Irwin, Fairbanks Among DREAMR Winners

The 16th Annual DREAMR Awards were held Monday afternoon at the Phoenix Convention Center, where R. Neil Irwin received the Visionary Award, the highest honor given.

DREAMR with dateDREAMR stands for Downtown Revitalization Effort Awards of Merit and Recognition and honors the individuals, projects and organizations that dare to dream and work to make those dreams come true. Thanks to DREAMRs, urban blight and decline have been replaced with new centers of retail and commerce, urban residential opportunities, and an active arts and entertainment community. Because these DREAMRs followed their dreams, crowds of people are returning to a renewed and invigorated Downtown Phoenix.

Irwin, a partner at Brian Cave LLP, was the only Chairman the Downtown Phoenix Partnership had known during the organization’s first 20 years of operation prior to stepping down earlier this year. He played a key role in both the revitalization of Downtown and the development of the Partnership. In 2009, Irwin was named one of The Business Journal’s 25-Most Admired Top Level Executives.

Also receiving DREAMR Awards were: Tom’s Tavern owner Mike Ratner (Private Sector Individual); Don Keuth (Public Sector / Non-Profit Individual); Phoenix Mercury (Organization); Freeport McMoRan Center (Project); and former Phoenix City Manager Frank Fairbanks (”Unsung Hero”).

In addition to awarding the DREAMRs, the event also spotlighted Best of Downtown winners and featured two captivating keynote speakers, Local First Arizona Executive Director Kimber Lanning and Alliance for Audience Executive Director Matt Lehrman. Both offered up simple ways everyone can help raise the profile of Downtown and grow local business. You can watch Lehrman’s speech here and here, and you can watch Lanning’s speech here and here.

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R.J. Price
R.J. Price is Vice President of Marketing & Communications for Downtown Phoenix Inc. His favorite zombie movie is Shaun of the Dead.