Tag Archives: President and CEO

Hamer - June 2011-fornewsletter

Gap is Narrowing on Immigration Reform

Various Arizona Chamber and business leaders have made numerous visits to Washington, D.C. over the years to push for reform of our nation’s badly broken immigration system. As a border state, we understand this issue well. For years, the business community in Arizona has been pressing Congress and the Administration for a secure border, workable visa and guest worker programs, nationwide employee verification programs such as E-Verify, and a way for those who did not enter the country legally but are now contributing to our state to get right with the law, especially those brought to this country as children. The failure of the federal government to act resulted in Arizona and many other states trying to do immigration reform on their own, resulting in a patchwork of policies nationwide.

But it is obvious today that all roads to reform lead through Washington, particularly in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Arizona v. U.S., which held that state attempts to regulate immigration were preempted by federal immigration law.

This past Tuesday, when a group of about 20 Arizona business, faith and law enforcement leaders visited with all nine of our U.S. House members, we were not alone. Over 600 leaders from over 40 states took to Capitol Hill to urge House Members, with a focus on the Republican majority, to support bringing legislation to the floor this year.

I had the privilege to address the gathering on Monday night at the opening reception to discuss why reform is so important and beneficial to our economy and security. Our country’s greatest comparative advantage is that the best, brightest and hardest workers from across the globe desire to work in our country.

Before we hit the Hill on Tuesday, we gathered at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to prepare. The U.S. Chamber and their Senior Vice President Randel Johnson have been the lead business organization on this entire reform effort. At the kickoff meeting we heard from conservative icon Grover Norquist, who made the free-market case for reform.  Former Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin and Rebecca Tallent of the Bipartisan Policy Center remarked that all credible studies of reform point to significant economic and budgetary benefits. Fresno County (Calif.) Sheriff Margaret Mims made a compelling case for the increased security reform could bring. Faith leaders offered a humanitarian case for reform, and our delegation was joined by a number of pastors working in coordination with a coalition called Bibles, Badges and Business.

While in Washington, we had the good fortune to run into ASU President Michael Crow, who is a strong supporter of reform. Our universities would benefit enormously from federal action. As Arizona Board of Regents President Eileen Klein says, “Our ability to produce a highly-skilled workforce and thriving research enterprise that stimulate a growing, vibrant economy for Arizona will be strengthened by balanced immigration laws that promote access to education and economic opportunities.”

Our conversations with our House delegation were positive. While it is fair to say that there were differences in approach, all of our representatives agree that our nation’s immigration system is badly broken, and I believe that they all want to have a hand in getting it fixed.

While we are very proud and thankful for the hard and good work of our two U.S. senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake, in crafting the Senate immigration proposal, it is clear that the House, as is its right, will draft its own plan and proceed with a series of bills as opposed to an omnibus. In fact, five different bills ranging from border security measures to efforts to fix some of our visa problems in the high-tech and agricultural sectors have passed two different House committees.

All agreed that we need to enhance our border security. Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery offered some suggestions on changes that would allow for him to be more effective in assisting in border security. Nationwide use of E-Verify, a system already in wide use in Arizona due to the requirements of the Legal Arizona Workers Act, is another common area of support. And all agree on the need for visa reform, although there are some differences in scope. There may be an effort in the House to expand on the number of lower-skilled visas available as compared to the Senate bill.

The most difficult issue is how to deal with the 11 million who did not enter this country legally. There is growing support for some type of legalization, and even citizenship for the Dreamers, those individuals brought to the U.S. as children. But it is hard to imagine the citizenship language in the Senate bill passing in the House.

Although there are differences between the Senate and House, those differences are narrowing. But as one of our congressmen told our group, if the House is faced with making an all or nothing choice when considering the Senate legislation, the House will go with nothing.

Hard work will be required to get a package passed. This is not naming a post office. This could be the first significant immigration legislation to pass since 1986. This will take real leadership from Congress and the White House, where our president needs to channel his inner Bill Clinton and put on the charm on Capitol Hill.

Leadership from the business community will be required, too. If the House considers reform this year, job creators from across the country should welcome the opportunity to help broker a deal between the House, Senate and President Obama. We’re doing our part in Arizona, and we’ll keep at it until a deal gets done.

Postscript: I want to thank everyone who joined our team to urge Congress to pass an immigration reform package.

Barry Broome, President and CEO, Greater Phoenix Economic Council
Lea Marquez Peterson, President and CEO, Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Bill Montgomery, Maricopa County Attorney
Jack Harris, former police chief, City of Phoenix
Mary Ann Miller, President and CEO, Tempe Chamber of Commerce
Chad Heinrich, Vice President of Public Policy and Economic Development, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce
Vice Mayor Tony Rivero, City of Peoria
Steve Moore, President and CEO, Greater Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau
Pastor Gary Kinnaman
Pastor Bob Hake, Orangewood Church, Phoenix
Pastor Dan Steffen, Pure Heart Christian Fellowship, Glendale
Nan and Dick Walden, Farmers Investment Co., Sahuarita, Ariz.
Russell Johnson, President and CEO, Merchants Information Solutions, Inc.
Adam Estle, Bibles, Badges and Business
Brett Hunt, Bibles, Badges and Business

Glenn Hamer is the president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry is committed to advancing Arizona’s competitive position in the global economy by advocating free-market policies that stimulate economic growth and prosperity for all Arizonans. 

Glenn Hamer is the president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry is committed to advancing Arizona’s competitive position in the global economy by advocating free-market policies that stimulate economic growth and prosperity for all Arizonans. 

Aspinall

Leadership spotlight: Mara G. Aspinall

Mara G. Aspinall
President and CEO
Ventana Medical Systems, Inc.
ventana.roche.com

Aspinall founded the European Personalized Medicine Association and advised the Obama and Bush administrations on diagnostics and genomics.

Biggest challenge: “My college and postgrad majors were in business, yet I‘ve made my career in biotech where a strong science background is an distinct advantage. So, I had to go back and develop my foundational knowledge in the sciences while working, and I continue to sharpen it throughout my career.”

Surprising fact: “People are often surprised to learn that I’m an avid sports fan.  I will attend any live sporting event – from baseball to rodeo – any chance I get.”

A Guide to Applying for a Bank Loan

Enterprise posts strong quarterly earnings

Enterprise Financial Services Corp. reported net income of $10 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2013, compared with net income of $6.2 million for the prior year period. Net income per diluted share was $0.53 for the first quarter of 2013, compared with $0.31 per diluted share for the first quarter of 2012. Higher net interest income as well as a reduction in non-interest expenses drove the increase in net income.

Peter Benoist, president and CEO, commented, “Enterprise posted strong earnings for the quarter, with solid results from our core banking operations, as well as our covered asset portfolios. Compared to a year ago, organic C&I loan balances grew 20% while nonperforming assets declined 41%. Over the same period, key components of our noninterest income increased steadily, with wealth management revenues rising 14% and service charges up 15%. The pending acquisition of Gorman & Gorman Home Loans will expand our mortgage business and related fee income opportunities.”

“Net revenues from our FDIC loss share assets continue to add meaningfully to our results,” noted Benoist. “Covered assets produced $8.7 million in net revenue in the first quarter and have generated $75.8 million since we completed our first FDIC-assisted transaction a little more than three years ago.”

Benoist added, “We positioned the company for further growth with several new management assignments during the quarter. Scott Goodman was named president of Enterprise Bank & Trust, partnering with Steve Marsh to drive the Bank’s earnings growth as the economy continues to improve. In addition, several other executives were appointed to leadership roles in the Bank’s Arizona and Kansas City Regions. These promotions reflect the strength of our team and the company’s ability to deploy talent effectively to capitalize on market opportunities.”

phil-mickelson-masters-2006_t640

An open letter to Phil Mickelson

Dear Phil,

I read your recent comments about the crushing tax burden California has imposed on wage earners like yourself. You said that you might even move out of California. Allow me to suggest Arizona – your former home – as your next home.

Though my time playing golf is usually limited to courses where I try to hit the ball into a miniature windmill, you and I have a lot in common. We’re both left-handers. We’re both Arizona State grads, you with a Bachelor’s, me from the law school. You’re a member of the ASU athletics Hall of Fame. I enjoy watching ASU sports.

More importantly, though, we both understand the impact high taxes have on a state’s economy and its hard working residents. A high-tax environment drives capital and people out of state, which explains why California is currently experiencing an unprecedented exodus of wealth.

It’s apparent you’re not alone in your high-tax sentiments. Even your sometimes rival on the golf course, Tiger Woods, said California’s high-tax environment is why he left the state for Florida.

California’s current top income tax rate of 13.3 percent is a good enough reason to pack up one’s clubs and move on.

Sure, California has sandy beaches and sunshine, but that doesn’t dull the sting of paying out nearly half your income in total taxes. It’s hard to enjoy the ocean when you’re watching your hard earned money float out to sea.

Arizona has sunshine and sand (traps), too. And while California has been pursuing a flawed economic strategy, we’ve been making all the right moves.

Over the past two years, Gov. Jan Brewer and the Legislature have worked hard to make Arizona a state that is known for job growth and creation. They’ve decreased the corporate income tax rate, lowered the tax on business property and equipment, cut taxes on investment income and have made Arizona’s tax code more attractive to businesses selling goods and services outside our borders.  While California was raising its taxes (again), our voters rejected a massive permanent tax hike. We’ve also balanced our budget.

The per-capita income going to taxes in Arizona is just 8.7 percent, compared to the national average of 9.8 percent and California’s burden of 11.8 percent. That leaves more money for vacations to your favorite beaches (including those in California) or for purchasing a Major League Baseball team.

We’ve also cut back on unnecessary regulations, freeing up businesses to expand without the worry of frivolous government interference.  You can’t even go into a Starbucks in California without a Proposition 65 warning of the dangers of coffee.

All of these efforts have resulted in Arizona’s move up the leaderboard.  Arizona received the title of number one state for entrepreneurial activity in 2011 and was ranked a Top-10 state for business in 2012. We also ranked second – just behind North Dakota – for states with the best job-growth forecast.

I’ll put this all in terms you can appreciate:  If Arizona competed in The Masters of economic competitiveness, we’d end up with the coveted green jacket.

Phil, you know better than anyone that you can’t beat the golf here. You’re already a crowd favorite come Waste Management Phoenix Open time. So go pack your clubs and call the movers.

Just don’t take too long. I could really use some tips on my swing.

Sincerely,

Glenn

Glenn Hamer is the president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry is committed to advancing Arizona’s competitive position in the global economy by advocating free-market policies that stimulate economic growth and prosperity for all Arizonans. 

triathlon store

Sporting events pump billions into Arizona economy

If you build it, they will come.

We did. And they have.

Over the last decade, the Valley has added Jobing.com Arena, University of Phoenix Stadium, built new spring training facilities, upgraded old ones and visiting sports fans have responded by pumping billions of dollars annually into the economy. And when the Super Bowl returns to Arizona in 2015, the big winner will be the Valley, which will score an economic impact $600 million.

“If you take a look at the economic-impact studies that have been done for events such as spring training and the Fiesta Bowl and the Phoenix Open, the numbers are impressive,” says Steve Moore, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau. “For example, the last time the Super Bowl was here, in 2008, if you added its economic impact to that of annual events like Cactus League, the Phoenix Open, the Fiesta Bowl, and the NASCAR events at PIR, you’re looking at a number approaching $2 billion.”

But economic-impact studies alone don’t tell the whole story, Moore says.

“The enormous media value of hosting Super Bowls, college bowl games, NASCAR events, and NBA and (Majore League Baseball) all-star games simply cannot be purchased,” Moore says. “These big-time events also bring in corporate executives who use the games to entertain clients, and those executives and clients often return to town with their own corporate meetings.”

Arizona tourism leaders have utilized and marketed some its the state’s best features — sunny weather that guarantees no delays, desert scenery, excellent facilities and hotels — to become a major player in the world of sports. And the impact on the industry is staggering.

“Huge and immeasurable,” says Jesse Thompson, director of sales and marketing for Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale. “Every traveling team spends a night in town. Every team has loyal followers who travel to see their teams. And more than just the team travel, you have sportscasters, television crews, medical teams, referees, and not to mention the hundreds of employees at these venues that service everything from security to bathroom cleaning. Also, all the ancillary travel revenues from cabs and taxis, airlines and airports, food and beverage, entertainment, and retail are huge considerations.”

Consider this:

> Cactus League baseball will have an economic impact in excess of $350 million this year; the average stay for fans will be four days; and most will spend $350 a day while they are here. “Spring training typically offers the biggest sporting-related economic boost we see every year,” says Ron Simon, general manager of Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort.
> The 2012 Waste Management Phoenix Open pumped $222 million into Arizona’s economy — with direct sales tax revenue estimated to be $8.2 million — and non-local attendees spent an average of $300 per day.
> When the Super Bowl rolls back into town, 85 percent of the 73,000 fans at the game will be from out of state; 65 percent of them will be key company decision-makers; another 50,000 fans will visit without tickets; and the average Super Bowl visitor will spend $2,000 while they are here.
> Glendale alone draws between 4 million and 5 million people annually to sporting events that take place in Glendale’s Sports and Entertainment District, which contribute to the city’s increased hotel occupancy and sales tax collection throughout the year.

“The Fiesta Bowl and spring training are tremendous economic engines for Glendale and the West Valley,” says Lorraine Pino, manager of the Glendale Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Both of these events bring hundreds of thousands of fans to the region. The hotel occupancy rate also reaches near capacity during spring training.”

But it’s not just high-profile athletes that drive sports tourism in Arizona. Beyond being known as a mecca for golfers, the Valley hosts high-profile events for amateur athletes that translate to big bucks for the tourism industry.

Events like Ironman Arizona and the P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon are huge economic drivers because they bring not only the athletes, but their families and friends out for support which drives room nights and retail dollars for the entire community,” says Tori McLaughlin, regional director of sales and marketing, West Coast for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, which includes both Hotel Palomar and FireSky Resort & Spa.

But beyond the beautiful golf courses, hiking trails and weather, Arizona has built its sports tourism empire by creating its own “Field of Dreams” story and epitomizing the “If you build it, they will come” strategy.

“There has been a major investment in the construction of spring training stadiums, including the development of new stadiums and enhancements to existing ones,” Simon says. “We’ve also seen great development and growth of the entertainment and shopping areas surrounding Chase Field in downtown Phoenix and Jobing.com Arena and University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.”

With improving infrastructure and venues, Phoenix is extremely well positioned to successfully bid for even more mega sporting events in the future, experts predict.

“Arizona’s success has created destination envy, particularly in Texas, which actually enjoys an advantage over us because they have legislation in place that allows them to provide hosting-obligation funds based on incremental visitor spending at these events,” Moore says. “In fact, both Houston and Dallas were chosen over the Valley during the last bids for the NCAA Final Four. But we’ve become a better competitor due to the metamorphosis of downtown Phoenix. We stressed this in our most recent Super Bowl bid. The fully expanded convention center, the 1,000-room Sheraton, light rail, CityScape, the new Westin and Hotel Palomar — none of these things were around in ’08, when the Super Bowl was last in Arizona. The NBA and MLB got a taste of the new downtown when they held their All-Star festivities here, and the NFL will get an even bigger taste in 2015.”

SRP Study Reveals How Businesses Reacted, Adapted To Economy

GPEC helps region build solid foundation amidst economic downturn

The economic downturn rattled almost every industry in Arizona at its foundation.

“The recession served as a necessary wake-up call for both the Valley and the entire state,” says Andy Warren, CEO of Maracay Home and Greater Phoenix Economic Council board member. “In the years leading up to the recession, many people in Arizona had a mindset that economic expansion was invulnerable to setbacks. The recession has changed that mindset.”

But in the middle of the unstable economic environment, analysts would have a hard time identifying Arizona as one of the states that was hit the hardest by the economic downturn if they looked only at GPEC’s success during that time.

In fiscal year 2012, GPEC helped 36 companies expand or relocate to the region — the most in the economic catalyst’s 23-year history. That topped GPEC’s previous record of 31 companies, which it set in 2011, giving GPEC its two best years when times were toughest and competition for companies was at its most fierce.

So how did GPEC achieve such success in a down economy?

“GPEC has distinguished itself as a true public-private partnership where the cities, county and business leaders have a working forum to collaborate around economic development issues,” says Don Smith, president and CEO of SCF Arizona and vice chairman of GPEC’s board of directors. “It also possesses an outstanding research capability that can reliability assist other economic development interests in making successful decisions. The strategies and tactics at GPEC are robust, and comprehensive, covering local, national and global interests on behalf of the state, and the ground game both internationally and domestically is exceptional.”

The economic impact of GPEC’s success is staggering. The 36 companies it assisted in 2012 will create more than 4,000 jobs for the Greater Phoenix region, will generate $178 million of net new payroll, and absorb or build approximately 3.8 million square feet with their phase one investments. Companies GPEC helped relocate to the Valley include CyrusOne, one of the largest data centers in the country, and Silicon Valley Bank, an expansion from California creating 250 jobs at an average salary of $88,000. Advanced business services, general business services, transportation and distribution, manufacturing and healthcare continue to drive the majority of GPEC’s relocation activity, with environmental technologies rounding out the lion’s share.

GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome credits part of his organization’s success to a major policy achievement for Arizona, the Qualified Facilities Income Tax Credit.

“Gov. Jan Brewer, House Speaker Andy Tobin, Senate President Steve Pierce and the entire Arizona legislature have worked hard to improve our business climate as evidenced by the Qualified Facilities Income Tax Credit,” Broome said. “Moving forward, key economic development programs are still needed to compete with other markets to attract high impact, export-oriented companies and investment — working together as we have done in recent years, I have no doubt we’ll get there.”

More than 11 percent of GPEC’s locates were international companies, primarily due to ramped-up efforts on the organization’s foreign-direct investment program and 16.7 percent were from California, another highly concentrated effort with partners throughout the state to draw investment to the Sun Corridor.

“We now have strong consensus that nurturing high quality job growth is our top priority,” Warren says. “Leadership at the state level, municipal level and from the private sector are now fully aligned with a singular focus toward specific growth industries applicable to Arizona. We are creating a fiscal environment where Arizona is fully competitive with other growth-oriented states … This clear mission and focus is on growth industries that will drive the future economy such as healthcare, clean technology, technology, aerospace and defense.”

radio

KJZZ Announces Board of Directors

KJZZ is pleased to announce the appointment of 2013 officers and members to serve on the Board of Directors for Friends of Public Radio Arizona (FPRAZ).  Mark Dioguardi, Co-founder and Partner at Dioguardi Flynn, LLP, Todd Sanders, President and CEO of the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, Steve Curley, Senior Vice President at Alliance Bank of Arizona and Laura Martin, Director of Science Interpretation at the Arizona Science Center were recently selected to return for another term as officers for 2013.

Mark Dioguardi, will return as Chairman, Todd Sanders as Vice Chairman, Steve Curley as Treasurer and Laura Martin as Secretary.  Other board members chosen to serve a second term include Luis Ramirez as Chair of Tequilazona Committee, Jennifer Hadley Dioguardi as Chair of First Press, Larry Ashkin as Chair of Community Engagement Outreach and Laura Martin as Secretary.

The Friends of Public Radio Arizona Board of Directors is comprised of community leaders who truly appreciate the value of public radio.  These individuals are committed to improving the accessibility and quality of public radio throughout Arizona for all residents.

The FPRAZ 20-member board of community leaders was founded in 2001 to assure the vitality and future excellence of central Arizona’s public radio stations, KJZZ 91.5 and KBAQ 89.5, through stewarding all membership revenue and charitable contributions made to these stations.

healthcare

Scottsdale Healthcare plans NE Phoenix expansion

Scottsdale Healthcare announced today it is opening new primary care offices and actively pursuing locations for additional ambulatory services in Northeast Phoenix.

Expansion in Northeast Phoenix is part of the nonprofit health system’s effort to broaden services in partnership with community physicians and diversify beyond its three hospital campuses in Scottsdale. Still in planning stages, the expansion may include primary care and specialist physician offices, outpatient surgery, diagnostic imaging, laboratory, occupational health and wellness services.

Two new Scottsdale Healthcare Primary Care physician offices are slated to open in January in Phoenix and Tempe, joining sister locations in Arcadia, Scottsdale and Grayhawk.

“Scottsdale Healthcare hospitals have served the Northeast Valley for 50 years, and placing needed services closer to where our patients live is part of how we want to transform the way care is provided over the next 50 years,” said Scottsdale Healthcare President and CEO Tom Sadvary.

Healthcare and insurance reform, and consumer demand, are placing more emphasis on outpatient care and wellness, including management of chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension, according to Sadvary.

“By collaborating with our physicians we can offer Northeast Phoenix residents more access to quality medical care and better coordination of care between patients, physicians and hospitals. Our intent is to create opportunities for better managing one’s health and contribute to reducing overall costs for medical care,” explained Sadvary.

Healthcare consumers want convenience, quality and value, added Scottsdale Healthcare Senior Vice President Gary Baker. “Our goal is providing multiple access points for care, promoting wellness and disease prevention, helping individuals proactively manage chronic disease, and providing the highest-quality care and service that patients expect from Scottsdale Healthcare,” said Baker.

Scottsdale Healthcare has been expanding its infrastructure to create a clinically integrated network of care through investments in information technology and connectivity with physician offices, disease management infrastructure, and alignment with leading private practice physicians.

The new practices will become members of the Scottsdale Health Partners network, a joint venture between Scottsdale Healthcare and the Scottsdale Physician Organization, that was successfully launched this year.

“Scottsdale Health Partners includes more than 450 independent physicians covering the Northeast Valley. Through this strong partnership, physicians are helping us co-develop how Scottsdale Healthcare will be successful in a value-based environment,” said Sadvary.

“The vision of Scottsdale Healthcare and SHP is to embrace a pluralistic model of physician alignment, supporting employed and private physicians in improving care for patients in our community. It is a partnership based on a shared culture of quality, a desire to improve coordination of care and patient access, and a mutual engagement in improving patient outcomes,” added Richard Silver, MD, chief medical officer and vice president, Physician Alignment for Scottsdale Healthcare.

Scottsdale Healthcare’s track record of success with strategic partnerships illustrates its commitment to collaborations that are focused on achieving the highest quality care and best patient experience, noted Sadvary.

“We believe that working collaboratively with our physicians is the best way to expand beyond acute care. Hospitals and health providers must change the way they do business to ensure a strong future in this era of health reform. It makes sense to bring our services closer to patients in the communities we serve and provide greater value for healthcare consumers,” said Sadvary.

“Our ambulatory services expansion will not only benefit consumers by bringing the right mix of services in the right locations, it allows Scottsdale Healthcare to explore additional partnerships with physicians to extend our high quality care in outpatient settings in addition to our Osborn, Shea and Thompson Peak hospital campuses,” added Baker.

Scottsdale Healthcare is the largest employer in Scottsdale, Arizona and the nonprofit parent organization of Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center, Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center and Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak Hospital, Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare, Scottsdale Healthcare Research Institute and Scottsdale Healthcare Foundation. For more information, visit www.shc.org.

economy

GPEC expands ‘California 50’ program

Less than a week after the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) launched the California 50 program, the organization today announced it is expanding the program – which aims to fly 50 Golden State CEOs to the Phoenix metro region for an opportunity to tour and explore the market – to 100 California-based CEOs due to high demand.

“The response to the California 50 program has been overwhelming. We’ve heard from CEOs up and down the California coast, representing firms in the technology, medical device, financial and life sciences industries and ranging in size from 30 to 10,000 employees,” GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome said. “Clearly, the increasingly anti-business policies coming out of California, like Proposition 30, have struck a nerve with the state’s brightest and best-performing innovators. We think the Greater Phoenix region offers a clear contrast in terms of its value proposition, which is why we’ve expanded the program to 100 executives.”

Over the past two years, Arizona has implemented many business-friendly policies in an effort to attract more high-capital investment to the Grand Canyon state. Visiting CEOs will be briefed on the region’s business-friendly policies, including lower capital gains taxes and a corporate income tax rate that will go down to 4.9 percent by 2017, a $9,000 jobs tax credit, an R&D tax credit and a $630 million tax credit program for export industries.

Last week, California voters passed Proposition 30, a $6 billion tax initiative that will raise sales taxes on all Californians and income taxes on the high-performers making more than $250,000 annually. Yesterday, President Obama called for additional tax revenue to the tune of $1.6 trillion over the next decade, also on the backs of the nation’s top innovators and professionals.

To qualify for the program, applicants must be CEOs at high-tech companies or with corporate facilities with 200 or more employees, or at emerging technology companies with compelling intellectual property.

A total of 100 qualified California CEOs will receive complimentary airfare, transportation and hotel accommodations. Exclusive, one-on-one visits into the market will include an in-depth industry and market overview, CEO introductions and a regional asset tour.
Please contact GPEC’s Barbara Miller at 602.262.8632 or bmiller@gpec.org to be considered or to learn more about the program.

For more information about GPEC, visit www.gpec.org.

boomer

Experience Matters gets Grant from Virginia G. Piper

Experience Matters, an organization that connects baby boomers with nonprofit and social service organizations to improve the quality of life in Maricopa County, has received a $1.6 million grant over four years from Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust. The grant allows Experience Matters to expand its infrastructure to offer more paid and unpaid opportunities to more boomers seeking work in the social sector. Often referred to as encore careers, this represents a new life-stage in which experienced boomers find meaningful ways to engage in the community. Nationwide, 31 million boomers indicate an interest in encore opportunities.

Engaging boomers as the talent to solve community problems is the driving force of the Experience Matters’ vision and mission, and it is changing the quality of life for boomers such as Encore Fellow Anne White.  “I feel my work as an Encore Fellow brought more rewards to me than I gave to the Balsz CommunityEducation Foundation, my host organization,” stated White.  “Helping them build the infrastructure and fundraising programs for their foundation was incredibly rewarding, and I am thrilled to stay on as a volunteer with the organization beyond my Encore Fellowship,” she added.

Experience Matters aims to expand operations and deliver $34 million in human capital to Maricopa County organizations over the next five years.  The organization’s strategic plan to connect boomers with service organizations was crafted by a group of highly experienced strategists, business owners, technologists, marketing experts and nonprofit executives and community leaders over a six-month period.

“This generous grant from Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust is vital to the successful expansion of Experience Matters.  We can significantly increase the number of boomers engaged in paid and unpaid social service opportunities to support our nonprofit community as they work so hard to improve the quality of life in Maricopa County.  Both boomers and nonprofit organizations are signing up rapidly to engage.  The demand is strong to connect the talent with the community, ” stated Nora Hannah, CEO of Experience Matters.

“Experience Matters produces a high rate of return on investment because there is nothing more valuable than giving a nonprofit talent and skill,” noted Patrick McWhortor, President and CEO of Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits.  “As Experience Matters helps nonprofits engage experienced and talented boomers in their organizations, the capacity and effectiveness of the organizations has the potential to expand exponentially,” he added.

Evening on the Diamond Presented by University of Phoenix

Call him Dr. Derrick Hall

Arizona Diamondbacks President & CEO Derrick Hall has been awarded an honorary doctorate in humane letters from University of Phoenix. Hall was presented the doctorate on Saturday, November 10 during the graduation ceremony at University of Phoenix in which Hall was the commencement speaker. A photo of the ceremony is attached with Hall alongside University of Phoenix President Dr. Bill Pepicello and Phoenix Campus Vice President David Fitzgerald.

“University of Phoenix is a great partner of the D-backs and a leader in the Arizona community,” said Hall. “I am honored to receive this degree of high distinction. I’m so proud of the collaborative efforts to make a strong impact in the community with our joint initiatives.”

The doctorate is in recognition of Hall’s leadership role in the community. The honor came one day after Hall was presented with the first-ever Goldwater Community Service Award for his philanthropic efforts in the Arizona community. He currently serves on 27 boards, including Chairman of the Board for Valley of the Sun United Way leading the Hunger-Free Communities Plan Steering Committee, and is an active member of the Thunderbirds and Young President’s Organization.

The D-backs and University of Phoenix worked together to create the $100,000 School Challenge last February that received more than 700 applicants. The success of the first round of the program led to the $150,000 Back-To-School Challenge launched in September in which 31 schools received $5,000 each to improve their school in one of four categories: educational programs, innovation and technology, nutrition and fitness and school/campus improvements. In addition, the D-backs and University of Phoenix team up each year to provide more than 500 children with a fun holiday experience, including interacting with D-backs players and coaches, an arts and crafts station, T-ball game, and a gift bag with new shoes at the annual Winter Classic Holiday Party held at Chase Field in December.

minorities

Summit spotlights impact of minority-owned companies

Fifteen corporations and nonprofits that do tens of millions in contracts with minority-owned companies in Arizona, and the release of a detailed new, post-recession survey of minority-owned business will be among the highlights of the 2012 Minority Business Enterprise Summit in downtown Phoenix Friday.

The 2012 Minority Business Enterprise Summit was organized by the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Phoenix MBDA Business Center . The event takes place Nov. 16, 2012, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., at Renaissance Hotel Downtown, 50 East Adams Street in Phoenix.

“The summit speaks to the growing influence of minority-owned businesses in Arizona and the historic demographic shift that’s helping reshape the economy of our state and our nation,” said Gonzalo de la Melena, president and CEO of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, which operates the federally-funded Phoenix MBDA Business Center.

MBE summit highlights include:

* The release of the 2012 Minority Business Enterprise Report (the first-of-its-kind since 2007) regarding the state of minority-owned businesses in Arizona.
* Inaugural inductions into the Arizona Million Dollar Circle of Excellence: Leading the Way in Supplier Diversity recognizing corporations and non-profits that do at least $1 million in business with minority- and women-owned companies in Arizona.
* The annual presentation of the Minority Enterprise Development Awards.

The 2012 MBE Report will be released during a Friday morning presentation starting at 10 a.m. The report was conducted by Westgroup Research and designed to serve as a resource for businesses, organizations, educators, government agencies and individuals who want to help Arizona MBEs succeed.

The report’s findings include:
* About 78% of the MBEs in Arizona have less than 10 employees.
* Nearly one-quarter of MBEs did not feel they were treated with respect when applying for a loan.
* Among survey participants, the median gross revenue in 2011 was $215,000 with a median staff size of four employees.
* Minority business owners are optimistic about the future — 63% feel their financial situation will improve in the next 12 months.

During the Summit’s Friday luncheon, 15 companies and governmental organizations will be inducted in the Arizona Million Dollar Circle of Excellence. AZHCC President De la Melena said the this initiative breaks new ground by recognizing major corporations and governmental entities that directly spend at least $1 million purchasing goods or services from minority-owned and women-owned businesses in Arizona. Several of the companies individually spend tens of millions annually contracting with minority- and women-owned firms. The project also is intended to promote and share best practices regarding supply-chain diversity, said de la Melena.

The AZ Million Dollar Circle of Excellence is co-chaired by Donald E. Brandt, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Arizona Public Service, and Lorena Valencia, President/CEO, Reliance Wire & Cable and a member of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce board of directors. Arizona Public Service is a major purchaser of good and services from minority- and women-owned companies and the presenting sponsor for the summit and the 2012 MBE Report.

“Our state is rapidly becoming a national leader for diverse business supplier programs,” said APS’s Brandt, whose company has spent about $1.5 billion with women- and minority-owned businesses since 1992. “All of Arizona benefits from the jobs that are created and the resulting competition that leads to better goods and services. For our state to achieve its full economic potential, Arizona businesses must continue to seek out qualified diverse suppliers, hire them and put them in a position to succeed.”

De la Melena added, “The induction of the inaugural members of Arizona Million Dollar Circle of Excellence is our way of recognizing companies that are doing the right thing by ensuring they have diverse supply chain.”

The MBE Summit luncheon will also honor the winners of the annual Minority Enterprise Development Week Awards which recognize the achievements of minority-owned companies in the Southwest.

MINORITY CONSTRUCTION FIRM OF THE YEAR, Fortis Networks, Inc., Reyna & Clarence McAllister

MINORITY TECHNOLOGY FIRM OF THE YEAR, 360 Vantage, Mario Martinez

MINORITY FIRM OF THE YEAR, Technology Integration Group, Ying McGuire

ACCESS TO CAPITAL AWARD, Prestamos CDFI LLC

financial

Credit unions grow membership, revenue

Like many other industries, credit unions in Arizona are bouncing back from the economic downturn.

Credit unions, which are similar to banks in the products and services that they offer except at a slightly lower cost, are taking advantage of consumer disenchantment with big banks to attract new members. According to a recent National Credit Union Administration report, through the first quarter of 2012, credit unions around the country combined for a record 92.5 million members.

“As local, member-owned financial institutions, credit unions are simply doing what they have always been good at,” said Scott Earl, CEO of Mountain West Credit Union Association, a trade organization of credit unions across Arizona, Colorado and Wyoming. “They have a long history and reputation for providing excellent member service, financial education and a wide variety of financial services to fit their members needs. The recent increased recognition of these qualities and the progress credit unions have made is establishing their success as an industry.”

Nationally, credit unions generated $2.1 billion in profits and added 667,000 new members in the first quarter of 2012, a 25 percent spike in profits compared with a year earlier. Most large Arizona credit unions — including Desert Schools, TruWest, Arizona State, Credit Union West and Arizona Federal — saw profits roughly double in the first quarter of 2012, compared with earnings from a year earlier.

“The word ‘profit’ is a bit of a misnomer,” said Paul Stull, senior vice president of strategy and brand for Arizona State Credit Union. “Credit unions do have net income. However, all credit unions are not-for-profit cooperatives. The net income or funds available after expenses are paid become part of a credit union’s capital or are used to build new branches, purchase new technology or offer additional services.”

Something that Arizona State Credit Union added recently were construction loans to its home loan portfolio in anticipation of an improving economy, as evidenced by the 27 percent growth of new home sales in the first quarter, compared to the prior year.

The construction loan program allows members the opportunity to lock in their mortgage rate early and avoid the possibility of fluctuating rates during the construction phase. Additional perks to this all-in-one loan include needing to only qualify once, signing one set of loan documents and paying one set of loan fees for both the construction-phase financing and permanent mortgage.

“As a local financial cooperative, the Credit Union is proud to offer low rates and flexible terms on a product that few financial institutions are offering,” said David E. Doss, president and CEO of Arizona State Credit Union. “We are excited to add construction loans to our home loan options as it is one more way we can assist members residing in the Arizona communities we serve.”

A J.D. Power and Associates study this year showed that consumer backlash against fees and the perception of poor customer service from some of the bigger banks have caused some consumers to switch to credit unions, whichunlike banks, which are run as private businesses seeking profits, operate as nonprofit entities and are technically owned by their members.

“Generally credit unions offer lower fees and better interest rates than banks,” Stull said. “This is one reason consumers may come to a credit union. We also see many people that switch because they want to do business with a local financial institution that is based in Arizona. Our deposits are returned to the community in the form of loans than in turn grow jobs and economic development in the communities we serve. Many consumers have made a choice to support local businesses, and credit unions are a great example of that.”

While credit unions never issue subprime mortgages, which many experts blame for helping lead the nation into the recession, credit unions did get hit with the impact of the failing economy. One lesson Earl said they learned: Innovation.

“Learning to manage resources while providing increased quality of services through the recession has challenged the way credit unions approach problems,” he said. “Increased creativity and credit union technology are some of more positive lessons for the long term.”
In addition to lower fees and increasing efficiency that is resulting from lessons learned in the wake of the recession, Stull said credit unions offer free financial counseling, will help members create a budget to manage their funds, and Arizona State Credit Union’s Home Affordable Refinance Program has allowed homeowners who owe more than the house is worth to refinance and reduce their payments.

“Choosing a credit union is a win-win situation for consumers,” Stull said. “They can get a better rate or lower fees to help them stretch their budgets, and they can benefit their community by doing business with a local financial cooperative that helps create jobs and grow the local economy. You get a good deal and you can feel good about helping your community, too.”

Evening on the Diamond Presented by University of Phoenix

D-Backs CEO earns Goldwater award

Arizona Diamondbacks President & CEO Derrick Hall has been named the 2012 recipient of the Goldwater Community Service Award and will be honored at the 29th Noche de Gourmet Friday, Nov. 9, 2012, at the Wrigley Mansion. The Goldwater Community Service Awards, presented by the Active 20-30 Club of Phoenix, honors a community leader with a strong record of philanthropic involvement, professional success in their field of work, and a desire to give back to the Phoenix area through serving on charitable and corporate boards and through public service.

“I am honored to be the first recipient of this prestigious award in a category where every nominee is truly deserving,” said Hall. “The Active 20-30 Club is a distinguished philanthropic club that works hard to improve the lives of children across the Valley, and I am proud to represent and be recognized by such an illustrious group of individuals.”

Hall was chosen among five nominees, including Arizona Treasurer and former Founder & CEO of Cold Stone Doug Ducey, Phoenix City Councilmember and Attorney for PING William Gates, Founder of Beyond the Flames Jason Schechterle and Executive Director of The First Tee of Phoenix Hugh Smith, Jr. The annual award is given to an individual who shows high moral and ethical character and will set the standard for the men of the Active 20-30 Club of Phoenix to achieve as they continue to grow and develop in their profession and in their community.

A proven leader in the Arizona community, Hall currently serves as Chairman of the Board for Valley of the Sun United Way and leads the Hunger-Free Communities Plan Steering Committee, and is an active member of the Thunderbirds and Young President’s Organization. He serves on 27 boards, including the Arizona Mexico Commission, Great Hearts Academies, Arizona Chamber of Commerce, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau, Muscular Dystrophy Association, National Advisory Council for Pancreatic Cancer, US Airways Education Foundation, St. Vincent de Paul and Florence Crittendon. He has also raised money by serving as an event chairman for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC) and the Foundation for Blind Children.

flag

Heroes, Goats and ‘Pure Idiocy’

In case you’ve been living in a cave, next Tuesday is Election Day. Here are a few thoughts about some of the folks that have distinguished themselves as true leaders and others who have made us tune them out this election season.

The Heroes
 
The Treasurer

Treasurer Doug Ducey’s leadership on Proposition 204 is astonishing.  Before his involvement the tax measure was cruising to what many – including me – believed to be a double-digit win.  But now, from every poll that I have seen – including in swing districts in southern Arizona – it is behind and headed for defeat.

Treasurer Ducey has raised dollars, rallied the major chambers and small business groups and an impressive list of mayors and has articulated a clear case on the ills of what would be the state’s largest tax increase. Win, lose or draw, Treasurer Ducey should be recognized for his efforts.

The real education reformers

One of the savviest and wisest policy minds in this state, Jaime Molera, deserves praise for his gutsy opposition when Prop. 204 first hit the streets.  Also making the case for real education reform is Dr. Craig Barrett, who has made clear that 204 is rotten policy. The retired chairman and CEO of Intel delivers as effective a speech as any educational leader in the country on what it takes to improve our schools.  We all agree we need to improve our K-12 education system.  A proposal that permanently raises the state’s sales tax to the second-highest in the nation without directing dollars to proven education reforms is obviously not the answer, though.

The President and the Speaker

Steve Pierce and Andy Tobin have been paragons of leadership at the Legislature the past two years, and in the last year have led their chambers as Senate President and House Speaker, respectively.  Not only have the two championed passage of the most comprehensive set of job creation proposals in the nation, they have passed responsible budgets and moved the state past divisive issues.  As a result of their work and the vision of Gov. Jan Brewer, Arizona is now ranked as a Top-10 state from Chief Executive Magazine and rated number one by the Kauffmann Foundation’s Entrepreneurial Index.

Both President Pierce and Speaker Tobin have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to protect viable and valuable incumbents, particularly those now thrust into more competitive districts as a result of the redistricting process.

I find it humorous that some would attack Pierce in particular on fundraising.  He has raised more than anyone in the state, perhaps ever (not counting unions; see below) for legislative races. Compare his Herculean efforts with any challenger or even the state GOP and it is obvious that any criticism is crass political posturing. But if you don’t think the president and speaker have done enough, there’s still time to write a check.

The Goats
 
The Pinal County GOP Brain Trust

Sen. Andy Biggs deserves credit for his role in shaping a strong budget this past year.  With that said, it makes no sense to listen to a few angry and misguided Pinal County GOP poobahs and change horses in legislative leadership when under President Pierce’s direction the Senate has been firing on all cylinders. The thought of replacing Andy Tobin’s steady hand with freshman Steve Smith, no matter his enthusiasm, is absurd.

What is particularly outrageous is that this call has been issued at the end of an election in an area of the state that is so hotly contested. Their time in these last precious hours before the polls close would be better spent working to ensure that candidates like Frank Pratt and TJ Shope have a seat in the House of Representatives come January.

Richard Carmona

Rich Carmona’s ad implying an endorsement from Senators Jon Kyl and John McCain is both deceitful and stupid.  Not to provide proper context from remarks made from our senators over 10 years ago is wrong.  Carmona launched his ad on the 45th anniversary of Sen. McCain being shot down over Hanoi. Instead of taking that day to thank and honor Sen. McCain, Carmona instead chose to use the senator to deceive voters.

The Carmona campaign didn’t do itself any favors when it, in response to Sens. McCain and Kyl’s anger over the ad, dismissed the senators as career politicians. The Arizona Republic nailed it in Tuesday’s editorial when it called the Carmona charge, “pure idiocy.”

Carmona left himself open for a strong counterpunch, and the senators connect in their response ad. The counter ad should be enough to put Congressman Flake over the top and into the U.S. Senate.
 
The name callers

If you want to talk about lazy language, the charges that John McComish is an extremist don’t pass the laugh test.  McComish is a business-minded, independent former chamber executive who supports jobs-friendly legislation and stands strong against the bad ideas.  And hopefully there is a price to pay for the bozos who took a page from the Carmona playbook and suggested that Sen. Jerry Lewis endorsed Russell Pearce.  For anyone awake in Arizona, you’ll recall Sen. Lewis defeated Pearce in a recall race last year. You can Google it.

Final Observations

For those not convinced that paycheck protection is urgently needed to prevent union members’ paychecks from being raided to underwrite political campaigns, one need just to look at what is going on in the Senate races involving Senators McComish and Lewis.

Some feel that appeasement works and that certain unions will play nice if left alone.  Well, after somewhere in the neighborhood of $300,000 in outside dollars -much of it union money – launched against Sen. McComish, we get a sense of how well appeasement works.

If you’re shopping for an early Christmas or Hanukkah gift for Arizona, I recommend paycheck protection legislation.

Glenn Hamer is the president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

83273484

The Arizona Chamber’s guide to the ballot propositions

With less than three weeks remaining before the 2012 General Election, many Arizonans are getting ready to put their early ballots in the mail. Before you fill in those boxes with ink and head to the post office, please take a moment to review the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s recommendations on statewide propositions.

The Chamber has weighed in on five ballot measures, taking a position of support on four and opposing one.

Here’s a brief look at each of our positions:

Proposition 116 – Property Tax Exemptions – Support
The Arizona Chamber joins the Arizona chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business in supporting Proposition 116, which will help small businesses grow and create jobs by reducing the tax burden on their equipment and machinery. A tax on the value of equipment and machinery increases the fixed cost of operating a business in Arizona and creates a disincentive to new investment. Proposition 116 would exempt the value of equipment and machinery equal up to the wages of 50 Arizona workers (now about $2.4 million), making it more likely Arizona businesses will hire new employees and purchase necessary equipment.

Proposition 117 – Property Tax Assessed Valuation – Support
As our friends at the Arizona Tax Research Association have pointed out for years, our state’s property tax system is overly complicated, with two valuations: full cash value and limited property value. Under Proposition 117, the annual growth of the limited property value would be limited to five percent, and it wouldn’t exceed the full cash value. Also, the limited property value would be the only taxable value, helping to deliver a much greater level of predictability and stability in Arizona’s property tax system.

Proposition 118 – Establishment of Permanent Funds – Support
Passage of Proposition 118 will restructure the distribution formula for the Permanent Land Endowment Fund, whose largest beneficiary is K-12 education. Currently, in some years the formula distributes tens of millions of dollars; in other years zero.  This reform will smooth out the distribution so that there is some allocation to education every year.  The result will bring about reliable and consistent K-12 education funding with no new taxes and no new spending from the General Fund. Arizona Treasurer Doug Ducey deserves applause for crafting this reform.

Proposition 119 – State Trust Lands – Support
Proposition 119 will help prevent incompatible land use that could put at risk the jobs associated with military bases. Arizona’s military installations contribute over $9 billion in economic output. Proposition 119, whose supporters include Land Commissioner Maria Baier and Greater Phoenix Leadership, will help ensure they are able to complete their critical missions and remain an integral part of Arizona’s economy for decades to come.

Proposition 204 – Permanent Sales Tax Increase – Oppose
The Chamber recognizes that a high-performing education system requires the financial resources necessary to produce a highly qualified workforce. To that end, the Chamber strongly supported Proposition 100 in 2010, which established a temporary one cent per dollar sales tax, and over 10 years ago our organization supported Proposition 301. We also supported new funding this past year at the Legislature to fund Move on When Reading, a proven reform targeted at ensuring that students exit the third grade with the ability to read. Going forward we will support efforts to properly implement the Common Core standards, which is a state-led effort to increase educational standards so America’s students can compete with the best and brightest students from around the world.

Unfortunately, this new $1 billion a year permanent tax would leave Arizona with the second highest sales tax rate in the country — leaving a number of cities with a combined rate over 10 percent. It would make future efforts to reform our sales tax code and help to create jobs much more difficult. Not surprisingly, many chambers and prominent business groups oppose this effort including the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, NFIB, the Arizona Small Business Association, the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the East Valley Chambers Alliance. The education reform aspects are basically non-existent and simply not worth the risk to our state’s economy. Arguably two of the most prominent education reform advocates in the state, Dr. Craig Barrett and former State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jaime Molera have come out in opposition to Prop. 204. The Arizona Republic wrote a thoughtful piece opposing Prop. 204 as well. We strongly urge a no vote on Proposition 204.

We believe that by following the Arizona Chamber’s recommendations on these important ballot measures Arizona voters will be casting a vote in favor of growing jobs and increasing our state’s economic competitiveness. For more information on these items and candidate races, be sure to check out the Arizona Prosperity Project’s website, a convenient tool to learn more about the big issues in this election.

Glenn Hamer is the president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

IMG_9587

O’Connor House names new CEO

The O’Connor House (OCH) Board of Directors appointed Sarah Suggs Cheek as president and CEO. The nonprofit organization supports the legacy and vision of retired United States Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor to promote civil dialogue leading to civic action.

“Sarah’s extensive experience in marketing and fundraising will benefit the organization tremendously and allow us to build on successful programs such as our Distinguished Speaker Series and Issues & Answers Forums,” said Steve Savage, chairman of the OCH Board. “Over the last year we have laid the foundation for our organization and Sarah’s leadership will take us to the next level.”

Sarah helped to establish the O’Connor House Distinguished Speakers Series and Patrons Circle hosting notable speakers such as former President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev and Pulitzer-prize winning author David McCullough. “We look forward to an equally significant line up of speakers in 2013,” added Savage.

Sarah Suggs Cheek is a third generation Arizonan whose 25-year career in both the private and public sectors has taken her to the east and west coasts. Sarah previously served as senior vice president of marketing for Phoenix-based Pivotal Group and as national executive director for The National Women’s Hall of Fame in New York.

O’Connor House began as an effort to preserve the historic and longtime home of Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and her late husband John O’Connor.  Prior to being appointed the first woman to the United States Supreme Court and during her years in Arizona a member of the State Legislature, Superior Court and Court of Appeals Judge, she hosted countless local, state, national and international leaders in the historic adobe home.  The O’Connor hospitality served to build consensus and collaboration among the diverse guests to explore, discuss and solve problems for the state and beyond.  In 2008, the O’Connor home was successfully relocated to the grounds of the Arizona Historical Society in Papago Park.

With this legacy of civility and dialogue, the organization’s mission evolved to embrace a renewed purpose, “Where Civil Talk Leads to Civic Action.” Today, the work of O’Connor House includes leading efforts to advance balanced, fact-based information and dissemination of key issues impacting Arizona and the nation. 

In addition, O’Connor House has elected six new members to its Board of Directors and appointed its Officers: the Board elected Steve Savage of Ballard Spahr as chairman; Rich Boals of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona as vice chairman; SRP Accountant John Evancevich as treasurer; and Peter Hayes vice president of public affairs of SRP as secretary.  New Board members include Deborah Bateman, executive vice president, National Bank of Arizona; Dr. Rufus Glasper, chancellor, Maricopa Community Colleges; Michael Rooney, Sacks Tierney Attorney; Lisa Urias, president, Urias Communications; Kari Yatkowski, founder of Haven Charitable Foundation; and Kathleen Zeider, community volunteer.