tool to increase rates of school attendance and graduation, as well as encourage Lead Guitar students to continue school beyond their high school graduation.

Five million American children do not have access to music education, according to Lead Guitar. It is well researched that music education is closely correlated to improved student performance in areas of study such as math and science, according to the organization. “What I learned in music still serves me years later. The guitar captured me, and it got me passionate about my studies,” said Sandoff. “One of the things that we do here is help kids realize their own potential. Our goal is to use music as a tool to keep kids in school and believe in themselves.” By serving schools in which 80% or more of the students are eligible for free or reduced lunch, Lead Guitar focuses on communities that have the least access to arts education. “While we use classical technique and focus on music fundamentals, like note reading and following a conductor, we’re doing it by playing (genres

like) folk and rock. We want students to be exposed to every kind of music. We want students to see themselves in the material they’re learning, and the composers and artists that we put in front of them,” Richter said. Lead Guitar was founded in Tucson and was supported early on by a number of Tucson philanthropic organizations and businesses including: Diamond Family Philanthropic Fund, The David and Lura Lovell Foundation, Community Finance Corporation, Pueblo Mechanical and Sunland Asphalt. Today, Lead Guitar serves students in five states throughout the country and is well-positioned to be a national organization. This year, Lead Guitar will serve more than 90 schools and will work with more than 30,000 students. “Lead Guitar’s success grew out of a cooperative effort from early supporters continued on page 128 >>>

Tucson Regional Director Alfredo Vazquez with students at Morgan Maxwell School in Tucson, early 2020; 2017 Wellness Through the Arts Grand Prize Awardee, Ismael Mercado of Hollinger K–8 in Tucson, performs his original song at the University of Arizona.

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Our goal is to use music as a tool to keep kids in school and believe in themselves. –

Marc Sandroff Co-Founder Lead Guitar

continued from page 127 in Tucson,” noted Sandroff, Lead Guitar’s co-founder and president of its board of directors. “We still have a loyal group of supporters here in Tucson and their support enables us to grow throughout the country. Today, we have support from donors nationally ranging from the National Endowment for the Arts to music industry groups like the Guitar Salon International Foundation and Augustine Foundation. We owe our success to the support and encouragement of many organizations and individuals in Tucson.” When the pandemic hit in 2020, Lead Guitar was faced with the immense challenge of adaptability. Yet, it was this moment that allowed Lead Guitar’s mission to thrive virtually – a lasting change within the program. By creating an advanced digital curriculum, students were able to maintain their music studies, even without access to an instrument. Out of 68 schools, 63 were able to continue their programs with Lead Guitar. The digital program is a valuable tool that is creating a student community beyond each individual school. It links students, schools and teachers throughout the country. This now enables Lead Guitar to serve schools and students outside of its core service areas and support its national ambition. “Part of our mission is sustainability. And we want schools to be able to continue doing this program independently after a couple of years of co-teaching with us. We’ll always be there for them if they want us to continue working directly with their students, but we want them to take what we’ve offered and make it their own. I think that the online learning system really helped with that piece of our mission,” Richter said. Lead Guitar is a local success story, an organization that grew out of Tucson and is on its way to be recognized nationally.

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SPECIAL REPORT 2022

THE REGION’S BUSINESS MAGAZINE

United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona

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A Century of Changing Lives in Southern Arizona By Loni Nannini Over the last 100 years, United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona has been a change-maker, a communityconvener, a fundraiser, a problemsolver and an equity-distributor. This milestone offers the opportunity to reflect on an organization that has come to personify the unique people, power and infrastructure of community and philanthropy in the region. “Very few institutions in Southern Arizona have been able to mark a full centennial of service, but with the support of our amazing donors, investors, stakeholders, volunteers, board members and staff, we have been on the ground serving the community for 100 years,” said Tony Penn, president and CEO of United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona. “Over the past century, we have touched the lives of millions of people throughout Tucson and Southern Arizona. In 2021 alone, we impacted more 132 BizTucson

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than 233,000 lives. And we know that every story of impact on a child or family or senior is more than a story: it is a positive life transformation for a person,” said Penn. United in Southern Arizona — 100 Years of Transformations

United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona began when 10 civic and charitable organizations in Tucson joined forces to launch the first Community Chest campaign in 1922. Hundreds of workers participated in the three-day campaign to “provide for civic betterment, and social and economic uplift.” Though it fell short of its ambitious $85,000 goal, a philanthropic movement was born. That movement vaulted forward in 1942 with the Tucson United Appeal, Inc.--the first Federated Campaign in conjunction with the Annual Workplace Campaign—which raised $70,910 and marked a turning point for business/government/philanthropic

partnerships in Tucson. Since then, the giving campaigns have been spearheaded by local business owners, entrepreneurs, politicians, philanthropists and influencers such as Evo DeConcini, Matt Mansfield, Arthur Pack, Katie Dusenberry, Bill Clements, Bobby Pennington, Humberto Lopez, and many more. In the 1970s, the campaign evolved into United Way-Greater Tucson and the organization began strategic planning to transition from a pass-through entity that raised funds for other agencies to a full-service United Way with direct-service programs. By 1982, with the recognition of donor choice as a key component of fundraising, the annual campaign raised $4.4 million and funneled money into 44 local agencies ranging from the Arthritis Foundation to the Boy Scouts of America to the The Salvation Army Tucson. www.BizTucson.com


Very few institutions in Southern Arizona have been able to mark a full centennial of service, but with the support of our amazing donors, investors, stakeholders, volunteers, board members and staff, we have been on the ground serving the community for 100 years.

The 1980s also resulted in expansion through affiliates in Santa Cruz and Cochise counties and the launch of the Tocqueville Society in 1984 to honor donors who contribute $10,000-plus annually. The millennium brought increased community engagement through Days of Caring, which has grown into the largest two days of volunteerism in Arizona. In 2019, almost 4,000 volunteers completed 135 projects. Other involvement evolved through affinity groups such as Women United, which supports early education and literacy; and Young Leaders United, which www.BizTucson.com

Tony Penn, President & CEO, United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona raises funds for Opportunity Youth, a program to re-engage youth ages 16 to 24 with education and career opportunities. A new era began in 2010 with the arrival of Penn, who was tasked with rebuilding the organization after the 2008

economic downturn resulted in dwindling workplace giving and erosion of United Way reserve funds to assist local aid agencies. With 2020-21 Fiscal year revenues in excess of $24 million, Penn’s datadriven vision has centered on a strategic plan to address the underlying issues of community poverty through the three pillars of Education, Financial Wellness and Healthy Communities. United Pillars — Education, Financial Wellness, Healthy Communities

“Approximately 25% of people in Tucson and Southern Arizona live at or below the federal poverty rate,” said Penn. “That is unaccontinued on page 134 >>> Winter 2022

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PHOTOS COURTESY UNITED WAY


BizCHARITY continued from page 133 ceptable and your United Way is doing something about it by responding to community needs, transforming lives and focusing on underlying issues to bring long-lasting systemic change to the community. We know that addressing three tiers of Community Impact—Education, Financial Wellness and Healthy Communities—will facilitate our goal of helping every child and every adult to maximize their potential.” In Fiscal year 2020-21, with the help of community partnerships, contributions, grants and government funding, United Way funneled $12.2 million into Community Impact initiatives Education

PHOTOS COURTESY UNITED WAY

United Way’s efforts to advance equity and excellence in early education began in 1999 and was focused on low income neighborhoods with poor quality child care, as well as, parent outreach to encourage parents to seek higher quality care for their children. Programs and partnerships are diverse. Cradle to Career utilizes data to improve educational outcomes. The Family Support Alliance provides at-risk families with parenting resources. The Great Expectations Program offers free professional development to early childhood educators and My Summer Library provides free books to low-income Kinder and first graders in 9 different school districts to mitigate summer learning loss and improve reading proficiency. Financial Wellness

Myriad programs address the creation of financially stable households from career through retirement. Partnerships with Pima County, the City of Tucson and others connect low-wage earners with employment opportunities, promote financial literacy and position families

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to improve their quality of life. Among the most successful initiatives is the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, which provides free tax preparation by volunteer IRS-certified preparers for any household earning up to $66,000. VITA is now the largest tax preparer in the state. In 2020, it filed more than 14,000 tax returns for low-income families, resulting in a return of $26 million in federal funds to the community. Healthy Communities

United Way of Tucson pursues this imperative through unique collaborations such as the ELDER Alliance and the End of Life Care Partnership, which brings together nonprofits, businesses, government agencies, community partners and residents age 50-plus to maximize quality of life. In 2020, more than 11,100 seniors were served through various programs. Healthy Communities also works with community partners such as El Rio and Banner Health to improve access to healthcare for low-income, working families. “We know that a healthy community is a thriving community and we believe that all people should have access to health care and resources to maximize quality of life and dignity at every age,” said Penn. Ultimately, Penn said he views the continually-evolving strategic plan and creative collaborations as game changers in the effort to build strong, thriving, equitable communities—and economies—throughout Southern Arizona. “Your United Way serves as a connector between community and business, and that shared value strategy helps business to be focused on its most valuable asset, which are its people. Business needs community and community needs business,” said Penn.

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Tony Penn Leading United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona By Loni Nannini

Tony Penn is a master of the turnaround. His tenure as president and CEO of United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona proves it. Penn joined United Way in 2010 when the organization was faced with management problems and money woes. He immediately began rebuilding and re-engaging the public--an effort that has since led to 80-plus partnerships created with community service agencies and resulted with 2020-21 Fiscal year revenues in excess of $24 million. An impressive background in the forprofit and nonprofit sectors has buoyed Penn’s success. He credits his achievements to the discipline acquired as a cryptologic technician in the U.S. Air Force, combined with a skill set attained as a principal engineer and regional manager at Teradyne, a leading supplier of automatic test equipment used to test complex electronics used in consumer electronics. Those credentials were enhanced by nine years as VP and chief development officer of YMCA of Greater San Antonio. Indeed, he beat out 185 applicants to helm the United Way here. “In for-profit business, I learned to create shareholder value, meet quarterly metrics, manage multimillion dollar budgets and build relationships,” he said. “When I retired from that phase, I went to the next chapter with nonprofits, where I use all of those skills. I call that, ‘my transition from success to significance,’ and this phase has been the greatest work of my life.” When he came to Tucson, Penn was challenged with rebuilding an agency that was plagued by dwindling workplace giving and an erosion of United Way reserve funds to assist local chari138 BizTucson

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ties. A key building block was restoring trust with the community, he said. “We had experienced a bump in the road like all businesses do, particularly those that have been around for as long as the United Way,” Penn said. “We overcame that by being a community that highly valued United Way. We just needed to see trust and leadership restored, and all I did was bridge a gap and share with the community that United Way of Tucson is a valuable asset worthy of their trust.” Penn’s strategy for success included an emphasis on “The Four Ps”— People, Performance, Professionalism, and Passion—along with implementation and on-going analysis of data-driven metrics, a commitment to transparency and diversification of revenue streams. “Today, we have a complex revenue model inclusive of major gifts, grant

The great Muhammad Ali once said, ‘Doing something for others is the rent we pay for our stay here on earth.’ I couldn’t say it better.

– Tony Penn President & CEO United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona

funding from local and national foundations, government contracts, the annual workplace campaign and endowments. That has helped us to strengthen our United Way together,” Penn said. Another benchmark of success is the institution’s “collective impact,” which is measured through the people served regionally each year. It has increased by more than 80 percent between 2015 and 2020. “That gives me a great deal of personal joy and satisfaction,” he said. Also, the fact that philanthropist MacKenzie Scott donated $10 million to the agency in 2020, after a rigorous review, also speaks volumes to the integrity of United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona. It’s the single largest donation received by the organization in its history. Penn’s philosophy about philanthropy is simple: We all have a responsibility to give back, whether through time, talent, money, or all three. “The great Muhammad Ali once said, ‘doing something for others is the rent we pay for our stay here on earth.’ I couldn’t say it better,” Penn said. Now, as United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona celebrates 100 years, one goal tops his bucket list-- sustainability in the next century. The agency is building toward a $25 million endowment to do just that. “A great institution that has made a difference to so many people over 100 years should not be starting over every year,” he said. “The $25 million Centennial Endowment Fund will create sustainability to take us into the next 100 years by covering annual operating costs to free up revenue for other critical needs designated by the board of directors,” Penn said.

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Tony Penn

President & CEO United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona

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Penn’s “Four Ps” 1) It’s all about the people. “We are in the people business, and they are the most valuable asset United Way has on our team—or the team of any business. We must help people maximize their potential to provide the greatest opportunity for economic development and to build a thriving community together.” 2) Make performance part of the strategic plan. Penn believes that prioritizing high performance for staff, board of directors and other partners encourages excellence and accountability. “I have high expectations for Tony Penn every day that I head to work at United Way. Most days I do OK, and some days I don’t. If I don’t, I make up for it by working doubly hard the next day. Expectations of high performance for myself also allow me to have them for every team member and partner with United Way,” said Penn. 3) Professionalism is paramount. “My guarantee to every team member at United Way is that I will always treat them professionally and my expectation is that they will do likewise for each other in our organization. Professionalism helps create equity in our team, in our organization and in our service to the community.” 4) Passion is a priority. Penn said that love and respect for people across the board is imperative, without regard to race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, age, gender, disability, sexual orientation, veteran status, familial status or socio-economic status. “If you don’t love people, you are probably in the wrong place. We prove that love every day by making a positive impact on the lives of children, families and seniors.” Winter 2022

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Harnessing the Power of Community United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona Board of Directors

Lee Lambert

By Loni Nannini

Michelle Trindade

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The board of directors of United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona is a reflection of diverse strengths and personalities that gift “Three Ts”—time, talent and treasure—to help the region thrive. “This board has a collective wisdom of lived and shared life experiences that we bring to bear to help create healthy communities and healthy families, and that is what United Way is centered around,” said Pima Community College Chancellor Lee Lambert, the 2021-22 board chair. Lambert emphasized that “collective” is the operative word. “We bring together all facets of the community to solve pressing needs, so the future vision is about connecting all of these different dots to help make the community better for all Tucsonans. We can only do that with an organization that has a collective impact approach,” said Lambert. The philosophy hinges on people, according to 2021-22 Vice-Chair Michelle Trindade, who began gifting time as a young single mom serving meals to homebound seniors through an agency affiliated with the United Way in Lakeland, Fla. in 1997. Shortly thereafter, she began contributing small weekly donations through the Annual Workplace Campaign with GEICO. Her donations grew along with her career as she traveled the country, all the while exploring different United Ways. By 2018, she arrived in Tucson as regional VP of GEICO and joined the United Way board of directors. “This is a wise and fiscally responsible nonprofit with great reach and the way they rally resources is incredible,” Trindade said. “Not only through donations, but through volunteerism. Days of Caring is the largest volunteer event in the state. In 2021, my team had more than 100 volunteers working on 16 projects over two

days. That is harnessing the power of community. Impact happens through giving and through people too. You see that in a lot of organizations, but not like this.” Allison Duffy, a four-year board veteran and 2020-21 chair of the Annual Workplace Campaign, said United Way aligns with the level of efficiency and professionalism she demands from her own company. She is president and owner of Silverado Technologies, which provides nationwide IT services such as network management and strategic consulting. “As a working professional, my time is limited. Everything I do needs to be something that I have a passion for. It needs to be fulfilling,” said Duffy. “The United Way wins national and international awards for its professionalism as a nonprofit and a fundraising engine, with 11 straight years of clean audits and the ability to leverage $5 of impact from every dollar donated.” That level of efficiency combined with measurement of impact through data and metrics “is the secret sauce of the organization,” said Edmund Marquez, 2020-21 board chair and chair of the Tocqueville Society. Marquez, who owns the Edmund Marquez Allstate Agencies, likens United Way to an index fund worthy of investment because donors realize their time and money are used wisely. “I compare it to the S & P 500, which chooses the top 500 companies,” Marquez said. “If one company fails, the next in line steps in. That is what the United Way does with nonprofits. They choose the best, most efficient nonprofits to work with and if they do what they should, they continue to invest. If not, they choose another. There are 3,600 nonprofits in Tucson and we partner with the best and most impactful.” All board members realize that philanthropy is paramount and that everyone— www.BizTucson.com


1. United Way of Tucson board members 2. Helaine Levy presenting check from The Diamond Foundation 3. Tony Penn with Allan Norville 4. Hal and Debbie Ashton 5. Jim Click at a Tocqueville Society event 6. Margaret and George Larsen

at every age and life stage—has something to give. Many have also found that the journey of giving reaps unexpected rewards. “While it is heartwarming to be able to give of my treasure, it has been increasingly meaningful for me to give my time and talent, too,” said Howard Stewart, president and CEO of AGM Container Controls and chair of the United Way’s Centennial Endowment Campaign. “Frankly, I think that our Tucson United Way helped me to discover a part of myself that I didn’t know existed. You see, by gradually asking me to step forward at increasingly higher levels of the volunteer portion of their organization, I was effectively provided with the opportunity to break free of my lifelong inclination to be an introvert. In turn, it’s become easier for me to start asking my friends and other community members to step forward to help the people that United Way represents.” For those fortunate enough to have

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Lee Lambert, Chancellor Pima Community College

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the ability to gift treasure in addition to time or talent, Stewart has a special ask. “As each of us inevitably approaches our life’s end, those of us who have done well realize that we ‘can’t take it with us.’ As such, this is a terrific time when all of us need to open our eyes to find out how great it feels to make a big difference by giving back to effective nonprofits like the United Way,” he said.

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Amanda Stanley

Jeffrey and Sonia Schmitz

Stories of Success United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona is about empowering people— those who want to help and those who find themselves in need of it. Amanda Stanley

Amanda Stanley has been both. A recipient of the Single Mom Scholars program from Interfaith Community Services, she found herself unable to pay her bills in December 2019. United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona provided assistance with utilities. “They really saved me. There were a few moments in the last couple months of school where I was going to quit because I couldn’t pay my utilities, and when you are two months from graduating, that is the last thing you want to do,” Stanley said. The support from United Way of Tucson allowed Stanley to complete her degree at Pima Medical Institute, but when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Stanley’s career took a new turn and she accepted a temporary position with Interfaith Community Services. Now a senior case manager, she has worked directly with United Way to distribute $18,000 in grant funds for rent and utilities assistance to families in need during the pandemic. 142 BizTucson

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“This has helped our clients tremendously,” Stanley said. “Most of them were unemployed or laid off due to the pandemic and some had to stay home with their children when schools closed. This money kept them in their homes and kept their kids in school, since homes were the schools.” Stanley said that the efficiency and ease with which United Way responds during times of need is a blessing for the entire community. “I definitely encourage people to support the United Way. It is an amazing organization with simple processes for helping people,” she said. Jeffrey and Sonia Schmitz

Jeffrey and Sonia Schmitz echo that sentiment. When Sonia moved to Tucson with Jeffrey from Rwanda four years ago and found they were expecting a child, she was concerned about being a new mom in a new country. Enter Healthy Families, a program sponsored in part by United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona, which has provided free in-home assistance and parenting education for the growing family. “I was a new mom and had no family to help,” Sonia said. “Healthy Families came to our apartment and gave me in-

formation on what to expect for every trimester and techniques to help raise and play with the kids. United Way is important because it helps parents raise their kids in a safe and healthy way and helps keep families ‘United,’” United Way has proven to be an ongoing resource for the Schmitz family, stepping in to help coordinate a scholarship for free childcare through Quality First while Sonia works toward attaining her degree as an LPN at Pima Community College. “I gained a lot of support from United Way of Tucson—so much useful information for me and my family, but mostly now I have scholarships for my kids’ daycare,” she said. “Nursing school is intense, but I am happy my husband and I have daycare help so we won’t be worried about having to pay. I hope everyone will know about the many benefits we received from United Way and I hope they can receive help like we did. I would like to thank each and every person who is working hard for the best interests of our community. Thank you, United Way, for caring.”

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PHOTOS COURTESY UNITED WAY

By Loni Nannini


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BizCHARITY

Improving Lives from Beginning to End A Look at Cradle to Career, End of Life Care Partnerships Social transformation through creative cooperation. It can be witnessed in real time through United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona’s unique collaborations such as Cradle to Career (C2C) and End of Life Care Partnership. C2C brings together education and business leaders and other organizations dedicated to improving educational and life outcomes for every child through achieving key milestones along the pathway to adulthood. The partnership with seven school districts in Pima County now impacts 3,335 children, youth and young adults. With a budget of more than $1.2 million, it tracks seven developmental milestones, including kindergarten readiness for children birth to age 5, 3rd grade reading, 8th grade math, high school graduation, post-secondary enrollment and completion, and career attainment.

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This approach uses the data to continually set goals, plan interventions, act, reflect and adjust—all with the intent of achieving results. “We are looking at impacting those indicators of systems change, and to do that we bring people together who don’t necessarily work with each other on a daily basis. We work cross-schools, cross-school districts, cross-organizations and cross-businesses,” said Allison Titcomb, senior VP and Chief Impact Officer of United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona. The most recent results available show improvement in many of the benchmarks since C2C began in 2014: While less than half of third grade students are proficient on the Arizona assessment, proficiency rates were six points higher than at baseline. The percentage of students enrolled in high-quality early education programs rose by seven points.

Additionally, the percentage of 8th graders who met or exceeded state standards in math increased by 10 points. High school graduation rates were up slightly and career attainment improved by six points. C2C looks to continue this progress through its affiliation with StriveTogether Network, a national movement to help children succeed regardless of race, ethnicity, circumstance or zip code. “StriveTogether allows us to work and learn with and from other communities doing similar work around educational outcomes for children and youth,” said Titcomb. “That provides us with more resources to think about how we can do better and achieve continuous improvement. Systems change has to happen across the board on many different levels.” The End of Life Care Partnership continued on page 146 >>>

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continued from page 144 (EOLCP) is another impactful United Way program. Its mission is to “enhance the way we live by fundamentally changing the way we talk about death.” Anchored at United Way, the partnership formally began in 2017 with funding from the David and Lura Lovell Foundation and the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona. It’s now a national model that manages more than $3.9 million in grants with over 400 stakeholders, 30 investing partners and 19 grantee organizations including Catholic Community Services, El Rio Health, Interfaith Community Services, Pima Council on Aging, the Pima Juvenile Court System, Tucson Medical Center and University of Arizona Health Sciences. “Our work with older adults is a unique aspect of our United Way,” said Titcomb. “There are only a handful of United

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Ways in the country that work with older adults and this was identified as a key area of involvement by our community nearly 20 years ago. A critical component to this End of Life Care work, however, is that it affects everyone, not just older adults and that is a core principal of the partnership.” The services include endof-life care and support, training for healthcare professionals, education and advance care planning workshops, hospice services, bereavement and grief support for children and adults. “The EOLCP helps people to transition so they can live out their lives as they choose,” said Tony Penn, president and CEO of United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona. “It also helps families so they don’t fall victim to the tragedy of losing a loved one at the end of life while facing the issue of not being prepared financially.”

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BizCHARITY


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BizCHARITY Tony Penn and Edmund Marquez with MacKenzie Scott’s United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona donation

Doubling Those Served MacKenzie Scott’s Historic $10 Million Gift Already at Work

In a historic first for United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona, the agency received its largest donation ever in December 2020--$10 million from billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. Though the gift was unrestricted, United Way President and CEO Tony Penn and team had a strategic plan in place to deliver the funds and essentially double the number of people the agency serves. That plan is right on track. “Our commitment at the end of 2020, when we received the $10 million gift, was to double our impact to 360,000 individuals served annually, using our current and expanded programming, by 2023,” said Melissa D’Auria, VP of communications and engagement, United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona. “A year later, we are at 65% of our doubling goal.” Scott, who helped build Amazon with then-husband Jeff Bezos, initiated a rigorous review of agencies to consider for receiving funds. “I asked a team of advisors to help me accelerate my 2020 giving through immediate support to people suffering the economic effects of the (COVID-19) crisis,” she wrote on her website. “They took a data-driven approach to identifying organizations with strong leadership teams and results, with special attention to 150 BizTucson

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those operating in communities facing high projected food insecurity, high measures of racial inequity, high local poverty rates, and low access to philanthropic capital.” It resulted in $4,158,500,000 in gifts by Scott to 384 organizations across 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington D.C.—her second of three rounds of funding. “These 384 carefully selected teams have dedicated their lives to helping others, working and volunteering and serving real people face-to-face at bedsides and tables, in prisons and courtrooms and classrooms, on streets and hospital wards and hotlines and frontlines of all types and sizes, day after day after day,” Scott wrote. United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona collaborates with more than 80 non-profit agencies, municipalities of three counties, dozens of local, regional and national foundations and coalitions and hundreds of business and educational entities. “Upon receiving this funding, our team deployed additional monetary support of $632,000 to bolster our United for Southern Arizona COVID-19 Campaign, which raised $886,000 bringing the total to $1,518,000. Our network and infrastructure enabled us to be the first local organization connecting resources and getting financial support into the hands of individuals

and families who needed it the most,” D’Auria said. In addition to supporting all of United Way’s existing programs and work, the money will help bolster more programs that address quality early childhood care and education, workforce development and asset building. Those include: Addressing the Early Childhood Education - Strategies to recruit, attract, retain, support, and develop a highly skilled, well-compensated Early Childhood Education (ECE) workforce in Pima County Accelerate Quality - Prepare ECE centers for a 3-star or higher Quality First rating, which opens them to additional funding to expand and increase the number of children in high quality early care and learning environments PimaFastTrack - A stacked credential program offering low-cost job training in high growth industries with sustainable wages. In-person and online platform programs are designed and available for adult learners The Direct Care Workforce Program - Recruiting, assisting, and supporting interested candidates to pursue caregiving jobs for seniors or people with disabilities. The program includes financial assistance, training and job placement assistance.

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BizCHARITY

COVID-19 Relief Fund

A Swift Plan to Respond, Recover and Rebuild By Loni Nannini When a global pandemic became a local economic and humanitarian crisis, United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona responded with the United for Southern Arizona COVID-19 Relief Fund. To date, the unprecedented effort has raised more than $1.518 million and funneled funding to 35 partner agencies to fulfill critical needs requests from individuals and families reeling from the effects of the pandemic. “There are lots of things we can control, but the environment is not one of them,” said Tony Penn, president and CEO of the United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona. “The community needs a United Way that is agile and able to pivot. Our mission is to impact globally, but to serve locally. As a movement, United Way is one of the largest privately-funded social service agencies in the

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world with 1,200 United Ways around the globe. We are one of the best organizations at being nimble when things change, and certainly COVID was a dramatic change and challenge for all of us.” The organization shifted immediately into crisis mode with a three-pronged plan for response, recovery and rebuilding in spring of 2020.The first stage involved establishment of the COVID-19 Relief Fund with nonprofit partners, businesses, educational organizations and the media. “We had a small emergency fund that was used for different things over the years so we had a process in place to get money out the door quickly,” said Allison Titcomb, senior VP and Chief Impact Officer of the United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona. “Within weeks, we were able to do that so agencies could provide direct support to stabilize indi-

viduals and families with essential needs such as food and baby formula, diapers and health supplies, rental assistance, utilities, child care and other resources.” More than 150,000 families and individuals in Southern Arizona have been impacted by pandemic-related work and school closures, wage disruptions, housing issues and restricted access to basic needs. In fact, a survey from the National Food Access and COVID Research Team, conducted through the University of Arizona and Arizona State University, found that 32% of Arizona households experienced food insecurity (lack of money to buy food) within the first few months of the pandemic—a 28% increase from the year prior to the pandemic. Job disruption was a key factor, with Hispanic and low-income households

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impacted disproportionately. Nearly half of those with incomes of less than $25,000 lost their jobs. To date, the COVID-19 Relief Fund has provided assistance for more than 78,414 households. On average, $529 in support was provided per household and more than 14.6 million pounds of food have been distributed to date. People have received assistance with basic needs, with support facilitated through food banks, diaper banks, meal programs and other resources in conjunction with the United Way. Moving forward, United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona is focusing on recovery and rebuilding to help the most vulnerable members of the community continue to navigate food insecurity, employment instability, rising evictions and housing shortages. It recently pledged an additional $120,000 to the COVID-19 Relief Fund to aid community partners such as the YWCA, Interfaith Community Services, Our Family Services, Family Housing Resources, and Primavera Foundation. “Although your United Way moved quickly to meet the challenge, there is still much to do to help devastated families become whole again,” said Penn. “United, with our partners, we are coordinating efforts to help families not only recover, but rebuild.”

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BizCHARITY

The Way Forward

$25 Million Centennial Endowment Fund to Create Legacy of Help Stakeholders with United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona have a vision for a sustainable future and an action plan to make that a reality: Raise $25 million to fund a living legacy through the Centennial Endowment Fund. “Legacy is being mindful of the fact that we live our legacy. By doing so, we not only share what we receive, but most importantly, what we give. That will be remembered far beyond our time on this earth,” said Tony Penn, president and CEO of United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona. The $25 million goal for the endowment is based on the premise that a 5% annual return will generate $1.25 million annually to cover operating expenses for United Way, creating selfsustainability for the organization. The remainder of funds raised through grants, government funding and donations can then be funneled into areas of greatest community need. To spearhead the ambitious effort, Penn tapped long-time supporter and former six-year member of the board of directors, Howard Stewart. He is president and CEO of AGM Container Controls, a Tucson manufacturer of products for the aerospace, defense and accessibility markets. AGM is a 50-year participant in United Way’s Annual Workplace Campaign.

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For the last 24, it has reached the “Gold Level,” raising $1,000 per employee annually with employer match. Stewart hopes to capitalize on that success for the Centennial Fund by heralding the proven fiscal efficiency and accountability of United Way. “One facet of particular interest is that on average, every dollar you give to United Way Community Impact Fund will secure more than $5 in local, state and federal grants and volunteer support: That is a 5 to 1 impact. In the area of education, United Way leverages that into an 11 to 1 impact for every dollar,” said Stewart. Stewart also emphasized the Centennial Endowment’s potential to free up funds for critical future needs that may be difficult to envision now. In the short-term, United Way’s board of directors has set a three-year goal to double the impact of the organization, which currently helps one in eight Tucsonans. “We know that if we go from a ratio of touching the lives of one in eight Tucsonans to touching one in four, we start to make a real impact on the genuine poverty rate,” Penn said. “When we get to one in four, we are really moving the needle on reducing poverty and creating equity in the community for all people, which is our goal.”

The Centennial Endowment Fund has raised $2.4 million to date. Additional opportunities to support the endowment include bequests through wills, retirement accounts or life insurance, and outright gifts of cash or stock. Additionally, the Annual Workplace Campaign supports all United Way goals designed to build thriving communities. More than 200 businesses of all sizes throughout the region now participate, representing a diverse cross-section of industry, nonprofits, technology, manufacturing, healthcare, and more. Employees have the opportunity to give specifically to initiatives in Education, Financial Wellness and Healthy Communities. Alternatively, designations to the general Community Impact Fund will be directed to programs in greatest need. Penn emphasized that every donation, big and small, counts. “The Annual Campaign actually provides an opportunity for everyone to give back through automatic payroll deductions,” he said. “It is an easy way for everyone to participate in making a difference and gives people who are working the chance to be philanthropists. You give $5 a week and you are a philanthropist who is making a lasting impact in the community.”

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BizPEOPLE

Michael Guymon

The Tucson Metro Chamber board of directors named Michael Guymon, Chamber executive VP, as the new interim president and CEO, following the resignation of Amber Smith in September. A native Tucsonan, Guymon has focused on political strategy, business development, advocacy, and organizational management while he has served in leadership roles at the City of Tucson, Metropolitan Pima Alliance, Sun Corridor, Inc., and the Tucson Metro Chamber.

Fran Katz Fran Katz, formerly the senior VP of the Southern Arizona Jewish Federation, joined the Tucson Jewish Community Center as its inaugural chief development officer. After leaving her role as director of donor services at the University of Arizona Foundation, Katz began her professional work with the federation in 2015. Katz also worked as the associate publisher of Tucson Lifestyle Magazine for nearly 30 years.

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PHOTO BY BRENT G. MATHIS

Mark Mistler

Regional President Tucson & Southern Arizona PNC Bank

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BizBANKING

Mark Mistler Leads PNC Bank in Southern Arizona By David Pittman PNC Bank’s recent acquisition of BBVA USA makes PNC one of the largest banking organizations in the nation with more than $560 billion in assets and a coast-to-coast presence in the 30 largest markets in the country. On June 3, 2021, PNC named Mark Mistler, who headed BBVA locally for the last 22 years, as its Regional President for Tucson and Southern Arizona. Mistler said he and his experienced banking team are pleased by PNC’s entrance into the region because it has the vast financial resources necessary to expand services and commitments within area communities. “We are eager to leverage the combination of strength and size PNC offers and are looking forward to the larger impact we can bring to Tucson and Southern Arizona as part of PNC,” he said. Mistler cited several policies and programs implemented by PNC to justify his optimism: – The 17-year-old “Grow Up Great Program,” which has committed $500 million to advance high-quality early childhood education with a mission of preparing young children for school and life.. The banking organization also provides all PNC employees with up to 40 hours of paid time off annually to volunteer at approved Grow Up Great partners, Racial and Social Justice volunteer organizations, or a mix of both. – A recently introduced “Community Benefits Plan” to provide $88 billion in loans, investments and other financial support to communities it serves in order to create economic opportunities for low- and moderate-income individuals, communities of color and other www.BizTucson.com

underserved people. – Utilization of a “Main Street Banking Model” similar to that of BBVA. “We were somewhat surprised a large bank like PNC would stress relationship-building with clients at a local level,” Mistler said. “But their business strategy fits perfectly with what BBVA has always done in Tucson.” Mistler grew up in Tucson, where he was an outstanding all-around athlete at Sahuaro High School. He played basketball, ran track and was quarterback of the football team. Mistler was so accomplished on the gridiron that he was sought after by several major college football programs. “I attended the University of Arkansas because I liked the people, the coaching staff, and I was extremely impressed with the head coach,” That coach happened to be the legendary Lou Holtz, Mistler said. “I couldn’t have been more fortunate. I played on some really good teams and it was a great experience. I was very blessed.” Mistler learned life lessons from Holtz. He was set to back up the quarterback during his sophomore year, but Holtz needed another wide receiver and shifted Mistler to that position. Mistler was not only rewarded with a starting position, but he developed into an allconference wide receiver and team captain for the Razorbacks. “Coach Holtz was more than a phenomenal coach. He was the greatest motivator I’ve ever been around,” Mistler said. “He taught us about setting goals and he said before you could set goals you had to know your priorities. He said football should not be our

highest priority in life. “The greatest lesson he taught us was that if you have your priorities right, and you set goals and go after those goals, you’re going to do well,” he continued. “Coach Holtz taught us about what he called ‘servant leadership.’ He said if you are in a leadership position, you are there to serve others and help them be successful and not just be concerned about yourself.” After earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1984 at Arkansas, Mistler attended Arizona State University, where he received an MBA in 1986. Mistler began his banking career with Valley National Bank in Phoenix before moving back to Tucson in 1987. He worked in various positions with Valley National Bank/Bank One before joining Compass Bank in 1999. Mistler has served on numerous nonprofit boards in the Tucson community. He is a member of the boards of directors for Sun Corridor Inc. and the Southern Arizona Leadership Council. He is a past chairman of the Tucson Metro Chamber board and served on the National Board of Advisors for the University of Arizona Eller College of Management. Other board positions have included the Diocese of Tucson Catholic Foundation, Our Mother of Sorrows Parish Endowment Board, Tucson Parks Foundation, Junior Achievement of Southern Arizona and Our Mother of Sorrows Catholic School. He has given his time to a myriad of local charitable organizations.

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BizAWARDS

I-Squared Awards Honor Innovators at UArizona By Tom Leyde Sadhana Ravishankar Associate professor in the School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences Zachary Brooks Director of Business Development Botanisol Analytics

Sahand Sabet Doctoral candidate in the College of Engineering

Mark Van Dyke Associate dean for research at the UArizona College of Engineering Eric Smith Executive director of the University of Arizona Center for Innovation

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PHOTOS COURTESY TECH LAUNCH ARIZONA

The top inventors and entrepreneurs dedicated to commercializing University of Arizona inventions in 2021 were honored at Tech Launch Arizona’s eighth annual I-Squared Expo & Awards. The awards were presented Sept. 28 at the Tech Launch Arizona offices. Five crystal awards − Inventor of the Year, Startup of the Year, Student Innovator of the Year, Campus Collaboration, and Ecosystem Impact Award − were given out at the live event. Tech Launch Arizona commercializes inventions stemming from research done at UArizona. The team at TLA helps to bring those inventions to the public and assist the innovators to maximize their work for the betterment of the world. “We are really all about impact,” Betsy Cantwell, senior VP of research and innovation at UArizona, said at the event. “How do we encourage to enhance and allow our faculty to begin to think of themselves as inventors.” All of that encouragement is working. In FY2021, TLA executed 124 license agreements, launched 17 startups and had 100 patents issued. This year, UArizona moved up 38 spots from the year before in patent granting, said Douglas Hockstad, assistant TLA VP. Sadhana Ravishankar, associate professor in the School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, was recognized as Inventor of the Year. Ravishankar developed a natural antimicrobial product that can be used as a universal sanitizer for food surfaces and as a hand sanitizer. She worked with TLA to launch a new company, PhytoCentric Solutions, to commercialize the inventions developed in her lab. “For a woman entrepreneur to be recognized like this, it makes me feel so empowered, and I hope it serves as a motivation to others,” Ravishankar said. The award for Startup of the Year went to Botanisol Analytics. It commercialized a laser screener for use in rapidly detecting pathogens, such as SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Tom Milster, in the James C. Wyant College of Optical Sciences, developed the technology. The Student Innovator of the Year was Sahand Sabet, a doctorate candidate in the College of Engineering. He and his teammates are working to develop a new generation of robots that can both roll and fly for extended periods of time. The Campus Collaboration Award went to Mark Van Dyke. The award honors a person or entity at UArizona whose contributions to commercialization have demonstrated great impact over the past years. Van Dyke, an associate dean for research in the College of Engineering, has partnered with TLA to expand innovation and entrepreneurship among faculty, researchers and staff. Eric Smith and the University of Arizona Center for Innovation received the Ecosystem Impact Award. The award honors a person or entity outside the university whose contributions have generated maximum success for UArizona inventions and startups. Smith is the Center for Innovation’s executive director. The center services scalable science and technology companies from both within the university and other sectors of the community, including those outside the United States.


BizPHILANTHROPY

From left – William A. “Bill” Franke; Front Row – Clara Franke, Carolyn Franke, Stephanie Franke, Paige Franke; Back Row – Brian Franke, Bill Franke, Dave Franke, Jeff Okey.

A $25 million gift to the University of Arizona Honors College will provide students with scholarships, stipends for costs to attend the college, and funding for study-abroad opportunities. The gift also gives the college a new name − W.A. Franke Honors College − in recognition of the gift made by William A. “Bill” Franke, his wife, Carolyn, and the Franke family. The Frankes made the announcement at a Family Weekend event the weekend of October 8 with UArizona President Robert C. Robbins and Terry Hunt, the inaugural Franke Honors College Dean. “I want the students from the Honors College to feel they have the leadership skill set to take their natural ability, which has been fine-tuned, and make a difference,” Bill Franke said. “Whether they’re going into science, education or 162 BizTucson

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business, there will be opportunities for them to provide a point of view and to help develop perspective with the communities they’re engaged with.” The Frankes’ gift will fund scholarships for Honors College students, stipends to defray the cost of living in the Honors Village, and financial assistance for students who want to participate in study-abroad programs. The gift also establishes an endowed chair for the college’s dean and a new Honors Faculty Academy. The academy will provide top faculty members with financial rewards for research and teaching purposes, giving the college a recruitment and retention tool, and ensuring honors students can work closely with mentors on research projects. “We’re at an important juncture,” Hunt said. “We’re in a new building, and the W.A. Franke Honors College is

poised to become a top honors college in the country. This support means we can serve our students well, and they will indeed be very successful.” “We are very proud of what we have built at the Honors Village and this investment from the Franke family will ensure that finances are not an obstacle for bright students who choose to begin their journey in higher education at the University of Arizona,” Robbins said. “This will impact a lot of students like me, who are first-generation and lowincome,” said Honors student Jennifer Garnica, who spoke at the announcement event. Garnica is a senior majoring in nutritional sciences who plans to become a doctor. “I know it will bring happy tears to them. I was lucky to be part of this journey and to have the honor to meet with the Franke family on multiple occasions.” Biz www.BizTucson.com

PHOTOS: COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA

$25 Million Gift to Honors College Will Benefit Students


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PHOTOS: COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA

BizPHILANTHROPY

R. Ken Coit

$50 Million Gift Names R. Ken Coit College of Pharmacy R. Ken Coit has a plan for the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy and he’s putting $50 million behind it. “It is my goal to see the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy take its place among the top three programs in the nation,” Coit said in announcing the gift to the UArizona college he attended. “With this gift, the college can recruit the best and brightest students and faculty who will go on to change the face of health care around the world.” Coit graduated from the College of Pharmacy with a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy in 1967. He practiced pharmacy for three years before beginning a career in investing and financial planning. Though he didn’t work in the pharmacy industry for long, he credits his professors with instilling the values that made him successful. “I may not be a pharmacist now, but I learned a lot in pharmacy school that’s 164 BizTucson

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still important to me,” he said. “They really instilled that we were there to take care of others. I kept and transferred that value when I changed to investing.” Coit made the announcement during Homecoming Weekend in November with President Robert C. Robbins, John-Paul Roczniak, president and CEO of the UArizona Foundation, and Rick G. Schnellmann, dean of the College of Pharmacy. The College of Pharmacy will now bear his name as the R. Ken Coit College of Pharmacy. Coit has been a longtime donor to the college and has supported it with $68 million over the last 49 years. The new gift also establishes six endowed chairs as well as an endowment to support scholarships for the college’s doctor of pharmacy and doctoral programs. The gift will also be used to fund strategic investments in research equip-

ment and facility upgrades. “The College of Pharmacy has been at the forefront of drug discovery research and pharmaceutical education since its inception more than 70 years ago,” Robbins said. “Through Ken’s inspirational gift, the college will have the resources to continue leading the way on these fronts.” “His generous support has advanced not only the College of Pharmacy, but the entire University of Arizona in its capacity to serve others both near and far,” Roczniak said. The college is one of the premier pharmacy schools in the nation and recently was ranked No. 7 by the American Associations of the College of Pharmacy’s list of colleges with the most National Institutes of Health grant funding.

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BizAWARDS

Robert Kingdon Berry

Rocque Perez

Dylan Smith

Pam Scott

PRSA Annual Impact Awards

The Southern Arizona chapter of the Public Relations Society of America honored professionals in public relations, marketing and communications on Nov. 2 at its annual Impact Awards. Matt Russell, CEO of Russell Pub-

lic Communications, was the evening’s master of ceremonies. The theme for the sold-out event, held at St. Philip’s Plaza, was “Building a Legacy, Leaving a Legacy,” to honor the continuum of exceptional amateurs to seasoned pro-

IMPACT CERTIFICATE OF EXCELLENCE

Merrifield, David Mogollon & Kayla Pearce

United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona Creative Collateral Spring Tocqueville Video Card

University of Arizona Health Sciences Office of Communications News / Media Release or PSA Pain Relief Caused by SARS-CoV-2 Infection May Help Explain COVID-19 Spread Mark Lane, Stacy Pigott, Erica Rankin, Viola Watson, Debra Bowles, Kris Hanning & Lesley Merrifield

Gordley Group Creative Collateral Gordley Group 2020 Holiday Card Jennifer LaHue-Smith, Jan Gordley, Richie Brevaire & Laura Jones Gordley Group Media Placement Law Enforcement Academy Digital Campaign Dawn Hosack, Jan Gordley, Laura Jones & Richie Brevaire Cochise Conservation and Recharge Network Annual Report CCRN 5-Year Review and 2020 Annual Report Caryn S. Fogel, Holly Richter, Brooke Bushman & Juliet McKenna Sundt Construction General Marketing Communications Building El Paso University of Arizona Health Sciences Office of Communications General Marketing Communications Antibodies Shown to Provide Long-term Immunity Against COVID-19 Mark Lane, Stacy Pigott, Sarah Sher, Viola Watson, Noelle Haro-Gomez, Lesley 166 BizTucson

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IMPACT AWARD OF EXCELLENCE United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona General Marketing Communications Give Big Give United Campaign CODAC Health, Recovery & Wellness General Marketing Communications CODAC Health, Recovery & Wellness: Substance Use Treatment Campaign Kristine Welter Hall & Caliber Group Gordley Group Community Relations Town of Oro Valley SafeSteps Program Jennifer LaHue Smith, Jan Gordley, Richie Brevaire & Laura Jones

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fessionals and their work. The Best in Show winner will automatically compete for the Best in the West awards for PRSA’s Western District. This year’s winners include:

Visit Tucson Multicultural Communications When the Border Reopens Marisol Vindiola & J. Felipe Garcia Sundt Construction General Marketing Communications Building El Paso Tech Parks Arizona Community Relations Women of the UA Tech Park University of Arizona Health Sciences Office of Communications Social Media Communications Expert Insights Mark Lane, Erica Rankin, Viola Watson, Roy Wageman, Lesley Merrifield & Caroline Mosley University of Arizona Health Sciences Office of Communications Community Relations Connect2STEM Mark Lane, Allison Otu, Caroline Berger & Annemarie Medina Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Arizona General Marketing Communications Be the Miracle Debra Howard Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Arizona Internal Communications COVID-19 Survival Kit Debra Howard

UA Center for Innovation Special Event or Observance UACI at Oro Valley Tech Parks Arizona Special Event or Observance Tamales and Tech Parks BEST IN SHOW University of Arizona Health Sciences Office of Communications Community Relations Connect2STEM Mark Lane, Allison Otu, Caroline Berger & Annemarie Medina SPECIAL AWARDS Career IMPACT Award Awarded posthumously to Robert Kingdon Berry, APR, Fellow PRSA Rookie of the Year Award Awarded to Rocque Perez, University of Arizona Media Person of the Year Awarded to Dylan Smith, editor and publisher, Tucson Sentinel PR Professional of the Year Awarded to Pam Scott, associate VP at the University of Arizona

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BizHONORS

2021 Greater Tucson Leadership Tucson Man of the Year

Tony Penn By Mary Minor Davis

Tony Penn always makes time for his staff and donors. That is why, when he was planning to work from home one day, he instead went into the office at the urging of his chief development officer, Jeff Petrovic, for an important donor meeting. Much to his surprise, his entire operations team, resource development department and recently retired Chief Impact Officer LaVonne Douville were there to share in the news that Greater Tucson Leadership had named him Man of the Year. GTL’s Man of the Year is awarded to an individual who has contributed significant time, energy and spirit in the community beyond his professional life without regard to personal gain and whose recent contributions to the community have made a significant, positive impact on the quality of life for the community. It also acknowledges excellence demonstrated in leadership and rewards someone who is a positive influence and inspiration for others. In his 10 years at United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona, Penn has “led the effort to fight for education, financial wellness, equality and healthy communities for every person from birth to end of life,” wrote Alison Titcomb, United Way’s chief impact officer and senior VP for community development, when she nominated Penn. “He has bolstered our role as a community convener that enables us to form strategic partnerships, mobilize the best resources and be the catalyst for needed, positive change.” Penn’s leadership was further demonstrated during the pandemic, Titcomb noted. United Way established the United for Southern Arizona COVID-19 Fund, which has raised more than $550,000 to provide more than 21,000 individuals and families with rental and mortgage assistance, food and diapers through collaboration with 29 local partner agencies. Penn said United Way’s mission to serve more than 170,000 children, families and seniors is what drives him every day. He has served on the Southern Arizona Leadership Council, Sun Corridor Inc., the Pima Community College Chancellor’s Advisory Council and the Tucson Airport Authority. Penn was chairman of the board with the Tucson Metro Chamber. In 2018, Penn was honored with the Father of the Year Award, presented by Father’s Day Council Tucson. Through all of his service, he’s been able to collaboratively build programs that address the needs and challenges of all ages. Some www.BizTucson.com

of these include the Women United affinity group, early literacy programs and the Young Leaders United for younger professionals. When Penn took over United Way, it was facing financial and management challenges that had tarnished its reputation and ability to carry out its mission. Working with the community, he turned the organization around and made it a leader in providing services to the underserved. “What impressed us all in those early days is how Tony set out to meet hundreds of people in this community and to learn about the needs, desires and aspirations of people to ensure he was using the wisdom of the community to forge the path for United Way,” wrote W. Mark Clark, president and CEO of Pima Council on Aging. “He continues to make sure that he is leading the organization with the voices of the community at the heart of decisions for United Way.” United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona celebrates 100 years in 2022. To commemorate the anniversary, it has established the Centennial Endowment Fund with a goal of reaching $25 million. “An endowment of this size will support our community impact for the next 100 years,” Penn said. “Ensuring that our United Way is thriving and sustained for the future of Tucson and Southern Arizona is the legacy I would like to leave behind.” “Tony has brought United Way through many challenges and has seized on opportunities to make Tucson and Southern Arizona a better place, even in the face of a global pandemic,” said John C. Amoroso, executive director of The David and Lura Lovell Foundation. “He leads efforts to convene community members to work together to address our difficult problems, and he continues to raise resources from multiple sources to ensure our community will thrive well beyond his time.” Penn said he is grateful for the support of his wife, Linda, and for GTL acknowledging the dedication that he puts into his work daily. “It is as humbling as it is gratifying to receive this honor. Tucson has been good to us and it is a privilege to pay it forward.

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2021 Greater Tucson Leadership Tucson Woman of the Year

Nancy Johnson By Mary Minor Davis

It was an important day for Nancy Johnson. Contexture, the umbrella organization for Arizona and Colorado’s health information exchanges, was holding its first joint board meeting with its new partner. “(Contexture) CEO Melissa Kotrys started the meeting with, ‘We have a surprise to open our board meeting today. Nancy, can you come up here?’ I was caught by surprise and slightly worried since half of our new board were from Colorado and this was our first meeting,” recalled Johnson, El Rio Health’s CEO. Moments later, she looked at the teleconferencing screen and found her colleagues, her husband Lane, and staff from Greater Tucson Leadership on a Zoom call to announce she had been named GTL’s Woman of the Year. “It was such a humbling and emotional honor,” she said. GTL recognizes a Woman of the Year who has contributed significant time, energy and spirit in fields outside her professional life, without regard to personal gain. This person has made significant community contributions that promote quality of life for all residents, has demonstrated excellence in leadership and is a positive inspiration for others. “Despite her stature as the CEO of one of the largest medical providers in Pima County, Dr. Johnson has never lost touch with her roots as a nurse: kind, caring, compassionate, approachable, and a champion of helping lift people up, especially when they are in need,” noted Pima Community College Chancellor Lee Lambert. “It’s no surprise that under her guidance, El Rio Health has been recognized and lauded for its commitment to equity and providing care to the entire community, including the most vulnerable populations.” Johnson began her career as a nurse in Illinois and has served as a clinician, university faculty member and administrator. She joined El Rio as COO in 2009 and was named CEO in 2015. She now manages one of the region’s largest healthcare systems and the nation’s 20th largest federally qualified health center. She also is an adjunct nursing professor at the University of Arizona and serves on the Southern Arizona Leadership Council, Pima Community College Foundation, Arizona Alliance for Community Health and Arizona Complete Health. “Nancy is a genuine leader whose authentic style improves the effectiveness of everyone she encounters,” wrote SALC President and CEO Ted Maxwell. “At her core she is a nurse, and her caring manner connects with all whom she engages.” www.BizTucson.com

During the pandemic, Maxwell said, El Rio has “proven a key partner with SALC, providing expert guidance on COVID protocols and practices in the workplace.” El Rio also played a key role in providing education and resources for residents, said Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry and Medical Director Francisco Garcia in their nomination. “During the last 18 months, Nancy has worked collaboratively with our Health Department, healthcare, hospital and community leaders as an essential partner in our Pima County’s pandemic response,” he wrote. “El Rio has been agile and responsive to the complex needs of our most vulnerable communities during this health crisis.” For Johnson, who comes from a family of healthcare professionals and is married to a physician, healthcare is a way of life that continues to provide opportunities. “As I reflect on working in healthcare for so many years, I still see ways to help make things stronger and innovate daily,” she said. “I like to create and engage others, and Tucson has always been such an amazing community of colleagues. When you ask, ‘What do you think?’ or ‘Shall we try this?,’ they say yes. As a community, we build such strong collaborative partnerships with each other.” She has also been a leader in workforce development, teaching nursing, medical and public health students. “By teaching and mentoring future healthcare professionals, Nancy sparks the passion of innovative care management for high-risk populations and those with chronic diseases,” wrote TMC Healthcare President and CEO Judy Rich and Julia Strange, TMC VP for community benefit. “Her life’s work to design, develop and implement healthcare systems and services has had a major impact on an uncountable number of individuals living in Southern Arizona.” Johnson said she hopes her legacy will be that the integrated care systems and health centers that El Rio implements will optimize community health. “The words around ‘legacy’ match with El Rio’s key priorities: growth, sustainability, workforce development and community partnerships,” Johnson said. “I’m so appreciative of the many opportunities I’ve had to collaborate, improve the healthcare system and build relationships with my colleagues and partners.”

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2021 Greater Tucson Leadership Tucson Founders Award

Wanda Moore By Mary Minor Davis

When Wanda Moore’s husband, Jim, told her a designer was coming to look at their kitchen, she was sure he intended to present her with a new kitchen for their 49th wedding anniversary. The morning before the appointment, she got up early and cleaned all the appliances, polished the sink, cleaned the glass stove top, straightened all the items in her cabinets, and refreshed all three bathrooms before showering and donning a casual outfit. “My husband said to me, ‘You are very casual,’” Moore said. “I thought that was a very strange thing to say, but I was wearing an outfit I would not wear in public or to greet guests. He didn’t know how to tell me I’d be happier if I changed!” When the doorbell rang, the designer she was expecting turned out to be the Greater Tucson Leadership staff; Katie Maass, director of communications and public education at the University of Arizona’s Sarver Heart Center; and Wanda’s close friend, Jennifer Turner. “When they told me I was the recipient of the GTL Founders Award, I was in awe,” Moore said. “The tears came. I realized I wasn’t getting a new kitchen, but this award made our anniversary exceptionally special.” The Founders Award recognizes the lifetime achievements of an individual who has shown significant long-term community involvement and helped to shape the community in a positive manner with merit and dedication. It honors a person whose leadership has made a marked difference to individuals or groups and who has displayed wisdom and depth of service. “Wanda knows achievement requires a collaborative network of people and organizations moving toward common goals in a coordinated manner,” Maass wrote in her nomination. “She values mentoring people, building on their strengths. She has the wisdom to tap others for leadership roles and plan for future continuity. Her focus on setting young people up for academic success and community involvement illustrates her investment in our community’s future.” Moore, an independent business consultant, philanthropist and full-time community volunteer, describes herself as a “volunteer CEO.” After retiring from Carondelet Health Network in 2003, she turned to advocacy and community work, focusing on women, minorities and marginalized populations, helping them gain access to healthcare education and www.BizTucson.com

resources. She is currently Sarver’s minority outreach chair and has served on numerous boards and committees for more than 27 years. Moore’s drive to serve stems from her deep faith as well as the lessons she learned watching her mother work several jobs at a time and make sacrifices for her and her five siblings, while always giving of what she had to others in need. “She knew the challenges facing us growing up in the South and kept a keen eye on our activities,” Moore said. “She had very little but would always share what she had with anyone who needed assistance. When I turned 17, I told her I wanted to make a difference in the world. I feel that I have.” “Wanda’s trust and leadership in her community and her partnership with the Sarver Heart Center has profoundly extended our reach, allowing our faculty to engage with underserved populations in Southern Arizona,” wrote Dr. Nancy K. Sweitzer, the center’s director. “Wanda expanded our reach by forming the Community Coalition for Heart Health Education and growing collaborations to now include 16 community partners, including Interfaith Ministerial Alliance, Links, Delta Theta Sorority, Tucson Urban League, Sister Jose, I Am You 360 and other groups.” During the COVID-19 pandemic, Moore obtained grants to provide education to the community about vaccinations, pandemic safety and the importance of blood pressure monitoring, Sweitzer said. In the past 12 years, her efforts resulted in more than 600,000 volunteer hours in service to the heart center, reaching more than 7,500 people. “Wanda reminds us that our philanthropic philosophy must be highly inclusive, targeted at providing strategic support to those facing economic barriers and mindful of the impact that health disparities can play in economic self-sufficiency and mobility,” wrote Allison M. Vaillancourt, VP for organizational effectiveness at Segal, based in New York, and a past chair of the Women’s Foundation for the State of Arizona. “The legacy I leave behind is ‘giving,’ a word that means contributing, donating, sharing, presenting and volunteering of oneself,” Moore said. “Every individual is blessed with something to give and help another. I hope that my work inspires, encourages and empowers others – especially the younger generation – to give of their gifts. My success is helping to foster the positive results of life-changing experiences of others while giving back in my community.” Biz Winter 2022

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2021 Greater Tucson Leadership Alumni Excellence Award

Margaret Larsen By Mary Minor Davis

Margaret Larsen was getting ready for her workday when her husband, George, told her he was feeling light-headed and asked her to stay with him to monitor his blood pressure. “My first thought was, does he think I’m a cardiologist? I immediately Googled ‘luxury cruises for widows,’” she joked. At 10 a.m. the doorbell rang, and she opened the door to find a dozen friends and colleagues along with the staff of Greater Tucson Leadership, all there to celebrate her being selected for GTL’s Alumni Excellence Award. “They presented me with roses and champagne,” she recalled. “As I stood there with tears in my eyes and photographers snapping pictures, I felt like Princess Diana at Harrod’s!” The GTL award recognizes someone who represents the highest ideals of service and loyalty to the community and who is actively demonstrating skills learned in GTL’s leadership program. Larsen moved to Tucson in 1986 and built a successful commercial real estate brokerage career, selling over $100 million worth of commercial real estate. She currently serves as the co-owner of Larsen Baker, Tucson’s largest retail-commercial real estate investment company with 3.5 million square feet of commercial space and more than 500 tenants. In 2000, she turned her focus almost exclusively to philanthropy. “I attribute my success as a community leader to the yearlong GTL leadership program because it expanded my knowledge of the community, taught me how to apply my leadership skills to nonprofits, and introduced me to many of Tucson’s movers and shakers,” Larsen said. Melissa Lal, president of Larsen Baker, nominated Larsen for the award. “Margaret has a reputation within Tucson’s nonprofit community as someone who gets things done.” The self-motivated University of Denver alumnus with an MBA also holds a certificate in nonprofit leadership from the Lodestar Center for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Innovation at Arizona State University and is known for her humor and comedic approach to her work and her life. At Toastmaster www.BizTucson.com

International, she has won first-place awards in the humorous speech category twice. “She likes to tell everyone we went to kindergarten together even though we’re five years apart,” wrote long-time friend and colleague Suzanne McFarlin, who has parented and volunteered alongside Larsen. McFarlin noted that Larsen’s leadership accomplishments in the nonprofit community are vast and include contributions to the American Heart Association, El Encanto Estates HOA, The Gregory School, National Charity League, Ronald McDonald House, Tucson Commercial Real Estate Women and United Way. She has been a member of Angel Charity for Children since 1997 and is one of only four people who hold the designation of Guardian Angel. “I’m achievement-focused, so I love to take on projects and lead organizations with challenging goals,” Larsen said. As a participant in the Angel Charity beneficiary selection process, she said she hears lots of nonprofits presenting their needs. “I can’t ignore them. I put my heart and soul into helping nonprofits every day.” “Margaret has been a true Angel not only to our organization but to our community,” wrote Adriana Rincon, general chair for Angel Charity for Children. “She has continually demonstrated excellence in leadership and is a source of positive influence and inspiration to others.” Larsen said she has been influenced by others as well. “I most admire Louise Thomas, who founded Angel Charity in 1983 in memory of her young son, Michael,” Larsen said. “She built an all-volunteer organization that has impacted the lives of more than one million children locally by raising over $28 million to support projects at 118 nonprofits. Now that’s a legacy! I admire people who start a nonprofit from scratch to meet a need in our community. “When I am ‘resting in peace’ – no hurry! – I want to know that I have maximized my potential. It is important to me that I use my gifts of humor, motivation and influence to empower the next generation of leaders.” Biz Winter 2022

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BizTECHNOLOGY

Laser Focus

Applied Energetics Finds Prosperous New Home at UA Tech Park By Valerie Vinyard pany’s defense industry and production roadmap,” he added. “We worked with Applied Energetics to relocate their corporate headquarters to the UA Tech Park, where they join over 70 other technology companies within this dynamic and collaborative community,” said Carol Stewart, associate VP of Tech Parks Arizona. “Applied Energetics has strong ties to University of Arizona research, and this strategic location adds to their ability to fasttrack the development and commercialization of their technologies in the field of ultra-short pulse lasers.” Brad Adamczyk, board chairman of Applied Energetics, said the company’s move to the prestigious location proves it will continue to be a driving force in its industry. “Our company growth is best exhibited by our move to the UA Tech Park, one of the nation’s premier research facilities, which enabled us to leapfrog our technology development roadmap by gaining over 4,800 square feet of state-of-the-art cleanroom space,” Adamczyk said. “This will not only allow us to further advance our pursuit of co-development opportunities and build proprietary end-market

applications for our USP laser technology, but also attract and retain the best and brightest talent.” “There is such a breadth of technology that is growing up in this area,” Quarles said. “There’s a lot of really wonderful things we can do.” Laser research often uses continuous beams of light, but Applied Energetics is using short-pulse laser technology that emits a beam for a billionth of a second. That light could be used for defense purposes to eliminate a target or targets, Quarles said. “This part of the laser market has not been explored or populated very readily,” he explained.“It has been a forefront in the scientific community, but it hasn’t been explored in the defense sector. If we can demonstrate that, we could do that maybe a thousand times a second. In that same time period, we can access hundreds of times more targets.” Applied Energetics’ strength and knowledge in the industry stand out. “What attracted me and other shareholders most was Applied Energetics’ vast intellectual property portfolio in Ultra-Short Pulse technology, much continued on page 178 >>>

PHOTO BY BRENT G. MATHIS

Applied Energetics has settled into its new digs at University of Arizona Tech Park at Rita Road. And it’s a perfect fit for the leader in developing laser technology with faststrike capabilities. “It’s been fantastic,” said Applied Energetics CEO Gregory Quarles. “It’s very collaborative. There’s open space out here, a space to walk, a workout area, a Starbucks and an easy drive out from the airport. It’s a really good mixture of the things we want to have.” “It was really about right time, right place,” he continued. “It fit every need that we have.” Those needs involved tripling its space to 13,000 square feet, including the addition of a 4,800-square-foot clean room and dust-free environment to “do some really great experiments,” Quarles said. The company is benefiting from millions of dollars of capital investment made by the previous occupant, a global provider of lasers and laser-based technology. Quarles said the new headquarters will allow the company to reach new heights in the field of Ultra-Short Pulse lasers. It also will “align with the com-

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continued from page 176 of which was developed over 15 years ago,” Adamczyk said. “This, as well as the company’s leadership from CEO Dr. Gregory Quarles and Dr. Steve McCahon, one of the world’s most renowned USP scientists, is a winning combination that will transform the defense space to counter threats through less-than-lethal means while also impacting the biomedical and manufacturing industries.”

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Applied Energetics CEO Lured to Lasers’ Potential The lure of science started early for Applied Energetics CEO Gregory Quarles, 60. “It all just started with a natural curiosity as a kid,” he said. “All the questions about nature around me led me to the path of science.” The Oklahoma State University physics and math major became interested in lasers while working in a laser lab in college. “Being very visual myself, it was something I threw myself into,” said Quarles, who holds a few patents. “A lot of my original early work was with pulsed lasers.” He said one of the most interesting things he did was work at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory to protect pilots. Quarles also came up with a technique to remove plaque from an artery using pulses of light. Quarles has two sons, an emergency room trauma doctor in New York City and a culinary specialist in Seattle. He also was a professor at the University of Maryland Baltimore County and continues to mentor STEM individuals. Applied Energetics offers internships to UArizona graduate students who want to learn how to work in an industrial setting. Quarles said it’s important to have an open mind in research. “Look at your mission, but also what else you can do,” he said. “It just shows that with the right creative team around you, a lot of things can be done.”

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26 YEARS AND COUNTING

FATHER OF THE YEAR AWARDS GALA F

or 26 years the Father’s Day Council Tucson has honored fathers whose achievements and values greatly enhance the meaning of Father’s Day, for their families and our community. Please join us as we honor these fine men. All charitable proceeds fund the Father’s Day Council Tucson Endowed Chair for Type 1 Diabetes research.

Fayez K. Ghishan, MD Director, University of Arizona Steele Children’s Research Center

Saturday, May 21, 2022 • Loews Ventana Canyon Resort Kiva Ballroom & Patio • 5:30pm Cocktails & Silent Auction 7:00pm Gala Dinner & Awards 2022 Father of the Year Honorees

Brig. Gen. Jeffrey L. Butler 162nd Wing Commander Morris Air National Guard Base

Mike Candrea Former Head Coach UArizona Women’s Softball Team

LaMonte Hunley VP Operations Arizona Health

PRESENTED BY:

Paul Dias President/Owner Dias Management Inc/McDonalds

Phil Swaim Partner Swaim Associates Ltd.

BENEFITTING:

FATHER’S DAY COUNCIL TUCSON

To purchase tickets please visit www.fdctucson.com For sponsorship information please contact Father’s Day Council Tucson Treasurer Jim Wood at 520.390.9663 or james_woodjr@ml.com.


BizAWARDS

THE LIST OF THE 2021 WINNERS:

Tucson Metro Chamber Rewards Winners in Zoom-Formal Event By Mary Minor Davis Tucson Metro Chamber Interim President and CEO Michael Guymon kicked off the 24th annual Wells Fargo Copper Cactus Awards this past fall in “Zoom-fashion style,” sporting a coat and tie above a pair of shorts and flip flops. The annual small business recognition returned live this past year, welcoming a crowd of more than 400 attendees and celebrating the 33 finalists selected from 225 nominees. Eleven awards were presented, with a new recognition for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, presented by DPR Construction. “If these past 18 months have taught us anything, it’s that all businesses are essential and by pure grit and determination, they can continue to grow and succeed even in the most difficult of times,” Guymon said in his welcome. “The Chamber salutes you for your contributions to the region’s economy.”

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3-50 employees:

Better Business Bureau Serving Southern Arizona

www.bbb.org/local-bbb/bbb-servingsouthern-arizona The BBB Serving Southern Arizona has been helping people find and recommend businesses, brands and charities they can trust for over 65 years. The Tucson office receives an average of 3,200 calls monthly. 51-200 employees:

Premier Auto Management

www.scottsaysyes.com Premier Auto Management auto sales has locations in Arizona and Texas. The company strives to provide a “respectful car-buying experience that builds longterm relationships with a great culture of dedicated employees.”

COPPERPOINT’S SMALL BUSINESS LEADER OF THE YEAR Joshua Belhumeur, Brink Creative Group

County. CIC won the 2020 Copper Cactus Tucson Electric Power Social Impact Award.

NEXTRIO’S INNOVATION Startup Tucson

www.startuptucson.com Startup Tucson is committed to transforming Southern Arizona through entrepreneurship and innovation. It works to increase the quantity, quality and diversity of entrepreneurs in the community through high-quality, low-cost technical assistance, mentoring, and community building. It’s innovative program, “Remote Tucson,” works to attract individuals employed in high-paying remote work positions to permanently relocate to Tucson. The program attracted 22 employees in its pilot year and was recognized by the national and international press.

PIMA COMMUNITY COLLEGE’S EMPLOYER/ EMPLOYEE DEVELOPMENT AGM Container Controls

www.brink.com Brink is “a brand strategy and creative agency producing content and experiences people can’t help but love.”

www.agmcontainer.com Founded in 1970, AGM Container Controls has led in the design and fabrication of environmental control hardware for the military, defense, aerospace, industrial and container markets. In 2019, over 20% of its workforce was attending college.

COX BUSINESS GROWTH Paragon Space Development Corporation

TECH PARKS ARIZONA’S START UP OF THE YEAR SaiOx Inc.

www.paragonsdc.com Engineering, design, analysis and manufacturing of life support and thermal control technologies for space, defense and commercial industries. President and CEO Grant Anderson won the CopperPoint Small Business Leader of the Year award in 2020.

DPR CONSTRUCTION’S DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION CHAMPION Community Investment Corporation

www.cictucson.com CIC is the first recipient of this new award category. It’s a nonprofit economic development organization dedicated to providing education, home ownership assistance, grants and funding for small businesses and nonprofit enterprises to improve economic prosperity in Pima

www.saiox.com SaiOx has cultivated a team of executives with extensive experience bringing medical devices to market. SaiOx’s patented breathing device utilizes heliox technology in a novel system to provide relief to the 24 million Americans suffering from COPD. This technology provides a more efficient solution to the ongoing problem. TUCSON ELECTRIC POWER’S SOCIAL IMPACT Revenues up to $500,000: Greater Tucson Leadership www.greatertucsonleadership.org For 41 years, Greater Tucson Leadership has provided adult learners with the skills and confidence to become leaders in this community, with GTL alumni found across Tucson’s business, nonprofit and government sectors. www.BizTucson.com

PHOTOS: COURTESY TUCSON METRO CHAMBER

2021 Copper Cactus Awards

BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF ARIZONA BEST PLACE TO WORK


Pamel Crim Better Business Bureau

Revenues $501,000-$2 Million: YWCA Southern Arizona ywcatucson.org YWCA Southern Arizona has served Tucson since 1917 with a mission to eliminate racism, empower women and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity. It provides integrated and bilingual community, leadership and economic development programs, including workforce, family wellness and social services that promote multi-generational solutions to end poverty and violence.

Scott Lehman Premier Auto Management

Joshua Belhumeur Brink Creative Group

Grant Anderson Paragon Space Development Corporation

Danny Knee Community Investment Corporation

Revenues $2 Million-$5 Million: Women’s Foundation for the State of Arizona www.womengiving.org WFSA is the only philanthropic organization dedicated exclusively to empowering women and girls. Since its inception over 30 years ago, it has distributed over $9 million, making a long-lasting impact for women and girls here. WFSA provides direct service programming, research, advocacy, philanthropy and grant-making. Formerly known as the Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona, it recently expanded its scope and is now the Women’s Foundation for the State of Arizona.

Liz Pocock Startup Tucson

Howard Stewart AGM Container Controls

Kasey Hill Greater Tucson Leadership www.BizTucson.com

Magdalena Verdugo YWCA of Southern Arizona

Manny Teran SaiOx

Amalia Luxardo Women’s Foundation for the State of Arizona Winter 2022

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BizTRIBUTE

Richard Underwood His Mission to Beautify the World

Hundreds gathered this past October to celebrate the life of Tucson businessman Richard K. Underwood, co-founder and president of AAA Landscaping. Services were held at Oro Valley Church of the Nazarene, where Underwood and his wife, Patricia, were devoted parishioners. He died on Oct. 3 at the age of 75. Born to Amos Harvey Underwood and Wanda Richards Underwood, and raised with four brothers and a sister in Holbrook, Ariz., Underwood was attracted to ranch life, football, wrestling, rodeo and 4-H in high school. His oldest brother, Bob, co-founder of AAA Landscaping, said of him, “He learned that when you got bucked off, you got right back on and never to give up.” Underwood and his brother started AAA Landscaping in 1975 with the help of $1,000 from their grandparents and a loaned truck from an uncle. Over the next 45 years, AAA Landscaping grew into a statewide success, fulfilling its mission to “beautify the world,” showcasing some of Arizona’s most memorable housing and commercial projects and contributing to the beautification of many city and county areas to provide a positive visual impact for visitors to the region. One of his treasured projects is the Underwood Garden at the University of Arizona College of Architecture, an oasis of rest and comfort from the daily challenges of life and learning, but also a highly engineered space that is a landscaped laboratory. Behind the scenes of this horticulture wonder are systems that work together to recycle thousands of gallons of water annually through runoff and condensation gathering. Visitors enjoy the riparian horticulture and amphibian life that abound in the space. Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry spoke of Underwood’s innovative approach to his work. AAA Landscaping has worked on county projects for more than 30 years. 184 BizTucson

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“He could transform grass into the beautiful Sonoran Desert he so loved,” Huckelberry said. Underwood participated in drafting the county’s native plant ordinances, and “so many public spaces enjoyed by residents and visitors were planted by Richard,” Huckelberry said. Underwood took an active role in his community, serving on the boards of the Tucson and Marana chambers of commerce, founding the Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce, and as a member of Metropolitan Pima Alliance and Southern Arizona Leadership Council. He was a life director of the Southern Ari-

zona Home Builders Association and founder and chair of the board of Canyon Community Bank, taking it from “one of the least capitalized community banks in Arizona to the highest capitalized,” said Tim Prouty, the bank’s current board chairman. Underwood is most remembered for his grace, wit and charm. Raised to believe that he should always treat others as he’d like to be treated, his friends

and family recall his quick smile, cowboy phrases, deep faith and family, and making everyone he met feel like they were special. “I feel like I know every one of you in this room,” said his son, Amos, at his service. “There wasn’t a person, project or plant that he didn’t get excited about. He’s talked about all of you.” “He had tremendous strength in his stature and in his voice, but he always had a soft tone when talking to others,” said his wife of two years, Patricia Possert Underwood. “There was just such a grace about him.” She and Underwood met for the first time in 2005 through work and then their paths crossed again in 2011. In 2017, after both had gone through personal changes in their lives and found themselves single, he reached out to Patricia on Facebook. Then living in New York, she returned to Tucson to visit family and went on her first date with him. “When I first met him, I thought he was the most gorgeous person God had created,” she recalled. They dated long-distance for a year and a half and then married in 2019. “I can’t believe the way that the universe conspires with you,” she said after his memorial service. “I recognized in him a soulmate and he did, too. We told each other every day how much we loved each other. The Lord put us together for a short time and it was good for both of us. Richard used to say, ‘Keep short accounts, because you never know when the last time is you’ll see that person.’ And it’s true.” Underwood was working on two final legacy projects for the Oro Valley Church of the Nazarene, and the family asks for public support of the OVCN Columbarium, a garden setting for respectful, public access of funerary urns, and the OVCN Sports Complex, a partnership with FCA Sports to provide sports ministry programming.

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PHOTO BY BRENT G. MATHIS

By Mary Minor Davis


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BizTRIBUTE

Rick Rendon

Outdoor Advertising Icon Tucson’s business community is mourning the loss of native son Rick Rendon, the outdoor advertising icon who made his living from road signs but fueled his zest for life with rugby; riding fences; his beloved daughter, Rachel; a little red wagon and much more. Rendon’s sudden death of natural causes left behind a wide circle of heartbroken family members, friends and business associates as well as his “great love,” Kathy “Kate” Stern. At Rendon’s celebration of life planned by Rachel at Green Things, hundreds gathered to remember his kindness, generosity, companionship and good humor. A mobile billboard sporting his Juggernaut logo fittingly greeted guests, casting his impish smile larger than life. Dressed like Rendon, guests created a sea of starched white oxford button downs, cowboy hats and boots, madras shorts and flip flops, and Longhorns ball caps. KVOA news anchor Sean Mooney, who grew up admiring Rendon, told guests he intentionally wore black because, try as he might, he never could be like him. The assembled cast of characters represented every facet of Rendon’s life. Some, like his father and brother, had known him since birth. Many worked with him buying or selling outdoor advertising from Whiteco Metrocom Outdoor, Outdoor Systems, CBS, Pan American and Juggernaut. Others knew him from Charro Rides, his volunteer work or weekly world problem-solving sessions in his backyard. Scrummers from University of Arizona and Magpies Rugby, neighbors, dates from past lives, even strangers he befriended on bar stools rounded out the mix. Following are some of their remembrances. Chip Tolleson met Rendon in 1984. 186 BizTucson

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Rendon was with Whiteco and Tolleson was working for Outdoor Systems. “Rick affectionately called those days ‘the great billboard wars of 1984-85,’” reminisced Tolleson. They became friends, colleagues and eventually, in 2014, business partners in Juggernaut. Wherever they traveled for business in the U.S. or Latin America, Tolleson said he admired how Rendon always had a local contact to ring up for happy hour.

He will remember Rendon as strong, kind and most proud of being a dad. Rendon loved the beach. Bobby Ventura said, “He was called the Mayor of Coronado Island, where he created many traditions with many new beach friends. He and Rachel used to go everywhere on that island with their little red wagon.” That same little red wagon was happily spotted by friends in the spring of 2012 as Rendon pulled it uphill to a

Kalil family Easter brunch in Sabino Canyon. Covered in red, white and blue campaign signs promoting “Dave Sitton for Congress,” it was outdoor advertising at its best. Sitton and Rendon were two peas in a pod. Strong – and strongminded – they both loved America. Scott Peterson admired Rendon’s seemingly limitless knowledge on all topics big, small, odd, trivial and obscure. “Rick was a fountain of information; some of it accurate, some of it useful, and all of it entertaining. He was our Rickipedia!” From 2008 to 2011, Rendon worked for Kalil & Co. brokering media mergers, acquisitions and divestitures. Company President Frank Kalil said, “Rick always said his first job was with a Kalil … my brother, John, when they were both kids in Junior Achievement … and his last job was with a Kalil as a media broker.” Kalil considered Rendon family and told him so just days before Rendon died. They both teared up, according to Kalil. “He gave me a kiss on the cheek and a big hug. That was the last time I saw him.” Rendon’s great, late-life love, Kathy Stern, described him as “an incredibly kind and generous person, who loved with his whole heart.” He dubbed her “Kate” because, he joked, “Cowboys don’t date Kathys.” She said, “I was fortunate to be his partner in the last days of his life, and although our time together was much too short, we didn’t take a single moment for granted. I will forever be grateful for what we shared. Rick enjoyed life to the fullest and was never afraid to say what he thought or how he felt. For me, this is his legacy; live each day like it’s your last and always tell those you love how you feel.”

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PHOTO BY CHRIS MOONEY

By June C. Hussey


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