Fourth Quarter 2018

Bill - Newsletter


By Bill Jabjiniak

The Rise of Downtown Mesa's Innovation District – A New Urban Model

Leveraging Downtown’s key assets to recreate the heart of the City.

Innovation Districts, as defined by Washington DC think tank the Brookings Institution, “are geographic areas where leading-edge anchor institutions and companies cluster and connect with start-ups, business incubators, and accelerators. They are also physically compact, transit-accessible, and technically-wired, and offer mixed-use housing, office, and retail.”


Mesa launches new Economic Development website –

The City of Mesa Office of Economic Development recently announced the launch of, a completely new economic development website targeting business owners, industry executives, commercial real estate professionals, commercial developers, and site consultants working on expanding, locating, merging, or consolidating companies.

From the very first page, tells the Mesa story focusing on factors critical to location decision makers including: a skilled and abundant workforce, available sites and buildings, clusters of like companies and supply chain, and news of Mesa's robust economy. Moreover, visitors can dive more deeply into demographics, incentives and programs, education, market access, major employers, and much more.

"A key focus for our economic development website is to reassure companies and site selectors Mesa is the right place for their business," Mesa Economic Development Director Bill Jabjiniak said. " does just that by bringing to the forefront the information and unique selling propositions that are most important to our audiences."

In addition, the website promotes Mesa's unique product offerings. includes micro sites such as,,,, and others that can serve as in-depth, stand-alone sites promoting Mesa's premier industry sectors and development areas. also includes innovative tools that help companies conduct local market analysis (; search for available buildings and sites (; and conduct virtual, online aerial tours of Mesa's key business districts (

Learn more at

The PHX East Valley Angel Investor Network Series is coming to Mesa

Are you interested in increasing your ROI through investments? Are you looking for a way to invest to boost your earnings while supporting technology and innovative startups in your community?

The PHX East Valley Angel Investor Network Series is for potential angel investors, presented by Arizona Tech Investors as a three workshop series that teaches you how funding decisions are made, how investment deals are structured, how to diversify your portfolio, and how exits are completed to generate returns on your investment (ROI).

PHX East Valley Angel Investor Network Workshop Series in Mesa
Wednesdays - Jan. 9, Jan. 23, Feb. 6, 2019
245 W 2nd Street, Mesa, AZ 85201
5:30 PM – 7:30 PM            

The workshops are offered at no cost. To register, please visit For more information, email or call 480-834-8335.

City of Mesa to host Global Entrepreneurship Week Conference – “Let’s Talk Inclusion”

Wednesday, November 14, 2018, the City of Mesa will host the Mesa Global Entrepreneurship Week Conference at the Mesa Arts Center Farnsworth Theatre. The event runs from 8:30 AM to 1:30 PM and will feature an interactive workshop, lunch and networking, moderated panel discussion, and keynote speaker Raveen Arora, CEO and founder of Think Human Initiative.

The Mission of Think Human is to humanize communications in the workplace, social setting, and relationships across the globe. “We focus on treating one another as we want to be treated by applying these four principles: people before process; purpose before profit; culture before strategy; and stakeholders before shareholders.”

Registration website is forthcoming.

City of Mesa receives two Excellence in Economic Development Awards from the International Economic Development Council

The City of Mesa Office of Economic Development received a Silver Excellence in Economic Development Award for the City of Mesa/Benedictine University Partnership, a project in the category of Partnership with Educational Institutions from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). The City also received a Silver Excellence in Economic Development Award for its City of Mesa Brochure, in the category of General Purpose Print Brochure.

The honors were presented at an awards ceremony on Tuesday, October 2, during the IEDC Annual Conference held in Atlanta, Georgia

City of Mesa/Benedictine University Partnership – Mesa’s City Council, city management, businesses, and community partners are striving to build Mesa as a vibrant 21st Century City of Innovation. To achieve this vision, City leadership recognize diverse and accessible educational opportunities are critical to Mesa’s success.

Benedictine University, a private, not-for-profit, liberal arts college from Lisle, Illinois, opened a campus in Mesa in 2013, entering into a 15-year lease with the City for a 68,000-square-foot building, which included $10 million of City upgrades for higher education use. The deal created a strong partnership that has only been enhanced over time. Since coming to Mesa, Benedictine has exceeded expectations largely due to an effective, focused marketing effort and enthusiastic community and City support. By 2017, more than 500 full-time undergraduate students were enrolled at the campus and Benedictine employed 60 full-time equivalent faculty and staff. Benedictine’s growth has contributed to a foot traffic increase in Mesa’s downtown and an up-tick in activity at many businesses.

City of Mesa Brochure – To enhance Mesa’s economy, The City’s Office of Economic Development works to promote Mesa as a premier location for business, strategically targeting key industries that provide high wage jobs. OED partnered with a full-service branding firm to conduct a brand audit and develop a refreshed look and feel for OED marketing collateral. That brand was then applied to Mesa’s City Profile and four targeted industry brochures, namely healthcare, education, aerospace/aviation, and technology. Each brochure is customized to include the key points and differentiators important to companies in that industry sector.

The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is the world's largest membership organization for economic development professionals. Economic developers promote economic well-being and quality of life in their communities by creating, retaining, and expanding jobs that facilitate growth and provide a stable tax base. From public to private, rural to urban, and local to international, IEDC members represent the entire range of economic development. Learn more at

Export Explore Program designed to help companies find new ways to grow sales

MPEXA logo

Now, companies can accelerate growth by applying for the Export Explore Program. This training program will help companies explore how to find new export opportunities and tap into available resources to reach global markets faster. Upon completion of the Program, six businesses will be awarded a $4,000 grant each from JPMorgan Chase and additional professional support.

The Program’s workshops are delivered by export experts covering key areas of success for small businesses and provides access to local, regional, national, and global experts on the tools and concepts for small business export success.

The workshops are conducted on Friday’s October 12, 19, and 26 from 8:00 AM to 1:30 PM

For more information, call 602-262-8628 or visit


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Myndshft: The Future of Healthcare Administration. NOW.

Myndshft is on a mission to reduce the nearly one trillion dollars of healthcare administrative spending annually. CEO Ron Wince states “our purpose is to disrupt healthcare administration and free people to do what matters," which the company addresses through its various technologies including artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, process automation, big data, and analytics.

Myndshft’s applications work within existing infrastructure and have a significant impact on decreasing the amount of time required to complete paperwork and payment processes in the healthcare field. The intelligent automation reduces hours of work into only a few minutes allowing doctors and nurses to focus time on patients. While still young (established in 2015) the company is gaining recognition; in June the company’s M:IA technology was awarded “Best Robotic Process Automation Solution” by Artificial Intelligence Breakthrough, an independent organization that recognizes top AI talent.

With AI accessibility on the rise, Myndshft plans to add 30 new jobs this year with expectations of tripling the employee count in 2019 as they move into a larger space in Mesa’s Falcon District.



ATSU-SOMA receives $1.9 million grant to strengthen primary care workforce

A.T. Still University’s School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSU-SOMA) has received a $1,999,650 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The funding, which will be distributed over five years, will support an innovative primary care fellowship for physicians and physician assistants, strengthening the healthcare workforce in underserved communities.

Led by Joy H. Lewis, DO, PhD, FACP, professor and chair of the public health department, the ATSU-SOMA team is uniquely positioned to address community health needs. The School has a national track record in curricular innovation, a charge to serve vulnerable populations, and a strong relationship with the National Association of Community Health Centers. The Primary Care Transformation Executive fellowship will prepare healthcare providers to address social determinants of health, improving population health, and enhancing primary care in America’s community health centers.

“The grant will advance the training of practicing primary care physicians and physician assistants in the areas of leadership, team-based integrated healthcare, quality improvement, population health, social determinants of health, health policy, and health education – all components of health systems, and all elements of healthcare delivery we want our students to understand and practice,” Jeffrey Morgan, DO, FACOI, CS, dean of ATSU-SOMA said. “Our medical students, whose training is embedded in CHCs and the communities served by CHCs, will be the direct beneficiaries of this focused education in the science of health systems.”

Acknowledgement and disclaimer: This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $1,999,650. The contents are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. government.


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Mesa Arts Center launches creative leadership program: The Collective

Creative Catalysts, an initiative of Mesa Arts Center, recently announced The Collective, a 12-week Creative Leadership certificate program that builds leadership skills through creative thinking and practices. In the interactive, hands-on program, participants will learn from successful artists, entrepreneurs, and creative leaders, and will grow their leadership opportunities by practicing collaboration, embracing and learning from failure, applying innovative thinking, and improving mindfulness. The program aims to help participants apply creativity and enhance innovation across sectors. The application period opens October 1, 2018 and the deadline to submit applications is November 2, 2018. The program begins January 17, 2019.

Objectives of the program include: providing participants with leadership opportunities experienced through a creative lens; offering personal growth opportunities; creating a network of peers to include collaborators and leaders from diverse sectors; and equipping participants with an enhanced skill set and tools to design, implement, and sustain effective community development. Applicants do not need to have an arts background. More information is available at


Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport announces two new hangar developments

The Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Authority (PMGAA) Board of Directors has approved two land leases that will result in the first new privately-funded hangar developments in nearly a decade. Aviation Performance Solutions, LLC (APS) and Wetta Ventures, LLC each have plans to develop aircraft hangar facilities on PMGAA-owned property.

Wetta Ventures, LLC has leased land currently occupied by an open-air hangar constructed in 1943, when Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport was Williams Air Force Base. Plans call for the removal of the 75-year-old facility and construction of new office and hangar space totaling approximately 50,000 square feet. It is anticipated that the facility will be large enough to accommodate up to a Group III-sized aircraft.

Aviation Performance Solutions, LLC has been located at Gateway Airport since 2000 and currently leases space in a facility owned by the University of North Dakota. Both organizations have seen record growth over the past five years, and this new development will provide both organizations room for future expansion. The APS facility is planned for 20,000 square feet, with plans for approximately 50,000 square feet of publicly-available hangar space.

“Gateway Airport has been home to our headquarters for 18 years and we are excited for the opportunity to continue growing here,” Tara Ransbury, Vice President of Finance & Strategy for APS, said. “This facility will accommodate our need for expansion and allow us to continue providing industry leading services to our customers.”

David Wetta, President of Wetta Ventures added, “The growth at Gateway Airport has been phenomenal and we are happy to be partners in this new development. We are thrilled to provide a product that has been in high demand, but until now, unavailable. The Greater Phoenix Region is one of the most dynamic places in the country to do business and we look forward to being a part of that growth.”

For more information about Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, please visit

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Visitors generate economic impact to Mesa

As the third largest city in Arizona, Mesa shines as a modern-day desert urban retreat for visitors from across the country. Mesa was revered by Money magazine as the Best Big City in the Southwest, and those planning business in Mesa laud the city for its accessibility and warm hospitality, and recognize the city’s diverse range of hotels, sports, and event venues, and non-traditional meeting space. Direct travel spending from these out-of-town visitors in Arizona generates billions of dollars in local, state, and federal tax revenues in each year. It is important to note that the visitor industry employs, directly and indirectly, many residents throughout the state who move the economy along through their own purchases, investments, and tax payments. Visitor-related taxes are extremely efficient in their yield as visitors do not utilize most of the local, public services that governments and schools provide. These tax dollars generated by visitation go directly to essential services for Mesa residents such as public safety, health services, and education. This is the reason why tourism and the visitor industry is one of Arizona’s most important economic drivers.

Mesa Visitors Profile

  • 1.1 million domestic visitors to Mesa in 2016 directly spent $242million within the City.* This does not include international travel impacts to Mesa.
  • Average number of nights spent in Mesa for an overnight trip was 4.3 nights.*
  • Average travel party size was 2.8 persons.*
  • Of the four legislative districts that include Mesa (LD 16, LD 18, LD 25, and LD 26), visitors spent $2.5 billion in those districts. That spending brought in $274 million in local and state taxes.**
  • Visitor spending in these four districts supports 21,300 jobs**
  • In fiscal year 2017-18, each dollar invested in Visit Mesa by the City of Mesa returned $29.41 in estimated future direct expenditures by meeting and event attendees, and tour operator-driven groups booked during this fiscal year. This is a conservative figure and does not include consumer impacts driven by Visit Mesa’s efforts in marketing, communications, and social media.

*Sources: Longwoods International 2017 Mesa Visitor Profile Study; ** Dean Runyan Associates

For more information in the impacts of visitors in Mesa, contact Visit Mesa at or 480-827-4700.

  Mesa Chamber Logo

Mesa Chamber’s Business Referral Groups bring added value to Chamber members

The Mesa Chamber of Commerce’s Business Referral Groups (BRG) continue to add substantial value to the business environment in Mesa. Meeting weekly and providing valuable referral business to their members, the groups generated over $16,000 in business for members in July and August of 2018. There are currently five groups based on their geographic location, with each group consisting of unique representatives from any number of industries.

In addition to the new income generated by referrals, BRG members benefit from the access and support of their peers. These leaders learn from presentations and special events that expand awareness of the business environment in Mesa. By joining the Chamber (and a Business Referral Group), members will receive the benefit of a support network of professionals to help share the opportunities of their business.

Learn more about the Chamber and the added value of a Business Referral Group by contacting the Mesa Chamber Director of Membership Benefits, Linda Haskell, at

Falcon Field Airport announces opportunities for Aerospace and Aviation companies

Falcon Field Airport seeking proposals to develop .55-acre site on Airport

The City of Mesa and Falcon Field Airport are currently seeking proposals from developers to develop a .55-acre parcel on the Airport. This undeveloped site is zoned Light Industrial (LI) and has direct access to the Airport’s two runways. It has a 40-year lease term. A proposal is sought that would use the site for aviation/aeronautical purpose, which may include aircraft parking and parking of vehicles while aircraft are in service. Successful proposers will be committed to a long-term investment, able to begin construction within 18 months of a signed lease, and must be the primary developer of the parcels. For full details, visit This opportunity will remain open until a successful entity is selected.

To request information or a site tour, contact Lynn Spencer by email at

Valkyrie Defense has opened an aircraft maintenance and installation facility at City of Mesa’s Falcon Field Airport.

Valkyrie Defense owns several related companies and is involved in defense contracting to the United States military on joint terminal attack controllers, as well as various other missions including intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) support, and aircraft chase. Valkyrie specializes in Embraer and Short Tucano aircraft and expects significant growth over the next several years.

Falcon Field Airport seeks flight technology displays and event sponsors for annual Open House

Each year the Falcon Field Airport Open House attracts approximately 10,000 attendees to view interesting aircraft, take aircraft rides, learn about careers in aviation, meet with Falcon District companies, and experience a day at the airport.

For the 2019 Open House, March 30, 2019, 9 AM - 3 PM, a Future of Flight Showcase is being planned to feature new and unique aircraft and prototypes, such as unmanned aerial vehicles/drones, heli-taxis, personal flight vehicles, and more. The Airport is looking for companies that are willing to showcase their products and give the public a glimpse of the future of aviation.

If your company is interested in participating in the Future of Flight Showcase, contact Lynn Spencer at or 480-644-4276.

falcon field future of flight