Spring Issue 2023

From the Publisher


The Tucson Airport Authority is truly a community powerhouse. In the 75 years since it borrowed $25,000 to operate the Tucson International Airport, TAA now has an $8.3 billion impact on our region. Not only is the airport, TUS, globally certified for its cleanliness, it is an efficient, easy and proactive airport to navigate and boasts a management team helmed by the daughter of a Top Gun pilot. Freelance journalist Jay Gonzales posts an in-depth report on TAA at 75 and its $1 billion-plus effort to modernize the airport for the future.

Adding to our stellar airport is a commercial aviation sector that is flying high, with numerous private companies on TUS campus and elsewhere throughout the city offering maintenance, repair and overhaul services as well as fixed base operations. The region is working to attract even more with our abundance of airport-adjacent land, sunny skies and Southern Arizona’s commitment to training a skilled workforce. Freelance journalist Dave Perry offers a glimpse of a sector that is taking off.

Metropolitan Pima Alliance celebrates 25 years as this region’s ultimate connector and facilitator. Through its ability to bring together key stakeholders, the organization is a driving force for responsible growth–the result of which includes achievements such as The Chuck Huckelberry Loop, Rio Nuevo and many more. Freelance journalist Romi Carrell Wittman posts an anniversary report on MPA’s legacy.

Though our state recently hosted this year’s Super Bowl, a new report shows that the University of Arizona’s space programs offer this region the same financial windfall with a $560.5 million impact annually. Freelance journalist David Pittman offers up additional insights from the landmark study. 

Three decades ago, when Dr. Fayez Ghishan arrived in Tucson, he had a vision for a world-class pediatric research institution and saw promise in Southern Arizona to be its foundation. Freelance journalist Loni Nannini delivers a report on the renowned UArizona Steele Children’s Research Center today that is a beacon of new discoveries and care for our youngest generations. The center is not only ranked by the National Institutes of Health, it is among the top 20% of all pediatric research institutes at colleges of medicine. We salute Dr. Ghishan and his team for an incredible 30 years.

Father’s Day Council Tucson has been recognizing fathers who have made an indelible impact on this community for 27 years, with all charitable proceeds from its June 4 gala funding the Father’s Day Council Endowed Chair for Type 1 Diabetes research, at the UArizona Steele Children’s Research Center. The 2023 honorees showcase professional and personal excellence. They are Peter Backus, Shane Clark, Vance Falbaum, Reggie Geary and Dave Heeke. BizTucson is proud to profile these five men and their families in this issue. 

Speaking of profiles, we also feature the newest recipients of the Greater Tucson Leadership Community Impact Awards. They are Pima Community College Chancellor Lee Lambert as Tucson Man of the Year; Kathy Prather, superintendent of Pima Joint Technical Education District as Tucson Woman of the Year; Founders Award Honoree Jeannette Maré, founder of Ben’s Bells and Diana Charbonneau, development coordinator for IMPACT of Southern Arizona and this year’s Alumni Excellence Award winner.

As always, we are grateful for our loyal readers, our advertisers and our committed editorial team.

Steven E. Rosenberg

Publisher & Owner


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