October 2019 President’s Message

by Steven G. Zylstra

It’s no secret that the Arizona Technology Council can’t exist without the support of its members. That’s why our team at the Council does everything it can to provide the types of services that help our members move the ball forward.

From events that help members stay abreast of new trends to providing an outlet where they can spread the word about job openings to ongoing involvement in shaping public policy, we work tirelessly to serve the interests of our members so they can focus on competing in their respective sectors.

As Arizona’s technology community continues to grow, we likewise see an increasing number of startups and early-stage companies added to our membership roster. With as few as a handful of employees, they go all out to produce new products and services that not long ago were the stuff of dreams.

But nearly all these small companies face the reality check that comes with going against larger, established firms to secure the talent needed to get the job done. What I’m referring to are the medical and other benefits that are an expected part of a compensation package for any professional. If a company can’t deliver, the best prospects can’t commit. That has been a big problem. Until now.

Just as we serve our members to meet their other needs so they can reach the next level, finding a solution was the right thing to do. That is why I’m proud to share the news that the Arizona Technology Council Association Health Plan is a new benefit that our members can expect.

Association health plans (AHPs) actually have been around for some time. In fact, I was part of one when I headed the Pittsburgh Technology Council before returning to Arizona for my current role. But as laws changed, rules changed until it became less beneficial to operate AHPs in this country. In some cases, they were not allowed.

President Trump then expressed his support for the plans. Closer to home, the Arizona Legislature last year gave them the green light to operate here. Long story short, I reconnected with Mike Monroe of the Washington Technology Industry Association, who has had phenomenal success with his group’s AHP. He has agreed to help the Council get our plan up and running for a Jan. 1 launch. When you turn this page, you can hear more about what it took to help us reach this point, as well as details about the plan.

To say I’m excited about this new offering for our members would be an understatement. We at the Council are proud that startups and other small technology companies are calling Arizona home. Our AHP could make the difference in helping them keep their lights on.

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