SIERRA VISTA — This week, members of the Rotary Club of Sierra Vista were introduced to five of the seven 2017 scholarship winners: Buena High School graduates, Andrea Bracamonte, Ashley Murdock, Taylor Benning, and Dominic Valentin as well as Gabriel Martinez, a Cochise College graduate. Each of the students was very grateful for the financial assistance and will use the scholarship to further their respective educations.
Rotarians also congratulated Rotarian of the Month Dave Cunningham. Since moving to Sierra Vista and joining the club last year, Cunningham has volunteered for nearly all club events and has been chosen as president-elect for the upcoming year.
The club joined together to welcome its newest member, Lauren Giamalis, the branch administrator for our Truly Nolen franchise. Giamalis and her husband have lived in Sierra Vista since 2000 and are Harley Davidson enthusiasts.
The keynote speaker for the club was Laura Jones-Martinez, the marketing and communications director for the Arizona Regional Economic Development Foundation. She informed the club that the AREDF recently expanded its area of service and now focuses on the development of business in all of Southern Arizona. The EDF recently received the honor of being named the small organization of the year.
Jones-Martinez updated the club on the AREDF’s activities, and outlined it priorities for the future.
Club members were reminded that the AREDF was instrumental in bringing Northrop Grumman and Aegis — now Teleperformance — to Sierra Vista. The AREDF’s main areas of focus include health care, aerospace — including unmanned systems — military and defense, and international trade.
It is also very involved in developing local business, including the administration of the West End loan program, the creation of low cost small business office spaces, and the establishment of the Innovation Center, which is a state of the art training center that can be used by small and newly established businesses.
The AREDF collaborates with other economic development entities, such as the Small Business Development Center at Cochise College, governmental entities and chambers of commerce to advance its mission. Giamalis concluded by emphasizing the AREDF’s main goal, which is the retention and expansion of business in this area.
For more information regarding the Rotary Club of Sierra Vista, contact President Joe Puett at rotarysv.org.