The State of Downtown is our annual event that showcases what we have been up to all year long. The 2016 State of Downtown took place on October 18th at 5pm in the Tempe Mission Palms Alley. Each year we use this opportunity to celebrate successes, give you some data on our programs, and present future programming that is in the works.
In addition, we recognize people and companies that are helping to make Downtown Tempe the vibrant urban hub that it is today, through the Impact Awards. Awards are given to businesses, corporations, or individuals that are making great contributions in our downtown. We are pleased to announce the following winners of the 2016 Impact Awards:
Business Community Impact
Silicon Valley Bank - For leading the movement of tech related companies relocating to Downtown Tempe, specifically Hayden Ferry Lakeside, and maintaining a commitment to Downtown. Today Silicon Valley Bank has 500 jobs located in our downtown.
Four Peaks - For decades of donations, contributions, volunteerism, and great levels of support to the non profits organizations and cultural events that make Downtown Tempe unique and vibrant.
Gammage Auditorium - For stimulating the local economy, and the Phoenix greater area, by bringing ever-growing audiences to downtown to since 1964 and partnering with local restaurants on the popular "Dinner and a Show." program. Read more about the powerful economic impact of this institution HERE.
City of Tempe - Tempe Town Lake Dam Repair - For the efforts taken to naturally control pests, responsibly return the water to the SRP canals and reuse the water to refill the lake and all other environmental efforts in the Tempe Town Lake dam repair.
Tempe Police Department - For exemplifying the way a police department should work with the community as a guardian, protecting our rights and treating all citizens with dignity and respect without bias.
Lifetime Achievement Awards were given to:
For decades he gave his time and energy to our organization and tirelessly supported the efforts to make downtown Tempe a vibrant place. He also answered the call each and every time we called asking for a donation of space or meals or hotel rooms. In the last year Ken McKenzie stepped off our board of directors as he is now working in Scottsdale, but his spirit of community is carried on by the current team at Mission Palms.
ASU School of Architecture
For a project that was quite literally a game changer for downtown Tempe and this region. Jim Elmore, who was the founding Dean of the School of Architecture at ASU, suggested in Fall of 1966 to a group of 16 students that they should “do something with the river.” He guided these students through extensive studies, research, community interviews, site surveys and ultimately models of Tempe Town Lake were presented to the community and City Leaders. The first go round, voters shot down the aggressive Rio Salado Project, but then Mayor Harry Mitchell only became more determined to see the project come to fruition. After countless studies, negotiations and analysis, the project was completed and Tempe Town Lake filled with water in July 1999, 33 years after it was originally conceived. James Elmore passed away in 2007 at 90 years of age.
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