Tag Archives: Chris Camacho


Booker expands tech operations to Scottsdale

Booker, the leading platform for service commerce, announces plans to expand their operations to Scottsdale. With headquarters in New York City, and offices in Orange County, Calif. and Singapore, Booker’s decision to grow into Scottsdale at SkySong is a great addition to the companies who have already selected SkySong to grow.

Booker’s platform allows services businesses of all sizes to provide accurate, up to date information with their clients to connect them with various services. With Booker, businesses are able to engage with clients and expand their reach to a larger customer base. 

“We are excited to become a part of the unique ecosystem in Scottsdale’s SkySong ASU Innovation Center” said Josh McCarter, Booker CEO. “Scottsdale’s talent pool, world-class technology presence, and university partnerships make it an ideal place to expand our business and continue our mission of helping small and medium service businesses grow intelligently while serving their customers better.”

“Scottsdale continues to attract growing technology companies like Booker to Arizona,” said Scottsdale Mayor W.J. “Jim” Lane. “We believe that Scottsdale is cultivating a culture of innovation and leadership that fosters a spirit of collaboration amongst creative technology companies that wish to live and work in a community that emulates their lifestyle and beliefs.”

“Building upon the growing critical mass of technology companies in metro Phoenix, Booker joins the ranks of major tech companies such as Weebly and Zenefits, who have chosen to grow their operations in the region,” said Chris Camacho, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. “This emergence of tech companies into the market is indicative of the robust talent pool that exists, and the great livability our communities offer these workers.”

“We are pleased to welcome Booker Software in joining more than 70 companies affiliated with SkySong,” said Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan, senior vice president for Knowledge Enterprise Development at ASU. “We look forward to a mutually beneficial relationship, learning from Booker’s tremendous success and offering a collaborative innovation environment as well as connections with ASU’s student talent.”

To learn more about Booker, and their current openings in the new Scottsdale location, visit http://www.booker.com/careers.

REI Goodyear Distribution Center

REI to open 400KSF distribution center on Loop 303

Seattle-based REI, a leading outdoor retailer, has announced it will open a 400,000-square-foot distribution center creating more than 100 new jobs in the West Valley – becoming the third tenant along the newly-opened Loop 303 in Goodyear.

REI offers its members and customers outdoor gear and apparel for activities such as for hiking, biking and camping. The company is expected to break ground on the facility covering 34 acres near Loop 303 and Camelback Road in May and open in early 2016. REI has been one of a few select companies recognized on Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For,” since the recognition began in 1998.

“This is exciting news,” said Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord. “Not only does REI’s announcement mean more jobs in the city, it signals businesses continuing to open along Loop 303 – a major corridor of land available for development. We’re glad REI selected Goodyear to set up shop, and we look forward to having them here.”

Through the new distribution center, REI and REI.com customers will benefit from shorter cycle times required to replenish product, ensuring for more options on store shelves and shorter deliveries. Once the Goodyear facility is up and running, the company will reach 20 percent more customers with two-day ground service.

“We are privileged to join the community of Goodyear as we expand our distribution capacity and services to the southwest market,” said Rick Bingle, REI’s vice president of Supply Chain. “The Goodyear distribution center will enable us to continue to focus on the needs of customers by moving our gear and apparel more quickly and efficiently, now and into the future.”

REI has partnered with Sunbelt Holdings/Merit Partners     as developers for the project.

“We are very excited that REI has selected PV303 for their new distribution and fulfillment center,” said Kevin Czerwinski, President of Merit Partners. “REI joins other corporate household names currently located at PV303, all benefiting from the availability of quality labor, fantastic logistics, freeway identity, and foreign trade zone.”

The addition of REI to Goodyear continues to solidify not only Goodyear’s, but the West Valley’s presence as a major player in online fulfillment centers that provide high-quality goods to consumers and retailers throughout the western United States.

Sandra Watson, president of CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority, said Arizona is a prime location for companies such as REI.

“Arizona’s world-class infrastructure system and strategic Southwest location are key advantages supporting the distribution channel and supply chain management needs of growing national and international companies, Watson said. “We welcome REI to our business community and thank them for investing in Goodyear for their corporate expansion.”

The sentiments of Chris Camacho, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, echoed Watson’s.

“There has been significant investment in infrastructure in the West Valley, and the recently completed PV303 business park is another example of how our region is growing businesses,” said Chris Camacho, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council.

“The decision by REI to locate their newest facility to the city of Goodyear at the PV303 is emblematic of this commitment, and Mayor Georgia Lord and her team have contributed greatly to this effort. Together, we look forward to welcoming REI to the region,” Camacho added.


Boomtown! is latest tech firm to expand to Scottsdale

San Francisco-based Boomtown! is the latest tech company out of California to announce their plans to expand their operations to Scottsdale. Founded in February 2014, the company has continued to grow, and has selected the Greater Phoenix region for its first expansion.

Boomtown! fixes everyday merchant technology problems in real time, providing on-demand installation and support of in-store technology, resulting in reduced business costs, increased revenue and the prevention of lost sales.

“Being a Chicago transplant I’ve had the privilege of watching the evolution of the Phoenix/Scottsdale Start-Up scene over the past four years, all while building a company that was headquartered in the San Francisco Bay area. It’s been exciting to see the likes of Weebly, Zenefits and Apple as they set up shop here and also watch locally grown successes like WebPT, GoDaddy, and Infusionsoft, said Paul Wyer, Boomtown! Head of Operations and co-founder.

“I’ve met some really talented people in the valley that wish they had similar “bay start-up opportunities” and they felt like they had to move to California to get access to those kinds of jobs. I want to keep Arizona talent in Arizona, so we decided to build-out our Boomtown Operations Team here,” Wyer continued. “It’s a ripe location for start-up growth and we get access to eager and technically talented candidates from Valley-based universities and companies.”

Using new age technology, Boomtown! provides merchants with immediate support, remotely though the app. This saves businesses time and money. With more than 350 technicians across the country, Boomtown! is also able to dispatch local technicians to businesses when needed.

“I’m glad to learn that Boomtown has chosen to expand its operations to Scottsdale. We believe our community is a natural fit for vibrant companies who value quality of life as much as the bottom-line,” said Scottsdale Mayor W.J. “Jim” Lane.

“Greater Phoenix has a larger base of qualified software workers than any other market in the mountain region, and is poised to grow by 14 percent over the next five years,” said Chris Camacho, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. “The availability of talent coupled with a competitive operating environment, continues to draw companies like Boomtown! to the region. We look forward to seeing their growth in Scottsdale.”

To learn more about Boomtown!, visit www.goboomtown.com

Northern Trust at Discovery Business Campus, rendering credit to DAVIS

Northern Trust to expand at Discovery Business Campus

Seeking to meet long-term global growth needs and expected demand for services, Northern Trust announced plans to expand in Arizona by opening a new operating center in Tempe.

The center – expected to open in mid-2015 and grow to 1,000 full-time employees over the next three years – will provide multiple financial business and banking services, with staff performing a wide variety of roles across Northern Trust business units and functions. Positions will range from entry level to highly specialized leadership roles.

“Arizona offers an exciting opportunity to address the increasing needs of our clients as our business continues to grow,” Northern Trust Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Frederick H. Waddell said. “This step will provide us with access to significant talent pools and a strategic location that will help us efficiently serve our clients.”

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey said, “Northern Trust’s decision to expand in Tempe is fantastic news, and further validation of the robust pro-business environment Arizona offers. This move will bring 1,000 quality jobs, reinforcing our reputation as one of the most competitive and attractive places to do business. While Northern Trust has been in Arizona since 1974, we are thrilled to see Northern Trust’s substantial new investment in our state.”

Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell said the city is thrilled to welcome Northern Trust to a community of businesses that make the city great. “Northern Trust is a prestigious, global, philanthropic banking leader – we are eager to see them fully operational here, providing new, high-wage jobs, and becoming fully integrated in our community,” Mitchell said. “Their desire to be in Tempe showcases why we are a destination for businesses that want excellent quality of life, a comprehensive transportation network, great schools and a vibrant environment.”

Sandra Watson, President and CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority, said, “Northern Trust is truly an exceptional company with a distinguished 125-year history as a leading global financial institution, and its selection of Arizona for expansion speaks volumes about our state’s dynamic, pro-business environment. Our connectivity to world markets and robust talent pool continue to make Arizona a preferred state for businesses to scale their operations for global growth. We welcome Northern Trust and look forward to supporting its continued success.”

Chris Camacho, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, said, “Investment in the region from companies such as Northern Trust further solidifies Greater Phoenix’s position in leading the nation in growth in the financial services industry. Northern Trust is one of the most recognizable institutions, with a long-standing tradition of giving back to its communities. We look forward to welcoming them to Tempe and the Greater Phoenix region.”

The decision, made after several months of exploring a variety of competitive expansion opportunities, reflects several business and operational factors, including Northern Trust’s:
 Projected growth in demand for services, even in light of expanding operations in Limerick, Ireland, and the opening of a new facility in Manila, Philippines.
 Need to widen its client-support coverage to allow for time zone differences, and to supplement work of existing U.S. resources to deliver quicker response times to clients.
 Opportunity to widen talent pools and achieve greater geographic diversity.

The new office will be located in the Discovery Business Campus in Tempe. Northern Trust will occupy temporary space on the site while a new building is constructed. The permanent space is expected to be ready by the end of 2015. Pamela Higdon will serve as Director of the Arizona Operational Center. She previously held a variety of leadership roles, including Head of Planning and Development for Northern Trust Hedge Fund Services.

“The Discovery Business Campus is a strategic business destination for many national companies. We’re thrilled that Northern Trust is joining our thriving campus,” said Jim Wentworth, principal of the Wentworth Property Company, the developer of the Discovery Business Campus in Tempe. “At completion, the Discovery Business Campus will be a 136-acre master-planned Class A office, retail, flex office, and hospitality mixed-use business park, conveniently accessing Loop 101.”

Arizona has been a home for Northern Trust since 1974. Its network of three offices and more than 150 partners provide a full range of trust, private banking and investment services and employs the fourth largest number of Northern Trust staff in the U.S. At the end of 2014, Northern Trust had $6.2 billion in assets under management in Arizona.


GPEC names Chris Camacho new CEO

The Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) Board of Directors unanimously selected Chris Camacho as the organization’s fourth president and CEO during a special meeting today.

Camacho has served as executive vice president of GPEC since joining the organization in 2008. He oversaw the organization’s top line performance measures, including domestic and international business development and market strategies. Camacho has also served as a primary conduit to Maricopa County and cities in the region.

“Chris is one of the leading economic development professionals in the country and unquestionably the best candidate for the position,” said Don Smith, GPEC board chairman and CopperPoint Mutual president. “His proven leadership acumen and depth of experience will enhance the momentum of the organization and propel our work forward. Following an extensive evaluation, the Board was confident in the strength of our leadership succession plan. Chris has the full support of our communities and stakeholders.”

Over the course of his career, Camacho has earned regional and national recognition. This month, he was recognized by Consultant Connect as a Top 50 Economic Developer in North America. He has served as president of the Arizona Association for Economic Development, and was named Economic Developer of the Year by the organization in 2011. Both the Phoenix Business Journal in 2012 and Development Counsellors International in 2013 recognized him as one of the 40 under 40.

“I am fully invested in seeing the future sustainability of our region supported by significant business growth and collaborative economic development initiatives,” said Camacho. “I am humbled by the board’s decision and the outpouring of support I have received from the community. Greater Phoenix has become home to me and my family.”

During Camacho’s tenure, GPEC has led the attraction of 174 companies, creating 26,688 jobs and $2.2 billion in capital investment. Notable projects include Silicon Valley Bank, Zenefits, GoDaddy, Yelp, Amazon, Garmin and General Motors, among many others.

Previous GPEC CEOs include Ioanna Morfessis, Rick Weddle and the most recent president and CEO, Barry Broome.

1120 S. Mesa Drive

NAI Horizon Release Recent Transaction List

Sale Transactions:

Jeff Adams negotiated the sale of a 7,693 SF medical property, representing the buyer, Lelda Family, LLC, for $500,000. The property is located at 13822 North 35th Drive in Phoenix. Brad Cleaves with City to City Commercial Real Estate represented the seller, Warner Family Trust u/t/a dated April 8, 2005.

Lease Transactions:

Chris Gerow, Shelby Tworek, and Gabe Ortega represented the tenant, West Side Wings, LLC, in a 240 month retail lease transaction for a 5,800 SF space at 15375 West McDowell Road in Goodyear, Ariz. Ken Gatt with Evergreen Devco represented the landlord, Evergreen-McDowell & Pebble Creek, LLC.

Rick Foss represented both the landlord, 2202 West 10th, LLC, and the tenant, Coyote Curling Club, in a 64 month industrial lease transaction for a 26,500 SF space at 2202 West Medtronic Way in Tempe, Ariz.

Alexandra Loye represented the tenant, Integrated Medical Services, Inc., in a 39 month medical lease transaction for a 3,600 SF space at 2141 West Warner Road in Tempe. Ray Harris with Cassidy Turley represented the landlord, Investment 2141, LLC.

Mark Wilcke represented the landlord, Rita Elias Survivors Trust, George N. Elias Trustee, in a 39 month industrial lease transaction for a 5,872 SF space at 1120 S. Mesa Drive in Mesa, Ariz.

Chris Gerow, Shelby Tworek, and Gabe Ortega represented the tenant, Skintegrity for Men and Women, LLC, in a 63-month retail lease transaction for a 1,000 SF space at 1707 E. Guadalupe Road in Tempe. Cliff Johnson with Cassidy Turley represented the landlord, Watavision II, LLC.

Chris Gerow, Shelby Tworek, and Gabe Ortega represented the landlord, C-III Asset Management, LLC, in a 36-month retail lease transaction for a 1,500 SF space at 10649 North 43rd Avenue in Phoenix.

Chris Gerow, Shelby Tworek, and Gabe Ortega represented the tenant, Peter and Daniela Bujor, in a three-year retail lease transaction for a 1,100 SF space at 8280 W. Union Hills Drive in Glendale, Ariz.

Peggy Johnson represented the landlord, BALJJ Holdings I, in a 12-month office lease transaction for a 360 SF space at 6615 N. Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Peggy Johnson represented the tenant, Young Design Group, LLC, in a 12-month office lease transaction for a 250 SF space at 7234 E. Shoeman Lane in Scottsdale.

Chris Camacho Original

GPEC executive wins national ‘40 Under 40’ award

GPEC Executive Vice President Chris Camacho, 32, has been recognized as a rising star among the nation’s top economic development professionals. Development Counsellors International (DCI), a New York-based firm that specializes in economic development marketing, named Camacho to its distinguished “40 Under 40″ panel, the first-ever awards program recognizing young talent in the economic development profession. A five-member selection committee chose the winners from a pool of more than 150 candidates based on their exceptional contributions to the economic development industry.

“Chris Camacho has an extremely bright future and I couldn’t be more proud of his success,” GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome said. “GPEC is a hard-charging organization with some of the most talented young professionals I’ve ever seen. Chris is testament to that talent, as is Rodrick Miller – a former GPEC staffer who is now president and CEO of the New Orleans Business Alliance and was also recognized as part of this prestigious group.”

Camacho oversees GPEC’s business development efforts, with particular expertise in renewable energy, emerging technology, tax policy and international economic development.He manages the domestic and international strategies in attracting new industry to the market. In addition, he has directly assisted more than 100 companies in their expansions or relocations to Greater Phoenix.

DCI’s “40 Under 40″ award was designed to discover the economic development profession’s rising stars.

“The people chosen by the selection committee represent a bright future for the economic development world,” said Andy Levine, president of DCI. “They are a new breed of results-driven, place makers.  We’re very pleased to see Chris Camacho among the winners.”

DCI officially announced the winners last weekend at an awards reception during the International Economic Development Council Leadership Summit in Orlando, and will feature an in-depth profile of each on its website during 2013.

For more information on DCI&rsquo ;s “40 Under 40″ winners, visit www.aboutdci.com/40under40.

Oil Refinery

Permit Extension Staves Off Misery For First U.S. Refinery In Three Decades

The Colorado River Valley

From the state’s northern edge to its southern boundaries, growth flows along the Colorado River

Permit extension staves off misery for first U.S. refinery in three decades

By Peter O’Dowd

Plans for an oil refinery outside of Yuma, the first this country has endorsed in 30 years, dodged disaster earlier this summer when the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality extended a draft renewal of its elusive air-quality permit.

colorado_riverTo understand the bureaucratic, political and legal hurdles developer Arizona Clean Fuels had to clear to get this far, consider the initial permit, which was issued last year and first sought in the late 1990s. Under Arizona law, ACF had 18 months from the date of issue to begin construction on its 1,450-acre site. Without honoring that stipulation, the permit would expire, leaving the developer at the bottom of another uphill struggle.

“Losing that air permit, it’s simply something our project did not want to see happen,” says Ian Caulkins, an ACF spokesman. “That’s an understatement. Getting that permit is the holy grail of building a refinery.”

Earlier this year, ACF notified the state it would be unable to move by the fall 2006 deadline, but ADEQ ultimately promised a permit renewal exactly the same as the one issued a year earlier.

The renewal lifted mounting pressure off the developer, who encountered significant delays securing a crude oil source and finding financial backing from investors less than eager to fund a project that might not provide a return for years. “We had anticipated at this stage in the game that we would be moving forward with (an oil) contract with Mexico, and that is just not the case today,” Caulkins says. Instead, ACF is confident their oil coffers will bubble over with a Canadian supply mined from sand reserves.

Ultimately, it makes no difference from where the oil originates. Every gallon will be shipped to Mexico’s Baja Peninsula where it will begin a 250-mile journey through a pipeline built specifically for the project. The pipeline provided the necessary link to an ocean port, but securing it didn’t come easily. “We have had significant discussion with the Mexican government,” Caulkins adds. “Normally, they would not allow non-Mexican crude oil to be pumped through the pipeline so this was a big decision.” ACF CEO Glenn McGinnis called the deal a “landmark” agreement, one that took four years of negotiations and permitting. Mexico’s reimbursement details are still undetermined, Caulkins says.

With one challenge conquered, the next remains securing the nearly $3 billion needed to get the refinery pumping. Both McGinnis and Caulkins say ACF has investors in place but neither would risk the terms of confidentially agreements protecting their identities. “We are dealing with several large groups, some domestic, some international,” McGinnis says. “It takes more than one to put together the financing for a project of this magnitude. It has been a struggle convincing investors.”

Almost all of the refinery’s daily output of motor fuel—approximately 150,000 barrels—would find its way to Phoenix gas pumps. Caulkins says most Valley residents won’t notice any change, citing a seamless benefit instead: more supply means fewer catastrophic price jumps in case of an inevitable glitch in the system.

And amid ongoing discussion of reducing the global carbon footprint, ACF officials say they embrace alternative fuel research. But now is not the time to abandon refineries, Caulkins explains. “We recognize there is a certain amount of reality, and the reality is that we have a long way to go before mainstreaming alternative fuels. In the meantime, we can’t give up on building new refineries. We need additional sources today. We told environmental groups they should embrace our project as the cleanest oil refinery in North America.”

San Luis
With Port Stressed, Help is on the Way

San Luis, Ariz.—Greater Yuma Port Authority officials are trying to build a commercial port of entry five miles east of the present one in San Luis. Once completed, today’s commercial port, which has no room to expand, would be closed and converted into a pedestrian, noncommercial crossing by 2009. “Once the commercial is pulled out, the present port will be reconstructed and it goes from a six-lane to a 12-lane crossing point and allows the government to rebuild downtown San Luis,” says Jim Chessum, a GYPA administrator. Business would be more likely to emerge in San Luis with the modified port, he adds. One local official said he “couldn’t even fathom” the benefit to the state’s economy spurred by the increased ease of entry.


Tale of Two Cities: Old Yuma, New Yuma

Yuma, Ariz.—Yuma’s growth statistics read like a laundry list of blue-ribbon accolades: No. 1 in manufacturing employment growth, Inc. magazine’s No. 1 selection of America’s “hottest small cities,” one of Forbes’ “top 10 “steroid cities,” fourth in the nation for overall job growth. What was once a dusty stopover on the way to San Diego has 10 new industrial plants, a 1.1 million-square-foot Westcor mall on Interstate 8, another mall in the midst of renovation and plans for its first five star hotel. “Yuma is an untapped recreational resource,” says Chris Camacho, president and CEO of the Greater Yuma Economic Development Corp. “We’ve seen the trend shifting,” he adds. “Rather than driving RVs down, snowbirds are buying second homes.

Bullhead City
Growth Sparks Bullhead Housing Fete

Bullhead City, Ariz.—Bullhead City is in the midst of a boom as swift as the river it was built along. Dick Adams, president and CEO of the Bullhead Regional Economic Development Authority, says the growth has created unlikely issues. “We are for the most part 100 percent employed. We’re at a 4.6 percent unemployment rate but when you get that low, you are in an area of unemployable or into a group that doesn’t want to work.” Adams says the city has 13,600 lots in subdivisions waiting to be built upon while 3,300 of those lots are already permitted and ready for construction. The Laughlin Ranch master-planned community will support 44,000 homes on 10,000 acres. Adams says the first of four golf courses is already complete. “Our demographics are improving on a daily basis,” he adds. “People from Southern California are bringing in their big money.” Five million people visit Bullhead every year, Adams says. By the next census he expects a population in excess of 50,000.


AZ Business MagazineLake Havasu
City on the Lake Awash with Marine Employment

Lake Havasu City, Ariz.—Lake Havasu City has built a marine industrypowerhouse on the cusp of its watery namesake. A March 2006 study conducted on behalf of the Lake Havasu City Marine Association reveals the importance of boat manufacturing, sales and maintenance on the local economy. “This marinestudy reveals the largest concentration of marine manufactures of high-end boats in the United States,” says Gary Kellogg, president and CEO of the Lake Havasu City Partnership for Economic Development. In fact, research concludes the concentration of existing marine industry here far exceeds standards typically needed to form specialized economies, such as software in Silicon Valley or entertainment in Las Vegas. According to the study, the local marine industry has soundly outperformed the Lake Havasu City economy over the past five years, wages are almost 17 percent higher than the average and the economic output totaled $191 million.




Arizona Business Magazine Aug/Sept 2006

AZ Business Magazine Aug-Sept 2006 | Previous: The Border Report