Author Archives: Isabelle Novak

Isabelle Novak

About Isabelle Novak

Isabelle Novak is a journalism student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. Her interests include editorial writing and public relations in the journalism field.

ASU Parasol

ASU – A SUstainable School

Arizona State University’s campus ahead of the class for sustainable innovation

Sustainability has become a top priority for new architectural developments in Arizona. Architects understand the necessity of sustainably efficient buildings for these changing times.

Not only do these building save money and resources, but pave the future’s way with minimal environmental harm. In other words, sustainable buildings fulfill both short and long-term requirements for the most effective architecture.

Arizona State University’s campus prides itself in sustainable innovation. With accelerated actions and transformative approaches, ASU serves as a representative of what modern architecture should be.

The university runs all campus activities in an environmentally-conscious manner, and achievements are continually recognized as being top of the line.

Every newly constructed ASU building since 2005 has been certified LEED Silver or higher. Currently, the school has 36 LEED Silver or better certified buildings. The Biodesign Institute in Tempe is the first LEED Platinum certified building in Arizona.

“There’s a governor’s executive order that mandates that we install buildings that achieve at least LEED Silver,” says David Brixen, vice president of Facilities Development and Management at ASU. “But in addition to that, our president made the same commitment that it’s our goal for every building to achieve LEED Silver. In many cases, we’ve exceeded that.”

ASU GIOSThe Princeton Review recently named ASU one of the nation’s “greenest” universities, along with giving the highest number of Green Rating tallies. Just 16 other universities obtained this perfect score.

ASU is also ranked in the top 25 of SIERRA magazine’s “Coolest Schools” as one of the greenest campuses in the nation.

Additionally, the university was one of just 22 institutions out of 117 to receive a STARS® Gold rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

“The most effective and the most important sustainability project on our campus is solarization,” Brixen says.”

Solar panel systems have been installed at various locations on multiple campuses. More than 50 sites now have these solar systems. More than 13 megawatts of systems are currently established, with 16 soon to come as a result of construction on the Polytechnic Campus. The goal is to eventually reach 20 megawatts.

ASU also excels in recycling and waste reduction.

“We have lofty goals in our recycling program as well,” Brixen says. “We have a goal to be ‘zero solid waste’ by 2015. The students will play a major role in going forward and achieving that success.”

Accomplishments range from recycling plans so successful that recycling receptacles are emptied more frequently than trash, to a composting program that turns landscaping waste into useful mulch. ASU dining strives to be sustainable through tray-less meals and recyclable products.

Sustainability is not only a practice at ASU, but a lifestyle.

“We expect all staff members to be active participants in sustainability at work,” Brixen explains.

The Sustainability Literacy Education online program was launched last year. This interactive program is available to everyone in the ASU community. It provides examples of sustainable practices at ASU, the university’s sustainable goals, and how to engage in sustainable support at the school. This program also provides facts on sustainability to employees in order to help them fulfill their yearly work-performance evaluations. Completion certificates have been awarded to 243 employees to date.

ASU understands the importance of sustainable building for the future, and continues to influence other establishments in terms of solar energy innovation. The community benefits from the university’s environmentally-conscious practices.

“When they see it, they’re impressed with how far we’ve come with solar energy,” Brixen said. “We’ve played a significant leadership role in the solar movement in Arizona.”

Brixen hopes to see sustainable attitudes trickle down to the student body, since their influence is imperative to the university’s future. The university’s School of Sustainability is the first in the nation. Here, students earn bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees and apply their knowledge to help global issues.

“Sustainability has been engrained into the university’s culture now,” Brixen says. “It’s important for the university to walk the talk.”

With national recognition for sustainable practices, a School of Sustainability and solar power innovation, ASU has achieved enormous success in keeping up with the environment’s needs. Its goal is to be “carbon neutral” by 2015 — meaning, no waste will be left behind.

Architecutral Achievements - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011

Architectural Achievements – Arizona's Centennial

Arizona’s Architectural Achievements

Masterpieces of style and design have graced Arizona’s diverse landscape for the past 100 years.

Maybe it’s the year-round beautiful weather, or perhaps the diversity of the state itself. No matter the reason, Arizona has undeniably mastered architectural innovation and splendor.

Over the past 100 years, buildings of every purpose and design have decorated city skylines and added artistic elements to the already magnificent desert. Achieving both visual superiority and sustainability, architectural achievements in Arizona range from remote chapels to huge office complexes. AZRE’s Centennial Series celebrates the end of commemorating the past 100 years by honoring these truly remarkable accomplishments.

Sandra Day O’Connor U.S. Courthouse
Architect: Richard Meier
Year: 2000

The Sandra Day O’Connor U.S. Courthouse is hard to miss with a six-story wall of glass splendor. The courthouse’s drum-shaped special proceedings courtroom follows the glass trend with a circular-lens ceiling. This modern architectural achievement reflects a monochrome and sleek style of construction. Most impressively, the courthouse integrates an innovative cooling system in order for climate control. This evaporative system brings outside air into the atrium and under the roof, where it travels to the courthouse block.

Architectural Achievements - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011Burton Barr Library
Architect: Bruder and DWL Architects
Year: 1995

With 280,000 SF distributed over five levels, the Burton Barr Library is a grand sight. Unique architectural touches throughout the library are influenced by both nature and trends in global design. The building’s shape is inspired by Monument Valley’s scenic beauty, with a curving copper mesa split by a stainless steel canyon. A spacious atrium with nine skylights known as The Crystal Canyon allows for the flow of natural sunlight. Shade sails fashioned by sail makers in Maine and accents of bright blue Venetian plaster establish a one-of-a-kind feel for visitors. A “floating ceiling” suspended by cables over the Great Reading Room creates a special ambience that cannot be replicated.

Architectural Achievements - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011Taliesin West
Architect: Frank Lloyd Wright
Year: 1937

Famous for his fusion of artistic beauty and practical functionality, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West is no exception. Originally designed as Wright’s winter home, studio and architectural campus, Taliesin West is headquarters for the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. Located in northeast Scottsdale, it brings life and light to the foothills with an integration of indoor and outdoor spaces. Dramatic terraces, gardens and walkways overlooking the Sonoran Desert connect all parts of Taliesin West in a scenic fashion. As the sun sets and nighttime approaches, its structures are lit from within to produce a breathtakingly luminous effect.

Architectural Achievements - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011Luhrs Building
Architect: Trost & Trost
Year: 1924

Located in Downtown Phoenix, the 10-story Luhrs Building was designed by the El Paso architectural firm Trost & Trost. Following its construction, the top four floors were reserved for the Arizona Club, including a dining room, lounges, bedrooms and other conveniences for members. It provided space for the Arizona Club until 1971. Floors below were leased as office space. The building is uniquely L-shaped and covered with brown brick on its exterior. Elaborate marble detailing decorates the uppermost two floors, and a heavy cornice sets off the top. The Luhrs Building continues to be one of Downtown Phoenix’s most memorable buildings, and serves as a landmark for the city’s past.

Architectural Achievements - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011The Arizona Biltmore
Architect: Albert Chase McArthur
Year: 1929

Crowned “The Jewel of the Desert,” the Arizona Biltmore is the sole existing hotel to have a Frank Lloyd Wright-influenced design. Upon its construction, the hotel represented luxury and extravagance. A geometric pattern in the building resembling a palm tree, fine furniture, carpets and murals are some of the Biltmore’s defining amenities. Constant renovations and additions, including a 20,000 SF spa, have kept the hotel an oasis for celebrities, politicians and world travelers. It recently received the Urban Land Institute’s “Heritage Award of Excellence” for architectural superiority as well as overall quality of service.

Architectural Achievements - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011Chapel of the Holy Cross
Architect: Anshen & Allen
Year: 1956

This spiritual structure serves as a landmark not only in Sedona, but for all of Arizona. Marguerite Bruswig Staude was inspired to design a place of worship as thanks to her creator. After traveling to Europe with her husband in hope of finding the ideal place, she returned to the U.S. where Sedona’s beauty overtook her. Perched on a twin pinnacle spur jutting out from a 1,000-foot wall of rock, the Chapel sits surrounded by red mountains. The Chapel has been maintained by the Diocese of Phoenix and St. John Vianney parish since 1969.

Architectural Achievements - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011Farmer Studios
Architect: Architekton
Year: 2004

Farmer Studios continuously proves to be the epitome of a sustainable building. The economical “flex” creates a pedestrian environment between Tempe and the Sunset/Riverside residential area. Every aspect of functionality was taken into consideration with the design. Retail, office and residential studios are all possibilities for this truly flexible space. With a “gravel pave” parking system to reduce the heat island effect, a sunken courtyard for rainwater retention and custom shade devices for sun protection, Farmer Studios is a prototypical example of modern sustainability.

Architectural Achievements - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011Arcosanti
Architect: Paolo Soleri
Year: 1970-present

The experimental town of Arcosanti developed by Paolo Soleri combines architecture and ecology like never before through “arcology.” This innovative project, some 70 miles north of Phoenix, demonstrates ways to improve an urban atmosphere while minimizing environmental damage. Arcosanti is both visually and scientifically impressive, projecting a practical yet unique way of living. Greenhouses in Arcosanti not only provide garden space, but also serve as solar collectors. Apartments, businesses, production, technology, open space and studios are all included in the town, offering a complex and creative environment for visitors.

Architectural Achievements - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011University of Arizona Stevie Eller Dance Theatre
Architect: Gould Evans
Year: 2003

Honored with a 2003 Citation Award from AIA Arizona, the Stevie Eller Dance Theatre is an architectural treasure in Tucson. This 28,600 SF complex on the University of Arizona campus boasts a 300-seat theatre, orchestra pit, an outdoor stage, fly tower and control suite, catwalks and indoor/outdoor lobby, as well as scene and costume shops. A unique glass box located on the second floor functions as a display window to the outdoor campus mall. Dancers’ shadows are visible moving from the catwalk to the dance studio, portraying the importance of movement.

Architectural Achievements - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011Prayer Pavilion of Light
Architect: DeBartalo Architects
Year: 2007

This tranquil chapel welcomes visitors from all over Phoenix. A true “place of light,” the structure is a 2,500 SF glass box bordered by courtyards. Providing extensive views of the city, the chapel appears to glow brightly at night and can be seen from miles away. DeBartalo Architects intentionally isolated the building on a hill to create serenity. The zigzagging path leading to the pavilion is lined with tall steel plates, creating a unique tunnel effect. A reflection pool and enormous steel cross serve as defining features for the Prayer Pavilion of Light, making every visit one of visual superiority.

AZRE Magazine November/December 2011

Arizona Military: Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, AZ Business Magazine November-December 2011

Centennial Series: Arizona Military Milestones

Centennial Series: Arizona Military Milestones

The military has played an enormous role in shaping the first 100 years of Arizona’s history.

Here are some of the Arizona military personalities, places and things that have left their mark on the state’s history:

Lori Piestewa (1979-2003)Arizona Military: Lori Piestewa, AZ Business Magazine November/December 2011

Piestewa was the first Native American woman to die in combat for the United States military and the first woman in the U.S. armed forces killed in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. She was a member of the 507th Maintenance Company whose unit was ambushed. Piestewa was awarded the Purple Heart and Prisoner of War Medal. The army posthumously promoted her from Private First Class to Specialist. Arizona’s state government renamed Squaw Peak in as Piestewa Peak in her honor.

Pat Tillman (1976-2004)Arizona Military: Pat Tillman, AZ Business Magazine November/December 2011

The former Arizona Cardinals football player died while serving in the U.S. Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment in Afghanistan. The Pat Tillman Foundation was established in his honor to support veterans and their families by providing resources and scholarships. Before joining the Cardinals, Tillman was an ASU graduate and star player for the Sun Devils.

Ira Hayes (1923-1955)

Pima Indian Ira Hayes of Sacaton was a World War II soldier in the U.S. Marine Corps. He is one of the six flag raisers depicted in the Iwo Jima Memorial in Washington D.C. The Ira Hayes Memorial Park in Sacaton was established in his honor.

Barry Goldwater (1909-1998)

During WWII, Goldwater joined the U.S. Air Force as a pilot assigned to the Ferry Command, a unit that flew aircraft and supplies globally. He flew overseas between the U.S. and India, later contributing to the development of the United States Air Force Academy. He remained in the reserves after the war and retired as a command pilot with the rank of Major General. The Barry M. Goldwater Range in Yuma was named in his honor.

John McCain

The U.S. Senator served 22 years in the military after graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy. He became a naval aviator, flying ground-attack aircraft from aircraft carriers. During the Vietnam War, he was almost killed in the 1967 USS Forrestal fire. In October 1967, while on a bombing mission over Hanoi, he was shot down, seriously injured, and captured by the North Vietnamese. He was a prisoner of war until 1973, and was beaten and denied adequate medical treatment. McCain retired from the Navy in 1981, and was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross and the Purple Heart.

USS Arizona (BB-39)

Arizona Military: USS Arizona, AZ Business Magazine November/December 2011Launched June 19, 1915, the USS Arizona was the second and last of the Pennsylvania class of “super-dreadnought” battleships. Arizona served stateside during World War I. The ship is mostly remembered because of its sinking, with the loss of 1,177 lives, during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the event that provoked the United States into entering World War II. A memorial was dedicated May 30, 1962 as part of the Pacific National Monument.

Navajo Code Talkers

They participated in every assault the U.S. Marines conducted in the Pacific from 1942-1945. Navajo code talkers served in all six Marine divisions, transmitting messages in a code that the Japanese were unable to break. The complexity of the Navajo language made for an ideal and indecipherable code.


The “Bushmasters” of the South Pacific was the Arizona National Guard unit that gained fame in WWII. It battled Apache Indians, Spaniards, Germans and Japanese over a 102-year period. The group was originally formed from a collection of five companies that defended Arizona territory from Apache Indians.

Military technology

Arizona Military: Apache Longbow Helicopter - AZ Business Magazine November/December 2011Arizona has made a name for itself when it comes to innovation in military technology. The Apache Longbow, produced by Boeing in Mesa, is the world’s most advanced combat helicopter. Lockheed Martin in Goodyear is a global company that provides aerospace technology worldwide. The manufacturing and integration of spacecraft hardware, software and ground-support equipment is provided by Spectrum Astro, located in Gilbert. Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson is awarded military contracts worth millions of dollars annually. General Dynamics C4 Systems in Scottsdale routinely earns military communications contracts, also in the millions of dollars.

Military bases

Air Force

Luke Air Force Base Arizona Military: F16 Fighting Falcon, AZ Business Magazine November/December 2011

Located in Maricopa County, Luke employs more than 8,000 personnel and covers 4,200 acres. It is home to the largest fighter wing in the world, the 56th Fighter Wing. It is also the largest and only active-duty F-16 Fighting Falcon training base in the world.

Davis-Monthan Air Force Base

Located in Tucson, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base is home to the A-10 Thunderbolt II, more commonly known as the “Warthog.” The A-10 was used in combat for the first time during the Gulf War in 1991, destroying more than 900 Iraqi tanks, 2,000 military vehicles, and 1,200 artillery pieces.

Williams Air Force Base

This former base in Mesa allowed more than 26,500 men and women to earn their wings. It broke ground for its Advanced Flying School on July 16, 1941. Williams Air Force Base closed in 1993, resulting in the loss of $300 million in annual economic activity. It reopened in 1984 as a regional, commercial airport known as Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.


Fort Huachuca

Home of the U.S. Army Intelligence Center and U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command in Sierra Vista, Fort Huachuca was declared a national landmark in 1976. It is the headquarters of the Army Military Affiliate Radio System, Joint Interoperability Test Command and Electronic Proving Ground.


Yuma Marine Corps Air Station

This air station specializes in air-to-ground aviation training for U.S. and NATO forces. In 1990, almost every Marine that participated in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm trained at Yuma. The Tactical Aircrew Combat Training System was added to provide realistic combat training electronically.


Arizona Business Magazine November-December 2011


ShopTab, Coca Cola's Facebook Store

ShopTab Offers Retail Innovation

Social networking has become the ultimate platform for business development. In order to excel in growth, companies turn to these sites as outlets for promotion and customer feedback. ShopTab, a “Facebook Store” founded by Arizona residents Bret Giles and Jay Feitlinger, allows businesses to conveniently sell their products through the Facebook website.

With thousands of store owners in more than 50 countries, 40 currency options and an impressively low cost, customers use ShopTab as an answer to modern retail strategies.

“Whether you’re a person or a business, if you want to have a transaction, we provide a commerce engine to do that,” says Kevin Gralen, president of ShopTab.

Gralen explains how the product is unique to typical social network investments, as it provides an ROI, or return on investment. ShopTab allows businesses to utilize social media to its fullest potential by providing an outlet for substantial revenue.

Gaining a 40 percent store increase since June 2011, ShopTab proves to be a successful resource for clients looking to expand. With the international growth of Facebook itself, ShopTab has expanded internationally as well.

Whereas a year ago, most of the business was U.S.-centric, this month probably 40 percent will be U.S. and 60 percent will be the rest of the world,” Gralen says.

Aside from the focus on international growth, partnering with other companies has contributed to the success of ShopTab.

“We have a partnership with a company called ProStores, which is owned by eBay,” Gralen says. “Their customers can click a couple of buttons and immediately start a Facebook Store.”

ShopTab receives the most traction through these business strategies. Two additional partners have been signed in the past few weeks, also contributing to the growth of international connections.

Because ShopTab is established through Facebook, Gralen notes the importance of maintaining the social media appeal through blog posts and Twitter. Video content creation is also coming into play, which will demonstrate marketing suggestions for clients. ShopTab is not only for selling, but promoting businesses socially.

Clients experience different results with ShopTab, and Gralen encourages businesses to test the social networking waters before fully committing.

“The ones that get the result are the ones that invest in building their fans and their social presence,” Gralen says.

If your company has yet to establish a fan base, social networking skills and relatively consistent sales, ShopTab might not be useful just yet.

“When they’re socially savvy, they love what we have,” Gralen says.

With that being said, some smaller companies have also excelled through the use of ShopTab. In fact, some case studies have been established to determine the most efficient ways of helping smaller clients.

The success and exponential growth of ShopTab serves as a model for other entrepreneurs interested in reaching their company goals. Gralen encourages others to thoroughly understand their business model before moving forward. Everything from the value of your products to the transaction value for your clients should be considered.

He also stresses the importance of an open mind when starting a business. Take into account customer feedback and suggestions. Much of the ShopTab application has changed due to valuable client input.

Entrepreneurs have great ideas, but customers usually give you the best feedback,” Gralen says.

Based on its own customer feedback, ShopTab will soon establish sales resources for real estate agents and property managers as well.

For more information about ShopTab, please visit

 ShopTab, Barneys New York Facebook Store  ShopTab, Coca Cola Facebook Store