Tag Archives: Chris Camacho

lawyers

GPEC attracted 6,200 jobs during last fiscal year

The Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) saw another record-breaking year for the Greater Phoenix region as GPEC worked with its 22 member communities with the location and expansion of 32 companies over the course of the fiscal year ending June 30th.   

Those companies will add more than 6,200 jobs across Greater Phoenix during the first year of operations, more than half of which are high-wage jobs with an average salary of nearly $70,000. The payroll generated from the new positions is anticipated to be over $330 million, in addition to a nearly $900 million capital investment to the region.   

“This year we saw an increase in the number of high-quality, high-wage jobs GPEC is bringing to the region,” said Chris Camacho, president & CEO of GPEC. “Our communities’ mayors and their economic development teams do a tremendous job showcasing the business-friendly climate and deep talent pool that makes Greater Phoenix a top choice among leading companies to grow their operations.”

New companies to the region spanned across various industry sectors as new tech companies expanded their footprint outside Silicon Valley, financial centers began construction on new operating centers, and regional headquarters for advanced manufacturing broke ground.

Since 1989, GPEC has been responsible for assisting in the location of bringing more than 630 companies to the region, adding more than $12 billion in capital investment and over 110,000 jobs. For more information on doing business in Greater Phoenix, visit gpec.org.

hayden_ferry_lakeside

Zenefits continues rapid growth with new Tempe office building

Zenefits, the free, cloud-based human resources technology company that automates and eliminates HR administrative work for businesses, has announced that due to its rapid growth and hiring it has signed a 10-year lease for a large, new office in Tempe, which will be its second office site in greater Phoenix.

The San Francisco-headquartered company will move into a newly constructed building in Tempe’s Hayden Ferry complex this fall. Zenefits will occupy five floors (135,000 square feet) in the building owned by Parkway Properties, Inc.

“With small businesses across the country wanting to take the HR headaches out of managing their companies, the demand for our HR automation software is off the charts,” said Parker Conrad, CEO and co-founder of Zenefits. “With this fast growth, we need more people to join our team – and a place to put them. We are delighted that we found such a great space here in Arizona.”

The Tempe office which will mirror the careers they’re hiring for in San Francisco — account managers, executives, benefits advisors, HR specialists, operations personnel, sales representatives, and client support staff. The Tempe office will ultimately house more than 1,000 employees. Zenefits already has 600 employees in the Scottsdale office it opened in November.

Zenefits is a free, cloud HR automation platform that makes it effortless to manage a business and its employees by automating all of the associated HR administrative work: compliance, on-boarding, payroll updates, health insurance, and other employee benefits.

Zenefits is widely considered to be the fastest-growing SaaS company in history. In May, the company announced that it had raised $500 million in Series C funding, at a $4.5 billion valuation. Zenefits has more than 10,000 business customers and serves 100,000 employees in 48 states.

Zenefits’ arrival in Arizona last year was the largest expansion from a California-based tech company into the greater Phoenix region since PayPal in 2010.

The expansion in Tempe will enable the company to meet the needs of its rapidly increasing customer base.

“Zenefits initial footprint for market entry has since exceeded expectations, as they expand within one of the hottest tech markets in the U.S. with a new location in Tempe,” said Chris Camacho, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. “The leadership demonstrated within the greater Phoenix region from leaders such as Phoenix City Councilmember Kate Gallego and Mayor Greg Stanton, Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane, and Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell, is to be celebrated as we welcome the expansion of one of the fastest growing tech companies.”

Zenefits currently employs more than 1,000 people, up from just 15 at the beginning of 2014.

Matt Coxhead and Ryan Bartos of Savills Studley represented the growing startup in their lease negotiation along with co-broker, Jon Dishotsky Custom Spaces, who represents Zenefits globally.
Trucks CrossingBorderat Nogales

Arizona trade mission builds confidence with Mexico

President and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC), Chris Camacho, joined Governor Doug Ducey in Mexico City for an important trade mission last week, with more than 40 business, university and government leaders – including GPEC board members Sharon Harper of The Plaza Companies, David Rousseau of SRP and University of Arizona President Dr. Ann Weaver Hart.

At $15.8 billion, bilateral trade (imports into Arizona and exports to Mexico) between Arizona and Mexico is larger than the state’s next six largest trading partners combined. And according to an April 2015 report from the U.S. Census Bureau, growth for total exports and manufacturing exports to Mexico is up 22.7 percent and 28.5 percent, respectively.  

“Arizona and Mexico share more than an important border for global commerce, but are also connected by the rich historical, social and cultural ties,” said Camacho. “Governor Ducey’s leadership, and the work of David Farca, president of the Arizona Mexico Commission, has set a new tone and reinvigorated dialogue with Mexico City.”

The impact of Gov. Ducey’s trade mission, and the recent opening of the Trade & Investment Office in Mexico City, sends a strong message that Greater Phoenix and the state of Arizona is open for business with our neighbor to the south. With more than 370 miles of shared border, there is an unparalleled opportunity for both Arizona and Mexico to continue to increase trade.

Camacho also added, “The meetings this past week with government and business leaders will further enhance the economic prosperity for both sides of the border, and I am eager to continue the work being done to foster this growth.”

For an international guide to doing business in Greater Phoenix, visit http://www.gpec.org/toolkit.  

IO President Anthony Wanger.

Tech-friendly scene makes Arizona a data center hot spot

Phoenix has its head in the clouds.

Digital information—everything from financial and medical accounts to media entertainment and social networks—is now being stored in about 60 high-tech data centers throughout the Phoenix metro area, adding to the state’s growing reputation in the technology industry.

Renewable energy, geo-stability and tech-friendly legislation are a few of the reasons why Arizona has one of the highest concentrations of data centers in the United States, second only to Virginia.

Chris Camacho, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, says one of the reasons Phoenix has seen a significant level of data center activity is power availability and competitive pricing.   

“We have very affordable power costs,” Camacho says. “Our utilities have been very flexible in supporting this industry to ensure we have dual feeds from the electrical standpoint. Having affordable power rates has been critical. The other attributes that are important to this industry as to why we have been successful are the level of infrastructure, that’s generally fiber infrastructure, and latency. We’re very favorable to the West Coast in that regard.  So our communities, as well as Cox, Century Link and others, have done a great job extending infrastructure to support this industry.”

Demand for renewable energy

As data centers continue to propagate, the demand for power increases.

A recent survey by Mortenson Construction, one of the leading data center contractors in the U.S., reported 84 percent of responding data center executives, developers and operators believe there is a need to consider renewable energy. Energy efficiency is a top concern and nearly half the survey participants believe improved technology can increase energy efficiency.

“Technology companies like Apple, eBay, Amazon and Google, all of the organizations that store massive amounts of information, tend to have leaders who are highly environmentally conscious,” explains Steven G. Zylstra, president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council,  “They would much prefer to use renewable energy to power these data centers rather than power coming from a coal-burning plant. It’s less about the economics and more about doing the right thing.”

IO president Anthony Wanger agrees. IO, one of the largest colocation data centers in North America, has created and patented energy efficient data storage modules and operating software. In 2013, APS evaluated IO’s Power Usage Effectiveness ratings and determined the modules were more efficient than the traditional raised-floor data center environment.

In February, IO announced an agreement the company made with APS to be able to offer renewable energy to its customers.   

“We had a break through,” Wanger said. “We were able to negotiate a rate with APS that allows us to buy renewable energy. We were able to get a rate that reflects the scale of our use, and the option for our customers to simply choose to go green. For about a cent and a half more per kilowatt hour they can buy energy that is 100 percent renewable. It’s solar and wind. We have had terrific customer feedback about it.

“It’s important for us,” Wanger continues. “We want to be leaders in dematerialization and we want to be leaders in giving our customers the tools and the choices they need to manage their energy needs. Our very largest customer, Goldman Sachs, is committed to zero carbon.

“We have taken great strides in moving our energy over to renewables. I’m not going to tell 1,000 customers what they have to do,” he explains, adding that if he puts it on the menu and incentivizes it, he believes they will choose it. “We are committed to renewables, we are leaders in energy efficiency, by putting it out there, it’s going to be a needle mover.”

Making it happen

IO began with three businessmen and a foldup table from Costco, Wanger said. The table, signed by the co-founders Wanger, George Slessman and William Slessman, is somewhere in the Phoenix facility as a reminder of how they began.

“I always liked to build things. I have always been fascinated by buildings and real estate and systems and machines,” says Wanger, who comes from several generations of entrepreneurs. “I was brought up in the ‘you make your job, you don’t get a job’ mentality. Sit down. Figure it out. Make it happen. That’s the only thing that works for me.

“We’ve been really fortunate we have a really solid business with terrific institutional backers and terrific institutional customers. We’ve been able to attract some terrific talent. The way we got here is people. When I say make it happen, it isn’t just the three of us, it’s the entire team.

“Make it happen. That really is the moral of our whole story here. These data centers didn’t build themselves. These folks didn’t employ themselves. The capital didn’t raise itself. The customers didn’t identify and sign themselves. This is hard work.

He suggests that in order for Arizona to continue growing its reputation in the technology arena, it, too, will take hard work.

“If Arizona wants to continue its fantastic growth it’s going to be because it chooses to, not because it happens automatically. I feel very positive about Phoenix and Arizona’s prospects, but I think we have to be careful not to take things for granted,” Wanger says. “It’s a very competitive economy. I think we would be well advised to be purposeful in our recruiting and the way in which we create a climate where risk takers can take risks.”

Trending

Wanger and his partners at IO, which now has six locations around the globe, were among some of the early risk takers in the data center industry.

“We grew up with the GoDaddy guys. If you go back 10 or 15 years ago, they were in data centers. We were in data centers. There was another guy in data centers and that’s about it,” Wanger says.

According to a market overview analysis by CBRE, today there are about 60 data centers in the Phoenix metro area, including colocation operations and those used by individual companies. An additional 21 greenfield sites have been identified mostly in the East Valley for build-to-suit data centers.

Even with the explosion of data centers in Phoenix, Wanger says he is seeing a trend toward consolidation.

“We are moving away from square footage to more power in less space with shared highly utilized banks of computers,” he says. “I think that the Internet went from 400 markets globally to 200 to 50 markets. I think it’s on its way to being in 12 markets globally. That’s mega consolidation. We are doing everything we can do in our power to make sure Phoenix is on the winner side of that equation.”

Tech magnet

Energy affordability, access and renewable options are sited as reasons for locating power-intensive data centers in Phoenix, but there are more.

Geo-stability is an important factor when deciding a data center’s location. Arizona is free of natural disasters, making it an appealing locale.

“We don’t have hurricanes, or earthquakes or tornadoes or floods or any of those things that jeopardize a data center. We are a very sound place from that standpoint,” Zylstra says.

Moderately priced real estate with relatively low property taxes and legislative incentives sweeten the pot.

“A lot of economic policies in the legislature have supported both enterprise use and colocation centers,” Camacho says. “More recently there was legislation in the last few years that provided a sales tax exemption on server and IT equipment. That was one of the last pieces of the puzzle of being a great market in terms of allowing this market to grow and making it competitive against California and these other states.”

According to CBRE, “The financial impact of this law to a 1 MW tenant’s bottom line could be as much as $6 million to $7 million in tax credit savings over a 10-year period.”

Camacho continues, “There are tax credits available for companies of a certain investment scale, so, in a certain investment threshold, when they meet that level of capital investment, they are eligible, assuming they are going to use significant renewable energy resources, to obtain a corporate income tax credit.”

(subhead)The future

Locating data centers here is often an introductory step for some of the larger companies to test the business waters and learn about the Phoenix area.

“We’ve spent a lot of time working to support colocation operations in the market that are already here,” Camacho says. “And we are working as diligently as we can as we travel outside this market and showcase Arizona marketplace to prospective users. We’ll showcase IO data centers and Digital Realty Trust and others that are in this region with the goal of inducing these tenants to come and utilize colocation space and drive new investment and job creation at the same time.

Proximity to California has made it convenient for companies with corporate headquarters on the West Coast to locate their data centers here. “It encourages them to visit and to learn more about the operating environment. Then our goal is to talk further with them about future operational expansion. It could be back office, IT, or technology centers. Data centers and data storage are generally their first foray into evaluating this market on the office side.

“Once you become a nerve center where companies store data, then you start seeing a lot of these colocation tenants that are in these major facilities evaluating opportunities for back office expansion which generally comes with more job creation,” Camacho says.

CBRE reports a high quality of life and low cost of living have encouraged back shop operations for companies such as Wells Fargo, American Express, PayPal, Yelp and others to locate here.

“Companies tend to aggregate around each other,” Zylstra says. “At some point you get to a critical mass that people recognize and they want to be affiliated with it, connected to it.

“The recent Apple announcement is a watershed moment for us,” Zylstra says, referring to Apple’s plans to locate a data center in Mesa. “Apple is the most innovative company on Earth today. It’s the most successful company on Earth. When that kind of company makes a commitment here in Arizona it suggests that we have come into our own. I believe it is an important milestone in becoming known for technology.”

As the technology sector continues to grow, it is important to attract quality talent, he says.“ The greater the reputation the easier it is to attract and retain talent and that’s your competitive asset in a digital economy,” he says.

Drawing in talent is important, Camacho agrees, but he also says it is important to provide a continuing pipeline of trained talent in IT and technical services through our local educational system.

“That’s what is going to make this industry successful,” Camacho says. “We can see that pipeline coming through our Maricopa Community Colleges and the four-year systems that can meet the demand.

“Even though they are not large employers, there’s a very significant level of indirect technology job creation associated with these data centers. On average, you can provide anywhere from two to four indirect jobs for each of the jobs created within the companies themselves.”

technology

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.

technology

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.

Chris_Camacho-biopic

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.

www.gypa.org

Yuma
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.

www.bullheadeconomicdevelopment.com

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.

www.lakehavasu.org

 

 


Arizona Business Magazine Aug/Sept 2006

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