Tag Archives: arizona

aerospace

Schuknecht Appointed to Aerospace Commission

Fennemore Craig, a leading Mountain West regional firm, announced Seth Schuknecht, an attorney in the firm’s Phoenix office, has been appointed to the Aerospace and Defense Commission by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. Schuknecht is one of 9 Commission members from the private sector appointed to the commission.

The Aerospace and Defense Commission is the state’s sole entity overseeing all aerospace an d defense related commercial partnerships. With more than 1,200 aerospace and defense companies in Arizona, the Commission is tasked with advancing aerospace and defense activity in the state. The Commission works with Arizona Commerce Authority to enhance and support the industry and has the power to adopt rules, establish goals, objectives and guidelines as well as, recommend legislation, manage contracts and provide general direction regarding the state’s interests in aerospace and defense.

Schuknecht practices in the areas of commercial litigation, intellectual property, and aviation, aerospace, and autonomous systems. “This is a great opportunity for Seth and Fennemore Craig, to showcase the firm’s knowledge and insight in the emerging and evolving legal issues relating to the integration of autonomous aerial systems,” says Doug Northup, chair of the firm’s Commercial Litigation practice.

Prior to law school, Schuknecht served as a Naval Aviator for 9 years on active duty in the U.S. Navy. His various assignments included selection and service as an instructor pilot at every operational squadron he was assigned. Schuknecht holds a civilian Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) Certificate with type ratings in five different aircraft. He received his B.A. with merit from the United States Naval Academy and his J.D., cum laude, from Arizona State University, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.

"Bunch Reservoir is approximately 63 acres at an elevation of 8200 feet. Apache, Rainbow and brown trout are the main catches." - GreerArizona.com / Photo from GreerArizona.com

Local’s Choice: Fishing in Greer

AZ Big Media’s staff is full of Arizona know-it-alls, and we love to gush about everything we love about the Grand Canyon State. We finally created a forum for our staffers to share the wealth on our “Local’s Choice” feature. This post about fishing in Greer, Ariz. is by editorial intern Jesse Millard. Enjoy!

To escape Arizona’s heat without going through the drastic task of leaving the state, my family and I always head to Greer, Ariz., as a part of the last hoorah of the summer.

Greer was a foreign place at first. The hills rolled, the trees were green and deer roamed freely without a worry. For someone who grew up in metropolitan Phoenix, these were all signs that I might be in another state. The best part of the Greer was the fishing; the cold waters were always filled to the brim with an array of trout.

My family would go along the Little Colorado River that wound through the valley and find a cool spot in the shade to drop our lines and watch the water flow as we pulled the string of the line, trying to entice a catch. After some time, we’d catch rainbow trout that would bring new meaning to the words freshly caught.

If the river wasn’t a good enough place to go fishing, there were still plenty of opportunities to get a fresh catch of the day. Sometimes we’d head to one of the reservoirs, either Bunch or Tunnel, and sit down along the shores and cast out.

Fishing at the reservoirs was much more relaxing. The line does the work for you, so there was nothing to do but talk and watch nature.

And after a full day of fishing, and the rain clouds came in, we’d spend the rest of the day listening to the rain and enjoying a lunch of freshly caught fish.

Jones

Jones Selected as 2014 Lawyer of the Year

Best Lawyers has selected William R. Jones, Jr. as the 2014 “Lawyer of the Year” for Medical Malpractice Law in Phoenix, Arizona. According to Best Lawyers, when an attorney is selected as “Lawyer of the Year,” it “reflects the high level of respect a lawyer has earned among other leading lawyers in the same communities and the same practice areas for their abilities, their professionalism, and their integrity.”

William R. Jones, Jr. is one of the founding attorneys at Jones, Skelton & Hochuli, P.L.C., which began in 1983. Mr. Jones has been practicing law for 52 years and has tried over 250 civil jury cases in Arizona and other states. While he currently concentrates his practice in the medical malpractice area, Mr. Jones is still involved in litigating and trying other types of civil liability cases on an active and ongoing basis. He has served as both the Arizona Court of Appeals Judge Pro Tem and the Superior Court of Arizona Judge Pro Tem.

Jones has passed along the knowledge he has gained throughout his legal career by speaking as a guest lecturer at Harvard University, Arizona State University and the University of Arizona College of Law. He has been listed as one of the Top 50 Lawyers in Arizona since 2007 by Southwest Super Lawyers.

MD-Anderson-HDR-1a

Expanded Banner MD Anderson to open April 1

Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center will open the second phase of its outpatient facility on April 1, a major addition which will greatly expand specialty cancer treatment services and prevention programs in Arizona.

The three-story addition includes The James M. Cox Center for Cancer Prevention and Integrative Oncology, additional clinic and infusion space, a separate hematology/stem cell transplant clinic, and expanded radiation oncology space.

The Cox Center, established through a $5 million grant from The James M. Cox Foundation, will provide preventative health consultations for patients to determine their risk for cancer. Medical experts also will offer integrative health consults for patients undergoing cancer treatment as well as cancer survivors. The center will feature services to assist patients during their cancer journeys, such as acupuncture, massage, exercise, nutrition programs and counseling.

“Expansion of our cancer services will allow us to continue advancing the level of cancer care in Arizona through multidisciplinary treatment and access to cutting-edge research,” said Dr. Edgardo Rivera, medical director of Banner MD Anderson. “These expansion projects are more than just adding rooms, space and equipment. Our team approach ensures each patient receives a comprehensive plan of care for his or her individual diagnosis.”

For radiation oncology, the expansion adds two new linear accelerators to the current three. These advanced radiation devices are used to treat a broad spectrum of tumors throughout the body, while enabling treatment of highly complex cancers that require extreme targeting precision. The new machines are housed in rooms with patient amenities such as ceiling-mounted video screens, featuring a variety of relaxing nature scenes patients can choose to watch during their treatments.
Patients undergoing treatment for blood cancers will receive care in the new stem cell transplant/hematology clinic, located on the third floor. This clinic will care for patients with a variety of blood cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma and many more, as well as stem cell transplant patients.

Additional infusion treatment areas will provide more space for patients receiving chemotherapy and other intravenous treatments.

Thirty additional clinic rooms will expand the capacity of the Multidisciplinary Clinic. Physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists and additional care providers see patients in this clinic, which is usually divided by disease type.

Banner MD Anderson will hold a free “Power of Prevention” community event from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., March 22 at the facility, 2946 E. Banner Gateway Drive. This will include tours of the new Cox Center and additional treatment areas. Learn more about the event at www.BannerMDAnderson.com/events.

Leslie McCarver_photo 2

Top-producerMcCarver joins Walt Danley Realty

Scottsdale-based Walt Danley Realty, the premier luxury real estate firm and Arizona’s exclusive affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate, welcomes top-producer Leslie McCarver to its roster of outstanding agents. As a former corporate attorney and business executive, McCarver brings her unique skill set and extensive experience to the Danley organization.

“Leslie and I have a long-standing friendship and I have always respected her professional achievements,” said Walt Danley, president of Walt Danley Realty. “She is well known in our industry as an outstanding real estate agent and we are excited to have her back on our team.”

McCarver rejoins Danley from his team’s former affiliation with a prominent international real estate brand.

“Walt Danley Realty is admired and emulated on a national and local level,” says McCarver. “Walt has been a mentor of mine for many years and I am honored to be part of his prestigious team again.”

McCarver will specialize in custom home construction and sales of residential building sites within Paradise Valley.

-more-
McCarver’s impressive achievements include ranking worldwide in the top 2 percent of REALTORS®, and holding sales records with Danley for the most expensive single-family home and the most expensive single-family building lot in Paradise Valley, as recorded by ARMLS.

She holds a BA from Barnard College of Columbia University and a JD from the Emory University School of Law. In addition to her real estate career, McCarver supports local charities including St. Mary’s Food Bank, the Trends Charitable Fund and no-kill animal shelters. She has served on the boards of various arts organizations and has chaired several large fundraising events for the Arizona Opera League.

Walt Danley Realty represents luxury homebuyers and sellers in the Northeast Valley of Phoenix including Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Fountain Hills, Rio Verde, Arcadia, Biltmore, Cave Creek and Carefree. Walt Danley Realty is located at 6720 N. Scottsdale Rd., #140, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253. For more information, call (480) 991-2050 or visit www.waltdanley.com.

Westgate Entertainment District

Spring Training Deals at Westgate District

It’s time to play ball! There is no better time to enjoy a spring afternoon, the smell of freshly cut grass and the thrill of cheering on your favorite baseball team than during Spring Training in Arizona.

Baseball reigns supreme in Glendale and the West Valley from February 26 to March 29 where five ballparks host more than half of the MLB teams in the Cactus League.

With over 20 restaurants, retailers and entertainment venues, Westgate Entertainment District is the hub of activity for baseball fans looking to grab a bite, a few beers and sweet treats or enjoy live music and a little shopping before or after the game.

Westgate has partnered with Camelback Ranch-Glendale, home of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox, to offer a flat Discount Cab rate from Westgate to the ballpark for only $15.

All season long, fans are encouraged to show their ticket stub to take advantage of the many deals offered by Westgate tenants including:

Kabuki Japanese Restaurant
Show your same-day ticket stub to receive 20 percent off your bill. Not valid during happy hour and reverse happy hour. Excludes alcohol, tax, gratuity and the purchase of gift cards. One offer per party, per table, per visit. Cannot be combined with other offers or rewards. For dine-in only.
http://www.kabukirestaurants.com , 623-772-9832

McFadden’s
Enjoy 15 percent off your total bill when you show your ticket stub. The discount does not apply on event and game days.
http://www.mcfaddensglendale.com , 623-872-0010

Just Sports
Receive 20 percent off one regular-priced item when you show your ticket stub.
www.justsportsaz.com , 623-872-9490

The Shout! House
Show your ticket stub to receive a $1 well drink or $1 domestic draft.
http://www.theshouthouse.com/az , 623-772-1500

Cold Stone Creamery
Cool down with a sweet treat and receive 10 percent off any order with a same-day ticket stub (excluding gift card purchases).
www.coldstonecreamery.com , 623-877-1580

Saddle Ranch Chop House
Guests will receive 20 percent off their total bill when they show their same-day ticket stub.
http://www.srrestaurants.com/glendale , 623-889-7770

IT’SUGAR
Enjoy 20 percent off bulk candy with your spring training ticket stub. Promote code: ST14.
www.itsugar.com , 623-877-8124

Razzleberriez Frozen Yogurt
Buy one yogurt, get the second one 50 percent off when you show your same-day ticket stub. Additionally, receive $5 off when you purchase $25 or more. Discounted yogurt of equal of lesser value; offer cannot be combined with other offers.
www.razzleberriezyogurt.com , 623-877-3542

Which Wich
Receive free chips or a cookie with every wich purchase when you show your ticket stub.
www.whichwich.com , 623-977-9424

M.U.G. Men’s Ultimate Grooming
Enjoy 20 percent off the Ultimate Haircut or Ultimate Shave when you show your ticket stub.
www.mugonline.co , 623-772-7279

la Lady Boutique
Enjoy 20 percent off anything in the boutique when you show your ticket stub.
www.facebook.com/laLadyDesigns , 623-872-9677

For more information about Spring Training deals, visit www.westgateaz.com/springtraining. For information on Westgate Entertainment District, a retailer directory or to see what’s happening today, visit www.westgateaz.com.

Enterprise Bank & Trust Arizona Region Chairman Jack Barry

Enterprise announces free spring seminar schedule

Enterprise Bank & Trust, focused on the financial needs of privately-held businesses, their owner families, executives and professionals, announces its spring 2014 Enterprise University course schedule providing free educational seminars on a variety of relevant topics for business owners and their leadership.

“We’ve received outstanding feedback from Enterprise University participants the last two years and are delighted to debut our new format and dynamic speakers this semester,” said Enterprise Bank & Trust Arizona Region Chairman Jack Barry. “We’re pleased to offer the Phoenix business community an opportunity to learn from leading Valley professionals and the chance to share ideas and network in this engaging and interactive setting.”

The spring 2014 course schedule entails:

o Emerging Social Media and Personnel Policy Risks for Employers, Tuesday, March 11 7:30-8 a.m. networking, 8-9:30 a.m. program (Instructor: Joseph T. Clees, Shareholder, Ogletree Deakins)
o Options for Selling a Business and How Private Equity Can Help, Thursday, April 10 7:30-8 a.m. networking, 8-9:30 a.m. program (Instructor: James D. Colyer, Partner, True North Companies)
o Leveraging Digital Marketing to Grow Your Business, Wednesday, May 14 7:30-8 a.m. networking, 8-9:30 a.m. program (Instructor: Stephen Heitz, Managing Director of Interactive Services, The Lavidge Company)

All courses are held at Phoenix Country Club located at 2901 N 7th St, in Phoenix. Classes are free, but registration is required. For additional information and to register visit www.enterprisebank.com/eu.

Enterprise University courses in Phoenix, St. Louis and Kansas City are taught by a variety of industry experts and focus on relevant business topics including marketing, social media, sales, financial strategies, leadership training, employee management, employee benefits, succession planning and more. Enterprise University challenges business owners to think strategically and collectively supports a thriving business community by offering its courses to bank clients as well as non-clients. Attendees may register for any or all of the free courses.

Armstrong, Keri 2014

Wells Fargo Names Armstrong Business Banking Manager

Wells Fargo today announced that Keri Armstrong has been named Business Banking manager overseeing Wells Fargo Business Banking in the Mesa and Yuma and Arizona Agricultural Banking. Todd Gerber, Area Business Banking manager for Arizona announced the appointment.

“As the nation’s leading business lender, Wells Fargo is committed to satisfying all of the financial services needs of business customers and helping them succeed financially,” Gerber said. “During her career, Keri has excelled at providing outstanding service to our customers. Her strong skills, years of experience, and commitment to helping our business customers reach their goals, make him tremendous asset for our Business Banking team.”

Armstrong joined Wells Fargo in 1996 and most recently served as a Credit Management Group loan adjustment manager in Mesa where she was responsible for managing an assigned portfolio of assets for the Arizona and California markets. She has also held positions of senior business relationship manager, credit analyst, business sales associate, customer service representative and teller. Armstrong earned her bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Masters in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.

Wells Fargo Business Banking delivers customized solutions and tailored business packages to help our business customers grow and prosper. These include loans and lines of credit, treasury management, payroll, merchant card services, foreign exchange, employee benefit plans, real estate lending, online banking and bill payment, business and personal insurance, investments, trusts, wealth management, business valuation and retirement planning.

franchising

Help for Entrepreneurs Wanting to Franchise Business

Susan Wells, a partner with the law firm of Jaburg Wilk is hosting FranFocus–a no-cost presentation by experienced professionals for successful entrepreneurs considering expanding their businesses through franchising, followed by cocktails, on Wednesday, March 12th from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Jaburg Wilk, 3200 N. Central Ave., Suite 2000 Phoenix, AZ 85012.

Attendees will learn what franchising is, what makes their business franchisable, how to add value through branding, how to prepare their operations for franchising, site build out and commercial leasing issues for franchise systems and how to position their business to attract great franchisees.

Presenters include:

Susan Wells, who has been advising franchisors and franchisees since 1993, when she began representing Cold Stone Creamery®. Susan will discuss what “franchising” is, as well as what makes a business “franchisable.”

Randi Miller, a principal with BrandSculpt, has helped her clients design, develop and monitor performance of new concepts and refine and reposition brands and products to enhance customer experience and increase profitability for over 30 years. Randi will discuss key principles in developing strong brands for fledgling and potential franchise systems.

Dana Robling has been responsible for franchise development for Moe’s Southwest Grill® and Kahala Franchising’s 15 brands. Dana will share her experience in refining and institutionalizing operational practices of a successful business to facilitate franchisees’ successful replication and operation of that business.

Melinda Hinkson has been a co-owner of Sigma Contracting, a general contractor with significant experience in retail build outs, since 1983. Melinda will provide practical advice about what franchisors should consider in developing prototypes for their franchise systems.

Renee Gerstman, a partner with Jaburg & Wilk, advises landlords and tenants in connection with their commercial leases, often in the franchise context. Renee will discuss lease provisions that are necessary for the protection of the franchise system.

Harriet Moser, a Franchise Consultant with FranNet of Arizona and New Mexico, assists her clients select business opportunities that match their skill sets, financial resources and goals. Harriet will share what prospective franchisees are looking for in a franchise system.

To attend the no-cost presentation, please email Lindsay Preach your name, company name and phone number at info@jaburgwilk.com or call 602.248.1044. Seating is limited.

lesbians

GPEC Board Chair Calls for Veto of Senate Bill 1062

Under the direction of the Chairman of the Board of Directors, James H. Lundy, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) will be sending a letter to Arizona Governor Janice K. Brewer urging the veto of Senate Bill 1062.

As a premier regional economic development organization, GPEC works hand in hand with the Arizona Commerce Authority to build the case for businesses to locate or expand in Arizona. The business community has collectively worked at building a pro-business environment in Arizona – it is GPEC’s opinion that the passage of Senate Bill 1062 will create a hurdle to overcome in drawing business expansion to our great state.

“I am extremely disappointed in this legislature,” said GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome. “We have worked with the legislature over the last five years to help recover Arizona. The legislature’s management of the budget issues the last several years has been instrumental in changing the business platform, and attracting and landing exciting companies.”

From the letter:

“Under your leadership as Governor, and work done on behalf of the Arizona Commerce Authority in partnership with GPEC, Arizona has been witnessing a comeback. In order to maintain the great momentum, we need to prevent any setbacks which further the agenda to tarnish the business-friendly reputation we have all worked so tirelessly to build.”

A copy of the letter can be found here: http://www.gpec.org/sites/default/files/SB1062%20Veto%20Letter%202.21.14.pdf

google

Google Fiber could be coming to Valley

The cities of Scottsdale, Phoenix and Tempe joined Google Wednesday in announcing the first potential expansion of Google Fiber to the Valley.

Google Fiber is an Internet and TV service that provides Internet connectivity that is up to 100 times faster than the basic broadband, along with hundreds of high-definition TV channels.

“Scottsdale and Google Fiber are a perfect match,” said Scottsdale Mayor W.J. “Jim” Lane. “We are a connected city, filled with innovative and creative people and businesses – which is why Google named Scottsdale the 2013 E-City of Arizona. I look forward to working with Google Fiber to explore bringing Scottsdale residents ultra-high speed Internet access to make us more future-ready than ever.”

What’s next?

Starting this week, Google will work closely with city leaders on a joint planning process to explore what it would take to build a brand new fiber-optic network capable of delivering these gigabit speeds throughout Scottsdale.

Google will begin compiling a detailed study of local factors that might affect construction plans. Simultaneously, Scottsdale will begin meetings with Google to discuss what it would take to plan and prepare the city for a fiber project of this scale.

Read more about the process on the Google Fiber blog here.

Google will announce by year’s end which cities will get Google Fiber. The service is currently available in Kansas City, Kansas, Kansas City, Missouri and Provo Utah, and will be available in Austin, Texas later this year.

Ice Den Chandler Announces a $3 Million Upgrade

Ice Den Chandler, soon-to-be Arizona’s next premier skating venue, today announced an estimated $3 million repair, renovation and revitalization project to begin this spring at the two-rink facility recently purchased by Coyotes Ice.

During the pre-purchase inspection process, it was determined that the Chandler facility, like the other Polar Ice locations, was in severe disrepair and in need of major reconstruction to bring the facility up to safety code requirements and to meet the professional standards skaters currently experience at Ice Den facility in Scottsdale and elsewhere.  The ice plant and floors in particular were on the verge of an irreversible failure that would have forced closure of the facility during the high usage fall and winter skating seasons.

“This will be a completely new facility when we re-open later this summer,” said Mike O’Hearn, president of Coyotes Ice. “Out of necessity, we are replacing all of the interior equipment, ice plant, lighting, roof work and subfloor which had not been maintained as required for the facility to continue in use.  New concrete floors will replace the current outmoded sand-based design, which will provide flexibility allowing the venue to be utilized in summer months for indoor soccer, lacrosse, day camps and other activities that are already available at the Ice Den’s Scottsdale location.”

O’Hearn added “We will also be adding other amenities that we feel are necessary for a high quality skating experience including a new retail shop for hockey and figure skaters and a fully redesigned café and snack food area.  Additionally, we will aggressively focus on rebuilding the now dormant youth hockey, skating and Learn to Skate programs at the Chandler facility, a process that is already underway. We expect no less than the success we have had at our Scottsdale facility where over 1,000,000 customers annually take advantage of our facility and its unexcelled amenities. On multiple occasions the Ice Den Scottsdale has ranked in the “Top 5” of skating and hockey venues in North America.”

The massive repair and renovation project will cause a temporary closure of the Chandler facility from Monday, April 7th to Monday, August 4th, 2014. During that time skaters are encouraged to continue their skating, training regimens, private lesson instruction and Learn to Skate programs at the Ice Den Scottsdale.  Staff will be available to assist with this scheduling process, including assistingIce Den Chandler figure skating and hockey coaches with their private lesson needs.

“We invite all of those who currently utilize the Chandler facility to visit our Scottsdale location so we can help accommodate your equipment and skating needs, and to show you first-hand what the new facility and your future programing will look like when Ice Den Chandler re-opens,” said Julie Patterson, director of skating and programming for both Ice Den facilities. “This brief closure will also provide our administrative staff the opportunity to prepare and properly train the rink personnel in Chandler so they can meet the high quality standards we expect for our customers.”

“We will endeavor to complete this project on time and with as little disruption as possible for our customers,” said O’Hearn.  “We appreciate your understanding and support, and assure you that when Ice Den Chandler re-opens this summer it will be a venue the community can take great pride in and enjoy for a long time to come.”

“We are thrilled to see the extensive renovations that are planned for the Ice Den Chandler,” said Christine Mackay, Chandler’s director of economic development.  “Not only to be able to keep this tremendous asset available to the community but to see the significant investment the new ownership has planned is truly exciting for us.”

A Grand Re-Opening Celebration is planned for the summer of 2014.

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AZ's First Multi-Builder Community for Baby Boomers

DMB Associates announced today the four builders that will construct homes at Victory, Arizona’s first multi-builder community for people 55 years and better which will be located in the multi-generational community of Verrado.

Only four homebuilders were selected among the interested top local and national homebuilders. The Phase One roster includes Lennar (NYSE: LEN), Maracay Homes (NYSE: WY), Standard Pacific (NYSE: SPE) and T.W. Lewis by David Weekley Homes. The combined purchase by the homebuilders totals $40.68 million.

Similar to DMB’s process of collaborating with lifestyle, health and longevity experts on the design of the community, DMB engaged an expert architect, universal design experts, and kitchen and bath designers to educate homebuilders on how the lifestyle, needs and motivations of Baby Boomers differ from traditional homebuyers.

As a result of the collaboration, these homebuilders will be offering innovative, easy living home designs with an emphasis on entertaining, personal retreats, dream kitchens including the latest appliances and technology, open floor plans, and casual living that creates connections between the indoor and outdoor living spaces.

“By collaborating with multiple builders, Victory at Verrado plans to offer its residents more choice, quality and personalization than other communities constructed by a single homebuilder. Multiple homebuilders, coupled with Verrado’s unique architectural guidelines and front porch emphasis, will create diverse and traditional looking neighborhoods,” said Nick Taratsas, DMB senior vice president and general manager of Victory. “No other developer has spent this kind of time and attention to educate builders on the specific needs of Baby Boomers.”

The first phase of homes will range from approximately 1,400 square feet to more than 3,000 square feet, available on four distinct lot sizes. Home prices are planned to range from the $200,000’s to more than $500,000.  DMB, which has a growing list of interested buyers, plans to start sales in January 2015.

The residents of Victory will enjoy all of the existing amenities the small town of Verrado offers today.  In addition, the Victory Club, which will be located at the center of the Victory District, will be the hub of the indoor and outdoor amenities designed and built exclusively for Victory residents. The Victory Club is planned to open in December 2015. Tom Lehman is designing Victory’s 18-hole golf course and clubhouse which is planned to open late 2016.  An extensive path and trail system connecting the new Victory district and adjacent White Tank Mountain range and Verrado is being planned as well.

DMB broke ground on Victory at Verrado in October 2013. The district will have 3,500 homes at build out.

Victory’s Phase One Builders and Number of Lots:

Lennar – 125

Maracay Homes – 98

Standard Pacific – 120

T.W. Lewis by David Weekley Homes- 74

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Scottsdale Mortgage Company Announces Expansion

In a move that will position Arizona-based mortgage company, V.I.P. Mortgage, Inc., to contend for becoming the largest privately held mortgage company in southern Arizona, the company announced that it will add more than 65 employees.

As part of this increased presence in southern Arizona, mortgage industry veteran Hunter H. Sampsel has joined V.I.P. Mortgage as regional vice president.

“Sampsel is an exceptional leader in our industry and we are pleased to welcome him to V.I.P. Mortgage,” said Jay Barbour, Founder and President of V.I.P. Mortgage, Inc.  “Sampsel will be managing the day-to-day operations for all of southern Arizona, as well as providing support and expertise as we continue to expand our national footprint.”

This move comes on the heels of the recent expansion of V.I.P. Mortgage into the Hawaii market.  The company opened an office in Honolulu this past November bringing the number of states with V.I.P. Mortgage offices up to six.

Sampsel, who brings more than 20 years of experience in the mortgage industry, opened American Home Mortgage in 1997, and then worked under the Fairway Independent Mortgage Company starting in 2009.  He holds a degree in Finance and Real Estate from the University of Arizona.

“V.I.P. Mortgage offers the tools, products and resources needed to successfully manage and further grow the region,” said Hunter H. Sampsel, Vice President, V.I.P. Mortgage, Inc.  “The company is also recognized as one of the best places to work and that emphasis on culture benefits employees and clients alike.  I’m looking forward to being a part of such a highly regarded, forward-thinking organization.”

“V.I.P. Mortgage has experienced rapid growth over the past several years,” said Mai Yahn, Executive VP, Corporate Growth & Strategic Planning, V.I.P. Mortgage, Inc.  “Our growth in the Tucson area, as well as our expansion into Hawaii, is part of our continued plan to increase V.I.P. Mortgage’s presence nationally.”

Educare Arizona Names New CEO

John Scola has been named Chief Executive Officer of Educare Arizona. Scola brings with him over twenty-five years of leadership, fundraising, board development and strategic planning experience in Arizona and California. He holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Dallas and is a Certified Fund Raising Executive. Scola has served on various boards in the United States and is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Greater Arizona and Orange County chapters. Most recently, Scola has worked with organizations in California and Arizona in various leadership capacities and has assisted in the design of capital campaigns, alumni giving programs and securing upwards of $2 million annually.

“John is a national-class leader and is the right person at the right time for Educare Arizona,” said Jessie Rasmussen, Chair of the Educare Arizona Board of Directors and President of the Omaha-based Buffett Early Childhood Fund, a foundation investing in Educare Arizona as well as 20 other Educare schools across the country. “John is a great messenger that investing in early learning is the best way to level the playing field, to ensure more young, vulnerable children will have the opportunity to grow up ready for school, healthy and eager to learn.”

A 501(c) (3) charitable organization, Educare Arizona is part of a national network of Educare schools that is dramatically changing the life trajectories of thousands of children growing up in families facing the greatest obstacles to success and changing the way America thinks about early education. Educare Arizona is made possible with the public/private support of founding partners: Balsz Elementary School District, Buffett Early Childhood Fund, Ibis Foundation of Arizona, Southwest Human Development, The Steve Nash Foundation, Whiteman Foundation and other local and national foundations.  Learn more at www.educarearizona.org.

health.education

New Surprise College Spotlights Health Information

The College of St. Scholastica has opened its first venue in Arizona at the Communiversity @ Surprise, a higher education center at 15950 N. Civic Center Plaza in Surprise.

The Communiversity, which opened in 2009, is a partnership among six schools: Glendale Community College, Phoenix College, and Rio Salado College (all part of the Maricopa Community College System), Ottawa University, Northern Arizona University and now St. Scholastica. In addition to its new site in Surprise, St. Scholastica operates eight other U.S. locations as well a virtual campus, with a total enrollment of more than 4,200 students.

St. Scholastica’s initial programs in Surprise are online and include its Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Health Information Management, and a Master of Science in Health Informatics. St. Scholastica’s health information management program has been a national leader since it began in 1934 as the first such degree program in the nation. The College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, which also accredits Arizona institutions of higher learning.

Each of the College’s online programs in Surprise provides in-person support for admissions, financial aid and advising from St. Scholastica and Communiversity staff.
“St. Scholastica provides a new pathway to baccalaureate and graduate degrees for students currently enrolled at the Communiversity, and more broadly the Maricopa Community College system,” said St. Scholastica President Larry Goodwin. “Our goal is to offer innovative higher educational opportunities for students in Surprise and the entire West Valley.”

St. Scholastica will also utilize space in the Communiversity to deliver professional development sessions so healthcare professionals can take advantage of the College’s expertise in healthcare, and earn continuing education credits.

The College of St. Scholastica is a 102-year-old independent private college in the Catholic Benedictine tradition with its main campus in Duluth, Minnesota. St. Scholastica is regularly recognized for the quality of its academic programs. The 2014 “America’s Best Colleges” survey by U.S. News & World Report magazine ranks St. Scholastica in the top tier of Midwestern universities. For more information, call 623-694-0984 or visit www.css.edu.

Panel will discuss Cybersecurity at GPEC

Members of Arizona’s business community are invited to the February meeting of the Arizona Aerospace & Defense Forum for a discussion centered on cyber-security including risks, trends and what businesses need to keep their businesses safe and secure online.

This event will be hosted at the offices of Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) located at 2 N. Central Ave Suite 2500 Phoenix, Arizona 85004. The event is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb.11 from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. There will be networking from 7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m.

The forum will be led by panelists Bill Ross, vice president of information security solutions at General Dynamics C4 Systems; Ty Lindteigen, chief technology officer at SAIFE; Raz Yalov, chief technology officer of 41Parameters and Nadya Bliss, director of strategic project development at Arizona State University.

Greenberg Traurig, along with law firm Snell & Wilmer, were instrumental in the formation of the Arizona Chapter of the Aerospace and Defense Forum. Each month, the A&D Forum alternates from meetings in Phoenix and Tucson.

Registration required by going here.

Ivan Rosenberg, president and CEO of Frontier Associates is the executive director and co-founder of A&D Forum. Stephane Frijia, director, research and strategy at the Greater Phoenix Economic Council serves as Chapter Chair of the Arizona A&D Forum.

Currently, there are more than 700 international leaders involved in the A&D Forum. Other A&D Chapters are located in Los Angeles, San Diego and Orange County, Calif. In Arizona, there are more than 2,000 companies in the aerospace and defense industry providing more than 43,000 jobs and significant positive economic impact.

Economic concepts

Arizona Poised to See Above-Average Growth

Thanks to strong improvement in housing prices and improved population in-flow, Arizona should expect above-average growth through the year, according to the bi-annual U.S. State Monitor Report from BMO Economics. Expected real GDP growth in the state is 3.2 percent, up from a 1.8 percent rate currently expected for 2013.

Nonfarm payrolls in Arizona were up 2 percent in 2013 – above the national average. The unemployment rate edged up through much of 2013, but moved lower late in the year to finish at 7.6 percent, the lowest since late 2008 and a significant improvement from the recession high of 10.8 percent.

“Although unemployment in Arizona is still higher than it should be, there has been solid progress made in generating good paying jobs that will bolster our overall economy,” said Steve Johnson, Regional President, Arizona, BMO Harris Bank. “In particular we’ve seen a boost in professional services and the tourism industry, which is great news for business owners in those sectors.”

Population growth has picked up to a 1.3 percent year-over-year pace driven by the improving economy. While that is still below the 3.3 percent rate experienced during the housing boom, positive momentum is expected to continue through the coming years.

Reduced home inventories are allowing for improved construction activity, which was at a near stand-still during the recession.

“Arizona’s housing market is experiencing a strong recovery, despite a recent soft patch. According to the S&P Case-Shiller Index, Phoenix prices have surged more than 40 percent from their lows,” said Robert Kavcic, Senior Economist, BMO Capital Markets.

“While the increase in mortgage rates through the summer softened sales and home building activity, that should prove to be temporary. The foreclosure rate fell to 1.3 percent in the third quarter of last year, from its high of 6.3 percent. Additionally, surging home prices have reduced the number of home mortgages under water to less than 25 percent,” Mr. Kavcic added.

To view a full copy of the report, visit www.bmocm.com/economics.

foodbank

Buck Truck Adds Substance to Food Drives

Tempe, nonprofit, crowd-funding, grocery stores, farmers, donate perishable food items, Buck Truck, Tempe Leadership, United Food Bank, Mesa, Ed Baker, Tempe Chamber of Commerce, Lisa Pino, Arizona

A Tempe-based nonprofit is utilizing the power of crowd-funding to enable grocery stores and farmers to donate perishable food items.

Buck Truck, a project of this year’s Tempe Leadership team, is accepting donations for refrigerated delivery trucks to the United Food Bank in Mesa.

The United Food Bank currently relies on donations from canned-food drives and retailers.  The donations from retailers are limited, however, as the United Food Bank lacks the ability to transport food that requires refrigeration for freshness.

“You want to provide the best food to those you’re trying to help,” said Ed Baker, a member of this year’s Tempe Leadership team. “The best foods for people to live a healthy life are fresh, perishable foods.”

The Tempe Leadership Program, a product of the Tempe Chamber of Commerce, has been around since 1985 and each year puts together a team of community-centric individuals for nine months to engage in a project that can cover a range of community services.

“When we sat down to decide what our project would be, it was brought up that United Food Bank has a difficult time accepting fresh food,” Baker said. “We thought, ‘If only we could get 10 or 15 people to donate for a refrigerated truck.’”

The final decision was the concept of Buck Truck, to which contributors are encouraged to donate $1, $10 or $15.

The goal is to raise $41,000 for trucks that can “deliver fresh vegetables and meats from local farmers, ranchers, suppliers and grocery stores” as opposed to non-perishable items typically collected by charities in canned-food drives.

The Buck Truck website states that the refrigerated food truck will allow 24,000 pounds of what previously would have been wasted food to be distributed monthly, which it notes equates to 20,000 fresh meals.

“Buck Truck is very important because it will allow us to provide fresh produce and lean protein to our 200 partners,” said Lisa Pino, president and CEO of United Food Bank. “It’s the food you need for a healthy, adequate diet.”

The importance of Buck Truck is not only to increase the quality of food being served to those in need, but also the quantity, as Arizona is currently scarce in resources to serve what she explained is one of the hungriest states in the country, said Pino.

“The Buck Truck is nimble and responsive to Arizona’s hunger needs,” she said.

Arizona is tied as the worst state for childhood hunger, and is fifth worst in food insecurity (limited access to adequate food sources), according to statistics cited on the United Food Bank website.

As well as helping absolve statewide hunger, Pino noted a collateral benefit of Buck Truck is also contributing to helping reduce food waste.

“A theme of sustainability is key for us,” Pino said. “We want to eliminate food waste and engage more young people on the issue.”

hispanic

Chase Spurs Small Businesses, Affordable Housing

The JPMorgan Chase Foundation (NYSE: JPM) announced a $6 million grant to NALCAB—National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders—for a multi-market pilot project focused on job creation, affordable housing, and small business lending in predominantly Latino communities. The three-year initiative is being led by NALCAB, as the lead applicant and convener for the project. Partners in the initiative include three nonprofit lenders working in five states:

* Affordable Homes of South Texas, Inc. (AHSTI)—Texas
* Chicanos Por La Causa (CPLC)—Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada
* Community Resources and Housing Development Corporation (CRHDC)—Colorado

In its first year, the initiative will have an immediate impact on low and moderate income Latino communities still recovering from the recession. The nonprofit lenders will finance affordable housing and small businesses. In subsequent years, the partners will continue to leverage and expand their capital for lending and establish an equity fund.

This project builds on NALCAB’s successful track record in connection with two major national initiatives, the NSP2 (Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2) National Consortium and Inversiones: A Small Business Investment Initiative, which has been recognized by the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) as a Commitment to America. Under NSP2, a consortium of nonprofit affordable housing providers, including AHSTI, CPLC, and CRHDC, was awarded $137 million in federal funding to stabilize housing in neighborhoods hit by the foreclosure crisis. The consortium has produced more than 1,600 housing units and created 2,300 jobs. CGI/Inversiones is utilizing NALCAB’s national network of nonprofits to leverage $70 million to create 4,000 jobs by supporting the start up or expansion of 1,500 small businesses in predominantly Latino communities.

As the lead applicant, convener and catalyst, NALCAB will be providing subgrants, technical assistance and training support to the three partners. “With this grant, JPMorgan Chase is making a bold investment in ongoing economic recovery in Latino communities that were hard to hit in the recession,” stated Noel Poyo, Executive Director at NALCAB. “The NALCAB Network will use this funding to drive innovative approaches to affordable housing production and small business lending—ultimately creating jobs and economic opportunity in low-income communities.”

“JPMorgan Chase views community development financial institutions as critical change-agents in underserved communities,” said Morris Camp, President of Chase in San Antonio. “Our $33 million commitment – made through our new CDFI Collaboratives program – will help our partners serve more people in need, as well as catalyze investment in low- and middle-income communities across Texas and the US.”

AHSTI, CPLC and CRHDC, all members of the NALCAB network, are high-capacity anchor institutions in their communities that provide culturally and linguistically relevant services. They are certified by the U.S. Department of the Treasury as Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI), nonprofit financial institutions that serve low-income communities. The CDFI designation provides opportunities for these organizations to access technical and financial support.

The Colony, Cush Wake

Estrella Makes List Of Top Master-Planned Communities

The Goodyear master-planned community of Estrella has been ranked 35th by the national independent research firm John Burns Real Estate Consulting (JBREC) on its annual list of Top 50 Master-Planned Communities of 2013. The rankings are based on new home sales and Estrella is one of only four Arizona communities to make the top 50. Estrella was also recently named Best Master-Plan Community for Children in Arizona Foothills Magazine’s Best of the Valley Rankings.

Estrella’s developer, Newland Communities, made a strong showing with five of its communities placing on the nation’s top 50 list – the most of any individual developer. The San Diego-based company’s top ranked communities are located in four different metro areas, making them the most geographically diversified developer in the country.

“We are pleased with the velocity of sales from the past year, and with new builders and product coming online, we expect continued growth for Estrella in 2014,” said Bill Olson, Senior Vice President and Division Manager for Newland Real Estate Group. “The recent accolades are truly a testament of Estrella’s unique amenities, such as its lakes and yacht club, and the tight-knit feel and true sense of community of a small-town. It’s not surprising so many people want to call Estrella home.”

Located only 17 miles west of downtown Phoenix, Estrella is home to more than 12,000 residents ranging from young couples to retirees. The community hosts regular arts and culture events, provides residents with top-notch amenities and its design includes plenty of parks and trails to support a healthy, outdoor lifestyle.

Currently there are three active builders in Estrella: AV Homes, T.W. Lewis by David Weekly Homes and William Ryan Homes. T.W. Lewis by David Weekly Homes has begun preselling in its newest neighborhood and CantaMia, the 55+ Community has nine new models under construction. With several other well-known builders in escrow, Newland is working to increase inventory to meet rising demand. To learn more, visit www.estrella.com.

RDP Founding Member Appointed to SWHD Board

Roshka DeWulf & Patten, a Phoenix-based law firm representing clients in complex litigation and regulatory issues, is pleased to announce Founding Member Paul Roshka has been appointed to the board of directors for Southwest Human Development, Arizona’s largest nonprofit dedicated to early childhood development.

As a member of the board, Roshka will serve a minimum three-year term, helping to set policy and oversee the general wellbeing of Southwest Human Development. The organization provides comprehensive and innovative early childhood services to more than 135,000 children and their families each year.

“We are thrilled to have a person of Paul’s professional standing and reputation join our board,” said Ginger Ward, founder and CEO, Southwest Human Development. “His passion, business acumen and long-term commitment to serving children will make an enormous contribution to our organization.”

Roshka previously served as chairman of the board for several local children’s organizations including Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation, Phoenix Suns Charities Board of Trustees, Children’s Cancer Center, and others.

“My work on behalf of children is among the most important of my life’s endeavors,” said Roshka.
“Making a difference for kids here in Arizona has become a huge focus in my life, and nothing fulfills me more than supporting organizations like Southwest Human Development that provide such an invaluable service to local families.”

Over the course of his 40-year law career, Roshka has earned a reputation as a top attorney in Arizona. With a background in commercial litigation, he recently opened a mediation practice focusing on securities and general business matters. He is consistently recognized for his legal expertise by Super Lawyers, Arizona’s Finest Lawyers and The Best Lawyers in America®, and he has carried an AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubbell for 20 years.

89444261

First Fidelity's tips to conquer financial resolutions

According to Forbes, nearly 40 percent of people make New Year’s resolutions, but only 8 percent achieve their goals. Whether or not you have already made resolutions for 2014, consider taking a look at your personal and family finances to identify areas of financial improvement this year.

“Most of the time, we are focused on setting and achieving goals that have to do with physical health,” says Kevin Sellers, executive vice president of First Fidelity Bank in Arizona. “Financial health is just as critical. If you are struggling with finances, it can affect everything, from your credit score to your stress level.”

First Fidelity Bank is offering advice to help individuals identify and achieve their financial goals in 2014.

Calculate your earnings and required spending in the next year. Unforeseen circumstances may arise, but make a rough estimate of fixed expenses for the year.  If you have money left over, determine whether or not it is financially wise to spend in other areas like a new car or a family vacation.

Identify areas of financial improvement. Take a close look at spending habits and frequencies and determine if there are areas you can tighten up. If you are using your credit card for every purchase and not paying the balance off monthly, consider giving your credit card a rest and operating on a cash only basis until you can pay it off. Or, maybe you have a loan payment you have deferred. Consider starting repayment early, if you have the available funds. The earlier you start paying, the less time the loan will hang over your head.

Revisit savings plans and increase your goal. Take a look at how much you are putting away into savings and consider increasing the amount this year. By doing so, you could have enough money saved to do the home improvements you’ve been planning or make a down payment on a new car in no time. If your employer offers a 401k plan, take advantage of it. Typically, the amount taken out of your paycheck is not noticeable, so it’s easy to set this up and let it build over time. Finally, take advantage of tools and resources. For example, there are a variety of savings calculators on FFB.com available to help anyone set and achieve savings goals.

stem.cell

Webinar teaches you to utilize R&D tax credit

Arizona now offers the single most generous R&D credit in the nation. While most states have an R&D credit rate of about 5 percent, Arizona’s is at 24 percent, which even exceeds the maximum federal R&D credit rate of 20 percent. But Arizona holds another special distinction in the realm of R&D credits – it offers this benefit in the form of a refundable credit to qualifying businesses.

On Wednesday, January 15, Moss Adams will host a Webinar and discuss Arizona’s research and development tax credit and explain why the state offers the most generous R&D incentives in the nation. Most important, they will discuss if and how your company can take advantage of these lucrative incentives, which are within closer reach than most companies think.

The refundable credit presents a rare opportunity for companies that cannot currently utilize their full Arizona R&D credit because they are either in a loss position or their credit amount exceeds their Arizona tax liability.  In such situations, qualifying businesses may elect to receive this excess credit amount in the form of an immediate cash payment in lieu of carrying the credit forward, up to a maximum of 15 years, to offset future tax liabilities.  The refundable opportunity is limited to companies with fewer than 150 full-time-equivalent employees while the non-refundable credit has no such limit.

Timing is critical for the refundable credit.  While there is no annual cap on total non-refundable R&D credit claims, refundable claims are limited to $5 million per year. These funds are allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis until the $5 million is exhausted. Since the refundable credit option was first offered in 2010, the $5 million cap has been substantially depleted by the end of April each year.  However, it’s uncertain how quickly this reserve will go for the 2013 tax year.

Eligible refundable credit applicants must obtain preapproval by submitting an application prior to filing their tax return.  A full R&D credit calculation needs to be submitted with this application. Therefore, R&D studies must begin immediately to allow for timely completion and submission of the preapproval process.

It’s a common misconception that R&D tax credits are limited to large high-tech companies that perform cutting-edge development.  In actuality, the tax definition of R&D is far more expansive than most people assume. A wide range of businesses can qualify for the credit – from companies in the food and beverage, apparel, and agriculture industries to those involved in construction, manufacturing, and energy production. Both the refundable and non-refundable Arizona credits are available to individuals, corporations, and all types of pass-through entities.

Whether you’re interested in pursuing the refundable credit or the non-refundable credit, it is always helpful to consult a dedicated team of R&D credit specialists, such as those at Moss Adams, who can help you navigate the process.

 

Peter Henderson is manager, R&D tax credit team at Moss Adams. He is based in Irvine, Calif. and can be reached at peter.henderson@mossadams.com. Jose Tezanos is senior manager, state and local tax practice for Moss Adams. He is based in Phoenix and can be reached at jose.tezanos@mossadams.com.