by Guy Harrison, Media & Marketing Specialist
PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. – Born and raised in San Manuel, Ariz., Joe Pyritz admits that he was not ready for a big four-year university which is why he enrolled in classes at Central Arizona College in the early 1980s.
“I felt that CAC would give me a better foundation for going into a university and being able to succeed there.”
Pyritz made the right choice.
In the midst of a roughly 22-year career in television and media, Pyritz now finds himself amongst the most accomplished students ever to graduate from CAC. In November of 2012, Pyritz was inducted onto CAC’s Wall of Success.
“I’m very humbled. To this day, I’m still speechless about it,” Pyritz says, his statement dripping with irony.
One look at Pyritz’s accomplishments and it’s easy to tell that this is not a man accustomed to being at a loss for words. Upon graduating from CAC in 1983, he earned a bachelor’s degree three years later from the University of Arizona where he was a political science major with a minor in communications.
Pyritz cites his experience at CAC and on the college’s speech team in helping him prepare for the life.
“CAC gave me a great deal of background with communication and being with the speech team,” Pyritz said. “And being able to interact with more than just students at the college really prepared me for what I’m doing today as far as interacting with everyone from elected officials to the public.”
Today, Pyritz is the communications and community relations administrator for Pinal County – a post he has held since 1999. Prior to serving the county, Pyritz could be seen on televisions across Tucson as a reporter and fill-in anchor for the city’s ABC affiliate KGUN-TV.
During his tenure as part of KGUN’s news team, Pyritz earned an award from the Associated Press, an accolade he is quick to recognize as a team award. Of course, he views his nine-year tenure with KGUN with the fondest of memories.
“It was very exciting, each day was different. You were rarely inside the office; you were usually out chasing down stories.”
According to Pyritz, he was a bit of a trailblazer, becoming Tucson’s first multimedia journalist. This meant that he had to shoot, edit and report his own stories, which is not uncommon in today’s newsrooms but was a novelty back then.
Upon leaving KGUN, Pyritz moved into his current role with the county. As Pinal’s communications and community relations administrator, he oversees the county’s government television station, Channel Pinal, and organizes special events throughout the county – among other duties.
“I have a great time with this because it allows me to get out and meet people, to express what’s going on to the public, and inform the public about what is going on within the walls of the county government.”
Given the opportunity to review his career, Pyritz now can more appropriately reflect upon his induction onto the Wall of Success.
“Little did I know when I enrolled at CAC that I would be working in the county that I was born in, that I went to school in, and have now received this prestigious award in.”