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Tech Parks Associate VP retires after 32 years

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Bruce Wright, associate vice president for economic development at the UA, speaks about immigration concerns as R. F. Shangraw Jr., executive director of decision theater at Arizona State University, listens at a conference where the Southwest Border Security Consortium met yesterday afternoon.

A man of many hats, Associate Vice President of Tech Parks Arizona Bruce Wright will be retiring after over 30 transformative years.  

Although Wright joined the University of Arizona in the late 1980s and immersed himself within the community – becoming the director of community and public service, senior officer for community affairs and economic development, associate vice president for economic development, CEO for campus research corporation – he says he attributes all his success to those around him: the faculty, students, scientists and engineers.

“The faculty, scientists and engineers come up with the new ideas … the economy is driven by new knowledge.” Wright said.

Wright’s eagerness to empower business-minded people permeated through the 10-year-standing Innovation Day at the UA – where he served as an instrument in its development – encouraging entrepreneurial spirit across the campus.

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Wright has not only contributed to building Tucson’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, but has been working since 1992 to develop cross-border trade between Arizona and Sonora, Mexico, advocating for the two countries to be seen as one. 

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“The two states have a lot of complimentary attributes. Sonora provides the expertise of manufacturing, Tucson provides expertise in tech developments. These are two economies that are intertwined. Some Southern Arizonans have family ties to Mexico and it is a common place for vacation,” Wright said.

Wright’s dedication to his work paid off. The UA Tech Park is one of the leading research parks in the United States and was acknowledged as the most Outstanding Research Park in 2001 by the Association of University Research Parks. Wright’s leadership enabled the growth of technology companies and “makes high-quality, clean jobs with clean opportunity.”

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Starting from just an idea, Wright has amassed a plethora of organizations that will continue to be beneficial to the sustainability of our economy and the promise of a better and brighter future for the masses.

“I am extremely proud of the work accomplished over the years at Tech Parks Arizona," Wright said in his press release. "The success didn’t happen overnight, it was cultivated one by one through relationship without business, community and industry partners. These accomplishments have built a strong foundation and will lead to a more prosperous future not just for the Parks but for our community as well.”

In recognition of his hard work, a farewell ceremony will be held in his honor Oct. 3 from 4-6 p.m. at Culinary Dropout, 2543 E. Grant Rd.


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