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SPECIAL REPORT 2015

THE REGION’S BUSINESS MAGAZINE

SPECIAL REPORT CORPORATE SPONSOR


FORGING COVER PHOTO AND TOP PHOTO:COURTESY SUNLINK

Chamber Champions Change The Tucson Metro Chamber traditionally concentrated its efforts on four priorities – leading government relations and public policy advocacy for the business community, developing the local economy, championing small business, and improving workforce readiness. But the organization and its leaders are making no secret that in the coming year they will be placing increased emphasis on a single, top priority – leading government relations and public policy advocacy. Mike Varney, the Chamber’s president and CEO, said he and his board of directors are pursuing that new, stronger emphasis because Chamber investors want it that way. “The board and the CEO of the Chamber work for the same people – our investors,” Varney said. “They are the people who invest in this organization. They are the real bosses. So it’s up to us to do a good job of listening to the business executives who invest in us every year. What is on their minds? What is keeping them up at night? What are the critical challenges they are facing in running their businesses? “There is a sense among a lot of Tucson business people that they live in a community in which local public policies do not provide the kind of tailwind for business that is provided in many other communities. So the Chamber 78 BizTucson

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will work hard to heighten the awareness of our public policymakers regarding their role in helping to create a strong local economy.”

The number one thing I came away with is just how important it is to go to the offices of our senators and representatives and have a face-to-face dialogue.

– Mike Varney President & CEO Tucson Metro Chamber

Local economy is underachieving

There is plenty of data available that indicates Tucson’s economy is underachieving. For instance, according to 2014 data measured by WalletHub, Tucson’s economy ranked 145th among the 150 largest cities in the U.S. in terms of recovery from the Great Recession. According to a 2014 Milken Institute report, which compared 200 metro ar-

eas for creating and sustaining jobs and economic growth, Tucson ranked 161. And the Tucson Metro Chamber itself has compiled data from U.S. Census reports that show Tucson’s Metropolitan Statistical Area does not rank well economically when compared to 10 other MSAs of similar size. In that comparison, Varney said, the Chamber looked at 11 different metro statistical areas, each of which had a population of about 1 million. Five of the MSAs were immediately smaller than Tucson, five immediately larger. Of the 11 markets, Tucson ranked 10th in gross metro product, which is the sum of all goods and services produced annually and a measure of economic activity and community wealth. “What we found is that the economy of Tucson needs to grow 52.4 percent just to reach the average economic output of these peer metro areas,” Varney said. He noted that Tucson’s ranking was only slightly ahead of last-place MSA, Fresno, Calif. Need for job creation

Varney said the data reveals the need for local elected officials to do everything possible to promote economic expansion and job creation. He said a stronger local economy provides a big payoff to local government, too. “If we have a more prosperous economy, property values will go up, which is good for Pima County; people will www.BizTucson.com


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G FUTURE THE

to Boost Economy spend more money and pay more sales taxes, which are good for Tucson and all the incorporated areas.” However, the Chamber’s new emphasis on government affairs is not just about compiling data and making the case that policy changes are needed. It is also about collaborating with government officials and other organizations to develop and implement policies to bolster the economy. For instance, a pair of brand new Chamber initiatives – the Air Service Project and Project Prosperity – show great promise in bringing nonstop commercial air service between Tucson and New York City, and simplifying the regulatory systems and procedures businesses must hurdle before being allowed to establish or expand operations in the City of Tucson. Demand for New York flights

William Assenmacher, CEO of CAID Industries and a Chamber board member, is leading the effort on both projects as chairman of the Chamber’s economic development committee. He said he feels it is highly likely that a direct flight will be established between Tucson and the New York City area in January, just prior to Tucson’s Gem and Mineral Show. Once the direct flight to and from New York is established, Assenmacher said, the committee hopes to begin working to establish similar air travel arrangements between Tucson www.BizTucson.com

By David Pittman

and Washington, D.C. Tucson International Airport had nonstop flights provided by Continental and JetBlue airlines from New York City in 2006 and 2007. However, those flights were canceled after the financial crash of 2008. Assenmacher and Varney both said there is sufficient market demand to make the Tucson to New York connection profitable. “Tucson is the largest city in the United States that does not have nonstop commercial flights to and from New York,” Assenmacher said. “More than 225 people a day are currently traveling from the Tucson metro area to New York City. They are either taking a connecting flight or they are driving to Phoenix and flying from Sky Harbor Airport. The airplane we are trying to get seats 180. All of the statistics that a private consultant has gathered point to the fact that there is demand for this flight.” Varney praised Assenmacher’s work on behalf of the Chamber, saying his efforts in driving both the Air Service Task Force and Project Prosperity have thus far exceeded everyone’s expectations. “Bill is one of our best volunteers,” Varney said. “When he says he is going to do something, he rolls up his sleeves – and don’t get in his way – he’ll get it done.” continued on page 80 >>>

Chamber’s Mission

The mission of the Tucson Metro Chamber is to promote a strong local economy resulting in business growth, ample employment and improving quality of life for all citizens. Vision The Tucson Metro Chamber is the preeminent resource and advocate for business in Southern Arizona. Core Fundamentals • Promote a strong local economy • Provide opportunities for you to build relationships and gain access • Deliver programs to help you grow your business • Represent and advocate on behalf of business with government • Enhance commerce and increase quality of life through community stewardship • Increase public awareness of your business • Provide symbols of credibility Source: Tucson Metro Chamber

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PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

From left – Thomas P. McGovern, Mike Ortega, Mike Varney

PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

Focus on business-friendly processes

Change city charter to empower leadership

Mayor Jonathan Rothschild

PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

William Assenmacher

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The Project Prosperity Task Force, which consists of a diverse group of business leaders, is an effort just getting underway in which the Chamber will advocate for specific changes in Tucson’s city government systems, culture and policies to improve public-private interface, simplify and speed regulatory processes placed on business, and encourage business and job growth. Project Prosperity recommendations include seven specific action steps the Chamber and a coalition of business groups have asked the mayor, Tucson City Council and the city manager’s office to enact. “Buy-in has been great so far. Now we need to execute,” Varney said. “Tucson needs jobs, jobs, jobs,” said Assenmacher. “The Chamber and its Project Prosperity Task Force are working with the City of Tucson to improve the local economy. We have met with Mayor Rothschild, the city manager and every member of the City Council to present ideas for positive change – and they have reacted very positively in all respects.” “The goal is not to point fingers and say, ‘This isn’t working.’ It is saying, ‘How do we make things better so it stimulates business.’ If there is a best practice in Phoenix, Marana, Oro Valley or anywhere that has been streamlined and works better than what we are doing here, we need to identify it and implement it.” The Chamber is a strong proponent of city charter changes going to the ballot Nov. 3 that would make city department heads directly accountable to the city manager, rather than the mayor and council, and strengthen the powers of the mayor so he can vote on all issues. Currently the mayor only votes if the council is deadlocked. “The charter used by the City of Tucson is a relic,” said Robert Medler, VP of government affairs for the Chamber. “It doesn’t enable a lot of the changes people want to see. The two things that have made it to the ballot – giving the mayor parity and making city department heads directly accountable to the city manager – are important changes that need to be made.” Tucson Metro Chamber also has endorsed all seven propositions in the $815.8 million Pima County Bond Package. In fact, Chamber Chairman of the Board Thomas P. McGovern, regional director of Psomas, a leading Southwestern engineering firm, is co-chair of the “Yes on Pima County Bonds” political committee working to get the package approved by voters. McGovern said the propositions, which include a total of 99 different projects, will stimulate tourism investment, increase tax revenue, address arts and cultural issues, improve our transportation system, and begin creation of a major logistics hub and aerospace corridor. “These types of investments are well worth the money,” he said. “They will not only create thousands of construction jobs, but also establish permanent improvements in our economy. They will bring new companies to Tucson and Southern Arizona and improve our performance as a region.”


Go face-to-face in Washington, D.C.

For the first time in recent years, Varney and Medler led a contingent of 12 top business leaders and Chamber investors to the nation’s capital to visit with Arizona’s congressional delegation, Pentagon officials and high-ranking officials within the U.S. Department of Transportation. “We saw all the right people. It was a great visit,” Varney said. “The number one thing I came away with is just how important it is to go to the offices of our senators and representatives and to see them in their environment, meet their aides and staffers, and have a face-to-face dialogue. “Email is great, phone calls are great, seeing them when they come home from Washington is great – but usually it’s in a group session and you might have something important to say to them, but so do 100 other people. “When you visit them at their offices in Washington, D.C., you get their undivided attention and you create the agenda. Our agenda was about high-priority issues in Southern Arizona that the federal government has domain over. We talked about military facilities throughout Southern Arizona, but especially Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. We also talked about transportation infrastructure and education.” Varney said in the future, the Tucson Metro Chamber will be visiting the nation’s capital to meet with congressional representatives and other key federal officials on a regular basis. Consider fiscal, economic ramifications

The Chamber is also active at the state government level. The Chamber creates a state agenda and advocates for probusiness public policy at the legislature. In the upcoming year, the Chamber will put together legislation that would require local municipalities to consider the fiscal and economic ramifications before enacting new government actions. “I have the bill completed and I am going to have some attorneys take a look at it and we’re going to find a sponsor to run it next year at the next regular session of the legislature,” Medler said. “Unfortunately, the financial and fiscal impact of local government policy has not always been at the forefront of the discussion. For instance, let’s go back to when the City Council was considering the possibility of Grand Canyon University establishing a campus on Tucson’s westside. If the financial and fiscal considerations had been at the forefront, or even with the rest of the discussion points that were going on at that time, I think we would have had a much different outcome regarding a campus in Tucson for Grand Canyon University.” The Chamber also endeavors to get business-friendly candidates elected to office through Southern Arizona Business Political Action Committee candidate endorsements, based on recommendations from a politically-balanced Candidate Evaluation Committee. The Chamber publishes elected official voting records and encourages its investors to interact with candidates at receptions and special events. Medler already attends many meetings of the Tucson City Council and the Pima County Board of Supervisors. The Chamber has budgeted for the hiring of another government affairs specialist, which will mean the Chamber will be able to attend more government hearings and meetings in other jursidictions. continued on page 83 >>>

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continued from page 81 “We Can Help” for small business

The Chamber also is serious about its mission to champion small business. Last year the organization launched an ambitious new program – the “We Can Help” online help desk. The program encourages its investors to contact the Chamber about any business problem through a written submission online. “We will solve the problem if we can,” Varney said. “If not, we will find somebody who can.” Jennifer Allen of BodyCentral Physical Therapy credited the “We Can Help” desk with solving the problems her business was having. Allen said her small company was trying to grow, but was having difficulty obtaining a needed permit from the City of Tucson. “With one call to the Tucson Metro Chamber we had someone by our side meeting with city officials and had the problem resolved,” she said. “We’ve moved into our facility, hired 15 people and we continue to grow.” The Chamber also operates programs to help its investors make money and save money. Those programs include federal procurement “how to” workshops, Office Depot discounts and CopperPoint Mutual Insurance bonus dividends. Chamber investors benefit from Chamber XChange networking events and Peerspectives CEO Support groups, which help build business relationships. Improving workforce readiness

The Tucson Metro Chamber also is involved in improving workforce readiness and education by:

• Supporting the Cradle to Career program to create better alignment of public and private education resources to address seven key steps in creating a qualified workforce. • Exploring ways to provide work experience and scholarship funding to UA students through the new AZ Earn to Learn program, which is aimed at keeping quality business talent in Southern Arizona. • Advocating for the preservation and expansion of funding for the Joint Technical Education District. • Developing future business and community leaders by collaborating with the Emerging Leaders Council and Greater Tucson Leadership.

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PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

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Laura Nagore Promoted to Chamber CFO Laura Nagore is now CFO of the Tucson Metro Chamber. She joined the staff in August of 2012 as VP of finance and operations. “Laura brings a valuable and diverse set of skills to the Chamber and has demonstrated great leadership in the areas of financial management, HR and operations. We are very grateful for all she does,” said Mike Varney, Chamber president and CEO. Nagore is a graduate of the 2014 Greater Tucson Leadership class and is currently in the Institute for Organization Management’s Class of 2018. She is a member of the Society of Human Resource Management and the Western Association of Chamber Executives, which awarded her the 2014 Gerald W. Hathaway Memorial Staff Person of the Year. She’s also a non-CPA associate member of the American Institute of CPAs. Nagore was selected for the award as a “oneof-a-kind professional” who helped engineer a dramatic turnaround for the Chamber – saving funds, minimizing risk and maximizing staff contributions. She frequently shares her expertise with other nonprofits and small businesses. She also volunteers teaching financial literacy and budgeting classes for Junior Achievement and other Tucson groups. She previously held business and finance positions at Friendship Villas at La Cholla, Commercial Building Maintenance Co. and Modernair Distributors.

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Powering Positive Change

Focus on Roads, Tucson Post Office, Education By David Pittman Mike Varney, president and CEO of the Tucson Metro Chamber, believes the Chamber’s Business Expansion and Retention survey helped persuade the Pima County Board of Supervisors to add $160 million for road repairs to the county bond package. But Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry said it was Varney himself who passionately and convincingly made the case. “The supervisors had requested that the Arizona Legislature increase the gas tax and stop robbing the Highway User Revenue Fund for non-transportation purposes, but state lawmakers have an aversion to even talking about raising taxes,” Huckelberry said. “You don’t usually associate property tax dollars being used for road repairs.” But that view changed when the business community, led by Varney, persuaded county supervisors to add $160 million for repairing crumbling Pima County roads that had not been included in the original package recommended by the Pima County Bond Committee. Huckelberry said Varney “deserves credit for having the courage to advocate for transportation revenue” for needed road improvements. “I think he clearly sees what many others don’t – which is that economic development is directly tied to

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having an efficient system of transportation infrastructure.” Adding increased funds for street repairs probably bolsters the chances of the bond package passing, Huckelberry said, because having quality roads is something that is popular among “all interest groups.” Varney has been a strong proponent of road improvements since the Chamber conducted a survey of 129 executives of large local businesses two years ago and found they were most troubled by two things: the awful condition of Tucson and Pima County roads, and the quality of interface between the private sector and local government departments. Since that time Varney has been actively trying to solve both issues. “More than ever, the Chamber will be emphasizing the need for the business community to be present at public policy meetings of the Tucson City Council, the Pima County Board of Supervisors and other government bodies,” Varney said. “Business must have a voice on a regular basis in these meetings. It is not going to work if it is just the Chamber going to these meetings. The entire business community needs a strong, regular presence at these meetings.” Robert Medler, VP of government affairs at the Chamber, said the Southern Arizona Leadership Council, Tucson Young Professionals, the Chamber’s Emerging Leaders Council and

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Business leaders need to let elected officials know their perspective on issues, how business is performing and what government could be doing better.

– Robert Medler VP of Government Affairs Tucson Metro Chamber

the Chamber’s Board of Directors, have all agreed to regularly send their members to City Council and Board of Supervisors meetings. He hopes other groups within the business community will do the same. “It’s important not only for business leaders to be present at these meetings, it’s important that their presence is acknowledged by elected officials,” Medler said. “Business leaders need to let elected officials know their perspective on issues, how business is performing, and what government could be doing better. And when our elected representatives do something to help promote a stronger local economy, it’s important to thank them.” Medler said that traditionally it’s been difficult to persuade business people to attend government meetings. After all, he said, these are people who are already working long hours trying to build a larger client base and grow their businesses. “Nobody likes to go down to City Hall at 5:30 p.m. on a Tuesday, after having worked eight to ten hours already,” he said. “But it is important to make sure their views are being heard.” Sherry Janssen Downer, a member of the Chamber’s continued on page 88 >>>

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BizLEADERSHIP continued from page 87 board and chair of its government affairs committee, said the Chamber’s decision to put greater emphasis on government affairs is because Chamber membership wants it that way and is willing to participate in the effort. “I am very optimistic about what the Chamber is doing and the direction it is headed,” said Downer, an attorney specializing in business, employment and liability issues at the law firm of Fennemore Craig. “The Chamber is making a difference. It’s a good vehicle for business people to get involved, give back to our community and help support our local economy.” However, the Chamber is not just involved in local issues. It is also very involved in state and federal issues as well. For instance, the Chamber has been a major proponent (along with Tucson City Councilman Richard Fimbres and U.S. Reps. Martha McSally and Raul Grijalva) for keeping the U.S. Postal Service Cherrybell Distribution Center up and running. With the Postal Service losing more than $5 billion a year, Cher-

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rybell was one of 82 postal distribution facilities nationwide slated for closure in July. However, Cherrybell has been given a temporary one- or two-year reprieve from closure by postal officials. The Chamber will continue working to keep Cherrybell operational. Closing the Cherrybell facility would leave Arizona with just one postal distribution center – in Phoenix. That is something Varney finds incomprehensible, considering that some states that are smaller and growing more slowly than Arizona will keep four or five distribution centers. “The Postal Service provided us with a map of the distribution centers they plan to keep – and you don’t have to go any further in school than sixth grade to look at that map and conclude faulty logic was used in putting Cherrybell on the closure list,” Varney said. “For instance, Wisconsin has five postal distribution centers,” he said. “How does Wisconsin end up with five distribution centers, while Arizona ends up with just one? Our efforts to keep Cherrybell open will continue.”

Tucson mail is already being trucked to Phoenix, postmarked Phoenix, then sent back to Tucson or on to its final destination. At the state level, the Chamber has been critical of the legislature for not adequately funding primary and secondary education. It also is committed to protecting and preserving funding of the Joint Technical Education District as part of its formal agenda. Varney had positive things to say about Gov. Doug Ducey’s first-year performance in office. “We are thrilled to have a guy who comes to the governor’s office with private-sector experience,” Varney said. Ducey was formerly CEO of Coldstone Creamery. “There’s no substitute for having the real-world experience of running a business, making payrolls, making a product people want to buy, and risking capital,” he said. “We are very pleased Gov. Ducey has a jobs focus for developing the state’s economy.”

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Cradle to Career Partnership Striving Together to Improve Education By Rhonda Bodfield No matter how skilled, a single person wielding a hammer couldn’t possibly build a bridge of significant size. With all its complexity, a bridge requires a transportation network and a diverse cadre of experts – from engineers to metalworkers and concrete producers. Specialists must hire workers, secure financing and handle procurement. In the same way, no matter how skilled, a single teacher wielding a textbook couldn’t possibly provide everything a child needs to support an educational journey. But what if children were swaddled in support from the cradle – and that focus continued through to career readiness? And what if, as a community, we collectively owned education to better support the experts in the classroom? And what if we managed to tackle a stubborn and intransigent achievement gap, not through new programming delivered by isolated silos, but by working across sectors with one single-minded vision? We just may find out. Pima County is among more than 60 communities across the nation par90 BizTucson

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ticipating in a collective impact model designed to bring together local, influential leaders from the universe of education, government, corporations, nonprofits and community advocacy. The collaborative effort, known as the Cradle to Career Partnership, is not just about making things better in a few schools or a particular development level. It’s far more ambitious. The community leaders who are doubling as education change agents have been meeting since September 2014, creating rigorous expectations that demand moving the needle in seven key areas. They’ve prioritized three: • Students should be ready for kindergarten. • They must graduate from high school. • And there must be ways to re-engage disconnected youth. The participants are coming to the table with unique pressure points.

Tucson Metro Chamber President and CEO Mike Varney reiterated a recent conversation he had with a local businessman who can’t find the staff he needs to fill a dozen critical vacancies in his corporate headquarters, from information technology to marketing. The lack of staff is hurting his acquisition strategy. “If he can’t find the workforce, he may be forced to move elsewhere – and that’s a decision we can’t afford,” Varney said. At Pima Community College, a recent analysis found a majority of students entering from local high schools need remedial coursework in at least one academic area, whether math, reading or writing. That’s a significant de-motivator for students, said Chancellor Lee Lambert. In Pima County Juvenile Court, Judge Jane Butler sees a stunning number of cases where the young people before her haven’t been to school in years and can’t tell her what grade they’re in. Of the 4,000 children currently in foster care locally, the judge notes only 50 percent of them will graduate from continued on page 92 >>>


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BizEDUCATION continued from page 90 high school. Three percent will go to college. “When you consider that all of the jobs worth having by 2020 are going to require a college degree or certification of some kind, it begs the question: What will those other 2,000 children be doing?” The problem isn’t necessarily a shortage of programs, participants say. The bigger challenge is a lack of coordination and a lack of data-driven, evidence-backed investment and focus. “I think people recognize the economic challenges facing school districts, so while we have wonderful support for schools, our efforts are fragmented across multiple entities right now,” said Flowing Wells Unified School District Superintendent David Baker. The idea behind Cradle to Career, spearheaded by United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona, is to set a common, community-wide agenda. By virtue of knowing who’s doing what, and where it fits in the overall im-

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provement plan, duplication should be minimized and dollars allocated more efficiently. “We don’t know what we all do until we start talking,” said Baker. “That is where this initiative is so powerful because it allows us to connect those dots and connect those resources.” The Chamber’s Varney puts it another way: A symphony only works if all the individual instruments play the same music. Leveraging resources to support a common agenda, however, is just one pillar of the effort. Data is the other big one – and the model in its purest form isn’t for those who are squeamish about sharing metrics that show whether their program is making measurable gains. That reliance on evidence-based practice is one of the reasons Raytheon Missile Systems is investing in the model, which is fully privately funded with a budget of about $300,000. Raytheon, which is always seeking engineering talent and has hundreds of

hard-to-fill vacancies at any given point, already invests in significant educational programming here. The company is in local schools hosting STEM programming, supporting math tutoring, mentoring young women to pique their interest in the sciences and technology, and hiring teachers over the summer to send them back to the classroom armed with more information about what skill sets are valuable to corporations. But the Cradle to Career initiative is intriguing because of its drive for continual improvement through more granular data analysis that informs better decision-making and faster changes, said Raytheon’s Jon Kasle, VP of communications and external affairs. “There’s the old adage – What gets measured gets done. By gathering and analyzing data on specific educational outcomes, we can identify best practices and share them throughout Pima County so that they can be replicated,” Kasle said. Here’s an example of how it might theoretically work. Take a recent in-

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triguing finding by one nonprofit literacy partner that does reading intervention work in kindergarten through third grades. While all students made gains with additional reading support, the gains were 70 percent greater in the kindergarten years. More analysis is needed with larger sample sizes, but if the trends hold, it may mean realigning resources to put them where they do the most good. Given the scale of this effort, Amanda Kucich, the senior director of the partnership at United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona, said she’s constantly reminding herself that the way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. It has taken other communities five to eight years to build the systems and see measurable impact. Pima County may not take quite that long, given the momentum she’s seen and the commitment to the collaborative model, but she’s very clear: Profound change on this level isn’t going to happen overnight. It also isn’t going to happen on

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autopilot, said Varney. “The No. 1 key to success is going to be in the execution,” he said. Now that the planning is wrapping up, with baseline data to be published in January, the hard work will begin. The business community that is engaged in continual improvement practices currently, such as Lean or Six Sigma, can help by loaning trainers out to hold workshops for educators and other participants, Kucich said.

Seven Key Areas • Kindergarten readiness • Early grade literacy • Middle school math • High school graduation • Re-engagement of youth not in school • Post-secondary education success • Career attainment

Raytheon’s Kasle said corporations also can assist by helping to finance the backbone staff that will gather the data, crunch the numbers and keep the seven change networks moving. “Without a sustained group of people with the appropriate tools that can support this work, the program won’t be as effective as designed,” he said. Why does it all matter? Judge Butler tells of one young man, abandoned by his parents, who grew up in eight different foster homes or group homes and attended nine different schools. He’s now attending Pima College, pursuing a degree in political science and considering a future in government. She has great hope for him – and for more stories like his. “I have never before seen a commitment like this, with a whole network of professionals who have decision-making power, working together as one collective decisionmaking body. I really hope it’s going to change the environment for our kids,” Butler said.

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$3 Million Raised Chamber Works to Attract NY Flights By David Pittman In a remarkable collaborative effort, the Tucson Metro Chamber is providing a major assist to the Tucson Airport Authority that could lead to establishing nonstop commercial airline flights between Tucson and New York City in the near future. Tucson is the largest city in the country without a nonstop flight to the New York City area. The campaign to bring such a nonstop route to the Old Pueblo requires offering airlines a more than $3 million incentive package. Expressing an interest in establishing the route are some of the nation’s largest airlines – United, American, Southwest and JetBlue, which make up nearly 84 percent of domestic capacity. The Tucson Metro Chamber effort is led by Bill Assenmacher, chair of the Chamber’s Economic Development Committee. He said he has already collected checks, cash and pledges to fund a $3 million revenue-guarantee package that ensures that the airline that creates a New York to Tucson route will not lose money in its first two years of operation. 94 BizTucson

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“Raising that amount isn’t easy and it took a lot of work by a lot of people,” said Assenmacher, an active community leader who is president and CEO of CAID Industries. “But getting this route established is extremely important to the Tucson economy and it has broad-based support.” While Assenmacher declined to name those who have contributed to the effort, he did say it includes resorts, hotels and others in the tourism industry, along with the usual list of successful business leaders and companies known for donating to local charities and important community causes. He said the best part about the $3 million incentive guarantee is that it serves as “a backstop” and if the route is established and proves profitable over its first two years, the operating airline would not tap into the fund and the money would be returned to the donors. Data gathered by airline consultants working for Tucson International Airport and the Chamber indicate there is sufficient market demand to make a

Tucson to New York connection very profitable. “More than 225 people a day are currently traveling from the Tucson metro area to New York City,” Assenmacher said. “They are either taking a connecting flight or they are driving to Phoenix and flying from Sky Harbor Airport. The airplane we are trying to get seats 180. All of the statistics the private consultant has gathered point to the fact that there is demand for this flight. “Right now, almost every city that is trying to grow the number of seats and flights coming into its airport is being asked to create one of these promotion pots,” said Assenmacher. “By law, the airport is limited to what incentives it can provide. That is why the Chamber has stepped up to help raise money for the incentive package and see that it is administered correctly.” TIA is offering a smaller incentive package, the size of which is limited by Federal Aviation Administration regulations. The airport’s incentive investment would provide $100,000 for marcontinued on page 96 >>> www.BizTucson.com


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continued from page 94 keting the NYC service, $100,000 in landing-fee waivers, and up to $100,000 in terminal rent credits, for a total package of $300,000. Establishing new service each way from New York to Tucson is quite expensive. A single round-trip flight would cost the airline an estimated $45,200. That places the annual cost of operating the route at about $16.3 million. In establishing new routes, airlines typically seek risk mitigation of 20 percent or more, which in this case is about $3 million. Airline incentive packages are not unusual. In fact, more than $5 million in various incentives were provided to JetBlue to establish non-stop service from New York to Albuquerque. In operation for 18 months, those flights have been 86 percent full. TIA formerly had nonstop flights to and from New York, but those were canceled following the financial crash of 2008. Reestablishing the connection to NYC would provide a big boost to Tucson tourism and the community’s

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overall economy. Brent DeRaad, president and CEO of Visit Tucson, said a nonstop flight from Tucson to New York would result in meeting planners scheduling a great deal more events in Tucson. “While visitor revenue grew 6 percent in metro Tucson during the past year, tourism will not recover to prerecession levels until we replace the air service we have lost,” he said. “I commend the Tucson Airport Authority and the Tucson Metro Chamber for creating an air-service development fund focused on securing daily, nonstop round-trip service between Tucson and New York. “Ideally, the flight would commence this winter, during our peak tourism season, to give it every opportunity to succeed on its own,” DeRaad said. “Based on the strength of the New York market, we believe the flight will have very high load factors with a significant amount of business travel, including the higher fares typically associated with it.” DeRaad said local resort operators

have indicated they will be able to book East Coast meetings immediately once a Tucson-New York nonstop route begins. “We feel a nonstop route also will create incremental leisure travel between the cities,” he said. “Our biggest obstacle in Tucson to getting East Coast meetings is the lack of nonstop service. It currently takes customers nearly all day to travel from Tucson back to the East Coast, when you factor the timezone change and time lost waiting for a connecting flight in Dallas, Denver or Chicago.” Bonnie Allin, president and CEO of Tucson Airport Authority, said, “Federal regulations limit what airports are allowed to offer for incentive programs. Efforts such as this one by the Tucson Metro Chamber’s Air Service Task Force have shown they can make a difference to airlines. We are extremely appreciative of the work that has been done. It shows the airlines that we have a business community that is supportive of improved air service.”

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Investing in Pro-Business Change Chamber Membership Increases 10-Fold By David Pittman The most frequently asked question of Lori Banzhaf, executive VP of the Tucson Metro Chamber, is “Why should I invest in the Chamber?” “When you look at our mission statement, it says it all,” she said. She then recites that statement – “The mission of the Tucson Metro Chamber is to promote a strong local economy resulting in business growth, ample employment and improving quality of life for all citizens.” Businesses that invest in the Chamber are investors in positive change. “The business community is looking to the Tucson Metro Chamber to be the leader for pro-business change that improves our economy,” she said. “Chamber investors are job creators and risk takers.” “We are there for our business community – small, medium or large. Locally owned or corporate, it doesn’t matter. We help them in any way we can so they can hire people, get people back to work, improve our economy and the quality of life of those who live here. “They may need help with permitting, signage, finding a quality workforce – they look to us to help with all of these things, and we do.” Another question often asked of Banzhaf is, “What does it cost to join the Chamber?” “We have a four-tiered investment schedule based on the needs of the businesses,” she said.

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The membership levels are: • Cornerstone – Designed for small businesses that want to connect, learn, promote and save money. Typically, these businesses range from one-person shops to those with seven or eight employees. The annual membership fee for these firms is $449 to $1,999. • Business Growth – Designed for firms that want to accelerate their growth. The membership fee is $2,000 to $5,499. • Chairman – Designed for larger, community-focused businesses that want to promote a strong local economy. The investment fee for these firms is $5,500 to $14,999. • Keystone – Designed for businesses that want to lead the local economy forward and build a better community. Keystone level investors are Bombardier Aerospace, Casino del Sol Resort, Diamond Ventures, Hudbay, Norville Investments, Port of Tucson, Providence Service Corp., Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson Electric Power, Walmart and Wells Fargo. The investment level starts at $15,000. Four years ago, when Mike Varney became president and CEO of the Chamber, only 12 companies were investing at the Chairman level. Today there are roughly 115.

When Varney arrived on the job, no companies were contributing at the Keystone level because that membership category didn’t even exist. Today there are 11 companies investing at the Keystone level. “The reason more large companies have invested in the Chamber in increasing numbers is because they trust the leadership of Mike Varney – and they want change in Tucson that emphasizes job creation and economic growth,” Banzhaf said. She said businesses at the Chairman and Keystone levels often contribute more than the minimum level required of them because they believe in what the Chamber is doing and want to ensure the Chamber’s success. “Many of our highly successful businesses realize the more they invest in the Chamber, the stronger it will be in helping them and all the other businesses in our community,” Banzhaf said. Banzhaf said Chamber leadership expects 80 percent of metro Tucson’s job growth in the next 10 years to come from existing businesses. “I’ve visited 60 companies in person over the past two weeks,” she said. “That’s a lot of companies to see. I walk into those businesses and I sit down with those CEOs and I learn what their needs are. Often it’s finding quality workers – and sometimes they have issues with government. But whatever their issues might be, I bring them back to the appropriate people at the Chamber so investors can get the help they need.” Biz www.BizTucson.com


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PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

BizLEADERSHIP

Emerging Leaders Council Mentors Are Key By Romi Carrell Wittman Tucson has no shortage of groups dedicated to fostering connections, building relationships and cultivating young dynamic leaders. Think Tucson Young Professionals, El Rio Vecinos, Greater Tucson Leadership and the Young Leaders Society. Some work toward a very specific goal, others are more loosely organized around social and philanthropic events. Yet one group stands apart – the Emerging Leaders Council, founded by the Tucson Metro Chamber in 2014.

One core element makes the difference – the ELC mentorship program. No other social or professional development group in town pairs seasoned executives with younger professionals. The idea of learning from someone who has been there, someone who can offer insights and advice was extremely important to Ben Korn – and he knew it would be very appealing to his colleagues as well. Korn is owner of Safeguard Tucson and helped shape the ELC with Melissa Dulaney-Moule, then with Tucson Electric Power, and Whitney Thistle, of the United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona.

Emerging Leaders Council members from left – Front row – Jessica Galow, United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona; Lindsay Welch, Tucson Tamale Company; Ben Korn, Safeguard; ShaVonne Richardson, B/E Aerospace; Andrew Cole, Tucson Electric Power; Second row – Nick Puente, Senior Living Finders; Gabriela Cervantes, AGM Container Controls; Taylor Davidson, University of Arizona; Matt Brownlee, Aerotek; Ken Morris, Merrill Lynch; Third row – Thomas Bersbach, Sundt Construction; Sherry Janssen Downer, Fennemore Craig; Matthew, Rosen, Burk, Hall & Co.; Robert Fischer, Waterfall, Economidis, Caldwell, Hanshaw, & Villamana; Back row – Elie Asunsolo, BBVA Compass, Robert Medler, Tucson Metro Chamber; Not pictured – Joel Black, Crest100 Insurance Group; Jonathan Beaty, at TEP Headquarters. www.BizTucson.com < < < Fall BizTucson 2015Liberty Mutual; Evan Feldhausen, BeachFleischman; Teresa Bravo, Pima County. Photo taken


It was Tony Penn, president of the local United Way and immediate past chair of the Chamber board, who strongly advocated for the creation of the ELC. With the guidance and support of the Chamber board and executive team, the three young leaders honed the concept. “It started out as an open-ended structure,” Korn said. “We wanted to bring together people who are rooted in Tucson and who are looking to take the next step. What do they need to do, or should they do, in this economy?” ELC members – some 25 were accepted to participate in the ELC’s first year – were paired with local senior executives with the idea that these pairs would meet for coffee or lunch every month or two, helping the young executive to gain valuable insight and, hopefully, enrich their career path. But the mentorship didn’t stop there. ELC members were also paired with students from the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management, where they themselves acted as mentors to students preparing to launch their careers. The purpose of the ELC is to integrate emerging under-40 leaders into the Chamber’s leadership – with the underlying goal of accelerating business growth in Southern Arizona. The ELC is made up of 30 young professionals who are proven top performers representing “Best in Class” companies across a variety of local industries including private, public and nonprofit sectors. Once a year, usually in late August, the ELC accepts applications for any open seats. “This younger generation of business executives brings a fresh and often different perspective to the Tucson Metro Chamber’s board of directors, which, like most boards, is dominated by baby boomers,” said Mike Varney, president and CEO of the Tucson Metro Chamber. He said the ELC is important because it helps the Chamber to better reflect the population it serves and adds much-needed diversity. Korn is the current chair of the ELC, as well as board president of Greater Tucson Leadership. He said that in addition to the mentorship program, the ELC meets monthly to discuss political, economic and social challenges facing the business community as well as the people of Southern Arizona. It also features guest speakers knowledgeable in key areas who help to bring insight and understanding to more complex issues. Lastly, the ELC promotes civic awareness and activism as it relates to the local business climate. “The ELC is not a networking group. We don’t have classes or events or fundraisers,” Korn said. “There are a lot of great groups in Tucson that already do that.” Rather, he said, the ELC is strictly focused on increasing its members’ knowledge of the local community, expanding their connections and fostering their dynamic leadership skills. “It’s really a roundtable of emerging leaders getting together on how to get to the next level.” Though the ELC isn’t considered a training ground or “farm team” for the Chamber’s board of directors, Korn was “called up” to serve on the board this past year. Varney said the ELC is vital to Tucson’s future. “The ELC benefits from the counsel of senior executive mentors while sharpening their understanding and opinions about what makes our region tick and what we can do to create a better community,” Varney said. “The energy of the ELC is amazing!”

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BizLEADERSHIP

Q&A with

MikeVarney By David Pittman

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ern states and Canada. He is also on the board of directors of the Arizona Chamber Executives and the American Chamber of Commerce Executives, as well as many local civic and nonprofit boards.

Q. You’ve said lead-

ership and staff at the Chamber must listen to the membership to best address their business concerns. What steps have you taken to learn from your members? Do you have future plans in this regard?

We do surveys and outreach of A. all different kinds to assess what is on the minds of our investors. The biggest one we’ve ever done was the BEAR – Business Expansion and Retention – survey, where we learned that 129 top business executives at Tucson’s largest companies (those with 100 or more fulltime employees) were very concerned about poor interface between local elected officials and the private sector. In response, we took a hard look at our government affairs agenda to determine what more we could do to ensure the private sector and the public sector are both doing all they can to spur economic growth. It is a big reason we are placing greater emphasis on government affairs in the coming year.

We are now preparing a similar survey to interview leaders of small businesses to learn what’s on their minds and how we can help them. The survey language has been completed, we just need to vet it, tweak it and finalize it. Then we’ll conduct the survey.

Q. Are there any other

new programs or initiatives coming aimed at small business?

Yes. There are all kinds of leads A. organizations – they’re not new – but there aren’t all kinds of them at

the Chamber. We’re working on that. A leads organization is much like a networking group, except it has concrete outcomes. It’s a group of people who get together on a regular basis, but instead of having a few laughs and patting each other on the back, everybody brings actual leads to the meeting. Let’s say you sell business materials and I just met a new builder because I handle his insurance. I would put the two of you together. Leads organizations are about leads and referrals, and the social part is secondary. Our Small Business Council is working on the details.

Q.

What would you say have been the most significant contributions by the Chamber in the past year?

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PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

Mike Varney arrived in Tucson to take the reins of the Tucson Metro Chamber in May of 2011. He inherited an organization reeling from the recession and struggling with both declining investor base and revenue. Those involved in his hiring were impressed that during his job interview he unveiled a list of 20 ways to improve the Chamber and outlined a long-range business plan. Once he accepted the position of Chamber president and CEO, Varney wasted no time implementing probusiness initiatives and programs aimed at specifically increasing the value of membership in the Chamber. In fact, Varney and his staff refer to Chamber “members” as “investors,” reinforcing the proposition that businesses receive their money’s worth from joining the Chamber. Varney’s efforts proved successful. Overall membership rebounded substantially and membership among larger firms skyrocketed. Today the Chamber represents more than 1,450 businesses, employing more than 160,000 workers in metro Tucson. A native of Madison, Wis., Varney earned a bachelor’s degree in communication arts from the University of Wisconsin. He came to Tucson after serving as president and CEO of the North Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce and VP of marketing for the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce. Varney is chairman of the board of the Western Association of Chamber Executives, the premier organization for professional development for chamber executives and staff in 19 west-


Mike Varney

President & CEO Tucson Metro Chamber

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BizLEADERSHIP

Q&A with

Thomas P. McGovern By David Pittman

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60 employees and is among the largest engineering concerns in Southern Arizona.

Q.

How long have you been a member of the Tucson Metro Chamber and why are you so involved today?

We’ve been Chamber members A. for a very long time – 16 years. We joined before Psomas when we were

McGovern, MacVittie, Lodge & Associates. Back before the passage of the Pima County Regional Transportation Authority in 2006, I was instrumental in forming an infrastructure committee at the Chamber because I felt we had the opportunity to advance Tucson’s infrastructure and that we should focus on that. Our committee ended up advising the Chamber’s board of directors on positions and advocacy to undertake regarding those issues. About five years ago, I was asked to join the Chamber board.

Q.

Is enough being done to maintain and expand our infrastructure?

No. State and federal funding for A. roads and highways have both been woefully short of what is needed.

Just a couple of months ago, except for the usual 11th-hour intervention by Congress, the federal Highway Trust Fund would have become insolvent. I really don’t get it – because infrastructure, particularly transportation, is one of the few non-partisan issues you can find in Congress, the statehouse or locally. It’s not about political parties – it’s only about what people need. As you know, I am very involved in supporting the passage of the Pima County bond propositions (as a cochair of “Yes on Pima County Bonds”) and it concerns me when people are unable to see the need for investing in our infrastructure. Perhaps we just haven’t done a good enough job of showing people the connection between infrastructure and the creation of jobs, sustaining commerce and building a strong and growing economy.

Q.

Do you believe the county bond package will pass?

I hope it does and I am certainly A. going to work as hard as I can to see that it does. It’s a big package. It

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PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

Thomas P. McGovern is a civil engineer who is regional director for Psomas – a leading engineering firm in Arizona, California and Utah – and the 2015-16 chairman of the board of the Tucson Metro Chamber. He’s a Tucson native, graduate of Palo Verde High School and the University of Arizona, where he completed a bachelor’s degree in 1973. He then moved to Los Angeles to join Bechtel, an international civil engineering and construction powerhouse that was then headed by George Schultz and Steven Bechtel. But McGovern grew homesick for Tucson and after two years at Bechtel he returned to the Old Pueblo to take a job at the Pima County Department of Transportation and Flood Control District, where he worked for nearly 10 years. Then McGovern and Lance MacVittie formed a small engineering firm, McGovern, MacVittie & Associates. Tom Lodge later joined as a partner and his last name was added to the company shingle. “We started our business at the beginning of 1986 and we became well-known and successful here in Tucson,” McGovern said. In 2004, the firm merged with Psomas, a large California company that expanded into Tucson, Phoenix and Salt Lake City. Today McGovern is regional director of the company’s Arizona operations, which includes nearly


Thomas P. McGovern

Chairman of the Board Tucson Metro Chamber

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BizLEADERSHIP MIKE VARNEY continued from page 102

THOMAS P. MCGOVERN continued from page 104

The Chamber accomplished a great deal during fiscal A. year 2014-15, which ended June 30, largely because of the leadership of our past board chairman Tony Penn. That

than 99 specific projects, including $200 million in new highway and road preservation. The seven bond propositions represent investments that, in part, will:

• •

Increase tax revenue coming into our community.

Strengthen commerce by improving our transportation system.

Jumpstart a major logistics hub and aerospace corridor through infrastructure improvements and better connectivity.

list of successes includes:

Launching Project Prosperity, which defined specific improvements needed in City of Tucson systems and procedures to make it easier to open and expand businesses in the city. Creation of the Air Service Project, which is in the final stages of negotiating for nonstop air service between Tucson and New York City.

Introduction of the Emerging Leaders Council, to bring the voices of young adults to discussions about the future of Southern Arizona.

Production of the Community Quality Report Card, which measures what’s working and what needs improvement in the Tucson metro area. support for and participation by the Chamber in the Southern Arizona Defense Alliance, a group devoted to protecting and promoting Southern Arizona’s military assets.

These types of investments in ourselves are well worth the money. They will not only create thousands of construction jobs, but will establish permanent improvements in our economy. This will help attract new companies to Tucson and Southern Arizona and improve our performance as a region. We need to approve the entire package.

The endorsement of candidates and issues that received an 85 percent approval rate from voters in last November’s election. Biz

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• Continued •

Improve the quality of life by enhancing some of our arts and cultural mainstays, like the ArizonaSonora Desert Museum, Old Tucson and the Reid Park Zoo.

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High-Level Chamber Investors Keystone Investors Bombardier Aerospace Casino Del Sol Resort Diamond Ventures Hudbay, Rosemont Project Norville Investments Port of Tucson Providence Service Corporation Raytheon Missile Systems Tucson Electric Power Walmart Wells Fargo

Chairman Investors

AAA Landscape Aerotek Agape Hospice & Palliative Care AGM Container Controls AK & Sons Windows and Doors Alliance Bank of Arizona American Family Insurance American Fire Equipment Sales & Service Corp. American Openings Amity Foundation Andersen, Randall & Richards Arizona Army National Guard Arizona Daily Star Arizona Lotus Corp. Arizona State University ASARCO Atlas Copco – Mining, Rock Excavation & Construction Atmosphere Commercial Interiors Bank of America

Banner-University Medical Center BBVA Compass BeachFleischman BFL Construction BizTucson Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona CAID Industries Caliber Group Carondelet Health Network Casa de la Luz Hospice Cenpatico CenturyLink Chase Bank Circle K Citi Clements Agency Climatec BTG CODAC Behavioral Health Services Common Group Commotion Studios Community Partnership of Southern Arizona CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company Coventry Cox Communications Crest Insurance Group Cushman & Wakefield/ PICOR Desert Diamond Casinos & Entertainment El Rio Community Health Center Elitise Empire Southwest Encantada Luxury Apartment Homes

Expert Global Solutions Fennemore Craig Film Creations Finley Distributing Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Golden Eagle Distributors Granite Construction Company Graybar HealthSouth Rehabilitation Institute of Tucson HDS Truck Driving Institute Institute of Tucson Holualoa Arizona HSL Properties Hughes Federal Credit Union Institute for Better Education Intuit Jack Furriers Tire & Auto Care Jacobs Engineering JE Dunn Construction Jim Click Automotive Team JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa Lovitt & Touché MC Companies McDonald’s Micro Import Services Nextrio Northwest Medical Center Old Pueblo Community Services Paragon Space Development Corporation Pima Community College Pima Federal Credit Union Pima Heart Physicians Pima Medical Institute

Psomas Quarles & Brady Royal Automotive Group Sante of Tucson Scripps Broadcasting Securaplane, A Meggitt Company Serrato Corporation Siemens Industry Simpleview Sinfonia Healthcare Corp SMG – Tucson Convention Center SOLON Corporation Sonora Quest Laboratories of Tucson Southwest Airlines Southwest Gas Corp. Strongpoint Marketing Suddath Relocation Systems Sun Mechanical Contracting Sundt Construction Tech Parks Arizona Texas Instruments TM International Tucson Federal Credit Union Tucson Medical Center Tucson Unified School District UHS of Tucson dba Palo Verde Behavioral Health Union Pacific Railroad Company University of Phoenix – Southern Arizona Campus Vantage West Credit Union Walgreens Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa World View Enterprises

Teamwork

Tucson Metro Chamber works collaboratively with Arizona elected officials. Together we are helping create a more business-friendly environment. We appreciate the leadership team that helps make this possible.

Doug Ducey Governor State of Arizona

Chuck Huckelberry Pima County Administrator

Jonathan Rothschild Mayor City of Tucson

Satish I. Hiremath Mayor Town of Oro Valley

Ed Honea Mayor Town of Marana

Duane Blumberg Mayor Town of Sahuarita


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B O A R D

O F

D I R E C T O R S

Chairman of the Board Thomas P. McGovern

VP/Regional Manager Psomas

McGovern is a civil engineer who is regional director for Psomas – a leading engineering firm in Arizona, California and Utah. A Tucson native, graduate of Palo Verde High School and the University of Arizona, he joined Bechtel, an international civil engineering and construction powerhouse in California. He returned to Tucson and worked for 10 years in Pima County transportation before establishing a small engineering firm later acquired by Psomas.

T U C S O N

Vice Chair Robert D. Ramirez

President and CEO Vantage West Credit Union In addition to his involvement with the Tucson Metro Chamber, Ramirez is active in numerous community organizations, including DM50, Pima Community College Foundation, 162nd Fighter Wing Air Guardians, Southern Arizona Leadership Council and Sun Corridor Inc. (formerly TREO). He serves on the board of directors for Mountain West Credit Union Association, the Credit Union Executive Society and El Rio Community Health Center. He is chair of the 2015-2016 United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona Campaign.

William R. Assenmacher

Secretary Cyndy A. Valdez

VP General Counsel Golden Eagle Distributors Valdez provides legal counsel and guidance to Golden Eagle’s officers and upper management. She is vice chair of the Arizona State Liquor Board and is an active member of several state and national liquor industry organizations. These include Beer and Wine Distributors of Arizona, Beverage Alcohol Community Information Council, National Beer Wholesalers Association and the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America. She also serves on the board of directors for the Arizona Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel.

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CEO CAID Industries

Assenmacher presides over the dayto-day operations of a $50 million business that manufactures a wide variety of engineered products, both domestic and international. He is active with the Chamber in local business development and in improving job opportunities. He is also chair of the Chamber’s economic development committee. Assenmacher is founder and president of the Southern Arizona Business Coalition, chairman of Arizona Mining and Industry Get Our Support, as well as serving with Global Advantage and UA Tech Parks, among others.

M E T R O

C H A M B E R

Immediate Past Chairman of the Board Tony Penn

President and CEO United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona Under Penn’s leadership, UWTSA aims to create large-scale positive change for the region while partnering with 80-plus agencies. Together, these organizations touch the lives of more than 100,000 residents annually. He also serves on the Sun Corridor Inc. board of directors (formerly TREO) and is a member of Southern Arizona Leadership Council.

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Treasurer Larry Lucero

Senior Director of Government Relations and Economic Development UNS Energy Corporation and subsidiary Tucson Electric Power Lucero assists in advancing the interests of the utility and its customers. He also works with a variety of community organizations. Among those are Sun Corridor Inc. (formerly TREO), Chicanos Por La Causa Southern Arizona Advisory Council and Tucson Youth Development/ACE Charter High School.

Timothy Bee

Dr. Amy Beiter

Former state senator and senate majority leader Bee now leads University of Arizona’s government and community relations team, a division composed of federal, tribal, state, and community representatives. He also serves on President Ann Weaver Hart’s cabinet. Gov. Jan Brewer appointed Bee to serve as a commissioner of the Arizona Commission on the Arts and he is currently serving his second term. He is a member of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce’s education workforce development committee and the Tucson Metro Chamber government affairs committee.

As president and CEO, Beiter oversees the efforts of more than 1,800 skilled caregivers providing world-class medical care in a compassionate, comfortable environment. Beiter serves as chair of the Southern Arizona chapter of the American Heart Association/ American Stroke Association. She was voted one of Arizona’s Most Influential Women in Business by Arizona Business magazine in 2014. For the years 2014 and 2015 Becker’s Hospital Reviews included her in its list of 100 Physician Leaders of Hospitals and Health Systems in the U.S.

VP Government and Community Relations University of Arizona

President and CEO Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital and Carondelet Heart & Vascular Institute

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B O A R D

O F

D I R E C T O R S

Sherry Janssen Downer

/

T U C S O N

M E T R O

C H A M B E R

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Director Fennemore Craig

VP & GM CenturyLink

Guy Gunther

Stephanie Healy

Ben Korn

Downer specializes in employment and labor law as well as business litigation. She serves as chair of the Chamber’s government affairs committee. Her many awards and recognitions include being selected as one of the 2013 Women of Influence and Tucson’s 40 Under 40, and a 2014 Up and Comer; and she is peer recognized as one of the Best Lawyers in America. In 2014 Gov. Brewer appointed Downer to the Pima County Commission on Trial Court Appointments.

Gunther is responsible for sales, operations, marketing, community development and overall P&L performance for the greater Arizona market. CenturyLink is the third-largest telecommunications company in the nation, providing data, voice and managed services through its advanced fiber-optic network. Gunther is the immediate past chair of the Tucson Metro Chamber’s education committee and is the immediate past chairman of the board for Sun Corridor Inc. (formerly TREO). He’s active with the Southern Arizona Leadership Council and other local organizations.

Healy oversees government affairs, public relations, community development and media relations in Southern Arizona for Cox Communications. She is a Flinn Brown fellow and has received a number of leadership awards in the community. Her civic participation and board memberships include El Rio Health Center Foundation, Arizona Forward, DM50, City of Tucson’s Economic and Workforce Development Commission, the City’s Charter Commission, University of Arizona College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Silver & Turquoise Board of Hostesses.

Although new to the board of directors, Korn is already busy helping the Chamber advocate for small business concerns and a better local business climate. He is the chair and speaks on behalf of the Emerging Leaders Council. He purchased his promotional products and printing company two-and-a-half years ago from his parents, who owned it for 30 years. Korn is a member of The Centurions, board president of Greater Tucson Leadership and recipient of the 2014 Copper Cactus Small Business Leader of the Year Award.

Robert E. Lenhard

David Lopez-Monroy

Jill Malick

Walter Richter

As a partner and head of the firm’s international tax practice, LopezMonroy provides tax advisory and compliance services to businesses and individuals involved in crossborder business activities. He’s a new Chamber board member and is active with Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Arizona and Business Executives Leadership League, and serves as a finance council member of St. Cyril Parish. Lopez-Monroy is also a 40 Under 40 award recipient.

Malick oversees a team of eight Wells Fargo bankers who provide financial services to business customers in Tucson and Nogales. She co-chairs the bank’s Southern Arizona community advisory board and is a recipient of its national sales and service excellence award. Malick is one of Tucson Metro Chamber’s newer board members and she is also a member of the Southern Arizona Leadership Council.

Richter oversees community and consumer affairs and local government relations for Southwest Gas throughout Southern Arizona. He serves on the Tucson Metro Chamber Candidate Evaluation Committee and the Southern Arizona Business Political Action Committee. In addition to his work with the Chamber, Richter serves on the board of directors for Sun Corridor Inc. (formerly TREO).

President Hallmark Business Consultants Lenhard’s career spans 27 years leading Hallmark Business Consultants since its founding in 1988. The firm represents buyers and sellers of all business categories and provides formal business appraisals to banks that lend to companies. Lenhard is active with the Chamber’s Small Business Council. He’s a member of Arizona Business Brokers Association, International Business Brokers Association and the Merger and Acquisition Source. In 2003 he received an award of excellence as Arizona’s broker of the year.

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Shareholder BeachFleischman

Director of Public Affairs Cox Communications

VP Business Banking Manager Wells Fargo

Owner/Distributor Safeguard Tucson

Administrator Corporate Public Affairs Southwest Gas

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B O A R D

O F

D I R E C T O R S

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T U C S O N

M E T R O

C H A M B E R

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Cody Ritchie

Steve Rosenberg

Owner and Publisher BizTucson Magazine

Partner and Owner Lazarus, Silvyn and Bangs

Keri Lazarus Silvyn

Lea N. Standridge

Ritchie oversees the operations of Crest Insurance in Tucson and Phoenix, concentrating on the agency’s sales and marketing functions. He served on the Chamber’s First Impressions committee and is active with other community groups including Rio Nuevo, Tucson Conquistadores, State Compensation Fund Broker Advisory Board and San Miguel High School. Ritchie also volunteers as a youth coach.

Rosenberg is founder of BizTucson, the region’s quarterly business magazine. In addition to the Chamber, he serves as a board member for DM50, Visit Tucson, Raytheon Spirit of Education Awards and Steven M. Gootter Foundation. Rosenberg is the founding chairman and a board member of Father’s Day Council Tucson. BizTucson also produces the CEO Leadership Summit and the Healthcare Summit, which are issues-based community forums.

Silvyn is a land-use attorney, working predominately with property owners and developers to help create responsible development throughout Arizona. She holds several positions with the Tucson Metro Chamber, including chair of the editorial committee. Silvyn is founder of Imagine Greater Tucson and a member of Sun Corridor Inc. (formerly TREO). In 2011 she received the Small Business Association Athena Award and in 2013 Greater Tucson Leadership named her Woman of the Year.

Standridge oversees a team at Raytheon that is focused on leadership excellence and critical safety process compliance. She is the board liaison to the Emerging Leaders Council. In addition to the Tucson Metro Chamber, she serves on the board of directors at Casa de los Niños and Tucson Jewish Community Center.

Howard Stewart

Cristie Street

Richard Underwood

President AAA Landscape

CEO Contact One Call Center

Stewart manages AGM Container Controls, which manufactures products for container, missile, electro-optical, automobile, packaging and public facility markets. He was recognized as Tucson’s Small Business Leader of the Year in 2002 and his company received a U.S. Chamber of Commerce designation as America’s Small Business of the Year in 2009. Stewart is the 2015-2016 chair for United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona’s Tocqueville Society. He also serves on the Greater Tucson Leadership Board of Directors.

Leading this locally based IT consulting firm and its team of technology professionals keeps Street on her toes as they help businesses improve by leveraging smart IT. Nextrio supports the Chamber by sponsoring its annual Copper Cactus Awards, which salutes companies that innovate through technology. Street and her team are active with numerous nonprofit organizations such as Ronald McDonald House, Social Venture Partners, Mobile Meals, Arizona Public Media, Greater Tucson Leadership and Literacy Connects. She is also leading the Chamber’s effort to actualize the Arizona Earn to Learn program.

In addition to presiding over AAA Landscape, Underwood is a partner with Arid Solutions Wholesale Plant Nursery and was chair of the Chamber’s First Impressions committee. Underwood serves on Arizona State Landscape Contractors Advisory Board, Metropolitan Pima Alliance, Southern Arizona Leadership Council and the Dean’s Executive Advisory Board for the University of Arizona College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture. He’s a director of Canyon Community Bank and a member of the Tucson Airport Authority. A former rodeo cowboy, Underwood’s latest hobby is shark diving.

Community outreach, special projects and business development make up Wood’s primary job functions with Contact One Call Center. She serves on the Tucson Metro Chamber’s government affairs committee and nominating committee. In addition, she’s active with Beacon Group, Arizona Commerce Authority, Governor’s Council on Small Business, Women at the Top and Southern Arizona Leadership Council.

President Crest Insurance Group

President and CEO AGM Container Controls

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Production Operations Raytheon Missile Systems

Judy Wood

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Tucson Metro Chamber Event Calendar CHAMBER XCHANGE Monthly Chamber XChange events offer investors and guests opportunities to build relationships and discover new business prospects in the community. Visit the event calendar at www.tucsonchamber.org for dates, times and locations for this interactive monthly event. STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESS Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016 Tucson Convention Center

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey

11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. www.tucsonchamber.org/stateofstate

The Tucson Metro Chamber hosts Gov. Doug Ducey, who will deliver the “State of the State” address detailing the issues affecting Southern Arizona and the entire state. This event attracts nearly 1,000 guests. The Tucson Metro Chamber Business Expo also will be held in conjunction with the State of the State event. This large expo provides exhibitors the opportunity to showcase their products and services to the community. STATE OF THE CITY ADDRESS Tuesday, Mar. 1, 2016 Tucson Convention Center

11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. www.tucsonchamber.org/stateofcity

The Tucson Metro Chamber hosts the annual State of the City luncheon where Mayor Jonathan Rothschild addresses more than 1,000 people detailing the goals, policies and objectives for Tucson in the coming year. The Multi-Chamber Business Expo also will be held in conjunction with this event. This large expo provides exhibitors the opportunity to showcase their products and services to the community. COPPER CACTUS AWARDS Friday, Sept. 9, 2016 Casino Del Sol Resort

5:00 p.m. Cocktail Reception 6:30 p.m. Dinner & Awards 9:00 p.m. After Party www.tucsonchamber.org/coppercactus

The Tucson Metro Chamber Copper Cactus Awards presented by Wells Fargo celebrate our region’s best small businesses – collectively the largest employer in our community. Every year more than 50 small businesses and business leaders are recognized for their accomplishments in award categories including work environment, growth, community stewardship, innovation and leadership.

Mayor Jonathan Rothschild Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry

INTERFACE Connect with city, county leaders Eight sessions per year Interface is a program that provides Tucson Metro Chamber investors four opportunities per year to communicate with Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and four opportunities to speak with Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry about public policy and doing business in Southern Arizona. The host speaker opens with a 15-minute presentation then takes questions and comments from those attending for a lively exchange of ideas and information. Registration is free. Meetings are held from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the chamber offices, 465 W. St. Mary’s Road. Investors can register at TucsonChamber.org by using the event calendar or by contacting Shirley Wilka at (520) 792-2250, Ext. 132. Interface meetings are scheduled as follows:

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BizLEADERSHIP

GTL Cultivates Leaders By Romi Carrell Wittman Greater Tucson Leadership shapes up-and-coming and seasoned leaders by providing the knowledge, connection and leadership foundation for them to effect lasting, positive community change. GTL has been grooming Southern Arizona civic visionaries since 1980. In 2012, GTL became a partner program of the Tucson Metro Chamber with the Chamber providing office space, accounting services and communications assistance to the organization. “Leadership is important in every community,” said Mike Varney, president and CEO of the Chamber. “GTL provides current and future local leaders with an intense ‘back of the house’ experience about the social, political and economic drivers in our area.” Thirty-nine people recently graduated in the GTL Class of 2015. Over the course of one year, class participants, 118 BizTucson

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who are selected through an application and interview process, attend 10 issue days that focus on formative aspects of our community, such as education or the border. Finally, in the spring, the class undertakes a service project – not only to demonstrate leadership, but also to address a specific community issue firsthand with a boots-on-the ground approach. The 2015 GTL class adopted Hiaki High School, an underserved charter school located on the Pascua Yaqui reservation for its service project. Class members gave 22 career day presentations, volunteered more than 800 hours and raised $12,000 in cash and in-kind support. The funds were used to work with the students to install a community garden on the school’s campus – a lesson in sustainability and communitybuilding.

Varney said support of GTL is critical to the community. “The indirect benefit to the Chamber and the community is increased leadership commitment and capacity from a widely diverse group of citizens,” Varney said. The 2016 GTL class is underway and will continue through June 2016. In February, GTL will once again host the Man and Woman of the Year and Founders Award Gala at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort. The event is Feb. 6 and tickets will be available this fall at www.greatertucsonleadership.org. “GTL is committed to developing and promoting leadership in our community,” said GTL executive director Suzanne McFarlin. “Our 2015 Class demonstrated the vision, commitment and inspiration it takes to create positive impact. The Class of 2016 is looking just as promising.” Biz www.BizTucson.com


GREATER TUCSON LEADERSHIP CLASS OF 2015 • Bianka Benson, Greater Tucson Leadership • Helen Bernard, University of Arizona • Tom Bersbach, Sundt Construction • Ben Casey, Pascua Yaqui Tribal Court • Gina Compitello-Moore, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum • Nicollette Daly, Community Food Bank • Carissa Fairbanks, Tucson Metro Chamber • Elizabeth Fella, Quarles & Brady • Gina Gant, Raytheon Missile Systems • Sandra Garcia, Lovitt & Touché • Jodi Gonzales, 390th Memorial Museum • Norma Gutierrez, Southwest Gas • Brian Hagedon, GLHN Architects and Engineers Inc. • Douglas Hanna, Pima County Sheriff • Brian Hoeffner, Casino Del Sol Resort • Niki Hoffman, Girl Scouts Council of Southern Arizona • Douglas Holland, Level 3 Communications • Kevin Kaplan, Long Realty • Tim Keeland, Raytheon Missile Systems • Robert Lamb, GLHN Architects and Engineers Inc. • Linette Majuta-Perez, Desert Diamond Casinos & Entertainment • Edgar Martinez, Tucson Metro Chamber • Veronica Martinez, Casino Del Sol Resort • Jodi McCloskey, Pima County Health Department • Eileen McGarry, University of Arizona • Grassia Melendez, University of Arizona • Ellyn Moore, University of Arizona Health Network • Michele Murphy, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation • Jennifer Nolan, BeachFleischman • Tina Olson, Cushman Wakefield/Picor • Ariana Patton, Lovitt & Touche • Gabriela Porfirio, Pima County Attorney’s Office • Celina Ramirez, University of Arizona • ShaVonne Richardson, B/E Aerospace • Nathan Rothschild, Pima County Superior Court • Shalane Simmons, Raytheon Missile Systems • Yvette Smith, The Centers for Habilitation • Bruce Westberg, Pima County Sheriff’s Department

PHOTO: JAMES S. WOOD PHOTOGRAPHY

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Getting Things Done

Chamber Committees & Councils Ambassadors Chair: Berny Frenzer Quarles & Brady

The mission of the Ambassadors Committee is to educate, energize and empower all Chamber investors with the knowledge and resources needed to be effective and engaged Chamber colleagues. The Ambassadors strive to ensure

a best-in-class membership experience, so that all Chamber investors realize the value of their investment, promote collaboration for business growth and success, and develop meaningful professional relationships.

Candidate Evaluation Chair: Steven Eddy Tucson Electric Power

The Candidate Evaluation Committee interviews candidates for public office and analyzes their background, qualifications and positions on issues affecting Chamber mem-

bership. The committee reports the results of the candidate evaluations to the Southern Arizona Business Political Action Committee, known as SAZPAC.

Economic Development Chair: Bill Assenmacher CAID Industries

The Economic Development Committee works to support local companies and grow new ones. This committee is focused on improving interface between government and

business, solving problems faced by local companies, and promoting the growth of emerging businesses.

Emerging Leaders Council Chair: Ben Korn Safeguard Tucson

accelerate the growth of Tucson’s business climate along with their own careers. Council members are top performers representing organizations across a spectrum of business, be it private, public or nonprofit. At their monthly meetings the

council hosts guest speakers, who include prominent public officials and successful businesspeople. The council is committed to mentorship and promoting a culture of civic activism and political and business awareness.

Government Affairs Chair: Sherry Janssen Downer Fennemore Craig

The Government Affairs Committee monitors legislative processes and analyzes proposals, ordinances and bills brought before lawmakers at local, state and federal levels. Members of the committee are se-

lected by the Chamber’s board of directors and government affairs staff for their knowledge of public policy, political connections and awareness of issues and priorities.

Military Affairs Chair: Ellen Jimenez Viscount Suite Hotel

years. The committee focuses on advocacy, community relations, education, awards and recognition programs aimed at the men and women serving in the U.S. military. The committee supports Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, the 162nd

Wing of the Air National Guard, the University of Arizona ROTC program and other local U.S. military operations. It also conducts seminars to instruct local businesses on how to land business with the federal government, especially at D-M.

into bigger businesses. Its Small Business Council is comprised of small business owners who participate in identifying and developing programs, products and services to help small businesses make and save money, gain access to busi-

ness development opportunities and gain knowledge that leads to profitability. The committee is launching a new leads generation group to help businesses open new channels of business development.

The committee’s activities are centered on creating a more qualified workforce. The committee is engaged in the community-wide Cradle to Career initiative, which has

a vision of supporting the success of every child from cradle to career.

The Emerging Leaders Council consists of upwardly mobile young professionals, whose mission is to

The Military Affairs Committee has been supporting the military and connecting it to business for 86 Small Business Council Chair: Steve Steenson BBSI The Chamber has programs in place to help small businesses grow Workforce Readiness and Education Chair: Gregg Johnson University of Phoenix

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PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

BizLEADERSHIP

Tucson Metro Chamber staff from left – Front row – Shirley Wilka, Leticia Valenzuela; Second row – Lori Banzhaf, Valerie Vargas, Sarah Akers, Jackie Chambers, Jill A’Hearn; Third row – Edgar Martinez, Marta Balcerak, Tammy Jensen, Toree Calloway; Fourth row – David Long, Laura Nagore, Carol Gatewood, Carissa Fairbanks; Back row – Jason Cook, Mike Varney, Robert Medler. Photo taken at TEP Headquarters.

Executive

Communications

Mike Varney

Carissa Fairbanks

President & CEO

Laura Nagore CFO

Government Affairs

Member Services

Special Events

Communications Director

Robert Medler

Jackie Chambers

Events Manager

David Long

Leticia Valenzuela

VP of Government Affairs

Lori Banzhaf

Communications & Graphic Design Specialist

Shirley Wilka

Executive Assistant

Finance & Operations

Business Development

Finance & Communications Coordinator

Executive VP

Business Development & Advertising Director

Toree Calloway

Tammy Jensen

Jason Cook

Events Coordinator

Member Operations Manager

Sarah Akers

Marta Balcerak

Jill A’Hearn

Government Affairs Coordinator

Member Services & Affinity Director

Carol Gatewood

Member Services & Accounting Coordinator

Valerie Vargas

Member Services Administrative Assistant

Operations Assistant

Edgar Martinez

Business Development Executive

Contact us: Call (520) 792-1212 – E-mail info@tucsonchamber.org Stop by: 465 W. St. Mary’s Road, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday Learn more at: www.tucsonchamber.org 122 BizTucson

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