For 32 years, Pinnacle West lobbyist Martin Shultz has been a fixture at the Capitol, and even in retirement, he plans to keep it that way.
Shultz will retire at the end of the year as vice president of government affairs for Pinnacle West, Arizona Public Service’s parent company.
But Shultz jokes that he’s not retiring – he’s “refiring.” He said will stay involved in myriad civic groups and will take a new position that will keep him involved in government and politics outside of Pinnacle West and APS.
“It’ll be interesting,” Shultz said of the position, which he declined to elaborate about. “It’s a little different for me, but the platform and the opportunity is very positive.”
In addition to his new position, Shultz said he’ll stay active in economic development issues. He will continue chairing the Phoenix Community Alliance, Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap and the Discovery Triangle Development Corporation. He will also continue his work with Arizona’s Centennial Commission, and will work closely with the Arizona Commerce Authority, which Gov. Jan Brewer established earlier in 2010.
Shultz said he feels it is especially important to promote Arizona economically in the wake of SB1070 and the boycotts the illegal immigration bill touched off. He said he will continue promoting what he referred to the “real Arizona, as I know it,” in a recent speech.
The Anti-Defamation League recently gave Shultz its Jerry T. Wisotsky Torch of Liberty Award, and in his acceptance speech, Shultz spoke about overcoming the negative image of Arizona that he believes has been prominent since debate and protests erupted over SB1070.
“There is more hate speech than ever before. These words are dividing us, not uniting us. Yet Arizona’s heritage developed from a combination of disparate cultures, races, religions, industries and dreams. This is our strength. This is the real Arizona. The state’s image has become mischaracterized,” Shultz said at the Nov. 12 ceremony.
The speech, Shultz said, was meant to show that Arizona is capable of dealing with the furor surrounding illegal immigration and rebuilding Arizona’s economy.
He said he will also continue working on behalf of issues he feels are important for Arizona’s future, including school district unification.
Pinnacle West announced Shultz’s retirement on Nov. 15. He will officially step down on Dec. 31.
“It has been a privilege and a joy to work for Pinnacle West and APS alongside my colleagues for more than three decades,” Shultz said in a press announcement. “This company is in good hands and will continue to provide Arizona and the Southwest with reliable, affordable and increasingly sustainable energy. Although I am retiring from the company, my commitment to Arizona Public Service and the communities it serves will never retire.”
Pinnacle West Chairman and CEO Don Brandt praised Shultz’s work for the company, as well as his years of service to the community. Brandt said made a lasting impact on the state through his work to expand the Phoenix Convention Center, build the Valley Metro Light Rail and establish Arizona State University’s downtown Phoenix campus.
“Marty has served our company with dedication and skill,” Brandt said. “Marty’s leadership in the community has inspired all of us. For years to come, our state will reap the benefits of Marty’s work in the areas of tax, transportation, education and energy policy. He will be missed, but we know he will remain an enthusiastic advocate for Arizona.”
Shultz served as chief of staff for Phoenix mayors John Driggs, Tim Barrow and Margaret Hance in the 1970s. Prior to joining APS in 1978, he worked as director of sales, marketing and promotion for the Phoenix Suns.
Pinnacle West also announced two appointments. The company named Gretchen Kitchel and Jessica Pacheco as its new directors of government affairs.