Tag Archives: arizona

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

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Arizona State Credit Union donates $5K to local food banks

During its 64th Annual Meeting, Arizona State Credit Union demonstrated one of its core values by donating $5,000 to Arizona community food banks. The recipients of this year’s donation include St. Mary’s Food Bank and Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona.

“Making a difference in our Arizona communities is a key component of our mission at Arizona State Credit Union. To support this mission, we donate funds during our Annual Meeting to local food banks, which we have done for the past several years,” said David E. Doss, President/CEO of Arizona State Credit Union. “We are proud to support food donation programs throughout the state, and appreciate all they do to provide for those in need.”

Donated funds will be distributed to various food bank locations throughout the state, and will support efforts to eradicate hunger in local communities.

“Thank you to Arizona State Credit Union for its generous donation to St. Mary’s,” St. Mary’s Food Bank president Beverly Damore said. “This donation will allow us to distribute enough food to provide more than 17,000 meals to the hungry of Arizona. This donation comes at a perfect time, with the long Arizona summer ahead of us. It will certainly be put to good use.”

Michael McDonald, Chief Executive Officer at the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona says, “Summer can be a difficult time for families in need. Through their generous gift, Arizona State Credit Union is helping us put meals on tables at a time when they’re most needed. It’s an honor to have such a committed partner in the ongoing battle against hunger.”

For more information about how Arizona State Credit Union supports local communities, please visit us online at azstcu.org/about-us/community. For information on how you can become involved with local food bank programs, please visit firstfoodbank.org andcommunityfoodbank.org.

SL - Dentist Guide

Delta Dental of AZ hires Barbara Crawford as VP

BarbaraCrawford_editedDelta Dental of Arizona is pleased to announce the hiring of Barbara Crawford, who comes from United Concordia, as the dental insurance company’s vice president of sales and client service.

“We are thrilled to welcome Barbara to the Delta Dental team,” said Allan Allford, CEO for Delta Dental of Arizona. “Her extensive experience selling dental plans as well as managing both sales and service teams will be a tremendous asset for us, as the dental landscape remains highly competitive.”

Crawford’s expertise includes more than 25 years in health care benefits, with proven success locally and nationally overseeing consultant distribution channels, establishing strategic relationships with key business partners, developing alternative solutions through national consultant exchange platforms and overseeing regional dental sales.

She is also a graduate of the University of Nebraska Omaha, with a degree in decision sciences and business management.

“Delta Dental of Arizona has established itself as the marketplace leader. I am excited to join this thriving company and help Delta Dental continue to grow and provide dental benefits to even more Arizonans,” said Crawford.

Arizona Stronghold Vineyards' wines

Experts foresee gains for maturing Arizona wine industry

The back roads near Cornville look like many others in Yavapai County, until you turn a corner and find rolling hills filled with vines, tasting rooms and homes that are more Tuscan than Southwestern.

Javelina Leap Winery sits among grapevines in a small valley outside Cornville. The 10-acre property includes a vineyard, tasting room and production facility.

Owner Rob Snapp was one of the first to start his business in the burgeoning wine region. In the last 15 years, he’s seen the area grow from just a few acres of vineyard to a tight-knit winemaking community. Now, at least 70 acres of vineyard dot the landscape of this northern Arizona region just under an hour from Prescott.

Throughout Arizona, wineries have cropped up in droves. More than 90 locations have farm winery licenses in the state. They’re clustered in three general locations: Sonoita/Elgin in southern Arizona, Willcox in central Arizona and the Verde Valley near Prescott.

The wine industry grew gradually until 2001 when Arizona began to experience exponential growth. Wine production in the state soared nearly 700 percent in the 14 years since, well above the national average.

The winemakers have come to Arizona for the climate, business environment and love of the drink itself.

Snapp’s passion for wine began in California as a teenager and, like his product, matured as he aged. He became a chef and business owner, managing and cooking at a hotel and restaurant he owned near the Grand Canyon. Eventually, he sold the location and used his profits as seed money to start the winery.

“This was raw land when we got here,” Snapp said. “There wasn’t a road or a building or water or electricity, nothing.”

Snapp spent a lot of time learning the business and managing the estate. While he wouldn’t reveal Javelina Leap’s financial status, he said his business is doing well – and other wineries nearby share the same success.

A 2013 study done by the Arizona Wine Growers Association showed the Yavapai region produced about 72 tons of grapes that year, large enough to make tens of thousands of bottles of wine, but a small percentage when compared to other regions.

Arizona’s reputation has grown on the national stage, especially for wines in Yavapai County. For example,Page Springs Cellars, just down the road from Javelina, has garnered praise from multiple sources, including Wine Aficionado magazine, as a quality wine.

Why Arizona?

In the United States, California dominates the wine industry. The Golden State produces more than 80 percent of the country’s grape crush beverage.

Arizona pales in comparison, coming in at 28th in the U.S., according to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. But, the state has slowly moved up the ranks as wine production has increased. Experts said the state might see its ranking rise even further as Arizona wine grows as a business and commodity.

Many experts, vineyard owners and educators in the wine industry said Arizona has the potential to produce high quality wines, comparing it to regions of Spain, France and Italy.

Rod Keeling with the Arizona Wine Growers Association said Arizona has some key incentives that are attracting newcomers to the wine industry:

• Costs are lower in Arizona. Land is less expensive than in California or other major wine states, and labor can cost less as well.
• The climate in the three major wine growing areas is warm in the day and colder at night. This helps the grapes grow, and some types of grapes, especially those used to produce red wines, need the temperature variations.
• Arizona doesn’t yet have the severe water issue California faces, Keeling said. This makes the state a safer bet when starting a winery.
• The Grand Canyon State offers more flexibility for wine producers than many other states.

Arizona’s three-tier system of liquor distribution allows farm wineries to produce, sell and distribute wine themselves as long as they follow certain regulations, including a production cap.

“There are three licenses that fall under this regulation,” said Lee Hill with the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control. “Wineries, distilleries and microbreweries are able to do all three all under the same roof, so they have amazing privileges.”

Industry trends

According to statistics released by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, national wine industry production grew about 43 percent since 2001, and the number of wineries nearly doubled during the same period.

“It’s not just Arizona. The industry has exploded exponentially everywhere,” said Michael Kaiser withWineAmerica, a Washington, D.C.,-based public policy organization. “I think there are a few reasons for that. Obviously, wine consumption in the U.S. has increased. And as the industry has grown, people are realizing that wine doesn’t have to be from California to be good.”

Kaiser said that as younger consumers enter the wine market, they might have more interest in the local vintage.

However, Kaiser warned that the boon isn’t permanent.

“The wine industry will continue to grow, but the growth rate has slowed a bit,” Kaiser said. “One issue that some states have is that winery growth is outpacing vineyard growth and in some cases, there aren’t enough grapes to go around.”

That’s not necessarily the case in Arizona. The study by the Arizona Wine Growers Association indicated that most grapes produced in Arizona are used by the winery or vineyard that grows them, and vineyards sell very few grapes to others, in or outside of the state.

In a saturated national market, experts said the industry must continue to innovate to stay ahead.

So far, it has self regulated. In 2014, the Arizona Wine Growers Association joined other groups in pushing for changes to tasting room licensing, which will allow for greater growth.

“The producers are very innovative, they come up with new ways of using their property,” Hill said. “They now make distilled spirits out of their unused wine stock. These producers are very creative and as the industry grows, they come up with these really fabulous ideas to keep their businesses alive.”

Impact to Arizona

The local wine industry has not conducted a full economic impact study, but the association estimated sales revenue at about $2.2 million for 2013.

Despite this small number, the Arizona wine industry is more than just for hobbyists. It has led to full-time job increases in these regions.

“It’s about seven businesses in one,” Snapp said. “We’re working all the time, bottling, racking, selling.”

One unexpected impact has been to education. Yavapai College‘s Verde Valley Campus in Clarkdale offers a variety of courses in winemaking and vineyard care in response to industry growth.

The school began with a single acre vineyard in 2010 and now has more than 15 acres and about 100 students.

As part of the program, students can earn a two-year degree and get practical experience through internships with local wineries.

“We are really trying to be a region wide resource, not just local or statewide,” said Michael Pierce, director of the enology (winemaking) program at Yavapai College. “This program didn’t exist 10 years ago. If it would have existed, I would have attended. So to be here and help build it is really cool.”

Some experts said they expect the industry to continue to grow as water becomes more scarce in Arizona.

“Wine grapes are a model for a high value low water use crop,” Pierce said. “Wine grapes don’t take nearly the water use of something like corn or soybeans or cotton would. So hopefully, wine grapes can take that over in the state.”

Challenges ahead

Perhaps the biggest challenge for the Arizona wine industry is the wine itself.

“I think white (wines) are doing really good. They are aromatic, expressive and acidic, which is really nice,” said Jason Caballero, lead sommelier for Vintage 95 in Chandler. “The reds are in a bit of an identity crisis. But when you think about it, we are at only about 30 years of growing, and every year they get only one shot.”

For Caballero, that youth plays a significant role. California has been in the industry since the 1800s and Europe for more than 2,000 years.

He said Arizona growers need to learn what types of grapes work best in this climate. The red identity crisis, he said, is as much from mixing a variety of grape types as from not growing what could work best in the state’s environment.

Price also plays a key role. Caballero said that on average, a bottle of Arizona wine costs $65 to $70, making it a hard sell for many customers.

“I understand people are getting in, and they want to recoup their cost, so I feel like sometimes it’s tough and they price themselves out,” Caballero said. “For that money, there are a lot of wines that many people will gravitate toward instead. I think if people will try it, they’ll like it. But a lot of times, people will go for tried and true kinds.”

Spreading the gospel of Arizona wine isn’t easy. Outside distribution is almost non-existent among Arizona wine growers. Most wineries make direct sales and self distribute, which makes getting wine onto tables more difficult.

And then there’s the state’s reputation as a desert location not suitable for wine growing.

But Snapp doesn’t see this as a problem at all.

“You know what we have more than anybody?” Snapp asked. “Sun! And soil. These are virgin soils in most of the state and volcanic soils. It’s one of the best growing soils in the world. You’d be crazy not to grow Arizona grapes in these soils.”

For Caballero and others, wine in Arizona isn’t a short-term industry but a future investment that is only now paying some dividends.

“Within 10 years, people are going to seek out Arizona wines over many others,” Snapp said. “It’s just the quality of the fruit.”

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Valley model Christa Sandstrom could ‘go global,’ experts say

Christa-Sandstrom-swimwear-003“I have a good feeling Christa Sandstrom is that Arizona fresh face that will actually go global,” Brian Hill, executive director of Phoenix Fashion Week, said about the emerging model who is a Gilbert native.

Featured in major publications such as Mainsteam Magazine, Glamour Magazine Italy and Runway Magazine, Christa Sandstrom is being recognized as “on the rise,” and is quickly becoming one of the most famous models in Arizona, according to Sean Normoyle, publisher of Mainstream Magazine.

In addition to being featured in major editorial spreads of various magazines, Sandstrom has also worked with globally renowned designers such as GUESS by Merciano, Ted Baker London, Gemma Gucci, the late Oscar de la Renta, MAC Cosmetics, and many others.

Sandstrom has worked in various campaigns and participated in several fashion weeks that have taken place across the nation. Sandstrom currently models under the Ford/Robert Black Agency in Scottsdale and has recently campaigned for the Talking Stick Resort for release pool parties in Phoenix.

“Christa has always had a passion for our industry since she was a young teen model we started representing. We are so proud of her success and wish her all the best in her future endeavors. The sky is the limit for Christa,” said Sheree Hartwell of the Ford/Robert Black Agency.

Sandstrom admits she has always had an interest in a modeling career, stating that “it had always been a dream of [her’s], and it didn’t help that [she] was always taller than average.” Sandstrom began her modeling expedition when her mother enrolled her in a modeling school at the age of twelve. She was discovered as a model, however, during an international competition by the International Model and Talent Association in New York City, New York.

Sandstrom states that while modeling has always been a dream of her’s, she considered and still considers a different career path in the future. She has considered careers such as veterinary science because of her love for animals, but now has an interest in becoming a broadcast journalist.

For now, however, Sandstrom is fully committed to her modeling career, stating that she is focused on “getting to the next level as a model.” Sandstrom has an intensive diet and fitness regime she commits to in order to feel and look her best. “I do an hour of cardio every day with high intensity,” she said. “I eat a lot of superfoods and a lot of veggies. I also love to do yoga.”

Although Sandstrom can be seen on the runway sporting a Cinderella blue minidress with lace detailing by Ted Baker London or a plaid pantsuit by Daniel Esquivel on the runway, she admits that her personal style mostly consists of blacks and greys. “It’s a bit edgy but still well-put together,” Sandstrom explained. She admitted that she loves to pair her neutral outfits with a pop of color on her feet with colored flats or heels.

Sandstrom has been praised by photographers and stylists since she began her modeling career.  “It is amazing that someone that beautiful is so humble and friendly. It makes her so easy to work with and I feel honored to have had the opportunity,” David Apeji, a photographer from Pixyst Premium Imaging LLC, said about Sandstrom. Jackie Marin, a fashion stylist, stated that Sandstrom “knows how to bring high fashion” and is “one of her favorite models in Arizona.”

Sandstrom says that she loves her career because of its “competitive nature” and that it has always “pushed [her] to become [her] best.”

2012 Employee Appreciation Dinner

D-backs host APS Green Game on Earth Day Wednesday

The Arizona Diamondbacks, in partnership with Arizona Public Service (APS), have teamed up for the sixth annual APS Green Game, which will be held on Earth Day this Wednesday.  The goal of the event is to educate fans on how to become more energy efficient.

In support of all the green efforts on Wednesday, all electric vehicles will receive free parking in the Chase Field Garage.  During the game, the APS Green Team will collect recyclables in between each inning throughout the stadium and fans are encouraged to use the hashtag #APSGreenGame to see their energy-efficient social media posts on dbTV. As fans leave the stadium after the game, the D-backs and APS will hand out 10,000 CFL light bulbs. During the APS Green Game, the D-backs will purchase green energy from APS to power Chase Field. The total average consumption for the game will be approximately 238,000 kilowatt hours (kWh).

The D-backs are constantly seeking ways to be more energy efficient and more sustainable. Some of the top practices are highlighted by the following:

• Hosted the first-ever Zero-Waste Spring Training game in Arizona on March 13, 2014 at Salt River Fields to bring awareness to recycling and composting

• In 2014, the D-backs replaced fluorescent lighting along the main concourse with energy-efficient LED lighting that reduced the main concourse lighting power consumption by 60 percent.

• Fans with electric powered vehicles can charge their cars at one of the three electric car charging stations located at the northwest corner of 4th Street and Jackson at every game this season.

• The D-backs and Levy Restaurants donated four tons of leftover food after games in 2014 to Church on the Street, an equivalent of 7,500 meals for people in need in the Phoenix community.

• The APS Solar Pavilion, a 17,280 square-foot shade structure that generates 100,000 kWh of solar energy annually, enough electricity to power the lights at Chase Field for 11 home games.

Fans are encouraged to purchase tickets for the game at www.dbacks.com/earthday and $2 from each ticket will benefit Phoenix Revitalization Corporation.

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2 Banner Health facilities among ‘100 Great Hospitals’

Two Banner Health academic medical centers in Arizona have been named to Becker’s Hospital Review’s 2015 edition of “100 Great Hospitals in America,” a compilation of some of the most prominent, forward-thinking and focused health care facilities in the nation.

Banner – University Medical Center Tucson, formerly known as University of Arizona Medical Center – Tucson Campus, and Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix, formerly known as Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center, both were named to the prestigious list, published today.

The hospitals are part of the newly formed Banner – University Medicine division of Banner Health, an Arizona-based nonprofit health system operating 28 hospitals in seven western states. In March, Banner Health entered into a 30-year academic affiliation agreement with the University of Arizona to become the primary clinical partner of the UA Colleges of Medicine in Phoenix and Tucson. 

“We are confident that by combining Banner Health’s tradition of clinical excellence with the innovations of academic medicine, we will propel these already outstanding hospitals to new heights in medical research, education and patient care,” said Kathy Bollinger, executive vice president of Banner – University Medicine. “We see endless possibilities in this partnership with the University of Arizona to transform health care in our region and serve the people of Arizona.”

According to Becker’s Hospital Review, hospitals included on the 100 Great Hospitals list are home to many medical and scientific breakthroughs, provide best-in-class patient care and are stalwarts of their communities, serving as research hubs or local anchors of wellness. A version of this list has been published each year since 2011.

To develop the list, Becker’s Hospital Review‘s editorial team conducted research and evaluated reputable hospital ranking sources, such as U.S. News & World Report, Truven Health Analytics, Healthgrades, Magnet designation by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, The Leapfrog Group and several other resources. The final result is a group of 100 hospitals that are leaders in their region, their state and the nation in terms of high-quality patient care.

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AXA Advisors Southwest earns Governor’s Award

The Governor’s Commission on Service and Volunteerism announced that AXA Advisors Southwest, a leading provider of financial services for consumers and businesses, has been named a recipient of the 2015 Governor’s Volunteer Service Award for its dedicating to volunteerism, fundraising and general community service. AXA Advisors Southwest was honored by Governor Doug Ducey’s office on Friday, April 17 during a special event in the recipients’ honors held at the East Valley Institute of Technology.

“The volunteer Service Awards were established in 2002 to recognize and thank Arizonans who have dedicated their time and talents to help address the needs most important to Arizona communities,” said Carla Friedman, youth program development director for the Governor’s Office for Children, Youth and Families. “A statewide panel of judges evaluated nominations for need, action, innovation and impact, and chose AXA Advisors Southwest based on its work with Elevate Phoenix, the AXA Achievement Scholarship Program and AXA Days of Service, among other activities.”

“We’ve raised funds to fill backpacks for kids in need and rolled up our sleeves to build homes for some amazing families in Arizona, not to mention created our own large-scale charity event – Weekend Jetaway Culinary Casino Classic – to give back in every way that we can,” says Dillan Micus, executive vice president of AXA Advisors Southwest. “It takes a village – and at AXA Advisors Southwest we become that village, all in the name of volunteering and raising funds for our nonprofit.”

Sponsors of the Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards include the Arizona State Fair, ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation, ASU Office of University Initiatives, Cox Communications, Harkins Theaters, SRP, Fry’s and other businesses and organizations that are ardent supporters of volunteerism in Arizona.

 

law

Super Lawyers: Gallagher & Kennedy

The law firm of Gallagher & Kennedy announced that 18 of the firm’s attorneys have been recognized as 2015 Southwest Super Lawyers. Additionally, 12 attorneys have been named as 2015 Southwest Super Lawyers Rising Stars.   Annually, only the top five percent of attorneys in Arizona and New Mexico are selected by Southwest Super Lawyers to receive this honor.

The following Gallagher & Kennedy attorneys are named 2015 Southwest Super Lawyers in Arizona:

• Robert W. Boatman – Plaintiff’s Personal Injury & Wrongful Death

• Timothy D. Brown – Tax Law

• Shannon L. Clark – Plaintiff’s Personal Injury & Wrongful Death

• John R. Clemency – Bankruptcy & Creditor Rights

• J. Stanton Curry – Environmental Law

• Mark A. Fuller – Business Litigation

• Michael L. Gallagher – General Litigation

• Jeffrey D. Gross – Real Estate Litigation

• Tom Henze – Criminal Defense Law

• Robert J. Itri – Business Litigation

• Michael K. Kennedy – Business Litigation

• Patrick J. McGroder, III – Plaintiff’s Personal Injury & Wrongful Death

• Raymond M. Norris – Plaintiff’s Personal Injury & Wrongful Death

• Mark S. O’Connor – Plaintiff’s Personal Injury & Wrongful Death

• Kevin E. O’Malley – Business Litigation

• Jeffrey T. Pyburn – Insurance Coverage

• Terence W. Thompson – Mergers & Acquisitions

The following Gallagher & Kennedy attorney is selected to the 2015 Southwest Super Lawyers list in New Mexico:

• Dalva L. Moellenberg – Environmental Law

The following Gallagher & Kennedy attorneys are named 2015 Southwest Super Lawyers Rising Stars in Arizona:

• Kimberly G. Allen – Plaintiff’s Personal Injury & Wrongful Death

• Laura E. Antonuccio – Government Contracts

• Tyler J. Carrell – Real Estate Litigation

• Lincoln Combs – Plaintiff’s Personal Injury & Wrongful Death

• Alicia N. Corbett – Securities Law

• Jennifer A. Cranston – Eminent Domain

• Liana J. Garcia – General Litigation

• Janel M. Glynn – Bankruptcy & Creditor’s Rights

• Jonathan T. Hasebe – Business/Corporate Law

• Matthew P. MacLeod – Plaintiff’s Personal Injury & Wrongful Death

• Timothy W. Overton – Business Litigation

• Lindsi M. Weber – Bankruptcy & Creditor’s Rights

insight enterprises - cloud messaging solutions

Cox Arizona hosts tech recycling event

On Earth Day, Wednesday, April 22, from 10:00am-6:00pm,  Cox Arizona will be partnering with CBS 5 to help reduce hazardous waste caused by improperly dumping electronics and will be a hosting an E-Waste Recycling drive. Cox Arizona invites Phoenix residents to drop off their old and unwanted technology, including everything from batteries and computers, to cell phones, at participating Valley Cox Retail Store locations.

“This Earth Day, we invite the public to have a hand in protecting our environment by recycling their unwanted technology and we’ll make sure they’re recycled properly,” said Susan Anable, Vice President of Public Affairs, Cox Southwest. “At Cox we strive to help the environment throughout the year by using solar power, recycling, and using fuel-efficient vehicles—this is one of many initiatives Cox supports to help reduce waste and energy consumption.”

“We are pleased to be able to partner with Cox Arizona and offer this resource,” said Ed Munson, CBS 5 Vice President & General Manager.  “So many people have these old items in the homes and just don’t know where or how to dispose of them.  This is a great opportunity to get rid of that old technology and keep Phoenix clean.”

As a thank you for keeping our environment clean, Cox retail store staff will hand out Cox Conserve logo’d grocery/shopping bags to those that bring in donations. 

Below are addresses of participating Cox Retail Stores:

  • Cox Solutions Store, 301 East Bell Road #100, Phoenix, AZ
  • Cox Solutions Store, 2040 East Rio Salado Parkway #128, Tempe, AZ

Below is a list of accepted materials:

  • Computers
  • Printers
  • Keyboards
  • Servers
  • Cell phones
  • Lap tops
  • Floppy drives
  • Video game systems
  • Cameras
  • Hard drives
  • Alkaline batteries
  • Modems
  • Routers
  • Cables and cords

To learn more about Cox Arizona’s green efforts, visit coxconserves.com. Nominations are now open for Cox Conserves Heroes, a program that recognizes local environmental volunteers and makes donations to local nonprofits on their behalf.

Credit Unions Big Boose to Small Business - AZ Business Magazine September/October 2011

BMO Harris Bank boosts credit to AZ business owners

BMO Harris Bank is making an additional $2 billion in credit available to businesses in Arizona over the next three years.

“We’re here to help, making more of our balance sheet available to businesses to support growth opportunities and help create new jobs,’ said Tim Bruckner, Arizona Commercial Banking Manager, BMO Harris Bank.

“We have heard from our customers who say they are upbeat on the economy. A BMO Harris report shows that more than 60 percent of Arizona business owners and CEOs plan to make at least one investment in their business this year,” added Mr. Bruckner.

“The Arizona economy is poised to accelerate in 2015, supported by an improved labor market and a recovery in the housing market,” said Michael Gregory, Head of U.S. Economics, BMO Capital Markets. “Real GDP is expected to grow 3.4 percent, slightly higher than the national average and improved from the 2.5 percent expected in 2014. 

Mr. Gregory noted that improved business confidence should maintain solid growth in investment and hiring. Gains are expected in job growth, coming from the service sector – led by professional and business services, education and health and tourism. “The state is on track to add about 55,000 new jobs in 2015.”