Truly Tucson – Michelle Nolen Senner

Michelle Senner of Truly NolenDear Tucson,
There are a lot of easy and superficial reasons to love Tucson… the sunshine, the sunsets, mountains and cactus, great Mexican food and lemon Eegee drinks. I never really appreciated and loved Tucson until I left her.

I’ve left Tucson many times throughout my life and for many reasons – my parents moved, going away, for college, consulting jobs, vacation and work trips. Being away from Tucson really gives me a renewed love for ‘the old Pueblo.’ This is what I realize is special about my hometown, whenever I leave it.

Just like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, sometimes you need to go away from home to know there is truly no place like… Click To TweetIf Reno is the “world’s biggest little city,” then Tucson is the world’s most spread out small town. It takes forever to get from one side of our city to the other, but somehow I always run into someone I know.

People choose Tucson. This is where people come to improve their life at any age. We are a destination for our University of Arizona, world renowned destination resorts and wellness spas, as well as snowbirds, retirees and those with multiple homes.

Truly NolenTucson nurtures a culture where we lead healthy lives because doing so improves the quality of our life. I call this “healthy from the inside out.” We eat well and have a plethora of organic, locally grown and farmers’ markets throughout the Tucson area. We are active and move – we walk, run, hike, bike, golf, box, spar, Barre, Pilates, Yoga, meditate and breathe. “Athleisure wear” is doing very well here.

There are a lot of authentically quirky landmarks around Tucson. They include natural wonders like Colossal Cave, Sabino Canyon and Saguaro National Forrest (east and west). We have architectural destinations and public spaces like the Mission San Xavier del Bac, the Fox Theater and Old Tucson Studio as well as private and business places seen in the Barrio district and along Broadway. There is a mix of old and new, modern and historical. We have Fort Lowell and the “airplane graveyard.” I think my family’s fleet of antique cars fit in Tucson so well because they are all so quintessential Tucson.

Most importantly, the people of Tucson are great. We support each other, our community and our environment. We love our town and we want you to love it too. We can be very critical of it – like we would a family member – but it comes from a place of love and wanting it to be the best version of itself without losing what makes it fundamentally special. The people of Tucson are from here and come here.

We know it’s a dry heat and better than shoveling through ice and snow. We love the rain and the smell of creosote during Monsoon season.


Just like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, sometimes you need to go away from home to know there is truly no place like it. Whenever I come back to Tucson, I breathe and know I’m home.

Michelle Nolen Senner

On my first visit to Tucson my father took great delight in pointing out the Truly Nolen Pest Control mouse and antique cars. Thirty years later – the iconic cars inspired a car game in our family (based on slug bug) we play with my young children called Squashed Banana. Truly Nolen’s stamp on Tucson was and is now part of my Tucson experience like many who live here, so it was a thrill to meet Michelle. We met at the new Truly Nolen Leadership Center and checked out the cars and their training facility. Michelle’s passion for Tucson, its community and the family of employees at Truly Nolen is evident at every turn.

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