An Eagle Scout by the age of 16, Herman Chanen is an influential Arizonan, leading the community in business, politics, and philanthropy for almost 70 years. After serving his country in the US Navy, Mr. Chanen founded Chanen Construction Company, Inc. in 1955 with a borrowed $1,000 and developed it into one of the largest privately held general contracting and construction management firms in the US. He was featured in the former Look magazine as one of the nation’s drivers of growth in the southwest US. While building one of the nation’s leading construction companies, Mr. Chanen has been involved in a long list of civic activities. He has served on more than 50 public and private boards and commissions, each of which plays a vital role in the economic and social/cultural development of Arizona. He has won more than 40 community service awards including the Comet Award from Midwestern University. Phoenix Advertising Club Man of the Year, Human Relations Award from the National Conference for Community and Justice, Golden Plate Award of the National Academy of Achievement, the Human Relations Award of the Anti-Defamation League, and Ellis Island Medal of Honor https://www.eihonors.org/ along with such notable recipients as The Honorable Gregory W. Meeks, General Raymond T. Odierno, Vice Admiral Robert F. Dunn, USN (Ret.), Ray Charles “Sugar Ray” Leonard, Frankie Valli, and Brook Shields.
He has received a presidential appointment from President Lyndon Johnson to the National Board of the National Alliance of Businessmen and gubernatorial appointments for work in human services areas. Reflective of his long-standing interest in education and youth, Mr. Chanen was appointed to the Arizona Board of Regents (https://www.azregents.edu/board/board-members) in 1984 by then Arizona governor Bruce Babbitt and assumed the presidency of that organization in 1988. Following his term as a Regent, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Arizona State University in 1994. During his tenure, he was instrumental in structuring the Board of Regent’s capital development oversight and fiscal review process. Mr. Chanen was a member of the selection committees that hired Dr. Lattie F. Coor, Jr. and Dr. Michael M. Crow as presidents of Arizona State University. His interest in affordable health care has led him to serve on the Board of Trustees of the Barrow Neurological Foundation (https://www.barrowneuro.org/), the Banner Health Foundation (formerly Samaritan Medical Foundation) and as Chairman of The Arizona Heart Foundation. His interest in promoting economic development in Arizona led him to serving on the Board of Directors of Bank One, Arizona (now Chase Bank), and as a founder and member of Greater Phoenix Economic Council (https://www.gpec.org/) member, former chairman of Greater Phoenix Leadership https://www.gplinc.org/, member of the Arizona Economic Council, National Director of the Associated General Contractors of America, and past President and Director of the Arizona Building Contractors. As the son of immigrants, Mr. Chanen worked tirelessly for the causes of immigrants and minority groups giving generously of his time and leadership to support the United Way, the Greater Phoenix Urban League, First Things First Foundation, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of the valley – Arizona.