Tag Archives: arizona state university

Photo by: Sean Amidan/ASU/SpaceTREx

ASU chosen to lead lunar CubeSat mission

A spacecraft the size of a shoebox with Arizona origins will soon be orbiting our nearest neighbor to create a map of water-ice on the Moon.

The NASA-selected CubeSat will be designed, built, and operated at Arizona State University, and is one piece of the agency’s larger mission to fully characterize the water content at the lunar South Pole in preparation for exploration, resource utilization, and improved understanding of the Moon’s geologic history.

Photo by: Andy DeLisle/ASU

Photo by: Andy DeLisle/ASU

The spacecraft, called the Lunar Polar Hydrogen Mapper, or “LunaH-Map” for short, will produce the most detailed map to-date of the Moon’s water deposits, unveiling new details about the depth and distribution of the ice that has been tentatively identified from previous missions. Confirming and mapping those deposits in detail will help NASA understand how much water might be available and will help inform NASA’s strategy for sending humans farther into the solar system.

The ability to search for useful assets, such as hydrogen, can potentially enable astronauts to manufacture fuel and other provisions needed to sustain a crew for a journey to Mars, reducing the amount of fuel and weight that NASA would need to transport from Earth.

This is the third major space project for which NASA has selected ASU in the past year, and it is the first planetary science spacecraft mission that will be led by ASU. It represents a major achievement for planetary geologist Craig Hardgrove, the School of Earth and Space Exploration postdoctoral research associate who proposed the mission and will be overseeing it as principal investigator.

“All of our previous NASA mission involvement has consisted of us having instruments on other people’s missions. This is ASU’s first interplanetary mission – this is OUR mission, our chance to trail blaze,” said Jim Bell, professor in ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration and mission deputy principal investigator.

“It’s a privilege to be leading this fantastic team, and I want to make sure we do it right and deliver on our promise to NASA,” said Hardgrove.

CubeSats are part of a growing movement that is revolutionizing space exploration because of their small size and low cost of construction and operation, effectively opening the door to early career scientists, providing them an opportunity to operate missions of their own.

“How much good science can we do with these small missions? We don’t know the answer, but we will be one of the first groups to try to answer the question,” said Bell.

A university affair

Although this is one of NASA’s first forays into deep space science experiments with CubeSats, the technology isn’t new to NASA and universities, which have recognized their value and have been building them for years.

“CubeSats are a model for a new way to gain access to space, but they are also a model for how to teach students how to design, build, operate, and troubleshoot a real space mission,” said Bell, who also directs ASU’s NewSpace Initiative. “Students want to know how a spacecraft works, but not just from a PowerPoint presentation. This is their opportunity to build something. Break it. Fix it. Test it again. Launch it. Operate it. And that is the beauty of CubeSats; they provide students with the experience of going through the complete mission process.”

LunaH-Map will be designed, built, and tested on ASU’s Tempe campus, in partnership with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and several other partners supplying space-qualified hardware and services. LunaH-Map leverages technology from at least six different small commercial space companies with expert knowledge and experience in building spacecraft hardware including, Radiation Monitoring Devices, Busek, KinetX, NASA’s Ames Research Center, Catholic University of America, and Planetary Resources.

Overseeing all aspects of the spacecraft engineering is the mission’s Chief Engineer and Co-Investigator, Jekan Thanga, an Assistant Professor in ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration. Much of the design and development of LunaH-Map will be done in his Space and Terrestrial Robotic Exploration (SpaceTREx) Laboratory, and clean rooms in ASU’s state-of-the-art Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building 4, which with their glass windows offer an opportunity for visitors to watch the spacecraft being built, tested, and operated.

In total, there will be 15-20 ASU professionals, including students, working on all aspects of the design, development, testing, and delivery of the spacecraft.

“Within the United States there only about seven institutions that are doing interplanetary CubeSat missions,” said Thanga. “ASU brings together scientists and engineers to work on radical new concepts together, from the start. This innovative collaboration strategy leads to greater science return, and more creativity and capability.”

Other Co-Investigators from ASU include Professor Mark Robinson and Associate Research Professor Paul Scowen from the School of Earth and Space Exploration.

Small, low-cost, but sophisticated

LunaH-Map, along with a number of other deep-space CubeSats, are candidates to fly to lunar orbit on Exploration Mission-1, the first flight of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS), which will be the most powerful rocket ever built and will enable astronauts in the Orion spacecraft to travel deeper into the solar system. NASA will provide several CubeSat missions spots on the maiden SLS mission.

LunaH-Map is a 6U (“6 unit”) CubeSat. One “unit” is a cube measuring 4.7 inches on a side; LunaH-Map strings six of these CubeSat building blocks together and weighs as much as a small child (about 30 pounds).

But just because it is small, doesn’t mean it is less sophisticated – in this case, as with our Smartphones, size doesn’t compromise capabilities. LunaH-Map’s design allows for all the necessary sensors and instruments to be securely packaged inside.  A Jack-in-the-box like deployer releases the spacecraft and panels pop out like little wings.

Once it arrives at the Moon, the tiny spacecraft will embark on a 60-day science mission, consisting of 141 science orbits, using a suite of science instruments.

Its main instrument is a neutron detector designed to sense the presence of hydrogen by measuring the energies of neutrons that have interacted with and subsequently leaked back out of the material in the top meter of the lunar surface.

“We know from previous missions there is an increased abundance of hydrogen at the lunar poles. But we don’t know how much or exactly where,” said Hardgrove. “NASA has funded three different CubeSats to learn more: Lunar IceCube, Lunar FLASHLIGHT, and LunaH-Map. They all look for water in different ways, and provide different types of information.”

As LunaH-Map flies over the lunar South Pole at a very low altitude, it counts the energies of neutrons that have leaked out of the lunar surface. The energy distribution of the neutrons that hit the detectors tells us about the amount of hydrogen that’s buried in the top meter of lunar soil.

LunaH-Map will map the hydrogen content of the entire South Pole of the Moon, including within permanently shadowed regions at high resolution. LunaH-Map will measure the bulk hydrogen content, up to a meter beneath the lunar surface, while the instruments on both Lunar IceCube and FLASHLIGHT will tell us about the very top few microns. LunaH-Map will create the highest resolution maps of regional near-surface (top-meter) water-ice distribution across the entire South Pole of the Moon.

“Science is a human endeavor, and part of that is knowing each other and trusting each other. And when it comes to a NASA mission and tax payer dollars to do exploration, you got to have the credentials. You have to be trusted, you need to have proven yourself, you need to show that you can make it happen and you won’t fail. And we’ve got a history now where that’s the case,” said Lindy Elkins-Tanton, director of ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration.

Douglas Artists

Arizona Commission on the Arts plans development program

The Arizona Commission on the Arts, an agency of the State of Arizona, has announced that it will pilot a new artist-to-artist professional development program called AZ ArtWorker in three Arizona cities: Douglas, Phoenix and Tucson.

Funded by a grant from the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation and produced in partnership with Arizona State University, AZ ArtWorker will provide opportunities for Arizona artists to learn from national and international artists who are at the frontlines of contemporary art and community practice.

According to Casandra Hernandez, the Arts Commission’s Artist Programs Coordinator, “AZ ArtWorker reflects the agency’s commitment to nurturing the creative and professional development of Arizona artists while leveraging their knowledge and talents in service to Arizonans.”

“AZ ArtWorker recognizes the need for high-quality, accessible and culturally-relevant professional development for artists in the communities where they live and work, and invests in those artists as the foundation of Arizona’s art sector,” Hernandez said.

“The Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation is excited to support AZ ArtWorker,” said Heather Pontonio, Art Program Director at the New Haven, Connecticut-based foundation. The foundation has committed $30,000 to the initiative through its Marketplace Empowerment for Artists program.

“We believe AZ ArtWorker will provide much-needed training to artists working throughout Arizona and create the foundation for a statewide network that will strengthen local arts communities for years to come,” Pontonio explained.

AZ ArtWorker will provide an expansive learning platform, which will include training with national and international artists, capacity- and leadership-building opportunities, community-focused programs and digital tools to support the business side of creative practice. To realize the program’s ambitious goals, the Arts Commission will partner with three Arizona State University initiatives: ASU Art Museum’s International Artist Residency Program, ASU Performance in the Borderlands and ASU Pave Program in Arts Entrepreneurship.

The Arts Commission will launch AZ ArtWorker in the border city of Douglas, AZ, on October 10 and 11, 2015, presenting a series of conversations and workshops with the indigenous artist collective Postcommodity (AZ/NM/OK), visual artist Ana Teresa Fernandez (CA/MX) and media and performance artist M. Jenea Sanchez (Douglas/Agua Prieta).

M. Jenea Sanchez, Douglas-based artist and collaborator in the development of AZ ArtWorker, believes this is an ideal time for this sort of programming to come to Douglas.

“There’s been a surge of creative momentum this past year in Douglas as local artists explore ways to build community within our city and strengthen the relationship with our sister city, Agua Prieta, Sonora,” Sanchez reported. “We are using our skills as artists to reestablish what previously existed here: an interconnected borderlands culture where we share ideas, art, music, relationships, food and creativity.”

“Our community as a whole will reap great benefits from AZ ArtWorker,” said Sanchez.

Football

Tailgating service offers VIP experience and gives back to schools

Your football team is asked to pour their blood, sweat and tears into every game, but this shouldn’t be an expectation of the tailgaters outside of Sun Devil Stadium. To make tailgating even easier, Tailgater Concierge makes its debut today as a one-stop solution for all tailgating needs – all fans need to do is show up and enjoy.

Tailgater Concierge provides the tents, tables, chairs, and coolers with ice and coordinates the food so fans can partake in Arizona State tailgating festivities and worry about the more important things – like what shade of body paint their crew will be sporting in-game.

Neil Golden, Tailgater Concierge’s Founder and Chief Tailgater, served as Chief Marketing Officer for McDonald’s USA before he made his passion a profession. “As a lifelong fan of college football, I’ve seen firsthand how much work fans put into the tradition of tailgating and realize that many just want to enjoy their time with friends and family – not deal with the responsibility of owning, hauling, setting-up, taking-down, and storing their own equipment,” he said.

“That’s why Tailgater Concierge has teamed up with Arizona State and local food partners to deliver a tailor-made tailgate experience at each game,” Golden added. “We work out all of the details so that fans attending the pre-game festivities only need to know what time the tailgate party starts.”

Beyond providing a top-notch tailgate experience, Tailgater Concierge is also making a difference at Arizona State University and with its students. Tailgater Concierge awards an annual scholarship for all participating schools and provides students an opportunity to earn meaningful income and gain valuable work experience – without compromising their academic commitments.

Tailgater Concierge proudly tailgates at college football events nationwide, having already established relationships with eighteen partner universities across the nation. Tailgater Concierge’s partner universities include (listed alphabetically):

  • Arizona State University, Central Michigan University, Eastern Michigan University, Kent State University, Marshall University, Miami (Ohio) University, Mississippi State University, Northwestern University, Ohio University, Stanford University, University of Akron, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), University of Illinois, University of Michigan, University of Mississippi, University of Nebraska, University of Southern California (USC), Wake Forest.

Tailgater Concierge provides complete tailgating services for groups of all sizes. To make it easy, there are two fan favorite packages – the Field Goal and the Touchdown — which are detailed on the Tailgater Concierge website. In addition, tailgate packages can be entirely customized based on whatever needs fans have. On game day, tailgaters will be hosted by a thoroughly trained game day concierge team, who will be fully prepared to serve the group’s needs.

“One of the most important drivers of starting Tailgater Concierge has been to make a difference in the lives of students. Our goal is to instill students with a service mindset, and empower them to help us localize the art of the tailgate so that our customers feel rewarded for their confidence in having Tailgater Concierge provide their tailgate,” added Golden. “Students aren’t simply brand ambassadors for us, they are the essence of the Arizona State University tailgating experience. They know the traditions and they live and breathe their school’s sports on a daily basis, and that passion feeds into the quality of each and every tailgate we service.”

 

147670947

ASU, Mayo researchers develop real-time test for bone cancer

Are your bones getting stronger or weaker? Right now, it’s hard to know. But a new test for detecting bone loss, being developed by Arizona State University and Mayo Clinic researchers, offers the possibility of near real-time monitoring of bone diseases. The technique, which measures changes in calcium isotope ratios, has passed an important hurdle by being tested on urine samples from NASA space shuttle astronauts.

Our bones are largely built of calcium, and the turnover of calcium can indicate the development of bone diseases such as osteoporosis and the cancer multiple myeloma. Geochemists have developed extremely accurate ways of measuring calcium isotope ratios, for example for the study of sea shell deposits in sedimentary rocks. Now a group of geochemists and biologists have worked with NASA to put these techniques together to develop a new, rapid test of bone health.

“It’s a novel project in which we use geoscience techniques and concepts for biomedical research,” says lead researcher Ariel Anbar, President’s Professor in ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration and Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. The ASU team also includes Gwyneth Gordon and Steve Romaniello; collaborator Scott Smith works at NASA Johnson Space Center.

Using mass spectrometry, the relative ratios of the calcium isotopes 42Ca and 44Ca in bone can be discerned. The researchers found that lighter calcium isotopes, such as 42Ca, are absorbed from the blood into the bone during bone formation. Conversely, these light isotopes tend to be released into the bloodstream when bones break down. By measuring the ratios of the two isotopes in blood or urine scientists can calculate the rate of change of bone mass.

Anbar will be discussing this method at the Goldschmidt Conference in Prague, Czech Republic, August 16-21. He will also be recognized for being elected a Geochemistry Fellow by The Geochemical Society and The European Association of Geochemistry.

“The big advantage of these measurements is that they show what is happening in the bone, whereas traditional bone health measurements, such as DXA scans, show what hashappened. This means that we can have a real near-time view of what is happening in the bone, rather than comparing before and after, when damage may have already been done,” explains Anbar.

“Our goal is that these measurements will allow us to see bone breakdown in osteoporosis, but also can show us the progress of certain that affect bone, such as multiple myeloma.”

The research was piloted in bed-bound subjects (who lose bone mass), but the best way for the researchers to test whether the system worked was in an ambient and less controlled population who are known to experience rapid bone loss. In space, because of zero gravity conditions, astronauts experience very rapid bone loss. Working with NASA, the researchers measured calcium isotope ratios in urine from 30 shuttle astronauts, before, during, and after the flights. This allowed them to confirm that the test worked at high sensitivity (NASA partly funded the research).

Joseph Skulan, a member of the research team who first proposed the idea, said: “We were able to confirm that Ca isotopes in the sample from the shuttle astronauts shifted as expected, meaning that they we could see in more or less real time the ongoing bone loss. We did this with simple urine samples, taken at various points during their flights.”

In a collaboration with the Mayo Clinic, the researchers have also looked at a group of 71 patients who either had multiple myeloma (bone cancer), or were at risk of multiple myeloma.

“What we see with cancer patients is exciting,” said Anbar. “Samples from patients with the most active cancer tended to have lighter Ca isotopes. This means that the tests could theoretically feed into decisions on whether or not to treat a patient, for example if a cancer was dormant or growing very slowly, and to assess the effectiveness of treatments.”

He continued: “At the moment, this is still a test which is in development, but we’ve shown the principle is sound and the potential profound. The advantage for this methodology is that the patient doesn’t have to come to the machine; the measurements can be done with a blood or urine test. And from a scientific point of view, we are delighted that we have the chance to combine geochemistry, biology, and space science to benefit patients.”

Commenting, Scott Parazynski, MD, former NASA astronaut, currently University Explorer and Professor at Arizona State University said:

“It’s tremendous to see a sophisticated geochemical assay being translated into what could become a really significant medical diagnostic tool. Physicians treating osteoporosis and other calcium disorders of bone, including multiple myeloma, have very few tools at their disposal to quickly determine whether the treatments they’re providing are actually making a difference. By using calcium isotope ratios, healthcare providers may be able to optimize therapies for these debilitating illnesses in the future.”

Gateway at Tempe, Tempe, AZ (PRNewsFoto/National Asset Services)

National Asset Services sells Gateway at Tempe for $56M

National Asset Services (NAS), a leading commercial real estate companies, has sold the Gateway at Tempe, a college student housing property located approximately 1 mile East of Arizona State University on East University Drive in Tempe, Arizona. An undisclosed buyer purchased the Property from a group of 33 tenant-in-common (TIC) co-owners that were advised by NAS during the transaction process. Built in 1998, Gateway at Tempe was purchased by the TIC group in December 2006 for $55,756,000.

NAS, known for its track record of turning around properties burdened by economic conditions, assumed asset management responsibilities for the student housing Property in 2010. The company’s executive management hurdled recession driven economic obstacles, while revitalizing the property with a remodel of major amenities. Aggressive leasing and strategic, entrepreneurial management maximized property value by increasing occupancy to its current level of over 95% resulting in a $1,000,000 cash reserve and a 6% cash distribution to co-owners. The property improvements and enhanced cash flow attracted interest from multiple buyers.

“Gateway at Tempe is a unique asset in a very competitive student housing marketplace,” added Karen E. Kennedy, President and Founder of National Asset Services. “Our clients and management team worked together to improve the Property’s living experience for students, while generating positive cash flow. We are delighted to have delivered a favorable outcome for our clients as well as providing a property with positive cash flow with economic upside to new ownership.”

Gateway at Tempe is one of the largest student housing properties in the Arizona State University area, with 918 beds and 288 units. Situated on approximately 19 acres, the garden-style student living community consists of 19 two and three-story wood frame residential buildings and a single-story clubhouse/leasing building. The residential buildings contain 289,704 square feet of net rentable area, which equates to an average unit size of 1,006 square feet. Consistent with offering a quality student lifestyle, the apartment community features a swimming pool, basketball court, two lighted tennis courts, a fire pavilion and a lighted sand volleyball court.

canals

Groundwater pumping is changing Phoenix’s surface

The ground level in portions of the metro Phoenix area is dropping at an annual rate of nearly two centimeters, or almost an inch a year. This is caused by the pumping of groundwater from subsurface aquifers, say two Arizona State University scientists.

Apache Junction, at the east end of the valley, is seeing the fastest drop, followed by Sun City West, Peoria, and the North Valley.

miller_shirzaei_jgr2015While changes of a few centimeters a year may not seem substantial, when they continue for many years and over long distances they can have serious and expensive impacts. Structures such as the Central Arizona Project (CAP) and other canals, utility lines, water and gas mains, storm drains, and sewers are most affected, while office buildings, apartments and homes can also become damaged as ground levels drop.

“Pumping groundwater alters the elevation of the land surface at different rates around the valley,” says ASU researcher Megan Miller. “This happens because the sedimentary basins in the Phoenix metropolitan area vary in thickness and properties.”

Miller, a graduate student, and professor Manoochehr Shirzaei, both of the School of Earth and Space Exploration, work with synthetic aperture radar carried on Earth-orbiting spacecraft. Such radar can measure ground elevations to less than an inch over wide areas. By repeating the measurements over time, changes can be detected, tracked and mapped.

The elevation data they used for their study, which has just been published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, come from 1992-1996 and 2003-2010.

“In parts of Chandler, Mesa, and Scottsdale, the ground level has risen in recent years,” Miller says. “This is because we are storing the unused part of our water allotment in the ground.” But she notes that this cannot be done everywhere, and it cannot undo much of the subsidence that has previously occurred.

“In areas where the land has subsided, the basin layers have become compacted. When water was pumped out, the pore spaces in the aquifers became empty, and the layers settled until the spaces were eliminated,” Miller explains.

The water table — the height of the groundwater level — has increased during the period they studied, even where the surface elevation of the land has fallen, says Miller. The continued sinking of the surface is from pumping that occurred years ago.

The demand for water has remained relatively stable during this time, mainly due to the decline of agriculture in the valley. Miller notes, “As more people have moved here, they have settled on land that previously grew crops, which use more water.”

Because residential and industrial areas use less water per acre than agriculture, the population increase has been offset by the decrease in agricultural water use. The net result, says Miller, is that demand held fairly steady during the study period, but the source of demand has changed.

“Eventually,” Miller says, if current supply and demand trends continue, “we will no longer have a surplus.” Then, she explains, “the water table will resume dropping.”

Groundwater pumping has two main effects, one short-term, the other long. “The biggest short-term problem is earth fissuring, or cracks that develop and threaten structures and their foundations,” says Miller. “Longer term, the changes in surface level can affect where flood waters go, which could produce huge problems for the valley.”

A second long-term effect occurs, she adds, when groundwater withdrawals continue: The subsidence reduces the aquifer system’s capacity to store water.

“We live in a desert, and our underground canteen is getting smaller.”

marvin

Goodyear defense contractor gets Air Force research grant

Prime Solutions Group, an aerospace and defense consulting contractor located at the West Valley Technology Center near the Phoenix-Goodyear Airport, has received a prestigious Small Business Innovative Research grant from the United States Air Force.

Joseph Marvin, president of the 17-employee firm, said the Phase I grant is a major accomplishment that will allow his company to begin working on a cutting-edge project over the next year to help the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. PSG’s research will help fine-tune weapons systems compatibility and communications that will take fighter jets ranging from the F-16s to F-35s to long-range bombers to the next performance level. If the government accepts the results of his Phase I research, that would put Prime Solutions in line for a $1 million Small Business Innovative Research Phase II grant.

Prime Solutions Group is located in a 10,000-square-foot space of Building 4 at the former Lockheed Martin campus, 1300 S. Litchfield Road, and has continued to grow since Marvin launched it in his Waddell home. Marvin has since added engineers and scientists to accomplish the advanced research at the current location he leased earlier this year.

“This is exciting news,” Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord said of Prime Solutions Group’s most recent grant. “PSG’s advanced technology represents the future of the Goodyear business ecosystem and mission of innovation. The city plans to maintain its presence in the aerospace and defense industry, and PSG is conducting research that is vital.” 

This grant, which was awarded in the amount of $150,000, marks the third Small Business Innovative Research Grant Prime Solutions Group has received over the last two years in the area of complex system design. It will allow research in Modeling and Simulation for Design, Development, Testing and Evaluation of Autonomous Multi-Agent Models. In 2013 and last year, PSG received SBIR contracts from the Department of Defense that is allowing the firm to conduct research on fine-tuning the accuracy of the missile defense system.

The objective of the latest research is to complement capabilities of future Air Force autonomous systems that require interoperable tools and methodologies to design, verify, validate, assess and operate human-machine system interactions associated with autonomous and manned systems integration.  The first phase of the effort will start with an F-16 tactical environment and expand to Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) operations. 

“The Air Force is looking for “next level” capability necessary to design future complex systems, and that is right in our wheelhouse,” said Marvin, who will collaborate with global leaders on autonomous systems and systems challenges at the International Symposium of the International Council on Systems Engineering next week in Seattle.

“Our winning proposal teamed with world-class partners including the Arizona State University Cognitive Engineering Research Institute, Georgia Tech Research Institute, IBM Research and Lockheed Martin,” Marvin added. We want to see how the existing weapons systems will interact with the new systems including with the pilot, satellite systems and ground systems.”

PSG had established offices at the Phoenix-Goodyear Airport in 2010 to be collocated with their prime customer Lockheed Martin.

“When Lockheed Martin announced its plans to downsize in Goodyear, many people thought it was the end of PSG,” Marvin said.  “Not so. We’ve grown from five to 17 people over the past two recent grant. “PSG’s advanced technology represents the future of the Goodyear business ecosystem and mission of innovation. The city plans to maintain its presence in the aerospace and defense industry, and PSG is conducting research that is vital.”

This grant, which was awarded in the amount of $150,000, marks the third Small Business Innovative Research Grant Prime Solutions Group has received over the last two years in the area of complex system design. It will allow research in Modeling and Simulation for Design, Development, Testing and Evaluation of Autonomous Multi-Agent Models. In 2013 and last year, PSG received SBIR contracts from the Department of Defense that is allowing the firm to conduct research on fine-tuning the accuracy of the missile defense system.

Much of former Lockheed Martin campus is configured with data access and security features necessary to support defense programs.  The uniqueness of the space accommodates PSG’s current and projected growth and can also accommodate other companies focused in cyber security and related information technologies.

Reliance Management working with brokers, Brian Gleason, SIOR and Bonnie Halley, CCIM of Phoenix West Commercial of Litchfield Park, have been marketing space in four buildings previously occupied by Lockheed.  There are three office buildings totaling 22,837 square feet as well as a 13,138 square foot data center available for immediate occupancy.  Phoenix West Commercial is also actively marketing the remaining 11 buildings totaling 412,160 square feet.

Marvin attributes much of PSG’s growth to expanded Lockheed Martin subcontracting that retains key engineering and development personnel.

“Lockheed Martin left a foundation to build upon,” Marvin said.  “Now we have the opportunity to extend the heritage at the Phoenix-Goodyear Airport from sensor integration to new horizons of Sensor Networks of Sensors.  Lockheed has been very helpful and supported PSG as an industry sponsor on the recent innovative research award from the Air Force.”

“PSG’s vision is to be on the leading edge of future complex system developments,” Marvin added. “The company recognizes future system challenges as an opportunity for leadership in new development paradigms.  Data analytics and advanced software programming are essential to meet new imperatives of advanced defense, energy and health care systems.  We are at the edge of developments in cognitive processing and intelligent systems – and we are going to do that right here in Goodyear, Arizona,” Marvin said. 

valley forward receives grant

Arizona State Credit Union will award 41 scholarships

Arizona State Credit Union has announced its 2015 Scholarship and Grant Program. This year, the Credit Union will award a total of $44,000 to students and graduates. Each of the Credit Union’s 20 branch locations will award one $1,000 scholarship to students and one $1,000 grant to graduates who are Credit Union members.

“We are proud to continue our ongoing commitment of providing financial assistance to students and alumni of in-state colleges and universities for the eighth year,” said David E. Doss, President/CEO of Arizona State Credit Union. “This year, we’ve added additional scholarships and grants so that more students and graduates throughout the state have an opportunity to benefit from this support.”

Details for the 2015 Scholarship and Grant Program are as follows:

  • Applications accepted between July 1 and August 15, 2015
  • 20-$1,000 scholarships
  • 20-$1,000 grants
  • One-$4,000 Quentin Bogart Scholarship for an Arizona State University student pursuing a degree in education
  • Recipients announced on or around September 15, 2015

The Scholarship Program helps students who attend state universities, colleges and vocational schools pay for various expenses, including tuition, books and other academic necessities.

The Grant Program assists graduates in paying their student loans, a significant financial burden that affects many students upon graduation. Grants are awarded to graduates who exhibit strong academic prowess and active participation in community efforts.

To be eligible to receive a scholarship or grant, applicants must be Arizona State Credit Union members. Selection of winners is based on a random drawing. To apply, visit them online at azstcu.org/scholarship.

networking

ASU offers free media literacy course

Arizona State University has launched its first-ever free online course titled “Media LIT: Overcoming Information Overload,” designed to help students understand, analyze and create media.

The open, digitally-enabled course is the first of its kind offered by a major journalism program, and features guest speakers like New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales, and Buzzfeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith, among others. The course is hosted on the edX platform, and includes readings, videos and activities that enable students to learn how to assess and consume news and be better informed.

“This new course makes world-class journalism and communications instruction more accessible to people around the world,” said Christopher Callahan, dean of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and ASU vice provost.

The course began online July 6, but students may still enroll. More information on the course is available here.

Interviews with Dan Gillmor, lead ASU professor of practice and author of multiple books, including “We the Media: Grassroots Journalism By the People, For the People”, can be scheduled by contacting Joe Giordano (contact info above). Gillmor teaches digital media literacy at ASU, and is an advisor to several technology and media-related ventures.

esd

Energy Systems Design promotes Maria Leshner

ESD has announced that Maria Leshner as been promoted to Business Development and Marketing Manager of Energy Systems Design, Inc. In her new role, Ms. Leshner will continue to manage ESD’s internal marketing efforts and, in addition, will coordinate and execute strategic business development plans designed to differentiate and promote ESD’s services, as well as identify, target and capture potential business opportunities.

Ms. Leshner joined ESD in 2010 as a Marketing Coordinator and quickly went on to become the Marketing Manager of the firm. After graduating Magna Cum Laude from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in Design Management in 2008, Ms. Leshner began her career at KKE Architects as a Marketing Coordinator.

Jamie Killin

Steve LeVine Entertainment & Public Relations new hire

Steve LeVine Entertainment & Public Relations (SLE) has announced the addition of Jamie Killin to the public relations and marketing department.

With a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in mass communications, Killin graduated from Arizona State University in 2014 where she attended the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and was a member of Barrett, The Honors College. During college, Killin acted as a multimedia reporter for Cronkite News Service, maintained a position as an editorial intern with Phoenix Magazine and wrote for the Cronkite Journal.

Prior to joining Steve LeVine Entertainment & Public Relations, Killin worked for Marketingworx Public Relations and Marketing where she was an account coordinator and social media specialist.

Outside of work Killin enjoys hiking, traveling and attending live music shows. “I’ve always been a music lover so having the opportunity to work at SLE, where music is such a huge part of what we do, has been a fantastic experience,” says Killin of her new position.

Lauren Stein

UMOM New Day Centers elect Lauren Stine to board

The national law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP today announced that Phoenix partner Lauren Stine has been elected to the UMOM New Day Centers‘ board of directors.

Founded in 1964, UMOM is the largest homeless shelter for families in Arizona. The organization aims to prevent and end homelessness, and it works to give people opportunities to gain the skills they need to rebuild their lives and succeed when they leave.

Stine is a member of the firm’s Litigation & Dispute Resolution Practice Group. She represents health care providers and professionals, pharmaceutical wholesalers, and direct sales companies in cases involving contract disputes, alleged fraud, deceptive advertising, and general litigation matters. She also assists clients in special action and appellate proceedings in state and federal courts.

Stine received her law degree, magna cum laude, from Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University and her bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, from Arizona State University.

Arizona State Credit Union Awards Scholarships

TW Lewis awards 10 scholarships to ASU’s Barrett

T.W. Lewis Foundation continues its mission to help people reach their potential by offering 10 high performing graduates with a $5,000 scholarship for four-years ($20,000 total) to Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University (ASU.) The Foundation has awarded 130 scholarships to Maricopa County students since its inception in 2002.

The Foundation recognizes that while there are a variety of academic scholarships available to students, T.W. Lewis dedicates financial support to students focused on excellence and who will have a career of significance once they enter the workforce.

The T.W. Lewis Scholarship at Barrett Honors College was created to provide high potential student leaders with self-awareness tools, career counseling, learning opportunities and financial aid so they can finish college and have a positive impact on the world.

“The T.W. Lewis Scholarship program is our way of humbly paying it forward to students who are on the fast track to success,” said Tom Lewis, CEO, T.W. Lewis. “The quality students Barrett attracts are our future business and community leaders. The Honors College provides them with a strong foundation and the valuable tools to thrive. We are honored to support the programs and students at this remarkable institution.”

Following are the 10 scholarship recipients for 2015:

Kevin Bergauer, Chandler
August Elton, Scottsdale
BrieAnna Frank, Phoenix
Sierra Grubb, Cave Creek
Olivia King, Mesa
Sabrina Leigh-Godfrey, Mesa
Edward Meza, Gilbert
Timothy Otis, Mesa
Abigail Reed, Chandler
Ari Stoneman, Phoenix

ASUAFD Preliminary Master Plan - 6.16.15

Preliminary master development plan for ASU Athletics Facilities District released

Arizona State University (ASU) and Catellus Development Corporation, a nationally recognized master developer, are taking an important step toward creating a world-class urban community immediately adjacent to ASU’s Tempe Campus.  Following several months of due diligence and market analysis, Catellus worked in collaboration with ASU to develop a preliminary master development plan to transform the 330-acre Athletic Facilities District at the northeast end of the Tempe campus. The plan includes new and renovated NCAA athletic facilities, with more than seven million square feet of office, multifamily residential, hospitality and retail space, interconnected with vibrant sidewalks, bicycle paths and urban open spaces.

The careful study and planning invested in the project reflect ASU’s dedication, written in the university’s charter, to take responsibility for bettering the broader community. In pursuit of that mission, ASU and Catellus are inviting the public to view the plan and offer comment at an open house next week.

“This is a highly visible and prominent development that demands thoughtful planning and execution,” said Greg Weaver, executive vice president of Catellus Development Corporation. “We will collaborate with ASU and many other future partners to transform the district in a manner that maximizes financial returns for the University, while simultaneously creating a world-class, sustainable, urban neighborhood for the greater community.”

The facilities district will generate revenue to help fund the renovation and reinvention of Sun Devil Stadium and other University athletic facilities, without the use of tax dollars, through payments made by new private real estate development projects on University-owned land.  ASU has partnered with Catellus to oversee the development, marketing, leasing and management of the district.

“This is an important step in what will be a well planned process over many years to develop property adjacent to ASU in a way that serves the community and the University,” said Morgan R. Olsen, Executive Vice President, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer for Arizona State University.  “ASU is committed to being a positive force in the communities we serve and, working with Catellus and our other partners on this project, we will set high standards and are confident that it will attract quality development.”

Activity is already underway in the district at Sun Devil Stadium.  That project is being phased to permit the venue to remain open during renovations.  Work on the first phase has started, with all three phases scheduled to be complete prior to the 2017 football season.

“The district and its capacity to generate revenue for the university and Sun Devil Athletics typifies the progressive thinking for which Arizona State has become known,” said Ray Anderson, Vice President and Athletic Director at ASU. “The development of the district will create a sustainable revenue stream necessary to support and invest in championship-caliber facilities for our 23-plus athletics programs and will benefit our 550-plus student-athletes.”

The district’s preliminary land use plan reflects a phased approach to private development over the next 20 years.  An initial phase that may include office, multifamily and retail development is expected to be underway as soon as 2016.

The preliminary master plan will be available for review during a public open house to be held on June 23, 2015 from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm. Representatives from ASU and Catellus will be on site to answer questions and review district plans with attendees during the open house.  The open house will be held at Gallery 100, located at the Tempe Center, 951 South Mill Avenue, Suite 199. Attendees will also be able to provide comments for the project team to consider as the master plan continues to evolve.

“We are excited to share our first draft of the master plan for the district,” said Brian Kearney, senior development manager with Catellus Development Corporation. “Feedback from the open house and other meetings with stakeholders will continue to evolve our thinking as we strive to develop a community that will offer unforgettable life experiences.”

The district is located at the north end of the Tempe Campus. It encompasses most University-owned property generally bounded by Sun Devil Stadium, Veterans’ Way, University Drive, McClintock Road and Tempe Town Lake.

Until a permanent name is selected during the next phase of planning and development, the area will be referred to as the ASU Athletic Facilities District, or simply the district.

bioscience

ASU, Banner launch research on neurodegenerative disease

Arizona State University and Banner Health have announced a new research alliance to advance the scientific study, treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.

The partnership between Arizona State University (ASU), one of the nation’s largest public research universities, and Phoenix-based Banner Health, one of the nation’s largest nonprofit health systems, includes the launch of a new Arizona State University-Banner Neurodegenerative Disease Research Center on ASU’s Tempe campus.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to work together to build one of the world’s largest basic science centers for the study of Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases at ASU and to further develop our clinical and research programs at Banner,” said Eric Reiman, M.D. Reiman is the executive director of the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute and university professor of neuroscience at ASU, who along with Raymond N. DuBois, M.D., Ph.D., executive director of the Biodesign Institute at ASU, will lead the new alliance.

This effort capitalizes on Banner’s internationally recognized programs in Alzheimer’s disease research and patient care and ASU’s rapid ascension as a world-class research university. It also leverages Banner’s close working relationships with other research organizations in Arizona.

Dr. Reiman Phoenix, AZ.  Photo Brad Armstrong Photography

Dr. Reiman Phoenix, AZ. Photo Brad Armstrong Photography

“This extraordinary research alliance will help galvanize the search for answers to degenerative brain diseases,” said ASU President Michael Crow. “This is yet another example of how institutions in Arizona are leading the way for groundbreaking research in age-related diseases. This new effort will be a magnet to attract more researchers, more businesses and more resources to this urgent fight.”

Currently, more than 5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s. This has profound implications for Arizona, with a population of more than 1 million people over age 65 living today that is expected to expand to 2.4 million by 2050.

The new center at ASU will begin July 1 and the search for a world-renowned scientific director will continue. As part of this partnership, ASU will invite six scientists from Banner Sun Health Research Institute to relocate to the Tempe campus where they will have access to other scientists, state-of-the art laboratory space and support to advance their research. The center is expected to rapidly grow to become a pre-eminent research center in both size and impact through aggressive recruitment of innovative research teams pursuing causes and treatments for neurodegenerative diseases.

Banner will continue to grow its clinical and research programs at Banner Alzheimer’s Institute and Banner Sun Health Research Institute (BSHRI). For instance, BSHRI plans to develop its clinical and clinical research programs for the study of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, further develop its world-renowned Brain and Body Donation Programs for the study of these and other age-related disorders, and explore new opportunities to work with the rest of Banner and its organizational partners to expand and test new models of elder care.

Together, Banner and ASU receive nearly $65 million in current research funding in the neurosciences. That number is expected to rise significantly with the recruitment of new researchers and funding.

“This collaboration is an opportunity to bring together Banner Health’s leadership roles in research and patient care with ASU’s growing translational science expertise to fight devastating neurodegenerative diseases,” said Peter Fine, Banner’s president and CEO. “Leaders from Banner Health and ASU have worked hard to make this partnership a reality – a partnership that will enhance the scientific strengths of our two organizations, provide major growth opportunities for research in the Sun City area, and strengthen Arizona’s position as a major research center.”

Barring any significant treatment breakthroughs, the number of people affected by Alzheimer’s disease could more than triple to 16 million in the U.S. by 2050, at a health care cost of more than $1.2 trillion annually. Parkinson’s afflicts up to 10 million people worldwide, and an estimated 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s each year, while thousands of cases go undetected. Other neurodegenerative diseases continue to take a devastating toll on patients and family caregivers.

Ray DuBois

Ray DuBois

“Bringing the two groups together will accelerate the bench-to-bedside development of new diagnostic, drug and other treatment options for patients and family caregivers,” said DuBois. “Time and time again, the scientific community has shown how multidisciplinary teams can come together as incubators for innovation and discovery.”

In addition to his other positions, Reiman is the CEO of Banner Research. He is internationally recognized for his contributions to brain imaging, the early detection and tracking of Alzheimer’s disease, and the accelerated evaluation of Alzheimer’s prevention therapies. The Neurodegenerative Disease Research Center will be closely affiliated with faculty from ASU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Biodesign Institute, a translational science institute with some 500 faculty, staff and students, representing expertise in the biosciences, engineering and advanced computing.

The agreement between Banner and ASU is an extension of their work with the Arizona Alzheimer’s Consortium, a leading model of statewide collaboration in biomedical research, and it is intended to help make Arizona a destination for the best and brightest minds in this field. The two institutions will continue to work closely with other organizational partners to advance scientific research. Under the agreement, the center’s scientists will hold joint faculty appointments at both ASU and Banner Research.

“The new collaboration will allow Banner, ASU and other organizations in the state to have an even greater impact in the scientific fight against Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases,” said Reiman, “and it will permit us to have an even greater impact on the care of patients and family caregivers.”

jupiter

ASU scientists play key roles in new NASA mission

NASA is sending a mission to see if Europa, an icy moon of Jupiter, has conditions suitable for life, and three ASU scientists are involved with the mission’s instruments.

Three scientists in Arizona State University’s School of Earth and Space Exploration (SESE) — Philip Christensen, Mikhail Zolotov, and Everett Shock — are involved with NASA’s newly announced robotic mission to investigate whether conditions suitable for life exist at Jupiter’s moon Europa.

The mission, scheduled for launch in the 2020s, will follow up on the results of NASA’s Galileo mission of 20 years ago. That spacecraft found Europa to be an intriguing body. Its surface is a shell of ice perhaps a few tens of miles thick, covering a salty water ocean.

The icy surface has numerous colored cracks and spots, perhaps rich in salts, where the ocean water appeared and froze. Observations from Earth orbit using the Hubble Space Telescope have also revealed that Europa erupts plumes of water vapor a hundred miles high or more.

The payload of nine science instruments will greatly increase the limited knowledge of Europa, tackling challenges such as imaging the surface in high-resolution and determining the thickness of the moon’s icy shell and the depth of its ocean.

A thermal instrument will scour Europa’s frozen surface in search of thermal anomalies.

“This is a terrific opportunity for ASU and SESE,” says Philip Christensen. A Regents’ Professor of geological sciences in SESE, he is the principal investigator for the Europa Thermal Emission Imaging System (E-THEMIS).

“The role E-THEMIS plays in the mission is to act as a heat detector,” he explains. “It will scan the surface of Europa at high resolution for warm spots.” Such locations, Christensen says, could be places where the ice shell has become thin and they are the most likely locations for plume activity.

The E-THEMIS instrument will be built at ASU using the engineers and facilities in SESE on the Tempe campus that are currently building Christensen’s OTES instrument for the OSIRIS-REx mission. ASU will do the instrument design, fabrication, assembly, test, and calibration, along with mission operations and science data processing. Ball Aerospace will develop the electronics that will be integrated into E-THEMIS.  

 “This plays perfectly into SESE’s strengths in combining science with engineering,” he says.

Everett Shock and Mikhail Zolotov, co-investigators for the MAss SPectrometer for Planetary EXploration/Europa (MASPEX), will apply their geochemistry expertise to interpret the results.

“In order to assess habitability of Europa we will need to gather information about composition of surface materials and understand their relations with putative water ocean,” explains Zolotov, who is also a co-investigator on the Radar for Europa Assessment and Sounding: Ocean to Near-surface (REASON) and SUrface Dust Mass Analyzer (SUDA).

The MASPEX and SUDA instruments will be used to sample Europa’s thin atmosphere, including plume emissions and small particulates of minerals and ice lofted into space.

“We anticipate lots of data, but the MEANING of the data for the habitability of Europa will require additional experiments, calculations, and theoretical modeling, which are major strengths of the combination of geochemistry, biochemistry, and planetary science in SESE and at ASU,” says Shock.

The School of Earth and Space Exploration is a unit of ASU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Grand Canyon University; Photo by Shavon Rose for AZ Big Media

Arizona’s Valley of the Scholars

Phoenix may be built on a grid system, but it’s not too hyperbolic to say all roads (and, one day, light rail routes) lead to Arizona State University.

It’s the theory of diffusion of innovations, says Sundt Construction’s Business Development Manager Ryan Abbott. The theory, which has been around since Everett Rogers published a book about it in the ‘60s, suggests how cultures change and adapt to new ideas. What it takes for inertia to kick in on a cultural change is innovators (first 2.5 percent), early adopters (13.5 percent) and an early majority (34 percent). For an idea to carry, Abbott says, it has to reach a tipping point of 15 to 18 percent.

“That is exactly what the university and city did in downtown Phoenix,” says Abbott. “They started by innovating ways of being multiple places at the same time, using integrated technology, synergistic relationships, taking full advantage of mass transportation.  Next, they brought in early adopters — Millennials who wanted to understand and report on society. Where better to be than fully immersed in it at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism?”

Phoenix gets schooled
Sundt Construction built the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, a bright orange and maroon building that sits along Central Avenue and very much serves as the front door of the ASU downtown campus. It was completed even before the first dorms, Taylor Place, were done. The university sits right along the Central and Van Buren light rail stop, which shuttles thousands of students a day to and from classes.

Years later, Sundt was asked to build the downtown’s campus’ Sun Devil Fitness building by the YMCA across the street.

“When we were selected to build ASU’s Sun Devil Fitness, (the university was) approaching the fulcrum that pulls the early majority with it,” says Abbott. “They had a reason for adaptive, creative people to be downtown; now, they were creating the places that keep them there.”

“Part of ASU’s mission is to deliver positive impact in the local community, where we are socially embedded,” university spokesman Mark Johnson says.

Universities serve as the catalyst for business attraction, with its well-educated labor force, as well as a hub for the Millennial generation that is changing the way society looks at work and life.

“At the nucleus of that new societal space is the university supplying its innovation, early adopters and early majority,” says Abbott. “The universities (in downtown Phoenix) are landlords to fantastic restaurants, creators of walkways that connect and amenities that inspire,” Abbott says. “And now that they’ve pulled in the early majority, the late majority and laggards are only to follow.”

Sunbelt Holdings (Portland on the Park) and P.B. Bell are two examples of the Valley’s largest commercial companies breaking ground on their first urban projects in Phoenix. Both companies are known for their master-planned projects, though multifamily trends and the growth of Phoenix’s Millennial population, due to higher ed facility expansions, have caught their eye.

“The expansion of ASU and GCU moving into the downtown area did have an influence on our decision to proceed with developing an apartment community in downtown Phoenix,” says P.B. Bell President Chapin Bell, “We believe that there will be a need for additional housing for both the staff and students that choose to live near the downtown campuses. Also, we expect that the addition of these campuses will generate a new excitement and energy attracting new businesses and downtown dwellers outside of the student population as well.”

P.B. Bell was awarded the adaptive reuse project of the 100-year-old Barrister Place (colloquially referred to as the “Psycho” building, because it appeared in the 1960 film) for a multifamily development.

Downtown Phoenix has been working for more than a decade toward making plans for adaptive reuse and infill projects easier and incentivized.

Kimber Lanning, who founded Local First, was one of the first innovators of a “new societal space” in Phoenix. She actively worked to launch the pilot program nearly a decade ago to streamline the process for adaptive reuse projects in order to retain young, vibrant minds.

“When I started Local First, it was on intuition,” she says. “The kids coming to my store (record store, Stinkweeds) were leaving. I started to think about what do those cities have that connects them to those cities and not Phoenix. They were acting in a local manner. We were too spread out. I set out to create districts. We need to encourage small business development. The brightest people want to be where there are cool restaurants, for instance.”

P.B. Bell Companies has also broken ground this year on Velaire at Aspera, a community near Midwestern University’s campus in Glendale.

“The nearby university is expanding, which will create a  need for new, quality housing,” Bell says.

Strength in numbers
Universities aren’t just attracting new development. They’re actively participating.

“SkySong and the Chandler Innovation Center are strong examples of the kinds of projects that go beyond what you would expect a university to be doing, but provide linkage both to the university and to facilities attractive to new businesses,” says ASU’s Johnson. “We have regular conversations with municipalities around the Valley and around the state about projects that help build the larger infrastructure for economic development. We take those very seriously, but we don’t discuss them until they reach a greater level of fruition.”

Grand Canyon University (GCU), a for-profit, private Christian university, has more than doubled its footprint in the last seven years and plans to move more than 2,000 employees into West Phoenix with an office complex that will break ground next year. The university has 3,500 employees, is expecting 25,000 on-campus students and have half a million annual visitors to its arena. The school also invested $10M into Maryvale Golf Course to bring additional economic activity to the west side of Phoenix and is renovating 700 homes in the neighboring community with Habitat for Humanity over the next few years.

“We’re in the midst of a $1M partnership with the Phoenix Police Department to increase the police presence and combat crime in the areas surrounding our campus, which has had a huge impact on the community,” says GCU President and CEO Brian Mueller.

On top of those and other investments, GCU’s economic impact is about $1B annually, according to Elliott D. Pollack & Co.

“The biggest difference (between GCU and universities such as ASU) is that we are doing it as an enterprise, which means we are using investment dollars to build out a university that can make an impact in numerous ways in the community, all while also paying taxes back to the city, county, state and federal government,” Mueller says. “We’re having the same impact as other universities by producing more and more high-quality graduates and raising the intellectual knowledge of the community, but we’re doing it as a tax-paying enterprise, which adds a second benefit to the area.”

The university also claims to have more than 2,000 students enrolled in the fall semester from California.

“Arizona used to lose thousands of college students, mostly to California, who were seeking a private Christian education,” Mueller says. “Now, those students are staying home. What’s more, the trend has completely reversed, as we’re attracting thousands of students from California and other states to our campus because of the low tuition costs and affordable room and board rates. Those tuition dollars are now coming into the state and are being reinvested right here on our campus, which is a huge plus for Arizona. We hope that a percentage of those students will remain in Arizona after they graduate and build their careers here.”

Commencement
Ryan Companies, which is working on the 2MSF State Farm build-to-suit at Marina Heights in Tempe and the ASU Research Park, specializes in office development. Nearly all of its office product is affected in some way by university expansions in Phoenix Metro, says Molly Ryan Carson, vice president of development for Ryan Companies.

“The search for educated employees is universal,” she says. “Universities are certainly an important factor in many real estate decisions.”

Universities are surrounded by amenities, such as restaurants and recreational spaces, that appeal to prospective office tenants.

“Having a solid university like ASU in close proximity is viewed as a definite benefit by the tenants we are seeing in the market,” says Carson. “The opportunity to be near tens of thousands of potential employees is very appealing. Additionally, a university often is located in an area rich with amenities, again, a critical requirement for tenants.”

GCU has its eyes on the same type of growth.

“An estimated 1.2 million STEM jobs will be available in Arizona by 2018, yet our universities are producing just half the number of graduates needed to fill this demand,” says Mueller. “We’ve launched programs in computer science, information technology and engineering to help close that gap and are working with industry leaders in Arizona to ensure that we’re producing graduates with the types of skills they are seeking. When we grow out to 25,000 students in the next 4-5 years, it is our intention that 70 percent of those students will be studying in high-demand STEM areas that lead to good-paying jobs. That will have a major impact on the local economy and help attract businesses to Arizona that rely on having that workforce in place.”

89524671

Silicon Valley’s Wasabi Ventures heads to Scottsdale

Wasabi Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm, announced today the formal launch of its operations in Arizona. After a nine-month due diligence process, Arizona was selected as the most promising location for a new office by the bi-coastal firm that has existing offices in Silicon Valley, Greater Boston, and Baltimore.

“We see great potential in the Arizona ecosystem,” said Wasabi Ventures General Partner Tom “TK” Kuegler. “The combination of strong universities, visionary government leadership, plus an active and increasingly cohesive ecosystem full of strong talent gives us great confidence that the Silicon Desert is a great place to be. We are committed to be an active contributor to building that ecosystem, and will do that in partnership with some of the leading actors in the space across the state. We plan to start 20 companies in Arizona in the next 24 months, and will run cohorts in Flagstaff, Phoenix and Tucson.” Kuegler participated in Startup Week Phoenix and sponsored Invest Southwest’s Venture Madness, while General Partner Chris Yeh covered Startup Weekend Tucson, as demonstration of the firm’s commitment to the ecosystem.

Wasabi’s principal office will be based in Scottsdale, at Deskhub, an innovative co-working space located at 4900 North Scottsdale Road, suite 400, and run by CEO Jay Chernikoff and Community Manager Gabe Gasca.  Chernikoff said, “Wasabi Ventures’ decision to open up shop in Phoenix is a reflection of the strong and growing tech scene in Phoenix and across Arizona.  We are pleased to host them and look forward to collaborating in offering regular programming to the community. We are delighted to begin this partnership and expand it to San Diego in coming months.”  Wasabi will host a launch party in the valley at Deskhub on Thursday, June 4th, from 5:30-8:30pm, where the firm will be announcing its plans to form a cohort in Phoenix, commencing in July.  Interested applicants are invited to apply now at www.academy.wasabiventures.com

Wasabi Ventures is providing venture acceleration support services to startups selected as part of the Furnace Technology Transfer Accelerator program.

Wasabi’s operations in Tucson commenced in early May in partnership with Startup Tucson and Innovate UA.  Justin Williams, CEO of Startup Tucson and Executive Director of Innovate UA, said, “ Wasabi Ventures’ focus on the individual entrepreneur, combined with the extensive free educational offering made available through the Wasabi Ventures Academy, nicely complements our existing offerings and fits the Tucson ecosystem very well.  The fact that they like to play as a co-founder at the very early stage fills an important gap, and makes them an ideal partner to Tucson entrepreneurs.”  One team from this introductory cohort is guaranteed to receive the backing of Wasabi Ventures as a cofounder of its new startup.  Wasabi Ventures will also offer regular programming in Tucson, open to the public, from a base at Startup Tucson’s Co-lab incubator facility.  A launch party in Tucson will take place on Wednesday, June 3rd, at 6:00 pm, at Ermano’s Craft Beer & Wine Bar, in conjunction with Startup Tucson’s June Startup Drinks.

In Northern Arizona, the firm has partnered with the Northern Arizona Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology, which runs programs in Flagstaff, Prescott and Maricopa. CEO Annette Zinky said, “NACET is thrilled to partner with Wasabi Ventures to form a Northern Arizona cohort to participate in their Startup Foundations program, starting in July. This will allow us to focus the direction and increase the momentum of the strong mix of ideas, passion and talent already present in the region. Wasabi Ventures’ decision to offer services here validates what we already knew: that Northern Arizona is a great place for startups.”  Wasabi Ventures will celebrate its launch in Northern Arizona concurrent with the launch of NACET’s new accelerator facility, where from which it will also offer regular programming, on or around July 21st, and the first cohort will run through Startup Weekend Flagstaff, concluding on October 9-11th, 2015.

Startup Foundations is a 13-week education program for entrepreneurs, and is the base course offering of the Wasabi Ventures Academy. Participants learn about the startup world directly from the firm’s general partners and along the way vie for the opportunity to form or join startups in the Wasabi Ventures portfolio.

“Our move into Arizona is just the first step in our strategy to bring Silicon Valley-style VC services to strong secondary markets, beginning in the Southwest,” said Chris Yeh, General Partner of Wasabi Ventures. “Phoenix is just a two-hour flight from Silicon Valley, so if we can bring the right combination of timely, strategic advice and investment to Arizona entrepreneurs, they shouldn’t have to move to Silicon Valley to build their companies. Entrepreneurs are just as smart and hardworking in Arizona as anywhere else, and this strong talent, combined with the lower cost of operations and reduced competition, presents an incredible opportunity for investors. Our strong focus on entrepreneur education and team building, and commitment to being a reliable cofounder, fills a gap in the ecosystem and will provide an important bridge for promising Arizona companies seeking to reach new heights.  We are excited to being operations and demonstrate the value of our model here.”

homes

Experts see a stronger year in Phoenix housing market

The spring weather isn’t the only thing that’s favorable in Arizona.

“The biggest overall trend we see in residential real estate is the market trending upward from relief to optimism,” says Matt Widdows, founder of HomeSmart International. “We are continuing to see an uptake in the market across the board. Housing prices are on the rise and so is the rental market.  We are seeing very early signs of multiple offers, which could possibly be an indication of the return of a seller’s market.”

According to the latest monthly report from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, all signs point to the Phoenix area housing market having having better results in 2015, compared with 2014. Here are the highlights of that report on Maricopa and Pinal counties for January:

The median single-family-home sales price went up 5.6 percent from January 2014 to January 2015 — $197,000 to $208,000.

• The average price per square foot gained 5.1 percent from January 2014 to January 2015.

• Condos and townhomes continue to gain a larger share of the market. Their median price up 11.6 percent – from $121,000 to $135,000

February figures show demand about to boom, with the number of homes under contract dramatically rising.

“January is always a quiet month, but we believe this was a lull before the storm,” explains Mike Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W. P. Carey School. “We have already seen early signs of much stronger activity from buyers in February and March. Looking at the number of homes going under contract, there was significantly increased demand in the lower and middle price ranges.”

According to the Fannie Mae February 2015 Housing Survey, consumer optimism toward the housing market and the economy has reached a new all-time survey high. Forty-seven percent of respondents said they believe the economy is headed in the right direction. Likewise, the share of respondents who believe it would be easy to get a mortgage today rose to 54 percent, another record survey high.

“Population growth is on the rise and home values, after a few years of steady growth, are now providing homeowners with more flexible equity positions,” according to Doug Reynolds, vice president, loan officer and division manager at Washington Federal Bank. “These improvements, along with long-term rates staying low and financing remaining readily available, should continue to be positive drivers of new construction and increased values.”

Orr notes that listings for non-distressed homes under contract in the Phoenix area were up 26 percent from last year on a typical day in February. Listings from $150,000 to $600,000 were up more than 30 percent. He attributes this largely to lenders starting to relax their tight loan-underwriting guidelines and “boomerang buyers” who went through foreclosure or short sale being able to come back into the market.

“I’m noticing a lot more showings at all of my listings, which is a sign of activity in the market,” says Mike D’Elena, a Realtor with HomeSmart and co-owner of Northgate Group. “Most of the buyers out looking right now are new buyers just beginning their search. I’m also working with a lot of move-up buyers — these are people who have recognized that rates are trending upwards and want to take advantage of current low rates and get a bigger home.”

Experts says supply is an issue when it comes to all types of homes, including affordably priced rentals, which Orr says are at the lowest level he has seen in 14 years. But Tom Davis, vice president at Pioneer Title Agency, says in some areas, pending listings are up as much as 33 percent and this appears to be the trend throughout the Valley. Davis is quick to add that we are still in somewhat of a sellers’ market, with only about a six week inventory of homes on the MLS.

“Supply remains relatively low except at the high end of the market,” Orr says. “At the moment, we are seeing early signs that demand is likely to recover quite a bit faster than supply. It would only take a modest increase in first-time home buyer demand to overwhelm the current weak level of supply, making it tougher to find affordable homes for sale.”

Orr says home builders aren’t enjoying 2015 much yet. In January, newly built single-family homes hit their lowest monthly sales total in three years. However, most experts expect that trend to reverse, too.

“Traffic is running about the same as it has been, but sales are substantially up,” says Dennis Webb, vice president of operations for Fulton Homes. “We are seeing more buyers that have experienced a short sale or foreclosure and now want to move into a new home again. We are also seeing people who have a home to sell being able to move up because the value of their existing home has increased.”

satellite

Arizona’s aerospace industry may turn to space tourism

Arizona’s missile and space vehicle industry has faced massive cuts to its government contracts over the last four years, forcing some companies to explore other revenue sources.

Experts said the industry may turn to space tourism and commercial space programs to fill that gap.

The state has several advantages to expand in this market: good weather, a strong infrastructure and legislative support.

One Tucson-based company plans to start taking passengers to the outermost edge of earth’s atmosphere in high-altitude balloons by next year. Another recently won a contract to develop humidity control systems for commercial spacecraft.

“Government funding is on the decline, but space tourism is set to launch,” according to a 2014 industry report by IBISWorld, a Australian-based research company.

Arizona has 1,200 companies operating in the aerospace field, making the state America’s third-largest supply chain contributor for aerospace and defense, according to a 2012 study by the consulting firm Deloitte, which looked at the emerging industry trends.

These aerospace companies significantly impact Arizona’s overall economy, contributing $15 billion annually to the state’s gross domestic product, according to the Arizona Chamber of Commerce.

The industry is “very important to the overall economy of the state,” said Dennis Hoffman, an economics professor at the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. “(But) its growth is dependent on its ability to diversify away from the historical way business has been done.”

Industry depends on military dollars

The military accounts for 63 percent of the missile and space vehicle industry revenue nationwide, according IBISWorld.

In 2011, federal funding for defense began to decline. Experts estimated funding has dropped 3 percent annually from 2009 to 2014. The federal government contributed $620.6 billion in 2014 to the missile and space vehicle industry, according to IBISWord.

Reduced combat operations in the Middle East and the federal sequester – automatic across-the-board budget cuts – caused the decline, according to experts.

In 2012, the state’s space and defense industry received $14 billion in federal contracts, and 91 percent came from the Department of Defense alone, according to the Arizona Chamber of Commerce.

With the decrease of federal funds, Arizona has billions of fewer dollars entering the economy, said Steven Zylstra, president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council and a 20-year veteran in the aerospace and defense industry.

With the industry’s top customer spending less, industry stakeholders need to explore broadening their horizons to accommodate more than just the military, Hoffman said.

Tucson’s aerospace cluster

Tucson ranks fourth in the nation for the total percentage of manufacturing workforce dedicated to high-tech work, with more than 51 percent related to aerospace and defense, according to the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, which cited a 2012 report by Brookings Metropolitan Policy.

Metro Tucson is No.1 in the nation for the most employees active in a missiles and space vehicles trade cluster, according to the Economic and Business Research Center in the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona. Clusters are geographically concentrated groups of connected companies, universities and related institutions.

But the industry has faced challenges. Direct aerospace manufacturing employment in Tucson saw a decline of about 4 percent from 2013 to 2014, said George Hammond, the director of the research center.

Tucson has been updating local infrastructure to accommodate the needs of the industry.

“Tucson is looking at ways to attract and gain firms in this cluster,” Hammond said.

In 2015, Pima County released a new economic development plan proposing a $600 million parkway-freeway combination, which would link Interstate 19 and Interstate 10. The road would cut through an area just south of The Raytheon Co., a major American defense contractor and missile systems facility in Tucson, Hammond said.

Officials said the plan may help prevent and slow some of the loss in employment by making it easier and cheaper for the suppliers and companies to do business in the area, Hammond said.

But the companies may need to change, too.

To remain competitive in the space industry, the government has encouraged increased competition in the commercial sector, IBISWorld reported.

The budget of NASA, the organization in charge of the U.S. space program and a major buyer of spacecraft and related equipment, has declined every year since fiscal 2011.

Still, IBISWorld predicted missile and space vehicle industry revenue will increase from 2014 to 2019, but only about 1 percent annually.

IBISWorld said companies should focus on several areas: developing contracts for commercial space flights, meeting the growing demand for communication satellites, increasing exports to allies, adding new missile and space development programs and advancing into space tourism.

Zylstra said Arizona officials have recognized the opportunities: “We pushed legislation to make it more appealing to do work here in Arizona.”

In 2014, Arizona passed legislation that opened the door for commercial spaceflight in the state. HB 2163 allows companies to obtain waivers of liability for passengers on commercial spaceflights, in compliance with federal standards. The bill defines the potential risks of spaceflight to passengers and sets the terms and conditions of a waiver.

“Thanks to this bill, space tourism is able to find a home in Arizona,” Katelyn Mixer, a spokeswoman for World View Inc., said in an email.

World View provides commercial services for educational and research flights. But the company plans on entering the space tourism game in 2016.

The company has high-altitude balloons that can reach 100,000 feet in 90 minutes, with a total flight time of four hours.

The company will allow customers to take a space flight for $75,000 per person, compared to Richard Branson’s $250,000 Virgin Galactic’s space flight.

World View is taking reservations for manned flights and private tours.

People are investing time and money into space tourism to position themselves as leaders in “an industry destined to be the largest, most prestigious and profitable industry ‘off’ world,” said John Spencer, founder of the Space Tourism Society, a California-based organization that works to make space tourism readily available faster.

Experts predict that companies that meet the new demands of commercial space will find success and survive government budget cuts.

Major industry players don’t feel as much impact

Raytheon Missile Systems is largest private employer in southern Arizona.

The loss of government funds has caused problems for Raytheon, whose missile systems division is based in Tucson. IBISWorld estimated steep revenue declines for the company. In 2014, Raytheon’s space vehicle and missile manufacturing operations revenue was $6 billion, down $705 million from 2010, according to the research group’s estimates.

However, Raytheon officials said the global company does not feel the cuts like other aerospace companies because it manufactures weapons, not platforms, spokesman John Patterson said. He added that the government will continue to manufacture weapons.

Raytheon has a 26 percent national market share for guided missiles, making it one of the Top Four companies nationally active in this industry, according to IBISWorld.

But even Raytheon, which “does not do too much from a commercial standpoint,” Patterson said, sees its future in space operations.

Raytheon recently completed a 9,600 square foot, $9.2 million expansion of its Space Systems Operations factory at its Tucson International Airport plant complex. The “space factory” was created to boost the company’s ability to create rocket-propelled “kill vehicles” that hunt and destroy ballistic missiles in space.

Michael Shafer, director of the ASU Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy and John Bentz, president of developer PAG-CDG.

ASU and Westward Ho launch innovative partnership

Residents who live in a landmark downtown Phoenix affordable housing high-rise will benefit from a new state-of-the-art clinic being built by Arizona State University (ASU) through its Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy. The facility will also serve as a valuable training ground for students working under faculty supervision.

 The new facility was made possible by a lease recently approved by the US Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) between ASU and PAG-CDG (Westward Ho developers and property managers). John Bentz, president of PAG said, “This is a rare project for HUD due to the lease and the related programming in the facility.  We are proud that it is happening right here in downtown Phoenix.”

The College of Public Service and Community Solutions is leasing 15,000 square feet of space on the first floor of the Westward Ho building but this is not the beginning of the relationship. ASU nursing students currently provides residents with health services such as blood pressure checks, nutritional help, and disease prevention programs. The expanded facility will also give residents access to counseling, referral services, community assistance as well as educational and cultural enrichment opportunities. The clinic will provide hands-on experience and professional development training for students majoring in social work, nutrition, therapeutic recreation, and nursing.

“We could not be more excited about this unique opportunity to put the design imperatives of Arizona State University and our College into practice.  An integral part of our mission is to fuse research, service and learning. This innovative partnership does exactly that;  And the Westward Ho initiative exemplifies our dedication to developing collaborative solutions in our community,” said Jonathan Koppell, dean of the College of Public Service and Community Solutions.

“Establishing an ASU presence within this historic landmark of our community is the embodiment of our university’s commitment to community embeddeness”, said Dr. Michael S. Shafer, professor of Social Work and director of the ASU Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy in the College of Public Service and Community Solutions. 

The 16-story Westward Ho is a historically significant building. It opened as a hotel in 1928 with 600 elegant rooms. With the exception of one building in Long Beach, California, the hotel was the tallest reinforced concrete structure west of the Mississippi. Its famous Thunderbird Room was added in 1951. The 1,000-seat dinner theater was the site for many grand Phoenix society receptions. In 1979, the 600-room hotel was converted to affordable housing. Today, Westward Ho is a 289 unit ‘elderly preference’ affordable housing development within ¼ mile from a light rail station and close to downtown amenities.

 

“We are happy to have Arizona State University here providing health and social services, “ said Mildred Webb, an 84-year-old resident at Westward Ho. “They have helped me and others many times and now my life is better. I am very happy they are expanding.”

 

“It is great to have companies such as PAG-CDG investing in the community as they have done for over twenty years,” said Councilman Michael Nowakowski, District 7. “Top that with ASU’s Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy running some of the most innovative social programs in the country, and we have a great one-of-a-kind neighborhood asset.” said Councilman Nowakowski.

 

In addition to renovating office space for the faculty, staff, and students that work at the Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy, Westward Ho plans to repair and upgrade various building components including central plant mechanical and plumbing system repairs and replacement of select in-unit features.

 

“The lease represents the culmination of years of discussions with ASU and will be a true community asset, not only to the residents of Westward Ho, but also the general public,” said John Bentz of PAG-CDG.  “Having ASU expand North of Fillmore Street for the first time will help activate this area of Central Avenue and improve its walkablilty. This is a great example of a public-private initiative between multiple organizations coming together to create a unique and special community asset.”

The clinic is scheduled to open in the third quarter of 2015.

3EngineeringReshoot_resized-1013x672

Dan Mann launches 3engineering

In just over one year, young civil engineer, Dan Mann, PE, started a new multi-disciplined firm, takes office space in the Camelback Corridor and gains multiple clients in his area of specialization.

Mann, who has been practicing civil engineering in Phoenix for more than 13 years, believes the success he has experienced in this short period of time has everything to do with working with clients ready for something uncommon to the civil engineering industry—personality and fun.

“Engineers are not on the top of everyone’s ‘exciting people to talk to’ list.  At 3 engineering, I try to make the process more enjoyable. I like truly engaging with clients and surprise them with the fact that not only can an engineer hold a normal conversation, they can do it while not staring at their shoes.”

Prior to starting the firm, located at 29th street and Camelback Road, Mann worked with local and national civil engineering firms, as well as worked alongside a general contractor to gain the insight from multiple perspectives. As a graduate of Arizona State University with a degree in civil engineering, Mann quickly grew his career over the last 13 years while specializing in retail, quick service restaurant, institutional, hospitality, and multi-family market sectors.

“As I reflect on my first year since the start of my new venture, I can sincerely say that every day I am excited to come to work and create new opportunities to grow my business and build on the great relationships I have,” Mann said.

Mann expressed that gaining clients through referrals of current clients is one of the most rewarding part of the hard work he dedicates to growing the firm and delivering exceptional service to clients. “It gives me a lot of pride when existing clients are happy with our service, attitude, and outcome of projects and knowing new clients have been referred to us based on our performance.”

Karen Anderson, a researcher at the Biodesign Institute, started out with about 10,000 possible biomarkers for ovarian cancer.

ASU researchers find potential clues to ovarian cancer

Arizona State University researchers said they have identified three promising biological signals that could help detect ovarian cancer before patients display any symptoms.

Researchers from the Biodesign Institute said identifying the biomarkers – a type of blood-born signal – is another step toward early detection.

ASU’s new study is the first use of high density microarray technology that uses a sample of the patient’s blood to identify biomarkers for ovarian cancer, researchers said.

Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer-related deaths for women, according to the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance.

Doctors generally don’t diagnose the cancer until it’s in the advanced stages, and only 15 percent of ovarian cancer patients are diagnosed early, according to the alliance.

In the U.S., ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynecological cancer “with over 15,000 deaths per year,” said Dr. Kristina Butler, a gynecological oncology specialist at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale.

“Ovarian cancer is often detected late in its course, and by the time it is detected, it is too late to really have a big impact,” said Dr. Josh LaBaer, director of ASU’s Biodesign Center for Personalized Diagnostics.

Researchers said the biomarkers can combat that late detection.

Biomarkers are autoantibodies, a type of protein produced by the immune system. These autoantibodies don’t cause the disease. Rather, they act as an early warning system that abnormal proteins produced by cancer are present in the body.

Physicians already use biomarkers to diagnose other diseases. For example, cholesterol tests are biomarkers for heart disease, and blood pressure can indicate hypertension.

The institute, which focuses its research on finding natural solutions to address global challenges in health care, also is researching biomarkers in other cancers, including breast cancer.

Karen Anderson, a researcher at the institute, and LaBaer started out with about 10,000 possible biomarkers for ovarian cancer and after about 10 years of research, they narrowed it down to about a dozen biomarkers.

The institute used the microarray technology to identify three of these autoantibodies as promising biomarker candidates in the new study.

“Now it is time to come up with more serious validation studies to figure out how to put them together in a panel to get a better test,” LaBear said.

Some of the biomarkers discovered by ASU are in the clinical studies phase, and researchers must validate and vet the findings in national studies, Anderson said.

The current tests used for screening for other types of cancer ¬– like mammograms or colonoscopy – are great tools, but they are expensive.

“If we use that as a benchmark for what these tests usually cost,” blood tests can be more cost effective, Anderson said.

Diagnostic tests similar to what the researchers are trying to develop are relatively inexpensive, Anderson said. The molecular test for colon cancer only runs in the several hundred-dollar range.

i-Vf49XG3-L

Valley Leadership announces 2015 CEO Advisory Circle

Valley Leadership, the region’s premier leadership organization, announced its 2015 CEO Advisory Circle membership.  The CEO Advisory Circle will help Valley Leadership hone its focus on meeting future leadership needs in a fast-paced, ever-changing landscape.

The nine 2015 CEO Circle leaders were selected from diverse industries for their expert perspective on leadership, and for their long-standing commitment to and understanding of the Valley.

“The CEO Circle goes beyond a traditional advisory board format,” said Don Henninger, CEO Advisory Circle facilitator, “These leaders are not only committed to the success of Valley Leadership, they are dedicated to leading the way in fostering and promoting strong leadership for our region’s future.”

Leaders will meet quarterly to discuss Valley Leadership’s programming and goals, and offer advice on how to meet the needs associated with changes in leadership.

“The opportunity to tap this level of experience and diverse perspective is important as Valley Leadership continues to lead the way in leadership development programming,” says Brad Vynalek, partner at Quarles & Brady LLP, Valley Leadership board director and alum. “Their advice will be invaluable to Valley Leadership and the greater community.”

Vynalek and Katie Campana, fellow directors and alumni, worked with Don Henninger to create the Circle on behalf of the Valley Leadership Board. 

“Valley Leadership is looking forward to receiving high-level advice from the members, which will be applied to the strategic work of the board,” said Campana, community affairs and community development officer for Wells Fargo.  “This is a key leadership project important to the future of the Valley.”

2015 Valley Leadership CEO Advisory Circle

Hon. Rebecca Berch, Arizona Supreme Court

Supervisor Steve Chucri, Arizona Restaurant Association

Dr. Michael Crow, Arizona State University

Derrick Hall, Arizona Diamondbacks

Sharon Harper, Plaza Companies

Edmundo Hidalgo, Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc.

Eileen Klein, Arizona Board of Regents

Paul Luna, Helios Education Foundation

Ed Zuercher, City of Phoenix

Don Henninger, CEO Advisory Circle Facilitator