Saturday, March 30, 2013

Chairman's Corner

Scottsdale Forward

chairmans cornerWe had a wonderful turnout from the community and the membership for Scottsdale Forward. On March 21 at Scottsdale Community College’s Performing Arts Center, 200 business and civic leaders gathered to learn from a diverse group of speakers about some of the exciting and encouraging economic development initiatives in our city, region and state.

Following welcoming remarks from SCC President Dr. Jan Gehler and Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane, Dr. Michael Crow, President of ASU, delivered an entertaining and power-packed keynote address about all the things that are right about Arizona and why this state is positioned to take a leadership position in several key areas of the new economy. Dr. Crow included biotech and biomed, engineering, software development, research and business start-ups as notable sectors that will lead the way. He pointed with pride to many of ASU’s accomplishments to aid in this explosion of new economy business, citing ASU’s #1 ranked Honors College, #1 ranking in number of Fulbright Scholars and many other significant benchmarks.

The balance of the program focused on four key initiatives. Attendees received highly informative presentations from Rachel Sacco, President of the Scottsdale CVB, Gordon McConnell, the driving force behind ASU’s Venture Catalyst incubator and accelerator programs at SkySong and Kimber Lanning, President of Local First AZ. I had the opportunity to roll-out a blossoming Chamber initiative, the Oasis Project. This initiative will finally - and formally - recognize the opportunity that exists to have our vibrant tourism industry help drive economic development for the city.

Scottsdale Forward is not an end but a beginning. Four Focus Initiative Groups (FIGS) are being constituted now with an eye toward meeting this summer to plan additional action steps to keep the momentum going. Please see the economic development section of the blog for more information or contact Terry Finch at the Chamber office at

Chamber Signature Events – A Sell-Out and a Near Sell-Out!

The first Women in Leadership Luncheon will be held at Silverleaf Club on April 16 and is sold out with a waiting list! More than 120 participants will hear great speakers at a beautiful venue. This is another example of the Chamber staff working to find needs to be met and being nimble enough to try some things that are new and different. The moral of the story for any business is: Don’t be afraid to innovate. Find the unmet need and meet it better than anyone else can!

The Chamber Open Golf Tournament is nearly sold out. To be held on Friday, May 3 at McCormick Ranch Golf Club, the Chamber Open will once again feature a tournament within the tournament called the Corporate Challenge where participant teams will compete for the Corporate Challenge Cup and also toss in an additional $100 per team that the winning team may donate to the charity of their choice. It will be fun and exciting with great food, great prizes, great shirts for all players and maybe some great golf.

For more information, please contact Anna Mineer at

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