From The Publisher
Historically, Arizona’s economy relied on the five Cs of copper, cattle, cotton, citrus and climate. Over the past century, however, another sector has emerged as a key driver.
This state boasts an industry that defends our nation’s freedom while pumping $15.3 billion annually into our economy. The military and defense assets of Southern Arizona are a powerful economic engine. Tucson ranks No. 7 in U.S. military spending in the nation.
Freelance journalist David Pittman provides a high-level view of this region’s five-star industry. The five “stars” are: Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Fort Huachuca U.S. Army Intelligence Center, 162nd Fighter Wing of the Arizona Air National Guard at Tucson International Airport, U.S. Army National Guard Silverbell Army Heliport in Marana and the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground. These installations provide synergy to our region’s aerospace and defense sector, led by Raytheon Missile Systems. Romi Carrell Wittman reports on the defense contractors and the Yuma and Marana bases.
Proposed budget cuts mandated by sequestration – $1.2 trillion in U.S. defense and domestic spending reductions over the next decade – threaten the industry, and could result in base closures.
Business and community leaders are banding together to defend defense. Leading the charge are Tucson Metro Chamber, Southern Arizona Leadership Council, Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities, Tucson Association of Realtors, Southern Arizona Home Builders Association, Visit Tucson and Metropolitan Pima Alliance. Along with military support groups including the DM50, the Air Guardians and the Fort Huachuca 50, they have formed the Southern Arizona Defense Alliance, to protect military assets in the region.
One priority is convincing the U.S. Air Force to assign the F-35 to the 162nd Fighter Wing. Ron Shoopman, president of SALC and a retired brigadier general, said the wing and Davis-Monthan could be in jeopardy of being shut down without the F-35.
But beyond the dollars, this issue of BizTucson is dedicated to the men and women of the U.S. military who have sacrificed to preserve our freedom. We honor those among us who contribute so much to our community. Among them is World War II navigator Art Schaefer, whose new book, “In Like Flynn,” provides a compelling account of his 33 combat missions over Europe.
In other reports, tourism treasures share the spotlight – with the $35 million renovation of The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa, the new Sewailo Golf Club at Casino Del Sol Resort and the member-owned success of Ventana Canyon Golf & Racquet Club.
Also featured is a report on TREO’s strategic initiatives to drive a new economic paradigm for Southern Arizona. The 19 CEOs in TREO’s Chairman’s Circle share insights on the year ahead. TREO’s Economic Blueprint – developed in 2007 as a roadmap to success – is being updated to fit the demands of the new economy. Mary Minor Davis provides a preview.
Speaking of blueprints, construction icon and visionary entrepreneur Garry Brav and his BFL Construction team are the focus of a comprehensive report by Sheryl Kornman on the company’s four decades of success. Beyond major accomplishments in construction – including bioscience, healthcare, education and resorts – BFL’s family of companies is a diversified blend of enterprises poised for growth. The ventures range from streamlining the process for building homes four at a time to developing detached luxury rental homes and partnering to expand into other Sunbelt markets.
Finally, Steve Rivera reports on the World Golf Championships – Accenture Match Play Championship at The Golf Club at Dove Mountain, with a global reach of 733 million homes. We must support this event and the volunteer efforts of the Tucson Conquistadores, who have netted $10.1 million in donations since Accenture launched eight years ago.
Steven E. Rosenberg
Publisher & Owner