Tag Archives: 2012

Eric Marcus, CEO of Marcus Networking.

What Happens if you Lose a Laptop with Patient Information?

The government is starting to implement the HIPAA-HITECH Encryption Requirements 2012. If you choose not to encrypt data, the HIPAA Security Rule states you must implement an equivalent solution to meet the regulatory requirement. The law leaves encryption open to interpretation since covered entities vary when it comes to network and network usage, depending on the type and size of business.

Typically, if a doctor or nurse loses a laptop with patient data on it, they are required to report it.  But, now Marcus Networking, Inc. has a solution that meets FBI and government regulations.  It’s an encryption software program, that is installed on all devices (computers, handheld devices, etc.) with patient information and if it’s ever lost or stolen, the information can’t be recovered.  When the device boots up, it won’t open and hackers can’t get in.  The program is highly sophisticated and hackers haven’t been able to crack the password to get in.  The software program can take as little as 20 minutes to install and runs approximately $100 to $2,000, depending on the scope of work.

To learn more, contact Marcus Networking at 602-427-5027.

prevention trial - brain scan images

Ivy Foundation Grants Over $9M for Brain Cancer Research

The Ben & Catherine Ivy Foundation (Ivy Foundation) announced its 2012 grant recipients, which total more than $9 million in funding for brain cancer research. The Ivy Foundation is the largest privately funded brain cancer research foundation in North America. Catherine Ivy is the founder and president of the Ivy Foundation, which has a research funding focus on glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most common and deadliest of malignant primary brain tumors in adults.

The Ivy Foundation awarded the following grants and/or provided funding in 2012:

· $2,500,000 over three years:  Principal Investigator, Greg D. Foltz, M.D., Director, The Ben & Catherine Ivy Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment, Swedish Medical Center
· $5,000,000 over five years:  Principal Investigators, John Carpten, Ph.D. and David Craig, Ph.D., Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) – a collaborative effort with University of California, San Francisco; University of California, Los Angeles; Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; Massachusetts General Hospital; Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center; MD Anderson; and University of Utah
· $45,000 annually: Principal Investigator, Brandy Wells, Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), for the Ivy Neurological Sciences Internship program
· Over $2 million paid out in 2012 for previously committed multi-year brain cancer research grants

“We are encouraged and remain strongly committed to moving the progress forward for patients diagnosed with brain cancer,” said Ivy. “The 2012 Ivy Foundation grant recipients are important strategic partners in our objective to double the life expectancy of people diagnosed with GBM within the next seven years.”

amkor - legal

Bryan Cave Lawyers honored for Pro Bono work

Bryan Cave LLP Phoenix Partner Megan Lennox and Associates PJ Rivera and Gustavo Schneider have been chosen by the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education as recipients of its 2012 Top 50 Pro Bono Attorneys In Arizona Award. The foundation established this award in 2001 to recognize attorneys who have tirelessly given their time and experience to assist Arizonans who would otherwise have no legal resources.

All three attorneys were nominated by Volunteer Lawyers Program (VLP). Founded in 1981, the VLP unites those in need with volunteer lawyers whose counsel gives thousands of Arizonans hope for a better life. VLP is co-sponsored by Community Legal Services and the Maricopa County Bar Association.

Lennox volunteers her time each month at the Tumbleweeds Young Adult Center, where she counsels teens at their legal clinic. In addition, Lennox regularly works with VLP on child guardianship and adoption matters. She also recently obtained a sizeable award for an elderly woman who had been exposed to asbestos fibers as a result of faulty home improvement work. Lennox practices with the Environmental Group and has state and federal court litigation experience with an emphasis on Superfund cost recovery and defense, environmental and commercial insurance coverage claims and general commercial litigation.

Nominated for his work on guardianship cases, Rivera is a native Spanish speaker, and often serves VLP clients who do not speak English or are unable to understand the required paperwork and process. Rivera, whose own son suffers from Autism, also often handles cases for families with autistic children that need continued family support once they reach adulthood. Rivera is a member of Bryan Cave’s Intellectual Property Group and is a registered patent attorney.

Schneider was nominated for his work on adoptions, as well as adult and child guardianship cases. Like Rivera, Schneider is a native Spanish speaker who often works with VPL clients that do not speak English. In addition to adoptions and guardianship matters, he has also litigated and negotiated landlord tenant disputes for VPL clients. In 2011, Schneider was awarded the “For Love of Justice New Volunteer Attorney of the Year” award by VLP. Schneider’s practice at Bryan Cave focuses on commercial real estate and finance, with an emphasis on CMBS loan servicing matters.

“We very proud to have three of our attorneys included in the Top 50 Pro Bono Attorneys. This recognition reflects the dedication that these lawyers have to providing critical legal services to families unable to afford those services, as well as our law firm’s support of that commitment to providing access to Justice,” said Phoenix Managing Partner Jay Zweig.

Lennox, Schneider and Rivera were honored at a ceremony Saturday, April 6, 2013.

Coldwell Banker

How to establish trust with your bank

According to a recent survey, financial services and banks were noted as the least-trusted industries in 2012.  Despite the fact that the financial crisis occurred five years ago, people are still concerned about the reliability of banks.

The 2012 Edelman Trust Barometer had more than 30,000 online respondents, in which only 46% of U.S. respondents said they trusted the financial services industry, and only 41% said they trusted banks. Clearly, the last few years tainted the banking industry’s image, and it is taking time for public perception to change.

Despite what the public may think due to the history with the bank crisis and the bad press, banks are not inherently sneaky or dishonest. But like any business, it comes down to building relationships.

To establish trust with your bank, there are a few precautions you can take that will help to set the foundation for a strong relationship.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

When you are establishing your business, don’t have all your banking relationships at one bank. For example, many bank documents will cross collateralize loans and bank accounts – both personal and business. Set up your operating business account at one bank and payroll at another. It is also a good idea to open personal accounts and loans at a completely different bank than your business.

Grow the relationship

While it is vital to have a great relationship with your primary banker, you need to move beyond that relationship in the bank. Bankers are transient and move positions within the bank or to another bank quite often. If you only build a relationship with your banker and your banker is promoted or leaves the bank, you will be left with no allies. Get to know your banker’s boss and associates. You never know who will be your banker tomorrow.

Know your bank

The relationship you are trying to establish is really with the bank, so take the time to learn about the banks you do business with. Understand the services they offer. Search the Internet to read blogs and reviews from happy and unhappy business customers. This will help you better understand if this bank is a good fit for you.

Sources and uses of cash

When you talk to a banker about the best loan for your company make sure the banker understands what the money will be used for. Don’t assume the banker knows. For example, if you need money to fund payroll and pay vendors, you need a working capital loan. A working capital loan is based on short-term assets (accounts receivable and inventory) and is used to finance short-term liabilities (payroll, accounts payable).  Don’t let a banker talk you into an SBA term loan to finance working capital. Match assets and liabilities – short term loans fund short-term liabilities and long term loans fund equipment and real estate.

Read the loan documents

So many smart business people are more concerned with the terms on their cell phone contract, but never bother to read or understand the details on a commercial bank loan. While most bank loan documents are standard and the bank may not make any changes, a business owner should still have an attorney review all the documents. The attorney’s role would be to advise you on what is in the documents – what are events of default?  What are cure periods? What should the business owner make sure they do in terms of financial reporting, notice of management or ownership change?  If you understand your loan documents, you will be better protected against surprises.

The public’s perception of the banking industry is clearly still hindered by the scandals, government accusations and lawsuits brought on by the financial crisis. Fortunately, the reality of the situation is better than it is perceived.

Regardless of the industry’s image, it is always best for business owners to take a proactive approach. Taking the time to get to know your bank is the key to building a long term successful relationship; one that you can feel confident in, where you can trust your financial service provider.

 

Robyn Barrett is founder and managing member of FSW Funding, formerly Factors Southwest LLC, specializing in factor financing for small to mid-size companies. For more information visit: www.fswfunding.com

 

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Valley Leadership announces Man & Woman of the Year

Valley Leadership announces Tom Ambrose and Ambassador Barbara Barrett as the organization’s 2012 Man & Woman of the Year. The pair will be honored for their distinguished service to the community at an awards luncheon in March.

Ambrose is well known in the greater Phoenix Metropolitan area as a community leader for nearly four decades. He joined the management team at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona (BBBSAZ) as Executive Director in June, 2010.  Prior to that, Ambrose spent 37 years with the Phoenix Suns working in public relations, marketing, advertising and foundation management roles. For 17 years, he was the executive director of Phoenix Suns Charities.
Under his leadership, the Phoenix Suns Charities grew from a good idea in 1988, to a high impact community grant-maker by raising and distributing over nine millions dollars in grants and scholarships over the years

“Tom’s commitment to our community has impacted dozens of organizations across the Valley,” said Jerry Lewkowitz, co-chair of this year’s Selection Committee.  “The nonprofit landscape is filled with landmarks to his efforts.”

Barbara Barrett is President and CEO of Triple Creek Guest Ranch, perennially ranked among the top hotels in the world.  Until November 2012, she was also Interim President of Thunderbird School of Global Management, the world’s #1 school for international management.  Previously, she was Ambassador to Finland, Senior Advisor to the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, CEO of the American Management Association, a Fellow teaching Leadership at Harvard and Chairman of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy.

“Starting with her participation in Valley Leadership Class I, Barbara has proven her commitment to our community over many years of leadership,” Sue Glawe, Selection Committee co-chair, said.   “Her list of accomplishments is a shining example for our community.”

Ambrose and Barrett join a prestigious list of past Man and Woman of the Year award recipients spanning 63 years.  U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater was honored as the inaugural Man of the Year and most recently Sue Glawe and Jerry Lewkowitz were recognized as the 2012 recipients.

The newest inductees will be formally recognized at a luncheon on March 21, 2013, at the Arizona Biltmore. For more information or to purchase seats or sponsorships, call the Valley Leadership office at (602) 952-6760.

Barack Obama

Obama faces tough road with improving economy

Here’s the assignment President Barack Obama has won with his re-election: Improve an economy burdened by high unemployment, stagnant pay, a European financial crisis, slowing global growth and U.S. companies still too anxious to expand much.

And, oh yes, an economy that risks sinking into another recession if Congress can’t reach a budget deal to avert tax increases and deep spending cuts starting in January.

Yet the outlook isn’t all grim. Signs suggest that the next four years will coincide with a vastly healthier economy than the previous four, which overlapped the Great Recession.

Obama has said he would help create jobs by preserving low income tax rates for all except high-income Americans, spending more on public works and giving targeted tax breaks to businesses.

He used his victory speech in Chicago to stress that the economy is recovering and promised action in the coming months to reduce the government’s budget deficit, overhaul the tax system and reform immigration laws.

“We can build on the progress we’ve made and continue to fight for new jobs and new opportunity and new security for the middle class,” Obama said.

The jobs picture has already been improving gradually. Employers added a solid 171,000 jobs in October. Hiring was also stronger in August and September than first thought.

Cheaper gas and rising home prices have given Americans the confidence to spend slightly more. Retailers, auto dealers and manufacturers have been benefiting.

That said, most economists predict the improvement will remain steady but slow. The unemployment rate is 7.9 percent. Obama was re-elected Tuesday night with the highest unemployment rate for any incumbent president since Franklin Roosevelt.

Few think the rate will return to a normal level of 6 percent within the next two years. The Federal Reserve expects unemployment to be 7.6 percent or higher throughout 2013.

Economists surveyed last month by The Associated Press said they expected the economy to grow a lackluster 2.3 percent next year, too slight to generate strong job growth. From July through September, the economy grew at a meager 2 percent annual rate.

Part of the reason is that much of Europe has sunk into recession. Leaders there are struggling to defuse a debt crisis and save the euro currency. Europe buys 22 percent of America’s exports, and U.S. companies have invested heavily there. Any slowdown in Europe dents U.S. exports and corporate profits.

And China’s powerhouse economy is decelerating, slowing growth across Asia and beyond.

Most urgently, the U.S. economy will fall over a “fiscal cliff” without a budget deal by year’s end. Spending cuts and tax increases of about $1.2 trillion will start to kick in. The combination of those measures would likely trigger a recession and drive unemployment up to 9 percent next year, according to estimates by the Congressional Budget Office.

Many U.S. employers are wary of expanding or hiring until that potential crisis is averted. That’s why analysts have said resolving, or at least delaying, the fiscal cliff should be the most urgent economic priority for the White House.

In the longer run, analysts are more optimistic. Americans are feeling generally better about the economy. Measures of consumer confidence are at or near five-year highs.

And the main reason unemployment rose from 7.8 percent in September to 7.9 percent in October was that more people felt it was a good time to look for work. Most found jobs. Those who didn’t were counted as unemployed. (The government counts people without jobs as unemployed only if they’re looking for one.)

A brighter outlook among consumers is due, in part, to a steady increase in home prices after a painful six-year slump. Higher home prices can help create a “wealth effect,” making homeowners feel richer and spurring more spending.

Banks are also more likely to lend freely when home prices rise because homes are more likely to hold their value.

Americans have also been shrinking debts and saving slightly more. Household debt as a percentage of after-tax income dropped from about 125 percent before the recession to 103 percent in the April-June quarter, according to the Federal Reserve’s latest data. That ratio was roughly 90 percent in the 1990s.

But thanks to record-low interest rates, the cost of repaying those debts has dropped sharply. That, in turn, will free up more money for consumers to spend on cars, appliances and other goods.

Americans paid 10.7 percent of their after-tax income in interest on mortgages, credit cards and other consumer debt in this year’s April-June quarter, according to the Fed. That was down from 14 percent at the end of 2007. And it’s the lowest proportion since 1993.

“That’s 3 percentage points of disposable income that I am no longer using to pay for stuff that I bought earlier but I can instead use to buy stuff now,” noted Alan Levenson, chief economist at T. Rowe Price.

Economists note that economic recoveries after financial crises tend to be painfully slow. In part, that’s because time is needed for consumers to reduce debts and for banks to recover and lend again.

Paul Ashworth, an economist at Capital Economics, noted that banks have boosted lending for the past 18 months — another sign that the passage of time is helping the economy rebound.

Obama “is going to have an easier time of it … because we’re further along the road to recovery after the financial crisis,” Ashworth said.

Economy

U.S. adds 171,000 jobs in October

U.S. employers added 171,000 jobs in October, and hiring was stronger in August and September than first thought. The solid job growth showed that the economy is strengthening slowly but consistently.

The unemployment rate rose to 7.9 percent from 7.8 percent in September. That was mainly because many more people began looking for work, and not all of them found jobs. The government uses a separate survey to calculate the unemployment rate, and it counts people without jobs as unemployed only if they’re looking for one.

Friday’s report was the last major snapshot of the economy before Tuesday’s elections. It’s unclear what political effect the report might have. By now, all but a few voters have made up their minds, particularly about the economy, analysts say.

Since July, the economy has created an average of 173,000 jobs a month. That’s up from 67,000 a month from April through June. Still, President Barack Obama will face voters with the highest unemployment rate of any incumbent since Franklin Roosevelt and slightly higher than the 7.8 percent on Inauguration Day.

The work force — the number of people either working or looking for work — rose by 578,000 in October. And 410,000 more people said they were employed. The difference is the reason the unemployment rate rose slightly.

The influx of people seeking jobs “could be a sign that people are starting to see better job prospects and so should be read as another positive aspect to the report,” said Julia Coronado, an economist at BNP Paribas.

During a campaign stop in Columbus, Ohio, Obama said the job figures show the economy is slowly healing.

“We’ve made real progress, but we are here today because we know we’ve got more work to do,” Obama said. “Our fight goes on.”

But GOP challenger Mitt Romney pointed out to voters that the unemployment rate is now higher than when Obama took office.

“For four years, President Obama has told us that things are getting better and that we’re making progress,” Romney said. “For too many American families, those words ring hollow. We can do better.”

Friday’s report included a range of encouraging details.

The government revised its data to show that 84,000 more jobs were added in August and September than previously estimated. August’s job gains were revised from 142,000 to 192,000, September’s from 114,000 to 148,000.

The unemployment rate has fallen a full percentage point in the past 12 months. Much of that decline occurred because people gave up looking for work. That pushed the percentage of Americans working or looking for work to 63.5 percent in August, a 31-year low.

But since then, more Americans have started or resumed their job hunts and most have found work. The percentage of Americans working or looking for work rose for a second straight month in October to 63.8 percent.

The number of people with part-time jobs who wanted full-time work dropped last month. And the number of discouraged workers also declined. A measure of unemployment that includes those two groups plus the unemployed dipped to 14.6 percent from 14.7 percent.

The economy has added jobs for 25 straight months. There are now 580,000 more than when Obama took office.

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Virginia Auto Service Named MotorAge Magazine Top Shop

Virginia Auto Service Named MotorAge Magazine Top ShopPhoenix auto repair shop Virginia Auto Service was named a 2012 Top Shop by MotorAge Magazine Friday night at the Automotive Service and Repair Week (ASRW) Industry Awards in New Orleans.

The shop was one of only 10 automotive repair shops in the United States that were chosen for the prestigious award based on their dedication to quality auto repair and service.  This is the second time Virginia Auto Service has won this award; they also were name a MotorAge Magazine Top Shop in 2010.

“The quality of shops that entered this year was higher than in any year past. This is a true testament to the number of owners in the U.S. who realize quality from training to marketing to management is important in surviving in today’s economy,” said managing editor Tschanen Brandyberry. “Owners are making their businesses better, and we are proud that we can showcase these shops, and others throughout the year, to continue to make the industry better.”

Virginia Auto Service embraces a philosophy of continuous improvement and quality workmanship.  For that reason, all of the technicians at Virginia Auto Service are ASE and/or factory certified.  The shop invests in the latest equipment and training to keep up with changing technology in today’s automobiles and they are the only auto repair shop in Phoenix that backs up its work with a 3 year, 36,000 mile guarantee on every service and repair.

“It’s an honor to be chosen as one of MotorAge Magazine’s Top Shops,” said Matt Allen, owner of Virginia Auto Service in Phoenix, Arizona.

Hundreds of automotive repair shops from all over the country competed for MotorAge Magazine’s Top Shop Award.  The winners will be featured in the December issue of MotorAge Magazine.