Author Archives: Remi Omodara

Stem Cells Give Plastic Surgery A Facelift

Stem Cells Give Plastic Surgery A Facelift

For those looking for a new solution to looking younger, a local plastic surgeon is suggesting a different type of facelift — stem cell facelifts.

“Standard facelifts are pretty two-dimensional,” says Scottsdale plastic surgeon Jeffrey Ptak. “They pull the skin tighter, but that doesn’t necessarily make it look younger.”

Stem cell facelifts are three-dimensional, and they give the face volume, which is the key to looking youthful, according to Ptak.

“Aging is the loss of face volume,” Ptak says. “Each decade, we lose fat in our face, and continually filling the face can help you keep volume.”

According to Ptak’s research, 50 percent of the fat transferred to another part of the body lasts permanently.

“It has been proven that it is better to use body fat rather than commercial fat,” Ptak adds.

These stem cells come from fat and are produced in the bone marrow. Fat can be removed from the patient through liposuction, harvested and then replaced into the body where needed.

Researchers are even hopeful that stem cells will be able to replace scars or engineer new body parts in the future.

Stem cells have also proven beneficial in forming new blood and fat cells — acting as building blocks for collagen.

“When you combine this with good skin care,” Ptak says, “it has a profound effect.”

Stem cell procedures can also be done safely in the privacy of an operating office, but Ptak says to interview doctors for a safe, proper procedure.

“Very few [doctors] have fat transfer experience because it’s still not common here,” he adds.

According to Ptak, one should also review the surgeon’s facial surgery complication and success rate. Trained surgeons can produce enhanced, long-lasting effects.

As stem cells continue to make its way into surgical offices, more and more people will be able to enjoy revived skin.

“It’s a whole new approach to looking at the face three-dimensionally,” Ptak says.

For more information about stem cell facelifts and/or Jeffrey Ptak, visit

Jeffrey J. Ptak MD FACS
9431 E. Ironwood Square Dr., Scottsdale
(480) 451-9220

The Venue Scottsdale

The Venue Scottsdale Undergoes $1 Million Upgrade

Beginning as a nightclub, The Venue Scottsdale transformed into a concert hall, then expanded into a special events site — and it only continues to grow. In response to the vision of ownership and to appeal to a wider range of clientele, the venue has undergone a $1 million design upgrade, and additions have been made to the property as well.

“We wanted to have a wider reach to our clients,” says David Twigger, director of sales and marketing for The Venue Scottsdale.

The 29,000-square-foot building did away with the New Orleans style décor, for which it was known, and upgraded to a classy, modern look.

“Our vision was to bring the outdoors indoors,” Twigger says. “With the retractable roof and stonework contrasted by soft fabrics, it gives you an outdoor feel.”

According to Twigger, the New Orleans style décor was outdated and too dressed up.

“If you have a signature theme, you can only cater to certain clients,” Twigger adds. “The new design is a clean palette and can be used for a variety of themes and decorated to match your vision.”

After 17 years of owning the property, Victor Perillo decided to reinvest in the building due to his attachment to Old Town Scottsdale. Perillo’s ultimate goal is to expand into other cities, and Twigger believes remodeling the venue is a step in the right direction.

The Venue Scottsdale“This sets us up for more clientele and is a stepping stone for expansion,” Twigger says.

The design was decided upon based on both ownership request and a designer in southern California who deemed it appropriate.

“The Israeli limestone and earthy tones are going to keep us attractive to our higher-end clientele,” Twigger says.

Not only did The Venue Scottsdale undergo remodeling, an eatery was also formed as an extension of the venue.

The Chicago-style restaurant, Keep It Simple Stupid (K.I.S.S.) will also be in tune with the modern look of the venue. Designs include sharp lines, large windows and menus featured on television screens.

“It is definitely high energy,” Twigger says. “After K.I.S.S., we will focus on another extension ― V&V, a lounge (not a nightclub), which will be open to the public..

“We will offer small plates with bites to eat, and there will be a martini bar and mixology,” Twigger says.

For more information about The Venue Scottsdale, visit

The Venue Scottsdale
7117 E. 3rd Ave.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
(480) 945-5551

Cody Carpenter

Local Designer, Cody Carpenter, Named CHENG Concrete Exchange Winner

Founder of Architectural Concrete Interiors (ACI), Cody Carpenter poses a triple threat. His expertise in artistry, designing and steel fabrication has led him to be named CHENG Concrete Exchange’s 8th Annual Best of Show winner.

Cody Carpenter, Architectural Concrete InteriorsThe CHENG Concrete awards are based on the works of Fu Tung Cheng, the godfather of precast decorative concrete.

“He has been a true inspiration for much of my work,” Carpenter says.

Born and bred in Phoenix, Carpenter has been involved in all aspects of construction. With a father in the concrete curb business and mother who owned rental homes, Carpenter was exposed to repairs, painting and roofing at an early age.

“At a young age, my mom took notice of my creative side and did what she could to expose me to both architecture and art,” Carpenter says. “ I have to give her credit for helping me get where I am today.”

Cody CarpenterAfter taking classes from his mentor, Fu Tung Cheng, Carpenter received the confidence to build up his own business, ACI; and it paid off. Carpenter’s main goal for ACI is to focus on quality versus quantity.

“Every time I leave a job, I want to leave my client happy and give them the knowledge of the beauty of the material and show them how we can step out of a restrictive design box,” Carpenter says.

But Carpenter doesn’t limit himself to residential work; his completed commercial projects include Eddie V’s in Scottsdale, Paul Martin’s Bistro in California and his award-winning Timo Wine Bar in Phoenix.

“After each job, I would invest in one more concrete tool,” Carpenter says. “I have now gained the confidence and know-how to create anything my imagination can conjure up. I approach my designs with both a timeless and innovative quality of mind.”

Carpenter adds that what sets him apart is his versatility, diversity and experience in many trades.

“I live and breathe new ideas,” Carpenter says. “I plan on expanding my creativity back into some sculptures made of concrete and steel — my two favorite materials.”

Carpenter plans on expanding his business in the Valley and furthering his vision.

“I will do my best to change this city for the better, one house at a time,” Carpenter says.

For more information about Cody Carpenter and Architectural Concrete Interiors, visit

Architectural Concrete Interiors (ACI)
(602) 486-9396

Pink Jeep Tours, Grand Canyon

Pink Jeep Tours Expands To The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon has long been a destination for visitors around the world. Now, sightseeing company Pink Jeep Tours will give visitors the chance to experience the beauty of the canyon even more. With locations in Sedona and Las Vegas, Pink Jeep Tours has established itself as “the thing” to do in both cities, according to those who have experienced the desert ride. Both Sedona and Las Vegas currently offer tours to the Canyon, so it was fitting that an office with Pink Jeep tours at the Grand Canyon would be the next step.

Beginning August 1, Pink Jeep Tours began operating from the National Geographic Visitor Center seven days a week with customer service representatives on hand to answer questions, schedule tours and provide the ultimate experience for visitors at the Grand Canyon. The tours will be similar to the those experienced in Las Vegas and Sedona, with the same qualified tour guides and fun.

“When other tour companies are scaling back, we are stepping up our game and providing visitors what they want — more adventure, sightseeing and enjoyable tour opportunities in our existing markets of Sedona and Las Vegas, and now at the Grand Canyon,” says Pink Jeep Tours CMO Grant Ferguson.

Pink Jeep Tours also partnered with Destination Cinema, operator of the IMAX at the Grand Canyon, to bring a new tour component with the movie experience.

The expansion of Pink Jeep Tours at the Grand Canyon is just the beginning of exciting growth and adventure opportunities in Arizona and beyond.

“We look forward to not only what being located at the IMAX at the Grand Canyon will offer the millions of visitors each year, but where we will be able to expand our brand next,” Ferguson says.

Destination Cinema CEO, Bob Perkins, expressed his excitement about the partnership stating, “Destination Cinema is delighted to welcome Pink Jeep Tours as a marketing partner at the National Geographic Visitor Center.
Their ground tours will add another valuable component to the services offered at the center.”

With four tours available, including a spectacular ride along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, a guided walk along the Trail of Time and the opportunity to view the sunset at the Canyon, these tours will quench the eyes with beauty to last a lifetime.

Tours range in price from $68-$88, with discounted pricing for children 12 and under. Tours can be booked by calling (800) 873-3662.

Pink Jeep Tours Grand Canyon — making your visit even more Grand! For complete tour descriptions, visit

weight-loss lollipops

Lick Your Way To Thin With Weight-Loss Lollipops

Watching your weight can be a full-time job. Dodging doughnuts in the break room at work and avoiding the chocolate cake that’s calling your name at home can leave you stressed — and hungry! Not to fear, though; there’s a sweet solution to your sticky situation: weight-loss lollipops.

Okay, candy is generally not what you would look to for pound shedding, but thanks to a weight-loss lollipop, candy can keep you slender this slim-down season. The lollipop is packed with vitamin B-12 and phentermine to combat cravings and increase energy.

“We find that a lot of patients generally have a hard time with cravings and appetite,” says Jeanie Marcelino, spa director of Suddenly Slimmer Medical Spa. “The phentermine decreases appetite while the vitamin helps with energy.”

According to Marcelino, patients also have a hard time with pills and injections.

“They may forget to take a pill and everyone hates needles,” Marcelino adds. “These are simple and effective.”

The candy is ideal for busy people who find themselves tired and hungry throughout the day.

“You can carry them anywhere, and people won’t even know you’re on a diet,” Marcelino says. “Most of our consistent patients lose about half a pound a day.”

Sound too good to be true? According to Dr. Charles Livingston, author of “The Fat Loss Factor,” these lollipops can produce noticeable results in just about a week. The process isn’t difficult either.

At Suddenly Slimmer, the process starts with drawing blood from its patients to determine if they are healthy and able to move forward with the B-12 and phentermine lollipop.

“We see what’s going on with them, and then they meet with our doctor and get their first prescription — all for $100,” Marcelino says. “Then, they come back for checkups each week and get a weekly prescription for $50.”

The prescriptions also come with an eating plan, which helps patients become more knowledgeable about appropriate portions as well as how to exercise to stay healthy.

Not only do these lollipops suppress hunger and charge the body with energy, but they also get the nervous system working more efficiently, which plays a big role in weight loss.

“Most Americans are constipated,” Marcelino says. “Ideally, you should be excreting every time you eat, but when the nervous system is not working properly, you don’t, and constipation can make it harder to lose weight.”

With the right eating plan, one can consume the right foods for a healthy bowel movement schedule and better weight-loss opportunity.

“This is a great answer to people who struggle getting to a desired weight,” Marcelino says. “I believe that as long as you are healthy enough, you can do this program whether you’re a man or a woman.”

For more information about these weight-loss lollipops, visit

Suddenly Slimmer Med Spa
3313 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix

What do you think? Would you try these weight-loss lollipops?
Let us know below!

back to school

Send Your Kids Back To School With These Fabulous Items

School may be a place for learning, but it is also a place to express oneself in trendy, new gear. Check out these back to school must-haves that will have friends “ooh-ing” and “ahh-ing” this fall.


back to school itemsback to school itemsPenguin Backpack by Skip Hop

Your child will love going to school with an animal backpack. The smiling bag is bound to brighten your child’s day and make school that much more comfortable.

back to school itemsSketchers USA Pillar

It’s about time for P.E. classes to begin. Keep his feet protected in comfortable, but cute, Sketchers.


With its well-made, fashionable clothes and accessories, Boden has become the go-to destination for back to school style. Aren’t these two outfits adorable?

back to school items back to school items
Fun Cardigan: $54
Printed Skirt: $34
Short Suede Boots: $70
Bobbie Hat & Scarf Set: $36
Everyday Blazer: $52
Twill Shirt: $34


Kipling Aleron Backpack

Carry your books with class in an Aleron backpack. Not only is it affordable, but it’s also durable, lightweight and bound to give you that extra boost of confidence you need while gracing your school’s halls.

back to school itemsSeltzer Peacock Pen

Accessorize your Aleron with Peacock pens. The eco-friendly pens last for seven years and are cute enough to make you love taking notes.

Victoria’s Secret Bling Crop Yoga Pants

We know P.E. class can be a drag, but with Bling Crop yoga pants, at least you’ll look cute for the workout. The pants are available in a variety of colors that are bound to turn heads, in a good way.

Charming CHARLIE Double Stripe Sheer Flower Headband

Don’t forget the hair! Shop by color at Charming CHARLIE for accessories that will add the finishing touches to your hair. The Double Stripe Sheer Flower Headband is the perfect mix of girly and fun.

Magnet Board from the Macbeth Collection

Stay organized with a magnet board. You will never forget when your tests are — or your daily chores — again. The board’s popping colors, along with what you post on them, simply cannot be overlooked.

College Students:

back to school itemsReversible Twin XL Duvet Set, Oval Morrocan

Get Dormified! Style your dorm room or apartment with a reversible twin duvet set. Get tired of the same look easily? The reversible style allows you to have the best of both worlds.

back to school itemsKipling Jinan Backpack

Stay cool on your campus with a Jinan backpack. It’s perfect for laptop protection, back comfort and, of course, STYLE!

Kipling Duo Box

Sick of losing all your writing utensils? Match your Jinan with a carrying case for your pens and pencils to help you hold it together.

The Green Garmento
back to school

Dorm rooms aren’t as big as we’d like them to be, so why not save space? The eco-friendly Green Garmento pairs two, 4-in-1, reusable laundry bags with a space-saving, over-the-door hook perfect for keeping your closet clean and your dorm room green.

Exclusive Pink Collegiate Collection (yoga pants)
$ 36.50

Represent your school. Display your school’s logo on a pair of Victoria’s Secret Pink collection yoga pants. They are perfect for exercising to beat the freshman 15 or for just a weekend relaxing. (Note: You can only find Arizona State University and University of Arizona clothing in stores — not online.)


OfraStyle: Helping Women Look Great, Feel Comfortable [VIDEO]

Offering comfortable, convertible women’s apparel, OfraStyle can turn casual, everyday fashion into elegant, evening wear.

Born and bred in Israel, designer Ofra Aricha combines her love for colors and fabrics with a need for practicality. With this combination, Aricha was selected as one of 12 emerging designers for this year’s Phoenix Fashion Week.

“I had a strong love for colors and fabric combinations from an early age,” Aricha says. “When I was 10, I went to my mother’s closet, cut out all the garment labels and made a pillow from them.”

Her emphasis on practicality stems from her cultural background and her personal preference.

“In Israel, you have to be very practical,” Aricha says. People want to be able to exercise in the morning and then go to a movie with friends in the afternoon, without changing clothes, she adds.

For instance, classic, simple black pants can be transformed into an even classier black jumpsuit after some folding. Each design offers versatility to fit multiple occasions.

While focusing on convertibility, OfraStyle upholds comfort. The garments are derived from internationally-sourced, custom-made fabrics, making them soft and complementary to the body.

“You don’t have to be uncomfortable to look great,” Aricha says. In fact, OfraStyle’s motto is “Look Great! Feel Comfortable!”

And, Aricha’s clothing is for everyone. OfraStyle customers range from women in their 20s to mid-50s.

Currently an online boutique, Aricha and business partner, Lisa Miller, plan to take things to the next level.

“In Israel, I did everything by hand, but I see that it’s different here,” Aricha says. “I recognize that in order to go global, I have to change with the fashion world.”

In an effort to grow, OfraStyle has paired up with a producer in Los Angeles to mass produce the clothing. Aricha has high hopes to take the brand to Nordstrom’s as well as to high-quality boutiques in the Valley.

“The goal is to have OfraStyle in 100 stores in one year,” Aricha says. Phoenix Fashion Week is preparing them for the exposure.

OfraStyle will be given different opportunities throughout the ongoing event to prove why their design should be selected as No. 1. But, Miller says it’s more than just having the best design. “You have to know how to use business techniques,” she adds.

The first challenge will be held on August 10 at Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale. Models will hit the runway wearing brands from the emerging designers’ collections.

“It’s definitely keeping us on our toes, but we are very excited for it nonetheless,” Miller says.

OfraStyle’s Ofra Aricha discusses her convertible clothing, and more:

Video by Kristine Cannon

For more information about OfraStyle, visit Or, follow OfraStyle on Twitter at @ofrastyle, and “like” OfraStyle on Facebook for updates on other events.

online shopping, oniomania

Are You A Shopaholic? The Severe Reality Of Oniomania

Some may laugh at the thought of having a “shopping addiction.” Some may make light of people maxing out their credit cards on the latest brands and foregoing real life for material obsessions. However, the reality of the situation is: a shopping addiction can result in an illness known as oniomania.

“Our society deems material goods as important,” says Valley psychiatrist Michael Yasinski. “People believe that the more they buy, the happier they will be.”

And, with so many different outlets for shopping, including online shopping sites like Groupon that offer special deals, it’s difficult to avoid.

“There’s no shortage of easy ways to obtain options,” Yasinski says. “People can lose relationships, become isolated and lose emotional connection.”

Yasinski adds that the addiction can stem from problems in one’s past. He says often sees patients that have had emotional problems in their childhood or have experienced neglect.

“Eighty percent of the time, it goes back to early life,” Yasinski says. “The first step is making sure there are no underlying, treatable illnesses like bipolar disease or depression.”

One visible sign of oniomania is a financially unstable family. The family is usually called in and analyzed to decide whether the patient has the disease.

“Patients will get to a point where it’s taking a toll on their family,” Yasinski says. “They can’t concentrate at work or take their kids to soccer practice.”

The biggest deciding factor in determining whether on has onomania is impairment of functionality.

“If people are in debt, ruining relationships or staying up all hours of the night shopping online, it is a functional issue,” Yasinski says.

People may think that this is something that can simply be stopped by not going into stores and staying away from websites,” says former shopaholic Nikki Patrie. “However, it’s a lot more complicated than that. It was like Christmas when the packages came.

Patrie maxed out an $8,000 credit card in one week buying mostly shoes, jewelry and designer clothing. She admits that she just couldn’t help herself. Now $20,000 in debt, Patrie is seeing a therapist to turn her life around.

“Consequences of shopaholic addiction are often worse than those of drugs or alcohol,” Yasinski says.

The first step in stopping is to realize that there is a problem and personally want to fix it.

“People should know that there are several treatment options for the addiction and that it is easy to get help if they truly desire it,” Yasinski says.

For more information about oniomania and/or Yasinski, visit

social media day

Social Media Day Sharpens Effective Online Skills

Social Media Day Sharpens Effective Online Skills

As the Internet makes its way to the forefront of our lives, it’s important for businesses to keep pace and more importantly to keep up.

An effective online presence has been proven to be the marketing magic potion that helps businesses stay up to speed; hence the birth of Social Media Day.

Recently business owners, and advice seekers alike filled the Phoenix Ritz-Carlton with hopes of being enlightened on topics ranging from getting the most out of websites to landing a dream job in social media.

Marketing experts were present to cover every angle of social media. As the world gears up for a social media takeover, this may be just what the Valley business community needed.

How exactly are business-marketing strategies put into play online? Event experts all agreed that a website is the easiest and most important step to a business’ online presence.

Helix House co-owner Michael Donato went a step further to say the website should be what people want.

“Remember that your competition is just a click away,” Donato says. A hard-to-navigate site, he adds, doesn’t do your business justice in any way.

“Meet the expectations that people have,” Donato says. “That means better search engine optimization and visible contact information.

Donato says he believes that contact information is key to the credibility of a business website. If it’s hard to find, the consumer may be turned off.

Not only should you promote your business online, you should promote yourself. Paige Dell’Armi, Starbucks social media manager, says she believes that this can land you your dream job. A native of Arizona, Dell’Armi never imagined she would be working for the Starbucks headquarters in Seattle.

“I chased my dreams,” Dell’Armi says. “I had passion and I showed that to employers.”

Just as businesses raise awareness for themselves on the Internet, people can attract attention as well.

“It’s important to be wise in what you do online because employers are watching you,” Dell’Armi says. “You promote or demote yourself through your online actions.”

According to Dell’Armi, this promotion must be intertwined with passion, patience and perseverance.

“If you’re passionate, it shows,” Dell’Armi says. “You have to show that you really want the position because there are hundreds of other people applying for it.”

Passion is important, but Dell’Armi says she believes it’s nothing without a little patience and a lot of perseverance.

“I had 13 interviews with Starbucks before I got the job,” Dell’Armi recalls. “It took a long time but it was worth it.”

Through successfully promoting yourself online and the three P’s – passion, patience and perseverance – Dell’Armi says she believes you can score the job of your dreams.

An important aspect of fulfilling your business dreams is successfully utilizing deal sites such as Groupon and Deal Chicken. While a website is good, it may not be enough.

“Deal sites aren’t to be feared,” says Andi Barness, Doozy of a Deal owner. “They can be beneficial to you.”

According to Barness, deal sites can be just what a business needs to get people through their doors and spread the word.

“When you create a special for your business and it’s featured on a deal site, it spreads the word,” Barness says. “It’s a great marketing tool and it can create long-lasting customers.”

In return for Doozy of a Deal featuring various specials on its website, companies give it half the profit of the special.

“Some people think it’s lame and wonder why they should have to lose that money,” Barness says. “What they don’t understand is that they are investing in their business.”

For more information on Social Media Day, visit

IV Drip

Keep Hydrated In The Summer With An IV Drip

Hollywood health craze, the IV drip, has found its way to the Valley of the Sun. According to Dr. Suneil Jain, Rejuvena founder and owner, intravenous therapy not only keeps you hydrated in the Arizona heat, it’s a faster alternative to regular vitamin intake.

“If you’re out in the heat, you are losing a lot of electrolytes,” Jain says. “We can replenish those through IV drip.”

Many outside workers and athletes have incorporated this into their routines. Phoenix Suns player Steve Nash has had the opportunity to stop in at Rejuvena and spoke of how it improved his performance in his testimonial.

According to Jain, many patients hear about IV drip in their social circles or have ailments that require them to use vitamins in this way.

“Some patients do their research, come back and say ‘Oh, Madonna and Rihanna are doing it’,” Jain says. “It makes them feel better about it.”

IV drip allows vitamins to be absorbed faster and more effectively because the vitamins are deposited directly to the bloodstream.

When vitamins are taken orally, there is a chance that only 30 to 50 percent of the nutrients are being absorbed due to the digestive process. Not only does the process take longer, many nutrients are lost due to various chemicals in the body.

“IV therapy forces the body to absorb all of the vitamins that are injected,” Jain says. The vitamins also continue to permeate the body long after the injection.

According to Jain, this quick absorption does not generally produce side effects. “There may be slight detoxification effects, but generally IVs are meant to replenish the body and provide nutrition and support,” Jain says.

The therapy is also beneficial for patients suffering from various illnesses. It can heal someone suffering from cardiovascular disease, metal poisoning or the common cold.

“When you take the vitamins in high dosages, you see the antivirus benefits,” Jain says. Dosages of upwards of 100,000 milligrams are often given to patients, which does more work than just 1,000 milligrams often coming from pills.

At Rejuvena, basic IV therapy session costs range from $150 to $200. “It’s a big part of our business,” Jain says. “It’s a tool we use a lot of on a daily basis.”

Although Jain says this tool is not an excuse to not eat properly, he acknowledges that it’s a great way to “get essential XYZ vitamins into the bloodstream.”

“In general, IV therapy in itself can be quite powerful,” Jain says.

For more information about IV drip and IV therapy, visit

Rejuvena Health & Aesthetics
9977 N. 95th St. Suite 101
Scottsdale, AZ 85258
(480) 551-9000

Geo-Fit Personal Training

Geo-Fit Personal Training Combines Yoga With Wine

Need a little motivation to tone the abs and sculpt the thighs? According to Jolene Goring, Geo-Fit Personal Training fitness director, yoga and wine is the perfect mix of health and fun. She isn’t the only one who thinks so.

Wine has been proven to complement yoga. According to wellness guru David Romanelli, wine can help you relax and find your inner peace, which is part of yoga’s mission. Yoga and wine can intertwine for maximum bliss.

Scottsdale-based Geo-Fit offers a home yoga and wine package typically used for birthdays, date night, girls night or just because.

Goring says that her two main types of clients are couples having date night at home or girlfriends getting together for some fun.

“I used to train a lot of husband-and-wife clients who would invite me to stay for wine after their sessions,” Goring says. “One night I was talking with a couple, and they came up with the idea.”

Since post-workout chatting with couples and friends over glassfuls of wine became the norm, Goring decided to implement this duo into her business.

The package is the new craze. Goring says her Thursday and Friday nights are filled to the brim each week with clients who want to stay healthy, but have fun, too. Lots of people around the Valley are making wine drinking a post-workout activity.

“It’s gotten really popular because it’s new and exciting,” Goring says. “It motivates them to know they’ll get wine.”

A typical session lasts for 45 minutes and then the fun begins. Following the workout, there is a wine and cheese tasting to provide a bit of a reward. Also offered are add-ons such as makeup services for ladies going out after, chair massages and facials, to name a few.

“They can choose whether they want more of a relaxing workout or something intense,” Goring says. “Then we do the wine tasting.”

The yoga and wine package starts at $150 and additional costs are assessed based on the number of people and add-ons.

“I’ve gotten fitness in front of a lot more people because the package inspires you to be active,” Goring says.

According to Goring, a lot of people don’t like going to the gym. Visiting clients’ homes bearing wine allows them to get fit in a comfortable atmosphere with a tangible incentive.

“It inspires people because there’s a treat afterwards,” Goring says. “It sets a healthy standard.”

Geo-Fit Personal Training

15678 N. Greenway-Hayden Loop, #103
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
(480) 510-5305

Sandra Wilken Luxury Properties

As Paradise Valley Real Estate Recovers, Sandra Wilken Luxury Properties Expands

Sandra Wilken Luxury Properties grows as Valley real estate market prepares for comeback.

The real estate market in the Paradise Valley area is experiencing an increase in business and activity. According to The Cromford Report, Paradise Valley’s home inventory has decreased, which means more homes are being sold and monthly sales are continuing to rise. In fact, the annual change in sales in Paradise Valley and the Scottsdale area has increased by nine percent and 11 percent, respectively.

Due to this recent market success, Scottsdale-based Sandra Wilken Luxury Properties (SWLP) will launch a new division, Paradise Valley Premier Properties. This division will focus on buying and selling homes in Paradise Valley, the state’s most affluent town.

“Since the first of the year, we’ve already seen a significant uptick in buyers and sellers,” says Sandra Wilken, president and designated broker of SWLP, “and we’re gearing up for the rise in activity.”

This new division has also created a partnership with Bedbrock Developers and its PV Design Center, located in the heart of Paradise Valley, to offer clients and the general public a one-stop-shop for new construction and remodeling needs.

In the past five months, SWLP has increased its total transactions and new business acquisition by 30 percent.

“The town has always been unique with its central location in the heart of Phoenix surrounded by Camelback and Mummy mountains,” Wilken says. “We are starting to see an increased demand for homes in the area within all price ranges, and the inventory is at a low not seen in the past 10 years.”

With the new division, six new staff members were recently added. And, with the increase in demand, the firm is also looking to add at least three additional Realtors to its team of 15, specifically with experience in the $1M and above price range.

“We want to be in a position to take advantage of the market comeback,” Wilken says. “It hasn’t been this exciting to buy and sell in Paradise Valley in a long time.”

For more information about Sandra Wilken Luxury Properties, visit or call (480) 596-0001.

Red Rocks, Sedona

Rejuvenating In The Red Rocks

Arizona is filled with astonishing scenery known for dropping jaws and stopping hearts, but I experienced an overwhelming amount of breathtaking beauty when I made the Red Rocks my playground.

Stunning monoliths and buttes surrounded by lavish green forestry create the perfect atmosphere to relax and rejuvenate in Sedona.

What makes Sedona so special? That’s up to you to decide. The beauty of it is that each person walks a way with an experience that is different. For me, it was a break from the seriousness of life.

It’s hard to find quiet time when you’re surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the city (the Valley). Demands from life, and stress in general, make it almost impossible to find time for self-care.

Sedona makes it easy. You can escape the life of demands for as long as you wish and lose yourself in a place that will keep you sane and carefree.

Everyone needs a getaway once in awhile. Sedona is the ideal home away from home.

From hiking up to Chapel of the Holy Cross to exploring various shops and restaurants, I was able to forget about my worries for a while and immerse myself in nature.

During my trip, I reflected on life and remembered the treasures that come with it. The beautiful rocks reminded me of God’s impeccable creations. The majestic trees reminded me of life and how precious it is.

There are simple things that I often take for granted each day, and it’s refreshing to recall those things and why they are special.

Not only is Sedona an escape from the business of life, it reinforces the idea of life as a gift. Surrounded by perfection, you can’t help but appreciate the life you’ve been given.

For more information about Sedona and/or the Red Rocks, visit or, respectively.


Hub Clothing

HUB Clothing Owner Travels To Set Trends

With a passion for fashion and a mission to stay stylish, HUB Clothing finds inspiration for the latest trends by traveling the world. Visiting fashion capitals, such as Paris and London, owner Jennifer Mumford chooses the best-of-the-best collections to share with the Valley of the Sun, especially the Scottsdale area.

HUB Clothing“It’s important to see what other cities are doing in regards to fashion,” Mumford says. “I make sure to go to trade shows in different cities, such as L.A and San Francisco, as well as the showrooms of different vendors.”

Whether it’s within the country or abroad, Mumford believes there is something to be learned.

Since 1992 when it opened in Scottsdale, HUB has brought men’s and women’s collections, including Nudie, G-Star and Diesel, to the area. The store is renowned for being the first to have specific items in stock.

“We were the first to get TOMS shoes, and now they are everywhere,” Mumford says. HUB Clothing“That was really exciting.” TOMS is just one example of how travel has given HUB inspiration and impacted the business.

Sometimes inspiration is found when it’s not sought after. Mumford says she gets ideas from going on vacation or reading magazines such as Vogue and GQ.

“It’s important to be really open to all different forms of media to see what’s going on in the fashion world,” Mumford says.HUB Clothing

Although HUB gains influence from all over the world, the top priority is the happiness of customers here in the Valley, Mumford says. And HUB stays true to its vision: buying for customers. Mumford says she relies on her instincts when making a purchase.

“You have to remember who your client is,” Mumford adds. “If you buy clothes just for the trend, it could be hit or miss.”

It’s this individualized customer service and loyalty to its customers that Mumford says sets HUB apart from other clothing stores like it. Employees understand that a customer is more than a sale; in fact, they are known on a first-name basis, and employees strive to make each person who walks in the store feel welcome and special, she adds.

“I hire people who have a passion for the fashion industry, and they are trained to know all about our products and how they fit,” Mumford says. “You walk in, and we can fit you into the perfect pair of jeans.”

According to Mumford, this unique experience intertwined with trendy inspiration gained by travel makes HUB the place it is.

“I travel to go and look at what’s going to translate best for my clientele,” Mumford says. “Traveling is a necessity.”

For more information about HUB Clothing, visit

Hub Clothing
Scottsdale Fashion Square
7014 E. Camelback Rd., Scottsdale
(480) 970-0707

Banner Health - Estrella New Tower

Banner Health Set To Expand In Valley With New Facilities

Banner Health is continuing a hot streak of construction projects with the building of four East Valley health centers and the expansion of Banner Estrella.

A new, 144-bed patient tower is being added to the Banner Estrella Medical Center campus, at Loop 101 and Thomas Road in Phoenix.

“We are pleased to be able to grow in support of the needs of the communities we serve,” says Deb Krmpotic, CEO for Banner Estrella Medical Center.

The campus will undergo remodeling of existing obstetrical suites, the addition of a surgical suite, an increase in emergency department capacity and the construction of more visitor and staff parking. McCarthy Building Companies is the general contractor and SmithGroupJJR is the architect.

Other facility upgrades include numerous infrastructure improvements for future expansion, such as two, shelled patient bed floors, a new cardiac catheterization lab, three new operating rooms and additional medical imaging capabilities.

“This is especially important for our Women and Infants Services department and our emergency department, both of which are regularly at capacity due to our reputation for providing excellence in patient care,” Krmpotic says.

The tower is also expected to provide enough additional capacity to meet the demand for patient care services through 2018. Construction on this multi-phase project is anticipated to begin in August and be completed by 3Q 2015.

In conjunction with the expansion, the Banner Health Board of Directors also approved the creation of four new centers in the East Valley, which will cost approximately $45.2M  and are expected to open in 2013.

These projects will mimic Banner Health Center in Maricopa, which opened in May, but will also reflect the community need. Centers are phased to grow as the patient base expands and will be able to nearly triple in size at full build out.

The new sites, with locations in Gilbert, Queen Creek, Chandler and East Mesa, will further the reach of Banner Health primary care services within Maricopa County. There will be access to general lab and imaging services, community health education and a mix of primary care service for everyone from babies to seniors.

Banner continues to expand its outpatient capabilities to other parts of the Valley as well. Two ambulatory projects are under construction in southwestern Maricopa County —Banner Verrado and Estrella Mountain.

The tower project will support patients from both ambulatory facilities, as well as new patients from Avondale, Buckeye, Glendale, Goodyear, Litchfield Park, Peoria, Surprise, Tolleson and West Phoenix.

Not only will both projects enhance the area’s community through the services provided, they will create jobs in construction and health care services.

For more information on Banner Health, visit their website at

Maricopa County Court Tower Garners Awards

Maricopa County Court Tower Garners Awards

Good things come in pairs. The Maricopa County Downtown Court Tower (MCDCT) team, comprised of Gilbane Building Company in association with Ryan Companies US, Inc., can attest to that.

After winning the 2011 Best of NAIOP Economic Project of the Year Award, the MCDCT team also received a RED Award honorable mention in AZRE for Best Public Project. The tower was recognized for outstanding industrial or office economic projects that impact the county and the construction community in a beneficial way.

“The Economic Project of the Year Award is proof of the wisdom of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and Department of Public Works,” said Todd McMillen, Gilbane’s project executive.

The 700,000 SF tower opened on Arizona’s 100th birthday, Feb.14, with its long-awaited debut and a dedication by former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

Designed by Gould Evans Associates, the tower sits in the heart of Phoenix and houses more than 200 courtrooms. Not only is the tower Maricopa County’s first LEED Silver certified project, it has benefitted the economy through creating more than two million hours for employment opportunities.

Due to infrastructure improvements, and a land exchange between the city and the county, hundreds of thousands of dollars of annual deferred maintenance were omitted. The project created more than 1,600 jobs; 1,200 in the construction trades, 300 in professional, and 100 service jobs in such things as printing, delivering, and other areas.

Over the life of the project, the estimated local payroll benefit will be $110M in taxable income. In addition to local businesses benefiting, the vast majority of the tower was completed using Arizona businesses and Arizona workers, even more proof of the economic impact.

Local materials were purchased whenever possible: Schuff Steel provided the steel and fabrication; Coreslab provided the precast facade.

“This project was a major economic engine for construction in the greater Phoenix area for over three years,” said Steve Jordan, Ryan Companies director of construction. “Not only did it provide for a consistent source of income for many workers and their families, but because the project was paid for in cash, it also saved the citizens of Maricopa County nearly $200 million in financing charges that will never need to be collected in higher taxes.”

Taliesin West

Successfully Energized Solar Power System To Sustain Taliesin West

Desert masterpiece Taliesin West is pursuing the dreams of a mastermind. With a mission to honor its founder, The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation inaugurated a new 250 kw solar photovoltaic (PV) power system donated by First Solar, which will help power the 75-year-old Taliesin West campus.

Energy efficiency consultant Big Green Zero has also joined forces with the foundation to turn Frank Lloyd Wright’s imagination into a manifestation.

“We are excited to have partnered with Big Green Zero and First Solar to complete the first phase of Energizing Taliesin West and are on track to making a world-famous National Historic Landmark site entirely self-sustaining,” said Sean Malone, CEO of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.

An architectural game changer of the 20th century, Frank Lloyd Wright left behind a legacy of sustainability that sparked the interest to revamp Taliesin West’s campus.

“As we continue to move forward with this endeavor we remain consistent with the values of Taliesin West and advancing the Foundation’s mission to preserve and expand the heritage of Frank Lloyd Wright,” Malone said.

The commissioning marks the successful completion of the first phase of the Energizing Taliesin West initiative, a pioneering effort to transform the entire National Historic Landmark Taliesin West site into a net-zero energy customer, producing as much energy as it consumes annually.

An energy audit conducted by Big Green Zero found that Taliesin West’s nearly $200,000 energy bill could be eliminated through improving its lighting, insulation and climate controls and also generating renewable on-site energy, which is the focus of the comprehensive project.

Many local companies have donated materials and labor to make the project possible. Tempe-based First Solar designed the system and donated approximately 4,000 of its advanced thin-film solar panels as well as Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) services.

Power-One donated an Aurora PVI-Central-250 kw inverter and the associated performance-monitoring equipment for the project, and Klondyke Construction donated electrical construction services.

Other local companies that contributed include Buesing Corp. (structural post installation), OMCO Solar (panel mounting structural materials), CLP Resources (structural and modular installation labor), Rummel Construction (site grading), Rapid (electrical equipment), Syntech (surveying), and Oldcastle (precast inverter pad). Other donors included Highway Safety Corp. (structural steel posts) and Olson Motor and Control Co. (electrical equipment).

The entire solar power system is engineered to provide maximum renewable energy with minimal impact. The ground-mounted First Solar PV system is expected to generate more than 500 megawatt-hours per year of emission-free electricity with no water or waste, displacing more than 300 tons of carbon dioxide annually, the equivalent of taking more than 50 cars off the road.

“We are very proud to be a part of this historic landmark, and we are confident the integration of clean solar power into Taliesin West will help advance the legacy of Frank Lloyd Wright and educate visitors from around the world about renewable energy,” said Jim Lamon, First Solar’s Senior Vice President of Engineering, Procurement and Construction and Operations and Maintenance.

Native cacti and other plant species, which were removed during construction, will be transplanted throughout the project site. Visible portions of the mounting system have been painted for blending into the desert environment. In addition, the solar modules at the site are covered by First Solar’s industry-leading, prefunded module and recycling program, under which the company will collect and recycle its modules at no additional charge.

“In the pursuit of energy efficiency, this is just the beginning,” said Bob Roth, CEO of Big Green Zero. “Our goal is to make Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West a Big Green Zero.”