Winter Issue 2024

From the Publisher


Journalist Tara Kirkpatrick wrote a compelling summary of Tucson as a “space city” as we were planning for our Winter 2024 edition.

“With the recent OSIRIS-REx mission’s historic landing of a hefty sample from asteroid Bennu, the global spotlight is on Tucson once again as a Space City of the Southwest. The region has established a strong foundation for galactic success with its light ordinances, noteworthy observatories, mirror labs, rock-star scientists and private space companies both new and old. The University of Arizona’s space sciences contributions set an economic impact that rivals a Super Bowl.”

In our report on Tucson as a “space city,” journalist Dave Perry focused on UArizona’s prominence in exploring the heavens in our report in this issue. It’s important to note that NASA recently declared that UArizona is the “crown jewel” of NASA!

Perry also takes us on a deep dive into UArizona’s many facets of innovation and discovery that include: the next phase of OSIRIS-REx − the OSIRIS-APEX Mission − the new Applied Research Building, which houses the University of Arizona Space Institute, the final stage of construction for the Giant Magellan Telescope, the James Webb Telescope, the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory.

Kirkpatrick files a report on the private space companies in our Space City edition, which includes Raytheon, Paragon Space Corporation, Phantom Space Corporation, World View, FreeFall Aerospace, Lunasonde, Ascending Node Technologies and Airy Optics. 

“Arizona is one of the great aerospace capitals of the world,” said Jim Cantrell, founder of Phantom Space Corporation. “We’ve brought people here from SpaceX, Blue Origin, McDonnell Douglas and NASA. They’ve all come to work here in Tucson, and they love it.”

Perry also files a fascinating report on Raytheon’s transformational role, with Raytheon’s Space Factory, located on its Tucson campus. “It’s a world-class space factory, a crown jewel in terms of building our sensors for our defensive weapons,” said Randy Kempton, VP of Strategic Engagement Systems at Raytheon. “I’m highly biased. What we do in the Space Factory is unbelievable. Ours is the best in the world.”

In this edition, it’s appropriate that our team filed a special report on the Arizona Technology Council, led by CEO Steven Zylstra and Southern Arizona VP Karla Morales. You’ll read about the region’s leaders in the technology and optics sectors, which includes space enterprise.

This issue also includes our 20 “Rising Stars” of the region. Our NextGen Leaders is a wonderful showcase of the emerging leaders who are shaping the future for business and actively engaging and supporting vital community endeavors in the non-profit arena.

One of our most vital community institutions is the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson. Community icons like Jim Click have spearheaded the success of lifting up our city’s youth. Journalists Jay Gonzales and Tom Leyde file an inspirational special report which begins…“In the last 65 years, there’s no telling how many thousands of kids have stories to tell about the impact the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson have had on their lives. The stories can be compelling.”

Jon Volpe, now an owner and chair of the board of NOVA Home Loans, one of the leading mortgage, investment and insurance companies in the country, grew up in Tucson in a broken home and turned to the Boys & Girls Clubs for direction. He had seen his older brother go to prison but decided he wanted a different path for himself.

“I owe a lot to the Boys & Girls Clubs,” Volpe said. “I don’t think I would be where I’m at today if they weren’t there for me after school to give me the support and guidance and mentorship that I needed.”

Steven E. Rosenberg
Publisher & Owner

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