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Nicole France Stanton - 50 Most Influential Women in AZ Business

Nicole France Stanton – 50 Most Influential Women in Arizona Business

Nicole France StantonPartner, Quarles & Brady   

The primary focus of France Stanton’s practice is defending professionals such as lawyers, accountants, insurance brokers and others in malpractice actions, earning a spot in The Best Lawyers in America in 2011 and 2013. In 2012, she created the award-winning Stop Bullying AZ to bring awareness of the issue of bullying.

Surprising fact: “I have three tiaras from pageants I was in during high school. I am a firm believer that every women should have at least one tiara.”

Biggest challenge: “Trying to balance the competing interests in my life … I have overcome this by knowing what my highest priority is — my kids … I’ve become much more organized and intensely selective in what I choose to participate in both professionally and personally.”

Fifty Most Influential Women in Arizona Business – Every year in its July/August issue Arizona Business Magazine features 50 women who make an impact on Arizona business. To see the full list, read the digital issue >>


CFOs Believe Economy Will Not Improve During the Next Six Months

Fifty-four percent of CFOs in the U.S. do not foresee any changes in the health of the economy during the next six months, according to a survey by Grant Thornton LLP. Still, most CFOs surveyed are optimistic about maintaining (45 percent) or increasing (37 percent) their headcount over the next six months.

According to the survey, the biggest barrier to employee and company financial growth is the cost of employee benefits, with 56 percent identifying healthcare and pensions as the prime culprits. Furthermore, as the cost of healthcare grows, 77 percent of those surveyed anticipate company and employee contributions to increase over the next year. Yet benefits such as life insurance and disability are expected to remain mostly unchanged.

“With the economy in a fragile recovery, CFOs are most concerned about rising healthcare costs when it comes to compensation and benefits,” said Ralph Nefdt, office managing partner of Grant Thornton LLP’s Phoenix office. “Most companies will continue to see a significant increase in healthcare costs unless they have taken proactive steps to promote wellness and better utilization of healthcare benefits, which can help ease the increase of these costs.”

The survey also shows that 45 percent of those surveyed believe that deficit reduction is the number one initiative to improve overall economic optimism, while 27 percent believe job creation is the solution. In addition, 46 percent said that a tax incentive is not the solution. Even so, 30 percent of those surveyed believe a direct tax incentive for hiring new workers would increase the likelihood of expanding their workforce.

“CFOs are in a prime position to judge the health of the economy, as they have an inside look at their companies’ hiring practices as it relates to financial health of the organization,” added Nefdt. “It remains to be seen how upcoming events, such as the Presidential Election, will impact that outlook.”

About the Survey
Grant Thornton conducted the CFO Survey between June 21 and July 24, with 400 CFOs and comptrollers participating. The survey has a confidence interval of +/- 4.9 percent at a 95 percent confidence level.