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What makes Greater Phoenix so great: Joel Canchola

How old are you?


How long have you lived in Greater Phoenix?

My entire life

What city do you currently reside in?


Why did you decide to stay in here?

Arizona has been a great state to grow up in. Over the years, I have seen our communities grow together into one major metropolitan area. Arizona has always been a year-round state offering limitless opportunities for sports, entertainment and tourism. Much of our population growth has been centered around this as the basis for families to live, work and play. The Greater Phoenix area has continued to evolve into a premier, diverse economy by managing our booming growth and infrastructure responsibly. Much of our success comes from our surrounding cities working closely together to advocate for a better Greater Phoenix to attract major corporations looking to expand or relocate.

Today’s market diversity has Greater Phoenix atop the list of regions in conversations for major corporations regardless of their specific market focus. We now have thriving industrial, manufacturing, warehouse and mission critical markets that I believe make us one of the most — if not the most — well-rounded communities in the country. I don’t know why anyone would ever want to live anywhere else! 

If you graduated from college, where did you attend and what was your degree?

I earned my bachelor’s degree in construction management from Arizona State University. Go Sun Devils! I’m also a firm believer in continuous education. I’m very fortunate to have had the opportunity to be a class member of Leadership West, an organization that brings together leaders of the West Valley to help improve our economy, civic engagement and more.

Additionally, I have a certificate in the Senior Executive Program of the Arizona Builders Alliance as well as certifications from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for construction quality management.

Where do you currently work and what is your title?

I have recently joined Burns & McDonnell, a 100% employee-owned engineering, architecture and construction company, to lead the firm’s construction and design-build services across the Southwest. In my role, I support our commercial, healthcare, manufacturing, power, technology and aviation clients to design and construct facility solutions. Our specialty is the execution of design-build projects to provide comprehensive, cost-effective solutions that build our critical infrastructure in Arizona. Burns & McDonnell is proud to be on the Phoenix Business Journal’s Best Places to Work and I’m honored to work for a firm that values its employees and is focused on delivering the best solutions for our clients.

What do you like to do in Greater Phoenix on the weekends?

Weekends are family time. You can often find us playing outside and grilling. I am a community man, so we enjoy attending local community events and supporting our local small businesses. Arizona has the most beautiful skies and sunsets, and my wife is a photographer, so we are always searching for a new spot to capture the natural beauty of our hometown.

What’s your favorite restaurant and why?

Comedor Guadalajara. I love Mexican food and their Caldo de Siete Mares and Enchiladas de Camaron are to die for! I wish we could be doing this questionnaire over lunch there!

What’s your go-to staycation spot and why?

Too many to mention them all. It also depends on if we are taking the kids along or not. Some of our favorites include JW Marriott Desert Ridge and Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass.

How do you stay “cool” in the Arizona summers?

Water! Swimming, Splash pads and water Guns! A little shade helps, too.

What do you like about our winters and why?

Zero snow days in Greater Phoenix. I think we take it for granted that we can pretty much go outside and do anything we want year-round. There is comfort knowing that tomorrow will be a beautiful day and we will not be stuck in a house due to the weather. I also like that I can go visit the snow in a convenient daytrip and not have to live in it.

What do you love most about living in Greater Phoenix?  

Greater Phoenix has so much to offer it is almost unfair. It truly is an amazing community to live, work and play as well as a place to raise a family and enjoy the outdoors year-round. The workforce and economic development efforts continue to help keep Arizona the place to be.

Please include anything else you’d like to share about what makes Greater Phoenix so great.

Organizations like GPEC who continue to advocate for and preserve our community are critical in maintaining the greatness of Greater Phoenix. Thankful for all you do!


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