Author Archives: AZ Business Magazine

AZ Business Magazine

About AZ Business Magazine

Over the past two-and-a-half decades, Arizona Business Magazine has grown to encompass not just Arizona Business Magazine, but also a whole host of other publications and signature events. Arizona Business Magazine is the state’s leading monthly business publication. Published by AZ Big Media, the magazine covers a wide-range of topics focusing on the Arizona business scene, and is aimed at high-level corporate executives and business owners.

Deal, WEB

Free Workshop for Business Leaders

Business owners interested in selling their business is the April topic at Enterprise University’s educational learning program on Thursday, April 10 at the Phoenix Country Club.

Enterprise University, a free program offered by Enterprise Bank & Trust, will feature partner James D. Colyer of True North Companies to discuss “Options for Selling a Business and How Private Equity Can Help.”

The morning workshop includes continental breakfast and will review the various exit strategies, the best way to prepare for a sale and explore how private equity can be a catalyst to ensuring a successful transition.

Enterprise University provides free educational seminars on a variety of relevant topics for business owners and their leadership taught by experts in a variety of fields including advertising, marketing, business continuity, financial planning and more.

WHAT: Free course for business leaders on “Options for Selling a Business and How Private Equity Can Help”

WHERE: Phoenix Country Club, 2901 N. 7th St. Phoenix, Ariz. 85014

WHEN: Thursday, April 10, 2014
7:30 a.m. – 8 a.m.: Registration/Continental Breakfast/Networking
8 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.: Workshop

COST: Free to business leaders. Registration is required.

RSVP: Visit www.enterprisebank.com/eu to register

SPEAKER: James D. Colyer is a partner at True North Companies and is responsible for deal origination, underwriting, deal execution and portfolio management activities. He has been a professional investor for more than 13 years and has worked on the buying and selling sides of deals involving aerospace and defense, consumer products and other industries.

For questions on Enterprise University, call Kay Erb at 800-396-8141, ext.13203.

baseball

Goodyear Ballpark named best in Cactus League

After a long, fierce and competitive battle of the spring training ballparks, the results are in and it’s official.

Goodyear Ballpark – the spring training home of Major League Baseball’s Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians, has been voted as best place to see a spring training game in the Cactus League in USA Today’s 10Best Reader’s Choice Travel Poll.

Overall, Goodyear Ballpark – the crown jewel of the city which has been gaining notice on a national level also finished second nationally among Arizona and Florida spring training ballparks in the poll spearheaded by the newspaper’s longtime baseball writers Bob Nightengale and Paul White.

Goodyear Ballpark, which was completed in 2009 and seats 10,311, also recently was named the top “must see” spring training facility by National Public Radio’s Pittsburgh station’s travel reporter Elaine Labalme who traveled to spring training ballparks in both Arizona and Florida.

“This is quite an honor for Goodyear Ballpark,” Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord said of USA Today’s 10Best poll. “We’re proud to be recognized as the No. 1 ballpark in the Cactus League, and thank the fans for voting us there.”

This year marked the first year of the Best Spring Training Facility category in USA Today’s 10Best Reader’s Choice Travel Poll, an annual contest in the largest newspaper in the United States. Readers and fans were allowed to vote once a day for a month – from Feb. 24 to March 24.

Goodyear was edged out by Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Fla. – the spring training home of the Tampa Bay Rays. Salt River Fields, the spring training home of the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies located on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian community, finished third.

“They told us we ran a great campaign,” said Debbie Diveney, business-operations supervisor of Goodyear Ballpark. “We tried to have fun with it – we even had fans voting live with us at the games – beginning with Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord’s urging the fans to vote during our opening weekend festivities on Feb. 28 – right up to the very end. It was a valiant effort on our part. Thanks to all the fans who participated. Wait ‘til next year.”

housing.prices

Bill aims to create new housing-loan structure

The top Democrat on the U.S. House Financial Services Committee on Thursday introduced a draft proposal to abolish Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and create a new lender-owned cooperative that would issue government-backed loans.

Representative Maxine Waters of California outlined a measure that challenges the more conservative approach of the panel’s chairman. Texas Republican Jeb Hensarling’s proposal would sharply reduce the government’s role in housing finance.

The counterproposal is unlikely to gain broad support in the Republican-led House.

“Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s return to profitability and repayment of taxpayer dollars has led some to rightly speculate whether (they) need any reform at all,” Waters said in a statement. “I am hopeful that this legislation will continue to move the conversation on housing finance reform forward.”

The House bill maintains a clear government role is needed to sustain the popular 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage. The framework takes a similar approach to bipartisan measures already introduced in the Senate.

The most significant piece of housing finance legislation was introduced earlier this month by the Democratic chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, Tim Johnson, and the panel’s top Republican, Mike Crapo.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two leading sources of U.S. mortgage funds, were seized by the government during the financial crisis in 2008 and propped up with $187.5 billion in taxpayer funds to keep them solvent.

By the end of March the companies will have sent the Treasury $202.9 billion in dividends.

Fannie and Freddie ensure the mortgage market stays liquid by buying loans from lenders and repackaging them as securities that they sell to investors with a guarantee.

The House plan written by Waters includes a government guarantee for home loans and creates a lender-owned cooperative that will issue mortgage-backed securities eligible to receive federal insurance. This structure would replace Fannie and Freddie, which would be liquidated over a five-year period.

It creates an explicit government guarantee, paid for by the industry and used to capitalize an insurance fund that is tapped in times of financial crisis.

The plan also would give small banks direct access to the financing for their home loans and ensure they are not shut out by larger competitors. It provides sources of funding for affordable housing.

With midterm elections approaching in November, House and Senate lawmakers are expected to turn to the campaign trail within a few months, leaving little time to deal with the complex issue of revamping the U.S. housing finance system.

Steve Sanghi - Microchip Technology

Microchip Introduces Low-Power Controllers

Microchip Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MCHP), a leading provider of microcontroller, mixed-signal, analog and Flash-IP solutions, today announced a new family of projected-capacitive touch controllers—the MTCH6102 with industry-leading low-power performance. These turnkey projected-capacitive controllers make it easy for designers to add contemporary touch and gesture interface designs to cost-sensitive applications.

This MTCH6102 facilitates design integration of capacitive scanning for touchscreens and touchpads including 11 single-finger gestures to swipe, scroll or double tap. The MTCH6102 enables flexible, scalable solutions to support PCB, ITO or FPC sensors up to 15 channels. It supports cover lenses up to 3 mm plastic and 5 mm glass and configurable sleep/idle frame rates to optimize for most power budgets with active mode as low as 12 µA. Microchip offers its free Configuration Utility to allow designers to make fast customizations. Microchip also provides designers with the firmware library for further optimization and control if needed.

The MTCH6102 family serves a wide range of applications in the consumer-electronic (e.g., remote controls, gaming devices, wearable devices such as headphones, watches, fitness wristbands, and track pads), and automotive markets (e.g., automotive interior controls and control panels), among others.

“Microchip’s turnkey, low-cost controller offers the lowest power projected-capacitive touch solution in the industry to maximize battery life in cost-sensitive applications,” said Fanie Duvenhage, director of Microchip’s Human-Machine Interface Division. “The MTCH6102 provides developers with a flexible touch-sensing solution for smaller touch areas to optimize common constraints of size, power and cost that are critical to applications such as wearable devices, remote controls, gaming devices and track pads.”

Power Outage Map

UNS Shareholders Approve Acquisition by Fortis

Shareholders of UNS Energy Corporation voted overwhelmingly today to approve the proposed acquisition of the company by a subsidiary of Fortis Inc.

The votes were tabulated at today’s special meeting for shareholders at UNS Energy’s Corporate Headquarters in Tucson. Approximately 97 percent of the ballots cast supported the company’s acquisition by Fortis, the largest investor-owned gas and electric distribution utility company in Canada.

“Today’s vote is a positive step toward a new partnership that will provide benefits for shareholders, customers, employees and the communities we serve. Joining Fortis will provide additional financial strength to help us maintain safe, reliable service throughout Arizona,” said Board Chair and CEO Paul J. Bonavia.

The merger agreement provides that Fortis will acquire all of the outstanding common stock of UNS Energy for $60.25 per share in cash. The $4.3 billion transaction, which includes the assumption of approximately $1.8 billion in debt, would provide additional capital and new resources for UNS Energy’s subsidiaries, including Tucson Electric Power (TEP) and UniSource Energy Services (UES). Both companies will remain headquartered in Tucson under local control with current management and staffing levels and no planned changes to existing operations or rates.

Joining the Fortis family of companies would improve UNS Energy’s access to capital to fund the ongoing diversification of its generating fleet as well as investment in other infrastructure improvements. Upon closing, Fortis will inject $200 million of equity into UNS Energy.

The merger is subject to the approval of regulators, including the Arizona Corporation Commission and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; the expiration or termination of the applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended; and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions. UNS Energy anticipates the transaction will be finalized by the end of 2014.

college graduates

6 Tips for Managing Student Loans, College Expenses

It’s the time of year when high school seniors are finalizing plans for college. In addition to choosing a major and deciding where to live, it’s important for parents and students to discuss how to manage college expenses, especially since the Chronicle of Higher Education reports 60 percent of students borrow money to pay for school.

“For many students, college marks the beginning of financial independence, but this presents a real problem when it comes to student loans,” said Mike Sullivan, chief education officer for Take Charge America, a national non-profit agency offering student loan counseling. “It’s critical to teach students how to stretch their loan dollars and avoid money mistakes that can have painful consequences for years or even decades to come.”

Sullivan offers six tips for managing student loans and college expenses:

1. Create a Budget: It’s the broken record of financial tips, but that’s because it works. Students and their parents should make a budget accounting for all incoming funds and outgoing expenses to determine how much money they need to borrow. It’s also important for students to revisit the budget regularly and modify as needed.

2. Spend Your Money Wisely: Many students use student loans for living expenses, but the money is best used to cover tuition, books and other necessities. Students who save up for college or seek employment to cover day-to-day expenses will amass significantly lower debt.

3. Understand Your Repayment: Students are more likely to stick to a budget when they understand what it will take to repay their loans. Direct students to online loan calculators that estimate monthly loan payments based on future salaries.

4. Use Government Loans: Students who must borrow money for college should use Federal Stafford loans, currently available at 3.86 percent interest for undergraduates, rather than pricier private loans.

5. Set a Debt Maximum: Students are advised never to borrow more than $8,000 for an associate’s degree or $20,000 for an undergraduate degree. With this debt ceiling in mind, students may want to consider state universities and community colleges rather than higher-priced private schools.

6. Don’t Rush into Debt Consolidation: While debt consolidation may seem like an attractive solution for repaying debt, seek out professional advice on whether this option is right for you. Another alternative may be better for your unique situation.

For more student loan tips, visit Take Charge America or StudentLoanCoach.org.

brain

Abrazo Announces Cutting-Edge Neuroscience Center

Abrazo Health announced that Phoenix Baptist Hospital is now home to a new state-of-the-art Neuroscience expansion. The new suite will include all the latest equipment, including a Biplane Neuroangiography System. The Biplane Neuroangiography technology will allow surgeons to deliver potentially life – saving care to patients with speed and accuracy by providing enhanced visualizations of the brain and spine, treatment that reduces the risk of additional problems and will also expedite recovery.

This latest move by Phoenix Baptist Hospital adds to an already banner year, further advancing the care patients in need of neurological care. Earlier this year, the hospital was once again honored with the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® – Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The hospital has also earned honors of being placed on the Target Stroke: Honor Roll for a second year in recognition for their commitment to turning patient guidelines into lifelines.

Right now in the U.S., stroke is the fourth leading cause o f death among adults, and someone suffers from a stroke in this country every forty seconds, making need for such a technologically advanced center even greater. Dan Jones, CEO of Phoenix Baptist Hospital says, “This new neurosciences care suite is just further proof of our commitment to the best in quality care for the patients here in the valley and across the southwest. Stroke patients, head injury patients and spine injury patients will have access to the latest in technology and trained physicians here at Phoenix Baptist and our entire staff couldn’t be more excited to be bringing this all to the community.”

Entrepreneurs

$100K Micro-lending Fund Supports Entrepreneurs

CPLC Préstamos CDFI, LLC (a Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc. subsidiary), committed to building stronger communities by providing small business access to capital, in partnership with local valley leaders, have created the Community Investment Fund – a group project of Valley Leadership’s Class 35, to support entrepreneurs looking to start-up or expand their business in the Phoenix metropolitan area.

“We are very excited to give local entrepreneurs, who do not qualify for traditional financing, an opportunity to improve the health of our community and contribute to Arizona’s economy,” said Brigitte Dayton, Member of VL 35. “Our Valley Leadership, Class 35 group is proud to partner with a long-standing community organization such as Chicanos Por La Causa on this project. We all feel the emphasis on targeting organizations or individuals who demonstrate a focus on improving the health of our community and/or contributing to the growth of the economy, through the potential for job creation, fills a unique role in local micro-lending.”

“Any current or aspiring entrepreneur who wishes to establish or grow a business, but who due to size, assets, and stage of development cannot seek capital from more traditional sources, is encouraged to apply for a loan today,” said Jose Martinez, President of CPLC Préstamos. “These loans range from $20,000 to $25,000 depending on the applicant, business plan and distinctiveness of the entrepreneurial idea.”

Top qualified applicants will compete in a business “Pitch Day” event where they will have the opportunity to pitch their business concept and funding needs to a panel on May 23, 2014. The panel will select 3-5 businesses for loan approval. Additionally, the business with the best presentation will win a $2,500 cash prize.

Interested candidates can apply at www.prestamosloans.org up until Friday, April 25, 2014. Applicants will be notified of loan approval the same day of their presentation, May 23, 2014.

Polsinelli Named Children’s Law Center Firm of the Year

The Children’s Law Center has named Polsinelli as its 2013 Law Firm of the Year in recognition of the exceptional pro bono service undertaken by Polsinelli attorneys over the past year. The firm was selected for its volunteer efforts in connection with the Minor Guardianship Program that assists vulnerable children whose parents are not able or willing to care for them.

“We are honored that the Children’s Law Center has selected Polsinelli as its Law Firm of the Year,” said Troy Froderman, chair of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee. “Our firm is deeply committed to providing legal support to those who would otherwise not be able to access it. As attorneys we have an obligation to give back to our communities in ways that ensure that all people are able to secure and preserve their rights under the law.”

The Children’s Law Center was established in 1998 by the Volunteer Lawyers Program (VLP) and co-sponsored by the Maricopa County Bar Association and Community Legal Services. Its goal is to address the unmet legal needs of children. Over 120 attorneys from firms throughout the Valley volunteer each year to fill gaps in legal assistance for children of diverse ethnic, racial and economic backgrounds. Current programs include Free Advice Clinics for Teens, the Court Advisor Project, the Minor Guardianship Project, the Guardianship Clinic, Teens at Work, the Adoption Project and Medical Legal Partnership.

“We are so grateful for the time and legal talent that Polsinelli’s attorneys have given so freely to the public through the Guardianship Program” said Roni Tropper, Esq., Children’s Law Center Program Coordinator. “They saw the tremendous need and offered to step in and take responsibility for all of the cases at one of our two guardianship clinic locations held monthly in English and quarterly in Spanish. They have been doing that now for three years.”

Tony Merrill, a shareholder at Polsinelli, spearheads the firm’s involvement in the Guardianship Program. “Volunteering to assist family members so that they can become legal guardians and thereby access health care for the children, enroll them in school or obtain other much needed services is very rewarding.” said Merrill.

bacon

Local salt company launches new bacon products

Local salt purveyors Aaron and Liz Eckburg have been busy. These two serial entrepreneurs have parlayed their love of pork products and salt and have launched a new line of bacon aptly named, “Bring Home the Bacon” this month at the Gilbert and Fountain Hills Farmers’ Markets, and are working to bring it to local grocery store shelves in the very near future.

“There’s a hole in the market for locally made, artisan bacon and we are filling it,” said Co-Owner of go lb. salt, Aaron Eckburg. “This is heritage bred pork with no hormones or antibiotics. It’s one of the highest quality bacons that will be on the market in the United States today.”

The bacon will launch in four initial flavors offered in thick-cut, convenient, half-pound packages. These bacons for every occasion are: Applewood Maple, Savory Herb, Chocolate and Black Truffle. Applewood Maple, Savory Herb and Chocolate are $11 and Black Truffle is priced at $17.

“As far as we can tell, we have created the world’s only black truffle bacon and we’re excited to share our premium proteins with bacon lovers everywhere,” said Aaron Eckburg.

Bring Home The Bacon is premium, dry cured bacon and it boasts 35-50% less sodium than most brands.

“We’ll soon offer the bacon for sale on our website with earth-friendly, insulated packaging that is entirely biodegradable,” added Eckburg.

Bring Home the Bacon’s whimsical packaging showcases their newly appointed mascot “Pigsley” a friendly cartoon piglet who debunks bacon myths and touts the product as the “best bacon you’ll ever eat.”

Go lb. salt has offered various home curing kits on their website that teaches home cooks how to dry age beef, make their own bacon or corned beef.

“It was a natural progression from our kits to making actual bacon to sell around the state and nation. We’re passionate about pork,” said Eckburg.

energy supply - AZ Business Magazine May/June 2012

First Solar Outlines 2014 Financial Goals

First Solar, Inc. announced full-year 2014 guidance as well as summary financial targets through 2016.

For 2014, First Solar expects net sales of $3.7 to $4.0 billion. Consolidated gross margin is expected to be between 16 and 18 percent. Diluted earnings per share is expected to be between $2.20 and $2.60, and consolidated operating income is expected to be between $270 and $320 million. The Company expects to generate between $250 to $450 million of operating cash flow and plans for approximately $300 to $350 million in capital expenditures in 2014.

First Solar’s Chief Financial Officer, Mark Widmar provided the guidance and outlook during the company’s 2014 Analyst Day event held today in New York. Additionally, company executives discussed First Solar’s strategic goals and technology advances. A replay of the webcast and presentation materials can be accessed by visiting http://investor.firstsolar.com/events.cfm.

health,informatics

Stat Doctors gets $3.5M investment

QuadMed, a nationally recognized provider of onsite, near site and shared site employer-sponsored health and wellness solutions, has entered into a strategic partnership with Stat Health Services, provider of Scottsdale-based Stat Doctors™ eHealth solution, to provide 24/7 telemedicine access for patients with minor acute healthcare needs. Under the agreement, QuadMed purchased a minority ownership interest in the company.

QuadMed’s partnership with Stat Health Services, a pioneer in virtual house call services, provides employers with an additional healthcare solution proven to dramatically reduce the cost of claims and create positive health outcomes. Through Stat Doctors, minor acute care needs are handled online by on-call emergency medicine providers. Patients receive personal treatment from the convenience of their computer or mobile device without needing to travel to a hospital emergency room or an urgent care center, avoiding waiting times and substantial expenses.

“QuadMed continues to lead the evolution of healthcare at this transformative time in the healthcare industry,” said Joel Quadracci, Chairman, President & CEO of Quad/Graphics, QuadMed’s parent company. “Stat Doctors is an innovative approach to acute healthcare delivery that complements QuadMed’s continuum of healthcare solutions focused on improving the quality of patient care and outcomes while reducing overall costs. This investment expands healthcare management solutions for employers who, like us, want to keep employees and their dependents healthy and productive.”

The QuadMed/Stat Health Services partnership signifies a pivotal shift in healthcare delivery, according to Dr. Alan Roga, M.D., Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Stat Health Services. “Stat Doctors is helping QuadMed replicate the traditional doctor-patient experience anytime, anywhere,” he said. “We are very excited to collaborate with QuadMed, which shares our vision for improving access to quality care in a convenient and cost-effective manner.”

Stat Doctors offers patients a network of the nation’s top emergency medicine specialists through its partnership with Emergency Medicine Physicians (EMP), a network of highly qualified emergency medical providers dedicated to delivering exceptional care. “We are excited to partner with QuadMed through Stat Doctors in the transformation of healthcare by providing highest quality care in a convenient, low-cost alternative to the current options,” said Dominic Bagnoli, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of EMP.

“As a pioneer in the use of telemedicine through our Corporate Health Suites solution, we have discovered that it’s not just the technology that’s important, but also the physician network,” said Tim Dickman, President of QuadMed. “The doctor-patient relationship is key to providing effective care and positive outcomes. Stat Doctors facilitates this important relationship using state-of-the-art telemedicine.”

For more information about how QuadMed and Stat Doctors are innovating healthcare delivery, visit www.quadmedical.com and www.statdoctors.com.

ethics

Avnet Named World’s Most Ethical Company

Avnet, Inc., a leading global technology distributor, announced today that it has been recognized by the Ethisphere Institute, an independent center of research promoting best practices in corporate ethics and governance, as a 2014 World’s Most Ethical Company®.

This is Avnet’s first year being honored with this award, which recognizes organizations that continue to raise the bar on ethical leadership and corporate behavior. World’s Most Ethical Company honorees understand the correlation between ethics, reputation and daily interactions with their brand and that the award belongs as much to their employees as it does to them. Avnet is one of only five companies in the electronics industry honored this year.

“As a global organization entrusted by the world’s leading technology companies to service a broad base of customers around the world, ethics and integrity are core to Avnet’s success,” said Rick Hamada, chief executive officer of Avnet, Inc. “Integrity is not just included in Avnet’s core values, it is our number one core value. This recognition from the Ethisphere Institute validates what our employees around the world demonstrate every day—that integrity matters and is a critical part of what makes Avnet a truly premier global business partner, employer and industry leader.”

Avnet continues to invest in many initiatives to enhance and expand its compliance, ethics, governance, sustainability, and community outreach programs. The company was recognized in part due to the effectiveness and influence of its compliance and ethics functions throughout the organization.

“We have one compliance standard for the company—full legal compliance and uncompromised business ethics,” said Harvey Woodford, chief ethics and compliance officer, Avnet, Inc. “Avnet’s inclusion on the list of the World’s Most Ethical Companies reflects our global team’s commitment to ethical business practices around the world.”

“The entire community of World’s Most Ethical Companies believe that customers, employees, investors and regulators place a high premium on trust and that ethics and good governance are key in earning it,” said Ethisphere’s chief executive officer, Timothy Erblich. “Avnet joins an exclusive community committed to driving performance through leading business practices. We congratulate everyone at Avnet for this extraordinary achievement.”

The World’s Most Ethical Company assessment is based upon the Ethisphere Institute’s Ethics Quotient™ framework. The Ethics Quotient framework has been developed over years of effort to provide a means to assess an organization’s performance in an objective, consistent and standardized way. The information collected provides a comprehensive sampling of definitive criteria of core competencies, rather than all aspects of corporate governance, risk, sustainability, compliance and ethics. The Ethics Quotient framework and methodology was determined, vetted and refined by the expert advice and insights gleaned from Ethisphere’s network of thought leaders and from the World’s Most Ethical Company Methodology Advisory Panel.

Scores are generated in five key categories: ethics and compliance program (25%), reputation, leadership and innovation (20%), governance (10%), corporate citizenship and responsibility (25%) and culture of ethics (20%).

The full list of the 2014 World’s Most Ethical Companies can be found at http://ethisphere.com/worlds-most-ethical/wme-honorees/.

education

UA’s Eller College Moving to Phoenix

The University of Arizona Eller College of Management announced today that it will be moving from its satellite location in north Scottsdale to downtown Phoenix.

The Eller College will occupy classroom and office space on the campus of the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix, located at 550 E. Van Buren St. The location will be home to two of Eller’s part-time MBA programs for working professionals: the Evening MBA and the Executive MBA, which are designed for managers with 3-plus years of experience and seasoned executives, respectively.

Between the two programs, the campus will serve about 170 MBA students annually.

“We are thrilled that Eller will be a part of the exciting things happening in downtown Phoenix,” said Len Jessup, dean of the Eller College. “The College of Medicine has established beautiful facilities that will give our professional MBAs access to high-tech working classroom space and a true campus experience.”

City of Phoenix’s Mayor Greg Stanton also supports the move.

“It’s incredibly exciting that Eller is opening its doors in downtown Phoenix, where we continue to offer the highest-rated education opportunities in the state within just a few blocks of each other,” Stanton said. “Eller graduates are top-notch, and exactly the kind of professionals we want as a part of our community.”

Access to graduate management education is one of many factors that contribute to greater Phoenix’s long-term competitiveness, added Don Budinger, chairman and founding director of The Rodel Foundations and board member of Greater Phoenix Economic Council and Greater Phoenix Leadership.

“The University of Arizona’s downtown programs offer excellent options for working professionals who are considering an MBA.”

Last week, in the U.S. News & World Report ranking of graduate programs, the Eller Evening MBA rose 21 slots, from No. 46 to No. 25 nationwide. The college is recognized for its leadership in entrepreneurship and management information systems, which consistently rank in the top 10 among undergraduate and graduate programs nationally.

Applications are being accepted now for the Executive MBA program that will begin in August at the downtown campus. A new class of Evening MBA students will begin at the location in January.

“Downtown offers a central location, with easy access for those already working in the area, as well as public transportation options. Our students frequently come together for team meetings, and the medical campus offers great collaboration space,” said Hope Schau, associate dean of MBA programs.

The Eller College began offering its MBA programs in the Phoenix area in 2006, with the launch of the Executive MBA program in Scottsdale. Since 2007, the college has held classes at a satellite campus just east of the Loop 101 in the McDowell Mountain Business Park, at 16425 N. Pima Road.

The college will open its downtown Phoenix location in late August or September. The Executive and Evening MBA students scheduled to complete their programs this year will remain at the Scottsdale campus. The Evening MBA class of 2015 will relocate to the downtown campus on Sept. 1.

Phoenix Election Day - Propositions 1 & 2

Election Will fill SRP Boards, Councils

SRP will hold elections on Tuesday, April 1, to fill 24 seats on the board and council of the Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement and Power District, which oversees SRP’s electric operation, plus the positions of President and Vice President, and 22 seats on the board and council of the Salt River Valley Water Users’ Association, plus the positions of President and Vice President.

The terms of SRP President, Vice President and Board and Council seats are all four years. The officers will be sworn in May 5 and 6 following the canvassing of election returns.

Early balloting by mail is available for qualified voters in the Salt River Reservoir District. The deadline to request an early ballot by mail from the SRP Corporate Secretary’s Office is 5 p.m. on Friday, March 21. Early voting ballots may be requested by calling (602) 236-3048, by visiting the SRP Elections website at www.srpnet.com/elections, or in person from the Corporate Secretary’s Office, located at 1521 N. Project Drive in Tempe.

Qualified voters may vote in person at the SRP Voting Center, located at the SRP Administration Building, 1521 N. Project Drive in Tempe, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on March 24 through March 31, and from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day, April 1.

District voters must own qualified land or have been appointed to vote qualified land held in a qualifying trust that is within the respective boundaries of the District, and must be qualified, registered Arizona voters. Qualified Association voters must own qualified land or have been appointed to vote qualified land held in a qualifying trust that is within the respective boundaries of the Association, and 18 years or older as of April 1, 2014.

The current SRP president, David Rousseau, and vice president, John R. “Randy” Hoopes, are both running unopposed for re-election. Rousseau and Hoopes will be seeking their second terms; they were elected for the first time in 2010.

SRP board members establish policy, approve annual budgets and set prices and fees. SRP council members amend and enact bylaws, and make appointments to fill vacancies on the SRP boards, councils or position of Vice President.

District positions up for election are: President; Vice President; one board position in each of voting divisions 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10; two at-large board positions (12 and 14); and three council seats in each of voting divisions 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10.

Available Association positions are: President, Vice President, one board position in each of voting districts 2, 4, 6, 8, 10; and three council positions in each of voting districts 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10.
The two at-large District board positions (12 and 14) are elected on a one-landowner, one-vote basis. All other positions are elected on an acreage basis. For example, an owner of five acres of land has five votes; an owner of one-half acre has half a vote.

More information regarding the 2014 SRP elections is available at the SRP Elections website at www.srpnet.com/elections or by calling SRP’s Elections Information Line at (602) 236-3048, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

SRP is the largest provider of water and power to the Phoenix metropolitan area.

From left: David Rousseau, Chairman of Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee, Jay Parry, President & CEO, Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee, Greg Stanton, Mayor of Phoenix, Kate Gallego, Councilwoman District 8, Jim Waring, vice mayor of Phoenix and Michael Nowakowski, Councilman District 7.

Super Bowl Central will take over downtown

The Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee announced several major initiatives that will take over 12 city blocks in downtown Phoenix and together will serve as the hub of fan, sponsor, media and NFL activities for Super Bowl XLIX.

The activities will cover 5th Street to First Avenue and Jefferson Street to Monroe Street and be anchored by the iconic Super Bowl roman numerals, which will tower 30 feet into the air.

Super Bowl Central, will feature live performances by national recording artists and local musical talent, community groups and schools, football themed activities, and beer and wine gardens. The festival will feature family-friendly activities for fans of all ages, will be free to the public and incorporate street level merchants and restaurants. Local culture and food will be showcased. This is a new addition to Arizona’s line-up of Super Bowl activities since the state last hosted the Super Bowl in 2008, and one million visitors are expected to participate.

“We are thrilled to be providing extensive and engaging events and activities that will showcase the energetic and vibrant culture of Arizona to fans, sponsors and media alike,” said David Rousseau, Chairman, Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee.

Typically one of Super Bowl’s most popular activities, NFL Experience is the world’s largest interactive football theme park. For Super Bowl XLIX, it will be located at the Phoenix Convention Center and feature attractions such as kids’ football clinics, interactive football games, free autograph sessions and more.

NFL House, a VIP hospitality headquarters, is another new addition to Arizona’s Super Bowl activities and will be located at CityScape.

“Super Bowl Central, along with NFL Experience and NFL House, will turn
downtown Phoenix into the Super Bowl epicenter. It will provide both local and
visiting fans an amazing opportunity to be part of this global event. Super Bowl
Central delivers direct economic benefits to local businesses,” said Greg Stanton, Mayor of Phoenix.

NFL Media Center, located at the Phoenix Convention Center, will provide working facilities for 5,000 members of the media from over 30 countries around the world.

National broadcast networks — NBC, NFL Network and others — will broadcast live from Super Bowl Central.

Additionally, NFL Headquarters will be at the Hyatt Regency Phoenix.

The average temperature in the Valley in February is 71 degrees, showcasing the ideal weather conditions for an outdoor fan festival as well as the Super Bowl game.

Super Bowl XLIX will be played at the University of Phoenix Stadium, home of the Arizona Cardinals, on February 1, 2015. This marks Arizona’s second Super Bowl in seven years and the third overall. In Super Bowl XLII at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 3, 2008, the New York Giants bet the New England Patriots 17-14. Arizona’s first big game, Super Bowl XXX, was held at Arizona State University’s Sun Devils Stadium in 1996, with the Dallas Cowboys beating the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-17.

windsor

Tour Historic Homes on Windsor Home Tour

Windsor Square Historic District’s 2014 Home Tour will be held Sunday, March 30. Located at Central Avenue and Camelback Road in the central corridor of Phoenix, Windsor Square is one of the most sought-after historic neighborhoods in Arizona and was recently recognized by CNN Money Magazine as one of the ten U.S. ‘Best Big City Neighborhoods to Live In’. Presented by the Windsor Square Neighborhood Association, the biennial Historic Home and Garden tour is a self-guided walking tour featuring 12 historic homes, a beautiful garden, plant societies and a beer garden.

The breathtakingly beautiful Windsor Square neighborhood is rich with history with many homes that are 60 to 75 years old. Started in 1929, the 260-home neighborhood is considered to be one of the first few suburbs of the city of Phoenix.

From contemporary or traditional interiors to lush gardens and the latest in transitional styles, attendees will see firsthand how people live in these historic, yet modern homes. Plus, learn new interior decorating ideas and see unique approaches to the outdoors.

The tour and festivities run from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and will give enthusiasts a look at unique architectural styles in homes that date back to the 1930 and 1940’s. During the self-guided walking tour, participants will also be able to explore fine arts and crafts from street vendors, enjoy delicious fare from food trucks and hear live music. The cost for the tour is $15, and children under 12 are free.

“The residents of Windsor Square take great pride in their neighborhood and every other year we open our doors to share the rich history of our North Central Phoenix neighborhood with the public,” said Historic Home Tour Committee Chair and Windsor Square resident, Jeffrey Long. “This year’s will be one of our best tours yet with a wide variety of homes, a beer garden and a fantastic choice of street vendors featuring everything from food trucks to unique gifts and crafts to home improvement services.”

Tickets will be available for purchase online in advance of the tour at www.windsorsquarephoenix.org as well as day-of-tour at Orange and 2nd Street, which is located one block east of Central Avenue and just north of Camelback Road. Discount of $1 for attendees who show light rail tickets for the day. Free parking will be available.

Event Details:
Event: Windsor Square Historic Home and Garden Tour
Date: Sunday, March 30, 2014
Location: Orange and 2nd Street (one block east of Central Avenue and just north of Camelback Road)
Cost: $15 for adults; Children 12 and under free; $1 discount with lightrail pass

Dana Schmidt

Schmidt Joins FirstService Residential

FirstService Residential, the leading community management company in Arizona, has named Dana Schmidt as its new Vice President of Human Resources. Schmidt possesses nearly 20 years of strategic and hands-on HR expertise acquired in public, Fortune 100 and privately-owned organizations. Schmidt will be primarily responsible for defining, developing, managing and implementing strategic and operational HR initiatives that align with FirstService Residential’s vision, mission and values.

“FirstService Residential is very excited to welcome Dana Schmidt to our executive team. I am confident that Dana’s extensive HR experience and educational background make him the ideal candidate to lead our Human Resources Department and instill the FirstService Residential core values throughout the Arizona region,” said Jason Proudfit, FirstService Residential Arizona President.

Prior to joining FirstService Residential, Schmidt held a variety of HR leadership roles. Most recently, he served as the Vice President of Talent Acquisition, Compensation and Employee Relations for National Bank of Arizona. Throughout his career, his key accountabilities have included strategic HR planning, talent acquisition, leadership and talent development, employment law, benefits, compensation, payroll, rewards and recognition and HR technology.

“I am genuinely excited to be leading the HR function for FirstService Residential Arizona and grateful for the opportunity to build upon the award-winning workplace culture that inspired me to join the team”, said Dana Schmidt, FirstService Residential Arizona Vice President of Human Resources.

Schmidt’s strong commitment to continuing education propelled him to achieve the Senior Professional in HR (SPHR) certification from the HR Certification Institute (HRCI) and his Certified Compensation Professional (CCP) designation from the WorldatWork Society of Certified Professionals. Schmidt stays connected with his HR community by serving as an active member of the Valley’s Senior HR Executive Council and volunteering his efforts to various non-profit organizations.

FirstService Residential provides full-service community management solutions to a wide range of homeowner and condominium associations including some of Arizona’s most beautiful and recognizable communities. Since 1968, its team has worked hard to serve the homeowners of Arizona, and today, the company is recognized as the leading HOA management company throughout the state. FirstService Residential has been selected as Arizona’s top choice of HOA management companies by Ranking Arizona for eight consecutive years.

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UA Researchers Earn Flinn Foundation Grant

University of Arizona researchers have been awarded a $200,000 two-year seed grant by the Flinn Foundation through its Promoting Translational Research in Precision Medicine grants program to define the pulmonary virome and the role of Cytomegalovirus (CMV) persistence in the lung. The goal of this program is to foster collaborative efforts between physician-scientists and bench researchers in order to translate findings more rapidly to actual patient treatments.

The unique research team consists of UA Associate Professor of Medicine Ken Knox, MD, who specializes in pulmonary medicine and has a strong track record in clinical/translational research; UA associate professor of immunobiology, BIO5 member and biomedical researcher, Felicia Goodrum, PhD, who is an expert in CMV persistence; and UA associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and BIO5 member, Matthew Sullivan, PhD, an expert in viral metagenomics.

“Translational research—moving discoveries from the lab to patient care—is a crucial element of precision, or personalized, medicine as well Arizona’s bioscience strategy,” said Jack B. Jewett, Flinn Foundation president and CEO. “This exciting collaboration among Drs. Knox, Goodrum and Sullivan is an outstanding example of a potentially groundbreaking research project that could ultimately yield great benefits to human health.”

As a privately endowed, philanthropic organization, the Flinn Foundation is committed to improving the quality of life in Arizona to benefit future generations.

The human body is home to a vast number of bacteria, viruses and fungi that collectively make up the human microbiome. Much of our microbiome does not cause disease, but rather is critically important to maintaining human health. Recent studies in humans document the enormous impact bacteria have on normal health (e.g., obesity), disease states (e.g., diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders), and even behavior. The role of viruses, by contrast, represents uncharted frontiers for study.

Persistent viruses represent emerging health threats that contribute to chronic inflammation, cellular stress and cancer risk. In addition, latent viral coexistence is just beginning to emerge in association with age-related pathologies, including atherosclerosis, immune senescence and frailty. Health costs of persistent viral infections, whether chronic or latent, can be significant.

Drs. Knox, Goodrum and Sullivan will study CMV as a model of persistent viral infection upon which questions related to how to specifically prevent lung infections can be based. Manifestations of a disease state are influenced by how background host genetic traits drive immunological responses that interact with invading viruses. By using advanced informatics to analyze metagenomic data sets from the study, the team will investigate correlations between the presence of human CMV and the background virome.

Human CMV is one of eight human herpes viruses that infects 60-90 percent of the population worldwide and, like all herpes viruses, persists in the infected host indefinitely by way of a latent infection. CMV’s primary infection of healthy individuals is typically asymptomatic and, therefore, goes completely unnoticed. When CMV is reactivated from latency to an active state of replication, there are life-threatening disease risks in immunocompromised individuals, including transplant and cancer patients. CMV infection is also the leading cause of infectious disease-related birth defects, affecting 1 percent of live births in the United States.

Dr. Janko Nikolich-Zugich, MD, PhD, Bowman Professor and head, UA Department of Immunobiology, said, “This study is extremely important and timely, as known- and yet-to-be discovered viruses are undoubtedly influencing human health and contributing to disease states.”

Fernando Martinez, MD, UA Regents’ Professor and director of both the Arizona Respiratory Center and the BIO5 Institute, agreed, adding, “Defining the viruses present in the human lung will be an important step in expanding our knowledge base of the pulmonary virome. In addition, techniques used to identify viruses hold promise for rapid diagnostics and treatments.”

Other members of the study team (photo) at UA include PhD candidates Katie Caviness and Ann Gregory, senior research scientist Bonnie Poulos, Heidi Erickson, RN, and Lance Nesbit, MS. The current study also will examine viral reservoirs in the context of lung transplant and thus is likely to have broad implications for our understanding of pulmonary immunity and rejection.

The BIO5 Institute at the University of Arizona mobilizes top researchers in agriculture, engineering, medicine, pharmacy and science to find creative solutions to humanity’s most pressing health and environmental challenges. Since 2001, this interdisciplinary approach has been an international model of how to conduct collaborative research, and has resulted in improved food crops, innovative diagnostics, devices and promising new therapies. Learn more at BIO5.org.

manufacturing

Quik Tek Assembly Expands into Tucson

Quik Tek Assembly, a minority-owned provider of contract manufacturing services, announced that it has expanded operations to the Tucson region. Quik Assembly Solutions, a division of Quik Tek Assembly, has leased an 8,000 square-foot building at 3450 S. Broadmont, Suite 120, and plans a $700,000 capital investment. The new facility will be open by April 2014.

Quik Tek Assembly, also a Raytheon supplier, provides a wide range of contract manufacturing services including circuit and cable design; PCB layout and manufacture; PCB, cable and mechanical assembly; product testing and the manufacture of complete product ready to ship.

The company plans to hire 50 new positions over the next 5 years. The jobs at the facility will be a mix of engineering, manufacturing, administrative and technician positions. Candidates interested in job opportunities can click here.

Through TREO, the company worked with community partners including the City of Tucson, Pima County One-Stop Career Center, Arizona Commerce Authority and Startup Tucson.

Adan Ortiz, president of Quik Tek Assembly, said: “Southern Arizona is a growing market, and we needed to be close to both existing and new potential customers. Additionally, we look forward to contributing to workforce development by encouraging STEM interest and providing student internships in partnership with The University of Arizona and Pima Community College.”

“Hi-tech manufacturers and suppliers to existing employers are logical fits for the Tucson region,” said Joe Snell, TREO president and CEO. “In addition, Quik Tek is committed to

Bryan Cave Establishes Office in Miami

The international law firm Bryan Cave LLP has announced the opening of an office in Miami, Fla. Located at 200 South Biscayne Blvd., the office will be led by Partners Pedro J. Martinez-Fraga, who will serve as co-leader of Bryan Cave’s International Arbitration Practice, and C. Ryan Reetz, the managing and hiring partner for the office.

Martinez-Fraga and Reetz are a significant addition to Bryan Cave’s International Dispute Resolution Practice. The Miami office also enhances the firm’s ability to handle legal matters for clients with business interests in Latin America and in Florida, particularly with respect to Florida-based litigation.

“Miami is a global center for international law and the principal U.S. nexus to the Latin-American business community,” said Don G. Lents, chair of Bryan Cave. “Pedro and Ryan have a strong practice handling international arbitration cases and a wide range of matters for clients with interests in Latin America. Together with our presence across the U.S., Europe and Asia, this new office furthers our commitment to serve our clients globally.”

Martinez-Fraga is a leading specialist in the field of international litigation and transnational arbitration, including complex jurisdictional disputes concerning common law and civil law issues. He has represented seven sovereignties in Latin America, in addition to the Kingdom of Spain, together with geopolitical subdivisions and state instrumentalities. His arbitration experience includes arbitral disputes under the following institutions and rules: ICSID (World Bank), ICC, LCIA, ICDR, DIS and the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce.

His more notable representations include serving as lead U.S. counsel on behalf of the Republic of Chile in the case against former Chilean President Augusto Pinochet. He also has represented the Republic of Argentina, the Republic of Guatemala, the Republic of El Salvador, the Federated Republic of Brazil, the Republic of Ecuador, the Republic of Honduras, St. Kitts and Nevis and instrumentalities of the Kingdom of Spain.

Martinez-Fraga also maintains an active international human rights practice, serving as lead counsel in a landmark case before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. He currently serves as a member of the Center for Human Rights Advisory Counsel of the American Bar Association.

Martinez-Fraga graduated from St. John’s College in 1984, summa cum laude, and earned his J.D. from Columbia University School of Law in 1987 where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. He also holds Licenciatura (J.D. equivalent) and Magister (L.L.M. equivalent) degrees in private and public international law from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid in addition to a Diploma de Estudios Avanzados in International Law from the same institution. He is admitted to practice in Florida, Washington, D.C., and the Kingdom of Spain.

Inilex_1260x1000_slide-D1

Inilex Names Brad Walls Vice President

Inilex, a leading provider of intelligent telemetry solutions for vehicles, is continuing to expand its executive team with the addition of Brad Walls as the company’s vice president of corporate and business development. Walls brings a demonstrated track record in new business innovation, service, product management and long-term strategic planning to Inilex.

In his new role, Walls will lead Inilex’s national and international business development initiatives, helping to broaden its customer base and increase the market foothold for its intelligent telemetry solutions. He will also be charged with identifying strategic business opportunities and ensuring all operations are run with maximum efficiency.

“Brad has the right mix of leadership, relevant industry experience and talent, and is a welcome addition to our executive team,” said Michael Maledon, CEO of Inilex. “Last year was a record year of growth for us, and Brad will play an integral role as we continue to expand into new markets on both the national and international levels.”

Walls joins Inilex from TMX Finance, where he helped lead business development and managed a diverse project portfolio, including market analysis studies, product management and customer satisfaction measurement. Prior to that, Walls held key positions with Enterprise Holdings, which operates the largest fleet of vehicles in the world.

Walls will operate out of Inilex’s headquarters in Phoenix. He holds a bachelor’s degree in corporate communications from the University of Texas-Arlington, and is an active member of community organizations such as the United Way.

drug

Herold Joins DrugFreeAz.org Board

Rick Herold, partner in the Phoenix law office of Snell & Wilmer, has been elected to serve on the Board of Directors of DrugFreeAz.org. As a member of the board of directors Herold will provide financial and fundraising strategies that will help guide and sustain the organization. DrugFreeAz.org’s mission is to prevent and reduce the use of drugs and alcohol by youth throughout Arizona.

“We are delighted to welcome Rick to our board of directors,” said Leslie Bloom, CEO of DrugFreeAz.org. “His background, education and knowledge will be a valuable asset to our team, and will help us reach our mission of reducing youth drug and alcohol use throughout our community.”

Herold earned his bachelor’s degree from Emory University and law degree from the George Washington University School of Law. He also serves on the Ethics Committee of the State Bar of Arizona and has served as a Judge Pro Tempore on the Maricopa County Superior Court and is active with the Volunteer Lawyers’ Program, the Valley of the Sun United Way’s Resource Management Committee, the Urban Land Institute and the Economic Club of Phoenix.