Monday, January 03, 2011

Carol Somers

Former AZ Representative Carol Somers (R: LD-13) died peacefully December 30, 2010 after a battle with brain cancer. I've been told she was ready and prepared to leave this world. May her wonderful husband Mike, who has heroically provided loving support at her side from start to finish, find solace and support from friends and loved ones.

Among other causes she supported as an elected official, Carol was a workforce development champion committed to helping local Tucsonans improve their skills and wages. I met Carol in 2002 shortly after she became the Chair of the Board of The Southern Arizona Institute of Advanced Technology (SAIAT). Under her leadership, the board implemented critically needed changes and transformed the agency from a marginally effective (and heavily subsidized) training institute into an extraordinary organization that served over 100 employers and trained over 10,000 employees per year, requiring only a fraction of the public subsidy needed by the earlier version. Without Carol, the place would have closed in 2003.

Instead, it became something truly valuable and prospered until 2007. When TREO stole its funding and shot it out of the sky, I resigned. Carol, not yours truly, remained with the crippled plane and guided it to the ground.

Carol was one of the increasingly rare Republicans committed to improving the government instead of dismantling it. She contributed to those efforts seeking a world that works for everyone and not just the fortunate few. May she now reside in a better place.


Blogger Cigar Man said...

Nice, appropriate post, and it is not an exaggeration that SAIAT would have closed in 2003 if Carol had not gotten the board engaged.

Carol was good people, especially for a Republican. She did support workforce development, as did Toni Hellon, another good Republican back in those days. Carol understood the "for real" workforce and real jobs because she built (from nothing) her own personnel staffing company that connected employers and workers.

I know your words are meant to honor Carol, but keep in mind that without you SAIAT would have fallen apart. Carol is the one who ousted your predecessor and gave you the reigns. You flew the plane.

Few people truly realize the value that got created at 3000 E. Valencia. Snell and the TREO filth have no idea that they robbed Tucson workers of a lot more than a few hundred grand in workforce training.

I hope Carol is in a better place. When it's Snell's turn, I hope he's called to account for the damage his selfishness inflicted on the working people of Tucson.

1/04/2011 10:14 AM  
Anonymous Observer said...

Carol was one of the good guys. She earned her money by working for it - the opposite of the clothmeisters.

If I recall correctly, you are right that Carol was ready. She had been sick for quite awhile, perhaps even several years. This is not a surprise at all. Her death may in fact provide a certain sense of relief for her husband. I wish him well.

1/04/2011 12:22 PM  
Anonymous Another Anon said...

I haven't seen an obit in the Star for Carol. She was good people.

1/05/2011 12:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too am a little surprised there has been nothing in the Star, even a small paragraph sized item about her.

Jim Nintzel wrote something for her in the Weekly. I don't know why he wrote that she "fought to the end," which I know to be untrue.

On that part, x4mr's post is more accurate. It was a long illness. She was ready to go last summer, but I suppose at this point what difference does it make? She's at peace now.

1/05/2011 2:02 PM  

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