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26th December
written by JHiggins

Genuine leadership tops 2010 “Wish List” from business leaders

BUSINESS NOTEBOOK: ‘Nightmare of Oh-Nine’

By Roger Yohem, Inside Tucson Business
Published on Saturday, December 26, 2009

In just a blink, 2009 will be history. It marks the end of a chaotic decade that will forever be persona non grata.  It will take years for the economic, social, and political carnage to fade away.

The “Nightmare of Oh-Nine” challenged my favorite philosophy about life, a valuable lesson that certainly applies to the business world.  Taught as a problem-solving technique by my favorite college professor, it’s the classic test of people’s attitudes.   

When water is poured into a glass, is it half-full or half-empty?   Whether you’re an optimist or a pessimist, both perspectives are wrong. The better approach is to ask: How do I fill the glass?
uccessful businesspeople have to be good problem solvers. So in hopes of making our community a better place to do business, I asked a few of them for their 2010 Business Wish List: 

My wish for Tucson is that city, county, and state elected officials would try to do a better job in leading our community forward. Too many times, I see leadership doing what is best for the people in their own back yard, not what is best for the community as a whole. I know this is easier said than done, but that is my wish. 

James Marian, Chapman Lindsey Commercial Real Estate

I wish for more businesses in Southern Arizona that actually produce something. Also, a political person who is based in the knowledge that without business, the money isn’t there for the bells and whistles that everybody demands but wants someone else to pay for.  And the newspapers need to start using a new phrase: No-growth doesn’t pay for itself.


Dan Cavanagh, Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold

My wish is for good public policy that yields economic development and a business-friendly attitude from government.  That would allow all businesses, large and small, to grow and prosper.  Also, that the homebuilding industry, the heartbeat of jobs in our community that creates three permanent jobs for every home built, will again lead the way to economic recovery here and across America.


Peter Herder, The Herder Companies

Wishes are for something you do not have, so my wish for the Tucson area economy, community, and all aspects of our lives is… leadership. Councils, governments, boards, associations, schools, and organizations all seem to have poor, ineffective leadership.  Tucson is begging for leaders to take a firm direction.  If you are a leader, step up and be counted. We need you!


John L. Strobeck, Bright Future Business Consultants

My wish is that Tucson’s largest stimulus project – our downtown with its streetcar, new hotel, Tucson Convention Center expansion, and bold private-sector projects like the Mercado and Plaza Centro – all happen as planned.  These improvements will create jobs now and bring thousands of visitors and their dollars to Tucson in the future. 


Rick Kaneen, Kaneen Advertising & Public Relations

Consolidate Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities, Metropolitan Tucson Convention and Visitors Bureau and all the area chambers of commerce. Join together, privatize and enhance economic development and business issues under one umbrella. Create one unified business voice with real political business power. We ask government to do things the business way, but we’re doing things the government way. 


Rick Grinnell, Smart United Business Strategies

Our future is predicated on the desire and ability of leaders in the private and public sectors sitting at the same table to identify solutions together, rather than business having one set of ideas and government having a different set of solutions.  Until there is an understanding and a respect for the other point of view, our future is very dark.  Begin the joint meetings immediately to repair our community and economy. 


James J. Kuliesh, Alliance of Construction Trades

Sick people are not productive nor are hungry people. There are 46 million people who should be seeing a doctor and there are 46 million hungry people.  Many are both. Let’s move forward for the greater good in health care with non-partisanship and creativity. And let’s help feed those in need with more aggressive volunteerism. 


Mike Bolchalk, Bolchalk FReY Marketing 

And here’s my wish: Diversify our economy! Set up a statewide task force to attract quality companies. Go after manufacturing, mining, and trade. And fill the glass by preparing our workforce with excellence in education.

Contact Roger Yohem at (520) 295-4254 or .  His Business Notebook appears biweekly and weighs in on local political, social and business issues.

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