Regional Report: Southwest

CEO Perspectives: Why We’re Here

Who: Milton Boyer, President of OSO BioPharmaceuticals Manufacturing

Site History: In May 2008, a group of private investors acquired the Albuquerque, New Mexico-based sterile manufacturing business from Catalent Pharma Solutions. The company was renamed OSO BioPharmaceuticals Manufacturing.

Reason for Location: OSO has chosen to remain at its inherited location.

Why New Mexico: “As a pharmaceutical manufacturer, we benefit from having access to both national labs and the university. There is access to technical and engineering people. The climate is very moderate; being a mile high, you don’t get extreme heat. And there is a lower cost of living compared with other pharmaceutical hot spots. Overall, it’s very good to be here.”

Who: James Butler, Owner, HJ3 Composite Technologies

Site History: Founded in 2002, with intellectual property transferred from the University of Arizona, in a 1,000-square-foot facility in central Tucson. Relocated to a research park in Phoenix operated by the University of Arizona in 2003 and again to a 6,000-square-foot facility near the Phoenix airport in 2005. Moved into 20,000-square-foot manufacturing and R&D space/office space near I-10 highway in 2011 through SBA financing.

Reason for Relocating: Added employees and outgrew initial space.

Why Arizona: “In terms of supporting startups, creating business and investor networks and doing technology transfers, I think Arizona has taken the lead from Texas. The entrepreneurship programs are here now, at schools like Thunderbird and Arizona State. The business-plan competitions are here now. The funding is here. People step in and help you. That’s meant a lot to our growth.”

Who: John Richels, President and CEO, Devon Energy

Site History: Devon was founded in 1971 in Oklahoma City with four employees. In 1985, Devon moved into a 19-story high-rise in downtown Oklahoma City. In 2012, the company opened 50-story Devon Energy Center in downtown Oklahoma City, the city’s tallest building.

Reason for Relocating: Consolidation in larger space.

Why Oklahoma: From Devon corporate web site: “Oklahoma is our home. It has been that way since 1971, when John Nichols and his son Larry founded Devon with four employees in a downtown Oklahoma City office.” Says Richels: “We consider ourselves part of the communities where we operate; and as good a neighbor, it is our responsibility to do business in a way that is compatible with the environment.”