CASA GRANDE — A family with longtime roots in the community is taking special pride in a new building on the Casa Grande skyline.
Sun Eagle Corporation recently completed the new Southwest Gas facility, a new 30,000-square-foot building on West Gila Bend Highway near Thornton Road.
Martin Alvarez, Sr. owns Sun Eagle Corporation with his sons, A.J. and John.
“I was born in Casa Grande in 1946 and our family has long roots in the community,” Alvarez said. “We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished.”
The Alvarez family’s connection to Casa Grande began in the 189os when Martin’s grandmother’s family arrived in Casa Grande.
“My great grandfather, Martin Grant Stiles, had a contract to transport mail to some of the mines in the area,” he said. “My grandmother owned a restaurant in Casa Grande in the 1920s. Mys father, Ernest Alvarez, Sr., established Haul Hay as a contractor from 1936 to 1968.”
Martin Alvarez graduated from Casa Grande Union High School in 1964. He served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam and later graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in management.
His older brother graduated from Casa Grande Union High School in 1955 and sister in 1964.
Martin and his wife, Judy, have two children.
“Her family has roots in Casa Grande too,” Martin said. “Judy is the daughter of Ron and Mary Andersen. Both were CPAs in Casa Grande from 1965-1992. Their firm, Andersen/Sarnowski, is still operated by Judy’s brother Dan Andersen, practicing CPA in Casa Grande.”
He said the family strives to give back to the community. The family started a scholarship program, the Ernest and Esther Alvarez Scholarship Program, in 1990 to award money to CGUHS graduates planning to attend ASU.
The most recent recipient, Taylor Meyer, received a $4,500 scholarship.
“The scholarship program is a commitment on the part of the Alvarez family investing in Casa Grande through qualified, energetic students,” he said “The Alvarez family has learned that 20 of the scholarship awardees have graduated from ASU. Eight of those students have received masters degrees and one student, Michael Farrell, received his PhD.”
Sun Eagle Corporation has donated over $1.7 million to more than 20 nonprofit organizations over the past 41 years.
“As a company we are committed to education and our youth,” Alvarez said.