Author Archives: Alison Bailin Batz

Alison Bailin Batz

About Alison Bailin Batz

Alison Bailin Batz is a freelance writer and a senior account executive at HMA Public Relations.

helping.hands

Veolia, Subway partner to help those in need

Veolia Transportation, provider of quality bus service to the City of Phoenix, and Subway Restaurants of Arizona, are asking residents from across the Valley to join them in “stuffing a bus” for those in need this holiday season. On three consecutive Fridays, Veolia Transportation and the City of Phoenix will park a festive holiday-themed bus at one Subway location across the Valley, and are asking members of the community to come donate toys, clothing and other household items to benefit families and children in need this Winter.

To thank each member of our community for the donation, Subway will present each person who gives with a special coupon entitling him/her to buy any six-inch sandwich and get a second six-inch sandwich for free. In addition, Subway has teamed up with Otis Spunkmeyer and Shamrock Farms to offer all those who come out to support the events free cookies and milk.

The first of the three community events will take place at Subway Restaurant located at 4326 E. Cactus Road in Phoenix – just west of Tatum on Cactus – from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Everyone in the community is invited to join in the festive giving opportunity.

“Members of our organization will also be on hand to graciously accept any type of cash donation, which will go directly to helping the many children in this community who need us this holiday season,” said Laura Capello of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona.

“Veolia Transportation has a long history of serving the Phoenix community. This Stuff A Bus project is a great way for us to support the community and to say thank you to community residents,” said Barrick Neill, of Veolia Transportation.

For more information, visit www.stuff-a-bus.com.

Health Resolutions to Make Before the New Year

Health Resolutions To Make Before The New Year

Each year, we spend New Year’s Day resolving to improve mind, body and spirit.

However, in most cases, those resolutions are often broken, forgotten and shelved for yet another year before the holiday lights even come down.

So, this year, why not get a head’s start on make better choices before the New Year arrives?

Below are some helpful tips from Valley health leaders on how to get a jump start while the holidays are still in full swing:

Decrease Risk of Silent Nights

“Resolve to make your ears a part of your yearly physical exam,” says Sherri Collins, executive director of Arizona Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. “General practitioners will check your eyes, heart and blood pressure, but they do not normally perform hearing tests. This could prevent furthering any existing hearing loss.”

She adds to also turn down excess noise this holiday season and beyond. According to Collins, 15 percent of individuals aged 20-69 have some degree of hearing loss that may have been caused by exposure to loud noises.

Increase Talk Time

“The holidays are the perfect time to create healthy communication in your family by talking regularly with your kids about finals, school recess plans, social life, goals and peer-pressure,” says Leslie Bloom of DrugFreeAz.org. “Children who regularly talk with their parents are 50 percent less likely to use drugs. A great place to start that conversation is around the dinner table together.”

Also, while stocking the cabinets for guests this holiday season, take some time to unstock what you no longer need.

“Use the excuse of holiday guests to go through your medicine cabinet and clear out any unused or expired medicines,” Bloom says. “Check out DrugFreeAz.org/Rx for the best ways to dispose of those unused or expired medicines.”

Decrease Sweets for Your Sweets

In a recent report, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, an Emmy-award winning chief medical correspondent for the Health, Medical & Wellness unit at CNN, reported that according to estimates, nearly 20 percent of the total calories in American diets comes from added sugar via soda, energy drinks, sports drinks, desserts, fruit drinks, ice cream and other candies.

But that is just the beginning.

“Most people don’t realize that diets rich in sugar not only lead to increased risk of diabetes, but also to heart disease and cancer,” says Dr. Coral Quiet of Arizona Breast Cancer Specialists. “Breast and colon cancers have insulin receptors that encourage tumor growth.”

A best bet to optimize health — fight the sugar bug during the holidays.

Increase Pillow Talk

“There will be more than 12,000 new cases of cervical cancer diagnosed this year in the United States alone, making it the third most common cancer in women,” says Dr. Rhianna Meadows of Planned Parenthood Arizona. “The No. 1 risk factor in developing cervical cancer — the human papilloma virus, or HPV.”

With this disease — and most other STDs — easily confused with common ailments in early stages, the only defense is a good offense. The offense: communication.

According to Dr. Meadows, some questions to get started:

  • Have you ever been tested for any STDs? If so, which ones?
  • Are you involved with anyone else, or when was your last sexual activity?
  • I believe in safe sex and condom use, do you?

Decrease the Summer Glow

According to the American Cancer Society, more than 31,000 Arizona residents are diagnosed with skin cancer each year. And not all of them have the hot summer sun to blame.

“This is Arizona — not the Jersey Shore,” says Dr. Gregory Maggass of Arizona Center for Cancer Care. “Simply put, do not step foot in a tanning bed to keep your summer glow this holiday season.”

Each of these early resolutions will make for a very happy — and healthy — New Year, indeed.

For more information on all these and other health resolutions to make, please visit any of the below:

acdhh.org
drugfreeaz.org
breastmd.com
ppaz.org
canceraz.com

E.J. and Jen Hughes, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale

Dynamic Duo Doing Good For Boys & Girls Clubs Of Greater Scottsdale

E.J. Hughes is a “middle kid.”

“Actually, I am the oldest of two, but I am definitely what you call a ‘middle,’ ” Hughes says.

To Hughes, a “middle kid” is neither the top 10 percent of kids who always overachieve, nor the bottom 10 percent of kids who are always in trouble. Both of these groups, according to Hughes, tend to get a lot of attention.

And then there is the other 80 percent — the middle kids.

“As a middle kid, I wasn’t quite sure where I fit all the time,” Hughes says. “Until I found the Boys & Girls Club.”

At first, Hughes mostly just played whatever Boys & Girls Club sport was being offered on any given day. However, once he hit his teens, he discovered the organization’s Keystone Club, a leadership development program focused on providing teens from 14 to 18 community service opportunities, academic success support and career preparation.

“It also didn’t hurt that there was a pretty girl in the group, Marion, who I had my eye on,” Hughes says. “Today, she is my wife and mother to our three kids.”

Through Keystone, Hughes and his team had the chance to volunteer in soup kitchens and at shelters as well as volunteer with Habitat for Humanity and raise funds to attend leadership conferences nationwide, including a trip to Washington, D.C.

Eager to touch the lives of other “middle kids” like himself, Hughes dedicated himself to the Club, first as a teen junior staff member, then as a youth development specialist, then as a branch director and finally today as director of Club services.

One of his biggest contributions to the Club has been the development of a College 101 program for high school students, which brings in guests speakers as well as community leaders and educators to help teens make decisions about life after high school.

“He certainly inspired me,” says Jen Hughes, E.J.’s younger sister, who followed in her brother’s footsteps into the Club when she was in first grade.

While E.J. first turned to sports at the Club, Jen was attracted to the many fine arts programs.

“I was the girl who would ask to go to the bathroom and then sneak into the art room for hours,” Jen says,

Like E.J., Keystone also caught her eye.

“I loved being able to volunteer in the community with all of my best friends, not to mention fund-raise for the opportunity to travel the globe as a representative of the organization,” says Jen, who worked for two years to help raise $30,000 so her team could visit Europe while in high school.

Even after she left the Valley to move to Flagstaff for college, she would come back every summer to work with the Keystone kids and in the art room.

Today, she is the art coordinator for the Club, focusing on providing kids with access to photography programs, fine arts programs and even digital art imaging programs.

“Our DigiKids ImageMakers is a program offered through the Boys & Girls Clubs of America that encourages Club members to learn and practice digital arts, including movie making, photo illustration, music making and graphic design,” Jen says. “This year marks the 10th anniversary of the National DigiKids Art Festival, and for the past three years, we have had kids place in the regional and national competitions.”

So, what’s next for this dynamic duo and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale?

“We have our inaugural Jingle and Mingle event at DC Ranch Market Street at 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday, December 9,” Hughes says. “Set under the beautiful Market Street Holiday Tree, the event will offer guests the chance to sample savory bites from the culinary masterminds of North Scottsdale restaurants, including Mia Francesca, Armitage, and The Herb Box as well as sumptuous sips of holiday-themed spirits and wines provided by Southern Wine and Spirits.”

Single tickets are available at $125, with discounts on three or more, and are available at bgcs.org.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale’s Jingle and Mingle Event

When: Sunday, December 9 from 5:30-9 p.m.
Where: DC Ranch Market Street
Cost: $125, with discounts on three or more
Web: bgcs.org

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Grant Thornton Give Back Day

On Thursday, Nov. 15, nearly 800 current and retired partners and managing directors from Grant Thornton LLP offices across the globe gathered in the Valley during their annual meeting, which was held at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, to help give back to the local area community. During the day, the firm made a check presentation of $12,000 to Kitchen on the Street, a non-profit organization that provides food for children who are not guaranteed a meal during weekends. In addition, the partners supplied and assembled emergency food kits for 500 local families in need this holiday season, also through Kitchen on the Street.

“Hunger is a growing crisis for 17 million children in the United States,” said Ralph Nefdt, Grant Thornton’s local office managing partner. “One in four American children struggles with food insecurity, which results in academic developmental issues that present both immediate and long-term challenges. These issues not only affect the child experiencing food insecurity, but the entire community.”

A leader in this community, events like this are just some of the many outreach programs supported through Grant Thornton C.A.R.E.S. (Community Awareness and Responsibility Expressed through Service), a program designed to demonstrate leadership not only in its industry, but also in its community. Through the program, nicknamed GT CARES, employees contribute time, money and expertise to local civic organizations, charities, universities and professional associations.

Breast cancer treatment

From Bugles To Breasts: Dr. Robert Kuske's Advances In Breast Cancer Treatment

Not all heroes wear capes or carry Batman-like toys.

Dr. Robert Kuske of Arizona Breast Cancer SpecialistsIn fact, in breast cancer pioneer and Scottsdale resident Dr. Robert Kuske’s case, he wears a lab coat and carries a bugle.

Yes, a bugle.

“When I was 18 years old, I left my hometown in Ohio for the bright lights of Wisconsin to play in the Bugle Corps while training to become a doctor,” Dr. Kuske says.

Over his four-year career with the group, and while getting his college education, he eventually helped to take the troop to the No. 1 ranking in the world. At 21, he was aged out of the program and put his passion into medicine — even helping to conduct nuclear physics research during his final year of professional playing.

“While I still played for fun, breast cancer treatment became my true passion thanks to my favorite professor and long-time mentor Dr. Aron,” Dr. Kuske says.

Dr. Kuske would indeed go into Dr. Aron’s profession — as a breast cancer specialist — eventually while serving as Chairman of Radiation Oncology at the famed Ochsner Clinic in New Orleans and co-developing a five-day radiation therapy alternative for women with early stage breast cancer called Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation (APBI).

“Nationwide, more than 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year,” Dr. Kuske says. “Surgical removal of the cancerous lump via lumpectomy is usually the first step in treatment, followed by either mastectomy or radiation.”

Today, most women choose radiation because the survival rate for such treatment is the same as with mastectomy for select early-stage breast cancers, and it allows the patient to preserve her breast.

“External beam radiation therapy, the common treatment today for early-stage breast cancer, is safe and very effective,” Dr. Kuske says. “But, it can take six time/energy-consuming weeks of daily treatment with side effects.”

APBI – or breast brachytherapy – has been researched and tested by Dr. Kuske since 1991 as a treatment method after lumpectomy. He has advanced the techniques and technology, and championed the research just as he championed his Bugle Corp into the mainstream all those years ago.

As his research progressed, Dr. Kuske found almost all of his cancer patients were strictly those with breast cancer.

So, when he moved to Scottsdale in the mid-2000s, Dr. Kuske partnered with fellow breast cancer innovator Dr. Coral Quiet and founded Arizona Breast Cancer Specialists in Scottsdale, the first organization worldwide dedicated to exclusively treating women with breast cancer with radiation.

With his focus strictly on treating breast cancer, he has been more determined than ever to move his APBI research further upstream – into the mainstream. As such, today he is co-principal investigator in the largest breast cancer radiation trial in medical history. His trial, sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, is testing 4,300 women with head-to-head, six-week, whole breast radiation versus his five-day APBI.

“I am within months of finishing the trial and believe the results will cause the biggest paradigm shift in how patients will be treated since Marie Curie herself discovered radium in 1896, which led to radiation treatment,” Dr. Kuske says.

In addition, his breast centers have also recently invested in a new technology to help women with large breasts obtain safer treatment.

“We’ve partnered with Varian Medical Systems to offer the Pivotal™ treatment solution for prone breast cancer care, a critical technology for large-breasted women that allows them to obtain treatment in the prone, or face-down, position,” Dr. Kuske says.

With this option, they are literally turning breast cancer treatment upside down.

Growing evidence shows considerable advantages in treating larger-breasted women in the prone position rather than in supine, meaning on one’s back.

According to Dr. Kuske, the advantages include a significant reduction in radiation to the heart and lungs, attainment of good dose homogeneity, minimized respiratory motion and reduced skin toxicity. The Pivotal treatment solution for prone breast care combines the prone technique with an innovative couch-top device. The design enables treatment of both right and left breast, including whole breast, partial breast and APBI.

This work has not gone unnoticed. In fact, Dr. Kuske was a 2012 finalist for both the Health Care Leadership and Health Care Hero Awards, respectively.

Oh – and he is still bugling. In fact, he volunteers his time to the Arizona Academy of Drum and Bugle Corps as its vice president and as a fundraiser. He works to help raise hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to take his kids nationwide to compete just as he did.

For more information about Dr. Kuske or breast cancer treatment, please visit breastmd.com.

Executive Chef Mel Mecinas

Taste Talavera At Four Seasons Resort Brings Fall Flavors

Here are two Taste Talavera evenings this fall at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North that are a must-attend for any Scottsdale wine lover or foodie:

October: Ode to Proof

The October dinner provides a sneak peek of the new Proof restaurant debuting November 2012 at the Resort, while the November event brings together Executive Chef Mel Mecinas and his longtime culinary mentor, Chef Joachim Splichal, of the famed Patina Group in Los Angeles, Calif.

“The fall lineup showcases the diversity of our ‘Taste’ series,” says Director of Food & Beverage Bryan Feigenbaum. “Our Proof dinner will be high-energy, featuring comfort food classics with a twist. In November, we switch gears to reunite Chef Mecinas with his mentor, Chef Splichal, for the first time since 1997.”

The “Ode to Proof” dinner will be held on Saturday, Oct. 27.  Guests can experience a sampling from Proof, an American canteen, opening in November 2012 at the Resort.   Menu items include signature offerings such as the Sunizona Fried Green Tomatoes with crab remoulade, the “Chop and Pop” salad with organic farm vegetables and a sprinkling of popcorn and Chicken Fried Buffalo with buttermilk mashed potatoes. Proof will feature a culinary road trip across the 50 states, highlighting comfort food classics served in a relaxed, family friendly setting.

November: Meeting with the Mentor

Executive Chef Mel Mecinas will team up with Chef Splichal for the “Meeting with the Mentor” dinner on Friday, Nov. 30, joined by two other chefs who also trained under Chef Splichal.

Chef Mecinas will begin the meal with an amuse course of Smoked Salmon with a corn blini, one of the signature dishes from the Patina menu where he trained under Chef Splichal. Chef Splichal will create the first course, a Tower of Ahi Tuna, as well as the entrée course of Medallion of Venison. Phoenix-based Chef Matt McLinn, who works currently as Executive Chef Culinary Operations at Desert Mountain Club, will create the second course, a Shrimp & Wild Rice Gnocchi. Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver Pastry Chef Bruno Feldeisen will offer a four-part dessert tapas sampler, including signature items from the Patina menu where he worked under Chef Splichal.

The cost for both dinners is $85 per person; wine pairings are available for an additional cost. The flow-style evening allows patrons who wish to dine on the à la carte Talavera menu to do so — even if their tablemates choose the “Taste” option.

To reserve seating for a “Taste Talavera” dinner or the series, please call restaurant reservations at (480) 513-5085 or visit talaverarestaurant.com.

Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North
Where: 10600 E. Crescent Moon Dr., Scottsdale
Contact: (480) 515-5700
Online: fourseasons.com
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Weekend Jetaway

Events That Give Back: Olive & Ivy Pink Light, Weekend Jetaway And More

Don’t believe the hype — good girls aren’t that into bad boys.

Given the choice, in fact, most women would choose George Clooney over Charlie Sheen any day of the week. Not to mention that all-time good guys Tom Hanks, Larry Fitzgerald and Phil Mickelson all look a lot happier than Nicolas Cage, Jesse James and Tiger Woods do these days.

So, why not show that special lady in your life just how good you can be by whisking her off to one of the many fabulous fall events focused on helping the local community?

Judging from these events, being a good boy has never looked so sexy.


Olive & Ivy Pink Light District — October 1 to 31

Pink Light District 2012Real men think — and drink — pink.

This October, as we celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Olive & Ivy is giving men throughout Scottsdale the chance to show their pinker side to the ladies in their lives with the addition of a “Pink Light District Menu” all month long.

“We have partnered with Belvedere Vodka and Chandon to create one of the most extravagant pink-themed menus in the Valley,” says Anita Walker of Fox Restaurant Concepts.

A portion of the proceeds from this menu throughout the entire month, including both fabulous food and delectable drink items, will be donated to the Arizona Institute for Breast Health’s Pink Light District, which glows just outside the restaurant patio each year starting on October 4.

“Throughout October, members of the Scottsdale community and beyond are invited to join the cause through this amazing menu, and can also sponsor their own pink light in honor of or in memory of a loved one touched by cancer as part of our annual Pink Light District too,” says Dr. Coral Quiet, co-founder of Arizona Institute for Breast Health, a local nonprofit organization headquartered in Scottsdale whose mission is to provide women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer a second opinion on treatment options completely free of charge.

Dinner under this pink glow of hope will soften any girl’s heart.

For more information about Olive & Ivy Pink Light District: aibh.org


The Weekend Jetaway — November 9

Weekend JetawayPrivate jet? Check!
Couture cocktails? Check!
Vegas vibe? Check!

This fall, set in a top-secret private jet hangar at the Scottsdale Airpark, is the first-ever Weekend Jetaway. The event will feature live music and gourmet food provided by some of Scottsdale’s top restaurants as well as cocktails, wine, beer and much more. During the glamorous evening, all guests will have the opportunity to try their luck with Vegas-style games of chance with one lucky group of winners earning the grand prize — an all-inclusive getaway on a private jet.

“Our aim was to model this after successful fly-away events being held across the nation,” says Dillan Micus, executive vice president of AXA Advisors, LLC – Southwest, title sponsor of the event. “And if you aren’t one of our lucky ‘jetaway’ winners, we’re also cooking up expansive silent and live auctions for everyone to leave feeling like a winner.”

The biggest winner of the evening, however, will be the Pat Tillman Foundation and other nonprofit beneficiaries of the event.

The second-biggest winner? You. At least, in your lady’s eyes.

For more information about the Weekend Jetaway: weekendjetaway.org


Play — November 10

Play at Salt River FieldsPlan now to Play all night with one of the Valley’s newest music and taste events. Set to kick off just after sunset at Salt River Fields, Play will feature a concert headlined by “Take Me Home Tonight” singer Eddie Money and will kick off with a sky full of fireworks. Plus, ultimate VIP tickets, which include access to an ultra-private post-event bonus concert, are also available. Hello, romance!

Restaurant and spirit vendors from all over the Valley will also offer a variety of gourmet foods and the opportunity to sample new wines from Butterfly Kiss, Rose’N’Blum and Stark Raving as well as premium spirits from Ketel One and Bulleit, among others. All event proceeds benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale.

“Through events like this, our Clubs are able to raise critical funds needed to offer more than 100 youth development programs emphasizing five core areas: the arts; character and leadership development; education and career development; health and life skills; and sports, fitness and recreation,” says Steve Davidson, CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale.”

For more information about Play: bgcs.org

Remedy Pilates and Massage

Remedy Pilates And Massage To Host Grand Re-Opening Celebration

Remedy Pilates and Massage, a recently expanded wellness studio in Scottsdale focused on offering the community world-class Pilates exercise, group fitness programs and the latest in specialty massage, is pleased to announce its grand re-opening celebration, which will take place on Saturday, October 21 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The grand re-opening will feature complimentary group fitness classes every hour, small bites, sweet treats and merchandise giveaways, plus a few added surprises.

To Remedy Pilates founders Kelly and Amanda Snailum, who are sisters-in-law, the war against cancer is a personal one.

“In 2006, my father passed away from a rough fight with brain cancer. The following year, Amanda’s grandma lost a long with Pancreatic Cancer,” said co-founder Kelly Snailum. “We became quickly aware of how many people we knew who were personally effected by cancer. When we opened the doors at Remedy in 2008, we gave ourselves a personal mission to do what we could with our talents to fight for a cure. We hope what little part we have will someday make a change.”

Now celebrating its fourth year in business, Remedy Pilates and Massage will also host a “Pilates in the Park” fundraising class at the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park Paradise Ramada on October 28 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. The class will raise money for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation through donations. The $10 donation with be donated directly to the foundation.

For more information about Remedy Pilates, visit remedypm.com.

Remedy Pilates and Massage Grand Re-Opening Celebration

When: Saturday, October 21 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: 6949 E Shea Blvd., Scottsdale
Call: (480) 699-8160
Online: remedypm.com
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Breast of Scottsdale 2012

Sapporo Throws Scottsdale's Pinkest Party, Breast Of Scottsdale

Breast of Scottsdale 2012On Wednesday, September 12, Sapporo proudly opened its doors to breast cancer survivors, their family and friends with its first-ever Breast of Scottsdale, benefitting Arizona Institute for Breast Health (AIBH). Their event, which included half off all bottles of wine along with a pink theme, complimentary pink Belvedere signature drinks and pink treats all night long, helped the organization to obtain sponsors for its annual Pink Light District and served as a kick-off event for Sapporo’s planned breast cancer awareness menu this fall.

Breast of Scottsdale 2012“Over the summer, we came across AIBH,” said MaryAnna Ford of Sapporo. “This organization, which was founded by Dr. Coral Quiet, who is a trailblazer in breast cancer care and treatment nationwide, has a singular focus — to offer women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer a second opinion on all of their treatment options.”

Inspired by the critical service the organization provides, Sapporo put its head together with Belvedere Vodka and Clique Photo Station to dream up Breast of Scottsdale — Breast of Scottsdale 2012the pinkest party Scottsdale has ever seen.

Among the pink menu items debuted, each of which will be available all October long at Sapporo with a portion of proceeds being given to AIBH, were:

  • The Flirtini — Belvedere Vodka, Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge, cranberry juice, lime juice
  • The Pink Geisha – Belvedere Vodka, Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge, black raspberry liqueur, fresh strawberries, basil leaves, cranberry juice
  • Hollywood Cocktail – Belvedere Pink Grapefruit, fresh grapefruit juice, grenadine and egg white
  • Pink Panang Chicken Skewers
  • Pink-fin Ahi Tuna Poke
  • Sapporo Pink Rice Sushi Roll
  • Pink Velvet Cake Pops

Breast of Scottsdale 2012To get in, each guest was asked to sponsor a $25 pink light with AIBH.

“From now through October 31, Arizona and beyond has the opportunity to express its love, appreciation and gratitude for those impacted by breast cancer by sponsoring pink light bulbs, which will be placed on the Marshall Way Bridge in coming days,” said Christine Fenwick, a breast cancer survivor and executive director of AIBH.

Breast of Scottsdale 2012

These Pink Honor Lights will be illuminated the evening of October 4. The Marshall Way Bridge is located next to Olive & Ivy Restaurant, south of Camelback and west of Scottsdale Rd., across from the Nordstrom’s parking garage. These Pink Honor Lights will glow throughout October during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in recognition of all those touched by this disease.

 All proceeds generated from this unique fundraiser will benefit AIBH, and the funds will go directly to support women who are dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis.

Breast of Scottsdale 2012The event helped to sponsor about 250 lights, but thousands more are still available. Please visit ThePinkLightDistrict.org to sponsor lights today.

In addition, with the success of the half off bottles during the evening, Sapporo is pleased to announce it will continue to offer this deal on all of its wine all day, every day each Wednesday through the end of 2012. For full list of wines available, please visit sapporoscottsdale.com. And be sure to visit Sapporo in October to sample all of the pink items in honor of those you live touched by breast cancer.

Date Night: Sushi Bars

Sexy Sushi Night: Date Night At Sushi Bars

Sexy Sushi Nights: When the only thing fishy is your food — not your date’s behavior. Take your next date night to one of many sushi bars throughout Scottsdale.


Eating sushi is a lot like dating.

“Think about the first time you went out for sushi – and a typical first date,” says Stephen Stromberg, executive chef at Sapporo in Scottsdale. “Both take a little courage at first, but the adventure is (usually) well worth it.”

So, it makes sense that sushi is a top dining choice for first dates of all ages. But how does one plan the perfect sushi night?

Dare to discover

Sure, California and Las Vegas rolls are staples for many of us. But, why not show your date you are open to new things by stepping outside of the sushi comfort zone?

“Always look for items that are custom to the venue,” says Stromberg, whose own menu includes the MT Roll, a salmon soy paper roll invented by, and named after, their own sushi chef, Mikel Tan; along with a signature Scottsdale roll bursting with spicy scallops.

Make it hot, hot, hot!

Not all first dates are created equal – some are certainly hotter than others.
Sushi is the same way.

While adding a dollop of spicy mayo or wasabi to your favorite roll can certainly spice up the date, why not indulge your taste buds, together, in a culinary adventure by really turning up the heat?

“Be her renegade Romeo by ordering your Juliet a roll with jalapeño and spicier versions of standard ingredients like tuna and yellowtail,” Stromberg says.

Sapporo carries more than half a dozen hot options, including the Surf’n’Turf roll, which marries crab, filet mignon and tabasco sauce into a mouth-watering menu stand-out. Also popular is the Fuji roll, which is topped with spicy yellowtail, making it as visually hot as it tastes.

Pick pairings with passion

“Innovate while you libate,” adds Mike Hanley, bar manager at Sapporo. “Don’t settle for a martini simply shaken or stirred — order it frozen and share tastes!”

Frozen Passion Mango Martinis, which are blended with vodka, rum and mango and passion purees and poured atop a raspberry liqueur, and Sapporo Slushes, which are made with vodka, fresh-squeezed juices and simple syrup, are among the most popular drinks for first dates.

Also, choose drinks that are a feast for the eyes as well as the palate.

For example, Sapporo’s Purple Dream is layered by ingredient into a glass and brought table-side so the guest can play mixologist, stirring the ingredients together into a perfect purple blend.

One last tip for a sexy sushi night — ditch the chopsticks!

“In Japan, it’s customary to use one’s hands to eat rather than chopsticks,” Stromberg says. “A perfect excuse to feed each other!”

Readers' Pick logoSapporo Scottsdale
14344 N. Scottsdale Rd.
(480) 607-1114
sapporoscottsdale.com

Other sushi bars to check out:

Blue Wasabi Sushi & Martini Bar
(480) 315-9800
bluewasabisushi.com
Sushi Brokers
(480) 515-5000
sushibrokersaz.com
Stingray Sushi
(480) 427-2011
stingraysushi.com
RA Sushi
(480) 990-9256
rasushi.com
PURE Sushi Bar & Dining
(480) 355-0999
puresushibar.com
Geisha A Go Go
(480) 699-0055
geishaagogo.com

Scottsdale Living Magazine Summer 2012

Phoenix Cooks Winemakers

Phoenix Cooks Winemakers: Concha y Toro & Sledgehammer

Leading up to Phoenix Cooks — which is a colorful landscape of ingredients, products, talents and passions designed to intrigue the palette and zest for culinary experiences put on to support the Phoenix Children’s Hospital on Saturday, September 1, 2012 at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale — we are pleased to bring you interviews with two of the specialty winemakers planning to pour at the event:

Phoenix Cooks: Concha y Toro Marques de Concha

How did the winery make its mark? What is your story?

Concha y Toro is one of Chile’s most respected producers with a wide array of offerings. In addition to wines at different price tiers, Concha y Toro is a leading “green” producer. Concha y Toro believes that minimizing environmental impact and having sustainable production processes is key to new generations of wine growers. Marques de Concha wines are of premium quality and price and regularly receive scores above 90 points from publications such as Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, Wine & Spirits and others. The 2009 Marques de Concha Chardonnay was rated 90 points from Wine Spectator.

Where is it currently available in Scottsdale?

You can currently find us at the Westin Kierland, Sportsman’s Fine Wines, Total Wine and Bashas’. The wines can also be special ordered from Safeway at the Phoenix Cooks event.

What is the best Scottsdale-area event the winery has participated in?

For us, Phoenix Cooks is far and away the biggest wine event we have been a part of in all of Arizona. This is our second year!

How would you describe some of your best-selling varietals?

Concha y Toro Marques wines are world class wines within reach in a bold yet balanced style. The wines are elegant and intense and always true representations of the varietals. The Chardonnay is fermented on the lees and aged for 11 months in French oak barrels. It has aromas of pear, fig and toasty hazelnut, layers of ripe fruit and mineral flavors and a long, vibrant finish.

What will you be pouring at Phoenix Cooks?

Marques Chardonnay will be sampled at the event as well as the following Concha y Toro Wines: Casillero Cabernet, Carmemere and Sauvignon Blanc as well as Concha Y Toro Gran Reserva Sauvignon Blanc.

What are some of your personal favorite wines and wineries – besides your own?

Any well-made wine that is true to its place of origin but also fresh and exciting is of interest. The Torrontes and Malbecs from Trivento, in Argentina, especially from Amado Sur are favorites.

Phoenix Cooks: Sledgehammer Wine

How did the winery make its mark? What is your story?

Sledgehammer is a bold wine, in flavor and personality. We make wine because we like drinking wine, not because we want to talk about it! Our motto is “No Sipping. No Swirling.”

Where is it currently available in Scottsdale?

Fine wine shops and smart restaurants that like to showcase good wines without all the muss and fuss. If you can’t find it in your favorite locale, ask for it by name!

How would you describe some of your best-selling varietals?

We have a Cab so big we had a hard time fitting it in a bottle. We are also proud of developing a new style of big Zin — bold and complex. Our winemaker took no prisoners.

What will you be pouring at Phoenix Cooks?

It’s only fair we offer our Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel!

What are some of your personal favorite wines and wineries – besides your own?

We love Etude Carneros Pinot Noir – sublime and elegant. We also like Emma Pearl Chardonnay.

For more information about the Phoenix Cooks event, visit phoenixcooks.com.

BGCGS

BGCGS's Red Mountain Branch Nationally Recognized For Program Excellence

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale’s (BGCGS) Red Mountain Branch recently received the prestigious Merit Award for Program Excellence in Health & Life Skills from Boys & Girls Clubs of America. The award was presented during Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s 106th National Conference in San Diego, Calif.

Merit Awards for Program Excellence, sponsored by MetLife Foundation, are presented annually for outstanding programs developed and implemented in Boys & Girls Clubs across the country to lead youth to a great future.

The Red Mountain Branch received the award based on the Club’s programming held with the Salt River Department of Corrections.  Yes, Department of Corrections.

In 2005, the Salt River Department of Corrections in conjunction with The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale decided to buck the status quo and no longer settle for mediocrity. These two entities teamed up and put into place a rehabilitative model that not only places the emphasis on education, life skills and socialization, but also a model that allows officers to be officers, teachers to be teachers and all parties involved to do the job that they are trained and qualified to do.

According to James Short, Department of Corrections supervisor, the Salt River Department of Corrections Boys & Girls Club Program is the first full-time Boys & Girls Club site located inside a correctional facility in Indian Country. This program was created to complement and enhance the overall rehabilitation process in the juvenile corrections facility.

“The program runs in conjunction with the correctional education rotation and offers a number of health, recreation and life-skill classes that will allow the juvenile detainees to acquire the tools that are necessary for a successful transition from the institution back to the community,” Short says. “This program is not only providing the youth with solid, proven Boys & Girls Club curriculum but it is also helping with academic credit recovery.”

With the help of the Salt River Department of Education, the juveniles that participate in the Salt River Department of Corrections Boys & Girls Club programs will receive high school elective credit.

“The long-term goal of this program is to significantly decrease the community’s juvenile recidivism rate by helping these youth, once released from custody, transition into our community clubs and programs or transition to a job or post-secondary education,” says Brian Yazzie, director of Native American services at the BGCGS.

The recognition comes with a $2,000 award. Red Mountain was chosen from hundreds of submissions from the more than 4,000 branches nationwide.

“Receiving this award is a wonderful moment and milestone for our Red Mountain Branch, club staff and our wonderful community partners who work very hard making this program a success for our youth,” Yazzie says.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Native American communities working together to serve youth. Today, more than 200 Clubs are on Native American lands.

In addition to the Red Mountain, the BGCGS also have a Lehi Branch, which is on the Salt River Pima Maricopa Reservation along with Red Mountain, and the Peach Springs Branch, which is on the Hualapai Reservation.

For more information about the BGCGS, visit bgcs.org.

Grant Thornton

Women At Grant Thornton Initiative Create An Environment Where Females Can Thrive

Stella(r) Leadership

For Stella Shanovich, an audit partner at Grant Thornton in Phoenix, her team is anything but a Good Ol’ Boys’ network or a Women-Only Club. It’s a group of men and women focused on building a dynamic, talented team.

“However, while inclusivity is key, it is also important to understand women and men are different in the ways we lead, communicate and build relationships,” says Shanovich, who became Grant Thornton’s first female partner in the Phoenix office in 2008. “These differences are neither wrong nor right — just different.”

It is the celebration of these differences that has helped Grant Thornton thrive in the valley over these past eight years.

A chief collaboration is “Women at Grant Thornton.”

The initiative, which Shanovich has headed on both a local and national level, focuses on:

  • Ensuring a culture that enhances retention and recruitment of women;
  • Enhancing personal development in client serving areas;
  • Increasing awareness of women’s successes;
  • Increasing the number of women in leadership roles within the organization.

Shanovich and her team connect this mission statement to one or more of the firm’s strategic drivers, including revenue growth, talent development, operational excellence, client service and branding, when considering an event or program for the initiative. Her team identifies the specific audience for each individual effort — be it females, males, seniors, staff, partners and managers or even newcomers.

The result? Five signature education programs:

  • Centered Leadership, which focuses on developing leaders through the way they think, act and communicate to achieve impact;
  • Executive Presence, which focuses on image in the business world;
  • Networking, which focuses on techniques for building productive and mutually-beneficial relationships;
  • Rainmaking, which focuses on cultivating relationships into business opportunities;
  • Conflict Cure, which focuses on awareness through recognizing one’s conflict style as well as how to constructively defuse conflict.

Shanovich and her team have also participated in, or sponsored, women-in-business panel discussions, negotiation skills training, work-life integration seminars and dress-for-success events.

According to Ralph Nefdt, Grant Thornton’s Phoenix office managing partner, the Women at Grant Thornton program helped senior management truly understand that to develop great leaders, it must develop a culture of flexibility. this realization has led to flexible work policies, back-up dependent care, adoption assistance, paid parental leave and more for all members of the team nationwide.

“Today, half of our leadership roles here in Phoenix are filled by females,” Nefdt says. “But the real power of the Women at Grant Thornton program lies in its ‘people focus,’ not simply its female focus.”

As such, the men at Grant Thornton are regularly invited and encouraged to participate in the various activities/events to enhance their skills as well.

“Arizona businesses deserve the benefit of a team dedicated to leveraging their talents to bring innovation and perspective,” Shanovich says. “We bring our clients collaborative individuals who believe in having a voice and being part of something different.”

For more information on Grant Thornton, visit www.grantthornton.com.

Arizona Business Magazine July/August 2012

Photo: Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale

More Than 100 BGCGS Youth Take Part In Kohl's Back-To-School Spree

On Saturday, August 4, more than 100 youth in need from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale gathered at the Kohl’s North Scottsdale location on the Loop 101 and Raintree Drive to shop for back-to-school items as part of the annual Kohl’s Back to School Shopping Spree.

During the event, each child was gifted with a $100 gift card to select clothing and other items in the store, due to the financial and volunteer support of Kohl’s, Valley of the Sun Active 20-30 Club, Scottsdale Active 20-30 Club, GE Capital Solutions, Salt River Community Children’s Foundation and Scottsdale Insurance.

“This event allows community organizations and businesses to engage directly with youth who may otherwise return to school without the basic essentials like clothes, shoes and backpacks,” said Rick Baker, chairman of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale, who noted that many of the organizations involved have been taking part in this critical event for more than 10 years.

For more information about the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale, please visit bgcs.org.

Health Screenings 101

Be Proactive: Health Screenings 101

Everyone has heard it: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

This oft-used quote from the one-and-only Benjamin Franklin could not be truer for anyone more than seniors.

From arthritis to Alzheimer’s, Scottsdale residents need to take control of their health and wellness at the most proactive level possible. Among the most important ways to become proactive is to simply taking part in recommended health screenings.

Annual physical

Certainly, an annual exam is a must, including a blood pressure check, cholesterol screening and potentially even a diabetes screening. Ideally, this should occur each year no matter one’s age; but, for even the healthiest of individuals turning 50, this is a must-do.

Mammograms

For women, mammograms should be a given. In fact, according to Dr. Luci Chen at Arizona Breast Cancer Specialists, new screening guidelines recommend mammograms as early as age 40 for all women, even those with no history of the disease in their families. This is an update from the former age of 50 to begin such tests.

But, Dr. Chen adds that a stunning number of women often don’t begin getting regular mammograms until retirement — or after.

Prostate screenings

Prostate cancer is the most common form of non-skin cancer in America — and rampant among senior-age men. According to Dr. Gregory Maggass of Arizona Radiation Oncology Specialists, one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, with likelihood increasing with age.

“Without a doubt, the best chance for a positive outcome, including early diagnosis and less-invasive treatment, is a regular screening starting at age 50,” Dr. Maggass says. “The best bet: Getting a prostate-specific antigen as well as a digital rectal exam, which sounds bad but is much more comfortable than cancer.

Colonoscopies

“As Katie Couric has taught us, both men and women should get their first colonoscopy by age 50, and should repeat the process as doctors request, usually once every five to 10 years,” Dr. Maggass says.

Early diagnosis of colorectal cancer can ensure a 100 percent cure.

Hearing screenings

“Aside from continuous exposure to loud noise, age is the most common cause of hearing loss,” says Sherri Collins of the Arizona Commission for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing. “Physicians can test for hearing loss in a general health assessment, but it is rare, making it imperative for seniors to take the initiative to be tested.”

Collins adds that advancements in technology and services in recent years have provided the ability to live a completely full and productive life if one is experiencing hearing loss — and catches it early.

Vision screenings

While these are recommended as early as age 30 and repeated about every five years, it is imperative to begin a relationship with an optometrist or ophthalmologist, as diabetes-released eye diseases as well as glaucoma and cataracts are common issues among seniors.

For more information on general health screenings, please visit cdc.gov.

Biltmore Bank - AZ Business Magazine May/June 2012

Father-Son Bank On Arizona Business

Family-built Biltmore Bank of Arizona has assets totaling more than $260 million

The Lehmann family has a lot of baggage.

“When I finished grad school back in 1969, I got two job offers,” says Richard J. Lehmann. “One was with Ford Motor Company; the other with Citibank.”

The banking gig, however, meant moving to Europe, which actually sealed the deal.

“I was lucky enough to study abroad — and bum around Europe — while still in school, and both my wife and I are always up for adventure,” Lehmann says.

Over the next seven years, Lehmann’s rapidly growing career took him from Hamburg to Düsseldorf to Frankfurt to Kronberg, where his youngest son, Greg, was born. With two young children and extended family a continent away, the Lehmann family moved back to the U.S. in 1977, with Lehmann still focusing on international banking.

“Talk about a commute,” Lehmann says.

But the move wouldn’t take, just yet, and the family was back on the move in 1985 when Lehmann packed their bags for London to take a position overseeing all Middle East, European and African clients for Citibank.

Arizona, however, would eventually come calling.

The family finally unpacked its bags in Arizona in 1988, when Lehmann became chairman and CEO of Valley National Bank.

But just as the elder Lehmann was unpacking his bags in the Valley, youngest son Greg was picking up and moving to Vermont to study anthology in college.

While there, just as his father did, Greg spent a semester studying overseas (Asia), where he would return after graduation to volunteer with the building of schoolhouses in the developing nation of Nepal. Motivated, but lonely living alone in a small Nepalese village, Greg moved to New York City in the 1990s and took a job in advertising with such brands as Mercedes Benz and MLB, and then one with an Internet company. He even helped re-brand the Cleveland Cavaliers when LeBron James was drafted.

By the early 2000s, with dad retired (and unretired) most recently from Bank One, where he worked as the bank’s president and COO, Greg was busy, too — getting married and starting a family in New York.

And then everything changed.

When Richard hosted his son’s family for Christmas in the early 2000s, he made a singular comment: “So, I am thinking of starting a bank.”

“Floored, my initial reaction was ‘Yeah sure, Dad.’ But as Christmas gave way to the New Year, I saw he was serious — and serious about recruiting me.”

By 2003, Richard and long-time colleague Jeffrey Gaia, with others, began planting the seeds for the Biltmore Bank of Arizona. After a lifetime of servicing some of the biggest businesses across the globe, Lehmann wanted to get personal.

“Truly understanding the needs of Arizona businesses and working with them face-to-face to ensure exceptional client service is our singular focus,” Richard says. “We wanted to be a part of each of our client’s growth — and the growth of the Arizona economy.”

Inspired, Greg packed his family’s bags and moved to the Valley for good in 2004, helping to launch the Biltmore Bank of Arizona with his father.

The father-son team proved a perfect fit. The Biltmore Bank now has two locations, 50 employees and assets totaling more than $260 million. They service hundreds of businesses in Arizona each day through customized loan solutions, SBA lending, treasury management, business checking, and online and mobile banking.

While other banks have closed in recent years due to the sagging economy, Biltmore has flourished, most recently receiving a cash infusion from Grandpoint Financial that will allow them to grow and invest with its current and prospective clients and consider possible acquisitions in the future.

“In order for us to support the continued growth, we need to have a strong balance sheet and a formidable capital position,” Richard says. “Arizona businesses will bounce back, and now we have the capital to help them.”

For more information on Biltmore Bank, visit Biltmore Bank’s website at biltmorebankaz.com.

Arizona Business Magazine May/June 2012

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale

Boys & Girls Clubs Of Greater Scottsdale Scores No. 1 Status

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale’s Vestar Branch has been chosen from nearly 4,000 chartered clubs as the top branch of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA). The award was recently given to the Vestar Branch at the nonprofit’s national conference held in San Diego earlier this summer.

“This award is a tremendous honor,” says Caitlin Sageng, Vestar branch director. “It is also a direct reflection of how hard our staff works every day to make sure our youth receive the programming they need to reach their full potential.”

The award was given to the Vestar Branch as determined by entries submitted in each of BGCA’s five core program categories: character and leadership development; education and career development; health and life skills; the arts; and sports, fitness and recreation.

The Vestar Branch’s main programming objectives are to empower youth to better themselves, their club and the community. Some of the different programs that provide varied and unique opportunities for their members include:

Adopt-a-Family: Supports more than 91 kids and parents in need at the organization.
Primal Fitness program: Reinforces members’ fitness knowledge and nutrition levels.
The Keystone Club: This teen group focuses on community service, including volunteering monthly at a local food bank and assisting with homeless shelters.
Power Hour: An academic program that helps youth reach their educational potential and set goals throughout the school year.
Drama Club: Encourages club members’ self-esteem by performing plays like “Alice in Wonderland” during summer programming.
Center for Telepresence: Through this high-tech center, youth can connect, communicate and learn from experts around the world in a variety of fields.

“We feel the best way to make the Vestar Branch successful in our community is by offering quality programs to youth and maintaining a positive connection between members and staff,” Sageng says. “These relationships transcend through all programs and keep members coming back more and most importantly, allow us to have a lasting impact.”

In July 2007, the Vestar Branch opened in the Desert Ridge community, serving more than 8,300 families in and around the northeast Phoenix area. This 27,000-square-foot facility offers all members ages six to 18 a Phoenix Suns-sponsored gymnasium, a state-of-the-art learning center and Thunderbirds Charities Center for Telepresence program, a fun and innovative science education program. Youth ages 13 to 18 also have access to a 6,000-square-foot Lamb Family Teen Center.

In addition to the award, the Vestar Branch also received a $5,000 award from MetLife Foundation, sponsor of the awards program, which honors local Clubs for innovative, effective programming.

This is also the second time a Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale Branch has been given the honor; the organization’s Virginia G. Piper Branch also received the award in 2009. Named after a longtime supporter of youth services in the Scottsdale area, the Virginia G. Piper Branch opened in Scottsdale Ranch in 1991. Today, the Clubhouse is one of the highest-membership facilities operated by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale. In December 2010, construction began to renovate the Piper Branch, which now offers a full-service Teen Center that opened in May 2011. The organization’s administration offices are also located next door.

MetLife Foundation was established in 1976 to continue MetLife’s longstanding tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. Through programs that focus on empowering older adults, preparing young people and building livable communities, MetLife Foundation help increase access and opportunities for people of all ages. Since its founding, MetLife Foundation has provided more than $530 million in grants to nonprofit organizations addressing issues that have a positive impact in their communities. For more information, visit metlife.org.

For more information about the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale, please visit bgcs.org.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale

MLB Goes To Bat For Boys & Girls Clubs Of Greater Scottsdale

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale Lehi Branch, which serves youth from the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, is pleased to announce renovations to its facility, which includes the construction of a performance stage complete with lighting and sound system, upgraded fitness equipment, a computer lab, décor improvements and a painted mural representing the Native American culture.

These renovations were made possible by a $50,000 donation from State Farm through Major League Baseball’s 2011 State Farm Home Run Derby at Chase Field in Phoenix.

Raquelle Enos, a 15-year-old member of the Club, was paired with New York Yankees All-Star second baseman and 2011 State Farm Home Run Derby Champion Robinson Cano to win her Club the donation.

“I’m glad I was able to hit so many home runs so that these kids get to enjoy this new teen center,” Cano says. “I had a lot of fun that night with Raquelle, and it’s great to see MLB and State Farm give so much back to the community.”

This year is a special one for the Boys & Girls Clubs and their Native American partners at Lehi – it marks the 20th anniversary of Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Native American communities working together to serve youth. Today, more than 200 Clubs are on Native American lands. In addition, it marks the 10th anniversary of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale’s Lehi Branch. The Lehi Branch, a collaborative effort between the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale and the Lehi Community Center, opened in 2002. It is the second branch to serve Native youth on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.

“The teenagers at the Lehi Branch have been excited and highly involved in the re-design of the teen center,” says Steve Davidson, president and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale. “The addition of a separate technology area will provide multiple education and visual arts opportunities, and the upgraded fitness equipment will help emphasize our healthy lifestyle programs. The renovation has made the teen center feel more like home while providing additional program opportunities that will support our Club for years to come.”

In addition to the Lehi Branch, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale also have a Red Mountain Branch, which is on the Salt River Pima Maricopa Reservation as is Lehi, and the Peach Springs Branch, which is on the Hualapai Reservation.

The eight participating American and National League hitters in the 2011 State Farm Home Run Derby totaled 95 home runs during the competition, 11 of which were hit with Rawlings “Gold Baseballs.” Each Gold Ball generated a donation of $18,000 per ball from State Farm and MLB to various charities, including Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA). In addition, State Farm donated $3,000 for each non-Gold Ball home run. The home run display generated a donation of $483,000 to Boys & Girls Clubs of America on behalf of State Farm and MLB.

“As a longstanding supporter of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Major League Baseball shares and supports their commitment to affecting the lives of young people in a positive way,” says Tom Brasuell, vice president of community affairs, Major League Baseball. “We are grateful for State Farm’s generosity through the State Farm Home Run Derby and are proud to work with them to support community programs that have proven to be effective.”

“The power of a home run can be a game changer, just like the power of caring adults who provide a safe and positive environment for young people,” says Pal El, marketing vice president at State Farm. “We are proud to join with Major League Baseball and Boys & Girls Clubs of America to help change the game and the future for young people here in the Scottsdale area and throughout the country. After all, a focus on the future and helping our customers and communities get to a better state is at the core of what we do every day at State Farm.”

State Farm also awarded an additional $120,000 to the Greater Phoenix area Boys & Girls Clubs as part of the Home Run Derby Player “Match-up” program. Enos was one of eight members from local Boys & Girls Clubs chapters who were matched with Home Run Derby participants for a chance to win $50,000 for his or her Club. State Farm awarded each of the other seven participants’ Clubs a $10,000 donation.

For more information about the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale and its renovations made possible by the MLB, visit bgcs.org.

Alison Bailin Batz and her team at HMA Public Relations in Arcadia volunteer their time with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale on their proactive media relations activities as well as special events.  

 

The Be Kind People Project

The Be Kind People Project, Cycle For Success Combat Bullying

What started out as a small gathering of women who shared a commitment to learning, creating, helping and supporting others in meaningful ways may very well help the state of Arizona combat bullying in its schools.

The program – The Be Kind People Project.

“We actually got our start in my home,” said Marcia Meyer, founder of The Be Kind People Project™. “Each year, a few of us would gather around the holidays to try our hand at creativity. This eventually evolved into a fabulous event with women age nine to 90 who last November worked together to create 10,000 teacher appreciation gifts in one great evening.”

This annual holiday event, called Holiday Crafts, Cheers & Laughs® and attended by more than 400 women across the country in 2011, was a start, but Meyer wanted to do more.

“We wanted to make an even bigger positive impact on schools and the community  — and the only way to do that was by visiting one school, and one wonderful teacher, at a time,” said Meyer.

Therefore, Meyer’s Be Kind People Project found its mission —  recognizing teachers and inspiring kindness in students throughout America.

“Our focus is simply to reach teachers across America, starting here in Arizona, with an intentional gesture of  appreciation for the great work teachers do,” said Meyer. “We also seek to inspire kindness in grade school students with the BEE Kind Kid Pledge and instructional aids.”

Since November 2011, The Be Kind People Project has had contact with gifts of recognition to teachers over 20,000 times and has initiated over 500,000 students contacts with items to continue the chain of kindness in their schools and communities.

SubwayEnter Subway.

“Back in 1999, a bunch of local Subway franchisees got together to launch Subway Kids & Sports of Arizona, a nonprofit focused on providing sports equipment, uniforms, registration fees and access to major sporting events for kids who might not otherwise be able to participate,” said Mark Roden, a multi-unit Subway franchisee and executive director of Subway Kids & Sports of Arizona.

Subway Restaurants of Arizona supports kids in sports because it believes basic sports skills — teamwork, commitment and accountability — help kids throughout their lives.  Subway Kids & Sports of Arizona has reached more than 14,000 Arizona children since its inception in 1999.

Cycle for SuccessAmong the organization’s most successful programs since its inception is Cycle for Success, which focuses on increasing children’s self-esteem, encouraging the community to become involved in the lives of at-risk children and promoting kindness in local schools.

For many years, the organization partnered with other nonprofits to provide free bikes, helmets and locks as well as Subway and Shamrock Farms-catered lunches to schools statewide.

“As we moved into 2012, we didn’t have a partner to help us reach out to the schools,” said Roden. “So when we heard about the good works the Be Kind People Project had been doing with teachers and school districts, we were intrigued.”

A natural partnership, the organizations are now committed to spread the word of kindness in the classroom — both for one’s teachers and fellow students — through Cycle for Success and other proactive outreach activities.

“Our May event was something very special,” said Roden. “In honor of the end of the school year, we presented three students bikes and three classes a catered lunch, but we also stepped up along with The Be Kind People Project to provide the entire school a ‘Kindness Rally’ of sorts in the school cafeteria.”

The event featured the BE KIND CREW, a street fusion dance team that travels with The Be Kind People Project to schools across the country.

The BE KIND CREW is comprised of dancers from the Arizona-based EPIK Dance Company, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to uniting and uplifting people by sharing their love of music, movement and the arts. There was recognition of the three Cycle for Success winners and another dozen honorable mentions, a surprise appearance by Arizona Diamondbacks legend Luis Gonzales, and cookies and milk for the entire school — from Subway and Shamrock, of course.

In addition to Cycle for Success, The Be Kind People Project is working to bring its positive message to schools and teachers in Arizona via school assemblies, giveaways and other special events.

Similarly, Subway Kids & Sports is gearing up for its 2012 grant nominations process, which will be announced this summer and will include the opportunity to apply for monetary grants from the organization to support local child-focused sports programs. They will also work with Jared Fogle, Subway’s national spokesperson, and his Jared’s Foundation to sponsor nutritional programs in several Arizona schools.

For more information on how to get involved with Cycle for Success or the Be Kind People Project, please visit thebekindpeopleproject.org.
For more information about Subway Kids & Sports of Arizona, please visit subwaykidsandsports.org.

Talavera - Scottsdale Living Magazine Spring 2012

Taste Talavera Serves Extensive, Seductive Wine Pairings

Tasting Talavera: Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale’s Talavera serves extensive, seductive wine pairings


Did you know that one of Scottsdale’s most comprehensive and innovative wine programs has — of all things — a boss’s daughter to thank?

“I grew up in Long Island where you either worked at the local mall or worked at the local mall in high school,” says Bryan Feigenbaum, director of food and beverage at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North. “Determined not to work at Micky D’s, I walked over to the local golf course at 15 and asked for them to give me a chance.”

The chance, it turns out, would be the one of a lifetime.

While doing everything from washing dishes to sweeping floors even before he could drive, Feigenbaum was eventually asked to step in and help cater the understaffed boss’s daughter’s wedding.

An ample extra pair of hands, things only looked up from there for Feigenbaum, whose culinary education would eventually take him to Hawaii and wine-centric San Francisco, before the Four Seasons recruited him in Scottsdale.

Ever since I took on this career, which is truly more of a lifestyle, my primary focus has been giving people romance on the plate and in the glass each day,” Feigenbaum says.

And romance, he provides in spades via Talavera’s deliciously intimate, yet un-intimidating, Taste Talavera wine dinners.

The focus is seemingly simple: develop artfully-crafted, four-course menus accompanied by specialty wines and staffed by winemakers themselves.

“The flow-style evening allows patrons all the alone time they wish while still enjoying personalized attention from some of the best sommeliers and chefs across the globe,” Feigenbaum says. “There is no formal presentation, simply roving experts ready to share at our guests’ leisure.”

This perfect date night activity for lovers of any age starts with cozy seating inside or outside at the dark and dreamy Talavera, overlooking Pinnacle Peak Mountain and the city lights. Once seated, each guest receives his or her own personalized menu, prepared for just that evening.

“This is the fun part,” Feigenbaum explains. “Behind the scenes, our team plans out every single ingredient of these evenings for months in advance. We sip. We savor. We think about what our own loves would want most during the evening.”

TalaveraUsing locally grown farm-to-table ingredients whenever they can, each course is a feast not just for the eyes and lips, but for all of the senses.

And the expansive wine pairings do more than sizzle — they seduce.

In recent months, the resort has welcomed Napa’s award-winning Gabrielle Collection to pour its Vintner’s Collection, which includes high-end yet approachably-named blends, such as “FISH,” “CHICKEN” and “MEAT” to pair eloquently and cheekily with the chef’s plays on fish, chicken and meat dishes.

“But this ain’t your grandma’s menu,” Feigenbaum says. “The chicken might be laced with duck breast and rabbit, while the meat might be from a local farm down the street and paired with aged bleu cheese and Arizona-grown root vegetables.”

Another dinner included pairings from Hanzell Vineyards in Sonoma, focused on pleasing pinot noirs and rich chardonnays combined with sweet, salty and savory selections. They’ve also been honored for their innovative efforts, most recently by Wine Spectator with the highly-coveted Award of Excellence.

And, the series has become so popular that the Four Seasons recently expanded its “wine dinners” to include additional “spirited” elements, including cocktails, mixology and chocolate-laced libations.

“But wine — with all of its seductive appeal — still remains a hallmark for our guests and their special someones,” Feigenbaum says. “We even infuse the wines into our recipes as we dream them up.”

In April, Talavera began offering Hangar One Vodka starting at $95 per person.

“We’ve also got our summer series on tap, which has included ‘lights out’ Earth-day focused dinners, farm-to-table dinners and more,” Feigenbaum says.

And, couples looking for the perfect date night destination on any given weekend need look no further than Talavera. With special wine tasting sessions each Saturday at 3 p.m. and a regular menu that includes Wagyu flat iron steak, Maine lobster, bacon-infused buffalo tenderloin and prickly pear-infused salmon, Talavera has romance on tap.

For more information on the Taste Talavera events or the abundance of other date night activities on-site, please visit talaverarestaurant.com.

Scottsdale Living Magazine Spring 2012

Joshua Hebert, POSH

POSH Goes Loco For Locavore

The culinary masterminds at POSH in Scottsdale are partnering with Chow Locally for a true “Locavore Dinner” on Monday, April 30. The four-course feast for the senses will feature local farmers, including Agritopia, Blue Sky Organic Farms, JH Grassfed and Maya’s Farm.

To kick the event up another notch, POSH’s Joshua Hebert will also be pairing Arizona Stronghold Wine with all the menu items.

To celebrate, we were pleased to sit down with Hebert to talk all things wine — from Arizona and otherwise.

Joshua, tell us a little about you and your start in the business:

When I was in San Francisco working at Zuni Café and Café Kati, I spent my days off studying wine at Hayes and Vine wine bar. I essentially worked for free just so I could learn the ropes from one the top-rated wine bars in the city.

How does the menu at POSH work – and how do you pair wine without a concrete menu?

Our wine list is constantly revolving and evolving. It’s heavily based on the food and ingredients of the season. We have nearly 100 selections with varietals that run the gamut, and at price points ranging from downright affordable to moderately pricey. As far as dining, we don’t have a menu per say. It’s more of a list of seasonal ingredients in which guests cross off any dislikes, and we create a tasting menu based on that.

When I’m putting together the wine menu, I care most about “food friendliness” for our style of cuisine. Food definitely takes a front seat.

What is your personal favorite food/wine pairing at POSH?

My favorite wine/food pairing is Kumamoto oysters and white Bordeaux. We have Chateau Ducasse at the restaurant, which tops my list.

Tell us about any favorite wine events here in town:

Anytime I go to Cowboy Ciao and play with that list, it’s an event.

Tell us about any wine events you have at your venue — either regularly, seasonally or special events:

Every pairing we do is a wine event. In all seriousness though, with the nature of what we do here — improvisational cuisine — our “menu” changes daily, so a lot goes into pairing the right wine with the ever-changing tasting menu. In the past, we’ve had events around “Beaujolais Nouveau Day,” but more as just a fun thing to do … no one takes it incredibly serious.

Tell us about your favorite winery experience – in Arizona or not:

I have a good friend who works at the tasting room (and as a cellar rat) at LIOCO and for the National Process Alliance (NPA) in Santa Rosa. The last time my wife and I were there, we tasted every single barrel, including a Pinot Noir that was so incredible they didn’t even know what to do with it as a wine maker. It was so exotic and tannic, unlike any American Pinot. Matt Licklider, one of the partners, is so interesting to talk to … he’s a wine genius. It was an all-around amazing experience.

Where can readers learn more?

To make reservations for the Locavore dinner, please call (480) 663-7674.

For more information about POSH, visit poshscottsdale.com.

AZ Wine & Dine

AZ Wine & Dine Makes Use Of Forks, Corks [PHOTOS]

The mission of first-ever AZ Wine & Dine on April 12 at Scottsdale Quarter, which took the place of the Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association’s long-running culinary event Forks & Corks, was to highlight the distinct variety of culinary outlets at Arizona hotels, resorts and restaurants while offering a variety of wines and craft beers designed to satisfy any palette.

Judging by the more than 750 guests who enjoyed tantalizing tastes from the renowned chefs at the Four Seasons Troon North, Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Montelucia, Arizona Grand Resort and many more, as well as the sumptuous sips provided by Hensley, Young’s Market Company and others, it was a mission well-accomplished.

And then some.

While the final numbers are still being tallied, organizers estimate that the event raised about $20,000 to support the Arizona tourism industry.

Arizona tourism’s impact, by the numbers:

  • 36.9 Million: Number of domestic and international overnight visitors who experienced Arizona as a travel destination.
  • $48 Million: Amount of direct traveler spending being contributed to our state’s economy every single day.
  • $2.5 Billion: Amount of local, state and federal tax revenues generated as a result of direct traveler spending.
  • $1,040: Tax revenue generated by the tourism industry lessens the tax burden by $1,040 for every Arizona household.
  • No. 1: Where the travel and tourism industry ranks among Arizona’s export-oriented industries.

According to guest feedback, among the biggest and brightest highlights of the event:

  • Live music, which was provided by The Shining Star Band
  • Silent auction, which offered amazing vacation packages from the state’s top resorts, restaurants and spas
  • “Foodie” food, including short ribs from Westin Kierland, Kobe sliders from the Phoenician, and cioppino from the Montelucia
  • Libation innovations, including Moet Champagne from Narcisse, flaming coffee drinks from La Hacienda, and sangria from New Age Winery

Based on the event’s overwhelming success, plans are already underway for next year.

For more information about AZ Wine & Dine, please visit azwineanddine.com.


AZ Wine & Dine

Photos: Cory Bergquist

 

Dr. Quiet with a breast cancer patient - AZ Business Magazine March/April 2012

Never Quiet On Cancer Care: Center To Focus Breast Cancer

Valley doctor creates first center to focus exclusively on women fighting breast cancer

Dr. Coral Quiet is anything but … quiet, that is. This busy mother of two has been one of the loudest voices in Arizona’s war against breast cancer for more than two decades.

“When I moved to Arizona in the early-1990s, I was horrified to learn that not only were there ZERO breast cancer-only specialists, but that nearly 80 percent of breast cancer patients in Arizona were being treated with mastectomies, a number exponentially higher than the national average,” said Quiet.

A mastectomy, which is the complete surgical removal of the breast and necessary in aggressive cases, is disfiguring to a woman.

Determined to make a difference, Quiet began focusing her care here in the Valley solely on breast cancer treatment, research and education. While touching the lives of women one-at-a- time was making a difference, by the late 1990s she wanted to do more.

So, in 1998, she co-founded the Arizona Institute for Breast Health with Dr. Belinda Barclay-White, which offers women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer a second opinion, free of charge.

Quiet tirelessly works to bring a volunteer team of physicians and medical professionals whose specialties include breast radiology, breast surgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology, reconstructive surgery, and breast pathology into one room each week to evaluate the best medical and surgical options for the preservation of a woman’s life, body and emotional well-being.

But she didn’t stop there.

In 1999, Quiet attended an international breast cancer conference and had the chance to meet Dr. Robert Kuske, who was presenting early results of his new treatment for breast cancer called Brachytherapy, an accelerated five-day treatment for selected patients with early stage breast cancer that treats a much smaller volume of breast and other tissues and avoids treating the breast skin with radiation.

Never one to bother with “Quiet” time, she not only introduced brachytherapy in Arizona in the early 2000s, but she eventually convinced Kuske to come and practice in Arizona as well.

Over the next several years, she helped to pioneer the Mammosite catheter for FDA studies and pioneered a new device, SAVI, which is able to treat many more women with early stage breast cancer while avoiding high doses of radiation to skin and ribs. She also took time out to act as a spokesperson for the American Cancer Society, lecturing and volunteering for the organization where she could.

As the number of women getting mastectomies declined, and those choosing body and breast-conserving treatments like brachytherapy and SAVI skyrocketed, Dr. Quiet decided to make even more noise.

Determined to provide the same level of customized care to non-breast cancer patients, Quiet and Kuske also developed a secondary practice, Arizona Radiation Oncology Specialists, with the goal of partnering cancer experts statewide with cutting-edge cancer technologies to maximize patient care. With the help of new partners, they have opened three Arizona Radiation Oncology Specialists centers in the past three years, while investing in technologies new to the Southwest.

“I’ll get my quiet time when I’m dead,” said Dr. Quiet. “Today, the fight continues in the war against cancer – a war we will win.”

Arizona Business Magazine March/April 2012

Breast Cancer Survivor's Story

A Scottsdale Breast Cancer Survivor’s Story

Each year, nearly 4,000 women in Arizona are diagnosed with breast cancer.

“Within hours of learning of their diagnoses, all 4,000 women — our mothers, sisters and daughters — will be charged with making life-altering decisions,” says Dr. Coral Quiet of Arizona Breast Cancer Specialists in Scottsdale.

Here is one brave Scottsdale woman’s inspiring story.

Breast Cancer SurvivorIn 2000, Mary Purkiss was a busy mom who co-owned a successful group of call centers with her hubby. Their center allowed them to travel the world and help oversee the careers of more than 500 employees. They even had an on-site “store” in their centers that sold fun incentives and gifts, including high-end jewelry made by Purkiss herself, where employees could spend “funny money” earned for a job well done. Of course, her jewelry sold out on a regular basis.

On the evening of the couple’s annual holiday party for their staff, they were getting ready when Purkiss’ hubby noticed a lump in her breast. He urged her to feel it — it had never been there before.

Somehow, both scared, they made it through the holiday party. When she visited her doctor, she ended up having to have a needle biopsy.

“Still healing from it, the doctor called days later and told my husband ‘Tell your wife she has breast cancer and needs a mastectomy immediately,’ ” Purkiss says.

Terrified, the couple didn’t know where to turn. A successful businesswoman, Purkiss didn’t know enough about cancer to decide if it was the best option for her or the next steps. So, less than three weeks later, she was on the operating table having a double mastectomy.

The healing process — and resulting reconstruction — took two years. In that time, the couple, who had three children — the eldest at 10 years old — at home, decided to sell their successful business and focus on healing and family. Unfortunately, this didn’t go so well; Purkiss ended up needing six surgeries due to issues with the implants from the reconstruction and her father was diagnosed with lung cancer.

As an escape, she turned back to her jewelry hobby as a release. Before long, her hubby launched a website to help sell all of her baubles.

As the business surprisingly took off, Purkiss decided she didn’t need all the money for herself. So, she went in search of a breast cancer charity with which to partner.

“My goal was to donate 15 percent of all sales – not just proceeds – directly back to a breast cancer organization,” Purkiss says. “Believe it or not, I had trouble finding a partner to take my donations for what seemed like years!”

Breast Cancer SurvivorHowever, one day Purkiss was sitting in a doctor’s waiting room and saw something on the white board, a seminar titled “Are Our Daughters at Risk? Talking to Kids About Cancer,” featuring Dr. Quiet, co-founder of Arizona Institute for Breast Health (AIBH).

This struck a chord with Purkiss as her own daughter asked if she would also be getting cancer like mommy as soon as Purkiss was diagnosed. She attended the session with a good friend, who lost her mother to breast cancer, and they were inspired.

“I literally just stood up after the seminar and blurted out to Dr. Quiet how I wanted to give her my money,” laughs Purkiss.

Floored, Dr. Quiet invited Purkiss to attend an AIBH committee meeting. Before long, a partnership was struck. All these years later, Purkiss’ business is still successful and still involved with giving back to AIBH — in more ways than one. Over the years, Purkiss joined the AIBH board and even served as its president.

Her hope is that if any other woman in Arizona gets a cold phone call from a doctor letting her know she has breast cancer, that she dials AIBH immediately.

“It’s a call I wish I would have known to make,” says a still-cancer-free Purkiss, whose breast reconstruction from the mastectomy resulted in six additional surgeries due to complications.

For more information about AIBH or the importance of second opinions when diagnosed with breast cancer, please visit aibh.org.