Friday, October 29, 2021

New Member Meeting

New Member Meeting for the Historical League at Arizona Heritage Center. A good time was had at all!

Saturday, October 23, 2021


October 22, 2021 Arizona Historical Society | Arizona History | Press Releases
Arizona Historical Society Announces Dr. David Breeckner As the New Executive Director Dr. Breeckner Will Lead the State’s Oldest Historical Agency Starting December 2021 The Arizona Historical Society (AHS) is proud to announce Dr. David Breeckner (pronounced “BrEHck-ner”) as the incoming Executive Director. With a passion for history and learning, Dr. Breeckner will start his tenure in December 2021. AHS Board President Linda Whitaker announced, “We have caught a rising star! Of the many applicants in a nationwide search for a Director of the Arizona Historical Society, Dr. David Breeckner quickly rose to the top as the Executive Search Committee’s choice for the position. His energy, communication skills, track record working with diverse communities as well as active engagement in education, outreach, and mentoring are critical elements for the future.” Dr. Breeckner joins AHS after over a decade working within the fields of history and archaeology, and the last four years with the Imperial Valley Desert Museum in Southern California. Originally a transplant from New England, Dr. Breeckner received his undergraduate at Saint Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont before relocating overseas to obtain a Masters and Doctorate in Classical Archaeology at Trinity College Dublin in Dublin, Ireland. His time there was transformative, shifting his focus away from rote textbook analysis of the past to a practical exploration through onsite study with archaeology. Since 2011, Dr. Breeckner has served as ceramic archaeologist with the Priniatikos Pyrgos Project, an Irish-led excavation based on the Mediterranean island of Crete. There, he specialized in the study of the enigmatic Minoan civilization of the Greek Bronze Age. His work with the Project demonstrated the transformative nature of interacting with history: that the sensation of studying and handling artifacts was in fact a conversation — one that bridges the present with the countless lives and stories of the past, and makes it come alive. This philosophy now drives Dr. Breeckner in all his endeavors. An educator, Dr. Breeckner has served as a member of faculty in the Department of History at both Southern New Hampshire University and San Diego State University, where his courses covered historical subjects and civilizations from prehistory through the Renaissance. His time with students has refined a pedagogy focused around deep engagement, with the goal to reveal the relevancy of the past and to inspire meaningful connections between students and their subject. Dr. Breeckner shared, “We are living history: writing it day by day. To argue that history is irrelevant is to deny the reality of one’s own existence. I am excited to lead the Arizona Historical Society museums, archives, and people into its next chapter. Museums exist as community spaces, where the lessons of the past can be explored, experienced, and enjoyed to help shape our collective future.” As an Executive Director, Dr. Breeckner specializes in institutional growth and community engagement. He believes that history belongs to the communities they represent, and that its study can provide new meaning and value to our present and future. Museums exist as spaces to facilitate that reflection and review, and to excite and inspire individuals through the examples and lessons of the past. His works and past accomplishments include a focus on community-based programs and events, including hikes, craft fairs and festivals, expansive public education programming, virtual video series, and much more. Having started his career in museums as a curator, Dr. Breeckner has worked his way through and experienced every level of museum operations, including exhibit development, curricula writing, and capital campaigns. He addresses each with the tenacity and conviction born of an unshaken belief in the value and import of history on modern society. Coming to AHS in December 2021, Dr. David Breeckner is thrilled to share his experience-based way of learning and a forward-looking vision for the future with the people of Arizona. Dr. Breeckner joins AHS with his wife Leslye and their two dogs, Brandy and Akira. For future announcements, visit Media Contact: Tawn Downs, Vice President, Marketing, Communications, & Revenue Enhancement 480-387-5368 –

Friday, October 22, 2021

Historymaker Colangelo set to be honored at luncheon by Duane Rankin Arizona Republic

A month from turning 82 years young, Jerry Colangelo has lived a life filled with countless achievements, but this latest one is very special and dear to his heart. The former Suns team owner will be recognized at Wednesday’s Jerry Colangelo 50 Years of Golden Achievements Tribute Luncheon beginning at noon at Chateau Luxe. “This is all news to me,” Colangelo said Tuesday afternoon. “It’s all come up in the last 24 hours that (Gregg Osro) wanted to recognize the last 50 years of my existence.” Presented by Chicanos Por La Causa (CPLC), the luncheon will announce the Jerry Colangelo Integrity Scholarship Endowment that will provide scholarships to students attending accredited Arizona college, trade, technology and art schools. “Recognizing 50 years is just a tribute to the consistency and the commitment that he’s had to the local community,” Suns current team owner Robert Sarver said. “He’s been involved and been so open to supporting so many organizations in need around the community.” Colangelo described the event honoring him as humbling. “Sometimes it’s uncomfortable, but if there’s really a good cause behind it, I can get through it,” Colangelo said. “I’ve been blessed with the ability to raise money for a lot of good causes in the community, raising funds for all the kinds of needs within the community. So you can call it a curse or you can call it a blessing. I’ll call it a blessing.” There will be a video tribute for Colangelo. “To me, I was given this platform,” Colangelo continued. “I’m a Christian. So I would say God gave me this platform and all I’m doing is taking a step at a time doing what I think he wants me to do. He set the platform. I’m just playing it out. That’s all I’m doing. So I can keep my feet on the ground that way, thinking about why am I here now in the first place? Is to make a contribution, make your community a better place to live and helping those who have needs and I’ve tried to focus resources and time to accomplish just that.” Sarver donated $15,000 through Phoenix Suns charities towards the scholarships.
“I was very pleased to hear that Robert has chosen to make a contribution for that purpose,” Colangelo said. “It made me feel very good.” Sarver got word about the scholarships last week and proceeded to make a donation as he’s been a partner with Chicanos Por La Causa for almost 40 years. “Jerry is very worthy of the tribute for everything he’s done for our community here,” Sarver said. “So (the endowment) was something we decided to invest in.” Colangelo said more than $100,000 is expected to be raised for the scholarships. “That’s exciting to me when you can make a difference in people’s lives and think of kids that would never go to school,” he said. “I know myself, had it not been for sports, had it not been for the ability to shoot a basketball, throw a baseball, I would’ve never gone to college. It did wonderful things for me and to give young people an opportunity to make something of their lives, I really enjoy that very much.” Colangelo and Sarver are the only two owners of the Suns since 1968. Colangelo sold the team to Sarver in 2004. “It was the beginning of a new era in the history of the franchise,” Colangelo said. “The fact that he did this gesture, to me, was very heartwarming to me and it’s very much appreciated that he chose to do that. And the fact he wanted to participate, I was very happy to hear it.” In looking back on Colangelo’s impact on the community, Sarver pointed to him having the Suns and Arizona Diamondbacks play their home games in downtown as the beginning of “a 24- hour city” for Phoenix. Colangelo was also a team owner of the Diamondbacks. “Most larger cities, I say a 24-hour city, they have office, retail and residential,” Sarver said. “And for years, Phoenix was just known as a place to go to work. Everyone came in the morning, everyone left at night, but when the old America West Arena (for the Suns) was built and then followed up with the baseball stadium, that helped turn the narrative of downtown Phoenix into more of a 24-hour city and a place where people were actually going downtown after work and on the weekends and was really the impetus for the residential that’s been built downtown, the re- tail that’s been built downtown. So it started the transformation of downtown Phoenix.”

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Chef Ryan Swanson leaving KAI restaurant

With the help of Chef Ryan Swanson, Kai restaurant was featured in Tastes & Treasures II with its accent on historic, indigenous foods. The chef of award-winning Kai restaurant is moving on. The Historical League appreciates his love of history and contributions.
Priscilla Totiyapungprasert Arizona Republic
USA TODAY NETWORK October 13, 2021 Ryan Swanson, the chef de cuisine at Kai, grew up in Ahwatukee just 10 minutes away from the award-winning dining destination. For the past 12 years, the fine-dining restaurant in the Gila River Indian Reservation felt like home as he worked his way up from line cook to head chef. Now Swanson — self-described “Arizona boy and a desert boy” — is moving on. A spokesperson for the Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass confirmed that Swanson is leaving the resort’s flagship restaurant and his last night of service is Saturday, Oct. 23. Swanson told The Arizona Republic he is stepping into a new, more operational role at the historic Ocean House beach hotel in Rhode Island. While it’s hard to leave home, Swanson felt it was time to explore another side of the industry, as well as another side of the country. ‘It’s very Arizona-specific’ Swanson was promoted to head chef of Kai in 2015. In 2020, he was recognized as a semifinalist for the James Beard Awards in the Best Chef — Southwest category. Kai, which means ‘seed’ in the Pima language, is known for its upscale menu inspired by the Pima and Maricopa Tribes.
Recent dishes at the restaurant include a chilled cactus and melon soup made with lemon semifreddo, compressed Arizona melon, guajillo oil and citrus lace; the Kai lobster roll made with vanilla butter poached lobster tail served on Ramona Farms pinole cornbread and 60-day corn bisque; and a grilled tenderloin of tribal buffalo served with smoked corn puree, scarlet runner bean chili, cholla buds and saguaro blossom syrup. “It’s very Arizona-specific,” Swanson said. “That’s the reason why it’s so special. Not too many people are doing what we’re doing right now.” Kai restaurant
looks for new head chef Swanson said he was proud to collaborate with Indigenous farmers in Arizona and showcase their ingredients, from tepary beans to saguaro seeds. Swanson has worked with Native Seeds/ SEARCH and the San Xavier Co-Op Farm in Tucson, as well as Ramona Farms in Sacaton. He has also used for- aged ingredients from Tohono O’odham artist Terrol Dew Johnson. “I’d like to thank the community and the executive committee and everybody at the restaurant for the enormous support they’ve given me throughout the years in allowing me to be creative and do my best work at Kai...It’s been a real honor and a real pleasure and I’m going to miss them,” he said. Swanson feels like he’s leaving the restaurant in a good place for the next chef. The chef de cuisine role at Kai is now open. Interested candidates can apply online at Reach the reporter at

Saturday, October 9, 2021

2017 Historymaker Ed Beauvais write up AZ Republic 10/3/21

Beauvais, former CEO of America West Airlines, dies
Special to Arizona Republic | USA TODAY NETWORK 10/3/2021 Ed Beauvais had five children, but anyone who knows him would say another offspring arrived in 1981. That’s the year the airline accountant turned consult- ant founded America West Airlines. Beauvais, who grew the spunky Tempe carrier into a major Arizona employer and an industry success story despite a rocky trip through bankruptcy court, talked about America West as if it were his child, and treated early employees like family. Long after he left the airline in 1992, and long after the airline’s name disappeared after the 2005 merger of America West and US Airways, Beauvais still fondly recalled America West. At a reunion organized by America West employees in 2012, he regaled a packed crowd with details from the airline’s startup days. The airline began flying in 1983 with just a few planes. It battled Southwest, American and Republic air- lines, among others, at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. “What America West achieved — what you achieved — is a remarkable record of success in a highly combative atmosphere,” he said. “Every time you got up, you got knocked down, and you had to get back up and keep on fighting.” Beauvais, 84, died on Sept. 28 in his home in Scottsdale. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Mary Ellen, five children, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Beauvais grew up in a middle-class family in Pueblo, Colorado, an industrial city 110 miles south of Denver. His father worked in the business office at Colorado Fuel & Iron Corp., a steel mill, and his mother stayed home with Beauvais, his fraternal twin, George, and his sister, Marilyn. He excelled in sports in high school and earned a tryout with the Baltimore Orioles after he graduated. “He was one of those people who you looked up to in high school and said, ‘Gee, I wish I could do that,’ ” one of Beauvais’ high-school classmates said in a 1991 interview. “It’s an All-American boy type of story.” Beauvais decided against trying out for the Orioles in favor of a football scholarship at St. Joseph’s College in Indiana. He played for the school for a while but ended up transferring to Regis College in Colorado, where he majored in accounting, minored in economics and played baseball. “I decided that football was not a very good career and that education was extremely important,” Beauvais said in a 1991 interview. His first job out of college was in the accounting department at Colorado Fuel & Iron, but it was all airlines after that. Beauvais’ career in the notoriously up-and- down industry began in the finance department at Frontier Airlines and continued at Bonanza Airlines, which brought him to Phoenix in 1966. Beauvais switched to consulting in 1970. His clients included the city of Phoenix and Continental Airlines. Sensing an opportunity with the deregulation of the airline industry in 1978, he co-founded America West in 1981 with his oldest son, Mark, colleague and mentor Don Neilson and attorney Michael Roach. 
The entrepreneur’s eternal optimism was tested from the start, with the company twice running out of money and losing its headquarters to a fire, all before the first flight departed.
America West got off the ground in August 1983, flying to a handful of cities from Phoenix. It grew rapidly, achieving early profits. Beauvais had the airline’s logo stamped on his shirts, ties and cowboy boots.
He famously tussled with competitors, primarily Southwest Airlines. He tried to block the Dallas airline from moving into the new Terminal 4 at Sky Harbor and ran advertisements needling Southwest for its no-frills flying. In the late 1980s, Beauvais suggested that Southwest passengers should be embarrassed to fly the airline when they could receive more amenities on America West (whose perks at the time included free drinks) for the same price. Southwest fired back with a memorable spot featuring co-founder Herb Kelleher with a bag over his head. The airline also handed out paper bags at the air- port to passengers during the promotion. The competition and Beauvais’ aggressive expansion plans for America West were good for Phoenix passengers, who enjoyed nonstop flights around the country, including service to Hawaii on a Boeing 747. The good times didn’t last, though, thanks to the air- line’s rapid growth, the poor economy and the Gulf War. America West, drained of cash, ended up in bankruptcy in June 1991. Less than 24 hours after the filing, in an interview in his office in Tempe, the always glass-half-full Beauvais predicted America West would survive despite a large chorus of naysayers. “I think our prospects of working our way through are reasonably good,” he told a reporter. America West shrank and survived — emerging from bankruptcy in August 1994 — but Beauvais wasn’t around for most of the reorganization. He lost his job as CEO a couple of months into the bankruptcy case and was replaced as chairman in 1992. He went on to form an airline in Colorado, Western Pacific Airlines, which later failed, but remained close to many America West front-line workers and was invited by company executives to events honoring America West after the America West-US Airways merger in 2005. He was the featured speaker at an employee-organized reunion at the Arizona Biltmore resort in 2012, where he was given a standing ovation and an I Love America West coffee mug. “I’m just extremely proud of what the company did here and extremely proud of the employees of America West,” Beauvais said in a 2013 interview after US Air- ways announced its merger plans with American Air- lines. Beauvais’ family announced his death in a social media post. “In addition to his storied entrepreneurial career in the airline industry, Mr. Beauvais was a noted family man that also created a family atmosphere at the companies he built. The many current and former employ- ees who experienced this still remember Ed with fond- ness decades later,” the announcement said. “Famous for his open door policy, approachable nature and interest in others, he’s still remembered for creating an excellent working environment and was beloved by those who were part of it.” Beauvais received Inc. magazine’s “1989 Entrepreneur of The Year” award, was recognized as an “Arizona History Maker,” was named one of Arizona’s 25 “Leaders and Legends” in 2014 and was inducted into The Arizona Aviation Hall of Fame in 2014.

Friday, October 8, 2021

A Tribute to Ed Beauvais 1936-2021

From the Arizona Historical Society, "Today we remember Ed Beauvais, who passed away last week. Ed Beauvais spent his career in aviation. He founded America West Airlines (AWA) in 1981 and served as the company’s first CEO. By establishing Phoenix as the corporate home and operational hub for AWA, Beauvais contributed significantly to the rapid growth of Phoenix and Sky Harbor Airport. Ed was also influential in the support for the construction of the Arizona Heritage Center at Papago Park, and he was also honored as a Historymaker by the in 2017. Seen in this photograph is a mixed medium collage of highlights from AWA created in 1990. Beauvais (right) is shown with Michael J. Conway (left), the first President of AWA, celebrating the success and impact of their accomplishments. You can read Beauvais' oral history at"

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Fun at the October 4 meeting

The October meeting brought friends together at AZ Heritage Center to discuss League business, learn about the 48 Women project with guest speaker Connie Robinson, have a delicious lunch and enjoy the museum. Pictured here are Chris Hackett with Anne Lupica, Claire Nullmeyer with Cindy Tidwell-Shelton, Connie Robinson with Diane Smith, Katie Tovar with her sister Mimi, Pat Faur, caterers Sergio and Randy.
It's a wonderful feeling to be meeting face to face after the pandemic!

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Guest Speaker Connie Robinson at October League meeting

Connie Robinson, chairperson of 48 Arizona Women Legacy Project, was our guest speaker Oct. 4. She talked about her group and its plans to renovate the Brown Auditorium at the Heritage Center. She is seated next to Historical League Diane Smith who invited Connie to speak. In addition to honoring the achievements of Arizona women, one of the group's goals is to help "young women, girls and youth reach their best potential in communities statewide and across the nation." The group began as an Arizona Centennial project and produced a book about 48 intriguing Arizona women in 2012. Now, nearly 10 years later, 48 Arizona Women Legacy Project is searching for the next generation of women who have made significant contributions to Arizona.