Tag Archives: arizona

New Construction on Vee Quiva Casino

Casino revenues grow faster than national rate

Indian gaming revenue in Arizona grew by 3 percent in 2012, even though no new facilities came online and the number of games in the state actually declined that year.

The numbers were included in a recent report by Casino City Press, which said revenue at Arizona’s 22 tribal casinos grew by about $50 million, from almost $1.75 billion in 2011 to $1.8 billion in 2012.

That was a faster growth rate than the average for the nation, where tribal casinos saw a 2 percent increase in revenues, rising $500 million to $28.1 billion in 2012. Arizona was sixth among states for overall revenues in tribal casinos and 14th for the rate of growth, the report said.

Calls to the Arizona Indian Gaming Association and to several tribes with gaming facilitates in the state were not returned. But other experts pointed to several possible factors behind the increase.

Bob Ellsworth, an instructor for gaming management at the University of Nevada, Reno, said it could be that “the head count … either that has increased or … how much each player spends – puts at risk – has gone up. Or it’s a combination of both.”

Ellsworth said those changes could have led to the decrease in the number of games: From 2011 to 2012, the number of machines in Arizona tribal casinos fell by 1.4 percent, and the number of table games fell nearly 5 percent.

Rick Medina, assistant director at Arizona Department of Gaming, said the 15 tribes that manage casinos in the state may have cut less-popular games to focus on those where players were risking more money.

“Every square foot of their establishment is … important to them,” Medina said. “Casinos don’t want to have games on the floor that people aren’t playing.”

Ellsworth said the number of people playing one machine or table game will affect revenue, since the number of wins per unit per day tends to drive up the amount of money players bet at that unit.

Casinos are also replacing some machines with “multidenomination machines” that let players change the amount of money they play, Ellsworth said.

“For example, a video poker machine could be played as a 5-cent machine, a quarter machine or a dollar machine,” he said. “The casino can offer multiple-denomination games with less machines on the floor.”

Alan Meister, an economist with Nathan Associates Inc. and author of the Casino City Press report, said casinos might also be able to increase revenue while cutting the number of games by offering more multiplayer than single-player games.

Medina said confidentiality agreements between the state and the casinos prohibit him from releasing details on exact reasons behind the higher revenue.

Whatever the reason, more money for the casinos means more money for the state. Medina said a casino pays the state 1 to 8 percent of its revenue, on a scale based on the facility’s revenue in a given year.

In 2012, tribal casinos contributed $84.9 million toward the state budget, according to the governor’s Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting.

Medina said the tribes plan to announce next week that this summer they expect to reach $1 billion in contributions to the state budget, stretching back to the approval of tribal casinos in 2003.

health

Humana, Dignity Health Sign Agreement

Humana Inc., one of the nation’s leading health and well-being companies, has reached an agreement that provides its members access to Dignity Health facilities in Arizona.

The new network agreement, which takes effect May 1, 2014, includes Humana’s Medicare Advantage (including PPO, HMO and Private Fee for Service plans), employer groups and individual plan members.

“This agreement provides our Arizona members with access to Dignity Health’s network of respected facilities and health care providers,” said Victoria Coley, Arizona and Nevada Market Vice President for Humana’s Employer Group segment. “Through this partnership, we’ve been able to substantially increase health care options for our members who live in the East Valley and, soon, the West Valley.”

“Humana has a strong Medicare Advantage presence in Arizona. Expanding our network to include Dignity Health will offer our members a strong provider network and is key to our continued growth in the market,” said Brendan Baker, Arizona Market President for Humana’s Senior Products.

Humana members will have in-network access to St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, including Barrow’s Neurological Institute; Chandler Regional Medical Center; Mercy Gilbert Medical Center; and the soon-to-open St. Joseph’s Westgate Medical Center. Members will also have access to Dignity Health’s network of nearly 200 physicians and its care centers in Arizona, including two specialty hospitals, six surgery centers, four urgent care centers and 30 imaging centers.

“We have always been dedicated to high-quality patient care and to making the entire health system work better for patients and their families,” said Carolyn Pace, Vice President of Managed Care at Dignity Health in Arizona. “We are pleased to be able to respond to the health care needs of Humana members at our numerous care centers.”

Arizona State University student team members Haylee Hilgers, right, and Jason Hyacinthe won the EMC Green Data Center Challenge at the Avnet Tech Games.

Avnet Tech Games Winners Announced

Avnet, Inc., a leading global technology distributor, announced the 2014 winners of the Avnet Tech Games. Close to 200 students from Arizona community colleges and universities competed head-to-head for top honors in the Avnet Tech Games Arizona onsite competition on Saturday, April 12, 2014, at The University of Advancing Technology in Tempe. In addition, college students competing on a national level in the Spring Virtual Avnet Tech Games had their work displayed and winners were announced during the awards ceremony at the onsite competition. Thirty winning students collected $1,000 each in scholarship money.

A panel of judges including technology executives, engineers and other business leaders selected the winners based on the students’ ability to meet the technical requirements of a task, apply innovative approaches to the solution and demonstrate professional skills. Nearly 76 teams of students competed in the onsite and virtual Avnet Tech Games, including 8 Arizona community colleges and universities: Arizona State University, ITT Technical Institute, seven Maricopa County Community Colleges, Northern Arizona University, The University of Advancing Technology and University of Arizona.

The winners of the 2014 Onsite Avnet Tech Games are:

Cisco Networking Expert Battle
South Mountain Community College
Faculty Coach: Tom Polliard
Student Team Members: Huy Mai and Justin Woys

Desktop Domination
The University of Advancing Technology
Student Team Members: William Hartman and Kelly Stahlberg

Digital Design Dilemma
Chandler-Gilbert Community College
Faculty Coach: Bassam Matar
Student Team Members: Michelle Smekal, Niccolo Horvath and Neel Mistry

EMC Green Data Center Challenge
Arizona State University
Student Team Members: Haylee Hilgers and Jason Hyacinthe

HP Build the Fastest Computer
Chandler-Gilbert Community College
Faculty Coach: Eli Chmouni
Student Team Members: Troy Gerloff, Blake Knoll and Jeremy Morgan

Java Blitz
Chandler-Gilbert Community College
Faculty Coach: Rameen Kaliqu
Student Team Members: Zachary Peshke, Samuel Slater and Larry Standage

Robot Race Obstacle Course
Mesa Community College
Faculty Coach: Bruce Carlton
Student Team Members: Richard Dale, Spencer Hall and Federico Ortega

Solar Scrimmage
Mesa Community College
Faculty Coach: Bruce Carlton
Student Team Members: Justin Arispe, Drew Carlson and Jennifer Hooker

Since the inception of the Avnet Tech Games in 2006, nearly $300,000 in scholarship money and prizes have been awarded to hundreds of the approximately 2,680 students and 215 faculty members who have participated in the competitions.

“The Avnet Tech Games provide a great opportunity for students to test their technical and strategy skills by applying what they have learned in the classroom to real-life scenarios,” said Joal Redmond, vice president of public relations for Avnet, Inc. “Students also had the opportunity to improve their communications skills by participating in a networking workshop and then practice those skills by meeting with Avnet and sponsor executives during a networking hour. Students win, schools win and business wins with the Avnet Tech Games.”

The annual multidisciplinary technology competition, composed of eight separate events, required students to work in teams to test their knowledge, creativity, decision-making, problem-solving and technical skills. During the event, students showcased how they can make a difference in advancing business and improving quality of life by participating in competitions such as creating a solar-powered water-pumping system, racing to build a computer using refurbished parts and troubleshoot issues in the Windows 7 operating system.

2014 Spring Virtual Avnet Tech Games
The Virtual Avnet Tech Games were introduced in 2010 to expand the breadth of the onsite event by allowing students to compete on a national level. More than 115 teams competed in the Virtual Avnet Tech Games competition. The winners were:

Android App™ Showdown
ITT Technical Institute
Student Team Member: Bryan Geesey

Green Video Competition
Chandler-Gilbert Community College
Faculty Coach: Eli Chmouni
Student Team Members: Dustin Allen, Kendra Charnick, Joel Parker and Brian Weeks

JDA Supply Chain Challenge
Southern Methodist University
Student Team Members: Aaron Barnard, Matt Mulholland, Tushar Solanki and Meredith Titus

“Congratulations to everyone who participated in this year’s virtual and onsite Avnet Tech Games, especially our winners,” added Redmond. On behalf of Avnet, thank you to all of our sponsors, business partners and volunteers for helping to make this year’s event a success.”

Avnet Tech Games 2014 sponsors included signature sponsors CA, Cisco, CDW, Datalink, DPAIR, EMC, HP, JDA, Kyocera, Microchip, Nimble Storage and Sungard.

manufacturing sector expanded

Brewer OKs tax cut law for manufacturers

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on Friday signed into law a bill that eliminates sales taxes on electricity and natural gas purchased by manufacturers and mining smelters, a move she said was needed to make the state more attractive to large businesses.

Brewer signed Senate Bill 1413 at a Capitol ceremony attended by a couple of dozen business leaders, calling it “another smart tax reform that will bolster job creation in Arizona and our competitive edge.”

The tax cut is expected to cost the state general fund at least $17 million a year. Brewer also vetoed money in the state budget designed to help counties make up for the losses, saying their loss was small and would set a bad precedent.

“Since becoming governor, my cornerstone priority has been to make Arizona as attractive as possible for new and expanding businesses, particularly for our manufacturing industry, which generates quality jobs and high-wage salaries,” Brewer said. “I want Arizona to be No. 1 and be the pro-business state in the nation and we have worked relentlessly to accomplish that.”

Later in the day, Brewer also signed a law providing a $5 million tax credit many say is aimed directly at Apple Inc. Senate Bill 1484 grants the tax credit to a company that installs at least $300 million in renewable power capacity to supply its own plant.

The governor touted other tax cuts, regulatory reform and business-friendly policies that she has championed since she took office in 2009. Those tax cuts have affected the state’s revenue, but she said they are important to growing the economy.

“When we bring in these new businesses it drives our economy, they bring in construction jobs, they bring in employees, they bring in money into the state,” she said. “So in the end, everybody’s ship rises.”

Brewer called for the elimination of the tax in her State of the State address in January, saying it was needed to make Arizona more competitive and draw new manufacturing to the state.

The bill received bipartisan support in both legislative chambers, although one conservative Republican in the House of Representatives dissented when it came up for a vote earlier this week.

Rep. Brenda Barton, R-Payson, says the bill places a burden on rural counties that rely on that tax base. She and other rural lawmakers managed to get $1.3 million in the budget to make up for the cuts, but Brewer vetoed that money Friday afternoon.

“I am getting to the point that a lot of these special legislation bills that we are promoting are harming the state of Arizona, and they are harming our rural counties and our rural cities, and I don’t believe we are doing a very good job of doing what’s right for the right reasons,” Barton said during debate earlier in the week. She didn’t immediately return calls seeking comment.

Others defended the bill.

“I think anytime we can support small businesses and reduce their taxes and large businesses and reduce their taxes, and allow them to reinvest in their business and reinvest in the communities and reinvest in their employees, I think we need to be looking for opportunities to do this,” Rep. David Livingston, R-Peoria, said.

Steve Macias, chairman of the Arizona Manufacturer’s Council and the operator of a machine shop that will get a small direct benefit from the tax cut, said it could bring in more manufacturing.

“Seventy percent, 80 percent of the business we do is right here in Arizona,” Macias said of his operation. “And almost all of that is to larger manufacturers, the General Dynamics of the world, the guys who make equipment for the solar industry. So when they attract those guys, I get excited because to me those are all potential customers.”

Glenn Hamer, president of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry, said 38 other states do not tax electricity use by manufacturers and cutting the tax will help the state.

“These are jobs that pay more than the median wage. They’re jobs that every other state competes for, and we’ve done something significant to make Arizona more competitive today,” Hamer said.

The tax credit bill drew the ire of conservative House Republicans, who said say the bill is unfairly tailored to benefit Apple’s planned Mesa sapphire glass manufacturing plant and picked winners and losers among the state’s industries.

Apple said in November it will open the plant and eventually employ 700 workers to provide material for its iPhone 5 cameras and fingerprint reading sensors.

The tax credit could also be claimed by other companies that build similar facilities. Tesla Motors Inc. is currently looking for a battery plant site and often mentioned as a possible candidate.

“We as conservatives have got to step away from this crony capitalist style of development,” Rep. Adam Kwasman, R-Oro Valley, said during debate on the bill Tuesday. “We cannot afford to pick winners and losers in industry. We believe in low taxes for everybody. We believe in simple rules for everybody.”

But the bill sponsor defended it, saying it was a small amount of money to help establish a large manufacturing operation. The Arizona Commerce Authority helped seal the deal with other incentives.

“I believe that they did the right thing to bring Apple here,” Sen. Bob Worsley, R-Mesa, carried the Apple bill, saying he did it because the Arizona Commerce Authority had made a commitment to the company as part of the deal to draw them here. “And the dollars are very small in the whole scheme of things with Apple being in the Valley. They could have gone to Texas, they could have gone other places and we wanted them here. It’s a good decision.”

charitable trust

Arizona Gives Day Raises Amost $1.4 million

The Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits and Arizona Grantmakers Forum, along with presenting sponsor FirstBank, announced that the 2014 Arizona Gives Day, a 24-hour online initiative encouraging Arizona residents to recognize and financially support the efforts of various nonprofits, raised $1,392,292 (up from $1,019,650 last year) for the nearly 1,000 registered organizations statewide, a 36% increase. In total, 13,856 unique donors took the time to make 18,080 total donations in support of this statewide initiative.

“Our state rallied again this year and demonstrated what tremendous power individual donors can have for our state’s nonprofit community,” said Patrick McWhortor, president and CEO of the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits. “Whether they had a favorite cause or not, Arizonans rose up and explored the many missions of our participating nonprofits and helped show our state’s generosity to the world.”

Thanks to a financial commitment FirstBank and other incentive-prize sponsors, Arizona Gives Day encouraged competitions throughout the course of the day that allowed nonprofits, who reached certain milestones – to receive additional funding. Those winning these incentive contests will be gifted prizes from $1,000 to $18,000 in additional funds, which will be verified within the next 60 days.

Arizona Gives Day received additional financial and in-kind support from a variety of organizations throughout the state including:

Arizona Community Foundation
Arizona Republic/AZCentral/12News
AZ Family
BHHS Legacy Foundation
Clear Channel Media Entertainment
Community Foundation for Southern Arizona
CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company
Cox Communications
Eight – KAET PBS
FirstBank
Flinn Foundation
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Foundation
HAPI
Hickey Family Foundation
HMA Public Relations
Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust
St. Luke’s Health Initiatives
The Thunderbirds
Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust

According to Marissa Theisen, president and CEO of the Arizona Grantmakers Forum, “Gives Day initiatives across the country continue to see success and provide much-needed financial support to countless nonprofit organizations. Arizonans have much to be proud of in our second year.”

pb

Arizona scores NFL’s 2015 Pro Bowl

The next Pro Bowl will be played in Arizona at the site of the Super Bowl, skipping Hawaii for the first time since 2010.

The game will return to Hawaii in 2016, the NFL announced Wednesday.

The 2015 game will be the third time the Pro Bowl is held in the same city as the Super Bowl. The NFL’s all-star game took place in Los Angeles after the first Super Bowl in 1967, then the two games weren’t in the same city again until South Florida in 2010.

Since 1980, all but one Pro Bowl has been held at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, the college football home of the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors.

The Pro Bowl will remain a week before the Super Bowl, as it has the last five years. The new format introduced after last season, which scrapped the AFC vs. NFC matchup, will be retained. The new format splits the all-stars through a schoolyard-style draft, a setup loosely based on fantasy sports meant to play toward player egos and the changing ways fans are interacting with the game.

The Pro Bowl after this coming season will take place Jan. 25, 2015, at University of Phoenix Stadium. A year later, the game will be held Jan. 31, 2016, at Aloha Stadium.

Staci Glass TRB_6267-Edit

Midwestern Appoints New Director of Development

Kathleen H. Goeppinger, Ph.D., President and CEO of Midwestern University, announced a new director on the University’s Glendale Campus.

Staci Glass has been named Director of Development and Alumni Relations for the Glendale Campus. Ms. Glass brings nearly two decades of administrative, planning, fund-raising, and event management experience to Midwestern. Most recently, Ms. Glass served as the Chief Development Officer of Florence Crittenton Services of Arizona; she has also worked in the past for Hacienda HealthCare of Phoenix and the Arizona Osteopathic Medical Association.

Over her professional career, Ms. Glass has been heavily involved in Valley non-profit operations. She has worked with such organizations as the Junior League of Phoenix, Junior Achievement, and Arizona Spina Bifida, and is a past president of the Rotary Club of Phoenix West. She has also volunteered for the Halo Animal Shelter, Child Crisis Center, and the Ronald McDonald House.

“I am both grateful and excited to join the Midwestern University family in supporting the mission of educating tomorrow’s healthcare team and building resources for our students, faculty, and patients,” said Ms. Glass.

In her new role at Midwestern University, Ms. Glass will oversee fundraising and alumni relations for all of the University’s six colleges, including event sponsorship programs, corporate and foundation relations, annual giving, major gifts, donor stewardship, alumni organizations and programs, and grant writing.

bioscience

Bioscience Roadmap gets an extension through 2025

The strategic plan that has guided Arizona’s fast-growing bioscience sector for nearly 12 years is gearing up for a new decade.

“Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap: 2014-2025” will be unveiled starting April 8 at events in Phoenix, Tucson, and Flagstaff, the state’s three metropolitan areas that feature growing bioscience hubs. The plan includes updated strategies that can strengthen and diversify Arizona’s economy while providing Arizonans access to the latest health care innovations.

“The updated Bioscience Roadmap builds on the successes of its first decade and adds contemporary strategies to take Arizona’s bioscience base to the next level,” said Jack Jewett, President & CEO of the Flinn Foundation, which commissioned the update and the original Bioscience Roadmap in 2002. “Arizona is now known as a top emerging bioscience state, but we have far to go to reach our full potential.”

The updated Roadmap will continue to focus on developing Arizona’s biomedical research infrastructure but will emphasize turning this research into new therapies, products, diagnostics, jobs, firms, and other benefits to Arizona. Commercialization, entrepreneurship, creating a critical mass of bioscience firms, and the development of talent are prime themes.

The Roadmap’s overarching vision is for Arizona—a young but rapidly growing state in the biosciences—to become a global competitor and national leader in select areas of the biosciences by 2025.

Over the first decade, Arizona built major research facilities at its universities, formed new private research institutes, attracted top talent, created high-tech business incubators, and greatly expanded statewide STEM (science, technology, education, math) education programs. The number of Arizona bioscience industry jobs grew by 45 percent, nearly four times greater than the nation.

“Arizona has many bioscience strengths and opportunities, but a substantial increase in private and public investment will be needed over the next decade to realize the Roadmap’s goals,” said Walter Plosila, senior advisor to the Battelle Technology Partnership Practice, the Columbus, Ohio-based nonprofit research and development organization that authored the original Roadmap and its update.

Plosila noted that Arizona’s greatest needs are access to risk capital by startup and emerging bioscience firms, building a stronger bioscience entrepreneurship culture, and an expansion of the research infrastructure combined with commercialization at the state’s universities.

The new Roadmap plan features five goals, 17 strategies, and 77 proposed actions. The actions are meant to evolve as needs change over the course of the decade. The plan was developed by Battelle following research, interviews, and focus groups with more than 150 local and national bioscience leaders, including extensive input from Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap Steering Committee, a body of more than 100 statewide leaders in science, business, academia, and government.

“An emphasis on the full spectrum of the biosciences—from research to hospitals to bio-agriculture—and a renewed focus on resources, collaboration, and long-term patience is needed for Arizona to continue its ascent in the biosciences,” said Martin Shultz, Senior Policy Director for Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, who chairs the Roadmap Steering Committee. “The impact can be profound—the biosciences are a multibillion-dollar industry for Arizona.”

There are six industry segments that comprise the biosciences in Arizona: agricultural feedstock and chemicals; drugs, pharmaceuticals, and diagnostics; medical devices and equipment; research, testing, and medical labs; bioscience-related distribution; and hospitals. A new economic-impact analysis by Battelle estimates the total revenue generated annually by Arizona’s bioscience industry—not counting hospitals—to be $14 billion. With hospitals included, the figure exceeds $36 billion.

Based on the latest industry data (2012), Arizona currently has 106,846 bioscience jobs spread across 1,382 establishments and an annual average wage of $62,775—39 percent higher than the private-sector average. These numbers do not include academic research jobs at the state universities or private research institutes.

Hospitals account for the majority of the state’s bioscience jobs. With hospitals removed from the equation, the other segments combine for 23,545 jobs, 1,266 establishments, and average annual wages of $85,571. Growth in the non-hospital segments accelerated dramatically over the last few years.

The bioscience-related distribution subsector is a new addition to Arizona’s bioscience definition, following the lead of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, the nation’s bioscience trade association. Companies in this subsector coordinate the delivery of bioscience-related products through processes such as cold storage and product monitoring, and new technologies such as automated pharmaceutical distribution systems. This change also called for several smaller industries to be dropped from Arizona’s definition.

The Roadmap also presents updated data on Arizona’s performance in generating grants from the National Institutes of Health, academic research expenditures, venture capital, and tech-transfer measures involving the state universities. These metrics plus industry measures will be tracked throughout the decade by Battelle and reported by the Flinn Foundation.

The Roadmap also includes analyses of Arizona’s bioscience sector that were critical in developing the strategies and actions, such as an assessment of Arizona’s bioscience strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges. It identified Arizona’s core competencies as cancer research, neurosciences, bioengineering, agricultural biotechnology, imaging sciences, precision medicine, diagnostics, health information technologies, and health economics.

The Flinn Foundation is a privately endowed, philanthropic grantmaking organization established in 1965 by Dr. Robert S. and Irene P. Flinn to improve the quality of life in Arizona to benefit future generations. The Phoenix-based foundation supports the advancement of the biosciences in Arizona, as well as a merit-based college scholarship program, arts and culture, and the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership. “Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap: 2014-2025” is available for download at www.flinn.org.

121277693

Humana Transforms To Better Serve Employers

Arizona health insurance agents and employers will see a new Humana when they engage with the health and well-being company in 2014. Humana announced a transformed leadership, market development and sales structure with the intent of furthering the company’s commitment to partner with agents and employers to create healthier, more productive workforces.

“The health care environment is changing as are employer and employee needs. And as Humana’s role in the health care industry is changing, we are changing how we do business to align with what our customers need and want,” said Humana Employer Group Segment President Beth Bierbower. “Our team structure has evolved in this new environment to help employers realize the many business benefits of a healthier workforce.”

Humana has established closely coordinated teams to serve agents and employers in Arizona that will support the market with a new internal team structure.

The Arizona sales team will be led by Victoria Coley, Arizona and Nevada Market Vice President, who will focus exclusively on partnering with agents and employers, and delivering ongoing support, data-driven insights and coordinated service. Coley, an Arizona State University graduate, has been with Humana for 14 years and was previously in a sales and leadership role with the company. Jean Higginbotham has been promoted to the Arizona and Nevada Sales Director and will focus on selling and renewal strategy engaging with employer groups 2 to 300. Higginbotham has been with Humana for 12 years and previously served as Director of Account Management for Arizona, Nevada and Utah. Both Coley and Higginbotham will be based in Humana’s Phoenix office.

“As part of our transformation, we spent hours with our agent partners researching how to best meet their needs. As a result, we’re expanding our team structure and simplifying the Humana experience for agents and employers,” said Coley. “The team is an agent-specific multi-disciplinary team within Humana that is led and coordinated by a single point of contact for the agent and employer.”

Coley says that the new approach to the market allows Humana to work more closely with agents and employers to co-create health solutions, and then support both with data-driven analysis from Humana’s array of health and well-being assets.

The market development team, led by Jeremy Gaskill, Regional Market Development Vice President, will focus on strategic direction, health care provider engagement, brand management and integrated product offerings in Arizona.

“This new team will build and expand relationships with providers in each of our markets and will focus on offering new value added solutions to customers to expand our reach in the marketplace,” said Praveen Thadani, National Vice President, Humana Market Development.

“At Humana, we’re committed to changing the way agents, employers, health care providers and health companies interact to create better outcomes for individuals and employers,” said Rick Remmers, Vice President of Humana Group Sales. “We’ve transformed our sales and management structure to support our vision by concentrating our sales team into specific expertise channels, allowing us to focus on our audience segments and better position our resources.”

SolarPower

Benefits of solar: Will anybody listen?

Arizona is about to begin an important discussion on the cost benefits of solar energy. The discussion is scheduled for May 7 as part of a series of workshops the Arizona Corporation Commission has scheduled to examine the impacts of innovation on the utility business model.

This workshop comes on the heels of last year’s acrimonious debate on net metering. That dispute focused on whether rooftop solar owners place an unfair burden on non-solar customers through a “cost shift” that left “traditional” customers holding the bag for the majority of costs to maintain and operate the utility infrastructure. Absent from those deliberations, however, were any consideration for the value of solar.

Up until now, all the fuss has been about determining the value of the green electron to the utility and comparing it to the cost of the cheapest alternative. Attempts to expand the dialogue have largely failed to include the environmental attributes of solar and other non-energy benefits.

Witness the wisdom of 18 Arizona state senators who earlier this year voted for Senate Resolution 1003, which calls for the nullification of all rules, including clean air and water requirements, imposed by the EPA.

Yet the continued burning of fossil fuels is feeding such societal and climatic disruptions as the bark beetle infestation in old-growth pine forests in northern Arizona, the decreasing water flowing through our rivers, dams, canals and into our cities, a record drought that is devastating farmers’ crops, incomes and livelihoods and resulting in wildfires that destroy property and claim lives.

Recent events clearly illustrate that the impact of climate change isn’t limited to wild animals or the polar ice. The impacts are being felt everywhere — food and water supplies, the economy and our health. It’s a threat to our way of life.

The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its latest report (Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability) last week. The report was written by 300 experts from 70 countries and based on 12,000 peer-reviewed scientific papers. The report reveals in no uncertain terms that the continued burning of fossil fuels at present rates will cause more floods, droughts and violent storms as CO2 emissions drive up global temperatures and feed climatic changes.

In the face of the overwhelming evidence, the discussion in the Arizona Legislature actually included the purported positive impacts of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel consumption. That “debate” ignores the evidence that the amount of CO2 produced by fossil fuel consumption exceeds the ability of living organisms and other natural processes to remove it and store it in other forms.

Now, the conversation shifts from the myopic Legislature back to the hearing rooms of the Corporation Commission, where the cost benefits of solar energy is on the agenda.

Minnesota is just concluding a similar process and have come up with a formula to establish a value for solar electrons. The Minnesota formula includes several actors, including avoided costs of fuel purchases, new power plant construction and avoided transmission capacity.

More importantly, though, Minnesota assigns a methodology and cost to environmental impacts. This process for the first time will put a utility on the hook for the environmental harm it causes. In other words, instead of shifting the costs of environmental damage caused by their operations onto society those environmental damages now come with a price tag to the utilities.

The Minnesota formula may end up requiring utilities to pay more for a net-metered solar electron than the current retail cost of electricity. While that may sound like a bad deal for utilities, it could prove to be the incentive utilities need to reduce the carbon intensity of their delivered electricity, which in turn would reduce the value of solar.

It is hard to image Arizona following suit – after all it is pretty clear that science and politics don’t mix well at the Legislature. But any discussion that doesn’t place a value on our environment is promoting a cost-shift of massive portion. And it is society and the planet – not fossil-fueled utilities – that will bear the crushing burden.

Jim Arwood served six Arizona governors in various capacities managing federal energy programs, culminating in his appointment by then Governor Janet Napolitano, as Director of the State Energy Office in 2006. After nearly 25 years serving the state of Arizona, Mr. Arwood retired from government service in 2010 and today consults for a variety of energy related organizations and serves as Director of Communications for the Arizona Solar Center.

satellite

Aerospace forum coming to Greenberg Traurig

Members of Arizona’s business community are invited to the April meeting of the Arizona Aerospace & Defense Forum for an in-depth review of the benefits, risks, and challenges involving negotiating and performing an international agreements including compliance with myriad governmental laws and regulations throughout the world.

Greenberg Traurig, along with law firm Snell & Wilmer, partnered to expand the A&D Forum to Arizona last year. Each month, the A&D Forum alternates from meetings in Phoenix and Tucson.

The group’s next networking and educational session is Tuesday, April 8 from 7 to 9 a.m. at Greenberg Traurig’s Phoenix office at 24th Street and Camelback. The discussion will be led by Brett Johnson, co-chair of the international industry group and government relations group and a partner at Snell & Wilmer. Topics to be discussed include maximizing international supply chains, risks, benefits and challenges related to international law and the aerospace and defense industry.

WHAT: The Next Frontier: Maximizing A&D Foreign Market Opportunities through Understanding International Agreements

WHERE: Greenberg Traurig, 2375 E. Camelback Rd., #700, Phoenix, AZ 85016

WHEN: Tuesday, April 8, 2014; 7 – 7:30 a.m.: Registration/Continental Breakfast/Networking; 7:30 – 9 a.m.: Meeting

COST: A&D Forum Member: Free, Non-member: $40

RSVP: To register click here

SPEAKER: Brett Johnson is a partner and Co-Chair of International Industry Group and Government Relations Group with Snell & Wilmer, L.L.P. His practice includes international transactions and compliance, export, government contracting and health care matters, including professional liability defense and commercial litigation. Brett regularly represents parties and witnesses involved with governmental investigations, including export control, False Claims Act, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and government procurement compliance laws and regulations. He has experience handling internal investigations and compliance audits for clients on a wide range of matters. Brett also provides training to businesses and governmental agencies concerning compliance matters and the drafting of related corporate policies and international agreements.

19648 C-Empty pool

AZ Hoteliers earn national awards

Arizona took center stage and took home two national awards at the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s (AH&LA) annual Stars of the Industry awards ceremony held this week in Washington, DC.

The “Outstanding Manager of the Year, Large Property” was awarded to Thomas Williams, Director of Guest Services at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. Williams has been providing a welcoming experience for guests entering his property for the past 21 years. As the Director of Guest Services, he has put in place many new procedures to improve and enhance the arrival and departure experience, transportation, guest safety and much more. But he also cares about the internal guest and is truly devoted to the resort’s employees. He and his family cater an annual holiday feast and invite employees and even hotel guests who have no family in town.

Winning the Special Events, One-time Only, Medium Property, was the W Scottsdale for their CHILL event. CHILL at the W Scottsdale transforms the WET pool deck from November to January with Scottsdale’s first and only hybrid and eco-friendly outdoor ice skating rink. This event also includes live music performances, DJs, drink specials and special resort packages.

“I’m so proud to represent an industry in our state with so much talent and passion for excellence,” said AzLTA President & CEO, Debbie Johnson. “It’s wonderful that the hard work and dedication of these lodging professionals and properties is being recognized on a national level and I truly commend them for their accomplishments.”

Winners from the Arizona Stars of the Industry Awards luncheon hosted in December by the Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association were then submitted to the AH&LA for national judging.

The Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association (AzLTA) is the leading public policy advocate for Arizona’s Lodging and Tourism Industries. Representing almost 40,000 rooms statewide and nearly 500 members, including hotels, resorts, attractions, destination marketing organizations, B&B’s and related Industry partners, AzLTA’s mission is to unify, protect, educate and promote the interests of the Arizona Lodging and Tourism Industries.

alzheimers

Flinn Awards $2M to Banner Alzheimer’s Institute

Banner Alzheimer’s Foundation, the philanthropic resource for Phoenix-based Banner Alzheimer’s Institute (BAI), part of the nonprofit Banner Health, received $2 million in grant funding from the Flinn Foundation, a privately endowed, philanthropic grantmaking organization in Arizona.

Aligning with the Flinn Foundation’s mission to advance biosciences in the state, the grant is an investment in BAI’s groundbreaking Alzheimer’s prevention research. Specifically, the funds will support activities related to the Alzheimer’s Prevention Initiative. A global Alzheimer’s prevention research endeavor spearheaded by scientists and physicians at BAI, the Alzheimer’s Prevention Initiative has been described by the director of the National Institutes of Health as a “cornerstone in the national plan to address Alzheimer’s disease.”

“The Flinn Foundation is an invaluable part of the fabric of Arizona’s philanthropic community, investing in organizations and programs with a track record for advancing research, civic leadership, and arts and culture in our state,” noted Andy Kramer Petersen, president and CEO of Banner Alzheimer’s Foundation. “We are honored that they recognize the tremendous potential of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Initiative and value the work being done at BAI.”

The $2 million grant to BAI is the latest in a decades-long philanthropic relationship between the Flinn Foundation and Banner Health. Prior funding supported an array of community outreach and pediatric health care programs, the most notable being Banner School-Based Health Centers, a program delivering primary health care services to children and adolescents throughout the greater Phoenix area who lack health insurance and access to regular care.

To learn more about BAI, the Alzheimer’s Prevention Initiative, and corresponding local and global research efforts, visit www.BannerAlz.org. For more information about giving opportunities, please call Banner Alzheimer’s Foundation at (602) 747-4483 (GIVE).

energy supply - AZ Business Magazine May/June 2012

Report Shows Changing Arizona Energy Mix

Arizona Public Service today released its official forecast of how Arizona will meet its growing energy needs over the next 15 years. The report, called an “Integrated Resource Plan,” takes a big-picture look at Arizona’s energy future that helps APS and other stakeholders plan responsibly. The forecast identified three major trends shaping Arizona’s energy future:

* Arizona’s energy mix will be cleaner. The report predicts that energy from renewable sources will double by 2029. The fastest-growing segment within the renewable category is expected to be rooftop solar, which should triple over the same period. Savings from energy efficiency measures, which are intended to reduce customer demand, are also expected to triple by 2029.

* Natural gas will be the new energy source of choice. Because renewable energy can’t supply customers with steady, predictable energy around the clock, Arizona will need more generation from natural gas, which can start and ramp up quickly, and can provide energy reliably day or night. Over the next 15 years, natural gas is projected to surpass coal and nuclear as the largest source of electricity generation for APS customers. APS still will maintain a diverse, balanced resource portfolio to provide customers with affordable electricity, and manage exposure to fuel price volatility.

* Advanced technology will change the electricity grid. In the next 15 years, APS customers will have more choices about their energy use – smart appliances, plug-in electric vehicles, rooftop solar panels and even the possibility of battery storage. To enable these choices while ensuring safe and reliable electricity, APS is modernizing its electricity grid, making it more dynamic and flexible.

“Arizona’s energy future is bright,” said Tammy McLeod, Vice President of Resource Management for APS. “When we look into the future, we see Arizona’s growing energy needs being met with resources that are increasingly clean, diverse and innovative.”

The report paints an optimistic picture of Arizona’s economic growth. It projects that the state’s energy needs will grow 52 percent in the next 15 years. The requirement for peak demand is predicted to hit nearly 13,000 megawatts by 2029, up 60 percent from today’s peak requirement of 8,124 megawatts. Peak demand measures the amount of electricity being used when energy use is at its highest point.

The projected growth of renewable energy, combined with other actions including the recent closure of three coal-fired units at the APS-operated Four Corners Power Plant, is predicted to make the overall APS energy mix cleaner and more efficient. The report anticipates that in 2029, the APS generation portfolio will produce 14 percent less carbon dioxide and use 24 percent less water per megawatt-hour of electricity generated.

The report also envisions the need for flexible generation and a modern electricity grid. In the past, the electricity grid was like a one-way street. Electricity was generated at large, centralized power plants and delivered to customers at the flip of a switch. Today, power generation is becoming more complex and, in the case of renewable energy, unpredictable and variable based on the weather.

To ensure a steady and reliable energy supply, the report anticipates that utilities like APS will need more generating plants that can respond quickly to changes in customer demand and renewable output. For example, when cloud cover suddenly decreases production from solar sources, APS customers will need smaller, quick-starting generation that can respond within minutes to changing conditions. Power plants fueled with natural gas are better at “ramping,” as it is called, than generating sources such as nuclear and coal.

Along with a more flexible energy mix, Arizona will also need a more flexible, modern electricity grid. APS plans to invest $170 million in modern grid technology over the next five years, in addition to routine grid maintenance and upgrades. This includes installing more than 5,000 advanced devices across the electricity grid that will help APS workers keep it safe and reliable.

APS files its Integrated Resource Plan with the Arizona Corporation Commission every two years, forecasting how it will meet customers’ energy needs over a 15-year planning period.

APS, Arizona’s largest and longest-serving electric utility, serves nearly 1.2 million customers in 11 of the state’s 15 counties. With headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the largest subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corporation (NYSE: PNW).

Entrepreneurs

Zanes Wins National RADICAL Entrepreneur Award

Leading Southern Arizona injury law firm Zanes Law announced that non-attorney co-founder Claudia Zanes has won the Doreen Rainey RADICAL Entrepreneur Award, for being “bold and courageous enough to depart from the usual, expected or ordinary to take charge of her professional and personal lives.” Zanes was given the award March 23 at the 6th annual Get Radical women’s business conference in Reston, Va., just outside of Washington D.C.

“It was incredible to hear I was a finalist and to experience the conference. I met so many inspiring women it was beyond humbling, but to win? That was amazing and completely unexpected,” said Zanes.

Keynote speakers included Doreen Rainey, conference founder, and world-class athlete, wellness expert and daughter of the legendary Muhammad Ali, Laila Ali. The conference theme, “Heart of a Champion,” echoed throughout keynote speeches – as well as Zanes’ off-the-cuff speech to more than 300 women who attended the conference about her humble upbringing and rise to success.

“To hear the stories of Doreen Rainey, Laila Ali and all of the other women was inspiring,” Zanes said. “They talked about what it takes to make it, how they’ve overcome many struggles and how they have lived the ‘RADICAL’ life of a modern businesswoman. I could relate to all of them. I’m in a male-dominated industry and I spend most of my time doing business with men. It was eye-opening to hear the viewpoints of other women, as well as their experiences and it’s something I’ll never forget.”

Claudia Zanes’ marketing knowledge, business management and deep community ties have been absolutely essential to growing Zanes Law. In only 11 years, the firm has come to the forefront of Arizona’s competitive legal market, growing from a single-attorney, three-staff firm to five offices and more than 40 employees.

baseball

Spring training attendance grows

Major League Baseball says spring training games drew a record average of 8,078 fans, up 7.3 percent from last year’s 7,527.

The previous mark of 7,793 had been set in 2008.

Overall attendance for 447 dates was 3,610,738, baseball’s fifth-highest total, the commissioner’s office said Tuesday.

The Chicago Cubs drew 213,815 fans and an average of 14,254 for the first season of Cubs Park in Mesa.

bmx

Gilbert Will Host USA BMX Open House

Representatives from the Town of Gilbert will host a second open house on April 8, from 6pm-8pm, at the Council Chambers at Town Hall, to discuss the potential partnership with USA BMX to develop a new facility in Gilbert. This open house will address the details of a potential agreement to go before Council for approval at a later date.

Gilbert has been selected by USA BMX as the preferred location for their new facility. The facility will include a covered BMX arena, training facilities, BMX Hall of Fame and Museum, Bike Park and the USA BMX Headquarters.

Officials from the Town of Gilbert will provide detailed presentations to address questions regarding cost, funding, traffic, location, economic impact, and other matters, followed by a question and answer session and table discussions.

“This partnership will enhance Gilbert’s tourism and economic development efforts,” says Economic Development Director Dan Henderson. “The project’s potential location will provide greater opportunities for visitors to spend their dollars here in Gilbert.”

“This project is consistent with the Parks Master Plan which clearly outlines regional partnerships and park amenities that attract other amenities,” says Parks and Recreation Director Rod Buchanan.

casino.del.sol

Casino Del Sol Resort Achieves 4-Star Rating

Casino Del Sol Resort, an enterprise of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, was recently named to the prestigious Forbes Travel Guide Star Rating List. Recognized for exceptional service and amenities, it is the only casino resort in the state of Arizona to receive the coveted four-star rating.

The overall property was awarded, as well as Hiapsi, the luxurious spa retreat offering treatments inspired by Native American healing rituals, and PY Steakhouse, Casino Del Sol Resort’s contemporary, fine-dining restaurant. The 2014 Forbes four-star rating is the latest addition to the property’s list of accolades. Garnering numerous national and local recognitions, Casino Del Sol Resort is also a AAA Four Diamond recipient, and 2012 and 2013 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence winner for PY Steakhouse.

“Achieving this honor is a remarkable accomplishment for Casino Del Sol Resort. It is a testament to the countless contributions of our dedicated and passionate team members, and would not be possible without them, the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and the guests of our award-winning casino resort,” said Jim Burns, CEO of Casino Del Sol Resort.

Since 1958, Forbes Travel Guide ratings have been the gold standard of luxury travel. The requirements are the most stringent in the industry with more than 500 criteria evaluated to determine a star rating.

“Our Star Ratings recognize the finest hotels, restaurants and spas in the world. These ratings serve as guideposts for consumers seeking exceptional travel experiences, and our primary mission is to serve the consumer,” said Michael Cascone, President of Forbes Travel Guide. “We’re proud to be associated with the new additions to our global list.”

For a detailed explanation of how Forbes Travel Guide compiles its star ratings and to view the complete list of 2014 winners, visit www.forbestravelguide.com.

For more information about Casino Del Sol Resort or to book a reservation, visit www.CasinoDelSolResort.com.

From left: David Rousseau, Chairman of Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee, Jay Parry, President & CEO, Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee, Greg Stanton, Mayor of Phoenix, Kate Gallego, Councilwoman District 8, Jim Waring, vice mayor of Phoenix and Michael Nowakowski, Councilman District 7.

Super Bowl Central will take over downtown

The Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee announced several major initiatives that will take over 12 city blocks in downtown Phoenix and together will serve as the hub of fan, sponsor, media and NFL activities for Super Bowl XLIX.

The activities will cover 5th Street to First Avenue and Jefferson Street to Monroe Street and be anchored by the iconic Super Bowl roman numerals, which will tower 30 feet into the air.

Super Bowl Central, will feature live performances by national recording artists and local musical talent, community groups and schools, football themed activities, and beer and wine gardens. The festival will feature family-friendly activities for fans of all ages, will be free to the public and incorporate street level merchants and restaurants. Local culture and food will be showcased. This is a new addition to Arizona’s line-up of Super Bowl activities since the state last hosted the Super Bowl in 2008, and one million visitors are expected to participate.

“We are thrilled to be providing extensive and engaging events and activities that will showcase the energetic and vibrant culture of Arizona to fans, sponsors and media alike,” said David Rousseau, Chairman, Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee.

Typically one of Super Bowl’s most popular activities, NFL Experience is the world’s largest interactive football theme park. For Super Bowl XLIX, it will be located at the Phoenix Convention Center and feature attractions such as kids’ football clinics, interactive football games, free autograph sessions and more.

NFL House, a VIP hospitality headquarters, is another new addition to Arizona’s Super Bowl activities and will be located at CityScape.

“Super Bowl Central, along with NFL Experience and NFL House, will turn
downtown Phoenix into the Super Bowl epicenter. It will provide both local and
visiting fans an amazing opportunity to be part of this global event. Super Bowl
Central delivers direct economic benefits to local businesses,” said Greg Stanton, Mayor of Phoenix.

NFL Media Center, located at the Phoenix Convention Center, will provide working facilities for 5,000 members of the media from over 30 countries around the world.

National broadcast networks — NBC, NFL Network and others — will broadcast live from Super Bowl Central.

Additionally, NFL Headquarters will be at the Hyatt Regency Phoenix.

The average temperature in the Valley in February is 71 degrees, showcasing the ideal weather conditions for an outdoor fan festival as well as the Super Bowl game.

Super Bowl XLIX will be played at the University of Phoenix Stadium, home of the Arizona Cardinals, on February 1, 2015. This marks Arizona’s second Super Bowl in seven years and the third overall. In Super Bowl XLII at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 3, 2008, the New York Giants bet the New England Patriots 17-14. Arizona’s first big game, Super Bowl XXX, was held at Arizona State University’s Sun Devils Stadium in 1996, with the Dallas Cowboys beating the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-17.

windsor

Tour Historic Homes on Windsor Home Tour

Windsor Square Historic District’s 2014 Home Tour will be held Sunday, March 30. Located at Central Avenue and Camelback Road in the central corridor of Phoenix, Windsor Square is one of the most sought-after historic neighborhoods in Arizona and was recently recognized by CNN Money Magazine as one of the ten U.S. ‘Best Big City Neighborhoods to Live In’. Presented by the Windsor Square Neighborhood Association, the biennial Historic Home and Garden tour is a self-guided walking tour featuring 12 historic homes, a beautiful garden, plant societies and a beer garden.

The breathtakingly beautiful Windsor Square neighborhood is rich with history with many homes that are 60 to 75 years old. Started in 1929, the 260-home neighborhood is considered to be one of the first few suburbs of the city of Phoenix.

From contemporary or traditional interiors to lush gardens and the latest in transitional styles, attendees will see firsthand how people live in these historic, yet modern homes. Plus, learn new interior decorating ideas and see unique approaches to the outdoors.

The tour and festivities run from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and will give enthusiasts a look at unique architectural styles in homes that date back to the 1930 and 1940’s. During the self-guided walking tour, participants will also be able to explore fine arts and crafts from street vendors, enjoy delicious fare from food trucks and hear live music. The cost for the tour is $15, and children under 12 are free.

“The residents of Windsor Square take great pride in their neighborhood and every other year we open our doors to share the rich history of our North Central Phoenix neighborhood with the public,” said Historic Home Tour Committee Chair and Windsor Square resident, Jeffrey Long. “This year’s will be one of our best tours yet with a wide variety of homes, a beer garden and a fantastic choice of street vendors featuring everything from food trucks to unique gifts and crafts to home improvement services.”

Tickets will be available for purchase online in advance of the tour at www.windsorsquarephoenix.org as well as day-of-tour at Orange and 2nd Street, which is located one block east of Central Avenue and just north of Camelback Road. Discount of $1 for attendees who show light rail tickets for the day. Free parking will be available.

Event Details:
Event: Windsor Square Historic Home and Garden Tour
Date: Sunday, March 30, 2014
Location: Orange and 2nd Street (one block east of Central Avenue and just north of Camelback Road)
Cost: $15 for adults; Children 12 and under free; $1 discount with lightrail pass

Dana Schmidt

Schmidt Joins FirstService Residential

FirstService Residential, the leading community management company in Arizona, has named Dana Schmidt as its new Vice President of Human Resources. Schmidt possesses nearly 20 years of strategic and hands-on HR expertise acquired in public, Fortune 100 and privately-owned organizations. Schmidt will be primarily responsible for defining, developing, managing and implementing strategic and operational HR initiatives that align with FirstService Residential’s vision, mission and values.

“FirstService Residential is very excited to welcome Dana Schmidt to our executive team. I am confident that Dana’s extensive HR experience and educational background make him the ideal candidate to lead our Human Resources Department and instill the FirstService Residential core values throughout the Arizona region,” said Jason Proudfit, FirstService Residential Arizona President.

Prior to joining FirstService Residential, Schmidt held a variety of HR leadership roles. Most recently, he served as the Vice President of Talent Acquisition, Compensation and Employee Relations for National Bank of Arizona. Throughout his career, his key accountabilities have included strategic HR planning, talent acquisition, leadership and talent development, employment law, benefits, compensation, payroll, rewards and recognition and HR technology.

“I am genuinely excited to be leading the HR function for FirstService Residential Arizona and grateful for the opportunity to build upon the award-winning workplace culture that inspired me to join the team”, said Dana Schmidt, FirstService Residential Arizona Vice President of Human Resources.

Schmidt’s strong commitment to continuing education propelled him to achieve the Senior Professional in HR (SPHR) certification from the HR Certification Institute (HRCI) and his Certified Compensation Professional (CCP) designation from the WorldatWork Society of Certified Professionals. Schmidt stays connected with his HR community by serving as an active member of the Valley’s Senior HR Executive Council and volunteering his efforts to various non-profit organizations.

FirstService Residential provides full-service community management solutions to a wide range of homeowner and condominium associations including some of Arizona’s most beautiful and recognizable communities. Since 1968, its team has worked hard to serve the homeowners of Arizona, and today, the company is recognized as the leading HOA management company throughout the state. FirstService Residential has been selected as Arizona’s top choice of HOA management companies by Ranking Arizona for eight consecutive years.

health,informatics

Robertson Joins MIHS Senior Leadership Team

Mike Robertson, a senior leader in health care marketing and communications, has been named Senior Vice President for Marketing and Public Affairs for the Maricopa Integrated Health System, Arizona’s only public hospital and health care system.

Effective Monday, Robertson will assume responsibilities for marketing, business development, communications and public relations for MIHS, which includes the Maricopa Medical Center, the Arizona Burn Center, the Arizona Children’s Center, two psychiatric hospitals, 11 family health care centers and Maricopa County’s only HIV/AIDS clinic.

Robertson, a highly regarded healthcare marketing professional and leader, is no stranger to MIHS’ unique public mission. Since 2008, he has served as Vice President of Strategic Planning and Marketing at Munroe Regional Medical Center, a 421-bed public healthcare system in Ocala, Florida, ranked a US Top 50 hospital. From 2001 to 2008, he was Munroe’s Director of Marketing and Public relations. There, he built from the ground up an award winning and goal-oriented marketing and PR program.

His 28-year career in marketing, public relations and business development includes working and consulting across a diversity of industries, including several prominent healthcare systems.

At MIHS, Robertson will oversee the organization’s marketing, public relations and business development efforts.

“Mike will play a key and strategic leadership role at MIHS and will help us share our story and vision,” said MIHS President and CEO Steve Purves.

Purves noted that MIHS is at a special point in its 140-year history and is poised to tell impressive stories about transformations it has created in training physicians and other healthcare professionals, advancing new medical treatments and techniques and promoting community health. This key period, Purves said, provides a significant opportunity, under Robertson’s guidance, to share MIHS’ story with the community.

“Mike will be a tremendous addition to MIHS’ senior leadership team and to Maricopa County’s healthcare community,” Purves said. “He brings a well-established reputation for developing effective and innovative marketing and communications strategies.”

Robertson earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon in 1987, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude, Marketing Student of the Year, and earned both the National American Marketing Association Award and Wall Street Journal’s Academic Achievement Award. He later returned to the same school, where he earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration in 1995, graduating Cum Laude. He graduated with honors and Summa Cum Laude from Webster University in Ocala in April 2008 with a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration.

104867437

AZIMA’s TIM Awards set for March 20

The Arizona Interactive Marketing Association (AZIMA) will host its 2nd Annual TIM Awards from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thurs., March 20 at the Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central Ave., in Phoenix. Named after Sir Timothy Berners-Lee, acknowledged father of the World Wide Web, the TIM Awards showcase Arizona talent and work in the interactive realm for calendar year 2013.

Twelve TIM awards will be given for “Best”: Website, Social Media Campaign, Integrated Interactive Campaign, Email Marketing Campaign, Display Ad (single or campaign), Rich Media Execution, Mobile Marketing Campaign, App, Blog, Online Video, Brand of the Year and Interactive Person of the Year.

Roger Hurni, of Off Madison Ave, received AZIMA’s coveted 2013 Interactive Marketing Person of the Year TIM award last year. “It was quite an honor to have won this award. To me, the AZIMA TIM Awards are a demonstration of the amazing, cutting edge work being done in Arizona by companies from all kinds of industries,” said Hurni.

Guests to the TIM awards ceremony will have a chance to network with top digital marketing professionals and view Phoenix Art Museum’s current exhibits before enjoying a delicious sit-down dinner and awards presentation. The official program will kick off with keynote speaker Marcus Sheridan, president and founder of The Sales Lion. Sheridan is best known for skillfully using content and inbound marketing efforts to increase traffic to his website and becoming one of the largest pool installers in the U.S. during the Great Recession. In 2009, he started his sales, marketing and personal development blog, The Sales Lion, to teach others about content and inbound marketing.

AZIMA offers four options for event registration: $75 for a single seat; $50 for a single seat if an AZIMA Corporate/VIP member; $700 for a Table of 10; and $475 for a Table of 10 for Corporate/VIP members.

To learn more, visit www.azimaawards.com or www.joinazima.org.

weight.loss

Banner Estrella offers new weight loss services

As the obesity rate continues to rise in the nation, Banner Estrella Medical Center will soon offer a broad range of new weight loss services for adults who are overweight or morbidly obese. The services will bring bariatric surgery options to Banner Estrella and serve as an extension of the distinguished bariatric program at Banner Gateway Medical Center in Gilbert.

The comprehensive program will include several surgical options, along with a pre-surgical information seminar, a psychological assessment, a nutrition assessment and counseling, exercise support, insurance guidance, and support groups. The team of experts includes experienced bariatric surgeons, dietitians, nurses, psychologists and other health professionals.

West Valley patients will initially be seen at Banner Gateway Medical Center, until the Banner Estrella clinic opens in mid-May.

“As the preferred provider of surgical care in the West Valley, it makes sense for Banner Estrella to begin offering these treatment options to patients struggling with obesity,” said Deb Krmpotic, CEO of Banner Estrella Medical Center. “Effective weight loss surgery is life-changing, allowing these patients to enjoy a more active lifestyle and positive self-image.”

Patients who undergo bariatric surgery at Banner Estrella will recover in the new patient tower at the hospital.

“Clinical studies have shown bariatric surgery to be very effective for long-term weight loss, and there are many options now available,” said Dr. David Podkameni, medical director for the bariatric surgical programs at both Banner Estrella and Banner Gateway medical centers. “Our goal is to focus on the best option for each patient, providing them with ongoing education, treatment and support.”

For more information or to schedule an appointment call (480) 543-2606 or visit www.bannerhealth.com/estrellabariatrics.