The University of Arizona

Local Firms Examined for Their Superior Business Qualities

By Jeff Harrison, October 20, 2000

The Karl Eller Center at the University of Arizona and the accounting firm Ernst & Young will host a forum to discuss innovative businesses in southern Arizona. A cross section of area business leaders will address the findings of an analysis titled Survey of Innovative Practices, conducted by Ernst & Young and the Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership

The survey is designed to capture unique and innovative strategies that distinguish superior competitive and financial performance among entrepreneurial firms. Companies are selected from among the membership of the Entrepreneur of the Year Institute _ companies recognized for outstanding entrepreneurial achievement in categories across industrial and geographical boundaries. They represent the "best of the best" in terms of growth, profitability, job creation, and potential economic impact.

The study explored non-financial items that are believed to impact a firm's ability to achieve and sustain a high rate of growth, and probed the significance of the relationships between annual sales growth and growth strategy, employee compensation structure, equity compensation and other human resource functions.

The study results revealed several underlying principles that allow these firms to maintain a superior level of performance, and are compelling and debunk a few well entrenched myths.

Each year since 1984, the Karl Eller Center at the University of Arizona has addressed one or more critical issues facing Southern Arizona business through the Arizona Venture Forum, bringing together insights and perspectives of business leaders with specific experience in the focus area and in the business economy unique to Tucson.

Presenters at the forum include Steve Pagnucco, CEO Universal Avionics, Bob McMahon, CEO Metropolitan Restaurants; Peter Aronoff, president, A.F. Sterling Homes; Kerstin Block, owner,
Buffalo Exchange; and Michael Voevodsky, vice president for business development, Hextek Corporation.