Originally published April 30, 2018
Updated May 4, 2018 to include video.
On Thursday, April 19 the Town of Marana and the Marana Chamber of Commerce once again hosted their State of Town Luncheon and Business Expo. The event was a chance for the Town to celebrate their success, look towards the future, and honor the past.
Mayor Ed Honea was joined in the speech by Economic Development Director Curt Woody, Communications Manager Vic Hathaway, and Parks and Recreation Director Jim Conroy.
Woody’s portion of the speech focused on the successes Marana is currently having, as well as new projects nearing completion.
“Opportunities don’t happen, you create them,” Woody began. “From the humble beginnings of incorporation in 1977, to the robust community of today. Marana’s leadership has undeniably positioned the Town to reap the benefits of those opportunities.”
Woody focused on many of the new businesses in the Town, including the Top Golf, the Northwest Medical Emergency Center, and the soon to be open Hampton Inn and Suites.
Additionally, he focused on Marana’s ability to be the “gateway to Southern Arizona” and its place as a tourist hub in the region. He cited the Ritz-Carlton recently being named one of the top resorts in the world, the Town’s own culinary tours, and the Town’s access “to great shopping, great golf, and great trails.”
The Town of Marana continues to lead the way in Pima County for single family home permits, with a number of new neighborhoods and development on the way. Due to this growth Marana is constructing a new police facility, expanding the wastewater facility, are building two new parks and a new splash pad, and recently created their own Animal Services Division.
“We are here during an exciting time in Marana,” Woody said. “Here at the Town we value top quality public service, and our innovative staff work hard every day to make Marana a place where everyone would want to live, work, and play.”
Conroy focused his portion of the speech on the future of Marana.
“The best way to predict the future is to create it yourself,” Conroy said.
He covered Marana’s plans for a downtown district, infrastructure upgrades to North Marana, and the further evolution of the airport.
More jobs was a major theme of this portion of the speech.
“The future of Marana hinges on bringing in new jobs and new businesses,” Conroy said.
Conroy highlighted the Town’s new economic development strategic plan, which aids the Town in seeking and retaining diverse industries and commerce to Marana. He also highlighted the Town’s reputation for being business supportive.
“New businesses continue to find Marana a great place to set up shop, and we get constant inquiries from new ventures that want to call Marana home,” Conroy said.
Businesses coming to a new municipality look for a diverse workforce, and Conroy highlighted both Marana’s growth, as well as the strong educational opportunities in the Town. Conroy noted that the Town’s population could grow by nearly 25,000 people over the next decade and that means more students needing a quality education.
“We share our community with a great school district, diverse schools and dedicated teachers,” Conroy said.
Marana attracts new residents by making the Town a special place to live, and Conroy said that the Town’s signature events and diverse parks and recreation programs help create a unique, positive quality of life.
Hathaway presented Marana’s Branding Iron and Youth Legacy Awards, which perfectly represent the Town’s past, present, and future.
While the Branding Irons recall the Town’s past, the winners, Dr. Monica Fowler and Northwest Landscaping, showcase what is so special today about the Town.
“Marana’s Branding Irons are awarded every year to one individual and one organization who has made a lasting mark on Marana,” Hathaway said.
The Youth Legacy Award honors a younger Marana resident who is doing special things today, but will go on to do great things in the future. Marana High School student Alicia Sanchez was the 2018 winner of the award.
“Recipients benefit others by addressing the hearts, bodies, and minds of their peers,” Hathaway said. “They do this by promoting a healthy and supportive environment, fulfilling essential needs such as food, shelter, and safety, or creating educational opportunities to enrich young minds.”
Mayor Honea closed out the festivities by reiterating Hathaway’s points regarding the great young people in Marana. He also gave a special tribute to the late Councilmember Carol McGorray, and congratulated Town Manager Jamsheed Mehta for his appointment to the position following former Town Manager Gilbert Davidson's departure.