Tag Archives: arizona state university

Phoenix-Area Housing Market

Phoenix-area Housing Supply Increasing

Over the past two years, the tight supply of homes for sale in the Phoenix area has helped to dramatically drive up prices. However, a new report from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University shows change on the horizon. The data for Maricopa and Pinal counties, as of August, reveals:

* The median single-family-home price is up 28 percent from last August, to $192,000.
* However, supply is finally starting to increase to help meet demand, and may be in balance by the end of the year.
* The luxury market is powering back, but might be derailed if the economy is pounded by the government shutdown and other events in Washington, D.C.

Phoenix-area home prices have shot up since hitting a low point in September 2011. From last August to this August, the median single-family-home price rose 28 percent – from $150,000 to $192,000. Realtors will note the average price per square foot went up 22 percent. The median townhouse/condo price rose 31 percent.

“We predicted the price-increase slowdown that happened over the summer months,” says the report’s author, Mike Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “Now that temperatures are cooling, prices will start rising again, at least for the near term. However, they’re likely to go up at a less furious pace than the last two years.”

Orr says increases in the amount of homes for sale are helping to stop the price boom. As of Sept. 1 this year, the area had 29 percent more active listings (not under contract) than at the same time last year. As supply has been going up, demand has gone down, with sales of single-family homes 12 percent lower this August than last August.

“Although demand still exceeds supply, they are fast moving toward each other,” says Orr. “If the current pace of change continues, they are likely to be in balance before the end of the year. The seller is no longer holding all the cards in the Greater Phoenix housing market, and if their offers are countered aggressively, some potential buyers may walk away because they now have more alternatives.”

The types of transactions happening in the market are also noticeably shifting. Luxury homes over $500,000 grew their market share from 15 to 21 percent of the money being spent over the past year, while the lowest-priced homes (below $150,000) fell from 25 to 14 percent of the market.

“Access to finance at the high end of the market is very good, and we are seeing interest rates for jumbo loans even lower than the rates for conventional loans,” Orr explains. “However, if the stock market is negatively affected by events in Washington, then this will have an impact on the luxury housing market in Arizona.”

Investors continue to lose interest in the Phoenix market, with better bargains available in other parts of the country. The percentage of residential properties purchased by investors fell from the peak activity of 39.7 percent in July 2012 down to just 23.7 percent this August. The rates of all-cash buyers and out-of-state buyers are also dropping. In fact, the percentage of Maricopa County residences sold to non-Arizona owners in August was only 17 percent, the lowest percentage since January 2009.

Prices in all areas of Maricopa County are up over last year, and cheap foreclosures are tough to find. Foreclosure starts – owners receiving notice their lenders may foreclose in 90 days – declined 61 percent from last August to this August. Completed foreclosures went down an incredible 73 percent.

Orr’s full report, including statistics, charts and a breakdown by different areas of the Valley, can be viewed and downloaded at www.wpcarey.asu.edu/realtyreports. A podcast with more analysis from Orr is also available from knowWPCarey, the business school’s online resource and newsletter, at http://knowwpcarey.com/index.cfm?cid=13.

Test

Andy Landeen joins Ryley Carlock

Ryley Carlock & Applewhite added attorney Andrea (Andy) Landeen to the firm’s Creditors’ Rights and Bankruptcy, Lending and Commercial Litigation practice groups, where she will continue her practice of representing lenders and other creditors in pre- and post-judgment litigation.

“We’re very excited about what Andy brings to the firm as well as our creditors’ rights and bankruptcy team,” said Scott Jenkins, Jr. who leads the firm’s lending, creditor’s rights and bankruptcy group.  “With Andy’s diverse experience, she will help us better serve our expanding client base.”

Prior to joining the firm, Andy also represented debtors in litigation in involving commercial real estate transactions arising from judicial and non-judicial foreclosures, as well as representing sub-contractors and materialmen in construction defect and/or mechanics’ lien dispute in both state and federal courts, and the Arizona Registrar of Contractors.

“I am so excited to join Ryley Carlock & Applewhite not only because of the culture of professionalism, teamwork and commitment to excellence for which the firm is known, but also because of the balanced approach and high regard this firm has towards its attorneys as well as its clients.  I look forward to working with my team and growing with the firm.”

Landeen attained her law degree, cum laude from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University and her undergraduate summa cum laude from Smith College.

WPCarey-School-Sign

W. P. Carey School Honors Top Business Leaders

Three top business leaders will be honored for their innovation and achievements, when they are inducted into the W. P. Carey School of Business Homecoming Hall of Fame this month. They include the head of a famed jewelry company, a high-profile business founder from China, and a corporate leader at one of Arizona’s biggest companies.

On Oct. 17, they will join previous Arizona State University alumni inductees from such diverse organizations as the American Red Cross, Motorola, the U.S. Air Force, Wells Fargo Bank, XM Satellite Radio and the Arizona Diamondbacks.

“These stellar inductees represent strength, leadership and accomplishment in the business world,” says W. P. Carey School of Business Dean Amy Hillman. “They demonstrate how far our students can go and have gone in making their mark on the global economy.”

The 36th annual W. P. Carey School honorees are:

> Eddie LeVian, chief executive officer of the Le Vian Corporation, who has made Chocolate Diamonds® a red-carpet staple in Hollywood. LeVian earned a business degree from the W. P. Carey School in 1979 and took his innovative marketing ideas back to his family’s fine jewelry business in New York. The company’s sales have more than quadrupled over the past decade, and the LeVian family is active with many charities, raising $75 million in the past decade alone.

> Canglong Liu, a high-profile business leader in China, who founded one fertilizer factory in 1979, which grew into a conglomerate of major companies, including the Sichuan Hongda Group, now with 30,000 employees and 60 subsidiaries around the world. Liu is chairman of businesses that focus on finance, minerals and real estate. He is also a member of the national committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and the standing committee of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce. The Hongda Group has given $8 million to AIDS prevention and research in China. Liu received his MBA from the W. P. Carey School’s prestigious executive MBA program in Shanghai in 2007.

> MaryAnn Miller, chief human resources officer and executive leader of corporate communications for Avnet, a Phoenix-based Fortune 500 company with more than 18,000 employees and customers in 80 countries. Avnet is one of the largest distributors of electronic components, computer products and embedded technology in the world. Miller has more than 30 years of experience in human resources and operations management, and is responsible for leading the company’s human resources, organizational development and corporate communications worldwide. She is also a member of the Avnet Executive Board. She received her MBA from the W. P. Carey School’s executive MBA program in 2001.

About 200 alumni, business leaders and students are expected to attend the Homecoming Hall of Fame event on Thursday, Oct. 17 at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix. A reception starts at 5:30 p.m., followed by the awards ceremony.

Space is limited. For more information on tickets or sponsorship, go to www.wpcarey.asu.edu/homecoming or call (480) 965-2597.

Manufacturing Companies

GPEC, ASU earn Department of Commerce Grant

The Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) and Arizona State University (ASU) this week were awarded a $170,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce. The initiative, called the “Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership” (IMCP) seeks to accelerate manufacturing sectors and job creation in cities across the country.

The funds will be used to develop a plan to implement an Innovation and Commercialization Center for Advanced Manufacturing (ICCAM) in Greater Phoenix that advances the region’s manufacturing sector and improves its competitiveness for domestic and foreign investments, advances research commercialization and prepares workers for advanced manufacturing jobs. The ICCAM will focus on new growth opportunities, like advanced sensor and control technologies, and applications that leverage historic regional strengths like aerospace, semiconductor, electronics, precision and control technologies.

“This grant is crucial to the ICCAM’s success as we seek to support and grow high-tech manufacturing technologies and their respective supply chains by providing access to applied research, product development and design services, as well as access to global markets,” GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome said. “Creating a strategic plan to develop these technologies is important for retaining, upgrading and growing the region’s key industry clusters.”

“This award is further recognition of the significant opportunities for growth in the manufacturing sector in our region and our state” said Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan, Senior Vice President for ASU’s Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development. “ASU is committed to ensuring the continued expansion of manufacturing in Arizona and has implemented several programs and initiatives, with community partners and organizations such as GPEC, which will encourage startup and established manufacturing, ensure students become more involved in manufacturing and spur the overall growth of this sector as a driver of Arizona’s economy.”

Together, GPEC and ASU will assemble a project team to implement the project in two phases over a one-year period. Phase I will focus on finalizing the ICCAM’s technical parameters, refining its programs and services and developing performance metrics. Phase II will center on developing implementation strategies, identifying investment sources, building coalitions and finalizing a full implementation plan through the program’s launch.

Pending support from Congress, the ICCAM project will be eligible to compete for future large scale IMCP grants that are 50 to 100 times the size of the implementation strategy grants. This would allow the region to execute on its proposed strategy for advancing manufacturing in Phoenix and beyond.

privacy

How Personal Employment Information Is Shared And Sold

In today’s competitive business world, employers constantly are seeking ways to increase efficiency and reduce cost.  One obvious option in this effort is outsourcing, and employers certainly should be free to delegate functions to third-party vendors when it makes sense to do so.  But what are the implications when outsourcing requires an employer to share with a vendor private information about the employer’s workforce?

For attorneys who counsel either businesses or individuals, it’s important to know what rules and limitations apply to the increasingly popular trend of outsourcing employee verification services.  The issues associated with this trend are far-reaching and beg the question:  How can we better regulate and improve this beneficial type of outsourcing, for employers and employees alike?

The key to answering these questions begins with an understanding of the dual role credit reporting agencies play as database sponsors in the employee verification industry.  For example, in addition to compiling consumer credit scores, credit reporting giant Equifax also is in the business of compiling other information that is equally personal; namely, confidential details about workers’ current and former employment.  In fact, Equifax might even be selling information as personal as your compensation level, the name of your healthcare provider, whether you’ve ever filed for unemployment benefits, and your paystub history.

What is “The Work Number”

The Work Number, a subsidiary of Equifax, provides various financial and employment verification services.  The Work Number uses its ever-expanding database to confirm employment and income information for commercial verifiers, social service verifiers, and potential future employers.  The Work Number’s database currently contains the employment and salary records of over one-third of U.S. adults, and it includes detailed employee information about weekly paystubs, healthcare providers, medical and dental insurance, and unemployment compensation claims.

The Work Number built its database with the cooperation of thousands of U.S. businesses.  The Work Number markets itself to these willing participants as a means for busy human resource departments to outsource the time consuming task of verifying a range of information on former and current employees.  This service is so attractive that participating businesses actually pay for the ability to send The Work Number all employee information typically needed in the verification process.  The Work Number fields verification inquiries on the employer’s behalf, freeing up employer staff time for other tasks.

While providing employers with a valuable service, The Work Number simultaneously funnels this information it receives from its clients to its parent company, Equifax.  In turn, Equifax sells the information to third parties such as debt collectors, student loan issuers, and financial institutions.

Although Equifax’s sharing of the personal information garnered by The Work Number under in its role as a verification service provider is indisputable, the extent of such sharing is in question.  In an interview with NBC News, Equifax spokesman Timothy Klein denied that salary information is sold to debt collectors.[i]  Klein’s statement is in conflict, however, with Equifax CEO Richard Smith’s 2009 NYSE Magazine interview, in which he stated “[W]e can provide information about a debtor’s location, income, and employment.  That can help prioritize which accounts to pursue first.”[ii]

Because employer use of The Work Number has become so prevalent, the District of Columbia has issued new guidelines for low-income housing compliance, which include a provision governing the treatment of applicants whose employment and earnings can be verified only via The Work Number.[iii]  Likewise, the current Code of Mississippi Rules actually includes The Work Number’s email address, phone number, and website address in a statutory provision that instructs applicants for State-funded childcare on how to provide income and employment verification.[iv]  Considering The Work Number’s fast-paced growth and the privacy concerns it poses for consumers, it makes sense to consider what safeguards, if any, are in place to protect us.

Fair Credit Reporting Act

The most obvious consumer protection tool implicated by Equifax’s practices is The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).  The FCRA regulates instances in which “consumer reports” or “investigative consumer reports” are requested from a “consumer reporting agency.”[v]  For purposes of the FCRA, a “consumer reporting agency” includes any entity that regularly assembles credit or other information about consumers and furnishes that information to third parties via any means of interstate commerce.[vi]  Thus, Equifax and The Work Number are considered consumer reporting agencies for purposes of the FCRA.  “Consumer reports” include any communication of a consumer’s personal characteristics which will serve as a factor establishing the consumer’s eligibility for credit or insurance or for employment purposes.[vii]  By contrast, “investigative consumer reports” include reports regarding the consumer’s personal characteristics gathered during personal interviews, but do not include specific factual information about the consumer’s credit record.[viii]  Due to the more personal nature of information contained in an investigative consumer report, stricter guidelines are in place regarding disclosure of investigative consumer reports compared to ordinary consumer reports.  To the extent Equifax and The Work Number provide third parties with consumers’ personal and financial information, Equifax and The Work Number furnish consumer reports.

There are three types of recipients of the information provided by Equifax and The Work Number: prospective employers, financial institutions and creditors, and third party purchasers.  The FCRA applies differently to each recipient type.

Prospective Employers

The Work Number markets itself as a means for prospective employers to verify employment information of job applicants.  Thus, as its core business, The Work Number provides sensitive information to prospective employers.  Because the FCRA applies whenever employers request consumer reports from a consumer reporting agency like The Work Number, the FCRA is implicated by The Work Number’s information transfers to prospective employers.

The FCRA addresses issues such as what types of employers can obtain consumer reports, how they must obtain the report, what they must do before taking adverse action in response to the report, and what they must do after taking adverse action.[ix]  The Work Number contends that FCRA guidelines are met when it provides prospective employers with employment information.  Such guidelines include providing job applicants with written notice that information obtained from a consumer report may be used when making decisions concerning their employment.[x]  This notice must appear in a document containing only this disclosure.[xi]  Additionally, the consumer must provide written authorization of the procurement of the report.[xii]  To the extent The Work Number provides employment verification to prospective employers and meets these guidelines, it is within its rights to do so.  What the FCRA fails to address, however, is how other information in The Work Number’s database, such as salary and insurance information, is used for non-employment purposes.

Financial Institutions and Creditors

In addition to providing potential employers with consumers’ employment information, The Work Number also concedes to providing creditors and financial institutions with employment information from its database.  In an interview with NBC News, Equifax spokesman Timothy Klein admitted that pay rate information is shared with third parties.[xiii]  These third parties typically include mortgage, auto, and financial services credit grantors.  Klein said The Work Number provides such information to financial institutions and credit grantors in compliance with the FCRA, but denied that salary information is sold to debt collectors.[xiv]  The Work Number asserts that consumers give such third parties the right to access this information at the time the consumer applies for credit.

Section 1681 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act states that generally, a consumer reporting agency, like Equifax or The Work Number, may only furnish a consumer report to such third parties when the consumer reporting agency has reason to believe the third party “intends to use the information in connection with a credit transaction involving the consumer … and involving the extension of credit to, or review or collection of an account of, the consumer.”[xv]  Even assuming Klein’s assertion is true that consumers grant these third parties access to such information, other provisions in the FCRA raise the question of whether this authorization is sufficient.  Subsection (c)(1)(A) of the FCRA requires that “the consumer authorize[e] the agency to provide such report to such person.”[xvi]  This language suggests that a much more personalized authorization transaction may be required than Klein alluded to in his statement.  Namely, it appears that the consumer must furnish the specific consumer reporting agency in question with authorization to provide the report to the specific financial institution or creditor requesting the report.  Interestingly, although in certain circumstances a consumer may authorize all reporting agencies to give all creditors this information by executing a general waiver at the time he or she applies for credit, another subsection of the FCRA indicates the consumer may have an additional line of defense.  Pursuant to subsection (c)(1)(B)(iii), a consumer may elect to have his name and address excluded from lists provided by consumer reporting agencies in connection with credit transactions not initiated by the consumer.[xvii]

Unfortunately, the rules delineating when reporting agencies like Equifax and The Work Number can give creditors and financial institutions other information from The Work Number’s database are unclear.  It is not clear when, how, and with regard to whom the consumer must provide authorization for a reporting agency to share this information.  However, given that consumers must be clearly notified in writing and provide authorization prior to issuance of a consumer report when such report will be used for employment purposes, a strong argument can be made that this same proactive and consumer oriented approach should apply to all sections of the FCRA.

Equifax Information Sold to Third Parties

In addition to providing information to prospective employers, financial institutions, and creditors, Equifax also sells some of this information to interested third parties.  For example, Equifax heavily markets The Work Number’s services to student loan issurers.  Thanks to The Work Number’s information, student loan issuers have seen a 5.5% increase in Right Party Contact and a 7.3% increase in Collections Resolution.[xviii]  Additionally, Equifax provides information from The Work Number to financial firms.  In these transactions, the information is packaged as a “portfolio monitoring” service which allows financial firms to market their products to a specially selected group of consumers.  The Work Number’s information is also marketed to these firms as “proactive managing of risk.”  In this context, the firms analyze information from The Work Number for early warning signs about when someone might soon run into financial trouble.  The marketing campaign for these services touts “Using The Work Number to stay abreast of employment changes can expand your ability to mitigate risk while maximizing product and service potential.”[xix]

Strangely, the FCRA seemingly fails to address this type of information transfer at all.  While the FCRA provides guidelines for when a consumer reporting agency may furnish a consumer report, how and when a consumer report may be furnished for employment purposes, how and when a consumer report may be furnished in connection with credit or insurance transactions, and what added protections are afforded medical information, there is a lack of guidance regarding the sale of such information.  Nowhere does the FCRA expressly prohibit the sale of consumer information to third parties with a business interest in the information.  This is further complicated by the fact that Equifax owns The Work Number.  As a credit bureau, Equifax proceeds under the comparatively lax rules governing credit reporting agencies, which are distinct from those governing data brokers.  Thus, by virtue of Equifax’s affiliation with The Work Number, it can behave as a credit bureau, selling credit information to lenders.  The problem, however, is Equifax has access to a much greater wealth of consumer information than a credit bureau otherwise would, thanks to its affiliation with The Work Number.

The good news, however, is that the FCRA actually may address the problematic affiliation between Equifax and The Work Number.  Section 1681s-3 of the FCRA relates to affiliate sharing.[xx]  This section prohibits an entity that receives information which would be a consumer report from another entity under common ownership from using that information to make a solicitation for marketing purposes, unless the consumer is provided an opportunity to prohibit such solicitations after a clear disclosure has been made to the consumer explaining that information may be communicated amongst such entities for purposes of solicitation.[xxi]  However, even this provision of the FCRA might not be as helpful as it seems.  Although it may prohibit Equifax from using information it obtains from The Work Number to solicit business, that is only half the battle.  Equifax still could continue to sell the information it gathers by its own efforts to third parties.  The information might simply be less comprehensive.

Possible Solutions

In light of these revelations, the first question on many consumers’ minds is how to address this sharing or sale of private information, which appears to be lawful under the guidelines currently in place.

From an individual’s perspective, preventing sensitive information from ending up in The Work Number database seems like a futile proposition.  A job applicant, for example, could attempt to condition a prospective employment relationship on the employer’s agreement not to share any of the applicant’s personal or employment information.  However, given the current job market, most employees would have very little negotiating power, and most employers are unlikely to oblige, especially given the economy gained by utilizing The Work Number.  If an individual is unsuccessful in this negotiation, he or she can always turn down a job offer.  While doing so will keep the employee’s personal information safe for now, the applicant has cut off his nose to spite his face and remains unemployed.  It seems then that the only plausible way to regulate these information transfers is to address them before the consumer even gets involved.

Congress Should Revisit the Fair Credit Reporting Act

The most effective means by which to provide much-needed regulatory reform is to take legislative action.  Specifically, Congress should revisit the FCRA, taking into consideration the flaws and gaps that Equifax is exploiting.  One approach could include amending the FCRA to require a consumer’s written authorization before such information is sold.  Specifically, implementing the same comprehensive authorization guidelines currently in place regarding consumer reports used for employment purposes could serve as a model.  Under this approach, the consumer reporting agency would need to provide consumers with clear, conspicuous written notice of the possible sale of their information prior to the information being sold.  Such notice would need to be in a stand-alone document, and the consumer’s response, either authorizing the sale or not authorizing the sale, would also need to be in writing.

Another possible approach includes implementing stricter rules governing the flow of consumer reports out of credit bureaus, perhaps mirroring the already stricter guidelines governing disclosure of investigative consumer reports.  Additionally, Congress could amend the FCRA to clearly delineate exactly what information can be included in consumer reports.  Part of the current problem appears to involve the crossover between the personal and employment related information contained in The Work Number’s database with the credit information expected to be in the hands of a credit bureau, like Equifax.

John Balitis is a director and attorney with the law firm of Fennemore Craig in Phoenix where he co-chairs the firm’s Labor Relations and Employment Practice Group.  He represents businesses in all aspects of employment law. Kristin Penunuri is a student at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.  She is a legal writing intern at Fennemore Craig in Phoenix.


[i] Bob Sullivan, Your Employer May Share Your Salary, and Equifax Might Sell That Data, The Red Tape Chronicles on NBC News.com (Jan. 30, 2013, 4:44 AM), available at http://redtape.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/30/16762661-exclusive-your-employer-may-share-your-salary-and-equifax-might-sell-that-data?lite.

[ii] Id.

[iii] D.C. Mun. Regs., Title 14 § 5402 (2012).

[iv] Miss. Admin. Code, Title 18, Subtitle 7, Rule 2 § 102 (2012).

[v] Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681 (2006).

[vi] Id. at § 1681a (2006).

[vii] Id.

[viii] Id.

[ix] Bob Sullivan, Your Employer May Share Your Salary, and Equifax Might Sell That Data, The Red Tape Chronicles on NBC News.com (Jan. 30, 2013, 4:44 AM), available at http://redtape.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/30/16762661-exclusive-your-employer-may-share-your-salary-and-equifax-might-sell-that-data?lite.

[x] 15 U.S.C. § 1681b (2006).

[xi] Id.

[xii] Id.

[xiii] Sullivan, supra note 9.

[xiv] Id.

[xv] 15 U.S.C. § 1681b (2006).

[xvi] Id.

[xvii] Id.

[xviii] Bob Sullivan, Your Employer May Share Your Salary, and Equifax Might Sell That Data, The Red Tape Chronicles on NBC News.com (Jan. 30, 2013, 4:44 AM), available at http://redtape.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/30/16762661-exclusive-your-employer-may-share-your-salary-and-equifax-might-sell-that-data?lite.

[xix] Id.

[xx] 15 U.S.C. § 1681s-3 (2006).

[xxi] Id.

 

 

How To Learn More About Your Work Number

Consumers who want to know what, if any, information about them resides with The Work Number may do so by visiting The Work Number website (www.theworknumber.com) and requesting an Employment Data Report (“EDR”).  Processing this request involves logging in and completing an EDR request form that is available in .pdf format.  Alternatively, interested consumers may contact The Work Number by telephone at (866) 604-6570.

If an EDR contains information that is inaccurate or objectionable to the consumer, he or she may submit online comments via The Work Number website.  The website suggests that The Work Number will embed the comments so that they are visible to subscribers that obtain the consumer’s other information from The Work Number.

 

Michael Crow (current)

TREO Luncheon features university presidents

Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities, Inc. (TREO) will feature state university presidents, Dr. Ann Weaver Hart, of the University of Arizona and Dr. Michael M. Crow, of Arizona State University, at its 8th Annual Luncheon on Wednesday, September 25th at the Westin La Paloma Resort in Tucson.

Strong economies are defined by well-paying jobs, held by individuals possessing knowledge and skills that are in demand. Post-secondary education most often provides these skill sets. While US citizens have traditionally been among the best-educated in the world, the nation now ranks 12th in the number of 25- to 34-year olds with college degrees. Businesses often cite the difficulty of finding qualified workers as a barrier to growth. Talent is always the number one factor in site selection decisions.

What is being done in the Sun Corridor to address talent development? Join TREO for a higher education update and a frank discussion on educating the next generation for jobs of today and the future.

When: Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Where: Westin La Paloma Resort, 3800 East Sunrise Drive, Tucson, AZ
Time: 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. – Luncheon and Presentation
Registration: http://conta.cc/12e195U

 

asu

ASU welcomes record freshman class

This fall, Arizona State University welcomes a freshman class that sets new records on many levels.

Testament to the outstanding reputation of the university, 38,701 students applied for admission as first-time freshmen. At the end of today’s registration for classes, ASU will enroll 10,149 academically distinguished students, who also strive for excellence outside of the classroom, from around the globe.

Incoming Sun Devils include a concertmaster of a chamber orchestra, a global humanitarian who raised more than $250,000 for orphans in North Korea, and a member of the Running Start Young Women Political Leadership Program in Washington, D.C.

“ASU is increasingly becoming the school of choice for Arizona students, as well as for students from outside the state and other nations,” said Elizabeth D. Phillips, executive vice president and provost. “The message is carrying far and wide that Arizona State University is a place that embraces and champions excellence and opportunity for all academically qualified students. Come to us with your dreams, and your commitment to work hard, and we will help you make those dreams a reality.”

The new Sun Devil class is academically strong, with an average high school GPA of 3.4 and average SAT score of 1116. Forty-nine percent are New American University Scholars at the Dean, Provost and President Scholarship levels, the most prestigious scholarships for first-time freshmen.

Among this year’s class are 5,747 Arizona residents, 63 percent of whom will graduate in the top 25 percent of their high school class.

For Brandon Deatherage, of Phoenix, ASU was his only choice. While he is just beginning his college years, he has his eyes set on becoming a pediatric neurosurgeon.

“I chose ASU because I’m a pre-med student and I heard they teamed up with Mayo Clinic, so that’s pretty motivating,” said Deatherage.

Rayann Chee, of Cedar Creek, was considering Dartmouth College when she was there for a business program last summer. When it came down to choosing where to apply, however, she chose ASU to carry on her family’s Sun Devil tradition — her mom attended ASU, her aunt graduated from ASU and her grandmother got her doctorate degree from ASU.

A Gates Millennium Scholar, Chee is majoring in criminal justice and is a student in Barrett, The Honors College. She is one of 1,000 talented students nationwide to receive the prestigious scholarship, which covers unmet financial need through graduation and can be used at any US university. Her dream is to help reduce the rate of juvenile delinquency on her reservation.

ASU continues to honor its longstanding commitment to socioeconomic diversity and access to education, with more than 31 percent of admitted Arizona residents reporting they will be the first in their family to graduate from a four-year college and 25.6 percent coming from low-income families.

The freshmen class includes the largest number of non-resident students, 4,244, a 29 percent increase from last fall’s incoming freshmen. With non-resident students representing all 50 states and 71 different countries, the largest number, 1,314, come from California. ASU is increasingly becoming the school of choice for students from the Golden State, seeing a 13 percent increase in enrollment since last year.

Melanie Abramoff, from Agoura Hills, Calif., considered the University of Southern California, but only applied to ASU. She said she “fell in love with” the Downtown Phoenix campus after she visited.

“I wanted to be part of the Cronkite journalism and mass communication program,” said Abramoff, who aspires to work for the Food Network or Entertainment Tonight. “They have excellent teachers, and they’re hands-on and looking out for the best interests of their students.”

Collectively, this year’s freshmen make up ASU’s most diverse class to date in terms of their racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. 39.6 percent of the class is racial and ethnic minority.

More international students will call ASU and the Phoenix-area their home than ever before, with nearly 900 new freshmen hailing from outside of the United States – a 66 percent increase from last year’s class of 529 international freshmen. ASU has set the record for number of new international students each of the last five years, in part a reflection of the institution’s recognition as a top 100 university in the world by both the Center for World University Rankings and the Academic Ranking of World Universities.

ASU continues to attract vast numbers of students interested in studying in the high-demand STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields. The top 10 majors of choice for newly admitted students include biological sciences, mechanical engineering, biochemistry, computer science, biomedical engineering and health sciences. Rounding out the top 10 are business — the most popular major — psychology, and journalism and mass communication.

skysong

Construction Set To Begin on 3rd SkySong Building

Construction is set to begin on the third office building at SkySong, The ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center, continuing the momentum on one of the most successful commercial development projects in Arizona over the past few years.

With the first two office buildings at SkySong almost fully leased, work will begin on SkySong III on August 19, with a groundbreaking ceremony scheduled for late September.   The 145,000 square foot building will be located along SkySong Boulevard, just southwest of the project’s iconic shade structure.

Arizona State University will lease 1 ½ floors of the four-story building, and current SkySong tenant WebFilings will be expanding their presence in the project by taking a full floor in SkySong III.   Plaza Companies will be taking office space on the first floor.  Combined, the three anchor tenants allow construction to begin with the building already 65 percent leased.

Like the first two buildings, SkySong III will be built to meet LEED Certification standards. The architectural design not only complements the rest of the project and the overall architectural quality of the Scottsdale area, it also includes significant consideration for sustainability. DPR is the General Contractor and Butler Design is the architect for SkySong III.

Plaza Companies continues to be the master developer of the project, in partnership with the Arizona State University Foundation and the City of Scottsdale. The financing for SkySong III is being provided by Alliance Bank of Arizona, and Holualoa Companies of Tucson has partnered with Plaza Companies for this project.

Sharon Harper, President & CEO of Plaza Companies, said the start of construction is a significant milestone and an example of the positive impact created by SkySong.

“We are very pleased to continue to build the vision for SkySong as a technology and innovation hub,” Harper said. “SkySong has already had a tremendously positive impact on south Scottsdale and on Arizona’s economic development efforts as a whole. Despite the challenging economic conditions of the past few years, SkySong continued to thrive and attract economic growth.

“Now, with this new building and with the coming completion of the SkySong Apartments, the impact of SkySong on our community will become even more profound and positive.”

Don Couvillion, Vice President of Real Estate for the Arizona State University Foundation, said the growth of the SkySong project has made the vision ASU President Michael Crow had for the project back in the mid-2000s a reality.

“SkySong was built to create a unique location for companies with a focus on innovation and technology, and the project has succeeded in becoming a hub for forward-thinking entrepreneurship,” he said. “The impact that ASU SkySong has had, as part of the overall SkySong vision, on dozens of companies over the past few years has been particularly significant in creating new jobs and economic impact.”

Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane said that the impact of SkySong on southern Scottsdale has been critical in sparking new economic development in that part of the community.

“It’s just another sign of how that corridor is developing on all lines, with what’s promised, planned and underway,” he said. “SkySong has already made a significant impact in the Scottsdale and McDowell Road corridors in helping bring in new businesses and economic growth.”

The estimated construction cost of SkySong III is $32 million. The construction of SkySong III also includes a significant parking structure that will serve SkySong III and IV, as well as surface parking.

Additionally, pre-leasing continues on SkySong IV, which would be located next to SkySong III and face Scottsdale Road. SkySong IV is fully permitted and shovel-ready, and the SkySong team continues to work with prospective anchor tenants.

More than 1,000 employees and 50 companies are located on the SkySong property. Completion of SkySong III and IV and the apartments would bring the total square footage of development at SkySong to more than 900,000 square feet.

SkySong, the ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center is a home to a global business community that links technology, entrepreneurship, innovation, and education to position ASU and Greater Phoenix as global leaders of the knowledge economy.

SkySong is a 42-acre mixed use development designed to:

  • Create an ecology of collaboration and innovation among high-profile technology enterprises and related researchers;
  • Advance global business objectives of on-site enterprises;
  • Raise Arizona’s profile as a global center of innovation through co-location of ASU’s strategic global partners; and
  • Create a unique regional economic and social asset.

Companies located at SkySong enjoy a special relationship with Arizona State University, which has more than 73,000 students at four metropolitan Phoenix campuses. Its campus in Tempe is the single largest campus in the U.S., and is located less than three miles from SkySong.

In addition to locating its own innovative research units at the center, ASU provides tenants with direct access to relevant research, educational opportunities and cultural events on its campuses. Through ASU’s on-site operations, tenant companies have a single point of contract for introductions to researchers, faculty and programs to address their specific needs.

For more information on SkySong, visit www.skysongcenter.com or www.facebook.com/skysongcenter.

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Phoenix ranked Top 10 for foreign direct investment

Greater Phoenix was named one of fDi Magazine’s top 10 “American Cities of the Future” for foreign direct investment (FDI) strategy in 2013/14. Greater Phoenix ranked sixth among overall North and South American cities, and second in the United States behind Chicago.

“One of GPEC’s primary objectives has always been an international presence and strong performance in foreign direct investment. The fact that we were ranked second to Chicago – a true world leader in FDI – speaks volumes about our success and how far we’ve come in a relatively short period of time,” said Barry Broome, GPEC President and CEO. “While Chicago is one of America’s most illustrious cities, Greater Phoenix is still developing its brand, giving everyone living and doing business here an incredible opportunity to be a part of its legacy. There’s no question in my mind that being a top international city for business will be one of our marquee features.”

The rankings are part of fDi Magazine’s “Locations of the Future” series, which are designed to identify the most promising destinations around the world for future inward investment. Each world region is assessed over two years.

The Greater Phoenix region has seen particular success this year with the launch of an international toolkit and forum series targeting international business executives. Called “Doing Business in Greater Phoenix, U.S.A,” the toolkit is a compilation of how-to advice ranging from human resources issues, immigration law, investment parameters, taxes, import/export laws and banking.

In addition, GPEC also partnered with the Arizona Commerce Authority, Arizona State University, Green Card Fund and Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities, Inc. to form the China-Arizona Alliance, which seeks to establish extensive contacts within the government and Chinese business communities and to promote Arizona as a destination for Chinese investment.

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Rising Interest Rates Can’t Stop Phoenix Housing Recovery

Rising interest rates don’t appear to be stopping the big comeback in the Phoenix-area housing market. A new report from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University reveals highlights for Maricopa and Pinal counties, as of June:

* The median single-family-home price rose again to $190,000, up about 27 percent from June of last year.
* The luxury market is finally booming back, now that more banks are willing to finance jumbo loans.
* Rising interest rates have caused some people to accelerate their housing purchases, not significantly slowed things down.

Phoenix-area home prices have risen dramatically since they hit a low point in September 2011. The median price for a single-family home went up 26.7 percent – from $150,000 to $190,000 – between June 2012 and this June. Realtors will note the average price per square foot jumped 21.1 percent over the same time. The median price for condominiums/townhomes went up 38.9 percent to $125,000.

The tight supply of homes available for sale continues to drive the upward price movement in the market, with multiple bids being offered for most resale homes in the lower price ranges. However, the luxury market is also roaring back, with sales higher this summer than for any of the last six years.

“Access to finance at the high end of the market has improved recently with more lenders offering jumbo loans,” says the report’s author, Mike Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “Along with good returns from the stock market, this has strengthened a recovery in the luxury market, where sales volumes were back to 2007 levels in June.”

Overall, the Phoenix-area market had 11,178 active single-family-home listings available without an existing contract as of July 1. However, about 84 percent of those were priced above $150,000, leaving just 26 days worth of inventory for buyers at the lower end of the market.

New-home builders aren’t completing houses fast enough to make a big dent in the supply problem. While analysts expected 17,000 construction permits to be issued this year, the area is only on track to have about 12,500.

“Current new-home sales rates are less than a third of what would normally be needed to keep up with the current population growth in the area,” says Orr. “Census estimates show that between 2010 and 2012, the combined population of Maricopa and Pinal counties grew by 2.9 percent, while the number of dwelling units – both owned and leased – grew by just 1 percent. Tight lending standards and a shortage of construction labor are two reasons for this.”

The Phoenix area is also seeing less cheap, “distressed” supply coming onto the market. Completed foreclosures on homes and condos in June were down 61 percent from last June. Foreclosure starts – owners receiving notice their lenders may foreclose in 90 days – were down 64 percent. Foreclosure starts finally just dipped back below “normal” historical levels for the area this June.

Institutional investors are showing less interest in the Valley as bargains are more readily available in other areas of the country. The percentage of Maricopa County homes and condos acquired by investors, including mostly “mom and pop” investors, was down from 34.9 percent last June to 26.7 percent this June. However, the area is still seeing a lot of all-cash home purchases. In fact, 44 percent of the Maricopa County property transactions under $150,000 were all-cash deals this June.

“For those who need mortgages, there has been much talk of rising interest rates and the effect this might have on demand,” adds Orr. “Rising rates have certainly reduced the motivation to refinance existing loans, but they have also sped up purchases by some buyers who want to lock in prices and rates. Still, other buyers will stop to reconsider their options, likely causing a pause in new contract signings in July and August, but I expect normal activity to resume in October.”

Rental activity remains strong, with relatively low vacancy rates and no surge in vacancies expected. Orr says the supply of rental homes in the Phoenix area represents just about two months of inventory, and there’s fast turnover.

“President Obama referred to his objective of making it easier for middle-class renters to qualify for home loans, when he visited Phoenix on Aug. 6,” says Orr. “The low-end market will depend to a considerable extent on whether he can make this happen through the actions of the Federal Housing Administration, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”

Orr’s full report, including statistics, charts and a breakdown by different areas of the Valley, can be viewed at http://wpcarey.asu.edu/finance/real-estate/upload/Full-Report-201307.pdf. A podcast with more analysis from Orr is also available fromknowWPCarey, the business school’s online resource and newsletter, at http://knowwpcarey.com/index.cfm?cid=13.

education.business

W. P. Carey Offers New Degrees for Evolving Business World

Thousands of students are descending on the Arizona State University campus for the new school year, with move-in starting tomorrow. Those coming to the highly ranked W. P. Carey School of Business will have several brand new degree options available to them. The three degrees are designed to address the needs of a rapidly changing business world.

“We always try to evaluate what businesses and recruiters are telling us they want in the workplace,” explains W. P. Carey School of Business Dean Amy Hillman. “They say they’re looking for talented individuals to analyze the mountains of ‘big data’ now coming in from social media and other technology. They’re also looking for great hires in HR, and we’re rounding out the new offerings with a degree in sports and media studies, which should be popular with students.”

The new graduate-level program starting this fall is the Master of Science in Business Analytics. The “big data” program is a joint effort between the school’s Information Systems and Supply Chain Management departments, both ranked Top 20 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. The nine-month program was created largely for those who recently graduated from college, but who want to position themselves for faster advancement in the booming information field.

“The business-analytics program is an opportunity to jumpstart your career in using big data and computer models to solve complex business problems and really add value to your company,” says Professor Michael Goul, chair of the school’s Information Systems Department. “Only about a dozen master’s programs like this exist in the United States. It’s estimated 4.4 million data analysts will be needed worldwide by 2015, so it’s a big area of career growth.”

At the undergraduate level, the W. P. Carey School is introducing a Bachelor of Arts in Business with a human resources concentration and one with a sports and media studies concentration:

The HR degree focuses on learning how to help an organization of any size manage its personnel and make informed decisions about employees. This includes learning about staffing and employment law, as well as developing critical thinking and writing skills for effective corporate communication.
The sports and media studies degree covers fan loyalty, strategically leveraging communication channels, and increasing revenue. Classes include sports administration, sports relationship management, and sports media. The concentration courses for this degree are offered through ASU’s prestigious Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Both of the new undergraduate programs are offered at ASU’s Polytechnic campus in Mesa. That’s also where the school is offering Bachelor of Arts in Business degrees with concentrations in agribusiness, business entrepreneurship, communication, food industry management, management and technology.

The W. P. Carey School of Business is currently ranked Top 30 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report for both undergraduate and graduate business programs. For more information on the school’s programs, go to www.wpcarey.asu.edu.

Brenda Thomson

Brenda Thomson – 50 Most Influential Women in Arizona Business

Brenda ThomsonExecutive director, Arizona Humanities Council

Thomson, who joined the Arizona Humanities Council in 2010, has a background in executive management, fundraising, human resources, public speaking, community relations, and strategic planning. The Yale Law School graduate was director of The Center for Law Leadership and Management at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at ASU and was executive director of the Maricopa County Bar Association.

Surprising fact: “When I went to college I dreamed of being a composer and songwriter. To this day I play the piano, write poems and songs, and most recently have written several children’s stories.”

Biggest challenge: “Achieving my goals in a world where African-American women attorneys and leaders are not often at the helm with decision-makers, and are frequently underestimated despite decades of accomplishments.”

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

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Mayo Clinic and W. P. Carey School Team Up

Mayo Clinic is known as a nonprofit worldwide leader in medical care, research and education. Now, a select number of students from the Mayo Medical School are going through a cutting-edge program that allows them to get both their M.D. degree from Mayo Medical School and an MBA from the highly ranked W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

“This program is helping to educate some of the brightest medical minds of our future in such a way that they will be more aware of the business side of medicine, the patient experience and the costs for us, the taxpayers,” explains W. P. Carey School of Business Dean Amy Hillman.

Dr. Michele Halyard, vice dean of the Mayo Medical School – Arizona Campus, adds, “The collaboration between Mayo Medical School and the W. P. Carey School of Business brings valuable synergies to the education of both future physicians and business leaders. The dual-degree program provides Mayo Clinic physicians in training with complementary competencies in business management, payer systems and accounting practices. This, along with a superb clinical education at Mayo Medical School, will prepare them to be leaders in the complex world of medicine in the 21st century.”

ASU began a strong collaborative relationship with Mayo Clinic in 2002. This particular joint degree program was launched in 2009 and has turned into a highly desirable choice for just a handful of select students from the Mayo Medical School.

Yingying Kumar was one of the first to graduate from the joint M.D./MBA program. She was looking for a way to supplement her strong medical education with a business background to help her stand out in the job market.

“I realized that the business and leadership skills I would learn in the MBA program could help me advance to a higher position in a clinic or even run my own practice in the future,” says Kumar. “I got a better understanding of roles and how hospitals run. I also got the perspective of non-medical students from my business classmates. I think the MBA will help me keep the patients’ voice in consideration at all times.”

Students who take the dual-degree program spend two years at the Mayo Medical School. Then they spend one or two years in the W. P. Carey School’s MBA program, currently ranked Top 30 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. They return to medical school afterward to finish up their studies. The whole experience is facilitated by both schools to be virtually seamless for the Mayo students who qualify.

“I first began considering this program after volunteering in Honduras on a medical service trip and learning that the villagers we helped had little or no access to health care,” says Mayo M.D./W. P. Carey MBA student Jack Jeng. “We visited an empty rural medical clinic abandoned by its staff because it did not have a sustainable business model. That helped me realize that a successful health care organization needs more than a great medical facility, dedicated professionals and good intentions. Proper planning and smart business principles are also required to ensure patients continue to benefit from high-quality care, something I personally experienced at the Mayo Clinic.”

Jeng, who has already completed the MBA portion of the joint program, adds, “I was blown away by the opportunities and support at the W. P. Carey School of Business. They offered me valuable knowledge and experience I hope to use throughout my career. As a future physician with business understanding, I aspire not only to help people directly, but also to make meaningful contributions to improve the lives of countless patients who aren’t actually sitting in front of me.”

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Arizona Students Awarded United Health Scholarships

Six Arizona students have been awarded a scholarship from United Health Foundation’s Diverse Scholars Initiative to pursue a career in health care. The students  joined future health leaders from across the country in Washington, D.C. for the United Health Foundation’s Fifth Annual Diverse Scholars Forum.

Kaitlyn Benally of Tuba City is a sophomore at Northern Arizona University studying biomedical sciences, with the goal of educating people about the risks associated with diabetes.

“I hope to make a difference as a member of the future health workforce by working with children and their parents to help them understand the benefits of healthy living,” she said. “Diabetes is a growing health concern on the reservation. I will educate people about the risks and show them ways to improve their lifestyle to become healthier.”

Another scholarship winner, Cecilia Espinoza of El Mirage, is studying nursing at Grand Canyon University. After watching her father pass away from cancer, she decided to pursue a career as an oncology nurse.

Other Arizona scholarship recipients, and their areas of study, include:

* Regis Maloney of Tonalea, Environmental Health at Dine College
* Jeffrey Sleppy of Chinle, Biology at Dine College
* Lorenza Villegas-Murphy of Litchfield Park, Nursing at Arizona State University
* Mycolette Anderson of Lukachukai, Nursing at Dine College

United Health Foundation’s Diverse Scholars Initiative, through its partner organizations, awarded $1.2 million in scholarships in the 2012-2013 school year to 200 students from diverse, multicultural backgrounds, with nearly $2 million in scholarships announced for 2013-2014. This is part of the foundation’s ongoing commitment to build a more diverse health care workforce.

By the end of 2013, United Health Foundation will have awarded $10 million in scholarships to diverse students pursing health careers. Nearly 70 scholarships have been awarded in Arizona since 2007.

“We know patients do best when they are treated by people who understand their language and culture,” said Kate Rubin, president, United Health Foundation. “United Health Foundation is grateful for the opportunity to support these outstanding students who are demonstrating impressive purpose and passion and who will help lead the way to better health access and outcomes.”

United Health Foundation made the announcement at its fifth annual Diverse Scholars Forum, which brings more than 60scholarship recipients to Washington, D.C., July 24-26 to celebrate the scholars and inspire them to work toward strengthening the nation’s health care system. This year’s event gives these future health care professionals the opportunity to meet and interact with members of Congress and leaders from a variety of health care fields.

According to the American Medical Association and Association of American Medical Colleges, the number of multicultural health professionals is disproportionately low when compared to the overall population. For example, while about 15 percent of the U.S. population is Hispanic/Latino, only 5 percent of physicians and 4 percent of registered nurses are Hispanic/Latino. About 12 percent of the population is African American, yet only 6 percent of physicians and 5 percent of registered nurses are African American.

Given the changing demographics in the United States and the volumes of people entering the health care system due to the Affordable Care Act, there is an even greater need for a more diverse health care workforce.

Research shows that when patients are treated by health professionals who share their language, culture and ethnicity, they are more likely to accept and adopt the medical treatment they receive1. Increasing the diversity of health care providers will reduce the shortage of medical professionals in underserved areas, reduce inequities in academic medicine and address variables – such as language barriers – that make it difficult for patients to navigate the health care system.

“We are pleased to support these exceptional students in their efforts to achieve their educational goals and work to improve our health care system,” said Rubin. “The Diverse Scholars Initiative helps these scholars fund their education, and gives them an opportunity to learn from one another and interact with experts who are leading the way in improving patient care.”

United Health Foundation’s Diverse Scholars Initiative is one facet of the foundation’s commitment to build and strengthen the health workforce. United Health Foundation supports additional programs like STEMPREP, which aims to produce the next generation of researchers in the science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medical fields. The foundation also supports A.T. Still University’s Connect the Docs Graduate Loanship Program that provides loan repayments to four qualifying graduates who secure jobs in community health centers.

For more information about the Diverse Scholars Initiative, visit www.unitedhealthfoundation.org/dsi.html.

Premier Club

Local Women’s Group Wins Prestigious Award

The Phoenix Alumnae Club of Pi Beta Phi® recently received the Fraternity’s highest and most prestigious honor, the Premier Club Award. Pi Beta Phi alumnae clubs promote and support Fraternity philanthropic endeavors, assist collegiate chapters and offer friendship to new graduates and alumnae. One club, among more than 300, is chosen each year as a representative of performance that is exemplary above all others.
The Phoenix Alumnae Club consistently improves its programs and events to provide engaging, fun opportunities for its members, many of whom are working and volunteering full time. The club supports three major literacy projects: it donated 600 books and 60 bookcases to homes completed by Central Arizona Habitat for Humanity; it supported UMOM Day Centers with donations of sporting equipment, canned goods, books, games and toys; and it partnered with the Arizona Beta Chapter of Pi Beta Phi at Arizona State University to host a Champions are Readers® reading enrichment program in a local third-grade classroom.

“The Phoenix Alumnae Club has a large impact in its local community and provides friendship and leadership opportunities for hundreds of Pi Phis in the Phoenix area,” said Pi Beta Phi President Mary Tatum. “The club continues to grow and its philanthropic service and communication efforts have been extraordinary over the last year. We congratulate the club on all its hard work and its constant support of the Fraternity at large.”

In addition to the Premier Club Award, the Phoenix Alumnae Club received an Excellence in Communication Award in honor of its newsletters, emails and social media communications with Phoenix area Pi Phi alumnae. The Phoenix Club was chartered in 1926.

Amy Hillman - 50 Most Influential Women in AZ Business

Amy Hillman – 50 Most Influential Women in Arizona Business

Amy Hillman – Dean, W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University

Hillman, a world-renowned management expert, popular teacher and noted researcher, took over as dean of the W. P. Carey School on March 1. Hillman is the first-ever female dean of the school, which has undergraduate, full-time MBA, part-time MBA and online MBA programs all ranked Top 30 in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

Surprising fact: “One of my earliest executive education experiences was helping give tools to Czech professors to train managers in their country after the Berlin Wall came down.”

Biggest challenge: “Managing dual careers, since my husband is also an academic. We commuted long distance and traded off ideal positions. We both couldn’t be happier at ASU.”

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

asu skysong collaborates with Taiwan's ITRI

Crow explores potential of new educational technologies

Arizona State University President Michael M. Crow is among more than a dozen leaders from a diverse group of colleges and universities examining the disruptive potential of new educational technologies, such as massive open online courses (MOOCs), to boost the number of Americans earning a college degree. The launch of the Presidential Innovation Lab was announced recently by the American Council on Education, the nation’s largest higher education organization.

“I look forward to helping lead a national dialogue about how newer educational innovations could be used by particularly older, post-traditional students, low-income young adults and other underserved students toward degree completion,” Crow said. “This opportunity aligns directly with our ASU vision as the model for a New American University – measured not by who we exclude, but rather by who we include and how they succeed.”

According to ACE, the Presidential Innovation Lab will bring together higher education leaders to engage in proactive thinking about this new learning space. The lab is part of a wide-ranging research and evaluation effort examining the academic potential of MOOCs announced by ACE in November 2012.

Initially, the lab will meet July 21-23 at the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto, Calif., an independent, nonprofit research organization that will help guide the work of the university leaders. A second two-day meeting is scheduled for October 2013 in Washington, D.C.

The new think tank of higher education CEOs will consider questions such as how newer educational innovations could be used by students toward degree completion and the potential impact of such innovations on the fundamental design and delivery of instruction. The lab participants also will examine how institutions recognize learning and which financing models underpin all of higher education.

Findings from the lab will be shared with ACE membership, policymakers and the media. Its work is being supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

In addition to Crow, other higher education leaders taking part in the lab include the following:

•           Joseph E. Aoun, president, Northeastern University (Massachusetts)
•           Chris Bustamante, president, Rio Salado College (Arizona)
•           Scott S. Cowen, president, Tulane University (Louisiana)
•           John F. Ebersole, president, Excelsior College (New York)
•           Renu Khator, president, University of Houston, and chancellor, University of Houston System (Texas)
•           Robert W. Mendenhall, president, Western Governors University (Utah)
•           Mohammad H. Qayoumi, president, San Jose State University (California)
•           Vincent Price, provost, University of Pennsylvania
•           L. Rafael Reif, president, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
•           Kevin P. Reilly, president, University of Wisconsin System
•           Clayton Spencer, president, Bates College (Maine)
•           Linda M. Thor, chancellor, Foothill-De Anza Community College District (California)

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Ryley Carlock Expands its Litigation Practice

Ryley Carlock & Applewhite has added Lisa Wahlin to the firm’s Litigation Practice Group.

“Lisa Wahlin’s practice is a great fit for our growing litigation group,” stated Managing Shareholder Rodolfo Parga. “Many of our governmental clients and their staff need legal assistance and Lisa brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to help guide them in their efforts.”

Wahlin joins an established Litigation Practice Group, that represents clients throughout the United States and internationally, offering legal counsel from start-up companies to mature businesses.

“I am passionate about working with government agencies and their employees and helping them to resolve claims and lawsuits in a manner that best serves the interests of the agency and the public,” stated Wahlin. “I am thrilled to join the distinguished lawyers at Ryley Carlock & Applewhite and committed to continuing to provide the highest level of service to my clients.”

Prior to joining the firm, Wahlin dedicated the first 16 years of her practice to public service, working for various government agencies as prosecutor, police legal advisor, and civil litigator. Since transitioning to private practice, she has continued to focus on defending and advising governmental entities in a variety of areas. In addition to her litigation experience, Lisa has served as a legal advisor to law enforcement agencies and was a frequent instructor on search and seizure and laws of arrest at the Arizona Law Enforcement Academy from 1999 to 2004. Lisa has also aided various government entities in responding to and litigating issues arising out of public records requests. Wahlin’s practice has also included insurance defense, emphasizing cases involving negligence, wrongful death and personal injury, and defamation.

Wahlin earned her law degree from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University in 1991, and earned her undergraduate degree in Microbiology from Texas A & M University.

Staying Innovative as a One Man Operation

Goodyear lands ASU business incubator program

When the new branch of the Maricopa County Library system is completed in Goodyear later this year, it could include expanded space for the business leaders of tomorrow to work and brainstorm through a partnership in an incubator program with Arizona State University.

During the Goodyear City Council work session on July 8, Tracy Lea, venture manager at Arizona State University’s SkySong incubator center unveiled its Alexandria Model, a program that will be inside an approximate 1,000-square-foot room in the new Goodyear branch library to serve as an entrepreneur and innovation center for those pursuing business ideas. The Alexandria concept is derived from a centuries-old library purpose dating as far back as 300 B.C. in Alexandria, Egypt, where townspeople came together to discuss issues, solve problems and expand on ideas.

The city council will vote on finalizing the agreement with ASU on the incubator program after it returns from its summer break.

City leaders were excited to see the presentation for the program, which will provide entrepreneurs of all ages the tools, resources and mentors to get on the pathway of development and establish themselves in the community.

“We appreciate SkySong because we know of its successes,” Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord said. “We are so excited about this partnership and look forward to hearing the successes that generate from our local entrepreneurs.”

Having a business “incubator” in Goodyear is one of City Council’s initiatives and the city’s Economic Development Department has been working with SkySong in south Scottsdale to make center a reality in Goodyear.

SkySong’s Tracy Lea said the center also could have a military focus as Luke expects to see $260 million of construction over the next decade.

During the meeting, Lea said, “The Alexandria Concept will create a wonderful pipeline for development. “It’s been extraordinary working with this group of people in this city, and, I believe this is such a rich environment for this to take flight.”

“The West Valley has some amazing growth right now,” Lea added. “Goodyear is creating a terrific growth pattern in and of itself.”

The library, which is budgeted at $1.1 million, will include 9,600-square-feet that will feature a 1,600-square-foot multi-purpose room in addition to the 8,000-square-feet of library space. Design work for the library is on schedule to be completed by the end of July and construction beginning as early as August.

 

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Karen Dickinson joins Polsinelli

National law firm Polsinelli has added Karen Dickinson to its Phoenix office. Dickinson has extensive experience negotiating and advising on complex international and e-commerce legal issues involving international contracting, joint ventures and alliances, software and intellectual property licensing, joint developments, trademark prosecution and licensing, and web development.

“I chose to move my practice to Polsinelli because the firm is dynamic and growing. Polsinelli’s extensive international and cross-border practice capabilities will be beneficial to my clients and to me. The firm’s bigger footprint and larger resource base are a great platform for companies interested in doing business internationally, and for companies outside the U.S. wanting to invest here,” said Dickinson.

Dickinson has experience as a senior manager of in house lawyers for a large U.S. multinational conglomerate where she negotiated multimillion dollar transactions in Europe, Canada, Japan and the People’s Republic of China. She has also been a partner in a start-up online business, and is a sought-after speaker on issues involving international business.

“Karen brings a valuable combination of legal savvy and hands-on business experience to the firm from working both within a Fortune 100 company and as an entrepreneur. Our clients will benefit from her ability to understand their business challenges as well as their legal needs,” said General Corporate Chair Jonathan Henderson.

“We are excited to have Karen join our team. She has the depth of experience and a commitment to clients to help them achieve success,” said Phoenix Office Managing Partner Ed Novak. “We’re growing the Phoenix office in key areas important to our clients.”

Dickinson is the chair of the Arizona District Export Council, a member of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) International Leadership Committee and a founding member of Arizona Women in International Trade. She earned her B.A., cum laude, from Duke University and her J.D., magna cum laude, from Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. Upon graduation from law school she clerked for Judge Mary M. Schroeder of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Dickinson was also a Fulbright Scholar during her career, studying European Union law at the University College London, and working with the global law firm of Allen & Overy in London.

The firm was recently recognized as the fastest-growing law firm in America over the past five years by The American Lawyer. This year, the firm moved to the 69th position from 78th in The National Law Journal’s ranking of the largest U.S. based law firms. The firm’s nationally recognized Health Care Practice is the fourth largest in the nation according to the American Health Lawyers Association. The American Lawyer Magazine featured Polsinelli in its June 2013 issue.

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Phoenix-area Foreclosure Saga Ending

The Phoenix-area housing market has finally hit “normal, historical levels” for those going into foreclosure. After years of severe foreclosure trouble, a new report from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University reveals that good news and more for Maricopa and Pinal counties, as of May:

* The median single-family home price rose again to $185,000, up about 26 percent from May of last year.
* The final chapter of the foreclosure crisis is wrapping up in Phoenix, as foreclosure starts — homeowners receiving notice their lenders may foreclose in 90 days – finally hit normal, historical levels in May.
* On the negative side, the chronic shortage of area homes available for sale continues to be an issue and could last for years.

Phoenix-area home prices hit a low point in September 2011 and have risen dramatically since then. The median single-family-home price reached $185,000 this May, up from $147,000 last May. That’s a boost of 25.9 percent. Realtors will note the average price per square foot went up 22 percent at the same time. The median townhouse/condo price went up about 27.1 percent.

“Between this January and May alone, the average price per square foot rose about 13 percent for area single-family homes,” says the report’s author, Mike Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “However, the upward pricing pressure should disappear during the summer. I expect the prices to resume their strong upward direction in the fall, once temperatures drop below 100 degrees and snowbirds return.”

Rising prices don’t appear to be dampening the housing recovery in the Phoenix area at this point. In fact, home-and-condo sales activity went up 6.6 percent between April and May. May is the second month in a row where activity increased from the same time during the prior year, reversing a long negative trend. Even the luxury market is gaining, with more sales in May than in any other single month over the past six years.

“There has been much talk of rising interest rates and the negative effect this might have on demand,” says Orr. “The sudden and recent increase in rates has certainly reduced the motivation to refinance existing home loans. However, it is almost certainly increasing buyers’ determination to purchase homes now, rather than later, when rates may go even higher.”

Orr adds he sees early signs some lenders may react to higher interest rates by easing up their rules, allowing more people to buy homes. He also believes prospective buyers may simply settle for purchasing smaller, more affordable houses than they originally wanted, in order to manage the higher interest payments.

At the same time, the wave of foreclosures triggered by the housing crisis appears to be ending in the Phoenix area. Completed foreclosures on single-family homes and townhome/condos in May were down 53 percent from last May. Foreclosure starts – owners receiving notice their lenders may foreclose in 90 days – went down an incredible 67 percent in the same period. Given population growth, this means the area finally hit its normal, historical level of foreclosure starts this May.

“Foreclosure starts dropped 15 percent just between April and May alone,” says Orr. “Foreclosure levels are now far below the peak levels of March 2009, and the number of pending foreclosures is below the level from the first quarter of 2002. We expect these numbers to continue to fall over the next several years due to the very tight underwriting standards in place.”

Without cheap foreclosures coming into the market — and with ordinary homeowners reluctant to sell because they’re either locked in by negative equity or waiting for prices to keep rising — the Phoenix-area housing market continues to struggle with a chronic shortage of homes available for sale that may last for years. The number of active single-family listings without an existing contract was just over 11,000 as of June 1. That’s down 0.4 percent since May 1, and 83 percent of the available homes are priced above $150,000, creating a problem for those looking in the lower price range. At least the shortage has improved somewhat from last year, when supply was dropping at a rate of 6 percent per month.

“The chronic shortage applies to both homes for purchase and homes for lease,” Orr explains. “The average time for a leased home to be on the market is down to about one month. With this fast turnover and relatively low vacancy rates, it’s perhaps surprising that single-family and condo rents have only very modestly increased.”

New-home builders don’t appear too anxious to help meet the demand. They are trying to make sure they don’t overbuild like they did before the housing crisis, and they want to keep prices moving up. Current new-home sales rates are less than a third of what would normally be needed to keep up with local population growth. As a result, Orr says the combined population of Maricopa and Pinal counties grew 2.9 percent from 2010 to 2012, but the number of owned and leased dwelling units only grew by 1 percent.

Lastly, institutional investors continue to lose interest in the Phoenix area. Their buying spree that began in 2011 is in a downward trend. The percentage of the area’s total single-family-home and condo sales carried out by investors is down from 39.7 in July 2012 to 27.3 percent this May. Most investor transactions are actually going to so-called “mom and pop” purchasers. Orr says they own roughly 96 percent of the area’s rental-home inventory.

Orr’s full report, including statistics, charts and a breakdown by different areas of the Valley, can be viewed at http://wpcarey.asu.edu/finance/real-estate/upload/Full_Report_201306.pdf. A podcast with more analysis from Orr is also available from knowWPCarey, the business school’s online resource and newsletter, at http://knowwpcarey.com/index.cfm?cid=13.

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Plans advance for Arizona Biomedical Corridor

Plans to establish a biomedical and advanced technology research and development campus in northeast Phoenix advanced this week as KUD International, a subsidiary of one of the world’s largest development, design and construction companies, announced its plans and submitted an application to acquire 225 acres for the project from the Arizona State Land Department.

The proposed campus is the cornerstone of the Arizona Biomedical Corridor, a collaboration between the City of Phoenix, Arizona State University and Mayo Clinic announced in 2012 to expand the state’s bioscience industry by clustering compatible organizations in the corridor, located in northeast Phoenix at 56th Street and Mayo Boulevard, just south of the Loop 101 freeway. The development lies adjacent to the Phoenix campus of Mayo Clinic.

Acquiring the land could take up to a year, KUD officials anticipate. In the meantime, KUD is moving forward on plans for the first building at the more than $1 billion research park, which upon completion could generate thousands of jobs in the region.

Wyatt Decker, Vice President, Mayo Clinic and CEO Mayo Clinic in Arizona, said the project aligns well with Mayo Clinic’s plans in Phoenix and will play an integral part in its vision to continue to provide innovative, patient-centered medical care, supported by robust programs in research and education.

“The Arizona Biomedical Corridor will further strengthen the region’s growth as a national and international destination for healthcare-related research, education and private sector interests,” Decker said. “Our work with the City of Phoenix and ASU led to our relationship with KUD, a firm we believe will successfully complement and support our vision.”

Arizona State University President Michael Crow agreed, saying, “The development of the area adjacent to the Mayo Clinic Hospital, with its focus on biomedical and advanced technology research and manufacturing, is well aligned with ASU’s partnership with Mayo Clinic to create new health education and research facilities. We are encouraged that KUD shares our collective vision.”

KUD International LLC specializes in developing public-private projects around the world. It has extensive experience with large-scale developments that are founded on research and education and supported with a complementary mix of uses. The company is constructing a research park in Israel in conjunction with Ben-Gurion University that is similar to the one proposed in northeast Phoenix.

KUD International President and CEO Marvin Suomi said the collaboration with Mayo Clinic presented KUD with a sound basis to make a significant investment in establishing a major biomedical research and healthcare complex in north Phoenix. “We consider this a mission-driven project in alliance with Mayo Clinic, and procuring the land is the first step in realizing its vision set long ago,” Suomi said.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer added, “I’m pleased the Arizona Land Department has accepted and advanced an application for this proposal, paving the way for the development of a premier medical and research facility in north Phoenix. Not only will this project create thousands of high-quality jobs, it will strengthen and secure our position as a global leader in providing world-class medical care. With the involvement of partners like the Mayo Clinic and Arizona State University, I know this project will be a point of pride for the entire state.”

Others involved with the project identify KUD’s relationship with Mayo Clinic, its expertise and its initiative in acquiring the state land as important factors that will help the Arizona Biomedical Corridor become a reality.

“I think this is another example of Arizona’s economic recovery and an indication of the growing strength of the Arizona real estate market,” said Arizona State Land Commissioner Vanessa Hickman. “This is a big win for State Trust Land beneficiaries and the result of careful negotiations between the Arizona State Land Department and the other collaborators.”

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said, “In January 2012, I announced a vision to grow more high-wage jobs in Phoenix by creating a second bioscience campus on a 1,000-acre corridor in Desert Ridge in Northeast Phoenix. Because we already have great partners like Mayo Clinic and Arizona State University, KUD’s investment plans are the key private interest we need to unlock the potential at this location for education and research and create a greater magnet to attract high-wage jobs to Phoenix.”

District 2 Councilman Jim Waring adds, “In February 2013, the City Council adopted a formal strategy to focus on high-wage, bioscience and technology uses within this corridor. I am very pleased to see that the private sector agrees and validates the City’s concept. The City of Phoenix will be a great partner in the project, focused on helping KUD start their development projects as quickly as possible.  Our business community tells us time and again that five-day site plan reviews and one-day construction permitting provides great value and we look forward to delivering this same great service to KUD.”

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The changing role of nurses

They are the healthcare providers that will see 22 percent job growth – more than any other occupation – through 2018. They are the communicators. They bridge the gap in the medical industry. They are the part of the healthcare team that makes sure that the right patient is in the right place getting the right thing done.

They are nurses and they are now taking on more specialized roles, applying advanced technologies and filling voids created by an anticipated shortage of primary care physicians.

“We are encouraging our nurses to return to school to advance their degree,” said Deborah Martin, senior director of professional practice at Banner Health. “Patients are much more complex in our hospitals, as well as in the home and our communities … Nurses need to have higher levels of education to manage these complexities in all settings where nurses practice. Advanced degrees are now required for our upper level nursing managers.”

About 10,000 Baby Boomers reach retirement age every day, fueling the long-term demand for specialized nurses. To help fill that need, Arizona State University implemented the Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) concentration.

“It will prepare nurse practitioners to deliver primary care to adults throughout their lifespan with increased emphasis on care of the aging population,” says Katherine Kenny, clinical associate professor and director of the DNP program at ASU.

Johnson & Johnson’s website lists more than 3,000 capacities in which nurses can be employed — from school nurses to jailhouse nurses. Nurses practice in hospitals, schools, homes, retail health clinics, long-term care facilities, battlefields, and community and public health centers. Everywhere there are people, there are patients, and everywhere there are patients, there are nurses.

“Nurses are becoming more influential in the policy changes that are occurring with the Affordable Care Act,” Kenny says. “More nurses are practicing in ambulatory care settings and public and community health.”

Arizona educational institutions are now offering a wide range of educational opportunities which support the nursing profession’s challenge to improve patient care outcomes for individuals, systems, and organizations. And because of skyrocketing healthcare costs, preventative care and education have become integral elements in reducing chronic illness and minimizing re-hospitalization.

“Nurses are now specializing in everything from palliative care and managing chronic illness, to maintenance and preventative care,” says Ann McNamara, dean of Grand Canyon University’s College of Nursing. McNamara says students at GCU are spending more time concentrating on home healthcare and hospice in their new hands-on simulation labs, complete with live actors, computer-operated mannequins, and dynamic patient scenarios.

Angel MedFlight provides air medical transportation services from bedside to bedside.  The company’s CEO, Jeremy Freer, says “[Our] nurses are able to put all the components of the puzzle together and make the medical flight process more efficient, effective and compassionate.”

Nurses are also assessing the long-range healthcare needs of patients.

“Where once the hospital nurse’s prime responsibility was to provide the best care possible that the patient needed at that moment, now the nurse is also focused on what happens next,” explains Maggi Griffin, vice president of patient care services at John C. Lincoln Health Network.

Griffin says that patient discharge planning and post-hospitalization follow up are other key roles of the evolving nursing profession.

Advancements in technology have significantly enhanced patient care in recent years.  Nurses now have the ability to monitor patient conditions remotely, and electronic health records enable nurses to track, evaluate, and document patient information.

“Technology is opening doors to deliver nursing care in new and innovative ways, often serving as a second set of eyes to enhance patient safety or monitoring patients from their homes,” says Deborah Martin, senior director of professional practice at Banner Health. Martin adds that Medication Bar Coding is another example of how technology is helping nurses be more effective and prevent errors.

Due to the skyrocketing cost of healthcare in general, nurses are becoming more involved in a patient’s primary care.

“As advanced practice providers of healthcare, nurses with master’s and doctoral degrees are able to deliver high quality care to patients in their own individual practice,” Martin says, “as well as work side by side with physicians to provide care in a more cost effective manner.”

“As the major component of hospital rosters, nurses’ salaries account for a significant part of any hospital budget,” Griffin adds. “With financial stresses coming from the economy, from government healthcare program budget cuts and from other areas, nursing is much more tightly controlled.”

A decade ago, nursing shifts were scheduled regardless of room occupancy. Currently, industry experts say those staffing schedules fluctuate based on patient population in each unit.

The other major shift is in the demand for specialized nurses. Julie Ward, chief nursing officer at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, says specialties have nurses working in both the inpatient and outpatient settings.

“We are also exploring roles for nurses to shepherd groups of patients through the maze of care,”  Ward says. St. Joseph’s nurses make follow-up phone calls to patients to ensure the patient is safe and able to follow their discharge instructions, Ward says.

Still, the primary evolution of the nursing industry has been in higher education. Gone are the days when nurses were simply bedside attendants. Now, they are replacing the expensive medical doctors and are running their own practices as Family Nurse Practitioners (FNPs) and in other upper level specialties. Most hospitals are encouraging their nurses to return to school to improve their knowledge base and advance their degrees.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (IOM) launched a two-year initiative to respond to the need to assess and transform the nursing profession. The IOM appointed a Committee on the RWJF Initiative on the Future of Nursing for the purpose of producing an action-oriented blueprint for the future of nursing. Through its deliberations, the committee developed four key messages:

* Nurses should practice to the full extent of their education and training.

* Nurses should achieve higher levels of education and training through an improved education system that promotes seamless academic progression.

* Nurses should be full partners, with physicians and other health care professionals, in redesigning health care in the United States.

* Effective workforce planning and policy making require better data collection and information infrastructure.

“We are encouraging our nurses to return to school to advance their degree,” Martin says. “Patients are much more complex in our hospitals, as well as in the home and our communities. As noted by the IOM, nurses need to have higher levels of education to manage these complexities in all settings where nurses practice. Advanced degrees are now required for our upper level nursing managers.”

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Wissink Elected to Childplay’s Board of Trustees

Susan Wissink, a shareholder at Fennemore Craig in Phoenix, has been elected to Childsplay’s Board of Trustees.

Wissink chairs the firm’s business and finance practice group and provides legal counsel in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, securities, general corporate law and commercial real estate leasing. She received her J.D. from Arizona State University and her B.A. in English from Northwestern University.

Founded in 1977, Childsplay is a nationally and internationally respected professional theatre company whose chosen audience is children. Over the past 36 years, Childsplay had educated and inspired more than four million young people and families.