Governor Jan Brewer and Jerry Colangelo Hold First Board Meeting of the Arizona Commerce Authority

First actions: develop business plans, select new CEO


PHOENIX, AZ (September 23, 2010)  Governor Jan Brewer and Jerry Colangelo today assembled 25 leaders representing diverse industry backgrounds for the first Board meeting of the Arizona Commerce Authority. The private-sector leadership Board, as envisioned by the Authority’s President and CEO, Don Cardon, will work to align diverse assets and opportunities within the state to compete economically at the highest level in both domestic and international markets to create high-quality jobs for Arizonans.


“For the first time in our state’s history, we convene the Governor, the Speaker of the House and the Senate President, and more than thirty-five of our nation’s most acknowledged leaders within both the private sector and academia – all with one express purpose: To advance the global competitiveness of our state and the economic prosperity we seek for each person, each family and, perhaps most importantly, each child – it’s about a vision for a strong, vibrant economic future for this great state,” said Governor Jan Brewer, Chair of the Board. “When I became Governor, I promised to get Arizona back on track by creating quality jobs, attracting high-growth industries, and advancing our competitive position in the global economy. We are doing just that. With this board, I have now delivered a model to advance Arizona.”


“During one of the most challenging economic conditions in our nation’s history, Arizona is competing for something that is even greater than Olympic Gold; we are fighting for the health and future of our families and this state,” said Jerry Colangelo, Board Co-Chair and partner with JDM Partners, LLC. “Today, with the expertise and leadership of each board member, we begin to compete aggressively for what really matters.”


Presentations to the Board outlined the impacts of the global economic crisis on the state, the forecasts if Arizona does not aggressively address diversification and growth in promising base industries, the state’s overall global competitiveness, and a laser-focused approach to four core areas the Authority will focus on and develop a planned approach to advance the state.


“The competitive nature of global markets requires the state’s absolute resolve, focus and collaboration with private sector partners to achieve substantial growth in and diversification of its economy,” said Don Cardon. “Now is the time to get focused, make the hard decisions and passionately implement real change to be more aggressive and more competitive – this is about a 21st Century approach to advance Arizona’s economy; competing on the global stage.”


The Authority is focusing its efforts to improve the state’s infrastructure and climate to retain, attract and grow high-technology and innovative companies, with focused efforts on aerospace and defense, science and technology, solar and renewable energy, small business and entrepreneurship.


As the Board Chair, Governor Brewer appointed three groups to advance the Authority’s efforts. The Board’s executive committee includes Governor Brewer, Jerry Colangelo, Don Cardon, Roy Vallee, Peter Herder and Mary Peters. In the Board’s recruitment of a President and CEO, the selection committee includes the Governor’s Chief of Staff, Eileen Klein, Don Cardon, Mo Stein, Jerry Fuentes and Michael Kennedy. Growth Sector Leaders were identified as follows: Dr. Craig Barrett (science and technology), Dr. Vicki Panhuise (aerospace and defense), Michael Bidwill (renewable energy), Pat Sullivan (entrepreneurship), and Jerry Colangelo will lead the retention effort.


The Growth Sector Leaders will present core objectives on advancing industry at the Board’s next meeting on November 16, 2010.


Media Contact

Nicole McTheny, Arizona Commerce Authority, (602) 845-1231, [email protected]

About the Arizona Commerce Authority

The Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) is the state’s leading economic development organization with a streamlined mission to grow and strengthen Arizona’s economy. The ACA uses a three-pronged approach to advance the overall economy: attract, expand, create – attract out-of-state companies to establish operations in Arizona; work with existing companies to expand their business in Arizona and beyond; and help entrepreneurs create new Arizona businesses in targeted industries. For more information, please visit and follow the ACA on Twitter at @azcommerce.