“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Wayne Dyer

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Featured Business, June 2023

For the Love of OV

“My wife loves Pusch Ridge so much that she’ll just sit there and gaze at the mountain.  It’s just a ridge, but it evolves – the color changes, the weather changes…all sorts of things are going on.  It’s never boring.  We love it so much; we want to share it.”

Pusch Ridge from our back yard constantly changing.

Paradise Found

Residents of Oro Valley, new and old, share one thing:  they have fallen under the spell of this slice of paradise we call home.

Where does this enchantment start?  For Michael Burns, founder of ILoveOV and owner of Red Coyote Services, it was love at first sight when he arrived from Dallas-Ft. Worth.

“If you drive through Dallas, your car won’t last a year.  But in OV, even the roads are perfect.  It’s almost like Heaven.”

Coming Home

Michael and his wife, Annette, are both graduates of the University of Arizona.  Life took them on a 40-year hiatus from the Grand Canyon State, during which they lived as far afield as Thailand and the Czech Republic.  Now, they are happily retired in sunny OV.

But within weeks of arrival, Michael fell deathly ill:  “I’ve never felt so bad.  This was during the Covid lockdowns, so I thought that’s what I had.  I actually sat down with my wife in the emergency room to give her all of our passwords because I didn’t know if I was going to make it.”

Fortunately, Michael had checked into Oro Valley Hospital.

“I spent a week getting well there, and the nurses and doctors were wonderful – they were so kind.  It turns out I had bad case of pneumonia — but not Covid.”  Receiving such top-level medical care only two miles from his new house in Pusch Ridge Vistas made him eminently grateful to call OV home.

Once an Entrepreneur…

In 2021, Michael sold his business in Dallas.  “I took three months off, thinking I was going to retire.  But I got bored!  So, that’s when I built Red Coyote.”

Michael proudly sits on the board of the Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce.  He has recently attended events held by Roche Pharmaceutical and the “Perk Before You Work” program, which featured two local businesses sharing their thoughts on commerce in the Digital Age.  He also attended a forum for new members of the Chamber, which included 22 attendees from single owner-operator and small-to-medium size businesses.

While working as a greeter for the Chamber, Michael also had the privilege of meeting Jana Suchy, the force behind the photo sessions for survivors of breast cancer.  “They were so beautiful.”  Thanks to that meeting, Way Out West Creative became ILoveOV’s first Featured Business.

Fertile Ground

“The fire at the Chamber was a terrible thing, but now we will have a new, larger facility, and can offer new services — like a conference room for members.   People starting a business can meet there — and not have to meet at Starbucks!”

Michael speaks from personal experience:  “I would come back from the early days of my business in Dallas-Fort Worth – when I was still just a startup — and my wife would say, ‘you smell like coffee!’”

Of the 1200 businesses listed on ILoveOV.com, about 85% are located in OV, and the others are members of the OV Chamber.  “There’s a lot of growth in this town – lots of business opportunities.”

In his work for the Chamber, Michael says “we want to give new businesses everything we can to help them make it through that tough first year.”

From Chimichangas to Cheers

Michael and his wife love the El Charro family restaurant — inventor of the Chimichanga. “The food is authentic, and the service is great.  My wife and I love the Sonoran-style Mexican food.  But you have to get there early, because it’s so popular. You’re always going to have to wait!”

Michael also loves the Oro Valley Community Center, which he goes to several times a week, including HIIT Water Aerobics .  “The people are so friendly there.  When I arrive at the pool,  it’s like the show Cheers — where everyone cries out, ‘Nooorm!’”

A Love is Born

ILoveOV was an idea that was born within weeks of Michael settling into OV.   “I wanted to have a central resource where people could find everything they need:  local businesses, local events, things to do.  The audience includes local residents, business, and people thinking about visiting or coming to OV.”

Trying to keep up with OV can be a full-time job: “All the business growth is challenging to stay on top of.  It’s like capturing which venues have live music…it keeps changing.”

Michael spends 90% of his time on ILoveOV, which he is funding out of his own pocket (advertising inquiries are welcome).  If it helps new clients find Red Coyote Services – the website developer and host for ILoveOC.com, that would be a bonus.

Either way,  ILoveOV is still a pleasure for Michael to work on.  “This is where I want to spend my time.”

Home for Good

Any chance Michael would ever leave OV?

“When I’m ashes, you can just throw me over the fence into the arroyo,” he jokes.  “Wait, that could be illegal – and Chief Sharp might come after me!”