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Pinal County Saddened to Report the Passing of Economic Development Director Tim Kanavel
Date: 2/10/2021

Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Stephen Miller this morning announced news of the very sad passing of Pinal County Economic Development Director Tim Kanavel.

Tim joined Pinal County in 2009 as the County's first Economic Development Director and since then has overseen more than $8 Billion of projects coming into the County. Most recently these included electric-vehicle manufacturers Lucid Motors and Nikola Motors.

He led an award-winning Economic Development and Workforce Department, most recently recognized as Large Organization of the Year with an Excellence in Economic Development Award by the Arizona Association for Economic Development.

Prior to joining Pinal County, Tim worked with the Wickenburg Regional Economic Development Partnership, Tucson Airport, and the former Greater Tucson Economic Council. A University of Arizona graduate, he had begun his career as a driller in the oilfields of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

Tim was 64 and leaves behind 3 children and 4 grandchildren. Everyone at Pinal County sends their condolences to Tim's family and friends.

Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Stephen Miller paid tribute to Tim, "I met Tim when he first came to Pinal County in 2009. Tim came from the working world having begun his career in the oilfields, and as a result, knew how important jobs are and what they mean to everyday lives. There was nobody more dedicated to his job and to Pinal County than Tim, he was a person that was always trying to advance Pinal County and what was best for our constituents. This is devastating news and a tough loss for Pinal County."

Vice-Chair Mike Goodman added, "He's going to be greatly missed, there's no way you can replace a Tim Kanavel. What he's done for this County and our communities is truly beyond measurement, we're going to see the impact of Tim's work for decades. What's going to be challenging is to continue that legacy. Our thoughts are with Tim's family, friends, and loved ones. I always counted Tim as a good friend of mine."

Interim County Manager Leo Lew joined the County in 2009, the same year as Tim, and commented, "I had the privilege of working with Tim for the past decade. The growth and development in the County over the past 10 years is in large part because of him. It was easy to see that Tim lived the life he loved and he lived it to the fullest. He will be dearly missed as a colleague and friend. Our condolences go out to Tim's family and loved ones."

Stephanie Maack worked closest to Tim in recent years as Economic Development Program Manager and said, "Tim chose Economic Development as a profession as a way to give back to people. He used to say he was responsible for over 450,000 lives (Pinal County population) and helping to make their quality of life better. He was the biggest cheerleader for the County, municipalities, and the clients he worked with. Working so closely together, we developed a friendship. If I was the last to leave the building, he stayed behind to make sure I didn't walk out in the dark by myself. It was little things like that that made him who he was, he always thought of everyone before himself. He was bigger than life with a heart to match, this was evident to anyone who knew him! My thoughts and prayers are with Tim and his family. I will miss my dear friend and mentor."

If anyone would like to donate in Tim's honor to Donate Life America or American Youth Football these are 2 organizations that he was very passionate about.


This fund will provide financial assistance to AAED members to attend conferences and professional development opportunities offered by AAED.  Donations may be made to the Fund by any donor at any time.  AAED will solicit donations at least once a year in recognition and celebration of the contributions of Tim Kanavel to AAED and the State of Arizona. The amount of the scholarships to be awarded will be determined at the start of AAED's fiscal year with applications distributed to members.  The professional Education Committee will be responsible for awarding the scholarships. 

To contribute to the fund, visit the AAED website


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