Tee it up to cure Leukemia

Registration opens for Tee it up to Cure Leukemia

The seventh annual Tee It Up To Cure Leukemia charity golf tournament is set for Friday, Sept. 29, at Legacy Golf Course, 6808 S. 32nd St., Phoenix. Registration begins at 11:30 a.m.; the tourney tees off at 1:15 p.m.

The tournament is special to organizer Jana Brickey, associate and business development director at Dick & Fritsche Design Group. She lost a grandfather to leukemia and in 2009 a great niece was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. An avid bowler, Brickey also lost a friend with whom she competed in a national tournament was diagnosed with lymphoma and died within months

“When I started this event, it was my way of supporting my great niece,” Brickey said. “I wanted to be a part of her battle even though I lived two states away. As the years pass, I have been forever changed by the stories of survivors and have honored the families of those who passed. I hope our collective efforts help eradicate leukemia from our vocabulary.”

The golf tournament has raised more than $32,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), Brickey said. LLS is the largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding research, finding cures and ensuring access to treatments for blood cancer patients.

Entry fee for the charity event is $90 per player before August 15, $100 after that date. The fee includes golf cart, range balls and lunch before the shotgun start. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.

“Participation has increased each year,” Brickey said. “We had 96 golfers last year. September is also Blood Cancer Awareness Month so the timing of our event makes it even more special.”

2017 Tax reform: The potential end for 1031 exchanges

Section 1031 (§1031) of the Internal Revenue Code has encouraged investment, created jobs and stimulated the United States economy for almost 100 years by permitting tax deferral on the like-kind exchange of business and real estate assets.

Despite the extensive use of §1031 exchanges in the real estate and aircraft industries, there has been a movement on Capitol Hill to revamp or completely repeal §1031 as part of comprehensive tax reform.

In 2014, former House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) submitted a tax reform proposal to repeal §1031 and use the additional tax revenue to finance a lower corporate income tax rate. More recently, in 2016, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) proposed a plan commonly referred to as the “Blueprint for Tax Reform.”

While the “Blueprint” does not specifically mention §1031 exchanges, an unintended consequence of its recommendation for full expensing of capital expenditures, except land, may be the elimination of §1031, which, according to experts, will have a significant adverse impact on the United States economy.

According to a November 2015 macroeconomic study by Ernst & Young titled “Economic Impact of Repealing Like-Kind Exchange Rules,” the repeal or limitation of §1031 would not only have an adverse impact on the real estate industry, but it would also significantly affect the economy as a whole and result in the following:

  • Estimated negative economic impact of $27.5 billion per year to the top ten sub-industries that engage in like-kind exchange activity (e.g. real estate, transportation, construction, oil and gas, equipment rental and leasing, etc.)
  • Overall reduction of approximately $8.1-$13.1 billion annually to the United States gross domestic product (GDP)
  • Increased costs of capital and greater reliance on debt financing
  • Slower economic growth

Another study titled “The Economic Impact of Repealing or Limiting Section 1031 Like-Kind Exchanges in Real Estate” analyzed more than 1.6 million real estate transactions from 1997 to 2014. The study was conducted by Dr. David Ling, a finance professor at the University of Florida, and Dr. Milena Petrova, a finance professor at Syracuse University. The following is a summary of their findings regarding the advantages of §1031 exchanges and the impact if §1031 is repealed:

  • Advantages of §1031
    • Encourages investment and promotes sales activity in commercial real estate
    • Redeploys capital to expand and upgrade buildings
    • Creates jobs
  • Impact of Repeal of §1031
    • Decline in property values
    • Decreased construction activity
    • Higher rents, reducing the affordability of commercial space for tenants

Finally, according to the study by Ling and Petrova, the State of Arizona is among several states that account for a disproportionate share of §1031 exchanges. As a result, the repeal of §1031 could have a significant negative economic impact on the future of Arizona’s economy.

According to Rick Wittstock, vice president – Arizona, Investment Property Exchange Services, Inc. (IPX1031®), “Our clients, many of whom are small businesses and middle class taxpayers, are growing their businesses and increasing their nest eggs through like-kind exchanges of rental properties, ranches and farms, machinery and equipment. The tax deferral provided by §1031 encourages and enables our clients to invest more capital into their replacement properties, which results in rejuvenated properties, improved communities, jobs and taxable income for contractors, suppliers, lenders, and others, along with increased economic activity, and state and local transfer, property and sales taxes. Simply stated, everyone benefits.”


Howard J. Weiss is a member at Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, P.L.C. in Phoenix, Ariz. His practice is focused on counseling clients regarding the purchase, sale, and lease of commercial real estate, as well as business transactions and entity formation. The information contained in this column is for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as providing legal advice or tax advice. If you have any questions regarding the topics discussed herein, you are advised to contact an attorney or tax advisor.

Arizona Green Jobs Increase

Cost/utilization modeling: A tool for improving your bottom line

For many companies, real estate constitutes a large portion of the company’s assets, liabilities, expenses or perhaps all three.

Additionally, whether through organic growth, piece-meal acquisitions, or simply an intense focus on the company’s core business, the company may find itself with a hodge-podge collection of real estate holdings that has little financial, functional or operational alignment.

Indeed, many companies take an ad hoc, transaction-based approach to real estate planning that focuses on a specific lease, purchase, or sale, one transaction at a time. This typical transaction approach may result in an effective property lease, yet negatively impact the company’s bottom line because that particular transaction is not aligned with the overall company business strategy. The company needs a strategic real estate plan.

Corporate strategic planning is not a foreign concept to business, but a real estate strategic plan may be long overdue.

Real estate strategic planning should focus on the destination: minimizing real estate costs as a percent of a company’s revenue and aligning real estate assets with the company’s business strategy. A company that develops a strategic approach to real estate planning will likely reduce its real estate costs as a percent of revenue, improve its operating efficiency, and improve its competitive position.

One simple tool in real estate strategic planning is a workspace cost/utilization model. This model can be used to test whether the company’s real estate occupancy costs — current or anticipated — positively or negatively affect the company’s bottom line.

The cost/utilization model evaluates the dynamics between the company’s current and ideal real estate occupancy costs per employee, the occupancy utilization of a given workspace, and the cost of a given workspace.

A company can easily calculate its current occupancy cost per employee by dividing its real estate costs by the number of employees. The ideal occupancy cost per employee can be determined through other corporate planning processes, such as projections for company revenue and profit, employee costs, operating expenses, capital costs, IT and R&D expenditures, determining competitors’ current costs per employee, debt service requirements, and general corporate performance targets.

Variations in the current and ideal occupancy numbers can be plotted as curves. On the y-axis is the cost of the real estate space (e.g., $/SF). On the x-axis is the space utilization per employee (e.g., SF/employee).

The difference between these two cost curves is an inefficiency and thus an opportunity to reduce the company’s real estate cost. Any space cost/utilization option that is on or below the company’s specific ideal cost curve is an acceptable real estate decision option.

The following example will demonstrate the model.

A company has a current occupancy cost of $8,000 per employee and a strategic performance target with the ideal cost of $6,000 per employee. The company is evaluating various classes of real estate spaces ranging from $10/SF to $60/SF, at an occupancy density ranging from 100 SF/employee to 600 SF/employee. The graph below demonstrates these two curves.

Only those workspaces that are on or below the ideal curve ($6,000/SF) will satisfy the company’s workspace utilization performance target. Those spaces that are above the curve (including those in the current curve ($8,000/SF) negatively impact the company’s bottom line and should therefore be avoided, disposed of or redesigned.

The best approach is a comprehensive real estate strategic plan that incorporates the company’s business strategy and financial goals, the company’s current real estate operation, benchmarks of industry competitors, and the company’s specific real estate occupancy cost target.

Though a company may find itself with an assortment of real estate assets that were not necessarily acquired through such a strategic planning process, the cost/utilization model is a simple tool for evaluating whether the company’s real estate assets are in line with its overall corporate performance targets.

The cost/utilization model can be used both for evaluating current assets and for avoiding the negative financial impact that may result from acquiring a real estate asset that does not align with corporate goals.


This article was co-authored by Greg Fischer and Roger Owers. It is intended for general information only. It should not be construed as legal advice with respect to any particular situation. Readers should not act upon information contained in this article without first consulting their lawyer.

Greg Fischer brings over 35 years of experience developing strategic real estate and property management solutions to help clients align their real estate assets and costs with their business strategy and financial goals, to improve their bottom line.

Roger S. Owers is an attorney and commercial real estate agent. Roger holds a Ph.D. in civil engineering, is a registered professional civil engineer and is a licensed attorney. Roger focuses on non-traditional, complex, and hairy commercial real estate and land deals, including deals in Indian Country.

Building pros share job skills with Gila River students

Recently ASU’s School of Sustainable Engineering brought together a host of local companies and academic experts to share building and engineering skills with a group of middle school students from Gila River Indian Community. The event was part of the Gila River community’s STEAAAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Agriculture, Architecture and Math) program. 

The event included team members from Phoenix-based Kitchell and other design and construction professionals who shared hands-on activities to teach the students critical thinking skills in both group and individual environments. The intent was to showcase how Native youth can learn about professions in the built environment and inspire them to pursue STEAAAM-related careers. Exercises and projects taught the basic elements of structural engineering (think: Legos) and how virtual reality illustrates how projects will look before they are completed. There was also a representative from the Carpenters Union to talk about trades.

“One of our big efforts when we take on a Native American project is to employ as many Tribal workers as possible,” said Kitchell’s Kari McCormick. “The more we can do to inspire youth to pursue careers in this profession, the better for all of us.”

In addition to Kitchell, participating companies were the Kapture Group, FCI Constructors Inc., Sletten Companies, SPS+ Architects and FourthWorld Design Group. Faculty members from the Del E. Webb School of Construction – Construction in Indian Country program and Gila River Indian Community Utility Authority (GRICUA) were also in attendance.

In 2016 Kitchell was ranked as the 6th-largest commercial contractor in the Southwest according to Engineering News-Record, and is consistently ranked as one of Engineering News-Record’s top 200 commercial contractors in the country.

Kitchell offers a wide array of services from development and program management to construction and facility management. Founded in 1950 as a modest family-owned construction company, today the employee-owned company manages projects from seven offices around the country, and has annual billings of more than $650 million. Kitchell offers expertise in hospitality, healthcare, corrections, gaming, utility, multifamily, renewable energy, retail, performing arts, custom homes and academia. Learn more at www.kitchell.com.

Medical Technology - AZ Business Magazine January/February 2012

Lovell Foundation, CFSA award nearly $3 million to nonprofits

The Community Foundation for Southern Arizona (CFSA) and The David and Lura Lovell Foundation announced their alliance to award almost $3 million to Arizona nonprofits to cooperatively address issues related to the awareness, understanding, and availability of end-of-life care, particularly for underserved and vulnerable communities. This vision is shared by all the participating nonprofits, many of whom have worked together for years as part of the End-of-Life Care Partnership with the ELDER Alliance. This innovative community-wide collaboration is one of the largest end-of-life care initiatives in the nation.

“We believe in the power of nonprofit and funding organizations working together to address issues collaboratively,” said Clint Mabie, CFSA President and CEO. “We are honored to steward Shaaron Kent’s legacy to the community. Her endowment fund at CFSA allows us to award these multi-year grants that will help grow a ‘change network’ by supporting and empowering organizations that are addressing hospice care issues and the universal experiences of death, dying and grieving.”

The Lovell Foundation awarded a total of $2,507,619 for end-of-life care and planning projects. CFSA grants total $390,000. Grants range from $20,000 to $1 million to support end-of-life care programs that engage the community, educate professionals and patients, institute organizational and community standards of practice, develop the healthcare workforce and impact public policy.  This year’s grants were awarded to the following organizations:

• Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association

• United Way of Tucson and Southern ArizonaCoordinator for the ELDER Alliance

• Interfaith Community Services

• Tucson Medical Center Foundation

• Tu Nidito Children and Family Services

• Our Family Services

• Southwest Folklife  Alliance

• The Tohono O’odham Nursing Care Authority

• The University of Arizona Center on Aging

• Casa de la Luz Foundation

“Our collective goal is to fundamentally change the narrative on how we plan for, care for and experience death and dying in Southern Arizona and beyond,” said John Amoroso, executive director of the Lovell Foundation. “Ultimately we all – individuals, families, caregivers, health systems and communities – bear the responsibility for changing the status quo by helping each other to engage in compassionate, honest conversations about our mortality, the type of healthcare we wish to receive and how it is given across the spectrum of life choices.”

When Shaaron Kent designated in her will that a part of her estate be allocated to hospice programs, a group of volunteers with interest and expertise in end-of-life issues were assembled to help her carry out her wishes. Since 2012, CFSA has granted more than $850,000 from the Shaaron Kent Endowment Fund for education on end-of-life issues and programs. CFSA will continue to expand the awareness, understanding, and availability of end-of-life care, particularly for underserved and vulnerable communities.

“This is an inspiring and unique time for our community,” stated Sandra Nathan, VP of Community Investment at CFSA. “This in-depth collaboration and resulting synergies have tremendous potential to improve the quality of lives in Southern Arizona and beyond.”

The Lovell Foundation shared this interest in end-of-life care and previously funded “Passing On,” an award-winning documentary produced by Arizona Public Media and broadcast nationally by PBS, and other projects. “We did a community-wide scan on end-of-life issues. We discovered this group of dedicated organizations and individuals that had been working together with support from CFSA funding. That kind of energy and potential emboldened the Lovell Foundation to expand our commitment to end-of-life care and make an even bigger investment,” said Ann Lovell, president of the family foundation and daughter of its founders.

Bonnie Kampa is a member of the Lovell Foundation board of advisors and the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona End of Life Committee. She said, “This amazing partnership of organizations and this significant funding over the next three years will put Southern Arizona – and all of Arizona – on the map as a national model and leader in the field. This vision to apply resources in this field is a great credit to both foundations’ trustees and leadership.”

HFF secures $38.6M in financing for 2 Phoenix properties

Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P. (HFF) announced that it has secured acquisition financing totaling $38.6 million for two Phoenix apartment communities – Pinnacle at Union Hills and Park 28. 

HFF worked exclusively on behalf of the borrower, Pure Multi-Family REIT LP, to place the long-term, fixed-rate loans with an institutional lender in two separate transactions.

Pinnacle at Union Hills is located at 4750 E. Union Hills Drive at the northwestern corner of Union Hills Drive and Tatum Boulevard providing access to State Route 51 (Piestewa Freeway) and Loop 101 (Pima Freeway).  The property’s location borders the future Arizona Biomedical Corridor and the prestigious North Scottsdale submarket.  Renovated in 2015, each of the property’s 264 luxury units feature fully equipped gourmet kitchens, full-size washers and dryers, nine-foot ceilings, oversized walk-in closets, soaking tubs and private patios or balconies.  Common area amenities include two resort-style pools with poolside cabanas, barbecue grilling areas, 24-hour fitness center and Wi-Fi café.

Park 28 is located at 4114 N. 28th Street in Phoenix’s Arcadia neighborhood placing it within 15 minutes of some of the area’s largest concentrations of office, educational and medical centers such as the Camelback Road office corridor, downtown Phoenix, Arizona State University, the University of Arizona, Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Banner University Medical Center.  The property is also walkable to Sprouts Grocery, Starbucks and Los Olivos Municipal Park.  Completed in 2016, the Class A community consists of 152 luxury units and amenities such as a resort-style pool and spa, a two-story clubhouse and state-of-the-art fitness center.

The HFF debt placement team representing the borrower was led by senior managing director John Brownlee, senior director Brad Miner and director Michael Cosby.

Road trip

Arizona Office of Tourism unveils ‘unreal’ ad campaign for state

The newest advertising campaign from the Arizona Office of Tourism showcases experiences in the state that are at once authentic and unexpected, comfortable and grand, real and unreal. 

Iconic Arizona destinations such as the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley are front and center—but so, too, are lakes, snow and slot canyons.

The campaign, “[un]real Arizona,” was unveiled today by the Arizona Office of Tourism (AOT) at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism, an annual professional-development event for destination marketers and travel professionals in the state. The ad campaign is the Office of Tourism’s first brand refresh in four years.

“The ‘[un]real Arizona’ campaign illustrates how the experiences visitors expect to have in our state can be grander and more surprising than they ever imagined,” said Debbie Johnson, director of the Arizona Office of Tourism.

The campaign pairs awe-inspiring hero imagery with simple, powerful headlines that play on both the authentic feel of Arizona and its stunning natural landscape. Some of Arizona’s most majestic destinations—including the Grand Canyon, Lake Powell, Lake Havasu, Monument Valley, Snowbowl, Antelope Canyon and Verde Valley—are featured in the campaign.

AOT collaborated with Off Madison Ave (OMA), a Phoenix-based integrated marketing agency, to create the “[un]real Arizona” campaign. It will launch nationally in the fall, targeting the key markets of Chicago, Seattle, Minneapolis and San Francisco. 

“Research has showed us that there is real potential to further increase travel to Arizona in these cities,” Johnson said. “We targeted Chicago, Seattle and San Francisco with our advertising this past year and increased market share by more than 20 percent in every one of those cities. This year we’re adding Minneapolis to the mix, and we’re confident we’ll see positive results there as well.”

According to an advertising-effectiveness study by Strategic Marketing & Research Insights, the increase in incremental travel to Arizona generated by the Office of Tourism’s most recent national ad campaign resulted in $829 million of spending in the state. Overall, 43 million people visited Arizona in 2016, contributing $21.2 billion in direct spending to the state’s economy.

The new “[un]real] Arizona” campaign celebrates the breathtaking natural wonders in Arizona while touching on the various types of experiences available throughout the state.

Off Madison Avenue Creative Director, Ben Galloway said the flexibility of the “[un]real” concept means that images and messaging can easily be adjusted depending on the market, target audience, seasonality and medium.

“The big idea behind this campaign is to show the world the Arizona that residents get to see every day, the Arizona that is accessible, yet feels like you’re the first person to set foot here,” Ben Galloway said. “But it’s not enough to just have a good creative idea. The collaborative effort between AOT and OMA truly produced something special with ‘[un]real Arizona.’”

Technology shakes up how projects are planned, scheduled and built

Over the last 10 years, innovations in technology have disrupted many of the industries across the world allowing for improved efficiency, savings and quality.

The construction industry is no different. Although, Jim Rogers, a well-known construction management and industry expert, says, “Construction lags behind other industries like manufacturing that have more quickly adopted and implemented new technology to improve the industry.”

Project managers at Ryan Companies use building information modeling to design and plan projects using 3-D modeling. (Provided by Ryan Companies)

But that’s changing as innovations like 3-D laser scanning, building information modeling (BIM), digital drawings, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), 3-D printing and others are enabling incredible improvements in the construction industry from communications to improved quality, production, savings and safety.

In Dubai, the world’s first functioning 3-D printed building was completed in May by using a massive 3-D printer and a special mixture of cement to create a 2,700-square-foot office building in 17 days for about $140,000.

Meanwhile in Arizona, the use of integrated project delivery methods, virtual design and construction (VDC) teams and digital project plans are speeding up construction timelines and cutting down on costs. There’s also augmented and virtual reality applications that redefine how we can look at projects and interact with spaces before it is ever constructed.

New technologies are forcing construction companies to adopt these innovations in order to stay competitive, which means adjusting the ways it plans, schedules and builds a project.

Rogers says, the biggest impact on the construction industry is the fact that there’s a lot of stuff that we have to go and re-learn in order for these technologies to propagate throughout the field.

From what he sees and hears throughout the industry, Rogers explains, “General contractors are in the mode of learning all different kinds of training, construction management, professional development systems and tools within their organizations to keep up with all of these new changes, trends and technologies, which will be critical for them to stay on top.”

These are some of the new innovations transforming the construction industry and the companies at the forefront of the “constru-tech” movement.

ARCHSOL

Cyclotron: a high-energy particle accelerator (Provided by ARCHSOL)

ARCHSOL designed several custom radiochemistry facilities across the nation that are facilitating innovative healthcare treatments including a new building at a cancer clinic’s campus in Scottsdale for a radiochemistry laboratory and complex piece of equipment called the cyclotron, which is a high-energy particle accelerator used in the production of radiopharmaceuticals. The design and construction of the building required a specific density for the cyclotron’s concrete shielding and precise coordination of underground conduits for pneumatic system transport of radioactive isotopes, that have a half-life of as little as 20 minutes, to the patient point of care.

Balfour Beatty Construction 

Bluebell Extreme screenshot (Provided by Balfour Beatty Construction)

By using Bluebeam Extreme, project drawing sets are constantly updated as changes are made to all project documents including drawings, specifications, requests for information, architectural supplemental instructions, as-built drawings and others are hyperlinked to the Balfour Beatty dashboard and instantly updated, which are accessible anywhere on the jobsite through the employee’s electronic tablets. The BIM 360 Field by Autodesk — a field management software for 2-D and 3-D environments that combines mobile technologies at the construction site with cloud-based collaboration and reporting — helps the project team maintain logs of issues, creates checklists for safety and tracking punch list items.

Climatec

Climatec’s Axcess suite was built to transform the tremendous amounts of data that building systems generate into actionable intelligence. It leverages deep engineering expertise, advanced analytics and visualization technologies to optimize building performance and reduce operating costs, which Terry Keenen, president of Climatec, says, helps clients realize a greater return on their building investments. At multiple healthcare and government municipality projects already integrating multiple building subsystems and vendors, Climatec’s data visualization and analytics have generated $500,000 in annual savings and the optimization of systems added another $750,000 in annual savings.

DPR Construction

Installation of prefabricated exterior panels for the Banner University Medical Center Phoenix’s new patient tower. (Provided by DPR Construction)

Virtual reality, laser scanning and prefabrication are the latest innovations being used at DPR. VR and AR technology puts the user into a virtual architectural model so they can digitally experience the space and interact with it without the costly investment of building a full scale, physical mock-up. Laser scanning as a Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) tool ensures 1/8-inch accuracy and saves DPR projects $1 per square-foot in field rework due to human error. Meanwhile, the prefabrication process used for the installation of the exterior skin panels at the Banner University Medical Center Phoenix’s 16-story patient tower process increases safety by not having to work from scaffolding, reduces schedule durations by placing one level of panels in a day, and achieves consistent quality by working in an assembly-line like manner.

Eco 3-D

3-D model of processing facility (Provided by Eco3-D)

Using laser scanners to create highly accurate digital 3-D models reduces labor, material costs and the amount of re-work while aiding in schedule compression and mitigating costly requests for information, which helped the company’s VDC team save millions for clients like Walmart, New York University, Cushman & Wakefield and the Los Angeles International Airport. “The implementation of laser scanning and 3-D modeling is the next revolution in the construction world. Sensational cost reductions and efficiencies will be realized,” explains Ken Smerz, president and founder at Eco 3-D. “The owners will begin to take this information to digitally manage their assets all the way back into their income statements.”

Fairview Architectural North America

(Provided by Fairview Architectural)

Vitrabond G2, a light weight non-combustible metal composite material for building façades, was launched by Fairview Architectural North America in March along with the Arrowhead suite of façade panel installation systems, which were designed and engineered to package all the benefits of a traditional metal composite material. Jerry Fossey, general manager, says, “These two new products help protect the building and its occupants by being non-combustible and at the same time reducing the cost of installation due to the high speed in which they can be installed.”

Graycor 

Before and during construction, Graycor utilizes drones to gather accurate data and information about a site or existing structure. During pre-construction, a 30-minute drone flight, plus a few hours of information processing, can compare actual site elevations to a design plan, providing precise data for earthmoving activity, creating construction timelines and establishing budgets with trade vendors. During construction, a program called Drone Deploy uses photogrammetry to accurately compare the design plan to a project’s actual as-built conditions, which includes 3-D and virtual reality capabilities. Other client-facing advantages of drones include in-progress aerial photos, fly-through visuals and live feed options, which are a particular benefit for out of town developers.

JE Dunn Construction 

Mobile job site kiosk (Provided by JE Dunn Construction)

The Dunn Dashboard is a project specific collaboration website that enables projects teams, including the owner, architect and trade partners, to access all project documents and information in real time. It enables a paperless construction jobsite by using mobile jobsite kiosks, digital plan tables, tablets, smartphones and laptops to access and update information such as contract documents, RFIs, submittals, administrative documents, 3-D models, calendars, photos, project web cams, construction documents, project announcements and much more. John Jacobs, chief information officer, describes it as a “single source of truth” that supports 600 active construction projects.

Kitchell

Kitchell: Kapture off-site prefabrication and virtual design facility. (Provided by Kitchell)

Kitchell’s prefabrication and virtual design unit — the Kapture Group, a collaboration with MKB Construction — is a 42,000-square-foot facility enabling the design and build of certain aspects of construction projects in an assembly-line like process. “These are tools that enable us to use our resources wisely, save clients millions of dollars and shave weeks, and in several cases, months from a construction schedule,” says Scott Root, director of Kapture. Kitchell’s preconstruction team also uses an Assemble Systems program to create visual comparisons with precise illustrations for project designers and owners the direct cost of construction changes and corresponding financial impacts.

Mark-Taylor Residential

Vistara at SanTan Village in Gilbert marked the first apartment community in Arizona to offer remote, mobile-device enabled technology to its residents through an app that remotely control locks, temperature and lighting through a partnership with Clare Controls. Residents can also expand their capabilities with upgraded packages including video cameras, CCTV cameras and entertainment packages. This comes on the heels of Mark-Taylor’s roll-out of Amazon Locker technology throughout its Arizona portfolio, easing the burden of package delivery for property management offices and residents.

MODUS Development 

By working with a RESNET approved HERS Rater to perform energy use models using REMrate software, MODUS is able to develop the most cost effective building envelope for optimal energy efficiency. A proprietary database was created to measure the cost/benefit in HERS points for each sustainable item used in the building such as spray foam insulation, LED lighting, hybrid hot water heaters and more. Ed Gorman, founder and president, says, “Utilizing energy modeling tools and developing a database of cost and savings has allowed us to successfully build the first Net Zero Energy (NZE) townhomes in the state and the first NZE apartment building in the country.”

P.B. Bell 

P.B. Bell partnered with Cox Communications to offer residents at Escape in Phoenix access to a Smart Home experience through Cox Homelife, which features home automation capabilities, such as live video viewing and energy controls for temperature and lighting. At Solis at Towne Center, P.B. Bell partnered with Parcel Pending to offer 24-hour, automated parcel storage allowing residents to retrieve packages, which were installed in May. “These secure, automated lockers offer flexibility and convenience for residents, and we’re proud to be able to offer this type of amenity to accommodate a growing need,” says Chapin Bell, CEO at P.B. Bell.

Procore & Plans4Less 

For smaller mom-and-pop companies, building information modeling may not be an affordable option, which means printed documents are still a must. However, the most widely-used construction management software firm, Procore, has teamed up with Plans4Less, on a first of its kind app for printing and delivering construction documents that’s affordable and quick. In fact, all Procore software users now have the advantage of printing and delivering full-sized construction documents from Plans4Less for $1 each to anywhere in the country by the next day using a seamlessly integrated app.

Ryan Companies

(Provided by Ryan Companies)

Since 2012, its Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) team worked to transform a design concept into an image, animation or virtual reality in order to bring that concept to life through 3-D building animations and renderings, cost and schedule summary infographics, site logistics, process maps and through regional amenity marketing summaries. Today, Rick Collins, regional president at Ryan Companies, says, “With our Virtual Design and Construction program, we ‘build’ the building technologically, before we put a shovel in the ground. Our VDC group continues to push the boundaries of VR in providing valuable content and prospective clients; allowing our users to ‘see’ the completed building to refine decisions along the way.”

Sunflare Solar

Sunflare’s new solar technology, a super thin and lightweight solar “wallpaper” of sorts, is the lightest and most flexible solar panel of its kind. The solar cells are created with copper, indium, gallium and selenide. Unlike Tesla’s solar roof tiles, which began taking orders in the United States in May, Sunflare’s thin solar cells do not include glass, which means it can be attached to walls and roofs, the top of trailers and mobile homes, or anywhere a designer or builder can dream up by using some double-sided tape.

TruePoint Laser Scanning

(Provided by TruePoint Laser Scanning)

TruePoint uses 3-D laser scan technology to accurately capture millions of real-world data points for a building or space within seconds. Then, in-house engineers use the latest software to provide clients with practical and custom deliverables such as point cloud data, 3-D models and 2-D drawings. Ryan Hacker, president of TruePoint Laser Scanning, says, “As-built models can expedite design, reduce clashes and change orders, ultimately saving time and money.”

Most Influential Women: Sandra Hudson, TrustBank Arizona

Az Business and AZRE magazines announced the publications’ lists of the Most Influential Women in Arizona for 2017 in the July issues of the magazines. Azbigmedia.com will be profiling each of theMost Influential Women in Arizona in the coming weeks.

The Most Influential Women in Arizona will be honored at a reception from 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. on August 23 at Chateau Luxe. For tickets or sponsorship information, click here or call (602) 277-6045.

Here is today’s spotlight:

Sandra  Hudson, president, TrustBank Arizona

Hudson is CEO of Trust and Wealth Management and president  of TrustBank Arizona.

Best decision: “Confidence in my vision. I do not know the words ‘can’t’ or ‘no.’  I was able to take my vision of a boutique group of professional wealth advisors who work in a holistic fashion with customized solutions and no minimums to TrustBank, a 104-year-old bank, just over four years ago. We were recently named to Chambers 2016 ‘Top High Net Wealth Advisors in Arizona.’”

Surprising fact: “I would rather be baiting a fish hook instead of balancing the books.  I’m a low-maintenance mountain girl who enjoys horseback riding, fishing, hiking, camping and fresh air.”

Here is the complete list of the Most Influential Women in Arizona for 2017:

• Catherine Alonzo, founding partner, Javelina

• Monica Antone, lieutenant governor, Gila River Indian Community

• Kelly Barr, senior director of environmental management and chief sustainability and compliance executive, SRP

• Ann Becker, vice president and chief procurement officer, APS

• Maja Berlin-Del Vigna, vice president and general counsel, Commercial Electronic Solutions & Engines and Power Systems, Honeywell International Inc.

• Noreen Bishop, Arizona market manager, J.P. Morgan Private Bank

• Lorry Bottrill, chief operating officer, Mercy Care Plan

• Jenn Daniels, mayor, Town of Gilbert

• Jennifer Davis Lunt, principal, Davis Enterprises

• Paris Davis, vice president/Northwest Arizona retail banking division manager, Washington Federal

• Kimberly A. Demarchi, partner, Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie

• Allison DeVane, founder, Teaspressa

• Amber Gilroy, senior vice president of operations, Cancer Treatment Centers of America

• Denise Gredler, founder and CEO, BestCompaniesAZ

• Nancy Ham, CEO, WebPT

• Michele Y. Halyard, MD, dean, Mayo Clinic School of Medicine, Arizona Campus

• Sandra Hudson, president, TrustBank Arizona

• Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, executive director, ASU Gammage

• Julie Johnson, principal, Avison Young

• Lisa Johnson, president and CEO, Corporate Interior Systems

• Mystie Johnson Foote, MD, CEO, Banner Medical Group

• Jennifer Kaplan, owner, Evolve Public Relations and Marketing

• Donna Kennedy, economic development director, City of Tempe

• Mindy Korth, executive vice president — investment properties sales brokerage, Colliers International

• Christina Kwasnica, MD, medical director of neuro-rehabilitation, Barrow Neurological Institute

• Laura Lawless Robertson, partner, Squire Patton Boggs

• Ericka LeMaster, senior vice president commercial real estate, Alliance Bank of Arizona

• Donna Lemons-Roush, COO, MT Builders

• Shawn Linam, CEO, Qwaltec

• Tina Litteral, executive vice president, AIA Arizona

• Shari Lott, founder and CEO, SpearmintLOVE

• Alisa Lyons, principal, Sloan Lyons Public Affairs

• Jodi Malenfant, president and owner, W&W Structural, Inc.

• Fran Mallace, vice president, Cox Media

• Dawn Meidinger, director, Fennemore Craig

• Marcia Mintz, CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix

• Mary Nollenberger, director of leasing, SVN Desert Commercial Advisors

• Kathi O’Connor, lead personnel, Swaine Asphalt Corporation

• Laura Ortiz, president, Evergreen Development

• Desirae Outcalt, vice president relationship manager, Biltmore Bank

• Renee Parsons, co-founder, Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation

• Melissa Proctor, shareholder, Polsinelli

• Sissie Roberts Shank, president and CEO, Chas Roberts A/C & Plumbing

• Shawn Rush, LEED AP, principal, Corgan

• Jane Russell-Winiecki, chairwoman, Yavapai-Apache Nation

• Deanna Salazar, senior vice president and general counsel, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona

• Catherine Scrivano, president, CASCO Financial Group

• Lawdan Shojaee, CEO, Axosoft

• Ashley Snyder, senior vice president, Cresa

• Sheryl A. Sweeney, shareholder, Ryley Carlock & Applewhite

• Sally A. Taylor, CEO, KeatsConnelly

• Amy Van Dyken-Rouen, Olympic gold medalist and founder of Amy’s Army

• Katee Van Horn, vice president of global engagement and inclusion, GoDaddy

• Ashley Villaverde Halvorson, partner , Jones, Skelton & Hochuli

• Jacque Westling, partner, Quarles & Brady

• Jeri Williams, chief of police, City of Phoenix

• Tiffany Winne, executive vice president, Savills Studley

Check back here over the coming weeks to read individual profiles of all the Most Influential Women in Arizona Business for 2017.

How can we close the gender gap in the technology industry?

The technology industry is one of the fastest-growing and most prosperous sectors in the world economy today. In 2016, 2,500 technology jobs were added in Arizona alone, according to a data analysis report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, EMSI and others. Despite the explosive growth of the industry and the capital pumped into it, industry leaders have yet to conquer one major disparity: the gender gap.

While statistics on women and minority groups are improving, they remain unacceptable. Google, Facebook and Yahoo all report employee makeup dominated by white and Asian males. On average, these technology giants employ 33 percent fewer women than the U.S. workforce as a whole.

CompTIA’s 2017 Cyberstates report breaks down data and trends in the United States’ technology industry. Statistics include technology employment gender ratios, which reveal women hold only 34 percent of the country’s technology jobs. A 2016 study done by Psychology of Women Quarterly found women who work in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields demonstrated lower psychological well-being than their male counterparts do. This was attributed to the exclusion and isolation women experienced from men in the work environments.

Women also face an uphill battle to gain leadership roles in the total workforce. At the current rate, it will be 2085 when women reach parity in leadership roles in our country, according to a gender gap report entitled “The Women’s Leadership Gap” by the Center for American Progress. Despite earning 60 percent of both undergraduate and master’s degrees, women in 2014 made up just 20 percent of executives, senior officers and management in U.S. high-tech industries. As recently as 2016, 43 percent of the 150 highest-earning public companies in Silicon Valley had no female executive officers at all.

Leaders in technology and education need to change the context of their environment to not only become more accepting and empowering towards women but also to support the elimination of gender biases and the gender gap that disrupt the learning cycle. Empowerment programs aren’t enough if we do not make changes at the psychological level.

More also can be done during early education to encourage women to explore STEM education programs. This starts with teachers, parents and investment in educational programs that not only accept but also celebrate young women pursuing STEM, such as the newly launched Girls in Tech Phoenix Chapter. According to the Psychology of Women Quarterly study, women as of 2016 were less likely than men to pursue careers in STEM fields due to factors such as gender ratios in STEM classes, lack of support from teachers and mentors, and lack of inclusion and civility.

Despite concerns, there is great hope for Arizona. Our state boasts three cities in the top 50 of smartasset.com’s 2017 analysis of the best cities for women in technology. Tucson, Chandler and Phoenix rank 23rd, 31st and 50th, respectively, in this study that analyzes gender pay gap, income after housing costs, technology jobs filled by women and four-year technology employment growth. That’s not to say female technology founders haven’t had more than their fair share of obstacles in Arizona. It is still more difficult for female entrepreneurs to access capital and funding, and female leaders are not provided the immediate respect that some of their male counterparts are afforded. Women in Arizona still fight to earn the respect of their peers, employees, partners and buyers.

While Arizona still needs to make improvements to see more female leaders in technology-related fields, we are closing the gender gap faster than many other well-established technology hubs in the country. The solution for expansive change isn’t obvious but leaders in technology are beginning to have serious conversations about gender and racial equality, especially here in Arizona. It is up to these leaders to empower women by funding equal education opportunities and providing avenues for women to pursue career paths in technology, as well as other STEM fields. To move forward, we must continue to foster a willingness to develop new solutions.

The Arizona Technology Council has been a leader in advocating for diversity in technology and working to propel, educate and empower women in technology, as well as young girls interested in STEM careers, through programs like Women in the Workforce. This committee and its events are organized by and feature some of the strongest female technology leaders in Arizona. The events were created specifically to empower women by giving them a voice, and are held in both Phoenix and Tucson. To find out more about the Women in the Workforce Committee and its events, we encourage you to visit the Council’s website ataztechcouncil.org.

 

Steven G. Zylstra is president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council.

Don Garner

Meet AZRE Forum panelist: Don garner

The AZRE Forum will be held on Aug. 3 at the Camby and Don Garner, CEO of Alliance Bank of Arizona, will sit on one of the three feature panels. The first two panels will focus on the multifamily, retail, office and industrial commercial real estate sectors in Arizona. The final panel will give an update on the state of the commercial real estate industry in Arizona.

Garner will be speaking on the panel focusing on the State of the State.

Tickets for the AZRE Forum can be purchased here. Last year, the AZRE Forum focused on a variety of trends including access to capital, infill development and much more.

Here is a closer look at Garner. 

Prior to becoming CEO, Garner was executive vice president and statewide real estate manager for Alliance Bank of Arizona’s commercial real estate group. Garner has more than 27 years of experience in commercial and residential lending in Arizona and has been with Alliance Bank since its inception in 2003. He is an active member of both the Phoenix and Tucson business communities. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the American Heart Association. Prior to relocating to Phoenix in 2005, Garner resided in Tucson for 15 years. He is the Past President of the Tucson Conquistadores and former Chairman of La Paloma Family Services in Tucson. He is also a member of the National Association of Industrial & Office Properties (NAIOP) and the Urban Land Institute.

Business advice: “Those looking to become successful in the lending side of commercial real estate would need to exemplify the following traits: 1) Work hard … and then work even harder. 2) Strive to distinguish yourself from your peers in your work ethic and integrity.”

Commander steers Luke Air Force Base as an economic engine

If you reside in the West Valley, you likely know that some of the nation’s top pilots, crew chiefs and intelligence specialists — in addition to the F-35 training program — are all synonymous with Luke Air Force Base. What you may not be aware of is that Luke has a direct economic impact of $653 million, an indirect value calculated at $1.1 billion, and a total economic impact totaling $2.17 billion in Arizona. While Luke’s economic contributions are undoubtedly invaluable, the value added in perpetuating a healthy, skilled and impressive West Valley workforce is priceless.

“Luke has tremendous value as a workforce,” says WESTMARC President and CEO Sintra Hoffman. “As a result of Luke expanding the F-35 program, there is a is a tremendous opportunity to maximize capital investment. It also allows us to build and tap into our pool of defense contractors and talent that comes out of that base.”

According to Hoffman, Lockheed Martin, although downsizing in some areas, is growing operations on the base with 750 personnel working at Luke and continuing to grow.

“The relationship and benefits between the F-35 program and Lockheed Martin are exponential,” says Glendale Economic Development Director Brian Friedman. “Luke is a $2 billion industry that moves the state, not just the West Valley.”

Indeed, but there’s no denying the force of Luke’s contribution in moving the West Valley workforce ahead. In addition to contractors, each year 400-plus members separate from Luke’s military population. These individuals are highly skilled and prepared to meet the needs of a range of professional occupations.

“This talent pool is an asset to the West Valley in two ways,” explains Hoffman. ”Typically, they stay in this area once they separate and invest in homes as well as integrating into and adding value to the workforce.”

With aerospace as one of the West Valley’s target markets, this makes Luke personnel all the more coveted once they’re ready to enter the workforce.

To get a closer look at the impact Luke AFB has on both the military and on the surrounding communities, Az Business sat down with Brig. Gen. Brook Leonard, who took command of the 56th Fighter Wing from outgoing commander Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus one year ago.

Az Business: What does it mean to you to return and lead Luke Air Force Base after completing the F-16 Qualification Course at Luke back in 1995 as a distinguished graduate?

Brook Leonard: It is an honor to return to the 56th Fighter Wing that in many ways formed the foundation of my family and flying career. In fact, over the July 4th weekend in 1994, I drove to Colorado Springs to get married to my bride of now almost 23 years. This was our first home together and we love being back.

On the professional side, for more than 75 years, the 56th Fighter Wing has been building the future of airpower. It is in our DNA. We build the future by fostering skills and habits into our students that graduate and quickly use those skills in combat and into our instructors who spread out across the Air Force and make it a better place to serve. So it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to serve and give back to the Wing that gave so much to me and my family.

AB: How has Luke Air Force Base changed since you were first there more than 20 years ago?

BL: In many ways, the base has not changed and in others it has changed a lot. One thing that has only gotten better, and in fact is the best in country, is the relationship the community has with the military in general and specifically Luke Air Force Base. Only through teamwork and an incredibly strong relationship can you combine the world’s largest fighter wing inside the fifth-largest metropolitan area in the country.

On the other hand, 20 years ago, Luke was an established and mature F-16 training base and now we are the largest F-35 base and on the leading edge in maintaining and operating the newest fighter in the Air Force inventory, the F-35A. We are still learning a lot and are not even halfway in our journey toward having six F-35A squadrons at Luke in the future. So we have a strong focus on daily operations, but also a campaign mindset with an eye on the future implications of each one of those decisions.

AB: What do you see as the strengths of Luke Air Force Base?

BL: The strengths of Luke Air Force Base are its incredible capability to develop airmen and train fighter pilots and its action-based, difference-making community relationship. If you averaged out what we do in a year, you would see we fly more than 100 sorties (flights), teach more than 200 hours of academics and graduate four students every day. Over the last 76 years, Luke has mastered the training of pilots across numerous different types of aircraft. Most recently and ongoing is the F-16, and now we are doing that with the F-35A. Developing airmen and training fighter pilots is in our DNA, but we could not do any of that without the support from the community.

AB: How is F-35 training going so far at Luke?

BL: Currently, we produce more than 1,200 graduates a year from multiple specialties, including pilots, nurses, maintainers, air battle managers, lab technicians and intelligence officers, to name a few.

On the pilot and maintenance side, we are currently training personnel from many partner countries, including Singapore, Australia, Norway, Israel and Japan, in addition to U.S. personnel.

Every day for the next three to five years, you will see F-35A training increase dramatically as we build from 55 F-35As currently at Luke to 144. Otherwise, the other training that we do will stay the same, with the F-16 training slowly decreasing over that time, but not going away entirely.

AB: President Trump said he plans to increase defense spending. How could that increase impact Luke Air Force Base and the surrounding areas?

BL: Increased defense spending would most likely be seen in terms of manpower, readiness and modernization. Additional manpower, is our most critical need to relieve the strain placed on our airmen after more than 26 years of being engaged in conflict across the globe. Even as we grow the F-35A mission at Luke, the manning and infrastructure that supports that mission’s growth has not been commensurate. Hopefully, increased defense spending would go to improving the infrastructure that enables everything we do on base. Even without an increase in spending, Luke Air Force Base will continue grow as we grow the F-35A mission.

AB: You’re currently remodeling a building at Luke to become a veterans support center. Why is that important to those serving at Luke and what kind of impact do you hope the center makes in the communities surrounding Luke?

BL: Developing airmen is our top focus and the Veteran’s Support Center is one of many initiatives under that focus. This center will not only support those who are no longer serving, but will also help those currently serving develop themselves for increased responsibility while on active duty, as well as higher potential if and when they are no longer on active duty. The center will support skills development, as well as professional planning programs. Overall, I see it as a commitment to continuously develop all our airmen — past and present.

AB: What is the biggest challenge you’re facing now as the commander at Luke?

BL: Our biggest challenge is to say “no” to some good things in order to say “yes” to some great things. Every airman I have ever met will expend every ounce of energy to get everything done. The important part is to get the most important things done, especially in a resource-constrained environment. To get there, we have three “shaping” objectives focused on developing leadership, communication and continuous process improvement. To get to great, we plan to empower and entrust everyone as a leader, let everyone know what we value and the direction we need to go and give them the tools to prioritize and make the right decisions.

AB: What are your primary goals as commander at Luke?

BL: Our vision is to lead the Air Force in developing airmen and training fighter pilots. To do that, we are focused on developing airmen and teams, increasing the quantity and quality of training and strengthening mission support processes and infrastructure.

We have 10 more specific objectives underneath those “lines of effort,” with three of them that primarily describe “the how” and we call them our shaping objectives. The three “shaping” objectives are intentionally and consistently developing airmen as leaders, establish robust communication and strategic alignment, and create an integrated, wing-wide process improvement system.

Another, critical piece is our objective that focuses on community. We not only want to be in the community, we want to be a part of it. We focus on showing our community their Air Force and building a relationship of trust with them. One way we seek to demonstrate how much we value our relationship with our community is what we are calling our Luke Service Blitz. On June 16, the entire base spent the whole day in the community doing service projects and saying thank you for the outstanding support we receive every day.

Most Influential Women: Michele Halyard, MD, Mayo Clinic

Az Business and AZRE magazines announced the publications’ lists of the Most Influential Women in Arizona for 2017 in the July issues of the magazines. Azbigmedia.com will be profiling each of theMost Influential Women in Arizona in the coming weeks.

The Most Influential Women in Arizona will be honored at a reception from 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. on August 23 at Chateau Luxe. For tickets or sponsorship information, click here or call (602) 277-6045.

Here is today’s spotlight:

Michele  Halyard, MD, dean, Mayo Clinic School of Medicine, Arizona Campus

Dr. Halyard is the Suzanne Hanson Poole vice dean of the national Mayo Clinic School of Medicine and dean of the Arizona campus.

Best decision: “The smartest decision was choosing to do my fellowship training at Mayo Clinic. Throughout my 30 years at Mayo, I have had tremendous opportunities to not only practice medicine in the No. 1 healthcare institution in the world, but to participate in innovative research, educational endeavors, and challenging administrative roles.”

Surprising fact: “My favorite pastime is to watch the Phoenix Suns. I am one of those fans who screams so loudly that I embarrass my husband and kids when they are with me at games.”

Here is the complete list of the Most Influential Women in Arizona for 2017:

• Catherine Alonzo, founding partner, Javelina

• Monica Antone, lieutenant governor, Gila River Indian Community

• Kelly Barr, senior director of environmental management and chief sustainability and compliance executive, SRP

• Ann Becker, vice president and chief procurement officer, APS

• Maja Berlin-Del Vigna, vice president and general counsel, Commercial Electronic Solutions & Engines and Power Systems, Honeywell International Inc.

• Noreen Bishop, Arizona market manager, J.P. Morgan Private Bank

• Lorry Bottrill, chief operating officer, Mercy Care Plan

• Jenn Daniels, mayor, Town of Gilbert

• Jennifer Davis Lunt, principal, Davis Enterprises

• Paris Davis, vice president/Northwest Arizona retail banking division manager, Washington Federal

• Kimberly A. Demarchi, partner, Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie

• Allison DeVane, founder, Teaspressa

• Amber Gilroy, senior vice president of operations, Cancer Treatment Centers of America

• Denise Gredler, founder and CEO, BestCompaniesAZ

• Nancy Ham, CEO, WebPT

• Michele Y. Halyard, MD, dean, Mayo Clinic School of Medicine, Arizona Campus

• Sandra Hudson, president, TrustBank Arizona

• Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, executive director, ASU Gammage

• Julie Johnson, principal, Avison Young

• Lisa Johnson, president and CEO, Corporate Interior Systems

• Mystie Johnson Foote, MD, CEO, Banner Medical Group

• Jennifer Kaplan, owner, Evolve Public Relations and Marketing

• Donna Kennedy, economic development director, City of Tempe

• Mindy Korth, executive vice president — investment properties sales brokerage, Colliers International

• Christina Kwasnica, MD, medical director of neuro-rehabilitation, Barrow Neurological Institute

• Laura Lawless Robertson, partner, Squire Patton Boggs

• Ericka LeMaster, senior vice president commercial real estate, Alliance Bank of Arizona

• Donna Lemons-Roush, COO, MT Builders

• Shawn Linam, CEO, Qwaltec

• Tina Litteral, executive vice president, AIA Arizona

• Shari Lott, founder and CEO, SpearmintLOVE

• Alisa Lyons, principal, Sloan Lyons Public Affairs

• Jodi Malenfant, president and owner, W&W Structural, Inc.

• Fran Mallace, vice president, Cox Media

• Dawn Meidinger, director, Fennemore Craig

• Marcia Mintz, CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix

• Mary Nollenberger, director of leasing, SVN Desert Commercial Advisors

• Kathi O’Connor, lead personnel, Swaine Asphalt Corporation

• Laura Ortiz, president, Evergreen Development

• Desirae Outcalt, vice president relationship manager, Biltmore Bank

• Renee Parsons, co-founder, Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation

• Melissa Proctor, shareholder, Polsinelli

• Sissie Roberts Shank, president and CEO, Chas Roberts A/C & Plumbing

• Shawn Rush, LEED AP, principal, Corgan

• Jane Russell-Winiecki, chairwoman, Yavapai-Apache Nation

• Deanna Salazar, senior vice president and general counsel, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona

• Catherine Scrivano, president, CASCO Financial Group

• Lawdan Shojaee, CEO, Axosoft

• Ashley Snyder, senior vice president, Cresa

• Sheryl A. Sweeney, shareholder, Ryley Carlock & Applewhite

• Sally A. Taylor, CEO, KeatsConnelly

• Amy Van Dyken-Rouen, Olympic gold medalist and founder of Amy’s Army

• Katee Van Horn, vice president of global engagement and inclusion, GoDaddy

• Ashley Villaverde Halvorson, partner , Jones, Skelton & Hochuli

• Jacque Westling, partner, Quarles & Brady

• Jeri Williams, chief of police, City of Phoenix

• Tiffany Winne, executive vice president, Savills Studley

Check back here over the coming weeks to read individual profiles of all the Most Influential Women in Arizona Business for 2017.

Sanctuary

Sanctuary on Camelback package turns hikers into GoPro heroes

Hikers who tackle the challenging trails of Camelback Mountain are rewarded with spectacular desert vistas along the way. Now, thanks to Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa‘s new Hike-Tech package, they can replay those views for a lifetime – and record future adventures as well – on their own GoPro Hero Session, included in the offer. Available for booking starting Oct. 1 2017, the package, starting at $1,875, features:

• A two-night stay for two in a luxurious Mountain Casita

• Hike of Camelback Mountain led by a Sanctuary resort expert guide

• GoPro Hero Session and choice of head strap or handgrip – all to keep (approx. $200+ value, built into package price)

• One 60-minute spa service per person at the Sanctuary on Camelback spa, a nationally top-ranked resort spa

• Breakfast for two daily

From its perch on iconic Camelback Mountain – named for its resemblance to a camel’s humps – Sanctuary on Camelback is just minutes from excellent hiking trails and surrounded by natural beauty.

Advance reservations are required and package is subject to availability. Rates are based on double occupancy and include taxes and gratuities. Package does not include daily resort fee and cannot be combined with any other offer. For more information or to make a reservation, please visit www.sanctuaryaz.com or call 844-366-7992.

Most Influential Women: Nancy Ham, WebPT

Az Business and AZRE magazines announced the publications’ lists of the Most Influential Women in Arizona for 2017 in the July issues of the magazines. Azbigmedia.com will be profiling each of theMost Influential Women in Arizona in the coming weeks.

The Most Influential Women in Arizona will be honored at a reception from 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. on August 23 at Chateau Luxe. For tickets or sponsorship information, click here or call (602) 277-6045.

Here is today’s spotlight:

Nancy  Ham, CEO, WebPT

Best decision: “I ‘fired’ myself. I was CFO at ActaMed and we were preparing to go public. I suggested we hire a CFO with public company experience and hence, took the risk to fire myself. That ended up creating a series of unforeseen opportunities in my career. I was able to move into a mergers and acquisitions role, which led to the chance to run a business we acquired, which then led directly to an operations/GM path, which then led to me becoming CEO. While at the time, I just thought it was the best decision for the business, it actually ended up being one of the smartest decisions for my career as well.”

Here is the complete list of the Most Influential Women in Arizona for 2017:

• Catherine Alonzo, founding partner, Javelina

• Monica Antone, lieutenant governor, Gila River Indian Community

• Kelly Barr, senior director of environmental management and chief sustainability and compliance executive, SRP

• Ann Becker, vice president and chief procurement officer, APS

• Maja Berlin-Del Vigna, vice president and general counsel, Commercial Electronic Solutions & Engines and Power Systems, Honeywell International Inc.

• Noreen Bishop, Arizona market manager, J.P. Morgan Private Bank

• Lorry Bottrill, chief operating officer, Mercy Care Plan

• Jenn Daniels, mayor, Town of Gilbert

• Jennifer Davis Lunt, principal, Davis Enterprises

• Paris Davis, vice president/Northwest Arizona retail banking division manager, Washington Federal

• Kimberly A. Demarchi, partner, Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie

• Allison DeVane, founder, Teaspressa

• Amber Gilroy, senior vice president of operations, Cancer Treatment Centers of America

• Denise Gredler, founder and CEO, BestCompaniesAZ

• Nancy Ham, CEO, WebPT

• Michele Y. Halyard, MD, dean, Mayo Clinic School of Medicine, Arizona Campus

• Sandra Hudson, president, TrustBank Arizona

• Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, executive director, ASU Gammage

• Julie Johnson, principal, Avison Young

• Lisa Johnson, president and CEO, Corporate Interior Systems

• Mystie Johnson Foote, MD, CEO, Banner Medical Group

• Jennifer Kaplan, owner, Evolve Public Relations and Marketing

• Donna Kennedy, economic development director, City of Tempe

• Mindy Korth, executive vice president — investment properties sales brokerage, Colliers International

• Christina Kwasnica, MD, medical director of neuro-rehabilitation, Barrow Neurological Institute

• Laura Lawless Robertson, partner, Squire Patton Boggs

• Ericka LeMaster, senior vice president commercial real estate, Alliance Bank of Arizona

• Donna Lemons-Roush, COO, MT Builders

• Shawn Linam, CEO, Qwaltec

• Tina Litteral, executive vice president, AIA Arizona

• Shari Lott, founder and CEO, SpearmintLOVE

• Alisa Lyons, principal, Sloan Lyons Public Affairs

• Jodi Malenfant, president and owner, W&W Structural, Inc.

• Fran Mallace, vice president, Cox Media

• Dawn Meidinger, director, Fennemore Craig

• Marcia Mintz, CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix

• Mary Nollenberger, director of leasing, SVN Desert Commercial Advisors

• Kathi O’Connor, lead personnel, Swaine Asphalt Corporation

• Laura Ortiz, president, Evergreen Development

• Desirae Outcalt, vice president relationship manager, Biltmore Bank

• Renee Parsons, co-founder, Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation

• Melissa Proctor, shareholder, Polsinelli

• Sissie Roberts Shank, president and CEO, Chas Roberts A/C & Plumbing

• Shawn Rush, LEED AP, principal, Corgan

• Jane Russell-Winiecki, chairwoman, Yavapai-Apache Nation

• Deanna Salazar, senior vice president and general counsel, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona

• Catherine Scrivano, president, CASCO Financial Group

• Lawdan Shojaee, CEO, Axosoft

• Ashley Snyder, senior vice president, Cresa

• Sheryl A. Sweeney, shareholder, Ryley Carlock & Applewhite

• Sally A. Taylor, CEO, KeatsConnelly

• Amy Van Dyken-Rouen, Olympic gold medalist and founder of Amy’s Army

• Katee Van Horn, vice president of global engagement and inclusion, GoDaddy

• Ashley Villaverde Halvorson, partner , Jones, Skelton & Hochuli

• Jacque Westling, partner, Quarles & Brady

• Jeri Williams, chief of police, City of Phoenix

• Tiffany Winne, executive vice president, Savills Studley

Check back here over the coming weeks to read individual profiles of all the Most Influential Women in Arizona Business for 2017.

Diamondbacks add urban garden at Chase Field

The Arizona Diamondbacks have added D-backs Greens, a vertical urban garden, sponsored by UnitedHealthcare, at Chase Field to provide sustainability and educational opportunities throughout the remainder of the season. D-backs Greens will be located on the northwest wall of the stadium, just outside the main gates and will be visible to all fans for the remainder of the season.

D-backs Greens will contain nearly 200 assorted herbs, including sweet basil, chives, garlic chives, lavender, oregano, rosemary and more that will change seasonally. The garden was designed and created by a local company, Flower Street Urban Gardens, and features 180-square feet of vertically-hanging planting space. With the support of UnitedHealthcare, the D-backs will use D-backs Greens as an educational tool to teach fans about sustainability efforts and encourage healthy eating. As part of the D-backs’ sustainability efforts, the team will utilize compost produced in part from organic material collected from ballpark kitchens to enrich and enhance the soil in the garden.

The Diamondbacks have also partnered with Coors Light to install a D-backs-logoed sculpture in the rotunda that will be filled with more than 1,000 Coors Light beer cans collected after D-backs games throughout the second half of the season to illustrate their combined recycling efforts. 

Throughout the first half of the season, the D-backs have made significant strides in the team’s sustainability efforts and already this season have diverted more than 18 tons of organic material from the waste stream through a new organics collection program. Through 48 home games this season, the D-backs and Levy Restaurants have also donated more than six tons of unused concessions food to Church on the Street, which equates to roughly 10,000 individual meals that help people in need in the Phoenix community.

Heading into the 2017 season, the Diamondbacks had taken great strides to make Chase Field and D-backs games a more environmentally friendly experience for fans, including:

• In partnership with Waste Management, the D-backs added 200 dual recycling bins throughout all concourses; each bin is made with 1,300 recycled milk jugs

• Replaced paper towel dispensers with 50 high-efficiency hand dryers in concourse restrooms, which will reduce over 1,000 miles of paper towels from the annual waste stream

• Retrofitted 425 toilets and 260 urinals with low-flow flush valves, reducing water usage in these areas by 50%

• In partnership with Levy Restaurants and Waste Management, the D-backs launched a compost program to collect organics from ballpark kitchens and other areas of the ballpark

The D-backs continue to make sustainability a priority, and over the years have incorporated the following changes to positively affect environmental change:

• D-backs’ Spring Training complex, Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, was the first LEED Gold-certified sports venue of its kind in the United States

• The APS Solar Pavilion, which covers 17,280 square feet above the Chase Field plaza near the ballpark’s western entrances and ticket office, provides extra shade over the ballpark’s heaviest-used entrances and generates 100,000 kWh of solar energy; enough electricity to power the lights at Chase Field for 11 home games

• The Arizona Diamondbacks are members of the Green Sports Alliance, a groundbreaking coalition of professional sports teams and sporting venues committed to promoting “greening initiatives” in sports

• Fans with electric-powered vehicles can charge their cars at one of the three electric car charging stations located at the northwest corner of 4th Street and Jackson

• Completed this past offseason, all concourse lighting, administrative parking, player parking and ballpark parking garages have been converted to energy-efficient LED, resulting in 60% savings in power consumption annually

• Utilize a Building Management System for timely and efficient control of facility lighting and cooling, further reducing energy consumption

• All of the disposable cutlery and plates Levy Restaurants uses at Chase Field are recyclable or compostable

• Full and half-season Season Ticket Holders are issued a reusable “Loyalty Cup” to use for discounted beverage refills which minimizes waste

• Uniforms worn by D-backs game day staff are made from RPET material, in which 16 recycled bottles contributed to the fabric of each shirt

For more information on D-backs Greens and all of the team’s sustainability efforts, visit dbacks.com/green.

State of Arizona increases investment in the arts

On July 20, 2017, the Arizona Commission on the Arts, an agency of the State of Arizona, announced 234 grants to Arizona nonprofit arts organizations, local arts agencies, schools, and community organizations. In total, the competitive grant review process for fiscal year 2018 (July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018) resulted in an aggregate investment of $2,354,500.

A total of $1,259,500 was awarded to Maricopa County schools and nonprofit organizations from Queen Creek to Wickenburg, Carefree to Litchfield Park.

The state’s investment in arts organizations, festivals, and community-based programs was once again bolstered this year by a one-time $1.5 million allocation to the Arizona Commission on the Arts in the state’s fiscal year 2018 budget. This additional funding, derived from interest accrued on the State’s Rainy-Day Fund, represents a significant boost to the agency’s primary funding streams: the Arts Trust Fund, which contributes, on average, $1.43 million to the agency’s annual budget, and a state partnership grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, which contributes $800,000 on average.

These funds are distributed throughout the state in the form of grants, but also in the form of programs and services that contribute to the growth and stabilization of Arizona’s arts sector, enhance student learning, nurture artists’ creative and professional development, and preserve the rich traditions of Arizona communities.

“With their repeat of the additional funding allocation for fiscal year 2018, the state’s leadership acknowledges the vital role that artists and arts organizations play in Arizona’s communities as innovators and creative catalysts,” said Robert Booker, Executive Director of the Arizona Commission on the Arts. “The arts are an economic driver, enhance the education of our young people, and create opportunities for dialogue and understanding among and within Arizona’s diverse communities.”

Grants were awarded in four categories:

• Community Investment Grants provide operating support to nonprofit arts organizations, local arts agencies and tribal cultural organizations whose mission is to produce, present, teach or serve the arts.

• Festival Grants support organizations in their efforts to provide quality arts and cultural programming through community festival activities.

• Arts Learning Collaboration Grants enhance the work of arts educators, classroom teachers and school-based arts programs through collaborative projects.

• Lifelong Arts Engagement Grants enhance the work of community and social service organizations/ governmental entities through partnership projects with professional teaching artists and/or arts organizations.

In accordance with the Arts Commission’s strategic plan and governing statutes, schools and nonprofit arts organizations are awarded grants based on such factors as community investment, quality of programming, fiscal ingenuity and responsible stewardship of public funds.

Grant applications are reviewed within rigorous panel processes which are open to applicants as well as the broader public. Review panels are led by Governor-appointed Commissioners and are composed of diverse community leaders, volunteer experts, educators and arts practitioners from rural, urban and suburban areas throughout Arizona.

“From Yuma to Teec Nos Pos, from Kingman to Bisbee, the Arts Commission utilizes its grant programs to provide essential investment in communities across Arizona,” said Robert Booker, Executive Director of the Arizona Commission on the Arts. “As part of this grantmaking effort, the State of Arizona is an indispensable partner to Arizona’s arts sector in pursuit of a shared mission: to imagine an Arizona where everyone can participate in and experience the arts.

ASU researchers will explore solutions to food waste

Researchers from the W. P. Carey School of Business at ASU will explore solutions to food waste through two unique research projects funded by the USDA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative.

The first project will test online marketplaces and mobile apps. These emerging sharing economy companies could help farmers, restaurants, retailers and households manage problems with day-to-day food waste. 

For example, if a farmer has a box of ugly fruits or tomatoes that won’t sell in the supermarket because they’re too big for the grocery store display, for instance he can use an online platform to let others know he has a surplus of food. Consumers then visit the app or website, select the items they want, and the app coordinates delivery logistics and payment for the farmer.

Lead investigator Tim Richards of ASU says the idea is making markets, out of what would otherwise be waste. 

“In Arizona and around the country 18 percent of landfills is food waste, according to the EPA – and that may be a conservative number,” says Richards, Marvin and June Morrison Chair in Agribusiness at the W. P. Carey School. “If we can figure out a way to better utilize food that would otherwise be wasted we can minimize what goes into our landfills and more importantly make better use of the water that’s used to irrigate plants, saving 25 percent of our freshwater supply each year.”

Researchers at ASU are teaming up with Imperfect Foods, a startup delivery company based in San Francisco to test market theories and demand conditions. In addition, the experiment will use 400 business school students at Arizona State University and California Polytechnic State University to measure their use of food waste.

At the conclusion of the two-year research period, investigators hope to be able to answer the following:

  • How will these innovations impact farmers and consumer food prices?
  • How will knowledge and information impact demand uncertainty among food manufacturers, family meal planning, and food waste?
  • Are stakeholders in the food supply chain receptive to dealing with collaborative enterprises?

Food Waste: A Market-Based Solution Using Commercial Peer-to-Peer Mutualization Systems won an Agriculture Economics and Rural Communities (AERC) grant totaling $496,589.

Scan-Based Trading: Opportunities for Enhancing Supply-Chain Efficiency

A second ASU research project will put scan-based trading (SBT) under the microscope. SBT is a newer type of contract used by food suppliers and retailers like Walmart and Target, where the supplier retains ownership of the inventory in stores, until the product is scanned at the register for checked-out by the customer.

Suppliers, such as dairy producers or bakery vendors are responsible for keeping products in stock, while the retailer provides vendors with valuable shelf space and its employees manage that space. Any loss of product between delivery and checkout is typically the responsibility of the supplier, not the retailer.

One major problem in SBT is ‘shrink,’ the loss of product between delivery and checkout – anything from expired inventory, broken cartons, and even theft. This could mean a loss for the supplier under an SBT contract, who may decide to increase wholesale prices to cover its losses. The retailer could then pass that increase along to customers, by raising prices according to lead investigator Elliot Rabinovich.

“We hope to explore the causes of shrink and how to address it. Can suppliers do a better job at managing it? Or do retailers need to have greater sensitivity – regardless of whether they own the inventory or not,” said Rabinovich, a supply chain expert and John G. and Barbara A. Bebbling Professor of Business at the W. P. Carey School. “It’s not finding out who’s at fault, it’s how do we work together.”

SBT contracts do have benefits, including giving suppliers access to real-time sales information from retail checkouts and the flexibility of replenishing stock in-store, without having to go through a distribution center which traditional contracts often require.

At the conclusion of the two-year research period, investigators hope to be able to answer the following:

  • How can SBT contracts support the objectives for both retailers, suppliers, and the farmers who sell to them?
  • Is there potential to minimize food waste through the supply system by using SBT?
  • How does shrink at SBT stores and non-SBT stores impact wholesale and retail costs?

Scan-Based Trading: Opportunities for Enhancing Supply-Chain Efficiency won an AERC grant totaling $496,407.

District Lofts now pre-leasing in Gilbert’s Heritage District

Renters looking to establish roots in one of the most desirable areas in the U.S. have a new option: District Lofts.

District Lofts is the only luxury rental community located within the Town of Gilbert’s soulful, urban and walkable Heritage District neighborhood. The Heritage District continues to lure the region’s most premier shops, dining and entertainment venues and with District Lofts, residents now have a unique place to call home.

“District Lofts was imagined and developed to create an authentic and fresh rental neighborhood,” said Colin Brown, principal and developer of Whiteboard Development Company, the visionary developer behind the community. “District Lofts is a place with a distinctively local personality which reflects the community’s deep rooted history, culture and life.”

Located at 170 Cullumber Ave., District Lofts is designed specifically to fit into the cultural and historic identity for which the Town of Gilbert is known. The thoughtfully-designed, contemporary floor plans offer expansive living areas and vintage appointments such as industrial sliding doors, cabinets with exposed shelving, distinctive lighting and plumbing fixtures, as well as distressed plank flooring, nine-foot ceilings, stainless appliances and full-size washers and dryers.

The community blends seamlessly with the old town character the Heritage District has come to embody, with warm, welcoming spaces that promote relaxing and socializing, including a rooftop lounge with an outdoor kitchen and commanding views of the San Tan Mountain Range.

“The project’s forward-thinking design was created to tell the story of this historic site, its industrial period and connectivity that inspires relationship building and community,” added Brown.

The premier location of District Lofts cannot be underscored enough. Located within the most lucrative corridor in the East Valley, the community cultivates an authentic, soulful experience. It’s also in the heart of a town that is consistently ranked among the Best Places to Live in America.

Gilbert’s Heritage District is home to an emerging and impressive restaurant hub, where local proprietors are strategically locating their most prized concepts: Postino East, Barrio Queen, Oregano’s, Pomo Pizzeria, Zin Burger and Lo-Lo’s Chicken & Waffles are all within walking distance of District Lofts. Other notable retail and restaurant destinations include the iconic Joe’s BBQ, Liberty Market and Gilbert Farmer’s Market.

To enhance its location near this thriving dining destination, District Lofts has launched the “Dinner Club,” giving the first 30 residents 30 free dinners.

District Lofts also features a community garden, dog park, 24/7 fitness facility and customized children’s play zone. It’s in close proximity to the East Valley’s booming digital and high-tech corridor and offers easy access to major transportation corridors, making any location in the metropolitan area accessible within minutes.

Managed by Mark-Taylor Residential, District Lofts is pre-leasing now with a planned opening in August. One- to three-bedroom options range in rates from $1,020 to $2,115.

Sunbelt Investment Holdings spurs development activity in Mesa

Sunbelt Investment Holdings, Inc. (SIHI), a privately held and family-owned real estate company with roots in Germany, is making a name for itself as one of the top commercial landowners in the East Valley through its continued investment in Mesa, the 36th largest city by population in the U.S. 

Sunbelt Investment Holdings has acquired seven large properties in Mesa over the last decade, totaling over 1,000-acres, and is currently pursuing additional sites for commercial and industrial development. “SIHI believes that there is a great potential for business and population growth in Mesa, and through future land and building development we plan to be a prominent player in the marketplace” said Todd Holzer, SIHI president. SIHI has significant land holdings near Mesa Gateway Airport, which are primed for commercial, industrial and retail development.

A recent Sunbelt Investment Holdings transaction includes a 27-acre sale to Niagara Bottling Company in Mesa’s Elliot Road Technology Corridor. Niagara is currently building a 450,000-square-foot facility.

According to Bill Jabjiniak, the City of Mesa’s economic development director, Mesa is experiencing the highest amount of land development that it has seen in the last nine years because of “access to skilled labor, transportation corridors, the City’s infrastructure investment, as well as the abundance of vacant land and competitive land costs.”

“Mesa prefers to partner closely with companies at the early stages of development to ensure the best use of properties for developers and the city,” said Jabjiniak. “We have a strong relationship with Sunbelt Investment Holdings and often promote SIHI properties to companies considering locating in Mesa.”

Holzer, who has more than three decades of experience in real estate development within Arizona, including OPUS, DeRito Partners and Ryan Companies, notes that SIHI owns and self-manages 3.5 million square feet of retail shopping centers in Arizona and California. The company’s affiliate is Metropolis Investment Holdings Inc., which also owns five large office towers and adjacent mixed use development sites in major central business districts throughout the U.S.

SIHI also owns 232-acres in four large properties in the West Valley and is currently under contract to purchase an additional 68-acre parcel for industrial development. With all of the activity, SIHI recently purchased an office building in Midtown Phoenix, and will open the office in Q3 2017.

Homeowners Financial Group triples size of HQ for new hires

Homeowners Financial Group (HFG), a Scottsdale-based mortgage company founded in 2004, has announced openings in six states and the expansion of its corporate headquarters to make way for new “Homies.” 

Homeowners Financial Group has 35 offices in 13 states and is licensed to do business in 23 states. Last year, HFG funded $1.51 billion of residential mortgages – a 35-percent increase in volume from 2015.

“We are on track to outpace last year’s growth,” says CEO Bill Rogers. “It is an exciting time to be in the industry, and we are helping more clients than ever through the most important purchase of their lives.”

The Scottsdale headquarters has tripled in size to 33,165 square feet, which hosts 164 “Homies.” The company plans to hire 50 people over the next 18 months. National expansion since January includes new offices in Las Vegas, West Des Moines, Iowa; Westminster, Colo.; Temecula, Calif.; Waukesha, Wa.; and Jacksonville, Fla.

“Our unparalleled company culture, customer service, innovative products and commitment to give back to the community have transformed us into the award-winning company we are today,” says President Pat Lamb. “Whether you’re in Des Moines or the Scottsdale office, you’ll find ‘Homies’ who take pride in their work and the neighborhoods they serve.”

Charity is engrained in the Homeowners Financial Group culture. Children’s artwork decks the headquarters’ walls, courtesy of Free Arts Arizona, a nonprofit that delivers creative and therapeutic arts programs to kids in situations of abuse, neglect or homelessness. CEO and President Rogers and Lamb also co-founded a nonprofit in 2010 called The Care Fund that helps families pay their mortgages while they are caring for their sick children.

In 2016, HFG assisted more than 60 charities through its 36 offices and won nine awards for office culture. This summer, the company is hosting a nationwide charity challenge with the hope to double last year’s donations.

“We’re passionate about the communities we call home,” Rogers says. “As we expand into new markets, we strive to be good neighbors.”

Arizona Sunbelt Chapter of MPI installs new board

Lee Smith

Meeting Professionals International – Arizona Sunbelt Chapter (MPI AZ) recently installed its Board of Directors who will lead the association in 2017-18. Installed were:

The Executive Team:

• President Lee Smith, Hotel Valley Ho

• Immediate Past President David G. Rosenbaum, CHME, Carefree Resort & Conference Center

• President-Elect Danielle Adams, WM Symposia

• Vice President of Finance, Tiffany Higgins, The Tiffany Event

• Vice President of Communications Troy Peters, CTS, Video West, Inc.

• Vice President of Membership Susie Molinich, CMP, SMMC, American Express Meetings & Events

• Vice President of Education Sharon Scronic, CMP, American Express Meetings & Events

• Executive Director Joanne Winter.

The Directors: Sukki Jahnke; Wendy Frank,  Sheraton Grand Hotel Phoenix Downtown; Jacqi Marth, Destinations & Details; Amy Miranda, Crowne Plaza San Marcos Resort; and Melanie Volkers, CHSE, The Hermosa Inn.

“We have an amazingly talented incoming board and I’m excited to see what they bring to our membership this year.  I’m honored and proud to be serving with them,” said 2017-18 MPI AZ President Lee Smith.

The 330-member Meeting Professionals International – Arizona Sunbelt Chapter (MPI AZ) was established in 1979. Meeting Professionals International (MPI) is the largest and most vibrant global meeting and event industry association. The organization provides innovative and relevant education, networking opportunities and business exchanges, and acts as a prominent voice for the promotion and growth of the industry. MPI membership is comprised of approximately 18,500 members belonging to 70 chapters and clubs worldwide. To learn more about MPI AZ visit www.MPI-AZ.org or call 602-277-149

Content Marketing

Tips on how to find success marketing brands to influencers

Hannah Tooker is the senior content manager at Santy.

The world of marketing continues to change and marketing professionals are changing their tactics as well. Simply, today’s consumers no longer look to brands to make purchase decisions, but rather to their peers. It’s a dramatic shift and one that creates great marketing opportunities — if deployed correctly.

Nielsen finds 92 percent of consumers around the world trust earned media (recommendations from friends and family, word-of-mouth and organic media coverage) above all other forms of marketing. This is where influencer marketing comes in. Utilizing influencers allows your brand to tap into their audience by using relatable people and content.

While influencers aren’t exactly in your audience’s inner circle, the influencers that most audiences engage with are ones they feel most closely aligned to. Influencers are often so ingrained in the consumer’s life that they do not make much of a distinction between a real life acquaintance and their favorite Instagram star.

Influence is described as the sum of the number of followers and the brand affinity (i.e, how much credibility and expertise an Influencer is perceived to have). Keeping this in mind, there are a few things to think about when deciding to take the leap into influencer marketing for your clients and their brands.

Five key things to know about influencer marketing

1. Who you choose matters – influence is more than just the number of followers someone has. You want to be sure the influencer engages with their audience and provides a valuable content experience for their followers beyond just pushing out a post.

2. Marketing that induces consumer-to-consumer word-of-mouth generates more than twice the sale of paid advertising. Of those that were acquired through word-of-mouth, brands have a 37 percent higher retention rate.

3. Alignment between your brand and an influencer is key. Seeking influencers that will appeal to your audience and uphold your brand tenants is paramount for success.

4. Influencers can cut through the advertising clutter and talk directly to the audience. Consumers see hundreds of ads a day and we are becoming immune as a result. Influencers help to take the marketing speak out of the equation and talk to their audience like a peer or friend.

5. Influencer marketing is a long-term strategy. Building relationships with influencers will help increase engagement and exposure over time and strong influencer relationships help create lasting content partnerships.

The addition of influencer activations to any marketing plan can help create new relationships with consumers, diversify content for your brand and increase engagement. Take the dive and see for yourself.

 

Hannah Tooker is the senior content manager at Santy. She prides herself on building brands by fostering meaningful relationships with audiences through serving relevant content with thoughtful promotion.

Most Influential Women: Denise Gredler, BestCompaniesAZ

Az Business and AZRE magazines announced the publications’ lists of the Most Influential Women in Arizona for 2017 in the July issues of the magazines. Azbigmedia.com will be profiling each of theMost Influential Women in Arizona in the coming weeks.

The Most Influential Women in Arizona will be honored at a reception from 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. on August 23 at Chateau Luxe. For tickets or sponsorship information, click here or call (602) 277-6045.

Here is today’s spotlight:

Denise Gredler, founder and CEO, BestCompaniesAZ

Gredler is a thought leader in employer branding, workplace culture and community improvement, best known for helping to create large-scale workplace awards programs, including Arizona’s Most Admired Companies and Top Companies to Work for in Arizona.

Best decision: “After reaching a vice president role leading the first Arizona company to achieve Fortune’s 100 Best Companies status, I gave up the corporate life to start BestCompaniesAZ to better our community through designing employer award programs and connecting employers and job seekers.  As I reflect on the past 15 years, it’s humbling to see the impact we’ve had on hundreds of employers, thousands of employees and countless members of our community who experience the benefits of a great place to work culture.”

Here is the complete list of the Most Influential Women in Arizona for 2017:

• Catherine Alonzo, founding partner, Javelina

• Monica Antone, lieutenant governor, Gila River Indian Community

• Kelly Barr, senior director of environmental management and chief sustainability and compliance executive, SRP

• Ann Becker, vice president and chief procurement officer, APS

• Maja Berlin-Del Vigna, vice president and general counsel, Commercial Electronic Solutions & Engines and Power Systems, Honeywell International Inc.

• Noreen Bishop, Arizona market manager, J.P. Morgan Private Bank

• Lorry Bottrill, chief operating officer, Mercy Care Plan

• Jenn Daniels, mayor, Town of Gilbert

• Jennifer Davis Lunt, principal, Davis Enterprises

• Paris Davis, vice president/Northwest Arizona retail banking division manager, Washington Federal

• Kimberly A. Demarchi, partner, Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie

• Allison DeVane, founder, Teaspressa

• Amber Gilroy, senior vice president of operations, Cancer Treatment Centers of America

• Denise Gredler, founder and CEO, BestCompaniesAZ

• Nancy Ham, CEO, WebPT

• Michele Y. Halyard, MD, dean, Mayo Clinic School of Medicine, Arizona Campus

• Sandra Hudson, president, TrustBank Arizona

• Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, executive director, ASU Gammage

• Julie Johnson, principal, Avison Young

• Lisa Johnson, president and CEO, Corporate Interior Systems

• Mystie Johnson Foote, MD, CEO, Banner Medical Group

• Jennifer Kaplan, owner, Evolve Public Relations and Marketing

• Donna Kennedy, economic development director, City of Tempe

• Mindy Korth, executive vice president — investment properties sales brokerage, Colliers International

• Christina Kwasnica, MD, medical director of neuro-rehabilitation, Barrow Neurological Institute

• Laura Lawless Robertson, partner, Squire Patton Boggs

• Ericka LeMaster, senior vice president commercial real estate, Alliance Bank of Arizona

• Donna Lemons-Roush, COO, MT Builders

• Shawn Linam, CEO, Qwaltec

• Tina Litteral, executive vice president, AIA Arizona

• Shari Lott, founder and CEO, SpearmintLOVE

• Alisa Lyons, principal, Sloan Lyons Public Affairs

• Jodi Malenfant, president and owner, W&W Structural, Inc.

• Fran Mallace, vice president, Cox Media

• Dawn Meidinger, director, Fennemore Craig

• Marcia Mintz, CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix

• Mary Nollenberger, director of leasing, SVN Desert Commercial Advisors

• Kathi O’Connor, lead personnel, Swaine Asphalt Corporation

• Laura Ortiz, president, Evergreen Development

• Desirae Outcalt, vice president relationship manager, Biltmore Bank

• Renee Parsons, co-founder, Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation

• Melissa Proctor, shareholder, Polsinelli

• Sissie Roberts Shank, president and CEO, Chas Roberts A/C & Plumbing

• Shawn Rush, LEED AP, principal, Corgan

• Jane Russell-Winiecki, chairwoman, Yavapai-Apache Nation

• Deanna Salazar, senior vice president and general counsel, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona

• Catherine Scrivano, president, CASCO Financial Group

• Lawdan Shojaee, CEO, Axosoft

• Ashley Snyder, senior vice president, Cresa

• Sheryl A. Sweeney, shareholder, Ryley Carlock & Applewhite

• Sally A. Taylor, CEO, KeatsConnelly

• Amy Van Dyken-Rouen, Olympic gold medalist and founder of Amy’s Army

• Katee Van Horn, vice president of global engagement and inclusion, GoDaddy

• Ashley Villaverde Halvorson, partner , Jones, Skelton & Hochuli

• Jacque Westling, partner, Quarles & Brady

• Jeri Williams, chief of police, City of Phoenix

• Tiffany Winne, executive vice president, Savills Studley

Check back here over the coming weeks to read individual profiles of all the Most Influential Women in Arizona Business for 2017.