Tag Archives: community

Kirk McClure

McCarthy Building Companies Hires Kirk McClure As Director Of Business Development

 

McCarthy Building Companies recently hired Kirk McClure as Director of Business Development for the Southwest division. His primary focus will be on municipal, higher education and commercial construction projects.

In this position, McClure will play a key role, providing more than a decade of industry expertise with a diverse, well-rounded background in project management, commercial development and planning, and strategic planning.

He has been engaged in a broad range of business development and project management positions throughout his career, most recently as Vice President of Business Expansion for the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA), the state’s leading economic development organization.

McClure, a LEED accredited professional, has a critical understanding of the commercial real estate industry. Prior to his position at the ACA, he worked in land planning,project management and business development for Langdon Wilson, Atwell-Hicks, Graef and The Brooks Companies.

“Kirk has a passion for the commercial real estate industry and is extremely active within business circles here in Arizona,” said Bo Calbert, president of McCarthy Southwest. “The relationships he’s built through his previous positions and his volunteer activities will serve him well in his new role at McCarthy.”

McClure serves on the board of directors for the Arizona Association of Economic Development (AAED), and is the chair for their annual golf tournament. He is also a member of National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP), SouthwestChapter of American Association of Airport Executives (SWAAAE) and has been an active member of CoreNet Global, Valley Partnership, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the American Planning Association (APA), and the Urban Land Institute (ULI).

He is also the founder and organizer of the monthly A/E/C Golf Invitational at Grayhawk Golf Club,which includes a league of professionals that work and support the development industry. He is also a USA Hockey-Certified youth hockey coach and has been coaching for more than 13 years, most recently with Desert Youth Hockey Association (DYHA).

He earned his MBA from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University (ASU) and also holds a bachelor’s degree in Urban Planning and Design, also from ASU.

 

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.

rsz_phoenix_childrens_southwest_valley_center-1

Kitchell Completes Phoenix Children’s Southwest Valley Center

 

Kitchell completed construction of the Phoenix Children’s Southwest Valley Center in Avondale, a new specialty and urgent care center serving West Valley communities and featuring Phoenix Children’s special brand of pediatric care.

The 35,3550 SF urgent and pediatric clinic is a precursor to long-term plans for a larger, more comprehensive facility that doubles the medical space and includes a 48-bed, full-service children’s hospital.

The $14.7M facility includes 27 patient rooms, two treatment rooms, x-ray, ultrasound, three infusion bays and on-site lab services. The Center complements children’s health care services already in the West Valley, with specialties include hematology/oncology, gastroenterology, neuro-psychology evaluations, testing, orthopedics/sports medicine, neurology, psychiatry, pulmonology, urology, dermatology, developmental pediatrics, endocrinology, diabetes education, special needs, ultrasound, radiology, fluoroscopy, lab, and rehabilitation services including occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy and infusion services.

Located just north of Interstate 10 on Avondale Boulevard, the Phoenix Children’s – Southwest Valley Center received strong support from the West Valley communities including the mayors of Avondale, Tolleson, Litchfield Park, Goodyear and Buckeye.

The facility is the fourth Phoenix Children’s specialty and urgent care center. Others are located in East Mesa, Northwest Phoenix/Glendale and Scottsdale.

 

AZ News

AZ News Roundup – Businesses Giving Back

Welcome to the first installment of our weekly
AZ News Roundup.

Every Friday, AZNow.Biz will be sharing a list of Arizona headlines that have grabbed our attention throughout the week to help keep you informed about what’s going on in our state.

For this first week, we are focusing on news concerning businesses and organizations contributing to the community. Companies statewide are contributing to causes from health to education, all exhibiting a desire to help benefit residents, individuals and specific causes.


Kinetik IT – Top 50 Web Design and Web Development Company in Phoenix is Giving Backkinetik I.T.

Kinetik I.T. is in the beginning stages of launching a program that is based on the concept of coaching employees to become the best-version-of-themselves. The company is also focused on keeping the “entrepreneurial spirit” alive and well within each person of the organization. The program is a multi-step process that will require the dedication of the company as well as its staff. Read More >>


AZ Local Listings SEO Services Sponsors Crohn’s Disease Nutritional Intake News and Products

SEO Brand Management LLC is an Arizona-based internet marketing agency that maintains a variety of online websites, social media, social networks, video sharing channels and integrated high ranking RSS Feed Aggregators that also broadcast information and product updates related to Crohn’s Disease. They provide several Crohn’s Disease nutritional intake products and information that may offer an increase in dietary supplement and essential nutritional intake for those who are afflicted with Crohn’s Disease. Read More >>


Free Books for Arizona SchoolsExploring Eagle Press

Publisher Exploring Eagle Press — which is an independent publishing company located in Surprise, Arizona — has agreed to donate two new copies of their publication, Marshall Explores Arizona, to an Arizona school for each book purchased from them on Amazon.com. Read More >>


Postling.com Teams Up with ArtFire.com to Create a Free Social Media Management Boot Camp

ArtFire.com and Postling.com are working together to create a six-week boot camp to help individuals better understand how to use social media in their business. ArtFire.com is the premier artisan marketplace for handmade, fine art, vintage, supply, design and media sellers. Postling (postling.com) is a web service that helps small business owners tackle the often daunting task of social media management. Read More >>


Hydrate And Help Find A Curebashas water

From April 1, 2011 through June 30, 2011, Arizona’s hometown grocer will donate 10 cents from every case of Bashas’ water sold to the Desert Southwest Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). Money raised during the three-month promotion will help fund research to find a cure for type 1 diabetes. Read More >>
Rodolfo “Rudy” Parga Jr. was named chairman of the Board of Directors of Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc.

Parga Named Chairman of the Board for Chicanos Por La Causa

Rodolfo “Rudy” Parga Jr. was named chairman of the Board of Directors of Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc. Parga, a managing shareholder at Ryley Carlock & Applewhite, had previously served as vice chair of the organization.

“Rudy has been one of the driving forces behind successful initiatives that have helped Chicanos Por La Causa become Arizona’s leading community development corporation,” said CPLC president and CEO Edmundo Hidalgo. “It is a privilege to have the opportunity to work together. We anticipate only great things under Rudy’s leadership.”

Said Parga: “I am humbled and honored to serve in this capacity for an organization that does so much good in the community, the state and the nation. CPLC is a benchmark, culturally proficient organization whose unifying voice and advocacy builds alliances, bridges borders and empowers communities.

“At a time when things can seem divisive, CPLC goes about doing great things and making our world a bit better, and bringing people together. I have been privileged to be involved for several years with this dedicated group of diverse individuals, and the growth and strength of their reach is an incredible success story.”

CPLC is a statewide community development corporation, committed to building stronger, healthier communities as a lead advocate, coalition builder and direct service provider.

BIG Green Expo & Conference 2011

Speaker: Mark Kranz ~ BIG Green Expo & Conference 2011

Mark Kranz, SmithGroup

Mark Kranz, SmithGroup

Mark Kranz, AIA, LEED AP, is the design principal and lead designer for the Phoenix office of SmithGroup’s Higher Education and Science and Technology Studios.  Mark’s work has been published locally, regionally and nationally.

He speaks publicly about sustainable design strategies for laboratory and academic facilities, and his work is consistently recognized by the design and construction industries.  Kranz works regionally within the Western United States with research institutions and institutions of higher education creating laboratory and instructional facilities that elegantly reflect their specific context and function.

He has spent the past 11 years with SmithGroup, creating the vision for some of the most significant architectural contributions for some of the most prominent institutions and public entities in the Southwestern United States including Arizona State University, the University of Arizona, the City of Phoenix, the State of Utah, The City and County of Denver, and the Maricopa County Community College District.

He is currently behind the design visions for numerous landmark projects for clients including the National Renewable Energy Laboratories in Golden Colorado, The University of Hawaii at Hilo, the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command in Honolulu, Hawaii, as well as Gateway Community College in Phoenix, Arizona.


Topic: Sustainable Strategies for Higher Educational Facilities: A case study of four sustainable educational facilities in four unique settings.

Conference Speaker
Friday, April 15, 2011
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Room 155

BIG Green Conference 2011


 

BIG Green Expo
Friday & Saturday
April 15th & 16th 2011
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

 



Sponsors:

Green Law - Valley Forward’s Goals Are Important To Dan Litteral’s Company, Apollo Group

Valley Forward’s Goals Are Important To Dan Litteral’s Company, Apollo Group

Dan Litteral
Vice President/Legal & Associate General Counsel
Apollo Group/University of Phoenix

Dan Litteral has been in higher education and has practiced regulatory law for more than 20 years, and that experience has enhanced his involvement with Valley Forward.

Litteral joined Valley Forward in 2007 through Apollo Group and the University of Phoenix, which have both been longstanding members and supporters of the organization.

“It became apparent to me that Valley Forward was an almost uniquely positioned organization for a metropolitan area that was really committed to public dialogue between organizations and civic leaders,  to promote environmentally sensible development,” Litteral says.

Before working for the University of Phoenix and Apollo Group, Litteral spent 20 years practicing law in the Washington D.C., area. He helped build the in-house legal department at the University of Phoenix and was University of Phoenix general counsel from 2003-2007. Litteral then was moved up to the Apollo Group where he currently runs a practice group for Apollo that provides education and regulatory law services.

Litteral says Valley Forward is staying fresh and relevant, and is important to Apollo Group because it has aligned goals. Apollo Group has focused on sustainability and appropriate environmental usages.

Since 2008, Litteral has sat on the Valley Forward board of directors and executive committee. He was also chair of Valley Forward’s Earthfest Educators Night, an annual event that invites between 300 and 500 teachers from around the Valley to learn about environmental education so they can share the information with their students.

Litteral wants to see a focus on continued relevance from Valley Forward. He says that as the economy turns around and the organization grows, it is important to improve the issues that revolve around sustainability.

“Valley Forward clearly wants to be the environmental go-to organization in the Valley in terms of balancing the need for growth, development an stability,” Litteral says. “By undertaking events and continuing to engage leaders in corporations and the business world, it will fulfill that mission.”

Valley Forward works with organizations such as Apollo Group to educate the community and businesses on how to be sustainable and environmentally friendly. Valley Forward provides an opportunity for public dialogue of discussing how to move forward with environmental considerations.

“Valley Forward has a long track record of making the Valley a good place to live and work, while understanding we need to continue to develop and grow, and to do so in an environmentally friendly way,” Litteral says.

Adrienne Howell Southwest Gas

Valley Forward Profiles Adrienne Howell Of Southwest Gas

Adrienne Howell
Southwest Gas
Administrator/Community and Consumer Affairs

Adrienne Howell has a diverse background that allows her to excel in her current position at Southwest Gas. During her career, Howell has worked in human relations, communications, management, marketing and sales.

As community and consumer affairs administrator, her responsibilities include developing and nurturing partnerships that strengthen communities. It is a position that requires Howell to be out in the community and active in organizations.

Southwest Gas has been a member of Valley Forward for about 18 years. Howell joined in 2009. In her first year as a new member, she was eager to get involved and helped make sponsorship calls.

Howell currently serves on the energy committee and the marketing committee for the Environmental Excellence Awards. She will serve as vice chair for next year’s Livability Summit, and in 2012 she will become the chair.

Howell and Southwest Gas wanted to be part of the conversations on how to improve the environment and create livability in the community.

“The only way to really know how you can make a difference is to get involved,” Howell says. “You can’t do that from the sidelines. You can’t do that from reading a project description. You have to raise your hand and say,  ‘I’ll help.’”

Southwest Gas and Valley Forward have similar goals. Southwest Gas dedicates itself to making communities a great place to call home. The company focuses on ways to emphasize safety, and serve its customers and communities. One priority of Southwest Gas is to save money and use energy wisely, a common goal with Valley Forward.

“Organizations like Valley Forward, because of its long-standing presence in the Valley and because of its local mission, are important to help us further our goal of offering customers smarter, greener energy sources for their homes and businesses,” Howell says.

Howell realizes that these are challenging economic times for organizations and companies, and people have to closely evaluate every dollar they spend. However, Southwest Gas believes that Valley Forward is an important and necessary partnership to have, which is why even through these challenging times it has remained an active member.

Howell says that to retain and keep membership, Valley Forward will have to get input from stakeholders to find out what value it can give to members.

Deloitte-Jonas McCormick

Deloitte LLP Names New Managing Principal Of Its Phoenix Office

One of the largest accounting and consulting organizations in Arizona, Deloitte LLP, named a new managing principal of its Phoenix office Nov. 15.

Jonas McCormick, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, is now managing principal of Deloitte’s Phoenix office. McCormick succeeds Michelle Kerrick, who was recently appointed managing partner of Deloitte’s Los Angeles office.

After graduating from the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor’s degree in business administration, McCormick has spent the majority of his career serving the Arizona market.

“Having spent the majority of my career serving some of Arizona’s largest companies, I am familiar with this marketplace and the complex business challenges local companies are facing,” McCormick notes. “In my role, I can help align Deloitte’s diverse offerings – which include audit, tax, financial advisory and consulting services – to address the needs of the organizations we serve.”

As a lead client service principal at Deloitte, McCormick helps companies across a range of industries implement operational excellence and performance improvement programs in their organizations. He assists clients in achieving strategic cost reduction and enhancing revenue and performance management with his vast knowledge in the areas of organizational design and development, human resource management and change enablement.

“One of my key objectives as managing principal of Deloitte’s Phoenix office is to build on the momentum we’ve established in Arizona, where we are currently ranked as the largest professional services firm, and grow our footprint in the local market,” McCormick says. “We will maintain our focus on delivering quality and value to our clients, while continuing to invest in our people and the community in which we live and work.”

Tony Buzzelli, vice chairman and regional managing partner of Deloitte LLP Pacific Southwest, commends McCormick for his competent leadership skills and looks forward to McCormick leading the Phoenix office.

“Having served some of the largest companies in Arizona over the last decade, Jonas has demonstrated strong leadership and success in driving value for our clients,” Buzzelli states. “Jonas’s focus on growing our business, developing our people and representing Deloitte positively in the marketplace position him well to serve as managing principal of our Phoenix office.”

Mill Ave in Tempe, Arizona

2 Valley Treasures Will Receive A Little TLC

Phoenix (November 29, 2010) – The Tempe City Council recently voted unanimously to move forward with plans to restore Papago Park and Mill Avenue. The Papago Park restoration plans focus on improvements to marketing and park amenities while Mill Avenue will receive some much needed clean-up and landscaping.

Papago Park Master PlanPapago Park Master Plan – The cities of Phoenix, Tempe and Scottsdale together with the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (SRPMIC) joined forces to conduct a public planning process to develop a vision and series of recommendations to guide the future of Papago Park as a premier regional park serving these cities and the larger region. Papago Park is situated in the heart of the greater Phoenix Metropolitan area at the intersection of the municipal boundaries of Phoenix, Tempe and Scottsdale.

master plan is to protect, preserve and enhance the physical, social, recreational and cultural resources the park provides to the regionThe park’s 2,000 acres include recreational open space and a wide variety of privately owned and leased facilities which serve a myriad of users. The intent of the master plan is to protect, preserve and enhance the physical, social, recreational and cultural resources the park provides to the region which will hopefully provide the ingredients necessary to achieve ‘Great American Park’ status.

Papago Park Regional master planThe Tempe City Council recently approved their City’s part of the Papago Park Regional master plan. The comprehensive planning process, embarked upon jointly by the cities and SRPMIC, resulted in a plan that includes measures aimed at restoring key areas of the park and promoting it as a single attraction. The master plan addresses the deficiencies in marketing efforts for the Park, which includes such tourist attractions as the Phoenix Zoo and the Desert Botanical Garden which are self-promoted. The Council’s approval includes a plan that proposes signage, advertising and better connections between trails in the park to encourage visitors to see more than one attraction during day trips. Mayor Hugh Hallman focused on the promotion of some of the park’s Native American ruins, which include art and landmarks used by the Hohokam, who settled the Salt River Valley in the 400s. He feels very strongly about the interest of visitors in such sites as Hole in the Rock.

plans to improve Mill AvenueMill Avenue - City Council also approved plans to improve Mill Avenue with the collaboration of the Downtown Tempe Community. A private company that helps businesses on Mill with marketing and outreach, the DTC will soon begin employing crews to clean up trash on the street and remove graffiti six days a week. The DTC crews will double as ambassadors who can answer visitors’ questions and distribute district maps. The City will provide landscape improvements in the medians.

Through this process, DTC and the City have also worked together to address the issues of business owners in the district. Their efforts include distributing a flyer to better illustrate the problems that business owners have with damage, litter, graffiti etc. in order to connect the business owners with the various City or DTC departments that can help resolve those issues which have long been a source of confusion.

Photo: TED / James Duncan Davidson.

TEDxPhoenix Brings Together Local Minds

TEDxPhoenix is bringing together Arizona’s thinkers and doers on Nov. 6 in the hopes of finding solutions to our local and global community’s problems.

The TEDx program aims to provide communities with an experience similar to the international TED conference.

TED began as a “Technology, Entertainment and Design” conference but has since become a forum for people to discover new ideas and possibilities and receive inspiration. The TED conference has been bringing together scientists, educators, adventurers, entrepreneurs, social activists and business leaders since 1984.  TED has drawn such big-name speakers as Bill Gates, Al Gore, Sir Richard Branson and Jane Goodall.

A staff of local volunteers, speakers and sponsors organized the nonprofit TEDxPhoenix event. Like the international TED conference, the second annual TEDxPhoenix lineup of speakers includes educators, innovators and community activists.

The list of speakers includes Lawrence M. Krauss, director and founder of Arizona State University’s Origins Initiative; Jany Deng, program manager of the Arizona Lost Boys Center; Kimber Lanning, community activist and Local First AZ founder; and Dry River Yacht Club, an acoustic symphony indie rock band; among others.

If You Go:
Tickets: $50
Date: Saturday, Nov. 6, 2010
Time: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Venue: Eight KAET Arizona PBS Studio A, 555 N. Central Ave.
Website: www.tedxphoenix.com

Pat Walz VP - AZ Business Magazine Sept/Oct 2010

Electronic Health Records And Cancer Care Are On Pat Walz’s Radar For Yuma Regional Medical Center

Pat Walz
President and CEO
Yuma Regional Medical Center
www.yumaregional.org

As the new president and CEO of Yuma Regional Medical Center, Pat Walz is looking to the future. Walz, who was named to the top spot at Yuma Regional in June, has several plans to make the hospital a leader in the health care industry, including implementing an electronic health record system throughout the community, creating a residency program and strengthening the hospital’s cancer care.

He says he wants Yuma Regional to “be leading edge for the whole state of Arizona” in 10 years.

“We don’t want our patients to feel like they need to go to Phoenix or Scripps in San Diego or Tucson,” he says. “We want to provide the same level of service in this community.”

Walz, who has been in the health care industry throughout his career, has been with Yuma Regional for five years, adding that he’d like to stay “as long as they let me. I think this is where I’m going to end my career.”

During his time at Yuma Regional, Walz served as chief financial officer, and the financial stability he attained for the hospital is one of his proudest career achievements.

“We have a very healthy balance sheet, a double-A bond rating and a lot of financial support that makes us able to invest in technology,” which allows Yuma Regional to provide the best health care to the community, Walz says.

In addition to providing a stepping stone to his current position, Walz says one thing he has learned from his background in finance is to always speak the truth.

“From a finance standpoint, one thing I’ve always prided myself (on) is providing accurate information,” he says. “I think when you establish that with physicians, staff, community — anybody — then when you talk people believe you.”

Another way the hospital serves the community is by being a member of the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association (AzHHA).
“I think having that connection is really important,” Walz says. “It’s kind of a venue (for) when we have issues out in the rural areas.”

Speaking to the Legislature with AzHHA’s backing gives rural communities a louder voice that can compete with urban areas, he adds.

“(My job is) exciting to me in that we have a good medical staff, an excellent leadership team and some really committed employees,” Walz says. “(Yuma Regional) commits to the employees as well. We have a very good benefit plan. We stay competitive with the areas we have to recruit from … It’s a pretty exciting place to be and the board has a commitment to quality and patient safety.”

Arizona Business Magazine Sept/Oct 2010

Insic Wall Socket

Green News Roundup- Green And Sustainable Retail Products

Welcome back to our weekly green news roundup. This week we’ve decided to focus on highlighting green products, some are available now and some are still in prototype stage. Either way, they point to an exciting new direction for the retail industry and their involvement with sustainability.

Please feel free to send along any interesting stories you’d like to see featured in the roundup by e-mailing kasia@azbigmedia.com

Also visit AZ Green Scene for informative articles on sustainability endeavors in the Valley and state. Read the latest article here.

Insic Wall Socket is an outlet product created by Designer Muhyeon Kim that lights up and displays how many watts are being used by whatever device is being plugged into it. The idea behind it is that users will see just how much energy their devices are using and will become more aware of unplugging things when not in use to save energy.

Simple Shoes based out of Flagstaff, Ariz. is committed to making sustainable footwear that is vegan and eco-friendly. Products include bamboo, organic cotton, crepe, jute, hemp, cork, water based glues, recycled car tires, and PET recycled plastic. Not only are the shoes sustainable but the entire manufacturing process is as well.

Healthy Baby Happy Earth is a store in Glendale, Ariz. that sells environmentally friendly items for babies including cloth diapers, organic cotton clothing and a food processor that allows parents to make their own baby food. A lot of their products also provide long-term purposes like the cloth diaper which can serve from newborn to potty-training age.

Yumberi Yogurt is serving up frozen treats in Glendale, Ariz. while also supporting a sustainable environment. All of the yogurts at Yumberi are served in biodegradable bowls made from corn oil and plant fibers and the spoons are made from potato skins. The company also supports eco-friendly events such as their monthly contest that asks kids to write a letter explaining what they are doing to help change the world.

Image via Yanko Design

Luxury Residential Ship Live And Work Onboard

Luxury Residential Ship Allows People To Live And Work Onboard

You know what a cruise ship is — a small floating city packed with people, all-you-can-eat buffets, frosty umbrella drinks and a few families wearing matching T-shirts that say things like, “Thompson Family Reunion.”

But have you heard of a “community at sea”?

Imagine, if you will, a luxury community where residents have access to the best amenities. Now imagine that luxury community on water and you have The World residential ship.

That’s right, you can buy an apartment on The World and travel the world. You must have a minimum net worth of $10 million just to apply to buy one of the exclusive residences, which range from 357-square-foot studios to 4,200-square-foot, six-bedroom apartments. Besides the crew and staff, the only ones onboard are owners or their guests. The ship is managed and staffed by ResidenSea Management out of Miramar, Fla.

Although capacity on the ship is 600, rarely are more than 300 people onboard at one time. Main thoroughfares and community spaces are often vacant, especially when the ship is in port. That’s when residents are off exploring solo or participating in ship-facilitated group activities on land such as Pretty Women Day, a nine-hour shopping spree on Rodeo Drive.

The World is for those who love luxury travel. But it’s not for everyone. The quiet, reserved vibe, neutral interior design of common areas, and strict dress code help create a community culture that doesn’t seem to fit anyone with mildly eccentric tastes.

While rock stars and other nonconformist types aren’t found here wearing the standard pantsuit, there’s another breed of folks who are plentiful — business people.

Take Richard Reed for example. He is founder and chairman of a company and one of the many World residents who hasn’t hit retirement yet.

Reed lives onboard about four months every year, winters at his penthouse in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and spends the rest of his time in Scottsdale. Despite this jet-setter lifestyle, Reed manages to stay well connected while on the high seas.

“It is just as easy to do business in our apartments onboard as it is on land,” says Reed, a resident of The World since its maiden voyage in March 2002.

Every apartment has Internet access and a private fax and telephone line (a Miami area code makes it convenient for domestic callers to get in touch with residents). A conference room equipped with cutting-edge technology and a library offering an array of daily newspapers make doing business at sea easy.

With two networked computers and an all-in-one printer in his condo, Reed has everything he needs to check on business, pay bills and manage his stock portfolio online.

“Just last week I was able to purchase a piece of real estate in Mexico, complete all the paperwork and close — all while the ship was sailing in the Bering Strait, far from civilization,” he says. “Frankly, it’s a lot more fun doing business from the ship than anywhere else I can think of.”

www.residensea.com

Arizona's Most Admired Companies Awards

What Is The “Most Admired Companies” Award?

Most Admired Companies Award is presented by Arizona Business Magazine and BestCompaniesAZ LLC!


What is “Most Admired Companies”?

Arizona’s Most Admired Companies is a new statewide awards program designed to recognize the contributions and impact all Arizona employers bring to our great state. This will become the most prestigious awards program in the state, as they will be looking at companies that excel in the following four areas:

1.    Workplace Culture (as voted on by employees)
2.    Leadership Excellence (reputation of leaders in the community creating good will or having a positive economic impact in the community)
3.    Corporate & Social Responsibility (involved in giving back to and/or supporting the community and the environment)
4.    Customer Opinion (Solid reputation for delivering superior customer service as assessed by customers)

What are the benefits of participating?

As this program will be the most prestigious for Arizona, it will provide award-winning companies significant exposure and increased visibility on a statewide and national level as one of Arizona’s Most Admired companies. (see FAQs for additional details on the benefits of such award programs).

Who can participate?

This program will focus on highlighting companies with more than 50 employees across the state. These companies can be for-profit, nonprofit, private, public, subsidiaries or business units, government or state agencies, or charitable organizations. (see FAQs for more details)

Is there a fee?

It’s free to participate! It only requires responding to five open-ended questions.

How will winners be announced?

The winners will be announced annually at an awards reception, and an editorial report published in a fall issue of AZ Business Magazine and online at bestcompaniesaz.com. The next awards ceremony will take place September 6, 2012.

How do we nominate our company?

There’s a 2 step process:

1.    Complete a “Pre-Registration” form – Section 1 of the Application Form here.
2.    Complete Section II and III of the Application Form by June 30, 2010 (access the form at the link above).

Need more information:

If you’d like more information or for complete program details, FAQs and application forms, visit bestcompaniesaz.com or call a member of the BestCompaniesAZ team at 480-545-5151.

 

Cohesive Workplace

Cohesive Sustainable Workplace Environment

The summer of fun in Arizona has arrived. What are some of the exciting topics around the water cooler this season? Consider these: A splendid May that has seen unseasonably cool temperatures; our Phoenix Suns vying for a championship; environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico; this little thing called Senate Bill 1070.

Did you just feel the air go out of the break room? Regardless of personal and political ideology, the recent piece of state legislation (with national implications) brings to light a workplace issue that should be at the forefront of managers minds: How do we build a cohesive and sustainable workplace?

Cohesion in the workplace drives company loyalty, reduces employee churn, increases efficiency and productivity, and creates an environment where people desire to work. What does this mean from a business sustainability standpoint? Better people, better work, and better potential profit. A workplace environment in which employees dread coming to work, do not feel engaged, and are not valued does not equate to a prudent business model. An organization that embodies employee respect and engagement has a framework for success and sustainability.

In the midst of our state’s economic and social uncertainty, here are some ideas to help foster a more cohesive environment in your workplace:

Stakeholder Engagement:
You will be amazed at the innovative ideas and solutions that your employees possess. Provide your employees, at all levels, with the opportunity to “co-create” their future and the future of the organization in concert with you, the manager.  Buy-in, especially by those most closely tied to the organization, is always in style.

Employees as Assets:
Don’t marginalize or alienate the greatest asset in your workplace; employees. Make a concerted effort to develop and advance your employees professional and personal life. You will be amazed how a little development will produce a lifelong raving fan that works harder and better for the organization.

Create a nurturing environment:
Workplace stress can have deleterious effects on employee behavior, health, and family life. Combat this by making the workplace one in which people have fun, interact, and look forward to coming to each day.

Arizona is a beautiful state that is home to a diverse and pluralistic community of individuals that provide us with a rich culture. Naturally, this permeates into our collective workforce. While businesses should always act in a manner that complies with the current legal framework, they should also make a concerted effort to establish a more cohesive environment for its diverse workforce and act in a more sustainable manner.

What are your success stories in creating cohesive and sustainable business environments?

hr_team

2009 HR Team Of The Year Honoree


Phoenix Suns LogoCompany: Phoenix Suns
Web: www.suns.com

Company Established: 1968
Employees in AZ: 200
Employees in HR department: 6

The Phoenix Suns human resources department is known not only as the “go-to” place for a wealth of information, but also as a warm and welcoming office for all employees who walk through the door.

Six people comprise the Suns’ human resources team. Peter Wong is vice president of human resources and Karen Rausch is human resources director. Wong is an adjunct faculty member at Scottsdale Community College and a member of the Corporate Leadership Council and the Sports Network. He is also a board member of the Sports & Entertainment Human Resource Forum and sits on the diversity committee of the Women’s Sports Foundation. Rausch is a member of the Valley of the Sun Human Resource Association and chairs the National Basketball Association’s compensation committee.

The Suns human resources team works in a male-dominated industry, yet its own ranks are half women. It sets an example for the company’s commitment to diversity in another way — half its employees are minorities. In fact, companywide, 38 percent of the people who work for the Suns are women and 37 percent are minorities. Human resources strives for a diverse mix of job candidates by developing outreach programs with Goodwill, Job Corps and the Arizona State University career center.

The Suns’ human resources team has made its mark in a number of ways. It established a leadership group for women in management positions. This year, the leadership group hosted a reception with “Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts, who shared professional and personal experiences as a working woman. Katie Pushor, former president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, recently spoke to the group about leading employee teams.

The human resources team also sponsors a leadership committee, a monthly discussion group that includes the CEO, executive management, managers and supervisors throughout the Suns organization. Coordination of the agenda is rotated among members. Each member has an opportunity to prepare presentations and arrange speakers from the Phoenix business community. Suns players and coaches also speak to the group. The leadership committee provides managers with information about the company and discusses trends and opportunities within the sports industry.

Employee recognition involves a number of programs organized by human resources. The department conducts all-employee meetings in which Suns owners and executives provide business updates and presentations are given by players, industry specialists and sports personalities. There also are service awards and a program for employee of the month.

hr_director_mega_biz

2009 Mega Business HR Director Of The Year Finalists

Brian BoylanName: Brian Boylan
Title: Senior Vice President of Human Resources
Company: JDA Software

Years with company: 4
Years in current position: 2.5
Company established: 1985
No. of employees in AZ: 360
No. of employees in HR department: 12
www.jda.com

Someone must be doing the right thing when a company’s own employees are its most effective tool for recruiting new talent. At JDA Software, that someone is Brian Boylan, senior vice president of human resources.

Boylan is praised for helping establish a culture at the Scottsdale-based technology company that allows employees to succeed professionally and earn recognition for their accomplishments through extensive award programs. Although JDA uses recruitment and assessment tools, ultimately job candidates who interview are impressed by JDA’s culture and the collaboration among its staff members. Employees feed the candidate pipeline by offering referrals for openings.
JDA’s culture is in part created by a performance-management program strongly supported by Boylan. The program emphasizes continuous learning plans, 20 hours of professional development annually and 360-degree reviews centered on leadership skills. Boylan also developed an emerging-leaders program that brings potential company leaders together for development and pairs them with senior-executive mentors.

Boylan and his staff understand that well-rounded employees need balance in their lives. Employees may work from home to take care of personal matters. The human resources department also offers FranklinCovey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People seminar to give employees the tools they need to find a balance between work and home. Onsite, JDA provides a wellness program, yoga and a Nintendo Wii game room.

Diversity is another hallmark of JDA’s culture. As a global company, JDA has a presence in many countries with varied cultures, all of which are reflected in the company’s workplace.


Tina HuffName: Tina Huff
Title: Executive Director of Human Resources and Organizational Development
Company: Pro’s Ranch Markets

Years with company: 3
Years in current position: 3
Company established: 1992
No. of employees in AZ: 1,945
No. of employees in HR department: 24
www.prosranch.com

As a growing upscale Hispanic grocery-store chain, Pro’s Ranch Markets takes extra steps to create diversity within its employee ranks and Tina Huff is deeply involved.

As executive director of human resources and organizational development for the Ontario, Calif.-based company, Huff works out of the regional office in Phoenix. Her department coordinates with several nonprofit agencies to provide work opportunities for refugees the organizations resettle in the United States. Huff’s department also offers jobs to Central and South American college students who work summers in the U.S. on visas. Onsite English-as-a-second-language classes are offered through Scottsdale Community College.

With more than 20 years of human resources management experience in several industries, Huff has a variety of responsibilities with Pro’s Ranch. This year, she directed development of the Ranchie Steps Program, which provides job-training modules and establishes compensation structures for each department companywide. This program shows how employees can grow professionally within Pro’s Ranch. In Arizona this year, Huff rolled out a retail management certificate program, tuition assistance, an apprenticeship training program for bakers and the ESL classes.

Pro’s Markets has been growing the past few years, opening two new stores in Arizona and expanding into Texas and New Mexico. Huff worked with the company’s operations and advertising departments to craft a plan for bringing in new staff. An internal talent assessment offers new employment opportunities for existing employees. Job candidates are recruited from local nonprofit and employment associations and through job fairs that attract as many as 5,000 people.

No Impact Man

The Adventures Of No Impact Man

Can you imagine a life without toilet paper, electricity, or any of the modern conveniences many of us consider a staple in our daily lives?

Colin Beavan — aka No  Impact Man — and his family did without any of this (and more) for an entire year. During their experience, Beavan wrote a blog that later spawned a book and documentary film about what it’s like to go off the grid while living in New York City. The goal of the No Impact project was to live life in the city while causing no net environmental impact. They did this by giving up on many things i.e. electricity, toilet paper to decrease their negative impact. In order to increase their positive impact they volunteered at various environmental groups, cleaned the banks of the Hudson River and donated to charity among other things.

In an excerpt from his book: “NO IMPACT MAN: The Adventures of a Guilty Liberal Who Attempts to Save the Planet, and the Discoveries He Makes and Our Way of Life in the Process” Beavan writes:

“This book, in short, is about my attempt with my little family to live for a year causing as little negative environmental impact as possible. If what I’ve described so far sounds extreme, that’s because it’s meant to be. My intention with this book is not to advocate that, as a culture, we should all give up elevators, washing machines, and toilet paper. This is a book about a lifestyle experiment. It chronicles a year of inquiry: How truly necessary are many of the conveniences we take for granted but that, in their manufacture and use, hurt our habitat? How much of our consumption of the planet’s resources actually makes us happier and how much just keeps us chained up as wage slaves?
What would it be like to try to live a no-impact lifestyle? Is it possible? Could it catch on? Would living this way be more fun or less fun? More satisfying or less satisfying? Harder or easier? Worthwhile or senseless? Are we all doomed, or is there hope? Is individual action lived out loud really just individual action? Would the environmental costs of producing this very book undo all the good, or would the message it purveyed outweigh the damage and add to the good?
But perhaps most important, at least when it came to addressing my own despair, was I as helpless to help change the imperiled world we live in as I’d thought?”

I was able to catch a showing of the documentary at the Global Institute of Sustainability on Monday and thought the film was fantastic. It portrayed a family that went to the extreme, all in the name of Mr. Beavan’s experiment and came out of it with a truly renewed perspective on the environment. Now, the goal of Mr. Beavan’s message isn’t to ask people to go to the lengths he did, but rather bring attention to an important issue. He hopes that his family can, in a sense, lead by example and others will be inspired to do what they can to help the environment.

I was surprised to read a lot of backlash against Mr. Beavan and his No Impact experiment. He was doing a good thing, after all, why all the bad blood? Some dismissed this as a gimmick for a book deal, but I think they’re missing the bigger picture. Did the premise land him a book deal? Sure. However, after watching the documentary it’s hard not to believe the fact that Mr. Beavan and his family really are striving to do the right thing — help the environment and make a difference. According to Beavan, this change has to begin on the individual level, and only then will government implement laws that will hopefully undo the years of havoc we’ve wreaked on our planet.

Most importantly, Beavan himself admitted that the project didn’t end after their year was over, rather it had begun. His family had to decide what kind of a life they would lead, while still maintaining their principles and desire to help the environment.
They turned the electricity back on, but air conditioners, dishwashers, and freezers are still gone. They continue to eat locally-grown food, but have added previously banished coffee, olive oil and spices into their diets. Most importantly, they recognize the need for individual action and continue to take steps in helping the environment.
Beavan has also launched the No Impact Project, a nonprofit project that encourages individuals to “make choices which better their lives and lower their environmental impact through lifestyle change, community action, and participation in environmental politics” as stated on the project’s Web site at noimpactproject.org

noimpactman.typepad.com
noimpactproject.org

Valley Forward 2010

Valley Forward: Tracy Williams

Tracy Williams
Area Manager
Altrade Supplies
www.altradesupplies.com

Is there a better way to become interested and involved in environmentally friendly issues than with the Girl Scouts?

That’s what opened Tracy Williams’ eyes to recycling and the need to protect our environment. It started when she was a Girl Scout and continues today with six of her daughters, who also are scouts.

Williams is area manager for Altrade Supplies, a Milpitas, Calif.-based distributor of a variety of biodegradable products. Its motto is, “Leading the way to a Green Earth.”

“I’ve been a Girl Scout all of my life,” Williams says. “And six of my eight daughters are scouts. One of the things we do is recycle. We’re serious about Girl Scouting and recycling.”

She’s also serious about the products Altrade Supplies sells, such as biodegradable food service products, including cutlery and eating utensils; biodegradable cleaning agents; industrial safety supplies, including personal equipment to protect an individual in case of a fall, spill-control equipment and traffic safety equipment.

“Finding out about products made out of sustainable materials has really been interesting, such as the biodegradable food service products that I sell,” Williams says. “I was intrigued by that; that’s what really interested me in what sustainability was all about.”

About a year ago, George Brooks, an environmental scientist and the company’s sustainability director, introduced her to Valley Forward.

“We call him our green guru,” she says. “I was all excited to learn about this big green movement that was going on and what my place was in it. Valley Forward is an environmental organization that has been around for about 40 years, has a voice in the community, great knowledge, and has a handle on the sustainability movement.”

She joined to learn more about green efforts.

“Valley Forward is a great program and a great group of people,” Williams says. “People mingle with each other like family. It has enabled me to get out into the world and talk about my products.”

Williams became active in several Valley Forward committees, hoping to match her skills with what Valley Forward offers. She joined the membership committee because she enjoys meeting people, and she served on another panel involved in arranging events and luncheons.

Environmentally friendly products boost Arizona’s quality of life, Williams says, “by lessening our carbon footprint overall.” Her goal for Arizona is the three “R’s”: “Recycle, reuse and reduce.”

Recycling Bins

Green News Roundup-Greener Building, Education & More

For those of you involved in the green/sustainability arena, you are probably still decompressing from the impressive event that was the Greenbuild 2009 Conference and Expo that was held last week. With over 27,000 attendees, the Phoenix Convention Center, Chase Field, local businesses, and the entire community were host to a remarkable event.

Produced by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), the conference aimed to bring leading minds, businesses, and the community together around the premise of green building, education, and professional networking.

During my time visiting the impressive conference, some of the following thoughts came to me:

  • The Gargantuan Expo: The expo (which was an exhausting feat to see all of it in detail) was filled with an incredible array of vendors showcasing their particular products that contribute to green buildings and lifestyles. There are – it is not a stretch to say – innumerable creative manners in which a business or individual may contribute towards a “greener” building, property, and subsequent environment.
  • Intellectual Development and Discussion: There were several intriguing presentations by industry experts, academic researchers, community members, and perspicacious interdisciplinary practitioners. The presentations that blended elements of “green” building/design with a social cohesion element had particular merit.
  • Keynote Speeches: Nobel prize laureate Al Gore gave the keynote address on Wednesday evening at Chase field. While much of Mr. Gore’s speech was information that many of the participants may have already heard via self subscription to the “green” lifestyle, he did offer a particularly compelling charge to the audience. It was a call to arms advocating that the audience move beyond discussing green tactics and immediately work to make a substantive difference, now.

Given the participation of the conference, I would challenge each individual to consider some of the following points:

  • How do we, as individuals who have a particular interest in this field (and its success), bring the tenants of green building to those who need it most? What are the ways in which we are enabling and setting up our communities – of all socioeconomic and demographic representation – for success? Are the technologies and methods we recommend commensurate with a practical application to those who need it most?
  • What are the implications of the commoditization of green building ideals? While there are too many integrated issues to list here, how could the exhibitors at the Greenbuild expo make a difference in areas of abject poverty and subsistence-level construction (i.e. the applicability and practicality of technology towards the greater good)?
  • Given the awesome level of experience and mental aptitude that accompanies these conferences, what type of demonstrable impact can they have on the community in which they are held?

I’d love your thoughts, reactions, and recommendations on what you thought of Greenbuild and how to make conferences, like this one, better in the future.

Michelle Kerrick

First Job – Michelle Kerrick

Michelle Kerrick
Managing Partner
Arizona Practice Deloitte, LLP

Describe your very first job and what lessons you learned from it.
My very first job was waiting tables at a Bob’s Big Boy restaurant in Flagstaff during high school. My sister and I had signed up for a ski trip to Utah, but I needed to earn the money over Christmas break to be able to go. After dropping several meals and breaking the coffee pot, I realized that waitressing was not for me — but I learned several great lessons from that job. First, find the areas where you excel and the things you’re passionate about, and second, don’t let hot coffee land on the polyester uniforms!

Describe your first job in your industry and what you learned from it.
I joined Deloitte, which was named Touche Ross at the time, as a staff accountant in 1985. I was recruited from Northern Arizona University and have been here ever since. My dad encouraged me to study accounting. He felt it would be a challenging field and a marketable career. I chose Deloitte because of the energy and warmth of the people I met. That stands true today. I work with an incredible group of very talented individuals. One of the most important lessons I have learned in my 23 years in this profession is the importance of flexibility. When you are a junior staff member, client, industry and team assignments change frequently, which can be intimidating. You have to be able to react to change in a positive way. I also learned that working hard and maintaining a good attitude not only helps you be successful, it fosters a collaborative environment where everyone benefits from the team’s accomplishments.

What were your salaries at both of these jobs?
My restaurant job paid the industry standard for tipped employees: less than minimum wage. In 1979, it was about $2.50 an hour. When I joined Touche Ross in 1985, I was earning a salary of $18,000, plus a $2,000 bonus, and I was thrilled. Who is your biggest mentor and what role did they play? Two mentors influenced me tremendously. The first is a now-retired Deloitte partner named Dave Martin. I had the opportunity to work with Dave for a great portion of my career. He was an impressive leader with remarkable business acumen and taught me a lot about client service and navigating the Deloitte organization. My other mentor is a friend outside of the accounting profession whom I have known for more than 15 years. He helped me hone my business skills and develop the ability to take a long-term, big-picture view, which is critical for any business leader.

What advice would you give to a person just entering your industry?
Work hard and keep a positive attitude. Be flexible to the many changes that will come your way, since every new experience is a learning opportunity. Keep things in perspective: life will go on, and everyone makes mistakes. Strive for balance between work and your personal life — you can’t give 100 percent at work if you don’t take the time to stay healthy and fit.

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing instead?
I had always thought about med school; however, given some of the issues facing the health care system, I have no regrets! One of the great aspects of my job is the support and encouragement I receive from the firm to give back to the community. That is certainly something I am passionate about and I hope to always stay active in our community. I currently work with Fresh Start Women’s Foundation, the Maricopa Partnership for Arts and Culture, Greater Phoenix Leadership, Saint Mary’s Food Bank and the United Way. I want to see Phoenix become the metropolitan area that will attract viable companies and great talent.

KPNX TV, Channel 12 - Best of the Best Awards 2009 presented by Ranking Arizona

Best of the Best Awards 2009: Advertising, Marketing & Media

Advertising, Marketing & Media Honoree: Television Stations

KPNX-TV, Channel 12

KPNX TV, Channel 12 - Best of the Best Awards 2009 presented by Ranking ArizonaChannel 12 is Arizona’s leading source for local news on television, online with top-viewed Web site azcentral.com, and on-the-go with text and video available on cell phones. With the combined resources of NBC News, The Arizona Republic and USA Today, 12 News is consistently the first choice for information whenever a major story breaks. Channel 12 is one of the top-performing NBC affiliates in the country, with ratings that frequently exceed the network’s national average.

With a long history as the leader in innovation, Channel 12 was the first to deliver a local newscast in high-definition. The power of the 12 News brand comes from combining the market’s most professional and trusted news team with an approach to reporting that’s clear and to the point. Channel 12 also serves the community with its consumer protection program, “Call 12 for Action,” its education initiative, “School Solutions,” and its awardwinning breast-health awareness campaign, “Buddy Check 12.” Whenever and wherever consumers want quality news and information, 12 News is uniquely positioned to meet their needs.

1101 N. Central Ave., Phoenix
602-257-1212
www.azcentral.com

Year Est: 1953
Weekly Audience: 1.1M
Principal(s): John Misner


Advertising, Marketing & Media Finalist: Radio Stations

News Talk 92.3 KTAR

KTAR is Arizona’s news, talk and sports leader. In its 87th year, KTAR has the unique distinction of being the state’s first broadcast company and now has a wider reach than any radio station, television station or newspaper in Arizona. More than half a million people each week tune into KTAR for breaking news alerts, talk shows, traffic reports, weather bulletins or game broadcasts. Its award-winning news and 14 hours of local talk shows are heard each day on 92.3 FM. Sports talk shows and game broadcasts are on 620 AM. The company’s Web site, KTAR.com, was voted the state’s No. 1 breaking news Web site.

5300 N. Central Ave., Phoenix
602-274-6200
www.ktar.com


Advertising, Marketing & Media Finalist: Commercial Printers

Prisma Graphic Corp.

To compete as a traditional commercial printer in today’s economic climate and evolving market takes vision. For Prisma Graphic, that vision has been to provide unmatched customer service, consider every client a partner and offer economical marketing solutions beyond ink on paper. The staff views every project as an opportunity to further the success of their clients’ image, initiatives and marketing efforts. From their 82,000-square-foot facility in Phoenix, they provide heatset web, sheetfed, variable data printing, full bindery, fulfillment services and complete direct mailing.

2937 E. Broadway Road, Phoenix
602-243-5777
www.prismagraphic.com


Best of the Best Awards 2009 presented by Ranking Arizona

angel statue

New Angel Investment Group Targets Women Entrepreneurs

A new angel investment group called the Catalyst Committee is gearing up to invest in local startup companies that focus on consumer goods such as apparel, high-end furniture and cosmetics. Heading up the new committee is Dee Riddell Harris, president of the Arizona Angels, a group of private investors that has been funding startup, technology-based companies in Arizona for nearly a decade.

“The Arizona Angels have rejected a number of applications from women entrepreneurs over the years because their ideas weren’t technology based or have a patent behind them,” Harris says. “So the point of the Catalyst Committee is to be supportive of entrepreneurs, particularly women, who have good ideas, as well as businesses that are not tech-based.”

Harris started building the framework for the Catalyst Committee about nine months ago. The group met for the first time in November 2008 and now has 35 potential women investors from around the state. During the kickoff meeting, the founders of three local startups talked to the group to provide an idea of the type of companies that could eventually apply for funding. High-end fashion designer Debra Davenport talked about the fashion industry in Phoenix, her couture collection, which she launched in November 2007 during Phoenix Fashion Week, and her hopes of one day raising $1.7 million that would allow her to participate in fashion shows around the world. She also showed a number of garments from her couture collection.

“Being able to participate in key fashion shows in Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Paris, Milan and London is a fashion designer’s primary marketing tool,” Davenport says. “But it’s not cheap. It can run anywhere from $30,000 to $100,000 per show when you figure in pattern making, fabrication, manufacturing and all the specialized notions, materials and threads that have to be brought in from places like Paris and Italy.”

Last year, Davenport was able to show her luxury collection during the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Los Angeles. It’s the second largest and most prestigious fashion week in the United States next to New York Fashion Week. Davenport was also the first and only designer to show from Arizona, according to IMG, the production company that puts on the show. Now, Davenport was invited to show her fall collection during the most recent New York Fashion Week.

“I’m hoping that with the significant achievements we’ve been able to accomplish over the last 15 months, we will catch the eye of some savvy investment people who think this is a winning proposition,” Davenport says.

She is planning to launch her first signature fragrance later this year or in early 2010. She also plans to expand her design offerings to shoes, handbags and china patterns. The 50-year-old fashion designer has already completed designs for china patterns, shoes and luxury handbags that will be manufactured in Italy.

Kathie Zeider, senior vice president of Legacy Bank and a member of the Catalyst Committee, says there are many worthwhile businesses in Arizona like Davenport’s that serve women, or are women owned, and poised for high growth of $5 million to $50 million.

“We’re in a service and tech economy, so for Arizona to grow and prosper we need to nurture both sides of the economy,” Zeider says. “Kudos to Dee Harris for seeing this gap in the Arizona marketplace and developing an initiative to fill this need.”

Committee member Connie Jungbluth also believes early-stage investors are critical to the state’s economic vitality. “It’s important to infuse capital into early-stage companies in our community, especially in this economy,” she says. “Women are also big consumers, so overlooking businesses that serve them is not a good idea.”

The Catalyst Committee is still in search of investors to join the group. Its goal is to have 100 investors and to help one local startup company a month. Investors must meet state and federal accreditation standards. Individual investors need an annual income of $200,000 for the current year and the past two years. Couples require an annual income of $300,000 for the current year and last two years. A net worth of $1 million is also acceptable in lieu of the income standard.

Entrepreneurs can submit their applications and business plans to the Catalyst Committee via the Arizona Angels Web site. Harris says entrepreneurs seeking angel investment need to be well prepared when applying for funding; they need a strong business plan with important information aimed at investors.

“Angels are extremely interested in the management team that gives credibility to the firm, so oftentimes they read the first paragraph of a business plan, then skip straight to the management team because it’s so important,” he says. “They also want to know about the company’s marketing and sales strategy and whether the company has some type of competitive advantage.”

www.arizona-angels.org