Arizona’s Forests: Why We Care

March 23, 2021

Covering nearly 21 million acres in Arizona, our forests are a vital resource that impact our state on many levels – as a natural treasure, environmental asset and economic driver. In 2021, our forests are at the brink of catastrophic wildfire. With creative solutions and collaboration between key stakeholders, we can create a sustainable path forward. One of Arizona’s legacies will be the effective stewardship of our forests for future generations.

In this informative webinar, learn why climate action is critical to the health of our forests. All Arizona Forward members and partners can be more informed and better understand the increasingly severe and catastrophic impacts of climate change on Arizona’s forests. Swift and bold action is needed. Hear from experts on efforts underway and how you can help today.

Opening Remarks

Congressman Tom O’Halleran, Keynote Speaker.
O’Halleran is a member of the House Committee on Agriculture and is an advocate for climate and environment.

Panel Discussion

Joanne Keene, Moderator
Keene is the deputy county manager for Coconino County. She has 25 years of experience in local, state and federal government. Keene recently served for five years as the Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff to Northern Arizona University.

Jeremy Kruger, Panelist
Kruger is the Chief Executive for Four Forest Restoration Initiative at U.S. Forest Services. Kruger has over 25 years of experience in natural resource management and forest fire management.

Bruce Hallin, Panelist
Hallin is the Director of Water Supply at SRP and has over 30 years of experience in the water and power industry. He advocates for re-establishing healthy forests to maintain and protect the health of the Valley’s water supply.

Amy Waltz, Panelist
Waltz is the Director of Science Delivery with the Ecological Restoration Institute at Northern Arizona University. Waltz works with land managers and diverse stakeholders to deliver peer-reviewed science relevant to ecological restoration.

Travis Woolley, Panelist
Woolley is a forest ecologist at The Nature Conservancy. Some of his research issues include wildlife habits, disease environment interactions, and post-fire tree mortality.

Presenting Sponsor

Coconino County

Op-Ed Climate Action by Lori Singleton

Written by Lori Singleton, President & CEO

Published in the Phoenix Business Journal on March 5, 2021

With record shattering heat waves this summer, the worst wildfire season ever in the West, raging wildfires, relentless drought, and the COVID public health emergency, racial justice issues and attacks on our democracy, Arizona has faced unprecedented threats to its health and economy.

Reduced water flow from the Colorado River could impact millions of Arizonans who depend on the river for their water supply. Drought is more prevalent and lasts longer. Wildfires across the West are increasingly destructive amid drier, hotter conditions. And experts agree, things are only going to get worse — if we don’t act with bold, urgent action.

There could not be a better time – the elections are behind us, 2021 is here, and we are optimistic. Yet, we have a long road ahead to get things back on track. Current and future state and federal leaders must consider not only short-term relief to families, but also ways to kickstart our economy in the months ahead. Together, we have a unique opportunity to strengthen Arizona and make it better and more resilient.

With more than 50 years of history as an organization working on environmental issues in our state, Arizona Forward is continuing to lead the charge for sustainability in Arizona. Now more than ever, as Arizona continues to grow and more people and businesses call Arizona home, it is important that we work together to protect our resources and communities.

Arizona Forward hosted a series of conversations with business leaders in our community, focused on the environment and economy in Arizona. Water shortages, drought, clean energy, and impacts on our military were discussed. As well, we highlighted Arizona’s corporations, municipalities, architects and universities who are implementing future-focused and impactful climate action strategies – APS, SRP, Intel, Wells Fargo, Cox Communications, ASU, the cities of Tempe, Flagstaff, Tucson and Phoenix. What emerged from those conversations was clear: The business community in Arizona, like the community at large, cares deeply about these issues. Being proactive on issues facing our environment makes good sense, and is good for our quality of life, our health, and our economy.

What’s more, the public’s desire for climate action is real and transcends party lines. Four in five Arizona voters (78%) say it should be a priority for the U.S. to pass legislation to address climate change, including 44% who say it should be a top priority. Two out of three Arizonans support moving to 100% clean energy.

What’s next? With climate change at the forefront of Arizona Forward’s priorities, it is time that we set long-term sustainability outcomes for the state which are aggressive, yet achievable and encompass environmental, social and sustainability goals. Arizona’s sustainable future cannot be optimally achieved by any one elected official, municipality, corporation or non-profit. It can only be realized through cooperative and collaborative partnerships of communities, businesses, local, regional, state, and federal governments — all united behind a common set of goals.

The impacts of climate change for Arizona are real and pressing. Working collectively, we all have the power, the knowledge and the innovative thinking to ensure a better future. Our state, our businesses and our communities depend on the work we do today. Let’s get started.

Paving the Way to a Resilient Arizona: The Critical Role of Mobility

December 15, 2020

Future mobility is about striving toward options that are environmentally friendly, clean, integrated, automated and allow for personalized travel on demand. Working collaboratively to deploy solutions that incorporate new technologies and benefit individuals and businesses is key. Join us and learn more about innovative solutions underway in Arizona communities.

Lava Sunder, General Manager, Culdesac Tempe
Elizabeth Fretheim, Head of Business Development and National Accounts, Nikola
Chris Hawley, Director of Marketing, Honeywell
Eric Back, Vice President Hardware Engineering, Lucid Motors

Jon Ford, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Vitalyst Health Foundation

Special Remarks
Stephen Anderson, Member, Gammage & Burnham

Hosted by
Arizona Forward, Gammage & Burnham

Catalyzing on Arizona’s Clean Energy Future Today

October 27, 2020

Arizona Forward and our partners from national organizations, the Clean Energy Business Network and Chambers for Innovation & Clean Energy will convene a conversation on how businesses are elevating Arizona to attract investment in clean energy. As well, the recently launched report conducted by the Clean Energy Business Network will highlight how Arizona ranks.

Guest Speakers
Stephanie Healy, Director of Public Affairs, Cox Communications
Steven Lopez, Senior Director, Customer Strategy, SRP
Lisa Jacobs, President, Business Council for Sustainable Energy

Chamber of Commerce Introductions
Lynn Parsons, Executive Director, Coolidge Chamber of Commerce
Renee Louzon-Benn, President, Greater Casa Grande Chamber of Commerce
Sukki Jahnke, VP Marketing and Programs, Tempe Chamber of Commerce

Special Remarks
Gary Gold, Esq., Policy Advisor, U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema

What You Will Learn and What You Can Do

Hosted by
Arizona Forward, Clean Energy Business Network and Chamber for Innovation and Clean Energy


Arizona Businesses and Municipalities Taking Climate Action

September 30, 2020

Arizona is at a unique crossroad and the impact of climate change, in the form of extreme heat, wildfires and extended drought, can no longer be ignored on a local and statewide basis. Nationally, Fortune 500 companies and metropolitan cities have paved the way forward on sustainability planning and climate action. As Arizonans acknowledge this new reality, its public and private sectors must coordinate and collaborate to have a significant impact. In this webinar, Arizona businesses will highlight their sustainability best practices and actions to address climate change, and discuss strategies for collaborating with local municipalities to bolster statewide climate action planning and sustainability. Learn more about what you can do as an Arizona business or municipality.


Michael Bernier, Sustainability Director, Swire Coca-Cola USA

Sukki Jahnke, Vice President Marketing & Programs, Tempe Chamber of Commerce

Ashley Mulhall, Senior Associate, High Performance and Sustainability Leader, Orcutt Winslow

Stephanie Rico, Senior Vice President, Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility, Wells Fargo


Jon Ford, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Vitalyst Health Foundation, Arizona Forward, Board Chair

What You Will Learn and What You Can Do

This panel is in partnership with the Sustainable Cities Network’s Climate Action Planning series involving the City of Tempe’s Office of Sustainability, ASU School of Sustainability, and the Center for Emergency Management and Homeland Security.

Presenting Sponsor





National Security in the Time of Climate Change

September 2, 2020

Temperatures are climbing, storms are worsening, sea levels are rising and ice is melting; all of these scenarios have local, national and global security implications on our cities, businesses and our lives. Arizonans are no stranger to climate change. By some estimates, Arizona is the fourth fastest-warming state, and Phoenix is the 2nd fastest-warming city in the U.S. This exclusive webinar will cover the key areas that impact Arizona cities, businesses and daily life.


Brigadier General Stephen Cheney, USMC (ret)

About the Speaker

Brigadier Genera; Stephen Cheney, USMC (ret.) is the President of the American Security Project (ASP). He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and has over 30 years of experience as a Marine.

Confronting Arizona’s Water Challenges in an Era of Change

June 25, 2020

The uncertainty of climate change is impacting national, regional and local water strategies. From the Colorado River Basin to water utility companies, the need for collaboration, tools and targeted practices is crucial to ensure Arizona continues to receive adequate water supplies and our systems remain resilient. In this webinar, you will hear from experts on steps being taken today that are critical to the water strategies for Arizona, and critical to fuel the state’s expected growth and economic vitality.


Ted Cooke, General Manager, Central Arizona Project and President, Water Utility Climate Alliance

Kathy Jacobs, Center for Climate Adaption Science and Solutions, University of Arizona

Charlie Ester, Manager, Watershed Management, SRP


Bending the Curve on Climate Change: What Businesses Can Do Today

May 27, 2020

The focus on climate change during this pandemic is increasingly important. Over the past few months, changes in business practices and human behavior have brought positive impacts to the global environment – reversing damage, revealing cleaner air and emerged wildlife. At the same time, the pandemic is demonstrating the vulnerability of economies and human health.

With climate change projected to produce parallel economic and social impacts, what should we be doing now as we navigate through this pandemic? Important climate change policies and plans at federal levels are taking a back seat and/or are being eliminated, creating a greater risk for our state and our nation. This webinar will address how your business or organization can support climate action in Arizona during this difficult time. Hear from national and local experts on how we ensure climate change remains a priority as we look to the future.


Toby Short, Associate Vice President, Federal Affairs, Environmental Defense Fund

Bruno Narda, President, CDP North America and Professor of Practice, ASU School of Sustainability

Ann Becker, Vice President of Sustainability, Arizona Public Service

Presenting Sponsor