Tag Archives: baby boomers

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AZ's First Multi-Builder Community for Baby Boomers

DMB Associates announced today the four builders that will construct homes at Victory, Arizona’s first multi-builder community for people 55 years and better which will be located in the multi-generational community of Verrado.

Only four homebuilders were selected among the interested top local and national homebuilders. The Phase One roster includes Lennar (NYSE: LEN), Maracay Homes (NYSE: WY), Standard Pacific (NYSE: SPE) and T.W. Lewis by David Weekley Homes. The combined purchase by the homebuilders totals $40.68 million.

Similar to DMB’s process of collaborating with lifestyle, health and longevity experts on the design of the community, DMB engaged an expert architect, universal design experts, and kitchen and bath designers to educate homebuilders on how the lifestyle, needs and motivations of Baby Boomers differ from traditional homebuyers.

As a result of the collaboration, these homebuilders will be offering innovative, easy living home designs with an emphasis on entertaining, personal retreats, dream kitchens including the latest appliances and technology, open floor plans, and casual living that creates connections between the indoor and outdoor living spaces.

“By collaborating with multiple builders, Victory at Verrado plans to offer its residents more choice, quality and personalization than other communities constructed by a single homebuilder. Multiple homebuilders, coupled with Verrado’s unique architectural guidelines and front porch emphasis, will create diverse and traditional looking neighborhoods,” said Nick Taratsas, DMB senior vice president and general manager of Victory. “No other developer has spent this kind of time and attention to educate builders on the specific needs of Baby Boomers.”

The first phase of homes will range from approximately 1,400 square feet to more than 3,000 square feet, available on four distinct lot sizes. Home prices are planned to range from the $200,000’s to more than $500,000.  DMB, which has a growing list of interested buyers, plans to start sales in January 2015.

The residents of Victory will enjoy all of the existing amenities the small town of Verrado offers today.  In addition, the Victory Club, which will be located at the center of the Victory District, will be the hub of the indoor and outdoor amenities designed and built exclusively for Victory residents. The Victory Club is planned to open in December 2015. Tom Lehman is designing Victory’s 18-hole golf course and clubhouse which is planned to open late 2016.  An extensive path and trail system connecting the new Victory district and adjacent White Tank Mountain range and Verrado is being planned as well.

DMB broke ground on Victory at Verrado in October 2013. The district will have 3,500 homes at build out.

Victory’s Phase One Builders and Number of Lots:

Lennar – 125

Maracay Homes – 98

Standard Pacific – 120

T.W. Lewis by David Weekley Homes- 74

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The changing role of nurses

They are the healthcare providers that will see 22 percent job growth – more than any other occupation – through 2018. They are the communicators. They bridge the gap in the medical industry. They are the part of the healthcare team that makes sure that the right patient is in the right place getting the right thing done.

They are nurses and they are now taking on more specialized roles, applying advanced technologies and filling voids created by an anticipated shortage of primary care physicians.

“We are encouraging our nurses to return to school to advance their degree,” said Deborah Martin, senior director of professional practice at Banner Health. “Patients are much more complex in our hospitals, as well as in the home and our communities … Nurses need to have higher levels of education to manage these complexities in all settings where nurses practice. Advanced degrees are now required for our upper level nursing managers.”

About 10,000 Baby Boomers reach retirement age every day, fueling the long-term demand for specialized nurses. To help fill that need, Arizona State University implemented the Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) concentration.

“It will prepare nurse practitioners to deliver primary care to adults throughout their lifespan with increased emphasis on care of the aging population,” says Katherine Kenny, clinical associate professor and director of the DNP program at ASU.

Johnson & Johnson’s website lists more than 3,000 capacities in which nurses can be employed — from school nurses to jailhouse nurses. Nurses practice in hospitals, schools, homes, retail health clinics, long-term care facilities, battlefields, and community and public health centers. Everywhere there are people, there are patients, and everywhere there are patients, there are nurses.

“Nurses are becoming more influential in the policy changes that are occurring with the Affordable Care Act,” Kenny says. “More nurses are practicing in ambulatory care settings and public and community health.”

Arizona educational institutions are now offering a wide range of educational opportunities which support the nursing profession’s challenge to improve patient care outcomes for individuals, systems, and organizations. And because of skyrocketing healthcare costs, preventative care and education have become integral elements in reducing chronic illness and minimizing re-hospitalization.

“Nurses are now specializing in everything from palliative care and managing chronic illness, to maintenance and preventative care,” says Ann McNamara, dean of Grand Canyon University’s College of Nursing. McNamara says students at GCU are spending more time concentrating on home healthcare and hospice in their new hands-on simulation labs, complete with live actors, computer-operated mannequins, and dynamic patient scenarios.

Angel MedFlight provides air medical transportation services from bedside to bedside.  The company’s CEO, Jeremy Freer, says “[Our] nurses are able to put all the components of the puzzle together and make the medical flight process more efficient, effective and compassionate.”

Nurses are also assessing the long-range healthcare needs of patients.

“Where once the hospital nurse’s prime responsibility was to provide the best care possible that the patient needed at that moment, now the nurse is also focused on what happens next,” explains Maggi Griffin, vice president of patient care services at John C. Lincoln Health Network.

Griffin says that patient discharge planning and post-hospitalization follow up are other key roles of the evolving nursing profession.

Advancements in technology have significantly enhanced patient care in recent years.  Nurses now have the ability to monitor patient conditions remotely, and electronic health records enable nurses to track, evaluate, and document patient information.

“Technology is opening doors to deliver nursing care in new and innovative ways, often serving as a second set of eyes to enhance patient safety or monitoring patients from their homes,” says Deborah Martin, senior director of professional practice at Banner Health. Martin adds that Medication Bar Coding is another example of how technology is helping nurses be more effective and prevent errors.

Due to the skyrocketing cost of healthcare in general, nurses are becoming more involved in a patient’s primary care.

“As advanced practice providers of healthcare, nurses with master’s and doctoral degrees are able to deliver high quality care to patients in their own individual practice,” Martin says, “as well as work side by side with physicians to provide care in a more cost effective manner.”

“As the major component of hospital rosters, nurses’ salaries account for a significant part of any hospital budget,” Griffin adds. “With financial stresses coming from the economy, from government healthcare program budget cuts and from other areas, nursing is much more tightly controlled.”

A decade ago, nursing shifts were scheduled regardless of room occupancy. Currently, industry experts say those staffing schedules fluctuate based on patient population in each unit.

The other major shift is in the demand for specialized nurses. Julie Ward, chief nursing officer at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, says specialties have nurses working in both the inpatient and outpatient settings.

“We are also exploring roles for nurses to shepherd groups of patients through the maze of care,”  Ward says. St. Joseph’s nurses make follow-up phone calls to patients to ensure the patient is safe and able to follow their discharge instructions, Ward says.

Still, the primary evolution of the nursing industry has been in higher education. Gone are the days when nurses were simply bedside attendants. Now, they are replacing the expensive medical doctors and are running their own practices as Family Nurse Practitioners (FNPs) and in other upper level specialties. Most hospitals are encouraging their nurses to return to school to improve their knowledge base and advance their degrees.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (IOM) launched a two-year initiative to respond to the need to assess and transform the nursing profession. The IOM appointed a Committee on the RWJF Initiative on the Future of Nursing for the purpose of producing an action-oriented blueprint for the future of nursing. Through its deliberations, the committee developed four key messages:

* Nurses should practice to the full extent of their education and training.

* Nurses should achieve higher levels of education and training through an improved education system that promotes seamless academic progression.

* Nurses should be full partners, with physicians and other health care professionals, in redesigning health care in the United States.

* Effective workforce planning and policy making require better data collection and information infrastructure.

“We are encouraging our nurses to return to school to advance their degree,” Martin says. “Patients are much more complex in our hospitals, as well as in the home and our communities. As noted by the IOM, nurses need to have higher levels of education to manage these complexities in all settings where nurses practice. Advanced degrees are now required for our upper level nursing managers.”

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Experience Matters’ Inaugural Encore Fellowship Class Graduates

Experience Matters, an organization that connects baby boomers with nonprofit and social service organizations to improve the quality of life in Maricopa County, announces the graduation of the inaugural encore fellowship class.  The first class of encore fellows has completed their yearlong fellowship with their host nonprofit organizations. Encore fellowships represent a new life-stage in which experienced boomers find meaningful ways to engage in the community and bring skilled and professional resources to these organizations that are often under-resourced.  Nationwide, 31 million boomers indicate an interest in encore opportunities.  In Maricopa County there is significant demand on behalf of both boomers and nonprofit organizations for fellowship and hosting opportunities, respectively.

“My work this past year as an Experience Matters’ encore fellow hosted by the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits could not have been more rewarding.  I learned more about the needs of nonprofit organizations and how they operate than I thought possible in just one year. It was quite rewarding to see how my 25 years of experience in the corporate world added value to a nonprofit organization.  I have a new-found respect for the Arizona nonprofit community and am committed to staying involved as I graduate from the Encore Fellowship Program,” stated Warren Mills, former valley technology executive.

“It is with great pride that we celebrate the graduation of our inaugural encore fellowship class at Experience Matters.  These fellows and organizations proved the value of matching boomers with nonprofit organizations.  What we have learned from the inaugural class indicates we can significantly increase the number of boomers engaged in paid and unpaid social service opportunities to support our nonprofit community as they work so hard to improve the quality of life in Maricopa County.  The demand is strong to connect the talent with the community, ” stated Nora Hannah, CEO of Experience Matters.

The inaugural class included the following fellows and their host organizations:

Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits, Encore Fellow Mr. Warren Mills
Altered Tails, Encore Fellow Mr. Gregg Cebulski
Arizona Foundation for Women, Encore Fellow Ms. Debbie Hall
Arizona Science Center, Encore Fellow Mr. Kris Guffey
Balsz Elementary School District, Encore Fellow Ms. Anne White
Halle Family Foundation, Encore Fellow Ms. Denise Schubert
HALO, Encore Fellow Mr. Bill Thomson
Maricopa County Animal Care and Control, Encore Fellow Ms. Isabel LeRoy
Mission of Mercy, Encore Fellow Ms. Dianne Aguilar
PetSmart Charities, Encore Fellow Ms. Linda Hannen
St. Mary’s Food Bank, Encore Fellow Ms. Christine McRight
Tempe Community Action, Encore Fellow Mr. Jeff Abraham
Valley of the Sun United Way, Encore Fellow Mr. Bob Ryan

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Experience Matters gets Grant from Virginia G. Piper

Experience Matters, an organization that connects baby boomers with nonprofit and social service organizations to improve the quality of life in Maricopa County, has received a $1.6 million grant over four years from Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust. The grant allows Experience Matters to expand its infrastructure to offer more paid and unpaid opportunities to more boomers seeking work in the social sector. Often referred to as encore careers, this represents a new life-stage in which experienced boomers find meaningful ways to engage in the community. Nationwide, 31 million boomers indicate an interest in encore opportunities.

Engaging boomers as the talent to solve community problems is the driving force of the Experience Matters’ vision and mission, and it is changing the quality of life for boomers such as Encore Fellow Anne White.  “I feel my work as an Encore Fellow brought more rewards to me than I gave to the Balsz CommunityEducation Foundation, my host organization,” stated White.  “Helping them build the infrastructure and fundraising programs for their foundation was incredibly rewarding, and I am thrilled to stay on as a volunteer with the organization beyond my Encore Fellowship,” she added.

Experience Matters aims to expand operations and deliver $34 million in human capital to Maricopa County organizations over the next five years.  The organization’s strategic plan to connect boomers with service organizations was crafted by a group of highly experienced strategists, business owners, technologists, marketing experts and nonprofit executives and community leaders over a six-month period.

“This generous grant from Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust is vital to the successful expansion of Experience Matters.  We can significantly increase the number of boomers engaged in paid and unpaid social service opportunities to support our nonprofit community as they work so hard to improve the quality of life in Maricopa County.  Both boomers and nonprofit organizations are signing up rapidly to engage.  The demand is strong to connect the talent with the community, ” stated Nora Hannah, CEO of Experience Matters.

“Experience Matters produces a high rate of return on investment because there is nothing more valuable than giving a nonprofit talent and skill,” noted Patrick McWhortor, President and CEO of Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits.  “As Experience Matters helps nonprofits engage experienced and talented boomers in their organizations, the capacity and effectiveness of the organizations has the potential to expand exponentially,” he added.

Piper Charitable Trust

Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Launches ‘Piper Trust Encore Prize’

To recognize and build on the achievements of nonprofit and public sector organizations that engage the talent of people over 50 in “Encore” roles—Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust is launching the Piper Trust Encore Prize. “Mature adults that either want to retire or retool, have something of great value—experience—and as such, organizations are learning to tap their expertise in new ways”

The Encore concept—engaging people over 50 in roles that combine personal meaning with social impact—has been gaining popularity across the country, and particularly in Phoenix, as nearly 10,000 people each day turn 60 in the United States.

Piper Trust will award up to three $5,000 prizes to organizations; one of the three winning organizations may receive a $50,000 “Encore Enhancement Prize” in addition, to expand the organization’s use of Encore talent. The Piper Trust Encore Prize is anticipated to be awarded every other year.

“Since its inception, Piper Trust has strategically invested in programs and innovations that support older adults. The Piper Trust Encore Prize is a way for us to not only recognize our local organizations for the work they are doing to engage older adults in meaningful work—but to advance the growth and understanding of Encore roles and the tremendous impact they can have on individuals, organizations, communities, and society at large,” said Judy Jolley Mohraz, president and CEO, Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust.

“The first of 78 million baby boomers have begun to hit the traditional retirement age but many aren’t retiring in traditional ways—or for that matter at all,” said Marc Freedman, founder and CEO, Civic Ventures—a San Francisco-based nonprofit think tank focused on boomers, work, and social purpose. “Instead, tens of millions want to contribute in meaningful ways to their communities, using the skills and talents they have acquired over a lifetime.”

Nonprofit and public sector organizations within Maricopa County can apply (or be nominated by others) for the Encore Prize. The Encore Prize targets organizations that engage experienced older adults (age 50+) in making significant contributions to the organization’s work in paid and/or unpaid roles. Preference will be given to organizations that provide some form of compensation. Compensation is broadly viewed and can include health insurance, stipends, salary, living allowance, expense reimbursement (e.g., mileage, meals), office space, computer use, Wi-Fi, cell phones, administrative support or other creative benefits.

“Mature adults that either want to retire or retool, have something of great value—experience—and as such, organizations are learning to tap their expertise in new ways,” said Nora Hannah, CEO, Experience Matters and former business executive. Experience Matters is a Phoenix nonprofit focused on connecting talent with community needs. ”The benefits are threefold: the organization gets invaluable talent, the individual gets personal satisfaction from doing work that makes a difference, and ultimately the community advances closer to its goals of a better life for all its citizens.”

There are 1.1 million people in Maricopa County who are age 50 or older.

“We commend Piper Trust for taking this important step toward building a community that values all its citizens and invests in what older adults can give back,” added Freedman.

To apply or nominate an organization for a Piper Trust Encore Prize or for more information, visit: www.pipertrust.org/encore. Applications are due June 29, 2012 through the online portal. Prize awardees will be selected by mid-September 2012.

Two houses joined together with staples

Together Again – Multigenerational Living

Aging population, tough economy drive increase in multigenerational living

There is a good chance that when grandma or grandpa came for holiday dinner, they didn’t have far to travel: likely from the next room.

An aging population — the Alliance for Aging Research says 10,000 baby boomers in the U.S. turn 65 every day — and a still-struggling economy have helped the extended family make a huge comeback. It’s also created a new label: the “sandwich generation,” which describes more than 16 million Americans who care for children and their parents in their home.

A Pew Research Center’s study shows that 16 percent of households have two adult generations living under one roof, a 33 percent increase from a decade ago. From 2009 to 2010 alone, there was an increase of more than 500,000 multigenerational residences.

“With pensions failing and retirees experiencing shortfalls in savings, it’s going to become even more popular,” says John L. Graham, co-author of “Together Again: A Creative Guide to Successful Multigenerational Living.” But believe it or not, aging parents are not the age group most responsible for the trend. That distinction belongs to young adults — especially those ages 25 to 34. In 1980, just 11 percent of adults in this age group lived in a multi-generational household. By 2008, 20 percent did, and the economy appears to have played a significant role. A Pew survey found that among 22- to 29-year-olds, one in eight say that, because of the recession, they have boomeranged back to live with their parents after being on their own.

While the increase in the number of multigenerational homes has presented financial challenges for some of those that find themselves with multiple generations living under one roof, it has presented financial opportunities for contractors who are adding additions or remodeling existing homes, and for realtors and home builders who see a new market opening.

“The demographics are changing, the economics are changing” says Alan Jones, Lennar’s Arizona division president. “More Americans are doubling up and it’s a trend that needs to be addressed.” Lennar addressed the trend by introducing its NextGen home, which the company markets as a “home within a home.”

“Lennar is the first home builder in the nation to address this demographic shift in our country,” says Jon Jaffe, Lennar’s chief operating officer. “Having multiple generations living under one roof is deeply rooted and desired by several cultural backgrounds in the United States. Plus, the aging of America is creating a need to care for parents, and for most people the most economical way to do that is at home. This home within a home design offers privacy for everyone.”

Lennar’s NextGen home has a specific floorplan incorporated into the main house that includes a separate first-floor living space with its own entrance, living area, kitchenette, attached garage, patio and barbecue area. There is a door that accesses the main living area. “Everyone living in the house can then share space as they see as appropriate,” Jones says. “We are actually building a home for the way that people are already living.”

Arizona Business Magazine March/April 2012

Podcast: Baby Boomers Redefining Retirement

Podcast: Baby Boomers Redefining Traditional Retirement

The baby boomers generation, comprised of about 90 million people, are beginning to head in retirement, but where are they headed?

In this week’s edition of the AZ Business Magazine’s podcasts, we’ll take a look at not only where the baby boomers will take up residence, but also how this transition into retirement looks, as well as the economical impact it can have in Arizona.

Starting back on January 1, 2011, 10,000 baby boomers will reach the age 65 every day for the next 19 years.

But the baby boomer generation is beginning to redefine how the public sees traditional retirement. According to a survey from the AARP, about 40 percent of baby boomers plan to continue to work until they drop.

It is evident that this new approach to retirement is filled with a generation of citizens looking to live an active lifestyle, and retirement communities filled with amenities can provide exactly what baby boomers are looking for.

With Arizona’s ideal weather and land to build on, new communities will being to take advantage of this new, in-demand market.

But how does this help our economy?

Baby boomers will begin to move to the Valley to call it home for retirement, and while doing so, they will begin to spend money, putting more into our economy; more people equals more demand for businesses and goods.

But what happens when the baby boomer community is gone? Will we still need these communities that were built to meet their needs? Or will businesses and communities have to close up shop once the demand is done?

This week, I spoke with Deborah Blake, vice president of marketing for Robson Resort Communities, about why the baby boomers are so interested in these active, adult living lifestyle communities and what we can expect to see here in Arizona as a result of that.

Also, Joe Scarp, owner and broker of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Phoenician Properties, called into the podcast to shed some insight on what kind of real estate trends we can expect here in Arizona and how the baby boomers will provide an impact on the state’s economy.

Hit play below to tune into this weeks podcast about the baby boomers generation, and don’t forget to leave a comment!

 

Healthcare Reform - AZRE Magazine November/December 2009

How National Healthcare Reform Could Define A Chronic Condition For Valley Construction

Healthcare Reform – Healthy Choice?

Healthcare reform has been a national hot button lately, and with it comes a focus on all related industries, such as healthcare design and construction. With the development of proposed plans, comes the scrutiny of every penny allocated, prompting a public perception that the cost of healthcare facilities drives up the cost of healthcare. Because of this opinion, many healthcare operators are feeling pressure to decrease spending on their facilities to prevent a collective outcry.

Despite the myriad subjective view points on this issue, several facts substantiate that healthcare construction should not cease.

Injecting Capital Into Growth

History has proved that government-provided medicine hinders the development of new healthcare facilities and does nothing to foster innovation or improvement. There have been many newsworthy examples of limited investment in facilities maintenance programs and improvements, resulting in run-down, non-viable centers, which minimize effectiveness of healthcare delivery.

Capital expenditures (facilities and equipment) typically comprise 10% to 15% of a healthcare organization’s budget, while staff costs can total 60% or more. Spending on projects should not be limited, but instead examined to elicit greater efficiencies through planning and design.

Booming Healthcare

The Phoenix and Tucson metropolitan areas have invested in healthcare facilities, but rural areas still lack capacity. The Hill-Burton Act of 1946, implemented “to modernize hospitals that had become obsolete due to lack of capital investment,” caused a surge of rural hospitals to be built in the 1950s and ’60s. Many of these hospitals still exist in almost the same condition today as when they were first built — unable to support current clinical demands and technological needs.

According to a U.S. News and World Report article published earlier in 2009, Phoenix ranks No. 11 on the top 20 list of cities where baby boomers are likely to retire, based on the expected senior population growth. The oldest boomers will begin to retire in 2011, and the Valley is not ready to receive them.

Arizona is short 1.5 beds per 1,000 residents, based on the national average. Because the demand on our statewide facilities will increase, not investing in additional healthcare facilities now will yield a greater shortage in the future. Seventy-six million baby boomers are anticipated to have multiple chronic conditions due to longer life spans (90+ years is the fastest-growing demographic) and will require more in-patient and primary care.

Baby boomers don’t plan to live in traditional nursing homes, as they prefer a community-centered lifestyle. The “old school” model of long-term care won’t suffice, requiring innovative facilities to accommodate the increasing numbers in a supportive manner.

To compound the demographic dilemma, earlier this year the under-20 population, or Gen Y, surpassed the number of baby boomers. This cohort now comprises roughly 28% of the U.S. population and is fast becoming equally as influential as the boomers, but with new expectations. Because this generation is just now beginning to enter its child-bearing years, more women and children’s services will be in demand at the same time boomers’ healthcare needs peak.

Reviving Investment Through Operations

As the healthcare reform debate rages, investment in design and construction of healthcare facilities must continue. Implementing effective planning and design strategies can actually help to reduce operational costs, such as staffing, because of improved efficiencies. Investing in facility updates also emphasizes a focus on better patient care through the creation of quality, healthy environments that take advantage of current technologies and meet best-practice expectations at a minimum.

To help spawn the future success of healthcare in Arizona, it is necessary for design and construction to continue at the high caliber of success it has achieved — and lead the way to providing innovative healthcare programs and facilities for the nation’s aging and future generations.

AZRE Magazine November/December 2009

Baby Boomer Bust

Baby Boomers Bust

Companies get ready as boomers start leaving the work force

The catchy term many are using to describe the impending exodus of baby boomers from the work force sounds like the title of a science-fiction film: “The Brain Drain.

But there’s nothing fictional about it. The oldest baby boomers, a group that includes more than 78 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964, began qualifying for early Social Security benefits this year. Some may choose to work beyond the traditional retirement age and others could stay on for financial reasons, but the eventual departure of baby boomers will have a serious impact on corporate America.
This might be a particular concern in upper-management ranks, where positions are most likely manned by older, more experienced personnel and a talent pool of capable replacements is thin.

“The issue is simply that our population is getting older and the birth rates aren’t equal to the aging of the population,” says Angelo Kinicki, an Arizona State University management professor, author and consultant. “You’re going to have more people exiting than you will have entering (the work force).”

Despite this demographic shift, recent surveys from Ernst & Young and Monster Worldwide agree that few corporations are properly prepared for the challenges ahead.

“What’s going to happen here is as baby boomers retire, you’re going to have a lot of people who have knowledge that are leaving the work force,” Kinicki adds.

Kinicki says it’s vital to create systems for transferring knowledge from seasoned employees and senior executives down to lower levels through the organization.
“I’d say the more progressive companies are engaging in what we call knowledge-management programs,” Kinicki says.

But, according to a 2007 Monster study titled “Building and Securing an Organizational Brain Trust in an Age of Brain Drain,” few companies have taken such steps.

While trying to determine the level of awareness companies have of the coming brain drain and what they’re doing to prepare for it, Monster found that only 20 percent of firms had a formal strategy in place to manage and preserve organizational knowledge.

Monster concludes that “the absence of such planning leaves a valuable asset exposed to a competitive market. Firms must not only recognize the value of knowledge but actively manage and protect it.”

Kinicki says several companies in Arizona, such as Intel, APS and Honeywell, have taken a proactive approach.

One corporation that has been especially innovative is Avnet Inc., a Phoenix-based Fortune 500 company that is one of the world’s largest distributors of electronic components, computer products and technology services.

Lynn Monkelien, vice president of learning and development, says Avnet is very cognizant of the imminent retirement of baby boomers.

“(We) have started looking at all kinds of ways that we can start to manage this transition period,” she says.

Among those is a multiple-tiered program that uses top-level management to teach classes for those viewed as future leaders.

Consider the Global Organizational Leadership Development, or GOLD, program. It does more than just cover particular subjects. Managers are able to expose students to their own experiences, while studentsget a chance to build relationships with senior leaders, paving the way for future coaching and mentoring.

“I think the real benefit is going to come as we start to replace some of the oldguard with the new guard,” Monkelien says.

The company also places great importance on succession planning, according to Linda Biddle, Avnet’s vice president for talent development. Avnet’s goal is to create a steady flow of people at all levels of the organization ready to take on new roles.

“Avnet is always thinking ahead, trying to predict what things are going to impact our business from a technology standpoint, from a process standpoint and, also, from a people standpoint,” Biddle says. “What we’re trying to do is not be reactionary — we’re trying to be proactive.”

Arizona Business Magazine February 2008