Author Archives: Michael Gossie

Michael Gossie

About Michael Gossie

Michael Gossie is a competitive marathon runner, Ironman triathlete and award-winning journalist who has earned more than 50 awards for writing, editing and design. He studied economics at Elmira College in Elmira, N.Y., and put his entrepreneurial spirit to work in 2007, using a 200-year-old family recipe to launch an Italian sauce company. He is most proud of being the founding president of the Steuben Arc Foundation in Upstate New York, which serves individuals with developmental disabilities, including his sister.

conboy

Leadership spotlight: Pamela Conboy

Pamela Conboy
Lead regional president
Wells Fargo
wellsfargo.com

Conboy has 34 years of leadership experience in retail, business banking and learning and sales development. She manages 4,200 team members, 340 stores and $24.4 billion in deposits. She sits on numerous boards, including the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, Valley of the Sun United Way and American Cancer Society’s CEOs Against Cancer.

Biggest challenge: “I have relocated five times during my career and each move required forming new professional relationships, and personal as well.  I learned how to effectively network, joining Chambers, seeking high impact Community Boards where I could meet new leaders and make a difference.  Arizona has been terrific since my arrival six years ago.”

Best advice to offer: “The best way to get promoted is by being great in your current role and master your business knowledge and skills … One of my favorite quotes is, ‘In search of perfection, you just might catch excellence.’”

Best accomplishment: “My most proud successes are those that I get to share with my team.  At Wells Fargo we are One Team — no “I,” only “We.”  Together we achieve greatness, and we always get better by having everyone get better together — we like to say a high tide raises all ships!  And WE LOVE to recognize, to celebrate and to always have fun!”

Broome

Leadership spotlight: Barry Broome

Barry Broome
President and CEO
Greater Phoenix Economic Council
gpec.org

Broome’s tenure at GPEC has helped attract more than 170 companies, created at least 30,100 jobs and more than $7 billion in capital investment to Greater Phoenix.

Biggest challenge: “One of the biggest obstacles I’ve faced was learning to believe in my own talent. It took awhile for me to start believing that I truly deserved any of the good things that have happened for me.”

Best advice to offer: “1. Get to work early. 2. Be diligent. 3. Be dedicated. 4. Treat people with respect. 5. Keep your word. I have never heard of someone failing when they took control of all five of those factors – and they are all within your control.”

Best accomplishment: “My proudest achievement is developing leaders who will affect change and make the world a better place – it’s what matters the most.”

Belfiore

Leadership spotlight: Jim Belfiore

Jim Belfiore
President
Belfiore Real Estate Consulting
belfioreconsulting.com

Belfiore has 15 years experience in real estate research and analysis. During the last eight years, he and his team have helped Arizona developers, homebuilders, lenders, investors, and brokers understand buyers, macro and micro-level supply and demand conditions, and potential outcomes of community development and building strategies.

Biggest challenge: “The downturn. My business was started as the real estate downturn took hold of the Arizona housing market.  Hard work, innovation, and the support of family and friends allowed the company to emerge from the downturn as a leading AZ research firm.”

Best advice to offer: “An honest assessment is often one of the most difficult but necessary evaluations to move beyond challenges. Whether evaluating yourself or a property you’ve fallen in love with and don’t want to give up on, a thorough and honest assessment will help you find the path to success.”

Surprising fact: “A buddy and I consider ourselves the foremost Arizona authorities on Fourth of July pig-roasting. I think those that visit our party every year would agree — our pig rules.”

Bai

Leadership spotlight: Ari Bai

Ari Bai
Shareholder
Polsinelli
polsinelli.com

Bai has extensive experience protecting client products in the mechanical, electrical and computer industries. Bai previously served as in-house patent counsel for a large national medical device company. He also worked as a patent examiner for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Washington.

Biggest challenge: “The biggest obstacle I faced was making the transition from in house patent attorney early in my career to private practice. As an in house attorney you have one client – your employer, while in private practice your focus is divided among many clients. I overcame this obstacle by organizing my practice to ensure that the proper priorities were assigned to each client’s work.”

Best advice to offer: “Make sure your clients fully understand the complexities of intellectual property and how it impacts their business.”

Surprising fact: “I was awarded a first degree black belt in Karate and that I’ve won numerous awards at various tournaments.”

Barrett

Leadership spotlight: Craig R. Barrett

Craig R. Barrett
Retired CEO and chairman, Intel Corporation;
chairman, Arizona Ready Education Council
Intel Corporation
intel.com

The retired Intel CEO successfully led the corporation through some of its worst times, including the burst of the dot-com bubble and a severe recession. He is now leading the Arizona Ready Education Council, which will develop and utilize an online “report card” to review the performance of Arizona students and coordinate efforts to improve achievement.

Biggest challenge: “Managing change in a large organization. It quickly became obvious that you had to lead by example.  Staffing changes, leading by example, and constant communication are important to manage change.”

Best advice to offer: “If you know and love your business, then don’t listen to the ‘expert’ financial analysts in regard to what you should do. Their reality is to the media, and your reality is to the business. Do what you believe, not what others tell you to do.”

Surprising fact: “I always wanted to be a forest ranger, but ended up as an engineer – now in retirement, I have a ranch in Montana and get to be a practicing forest ranger.”

party

12 ways to look perfect for the holiday party

You’ve got the perfect dress. The perfect pumps. The perfect date.

You want to look in the mirror and see Katy Perry, but all you see is Tyler Perry.

It’s not too late. There is still time to tuck and pluck, nip and snip so you’ll look more like Madonna and less like Madea for holiday party season.

Think of this as the “12 Ways ‘Til Christmas.” Here are 12 steps you can take to make heads turn when you walk into your holiday party.

Perk up your ears

As we get older, our ears follow suit with the rest of our skin and they begin to lose collagen and elastin. The ears cannot support the weight of earrings like they used to, which causes the jewelry to droop and sag. Dr. Susan Van Dyke of Van Dyke Laser & Skin says Juvederm can instantly and effectively restore ears so that they support ear jewelry like they did when the skin was more youthful. Juvederm is an injectable filler made from a sugar naturally found in skin. It gives firmness to the skin by holding a large amount of water.

Face the facts

If your face isn’t looking as bright and cheery as you want it to look, an antioxidant brightening facial from Red Door Spa might be just what you need. Your skin constantly sloughs off dead cells. These cells can clog pores and give the skin an aged look. A revitalizing and detoxifying facial will repair cellular damage caused by daily stress, strengthen the skin’s ability to protect itself and restore luminosity.

White Christmas

Smile Simplicity is a new, non-invasive smile enhancement, veneer technology that is pain free. Smile Simplicity, which is offered by the Scottsdale Smile Center, works on stained, misaligned and gapped teeth and dramatically improves smiles quickly and painlessly. Plus it provides permanent whitening. For those who are looking for a quick fix to brighten up their smile, there is no better or more affordable way to upgrade your pearly whites than to get them whitened. Dr. Jeffrey Clark of Scottsdale Dental Excellence offers a special type of whitening called Opalescence Boost Bleaching, which takes less than an hour and is guaranteed to leave your teeth sparkling new.

Need a lift?

Body Beautiful Day & Med Spa is the first day spa in the Valley to offer the Fractora Firm by Invasix, which is the newest generation of safe skin tightening technology. The process of Fractora is unlike most other skin tightening treatments. Rather than making incisions, laser technicians gently heat skin to an optimal temperature, which causes the skin to naturally remodel and contract. The treatment only takes 30 minutes and can repair loose skin on the face, jaw, neck, upper arms forearms, upper thighs, knees, and post baby tummy skin. There is no hospitalization or recovery period.

Bye, bye butterfly

Have you avoided the perfect party dress because of tattoo regret? Thanks to PicoSure — which is 100 times faster than any other laser on the market — there may be time to erase the ink before your company Christmas party. PicoSure, which is offered by Phoenix Skin, has a couple of advantages over other tattoo removal procedures: its offers a shorter timeframe between treatments and fewer treatments necessary for removal.

In a different vein

Have ugly veins you want to erase? “Sclerotherapy, laser and endovenous ablation are methods to treat veins depending on the location and size of the veins,” says Dr. W. Patrick Davey of Dermatique. “Laser treatment using ultrasonic guidance is effective in closing larger, deeper veins. Occasionally, lasers are used on the skin’s surface following sclerotherapy to treat tiny blood vessels that are either too small for sclerotherapy or that have failed to respond to previous injections.”

Smooth operator

Want thing to go a little more smoothly this holiday season? Laser hair removal is now “the standard of care to permanently decrease if not eradicate hair in any given area,” says Dr. Bill Halmi of Arizona Advanced Dermatology. “The results are usually very long lasting — several years. It is also not uncommon to have permanent removal.” Dr. Mark A. Blair of Paradise Valley Dermatology says, “best results can be achieved by a person with fair skin and dark hair. That being said, laser hair removal is possible for all skin types with the proper wavelength laser platform.”

Don’t sweat the small stuff

Nervous about holiday party season? You’re not alone. Nearly 3 percent of the population suffers from hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating). According to Van Dyke, once a year Botox injections can dramatically reduce sweating in most people. The savings in dry cleaning alone make it worthwhile. Men and women are increasingly turning to Botox to solve this problem.

Fat gets cold shoulder

“CoolSculpting is as a revolutionary new technology based on decades old knowledge that uses cold temperatures to ‘freeze’ fat cells,” says Dr. Michael Carlton of Phoenix CoolBody, which has two Valley locations. “After a single treatment you can see a remarkable 20-25 percent reduction in fat in the treated area. Results are long lasting and no surgery is required.”

Extend yourself

Stacy Ghazi of Vanity Blow Out Bar says that if you want a lion’s mane of hair to frame your face for the holidays, clip-in hair extensions may be the way to go. Clip-ins do the least damage because the hair is attached with clips. Vanity Blow Out Bar uses a special type of clip-in (the halo) that is placed around the head, which adds length and only takes minutes to apply. Ghazi calls the halo method an “up-and-coming trend.”
If you’re a do-in-yourselfer and want perfect party hair, you can achieve the perfect blowout with Drybar’s Blowout In A Box, which includes Drybar’s trio of tools — the Buttercup (official blow dryer of Drybar), full pint medium round brush (for achieving curl and volume on all hair types), and Hold Me! clips (featuring a self-locking system that allows for large sectioning).

Want pouty party lips?

“Injectables can be used not only to plump lips and fill wrinkles, but they can also add youthful volume back to cheeks, enlarge small chins or breasts, lift brows, volumize aging hands, and fill under eye hollows,” says Dr. Lee Laris of Phoenix Skin. “We also use fillers to improve acne scars.”

The eyes have it

“The most popular procedure I have done this year is to brighten the upper face by focusing on the eyes,” Van Dyke says. “I use fillers such as Restylane and Juvederm to reduce the hollows under the eyes (the tired look) and tear trough (the sad look). I employ relaxers such as Botox and Dysport to raise the brow and soften the crow’s feet. The overall effect is soft and subtle, but nevertheless, remarkable.”

Aspinall

Leadership spotlight: Mara G. Aspinall

Mara G. Aspinall
President and CEO
Ventana Medical Systems, Inc.
ventana.roche.com

Aspinall founded the European Personalized Medicine Association and advised the Obama and Bush administrations on diagnostics and genomics.

Biggest challenge: “My college and postgrad majors were in business, yet I‘ve made my career in biotech where a strong science background is an distinct advantage. So, I had to go back and develop my foundational knowledge in the sciences while working, and I continue to sharpen it throughout my career.”

Surprising fact: “People are often surprised to learn that I’m an avid sports fan.  I will attend any live sporting event – from baseball to rodeo – any chance I get.”

Anable

Leadership spotlight: Susan Anable

Susan Anable
Vice president of public affairs for the Southwest Region
Cox Communications
cox.com

The ASU graduate grew up in Wyoming and worked for the Arizona Senate Research Staff before joining Cox Communications in 2001. She has been instrumental in creating legislation and regulatory policy that enables Cox to fairly compete and succeed, including passage of the Arizona Cable Customer Tax Relief Act and the creation of the Cox Advocacy Network, which has helped Cox engage employees in political advocacy.

Surprising fact: “I worked on a construction crew for a natural gas utility company in college and learned how to operate a bucket truck.”

Page-01

Leadership spotlight: Rhonda Anderson

Rhonda Anderson
CEO
Cardon Children’s Hospital
bannerhealth.com

Anderson played an integral role in the planning and development of the child- and family-centered facility which opened in 2009. Anderson’s healthcare leadership experiences include serving as a nurse, educator, chief nursing officer, COO and executive vice president. She also serves on national healthcare reform committees.

Biggest challenge: “My father was an exceptional businessman and he taught us that there are no obstacles. We learned to view a business challenge as a puzzle and look for the pieces that appropriately fit together to complete our business strategy and implement our tactics.”

Advice to offer: “Never lose your passion for the children and families to whom your associates and doctors provide care. Your staff are the most important asset you have. Be available to them, encourage them and thank them for all they do.”

Adkerson

Leadership spotlight: Richard Adkerson

Richard Adkerson
Vice chairman, president and CEO
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.
fcx.com

Adkerson, named The Best CEO in Metals and Mining by Institutional Investor magazine for the past four years, serves on the boards of the Arizona Commerce Authority and GPEC.

Biggest challenge: “When the financial meltdown occurred in the second half of 2008, it had a dramatic effect on copper prices and other commodities that we produce. We cut back hard cost production, we deferred capital projects, we cut back on our general and administrative expenses and adjusted the cost structure of our business to deal with the lower prices. I’m very proud of our organization on how we did respond.”

Advice to offer: “When you decide to do a deal, the most important thing is to get the deal done, not necessarily to trade for the best deal that is there. You want to get the best terms you can, but too often people let deals get away from them.”

almanza

Leadership spotlight: Benito Almanza

Benito Almanza
Arizona Market President
Bank of America
bankofamerica.com

Benito is Bank of America Arizona Market President. A graduate of Stanford University and the University of Santa Clara, he has been with the bank for 34 years.  He currently chairs the Phoenix Aviation Advisory Board and is a member of the Teach for America Arizona Board and Greater Phoenix Leadership.

Biggest challenge: “Realizing that a 13-hour work day six to seven days per week was not good for myself or my family and doing something about it.  I readjusted my 10-year career plan to balance priorities putting my focus on my family and building my professional skills.”

Best advice to offer: “Keep the lines of communication open and be sure that credit for good work is delivered regularly and to the right people.”

Ali

Leadership spotlight: Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali
Founder
Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center
thebarrow.org

In 1997, the former heavyweight boxing champion teamed up with philanthropist Jimmy Walker and Dr. Abraham Lieberman to combine clinical and research expertise with community support and emotional care and create the MAPC, a National Parkinson Foundation Center of Excellence and an outstanding resource for people with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders.

Best advice to give: “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’”

ahrens

Leadership spotlight: Kelley Ahrens

Kelley Ahrens
Vice president
CBRE
cbre.com

Ahrens is a Vice President of CBRE’s Healthcare Services Group working with healthcare systems, physicians and institutional investors creating strategic business plans to protect asset and operational value.  With her over 15 years commercial real estate experience, she is actively involved in all aspects of a transaction cycle.  She provides multi-market oversight and leads leasing/management teams.  She is a CCIM and involved in GPEC, Banner Health’s Women’s Council and Phoenix Fashion Week.

Best advice received: “The best business advice I ever received was early in my career when I had little patience wanting instant success.  A friend told me to have faith in my ability. Never sweat the small stuff and always remember to maintain your own foundation.  The ‘success’ will fall into place.”

Surprising fact: “I have been somewhat of a daredevil in that I raced an Indy car at the Texas Motor Speedway, surfed a killer wave in St Martin and learned to ride a Harley Fatboy motorcycle.”

bike

Bikram Yoga made me a better athlete

For most endurance athletes, the number 26 means one thing: The number of miles in a marathon. But when I decided to take on triathlons in an effort to preserve my knees and protect my body from the pounding I gave it through a lifetime of running, the opposite happened. I was sore all over because I was using muscles and straining joints that I had never worked before. My shoulders hurt from swimming. My back hurt from biking. I had nagging aches and pains all the time.

Then I found real magic behind the number 26. A Bikram yoga class is a 26-posture series designed to scientifically warm and stretch muscles, ligaments and tendons in the order in which they should be stretched. “An athlete can expect to work every muscle in the body from the neck down with an emphasis on the body core,” said Elaina Zorensky, co-owner of Bikram Yoga Tempe. “In addition, all ligaments, tendons, joints, glands and organs will be strengthened and rejuvenated.” As someone who never stretched a day in his life, I was petrified to try yoga. And as an Italian originally from New York, I knew my buddies would be merciless in their taunting.

In the words of my best friend, Don: “Do you have a special skirt that you wear to yoga?” But I went. And I picked Bikram because I thought the heated room – the studio is heated to a minimum of 105 degrees with a minimum of 40 percent humidity – would help loosen my tight muscles. And it worked. In the three years since I started practicing yoga regularly, I haven’t had a single training related injury, my body recovers faster, my core is stronger than it’s ever been, my speed improved. But most importantly, I never get sore.

Professional triathlete David Glover has said there are three primary reasons why endurance sports athletes should consider practicing yoga: Increased flexibility. Multisport athletes need a full range of motion in order to be more efficient in their movements. One of the best things Bikram does is improve the mobility of arms and shoulders, which helped my swim stroke.

Improved core and stabilizer muscle strength. Because we maintain the same positions for extended periods of time – five or six hours hunched over during the 112-mile Ironman bike leg or running upright for three or four hours during a marathon – we need a strong core and strong joints to support our bodies.

Both of the above will help reduce the likelihood of overuse injuries. Consistency in training is a key success factor in endurance sports, Glover said, and it’s difficult to be consistent when you’re sore or injured. When training for Ironman last year, I factored Bikram into my training schedule and considered it every bit as important as my long runs and 100-mile bike rides. During the 90-minutes classes, I will sweat out as much as 10 pounds, so don’t think Bikram is a warmup. It’s a workout.

“Bikram yoga is incredibly beneficial for endurance athletes,” Zorensky said. “One 90-minute session will work the entire body from the inside out and regular practice helps one improve focus, determination and endurance. It helps to teach one to remain calm in challenging, stressful situations. Furthermore, at the beginning and end of each Bikram yoga session, a breathing exercise floods the body with fresh oxygen, teaches proper deep breathing, and improves lung capacity.” But Zorensky stressed that you don’t have to be an athlete to benefit from Bikram.

“Bikram yoga is for everybody,” she said. “If one is inflexible, can’t touch their toes, or maybe can’t even see them, they are an excellent candidate for yoga. Bikram yoga is a beginning yoga series that is a great, non-impact way to tone and strengthen the body as well as to increase flexibility.”

Want to try it? Here are some things to remember:

1. Wear something cool and comfortable. The room is heated, so be prepared to sweat… a lot. I made the mistake of wearing running shorts and a cotton T-shirt to my first few classes. Women should wear shorts and a sports bra or tank top with a built-in bra. Men should wear swimming trunks or workout shorts.

2. Drink plenty of water throughout the day so you are well hydrated before class. And bring a big plastic bottle of water to drink during class. Also avoid eating for a couple hours before the class starts.

3. You’ll need a yoga mat and large towel. If you don’t have them, they are available at the studio to rent or buy.

4. It is normal to feel dizzy or lightheaded during your first class. So listen to your body. Don’t be afraid to sit down or sit out a posture if you need to.

achen

Leadership spotlight: Jim Achen, Jr.

Jim Achen, Jr.
Senior vice president
Transwestern
transwestern.net

Jim specializes primarily in the leasing and sales of office properties on behalf of private, institutional, entrepreneurial and developer clients. Active in Phoenix commercial real estate brokerage since 1992, Jim has been a consistent top producer and a recipient of numerous awards for exceptional achievement.

Best advice received: “Don’t give up and don’t listen to the critics. My dad, Jim Sr., told me this repeatedly. Early on, when I would lose an assignment or a deal would unravel, his typical response was, ‘Well, welcome to the NFL…,’ then he’d pump me up to get back out on the field.”

Biggest achievement: “Being a father to my sons, Jim III (8) and Dillon (7). They’ve both said they want to work with me in real estate … we’ll see. J III has also said he wants to win 10 Super Bowls and Big D wants to win 10 NASCAR championships. I like that they think big.”

Garner

Leadership spotlight: Don Garner

Don Garner
Executive vice president
Alliance Bank of Arizona
alliancebankofarizona.com

Garner is executive vice president and statewide real estate manager for Alliance Bank of Arizona’s commercial real estate group. Garner has more than 25 years of experience in commercial and residential lending in Arizona and has been with Alliance Bank since its inception in 2003. He  is an active member of both the Phoenix and Tucson communities. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the American Heart Association and Special Olympics Arizona. Prior to relocating to Phoenix in 2005, Garner resided in Tucson for 15 years. He is the Past President of the Tucson Conquistadores and former Chairman of La Paloma Family Services in Tucson.  He is also a member of the National Association of Industrial & Office Properties (NAIOP) and the Urban Land Institute.

Best advice received: “I’ve been lucky to have had some great mentors throughout my career who gave me a lot of great advice. But the one that comes to mind most is from my dad who said if your work is of great quality and quantity that deserves a promotion, you’ll never need to ask about it, it will come on its own.”

Surprising fact: “I used to race stock cars and I caddied on Tour.”

education.business

Educators say executives can increase workplace value

Despite signs of what most people view as a recovering economy, more than half of Arizona’s workforce stresses over job security.

A recent University of Phoenix survey revealed that 61 percent of working adults worry about losing their jobs in the current economic climate and 20 percent anguish over it at least once a week.

“In a challenging economic environment, workers should be doing more to position themselves as leaders in their organizations, but the survey finds that many are holding back at work, and this can have a negative effect on performance and productivity,” said Dr. Sam Sanders, college chair for University of Phoenix School of Business and a former human resources executive with more than 20 years of hiring and employee relations experience. “Those who understand the big picture and how their own skill sets help their companies achieve goals should have more confidence and can have an advantage in the workplace.”

To separate themselves from others and to create more job security, many executives are strengthening their skill sets through education.

“The trends in executive education is for shorter duration programs than those that preceded the recession, with emphases on acquiring skills that lead to promotions or career advancement and new market opportunities,” said Dr. Kevin McClean, interim dean, Ken Blanchard College of Business at Grand Canyon University. “Another key ingredient is the opportunity to network. These objectives are not really different from those that motivated people to pursue executive education in the past.”

Executive trends

Some of the shifts that educators are incorporating into graduate business programs include more emphasis on leading in turbulent times, developing organizational talent, innovation and creativity, and flexible, participative strategic planning.

“Executives are being asked to take on more responsibility and act more holistic in understanding the interdependencies of people and functions in organizations,” said Dr. Kirk Wessel, dean of Angell Snyder School of Business at Ottawa University. “This is being reflected in curricula.”

Educators are also being asked to help prepare executives and business students to deal with increasingly more complex business issues.

“For example, rather than teaching executives innovation or risk, we are talking about ‘risk-bound innovation,’” said Dennis Baltzley, Ph.D., senior vice president of executive education at Thunderbird School of Global Management. “Leaders want to know how to create an environment of innovation, while creating a ‘boundary’ of risk management. We must innovate, but more than ever, a bad decision can be fatal.”

Baltzley said Thunderbird is also seeing a dramatic interest in global global leadership.
Our customers want to know how to lead effectively across borders, cultures, different business models and philosophies,” Baltzley said. “Since 2008, growth has been slow in the U.S. and other mature markets. This led many businesses to leap into emerging markets with the promise of double digit growth whether they were ready or not, and most were not as ready as they would have liked.”

Paul Melendez, assistant dean of executive education at the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona, said he is seeing four specific trends:
* Customization: Executive education is becoming much more tailored to specific organizations, with programs, content, and learning customized to the unique needs of the organization. While many business schools still offer one- or two-week open-enrollment programs, organizations are finding it more beneficial to develop a program that is tailored to their executives.
* Consulting: The natural extension of customized programs is a consulting model where education and problem-solving are combined into a program. “We have helped organizations develop their culture, strategically plan, and develop a wide variety of business improvement plans through programs that also provide education for leaders,” Melendez said.
* Strategic partnerships: Eller Executive Education has developed strategic partnerships with Miraval and Canyon Ranch to offer programs that join cutting-edge leadership and management principles and with world-class health and wellness programs which they have dubbed “integrative leadership.”
* Privatization: A year ago the university spun Eller Executive Education out of the UA to allow greater operating flexibility. “As a result, we are now providing many more custom program for private, governmental, and non-profit organizations,” Melendez  said. “We have seen a number of other state business schools also privatizing their executive education organizations.”

Increasing your stock

Michael Bevis, director of academic affairs at University of Phoenix, said more executives have started to approach their careers in the same way they approach business management by focusing on building their personal brands.

“When you think about a company brand, it isn’t just about what you are communicating, but how that brand addresses the needs of the intended audience,” Bevis said. “One of the things I work on with executives and other business students at University of Phoenix, is developing a personal business plan that starts with the personal mission statement. You wouldn’t run a business without a plan and the same should be true about your career. If you are not setting goals, measuring progress and making sure your knowledge stays current and relevant, your personal brand — like that of a company’s — can become stagnant.”

So what programs are out there for executives to utilize to strengthen their brand?

* University of Phoenix: Within the MBA programs, concentrations allow executives to grow specific skills. It is common for executives or business owners to have specific knowledge about an industry or certain aspects of business management, but skills or knowledge gaps in other areas. Concentrations can help professionals hone certain skills, such as people management, finance or marketing.

* Thunderbird School of Global Management: Thunderbird offers a range of options from its short programs — less than a week — to its more in-depth MBA offerings. “We have a Global MBA Online that allows you to learn global business from anywhere in the world and an Executive MBA that’s on-campus, but provides a schedule suited to the working professional. “ Baltzley  said. “We also offer online certificate programs which are designed specifically for working professionals looking to improve their marketability and gain a leading edge over their competition.

* W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University: “Our executive-education programs, such as our leadership development workshops and our certificate programs in real estate, supply chain management, and service excellence, can give executives deeper skills and expose them to new ideas,” said Amy Hillman, dean of the W. P. Carey School of Business. “However, if they want to move into leadership roles beyond their current functional areas, then the MBA is the best option, though short non-degree courses that develop leadership skills are also helpful.”

* Eller College of Management: Eller Executive Education offers a variety of week-long programs and year-long programs for leaders of different types of organizations. “We are also launching a program in early 2014 that is specifically oriented toward CEOs of mid-sized to large companies,” Melendez said.

* DeVry University: Keller Graduate School of Management offers seven specialized master’s degree programs and 13 graduate certificate programs.

* Ken Blanchard College of Business: GCU offers very practical programs that include a master’s in leadership, a masters in accounting, and a masters in public administration.

* Angell Snyder School of Business: Case teaching methodologies teach executives to think critically about all internal and external factors that come into play in developing effective organizational strategies, irrespective of the industry.

Moving forward

The most important message that educators have for executives who may be worried about maintaining their position in the current economic climate is to stay current on trends in your industry, keep your brand current by understanding how your skills and experience fit into the big picture of an organization.

“This past year, we were asked repeatedly how to be effective in managing a diverse, multicultural, and geographically dispersed workforce, and how to stay relevant in a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA) world,” Baltzley said. “Without question the term ‘VUCA’ has come of age and has several implications for executives who want to remain relevant today.”

To stay in the game, Baltzley has three pieces of advice for executives:
1. Get your head into what it means to think globally. If you think your company is domestic and American, and it will never go global, you are wrong, global is coming to you. In fact, global is probably already there, in the form of complex supply chain issues or direct competitors, so you better get prepared.
2. A term coined in the late 1970’s is important here – “Permanent Whitewater” – That is, if you think the whitewater is going to slow down, or that a calm patch is just around the corner, you are mistaken. You have to prepare yourself for leading in constant change in scale and speed.
3. Check your personal leadership style. Are you able to influence people very different than yourself? Do you enjoy variety, the unknown, surprises? Is your self-confidence and personal energy level pretty high? Do you like to test yourself, take some risks? If you can’t answer “yes” to most of these, you have some work to do to become a more adaptive leader.

RichBoalsCropped2

CEO Series: Richard L. Boals

Richard L. Boals
President and CEO
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona

What qualities does and effective CEO need to have?
You have to be able to create a vision that your team can follow. You have to be very flexible. You have to be sincere and honest and you have to care about your customers.

What qualities do you have that make you an effective leader for BCBSAZ?
I am able to envision the future. I’m adaptable to change and comfortable with change and I sincerely care about our customers and team members.

How difficult has it been to manage through the changes coming as a result of the Affordable Care Act?
The Affordable Care Act has been the biggest challenge we have ever had. The change has resulted in thousands of hours of our staff time and millions of dollars in expenditures, but we are passionate about doing the right thing. It’s the law and once it was passed, we said we would do our best to implement it.

What have you done to prepare for the ACA?
We’ve designed all new products to comply with the law. We’ve revamped our systems so they interface with the systems the government expects us to interface with. I’m happy to say we are a little ahead of schedule.

How will the ACA impact businesses and how they insure their employees?
The biggest question for businesses is whether they will continue to provide coverage to their employees. We’ve talked with many business owners who are struggling with this. Do they pay the fine, give their employees a stipend and let them go onto one of the healthcare insurance exchanges? With healthcare costs continuing to escalate, many are wondering if this is the time to step aside and let  employees take that responsibility directly.

How is being CEO of BCBSAZ different from being CEO of another company?
We’re a not-for-profit company. We pay federal income tax but we aren’t responsible to shareholders, so we’re not as inclined to worry about short-term profitability and that allows us to focus far more attention on delighting our customers.

What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in your industry?
People are living longer, healthier lives because of new technology and innovation. How many people do we know now who have had knee replacements and would otherwise have been incapacitated or on disability? That’s not the expectation we have today. We want to live long, vibrant lives and healthcare is enabling us to do that. That said, costs have have gone up steadily since I started my career and one of our challenges is finding ways to moderate that and still deliver great value.

What advice would you give to someone entering the healthcare industry today?
If you believe in delighting your customers, if you believe in helping people when they need help the most, this is a great industry.

If you weren’t doing what you’re doing now, what would you like to be doing?
A career in the military would have been a great calling. I also have this vision of going to Washington and making a difference. I would like to see Washington more effective, more efficient, and maybe even improve its image a little.

RichBoalsCropped2

CEO Series: Richard L. Boals, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona

Richard L. Boals
President and CEO
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona

What qualities does and effective CEO need to have?
You have to be able to create a vision that your team can follow. You have to be very flexible. You have to be sincere and honest and you have to care about your customers.

What qualities do you have that make you an effective leader for BCBSAZ?
I am able to envision the future. I’m adaptable to change and comfortable with change and I sincerely care about our customers and team members.

How difficult has it been to manage through the changes coming as a result of the Affordable Care Act?
The Affordable Care Act has been the biggest challenge we have ever had. The change has resulted in thousands of hours of our staff time and millions of dollars in expenditures, but we are passionate about doing the right thing. It’s the law and once it was passed, we said we would do our best to implement it.

What have you done to prepare for the ACA?
We’ve designed all new products to comply with the law. We’ve revamped our systems so they interface with the systems the government expects us to interface with. I’m happy to say we are a little ahead of schedule.

How will the ACA impact businesses and how they insure their employees?
The biggest question for businesses is whether they will continue to provide coverage to their employees. We’ve talked with many business owners who are struggling with this. Do they pay the fine, give their employees a stipend and let them go onto one of the healthcare insurance exchanges? With healthcare costs continuing to escalate, many are wondering if this is the time to step aside and let  employees take that responsibility directly.

How is being CEO of BCBSAZ different from being CEO of another company?
We’re a not-for-profit company. We pay federal income tax but we aren’t responsible to shareholders, so we’re not as inclined to worry about short-term profitability and that allows us to focus far more attention on delighting our customers.

What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in your industry?
People are living longer, healthier lives because of new technology and innovation. How many people do we know now who have had knee replacements and would otherwise have been incapacitated or on disability? That’s not the expectation we have today. We want to live long, vibrant lives and healthcare is enabling us to do that. That said, costs have have gone up steadily since I started my career and one of our challenges is finding ways to moderate that and still deliver great value.

What advice would you give to someone entering the healthcare industry today?
If you believe in delighting your customers, if you believe in helping people when they need help the most, this is a great industry.

If you weren’t doing what you’re doing now, what would you like to be doing?
A career in the military would have been a great calling. I also have this vision of going to Washington and making a difference. I would like to see Washington more effective, more efficient, and maybe even improve its image a little.

trauma

Abrazo Health Announces New Trauma Medical Director

Abrazo Health, the second largest health care delivery system in Arizona, has announced Dr. Christopher Salvino as West Valley Hospital’s new Trauma Medical Director. Dr. Salvino is an accomplished trauma surgeon with experience in leading American College of Surgeons (ACS)-verified trauma centers.

As Trauma Medical Director (TMD), Dr. Salvino will be responsible for the development of the trauma program at West Valley Hospital. Specifically, he will develop a trauma service inclusive of a specialist on-call panel, treatment protocols, and oversee the hospital’s peer review and performance improvement process.  Additionally, he will provide leadership in the development of the regional Trauma System by continuing to serve on national, regional and local committees.

“I am thrilled to be part of the Abrazo team in developing a modern, high-quality and professional Trauma service at West Valley Hospital.” said Dr. Salvino, “The opportunity to help develop the only high-acuity trauma program in western region of Metro-Phoenix to the California border and to help integrate the other Abrazo hospitals into our system’s approach to trauma is exciting. West Valley Hospital’s world-class Trauma program will be able to care for the most critically injured trauma patients and I predict we will be very proud of our outcomes as the program launches.”

Dr. Salvino currently serves as the Clinical Assistant Professor for the University of Arizona’s College of Medicine in Tucson. He is also a board member of the Arizona Trauma and Acute Care Consortium (AzTRACC). He is a member of the State Trauma Advisory Board (STAB) serving as co-chair for the workgroup charged with revising the State Trauma Plan. Additionally, Dr. Salvino developed the first formal training course for trauma laparoscopy in the United States as a surgical resident.

cheese

Food truck festival offers taste sensations

The Church of the Beatitudes is hosting its first Food Truck Roundup on Saturday, September 28 from 4 p.m.-8 p.m. at Church of the Beatitudes United Church of Christ, 555 W. Glendale Ave., Phoenix.

Some of the trucks being featured include:

* LuLu’s Homemade Italian Ice.
* Luncha Libre Street Gourmet, specializing in Arizona inspired food, using local products.
* Torched Goodness, torched-to-order creme brulee, in more than 40 flavors.
* 2 Wild & Cheesy Guys, offering the best grilled cheese available in the Valley of the Sun.
* Q Up Barbecue, bringing bomb diggitty BBQ to the streets.
* Taste Rite, Po’boys, small entrees, side dishes and dessert creations that are made fresh daily.

In addition to the great food, there will be live entertainment for visitors to enjoy. For more information, call 602-264-1221 or visit www.beatitudeschurch.org.

cheese

Food truck festival offers taste sensations

The Church of the Beatitudes is hosting its first Food Truck Roundup on Saturday, September 28 from 4 p.m.-8 p.m. at Church of the Beatitudes United Church of Christ, 555 W. Glendale Ave., Phoenix.

Some of the trucks being featured include:

* LuLu’s Homemade Italian Ice.
* Luncha Libre Street Gourmet, specializing in Arizona inspired food, using local products.
* Torched Goodness, torched-to-order creme brulee, in more than 40 flavors.
* 2 Wild & Cheesy Guys, offering the best grilled cheese available in the Valley of the Sun.
* Q Up Barbecue, bringing bomb diggitty BBQ to the streets.
* Taste Rite, Po’boys, small entrees, side dishes and dessert creations that are made fresh daily.

In addition to the great food, there will be live entertainment for visitors to enjoy. For more information, call 602-264-1221 or visit www.beatitudeschurch.org.

Todd Hatch

Washington Federal hires local talent

Washington Federal has announced that Todd Hatch has joined the bank as assistant vice president/regional sales manager. With over 14 years in corporate banking, he brings extensive experience to his new position, including a strong background specializing in the financing of transportation and construction equipment.

In his new role, Hatch will oversee equipment finance business development in a variety of markets, including healthcare, transportation, manufacturing and heavy commercial equipment.

Hatch received his bachelor’s degree in Spanish with minor in Latin American literature from Brigham Young University.

He is a Gilbert resident.

MAC

2013 Most Admired Companies in Arizona are honored

AZ Business magazine and BestCompaniesAZ presented the winners of the 2013 Arizona’s Most Admired Companies Awards on Thursday at the Ritz Carlton in Phoenix.

“Our primary goal in developing the program was to find and recognize those organizations that excel in key areas that impact and drive business in Arizona,” said Cheryl Green, publisher of AZ Big Media. “With nearly 300 nominations, being one of 40 winners shows that these companies truly represents the best in Arizona.”

Those key areas are leadership excellence, social responsibility, customer opinion, workplace culture, innovation, the “wow” factor, micro businesses, and fastest growing. From the list of 40 Most Admired Companies, eight companies were selected as spotlight winners for excelling in one of those eight key areas.

The Spotlight Award winners for 2013 are:

Leadership excellence: Sonora Quest Laboratories
Social responsibility: Charles Schwab
Customer opinion: Ryan, LLC
Workplace culture: Arizona Diamondbacks
Innovation: DBSI, Inc.
The “wow” factor: Infusionsoft
Micro business: Clean Air Cab
Fastest growing: Clinical Research Advantage

The 40 Most Admired Companies for 2013 are:

Adolfson & Peterson Construction
Headquarters: Minneapolis, MN
Year established: 1991
Workplace breakdown: 20 percent female, 80 percent male
Employees in Arizona: 55
Learn more: a-p.com
Reasons to admire them: A&P’s leadership is very employee consensus oriented and empowers their managers and other leaders to fully manage their projects successfully … offers tuition reimbursement, leadership training and professional training for its employees … fully stocked kitchen with free healthy food for employees for all meals of the day … dogs and other pets allowed at the office and employees have the flexibility to bring children to work.

American Express
Headquarters: New York
Year established: 1850
Workplace breakdown: 56 percent female, 44 percent male
Employees in Arizona: 7,596
Learn more: americanexpress.com
Reasons to admire them: Healthy Living, the company’s wellness program has created a culture of wellness … the Wellness Centers in Phoenix feature an on-site nurse practitioner, health coach and registered nurses … offerings include marked walking paths, blood draws, mammography and prostate screenings, well woman exams, flu and allergy shots, emergency medical care, dental services, CPR training,  and nutrition coaching. along with yoga, Zumba, tai chi, relaxation classes, free weights, Kinect, Wii fitness and discounted Weight Watchers.

Arizona Charter Academy
Headquarters: Surprise
Year established: 2001
Workplace breakdown: 72 percent female, 28 percent male
Employees in Arizona: 64
Learn more: azcharteracademy.com
Reasons to admire them: In 2001, Melissa Holdaway, CEO, left a corporate career to assist in starting Arizona Charter Academy and is passionate about being a voice for high poverty kids and creating positive change … a survey showed 95 percent of students said they felt safe, that they “belong” at ACA and 92 percent said their teachers encouraged them … diversity is celebrated through cultural diversity nights and events that allow all students to showcase their cultures.

Arizona Diamondbacks
Headquarters: Phoenix
Year established: 1998
Workplace breakdown: 20 percent female, 80 percent male
Employees in Arizona: 480
Learn more: arizona.diamondbacks.mlb.com
Reasons to admire them: While success on the field and financial stability are utmost priorities for the D-backs from a business perspective, the team emphasizes one other thing equally as much — strong corporate culture … Yahoo! recently tabbed the D-backs as the “best workplace in sports” … the organization features D-backs University, a comprehensive educational learning experience for employees to enhance their current abilities while also having a chance to learn additional skills for future career development.

Barrett-Jackson Auction Company
Headquarters: Scottsdale
Year established: 1971
Workplace breakdown: 25 percent female, 75 percent male
Employees in Arizona: 50
Learn more: barrett-jackson.com
Reasons to admire them: Barrett-Jackson works closely with the City of Scottsdale and the Scottsdale CVB to help drive tourism to Arizona … has cemented itself an altruistic powerhouse, having raised more than $55.3 million for local and national charities … charities involving children, military personnel, medical research and community support took center stage at this year’s Scottsdale event, and a total of 22 vehicles were sold to benefit them.

Cancer Treatment Centers of America — Western Regional Medical Center
Headquarters: Goodyear
Year established: 2008
Workplace breakdown: 71 percent female, 29 percent male
Employees in Arizona: 603
Learn more: cancercenter.com/western/
Reasons to admire them: As a cancer survivor, CTCAs’ CEO Dr. Edgar Staren has a unique understanding of the concerns of cancer patients and can often be found discussing their treatments or simply lending a comforting ear … CTCA is developing the nation’s first organic farm located on hospital grounds … Western is leading the way for the CTCA five-hospital enterprise through the development of a new Clinical Trials Program.

Casa Grande Regional Medical Center
Headquarters: Casa Grande
Year established: 1984
Workplace breakdown: 79 percent female, 21 percent male
Employees in Arizona: 845
Learn more: casagrandehospital.com
Reasons to admire them: CGRMC is the 11th hospital in the nation to partner with Mayo Clinic in telemedicine, allowing them to bring the expert to the patient … recently named on a national level as a “100 Great Places to Work in Healthcare” by Becker’s hospital review … certified as a mature-friendly workplace by the state of Arizona since 2008, 59 percent of CGRMC’s workforce is older than 45.

CBRE
Headquarters: Los Angeles
Year established: 1952
Workplace breakdown: NA
Employees in Arizona: 452
Learn more: cbre.com
Reasons to admire them: CBRE’s workplace culture stems from its RISE values—Respect, Integrity, Service and Excellence —which are the foundation upon which the company is built … diversity and inclusion are woven into every aspect of CBRE’s business, including the company’s African-American Networking Group, Hispanic Networking Group, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Networking Group and Women’s Networking Group … CBRE is the first commercial real estate services firm to achieve carbon neutrality in its own operations.

Charles Schwab
Headquarters: San Francisco
Year established: 1977
Workplace breakdown: 39 percent female, 61 percent male
Employees in Arizona: 3,200
Learn more: schwab.com
Reasons to admire them: Provides paid time off for employees to volunteer … organizes a nationwide, week-long volunteer event called Schwab Volunteer Week, in which employees pitch in on service projects at nonprofits across the U.S. During Schwab Volunteer Week 2013, Schwab employees spent more than 12,000 hours in their communities … Charles Schwab Foundation supports employee philanthropy by providing matching donations for employees’ charitable contributions, dollar for dollar, up to a maximum of $1,000 per year.

Clean Air Cab
Headquarters: Mesa
Year established: 2009
Workplace breakdown: 50 percent female, 50 percent male
Employees in Arizona: 25
Learn more: cleanaircab.com
Reasons to admire them: Started during the recession and has grown 400 percent … developed its business model around the triple P’s — People, Planet, and Profit in that order … constantly seeks innovative ways to use technology and social media to create consistency, convenience, and value for its customers … donates $1 per fare to nonprofits, giving about $100,000 back to the community and awarding four scholarships to students in ASU’s School of Sustainability and College of Technology and Innovation.

Clinical Research Advantage, Inc.
Headquarters: Tempe
Year established: 1992
Workplace breakdown: 82 percent female, 18 percent male
Employees in Arizona: 165
Learn more: crastudies.com
Reasons to admire them: Over the past six years, healthcare industry veterans Mark Hanley and David Bruggeman have grown CRA from a local network of six sites into the country’s largest integrated site network with 63 sites and more than 500 employees … CRA gives working parents paid time off to attend school functions or tend to other family needs … CRA analyzed patient data in January and received a 97 percent customer satisfaction rate.

DBSI, Inc.
Headquarters: Chandler
Year established: 1998
Workplace breakdown: 28 percent female, 72 percent male
Employees in Arizona: 82
Learn more: dbsi-inc.com
Reasons to admire them: DBSI’s compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 51 percent has held steady for the last three years … DBSI created 32 new jobs in 2012 and 26 more so far in 2013 … named one of Inc. Magazine’s “Fastest Growing Companies in America” … shares profits with its employees … company has a workplace golf simulator and a “bat pole” to get from floor to floor … “Hug Fridays” finds the founder showing his appreciation by way of a hug.

Discover Financial Services
Headquarters: Riverwoods, Ill.
Year established: 1987
Workplace breakdown: 71 percent female, 29 percent male
Employees in Arizona: 2,260
Learn more: discover.com
Reasons to admire them: The highest ranking officers in Phoenix meet monthly to establish and follow up on formal succession planning programs that consider someone’s potential to be promoted and determine their readiness … in 2012, 170 Phoenix employees volunteered at more than 50 local nonprofit organizations, totaling approximately 2,600 volunteer hours … rated  No.1 for Customer Loyalty among credit cards according to the 2013 Brand Keys Engagement Index Report.

Dunn Transportation/Ollie the Trolley
Headquarters: Tempe
Year established: 1986
Workplace breakdown: 40 percent female, 60 percent male
Employees in Arizona: 60
Learn more: dunntransportation.com
Reasons to admire them: Hire the best people. Empower them to make decisions and take action. Have fun. Those elements are the cornerstones Dunn’s culture … named the 2013 Outstanding Transit Organization by the Arizona Transit Association and the Arizona Department of Transportation for the joint development and operation of the fare-free Scottsdale Trolley system … 85 percent of Dunn employees said they wouldn’t work anyplace else and 90 percent expressed satisfaction with their pay.

Echo Global Logistics
Headquarters: Chicago
Year established: 2005
Workplace breakdown: 29 percent female, 71 percent male
Employees in Arizona: 30
Learn more: echo.com
Reasons to admire them: Echo likes to think of itself as a technology company that is really good at transportation management … Echo was ranked 44th by InformationWeek among top technology innovators in the United States for its FlexTMS service offering … Echo collected an impressive total of 45,742 items during its 4th Annual Food Drive … Echo joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) SmartWay(SM) Transport Partnership, an initiative with the goal of environmentally cleaner, more fuel efficient transportation options.

Gilbane Building Company
Headquarters: Providence, R.I.
Year established: 1873
Workplace breakdown: 17 percent female, 83 percent male
Employees in Arizona: 51
Learn more: gilbaneco.com
Reasons to admire them: Gilbane is a fifth-generation family-run construction company … developed an internal program, Gilbane University, for learning that helps its personnel gain the knowledge they need to serve their clients and progress on a clearly defined career path … company executives have taken leadership roles in St Vincent DePaul, John C Lincoln Foundation, ACE Mentor Group, Valley of the Sun United Way and National Junior Disability Championships.

Goodwill of Central Arizona
Headquarters: Phoenix
Year established: 1947
Workplace breakdown: 57 percent female, 43 percent male
Employees in Arizona: 1,969
Learn more: goodwillaz.org
Reasons to admire them: Since 2007, Goodwill has grown from 38 retail locations to more than 50, and from eight career centers to 15 … its long-term debt has decreased by more than 57 percent and total year-end revenue has increased from $59.6 million in 2007 to $104 million in 2012 … in 2012, Goodwill provided job training and employment placement services to 41,922 individuals, nearly quadruple the number served just five years ago.

Homeowners Financial Group
Headquarters: Scottsdale
Year established: 2004
Workplace breakdown: 65 percent female, 35 percent male
Employees in Arizona: 148
Learn more: homeownersfg.com
Reasons to admire them: HFG’s most recent charitable endeavor has been the development of their own foundation called the Homeowners Financial Care Fund (HFCF). HFG President Pat Lamb and CEO Bill Rogers created the foundation with the goal to support Arizona families who endure financial hardship while experiencing extended illness or injury of their children.  The foundation provides mortgage, rent and housing expense relief, as well as related lifestyle resources during a child’s extended health crisis.

Hyatt Regency Phoenix
Headquarters: Chicago
Year established: 1976
Workplace breakdown: xx percent female, xx percent male
Employees in Arizona: 314
Learn more: phoenix.hyatt.com
Reasons to admire them: General Manager Thomas Delaney conducts group discussions called “Talk with Tom.” During these meetings, he communicates current information regarding the hotel. In addition, he encourages employees to share their opinions and feedback as to how the hotel and departments can be improved … Executive Chef Dominic Vaccaro and his team participate in the “Chef to End Hunger” program in which excess prepared food that would normally go to waste is redistributed to local food agencies.

Infusionsoft
Headquarters: Chandler
Year established: 2001
Workplace breakdown: 38.2 percent female, 61.8 percent male
Employees in Arizona: 450
Learn more: infusionsoft.com
Reasons to admire them: Co-founders Clate Mask and Scott Martineau co-authored New York Times best-seller “Conquer the Chaos: How to Grow a Successful Small Business Without Going Crazy” to help struggling entrepreneurs … has raised nearly $175,000 for micro-credit lending organizations that enable would-be entrepreneurs in emerging countries around the world … has indoor bicycle parking, showering facilities and monthly cash drawings for those who participate as alternative mode users … employs a “dream manager” to help employees realize their dreams.

KeatsConnelly
Headquarters: Phoenix
Year established: 1990
Workplace breakdown: 69 percent female, 31 percent male
Employees in Arizona: 26
Learn more: keatsconnelly.com
Reasons to admire them: KeatsConnelly is the largest cross-border wealth management firm in North America that specializes in helping Canadians and Americans realize their dreams of a cross-border lifestyle … offers their employees flexible schedules, the ability to telecommute and new parents can even bring their baby to work after returning from maternity/paternity leave … has earned the Alfred P. Sloan Award for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility every year since 2008 … increased revenues by more than 25 percent in 2011.

Kitchell
Headquarters: Phoenix
Year established: 1950
Workplace breakdown: 28 percent female, 72 percent male
Employees in Arizona: 300
Learn more: kitchell.com
Reasons to admire them: Kitchell’s profit-sharing program, the brainchild of founder Sam Kitchell, enables any employee to become vested in the company, contributing to longevity and loyalty … its “Ideation Lab” is making a powerful impact in the area of construction technology … Kitchell’s building modeling team created a dedicated program that is now part of the curriculum at ASU’s Del E. Webb School of Construction … has a “New Ventures” committee that incubates ideas brought forth by employees.

Laser Spine Institute
Headquarters: Tampa
Year established: 2005
Workplace breakdown: 70 percent female, 30 percent male
Employees in Arizona: 77
Learn more: laserspineinstitute.com
Reasons to admire them: Health and wellness initiatives, regular team building exercises, tuition reimbursement, continuing education, referral bonuses, reward programs, flexible work schedules and ongoing professional development are a few of the many reasons why Laser Spine Institute is a preferred employer … the LSI Running Team grew out of a healthy idea for team building and has become a component of the company’s overall wellness program … among the “Nation’s Best 100 Places to Work in Healthcare.”

Martz Agency
Headquarters: Scottsdale
Year established: 1980
Employees in Arizona: 21
Learn more: martzagency.com
Reasons to admire them: Carrie Martz, founder and CEO, was the first female president of Phoenix Suns Charities, first female to be invited as member of the Transworld Advertising Association Network and was marketing committee co-chair for the Super Bowl XXX Host Committee … the back room of the agency has been converted into a nursery where employees can work with newborn babies or are able to check in on babies (watched by a nanny) throughout the day.

PCA Skin
Headquarters: Scottsdale
Year established: 1990
Workplace breakdown: 80 percent female, 20 percent male
Employees in Arizona: 86
Learn more: pcaskin.com
Reasons to admire them: PCA SKIN has a long-standing affiliation with the American Association of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons and has donated more than $150,000 to AAFPRS Face To Face: The National Domestic Violence Project, a program that offers pro bono surgery nationwide to survivors of domestic violence … offers each employee a paid day to volunteer at a charitable organization … earned ThinkGlobal Inc.’s 2013 Exporter of the Year Award.

Phoenix Children’s Hospital
Headquarters: Phoenix
Year established: 1984
Workplace breakdown: 80.73 percent female, 19.27 percent male
Employees in Arizona: 3,334
Learn more: phoenixchildrens.com
Reasons to admire them: Studies show children recover more quickly if they are comfortable, so the halls of PCH are filled with art and bright colors, they use wagons instead of wheelchairs, and there’s an opportunity to play around every corner … PCH’s wellness program, impACT Your Wellness, offers employees quarterly challenges, access to a wellness website, on-site yoga and Weight Watchers, healthy vending machines, free biometric screenings on site, an annual health and wellness fair and mobile onsite mammograms.

Plaza Companies
Headquarters: Peoria
Year established: 1982
Workplace breakdown: 47 percent female, 53 percent male
Employees in Arizona: 40
Learn more: theplazaco.com
Reasons to admire them: Plaza’s leadership team has helped position the company as an example of how corporate contributions to civic, charitable and economic development groups can create a positive impact in the community … Plaza leadership participates on the boards of the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, Arizona Community Foundation, Banner Health Foundation, GPEC, International Leadership Council, ASU’s Presidents Club and many others … offers 100 percent employer-paid medical insurance … instituted “Plaza University”, a program of ongoing education for staff members.

Ryan, LLC
Headquarters: Dallas
Year established: 1991
Workplace breakdown: 47 percent female, 53 percent male
Employees in Arizona: 96
Learn more: ryan.com
Reasons to admire them: Employees are given complete flexibility and can choose where and when they want to work as long as they achieve results … myHealth rewards employees for improving and maintaining healthy lifestyles … in the 2012-2013 benefit plan year, 76 percent of Ryan’s U.S. employees realized medical premium reductions by completing a biometric screening, medical health assessment, and meeting outcomes in the company’s targeted health risks categories. In 2012, the average number of risk factors decreased 28.6% from 1.4 to 1.

SCF Arizona
Headquarters: Phoenix
Year established: 1988
Workplace breakdown: 67 percent female, 33 percent male
Employees in Arizona: 380
Learn more: scfaz.com
Reasons to admire them: SCF made a seamless and transparent transition on January 1 from a state agency to a fully private mutual insurance company with no loss of jobs and no impact on customers … has an in-building wellness center staffed by two nurse practitioners … $200 annual wellness reimbursement for employees who join gyms, participate in smoking cessation classes or buy fitness equipment … has an “Energy Star” designation from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Scottsdale Healthcare
Headquarters: Scottsdale
Year established: 1962
Workplace breakdown: 77 percent female, 23 percent male
Employees in Arizona: 6,459
Learn more: shc.org
Reasons to admire them: Leadership Rounds is a monthly practice involving directors and vice presidents throughout the organization where they interact with staff in their normal work settings. This practice removes roadblocks to performance and aids in enhancing the patient experience … partners with local colleges to provide degree programs on-site for both staff and visitors … on-site full-service spa is available to employees … eligible employees can get financial assistance of $5,250 per year for prepaid tuition and tuition reimbursement.

Shutterfly, Inc.
Headquarters: Redwood City, Calif.
Year established: 1999
Workplace breakdown: 40 percent female, 60 percent male
Employees in Arizona: 243
Learn more: shutterfly.com
Reasons to admire them: Shutterfly protects 19 billion photos for more than 7 million customers who tell their stories through Shutterfly’s award-winning products and services … more than 1,000 customers took the time to write to Shutterfly in the first six months of 2013 to express their gratitude … $2,500 in free merchandise, and 50 percent off everything each year for each employee … In 2012, 75 employees packed 57,640 pounds of food for distribution by St. Mary’s Food Bank.

Sonora Quest Laboratories
Headquarters: Tempe
Year established: 1997
Workplace breakdown: 75 percent female, 25 percent male
Employees in Arizona: 2,657
Learn more: sonoraquest.com
Reasons to admire them: CEO Dave Dexter is committed to donating leadership and business skills to the nonprofit world and help local Arizona-based charities make a difference. Each member of his team is expected to lead a community or charity event during the year and volunteer time for fundraising efforts … will provide laboratory testing services for more than 6.6 million patient encounters and perform nearly 50 million tests in 2013 … provided more than 80,000 meals to those in need in 2012.

Sundt Construction, Inc.
Headquarters: Tempe
Year established: 1929
Workplace breakdown: 13 percent female, 87 percent male
Employees in Arizona: 1,134
Learn more: sundt.com
Reasons to admire them: Sundt was one of the first companies to establish an Employee Stock Ownership Plan as a way to bring a heightened sense of commitment to its employees, so each employee shares in the profits and success of the company … medical benefits go into effect on employees’ first day of work, unlike the typical 30-90 day waiting period … It is a Sundt policy that every project has a volunteer project associated with it to benefit a local charity.

The Lavidge Company
Headquarters: Phoenix
Year established: 1982
Workplace breakdown: 57 percent female, 43 percent male
Employees in Arizona: 70
Learn more: lavidge.com
Reasons to admire them: TLC is known for great work and a fun culture as well as its expertise and innovation … TLC offers several perks, including Summer Fridays when the office closes early, a dog-friendly atmosphere and flexible work schedules … TLC forgoes holiday gifts and provides a monetary donation to a nonprofit on behalf of its clients through its annual holiday giving program … TLC partnered with Mosaic to expand multicultural marketing services among TLC’s existing clients, while attracting new clients.

UnitedHealthcare of Arizona
Headquarters: Phoenix
Year established: 1987
Workplace breakdown: 78.7 percent female, 21.3 percent male
Employees in Arizona: 4,100
Learn more: uhc.com
Reasons to admire them: An innovative internal wellness program, Your Rewards for Health, helps encourage a healthier lifestyle among UnitedHealthcare’s workforce … telecommuting options for employees whose roles enable this type of flexibility has enabled more than 300 telecommuters in Arizona … UnitedHealthcare this year awarded $8,000 to eight Arizona organizations seeking to develop programs to help prevent childhood obesity in their communities … UnitedHealth Group employee contributions have helped grant the wishes of 1,260 children through the the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

V.I.P. Mortgage, Inc.
Headquarters: Scottsdale
Year established: 2006
Workplace breakdown: 58 percent female, 42 percent male
Employees in Arizona: 224
Learn more: vipmtginc.com
Reasons to admire them: When Jay Barbour and Keith Teegardin started V.I.P. Mortgage amidst the housing crash in 2006, they had one goal in mind – creating a company committed to restoring the reputation of the mortgage industry by fostering a culture with complete transparency and trust … a full-time masseuse is available for employee to mitigate stress … other perks include bingo Fridays, monthly cookie days, ice cream socials, no-shave November, Easter egg hunt, Halloween cubicle decorating contest, and casual day is every day.

Vanguard
Headquarters: Malvern, Pa.
Year established: 1994
Workplace breakdown: 39.5 percent female, 60.5 percent male
Employees in Arizona: 2,134
Learn more: vanguard.com
Reasons to admire them: Vanguard is the investment management industry’s only client-owned firm. This unique ownership structure, under which the management company is owned by the shareholders of Vanguard’s funds, enables it to maintain a client-centered, high-value focus by offering its funds at cost … Vanguard and its crew members pledged $6.1 million for the 2013 United Way campaign … Arizona crew members provided toys, clothing, and bicycles to nearly 340 children in need during the 2012 Sponsor-A-Child holiday campaign.

Ventana Medical Systems, Inc.
Headquarters: Tucson
Year established: 1987
Workplace breakdown: 46.7 percent female, 53.3 percent male
Employees in Arizona: 1,150
Learn more: ventana.com
Reasons to admire them: To ensure the best and the brightest are cultivated and groomed into tomorrow’s leaders, all Ventana management participate in annual succession planning meetings. To recognize and retain high-performers, Ventana utilizes a pay-for-performance philosophy. High-performers also have opportunities to attend global education programs and consider international job assignments to enhance their career development … 150 Ventana employees, families, and friends walked in the Susan G. Komen Race, raising over $27,000 – the largest corporate gift in Tucson.

WebPT
Headquarters: Phoenix
Year established: 2008
Workplace breakdown: 53 percent female, 47 percent male
Employees in Arizona: 155
Learn more: webpt.com
Reasons to admire them: By creating an affordable and intuitive cloud-based electronic medical records (EMR) for rehabilitation therapists — practitioners excluded from the government’s meaningful use incentive under the HITECH Act — WebPT brought the benefits of EMR to small therapy practices who would have otherwise fallen behind … raised $1,483 in less than two hours for Desert Labrador Retriever Rescue … held a company-wide blood donation drive … participated in the Phoenix Heart Walk and will sponsor an upcoming art program for teens through Arthouse AZ.

ZocDoc
Headquarters: Scottsdale
Year established: 2012
Workplace breakdown: 47 percent female, 53 percent male
Employees in Arizona: 15
Learn more: zocdoc.com
Reasons to admire them: Before a new employee arrives, everyone receives a “Meet X!” e-mail that includes their picture, job title and answers to icebreaker questions … daily, healthy, catered lunches allow employees to get to know their co-workers across departments … any employee who refers a new full-time employee receives up to $5,000 and 35 percent of new employees came from internal referrals … any employee who works in the office past 8 p.m. can expense their dinner and ride home.