Tag Archives: arizona

stem.cell

Webinar teaches you to utilize R&D tax credit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

rsz_chaparral_business_center

Arizona Telemedicine Sets Standard of Innovation

Investments by state governments in their own state universities can yield large returns and help create new industries.  In Arizona, telemedicine is a good example of a success story.

The Arizona Telemedicine Program’s Telehealth Technology Innovation Accelerator (TTIA) supports the development of telemedicine programs in independent health-care delivery systems throughout Arizona. The Arizona Telemedicine Program (ATP) operates one of the largest broadband health-care telemedicine service networks in the United States, delivers federally funded distance education and training programs throughout the Southwest and supports clinical studies on innovative health-care delivery systems.

Headquartered at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, the ATP began in 1996, when then-State Representatives Robert “Bob” Burns (R-Glendale) and Lou Ann Preble (R-Tucson) championed the creation of an eight-site telemedicine program.  Ronald S. Weinstein, MD, a pioneer in telemedicine and telepathology, was recruited as its founding director. Since then, the eight-site Arizona Telemedicine Rural Network has grown 20-fold, and now extends to 160 sites in 70 communities.

“Our goal from the start was to use state funding as seed money for something far greater,” said Dr. Weinstein. “Our University of Arizona physician faculty members and basic scientists saw an opportunity to create a new type of federation of telemedicine programs, in which the UA would have multiple roles for an Arizona state-wide consortium of telemedicine programs. These roles now include creating and operating a shared broadband telecommunications network; developing inclusive training programs that address the telemedicine training needs of personnel across the entire health-care industry in Arizona; and promoting telemedicine, telehealth and mobile health (or mHealth).”

Today, a number of nationally recognized telemedicine programs are affiliated with ATP.  Personnel in these programs have received telemedicine training and technical assistance from ATP in Tucson and Phoenix or online.

The Yuma Regional Medical Center (YRMC) in Yuma, Ariz., signed on with ATP in 2006.  Greg Warda, MD, and his YRMC staff now have daily access to pediatric cardiologists led by Daniela Lax, MD, at The University of Arizona Health Network (UAHN) in Tucson. Doctors in YRMC’s 20-bassinet Neonatal Intensive Care Unit have immediate access to UA telecardiologists in Tucson over the Arizona Rural Telemedicine Network. Immediate medical decisions can be made about transferring babies born with life-threatening congenital heart defects to Tucson or Phoenix hospitals with world-class pediatric cardiothoracic surgery specialists on their staffs. Said Dr. Warda, “I can’t say enough about the cardiologists in Tucson. They’ve all been wonderful.”

Each week, the UAHN cardiology group consults on four to five YRMC cases by telemedicine video conferencing and UA cardiologists also spend a day and a half each month in Yuma following up on the babies and children they have diagnosed. ATP engineers are available 24/7 to provide technical support for this pediatric service, which has handled more than 400 expedited cases in the past five years.

Another innovative program—Phoenix-based Banner Health’s eICU (electronic intensive care unit) program, one of the largest in the nation—utilizes clinical decision support systems (CDSS), computerized diagnostic aids that automate continual analysis of patient vital signs and provide electronic access to electronic health records, lab results, medications, medical imaging and other patient data. The CDSS alerts care teams to adverse trends as well as to acute events. Spotting adverse trends in a patient’s status is challenging in any care environment due to factors such as caring for multiple patients simultaneously and routine shift changes, but is critical to preventing adverse outcomes. The CDSS allows remote intensivists (physicians who specialize in the care and treatment of patients in intensive care units) and bedside care teams to focus their efforts on the patients who need them the most.

Banner’s eICU enterprise is built around a CDSS developed by faculty in the Department of Anesthesia at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Md., and is led by Deborah Dahl, vice president for patient care innovation and director of telemedicine at Banner. Currently, 430 eICU rooms at 20 Banner hospitals are equipped with a fixed two-way audio-video system linked to a call center in Mesa, Ariz., from which intensivists remotely monitor patients. In addition to providing the Banner Health “teleteam” video access, the system continuously gathers data from the bedside monitors and each patient’s electronic medical record. A single intensivist can follow hundreds of patients a day by telemedicine. The eICU system saves Banner Health tens of millions of dollars a year. It improves patient care, results in discharging patients earlier and lowers 30-day readmission rates.

Another ATP teaching affiliate, the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix/Scottsdale, has a network of rural telestroke sites. Bart M. Demaerschalk, MD, professor of neurology and director of the telestroke and teleneurology programs at the Mayo Clinic, and Ben Bobrow, MD, professor of emergency medicine at the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix created a state-wide rural telestroke and teleneurology program that serves 1,500 patients annually, preventing permanent brain damage and death. Their telestroke network is bringing “golden hour” diagnostic services to patients at Bisbee’s Copper Queen Community Hospital and other rural hospitals in Casa Grande, Cottonwood, Flagstaff, Globe, Kingman, Parker, Show Low, Tuba City and Yuma. (The “Golden Hour” for neurology patients is the one-to-three hours after stroke symptoms first appear, when the majority of strokes may be averted by intravenous thrombolytic therapy.)

The “granddaddy” of telemedicine services in Arizona is teleradiology, the most commonly used telemedicine application in the United States. Faculty in the UA Department of Medical Imaging (formerly Department of Radiology) pioneered the development of digital radiology, the foundational technology for teleradiology. Today, teleradiology services like those developed at the UA a decade ago are offered by hundreds of teleradiology companies in the United States. Since 1998, UA radiologists have diagnosed more than 1.3 million radiology cases for patients in 25 communities in Arizona and adjacent states.

“Today a number of our outstanding telemedicine programs, owned by different health-care organizations, work together on telemedicine challenges ranging from legal and regulatory issues to telecommunications challenges to reimbursement issues of mutual concern,” said Dr. Weinstein. The ATP is proud of the fact that “the Arizona State Legislature had a strong sense of ownership of the ATP at the time of its creation 17 years ago, and is engaged in these activities of ATP more than ever today.”

Dr. Weinstein noted, “Telemedicine is everybody’s business.”

Cushman & Wakefield Leasing

The 2013 Hammer Awards

It’s the most wonderful time of the year; time to hand out some virtual hardware to the winners of the 4th annual Hammer Awards, Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry President and CEO Glenn Hamer’s look back at the wild and the wacky of the year in politics and anything else that’s on his mind.

State Leader of the Year: Gov. Jan Brewer

This one was a runaway. Not even close. The governor at the outset of the 2013 legislative session took on a set of issues that would make most elected officials wilt: Medicaid restoration and sales tax reform. She spearheaded highly effective campaigns on both issues, stood strong against a motivated opposition, and won the day in each case. Her accomplishments as governor are too numerous to mention, but she outdid herself this year, adding to her profoundly positive record for the state’s business environment for which the state will reap rewards for years to come. She’s building a legacy that will be tough to match.

National Politician of the Year: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie

Are you a Republican interested in running for statewide or national office? Take a lesson from two-time Hammer Award winner Gov. Chris Christie. The governor worked hard in his first term to burnish his image as pragmatic problem solver, and it paid off in 2013 when he won re-election in a route. Buoyed by a bevy of must-see YouTube videos, Gov. Christie made deep inroads into segments of the electorate that have been leaving the GOP in droves. I have no idea whether a Christie presidential campaign in 2016 will be a winning one, but his opponents underestimate him at their own peril.

Legislators of the Year: Reps. Debbie Lesko and Heather Carter

Some legislators get drafted into a fight, others volunteer. Rep. Debbie Lesko and Rep. Heather Carter volunteered to champion the year’s most contentious policy issues, and for that they each win a Hammer.

Rep. Lesko expertly navigated the thorny issues surrounding the reform of the state’s byzantine sales tax system in the face of an opposition that was perfectly willing to run out the clock on the legislative session and stick with the status quo. Rep. Lesko teamed with the governor’s tax guru, Michael Hunter, and refused to the let the session end without real reform.

Courage is an overused term in politics, but Rep. Carter has it in spades, as demonstrated by standing shoulder to shoulder with Gov. Brewer in her campaign to restore the Proposition 204 AHCCCS population. Rep. Carter didn’t waiver and remained committed in her belief that backing the governor’s plan was the right move. She was right on the policy, and I’m confident she’ll be proven right on the politics.

Rising Star of the Year: Adam Deguire

Rep. Matt Salmon’s Chief of Staff Adam Deguire has quietly become a mover and shaker in western politics. The Brophy grad has hit his stride as Rep. Salmon’s top aide after guiding Salmon’s return to Congress in the 2012 elections. Adam has done stints at the Republican National Committee as a field rep, was a senior level campaign and transition team aide to New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez in her 2010 run, and led the Hawaii GOP as its executive director. I always think it’s risky for a Hill office staff not to have ties back to the home state. Having Adam lead the staff and earn the frequent flyer miles between Phoenix and D.C. is a great move by Rep. Salmon, who will be well served by Adam’s commitment and loyalty.

Fighting the Good Fight: Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake

I’m in the camp that firmly believes that we’re going to see a true immigration reform package land on the president’s desk in 2014. (For those keeping score, I was also confident that we were going to get a deal in 2013, but who knew that a government shutdown and an amateur hour website were going to crowd out every other issue.) But as we sit here on the cusp of a transformative shot of adrenaline for the American economy, let’s give a Hammer where a Hammer is due. We would not have gotten this far were it not for Sen. John McCain and Sen. Jeff Flake. Arizona is incredibly fortunate to have these men representing us in the world’s greatest deliberative body.

The Great Communicator: Matt Benson

Gov. Brewer has an outstanding team, including a few members who have won Hammers over the years. This year the governor’s former press secretary, Matt Benson, takes the honors for his outstanding work as the 9th Floor’s flack.

Issues like Medicaid restoration and TPT reform were incredibly complicated and they required their own public relations campaigns, but Matt communicated the governor’s positions on these and a host of other issues and acted as a liaison between the governor and her supporters, all while making it look easy. I should also note that there is no such thing as a day off for a gubernatorial press secretary, and Matt deserves a shout out for taking incoming fire from the fourth estate while he and his wife are still navigating the toddler years. Matt’s new firm, Veridus, is lucky to have this Hammer winner on board.

I Miss You, Man Award: David Cavazos

Phoenix is the best run big city in America. That’s in large part due to the dynamic Mayor Greg Stanton and a city council of professionals. But Phoenix this year bade farewell to its terrific city manager, David Cavazos. David was able to move effectively between different political factions in order to do what was right for the city. Having led efforts that ranged from attracting new investment to downtown Phoenix to spearheading trade missions to Mexico, he leaves big shoes to fill here. I don’t envy the search committee on this one.

A testament to David and Phoenix’s work is the appointment of Ed Zuercher as acting city manager. David left a great team behind as evidenced by Ed, a consummate professional, stepping into the top job.

An Apple a Day Award: Sandra Watson

I continue to be impressed by Arizona Commerce Authority CEO Sandra Watson’s talents. She’s taken the economic development toolbox assembled by the governor and Legislature and built something significant here. Constructing the deal that brought Apple to Mesa was a master stroke.

I can tell you from having traveled to Taiwan with the governor right after the deal was announced that bringing one of the most recognized brands to Arizona was a worldwide story. I did not expect dozens of Taiwanese reporters and businesspeople to pepper our delegation with questions about what makes Arizona so attractive to high-tech manufacturers. Sandra’s work is rippling around the glove, and for that she deserves a Hammer.

The Youngest Elder Statesman Award: Jaime Molera

The business community in 2013 rallied around Gov. Brewer’s health care restoration plan, but the campaign didn’t start to gel until Jaime Molera took on the role of a sort of campaign chairman. Jaime had the credibility and talent to bring together a host of lobbyists from across the health care and business community and assemble a dynamite team of political operatives to get the deal done. I hesitate to call a young man like Jaime an elder statesman, but the results leave little doubt that he was the right man for the job. Arizona owes a debt of gratitude to Jaime for stepping into the breach.

I would be remiss if I did not also acknowledge the work of Anne DeGraw, Jaime’s colleague at the firm of Molera-Alvarez, and Brittney Kauffman at the Arizona Chamber, both of whom ran the statewide campaign’s day-to-day affairs. Though he didn’t need it, they made Jaime look good.

The Mariano Rivera Best Closer Award: Jim Norton

On the last night of a legislative session, you can practically hear “Enter Sandman” echoing throughout the Capitol. This is the time that Chamber lobbyist and R&R Partners big shot Jim Norton shines.  When it comes to closing a deal, he’s the Mariano Rivera of lobbyists. He’s the best in the business, and I am incredibly fortunate not only to have him as the Chamber’s advocate at the Capitol, but to call him a friend.

He’s also a pretty good dancer. Give the man a Hammer.

The Legislative Branch Foreign Service Award: Speaker Andy Tobin and
his Mexico City trade delegation

Arizona in very recent history has had its share of missteps when it comes to our relationship with Mexico, which is why Arizona House Speaker Andy Tobin and the seven legislators who traveled to Mexico City with him this year all deserve Hammers for hitting the reset button south of the border.

The speaker was joined by Rep. Tom Forese, Rep. Catherine Miranda, Rep. T.J. Shope, Rep. Karen Fann, Rep. Juan Carlos Escamilla and Rep. Lydia Hernandez. The bipartisan delegation was received warmly by everyone we met from Mexico’s executive and legislative branches, with everyone appreciating the genuine effort made by the bipartisan Arizona delegation to make clear that we view the Arizona-Mexico relationship as a special one characterized by friendship and trust.

Also deserving recognition are Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, who led their own delegation to Mexico City this year. Both the mayors’ and the speaker’s trips drove home the potential benefits that could be gained by putting down deeper roots and elevating our presence in Mexico’s political and financial capital.

The Next Great Buddy Cop Tandem: Luis Gonzalez and me

I had the pleasure earlier this year of traveling to Guadalajara, Mexico with a delegation led by Mayor Stanton. As a big baseball fan, I was thrilled when I found out Luis Gonzalez was joining our group as a representative of the Diamondbacks.

By the time trip was over, I had been able to give Luis my keen insights on the improper use of closers, the proper execution of a suicide squeeze play, hidden ball tricks and when to pitch out against left-handed batters. I got the feeling there was some real chemistry there, the kind that a Hollywood screenwriter might want to tap into for the next buddy cop hit. I sense box office gold.

Most Versatile Player Award: Steve Macias

One of the reasons I love my job is because I get to work with an absolutely first class board of directors. The boards of the Chamber and the Arizona Manufacturers Council are comprised of some of the most outstanding leaders in their industries across the state.

One of these leaders is Steve Macias, the chairman of the AMC. Steve is the consummate champion for manufacturing in Arizona. As the president of Pivot Manufacturing, Steve knows the shop floor firsthand, which makes him such an effective advocate for this critical sector of Arizona’s economy.

Steve does it all for the Chamber. In addition to chairing the AMC, he’s always willing to serve as a master of ceremonies or moderator, and he’s an outstanding writer, providing insight through his occasional Made in Arizona columns. And the guy’s got a biting wit. He deserves a Hammer.

The Milton Friedman Rock Star of the Year Award: Bono

U2 frontman Bono has long been a champion of foreign and charitable aid to Africa as a means to alleviate poverty across the continent.  But in a speech at Georgetown this year, he said, “Aid is just a stopgap. Commerce [and] entrepreneurial capitalism take more people out of poverty than aid. We need Africa to become an economic powerhouse.”

Bono, your Chamber membership form and PAC solicitation are in the mail along with your Hammer.

Book of the Year: Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution
 
Former Fla. Gov. Jeb Bush and Goldwater Institute legal beagle Clint Bolick win the Hammer for their book Immigration Wars.

The book is an excellent piece of work, full of real, actionable solutions on the immigration front that could find themselves into the House’s immigration package.

Citizen Advocates of the Year: Linda Stanfield and Craig Barrett

One of them owns a plumbing franchise; the other is the former CEO of one of the world’s most respected tech companies. But both of them win a Hammer for stepping into the arena of public advocacy.

Linda Stanfield runs Benjamin Franklin Plumbing in Arizona. She was the public face for TPT reform this year, testifying in committee hearings, appearing in campaign videos and standing alongside the governor at press conferences and, deservedly, at bill signing ceremonies. We need more Linda the Plumbers shaping policy in Arizona.

Craig Barrett heads Gov. Brewer’s Arizona Ready Education Council. He’s also the former CEO of Intel. If he wanted to, he could spend his days on a beach sipping mai tais, but instead he’s devoting his energy to ensuring that Arizona has an absolutely world-class education system, with high standards and expectations, accountable principals and teachers, engaged parents and students ready to learn.

Supreme Court Decision of the Year: Campaign contribution limits (award accepted by Rep. J.D. Mesnard)

Since it might seem unseemly to bestow state Supreme Court justices with the acclaim and notoriety that comes with a highly valued Hammer award, I’ll recognize state Rep. J.D. Mesnard, the architect of legislation that ushered in the modern era of political free speech in Arizona in a law recently upheld by the state’s highest court.

Also deserving recognition are attorney Mike Liburdi, who successfully argued in favor of the new contribution limits and Andy Gordon who, on behalf of the business community, filed an amicus brief that argued for the removal of aggregate limits on a candidate’s ability to accept PAC donations. Hammers all around!

Chairman of the Board: Rep. Tom Forese

Who needs a Hammer when you’ve got a gavel? Give Rep. Tom Forese a Hammer Award for expertly using his position as state House Commerce Committee chairman to hold informational hearings on topics that matter for Arizona’s economy. I was able to participate in his hearing on the state’s aerospace industry and the mining industry this year, and both were filled with outstanding content. There are true industry leaders in Arizona, and Rep. Forese deserves kudos for urging them share their knowledge with lawmakers.

From all of us at the Arizona Chamber, we wish you all the best this holiday season and in 2014.

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

AZ Science Center

More opt to holiday shop at the doctor's office

Santa is leaving attractive gifts in some Arizona stockings this season: rhinoplasties, breast implants, tummy tucks and facelifts, just to name a few. Plastic surgery procedures and cosmetic treatments are topping holiday lists, making this a busy time not just for Old Saint Nick but for local plastic surgeons. This year, both men and women are splurging on plastic surgery procedures for themselves as part of their holiday shopping.

“Many people use the holiday season as a time to treat themselves to a procedure for several reasons,” said Dr. Daniel Shapiro, a Scottsdale-based Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with Shapiro Plastic Surgery and Skin Klinic. “End-of-year bonuses, paid time off, unused vacation time, and a desire to do something for themselves all motivate people to have plastic surgery around the holidays,” he said. Dr. Shapiro says the trend towards splurging on surgery isn’t just for women, more men are asking Santa for nips and tucks and purchasing surgery and skin care vouchers as gifts.

Shelsi Guthrie is a patient of Shapiro Plastic Surgery and Skin Klinic who treated herself to a rhinoplasty this Christmas season. She opted for the procedure early in December so that she could debut her new look at family gatherings and on New Years. “Having my nose done is something I dreamed about doing for myself for years,” Guthrie said. “This year, I made giving myself this gift a priority and had the procedure done,” she said.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 14.6 million plastic surgery procedures were performed in the United States 2012 with the most popular procedures being Breast Augmentation, Nose Reshaping, Eyelid Surgery, Liposuction and Facelifts. More than 30% of the plastic surgery procedures preformed in the United States last year were performed in the Western Region of the country, an area that includes Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, Alaska, California, Oregon, Washington, California and Hawaii. According to the Society’s annual report, Americans spent about $11 billion on plastic surgery procedures last year.

More people will find gift certificates for plastic surgery, Botox and skincare under the tree this year, too. “People are asking their significant others, friends and even parents for cosmetically-oriented gifts,” Dr. Shapiro said. “Who wants another pair of socks when you can ask for Botox injections and look your best?” he said.

One thing is to be certain before purchasing a plastic surgery gift certificate for a gift, Dr. Shapiro says. “Only purchase a plastic surgery or Botox gift certificate for someone else if they ask for it,” he says. “What might be intended as a kind and geneous gift could be misconstrued by someone who doesn’t feel they need the procedure,” he says.

“If someone close to you wants a plastic surgery procedure or Botox, they’ll tell you,” he said.

Diamond Head

Arizona lands 2016 championship game

Arizona will host the College Football Playoff championship in 2016 and Tampa, Fla., will be the site of the 2017 title game.

The conference commissioners who oversee the playoffs announced Monday their choices for the sites of the second and third championship games in the new postseason system that goes into effect next season.

“This was not an easy decision,” said Bill Hancock, executive director of the playoff. “It was a very competitive process. The decision was difficult because we received eight excellent proposals.”

The first championship game will played Jan. 12, 2015, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, home of the Dallas Cowboys.

The second title game is scheduled to be played Jan. 11, 2016, in Glendale at University of Phoenix Stadium, home of the Fiesta Bowl and the NFL’s Cardinals. The Fiesta Bowl is also part of the six-bowl semifinal rotation for the playoff, but it won’t host a semifinal until the 2016 season.

The other bidders for the 2016 game were Jacksonville, Fla., New Orleans and Tampa.

plastic.surgery

More opt to holiday shop at the doctor's office

Santa is leaving attractive gifts in some Arizona stockings this season: rhinoplasties, breast implants, tummy tucks and facelifts, just to name a few. Plastic surgery procedures and cosmetic treatments are topping holiday lists, making this a busy time not just for Old Saint Nick but for local plastic surgeons. This year, both men and women are splurging on plastic surgery procedures for themselves as part of their holiday shopping.

“Many people use the holiday season as a time to treat themselves to a procedure for several reasons,” said Dr. Daniel Shapiro, a Scottsdale-based Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with Shapiro Plastic Surgery and Skin Klinic. “End-of-year bonuses, paid time off, unused vacation time, and a desire to do something for themselves all motivate people to have plastic surgery around the holidays,” he said. Dr. Shapiro says the trend towards splurging on surgery isn’t just for women, more men are asking Santa for nips and tucks and purchasing surgery and skin care vouchers as gifts.

Shelsi Guthrie is a patient of Shapiro Plastic Surgery and Skin Klinic who treated herself to a rhinoplasty this Christmas season. She opted for the procedure early in December so that she could debut her new look at family gatherings and on New Years. “Having my nose done is something I dreamed about doing for myself for years,” Guthrie said. “This year, I made giving myself this gift a priority and had the procedure done,” she said.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 14.6 million plastic surgery procedures were performed in the United States 2012 with the most popular procedures being Breast Augmentation, Nose Reshaping, Eyelid Surgery, Liposuction and Facelifts. More than 30% of the plastic surgery procedures preformed in the United States last year were performed in the Western Region of the country, an area that includes Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, Alaska, California, Oregon, Washington, California and Hawaii. According to the Society’s annual report, Americans spent about $11 billion on plastic surgery procedures last year.

More people will find gift certificates for plastic surgery, Botox and skincare under the tree this year, too. “People are asking their significant others, friends and even parents for cosmetically-oriented gifts,” Dr. Shapiro said. “Who wants another pair of socks when you can ask for Botox injections and look your best?” he said.

One thing is to be certain before purchasing a plastic surgery gift certificate for a gift, Dr. Shapiro says. “Only purchase a plastic surgery or Botox gift certificate for someone else if they ask for it,” he says. “What might be intended as a kind and geneous gift could be misconstrued by someone who doesn’t feel they need the procedure,” he says.

“If someone close to you wants a plastic surgery procedure or Botox, they’ll tell you,” he said.

87702112

HomeSmart International Expands Network in Arizona

This month, real estate firm HomeSmart International opened its newest franchise in Fountain Hills, Arizona, operating as HomeSmart Premier. The nationwide company based in Phoenix began franchising two and a half years ago, offering one of the most attractive business models in the real estate industry, with a focus on increasing their level of realtor knowledge and attentiveness to customer service.

Since opening in January 2000, HomeSmart has had tremendous success by growing to over 7,500 agents nationwide. Recently ranked as the number one real estate company in Arizona and throughout the Southwest, HomeSmart continues to open new offices and add jobs across the United States.

Fountain Hills franchise owner Christine Schroedel brings nearly ten years of real estate experience to HomeSmart. In addition to a wealth of real estate knowledge, Schroedel brings significant experience in marketing, advertising and PR. Coming from a family steeped in real estate, Schroedel sees the industry as a natural transition and perfect way to blend her marketing skills with a passion for real estate. She is thrilled to be joining the HomeSmart family.

“My agent acquaintances that work for HomeSmart just raved about the company and had encouraged me to check it out myself for several years,” said Schroedel. “After meeting the HomeSmart team, I realized that we share a similar passion for excellence and honesty.” She is amazed by the agent-technology and calls it “best-in-class” from what she has seen.

HomeSmart emphasizes the importance of being aware of client needs and exceeding their expectations, which in turn builds strong relationships with the buyers and sellers in every market. Created by Founder and Chairman Matt Widdows and his development team, HomeSmart’s proprietary software and operational support positions its franchise partners ahead of the curve—saving business owners huge costs attributed to web hosting, lead generation and back office systems.

“We are proud to announce the new growth of HomeSmart in Arizona,” said HomeSmart International CEO and President Chuck Lemire. “Christine and her team will be providing the best home services to customers and clients throughout the Phoenix area, as well as focusing on growing relationships outside our state boundaries.”

HomeSmart continues to open new offices and add jobs across the United States, with offices throughout thirteen states and international operations in Shanghai, China. HomeSmart most recently opened two franchises in Chicago, IL. The company added approximately 3,500 new jobs in 2012, and their goal is to continue to grow nationally and internationally in 2014 and for years to come.

For more information on HomeSmart and its franchise opportunities, visit www.homesmartinternational.com.

120249086

Washington Federal Promotes Hernandez to Assistant VP

Washington Federal announced Debbie Hernandez has been promoted to Assistant Vice President, Branch Manager. Hernandez has been with Washington Federal for more than 12 years.

In her position, Hernandez is responsible for increasing loan production and client base by growing the business checking and savings accounts and consumer checking and savings accounts. She is also responsible for increasing Washington Federal’s presence in the West Valley. Prior to joining Washington Federal, Hernandez was an insurance agent in Ohio.

“Debbie is a huge asset to our team here at Washington Federal,” said Trevor Bush, senior vice president and manager of Arizona retail banking division. “We are excited to see her continue to expand the presence and reach of Washington Federal.”

Hernandez earned her bachelor’s degree with honors in business from the Trumbull Business College in Warren, Ohio. She is also involved with the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and is a volunteer for St. Mary’s Food Bank.

Hernandez is a Surprise resident.

startup

Getting an angel to open the checkbook

Governor Jan Brewer touts her policies and business regulatory climate as the reason Arizona is growing new businesses. That may be a factor, but it’s not the major reason Arizona topped the Kaufman Foundation Index of Entrepreneurial Activity in 2012. If it were the case, Arizona would have been on top again in 2013—instead of plummeting to 20th nationally.

“Just because there are a lot of startups,” observes Barry Broome, CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, “doesn’t provide a measure of the economic growth in the Valley.” A startup can be someone opening a consultancy, a contractor or the next Apple. Self-employment is a form of startup. The challenge is nurturing a startup so it grows with high value jobs.

Local governments and the Arizona Commerce Authority see major value with growing Arizona startups into enterprises. Chris Mackay, economic development director in Chandler says, “There’s staying power when a business is local. It’s connected to the local community and if the economy falters, the owners are more willing to keep going locally as opposed to closing up shop.” That local staying power is one reason Mackay says Chandler makes big investments in growing future enterprises.

Planting the seeds

Arizona’s new economy needs startups to scale up into enterprises. Those growing small businesses become hiring employers offering high value jobs paying home-buying income. Government policy supporting businesses that can scale up is based on simple economics.

Businesses with more than 20 employees, says the Small Business Administration, generate two of three Arizona paychecks. Those same businesses cut checks for more than 70 percent of Arizona’s private payrolls. The value in 2012 was over $100 billion.

All new businesses are “startups,” but not all startup businesses will be entrepreneurial enterprises. “There is no relation between starting a business and starting a company,” says Dr. Daniel Isenberg, Professor of Entrepreneurship Practice and founding executive director of the Babson College Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Project in Boston. “Ninety percent of companies formed don’t grow high value jobs.”

Isenberg says that the difference between a start-up and enterprise is a matter of scale. He is an international advocate for scaling a business to grow as opposed to opening a business. An entrepreneur, he points out, is a business founder with a large company that just happens to be small right now.

Arizona State University, as the new American university, is at the cutting edge of helping turn ideas into enterprise. Recently, the college joined the elite ranks of schools offering a stand-alone degree in entrepreneurship. It’s on that list with Harvard Business School, Babson, and University of Texas. Its goal is getting new businesses that can grow into the market.

Locally grown

ASU says more than 70 percent of its W.P. Carey School of Business MBA graduates remain in Arizona. Keeping these graduates in state provides the human resources necessary to building new enterprises fueling the future economy.

“Starting a company — as opposed to just starting a business — is hard work,” says Isenberg. “An entrepreneur looks at the business and sees it growing. It’s a time of sleep deprivation, hard work, and endless pitches.” Few startups achieve quality growth—less than ten percent, he believes. “The golden triangle of a growing enterprise,” he continues, “is cash, customers and people.”

“An entrepreneurial endeavor isn’t limited to startups,” Isenberg emphasizes. “University research, family businesses, mature companies, all can be turned into a growing enterprise. Most startups tend to stay small.” The key to the economic contribution of startups in Arizona is scalability. He is adamant about it, “Ambition is not a dirty word. A business founder without ambition does not significantly contribute to overall economic growth.”

“There are a number of entrepreneurial success stories arising from a new direction for an existing, mature business,” Isenberg reports. Sometimes it takes a new owner with a vision; sometimes the existing management team finds a new direction. It can be a license from a university, a new product, or an innovative use of an existing product. Entrepreneurship can occur anywhere in a business’ lifecycle.”

Bringing ideas to market

Arizona colleges are on that licensing bandwagon. Entrepreneurs complain that it takes years to license patents or transfer technology from most universities. In ASU’s Office of Knowledge and Enterprise Development, the Arizona Furnace Technology Transfer Accelerator — first project of its type in the world — slashes technology transfer time from years to months. The AZ Furnace is a joint venture of ASU, University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University and Dignity Health. Funding partners include the Arizona Commerce Authority, BioAccel, and additional support from Thunderbird School of Global Management.

“There are hundreds of patents sitting on shelves at universities that could be in the market earning money for creators, colleges and businesses,” enthuses Gordon McConnell, assistant vice president, Entrepreneurship & Innovation Group in OKED. “We started a program to get patents into the market quickly.” The startups selected for incubation in AZ Furnace are either entrepreneurs in search of an idea to market or idea-creators ready to market through a business entity. The fledgling enterprises are capital-ready in 12 months or less.

Enterprise starts with a leader and a vision. The scale of the vision is what makes the difference, says Isenberg. The vast majority of business owners are thinking of a model that gets them to the point that they’re putting money in the bank. He says, “Entrepreneurs are thinking of a model that finds smart people, willing customers and puts the cash to back into the enterprise.”

“Angels invest in businesses they understand or CEOs they respect,” says Broome. “There’s a need for more of that in the Valley. We’re just not seeing the next Apple or Google evolving here.”

Gaining visibility

“The biggest challenge about getting angel and venture money is visibility,” says Brandon Clark, region coordinator for Startup Arizona.  “If you’re a promising digital startup locally, it’s a little harder to get noticed nationally being from a region not known for its digital startups.  That’s starting to slowly shift.” National publications, FastCompany and Entrepreneur Magazine, have eyed Arizona as an emerging technology region.

The development opportunity for the small business is capital. Combine the “Broome Factor”—known businesses; known leaders—with the large number of startups, and there are too many funding requests heading towards too few checkbooks.

What makes early investors open pocketbooks to startup businesses is scalability. Businesses with potential to grow create the greatest return on investment for the angels. “It’s also makes a difference to the local economy,” says Isenberg. “Local policymakers need to change their focus from ‘startup’ to a ‘high value growth business’.”

Cities like helping scalable startups — and provide resources that build success. There’s a loyalty factor when the business grows; it typically remains in the hometown that helped it succeed. This is important to Chandler, Mesa, Peoria, Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Surprise. These five cities have specifically invested in incubators and accelerators to nurture and graduate businesses achieving market traction. Chandler, Phoenix and Tucson have involvement with collaborative workspaces — Gangplank and Co+Hoots — as well.

While an employee or two in a collaborative workspace works well for a while, the time comes when a move up is needed. Clairvoyant, an enterprise and analytics startup now in Chandler Innovations started with Gangplank. “We grew from four employees in March to 12 in April,” smiles Amber Anderson, a firm partner and its business developer. “We needed a place to meet with clients and work with a growing team.” Still self-funded, the growing entity plans to hit 20 employees by January.

Mackay explains, “We help a company like this grow and hope that as it expands it continues to locate in Chandler.” To that end, the city is working with landlords in its Price Corridor to offer “teenage” space that lets a business move from the heavily subsidized rents and back office support of the incubator into its own place—without too much sticker shock.

Support from cities

The difference by which startup is accepted into a city’s incubator is the ability to scale up from the garage to commercial space; from one employee to more than 20. Chandler and Mesa are looking for businesses with this capacity. Innovations gives lab and office space to businesses that have formed entities — LLCs, corporations, partnerships — and a business plan. Mesa’s new Technology Accelerator is planned with a similar focus, but is looking for businesses at an earlier stage. Surprise’s Arizona TechCelerator wants to shepherd a business to the angel investor stage.

In Surprise, scalability is one of the criteria to be accepted into Arizona’s oldest incubator. The TechCelerator is looking for businesses offering something outside the box or creating a new niche. “The company has to be started before we’ll consider them,” says Julie Neal, the economic development coordinator for the city’s enterprise. “They need a mentor, a plan and have to know where they are going.”

“Scaling up is difficult,” says Isenberg, “but doing it right defines the difference between the successful entrepreneur with a growth business and a startup that just stays small. Marketplaces are competitive. The startup has to acquire customers. That means overcoming inertia or changing buyer behavior. While established companies are cruising on their business platforms, the startup has to hire people, start a company, raise money, and all the while, it’s competing in the marketplace. That’s tough work.”

After incubation, the business must gain market traction. At this phase, the fledgling enterprise has product going out and customers paying for it. The kinks are being smoothed, and it’s time to move up to the next stage and grow. Isenberg says that the high growth criterion is simply 20 percent annual increases in sales or staff for five years.

Getting capital

To make this leap requires high levels of capital — the checks venture capitalists cut. The biggest challenge in Phoenix is that there are few sources for local venture capital. The venturists hang out in places like Silicon Valley, Boston, San Diego and Seattle. “There are even a couple of funds with deep ties to the Valley,” worries Clark, “but they have very little involvement in local startups.”

Clate Mask, CEO of Infusionsoft, had to travel out of town for his venture capital. “At one time, I was told that a fund wouldn’t cut a check for a firm in Phoenix because we didn’t have the workforce for success,” he says. “That’s no longer true; venture funds are seeing that there is a real climate for success in the Valley.”

Another resource for a growing business is the Arizona Commerce Authority’s “Growing Your Arizona Business” services. The quasi-public agency provides mentorship, regulatory assistance, access to incentive programs and site selection. It also works as a liaison connecting the growing business with other business resources. The agency mentors businesses in accessing federal procurement and grant opportunities as well as serving as an entrée to international trade.

Overall, the major resource in Arizona for start-up businesses is the universities. Anemic legislative funding for the schools causes their efforts to help to face the same struggles growing businesses face. Their efforts to improve Arizona’s long-term economy are stymied by a declining source of capital.

“ASU is underfunded,” complains Barry Broome. “The school has done an amazing job despite being financially crippled by budget cuts. It’s suffering from a lack of resources to take its programs to scale.” “Scalability” is applicable to the business-development programs at the universities and other public agencies just as it is for growing enterprises.

“Getting money for those programs is the top job for the next governor,” predicts Broome.
Opportunity in Arizona will come from the core of businesses growing today. They will create the jobs for the new economy and drive economic success for the next generation.

121277693

Study: Arizona’s Medicaid Expansion Will Cost $1B

Arizona’s Medicaid expansion will cost the state’s taxpayers almost a billion dollars a year within a decade, according to a new study from Health Systems Innovation Network (HSI) and the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA).

Medicaid expansion is often touted as a “no brainer” for states, as the federal government promises to pay 100% of the costs through 2016 and 90% thereafter.  But, as the saying goes, there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

Medicaid expansion will cost Arizona taxpayers plenty, despite what they have been told by those supporting expansion of the program. Many people will drop private coverage to take advantage of the free public coverage.  The number of Medicaid enrollees will swell far above initial projections, and the cost to Arizona taxpayers will be higher than advertised:

·         The number of privately insured individuals could fall by 333,000 in 2014 alone. By 2023, there could be 450,000 fewer privately insured Arizonans than there would be without the Medicaid expansion.

·         The net number of Medicaid participants could increase by 1.07 million people in 2014 and by 1.65 million within the next 10 years.

·         The total cost to the state of covering these new Medicaid beneficiaries could reach $906 million annually within the next decade.

Arizona’s Governor Jan Brewer has insisted upon expanding Arizona’s Medicaid program, but the actual costs to Arizona taxpayers have been masked. In addition to the extra $906 million in annual Medicaid costs, the Affordable Care Act will significantly impact the cost of private insurance in Arizona, with some premiums nearly doubling over the next decade.

Over the Edge 2

Thrill-Seekers to Rappel CityScape Office Tower

In an exhilarating demonstration of their support for Special Olympics Arizona (SOAZ), 100 Arizonans will go “Over the Edge”, rappelling 27 stories down one of the tallest buildings in Phoenix on Saturday, Dec. 14.

CityScape Phoenix and RED Development will sponsor this adrenaline-rushing event at its office tower where each participant will take their support to new heights, raising a minimum of $1,000 in donations to support SOAZ athletes. The event will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and spectators are encouraged.

“Over the Edge is a fresh, fun approach to fundraising and is one the most exciting events we do,” Tim Martin, CEO of Special Olympics. “We are receiving tremendous interest in this year’s event and it’s inspiring to know how many people will literally go ‘over the edge’ for our athletes. CityScape is the hub in downtown Phoenix and is the perfect location to host such a vibrant event.”

Participation in “Over the Edge” requires creating a personal fundraising page to attain contributions from family, friends and coworkers. Each person that rappels will raise a minimum of $1,000 in donations, which is the amount needed to support at least two athletes in 2014. Participants must be at least 18 years old on the event date and not weigh more than 350 pounds. All proceeds benefit Special Olympics Arizona.

“It’s going to be an exciting afternoon at CityScape to watch thrill-seekers rappel down our office tower, all for the sake of a great cause,” said Jeff Moloznik, vice president of development at RED. “Special Olympics Arizona is an organization that has done inspiring work in the Valley and we’re pleased to participate in this signature event. We hope this will be the beginning of a longstanding tradition at CityScape Phoenix with the potential to grow the event into the largest of its kind in the country.”

Special Olympics Arizona provides every person with intellectual disabilities a place of welcome, acceptance and the chance to be their best. The organizations mission is to empower over 180,000 Arizonans with intellectual disabilities to be healthy, productive, and respected members of society through sports training, competitions, and support programs.

For more information how to rappel “Over the Edge”, visit www.specialolympicsarizona.org. For more information on CityScape Phoenix, a retailer directory and a parking map, visit www.cityscapephoenix.com. Ample and convenient underground parking is available for the day of the event and validated by most tenants.

silverleaf

New Luxury Homes Break Ground at Sterling at Silverleaf

Cypress Development broke ground on the second phase of Sterling at Silverleaf, bringing 12 luxury estate villas priced from $2.2 million to the private golf community of Silverleaf.

The new $27.6 million second phase will be built to the same gold-level LEED certified standards as the sold-out first phase of 16 villas. Sterling at Silverleaf made national headlines in 2012 when it was named Arizona’s first and only single-family new construction project to be awarded gold-level certification by the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB), making the villas the greenest homes in Arizona. Just this month, the U.S. Green Building Council also awarded the project gold-level LEED certification

“We are changing the way our industry builds luxury homes and proving there is a way to create the ultimate in green, luxury living,” said Nathan Day, president of Cypress Development Group. “Demand has been high since we announced the second phase at Sterling because our product is so unique to the marketplace. This is about building smart, innovative homes that provide a real value for our buyers.”

Sterling’s estate villas offer three different floor plans of two-story homes ranging from 3,980 to 4,800 square feet with an attached cabana or casita with a private entrance. The three and four-bedroom villas come standard with top-of-the-line custom estate features such as Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances, exotic stone countertops, natural stone and marble floors, custom cabinetry, custom hand-forged iron stair railing, 9’ ceilings in second story,  a full masonry fireplace, a private two or three-car garage, a game room with a mini bar, professionally designed walk-in closets, his and hers bathroom vanities, a Jacuzzi bathtub in the master bathroom and a climate controlled wine room.

All 12 estate villas are being built at once with completion expected in late 2014.

Four iPads are installed throughout each villa that control the home automation and security systems providing the ability to remotely control every element within the home such as audio, video, lighting, window coverings, security and wine room temperature. Sterling at Silverleaf also developed a proprietary Eco-Mode App with Crestron, which dims the lighting in the home to 80 percent of full power levels, automatically saving 20 percent on the energy bill.

Phase two at Sterling at Silverleaf is now for sale and The Silverleaf Group of DMB Realty Network manages sales for the community and can be reached at (480) 502-6902. For more information, visit www.sterlingatsilverleaf.com.

silverleaf

$27.6M of Real Estate Breaks Ground in Scottsdale

Cypress Development broke ground today on the second phase of Sterling at Silverleaf, bringing 12 luxury estate villas priced from $2.2 million to the private golf community of Silverleaf.

The new $27.6 million second phase will be built to the same gold-level LEED certified standards as the sold-out first phase of 16 villas. Sterling at Silverleaf made national headlines in 2012 when it was named Arizona’s first and only single-family new construction project to be awarded gold-level certification by the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB), making the villas the greenest homes in Arizona. Just this month, the U.S. Green Building Council also awarded the project gold-level LEED certification

“We are changing the way our industry builds luxury homes and proving there is a way to create the ultimate in green, luxury living,” said Nathan Day, president of Cypress Development Group. “Demand has been high since we announced the second phase at Sterling because our product is so unique to the marketplace. This is about building smart, innovative homes that provide a real value for our buyers.”

Sterling’s estate villas offer three different floor plans of two-story homes ranging from 3,980 to 4,800 square feet with an attached cabana or casita with a private entrance. The three and four-bedroom villas come standard with top-of-the-line custom estate features such as Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances, exotic stone countertops, natural stone and marble floors, custom cabinetry, custom hand-forged iron stair railing, 9’ ceilings in second story,  a full masonry fireplace, a private two or three-car garage, a game room with a mini bar, professionally designed walk-in closets, his and hers bathroom vanities, a Jacuzzi bathtub in the master bathroom and a climate controlled wine room.

All 12 estate villas are being built at once with completion expected in late 2014.

Four iPads are installed throughout each villa that control the home automation and security systems providing the ability to remotely control every element within the home such as audio, video, lighting, window coverings, security and wine room temperature. Sterling at Silverleaf also developed a proprietary Eco-Mode App with Crestron, which dims the lighting in the home to 80 percent of full power levels, automatically saving 20 percent on the energy bill.

Phase two at Sterling at Silverleaf is now for sale and The Silverleaf Group of DMB Realty Network manages sales for the community and can be reached at (480) 502-6902. For more information, visit www.sterlingatsilverleaf.com.

eyes

Medical Practice Announces New Scottsdale Location

Southwestern Eye Center announced the opening of their new Scottsdale Office. The move allows the physicians to provide greater patient access and services to those in the Scottsdale area, whether or not they have insurance.

“We appreciate the support from our patients, here in the Scottsdale area, that have been with us for many years, and have welcome many more to our practice recently,” said Dr. Matthew Palmer, OD. “We are excited for the new facility to help us continue to provide the best care to the community and allow for a greater patient experience.”

The new office will be located at 3301 North Miller Rd. in Scottsdale, increasing its previous size by 1000 square feet. The location will be much more accessible, with improved signage and better visibility. With six exam lanes and a minor procedure room, Southwestern Eye Center will be able to better meet the needs of the ever aging population and the influx of young professionals into the heart of Old Town Scottsdale. The local medical practice has 25 locations throughout Arizona and three in New Mexico, serving a wide range of eye related needs in each office.

Dr. Daniel Adelberg M.D., Dr. Michael Champion M.D. and Dr. Denise Garcia M.D. will work alongside Dr. Palmer in providing comprehensive eye care and specialty ophthalmologic services. With the ever changing health care climate, they felt a bigger office will enable them to provide increased services while maintaining close relationships with their patients. The new space will remain in close proximity to the previous office so doctors can continue to see their established patients and allow for continued growth.

For more information on Southwestern Eye Center and its physicians, visit www.sweye.com. Follow Southwestern Eye Center on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SWeyecenter and on Twitter at @SWeyeCenter.

eyes

Medical Practice Announces New Scottsdale Location

Southwestern Eye Center announced the opening of their new Scottsdale Office. The move allows the physicians to provide greater patient access and services to those in the Scottsdale area, whether or not they have insurance.

“We appreciate the support from our patients, here in the Scottsdale area, that have been with us for many years, and have welcome many more to our practice recently,” said Dr. Matthew Palmer, OD. “We are excited for the new facility to help us continue to provide the best care to the community and allow for a greater patient experience.”

The new office will be located at 3301 North Miller Rd. in Scottsdale, increasing its previous size by 1000 square feet. The location will be much more accessible, with improved signage and better visibility. With six exam lanes and a minor procedure room, Southwestern Eye Center will be able to better meet the needs of the ever aging population and the influx of young professionals into the heart of Old Town Scottsdale. The local medical practice has 25 locations throughout Arizona and three in New Mexico, serving a wide range of eye related needs in each office.

Dr. Daniel Adelberg M.D., Dr. Michael Champion M.D. and Dr. Denise Garcia M.D. will work alongside Dr. Palmer in providing comprehensive eye care and specialty ophthalmologic services. With the ever changing health care climate, they felt a bigger office will enable them to provide increased services while maintaining close relationships with their patients. The new space will remain in close proximity to the previous office so doctors can continue to see their established patients and allow for continued growth.

For more information on Southwestern Eye Center and its physicians, visit www.sweye.com. Follow Southwestern Eye Center on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SWeyecenter and on Twitter at @SWeyeCenter.

wisdom

Wisdom Natural Brands President Earns Honors

Carol May, President of Wisdom Natural Brands®, parent company of the leading stevia brand SweetLeaf®, was honored with an unprecedented three coveted awards in the last week; two international awards at the 10th annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business as well as a leading businesswoman in the grocery industry from Progressive Grocer.

At the celebration for the worldwide Stevie Awards, held in New York City on Nov. 8, May received the Silver Award for Lifetime Achievement in Business (across all industries), as well as a Bronze Award for Female Executive of the Year in Consumer Products.

Established in 2002, the Stevie Awards (from the Greek “stephanos,” meaning crown) mark achievement throughout the world of business. The Women in Business Awards are the world’s premier awards for women executives, entrepreneurs, and the organizations they run. Like the Olympics, the awards given are Gold, Silver and Bronze.

In addition, May received an award on Nov. 5 as one of Progressive Grocer magazine’s Top Women in Grocery for 2013. Selected in the Senior Executives category, May was one of the few from a product manufacturer – rather than a grocery retailer or business services firm – considered to be changing the industry.

These awards recognize Carol May’s work as President of Wisdom Natural Brands. Overseeing strategy, operations, finance, sales, marketing, branding and new product development, May has been integral in moving Wisdom Natural Brands from a small Arizona company to a multi-million dollar international brand that competes with the world’s largest companies in one of the hottest categories in the food industry. In addition, SweetLeaf Stevia® is the only stevia brand to win 11 international taste awards.

“It’s humbling to be recognized in such great company, across so many industries,” said May. “I am deeply honored by this Lifetime Achievement award and I am looking forward to so many more new horizons.”

A privately held company, Wisdom’s SweetLeaf Stevia® Sweetener is the top-selling stevia brand in natural food stores, commanding more than 40 percent share. Carol May has led the brand’s successful expansion from natural stores into mainstream grocers, and its introduction of new formats, SKUs and distribution channels that address changing consumer needs.

SweetLeaf Stevia Sweetener is a natural stevia brand with zero calories, zero carbohydrates and zero glycemic index. It is sold in a variety of innovative formats: packets, tablets, liquid, flavor drops, water enhancers and a baking product bonded to cane sugar for cooking and baking. Wisdom also produces herbal teas under the Wisdom of the Ancients® brand.

School District

Charter School Founder Awarded Global Business Award

Arizona Charter Schools announced that its founder, Raena Janes, was honored with the bronze Stevie Award for Women in Business, for female Entrepreneur of the Year in consumer services for businesses with up to 2,500 employees. The award was announced Nov. 8 in New York City.

Established in 2002, the Stevie Awards mark achievement throughout the world of business. The Women in Business Awards are the world’s premier awards for women executives, entrepreneurs, and the organizations they run. Like the Olympics, the awards given are gold, silver and bronze.

The bronze Stevie is the latest award for Janes, 40, who is founder and director of seven Arizona charter schools: La Paloma Academy, with three Tucson campuses; Heritage Elementary School in Glendale and Williams; and Liberty Traditional Charter School in Phoenix and Douglas.

The award recognizes Janes as an entrepreneur, managing seven schools in five cities, maintaining three charters amid a high failure rate for charter schools in the state, and mentoring staff for consistent culture and quality amid fast expansion.

An active advocate for Arizona education for more than a decade, Janes’ schools balance an academic foundation with programs such as sports, arts and music that are increasingly affected by public school budget cuts. The character-based curriculum ensures that students at Janes’ schools learn the importance of character traits such as trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship. Proactive, long-term bullying prevention programs were introduced in some of the schools this year.

Each of Janes’ charter schools also incorporates community service.  An active member in several non-profit community organizations, such as Angel Charity for Children, Junior League of Tucson, the National Association for the Education of Young Children, Habitat for Humanity, Red Cross and the Advisory Council for the Arizona Charter School Association, Janes is a strong believer in bringing community service projects to Arizona’s youths.

SONY DSC

Binkley Opening Bink's Scottsdale in Late December

Chef Kevin Binkley announces plans for the opening of his fourth restaurant, Bink’s Scottsdale, at the Shops at Hilton Village, 6107 N. Scottsdale Road, Building C, Suite 110, in Scottsdale.

Chef Binkley looks forward to the opportunities of a central Scottsdale location, “I love that so many of our regular customers live in this area. We also have over 2,400 square feet of space, which allowed us to create a larger bar space to accommodate our customers. ”

Bink’s Scottsdale promises a fresh, organic look with a casual atmosphere. It will open its doors late 2013.

Bink’s Scottsdale will be open every day with brunch, lunch, happy hour, and dinner selections. Dishes will focus primarily on locally grown and harvested meats, fruits and vegetables. The restaurant will also provide a full bar with a regular wine list, as well as a reserve wine list.

Kevin, along with his wife, Amy Binkley, own and operate three award-winning restaurants including Binkley’s Restaurant in Cave Creek, Café Bink in Carefree, and Bink’s Midtown in Central Phoenix. Each restaurant sources and promotes seasonal fare in their menus.

A Valley food pioneer, Chef Kevin Binkley has received numerous accolades. Chef Binkley has been nominated every year since 2005 for the James Beard Award Best Chef of the Southwest. In 2013, the Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame awarded him the Lifetime Achievement award for his long-term excellence in the culinary industry.

Chef Kevin Binkley previously worked at the Inn at Little Washington, and with Chef Thomas Keller at the renowned French Laundry in Napa, California. His creative culinary process has earned national distinction since opening his own restaurants in Arizona.

Established in 2004, his first restaurant, Binkley’s, was named Best Restaurant by the Arizona Republic. Bink’s Midtown, established in 2013, was recently named Best New Restaurant by both Phoenix Magazine and Phoenix New Times. Bink’s Midtown also received the Best Happy Hour Award in Central Phoenix, for the 2013 Phoenix New Times awards.

SONY DSC

Binkley Opening Bink's Scottsdale in Late December

Chef Kevin Binkley announces plans for the opening of his fourth restaurant, Bink’s Scottsdale, at the Shops at Hilton Village, 6107 N. Scottsdale Road, Building C, Suite 110, in Scottsdale.

Chef Binkley looks forward to the opportunities of a central Scottsdale location, “I love that so many of our regular customers live in this area. We also have over 2,400 square feet of space, which allowed us to create a larger bar space to accommodate our customers.”

Bink’s Scottsdale promises a fresh, organic look with a casual atmosphere. It will open its doors late 2013.

Bink’s Scottsdale will be open every day with brunch, lunch, happy hour, and dinner selections. Dishes will focus primarily on locally grown and harvested meats, fruits and vegetables. The restaurant will also provide a full bar with a regular wine list, as well as a reserve wine list.

Kevin, along with his wife, Amy Binkley, own and operate three award-winning restaurants including Binkley’s Restaurant in Cave Creek, Café Bink in Carefree, and Bink’s Midtown in Central Phoenix. Each restaurant sources and promotes seasonal fare in their menus.

A Valley food pioneer, Chef Kevin Binkley has received numerous accolades. Chef Binkley has been nominated every year since 2005 for the James Beard Award Best Chef of the Southwest. In 2013, the Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame awarded him the Lifetime Achievement award for his long-term excellence in the culinary industry.

Chef Kevin Binkley previously worked at the Inn at Little Washington, and with Chef Thomas Keller at the renowned French Laundry in Napa, California. His creative culinary process has earned national distinction since opening his own restaurants in Arizona.

Established in 2004, his first restaurant, Binkley’s, was named Best Restaurant by the Arizona Republic. Bink’s Midtown, established in 2013, was recently named Best New Restaurant by both Phoenix Magazine and Phoenix New Times. Bink’s Midtown also received the Best Happy Hour Award in Central Phoenix, for the 2013 Phoenix New Times awards.

SONY DSC

Binkley Opening Bink’s Scottsdale in Late December

Chef Kevin Binkley announces plans for the opening of his fourth restaurant, Bink’s Scottsdale, at the Shops at Hilton Village, 6107 N. Scottsdale Road, Building C, Suite 110, in Scottsdale.

Chef Binkley looks forward to the opportunities of a central Scottsdale location, “I love that so many of our regular customers live in this area. We also have over 2,400 square feet of space, which allowed us to create a larger bar space to accommodate our customers.”

Bink’s Scottsdale promises a fresh, organic look with a casual atmosphere. It will open its doors late 2013.

Bink’s Scottsdale will be open every day with brunch, lunch, happy hour, and dinner selections. Dishes will focus primarily on locally grown and harvested meats, fruits and vegetables. The restaurant will also provide a full bar with a regular wine list, as well as a reserve wine list.

Kevin, along with his wife, Amy Binkley, own and operate three award-winning restaurants including Binkley’s Restaurant in Cave Creek, Café Bink in Carefree, and Bink’s Midtown in Central Phoenix. Each restaurant sources and promotes seasonal fare in their menus.

A Valley food pioneer, Chef Kevin Binkley has received numerous accolades. Chef Binkley has been nominated every year since 2005 for the James Beard Award Best Chef of the Southwest. In 2013, the Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame awarded him the Lifetime Achievement award for his long-term excellence in the culinary industry.

Chef Kevin Binkley previously worked at the Inn at Little Washington, and with Chef Thomas Keller at the renowned French Laundry in Napa, California. His creative culinary process has earned national distinction since opening his own restaurants in Arizona.

Established in 2004, his first restaurant, Binkley’s, was named Best Restaurant by the Arizona Republic. Bink’s Midtown, established in 2013, was recently named Best New Restaurant by both Phoenix Magazine and Phoenix New Times. Bink’s Midtown also received the Best Happy Hour Award in Central Phoenix, for the 2013 Phoenix New Times awards.

cancer.ytratment

Old Town Scottsdale gets new Cancer Care Center

Arizona Center for Cancer Care (AZCCC), a multispecialty group of Arizona’s most recognizable names in cancer treatment and technology, has announced that it has officially opened at Scottsdale Healthcare’s Osborn Medical Center location.

“We are pleased to welcome AZCCC to the Osborn Medical Center location and look forward to continuing to work together to provide exceptional oncology care at both of our Scottsdale Healthcare facilities,” said Lindsay Thomas, director of oncology for Scottsdale Healthcare.

Earlier this year AZCCC opened a facility at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare’s Shea Medical Center location, allowing doctors to accommodate an increased volume of patients and bring leading-edge cancer care technology to Scottsdale Healthcare.

The facility is an outpatient single story building at 337 E. 2nd St. on Scottsdale Healthcare’s Osborn Campus.

“The goal was to bring the best physicians together to offer the best comprehensive care to patients,” said Thomas. “Both the Scottsdale Healthcare Shea and Osborn Centers share a commitment to clinical excellence and our partnership with AZCCC has enabled us to broaden our services in this region.”

Aside from additional exam and procedure rooms, the now complete facility renovations include:
* The addition of state-of-the-art radiation therapy services such as RapidArc Sterotactic Radiosurgery, which will allow for short courses of pin-pointed radiation
* The installation of a new iX Linear Accelerator manufactured by Varian, the industry leader in radiation equipment, capable of delivering precision Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) and image-guided radiation therapy

“Radiation therapy technologies such as IMRT/ IGRT and Radiosurgery help deliver higher doses of radiation to tumors with fewer complications and less immediate and long-term side effects,” said Dr. Diane C. Racine, a partner at AZCCC and member of the Scottsdale Healthcare medical staff.

Dr. Racine has been providing services at the AZCCC Virginia G. Piper location, but will soon bring her services and expertise to the new facility at the Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center. In addition to her current role, Racine practiced at and served as director of residency programs for the Department of Radiation Oncology at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago and has both taught radiation oncology courses at the University of Chicago and served as assistant professor of radiation oncology at Rush Medical College.

Joining Racine at the Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center will be fellow radiation oncologist Dr. Luci Chen. . Chen also brings experience from her time as clinical director of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Louis A. Weiss Memorial Hospital and as assistant professor of radiation oncology at the University of Chicago. She has also been awarded a Fellowship by the American Cancer Society for her clinical research in cancer care.

“With a coordinated multidisciplinary approach to radiation therapy now available through both Scottsdale Healthcare locations, patients will have the best chance for achieving optimal treatment results with the added convenience of the two local centers,” said Chen.

For more information, please visit www.arizonaccc.com.

A Guide to Applying for a Bank Loan

Wells Fargo team members donate $3M to nonprofits

Wells Fargo & Company announced today that its team members donated $3.02 million to nonprofit organizations and schools in Arizona as part of the company’s annual Community Support and United Way Campaign.  All donations were funded personally by team members.  In addition to a 14 percent year-over-year increase in donations, the one-month campaign also resulted in more than 6,800 team member volunteer hours to 477 nonprofit organizations and schools across the state.

“The engagement, thoughtfulness and caring of our Arizona team members is inspiring,” said Pam Conboy, Arizona lead regional president and state campaign co-chair. “This annual campaign highlights the compassion of our great team members and reinforces that Wells Fargo truly is Arizona’s Community Bank.  Our team members’ deep commitment to our community explains why Wells Fargo has been United Way’s No. 1 largest corporate campaign over the past four years nationally.”

The annual Community Support and United Way Campaign encourages team members to give in ways that mean the most to them, whether by going out into the community to volunteer for their favorite nonprofit, or through financial contributions to any nonprofit, school, or religious institution of their choice. One hundred percent of team member donations go to the organizations they choose. Wells Fargo pays all processing costs and matches gifts, up to $5,000 per team member, to qualifying schools.

During this year’s national campaign, team members pledged a record $64.9 million to community nonprofits and schools. Wells Fargo team members invest in nonprofits throughout the year.  To-date, including the campaign, team members have donated $89 million of their own dollars to nonprofits, a 13 percent increase over 2012, and the tenth straight year of year-over-year double-digit increases in pledge totals.

bank loan

Alliance Breaks Ground on Flagstaff Banking Center

Alliance Bank of Arizona, the state’s largest locally owned and headquartered bank, broke ground Friday on a new multimillion-dollar Flagstaff banking center.  Alliance Bank of Arizona President Ed Zito hosted the groundbreaking event with Executive Vice President Sherri Slayton. The event was also attended by Flagstaff Mayor Jerry Nabours and President and CEO of the Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce, Julie Pastrick.

“Since we opened our first branch in Flagstaff eight years ago, we have been committed to fueling our local economy,” said Sherri Slayton, EVP and Regional Manager of the bank’s Northern Arizona division. “As a long-time resident and banker in this area, I am especially excited to see Flagstaff businesses rebound and flourish. Our Flagstaff team, with experienced local bankers who know this region, is proud to serve the people who make Flagstaff the extraordinary community we call home.”

“Today’s groundbreaking is testimony to the strength of the Flagstaff Alliance Bank team,” said Julie Pastrick, President and CEO of the Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce.  “Under the leadership of Sherri Slayton, they have consistently demonstrated a high level of financial acumen and community outreach that allows for this large investment in our local Flagstaff community.”

The 6,000-square-foot center marks the bank’s significant expansion in the area and the region. The facility is an extension of Alliance Bank’s growth in key business markets as home to a large number of commercial and industrial businesses, enabling the bank to better serve Flagstaff customers.  It is scheduled to open in the summer of 2014.

Alliance Bank, which started with a single office and 20 employees in 2003, is now the largest locally owned and headquartered bank in the state with $3.3 billion in assets. A leading business lender, it has built a reputation for its responsiveness, local expertise and reliability as a lending resource.

Alliance Bank of Arizona is a division of Phoenix-based Western Alliance Bank.

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Economy's Q3 Growth Boosts Local Businesses

The U.S. economy grew faster than expected in the third quarter as businesses restocked shelves, and Arizona businesses are noticing the uptick. A 2.8% boost from July to September has Valley business owners optimistic about the holiday season and the first quarter of 2014. Local restaurants, retail, real estate and even purveyors of luxury goods and services report a steady incline of consumer spending, some even reaching pre-economic downturn levels.

Dr. Daniel Shapiro, a Scottsdale-based plastic surgeon reports nearly 35% growth in 2013 over 2012. “As a board-certified sugeon that’s been practicing for 22 years, my schedule stayed busy despite the economic downturn…but over the last few months we’ve been forced to reinstate a waiting list that spans several months for surgery as well as a consult fee,” he said. “It’s evident that people have more money to spend now, and are more confident spending it,” he said.

Shapiro is just one Valley business owner that says the economy is on the upswing. Restaurant owners, many hit hard by the economic downturn are also saying that business is booming again. “Having owned restaurants in Arizona over the last 20 years, it’s easy to spot a trend when it’s happening,” said Dave Andrea, owner of Brat Haus in Old Town Scottsdale. “First it’s small things like patrons adding another round of drinks, or ordering dessert, when before they’d forgo those things in an effort to save money,” he said,

Both Andrea and Shapiro agree that people are splurging on themselves a little more now, whether it’s a long awaited nip and tuck or just a well-deserved dessert.

What’s fueling the Valley’s economic stability? The labor market continued to improve, but at a snail’s pace, government data showed. Across the country, gross domestic product expanded at a 2.8 percent annual rate, the quickest pace since the third quarter of 2012, the Commerce Department said on Thursday. It was an acceleration from a 2.5 percent clip in the second quarter and beat economists’ expectations for a 2.0 percent rate.

DECO Communities, a Scottsdale-based real estate development company just announced completion of two new urban renewal projects which transform infill properties into stylish and modern apartment homes called Cabana Modern Apartment Homes. With 4 properties completed in the last 16 months, the company says real estate is on the upswing as well. “There is a high demand for the kind of development we are doing,” said Rob Lyles, partner for DECO Communities, “And the outlook for real estate development and growth in Arizona next year is exceptionally promising,” he said.

Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, expanded at a 1.5 percent rate, slowest pace since the second quarter of 2011. It grew at a 1.8 percent rate in the April-June period.  With the news of economic growth at the start of the holiday season and the ‘high-season’ for Valley tourism, business owners are exceptionally optimistic about the Q1 2014 economic reports as well.