Tag Archives: Dena Jones

Photo by Shavon Rose/AZ Big Media

Valley Partnership, CRE community transform Perry Rehabilitation Center

azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-010
azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-010
azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-013
azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-013
azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-097
azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-097
azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-126
azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-126
azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-057
azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-057
azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-142
azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-142
azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-140
azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-140
azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-191
azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-191
azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-170
azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-170
azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-181
azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-181
azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-025
azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-025
azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-091
azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-091
azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-052
azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-052
azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-031
azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-031
azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-205
azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-205
azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-021
azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-021
azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-208
azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-208
azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-056
azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-056
azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-060
azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-060
azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-093
azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-093
azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-124
azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-124
azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-106
azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-106
azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-209
azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-209
azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-214
azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-214
azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-219
azbigmedia-srp-ValleyPartnership2014-219



On a sun-splashed fall morning, more than 200 volunteers traded their business attire for work clothes to help transform the Perry Rehabilitation Center at the Arizona Foundation for the Handicapped (AFH).

The occasion was Saturday’s 27th annual Valley Partnership Community Project. Each year, Valley Partnership undertakes a community project benefitting a nonprofit organization and dedicates volunteer hours to fundraising and working on the project.

“When we selected AFH as our community project recipient early this year we set out to enhance the quality of life for the clients they serve by adding a serenity garden that incorporated therapeutic elements into four experiences – education, music, recreation and culinary arts,” said Community Project Committee Co-chair Dena Jones.

This year, about 130 companies lent a helping hand by sponsoring the project. More than 55 companies donated more than $180,000 in services, support, and funds to rebuild the outdoor common areas for AFH, 3146 E. Windsor Ave. in Phoenix.

AFH has served adults with developmental disabilities 24 hours a day, seven days a week since 1952 and was chosen among multiple applicants as this year’s Valley Partnership Project recipient.

“They made it a surprise; we had no idea we had been selected and they threw us a big celebration with cake and balloons,” Perry Center Director Robyn Ratcliff said. “It was really fun.”

Saturday’s work at Perry Rehabilitation Center featured the addition of therapeutic elements including a sensory garden, musical instrument garden, patio with a built-in grill and dining area, wheelchair ramps, raised garden boxes, a landscape screen, gliding swings, a gazebo, a wall mural, a sports court, and various outdoor games.

Contractors were busy working at the site for three weeks prior to the community project day.

“Today was the culmination of everyone coming together as a team to bring the concept to life,” Jones said.

“I’m sure everyone will wake up Sunday morning with sore muscles and a few scrapes and scratches,” said Community Project committee member Peter Madrid. “But it’s one of the most satisfying feelings in the world because it’s all about giving back to the community. That’s what this is all about.”

Dale Hunnewell, a former student at the Art Institute of Phoenix, designed the wall mural near the sports and game court. It incorporated the elements and experiences being added to the center including flowers and grass to represent the garden, and musical notes to represent the outdoor instruments.

“The music and the sensory elements really help in developing individuals with disabilities and enhance the quality of life,” Community Project Committee Co-chair Heather Markham said.

Funds for the musical instrument sensory garden were raised by Valley Partnership’s inaugural Rock for a Cause concert at the Monarch Theater in Downtown Phoenix. The concert raised more than $8,000 to purchase outdoor musical instruments.

It’s really important for us because for many years it’s been on our agenda to create an outdoor space that’s usable for the people with disabilities that we serve,” Ratcliff said.

Valley Partnership represents the commercial, industrial and master planned real estate development industry in Metro Phoenix.

“We have four missions: advocacy, education, business development, and the community project,” Valley Partnership President and CEO Richard Hubbard said.

Over the past 25 years, Valley Partnership has contributed more than $4 million to the community through these annual projects, Hubbard said.

AFH provides high-quality services to adults with physical and intellectual challenges. They seek to maximize the abilities and independence skills of people with disabilities. The foundation’s two rehabilitation centers provide opportunities for beneficial work, quality programs and services designed to increase self-dependence, well-being, productivity, and community participation.

The Perry Rehabilitation Center is over half a century old and was in need of some love, according to AFH President and CEO Jim Musick.

The AFH Annual Christmas party in December will be include a ribbon-cutting ceremony this year to commemorate the transformation of the Perry Rehabilitation Center.

Save the Family, Valley Partnership, and Gorman & Co. saw a promising future for a large population of Mesa’s homeless and poverty-stricken community in the Escobedo at Verde Vista development.

Community project lays foundation for homeless, poverty-stricken

Last November, members of the commercial real estate industry helped turn a dilapidated, World War II housing facility into one where a community can thrive.

Volunteers move rubber chips made from recycled tires across the playground.

Volunteers move rubber chips made from recycled tires across the playground.

Just a few months prior to the completion of Valley Partnership’s 2013 community project, the Escobedo at Verde Vista development, it was an abandoned complex that had fallen victim to poverty. Where others saw hopeless housing, Save the Family, Valley Partnership, and Gorman & Co. saw a promising future for a large population of Mesa’s homeless and poverty-stricken community. The three put their heads together and hands to work to bring light and life to this Mesa neighborhood that had been left in the dark.

For the past 26 years, Valley Partnership has selected a nonprofit organization to be the recipient of its community service project. Its 2013 selection was Save the Family, an organization that provides housing and life skills to the homeless and impoverished in the Phoenix Metro.

Long-time community project committee members Ed Hansen, Morgan Realty Advisors, and Janelle Schick, Schick Design Group.

Long-time community project committee members Ed Hansen, Morgan Realty Advisors, and Janelle Schick, Schick Design Group.

Even with 25 years and $3.5M of community projects up its sleeve, the Escobedo project brought new challenges and “firsts.” To begin, it was Valley Partnership’s first ground-up redevelopment project. The existing foundations were crumbling and had to be completely rebuilt.

“The original units were built to be housing for British and black Americans that were training at Falcon Field during World War II,” says Jacki Taylor, CEO of Save the Family Foundation. Post-war, the units served as segregated housing until eight years ago, when the City of Mesa began evacuating the buildings because of decreasing structural stability. Time and money were needed to get the housing to a habitable state and that is where “the dream team” came in.

Save the Family CEO Jacki Taylor, left, project co-chair Dena Jones, center, and Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Program Associate Erin Goodman.

Save the Family CEO Jacki Taylor, left, project co-chair Dena Jones, center, and Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Program Associate Erin Goodman.

This development would require extensive construction, which brought Valley Partnership another “first” — the need for city approval and permits for a re-design. Since this was the first community project Valley Partnership had done in the City of Mesa, there were even more new rules and hoops to jump through. Despite the additional work required by all parties involved, the rebuilding of the Washington-Escobedo neighborhood “came together better than we could have hoped for,” said project co-chair Dena Jones.

The 70 units built were filled almost immediately after construction was completed. A waiting list for families hoping to join the community continues to grow. This project “totally changed the complexion of this neighborhood,” said Taylor. What used to be boarded-up, graffiti-laden and crumbling buildings is now a community of homes, classrooms, computer labs and gym facilities.

Logan Simpson Design architects Jeff Lothner and Jay Hicks look over a blueprint.

Logan Simpson Design architects Jeff Lothner and Jay Hicks look over a blueprint.

“We were all committed to making a difference and working together,” said Jones. “The teams from Gorman, Save the Family, City of Mesa, Tofel Construction and the project sponsors were so wonderful to work with and I cannot thank them enough for giving us the opportunity to take part in the legacy of Escobedo at Verde Vista.”

And the public has definitely noticed. Brian Swanton, AZ Market President for Gorman and Company Inc. said the Escobedo project “has been lauded for its success in revitalizing a boarded-up and vacant eyesore in the middle of this single-family neighborhood.”

What is in store for Valley Partnership’s 2014 project? They are in the final stages of deciding whom to partner up with for this year, but Jones knows that whomever they chose, Valley Partnership will be taking much of what they learned from the Escobedo project with them. “Our partnership is comprised of so many talented and hard working professionals committed to giving back. Engaging the committee members during the time we spend together and growing our committee will continue to be a focus for 2014.”

Valley Partnership Board of Directors

Valley Partnership Board of Directors

VP2

Arizona Foundation for the Handicapped recipient of Valley Partnership Community Project

Arizona Foundation for the Handicapped (AFH) today was selected as recipient of the 2014 Valley Partnership Community Project. The event is Nov. 15 at Perry Rehabilitation Center, 3164 E. Windsor Ave.

AFH is a human services organization whose primary mission is to provide quality, individualized services to those with physical or intellectual challenges in the least restrictive environment. It offers programs for adults with physical or intellectual challenges to assist them in achieving desired outcomes.

“This is a great opportunity for our people with disabilities to be able to have access to their own community, and be able to go outside and enjoy a safe environment,” said AFH center Director Robyn Ratcliff. “Several years back we began to develop a dream for our property. We just weren’t able to do it when the economy went in the other direction. This is huge. We are very excited.”

AFH has successfully helped the adults it serves find community employment in landscaping, restaurants, retail stores, hardware distribution and supermarkets. Center-based employment includes assembly, inspection, collation, mail services, sorting and packaging.

“We were so excited that the Board of Directors voted unanimously to select AFH as the 2014 community project recipient that we threw them (AFH) a surprise party to share this great news at our last committee meeting,” said Valley Partnership Project Co-chair Dena Jones, Director of Business Development for Shift Redevelopment.

“I believe that AFH won over many hearts on the selection committee because they work with the happiest people on earth who are truly appreciative of the smallest things in life,” Jones said.

Work at the center will include constructing a built-in grill, seating for outside dining, the re-purposing of a sports court, a landscape screen, and a sensory garden.

The other finalists for the 2014 Community Project were Boys Hope Girls Hope and Valley Life.

One of Valley Partnership’s cornerstones is community service. Each year, it selects a non-profit organization that can benefit from the skills, efforts and supplies provided by its partners to renovate and enhance facilities for children and those in need. Over the past 25 years, Valley Partnership has contributed more than $3.5 million to the community through these projects. For its 2013 Community Project, Valley Partnership selected Save the Family Foundation’s Escobedo at Verde Vista Affordable Housing Development in Mesa.
Perry-Rehabilitation-Center-4

Dena Jones joins Shift Redevelopment

Dena Jones, HeadshotDena Jones joined Shift Redevelopment as the director of business development.

In the business development role, Jones will expand the relationships within Shift’s target markets. She is responsible for all sales activity in the company and ensuring the company reaches its growth objectives.  With the construction industry recovery in the Phoenix market, Shift is forecast to more than triple its size in 2014.  In addition to actively fostering new relationships and clients for the business, Jones is charged with hiring, developing, and training the company’s growing sales force through marketing and communication.  She serves on the executive management team and networks heavily with professional associations that support the commercial and residential real estate industries.

Jones also spearheads the philanthropic endeavors and community involvement for Shift Redevelopment. Community involvement includes nonprofit work on projects, serving on leadership boards and volunteering for charitable causes. She is the community project co-chair for Valley Partnership.

“Shift is repositioning itself for future growth.  We are excited to have Dena Jones on board as an integral member of our team. Her knowledge and her experience will help us position ourselves for anticipated growth,” said Shift Redevelopment’s Managing Director Jim Bailey.
Shift Redevelopment is a full-service general contracting and real estate development Firm that specializes in strategically optimizing commercial and residential real estate.

Since its inception, Shift Redevelopment has earned a reputation as the construction service company of choice for commercial buildings, multifamily communities, and HOA’s.  Their specialty lies in repositioning existing assets through capital improvement projects and tenant improvements (i.e… exterior painting, stucco, asphalt, roofing, flooring, interior renovations).
Shift’s competitive advantage comes by self-performing much of the work.  By keeping their price point competitive and quality controls tight, Shift is an attractive alternative for companies considering taking on large projects in house.  We offer the amenities and accountability of one point of contact with the savings of not having to manage the project.

Most recently, Shift has expanded their services to include emergency fire and water cleanup and restoration.  Their personnel are IICRC trained and certified.