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SPECIAL REPORT 2018

THE REGION’S BUSINESS MAGAZINE

SPECIAL REPORT CORPORATE SPONSOR


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

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

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BizLEADERSHIP

By Romi Carrell Wittman

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

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• •

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

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

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

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

Sara Hyde, Enterprise Holdings

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

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

• •

Catalyst for business growth

Convener of leaders and influencers

Champion for a stronger community

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

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

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BizLEADERSHIP

Q&A

with

Larry Lucero By David Pittman

Q.

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

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

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

Q.

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

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

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

Q.

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

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PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

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


Larry Lucero

Chairman of the Board Tucson Metro Chamber

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

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Q.

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

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

A.

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

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

Q.

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

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BizLEADERSHIP

SETTING THE BAR

Fly Tucson First By Romi Carrell Wittman

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

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


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

PHOTO: COURTESY TUCSON AIRPORT AUTHORITY

Howard Stewart, President & CEO AGM Container Controls

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

• Minneapolis/St. Paul

• Austin (starting Jan. 18)

• Oakland

• Charlotte

• Phoenix

• Chicago

• Portland

• Dallas/Fort Worth

• Salt Lake City

• Denver

• San Diego

• Houston

• San Francisco

• Las Vegas

• San Jose

• Los Angeles

• Seattle/Tacoma

Airlines Serving TUS • Alaska Airlines

• Sun Country Airlines

• American Airlines

• United Airlines

• Delta Air Lines

• Via Air

• Southwest Airlines

PHOTOS: CHRIS MOONEY

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

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Chamber Metamorphosis

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

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

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


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

PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

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

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

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

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BizLEADERSHIP

SPOTLIGHT ON

Investor Ambassadors

SETTING THE BAR

Advocacy

By Romi Carrell Wittman

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

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

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

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

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


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BizLEADERSHIP

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

– Berny Frenzer Quarles & Brady

www.BizTucson.com

SETTING THE BAR

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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SETTING THE BAR

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SPOTLIGHT ON

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

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

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


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BizLEADERSHIP Kasey Hill

Executive Director Greater Tucson Leadership

SETTING THE BAR

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

Leadership Development

– Kasey Hill Executive Director Greater Tucson Leadership

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

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

equipment and storage building for Tucson Nursery School

of a commu• Creation nity garden for Yaqui High School

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

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PHOTO: AMY HASKELL

BizLEADERSHIP

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

SPOTLIGHT ON

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

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

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

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BizEVENTS

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1 Convener of Leaders & Influencers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Treasurer David Lopez-Monroy Shareholder BeachFleischman

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

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

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

Ghee Alexander General Manager El Conquistador Tucson: A Hilton Hotel

William R. Assenmacher CEO CAID Industries

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Stephanie Healy Director of Public Affairs Southwest Region Cox Communications

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

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

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

Wendell M. Long President and CEO ARCpoint Labs of Tucson

Jill Malick Business Banking Manager Wells Fargo

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

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

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Ben Korn Owner/Distributor Safeguard

Robert E. Lenhard President Hallmark Business Consultants

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

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

Kelle Maslyn Executive Director of Community Relations Arizona State University

Ian McDowell Vice President, Regional Director Sundt Construction

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

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

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Thomas P. McGovern Principal Emeritus Psomas

Tim Medcoff Co-Managing Member Farhang & Medcoff

Mitch Pisik CEO Pisik Consulting Group

Walter Richter Public Affairs Administrator Southwest Gas

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

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

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

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

Dr. Robert C. Robbins President University of Arizona

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

Steve Rosenberg Owner and Publisher BizTucson Magazine

J.B. Shockey COO Crest Insurance Group

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

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

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

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

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B O A R D

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Lea N. Standridge Production Operations Raytheon Missile Systems

Howard Stewart President and CEO AGM Container Controls

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

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

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

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

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

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PHOTO: AMY HASKELL

BizLEADERSHIP

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

SPOTLIGHT ON

Military Affairs Committee By Romi Carrell Wittman

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

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

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

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

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

Biz

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

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BizLEADERSHIP

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

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Arizona Lotus Corp.

Caliber Group

University of Arizona Business Affairs & Tech Parks Arizona

Arizona State University

Canyon Ranch

ASARCO Ascensus

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

Atmosphere Commercial Interiors

Casa de la Luz Hospice CenturyLink

Bank of America

Chase Bank

Banner-University Medical Center

Citi

Barker Contracting BASIS Charter Schools

CODAC Health, Recovery & Wellness

BBVA Compass

Common Group

BeachFleischman

Commotion Studios

BFL Construction BizTucson Magazine

CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Co.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona

Cox Communications Crest Insurance Group

CAID Industries

Cushman Wakefield | PICOR

Walbro Walmart Wells Fargo

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

Holualoa Companies

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Tucson Electric Power

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

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Clements Agency

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Downtown Tucson Partnership

Hudbay

Psomas

Sun Mechanical Contracting

DPR Construction

Hughes Federal Credit Union

Quarles & Brady

Sundt Construction

El Rio Health

Institute for Better Education

Realty Executives Tucson

Swaim Associates Architects

El Conquistador Tucson, a Hilton Resort

International Wildlife Museum

Remedy Staffing

Texas Instruments

Elitise

Intuit

Royal Automotive Group

Tucson Airport Authority

Jack Furrier Tire & Auto Care

Sage Desert Living and Memory Care

Tucson Federal Credit Union

Sante of Tucson

Tucson Orthopaedic Institute

Empire Southwest Encantada Luxury Apartment Homes Excel Mechanical

JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa La Paloma Academy

Scripps Broadcasting – KGUN9 & cwTucson58

Fangamer

Law Office of Sherry Janssen Downer

Film Creations

Long Realty

Finley Distributing Co.

Lovitt & Touché

Siemens Industry

G2Mobile

Simpleview

Gibson’s Office Solutions

Maximum Impact Physical Therapy Services

Sinfonia HealthCare Corp

Granite Construction Company

McDonald’s National Bank of Arizona

SMG Tucson Convention Center

Hamstra Heating & Cooling

Nextrio

HDS Truck Driving Institute

Paragon Space Development Corp.

HealthSouth Rehabilitation Institute of Tucson

Pima Community College

HeinfeldMeech

Pima Federal Credit Union

Hensley Beverage Company

Pima Medical Institute

HSL Properties

Pizza Hut of Arizona

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Securaplane, a Meggitt Company

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

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

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PHOTO: AMY HASKELL

BizLEADERSHIP

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

Executive

Business Development

Michael Varney President & CEO

Edgar Martinez Senior Business Development Executive

Laura Nagore Chief Financial & Operations Officer

Communications Carissa Fairbanks Communications Director David Long Creative Manager

Shirley Wilka Executive Assistant

Will Olstad Senior Business Development Executive

Toree Calloway Communications Specialist

Rosa Herrera Executive VP Administrator

Kris Johnson Senior Business Development Executive

Government Affairs

Adam Begody Business Development Executive

Robert Medler VP of Government Affairs Grace Gegenheimer Government Affairs Manager

Investor Services

Finance & Operations

Susan Manfredi Investor Services & Affinity Director

Tammy Jensen Investor Operations Manager

Valerie Vargas Investor Services Coordinator

James Kehl Accounting Manager Margarita Arellanes Office Manager

Special Events Carol Gatewood Event Manager

Jason Cook Event Development & Services Specialist

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

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Winter2018 tucsonmetrochamber final  
Winter2018 tucsonmetrochamber final