TZL 1378 (web)



Audacious: Tom Motsinger President and founder of PaleoWest, a heritage consulting firm that guides clients’ projects through regulatory challenges posed by prehistoric, historic, and paleontological resources.


A fter nearly 25 years of providing archaeology consulting services, including managing some of the largest and most complex archaeology projects in the western U.S., Motsinger founded PaleoWest (Phoenix, AZ). As the firm’s president, it’s his combination of scientific credentials, business acumen, and proven success in solution-oriented consulting that has guided PaleoWest’s mission and approach. “I knew there was a market for an archaeology-only firm that lives, breathes, and bleeds problem solving rather than esoteric research,” Motsinger says. “So PaleoWest gestated in that kind of nourishment. It was born on January 1, 2006.” A CONVERSATION WITH TOM MOTSINGER. The Zweig Letter: Your website says, “We pride ourselves on being the most innovative team of problem-solvers in the business, leading to better products and more

efficient services.” Can you provide a recent example of these problem-solving skills to illustrate? Tom Motsinger: A good example is the Marana Center shopping mall between Tucson and Phoenix. The developer needed to meet a Christmas shopping season deadline for its anchor tenant. The problem was that they needed a federal permit and there was a giant, federally-regulated prehistoric village in the development area. Hundreds of pit houses, human burials, and a communal ball court all had to be professionally excavated. We came up with a plan to do the impossible in our line of work: Coordinate the review among several interested tribes, a federal agency, and two state agencies to get a year-long project done and approved in just three months. We hired what seemed like all the archaeologists and earth-moving machines in the Southwest; deployed a fully digital data-collection system; and submitted the report the day after fieldwork was completed. It was audacious and absurd, but we pulled


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