Business owners will get a chance to meet and greet one of the Valley’s most successful entrepreneurs when the Tempe Chamber of Commerce hosts its annual luncheon on Friday, June 28.
Keynote speaker for the event is Steven Mihaylo, founder of Inter-Tel and the guiding light for some of Arizona’s most recognized accomplishments for more than 40 years.
“This special event is the type of opportunity we strive to provide our members with,” said Mary Ann Miller, president and CEO of the Tempe Chamber.
Also, she says, it’s a way for the chamber to celebrate its accomplishments of the last year, to introduce the incoming board members and committee chairs, and to articulate its vision for the upcoming year.
“We offer high-quality speakers with a relevant message and serve as a forum for the community to learn and grow along with other like-minded business owners,” said Miller
This year, says Miller, the keynote address is sure to “enlighten and delight” the audience.
“To have someone of Steve’s caliber, who is based in Tempe, as our speaker demonstrates the vibrancy of the local business community,” said Miller.
“He started Inter-Tel in 1969 in Arizona and grew the business to $500 million in annual sales, while completing against industry giants such as AT&T, Siemens and Cisco.”
Mihalyo is currently the CEO of another Tempe-based business, Crexendo. In addition to his impressive entrepreneurial background, he has given back to his community as a founding board member for the Arizona Science Museum and as a volunteer for Junior Achievement of Central Arizona for 25 years.
He also donated $30 million to his alma-mater, Cal State Fullerton, where the business school now bears his name.
Throughout the year, says Miller, the Tempe Chamber offers many educational events, networking opportunities and classes, such as Tempe Leadership, to support members in reaching their business goals.
A group traveled to Cuba and another trip is planned to Cambodia and Vietnam.
“We work hard at being a one-stop-shop for our members and are constantly looking for new programming ideas to benefit them,” said Miller.
“We also stay current on state legislation that may impact business owners and represent the needs of businesses before government.”
The chamber regularly reviews and takes positions on legislation affecting the business environment, says Miller.
“We communicate these positions through the Monday Morning Update email and in the Chamber’s monthly newsletter, The Business Advocate.”
Miller, who previously served as the director of public affairs for the chamber, says that only the Tempe Chamber is lobbying government officials on issues that directly impact Tempe businesses and is a recognized voice at state and national levels.
The Tempe Chamber was established in 1908 and now represents nearly 1,000 members with more than 74,000 employees.
The annual luncheon will be held from 11:30 to 1:30 p.m. at Sheraton Phoenix Airport Hotel in Tempe, 1600 S. 52nd St. Tickets are $50 for members, $65 for non-members. Reservations can be made at www.tempechamber.org