Skip to content

Member News: January 2021

Avnet — Arizona’s largest public company — celebrates its 100th anniversary
At a time of major global change, leading technology solutions provider Avnet is marking the company’s 100th anniversary in 2021, joining an elite group of companies that have reached their centennial. From its origins on Radio Row, the Manhattan warehouse district famous for its post-World War I electronics shops, to its current position as a top global distributor, Avnet has spent the last century navigating the complex technology landscape and helping its customers do the same. This milestone represents a century of transformation and resilience, and Avnet’s Centennial Central website celebrates the people, values and foundation that have helped the company thrive over its 100-year history. Read more >>


NAU biologist receives grant to build software for cancer drug efficiency
Richard Posner, a professor in Northern Arizona University’s Department of Biological Sciences, has received a $1.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to continue building software tools aimed at predicting the efficiency of drugs to treat specific cancers. Posner, along with computational systems biologist William Hlavacek from the Theoretical Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory, will use the grant money to more accurately predict how certain drugs will stop the growth of cancer cells through mathematical models. Learn more about their research in treating cancer >>


Tempe-based PADT Inc. continues to grow and adapt amid pandemic
Tech companies are known as disruptors, but Eric Miller saw an unexpected disruption for his own business when Covid-19 slammed into the economy in early 2020. The co-owner and principal of Tempe-based engineering and design-build company PADT Inc. learned from experience that downturns can lead to new opportunities. The Phoenix Business Journal caught up with Miller recently to see what changes he’s made to adapt in the past few months, the lessons he’s learned, and the boom in Arizona manufacturing. Here’s what he had to say >>


Digital Air Strike welcomes new addition to its leadership team
Digital Air Strike, a leading social media, intelligent lead response and consumer engagement technology company, is proud to welcome Jason Barrie to its award-winning executive leadership team. Serving as senior vice president of product strategy and market development, Barrie will help guide Digital Air Strike’s product strategy, growth and market development, align product roadmaps to market needs, and ensure that the company continues to deliver innovative technology solutions that help its clients be even more successful. Read more here >>


Flinn Foundation CEO joins Utility Customer Research Consortium as board advisor
Poised to apply a broad level of private-sector executive and community leadership experience that includes nearly 23 years at Arizona Public Service (APS), Flinn Foundation President and CEO Tammy McLeod, Ph.D., has accepted the position of board advisor of The Utility Customer Research Consortium (UCRC). As a broadly accomplished private-sector executive and community leader, McLeod brings over two decades of experience at Arizona’s largest public utility to her new advisory role in which she will collaborate with a distinguished panel of senior executives to identify opportunities for improvement and innovation in customer service and customer care, and help to guide UCRC’s research agenda with a particular focus on customer-facing issues. Read more here >>


Honeywell and Sichuan Airlines Ink Historic Deal on Auxiliary Power Units
Sichuan Airlines has selected Honeywell‘s 131-9A auxiliary power units (APUs) for its A320 fleet of aircraft. As part of a five-year agreement, Honeywell will provide the 131-9A APU for Sichuan Airline’s 93 new A320 aircraft that will enter service by 2025. The airline will also replace the APUs on its 141 existing A320 aircraft with the same Honeywell APU. This is the largest APU retrofit deal in Honeywell’s history. The 131-9A APU will help Sichuan Airlines reduce flight delays and cancellations, creating a more pleasant flying experience for passengers. This collaboration with Sichuan Airlines sets a significant milestone in enhancing Honeywell’s partnership with airline customers in China and anticipate a strong recovery for China’s aviation industry, as well as local airlines’ growing competitiveness worldwide. Read more about this collaboration >>


Startups YellowBird and Dovly receive grants from invisionAZ and StartupAZ
YellowBird, an on-demand two-sided marketplace that matches vetted environmental, health and safety (EHS) professionals with businesses nationwide, and Dovly, an advanced credit repair engine, have been recognized by invisionAZ and StartupAZ as innovative startups with a $25,000 grant. The EmergeAZ Fast Grant was established in partnership with the Arizona Governor’s Office to provide financial support to entrepreneurs and startups that use emerging technology to address the impacts of the pandemic. YellowBird was among five Arizona companies selected in the first round, which attracted over 150 applications. Additional EmergeAZ Fast Grants were awarded to Arizona startups: CYR3CON, Upfront and televëda. Read more here >>


Tempe-based online auto retailer Carvana launches tuition and education assistance program
Leading online auto retailer Carvana has launched Carvana KEYS (Keeping Education in Your Sight) to assist team members pursuing the completion of an undergraduate degree. Recognized for the innovative and creative way it is disrupting the traditional car-buying process, Carvana is pleased to show the same initiative when it comes to creating a future-ready workforce with the Carvana KEYS program. Thousands of employees at Carvana can now apply to pursue financial and programmatic assistance in earning their college degrees with this internal initiative. Working with InStride, the premier global provider of strategic enterprise education programs, Carvana KEYS will help minimize the financial and logistical burdens that can be barriers to completing an undergraduate degree. All programs are offered online through InStride’s curated global network of academic partners. Read more >>


Caterpillar to showcase its mining technology at Consumer Electronics Show
For the first time, Caterpillar is showcasing its mining offerings at the 2021 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). But it’s not trucks, dozers and mining shovels that are taking center stage. It’s the Cat® MineStar™ technology solutions that are helping Caterpillar customers take the productivity and safety of their operations to unprecedented levels. Right now, fleets of Cat machines — like mining trucks and underground loaders, dozers and drills — are doing real work and delivering real results on mines around the world. Many are using Cat MineStar technology to work autonomously — without an operator onboard. And that number continues to grow. The results are game-changing. Workers are safer, machines are moving more efficiently, operations are more consistent and productive, equipment lasts longer — and mines are more profitable. Read more >>


Intel Corporation announces new CEO
Tech and semiconductor leader Intel Corporation announced that its board of directors has appointed 40-year technology industry leader Pat Gelsinger as its new chief executive officer, effective Feb. 15, 2021. Gelsinger will also join the Intel board of directors upon assuming the role. He will succeed Bob Swan, who will remain CEO until Feb. 15. Gelsinger is a highly respected CEO and industry veteran with more than four decades of technology and leadership experience, including 30 years at Intel where he began his career. A proven technology leader with a distinguished track record of innovation, talent development and a deep knowledge of Intel, Gelsinger will continue a values-based cultural leadership approach with a hyper focus on operational execution. Read more >>


Universal Avionics introduces new flight deck solution
Tucson-based aircraft operator Universal Avionics introduces its latest InSight Integrated Flight Deck solution with authorized dealer, Redimec S.R.L.’s installation on a Hawker 800XP. The company turned to the InSight Display System for a more modern, reliable flight deck solution to address high failure rates and climbing repair costs associated with existing equipment. The Hawker 800XP retrofit upgrade is a more affordable alternative to costly upgrade solutions in the market. The installed flight deck package offers streamlined operations with added functionality like embedded 3D SVS, electronic charts, advanced mapping, ownship position on runway, and the ability to autotune onboard digital radios. Read more >>


IBM tops U.S. patent list for 28th consecutive year
The culture of innovation at IBM is stronger than ever, thanks to our inventors worldwide who devote themselves to advancing the boundaries of knowledge in their respective fields every single day. IBM scientists and researchers received 9,130 U.S. patents in 2020, the most of any company, marking 28 consecutive years of IBM patent leadership. IBM led the industry in the number of artificial intelligence (AI), cloud, quantum computing and security-related patents granted. To help make AI more intuitive, IBM received more than 2,300 AI patents as inventors developed new technologies to help businesses scale their use of AI. In addition, IBM secured more than 3,000 patents to streamline hybrid cloud deployments at the edge, as well as a notable amount of patents to further the foundation for powerful quantum applications. Read more about IBM’s patent leadership >>


UArizona researcher tapped to lead NASA space telescope mission
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has selected The University of Arizona to lead one of its four inaugural astrophysics pioneers missions to study galaxy evolution and to help answer fundamental questions about how galaxies evolve. Led by principal investigator Carlos Vargas, a postdoctoral researcher in UArizona’s Steward Observatory, the Aspera mission seeks to solve a longstanding mystery about the way galaxies form, evolve and interact with each other. The $20 million mission will map vast regions of star-forming gas that have eluded observation for decades. Intended for launch in late 2024, the space telescope is being specifically designed to see in ultraviolet light, which is invisible to the human eye. The space telescope will map vast regions of star-forming gas that have eluded observation for decades. Read more >>


APS scores among top utilities worldwide for climate, water stewardship
Arizona Public Service (APS) is one of very few electric utilities worldwide to achieve a double ‘A’ score for climate and water stewardship this year from the not-for-profit charity CDP, which operates a global disclosure and scoring program designed to encourage investors and businesses to act on environmental issues. APS received the score for its transparency and efforts to protect air and water including a commitment to deliver 100% clean, carbon-free electricity by 2050. The utility has been adding battery energy storage to its utility-scale solar plants in Arizona and expanding its renewable energy portfolio, including recently signing a power purchase agreement for 200 megawatts of additional wind energy. It has reduced its consumption of groundwater 22% from 2014 to 2019. The utility also operates the Palo Verde Generating Station, the largest nuclear plant and the single-largest generator of carbon-free electricity in the United States. Read more >>



Visit to view all of the Council’s upcoming virtual tech networking opportunities, engaging virtual tech events and in-person tech events.



Sign up for our