Over the past nine years, The Chartwell Group has been a leader advancing some of the most important and challenging public policies issues in Arizona and across the country. We have had notable successes in matters ranging from defending our state's military facilities, protecting our state's heritage, showcasing innovative means to secure our shared international boundary, and crafting inventive new ways to protect those who protect us. The following examples showcase the aforementioned projects to which our firm has succeeded:

Defending Luke Air Force Base/Promoting the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)

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Facing a public relations dilemma, and the Department of Defense's announcement of another round of base closures, the City of Goodyear contracted with Chartwell. Most of Luke Air Force Base's critical southern departure corridor (SDC) was within the City's boundaries. The City, a strong supporter of Luke, wanted to assure DoD officials that they would do everything within their authority to preserve the "open space" nature of the corridor -- the only corridor from which pilots could depart with live ordnance -- while protecting private property rights.

The firm worked successfully with all stakeholders in this regard, lobbied the Legislature for improved disclosure rules around LAFB, participated in delegation visits to the Pentagon, and, with the firm's strong background in the Base Closure process (BRACC) insured that city officials were doing everything necessary to and could declare that the DoD understood the strong support LAFB enjoyed in Arizona.

Notably, the Firm created, proposed, and drafted legislation with Legislative and City Leaders, formally inviting the Department of Defense to make Arizona home to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. That legislation, Senate Concurrent Memorial 1008, passed unanimously in 2004 and was sent to the Secretary of Defense.

Tackling Border Security/Securing Yuma Marine Corps Air Station (YMCAS)

Our firm is "boutique" in size, but has embraced national challenges. There are few public policy challenges more complex than securing the international border with our neighbor, Mexico.

When a client approached us and explained why his company's technology was the solution, we analyzed and then embraced it enthusiastically and in many corners, through our efforts, many have come to regard our client, ICX Technologies, and their ground based radar system now employed by the Yuma Marine Corps Air Station, as the solution.

Our firm's involvement with ICX Technologies (and before ICXT, Sensor Technologies & Systems) is a lengthy one. We will summarize key accomplishments in bullet form:

  • Introduced client's ground-based radar system to Marines in Yuma. The Air Station had a problem with people trespassing on to the gunnery range in Yuma resulting in mission cancellations (flight sorties).
  • Prototype system was tested and results were immediate and positive.
  • YMCAS contracted with client and SPAWAR for four radars.
  • Chartwell lead an eight member bi-partisan Arizona State Legislative delegation trip to Yuma to see system in the field. Trip included Senate President and House Speaker. Notable as Legislature was in session at the time.
  • Trip resulted in ground breaking legislation being drafted for ground based radar appropriation (House Bill 2578); a $50 million dollar appropriation to the Arizona Department of Emergency Affairs.

Since our firm's involvement, Customs and Border Patrol have adopted this radar to secure a drug corridor in southern Arizona and key decision makers in Arizona and Washington have publicly acknowledged and promoted the idea of ground based radar for as the solution for border protection. Further, our client has been the subject of two national news stories on this solution.

Protecting Police Officers, Our "First Responders"

There are few matters of public concern that Chartwell has embraced with greater urgency or with greater pride than the issue of protecting our state and our nation's police officers; specifically the principal vehicle of choice for police departments from fire dangers, the Crown Victoria Police Cruiser.

Working with our client, Firetrace International and FIRE Panel, innovators in the field of fire protection, and Phoenix Hero Detective Jason Schechterle, a police officer who sustained terrible burn injuries in his patrol car, our firm created a first in the nation grant program, from which police departments could receive proven, tested fire protection for the police cruisers.

With the support of the Arizona Police Association, Legislative leaders, notably State Senator Jim Waring, Phoenix Attorney Pat McGroder, and Detective Jason Schechterle, Chartwell helped craft this program that was funded by DUI conviction fees -- 500 thousand dollars -- and administered by the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission. Police departments throughout Arizona were able to receive fire protection free of charge. The successful program is now being looked at by legislatures across the country as the model for their states notably including the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the State of Florida.

Preserving Pioneer Village History Museum "Our Heritage"

Occasionally clients just develop by happenstance! That is exactly what happened many years ago while Chartwell Founding member Larry Pike was on a horse-ride with the caretakers of Arizona's Pioneer Living History Village; a place whose founders read like a who's who of Arizona: Barry Goldwater, Wesley Bolin, Paul Fannin and Carl Hayden.

Situated on State Trust Land (Land that is owned by the State and is obligated to be publicly auctioned to benefit education in Arizona), it was clearly evident that Pioneer and its incredible collection of territorial houses and structures; the largest of its kind of the State, was in trouble.

The buildings were in bad shape, the museum was operating on a shoestring, and with Phoenix growing rapidly out towards Pioneer, the land on which it sat would ultimately be offered for purchase. Despite all of this, Pioneer, long regarded as a "living classroom" was a destination spot for thousands of school children, a place students could go to learn about Arizona's heritage. In short, Pioneer was and is Arizona's Colonial Williamsburg or Greenfield Village, absent a benefactor.

That horse rise many years ago set off a chain of events. First, Pike went directly to Councilman Dave Siebert, whose District included Pioneer. A planned thirty minute visit resulted in a two hour planning meeting. Pioneer had found its champion in Phoenix City Councilman Dave Siebert.

All of this lead to Councilman Siebert working closely with Chartwell to insure that Pioneer would be formally annexed into the city and become a significant part of the city's upcoming Bond election, eventual inclusion into the city's parks and recreation department.

Pioneer's success is regarded as The Chartwell Group's finest hour. Not because it was the most pressing public policy matter of the day or because the firm was compensated greatly. The Pioneer Village is the proverbial "little guy"; an entity with great merit, little resources operated by a small group of supporters with great heart. And that is why our firm will always regard Pioneer with a tremendous amount of pride.