Tim Kanavel Remembered

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On Feb. 9, 2021, Tim Kanavel lost his battle with complications due to COVID-19.  Kanavel was Pinal County’s first Economic Development Director, hired in 2009. He helped to improve the economic health of the entire county and was a friend to the Copper Corridor.

  Over his tenure with the county, he helped to secure over $8 billion dollars in investment, locating Lucid Motors and Nikola Motors to Pinal County.  During his career he also helped to designate the Opportunity Zones which helped the communities of Superior, Kearny and San Manuel to receive this designation. 

  He was instrumental in helping the Arizona Zipline Adventures in Oracle to work through their development plans. He also found ways to help support the Copper Corridor Economic Development Coalition and Oracle Women’s Network work on local and regional economic development projects.

  “The value of a man should be seen in what he gives and not in what he is able to receive. (Albert Einstein).  To the Oracle Community, Tim gave his attention, advice, support and ever growing enthusiasm that our town would succeed economically and socially.  We will miss his enthusiasm, but also his gift of conversation and the feeling of accomplishment he bestowed upon us.  He was a valued friend.Local leaders in the Copper Corridor reacted to the loss of Mr. Kanavel” said Alicia Bristow, President of Oracle Women’s Network.

  “Tim Kanavel was one of our biggest supporters through every step of creating Arizona Zipline Adventures. He came out many times while we were in the process of permitting, building, and even more while we were operating. Over the past 5 years he became more than an advocate for us, though. He became a friend. Tim always walked in with a smile and genuinely wanted to hear how we were doing before telling us about his next big project that would enrich Pinal County. We feel so lucky to have known Tim so well, and are deeply saddened by his death. Sending our thoughts and prayers to Tim’s family and loved ones,” said Emily Goff from the Arizona Zipline Adventures.

  Regional economic development professionals also expressed their deep loss for Tim.  He was well known as a mentor and someone who wast there to help lift everyone up. 

  “Tim was one of the best mentors, supporters, and personalities I have come across in my career. Tim was always there when I had questions in the economic development world and was always a big supporter of the Resolution Copper Project. His work and contributions in Pinal County are immeasurable and his positivity will be greatly missed!” said Bryan Seppala, AZED Pro, Advisor – Economic & Workforce Development for Resolution Copper.

  “Tim quickly became a mentor, a friend and he was someone you could count on. He embodied the can-do spirit and was tireless in his efforts to improve the economic health of the entire county if it were not for his efforts, the CCEDC may not still be in existence today.  I will miss working with him and as our organization continues to grow and development, his legacy will continue to help our region thrive,” said Mila Besich, Executive Director of the Copper Corridor Economic Development Coalition and Mayor of Superior. 

  Michael Carnes, general manager of Copper Area News Publishers and former president of the Copper Corridor Economic Development Coalition, said, “Tim was a true asset to Pinal County. We may not see his like again.”

  There is no doubt that Tim will be missed. His tireless work and enthusiasm will be producing long term economic uplifting for Pinal County for decades to come.  Copper Area News offers our deepest and most sincere condolences to Tim’s family, friends and colleagues.  We will also miss him.

Staff (5772 Posts)

There are news or informational items frequently written by staff or submitted to the Copper Basin News, San Manuel Miner, Superior Sun, Pinal Nugget or Oracle Towne Crier for inclusion in our print or digital products. These items are not credited with an author.


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