UA Engineering and Business Colleges Honor Tech Business Leaders

Ed Stiles
Dec. 14, 2001

Tom Brown, founder and chairman emeritus of Burr-Brown Corp., has been named the 2001 Technology Executive of the Year.

Brown received the award at the annual Technology & Management Awards Luncheon (TMAL) on Wednesday, Dec. 12 at the Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale, Ariz. He is one of five business leaders who were honored at the event, which drew more than 700 from Arizona's business and engineering communities.

The University of Arizona Eller College of Business and Public Administration and the UA College of Engineering and Mines sponsor TMAL, which is now in its third year.

Four other executives were honored at TMAL for their entrepreneurial efforts and outstanding contributions to developing the nation's economy. They are:

  • Delbert Lewis, former president and CEO of MAC America Communications, Inc. -- College of Engineering and Mines Lifetime Achievement Award.

  • Jackson L. Wilson, Jr., corporate development officer for Accenture and the managing general partner for Accenture Technology Ventures -- Eller College Lifetime Achievement Award.

  • Alan Boeckmann, president and chief operating officer of Fluor Corp. -- College of Engineering and Mines Distinguished Service Award.

  • Donald Soldwedel, chairman of the board for Western Newspapers, Inc. -- Eller College Distinguished Service Award.

"The 2001 award winners illustrate that education, high-tech enterprises and entrepreneurship are vital to Arizona's economy, particularly in these uncertain times," said Mark Zupan, dean of the Eller College of Business and Public Administration.

The awards luncheon also celebrates the close working relationship and collaborative programs that are evolving in the colleges of business and engineering at UA, said Tom Peterson, dean of the College of Engineering and Mines. "Our collaborations have provided educational opportunities that benefit students, while at the same time strengthening the State of Arizona and our university," he added.

Profiles of the winners

Tom Brown is Tucson's most successful high-tech entrepreneur. After receiving his MBA from Harvard in 1952, he moved to Tucson, and in 1956 started Burr-Brown Research Corp. in his garage. Brown and his friend, Paige Burr, ran the company, with Burr working on product development in New York and Brown handling sales and manufacturing in Tucson. Texas Instruments acquired Burr-Brown in June 2000 for the highest price ever paid for an Arizona company.

Brown served as chairman of the Transportation Committee for Tucson Tomorrow and was a member of the Tucson Airport Authority. He also was president of the Arizona Council on Economic Education, which operated out of UA's economics department.

Delbert Lewis was one of the first stockholders and founders of Arizona Television Co. KTVK, TV-3, in Phoenix. He was elected treasurer of the corporation in 1960 and became president in 1975. In 1980, he became general manager and chief executive officer, and served as president of the company until its sale in 1999.

With the acquisition of several other media companies between 1989 and 1996, the company expanded and was renamed MAC America Communications, Inc. Del Lewis and his wife, Jewell, have been involved in numerous civic activities in Arizona and at the University of Arizona. He graduated from UA with a degree in civil engineering in 1950.

Jackson L. Wilson, Jr. is the corporate development officer for Accenture, the world's leading provider of management and technology consulting services and solutions. He is a member of Accenture's board of directors, management committee, executive committee and Global Leadership Council. He also serves as a director on the boards of two of Accenture's affiliated companies, Avanade, Inc. and Navitaire, Inc. In addition, he serves on the board of an Accenture Technology Ventures' portfolio company, Opass, Inc. He received his BS degree in economics from UA and an MBA from the University of Southern California.

Alan Boeckmann, has held various management positions during his 25-year tenure with Fluor Corp. These have included assignments in California, Texas, South Carolina, South Africa and Venezuela. Fluor provides services on a global basis in the fields of engineering, procurement, construction, maintenance, operations, project management and business services.

Boeckmann is active in a variety of business and professional organizations and serves as a director of Burlington Northern Santa Fe, the American Petroleum Institute and the Business Council for International Understanding. He graduated from UA in 1973 with a degree in electrical engineering.

Donald Soldwedel graduated from UA in marketing in 1946 and moved to Yuma, Ariz. In 1953 he began working for his father-in-law, F.F. McNaughton, who was part owner of the Yuma Daily Sun and owner of the Pekin Times in Illinois. Soldwedel gradually bought McNaughton's share in the paper and began to expand. Eventually he built Western Newspapers into a 17 (now 16) newspaper chain that serves small communities in Arizona and California. Western Newspapers sold the Yuma Daily Sun in 1984, but now owns two radio stations in Yuma.

Soldwedel has been active in efforts to retain Arizona's military bases and was influential in bringing the San Diego Padres baseball team to Yuma for spring training in 1969. The team continued its spring training in Yuma for 25 years. In 1998 Soldwedel received an award from the Arizona Board of Regents for his "outstanding service to higher education" and for his work with the UA Foundation and more than ten other UA boards.


Resources for the media