February Guest Editor: Jerry Colangelo, JDM Partners

The Wonder of Phoenix

from Jerry Colangelo

Jerry ColangeloPhoenix is the fifth largest metropolitan area in the United States, and it boasts numerous game-changers in its history. These range from the concept of food banks and the Make-A-Wish Foundation to the most popular tournament on the PGA tour — what’s now known as the Waste Management Phoenix Open — to the uniquely welcoming business environment driven by an unusual collaboration of business, municipal governments and regional economic development organizations.

When I came to Phoenix in 1968, I saw a land of incredible opportunity and, in fact, it appeared you would be able to paint your own portrait.  With hard work and perseverance, the opportunities were endless and still are.  I knew this was where I wanted to raise my family and immerse myself in the community.  

I have had the opportunity to watch the landscape of Phoenix change drastically over the years to become one of the greatest cities to live, work and play.  It is one of the fastest-growing economies and populations; Arizona is supportive of entrepreneurs; we have a strong, diversified economy, access to higher education; and the State has endless opportunities for entertainment.  

Game-changers just keep on coming. And this month’s cover story takes a close look at a current slate of seven: The Seven Wonders of Greater Phoenix (as In Business Magazine puts a local spin on The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World). What are these developments and events, and how are they game-changers for our community? In Business Magazine editor RaeAnne Marsh worked with these businesses to bring you this story.

Turning over one year to the next elicits predictions for the coming year — and also reviews of the year past. In the spirit of the latter case, Robert L. Dilenschneider discusses “Why ‘Influence’ Is the 2023 Word of the Year for the Business Sector” as he points out that people can devote huge amounts of time, energy and resources to creating strategies and pursuing deals, but if they can’t influence others to execute on them, it’s all wasted. 

In this February edition’s second feature, “Collaborative Leadership: The CMO, HR and Chief DE&I Officer Triad,” Kellie Walenciak explores why, in the quest for meaningful progress in corporate diversity, equity and inclusion, it has become increasingly clear that isolated efforts fall short and how those key roles intersect to champion DE&I initiatives.

Technology has opened up undreamed-of possibilities in its many advances, but we’re reminded in repeated news cycles of the proliferation of cybercrime and dangers of artificial intelligence. Josh Weiss offers another consideration to keep business leaders awake at night in “Companies Focused on AI are Missing the Real Business Threat.”

Among other articles that address thought-provoking topics is “Build a Successful Veteran Transition Onboarding Program” by William Toti, who notes that military veterans bring a great deal of talent to the company — if the transition goes well, and “Global Partnerships Fuel Arizona’s Semiconductor Success,” a Semi Insights article on trending economic opportunity.

In Business Magazine is always focused on advances in our vibrant business community, and I am pleased to help bring you this February edition. Enjoy the read.


Jerry Colangelo
JDM Partners

Jerry Colangelo moved from Chicago to Arizona in 1968 to assume management of the expansion NBA Phoenix Suns, which he molded into one of the most successful organizations in the NBA — on and off the court. He also brought Major League Baseball to the Valley in 1998 and served as managing general partner of the World Champion Arizona Diamondbacks.

Recognized as one of the most influential sports executives in the world, Colangelo has also become one of the most active and respected leaders in our community.

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