Billy Kovacs, entrepreneur, community activist, and small business owner has long worked for positive change in southern Arizona, and is committed as ever to making the second district a better place to live, work, and raise a family. The second congressional district suffers from an exodus of young talent, and has a massive problem retaining young professionals graduating from the University of Arizona. Billy saw this problem and because of his commitment to our community he got to work on finding a solution. He founded the Connected Communities Forum presented by Cisco Systems at the 10West Festival, which brought together Southern Arizona education, business, and government leaders to discuss real world solutions to urban, economic, social and digital infrastructure challenges in our region and explore solutions to overcome them through technology, innovation and public private partnership models.
Understanding that the children of Southern Arizona are vital to its future success, Billy has invested significant time in mentoring, promoting and working to retain students within Southern Arizona. From high school students through the ‘Young Entrepreneur Academy’s-Student to CEO’ program presented by the Tucson Unified School District and Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to his work as an Ambassador for Tech Launch Arizona at the University of Arizona where he coordinated with top stakeholders to ensure retention of graduates by connecting students, inventors, and entrepreneurs to startup and tech growth programs and resources, and through his actions, he is making a direct impact on the lives of dozens of students and their families and fostering the growth of the next generation of business leaders.
Billy is not a career politician, nor does he intend to be one, but he understands that for Southern Arizona to meet its full potential it will need to grow its economy on a larger scale, and not just in Tucson, but in every part of Southern Arizona. His work in Cochise County at his family’s vineyard in Pearce, and co-founding Prep and Pastry, a successful Tucson eatery, has shown Billy understands how to work with numerous stakeholders to bring an idea and a business plan from conception to reality. Active with downtown economic and regional development, Billy is a local businessman with a broad set of leadership experience. When elected, Billy plans on using his skills and experiences as a job creator and small businessman to kick-start our economy and get people back to work.
Former ambassador to the Arizona Technology Council, he has worked diligently to promote Arizona’s economy as one of the fastest growing regions in the country for high tech jobs. He specifically focuses on developing new relationships with companies looking to move or do business in Arizona. As a member of the Southern Arizona Leadership Council, Billy works within the organization to bring ideas to attract, retain, and grow high quality and high wage jobs to enhance the quality of life for southern Arizonans.
Recently, Billy accepted a highly competitive fellowship to the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership-Flinn-Brown Civic Leadership Academy. During his fellowship, he focused on ways to stop the political gridlock that plagues our government, and how to better apply his business skills to public service and strengthen his civic leadership abilities to better benefit southern Arizonans. When elected, he will take those lessons learned and continue to address the many opportunities and challenges our state and district have.
Billy is currently employed as the Operations Manager at the historic Hotel Congress. He was educated in public schools, attending Pima County Community College and the University of Arizona. He currently lives in the Sam Hughes neighborhood of Tucson.