Published in the summer 2011 issue of MyLIFE magazine
He is Arizona’s premier signature celebrity-businessman and all-around class act—he is, of course, the highly respected Jerry Colangelo. As an executive and entrepreneur, his name is forever woven into the fabric of successful Arizona sports ownerships: the Phoenix Suns, the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Arizona Rattlers, hockey and WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury.
As chairman and chief executive officer of the 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks, he relished the unique “gold” of that year’s World Champion Diamondbacks.
He currently is on a “gig” as chairman of USA Basketball’s board of directors—part of the International Basketball Federation, which held its worldwide tournament in Turkey Aug. 28-Sept. 12 of last year. And, yes, you guessed it: the Colangelo-led American team (without the NBA’s celebrated superstars) came home with “the gold.” As its chairman, Colangelo oversees the USA Basketball Men’s National Team and is responsible for the selection of the program’s coaches and players.
The 2010 USA coaching staff was led by Duke University’s Hall of Fame coach, Mike Krzyzewski, and featured as assistant coaches Syracuse University’s Hall of Fame coach, Jim Boeheim, the Portland Trail Blazers’ head coach, Nate McMillan, and the Toronto Raptors’ head mentor, Jay Triano.
Away from the sporting scene, Colangelo is principal partner of JDM Partners, one of the Valley’s largest owners of entitled land. Other partners in the venture are Mel Shultz and David Eaton. Together, the trio possesses more than 100 years of real estate, sports and entertainment, development and operational experience. Their primary mission: to be involved with the ownership and operation of businesses that benefit the community.
One of JDM’s current projects is the re-establishment (a multimillion dollar redevelopment) of the famed and legendary Wigwam Golf Resort and Spa as a prime destination for tourists, visiting sports teams and residents. Since opening in 1929, the Wigwam Golf Resort and Spa has become a renowned Arizona landmark nestled in the city of Litchfield Park, which is just a short drive from the heart of Phoenix, and the resort remains a true representation of Arizona’s rich history. It has recently been through some difficult times, but Colangelo and his group are determined to restore the resort to its one-time heady “golden” stature as a top-ranking luxury property.
Over and above his international pre-eminence, of importance to Colangelo is the way he is seen and regarded in his community as a “good neighbor.” He has done that in so many ways and has garnered numerous community awards—awards that he does not wear on his shirtsleeve.
Colangelo simply lives … yes … by “the golden rule”—in everything he accomplishes.