COLLEGE DIRECTORY       :      VISIT ELLER      :      LOG IN 

Students Alumni Corporate Visitors
The University of Arizona | Eller College of Management
The University of Arizona Eller College of Management
Eller College Home > News, Events, and Multimedia > Press Releases > Trio of economists expands research capacity

Press Release

Eller Press Contact

Liz Warren-Pederson
Eller College of Management

Trio of economists expands Eller College research capacity

Economic and Business Research Center produces vital data to support Arizona’s business and public-sector decision makers

TUCSON, Ariz. – JANUARY 23, 2007 – Quietly conducting its research in the deep recesses of the Eller College of Management’s McClelland Hall, the Economic and Business Research Center (EBR) has been providing critical information on Arizona’s economy for over 57 years. With the emergence of Arizona as the fastest growing state as measured by population growth, its research is in high demand.

EBR recently added a trio of new researchers to its staff to help meet the demand. With the additional expertise, Director Marshall J. Vest says the opportunity for Arizona to have access to the data necessary to grow prudently has multiplied. “EBR has long been the premier source for information on Arizona business conditions. With the addition of new research resources we expect to be able to generate more information across a wider spectrum of competencies to serve Arizona decision makers,” said Vest.

The new researchers hail from across the globe and bring a wealth of research experience.

Vera Pavlakovich-Kochi, senior regional scientist, holds bachelors and masters degrees from the University of Zagreb, Croatia, and a Ph.D. from Kent State University. Her research interests include regional economic development with an emphasis on the U.S.-Mexico border and include the maquiladora sector, fresh produce industry, Mexican visitors, and the role of the UA in the regional economy of Pima County and Arizona. Pavlakovich-Kochi is currently researching the economic impact of astronomy on the state and the economic impact of Mexican visitors.

William “Pat” Patton, senior research economist, most recently served as chief economist for Tucson Regional Economic Organization (TREO) and director of economic forecasting at Tucson Electric Power. He has co-authored three books on the Tucson regional economy including the 1996 Greater Tucson Strategic Plan, the 1998 Tucson/Pima County Industrial Directory, and the 2000 Greater Tucson Strategic Economic Plan. He holds bachelors and masters degrees from Texas Tech University, an MBA from Thunderbird, The Garvin School of International Management, and a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University.

Lora Mwaniki-Lyman, research economist, conducts research on U.S.-Mexico border region economies, cross-border flows, and infrastructure projects. She holds two masters degrees from The University of Arizona, and coordinated The State of Arizona Border Infrastructure Project, a strategic initiative of the Arizona-Mexico Commission endorsed by Governor Napolitano in 2004. Mwaniki-Lyman’s career experience also includes multinational agri-business companies in Kenya.

“With the addition of Lora, Vera, and Pat, we are expanding the number and scope of custom research projects we are able to conduct in order to meet increasing demand for authoritative, unbiased analysis,” said Vest. Recently released studies from EBR include the Economic Impact of Tourism in Southern Arizona and The Role of Arizona Cities and Towns in the State’s Economy. Research currently underway includes the economic impact of astronomy, space, and planetary sciences in Arizona and a workforce assessment study for the town of Sahuarita. For more information about these and other studies, contact Marshall Vest, EBR director, at 520.621.4075, or visit

The Economic and Business Research Center's mission is to provide the Arizona community of business and public-sector decision makers with economic forecasts, applied research, and information on economic, demographic, and business trends in the State, its metro areas, and the Western region. EBR responds to requests for information from state and local government agencies, chambers of commerce, public and private business leaders, industrial organizations, news media, and private citizens. EBR’s research is supported in part by contracts with public and private agencies.

The Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona is internationally recognized for pioneering research, innovative curriculum, distinguished faculty, excellence in management information systems, entrepreneurship, and social responsibility. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Eller undergraduate program No. 11 among public business schools and two of its programs are among the top 20 — Entrepreneurship and MIS. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Eller MBA Full-Time program No. 48 in the U.S. In addition to a Full-Time MBA program, the Eller College offers the No. 25-ranked Evening MBA program, the Eller Executive MBA and the Online MBA. The Eller College of Management supports more than 5,800 undergraduate and 800 graduate students on the UA campus in beautiful Tucson, Arizona, and on its satellite campus in downtown Phoenix.

Press Contact:
Liz Warren-Pederson, Eller College of Management

For additional information, please contact us.