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AZ Big Media honors Most Influential Women

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They are the best business minds in Arizona. They are innovators, trailblazers and leaders of men.

They are Az Business magazine’s Most Influential Women in Arizona Business for 2014, as selected by the editorial team at Az Business magazine and a panel of industry experts. The Most Influential Women were honored Thursday at a reception at The Venue in Scottsdale.

“While their resumes and career paths may differ, the women we selected have all procured influence in their respective fields through hard-earned track records of profitability, business ethics and leadership,” said AZ Big Media Publisher Cheryl Green. “Az Business magazine is proud to congratulate the women who earned the right to call themselves one of the Most Influential Women in Arizona Business. They are changing the face of Arizona business.”

The women selected to this prestigious list for 2014 are:

Nazneen Aziz, Ph.D, senior vice president and chief research officer, Phoenix Children’s Hospital
Trish Bear, president and CEO, I-ology
Dr. Amy Beiter, president and CEO, Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital and Carondelet Heart & Vascular Institute
Janet G. Betts, member, Sherman & Howard
Kristin Bloomquist, executive vice president and general manager, Cramer-Krasselt
Delia Carlyle, councilwoman, Ak-Chin Indian Community
Luci Chen, partner, Arizona Center for Cancer Care
Mary Collum, senior vice president, National Bank of Arizona
Kathy Coover, co-founder, Isagenix International
Janna Day, managing partner, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck
Karen Dickinson, shareholder, Polsinelli
Michele Finney, CEO, Abrazo Health
Susan Frank, CEO, Desert Schools Federal Credit Union
Leah Freed, managing shareholder, Ogletree Deakins
Deborah Griffin, president of the board of directors, Gila River Casinos
Mary Ann Guerra, CEO, BioAccel
Deb Gullett, senior specialist, Gallagher & Kennedy
Diane Haller, partner, Quarles & Brady
Maria Harper-Marinick, executive vice chancellor and provost, Maricopa Community Colleges
Catherine Hayes, principal, hayes architecture/interiors inc.
Camille Hill, president, Merestone
Chevy Humphrey, president and CEO, Arizona Science Center
Heidi Jannenga, founder, WebPT
Kara Kalkbrenner, acting fire chief, City of Phoenix
Lynne King Smith, CEO, TicketForce
Joan Koerber Walker, CEO, Arizona Bioindustry Association
Karen Kravitz, president and head of conceptology, Commotion Promotions
Deb Krmpotic, CEO, Banner Estrella Medical Center
Jessica Langbaum, PhD, principal scientist, Banner Alzheimer’s Institute
Georgia Lord, mayor, City of Goodyear
Sherry Lund, founder, Celebration Stem Cell Centre
Teresa Mandelin, CEO, Southwestern Business Financing Corporation
Shirley Mays, dean, Arizona Summit Law School
Ann Meyers-Drysdale, vice president, Phoenix Mercury and Phoenix Suns
Marcia L. Mintz, president, John C. Lincoln Health Foundation
Martha C. Patrick, shareholder, Burch & Cracchiolo, P.A.
Stephanie J. Quincy, partner, Steptoe & Johnson
Barb Rechterman, chief marketing officer, GoDaddy
Marian Rhodes, senior vice president, Arizona Diamondbacks
Joyce Santis, chief operating officer, Sonora Quest Laboratories
Gena Sluga, partner, Christian Dichter & Sluga
Beth Soberg, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of Arizona
Scarlett Spring, president, VisionGate
Patrice Strong-Register, managing partner, JatroBiofuels
Sarah A. Strunk, director, Fennemore Craig, P.C.
Marie Sullivan, president and CEO, Arizona Women’s Education & Employment
Nancy K. Sweitzer, MD, director, UA’s Sarver Heart Center
Dana Vela, president, Sunrise Schools and Tots Unlimited
Alicia Wadas, COO, The Lavidge Company
Ginger Ward, CEO, Southwest Human Development

In addition to the Most Influential Women in Arizona Business, Az Business also selects five “Generation Next” women who are making an impact on Arizona, even though they are less than 40 years old. Those women selected for 2014 are:

Anca Bec, 36, business development officer, Alliance Bank of Arizona
Alison R. Christian, 32, shareholder, Christian Dichter & Sluga, P.C.
Jaime Daddona, 38, senior associate, Squire Patton Boggs
Nancy Kim, 36, owner, Spectrum Dermatology
Jami Reagan, 35, owner, Shine Factory Public Relations

To select the best and brightest women to recognize each year, the editor and publisher of Az Business magazine compile a list of almost 1,000 women from every facet of Arizona’s business landscape — banking, law, healthcare, bioscience, real estate, technology, manufacturing, retail, tourism, energy, accounting and nonprofits. Once that list is compiled, we vet the list, narrow it down to about 150 women who we feel are most deserving, and then submit the list to 20 of their peers — female leaders from a variety or industries — and ask them to vote. If they want to vote for someone whose name is not on the list of those submitted for consideration, voters are invited to write in the names of women who they think deserve to members of this exclusive club.

Az Business also does not allow a woman to appear on the list most than once.

karen_kravitz

Karen Kravitz – Most Influential Women in Arizona Business

Karen KravitzPresident and Head of Conceptology, Commotion Promotions
Kravitz’ leadership and vision have helped Commotion Promotions earn a spot on Inc. Magazine’s Inc. 5000 list — which honors the fastest-growing private companies in America — for three consecutive years.

Greatest accomplishment: “Celebrating 30 years of being in business and working with a talented, energetic and creative team.”

Surprising fact: “On my bucket list: Gorilla trekking.”

Most Influential Women in Arizona Business – Every year in its July/August issue, Az Business Magazine celebrates the amazing women who make an impact on Arizona business.

Click here to see all of the 2014 Most Influential Women.

Commotions Promotions - AZ Business Magazine January/February 2012

Commotion Promotions Ranks As One Of The Fastest-Growing Companies

It began in an apartment in 1984, with a lot of passion and dedication and little room in which to work. Twenty-plus years later, Commotion Promotions has expanded to seven locations nationwide, not only marketing and promoting their clients, but making a name for themselves as well.

Over the past year, Commotion Promotions has created quite the buzz for itself, launching projects such as the One Good Turn Project, which donates $500 of promotional products to non-profit organizations monthly, as well as receiving recognitions for its work.

Highlights include earning a Best Places to Work award from Counselor Magazine and, most notably, its placement on the 2011 Inc. 500/5000 Fastest Growing Companies List.
Headquartered in Phoenix, Commotion Promotions was not only recognized for its 33 percent growth over the past three years, but it was also one of the only promotional products companies on the list.

Commotions PromotionsWhat does this recognition mean to Karen Kravitz, president of the female-owned business?

“It really means that we have, since 1984, been able to grow continually,” Kravitz says. “And certainly in an economy where people are seeing a downturn, we’ve actually grown.”

Kravitz credits the company’s success to the strong relationships with its suppliers, its sales team, customer assistance as well as its niche markets.

“We meet with our suppliers on a regular basis, so they are bringing us new pieces and product lines all the time,” Kravitz says. “And the staff is always sharing ideas, even for each other’s clients. So we work with a team approach. There are a lot of sharing of communal ideas here.”

For Commotion Promotions, it’s all about staying ahead of the game and on the cutting edge. And there are several ingredients to creating and maintaining an award-winning marketing company.

According to Kravitz, one of the main ingredients to its business success is creativity. Because Commotion Promotions has received awards for its creative pieces and campaigns, “suppliers and manufacturers will come to us before the product has hit the market, and we help guide them regarding whether it’s a valuable product to bring to market and what we think it could sell for,” she says.

The niche markets Commotion Promotions work with also sets them apart — with brands including Stop Smoking Promotions, Get Healthy Promotions, Planet Earth Promotions and Promotions for Pets, which are all found online.

“In terms of providing promotional online stores for clients, we’ve been able to implement those and that’s definitely helped our growth,” Kravitz says.

But according to Kravitz, it’s the combination of award-winning creative advice, measurable results and its “unbelievable customer service team” that doesn’t usually happen when customers purchase promotional products online — a game changer in the industry — that makes Commotion unique.

“I think over time, people will realize the value of a promotional contact you work with at a local level brings to the table, as opposed to trying to buying something online,” Kravitz says.

Kravitz’s advice to other female entrepreneurs?

“It’s OK to be a woman entrepreneur, a women-owned business, run a home, have children, work out of a second bedroom or have a toddler in the background,” Kravitz says. “As long as you have a passion and the dedication, you will succeed.”

Commotion Promotions has plans to expand into southern California and Chicago, as well as launch other niche markets over the coming year.

Commotion Promotions
2999 N. 44th St., #340, Phoenix
(602) 996-0006
commotionpromotions.com

Commotion Promotions: By the Numbers

3-Year Growth: 33%
2010 Revenue: $8.9 million
2007 Revenue: $6.7 million
Employees: 29
Founded: 1984
Industry: Advertising & Marketing
Industry Rank: #348

Source: Inc. 500/5000 Fastest Growing Companies List

Arizona Business Magazine January/February 2012