Author Archives: Kelly Church

About Kelly Church

Kelly is a journalism and English secondary education student at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Ariz. She grew up in Oak Park, CA, a small community just north of Los Angeles. She loves to read and write and hopes to get hired at a magazine publication after college. Kelly loves to write about people who better the lives of other individuals and communities. "There are powerful stories everywhere just waiting to be written about, and I can't wait to write about them!"

2013 Ford Fusion, Photo: Kelly Church

Ford Introduces Environmentally Sustainable 2013 Ford Fusion

Ford Motor Company is revamping its 2013 Ford Fusion model to be as environmentally friendly as possible, utilizing natural materials that will hopefully provide a cheaper, more efficient and comfortable ride.

The 2013 Ford Fusion will be made of more sustainable materials, including soy beans, denim and plastic bottles, and more than 85 percent of the vehicle will be recyclable at the end of its life cycle.

“We are holistic in reducing our environmental footprint by utilizing post-industrial (blue jeans), post-consumer (battery cases) and sustainable materials technologies (soy foam),” says Carrie Majeske, Ford product sustainability manager.

Each Fusion uses denim material that is equal to a little more than two average-sized pairs of jeans as part of its noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) control. This sound-absorbing material will help eliminate road, wind and powertrain noise.

Fusion’s cloth seats go even further by using the equivalent of 38.9 recycled, 16-ounce plastic bottles. The foam in the seat cushions, seat backs and head restraints is made from soy-based material that averages about 31,250 soybeans. Ford first used this idea in its 2007 Mustang.

Ford is also making an effort to save post-consumer materials, like car battery casings, from ending up in landfills by using the plastic in fender splash shields and other underbody components.

Ford is attempting to continue to knock other fuel-efficient vehicles out of the running by anticipating up to 37 mpg highway.

The new model will also come equipped with driver assistance technology such as a lane-keeping system that gently vibrates the wheel when it senses the driver starting to veer into other lanes. The Fusion will have adaptive cruise control, that will sense when the driver is approaching another vehicle and auto-adjust the cruise control to slow down. The car can also assist in parallel parking.

The focus, though, remains on the sustainability of the vehicle.

“We are so dedicated to the cause of sustainability,” says Dr. Ellen Lee of the Plastics Research Group, F.M.C. “Our team works hard to see how vehicles can be more sustainable inside and out.”

Majeske adds: “We do whatever makes the most sense for each application and environmentally from a life-cycle perspective. These are the steps our customers can appreciate; they are cost-effective and they are better — in the long run — for our planet.”

For more information about the 2013 Ford Fusion, visit ford.com.


View photos from the Ford Fusion Meets Fusion event:

On August 15, Ford Motor Company hosted an exclusive preview event for the all-new 2013 Ford Fusion at the Sub-Zero/Wolf Showroom in Scottsdale. At the “Ford Fusion Meets Fusion” preview and cooking event, Chef Josh Hebert, owner of Posh Restaurant in Scottsdale, provided cooking demonstrations of Fusion-inspired creations featuring some of the sustainable ingredients found in Ford vehicles like soybeans, wheat, coconuts and dandelion greens.

2013 Ford Fusion, Photo: Kelly Church 2013 Ford Fusion, Photo: Kelly Church Chef Hebert, Posh Restaurant, at the Ford Fusion Meets Fusion Event, Photo: Kelly Church
Chef Hebert, Posh Restaurant, at the Ford Fusion Meets Fusion Event, Photo: Kelly Church Chef Hebert, Posh Restaurant, at the Ford Fusion Meets Fusion Event, Photo: Kelly Church
Fall Season Makeup Trends by Mozaik Skin & Body

Fall Season Makeup Trends, Tips From Mozaik Skin & Body

We spoke with Natalie Stabb of Mozaik Skin & Body in Scottsdale, who filled us in on the fall season makeup trends.


Over the past six years, the cosmetics world has seen the return and demise of neutral tones, lipsticks, pastels, cat eyes, matte foundation, smokey greys, blush and colored eye shadows.

BB Beauty Balm, Photo: sephora.comCoincidentally, Natalie Stabb of Mozaik Skin & Body in Scottsdale has been working in this field during this same period of time. So, she may know a thing or two about the upcoming fall season makeup trends.

According to Stabb, one item in particular to keep your eye out for is BB Beauty Balm. This “skin perfecting balm” seems to be a popular item found in the cosmetic bags of many.

“It gives full coverage but also helps with fine lines, wrinkles and helps smooth out skin,” Stabb says. “It is still a bit of a natural look.”

Brown, smokey eyes by Mozaik Skin & BodyBrown, smokey eyes are also big for the fall, as opposed to the aforementioned smokey grey. Stabb says this one is her favorite.

“You could do it in the daytime and go a little more dramatic for night,” she says. “Everyone can go with smokey eyes. It can go on a young person or an older person. It can be matte or bronze.”

Next on her list are jewel tones for the eyes. This includes amethysts, plums, navies and, especially, aqua shades.

Jewel Tones for Eyes = Fun & Flirty, Photo: Mozaik Skin & Body“Jewel tones are fun,” Stabb says. “There are no ‘rules’ when it comes to makeup, so people should play with them to find a look or color that they are comfortable with.”

For someone who is new to applying makeup or for those looking to try something new, Stabb suggests choosing a color that contrasts the eyes. For instance, use copper for blue eyes, and green hues for brown eyes. Stabb says plum shades are extremely universal and can go with any eye color; just pick the right shade for you.

BB "Beauty Balm" = Dewy & Natural, Photo: Mozaik Skin & BodyFor the work conscious, Stabb says jewel tones can even be worn in a professional environment. She suggests blending them with a neutral tone and using a small amount. Or, try it as a liner.

“One of my favorite tricks is to do a really natural eye shadow and line it with a thick black liner, then just put a little metallic jewel tone shadow of liner in the corners,” Stabb says.

Keeping with the color theme, colored mascara is also on Stabb’s list of trends for the fall season. She suggests trying it on your whole eye as well as accompanied with your favorite black mascara. Try putting black on and using the colored mascara on the tips.

Brown Smokey Eye + Natural Lips = Smoldering & Sexy, Photo: Mozaik Skin & BodyTo top off your new, trendy fall look, use a bold color for your lips. And we aren’t talking about the bright-red trend that was so popular in the spring and summer seasons.

“Try using deep reds and deep plums,” Stabb says. “It’s a vamp look.”

She advises people with fair skin tones to choose a brick- or berry-red shade. For those with medium skin tones, try burgundy or maroon. If you have dark skin tones, stick to wines and browns.

Eminence Organic Beauty collection, Photo: us.eminenceorganics.comStabb recommends the Eminence Organic Beauty collection for cosmetics, especially for those dealing with the intense Arizona heat.

“This is a brand new concept for Eminence,” Stabb says. “Our customers have been waiting a long time for this and have ‘fallen’ in love!”

Ultimately, Stabb says makeup is for playing and experimenting. Try many different looks and find out what works for you.

For more information about fall season makeup trends and/or Mozaik Skin & Body, visit mozaikskin.com.

YouFit in Scottsdale, Photo: YouFit Health Clubs

YouFit Health Clubs Take A New Approach To Fitness

Upon walking into the newly opened YouFit Health Club in Scottsdale, I was taken back. All it took was for me to open the door to know this place was unlike any other gym I had ever been in.

With a bright green and purple color scheme, the gym seems ideal for people, like me, who get bored of staring at white walls while they cycle away on a stationary bike. Something about having more to look at kept me motivated.

“We wanted to be different and distinctive,” says Rick Berks, owner of the YouFit franchise, which now has five locations in the Valley, with about five more coming soon. “Part of the goal is to create a non-intimidating environment. The colors lend to that. We aren’t after the bodybuilder guys. If he feels threatened because he sees our lime green equipment, we are okay with that.”

I have to agree with Berks. The vibrancy does create a very non-intimidating environment and no scary bodybuilders were to be found.

In addition, YouFit, which first opened in St. Petersburg, Florida in 2008, has jumped on the environmentally friendly bandwagon — something I greatly appreciate. The lighting and water heaters as efficient as they can be, and the floors are made from old tires and old sneakers, called Nike grind. YouFit is paperless, as well. Berks says these are the kinds of things that ultimately make the gym more financially friendly.

Perhaps the biggest plus to YouFit is the lack of salespeople. Memberships are month-to-month and only $10. Berks says the gym sells itself, but if you ask me, the price and the lack of salesmen at the door is what sells it. The gym manages to keep their price point so low by eliminating things that standard gyms have that few members actually use. These wasted amenities include basketball courts and swimming pools that take up space, time, maintenance and, therefore, money.

Once I actually got into the gym and started exploring, I loved it even more. To be frank, it was clean and didn’t smell. To me, that’s huge. The equipment was nicely spaced out and organized. I didn’t feel confused when I was looking for the leg press in a mess of machines. There weren’t free weights lying on the floor in areas that weren’t dedicated to said weights.

I was in the building around 2 p.m. on a Friday afternoon. I didn’t have to wait for a single machine nor did I feel the need to scoot over several inches to get away from the person next to me. I can’t say it is always like this in there, but I do believe that it would take a lot more people for it to be considered “crowded” in my book.

Lastly, when it comes to gyms, I am a self-proclaimed “germaphobe.” Gyms are the ultimate melting pot of germs. YouFit had automatic bathroom essentials, which only added to my level of comfort. Also, and possibly most important to me, the water fountains were clean. When I refilled my water, I didn’t feel like I was drinking what other people have left behind. It was clean, cold and, again, comforting.

Overall, I would recommend this to my friends. Mostly because you can try it for a month for such a small cost. It’s convenient and it’s how business should be done. It’s evident Berks has created an environment that is focused on customers.

For more information about YouFit Health Clubs, visit youfithealthclubs.com.

YouFit
4827 E. Greenway Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85254
(602) 732-4022

Creating a Monsoon-Proof Hairstyle, Photos: Kelly Church

How To Create A Monsoon-Proof Hairstyle

Monsoon season really has a way of wrecking the hard work us ladies put into our hair every morning. All the extra moisture in the air creates a frizzy, dry, unmanageable and unacceptable look that no woman wants to rock throughout her day and night. The humidity causes the hair strands to expand and lose its smooth shape, creating the unwanted frizzyness.

Co-owner of Fuchsia Spa, Lisa Vukonich, and stylist Michelle Long have come up with a monsoon-proof hairstyle to help women combat the undesirable look. Here’s what you do:

Step 1 Shampoo hair and follow with a frizz corrector while the hair is still wet to help control fly-aways. Vuckonich suggests Alterna’s Bamboo Silk Sleek Brilliance Cream for women with hair that has a slight, natural wave to it. For women with less of a natural wave and fewer fly-aways, she suggests Alterna’s Bamboo Smooth Frizz-Correcting Styling Lotion. Then condition hair as normal.
Step 2 Blow-dry straight, starting as close to the roots as possible.
Step 3 Use a root-lifting foam on the dry hair. Vuckonich suggests Alterna’s Bamboo Uplifting Root Blast (a product her clients rave about).
Step 4 Use a texturizing mist. Vuckonich suggests Alterna’s Bamboo Boho Waves Tousled Texture Mist.
Step 5 Heat up the curling iron. The iron that was used in this look is the Goody Wave Creator Curling Iron.
Step 6 monsoon-proof hairstyleSeparate sections of hair into about one-inch sections. Vuckonich says you can use hairspray before you curl it to help the curl take a little easier. She suggests Aquage Finishing Spray because it has a good hold but allows you to continue to work with it.
Step 7 monsoon-proof hairstyleTake your sections of hair and wrap them around the barrel, leaving out an inch or so of hair from the clip so it doesn’t get a curl. Vuckonich says this will allow the hair to expand when humidity rises during monsoon season. A curl to the tips of the hair will not allow for this.
Step 8 Continue around the head, spraying with hairspray as you go.
Step 9 When all the hair has been curled, rub a texturizing balm in the palms of your hand and run it through your hair, breaking up the curls. If the balm is too thick for your hair, Long says you can use a serum to break it up.
Step 10 If you love it so much and want to keep it for the next day or two, Vuckonich recommends using Alterna’s Bamboo Style Cleanse Extend Dry Shampoo to absorb the oil on your scalp. Use in the main areas around your face and at your part line where oil tends to be heavier. Vuckonich says dry shampoo can be tricky, so remember less is more!

Fuschia Spa staffVuckonich is part owner of Fuchsia, a salon and spa in Mesa. She recommends Alterna products, a line she carries at her salon, because they are paraben, gluten and phosphate free. Long has been a hairstylist since 2008.

For more information about Fuschia, visit fuchsiaspa.com.

Overture Judith Leiber

Overture Judith Leiber Handbag Collection For The "Self-Expressive, Urban Girl"

Judith Leiber, an iconic brand in the world of fashion for luxury handbags, is launching its first contemporary handbag collection in August.Overture Judith Leiber

The new collection will be titled Overture Judith Leiber and will offer a more affordable line of handbags to the market.

Leiber originally used the term “overture” in the 1980s to describe the initial price point she had in mind for her collections.Overture Judith Leiber The corporation’s current Creative Director, Jana Matheson, felt 2012 was the ideal time to revisit this idea of “overture” handbags.

“As the contemporary market booms, it seemed like the perfect time to take our mastery of the evening bag into a different price point,” Matheson says. “We see the generations reaching for these bags and we wanted to create something special and fresh for the self-expressive, urban girl.”Overture Judith Leiber

The collection aims to offer red-carpet style while remaining true to a girl’s fashion needs seven days a week.

The new collection features 31 items, including minaudieres, clutches and cross-body bags. The brand focused the style around clean silhouettes enhanced by animal prints, foil treatments embossed pythons and over-sized locks.

Overture Judith Leiber“All the elements are a nod to Mrs. Leiber’s love for exotic skins, and a twist of whimsy, with the dramatized ornaments,” Matheson says.

Without sacrificing style, Overture Judith Leiber’s price point has been brought down, retailing at $295-$995.

For more information on Overture Judith Leiber, visit judithleiber.com.

The pARTy, Phoenix Art Museum

Phoenix Art Museum’s pARTy Black-Tie Fundraiser To Dazzle, Delight

The Phoenix Art Museum will be hosting its 7th annual, black-tie fundraising event this November with the pARTy, aptly named for celebrating the art housed in the Museum as well as the lively feel for which the occasion strives.

Initially an event to celebrate the Museum’s grand opening after the completion of a multi-year construction project, the pARTy was such a success, it was turned into an annual fundraising event for the Phoenix Art Museum’s exhibitions and educational programs, which include tours with experts, lectures, festivals, cultural performances and an award-winning film program.

“Over the past six years, an average of 795 individuals have attended the event each year,” says Alesha Corey, head of media relations for the pARTy. “The pARTy has raised more than $9 million.”

Coordinators behind the event have maintained their focus on keeping the pARTy an unsponsored event, only receiving money from those who donate without the influence of personal benefits.

“This is not a typical event as it is not a sponsored event,” Corey adds. “The guests are not buying sponsorship; they are buying tables and donating to the Museum. There are options to underwrite various aspects to the event and those are strictly donations with no benefits attached.”

At the pARTy, attendees can either purchase individual tickets or tables for groups. There are 4 different table options, varying in price from $7,500 to $50,000. Individual tickets range from $750 to $5,000, depending on the table.

The pARTy is also run entirely by volunteers who have taken an interest in the Phoenix Art Museum.

“The Museum has a cadre of eager and outstanding volunteers that work for the Museum in numerous ways,” says Corey. “On the night of the event, there are also staff members that volunteer to work to be part of this huge event for the Museum. For the volunteers that evening, the pARTy is a highlight event of the year.”

Corey has no doubt this year’s event will amaze its guests. She says with the stunning décor, “this year’s black-tie event … promises to dazzle and delight guests.”

For more information on the Phoenix Art Museum and The pARTy, visit phxart.org.

Phoenix Art Museum
1625 N. Central Ave., Phoenix
(602) 257-1222

Tilted Kilt

The Tilted Kilt Continues To Grow, Expand To 100 Locations

The Tilted Kilt is bringing growth and uniqueness to restaurant franchising.


What features an average of 35 50” flat screen televisions, women serving beer in minimal Celtic garb and thrives on being a little skewed?

The Tilted Kilt, of course.

And, the chain has been labeled one of the fastest growing in the nation.

That could be because President Ron Lynch is no stranger to the restaurant franchising business. Being an area developer and franchisee for the last 22 years, he was vital in the creation of Schlotzky’s Deli, opening 106 delis until he was bought out in 2000, with the exception of four locations he still owns. But, it was time for a change, Lynch says.

In October of 2005, he started the Tilted Kilt franchise after buying the concept from Mark DiMartino, Shannon Reilly and John Reynaud.

“It was very different,” Lynch says. “Even in the name ‘Tilted,’ it’s a little tilted.”

At the time, the Tilted Kilt had just one location within the Rio Casino Hotel in Las Vegas. Once Lynch got his hands on the company, it would never be the same, moving the headquarters from Las Vegas to Tempe, where he lives.

Lynch’s goal was to bring something different to the casual dining community.

“People have been chasing each other and copying each other for a while in the casual dining segment,” Lynch says. “Therefore, we had a lot of fallout.

“People would choose between certain restaurants in the casual dining segment because of the side of the street they were on. They didn’t want to turn around and go to the other side because the menus were so similar.”

Lynch admits Tilted Kilt does have similar menu items, but they are striving to be different.

“If somebody says to me, ‘Why don’t you do this because everyone else is doing it?’, that usually probably doesn’t work for me,” Lynch says. “I just say, ‘Well, maybe we don’t want to do it because everyone else is doing it.’”

Lynch adds that what sets them apart from their competitors is their atmosphere that customers want to be in.

“People want more than just hot food and good service,” Lynch says. “They like the atmosphere. They like the whole package.”

He says this is why the eateries focus on being sports bars. They try to ensure that at any seat in the house, customers can see three or four televisions at a time to keep up on all the games they might be interested in.

The television count isn’t the only thing attracting customers either. Tilted Kilt waitresses have brought in many male customers over the years.

Dressed in kilts and coordinating push-up bras, Lynch says the franchise doesn’t shy away from the fact that they use sex appeal. He believes customers expect to see a stripper pole when the walk in the doors of the pub. He insists, though, that is not what his franchise is about.

“We take the tradition from the old world pub,” Lynch says.

Traditional public houses began when families would open up their home to travelers. Fathers would cook and tend the bar while mothers and daughters would wait tables.

While they draw a lot of their inspiration from this old world public house style, they “give it a contemporary twist,” Lynch says, which is putting the company in high demand. Lynch says in the next 12 months, there will probably be 100 pubs open — and not just in the U.S.
Canada has one Tilted Kilt location open with three more under construction.

“We are truly becoming more than just a U.S. company,” Lynch says. Now in 22 states and four more by the end of the year, he hopes to have 300 pubs open within five years.

Lynch credits his company’s success with its uniqueness, saying that they revel in it.

With a slogan that reads, “A cold beer never looked so good,” it’s hard to deny that they are pushing the limits.

For more information about the Tilted Kilt, visit tiltedkilt.com.

Anne Rita Monahan Foundation

Anne Rita Monahan Foundation's Tea For Teal Event To Raise Money For Ovarian Cancer Research

The Anne Rita Monahan Foundation’s 4th annual Tea For Teal event will raise money for ovarian cancer research.


The American Cancer Society projects that 22,280 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012.

Statistically, 15,500 of them will die.

The Anne Rita Monahan (ARM) Foundation wants to change those numbers. The foundation is run entirely by volunteers who are dedicated to raising money for ovarian cancer research.

Anne Rita Monahan was an Arizona businesswoman. She began having physical pains in 1990 that was diagnosed as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and repeatedly misdiagnosed for more than a decade. In 2001, an obstetrician/gynecologist found tumors on both of her ovaries. Because of the delayed proper diagnosis, her cancer had spread. She started the foundation in 2007 with the hopes of simultaneously fighting the disease and spreading awareness. After a total hysterectomy, several rounds of chemotherapy and various other surgeries, Anne lost her battle with the ovarian cancer on May 13, 2009.

This September will mark ARM’s 5th anniversary and the 4th annual Tea for Teal event.

Tea for Teal is a two-part event that will be held on September 29 at the Doubletree Paradise Valley Resort in Scottsdale. The first part is tailored towards women, but men are welcome as well. It features a silent auction and raffle, pop-up shops, purse auction and networking opportunities. The event has raised more than $70,000 over the past three years, with a goal of reaching $100,000 to be donated to the Translational Genomics Research Institute. They hope to meet the goal this year.

Money is raised through the purchase of tickets to the event. And individual ticket costs $60. A table for 10 costs $500.

Anne Rita Monahan FoundationIn addition to ticket purchases, Stella & Dot will be in attendance, donating 100 percent of its proceeds back to the foundation.

Part two of the event is a full-service English tea during which an outstanding ovarian cancer crusader will be acknowledged.

The Anne Rita Monahan Crusader Award recognizes a person who has made exceptional contributions towards cancer awareness.

Anne Rita Monahan Foundation“Are they a crusader? What have they done? [We look at] the breadth of what they have done,” says Rachel Brockway, co-chair of ARM for the last four years.

In addition, ARM has started a scholarship program.

“With the approval of our foundation, we will be giving two scholarships: one undergraduate and one graduate. [They are] for students who are interested in a healthcare field, people who are specifically looking [into] ovarian research,” says Brockway, who has been involved in the foundation since its establishment.

Brockway hopes that the fundraisers and money donated will help raise awareness and promote research.

“It’s one of the most often misdiagnosed forms of cancer,” Brockway says. “Our mission is for ovarian cancer research and awareness so women know the symptoms of ovarian cancer. A lot of times when it is diagnosed it is caught in the later stages, which is why it is so deadly.”

For more information on the Anne Rita Monahan Foundation, Tea for Teal, the 2012 Crusader Award, and signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer, visit anneritamonahan.org.

The Saguaro Synchronized Swimmers

Synchronized Swimming Makes Waves At The Saguaro, Scottsdale Synchro

As an almost century-old sport, synchronized swimming didn’t appear on the radar until the 1984 Olympic Games. The sport was eased into the athletic world with various recognitions until the Olympics made it a commonly known activity.

Head coach at Scottsdale Synchro for the upcoming season, Jill Parr, says that although synchronized swimming has come a long way in the last few decades, it is still a highly misunderstood sport.

“The swimmers are supposed to make it look easy,” says Parr, who has been coaching for 15 years. The veteran trainer says that, in reality, it’s an extremely difficult sport to master.

“At the higher levels, you want to do a regular swimming workout,” Parr says. In addition, gymnastics and flexibility training are utilized. Land workouts are included as well. “It’s good fitness in a relatively injury-free environment.”

Kids as young as six years old can start competitive synchronized swimming, as long as they are comfortable in deep water.

The difficulty in mastery of the sport lies within being part of a team. Parr says it takes her several months to come up with a really creative and complex routine, and her team will spend a whole season perfecting it for competition. Seasons begin in October and competitions begin in January.

“The girls get a great bond together,” says Parr. “It teaches dedication, hard work and discipline.”

Synchronized swimming doesn’t have to be competitive, though. It can be recreational as well.

Kendra Sollars and Hannah Creaser, the two synchronized swimmers who perform at The Saguaro’s Sips & Synchro happy hour event held every Saturday from 5 p.m. to 7 pm., know best.

“I think that we grew up at a really lucky time,” Sollars says. “I think that we ended our synchro careers at a great time because just recently there are so many opportunities for synchro as a performing art and not just a competitive sport.”

In fact, we caught up Sollars and Creaser at The Saguaro, just before their first routine:

Video by Kristine Cannon

For more information about Scottsdale Synchro, visit scottsdalesynchro.org.

Scottsdale Synchro
15525 N. Thompson Peak Pkwy., Scottsdale
(480) 312-6677

For more information about The Saguaro Scottsdale, visit jdvhotels.com.

The Saguaro Scottsdale
4000 N. Drinkwater Blvd., Scottsdale
(480) 308-1100

Arizona Builders - Cell Phone Collection

Arizona Builders' Alliance Stepping Up To The Plate This Summer

There has been quite a bit of good news coming out the Arizona Builders’ Alliance (ABA) office this summer.

The ABA was recently awarded the AGC in the Community Award by Associated General Contractors of America. The award was given to the ABA for its outstanding community service projects in Tucson and Phoenix in 2011.

The ABA also earned the Excellence in Education Award from the Associated Builders and Contractors for its Leadership Development Forum (LDF) program.

On the community front, the ABA smashed its own record for the number of cell phones collected in the annual Cell Phone Drive for the Troops.

Last year’s record was 800 cell phones. This year ABA members collected 955 phones, which will give 28,650 minutes of free calling time to troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Additionally, the ABA is also in the middle of its Backpack Drive to collect school supplies for the upcoming year. The ABA will accept donations through July 20 and will donate the supplies to the schools in the most need.

The Arizona Builders’ Alliance is one of 95 chapters across the country that is aimed at productivity of contractors, suppliers and professional service firms.

For more information on Arizona Builders’ Alliance, visit Arizona Builders’ website at azbuilders.org.

I-17 Traffic

I-17: The Worst Place To Be Stuck In Traffic

I headed up to Flagstaff Friday evening in attempt to escape the heat and regain my sanity. The two are not mutually exclusive. Also, my roommate was moving out. Insert cynical comment here.

The weekend went beautifully; a comfortable mid-70 degrees at the day’s high point. Saturday and Sunday morning were perfect for sitting in my mini-forest of a backyard with a cup of strong coffee and my book (Fifty Shades of Grey, have you heard of it?). It’s cathartic and very much needed. Those Ponderosa Pine trees just get me every time.

I finally mustered up the motivation to remove myself from the two lawn chairs I was sprawled out on around noon on Sunday. After showering, packing, and an extra drawn out goodbye to my dog ― forget my roommates ― I left for the Valley, under the assumption it would take me two and a half hours, as usual.

Boy, was I wrong.

About 65 miles out of Flagstaff I hit traffic and I hit it hard. I have never been stopped, or even slowed below 50 mph, on I-17 before. Two lanes, no exits, but a nice view of a line of cars for as far as I can see. And, as these things always go, now I have to pee. I can practically hear my empty Starbucks cup laughing at me.

A sign I passed several miles back said there was a fire and I can’t help but think I have the worst timing in the world.

I crawl at a steady 5 mph for a while then just park on the interstate. I’m driving alone and have been sitting in traffic for a solid 30 minutes at this point. I’m getting nothing but static on the the radio and my auxiliary cord for my iPod is broken, of course. So, I pull out my book. Twenty pages later I was able to start rolling forward again.

The sluggish progression went on for about another 45 minutes. When I finally turned the radio back on I caught Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On. I rolled my windows down, blasted it and sang like there was no tomorrow. For about three and a half minutes I didn’t hate my life for sitting in traffic.

By the time I got to the actual fire, it was out. I sat in all that traffic for almost two hours and didn’t even get to see what all the fuss was about? Like I said, worst timing in the world.

I learned a valuable lesson that I will never forget since it was seared into my brain over two hours. Always check I-17 road conditions ― even when it’s not winter!

When I got back to the house I told a friend about my drive and all she said was, “Didn’t you check the road conditions online?” No, I clearly did not. But from now on I certainly will.

Always check traffic conditions. And never get Starbucks before embarking on an interstate with limited exits.

Dress for Success, Phoenix

Dress For Success Phoenix Aims To Break The Cycle Of Poverty

With an open, vibrant space, the Dress for Success boutique in Phoenix doesn’t look like a typical second-hand clothing store.

And it isn’t.

First launched in 1996, Dress for Success now has 115 affiliates all over the world, providing professional attire to economically disadvantaged women. In addition, Dress for Success continues to work with these women even after they have landed a job.

Founder and Executive Director of the Phoenix affiliation, Lisa Doromal, opened the store in 2009 with hopes of engaging her community, reflecting her stylistic talents and continuing to be a mother to her kids with the flexibility it offers.

“Luckily for me, there was not an affiliate in the Phoenix area,” Doromal says. She filled out an online application, prepared a formal business plan, and said to herself, “I’m going to go for it. This is something that is needed in the community.”

The company receives garment donations from women in the community. However, Doromal says the organization often has to purchase plus-size clothing. Hardly any plus-sized suits are donated, but clients who need them take up about 72 percent of her client base. Still, Doromal insists, “Whether you are a size 0 or 32, we are going to have clothes for an interview.”

Clothes that are deemed inappropriate for clients to wear are picked up weekly by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, a non-profit that benefits the poor.

Funding for purchases comes from a “diverse stream of income sources,” Doromal says. The organization utilizes fundraising opportunities, grants, private donations and agencies that provide supportive services.

Doromal credits her partnership with Chicanos Por La Causa (CPLC), an organization aimed at integrating human and economic development, for the success of the boutique. CPLC provided the initial 500-square-foot space for the store. Since then, the boutique has moved to a larger, 3,200-square-foot boutique.

In addition to providing suits, Dress for Success has created several job-readiness programs that extend past the job interview phase.

One of the programs, the Going Places Network, lasts eight weeks. During this time, women meet weekly and “learn how to navigate the Internet network to apply for jobs, presentation skills, mock interviews [and] really honing in on why they are not landing employment,” Doromal adds. Approximately 70 to 80 percent of women are employed by the time the class ends.

Once a woman obtains a job, she can go back to the boutique and get up to a week’s worth of clothing. They also receive an invitation to join the Professional Women’s Group (PWG), which allows women who have gone through the program to interact with one other. PWG covers a range of topics from financial literacy to balancing life and work.

“It’s more than just a suit,” Doromal says. “The suit is just the beginning.”

The boutique is primarily run by volunteers. Through a partnership with the Senior Community Service Employment Program, seniors who have been out of the workforce are given a stipend for their time.

“We treasure our volunteers,” Doromal says.

While Doromal does not anticipate any more locations will open up in the Phoenix area, she does have high hopes for her boutique.

“As long as the client wants to be involved with Dress for Success, we are there for her throughout her professional development,” she says. “[We are] trying to break the cycle of poverty.”

For more information about Dress for Success, visit dressforsuccess.org.

Dress for Success
1024 E. Buckeye Rd., #165
(602) 489-7397
youth soccer championships

Youth Soccer Tournament To Add $10M To Valley Economy

What has almost 500 legs and is worth $10 million? Would you believe a youth soccer tournament in the middle of June?

Tournament officials estimate an economic impact of more than $10 million to the Valley when the top 248 Boys and Girls US Youth Soccer teams from Region IV compete in the West Championships June 18-24 at the Reach 11 Sports Complex, 2425 E. Deer Valley Rd., Phoenix.

“We are thrilled to host the US Youth Soccer Region IV Championships after a successful 2011 National Championships at Reach 11.” said Leslie Johnson, executive director of Arizona Youth Soccer Association. “We had great feedback after the event last year and look forward t hosting another high class tournament and again positively impacting out community.”

Round robin games, in which teams play each other once, begin June 18 and continue through June 20. Teams will take a break on June 21 before continuing with quarterfinal matches on June 22. June 23 is the first day of semifinals with the finals set for June 24.

The four regional winners will send U-14 and U-19 boys and girls teams to the 2012 US Youth Soccer National Championships July 24-29 at Manchester Meadows in Rock Hill, S.C.

The yearlong competition that begins with more than 185,000 players will end with one winner in each of the six age groups.

For more information on the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series, visit championships.usyouthsoccer.org.

In2One

Carl Horne's In2One Offers A Holistic Approach To Fitness

Former NBA training coach, Carl Horne, has taken a refreshing approach to fitness through In2One, his Holistic Wellness Center in Scottsdale, Ariz. After years of dance and martial arts training, working as a rehabilitation coach for professional athletes and a background in nutrition, Horne has taken his knack for healthy living to the public. The wellness center, Horne says, “developed on its own.”

Horne moved to the Phoenix area to travel with the Arizona Suns for the 1995 through 1997 basketball seasons. One half-time show in 1997 featured his rehabilitation work with Danny Manning, one of the players who had undergone several knee surgeries. People were interested and began writing letters to the Suns asking about Horne’s services and if he was available. He not only began working with injured basketball players outside of the NBA, but also their parents, who expressed interest as well. By 2000, his business had been born; now it just needed a name.

During a focus breathing session with Horne’s brother-in-law, they delved deep into the mental and emotional component of training. Horne recalled his brother-in-law saying, “You have to go into one. You have to go into yourself before you can really embark on a physical program. In order to change your body, you have to first change your mind.” And thus, In2One was conceived.

In2OneIn2One is more than just a gym. Horne admits he was heavily influenced by Bruce Lee’s philosophy of how eating and thinking directly affects how we feel.

“I’ve always been an all-natural type of person,” he says. His center not only focuses on exercises, but also how one feels, his or her stress levels, hydration levels, as well as the quality of rest — completing the circle of fitness, he says.

“If you work out like a horse and eat like a pig, you’re going to look like a cow,” Horne adds. “What is inside radiates to the outside.”

The holistic center offers programs tailored to one’s lifestyle, age and fitness goals. Gradually developed over the course of his career, classes include Taedaga, which combines Tae Kwon Do, dance and yoga.

“No one wants to feel bad,” Horne says. “We all want to feel good about ourselves. I believe that holistic fitness is a blueprint for a lifestyle change.”

Horne adds that he is not only optimistic that his approach to fitness and the opening of his business will penetrate the industry with more people joining the holistic movement, but he is also hopeful that In2One will have locations throughout the Valley and countrywide.

Defining the term holistic to his clients as something that “completes a whole approach,” Horne says that In2One is a step in the right direction.

“In order to change your body, you have to first change your mind,” Horne says.

For more information about In2One Holistic Wellness Center, visit in2onewellness.com.

In2One Holistic Wellness Center
14423 N. 73rd St., Scottsdale
(480) 241-7914
in2onewellness.com

Walnut Canyon

Things To Do In Arizona: Walnut Canyon National Monument

Walnut Canyon National Monument is one of Flagstaff’s greatest locations. A little less than eight miles east of Flagstaff, Walnut Canyon features several family-friendly hikes unique to the history of the area.

The Monument’s Visitor Center houses geographical and historical information about the region. Even after hiking through the area a few times, you never run out of things to look at.

The canyon’s Rim Trail is a basic walking trail around the rim of the Valley, totaling 0.7 miles round-trip. The trail features multiple lookouts for visitors to enjoy the beauty of the canyon. Ancient cliff dwellings and countless Ponderosa Pine Trees can be seen below. In addition, hikers get to see a pit house and a pueblo that were used for farming by former residents of the canyon.

The Island Trail takes hikers 185 feet down into the canyon, totaling one mile round-trip. The trail is made up of stairs that take you down into the canyon. Visitors then make an easy walk around the relatively flat loop that features 25 cliff dwellings. During your trip down the stairs, park rangers are conveniently placed to give sightseers unique information about the landscape. Along the loop, there are signs with historical information about the vegetation, wildlife and families who lived in the canyon. Arizona residents who paid close attention in high school history classes will probably be able to tell what each dwelling was for. Scorch marks on the walls and ceilings of some rooms indicate former kitchens.

I can only imagine how exciting it would be to be a child hiking the Island Trail. Touring the cliff dwellings almost feels like a game that would be featured in Highlights magazine. It is hard not to imagine where beds, stoves, tables and chairs were located in each room. The dwellings are like giant, blank, limestone canvases that are there for your imagination to decorate as it pleases.

It is hard to comprehend how groups of people made lives for themselves in the bottom of a canyon. Visiting the Monument is a surreal experience. It’s a gateway into understanding the history of the northern Arizona region.

For more information about Walnut Canyon National Monument, visit nps.gov/waca.