Tag Archives: chandler

SanTanTechCenter, WEB

CBRE Completes Sale of San Tan Tech Center to ViaWest Group

CBRE represented the seller in the sale of San Tan Tech Center located at 145 S. 79th St. in Chandler. The 129,187 SF, Class-A property building was purchased by leading local, commercial real estate firm, ViaWest Group, for $9.6M.

Barry Gabel and Chris Marchildon of CBRE’s Phoenix office represented the seller, Austin, Texas-based Capital Commercial Investments. ViaWest Group was self-represented.

The city of Chandler currently leases 49 percent, or 63,443 SF, of San Tan Tech Center under a lease expiring in 2024. The city is doing business as Innovations, an incubator designed for innovative entrepreneurs in the life sciences and emerging technology industries. Notable tenants within the Innovations incubator include University of Arizona Center for Applied NanoBioscience & Medicine, HealthTell and Cummings Engineering, as well as other emerging technology companies.

This acquisition is a strong complement to our nearly 1MM SF of assets in the Southeast Valley. With the ability to do 7 parking spaces per 1,000 SF for back-office to high-tech industrial uses, this property is truly unique in the market. Its proximity to the 101 freeway and Chandler Fashion Square provides easy access and great amenities. We believe that with the aesthetic and functional improvements we will immediately make to the property it will be a very desirable space for tenants of 20,000 to 65,000 SF,” said Steven Schwarz with ViaWest Group.

Built in 1981 and renovated in 2010, San Tan Tech Center, a single-story, back-office/flex/high-tech industrial building, is located between McClintock Drive and 79th Street less than one quarter mile south of Chandler Boulevard and one half mile north of the loop 202 freeway. The property offers many amenities, including easy access to numerous regional shopping centers, hotels and dining options. San Tan Tech Center is adjacent to the privately owned, public use Stellar Airpark. Additionally, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is within 15 minutes of the property and two reliever airports – Chandler Municipal Airport and Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport – are within seven and 10 miles each, respectively.

Capital Commercial did a fantastic job renovating the property and leasing half of the building to the city of Chandler, which positioned the seller for a positive exit strategy,” said CBRE’s Gabel.

San Tan Tech Center currently has 65,744 SF of vacant, fully air conditioned available space. The unoccupied space is a large contiguous space which includes bullpen areas, private offices, a commercial kitchen, storage and shipping areas, which are dock-high loaded.

iphone

appsFreedom CEO Named 'Best of 2013'

Chandler-based appsFreedom™, a leading provider of enterprise mobility, was named one of the best mobile products of the year in the 2013 Mobile Star Awards™ program hosted annually by the mobile technology news and directory site MobileVillage.com. In addition, Vaidy Iyer, appsFreedom’s founder and CEO, was identified in the 2013 Mobile Star Awards™ as a visionary leader in enterprise mobility.

The Mobile Star Awards honor both industry-leading mobile products and cutting-edge new solutions in nearly 50 categories covering software, mobile devices, and visionary leaders, as chosen by readers of MobileVillage’s bi-weekly newsletter Go Mobile™.

Since 2001, the Mobile Star Awards program has showcased the best products in dozens of categories covering consumer mobile apps, devices, enterprise mobile solutions, and technology visionaries. Winners are chosen by the nearly 11,000 readers of “Go Mobile™”, which is MobileVillage’s bi-weekly newsletter that delivers informative headline summaries and links to the top mobile stories on major mobile tech sites including: CIO, CNET, TechCrunch, Computerworld, The Verge, Engadget, and many others. All categories and winners are listed on MobileVillage.com at http://www.mobilevillage.com/mobilestarawards.

“The Mobile Star Awards is the only competition where today’s most exciting new mobile products and companies can compete against established competitors on a more level playing field,” says Mobile Star Awards director Gary Thayer. “A major part of this is because votes are cast by real users who really love the products – these are the mobile early adopters, mobile IT professionals, and tech journalists who dominate our readership. And after 13 years, the mobile industry recognizes Mobile Star Awards winners and nominees as the star innovators to watch and follow.”

“2013 was truly a break-out year for appsFreedom and receiving the Mobile Star Awards was just icing on the cake for our company. We were thrilled to wrap up with the year with the additional recognition that we are successfully building a world-class enterprise mobility company,” stated Vaidy Iyer, appsFreedom founder and CEO.
The appsFreedom solution includes a multi-channel multi-device platform-as-a-service (Freedom Platform) and pre-built and ready-to-use app templates (Freedom Apps) that help companies accelerate time-to-value and extend the mobility value proposition throughout the organization. The platform simplifies a customer’s ability to design, build, deploy, manage and analyze the adoption of mobile apps.

The appsFreedom Version 3.0 solution consists of:
• Freedom Platform: multi-channel multi-device platform-as-a-service to easily design, collaborate, build, deploy, manage and analyze in-house developed apps and a corporate app store
• Freedom Apps: pre-built ready-to-use app templates that are deployed in a matter of days for key business functions including sales and operations

The appsFreedom solution is offered under a simple per-user subscription based pricing model. The solution has no limitations on the number of apps or transactions, and customers can incrementally add users at any time.

startup

Getting an angel to open the checkbook

Governor Jan Brewer touts her policies and business regulatory climate as the reason Arizona is growing new businesses. That may be a factor, but it’s not the major reason Arizona topped the Kaufman Foundation Index of Entrepreneurial Activity in 2012. If it were the case, Arizona would have been on top again in 2013—instead of plummeting to 20th nationally.

“Just because there are a lot of startups,” observes Barry Broome, CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, “doesn’t provide a measure of the economic growth in the Valley.” A startup can be someone opening a consultancy, a contractor or the next Apple. Self-employment is a form of startup. The challenge is nurturing a startup so it grows with high value jobs.

Local governments and the Arizona Commerce Authority see major value with growing Arizona startups into enterprises. Chris Mackay, economic development director in Chandler says, “There’s staying power when a business is local. It’s connected to the local community and if the economy falters, the owners are more willing to keep going locally as opposed to closing up shop.” That local staying power is one reason Mackay says Chandler makes big investments in growing future enterprises.

Planting the seeds

Arizona’s new economy needs startups to scale up into enterprises. Those growing small businesses become hiring employers offering high value jobs paying home-buying income. Government policy supporting businesses that can scale up is based on simple economics.

Businesses with more than 20 employees, says the Small Business Administration, generate two of three Arizona paychecks. Those same businesses cut checks for more than 70 percent of Arizona’s private payrolls. The value in 2012 was over $100 billion.

All new businesses are “startups,” but not all startup businesses will be entrepreneurial enterprises. “There is no relation between starting a business and starting a company,” says Dr. Daniel Isenberg, Professor of Entrepreneurship Practice and founding executive director of the Babson College Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Project in Boston. “Ninety percent of companies formed don’t grow high value jobs.”

Isenberg says that the difference between a start-up and enterprise is a matter of scale. He is an international advocate for scaling a business to grow as opposed to opening a business. An entrepreneur, he points out, is a business founder with a large company that just happens to be small right now.

Arizona State University, as the new American university, is at the cutting edge of helping turn ideas into enterprise. Recently, the college joined the elite ranks of schools offering a stand-alone degree in entrepreneurship. It’s on that list with Harvard Business School, Babson, and University of Texas. Its goal is getting new businesses that can grow into the market.

Locally grown

ASU says more than 70 percent of its W.P. Carey School of Business MBA graduates remain in Arizona. Keeping these graduates in state provides the human resources necessary to building new enterprises fueling the future economy.

“Starting a company — as opposed to just starting a business — is hard work,” says Isenberg. “An entrepreneur looks at the business and sees it growing. It’s a time of sleep deprivation, hard work, and endless pitches.” Few startups achieve quality growth—less than ten percent, he believes. “The golden triangle of a growing enterprise,” he continues, “is cash, customers and people.”

“An entrepreneurial endeavor isn’t limited to startups,” Isenberg emphasizes. “University research, family businesses, mature companies, all can be turned into a growing enterprise. Most startups tend to stay small.” The key to the economic contribution of startups in Arizona is scalability. He is adamant about it, “Ambition is not a dirty word. A business founder without ambition does not significantly contribute to overall economic growth.”

“There are a number of entrepreneurial success stories arising from a new direction for an existing, mature business,” Isenberg reports. Sometimes it takes a new owner with a vision; sometimes the existing management team finds a new direction. It can be a license from a university, a new product, or an innovative use of an existing product. Entrepreneurship can occur anywhere in a business’ lifecycle.”

Bringing ideas to market

Arizona colleges are on that licensing bandwagon. Entrepreneurs complain that it takes years to license patents or transfer technology from most universities. In ASU’s Office of Knowledge and Enterprise Development, the Arizona Furnace Technology Transfer Accelerator — first project of its type in the world — slashes technology transfer time from years to months. The AZ Furnace is a joint venture of ASU, University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University and Dignity Health. Funding partners include the Arizona Commerce Authority, BioAccel, and additional support from Thunderbird School of Global Management.

“There are hundreds of patents sitting on shelves at universities that could be in the market earning money for creators, colleges and businesses,” enthuses Gordon McConnell, assistant vice president, Entrepreneurship & Innovation Group in OKED. “We started a program to get patents into the market quickly.” The startups selected for incubation in AZ Furnace are either entrepreneurs in search of an idea to market or idea-creators ready to market through a business entity. The fledgling enterprises are capital-ready in 12 months or less.

Enterprise starts with a leader and a vision. The scale of the vision is what makes the difference, says Isenberg. The vast majority of business owners are thinking of a model that gets them to the point that they’re putting money in the bank. He says, “Entrepreneurs are thinking of a model that finds smart people, willing customers and puts the cash to back into the enterprise.”

“Angels invest in businesses they understand or CEOs they respect,” says Broome. “There’s a need for more of that in the Valley. We’re just not seeing the next Apple or Google evolving here.”

Gaining visibility

“The biggest challenge about getting angel and venture money is visibility,” says Brandon Clark, region coordinator for Startup Arizona.  “If you’re a promising digital startup locally, it’s a little harder to get noticed nationally being from a region not known for its digital startups.  That’s starting to slowly shift.” National publications, FastCompany and Entrepreneur Magazine, have eyed Arizona as an emerging technology region.

The development opportunity for the small business is capital. Combine the “Broome Factor”—known businesses; known leaders—with the large number of startups, and there are too many funding requests heading towards too few checkbooks.

What makes early investors open pocketbooks to startup businesses is scalability. Businesses with potential to grow create the greatest return on investment for the angels. “It’s also makes a difference to the local economy,” says Isenberg. “Local policymakers need to change their focus from ‘startup’ to a ‘high value growth business’.”

Cities like helping scalable startups — and provide resources that build success. There’s a loyalty factor when the business grows; it typically remains in the hometown that helped it succeed. This is important to Chandler, Mesa, Peoria, Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Surprise. These five cities have specifically invested in incubators and accelerators to nurture and graduate businesses achieving market traction. Chandler, Phoenix and Tucson have involvement with collaborative workspaces — Gangplank and Co+Hoots — as well.

While an employee or two in a collaborative workspace works well for a while, the time comes when a move up is needed. Clairvoyant, an enterprise and analytics startup now in Chandler Innovations started with Gangplank. “We grew from four employees in March to 12 in April,” smiles Amber Anderson, a firm partner and its business developer. “We needed a place to meet with clients and work with a growing team.” Still self-funded, the growing entity plans to hit 20 employees by January.

Mackay explains, “We help a company like this grow and hope that as it expands it continues to locate in Chandler.” To that end, the city is working with landlords in its Price Corridor to offer “teenage” space that lets a business move from the heavily subsidized rents and back office support of the incubator into its own place—without too much sticker shock.

Support from cities

The difference by which startup is accepted into a city’s incubator is the ability to scale up from the garage to commercial space; from one employee to more than 20. Chandler and Mesa are looking for businesses with this capacity. Innovations gives lab and office space to businesses that have formed entities — LLCs, corporations, partnerships — and a business plan. Mesa’s new Technology Accelerator is planned with a similar focus, but is looking for businesses at an earlier stage. Surprise’s Arizona TechCelerator wants to shepherd a business to the angel investor stage.

In Surprise, scalability is one of the criteria to be accepted into Arizona’s oldest incubator. The TechCelerator is looking for businesses offering something outside the box or creating a new niche. “The company has to be started before we’ll consider them,” says Julie Neal, the economic development coordinator for the city’s enterprise. “They need a mentor, a plan and have to know where they are going.”

“Scaling up is difficult,” says Isenberg, “but doing it right defines the difference between the successful entrepreneur with a growth business and a startup that just stays small. Marketplaces are competitive. The startup has to acquire customers. That means overcoming inertia or changing buyer behavior. While established companies are cruising on their business platforms, the startup has to hire people, start a company, raise money, and all the while, it’s competing in the marketplace. That’s tough work.”

After incubation, the business must gain market traction. At this phase, the fledgling enterprise has product going out and customers paying for it. The kinks are being smoothed, and it’s time to move up to the next stage and grow. Isenberg says that the high growth criterion is simply 20 percent annual increases in sales or staff for five years.

Getting capital

To make this leap requires high levels of capital — the checks venture capitalists cut. The biggest challenge in Phoenix is that there are few sources for local venture capital. The venturists hang out in places like Silicon Valley, Boston, San Diego and Seattle. “There are even a couple of funds with deep ties to the Valley,” worries Clark, “but they have very little involvement in local startups.”

Clate Mask, CEO of Infusionsoft, had to travel out of town for his venture capital. “At one time, I was told that a fund wouldn’t cut a check for a firm in Phoenix because we didn’t have the workforce for success,” he says. “That’s no longer true; venture funds are seeing that there is a real climate for success in the Valley.”

Another resource for a growing business is the Arizona Commerce Authority’s “Growing Your Arizona Business” services. The quasi-public agency provides mentorship, regulatory assistance, access to incentive programs and site selection. It also works as a liaison connecting the growing business with other business resources. The agency mentors businesses in accessing federal procurement and grant opportunities as well as serving as an entrée to international trade.

Overall, the major resource in Arizona for start-up businesses is the universities. Anemic legislative funding for the schools causes their efforts to help to face the same struggles growing businesses face. Their efforts to improve Arizona’s long-term economy are stymied by a declining source of capital.

“ASU is underfunded,” complains Barry Broome. “The school has done an amazing job despite being financially crippled by budget cuts. It’s suffering from a lack of resources to take its programs to scale.” “Scalability” is applicable to the business-development programs at the universities and other public agencies just as it is for growing enterprises.

“Getting money for those programs is the top job for the next governor,” predicts Broome.
Opportunity in Arizona will come from the core of businesses growing today. They will create the jobs for the new economy and drive economic success for the next generation.

WellsFargoLogo

Date Set for Wells Fargo Campus Expansion Ground Breaking

Wells Fargo will conduct a ground breaking ceremony as it formally announces plans to double the size of its current facilities at the Ocotillo Corporate Center.  Wells Fargo will invest approximately $125 million to expand its current facilities by 410,000 SF which will allow the company to further invest in the community and bring more of its area team members to Chandler.

The expansion will add two new four-story buildings, including office space, a meeting and event center, and a full service team member café, bringing total square footage at the campus to approximately 810,000 square feet.  The new buildings will be designed and built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standards set by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

Groundbreaking is on Wednesday, Dec. 11.

JayTibshraeny_PriceCorridor

Tibshraeny Named Municipal Leader of the Year

American City & County magazine has selected Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny as its Municipal Leader of the Year.

Mayor Tibshraeny will be featured in the November edition of American City & County, which has been the voice of state and local government since 1909. The magazine serves city, county and state officials who are charged with developing and implementing government policy, programs and projects.

“Mayor Tibshraeny proves that through foresight and endurance, America’s local leaders can help overcome their community’s problems,” said Bill Wolpin, Editor, American City & County Magazine. “His story is worth sharing in the hopes that others will become inspired.”

This honor is in large part due to Mayor Tibshraeny’s role in economic development and specifically, creating, protecting and preserving the Price Corridor.  The Price Corridor is Chandler’s major employment corridor and has been instrumental in attracting high wage technology jobs to the city.

Price Corridor is home to large corporations such as Intel, Bank of America, PayPal, Microchip Technologies, Orbital Sciences, Rogers Corporation and Wells Fargo. In the past year alone, General Motors, Infusionsoft and Nationstar opened in the Price Corridor.

“Chandler is a leader in the region in job creation and today the Price Corridor is home to an impressive roster of companies,” said Mayor Jay Tibshraeny. “This success validates our efforts to protect the area from residential encroachment. I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish in the area as Chandler is now recognized as a premier innovation and technology hub throughout the Southwest.”

In addition to his achievements with the Price Corridor, Mayor Tibshraeny is being recognized for a wide variety of accomplishments including; the Four Corner Initiative and Adaptive Reuse Program, creating a healthier community, neighborhood outreach, job creation and University partnerships and transparency through technology.

bank loan

Alliance Breaks Ground on Flagstaff Banking Center

Alliance Bank of Arizona, the state’s largest locally owned and headquartered bank, broke ground Friday on a new multimillion-dollar Flagstaff banking center.  Alliance Bank of Arizona President Ed Zito hosted the groundbreaking event with Executive Vice President Sherri Slayton. The event was also attended by Flagstaff Mayor Jerry Nabours and President and CEO of the Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce, Julie Pastrick.

“Since we opened our first branch in Flagstaff eight years ago, we have been committed to fueling our local economy,” said Sherri Slayton, EVP and Regional Manager of the bank’s Northern Arizona division. “As a long-time resident and banker in this area, I am especially excited to see Flagstaff businesses rebound and flourish. Our Flagstaff team, with experienced local bankers who know this region, is proud to serve the people who make Flagstaff the extraordinary community we call home.”

“Today’s groundbreaking is testimony to the strength of the Flagstaff Alliance Bank team,” said Julie Pastrick, President and CEO of the Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce.  “Under the leadership of Sherri Slayton, they have consistently demonstrated a high level of financial acumen and community outreach that allows for this large investment in our local Flagstaff community.”

The 6,000-square-foot center marks the bank’s significant expansion in the area and the region. The facility is an extension of Alliance Bank’s growth in key business markets as home to a large number of commercial and industrial businesses, enabling the bank to better serve Flagstaff customers.  It is scheduled to open in the summer of 2014.

Alliance Bank, which started with a single office and 20 employees in 2003, is now the largest locally owned and headquartered bank in the state with $3.3 billion in assets. A leading business lender, it has built a reputation for its responsiveness, local expertise and reliability as a lending resource.

Alliance Bank of Arizona is a division of Phoenix-based Western Alliance Bank.

A Guide to Applying for a Bank Loan

Alliance Bank Breaks Ground on Chandler Office

Alliance Bank of Arizona, the largest locally owned and headquartered bank in the state, announced groundbreaking this morning for its new Chandler office which will be located on Ray Road and the Loop 101 Price Freeway.  Victor Napolitano, Senior Vice President of Alliance Bank, hosted the event and introduced Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny and Jim Lundy, Alliance Bank CEO, for comments.

This will mark the 12th location for Alliance Bank, which was started just over a decade ago. The bank also broke ground for a new facility in Flagstaff today which will expand its existing Northern Arizona regional office space by three  times.

The Chandler facility is scheduled to open in the Summer 2014 and is an extension of Alliance Bank’s growth in key business markets, including Chandler, where it already banks a large number of commercial, industrial and professional businesses.   The new, two story 28,000 square foot office will house commercial and retail banking facilities as well as a number of support functions and will enable the bank to better serve its growing southeast valley customer base.

“Since we began over 10 years ago, we have been dedicated to being a strong lending resource for local businesses.  We are excited about the prospect of working with the rapidly growing number of commercial and industrial businesses that call Chandler home. We are committed to being a thoughtful and consistent financial resource to help businesses grow. That commitment allows both the bank and its customers to succeed and in turn give back to the community,” said Jim Lundy, CEO, Alliance Bank of Arizona.

Alliance Bank of Arizona’s focus is to deliver a broader product array and larger credit capacity than a traditional community bank, and to offer relationship-based, personalized service, and lending capabilities to meet the needs of virtually any Arizona business. It is a division of Phoenix-based Western Alliance Bank.

Pictured above from left to right: Tony Grinstead, Maintenance and Engineering Senior Resource, Pepsi Beverage Company; Tom Schaefer, Director of Resource Conservation, Pepsi Beverage Company; Curt Hilliker, VP Commercial Division, Sun Valley Solar Solutions; Jeff Rutkowski, Maintenance and Engineering Senior Manager, Pepsi Beverage Company.

Chandler-Based Solar Company Wins Bid for Gatorade Bottling Facility

Sun Valley Solar Solutions has been awarded a 1.7MW solar PV project for the Gatorade bottling and packaging facility in Tolleson, Arizona.

The project attracted interest from six leading solar energy companies from across the U.S. Chandler-based Sun Valley Solar Solutions assembled the winning bid that includes all engineering, procurement, and installation services.

“We really wanted to find a team that could deliver the complete package-from design and installation, to ongoing support,” explained Tom Schaefer, Director of Resource Conservation for PepsiCo. “While there were several very solid contenders, Sun Valley Solar Solutions delivered on all the key metrics required for a project this size. I’m confident that we’ve selected a great partner for this job, and thrilled that the project went to a local team.”

Sun Valley Solar Solutions begins construction at the Tolleson plant this month. The project, which will be fully constructed by the end of 2013, is expected to provide over 3 million kWh of energy annually.

System components include more than 5,000 Canadian Solar modules, along with top-grade stainless steel racking from Michigan-based Applied Energy Technologies(AET), and 3 Advanced Energy inverters.

“Gatorade understands the positive impact that clean energy can bring to the bottom line as well as to the community around them,” commented Curt Hilliker, VP of the Commercial Division at Sun Valley Solar Solutions. “Their leadership plays an important role in driving the acceptance of commercial-scale solar energy, and we’re tremendously excited to partner with them on such an important initiative.”

economic development - 8 honored

GPEC honors Valley mayors for contributions

The Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) last night honored Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny and Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord at its annual dinner, which celebrates GPEC’s successes over the past year and looks ahead to upcoming initiatives. This year’s dinner sold out with an all-time high attendance of approximately 650.

Mayor Tibshraeny was presented GPEC’s Outstanding Regional Contribution award for his exceptional leadership, which has helped increase Greater Phoenix’s economic competitiveness and create a more diversified regional economy. His assistance in the successful recruitment of General Motors, Continuum Nationstar Mortgage and many other organizations has resulted in more than 4,800 jobs for the Chandler area and propelled economic prosperity for the surrounding region.

“Mayor Tibshraeny has expanded the region’s technology sector with his steadfast leadership and business savvy,” GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome said. “Chandler’s innovative approach to economic development, and the entrepreneurial talent it recruits, is helping to make the Greater Phoenix region this country’s next high-technology hub.”

Mayor Lord received the Distinguished Service Award for her leadership in spearheading GPEC’s official protest against the U.S. International Trade Commission’s (ITC) proposed tariff on Chinese-manufactured photovoltaic panels. While the tariff was ultimately still imposed, Mayor Lord’s eloquently represented both Goodyear and the region on a national stage during a formal hearing at the ITC in Washington. She also expertly led GPEC’s Ambassador Steering Committee for three years, taking it from 130 participants to more than 1,200.

“Mayor Lord’s dedication to her community, its citizens and its employers are second to none,” Broome said. “Her leadership on the solar tariff issue greatly advanced the reputation of both Goodyear and the Greater Phoenix region, particularly abroad. As a result, she’s also shown the world’s businesses and entrepreneurs that the region supports, and advocates for, free trade.”

During the ceremony, GPEC showed videos highlighting each mayor’s successes. Those videos can be viewed at the following links:

Mayor Tibshraeny: https://vimeo.com/76570245
Mayor Lord: https://vimeo.com/76573543

Power Outage Map

SRP eyes alternatives for power line plan

Salt River Project has delayed its proposal to bring high-voltage power lines to Chandler and Sun Lakes neighborhoods.

Officials with the utility company say they’re continuing to work with the Gila River Indian Community on an alternative plan.

SRP had planned to apply for state permission to bring the 230-kilovolt power lines through neighborhoods in south Chandler in November 2013.

That application has been postponed until as late as Aug. 1, 2014.

SRP says the new power lines are needed to keep up with demand, particularly on the Price Road Corridor.

However, residents in Sun Lakes and south Chandler have protested the proposal that would bring 130-foot poles through their neighborhoods.

SRP recently released a potential route through the Gila River reservation. That alternative still requires approval from several entities.

Sandra Watson

Sandra Watson – 50 Most Influential Women in Arizona Business

Sandra Watson – President and CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority

Watson has more than 20 years of economic development leadership and experience. She and her teams have attracted hundreds of companies to Arizona that have invested billions of dollars in capital and created more than 65,000 quality jobs.

Surprising fact: “My career in economic development began in Canada. When my family and I moved to Arizona, I continued economic development work with the City of Chandler and then the state of Arizona.”

Biggest challenge: “Economic development during the recession was extremely challenging. Working with Gov. Brewer and our elected leadership to create the Arizona Commerce Authority and lay the foundation for a more sustainable economy has been incredibly rewarding and is already paying dividends through quality job creation for Arizonans.”

Fifty Most Influential Women in Arizona Business – Every year in its July/August issue Arizona Business Magazine features 50 women who make an impact on Arizona business. To see the full list, read the digital issue >>

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Former NFL Player Opening Luxury Spa in Chandler

David Barrett, a former Arizona Cardinals cornerback, is opening a boutique-style luxury salon and spa in Chandler. In his NFL career, Barrett played for the Arizona Cardinals and then later traded to the New York Jets. After retiring from professional football, Barrett has embarked on a new mission: to create a beautiful upscale salon and day spa near the Cardinals’ training facility.

“It has been my dream to open a day spa, salon and ink studio ever since I left the NFL, “ owner David Barrett said. “With the opening of D’Antonio’s Signature Day Spa & Ink we will bring a new offering to the area that fills the luxury salon and spa niche in the East Valley,” he said.

D’Antonio’s caters to the East Valley’s high-end clientele with a new salon, spa, and ink studio. The sleek interior is finished with dramatic designer fixtures and features a canary and pewter color scheme throughout. This lavish day spa is accessorized with eye-catching artwork, dramatic decor and glamorous chandeliers. D’Antonio’s is designed to balance masculine and feminine energy with a design that appeals to both men and women.

D’Antonio’s Day Spa offers clients a combination of services ranging from professional hair stylists, barbers, nail technicians, licensed estheticians, and a body art/tattoo artist. D’Antonio’s offers women’s haircuts, color, and extensions as well as a range of men’s hair design options. A full service nail salon is also available as well as facials, peels, waxing and massages. Part of D’Antonio’s signature services includes scalp massage therapy using luxurious hair oils blended with aromatic herbs and florals custom blended for the salon.

D’Antonio’s also offers a high-end tattoo studio, the first of its kind in Arizona. This luxury, appointment-only atelier is ideal for elite clientele who want their ink done by top artistic talent in chic and private surroundings. With body art becoming increasingly popular, an upscale art gallery-type studio is becoming ever more prevalent and desirable.

Located just minutes from the Arizona Cardinals’ training facility, D’Antonio’s is geared towards serving East Valley residents with a high-end day spa and salon experience. D’Antonio’s Signature Day Spa & Ink sets a new standard in the luxury salon and spa market. D’Antonio’s is scheduled to open in early August.

To learn more about D’Antonio’s Day Spa or to make an appointment visit their website: www.d-antoniosdayspa.com or call 480-878-4860 to schedule an appointment.

D’Antonio’s Signature Day Spa & Ink

2040 S. Alma School Rd. Suite #22

Chandler, Arizona 85286

(480) 878-4860

SONY DSC

Historic Chandler Wedding Venue Opens as Hip SoHo63 – waiting for photos

A historic Valley wedding and event venue will reemerge in a few short weeks with a fresh look and a brand new name under its new ownership. SoHo63, formerly the Inspirador, will host its first event in late August as a modern, multi-purpose venue for both weddings and corporate events.

SoHo63, located at 63 E. Boston Street, is set to be a vibrant addition to downtown Chandler with a renewed vision to host much more than just weekend weddings and events. The accommodating venue plans to attract events all week long, including birthday parties, workshops, corporate happy hours, meetings, bachelor/bachelorette parties, baby showers and more.

The 12,000-square foot venue was purchased outright in June by 20-year event industry veteran and local East Valley resident Kate Christensen, CMP, DMCP and her family. Christensen owns three other companies in the events and hospitality industry, the primary business being Katherine Christensen & Associates, Inc. (KCA), a meeting and event management company which has been based in Chandler for 13 years and in the Southeast Valley since its inception in 1991.

In April 2013, the Inspirador abruptly closed when the former owners foreclosed. The Christensen family identified the opportunity to purchase and add the venue to their family of companies.

“While the circumstances are unfortunate, we wanted to save the beautiful facility that has had a very successful history in providing great celebrations for weddings and other social events,” said SoHo63’s Event Curator Megan Schmidt, also the daughter of Kate Christensen. “We did not want to see it be lost from Downtown Chandler’s historic district. It was important to us to preserve this building for the East Valley, and we are thrilled to be able to do that with SoHo63.”

Schmidt says that it was a priority for the family to maintain the integrity of the hip and historic nature of the building, which was originally built as a hardware store owned by the Stapley family in 1916. The name, SoHo63, was specifically selected because the word “soho” is associated as a naming convention for things that are new, emerging and repurposed.

With roots deep in the Southeast Valley, the Christensen family is strongly passionate about and committed to the economic development of the local area. They have chosen local vendors to complete the work on the renewed space, and are dedicated to utilizing SoHo63 as a multi-purpose venue in order to bring more business to positively impact the downtown Chandler area.

“Meeting and event space are at a premium in Chandler, and I’m thrilled to see a company with experience and longevity continue to offer that service in our Downtown,” said Chandler Vice Mayor Jack Sellers.  “SoHo63 will be a valuable asset as the area continues to grow and thrive.”

SoHo63 is already working with interested brides and organizations for future events, and is committed to doing whatever they can to work with the contracted brides who were impacted by the Inspirador’s abrupt closure earlier this year.

“We have already worked with and have re-booked one bride who had her contract cancelled previously due to the Inspirador closing its doors,” said Schmidt. “We encourage other brides who were previously under contract with the former owner and have not booked their wedding elsewhere to contact us.”

SoHo63 will offer all-inclusive packages for the more “hands-off” bride or organization, and will also allow clients to bring in their own vendors if they enjoy the DIY aspect of creating their event. The venue will feature technological enhancements that make it ideal for corporate meetings and events, such as flat screen TVs, projectors, venue-wide sound system, wireless microphones and more.

For more information, please visit www.soho63.com.

About SoHo63:

SoHo63 is a hip and historic multipurpose wedding and event venue in downtown Chandler, Ariz. Featuring a grand gated entry way, multiple contemporary indoor spaces and an exquisite terrace modeled after a New York City rooftop garden, SoHo63 is a beautifully-appointed venue with a warm, modern vibe for events. For more information, visit www.soho63.com.

Banner Good Samaritan

E.V. residents can preview Banner Health Center

East Valley residents and visitors can be among the first to see the new Banner Health Center at a free “Community Preview” from 8 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 3, at the center located at 1435 S. Alma Road, south of the Loop 202 between West Pecos and West Germann Roads.

Participants can hear the opening remarks and join in the dedication at 8:30 a.m., followed by a celebration including healthy snacks, giveaways, children’s activities and information about Banner Health facilities and services. Community members are invited to meet the center’s primary care physicians and staff, tour the new center, and even make an appointment to see a physician.

Banner Health Center in Chandler will open for patient care on Wednesday, Aug. 7 starting at 7 a.m. Staff physicians will include two pediatricians, three family medicine physicians and one internal medicine physician with plans to increase in the future. Along with 18 exam rooms, basic imaging and laboratory services are also available on site for added patient convenience.

Banner Health Centers accept most insurance plans. The center will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday with same day and next day appointments available. Concierge staff answers the phones one hour before and one hour after center hours. To schedule an appointment or for more information, call (480) 668-1600.

The center will offer a wide range of services including:
·         Well-child checkups and immunizations
·         Adult physcials
·         Care for chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and asthma
·         Treatment for ear aches, sore throats and infections
·         Sports injury and fracture care
·         Minor skin irritation treatment
·         Cuts and suture removal

The Banner Health Center in Chandler is the third of four in the East Valley to open after a shared groundbreaking on Oct. 25, 2012. Banner Health Center in Queen Creek opened May 1; a center in Gilbert opened May 22 and another will open in East Mesa in early September. An additional Banner Health Center opened in Goodyear within the planned community of Estrella on July 10, joining the existing Banner Health Centers in Peoria/Sun City West, Surprise, Buckeye in the Verrado Community, Maricopa, and South Loveland, CO.

Phoenix Convention Center

More than 4,500 Mennonites will gather in Phoenix

More than 4,500 Mennonites of all ages will attend Phoenix 2013, the biennial convention of Mennonite Church USA, to be held July 1–6 in the Phoenix Convention Center. The convention’s theme, “Citizens of God’s Kingdom: Healed in Hope” (“Ciudadanos del Reino de Dios: Sanados por la Esperanza”), is inspired by Psalm 24:1, Philippians 3:20-21, Romans 5:1-5 and Ephesians 2:14-22. The theme points toward an allegiance to God that goes beyond national borders and racial divides. The last convention was held in July 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pa.

The total number of convention participants represents approximately 1,600 adults, 2,750 youth and youth sponsors, 80 junior youth and sponsors, and 100 children.

Mennonite Church USA is the largest Anabaptist denomination in North America, with more than 100,000 adult members in about 900 congregations in 44 states. The denomination has national offices in Newton, Kan.; Elkhart, Ind.; and Harrisonburg, Va.

Arizona is home to seven congregations that are part of Pacific Southwest Mennonite Conference, one of 21 regional conferences of Mennonite Church USA. Phoenix-area Mennonite congregations include Christ Life Chapel, First Mennonite Church of Phoenix, Sunnyslope Mennonite Church, Koinonia Mennonite Church (Chandler), Life House Community (Surprise) and Trinity Mennonite Church (Glendale).

The convention will include time for worship, fellowship, seminars, concerts, performances, workshops and meetings of the Mennonite Church USA Delegate Assembly, the denomination’s primary decision-making body. Delegates plan to discuss two resolutions: one focusing on creation care and environmental degradation, and one addressing child abuse and neglect and encouraging the adoption of policies and practices to protect children and youth.

deal

OnTrac bringing 850 jobs to Chandler

OnTrac, the leader in regional overnight package delivery service in the eight Western States, is moving its corporate headquarters to Chandler.

The new offices are located in the Price Corridor at 2501 S. Price Road. The new building provides the company with additional space and the opportunity for future growth. It will also allow OnTrac to grow its company culture and continue raising the bar for OnTrac’s standard of excellence. The company will occupy 65,000 square feet of space in the building.

“We’ve begun construction and will spend in excess of $5 million on the relocation of our corporate headquarters,” said Rob Humphrey, President of OnTrac. “And, we expect to bring more than 850 jobs to the City of Chandler over the term of the lease.”

“Chandler’s central location and quick access to the interstate and freeways make it an excellent choice for businesses that have a diverse workforce,” said Jay Tibshraeny, Mayor of Chandler. “We are seeing the benefits of that as businesses such as OnTrac and other notable companies choose to locate in the Price Corridor.”

OnTrac joins other employers in the Price Corridor in key industries of Aerospace, Life Sciences, High Technology R&D/Manufacturing and Advanced Business Services.

OnTrac is currently occupying space in Phoenix until improvements are completed.

Steve Sanghi - Microchip Technology

Microchip Acquires Novocell Semiconductor

Chandler-based Microchip Technology Inc., a leading provider of microcontroller, mixed-signal, analog and Flash-IP solutions, through its Silicon Storage Technology (SST) subsidiary, and Novocell Semiconductor, Inc. (Novocell) announced that Microchip and SST have signed a definitive agreement to acquire Novocell.  The acquisition was approved by the Boards of Directors of each company and is being announced at the 2013 Design Automation Conference (DAC) in Austin, Texas.  The terms of the deal are confidential.  The transaction is expected to close in early June 2013 and is expected to be immediately accretive on a non-GAAP basis.

“We are pleased to announce the acquisition of Novocell and are expecting great things as we integrate the technology into our ever-expanding portfolio of IP solutions,” said Mark Reiten, vice president of Technology Licensing for SST, a wholly owned subsidiary of Microchip.  “This acquisition provides our customers with valuable and differentiated technology and helps us to enable their designs with an even more comprehensive set of solutions, expanding our position as a leading memory IP supplier.”

“We are extremely happy to become part of SST and the Microchip family and are excited by the strategic possibilities available to us, moving forward, from both a business as well as a technology perspective,” stated Walter Novosel, Novocell’s president and chief technical officer.  “Novocell has continued to grow its portfolio of non-volatile-memory IP solutions since its inception, and we fully expect the technology to see an increased adoption from joining a leader like SST in the memory IP market.  With SST’s offerings in the high-density arena, we can concentrate on not only expanding our customer base, but also growing the footprint that SST has built with customers worldwide in low-density OTP and MTP memory.”

Under the acquisition agreement, Novocell will become a wholly owned subsidiary of SST, a Microchip company.  SST and Novocell are committed to a seamless customer transition.  SST plans to invest in continuing, designing, developing and extending Novocell’s product portfolio and roadmap.

volunteer

SRP Donates $94,500 to Nonprofit Agencies

Salt River Project employees are turning their volunteer hours into much-needed funds for the nonprofit organizations they assist through the SRP Dollars for Doers program.

The program contributes funds, ranging from $250 to $1,000, directly to community nonprofits based upon the number of volunteer hours donated during the 2012 calendar year by SRP employees. The grant program is designed to provide funding to nonprofit agencies that are also supported by the volunteer efforts of SRP employees.

“SRP has a distinct heritage built upon responding to the needs of our customers and the communities in which they live, and we recognize the value of providing support to organizations whose programs are improving the lives of our community,” said Jen Martyn who manages the SRP Volunteer Program.

SRP donated $94,500 to 106 nonprofit agencies in which 141 SRP employees donated more than 29,000 hours of their time and experience in cities throughout the Valley, including Avondale, Camp Verde, Casa Grande, Chandler, Douglas, El Mirage, Gilbert, Glendale, Higley, Litchfield Park, Mesa, Page, Peoria, Phoenix, Pine Top, Queen Creek, San Tan Valley, Scottsdale, St. Johns, Tempe and Tolleson and Tucson.

Employees contributed to their community in a number of ways, including:

· coaching youth football, baseball, soccer and swimming,
· providing children with special needs horse therapy rides,
· ushering during arts and cultural events,
· preparing meals for those in need,
· mentoring and providing leadership to youth and
· assisting schools through parent-teacher organizations and booster clubs.

energy supply - AZ Business Magazine May/June 2012

Solar Energy Powers Aspire Kids Sports Center

As the sounds of kids jumping, tumbling and somersaulting echo through the Aspire Kids Sports Center in Chandler, solar panels silently soak in the sun on the roof of the 32,000-square-foot facility.

With the help of incentives from the SRP EarthWise Solar Program, owners Scott and Dona Barclay have invested in the 100-kilowatt system, which will provide approximately half of the center’s electricity needs.

“We have had it in our plans to put solar on our building since we built Aspire,” said Scott Barclay. “We feel living in Arizona, it makes sense to utilize the God-given resources provided by the sun. We have had solar water heating on our own home since the 1980s. The technology has now advanced to make it more affordable, so we decided now was the time to act.”

The facility is equipped with state-of-the-art gymnastics equipment, a heated indoor swimming pool, dance and martial arts room and a preschool gym. It is also the home and training center of the ASU men’s gymnastics team.

“Aspire is another example of business owners who are making investments in the future of environmentally, emission-free, renewable energy,” said Lori Singleton, director of SRP Program Operations.

For more information about the SRP EarthWise Energy Solar Program, visit www.srpnet.com/solar.

rsz_vedura

Real Estate Capital Partners-Vedura Residential JV To Develop $20M Multi-Family Complex in Chandler

 

 

Real Estate Capital Partners (RECAP) of New York City has formed a joint venture with Vedura Residential of Scottsdale to develop Elevation Chandler, a $20M, 163-unit luxury multi-family community.

The community, expected to break ground immediately, will offer one- and two-bedroom apartment homes in a serene desert oasis setting.

This is RECAP’s second investment in Metro Phoenix area in the past 12 months following the August 2012 acquisition of The Arbors Apartments in Tempe.

RECAP ended 2012 having invested in nearly $1.3B of U.S. real estate through several funds and separate accounts.

Residents at Elevation Chandler will enjoy Class A interior finishes and resort-style amenities including a swimming pool and heated spa, a ramada with barbeques and outdoor fire pit, and a 3,288 SF clubhouse with conference center, gourmet kitchen, lounge area, and state-of-the-art fitness center.

Elevation Chandler is located in the Price Corridor, home to such notable employers as eBay, PayPal, Orbital Sciences, Motorola, Freescale Semiconductor, Covance, Rogers, Avnet, and more.

This high-tech corridor has given rise to new neighborhoods, schools, and a thriving shopping and dining scene.

“We are excited to partner with Vedura Residential and create a footprint in the job-centric Chandler market,” said Stephen Henry, Vice President, RECAP. “The site’s proximity to Chandler’s major employers creates an exciting opportunity to deliver much-needed housing to this expanding market.”

Elevation Chandler is the 13th investment for RECAP Metropolitan Opportunity Fund III, which has a geographically diverse portfolio of apartment development joint ventures and value-add acquisitions.

 

gaia

Biltmore Bank Sponsors Start-Up Competition

Biltmore Bank of Arizona, a premier community bank headquartered in Arcadia along the Camelback Corridor that is focused on the needs of the small and medium-sized business, announced that it has joined Tallwave, a lean business accelerator and venture management firm also located in Scottsdale, for the first-ever “High Tide” Start-Up Competition.  High Tide is focused on commercializing new sustainable ventures in Arizona by bringing validated companies to willing and motivated capital sources.

“High Tide is the only startup competition in the Southwest, applying lean business and design validation principles to identify, develop and commercialize rapid-growth startups,” said Jeff Gaia, CEO and president of the Biltmore Bank of Arizona. “Through our sponsorship of this innovative program, we believe we can help connect the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Arizona as well as assist startups in becoming become viable, scalable and sustainable growth companies.”

Thus far in the competition, High Tide has selected and celebrated 20 companies throughout the Southwest to participate in its “Phase One: Validation” program, which examines viability of each venture. Six of these 20 companies have since been announced as finalists and have now moved to the “Phase Two: Acceleration” program, which assesses product-market fit and go-to-market commercialization.

The finalists – four of whom are from Arizona – are:
Convrrt from Chandler
Creative Allies from Santa Monica, California
GreenRx from Denver, Colorado
HiringSolved from Chandler
LocalWork.com from Phoenix
SaveOnCouriers.com from Phoenix

Each High Tide finalist will receive a cash grant of $15,000 for use in company operational expenses and an additional $35,000 in scholarships for either “Product Market Fit” or “Go To Market” services from Tallwave. There is no cost to entrepreneurs selected to participate in the High Tide program. For more information, visit www.TallwaveHighTide.com.

“As a High Tide sponsor, Biltmore Bank has visibility into Arizona’s most exciting and promising startup and early-stage ventures,” said Jeffrey Pruitt, Tallwave chairman and CEO. “Entrepreneurs need the help of community leaders such as Biltmore Bank and we applaud their support of the next captains of industry.”

volunteer

11 SRP Employees Honored for Volunteer Work

In recognition of the invaluable contribution of their time, efforts and expertise to their communities, 11 SRP employee volunteers were awarded the SRP Presidents’ Volunteer Spirit Awards. These dedicated employees have given countless hours of their time to help families put food on their tables; provide guidance to Latino youths as they prepare for college and give children with special needs horse therapy rides.

“Each year SRP recognizes inspiring employee volunteers who give of their time to helping Arizonans through a wide variety of community organizations,” said Rosemary Gannon, manager of SRP Community Outreach, who added that SRP employees and retirees, with help from their friends and families, donate thousands of volunteer hours a year to their communities. “Strong, thriving communities rely on the volunteer efforts of individuals like these recipients.”

This year, in addition to the SRP Presidents’ Volunteer Spirit Award, SRP employee Kyle Bridges was honored with the Karl F. Abel Volunteer Recognition Award for his sustained leadership role in addressing significant human service needs in his community. The late Karl F. Abel, a Glendale resident who served as president of SRP from 1972 to 1982, was a strong community advocate and  provided volunteer leadership to numerous organizations.

The 2013 SRP Presidents’ Volunteer Spirit Award honorees and the nonprofits they assist are:

Chandler resident Holly Schaefer – AZ Happy Tails Animal Rescue
Holly Schaefer is a founding member of AZ Happy Tails Animal Rescue, which was established in 2009 to rescue and find loving homes for animals that are stray, abandoned or at risk of euthanasia. To date, AZ Happy Tails has rescued and found homes for more than 400 animals. Schaefer is responsible for all animal intake and adoption decisions, and she coordinates with foster homes to supply them with food and bedding and help with any other needs they may have.

Gilbert resident Barbara Sprungl – The Centers for Habilitation (TCH)
The Centers for Habilitation (TCH) provides promotes independence for Arizonans with developmental and physical disabilities. In 2010, Barbara Sprungl joined TCH’s board of directors, and she volunteers more than 20 hours a month. She chairs the Fund Development Committee and is vice chair of the Finance, Governance and Executive committee. She volunteers for fundraising events and helps with everything from setup and operation to planning. Sprungl implemented a new formal fundraising model and trained the rest of the board on the new approach. In 2012, she raised $12,500 for the Monster Mash Sponsorship Committee.

Glendale resident David Larson – Cactus High School Robotics Team
The Cactus High School Robotics Team is experienced in building, maintaining and operating robots. David Larson has been a mentor and coach since 2009 and volunteers an average of 67 hours a month. Because of his time investment, the robotics team has shown dramatic improvement. Larson readies the team for FIRST Robotics competition and this year they built a robot that plays basketball. Larson also holds workshops for welding, tube and wire soldering, painting, and many other skills. He also started a safety program, complete with a study guide and an exam for the program.

Mesa resident Kyle Tilghman – American Youth Soccer Organization — Region 1079
The American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) provides soccer programs for children ages 4–19 and Region 1079 is the largest soccer program in the East Valley. The region is run completely by volunteer coaches and referees, and a number of volunteers dedicate a lot of time to securing soccer fields and marketing the organization. Kyle Tilghman has been a volunteer coach with AYSO’s Region 1079 since 2006. Six years ago, he was volunteering three hours a month, but over the years, he has taken on more responsibilities. In addition to coaching and refereeing, he serves as the coach administrator for the region.

Peoria resident John Buonagurio – Theater Works
Theater Works is a nonprofit performing arts organization that has been serving Peoria and the West Valley for more than 25 years. John Buonagurio is a volunteer of nearly three years and is chairman of the board. He also serves on the Governance, Development and Artistic committees. It has been a challenging time for Theater Works, like many other arts organizations, as support at all levels has waned because of the recession. Buonagurio’s leadership over the past few years has brought continuity to Theater Works during a time of change and challenges.

Peoria resident Mark Burkhart – St. Mary’s Food Bank  Alliance
St. Mary’s Food Bank alleviates hunger by gathering and distributing food to  two-thirds of Arizona’s 15 counties and is committed to volunteerism, building community relationships and improving the quality of life for Arizonans in need. Mark Burkhart has planned and managed a golf tournament that raises between $10,000 and $15,000 annually. Burkhart is dedicated to St. Mary’s and knows that every dollar he raises means seven meals for the hungry. In the 10 years he has been coordinating the golf tournament, he has helped St. Mary’s serve more than 900,000 meals.

Peoria resident Jim Custis – Joni and Friends Arizona
Joni and Friends Arizona works with local churches and organizations to form outreach programs for those who face the daily challenge of life with a disability. For the past six years, Jim Custis has been fundraising for the organization’s Family Retreat program, which provides a respite for families affected by disabilities. Custis and his family have raised more than $20,000 and spend about 15 hours a month volunteering with Joni and Friends and one week of vacation every summer serving families affected by disabilities.

Peoria resident Christopher Rodriguez – AGUILA Youth Leadership Institute
AGUILA Youth Leadership Institute prepares Latino/Latina youth, beginning as high school freshmen, for college admissions and graduation. Christopher Rodriguez fundraises, serves on the board of advisors and uses his bilingual skill to help Spanish-speaking parents understand the benefits of AGUILA and the importance of higher education for their children. He’s also a mentor, helping these students pursue their goals of higher education. Rodriguez is dedicated to this program because he knows many of the youth who attend AGUILA will be the first in their families to attend college.

Phoenix resident Shari Brady – Arizona FIRST Lego League
Arizona FIRST Lego League (FLL) is a robotics program for students ages 9–14 that promotes science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) projects. Shari Brady began volunteering when she was an ASU student and continues to volunteer about 17 hours a week. She serves on the Advisory Committee, which plans regional tournaments and helps develop volunteer recruiting strategies. This year, the tournament was expanded to include remote northern Arizona teams, allowing a number of school teams from Native American communities to participate without long travel times to tournament venues.

San Tan Valley resident Kyle Bridges – Epic Food Mission
Epic Food Mission provides hope, help and support to families facing financial difficulty in the Queen Creek/San Tan Valley area. Every first and third Saturday of the month, Epic Food Mission provides food boxes, baby food and personal hygiene items for distribution to those in need. For five years, Kyle Bridges has volunteered with Epic Food Mission, serving as the organization’s distribution coordinator. He is responsible for organizing 50 volunteers and six team leaders to prepare hundreds of care packages for families. Bridges donates 50 hours of his time each month. For the past three years, he has also found time to volunteer with Compassion Connect, which helps unite and mobilize local churches, nonprofits, schools, and businesses to provide free dental and medical care for underserved populations.

San Tan Valley resident Marty Sonnenberg – Angel Acres Inc.
Angel Acres Inc. is a program created by Marty Sonnenberg in 2003, successfully combining her love of working with special-needs children with her love of working with horses. Every year from October through May, Sonnenberg and other volunteers teach grooming and horse therapy riding as part of a six-week program. During that time, Sonnenberg donates nearly 90 hours a month to keep program costs low and allow all the funds raised to go directly to the program. To date, the program has helped more than 446 children and given more than 2,680 therapy rides.

z'tejas - opening a new location

Z’Tejas Opens Fifth Location in Central Phoenix

On the heels of celebrating its 20th anniversary in Arizona, Scottsdale-based Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill is announcing the opening of their fifth Valley location in central Phoenix located at 16th Street and Bethany Home Road, opening to the public April 22, 2013. This Z’Tejas location was one of the first “ground-up” construction projects in the neighborhood, with the restaurant modeled after famed architect, Ralph Haver, to blend in with the surrounding homes.

“This location is a sign of perseverance and support from the neighborhood,” says Z’Tejas CEO Steven Micheletti. “We are excited to open our doors in the heart of central Phoenix.”

The new location features five uniquely designed dining rooms each with a different feel, side panels that open to the outside, a greenhouse room with a retractable roof and “living wall” inset with live plants and greenery. The restaurant will seat roughly 290 guests and conveys a light, airy design.

The first Arizona Z’Tejas restaurant opened December 1991 in Scottsdale Fashion Square and continues to thrive in the community. The concept then continued to grow with three other locations at Shea & Tatum in Phoenix (1996) Tempe (2000) and Chandler in (2001).

Z’Tejas is at the forefront of unique Southwestern fare with seasonal menu items and specialty cocktails, including their award-winning Chambord margarita. Visit www.ztejas.com for more information and follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ztejassouthwesterngrill and Twitter @ZTejas.

Future of Technology - AZ Business Magazine January/February 2012

Microchip Announces FIRST Robotics results

Microchip Technology Inc., a leading provider of microcontroller, mixed-signal, analog and Flash-IP solutions, today announced the results of the 2013 FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC) Arizona Regional, held March 22-23, 2013 in Chandler.

Phoenix’s Carl Hayden High School; Tempe Preparatory Academy, Tempe; and Buena High School, Sierra Vista qualified to compete in the 2013 FIRST Robotics Competition Championship, April 25-27, 2013 in St. Louis, MO. Kingman High School/Kingman Academy of Learning, Kingman; Yuma High School, Yuma; and Rockwell-Collins & Escondido Charter High School, Escondido, Calif. were Regional Finalists.  Students had six weeks to build a robot capable of competing in this year’s competition, the game called Ultimate AscentSM, where teams joined forces to fling saucer-like discs through various slots during several two-minute and fifteen-second matches.  Extra points were scored for robots that could hang from a 10 foot tower in the final seconds of the match.  Any student participating on a FIRSTteam is eligible to apply for more than $16 million in scholarships.

“The engineering challenge presented by FIRST to build a functioning robot that must accomplish specific tasks inspires students to find creative solutions using math, science and engineering, while adhering to strict deadlines.  Working with industry mentors, students learn marketable skills such as working on a team, critical thinking, marketing and problem solving, while having fun at the same time,” said Steve Sanghi, president and CEO of Microchip Technology, co-chair of the FIRST Arizona Regional Planning Committee, FIRST sponsor and member of the FIRST Board of Directors.

Chandler, Ariz.-based Microchip Technology is the organizing sponsor of the FRC Arizona Regional.  Fifty high-school robotics teams competed in the 2013 FRC AZ Regional, including 44 teams from Arizona, three from New Mexico, two from California and one from Mexico.  AZFirst, a non-profit organization, awarded the Steve Sanghi Scholarship to Bianca Rodriquez, a senior at Carl Hayden High School, Phoenix, AZ.  Funded by Steve and Maria Sanghi, this scholarship totals $16,000 over four years, and is awarded to an outstanding FIRST participant who intends to pursue a college degree in science, technology, engineering or math.  Coconino High School won the Regional Chairman’s Award, which recognizes the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate, and embodies the purpose and goals of FIRST.  Christine Sapio, teacher at Coconino High School, Flagstaff, a FTC (FIRST Technical Competition) Affiliate Partner, received the “Outstanding Volunteer of the Year” award for her success in growing the FTC robotics program for middle-school and high-school students.

Additionally, Dave Thompson, FIRST coach at Coconino High School, received the Woodie Flowers Finalist Award, which recognizes a teacher or engineer who demonstrates excellence in teaching science, math and creative design.  Chris Brandt from Saguaro High School in Scottsdale was awarded the “Arizona Teacher of the Year,” based upon an essay written by his students.

Generous supporters of the 2013 FRC Arizona Regional included Organizing Sponsor Microchip Technology; Leader in Technology Sponsor Microchip Technology Employees; and Captain of Innovation Sponsors Army ROTC, Avnet, Craig and Barbara Barrett, Medtronic Foundation, Microchip Technology and Wells Fargo.  Friends of the Future Sponsors included Best Buy Children’s Foundation, Go Daddy, ON Semiconductor, and Steve and Maria Sanghi.  Regional Fan Sponsors included Chase Giving Foundation and Wishes in Stitches/Alan and Margaret Jannuzzi.

Due to the growth of local FIRST programs First Lego League, FTC and FRC), two separate FRC Arizona regional events are expected to be held in 2015.  Recruitment of FRC teams is currently occurring, with a goal of doubling the number of teams in the next two years.  For more information and to get involved, contact FIRST Regional Director Carol Popovich at carol.popovich@microchip.com or (480) 792-7938.