Issue #11 | July 2016  


   Rich Heath, Director

Update from the Director

I hope all of you have been enjoying this wonderful summer weather and are waiting for monsoon season to begin in earnest. GPREP’s new fiscal and program year started on July 1st. Board members and key stakeholders are involved in updating the organization’s initial Action Plan that was adopted in July 2013. The intent of the plan update is to ensure GPREP is focusing on the core goals of the mission and ensuring the appropriate resources are allocated toward accomplishing those goals. The updated Action Plan will be completed by October.
GPREP staff will be participating in a number of business development activities over the next few months with planned trips to the Greater Los Angeles Area in August and Chicago in September followed by a FAM tour for developers and real estate brokers in October. GPREP will also be a sponsor for the 2016 AOPA Fly-In taking place at the airport on September 30th and October 1st. With the improving economy, this is an important time period to get the word out about the region as a great place to do business. Companies are seeking locations that will enable them to maximize their operations by being closer to their markets and suppliers. Arizona is an increasingly popular destination for both residents and employers due to its amenities and friendly business climate.
If you have an upcoming meeting that needs a presenter, please let me know. I am more than willing to meet one on one or in a meeting arrangement to talk about economic development. The more information I can provide and gather will result in greater opportunities to grow and diversify our regional business community.
Talk to you soon,

​Richard Heath

Dane Beck, Hampton Inn and  Suites of Prescott Valley,
Board President

Bob Been, Affinity RV
Vice President

David Hall, ERAU,

Danny Sullivan, Yavapai Title Agency,


Steve Walker,
Yavapai College

Dan Cummings,
MI Windows & Doors

Kelly Patton,
Arizona Public Service

Jack Fowler,
Fowler Commercial, LLC

Meredith Dunlap,
National Bank of AZ

Teri Drew,

Stephen Crandall, SC
Audit and Accounting Solutions

Keith Watkins,
Arizona Commerce Authority


Mayor Harry Oberg
City of Prescott

Rick Anderson
Town of Prescott Valley

Mayor Chris Marley
Town of Chino Valley

Dennis Repan
Town of Dewey-Humboldt

Rowle Simmons
Yavapai County Supervisor - District 1


Featured Property

The Town of Chino Valley has created a 200+ acre site for business development called Old Home Manor Industrial Park. The town has received a federal grant from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) and funding from the local utility providers to extend infrastructure from State 89 east to the industrial park. Since the town owns the land, there are very favorable terms in regards to lease options for prospective businesses. Chino Valley is targeting the defense, security, and firearms sectors. For information and a tour of the industrial park, please contact Ruth Mayday, Development Services Director, 928-636-4427 or
Thank You!

On behalf of the board, I want to thank those individuals who are leaving the GPREP board this summer because their terms have expired or for personal reasons. Steve Rutherford, Tracey Horn, Dave Barrett, and John Amos have played a valuable role in getting GPREP formed and operational. We wish you the very best and hope you will stay involved in the organization at some level. Your support and input is always welcome and appreciated.
Skilled Labor a Priority for Business Expansion

Area Development Online annually asks readers to participate in a poll to gauge their take on the economy as revealed by their location and expansion plans and site selection priorities. Their findings have been published each of the last 30 years. It notes some interesting trends in that skilled labor has increased in importance over this time period, along with training programs, while the concern with labor costs has dramatically declined. According to the 2016 poll, these are the five priority areas for business expansion:

1) Availability of skilled labor;
2) Highway access;
3) Quality of Life;
4) Occupancy or construction costs; and
5) Available buildings.

For more information on their findings, please visit the company’s website at and browse the search feature.

Broadband Workshop

Lack of broadband connectivity in many of the rural areas of Arizona has become one of the most prominent weak points of our infrastructure capacity. The lack of broadband affects many of the things we take for granted in our everyday lives and has a stranglehold on the state’s competitiveness in the economic development arena, not to mention the ability to provide state of the art health care and education to our citizens.
The University of New Mexico Science Education & Economic Development Network has teamed up with Arizona’s Sun Corridor Network to host a free workshop that is designed to discuss how high speed networks can be leveraged to expand a community’s access to the vital broadband services we seek to have. 
The event will be held in Flagstaff, at the NAU Student Union, on July 28 and 29, 2016. For more information, please go to

Meetings & Events

GPREP Board Meeting, August 15, 2016 at 3:30 p.m. in Building 29 at the Yavapai College Prescott Campus.
“Save the Date” for Thursday, August 18, 2016. The Central Arizona Partnership (CAP) will be hosting a lunch on August 18th with Robert Sarver scheduled as the guest speaker. Mr. Sarver is the majority owner of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns. More information will be available in the coming weeks.


Keith Watkins, Senior VP Rural Development, Arizona Commerce Authority

Keith Watkins serves as the Senior Vice President of the Arizona Commerce Authority's Economic and Rural Development Division.  Keith leads the ACA’s efforts in advancing the rural economies of Arizona. In so doing, he has been instrumental in working with Arizona’s rural communities to enhance their competitive offering so that they are capable of competing on the global scale. Mr. Watkins has pioneered the state of Arizona's first Certified Sites program which is designed to showcase rural Arizona's very best industrial and office properties to employers seeking new locations.  Additionally, he administers several million dollars in grants, and participates on a multitude of boards and commissions including; the Rural Business Development Advisory Council, Greater Prescott Regional Economic Partnership (GPREP), Governor’s Commission on Tribal Affairs, Water Infrastructure Financing Authority, Arizona Association for Economic Development and the Maricopa County Economic Development Council.
Prior to joining the Arizona Commerce Authority in 2011, Mr. Watkins spent 25 years in the real estate and economic development arenas and has a decorated history of bringing some of Arizona's largest employers to the state.