Economic Update

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Sandra Watson
President and CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority


Millions of people love Arizona and choose to live here. The Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) wants to know why. To discover what is genuine, meaningful and different about Arizona, the ACA has launched a statewide branding and promotion project called Promote AZ under Governor Doug Ducey’s leadership. The project is a grassroots, public effort that will engage leaders and Arizona citizens from all corners of the state. It is aimed at creating a fresh and unified message to enhance Arizona economic development and tourism as well as encourage civic pride.

Arizona has an incredible amount to offer in terms of business opportunity, quality of life, and more. This effort will allow us to build a brand which communicates the unmatched Arizona experience to the rest of the world.

The process includes substantial research to examine perceptions about the state. Project managers are facilitating one-on-one interviews with leaders both in-state and outside of Arizona to gather their critical insights.

The team is also conducting hands-on workshops with statewide business, community and education stakeholder groups. Residents throughout the state will also be engaged to provide their opinions, and Promote AZ street teams are traveling throughout Arizona to ensure a diverse array of viewpoints are incorporated.

Governor Doug Ducey is committed to the success of this project. He states: “There is so much to love about our state and I’m excited about engaging Arizonans in the process of bringing their ideas together. We are thinking big in Arizona and this is much more than a marketing tool. I am committed to making Arizona the best place to live, work and start a business, and this project will help us communicate all we have to offer in those continued efforts.”

The research initiatives and discovery sessions will provide a detailed look at Arizona’s brand perception as it currently stands. From there, new Arizona brand positioning, brand elements and foundational messaging will be developed, as well as an action plan for bringing the brand to life.

Arizona-based firm HEASLEY&PARTNERS was selected through a competitive bid process conducted by the ACA to perform the brand strategy work.

Arizonans looking to provide feedback should email or share on social media using #PromoteAZ.


Sandra Watson brings more than 20 years of economic development leadership experience to Arizona. She and her teams have successfully attracted hundreds of companies to Arizona that have invested billions of dollars in capital – creating more than 75,000 quality jobs. For more information about how the ACA can partner to help businesses expand and grow, visit