Tag Archives: Arizona Technology Council

phoenix

Now is the time to invest in Arizona

It used to be when I traveled to different business meetings across the country, people would ask me about Arizona’s politics. While we still have reputation issues to repair, the questions I’ve been getting recently are more focused on the buzz they’re hearing about our growing technology sector.

There’s good reason Arizona is getting noticed for its growth. Over the last five years, Arizona has developed one of the most robust technology entrepreneurial ecosystems in the country. The state is home to five of Deloitte’s 2013 “Technology Fast 500” firms, specifically First Solar, LifeLock, Telesphere, Inilex and GPS Insight. Other startups that have been home grown in Arizona into industry leaders include Axosoft, GoDaddy, iCrossing, Infusionsoft, Insight Enterprises, LimeLight Networks and WebPT.

We were able to accomplish our strong entrepreneurial spirit in part by drawing the attention of the media and the state’s policy makers to the need to diversify our economy away from construction and climate into a knowledge-based economy with higher paying jobs. Our efforts resulted in a tax credit for qualified research and development that is the best in the nation and a successful angel investment tax credit.

A lot of other resources have been invested. Over a dozen business incubators and accelerators call Arizona home, providing resources to support technology entrepreneurs. In addition to graduating a vibrant workforce to fuel quality jobs, Arizona’s world-renowned universities and community colleges are also heavily engaged.

Arizona State University (ASU) runs the Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative and the ASU SkySong Innovation Center was recently awarded one of the best organizations of its kind in the country. University of Arizona (UA) is helping create the technology of tomorrow in its Bridges/UA Bio Park and UA Tech Park that includes a Solar Zone. UA also participates in Startup Tucson – an organization dedicated to growing a vibrant ecosystem of entrepreneurship through educational events. Northern Arizona University fosters business growth through it Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology and benefits from its affiliation with NASA. All of that bodes well for Arizona’s innovation economy.

Other efforts are focused solely on exciting people about technology and science. We just celebrated the third annual statewide Arizona SciTech Festival with over 300K people attending more than 500 events this year.

And although we have a long way to go, there’s a growing pool of capital. We’re home to two of the largest and top rated angel investor networks in the U.S. ─ ATIF and Desert Angels. The Arizona Commence Authority has created the Arizona Innovation Challenge that awards the most money in the country to the most promising entrepreneurs meeting technology challenges. Grayhawk Capital just raised $70 million in funds for early and growth stage technology investments. And Tallwave Capital recently announced it has deployed $500,000 in capital in early-stage ventures.

The 2010 census reports Arizona’s population at 6.4 million, with a median age of 35.9 years. The predicted growth rates for Arizona by the federal and state government expect that between 1.5 million and 3 million people will move to Arizona by the year 2020. That type of robust regional population growth combined with an improved U.S. economy translates into high potential for investors.

It’s true we enjoy more than 300 days of sunshine each year. But we offer a lot more than golf and spas. Venture capital sitting on the sidelines should put money into promising Arizona high tech firms and startup ventures.

Now is the time to invest in Arizona.

sales.tax

Arizona Business Community Supports HB2111

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

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

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

The Senator Yarbrough floor amendment will provide for the following:

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

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

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

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

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

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

boeing-phantom-ray

It takes fuel to win tech race

Many of us can relate to thinking of Arizona’s economy as an automobile race. To win, you need a smooth race course, a fast car, a winning driver and high-powered fuel.
Carrying that analogy into Arizona’s technology sector, it’s clear that a lot of resources have been invested and progress has been made in building a world-class race course.  We’ve made tremendous strides in creating a business climate and technology environment for facilitating both private and public sector support to address the needs of Arizona’s technology businesses.

The Arizona Technology Council has worked collaboratively with many different technology champions to build this course. Technology issues are supported by the Governor’s office, the state’s legislature, the Arizona Commerce Authority, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and more.

Technology incubators and shared space facilities such as Gangplank in Chandler, Avondale and Tucson; Hackspace and Venture Catalyst at ASU’s SkySong in Scottsdale; BioInspire in Peoria; Innovation Incubator in Chandler; AzCI in Tucson; and AZ Disruptors in Scottsdale are making sure that today’s innovators are being given the right support, tools and environment to create the next big thing.

Collectively, our wins have included the passage of a tax credit for qualified research and development that is the best in the nation, the creation of the first statewide Arizona SciTech Festival and the birth of the Arizona Innovation Institute, to name a few.
Arizona’s technology industry also has great race cars. These are the technologies and intellectual property that create wealth and jobs driven by both Fortune 500 companies and entrepreneurs.  Companies such as Intel, Microchip Technologies, Freescale, ON Semiconductor and Avnet can all be found here.  Nearly all of the largest aerospace and defense prime contractors in the nation are located in Arizona, including Boeing, Honeywell, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics.

The state’s entrepreneurial spirit is reflected in companies such as WebPT, Infusionsoft, Axosoft, iLinc and Go Daddy that were founded in Arizona along with the many innovators that are coming to the table every day with new ideas rich in technology.

These companies large and small are driven by some of the greatest race car drivers the nation has produced.

But when it comes to fuel, Arizona’s economy has always been running close to empty. We lack the vital capital needed to win the race. Having access to angel investors, venture capital and private equity as well as debt instruments is critical to Arizona’s success.
The situation has not been improving on the equity side of the fuel equation. To offer some relief, the Arizona Technology Council is proposing legislation that would create a system of contingent tax credits to incentivize both in-state and out-of-state investors to capitalize Arizona companies.  This program, called the Arizona Fund of Funds, would allow the state to offer $100 million in tax incentives to minimize the risk for those seeking to invest in high-growth companies.  The state government’s role would be to serve as a guarantor through these contingent tax credits in case the investments don’t yield the projected results.  Expect more information on this important piece of legislation as it advances.

On the debt side of the fuel equation, there are encouraging signs that the worst of the credit crunch may be over. Early-stage companies need access to debt instruments, or loans. Capital is needed for equipment and expansion. A line of credit can help early-stage companies through ongoing cash-flow issues. But loan activity is still modest in Arizona for small companies. It remains heavily weighted toward the strongest corporate and consumer borrowers.

Capital goes hand in hand with innovation, high-paying jobs and cutting-edge technology, products and services. Before Arizona’s economy can win the race, we will need to become more self-sufficient at providing the fuel necessary to be a winner.

Steven G. Zylstra is president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council.

energy supply - AZ Business Magazine May/June 2012

Energy Supply And Demand – A Holistic Approach To Energy Independence

Energy is the lifeblood of the economy. Arizona’s population and energy use are projected to grow for the foreseeable future and our economic prosperity is closely tied to the availability of reliable and affordable supplies of energy. While energy supply, energy demand and the natural environment are at a significant point of conflict, the effect of this tension can be mitigated through a collaborative effort among all stakeholders which can help create balance.

The need for collaboration is at the heart of why the Arizona Technology Council accepted the responsibility of leadership for the Arizona Energy Consortium (AEC) in July, 2011. The effort was established under the auspices of the City of Phoenix related to a grant from the Federal Department of Labor to establish strategies for integrating the workforce needs of targeted green energy industries in Arizona. The City, as part of the central region, was awarded a large portion of the Arizona State Energy Sector Partnership (SESP) grant that agreed to establish an energy consortium to define the workforce needs in the energy arena. Thus, the Arizona Energy Consortium was founded.

City leaders quickly realized they were addressing issues that went well beyond city borders and the workforce. When the City of Phoenix approached the Council about taking AEC under its wing, it made perfect sense to us. The Council has members from every side of the energy equation, from traditional production to renewable and energy conservation. We represent a statewide neutral ground that’s not tied to a particular technology, and can embody the entire energy industry.

Today, the AEC is comprised of more than 250 members from the state’s diverse energy sectors and is co-chaired by Michelle De Blasi, a partner with the law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP and chair of its Solar Energy Law Team, and Christopher Davey, executive director of EnviroMission. Constituents from city and state governments, utilities, law firms, conservation groups, private industry and universities are all working together to get real work done and break down the silos that have long existed in Arizona.

One of the charters of AEC is to serve as a supportive venue for current and new members locating or expanding their businesses within the state, as well as a repository for reliable information related to the energy industry. In addition, AEC is providing meaningful input towards the development of a long-term Energy Roadmap to strongly promote both economic development initiatives and continued technological innovation across the state. The end result will be similar to the long-term bioscience roadmap initiated by the Flinn Foundation designed to make the state’s life sciences sector globally competitive.

Can we achieve energy independence in our lifetime? Given Arizona’s unique abundance of sunshine, we certainly have an advantage on the production side of the equation in the renewable energy sector and are well positioned to become an exporter of energy. Arizona possesses many of the essential elements necessary to become a global leader in energy, but must strengthen its will, focus, collaboration and messaging, to achieve this goal. With everyone working together to raise all boats, AEC is taking this holistic approach.

For more information, visit aztechcouncil.org/committees/aec.


Steven G. Zylstra is president and chief executive officer of the Arizona Technology Council.

Arizona Business Magazine May/June 2012

Arizona Energy Consortium - AZ Business Magazine May/June 2012

Arizona Energy Consortium – Power Brokers Leading The Charge

The Arizona Energy Consortium is establishing the energy roadmap to create a brighter economic future for Arizona. The following individuals are leading the charge.

Robert Bowling - First SolarRobert Bowling
Company: First Solar  

Position with Arizona Energy Consortium:
Co-Chair of the Workforce Development Committee, which focuses its efforts on current barriers to Arizona’s energy workforce development, as well as devising potential solutions to overcome such barriers.

Relationship to the energy industry:
25 years of power generation experience in Fossil, Hydro and PV.

Why he became involved with the AEC:
“Having always been ‘involved’ in various initiatives throughout Arizona, I saw the value that this consortium has towards the greater good for all Arizonans.”

Why he thinks Arizona needs the AEC:
“As a nation we all understand the various issues surrounding energy dependence. The Arizona Energy Consortium will help AZ be the leader in a variety of energy issues.”

Predicted impact the AEC will make on Arizona by 2022:
“Hopefully by making Arizona the leader in lost cost, sustainable energy production and a hub for energy innovations.”

Tekla Taylor - Golder AssociatesTekla Taylor
Company: Golder Associates, Inc.

Position with Arizona Energy Consortium:
Co-Chair of the Membership Committee, which is dedicated to growing the Arizona Energy Consortium in terms of membership recruitment, as well as promoting the AEC in the form of event planning and hosting. Members of this committee will be responsible for identifying members who could positively contribute to, as well as benefit from, involvement within the AEC.

Relationship to the energy industry:
Manager, Golder Energy Services US

Why she become involved with the AEC:
“Actively participating in AEC keeps us informed of the opportunities and challenges that face energy sector growth in Arizona thereby impacting our clients.”

Why she thinks Arizona needs the AEC:
“Collaboration among all stakeholders in the industry is critical to ensuring long term success and placing Arizona as a leader in the renewable energy market.”

Predicted impact the AEC will make on Arizona by 2022:
“Through design and implementation of innovative renewable market solutions, AEC will have a significant impact on market sector growth, diversity and economic development.”

Mary Wolf-Francis - DIRTT Environmental SolutionsMary Wolf-Francis
Company: DIRTT Environmental Solutions

Position with Arizona Energy Consortium:
Co-Chair of the Energy Efficiency Committee, which is responsible for reviewing energy efficiency programs, as well as current barriers to energy efficiency across a wide range of Arizona energy sectors (solar, natural gas, oil, coal, nuclear, wind, geothermal, etc.). Members are encouraged upon review of energy efficiency barriers, to develop potential solutions that would maximize energy efficiency and encourage future Arizona project development.

Relationship to the energy industry:
Business liaison for the State Energy Sector Partnership Grant that brought the Arizona Energy Consortium into fruition as part of the objectives in the grant.

Why she became involved with the AEC:
Brought companies in energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainability and utilities together to discuss creating the AEC then passed the torch to Michelle De Blasi and Steve Zylstra at the Arizona Technology Council.

Why she thinks Arizona needs the AEC:
“Companies in Arizona need to work together to grow and sustain energy companies here in the state.

Predicted impact the AEC will make on Arizona by 2022:
“The AEC will be the catalyst for diversifying our energy companies here in Arizona to reduce our reliance on the grid.”

Chris Davey - EnviroMissionChris Davey
Company: EnviroMission

Position with Arizona Energy Consortium:
Co-chair of the Arizona Energy Consortium and co-chair of the Energy Roadmap Committee, which will focus its efforts on developing and implementing an Energy Sector Roadmap for Arizona. Documents such as, Arizona’s Solar Strategic Plan and Arizona Town Hall’s AZ’s Energy Future Report will be utilized in constructing the Energy Sector Roadmap.

Relationship to the energy industry:
As executive director of EnviroMission, he has been vital to the development of the first U.S. Solar Tower project in western Arizona. He has negotiated a number of Power Purchase Agreements, secured parcels of land with both governmental and private bodies, raised capital to deliver the unique Solar Tower technology and advocated on behalf of the solar industry.

Why he became involved with the AEC:
“I want to put something in place to make it easier for people to get done what I’m getting done now. I’m from 8,000 miles away, but I call Arizona home now and I want to make it a better place.”

Michelle De Blasi - Quarles & BradyMichelle De Blasi
Company: Quarles & Brady

Position with Arizona Energy Consortium:
Co-chair of the Arizona Energy Consortium and co-chair of the Energy Roadmap Committee, which will focus its efforts on developing and implementing an Energy Sector Roadmap for Arizona. Documents such as Arizona’s Solar Strategic Plan and Arizona Town Hall’s AZ’s Energy Future Report will be utilized in constructing the Energy Sector Roadmap.

Relationship to the energy industry:
She is chair of the firm’s Solar Energy Law Team and focuses her practice on guiding renewable energy projects from concept to completion. In addition, she practices in the area of environmental and natural resources law advising clients on federal and state air and water quality issues.

Why she became involved with the AEC:
“With its solar resource and geographic proximity to target markets such as California, Arizona has an opportunity to revitalize its economy by continuing to grow its clean energy sector. By combining business leadership with guidance for good public policy, the Arizona Energy Consortium will play an important role in helping Arizona achieve its clean energy sector expansion goals.”

Ann Marie Chischilly, Esq. - ITEP at NAUAnn Marie Chischilly, Esq.
Company: Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP) at Northern Arizona University

Position with Arizona Energy Consortium:
Co-chair of the Public Outreach Committee, which is responsible for educating investors, developers, legislators, and the general public on the Arizona Energy Consortium and the energy industry.

Relationship to the energy industry:
“I began my work in the energy industry as an attorney with the Gila River Indian Community and founded their Renewable Energy Team in 2010. I began my position at NAU in April 2011 and have been developing the Tribal Clean Energy Resource Center, which will help tribes and Alaska Native Villages transition from fossil fuel based energy to clean and renewable energy. For 20 years, ITEP has become a national leader in training and educating tribes in the environmental mediums and has served more than 500 of the 565 tribes nationally.”

Why she become involved with the AEC:
“I want the 22 tribes of Arizona to be included in the process of developing the Energy Roadmap and seeking their input is essential to accomplishing the mission.”

Why she thinks Arizona needs the AEC:
“Arizona has many great organizations, but AEC captures all of them into one group and unites the renewable-energy sector. Becoming more organized and united will make Arizona a leader in this industry.”

Predicted impact the AEC will make on Arizona by 2022:
”The AEC will help Arizona become a leader in the renewable energy industry nationally.”

For more information on Arizona Energy Consortium, visit Arizona Technology Council’s website at aztechcouncil.org/committees/aec.

Go to related article – AEC – Creating an Energy Roadmap

AZRE Magazine May/June 2012

energy policies

Congressional Candidates To Provide Input On Energy Policies

The Arizona Energy Consortium (AEC), a committee of the Arizona Technology Council, announced that it has invited the state’s District Nine congressional candidates to attend its next regularly scheduled meeting to discuss their energy policies. The meeting is Friday, June 15, 2012 at 9 a.m. in the Phoenix office of Greenberg Traurig, LLP.

“As Arizona positions itself to be a leader in solar energy production and grow the industry in both our state and nationally, the AEC’s updated Arizona Solar Strategic Plan establishes the foundation for us to move the discussion and planning efforts forward,” said Michelle De Blasi, a shareholder and Phoenix Group Chair of the Energy and Infrastructure Practice at Greenberg Traurig, LLP, as well as co-chair of the AEC. “Through increased collaboration among energy sector participants, including the legislators, we look forward to identifying ways to integrate into our diverse energy mix the many facets of solar production — solar generation, technology innovation and manufacturing.”

Christopher Davey, Executive Director of EnviroMission and co-chair of the AEC, commented, “We are thrilled that the congressional candidates will join the AEC and share their policies on Arizona’s Energy Future.”

According to the AEC, the congressional candidates confirmed to attend the meeting include Andrei Cherney, Travis Grantham, Leah Campos Schandlbauer, David Schapira, Kyrsten Sinema and Jeff Thompson.

For more information on the Arizona Technology Council and their energy policies, visit Arizona Technology Council’s website at aztechcouncil.org.

Arizona Centennial Series - AZ Business Magazine January/February 2012

Arizona Centennial Series: Looking Ahead At The State’s Next Century

Arizona Centennial — Forward thinking: Algae, solar, personalized medicine or none of the above? Some of Arizona’s greatest minds look ahead at the state’s next century

A century ago, Arizonans with an entrepreneurial spirit ventured deep into the deserts and mountains in search of gold and copper. Today, as Arizona celebrates its 100th birthday, their counterparts are exploring the unknown frontiers of biotechnology and renewable energy.

“Imagine the technologies of 100 years ago,” says Steven Zylstra, president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council. “Now, think about how far we have come. Only a very few science fiction writers even envisioned the technologies that are now a part of our everyday lives. It is very likely that (100 years from now), the mix of industries and companies will be very different. There will be subsectors that don’t even exist yet. One thing is sure, there will be more technology than ever to drive our economy and improve our quality of life.”

So with 100 years in the history books, what’s in store for Arizona’s next century? One expert says algae will be Arizona’s 21st-century gold rush. Will Arizona’s yet-to-be-written history prove him to be right?

As part of the Arizona Centennial Series, Arizona Business Magazine asks some of the state’s greatest minds how they see Arizona taking shape over the next decade and beyond.


Economy

Lee McPheters, director of the JPMorgan Chase Economic Outlook Center at the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University

The next 5 years will be a period of agonizingly slow recovery from the Great Recession. Arizona employment will return to post-recession levels within two to three years, but new, more frugal spending habits will put a damper on growth. The next 25 years has the potential to be a period of strong growth. Under historical growth assumptions, Arizona’s population will almost double within 25 years, as the state grows to more than 10 million residents.  Phoenix will have a population between 7 and 8 million, larger than the entire state today.  Immigration will exceed 125,000 every year by 2030.  Over the next 25 years, to accommodate growth, more than 1 million single-family homes will be needed, a seemingly impossible pace of building compared to conditions today.In the next 100 years, the gap between those with education, training and skills and those without will grow even greater as technology will benefit those who develop, control and use it.

Lee Vikre, senior vice president, organizational development and consulting, BestCompaniesAZ, LLC

In the next 10 years, the Arizona workforce will be more diverse than ever before, with wide spans in age ranges of workers and greater cultural diversity. White males may become the minority. Entrepreneurship will be ingrained in workers of all ages who were affected by the recession. This entrepreneurial, independent atmosphere will continue to define Arizona. Homegrown, innovative businesses in the fields of technology, manufacturing, healthcare, and sustainable energy will prosper. The movement towards creating great workplaces will move from a novelty to mainstream as both workers and management discover the competitive advantage of a culture of trust.

Patricia Ternes, financial advisor, RBC Wealth Management, Scottsdale

For the next 100 years, we need to address the concept that the world is flat.  Right now, we have multiple currencies and multiple stock markets. The financial services industry needs to better integrate the products and services we offer our clients worldwide. In 100 years, there will probably be huge, world-wide investment markets that are available to everyone 24/7.  This will increase the complexity of planning one’s financial future.


Technology

Steven Zylstra, president and CEO, Arizona Technology Council

In the next 10 years, the biosciences and renewable energy (and even the broader clean tech) sectors will become significant components of our economy.  Aerospace and defense, semiconductor and electronics, ITC, and optics will continue to grow.  The technology sector will be an ever-increasing component of our economic landscape, leading to more diversity.

Mark Edwards, PhD., vice president of corporate development and marketing, Algae Biosciences, Inc., Scottsdale

Arizona has the critical elements for algae production including lots of sunshine, waste and brine water for nutrients, CO2, and cheap land.  The state has a competitive advantage for algae production and will become the algae capital world. Arizona will go from two firms producing algae in 2011 to 200 algae firms in 2020. Arizona producers will cultivate algae for food, feed, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, cosmeceuticals, nutraceuticals, functional foods, medicines and advance compounds. In the next 100 years, Algae will become the leading industry in Arizona, eclipsing tourism; more than 80 percent of all medicines, vaccines and pharmaceuticals will be made predominately from advanced compounds derived from algae; our fossil-based transportation system will transform to a sustainable algae-based transportation system.

Steve Sanghi, president and CEO, Microchip Technology Inc., Chandler

Given this expansion and the number of semiconductor players that have operations in Arizona, the semiconductor industry is likely to have a significant impact in this state over the next 10 years. This expansion will lead to a sharp increase in the growth of well-paying, high-tech jobs in our state. Take the case of medical advancements.  Over the next 10 years, we will see a significant expansion in the use of semiconductors for surgical and analysis equipment; in portable, wearable and implantable medical devices; and in the cost-cutting use of remote medicine, where patients will be monitored by medical professionals in lower-cost regions.

I will, however, add one cautionary note to the optimistic picture I have just painted.  The formation of new start-up companies is driven by the availability of venture-capital funding. Arizona continues to be plagued by a scarcity of risk capital, as most venture-capital firms are located in California, Texas and Massachusetts. The result is that those states continue to attract the bulk of VC-backed startups.  While Arizona has been a technology hotbed in recent years, we must fix this problem if we are to remain the “Silicon Desert.”


Environment

Diane Brossart, president, Valley Forward Association

In the next 10 years, Arizona will diversify its economy through green jobs and technology. Renewable energy sectors will proliferate with solar leading the way. In the next 100 years, we will become the solar capitol of the world. Light rail connects Valley cities. Commuter rail takes us across the nation. Arizona is a burgeoning hub of economic activity. Parks and open space dot the landscape. Innovation and technology abound. Our legislature is enlightened and the green revolution leads to new water sources in our vibrant desert oasis, now free of particulate pollution.

Kelly Mott Lacroix, graduate research associate, Water Resources Research Center, Tucson

Over the next 100 years, our water management will need to be flexible and progressive enough to allow us to prosper in the face of supply uncertainty from changes in climate and the continuing growth of our economy.  Arizonans will have to make decisions about what we value most about this state and those decisions will dictate how the water issue changes Arizona.

Larry Howell, CEO and president of KEBAWK Response Technologies, a Scottsdale-based engineering company that responds immediately to hazardous or catastrophic disasters

Environmentally-conscious companies like KEBAWK are going to continue to grow and have a much more pivotal role in growing the economy in the next 10 years as businesses strive to be as sustainable as possible. What was once a trendy, cottage industry is now a must for businesses.


Health

Dr. Grace Caputo, director, Phoenix Children’s Hospital/Maricopa Medical Center Pediatric Residency

I see medical education as a dominant force in Arizona, especially with the growth of the University of Arizona campus downtown. Innovative pediatric care will continue to be a highlight at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, but healthcare overall will continue to improve our community as birth to age 5 is the fastest growing population in Arizona.

Catherine Niemiec, president, Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine & Acupuncture, College & Clinic

In the future, acupuncture and oriental medicine (AOM) will fill the gaps created by high insurance rates, fewer primary care physicians, and seemingly incurable or chronic conditions. Acupuncture can be available for the same cost as a co-payment, supporting the need of those who have no insurance or who need to seek different care beyond what their insurance will cover. A report on “Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the United States” cites widespread use of CAM, with more future visits to CAM providers than to primary care physicians (with most of these visits paid out-of-pocket).

Kenneth J. Biehl, M.D., radiation oncologist, Arizona Oncology

Long-term changes for the use of radiation in cancer care will involve a combination of treatment directed at the molecular level and immense precision with external radiation. Targeting cancer with radiation at the molecular level has been developed for only a handful of cancers to date. The struggle to find and develop cures at the molecular level will be one of the determining factors in how the people of Arizona will receive cancer treatment for the next hundred years.

Mahesh Seetharam, M.D., medical oncologist and hematologist, Arizona Oncology

In the next decade, electronic medical records will continue to evolve to help coordinate care between the various providers to optimize outcomes. It is very difficult to predict given the current labile healthcare environment.  The concept of universal healthcare is very possible, but with that comes the need for additional providers and resources to provide the necessary care.  Personalized medicine could be a reality in the next decade or two, and this will certainly improve outcomes.


Banking

Lynn Crane, executive vice president, bank operations and services, Mutual of Omaha Bank in Arizona

Mobile devices will replace plastic cards.  This will completely change the “check out” experience at retailers. Arizona shoppers will be able to scan merchandise as they pick it up off the shelf and make payment without stopping at a checkout counter when they leave the store. On the negative side, this transition to non-traditional delivery channels will make bank branches less relevant. Online financial consultants will replace branch employees and a trip to the bank will become a thing of the past for Arizonans. Some branches will close and the industry will require a smaller workforce. The future value of currency will not rely on paper, but on digital data, so heightened security concerns and demand for data protection will prevail.  As a trusted source of security, banks will play a much larger role in helping Arizonans secure their valuables and their future.

Craig Doyle, Arizona market president, Comerica Bank

Some of the industry segments critical to our future are aerospace and defense, semi-conductor manufacturing, business services technology, health care and renewable energy.  Effectively supporting their growth requires a deep understanding of supply chains and related capital markets.  It will take time, but the Arizona banking industry should help facilitate the appropriate capital markets so that Arizona is competitive with other major economic regions in helping companies, form, grow and mature.


Education

Michael M. Crow, president, Arizona State University

Within 10 years, ASU will be America’s finest example of a widely accessible research intensive public university and in this mode it will be capable of operating at a very rapid and large scale for educational competitiveness for Arizona.  In this mode, the university will have deployed its assets to maximize the competitive position of Arizona through its role as a comprehensive knowledge enterprise producing fantastic graduates, ideas and new technologies. ASU will be a critical asset for Arizona going forward over the next 100 years as the knowledge based economy or at least knowledge driven adaptation and innovation to the uncertainties and the complexities that lie ahead in the areas of global finance, economic competitiveness, environmental sustainability and so forth will be such that what universities like ASU do will be more important than ever.  This is true specifically for ASU in the context of Arizona as Arizona in the next 100 years grows and matures into America’s preeminent example of a free enterprise driven innovation catalyzed state.

Bill Hubert, president and founder of Scottsdale-based Cology, Inc., which helps lenders enter the student loan market

At some point, the cost of education is going to have to “normalize” within the overall economy.  For decades, cost of attendance, whether private or public, traditional or trade-based, has increased at much higher than normal rate.  Our business of providing financial services that connect students and families with a broad spectrum of relationship based funding sources will certainly help increase access and drive down overall costs – of program administration, funding sources, and even institutional administrative costs.

Deanna Salazar, senior vice president and general counsel of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona

I believe that by supporting community outreach efforts similar to the Green Schoolhouse Series, which makes schools healthy and green “inside and out” through the development of an integrated health and wellness curriculum and green gardens to promote nutrition and wellness in disadvantaged schools, BCBSAZ will continue to be positioned as a leader who is genuinely taking care of the health of Arizonans, in both traditional and non-traditional ways that create a better future for all. For years to come, it’s BCBSAZ’s hope for the green gardens to teach children about healthy eating and physical activity by allowing them to use and maintain the garden.


Marketing

Kristin Bloomquist, executive vice president, general manager, Cramer-Krasselt

As I look into a crystal ball, the marketing world as we know it will change dramatically in the next 100 years. It will be forever changed even in the next 10 years. However, brands will not go away. In fact, they will be even more valuable both in the next decade and in the next century if they can evolve as we evolve, as our technology evolves. Those brands that increase in value over time will have very different ways of communicating with consumers. Everything will be personalized. Everything will happen in real time. There’s a good chance that 100 years from now, as far as commercial messaging and targeting goes, “Minority Report” will be seen as an amazingly accurate forward-looking documentary rather than a work of fiction.

Rob Davidson, co-owner of Phoenix-based Advertising firm Davidson & Belluso

Think of how social media has drastically impacted communications with customers and prospects in recent years. Marketing and advertising will keep changing at an even faster rate as new technology becomes available. Smart phones and tablets have already become standard channels of any marketing plan. Companies who stay on top of the latest marketing tools and learn about their customers changing behaviors are the ones who will be successful in reaching their target markets.


Energy

Mark Bonsall, general manager and CEO, SRP

In the next decade, the growth in wind and solar will continue to be strong, but will still provide a relatively small portion of the needed energy just because the scale of what is needed is so large. It is likely most of the new baseload resources will be fueled by natural gas.  New drilling and recovery technology is providing access to vast quantities of natural gas within the U.S. at relatively low costs, at least so far.  This provides a good bridge to develop systems that can improve the efficiency of solar systems, address the intermittent nature of most renewable resources, find safe and more cost-effective ways to deploy nuclear power, and provide the time for innovative new ideas we aren’t even aware of now.

John Lefebvre, president, Suntech America

With supportive policies, the solar industry will continue to grow and flourish, creating a major employment sector for the state. Additionally, every year the cost of solar is driven down, getting closer and closer to achieving grid parity in the U.S. As solar becomes a market-driven industry, Arizona is poised to be a major global solar industry hub, particularly with the continued development of large-scale solar projects. Ultimately, I hope to see energy generated from solar grow to a significant percent of the U.S. energy supply portfolio and eliminate our dependence on foreign oil, providing a low-cost solution to power our homes and cars. With solar, the sky’s the limit.


Housing

Rachel Lang and Marcy Briggs, loan officers for the Briggs-Lang team of Cobalt Mortgage

The rental market will continue to strengthen with long-term renters. We also see a stabilization within the Arizona real estate market due to the mortgage underwriting guidelines remaining more conservative than they were five years ago, and slightly less conservative five years from now.

Alan Boughton, director of commercial operations, W.J. Maloney Plumbing

As the population in the West increases and the demand for water intensifies by a seemingly unpredictable water supply and snow pack, innovation in low-flow plumbing fixtures could be our industry’s greatest impact on Arizona as more people are forced to live with less water.

CR Herro, vice president, environmental affairs, Meritage Homes

Homes will be built to work better, use fewer resources, be healthier, and adjust to the needs of owners. On the fringe of the market today are homes that can adjust the transparency of windows, extend and retract solar shades, turn on lights, change thermostat settings over a smart phone, and achieve net-zero energy demand. These changes allow homes to adapt to the unique needs of its occupants, offer more control, and waste less energy and resources (money) in their operation.


Transportation

Danny Murphy, Airport director, Sky Harbor International Airport

The biggest evolution our industry will experience is a transformation of the entire national air transportation system to avoid gridlock in air travel, called “NextGen.” This means moving from ground-based technologies to a new and more dynamic satellite-based technology.  While airport delays are minimal in Arizona, our passengers are impacted most when traveling to and from other locations and this technology will greatly improve that. Over the next 100 years, continental investment and enhancements to the state’s main airports will be critical to serve the needs of Arizona’s growing population.


Entertainment

Brad Casper, president, Phoenix Suns

In continuing to operate at the forefront of innovation, the Suns will offer fans the most technologically advanced atmosphere in professional sports, while emerging as the most winning franchise in NBA history. Through strategic partnerships, the Suns will act as a catalyst towards creating a sustainable entertainment and business environment, unmatched by any NBA/WNBA organization.

Catherine Anaya, chief journalist, KPHO CBS 5 News

I think in the next 100 years the marriage between television and computers will be such that we will be doing everything we do on a computer. There will still be a place for television news. However, I don’t think we’ll see it in the studio format we’ve been accustomed to seeing. I think we’ll end up shooting and broadcasting our news via our smart phones or whatever those evolve into in time. As a result, I think it will create more intimacy and interaction among Arizonans. That may or may not be a good thing as familiarity lines will get blurred.

Teri Agosta, general manager, Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort

The hospitality industry will continue to drive revenue into the Arizona market through increased travelers, due to the aging demographic, who will have more leisure time and money to spend. Also business travel will continue to grow as corporations realize people need direct contact with team members and clients to build a successful business, and webinars and teleconferencing do not meet these needs.  Also, our consistent weather will become more valuable to travelers, who will scrutinize their travel spending even more.

Melody Hudson, public relations manager, Gila River Gaming Enterprises

The opportunity for new job creation will become more prevalent than ever before with potential capital expansion opportunities which could result in not only new construction positions, but new positions within the Enterprises’ casinos as well. This potential growth could also result in an increase of revenues for both local and national businesses that supply goods and services to the Enterprise. Additionally, potential growth from not only Gila River Gaming  Enterprises, but the gaming industry in general in Arizona,  would result in larger amounts of funding going to the state for education, tourism, wildlife conservation and emergency services.

Carey Pena, co-anchor, 3TV News at 10 p.m.

There is a generally accepted theory of human knowledge that says:  today, we know 5 percent of what we will know in 50 years. In other words, in 50 years, 95 percent of what we will know will have been discovered in the past 50 years.  That makes it hard to imagine what 100 years will look like.

Arizona Business Magazine January/February 2012

 

Arizona SciTech Festival - AZ Business Magazine January/February 2012

SciTech Festival Spotlights Arizona As Growing Power In Science, Technology

Techno party: SciTech Festival will put spotlight on Arizona as a growing power in science and technology

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer says there is no better way to launch the state’s second century than by creating future leaders in industries that Brewer sees as crucial for the state’s economic vitality.

“Arizona is an emerging world leader for advances in aerospace, aviation and defense, semiconductor and electronics information technology, optics, life science, health science, renewable energy and telecommunications,” Brewer says. “Now, we must focus on ushering in the next generation of great scientific and technological leaders and must cultivate the scientific talents of all its students.”

To cultivate and inspire that talent, the Arizona Technology Council Foundation, Arizona State University and the Arizona Science Center have teamed up to create the First Annual Arizona SciTech Festival, a grass roots collaboration of more than 200 organizations in education and industry — including major employers like Microchip, Catholic Healthcare West, Raytheon and Orbital — designed to showcase how science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) could drive the state’s economy over the next 100 years.

“The SciTech Festival will be the perfect way for Arizona to start rebranding itself around science and technology,” says Chuck Vermillion, chief executive officer and founder of Scottsdale-based OneNeck IT Services.

According to Jeremy Babendure, a biomedical scientist and director of the festival, officials expect more than 100,000 people to attend more than 300 festival-related activities that will take place throughout the state over a six-week period.

“I went through the Arizona school system and then went to ASU,” Babendure says. “But when it came time for me to engage in scientific research, I went out of state. This festival will show the next generation of Arizona scientists what is going on their back yard and show them that it is possible to stay in Arizona and engage in meaningful scientific work.”

Festival organizers hope to showcase the state as a national leader in science, technology, and innovation. Activities will include workshops, conversations, debates, exhibitions, concerts, and guided tours for young people and adults.

“The festival will offer a high-profile way for Arizonans to appreciate the rich base of sophisticated research and technology in our state,” says Sethuraman Panchanathan, deputy senior vice president and chief research officer at ASU.

In addition to the three founding partners, sponsors of the SciTech Festival include, Cox, Avnet, SRP, Boeing, the Arizona Commerce Authority, the Flinn Foundation, US Airways, DPR Construction, Maricopa Community Colleges, Creative Engine and the Helios Education Foundation, which committed $50,000 to the festival.

“By supporting the (festival), Helios believes more Arizonans will become aware of the role STEM plays in our economy,” said Dr. Jo Anne Vasquez, vice president and program director, Arizona Transition Years; Teacher and Curriculum Initiatives. “In order for Arizona to be a player in the new global economy, Helios supports educational initiatives that create a college-going culture with an emphasis on academic preparation in STEM education.”

Getting Arizona’s young people interested in science and technology at a young age is one of the primary goals of the SciTech Festival, says Chevy Humphrey, president and CEO of Arizona Science Center.

“The problem we are having now, is that many of the students in Arizona who are interested in the STEM subjects in school, aren’t staying here after they graduate,” Humphrey says. “We need to find a way to get students interested in science and technology at a younger age and figure out a way to keep our talented young people here. Once we do that, we will have a better chance of attracting great minds and great companies to our state.”

Having a solid resource of home-grown talent is a topic often raised by employers looking to move to Arizona, Panchanathan says.

And for companies like Microchip Technology Inc. in Chandler, a leading provider of microcontroller and analog semiconductors, the idea of inspiring students that could become part of a home-grown workforce is one of the benefits that will be derived from the festival for generations to come.

“This is the kind of thing that can start to change the culture and get young people excited about science and engineering,” says Michelle Ragsdale, senior public relations specialist for Microchip, which is participating in three SciTech Festival events. “They will get an opportunity to see how math, science and technology shape our lives. they will have the opportunity mingle with innovators who are making a difference. They will be able to say to themselves, ‘Hey, if I take science, I will be able to do this.’”

Babendure says festival events include a Tech Crawl in Chandler, the “Science of Baseball” in Scottsdale, the “Science of Chocolate” in Glendale, and the “Science of Galileo” as part of the Arizona Renaissance Festival. All of the events, Babendure says, are meant to get Arizona resident excited about science and technology.

“The festival is designed to help the public better understand the strong relationship between the state’s current, outstanding research and technology and the immense potential it offers for Arizona’s future,” said Steven G. Zylstra, president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council. “State and local leaders … support this initiative as a powerful vehicle for leveraging productive synergy among stakeholders in the scientific, educational, and business communities leading to increased output of future innovators in STEM and resulting in more jobs and increased economic stability.”

Brewer agrees that celebrating science and technology with events like the SciTech Festival is “critical to raising student and public awareness of the impact science and technology have on our lives and to inspire the next generation of scientific leaders.”

One of the events that Microchip is excited to be involved with, Ragsdale says, is the FIRST Robotics Duel in the Desert on Feb. 18. At the duel, FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) high school teams will hold a scrimmage testing out their robots for the upcoming FRC (FIRST Robotics Competition) Arizona Regional. Those that watch the Duel in the Desert will get to meet the teams, talk to the teachers, and see the robots in action.

“Events like this will show young people that you don’t have to be a sports star or TV star to be famous,” Ragsdale says. “It will elevate the excitement about STEM education and open up a new world of opportunities for them.

“But in the bigger picture, the festival will put the focus on Arizona as a location and showing the world that we are paying attention to STEM education,” Ragsdale says. “Hopefully, companies will start to see Arizona not just as a place to come for the great weather, but because we are serious about creating and inspiring the next generation of innovators.”

For more information on the Arizona SciTech Festival and a complete schedule of events, visit azscitechfest.org.

Arizona Business Magazine January/February 2012

 

Arizona Technology Council Upcoming Events

Upcoming Arizona Technology Council Events

The Arizona Technology Council strives to connect all aspects of Arizona’s budding technological and business expansion. Producing over 100 events a year, the Arizona Technology Council is driven by its vicious ambition to network.

Arizona is exponentially getting bigger and better and by hosting a wide array of events all over the state, the Arizona Technology Council’s main goal is to work alongside this growth and connect the state with more opportunities. They offer a member-to-member discount program and assist in creating employee plans including health, dental, vision, disability, property/casualty and business liability.

Some of Arizona Technology Council’s upcoming events include:

Women in the Workforce Committee: The Economics of Sustainability from a Fresh Perspective, presented by Infusionsoft

The Women in the Workforce Committee are hosting this lecture, focusing specifically on the importance of being green in Arizona and how you can do it most effectively. Featured speakers include Kimber Lanning (Founder of LocalFirst Arizona), Vanessa Bechtol (Executive Director of Santa Cruz Valley Heritage Alliance) and Greg Peterson (Founder of Urban Farm).

[stextbox id="grey"]When: 10/5/2011, 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.
Where: SkySong
475 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85257
How much: Free for members; $25 for non-members[/stextbox]

Lunch and Learn: Leadership Development – Dealing with Bad Behavior at Work, presented by Thunderbird Online

Christine Pearson, Ph.D., Professor of Global Leadership at Thunderbird School of Global Management and an expert on dysfucntional workplace behavior, will be hosting this event. The event is ideal for business professionals who are currently managing employees and/or are looking to enhance their leadership skills in the future. Professor Pearson will also be giving away two copies of her recent book, “The Cost of Bad Behavior: How Incivility is Damaging Your Business and What to Do About It.”

[stextbox id="grey"]When: 10/11/2011, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Where: SkySong
1475 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85257
How much: Free for members; $15 for non-members[/stextbox]

Lunch and Learn: Leadership Development – Dealing with Bad Behavior at Work, presented by Thunderbird Online

Christine Pearson, Ph.D., Professor of Global Leadership at Thunderbird School of Global Management and an expert on dysfucntional workplace behavior, will be hosting this event. The event is ideal for business professionals who are currently managing employees and/or are looking to enhance their leadership skills in the future. Professor Pearson will also be giving away two copies of her recent book, “The Cost of Bad Behavior: How Incivility is Damaging Your Business and What to Do About It.”

[stextbox id="grey"]When: 10/11/2011, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Where: SkySong
1475 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85257
How much: Free for members; $15 for non-members[/stextbox]

Council Connect: Brand Your Business Like Your Favorite Restaurant, presented by Miss Details Design

Miss Details Design, the leading sensory design firm for service-related businesses with an emphasis in the hospitality industry, has assembled a panel of branding experts to share their secrets on how to create an engaging brand.

The lecture will feature panelists Paul Shashaty, marketing and brand manager of Desert Island Restaurants and Kate Unger, senior marketing VP of Kahala, the franchising company that owns Cold Stone Creamery, Blimpie, and more. Marketing directors, restaurant professionals and business owners looking to up their brand should attend this event.

[stextbox id="grey"]When: 10/19/2011, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Where: Seasons 52
2502 E. Camelback Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85016
How much: $25 for members; $45 for non-members[/stextbox]

VIP Networking Event: Presented by Microsoft Corporation

The Arizona Technology Council and the Microsoft Corperation are hosting the quarterly VIP Networking Event. The VIP Networking Reception will include opening remarks by AZTC President & CEO Steven Zylstra followed by a welcome from the Microsoft Corporation.

[stextbox id="grey"]When: 10/20/11, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Where: Microsoft Corporation
60 E. Rio Salado Pkwy., 12th Floor
Tempe, AZ 85281
How much: $15 for members; $25 for non-members[/stextbox]

Lunch and Learn: How to Secure Your Mobile Devices, presented by Verizon Business

Learn about industry trends, followed by a personal perspective of mobile security as well as an enterprise perspective.

[stextbox id="grey"]When: 10/25/2011, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Where: ITT Technical Institute
5005 S. Wendler Dr.
Tempe, Arizona 85282
How much: Free for members; $15 for non-members[/stextbox]

Council Connect: How to Use QR Codes and SMS to Increase Your Sales, presented by GottyCode

This event will teach you how to implement SMS messaging and QR codes into marketing tactics of your business.

[stextbox id="grey"]When: 11/2/2011, 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Where: SkySong
1475 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Scottsdale, Arizona 85257
How much: $15 for members; $25 for non-members[/stextbox]

2011 Governor’s Celebration of Innovation: Arizona Rising

The Governor’s Celebration of Innovation (GCOI) is the Arizona Technology Council’s annual awards gala that honors technology leaders and innovators from across the state. The event attracts more than 1,000 attendees each year for a night of networking, food and entertainment. For 2011, the awards portion of the event will be a theater-style presentation, followed by a sit down and plated dinner.

[stextbox id="grey"]When: 11/17/2011, 3 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Where: Phoenix Convention Center, North Building, 100 Level
100 N. Third St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004
How much: $15 for members; $25 for non-members[/stextbox]

1st Annual Requirements Conference for Arizona’s Aerospace, Aviation & Defense Community

AA&D industry primes to discuss requirements for their business success, collaboration between Arizona industry stakeholders, and advancing innovation and technology through the SBIR/STTR opportunities.

[stextbox id="grey"]When: 1/25/12 (Networking/Exhibition) – 1/26/11 (Main Conference), Time TBD
How much: $35/75 for members; $45/100 for non-members[/stextbox]


Visit the Arizona Technology Council’s website
for more information. In order to attend an event, you must register.

 

[tubepress mode="tag" tagValue="Arizona Technology Council"]

 

Arizona's high technology industry - AZ Business Magazine Jan/Feb 2011

Far-reaching Initiatives Are Driving The AZ Tech Council

When it comes to new initiatives to promote and develop Arizona’s high technology industry, there is no telling how far the Arizona Technology Council will go.

Would you believe … China? A 10-day, fact-finding journey — led by Arizona Technology Council President and CEO Steven Zylstra — to one of the oldest nations on the planet ranks as the most spectacular effort to assist Arizona’s technology companies and individuals. But there’s much more.

For example, Consultants on Demand, a program run by Dick Stover, CEO of Go1099.com, connects businesses with consultants and professionals for various contract services. It’s free to all Tech Council members.

With the addition of Consultants on Demand to the council’s website, members can post projects and special assignments without charge. Consultants and professionals can access and bid on these projects, also without charge.

Then there is the Mentoring Program, launched in 2010 to provide Tech Council members with a venue for strengthening and building their business knowledge and network. A pool of talented and experienced business professionals is available to fill the role of mentors. Under the program, a mentor spends a year working with a Tech Council member on mutually agreed upon goals for business and personal growth. In addition, the Tech Council has speakers address the group throughout the year on various business topics.

“As the group progresses through the program,” Zylstra says, “new relationships will be formed via networking, and stronger companies will be built by learning new business practices for strategic planning and efficient operational management.”

Because the technology industry is still somewhat male dominated, Women in the Workforce is a program that provides an opportunity for women in technology to share ideas and experiences. Teresa Snyder, marketing director for OneNeck IT Services, says the program is an attempt to fill a need for women in technology.

Arizona Business Magazine Jan/Feb 2011

First Job: Steven G. Zylstra, President And CEO Of Arizona Technology Council

Steven G. Zylstra
President and CEO, Arizona Technology Council

Describe your very first job and what lessons you learned from it.
I picked blueberries at Pottegetter’s Blueberry Farm in Allendale, Mich., with my parents when I was about 10 years old. It was hard work for a 10-year-old, but I learned that with hard work you could earn good money and buy the things you wanted in life. I earned enough money to buy an eight-transistor radio. The first song I remember listening to on my transistor radio was “I’m Henry VIII, I Am” by Herman’s Hermits, which was popular at the time.

I had dozens of jobs as a kid: topping onions, cutting celery, weeding pickles, butchering chickens, cleaning exotic bird cages, shoveling snow, inspecting eggs, selling seeds, delivering Grit newspaper, bus boy. I was a truck driver in my late teens. All of these opportunities taught me the value of hard work and ultimately helped me realize I could do more with a good education.

Describe your first job in your industry and what you learned from it.
My first job out of college was as a design engineer at the Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn, Mich. I had the opportunity to participate in a two-year graduate training program at Ford that was originated by Henry Ford. I had eight, three-month stints across the company in areas such as development, engine engineering, the Dearborn stamping and assembly plants at the Rouge, and body engineering. I even did a stint in product planning and had an office next to William Clay Ford Jr., the future chairman and CEO of Ford.

I learned the value of going above and beyond and trying to always exceed expectations. As a consequence of positive performance reviews while in the program, our vice president of advanced vehicle development recommended me for positions at Ford Aerospace and Communications Corp. in California at the time things got rough in the auto industry in the early ‘80s. That led me to spend the next 20 years of my career in the aerospace and defense industry.

What were your salaries at both of these jobs?
Picking blueberries in 1964 paid 5 cents a pound. In my first job at Ford in 1978, I made $18,000 a year — more than my Dad, who grew up on a farm and attended school through eighth-grade had earned in any year prior to that.

Who is your biggest mentor and what role did they play?
I never really had a mentor per se, just role models. My father was a role model. He is still the hardest-working person I have known. I got my work ethic from my Dad. I had a high school girlfriend whose father was a role model. Beyond that, what pushes me is an internal drive to excel at whatever I do.

What advice would you give to a person just entering your industry?
After getting a great education, do what you love. People are always better at things they enjoy doing. I have always enjoyed going to work. I find it rewarding, invigorating. Always be honest and ethical. Don’t ever accept mediocre; pursue excellence. Always exceed everyone’s expectations — yourboss’, your colleagues’, your customers’, everyone. It will serve you well. Have fun!

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing instead?
I have always wanted to own a Harley-Davidson dealership (maybe a good retirement gig!). While often a lonely place, I like the challenges and rewards of having the top leadership position in an organization. I would enjoy serving as the CEO of many things, especially private companies, not-for-profits and trade associations. I would love to be a golf pro on the tour … if only I had the skill.


Arizona Business Magazine

February 2010

Job Hunting with Jobing.com - AZ Business Magazine February 2008

Good Job Hunting

For Jobing.com, it’s the people, not the technology, that makes the difference.

 

At Jobing.com, The Wall says it all. Scrawled on walls that wrap around a busy office and down a hallway are comments from countless clients, partners, association groups and government friends expressing their appreciation for a job well done. Aaron Matos, the 35-year-old brains behind the fast-growing Jobing.com, says The Wall just kind of happened.

“It originally was just images and our mission statement and some things we wanted internally,” Matos says. “One day a client came in and wanted to write on the wall. He signed a little note — and suddenly it caught on.”

Launched in Phoenix in 2000, Jobing.com was named to the Inc. Magazine 2007 list of the 500 fastest growing privately owned companies in the country for the third consecutive year. It also received an Economic Engines of Arizona Award last year from Arizona Business Magazine.

Jobing.com serves 18 markets in eight states, including Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Florida, California, Nevada and Wisconsin, matching local residents with local jobs. Nationally, Jobing.com counts 35,000 employers among its clients, gets 3 million hits a month from job seekers, and provides leads for 80,000 different types of jobs, spokesman Joe Cockrell says.

In the Phoenix area, health care related jobs make up a large part of the firm’s business. It’s free for job-seekers; employers pay a fee to advertise based on a variety of factors.
“Prior to starting Jobing,” Matos says, “I was in human resources for 10 years. It became clear to me that what really helps drive a business is recruiting the right talent. You could never train the wrong person to do the right job.”

A native Arizonan, Matos worked full time in HR-related jobs while attending Glendale Community College and Arizona State University West, earning a bachelor’s degree. He holds a master’s in business administration from Northwestern University.

“I found early on most people didn’t love their jobs,” he says. “It was clear to me that when people loved what they did, they performed better and were passionate about their lives.”
Sports sponsorships with the Phoenix Suns and Arizona Diamondbacks led Matos to explore opportunities with the Phoenix Coyotes hockey team.

“We decided to think big,” he says, referring to a 10-year naming rights deal for the Glendale arena that houses the Coyotes and is considered a first-rate concert venue.
“We felt it would catapult our brand and the awareness of the company,” he says, but declines to disclose how much the deal cost.

Ironically, when Jobing.com holds a job fair in the Phoenix area, Jobing.com Arena is too small. Held in the adjacent University of Phoenix Stadium, the fairs typically attract more than 300 employers and 7,000 to 10,000 job seekers in a day, he says.

Another marketing tool is the fleet of some 160 multicolored small vans that Matos calls “moving billboards — they get Jobing’s name out into the community.”

Every employee gets one and the company reimburses them for the monthly payments, plus pays for gas, but not insurance.

Matos was interested in computers at an early age.

“I’ve always been a computer guy,” he says, “but the passion behind this business is on the human resources side, not the technology side.”

Matos came up with the idea for Jobing.com while working for a publisher of niche newspapers. Today, his company is the fifth largest of its kind in the country. His goal is to cut into the market share of his two biggest competitors, Monster and Career Builder, and to tap into help-wanted ads that newspapers are losing.

The reason for the growth of the industry, he says, is that advertising online is more cost-effective and it’s easier to reach a targeted audience.

Kent Ennis, deputy director of the Arizona Department of Commerce, sees Jobing.com as a perfect fit for the state agency.

“Commerce tries to recruit businesses to the state, which includes new jobs, and Jobing.com recruits the work force,” he says.

Matos doesn’t consider Jobing a tech company, even though the connection between employers and job seekers is via the Internet.

“We consider ourselves much more of a services media company, serving HR professionals and job seekers,” he says.

Ron Schott, executive director of the Arizona Technology Council, says Jobing.com combines the human element with technology, using a state-of-the-art computer system. Job hunting on the Internet is the wave of the 21st century, Schott says, “until a newer wave comes along.”

Jobing.com is riding the current wave.

“It’s a great company and it’s great that we have them headquartered in Arizona,” Schott says.

Matos, reflecting on the growth of Jobing.com, says, “When I look at what we’ve done, maybe we’ve only finished chapter one of a really long book.”

Visit jobing.com for more information.

 

Arizona Business Magazine February 2008