Tag Archives: apollo group

sales.tax

Arizona Business Community Supports HB2111

The undersigned organizations and businesses want to express their strong support for the passage of HB2111 with the floor amendment that will be offered by Senator Steve Yarbrough. This final amendment represents major concessions to address concerns that have been expressed by the city representatives.

This final amendment reflects the cities’ request for a separate online portal for the collection of sales taxes in the 18 non-program cities. In addition, the amendment reflects the cities’ demand to maintain the authority to audit single-location businesses in their city. Lastly, the amendment removes all of the changes to prime contracting tax except for the trade and service contractors.

While the Yarbrough amendment reflects major concessions to the cities that undermine some of the important reforms recommended by the Transaction Privilege (Sales) Tax Simplification Task Force, we believe this final proposal still reflects historic progress that deserves final passage.

The Senator Yarbrough floor amendment will provide for the following:

* Single Point of Administration – the Department of Revenue (DOR) will become the single point of administration and collection of TPT. However, at the request of the cities, there will be a separate online portal for the 18 non-program cities. Despite this concession, the cities remain opposed because they want to continue to require businesses making paper sales tax remissions to pay the state and city separately. Their proposal provides most small businesses no administrative relief from making multiple payments to multiple jurisdictions each month.

* Single and Uniform Audit – DOR will administer a standardized state audit program where all state and city auditors are trained and certified by DOR. Despite major concessions from the business community to allow cities to continue to audit local businesses, the cities continue to push for further changes that will undermine much needed reforms to standardize state and local audits.

* Trade/Service Contracting Reform – Service contractors working directly for an owner to maintain, repair, and replace existing property would pay tax on materials at retail and not be subject to the Prime Contracting Tax. During Task Force deliberations, the cities repeatedly conceded that this area of the prime contracting tax was problematic and should be changed. However, after almost a year of study and discussion, they have offered a change to the taxation of service contractors that provides no administrative relief and couples that change with a request that the state give the cities $80 million from use tax collections.

Arizona’s chaotic and dysfunctional sales tax system has been the subject of considerable controversy at the Capitol for over 30 years. The creation of the Task Force, as well as the appearance for the first time that the cities recognized the need for reform, gave Arizona businesses great hope that this system would finally be reformed. We strongly encourage state policymakers to pass a sales tax reform bill that is grounded in sound tax policy and focuses on reducing the extraordinary compliance costs on Arizona businesses.

Kevin McCarthy, President, Arizona Tax Research Association
Michelle Lind, Chief Executive Officer, Arizona Association of REALTORS
Bas Aja, Executive Vice President, Arizona Cattlemen’s Association
Glenn Hamer, President & CEO, Arizona Chamber of Commerce
Steve Macias, Chairman, Arizona Manufacturer’s Council
Francis McAllister, Chairman, Arizona Mining Association
Courtney LeVinus, Arizona Multihousing Association
Michelle Allen Ahlmer, Executive Director, Arizona Retailers Association
Steve Chucri, President/CEO, Arizona Restaurant Association
Rick Murray, Chief Executive Officer, Arizona Small Business Association
Steve Zylstra, President & CEO, Arizona Technology Council
Greg Turner, Vice President, Senior Tax Council, Council On State Taxation (COST)
Lisa Rigler, President, Small Business Alliance AZ
Todd Sanders, President & CEO, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce
Tom Franz, President, Greater Phoenix Leadership
Connie Wilhelm, President, Home Builders Association of Central Arizona
Tim Lawless, Chapter President, NAIOP
Farrell Quinlan, Arizona State Director, NFIB
Ronald E. Shoopman, President, Southern Arizona Leadership Council
Scot Mussi, President, The Arizona Free Enterprise Club
Matt Beckler, Vice President, Treasurer & Chief Tax Officer, Apollo Group, Inc.
Steve Barela, State & Local Tax Manager, Arizona Public Service
Steve Trussell, Executive Director, Arizona Rock Products Association
Michael DiMaria, Director of Legislative Affairs, CenturyLink, Inc.
Gayle Shanks, Owner, Changing Hands Bookstore
Michelle Bolton, Director of Public Affairs, Cox Communications
Nikki Daly, Owner, Flair! Salons
David Karsten, President, Karsten’s Ace Hardware
Reuben Minkus, Minkus Advertising Specialties
PetSmart, Inc.
Tina Danloe, General Manager, Pima Ace Hardware
Molly Greene, Senior Government Relations Representative, Salt River Project
Les Orchekowsky, President & Co-Owner, Sierra Ace Hardware, Inc.
Ann Seiden, Administrator/Corporate Public Affairs, Southwest Gas Corporation
Joseph Hughes, Director of Government Affairs, U.S. Airways
Walgreens Co.

Glenn Hamer is president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry is committed to advancing Arizona’s competitive position in the global economy by advocating free-market policies that stimulate economic growth and prosperity for all Arizonans.

PHOENIX CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL 20TH ANNUAL BEACH BALL TO BENEFIT CHILDREN'S HEART CENTER

Coinciding with the hospital’s 30th anniversary, this year’s Beach Ball gala will be held on Saturday, March 2, 2013. The Barcelona–themed event will bring together members of the community and beyond to celebrate the world-class care that the Phoenix Children’s Hospital has continued to provide to the Valley for three decades.

Beach Ball GalaThe event will be held at The Phoenician luxury resort in Scottsdale, and Apollo Group/University of Phoenix will be the proud presenting sponsor.

“Each year, Beach Ball brings together members of this community who are giving of their time and generosity to benefit one of the largest and most respected children’s hospitals in the country. We are so fortunate to be a part of a community that fosters development with such a strong spirit of generosity,”
Steve Schnall, Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer of Phoenix Children’s Hospital said.

The Children’s Heart Center at Phoenix Children’s Hospital is the premier regional referral center in the Southwest for children with heart disease, and is the fifth-largest program of its kind in the United States. It proudly offers the most comprehensive inpatient and outpatient pediatric cardiac care to infants, children and teens with congenital heart defects, rhythm disturbances, heart failure and other cardiac-related problems. The Center’s surgeons perform nearly one heart transplant each month.

Proceeds raised from the 2012 Beach Ball reached nearly $1 million – a goal that this year’s event chairs hope to exceed for the Children’s Heart Center.

Those interested in getting involved with the 2013 Beach Ball or future events are encouraged to do so and should contact, Dusty Whitney, Volunteer Coordinator at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation by email at dwhitney@phoenixchildrens.com.

Event and donation information may be found at www.pchbeachball.com, on the event’s Facebook page or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PCHBeachBall.

78464706

University of Phoenix closing 115 locations

For-profit education company Apollo Group Inc. says its net income fell 60 percent in its fiscal fourth quarter, hurt by a sharp drop in enrollment at the University of Phoenix and higher costs.

The company also announced Tuesday that it is closing 115 locations due to shrinking enrollment and higher interest by students in taking courses online.

Apollo reported net income of $75.4 million, or 66 cents per share, for the three months ended Aug. 31. That compares with net income of $188.6 million, or $1.37 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding special items, Apollo’s earnings amounted to 52 cents per share.

Revenue fell 11 percent to $996.5 million from $1.12 billion.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected adjusted earnings of 50 cents per share on $1.01 billion in revenue.

apollo group board of directors

Spellings Joins Apollo Group Board Of Directors

Apollo Group, Inc. announced that former United States Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings will join the company’s board of directors.

“As a leading national expert on education, public policy and the impact both have on the U.S. economy, Margaret is uniquely qualified to help advance Apollo Group’s mission and purpose,” said John Sperling, founder and executive chairman of Apollo Group. “Margaret has worked tirelessly throughout her career to improve accessibility and accountability in our nation’s colleges and universities, and we are fortunate to have her join the Apollo board.”

Currently, Spellings serves as president and CEO of Margaret Spellings and Company, a public policy consultancy firm. In addition, Spellings is a strategic advisor to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and serves as president of its U.S. Forum for Policy Innovation, overseeing the Chamber’s nonprofit educational organizations and initiatives.

Spellings served as U.S. secretary of education from 2005 to 2009, managing all aspects of the Department of Education and its operations, including a budget of nearly $70 billion and a staff of more than 10,000 employees and contractors. As a member of the White House Cabinet, Spellings led the implementation of the historic No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), a groundbreaking national initiative designed to provide enhanced accountability for the education of 50 million U.S. public school students.

Prior to serving as secretary of education, Spellings served as White House domestic policy advisor, with responsibility for managing the president’s domestic policy agenda. In this role, Spellings oversaw the development of a number of key policy achievements, including NCLB, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and numerous other initiatives on health and human services, transportation, labor, justice and housing.

Previously in her career, Spellings served as senior advisor to the governor of Texas, associate executive director, Texas Association of School Boards, executive director of the governor’s committee on public education and director of special projects at Austin Community College.

Spellings earned a bachelor’s degree and an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Houston, and was named Distinguished Alumna by the same institution in 2006.

For more information on Apollo Group, visit Apollo Group’s website at apollogrp.edu.

ACC Awards 2012

ACC Awards 2012 Finalists: H-M

Effective corporate counsel has never been more important than it is now. Arizona Business Magazine is recognizing the important and vital role that in-house counsel plays in the success of a business with the Arizona Corporate Counsel Awards, ACC Awards 2012. The 27 finalists and winners were honored Thursday, January 12 during a ceremony and dinner at the Ritz Carlton Phoenix. Here are the finalists in alphabetical order, H through M.


ACC Awards 2012 Finalists, H through M:

George Hittner
Corporate secretary, general counsel, vice president of governmental relations
American Traffic Solutions

ACC Awards 2012Hittner has overseen more than 150 lawsuits for ATS throughout the country, ranging from minor cases to multi-million-dollar class actions, with a 98 percent win rate since October 2008. Some highlights:
* Under Hittner’s leadership, ATS has never lost a constitutional challenge to one of its programs.
* Hittner led the successful legal strategy which resulted in a decision by the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that found the Akron, Ohio, intersection and speed camera safety ordinance legal and constitutional.
* Hittner’s focus on election law has protected the photo enforcement industry from illegal elections, including having three illegal elections declared invalid.


Christine Jones
Executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary
Go Daddy Group

ACC Awards 2012Jones is the leader for all legal affairs at Go Daddy. Go Daddy’s legal department is unique in that it encompasses functions that are not traditionally seen in corporate legal departments. Jones supervises more than 100 people in the legal, domain services, network abuse, and government relations departments. Jones has become and industry leader and activist in addressing Internet abuse, and she created the government relations department at Go Daddy to establish a respected presence and voice in Washington. To keep up to date, Jones enables legal professionals to present in-house continuing legal education programs on a monthly basis.


Sara Lee Keller
Executive vice president and general counsel
Clear Channel Outdoor, Inc. — Americas

ACC Awards 2012Since Keller was hired on Jan. 4, 2011, she has grown the legal department from four attorneys to seven. Issues that were traditionally handled by outside counsel are now handled in-house, resulting is cost savings and better management of external spending. Some opinions of her work:
* “Our legal team at Clear Channel Outdoor is becoming a full-service firm right inside the four walls of the company,” said Joe Bagan, Clear Channel’s COO.
*  “This collaboration has improved our overall effectiveness as measured by successful outcomes, more closely managed costs … greater business impact, and improved client satisfaction,” said Ron Cooper, CEO of Clear Channel.


Christopher Kevane
Senior vice president and general counsel
Rural/Metro Corporation

ACC Awards 2012Kevane has been advising and managing the legal affairs for Rural/Metro for more than seven years, the past two as senior vice president and general counsel. His recent accomplishments include managing all legal matters related to:
* The successful close of Rural/Metro’s acquisition by affiliates of the global private equity firm Warburg Pincus LLC.
* The successful acquisition of multiple competitor companies throughout the nation.
* Regulatory matters related to SEC reporting mandates.
* Legal issues and settlement negotiations related to federal and state Medicare and Medicaid audits and compliance matters.
* Contract matters and negotiations surrounding executive departures and hiring.


Mark Larson
Vice president and chief litigation counsel — aerospace and transportation systems
Honeywell International

ACC Awards 2012Given Honeywell Aerospace’s content on global aircraft, chances are that if an aircraft accident occurs, Honeywell will be involved in litigation and Larson will ultimately become involved. Larson oversees a large, complex and diversified docket, encompassing litigation and arbitration matters throughout the world. Through skillful negotiation, Larson managed to settle a number of significant claims last year alone, saving Honeywell hundreds of millions of dollars, as well as protecting Honeywell’s product reputation and brand. In his 11 years at Honeywell, Larson has had just one trial loss. He accomplished all that while reducing outside counsel spending by almost 50 percent since 2007.


Ryan Liebengood
Intellectual property attorney
ASM America INC

ACC Awards 2012Colleagues admire Libengood for his unselfish community service. “I have been in the legal field for more than 40 years and as an in-house attorney for more than 15 years,” said Gary A. Smith, general counsel for Phoenix Engineering Services in Mesa. “Rarely have I seen a relative newcomer to the law become so enthusiastically involved in the community.” Libengood became a member of the Mesa Family YMCA, offering his assistance as the organization transitioned from a fitness facility to a service organization supporting a low-income population. He also volunteers with the Mesa United Way Volunteer Income Tax Preparation Program.


Virginia Llewellyn
General counsel and corporate secretary
Barrett-Jackson Auction Co., LLC

ACC Awards 2012Llewellyn has been general counsel at Barrett-Jackson since 2005. In this role, she is responsible for managing all the company’s legal affairs and overseeing outside counsel relationships. She serves as corporate secretary and works closely with other members of the senior management team on establishing and implementing company policies and procedures as they apply to employees, customers, and external business partners. She also serves as the primary liaison to the company’s media partners, including Fox’s SPEED Channel, which broadcasts more than 100 live hours of Barrett-Jackson events each year to more than 80 million homes.


Matthew D. Mitchell
Vice president legal, associate general counsel
Apollo Group

ACC Awards 2012Mitchell’s original responsibilities for Apollo — one of the largest employers in Arizona — were limited to the employment area, but he has since taken on litigation and regulatory responsibilities. Some highlights:
* He has been instrumental in implementing standard processes for the engagement of outside counsel (including outside counsel guidelines and electronic billing), e-discovery and litigation holds, Apollo board litigation updates specific to both the company and the for-profit education industry, and litigation tracking.
* Has assumed responsibility for securities litigation, derivative actions, wage hour class actions, qui tam litigation, and consumer litigation.


Harriet Mountcastle-Walsh
Vice president and general counsel
Honeywell International

ACC Awards 2012Since assuming the role of aerospace general counsel in 2005, Mountcastle-Walsh has forged a successful vision for the Honeywell Aerospace, Law, Contracts and Export (LC&E) function. Some highlights:
* Developed policies, procedures and best practices to streamline functionalization and reduce total expenses by more than 35 percent.
* Consistently strives to upgrade talent in her 400-person department through hiring efforts, and through a training, mentoring and a development process.
* Enabled growth at Honeywell through the development of its patent portfolio and IP licensing.
* Proactive litigation management has helped reduce Honeywell’s spending on outside counsel by more than 50 percent.


Arizona Business Magazine January/February 2012

50 Largest Employers in Arizona - AZ Business Magazine January/February 2012

50 Largest Employers In Arizona

These are the 50 largest employers in Arizona, including public and privately held companies and not-for-profit corporations, ranked by the number of employees based on full-time equivalents of 40 hours per week and based on industry research.


50 Largest Employers in Arizona

Walmart Stores Inc.

Arizona employees in 2011: 30,634
Employment change since 2010: Added about 300 jobs
2010 revenue: $421.8 billion
Company’s focus: Discount retailer
Year founded: 1962
Headquarters: Bentonville, Ark.
Phone: (479) 273-4000
Website: www.walmart.com

Banner Health

Arizona employees in 2011: 28,353
Employment change since 2010: Added about 600 jobs
2010 revenue: $4.9 billion
Company’s focus: Health care
Year founded: 1911
Headquarters: Phoenix
Phone: (602) 747-4000
Website: www.bannerhealth.com

Wells Fargo & Co.

Arizona employees in 2011: About 14,000
Employment change since 2010: Stayed about even
2010 revenue: $93.2 billion
Company’s focus: Financial services
Year founded: 1852
Headquarters: San Francisco
Phone: (800) 411-4932
Website: www.wellsfargo.com

Bank of America Corp.

Arizona employees in 2011: 13,300
Employment change since 2010: Added about 2,000 jobs
2010 revenue: $150.5 billion
Company’s focus: Financial services
Year founded: 1904
Headquarters: Charlotte, N.C.
Phone: (800) 944-0404
Website: www.bankofamerica.com

McDonald’s Corp.

Arizona employees in 2011: 12,770
Employment change since 2010: Added about 955 jobs
2010 revenue: $22.7 billion
Company’s focus: Food service
Year founded: 1955
Headquarters: Oakbrook, Ill.
Phone: (800) 244-6227
Website: www.mcdonalds.com

Apollo Group Inc.

Arizona employees in 2011: About 12,000
Employment change since 2010: Lost about 460 jobs
2010 revenue: $4.9 billion
Company’s focus: Educational services
Year founded: 1973
Headquarters: Phoenix
Phone: (480) 966-5394
Website: www.apollogrp.edu

Kroger Co. *

Arizona employees in 2011: About 12,000
Employment change since 2010: Added about 400 jobs
2010 revenue: $76.7 billion
Company’s focus: Grocery stores
Year founded: 1883
Headquarters: Cincinnati
Phone: (623) 936-2100
Website: www.frysfood.com
* Includes Fry’s Food Stores and Fry’s Marketplace

Raytheon Co.

Arizona employees in 2011: 11,500
Employment change since 2010: Lost about 600 jobs
2010 revenue: $25.2 billion
Company’s focus: Missile manufacturing
Year founded: 1922
Headquarters: Waltham, Mass.
Phone: (520) 794-3000
Website: www.raytheon.com

JP Morgan Chase & Co.

Arizona employees in 2011: 10,500
Employment change since 2010: Added about 600 jobs
2010 revenue: $102.9 billion
Company’s focus: Financial services
Year founded: 1799
Headquarters: New York
Phone: (602) 221-2900
Website: www.chase.com

Honeywell International Inc.

Arizona employees in 2011: 9,716
Employment change since 2010: Lost about 700 jobs
2010 revenue: $33.4 billion
Company’s focus: Aerospace manufacturing
Year founded: 1952
Headquarters: Morristown, N.J.
Phone: (602) 231-1000
Website: www.honeywell.com

Intel Corp.

Arizona employees in 2011: 9,700
Employment change since 2010: Stayed about even
2010 revenue: $43.6 billion
Company’s focus: Semiconductor manufacturing
Year founded: 1968
Headquarters: Santa Clara, Calif.
Phone: (480) 554-8080
Website: www.intel.com

Target Corp.

Arizona employees in 2011: 9,300
Employment change since 2010: Added about 500 jobs
2010 revenue: $65.4 billion
Company’s focus: Discount retailer
Year founded: 1962
Headquarters: Minneapolis
Phone: (612) 304-6073
Website: www.target.com

US Airways

Arizona employees in 2011: 8,926
Employment change since 2010: Added about 150 jobs
2010 revenue: $11.9 billion
Company’s focus: Airline
Year founded: 1981
Headquarters: Tempe
Phone: (480) 693-0800
Website: www.usairways.com

Catholic Healthcare West

Arizona employees in 2011: 8,291
Employment change since 2010: Added about 500 jobs
2010 revenue: $9.9 billion
Company’s focus: Health care
Year founded: 1986
Headquarters: San Francisco
Phone: (602) 406-3000
Website: www.chw.edu

Home Depot Inc.

Arizona employees in 2011: About 8,000
Employment change since 2010: Added about 350 jobs
2010 revenue: $66.2 billion
Company’s focus: Home improvement
Year founded: 1978
Headquarters: Atlanta
Phone: (714) 940-3500
Website: www.homedepot.com

Walgreen Co.

Arizona employees in 2011: 7,750
Employment change since 2010: Stayed about even
2010 revenue: $63.3 billion
Company’s focus: Retail drugstores
Year founded: 1901
Headquarters: Deerfield, Ill.
Phone: (847) 940-2500
Website: www.walgreens.com

Safeway Stores Inc.

Arizona employees in 2011: 7,500
Employment change since 2010: Stayed about even
2010 revenue: $41.1 billion
Company’s focus: Grocery stores
Year founded: 1926
Headquarters: Pleasanton, Calif.
Phone: (480) 894-4100
Website: www.safeway.com

American Express Co.

Arizona employees in 2011: 7,465
Employment change since 2010: Added about 200 jobs
2010 revenue: $30.2 billion
Company’s focus: Financial services
Year founded: 1850
Headquarters: New York
Phone: (623) 492-7474
Website: www.americanexpress.com

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.

Arizona employees in 2011: About 7,000
Employment change since 2010: Added about 935 jobs
2010 revenue: $19 billion
Company’s focus: Mining
Year founded: 1834
Headquarters: Phoenix
Phone: (602) 366-7323
Website: www.fcx.com

Pinnacle West Capital Corp.

Arizona employees in 2011: 6,900
Employment change since 2010: Stayed about even
2010 earnings: $330.4 million
Company’s focus: Electric utility
Year founded: 1985
Headquarters: Phoenix
Phone: (602) 250-1000
Website: www.pinnaclewest.com

Bashas’ Supermarkets

Arizona employees in 2011: 6,641
Employment change since 2010: Lost about 1,800 jobs
2010 revenue: Unavailable
Company’s focus: Grocery stores
Year founded: 1932
Headquarters: Chandler
Phone: (480) 895-9350
Website: www.bashas.com

Scottsdale Healthcare

Arizona employees in 2011: 6,556
Employment change since 2010: Added about 55 jobs
2010 revenue: Unavailable
Company’s focus: Health care
Year founded: 1962
Headquarters: Scottsdale
Phone: (480) 882-4000
Website: www.shc.org

UA Healthcare

Arizona employees in 2011: About 6,000
Employment change since 2010: Added about 2,050 jobs
2010 revenue: Unavailable
Company’s focus: Health care
Year founded: 1971
Headquarters: Tucson
Phone: (520) 694-7737
Website: www.u.arizona.edu

Circle K Corp.

Arizona employees in 2011: 5,690
Employment change since 2010: Added about 590 jobs
2010 revenue: $16.4 billion
Company’s focus: Convenience stores
Year founded: 1951
Headquarters: Laval, QC, Canada
Phone: (602) 728-8000
Website: www.CircleK.com

General Dynamics

Arizona employees in 2011: 5,026
Employment change since 2010: Added about 1,810 jobs
2010 revenue: $32.5 billion
Company’s focus: Defense, communications
Year founded: 1952
Headquarters: Falls Church, Va.
Phone: (480) 441-3033
Website: www.generaldynamics.com

Boeing Co.

Arizona employees in 2011: 4,800
Employment change since 2010: Added about 100 jobs
2010 revenue: $64.3 billion
Company’s focus: Aircraft manufacturing
Year founded: 1916
Headquarters: Chicago
Phone: (480) 891-3000
Website: www.boeing.com

Carondelet Health Network

Arizona employees in 2011: 4,690
Employment change since 2010: Added about 124 jobs
2010 revenue: About $601 million
Company’s focus: Health care
Year founded: 1880
Headquarters: Tucson
Phone: (520) 872-3000
Website: www.carondelet.org

Mayo Foundation

Arizona employees in 2011: 4,522
Employment change since 2010: Added about 138 jobs
2010 revenue: $7.9 billion
Company’s focus: Health care
Year founded: 1864
Headquarters: Rochester, Minn.
Phone: (480) 301-8000
Website: www.mayo.edu

CVS Caremark Corp.

Arizona employees in 2011: 4,500
Employment change since 2010: Added about 50 jobs
2010 revenue: $96.4 billion
Company’s focus: Pharmaceutical services
Year founded: 1993
Headquarters: Nashville
Phone: (615) 743-6600
Website: www.caremark.com

Salt River Project

Arizona employees in 2011: 4,346
Employment change since 2010: Lost about 392 jobs
2010 revenue: $2.7 billion
Company’s focus: Utility supplier
Year founded: 1903
Headquarters: Phoenix
Phone: (602) 236-5900
Website: www.srpnet.com

Costco Inc.

Arizona employees in 2011: 4,151
Employment change since 2010: Added about 951 jobs
2010 revenue: $76.2 billion
Company’s focus: Membership discount stores
Year founded: 1976
Headquarters: Issaquah, Wash.
Phone: (602) 293-5007
Website: www.costco.com

Abrazo Health Care *

Arizona employees in 2011: 4,089
Employment change since 2010: Added about 951 jobs
2010 revenue: $1.5 billion
Company’s focus: Health care
Year founded: 1997
Headquarters: Nashville
Phone: (602) 674-1400
Website: www.abrazohealth.com
* A division of Vanguard Health Systems

Albertsons Inc.

Arizona employees in 2011: 4,000
Employment change since 2010: Lost about 450 jobs
2010 revenue: $5.9 billion
Company’s focus: Grocery and drug stores
Year founded: 1939
Headquarters: Boise, ID
Phone: (602) 382-5300
Website: www.albertsons.com

FedEx Corp.

Arizona employees in 2011: 3,918
Employment change since 2010: Added about 330 jobs
2010 revenue: $34.7 billion
Company’s focus: Delivery, copy centers
Year founded: 1971
Headquarters: Memphis, Tenn.
Phone: (866) 477-7529
Website: www.fedex.com

Southwest Airlines Co.

Arizona employees in 2011: 3,857
Employment change since 2010: Added about 259 jobs
2010 revenue: $12.1 billion
Company’s focus: Airline
Year founded: 1971
Headquarters: Dallas
Phone: (602) 304-3983
Website: www.southwest.com

Marriott International

Arizona employees in 2011: 3,522
Employment change since 2010: Added about 722 jobs
2010 revenue: $11.7 billion
Company’s focus: Resorts and hotels
Year founded: 1927
Headquarters: Bethesda, Md.
Phone: (301) 380-3000
Website:  www.marriott.com

Qwest Communications Inc.

Arizona employees in 2011: 3,200
Employment change since 2010: Lost about 190 jobs
2010 revenue: $12.3 billion
Company’s focus: Telecommunications
Year founded: 1896
Headquarters: Denver
Phone: (800) 244-1111
Website: www.Qwest.com

United Parcel Service

Arizona employees in 2011: 3,170
Employment change since 2010: Lost about 48 jobs
2010 revenue: $49.5 billion
Company’s focus: Package delivery
Year founded: 1907
Headquarters: Atlanta
Phone: (888) 967-5877
Website: www.ups.com

John C. Lincoln Health Network

Arizona employees in 2011: 3,166
Employment change since 2010: Added about 539 jobs
2010 revenue: $551 million
Company’s focus: Health care
Year founded: 1927
Headquarters:  Phoenix
Phone: (602) 870-943-2381
Website: www.jcl.com

USAA

Arizona employees in 2011: 3,045
Employment change since 2010: Added about 74 jobs
2010 revenue: $17.9 billion
Company’s focus: Financial services
Year founded: 1922
Headquarters: San Antonio
Phone: (800) 531-8111
Website: www.usaa.com

Charles Schwab & Co. Inc.

Arizona employees in 2011: 3,001
Employment change since 2010: Stayed about even
2010 revenue: $4.2 billion
Company’s focus: Financial services
Year founded: 1974
Headquarters: San Francisco
Phone: (800) 435-4000
Website: www.schwab.com

Freescale Semiconductor

Arizona employees in 2011: About 3,000
Employment change since 2010: Stayed about even
2010 revenue: $4.5 billion
Company’s focus: Microchip manufacturing
Year founded: 1953
Headquarters: Austin
Phone: (512) 895-2000
Website: www.freescale.com

IBM Corp.

Arizona employees in 2011: About 3,000
Employment change since 2010: Stayed about even
2010 revenue: $95.8 billion
Company’s focus: Technology services
Year founded: 1924
Headquarters: Armonk, N.Y.
Phone: (800) 426-4968
Web site: www.us.ibm.com

Cox Communications Inc.

Arizona employees in 2011: 2,997
Employment change since 2010: Lost about 67 jobs
2010 revenue: $9.1 billion
Company’s focus: Telecommunications
Year founded: 1962
Headquarters: Atlanta
Phone: (623) 594-0505
Website: www.cox.com

TMC HealthCare

Arizona employees in 2011: 2,966
Employment change since 2010: Lost about 84 jobs
2010 revenue: Unavailable
Company’s focus: Health care
Year founded: 1943
Headquarters: Tucson
Phone: (520) 327-5461
Website: www.tmcaz.com

Verizon Wireless

Arizona employees in 2011: 2,901
Employment change since 2010: Added about 201 jobs
2010 revenue: $63.4 billion
Company’s focus: Wireless provider
Year founded: 1984
Headquarters: Basking Ridge, N.J.
phone: (480) 763-6300
Website: www.verizonwireless.com

Cigna HealthCare of AZ

Arizona employees in 2011: 2,865
Employment change since 2010: Added about 401 jobs
2010 revenue: $21.3 billion
Company’s focus: Health care
Year founded: 1972
Headquarters: Philadelphia
Phone: (602) 942-4462
Website: www.cigna.com

Grand Canyon University

Arizona employees in 2011: 2,818
Employment change since 2010: Added about 537 jobs
2010 revenue: $385.8 million
Company’s focus: Educational services
Year founded: 1949
Headquarters: Phoenix
Phone: (602) 639-7500
Website: www.gcu.edu

Starbucks Coffee Co.

Arizona employees in 2011: 2,783
Employment change since 2010: Added about 1,003 jobs
2010 revenue: $10.7 billion
Company’s focus: Food service
Year founded: 1971
Headquarters: Seattle
Phone: (602) 340-0455
Website: www.starbucks.com

Go Daddy Group Inc.

Arizona employees in 2011: 2,754
Employment change since 2010: Added about 441 jobs
2010 revenue: $741.2 million
Company’s focus: Internet services/technology
Year founded: 1997
Headquarters: Scottsdale
Phone: (480) 505-8800
Website: www.GoDaddy.com

These are the state’s 5 largest government employers, ranked by the number of employees.

State of Arizona: About 49,800 employees
City of Phoenix: About 15,100 employees
Maricopa County: 12,792 employees
Arizona State University: 11,185 employees
Mesa Public Schools: 8,376 employees

Arizona Business Magazine January/February 2012

CFO of the Year Awards

CFO Of The Year Awards 2011 Finalists And Winners

The CFO of the Year Awards are given to professionals for outstanding performance in their roles as corporate financial stewards. This program provides many benefits to the business community by highlighting the important roles that financial executives play within the region. In addition to the awards, we’ll publish a special report that will accompany the November issue of Arizona Business Magazine.

Here are the CFO of the Year 2011 Finalists:

Karen M. Abraham

Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona

CFO of the Year Awards 2011 Finalists - AB Magazine November/December 2011Karen Abraham is responsible for providing direction and accountability regarding all financial matters at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona. That was evident as she helped the company’s revenue grow from $313 million when she took over as vice president of finance in 1997 to $1.5 billion as CFO today.
In addition to the revenue boost, Abraham provided the vision and leadership to partner with other BCBS plans to decentralize the infrastructure necessary to process transactions, which will save the company millions of dollars.
Along with her many achievements, Abraham was responsible for getting the BCBS Association requirement to obtain a rating from S&P. Because of this rating, Abraham implemented a change in how the organization is managed, specifically providing an additional discipline in the budgeting, forecasting and rating of its products.
Abraham is a member of the Ethics and Compliance Committee that wrote the book for the organization’s policies for the finance and purchasing departments and other parts of the organization. She sits on several community boards, including the YMCA Town Hall Board and the W.P. Carey School Finance Advisory Board.


Darryl Baker

Chief Financial Officer
iGo, Inc.

CFO of the Year Awards 2011 Finalists - AB Magazine November/December 2011Through his role as CFO, Darryl Baker has been instrumental in the revenue growth of iGo, Inc., a technology and consumer products company.
In the past year, Baker has boosted iGo’s product diversity by adding three new product categories, and has been instrumental in the acquisitions of Adapt Mobile and Aerial7, and teaming up with Pure Energy.
Baker is the driving force behind the iGo Code of Business Conduct and Ethics document, which he adheres to. In addition to this code, Baker leads iGo in an ethical manner and ensures that the financial reporting process is carried out smoothly to ensure the safeguarding of company assets.
As CFO, Baker is responsible for safeguarding company assets, maintaining its balance sheet, providing timely and accurate financial and operating performance reporting, implementing cost controls and reducing unnecessary expense, and forecasting and planning to ensure appropriate financing for the company’s business objectives.


Dan Behrendt

Chief Financial Officer
TASER International, Inc.

CFO of the Year Awards 2011 Finalists - AB Magazine November/December 2011Since 2004, Dan Behrendt has been revamping TASER International, Inc. in order to ensure success.
Behrendt successfully redesigned TASER’s warranty programs, leading to a $25 million increase in revenue. In addition to this redesign, he created key performance indicators for each company department. This process measures growth and ensures that the company is moving toward its goals.
During a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation, Behrendt made the decision to use an open door policy when others were against the idea. Because of his decision, after a 30 percent drop in revenue, TASER witnessed revenue growths of 42 percent and 47 percent the next two years.
In addition to his achievements, Behrendt oversees all aspects of corporate finance to make sure TASER is performing at the highest possible degree for its shareholders. He also runs the information technology department to ensure the company is being provided with the highest level of support and service.
In addition to building the company, Behrendt created the TASER Foundation for Fallen Officers as a way to give back to the community.


Karen Bretz

Vice President Finance
Fresh Start Women’s Foundation

CFO of the Year Awards 2011 Finalists - AB Magazine November/December 2011Karen Bretz relies on her unique ability of blending her analytical and creative mind to financially manage and grow Fresh Start Women’s Foundation.
Bretz refinanced the foundation’s main building, expanded a second site, and developed the thrift store initiative with ease. Since she became CFO, Fresh Start Women’s Foundation has received a clean audit. In addition, Bretz’s financial leadership led to the foundation’s first profitable year from operations since 2003.
She revised the employee handbook to make the company’s policies and practices more clear. Bretz also created an internal grievance committee to implement processes to identify and resolve client complaints and grievances.
Bretz is responsible for the management of foundation finances, along with support for the Finance Committee and the Board of Directors. She manages strategic initiatives, including job placement services, the development of a thrift store, and managing the facilities of both of the Women’s Resource Center buildings.


Thomas R. Castellanos

Chief Financial Officer
Valle del Sol Inc.

CFO of the Year Awards 2011 Finalists - AB Magazine November/December 2011In tough times for nonprofits and state-funded service providers, Valle del Sol is lucky to have Thomas Castellanos improving its finances.
By forming a Multiple Employer Welfare Association as a strategic cost reduction, Castellanos saved more than $600,000 in the group’s first year. Castellanos has been a change agent for Valle del Sol in order to achieve its goal of providing services to the underserved community. He focuses on the finance, accounting, facilities, and information technology side of the business. In the past year, four new clinics have opened and become licensed in Maricopa County with Castellanos’ assistance.
Castellanos created the idea of a chair of the board fund to address shortfalls in funding, given Arizona state budget cuts. This would allow services to be provided for AHCCCS recipients for a limited time until they could find coverage.
In addition to these achievements, Castellanos has increased Valle del Sol’s accountability by instituting internal controls within finance.


Mark D. Cavanaugh – Winner, Small Private Company

CFO of the YearSenior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Firetrace USA, LLC

CFO of the Year Awards 2011 Finalists - AB Magazine November/December 2011It’s been said that “without Mark Cavanaugh, Firetrace would cease to function.”
When Cavanaugh began working at Firetrace in 20005, the aerospace and defense business had $189,000 in revenue. In 2010, that amount rocketed to more than $64 million. Focusing on the industrial commercial markets, Cavanaugh has strategically grown operations to India, Dubai, Singapore, Australia, and, in 2011, Brazil.
Using his public policy efforts, Cavanaugh secured more than $100 million for fuel tank fire suppression and got fire suppression mandated for all military vehicles.
Leading the Firetrace team in the adoption of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and UK Bribery Act, Cavanaugh is safeguarding the company’s financial assets.
Cavanaugh has been instrumental in the growth of the aerospace and defense team by using the philosophy, “Hire the best people and get out of their way.”
Cavanaugh is active in the community, coaching youth soccer, baseball, softball and basketball.


Thomas B. Fischer

Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer
Express Messenger Systems, Inc. dba OnTrac

CFO of the Year Awards 2011 Finalists - AB Magazine November/December 2011Thomas Fischer provides leadership and coordination in OnTrac’s financial, business planning, accounting and budgeting efforts.
During Fisher’s tenure, revenues at the overnight package delivery company have increased more than 200 percent, stockholders’ equity has increased 200 percent, and long-term debt has decreased from 75 percent to 10 percent.
Fischer also has played a crucial role in defining and executing the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP.) The ESOP currently is worth more than $15 million for 550 active participants.
Fischer’s aptitude for budgeting, cost control principles and managing resources is critical to the company’s success. His abilities in contracting and negotiating have allowed OnTrac to grow and expand.
Fischer works with the regional management team to foster healthy relationships within the company. He also exhibits leadership by encouraging his team to think critically and promote an enriched personal and work atmosphere.
He is an avid runner and a member of a Tucson running club.


William “Bill” McClung – Winner, Non-Profit

CFO of the YearChief Financial Officer
Southwest Human Development, Inc.

CFO of the Year Awards 2011 Finalists - AB Magazine November/December 2011After just three years at Southwest Human Development, Bill McClung has helped the agency grow and improve. In the past three years, the company has seen a positive gain in net assets of more than $1.5 million.
This can be attributed to changes McClung made to budgeting, financial reporting and cost containment systems. In fiscal 2011. Southwest Human Development reported revenue in excess of $45 million. Budgeted revenue for fiscal 2012 is $53 million.
In preparation for the tri-annual federal review of Southwest Human Development’s largest program, Head Start, McClung and his team completely rewrote agency policies and procedures to meet federal requirements.
McClung has developed a top-of-the-line board of directors financial oversight committee and has made technological improvements, acting as the organization’s chief information officer. He has proven to be adept in preparing internal financial statements for management and the board of directors that enable them to better understand and manage finances at all levels.
Under his method of “leading by example,” the company has experienced almost no turnover in staff.


Steven L. Ortega

Chief Financial Officer
Leslie’s Poolmart LLC

CFO of the Year Awards 2011 Finalists - AB Magazine November/December 2011For the past six years, Steven Ortega has kept Leslie’s Poolmart functioning swimmingly.
Leading the company through the national economic downturn, Ortega has helped it achieve 47 straight years of sales growth and 47 quarters of consecutive operating profitability.
During Ortega’s tenure, the company has developed a comprehensive five-year strategic growth plan. This plan was created as a roadmap to achieve the company’s goal of growing to $1  billion in annual sales revenues.
Ortega was instrumental in a financial transaction with CVC Capital Partners to invest in the company, which helped provide capital structure. Since 2005, Ortega has opened 172 retail stores, 17 new commercial service centers, relocated 12 retail stores, and remodeled more than 200 stores. In addition, Ortega was a key part in two strategic company acquisitions that led to market growth in both Texas and Arizona.
Ortega provides strategic leadership in which he revamped the new store development process, enhanced the company’s compensation plans, and enhanced the review and approval process for all contracts and agreements.


Tanya Perry

Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Goodwill of Central Arizona

CFO of the Year Awards 2011 Finalists - AB Magazine November/December 2011Respected for her leadership, Perry has led Goodwill of Central Arizona to a new level of growth and success.
During her four-year tenure, Goodwill of Central Arizona has grown from 37 retail locations to 46. Along with retail growth, revenue has grown from $60.1 million to a projected $87 million.
Perry has been responsible for the stability, credibility, and overall effectiveness of the financial operations of the organization. Goodwill’s balance sheet has greatly improved, and debt balances have decreased from $22.3 million to $13.9 million.
Perry has created a financial culture that is focused on transparency, credibility (internally and externally), integrity, and a culture that is consultative, synergistic, supportive and advisory.
She was instrumental to the development of an innovative campaign called “Band Together to Spread Goodwill,” which features “Giving Bands” that are being sold at all Goodwill locations. Proceeds benefit nine different charities.


Kellie S. Pruitt

Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and Secretary
Healthcare Trust of America, Inc.

CFO of the Year Awards 2011 Finalists - AB Magazine November/December 2011Healthcare Trust of America (HTA) has been in business for just four years, and its seasoned leader, Kellie Pruitt, is steering it in the right direction.
During Pruitt’s tenure, the company increased its financial flexibility by obtaining a $575 million unsecured credit facility, and was assigned an investment grade credit rating by Moody’s and S&P. In the past two years, Pruitt and efforts by the management team have led to a $1.6 billion increase in equity. As CFO, Pruitt is responsible for managing HTA’s accounting, tax, and finance, treasury and investor relations functions. She established the company’s corporate headquarters and closed over $1.2 billion of acquisitions   has helped hire and train all the company’s employees with the CEO.
Pruitt is involved in all strategic operating and financial decisions, but also actively drives and monitors the results. Her leadership has been essential to leading the company through the recession, always with HTA’s financial health and the best interest of the company’s investors in mind.
Displaying the highest level of ethics, integrity and trust, Pruitt believes in transparency with employees, the board of directors, and investors. She always believes in doing the right thing, even if it isn’t the most popular decision.


Dena L. Richter

Chief Financial Officer
SynCardia Systems, Inc.

CFO of the Year Awards 2011 Finalists - AB Magazine November/December 2011By overseeing all financial activities of SynCardia, Dena Richter leads the company that manufactures the Total Artificial Heart that helps people who suffer from heart failure. Her roles as both CFO and HR Director allow her to utilize her talents as a financial director and employee mentor. Financial reporting, cash management and five regulatory audits per year are just a few of Richter’s extensive responsibilities. Her leadership ability resulted in the vertical integration of a supply chain with an $800,000 purchase of a supplier’s Segmented Polyurethane Solution (SPUS) reactor. Trinity Capital Investment’s confidence in Richter led to their approval of an additional leasing capacity of $2 million along with a $1 million investment in SynCardia’s Series E equity round. These are just a few of her financial accomplishments. Her fiscal management of the company has resulted in explosive growth and sales. SynCardia’s success through Richter’s example has increased product manufacturing, allowing a great number of people to receive the care their lives depend on.


Jack Seaver

Chief Financial Officer/Human Resources Manager
CCS Presentation Systems

CFO of the Year Awards 2011 Finalists - AB Magazine November/December 2011Jack Seaver’s fiscal actions help the company provide quality audio and video systems for clients such as Intel, Arizona State University and Ratheon. With 13 years of experience, Seaver plays an essential role in making CCS one of the largest A/V integrators in the United States. His collection policies put the company’s current accounts receivable percentage at 90.4 percent based on approximately $5 million in receivables. Due to his initiation of the American Express “Plum” Credit Card, CCS receives 2 percent cash credit for all payments made accordingly. Seaver’s unparalleled leadership style has the company recognized for having one of the best operational practices in the industry. Known as the “rock” of the company, his generosity always shines through. Whether making a personal donation to a struggling employee or raising money for the Red Cross and local charities, Seaver goes above and beyond his written responsibilities through selfless acts of kindness.


Andrew A. Stevens

Chief Financial Officer
Liberty Distribution Company, LLC

CFO of the Year Awards 2011 Finalists - AB Magazine November/December 2011As CFO and board member, Andrew Stevens is responsible for all financial aspects of Liberty Distribution, including financial reporting, treasury and risk management, investor relations, planning and analysis. As a crucial member of the company’s board, Stevens sets the strategic direction of the business while providing valuable feedback to the group. He works with sales to competitively price new account acquisition proposals, and significantly contributed to the acquisition of a competitor’s assets in 2008. Stevens seeks “balance” between risk and reward when analyzing opportunities, and is known by co-workers as both a leader and team player. His dedication to the success of Liberty Distribution does not hinder his commitment to service. Stevens has been an active member of organizations such as Childsplay, the America West Airlines Foundation and the University of Arizona Alumni Association. An active member of the church and the community, Stevens strives to bring people together through his discipline learned as a CPA.


Brian Swartz

Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Apollo Group, Inc.

CFO of the Year Awards 2011 Finalists - AB Magazine November/December 2011After previously joining the Apollo Group as vice president, corporate controller and chief accounting officer in 2007, Brian Swartz was appointed CFO two years later.
Swartz is recognized by the company for his influence on goals and performance. Despite a 40 percent decline in new enrollment, he helped Apollo maintain its fiscal strength. His review of the company’s cost structure resulted in the identification and reduction of more than $100 million in costs through operational initiatives. With the help of colleagues, Swartz spearheaded a comprehensive overhaul of the governance practices at Apollo after discovering a stock option backdating issue. His oversight of the “Apollo Excellence” program helps ensure business processes are streamlined and cost-efficient. These are just a few ways Swartz continues to contribute his expertise toward the company’s enormous success.
Stevens also is actively involved in the community through serving on the board of directors of the Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation and the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce.


Susan Sweeney

Chief Financial Officer
CyraCom International, Inc.

CFO of the Year Awards 2011 Finalists - AB Magazine November/December 2011As CFO of CyraCom International, a provider of language services for people with limited English proficiency, Susan Sweeney executes an extensive array of financial duties.
During her four-year tenure, Sweeney has accomplished an incredible amount for CyraCom. Under her guidance, the company doubled revenues to $37.4 million, and increased the earnings per share by 180 percent. The company also met all cost and revenue budgets for 41 of the past 42 months, with a staff that expanded from 248 employees to 600. Sweeney’s leadership helped increase CyraCom’s borrowing capacity from $1.5 million to $18 million, enabling its first acquisition. As a result of these successes, CyraCom was honored as the second-fastest growing company in Southern Arizona by the Arizona Daily Star, as well as listed in the Inc. 5,000 list of fastest growing companies for 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2011.
Sweeney’s grasp of cost-control and decision management has made her an admirable part of CyraCom’s team. Her personal interest in the well-being of employees has them continuing to hold a full suite of benefits.


Dan Urness – Winner, Public Company

CFO of the YearChief Financial Officer, Vice President and Treasurer
Cavco Industries, Inc.

CFO of the Year Awards 2011 Finalists - AB Magazine November/December 2011Dan Urness has led Cavco Industries to financial success.
He is responsible for IT functions, payroll, human resources oversight, corporate development work, as well as all financial affairs. More importantly, he has been highly influential in the company’s growth.
By providing innovative ideas into Fleetwood Homes’ and Palm Harbor Homes’ bid strategies, Cavco changed from a regional manufacturer to the second-largest national supplier, retailer, financier, and insurer of systems-built housing in the U.S.
During the 2008 economic market crisis, Urness demonstrated his valuable leadership by actively managing the company’s excess cash and investments to prevent that loss in value and liquidity that many other companies experienced. This proved critical when funding subsequent expansion.
By recognizing that the implementation of a company-wide enterprise resource planning IT system would be critical to future success, he worked closely with the IT department to identify and retain the chosen provider.
Urness volunteers as a youth leader in his free time.


Dale Wanek

Chief Financial Officer
Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix

CFO of the Year Awards 2011 Finalists - AB Magazine November/December 2011With 12 locations and growing, the Boy & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix relies on Dale Wanek to oversee the accounting, information technology, human resources, and facilities functions.
In his role, Wanek has worked with the organization to achieve many milestones. During his tenure, the organization has had yearly clean audits without discrepancies. His vendor negotiations have resulted in savings of $150,000 in the past year. The Boys & Girls Clubs also remodeled existing locations, and has undertaken an expansion plan for a dental clinic that is expected to be completed in 2012.
Wanek’s innovative approach to finance has helped establish new policies, such as fortifying the organization’s reserves to maintain a minimum of 90 days of cash on hand, and strengthening the business relationships in the community to solicit donations.
Wanek also helped secure a $10.8 million new construction loan to build three new clubhouses. The organization recognizes him as both an easygoing and engaging person with whom to work.


Steve Ward

Chief Financial Officer/Chief Operating Officer
Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS

CFO of the Year Awards 2011 Finalists - AB Magazine November/December 2011Steve Ward serves as both CFO and COO for the Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS, Arizona’s oldest and largest nonprofit AIDS organization.
Ward’s timely and effective tactics regarding finance have helped the agency excel during the economic crisis and beyond. By helping the agency with effective banking arrangements, it continues to have strong months of fundraising.
His ability to submit financial, operational, and qualitative program narrative data directly addresses grantor’s needs. The Southwest Center benefitted from Ward’s financial planning by receiving voter approval for $3.6 million in public funding to establish a community center.
He oversees a clinical trial program which previously lost $300,000 per year, but is now breaking even and growing in revenue thanks to his leadership.
Ward has been called an ambassador of collaborative, creative solutions among community partners. His popular “can-do” attitude and optimism have helped the agency become a critical outlet for those suffering from HIV/AIDS.


Margaret Wolford

Chief Financial Officer
Children’s Museum of Phoenix

CFO of the Year Awards 2011 Finalists - AB Magazine November/December 2011Margaret Wolford has assembled financial reporting systems and procedures that have advanced the Children’s Museum of Phoenix to an unparalleled level.
When her fiscal management began, the organization was staffed with a small operational planning group that oversaw $22 million in multi-year charitable gifts. After her influence and leadership, Wolford converted the museum’s systems to sophisticated management software.
The reporting systems she established advanced the museum to a level of efficiency many mature organizations have not yet seen. As a brand new museum, Wolford increased operational staff members from 12 to 85 in three weeks. The budget also skyrocketed to $3 million.
Aside from her museum duties, she is an activist working on issues of human understanding and world peace. She models both peaceful and humane behavior in the workplace, and embeds the principles of ethical practices into everything she does.


Michael Zimmerman – Winner, Large Private Company

CFO of the YearChief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President
The Go Daddy Group, Inc.

CFO of the Year Awards 2011 Finalists - AB Magazine November/December 2011Under the financial supervision of Michael Zimmerman, the Go Daddy Group is the world’s No. 1 domain name registrar and largest Web hosting company.
Responsible for financial reporting, budgeting, forecasting, as well as daily financial affairs, Zimmerman has taken the initiative as a true leader over the past 10 years. He was instrumental in managing a financial deal with other investors worth more than $2 billion. Amid the economic recession, Go Daddy earned double-digit growth, thanks to Zimmerman’s relentless approach with financial tracking.
Under his leadership, Go Daddy also increased sales by 21 percent, added a new facility and hired 400 employees. Zimmerman also oversees Go Daddy Cares, which donated more than $4.7 million in 2011, surpassing previous contributions.
After negotiating a partnership with the “.co” domain name that resulted in a Super Bowl commercial, the marketing strategy generated more than a 500 percent spike in domain name sales.
Zimmerman shows commitment to doing the right thing with each decision he makes, and is known as a “down-to-Earth and appreciative person.”

Arizona Business Magazine November/December 2011

 

 

Green Law - Valley Forward’s Goals Are Important To Dan Litteral’s Company, Apollo Group

Valley Forward’s Goals Are Important To Dan Litteral’s Company, Apollo Group

Dan Litteral
Vice President/Legal & Associate General Counsel
Apollo Group/University of Phoenix

Dan Litteral has been in higher education and has practiced regulatory law for more than 20 years, and that experience has enhanced his involvement with Valley Forward.

Litteral joined Valley Forward in 2007 through Apollo Group and the University of Phoenix, which have both been longstanding members and supporters of the organization.

“It became apparent to me that Valley Forward was an almost uniquely positioned organization for a metropolitan area that was really committed to public dialogue between organizations and civic leaders,  to promote environmentally sensible development,” Litteral says.

Before working for the University of Phoenix and Apollo Group, Litteral spent 20 years practicing law in the Washington D.C., area. He helped build the in-house legal department at the University of Phoenix and was University of Phoenix general counsel from 2003-2007. Litteral then was moved up to the Apollo Group where he currently runs a practice group for Apollo that provides education and regulatory law services.

Litteral says Valley Forward is staying fresh and relevant, and is important to Apollo Group because it has aligned goals. Apollo Group has focused on sustainability and appropriate environmental usages.

Since 2008, Litteral has sat on the Valley Forward board of directors and executive committee. He was also chair of Valley Forward’s Earthfest Educators Night, an annual event that invites between 300 and 500 teachers from around the Valley to learn about environmental education so they can share the information with their students.

Litteral wants to see a focus on continued relevance from Valley Forward. He says that as the economy turns around and the organization grows, it is important to improve the issues that revolve around sustainability.

“Valley Forward clearly wants to be the environmental go-to organization in the Valley in terms of balancing the need for growth, development an stability,” Litteral says. “By undertaking events and continuing to engage leaders in corporations and the business world, it will fulfill that mission.”

Valley Forward works with organizations such as Apollo Group to educate the community and businesses on how to be sustainable and environmentally friendly. Valley Forward provides an opportunity for public dialogue of discussing how to move forward with environmental considerations.

“Valley Forward has a long track record of making the Valley a good place to live and work, while understanding we need to continue to develop and grow, and to do so in an environmentally friendly way,” Litteral says.

Photography by Mark Peterman

Who to Watch ‘O7

Who to Watch 2007

These seven individuals will undoubtedly make headlines in 2007. Enjoy this sneak peak of the Class of ’07.

 

William Harris, Science Foundation Arizona
www.sfaz.org

William HarrisWhen you enter Dr. William Harris’ office, something other than science jumps out at you. Photographs of Harris with state leaders like President George W. Bush hang near autographed photos of baseball heroes. His bookshelves feature rows of studies that lie near bats and leather balls. But upon closer examination, his baseball bat has a flat face with a curved end and is not a baseball bat at all. His bat is a hurling stick. And the stick is covered with autographs—from Ireland’s prime minister and deputy prime minister. Harris began his new role as president and CEO of Science Foundation Arizona fresh off a five-year term as Science Foundation Ireland’s director general. He adopted hurling as his sport-of-choice after moving to Ireland, to strengthen the country’s science industry in 2001. His work helped contribute to a booming, viable economy that has become a template for other nations to follow.

“In 1988, the World Bank almost declared [Ireland] bankrupt,” says Harris. “Through education and a commitment to the idea that being rich is better than being poor, the country changed things around…These simple principles galvanized people to work together. Ireland wanted to create a cadre of competitive workers and speed was important in getting it done. The challenge was compelling.”

Harris spent his career teaching chemistry at the collegiate level in South Carolina. Later, he worked for the National Science Foundation for 18 years, then came aboard Columbia University’s Biosphere 2 project in Tucson and eventually returned to the south.

Born out of the 21st Century Innovation Fund and initiated in the spring of 2006, Science Foundation Arizona seeks to support the science, engineering and innovation industry within the state. The nonprofit is a public/private partnership and was appropriated with $35 million to help create a competitive environment that encourages and supports knowledge-driven economics.

“We should be embarrassed by the fact that we rank 47th or 48th in education,” says Harris. “How can you be an Arizonan and be at the bottom and think that it’s okay? Why don’t we have a shared consensus that we owe our children a good education?”

“A culture that welcomes new things and new ways of thinking is very attractive to young people.” he says. “I’d like to create a culture where there is an ambition here for high school students to become the next Bill Gates or Michael Dell, where this state will inspire and support these students. Of course, I also want the next greatest baseball pitcher to come from here too,” he adds.

Dana Naimark, Children’s Action Alliance
www.azchildren.org

Dana NaimarkDana Naimark possesses that rare combination of business savvy and genuine compassion. Her desire to advocate for children does not detract from her business acumen and strategic expertise. This dichotomy has helped her represent Children’s Action Alliance for 13 years as director of special projects and now, allows her to segue into her new role as president and CEO starting this month.

“How children are doing and functioning is so important for all Arizonans,” says Naimark. “[CAA] is 18 years old and our founder is moving out of state, so our goal is to remain as strong, credible and active as ever.”

CAA is a nonprofit, privately funded research and advocacy organization which seeks to improve the quality of life of Arizona’s children. The organization focuses on vulnerable children, including those who are abused, neglected or live in poverty. CAA does not provide direct services; its staff influences public decision and provides research and potential solutions to benefit these children. “We identify the problem, identify the solution, then bring people and ideas together to make those solutions happen,” she says.

Her major goals for the organization are health coverage and early childhood development. She stresses that continued research of babies, toddlers and preschoolers’ experiences affect their overall brain development.

“[This research] is incredibly vital to the state,” she says. “It’s critical to what Arizona will look like—Who will be our workforce? Who will care for us?”

Her involvement in policy began as a budget analyst for the state legislature under Gov. Rose Mofford. CAA Founder Carol Kaiman soon realized the agency couldn’t be too effective on children’s issues without being effective on budget issues and needed someone who would both understand and excel in both these subjects. “At that time (1993), I was looking for a challenge that was rewarding and had a mission I cared about, so it was a perfect match,” says Naimark.

CAA’s $1.3 million budget supports non-partisan research and advocacy projects and a staff of 13 people in Phoenix and Tucson. Both national supporters, like the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Ford Foundation, and local funders, like the Pulliam Foundation, help provide the needed financing to let Naimak and her staff continue their work.

“Over the past few years, Arizona and the United States have become more polarized,” she says. “CAA focuses on finding common ground. There is a lot of hope and confidence we’ll find ways to carve solutions out in this polarized environment. Professionally and personally, I’m committed to helping families here—both for the state’s future and for my own family.”

Jennifer Croll, Croll Corp.
www.themixshops.com

Jennifer CrollIf you instantly recognize Jennifer Croll’s name, you probably have a savvy shopper in your circle or you yourself are the fashion plate. Her boutiques, which share the same name, offer high-end designer clothing for men and women. This fashion-forward entrepreneur could easily be mistaken for one of the glamorous celebrities she dresses—from her white, Dior sunglasses down to her black, peep toe heels.

However, this successful, trendsetting retailer now has another avenue to create a more stylish Arizona. The Mix, a 30,000-square-foot space along Scottsdale’s waterfront, is Arizona’s newest foray into exclusive shopping and upscale entertainment, and Croll’s first foray into large-scale development. Her project is the retail element of Southbridge, the “urban village” that will offer residences, dining, entertainment, a nonprofit aspect and plenty of pedestrian-friendly space.

“We’ve handpicked the tenants and stayed local,” she says. “We wanted to embrace the local talent, so we sat with each prospective retailer to find out their vision, reputation and personality… We want something unique.”

There are no national chain stores included in the $10 million retail development. “If there ever were to be another Mix in another city, we’d localize the retailers there too,” she says. Three buildings comprise the retail component: Nest offers upscale products for home and garden; Live features fashion, lavish restaurants and luxurious spa treatments; and Play, which features a toy store and interactive retailers.

Her aptitude for predicting fashion trends (in addition to her aversion to mall culture) led to the opening of her first boutique in Los Gatos, Calif. A few years later, Croll and husband Cristian opened boutiques throughout California, Texas and Arizona. They eventually relocated here and now have been completely focused on The Mix. She hopes retailers like Moody Blues, Melange and Angelic Garden will help create a major destination point in downtown Scottsdale.

Croll’s retail experience complements the work of partner Fred Unger, president and founder of Spring Creek Development, who is developing Southbridge. “Fred knows all about the hospitality and residential industries, and since I know retail, it was a great [collaboration],” she says. “I’ve worked with brilliant people on this project. We’ve collected a group of people that all believe in this vision—I couldn’t do it on my own.”

With The Mix opening August 2007, six successful boutiques across the western United States and two children, Croll’s schedule will not be easing up any time soon. “This has been an unbelievable process—designing the project, picking retailers,” she says. “It’s been fun and different from my past projects.”

Mike Ebert, RED Development
www.reddevelopment.com

Mike EbertVisit any Arizona drugstore or airport gift shop and you’ll find racks of postcards featuring cacti, sunsets, howling coyotes and the Grand Canyon. Mike Ebert hopes to add one more photo to the display—CityScape.

Ebert, a managing and founding partner of RED Development, hopes CityScape, a 2.5 million-plus-square-foot downtown development, will be the “iconic project for all of Phoenix” and its skyline will serve as postcard fodder for years to come. “When people are flying over the airport, they will say ‘What’s that?’ as they touch down near downtown Phoenix. This is the opportunity for downtown Phoenix to have a heart and soul.”

The three-block, Copper Square downtown project is one of the largest private investments in the state’s history—nearly $1 billion to create a thriving urban development. CityScape will offer residential units, a boutique hotel, 550,000 square feet of Class-A office, 250,000 square feet of retail, more than two and a half acres of pedestrian-friendly open space and three Light Rail stops. Phase I is set to open spring 2009 and the remaining construction planned for a 2011 completion.

“Consumers want an experience now,” he says. “[CityScape’s] niche will be the one place in Arizona to have a true urban experience.”

Ebert’s vision for an urban destination perfectly matched downtown’s renaissance as the Phoenix Convention Center expansion, Arizona State University campus, University of Arizona Medical School and other projects began to take form. Building an urban hub required the collaboration of commercial real estate leaders like Cardon Development Group, Baron Collier Companies and Atlanta’s Novare Group. Ebert says downtown previously focused on government, law and banking. Now, as the Arizona Biomedical Campus and ASU campus progress, Phoenix can get the “creative type” downtown.

“Our timing couldn’t be better,” says Ebert. “CityScape can embrace diversity; suburbia tends to be very homogeneous.”

Ebert’s youthful looks seem to contradict his well-established reputation throughout the state. He, with three colleagues, formed RED Development in 1995.

Select purveyors A.J.’s Fine Foods and P.F. Changs China Bistro are the first retailers to commit to the project and be a part of the downtown entertainment attraction. The development will look progressive and contemporary, intermixed with an outdoorsy quality to satisfy pedestrian needs.

“There is no central spot downtown,” says Ebert. “Our goal is when someone says, ‘Let’s meet downtown,’ it’s at Central Avenue and Washington Street—at CityScape.”

Gary Waissi, Ph.D., Arizona State University
www.west.asu.edu

Gary WaissiWhen you first meet Gary Waissi, Ph.D., its difficult not to pay attention. A hard-to-place accent comes out of an imposing frame, and while you’re still figuring out where he’s from, Waissi has cracked a joke about his native Finland and his worldly escapades.

With an academic and global business background, Waissi will impart his knowledge and professional skills within his new position as dean of Arizona State University’s School of Global Management and Leadership (SGML). He hopes to extend the school’s “global footprint,” designating ASU as a leader of globally oriented management education and research by 2011.

“When everything is said and done, my internal goal is to make this school nationally recognized as a global presence within five years,” Waissi says. “If I can help ASU expand globally, from this small school at ASU West, then I’ve succeeded.” Currently, the school has 1,700 undergraduate students (200 graduate students); in five years, he hopes enrollment increases to 2,000 undergraduate students (800 graduate students). Additionally, he plans for the SGML to launch six new degree programs by fall 2008.

Accomplishing this goal will be a challenge, but this is nothing new to someone whose strategic planning efforts have become a professional trademark. Waissi’s proven ability to successfully assess, plan and implement academic opportunities for international institutions has taken him around the world, specifically in developing regions like Rwanda, Uzbekistan and Ukraine.

Waissi comes to ASU from the University of Michigan-Dearborn (UM) where he completed his deanship at the School of Management last year. Since 1982, Waissi had been with the UM first as a Ph.D. candidate, then as faculty member, then department chair and eventually dean.

Before his time at the UM, he worked as project manager for Philipp Holzmann AG in 1979. His position with the construction giant brought him to west Africa, where he helped build Nigeria’s Onne Lighter Terminal Port and other projects during the course of three years. Earlier, he left Finland to study in Germany and later work as an assistant at the Helsinki University of Technology.

“I went to Nigeria as an engineer, but during my stay, the project manager wanted to return home,” he says. “Overnight, I was given the responsibility of this huge project. I was 29 years old and had almost 1,000 people working for me. I had no idea at the time, but [in today’s dollars], that was a $1 billion project.”

Dr. Richard H. Carmona, Canyon Ranch
www.canyonranch.com

Richard Carmona

Photography by Brian Fiske

Dr. Richard Carmona traded in power lunches for balanced, gourmet cuisine and bi-partisan juggling for low-impact aerobics when he left Washington D.C. for Arizona earlier this year.

After completing his term as 17th Surgeon General of the United States, Carmona returned to his home in Tucson and began work with Canyon Ranch—serving as vice chairman of the parent company, CEO of Canyon Ranch Health and president of Canyon Ranch Institute, the company’s nonprofit division. He’ll achieve his goal of prevention not only as business leader but educator as he receives the first Distinguished Professorship in Public Health at the University of Arizona’s Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. Mel Zuckerman founded Canyon Ranch 27 years ago, with its original destination health resort in Tucson, abutting Sabino Canyon.

“D.C. is a contentious environment and health is one of the most partisan issues out there; but as the doctor of the nation, you’re there to take care of the people,” says Carmona. He is the image of good health—a toned physique that more resembles one of his university students than one of his 57-year-old peers. Starting a new career path within a wholesome, amiable setting has allowed Carmona to re-focus his efforts on preventative medicine and health and wellness. A staunch supporter of “health-oriented” treatment, Carmona’s new challenge becomes the conversion of medical research into a best practices format for people to improve their health.

 

“I have a very close relationship with the community in southern Arizona,” Carmona says. “I’ve known Mel and Enid for years and they brought me back here. When [I left D.C.], there were job offers from around the world. But my work as surgeon general was a perfect fit for Canyon Ranch’s vision and mission.” Canyon Ranch goes beyond the hospitality, healthcare and beauty industries—the company is an amalgamation of everything needed to live a healthy life, both physically and metaphysically. The resorts offer sumptuous meals that meet balanced dietary guidelines, individual and group classes designed to enhance the mind, body and spirit and opportunities to create personalized assessments of current health goals and future aspirations. Canyon Ranch conveys its philosophy of disease prevention and overall health betterment every way possible—on campus, by research and through collaborations.

Zuckerman, aware of the fact that not every person has the means to access Canyon Ranch’s world-class resources, set up the Canyon Ranch Institute, where doctors and nurses from low-income areas can learn Canyon Ranch methodologies and techniques to take back to improve their respective community’s level of health.

“The revenue brought in by Canyon Ranch provides opportunities to better communities,” says Carmona, who now serves as president of the nonprofit sector. “I have students who want to provide public health to third world countries, and I tell them, ‘Look around.’ Some of the Native American reservations have health statistics sometimes worse than a third world country. Domestic violence, obesity, hypertension, maternal and child mortality rates are all too high. Mel and Enid want best practices in place for needier communities to change the current numbers.”

Carmona describes himself as an “agent of change.” His goal to position Canyon Health at the forefront of the health and wellness industry will secure its place as the No. 1 health organization. “What I’m trying to do here is to ‘be a futurist’ and figure out where we need to be for the health of the American public.”

Brian Mueller, Apollo Group
www.apollogrp.edu

Brian MuellerOne of the biggest local stories in 2006 was the Arizona Cardinals’ stadium. And with the excitement that surrounded the new look, just as much controversy swirled around the frenzied bidding wars to name the stadium. As potential sponsors salivated at the chance to win naming rights, ticket holders soon discovered where they would be attending games: University of Phoenix Stadium. The 20-year, $154 million naming-rights deal was a huge marketing coup for Apollo Group Inc. (University of Phoenix’s parent company) and its president, Brian Mueller. This sports-marketing venture sets off a massive marketing campaign beginning in January. “The naming rights [deal] is just a small part of the campaign,” says Mueller. “The point is to create dialogue of who the University of Phoenix is and what we do. We want to lift the credibility of the institution so the value of our degrees continue to grow.”

Mueller’s push for national exposure goes far beyond the NFL—University of Phoenix will soon partner with giants Time Warner and Monster.com. Time Warner will work with the academic institution in regards to content. Mueller wants archived/current CNN material to be sorted into coursework, and partner with America Online to build online communities of students, alumni and faculty. Monster.com would involve an advertising partnership to build co-branded Web sites offering information about careers.

“We’re targeting working adults that comprise most of our student population,” says Mueller. “We want to position the university as being innovative in higher education, that thinks ahead in terms of its students.”

According to Mueller, 320,000 students throughout the world attend University of Phoenix, either in person or online. He hopes this marketing push grows the students base 10 percent a year, while also improving the image of the institution. To accommodate this growth, the company is consolidating its online staff and corporate headquarters to the new Riverpoint Center at Interstate 10 and 32nd Street. The 630,000-square-foot project, opening spring 2007, is one of the largest capital projects for Apollo.

AZ Business Magazine December January 2007The University of Phoenix is an important force in Arizona’s economy. Mueller says the school produces $2.4 billion worth of revenue per year, employs a workforce of 10,000 people, leases 2.5 million square feet of space and pays more than $40 million in taxes.

Mueller began his career in education as a high school teacher and basketball coach, later teaching at Concordia College in Nebraska. His work with the University of Phoenix began in 1987 on the Phoenix campus and after many promotions, including CEO of the online campus, he became president of Apollo last year.

 

AZ Business Magazine Dec Jan ’07 |  Next: Open for Business