2023 Outstanding Tech Senator, Representative and Tech 10 Champions Award Recipients Announced by the Arizona Technology Council
Legislators Will be Honored for Championing Arizona Technology, Sustainability and STEM Initiatives at the Governor's Celebration of Innovation on November 15
PHOENIX - Oct. 12, 2023 - PRLog -- The Arizona Technology Council, in partnership with the Arizona Commerce Authority, announced its winners today for the 2023 Governor's Celebration of Innovation (GCOI) Outstanding Technology Senator of the Year, Outstanding Technology Representative of the Year and Tech 10 Champions. The Arizona legislators honored have demonstrated consistent support for legislation enhancing the growth of the technology industry and expansion of education, especially STEM. The winning legislators will be honored during GCOI, which will take place from 5:00 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 15, 2023, at the Chateau Luxe, 1175 E. Lone Cactus Drive, Phoenix.
"Supporting technology, sustainability and education ultimately leads to support for Arizona's overall economy and business growth," said Steven G. Zylstra, president and CEO of the Council and SciTech Institute. "Therefore, we are proud to honor legislators on both sides of the aisle who have proven time and time again that they understand the impact of the innovation ecosystem and continue to pass legislation that will support our industry today and into the future."
"We are honored to recognize this distinguished group of legislators at GCOI this year who are advocating for Arizona's technology future," said Sandra Watson, President and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. "Their efforts continue to strengthen Arizona's technology industry while highlighting our attractiveness as an epicenter for developing, testing and scaling new technologies. We are grateful for their collective efforts to further enhance Arizona's technology landscape."
The winners of the 2023 GCOI legislator awards and their current districts are:
Representative of the Year
Rep. Michael Carbone, District 25
Carbone may be a freshman legislator but this session showed his commitment to making sure Arizona remains a leader in advanced manufacturing. He stayed true to his promise to make smart plans for Arizona's growth and address the infrastructure, water and transportation challenges that we face as we continue to grow. Carbone sponsored HB2809, which ensures Arizona's cities that attract large-scale advanced manufacturing have the capital necessary to support those projects economically benefiting the entire state. Carbone's thoughtful and innovative approach to legislation makes him one to continue to watch throughout his legislative career.
Senator of the Year
Sen. Ken Bennett, District 1
Bennett's thoughtful, pragmatic and old school approach to issues and people make us grateful he chose to return to the Arizona Senate. Bennett is the chair of the Senate Education Committee, which makes him instrumental in ensuring that Arizona's youth are prepared for the workforce of tomorrow. On behalf of the Council, he sponsored SB1183, which focuses on appropriation, learning and workforce development. He also advocated the creation of a statewide STEM ecosystem to integrate government, businesses, schools and communities to help attract, support and grow STEM businesses and professions across the state. Bennett was also instrumental in stopping legislation that would have been detrimental to Arizona's economy and reputation. In short, Bennett is a bit of a throwback to the days when issues were separate from personalities, and the best interests of Arizona overruled party ideology.
Tech Ten Champions
House of Representatives
Rep. Seth Blattman, District 9
Blattman has proven himself during his first legislative session to understand the importance of solid economic development programs to the overall success of the state. He started this session making sure high-paying high-quality jobs are available, but also stressed the importance of fully funding education to make sure there is a talented local workforce available for those jobs. He also demonstrated that he is willing to converse and cooperate with anyone willing to work toward a better tomorrow for Arizonans.
Rep. David Cook, District 7
Cook has always been a strong advocate for the needs of rural Arizona. During his tenure in the House, he has been a supporter of workforce development and education — especially STEM in rural Arizona — and key issues such as transportation. He has been a supporter of key Council priorities and has advocated to ensure more economic development programs and resources are focused on rural Arizona, working hard to bring high-quality, high-paying jobs to his district. He is also the chair of the House Committee on International Trade and has collaborated with colleagues on finding more ways to bring trade opportunities and relationships to the state.
Rep. David Marshall, District 7
Marshall is a conservative member from Arizona who fights for legislation that gives his constituents more economic development opportunities and ensures that the youth are prepared for available high- quality, high-paying jobs. Marshall sponsored legislation for the Council that would have created a statewide STEM ecosystem that focused on bringing funding to rural Arizona to support government, businesses, constituents and communities for more STEM-focused opportunities, which in turn would bring more high-paying opportunities into his district.
Rep. Jennifer Pawlik, District 13
Pawlik has repeatedly helped ensure the passage of the Council's key legislative priorities. While education has always been her top priority, she also understands the impact of proven incentives to not only her district but also to the entire Arizona economy. During her time in the Legislature, she has been instrumental in helping advocate policies to attract and grow technology companies that bring high-paying, high-quality jobs, resulting in more dollars to better fund education and other state priorities. She has been a strong advocate for additional education dollars and worked to stop policies that make it harder to educate Arizona's youth.
Rep. Justin Wilmeth, District 2
Wilmeth continues to prove himself as a pro-business, pro-technology conservative. He has advocated and supported policies to ensure Arizona supports and advances innovation. As the House Commerce Chair, he helps ensure policies that are passed work to advance Arizona's future. He is a huge advocate for trade and has championed securing funding for trade offices with key trading partners for Arizona and ensuring international commerce continues to flow through our state. He supports economic development programs that work for all Arizonans and give our youth more workforce development paths and opportunities.
Sen. Flavio Bravo, District 26
Bravo has proven himself to be a legislator who is willing to fight to bring opportunities to the youth and constituents of his district. While he started his term in the House, he was appointed to fill a vacancy in the Senate. In both chambers, he was willing to work across the aisle for results that would positively impact Arizonans. He supported Council priorities that would help better fund education, bring more job opportunities to the state and keep bad government policies from interfering with how Arizona businesses work to be good corporate citizens in the state.
Sen. Frank Carroll District 28
Carroll has been committed to solving the state's transportation challenges for the past several years and continued to do so this legislative session. He understands that for the state's economy to continue to flourish, we must have a reliable and accessible transportation system to move Arizona's export products. He understands the importance of proven economic development programs that bring in additional dollars to the state, how they can be used to continue to attract more businesses and help them grow, and how to bring more economic opportunity to all of Arizona.
Sen. David Gowan District 19
Gowan has always been an advocate for a balanced budget complete with the needed incentives to attract and retain both businesses and their needed workforce. He has also been instrumental in advocating the passage of several economic development proposals. Gowan takes a thoughtful approach to ensuring opportunities for other key economic development tools essential to the growth of the technology industry. This includes advocating funding of space analog programs to ensure Arizona stays competitive in the evolving workforce opportunities.
Sen. Steve Kaiser, District 2
Kaiser is a conservative veteran who has proven himself to be a strong advocate for workforce development during his time in the Legislature. He has been a champion for economic development programs such as the Research & Development Tax Credit program that has been a leader in the country in attracting and growing research and development investments in the state. He has also championed career and technical education legislation, being one of the legislators leading the charge on fourth-year funding and innovative programs to ensure access to adult education, as well as STEM opportunities throughout the K-12 and post-secondary education. While he is no longer in the Legislature, we are very appreciative of his efforts and contributions.
Sen. Catherine Miranda, District 11
Miranda's thoughtful approach to legislation and issues makes us grateful she returned to the state Senate. While Miranda's top priority is preparing Arizona's students for college and the workforce, she is also concerned about attracting and supporting quality employers to the state. She was instrumental in helping with the passage of a proven economic development program that supports cities' ability to attract large manufacturing facilities, bringing more high-paying jobs to the state. She has also championed bringing awareness to the issue that individuals need access to affordable childcare and affordable housing to ensure employees can support their families.
Legislators will be honored on stage at GCOI, where Arizona's most prestigious business leaders gather under one roof to celebrate the state's technology innovation and leadership. The event will include an awards ceremony, networking and food. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online at https://www.aztechcouncil.org/