National Bank of Arizona’s 2013 Arizona Leadership Forum Attracts More Than 700 Valley Executives

National Bank of Arizona Feb. 14, 2013

National Bank of Arizona’s (NB|AZ) 2013 Arizona Leadership Forum (ALF), “Great By Choice: The Power of Leadership – Leading Great Organizations and a Greater Arizona” provided more than 700 Valley executives with a rare opportunity to start a conversation focused on unified leadership for the state. Represented in the eight-hour gathering were top executives from Arizona’s corporate, philanthropic, nonprofit, tribal and government sectors.

During the Q & A, keynote speaker and Good to Great author, Jim Collins, identified Arizona as the first state, to his knowledge, that had put this level of attention and action toward a collective movement for stronger leadership and social cohesion. This was a proud moment for forum organizers, as Arizona is not known in recent history for its civil discourse. Mr. Collins wrapped up the day suggesting that next year, state legislators should attend ALF to hear the discourse, and the top 20 most influential leaders throughout Arizona should attend as participants

Having invested nearly a quarter century of research into successful companies and organizations, Mr. Collins has authored/co-authored six books that have sold in total more than 10 million copies worldwide. Mr. Collins has worked with The Center for the Future of Arizona and was invited to be the keynote speaker of ALF more than a year ago because of the power his work can bring to non-profit and for-profit organizations alike.

Prior to last Friday’s event, more than 250 executives responded to a pre-forum survey, conducted by Advanced Strategy Center. Key insights that emerged from the results were presented and discussed among the audience.

Survey Highlights and Insights

  • 73% surveyed feel that Arizona is at a crossroads. This suggests that Arizona is ready for a call to action to move in a new direction, and leadership will play a critical role;
  • The level of economic optimism moves from an index of 51 in the first half of 2013 to 68 by 2015;
  • The business sector is viewed as ‘good’ by the majority, but clearly not ‘great’;
  • Arizona doesn’t seem to have a lack of leaders, just a lack of leaders working together;
  • Participants agree Arizona does not have a clear vision for the state, and does not have all the right leaders in place;
  • There is a high level of agreement that the top three critical issues for Arizona’s future are: education quality and access, economic development, and immigration reform;
  • Participants are open to a new level of leadership.

These insights will be leveraged throughout the year to produce a forum white paper based on pre- and post-survey results, a web portal with forum content and an economic vitality study. Follow-up town hall events also will be hosted to continue the dialogue that commenced at the forum to promote learning and communication across a variety of sectors and geographies.

Other speakers at the event included Dr. Una O. Osili, Ph.D., Director of Research & Professor of Economics at The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, Martin Barnes, Chief Economist at BCA Research, who discussed the economy’s impact on business and the social sector and Steve Seleznow, President and CEO of the Arizona Community Foundation. Lattie Coor, Ph.D., Chairman and CEO of The Center for the Future of Arizona, led a panel discussion among Arizona business and nonprofit leaders on the topic of “Leading Change for a Greater Arizona.”

About National Bank of Arizona (NB|AZ)
With a smart approach to financing, National Bank of Arizona (NB|AZ) understands the entrepreneurial spirit of Arizona business. Founded in Tucson in 1984, NB|AZ is a full-service community bank offering unique business and personal financial solutions that help customers manage and grow their bottom line. With more than $4.5 billion in assets, NB|AZ is backed by the strength of Zions Bancorporation, one of the top 20 domestic bank holding companies in the U.S. with total assets of $53 billion. NB|AZ operates branch locations in more than 50 communities supporting the vision of successful individuals and businesses throughout the state of Arizona. Stop by any of the more than 70 branches of NB|AZ for local and personalized service from a loyal banking partner. For more information, visit

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