The Outstanding Technology Senator of the Year, Outstanding Technology Representative of the Year and the Tech Ten Legislators were announced today by the Arizona Technology Council, in partnership with the Arizona Commerce Authority. The winning legislators will receive their honors at the 2019 Governor’s Celebration of Innovation Awards (GCOI) presented by Avnet, Inc. from 4 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 24, at the Phoenix Convention Center, 100 N. Third St., West Building, Third Floor.
“Every year we honor our state’s legislators who support and advocate for a pro-business and pro-technology ecosystem in Arizona,” said Steven G. Zylstra, president and CEO of the Council. “Without the support of these technology champions in our state’s government, none of what we do would be possible. It’s a privilege to work side-by-side with them and present this well-earned honor.”
“Arizona is fortunate that these distinguished legislators continue to advance policies that will keep our state at the leading edge of innovation, and we congratulate them on this well-deserved recognition,” said Sandra Watson, president and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. “We are grateful to all of our Arizona lawmakers for their leadership and service to our state.”
More than 850 of Arizona’s finest business leaders will celebrate the state’s technology innovation and leadership during GCOI, which will include an awards ceremony, networking, food and entertainment. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online at aztechcouncil.org.
The winners of the 2019 GCOI legislator awards are:
Outstanding Senator of the Year:
Sen. Kate Brophy McGee, District 28
Sen. Brophy McGee has been a longtime champion for the Council and this year is no different. She sponsored and secured the passage of the Association Health Plan bill, which will help the Council provide affordable, quality healthcare options to its members. Additionally, she maintained focus on helping secure additional funding and a dedicated revenue source for K-12 education.
Outstanding Tech Representative of the Year:
Rep. Ben Toma, District 22
Rep. Toma has proven himself as someone willing to face big issues. He was one of the go-to members on tax conformity, and tax reforms for Arizona citizens following the federal tax changes. He also led the charge in updating Arizona’s statutes to take on the Wayfair issue to ensure a fair tax environment for the state’s businesses in the ever-growing digital marketplace.
Tech Ten Legislators:
Sen. Karen Fann, District 1
Sen. Fann is currently the Senate president and has been a longtime supporter of economic development in the technology community. She has been a champion for the Angel Investment Tax Credit during her tenure at the Legislature and understands the importance of a business-friendly environment. Sen. Fann helps to ensure Arizona government stays out of the way of the success of its businesses.
Sen. David Bradley, District 10
Sen. Bradley is not only a leader in his caucus but has also shown himself to be a friend to the Council during his tenure at the Legislature. His innovative proposal for Arizona Community Schools looked to build a bridge between surrounding communities and the school to reduce barriers to learning and improve quality education in those communities. Building these types of partnerships is imperative for the success of Arizona students, as well as businesses that will hire them later.
Sen. Heather Carter, District 15
Sen. Carter is a longtime friend to the technology community. Her passion is education and healthcare but she understands Arizona needs to maintain its business-friendly status. She has helped champion telemedicine, workforce development and education funding from K-12 through universities during the recent legislative session.
Sen. Sean Bowie, District 18
Sen. Bowie is a returning technology champion as he has shown himself to be instrumental in advancing the interest of Arizona in being a technology hub. His support of innovative and proven economic development programs, and his commitment to workforce development, community colleges and education as a whole have helped the technology and business community in Arizona.
Rep. Alma Hernández, District 3
Rep. Hernández has proven herself to be a standout freshman legislator this past session. Her passion for ensuring access to affordable, quality health insurance options for small businesses and their employees, especially for those in her community, was evident in her work at the Capitol. She has already shown she is willing to do what is right for her constituents and the state of Arizona.
Rep. Regina Cobb, District 5
Rep. Cobb is a longtime, proven champion for the Council. She advocates for the continuance of the Angel Investment Tax Credit, supports renewable energy, and helps ensure that Arizona can retain, attract and grow businesses.
Rep. Nancy Barto, District 15
Rep. Barto fought to ensure the passage of the Association Health Plan bill that has enabled the Council to offer its members a more affordable and quality health insurance plan. She is committed to increasing healthcare transparency and providing more healthcare options for Arizonans, which is one of Council members’ top priorities for their employees.
Rep. Jennifer Pawlik, District 17
Rep. Pawlik has shown herself to be a positive addition to the Legislature in her freshman year. She has a passion for education and ensuring schools have the necessary funding and ability to educate Arizona’s students. Additionally, she supported measures that would help economic development in her district and ensure that her constituents have more options for quality, affordable healthcare.
Rep. Jeff Weninger, District 17
Rep. Weninger is the prime, go-to legislator for technology issues. He led the charge in ensuring Arizona is innovative and leading the way on measures such as the FinTech sandbox, funding of advanced research centers and streamlining regulations for businesses.
Rep. Michelle Udall, District 25
Rep. Udall is a leader in education. Being a teacher herself, she understands the importance of P-20 education. She was instrumental in repealing the low-bid procurement provision, which would have a caused major issue with businesses and schools. Additionally, her focus on career & technical education districts (CTED); science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education; and funding for computer sciences has helped prepare students for positions in the technology industry.
About the Arizona Technology Council
The Arizona Technology Council is Arizona’s premier trade association for science and technology companies. Recognized as having a diverse professional business community, Council members work towards furthering the advancement of technology in Arizona through leadership, education, legislation and social action. The Council offers numerous events, educational forums and business conferences that bring together leaders, managers, employees and visionaries to make an impact on the technology industry. These interactions contribute to the Council’s culture of growing member businesses and transforming technology in Arizona. To become a member or to learn more about the Arizona Technology Council, please visit aztechcouncil.org.
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 azcommerce.com and follow the ACA on Twitter at @azcommerce.