Steven G. Zylstra Message: July 2014

by Arizona Technology Council

Steve G. Zylstra

Steve G. Zylstra

This is the time of year that our thoughts typically focus on one thing: getting away from it all. At last, it’s time for the annual summer vacation. But if you’re a CEO, can you afford to get away?

Any executive coach will tell you that getting out of the office to catch your breath and just think instead of react is necessary from time to time. And with an economic recovery underway and a new set of challenges, could the timing be better?

What if I told you of a place to recharge your batteries for a few days while getting out of the heat? Add to that being surrounded by other chief executives who share your ambition and aspiration to succeed.

For the past six years, I’ve had the honor to head to the cooler climate of Sedona and help lead the Arizona Technology Council’s annual CEO Retreat where chief executives, presidents and business owners learn they’re really not alone when it comes to dealing with issues as huge as theirs. As leaders in the technology sector, where companies are known for reinventing themselves almost daily, they have plenty to share.

This year’s retreat theme is “Leveraging Arizona: Collaboration, conversation and community of Arizona-based businesses.” So what can you expect when we get together Aug. 11-12? Consider some highlights of this year’s agenda:

  • How CEOs have raised capital critical to their organizations
  • Finding talent and workforce development
  • Partnering and teaming
  • Startups, entrepreneurship and funding
  • Digital marketing

If you’re picturing the time is spent just listening people talk AT you, you’re way off. These will be leader-to-leader discussions. The plus is you’ll have discussion leaders who became experts in their topic areas through experience. If you, too, want to grow as thought leader, we take care of that with the interactive workshop “Are you a recognized thought leader? (If not, you should be.) Why thought leadership matters and how to make it happen.”

Add to the mix this year’s retreat location: L’Auberge de Sedona, an 11-acre resort in Oak Creek Canyon that has been featured on Condé Nast Traveler’s Gold List as one of the world’s most coveted destinations.

We always ease into the action with a golf tournament on the first day. (There is a mix of handicaps so if you’re worried about your level of play, don’t be.) That evening the networking begins with a reception. Need more convincing? When you walk back to your cottage or room after the reception, the temperature should be in the low 70s. Back in the Valley? The record for Phoenix on Aug. 11 is 115 degrees.

Go to to find out more. I hope to see you in Sedona soon! —Steven G. Zylstra

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