Tag Archives: ASU

tempe

Ryan Companies US, Sunbelt Holdings To Co-Develop 2 MSF Multi-Use Office Development In Tempe

The City of Tempe announced today that Ryan Companies US, Inc. and Sunbelt Holdings will develop a site owned by Arizona State University adjacent to Tempe Town Lake, subject to City Council approval of development agreement details in the coming month.

State Farm will lease office space and anchor the multi-use development.

“We are thrilled that Ryan Companies US, Inc. and Sunbelt Holdings have been selected to co-develop and construct the State Farm regional hub,” said John Strittmatter, President of Ryan Companies US, Inc., Southwest Division.

“With retail and recreational amenities on site for State Farm employees and the entire community to enjoy, Marina Heights will become an important icon of the Tempe Town Lake landscape and we are proud to be a part of it.”

The Marina Heights project in Tempe will be the largest office development deal in Arizona history, with more than 2 MSF to be constructed on more than 20 acres. Construction costs are estimated at $600M. Additionally, 40,000 SF to 60,000 SF of retail amenities will complement the transit-oriented development, including food service, coffee shops, restaurants, business services, and fitness facilities.

The site will also feature an approximately 10-acre lakeside plaza, which will be open to the public.

“This is a proud day for Tempe and everyone involved. We are tremendously excited about what the addition of State Farm will mean to our community over the decades to come,” said Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell. “These employees, buildings, and amenities will further contribute to and showcase the vibrancy of Tempe Town Lake, Mill Avenue, and Arizona State University, and serve as a catalyst for more high-quality development.”

“We are thrilled that State Farm will be expanding in Arizona,” said Gov. Jan Brewer. “The jobs that will be created to make this project a reality will be a tremendous boon to our economy. This is a great example of how our plan to build an Arizona that is attractive to high value employers is hitting the mark.”

The five-building campus will be leased by State Farm and become a hub to include a combination of new hires and existing employees who will provide claims, service, and sales support to State Farm customers.

“State Farm selected Tempe because it has a growing population with skill sets that match our customers’ needs,” said Mary Crego, Senior Vice President, State Farm. “The site along Tempe Town Lake gives our employees access to nearby amenities as well as easy connections to public transportation.”

“We look forward to having State Farm as a neighbor and to working with the company on a variety of programs including employee recruitment and academic programs for their staff,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow.

“State Farm’s decision to lease the land owned by the university immediately adjacent to the ASU Athletic Facilities District is the first major step in the campaign to fund new and renovated sports facilities for the university. The Athletic Facilities District will be home to an exciting mixed-use development reflecting high quality and the best practices of sustainability. A high stature tenant such as State Farm will add to the luster of the district and validates its attractiveness.”

The project is being developed by Ryan Companies US, Inc. and Sunbelt Holdings. Tempe-based architectural firm DAVIS designed the project.

education.business

ASU launches program for inventors and entrepreneurs

Arizona State University is seeking aspiring entrepreneurs, innovators and inventors who want to develop their ideas into solutions, products and services in a free summer program.

The university is recruiting participants for AREA48 (Applied Regional Economic Activity), a revolutionary new “formation space” that provides early-stage entrepreneurs with opportunities to access human and knowledge assets. While AREA48 is open to anyone, ASU is particularly seeking participation from retirees, veterans rejoining the civilian workforce and knowledge workers seeking new opportunities.

Located in a former restaurant in downtown Tempe, AREA48 supports the development of entrepreneurs by providing a central place for them to connect, collaborate and create as well as receive mentorship, advice and practical business training. There is no cost to participate in AREA48, which runs from June through September. Anyone interested in participating may apply online.

The initiative, which is run by ASU Venture Catalyst, the university’s startup unit, is funded by a grant from the Blackstone Organizational Grants Program, an annual $1 million program targeting organizations that focus on entrepreneurship and innovation. Through this program, the Blackstone Charitable Foundation is helping innovative organizations that directly support entrepreneurs to pilot, expand or replicate projects or programs that will catalyze the growth of successful businesses, industries and communities.

“AREA48 provides an opportunity to harvest untapped human resources to create high-growth ventures that will spur long-term economic growth and job creation in Arizona,” said Gordon McConnell, Assistant Vice President for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development at ASU. “In addition, it will become a feeder to the state’s entire entrepreneurial ecosystem, including accelerators, incubators and co-working spaces.”

At AREA48, participants from diverse backgrounds who have varied skill sets will learn to use new product development and Lean methodologies to turn ideas into solutions, products and services. The initiative’s practitioner-oriented approach allows participants to engage in hands-on activities ranging from prototyping products to establishing a social enterprise to turning a hobby into a business.

AREA48, which officially opens June 24, is housed in the former Bamboo Club restaurant at 699 S. Mill Ave. in Tempe. The location features team huddle spaces, areas for prototyping and testing products, classroom space for “pracademic” courses and a “showcase space” open to the public.

ASU Venture Catalyst will offer its highly successful Rapid Startup School at AREA48, with classes on topics ranging from customer development, fundraising, and business modeling to product development, marketing strategies, and intellectual property. In addition, ASU faculty who teach entrepreneurship and innovation will serve as academics-in-residence.

AREA48’s location is also an innovative way of solving the problem of vacant buildings that is so prevalent in urban and downtown areas throughout the country.

“Locating AREA48 in a vacant restaurant in the heart of downtown Tempe creates easy accessibility for all audiences,” McConnell said. “It allows us to connect ASU’s tremendously diverse students, faculty and staff with AREA48 participants, helping bridge the divide that often exists between a university and its local human and economic infrastructure. Not only does this help create diverse teams, it offers students a real-world experience that is very different from a typical internship or academic course.”

For more information about AREA48, please visit http://www.asuventurecatalyst.org/p/content/area48.

Arizona Is Losing Economic Grounds To Other Southwestern States, 2008

Rebound for Arizona and U.S. Slows Down

Jobs, home prices and population growth are all slowly rebounding in Arizona. However, experts from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University say we still have a long way to go, and the automatic federal budget cuts known as the sequester aren’t helping our momentum. The experts delivered their forecasts today at the annual Economic Outlook Luncheon sponsored by the Economic Club of Phoenix.

Research Professor Lee McPheters, director of the JPMorgan Chase Economic Outlook Center at the W. P. Carey School, confirmed Arizona is once again a Top 15 growth state for both employment and population, but we’re not back to normal levels. From 1960 to 2007, we routinely ranked among the Top 5 states for both employment and population growth. In the rough years from 2008 to 2011, we dropped down to No. 48 and No. 14 in those areas.

“Last year, we finally bounced back to No. 8 for employment growth and No. 7 for population growth,” said McPheters. “However, the sequester and other factors have been clouding the economy here in recent months, and the year-over-year job-growth ranking issued this March dropped Arizona down to No. 13. The state will have to wait a couple more years for full recovery.”

Arizona added 48,900 jobs in 2012. The state is projected to add 61,000 jobs this year. The fastest-growing industries are construction, wholesale trade, information, state government and leisure/hospitality.

“Arizona has gained back 39 percent of the 314,000 jobs we lost in the recession,” explained McPheters. “However, that’s a pace well behind the nation as a whole, which has regained 67 percent of its 8.8 million lost jobs.”

In recent years, population growth in Arizona had dropped from the state’s typical 2- to 3-percent range to less than 1 percent. Finally last year we popped back up to 1.3 percent.

Personal income may also be coming back. The consensus of Arizona Blue Chip economists shows growth in this area of 3.7 percent in 2012, 5.1 percent expected in 2013, and 6 percent expected in 2014.

“The bottom line is that Arizona is doing better than most states, but this will still be the seventh year in a row of lean, subpar growth for us,” said McPheters.

Dennis Hoffman, economics professor and director of the L. William Seidman Research Institute at the W. P. Carey School of Business, reiterated that Arizona is recovering more slowly from this recession than from others in the past. However, we are coming back stronger than the nation as a whole in most areas of the economy. Hoffman expects the United States to see 2- to 3-percent gross-domestic-product (GDP) growth this year. That will likely include more moderate job growth and low inflation.

“The economy is plodding along, assisted by the real-estate and stock-market recoveries, low fuel prices and innovation in the business world,” said Hoffman. “Still, we face a lot of uncertainty from our national-debt crisis, political squabbling in Washington, economic difficulties in Europe and China, and changing demographics. One huge issue remains the problem of future funding for Social Security and Medicare.”

At the state level, Hoffman says we’re going to be strongly affected by the decisions still to be made this year on possible Medicaid expansion, the loss of the temporary sales tax, the potential taxing of online sales, and other big issues. For now, state revenue has been coming back with the rebounding economy.

When it comes to the housing market, Mike Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W. P. Carey School of Business, delivered good news about the recovery. Specifically, the median Phoenix-area home price was up a whopping 58 percent from a low of $111,000 in May 2011 to $175,000 this March. Foreclosures were down 60 percent just over the last year from March 2012 to March 2013, and Orr expects foreclosure rates to dip below long-term averages by the end of next year. Also, less than 5 percent of Arizona home loans (not already in foreclosure) are delinquent now.

However, we do face some problems in the housing market. For one thing, there’s a chronic shortage of homes for sale. Now that there’s no flood of cheap foreclosures and short sales coming onto the market, buyers are dependent mostly on normal resales and new-home sales.

“Higher prices would normally bring more ordinary home sellers into the market, but many are either locked into their homes because of negative equity, or they’re simply waiting for prices to go up more,” explained Orr. “As a result, some buyers are turning to new-home sales, but developers are reluctant to overbuild as much as they did at the market peak. Therefore, we may see about 50,000 to 60,000 new people being added to our local population this year, but only around 12,000 new single-family homes being built.”

Today’s Economic Outlook Luncheon was held at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix. The Economic Club of Phoenix hosts this event every spring, as one of its opportunities for Valley business leaders and others to network and engage. The club was founded by a group of prominent business executives called the Dean’s Council of 100, in conjunction with the W. P. Carey School of Business. More information about the club can be found at www.wpcarey.asu.edu/ecp.

Today’s presentations will be posted at knowWPCarey, the business school’s online resource, at http://knowwpcarey.com.

money management

National Bank of Arizona sponsors ThriveTime Challenge

National Bank of Arizona (NB|AZ) announced its sponsorship of the second annual ThriveTime Challenge, a statewide financial literacy initiative that aims to educate high school students about money management.

ThriveTime Challenge, founded by the 2013 NB|AZ Woman of the Year Sharon Lechter, is a tournament involving playing the award-winning ThriveTime for Teens board game. The board game was named the 2010 Creative Child Magazine Game of the Year and takes players on a financial rollercoaster where they must make crucial life decisions like buying cars and paying for college.

“We were honored to sponsor the ThriveTime Challenge for the second year in a row,” said Deborah Bateman, executive vice president and director of wealth strategies at NB|AZ. “Financial literacy is an important initiative to NB|AZ and we are pleased to support a program that encourages responsible money management beginning at a young age.”

Each participating school hosted its own single-round tournament and winners from each school progressed to a state-level competition on April 20 at Arizona State University West campus in Glendale.

The top three finalists of the state competition received scholarship dollars ranging from $2,500 to $5,000, and the home schools of each finalist received $1,000. Participation in the tournament was free for all participating schools and students.

For more information about the ThriveTime Challenge, contact Angela Totman at angela@pyff.net or visit www.thrivetimechallenge.com. For more information about National Bank of Arizona, visit www.nbarizona.com.

David Van Slyke

Mutual of Omaha Bank Announces Phoenix Appointment

David Van Slyke has joined Mutual of Omaha Bank as vice president of commercial banking in Phoenix. Based out of the bank’s Arizona headquarters at 9200 E. Pima Center Parkway in Scottsdale, Van Slyke will work with local businesses, offering comprehensive commercial banking services, including commercial deposit accounts, treasury services and full-scale commercial and industrial financing.

Van Slyke brings over 25 years of experience to Mutual of Omaha Bank, most recently serving as vice president with the business banking group for a large, national bank in Arizona.

Van Slyke earned his bachelor’s degree in Finance from Arizona State University. He holds a Certificate of Mastery for Business Process Reengineering and is a licensed pilot.

Van Slyke is involved in the community as an advisory board member for Steps of Faith, a non-profit women’s health organization in Phoenix. He also has served as a panel member for the Phoenix chapter of the American Institute of Architects, on the Membership Committee for Valley Partnership and teaches classes in the community on sustainability, urban farming and organic food.

Mutual of Omaha Bank is a full-service bank providing financial solutions to individuals and businesses across the United States. With nearly $6 billion in assets, Mutual of Omaha Bank is a subsidiary of Mutual of Omaha, a Fortune 500 insurance and financial services company founded in 1909. For more information about Mutual of Omaha Bank, visit www.mutualofomahabank.com.

Website helps users make more sustainable decisions

The number of opportunities to make “clean, green and well” decisions continues to grow rapidly. In the last decade alone, more than 460 “eco-labeling” schemes have emerged, providing a vast amount of information on consumer products and services. But paying attention to detail reveals a web of complex, sometimes conflicting information that can be hard to decipher and even harder to put to everyday use.

Enter Andrew Krause, a recent graduate of ASU’s School of Sustainability (SoS) master’s program who has been working on simplifying, as well as customizing the concept of sustainability to suit everyone’s needs. Krause, along with his mentor and senior scientist at ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability George Basile and two former classmates, has launched the action-oriented online social platform eEcosphere.

Krause, a native of Sonoma, Calif., joined SoS because its unique approach integrates the new field of sustainability science with behavior change – two vital elements when it comes to budging the needle on sustainability and key principles that ultimately inspired the creation of eEcosphere.

He says the social web platform is underpinned by years of scientific research, conducted by Basile and other scientists, which focuses on sustainability planning and tools that help individuals and businesses take action across the globe. He hopes the website will help people adopt a more eco-conscious lifestyle by making it fun, easy and effective.

“Everyday, the person makes a variety of decisions, driven by default, often outdated habits,” Krause says. “Take, for example, the way we choose to do laundry. There are a number of emerging opportunities to be smarter – like using less water and a non-toxic detergent during the process – but changing habits may be hard.”

According to Krause, who has led various sustainability-related ventures in the past, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to making the world a better place.

“A person may already be saving energy but might need help with water conservation; someone else might need help with both,” Krause elaborates. “eEcosphere helps people identify and adopt ideas that match their personal sustainability goals. It embeds a scientific approach in the decision-making process and encourages people to take action as a group using the social web.”

In 2011, ASU’s Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative awarded Krause and his team $18,000 to develop the eEcosphere venture. The award enabled the start-up to incorporate as a legal business and reach key fundraising milestones. Krause assumed the leadership role and spent early days hiring software developers and copywriters, and networking with sustainability experts.

“The Edson grant helped our vision come to life faster,” Krause says. “We’ve built eEcosphere multiple times to make it more compelling to individuals and clients who’ll ultimately use our product.”

Krause and Basile are now putting the online platform through the ultimate user test: the ASU community. eEcosphere is playing a key role in ASU’s various sustainability campaigns, including the Zero-Waste Initiative. A preview of the website has been unveiled this week in hopes of collaborating with nearly 82,000 members of the Sun Devil family to help the university meet its goal of becoming a zero-waste campus by 2015.

“Modifying waste management habits at such a huge scale requires collective action on the part of students, faculty and staff,” says Krause. “eEcosphere will engage with the university community, collect and analyze detailed insight regarding user preferences, and provide new updates and incentives to help people stay motivated and informed.”

Krause says ASU is the perfect live laboratory for eEcosphere.

“This institution is leading sustainability efforts internationally,” Krause explains. “If we can facilitate good ideas at ASU, we can help other large-scale enterprises do the same with their customers as well.”

Basile adds to that thought.

“The ASU platform has been vital to the evolution of eEcosphere,” Basile says. “The institution has helped us incubate forward-thinking ideas, and permitted us to take risks and embark on adventures.”

Krause credits Basile, an internationally recognized sustainability veteran himself, for much of his drive and success as a student entrepreneur. Basile, in return, has nothing but high praise for his pupil.

“At 26, Andrew has already proven his ability to help innovative new ventures get off the ground,” Basile says with pride in his voice. “He has also passed along business finance, internship and job opportunities to fellow students. I’ve waited for a generation of students who’d align themselves with the concept of sustainability and find ways to take action. Andrew represents that generation. He is an informed, driven millenial.”

Krause says the time has come for a concept such as eEcosphere to be successful in the marketplace of ideas.

When asked what the future looks like to him, he asks:

“Is it cliché to say, ‘bright?’”

Join the live preview of eEcosphere by becoming an early user at www.eEcosphere.com.

veterans

USAA CEO Named Executive of the Year

Hiring and helping our veterans is as important today as it’s been at any other time in history. USAA’s chief executive officer will discuss how to assist veterans as they transition to civilian life when he’s honored for his achievements on April 25.

Ret. Maj. Gen. Josue “Joe” Robles served for 28 years in the U.S. Army. He now serves as president and chief executive officer of USAA, a Fortune 500 financial-services provider for members of the military and their families. This month, Robles becomes the 30th annual Executive of the Year chosen by the Dean’s Council of 100, a national group of prominent executives who advise the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

“Robles has set a superb example in serving both his country and his customers,” says W. P. Carey School of Business Dean Amy Hillman. “USAA is known for exceptional customer service and for aiding our active-duty military members, veterans and their families. We’re proud to honor these efforts.”

USAA provides insurance, banking, investment and retirement products and services to 9.6 million members of the U.S. military and their families. The organization is consistently recognized for outstanding service, employee well-being and financial strength. It was founded in 1922 and now employs more than 25,000 people at offices around the world, including one in the Phoenix area.

Robles was a USAA board member from 1990 to 1994, while he was still on active duty in the Army. His stellar armed-forces resume includes command and staff positions in Korea, Vietnam, Germany, and Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in the Middle East. He has received many honors, including the Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster. He also served as commanding general of the 1st Infantry Division (the oldest division in the U.S. Army, also known as “The Big Red One”) and director of the Army budget prior to joining USAA in 1994 as chief financial officer. He became president and CEO in 2007. This new recognition adds to his full shelf of awards.

“I couldn’t be more honored, especially in a community that’s so important to USAA and our mission,” Robles said. “As a veteran myself, I am looking forward to discussing how we can help members of the military transition into civilian careers.”

Robles was named the “No. 1 Veteran in Business” by The Christian Science Monitor in 2009. Among other honors, he also received the Horatio Alger Award for being a dedicated community leader, committed to excellence. He serves on several boards, including the American Red Cross Board of Governors and the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ San Antonio branch.

The event to honor Robles will be held Thursday, April 25 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess resort in Scottsdale. The W. P. Carey School of Business Dean’s Council of 100 chose Robles to follow previous high-profile winners, including Michael Dell, chairman and chief executive officer of Dell Inc.; Howard Schultz, chairman and chief executive officer of Starbucks Coffee Company; and Alan Mulally, president and chief executive officer of Ford Motor Company.

This event is part of the Economic Club of Phoenix speaker series. For more information about the club or to reserve seats, call (480) 727-0596 or visit www.econclubphx.org.

energy.bill

Navajo Generating Station worth Billions to Navajo Nation

The Navajo Generating Station in northern Arizona will help contribute nearly $13 billion to the Navajo economy and help support thousands of jobs from 2020 through 2044 – if agreements can be reached to keep the plant operating beyond 2019 – according to a study prepared for the Navajo Nation and Salt River Project by the L William Seidman Research Institute at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

Located on the Navajo Nation, near Page, NGS is one of the largest and most important suppliers of electricity in the Southwest.

According to the ASU report, Navajo Generating Station and Kayenta Mine: An Economic Impact Analysis for the Navajo Nation, NGS and the Kayenta Mine, the plant’s coal supplier, will contribute $12.94 billion to the Navajo Nation economy through sustained jobs and wages if the plant was to remain operational through 2044.

NGS currently employs about 518 people, nearly 86 percent of whom are Native American.  The Kayenta Mine has more than 400 employees, of whom about 90 percent are also Native American.

“I have been saying we need to protect existing jobs on the Navajo Nation,” said Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly.  “This study shows that the plant and the mine not only support existing jobs at the plant and mine, but support other jobs in the area.”

The ASU report examined the direct, indirect and induced economic impact of NGS and Kayenta Mine on the Navajo Nation using the IMPLAN model employed by the state of Arizona to examine various economic projections.  A full copy of the report is available at www.ngspower.com.

The study on the plant’s economic impact on the Navajo Nation is separate from a 2012 study from ASU that concluded that NGS and the Kayenta Mine will provide more than $20 billion in economic contributions throughout the state for the period measured from 2011 to 2044.  The new study examined the economic effects exclusively for the Navajo Nation.

Despite its economic importance, a number of significant challenges threaten the future viability of NGS.  To ensure future operations of NGS, the plant’s lease and various rights of way with the Navajo Nation must be extended and the coal supply contract with Peabody Energy renegotiated prior to any additional costly emission controls from the EPA.

The plant’s lease and various rights of way with the Navajo Nation are set to expire around 2019 and the Navajo Nation Council is currently considering legislation to extend them.  In addition, the plant’s owners are also renegotiating the coal supply contract with Peabody Energy.  Perhaps most significantly, the U.S. Environmental Protection has proposed additional and costly environmental rules to address regional visibility.

NGS is a coal-fired power plant that provides electricity to customers in Arizona, Nevada and California, and energy to pump water through the Central Arizona Project.  The participants in NGS include the plant’s operator, SRP; the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation; Arizona Public Service Co.; Los Angeles Department of Water and Power; Tucson Electric Power Co. and NV Energy.

SkySong

SkySong hosts part of Innovation Summit

SkySong, The ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center will host one of the largest events in its history on Tuesday night as more than 900 people dine under the project’s iconic shade structure as part of ASU’s Education Innovation Summit.

The dinner at SkySong will feature two prominent speakers:

• “Above the Crowd with Bill Gurley,” a venture capital investor who was responsible for the launch of companies such as Amazon, OpenTable and Uber

• “Play It Smart, A Conversation About Making a Difference” with Former 49er & Super Bowl champ Ronnie Lott

More than 6,000 people visit SkySong every month for special events and to experience the project’s vibrancy and focus on innovation and technology. However, this dinner will be one of the largest events ever hosted at SkySong and the first time a large dinner has been hosted under the shade structure.

The dinner starts at 6 p.m., and is preceded by a reception and several other activities at SkySong related to the conference.

Sharon Harper, President & CEO of Plaza Companies, said the event is truly a showcase of how SkySong is having an extraordinary influence in the Valley’s business environment.

“This is an example of how SkySong can showcase the synergy of technology and innovation it provides through a major event celebrating those principles,” Harper said. “SkySong is a true destination for entrepreneurship and advanced thinking when it comes to business, and we are proud to be able to host this exceptional event for the ASU Education Innovation Summit attendees.”

Plaza Companies is the master developer of the project in partnership with the Arizona State University Foundation and the City of Scottsdale.

Along with the vibrant activity by the more than 1,000 employees and 50 companies on the SkySong property, work continues on pre-leasing SkySong III and SkySong IV, the next two office towers to be built at the project. The two buildings would include approximately 300,000 square feet of new development, and combined with SkySong I and II and the apartments, would bring the total square footage of development at SkySong to more than 900,000 square feet.

SkySong, the ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center is a home to a global business community that links technology, entrepreneurship, innovation, and education to position ASU and Greater Phoenix as global leaders of the knowledge economy.

SkySong is a 42-acre mixed use development designed to:

•    Create an ecology of collaboration and innovation among high-profile technology enterprises and related researchers;
•    Advance global business objectives of on-site enterprises;
•    Raise Arizona’s profile as a global center of innovation through co-location of ASU’s strategic global partners; and
•    Create a unique regional economic and social asset.

Companies located at SkySong enjoy a special relationship with Arizona State University, which has more than 70,000 students at four metropolitan Phoenix campuses. Its campus in Tempe is the single largest campus in the U.S., and is located less than three miles from SkySong. More than 16,000 students are pursuing degrees in engineering, science and mathematics fields, and ASU made $343 million in research expenditures in FY10, placing it among the top 20 research universities that do not have a medical school.

In addition to locating its own innovative research units at the center, ASU provides tenants with direct access to relevant research, educational opportunities and cultural events on its campuses. Through ASU’s on-site operations, tenant companies have a single point of contract for introductions to researchers, faculty and programs to address their specific needs.

For more information on SkySong, visit www.skysongcenter.com or www.facebook.com/skysongcenter.

technology

ASU adds Cutting-Edge online Engineering Degree

The Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University (ASU) announced plans to offer its renowned Bachelor of Science in Engineering (B.S.E.) in Electrical Engineering in an online format beginning in the fall 2013 semester.

“Today’s rapidly changing world requires innovative approaches to education,” said Paul Johnson, dean and professor of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. “We offer an impressive online platform that delivers science and engineering fundamentals, technical training, practical experience and student support. Our goal is to ensure that anyone who is motivated to pursue an electrical engineering degree, but needs a flexible format, has the opportunity to achieve their educational and career goals.”

The 120-credit hour degree program includes core-engineering courses and a minimum of 45 upper division credit hours in specialty courses. Upper division specialty courses examine topics such as analog and digital circuits, electromagnetic fields, microprocessors, communications networks, solid-state electronics and electric power and energy systems.

“Students in our program, whether on campus or online, learn and work with faculty who are leaders in their fields – from nanoscale electronic devices to the U.S. electric power grid,” said Stephen Phillips, director of the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering.

The new online program’s labs and simulations will also leverage some of the latest and most innovative learning technologies and platforms. This includes a combination of practical hardware and industry-standard design with simulation tools that will provide students with the applied skills needed in today’s global engineering environment.

“Our program integrates science and engineering fundamentals with real-world experience and state-of-the-art learning tools from the first day,” said Phillips.

ASU first offered an online graduate degree program in engineering in 2002. It has continued to expand availability of both graduate and undergraduate online engineering programs to provide flexible “any time/any place” learning for students in Arizona and around the world.

Chandler Innovation Center

Nominate Your Favorite for a Spirit of Enterprise Award

Want to help honor your favorite Arizona company? Nominate it for a 2013 Spirit of Enterprise Award.

The awards from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University recognize some of Arizona’s best businesses for creating jobs, boosting our economy and treating customers right. Past winners include well-known names like Cold Stone Creamery, China Mist, Ollie the Trolley and Total Transit (Discount Cab), as well as rapidly growing businesses, such as GlobalMed and WebPT.

“We’re looking for firms that demonstrate ethics, energy and excellence in entrepreneurship,” says Gary Naumann, director of the Spirit of Enterprise Center at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “They should have a great story and a positive culture internally, and be exemplary community partners in terms of how they give back.”

You can nominate any company that is:

* A for-profit enterprise in business for at least four years;
* Incorporated, headquartered or having a majority of its business operations in Arizona;
* Employing at least three or more full-time workers;
* Able to demonstrate profitability over the last three years combined.

In addition, one minority-owned business will receive the Gary L. Trujillo Minority Enterprise Award sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona.

Once a company is nominated, it will have until July 31 to complete an awards application.

The winners of the 17th annual Spirit of Enterprise Awards will be announced at a luncheon at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix on Nov. 22. Hundreds of Arizona business and community leaders attend this annual event.

For more information on nominating a company, applying for the awards, or attending the luncheon, call (480) 965-0474 or visit spiritofenterprise.org.

These awards are just one focus of the Spirit of Enterprise Center, which helps hundreds of businesses each year. The center offers companies the chance to recruit and meet with top student talent, while also allowing students to get hands-on business experience. In addition, companies can use the center to access other ASU business resources. The center is self-funded and utilizes community sponsorships and volunteers to sustain its activities.

Sustainable Energy in Arizona - AB Magazine November/December 2011

Boone named interim dean of School of Sustainability

Christopher Boone, professor at Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability (SOS) and School of Human Evolution and Social Change, has been named the interim dean of the School of Sustainability, effective July 1, 2013. Boone has served as the associate dean for education of the school since July 2010.

“Chris Boone is an outstanding scientist and scholar whose extensive work in urban sustainability and world poverty exemplifies the very mission of the school,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “As associate dean he has helped lead the efforts to educate a new generation of students whose passion is to find solutions to some of the most pressing environmental, economic and social challenges of the world. With Chris as interim dean the school is well-positioned to further enhance its academic programs and help students create solutions that will reshape our quality of life.”

Boone succeeds Dean Sander van der Leeuw, who will continue to further the school’s research and academic interests. Van der Leeuw will return as a member of the board of directors for the Global Institute of Sustainability and continue to serve as co-director of the Complex Adaptive Systems Network, as well as chair of the Consortium for Biosocial Complex Systems. He also retains intellectual responsibility for the Global Institute of Sustainability Climate Impact and Adaptation Center.

“Chris Boone has been an important figure in the development of the School of Sustainability, the first such school in the country, and he will be an important leader of the next stage of development of this unique academic unit,” said Elizabeth D. Phillips, ASU executive vice president and provost.

Boone joined ASU in January 2006 as an associate professor and gained full professorship in April 2010. His research centers on urban sustainability, environmental justice and vulnerability, urban socio-ecological systems, global environmental change, human-environmental interaction, geographic information systems (GIS) and public health.

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to serve the School of Sustainability,” Boone said. “I see this as a really important continuation of the work Professor Van der Leeuw did to strengthen the school. ASU serves as an international model for blending sustainability education and research with practice. I am confident we will continue to be a leader in sustainability.”

Gary Dirks, director of ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability, said he is excited about working with Boone, having “enjoyed working with him previously on sustainability concepts. I consider him to be a scholar of the highest caliber and deeply committed to sustainability and sustainability education. He, Rob Melnick and I will make a great team to lead GIOS and SOS in the coming years.”

Boone is the recipient of grants from prestigious organizations, including the National Science Foundation and the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis. In addition to his academic pursuits, he is a member of the executive committees of SOS and GIOS.

In 2009, Boone headed a provost’s committee to develop a minor in sustainability. He also serves on the supervisory board for the Social Sciences and Health, and Global Health programs. He is a member of the Scientific Steering Committee of the Urbanization and Global Environment Change program, and the Steering Committee of the Workshop on Climate Change in U.S. Cities in Support of the National Climate Assessment.

Boone currently serves on the editorial boards of journals such as International Journal of Sustainable Urban Development and Environmental Justice. He is also the associate editor of the nature-society section of the journal Current Research on Cities and co-editor of a new book series called New Directions in Sustainability and Society.

Boone received his graduate and doctoral degrees in geography at the University of Toronto before pursuing a post-doctoral fellowship at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability is the first comprehensive degree-granting program of its kind in the United States with a focus on finding real-world solutions to environmental, economic, and social challenges. Established in spring 2007, the School is part of the Global Institute of Sustainability, which is the hub of ASU’s sustainability initiatives. The institute advances research, education and business practices for an urbanizing world. The School of Sustainability offers undergraduate and graduate programs and minors, as well as doctoral and professional leadership programs. Visit http://www.schoolofsustainability.asu.edu.

basha

Eddie Basha memorial set for April 6

A memorial service for grocery store magnate Eddie Basha is scheduled for April 6 in Tempe.

The former chairman and CEO of the Bashas’ family-owned supermarket chain died Tuesday at age 75.

Officials of the Chandler-based company say the memorial will be held at 10 a.m. at Gammage Auditorium on the Arizona State University campus.

Basha guided the company that carried his family name for more than 40 years. At one time, the chain had more than 160 supermarkets serving all 15 Arizona counties.

He was appointed to the Arizona Board of Education in 1984, the state Board of Regents in 1990 and unsuccessfully ran for Arizona governor in 1994.

Basha is survived by his wife and six sons, including four from his first marriage.

homes

Prices Up, Foreclosures Down, Investors Losing Interest

Phoenix-area home prices are back on their way up again, after a short drop in January. The latest housing report from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University shows soaring prices, dropping foreclosures and waning interest from investors looking at Maricopa and Pinal counties, as of February.

* The median single-family home price shot up more than 4 percent in just one month — January to February.
* The median single-family home price went up 36.5 percent from February 2012 to February 2013.
* Foreclosures have resumed their downward trend, after a brief post-holiday bump, and they are likely to fall below the “normal,” long-term level by the end of next year.

Phoenix-area home prices have risen sharply since hitting a low point in September 2011. The median single-family home price went up 4.3 percent from January to February. It went up 36.5 percent – $124,500 to $170,000 – from last February to this February. Realtors will note the average price per square foot rose 30.9 percent year-over-year. The median townhouse/condo price increased 39.4 percent – from $77,500 to $108,000.

“These substantial increases were predicted in our last report and are almost certain to continue in March,” says the report’s author, Mike Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. “Pricing typically strengthens during the peak buying season from February to June each year.”

Orr adds the market is still dealing with a chronic shortage of homes available for sale. The number of active single-family-home listings (without an existing contract) in the greater Phoenix area fell about 5 percent just from February 1 to March 1. Also, 79 percent of the available supply is priced above $150,000, creating a real problem in the lower range.

“The shortage continues to get more severe among the most affordable housing sectors,” says Orr. “Overall, ‘distressed,’ bargain supply is down 32 percent from last February, since we’re seeing fewer foreclosures and short sales. First-time home buyers face tough competition from investors and other bidders for the relatively small number of properties available in their target price range.”

Thanks to the tight inventory, the amount of single-family-home sales activity was down 10 percent this February from last February. Things don’t appear to be getting better.

“Higher prices would normally encourage more ordinary home sellers to enter the market, but it seems many potential sellers are either locked in by negative equity and/or staying on the sidelines, waiting for prices to rise further,” explains Orr. “At some point, we will reach a pricing level where resale supply will free up, but we are not there yet.”

While high-end, luxury-home resales are picking up some steam, many frustrated home buyers in the lower price range have been turning to new-home construction. As a result, new-home sales were up an incredible 67 percent from last February to this February. New-home sales have almost doubled their market share from 6 percent to 11 percent over the last 12 months. Still, Orr says new-home sales have a long way to go to recover their normal percentage of the market.

He adds, “New homes are not being built in sufficient quantity to match the population growth in the Phoenix area. The construction industry remembers overbuilding from 2003 to 2007, contributing to the disaster in 2008 that resulted in layoffs and bankruptcies for some developers. For now, it looks like they will probably build fewer than half the homes needed to keep pace with current population trends.”

Investor interest also continues to wane in the Phoenix area. The percentage of homes bought by investors from 2011 to mid-2012 was way up, but it declined in Maricopa County from 37 percent last February to 29.7 percent this February. Many investors are looking at other areas of the nation where prices haven’t recovered as much and more bargains are available. Orr labels it a “significant down trend” here.

Foreclosures and foreclosure starts (homeowners receiving notice their lenders may foreclose in 90 days) are both back on a downward trend, too, after a short post-holiday bump. Completed foreclosures on single-family homes and townhome/condos fell 25 percent from January to February alone. They were down 52 percent from last February. Foreclosure starts were down 61 percent from last February. Orr predicts foreclosure-notice rates may be down to “below long-term averages” by the end of 2014. Meantime, the lack of cheap foreclosed homes continues to help push prices up.

“The significant annual price increase over the last 12 months has now spread to all areas of greater Phoenix,” says Orr.

Orr’s full report, including statistics, charts and a breakdown by different areas of the Valley, can be viewed at http://wpcarey.asu.edu/finance/real-estate/upload/Full-Report-201303.pdf. A podcast with more analysis from Orr is also available from knowWPCarey, the business school’s online resource and newsletter, at http://knowwpcarey.com/index.cfm?cid=13.

Phoenix-Area Housing Market

How to Survive the Phoenix-area Housing Market

The Phoenix-area housing market is especially difficult for home buyers to navigate right now. They face rising prices, competition from investors and other bidders, and a short supply of available homes for sale. That’s why The Arizona Republic and the ASU Real Estate Council at the W. P. Carey School of Business are hosting a free event to help people sort through the complications.

“We keep hearing from potential home buyers how tough it is to deal with current conditions in the Valley housing market,” says Catherine Reagor, who covers the real estate market for The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com. “This is one way to help.”

The event called “Phoenix Housing Market Explained” will be held Saturday, April 6, starting at 9:30 a.m. at Arizona State University’s Tempe campus.

It will feature:

* Catherine Reagor, senior real estate reporter for The Arizona Republic
* Mike Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W. P. Carey School of Business
* Mark Stapp, the Fred E. Taylor Professor in Real Estate and director of the Master of Real Estate Development (MRED) program at the W. P. Carey School of Business

The three will participate in a panel discussion and then take questions from the audience. Reagor will offer insight into what she’s seeing as buyers and sellers negotiate ever-changing market conditions…and prospective buyers try to secure a mortgage.

Orr, a prominent real estate expert whose monthly reports on the Phoenix-area housing market are often covered by the national media, will talk about many factors that could affect prospective home buyers right now.

“Everything from investors to rising prices and the short supply of houses are coming into play for people who want to own a new home,” says Orr. “It can be frustrating to bid repeatedly for properties and still come up dry. I’ll go over some of the latest data that could help provide an edge.”

Stapp, an established real estate developer himself, will moderate the discussion and explain current trends in new-home building.

The event will be held in the Business Administration C-Wing Building, or BAC, at 400 E. Lemon St. at ASU in Tempe. Parking is available just across the street at the intersection of Apache Boulevard and Normal Avenue. Signage will direct participants from the garage to room BAC 116 on the first floor of the BAC building.

Because space is limited, registration is encouraged at conversations.azcentral.com. More information about the event can be found at www.money.azcentral.com, www.wpcarey.asu.edu, or by calling (602) 444-4931.

More information about the Valley real estate market is available in the W. P. Carey School’s monthly reports at http://wpcarey.asu.edu/finance/real-estate/market-reports.cfm.

Chandler Innovation Center

Spirit of Enterprise kicks off process

The W.P. Carey School of Business at ASU launched its 17th annual Spirit of Enterprise Kick-off Breakfast at the Edward Jones Training Facility on Wednesday.  This annual breakfast marked the start of the nomination process for 2013 Spirit of Enterprise and honored the 2012 sponsors and award recipients.

Highlights of the breakfast, according to Gary Naumann, director of the Spirit of Enterprise Center at the W.P. Carey School of business, were:

·  More than 25  Spirit alumni in attendance at the breakfast from as early as 2001 right on through 2012;
·  More than 30 companies nominated by Spirit alumni;
·  12 STEP projects (Student Teams for Entrepreneurship Projects);
·  12 Review sessions (each one comprised of one alumnus reviewing 50+ applications for Spirit Awards for a particular year);
·  6 separate guest speaking engagements in undergraduate and MBA entrepreneurship courses;

The Spirit of Enterprise celebrates ethics, energy and excellence in entrepreneurship and opens the door for entrepreneurs to have access to the tools listed above.  For more information, and to nominate your company for an opportunity to participate in these programs, go to http://wpcarey.asu.edu/spirit/.

Brown_Katie_BROWN5_240 - 4x5

Sports Commission names new leader

The Phoenix Regional Sports Commission (PRSC) has named Katie Brown as its new president and executive director.

Brown joins PRSC after serving as secretary, general counsel and a member of the PRSC Executive Board for the last six months, and serving as a board member for the past two years. She is a licensed attorney with more than a decade of diverse experience in athletic administration, with expertise in sports law, operations, fundraising and NCAA compliance.

“We are pleased to name Katie to this position,” said PRSC Board Chairman Garry Hays.  “Her experience and passion for sports will help her lead the Commission and its mission: grassroots sports tourism, youth athletic development and driving economic impact into the Phoenix community.”

Prior to joining PRSC, Brown served as an associate attorney for Polsinelli Shughart, PC in Phoenix, representing both individuals and companies in complex commercial litigation, contract negotiations and business transactions.  During her tenure, Brown was recognized by Super Lawyers as a “Rising Star” in 2012 and 2013.  Before that, she worked in the legal department at Mesa Airlines, Inc.  Her sports career includes ties to the athletic departments at both Arizona State University and the University of Arizona, for which she served as the Director of Women’s Basketball Operations and Camp Director.  She was also previously the Assistant Director of Football Operations at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Brown earned her juris doctorate in 2008 from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University in Tempe.  While pursuing her degree, Brown served as president and Symposium chairman of the Sports and Entertainment Law Student Association, for which she organized various events discussing the legal issues that arise in sports, including an annual symposium that featured prominent sports executives from around the Valley.  She is a 2000 graduate of Trinity University in San Antonio, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in finance.  She was also a track and field athlete, and earned All-Conference honors both on the track and in the classroom.  She earned a master’s degree in Exercise and Sports Science with an emphasis in Sport Administration in 2003 from the University of North Carolina at

Chapel Hill.  While at the University of North Carolina, Brown received a research grant from the National Association of Basketball Coaches to complete her thesis, titled “An Analysis of the 2002 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Bracketing Procedures.” For this research she was awarded the 2003 John E. Billing Outstanding Graduate Student Research Award, and the research was discussed in Athletic Business magazine.

A native of Tucson, Brown was a three-sport varsity athlete at Catalina Foothills High School in track and field, basketball and tennis.  She currently resides in Phoenix.

The Phoenix Regional Sports Commission is a non-profit organization created in 1988 to “Enrich Our Community Through Sports.”  The Commission currently collaborates with hundreds of partners to help fulfill this mission, bringing national and international sporting events to the state, assisting in the promotion of existing events and Arizona sports teams, and developing youth sports programs throughout the Phoenix metropolitan area.  In 1999, it assumed oversight of the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame, and in 2012, the Grand Canyon State Games.

For more information about the Phoenix Regional Sports Commission call (602) 258-6272 or visit www.phoenixsports.org.

602-264-6404

Quarles & Brady Immigration attorney honored

The national law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP announced that Lisa D. Duran, a partner in the firm’s Phoenix office, was named to The International Who’s Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers 2013 by Who’s Who Legal.

Duran was among 476 individuals in the world to be named leading corporate immigration lawyers. Nominees are selected based upon comprehensive, independent surveys with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed. The International Who’s Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers 2013 guide will be published in April.

Duran practices in the areas of commercial litigation, international business law and immigration law. Her experience includes representing clients in international arbitration proceedings, assisting clients in negotiating and documenting international transactions requiring Spanish language fluency, representing corporations in sponsoring foreign national professionals for employment-based non-immigrant and immigrant visas (“green cards”), and representing foreign nationals in obtaining United States citizenship administratively and through federal court litigation. She is an Adjunct Professor at Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law, where she teaches business immigration law.

Duran was named in Best Lawyers’ 2012 Phoenix Immigration Law Lawyer of the Year. She earned her law degree from Arizona State University College of Law and her undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois respectively.

602-264-6404

Quarles & Brady Immigration attorney honored

The national law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP announced that Lisa D. Duran, a partner in the firm’s Phoenix office, was named to The International Who’s Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers 2013 by Who’s Who Legal.

Duran was among 476 individuals in the world to be named leading corporate immigration lawyers. Nominees are selected based upon comprehensive, independent surveys with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed. The International Who’s Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers 2013 guide will be published in April.

Duran practices in the areas of commercial litigation, international business law and immigration law. Her experience includes representing clients in international arbitration proceedings, assisting clients in negotiating and documenting international transactions requiring Spanish language fluency, representing corporations in sponsoring foreign national professionals for employment-based non-immigrant and immigrant visas (“green cards”), and representing foreign nationals in obtaining United States citizenship administratively and through federal court litigation. She is an Adjunct Professor at Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law, where she teaches business immigration law.

Duran was named in Best Lawyers’ 2012 Phoenix Immigration Law Lawyer of the Year. She earned her law degree from Arizona State University College of Law and her undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois respectively.

hispanic

The 25 Most Influential Hispanic Business Leaders

Benito Almanza
Arizona president
Bank of America
Born into a family of migrant workers, Almanza is now responsible for all lines of business efforts, community and civic activities in the state. The graduate of Stanford University and the University of Santa Clara has been with Bank of America for 30 years, working in California before moving to Arizona in 1992.
His hope for his professional legacy: “Hiring top talent and developing them to replace me someday.”
Surprising fact: “Growing up working with my family in the fields helped me better understand agribusiness banking.”

Marty Alvarez
CEO, principal in charge
Sun Eagle Corporation
Alvarez is founder of family-owned and operated Sun Eagle, one of the top minority-owned general contracting and construction management firms in the country. He has been a chair and officer for the Associated Minority Contractors of America since 1993.
His hope for his professional legacy: “That our well-constructed buildings improved the landscape, and our assistance to individuals and families improved lives.”
Surprising fact: “I have been involved with Shotokan Karate continuously for the past 39 years.”

Victor M. Aranda
Area president, Northern Arizona
Wells Fargo Arizona
Aranda manages six Wells Fargo Community Banking markets; Northeast Arizona, Central Arizona, White Mountains, North Phoenix, North Scottsdale and Scottsdale. He is responsible for 816 team members, 69 banking stores, and $4.1 billion in deposits. A 25-year financial services veteran, Aranda presently serves as a board member for Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Valley Leadership Arizona.
His hope for his professional legacy: “My passion in life is to add value to those I come in contact with.  What I would like to be remembered for is how I spent my life serving, helping and developing the leaders of tomorrow.”
Surprising fact: “I was involved and directed a church Spanish choir and I have also sang in Las Vegas at the Bellagio Hotel.”

Tony Astorga
Retired CFO
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona
Astorga recently retired from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona where he served as the Senior Vice President, CFO & CBDO since 1988. He currently serves as chairman of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation and is a member of the board of directors for the Arizona Community Foundation, AZHCC, ASU Foundation, CSA General Insurance Agency, Phoenix Art Museum, and US Bank Arizona.
His hope for his professional legacy: “I would like to be remembered in my profession as a CPA and CFO for being a good mentor and for helping develop my staff in their work ethic and level of growth.”
Surprising fact: “I have a sweet tooth for twinkies or that my favorite movie is ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’, I still laugh when I think about the movie”.

Miguel Bravo
Senior community development consultant
Arizona Public Service Company
Bravo is responsible for directing community development initiatives statewide to help serve diverse markets for APS. He also collaborates with economic development organizations to attract industry to Arizona. Bravo also serves the boards of Friendly House, Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Latino Center at Morrison Institute, Boys Hope Girls Hope and Jobs for Arizona’s Graduates.
His hope for his professional legacy: “For conducting business with integrity, purpose, passion; and for having a conviction for public service.”
Surprising fact: “I became a US Citizen in 2007. Having grown up in Arizona, this was one of my proudest moments.”

José Cárdenas
Senior vice president and general counsel
Arizona State University
Before joining ASU in 2009, Cárdenas was chairman at Lewis & Roca, where he became the first Hispanic to serve as managing partner of a major law firm in Arizona. A Stanford Law School graduate, Cárdenas has served on many boards and commissions and has received various awards.
His hope for his professional legacy: “As a good lawyer who served his clients and community well with the utmost integrity.”
Surprising fact: Cárdenas was involved with death penalty cases for more than 30 years.

America Corrales-Bortin
Co-founder
America’s Taco Shop
Corrales-Bortin grew up Culiacán in Sinaloa, Mexico, watching her mother prepare the dishes that would become the recipes for success at America’s Taco Shop. Founded in 2008, America’s authentic carne asada and al pastor quickly built a following that has led to rapid expansion and a partnership Kahala, a franchise development company. So far in 2013, America’s has already moved into California, Texas and Maryland.
Her hope for her professional legacy: “As someone who has a passion for the food we serve at America’s Taco Shop.”
Surprising fact: “People would be surprised that I am named after a famous soccer team in Mexico.”

Gonzalo de la Melena Jr.
President and CEO
Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
In addition to leading the Hispanic Chamber, de la Melena Jr. operates the Phoenix Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), the state’s leading advocate representing more than 100,000 minority business enterprises. De la Melena is also the Founder of edmVentures, LLC a small business investment company with holdings in Phoenix airport concessions at Sky Harbor International.
His hope for his professional legacy: “Helping small businesses succeed.”
Surprising fact: “I had the opportunity to do business in more than 30 countries before the age of 30.”

Robert Espiritu
Acquisition marketing
American Express
Espiritu’s diversified professional experience includes working for small business enterprises as well as corporate 100 businesses in the areas of sales, marketing and financial management. He has also been actively involved with various nonprofit organizations; most recently as the former chairman of the board for the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
His hope for his professional legacy: “Innovative and focused leader who delivers with energy and is known for building successful relationships and high performing teams.”
Surprising fact: “As a first generation American, I am passionate about helping aspiring and under-privileged youth achieve their dreams and advocating for Hispanic career advancement, education and scholarships.”

Dr. Maria Harper-Marinick
Executive vice chancellor and provost
Maricopa Community Colleges
Harper-Marinick oversees all areas of academic and student affairs, workforce development, and strategic planning. She serves on several national and local boards including ABEC and AMEPAC, which she chairs.  Originally from the Dominican Republic, Harper-Marinick came to ASU as a Fulbright Scholar.
Her hope for her professional legacy: “Passion for, and unwavering commitment to, public education as the foundation of a democratic society.”
Surprising fact: “The joy I get from driving fast cars.”

Julio Herrera
National Spanish Sales and Retention Director
Cox Communications
Herrera and his team work across markets and cross-functional departments to drive Spanish language sales and grow Cox’s Hispanic markets nationally. He also helped establish LIDER, a leadership program tailored for Hispanic team members looking for advancement opportunities in Phoenix and Southern Arizona.
His hope for his professional legacy: “Growing and improving the Hispanic customer experience and making a difference our communities.”
Surprising fact: “Spanish was my first language and I started my career in sales leadership at 18 ears old.”

Lori Higuera
Director
Fennemore Craig
Higuera defends, provides counsel and trains employers of all sizes. She’s a Southwest Super Lawyer, an employment law expert for the Arizona Republic/Arizona Business Gazette and is a recent recipient of the High-Level Business Spanish Diploma from the Madrid Chamber of Commerce.
Her hope for her professional legacy: “A skilled lawyer who elevated the practice by integrating the diverse perspectives of our community.”
Surprising fact: “I was fired from my first job as a Santa’s helper for being too social!”

Ana María López, MD, MPH, FACP
Associate dean, outreach and multicultural affairs
Professor of medicine (Tenured) and pathology, College of Medicine
Medical director, Arizona Telemedicine Program
University of Arizona
López has a passion for addressing health inequities and human suffering. From clinical research with molecular targets to health services research, her work focuses on optimizing the health of individuals and communities.
Her hope for her professional legacy: “Life is an opportunity to contribute. I hope to contribute, to make a difference.”
Surprising fact: “I love simple pleasures. Witnessing the daily miracle of the sun rising sustains me.”

Paul Luna
President and CEO
Helios Education Foundation
Luna leads Helios Education Foundation, a philanthropic organization dedicated to creating opportunities for individuals in Arizona and Florida to succeed in postsecondary education. He is the former president of Valley of the Sun United Way and has held positions with Pepsi, IBM and the Office of Governor Bruce Babbitt.
His hope for his professional legacy: “That I cared about our community and helped make it better.”
Surprising fact: “I’m seriously considering getting matching tattoos with my kids in the near future.”

Steve Macias
President and CEO
Pivot Manufacturing
Macias is a co-owner of Pivot Manufacturing, a Phoenix machine shop, chairs the Arizona Manufacturers Council, and is on the boards of the Arizona Commerce Authority and the Arizona Hispanic Chamber. He is an active proponent of manufacturing in Arizona and a proud father of three boys.
His hope for his professional legacy: “Contributed in some small way to the sustainment of manufacturing in Arizona.”
Surprising fact: “In high school, I was the school mascot – a Bronco.”

Mario Martinez II
CEO
360 Vantage
Martinez is responsible for the overall vision, strategy and execution of 360 Vantage, a leader in cloud-based sales and marketing technology solutions designed to solve the unique challenges of the mobile workforce in life sciences, healthcare and other industries.
His hope for his professional legacy: “I would most like to be remembered for truly changing the lives of our clients, employees and our community in great and meaningful ways.”
Surprising fact: “I hosted a radio show during my college years.”

Clarence McCallister
CEO
Fortis Networks, Inc.
McAllister was born in Panama and earned his master’s in electrical engineering from ASU. In 2000, he and his wife started Fortis Networks, Inc., a certified 8a and HUBzone government contractor specializing in engineering, construction and technology services.
His hope for his professional legacy: “Building a world-class organization that always exceeds our customers’ expectations.”
Surprising fact: “I did an emergency landing on a City of Mesa street.”

Rodolfo Parga, Jr.
Managing shareholder
Ryley Carlock & Applewhite
In addition to managing a law firm with 120 attorneys, Parga has been to Best Lawyers in America for the last four years. He also serves as Chairman of the Board of Chicanos Por la Causa, a leading non-profit helping advance and create economic and educational opportunities.
His hope for his professional legacy: “I want to be remembered as always trying to do the right thing and having led with integrity.”
Surprising fact: “I was bullied until age 11, which drove me not only to strengthen my body, but my resolve.”

Hector Peñuñuri
Senior planning analyst
SRP
Peñuñuri is an Arizona native and has spent most of the past 15 years in the Customer Services Division at SRP.  He has served on several boards including the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and LISC.  He was raised in the West Valley, and currently resides in Gilbert.
His hope for his professional legacy: “A trusted and valuable team member/leader; a communicator who understands the importance of sharing knowledge to help others.”
Surprising fact: “I’m a jack of all trades – woodworker, photographer, musician, outdoorsman and a decent cook when I put my mind to it.”

Dan Puente
Owner
D.P. Electric
Puente founded D.P. Electric in 1990 out of his garage with one truck. D.P. Electric now has more than 200 employees and generated more than $30 million in revenue in 2012, making it the biggest Hispanic-owned company in Arizona.
His hope for his professional legacy: “A guy that is fair, honest, hard-working and gives back both personally and professionally.”
Surprising fact: “Professionally, that I do not have a college degree and personally, that I am a Bikram Yoga junkie.”

Marie Torres
Founder
MRM Construction Services
Torres is an Arizona native and built her business in the community that she grew up in. With more than 30 years experience in the construction field, she started MRM in 2002 and currently has more than 50 employees. The focus of her company has been in government contracting and has self performed airfield work at Luke AFB, MCAS Yuma and Davis Monthan.
Her hope for her professional legacy: “As being technically competent.”
Surprising fact: “I don’t like to drive and I am happy as a passenger – even in my own car.”

Lisa Urias
President and CEO
Urias Communications
After 15 years in international marketing and communications, Urias founded Urias Communications to address the need for advertising and PR with a uniquely multicultural focus. Now an award-winning advertising, and PR agency, Urias Communications specializes in the multicultural markets of the U.S. Southwest, with concentration on the burgeoning Hispanic market.
Her hope for her professional legacy: “Bridging the divide between corporations and the growing Hispanic community for mutual benefit and respect.”
Surprising fact: “I am a fourth-generation Arizonan whose grandfather was the first Hispanic city councilman.”

Dawn C. Valdivia
Partner, chair of the Labor & Employment Practice Group
Quarles & Brady
Valdivia is the chair of Quarles & Brady’s Labor and Employment Group in Phoenix. She regularly advises clients in all matters of labor and employment law and is skilled in complex litigation matters, including wage and hour class action litigation in Arizona and California.
Her hope for her professional legacy: “A creative problem solver, committed to her clients and to giving back to the community.”
Surprising fact: “I love adventure — sky diving, gliding, scuba diving, helicopters, etc.”

Lorena Valencia
CEO
Reliance Wire
Valencia is the founder and CEO of Reliance Wire Systems, a wire and tubing manufacturing company she founded in 2000. She is also the founder and president of Magin Corporation — an eco-friendly wood pallet alternative company — and the FRDM Foundation.
Her hope for her professional legacy: “Empowering children by building schools and libraries in impoverished countries through my FRDM Foundation.”
Surprising fact: “I put hot peppers on almost everything I eat. The hotter. the better.”

Roberto Yañez
Vice president and GM
Univision Arizona
Yañez is a 27-year broadcast television veteran, who has served 17 of those years with the Univision Television Group (UTG). Yañez has created various opportunities that helped build the station’s relationship with the community: Cadena de Gente Buena, El 34 Esta Aqui and Ya Es Hora.
His hope for his professional legacy: “Someone who used his craft to build bridges between the problem and the solution.”
Surprising fact: “Though Monday through Friday you will never see me without a suit and tie, I am most comfortable in boots, jeans and driving a pick-up truck.”

WPCarey-School-Sign

W. P. Carey School Ranks Top 30 in the Nation

U.S. News & World Report announces its prestigious annual rankings for “Best Graduate Schools” today. For the sixth year in a row, the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University ranks Top 30 among the best graduate business schools in the nation.

“We’re really proud to demonstrate consistent excellence at the W. P. Carey School of Business,” says the school’s dean, Amy Hillman. “This particular ranking is largely determined by our peer business schools and corporate recruiters who offer our students jobs, so they are very aware of the great work happening here. Thank you to the dedicated faculty members, staff and students who do their best every day to keep us on the cutting edge of education.”

The new list for 2014 ranks the W. P. Carey School No. 30 for its full-time MBA program. It’s the best ranking for any Arizona school. The full-time program also ranks among the Top 20 nationwide for career placement at graduation, demonstrating the school’s keen interest in preparing students to succeed in the real world.

“In addition, our full-time MBA is among the two least expensive programs in the Top 30, a clear value,” says Stacey Whitecotton, senior associate dean of graduate programs at the W. P. Carey School. “It’s also among the two smallest programs in the Top 30, allowing us to keep class sizes at a personal level.”

In January, U.S. News & World Report also pre-announced that the W. P. Carey School’s online MBA program ranks No. 2 among online graduate business programs in the country. The online MBA program is known for its flexibility, convenience and offering of the same stellar faculty members who teach in the school’s highly ranked face-to-face programs.

Several other W. P. Carey School programs also appear on new graduate-level “specialties” lists from U.S. News & World Report this week. The evening MBA program ranks No. 22 among part-time MBA programs nationwide, the highest ranking for any Arizona school on that list. The renowned supply chain management program ranks No. 6 for supply chain/logistics, and the information systems program ranks No. 16 in its category. Also, the Ph.D. program in economics ranks No. 36 in its field.

Other recent high rankings for marquee programs at the W. P. Carey School:

* U.S. News & World Report ranks the undergraduate business program No. 24 in the nation.
* The Wall Street Journal ranks the executive MBA program in the Phoenix area No. 13 in the world.
* Britain’s Financial Times ranks the school’s China-based executive MBA program No. 21 in the world.
* The Center for World-Class Universities at Shanghai Jiao Tong University ranks the school No. 18 in the world for “economics/business.”

jon-kyl

ASU names Kyl Distinguished Fellow, Scholar

Former United States Senator Jon Kyl has accepted a part-time appointment at Arizona State University as Distinguished Fellow in Public Service in the ASU College of Public Programs and as O’Connor Distinguished Scholar of Law and Public Service in the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at ASU.

The Senate’s former No. 2 Republican leader will work primarily in Washington, D.C. and will begin this new role with ASU immediately.   Recognized in 2010 as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine, Kyl was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1994 and retired at the end of his third term In January of this year.  Before serving the Senate, he was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1987 to 1995 and earlier worked as a lawyer and lobbyist in Phoenix.

Kyl, who received his bachelor’s degree and law degree from the University of Arizona, recently joined Covington & Burling, the largest law firm in the nation’s capitol.

“Jon Kyl has long been one of the nation’s most important political leaders,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow.  “He has taken a thoughtful approach to important issues and has been a statesman at time when statesmanship was sometimes lacking.  ASU students will benefit greatly from his experience and perspective.”

At ASU he will teach classes and convene discussion groups on a range of issues, including immigration reform, sequestration and the debt ceiling, tax and entitlement reform, and national security and foreign policy.  Other topics will involve internal Congressional issues such as the role of politics and compromise, party discipline, lobbying and why Congress is so contentious.

“ASU has made tremendous progress in the last decade,” said Kyl. ”I am excited to work in such a dynamic environment. Twenty six years in Congress taught me a lot, and much of it is not quite what the textbooks teach.  Hopefully, I can impart some ‘real life’ lessons about our national government and major policy issues to students at ASU.”

“We are delighted that Senator Kyl will be joining us as O’Connor Distinguished Scholar of Law and Public Service,” said Douglas Sylvester, dean of the O’Connor College of Law.  “He is one of Arizona’s most respected and experienced public servants, and we are looking forward to the invaluable perspective he will bring our students and our law school community through his years of distinguished leadership and government service.”

Added Dean Jonathan Koppell, dean of the College of Public Programs, “What a great opportunity for ASU to learn from a legislator who has been a key player on issues that affect every Arizonan.

“At a time when the political process is widely disparaged, ASU students who already are drawn to public service will get the chance to see how one person can make a difference by following the path to elective office.  Senator Kyl has shown himself equally passionate about opening students’ eyes to the realities of policy making in Washington and the substantive issues, like water policy and immigration, that will shape the future of Arizona.”

housing.prices

Phoenix Area Ready for Even Higher Home Prices

Even though the median Phoenix-area home price shot up by more than a third last year, we can expect area prices to keep soaring in 2013. That’s according to a new housing report from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, which offers the latest numbers for Maricopa and Pinal counties, as of January:

The median single-family home price went up 35.3 percent — from $120,500 to $163,000 – between January 2012 and January 2013.
The very limited supply of homes available for sale in the lower price range is expected to keep pushing prices higher.
Foreclosures went up somewhat in January, but it’s believed to be a normal, post-holiday-season bump that is already reversing.

Home prices have risen dramatically in the Phoenix area since reaching a low point in September 2011. The median single-family home price actually went slightly down between December 2012 and January 2013, but it’s expected to be a tiny blip on the radar. The new report by Mike Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W. P. Carey School of Business, says low inventory will keep forcing home prices higher in the Phoenix area this year.

“The recent decline was predicted in our last report and is a seasonal effect,” explains Orr. “Pricing is almost always weaker in January, but February signals the start of peak buying season that lasts until the end of June. Make no mistake – prices are going to rise significantly during this period. There is nowhere else for them to go until a significant new source of active listings enters this supply-constrained market.”

The median single-family home price was already up 35.3 percent – from $120,500 to $163,000 – from January 2012 to this January. Realtors will note the average price per square foot went up 28.5 percent at the same time. The median price of a townhouse/condominium went up a whopping 45 percent – from $70,000 to $101,500.

Sales activity fell 12 percent from January to January, largely because of the lack of inexpensive homes available for sale. At the higher end of the market, sales are up somewhat from last year, but at the low end, multiple bidders face tough competition for few homes. Discounted, “distressed supply” – like homes from foreclosures and short sales — dropped 38 percent from the beginning of February 2012 to the beginning of February 2013. Overall, the number of single-family homes for sale priced under $150,000 (without a signed contract) is only a 43-day supply. Still, this is better than the 18 days of inventory available in June.

“We still have a long-term supply shortage with only about 50 percent of the active listings (without contracts) that we would expect to see in a normal market,” says Orr. “Consequently, the trend is for prices to continue to rise across most sectors. Most homes priced reasonably below $500,000 continue to attract multiple offers in a short time. Sellers are firmly in control.”

Since the number of bargain foreclosed homes and short sales available is generally dropping, many buyers are turning to alternatives like new-home sales, which are up an incredible 61 percent this January from last January. New-home construction permits are up 42 percent from a year ago. Home builders bought up a massive 2,272 lots in December to help meet demand. However, the trend dropped off in January, with only 143 lots changing hands, so Orr says the sales appear to have been timed for tax purposes by sellers concerned about paying higher tax rates in 2013.

Also, investor purchases are declining slowly after peaking in late summer, and Orr anticipates they will decline further as fewer bargains can be found. The percentage of investor purchases in Maricopa County dropped from 39.2 percent in January 2012 to 31.8 percent this January. Orr adds he doesn’t think large investors are driving the market as much as some analysts would have you believe.

“Some commentators have suggested that the presence of large investors is causing the recent price rise,” says Orr. “This vastly exaggerates their effect on our market. Large investors account for only around 8 percent of purchases, and if they disappeared overnight, there still would not be enough homes on the market to satisfy the small investors, second-home buyers and regular owner-occupiers.”

Foreclosures and foreclosure starts (homeowners receiving notice their lenders may foreclose in 90 days) went up a little from December to January. However, this is a normal yearly occurrence, because banks typically pull back on foreclosures during the holiday season. Completed foreclosures on single-family homes and condos were still down 45 percent this January from last January. Foreclosure starts went down 33 percent at the same time.

Orr’s full report, including statistics, charts and a breakdown by different areas of the Valley, can be viewed at http://wpcarey.asu.edu/finance/real-estate/upload/Full-Report-201302.pdf. A podcast with more analysis from Orr is also available from knowWPCarey, the business school’s online resource and newsletter, at http://knowwpcarey.com/index.cfm?cid=13.

paying_for_online_education

Cronkite School Announces Online Media Studies Program

The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University announced plans to offer a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications and Media Studies – entirely online. The new program will provide students anywhere with access to the Cronkite School’s internationally renowned and award-winning faculty, including a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. It is the first online degree program offered by the Cronkite School and will begin in the fall semester.

“This innovative program provides a new option for students who want and need the flexibility offered by a fully online program,” said Cronkite Dean Christopher Callahan. “It will enable students around the world to take advantage of the world-class education offered by the Cronkite School and ASU, giving a broad-based liberal arts education with a focus on mass communication and media studies.”

The program is designed to give students a deep and nuanced understanding of the growing importance, power and influence of mass media, as well as the evolving nature of today’s media landscape. Students will explore global mass communication issues from a variety of theoretical perspectives, including societal, cultural, historical, political, economic, technological and legal.

Equipped with a sophisticated understanding of mass communication, graduates will be prepared for careers in business, government and nonprofit organizations, as well as for graduate study. The online program is differentiated from the Cronkite School’s highly hands-on program, which has achieved national recognition for training the next generation of multimedia journalists and public relations practitioners at its state-of-the-art Phoenix facility.

In addition to the general education courses required by ASU, students in the program will be required to take a core class on media and society and choose from a wide range of program-specific electives, including International Mass Communication, Political Communication, Sports and Media and Visual Communication.

Cronkite faculty members teaching in the new program include Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Steve Doig, the school’s Knight Chair in Journalism; associate professor Mary-Lou Galician, an award-winning researcher and educator with an expertise in media literacy; assistant professor Dawn Gilpin, a prolific public relations practitioner and researcher with global expertise in social media; and Dan Gillmor, internationally renowned thought leader on new media.

For more information, please visit http://asuonline.asu.edu/degree-programs.