The Most Difficult Decision Ever

  This day comes to all of us sooner or later.  It is time for me to say good-bye to a career I cherish, a staff I love, a board of directors that is visionary and supportive…and to say good-bye to you as an investor in the Tucson Metro Chamber. The decision to retire is [...]

March 23rd, 2017|One-to-One-From-Mike-Varney|

A Dark Day in Tucson II

  Last Wednesday you received a short note from the Chamber regarding the events of the February 28 meeting of the Tucson Unified School District’s Board of Governors and the resignation of TUSD Superintendent H.T. Sanchez.  Here is more commentary you need to know. The TUSD Board has been fractured and factionalized for a number [...]

March 7th, 2017|One-to-One-From-Mike-Varney|

A Dark Day in Tucson

  I left early this morning to go to the state legislature in Phoenix to represent you in the halls of state government, so I do not have time to write a complete editorial in this space about the regrettable decision made by the Tucson Unified School District Board of Governors last night.  A more [...]

March 1st, 2017|One-to-One-From-Mike-Varney|

Tucson Metro Chamber Announces Two More Breakthrough Programs

The Tucson Metro Chamber has just announced two more important achievements to promote a stronger local economy and build a better community. COALITION AGAINST RETAIL THEFT On Wednesday, January 4, the We Watch, We Prosecute campaign was launched at the Pima County Attorney's office. Organized retail theft (shoplifting) costs retailers and honest citizens in Pima [...]

January 6th, 2017|One-to-One-From-Mike-Varney|

How to Answer The Toughest Question Chambers of Commerce Face

The number one challenge faced by chambers of commerce across the country is explaining exactly what they do in an elevator speech.  It’s not as simple as it might seem.  The reason: complexity.  The Tucson Metro Chamber doesn’t do just one thing – we do lots of things. To see the Chamber’s current program of [...]

December 6th, 2016|One-to-One-From-Mike-Varney|

Still Rolling

There is a powerful chapter in the bestselling book Good to Great that describes an amazing phenomenon called the flywheel effect.  In the context of the book, the flywheel effect is the relentless and steady achievement of small things that lead to long term achievement of great things. When you were a kid you might [...]

November 16th, 2016|One-to-One-From-Mike-Varney|

Oh Wow, Man. Vote NO on Prop 205.

If ever there were a time for the revival of common sense in our culture now is the time. Do we want more auto accidents, drug dependency, stoned students and workplace mishaps or don’t we? A vote in favor of Proposition 205, an initiative to legalize the use of recreational marijuana in Arizona, will all [...]

October 13th, 2016|One-to-One-From-Mike-Varney|

Some Inconvenient Truths about Raising the Minimum Wage

I still remember my first real job. I was 15 years old and applied for a job to scoop ice cream at a Baskin Robbins franchise that was getting set to open. Fred Gehring, the owner of the franchise, had leveraged everything he had including his mortgage to be able to open this store. Scoops [...]

October 12th, 2016|One-to-One-From-Mike-Varney|

City of Tucson Talks a Good Game on Diversity and Inclusion, but….

On Friday, September 2, a full eleven-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco overturned a decision by one of its own three-judge panels earlier this year and declared the City of Tucson’s quirky voting system to be constitutional.  The three-judge panel had originally declared Tucson’s voting system to be unconstitutional [...]

September 7th, 2016|One-to-One-From-Mike-Varney|

Score Another One for the Home Team!

Can you handle some more good news?  A recent article published by Bloomberg reports that Tucson has the third best year-over-year job growth among cities with populations of 500,000 or more. There seems to be an element of regionalism in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers.  Cities in the south and west dominate the [...]

August 30th, 2016|One-to-One-From-Mike-Varney|