Pivoting in response to the public health crisis, the Arizona Technology Council has worked hard to help Council members and the community at large to stay connected and engaged. From virtual tech events, leadership roundtables and bootcamps, to amping up public policy efforts and launching a laptop donation drive for Arizona students, together we are strengthening Arizona’s business and technology community for a brighter tomorrow.
These past few months have been a time of enormous challenge, change and resilience. All manners in which we do business, connect with friends and family, as well as conduct our personal lives have transformed into a new normal of social distancing and working remotely.
Despite the difficulties coupled with the uncertainty of what lies ahead, I’m humbled and inspired by Arizona’s health professionals, researchers, business and political leaders, and community members who have demonstrated immeasurable generosity, support and innovative solutions.
Pivoting in response to the public health crisis, the Arizona Technology Council has worked hard to help our members and the community at large stay connected and engaged.
Quickly adapting and shifting gears, we’ve responded to the public health crisis and accompanying social-distancing measures by launching a virtual leadership roundtable for business executives and professionals across Arizona’s technology sector to share their experiences, suggestions and challenges in a moderated forum.
Also, our new Virtual Breakfast Speaker Series geared toward professionals now working from home brings together innovators, advocates and champions of existing and emerging sectors who are reshaping Arizona’s tech ecosystem.
We’ve also created a COVID-19 microsite to share information on assistance and funding, valuable tools and resources, job opportunities and other relevant updates to help businesses, employees and communities navigate during this unprecedented time and execute on the various stimulus programs. Please visit the link to learn more about the various assistance opportunities, counsel and advice from local, national and government experts who can help.
In addition, the Council amped up its public policy efforts by providing a tremendous amount of input requested by Gov. Doug Ducey and Sandra Watson, Arizona Commerce Authority’s president and CEO, to help jump-start commerce and the local economy; connecting with congressional delegation staff on behalf of members, non-members and the Council itself; updating all Arizona legislators on what the technology industry is doing to combat COVID-19; and interacting with other federal, state and local government leaders.
It’s not only businesses that are being drastically affected by COVID-19. I’m referring to the devastating effects on students as they are forced to make their way through an education system that changed literally overnight. To ensure that no student is left without a fighting chance to obtain a proper education, the Council has partnered with AZ StRUT (Arizona Students Recycling Used Technology) to launch a donation drive to obtain laptops that can be refurbished and distributed. So far, this effort to close the digital divide has provided K-12 students in Arizona with 100+ laptops while they continue with remote learning. Arizona businesses can visit https://azstrut.org/pick-up-request to request an AZ StRUT representative to retrieve up to 40 laptops and chargers. Individuals who have new or used laptops and chargers to donate can drop them off at a Batteries Plus Bulbs store. Visit https://www.batteriesplus.com to find the nearest location.
Yes, COVID-19 changed everything—except the Council’s commitment to Arizona’s technology sector and the business community. Every day we are working to ensure you have the resources, tools and solutions your business needs to survive and prepare for relaunch of the economy.
Planning for the economic relaunch will be an important step for the financial health of Arizona companies and the speed at which the local and national economy recovers. If your company needs guidance during this challenging time, you are not alone. To learn ideas, strategies, best practices and valuable information vital to business survival as the economy begins to recover, view the Council’s upcoming virtual events >>
To understand your most urgent challenges to helping your business survive and thrive, please take a few minutes to participate in our Business Impact Survey. This feedback will be shared with elected officials, policymakers, business executives and community leaders to help them gain a greater understanding of the technology industry’s and business community’s current and future needs. Take the survey >>
We’re at a pivotal moment in Arizona’s history. Together, we will get through this crisis. Together, we will strengthen our business and technology community for a brighter tomorrow.
Steven G. Zylstra serves as president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council, a role he assumed in December of 2007. He is responsible for strategy, development, operations and accomplishment of policy development, business goals and objectives and all financial matters related to the Council.
Zylstra is a leading advocate for improving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. Also a vocal spokesman for the value technology can provide in raising social and economic standards in Arizona, he was named in 2016 as “Leader of the Year, Technology,” by the Arizona Capitol Times, a “Most Admired Leader” by the Phoenix Business Journal, and “Executive of the Year” by the Arizona Society of Association Executives (AzSAE).
He serves on numerous committees and boards including the Arizona Bioscience Roadmap Steering Committee, Arizona Career and Technical Education Quality Skills Commission, Arizona Department of Education’s CTE Quality Skills Commission, Arizona District Export Council Board, Arizona Science Center Board of Trustees, and others.
Zylstra holds a bachelor’s degree in automotive engineering technology from Western Michigan University. In 2011, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science in Technology from the University of Advancing Technology.