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From The Publisher –

Science writer Eric Swedlund said it best – “The advances in optical sciences over the last half century are staggering. Yet through all the changes, discoveries and breakthroughs, what began in 1964 as the University of Arizona’s Optical Sciences Center has stuck to its core values, even as it rose to worldwide prominence and put Tucson on the map as Optics Valley.” Optics has definitely put our city on the map.

Speaking of the map, an exciting new project was recently unveiled by the UA, Southern Arizona Leadership Council and the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona. It’s called the MAP AZ Dashboard and it’s a 24/7 website tool that monitors how our region ranks among comparable western cities. Categories including population, education and healthcare are closely monitored. In some cases – notably innovation – we rank high among our peer cities. In others, we get a clear picture of where improvement is needed. With real-time hard data, MAP – Making Action Possible for Southern Arizona – has the power to transform our vision of the future.

Details of the MAP project are a centerpiece of a special report on the Southern Arizona Leadership Council. SALC is a collaborative of more than 100 C-level executives that volunteer their time to drive the community forward through initiatives, collaborations and key projects.

This year marks the 35th anniversary of the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona.  A handful of Tucsonans, led by the late real estate legend Buddy Amos, created a community foundation that touches a multitude of organizations and causes. Rhonda Bodfield reports on the inspirational story of CFSA.

Our third special report impacts the mind, body and soul. The Tucson Jewish Community Center has renovated its fitness center and the results are beautiful. However, there’s a lot more to the state-of-the-art facility than meets the architecturally savvy eye. Gabrielle Fimbres offers a compelling account of the vision for the new J.

Downtown revitalization is moving along, thanks to the Tucson Modern Streetcar and nearly a billion dollars of private and public sector investment along its four-mile route.

Dan Sorenson brings us the latest news and a couple of “firsts” to happen in many decades. The sleek, contemporary AC Hotel by Marriott is about to break ground. A market is opening close by and a $13 million renovation of the Tucson Convention Center was recently completed. Sorenson provides a Construction & Development Update.

At the heart of any great city is strength of culture, and journalist Mary Davis provides a glimpse into some of our dynamic performing and visual arts groups. As the Wall Street Journal has said, Tucson is a mecca for the arts.

This issue has an assortment of small-business success stories that you’ll find interesting – from the state’s most iconic restaurant to a really cool toy store and an eclectic sporting goods emporium. We venture south to Tubac to celebrate a most picturesque and historic resort, then on to Nogales for a special BizGREEN produce company, powered by solar.

We also salute this year’s five Father of the Year honorees, as selected by the Father’s Day Council Tucson. Proceeds from the annual gala benefit the UA Steele Children’s Research Center.

As BizTucson celebrates its 6th anniversary as the region’s business magazine, we thank our advertisers who invest their marketing dollars to reach the region’s top executives, and you, our readers. We also thank our stellar team for contributions of outstanding writing, editing, photography and design. Thanks to friends and colleagues and – above all – to my supportive family, especially my wife Rebecca.

Steven E. Rosenberg

Publisher & Owner

BizTucson

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