PAG announces recipient of annual Swanson Regional Leadership Award

PAG announces recipient of annual Swanson Regional Leadership Award

PIMA COUNTY, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Pima Association of Governments announced last week that Mike Varney is the recipient of the 2018 Thomas L. Swanson Regional Leadership Award.

The Swanson award is given in honor of a former PAG executive director, the late Thomas L. Swanson, to acknowledge an individual or organization that has affected positive change in the region in the areas of transportation, air quality, water quality or economic vitality.

As President/CEO of the Tucson Metro Chamber, Varney has contributed to many regional successes. He participates as the chamber's representative on the Tucson Business Alliance, which convenes the seven largest business and economic development organizations in the region to work on issues of regional importance. He is a collaborator among business, nonprofit and governmental groups. He organized and presides over Interface, an information sharing program among business and government leaders that identifies regional concerns. He has advocated for transportation infrastructure improvements and worked collaboratively to accomplish the First Impressions project that improved the landscaping and aesthetics on Tucson Boulevard at the gateway to the region from the Tucson International Airport.

"Mike is a respected leader who has stepped forward to champion regional infrastructure and economic vitality issues, including sometimes unpopular and controversial funding proposals," said Tucson Metro Chamber Board Member Tom McGovern, who nominated Varney for the award. "Mike's many collaborative and relationship-building efforts have had a positive effect on transportation and economic development in the region."

To view past Swanson award recipients, please visit

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