There’s a loud and steady drumbeat in Downtown Phoenix. It’s music from a concert or festival. It’s the clinking of glasses on restaurant patios. It’s the bustle of students trying to make it to class on time. It’s the “beep beep” of construction crews building new and renovating old.
It’s the sound of progress.
Downtown Phoenix is in the midst of a cultural and developmental boom. From large-scale projects like the Biosciences Partnership Building, Arizona School for Law and Society, Union @ Roosevelt and Luhrs City Center to major events like Super Bowl Central, VIVA PHX, McDowell Mountain Music Festival and Comicon, there’s overwhelming evidence to support the idea that Downtown Phoenix is growing into a broader, more interesting, and more textured community.
Consider these numbers:
Downtown Phoenix is part of a national trend that is seeing millennials and baby boomers seeking out live/work/play urban lifestyles.
“Downtown Phoenix has been growing for 10 years with investments from both the public and private sectors,” said Dan Klocke, Downtown Phoenix Inc.’s vice president of development. “Right now, what we’re seeing is all that effort meeting up with demographics.”
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced $19.5 million in funding to invest in Arizona tribes for environmental programs, water infrastructure development, community education and capacity building. The announcement was made at the 22nd Annual Regional Tribal Conference in Sacramento, Calif.
“The federal government is committed to protecting human health and the environment in Indian Country,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “This funding will help conserve precious water resources, create jobs, and improve the quality of life on tribal lands.”
This year, Arizona tribes will use $16.8 million for a wide variety of water quality projects including watershed protection and restoration, water and energy efficiency, wastewater reclamation, and treatment systems. The funds also support drinking water infrastructure, plant operator training, and technical assistance.
This year Ariz. tribes will an additional $2.7 million to continue tribal environmental programs, cleanup open dumps, conduct small construction projects, targeted community outreach, and community education – the cornerstone of tribal environmental programs.
For example, this year, the Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona will develop a community education video on appropriate solid waste management and the Gila River Indian Community will clean up five illegal dumpsites on tribal lands, as well as to install educational and deterrent signage at areas frequently abused by dumpers.
These funds are critical in building the capacity of tribes to carry out environmental work. Because most tribes in the Pacific Southwest have small governments, one goal of the funding is to assist tribes in developing their ability to establish environmental protection programs and make informed decisions about issues that impact the health of their people and the quality of their environment. The funds are used to develop environmental and public health ordinances, and coordinate with adjacent jurisdictions.
The EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region is home to 148 tribal nations with half of Indian Country nationwide concentrated in three states; Indian Country in California, Arizona and Nevada is about equal to area of the six New England states combined.
As construction officially commences at The Ridge, Brookfield Communities’ newest neighborhood at its Fox Creek development along the Colorado River in Bullhead City, a few select homebuyers will be able to participate in a unique “leaseback” program.
Here’s how it works: Brookfield sells a home to an individual buyer who agrees to leaseback the home to Brookfield Communities. Brookfield Communities then builds a home on a view lot in its Fox Creek master-planned community. The lease agreements, at least for two years at about 7 percent, gives usage of the home back to Brookfield who use the home as a model to sell other homes in the community.
Over the years, Brookfield Communities has successfully “leased back” more than 50 homes in its Bullhead City and northern Arizona master-planned communities. The program is ideal for buyers who may want retire and move to Bullhead City in the future, but want an immediate income producing asset which also appreciates over time. The program also gives buyers a set price point before they take residence. About 50 percent of these leaseback buyers move into the homes over time, after the lease is up.
The upside for the buyer is that the home is never lived in – it is simply used as a model home to showcase the community to potential buyers – and is well cared for during the lease timeframe. Typically, these homes also have many upgrades and maintenance is handled by Brookfield Communities as well.
While Brookfield is looking at the leaseback program for five of its models in Fox Creek, it has successfully used the leaseback strategy for homes at its Verde Santa Fe master-plan near Sedona as well as for nearly two decades at Fox Creek in Bullhead City.
“The biggest plus for buyers is a guaranteed above market interest rate return on a new home they will purchase just over the cost of construction,” said Phil Petersen, founder and president of Brookfield Communities. “After the lease, the home is turned over in perfect, never used condition.”
Recently, Bullhead City officials approved the final details at The Ridge, giving Brookfield Communities the green light to begin construction of the new neighborhood at Fox Creek.
Homes and neighborhoods in The Ridge feature revolutionary designs including an expansive mix of architectural styles – from Bungalows to Mid-century to Modern. The Ridge at Fox Creek sits on a high ridge at Brookfield Communities’ master-planned community near the Colorado River and across from Laughlin, Nev. The Ridge, with mountain and desert views, is on the highest point in Fox Creek. The Ridge is comprised of four separate ridgelines and features natural arroyos, unspoiled terrain and high desert vegetation. Lush landscaping, large trees and “The Roost” – an exclusive community clubhouse will complete The Ridge. The Roost includes a bar area, a swimming pool and built-in recreation amenities for residents to enjoy. Lots in the first phase of The Ridge are limited to 48 and are now available.
The Valley is already home to the largest concentration of Major League Baseball fields, used during the Cactus League Spring Training, but even more sporting venues are breaking ground and with them a variety of mixed-use retail, hospitality and multi-family developments. USA Place, Avenue Shoppes at P83 and Riverview Park are such milestone investments in the Valley. Between the three projects, more than three-quarters of a billion dollars is coming out of the ground next to major sports venues. There’s something to be said about the generating return of investment when a few months of star-quality use also needs to spur another eight to 10 months of revenue.
The key behind the three projects is that developers are focused on what happens when USA Basketball and Major League Baseball Spring Training games are not filling the stadiums. It’s the “off-season” activities that return the investment and ensure successful revenue streams. These are “they’re coming; now we can build it” developments. However, each has its own business plan for success.
A City Built Around a Campus
The joint venture that is USA Place LLC is run by Scottsdale-based Concord Eastridge. CEO Susan Eastridge says the project is the ultimate urban mixed-use development. Located on the future Tempe trolley line, USA Place is the new home to USA Basketball and Arizona Interscholastic Athletics. When it comes to filling the venue, AIA and landlord Arizona State University are the ones who will keep the 65KSF events center filled 10 months of the year. Eastridge says there are already 200 events a year locked into the facility.“This is a community where people can literally live, work and shop,” explains project manager Alisa Cutright-Thompson. “We have retail shops, apartments for professionals, the events center, meeting space and a hotel in a single urban complex.”
“We’re building something that ASU and Tempe have wanted — a class-A hotel and mixed-use community,” says Eastridge.
“The AIA will fill the center with more than 200 events per year. Conferences and meetings from the hotel will fill the rest. The residents will connect with the shops.”
A Venue for Westsiders
One of the largest projects in the West Valley will be the $150M mixed-use retail and hospitality development called the Avenue Shoppes at P83. Anchoring the main gate of the Peoria Sports Complex, the project brings life to the P83 entertainment district the city is trying to create.
“This is going to be a destination,” says Peoria Sports Park LLC managing member Michael Oliver. The Peoria-based developer says his personal experience is what led to the vision for the facility. “There are no entertainment and shopping destinations in Peoria. We’re going to anchor this with a complex that is in a category falling between Scottsdale Fashion Square and Kierland Commons. It will be a place to go and stay, not just shop and run.”
The development includes city-funded parking garages and a 140-room, high-rise hotel. Not including the rooftop bar, there are 245K SF for restaurants and shopping. PSP is looking at a major flag for the hotel, which will be set on top of the retail complex on city-owned land.
The Avenue Shoppes will start construction in the next year and is estimated to costing $150M. Michael Baker Jr. Inc. is handling design duties; a contractor has not been selected. CBRE is consulting on leasing.
Mesa ‘Ville Plans Year-Round Action
“This is new money in the market, and it’s a destination with both regional and local opportunities,” says Mesa Mayor Scott Smith about the showcase Cubs Park and hometown Riverview Park complex nestled against the Loop 101 and 202 freeways in northwest Mesa. “It’s the anchor for a lot of activity,” he adds. “Wrigleyville’s hotel and shops provide an opportunity for conferences and sports events.”
The city invested more than $90M into Cubs Park and another $30M into the recreation and sports facilities at Riverview Park. Structures, Inc., and Powers Hotel Corp. will build a full-service Sheraton Hotel next to Cubs Park, along with 20K SF of retail space in the first phase.
Construction starts this summer and developer Bob Yost expects it to be completed in time for the Super Bowl. Structures Inc., with Yost as CEO, is handling the design-build. It’s estimated that the hotel-retail project will cost more than $60M, but no one from Structures would confirm the price tag.
Arizona State University is locating its newest W.P. Carey Evening MBA and Custom Corporate MBA programs at Chandler 101, an executive office park to be developed by The Rockefeller Group in Chandler’s prestigious Price Corridor.
This program will be the first of its kind in Chandler, and complement the Price Corridor’s economic development strategy of recruiting high-tech, high-wage employers.
“Chandler has been working diligently to bring an added educational presence to our city,” Chandler mayor Jay Tibshraeny said Monday at a press conference to announce the partnership. “ASU makes a great addition to the Price Corridor, which attracts high-profile businesses and an educated workforce.”
Because the Price Corridor is home to six miles of large-campus, high-wage employers, this location allows ASU to reach a large executive workforce in a convenient location.
“Bringing ASU’s highly-ranked MBA programs to Chandler offers the opportunity for ASU to provide a stellar business education to working professionals in the area that ultimately will benefit the state’s economy,” said ASU president Michael M. Crow.
Chandler 101 will include 844,000 SF on 24 acres with 8- to 10-story office towers, restaurants, retail, and a parking structure on the SEC of Chandler Blvd. and the 101 Freeway. ASU’s presence will help make Chandler 101 attractive to prospective tenants, as it will offer on-site convenience to higher education to their employees. Colliers International, Inc. will be representing The Rockefeller Group for all leasing inquiries.
“The Rockefeller Group is pleased that ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business MBA Programs will be part of Chandler 101,” said Mark Singerman, regional director, Rockefeller Group Development Corporation. “We look forward to securing an anchor tenant so that we can begin development on phase one.”
The W. P. Carey School of Business at ASU is one of the largest and highest-ranked business schools in the U.S. The school will offer its prestigious evening MBA program in Chandler that is currently ranked number 17 among all part-time MBA programs, according to U.S. News & World Report. The evening MBA program is an ideal fits for professionals who want to broaden managerial and professional expertise.
The school will also offer its new Chandler location as an option for custom corporate MBA programs. These can be specifically designed around individual company’s strategic objectives. Custom corporate courses create opportunities for businesses to develop future leaders, elevate managers’ knowledge and skill levels, link course content to company challenges and aid in attracting and retaining top talent.
The school will also offer its new Chandler location as an option for custom corporate MBA programs. These can be specifically designed around individual company’s strategic objectives. Custom corporate courses create opportunities for businesses to develop future leaders, elevate managers’ knowledge and skill levels, link course content to company challenges and aid in attracting and retaining top talent.
For more information about The Rockefeller Group visit www.rockgroupdevelopment.com.
The Phoenix School of Law announced today that it will be relocating to Downtown Phoenix in the One North Central building, located at the corner of North Central Avenue and East Washington Street.
In a lease that begins Aug. 1, the school will eventually occupy 205,130 square feet of the building’s 13th-20th floors and a portion of the first floor. The relocation is a result of the school’s dedication to enhancing its learning environment, commitment to improving student outcomes, and its increasing student enrollment.
“Phoenix School of Law’s announcement to relocate to downtown is great news, bringing long-term jobs that benefit the entire city,” Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon said. “By continuing to build on our knowledge based economy, we strengthen our workforce and create opportunities to reinvest in our community.”
“Phoenix School of Law is extremely excited for our move to downtown Phoenix,” said Scott Thompson, president of the school. “This strategic initiative provides the foundation for the next phase of our institution, and will build on the attainment of full accreditation granted last summer by the American Bar Association.”
The new campus will be equipped with state-of-the-art technology, a fully operational mock courtroom, a legal clinic and a law library with an expansive physical collection of legal resources, and a variety of electronic databases.
“Attracting educational institutions is key to enhancing downtown Phoenix’s redevelopment and renaissance efforts,” said District 8 Councilman Michael Johnson, in whose district the school will relocate. “Students, faculty and staff will be ideally located in the heart of the state’s legal, government and business districts with convenient access to light rail, retail and other amenities.”
“Our location in the heart of the legal community and justice system maximizes our students’ ability to utilize many resources in the downtown area,” said Shirley L. Mays, Dean of Phoenix School of Law. “As a law school with nearly 1,000 students and employees, our presence downtown confirms our commitment to Phoenix and will benefit both the city and the broader community.”
The Phoenix School of Law is fully accredited by the American Bar Association, and is the only law school in Arizona where students can choose from full-time, part-time day, or part-time evening programs.
The Phoenix School of Law will be leasing One North Central from its owner, Mitsubishi Estate New York, Inc. for the next 10 years, with an option to extend for an additional five years. Jay Hoselton, senior director of Cushman & Wakefield, was the broker for the transaction. Lewis & Roca, LLM served as the legal advisor.
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.
It makes sense that a city with an average of more than 321 days of sunshine a year is taking the lead in solar, thanks in large part to the tireless efforts of the energy source’s biggest crusader in Arizona: the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC).
“I think if you look at comprehensively the way that we approach the utilization of solar, this is top-down the best market to do solar manufacturing,” says Chris Camacho, executive vice president of business development at GPEC.
GPEC aggressively pushed for passage of Senate Bill 1403, the Renewable Energy Tax Incentive Program, that was signed into law in 2009. The incentives include a refundable tax credit and a property tax reduction.
Since January 2010, eight companies have made the commitment to come to the Phoenix Metro area, with many more anticipated for the future.
GPEC’s hard work has led to making connections around the globe and attracting a number of high-level renewable energy companies to the Valley. One of these companies is Suntech Power Holdings, the world’s largest manufacturer of photovoltaic modules.
“Arizona can be very proud that it has GPEC as an ambassador for the region to reach out to global companies,” says Wei Tai Kwok, vice president of marketing at China-based Suntech Power Holdings. “They’re pounding the pavement to get the message out there that they want to be the solar capital.”
It was thanks to this commitment that Suntech decided to make Goodyear the location for the company’s first U.S. manufacturing plant.
“(GPEC) helped us with the financial modeling, business plan and follow-up,” Kwok says. “They were very attentive and committed to our success … and they’re still at our side and supportive of our needs.”
He also listed other important attributes that factored into the decision, including the state’s skilled work force and Arizona’s serious commitment to solar energy.
GPEC’s Camacho says that type of confidence and emphasis helps the organization differentiate itself from similar groups.
“GPEC’s brand as a group can provide the highest level of services to companies in analyzing the Western U.S. for business locations,” he adds.
The companies that have worked with GPEC can attest to its capability in assisting with relocation efforts. Rioglass Solar, a company that produces reflector components for solar thermal power plants and is a subsidiary of Rioglass Solar Holdings in Spain, worked with GPEC to establish a manufacturing facility and U.S. headquarters in Surprise.
“It was very helpful for us to have an organization that could get us the support we needed,” says Greg Armstrong, chief operating officer of Rioglass Solar. “You need a site that is constructible, has infrastructure and has a quality work force.”
Armstrong adds that the company is highly confident that due to the support of the local community, the infrastructure and GPEC, coming to Arizona will meet Rioglass Solar’s objectives.
Of course, one of the biggest benefits the expansion of the solar industry in Arizona will have will be on job creation. The more activity there is in the region, the more high-quality jobs will be available. The Suntech plant already has created 80 jobs and is expecting to increase to about 150 people within three or four years. Rioglass Solar also anticipates more than 100 positions at its Surprise facility.
While there has been plenty to celebrate since the passing of the incentive program, there are still hurdles to overcome. The catalysts for future growth of the solar industry in Arizona certainly are in place, but the economic difficulties have had an effect.
“We have seen corporations be very conservative in how quickly they move on investment decisions,” Camacho says. “We still have another 150 renewable energy companies in our pipeline. As the economy continues to recover, credit becomes more available, we will welcome more and more companies.”
It’s safe to say that Arizona is moving ahead in the sustainability industry — most notably in the solar field — and thanks to GPEC’s support, there are no signs of this industry slowing down.
“I look at sustainability alongside health care as one of the two industries that is going to drive our economic future,” Camacho says. “Without groups like GPEC, a lot of this would not exist, and I’ll attribute that to having our team be at the forefront of understanding these technology applications, understanding what drives the location decisions of CEOs, and creating an environment that’s very supportive of the (solar) industry.”
AZ Business Magazine Jan/Feb 2011
Lori Singleton, Salt River Project (SRP)
Lori Singleton is the manager of sustainability initiatives and technologies at Salt River Project. She is a 29-year employee of SRP and 40-year resident of Arizona. She is responsible for design and implementation of SRP’s environmental outreach programs with special focus on renewable energy.
Lori’s responsibilities at SRP include development and implementation of renewable energy projects to meet SRP’s sustainable resource goals. Singleton oversees research and development projects to support company-wide initiatives for SRP including gasoline lawn mower recycling, tree planting, clean school bus initiative, travel reduction and other internal environmental programs.
She works on development and implementation of the “green” energy pricing program, solar incentive program for residential and commercial customers and renewable energy education programs for implementation in middle school and high school curricula.
In addition, she does promotion and public relations for all new renewable energy projects and purchases (solar, wind, geothermal, landfill gas, low head hydro, fuel cells) while serving as the environmental issues media spokesperson for SRP and being a constant representative of SRP on numerous environmental committees, boards and commissions.
She was appointed by Governor Janet Napolitano to serve on the Solar Energy Advisory Council and also has several other current affiliations including: Valley Forward Association, Board of Directors; Audubon Society, chair, Board of Directors; Maricopa County Regional Travel Reduction Task Force, chair; Association for Commuter Transportation, Valley of the Sun, President & National Board Director; Southwest Center for Education; and the Natural Environment (ASU), Board of Directors.
Solar Energy Advisory Council, appointment by Governor Janet Napolitano
Valley Forward Association, Chair, Board of Directors
Topic: How people & organizations can get involved in the green movement from an energy perspective.
BIG Green Expo
Valley Forward’s focus today is on sustainability. Its mantra is that a community can be great only if it respects its natural and human resources, and adopts practices that will nourish and preserve them.
Thirty years ago, when Valley Forward directors launched the Environmental Excellence Awards (EEA) program, we didn’t talk about sustainability. The word wasn’t in our vocabulary. But our motives inevitably led us to the same place.
We believed that a great city required environmental stewardship and first-rate planning, design and architecture in private developments and public places. So, we set out to raise the competitive bar in those fields by recognizing superior work with prestigious awards.
In 1981, the first year of the awards, six, first-place Crescordias were granted, including Scottsdale’s visionary Indian Bend Wash flood-control project and the historic preservation of Heritage Square in Downtown Phoenix. This year, 21 Crescordias were handed out, led by the Nina Mason Pulliam Rio Salado Audubon Center.
Through the years of EEA, Valley Forward has given out 414 Crescordias and, beginning in 1989, 21 President’s Awards. Additionally, many entries have received Awards of Merit in recognition of their special accomplishments.
The program has drawn thousands of entries submitted by every kind of institution and individuals from every walk of life. EEA recognition has rewarded the efforts of architects, urban designers, land planners and developers; landscape architects, homebuilders, homeowners, educators, artists, scientists, engineers, farmers and many others.
Awards have been made to city, county and state entities; manufacturers, retail corporations, hospitals, school districts, libraries, flood control agencies, art and history organizations, office and retail projects, hotels and resorts, golf courses, utility companies, recyclers, fire stations, zoos, a football team, newspapers and magazines, parks, conservation projects and museums.
As varied as they are, the hundreds of EEA winners have one thing in common: all have made an impact on the community. That is what EEA is all about and it is what will make sustainable development a reality.
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.”
Forget “The Valley of the Sun.” Imagine “The Venice of the Southwest.”
It’s an idea that’s hard to fathom now, especially when most Valley residents think of canals as “ugly, smelly and dangerous,” says Nan Ellin, a former Arizona State University professor who conceived Canalscape with her students.
Canalscape is a concept that encourages Phoenicians to embrace the canals that give life to the desert by developing “places of urban vitality” where major streets meet canals, Ellin says.
Despite the canals’ bad reputation, Valley Forward Association and Ellin see a bright, watery future for Phoenix. With more than 181 miles of canals, Phoenix has more of such waterways than Venice and Amsterdam combined. But unlike their European counterparts, canals in Phoenix are not a vital part of the city’s culture.
“The canals used to be the front porch and they became the back alleys,” with the urban sprawl of the 1960s and 1970s, Ellin says.
Valley Forward is committed to transforming the canals from eyesores to amenities, says Jay Hicks, chair-elect of Valley Forward.
“Canalscape represents the next evolution of Valley Forward being able to really bring their membership to a project,” Hicks says.
He adds that the diversity of Valley Forward’s members will help establish connections and relationships between cities, developers, the Salt River Project and other entities to push Canalscape forward.
Currently, the Canalscape project is in the research and discussion stages in Valley Forward’s land use and open space committee. By the end of this year, Valley Forward hopes to create a separate Canalscape committee to allow all of Valley Forward’s members to participate in the creation process, says George Pasquel III, chair of the land use and open space committee.
Canalscape fits perfectly with two of Valley Forward’s goals — promoting sustainability and giving Phoenicians a high quality of life, Hicks says.
Two important aspects of the Canalscape vision are to bring nature into the city by not hardscaping the selected areas, and to keep the ground level spaces public to attract visitors.
“When the ground floor is public, it’s saying welcome,” Ellin notes.
Each “canalscaped” location would have a unique look. The Canalscape developments could range from a naturally landscaped public recreation area to a public school to small urban hubs complete with restaurants, grocery stores and dry cleaners, Ellin says.
Canalscape’s urban centers would create a lifestyle in which walking, biking and mass transit replace cars as the main modes of transportation, thus making the Valley more sustainable and increasing the quality of life, Ellin says.
Currently, there are several locations being considered for Canalscape’s pilot project, but no decisions have been made.
“The best location for a pilot project is whatever location can get implemented the fastest, have the most positive public impact and be the greatest catalyst for future locations,” Pasquel says.
Gateway Community College, which houses the Canalscape Exhibit, is a possible location and GCC President Eugene Giovannini says he hopes the college is chosen.
“I can’t think of another area in the city that is more worthy of the initial pilot project (to) move (Canalscape) forward, because of its location as it relates to mass transit and an underserved, underdeveloped area in the city,” Giovannini says.
The METRO Light Rail’s 38th Street stop at Gateway Community College will connect to Sky Harbor International Airport’s tram when it is completed. As a result, the stop becomes the front door to the city for visitors, and the city should roll out an attractive welcome mat, Giovannini says.
Whichever location is chosen, Pasquel says he hopes to see Canalscape fully developed in the coming decade.
“I’d like (the canal system) to be an active part of the Valley that’s not so ignored, that people … actually think of it as a thoroughfare that connects areas,” he says.
Canalscape connects the Valley, while also maintaining each community’s uniqueness by involving a “combination of urban and nature, and a combination of live, work, play that you don’t see anywhere else in the Valley,” Ellin says.
“So it would really improve the quality of life … and overall it would really enhance the reputation of the Phoenix metropolitan region.”
Don Cardon today was officially named CEO and President of the newly formed Arizona Commerce Authority by Gov. Jan Brewer at the ACA board meeting at the Arizona Capitol.
Brewer named Cardon Director of the Arizona Department of Commerce in May 2009. On June 29, 2010, Brewer issued an Executive Order establishing the ACA and transitioning out the Department of Commerce. Cardon was on the committee to select the new head of the ACA. The committee looked no further than its backyard.
The 35-member, private sector ACA will work to align diverse assets and opportunities within the state to compete economically in both domestic and international markets to create high-quality jobs for the Arizona residents.
Cardon’s experience as an economic developer is vast. He worked in a rural Washington state community attracting international companies engaged in high-tech manufacturing, electronics and energy; he is a former entrepreneur, serving as President and CEO of Cardon Development Group, creating low-income housing tax credit projects throughout Arizona.
Cardon also helped initiate the formation of Phoenix Future, assembling business, political and financial leaders to create CityScape, a mixed-use development in downtown Phoenix. Cardon is experienced in financial planning, zoning activities, marketing and partnership development.
Don’t work harder: Market smarter
It’s time for that marketing brochure to be updated or to create a direct mail campaign to generate new business, but you are questioning the expense. Before you even begin, there are key considerations that will help control your costs and create a greater impact.
It is no surprise that the most expensive factor in creating new marketing materials can be the cost of production. But, buyers beware: Reducing production costs is possible if you plan ahead.
A collaborative effort between the designer and the print vendor is key. Graphic designers will always have a vision when creating a project. Your job is to ensure your designer and print representative are in communication during the development process. A knowledgeable print representative should and will ask questions in order to determine options that can ultimately lead to cost-saving.
Optimal results in a direct mail campaign can be attributed to a combination of things – cool eye catching designs, attention grabbing message, strong calls to action – but it all begins with the list. Are the addresses on your list accurate? Are you reaching the right audience?
All too often the mailing list is a last-minute thought pulled together after materials have gone to print. Supplying and processing mailing lists ahead of the print run will help reduce waste by establishing an accurate count number of your actual needs. Investing in a service to thoroughly cleanse your list can remove old records and improve accuracy. The cleaner the list is, the higher your return on investment.
Most innovative printers today are running various projects in combination to help offset costs. If you are able to provide flexibility regarding paper stock and printing time you can take advantage of an opportunity to print your marketing materials in combination with others. This helps save you money up front by sharing the set-up costs.
Finish The Job
A large portion of the costs incurred producing marketing materials derive from the set-up costs, the materials and the cost of labor or time it takes to put your project together. The more finishing services you can complete in-line, the lower your overall cost. For example, if you need 20,000, 16-page, 8.5 x 11 catalogs, think about sourcing it to a printer that can fold and glue the spine on a web press, opposed to a vendor that can only print flat sheets and then must separately fold and spine staple your catalog off-line.
Bigger Isn’t Always Better
In any print project the actual size or dimensions of your piece can have a significant impact on production costs. A larger postcard means less pieces fitting on a page. The more units you are able to fit onto a full-size sheet, the less time your job spends on the press, which results in savings. Additional factors to strongly consider are the postal regulations on each direct mailer. Reducing a standard 8.5 x 11 catalog to 6 x 10.5 can reduce postage by as much as $0.12 per piece depending on the weight.
The Digital Age
When you are printing a large volume and seeking a high quality finish, more conventional, off-set printing is the method of choice. But, advancements in technology now allow a greater level of customization with digital printing, which is typically best for short runs and quick turnaround times. Digital printing is perfect for a short run, four color, print on demand project, like business cards or postcards.
Managing the production budget of your marketing materials can easily get away from you and significantly increase costs with what appears to be small decisions or choices. Adding things like a fifth color or spot varnishes, choosing an out-of-the-ordinary paper stock, or even adding a small foil stamp can put you over budget.
As a former print production manager, I’ve been tasked with controlling costs on marketing collateral for many years. In looking beyond cost saving practices like size reductions, paper selection and combining production, one particular project comes to mind that is a great example of how planning with your team can save on costs.
The client had a limited budget, but needed 25,000 two-piece pull card window mailers, which traditionally require a great deal of handwork to put together. By involving the bindery supervisor in the design process, we created an automated one-piece mailer, with a zip strip opening and perfed-out windows on both sides. The automation not only saved roughly $3,000, the finished piece was fun and very interactive for the end user.
Whatever the project, it is always best to incorporate unique design elements and strong messaging in order to create effective marketing materials without going overboard on cost.
It all goes back to the importance of planning during the design stage and enlisting the expertise of those involved.
AZNow.Biz is looking for interns. AZNow.Biz is a web companion to Arizona Business Magazine, Arizona’s largest and most reputable bi-monthly business magazine.
AZ Big Media, AZNow.Biz’s parent company, is expanding rapidly and looking to create several websites in the next few years, which makes it the perfect place to gain priceless experience.
We are looking for interns in several areas:
- Website Development
Interns work in a hands-on manner in an open and inviting environment, perfect for fostering learning and creativity. Ideas are not only welcome – they are encouraged.
At AZNow.Biz, we’re creating a top of the line website and are always looking to add more intelligent and diverse content to our website. As an intern you would have many opportunities to be published on AZNow.Biz. We are a lifestyle and business website, which means almost no topic is off limits.
Please submit your resume and portfolio of previous work (if applicable) to AZ Big Media’s assistant Web editor Kristine Cannon at email@example.com.
Local businessman Jerry Colangelo talks basketball, Arizona Commerce Authority, the recession and more.
Title: Principal Partner
Company: JDM Partners
Did you always aspire to be in business or was it circumstances that put you on this path?
I transferred universities for basketball reasons, originally. I went to (University of) Kansas for a semester to play with Wilt Chamberlain. When he transferred — when he quit school — I transferred to (University of) Illinois. I had taken business courses in Kansas and when I transferred I brought those credits with me. But then I went into education. I thought I would teach and coach. But I had some business background and I was always a little bit of an entrepreneur, in terms of trying to make a dollar as a young kid, little businesses, etc. So it all kind of came together and I ended up being in the sports business, which means that I was being prepared all along.
How would describe the Valley’s business environment for entrepreneurs?
I think it is a good place, but it has evolved. I came to the Valley 40-plus years ago, when things were kind of wide open and there were many more opportunities, at least from my perspective. You had the ability to get things done because it was still a small town, to some degree. I’ve seen it quintuple in size, if you will, and we’ve had our ups and our downs in the Valley, but we’re trying to re-identify who we are and what our future holds. But there will always be room for entrepreneurs. There’s no question about that. I still believe in the Valley and the business climate, and it’s going to get better as our economy gets better, so there’s room.
How will the new Arizona Commerce Authority help the state’s economy?
I think the Commerce Authority is coming at exactly the right time. We have the opportunity to re-do how we do business in this state. It’s very important to retain the businesses that we have and it’s very competitive out there. The states are competing for big business and small business. We need to create a climate that is truly conducive for small and big business to come to Arizona. I think that with the people, the manpower that we will have on this authority, we have a chance to make that happen.
I’ve been a little outspoken about the fact that we need the Legislature to help with the funding — there’s no question about that — but at that point they need the business community to conduct the business of commerce. That’s what they know best. And if we can kind of separate that, we have a great opportunity to go out and be competitive. We’re going to need some things from the Legislature. Incentives — that seems to be a dirty word to some people, but it’s reality. That’s what’s happening in other states. That’s why they’ve had so much success. We have the models to look at.
For me, coming from the world of sports and every day you’re competing, it’s another game, it’s going for another win. This is a classic example of taking something that needed to be restructured, a little like my USA Basketball experience of late, when I took over the program and it was back on its heels. Today, we’re the defending gold medalists in every category, men’s and women’s, every age bracket. We have a chance with the Commerce Authority to basically do the same thing. We need to win a gold medal. We need to go out and compete with all the other states, because we have a lot to offer in this state. We just need some incentives. We need to look people eyeball-to-eyeball and sell them on why it’s important to come here, why they will enjoy not just the quality of life. We need to improve our education, we need to make it a better community in which it is conducive to do business here. If you get people jumping on the bandwagon, we have a chance.
How did the recession affect the sports industry in general and in the Valley in particular?
The recession has hit everyone and every segment of the marketplace. It’s interesting; when things are really bad economically, people still want to be entertained. … Vicariously, people follow sports teams because they once played, they have some affiliation, they love the association when their teams are winning. When teams are losing, that’s when they jump off the bandwagon. … We took a hit here in the Valley big time. Because we have so much emphasis on the construction industry, we were hit harder than other parts of the country — in the Southwest. No. 2, we are saturated right now with sports teams — no question about that. Everyone was affected. If we had continued with our growth, because we were on an incredible growth curve, we would have grown into maturity with all of our sports teams. What we have gone through have been some real challenges. But the good news is that the sports franchises have adjusted. They’ve had to adjust their policies, their attitudes toward discounts, etc. And that’s one of the things I’ve noticed in sports in the last two years is that they’ve made adjustments to deal with what’s taken place with the recession.
You are still involved in sports, but you’ve also moved on to real estate development. Some would say that’s a risky move. How do you respond to that?
People say when you make money in real estate is when you buy appropriately. There are a lot of deals out there to buy in — they say cash is king. Well, there are a lot of financial institutions sitting on a lot of cash, but they’re not really willing to let the consumer have that cash. So everyone is very hesitant right now. There is great opportunity in real estate. You have to be more specific about residential, commercial. My partners and I are involved in some iconic properties: the (Arizona Biltmore Golf & Country Club), the (Wigwam Golf Resort & Spa). In taking that step with distressed properties, we were able to take these properties out of bankruptcy. We believe we made a good buy at the time. We are making an investment in those properties, because we believe in the future. We believe things will get better over a period of time and that the real estate marketplace will continue to get better over a period of time. We’re sitting on 37,000 acres of property on the west side of Phoenix that have the ability and the approval to build a city of over 300,000 people. But this isn’t the time to start that project — that’s in Buckeye, Ariz. Do I think someday that will happen? Maybe in some way, shape or form; maybe not the way it was visualized five years ago, but are people going to continue to come here? I believe so. But back to the Commerce Authority; we have to bring jobs to Arizona. So by being creative and being aggressive going out to bring companies here — with high-paying jobs, not just service jobs — then we will continue with the growth pattern, because we have so many wonderful things to offer in terms of quality of life out here in the Southwest.
What advice do you have for entrepreneurs who are ready to take their companies to the next level?
Don’t be afraid to fail. … You have to take calculated risks. You have to be willing to step out on that board knowing you might get pushed, fall off. The worst thing that could happen is you do — you get up and you start over again. One of the things that has probably marked my career is that I started with nothing and I was never afraid to go back to nothing, but I was going to enjoy the ride. And so as it relates to my mix of experiences. Being competitive as an athlete prepared me for the business world, which was another competition. No one has batted 1,000 percent. Hall of Famers hit .300 — that’s only three out of 10. So why is it any different in business? You’re going to make mistakes, you’re going to learn from your mistakes. You can’t be afraid to fail, you have to be willing to take that kind of calculated risk. I’ve seen so many people, again in my lifetime, who have complained and whined about never getting an opportunity. And I would say to them, “Opportunity walked by you three or four times, but you never recognized it, because you’re so busy whining.” Get out there, don’t be afraid to compete and believe in yourself.
- Became general manager of the new NBA franchise Phoenix Suns in 1968
- Coached the Suns in the 1969-1970 and 1972-1973 seasons
- Purchased the Suns for $44.5 million in 1987
- Founder and owner of the Arena Football League’s Arizona Rattlers from 1992-2005
- Played a key part in moving the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets to Arizona in 1996
- Launched the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury in 1997
- Launched the MLB Arizona Diamondbacks in 1998
- Served as chairman and CEO of the 2001 World Champion Diamondbacks
- Chairman of the NBA’s Board of Governors from 2001-2005
- Sold the Suns, Mercury and Rattlers to an investment group headed by Robert Sarver in 2004
- Sold his controlling interest in the Diamondbacks to a group of investors in 2004
- Elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2004
- March 26, 2004 proclaimed Jerry Colangelo Day in Phoenix
- Named director of USA Basketball in 2005
- Received the Spirit of Caring award in 2005 from the Valley of the Sun United Way
- Inducted into the Suns’ Ring of Honor in 2007
Is it possible to build a sustainable suburb? The answer depends largely upon your perspective.
Of course, sustainability is a word freely associated these days with eco-friendly building materials, alternative energy and “living off the grid,” and is usually used in conjunction with the concepts of urban living, light-rail and transportation-oriented development. However, some of the first sustainable buildings were lovingly referred to as “land ships,” and built far from cities.
The deserts of Taos, N.M., for example, still host these forward-thinking renegade buildings dating back to the late 1960s and 1970s, and were colorfully branded by many as “crazy hippy stuff.” And certainly these buildings are a far cry from the buildings and locations we think of as locations of sustainable development today.
Arizona has long been associated with sprawl, and frankly it’s the reason why the sustainable movement has been slow to catch. However, with a struggling economy and real estate development virtually at a standstill, it’s important to think beyond our limited frame of reference. But the suburb? Can it really be sustainable? Our twin love affair with privacy and the automobile has made the suburb far from a likely place to orchestrate sustainability. Places where garages line streets instead of trees and retail buildings have walls around them virtually imposing a drive instead of a walk. But there is a sustainable sun on the horizon.
Arizona State University’s Stardust Resource Center has created a Growing Sustainable Communities Initiative, and its strategies for growing sustainable communities in the Valley of the Sun include:
- Promoting mixed land uses
- A range of housing types
- Thriving economies
- Environmentally responsive design
- Having a variety of transportation choices
- Compact development
- Making places safe
- Promoting healthy living
- Community engagement
I could write four pages about each of those points, but essentially they mean: building sustainably occurs block-by-block, street-by-street, house-by-house. It is an organic process and there is no cookie cutter, one-size-fits-all approach. In fact, the standard of cookie cutter replication is what has created much of the challenges in every community built after 1950 in Arizona.
To be successful, it is imperative that we change our standard “square mile” approach to development, where commercial businesses exist only on the edges and residential homes on the interior and there is virtually no interplay between them. No parks, and no tree-lined streets. A better strategy is to develop on the quarter-mile, where neighborhoods have work and play uses and schools and shopping centers interact with residential neighborhoods through a network of paths and pedestrian/bike connections — just like the village concepts of the historic neighborhoods built prior to the 1950s. Ask any Midwesterner what they miss about home and I’ll bet they say their “neighborhoods.” There’s a reason why.
What the sustainable movement is advocating is greater creativity on the developer side and less regulation and restrictions on the government side. Scott Carlin, an associate professor of geography at the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University, makes an excellent case for a deeper theory of sustainability. He suggests we re-invigorate ties to cities and villages, by building new homes only where there are existing water and sewer lines, sidewalks, schools, businesses and the other infrastructure within a reasonably close radius. In other words, so we can get out of our cars and walk.
What about existing neighborhoods? Well, they can be re-imagined as sustainable by relaxing zoning code to allow for commercial uses consistent with vibrant neighborhoods and by resisting the status quo. It will also happen when residents advocate for and pursue the creation of public amenities like parks and pathways and tree-lined streets. Even the Urban Land Institute recognizes the opportunities suburbs represent because it’s where the biggest gains could be made. Still, it cautions that connecting the dots between suburban projects through effective sub-regional planning is essential.
It is possible for us to focus on more than buildings when we think of sustainability. With a bit of imagination, and the commitment to integrate the principles of sustainability even on the outskirts of town, we can succeed. Surprisingly, in fact, we won’t be creating anything new. Because, it’s when we look to the past and incorporate the best of what it means to live in an American neighborhood we win. Sustainability is certainly a look to the future, but its reality and its secrets are grounded in our American past.
I’m always on the lookout for developments in the local sustainability industry. USAEnergyGuide was started by three Arizona entrepreneurs passionate about the environment. Realizing that rebate and tax incentives are hard for consumers to navigate, they jumped at the opportunity to create a site that would be simple and user-friendly.
Originally only for Arizona residents, the site has recently expanded to include California and Texas with plans to add more states in the future. USAEnergyGuide is your free online source used to calculate rebates and savings that you can receive by switching to more sustainable forms of energy.
I had the pleasure of meeting with two of the company’s founders — Michael Barber, director of operations and Ken Bonham, director of business development — who took the time to answer a few questions I had about their company.
What led to the creation of USA Energy Guide?
One of our Founders was going through the process of researching how much it would cost to install solar panels on their home, how much they would save on a monthly and yearly basis and what the tax incentives and rebates were, but couldn’t find a site that answered all these questions. So, we sat down and mapped out how we could make this process easier for consumers.
What challenges did you encouter and how were these overcome?
Similar to many startups we had the classic chicken and egg scenario. In order for the company to be successful, we needed installers who matched our qualification criteria and qualified leads (consumers) who were interested in being contacted by these installers. We worked to introduce ourselves to every installer in the markets we served so they could understand how we could help them be successful and also focused on connecting to consumers via social media. Along the way, various local media outlets stumbled across our site and did stories on us. The press stories and word of mouth helped us overcome both these initial challenges.
What are the company’s full line of services?
For consumers, we provide simple ways to understand how much money alternative energy would save them, what rebates and incentives are available in their geographic area and all associated rebates for the products they are interested in. For installers, we provide leads to consumers and business owners who are qualified and ready to purchase these products.
What is your favorite aspect of the industry/company?
Our favorite aspect of the sustainability and alternative energy industry is that it is rapidly expanding and changing every day. There are new advances in solar technology and energy efficiency regularly, and more and more consumers are trying to understand how they can minimize their impact on the environment. This makes every day different and pushes our team to understand how we can help both our customers — installers and consumers — reach their goals.
What kind of a role do you think sustainability plays in today’s Arizona economy?
Right now, the sustainability industry in Arizona is only in its infancy. As costs for alternative energy technology decrease and consumers’ interest in living a greener lifestyle increase, the industry has nowhere to go, but up. However (and this is big however), the industry’s Achilles heel is support from local, state and federal governments. Without broad based government support to spur continued growth, the industry could die a quick death.
What has been the company’s greatest achievement to date?
From the beginning our greatest achievement has been providing information to consumers they couldn’t easily find before. Along with this, it’s the stories we hear from people who have used our site, found qualified installers and are now enjoying solar panels or solar water heaters in their home.
What are your future plans for the company?
While we have been primarily focused on the solar and energy efficiency industries, the sustainability industry goes well beyond those two verticals. We have big plans to not only expand the site beyond those verticals, but become a community where visitors can find a wealth of information across a wide variety of sustainability topics, both on a national and local level.
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:
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?
The Southwest Build-it-Green Expo & Conference was a great success in numerous ways. You might be wondering why, so let’s go over a few reasons.
- One-Stop-Shopping: The BIG Conference showcased a wide variety of options for people looking to move their business, organization, or home in more sustainable perspective. Instead of having to hunt for each piece of a project individually, it gave participants the opportunity to get projects started and things moving in one setting.
- Community Engagement: Looking to become “greener?” The BIG Conference brought those who are new to the idea and those who are seasoned veterans together under one roof. This provided a great opportunity to make networking contacts, to further your education and understanding of sustainability, and to get involved in local ideas and projects. When people get involved, things start to happen.
- Education: The impressive array of speakers and topics gave participants the ability to see some cutting edge projects, work, and innovative ideas first hand. Not only were the speakers excellent, they were readily available and happy to chat with the participants about any questions that came up. This was a “two for one” when looked at from a community engagement perspective, as well.
- Business Development: While the recession is still a reality check, the BIG Conference illustrated that there is current opportunity within the marketplace for ideas, products, and services related to sustainability. I firmly believe that businesses and organizations tied to furthering issues related to sustainability – be it solar, water, wind, materials, et cetera – will be wildly successful in the coming years.
- The Right Direction: Getting people excited to go green and to move in a more sustainable direction is always a great thing. The conference helps to demonstrate that being green isn’t scary or difficult. To the contrary, the BIG conference helps people understand that it’s easy, fun, and a smart idea – personally, professionally, socially, environmentally – to move towards and adopt ideas of sustainability.
The catastrophic events that have stricken the people of Haiti demonstrate — quite lamentably — that in a world of nanotechnology, Google-enabled mobile phones, double tall soy lattes, and proposed universal healthcare, there remain societies on the brink of social, economic, and environmental collapse. For comparison sake, recall the 1989 earthquake that struck the San Francisco Bay Area; a 7.0 geological shift took the lives of 63 people. The same magnitude befell the people of Haiti on Jan. 12; while estimates vary, 100,000 could be dead. That is half of the population of the City of Tempe.
International aid organizations have begun to alleviate immediate suffering; there has been a nationally televised charity concert where people could “text-message” help from the comfort of their own home; myriad countries have sent physical and monetary support. However, there remains a normative question that should be on our minds:
What should we do to ensure a more sustainable Haiti, in the future?
Expand education efforts:
In a nation where 38 percent of the population is under the age of 14, developing intellectual capital will allow good ideas to originate, blossom, and be implemented in a country that is in dire need of them.
Economic development and investment:
Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. By advancing an equitable combination of foreign direct investment, NGO/nonprofit work, and domestic revenue producing opportunities we can ensure that Haitians are placed on a path of economic self sufficiency;
Further micro-lending networks and opportunities to allow access to entrepreneurial capital and development. Jobs starting from bottom up will empower individuals and reduce the economic stratification that is rampant in the country.
Establish legitimate governance systems:
Haiti’s government has utilized 8,000 U.N. peacekeepers to maintain some semblance of order and control since 2004. While a future government does not have to be a veritable paragon of representative democracy and efficiency, the people of Haiti deserve a government that will work — vigorously and in earnest — to advance their well-being. Imagine there were a comprehensive and enforced modern building code prior to the earthquake; would Haiti have fared more like San Francisco?
The world is not a mutually exclusive place anymore. We, a global people, are connected to one another in innumerable ways. As such, we need to demonstrate our solidarity and resolute commitment to creating a more sustainable Haiti. I challenge you to ask what else you, your business, organization, or nonprofit can contribute towards the economic, social, and environmental revitalization of Haiti.
Let’s start a thoughtful and innovative conversation about how businesses, organizations, and nonprofits can move beyond status-quo assistance and be truly entrepreneurial and ground-breaking in their aid. I look forward to making positive change happen, together.
While channel surfing on a recent Saturday, I stumbled across a show counting down the best exclusive island resorts. I decided to indulge in a little daydreaming and watched the special. Much to my surprise, near the top of the list was a resort unlike any other.
S.T.A.R. Island is a 35-acre island located near the Bahamian island of Eleuthera. The acronym stands for Sustainable Terrain and Resources, which, according to its Web site means that S.T.A.R. Island is “slated to be the world’s first sustainable, carbon neutral exotic island resort.”
The description alone is enticing. “An exclusive private island resort community and shining example of sustainable development, seamlessly combining the latest earth-friendly construction and design with the ulimate in luxury and comfort. A pure paradise where every detail has been artfully designed to balance with our environment at every level.”
How does S.T.A.R. Island plan on achieving such an amazing feat? Well, with a few things. A mixture of solar, wind, hydro and biofuels will help the resort provide typical amenities you would find at any luxury resort, but without any reliance on fossil fuels. The resort’s carbon footprint will be virtually nonexistent, washed away with the clear blue waters of the ocean.
Photovoltaic cells will convert natural light into electricity. The cells, which will be placed on the roof of every building, are designed to produce enough electricity to power all the resort facilities. The buildings will be constructed from Insulated Concrete Forms, eco-friendly, non-toxic recyclable polystyrene that provides not only a strong structure, but also a thermal barrier. Because of this unique material, the size of the resort’s heating/cooling units will be smaller than those normally found on such buildings. In addition, each building will also have a mini-wind turbine with excess energy being stored for later use.
But the green technology doesn’t end there. The resort will house geothermal heat pumps, solar water heaters, rainwater harvesting, and more. The developers of S.T.A.R. Island aren’t the first to embark on this idea, but they do appear to be among the first to actually achieve it. I must say I’m quite impressed with the resort and am curious to see how it turns out.
Led by president and lead designer of Star Island Development David H. Sklar, the developers have put together a top-notch team of designers and consultants to make the resort a reality. Now, if only I can figure out a way to come up with the green to experience this green resort … stay tuned.
What started as an initiative from the city of Surprise Economic Development Department quickly turned into an unprecedented work force study on the entire West Valley spearheaded by WESTMARC. The study came about through a collaboration of communities, corporations, government entities and educational institutions that contributed more than $150,000 to fund the report.
“West Valley communities have experienced tremendous growth since the 2000 Census. They were having difficulty addressing questions from business prospects concerning the size and skill levels of the regional work force,” says Surprise Economic Development Coordinator Megan Griego, who sits on WESTMARC’s economic development committee and was chair of the Workforce Labor Study of the West Valley. “The communities of the West Valley formed a consortium to better understand their region’s work force and to better promote its growth and development.”
Russ Ullinger, senior project manager of economic development for SRP, and WESTMARC co-chair and member of the economic development committee, adds that the concept for the study developed out of necessity.
“Numerous surveys and studies have identified work force as one of the most important assets when national site selection consultants consider different regions and locations for businesses,” he says.
“This is relevant in good economic times, as well as poor economic times. This study truly drills and provides specific labor information unique to the West Valley.”
Harry Paxton, economic development director for the city of Goodyear, who also acted as co-chair of the study, credits WESTMARC’s partnerships with the Maricopa Work Force Connection, as well as Maricopa Community College in the development and funding of the study. He also praises WESTMARC for bringing together work force professionals to get their input on what the study should entail.
In May 2008, WESTMARC enlisted California-based ERISS Corporation to prepare the comprehensive labor market analysis.
“That analysis involved a survey of all businesses in the West Valley with 20 or more employees — all such businesses were contracted and 1,100 completed the survey — and a detailed review of newly available government information,” Griego says.
The detailed data developed by the survey and the analysis of various government data sources is also available through www.usworks.com/westmarc, which presents the comprehensive information and data relevant to businesses, site selectors, economic development professionals, work force development professionals and educators into convenient and customizable reports.
In general, the study found there are more than 450,000 workers available to fill jobs for the right offer. In addition, there are growth and expansion opportunities in the industries of transportation, wholesale trade, traditional and non-store retail, as well as education. Regarding industry growth, health care leads the trend with a 6 percent growth rate. Construction and transportation/utilities follow closely with a 5 percent growth rate each, and retail in the West Valley has a 4 percent growth rate.
As part of the study, businesses were asked to rate their own work forces on a scale of one to seven, one representing the lowest productivity rating and seven the highest.Sixty-six percent of the area’s employers ranked their employees in one of the two highest categories.
“We found that we have in the West Valley, even in this economy, a very large and qualified labor supply, and we still have some industries that are currently growing and that anticipate growth,” he says, adding that results also show West Valley communities need to implement a live/work/play strategy to avoid the problems with transportation issues.
Landis Elliott, business development director for House of Elliott, says the benefits of the study are numerous. “The study is a tool that the West Valley cities can use while working with potential locates to validate the high-quality employees we have in this region,” she says.
Real Estate Residential Honoree: Homebuilders: 12 developments or more
Pulte Homes and the Communities of Del Webb
Building on a reputation of quality home construction and commitment to superior customer satisfaction, Pulte Homes and the Communities of Del Webb provides customers a home buying, building and living experience second to none. With more than 90 years of combined experience, Pulte Homes is positioned for success in Arizona with neighborhoods such as Anthem Parkside and Anthem at Merrill Ranch, Bella Via, Stetson Valley, Festival Foothills, Cabrillo Point, Red Rock and Vista at Fireside at Norterra. The company’s Del Webb communities, such as Sun City Anthem at Merrill Ranch, Sun City Festival, Fireside at Norterra and Fireside at Desert Ridge, Solera at Johnson Ranch and Sonora, are known for their unparalleled amenities and programs for residents.
Pulte’s Arizona presence includes two Phoenix divisions and one in Tucson, as well as the Pulte Building Systems Division in Tolleson.
16767 N. Perimeter Drive, Scottsdale
Year Est: 1956
Principal(s): John Chadwick
Price Range: $100Ks – $800K+
Real Estate Residential Finalist: Architects: Residential
Carson Poetzl Inc.
Carson Poetzl Inc. is a fullservice architectural firm with a rich history and focus dedicated to high-end custom residential architecture. It approaches the highest level of design and service by closely working with builders, interior designers, landscape architects and engineers. It offers a wide range of talents that are represented in designing styles ranging form cutting-edge contemporary to historically accurate. It tailors each project around the clients’ needs and desires, while working to create a blended harmony between the architecture and its surroundings.
7522 E. McDonald Dr., #G, Scottsdale
Real Estate Residential Finalist: Nurseries: Plants/Trees
Moon Valley Nursery Inc.
An Arizona native, Les Blake started Moon Valley Nurseries in 1995. Realizing a demand for affordable planting services, Blake implemented the “You Buy It and We Plant It” strategy for marketing trees and plants. The strategy was an instant success. As the volume of sales increased, so did the demand for quality trees. Blake expanded the growing operations to maintain the supply needed to keep up with increasing sales. This promoted a higher level of quality control and increased cost effectiveness. Moon Valley Nurseries has nine Arizona locations, serving all cities in the Valley.
18047 N. Tatum Blvd., Phoenix