Fourth Quarter 2019

Bill - Newsletter

The Quick Jab
By Bill Jabjiniak

Maximizing Mesa's strengths through strategic vision, high standards, and quality economic development

During the past 12 years, while I have served as the Economic Development Director at the City of Mesa, much has changed. We have increased the quality and quantity of economic development projects landing in Mesa which have created high value jobs and helped diversify our economy. We have streamlined the development process to better match the private sector’s needs and enhanced our customer service and technical expertise. As our population has continued to grow, so has Mesa’s reputation as a premier location for businesses to start and to expand.

Today, I am excited to lead a team of professionals who take pride in working for a city that subscribes to “The Mesa Way”, which means operating at the speed of business, providing top-tier customized assistance, advocating for quality economic development, and creating solutions for businesses competing in the global market.

Planning through Fiscal Year 2022, our Economic Development Department Strategic Plan identifies tactics to maximize Mesa’s current momentum as well as building additional traction well into the future. Mesa Office of Economic Development Strategic Goals are:

  • To grow Mesa’s economy by attracting new businesses and by helping existing companies expand, thus creating and retaining high value, high quality jobs.
  • To become known nationally as a premier location for companies to locate, expand, and prosper.
  • To increase capacity for attracting quality economic development citywide to build a sustainable community.

Quarterly and annual performance measures track our progress. However, we cannot meet our goals alone. Partnerships with businesses, developers, brokers, city staff, and other stakeholders are critical for success.

During the four fiscal years beginning July 2018 through June 2022, our goal is to assist in attracting or retaining at minimum 7,800 jobs, generating more than $1.6 billion in capital investment, and adding/ or absorbing more than 2.3 million square feet of commercial space. Additionally, during that time period, we will continue to build our technical capacity as a staff, conduct more than 500 business retention and expansion visits, and service nearly 1,200 technical requests. And finally, we will continue to lead and support transformative projects and initiatives that are priorities for Mesa City Council such as LaunchPoint, Mesa’s Technology Accelerator; AZ Laboratories for Security and Defense Research; entrepreneurship; redevelopment; and workforce development, to name a few.

The City has reached a pivotal point in Mesa’s history. To achieve further success, it is critical to emphasize quality. The keys to creating a sustainable community include having companies which offer high quality jobs, a talented workforce, a world-class education system, and high development standards. Preserving our employment corridors is also essential to ensuring the city has ample opportunity to create more commercial space and offering a more balanced employment to population ratio. We need to articulate our vision, dream big, and not settle. We must strive for excellence and increased prosperity for all Mesa residents.

Should you have questions or comments, contact me at 480.644.3561, or


 ASU @ Mesa City Center




Jake Pinholster appointed as the founding director of ASU@Mesa City Center

Arizona State University (ASU) and the Herberger Institute are working hard to prepare for the opening of the ASU@Mesa City Center building in January 2022.  As part of the effort, President Michael Crow and Provost Mark Searle are pleased to announce the appointment of Jake Pinholster as the founding director of the ASU@Mesa City Center facility. 

Pinholster has been leading ASU's effort for the past two years – working with faculty, with the city, and with the architects to shape this incredible facility and its programs. He will continue in this capacity, building academic programs, forging industry partnerships, and working with the architects and construction leads to make sure the building fully supports the needs of ASU teachers, researchers, students and community partners.  As a creative artist and technologist, Pinholster has designed motion graphics and interactive systems for a wide variety of venues, including HBO specials, Broadway shows, concerts and immersive installations. He also brings that creative energy to his administrative efforts, where he is known for leading and collaborating in the creation of art-science collaborations, community-engaged programming and transdisciplinary curricular programs like the new Bachelor of Science in Technological Leadership, for which he serves on the steering committee. 

Designs for the building and the construction timeline are on schedule. The facility will boast state-of-the-art classrooms, screening rooms, public spaces and production spaces to advance digital futures – from film and gaming to immersive media, mixed reality, advanced visualization and beyond. This will be one of the first advanced media production facilities ever built that will orient itself, both in mission and programming, to the city and the residents in which it resides.

ASU is excited about the work ahead and its significance in the evolution of Mesa’s downtown. Please reach out to Steven Tepper ( or Jake Pinholster ( directly with questions. 


Falcon Field Airport Aerial Photo

Federal grant helps Falcon Field Airport improve safety, efficiency with construction of new taxiway exits

Construction is slated to begin this fall at Mesa’s Falcon Field Airport on two acute angle taxiway exits that will allow pilots to exit the airport’s north runway (Runway 4L/22R) more quickly and safely. The improvements also will help air traffic controllers to more efficiently manage aircraft traffic at the nation’s fifth most active general aviation airport.

The taxiway exits are part of Falcon Field’s eight-year Capital Improvement Program. Currently aircraft can only exit the north runway in the middle or at both ends. Combs Construction Co. was awarded the construction contract by the Mesa City Council at its August 26 meeting.

The City has received more than $1.3 million in grant funding from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the project, which accounts for 91% of total project estimated costs. The City also has applied for a $61,239 construction grant from the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), which accounts for approximately 4.5% of total project costs. Falcon Field will fund the remaining approximately 4.5% of project costs. Design of the project was funded with an ADOT grant.

Falcon Executive Aviation

Falcon Field Airport generates more than $811 million annually in economic benefit

Falcon Field Airport recently completed an update of its Airport Master Plan, a comprehensive analysis of airport infrastructure needs based upon current and future forecasts of airport activity. It provides direction for future development of the airport over the next 10-20 years, focusing on safety, efficiency, economic development, and environmental compliance. Coffman Associates was hired to complete the update, and the Mesa City Council approved the Master Plan on July 8, 2019. 

As part of the Master Plan, an economic benefit analysis was conducted by Arizona State University.  The results illustrate the significant economic asset that Falcon Field is to Mesa and the region.  For example, Falcon Field contributes:

  • Over $2.2 million in daily economic benefits
  • Over $811 million in annual economic benefits
  • 1,486 on-airport jobs with a payroll of more than $104 million at the 110 on-airport businesses
  • More jobs and annual economic benefit than any other general aviation airport in the Phoenix area, including Scottsdale, Chandler, and Phoenix-Deer Valley airports
  • When the Boeing Company, located adjacent to Falcon Field, is included, the annual economic benefit increases to $6.8 billion.

Learn more about Falcon Field Airport at

Mesa Chamber of Commerce Logo

East Valley Chambers of Commerce Alliance_EVCCA





Mesa Chamber and East Valley Chamber to offer group health plans to businesses

The Mesa Chamber of Commerce is partnering with the East Valley Chamber of Commerce Alliance (EVCCA) and Lifestyle Health Plans to offer to its members the opportunity to participate in a new program for group health insurance.

Lifestyle Health Plans is a level funded group medical benefit offered through the EVCCA. The program features 16 plan designs and robust wellness offerings featuring free lab services, free diabetic testing supplies, free telemedicine, and both cash incentives and deductible credits.

If your business provides group health insurance and is interested in hearing more about this program, please contact the Mesa Chamber at

MAC Logo


Infusing leadership with creativity: The Collective, a certificate program offered by Mesa Arts Center’s Creative Catalysts initiative

The Collective is a unique, hands-on program, where participants grow leadership ability through practicing collaboration, embracing and learning from failure, applying innovative thinking and improving mindfulness.“Being able to think outside the box has long been a mindset desired by employers for their employees,” said Cassidy Campana, Principal of Arizona Strategies and Chair, Mesa Arts Center Foundation Board. “The Collective…teach[es] tomorrow’s leaders how to weave creativity into everyday problem-solving, collaboration and big-picture thinking.”

Twenty or more participants experience leadership opportunities through a creative lens; gain a network of peers to include collaborators and leaders from diverse sectors; and add to their skill set the tools to design, implement and sustain effective community development.

“One of the most sought-after attributes of great leaders is the ability to think creatively and work collaboratively to find the best solution to a problem—and to embrace experimentation as an essential part of organizational learning,” said Cindy Ornstein, Executive Director of Mesa Arts Center and Director of Arts and Culture for the City of Mesa. “The Collective uses creative practice to enable participants to gain experience that will help them succeed and enable them to contribute to their organizations and communities at a higher level.”

Applications for The Collective 2020 cohort available through October 2019. Learn more and apply at:

VisitMesa Logo

 Autism certification

Mesa’s hospitality community to celebrate autism certification, November 18

Mesa-area business owners and community leaders are invited to attend the national announcement of Mesa, Arizona being named the first autism-certified travel destination in the United States. Mesa officials will gather on Monday, November 18, 2019, at the Mesa Arts Center’s Ikeda Theatre to celebrate this new distinction.

This effort has been spearheaded by Visit Mesa who has been actively inviting valued partner businesses and community organizations to become autism certified and participate with specialized training for their front-facing staff. Many businesses have since offered up tailored experiences for individuals with autism and their families.

When announced, more than 60 visitor-related businesses and organizations in Mesa and the city’s regional footprint will have completed autism training. This includes all Mesa Parks, Recreation, and Commercial Facilities; all City of Mesa museums; the Mesa Chamber of Commerce; and numerous city services and non-profits.

The comprehensive, evidence-based process through IBCCES, the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards, included educational trainings and knowledge assessments of common behaviors and sensory considerations associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Some businesses also participated in IBCCES audits to further improve experiences for individuals with autism.

Visit Mesa is committed to serving this growing audience of potential visitors with the development of these travel planning resource, some of which include:

  • Nationwide geo- and demographic-targeted marketing campaigns
  • All-new Family Travel Guide for ASD and other special needs travelers
  • Mesa hospitality community audits by IBCCES experts, resulting in detailed Sensory Guides for Mesa CACs
  • Networking opportunities and new connections through IBCCES including recognition at the annual TravelAbility Summit
  • Dedicated online presence,, featuring certified Mesa partners
  • Mobile apps designed for ASD travelers
  • Interactive digital GeoTour on featuring a citywide treasure hunt for visiting families


WHAT:                         Autism Certified Announcement and Celebration with Visit Mesa

DATE:                          Nov. 18, 8 AM Breakfast; 9 AM Program
WHERE:                     Mesa Arts Center, Ikeda Theatre
SPECIAL GUESTS:    City of Mesa Mayor John Giles

Award-Winning and Breakthrough Advocate Dr. Kerry Magro

COST:                          FREE