Orange Sky restaurant honored with Wine Spectator award

Talking Stick Resort’s signature fine-dining restaurant, Orange Sky, has been honored for its outstanding wine program in Wine Spectator’s 2017 Restaurant Awards. The restaurant is recognized among other winners from all over the globe as a top destination for wine lovers.

“Restaurants continue to raise their game when it comes to wine, and we are particularly proud to present this year’s winners,” said Marvin R. Shanken, Editor & Publisher, Wine Spectator. “As wine becomes more important to diners, the Awards program is thriving—with an increasing number of entries, as well as growing print, digital and social audiences. Wine Spectator congratulates each and every award winner.”

“We are honored to receive Wine Spectator’s ‘Best of Award of Excellence’ for the second year in a row,” said Ramon Martinez, director of public relations for Talking Stick Resort. “Orange Sky is Talking Stick Resort’s culinary jewel and this recognition is a huge honor for our culinary team and a testament to our extensive wine offerings.”

Wine Spectator began its program to recognize the world’s best wine lists in 1981. There are three levels: the Award of Excellence, the Best of Award of Excellence and the Grand Award—with 2,335; 1,168; and 89 winners this year in each respective category. Five of the Grand Award winners are first timers.

Orange Sky at Talking Stick Resort won the Best of Award of Excellence. Best of Award of Excellence recipients offer more extensive selections with significant vintage depth and excellent breadth across multiple regions.

The complete list of award winners is available in print in Wine Spectator’s August issue and online at Restaurants.WineSpectator.com, where visitors can search and access exclusive content on the more than 3,500 restaurants. The full list is also available for free on iOS via the Restaurant Awards app, which allows users to look for dining spots in any location with maps, choosing by wine strengths, cuisine type, pricing and more.

Located on the 15th floor of Talking Stick Resort, Orange Sky offers a romantic décor, 360-degree views of the Valley, aged beef and fresh seafood. The restaurant’s glass wine room contains more than 100 white wine selections, which are stored in a temperature controlled environment of 42 degrees, and red wines that are kept in hand-crafted, cedar wood wine racks. To learn more information about Orange Sky or to make a reservation, call (480) 850-8606 or visit http://www.talkingstickresort.com/orange-sky-restaurant.aspx.

Follow the Restaurant Awards on Twitter and Instagram, with hashtag #WSRestaurantAward.

 

High school athlete health at root of new AIA, Barrow initiative

As high schools reopen across the state, sports take center stage. They offer rewards but also risks for athletes practicing and competing in extreme temperatures.

The most common causes of death among high school athletes are heat illness, cardiac arrest and head injury, according to the Arizona Interscholastic Association, which launched an initiative to address these issues.

“Head, Heart and Heat” is designed to help coaches and administrator prepare for situations that call for medical attention.

Kareem Shaarawy, a sports medicine physician at Barrow Neurological Institute, spoke at a recent Tempe McClintock High School football practice, where it was 110 degrees. He highlighted the program’s goals and intended impact, and provided tips for athletes to acclimate to outdoor summer workouts.

“The bottom line is coaches need to be aware. … They need to educate their kids. They need to educate their parents,” Shaarawy said. “Coaches, it’s our responsibility to keep the kids safe.”

The program’s goal is to advise coaches, administrators and players on prevention and management.

“(Education) has been key in reducing or limiting that risk with heat illness,” Shaarawy said.

After having the summer off, which is mandated by the AIA’s rules and regulations, McClintock’s football program has returned to practice as it prepares for 2017. After a disappointing season, success is the focus in practice. The team, however, has taken time to learn basic precautions when practicing in the heat.

Even the toughest kids will display physical signs of pain when injured, McClintock coach Corbin Smith said. These signs are key for monitoring an athlete’s health.

“You just need to check on them,” he said. “As far as the concussions and being aware of that, you can look into a kid’s eye and know, and it there is any doubt, it’s our responsibility to get them over to the trainer.”

The team trainer plays a crucial role in helping prevent these injuries, Shaarawy said.

“I think they are a physician extender and they help support us and they help protect these student-athletes,” he said. “And (they are) working well with the coaches and making sure that the athletes are as healthy as possible.”

The National Federation of State High School Associations conceived the program. Experts from the Barrow Neurological Institute advised the AIA on the Head, Heat and Heat program in Arizona.

Although the program has not been established for long, Shaarawy believes it could be a key in preventing deaths in the future.

 

Story by Faith Phares, Cronkite News.

11 Coppersmith Brockelman attorneys named to 2018 Best Lawyers list

Coppersmith Brockelman, a business law firm in Phoenix, announced today that 11 of the firm’s 19 attorneys have been recognized for outstanding work in 16 separate practice areas by Best Lawyers®. Among the honorees, two have been named “Lawyer of the Year” in Phoenix, an honor given to only one attorney in the region practicing in a specific field of law.

Now in its 25th edition, The Best Lawyers in America© is the longest-running peer-review publication in the legal profession. Each year, Best Lawyers conducts comprehensive surveys of tens of thousands of lawyers who confidentially evaluate their professional peers. Based on the results of these surveys, the publication designates the year’s leading lawyers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The Coppersmith Brockelman attorneys recognized in the 2018 edition are:

2018 Best Lawyers and “Lawyer of the Year” in Phoenix

  • John DeWulf: 2018 Litigation – Securities “Lawyer of the Year” in Phoenix; Bet-the-Company Litigation; Commercial Litigation (recognized since 2007)
  • Andrew Gordon: 2018 Antitrust Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Phoenix; Administrative/Regulatory Law; Commercial Litigation; Health Care Law; Litigation – Antitrust; Litigation – Health Care (recognized since 2003)

2018 Best Lawyers

  • Keith Beauchamp: Commercial Litigation; Legal Malpractice Law – Defendants; Litigation – Securities (recognized since 2008)
  • Scott Bennett: Criminal Defense – General Practice (recognized since 2013)
  • Kent Brockelman: Employment Law – Management; Litigation – Labor and Employment (recognized since 2006)
  • Jill Chasson: Employment Law – Management; Labor Law – Management (recognized since 2012)
  • Sam Coppersmith: Corporate Law; Real Estate Law
  • Roopali Desai: Civil Rights Law; Commercial Litigation (recognized since 2015)
  • Kimberly Fatica: Employment Law – Management; Litigation – Labor and Employment (recognized since 2008)
  • Karen Owens: Antitrust Law; Health Care Law (recognized since 1999)
  • Kristen Rosati: Health Care Law (recognized since 2007)

“We truly appreciate this recognition from so many of our lawyer colleagues,” said Kent Brockelman, managing partner of the firm. “Peer recognition is one of the most gratifying honors any lawyer can receive. We are extremely proud of our team.”

To learn more about Coppersmith Brockelman attorneys and practice areas, visit www.cblawyers.com.

Most Influential Women: Ashley Villaverde Halvorson

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 has profiled each of the Most Influential Women in Arizona.

Here is today’s spotlight:

Ashley Villaverde Halvorson, partner, Jones, Skelton & Hochuli

Villaverde Halvorson is a passionate supporter of diversity efforts within her firm and her community and serves as chair of the firm’s Diversity Legal Writing Program. She is vice president of the Los Abogados Bar Association and was selected for the 2017 Hispanic National Bar Association Top Lawyers Under 40 Award.

Best decision: “My decision to intern for Rep. Ed Pastor in Washington, D.C., was my first exposure to politics, public service and the law. I pursued a legal degree as a direct result of the experience and encouragement I received that summer.”

Surprising fact: “I backpacked solo throughout Europe for a summer.”

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 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 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.

5 reasons why privacy windows work for builders

Too-close-for-comfort neighbors, first floor master bathrooms and style upgrades are just three of the reasons why builders are gravitating to privacy windows as they construct new homes. In some situations builders offer acrylic block or decorative glass windows as standard features of a home, while in others builders use the opportunity to increase their profits by adding privacy windows as upgrades.

“Our experience has been that Sydes Communities in North Carolina purchases about 300 Hy-Lite acrylic block fixed windows each year as standard elements of their master bathroom designs,” says Carroll Thompson, outside salesman with Richards Building Supply out of Jacksonville, N.C. “In our part of the country these windows have become very accepted and people expect this type of privacy window in their master bathroom. Because of their popularity we stock both 42 x 42 and 50 x 50 windows. The look really sells itself and we recommend the windows regularly to builders.”

At Smith Douglas Homes, decorative glass privacy windows are used as an upgrade feature in master bathrooms. “Our standard offering is clear glass, but we provide two different upgrade options of decorative glass windows,” says Bob Holmes, national purchasing manager for Smith Douglas Homes headquartered in Woodstock, Ga. “We offer this upgrade because our homes are built so close together on small lots. These windows give homebuyers another level of privacy in the master bathroom along with being a nice design addition. And from our perspective, every upgrade we offer adds additional profit to our sale.”

Holmes relates that companywide Smith Douglas Homes averages about 60 percent of its homes receiving an upgrade request for a Hy-Lite window. The decorative glass windows most popular with the company’s buyers include the Aurora, Prairie and Mission designs.

According to the experts at Hy-Lite, the top five reasons why homebuilders offer privacy windows in their homes include:

Reason #1: Provide privacy when homes are on small lots and close to other homes in the immediate area.

Reason #2: Add stylish options so people can customize their homes.

Reason #3: Offer more privacy to homeowners who have first floor master bathrooms.

Reason #4: Increase profitability by offering update options in a new home package.

Reason #5: Accent a home’s exterior with curb appeal provided by the look of a privacy window.

“Acrylic block and decorative glass privacy windows continue to meet the needs of both builders and homebuyers on an ongoing basis,” says Roger Murphy, president of Hy-Lite, a U.S. Block Windows Company. “We’ve experienced strong, steady sales of our privacy windows for almost 20 years. Over time these windows have become more valued and requested by both trade professionals and consumers alike as lot sizes diminish and people crave more privacy.”

Hy-Lite, a U.S. Block Windows Company, is the leading manufacturer of acrylic block, glass block and decorative glass windows. The company’s privacy product options include  acrylic block shutters, accent panels, radius walls, partition walls, door inserts and shower walls. Since 1988, the Pensacola, Florida-based company has been committed to providing residential and commercial construction professionals and homeowners with elegant, affordable privacy window designs. For more information, visit www.hy-lite.com.

Arizona Restaurant Association’s Foodist Awards return

The Arizona Restaurant Association’s Foodist Awards are back for another evening of stellar celebration of the industry’s best chefs, mixologists, owners and concepts.  Foodist, Arizona’s top culinary and hospitality industry awards, will be held on Thursday, October 19 at 6:00 p.m. at the Young’s Market Company’s event space affectionately known as “Seventh & Union” located at 402 South 54th Place. For the first time, the Foodist Awards and voting will be open to the public, giving Arizona foodies a chance to mix and mingle with the state’s best chefs, mixologists and influencers.

Presented by Young’s Market Company, The Foodist Awards recognizes and highlights the most amazing tastes, faces and places in Arizona food and beverage.

From sizzling southwestern to award-winning chef-owned dining rooms, the industry’s commitment to culinary excellence has made Arizona a delicious destination for travelers and foodies alike.  

“Our industry is one that is ever-changing – new designs, flavors and visions seem to come about almost daily.  It is only right that we keep the Foodist Awards – a true celebration of the industry’s visionaries – on trend with the rest of the industry,” said Steve Chucri, President and CEO of the Arizona Restaurant Association.  “The Young’s Market Company’s new headquarters will be the perfect setting for such an evening in celebrating the best in Arizona’s food and beverage industry.”

The Foodist Awards ticket sales and nominations will open on September 1, 2017.  

For nominations, ticket sales and more information, visit: www.FoodistAwards.com.

Gabriel’s Angels announces program expansion

Gabriel’s Angels, the only nonprofit organization in Arizona that delivers healing pet therapy to at-risk children, announces an innovative program expansion – Animals, Books, and Children (ABC). ABC utilizes Animal-Assisted Reading Activities to both increase literacy competencies, and work to improve the core behaviors of attachment, affiliation, confidence, empathy, respect, self-regulation, and tolerance that Gabriel’s Angels has always focused upon.

The National Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD, part of the National Institute of Health), reports that nearly 40% of at-risk fourth graders read below basic levels. For children, reading difficulties leads to social and emotional problems, including despair, difficulties withattachment, depression, and anxiety. By incorporating activities designed to improve the aforementioned seven core behaviors, the ABC program can directly address these issues while also improving the children’s reading skills. A study by University of California – Davis confirmed young students who read out loud to dogs improved their reading skills by 12% over the course of a 10-week program, while children in the same program who didn’t read to dogs showed no improvement. Reading to a dog can enhance self-esteem, improve vocabulary, motivate speech,increase knowledge and buildconfidence.

Gabriel’s Angels’ Animals, Books, and Children (ABC) program will service schools that serve at-risk children and provide literacy testing. School staff will identify children that would most benefit from individual reading practice in a safe and non-judgmental environment. Pet therapy teams will visit the school weekly, seeing children individually during a one-hour session – focusing on improving reading skills, comprehension and speed, as well as developing core social behaviors. The series will have a 12-16 week duration. During each session, the individual child will have time to feel comfortable, work directly on reading skills, and engage in a fun behavioral development activities. Each series concludes with a celebration and certificate ceremony. Pet therapy teams will administer the San Diego Quick Assessment and all schools will be required to provide state or district pre and post reading test scores so that Gabriel’s Angels can assess program efficacy.

sick kids and family

Sick kids making you miss too much work? Here’s what to do

As millions of children head back to school, the chances of them becoming sick increases in comparison to the fun, carefree Summer break they’ll leave behind.   

Children are exposed to a long list of germs from not only other students, but from faculty members as well. According to the Centers for Disease Control, elementary school students catch eight to 12 colds or cases of the flu each year. Because of this higher exposure to germs, parents are subject to missing work. 

“The flu won’t be the common thing when they first start school. It’s just gonna be your common upper respiratory common cold typically that we’ll see,” says Dr. Janice Johnston, MD at Redirect Health.  

However, Johnston encourages parents to keep their children home if they’re running a fever or vomiting, in which case it is highly contagious.  

“Too often, parents send their kids to school like that and then all the other classmates get exposed at the same time,” Johnston says.  

That’s when the concern hits parents because in many cases, they are unable to get a babysitter on short notice and end up having to miss work. There are certainly ways in which parents can avoid being penalized for missing workdays, as it is a legitimate concern that any working parent is more than likely aware of.  

“Under Arizona law as of July 1st, all employees in Arizona are offered paid sick time and that sick time can be used to care for a child. So, if an employer takes adverse action against an employee while they’re using that sick time, that sick time is protected statutorily under the statute. So, they have remedies for retaliation under that statute if that employer fires them or demotes or changes their job duties simply because they were taking sick time,” says Adam Boyd, attorney at Radix Law.  

Parents should not have to be concerned about losing their job or feeling uneasy about speaking with their employer about them being out to take care of their child. Sometimes communication is the first step if all else fails.  

“To prevent conflict, I would just communicate with the employer and just say what avenue you want to take, whether it’s paid sick leave or something else, and try to be open with the employer about how long you expect to be out. As long as the employee communicates effectively, I don’t think too many would have a problem taking short time off for a sick child,” says Boyd.  

However, parents can prevent their child from even becoming sick in the first place if they make sure to vaccinate them and provide them with a nutritional diet. Many teachers already provide hand sanitizer and other hygiene related products for students, but prevention does not start and end with elementary school staff.  

“Make sure they get their proper rest. As parents, we tend to cut a little slack with the bedtime thing over the Summer time and our kids will start to stay up later and later. So, really trying to commit to a bedtime and making sure that they actually get a good breakfast, such as fruit or eggs, before they go to school,” says Johnston.  

She encourages busy, working parents to try and get up earlier to provide their children with eggs or fruit and a glass of water, as cereal is basically like eating a piece of cake rather than a nutritional, quick breakfast.  

The flu shot is extremely important as well, as the flu is highly contagious and once it hits a classroom, most of the children will become sick if they are not vaccinated.  

Johnston says, “Usually we’ll see the flu hit around Christmas time. That’s a big one to make sure they get vaccinated for. They will probably get into the doctor’s office and pharmacies usually toward the end of August and September.” 

Given that the flu shot is available at the beginning of the schoolyear, that is when parents are recommended to vaccinate their children. It is an easy way to ensure there will be less of a chance for the child to suffer through an illness and the parent suffer through missing important workdays.  

Most Influential Women: Katee Van Horn, GoDaddy

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 has profiled each of the Most Influential Women in Arizona.

Here is today’s spotlight:

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

Van Horn drives the business imperative for GoDaddy that more diverse teams build better products.

Best decision: “Moving back to Arizona. I was working out of state and realized for my personal and professional growth, Arizona was it for me. I moved back and started working for GoDaddy and made sure my boss and other senior leaders knew that I was open to working on the tough projects and assignments. This afforded me the opportunity to learn and grow my skill set in HR and as a leader.”

Surprising fact: “I am the youngest of seven kids, which made for a fun childhood.”

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 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 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.

Nissan extends $10,000 Nissan LEAF incentive for SRP customers

Salt River Project announced that Nissan North America has extended its incentive program to offer SRP customers the opportunity to purchase a 2017 Nissan LEAF from a participating Maricopa County dealership at a discounted rate. The deal, which has been extended to Sept. 30, has resulted in record LEAF sales for Arizona.

Arizona has been ranked fifth in the nation for LEAF sales in July as more of the electric vehicles were sold last month than in the previous four months combined. The incentive to SRP customers began July 1.

“Our customers are clearly excited about what an electric vehicle can offer them,” said Kelly Barr, SRP senior director of environmental management and chief sustainability and compliance executive. “We are excited to work with Nissan to offer our customers an opportunity to invest in an electric vehicle that will save them money while helping the environment.”

Through a group-purchase program, Nissan will provide a $10,000 incentive to eligible SRP customers who purchase the all-electric LEAF – with the added potential for a $7,500 federal tax credit.

To participate in Nissan’s incentive program, SRP customers must present the discount code, along with a copy of the customer’s SRP utility bill or e-bill, to a participating dealership. To access the discount code and dealership list, visit SRPnet.com/evoffer. This incentive program is a limited offer until Sept. 30, while supplies last, and may be subject to additional limitations and eligibility requirements. Nissan is responsible for paying all incentives.

Investing in an electric vehicle can result in real savings, improved efficiency and a cleaner environment, Barr said. Driving an electric vehicle can provide access to the HOV lane and save you money in several different ways such as fuel costs, vehicle license fees and maintenance costs.

SRP residential customers who purchase or lease a qualified electric vehicle are eligible to join the SRP EV Community, where they can receive updated industry research, news and information by logging on to srpnet.com/ev. They can also learn more about saving money by charging their vehicles during lower-priced, off-peak hours through the SRP EV Price Plan at srpnet.com/evpriceplan.

Customers may calculate their savings from switching to an all-electric vehicle at srp.wattplan.com/ev. Find out where the closest plug-in stations are near you by visiting plugshare.com.

Theater Works will present ‘Gypsy’ September 8-24

Theater Works will present Gypsy from September 8-24.

Director Rusty Ferracane says of Gypsy: “It really is the perfect musical!” Gypsy takes us back to the 1920’s and 30’s, a pivotal time for performing arts in America, when the vaudeville circuit was dying and audience tastes were changing. Gypsy brings the memoirs of entertainer Gypsy Rose Lee to life through the book by Arthur Laurents (West Side Story), music by Jule Styne (Peter Pan), and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim (Sweeney Todd). Considered by many to be one of Broadway’s all-time triumphs, Gypsy tells the story of ambitious showbiz mother Rose, who travels across the country with her daughters June and Louise, in search of success with their homespun vaudeville act. As times change, Rose is forced to accept the demise of vaudeville and the rise of burlesque, as well as her daughters’ desires for autonomy.

Gypsy features many of the most adored songs in the entire musical theatre canon, songs that launched Sondheim’s career in musical theater: “Some People,” “Let Me Entertain You,” “Together (Wherever We Go),” “Everything’s Coming Up Roses,” and “Rose’s Turn”. You will leave the theater singing, this much is certain.

The part of Rose has been played by many brilliant actresses over the years with many garnering awards for their portrayal: Ethel Merman, Rosalind Russel, Angela Lansbury, Tyne Daly, Bette Midler, Betty Buckley, Bernadette Peters, Patti LuPone, Imelda Staunton and now, Arizona’s own Broadway star – Kelli James!

Kelli James, who plays Rose in theater Works’ production of Gypsy (appearing courtesy of Actor’s Equity) brings an irresistible fury to “Mama Rose”! Kelli James started her career as “Eponine” in the Original Broadway production of Les Miserables and was recently nominated for Best Director/Youth Musical ariZoni Award for her recent YouthWorks production of Les Mis. We couldn’t be more proud of her as a director and as a performer; as Rose she’ll give you goosebumps and knock your socks off! She has also announced that this will be her final starring role on stage as she focuses on teaching the stars of tomorrow!

Gypsy will be presented in the Gyder Theater at the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts: 10580 N. 83rd Drive, Peoria, AZ 85345. Performance dates are September 8th– 24th, 2017. Show times are 7:30pm on Friday and Saturday nights (September 8, 9, 15, 16, 22 & 23), Sundays at 2pm (September 10, 17, & 24), two Saturday matinees at 3pm (September 16 & 23), and one Wednesday matinee at 2pm on September 13th.

Single tickets are $38; discounts available for seniors, students, and groups.

Season tickets (until Sept. 8th) and Flex passes are available for the 2017-18 Season. To purchase tickets or find out more about Theater Works productions, contact the Box Office at (623) 815-7930 or visit www.theaterworks.org.

Book by Arthur Laurents, Music by Jule Styne, Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, Suggested by the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, Gypsy is presented by arrangement with TAMS-WITMARK MUSIC LIBRARY INC.

Western Window Systems announces grand opening

Western Window Systems announced its new 170,000-square-foot building in South Phoenix will be the site of a grand opening celebration from 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday, September 28. The event, free and open to the public, will include complimentary food, drinks, entertainment, and tours of the office and manufacturing areas. Guests can play games, meet the Western Window Systems team, and enter to win great raffle prizes, including a giant Jenga game and a beach cruiser.

Envisioned by President and CEO Scott Gates as a place to create a winning company by changing construction, helping people live better, and having fun, Western Window Systems’ new facility, designed by international architecture firm Ware Malcomb, is a center for innovation and collaboration. Planned for optimal productivity, an expanded manufacturing area features state of the art CNCs and saws, additional loading docks, and an updated cooling system. Towering over the shop’s massive break room, which includes personal lockers, a TV, and arcade games, is a 925-square-foot mural by Phoenix artist Tato Caraveo.

Office areas not only reflect the culture of the company, but double as a showroom where customers can experience the company’s vast array of luxury door systems and windows in real-life settings. Polished concrete floors, a high-ceilinged lobby, and a private patio provide the backdrop for themed meeting rooms, including one housing a Lego sculpture of over 30,000 blocks; a Welcome to Western postcard-themed mural by Phoenix artist Kory Miller; over a dozen games including pinball and shuffleboard; British phone booths; even a corkscrew slide.

“These kinds of workspaces are usually reserved for tech companies, not manufacturers. But we’re not just any manufacturer,” says Gates. “We designed this space to give visitors a sense of who we are, and to give employees opportunities to wind down, stir their creative juices, and have fun.”

Western Window Systems’ new address is 2200 E. Riverview Dr., Phoenix, AZ 85034

Guests unable to attend the company’s grand opening in person can follow Western Window Systems on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, where they can see photos and live video of the event.  

More than twice the size of the company’s previous South Phoenix location, Western Window Systems’ new facility is part of an increased investment in engineering and manufacturing capabilities and will accommodate future growth in generating innovative solutions for indoor-outdoor living. In January, the company completed its move of its manufacturing area. Office staff moved to the new facility in May. The move accommodated over 300 employees.

Chemistry between stars helps ‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard’

Should we be thankful when dumb summer movies aren’t terrible? Or should we only pay to see smart summer movies? If you’ve seen advertisements for “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” floating around and are considering rolling the financial dice, here are your odds.

“The Hitman’s Bodyguard” is a buddy action comedy with a fairly straightforward premise. Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) is a prestigious executive protection agent — a very good bodyguard, rather. After an important client dies on his watch, he loses his triple-A rating and settles for the life of a small-time bodyguard. That is until his former coworker (and former flame) calls on him to help protect Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson), a ruthless but charming hitman who has dirt on the genocidal dictator of Belarus.

Credit to screenwriter Tom O’Connor that these moving parts never feel convoluted. For the most part, “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” avoids the trap of silly action movies descending into seriousness. But when it does stumble in that regard, it’s deadly serious; when it could use a dash of gravity, it aims for levity. Genuinely fun moments and charismatic leads blast their way out of the tonal chaos.

A large percentage of the movie’s audience will be paying to see Ryan Reynolds and Sam Jackson, and rightfully so. The two are clearly enjoying themselves and each other’s company. Their individual commitments to the film’s over-the-top humor are commendable, but it’s their chemistry that enriches the experience.  Their interactions typically boil down to Sam Jackson (playing an exaggerated version of Sam Jackson) bringing out the ridiculousness in Ryan Reynolds (playing a subdued version of Ryan Reynolds), and it’s hard to watch without grinning.

No thanks to the dialogue though. The leads’ comedic timing fares better than the writing, which is more lazily profane than clever. The back and forth is Tarantino-lite: all guilty pleasure and little wordplay. It does spice up the romantic subplots, oddly enough. Love is amusingly aggressive in this world. The visual comedy of “The Hitman’s Bodyguard”, which stems from the movie’s general go-for-broke attitude, brings the biggest laughs. The third car chase through a major European city would feel tedious if not for some admirable insanity.

Tonal shifts more violent than the movie’s body count hold it back from cohesive fun. This is particularly evident in how the film treats human life: at times people are dying back and forth purely for entertainment value (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing if this absurdity is consistent); other times the film is killing off a child or depicting genocide with the seriousness those moments demand. Is life sacred or is it a joke? It’s unpleasant to be barraged with both alternatives.

A couple conversations raise interesting questions about the ethics of so-called righteous killing, but not only are these questions never explored — they’re betrayed. A key moment near the finale abandons the idea that these questions should ever be asked. It’s downright cynical.

A decent amount of shoddy craftsmanship bogs “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” down too. The color grading is intrusive and ugly, the sound mixing oscillates between irritating and muddled, and this breed of manic action direction doesn’t cut it in a world of “Atomic Blonde” and “John Wick.”

“The Hitman’s Bodyguard” isn’t a bad film, but it’s not a good one either, and the chemistry between the leads pulls it out of mediocrity. It exists in a sort of cinematic purgatory that demands late night party viewing, or theater viewing if you’ve got the money and really like to hear Sam Jackson swearing.

★★★   (3/5)

Clydesdales keep cool thanks to Phoenix Manufacturing

The USA Clydesdale Preservation Foundation (USACPF) just got a little cooler, thanks to a much-needed donation by Phoenix Manufacturing, the Valley’s leading builder and supplier of residential, commercial and industrial evaporative cooling products.

When Phoenix Manufacturing heard of the USACPF’s fundraiser for swamp coolers, the company champed at the bit to provide the foundation with exactly what they need: an industrial strength mobile evaporative cooler big enough to cool their largest barn.

The Master Blaster 36, which retails upwards of $3,000, is a powerful industrial strength portable evaporative cooler that can lower temperatures up-to 30 degrees in areas well over 2,000-square-feet. Set one wheels, it can easily be relocated and repositioned for the horses throughout the property, while its quite operation design keeps the animals at peace.

“Our products are able to cool in locations where air condition is not feasible. In those types of spaces this is a perfect solution,” said Anne Wood. “(The USACPF) is a great cause, and they definitely need this type of equipment to improve their life tremendously, not only the horses but the people who care for them.”

The USACPF, a nonprofit who oversees six Clydesdales supported by more than 60 volunteers, focuses on raising awareness of its iconic namesake through educational events, youth programs and breed presentations. Their mission is to bring attention to the purpose of Clydesdales beyond that of a draft horse, a job that is all but obsolete today.  In 2017, Clydesdales were added to the Livestock Conservancy Agency’s “threated” list as it is estimated only 5,000 of the horses remain in the world, so it is imperative that each horse at USACPF receives the highest quality care.

“We’re very fortunate to receive the evap cooler from Phoenix Manufacturing. This will contribute greatly to keeping (our Clydesdales) cool during the day while their stalls,” said Rebecca Stivers, director and founder of USACPF, who added the Clydesdales spend the duration of the summer days in their stalls to avoid exposure to the extreme heat. “Care is really important. We have protocol to not let them out above 94 degrees.”

Still, with temperatures reaching well above 100 degrees even in the shade, the addition of the Master Blaster will ensure the horses safety and health.

“It will be a much cooler environment and we will see less heat stress. It will cool down their whole area. We are very blessed, and the Clydesdales will also be very grateful.”

For more information on Phoenix Manufacturing, please visit: www.phoenixmanufacturing.com

cyberbullying

After HBO hack, what are best processes for business cybersecurity?

Laura Rogal is a partner at Arizona-based Jaburg Wilk.

Millions watched the season premiere episode of “Game of Thrones” on July 16, 2017, with another six million viewers watching it through their DVR or via streaming. It should come as no surprise, then, that HBO was a ripe target for hackers wanting to grab some of that hot commodity for themselves – for the right price. Reports that have trickled out over the past few weeks indicate that a group of anonymous hackers is basically holding the television network hostage, claiming to have access to HBO’s webmail server and more than 1.5 terabytes of data including scripts, episode summaries, marketing materials and entire episodes of shows. Demanding ransom for return of property is as bad as it sounds, but unfortunately, it is becoming more and more of a common scenario as we store most of our information online.

With such a great potential for risk exposure, businesses continue to ramp up their efforts to become more aware and accepting of security procedures for their archives. Gartner is projecting that worldwide spending on IT security products and services will continue its rapid growth spurt to reach a total of $86.4 billion in spending this year. This is likely because the general banality surrounding data breaches is that it’s no longer a question of if you get breached, but simply a question of when and to what degree. The question for you, then, isn’t really are you spending enough, but rather, are you directing your spend to the right tools?

If you are a company based in the United States, the National Institute of Standards and Technology addresses security and privacy controls for organizations. Depending on what type or product or service you offer will facilitate the guidance you need to follow to protect your company’s data, and what to do in the event of a breach. These standards and protocols need to be pervasive throughout an organization. Training, tools, and reinforcement mechanisms are just some of the ways to encourage institutional adoption of basic privacy practices, the first layer of defense to a cyberattack.

Lots of companies don’t solely operate in the US, meaning they must be aware of the specific cybersecurity obligations in regions where they operate. For example, European companies have impending regulations to prevent data loss that firms need to be aware of. Specifically, the EU’s incoming General Data Protection Regulation is due to come into force in May 2018, and Canada already has the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). If you do business outside of the US, you must stay up-to-date on both US and foreign policies.

Being prepared before a breach is only half the battle. In addition to the NIST standards for maintaining security, the Gramm-Leach-Billey Act (GLBA), Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA) and certain other federal and state laws have their own rules about what companies operating in particular fields need to do in the event of a data breach.

Given the wide-reaching ramifications of data breaches, and the implications it can have on business operations and your consumer relationships, cyber security and data privacy aren’t ideas that you can just dabble in. Make sure that you are working with someone who has the right training and credentials. If you aren’t sure where to start, contact the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), a policy-neutral organization that certifies privacy professionals in all fields.

Seeking the appropriate guidance, utilizing best-in-class security protocols and ensuring that those operational controls are being followed daily must be paramount to facilitate information security governance within your organization.

 

Laura Rogal is a partner at Arizona-based Jaburg Wilk, and specializes in litigation, intellectual property, internet law and employment. She is also a member of the Law and Technology Committee and Startup and Entrepreneurship Committee, Arizona Technology Council.

People to Know: Rick Collins, Ryan Companies U.S.

Despite attending a university with a renowned commercial real estate school, a suggestion by an eager job-recruiter made Rick Collins aware of an industry that he would eventually take part in leading.

When he was working at IBM in the 1980s, Collins was looking to leave the computer world. He saw a right fit in the world of CRE due to his experience in working with companies making large financial decisions.

“Without that recommendation, I might have stayed on the financial side of the computer industry or something else,” Collins says.

By 1999, 14 years into his CRE career, Collins started working for Ryan Companies in Minneapolis, garnering experience in office, medical office, hotel, mixed-use and other development types.

In 2014, Collins found himself moving to Arizona, a difficult task considering the amazing relationships that he built over the years with local officials and business leaders. But ultimately his move was a great one as it allowed him to tackle new responsibilities and career challenges.

Since taking the helm here, Collins works to expand what Ryan Companies is known for in the Arizona region – build-to-suit projects.

In just three years, Collins led Ryan Companies’ expansion into retail and other development products locally. Collins is proud to note that about 22 of the 70 team members who worked on the completed Marina Heights project are now in Seattle, as part of Ryan Companies’ Northwest expansion that he personally oversees.

At home, Collins enjoys golf, boating and traveling with his wife. He’s a huge Elton John fan, and once upon a time, Collins worked the turntables at nightclubs in Wisconsin during the height of the disco era.

Since he has moved here, Collins has enjoyed the open arms of the Arizona community, which has one of the best meritocracies for a major city, Collins says. It doesn’t matter where you grew up, or which club you’re a member of in Arizona, he says.

“It’s more about, are you willing to get involved?” Collins asks. “If so, volunteer, pitch-in, put your shoulder to the wheel, add value and you’ll have opportunities to continue adding value.”

Clayton Nash Real Estate acquires Uptown Realty

Arizona-based Clayton Nash Real Estate has made yet another power move as the company continues to expand and disrupt the traditional residential real estate brokerage model. The company’s latest Arizona expansion initiative includes the absorption of well-known independent brokerage Uptown Realty. The agreement includes the transfer of the Uptown Realty agents as well as its office location in the Arizona Biltmore. The former Uptown Realty office, located at 4455 E. Camelback Rd., Suite A205, Phoenix, AZ 85018, will serve as the company’s Phoenix satellite office. The Phoenix office is the third branch to open this year, following the opening of its Texas flagship office in Houston in June.

“We are delighted to welcome the talented Uptown team to the Clayton Nash family,” said Peter Lupus, Founder and CEO of Clayton Nash Real Estate. Clayton Nash Real Estate is a non-traditional brokerage rooted in technology and efficiency, and the company has steadily grown since launching earlier this year. “As we continue to grow, more agents, teams and independent brokerages are attracted by our unique tech-centric business model and lucrative pay structure, and we’re excited to bring agents from all over the Valley into the company.”

The company plans to hire up to 1200 agents and add several more branch locations throughout Arizona and Texas this year.

“Agents are quickly finding that with Clayton Nash, they can work smarter and not harder, sell homes faster and for more money, and ultimately increase their bottom line by minimizing traditional overhead and maximizing technology and the next-generation tools and resources we provide,” Lupus said.  “For many, making the switch has already proven to by a game-changer for their sales numbers and income this year,” he said.

Unlike at most real estate firms, every Clayton Nash agent receives a cadre of assets and services to effortlessly market themselves and their listings 24/7 not only locally but globally. From a personally branded agent web page to a mobile optimized agent idx website with mobile apps to an easy-to-use CRM with intelligent activity stream and lead-nurturing software, Clayton Nash’s comprehensive system is designed to maximize productivity and profitability by demanding awareness, generating leads, and simplifying day-to-day management of listings and marketing at the touch of a button. At most other brokerages all of those tools are paid for directly by the agent, making them expensive to create and maintain.

Clayton Nash Real Estate, has bundled all of their agent tools and systems, providing all of their agents a technological launching pad to help boost their business to the next level. 

 “Our philosophy is simple – by giving our agents all the tools and training they need to succeed – they will. We realized it was overwhelming and expensive for real estate agents to modernize their business with the latest software and technology in order to compete for listings and sales by themselves, so we’ve done it for them,” Lupus explains.

Clayton Nash Real Estate operates on a highly lucrative pay plan for their agents.  With low fees and high payouts the brokerage provides office space with computers and telephones, signs, virtual back office, and dozens of other operations essentials available only to Clayton Nash agents. Agent profitability is the most important component of the Clayton Nash Real Estate model. The company’s exclusive compensation structure is designed to help agents sell more homes and generate more income for themselves while being able to provide top-tier services to their clients.

For more information about Clayton Nash Real Estate and to learn more about becoming a Clayton Nash agent visit www.ClaytonNashCareers.com. For more information about Clayton Nash Real Estate and to view featured property listings visit www.ClaytonNash.com

mobile tech

Byproducts of innovation: Meet 3 startups with ASU ties

Last year was the second consecutive year Arizona State University was selected as the nation’s most innovative school, beating out schools like Stanford and MIT, according to U.S. News & World Report rankings.

ASU has been working on creating an innovative campus, focused on computing, informatics, and decision system engineering for many years, and has not only been churning out innovative research, but entrepreneurial endeavors.

Kinvite, AirGarage and EventKey are three startups founded by former and current ASU students to fit a need for people and make a change in the community. As these startups test and improve their concepts in Arizona, all three startups have eyes set on national expansion.

AirGarage

Currently just a website geared towards ASU Tempe campus, AirGarage aims to connect homeowners and businesses that have available parking with drivers looking for affordable and convenient parking spaces.

After a year and a half of working on the idea, AirGarage’s Founder and CEO Jonathon Barkl, hopes to eventually expand his concept around the country.

The AirGarage team is working on testing its product around the ASU Tempe campus to work out the kinks before an expansion.

One of the keys to this process is speaking with users and evaluating adoption of the tool.

In the near term, AirGarage hopes to begin expanding in the next few months to areas such as the University of Arizona, ASU’s Downtown Phoenix Campus and Grand Canyon University, Barkl says.

One of AirGarage’s early challenges was seeing if people even wanted to use the tool. They were able to find about 10 to 15 people interested in offering their extra parking spaces before the AirGarage website was created for testing and feedback.

They focused on creating a website before a mobile application, because the development team can make changes often and throughout the day compared to an app, Barkl says.

“You can constantly take feedback and make rapid changes,” says Barkl about having a site.

The biggest challenge was initially getting homeowners to trust the concept and also the legalities.

AirGarage also faces difficulty in finding the right number of people on both sides, it has been a constant balance, Barkl says.

The eSeed Accelerator program at ASU awarded $5,000 to AirGarage to develop its idea and bring the concept to market. In the future, AirGarage will take a small percentage out of each transaction between those with parking spots and the users for further funding.

AirGarage was also featured as one of the top 64 startups competing in the 2017 Venture Madness competition.

Barkl’s advice for new entrepreneurs is to get investors interested and begin to raise funding.

But, “Talk to users before building the app. Find users first, then build the app for what the users want,” he adds.

Barkl hopes to start work on a mobile application by early 2018.

EventKey

After finding that networking at events was inefficient when there were hopes to meet someone of value, Rafael Testa created EventKey. To create a more collaborative experience, EventKey allows attendees of professional events to RSVP to events using LinkedIn.

EventKey’s app has been running since October 2016. Testai, who was awarded “The Best Hispanic Entrepreneur of the Year 2016″​ by DAS Foundation, says it took approximately three months to get the idea running.

With now more than 1,300 users at more than 100 events, EventKey is seeking to grow and is looking for more event organizers to host its platform at its events.

Though he hopes to one day expand, the app currently operates only in Arizona and Texas.

Testai began by creating a prototype to gather user feedback and make changes. He says you don’t need technical skills to create your own prototype. Anyone can use services like invision to create a prototype for an app, for free. Testai then gathered feedback from more than 500 professionals through the use of the prototype.

All of EventKey’s support came from outside of ASU and it was funded out of pocket, which wasn’t much, Testai says. EventKey’s biggest mentors who helped them along the way are Dan Tyre, the sales director of HubSpot, and Zach Ferres, CEO of Coplex, Testai says.

In the future, Testai says if an event is free, the cost will be free, but if the event charges per ticket they will likely take a percentage. He says they haven’t finalized the credit processing yet, but he has a list of customers ready and hopes to start charging for the app within a few months.

Testai, who has a genetics background, says it was a challenge to learn to manage a software team. He read a lot of books to teach himself, though.

His advice for others: “Have confidence in yourself and the app, believe in yourself.”

Kinvite

For the last two years, the Kinvite development and core team has been through trial and error, long hours and sleepless nights.

Recent ASU graduate and Co-founder Montel Hawkins says he got the idea to create this app from Serendipity while reading a magazine article about a similar idea that had failed. He says he put a twist on the original idea of the other app that failed.

“Instead of competing with promoters, why don’t I help them out?” Hawkins questions.

Hawkins says if you don’t have the community behind your ideas or app, it doesn’t work.

“Jump on a trend and have a following. Don’t build a product off your mindset, you’re not going to be the one using it,” Hawkins says.

Kinvite aims to help promoters and event planners better their business for only $1.99 a month by allowing users keep track of their favorite promoter, new events, with a map of event locations integrated into the application.

It also helps promoters keep track of their own promotional business where they will have their own credible portfolio with analytics, and alerts.

Managers who are hiring promoters can use the app to find new employees too.

In the first year, Hawkins, who has a business background, says they were not aware of project management needs and that was a struggle for them. He says project management for a CEO is like being a coach, “You have to build a team, focus on everything. Build up the team, check on it, manage it.”

The Kinvite team is all about learning to keep improving on its product. Each member has been reading many books, listening to podcasts and staying engaged on social media throughout development to continue the learning process.

One of the changes they learned through this process was being more frugal with money. They implemented requirements for progress checks, outsourced some of the development to India, skyped the team daily and rewarded them with bonuses.

The hardest thing in the whole process was learning patience and persistence, Hawkins says, because it can’t be taught. He says you can’t rush building an app because it is expensive and there will be bugs and errors.

Hawkins advises new entrepreneurs to “be patient. Build a relationship with the team and developers, and meet as many people as you can.”

On Aug. 25, Kinvite will host its launch party at the Downtown Tempe Residence Inn Marriot.

Once they have a loyal base, the Kinvite team hopes to move on to other cities. Hawkins says they will likely stick to college campuses for now where a large percentage of students work.

Fostering innovation

ASU also has programs that encourage its software engineering students to pursue a business plan for their applications.

Students in the software engineering program focus on an enterprise curriculum of developing web and mobile applications. There are many clubs, associations, and events that give leadership opportunities and hand-on experience to students. Some of these include: Computer science club and the Women’s Computer Science Club, Desert Hacks and Hackathon, Code Devils for online and on-campus students, Phoenix Startup Week and the Software Developers Association.

Students typically work on team projects early in college, they approach faculty for support, do an independent study, and for their senior capstone work on an app or an entrepreneurial idea, says Kevin Gary, the program chair of software engineering on the Polytechnic campus of ASU.

The school focuses on mentorship and support more than giving money, but there are opportunities for funding through eSeed, SkySong or the Fulton engineering school.

Something students often don’t realize by creating an app is that they will, “Spend a lot of time doing non-technical things,” Gary says.

Upon graduation students go on to work at large companies like Boeing, or they’ll move on to small startups, Gary says.

“The hardest thing for a lot of (these entrepreneurs), is to try their own thing when it’s a good field now, starting at $60 to $80,000 job offer salaries,” Gary says.

Waiting to take that job offer may not be so bad, “The real currency in this age is time,” he says.

Though a lot of entrepreneurial efforts fail, the real benefit is that it gives entrepreneurs a better interview for their careers down the road.

Gary advises anyone who is interested in an entrepreneurial endeavor, that if they have a passion for it, there’s no better time than now.

“Don’t be afraid of what you don’t know because there are resources and mentorship available in the Phoenix area,” he says. “Spend time on your passion, it is beneficial to being able to own your idea, mature it, and take it to the market.”

The most important thing Gary explains is, the passion for money won’t carry you through the challenges and obstacles and that getting rich is not an intrinsic motivation.

Gary says entrepreneurs, “Should have a passion around social change, not just a quick mindset to get rich. Apps should challenge and change the world, and impact real people.”

Phoenix Rescue Mission opens Mission Possible Café

Mission Possible Café, located at 1516 West Van Buren Street, is the Phoenix Rescue Mission’s latest project—and it’s opening this fall.

The new café will offer southwestern-inspired cuisine with an emphasis on Mexican grilled items. It will focus on strong customer service, as well as quality food at affordable prices.

One of the key factors that will set this new restaurant apart is its story.

The Phoenix Rescue mission provides a new beginning for men, women and children in the community who are struggling with homelessness, addiction and trauma. Many people who enter Phoenix Rescue Mission have little to no job experience. For this reason, the organization now takes a holistic approach to rehabilitation. Rather than solely focusing on the sobriety of the clients, it also assists with job training through the vocational development program.

“Adding Mission Possible Café to Mission Cookies and Mission Catering as a training ground for our already successful Food Service Manager’s Training program, will allow us to continue to serve our clients and help them advance,” said Jay A. Cory, President and CEO, Phoenix Rescue Mission.

All Mission Possible Café employees will be part of the vocational development program, an eight-month course designed to get participants back on their feet.

The program begins with four months of classes, where men and women learn about food service and gain other practical skills. It concludes with four months of practical application when participants can work at Mission Possible Café. Its ultimate goals are to prepare people for the workforce and to give them the ability to give back using service.

“Clients will learn food service operations, develop leadership skills, and be prepared for successful placement in management level positions in the food service industry. We hope the community will join us for a great meal and help transform lives in the process,” said Cory.

Mission Possible café will be open Monday through Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. For more information visit www.missionpossiblecafe.com in the coming weeks.

Jones, Skelton & Hochuli

22 Gust Rosenfeld attorneys named to 2018 Best Lawyers list

Gust Rosenfeld announced that 22 of the firm’s attorneys, across 21 practice areas, were selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2018. In addition, Charles W. Wirken was recognized by Best Lawyers as the 2018 Franchise Law “Lawyer of the Year” award winner in Phoenix.

The following Gust Rosenfeld attorneys were named in Best Lawyers in America 2018, with their respective practice area(s) designated by Best Lawyers:

Phoenix

• Kent Cammack (Real Estate Law)

• Tom Chauncey II (Corporate Law)

• Susan D. Goodwin (Municipal Law)

• Robert D. Haws (Education Law; Employment Law – Management; Litigation – Labor and Employment)

• John L. Hay (Franchise Law)

• Richard B. Hood (Commercial Litigation)

• Gerald L. Jacobs (Real Estate Law)

• Christopher Kramer (Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law)

• Jennifer MacLennan (Education Law)

• Craig McCarthy (Insurance Law)

• Christina M. Noyes (Franchise Law)

• Sean P. O’Brien (Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law)

• Frederick H. Rosenfeld (Corporate Law; Municipal Law; Public Finance Law)

• Gary Verburg (Land Use and Zoning Law)

• Richard H. Whitney (Trusts and Estates)

• Charles. W. Wirken (Appellate Practice; Franchise Law)

Tucson

• Mark L. Collins (Litigation –  Real Estate; Real Estate Law)

• Peter Collins, Jr. (Commercial Litigation, Insurance Law, Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs)

• John J. Kastner (Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants)

• James W. Kaucher (Professional Malpractice Law – Defendants)

• Gerard R. O’Meara (Litigation – Banking and Finance)

• Michael S. Woodlock (Litigation – Construction)

Most Influential Women: Amy Van Dyken-Rouen

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 the Most Influential Women in Arizona in the coming weeks.

Here is today’s spotlight:

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

Van Dyken-Rouen earned six Olympic gold medals in swimming. After being paralyzed in an ATV accident, she created Amy’s Army, a spinal-cord injury foundation, and has become a medical research advocate.

Best decision: “Being open, honest and VERY raw in my speeches was a key decision I made early on. I think it allows people to really connect with my feelings at every step of my career and since my accident. No reason to sugarcoat anything.”

Surprising fact: “I’m actually a huge homebody. I love cuddling with my dog, Kuma, and just hanging around my house. Traveling is nice, and a part of my job, but being at home is where I’m the happiest.”

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 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 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.

Avnet - Fortune Global 500

Metro Phoenix companies go global with Export Explore Program

Six Greater Phoenix companies were awarded grants on Monday, August 14 in the inaugural Export Explore Program under the Metro Phoenix Export Alliance (MPEXA). A dozen companies originally submitted to participate in the first pitch competition, to earn funding to help assist with export growth opportunities.

The Export Explore program – made possible with the philanthropic support of Chase – helps companies through a two part program, including an education component consisting of up to 20 hours of in-kind professional services – in addition to the cash grant of $4,000 per company to cover qualified future export-related business expenses.

This year, the following companies received awards:  Admiral Instruments, AniCell Biotech, Autoline Industries, EyeTech Digital, PB Americano, and THE OKB, LLC.

“The companies selected to receive the Export Explore Award have shown great potential for global growth,” said Greater Phoenix Economic Council President and CEO, and MPEXA co-chair Chris Camacho. “In supporting their success, we are also helping our region and cities become stronger.”

Leading researchers predict that international markets will outpace the U.S. in overall economic and consumer growth. Emerging markets are creating tremendous demand for infrastructure, consumer products, and business services that meets the needs of an urbanizing, middle-class society.

Yet for a small and medium size business, pursuing an export plan can be a daunting task. Thus, programs such as this, made possible by the support of the Partnership for Economic Innovation and the philanthropic support of Chase, offer assistance to help companies get started and tap into existing resources.

“We are proud to support the continued work to enhance the ability of businesses in the Phoenix Metro to export their goods and services,” said Craig Zollinger, JPMorgan Chase’s Region Manager for the Commercial Bank in Arizona. “The Export Explore program is providing businesses with the training and tools they need to grow and create jobs in the region.”

For every $1 billion in U.S. exports, 5,744 jobs are created. In sum, about one-in-five Americans and Arizonans respectively have jobs directly supported by our trade with the rest of the world. Arizona exported $22.6 billion in goods to foreign markets in 2015. Arizona’s largest markets in 2015 were Mexico ($9.2 billion) and Canada ($2.2 billion).

In addition to the Export Explore program, the Export Challenge will take place in the fall where 10 qualified and eligible new exporters, under-exporters, and active exporters will be allowed to participate in a pitch competition with a top prize valued at $25,000; a second prize of $15,000 and a third of $10,000 given to the best export business plans, to cover qualified future export-related business expenses.

U.S. Egg’s homemade Protein Granola now available for purchase

U.S. Egg announced the retail launch of its signature High Protein Granola. Beginning Monday, August 14, loyal U.S. Egg lovers can purchase the granola at all six Valley locations. The homemade granola has been a staple in the U.S. Egg restaurants. The top secret recipe is the star of U.S. Egg’s famous Protein Pancake. Customers can now recreate the healthy and filling breakfast dish and enjoy it in the comfort of their own homes.

“My brother, Chef Mario Gebran, developed the high protein granola and guests have been asking us to share the recipe for years,” said George Gebran owner of U.S. Egg. “We are excited to finally start selling our granola to our loyal regulars.”

The High Protein Granola is baked and packaged daily at all six U.S. Egg locations. With a shelf life of 90 days, the product is high quality and fresh from the oven. The 11 ounce bag is filled with the aromatic granola and retails for $4 each. 

“Our customers can now make their own protein pancakes, parfaits or enjoy it as cereal or a snack at home,” said Gebran.

U.S. Egg opened in 1986 and has been owned and operated by the Gebran family since 1991. Since purchasing U.S. Egg, the Gebran family has become pioneers of nutritious and hearty breakfasts with their classic yet innovative dishes.

For more information on purchasing the granola, please visit useggrestaurant.com or like them on Facebook at facebook.com/USeggBreakfastLunch.

Willie Nelson tickets go on sale August 21st

Danny Zelisko Presents the return of legendary Willie Nelson & Family for one show only at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 3, 2018 at the historic Celebrity Theatre. Tickets go on sale this Monday, August 21st at www.celebritytheatre.com.

With a six-decade career and 200 plus albums, this iconic Texan is the creative genius behind the historic recordings of “Crazy,” “Red Headed Stranger” and “Stardust.” Willie Nelson has earned every conceivable award as a musician and amassed reputable credentials as an author, actor, and activist. He continues to thrive as a relevant and progressive musical and cultural force.

In the last five years alone he delivered ten new album releases, released a Top 10 New York Times’ Bestsellers book, again headlined Farm Aid, an event he co-founded in 1985, received his 5th degree black belt in Gong Kwon Yu Sul, headlined the last three years of the on-going Luck Reunion Food and Music Festival at his ranch in Luck, TX during SXSW, announced the launch of his cannabis company Willie’s Reserve, and graced the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.

In 2015, “It’s A Long Story: My Life,” the unvarnished and complete story of Willie, hit bookshelves and landed him on the New York Times’ Bestsellers list; and the studio album with Merle Haggard titled Django And Jimmie debuted at #1 on Billboard‘s Country album chart and #7 on Billboard‘s Top 200 album chart. In November 2015, the Library of Congress honored him with their Gershwin Prize for Popular Song for his contributions to popular music. He is the first country artist to receive the distinguished award. Last year began with the release of Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin, a collection of 11 newly recorded Gershwin classics. The album debuted at #1 on both the Top Current Jazz chart and the Top Traditional Jazz chart. In September came For the Good Times: A Tribute to Ray Price, an album of newly recorded interpretations of 12 Ray Price songs. While in October, Nelson released Pretty Paper, his new novel inspired by his classic holiday song of the same title about a legless man who sold wrapping paper in front of a Fort Worth, TX department store.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets ($67, $97 and $127) go on sale at 10 a.m. on Monday, August 21st at Celebrity Theatre, 440 N. 32nd St., in Phoenix, or online at www.celebritytheatre.com. To charge by phone, call 602-267-1600 ext. 1. All tickets are subject to facility and ticketing surcharges. All ages welcome.