Best Of Tucson®

The Preservationist

Demion Clinco

SECRET IDENTITY: Demion Clinco, CEO of Frontier Consulting Group and president of the Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation.

SECRET POWER: Transcends time and space to restore Tucson's architectural past

SECRET ORIGIN: Demion Clinco was on a walking tour of the downtown barrio and entered an old curandera's shop that was scheduled for demolition that very afternoon. He stumbled over some old potions and was knocked out cold. Hours later, when the wrecking ball hit, Clinco got buried under a pile of adobe bricks—but somehow, the old spirits that haunted the building protected him from the avalanche of adobe. Clinco emerged from the rubble reborn as The Preservationist!

THE REAL STORY: Clinco is a native Tucsonan who attended St. Gregory College Preparatory School. He later earned a bachelor's degree in art history from Occidental College in Los Angeles.

Clinco is the CEO of the Frontier Consulting Group, a firm "that researches and prepares nominations for historic-preservation projects." In 2007, the Tucson City Council appointed him to the Tucson-Pima County Historic Commission. He serves on the plans-review, landmark-signs and preservation-awards subcommittees. In 2008, Clinco reorganized the dormant Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation and assumed the volunteer role of board president. Last year, Clinco began serving as the Arizona state adviser to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Clinco is on the board of directors of the Center for Desert Archeology and serves as a trustee of St. Gregory College Preparatory School.

SUPER BESTS: "I love the streets of our historic neighborhoods—to take the opportunity to walk down them. Some of my favorite places are Armory Park, the West University area and the Sam Hughes Neighborhood. ... I'm excited at the potential of Marist College. There's an incredible task force working on this; they prepared a nomination to the National Register of Historic Places. They are coming up with a plan so the (buildings) survive another 100 years and are an anchor in the southwest quadrant of town.

"I love walking down the streets of South Tucson. There's an incredible choice of wonderful Mexican restaurants. (As a past favorite), I wish the Palomino Restaurant still existed. I used to go there as a kid. They served continental (fare) with regional flavors. It was a Tucson classic.

"I think the Cactus Drive-In Theatre Foundation is a great project. Now Herb Stratford has taken over as president and acting executive director. We need to create a new model of the drive-in with film (and concerts). ... It serves an important demographic (and offers) affordable family entertainment. It will be an innovative model. I hope this project serves as a model for drive-ins around the country.

"There are so many superheroes in Tucson. (We have) such a diverse and incredible group of people working (here). If I can name three—Bill Doelle, who runs the Center for Desert Archaeology, has the ability to see things others don't. He can see the invisible. ... My mom, Judy Clinco, has the superpower to see the possible in the impossible. She can almost see into the future; she understands social trends. It's an outstanding thing to watch. ... Jean Hoffman of 9 Queens literally has the ability to help shape the future. By working with girls, she is able to help future generations.

"Tucson Meet Yourself is an incredible event. The Tucson Rodeo Parade is an incredible tradition. We also have new festivals such as the Festival en el Barrio Viejo. ... On any weekend, there's such a plethora of events, festivals and opportunities to meet other people who make up this city. ... I love Tucson and think our community is such an extraordinary place."

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