Tag Archives: arizona

83273484

A Priority For The Next Governor

Three of Arizona’s five Democrat members of Congress last week joined all four of their Republican colleagues from the state to accomplish what a similar bipartisan majority in the Arizona Legislature did earlier this year: It loaded a badly needed shot in the arm for the small-business owners who generate almost every new job in the state and nation.

The U.S. House of Representatives voted to make permanent a tax provision that would allow small businesses to write off up to $500,000 in new equipment purchases, and some improvements to real property, instead of depreciating the costs over time. H.R. 4457, titled America’s Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2014, would provide small businesses with expensing levels that are permanent, predictable and at a level adequate to their needs.

This change to Section 179 of the federal tax code, which overwhelmingly passed the House on a 272-144 vote, would prevent the expensing level to fall all the way to $25,000 in 2014, after being at $500,000 from 2010 through 2013. It also indexes the level to inflation. In addition, the House also passed a bill that eases the tax burden on small businesses that change from taxable C-corporate status to S-corporate status.

A quick sample of the small-business owners benefitting from the H.R. 4457 expensing levels would include:

* Your local pizza shop owner who might want to install new ovens and countertops that cost $100,000. He could deduct these capital improvements the same year he makes them, instead of waiting for the current 39 years to get his full depreciation.
* A farmer considering equipment purchases of $300,000 could do so with much more ease, knowing it could all be deducted the year she bought it, instead of only $25,000 of it the first year.
* A contractor looking to buy two work vehicles costing $60,000 would be more inclined to do so. Under current law, only $35,000 could be deducted—spread over five years—instead of all of it immediately.

On June 12, Arizona Democrats Ron Barber, Ann Kirkpatrick and Kyrsten Sinema joined Republicans Paul Gosar, Trent Franks, Matt Salmon and David Schweikert in supporting this pro-jobs legislation. Congressmen Raul Grijalva and Ed Pastor, both Democrats, voted against H.R. 4457. The measure now goes to the U.S. Senate for its consideration.

Earlier this year, a similar tax relief act, House Bill 2664, passed the Arizona Legislature with overwhelming bipartisan majorities. It, too, would have created an immediate state income tax allowance, similar to federal Section 179 expensing for qualifying business equipment investments valued up to $500,000.

In a tragic misreading of the needs of Arizona’s economy, Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed HB 2664 because “the money would be better utilized” on her spending priorities. Undaunted, NFIB is committed to vigorously lobbying Arizona’s next governor and the new Legislature next session to finally realize our own $500,000 allowance to spur new job creation.

Last week’s strong bipartisan House vote to pass H.R. 4457 is very encouraging to small business, especially as demonstrated by the votes of Arizona’s congressional delegation. If Congress and the president do succeed in making it federal law, Arizona’s next governor must match it. If Washington fails, then establishing the small-business expensing allowance in Arizona’s tax code will be all the more critical.

Farrell Quinlan is Arizona state director for the National Federation of Independent Business.

phoenix

Report: Arizona is 7th Least Safest State

With June being National Safety Month,the personal finance social media network WalletHub decided to follow up on its analysis of 2014’s Best & Worst Cities for Families with an in-depth look at the Safest States to Live In.

WalletHub compared each of the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia based on 26 key metrics. The data is broken down into categories that include workplace safety, emergency preparedness, home and community stability, traffic safety and, of course, financial security. By doing so, families and individuals can easily factor safety among their considerations when comparing prospective locations to lay down roots. Below is a brief overview of WalletHub’s findings.

Safety Conditions in Arizona:

35th – Murder and Non-negligent Manslaughter per Capita
38th – Fatalities per 100 Million Vehicle Miles of Travel
41st – Employer Health Insurance Coverage Rates
35th – Public Hospital Rankings
23rd – Sex Offenders Per Capita
31st – Assault per Capita
37th – Percentage of Population Without Health Insurance Coverage
37th – Percentage of People Who Spend More Than They Make
50th – Annual Consumer Savings Account Averages
17th – Number of Climate Disasters (over 1 billion in damage)

For the full report, visit http://wallethub.com/edu/2014s-safest-states-to-live-in/4566/.

Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs’ group honors innovators

Entrepreneurs’ Organization Arizona (EO) announced its selection for two highly coveted membership awards for the 2013-14-board year. Lauren Bailey, co-owner of the Upward Projects restaurants was dubbed the ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ and Robert Clinkenbeard, founding principal of Integrated Landscape Management received the ‘Member of the Year’ award at the conclusion of the group’s global 24-Hour Learning Day event. Both recipients were peer nominated from amongst the membership, which is made up of 150 successful Arizona business owners.

Arizona entrepreneurs are invited to join EO based on business performance. Out of 131 global chapters spanning 40 countries, EO Arizona is a leader in ingenuity and creative thought. Their purpose is to propel entrepreneurs to learn and grow from each other, leading to greater business success and enriched personal lives.

“This is the first year for the prestigious awards and all nominees were, quite frankly, outstanding,” says David Loaney EO Arizona board president. “We have a highly driven membership that includes some of the most successful business leaders in Arizona. We felt it was important to recognize their accomplishments and significant contributions they have made to the organization as well as the greater community.”

The EO Arizona board set stringent guidelines for award recipients. After being nominated by fellow member, the award selection committee reviewed each submission, selected finalists, then held lengthy individual interviews for in-depth discovery of goal attainment. Winners were chosen based solely on accomplishments throughout the year. Entrepreneur of the Year was measured on the successes and growth of the member’s business while the Member of the Year was determined on the individual contributions to the chapter.

With Upward Projects in the past year, Bailey oversaw considerable growth of her company as they opened two new restaurants, one new concept and added 140 employees to the organization. Individually, Bailey was also nominated for various community honors. Clinkenbeard served as a role model for members and prospects with his active engagement and participation.

“My goal in EO is to impart some of the lessons I’ve learned throughout my career to other business owners, helping them navigate the sometimes difficult path to success,” says Clinkenbeard on his active chapter participation. “When our Arizona business owners are successful, the community wins with greater employment, a healthier workforce and increased attention to our local neighborhoods. Giving back of our time and talent is the best way I’ve found to achieve that.”

Pieceful Solutions hires new COO

Mesa-based Pieceful Solutions, the first and fastest-growing K-12 school in Arizona for children with autism spectrum disorders, hired Robin Rollando as its Chief Operating Officer.

Robin Rollando

Robin Rollando

In her new role at Pieceful Solutions, Rollando will oversee business development, human resources, marketing, finance, information technology and overall business operations, among other duties.

Rollando is an operations veteran, having spent more than two decades helping businesses achieve substantial revenue growth in highly-competitive markets with companies such as Ambath/Rebath and Patterson Sports Ventures, LLC.

Rollando is a graduate of Arizona State University and resides in Ahwatukee. She is the proud mother of a child with autism, who was diagnosed at the age of two. Today he is now a successful young adult with a full-time job, drives and attends a community college.

elder

Elder Abuse Day Shares Spotlight with Father’s Day

Sunday, June 15th is not only Father’s Day, but Elder Abuse Day too; and Arizona is among the 22 states that do not require a license or certification for in-home caregivers. The lack of regulation in our state means many of our seniors in Arizona are engaging Caregivers who have little to no experience and no formal training in the caregiving profession. What is even more disturbing is the fact that there is no requirement by statute or law that requires Caregivers and or Agencies that employ Caregivers to do background checks, fingerprint clearance card verifications and make sure that that they are in good standing, drug screening, reference verification and caregiver training prior to being hired and going in to someone’s home.

Elder abuse is on the rise nationwide and at the same time we have more and more members of our community finding themselves in the role of a caregiver with no training. Studies show that 1.5 to 1.84 million Americans fall victim to elder abuse annually, and Arizona Adult Protective Services handles approximately 10,000 cases a year in Maricopa County alone. The number is expected to rise, as 1 in 4 people living in Arizona by 2020 will be 60 or older. Cypress HomeCare Solutions a local home care agency that just celebrated 20 years in business is doing everything possible to make our community a safer place. “Aging in place” is what we are focused on because for many of us this will be the only option. Bob Roth, Managing Partner at Cypress HomeCare Solutions says, “It is our duty to make it safe for all aging adults in our community, we owe it to this generation that made our community the vibrant wonderful place that we are all so fortunate to call home. “ Cypress is a results-driven local agency that provides safe, professional care for elders by only employing highly qualified, competent, honest people with a “heart.”

Cypress runs a 50 State background check on every one of their employees, pre-employment drug screen; finger print clearance card must be in good standing, CPR, First Aid, and Caregiver training are all required. If the Caregiver does not have caregiver training, Cypress can provide this for the Caregiver. Being a Family Caregiver comes with a lot of challenges for people. The physical challenges can be limiting but the emotional challenges are even more difficult. Many people find themselves lacking the necessary patience and skills and are simply not prepared to give aid to their loved one, and many experience an increase in stress, which can lead to an abusive situation.

Ironically, 60-90% of elder abuse is inflicted by the senior’s very own family. Dependency, external stress, and social isolation are some of the leading causes of elder abuse. When the need to engage an individual from outside of the family circle, often people look to a home care agency to provide them with the resources to select from in order to be able to care of their loved one. A logical choice but something consumers need to be aware of, there is no regulatory oversight in this trade – no governing body requiring even minimum standards to follow. Cypress HomeCare Solutions and Bob Roth and several other agencies are working feverishly in an attempt to get some kind of regulation in place, there have been 3 attempts in the last 8 years. Clarence Carter, the Department of Economic Service’s Division of Aging and Adult Services Director, explains, “The abuse of vulnerable adults happens in our society more than we’d like to think and often times, because of their circumstances, it’s hard for victims to report what is happening to them.”

Bob Roth sums it up by saying, “When a care recipient opens the door to their home to a Caregiver, they open up their life. Before hiring a home care agency, it is more important than ever to do your research on the company and be sure they are qualified and trustworthy enough to provide care and companionship for the aging adults in your family.”

yoga

Nude yoga classes catch on in Valley

Katrina Rainsong, who teaches nude yoga classes in the Valley, is the author of "R.A.W. Nude Yoga: Celebrating the Human Body Temple."

Katrina Rainsong, who teaches nude yoga classes in the Valley, is the author of “R.A.W. Nude Yoga: Celebrating the Human Body Temple.”

You’re shaking to hold your Downward Facing Dog for just four more breaths and you glance over at your neighbor for a distraction from the weakness in your quivering arms. But in this yoga class, that distraction ends up being more than you bargained for – in this yoga class, clothing is optional and, more often than not, non-existent. Your seemingly innocent glance just instantly familiarized you with the moments-ago-stranger next to you.

Nude yoga has arrived in the Valley by way of Katrina Rainsong, simultaneously striking curiosity and terror into the minds and bodies of Arizonans; this is taking self-acceptance to a whole new level. “A lot of people show the first time as a bucket list kind of thing,” said Rainsong, instructor of R.A.W. Nude Yoga classes in Scottsdale and Tempe. “They come back because there is a refreshing feeling of relaxed freedom in the class.”

Practicing yoga while naked does bring to mind the notion of achieving the ultimate sense of freedom. You do not get much more vulnerable than fully exposing yourself, both literally and figuratively, via a bare-bottomed Happy Baby pose. Rainsong’s classes for R.A.W. Nude Yoga — R.A.W. standing for Revealed, Authentic and Wise — are clothing-optional to ensure her students’ comfort. She does, however, feel that practicing nude allows greater physical comfort “because your clothing isn’t shifting, and on a larger personal scale, you feel more in touch with your surroundings.”

For some, yoga has become another means of expressing style through fun, yet often expensive, clothing. In nude yoga, as Rainsong said, “it doesn’t matter if you’re wearing $10 yoga pants and the person next to you is wearing $80 yoga pants. All those ego structures get stripped away, quite literally.”

There is no structured undressing ritual in Rainsong’s class – everyone is clothed when the class begins and undresses at their own pace. Rainsong herself likes to warm up her muscles and slowly rid of her clothing as she moves through her practice. “It is a symbolized ritualistic expression in removing your layers,” stated Rainsong. Through this expression, she feels “people find a deeper meditative place.” However, sticking to her firm belief in the comfort of others, Rainsong supports students who don’t want to slowly remove the layers and prefer rather to completely de-robe immediately upon the start of class. At the same time, she recognizes that others fear revealing themselves and therefore allows them to remain fully clothed throughout the class. Whether wearing your birthday suit, or Lululemon’s latest pair of yoga pants, Rainsong wants the focus of the practice to be on “community and unity.”

The draw to that sense of community makes itself evident in Rainsong’s co-ed classes. When she began teaching R.A.W. Naked Yoga a year ago, Rainsong estimated the attendance of her classes was 80 percent male and 20 percent female. She began offering a female-only class, but said that, surprisingly, women tend to prefer the male-female balance in the co-ed classes. The scales have evened out and most of Rainsong’s mixed sex classes today are 60 percent male and 40 percent female.

All people interested in trying Rainsong’s class for the first time either have to come to the undisclosed location on the arm of a current student in good standing, or by e-mailing Rainsong herself with an explanation of why you’re interested in the class (which will warrant you an e-mail with the address and time of the class). Every person that attends her class goes through some form of screening to ensure the safety of participants. Rainsong, one of the most effective and supportive yoga instructors in the Valley, makes it a point to provide an environment of freedom and safe expression to students of her R.A.W. Naked Yoga class. She has created a place where, as described by Rainsong, “people find safety and a chance to be vulnerable. How often are we allowed to really feel vulnerable in a safe container?”

For more information on R.A.W. Naked Yoga, visit www.rawnudeyoga.com.

special

Arizona Special Needs Camp At Risk

Lions Camp Tatiyee, the only organization in Arizona that provides individuals with special needs a week-long summer camp in the White Mountains all free-of-charge, is in jeopardy of having to cancel sessions for the first time since 1958 due to lack of funding. As it stands, Lions Camp Tatiyee is $125,000 short of meeting its operational budget for the 2014 camp season.

In the past 56 seasons, contributions from the Arizona Lions Club have allowed the camp to remain in operation. In addition to individual donations, the Lions Club has generated the bulk of funding through recycling efforts. However, the 2013 closing of Catalyst Paper Mill in Snowflake, Arizona, which was a major source of recycling revenue for the Arizona Lions, has significantly impacted the camp’s ability to generate funding.

Said Pam Swanson, Executive Direct of Lions Camp Titayee, “This is new territory for us, and we have had to reinvent our fundraising strategy in an incredibly short amount of time. Unfortunately, we are still short of our operational budgeting goal. If we are not able to make up the shortage by the end of June, hundreds of special needs campers may not be able to attend camp this summer.”

Added Swanson, “For most of our campers, the annual week-long summer camp experience is the highlight of their year.”

Lions Camp Tatiyee annually schedules eight week-long sessions, hosting special needs campers ranging from 7 years old to adults. The camp is open to individuals with Downs syndrome, cerebral palsy, spinal injuries, mental disabilities and sight and hearing impairment, to name just a few. Lions Camp Tatiyee has never charged campers or their families for their camp experience.

Campers at Lions Camp Tatiyee come from all cities in Arizona. The camp has the capacity to host more than 650 campers each season at its state-of-the-art facility, which sits on 88 acres in the White Mountains. However, lack of funding has limited Lions Camp Tatiyee’s ability to accept campers, and there are currently more than 150 special needs individuals on the waiting list.

Lions Camp Tatiyee is making a plea for support in this time of need. Without financial backing, the camp will be forced to cancel sessions. Those interested in helping to support Lions Camp Tatiyee may do so online by visiting www.ArizonaLionsCamp.org and clicking one the “Donate Now” button.

downtown Gilbert AZ

Gilbert among best cities for families

With Father’s Day coming up on Sunday and the school year making way to free time with family, the personal finance social network WalletHub today followed up on its analysis of the Best & Worst Places to Staycation in 2014 with an in-depth look at the Best & Worst Cities for Families.

WalletHub compared each of the 150 largest cities in the U.S. based on 31 key metrics – ranging from crime rates and school system ranks to housing costs and even the number of parks per capita – in order to help families across the country identify the ideal location to put down roots. It’s wedding season, after all, and a lot of newlyweds will be making such crucial decisions in the months to come.

Here are 2014’s Best Cities for Families:

1. Plano, Texas
2. Sioux Falls, South Dakota
3. Overland Park, Kansas
4. Fremont, California
5. Irvine, California
6. Virginia Beach, Virginia
7. Lincoln, Nebraska
8. Anchorage, Alaska
9. Gilbert, Arizona
10. Amarillo, Texas

M

Camelot Homes Earns Industry Awards

Camelot Homes, an Arizona-based home developer, has recently received several awards for excellence, while securing a nomination for an additional prestigious national award.

Camelot Homes received the coveted 2014 Small Volume Builder of the Year Award presented at the Home Builders Association of Central Arizona’s 29th Annual Major Achievements in Merchandising Excellence (MAME) Awards, and also garnered an Award of Merit in the annual PCBC® Gold Nugget competition for The Verandah’s at Silverleaf. The Gold Nugget honors architectural design and planning excellence and draws entries from throughout the United States and internationally. The Gold Nugget Merit distinction qualifies Camelot Homes for a possible Grand Award, a featured highlight of PCBC®, the nation’s largest regional conference and trade show for the real estate development field.

“To us, winning MAME awards confirms that our best practices have exceeded industry standard and we strive to do that daily,” said Mark Hancock, owner of Camelot Homes. “This year was especially gratifying. In receiving the Small Volume Builder Award MAME Award, our team has been recognized for its years of dedication to the pursuit of excellence in homebuilding, and that honor is not taken lightly. We will continue to exceed expectations and raise the bar for an industry we’re proud to be in.”

Camelot’s haul of MAME Awards included five other awards and four finalist placements. Selected by an independent judging panel, the MAME Awards are presented by the HBACA’s Sales and Marketing Council to recognize home builders for outstanding achievements in 25 categories, including architectural and interior design, marketing, and merchandising. The HBACA evaluated homes built and/or marketed in 2013.

Camelot Homes received the following MAME Awards and distinctions:

* Best Newspaper Ad
* Best Magazine Ad
* Best Website by a Builder Closing Less Than 250 Homes Per year
* Best Design Center by a Builder
* Best Interior Merchandising for Homes Over $600,000, The Verandahs at Silverleaf, Plan 7721
* Small Volume Builder of the Year
* Best Detached Product Design for Homes Over $600,000, Finalist – The Verandahs at Silverleaf, Plan 7721
* Salesperson of the Year With a Company Closing Less Than 250 Homes a Year, Finalist – Hilal Chaboun
* Sales Manager of the Year, Finalist – Cammie Beckert
* Marketing Manager of the Year, Finalist – Julie Hancock

Camelot’s award-winning floor plans and interior design can be viewed at Bocara in North Scottsdale.

From left: Stephen R. Lewis, Lieutenant Governor of Gila River Indian Community, David Rousseau, Chairman, Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee, Michael Bidwill, President of the Arizona Cardinals, Gregory Mendoza, Gila River Indian Community Governor, Jay Parry, President & CEO, Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee and Christopher Mendoza, District 4 Councilman. Also attached is a photo of Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee mascot, SPIKE.

Super Bowl Committee teams up with Gila River Community

The Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee announced its partnership with the Gila River Indian Community today during a press conference at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa in Chandler, Arizona. In attendance for today’s announcement were Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee Chairman David Rousseau, Gila River Indian Community Governor Gregory Mendoza, Arizona Cardinals President Michael Bidwill, and Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee mascot, SPIKE.

“We are proud to be partnering with The Gila River Indian Community and to work together to fuel the economic engine of Arizona,” said David Rousseau, Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee Chairman. “Our partnership will have multiple elements with a major focus on education, health and fitness for the youth of the Gila River Indian Community.”

A key component of the partnership will be working together to promote Arizona as the ideal location for businesses of all industries and sizes and a premier tourism destination well beyond Super Bowl XLIX. As part of the partnership, The Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa will be an official team hotel. The partnership will also include various economic and community initiatives to build relationships among all of Arizona’s cultural groups.

“The Gila River Indian Community is thrilled to be a sponsor of the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee and to have the opportunity to help make the big game and all its associated events a success for Arizona. Our Community emphasizes partnership, economic opportunity and giving back to our neighbors in all we do and with every dollar we invest,” said Gila River Indian Community Governor, Gregory Mendoza. “So do the NFL and the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee. That’s why we’re committed to joining forces and hosting quality events in association with the Super Bowl.”

To officially kick off the partnership, Arizona Cardinals alumni Kwamie Lassiter and Frank Sanders, along with SPIKE, hosted a football clinic for 25 kids of the Gila River Indian Community. The Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee will continue to support the efforts of the Gila River Indian Community to promote education, health, and fitness to its youth.

“The partnership between the Cardinals and Gila River Indian Community dates back to the opening of University of Phoenix Stadium in 2006,” said Cardinals President Michael Bidwill. “Like us, they believed that it would be a game-changer not only for our team but the entire community. Super Bowl XLIX is another critically important event for our state and it’s no surprise that Gila River is stepping up to help provide the considerable community support required to make it a success.”

Future community initiatives and events will be announced leading up to Super Bowl XLIX.

Former Baywatch star Gena Lee Nolin will serve as an honorary lifeguard at the Diamondbacks' Beach Night on Friday.

D-backs Host Beach Night This Friday

The Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) encourage fans to escape the heat and enjoy Beach Night at the D-backs vs. Braves game this Friday at 6:40 PM at Chase Field. Limited Beach Night packages are still available and feature a reversible D-backs Bucket Hat.

Former Baywatch star Gena Lee Nolin will serve as an honorary lifeguard in the RAMTRUCKS.COM Pool for a couple of innings and will sign autographs for fans from 5:00-6:00PM along the main concourse in front of section 131.

Fans can expect several beach-themed events throughout the night, including:

> Performance by the Caribbean Cruisers that features a mix of Calypso, Soca, Junkanoo and Reggae beginning at 4:30PM at Game Seven Grill
> As fans enter the stadium, Polynesian dancers will entertain and pass out leis
> Boardwalk theme throughout the park, including photo ops with beach-themed cutouts
> Ride the mechanical shark, located in the Upper Right Field Deck
> Text BEACH to 76925 for a chance to win a full-sized D-backs autographed surfboard
> Beach-themed player headshots on dbTV
> Postgame fireworks show set to beach music, presented by Gila River Casinos

Currently, the D-backs are hosting an Instagram (@Dbacks) contest encouraging fans to submit their best “Go D-backs” image using D-backs and/or beach-themed items for a chance to win a trip to see the D-backs play the Padres in San Diego. For more information on the Instagram contest, please visit www.dbacks.com/beach.

A limited amount of Beach Night packages remain and can be purchased by calling 602.514.8400 or online at www.dbacks.com/events.

RichEndicott

Endicott Appointed President of Biltmore Bank

Biltmore Bank of Arizona, a division of Grandpoint Bank, announced Richard Endicott has been appointed president, following the retirement of long-time Biltmore Bank president Jeffrey P. Gaia. Endicott brings four decades of experience to the role, and has been a member of the Biltmore Bank management team since 2008, most recently as president of its Scottsdale Airpark location. As president of Biltmore Bank, Endicott will oversee both the strategic and tactical directions of the organization including diversified loan, deposit and business service lines as well as marketing and other customer services.

“We are grateful to Jeff for his decade of leadership to this organization, not to mention his friendship,” said Richard J. Lehmann, Founder and Chairman of The Biltmore Bank of Arizona. “As we wish him well in retirement, we are pleased to appoint Richard to his expanded role within our organization. He has been a critical member of our team, especially through the economic turmoil of recent years. Together, and through our partnership with Grandpoint Bank, we are proud to continue to serve the needs of Arizona’s small and medium-sized businesses through personalized service and state-of-the-art technologies.”

Endicott attended both Kansas University and Duke University, and he has been working in the banking industry since 1981, including serving more than 20 years as an executive with Deutsche Bank. He lives in north Scottsdale with his wife of 28 years, Patricia, and has four grown children.

pt

Banner CORE Center for Orthopedics Expands

Integration, collaboration and education are hallmarks of the Banner CORE Center for Orthopedics, a co-management partnership linking The CORE Institute and Banner Health. Recently, the relationship between the two healthcare leaders was strengthened with the expansion of Banner CORE Center to Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona.

One of the state’s oldest and most well-regarded academic teaching hospitals, Banner Good Samaritan, has spent more than six decades teaching and training the doctors of tomorrow. The partnership with The CORE Institute enhances the hospital’s scope of orthopedic services, including expanded orthopedic residency and fellowship training programs and a more robust framework for orthopedic trauma care.

“We’re building upon Banner Good Samaritan’s reputation as a provider of superior medical education and Level 1 trauma care by creating a more comprehensive program capable of managing even the most complex orthopedic cases,” said David Jacofsky, MD, Chairman and CEO of The CORE Institute. “At Banner Good Samaritan, the Banner CORE Center for Orthopedics model will focus on complete musculoskeletal health with sub-specialty programs for everything from spine, hand, and foot and ankle care, to sports medicine, joint replacement and trauma.”

Expansion to Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center, which began with orthopedic trauma coverage in October followed by the launch of elective procedures in February, comes on the heels of the successful implementation of Banner CORE Center for Orthopedics at four other Banner Health facilities across metropolitan Phoenix: Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center in Sun City West, Banner Thunderbird Medical Center in Glendale, Banner Estrella Medical Center in West Phoenix, and Banner Desert Medical Center in Mesa.

DeLyle Manwaring, Senior Vice President of Hospital Service Line Integration for The CORE Institute, highlights improved quality of care, better outcomes and enhanced patient experience as key benefits of the Banner CORE Center collaborative model. According to Manwaring, this manner of bringing together physicians and hospital leaders with a shared objective of improving patient care, outcomes and overall volume does not exist elsewhere in the Phoenix market.

“We’re providing cutting-edge care via an innovative model based on the highest level of collaboration,” he said. “Other healthcare organizations across the country are watching what we’re doing, and they have expressed interest in replicating the model being implemented at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center.”

Being at the forefront of innovation, both in practice and principle, isn’t new to either The CORE Institute or Banner Health. The organizations’ willingness to innovate, push boundaries, explore all options, restructure when and where necessary, and settle for nothing less than the absolute best has earned much deserved distinction in their respective fields. Their collaboration sets a new standard for orthopedic care in Arizona and beyond.

“Given the hospital’s scope of services and position as a teaching hospital, the co-management model for musculoskeletal health at Banner Good Samaritan requires some restructuring in both orthopedic care and education,” noted Jacofsky. “This will touch multiple aspects of the hospital, but the end result will solidify a reputation as a world-class teaching hospital.” Patients often turn to the very hospitals in which physicians train.

“Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center has a long-standing reputation of being the place where the sickest patients from across the region come for care,” commented Steve Narang, MD, CEO of Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center. “This isn’t just a coincidence.”

Indeed, Banner Good Samaritan’s position as a destination medical center is the well-deserved product of a commitment to medical excellence. Banner Good Samaritan invested more than $40 million last year alone in physician residency programs spanning 17 clinical specialties, including orthopedics. Jacofsky says the Banner CORE Center partnership will enhance orthopedic training by giving residents and orthopedic fellows greater access to highly trained specialty teams, including those dedicated to trauma care at the Good Samaritan facility.

“Orthopedic trauma cases at Banner Good Samaritan have tripled in just the first 90 days of this venture,” noted Jacofsky. “Numbers don’t lie. There’s a reason more people are coming to this hospital.”

Creating top-notch teaching programs attracts the best and brightest physicians, nurses, therapists, pharmacists and others who are committed to delivering excellent care, conducting medical research and advancing the field of medicine.

“Our partnership with The CORE Institute is an investment that will ultimately shape the entire service line and distinguish Banner Good Samaritan as a leader in orthopedics,” said Narang. “As such, we will continue to attract leading orthopedic specialists and, in turn, patients who want the best possible care.”

The inevitable result of integrating clinical care teams, enhancing medical education, investing in the tools and technologies to deliver leading-edge care, and centering the entire orthopedic service line on evidence-based protocols is an unmatched, highly-coordinated care experience.

While still in its infancy, the co-management model at Banner Good Samaritan has resulted in enhanced orthopedic education, expanded capabilities, an influx in physicians on staff and a new framework for educating patients.

Banner CORE Center for Orthopedics treats injuries and disorders affecting the bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons and cartilage. From total and partial joint replacements, to sports injuries, congenital conditions, arthritic and degenerative disorders, fractures and spine conditions, Banner CORE Center has the experience and expertise to treat virtually any orthopedic injury or ailment.

Top 5 Arizona Wineries (Spring-Summer 2012)

Stronghold Founder Assumes Control of Winery

Arizona Stronghold Vineyards, the top producer of high quality wines in Arizona, has gone public in a deal finalized yesterday​ outlining the return of one of the label’s co-founders, Eric Glomski. The founder and owner of Page Springs Cellars and co-founder and owner of Arizona Stronghold, Glomski has now obtained full operating control of the Arizona Stronghold Vineyards business.​ ​Following a two-year hiatus from the day-to-day operations at ASV, Glomski returns as the general manager and director of winegrowing at Arizona Stronghold, overseeing the business as well as the growing and winemaking for the label.

Glomski enters in to the agreement with plans to right the label by putting improved accessibility and affordability at the center of its business strategy, putting an even stronger focus on Arizona and the Southwest as the label’s target markets while still supporting the national and international markets.

“I’ve learned a lot in the last ten years about running vineyards and wineries efficiently, and I know that we have a real opportunity to continue making the high quality wines that our customers have grown to expect coming from the ASV label. With improvements made to the way that we manage the business and how our wines are distributed, we’re presented with an opportunity to make our wines available at a more affordable price point – both by the glass and per bottle,” said Glomski.

Looking ahead, the label will return to making Custom Crush and Winemaking a focus again for other winemakers and brands in Arizona, while continuing to promote the thriving statewide industry as a whole by making its wines more readily available to a larger demographic.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to rebuild Stronghold and guide it back toward its original, founding mission – which was to bring Arizona wines to as many people as possible.”

Glomski and now former partner and co-founder, Maynard James Keenan mutually agreed on the dissolution of their partnership. The deal outlines Glomski’s full rights to retain the winery, brand and all current inventory, in addition to the 160-acre Bonita Springs property that the label has held control of, with more than 40 additional acres of vineyard. Glomski will hold a 5-year contract on key blocks from the former Arizona Stronghold vineyard, now the Al Buhl Memorial Vineyard and will maintain contracts with other important growers.

As the original winemaker for Arizona Stronghold, Glomski has been the mastermind behind many of the multi-award-winning wines that the label is now famous for, including flagship blends like Tazi, Mangus and Nachise.

Corey Turnbull, current tasting room manager at Page Spring Cellars and co-owner of Burning Tree Cellars, is joining Eric Glomski, Joseph Ranallo and Niles Johnson as the newest member of the Winemaking Team at Arizona Stronghold.

Michele Finney - Abrazo Health CEO

Abrazo Health Announces New CEO

Michele Finney has been named chief executive officer of Abrazo Health, the second largest health care delivery system in Arizona with six hospitals and a network of primary care and specialty clinics.

“Michele Finney is an accomplished healthcare leader who brings deep experience in running integrated health networks in our California operations to Abrazo Health,” said Jeff Koury, chief executive officer of Tenet Healthcare’s Western Region. “We are very pleased that she will lead the direction, strategy and operations for Abrazo Health and continue our mission to provide the highest quality of care for residents throughout the region.”

Prior to joining Abrazo Health, Finney served for 14 years as the chief executive officer at Los Alamitos Medical Center, a 167-bed acute care hospital with five affiliated outpatient facilities in California. Under her leadership, that medical center expanded its services to include urgent care centers, primary care and specialty physician foundation practices, as well as a residency training program. Abrazo Health and Los Alamitos are part of Tenet Healthcare, a national, diversified health network of hospitals, outpatient centers, health plans and hospital business services. Finney has been with Tenet for 36 years.

“I am very excited to join the outstanding leadership team at Abrazo Health,” said Finney. “I look forward to working with our doctors, nurses, staff and volunteers to further Abrazo’s commitment to providing high quality, patient-focused healthcare to Arizona communities.”

Finney earned an Executive Master of Business Administration from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California and a Bachelor of Science degree in healthcare administration from the University of LaVerne in California.

Arizona philanthropists John and Doris Norton

St. Joseph’s gets its Largest Donation

St. Joseph’s Foundation has received the largest donation in its history, a $19-million gift that will help create one of the nation’s foremost centers for lung, heart and esophageal medicine at Dignity Health’s St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center.

The historic donation from long-time Arizona philanthropists John and Doris Norton is one of the biggest ever given to any hospital in the state. “St. Joseph’s is the leading hospital in the Valley and the new Institute will quickly take its place among the few truly elite medical centers of its kind anywhere,” said John Norton, who was born at St. Joseph’s. “We are blessed to be able to do this and hope others will join us in supporting this important effort,” added his wife, Doris.

St. Joseph’s will use the gift to dramatically expand the hospital’s already highly acclaimed thoracic and lung transplant program. Hospital leaders expect the new Institute will become as nationally respected as St. Joseph’s Barrow Neurological Institute. Barrow is among the nation’s top brain and spine centers.
The new John and Doris Norton Thoracic Institute will stretch across several buildings on the St. Joseph’s campus. A critical focus of the Institute will be research into organ rejection. The body’s rejection of transplanted lungs is a paramount problem for many patients. Additionally, researchers and physicians will concentrate on the epidemic increase in esophageal cancer. The incidence of esophageal cancer is rising at a rate greater than any other cancer in the United States. It has seen a seven fold increase in the last three decades and many experts blame the increase on the nation’s mounting obesity issue.

The historic gift will also help extend lung cancer research, new cardiac services and medical education programs. The current number of thoracic clinical and research staff at St. Joseph’s is expected to triple.

“St. Joseph’s already has a national reputation as a ‘destination hospital’ because of the highly specialized medicine practiced here,” says Patty White, president of St. Joseph’s. “When doctors around the country need another level of care for patients, they often turn to us. With the launch of this Institute and the generosity of the Nortons, we will expand our national reputation even farther.”

The Norton’s gift will be invested in several areas:
· Recruitment of national heart and lung specialists.
· Addition of needed cardiac services, such as a heart failure program.
· Recruitment of nationally known scientists.
· Creation of a publications division to disseminate research findings internationally.
· Development of a telemedicine program connecting St. Joseph’s experts to rural doctors.

“With the help of this donation we will become a national leader in cardiothoracic disease,” said Ross Bremner, MD, director of the Institute. Dr. Bremner said he was especially excited about the establishment of the Institute’s telemedicine program. “Many, many people with cardiothoracic disease are underserved. Through this gift, the people of Arizona, and patients from around the western United States, will be able to obtain cutting-edge care for esophageal, lung and heart diseases.”

Under Dr. Bremner’s leadership thoracic and lung transplantation services at St. Joseph’s have grown rapidly. Today, St. Joseph’s has the only lung transplantation program in the state. The transplantation team has performed more than 250 lung transplants since the 2007 program launched. St. Joseph’s patients have a survival rate that exceeds the national average and the program has a remarkable success rate in finding donor lungs rapidly. While the wait for a lung transplant can take many months or years at other hospitals, St. Joseph’s team has developed such expertise that the average wait time is only 45 days. This has resulted in individuals from all over the nation traveling to St. Joseph’s for their care.

Brian Mortenson, president and CEO of St. Joseph’s Foundation, says that the Nortons’ gift provides important seed funding for the new Institute to grow into “another Barrow.”

“In the 1950s the Barrow family gave a lead gift of $2.1 million to launch the much needed neurological institute. Since then thousands of others have joined in their support and created the world-class Barrow Neurological Institute,” said Mortenson. “With the Norton’s amazing gift and support of others in the community, we will accomplish the same thing in the field of cardiothoracic medicine. We so appreciate the Norton family for their faith in St. Joseph’s and their commitment to the health of this community.”

Rob Dalager - Headshot

Dalager Re-Appointed to County Commission

The law firm of Gallagher & Kennedy announced that Robert D. Dalager has been re-appointed to serve on the Maricopa County Commission on Trial Court Appointments. Dalager was first appointed to the commission in January 2010.

The Arizona judicial system operates under merit selection, in which judges are chosen through a non-partisan commission of lawyers and non-lawyers which investigates and evaluates applicants. Dalager serves on the Maricopa County Commission on Trial Court Appointments, which is one of four judicial nominating commissions in the state of Arizona. He was nominated by Governor Janice Brewer and confirmed by the Senate for re-appointment to the commission in April. His term expires in January 2018.

Dalager is a shareholder practicing in the areas of government affairs and lobbying. Prior to joining Gallagher & Kennedy, he spent 13 years working directly with and for State government, ten of which as the Chief of Staff for the Arizona State Senate. In addition to his role with the Maricopa County Commission on Trial Court Appointments, he also serves on the board of directors for the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry and is a member of the City of Phoenix Citizen’s Transit Commission, the Encanto Village Planning Committee and the Phoenix Pedestrian and Bicycle Task Force. He earned his J.D. from Creighton University and his B.S. from Arizona State University.

CGS Documentation Scrubber Removal

SRP Environmental Project Improves State’s Air Quality

A $470 million dollar effort to further reduce emissions from the Salt River Project’s largest single generator of electricity is now complete. On May 1, the last component of the project – selective catalytic reduction technology (SCR) – to lower nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from the Coronado Generating Station in St. Johns became operational.

The project was a result of a 2008 agreement between SRP and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to improve regional air quality by installing equipment and systems to remove additional emissions of NOx and sulfur dioxide (SO2) from CGS.

The new controls not only further reduce SO2 and NOx emissions from the plant, but also address mercury emissions.

“CGS is a critical component of SRP’s fleet of generating facilities that provide affordable and reliable electricity to our customers 24 hours a day,” said CGS manager Dan Bevier. “Now we will be able to achieve this goal and significantly reduce emissions.”

CGS, owned and operated by SRP, uses coal as a fuel to generate electricity from two 400-megawatt units for SRP customers in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area. Completed in 1980, the plant was equipped with then state-of-the-art emission controls including partial flow scrubbers for SO2 reductions and electrostatic precipitators for particulate matter reduction.

The environmental improvement project included the installation of low NOx burners on each of the two units – one in 2009 and the other in 2011. Additionally, SRP constructed new 100 percent flow SO2 removal systems on each of the units – one in 2011 and one in 2012. The project was completed when the SCR on unit 2 was installed and became operational on May 1.

According to SRP senior project manager Gary Barras, the environmental improvement effort at CGS was one of the largest construction projects in Arizona and involved nearly 3,000 workers and contractors at a time when the state was in the midst of the great recession. Barras said the project team completed each phase of work on-schedule and with an outstanding safety record.
The project also included the construction of two new 400-foot concrete exhaust stacks, two 22,000-square-foot multi-level absorber buildings and required more than 4,000 individual pieces of equipment. In addition, more than 29,000 cubic-yards of concrete, nearly 8,000 tons of ductwork and structural steel and more than a million feet of new conductor were needed. The project team also coordinated a global supply chain of consultants and specialized equipment manufacturers located on four major continents.

In addition to installing enhanced emission controls at CGS and as part of the agreement with EPA, SRP funded $4 million in several supplemental environmental projects including installing 100 to 200-kilowatt solar photovoltaic systems at public schools, upgrading emission controls on school buses and replacing wood-burning stoves with clean-burning wood pellet stoves. All of the supplemental environmental projects are contributing to cleaner air in the communities near CGS and in metropolitan Phoenix.

SRP is the largest provider of electricity to the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, serving more than 985,000 customers.

Clean Energy

OneRoof Energy Expands Phoenix Call Center

OneRoof Energy, Inc., a complete solar services provider and subsidiary of OneRoof Energy Group, Inc., announced today that it plans to triple its existing call center from 40 full time employees to 120 full time employees, adding 80 jobs to the Phoenix market over the next twelve months. The call center expansion is necessary to provide support for the company’s growing direct sales force launched in 2013 and comes amid rapid market expansion, including the company’s entry into the Massachusetts market earlier this month. The center will also provide support for new channel alliances currently under development including retail energy partnerships.

“With a number of reputable call center training institutes in the area, Phoenix is a hot bed for call center expertise. It is also a mature solar market and that is an ideal combination for us,” states Nick Hofer, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at OneRoof Energy. “We are committed to providing the best customer experience in the industry and the call center will play a critical role in realizing that goal.”

Arizona remains one of the top three residential solar states in the nation. The residential market saw 72.7 MW installed in 2013, up 17% year-over-year despite a reduction in rebate funding to $0.10/W and a hotly contested regulatory battle over adjustments to Net Energy Metering (NEM).

“The Phoenix metro area has one of the largest call center workforces in the U.S., offering trained agents with excellent call center skills,” said King White, president of Site Selection Group, LLC. – a leading business location advisory firm. “With its expansion, OneRoof Energy is poised to be a leader in customer care in the residential solar market nationally.”

Fresh Water is Becoming Scarcer with the Planet's Changing Climate

CAP has $1 Trillion Impact on Arizona Economy

Key players in Arizona’s water supply gathered today at the GPEC Ambassador Event to discuss the future of water in greater Phoenix at Renaissance Square in Downtown Phoenix.

The event featured a panel consisted of David Modeer, general manager at Central Arizona Project, Grady Gammage Jr., an Attorney at Gammage & Burnham, Dave Roberts, the Senior Diretor of Water Resources at Salt River Project, and Michael Lacey, the director at Arizona Department of Water Resources.

The panel attempted to address various concerns facing Arizona’s water supply that have come to fruition as a result of what has been a 14-year drought extending from Texas to California.

“The efforts that the people on this panel and others have been making over the last 5-10 years in response to the drought, and going forward, are without question one of the most important efforts made to sustain the economy and quality of life of this state,” Modeer said.

The importance of the efforts to sustain Arizona’s water supply was highlighted in a study by the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

According to the study, “Central Arizona Project’s delivery of Colorado River water from 1986 through 2010 has generated in excess of $1 trillion of Arizona’s gross state product.”

Between 2005 and 2010 alone, it is pointed out in the study, CAP’s contribution to gross state product increased 27.7 percent to 49.5 percent.

“The significance of what’s at stake for Arizona is unparalleled,” Modeer said. “Without water, we don’t have a viable state of Arizona.”

While plans for the future and actions that have already been taken were discussed with optimism, Lacey acknowledged that there are no definitive answers.

“I have people come up to me all the time and say, ‘so do we have enough water?’” he said. “And, that is exactly like if I come up to one of you and say, ‘do you have enough money?’”

The answer to both of those questions, he said, is: “it depends.”

“The real questions are ‘what do we do with the water we have and what are our chances of getting more?” he said.

In addressing these questions, Lacey said that the public needs to overcome several misconceptions.
One of these misconceptions, he said, stems from the fact that Arizona is the junior right holder on the Colorado River.

“Unfortunately, I think the public’s perception is, if there’s a declaration of shortage on the river, then Phoenix is dry,” he said. “That’s not true. While we are the junior right holder, it is highly unlikely that there will be nothing in the canal.”

Also, he said, even if there is a shortage, it will be mostly agriculture that is affected, not municipal use.

“A declaration of water is not going to mean there isn’t water coming out of your tap,” he said.
While it was acknowledged that there is no sure answer in addressing the issues, the discussion served as an opportunity to find consensual agreements between important Arizona figures.

“The issue that we in the system are dealing with is ‘how do you get an agreement among a really diverse group of states and water rights holders within those states to do something now?’” Modeer said.

89444261

BMO Names Miller as President, Western U.S.

BMO Private Bank announced today that Matt Miller has been promoted to President, Western U.S. In this role, he will be responsible for the strategic development and delivery of wealth management services for high-net-worth individuals, family-owned businesses, endowments and foundations throughout the Western U.S.

Miller has nearly 30 years of experience in the financial services industry. He joined the organization in 2009 as Managing Director. During this time, he was responsible for organizing the western regional hub office and recruiting many of its senior managers and advisors.

“Matt is an ideal fit for this position. He is passionate about guiding his clients and helping them achieve their financial goals,” said Terry Jenkins, President and CEO, BMO Private Bank, U.S. “He leads by example, is focused on excellence and motivates his teams to success. We are confident the Western region will achieve even greater success in the years to come.”

Miller is headquartered at BMO Private Bank’s Scottsdale location, which also serves as the hub of Western regional operations. He will oversee a team of 75 financial professionals located in Arizona, Utah and Washington.

A fourth-generation Arizonan, Miller is an active leader in local business and civic communities. He currently serves on the board of directors for Teach for America Arizona, Valley of the Sun United Way Financial Stability Council and volunteers regularly at JAG (Jobs for Arizona Graduates). He previously served on the board of the University Medical Center in Tucson for 12 years. Miller earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Accounting from the University of Arizona.

“This is an exciting time to lead an organization that is poised for significant growth,” said Miller. “The caliber of our team is second to none, and our clients benefit from industry-leading planning tools that enable us to provide the best in financial planning and analysis.”

BMO Private Bank has Arizona locations in Scottsdale, Phoenix and Tucson. For more information about services and operations, visit www.bmoprivatebank.com.

Casino

Casino revenues grow faster than national rate

Indian gaming revenue in Arizona grew by 3 percent in 2012, even though no new facilities came online and the number of games in the state actually declined that year.

The numbers were included in a recent report by Casino City Press, which said revenue at Arizona’s 22 tribal casinos grew by about $50 million, from almost $1.75 billion in 2011 to $1.8 billion in 2012.

That was a faster growth rate than the average for the nation, where tribal casinos saw a 2 percent increase in revenues, rising $500 million to $28.1 billion in 2012. Arizona was sixth among states for overall revenues in tribal casinos and 14th for the rate of growth, the report said.

Calls to the Arizona Indian Gaming Association and to several tribes with gaming facilitates in the state were not returned. But other experts pointed to several possible factors behind the increase.

Bob Ellsworth, an instructor for gaming management at the University of Nevada, Reno, said it could be that “the head count … either that has increased or … how much each player spends – puts at risk – has gone up. Or it’s a combination of both.”

Ellsworth said those changes could have led to the decrease in the number of games: From 2011 to 2012, the number of machines in Arizona tribal casinos fell by 1.4 percent, and the number of table games fell nearly 5 percent.

Rick Medina, assistant director at Arizona Department of Gaming, said the 15 tribes that manage casinos in the state may have cut less-popular games to focus on those where players were risking more money.

“Every square foot of their establishment is … important to them,” Medina said. “Casinos don’t want to have games on the floor that people aren’t playing.”

Ellsworth said the number of people playing one machine or table game will affect revenue, since the number of wins per unit per day tends to drive up the amount of money players bet at that unit.

Casinos are also replacing some machines with “multidenomination machines” that let players change the amount of money they play, Ellsworth said.

“For example, a video poker machine could be played as a 5-cent machine, a quarter machine or a dollar machine,” he said. “The casino can offer multiple-denomination games with less machines on the floor.”

Alan Meister, an economist with Nathan Associates Inc. and author of the Casino City Press report, said casinos might also be able to increase revenue while cutting the number of games by offering more multiplayer than single-player games.

Medina said confidentiality agreements between the state and the casinos prohibit him from releasing details on exact reasons behind the higher revenue.

Whatever the reason, more money for the casinos means more money for the state. Medina said a casino pays the state 1 to 8 percent of its revenue, on a scale based on the facility’s revenue in a given year.

In 2012, tribal casinos contributed $84.9 million toward the state budget, according to the governor’s Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting.

Medina said the tribes plan to announce next week that this summer they expect to reach $1 billion in contributions to the state budget, stretching back to the approval of tribal casinos in 2003.

health

Humana, Dignity Health Sign Agreement

Humana Inc., one of the nation’s leading health and well-being companies, has reached an agreement that provides its members access to Dignity Health facilities in Arizona.

The new network agreement, which takes effect May 1, 2014, includes Humana’s Medicare Advantage (including PPO, HMO and Private Fee for Service plans), employer groups and individual plan members.

“This agreement provides our Arizona members with access to Dignity Health’s network of respected facilities and health care providers,” said Victoria Coley, Arizona and Nevada Market Vice President for Humana’s Employer Group segment. “Through this partnership, we’ve been able to substantially increase health care options for our members who live in the East Valley and, soon, the West Valley.”

“Humana has a strong Medicare Advantage presence in Arizona. Expanding our network to include Dignity Health will offer our members a strong provider network and is key to our continued growth in the market,” said Brendan Baker, Arizona Market President for Humana’s Senior Products.

Humana members will have in-network access to St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, including Barrow’s Neurological Institute; Chandler Regional Medical Center; Mercy Gilbert Medical Center; and the soon-to-open St. Joseph’s Westgate Medical Center. Members will also have access to Dignity Health’s network of nearly 200 physicians and its care centers in Arizona, including two specialty hospitals, six surgery centers, four urgent care centers and 30 imaging centers.

“We have always been dedicated to high-quality patient care and to making the entire health system work better for patients and their families,” said Carolyn Pace, Vice President of Managed Care at Dignity Health in Arizona. “We are pleased to be able to respond to the health care needs of Humana members at our numerous care centers.”

Arizona State University student team members Haylee Hilgers, right, and Jason Hyacinthe won the EMC Green Data Center Challenge at the Avnet Tech Games.

Avnet Tech Games Winners Announced

Avnet, Inc., a leading global technology distributor, announced the 2014 winners of the Avnet Tech Games. Close to 200 students from Arizona community colleges and universities competed head-to-head for top honors in the Avnet Tech Games Arizona onsite competition on Saturday, April 12, 2014, at The University of Advancing Technology in Tempe. In addition, college students competing on a national level in the Spring Virtual Avnet Tech Games had their work displayed and winners were announced during the awards ceremony at the onsite competition. Thirty winning students collected $1,000 each in scholarship money.

A panel of judges including technology executives, engineers and other business leaders selected the winners based on the students’ ability to meet the technical requirements of a task, apply innovative approaches to the solution and demonstrate professional skills. Nearly 76 teams of students competed in the onsite and virtual Avnet Tech Games, including 8 Arizona community colleges and universities: Arizona State University, ITT Technical Institute, seven Maricopa County Community Colleges, Northern Arizona University, The University of Advancing Technology and University of Arizona.

The winners of the 2014 Onsite Avnet Tech Games are:

Cisco Networking Expert Battle
South Mountain Community College
Faculty Coach: Tom Polliard
Student Team Members: Huy Mai and Justin Woys

Desktop Domination
The University of Advancing Technology
Student Team Members: William Hartman and Kelly Stahlberg

Digital Design Dilemma
Chandler-Gilbert Community College
Faculty Coach: Bassam Matar
Student Team Members: Michelle Smekal, Niccolo Horvath and Neel Mistry

EMC Green Data Center Challenge
Arizona State University
Student Team Members: Haylee Hilgers and Jason Hyacinthe

HP Build the Fastest Computer
Chandler-Gilbert Community College
Faculty Coach: Eli Chmouni
Student Team Members: Troy Gerloff, Blake Knoll and Jeremy Morgan

Java Blitz
Chandler-Gilbert Community College
Faculty Coach: Rameen Kaliqu
Student Team Members: Zachary Peshke, Samuel Slater and Larry Standage

Robot Race Obstacle Course
Mesa Community College
Faculty Coach: Bruce Carlton
Student Team Members: Richard Dale, Spencer Hall and Federico Ortega

Solar Scrimmage
Mesa Community College
Faculty Coach: Bruce Carlton
Student Team Members: Justin Arispe, Drew Carlson and Jennifer Hooker

Since the inception of the Avnet Tech Games in 2006, nearly $300,000 in scholarship money and prizes have been awarded to hundreds of the approximately 2,680 students and 215 faculty members who have participated in the competitions.

“The Avnet Tech Games provide a great opportunity for students to test their technical and strategy skills by applying what they have learned in the classroom to real-life scenarios,” said Joal Redmond, vice president of public relations for Avnet, Inc. “Students also had the opportunity to improve their communications skills by participating in a networking workshop and then practice those skills by meeting with Avnet and sponsor executives during a networking hour. Students win, schools win and business wins with the Avnet Tech Games.”

The annual multidisciplinary technology competition, composed of eight separate events, required students to work in teams to test their knowledge, creativity, decision-making, problem-solving and technical skills. During the event, students showcased how they can make a difference in advancing business and improving quality of life by participating in competitions such as creating a solar-powered water-pumping system, racing to build a computer using refurbished parts and troubleshoot issues in the Windows 7 operating system.

2014 Spring Virtual Avnet Tech Games
The Virtual Avnet Tech Games were introduced in 2010 to expand the breadth of the onsite event by allowing students to compete on a national level. More than 115 teams competed in the Virtual Avnet Tech Games competition. The winners were:

Android App™ Showdown
ITT Technical Institute
Student Team Member: Bryan Geesey

Green Video Competition
Chandler-Gilbert Community College
Faculty Coach: Eli Chmouni
Student Team Members: Dustin Allen, Kendra Charnick, Joel Parker and Brian Weeks

JDA Supply Chain Challenge
Southern Methodist University
Student Team Members: Aaron Barnard, Matt Mulholland, Tushar Solanki and Meredith Titus

“Congratulations to everyone who participated in this year’s virtual and onsite Avnet Tech Games, especially our winners,” added Redmond. On behalf of Avnet, thank you to all of our sponsors, business partners and volunteers for helping to make this year’s event a success.”

Avnet Tech Games 2014 sponsors included signature sponsors CA, Cisco, CDW, Datalink, DPAIR, EMC, HP, JDA, Kyocera, Microchip, Nimble Storage and Sungard.