Author Archives: Kristine Cannon

2011 Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Report

Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Experiences Increase In 2011

Who says the economy is holding anyone back from spending a little extra cash on themselves? For the second year in a row, the number of cosmetic plastic surgery procedures continued to increase. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ (ASPS) 2011 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report, more than 13.8 surgical and minimally invasive procedures were performed in 2011 in the United States ― with procedures up 5 percent since 2010 and up 87 percent since 2000.

The top five cosmetic surgical procedures for 2011 are:

Breast augmentation: 307,000 procedures, up 4 percent from 2010
Nose reshaping: 244,000 procedures, down 3 percent
Liposuction: 205,000 procedures, up 1 percent
Eyelid surgery: 196,000 procedures, down 6 percent
Facelift: 119,000 procedures, up 5 percent

Cosmetic surgical procedures increased 2 percent since 2010. Comparing 2010 with 2011, the top five cosmetic surgical procedures differ only slightly, with facelifts replacing tummy tucks. While facelifts experienced a 5 percent increase in 2011, tummy tuck procedures experienced a zero percent change.

The top five minimally-invasive procedures for 2011 are:

Botulinum Toxin Type A (Botox, Dysport): 5.7 million procedures, up 5 percent from 2010
Soft tissue fillers: 1.9 million, up 7 percent
Chemical peel: 1.1 million, down 3 percent
Laser hair removal: 1.1 million performed, up 15 percent
Microdermabrasion: 900,000 performed, up 9 percent

Minimally-invasive procedures experienced a 6 percent increase since 2010.

Laser hair removal experienced the most growth in 2011, with microdermabrasion coming in second. As for soft tissue fillers, hyaluronic acid ― which delivers nutrients, hydrates the skin by holding in water and acts as a cushioning agent ― increased by 9 percent, with more than 1.3 million procedures. Products such as Juvederm Ultra, Juvederm Ultra Plus, Perlane, Restylane and Prevelle Silk all have hyaluronic acid and are mainly used to smooth wrinkles.

The 2011 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report also included the top five reconstructive procedures, up 5 percent. They include the following:

Tumor removal: 4.2 million procedures, up 3 percent from 2010
Laceration repair: 303,000 procedures, down 15 percent
Maxillofacial surgery: 195,000 procedures, up 125 percent
Scar revision: 175,000 procedures, up 9 percent
Hand surgery: 120,000 procedures, up 13 percent

Maxillofacial surgery experienced the most growth. Including facial laceration repair, maxillofacial surgery consists of facial reconstruction around the mouth, jaw and neck area.

It should be noted that ASPS procedural statistics represent procedures performed by ASPS member surgeons who are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, as well as other physicians certified by American Board of Medical Specialties-recognized boards.

For more information about ASPS’ 2011 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report, visit

Smile Makeover - Scottsdale Living Magazine Fall 2011

Brighten Your Look With A Smile Makeover

Sometimes, those daily affirmations in front of the full-length mirror or a new shade of lipstick aren’t what you need for that extra boost of confidence. What might have a bigger impact and a longer lasting effect on your physical and emotional state is a smile makeover.

When you pair your beauty products with a beautiful smile, experts say, it not only improves your self-confidence and appearance, but your social life and business life, too.

“Anybody will tell you that not only in business, but in everyday life, people are constantly looking at your smile and making mental evaluations based on how attractive your smile is,” says Dr. Jeffrey Clark of Scottsdale Dental Excellence.

“We’ve had patients come back telling us they have received promotions and raises at work, or met new dating partners, or have renewed their existing relationships by making over their smiles,” he says.

A smile makeover can consist of minimal and simple procedures, such as teeth bleaching, or as procedures as complex as full mouth restoration. Procedures include:

  • Cosmetic bonding: An enamel-like material is applied to a tooth’s surface, sculpted into shape, hardened and polished.
  • Cosmetic gum lifts: Have short teeth or, as Clark puts it, “gummy smiles?” This is for you.
  • Invisalign clear braces: Avoid metal, and wear these clear, thin retainers all day, every day — except when you eat or brush. Invisalign helps correct the position of teeth due to poor alignment.
  • Procelain veneers or crowns: Ideal to rebuild broken-down teeth, normally due to grinding of the teeth.
  • Whitening or bleaching: Removes all dark aspects, dark spot and lines on the teeth, giving whiter, healthier-looking smiles.
  • Tooth-colored fillings: This procedure for those who need tooth restorations.

In order to determine whether you should consider a smile makeover, patients should start with a thorough diagnosis with photos taken of the mouth and teeth. The dentist can then fully evaluate every nook and cranny, determining if you need one or a combination of procedures to complete your makeover package.

Once you’ve taken a look at a simulated image of your smile-to-be, most smile makeovers can be completed in two visits or less. “The first visit is to make the necessary preparations, impressions and temporaries,” Clark says. “The second is to bond the veneers or crowns in place.”

As for side effects following the two-day makeover, Clark says the patient is helped through the changes with custom-fitted night-guards that will help prevent grinding.

Looking for a quicker route to a smile makeover? Opt for a two-hour visit to the dentist and have your teeth professionally bleached, says Dr. Mark Peck of Dental Studio 101 in Scottsdale.

The procedure can cost up to $700, Peck says, but the two-hour investment lets you leave the office with a smile that outshines Julia Roberts. You also take home the trays built from an impression of your teeth and you can use them for at-home bleaching and maintenance.

“Whatever route you choose to take, the key to making your smile makeover last in hygiene,” Peck says. “Plaque is what stains your teeth and plaque starts to develop within an hour after you eat. So if you brush after eating and keep that plaque from developing, you can eat whatever you want and your teeth are going to stay white.”

Once you have a brand new smile, the only other side effect you have to worry about include “sore facial muscles from excessive smiling,” Clark says.

Dental Studio 101
33739 N. Scottsdale Rd.
(480) 488-4852
dentalstudio101.comScottsdale Dental Excellence
8765 E. Bell Rd., Suite 201
(480) 585-1853


Scottsdale Living Magazine Fall 2011


2012 Arizona Color Run

2012 Arizona Color Run At Tempe Beach Park [Photos/Video]

Hundreds, it seemed, gathered at Tempe Beach Park in Tempe this Saturday, Jan. 28 for the most unique — and colorful — 5k in the Valley: the Color Run.

The Color Run made its first stop of the 20-city tour in Arizona; the race reached capacity with attendees of all ages and skill level, who all gathered for a healthy dose of exercise and the opportunity to get bombarded with none other than colored powder thrown by volunteers, sponsors and staff of the Color Run.

While many weren’t expecting the cloud of powder to make it difficult to breath, many coughing off to the side and attempting to catch their breath, it can be safe to say it was worth it. But what many probably didn’t know was that the product is 100 percent natural and safe. Based off their website, you can apparently eat the powder; many, if not all, of us did anyway.

Marking each kilometer was a yellow, green, blue, purple and pink blitzing station. Once the rainbow-hued cluster of runners reached the end, the party was just beginning. It was now time to collect as many leftover bags of color and prepare for the color throw.

Instead of describing the color throw, view it for yourself:

The best part? Proceeds from the 2012 Arizona Color Run benefit Banner Health’s Cardon Children’s Medical Center.

The AZ Big Media team took part in the Color Run, and we had an incredible time — we’re still sore (and stained from the powder)! If you were there, too, what did you think? Share your thoughts, and your photos, too!

View photos from the 2012 Arizona Color Run:

2012 Arizona Color Run

For more information about the 2012 Color Run, and to find out how you can get involved, visit


Photo Genesis - Scottsdale Living Magazine Fall 2011

Changing Your Spots With Photo Genesis and Photofacials

Photo Genesis and Photofacials help even your skin tone and make you look younger.

After three months of chasing the kids through water parks, lake outings, afternoons lounging by the pool and daily outdoor exposure, sun damage is inevitable for many of us in the Valley. And with the holidays nearing, this means having to endure family portraits and family reunions — times when looking your best is important, especially when you are being captured in photographs that will be around for years to come.

Plus, the amount of sun damage present in one’s skin has a direct effect on “skin age,” says Dr. Suneil Jain, NMD, of Rejuvena Health & Aesthetics in Scottsdale. “The more sun damage a person has, the older he or she looks.”

Instead of using Photoshop to correct the damage after the photo is taken, you zap away the imperfections with skin rejuvenation treatments before the photo is taken.

Two types of treatments that can make your skin look younger are Photo Genesis and Photofacials. But how are they different, and how do you know which treatment is right for you?

Photo Genesis – which costs between $150 and $700, depending on the area treated – reduces uneven pigmentation in your skin, including brown spots, sun damage and redness or rosacea. It uses a series of gentle pulses of light that are delivered deep into the skin. The light is selectively absorbed only by those areas that are pigmented spots, evening out the tone of the skin. Photo Genesis is considered when patients are “looking for a quick, safe and effective way to have a beautiful radiant complexion,” Jain says.

However, Photo Genesis does more than just clear complexion and even skin tone. According to Jain, it can help to repair and remove small blood vessels, treat acne, reduce the redness of rosacea, improve skin tone and texture, and even stimulate collagen growth.

“The fall and winter are the best times of the year to do Photo Genesis treatments because sun exposure is at its most minimal level,” Jain says. “The holidays are also a time when patients desire to look their best.”

Another type of skin rejuvenation treatment is a Photofacial. Jain says the difference between the two treatments is comfort level.

“The Photo Genesis is a safe and easier procedure,” Jain says.

Photofacials, which cost between $250 and $750, also consist of short pulses of visible light — Intense Pulse Light — that are focused on “hyper pigmented areas and red pigmented areas to break up and remove it,” says Dannielli Marcelino, senior
medical laser technician and esthetician of Suddenly Slimmer Medical Spa.

While Photofacials also treat discoloration and evens out and tones the skin, the procedure also rids skin of sun spots, fine lines, wrinkles, liver spots, freckles, melasma, rosacea and
spider veins.

However, Marcelino says patients need to know the procedure is not for all skin types. It is only recommended for light- skinned individuals.

“(With) darker-skinned individuals, there is less of a contrast between overall skin color and pigmented spots,” Marcelino says. “So (Photofacials) can increase the risk of having an adverse reaction.”

Both Photo Genesis and Photofacial procedures have a shared benefit, though. Both treatments only take 20 to 30 minutes, and patients can resume their normal activities after the procedure is completed.

Marcelino says Suddenly Slimmer’s patients include not only women, but men. The number of men receiving Photofacials is “without a doubt increasing,” including many golfers, Marcelino says.

Photofacial is one of the most popular treatments in Scottsdale for correcting sun damage,
according to Marcelino, considering the city of one of the top in the nation for sun damage and pre-mature aging.

“Although Photofacial is a popular treatment used to correct the skin on the face, it is also great for removing sun spots all over the body,” Marcelino says. “When you even out the skin tone on the neck, chest, shoulders, back, arms, hands and legs, you can look 10 years younger!”

For more information about Photo Genesis or Photofacials, contact Rejuvena or Suddenly Slimmer.

Rejuvena Health & Aesthetics
9977 N. 95th St., Ste. 101
(480) 551-9000 Suddenly Slimmer Medical Spa
3313 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix
(602) 952-8446

P.Y. Steakhouse - AZ Business Magazine January/February 2012

Casino Del Sol’s P.Y. Steakhouse Serves Up European-Meets-Southwest Cuisine

Mixing business and pleasure: Casino Del Sol’s P.Y. Steakhouse serves up European-meets-Southwest cuisine in a chic environment

Tucked within the newly expanded Casino Del Sol Resort in Tucson, P.Y. Steakhouse serves both a chic environment and exquisite cuisine for the guests of the well-known oasis of Southern Arizona.

The expanded Casino Del Sol boasts a Tuscan look with a rustic, yet modern design and décor. It relaxes and warms its guests with roaring fireplaces and glasses of bourbon, its lights dimmed just right. P.Y. Steakhouse provides a modern, chic escape, while maintaining that comfortable Tuscan feel.

This intimate setting’s main source of lighting came from the open kitchen located next to the dining room and separated by a four- or five-foot partition. Large porcelain chandeliers hover over the snow-white furniture, and the walls are lined with a wine bottle display. Specks of purples from the dining tables’ floral centerpieces give the restaurant that needed pop of color.

My patrons and I started off the night with glasses of red and white wine while engaging in business-laden conversation. Our waiter and waitress were patient, attentive and incredibly helpful.

Jumping from topics ranging from construction to architecture to dining favorites, the conversation quickly turned to how P.Y. Steakhouse had possibly made our respective favorite dining lists as soon as we had our first taste of the Southwest cuisine.

P.Y. Steakhouse - AZ Business Magazine January/February 2012I began the night with the Sonoran Caesar Salad, tossed with simple, minimal ingredients, including grilled tomatoes, corn bread croutons and roasted garlic mustard chile dressing. This salad presented clean flavors that left me wanting more.

I — along with the rest of my dinner mates — continued to nibble on the warm, uniquely flavored biscuits with the Arizona mesquite honey butter thinly spread and melted atop. They quickly disappeared, and we would soon realize the side dishes would surprisingly “take the cake,” as one of my dinner patrons raved to our waitress.

After concluding the business half of our evening, it was now time to put the pad and paper away and enjoy the lively ambiance and environment. It was perfect timing when our dinner entrees were delivered at that exact moment.

My entree was the Free Range Red Bird Farms Chicken, perfectly peppered; the bird was served atop creamy Yukon gold potato bacon smash with mushrooms drenched in rich velouté. The moist chicken — local and sustainable — peeled off the bone cleanly and with very little effort, with just the right amount of fat.

Three of my dinner companions tried the meat entrees, each served with Truffled Chimichurri Sauce. First up, the 6-ounce CAB Filet Mignon with a roasted garlic demi-glace, described as perfect and juicy. The Grilled Buffalo Sirloin was chosen by the waiter and didn’t disappoint. Farm to table inspired, the sirloin was served with sweet potato hash and prickly pear guajillo demi.

Lastly was the Arizona pecan crusted Colorado Saddle Chop of Lamb, with a carrot puree, a purple fingerling potato and a peppercorn port sauce.

But as I said, the side dishes were the stars of the evening — dishes included the blue-cheesed-topped, rich-in-flavor gorgonzola mashed potatoes; the creamy parmesan English pea risotto; and the Yukon gold potato bacon smash with a hint of garlic.

P.Y. Steakhouse proved to be the perfect restaurant to mix business and pleasure. For your next trip to Tucson, consider dining at this European-meets-Southwest culinary treat, headed by chef Jason Jonilonis.

P.Y. Steakhouse

5655, West Valencia Rd
Tucson, AZ 85757
(855) 765-7829
FB: casinodelsol
Twitter: @CDSResort

Arizona Business Magazine January/February 2012

DIY of the Week

DIY Of The Week: Chalkboard Wall Calendar

Chalkboard Wall CalendarInstead of keeping yours and your family’s schedule written in a planner, save a few trees and write it on your wall instead. That’s right, your wall — on a chalkboard wall calendar.

Although Martha Stewart has now given your kids a reason to write on the walls, at least you can wipe it right off. Plus, it’s a unique and much bolder way to keep tasks organized. This is a great addition to your home office.

Actually, you can do a lot with chalkboard paint (something I didn’t even know existed). Down below, you’ll find a couple links to some great ways to utilize this fantastic product.

But first, here are the steps to creating your own chalkboard wall calendar (thanks to

Tools and Materials:

Black chalkboard paint White chalkboard paint
Measuring Tape
Painters’ Tape

Make Custom Color Chalkboard Paint


First, you need to choose how many shades you want to create the checkerboard pattern. On Martha Stewart’s website, four shades of paint were created.

1. Paint entire wall with store-bought, black chalkboard paint; let dry for one to two hours.
2. Mark the perimeter of the calendar with a pencil (to accommodate 8-inch squares, ours measured 48 inches high by 56 inches across).
3. Using painters’ tape, mark off the B squares according to the diagram to the right.  
4. Make B paint by mixing 4 parts black chalkboard paint with 1 part homemade white chalkboard paint. Paint B squares. Remove tape. Let dry about an hour.  
5. Repeat process for C and D squares using the proportions pictured to the right.

Going chalkboard crazy? Here are a few more DIY ideas using chalkboard paint:

Tea Storage Jars

Love tea? Label those loose leaves contained in your various jars by spraying a bit of chalkboard paint on the lids. It’s all about the little things in life … and keeping those organized, too!

 Tea Storage Jars

Chalkboard Tags

Keep everything else organized, too. Whether it be your food pantry, your bathroom products or your living room, the possibilities are endless. Learn how to make these useful chalkboard tags from lil blue boo.

Chalkboard Tags

BizBox Offers Innovative, Mobile Platform To Help Expand Businesses

While businesses may be making more of an effort to increase their digital presence on mobile devices such as Smartphones, others are considering a mobile platform that physically brings their business’s products and services directly to their target audience — with BizBox. Barrett-Jackson Auction Company and Skullcandy have, and BizBox has only been in business for three months, creating quite the buzz

BizBox is a transportable, customized building that can transform into your business in a matter of minutes.

Charles Sidi, creator of the BizBox, who came from a background of sustainable design and green mobile structures, decided it was time to create an adaptable and innovative mobile platform. He says while the concept is common in Europe, BizBox is more cutting edge and different than what’s on the market in the U.S.

Not surprisingly, BizBox has green, sustainable features. It is solar powered, producing approximately 1,000 watts per day and storing up to five days worth of power use. It also switches automatically between solar power, gas power and electrical power. BizBox also disperses natural light with its two Solatubes light wells. These are tubular skylights installed in the ceiling that capture light through a dome in the roof and disperses light evenly throughout the room.

And this sustainable building can cater to both small and large businesses.

“What’s exciting about BizBox is we get to become involved in everyone’s business because it’s so versatile,” Sidi says. “What’s interesting is a lot of the large brands and large companies are very attracted to BizBox because we created something that maintains the value of their brand.”

Sidi adds that it’s the opportunity for innovation and the opportunity to generate excitement with a mobile platform that attracts businesses to BizBox.

“What we’re trying to do is expand other’s businesses,” Sidi says. “The goal is to give businesses a whole new approach and a sophisticated way to get their products and services to their consumers.”

Rick Sikorsi, CEO of BizBox, agrees that the mobility of the BizBox is a benefit to companies. Businesses can now bring their product to the customer, increasing its presence and sales, too.

For instance, three clients utilizing the BizBox service are Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction, Skullcandy and ListenUP! Canada (a hearing aid company). They have all found ways to customize their BizBoxes to cater and interact with their respective customers.

Barrett-Jackson will bring BizBox as a Social Media Hot Spot to all of its events nationwide, including the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale.

ListenUP! transformed its BizBox into a small hearing aid store with testing equipment and will bring the store straight to its target market residing in residence homes, which Sikorsi says is a game changer for ListenUp! because it was able to take its business to the customers, who are unable to make it to their brick-and-mortar location.

As for Skullcandy, it will be parking its BizBox at the base of mountains in Winter Park, Colo., on Jan. 30 and skiers and snowboarders will be able to jump over it. The interior will be comprised of 12 to 15 listening stations, while the exterior is made of up speakers and subwoofers.

“Skullcandy will be carrying inventory and selling products at the location for a week,” Sikorsi says. “This is how BizBox can add to a company’s bottom line — because they are able to get embedded in a customer base and sell to them.”

While BizBox has attracted larger companies, it’s also a way for entrepreneurs to start their own business with a lot less risk.

“I don’t believe the entrepreneurial spirit is dead; I just believe people are nervous,” Sikorsi says. “If something like BizBox can show people a way to get into business with lower up-front cost, it could be exciting.”

BizBox is not only expanding others’ small and large businesses, it’s experiencing quite the growth spurt, too, in its short period of existence.

BizBox currently has three orders completed and three underway; Sikorsi is expecting 12 to 18 orders over the next year, in addition to five already in the works. By 2013, about 50 BizBoxes are expected to be in the marketplace. It’s also experienced an increase in sales consultants, with 43 on board, adding two to four every week. It’s expected that BizBox will have more than 100 sales agents by June 30th of this year.

“Think of BizBox as a 220-foot blank slate that you can turn in to anything you want, that can morph into a beautiful retail-looking building,” Sikorsi says. “Rather than waiting for the customer to come to the brick-and-mortar location, we are taking the product to customer and selling it right there.”

For more information about BizBox, visit

BizBox’s Showroom

15855 N. Greenway Hayden Loop, #160
Scottsdale, AZ

Downtown L.A.

Lomography: (2) Days Of Summer In Downtown Los Angeles

Last summer, in 2011, I took a road trip with a few people to Los Angeles, Calif. From Phoenix, Ariz., that’s about a six-hour ride, but to us, time flew by with an incredible concert (The Avett Brothers) impending and a few days of exploring the concrete jungle of Downtown Los Angeles just around the corner.

I’ve always thought of the City of Angels as a trend-setting, inspirational city with quite the personality. And I wanted to capture the vibrant city of L.A. with a camera that never fails to create funky, spontaneous and in-the-moment images of any journey I happen to take with my trusty Diana Mini in hand. What’s also unique about this camera is you can multiple expose photos and overlap them, creating an image with even more mystique.

Check out my images taken in Downtown Los Angeles and at Angels Knoll park. If you’ve seen “(500) Days of Summer,” you’ll know exactly where we spent our afternoon — on and around the “(500) Days of Summer” bench. And yes, the bench was clearly marked so we couldn’t miss it!

Downtown Los Angeles:

Downtown L.A. Downtown L.A. Downtown L.A. Downtown L.A.
Downtown L.A. Downtown L.A. Downtown L.A. Downtown L.A.
Downtown L.A. Downtown L.A. Downtown L.A. Downtown L.A.
Downtown Los Angeles Downtown Los Angeles


Raven Events, - AZ Business Magazine November/December 2011

Raven Events, Promote Face-to-Face Networking

Raven Events, Promote Business-to-Business Events, Face-to-Face Networking

Many business owners have embraced Facebook and Twitter as a way to build virtual relationships with their customers.

“As far as social media goes, I think it has allowed people to believe that they can (network) very easily, and that they can do it well,” says Raven Valdes, owner of Raven Events.

But are those businesses’ face-to-face networking skills up to par? Two networking powerhouses, Raven Events and, help make networking easy by providing a means to navigate and filter through the hundreds of available mixers, as well as providing their own business-to-business (B2B) networking events.

Gelie Akhenblit, founder of, says although the ease of online networking has made global communication possible, people are more interested in doing business with others in their community. is an online resource for the Valley business networking community listing more than 500 events with more than 18,000 registered members.
“People ask me if I think my business will change once the economy recovers,” Akhenblit says. “Face-to-face networking will never go out of style. Networking will always be the No. 1 way to find jobs, clients and meet key people.”

These B2B networking mixers provide a platform where like-minded individuals can make their introductions in hopes to build long-lasting relationships, according to Valdes.

“To all of the exhibiting businesses at my networking events, I encourage them all the time to be proactive,” Valdes says. “There’s not problem with walking up to somebody, shaking their hands, telling them who you are, what you’re about, and why they need to know you.”

While talking business is important, Akhenblit emphasizes that gaining clients and referrals is made through building friendships, instead of treating networking events as sales opportunities, which she says is not true networking.

Valdes emphasizes the personal, human aspect of face-to-face, B2B mixers and networking events that emailing, Facebook and Twitter can’t provide.

“(B2B networking events) are beneficial because there’s still nothing more important than the handshake or looking to somebody’s eyes,” Valdes says. “You can’t really evolve that kind of confidence through any other way, without this face to face.”

Both and Raven Events, which has a mailing list of more than 35,000 people, have witnessed an increase in attendance for the three and nine years they have been in business, respectively.’s Signature Event, held four times a year, attracts more than 1,500 networkers. Raven Events, holds social and B2B events with attendance ranging from 400 to 1,500 people.

According to Akhenblit, B2B mixers also provide a way to save time scheduling many meetings a week, as well as getting valuable feedback about your business.

“Talking to people out and about is a great way to gather research,” Akhenblit says. “People are happy to share their opinions about our company, our products, their experiences, etc.”

Valdes adds that networking events are not only providing an outlet to build friendships, connections and possible business, but they are also supporting the local economy.

“Raven Events is not only bringing fun, effective events to people of the Valley, but it is also hiring entertainers,” Valdes says. “I hire photographers, DJs, bands and others in the industry — even comedians and magicians. I market and brand them throughout my process of the event, and the participating exhibitors within the event, too.”

For a calendar of upcoming face-to-face networking events and B2B mixers, visit or


Arizona Business Magazine November/December 2011


Sustainability Discussions at the GoGreen Conference

GoGreen Conference ’11 Sustainability Panel Discussions (Part II)

In the first part of the GoGreen Conference ’11 coverage, we reported that sustainability education and patience were the buzzwords of many of the panel discussions. Here’s why:

The panel discussion titled “Green Your Workplace: High Impact Change at Your Business,” moderated by Ed Fox, chief sustainability officer for APS, focused on how to turn the idea of going green and sustainability into governance. This challenge small and large businesses face was the topic of discussion among the panel, which included:

  • Bryan Dunn, senior vice president of Adolfson & Peterson Construction;
  • Jonce Walker, sustainability manager of Maricopa County;
  • Anthony Floyd, LEED AP, green building program manager of the City of Scottsdale;
  • and Leslie Lindo, president and co-founder of IKOLOJI.

Fox began the discussion asking the panelists how one would convince the leaders of companies to pursue incorporating green elements into the workplace.

Floyd suggested offering incentives and marketing materials and free literature to spur interest. Lindo agreed providing incentives to employees will help encourage them to make the changes second nature. She also suggested owners become educated themselves and have a strong advocate in the office.

Walker took a different approach and said reducing consumption to afford sustainability is one step a business can consider taking. The company must be efficient and through this efficiency, it will convince others that the extra cost will be worth it.

Walker continued to say that it helps to know all the benefits of turning your particular business green — environmental, economical, etc. — and know your audience.

“Ninety percent of clients are bottom-line driven,” Dunn said. They want to save energy and save money, he added. Two ways companies can do this is by making their own operations more efficient (switching your lighting to LED, for example) while also anticipating changes in the marketplace.

Dunn also said behavioral modifications must take place. You can switch to LED, but the appropriate actions must be taken by the staff, i.e. remembering to turn off the lights.

But what was stressed was the acceptance of risk. While making your business more environmentally friendly and sustainable will help you save money in the long run, it will take some time to get there with few obvious returns. Or, as Fox put it, the few “low hanging fruit.”

In the following discussion, “Applying Sustainabilty Best Practices to Impact Community Equity and Diversity,” moderated by Dr. George Brooks, owner of Southwest Green and NxT Horizon Group and including Greg Peterson, founder of Urban Farm; Diane Brossart, president of Valley Forward; and Rosanne Albright, Brownfields Project Manager of the City of Phoenix, regenerative sustainability was the hot topic as well as education.

“Nature regenerates itself, not just sustains itself,” Peterson said. “Education is the key piece to sustainability.

Urban farming (or growing and sharing food), recycling land via the Brownfields Land Recycling Project, and the importance of parks and open space in the state were all covered in this discussion.

“Energy, food, health, poverty — they are all connected,” Brooks said. “Local sourcing and urban farms can help offset the costs of energy.”

Peterson’s final thoughts?

“It’s really a grassroots movement,” he said. “For those of you in the government, get out of our way.”

Visit the GoGreen Conference website at


GoGreen Conference '11

GoGreen Conference ’11 Emphasizes Sustainability Education, Patience

Whether it’s educating attendees of green and sustainability in the workplace or the speakers’ efforts to educate public and private entities of sustainability in their community, “education” was the buzzword and couldn’t have been stressed enough at the GoGreen Conference ’11 this past Tuesday, November 15. Well, that and a lot of patience.

“It’s not just about being and going green,” said Ed Fox, chief sustainability officer for APS.” It’s about educating and sustaining it.”

Dr. George Brooks, owner of Southwest Green and NxT Horizon Group, agreed: “There’s more to sustainability than solar panels,” he said. “If you want to make sustainability and its process sustainable, you need to make it useful.”

More than 50 speakers from all over the state were in attendance for the first GoGreen Conference ’11 held at the Phoenix Convention Center. Furniture IKEA donated to the panel discussions will be donated to the Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

This all-day conference held back-to-back panel sessions with leaders of sustainable business, who educated attendees on the latest sustainable practices for their respective businesses.

City of Phoenix Major Phil Gordon announced that this was possibly his last opportunity to speak as an elected official about his and the city’s green efforts. He said that although mayor elect Greg Stanton was unable to attend the GoGreen Conference, Stanton is committed to “help build Phoenix as the greenest city.”

Gordon also shared Phoenix-area, sustainability-related statistics and accomplishments over the years, including:

  • Phoenix is home to the only solar light rail stop (near the U.S. Airways Center) in the nation, “maybe in the world.”
  • The city has raised more than $1M in incentives to businesses and homeowners for their sustainability efforts.
  • Through Solar Phoenix, the Valley has more than 425 solar-installed homes. These homeowners have saved 10 percent on utility bills, on average.
  • By 2025, 15 percent of the city will be powered by fossil fuels. And also by 2025, 25 percent of the city will be shaded throughout with canopies and palm trees.

Maria Baier, commissioner of the Arizona State Land Department, provided opening remarks, emphasizing the importance of supporting universities and higher education seeking research dollars for its sustainability efforts. She continues to speak about how to not only go green, but also stay green.

“In order to go green and stay green, we need to keep our product legitimate,” Baier said. “We need to continue to defend it and improve reliability and dependability.”

Rounding out the first session of the conference was Al Halvorsen, senior director of environmental sustainability of Frito-Lay North America.

Halvorsen spoke about Frito-Lay and PepsiCo’s environmental sustain/ability journey — how they were able to confront their challenges (reducing its environmental impact), become an “embracer” of sustainability instead of a “cautious adapter,” and view sustainability as a competitive advantage — incorporating it into PepsiCo’s business with the following strategies:

  • Move Early: Over time, your business will evolve.
  • Balance Short/Long Term: Achieve near-term wins with long-term vision. Your business needs a foundation to help push longer-term envelopes.
  • Focus Top Down and Bottom Up: Track and monitor usage every day.
  • Measure Everything: By 2020, Frito-Lay predicts it will cut its diesel fuel usage in half.
  • Value Intangible Benefits
  • Be Authentic and Transparent: Share your business’s wins, losses and challenges.

“Sustainability for us is a journey and by no means are we there,” Halvorsen said. Jonce Walker, sustainability manager for Maricopa County agreed: “We are nowhere near done,” he said. “We still have so much left to do.”

Check back for part II of the GoGreen Conference ’11 coverage on AZNow.Biz.

For more information about the GoGreen Conference, visit


Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Bourbon Steak, AB Magazine November/December 2011

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess’s Bourbon Steak Impresses

If you’re superstitious, you might believe bad things happen in sets of three. If you’re an optimist, you might believe “the third time’s a charm.” Well, Bourbon Steak debunks both well-known expressions. At Bourbon Steak, each dish presented in a trio is nothing short of mouthwatering, and patrons are willing to spend the triple digits for the lavish — but well-worth-the-price — meals.

Located on the grounds of the AAA Five-Diamond Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Bourbon Steak’s dining area is engulfed with rays of natural light beaming from the floor-to-ceiling windows, exposing the outdoor patio with its sleek, steel and leather-bound décor — the interior boasting a similar industrial design. The lit candles flickering throughout, both inside and out, as well as the genuinely courteous and friendly staff gave the restaurant a warm, inviting touch.

My dinner companions and I started off the night with a trio of seasoned fries (herb-sprinkled, onion-scented and cheddar-dusted), cooked in duck fat. The fries arrived with three different dipping sauces (pickle-infused ketchup, BBQ sauce and an onion dip). Little did I know this trend of trios would become the dominant theme of the night.

We continued our meal with lemon-drizzled poached prawns; the Bibb wedge salad, with subdued Point Reyes blue cheese and touches of sprinkled bacon, avocado, croutons, tomato and onions; and the table favorite, the Foie Gras Sliders — with the liver so moist and tender, juices were not only flowing from the sliders, but also from our mouths.

However, the feast had only begun, and we realized this once our surf and turf dinner entrees began making their appearances. First up, the Tasting Trio of Beef — three types of beef perfectly paired with its individual side dish. The cast included the wood-grilled rib-eye flat with sweet, creamed corn; the flat iron steak made with American Wagyu beef, paired with soy-glazed shiitakes mushrooms; and the New York strip, also wood-grill, with smoked-onion sauteed spinach.

What makes the mesquite-grilled steaks so distinct? As our waiter Chris informed us, Bourbon Steak always cooks with natural, organic and hormone-free beef, slow-poached and cooked over a wood-fired grill. And with such attentive, patient care invested into the cuisine, it’s no wonder Bourbon Steak was the critics’ pick for best steakhouse on’s Best of 2011 list.

The surf portion of our dinner included the tapioca-crusted snapper, with a clean presentation and comprised of basmati, an almond crunch and a touch of sesame vinaigrette. Shortly after, the true show-stopper rolled up to the table — the Maine Lobster Pot Pie.

The lobster was tucked away beneath the crust, and as the waiter sliced open the pie, the aromas of the concoction intoxicated us, the billowing steam momentarily blinded us. We sat salivating, teased, as the waiter reassembled the lobster before us, thoroughly enjoying the presentation — especially when the green beans were delicately and playfully placed as the antennas, as the reconstructed lobster swam in a concoction of carrots, potatoes, brandied lobster cream and various other fall vegetables. Needless to say, the dish was incredible.

To round out our night, it was only fitting to order the beignets, a trio of desserts, including homemade vanilla crème brulèe, Macallan 18-year butterscotch pudding and Valrhona dark chocolate pot de crème. My personal favorite? The Valrhona chocolate custard, a red velvet cake with pecans and topped with a feather-light mousse.

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If You Go: Bourbon Steak

7575 E. Princess Dr., Scottsdale
(480) 585-4848



Arizona Business Magazine November/December 2011


Novo Solutions MD

Novo Solutions MD Repairs Damaged Skin With Umbilical Cord Serum

It may make some cringe and others uncomfortable, but one may be surprised at how umbilical cord serum can actually reverse the signs of aging and give your skin the stimulation it needs to appear younger and rejuvenated.

Novo Solutions MD, a recently launched, science-based skin care line, is unlike any other on the market. It contains NovoSerum, a cell-free complex derived from purified human umbilical cord serum, considered a virtual youth elixir.

OK, now that that’s out there, let’s explain this a little further.

First, the serum is rich in growth factor, which repairs and regenerates damaged skin, allowing the skin’s factory cells to increase collagen production and enhance skin matrix. This gives the skin structure, fullness and radiance.

“As we age, we don’t necessary lose cells, like fiberglass or skin factory cells, which make your skin have your skin texture,” says Dr. Mark Engelman, co-founder, chairman and chief medical offer. “Without it, our skin hangs, and it doesn’t look healthy.”

“[The cells] need more stimulation, and they have to be pushed.”

The umbilical serum, he says, is full of the growth factors that stimulate cells to become more active than they were.

To prove the serum works, a double blind clinical study was conducted in 2010 at Northwestern University by the director of dermatology research Robert M. Lavker Ph.D.

Women ages 45 to 65 each used the product on half of her face. After 28 days, “there was a profound difference,” Dr. Engelman says, noticing a healthy glow in their skin and increased collagen production.

Although the study focused on women in their later years, Novo Solutions MD Products can be used on all skin types and all ages.

“As we start to age by 30 years of age — once we fulfilled our procreative function — the [aging] process has already started,” Dr. Engelman says. “I would start early to slow down the process of aging. At 65, you can stop [the aging process] and reverse it and knock a significant number of years off.”

For the skeptics out there, Dr. Engelman says the product line and NovoSerum is completely safe. The umbilical cord serum is processed and supplied exclusively by a top FDA-certified cryobank in the U.S., and it’s FDA checked for any infectious diseases.

“I understand someone would be reluctant to put genetic material on themselves, but there are no genetic materials or cells in it,” he says. “You’re not putting anyone’s cells on you; it’s strictly growth proteins dissolved in a liquid.”

And people are buying it. Sales have been steadily increasing, according to Dr. Engelman, with more than 90 percent of customers continuing to purchase the products.

“This is purely nature’s growth serum,” Dr. Engelman says. “It’s the new thing.”

Novo Solutions’ skin care line includes six products: Absolute Face Cleanser ($30), Brilliant Face Exfoliant ($60), Cellactive Face Serum ($136), Advanced Eye Serum ($96), Moisturizing Renewal Cream ($70) and Moisturizing Renewal Cream with SPF 15 ($75).

You can purchase Novo Solutions MD Products at


Before & After (click to expand):

Novo Solutions MD containing NovoSerum, derived from human umbilical cord serum

 Novo Solutions MD  Novo Solutions MD


Before Novo Solutions MD

Week 3:

Novo Solutions Serum Before & After

Tune in next week for more before & after photos.


District American Kitchen and Wine Bar

District American Kitchen And Wine Bar: Amazing Ambiance, Appetizers and Alcohol

Amazing ambiance, appetizers and alcohol make District American Kitchen and Wine Bar a great post-work hangout

Yesterday was one just one of those days. Counting down the minutes until the end of my business day, all I had on my mind was that I needed to de-stress. The best way? A wine bar, of course. Although I had never been to one before, I knew yesterday was the night to consider a tryst with lady vino.

After Googling my options, I narrowed it down to one — District American Kitchen and Wine Bar. Because my main mode of transportation is the light rail, location was important when making this decision, and this wine bar is located fairly close to one of the stops. Convenient location? Check.

As my friend and I walked up to the restaurant, we knew we were in for a swanky treat. District American Kitchen is located in the downtown Phoenix Sheraton, directly across the street from a Hooters. Classy? Check. Just the right amount.

The interior of the restaurant was beautiful, the bar wrapping and curving — probably one of the most elegant bars I’ve seen. It became quickly evident this was a popular after-work hangout, with the men slipping out of their coats, rolling up their sleeves and loosening their ties. Women paired up with their girlfriends, chit-chatting over (many) glasses of wine. Work-related conversations (doused with exasperations) were heard from our neighboring tables, while those who chose to show solo paired up with their go-to cocktail.

With just an hour left of happy hour, which ends at 7 p.m., our eyes skimmed the drinks menu, and we chose the White Peach and the American Red Sangrias, both priced at $5 each. Both were sweet, rich and delicious. Originally, we were there to just sip, but after drooling over the list of small plates offered and watching others snack, we couldn’t resist and ordered the Pretzel Bite Fondue and the Schrieiner’s Bacon Wrapped Dates, both priced at $4. Affordable happy hour prices? Check.

You would think as ladies, we would shy away from anything wrapped in bacon, but when you’re hungry, you’re hungry, and we don’t regret it one bit. But we probably should have, considering the dates were stuffed with chive cream cheese. Drizzled with Vermont maple syrup, the bite-size delights were so addicting, we ordered another round of it. Seriously.

The fondue, on the other hand, was what you’d expect, with the bread warm, soft and topped with a few grains of salt — just the right amount. The District cheese sauce was a little overwhelming, but because I consider cheese as its own food group, I finished the plate.

Our impulse order turned favorite? The Cedar River Beef Tenderloin Nachos ($10) topped with pico de gallo, sour cream and guacamole. After asking the trio of patrons sitting at the next table if the nachos were worth ordering, we received an assuring “Yes,” all three expressing how much they enjoyed the dish. However, I’m not sure why we asked, considering there was virtually no trace of the nacho dish left on their table.

Our’s quickly became a mirror image. Incredible food and drinks that left us yearning for more? Check.

District American Kitchen offers a comfortable, gorgeous environment and comfort foods with a twist — perfect for winding down post-work in the middle of the week. It wasn’t crowded; you seat yourself; and it wasn’t too noisy, either. And I’m sure if you don’t end up ordering every aesthetically pleasing appetizer you see, you’ll walk away with not only a small bill, but also a newfound favorite happy hour bar you’re bound to lounge in more than once.

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If You Go: District American Kitchen and Wine Bar

District American Kitchen and Wine Bar Logo

320 N. 3rd St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004
(602) 817-5400


Women in Construction AZ - AZ Business Magazine September/October 2011

Women in Construction AZ Provides A Women-Only Environment To Network

Women in Construction AZ provides a women-only environment to congregate, relate concerns and network

The blueprint for success in the construction industry is no longer signed with ink and set in stone. It’s going through a few revisions, redrafting from a predominately male world to a more level, coed playing field.

Women are throwing on their hard hats and utilizing their unique strengths, too, to gain opportunity and improve the business aspect of the industry.

However, with their unique strengths come unique problems and concerns, and Nate Sachs, founder of Blueprints for Tomorrow, is recognizing such.

In fact, Sachs is digging into his own wallet and providing an environment and outlet strictly for women owners within the construction world to congregate — Women in Construction AZ.

Women in Construction AZ is an organization that provides free monthly luncheons where women can share ideas, listen to keynote speakers and network. The idea was inspired from a Wall Street Journal article Sachs read that stated a high percentage of construction companies are either being owned by women or run by women. This got Sachs thinking.

“Women are very different,” Sachs says. “They’re very nurturing; they’re caring, and those aren’t actually conducive traits to running a company in the construction industry. Their needs are very different; there really wasn’t a forum that was catering to those needs.”

Women run business differently, according to Sachs, by thinking as a tradesman, a businessman — unlike many of their male counterparts.
“The women come in a different angle,” Sachs says. “They were never on the job site for the most part. They look at it as a business, and they run it as a business. They’re more business oriented.”

Thus, Women in Construction AZ was formed, and each month the event attracts about 200 attendees.

The first Women in Construction AZ luncheon held in October last year featured the senior vice president of National Bank of Arizona, Deborah Bateman, as the keynote speaker. All speakers are women as well.

“There are different organizations in the Valley that are specific to your trade, but this is the only one specific to women,” says Colleen Hammond, co-owner of Creative Environments. “With some of the issues we deal with, we’re provided good information, and it’s very apropos for this time.”

Since the first luncheon, attendance continues to increase, from 63 to more than 200 attendees every month.

While the speakers and their respective topics — ranging from HR issues, social networking, and how to evaluate your business properly, to insurances and exit strategies — are relevant and a hit with the attendees, it’s the networking aspect that has proven to not only help the women find business and gain exposure, but bond with one another as well.

“They talk about what’s happening in their world, and I see a lot of business cards exchanged,” Sachs says. “A lot of people are receiving work from one another. They’re meeting people they didn’t know were in the industry, so it has become a real camaraderie.”

Carla Brandt, CEO and founder of Cobra Stucco, agrees and says Women in Construction AZ provides a forum where women can collaborate on the challenges they face in business and their personal lives.

“Women tend to be very competent with communication and, typically, strive to be correctly understood,” Brandt says. “It doesn’t always feel like a wise thing for women in construction to share their fears and perceived foibles with men because of some of the lingering prejudices that still exist in the industry.”

While Brandt says women are still under-represented in the industry, Hammond says their presence is becoming more widely accepted, with more women playing a primary role. Because it’s such a niche market, meeting other women in construction has proven to be beneficial to improve business.

“It helps to share some of the problems we struggle with as well as some of the successes we and they have had and point each other in the right direction,” Hammond says. “It has also definitely helped to make contacts with certain vendors.”

With the industry beginning to turn around with more available jobs and projects, according to Sachs, women want to help one another and show their support. The luncheons provide such an outlet. Not only that, but more jobs means more opportunities for the construction industry becoming more female friendly, expanding the talent pool from which to draw, according to Brandt.

“As women continue to enter the construction field with good results, attitudes begin to change,” Brandt says, “and more and more women continue to enter the arena, bringing fresh talent, new ideas and, oftentimes, better ways to do things.”

[stextbox id="grey"]For more information about Women in Construction AZ, call (480) 596-1525.[/stextbox]

Arizona Business Magazine September/October 2011

Runoff Election, Early Voting Phoenix Mayor, Council

Phoenix Mayor And Council Runoff Election Early Voting

Phoenix Mayor And Council Runoff Election Early Voting

Do you know who you’re voting for for Phoenix mayor? After viewing that heated debate between Greg Stanton and Wes Gullett, you’re probably ready to submit your vote early. Luckily you can, in just a few days ― Thursday, October 13th. The mayoral election takes place November 8.

As many know, the race for mayor has been dwindled down to the final two, who held a debate on Wednesday, October 5. The debate covered Gullett’s lobbying firm, SB 1070 and the candidates rated City Manager David Cavozos’s performance.

Debate Highlights:

Regarding Gullett’s lobbying firm, Stanton suggested he would have too many conflicts of interested as mayor. Gullett ensured there would be no conflicts, as he will divest interest in his firm if elected.

Gullett also brought up an investigation dating back to 2007 when Stanton supported Maricopa Community Colleges as an elected official while simultaneously paid by the district. Stanton admitted he had a few slips and that these were unintentional.

Regarding SB 1070, candidates were asked if they would have voted for the bill as it had passed in the state legislature two years ago. Gullett said yes, supporting the fight against drug cartels and human smuggling; Stanton said no.

Stanton refused to rate City Manager David Carvazos’ performance on a scale of one to 10, saying good leaders don’t “prejudge people.” He said that if elected, he would rate Carvazos then. Gullett said that Carvazos hasn’t acted urgently enough.

Early Voting for the Runoff Election:

Mark your calendars; early voting for the city of Phoenix Mayor and Council November Runoff Election begins October 13 and continues through November 4.

Voters can cast their early ballots during business hours at Phoenix City Hall:

Phoenix City Hall
200 W. Washington St., 15th floor
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In addition to electing a mayor, voters in Districts 1 and 5 will elect a council member.

More Voting Sites:

Voting sites open Saturday, October 22. Here are the locations, dates and times:


Saturday, October 22
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Mesquite Branch Library

4525 E. Paradise Village Pkwy.

Sunnyslope Community Center

802 E. Vogel Ave.

South Mountain Community Center

212 E. Alta Vista Rd.

Saturday, October 29
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Deer Valley Community Center

2001 W. Wahalla Ln.

Desert West Community Center

6501 W. Virginia Ave.

Devonshire Senior Center

2802 E. Devonshire Ave.


Voting Via Mail:

If you’re interested in voting for the Phoenix Mayor and Council November Runoff Election via snail mail, request forms for a city ballot are available for download at the Elections Division website. The City Clerk Department must receive your request by Friday, Oct. 28, no later than 5 p.m.

Voters can call (602) 261-VOTE (8683) and request an early ballot request postcard, or mail a signed letter listing their name, address and phone number to:
City Clerk Department, Elections Division
200 W. Washington St., 15th Floor
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Deadline for Voted Early Ballots:

Voted early ballots must be received by the City Clerk no later than 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 8 ― Election Day.

Early ballots may also be dropped off at an early voting site or voting center during voting hours.


[stextbox id="grey"]For more information about the Phoenix Mayor and Council November Runoff Election, please visit the city of Phoenix’s website or call the City Clerk Department at (602) 261-VOTE (8683).[/stextbox]


Phoenix Fashion Week 2011

Phoenix Fashion Week 2011: Saturday Night Recap

Bravo, Brian Hill; Phoenix Fashion Week 2011 was spectacular this year, making Talking Stick Resort the place to be this past weekend. And Saturday night rounded out the weekend with fabulous head-turning fashion and show-stopping pieces from both local and nationally-acclaimed designers. Even the new face of Prada’s fall 2011 campaign was present, Kelly Mittendorf, who, just one year ago, walked the Phoenix Fashion Week runway.

Saturday night’s runway show spotlighted established designers, including Stop Staring! Clothing, Joy Li, Mariska, Michelle Jonas and Blaque Label. Stop Staring! was a personal favorite of mine. This line is made for women who want to embrace and show off their curves with these 1940′s- and ’50s-inspired vintage dresses. What caught my eye were the stockings, embellished with playful prints and designs.

Joy Li‘s line is inspired by her mantra, “Less is More,” as she revealed in the brief video interview, which aired prior to her runway reveal. Her designs had a modern, edgy vibe, with combat boots paired with silk, lace and furs — fashion that “projects inner strength, beauty and confidence.”

The high-end, contemporary women’s line Mariska, from downtown Los Angeles, really took us back in time with psychedelic prints, as models stomped down the runway to the Cher hit blasting from the speakers.

Michelle Jonas Travelwear was next in line with a premium resort wear line, catering to travelers who want to be comfortable and sexy, emphasizing their silhouettes. And lastly was Blaque Label, which won the Outstanding Brand Award 2011, due to its unique vision, trendy, high-fashion designs, as well as its ability to exhibit constant improvement and consistency. Blaque Label was an audience favorite — and rightfully so considering the collection is worn by celebs, including Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, Kourtney Kardashian and Demi Lovato, to name a few.

And let’s not forget about the emerging designers, including Arizona-based HourGlass Apparel, which, you guessed it, is a clothing line of hourglass apparel; Joli Richard, from Texas, a modern take on old Hollywood glam; Ohio’s Jones Select, a contemporary line for men; and Sylvia Bours from Mexico, for those women looking for something unique.

Thanks for an incredible weekend of fashion, wine and networking, Phoenix Fashion Week team!

Take a look at some of the designs from Phoenix Fashion Week 2011′s Saturday night runway show:

[slickr-flickr tag="PHXFW" items="20" type="sets" id="68507495@N04"]

Photos by Cory Bergquist

Check out our Thursday night recap, and click through the photo gallery, too.

Phoenix Fashion Week 2011

Phoenix Fashion Week 2011: Thursday Night Recap

Last night, Scottsdale Living staff attended Phoenix Fashion Week 2011′s first runway show at Talking Stick Resort — which consisted of fashion suitable for a gamut of lifestyles, from lounge wear to office attire to swimwear.

Last night’s designers included Velvet Boutique, located in Chandler; Te’ Boutique, located at the Scottsdale Quarter, offering men and women’s sportswear, business and evening attire; Bilby & Moss, a sponsor of PHXFW, with a comfortable clothing line made with light fabrics and designs; Retro Brand, a line boasting that “vintage feel” and plenty of university logos and mentions, including Arizona State University Devils and the University of Arizona ‘Cats; and Veronica Brett from New York City, who designs swimwear in virtually every color, specifically for breast cancer survivors and women who have had mastectomies.

Emerging designers at last night’s Phoenix Fashion Week event included Deeds of Love, fashion that gives back; Dejamone, blending fashion design, graphic design and web design into one cohesive unit; and Sebastien Millon, a world-renowned artist who focuses his imaginative drawings on animals, kids and more.

For more information about Phoenix Fashion Week, visit

View photos from last night’s event:

[slickr-flickr tag="PhoenixFashionWeek" items="12" type="sets" id="62045641@N08"]

Photos by Cory Bergquist

Want to know which designers are sending the models stomping down the runway tonight?

Here’s the agenda:

5 p.m. – 7 p.m. “Get Discovered” Happy Hour
5 p.m. – 11 p.m. Style Villa: Shopping Marketplace
6 p.m. – 7 p.m. Red Carpet
7:45 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Designer Runway Shows:
SJ Couture
Evan Golf
Carroll Shelby Collection
Blaque Market
Alana Hale
Black Russian Label
10 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. Emerging Designer Shows:
Blue Bird Denim
INDI Apparel
Mabella Chic
10:30 p.m. – 1 a.m. After Party presented by:
Fashion Arizona Meet Up
14th floor, Degree 270


RidePlus Celebrates 1 Year

RidePlus Celebrates 1 Year, With Drivers At The Heart Of Its Success

After just one year in business, RidePlus has accomplished more than just getting clients from point A to point B.

RidePlus, which provides private transportation and optional assistance services, designed especially for older adults, has expanded its services to Florida, as well as building its demographic, creating opportunities and lasting relationships along the way.

With more than 200 reservations per week and six drivers who have medical assisting background, RidePlus has seen its ridership increase.

“Since the first quarter of this year, we have seen our ridership more than triple without any major marketing or partnership or contractual relationship,” says Edward Hoffman, founder and CEO of RidePlus. Business has grown due to positive word of mouth and referrals, he says, as well as the fact that there were few services available like it.

After Hoffman witnessed his own grandparents lose mobility, he knew it was time to provide a transportation service that his own family could be proud. Drawing on his experience as the owner of Safe Car Service, which focused on campus transportation, Hoffman created RidePlus.

“I thought, if it’s affecting my life, maybe there are a lot of other families out there like mine,” Hoffman says. “All of them have said to me this is exactly the program we would have imagined using had it been available for our own family. It touches home for us because we are beginning to understand that it’s something that will affect all of us.”

With this resource available for those caring for their parents, it helps relieve the tension and guilt involved in the change in mobility, helping to maintain the relationship between caregiver/child and parent.

“We’ve had a young adult say, ‘You’ve saved the relationship between me and my mom,’” Hoffman says. “That definitely was one of those things that made all of our hard work worth it. We’re really making a difference in the quality of people’s lives and doing something special.”

Not only is RidePlus helping the caregivers live their lives with less stress, but it also allows the senior clients more more freedom.

“One of our clients is 89 years old and she has never driven a day in her life,” says Justin Peterson, a RidePlus driver. “Without our services, she wouldn’t be able to spend time at the pool and therapy.

Peterson adds, “We had a client who was in tears because she was so excited to get out and spend time away from her care center.”

But Hoffman wanted RidePlus to be more than just a cab in the area. He emphasized the attentive, unique care one must take with a senior citizen, recruiting drivers with medical assisting backgrounds.

Drivers go through extensive training, including tuberculosis screening, first aid and CPR certifications, and they must pass PASS — Passenger Assistance Service & Safety Training.

Hoffman says the service the drivers provide is the cornerstone of the RidePlus experience. In fact, RidePlus receives phone calls asking for specific drivers when they set their appointments.

“People rearrange their own schedule to get the driver they request,” Hoffman says. “They’re much more than clients. We actually have a role in improving their lives.”

Peterson says, “Eighty-five percent of our clients are going to an appointment that they really don’t want to be at … doctors or dialysis. So it’s very important that we keep the clients’ spirits up during the ride.”

Because RidePlus has established itself as a transportation provider that cares and listens, parents began calling to see if RidePlus could extend its service and transport children from school to after-school programs and then home.

“Because of the trustworthy, personal level of our services, our youngest clients are as young as 8 years old,” Hoffman says. “We transport throughout the school year. We  work with the blind. We work with anybody that requires a little extra care.

“As much as we talk about ourselves as a senior transportation service, people often look at us as a family transportation service, and we really provide that trustworthy extension of the family,” he says.

RidePlus is also located in Sarasota, Fla., where the area is densely populated with a high percentage of seniors.

In the Phoenix area, RidePlus services the following areas: Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Glendale, Peoria, Sun City, Surprise, Avondale, and more.

For more information about RidePlus or to schedule an appointment, visit or call toll-free (877) 743-3090.


Citizen Public House, The Original Chopped Salad

Chef Kantak Of Citizen Public House Dishes About His Salad Favorites

When your salad has its own Facebook page, that’s when you know you’ve made a culinary Citizen Public House, Chef Bernie Kantakimpact; and Chef Bernie Kantak of Citizen Public House in Old Scottsdale is living proof of it.

After years of chefs — both locally and nationally — replicating and recreating his Original Chopped Salad, Kantak jokingly created a Facebook page for it, immediately following a chat with a friend, on Facebook. Since then, Citizen Public House no longer lists the ingredients of the salad on the menu; instead, the restaurant displays the web address for the salad’s Facebook page.

The Original Chopped Salad is considered just that, original and unique. When Peter Kasperski, the owner of Cowboy Ciao, decided the salad needed a fresh look and taste, Kantak took on the challenge. Inspired by a fennel soup with sweet dried corn and salmon, Kantak “liked the combination and herbatiousness of the soup,” and redeveloped it into the salad it is today.

After just two weeks on the menu, Cowbow Ciao sold more than 100 salads a day, and it continues to be the top seller at Citizen Public House.

The Original Chopped Salad has a seemingly abnormal combination of ingredients, including corn, salmon, couscous, asiago, pepitas, tomatoes, currants and arugula. Patrons can then drizzle the salad with buttermilk pesto dressing.

“When you first tell people what’s in it, it doesn’t really sound very good,” Kantak says. “But once they have it, it becomes magical to people. People go bananas for it.”

Kantak says it’s the combination of flavor and texture that keeps diners coming back for more, or intrigued enough to try it for the first time.

The Original Chopped Salad, Chef Kantak“I think it’s the combination of how everything is so different,” Kantak says, “but it comes together really beautifully, especially with the colors.”

This is why Kantak advises for your next salad to be adventurous and try different things. For instance, instead of croutons, Kantak substitutes potato chips.

“You can have a salad with two ingredients in it, and it can taste great; and then there’s the Original Chopped Salad that has a lot of elements into it,” Kantak says. “I think it’s the way things harmonize with one another. Don’t be afraid to try everything, and just think outside the box.”

For those looking to whip up a simple salad for lunch or a pre-dinner treat, Kantak recommends combining tomatoes, a little bit of red onion, basil, balsamic extra virgin olive oil, salt and cracked pepper.

But what makes a great salad are fresh ingredients, Kantak says, which can be found at various farmer’s markets around the Valley.

“Definitely the Scottsdale Farmer’s Market and the farmer’s market downtown,” Kantak says. “I really like to go to the market at the Chinese Cultural Center; they have stuff you just aren’t going to find in a grocery store.”

Kantak’s favorite salad? His own Mirliton Chopped Salad, which combines chayote, snow pea greens, grape tomato, cucumber-onion salad, heirloom popcorn, grilled halloumi cheese and parsley-garlic dressing.

“People are surprised by the heirloom popcorn,” Kantak says. “The Greek grilled cheese is grilled and has a nice smokiness; and the cucumbers are light, refreshing and summery.”

Try the Original Chopped Salad or The Mirliton Chopped Salad, both found on the Citizen Public House menu.

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If You Go: Citizen Public House

7111 E. 5th Ave, Ste. E, Scottsdale
(480) 398-4208



Stingray Sushi - AZ Business Magazine September/October 2011

Stingray Sushi: The Way of the ‘Ray

Stingray Sushi Dining Review

Stingray Sushi - AZ Business Magazine September/October 2011

Surprisingly the weather was turbulent that day, but I was still willing to walk the plank and dive into one of Scottsdale’s unique sushi eateries — Stingray Sushi. But only the most clever of patrons will learn the way of the Ray; first, you have to figure out how to get in — literally.

Once I scoured, hunted and navigated my way into the restaurant — after a moment of confusion upon realizing the door has been camouflaged with the wall — I sank into my seat, eagerly awaiting the arrival of my dinner mates so we could give our first command.

Stingray Sushi’s unique décor kept my eyes wandering. The restaurant’s interior conjured images of an urban, contemporary vessel, with what looked like wooden planks floating high above the tables. But this ship was sailing on funky seas with its brightly-colored, orange seats; the swelling techno music; and fish eggs that not only served as a good source of carbs sprinkled over my wild salmon roll, but as inspiration for the light fixture located at the entrance of the restaurant.

As any sushi aficionado would start the evening, my dinner mates and I snacked on edamame; gyoza, pan-seared pork dumplings; and lobster tempura, lightly battered, deep-fried, bite-size bits of lobster, with a golden, crispy exterior, a hint of citrus in flavor and a creamy texture.

As we eagerly awaited the arrival of our first entree, we realized only at Stingray Sushi do wooden boats fare well on land, too — on your table that is, and at a fraction of the size, of course. The medium-sized sushi boat presented — in a fun, unique way — an assortment of fresh fish chosen by the chef, including salmon and tuna; a spicy tuna roll, which had fresh, light vegetables, followed by a hot kick; and sides of miso soup and a bowl of white rice, per patron.

Shortly after, our caterpillar roll, stingray roll and wild salmon roll surfaced. The caterpillar roll was topped with avocado slices, drizzled with eel sauce and stuffed with unagi, or freshwater eel, and cucumber. Not a fan of eel, I was surprised this became my favorite dish of the night. A majority of my dinner mates agreed.Stingray Sushi - AZ Business Magazine September/October 2011

It was now time to jump ship and try the wild salmon roll, comprised of crunchy salmon with a spicy bite, cucumbers and topped with orange-colored tobiko, which is Japanese for flying fish roe. I surprised myself many times that night, as I swore I would never eat tobiko, but once I took that unthinkable leap, my reservations for it vanished.

The Stringray Roll was a must to order. It combined an interesting mix of elements, including spicy crab and cucumber, with spicy rurkake, cilantro and a jalapeno mix, with a sweet, chili sauce on the side. It was safe to say this was the hottest roll on the table, but the addition of jalapenos worked quite well to create an unforgettable taste.

Hold the table steady; the Godzilla Roll has finally made its presence known, and what a beast that was — both in size and in the utter amount of food, including shrimp tempura, spicy tuna, cucumber, soft shell crab and a crab mix, and eel. The Godzilla was hard to miss, presented in an eye-catching display; it was rolled and wrapped with avocado-green soy paper and swimming in eel sauce.

To round out our feast, we split the chocolate cake and mochi ice cream, a Japanese confection of strawberry, vanilla and orange-flavored ice cream, each wrapped in mochi, a chewy, pounded sticky rice, and sprinkled with a white powdery coating.

Steer your way to Stingray Sushi and indulge yourself with a feast of fine Japanese cuisine in a casual, cool environment.

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If You Go to Stingray Sushi:

Stingray Sushi
15279 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85254
(480) 270-8123



weGrow Phoenix Opens, Cultivating Opportunities In Arizona

weGrow Phoenix - As interest in the medical marijuana industry increases, weGrow offers franchisees a chance to be a part of it.

The demand for Medical marijuana is growing across the state. And with the law of supply and demand being what it is, the number of applications for franchises selling products to help cultivate the crop soared immediately following the legalization of medical marijuana in Arizona.weGrow Phoenix, Dhar Mann

“Before I even knew the state of Arizona passed the law, I was getting franchise application after franchise application on my iPhone, and I thought something in Arizona must have happened to trigger this kind of response,” says Dhar Mann, founder and CEO of weGrow, a chain of hydroponic supply stores. “And that’s when I found out Arizona went legal.”

In fact, weGrow sold out all of its franchise rights for stores they plan on opening in the next three to four years, with Arizona franchisees submitting about 10 percent of the total applications.

WeGrow held its grand opening in Phoenix, the state’s first location, in June. Since then, the store’s franchisee, Sunny Singh, decided to open more locations across the state, purchasing six additional stores in Arizona.

“Singh represented the brand very well, and we had a very positive reaction to the opening of the Phoenix location of weGrow,” Mann says. “There are a lot of people interested in getting into the medical marijuana industry without the risk of growing the plants, which weGrow allows them to do.”

So far, it weGrow plans to open a store in Flagstaff by October, and another store in Tucson by the end of the year, Mann says.

Mann also says that Arizona was the right market to open a weGrow store, not only because Phoenix is one of the largest metropolitan cities in the nation, but also because “weGrow’s business model specializes in areas where there’s high demand, but low information. Our cornerstones are built on education, training and learning.”

WeGrow offers classes, technician services and the ability to see the entire supply chain process, which Mann says excited patients who use medical marijuana.

“We’ve had a lot of new patients walk into the store wanting to start their very first garden,” Mann says. “There are no other hydroponic stores in the state right now where they can talk about medical marijuana cultivation.”

In addition to the educational aspects of the store, weGrow provides anywhere between 15 and 20 full- and part-time jobs. But Mann says it’s the ancillary jobs created that make a difference, including hiring a doctor on site for medical marijuana evaluations; professors to teach classes, including technicians and experienced growers; design and construction positions; security positions, and distributors. About 75 indirect jobs are created with the opening of each weGrow store.

Mann says weGrow and the marijuana industry could have a profound economic impact on Arizona, generating hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax revenue, even with a 10 percent sales tax. In California alone, medical marijuana is a $14 billion dollar industry, he says.

“If the government would think about all of the benefits that legalization could bring from the dollar point of view, there’s not only sales tax, but there’s also the jobs, real estate that’s bought and the property taxes, the increase expenditures from people buying locally as well as people that are now employed spending more,” Mann says. “It creates a lot of economic dovetails that can be very positive for the state.”

Mann says weGrow pushes for more regulation because it wants the industry to “get out of the shadows and into the light.”

For those interested in investing, or for more information about weGrow Phoenix, visit or call (602) 278-9988.

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weGrow: inDevelopment

weGrow has recently filmed a pilot episode in Phoenix and Sacramento, Calif., for a reality television show that the company is in the process of pitching to a network. The show will follow medical marijuana patients, including cancer patients, as they sustain their health and build grow rooms. It will highlight the health benefits of cannabis as well as depict what it means to them, according to Mann.



Election Results, Phoenix 2011

Mayoral And Council Election Results Are In

The City of Phoenix election results are in for the mayoral and council election.

The results were announced last night, August 30, at 8 p.m., with votes submitted from nearly 650,000 registered voters — 646,995, to be exact — with a little more than two percent of the votes from voting centers, and a little more than 13 percent casting their votes via early voting (nearly 90,000 votes).

According to the City of Phoenix’s website, these unofficial results do not include provisional ballots; the remaining early ballots and provisional ballots expected to be tabulated on Friday, Sept. 2. Check back here for those results.

Mayoral Election Results

Greg Stanton received most of the votes, more than 37 percent and more than 37,000 votes. Read Stanton’s statement on his website.

Wes Gullett came in second — more than 20 percent and more than 20,000 votes. Read Gullett’s statement on his website.

Here’s a breakdown of the mayoral election results:



1. Greg Stanton



2. Wes Gullett



3. Peggy Neely
4. Claude Mattox


5. Jennifer Wright
6. Anna Brennan



Proposition 1 — Expenditure Limit

Proposition 1 passed, with a little less than three-quarters of voters voting YES.

What is Prop 1? Read more about it.




Proposition 2 — Zoning Referendum

Proposition 2 did not pass, with more than 60 percent voting NO.

What is Prop 2? Read more about it.







[stextbox id="grey"]Visit the City of Phoenix’s website for the Council District 1 – 3, 5 and 7 results. [/stextbox]



Election Social Media: Wright & Brennan

Phoenix Election Social Media Wars: Wright & Brennan

Election Social Media Wars: Wright & Brennan

Social media has become an important and effective marketing tool, with businesses creating Facebook pages and Twitter accounts for their customers, sharing deals and special offers. And it’s no less important in a race for mayor, especially for the Phoenix election mayoral candidates.

We visited all of the Phoenix mayoral candidates’ respective social media pages to get a better idea of how they represent themselves and their campaigns. It’s one thing to believe what the media and rival candidates say about one another, but how are they connecting with their supporters and how are they bettering their campaigns via social media?

Yesterday, we covered Wes Gullett and Peggy Neely. Today, we’ll look at Jennifer Wright and Anna Brennan.

Jennifer Wright

Jennifer Wright’s website states her campaign focuses on the following issues: repealing the food tax, creating a more open, transparent government, enforcing SB 1070, increasing public safety, creating more jobs and improving small businesses and small business creation.

Facebook & Twitter

Wright’s Twitter thoroughly updates her followers of her responses at mayoral debates. She’s informative, and she seems active on her account, responding to her followers’ questions. For instance:

Jennifer Wright's Twitter, Election Social Media “@rbcarter 2 make sure jobs & oppy’s thrive, ‘hoods r safe & secure, & the city is fiscally responsible. VOTE WRIGHT!”
“@RPongratz Thanks for your support!”
Jennifer Wright's Twitter, Election Social Media “Q1: B4 be sworn in, I will identify 20 biz stuck in city process & make sure they are up & running by inauguration day. #PhxDebate”
“Q5: Fiscal responsibility KEY. Review proposed line-item budget b4 passing, cut fat and admin bloat. Hold depts accountable. #PhxDebate”

As for Wright’s Facebook, with 507 followers, it’s updated frequently with video posts, shared links of articles relating to the mayoral race, as well as her thoughts and opinions. She seems more active and personable on Facebook, determined to increase the number of followers every day:

Jennifer Wright's Facebook Page, Election Social Media “‘I have no interest in being a household name or having personal fame or notoriety. I do not seek to be a career politician. Instead, my desire is to serve and lead Phoenix back on a path to prosperity. I would be honored if the highest office I ever held were that of Mayor of Phoenix. I humbly ask for your vote.’ Jennifer Wright”
“500! LET’S RAISE IT TO 510!””Today’s goal is 490!”
Jennifer Wright's Facebook Page, Election Social Media “Have you seen and shared my web-ad?
The Wright Change for Phoenix”
“Jennifer Wright Press Conference Post-Chamber Debate “

Anna Brennan

Anna Brennan focuses on the community for her campaign. She pledges to “have the most open, accountable, and transparent government that the City of Phoenix has ever seen,” work on the city’s budget by proposing a zero-based budget, emphasize the importance of education by advocating for public school reform, and spotlight illegal immigration.

Brennan’s social media usage, both Facebook and Twitter, have identical posts — all video links to Brennan’s unique, live broadcasts from her cell phone (using bambuser, an app that streams live video for others to view), updated very frequently.

Facebook & Twitter

Anna Brennan's Twitter, Election Social Media Anna Brennan's Twitter, Election Social Media


Anna Brennan's Facebook Page, Election Social Media Anna Brennan Facebook, Election Social Media

No. of Friends & Followers for each Mayoral Candidate:

As of August 18, 2011, sourced from the social media pages linked to each candidates’ website:

Claude Mattox

Greg Stanton Facebook Page, Election Social Media 2,942 Friends
Greg Stanton Twitter, Election Social Media 775 Followers

Greg Stanton

Greg Stanton Facebook Page, Election Social Media 1,349 Friends
Greg Stanton Twitter, Election Social Media 583 Followers

Wes Gullett

Wes Gullett Facebook Page, Election Social Media 759 Friends
Wes Gullett Twitter, Election Social Media 235 Followers

Peggy Neely

Peggy Neely Facebook Page, Election Social Media 509 Friends
Peggy Neely Twitter, Election Social Media 452 Followers

Jennifer Wright

Jennifer Wright Facebook Page, Election Social Media 507 Friends
Jennifer Wright Twitter, Election Social Media 125 Followers

Anna Brennan

Anna Brennan Facebook Page, Election Social Media 104 Friends
Anna Brennan Twitter, Election Social Media 40 Followers

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Election Voting Dates & Times:

Saturday, August 27, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Monday, August 29, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Tuesday, August 30 (Election Day), 6 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Election social media — is it important to winning an election? What do you think?
Do you think the candidates’ social media pages, “friends” and “followers” have any impact on the election and who will win the mayoral race? Let us know. If it is, it looks like Mattox is leading the pack.