Author Archives: Brittany Smith

About Brittany Smith

Brittany is a freshman at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She is an editorial intern for AZ Big Media and contributes articles to AZRE and Arizona Business Magazine.

Breast Cancer - Scottsdale Living Magazine Fall 2011

Develop Strategies To Detect Breast Cancer Early

According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year in the U.S, making breast cancer the second-most-common cancer among American women, after skin cancer.

Despite those gloomy statistics, there are strategies women can use to detect breast cancer in its earliest stages.

“It is important to detect breast cancer early because survival and recurrence are stage dependent,” says Dr. Michael Sapozink, a radiation oncologist at Southwest Oncology Centers.

Arizonan physicians seem to agree that there are no reliable ways to prevent breast cancer from developing. However, there are several methods doctors recommend for detecting breast cancer early.

One breast cancer detection method doctors recommend is self-examination. When self-examinations are started early in life and performed monthly, they provide a good knowledge base for what healthy breast tissue feels like. That way, if tissue becomes cancerous, women can feel the difference within their breasts and schedule an appointment with their doctor to check it out.

Women should perform self-examinations while they are menstruating, says Sapozink. Women should divide the breast they are examining into four quadrants for examination. While immobilizing the breast with one hand, women should use their other hand to slowly examine the breast, checking for any irregular-feeling tissue.

Mammograms are another method to detect breast cancer. Mammograms are images of the breast taken through X-rays, and can be a way to detect breast cancer much earlier than self-examinations. Generally, doctors recommend women get their first mammogram at age 40, and yearly after age 50.

Women who are deemed “high risk” for developing breast cancer may receive their first mammogram earlier in life, says Sapozink. Although there are no known causes of breast cancer, women who have a strong family history of breast cancer, who have undergone hormone replacement therapy, who had their first menstruation cycle later in life, or who are obese, may be at a higher risk for developing breast cancer.

Women who have had a strong family history of breast cancer may also opt to be screened for genetic mutations that are linked to breast cancer.

“Genetic mutations are responsible for a very small percentage of women who are diagnosed with breast cancer, but up to 85 percent of patients with (the genetic mutation) will develop breast cancer,” says Dr. Linda Benaderet, an oncologist at Arizona Oncology.

If patients are found to have a genetic mutation linked to breast cancer, they can then speak with their doctors to set up a plan that outlines how often they should receive a mammogram.

Depending on the density of a woman’s breast, as well as what a mammogram is able to show, a patient may get an ultrasound or MRI as well as a mammogram to inspect the breasts more closely before a biopsy is taken to test suspicious tissue.

If a patient is diagnosed with breast cancer, the next step would be to visit an oncologist to discuss treatment options, says Benaderet. Treatment options include chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, breast surgery or a mastectomy. Women should discuss their options with their doctor to find out which treatment, or combination of treatments, is best for them.

For more information about detecting breast cancer, visit or

Scottsdale Living Magazine Fall 2011

Erika Peterson, Record Center Innovations - AZ Business Magazine July/August 2011

Erika Peterson, Vice President Of Operations, Record Center Innovations Inc.

[stextbox id="grey"]COMPANY: Record Center Innovations Inc. (RCI)
Vice President of Operations

Protecting sensitive business information is Phoenix-based Record Center Innovations’ (RCI) business. Founded in 1998, RCI provides secure information management and document storage from the day sensitive paper records arrive at its 100,000-square-foot warehouse to the day when those records are destroyed.

Record Center Innovations is the largest independent records management company in Arizona. One of its founding employees, Vice President of Operations Erika Peterson, says she believes the company has achieved this status due to its innovations in the record management industry.

“(Company founder) Jurgen (Achterfeldt), whose background was in the high-tech industry, took his experience and business principles and applied them to an industry that was very low-tech at the time,” Peterson says.

These innovations include document imaging, electronic document management, and scan-on-demand services.

“Our records-imaging services allow hard copies to be accessed electronically, so clients don’t have to wait for physical delivery of records,” Peterson says. “Secure interface allows access to documents whenever clients might need them.”

RCI uses confidential methods that are fully compliant with the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

And due to its climate, Arizona is considered a “safe” state. That makes it ideal for clients from California and the Midwest who want to keep their documents protected from natural disasters.

“It used to be that you’d want to keep all your records because you never knew when you might need them,” Peterson says. “Now, it’s ‘keep them for as long as you need them,’ because you don’t want to be stuck holding them when they might hurt you.”

Arizona Business Magazine July/August 2011

Dave Forman, Owner, PourMasters Professional Bartending Service - AZ Business Magazine May/June 2011

Dave Forman, Owner, PourMasters Professional Bartending Service

[stextbox id="grey"]COMPANY: PourMasters
TITLE: Owner

Dave Forman had a whopping two weeks of experience in bartending when he decided to launch his own professional bartending service, PourMasters, in January 1992.

He had been working in management and sales, but after taking a two-week course in bartending, Forman was hooked.  “Bartending seemed like a fun, great job,” says Forman, a native of Michigan. “I’m a people-person, and I just had a blast.”

PourMasters provides clients with bartenders and portable bars. The service also provides the actual beverages, including the alcohol, sodas and mixers. Bartenders employed by PourMasters must be familiar with Arizona alcohol laws and certified with the proper credentials.

Forman started PourMasters with two friends in the Valley, but by the end of the first month, the partnership dissolved. This left Forman alone to handle the challenges that come with starting a new business.

“One challenge I experienced early on was learning what clients want from a bartending service in the first place. The biggest challenge, though, was hiring bartenders with the right personality.”

Another challenge Forman faced — and he was not alone — was the 2008 recession. Luckily, Forman had built a strong relationship with catering businesses in Arizona, and that helped him to stay afloat.  “I’m proud of staying in business for this long in this economy,” he said.

As for the future, Forman says he hopes to expand into other cities, and maybe even write a book about his experiences.
He has this advice for other small business owners: “If you’re not having fun, find something else to do because if you’re not having fun, it’s just not worth it.”


Arizona Business Magazine May/June 2011

CityScape, Phoenix, Ariz. - AZ Business Magazine May/June 2011

New Retail And Restaurants To Attract People To Dowtown Phoenix

With the opening of CityScape at One E. Washington St., Downtown Phoenix now has an urban-style, mixed-use development where people can eat, shop, meet friends after work, relax at a boutique hotel, and even blow off some steam at the gym or roll a few frames at a bowling center.

Developers of CityScape envision retail and restaurants as being key to the project’s success. Some of the new downtown businesses include Gold’s Gym, CVS pharmacy, Charming Charlie, Urban Outfitters, Stand Up Live, Five Guys Burger and Fries, and The Arrogant Butcher. Scheduled to open in March 2012 is the 4-star Kimpton Palomar Hotel.

“If you have a comedy club, a couple of bars, a fine dining place, a yogurt shop, a burger place and a taco shop, it gives people more of an incentive to check (CityScape) out,” says Peder Bondhus, manager of Vitamin T, an already established Aaron May restaurant at CityScape.

Part of what CityScape has accomplished is due to its relationship with the Greater Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau (GPCVB) and the Downtown Phoenix Partnership.

“The Greater Phoenix CVB has been a relentless touring campaign,” says Jeff Moloznik, RED’s development manager. “We spend a lot of time with them touring prospective delegates to the downtown market and CityScape. They also help us with discussing what amenities are available for those who are considering coming to Phoenix for a convention.”

Moloznik says he believes that the success of downtown as a whole hinges on the collaboration of all of downtown’s stakeholders.

“ASU, the (Phoenix) symphony, Comerica, the sporting arenas, CityScape — we all contribute to what is good about Downtown Phoenix,” he says.

Adding to the mix of retail and restaurants are the Phoenix offices of several major law firms including Polsinelli Shughart, Squire Sanders & Dempsey, and Ballard Spahr. The building also houses Alliance Bank, Fidelity Title and RED Development.

And by the end of the year, UnitedHealthcare of Arizona plans to move 600 of its Valley employees to CityScape.

Restaurants scheduled to open later this year offer diverse meal selections, such as American-style breakfast or lunch at The Breakfast Club, Italian cuisine at The Strand, French favorites at La Crepe Nanou, and Japanese options at Silk Sushi.

“We have the utmost confidence in CityScape and the synergy it’s brought to Downtown Phoenix,” says Kyle Shivers, owner of The Breakfast Club. “We’re a breakfast and lunch venue, and the density and daytime market (in Phoenix) is exactly what we’re looking for.”

The only stumbling block CityScape has experienced so far occurred early this year, when LGO Public House pulled out of the project due to zoning and code restrictions relevant to a wood furnace burner.


Arizona Business Magazine May/June 2011

The Arrogant Butcher, Phoenix, Ariz., CityScape - AZ Business Magazine May/June 2011

The Arrogant Butcher Leaves Patrons 
Feeling Welcomed And Satisfied

After dining at enough eateries in my life that have rude waiters and sub-par cuisine, I was wary to spend an evening at a restaurant featuring the word “Arrogant” in its name. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that The Arrogant Butcher dishes out just the right amount of attitude.Arrogant Butcher Bar, CityScape - AZ Business Magazine May/June 2011

The newest of Sam Fox’s creations, The Arrogant Butcher is located in the heart of Downtown Phoenix at CityScape. It’s a hybrid of a neighborhood eatery and an upscale fine-dining venue.  A chalkboard runs alongside one of the restaurant’s walls, including a running “Straw Poll” for who will be Phoenix’s next mayor. Combined with a full bar in the middle of the room and a television broadcasting sporting events, it makes the restaurant feel homey and perfect for co-workers looking for a place to spend happy hour.

In contrast, the dim lighting and quiet booths in another section of the restaurant, as well as private dining rooms toward the back encased in slightly transparent curtains, set an intimate atmosphere for those wishing to conduct an important business meeting.  The restaurant also features a hard-to-miss open kitchen and a wait staff dressed in business casual, never forgetting to ooze the over-the-top confidence that is its namesake.

Refreshingly, despite its name, The Arrogant Butcher’s wait staff is comprised of friendly servers who checked the table my dinner companions and I shared often and seemed genuinely concerned with whether we were satisfied with our meal.  My dinner companions and I kicked off our meal with salumi and prosciutto appetizers served with house-made mustard and crusty bread, as well as a plate of marinated olives, grilled asparagus, roasted almonds and crescenza cheese. I ate a good portion of the salumi and prosciutto, intrigued by how well the zesty mustard and flavorful bread complemented both types of meats. Both the creamy crescenza cheese and juicy grilled asparagus were table favorites.

Before ordering our main courses, our table ordered two salads: one prepared with green apples, beets, arugula, pistachio and gorgonzola vinaigrette and one served with avocado, corn, white asparagus and crab cakes. Both salads met our high expectations. The apple and beet salad satisfied with its variety of flavors, and the savory crab cakes in the other salad were the ideal combination of soft, flaky bread and a warm, crab filling.Arrogant Butcher's Crab Cake “Louie” - AZ Business Magazine May/June 2011

Despite how tasty our appetizers and salads were, the real treat came when our main courses were served. I ordered the crab-stuffed chicken served with spinach, caper berry and lemons. The blend of seafood flavoring and chicken crunch made for a very unique and enjoyable dish. My dinner companions ordered the bone-in dry aged ribeye, served with roasted mushrooms and shallots; the sweet potato tortelli, served with mushrooms, brussels and hazelnuts; and the special of the day, fried chicken and honey biscuits.

The ribeye was one of the best I’ve tried, very tender and flavorful. In fact, I normally eat mine with steak sauce, but the flavor on this one was so fine that none was needed. The table seemed to come to a consensus, though, that the two best dishes were the tortelli and the fried chicken. Now, I have never been a big fan of sweet potatoes, but the tortellis were divine. The subtly sweet and soft inside, served with nuts and mushrooms, was a refreshing change from the typical meat-filled tortelli to which I am accustomed. The fried chicken didn’t want for surprises, either. With the first bite I was hooked. It was prepared in an interesting way with honey-infused skin, making it a slightly sweeter version of the 
American classic.Arrogant Butcher's Blueberry Cheesecake Dessert, CityScape - AZ Business Magazine May/June 2011

Following our main dishes, our table ordered the blueberry cheesecake and warm peanut butter cup desserts, per recommendation of the wait staff. As an avid dessert-eater with a keen sweet tooth, I was impressed. The creamy cheesecake was served in a medium-sized cup with a sweet graham cracker and tart blueberry topping. The peanut butter cup, though, was my personal favorite. The dish consisted of a scoop of chocolate gelato bathed in a warm peanut butter sauce and served with two chocolate peanut butter cookies. It was like having a Reese’s peanut butter cup in melted form.

I would recommend this restaurant to professionals looking for a comfortable restaurant to conduct business, as well as to those visiting the US Airways Center or Chase Field who are looking for a nice place to take friends or loved ones before or after a downtown event.

[stextbox id="grey"]The Arrogant Butcher
2 E. Jefferson St., # 150
(602) 324-8502[/stextbox]

Arizona Business Magazine May/June 2011

Informative Graphics Corporation, Scottsdale, Ariz., Software Company

Scottsdale-Based Software Company Is Growing With Fortune 500 Customers

While other business owners floundered during the recession, Scottsdale software company Informative Graphics Corporation (IGC) maintained firm footing. Now, as the economy is cautiously reinventing itself, IGC has hired seven new employees and has four positions waiting to be filled.  For a company with 80 employees, that’s nearly a 10 percent increase in size in a single quarter.

The story of IGC’s inception began in an average company parking lot in 1990. Co-founders Gary Heath and Martin Davis spent four hours bouncing ideas off one another; ideas focused on creating a type of software that would aid in viewing documents of different file formats.

The more they discussed the company, the more they realized they had the ability to create it.

The next day, the two met in the bedroom of Davis’ daughter and sketched out the company design on her chalkboard. With very little money and no outside loans, the company’s first product, Myriad, was born.

“Marty and I were two software nerds with a product vision, $5,000 in cash, and a whole lot of passion,” Heath says. “We knew very little about running a software product business when we started.

“If I was advising those two guys now, based on what I know today experience-wise, I’d say you just don’t have a chance,” he continues. “Naiveté really played to our advantage. We believed we could do it.”

Money from side consulting projects was invested and reinvested into the fledgling company. As the company grew, the profits were funneled back into the company. Along with this basic strategy and a desire to learn from others, IGC flourished and added more software technology in file sharing, annotation, redaction and content publishing to its list of products.

“What made (the company) work was getting the gracious advice from others with (expertise in) sales, management, marketing, public relations, etc.,” Heath says.  “We figured that if someone asked us about software, they would be fools not to take our advice (being nerds and all).

“The same logic held for the stuff we didn’t know much about; we thought we would be fools not to follow their advice, no matter how crazy it seemed at the time.”

As the company grew larger, Davis and Heath went their separate ways in the late ‘90s.

“Marty wanted more of a lifestyle company and I felt, as a technology company, we had to continue to grow,” Heath says. “So, as the company hired more employees, Marty left to start his own consulting business.”

Since then, the company has grown substantially. More than one-fifth of IGC’s customers are Fortune 500 companies. Heath stresses the importance of a quality staff to a company’s success.

“The secret sauce for every company is its people,” Heath says.  “IGC became a company because two guys had a vision. It became successful because a whole lot of people (our employees) executed that vision through responsiveness to customers and partners and innovation. They are the ones that really made, and continue to make (the company) successful.”

As part of the company’s latest integration with Microsoft SharePoint, two of IGC’s newest employees are former Microsoft employees, Deidra Jow and Doug Skinner.

“What makes really great companies is finding qualified people who have a great skill set, but will also marry well into the culture of the business,” Heath says. “We interviewed a bunch of people and took them through various scenarios relevant to the culture of our company.”

So what’s next for this growing computer software company?

“We’re looking into using our technology for the redaction of medical records,” Heath says. “We’re looking to establish partnerships and bring more software into the health care industry.”

Informative Graphics Corporation

      4835 E. Cactus Rd, Suite 445
      Scottsdale, Arizona 85254

Mommy Makeover - Scottsdale Living May/June 2011

Mommy Makeover Procedure Helps Mothers Lose Their ‘Baby Fat’

Mothers may love their little ones’ baby fat, but they tend to cringe at the thought of the fat their babies give them. That’s why women are waving goodbye to pregnancy plump and saying hello to taut tummies and va-va-voom curves — with Mommy Makeovers, one of the more popular plastic surgery trends to hit Scottsdale.

According to Dr. Robert Cohen, who owns the Scottsdale Center for Plastic Surgery, Mommy Makeover is a series of plastic surgeries that address areas of the body related to pregnancy, almost always including the breasts and torso. These surgeries include breast augmentation, breast lift, tummy tuck, liposuction and thigh lift.

The combination of surgeries a patient receives depends on the woman’s individual needs, Cohen says.

After losing 100 pounds in one year following the birth of her two sons, one recent patient, who asked not to be named, opted to undergo breast implants, a breast lift, a tummy tuck, and liposuction in the stomach, hips and thighs.

“I knew that I did not desire to have any more children,” she says. “I wanted to physically be able to enjoy my life — to go to the water park with my kids.

“After losing weight naturally, (my family and friends) were very supportive of the surgery. It was almost like my reward for going through the difficulty and the self-discipline of dieting and exercising.”

While these surgeries are not new, Mommy Makeovers allow a woman to undergo several procedures in one day, instead of through multiple visits.

Cohen says the advantages of having multiple surgeries in one day include convenience and lower costs, since the patient only needs to undergo anesthesia once and there are no duplicated operation fees. There is also less risk in going under anesthesia a single time, as well as the benefit of seeing the end result instantly instead of incrementally.
“When patients get their surgeries in one day, there is a greater chance that they will have instant gratification,” Cohen says.

Of course, there are also risk factors involved with having multiple plastic surgeries in a single day. According to Cohen, the longer a patient is in surgery, the chance of risks increases. Some of the risks associated with these procedures, though uncommon, include infection, bleeding into inner body pockets, tightened tissue around implants and blood clots.

Cohen says, Mommy Makeovers typically cost between $12,000 and $25,000, although prices range dramatically due to the variety of surgeries offered, and from doctor to doctor.

In Cohen’s office, the costs of surgery can be eased through financial services and plans. The office works with CareCredit, a medical and dental financing company, to find workable payment plans for patients who can reasonably afford the surgeries they desire.

The age of Mommy Makeover patients ranges from early 20s to mid-60s, according to Cohen. However, the most common age group is women in their late 20s to mid-40s.

Ideal candidates for this surgery are those who do not plan on having any more children, as tummy tucks can be affected after additional pregnancies and previous scar tissue, Cohen says.

So far, the surgery package has been a hit in Cohen’s office.

“Patients will come in very self-conscious, won’t get into bathing suits and won’t go to the pool,” Cohen says. “Afterwards, we get pictures of them on vacation in Hawaii, taking surf lessons, trying on clothes they could never fit into before; we hear stories of how relationships have improved. It’s not a life-or-death surgery, but it’s a quality-of-life surgery.”

For more information about Mommy Makeovers, visit

[stextbox id="grey"]

Scottsdale Center for Plastic Surgery

5410 N. Scottsdale Road
Suite A-500
Paradise Valley, AZ, 85253
(602) 702-5380[/stextbox]

Valley Partnership, AZRE Magazine May/June 2011

Valley Partnership: Ben Shunk, Adolfson & Peterson Construction

Ben Shunk, senior project manager for Adolfson & Peterson Construction, was first attracted to Valley Partnership when he learned about its Community Project Committee.

Six years later, he remains active in all aspects of the organization, and is finding career success in its networking opportunities.

“(Valley Partnership) has helped me in my career because it’s a local organization where people who are trying to make a difference in the commercial industry as a whole can meet,” Shunk says. “This includes architects, developers, contractors, engineers, subcontractors, city personnel, attorneys — basically everyone who touches the private and public real estate industry.”

Shunk hasn’t lost his passion for community service, though, and served as chairman of the Community Project Committee in 2010.

The project Shunk spearheaded was with Phoenix Day, one of three day care facilities in South Phoenix. The team spent the first Saturday in November renovating the facility’s courtyard playground.

Shunk says he believes that was his single best experience with Valley Partnership.

“Even though it was a tough year for the economy, we had a great group of committee members, and it turned out to be an amazing project even in the tough economy,” he says.

Shunk adds that he is proud to be a part of Valley Partnership because he believes the organization serves a vital purpose in real estate, calling it “the voice of industry professionals.”

“If there are issues that the industry is passionate about, (members) can have a voice and an impact,” he says. “If it wasn’t for an organization like Valley Partnership, I don’t think those opinions would be heard.”

Shunk says he has high hopes for the real estate industry after a difficult few years, adding that “2010 was a little rough for everyone. We’re seeing a lot of momentum for 2011.”

For more information about Ben Shunk and Adolfson & Peterson Construction, visit

AZRE Magazine May/June 2011

Top Six Glee Covers

Top 7 “Glee” Covers

It’s no wonder why Glee is such a wildly popular show. It combines the hilarious comedic talent of actors like Jane Lynch and Heather Morris with deliciously unrealistic portrayals of high school life (i.e. a cheer coach regularly getting away with abusing students).

Oh, not to mention that some of the most beloved pop songs, rock anthems and show tunes of all time are featured in each episode. In fact, the Glee cast now has more than 110 hit singles to its name — more than any other artist or group in history!

The only bewildering aspect of the whole thing is why it took producers so long to create a musical television show.

So, in ode to the genius that is Glee, I have compiled a list of the top seven Glee covers every music lover should know about. And, as a side note, let’s just say this wasn’t easy (I mean, I find myself buying at least one song from every episode off iTunes).


“Don’t Stop Believin’”

This Journey cover is just a given. It has basically become the television show’s theme song. Any Glee cover list would feel incomplete without mentioning the song that kicked off the craze.

Aired at the end of the pilot episode, the song features a duet between Rachel (Lea Michele) & Finn (Cory Monteith) and gives the audience a solid taste of the magic to come in following episodes and seasons.


“Forget You”

The theatrical style that guest star Gwyneth Paltrow (as substitute teacher Holly Holliday) lends to this already-solid Cee Lo song is what makes it so spectacular. Not to mention her funky, fun dance moves; anybody else catch the robot in there? Listen for the part where she sings, “Why? WHY?” infusing her acting ability into the music.


“Umbrella/Singin’ in the Rain”

Every once in a while, Glee will artistically combine two completely different songs, normally of competing genres, into one epic creation in what is termed a “mash-up.” This mash-up covers Rihanna’s hit song “Umbrella” and “Singin’ in the Rain,” a song made popular by Gene Kelly in the movie of the same title. Glee’s version features Holly Holliday and Mr. Schuester (Matthew Morrison).

The brilliant part of this mash-up is how so entirely opposite the original two songs are but how they fit so beautifully together, sounding as if they were made to be written as one. And who doesn’t love the creative choreography in the performance?


“This is a Man’s World”

Glee is known for covering controversial issues in its episodes. In its first season, queen bee cheerleader Quinn (Dianna Agron) becomes pregnant. Her raw, soulful rendition of James Brown’s “This is a Man’s World” is one of the most under-appreciated songs from the television show. Notice the part where she rasps, “But it would have been nothin’, NOTHIN’, without a woman, or a girl.”


“Teenage Dream”

Die hard fans were a little wary of The Warblers to begin with. I mean, they stole Kurt away from New Directions! Wariness turned to intrigue when The Warblers’ first song on the series went big, taking on the popular song “Teenage Dream” by Katy Perry. Within the first few seconds, though, the harmonizing “dum dum dum”‘s and Blaine’s (Darren Criss) lead vocals had won fans over. We’re still in love with this all-boy a capella choir.


“Time Warp”

This cover of the wildly energetic song from The Rocky Horror Picture Show was marvelously redone in the second season of Glee. Pay special attention to when Kurt (Chris Colfer) starts the song off in an eery, monotone narration and Quinn lends her sweet vocals in a featured solo.


“Sweet Caroline”

When bad boy Puck (Mark Salling) reveals his endearing singing voice in this Neil Diamond cover, hearts all over America melted. Not to mention how cute he looks serenading Rachel — one of the most pleasantly surprising moments of the show so far.

With Glee now performing some original songs on its shows, beginning with the Regionals episode appropriately titled “Original Song” on March 15, 2011, there may soon be reason to create a “Top Seven Glee Original Songs” list.