Audra Winters

New President and CEO Audra Winters

I am very happy to be here in Marana. The first month has been whirlwind of meeting with our members and our community partners. I am looking forward to building upon Ed Stolmaker’s legacy by continuing to build these important friendships and strategic partnerships. 

I will carry on the Marana Chamber of Commerce’s mission to be the voice of business that works to build economic growth and quality of life in our community.

In honor of Ed Stolmaker, the Marana Town Council declared a Proclamation at the Feb. 19 council meeting.  

“The Mayor and Council thank Ed Stolmaker for his many years of service to this community, his dogged persistence to help Marana grow, and his outstanding leadership of the Marana Chamber of Commerce and wish Ed the very best in his well-deserved retirement,” the proclamations reads.

The Chamber has been meeting with, and getting updates from, the Town of Marana, Main Street Business Assistance, Ina Road Business leaders and the Arizona Department of Transportation to keep informed about the Ina Road/Interstate-10 Interchange opening. 

Depending on weather, it looks like the on/off lanes on the east side of the bridge, as well as the Ina Road bridge (east and west access), will open by the end of the month. The eastbound exit will open in April with the westbound on ramp later.  The entire project, including landscaping, won’t be completed until June, but progress is moving on despite the snow and rain. 

Look for more details soon about the “Homecoming Celebration” with the Town of Marana on May 4. 

We continued our successful and well-attended “Lunch & Learn” series with February’s “Using Video to Sell Your Product or Services.”  These events are open to all, so go to our website calendar for topics of interests. Special discount for Marana chamber members. 

Marana Chamber members got a sneak peek at The Watermark at Continental Ranch Active Assisted Living and Memory Care at 8689 N. Silverbell Road. This beautiful facility will be opening this month.

On Saturday, Feb. 23, The Gym of Tucson’s Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting became the last official ribbon-cutting for Ed Stolmaker. He has always said this act is his favorite thing to do as the CEO of the Marana Chamber. The Gym of Tucson is a Boutique studio that offers results-driven personal training, challenging small group training, and dynamic yoga under one roof. They are at 4140 W. Ina Road, Ste. 168.

At last month’s community and regional update meeting, we heard from Curt Woody, Town of Marana Economic Development Director. There were 42 Single Family Residential permits in January, four new commercial building starts and several tenant improvements. The new Carondelet Marana Hospital at 5620 W. Cortaro Farms Road will be open mid-summer, and the Dutch Brothers Coffee and Serial Grillers will be open buy late summer. A 40,000-square-foot medical office is in the works in the same area. 

Town Attorney Frank Cassidy spoke about the new town sign code which will be going into effect March 8.

We got to hear from Oro Valley Mayor Winfield. He has met with our Mayor, Ed Honea, several times already and we all look forward to a continued positive partnership with Oro Valley. 

The Marana Chamber of Commerce, along with 13 other chambers in Southern Arizona formed the Southern Arizona Chamber of Commerce Association. The association’s goal is to advocate for an improved business climate throughout, while providing exemplary membership benefits. On Feb. 1, the association launched Southern Arizona Chamber Benefits Plan with UnitedHealthcare.

Employers who are members of this chamber association may see lower health care costs from a portfolio of plans that may not always be available to small businesses, in addition to the shared-risk pool.

Please feel free to reach out to me to share your business needs and the way the Marana Chamber can best serve you. 

We’d like to welcome our new Marana Chamber members: Kitchen Tune-up, The Gym of Tucson, Double B Insurance, Glover Ranch Events, Berwick Insurance and Keener Clean.

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

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

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