Sierra Vista, AZ – Mignonne Hollis is the executive director of Arizona Regional Economic Development Foundation (AREDF), a non-profit organization dedicated to expanding and developing sustainable industry in Arizona since 1985.
“We take a very entrepreneurial approach to what we do when we see an opportunity for us to grow, to diversify our economy,” says Hollis. “As a nonprofit, we have so much flexibility and we can respond to our client's needs much quicker than a government organization.”
AREDF focuses on five specific economic pillars: Aerospace, Healthcare, Mining, Military and International Relations.
“One of the things that we've learned is that we can get so much more done through true collaboration. What are your strengths? What are ours? How do we partner to make this work? That’s the framework for everything that we do,” says Hollis.
AREDF’s motto is “Open Spaces for Big Ideas.”
“I like to describe Arizona as a teenager,” says Hollis. “We're still a pretty young state. We have lots of potential. We rebel when somebody tells us what to do, but it's easy to start a business here. We're very business friendly. So how do we grow our community intelligently? We just have to be a little more creative.”
For instance, Arizona can offer 360 days of perfect flying weather. As a result, AREDF was instrumental in attracting Northrop Grumman to the state.
“We’re the connector,” says Hollis. “We’re out there traveling to find resources and pull them together to help our community, better positioning ourselves for the future because change is constant. Success is when people want to move here and stay here.”
For more information, visit www.aredf.org