Table of contents
While younger than Phoenix, Tempe, and Mesa, Chandler has long been a leader in the Valley of the Sun. From innovative agricultural techniques to stand-out athletes, Chandler residents can claim many accomplishments. Dr. Chandler was the community’s first visionary leader. He led the way in bringing water to the Valley using new irrigation technology and techniques. Chandler was also the first person to plant long staple cotton in the Valley, creating an entire industry for Arizona. He led the way in alternative energy, building a hydroelectric plant and experimenting with solar energy. The foundation that Dr. Chandler created provided for others to pick up the mantle of leadership in innovation. Kenny England joined the local Future Farmers of America and worked his way up to become Star Farmer of America, the organization’s highest honor. Chandler native Buddy Jobe bought a dusty racetrack in west Phoenix that ultimately grew into Zoomtown U.S.A. at Phoenix International Raceway, a jewel in the NASCAR empire. Chandler residents Carl and Berenice Dossey, Dale Smith, and John Clem demonstrated Chandler’s elite status as home to rodeo champions, and solidified the Chandler Rodeo’s place on the national RCA circuit. Chandler has produced outstanding athletes in other sports, including Adam Archuleta, a defensive back who played in the Super Bowl; Cody Ransom, the first player to hit a home run in his first two at-bats as a Yankee; and the only former City Councilman to fight Muhammad Ali, Zora Folley. Chandler’s business environment has nurtured both homegrown businesses and the high-tech industry. Bashas’ Supermarkets began in a small store and grew into Arizona’s favorite family grocery store. Chandler’s political leadership, in an effort to diversify the local economy, sought to build the Silicon Desert, bringing Rogers Corporation, Intel Corporation, Motorola, and other semiconductor and high-tech businesses. Chandler has also led the way in societal change. Years before the Supreme Court ended segregation, Chandler High School integrated. As Chandler looks to the future, businesses like aerospace giant Orbital Sciences and biotech leader Covance Laboratories, and many others ensure that Chandler will remain a leader throughout the 21st Century.