Arizona Technology Council and SciTech Institute
"It’s mostly about the people…."
Arizona can proudly lay claim to one of the fastest growing technology sectors in the country. Firms of all sizes in diverse industries such as aerospace and defense, semiconductors and electronics, energy, manufacturing, autonomous vehicles, optics, and photonics are moving to the state in droves. To give this enormous industry a face and a voice, the Arizona Technology Council was established as a 501(c)(6) trade association in 2002 and has since grown to nearly 800 members.
With offices in Phoenix and Tucson, the Council provides key services to its members and Arizona’s expanding technology ecosystem. This includes advocacy for a pro-technology agenda in the state Legislature and federal government, negotiating lower-cost products and services for its members, and hosting extensive networking and educational opportunities to accelerate innovation and the entrepreneurial mindset in technology- and science-driven industries.
The Council’s charitable arm, SciTech Institute, is a synergistic 501(c)(3) nonprofit that focuses on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. It organizes the annual Arizona SciTech Festival with more than 900 partners that stage 2,000 events motivating over 240,000 students and adults to pursue STEM education and career paths.
One of the SciTech Institute’s landmark programs, Chief Science Officers (CSO), engages students in grades 6-12 to champion communication, interest and engagement in STEM and innovation on and off campus. Started in Arizona and modeled after student government, the CSO program is now in 10 other states and five other countries. The SciTech Institute also hosts programs including middle- and high-school science bowls, as well as a Science for All program designed to provide low-income and disadvantaged youth with critical workplace employability and technical skills.
The Council’s Finance Committees and Steven G. Zylstra, president and CEO of both the Council and the SciTech Institute, engaged YPTC to streamline and improve the accounting procedures, policies and financial records. YPTC associates now focus on special projects and quarterly financial reviews for the Council and continue to do the bulk of the accounting for the SciTech Institute.
“We’ve had a really good experience,” Zylstra explains. “YPTC’s staff are super smart and a pleasure to work with.” While he notes that hiring YPTC may seem expensive, it can save an organization from costly mistakes through appropriate accounting processes and procedures.
What does Zylstra enjoy most about YPTC? “It’s mostly about the people. Their expertise and their skill, of course, but it’s also about their techniques. They’ve helped to implement valuable processes and procedures to ensure successful financial management for both the Council and SciTech Institute.”