Tag Archives: business development

Seth Shenfeld, Courtesy of Small Giants

Seth Shenfeld joins Slater Hanifan Group

Slater Hanifan Group announced that Seth Shenfeld has recently joined the firm as the business development manager for the Phoenix office.

In this role, the 15-year veteran of business development will dedicate time to maintaining the firm’s business development focus, conduct market research and develop new opportunities for the growing firm.

Patrick Lowry, Director of Phoenix Operations for the civil engineering firm, stated “With the addition of Seth leading our client retention and business development efforts, we are well positioned to achieve our primary goal of acquiring top talent to serve our clients’ needs. Seth will continue to build our Phoenix presence while leading a team across market sectors, which is vital to our firm’s mission of being the benchmark of our profession.”

Specifically, the addition of Shenfeld gives Lowry the opportunity to focus on the operations of the firm, strategic growth and ensuring clients’ goals are achieved on all projects. Shenfeld said “I am pleased to join a firm that is so well poised for growth and allows me to bring my client relationships to a team that is distinctly dedicated to excellent client service in civil engineering.”

As graduate of Arizona State University and a Phoenix resident for 40 years, Shenfeld brings 15 years of experience to SHG’s growing Phoenix office. Additional industry leadership includes being an active member of Valley Partnership, NAIOP Arizona, ICSC and Homebuilders Association of Central Arizona (HBACA). Shenfeld is also active in the Men’s Arts Council, a Non-Profit organization that supports the Phoenix Art Museum.


Arizona Lottery Breaks Sales Records

The Arizona Lottery reports a record-breaking $724 million in sales, a 4.5 percent increase over the previous fiscal year, and the highest amount in the Arizona Lottery’s 33-year history.

Lottery beneficiaries received more than $175 million in net funding during the year. As a result of revenues for beneficiaries increasing 33 percent over the past five years, fiscal year 2014 marks the fifth consecutive year that every beneficiary designated by the Arizona Legislature received full funding.

Lottery dollars support a wide variety of programs under four main pillars: education, health and public welfare, economic and business development, and the environment, benefitting cities and towns throughout all of Arizona’s 15 counties.

Players received a huge payout with nearly $460 million in Arizona Lottery prizes, including 17 winning tickets each worth $1 million or more.

Arizona Lottery retailers big and small earned more than $48 million in commissions during the year from the sale of Lottery tickets, also a record amount.

“Generating essential funding for important state programs, while benefitting the state’s retailers, speaks to the Lottery’s commitment to enrich the lives of all Arizona residents,” said Jeff Hatch-Miller, executive director of the Arizona Lottery. “We are proud to report record-breaking sales for the seventh consecutive year and are already working toward surpassing this record by introducing innovative games to engage new audiences, while continuing to provide a wide range of choices for our core players.”

Director Hatch-Miller credits much of fiscal year 2014’s success to a surge in Scratchers® sales, which totaled more than $483.9 million for the year. The introduction of the popular Lucky Life Scratchers series greatly contributed to the year’s strong ticket sales.

The addition of the new All or NothingTM draw game and a revamp of Mega Millions® also contributed to fiscal year 2014’s financial success. All or Nothing is the first Arizona Lottery draw game offering players the chance to win $25,000 twice daily, Monday through Saturday, by matching all or matching none of the drawn numbers. The Mega Millions game was redesigned in October to have larger starting jackpots, faster-growing jackpots, a $1 million second prize and better odds of winning any prize – all for the same price of $1 per ticket.

In fiscal year 2015, the Arizona Lottery plans to introduce additional new games, beginning with the September launch of $185 Million Cash Explosion, a new Scratchers ticket that offers the highest payout ever for a $20 Arizona Lottery ticket.

Players must be 21 years or older to purchase or redeem tickets. Winners have 180 days from the drawing date to claim their prize at an Arizona Lottery office or by mail. Overall odds vary by game. All sales are final. In accordance with the ADA, these materials may be made available in an alternative format. Gambling Problem? Call 1.800.NEXT STEP (1-800-639-8783). Please Play Responsibly™. Scratchers® is a registered service mark of the California Lottery.


InnovationHub@GoodyearAz hosts series of workshops

When: Friday, May 30, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
What: Business Development and Sales Workshop
Where: The InnovationHub@GoodyearAZ at the Goodyear Branch of the Maricopa County Library District, 14455 W. Van Buren Street, Suite C-101.

The InnovationHub@GoodyearAz will host a Business Development and Sales Workshop, providing an overview of how to establish business relationships and building a sales pipeline for a startup.

The class is part of a series of workshops that will be presented at the Goodyear library to allow entrepreneurs and innovators a chance to network, open a business, and use free resources to make a business thrive. There is no cost.

Presented by Jim Cook – who has more than 25 years of sales and business development expertise in both domestic and international arenas – is the director of global business development of Arizona State University’s SkySong Entrepreneur and Innovation Center, a partner of the InnovationHub@GoodyearAz.

Cook’s experience also includes work with Microsoft Corp. in Redmond, Wash.; Sun Microsystems in Mountain View, Calif.; Network Appliance in Sunnyvale, Calif.; Wipro Technologies in Bangalore, India and Nihon Sun Microsystems KK in Tokyo, Japan, and Convergent Technologies in San Jose, Calif.

He is highly skilled at establishing successful, mutually beneficial executive business relationships with companies from the United States, India, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Brazil, Russia and Australia.

To RSVP, go to: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/business-development-and-sales-tickets-11060655719. For more information, call (623) 882-7958.

Avnet - Fortune Global 500

Insight Forms Group to Facilitate American-Chinese Business

Tim and Eric Crown, Arizona brothers who founded Insight Enterprises, have formed a partnership with Robert Parker, the former Insight Vice President of Financial Services.  Insight Enterprises is a Fortune 500 computer services company with sales in excess of $5 billion in 2012.  Together they formed the Crown Parker Advisory Group, a successful business development company focused on United States and China business relationships.

Crown Parker Advisory Group has also been working with members of the Bush family.  The group has worked together with Neil Bush on several transactions in China, as well as organizing an appearance by former President George W. Bush at the American Century Golf Championship in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.

Crown Parker Advisory Group specializes in strategic partnerships, mergers and acquisitions, raising capital and government relations.  They are working with clients in China and the United States, in the fields of clean energy, logistics, entertainment, commodities and banking.  Most recently, the group has assisted in the development of a new cold chain logistics company in China.

This past February, Robert Parker had the pleasure of interviewing China’s then-incoming President Xi Jinping, for FOX News, during his visit to Los Angeles.  At the request of the People’s Republic of China, Parker attended events at the Palm Springs’ summit between President Xi Jinping and President Barack Obama.  “We appreciate President Xi Jinping’s confidence in this new model of relations between the United States and China,” says Parker.

Robert Parker and Eric Crown have been interviewed and supplied commentary on local and national programs including, FOX News and CCTV in Asia regarding U.S. and China business relations.  Parker, who now considers President Xi Jinping a friend, says he feels confident that under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, China and the United States will succeed together in business and in friendship.

Whitney Murray

Fennemore Craig Hires Legal Marketing Professional

Fennemore Craig, a full-service law firm based in Phoenix, is expanding its marketing team hiring Whitney Murray. As Marketing Manager, Murray will oversee the firm’s advertising and public relations efforts for Fennemore Craig’s offices in Phoenix, Tucson, Denver, Las Vegas, Reno and Nogales.

Relocating from Boston, Murray led marketing and new business efforts for Prince Lobel Tye LLP law firm. Murray’s areas of expertise, include marketing, business development, public relations, event management and corporate communications. Murray holds a Master of Science in Communications Management from Simmons College.


National Bank of Arizona Hires New Business Banking Manager

National Bank of Arizona (NB|AZ) announced the hire of new business banking manager, Ward Hickey. Hickey has more than 25 years of experience in the Arizona banking industry, specializing in entrepreneurship, business development and small business administration (SBA) lending.

“I am thrilled to join the NB|AZ team,” Hickey said. “I’m looking forward to expanding the small business products group and developing mutually beneficial partnerships for the bank and the companies we serve.”

In his new role as business banking manager, Hickey will focus on growing deposit and lending products in the SBA department, reinforcing the strong commitment NB|AZ has to fueling the entrepreneurial spirit of Arizona. He will work directly under Brent Cannon, executive vice president and director of community banking, managing a small team of bankers at the NB|AZ Corporate Headquarters at the Biltmore.

“We are extremely pleased that Ward has joined the team at NB|AZ,” Cannon said. “His specialty in the small business segment, and specifically SBA guaranteed loans, will add considerable value to our organization. Under Ward’s leadership, NB|AZ will continue and improve our products and services to small businesses throughout Arizona.”

Prior to joining NB|AZ, Hickey held several executive positions and shared his expertise with various local and national banks, including Heritage Bank, Wells Fargo and Alerus Bank and Trust, among others. Over the course of his career, Hickey has procured and funded more than $500 million in SBA and commercial loan volume.

Hickey has been recognized with many awards for his exemplary work, including the 2006 SBA Financial Services National Champion of the Year, 2000-2003 SBA Arizona Small Business Banker, and the 2000 Southwestern Business Financing Corporation Banker of the Year.

In addition to his professional success, Hickey dedicates a significant portion of his time to giving back to the community through board positions with the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Phoenix and the Arizona State University Dean’s Council.

Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport

Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Named Manager Of Real Estate And Business Development

Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport has named Michael Merk as its new Manager of Real Estate and Business Development — responsible for airport property management, terminal advertising and concessions, leasing, and real estate development.

“The expansion of our Business Development team further strengthens our ability to promote available assets and expand the economic impact of the Airport,” said Lynn Kusy, executive director of Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.

Merk has 28 years of real estate and business development experience and was most recently the Director of Real Estate for BAX Global Inc. where he managed real estate operations for a four million square-foot international real estate portfolio consisting of 120 buildings in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. His most recent accomplishments include the completion of supply chain facilities at DFW Airport, JFK, and Chicago O’Hare International Airport.

Merk and his wife live in Scottsdale and have seven children.

Valley Partnership - 25Years

Valley Partnership: President's Message

25 Years of Commitment

Beginning at the end of 2011, I was charged with the responsibility of reviewing the 25-year history of Valley Partnership in anticipation of the yearlong celebration of our Silver Anniversary.

The only records kept by a small organization with a historically small staff were the binders of corporate minutes (required by law) and some photographs — not pictures on websites, CDs, JPEGs or TIFFs — of events and Community Projects. I dreaded the thought of combing through tedious legalese and staged pictures of people holding shovels pretending to do heavy lifting at some children’s facility one day a year.

I was wrong.

Reading the corporate minutes from 1987 through 2011, each year came alive with the personalities of the Chairs of the Board of Valley Partnership. They were business people who led the organization and the commercial real estate industry in some of the direst times and in some of the most successful. I read of the dedication of the Partners who served on Valley Partnership committees with missions ranging from Government Advocacy to Business Development to our Community Projects.

Although 25 years have passed and the Valley has grown beyond the boundaries that existed in 1987, one thing has been consistent: Valley Partnership is a partnership among strong individuals who are dedicated to the four corners of the Valley Partnership Mission:

  • Advocacy
  • Education
  • Networking
  • Community Service

I hope you enjoy this look back over the past 25 years, particularly the comments of the past Chairs of the Board of Directors, a collection of prestigious commercial real estate professionals who committed a significant amount of their career and time to Valley Partnership.

I invite you to join Valley Partnership for the next 25 years and become a part of the Valley of the Sun’s Premier Advocacy Group for Responsible Development.

Richard R. Hubbard
President & CEO
Valley Partnership

For more information about Valley Partnership, visit the Valley Partnership’s website at valleypartnership.org

AZRE Magazine May/June 2012

clinical research advantage - vaccines

Clinical Research Advantage Earns Vaccine Industry Excellence Award

Tempe-based Clinical Research Advantage, a community-based network of clinical trial sites, has been named Best Clinical Trial Site Network by the World Vaccine Congress. The award was announced at the 2012 Vaccine Industry Excellence Awards in Washington, D.C. on April 11th. The VIE Awards celebrate the leaders, innovators and pioneers in the vaccine industry. Clinical Research Advantage also received second place for Best Clinical Trial Site.

“We are honored to win this prestigious award,” said Mark Hanley, CEO of Clinical Research Advantage. “The key to CRA’s success has been the development of research offices within community physician practices. We take pride in partnering with these established practices to provide rapid, successful enrollment that expedites the process of bringing vaccines to market.”

Casey Orvin, CRA’s Vice President of Business Development was on hand to accept the award in Washington, D.C. “It is with great honor that we accept the award for Best Clinical Trial Site Network. We are grateful to all the pharmaceutical sponsors and CROs who trust our sites and staff, time and time again, to successfully enroll in their vaccine studies. We have been fortunate, for the last several years, to be the leader in providing high quality data and rapidly enrolling sites to the vaccine industry,” said Orvin.

The Vaccine Industry Excellence Award nominees are voted on by an independent judging panel, comprised of senior industry representatives from public health organizations, non-governmental organizations, academic and research institutes, industry experts and affiliate member associations, pharmaceutical, biotech, global consultancies and press affiliates.

For more information on Clinical Research Advantage, visit Clinical Research Advantage’s website at crastudies.com.

digital stream 1's and zero's

QR Code – Encoding And Promoting

Local businesses generate leads, experience immediate results with effective QR code strategies

In just six months in 2010, from July through December, the use of QR codes (abbreviated from Quick Response Codes) increased twelvefold. And in 2011, ScanLife’s mobile barcode trend report documented that, worldwide, scans increased by 440 percent.

QR codes were created in 1994 in Japan to track vehicle parts. So why did they suddenly, almost in a virus-like effect, become as widespread so quickly?

The answer: smartphones.

While it’s no secret businesses, including top brands such as Starbucks, Ford, Best Buy and Audi, are taking advantage of the QR code boom, there are a few businesses out there baffled over how to use them correctly and effectively.

QR codes are a type of matrix barcode that encodes information, and its contents are able to be decoded at high speed using a QR code scanner app on smartphones. They have been found virtually everywhere — product packaging, business cards, magazines, restaurant menus, marketing collateral and more. But, the real question is, can all businesses benefit from using QR codes?

According to both Jeff Gottschalk, CEO of Gotty Code, and Rebecca Heft, senior creative director for Gate6, QR codes can work for nearly everyone, it just takes a bit of creativity, targeting the right audience and following up. Not only are the results immediate, but this is also a cost-efficient way to interact with customers and develop one’s brand.

“Every business can benefit from QR codes if they have a compelling use for them and the right customers,” Heft says.

Heft recommends businesses think about what they want to deliver to their customers and then determine if adding a QR code would enhance the experience.

For example, Amber Cox, Phoenix Mercury president and COO, says the team used QR codes on placards given to fans in the arena, on signs located near the ticket office and in other in-arena advertisements. Scanning the QR codes offered fans an opportunity to win prizes. However, she says, this was also an experience for the person to engage with the Mercury brand on another level.

“We’ve been able to quickly accumulate sales leads for people that we know have engaged with the Mercury on some level prior to us talking to them,” Cox adds. “That is valuable in itself.”

Shell Vacations Club, which offers vacation ownership in destinations nationwide as well as Canada and Mexico, used QR codes to gather data and leads with a giveaway. If you scanned the QR code, you earned a chance to win a one-night vacation at a Shells Vacation resort.

“They captured 866 leads in 30 days,” Gottschalk says. “They experienced more than 1,300 visits to the campaign on their website.”

Other popular uses for QR codes include offering coupons, product information, making purchases and linking to the business’ social media pages.

However, for GreenbergTraurig, LLP, which takes a business-to-business (B2B) approach, QR codes were used as an electronic medium for paperless delivery of attorneys’ white papers to the business community with timely, relevant information.

“QR codes have allowed GreenbergTraurig attorneys to become even more effi cient with their presentation of resource materials and community education on legal aspects of timely topics within the business marketplace,” says Matt Burrow, director of client relations and business development.

For instance, two GreenbergTraurig lawyers put a QR code at the end of their powerpoint presentation during a seminar and asked the audience to scan or opt in for a report that covered everything they discussed. They garnered about 37 leads, improving their leads by about 1,000 percent.

“QR codes offer real world interaction where companies are able to tell their story and capture data in an environment where they normally wouldn’t,” Gottschalk says.

“Businesses need to understand what data will give the most return in investment and help make your marketing initiative as effi cient as possible moving forward.”

More importantly, Gottschalk says the key is following up and using the data collected through the QR code campaign, data such as names, emails and phone numbers. “The fortune is in the follow-up,” he says.

So when is the right time to use a QR code? According to Heft, perfect opportunities to scan QR codes are during those with built-in waiting times, where potential customers or clients have to wait.

“Give a virtual-world bonus for your real-world location,” Heft says. “Think about places where people have to wait, such as airport. Create a fun and interactive way for them to get to know your brand by using a QR code as a catalyst.”

Cox agrees that QR codes are an innovative way for companies to interact with their customers, crucial to the development of a brand. And with more than 450 million smartphones sold in 2011 and a total of more than 600 million sold by 2015, now is the time for businesses to consider their mobile presence.

“With mobile Internet set to outpace desktop Internet usage towards the end of 2013,” Heft says, “it is becoming more and more important that businesses think about way to promote themselves on the mobile Web.”

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QR Code Tips

1. Know your audience target market: Are they tech savvy? If not, offer instructions.
2. Give them a reason to scan: Entice them, and give them an incentive — a powerful call to action.
3. Placement; where will it go? Consider places where people have to wait.
4. Make it mobile friendly: Don’t send people to a website or video not formatted for mobile use. Be sure the page or link loads quickly.
5. The bigger the better: But, QR Codes must be high contrast, too.
6. Get creative: Create a memorable, fun experience, and get them excited.
7. Collect data to generate leads, and follow up with your customers.



Arizona Business Magazine March/April 2012

In & Out Box, Ready for Recovery - AZ Business Magazine Jan/Feb 2011

Businesses Tasked With Retaining Key Talent In Months Ahead

Anne C. Ruddy, president of WorldatWork, an Arizona-based professional association of human resources practitioners, has extensive experience leading and managing large organizations at the highest level. A talent innovator, she uses her organization and its staff of 130 as a laboratory to test new practices and transfer new ideas to its membership regarding human capital. Here, Ruddy shares a few key strategies for managing talent in this economic recovery.

What kind of impact has the recession had on work forces around the nation?
In a word, negative. Employers are painfully aware that cost-cutting measures deployed to stay afloat during the recession adversely affected workers. One of our recent studies — “The Global Talent Management and Rewards Survey by WorldatWork and Towers Watson” — confirms just how gravely the cost-cutting measures taken during the financial crisis impacted employees’ workloads, their ability to manage work-related stress and overall employee engagement. As a result, companies can expect greater difficulty in motivating employees and retaining key talent during the economic recovery.

What can organizations do to ensure a smooth post-recession recovery?

The very first thing is to identify your top performers. Who are your high-value contributors? These include not only those who drive the most revenue, but also those who play crucial roles in areas such as product development and human resources, or those who help build the employer brand and reputation. Forget the rear view mirror — you’d be smart to base decisions on future business priorities, not just recent performance. Sales employees, for example, who have generated less income than usual during the economic crisis, will continue to be highly valued given the central role business development plays in most post-recession recovery plans.

So you inventory talent and now have a list of pivotal employees. What’s next?

Show pivotal employees they matter. A-players want to know they have a future place in the company. While promotions are one way to send this message, they’re not always possible in this economy. Special assignments, involvement in high-visibility projects, skill-building opportunities, and formal or informal recognition can be equally powerful engagement and retention tools. Also, keep top performers informed about evolving business strategies. Too often, top performers join competitors simply because inadequate communication has left them feeling unappreciated, uncertain about their roles or uninformed about changing business needs.

Many employers were forced to freeze or cut pay during the financial crisis. What should they do for the recovery?

Return to pre-recession pay practices as soon as possible, and differentiate based on performance. Failure to do so can result in high performers being demotivated, demoralized, or worse yet, cause them to look at other options for employment that seem to offer greater rewards for their efforts. Organizations need to make hard decisions, both in rating performance and allocating compensation dollars. If there isn’t enough cash to go around, don’t go spreading it like peanut butter!

Given current high unemployment rates, is the war for talent over?

Quite the opposite. Companies should prepare to compete for the best and the brightest. Don’t be lulled by a perceived surplus of post-recession talent. While it’s an employers’ market for some positions, demand remains high for critical skills. Impending baby-boomer retirements and projected shortages in critical technical disciplines will only intensify the competition. To get ahead, you need to measure the talent that exists in your organization today, in order to find the talent gaps you need to fill so that the organization can get where it needs to go.

What do successful companies know that others may not?

Progressive companies, what we often refer to as “employers of choice,” know that keeping those people who are critical to success is a lot easier than going out into the market and trying to find new people, train them, mother them, and get them ready to really be productive, which usually takes a year from their date of hire.
In good times and in bad, the best companies look beyond talent management to talent innovation. They are on a perpetual quest for the best and the brightest employees, who can truly elevate the organization as opposed to passively watching the organization grow.

Arizona Business Magazine Jan/Feb 2011

USA Energy Guide

Green News Roundup – Alternative Energy, USAEnergyGuide & More

I’m always on the lookout for developments in the local sustainability industry. USAEnergyGuide was started by three Arizona entrepreneurs passionate about the environment. Realizing that rebate and tax incentives are hard for consumers to navigate, they jumped at the opportunity to create a site that would be simple and user-friendly.

Originally only for Arizona residents, the site has recently expanded to include California and Texas with plans to add more states in the future. USAEnergyGuide is your free online source used to calculate rebates and savings that you can receive by switching to more sustainable forms of energy.

I had the pleasure of meeting with two of the company’s founders — Michael Barber, director of operations and Ken Bonham, director of business development — who took the time to answer a few questions I had about their company.

What led to the creation of USA Energy Guide?
One of our Founders was going through the process of researching how much it would cost to install solar panels on their home, how much they would save on a monthly and yearly basis and what the tax incentives and rebates were, but couldn’t find a site that answered all these questions. So, we sat down and mapped out how we could make this process easier for consumers.

What challenges did you encouter and how were these overcome?
Similar to many startups we had the classic chicken and egg scenario. In order for the company to be successful, we needed installers who matched our qualification criteria and qualified leads (consumers) who were interested in being contacted by these installers. We worked to introduce ourselves to every installer in the markets we served so they could understand how we could help them be successful and also focused on connecting to consumers via social media. Along the way, various local media outlets stumbled across our site and did stories on us. The press stories and word of mouth helped us overcome both these initial challenges.

What are the company’s full line of  services?
For consumers, we provide simple ways to understand how much money alternative energy would save them, what rebates and incentives are available in their geographic area and all associated rebates for the products they are interested in. For installers, we provide leads to consumers and business owners who are qualified and ready to purchase these products.

What is your favorite aspect of the industry/company?
Our favorite aspect of the sustainability and alternative energy industry is that it is rapidly expanding and changing every day. There are new advances in solar technology and energy efficiency regularly, and more and more consumers are trying to understand how they can minimize their impact on the environment. This makes every day different and pushes our team to understand how we can help both our customers — installers and consumers — reach their goals.

What kind of a role do you think sustainability plays in today’s Arizona economy?
Right now, the sustainability industry in Arizona is only in its infancy. As costs for alternative energy technology decrease and consumers’ interest in living a greener lifestyle increase, the industry has nowhere to go, but up. However (and this is big however), the industry’s Achilles heel is support from local, state and federal governments. Without broad based government support to spur continued growth, the industry could die a quick death.

What has been the company’s greatest achievement to date?
From the beginning our greatest achievement has been providing information to consumers they couldn’t easily find before. Along with this, it’s the stories we hear from people who have used our site, found qualified installers and are now enjoying solar panels or solar water heaters in their home.

What are your future plans for the company?
While we have been primarily focused on the solar and energy efficiency industries, the sustainability industry goes well beyond those two verticals. We have big plans to not only expand the site beyond those verticals, but become a community where visitors can find a wealth of information across a wide variety of sustainability topics, both on a national and local level.


Green News Roundup-Green Expo Conference & More

The Southwest Build-it-Green Expo & Conference was a great success in numerous ways. You might be wondering why, so let’s go over a few reasons.

  • One-Stop-Shopping: The BIG Conference showcased a wide variety of options for people looking to move their business, organization, or home in more sustainable perspective. Instead of having to hunt for each piece of a project individually, it gave participants the opportunity to get projects started and things moving in one setting.
  • Community Engagement:  Looking to become “greener?” The BIG Conference brought those who are new to the idea and those who are seasoned veterans together under one roof. This provided a great opportunity to make networking contacts, to further your education and understanding of sustainability, and to get involved in local ideas and projects. When people get involved, things start to happen.
  • Education: The impressive array of speakers and topics gave participants the ability to see some cutting edge projects, work, and innovative ideas first hand. Not only were the speakers excellent, they were readily available and happy to chat with the participants about any questions that came up. This was a “two for one” when looked at from a community engagement perspective, as well.
  • Business Development: While the recession is still a reality check, the BIG Conference illustrated that there is current opportunity within the marketplace for ideas, products, and services related to sustainability. I firmly believe that businesses and organizations tied to furthering issues related to sustainability – be it solar, water, wind, materials, et cetera – will be wildly successful in the coming years.
  • The Right Direction: Getting people excited to go green and to move in a more sustainable direction is always a great thing. The conference helps to demonstrate that being green isn’t scary or difficult. To the contrary, the BIG conference helps people understand that it’s easy, fun, and a smart idea – personally, professionally, socially, environmentally – to move towards and adopt ideas of sustainability.


Baker Scottsdale

Baker Scottsdale Enters The Arizona Market With A Diverse Selection Of Quality Home Products

The Netherlands — a place of supreme diversity — is home to the Dutch, a people known for their spirit of exploration. Like the inquisitive and adventurous people from this area, Siebe Baker was no different. Baker embarked on his own pilgrimage when he immigrated to the U.S. and started his own company in 1890. More than a century later, the nationwide store now known as Baker Knapp and Tubbs is known for its craftsmanship classic furniture, custom-selected materials and fine detailing.

The company’s products are best recognized for their classic style and quality. Materials are separately chosen for each individual product, resulting in superior features and characteristics. Sophisticated artisans use traditional techniques such as carving, hand planing, upholstery, inlay, marquetry and veneering. All products have a signature finish that is painstakingly applied by hand coloring.

It is only appropriate this level of quality furniture be housed in an equally superior showroom that’s truly like no other. Baker joined forces with its sister company, McGuire, to open Baker Scottsdale, a new location in the Scottsdale Airpark. An arched doorway unites the two stores to form a resource-rich hub for furniture, exclusive textiles and leathers all under one roof.

The 3,783-square-foot showroom’s black flooring and cream-colored walls provide a simple backdrop for the impressive array of furniture, lighting and accessories on display. Creatively exhibited in lifestyle categories — contemporary, casual and traditional — the displays feature one of the largest retail presentations of Baker products in the country, housing more than 20 in-house and designer collections, as well as an assortment of complementary items.

“The items selected for the Scottsdale location reflect a combination of our newest and most fashion-forward designer collections balanced by an assortment of the distinctive, classic looks long associated with Baker and McGuire,” says Lee Russ, business development manager for Kohler Interiors.

With the customer always in mind, staff members offer floor planning assistance and can visit customers’ homes for design consultations. For more complicated projects, customers are referred to independent design professionals who have access to the showroom.

“Together with (the collections) and the ability of our staff to special order any item, finish or option in the entire product range, (this) makes Baker Scottsdale a premier venue for two of America’s premier furniture brands,” Russ says.

Marta Szwaya, vice president of showrooms and stores for Baker Knapp and Tubbs agrees. 

“Previously, our retail customers simply haven’t been exposed to things like our lighting gallery and our proprietary accessories,” she says.  “Together with an innovative new resource area and many custom finish options, all of this promises to finally put the creative experience on the level of the brand.”

The company has high hopes the new location will be a popular shopping destination.

“Scottsdale is a very affluent and quality-focused city, with tremendous support for architecture and the performing arts,”  says Rachel D. Kohler, group president of Kohler Interiors. “This is a place where people have a passion for their home.”

The opening of the new store brings to life Kohler Interiors’ long-term goal to showcase a full range of its businesses at one location and create a truly pragmatic shopping destination. Flanking the Baker Scottsdale showroom will be the final two businesses under the Kohler Interiors umbrella with the opening of McGuire and Ann Sacks, which carries tile, stone and luxury plumbing products.

Baker Scottsdale’s mission statement sums it up to a tee: “Each day we strive to inspire and fulfill a higher level of gracious living for our customers, through design that distinguishes, quality that endures, and service that delights.