Tag Archives: arizona

ScoWhiten Your Teeth - Scottsdale Living Magazine Fall 2011

Tralongo signs deal to expand in Phoenix

Tralongo LLC, an Atlanta-based firm specializing in dental practice acquisitions, announced an all-new development agreement with Phoenix dentist, Dr. Isaac LaVant. Under the terms of agreement, Tralongo will assist LaVant in obtaining up to 10 Arizona dental practices within the next decade, marking the firm’s first partnership in the state.

“We are very excited to begin work with Dr. LaVant and help him acquire dental offices throughout Arizona,” said Dr. Ken Tralongo, founder and CEO, Tralongo LLC. “With multiple statewide oral health programs and initiatives, Arizona is a prime arena for expanding within the dental industry and we know we can grow as a company with help from Dr. LaVant.”

A native of Phoenix, LaVant graduated from Meharry Medical College in 2012 with a concentration in dentistry. His experience in the McNair Scholars Program shadowing a dentist led him to work in a Texas dental office shortly after. In early 2014, LaVant found himself looking to expand on his own and after following an online advertisement, he met with Dr. Tralongo and company member, David Lopez, to discuss the possibility of dental management.

“After just a year of working in a dental office, I was sore, tired and just worn out and couldn’t imagine my entire career being spent in the chair five days a week,” said Dr. LaVant. “When I met with Tralongo, I realized my love of dentistry could be supported through management – a field where I could make a difference and have an impact on multiple practices. Partnering with Tralongo will support me in the process of entering the management realm through the exceptional support they offer.”

Comprised of a team of dental, marketing, financial and business professionals, Tralongo LLC holds more than 90 years of combined experience in dental management and acquisitions. Launched in 2013, the firm partners with entrepreneurial dentists who are looking to grow their businesses by acquiring and operating multiple practices. Taking professionals out of the chair and into management and ownership, Tralongo operates via a five-step process that trains partners, helps them find the right dental practices to acquire, assists in obtaining the appropriate financing, works with them during the transition from old to new ownership and helps maintain operational support throughout to maximize profits. Tralongo also provides partners with access to methods, support systems and economies of scale.

Great American Barbeque & Beer Festival returns

Arizona’s largest BBQ event is set to return to downtown Chandler on March 21, 2015 from noon – 10 p.m. Winner of Outstanding Event of the Year in 2012 and 2013 at the APS AzTEC Awards, the 2015 Great American Barbeque & Beer Festival will be bigger and better than ever with a newly expanded stage, more BBQ pitmasters and the eating competition zone for finger lickin’ good times.

Headlining this year’s entertainment will be the Eli Young Band, best known for their double platinum single, “Crazy Girl” which earned them the ACM Award in 2011 for Song of the Year.  Other popular hits include “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” and “Drunk Last Night.”  Supporting acts include local country performers, Laura Walsh and Georgia Chrome as well as Adley Stump.

“I’m thrilled to have Eli Young Band as our headlining act for this year’s festival. The entertainment bill continues to grow each year with A-list talent. I couldn’t be happier with our amazing country lineup for 2015,” said Landon Evans, event coordinator.

The sixth annual Great American Barbeque & Beer Festival will be held in downtown Chandler, spanning the entire east and west Dr. AJ Chandler Park – as well as the connecting Arizona Ave., which will be closed from Buffalo St. to Boston St. on Saturday, March 21, 2015.

Beginning on February 9, 2015, all valley-wide Bashas’ locations will have $10 each presale general admission tickets available for purchase. General admission tickets are also available online for $12 each atwww.chandlerbbq.com and tickets will be $15 each at the gate day of. Food and beverages are sold separately. Children 12 years of age and younger are admitted for free.

More than 60 of the best BBQ pitmasters from across Arizona and the southwest will converge in downtown Chandler for a day filled with the sweet aroma of smoked meats and delicious craft beer from SanTan Brewing Company. The Chandler based brewery will pour their popular seasonal,  Mr. Pineapple Wheat Beer; HopShock IPA and Devil’s Ale. Plus, festival goers will enjoy a brand new brew called LimeLeaf Cream Ale.

Some of the BBQ pitmasters joining us this year include Famous Dave’s Legendary Pit BBQ, Honey Bear’s BBQ, JJ’s Louisiana BBQ, McLaws BBQ, Phil The Grill, Porkopolis, Raging Cajun Smoking BBQ, Sally’s BBQ, SanTan Brewing Company, Smoke Haus, Sweet Magnolia Smokehouse, Tom’s BBQ Pig Rig and many more.

Other festival highlights include the March Madness lounge, Chester’s Harley Davidson pavilion, Ride Now off road zone, kid’s playland, eating competitions and over 100 exhibitors.

Be sure to “like” this event on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bbq.beer.music and follow on Twitter @BBQBEERFESTIVAL for entertainment announcements, a chance to win free tickets and more event details as they roll out.

The Great American Barbeque & Beer Festival official sponsors include; Bashas’, SanTan Brewing, Ak-Chin Indian Communities, Downtown Chandler Community Partnership, Jack Daniels Whiskey, Little Black Dress, Alliance Beverage, Crescent Crown Distributing, 102.5 KNIX, Poore Brothers, Clean Air Cab, Phoenix New Times, Local First AZ, Yelp, Von Hanson’s Meats & Spirits, Pinnacle Peak Pie Company, One Community, Phoenix Bites, and Local Lily who all remind you to enjoy BBQ and beer responsibly.

A portion of the event proceeds will benefit the Boot Campaign, a 501(c)(3) dedicated to providing assistance to wounded military and their families with job placement and securing mortgage free homes, post traumatic stress disorder counseling, adaptive clothing and much more. For more information about the Boot Campaign, visit www.bootcampaign.com.

doctor-ipad

Cox funds Phoenix Children’s Hospital tech project

Phoenix Children’s Hospital received a $200,000 grant from the James M. Cox Foundation. The grant will support the hospital’s “Connected Patient Project,” which provides customized patient care information on tablets.

Phoenix Children’s Hospital uses Journey Boards as tools to help families of a sick child identify what they need to know before taking their child home from the hospital. Parts of the Journey Board may also be applied to a clinic or emergency room visit.

The hospital is currently using print versions of the Journey Board. Through the grant, this information will be delivered utilizing technology, with 200 tablets being installed in patient rooms with interactive, customized content. The project will benefit 13,000 patients annually. In addition to the James M. Cox Foundation grant, Cox Communications is also funding the creation of 21 Journey Board apps, available in English and Spanish.

“For families, hospital stays can be a very intense and stressful time and it can be hard to retain information under those conditions,” said Teresa Boeger, director, Division of Family Centered Care at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. “Journey Boards help us ensure that comprehension is taking place and helps us identify gaps in understanding. We’re excited about the success we’ve experienced with the Journey Boards and are looking forward to taking it to the next level with the use of technology. Cox has truly been a friend of Phoenix Children’s as we continue to incorporate technology into patient care.”

Phoenix Children’s Hospital is Arizona’s only licensed children’s hospital and among the largest freestanding facilities of its kind in the country, with 385 licensed beds. The hospital operates satellite centers in the East Valley, Scottsdale, the Northwest Valley, Southwest Valley, Yuma and Flagstaff.

“Cox Communications continues to invest in Arizona’s technology infrastructure and communities by offering the fastest speeds available in the state,” said John Wolfe, Cox Communications senior vice president and southwest region manager. “Cox and Phoenix Children’s Hospital have been partners for more than a decade and Cox is pleased to be the hospital’s Internet provider. This grant will help the hospital deliver customized content to educate and comfort their patients’ families.”

The James M. Cox Foundation was named after Cox Enterprises’ founder and provides funding for capital campaigns and special projects in communities where Cox Communications, Cox Automotive and Cox Media Group operate.

“As a technology company, we are transforming our world with new products and services,” said Alex Taylor, Cox Enterprises executive vice president and great-grandson of James M. Cox, the company’s founder. “But this one in particular feels good because it helps children and their families at a time when they need it most.”

Cox Enterprises operates Cox Communications, Go Auto Exchange, Ready Auto Transport and Manheim in Arizona.

95770266

FirstBank fund helps qualified homebuyers buy new homes

FirstBank Holding Company, a holding company with 15 banking locations throughout Arizona, announced 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. FirstBank’s contribution will provide qualified homebuyers up to $25,000 to be used as a down payment toward the purchase of a new home.

Trellis was founded in 1975 with the help of the City of Phoenix and Neighborhood Works America, a national nonprofit organization that provides financial support, technical assistance and training for community-based revitalization efforts. The organization focuses on lending, learning and building by offering mortgages with little to no down payment, providing financial literacy classes and acquiring and renovating distressed properties, respectively.

“We made this contribution to Trellis because we believe in helping people who are pursuing the American Dream of home ownership,” said Angelo Chin Foo, banking officer at FirstBank and Trellis board member. “Trellis is a multi-service organization that has made a significant impact on the community over its 40-year history. With this investment, we hope to play a small role in helping Trellis deliver its mission of providing more affordable housing to Arizonians.”

Structured as an “equivalent equity investment,” FirstBank’s $1 million contribution allows qualified homebuyers to borrow up to $25,000 towards the purchase of a new home. Homebuyers repay the loan to Trellis over a 15-year period, and Trellis will use the repaid funds to provide assistance to homebuyers across Maricopa County, in perpetuity.

“Access to affordable housing benefits everyone. Individuals and families become stable and more economically secure, neighborhoods become more active and cities gain jobs and tax revenues,” said Patricia Garcia-Duarte, president and CEO of Trellis. “We rely on generous partners like FirstBank to help us strengthen our local communities and empower homebuyers, and we couldn’t be more grateful for this generous support.”

FirstBank opened its first location in Arizona in 2007 and has since expanded to 15 locations. All Arizona branches offer a full range of services, including Free Checking, Free Business Checking, mortgages, home equity loans and commercial loans. The bank is the main sponsor of Arizona Give Day, a 24-hour online giving initiative aimed at increasing individual giving throughout the state.

For more information, visit TrellisAZ.org.

climate denialism

Arizona’s hospitality industry embraces global market

Arizona has the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley and Sedona, but to promote these natural wonders to international travelers is no walk in the park.

To showcase Arizona around the globe, it takes detailed research, strategic planning, effective branding and marketing, a global network of industry professionals — and the power to erase any lingering negativity associated with the state.

Despite several years of bad publicity surrounding controversial immigration policies and other proposed legislation that darkened the state’s reputation, Arizona is experiencing an increase in tourism.

“We definitely try and share with everyone we come into contact with that we are a more progressive community than the state is known as being,” says Joanne Hudson, public relations specialist for the Flagstaff Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“Certain markets, especially the Mexico visitor, have been negatively affected the last few years from the state laws and policies that have come out,” Hudson says. “We share that we are a very welcoming and open community and try to get them here to experience it. Once they get here, they really do sense and feel that. They realize it isn’t what they see and hear in the news.”

Rachel Pearson, vice president of community and government affairs at the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, says, “We are traveling around the world connecting with customers and clients, trying to reinforce who we are as a destination, who we are as a state and ensuring that people understand that we are a very welcoming destination. We offer some unique, rich experiences that you can’t have anywhere else.”

Beyond the state’s scenic beauty, Arizona’s diversity, especially the Native American and Hispanic cultural influences, appeals to international travelers, explains Sherry Henry, director of the Arizona Office of Tourism.

The rich multi-cultural experiences and gorgeous scenery, combined with outdoor activities, vibrant cities, fine dining and shopping, attracts millions of visitors and brings in billions of dollars.

Industry leaders are looking toward the future with optimism as they strategize how to attract even more world travelers.

“Arizona Office of Tourism has been active in the international market for years starting with Mexico and Canada, and overseas with partners in the United Kingdom, Germany and France,” Henry says, “and just three years ago we launched into emerging markets of China and Brazil.”

MEXICAN INFLUENCE

Currently, Mexico tops the charts for international travel into Arizona. At the height of the controversy surrounding Arizona’s immigration policies, the influx of Mexican travelers decreased. But statistics from 2013 show a rebound with a total number of Mexican visitors to Arizona at more than 3.6 million. Other countries that rank high on the list are Canada, Germany, United Kingdom and France with 1.1 million visitors collectively. Total international travelers in 2013 reached roughly 5.3 million.

The Arizona tourism industry has been proactive in reaching out south of the border and developing programs to promote and facilitate travel in Arizona.

Jessica Stephens, director of public relations at Visit Tucson, says travelers from Mexico bring in close to $1 billion a year in southern Arizona alone. Visit Tucson has two visitors centers in Mexico that help with hotel reservations and other concierge services. They also help expedite border crossings with a program developed with customs and border patrol that allows pre-approved travelers to obtain a fast pass. This makes traveling to Arizona a 12-minute trip instead of waiting in a car for hours.

Other Arizona cities and convention and visitors bureaus have pooled resources to fund trade offices in Mexico. Today, Henry says, the discussions no longer reflect the challenges of the past, but instead focus on the future. “It’s all about how we can be better partners and how can we develop that area that has such great potential.”

FOCUS ON CHINA

Arizona is now setting sights on China, the number one traveling country in the world. Henry explains that there is so much potential for growth in the emerging markets of China and Brazil, which is also topping the international travel charts. She pointed to a partnership with Brand USA, the marketing arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce designed to develop travel interest in the United States, as essential to increasing global awareness.

“We think Arizona has such appeal,” Henry says. “International journalists are amazed at what they see when they are here, and they bring the stories back to their countries.”

Barry Nakano, director of business development with PacRim Marketing Group and a board member of the Hospitality, Sales and Marketing Association International Arizona Chapter, knows the Asian markets. He recognizes the potential of the China market and points out that other Asian markets also impact our economy. According to the Arizona Office of Tourism statistics, Japan and the Republic of Korea brought in more visitors than China in 2013.

“There’s definitely a lot of interest today in the China market and understandably so. Their 1.3 billion population presents enormous potential and the recent decision by the U.S. government to extend Visa validity for visitors from China should accelerate the growth of that market. We shouldn’t overlook however, that Japan is still the second largest overseas feeder market to the U.S., and South Korea and Taiwan markets continue to grow. Japanese, in particular, have been traveling overseas a long time so tend to be more independent and willing to explore new destinations.”

INDUSTRY PREPARES

Nakano offers practical advice for those in the hospitality industry as they prepare for the influx of international travelers.

“The most efficient and cost effective way to reach Asian travelers is online and providing information in the language of the traveler is important,” he says, adding that websites should be an essential part of any marketing toolkit. “When creating an international language website, make sure the content is developed by professionals, not by translation software that has difficulty conveying intangibles we promote in travel like experience and atmosphere.

“For hotels, it’s also important the online booking engine is in the target language to make it easy for travelers to complete reservations, which is the ultimate goal.”

One thing to note when targeting travelers from China is their spoken language is Mandarin and their written language is called Simplified Chinese so any written information should be in that form.

He continued to offer tips for hotels. “To attract Asian travelers, it’s important to show cultural sensitivity and make them feel welcome. Including small touches in guest rooms like slippers and Chinese tea, along with coffee, will be appreciated and can go a long way. Offering other amenities like Asian-language TV channels, newspapers, area maps and dining menus will make guests feel comfortable after they arrive and can also be used as selling points to show you care.

Henry is already seeing changes at the Office of Tourism and in the state. “We’re finding that Arizona is becoming more globally aware. On our staff we have staff members who speak Spanish, Mandarin, and Portuguese for the folks coming in from Brazil. We are in a global environment now. The whole world has changed and everybody is beginning to think globally.”

Michelle Oden-Huebner, CMP, president of Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International Arizona Chapter, says the hospitality industry has always been one that supports diversity and inclusion.

As Arizona increases its global visibility, it needs to continue to show that the state is inclusive and promotes diversity in the workplace and marketplace, Oden-Huebner says.

“Tourism is one of the largest export industries in the State of Arizona, providing funding for education and vital services in local communities,” she says.  “This makes Arizona more attractive for new businesses to relocate to the area, thus creating more job opportunities.  The more business we bring into our state, the more money we have to support the greater community improving and increasing services for residents in Arizona.”

Reviving the Construction Industry

Shea Homes announces partnership with GE

Shea Homes, the country’s largest privately held builder of new homes, announced its national partnership with GE Appliances.

This partnership means Shea Homes design centers in communities across California, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and Washington will now offer a selection of GE appliances to new home buyers.

“At Shea Homes, we’re dedicated to offering innovative, fresh new design options,” said Ken Peterson, vice president of sales and marketing. “We chose GE as our national appliance partner because of the company’s design aesthetic as well as our shared commitment to quality, value, and customer service.”

housing.prices

Berkshire Hathaway recognizes top sales executives

Leaders and representatives from Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Arizona Properties gathered at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa to recognize the company’s top sales executives for 2014.

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Arizona Properties and its sister company, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Nevada Properties, together comprise the third largest Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices franchise in the world. Combined, the companies sold $2.7 billion in Arizona and Nevada real estate in 2014.

Three Arizona teams were named among Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ Top 100 and will be recognized next month at the national Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices sales convention among the top 100 teams in the country. The Alan Levanson Team, The Joffe Group and John Turco will be recognized in the Top 100 out of 54,000 sales executives in the company’s global network.

“2014 was an exciting year for our company and for our nearly 800 real estate executives in Arizona,” said Mark Stark, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Arizona Properties. “Aligning our company with Berkshire Hathaway in 2014 gave our executives increased brand recognition and even more technology, education and support to make their jobs easier and their clients’ experiences top notch.”

“Our sales executives do an amazing job, providing the best customer care in the business and exceeding growth expectations year-after-year,” said Gordon Miles, president and COO. “This annual event is a way for us to recognize and celebrate the achievements and contributions of some of the best real estate executives in Arizona.”

Berkshire Hathaways HomeServices Arizona Properties’ Top 10 Individual sales executives in 2014 were:

#1 – Katie Dabe

#2 – Linda Salkow

#3 – Olga Griffin

#4 – Kelly McLain

#5 – Joan Pike

#6 – Jeena Ronan

#7 – Sharon Helland

#8 – Beth Butner

#9 – Andrew Filipowicz

#10 – Holly Hoepfner

The company’s Top 10 Teams for 2014 were:

#1 – The Joffe Group

#2 – Sterling Elite Properties Group

#3 – Alan Levanson Team

#4 – Colleen Seymour & Associates

#5 – The Ray Group

#6 – The Murphy Team

#7 – Team Santistevan

#8 – John Turco Team

#9 – FHG-Fine Homes Group

#10 – The Berrett Team

Marlene Moore, branch transaction administrator, was named Employee of the Year and the team of Erin and Michael Hensel were named Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Arizona Properties’ Rookie of the Year for 2014.

“We welcomed approximately 250 new sales executives in our first year as a Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices franchise,” said Stark. Among them were nine individuals or teams that sold $7.1 million or more in Arizona real estate in 2014. These top individuals and teams were:

• Power of 4 team (Kathleen Benoit, Karen Baldwin, Anne Morrissey, Bee Francis)  – $76 million

• The Ocotillo-Chandler Team (Rebecca & James Raines and Janet & Mike Rogers) – $28 million

• Heather Maclean – $17 million

• Chris Meyer – $12 million

• Brian Kusmer – $9.5 million

• Kathy Kallner – $8.3 million

• Sylvester “Wojo” Wojtowicz – $8.3 million

• Eric Heil and Grett Hayes – $8.1 million

• Laura Dye and Heidi Felix - $7.1 million

Lennar Pinnacle NextGen Plan at Victory

Lennar re-enters Arizona active adult business

After a 12 year hiatus, Lennar Arizona is back in the business of creating homes within an active adult community.  “The timing was right for us as a company, and certainly as a nation with the growing number of Baby Boomers who are looking for new lifestyles and homes,” said Alan Jones, Lennar Arizona president.  Lennar was invited by DMB to build in the new active adult Victory district within Verrado in Buckeye. “We were honored to be selected and jumped on the opportunity to be a part of a fresh offering for the age 55+ home buyers, ” said Jones.    Lennar’s last local active adult community was Ventana Lakes in Peoria.

DMB developed Victory to bring something new and unique to the highly competitive active adult community marketplace.  “Part of the Victory story is offering homes built by four home builders – more customer choice and authentic looking neighborhoods.   Lennar is a long-standing, highly respected and trusted home builder.   The “Everything’s Included®” and Next Gen® – The Home Within a Home® designs are totally unique to the Active Adult category and based on extensive consumer research, we were confident that Lennar had what the new customer wants in new homes built with their lifestyle in mind,” said Deborah Blake, President of the Active Adult Lifestyle and Development Group of Cecilian Worldwide, which has consulted on the strategic marketing, as well as brand and creative strategy.

Victory resonates with buyers like Rick and Sharron Howell who moved from Carefree, AZ to Goodyear a year and a half ago, renting a home,  to test the waters of living on the west side of the Valley.  They love the location and the small-town-feel of Verrado.  And after confirming with some real estate agents that Lennar builds a good home, they selected an enhanced Summit plan, along with a great home site. And, Lennar’s “everything included” offering made the selections easy.  “I didn’t want to wade through 40 pages of upgrade choices, which can be quite confusing,” said buyer Sharron Howell.  The Howells are looking forward to moving in, getting settled and enjoying the lifestyle.  “We will be hiking, biking, playing golf, swimming and working out in the gym when it’s completed. And, in the evening we’ll sit in our backyard with a glass of wine and look at the impressive mountains and the stars,” noted Sharron Howell. 

Lennar is building five different single-story home plans in Victory, including the 2,136-square foot single-story Pinnacle, a Next Gen® plan. This concept has been a huge success in the marketplace as it basically offers two homes under one roof, with one payment. The Next Gen® suite is attached to the main home via an interior door, and includes a bedroom, bathroom, living room, kitchenette and privacy.  Lennar has identified dozens of uses for the Next Gen® suite – from a comfortable home for aging parents, boomerang young adults, home office, or guest room. 

The idea of creating two living spaces under one roof was driven by the aging of America and a soft economy.  “Many people in mid-life want a safe and comfortable space for their parents.  Having them just a door away offers privacy, yet inclusion, and that has been a home run for Lennar. It has helped created some powerful family bonds,” said Jones. 

Later this year, the Victory clubhouse is expected to open for the exclusive use of the active adult district residents.  Meanwhile Victory at Verrado residents enjoy the community pool, Verrado Golf Club, shopping and restaurants in downtown Verrado, parks, 21 miles of trails, clubs and community events.

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, visit any of the following: Lennar.com, Facebook.com/LennarPhoenix; YouTube.com/LennarPhoenix; Twitter.com/LennarPhoenix.

Matt Likens - AZ Business Magazine January/February 2012

$600M sale of Ulthera named Deal of the Year for 2014

The $600 million purchase of Mesa-based Ulthera, Inc. by German company Merz Pharma was selected as the 2014 Deal of the Year Award by the Association for Corporate Growth-Arizona Chapter.

The “Deal of the Year” is an award given by the Arizona Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) to recognize a company or private equity firm for their accomplishments regarding a merger, acquisition or capital market transaction.  The award recognizes a deal/transaction in the Arizona marketplace involving established businesses with between $10 million and $750 million of revenue that closed in calendar year 2014.

The Deal of the Year Award was given Tuesday night at a dinner at the Arizona Biltmore. Vonage’s purchase of Scottsdale-based Telesphere Networks in a $114 million transaction was the runner-up for the award.

“This is an example of a merger and acquisition that was truly a win for the companies involved and for Arizona’s economy,” said Sanat Patel, Board President for ACG-Arizona. “We congratulate the team behind the Ulthera purchase for their hard work in creating a transaction that has helped an Arizona company expand its global presence.”

Ulthera, Inc. is a venture capital-funded start-up company that was established in Mesa in January, 2004. Ulthera has developed a focused ultrasound approach to creating reliable and significant firming, tightening and lifting of facial skin tissue in one-hour non-invasive procedures.

Matt Likens, President & CEO with Ulthera, said that the transaction has strengthened Ulthera’s position in the marketplace significantly.

“Ulthera represents the only medical device within the Merz Pharma product portfolio,” Likens said. “Since the deal closed six months ago, our presence in Mesa has continued to expand. We are now positioned as the medical device center of innovation and excellence for Merz Pharma globally.”

The award criteria for the Deal of the Year included:

·       Deal-making that either created or demonstrates a real potential for substantial return on investment

·       Deal-making that evidences the unlocking of value and/or contribution to the strategic development of the business

·       Deal-making that produces a wider business impact, such as the development of new markets, products, services and/or technologies and the creation or retention of quality employment opportunities in Arizona

·       Deal-making that reflects a high level of professional expertise in the design of the transaction and tested creativity and deal-making skills in completing the transaction

·       At least one company involved in the transaction must be headquartered or have a majority of its operations in Arizona

Founded in 1954, the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) is a global association for professionals involved in corporate growth, corporate development, and mergers and acquisitions. Today ACG stands at more than 14,000 members from corporations, private equity, finance, and professional service firms representing Fortune 500, Fortune 1000, FTSE 100, and mid-market companies in 56 chapters in North America, Europe, and Asia. The Arizona chapter of ACG includes representatives from corporate investment and private equity groups, financiers, venture capitalists and supporting consultant services. For more information, visit www.acg.org/arizona.

Photo illustration of model Celina Maas taken at the Royal Palms Resort and Spa in Phoenix by Shavon Rose, AZ Big Media.

Plastic surgeons, tourism industry build enhanced partnership

A nip here, a tuck there. A growing number of tourists are traveling to Scottsdale to go under the knife and recover in high-end resorts with top-notch treatment.

Cosmetic surgeons in Scottsdale are attracting patients from all over the United States by partnering with local hotels and resorts to upgrade the recovery experience. Accommodations are made prior to the surgery for guests to recuperate in a resort of their choice, with medical care nearby. Some surgeons say there is untapped potential to capitalize on this trend and create a lucrative partnership.

Doctors say people are traveling to Scottsdale to undergo cosmetic procedures ranging from breast augmentation to facial rejuvenation, with pricetage ranging from $3,000 to $30,000.

“I think Scottsdale is a destination point,” said Dr. Daniel Shapiro, M.D., FACS, of Shapiro Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and Shapiro Skin Klinic. “I think it has a very cosmopolitan reputation and usually larger cities with that discretionary income tend to have reputations for things like plastic surgery. We’re selling a luxury. We are providing the best possible results for somebody, with the best possible experience.”

Shapiro has practiced plastic surgery in Scottsdale and Paradise Valley for more than 22 years. He estimates that as many as 40 percent of his patients are from out of town.

“I think a lot of people are very private about whatever they do (in regards to plastic surgery),” Shapiro said. “It’s a win-win all the way around if somebody can have some improvements and go back home and they just look better. It’s at their discretion whether they want people to know. I think that’s why a lot people go out of town and have plastic surgery done.”

Building the brand

Scottsdale hotels and resorts have seen an increase of 3.2 percent in room occupancy and in 8.8 percent increase in RevPAR (room revenue divided by rooms available), according to Megan Doyle, community affairs manager at the Scottsdale Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“Our resorts and hotels are wonderful places in Scottsdale for rest and relaxation,” Doyle said. “I can imagine that anybody recovering from any kind of surgery or simply just needing a vacation can definitely come to one of our resorts and rejuvenate.”

Here’s how Shapiro said the medical tourism industry works in the Valley: After the surgery is completed, the patient and family stay in the clinic’s recovery center for a couple days and are then transferred to a hotel or resort where they will stay for approximately a week to 10 days.
“Whether there is a package deal or not, usually the hotel will basically give revision rates based upon the length of stay,” Shapiro said.

The accommodations depend on what kind of surgery the guest underwent and what his or her needs are. The surgical clinic conducts research based on the patient’s criteria and circumstance. Some special services that are provided are transportation to and from the hotel and clinic, food delivery to hotel rooms, an itinerary for a spouse or significant others while the patient is recovering and an on-call nurse.

“The package varies in terms of what people are looking for,” Shapiro said. “We’re not a deal kind of practice. We’re more of a discriminating kind of taste in population practice. We get what people want and we help them achieve that.”

Working together

Dr. Pablo Prichard is the senior partner at Advanced Aesthetic Associates and has two in-house concierges who work in compliance with local hotels and resorts to schedule patients’ stays. Prichard offers a “fly-in program,” where all of the details are scheduled and calculated prior to the procedure.

“Once they have their consultations and decide to have surgery, they discuss the matters with the surgical concierge, who discusses their stay, hotel, food service, nursing service, and transportation,” Prichard said.

Financially, the clinic and resort work together to find a financial fit for the patient based on what he or she needs for a comfortable recovery.

“We do give the options for resorts that are close to us and in different price ranges,” said Jadie Peck, cosmetic concierge at Advanced Aesthetic Associates, “but we do have some deals with the resorts in the area that we give the options for. That way, they are not paying full-price for these resorts. They are nice. They have the complimentary breakfast and things like that so the patients don’t have to go out.”

Peck emphasizes that recovery will take the same amount of time regardless of where the patient stays, but location can aid in a comfortable convalescence.

“We do try and figure out resorts that are higher end so the clients that we have get more of an upscale feel to their surgery and their overall experience,” Peck said.

The business side

One of Shapiro’s recent out-of-state patients received a thigh lift and stayed at the Doubletree Resort in Scottsdale. The thigh lift surgery cost $17,200, an additional $3,230 went for the operation room and $1,598 for anesthesia. A two-night stay at the recovery center was $1,400 and each additional night at the Doubletree Resort in Scottsdale cost approximately $500 per night.

“One of the things they are saving is time and energy,” Shapiro said. “It’s stressful trying to accommodate all of those things. Some of the deals that hotels will bundle is based upon how many days you are going to stay. You can save hundreds of dollars per night as compared with booking it independently.”

This type of agreement is not unusual in the medical industry. The Mayo Clinic has a corporate room rate agreement with  Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Gainey Ranch for special seasonal room rates, according to Ann Lane, senior director of public relations at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Gainey Ranch.

The partnership started with clinics reaching out to the hotels and resorts in Scottsdale, due to the needs of their patients undergoing surgery and wanting to stay for an extended vacation to recover.

“(Clinics) started talking to hotels and resorts because we had out-of-town patients coming in,” Peck said. “We started talking to the hotels and working with them to get a mutual agreement going because we did have patients asking for that and we did it in order to accommodate the patients.”

Shapiro and Prichard both agree that it is a collaborative effort between the clinics and resorts to make a patient’s stay exactly what he or she wants and to recover successfully.

“Collaborative efforts with hotels is important, because a hotel can co-market a surgeon and the surgeon can co-market the hotel on their various websites,” Prichard said. “Co-marketing on a lot of different fronts helps with patients being aware that this is a possibility in that they don’t have to be restricted in one part of the country. They do have wide opportunities to go anywhere they want.”

The increase in the medical tourism industry shows great opportunity for the surgical facilities and resorts in Arizona to work together.

“I think it would be nice if the City of Scottsdale or the Chamber of Commerce would somehow get together with professional organizations and plastic surgeons and have a meet and greet with them and come up with an idea of how they can help each other in terms of public relations, package deals and any kind of incentives,” Shapiro said. “It is not only the traveling and lodging patients are paying for, there is money to spend in recreational activities, such as golfing and shopping. It’s good for business all the way around.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Chris Toci named top producer at Cushman & Wakefield

Cushman & Wakefield of Arizona, Inc. has announced its top producers for 2014.  For the second straight year, Chris Toci, executive director in the Capital Markets group, led the Phoenix office.

Toci negotiated investment sales totaling $290.4 million and approximately two million square feet in a variety of property types, including corporate campuses, Class A office buildings and a notable adaptive reuse project in Tempe.

The largest single transaction closed by Toci was an $85.1 million, 332,815-square-foot sale of Anchor Centre in the Camelback Corridor. Another significant deal was the $51 million, 337,439-square-foot sale of an office portfolio for American Express.

Other top producers include:

• Multifamily Advisory Group: Jim Crews;

• Office Group: Larry Downey and Mike Sayre;

• Investment Properties: Chad Littell and Chris Toci;

• Industrial Group: Jackie Orcutt and John Grady;

• Tenant Representation: Don Rodie, Blaine Black and Sam Murik.

“We are very proud of all our Top Producers this year,” said Jerry Noble, Market Leader and Managing Broker for C&W of Arizona.  “In 2014 Cushman & Wakefield participated in several transactions that helped shape the market. We are privileged to serve so many great clients and look forward to a strong market in 2015.”

lease

NexMetro will build leased-home neighborhood in Chandler

Phoenix-headquartered NexMetro Communities, America’s builder of next-generation leased–home neighborhoods, announces the purchase of 15 acres at the northeast corner of Warner Road and Grace Boulevard, just west of Arizona Avenue, in Chandler, Arizona, where it plans to develop 194 homes. The development will feature one, two, and three bedroom floorplans and continues the developer’s charter of building single-family, detached homes for lease that cater to lifestyle-conscious consumers.  The deal, which closed on March 2, is part of NexMetro’s aggressive growth strategy for 2015.

The acquired property is less than two miles from Chandler’s Downtown District, and nearby to Gilbert’s Heritage District, both of which have undergone extensive redevelopment initiatives in the last several years.  With only two multifamily properties constructed in the area over the last 11 years, the construction of the new Avilla Homes neighborhood is expected to be a significant catalyst in the community’s revitalization, attracting higher-income residents seeking a quality lifestyle. 

Ground breaking is expected to occur in April, and homes will be ready to lease at the end of 2015.  Another Avilla neighborhood in Chandler, Avilla San Marcos, opened in two phases in 2014, and today has 257 homes located at Alma School and Pecos Road. 

“The City of Chandler is excited to see a project that is consistent with the recommendations of the Mayor’s 4-Corner committee to redevelop older, challenged commercial space,” said James Smith, Economic Development Program Manager.  “The Avilla Grace development fits our strategy of bringing increased density and activity to intersections with underperforming commercial space. The influx of new residents will help support the remaining commercial space and provide density on an important transit corridor.” 

NexMetro and its affiliated companies have been developing Avilla Home neighborhoods since 2011 when the first neighborhood opened in Tucson. Construction is currently underway in Goodyear at Avilla Palm Valley where 125 homes are expected to be available for lease this spring.  Additional development in Arizona is scheduled throughout 2015 with four new neighborhoods planned in Chandler, Gilbert and Queen Creek. The company is also actively developing in other Sunbelt cities such as the Dallas suburbs of Plano and McKinney.

“It’s rewarding to see that our projects, including the Avilla Grace neighborhood, are highly anticipated, and even more so knowing that there is potential to bring a real vibrancy to an area previously considered undesirable.  Avilla Grace not only provides consumers with a worry-free lifestyle that allows them to enjoy the luxuries of home ownership without the burdens, but also enhances quality of life with close proximity to employment, entertainment and shopping districts,” said Josh Hartmann, Executive Vice President, NexMetro. 

CanyonVillage 8x5

JLL completes sale of DC Ranch project for $18.7M

On behalf of Arizona-based DMB, the Phoenix office of JLL has completed the $18.7 million sale of Canyon Village, a Class A mixed-use office project and cornerstone development within the DC Ranch masterplanned community in Scottsdale, Arizona.

JLL Senior Managing Director Dennis Desmond and Senior Vice President Brian Ackerman represented the property seller, Canyon Village LLC (an entity of DMB), in cooperation with DMB Vice President of Development Michael Burke and Director of Leasing and Sales T.A. Shover.

The team was assisted by Alfred Hackbarth, retail investment expert and Senior Vice President of SRS Real Estate Partners, and by JLL office leasing experts, Managing Director John Bonnell and Vice President Brett Abramson.

The buyer is Laurus Corp., a Los Angeles-based private real estate investment and development firm.

“As a DMB-built project, Canyon Village carries an unwavering quality and value in a niche location. There is no other office property quite like it in North Scottsdale,” said Desmond. “This buyer purchased Canyon Village knowing that Class A office space in Phoenix is coming back very strong and very quickly. They have tremendous confidence in that recovery and in this superior asset.”

Totalling 93,890 square feet on 5.6 acres, Canyon Village includes four buildings and an adjacent 289-car parking structure. It is located at 18801, 18835, 18867 and 18899 N. Thompson Peak Pkwy. in Scottsdale, on the northeast corner of Thompson Peak Parkway and Legacy Boulevard, and in the heart of DC Ranch, an 8,800-acre masterplanned community situated at the base of the McDowell Mountains. It is just five minutes from the Loop 101 freeway.

Canyon Village is primarily home to office tenants, but also includes high-end medical office, retail and restaurant users such as Ciao Wine Bar & Bistro and The Village Health Club’s hot yoga studio. It is an immediate neighbor to the award-winning DC Ranch Village Health Club and Spa, and Silverleaf, a 2,000-acre private residential community boasting high desert canyons, a world-class golf course, limited custom homesites starting at $1 million and ranging from 1 to 15 acres, and luxury homes from $1 million to more than $7 million. The 2014 median home value within a one-mile radius of Canyon Village was $608,782 – a more than 300 percent difference from the $195,930 2014 median home value for all of metro Phoenix.

“It is rare to find all of these amenities in one location – a landmark site, a highly designed formal Mediterranean environment, almost unrivalled access to executive housing and decision makers, a highly educated labor pool and meticulous property management,” said DMB Vice President Mike Burke. “We took all of these factors into consideration when building Canyon Village, laying a strong foundation for a long-term success story.”

At the time of purchase, Canyon Village was 75.9 percent leased, with expectations that this figure will increase quickly as development continues around the site and the Phoenix office market enjoys a sustained recovery.

According to JLL research, the subset of Phoenix’s Class A office space is significantly outperforming all other office classes. As of year-end 2014, the Class A vacancy rate was 18.7 percent (compared to 21.4 percent Valley-wide) and accounted for 60 percent of the year’s total net office space absorption.

volunteer

Wells Fargo awards paid volunteer leave

Hamp, Ian 2014Wells Fargo Community Affairs Representative Iain Hamp of Mesa has been awarded a Volunteer Leave Award from Wells Fargo, and will receive his full pay while volunteering at Phoenix Community ToolBank.  Volunteer Leave Awards are presented to selected Wells Fargo team members, enabling them to take up to three months of paid leave to focus on a community-based volunteer project of their choice.  Hamp is one of 11 Wells Fargo team members across the country to receive an award so far in 2015.  He will begin his five week long project at Phoenix Community ToolBank on March 2.

The Phoenix Community ToolBank stewards an inventory of tools for lending to charitable organizations to increase the impact of their mission-related efforts in the community. The organization also provides the staging area for all of the equipment and coordinates efforts with the nonprofits. Hamp witnessed first-hand the power of a local market ToolBank while in Charlotte, N.C. in June 2011. When he returned to Phoenix, he called ToolBank USA to begin the process of bringing a ToolBank to the Phoenix area.

“Every day, Wells Fargo team members like Iain are out in our communities making a difference in the lives of others,” said Pamela Conboy, Lead Region President for Wells Fargo in Arizona.  “Each year thousands of our team members volunteer their time and talent in communities across the country, helping thousands of individuals, families, and nonprofit groups. Our Volunteer Leave Program is one way that we honor this community involvement, and recognize our most exceptional team member volunteers.”

Wells Fargo’s Volunteer Leave Program was established in 1976 and is open to team members who have been with the company for five years among other criteria. Winners are chosen annually based on their personal commitment to the organization, their proposed project, and the potential impact that their project goals will have on addressing a specific social issue. In addition to being paid their full salary during the volunteer leave, recipients also receive full benefits as well.

Wells Fargo encourages team members to get involved in the communities where they live and work. More than 50,000 team members volunteer annually on projects such as Habitat for Humanity builds, restoring parks and public land, helping to collect and sort food to be provided to the homeless or those with low incomes, and delivering financial education to individuals and families using Wells Fargo’s Hands on Banking® program.

technology

Red Sky Solutions opens new Arizona office

Red Sky Solutions, a leader in customized IT solutions, announced today that it has opened a new office in Arizona and has appointed industry veteran Don Shilliday as Director of Sales and Operations for Arizona and the Southwest region.

Shilliday has more than 20 years sales and customer service experience in the IT field. In his role with Red Sky Solutions, he’ll be responsible for Arizona and Red Sky’s Southwest region that includes Arizona as well as California, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas. Shilliday has a history of rapid revenue growth in the wireless and networking industry and will play a key role in business development, sales and operations and the company’s overall growth in Arizona and the Southwest region.

“We’re excited to have Don join our team and are confident his experience and expertise will help us maintain our record growth and help us take it to the next level,” said Chris Barney, Vice President of Sales, Red Sky Solutions. “Our approach to working with clients is unique because our solutions are based from a technical perspective versus a specific product. In order to do this, we look for and partner with skilled professionals that will not only be a solution provider to our clients, but also a long-term business partner, and Don fits that model perfectly.”

Prior to joining Red Sky Solutions, Shilliday was the Mountain States Sales Director for Aruba Networks. In this position he was responsible for growing regional revenue from $7.3 million to more than $20 million in three years. Over the course of his career he’s also held sales positions with Brocade, Foundry Networks, Nortel Networks and Bay Networks.

Red Sky Solutions is an engineering-led network and systems integrator with a focus on data center architecture, design, deployment, branch infrastructure consolidation, enterprise mobility and security, application delivery and cloud migrations.

For more information about Red Sky Solutions, visit www.redskysol.com.

121956596

Enterprise Bank expands mortgage division

Recognizing the Valley’s continued residential real estate market recovery, Enterprise Bank & Trust has expanded its mortgage products for current and prospective clients interested in home purchase, refinance and other mortgage portfolio services.

To lead the expansion in Phoenix, Enterprise Bank & Trust has added seasoned mortgage expertise to its team including Brian Occhipinto, who will serve as a Mortgage Loan Officer and cater to the needs of clients in Arizona. Occhipinto has several years of expertise working with FHA lending programs, first time home buyers, refinancing and portfolio lending.

Prior to joining Enterprise Bank & Trust, Occhipinto served as mortgage branch manager at Peoples Bank, both in Colorado and Kansas, and as a mortgage banker with Chase. Occhipinto earned an MBA in finance from Rockhurst University in Kansas City and a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Kansas.

“The residential real estate market continues to slowly improve in Greater Phoenix and we feel the time is ideal to expand our mortgage banking offerings,” said Jack Barry, chairman of Enterprise Bank & Trust’s Arizona region. “Brian is the perfect leader to help us take our home loan division to new levels of success. We welcome him to our Enterprise family of experts.”

Outside of the office, Occhipinto enjoys coaching soccer, watching movies, attending sporting events and spending quality time in the desert Southwest with his family. Occhipinto also is actively involved in the community, and supports organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters, Junior Achievement as well as several business networking organizations.

Founded on the idea of serving the lifetime financial needs of privately-held businesses, their owner families and other entrepreneurs, Enterprise Bank & Trust has operations in Phoenix, St. Louis and Kansas City with more than $3.2 billion in assets and 15,000 families.

In Arizona alone, Enterprise has more than $150 million in existing loans to a diverse client base.

The OH Pool Bar + Cabanas at the Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale.

Hotel Valley Ho anchors Cactus League experience

Original Hotel Valley Ho owner Robert Foehl, Ted Williams and Bob Feller.

Original Hotel Valley Ho owner Robert Foehl, Ted Williams and Bob Feller.

To truly embrace Arizona’s spring training experience you need to start with an anchor. For Cactus League baseball fans, there may be no better anchor than the retro-chic Hotel Valley Ho in Downtown Scottsdale.

The hotel has hosted Baseball Hall of Famers Ted Williams, Bob Feller, Ferguson Jenkins, George Brett, Rickey Henderson and Leo Durocher. More recently, the Hotel Valley Ho has been the spring training home to Tim Lincecum, Ryan Howard, Coco Crisp, Ichirio Suzuki, Barry Zito and Hideki Matsui, to name just a few.

But beyond the baseball history, the Hotel Valley Ho is centrally located with easy access to all spring training facilities in the valley, features some rooms equipped with kitchens and all rooms have access to the hotel’s amazing OH Pool Bar + Cabanas.

The hotel really hits a home run with baseball fans by offering a Spring Training Weekday Savings special. The special is valid Sundays to Wednesdays through March 31 and includes 15 percent off the best available room rate, a welcome amenity and two drinks upon arrival. Click here to make reservations or call 866-882-4484.

For a complete guide to every Cactus League team and stadium, check out the digital issue of Play Ball magazine.

STAYING CLOSE TO SCOTTSDALE?

If you’re staying at the Hotel Valley Ho or somewhere else in Scottsdale, here are some of the best hotspots to make your Spring Training game day complete:

SOL Mexican Cocina

Located at the Scottsdale Quarter, SOL Mexican Cocina’s patio is the ideal place to sit back, relax and sip on a margarita before or after a day at the ballpark. The restaurant’s menu features Executive Chef Deborah Schneider’s bold, modern interpretations of traditional Coastal Mexican cuisine with a focus on fresh, sustainable ingredients. From 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Monday you can stop by for SOL’s happy hour. Try some of the restaurant’s baja inspired dishes or refreshing margaritas at a discounted price. SOL is located at 15323 N Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85254. For more information, visit www.solcocina.com.

Grimaldi’s Pizzeria in Old Town

Enjoy your favorite pizza while you soak up the Desert sun and spring breeze. Each of Grimaldi’s eight Arizona locations has a distinct patio. So if you’re in the mood for pizza and a cannoli or just want to enjoy a glass of vino or beer, Grimaldi’s in Old Town is a perfect place to unwind after a game. Grimaldi’s in Scottsdale is located at 4000 North Scottsdale Rd. Ste. 105. For more information, visit www.grimaldispizzeria.com.

Kelly’s at SouthBridge

To enjoy the cool weather and feel the awesome Old Town atmosphere, hit Kelly’s at SouthBridge before or after your spring training game. It’s the perfect place for some pre/post game day drinks. Join them on Wednesdays for their live music on the patio after 5 p.m. Located on Sixth Avenue in downtown Scottsdale, the 8,000 square foot upscale restaurant offers traditional pub classics mixed with exceptional modern cuisine and the perfect laid back atmosphere. Kelly’s is located at 7117 E 6th Avenue, in Scottsdale. For more information, visit www.kellysatsouthbridge.com.

Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery

Save some money before you hit the game with those ballpark prices and enjoy specials on their “Hoppy Hour” menu throughout the week. The dishes range in price from $2 to $5 and are offered daily. Visit their Scottsdale location at 7077 E. Bell Rd or try out their Paradise Valley location at 4731 E. Cactus Rd. www.tiltedkilt.com.

Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill

Scottsdale’s newest dining addition, Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill, opened in February at Scottsdale Fashion Square. Hail a golf cart to take you to the games from the comfort of their 1,500 square foot patio. Enjoy happy hour, seven days a week from 3:00 p.m.—6:00 p.m. & again from 9:30 p.m. to midnight. Choose from $4 featured pints, house margaritas, well drinks and featured wine. There’s even a $3.95-$5.95 food menu. The venue is located at 7014 East Camelback Road Suite 1423, in Scottsdale. For more information, visit thirstyliongastropub.com/scottsdale.

HEADING WEST?

From March 3 through April 4, baseball reigns supreme in the West Valley with five ballparks hosting more than half of the MLB teams in the Cactus League. If you’re heading toward the West Valley to check out spring training game, 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.

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

Saddle Ranch Chop House

20 percent discount on total food bill. Does not apply to happy hour.

http://www.srrestaurants.com/glendale, 623-889-7770

McFadden’s

20 percent discount on total bill.

http://www.mcfaddensglendale.com, 623-872-0010

Just Sports

20 percent discount on one regular-priced item.

www.justsportsaz.com, 623-872-9490

Calico Jack’s Mexican Cantina

20 percent discount on total bill.

www.calicojacksglendale.com, 623-877-5225

Crave Waffle Sandwich Creations

Buy one, get one 50 percent off. Applies to all menu items except alcohol and discounted items. Must be of equal or lesser value and cannot be combined with any other offer.

www.icravewaffles.com, 623-772-0622

OPA Life Greek Café

20 percent discount on any order.

www.opalifegreekcafe.com, 623-242-8338

Whiskey Rose Bar and Grill

Receive one free appetizer with the purchase of one regular-priced entrée.

www.whiskeyrosewestgate.com, 623-877-7673

As You Wish Pottery

50 percent discount on a regular studio fee.

www.asyouwishpottery.com, 623-772-5403

Kabuki Japanese Restaurant

15 percent discount on total bill. Offer valid for same-day ticket stubs only.

http://www.kabukirestaurants.com, 623-772-9832

IT’SUGAR

$5 off a purchase of $20 or more with same-day ticket stub.

www.itsugar.com, 623-877-8124

Fractured Prune Doughnuts

One free 16 oz. fountain soda drink with the purchase of two or more made-to-order Fractured Prune Doughnuts. Not valid in the US Airways Center, must show game-day ticket stub and valid on game days only.

www.fracturedprune.com, 623-872-0008

Cold Stone Creamery

10 percent discount on any order (excluding gift card purchases).

www.coldstonecreamery.com, 623-877-1580

Fresh Healthy Café

10 percent discount on any order.

www.cafefresh.com , 623-505-3277

Shane’s Rib Shack

20 percent discount on one regular-priced item.

www.shanesribshack.com , 623-877-7427

Mama Gina’s Pizzeria

20 percent off one regular-priced item.

www.mamaginaspizzeria.com , 623-872-0300

Johnny Rockets

10 percent discount on any order.

www.johnnyrockets.com , 623-877-2977

The Shout! House

Show your ticket stub to receive a $1 domestic draft, well wine or well liquor drink.   

http://www.theshouthouse.com/az, 623-772-1500

ebola

2 Arizona hospitals designated Ebola treatment centers

Hospital systems in Phoenix and Tucson are among 55 across the United States designated as Ebola treatment centers.

The two Arizona hospital systems designated by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are Maricopa Integrated Health Systems in Phoenix and the University of Arizona Health Network.

MIHS President CEO Steve Purves says the CDC designation for his institution reflects many months of preparation and training by hospital personnel to develop and implement comprehensive protocols for treating Ebola.

There are no confirmed or suspected cases of Ebola in Arizona. Public health officials said the designation is precautionary and that the likelihood of an Ebola patient arriving in Arizona is remote.

taxes

Taxpayers could see smaller state tax refunds

H&R Block, the world’s largest consumer tax services provider, says taxpayers in about one in four states are not able to use certain federal tax breaks to benefit their state returns. Although Congress extended popular expired tax breaks in December, 12 states have not passed legislation recognizing those changes on their state tax return. These popular tax breaks benefit teachers, students, homeowners and retirees, or approximately one in six taxpayers nationwide.

Most states generally conform automatically to federal tax benefits or pass legislation annually to do so. Because the federal tax benefits were extended in the middle of December, some states were not able to update state legislation before the start of tax season. These include states that tie to the federal Internal Revenue Code as of a fixed date, but tend to advance conformity yearly.

“Even though taxpayers in these dozen states may choose to wait and see if their state will recognize the federal tax benefits before they file their state return, there is no reason why they should delay filing their federal return and getting their federal refund,” said Kathy Pickering, executive director of The Tax Institute at H&R Block. “Because this does not impact the benefits taxpayers can claim on their federal return, they should get any federal refund they’re owed, which so far averages about $3,500 according to the IRS.”

Taxpayers in states not tied to federal tax breaks still have options

Taxpayers in these 12 states that do not recognize the extended federal tax benefits may consider a few options when they file their state tax returns. The first is to wait to file their state return in the event that the state eventually passes conformity legislation. Although this may delay their state refund, it would prevent them from needing to file an amended return. However, in the past, some states have waited until after the April 15 filing deadline to recognize federal tax benefits. Taxpayers should consult a tax professional to learn when their state has passed this legislation in previous years.

The second option affected taxpayers have is to file their state return without the benefit of the federal tax breaks. Then, if the state passes conformity legislation, they may file an amended state return to claim their federal benefits. This would require filing an amendment, but could deliver a refund earlier than if the taxpayer waited to file.

In either case, taxpayers in these states can file a federal return and get all the tax benefits they are entitled.

These 12 states tend to pass yearly legislation to conform to federal tax breaks:

Arizona*
California
Georgia
Hawaii*
Iowa*
Idaho*
Indiana
North Carolina
Ohio*
Virginia*
Wisconsin*
West Virginia*

* These states have introduced bills to update their conformity date and will likely conform in the near future.

Federal tax benefits flow to the state return

When a state tax return begins with federal adjusted gross income, federal tax benefits that reduce income flow to the state return. However, if the state does not recognize certain federal tax benefits, taxpayers have to recalculate their state income without those benefits for the purposes of completing their state tax return. This results in higher state taxable income, which could lead to a higher state tax.

Deloitte Report Reveals Mid-Market Companies Expect U.S. Economic Growth

BMO: Arizona economy will accelerate in 2015

Arizona’s economy should pick up in 2015, with expected GDP growth of 3.5 percent, just ahead of the national average and an improvement from the expected 2.5 percent in 2014, according to the bi-annual U.S. State Monitor Report from BMO Economics. Steady population growth and job growth in the high-tech market will also help lead the state’s economic acceleration.

Arizona is again outperforming when it comes to job-growth. Nonfarm payrolls rose 2.5 percent year over year in the fourth quarter. The service sector, led by professional and business services, education, health and tourism, has been responsible for the gains.

Robert Kavcic, Senior Economist, BMO Capital Markets, noted that better momentum could be on the horizon for manufacturing and construction employment. The unemployment rate continues its negative trend, 6.7 percent in December compared to 7.6 percent a year earlier. On the flip side, there is an underlying softness in the labor market as evidenced by average weekly earnings which were down 2.8 percent year over year in the fourth quarter.

”We continue to see increased activity in several sectors, including healthcare, trade and distribution,” said Tim Bruckner, Managing Director, Commercial Banking, Arizona, BMO Harris Bank. “We also know that the majority of Arizona businesses are planning to invest. We’re here to help support business owners as they lead Arizona’s economic recovery.”

The housing headwinds experienced in 2014 appear to be fading slightly with a decrease in rates and mortgage lending conditions somewhat softening. The S&P Case-Schiller Index reported that Phoenix prices are up year-over-year by 2 percent, but that is still a giant downward shift from the 20 percent-plus growth experienced early in the recovery. On the positive side, the vacancy rate is now back down to match the fifty-state average.

Stronger population growth is helping to drive an improved economy, which is steady at a 1.3 percent year-over-year clip. Overall interstate migration remains depressed, somewhat due to the impact the housing market’s decline has had on mobility.

“Population inflows for Arizona, while still positive, would be stronger were it not for the decline in the housing market,” said Mr. Kavcic.

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

ritz

Dove Mountain gets S. Arizona’s 1st 5-star rating

Forbes Travel Guide today unveiled its annual Star Rating list, naming The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain a new Five Star hotel. The 253-room adventure, spa and golf resort near Tucson, Arizona is the latest addition to the prestigious ratings, which have been considered the gold standard in luxury hospitality since 1958. The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain is the only property in southern Arizona to receive coveted Five Star status for 2015.

“These Stars are a worthy and well-deserved tribute to the ladies and gentlemen of The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain,” said Liam Doyle, general manager for the high Sonoran Desert playground. “Thanks to this caring and highly service-focused team, The Ritz-Carlton is attracting year-round travelers to a remarkable desert destination where a return to life awaits. We are also deeply grateful to our treasured guests and neighbors for their friendship and loyalty, and we extend our warmest thanks to them.”

Properties for this award are evaluated anonymously against up to 800 rigorous and objective standards. “Our Star Ratings recognize the finest hotels, restaurants and spas in the world and serve as the most authoritative guideposts for guests seeking exceptional travel experiences,” said Gerard J. Inzerillo, Chief Executive Officer of Forbes Travel Guide. “We’re proud to be associated with the new additions to our global list.”

With a lush high Sonoran desert setting between Phoenix and Tucson, The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain presents year-round blue skies and an authentic southwestern sense of place where guests can escape, play – and return to the youthful joys of life. Highlights include three swimming pools, a 235-foot water slide and splash pad, 27 holes of adjoining Jack Nicklaus signature golf, daily Sunset Vista Cocktail Hikes, guided rock art tours to discover ancient Hohokam petroglyphs, GPS-guided geocaching, morning Nature Walks, Cactus Discovery tours showcasing the rare and ancient Saguaro, astronomer-guided stargazing, and access to miles of scenic and beautiful hiking, cycling and four-wheel drive trails.

An adventure-filled Ritz Kids Rangers program provides younger guests with myriad delights, including indigenous critter meet-and-greets, desert expeditions and even In-Room Camping. A daily highlight for guests of all ages is the property’s signature Spirit of Adventure Celebration, when guests gather to welcome the evening and take in the haunting refrain of a Native American flutist performing from the surrounding Tortolita Foothills. An Arizona spa vacation is also just steps away, as The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Dove Mountain features spectacular open-air design, a private serenity pool with tanning island, spa cabanas, day beds and a roster of treatments inspired by the healing therapies of centuries-old Native American civilizations. For foodies, award-winning restaurants are complemented by weekend sushi in the lobby, the charming Roadrunner Food Truck which plies the resort grounds with holiday weekend ice cream treats and which also raises charitable funds via local food truck rallies, acclaimed wine and spirits experiences, and the destination’s own Dove Mountain Cuvée wine label. A 42-tree citrus orchard sits directly outside of the resort’s award-winning CORE Kitchen & Wine Bar, encouraging guests to pick their own fresh Arizona citrus for memorable morning libations.

Reservations for The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain may be made at 800-241-3333, via www.ritzcarlton.com/DoveMountain, or through a travel professional. Dining and spa experiences, luxury weddings, shared voluntourism/VolunTeaming™ activities, and the resort’s award-winning meetings and events may be requested at 520-572-3000. The scenic high-desert destination in Marana, Arizona is served by both the Tucson and Phoenix international airports.

envy-exteriorrendering3

ENVY Residences Phase 1 now sold out

ENVY Residences announced it has completed the sale of 21 luxury condominiums within the Old Town Scottsdale development, which will break ground early this spring. This completes the first phase of sales for ENVY Residences. The units were purchased by a number of buyers from Arizona, California, New York and Canada and ranged in price from $350,000 to $1.4 million each. The developer, Deco Communities, says demand appears quite strong for high-end new condominium construction in Scottsdale and across the Valley.

“With the development of ENVY Residences we are introducing a new luxury living experience to the Valley, and buying activity has been robust,” said developer Rob Lyles with Deco Communities. “Luxury condominium buyers tend to be sophisticated in their purchasing decisions as it relates to architecture, interior design, premium amenities and lifestyle offerings. Given the lack of new luxury condominium supply in the market, we see that our project is filling a void with the pent-up demand we’ve experienced.”

ENVY Residences aims to fuse art and architecture in the sleek and contemporary concrete and steel construction of the building. The interiors aim to convey a sense of sophistication and style by focusing on modern and usable living spaces, quality details in the kitchens and bathrooms and VIP services such as 24-hour concierge and security, a 4,000 foot fitness facility designed by Phoenix celebrity fitness trainer Lucas James, a pool area with cabanas, the Black Label Club which is a private entertaining area and an underground private and secured parking garage.

With 10 richly-appointed floor plans including eight sophisticated penthouse designs, ENVY offers units ranging from 750 to over 2,400 square feet.  Each residence will have modern amenities including European-style kitchens with Bosch appliances, 9- to 11 foot ceilings, quartz countertops, backsplashes, designer fixtures and hardware,spacious walk-in closets, wood floors and large balconies.

“Old Town Scottsdale is experiencing robust demand that is fueling economic growth in the area and bringing the city’s work, play and live vision to fruition,” said Roberta Candelaria, Exclusive Listing Agent for ENVY Residences. “We have had significant interest in ENVY since opening our pre-registration at the beginning of November with several buyers indicating they have been patiently waiting for a project like this to emerge,” she said.

ENVY Residences Phase Two will be released later this month and will offer an additional 20 residences.  The eight story condominium development will overlook the Entertainment District, home to popular culinary, nightlife, gallery and retail establishments. ENVY’s location and design are intended to offer residents panoramic views of Camelback Mountain, the McDowell Mountain Range and the city.

The ENVY Residences Presentation Center is now open Tuesday through Sunday from 10am to 6pm and on Mondays and evenings by appointment only. To inquire about living at ENVY or to join the VIP reservation list visit www.envyresidences.com or call 480.588.6951.

Experience ENVY Residences on Facebook by visiting facebook.com/envyscottsdale and on Instagram @EnvyResidences.

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Andy Warhol exhibit coming to Phoenix Art Museum

Andy Warhol: Portraits opens at Phoenix Art Museum on March 4, 2015. One of the most influential artists of the 20th century, Andy Warhol was at the forefront of the Pop Art movement and known for his brightly colored images. This exhibition examines Warhol’s interest in capturing the likenesses of celebrities, as well as himself. On display will be more than 170 objects, including more than 90 screen print paintings, and more than 30 drawings, videos, paintings and photographs from his student days in the 1940s to the New Wave-era 1980s. Also on view will be an installation of Warhol’s reflective Silver Clouds, helium and air-filled metalized balloons.

 

The portrait subjects range from Prince and Queen Elizabeth II to Jackie Kennedy and Sylvester Stallone, along with many whose 15 minutes of fame has since faded. There are also several paintings, photographs, photobooth pictures and Polaroids of Warhol himself that predate today’s fascination with “selfies.” In working closely with The Andy Warhol Museum, Phoenix Art Museum was able to secure this exhibition of portraits. “This is a great opportunity to explore a single aspect of Warhol’s art, that spans the entirety of the artist’s career,” said Jerry Smith, curator of American and European art to 1950 and art of the American West at Phoenix Art Museum.

 

More than 25 years after his death, Andy Warhol undeniably remains one of the most influential figures in contemporary art. If he was alive today Warhol undoubtedly would be heavily involved with the fame, celebrities, reality television, ”selfies”, blogs, the Internet and social media with which modern day culture is obsessed. “Warhol recognized early on the growing trend of celebrity worship in our society, and of the powerful cult of famous personalities that dominates popular culture today,” said Amada Cruz, The Sybil Harrington Director at Phoenix Art Museum. She added, “He documented his social circle of society swans, movie stars and the demimonde of the 1960s and 1970s, providing a glamorous view of that era.”


Andy Warhol: Portraits will be on view at Phoenix Art Museum from March 4 to June 21, 2015. The exhibition was organized by The Andy Warhol Museum, one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh. Support was made possible through the generosity of Sue and Bud Selig, JPMorgan Chase & Co., J.P. Morgan Private Bank, Contemporary Forum (a support organization of Phoenix Art Museum), APS, Cohn Financial Group, LLC, Sharron and Delbert R. Lewis Exhibition Endowment Fund, Sharon and Lloyd Powell, Heather and Michael Greenbaum, Cox and The Phoenician. For additional information about the exhibition please visit phxart.org/exhibition/warholportraits.

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Arizona manufacturing jobs pay above average

Full-time manufacturing jobs for non-college degree workers pay a wage premium of more than $3,700 annually over jobs in other economic sectors and have a significant positive impact on the U.S. economy, according to a new report issued today by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).

In Arizona, the report shows, the average manufacturing worker makes $18.71 an hour compared to $16.40 an hour for other workers, an annual wage difference of $4,804.80 for the usual 2,080 hours of full-time work per year.

Manufacturing jobs make up 6.2 percent of total state employment in Arizona, which ranks 37th in the nation by share of manufacturing jobs. In raw numbers, Arizona ranks 27th in manufacturing jobs with 155,100.

“This report makes clear just how crucial the manufacturing sector is to the nation’s economy,” said Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing. “Manufacturing’s wage premium is a clear path to the middle class. But to bring those jobs back we must tackle the enormous U.S. goods trade deficit, and make a serious, long-term investment in transportation infrastructure.”

Despite this wage premium, recent manufacturing job growth has been hamstrung by the mushrooming goods trade deficit. The United States lost 5.7 million manufacturing jobs between March 1998 and December 2013, the report found, with the principal causes of job loss identified as the weak recovery from the Great Recession; and growing trade deficits, especially with China, Mexico, and other low-wage nations. The U.S. trade deficit in manufactured goods has increased sharply since 2009.

The EPI study, “The Manufacturing Footprint and the Importance of U.S. Manufacturing Jobs,” found that the sector employed 12 million workers in 2013, or about 8.8 percent of total U.S. employment, including a higher overall share of workers without a college degree.  On average, these workers made 10.9 percent, or $1.78, an hour more than similar workers elsewhere in the economy.

The report found that manufacturing plays a particularly important role in supporting jobs in a group of states in the upper Midwest and South. Complete data for employment in each state and for all 435 congressional districts and the District of Columbia are available in the EPI Manufacturing Employment Map.

In addition to the 12 million people employed in U.S manufacturing, the sector supports some 17.1 million indirect jobs, for a total of 29.1 million jobs directly and indirectly supported – more than one fifth (21.3 percent) of total U.S. employment in 2013.