Posted on May 05, 2023

Fletcher McCusker will give an update on Rio Nuevo at our 5/10/23 meeting.  Fletcher is a third generation Tucsonan.  His grandfather Russell moved to Tucson from Indiana just after the depression.  Russell worked for the WPA and laid many of the downtown and University area sidewalks for $1.00 a day and eventually went to work for the railroad.  Fletcher's mother was a Tucson High School grad and Fletcher attended John B Wright, Davidson and Amphi.  He completed a BS in Rehabilitation at the University of Arizona in 1974 but left Tucson for greener pastures attending graduate school at ASU.  Fletcher rose through the ranks in many health care companies in Oklahoma, Maryland and Texas and while in Texas in 1996, he conceived and launched the Providence Service Corporation, the first home based mental health company in America.  His wife, Liz, actually suggested they base the company in Tucson and Providence was launched in January 1997. Fletcher followed an unusual route for Tucson companies with Providence: his money, family and friends, venture capital, and ultimately a very successful IPO.  When he exited Providence in 2012, it was a billion-dollar business located in 44 states and employing over 11,000 people. During the Providence run, Fletcher became very involved in the rebuilding of downtown Tucson.  He relocated the company headquarters to downtown Tucson in May of 2010 remodeling a block of boarded up buildings that not only became the company headquarters but opened up restaurant, residential and commercial space.  His passion for downtown was a catalyst for many and in 2012 he was appointed to the Rio Nuevo board, responsible for the State funds designated to revitalize Tucson, and elected Chairman unanimously by his fellow board members.  Just weeks after his announced retirement from Providence, Fletcher launched a new company called Sinfonía, also in a remodeled downtown warehouse. SinfoníaRx was the first major spin out from Tech Launch Arizona.   Sinfonia sold in October 2017 and McCusker immediately launched UAVenture Capital, a growth fund dedicated to UofA commercialization. UAVC has made 15 investments in UofA related science and technology and has become a pivotal part of the developing start up ecosystem expanding in the Tucson region.