AZ Big Media Arizona Technology Council Honors Lawmakers Who Defend Tech


The Arizona Technology Councilin partnership with the Arizona Commerce Authoritytoday announced their selections for the Governor’s Celebration of Innovation 2022 (GCOI) Outstanding Technology Senator of the Year, Outstanding Technology Representative of the Year, and Top 10 Tech Champion Legislators in recognition of their role in advancing technology in Arizona. Winning legislators will be honored at GCOI Tuesday, November 8 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Phoenix Convention Center, 100 N. Third St., West Building, Third Floor.

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“The Arizona Technology Council and our state’s tech community are working closely with the state legislature to pass legislation that strengthens our innovation ecosystem and our economy.said Steven G. Zylstra, President and CEO of the SciTech Council and Institute. “The senators and representatives on this list play a pivotal role in helping the Council and its members grow Arizona’s technology industry, educate our future STEM leaders, and reduce the red tape associated with innovation. We thank them for their service.”

“We are honored to recognize this distinguished group of legislators advocating for the future of technology in Arizona,” said Sandra Watson, president and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. “Their tireless efforts continue to strengthen Arizona’s technology industry while underscoring our appeal as a national destination for innovation. We are grateful for their collective efforts to improve and expand Arizona’s technology landscape.

Arizona’s most prestigious business leaders will celebrate technology innovation and state leadership at GCOI, which will include an awards ceremony, networking and food. The event will consist of a rolling dinner and tech showcase followed by a theatre-style awards program. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online at

The 2022 GCOI Legislators Awards winners and their current districts are:

Outstanding Tech Senator of the Year:

Senator TJ Shope, District 8

Senator TJ Shope is a longtime champion of the tech industry, particularly advocating for tech companies to provide opportunity for his district and supporting proven economic development programs that have a high return on investment for the nation. State. His determination has paid off for his district and beyond, with the region’s expansion attracting several tech companies and bringing in high-quality jobs. He has also been a strong advocate for transportation infrastructure and the impact it has on Arizona’s ability to meet business transportation needs. Shope helped secure funding for the Interstate 10 expansion and continues to work to meet Arizona’s long-term infrastructure needs.

Outstanding Technology Representative of the Year:

Rep. Jennifer Pawlik, District 17

Representative Jennifer Pawlik has repeatedly helped ensure passage of Council’s key legislative priorities. While education is her top priority, she also understands the impact proven incentives not only have on her district, but on the entire Arizona economy. During her time in the Legislative Assembly, she was instrumental in helping advocate for policies that attract and grow tech companies that create high-paying, high-quality jobs not only in her district, but across the country as well. state, which raised more money to help better fund education and other state priorities. She has been a strong advocate for extra funding for education and worked to stop policies that make it harder for Arizona’s youth to educate themselves.

Tech 10 Legislators:


Senator Sean Bowie, District 18

Senator Sean Bowie has been a champion of the tech industry since he was first elected. He helped advance crucial initiatives for Arizona to become a tech hub. His support of innovative and proven economic development programs and his commitment to workforce development, community colleges, and higher education have helped the technology and business community thrive in Arizona. He works across party lines to ensure he can best serve his district and the state. This session, he played a crucial role in the adoption of the Council’s priorities around education.

Lupe Contreras, Deputy Senate Minority Leader, District 19

Senator Lupe Contreras has been a solid leader in his caucus for many years. He is a great advocate for education, business and his community. He works hard to ensure every voice is heard and has long been a supporter of the technology agenda, working to ensure issues are judged on the merits of the programs rather than mere politics. It seeks to adopt a balanced approach to protecting citizens and encouraging economic development. He worked with his caucus this session to advance proven economic development agendas while continuing to focus on funding education, housing and other caucus priorities.

Senate President Karen Fann, District 1

Speaker Karen Fann has been a tech industry champion throughout her tenure as legislator and continues to be in her final legislative session by sponsoring an expansion of the research and development (R&D) tax credit program. . Although the priority did not cross the finish line this year, it fought to allow companies to use unused R&D tax credits in innovative ways that would have resulted in reinvestment in areas such as as workforce development and water sustainability. She has always supported creating an environment in Arizona where the tech industry can grow and thrive.

Senator David Gowan, District 14

Senator David Gowan has always been an advocate for a balanced budget that includes the incentives needed to attract and retain the businesses and workers they need. He was instrumental in advocating for and passing several economic development proposals that are proving to have a high return on investment for Arizona. This year was no different. Gowan has taken a thoughtful approach to his role as appropriations chair and has been helpful in securing opportunities for other key economic development tools critical to growing the tech industry this legislative session.

Senator Sine Kerr, District 13

Senator Sine Kerr was a champion for rural Arizona during her time in the Legislature. As Chair of the Natural Resources, Energy and Water Committee, she regularly helps lead the charge in various areas of importance to economic development. Water is and will continue to be a huge concern as Arizona grows. She was also a big advocate for the Council’s priority STEM legislation to help create a statewide STEM ecosystem, bringing STEM best practices and opportunities to more rural and urban areas of Arizona.


Rep. David Cook, District 8

Rep. David Cook has proven to be a strong advocate in the fight for the needs of rural Arizona. During his tenure in the House, he supported workforce development and education, especially STEM in rural Arizona and key issues such as water. He supported the Council’s key priorities and advocated for more economic development and resource programs to focus on rural Arizona, working hard to create high-quality, well-paying jobs in his district. He also advocated ensuring a conservative legislative budget, including the repayment of state debt to ensure the state’s best financial position in the future in the event of a recession while balancing the need to fund priorities. of State.

Rep. Diego Espinoza, District 19

Rep. Diego Espinoza has been a strong leader in his caucus during his tenure, fighting for his constituents and working across the aisle to push initiatives forward. As a small business owner, he understands the effects of regulation and taxation, as well as the challenges businesses and communities have faced over the past two years due to the pandemic. He has backed key policies that have helped the tech industry thrive over the years while ensuring companies are also good community partners. He advocates behind the scenes to help ensure the adoption of sound policy and the defeat of harmful legislation.

Representative Joel John, District 4

Representative Joel John has been a Council champion, sponsoring our STEM ecosystem proposal and supporting several priorities to ensure quality jobs are available in his district. Education has been his primary focus in the Legislative Assembly and he has been a strong advocate for increased funding for the public school system. He also helped stop legislation that would have unintended negative consequences for Arizona students. Ensuring that all students have access to a high-quality education that leads to well-paying jobs and career opportunities were his top priorities.

Representative Steve Kaiser, District 15

Rep. Steve Kaiser is a veteran Conservative who has proven to be a strong advocate for workforce development during his first term in the Legislative Assembly. He has been a champion of STEM education, sponsoring several bills and leading advocacy efforts to restore funding to STEM community colleges. He has also focused on Career and Technical Education (CTE) legislation, being one of the legislators spearheading CTE Year 4 funding and innovative programs to ensure access to education. adults. Kaiser has proven himself to be a thoughtful legislator who embraces innovation to solve some of the state’s challenges.

Rep. Justin Wilmeth, District 15

Rep. Justin Wilmeth has proven to be a rising star during his first term as a pro-business, pro-tech conservative. He has championed and supported policies to ensure Arizona advances innovation, such as sponsoring cryptocurrency legislation and the Blockchain Study. He is also a huge advocate for trade and has championed securing funding for trade offices with key trade partners for Arizona and ensuring that international trade continues to flow through our state. Wilmeth fights for his constituents by ensuring that proposals bring high quality jobs to the state and that all economic development programs have high returns on investment to ensure the state can pay for top priorities while by continuing to keep taxes low.


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