During its 2009 Awards Luncheon, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman Dick Hannon of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona “passed the gavel” to Chairman-Elect Don Robinson of APS. The organization’s annual event also featured awards and introduced a slew of new leaders.
Rep. Andy Tobin was named Representative of the Year for his work to support business-friendly legislation. Tobin used his time to thank the freshmen lawmakers for their hard work to understand a budget problem that none of them created. He reminded the business community that they’ve taken “a lot of bullets” from the business community over various issues.
He also pointed out that he supports Gov. Jan Brewer’s plan to allow voters to decide whether or not to enact a tax increase to part of the budget gap.
Tobin also urged business leaders to act boldly. “If you don’t lead us out of this crisis, who will?” he asked.
Sen. Jonathan Paton was honored as the Senator of the Year. He started his speech with a joke about his first trip to Phoenix as a legislator. “It was like coming from the colonies and going up to Rome,” he said.
He said he also believes the solution to the state’s fiscal problems would best be solved by business leaders, rather than the Legislature.
It’s the Legislature’s job to sweep away those obstacles and to secure our freedom, he said. “And one of the most sacred rights in this country is the right to a secret ballot,” a reference to his measure in the Legislature to send a message to Congress to reject so-called card-check legislation.
Paton also urged voters to eliminate the system of public financing in Arizona.
In addition to the awards, the Arizona Chamber also welcomed the following new board of directors members: Jim Campbell, Qwest; Bob Hanna, Procter & Gamble; Mitch Laird, Burger King; Tim Lawless, NAIOP; Mary Ann Miller, Tempe Chamber of Commerce and Jim Norton, R&R Partners.
2009-10 Officers and Executive Committee
Chairman: Don Robinson, APS
Chairman-Elect: Reg Ballantyne, Vanguard Health Systems
Vice Chairman of Manufacturing/Chairman of the AMC: Mark Dobbins, SUMCO Phoenix Corporation
Vice Chairman of Finance: Eric DeBonis, Southwest Gas
Vice Chairman of Public Affairs: Jason Bagley, Intel Corporation
Vice Chairman of Membership: Doug Yonko, Hensley
Vice Chairman of Political Action: Alan Heywood, Prime Investments
Immediate Past Chairman: Dick Hannon, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona
Executive Committee chairmen:
Budget and Government Reform: Pat Barnes, Bank of America
Education and Workforce Development: Dave Howell, Wells Fargo
Energy: Ron Minegar, Arizona Cardinals
Environment: Jeff Homer, General Dynamics
Health Care: Dennis Dahlen, Banner Health and Mark El-Tawil, Humana
Legal, Regulatory, and Financial Affairs: Dawn Grove, Karsten Manufacturing
Small Business: Tim Jeffries, P7 Enterprises
Taxation: Mike Guggemos, Motorola and Dean Riesen, Rimrock Company
Technology and Economic Development: Bill Terry, IBM
Transportation and Infrastructure: Dave Berry, Swift Transportation
Water and Natural Resources: Gena Trimble, SRP
Workers’ Compensation: Rick DeGraw, SCF Arizona
Workplace and Insurance: Ellen Poole, USAA
Member-At-Large: Benton Davis, UnitedHealthcare
Member-At-Large: C.A. Howlett, US Airways
Member-At-Large: Ivan Johnson, Cox Communications