AZ Technology Leaders Hold Retreat in Prescott

The 12th annual Arizona Technology Council (AZTC) Leadership Retreat, Aug. 8-9, in Prescott will have high level executives from throughout Arizona gather for two days of deliberation about the future of technological opportunities in Arizona.

The retreat was planned by Steve Zylstra, President and CEO of AZTC, and his associates.

Those invited must hold the title of chief executive officer (CEO) or be the highest ranking executives in their companies to be eligible to attend the retreat.

Most retreat activities are scheduled at the Hassayampa Inn in Downtown Prescott.

Participants will hear keynote presentations from national and international authorities. Sandra Watson, President and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA), will give the opening address. Her topic — “Arizona’s Future Outlook” — will be 8:15 a.m., Friday and set the theme for the retreat.

Watson, during her tenure with the ACA, is credited with implementing the ACA five- year business plan that promotes the state’s pro-business atmosphere. Her leadership resulted in the ACA being considered the state’s leading economic development organization. That approach is three-pronged:

  • recruit new businesses, especially from out-of-state
  • grow existing businesses in Arizona
  • create new jobs, opportunities in thriving industries

Watson was named by the Phoenix Business Journal as one of the “Most Admired Leaders in Business.” She and her teams have successfully attracted more than 750 companies to Arizona, resulting in the creation of more than 125,000 jobs.

Others speakers include Katherine Halpin, Founder-CEO, Halpin Companies, Phoenix; Jim Kaiser, President, J-Curve Technologies, Phoenix; Matthew Clyde, President and Co-Founder, Ideas Collide, in Scottsdale and Portland, Ore.; and Rick Smith, Founder and CEO, Axon, Scottsdale and Seattle.

Jim Robb, the Economic Development Consultant for the City of Prescott, said participants also will attend workshops and panel discussions. City personnel have partnered with several local businesses to plan special activities for AZTC attendees. Those include a tour of the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Cyber-Security Center and a visit to the Jim and Linda Lee Planetarium.

Some will enjoy a round of golf at Capital Canyon Golf Club Thursday morning.

Superstition Meadery owners have planned a tasting and appetizer session, and the Thumb Butte Distillery has invited attendees to a tasting event, also on Thursday.

Complete details about the retreat are available at