Tag Archives: AZ Big Media

Photo and froth art by Teaspressa

Ranking Arizona voting for 2016 ends tomorrow

Everybody wants to be the best. In business, being the best can boost a company’s bottom line.

Ranking Arizona lets Arizona companies prove they’re among the 10 best in their industries.

Ranking Arizona: The Best of Arizona Business, which is published annually by AZ Big Media, is the result of largest business opinion poll taken in Arizona. Ranking Arizona is based purely on voters’ opinion. It is not based on annual revenue or the number of employees. Instead, more than 1.5 million participants vote on more than 20,000 companies to give their recommendations based on the quality of product, service and with whom they would recommend doing business.

The 2016 voting period ends on July 31st, 2015.

“This is an exciting time for companies in Arizona,” said Sheri King, director of sales for Ranking Arizona. “There is less than a week of voting time left for the 2016 edition of Ranking Arizona. I encourage companies to do whatever they can to rally their customers to vote so they earn the rankings they have been working so hard for all year.”

Making it into the rankings gives companies commendable publicity and a boost in reputation. Some companies go above and beyond to get their name into a Top 10 Ranking Arizona list. One such company is Commotion Promotions.

Established in 1984, Commotion Promotions is a marketing company that specializes in branded promotional merchandise. In the 2014 issue of Ranking Arizona, the company reached its 16th consecutive of year of being ranked the No. 1 promotional product business in the state. 

“We’re always excited at this accomplishment and work hard to maintain our Ranking as the No. 1 promotional company,” said Karen Kravitz, co-founder of Commotion Promotions. “We have seen many companies come and go and we know that our clients feel they can count on us year after year.”

Though it was more than 16 years ago, Kravitz remembers celebrating the company’s original first-place ranking by sending out a special mailer to the company’s top clients. Each of them received a paper bag containing a stuffed lion wearing a T-shirt with the company’s logo.

Attached to the lion was a card that read: “THE CAT’s OUTTA THE BAG … We’ve been ranked No. 1 by Ranking Arizona.”

Since then, the company has made an effort to maintain its top ranking. According to Kravitz, the company always asks its client for their votes if they’ve enjoyed working with team. They also send out an email blast twice a year before voting closes.

“We put our ranking on each piece of printed material and email that goes out to remind people that we have been Ranked No. 1 for more than 15 years,” said Kravitz. “We believe that it strengthens our reputation and we are always excited to receive the accolades, especially by our clients.”

While some companies, like Commotion Promotions, work hard to defend their ranking, other businesses, such as The Embellished House, don’t feel the need to campaign so vigorously.

Established in 2007 by Nancy Ruben, the Embellished House has been ranked the No. 1 specialty home boutique two years in a row. Ruben says that she doesn’t campaign at all for her ranking and has no plans to campaign.

“I’m just not that kind of person. I’m a more blend into the woodwork kind of person,” said Ruben. “I don’t know how I get ranked. I really don’t.”

Many companies simply provide unexpected products or services as their daily routine, which is what places them in the Top 10 year after year.

No matter how much effort a company puts into campaigning, the ranking will only depend on one thing: the votes of the consumers.

Voting is annual and never stops.  The 2016 voting period ends on July 31st, 2015.  Voting for 2017 begins on August 1, 2015 and ends on July 31st, 2016.

Click here to vote today.

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AZ Big Media newsletters get a fresh look

addAZ Big Media’s e-newsletters have been given a new look.

“We publish more than 300 news stories each month at azbigmedia.com,” said Editor in Chief Michael Gossie. “We wanted our newsletters to reflect the breadth of coverage on the website, while giving busy business executives enough information to stay on top of the latest business news.”

The newsletters feature short blurbs on seven of the most important stories of the week with clickable links to read the full stories. The newsletters also feature and “In case you missed it” section, where readers can see the latest headlines with clickable links to read the stories that hold the most interest.

AZ Big Media publishes four newsletters each week:

Tuesday: Az Business, which features breaking business news, features, trend stories and profiles.

Wednesday: AZRE, which publishes the latest news from the commercial real estate industry.

Thursday: Experience Arizona, which highlights things to do, places to go and events to experience.

Fridays: A rotation of Ranking Arizona, which publishes news featuring companies that earned spots among Arizona’s best businesses in Ranking Arizona; Az Business Leaders, which highlights the latest news about the movers and shakers in Arizona; and Creative Designer, which features trends in home design, home remodeling, home furnishings, home improvement and ways to save money at home.

“The nice thing is that readers don’t have to subscribe to every newsletter to get the news that’s important to them,” Gossie said. “Readers can subscribe to one or all of them. But each newsletter gives readers a capsule view of the incredible news we publish every day at azbigmedia.com.”

To subscribe to AZ Big Media’s newsletters, click here.

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Ranking Arizona party celebrates state’s top companies

Hundreds of Arizona’s top business leaders descended onto The Venue Scottsdale Thursday for Ranking Arizona’s Best of the Best Bash.

This party tonight is to celebrate the nearly 2,000 companies that are featured in Ranking Arizona,” said Michael Gossie, editor in chief of AZ Big Media, which publishes Ranking Arizona. “You are the innovators. You are the risk takers. You are the drivers of Arizona’s economy. And you are the best at what you do.”

Te see photos from the event, click here.

Special recognition was given to the sponsors — Newmark Grubb Knight Frank and The CORE Institute — and a video that showcased the companies’ affiliation with Ranking Arizona was shown.

Five companies were also honored as 2015 Ranking Arizona Hall of Fame inductees. To earn Hall of Fame status, a company has to be ranked No. 1 for 10 years. Joining that elite group of Hall of Fame companies that consistently deliver great services to the state of Arizona are Celebrity Theatre, Chandler Regional Medical Center, Cox Communications Arizona, Form Design Studio Ltd. and Royal Palms Resort & Spa.

Ranking Arizona is the outcome of the largest business opinion poll in Arizona. Rankings are based purely on voters’ opinion. Participants vote based on quality of product, service and who they would recommend doing business with. The responses are then assembled and ranked according to their total number of votes.

To vote for your favorite companies, click here.

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Thousands attend AZ Big Media’s home, travel shows

Thousands of people got a chance to see the best home services, home products, home furnishings and travel opportunities in one place at WestWorld of Scottsdale.

On March 28-29, AZ Big Media hosted the first Home Furnishing & Design Show and first Scottsdale Home & Travel Show under the same roof.

The combination of the two events was a hit with show-goers.

“People were very happy that they got to see the very best Arizona has to offer,” said Mike Atkinson, president and CEO of AZ Big Media. “Homeowners got to see the newest and highest-quality items and services that will help them create their dream homes. And those looking to book their dream vacations were presented with amazing options.”

The Arizona North Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), the Arizona Chapter of the International Furnishings and Design Association (IFDA) and Creative Designer magazine were sponsors of the inaugural Home Furnishings & Design Show, which was held in the award-winning Tony Nelssen Center at WestWorld. Attendees were also able to attend classes and workshops presented by industry experts.

The Scottsdale Home & Travel Show — sponsored by American Express Travel, Sears Vacations, and DirectBuy — offered hundreds of home products and services for homeowners of all varieties; from the do-it-yourself remodeler, to homeowners working on a new build. Attendees were treated to special discounts and deals from professional vendors.

“What was most impressive was the quality of the attendees we had for both shows,” Atkinson said. “It was a very sophisticated audience and they left the shows very happy because we were were happy to give them two shows that gave them great products and services to enhance their lives.”

kindle

AZ Big Media starts social media merger

AZ Big Media is merging all of its social media accounts into one account for each social media platform to keep its readers better informed of the latest and most important business, real estate and lifestyle news.

Currently, AA Big Media is maintaining separate Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts for each of its popular magazines, including Az Business, AZRE, Az Business Leaders, Ranking Arizona, Scottsdale Living and Experience AZ.

“People want to get all their news as quickly, accurately and as easily as possible,” said Ashley Incardone, digital coordinator for Az Big Media. “People simply don’t want to have to check multiple accounts, so we are responding to readers’ needs and merging our social media accounts into one account that will cover the most interesting stories and trends from all of our publications.”

 All accounts will be merged into Az Big Media’s account, which can be found here:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/azbigmedia

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AZBigMedia or @azbigmedia

Instagram: @AZBIGMEDIA or https://instagram.com/azbigmedia/

The Twitter and Instagram official merge date is set for March 11 and Facebook is set to merge March 20. After these merging dates, the separate accounts will no longer exist and AZ Big Media will be the only account remaining on all platforms.

On the new account, followers can expect to see news on everything Arizona, from real estate to business to tourism to dining to financial planning.

“This merger is very exciting for us as a company because it will not only allow us to build our Web following as a whole, but it allows us to provide our readers and our partners with a single, strong and accurate online news source,” said Incardone. “I encourage our readers, followers of the old accounts, or anyone interested in following the state’s most sophisticated business and lifestyle news source, to follow AZ Big Media.”

The Home Furnishing & Design Show will debut March 28-29, 2015, at WestWorld of Scottsdale.

Get free tickets for Home Furnishing & Design Show

AZ Big Media is preparing to host Scottsdale’s biggest home furnishings and design show.

“The Home Furnishing & Design Show will feature the very best Arizona has to offer,” said Mike Atkinson, president and CEO of AZ Big Media. “Homeowners are going to see the newest and highest-quality items, unique countertops and floors and meet upscale designers that will help them create their dream homes.”

The Home Furnishing & Design Show will debut March 28-29, 2015, at WestWorld of Scottsdale. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday, March 28 and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sunday, March 29. Tickets are $5 at the door or you can click here to get free tickets. This annual weekend event will showcase the best of Arizona’s home furnishing and interior design industry and will be open to the general public.

The Arizona North Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), the Arizona Chapter of the International Furnishings and Design Association (IFDA) and Creative Designer magazine are sponsors of the inaugural Home Furnishings & Design Show, which will be held in the award-winning Tony Nelssen Center at WestWorld.

Hand selecting only top-of-the-line exhibitors to participate, the Home Furnishings & Design Show will strategically target the luxury home buyer market, showcasing hundreds of home furnishings, materials and professional services in the only show of its kind in the Southwest. The Home Furnishing & Design Show will feature valet parking, upscale food and beverages and seminars for both the public and design professionals.

All exhibit spaces will be reserved for high-end designers and retailers, trade showrooms and professional service providers. The Home Furnishings & Design Show will raise awareness for professional interior design and products not always available to the public. ASID and IFDA will serve as ambassadors for the show and also facilitate seminars and an “ask the professional” program.

For more information or to get the latest information about the show, call (602) 277-6045 or visit http://exposaz.com/.

123rf.com, yanlev

People & Projects to Know nominations open Feb. 3

AZRE magazine is dedicated to bringing the stories about innovative and outstanding real estate development to its readers in each issue. Every year, it shines a special spotlight on the industry leaders and superior developments in People & Projects to Know magazine. However, this issue will be a little different.

Arizona’s commercial real estate industry is a tremendous economic engine for the state and is making Arizona a better place to live, work and recreate. People & Projects to Know is about highlighting the members and projects in the CRE industry that contribute to that cause. The selection committee is looking for outstanding completed and in-progress developments in the following sectors: arts & entertainment, education, healthcare, hospitality, industrial, mixed use, multifamily, office, public, redevelopment, retail and tenant improvement. AZRE is also working with a research partner to share the biggest and most interesting transactions over an 18-month span.

If you are interested in nominating a project completed between Jan. 1 2014 and July 1, 2015, you can do so here. Nominations open Feb. 3 and run through April 22, 2015.

Now is the time to get your nominations in for 2015 People & Projects to Know magazine. Is there an influential project that needs to have its story told? AZRE wants to know. Click here to nominate a project today. Nominations must be completed by April 22, 2015.

Nominations are open for the 2015 People & Projects to Know magazine

Nominations close: Wednesday, April 22, 2015

jobs

AZ Big Media launches elite job board

To help aid in the surging job market and provide like-minded employers and employees with a direct link to each other, AZ Big Media has launched a free job board.

“We wanted to provide the best businesses in Arizona with access to the most elite, business-minded employees in Arizona,” said Mike Atkinson, president and CEO of AZ Big Media. “We know we have elite readers who are always looking for career improvement. We also have a long-standing working relationship with the best hiring companies in Arizona. It only made sense to share these connections.”

AZ Big Media’s job board will have a very sophisticated readership and established user profiles. The average reader for AZ Big Media’s publications — with include Az Business, AZRE, Ranking Arizona, People & Projects to Know and Az Business Leaders — is age of 44, has an annual salary of $225,000, and an average net worth of $2.4 million. The latest statistics show that 88 percent of the total magazine readership is a C-level executive or owns his/her own business.

Another thing Az Big Media followers have in common is their passion for business. People who access it are doing so to read about the whats-happening and who’s-who’s of the Arizona business, real-estate, Scottsdale-local and tourism communities.

The site is currently accessible by both a link on the main website or at jobs.azbigmedia.com.

Companies and recruiting agencies are invited to post their newest job openings for free and know that the best-of-the-best in the business world are applying for the positions.

“Our official launch date for the site is February 4, but we encourage companies to register and post jobs prior to this date by visiting the site,” said Ashley Incardone, digital coordinator for AZ Big Media. “We want anyone looking for a dynamic addition to their team or for a step up in their career to know that this is a board they can trust will connect them to the best in Arizona business.”

 

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AZ Big Media honors Az Business Leaders

The are the deal makers. They are the innovators. They are the movers and shakers. And on Thursday, AZ Big Media recognized almost 500 of the most influential business leaders in Arizona during a reception at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia.

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Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
Greg and Nicole Stanton
Greg and Nicole Stanton
Greg and Nicole Stanton
Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
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Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
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Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
Angela Vaughn and Cheryl Green
Angela Vaughn and Cheryl Green
Angela Vaughn and Cheryl Green
Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
Cheryl Green, Greg Stanton and Michael Gossie
Cheryl Green, Greg Stanton and Michael Gossie
Cheryl Green, Greg Stanton and Michael Gossie
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Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
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AZ Big Media Publisher Cheryl Green
AZ Big Media Publisher Cheryl Green
AZ Big Media Publisher Cheryl Green
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton
Robert Milligan, CFO of Healthcare Trust of America, Inc.
Robert Milligan, CFO of Healthcare Trust of America, Inc.
Robert Milligan, CFO of Healthcare Trust of America, Inc.
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton
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Robert Milligan, CFO of Healthcare Trust of America, Inc.
Robert Milligan, CFO of Healthcare Trust of America, Inc.
Robert Milligan, CFO of Healthcare Trust of America, Inc.
Robert Milligan, CFO of Healthcare Trust of America, Inc.
Robert Milligan, CFO of Healthcare Trust of America, Inc.
Robert Milligan, CFO of Healthcare Trust of America, Inc.
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Cheryl Green and Kathleen Goeppinger
Cheryl Green and Kathleen Goeppinger
Cheryl Green and Kathleen Goeppinger
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Midwestern University CEO Kathleen Goeppinger
Midwestern University CEO Kathleen Goeppinger
Midwestern University CEO Kathleen Goeppinger
Midwestern University CEO Kathleen Goeppinger
Midwestern University CEO Kathleen Goeppinger
Midwestern University CEO Kathleen Goeppinger
Cheryl Green and Kathleen Goeppinger
Cheryl Green and Kathleen Goeppinger
Cheryl Green and Kathleen Goeppinger
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AZ Big Media Publisher Cheryl Green
AZ Big Media Publisher Cheryl Green
AZ Big Media Publisher Cheryl Green
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AZ Big Media Publisher Cheryl Green and Editor in Chief Michael Gossie
AZ Big Media Publisher Cheryl Green and Editor in Chief Michael Gossie
AZ Big Media Publisher Cheryl Green and Editor in Chief Michael Gossie
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The men and women recognized at the event were all featured in Az Business Leaders magazine, which profiles the state’s most influential and dynamic business leaders in Arizona. The magazine is published by AZ Big Media, which also publishes Az Business, Ranking Arizona, AZRE, Experience AZ and several other Arizona-based publications.

“When we came up with the concept of Az Business Leaders magazine, we wanted to create a publication that was a guide to the people with whom you want to do business,” said Mike Atkinson, president and CEO of AZ Big Media. “Each year, over the course of about two dozen meetings, we sort through more than 5,000 contenders to find those women and men who have the biggest impact on Arizona’s economy and that’s who we profile in the magazine.”

Fittingly, the welcoming remarks were delivered by Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, who was also one of the leaders featured in the magazine.

Earning the distinction of Arizona Business Leader of the Year was Kathleen Goeppinger, president and CEO of Midwestern University.

“The business leader of the year has done what some may say is the impossible: she has built and grown a medical school from the ground up during a time when the healthcare industry has been in turmoil,” said Robert Milligan, CFO of Healthcare Trust of America, Inc., who presented the award to Goeppinger. “Her efforts have helped feed an educated workforce to an industry that has been exploding in Arizona. And the school that she started from scratch has more than 3,000 students and has an annual economic impact of more than $300 million a year, which boosts all our bottom lines.”

Bradley Nynalek of Quarles & Brady; Paul Hickman, president and CEO of Arizona Bankers Association; Elizabeth Reich, CEO of Make-A-Wish Arizona; AZ Big Media Editor in Chief Michael Gossie; and AZ Big Media CEO Mike Atkinson.

AZ Big Media gives almost $17K to Make-A-Wish

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AZ Big Media and the Arizona Bankers Association have teamed up to make wishes come true.

The media company, which publishes Az Business magazine, AZRE, Ranking Arizona and five other Arizona-based publications, created Bankers Care, in which it donated a portion of all bank-related advertising revenue to Make-A-Wish Arizona. The Arizona Bankers Association is featured in supplement that is published annually in the November issue of Az Business magazine.

“We realize how much the banking industry gives back to the communities they serve in Arizona,” said AZ Big Media CEO Mike Atkinson. “We saw this as a way to show the banking industry that we appreciate the support they give to the business community that we cover. We also wanted to do our part to impact the community in a positive way.”

On Tuesday, Atkinson presented a check for $16,824 to Make-A-Wish Arizona CEO Elizabeth Reich, which was the result of the Bankers Care partnership between AZ Big Media and the Arizona Bankers Association.

“The fact that we were able to do this for Make-A-Wish meant a lot to me personally,” said said AZ Big Media Editor in Chief Michael Gossie. “I have two sisters who both had life-threatening medical conditions and both were beneficiaries of the amazing work that Make-A-Wish accomplishes. The joy that Make-A-Wish brought to my sister Lisa’s final days when they arranged for the Buffalo Bills to visit her is something that brought my family comfort in a time of great despair. And the strength that my sister Kristina’s Make-A-Wish trip to Disneyland gave her allowed her to weather her medical crisis and live a full life. I am proud that AZ Big Media’s contribution will help Make-A-Wish impact the lives of other families like it enriched my family.”

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AZ Big Media supports animal rights

Scottsdale Living magazine and the Scottsdale Home & Garden Show, both products of Az Big Media, has been subjected to unwarranted criticism after ShapeUp US announced on 12 News TV on Saturday that they would be giving away live bunnies as prizes at the Scottsdale Home & Garden Show.

“While ShapeUp US will be conducting a health and wellness event for families at the Scottsdale Home & Garden Show, we never approved or would allow rabbits to be given away as prizes at any of our events,” said AZ Big Media Publisher Cheryl Green. “As long-time supporters of the Arizona Animal Welfare League, we are advocates for the humane treatment of all animals and would never allow the mistreatment or misuse of animals at any of our events.”

Beyond the health and wellness event, there will be hundreds of amazing vendors and features to explore at the Scottsdale Home & Garden Show. We invite you to download a free ticket at http://exposaz.com/tickets.

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Lenore Grobstein: 1944-2013

The AZ Big Media family lost one of its most dynamic and memorable members today.

Lenore Grobstein, who was vice president of sales and marketing for Ranking Arizona until she retired in 2012, died of cancer Wednesday at the age of 68.

Starting in 2003, Grobstein was the catalyst that helped build Ranking Arizona into the most iconic business directory in the state: a nearly 500-page annual that is based on the largest business opinion poll in Arizona.

Those who knew Lenore knows that she was small in stature, but big in personality. Lenore took great pride in showcasing the companies that were featured in Ranking Arizona. But if Ranking Arizona focused on individuals, there are several categories in which Lenore would rank No. 1. Most feisty. Most fearless. Most fiery. Most proud former Phoenix Suns cheerleader. Most fun. And now sadly, most missed.

Rest in peace, Lenore.

AZRE, AZ Commercial Real Estate

AZRE | Arizona Commercial Real Estate

A bi-monthly publication that debuted in January 2005, AZRE | Arizona Commercial Real Estate is Arizona’s only publication dedicated to covering up-to-date happenings within commercial development, brokerage, finance, construction, architecture, real estate law and property management.

Additionally, Arizona Commercial Real Estate is an active voice within the commercial industry with local media partnerships to organizations such as NAIOP, ABA, ICSC AZ, AIA AZ and Valley Partnership.

Pulling together the multiple facets of the commercial real estate industry in Arizona, Arizona Commercial Real Estate reaches out to the largest local and national commercial real estate audience within the Grand Canyon State, West Coast and beyond.

Arizona Commercial Real Estate has gained not only local, regional and national attention from its pool of readers, but international attention as well.

With a 25,000 circulation, AZRE began publishing its own annual publication, People to Know, in 2008. PTK is an annual resource guide and a useful informative tool that further supports the local industry’s mission to build great communities throughout the state of Arizona. AZRE created this publication to open new lines of communication, better inform those who enter our state, as well as connect natives who have seen the state prosper and grow over the years.


Read articles from AZRE’s September/October 2011 issue, or pick up a copy today:

AZRE Magazine Nov/Dec 2011 Cover

In this issue of AZRE, find out how Arizona’s Native American tribes are diversifying their economic portfolios in our Development section of the magazine. In our Centennial section, we feature the biggest and best commercial buildings in Arizona history; and DPR, Cannon Design and Banner Health are teaming up — find out why.


AZREMagazine.com

AZRE’s website features everything you’d find in the magazine, including new to market projects, including education, hospitality, industrial, IT and more; newsmakers, including awards, new hires and promotions; economic development, events, articles about green and sustainability, breaking commercial real estate news and more.

If you’d like to contact the editor of AZRE and send him press releases, story ideas and more, please email Peter Madrid at Peter.Madrid@azbigmedia.com.


AZRE | Arizona Commercial Real Estate’s Archive


Intern Opportunity at AZ Big Media

Internship Opportunity At AZNow.Biz

AZNow.Biz is looking for interns. AZNow.Biz is a web companion to Arizona Business Magazine, Arizona’s largest and most reputable bi-monthly business magazine.

AZ Big Media, AZNow.Biz’s parent company, is expanding rapidly and looking to create several websites in the next few years, which makes it the perfect place to gain priceless experience.

We are looking for interns in several areas:

  • Graphics
  • Editorial
  • Design
  • Website Development

Interns work in a hands-on manner in an open and inviting environment, perfect for fostering learning and creativity. Ideas are not only welcome – they are encouraged.

At AZNow.Biz, we’re creating a top of the line website and are always looking to add more intelligent and diverse content to our website. As an intern you would have many opportunities to be published on AZNow.Biz. We are a lifestyle and business website, which means almost no topic is off limits.

Please submit your resume and portfolio of previous work (if applicable) to AZ Big Media’s assistant Web editor Kristine Cannon at kristine.cannon@azbigmedia.com.

Editor's Letter - AZRE Magazine September/October 2010

Editor's Letter September/October 2010: A Whole New Ball Game

A Whole New Ball Game

‘Now batting, Peter Madrid

I’m standing at the plate, swinging for the fences. Beads of perspiration trickle down my forehead. My knees feel weak. Here comes the pitch …

After more than 30 years as a sportswriter and sports editor at USA Today, the Kansas City Star (Editor-in-Chief’s note: Where he modestly won’t tell you he was part of a newspaper staff that won a Pulitzer Prize in 1982), the Tucson Citizen and the Arizona Republic, I have turned in my cleats for wingtips as new associate editor for AZRE.

It’s been quite a learning curve, but those I’ve met so far have made me feel like part of the team. That includes my co-workers at AZ Big Media, and the brokers, contractors and marketing folks at some of the commercial real estate-related firms in Phoenix and Tucson.

I look forward to meeting even more of you. Please feel free to share your suggestions, story ideas and concerns; or if you just want to invite me to a Diamondbacks game (I promise I won’t bore you with locker room tales or drop names — I did interview O.J. Simpson before his run-in with the law) please call or send an e-mail.

I guess you can make the analogy that commercial real estate is a lot like sports. There are ups and downs. Highs and lows. Times to celebrate a victory and times to reflect on a loss. In the end, though, it’s all about the people with whom you work.

Peter Madrid
Associate Editor
(602) 424-8844
peter.madrid@azbigmedia.com

AZRE Magazine September/October 2010

AZ Big Media 25 years

Arizona Business Magazine Celebrates Its 25th Anniversary

An important lesson in the launch of any business or new product is to learn everything you can about your target consumer, and that’s exactly what Mike Atkinson did when he bought the Office Guide to Phoenix 25 years ago. He approached leaders in the community in such industries as health care and law, and asked them what they wanted and needed from a local business magazine.

“I took reams of notes and what came out of it was Arizona Business Magazine,” Atkinson says. “The research led me down a path of this is how it should look and read.”

Atkinson was inspired to enter the publishing arena because it presented the chance to exercise his artistic abilities. He wanted to create “a product that was fundamentally art-related and a product that could help inspire, excite and help educate,” he explains. “I’m an artist at heart, so the magazine’s pages were like my mini-canvases.”

Initially, Atkinson was the sole employee of the publication — he wrote the stories, shot the photos and sold the ads. Today, however, the company has increased to nearly 30 employees and publishes an additional six titles, including AZRE: Arizona Commercial Real Estate, Ranking Arizona, Experience AZ, People to Know, Creative Designer and Scottsdale Home & Design. The flagship publication has also undergone many changes over the years, including its frequency, which has gone from quarterly to bimonthly, and in February 2008, to monthly. The company has evolved as well, and last year was re-named AZ Big Media.

Atkinson didn’t limit his creativity to the magazines, however. In 1991, the company launched its first Arizona Home & Building Expo, which is now in its 18th year. AZ Big Media also hosts a series of awards and events that honor various segments of the business community, from health care to finance. In March 2009, the company held its inaugural Southwest Build-it-Green Expo & Conference. AZ Big Media’s newest venture, the Home & Design Idea Center, opens this summer. The company is also building a strong presence online with its new Web site, www.azbigmedia.com, where readers can find many of the stories featured in each magazine.

“If you go to our Web site, you’ll see ‘online’ is where we’re heading in the future,” Atkinson says. He adds that the future will include more home shows when the market is ready for them. He also hints of possibly even adding a radio station.

If he could go back in time and change one thing, Atkinson says, it would involve the company’s interaction with its audience online.

“At the time, we were just learning about the Internet, and I remember one of my editors came in my office and said ‘Guess where I was today? I was on the computer and I was talking to people all the way in Italy!’ and he began to describe how it took him to different places,” he says. “I thought that was pretty cool, but I didn’t have the foresight to say, ‘This computer Web thing just might turn out to be something really big!’ ”

Looking back on the past 25 years, Atkinson says his success is due to two key things: “Hard work and surrounding myself with the right people.”

Here’s to one day cashing in this 25-year silver achievement for gold.