Guest Post: MPA Common Ground Awards Celebration 2011

The Metropolitan Pima Alliance (MPA) will be hosting its 8th Annual Common Ground Awards Celebration on October 21st at the Westward Look Resort. In keeping with its mission to further the interests of the real estate and development industry through education, public policy advocacy and networking, the event celebrates positive, collaborative interaction between the public and private sectors. Three hundred community leaders and individuals representing the real estate and building industry are expected to attend this great networking event.

After reviewing 50 nominations over the course of several months, the Metropolitan Pima Alliance (MPA) Board selected award finalists and winners in six categories. The finalists all demonstrated successful, atypical collaboration that resulted in the resolution of complex issues for the overall benefit of the community.

Past award recipients include the University of Arizona Phoenix Mars Lander, the Arizona Department of Transportation I-10 Widening Project and the Regional Transportation Authority Plan.

Congratulations to the following 2011 Common Ground Award finalists:

Economic Development:

  • Sargent Aerospace & Defense Facility Expansion
  • The Bridges
  • Bio5 Oro Valley Facility

Planning Design or Construction:

  • Tucson Electric Power UniSource Headquarters
  • Centro
  • New Armory Building
  • Orange Grove Casitas


  • Roy Place Building
  • Martin Luther King Apartments at Depot Plaza
  • Broadway Village Planned Area Development Updates
  • Ghost Ranch Lodge Restoration

Program and Events:

  • Meet Me at Maynards
  • Tucson Meet Yourself
  • Oro Valley HOA Day

Public Policy:

  • Town of Oro Valley Conceptual Design Review Board
  • City of Tucson Parking Regulations
  • Pima County Public Works Policy on Service Level and Plan Review Expectations

Community Building:

  • Casa de Los Ninos Planned Area Development
  • Sahuarita Livable Community

The special Award of Distinction will be bestowed on El Tour de Tucson which has been active in our community for 29 years! This year, El Tour is expected to engage some 9,000 cyclists, 2,900 volunteers and 29,000 spectators and to bring in approximately $50 – $70 million to the Tucson area during the course of the year including $18 – $30 million on ride weekend alone.

For more information, please check out our Common Ground webpage or e-mail Amber Smith, the Executive Director of the organization.

Amber Smith Metropolitan Pima AllianceAmber Smith has been Executive Director of MPA since 2010, where she first served as Governmental Relations Director. She leads the organization in advocating for equitable land use policies within the Pima County region and educates the membership on local issues. As a former lobbyist, Amber has extensive experience with the political side of land entitlement issues and established relationships with all the local jurisdictions in Pima County. She earned her undergraduate degree in Political Science, as well as her Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Arizona. 

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