Tag Archives: arizona

burro

Increase in wild burros threaten Arizona native habitats

Arizona Game and Fish says the increasing number of wild burros in the state is damaging native habitats. The agency wants the federal government to control them before the problems gets worse.

Arizona Game and Fish said wild burro population is growing at such an alarming rate that they are damaging natural habitats and crowding out native species. There are more than 1,600 wild burros in the Black Mountains near Bullhead City. That’s almost four times the federal limit. Game and Fish’s Bill Andres said that’s just in one area of the state.

“Not only are the burros in areas where they have historically been, but the population of burros is growing so much that they are outside of the herd management areas,” Andres said. “We’re getting reports from other partners like the National Forest Service that they’re seeing burros in places where they’ve never been seen before.”

The Bureau of Land Management said it’s conducting an assessment of Arizona’s burro population. BLM’s Dennis Godfrey said solving the problem is not as easy as it seems.

“We’re dependent on funding,” Godfrey said. “We’re dependent on authority from our Washington office on the number of gathers we can conduct and how many animals we can gather. There are those that would prefer that we gather no burros, that they remain to be in place in where they are and let nature take its course.”

Godfrey said the assessment is expected to be completed in late October, with a potential new burro gathering in 2016.

FirstBank opened a new branch at the corner ofScottsdale Road and Pinnacle Peak on May 13th and will host aribbon cutting on May 28

FirstBank expands with North Scottsdale branch

FirstBank Holding Company, a holding company with multiple banking locations throughout Arizona, announced the opening of its newest branch in north Scottsdale at 23399 N. Scottsdale Rd., Ste. E101, Scottsdale, AZ 85255.  The major cross streets are Scottsdale Road and Pinnacle Peak.  The 4,000 square-foot location officially opened on May 13th and marks FirstBank’s 16th branch in Arizona.  The Colorado-based bank now has 123 branches nationwide. 

To celebrate its opening, the public is invited to attend a ribbon cutting on Thursday, May 28 at 5:30 pm.  Appetizers and beverages will be served, and there will be giveaways including a chance to win cash prizes.  The Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce, of which FirstBank’s Metro Phoenix President Bryce Lloyd is currently the Board Chairman, will be part of the ribbon cutting event.  The Mayor and Scottsdale City Council members have also been invited to attend.

“FirstBank’s rapid growth throughout Phoenix has been very exciting and we’re proud to add another Scottsdale location and to play an active role and make a positive impact within our local community,” said Bryce Lloyd, President – Phoenix Market.  “Since we entered the Phoenix market eight years ago, we have worked hard to become a resource to individuals, families, businesses and non-profits across Arizona.  Adding this new branch in north Scottsdale helps us expand that footprint to become an even greater resource to our customers.”

In its short history in Arizona, FirstBank has repeatedly shown its commitment to community involvement.  The commitment has been again demonstrated in just the last few months by its recent donation as the presenting sponsor of Arizona Gives Day, which raised over $2 million for Arizona non-profits in one day.  In addition, FirstBank made a $1 Million community development investment with Trellis (formerly Neighborhood Housing Services of Phoenix), an organization dedicated to making financially stable homes, neighborhoods and communities possible in Maricopa County.

elder

Arizona ranks No. 22 for senior health

Arizona ranked No. 22 for senior health this year, according to the third edition of United Health Foundation’s America’s Health Rankings® Senior Report: A Call to Action for Individuals and Their Communities.

Nationwide, the report shows positive trends for senior health, especially for those measures that look at whether seniors are getting the right care in a setting of their choice. Seniors are experiencing lower hospital readmission rates and preventable hospitalization rates compared to last year, while hospice care use and the number of home healthcare workers have increased.

“United Health Foundation’s America’s Health Rankings Senior Report is a vital tool for understanding where we, as a state, are making strides in senior health and where key challenges for Arizona’s seniors remain,” said Thomas Biuso, MD, market medical director, UnitedHealthcare in Arizona. “With America’s senior population poised to double by 2050, we must continue to invest in programs and solutions that address our seniors’ health needs and help them live the best lives they possibly can.”

Arizona’s Overall Health

The America’s Health Rankings Senior Report finds that Arizona has its share of strengths and challenges.

Arizona’s Strengths

  • Low prevalence of obesity: Arizona ranks 5th in the U.S. with 23.2 percent of adults over age 65 considered obese.
  • High hospice care use: Arizona ranks first in the country for hospice care use, with more than 65 percent of decendents aged 65 who received hospice care in the last six months of life.
  • High health status: Arizona ranks 7th, with 46.5 percent of the senior population in very good or excellent health.

Arizona’s Challenges

  • High prevalence of chronic drinking: More than 4 percent of the senior population reports chronic drinking, ranking Arizona 37th in the U.S.
  • Low volunteerism: Less than 20 percent of Arizona seniors volunteer, ranking Arizona 45th.
  • Low percentage of seniors with dedicated provider: More than eight percent of the senior population does not have a dedicated health care provider, ranking Arizona 42nd.

50-State Snapshot: Vermont is the Healthiest State for Seniors

According to the report, Vermont is the healthiest state for seniors, rising from fourth place last year. New Hampshire ranks second, improving one spot from last year. Minnesota fell to third after being ranked first for two years in a row, while Hawaii (4) and Utah (5) round out the top five states. Louisiana HHLaouLranks 50th as the least healthy state for older adults, followed by Mississippi (49), Kentucky (48), Arkansas (47) and Oklahoma (46).

To see the Rankings in full, visit: www.americashealthrankings.org/senior

valley forward receives grant

Nonprofits can apply for $10K Cox Charities grants

Cox Charities is asking  Arizona non-profits that focus on K-12 youth and education programs to submit proposals for grants valued at $10,000 or less. This year’s grant cycle will close June 3. The grant application can be found online at www.azfoundation.org/grants.

In 2014, Cox Charities distributed nearly $715,000 to 91 youth and education-focused nonprofits across the state. Cox Charities funds are raised through employee-driven fundraisers and personal contributions throughout the year, as well as community fundraising partnerships. Since its inception in 1996, Cox has awarded more than $5 million in grants to non-profit organizations for youth education programs that help build our next generation of community leaders.

Over the past 18 years, Cox Charities has funded local non-profits that focus on  science and technology, arts and culture, safe and healthy lifestyles, overcoming disabilities, mentoring, literacy, leadership development, social skills development, and other areas benefiting youth in Southern Arizona.

“Cox Charities is committed more than ever before to supporting our community’s children by funding youth and education-focused non-profits that provide vital programming. As we have for many years, Cox Charities supports the communities in which we do business,” said Susan Anable, vice president of public affairs, Cox Communications. 

Additional support is given to these communities through volunteerism by Cox employees.  Last year, one-third of Cox Arizona employees participated in the Cox Volunteers program, logging 32,000 volunteer hours.  In an effort to be the most trusted provider of communication and entertainment services, Cox supports Cox Charities grant recipients by encouraging Cox employees to volunteer time in support many past recipients such as the Phoenix Zoo, Boys & Girls Clubs, Childhelp, HandsOn Greater Phoenix, the Make a Wish Foundation, Homeward Bound to name a few. 

Funding will not be awarded for capital expenditures or general operations, or for the provision of healthcare/therapy services, basic needs, entertainment, or socialization/recreation programs. Funding will also not be awarded to pass-through organizations raising funds on behalf of other agencies.

Mark Boisclair Photography, Inc.

Westin Phoenix Downtown offers summer packages

The_Westin_Phoenix_Downtown_HotelLocated in the revitalized urban core of downtown Phoenix, and conveniently situated near Chase Field, US Airways Center, CityScape, and numerous venues, theatres and museums, The Westin Phoenix Downtown now offers the perfect package for a refreshing summer getaway.

HOME RUN

The boys of summer are back and The Westin Phoenix Downtown has the ideal package for enjoying an Arizona Diamondbacks’ home game. The Home Run Package has seasonal rates starting at $94 and includes:

  • Complimentary valet parking (reg. $29/day)
  • Complimentary internet access in guest room
  • Kids under 12 eat free at Province with purchase of adult meal

The Westin Phoenix Downtown is conveniently located less than one mile from Chase Field, the home field for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

This package is based on availability for stays through Oct. 5, 2015. To reserve your stay, call (866) 716-8137 and mention rate plan LKPKG, or book online: www.westinphoenixdowntown.com.

DOWNTOWN FUN

Downtown Phoenix has become a focal point for entertainment in the Valley. Whether attending a play, museum exhibit, concert, sporting game or another exciting event, The Westin Phoenix Downtown’s is just steps away. The hotel’s Downtown Fun entertainment package has seasonal rates starting from $99 and includes:

  • Overnight hotel parking
  • Two Valley METRO light rail passes, per stay
  • Two cocktails of choice in Province restaurant, per stay

The Westin Phoenix Downtown is at the Central and Van Buren Valley METRO light rail station, so getting to and from downtown entertainment options is eco-friendly and hassle-free.

This package is based on availability for stays through Dec. 31, 2015. To reserve your stay, call (866) 716-8137 and mention rate plan LUPKG, or book online: www.westinphoenixdowntown.com.

college graduates

Arizona invests $1 billion in college savings

The Arizona Family College Savings (529) Program has officially surpassed $1 billion in assets. This major milestone comes just 16 years after the first account was opened in 1999. Today the program comprises more than 75,000 savings accounts intended for the college expenses of future students. The Arizona Family College Savings Plan is a state sponsored 529 plan designed to provide a parent, grandparent or future student an opportunity to save for educational expenses in a tax-deferred manner. Additionally, no taxes are paid on account earnings when savings are used for qualified college expenses. The State of Arizona also provides an annual Arizona state income tax deduction for 529 plan contributions of up to $2,000 for individual tax filers, and up to $4,000 for married couples filing jointly.

“We are thrilled to have reached this important milestone and look forward to seeing the results of the first billion dollars in terms of college degrees,” said Dr. April Osborn, Executive Director for the Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education. “According to research by the Center for Social Development, children with any college savings are six times more likely to attend a four-year college than children with no dedicated college savings account. A 529 plan is truly one of the best investments a family can make for their child’s future.”

The State of Arizona offers one of the most diversified 529 plans in the country with a wide variety of choices offered through three well-respected financial institutions: College Savings Bank, Fidelity Investments and Ivy Funds InvestedEd. Investment options include various CD’s, advisor-sold and direct-sold mutual funds, index funds, age-based portfolios and customized strategies. A 529 plan can be opened with as little as $15 per month and savings can be used at most accredited institutions anywhere in the United States and abroad.

The Arizona Family College Savings Program is a Section 529 College Savings Plan sponsored by the State of Arizona through the Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education. To learn more, call 602-528-2435 or visit AZ529.gov.

prevention trial - brain scan images

Barrow Neurosurgical Associates appoints new CEO

Kinna_John 150515_v1Barrow Neurosurgical Associates (BNA), the largest physician-owned neurosurgical and spine practice in Arizona, has appointed John Kinna as Chief Executive Officer.

“Kinna brings strong leadership skills and the experience and knowledge necessary to help Barrow Neurosurgical Associates achieve success,” said Robert Spetzler, MD, president of BNA. “He will help us aim to position ourselves as the world-class model for excellence in neurosurgery and advanced spine care through our commitment to sound and innovative medical practice, a profound dedication to our patients, and our affiliation with Barrow Neurological Institute,” he continued.

 Kinna, a seasoned healthcare leader with more than 27 years of experience in medical group practice leadership and management of multi-specialty groups for free-standing and integrated healthcare delivery systems, offers a unique perspective and relatable approach to internal and external stakeholders alike.

 “I am excited, humbled and honored to be a part of the Barrow Neurosurgical Associates team and bring my experience to the competitive Arizona market,” said Kinna. “The reputation of this remarkable group of world-renown surgeons will allow us to change more lives by further expanding the awareness of their tremendous skill, revolutionary techniques and technologies, as well as their deeply compassionate approach to patient care.”

 Before joining Barrow Neurosurgical Associates, Kinna was the Director of Provider and Institutional Provider Programs at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana. He also served as the Director of the St. Vincent Physician Network, a 165 physician multi-specialty group in Billings, MT, and the Vice President of Physicians Services with the Providence, St. Mary Medical Center in Walla Walla, WA. Spetzler explains that Kinna has a unique understanding of the communities BNA serves on a local, national and global level.

  “Bringing John to our specialty practice was the best choice we have made at BNA,” said Nicholas Theodore, MD, neurosurgeon at BNA. “While the board considered several good candidates during our nationwide search, John demonstrated the talent, experience, and personable approach we believe it needed to accomplish our mission.  He was the clear choice for CEO.”

 

Kinna is a member of the Medical Group Management Association as well as the Arizona Medical Group Management Association.  He has served as the President and Past President of the Montana MGMA.  John grew up in Fairfield, MT, and attended Montana State University in Bozeman earning a degree in Physical Education/Health Management as well as earning a Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration from Kennedy-Western University. John is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys spending time with his family.

89524671

Silicon Valley’s Wasabi Ventures heads to Scottsdale

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

internet

CenturyLink Gbps service available to Arizona businesses

CenturyLink, Inc. today announced the availability of 1 gigabit per second (Gbps) fiber speeds to approximately 1,200 additional business locations in Arizona as part of a national fiber network upgrade that expanded availability of CenturyLink’s gigabit broadband services to nearly 490,000 business locations in 17 states.

As part of CenturyLink’s gigabit service expansion in Arizona, 1 Gbps access in Phoenix, which launched in 2014, is expanding to additional business locations in south Phoenix and northwest Phoenix. CenturyLink is also launching gigabit fiber service in Sun City and Surprise which makes gigabit speeds available to more than 60,000 business locations throughout Arizona.

“After launching 1 Gig services in Phoenix last year, we are pleased to now bring ultra-fast fiber broadband speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second to our business customers in south Phoenix and northwest Phoenix,” said Ken McMahon, vice president enterprise sales for CenturyLink. “With symmetrical upload and download speeds of up to 1 Gbps, fiber service from CenturyLink outperforms the slower upload speeds available through basic business broadband providers, including many cable companies.” 

“Fiber optic technology with the kind of speeds offered by Centurylink, continue to make south Phoenix a desirable and affordable place to start a business. I value and appreciate Centurylink’s continued investment and focus on this part of Phoenix,” said Kate Gallego, Phoenix City Councilwoman. “With access to high-speed broadband connectivity, our city can entice more corporate headquarters while offering small and midsized businesses the tools to successfully navigate complex and rapidly changing technology.” CenturyLink uses Fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology to provide speeds of up to 1 Gbps to businesses located near the company’s fiber network backbone or in fiber-fed multi-tenant unit office buildings. This high-speed broadband connectivity makes it easier for businesses to work in the cloud, upload and download large multimedia files, stream video content and back-up data in real time.

In addition to providing fiber connectivity, CenturyLink can manage a range of IT services for small and midsized business customers. CenturyLink’s Managed Office is a complete IT and phone system solution that includes managed voice, data, security, infrastructure and cloud-based business applications for a low monthly fee.

Managed services from CenturyLink are designed for businesses that want enterprise-class IT capabilities yet do not have enough in-house time or expertise to implement and maintain new technology. CenturyLink handles the day-to-day work of installing, managing and updating IT systems on behalf of businesses, which enables them to shift internal resources to more strategic projects.

Business customers can visit www.centurylink.com/Phoenix to learn more about CenturyLink’s fiber-based services, including speeds up to 1 Gbps, and to determine if service is available in their location.    

In addition to business 1 Gbps service, CenturyLink also offers broadband service up to 1 Gbps to residential customers in Phoenix. For more information on residential gigabit service and to find out where these speeds are available, customers can go to www.centurylink.com/gigabit.

pt

The CORE Institute set to see S. Arizona patients

Arizona’s largest orthopedic and neurology practice, The CORE Institute® powered by Excellence Headquarters®, will begin seeing its first orthopedic patients in Green Valley starting June 1. Earlier this year, The CORE Institute and Green Valley Hospital executed an orthopedic service line co-management agreement. Under the agreement, The CORE Institute will provide orthopedic physician call coverage and orthopedic service line management services at the new 50-bed full-service acute care facility located south of Tucson in Green Valley, opening June 1, 2015.

The CORE Institute also announced it officially opens its first Clinic in Southern Arizona at 4485 S I-19 Frontage Rd in Green Valley. Dr. Alex Verhoogen, board certified orthopedic surgeon with over 40 years of orthopedic experience will care for patients in Green Valley. He has expertise in general orthopedic practice including adult and pediatric fracture care, sports medicine and arthroscopy, and joint reconstruction surgery. Dr. Shane Hess, a fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon will be joining the CORE team later this summer and will bring additional expertise in joint replacement surgery to Green Valley. Additionally, senior physicians Drs. David Jacofsky, Bryan Wall and Jason Scalise from Phoenix will be seeing patients, bringing best-in-class orthopedic care to Southern Arizona.   

“The CORE Institute is thrilled to expand our Excellence through Evidence® platform in Southern Arizona to significantly enhance the orthopedic care available in the greater Tucson area,” said Vice Chairman, Dr. Jason Scalise. “We’re excited to bring our standardized care approach, proprietary quality IT platform, and proven outcomes to Green Valley Hospital, and to help build an orthopedic program in Southern Arizona.”

The CORE Institute plans to continue to expand in Southern Arizona, including additional locations in Tucson. Their investment in the community will ultimately shape the entire orthopedic service line and distinguish Green Valley Hospital as a leader in orthopedics delivery in Southern Arizona. 

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Verhoogen, or any of The CORE Institute providers, call 1.866.974.2673.

For more information, visit www.thecoreinstitute.com/greenvalley.

 

pests

Warmer weather brings out bugs in the Valley

Don’t take it personally, but as you’re thinking about servicing your AC unit for the valley’s quickly-approaching summer, you may also want to address those bugs that are currently marching across your kitchen floor.

“It’s go-time!” relates Nathan Woolf, co-founder of Blue Sky Pest Control. “Once our nighttime temperatures start to stay above 68 degrees, a lot of the bugs like scorpions that were less active during the cooler months start to forage more and get a lot more active, and our phones start ringing even more.”

Woolf also notes that our heavy winter rains meant more standing water, and some species actually lay their eggs under such conditions, and now that it’s getting warmer, we’re seeing the next wave of offspring.

“It’s kind of like turning on a stove,” relates Curtis Whalen, co-founder of Blue Sky Pest Control. “Things start to heat up, critters start to hatch out, and suddenly, everything is more active.”

Whalen also notes that even though Arizona is situated in the desert, our state is in a high-pressure zone for bugs, and in the Top 5 states in the nation for termite treatments.

“The old adage is true here: ‘There are homes that have termites – and those that will get them,’” adds Whalen. “Arizona has a lot of pests because of our indigenous species, as well as the micro-environments we have created, with things like drip-systems creating man-made moisture pockets that are perfect for insects and pests (food, shelter, and water).”

In no particular order, here are the TOP 5 “GO-TIME” BUGS you need to be aware of:

1. Roaches – cockroaches are of the order Blattodea, and about 30 species LOVE human habitats

2. Crickets – harmless enough, until you’ve listened to their chirping through a sleepless night

3. Spiders – some people actually suffer from Arachnophobia, or fear of spiders

4. Scorpions – the Arizona Bark Scorpion is venomous and can live up to 7 years

5. Ants – As one of the top nuisance pests in Arizona, controlling them is a constant battle as they are continually migrating and creating new colonies. 

Whalen also lists earwigs, black widow spiders, mice, rats and termites (“the pest that never sleeps”) as top summer time pests that people call about most frequently. If you’re unsure, just call Blue Sky Pest Control and they can normally determine what you’ll need to do over the phone – or they’ll even send out a technician for a FREE inspection (unless you’re selling your home).

“People send us pictures of bugs all the time,” smiles Whalen. “If it’s bugging you – we’re here to help, especially during go-time!”

DEPRESSION-facebook

10 important signs of mental illness

Nearly 1 in 5 American adults will have a diagnosable mental health condition in any given year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. In Arizona, it is estimated that nearly 42,000 people are seriously mentally ill.

What’s even more concerning is how mental health is increasingly affecting our youth. About 11 percent of adolescents have a depressive disorder by the age of 18, according to the National Comorbidity Survey-Adolescent Supplement. Many are surprised to learn that girls are more likely than boys to experience depression, and the risk for depression increases as a child gets older. According to the World Health Organization, major depressive disorder it the leading cause of disability among Americans age 15 to 44.

“Given the large number of people impacted by mental illness, it’s more important than ever for people to become educated and aware of mental illness warning signs along with the tools for coping and treatment,” said Peter ‘Chip’ Coffey, MAPC, LPC, NCC, Director of Therapy Services at St. Luke’s Behavioral Health Center. “When people begin to first experience symptoms of loss of sleep, feeling tired for no reason, feeling low, anxious or hearing strange voices inside their heads, these symptoms should not go ignored in hopes they will just fade away. Like any other disease, we need to address these symptoms early, identify the underlying disease and plan an appropriate course of action on a path to overall health.”

In conjunction with Mental Health Month in May, experts like Coffey from St. Luke’s Behavioral Health Center in Phoenix are available to speak about the signs of mental illness, including how to seek help and treatment for a loved one in crisis and the tools for coping.

According to Coffey, here are 10 warning signs of mental illness:

1.        Marked personality change
2.        Inability to cope with problems and daily activities
3.        Strange or grandiose ideas
4.        Excessive anxieties
5.        Prolonged depression and apathy
6.        Marked changes in eating or sleeping patterns
7.        Extreme highs and lows
8.        Abuse of alcohol or drugs
9.        Excessive anger, hostility, or violent behavior
10. Most importantly, a person who is thinking or talking about suicide or homicide should seek help immediately

To learn more about mental health along with the tools for coping and treatment, join Peter ‘Chip’ Coffey, MAPC, LPC, NCC, Director of Therapy Services at St. Luke’s Behavioral Health Center, at a special seminar called “Mindfulness – How to Live in the Moment,” this Friday, May 15 from Noon to 1 p.m. at the Burton Barr Central Library, 1221 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. To register for this free event, call, 1-877-351-WELL (9355).

A person with one or more of the warning signs should be evaluated by a psychiatrist or physician as soon as possible. St. Luke’s Behavioral Health Center, for example, offers free behavioral health evaluations. Call 602-251-8535 in Phoenix, or use the toll-free number, 1-800-821-4193, to schedule an assessment.

NEAT Method 1

Silverleaf offers luxury home organizing tips

The Sterling Collection at Silverleaf will host an afternoon of luxury home organizing tips for your master closet and kitchen with help from luxury residential organizer, Mika Perry of NEAT Method. 

Also included will be an exclusive spring trunk show from Calypso St. Barth along with light bites and wine from Sorso Wine Room.

Situated within the prestigious private community of Silverleaf, The Sterling Collection is an intimate collection of exceptional north Scottsdale condominiums and penthouses that will break ground later this month. 

Now selling from the low $1 million, the community includes a state-of-the-art robotic parking valet, secured private elevators with direct entry into each home, clubhouse membership to the prestigious Silverleaf Golf Club & Spa, access to the Village Health Club & Spa, chauffeured car service and dedicated on-site personal concierge. The Sterling Collection at Silverleaf is aspiring to silver-level LEED standards and will be among the greenest condominiums in Arizona.

WHEN: Saturday, May 16, 2015, 2pm-5pm

WHERE: The Sterling Collection, 18835 N. Thompson Peak Parkway, Suite C-105, Scottsdale, AZ 85255 (Located across from the Village Health Club)

COST & RSVP: Event is free. Space is limited. RSVP is required by May 14, 2015. RSVP to info@scsilverleaf.com or by calling 480-443-6767.

lennar

Lennar wins HBACA Co-Home of the Year

Lennar’s Crest floorplan, featured at Encore at Victory in the masterplanned Verrado community, recently won Co-Home of the Year in the Active Adult Community category during the HBACA Major Achievements in Merchandising Excellence Awards (MAME).

“We are so appreciative that our peers recognized our Crest floorplan with this honor,” said Alan Jones, Division President for Lennar Arizona. “We aimed to create a home that was not only beautiful, functional and flexible, but would also resonate with empty nesters and other homebuyers whose lives and home-shopping styles are changing.”

Lennar designed the Crest floorplan specifically for homebuyers age 55 and beyond. The 1,991 square foot single-story home features two-bedrooms, two-bathrooms, a den and side courtyard that expands the feeling of outdoor space and light. If buyers prefer, the courtyard can be turned into a living room. In addition, the 16-foot bi-fold patio doors on the rear of the home make the covered patio feel like an expansion of the great room – offering the best of indoor-outdoor living.   

Lennar re-entered the active adult market after a 12-year hiatus when they were invited to be among a select list of homebuilders for the Victory active adult neighborhood. Victory is nestled within the Buckeye masterplanned community of Verrado, a DMB development.

Bridget Niehus of Pennsylvania had planned to buy at another active adult community in the area. But once she saw the Lennar models, there was no turning back.  “It was the opening day of Victory and when I saw the Lennar homes, the homesites, the price and the included features, I was sold,” said Niehus.

Niehus selected the Crest plan on a view homesite, calling her husband Wayne later to tell him what she had done.  With two sons in the Valley, being close to family is a highlight. Living at Victory gives Niehus and her husband plenty of time with their five grandchildren in the area. “Lennar made it so easy to make this choice, especially with their Everything’s Included® commitment,” she noted.

All Lennar homes, including the Crest at Encore in Victory, are equipped with a comprehensive and expandable CAT 6 structured wiring to virtually future-proof home technology needs, along with a home security and monitoring system. Lennar also embraces energy-efficiency with energy saving features like motion sensor water faucets at kitchen sinks, radiant roof barriers to minimize heat transfer and energy saving appliances. These features and more are included at no extra cost with Lennar’s Everything’s Included® program.

Residents of Victory at Verrado enjoy the community pool, Verrado Golf Club, shopping and restaurants in nearby downtown Verrado. The community features multiple parks, 21 miles of hiking and biking trails, clubs and various events held throughout the year. The Victory Club is expected to open later this year with plans to include a movement studio, pickleball courts, yoga lawn, Life Performance training center, tennis, pools, trails, restaurants and more.

To see Crest and Lennar’s other floorplans, visit the Encore Welcome Home Center located at 20810 W. Pasadena Avenue Buckeye, AZ 85396. For more information call (602)285-4663. New home prices start in the high $200,000’s.

Lennar, founded in 1954, is one of the nation’s leading builders of quality homes for all generations. The company builds affordable, move-up, and retirement homes primarily under the Lennar brand name. The company has been building in Arizona for nearly 40 years and owns considerable land holdings in the state. For the latest Lennar information please visit any of the following: Lennar.com, Facebook.com/LennarPhoenix; YouTube.com/LennarPhoenix; Twitter.com/LennarPhoenix.

Weight-loss surgery - Scottsdale Living Magazine Spring 2012

Bridges Center for Weight Management earns designation

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona named Bridges Center for Surgical Weight Management at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Phoenix as part of its Blue Distinction® Centers for Specialty Care program. This healthcare facility has been designated as a Blue Distinction® Center+ for delivering quality care resulting in better overall outcomes for bariatric patients, while also meeting key requirements for cost efficiency.
 
To receive a Blue Distinction Center+ for Bariatric Surgery designation, a new designation added to the program this year, a healthcare facility must demonstrate success in meeting patient safety as well as bariatric-specific quality measures, including complications and readmissions, for gastric stapling and/or gastric banding procedures. 
 
A healthcare facility must also have earned national accreditations at both the facility level and the bariatric care-specific level, as well as demonstrate better cost efficiency relative to its peers. Quality is key: only those facilities that first meet Blue Distinction’s nationally-established, objective quality measures will be considered for designation as a Blue Distinction Center+.
 
“The Blue Distinction Specialty Care recognition program was developed to identify healthcare facilities with proven expertise in delivering specialty care,” said Dr. Vishu Jhaveri, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona chief medical officer. “The Bridges Center for Surgical Weight Loss Management team at St. Luke’s Medical Center has a commitment to quality and helping members better manage their care through the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.”
 
Bariatric surgeries are among the most common elective surgeries in the U.S., which provides a significant opportunity to improve quality and efficiency within the healthcare system. There were 179,000 bariatric surgeries performed in 2013, according to the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, and the average cost is more than $28,000 per episode, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. Furthermore, it is estimated that 72 million Americans are obese and 24 million suffer from morbid obesity, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The estimated annual healthcare costs of obesity-related illnesses are $190.2 billion, or nearly 21 percent of annual medical spending in the U.S., according to the Journal of Health Economics
 
Research shows that facilities designated as Blue Distinction Centers and Blue Distinction Centers+ demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients compared with their peers. On average, Blue Distinction Centers+ are also 20 percent or more cost efficient than non-Blue Distinction Center+ designated healthcare facilities.
 
“We’re honored to receive this noteworthy designation,” said Hilario Juarez, M.D., FACS, Co-Medical Director of Bridges Center for Surgical Weight Management at St. Luke’s Medical Center. “Our team is dedicated to making positive experiences for our patients by guiding and supporting them through every step of their weight loss journeys.”
 
Since 2006, the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program has helped patients find quality providers for their specialty care needs in the areas of bariatric surgery, cardiac care, complex and rare cancers, knee and hip replacements, spine surgery, and transplants while encouraging healthcare professionals to improve the care they deliver.
For more information about the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program and for a complete listing of the designated facilities, visit www.bcbs.com/bluedistinction.
Metro Tech

Washington Federal helps scholars with financial education

Representatives from Washington Federal’s executive team in Arizona honored more than 200 graduates of its 2015 Washington Federal Financial Scholars Program, a financial education course designed to provide students with the critical skills needed to make sound financial decisions, on Wednesday, April 29 at Metro Tech High School. Washington Federal partnered with leading education technology company EverFi, Inc., to bring this interactive, web-based financial management education tool to six schools statewide and 20 total throughout Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon and Utah. Since the program’s inception in 2013, it has reached more than 5,000 students.
 
“Our goal is to provide you with foundational knowledge to make smart decisions with your finances,” said Mike Brown, Arizona regional president of Washington Federal during his keynote address to the students. “Nothing can jeopardize your ability to succeed in today’s complex and competitive environment faster than poor financial decisions.”
 
Washington Federal and EverFi, Inc. bring the program to local students at no cost to the schools or the taxpayer. 
The web-based platform uses the latest in new media technology – simulations, avatars, gaming and adaptive-pathing – to bring complex financial concepts to life for today’s digital generation. The high school course offers over six hours of programming with ten units in a variety of financial topics including credit scores, insurance, credit cards, student loans, mortgages, taxes, stocks, savings, 401k’s and other critical concepts that map to national financial literacy standards. The platform uniquely tracks the progress and performance of every student and provides students who successfully complete the course with Certification in Financial Literacy, a valuable mark of distinction on college applications and resumes. 
 
boardroom

Anthony Spano named president of DeVry in Phoenix

Anthony SpanoDeVry University recently announced the appointment of Anthony Spano as president of the Phoenix campus in Arizona. Spano will provide executive leadership at the university’s Phoenix, Glendale and Mesa locations (collectively known as the Phoenix metro).

Spano has more than 24 years of academic leadership experience and has served as the campus director of DeVry University’s campus in Oklahoma City since 2008.

“Anthony has demonstrated a propensity for leadership and has shown a focus on student needs since he joined DeVry University,” said Shelly C. DuBois, group vice president of DeVry University. “His strong rapport with students has helped many make the dream of college education a reality. Anthony’s personal knowledge and understanding of DeVry University’s mission and goals will be integral to leading the Phoenix area campuses as the new president.”

Spano began his career as a financial aid director at Oklahoma Junior College in Oklahoma City. Most recently, he served as the interim president of DeVry University’s Phoenix metro. Spano is a member of the Oklahoma, Southwest and National Associations of Student Financial Aid Administrators, which provide professional development for financial aid administrators and advocate for public policies that increase student access and success.

“During my time as campus director for the Oklahoma City campus, I had the privilege of meeting many students and administrators who exemplify the diverse success stories DeVry University has come to represent,” Spano said. “I look forward to making Phoenix my permanent home and deepening my relationships with DeVry University and the local community.”

Spano earned both his bachelor’s degree in business administration and master’s degree in adult education from the University of Central Oklahoma.

For more information about DeVry University, visit devry.edu.

Backlund , Ryan 2015

Ryan Backlund to lead Wells Fargo Private Bank in Arizona

Wells Fargo Private Bank announced today Ryan Backlund as regional managing director for Arizona.  Backlund, based in Scottsdale, will oversee all wealth management functions for the area, including private banking, credit, investment management, insurance, and trust and estate services through Wells Fargo Bank, NA, as well as brokerage services through Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC.

Previously Backlund served as regional director for Wells Fargo Private Bank in Seattle, Washington.  Prior to joining Wells Fargo, he worked as a managing director for the Private Client Group at U.S. Bank.

“Ryan is a skilled professional who has a keen understanding of the strategic and financial needs of Wells Fargo’s Private Bank clientele,” said John Duchala, senior managing director for Wells Fargo Private Bank.  “His extensive financial services background will be a great asset in helping our clients to manage  assets during any economic cycle.”

Backlund received a bachelor’s degree in finance from the Washington State University and holds a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation.  

drone

FAA approves FPV Catalog for commercial use of drones

An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) related business in Southern Arizona received a Federal Aviation Administration exemption to fly drones. FPV Catalog, an online source for multirotors and winged aircraft parts and accessories, is one of the first retail sites in Arizona to be granted authorization from the FAA to fly its UAVs for commercial and educational purposes.

After submitting an application in January 2015, FPV Catalog and its founder, Bruce Pogosaew, received the FAA’s approval on April 17.

“As a new business, we were expecting to wait several months or longer to hear from the FAA,” said Mr. Pogosaew. “To be granted an exemption and receive a response within 90 days is remarkable.”

FPV (First Person View) Catalog materialized in 2014 after its owners, Bruce and Michelle Pogosaew, recognized the need for UAV enthusiasts to have one source where they can purchase compatible parts and accessories. Having over 18 years of experience in Information Technology and a passion for unmanned aerial vehicles, Mr. Pogosaew immediately realized how their business would benefit from receiving an FAA approval, as well as the technological boost it would provide for the local community. Michelle Pogosaew, a University of Pittsburgh graduate, holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology and is a beginner FPV enthusiast. While her husband has been a lifelong Remote Control enthusiast and DIY hobbyist –he tears apart and rebuilds aircraft models regularly- business development is her area of expertise and she is thrilled to be part of a rapidly expanding industry. “I’ve always loved to fly, but little did I know the skills I developed in a university science lab-examining frogs and insects- would help me to dissect Quadcoptors and UAVs as part of my career later in life.”

The authorization creates a wide range of possibilities for FPV Catalog’s husband and wife team. The most significant enabling them to test products and post instructional videos on FPV Catalog’s website as a way to strengthen quality control. The idea being that they can test the durability and flight capabilities of UAV and FPV products not only for customer review, but for new suppliers and entrepreneurs wanting a place to launch their inventions.

“Quality is important to our business and having the capability to review and film products commercially under the 333 Exemption allows us to create these videos without being fined,” said Mr. Pogosaew. “And because the FAA was still fine tuning the exemption details for commercial use of drones, FPV Catalog requested an exemption for only two types of models: a Fixed Wing and a Multirotor-with the thought that the 333 Exemption will act as an umbrella and cover other models down the road.”

Additionally the FAA certification allows Mr. Pogosaew to produce educational and promotional videos for the agricultural and construction industries, real estate agencies, schools, universities and government agencies. He is listed in the National SARS (Search and Rescue) database and is available to help support search and rescue missions.

On a broader scale, and more importantly to the owners of FPV Catalog, receiving an exemption within a short period of time symbolizes the Federal Aviation Administration is loosening their reins. They believe the FAA is acknowledging the importance of the UAS industry and the role it will have in stimulating the US economy. America needs small businesses with innovative and creative people at the helm who are willing to compete locally and globally.

“We don’t know what the future holds, but we are proud to be part of it now with the FAA’s approval.”

shopping

Survey shows Arizonans favor shopping small businesses

An overwhelming number of Arizona consumers (88 percent) support small businesses in their communities by patronizing these establishments at least once a week, according to the 2015 Cox Consumer Pulse on Small Businesses. In fact, nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of Arizona consumers visit a small business two or more times a week.

Cox Business commissioned a blind survey of American consumers in April of 2015. Respondents to the online survey included a total of 1,366 consumers around the country – 157 of whom live in Arizona. The margin of error for this survey is plus or minus 3 percent and the Arizona data is directional. An infographic detailing national consumer sentiment is available here.

As for the reasons they “shop small,” Arizona consumers:

70%: Feel it’s important to buy local.

57%: Think it’s convenient.

54%: Experience greater customer service (more so than at a large business).

Nearly half (48 percent) of Arizonans also like shopping small because of the familiarity they have with business owners and employees.

“While Arizona consumers are doing their part to strengthen our communities through their patronage of small businesses, Cox Business knows the importance of providing these establishments the tools they need to continue to engage consumers, deliver high levels of service and strengthen Arizona communities through job creation,” says Ed Aronson, vice president Cox Business. He adds, “The survey found that many respondents believe Wi-Fi service, like Cox Business Guest Wi-Fi, improves the customer experience and patrons of businesses are coming to expect access to free and fast Internet service.

When it comes to which small businesses consumers support on a regular basis, Arizonans are slightly less likely to visit convenience stores (57 percent) than their national counterparts (73 percent). Restaurants topped Arizonans list of the small businesses they are most likely to visit:

77%: Restaurants

60%: Repair and maintenance (general automotive repair, oil change shops)

57%: Healthcare services (physicians, dentists, chiropractors)

53%: Personal and laundry services (barbershops, beauty salons, nail salons)

51%: Miscellaneous retailers (florists, pet supplies, novelty shops)

39%: Building material/supply dealers

34%: Clothing and clothing accessories stores*

31%: Health and personal care stores (beauty supply, pharmacies)

28%: Professional and technical services (lawyers, realtors, CPAs)

*Arizonans visit local clothing and clothing accessories stores 4 percent more than the national average.

In line with national respondents, a majority (54%) of Arizona consumers shop small because they believe small businesses deliver better customer service than their larger competition. Most (60%) feel the service they receive from bigger businesses is average at best.

More details on the 2015 Cox Business Consumer Sentiment Survey on Small Business are available on CoxBLUE.com, the company’s social destination for businesses.

satellite

Arizona’s aerospace industry may turn to space tourism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Industry depends on military dollars

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tucson’s aerospace cluster

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But the companies may need to change, too.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Major industry players don’t feel as much impact

Raytheon Missile Systems is largest private employer in southern Arizona.

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

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

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

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

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

94750491

DriveTime hiring 50; making on-the-spot offers in Mesa

One of Arizona’s largest and fastest growing employers, DriveTime, is looking to immediately fill over 50 open positions in Mesa at their Corporate Operations Center. To meet these needs as quickly as possible, DriveTime will be offering on-the-spot offers on May 5 for qualified applicants and plans to fill half of all open positions that day.

DriveTime offers highly competitive compensation and benefits that exceed most Mesa averages. According to data from PayScale.com, the average call center representative in Phoenix makes $9.81-$13.64 per hour with an average salary of $20,689-$53,582. DriveTime’s hourly wages start on the top end of the scale with hourly positions ranging from $13-$16 per hour and salaried positions from $40,000-$60,000 are being offered.

Green World

Cox Communications honors Valley’s ‘green’ heroes

Cox Communications, in partnership with The Trust for Public Land, is seeking nominations for Arizona’s fourth annual Cox Conserves Heroes awards program. A total of $20,000 will be donated to local environmental nonprofits on behalf of the winner and finalists.

Nominations are being accepted through 5 p.m. MT on May 18 at www.cox7.com/cox-conserves for volunteers in Phoenix and Southern Arizona who are creating, preserving or enhancing outdoor spaces.

A judging panel comprised of civic and environmental leaders will select three finalists who will then compete to be named Arizona’s 2015 Cox Conserves Hero. The winner, chosen through an online public vote, will receive $10,000 to donate to his or her selected nonprofit beneficiary. The two finalists each will receive $5,000 for their nonprofits of choice.

Nominee activities must be performed on a volunteer basis and may not be part of an individual’s paid employment.

Arizona’s 2015 Cox Conserves Heroes Timeline:

  • Nominations:  April 13 – May 18
  • Voting:  July 13 – August 10
  • Winner Announcement: August

Scottsdale’s Melinda Gulick, Tucson’s Brad Lancaster and Phoenix’s Greg Clark are previous recipients of Arizona’s Cox Conserves Heroes award. 

As either a finalist or winner’s nonprofit of choice, the following Arizona organizations have received financial support from the Cox Conserves Heroes program: Arizona Native Plant Society, Desert Harvesters, McDowell Sonoran Conservancy, Mission Garden, Nina Mason Pulliam Rio Salado Audubon Center, Phoenix Mountains Preservation, Tigermountain Foundation and Wild At Heart.

The Cox Conserves Heroes program was created through a partnership between The Trust for Public Land and Cox Enterprises, the parent company of Cox Communications. Cox Conserves Heroes also takes place in Calif., Ga., Fla., La., Mass. and Va. Overall, nearly $500,000 has been donated to environmental nonprofits and more than 140 volunteers have been honored through the Cox Conserves Heroes program.

For more information, visit CoxConservesHeroes.com or Facebook.

Social Media: #CoxConservesHeroes and #CoxConservesHero

footgolf

Peoria Pines opening Arizona’s 1st Certified FootGolf Course

Peoria Pines Golf & Restaurant announced that it will be launching FootGolf on Friday, May 8, 2015 & will be the only Certified FootGolf Course in the State of Arizona. FootGolf is a fun, new sport that appeals to a large audience.  FootGolf is fun for all ages, requires no equipment other than a soccer ball and with a low cost to play, make it a great new family activity.

 Peoria Pines Golf & Restaurant is a Certified FootGolf Course of the American FootGolf League (AFGL) and will promote the sport of FootGolf under the rules & guidelines of the Federation of International FootGolf (FIFG).

www.peoriapines.com

http://www.afgl.us/

http://www.footgolfarizona.com/

About FootGolf: FootGolf is a combination of the popular sports of soccer & golf. The game is played with a regulation No. 5 soccer ball at a golf course facility on shortened holes with 21-inch diameter cups. The rules largely correspond to the rules of golf. FootGolf as a game is played throughout the world in many different forms, but as a sport, it is regulated by the Federation for International FootGolf (FIFG). The American FootGolf League (AFGL) is the exclusive member of the FIFG and governing body for the sport of FootGolf in the United States. The AFGL is organizing tournaments throughout the country working with golf courses to bring FootGolf to their clubs as another avenue for revenue & to develop the game further.

Where to play: Peoria Pines Golf & Restaurant8411 North 107th Ave., Peoria, Arizona 85345

Telephone: (623) 972-1364