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Sundt’s Marty Hedlund elected to ABA board of directors

Marty Hedlund

Marty Hedlund

The Arizona Builders’ Alliance (ABA), a statewide construction trade association, formed as an alliance of the Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC) and the Associated General Contractors (AGC) welcomed Martin R. (Marty) Hedlund, P.E., DBIA as a newly elected board member.  Hedlund joined Sundt Construction, Inc. in 1984 and currently serves as the Profit Center Manager for the Southwest District responsible for all Sundt’s vertical construction in Arizona, New Mexico, West Texas and Colorado. Hedlund has served in the roles of field engineer, project engineer, project superintendent, project manager and project director for more than 30 years constructing offices, corporate headquarters, data centers, schools and other commercial projects.

A Registered Professional Civil Engineer in Arizona, Hedlund received his B.S. in Civil Engineering from the Stanford University. Hedlund has widely presented on several topics including Alternative Project Delivery, Lean Construction and Building Information Modeling (BIM).

His industry involvement includes six years on the Design Build Institute of America National Certification Board which is responsible for upholding the standards of the DBIA Certified Professional designation as well as the testing and application processes. In 2011, Hedlund served as Chair of that board. Hedlund has also been active in the Arizona Builder’s Alliance (ABA) for many years serving on the Legislative Committee and being active in building industry education and public affairs. He is a graduate of the ABA’s Leadership Development Forum (LDF) and the Senior Executive Program (SEP).

Hedlund is an avid golfer, husband of 25 years to wife, Ellen, proud father of two teenagers, and happy to be giving back to an industry that has given so much to him.

The ABA exists for the purpose of advancing the productivity and profitability of our members and the construction industry.   Celebrating its 20th year in 2014, the ABA is proud to service the construction industry through advocacy, education, and networking opportunities in the state of Arizona.

Contractor

Despite Headwinds, Contractor Confidence On Rise

By Kinsey Cooper, Associated Builders and Contractors

Washington, D.C. – Associated Builders and Contractors’ Construction Confidence Index (CCI) shows confidence among nonresidential contractors increased slightly during the first half of 2013, despite sequestration and rising interest rates.

“As the economic recovery enters its fifth year, nonresidential construction prospects continue to brighten,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “A variety of industries ranging from professional and health services to leisure and retail continue to add jobs, and vacancy rates in many product categories throughout the country are falling, creating new opportunities for developers and their contractors.”
The CCI reflects three aspects of the U.S. nonresidential construction industry: sales prospects, profit margins and staffing levels. As a diffusion index, CCI readings above 50 indicate growth, while readings below 50 are unfavorable. Following are CCI indices for the first half of 2013 compared to the second half of 2012.

·         Sales expectations rose from 62.3 to 63.
·         Profit margin expectations slipped from 55.9 to 55.3.
·         Staffing level expectations rose from 59.6 to 60.

“While there is debate regarding the pace of economic expansion going forward, there seems to be little worry about another recession, implying that opportunities for contractors will continue to expand,” Basu said. “This helps explain the construction confidence readings, which have steadily expanded despite emerging reasons for concern—keeping roughly in lockstep with an ongoing gradual recovery that has averaged about 2 percent annual growth since the recession ended.”

CCI for 2012-2013

CCI for 2012-2013

“Several events have impacted the gradual increase in confidence this year, including Detroit’s bankruptcy, rising interest rates, the nation moving closer to another debt ceiling debacle and softening in the housing market.” Basu said. “However, certain aspects of the economic environment have improved, including the availability of capital and the steady healing of state and local government budgets.
“Overall, contractors are saying positive factors will outweigh negative ones, helping create an improved construction spending environment in 2014,” Basu said.
Of the three aspects of the U.S. nonresidential construction industry CCI represents, all three are above the threshold value of 50 and two are up on a year-over-year basis. Profit margins was the only category that declined.

“Contractors are likely to be busier next year, but profit margin growth will be constrained because of fierce competition. As a result, there will be substantial pressure to control costs, which implies hiring will continue to be soft, though the number of industry workers is set to expand next year,” said Basu.

The following chart reflects the distribution of responses to ABC’s most recent surveys.

Chart2

coffee beans

Phoenix Coffee Company going to ‘Shark Tank’

Local entrepreneurs Connor Riley and Samantha Meis, the cofounders of MistoBox, are taking the plunge into the “tank” to pitch their business idea on ABC’s hit reality television series Shark Tank on Friday May 3rd at 7 p.m.

On the show Riley and Meis will be introduced to a panel of five wealthy millionaire and billionaire investors (“sharks”) where they will pitch MistoBox, a company aimed at revolutionizing the way people buy and discover coffee. Riley and Meis were selected among 36,000 applicants to pitch their innovative business idea in hopes of getting their venture funded.

“Getting to pitch to the investors on Shark Tank was a once in a lifetime experience. It was so exciting and terrifying all at the same time!” said Meis.

MistoBox, based out of Downtown Phoenix’s revitalized warehouse district, sends subscribers four exceptional coffees each month from artisan roasters across the country.  In order to narrow it down, each month a panel of MistoBox coffee experts taste more than 50 coffees submitted by different coffee roasters to decide which make the cut and are delivered to subscribers’ doorsteps. Subscribers can then brew each of the selected coffees and pick a favorite. When they find one they love, they can head back to MistoBox’s online shop to get up to two full bags of their favorite with free shipping.  It’s just enough coffee to tide subscribers over until their next MistoBox is delivered, and they discover their next favorite!

Local favorite Cartel Coffee, based out of Tempe, was featured just last month. “This was by far one of our most popular coffees featured ever, and it’s local which is great! We love supporting local companies,” said Meis.

You could say Riley, a Phoenix native, and Meis are two adventurers with an entrepreneurial spirit. The pair met while studying abroad in Spain where they fulfilled their need for adventure by running with the bulls together.

A year after returning back to the University of Arizona in Tucson, they were paired up in the Entrepreneurship Program at the Eller College of Management where they were given a class assignment to come up with an innovative business idea. They absolutely loved coffee and wanted to figure out a way to get delicious coffees – from the best roasters – into more people’s homes. MistoBox was born on their college graduation day in 2012 and began with funding from a successful Kickstarter project, an online platform for raising funds and gaining investors for a startup company. Since, the two have moved the company to Phoenix and are expanding their network of coffee-crazed subscribers every day!

“It is incredible the response we’re getting,” said Riley. “In the fast-paced lives we all live, it’s convenient and exciting for people to get these great coffees without having to take the extra time find them.”

Will the sharks “bite” on MistoBox? Tune in to ABC on Friday, May 3rd at 7 p.m. to find out.

coffee beans

Phoenix Coffee Company going to 'Shark Tank'

Local entrepreneurs Connor Riley and Samantha Meis, the cofounders of MistoBox, are taking the plunge into the “tank” to pitch their business idea on ABC’s hit reality television series Shark Tank on Friday May 3rd at 7 p.m.

On the show Riley and Meis will be introduced to a panel of five wealthy millionaire and billionaire investors (“sharks”) where they will pitch MistoBox, a company aimed at revolutionizing the way people buy and discover coffee. Riley and Meis were selected among 36,000 applicants to pitch their innovative business idea in hopes of getting their venture funded.

“Getting to pitch to the investors on Shark Tank was a once in a lifetime experience. It was so exciting and terrifying all at the same time!” said Meis.

MistoBox, based out of Downtown Phoenix’s revitalized warehouse district, sends subscribers four exceptional coffees each month from artisan roasters across the country.  In order to narrow it down, each month a panel of MistoBox coffee experts taste more than 50 coffees submitted by different coffee roasters to decide which make the cut and are delivered to subscribers’ doorsteps. Subscribers can then brew each of the selected coffees and pick a favorite. When they find one they love, they can head back to MistoBox’s online shop to get up to two full bags of their favorite with free shipping.  It’s just enough coffee to tide subscribers over until their next MistoBox is delivered, and they discover their next favorite!

Local favorite Cartel Coffee, based out of Tempe, was featured just last month. “This was by far one of our most popular coffees featured ever, and it’s local which is great! We love supporting local companies,” said Meis.

You could say Riley, a Phoenix native, and Meis are two adventurers with an entrepreneurial spirit. The pair met while studying abroad in Spain where they fulfilled their need for adventure by running with the bulls together.

A year after returning back to the University of Arizona in Tucson, they were paired up in the Entrepreneurship Program at the Eller College of Management where they were given a class assignment to come up with an innovative business idea. They absolutely loved coffee and wanted to figure out a way to get delicious coffees – from the best roasters – into more people’s homes. MistoBox was born on their college graduation day in 2012 and began with funding from a successful Kickstarter project, an online platform for raising funds and gaining investors for a startup company. Since, the two have moved the company to Phoenix and are expanding their network of coffee-crazed subscribers every day!

“It is incredible the response we’re getting,” said Riley. “In the fast-paced lives we all live, it’s convenient and exciting for people to get these great coffees without having to take the extra time find them.”

Will the sharks “bite” on MistoBox? Tune in to ABC on Friday, May 3rd at 7 p.m. to find out.

sleep

S.T.A.R.S. Receives Gold Best in Biz Award

Sleep Testing and Respiratory Services (S.T.A.R.S.) received top honors in this year’s Best in Biz Awards, the only independent business awards program judged by members of the press and industry analysts. The company’s Director of Human Resources, Kara Chase, was honored with a Gold Best in Biz Award for Human Resources Executive of the Year.

Chase was recognized for her integral role in the 2011 S.T.A.R.S. asset purchase, and for her leadership and management as head of Human Resources for S.T.A.R.S. and its sister companies, Heartland Health and Clinical Research Advantage.

“Kara Chase has been instrumental in the success of S.T.A.R.S., Heartland Health and Clinical Research Advantage,” said Mark S. Hanley, Chief Executive Officer of S.T.A.R.S. “She was responsible for leading a series of initiatives to safeguard each company as it grew. This enabled us to manage our unprecedented growth while upholding our high standards for quality and service.”

More than 400 entries were received in this year’s awards program, from a wide array of public and private companies of all sizes and from a variety of industries and regions in the U.S. and Canada.

Winners of Best in Biz Awards 2012 were determined by an independent panel of 32 judges from top-tier news, business and technology publications, as well as broadcast outlets and analyst firms, such as ABC, Businessweek, Computerworld, ECT News Network, Entrepreneur, eWeek, Examiner, Financial Times, Forbes, FOX News, Hartford Business Journal, IDG Ventures, IEEE Institute, Inc., Insight Media, King Features Syndicate, Lab Reviews, Network World, The News and Observer, PC Magazine, ReadWriteWeb, South Florida Business Journal, Tech-Gaming, Techtalk, Upstart Business Journal, USA Today and ZDNet.

Orvin & Drake

CRA Receives Gold Best in Biz Award

Clinical Research Advantage (CRA) received top honors in this year’s Best in Biz Awards, the only independent business awards program judged by members of the press and industry analysts. CRA received the Gold Award for Business Development Department of the Year.

Casey Orvin, Vice President of Business Development, and Amanda Drake, Director of Business Development, were recognized for their achievements in helping the company grow to become the largest and most therapeutically diverse integrated site network in the clinical trials industry.

“Casey Orvin and Amanda Drake have been vital to CRA’s substantial growth over the past couple of years,” said Mark S. Hanley, the company’s Chief Executive Officer. “Through their efforts, the number of clinical trials conducted by CRA increased by nearly 150%, and it continues to grow at an unprecedented rate.”

More than 400 entries were received in this year’s awards program, from a wide array of public and private companies of all sizes and from a variety of industries and regions in the U.S. and Canada.

Winners of Best in Biz Awards 2012 were determined by an independent panel of 32 judges from top-tier news, business and technology publications, as well as broadcast outlets and analyst firms, such as ABC, Businessweek, Computerworld, ECT News Network, Entrepreneur, eWeek, Examiner, Financial Times, Forbes, FOX News, Hartford Business Journal, IDG Ventures, IEEE Institute, Inc., Insight Media, King Features Syndicate, Lab Reviews, Network World, The News and Observer, PC Magazine, ReadWriteWeb, South Florida Business Journal, Tech-Gaming, Techtalk, Upstart Business Journal, USA Today and ZDNet.

construction industry

Construction Industry Loses 7,000 Jobs In March

The construction industry lost 7,000 jobs in March, inching the unemployment rate up to 17.2 percent from 17.1 percent in February, according to the April 6 Department of Labor employment report. Year over year, construction industry unemployment is down compared to the March 2011 rate of 20 percent. The construction industry added 55,000 jobs over the past 12 months.

The nonresidential construction sector lost 6,000 jobs for the month, but year over year has added 7,000 jobs, or 1.1 percent, bringing the total number of jobs to 659,400. Residential construction lost 5,000 jobs for the month and has added 3,000 jobs during the past 12 months, or 0.4 percent, to reach 569,000 jobs.

Nonresidential specialty trade contractors shed 5,000 jobs in March, while residential specialty trade contractors added 5,000 jobs and heavy and civil engineering construction employment saw a gain of 4,000 jobs. Year over year, nonresidential specialty trade contractors have lost 4,000 jobs, or 0.2 percent; residential specialty trade contractor employment grew by 29,000 jobs, or 2 percent; and heavy and civil engineering construction employment increased by 20,000 jobs, or 2.4 percent.

Across all industries, the nation added 120,000 jobs in March. The private sector expanded by 121,000 jobs and the public sector shrank by 1,000 jobs. On a yearly basis, the nation has added 1,899,000 jobs, or 1.5 percent. The national unemployment rate stood at 8.2 percent in March, down from 8.3 percent in February, with the labor force shrinking by 164,000 people.

“Today’s employment report was disappointing, particularly for the construction industry,” said Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “The first quarter of 2012 will be judged as a step backward for the industry as construction spending levels stagnated and employment momentum disappeared.

“A certain level of weakness was anticipated due to the economic slowdown during the spring and summer of last year that caused many projects to be put on hold and resulted in diminished construction momentum,” Basu said. “In addition, ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator, a predictor of construction activity, dipped during last year’s fourth quarter, setting the stage for the declines in construction employment now being observed.

“This employment report differed from the prior three months because employment growth was disappointing for the broader economy as well,” Basu said. “The consensus coming into today’s release was the nation would have added approximately 200,000 jobs in March, which did not happen.

“Some attribute the disappointing March report to abnormally warm weather across the nation, which caused February’s employment to be artificially high. However, one month does not make a trend and other data remain upbeat, including consumer activity and overall economic momentum. Economists and others will be looking for signs of improvement in labor market dynamics in April,” Basu said.