From the Publisher
The University of Arizona is in many ways the heart and soul of our region’s business community. As the #1 public-sector employer with 12,000 employees, and one of the leading research institutions in the nation, this is a nearly $2 billion enterprise.
Leadership of this land-grant university is critical to the success and economic vitality of our city. The breadth and depth of research at the UA has been globally acclaimed for more than a century. Corporations remain here because of the world-class educators, researchers and highly skilled graduates.
This summer, the Arizona Board of Regents named Ann Weaver Hart the 21st president – the first woman in UA history to lead the institution. Gabrielle Fimbres provides an exceptional profile of Hart and her priorities.
One example of great innovation from the UA is the world’s only approved total artificial heart. Fimbres’ report on SynCardia Systems will keep you on the edge of your seat. The SynCardia story is one of sheer perseverance against all odds. The turbulence marking the company’s progress would make a fine book or movie – one with a happy (and at last profitable) ending. More than 1,000 artificial hearts later, and with impressive recent advancements, SynCardia is ready for prime time worldwide, according to CEO Michael Garippa.
Another story with heart is the Steven M. Gootter Foundation – where an all-volunteer committee raised $2 million over seven years to fund an endowed chair to research a cure for sudden cardiac death. Nationally prominent researcher and cardiologist Dr. Jil Tardiff shares her insights with Eric Swedlund.
The Gootter Foundation honors Ginny Clements of Golden Eagle Distributors with the Steven M. Gootter Philanthropic Award for her lifetime of community service. This local charity honors the memory of Gootter, a young father and husband who fell victim to this insidious syndrome.
Expect to read about more UA spinoffs and profitable high-tech projects in the coming years. Two icons of our business community – Donald R. Diamond and I. Michael Kasser – partnered to form Diamond Holualoa Capital. This high-powered duo believes that Tucson’s future economic success is based on investing in high-tech ventures. David B. Pittman files a compelling report on the dream team of tech investing.
Looking to 2013, BizTucson focuses on New Horizons and how Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities is accelerating economic growth by recruiting firms in four target industries.
The chairman’s circle and board of directors, plus the staff led by TREO President & CEO Joe Snell, partnered to successfully recruit several new firms to relocate here. Private-sector business leaders and government entities are working together to grow our economy. Seventeen influential business leaders whose organizations are major stakeholders in TREO offer their visions for 2013 and beyond.
Eric Swedlund, Romi Carrell Wittman, Christy Krueger, Dan Sorenson and Gabrielle Fimbres compiled this special report that provides insight into what’s new on the economic development frontlines.
This issue of BizTucson highlights business news that indicates we are indeed well positioned for the New Year.
Steven E. Rosenberg
Publisher & Owner