Audra Winters

Marana Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Audra Winters

We held two member milestone celebrations last month, honoring the accomplishments of our members.

Adair Homes celebrated their new location (3821 W. Costco Drive, Ste. 111) with a fun ribbon cutting. Adair is an affordable “on your land” custom home builder excited to be serving the Southern Arizona community. 

United Real Estate of Southern Arizona also showed off their beautiful new digs (7430 N. La Cholla Blvd.) for their grand opening. Amazing technology.

Our September Lunch and Learn was “How to Successfully Use Facebook Live.” This interactive class taught us how to engage our audience, build our brand and increase our visibility. Wanda Baader, owner of Strategize Your Success, kept the class lively.

The principal for the new MUSD STEM School, Andrea Divijak, gave an uplifting tour of the new facilities. The original plan strategically includes STEM principles in everything from the playground to new technology for safety. Included is a maker’s room and a shark tank elective program. Next on the list is to install an organic garden. The middle school also has an entrepreneurial program.

We had a successful inaugural Marana Young Professional mixer at Bianchi’s Italian North Sept. 12. It was a great turnout of nearly sixty individuals between 21 and 45 years old. Jennifer Opilla, realtor for Long Realty and chairperson for the committee, welcomed all those in attendance. 

At our Community and Regional Update, Town of Marana Community and Economic Development Director Curt Woody provided the prior month’s count of 62 new single family starts, which brings the calendar year to date to 547. There will be a new hotel and restaurant going in next to the Hampton Inn by the Tucson Premium Outlet Mall in Marana. 

Marana Public Works Director Mo El-Ali explained how the strategic plan in Marana is to invest in their parks and recreation, public facilities and streets, bridges and infrastructure. Marana has 540 lane miles of pavement and are rated a 73. By constantly maintaining their roads, they are being fiscally responsible. The cost for maintaining a road is between $7,000 and $21,000 per lane mile versus replacing is $300,000 per lane mile. 

Julie Glass, Development Coordinator for Arizona Youth Partnership explained that the AZ Tax Credit is still in place and how you can best use it. One of the categories that you can give to is qualified charitable organizations. Two are in Marana: the Marana Resource Center and AZ Youth Partners. A great way to give locally is go to

Attending the Sun Corridor annual meeting, I learned of some much-needed plans for the Tucson International Airport. They will be leveraging the value of the airport location by focusing on aerospace and defense industries, on transportation and logistics, establishing a Foreign Trade Zone and promoting an Opportunity Zone designation. This means jobs. 

 They will be establishing a new airport terminal and entrance and constructing a limited access expressway linking the new terminal entrance and I-10. For more detailed information go to

We’d like to welcome our new Marana chamber members Fashion Fix by Jo, Thomas Schnee, Thoroughbred Paint & Body, United Real Estate of Southern Arizona, Time-Maid, New York Life, Avilla Marana, Arbys- Irish Beef, LLC, Light Shift Website Design and Madaras Gallery.

Thanks to all our renewing members for providing the foundation that makes our community great! For more information about our members, go to or call 682-4314.

Remember, you can save money by investing back into your community by shopping locally, driving less and saving time.

Audra Winters, IOM, is the President and CEO of the Marana Chamber of Commerce.

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