Business Briefs | Our Town

Business briefs 6.14.19

Photo by Tucson photographer Martha Lochert.

Gabrielle Erbst has been named principal at Tucson Hebrew Academy. A native Tucsonan and the first alumnus in this role, Erbst has been THA’s director of admissions and director of student support services for the past five years. She is a graduate of the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in speech and hearing sciences. She earned her master’s in special education from Hunter College in New York City and worked at The Stephen Gaynor School, which specializes in techniques for children with learning disabilities. Erbst is this year’s Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona Young Woman of the Year and a member of the engagement and social action committee for the JFSA Young Leadership Team.

Hotel Congress continues its 100th-anniversary celebration by granting $10,000 to local non-profit organizations for the third year. This year the $10,000 will be granted to one or more organizations that support food security and environmental causes. Applications are due Sept. 30. Details are at

Arizona Theatre Company will hold general auditions for its 2019/2020 season on Monday, July 15. Equity actors should contact Anna Jennings to make an appointment at 884-8210, ext. 7508 or Non-Equity actors are welcome to attend and wait to be seen if time permits. Information on the 2019/2020 season is available at

Brian Smith, chef of Maynards Market & Kitchen and winner of the 2018 Iron Chef Tucson competition, will face off against Wendy Gauthier of Chef Chic in the 2019 Iron Chef competition, June 29 (see Mary Steiger, chef of Gourmet Girls Gluten Free Bakery/Bistro, was one of the three finalists in the competition. Smith also represented the United States at the International Food and Wine Festival, in Yantai, China, May 17-28. The festival, which featured 16 chefs from around the world, was part of the second annual World Senior Tourism Congress.

Local First Arizona won two awards for its SCALE UP program that helps save local businesses money through sustainability (see www/ The program received the Go Green Business Development Partner Award from Tucson Electric Power and a Tucson 2030 Changemaker Award, awarded to Local First Arizona and Merit Foods, one of the businesses that took part in the pilot program.