An Open Letter from the Arizona Business Community


Over two hundred twenty-five Business and Faith leaders state support of equal treatment for LGBTQ people ahead of Scottsdale City Council vote on LGBTQ inclusive non-discrimination ordinance

(Scottsdale, ARIZ. April 20th, 2021) – As non-discrimination efforts advance across Arizona with the passage of a non-discrimination ordinance in Mesa and Scottsdale expected to pass an ordinance this evening, business and faith leaders have come together in support of equal treatment for LGBTQ people.  Over 150  business leaders including the Arizona Community Foundation, Arizona Coyotes, Arizona Craft Brewers Guild, Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association, Arizona Technology Council, Chicanos Por La Causa, Greater Phoenix Economic Council, Greater Phoenix Leadership, Local First Arizona, Sunbelt Holdings and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona have signed onto a letter supporting equal treatment for LGBTQ people, and seventy-five faith leaders have signed onto an open letter in support of equal treatment for LGBTQ people, including leaders from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist, United Church of Christ and Jewish faiths.

“Equal treatment has overwhelming support among Arizonans and Americans, which is reflected in the diversity of the signers of these letters. At its core, protecting people from discrimination is about treating others as we want to be treated. All hard-working people, including those who are LGBTQ, want to do their jobs and provide for their families. Nobody should have to live in fear that they can be legally fired, evicted from their homes, or kicked out of a store just for being who they are,” said Angela Hughey, President and Co-Founder of ONE Community.

“Inclusion and equal rights are universal values, central to the beliefs of Arizonans, faith communities, and to good business practice,” said Michael Soto, Executive Director of Equality Arizona. “Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, without exception, and it’s clear that leading Arizonans agree.” 


Full letters and signers below:

An Open Letter from the Arizona Business Community

As citizens and leaders in the business community, we write in support of non-discrimination ordinances that protect all people, including LGBTQ people, from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations. 

When it comes to attracting and retaining top talent, businesses like ours need all of the available tools in the toolbox. In Arizona, we’re fortunate to have a lot of those tools: a great business environment, affordability, beautiful climate, and more. However, the crucial missing piece is equal treatment for all residents.  

Arizona’s current non-discrimination law protects employees based on race, age, gender, religion, national origin and disability, but that protection does not extend to sexual orientation or gender identity. That means, in Arizona, it is not illegal to fire someone, deny housing or refuse service based on who they are or who they love. 

We represent a wide range of industries, but what we have in common with each other and with so many industries nationwide, is that we all need talent to succeed and we all want Arizona to succeed. 

In very practical terms, by denying legal protections to those in the LGBTQ community, we risk losing talent and business to nearby states – Nevada, California, Colorado, and New Mexico – that offer the guarantee of equal protection under the law. Our lack of equal treatment for all people is not only wrong, but it is also bad for economic sustainability and growth. It puts us at risk of reputational damage from discriminatory measures like SB1062 that threatened the loss of large national events like the Super Bowl.  Arizona can no longer afford to have unnecessary barriers in place that put us at a distinct disadvantage.  

We believe that the majority of people are good and don’t discriminate, but when discrimination does occur, it’s important for people to have legal recourse. It’s just not enough for businesses to have inclusive policies. People should be protected both in and out of the workplace, and our state’s stance on equal protections sends an important message to current and prospective talent about our values and culture.  

Simply put, protecting people from discrimination is about treating others as we want to be treated. The principles of non-discrimination are rooted in core American values of fairness, equality, and opportunity.  All hard-working people, including those who are LGBTQ, want to do their jobs and provide for their families. Nobody should have to live in fear that they can be legally fired, evicted from their homes, or kicked out of a store just for being who they are.  

In fact, 94% of Fortune 500 companies have non-discrimination policies that include sexual orientation and gender identity. If we wish to continue to attract and retain these companies, now is the time for Arizona to have a non-discrimination law to match. It is not enough for these companies to have employment protections – they want their employees protected both in and out of the workplace.

It’s reassuring to know that non-discrimination ordinances aren’t a partisan issue. A 2018 poll by OH Predictive Insights showed that likely voters favored non-discrimination protections in employment, housing and public services at over 70%, and self-identified likely conservative voters favored those protections at over 50%.

Most importantly, all of us care about safety and privacy.  Contrary to false arguments by the opposition, nothing about LGBTQ inclusive ordinances changes the fact that it is illegal to enter a restroom or facility to harm or harass people or invade their privacy.  Any predator who tries to enter a women’s facility would be subject to arrest and prosecution just as they are today.  It’s important to know that more than 300 cities across the U.S. have already implemented these types of ordinances with no increase in public safety incidents.

If we want to live in a place that remains competitive, attracts the very best talent, has a strong economy, and is a vibrant place to live, then we must also be open for business to everyone. We respectfully urge all Arizona residents to join in support of public policy that provides equal protections for LGBTQ people.

Add your Organization to the list of signers



Steve Seleznow​, President & CEO, Arizona Community Foundation

Xavier Gutierrez, President & CEO, Arizona Coyotes

Derrick Hall, CEO, Arizona Diamondbacks

Bobby Dulle, General Manager, Phoenix Rising

John Graham President & CEO Sunbelt Holdings

Lyndsey, Frye  President, Arizona Kachinas Hockey Association

Kimbery Sabow, President & CEO, Arizona Lodging and Tourism

Neil Giuliano, President & CEO, Greater Phoenix Leadership

Chris Camacho, President & CEO, Greater Phoenix Economic Council

Devney Preuss, President & CEO, Downtown Phoenix Inc.

Steven Zylstra, President & CEO, Arizona Technology Council

Michael Stavros, Partner, M Culinary Concepts

Sheila Kloefkorn President & CEO, KEO Marketing

Kimber Lanning, Founder, Local First Arizona

Pam Kehaly, President & CEO, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona

Matt Owens, Managing Partner, OH Partners

David Adame, President & CEO, Chicanos Por La Causa

Jason Wong, Chairman, Asian Corporate & Entrepreneur Leaders

Diana Yazzie Devine, President & CEO, Native American Connections

Rachel Sacco, President & CEO, Experience Scottsdale

Robin Reed, President & CEO, Black Chamber of Arizona

Monica Villalobos, President & CEO, Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Robert Heidt, President & CEO, Glendale Chamber of Commerce

Isabel Georgelos, Interim President/CEO, Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Dr. Yvette Jackson, Executive Director, Devereux Arizona

Adam Goodman, President & CEO, Goodman's Interiors

Gonzalo de la Melana Jr., Founder + CEO, Emerging Airport Ventures

Dana Marie Kennedy, State Director, AARP Arizona

Jenny Poon, Founder, Co+Hoots

Rob Fullmer, Executive Director, Arizona Craft Brewers Guild

Tammy McLeod, President & CEO, Flinn Foundation

Ed Zito, Managing Partner, Black Point Ventures, LLC

Michael Mooney, Interim President & CEO, Visit Phoenix

Ricardo Carlo, President, Associated Minority Contractors of Arizona

Kari Archer, Chair, Marriott Business Council

Angela Hughey, co-founder & President, ONE Community

Michael Soto, Executive Director, Equality Arizona

James Christensen, President & CEO, Gateway Bank

Doug Bruhnke, CEO & Founder, Global Chamber

Catherine Scrivano, President , CASCO Financial Group

Howard Fleischmann, CEO, Community Tire Pros & Auto Repair

Dennis Kavanaugh, President, Dennis Kavanaugh PC

Alec Melger, US Operations Specialist, Design Pickle

Christopher Meyer, General Manager, Four Peaks Brewing Co.

Lavanya Sunder, General Manager, Culdesac

Marc Garcia, President & CEO, Visit Mesa

Jacob Schmitt, President & CEO, Arizona’s Children Association

Elena Joy Thurston, Executive Director, Pride and Joy Foundation

Dr. Gerd Wuestemann, President & CEO, Scottsdale Center for the Arts

Jason Rose, President , Rose+Moser+Allyn Public Relations

Chuck Warshaver, President, Gellert Health

Scott Wallace, Owner, Republic West Remodeling

Benjamin Groff, Vice President, Groff-Swint Media

Cicely Rocha Miller, Event Designer, Life Design Events

Michelle Kauk, Founder & President, Mode Public Affairs

Kim Larkin, Founder & President, MXD Arts

Wes Gullet, CEO, OH Strategic Communications

Susanne Slake, CEO, Slake Consulting

Mary Kelly, CEO, StraTech Education Group

Dr. Joel P. Martin, President Triad West, Inc. Consulting

Kristine Mill, Owner, Wok This Way Food Truck with a Cause

Jennifer Duff, President, Jef International Inc

Eileen Rogers, President, Sregor, LLC

Mark Hayduke Grenard, CEO, Mark's Bookmark Bookseller

Cindy Dach, CEO, MADE Art Boutique

Donald Nottingham, Owner, Design One International

Dr. Sophia Murphy, Owner, Health Synergy LLC

Barb Harris, Partner, TeamWorks PR

Michael Marquess, CEO, Mother Road Brewing Company

Anthony Macleod, CEO, Ally Pediatric Therapy

Susan Baier, Owner, Audience Audit

Nate Rhoton, Executive Director, one-n-ten

Bill Gemmill, VP of Operations, OUTvoices Phoenix, Aequalitas Media

Katee Van Horn, Founder & President, VH Included Consulting

Dr. Shanon Steinhauser, Owner, Phoenix Eyecare

Eileen Rogers, President, One Creative View, LLC

Tami Staas, President, Arizona Trans Youth and Parent Organization

Edgar R. Olivo, President & CEO, Compass CBS Foundation

Paul A. Taliercio, Director & Curator, The Sapien Museum of Anthropology and Natural History

Kenneth Richard Barrett, Owner, Phoenix General Store

Diana Wilson, Chief Executive Advisor, Aspen Behavioral Consulting 

Nicole Bennett, Owner, Perry Consulting

Tony Felice, Founder, The Felice Agency

Robert & Cindy Leger, Owners, Ocotillo Music

Kira Geddes, Owner, Casa Kira

Athena Gibbons, Chief Operating Officer, A & P Global Goods

Mike Fornelli, Executive Director, Phoenix Pride

Scott Wallace, Owner, Thingz Contemporary Living

Chuck Peterson, Executive Director, Southwest Center

Shannon McBride, Executive Director, 19North

Jimmy Thomason, Executive Director, Aunt Rita's Foundation

Jill Roberts, Owner, Draftwood Design

Daniel Davidson and Korina Callahan, Co-Owners, Kaibab Behavioral Services

Darby Vance, Founder & Content Creator, Full Swing Video

Heather Torriente, Owner, Tantrum Salon

Pamela Slim, Co-Founder, K'é Main Street Learning Lab

Cindy Dach, CEO, Changing Hands Bookstore and First Draft Book Bar

Kristen Garcia-Hernandez, Chief Executive Officer, Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona

Diane Serpa, Owner, Grey Cat Dot Design

Lynn Davis, Executive Director, Sonoran Glass School

Jessica Belokas, Clinical Director Arizona, Autism Spectrum Therapies

Brendan Mahoney, General Counsel, HBI International

Scott Wallace, Owner, Habitat Renovations

Butch Leiber, Owner, Draw a Door Business Coaching

Rachel Boyer, Owner, Frame Photography by Rachel Boyer

Amy Ettinger, Vice President & Executive Director, Scottsdale International Film Festival

Scott Wallace, Owner, Boulevard Urban Living

Jude Nau, Managing Partner, Best Western Plus Sundial

Rich Newman, General Manager, Gainey Suites Hotel

Matthew Clyde, President + Founder, Ideas Collide

Doug Bruhnke, Founder & CEO, Global Chamber

Doug Arvanites, Principal, Viewpoint Merchant Consulting

Jeff Griffin, President, JP Griffin Group

Michelle Keoghan, Co-Owner, Remedy Salon and Spa

May Levine, Managing Partner, Sel Restaurant Group LLC

Scott Wallace, Owner, Fig & Birch Interiors

Kate Green Ph.D., Executive Director, Museum of Contemporary Art Tucson

Maria DeNicola, Owner, Senza Pelo Med Spa

Katharine Halpin, Founder & CEO, The Halpin Companies, Inc.

Kurt Hanke, Founder, Handyman Xtreme

Amy Powell, Licensed Agent, HealthMarkets Insurance Agency

Judy Zimet, Esq., Real Estate Attorney & Associate Broker, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices AZ

Kay Massaro, President, Scottsdale Bedrooms

Marilyn Rodriguez, Partner, Creosote Partners

Aime Boekhout, Director of Operations, Wallbeds N More Scottsdale

Christy Moore, Founder & Owner, Social Spin, Inc.

Jill Roberts, Owner, Twigs & Twine

Francine Kades, Owner, The Balloon People

John & Nicole Salisbury, Owner, Modern Yoga

Emiel Martin Brott, Executive Director, The Drawing Studio

Kerwin Brown, Executive Director, UPI Loan Fund

Heather Boysel, Managing Member, Gammage & Burnham

Frankie Jo Rios, President & CEO, East Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Leah Fregulia, Head of School & CEO, Arizona School for the Arts

Linda Whittley, Owner, Papa Ed's Ice Cream

Noémiekai Bath + Body, Noémie, Luce, Owner

Arjelia Gomez, President & CEO, Open Hearts Family Wellness

Lauren Henschen, CEO, Phoenix Center for the Arts

Jack Aronauer, President, The Palazzo Senior Living

Shaun McFarland, Clinic Manager, Amistad Clinic

Denise Gredler, President & CEO, Best Companies AZ

Tammy Medigovich, Designated Broker & Owner, Bella Casa Realty

Chad Wolver, Founder, Azul Analysis

William Babin, Producer, Big Zephyr Music

Paula Leeper, Owner, Ancient Healing Arts LLC

Glenn Kasprzyk, President, Coalition for the Enhancement of Prehospital Care

Laurie Battaglia, CEO, Aligned at Work

Beth Morrison, CEO, Our Family Services

Cara McGuire, Partner, McGuire Real Estate Partners

Mark Mettes, President & CEO, Herberger Theater Center

Shannon Scutari, President, Scutari & Co., LLC

Thomas Durisek, Owner, Open Wide Dental

Erin Westgate, Owner, Songbird Coffee House

John Phebus, Owner, The Law Offices of John Phebus, PLC

Mike Spangenberg, CEO & Co-Founder, State Forty-Eight

Terri Kimbel, President & CEO, Chandler Chamber of Commerce

Daniel Openden, President & CEO, Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center

Kaleim Manji, Chief Executive Officer, Talent Acquisition, Spear Education

Carmen Heredia, CEO, Valle del Sol

Benjamin Groff, Vice President, Groff – Swint Media

Law Offices of Vescio & Seifert, Lynda Vescio, Senior Partner

Arizona Sustainability Alliance, Ashley Camhi, Ph.D., Executive Director

Dive N Ride Adventures LLC, Lisa Malachowsky, Founder

Inspired Connections, Rhonda Bannard, Founder

MODE Public Relations, Michelle Kauk, Founder & President

Circle of Light Healing Therapies, Noémie, Luce, Owner

Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation , Mary Vesely, Employee Engagement & Inclusion Program Manager

Ideas You LLC, Jill Clark, Owner

Law Office of Katherine Kraus, PLLC, Katherine Kraus, Managing Partner

Add your Organization to the list of signers