AZ Big Spotlight: Girl Scouts­, IndiCap, Tech Parks Arizona, Fresh Start

Business News | 1 Aug |

Girl Scouts­–Arizona Cactus-Pine selects co-CEOs

Girl Scouts­–Arizona Cactus-Pine Council (GSACPC) announced the appointments of Mary Mitchell and Christina Spicer as co-chief executive officers. In their roles, Mitchell and Spicer will work together to maintain, establish, and grow key partnerships within the government and community; continue to make diversity, equity, inclusion, and racial justice an organizational priority; and provide strategy and vision to ensure GSACPC’s staff, 6,500 adult volunteers and 11,000 girls grades K-12 in more than 90 communities across central and northern Arizona are supported and empowered to be unapologetically themselves as they discover their strengths and rise to meet new challenges while helping build a better world.

Christina Spicer and Mary Mitchell.

“Mary and Christina are proven leaders who embody the tenets of our culture and mission, with rich track records of successful community-minded leadership. We have full confidence in their abilities to lead the organization forward as their deep knowledge and quality decision making over the last 12 months in interim roles have been exceptional,” says GSACPC Board Chair Lupe Camargo. “The idea of shared leadership is not new, yet not often seen in organizations. Our board believes these are the right two people to deliver creativity and innovation, while preserving and enhancing the council’s culture. Mary and Christina’s strengths as leaders complement each other and work well together.”

Arizona native Mitchell has been a member of the GSACPC team since 1998, most recently serving as interim Co-CEO alongside Spicer since 2021. Prior, Mitchell served as a deputy director as well as the senior advisor and co-lead for the organization’s work related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Active in the community in addition to her work with GSACPC, Mitchell is a board member for Arizona Legal Women and Youth Services, a nonprofit community legal center focused on balancing the scales of justice for Arizona’s most vulnerable youth in the areas of human-trafficking, immigration, homelessness and abuse. She is a Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Fellow, as well as a graduate of Valley Leadership, Class 26 and a recipient of the 2020 YWCA Tribute to Leadership Award and 2020 Phoenix Mercury We Believe in Women Award. Mitchell earned her bachelor’s degree from Governors State University in Chicago and has most recently completed Executive MBA coursework at Grand Canyon University.

Spicer has been a member of the GSACPC team since 2014. Prior to working as interim Co-CEO in partnership with Mitchell in 2021, Spicer also served as deputy director of the organization and as senior associate of fund development. A tireless leader in the nonprofit sector since 2003, including roles at notMYkid and Teach For America, Spicer – a Valley Leadership Class 28 graduate – recently completed service on the Valley Leadership board and is a founding member/past president of Young Nonprofit Professionals Network. She currently serves Charter 100 as treasurer and volunteered on the Vista College Prep School board for three years and with the Hope For Future Foster Care Camp. In 2013, Spicer served as a Flinn Foundation Flinn-Brown cohort and in 2009 founded CAMEO, a women’s mentorship organization. In 2022, she was honored among the Phoenix Business Journal’s 40 Under 40. Spicer earned her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Arizona State University.

Mitchell and Spicer take over the CEO role from Tamara Woodbury, who is retiring after leading the organization since 1993, though the Lifetime Girl Scout will continue in an emeritus role through September 30.

Todd Ostransky leads IndiCap new market expansion

IndiCapa boutique commercial real estate company specializing in industrial investment and development in the Arizona and Nevada sectors, announced today Todd Ostransky, IndiCap’s vice president of development, will oversee the growth of the Mountain States Region with a current focus on the development of several Arizona projects.

Todd Ostransky

Beginning his commercial real estate career in 1995, Ostransky has over 25 years of experience in the construction industry, with more than 20 of those years focused on the industrial market which includes completing over 26 million square feet of industrial product types valued in excess of $2 billion. In his previous role as the vice president of the Southwest division for a large national construction company, he built a team to include over 40 employees and generated over $400 million in revenue.

In November 2021, Ostransky left his role in construction and began working on strategic development initiatives for IndiCap, focusing heavily on projects in the Arizona market. Currently, he manages numerous Arizona projects in development totaling over 12 million square feet throughout the valley including Mesa, Glendale and Gilbert. Through these projects, IndiCap has developed a growing presence in key Arizona submarkets and has positioned itself as a commercial real estate industry-leader in the Southwest region.

“Having Todd in this organization is like getting a Cy Young starting pitcher on our roster.  His knowledge of the business is exemplary but it’s his communication and organizational skills that set him apart,” said Mike Chernine, one of the principals at IndiCap. “He is full of energy and is on top of all aspects of development.  I am excited to learn from each other and create some industrial alchemy.  He is a blessing.”

Carol Stewart was one of Az Business magazine’s Most influential Women of 2020.

Leader of University of Arizona Tech Parks promoted to vice president  

Tech Parks Arizona leader Carol Stewart has been promoted to Vice President at the University of Arizona.  She advances the University of Arizona under the leadership of Senior Vice President of Research Innovation and Impact Dr. Elizabeth “Betsy” Cantwell.

Stewart leads the UA Tech Park at Rita Road with her talented team of professionals that collectively have over 165 years of tech park experience and is developing the UA Tech Park at the Bridges.  She is also president of the University of Arizona Center for Innovation, a technology business incubator network serving the University of Arizona, Tucson, and the international community.

Stewart has made significant progress and impact during her three-year tenure at the University of Arizona. She has advanced Tech Parks by initiating the much-awaited development of the new UA Tech Park at The Bridges. Her work with a private developer, The Boyer Company, yielded an exemplification of how to not only construct a first-class building, but also materialize collaboration between industry and academia. The new project, called The Refinery, serves as the innovation hub for the University bringing together a continuum of support services to launch new business coming out of the University. Stewart’s diligence towards creating communities of innovation has brought in the Marriot’s Springhill Suites, establishing a new hotel at the location yielding 100+ hotel rooms to the area along with conference space for academic and public users. The first dedicated research building is also under construction within the new park at The Bridges. The University of Arizona’s Mission Integration Lab is set to open in October 2022 and will allow researchers and engineers to build and test hardware for experiments designed to fly at extremely high altitudes at the edge of Earth’s atmosphere. The facility is making the University of Arizona even more competitive for top-dollar research operations such as NASA’s Long Duration Balloon flight missions.

“Our forward-looking approach to layering science parks and incubators into new initiatives and existing institutional assets has led to establishing several major collaborations, and monumental projects are on the horizon. There is tremendous opportunity for university-based economic impact using the tech park model. UArizona serves as a powerhouse in research so the opportunity to develop purpose-built environment such as living laboratories and test beds for new technology abound,” expressed Carol Stewart, Vice President for Tech Parks Arizona at the University of Arizona.

Fresh Start Women’s Foundation promotes Dr. Meka Allen

Dr. Meka Allen

Fresh Start Women’s Foundation has named Dr. Meka Allen as Vice President of Social Services in direct support of Fresh Start’s expansion of the social work department, establishment of the Watts Social Work Resource Center and growth of its Impact Program.

This promotion comes directly after Dr. Allen’s successful term as Director of Social Work where she helped triple Fresh Start’s client social work visits. In this same role, she also grew the department’s capacity and competency through the strategic recruitment and engagement of experienced and dynamic full-time staff, dedicated volunteers, and innovative bachelor’s and master’s level social work interns.

As for the Impact Program, it is a science-based, evidence-informed model proven to disrupt intergenerational cycles of poverty. The program empowers women on the path to self-sufficiency by assessing and supporting them in five critical areas of their lives: family stability, health and well-being, financial literacy, education and careers.

During Meka’s time as Director of Social Work, the Army veteran and current adjunct Arizona State University professor, also helped grow Fresh Start’s presence in the Valley by developing protocols for upcoming satellite sites in Mesa, Surprise, and at UMOM New Day Centers.

 

AZ Big Spotlight is sponsored by PNC Bank. Do you have an item about an Arizona business or business leader you’d like to see featured? Email it to [email protected] for consideration.

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