Central to Southern Arizona Leadership Council’s operations, is the belief that a successful community relies and builds upon all of its resources including civic leaders, government officials, engaged citizens and business officials. Consequently, we seek a wide range of community partners with whom to collaborate to focus the community’s abilities and resources on those priorities and actions that will keep our region strong and enhance the quality of life for all Tucson residents. This is more than the belief that a healthy community invariably will have a healthy economy. It is a willing and eager acceptance of shared responsibility for creating an economically vibrant region in which to live and work.
The A in our logo represents Arizona as well as an arched doorway, a portal to our future, a desire for collaboration and an invitation to the community to join with us. Every arch has a keystone that helps to bear weight, while allowing the whole to be self-supporting. SALC strives to be the keystone for our community.
The mission of SALC is to improve greater Tucson and the State of Arizona by bringing together resources and leadership to create action that will enhance the economic climate and quality of life in our communities to attract, retain, and grow high quality, high wage jobs.
Seven Tucson business leaders came together on May 13, 1997, to create the Southern Arizona Leadership Council. They acted with the optimism that the Tucson region could prosper if engaged business leaders commit their skills, time and resources in collaborative efforts to enhance the region’s quality of life as well as its economic climate.
They shared the belief among many business and community leaders that Tucson was a community without sufficient leadership. The region suffered from a lack of coalition builders who were willing to commit their skills, time and resources to solving community-wide problems. The leadership that did exist too often tended to be inadequate, fragmented and non-collaborative.
However, recognizing that drift was not necessarily a permanent state, the seven founders moved ahead confidently to create an organization that was motivated, focused and member-driven.
In the ensuing years, SALC has become a highly respected business voice on public policy in Southern Arizona. Its members represent the largest employers and top professionals in the region, many of whom are influential community leaders. Its accomplishments have gained statewide attention.
Yet SALC leaders today recognize that the Tucson region is still in the process of developing effective community and corporate leadership. Progress has been real and meaningful, but substantial challenges lie ahead. Growth, water, land-use planning and fiscal sustainability all pose significant issues that require enlightened responses, locally and at the state level. The global economy demands further improvement in our educational system and in workforce development to keep our region and state competitive. The state and the region face expensive challenges in healthcare and transportation.