Tag Archives: economic growth

Promoting Smart Growth in Down Economy

Super Bowl Host Committee announces CEO Forum

Today the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee formally announces the CEO Forum, a cornerstone program that will directly foster Arizona economic growth. The CEO Forum will welcome more than fifty (50) business executives from around the world to participate in a premier policy discussion about opportunities and challenges that will shape our future communities and businesses. The program will take place the weekend of Super Bowl XLIX in Phoenix and highlight the unique opportunities and positive business climate in Arizona.

“We want to introduce corporate decision-makers to Arizona and show them what our state has to offer. Arizona is pro-business and there’s a great workforce here. Our goal is simple, to encourage participants to move or integrate business operations to Arizona,” said David Rousseau chairman of the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee. “We want to plant the seeds during Super Bowl XLIX and see Arizona business grow in the future.”

Super Bowl XLIX will serve as a tremendous catalyst to boost the Arizona business environment. The game and surrounding events and activities are expected to draw more than 100,000 visitors, which will ideally foster future business relocations and expansions in Arizona as well as continuing strong tourism.

The Arizona Commerce Authority is leading Arizona’s various economic development organizations in a collaborative effort to identify a diverse group of companies to participate in the CEO Forum, from Fortune 500 corporations to emerging, high-growth businesses. The Host Committee has engaged with several presenting sponsors that are heavily invested in supporting Arizona growth to create a world-class program that capitalizes on the interest and prominence of the Super Bowl, including Apollo Education Group, First Solar, Inc. and National Bank of Arizona (NB|AZ).

A pillar of the CEO Forum will be the CEO Leadership Huddle, a multi-panel policy forum being conducted in partnership with The McCain Institute for International Leadership. The panels will focus on a range of topics with the common theme of global leadership and will be highlighted by discussions between prominent business leaders, international politicians and philanthropic visionaries. In addition, the CEO Forum will include many opportunities for attending CEOs to engage with Host Committee sponsors, Arizona’s business leaders, elected officials and other advocates. Additional program and panel details will be announced in January 2015.

The CEO Forum is unique to the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee and was started in 2008 with Super Bowl XLII. The program brought more than 20 CEOs to Arizona for Super Bowl weekend and resulted in more than 1,000 jobs and over $400 million invested in the state.

One of the participants in the 2008 CEO Forum was Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, who led a sizeable business investment in Arizona after participating in the program. Dr. Soon-Shiong recently joined the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee Board of Directors and continues to be an advocate for investment in Arizona. He also will play a key role in the CEO Forum curriculum.

Chandler Innovation Center

ASU Chandler Innovation Center Will House Do-It-Yourself TechShop

TechShop, a membership-based, do-it-yourself workshop and fabrication studio with locations nationwide, has reached agreement on terms that will bring TechShop to the ASU Chandler Innovation Center, giving Arizona State University students and Chandler-area makers, entrepreneurs and innovators access to a wide range of machinery, tools and software to turn their ideas into reality.

The ASU Chandler Innovation Center is an engineering and technology-based education and research hub located in downtown Chandler at the city’s former public works yard at 249 E. Chicago Street. It represents an alliance between the City of Chandler and ASU’s College of Technology and Innovation, which offers innovative learning models and interdisciplinary educational programs in engineering, applied sciences, management and entrepreneurship.

TechShop is the physical embodiment of the Maker Movement, providing inventors and hobbyists with workspace, community and tools – including welding stations, plasma cutters, hand tools and 3D printers – needed to make just about anything. The facilities operate on a membership model similar to health clubs, with monthly or annual fees covering unlimited access to equipment on a drop-in basis.

“The mission of the ASU Chandler Innovation Center is to support entrepreneurship and boost long-term economic growth by dedicating a space to teach, train and develop innovative individuals and companies in our community,” said Mayor Jay Tibshraeny. “The arrival of TechShop aligns perfectly with that goal and enriches our already substantial partnership with ASU at this facility.”

As part of the TechShop deal, the College of Technology & Innovation will offer free memberships to students who are taking classes at the Center, with discounted memberships available for other faculty and students. The arrangement will also increase the building’s space utilization by making classrooms available for TechShop programs when not in use by ASU.

“Integrating TechShop into the ASU Chandler Innovation Center democratizes access to tools for innovation and opens up tremendous new opportunities for our students to learn and create,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “Our partnership with TechShop and the City of Chandler enables us to offer our students and the community more access to state-of-the-art technology and resources than any other educational setting nationwide.”

“TechShop’s agreement with ASU, our first academic partnership, pioneers a new model for integrating hands-on making into the teaching process,” said Mark Hatch, CEO of TechShop. “We welcome students at all our facilities and have found that great things happen when students, faculty, industry and individual makers collaborate in the same space.”

“ASU’s College of Technology and Innovation offers a state-of-the-art curriculum that blends theory and practice, with students applying new knowledge in team-based projects embedded across all four years of study,” said Mitzi Montoya, vice provost and dean of ASU’s College of Technology and Innovation. “Our students learn by making and doing, and we are incredibly excited to be able to offer our students access to more tools to design and build exciting solutions.”

TechShop Chandler will offer charter memberships beginning later this year. Interested parties can email chandler@techshop.com to receive alerts regarding becoming a member.

Every TechShop membership includes use of over $1 million worth of tools, equipment and design software, open workspaces, Internet access, and member-only meet-ups and special events. All TechShop locations are open from 9 a.m. until midnight, helping to attract more people into the downtown setting after hours.

For more information about ASU Chandler Innovation Center, visit ASU’s website at asunews.asu.edu

sundt construction

Sundt Recognized By BestCompaniesAZ For Reshaping State

Sundt Construction, Inc.  is among 100 Arizona companies being honored by BestCompaniesAZ for reshaping the state’s workplaces over the past decade.

BestCompaniesAZ, a Mesa, Ariz.-based consulting firm that identifies, develops and promotes outstanding employers, recently released its 100 Best Arizona Companies of the Decade list in celebration of the organization’s 10th anniversary and Arizona’s Centennial. “We are proud to recognize companies that are at the forefront of innovation and economic growth in Arizona,” said Denise Gredler, president and CEO of BestCompaniesAZ. “These are the best and they deserve recognition.” Sundt’s name appears in the Stars of the Best category for mastery and leadership in its field.

“At Sundt Construction, we believe it is our people who make the difference,” said Sundt Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer Richard Condit.  “We know that if we keep our employees happy, they, in turn, will work hard to keep our customers happy. We are grateful to be honored among other Arizona companies that also are dedicated to creating great workplaces and maintaining the highest performance standards.”

In addition to being one of the country’s oldest and most respected general contractors, Sundt provides a number of employee benefits, including an employee stock ownership plan; health plan, vision and prescription benefits; paid time off and an opportunity to make pre-tax donations to the Sundt Foundation, a separate non-profit organization focused on the needs of disadvantaged children and adults. The foundation receives most of its funding through employee contributions, which are matched by the company. To date, the Sundt Foundation has provided more than $5 million in aid to community organizations in communities where Sundt has an established office, or to charitable organizations associated with military installations where the company has a construction project underway.

For more information about Sundt Construction and BestCompaniesAZ, visit Sundt Construction’s website at sundt.com and visit BestCompaniesAZ’s website at bestcompaniesaz.com.

roosevelt row arts district

ArtPlace Grant Will Give Roosevelt Row Arts District A New Look

Roosevelt Row Arts District (RoRo), in the urban core of downtown Phoenix, is a neighborhood on the rise, with unique galleries, restaurants, and shops. A $150,000 grant announced today from ArtPlace will bring an infusion of art and design to the area, defining the neighborhood as a destination for locals and visitors alike.

An “A.R.T.S. Village” – consisting of shipping container studios, performance space, and a new urban market garden – is central to the plan, which also includes hiring a design team to create a vision for the future development of the district and new streetscape design guidelines to visually define the area.

ArtPlace is a new national collaboration of 11 major national and regional foundations, six of the nation’s largest banks, and eight federal agencies, including the National Endowment for the Arts, to accelerate creative placemaking across the U.S. To date, ArtPlace has raised almost $50 million to work alongside federal and local governments to transform communities with strategic investments in the arts.

“Across the country, cities and towns are using the arts to help shape their social, physical, and economic characters,” said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. “The arts are a part of everyday life, and I am thrilled to see yet another example of an arts organization working with city, state, and federal offices to help strengthen and revitalize their communities through the arts. It is wonderful that ArtPlace and its funders have recognized this work and invested in it so generously.”

“With this ArtPlace grant, Roosevelt Row is able carry forth projects that help define our community as a vibrant arts district,” said Cindy Dach, Acting Director of the Roosevelt Row Community Development Corporation. “Since 2001, RoRo has grown to more than 3 dozen shops, galleries and restaurants and has become a real destination. Our work has always been implemented by a small group of dedicated people and volunteers with a vision for a more liveable community. This grant brings us one step closer to turning visions into realities.”

In the early 1940s, numerous businesses were established along Roosevelt Street, the heart of the Roosevelt Row Arts District. In the 1970s, parts of the area were re-zoned, eventually resulting in a downturn in the neighborhood that lasted until the late 1990s. The blighted area was attractive to artists because the boarded-up buildings and former crack houses were affordable for studio and gallery space. The arts were a major factor in the revitalization of the area and crime rates plummeted as more people began to venture into the area to experience the cultural vibrancy.

ArtPlace received almost 2,200 letters of inquiry from organizations seeking a portion of the $15.4 million available for grants in this cycle. Inquiries came from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The 47 projects selected each take a unique and locally-focused approach to creative placemaking, from the creation of a Jazz and Heritage Center in New Orleans’ historic Tremé neighborhood to generate vibrancy and economic growth for the local community to ARTSIPELAGO, a comprehensive revitalization strategy that combines a number of unconnected arts and cultural initiatives in Eastport, Maine for greater effect.

“These projects all exemplify the best in creative placemaking,” explained ArtPlace’s Carol Coletta. “They demonstrate a deep understanding of how smart investments in art, design, and culture as part of a larger portfolio of revitalization strategies can change the trajectory of communities and increase economic opportunities for people.”

In September, ArtPlace will release a new set of metrics to measure changes over time in the people, activity, and real estate value in the communities where ArtPlace has invested with its grants.

Participating foundations include Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Ford Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, Rasmuson Foundation, The Robina Foundation, and an anonymous donor. In addition to the NEA, federal partners are the departments of Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, Agriculture, Education and Transportation, along with leadership from the White House Office of Management and Budget and the Domestic Policy Council. ArtPlace is also supported by a $12 million loan fund capitalized by six major financial institutions and managed by the Nonprofit Finance Fund. Participating institutions are Bank of America, Citi, Deutsche Bank, Chase, MetLife, and Morgan Stanley

For more information on Roosevelt Row Arts District and ArtPlace, visit Roosevelt Row’s website at rooseveltrow.org and ArtPlace’s website at artplaceamerica.org.

economic development - 8 honored

8 Earn Economic Development Awards

The Arizona Association for Economic Development (AAED) has announced the recipients of its annual Economic Development Distinguished by Excellence (EDDE) awards. The awards were presented during an evening awards dinner at the AAED Spring Conference in Sedona.

The prestigious EDDE awards honor individuals and companies who have made significant contributions to the advancement of the organization and also to the economic growth within the state of Arizona. Recipients are selected from a pool of nominations made by members of AAED. Overall eight EDDEs were presented.

The William Lampkin Award for Long Term Excellence in Economic Development was given to Sally Odette, CEcD, senior consultant, Economic and Community Development for APS.

Julie Engel, CEcD, president and CEO of the Greater Yuma Economic Development Corporation, was the recipient of the Economic Developer of the Year, Large Community Award. The award for Economic Developer of the Year, Small Community, was presented to Richard Wilkie, senior management analyst for the city of Casa Grande.

Brandon Kavanagh, a partner with Mangum, Wall, Stoops & Warden in Flagstaff, was cited as Member of the Year.

Angela Talbot of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council was named AAED’s 2012 New Member of the Year.

Kari McCormick of Kitchell Contractors was recognized as Economic Developer of the Year – Tribal Communities.

The award for Large Organization of the Year was presented to the city of Phoenix and the award for Small Organization of the Year was bestowed upon Sigma Contracting.

AAED was originally founded in 1974 as the Arizona Association for Industrial Development (AAID). The organization, which was dedicated to expanding the industrial and economic base of Arizona, changed to its current name in 1991 to better reflect its broader mission.

The strategic vision of AAED is to be the leading advocate of responsible economic development for all of Arizona by leading the facilitation of public/private cooperation and fostering teamwork to address the growth and quality of life issues that face Arizona.

For more information on the Arizona Association for Economic Development, visit www.aaed.com or call (602) 240-2233.

man looking at molecular structure model

Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap Breaking New Ground

Arizona’s bioscience roadmap has helped guide the state into the future.

A political breakthrough, not a scientific one, may be the biggest spark for the Valley’s burgeoning bioscience industry.

“The bioscience industry is critical to our economic future,” says Greg Stanton, who took over as the new mayor of Phoenix in January. “While other industries have lost jobs during the recession, bioscience created them. I am proud to have been a leader in supporting bioscience industries. … As mayor, I will continue that leadership — building a diverse, robust economy with quality high-wage jobs for our future.”

In his inaugural remarks, Stanton said that his first priority as mayor is forming a new collaboration with Arizona State University, Mayo Clinic Hospital and others in the private sector to develop a major bioscience hub in northeast Phoenix.

The Desert Ridge Bioscience Technology Collaborative will be built around the 210-acre Mayo campus. The area Stanton hopes to develop into a bioscience hub is the area between 56th and 64th streets, Loop 101 and the Central Arizona Project canal. The mayor hopes to draw higher education institutions, research and development facilities, and technology-based businesses. “In over a decade of public service, Greg Stanton has always fought to support the bioscience industry,” says Robert S. Green, longtime Arizona bioscience advocate and past president of the Arizona BioIndustry Association. “His consistent leadership has been, and will continue to be, vitally important to the future economic growth of our state.”

The Desert Ridge Bioscience Technology Collaborative will be the second centralized bioscience hub for Phoenix. The city already has a bioscience high school, the University of Arizona’s Phoenix medical school, and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), which has spurred economic growth downtown. Stanton hopes to recreate the same success in northeast Phoenix, creating a second bioscience employment center for the city.

Stanton’s goals of bringing more high-wage jobs to Phoenix while building the city’s bioscience industry go hand in hand. Bioscience workers in Arizona earn an annual salary of $57,360, on average, compared with $42,090 for all private-sector employees, according to the Flinn Foundation. And average annual bioscience wages in Arizona have increased 47 percent since 2002.

The Desert Ridge Bioscience announcement also comes as the state enters the the final year of Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap, a 10-year-plan to make the state’s bioscience sector globally competitive. Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap was launched in 2002 by a comprehensive study by Battelle, the U.S. leader in positioning regions to excel in technology and the sciences. Commissioned by the Flinn Foundation, the study concluded that Arizona possessed many of the essential elements needed to become a global leader in niche areas in the biosciences, but must strengthen its biomedical-research base and build a critical mass of bioscience firms and jobs.

The roadmap, led by a 75-member steering committee of statewide bioscience leaders, specifically aims to build research infrastructure, build a critical mass of bioscience firms, enhance the business environment for bioscience firms, and prepare a workforce of educated citizens.

Arizona Bioscience Timeline

The following is a timeline of significant events that happened in the bioscience industry in Arizona since 2001.


• Flinn Foundation commits to 10 years of major funding (a minimum of $50 million) to advance Arizona’s bioscience sector.


• Gov. Dee Hull appoints a task force to raise funds to attract the International Genomics Consortium (IGC) and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).

• Dr. Jeffrey Trent announces IGC’s move to Arizona and establishment of TGen, spurred by a $90 million package assembled from collaborating public and private sources.

• Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap, commissioned by the Flinn Foundation and drafted by Battelle, outlines recommendations for Arizona to become a national biosciences leader.


• Gov. Janet Napolitano creates the Governor’s Council on Innovation and Technology to advance technology-related growth and economic development.

• TGen breaks ground on its downtown-Phoenix headquarters.

• The state Legislature approves $440 million for research-facility construction.

• Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap Steering Committee, piloted by former Phoenix Mayor Skip Rimsza, holds its inaugural meeting.


• Gov. Janet Napolitano, UA President Peter Likins, ASU President Michael Crow, and Regent Gary Stuart sign memorandum of understanding to create the Phoenix Biomedical Campus, to include the UA College of Medicine-Phoenix in partnership with ASU.

• Maricopa County voters approve a bond issue that includes $100 million to expand bioscience and healthcare training for Maricopa County Colleges.

• Biodesign Institute’s first building, a $73 million, 170,000-square-foot facility, is dedicated.


• TGen headquarters opens at the downtown Phoenix Biomedical Campus.

• Mayo Clinic opens a heart-transplantation program on its Scottsdale campus, becoming Maricopa County’s first hospital approved for performing heart transplants.


• Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust commits $50 million to advance personalized medicine in Maricopa County.

• Arizona launches the Biozona brand to promote the state’s bioscience industry.


• Cancer Treatment Centers of America selects Goodyear as the site for a 210,000-square-foot cancer hospital, the for-profi t company’s first hospital west of the Rocky Mountains.

• Classes begin for 24 students in the inaugural class of the UA College of Medicine-Phoenix in partnership with ASU.

• Bioscience High School opens. The specialty high school focuses on science education, in collaboration with downtown-Phoenix academic and scientifi c communities.


• ASU’s SkySong opens in Scottsdale; mixed-use development houses ASU commercialization and tech-transfer programs plus local and international companies.

• Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl named “Legislator of the Year” for 2007-2008 by the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), the nation’s largest biotech trade group.

• Gov. Janet Napolitano announces formation of the Arizona STEM Education Center to strengthen science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education.


• TGen announces strategic alliance with Van Andel Research Institute of Grand Rapids, Mich. Jeffrey Trent assumes leadership of both institutions.

• Covance Inc. opens $175 million drug-development laboratory in Chandler. Facility may ultimately provide 2,000 high-wage jobs.

• A study of Arizona’s bioscience sector by Battelle finds that bio accounted for $12.5 billion in revenues in 2007 and more than 87,400 jobs.

• Chandler approves $5.7 million to establish bioscience- and high-tech-focused Innovations Technology Incubator.


• VisionGate Inc., a Seattle medical-imaging company focused on early detection of cancer, announces that it is relocating its headquarters to the downtown Phoenix Biomedical Campus.

• Gov. Jan Brewer announces the creation of the Arizona Commerce Authority, a public-private partnership designed to attract firms in key growth areas, including the biosciences.

• The International Genomics Consortium secures $59 million in federal contracts to continue its role as the biospecimen core resource for the Cancer Genome Atlas Project.


• Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon announces that Phoenix will be the headquarters for the nonprofit Institute for Advanced Health, founded by billionaire biotech entrepreneur Patrick Soon-Shiong.

• Phoenix Children’s Hospital opens its new 11-story, $588 million facility, accommodating

additional patients and new opportunity for recruitment of subspecialist researcher-physicians.

• An economic-impact report finds that for every $1 invested in Science Foundation Arizona by the state of Arizona, SFAz has returned $3.15 in investments from the private sector, venture capital, federal grants, and other sources.

• Chandler’s Innovations Technology Incubator, open a year, reached full capacity. Tenants include startup firms in the fields of biotechnology, bioinformatics, software design, nanotechnology, and medical devices.


• Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton says that his first priority as mayor is forming a new collaboration with Arizona State University, Mayo Clinic Hospital and others in the private sector to develop the Desert Ridge Bioscience Technology Collaborative in northeast Phoenix.

Arizona Business Magazine March/April 2012

financial institutions - bank

Understanding The Function, Purpose, Regulation Of Financial Institutions

The functions and regulations of financial institutions have changed since our most recent recession and will likely continue to be governed at a higher level going forward. This is critical for the success of our future economy.

Financial institutions help provide opportunity for our economic growth and improve our living standards. They do this by assisting as a liaison for those who have savings (dollars) and those who have a need for capital. Institutions typically will raise dollars from other institutions or individuals then loan those dollars to other entities at a cost (interest rate). This is how financial institutes help aid the flow of money through our economy.

There are several types of financial institutions, such as banks, credit unions, brokerage companies, insurance companies and trust companies — all of which have different primary functions and assist with the transferring of funds from investors to companies in need of funds.


Banks are corporations with a state or federal charter, which can accept deposits, invest in securities and make loans to businesses or individuals. Loans are considered to be the most valuable assets for commercial banks and deposit accounts are their main liability. Some banks may provide other financial services for its members. Banks are regulated on a federal level and have government protection for their depositors (FDIC insurance).

Credit unions

FDIC insures depositor accounts for commercial banks and most non-bank thrift institutions, such as credit unions. Credit unions have similar services as banks but are focused more for small savers and checkable type of transactions. They provide lending services and are owned by their members.

Brokerage companies

Brokerage companies are large corporations and are an intermediary to investors and investment companies. They offer financial services typically to buy and sell stocks for clients.

Insurance companies

An insurance company is another type of financial institution that offers investment vehicles for investors along with other products which may provide financial protection by way of insuring businesses or individuals.

These financial institutions are the backbone of our economy. With improved regulation, we hope they will continue to prosper and develop a strong foundation for our country.

For more information about the financial institutions discussed in this column, visit jacobgold.com.

Securities and investment advisory services offered through ING Financial Partners, Inc. Member SIPC. Jacob Gold & Associates, Inc. is not a subsidiary of nor controlled by ING Financial Partners, Inc.This information was prepared by Michael Cochell of Jacob Gold & Associates, Inc. and is for educational information only. The opinions/views expressed within are that of Michael Cochell of Jacob Gold & Associates Inc. and do not necessarily reflect those of ING Financial Partners or its representatives. In addition, they are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Neither ING Financial Partners nor its representatives provide tax or legal advice. You should consult with your financial professional, attorney, accountant or tax advisor regarding your individual situation prior to making any investment decisions.

Economic Crisis

Why The U.S. Will Survive, Thrive Through The Economic Crisis

There has been an overabundance of media buildup over the past three or four years concerning the economic crisis and condition of the U.S. with many doomsday scenarios. There is no doubt that some of these media concerns and fears expressed, whether blown out of proportion or not, are real. Unfortunately, most people don’t have the time, knowledge or inclination to filter the hype to completely understand, as much as necessary, of how the doomsday scenario propaganda by the media can be brought down to their own personal lives and everyday decisions they need to make respect to their finances.

My lifetime occupation of about 35 years has been helping Canadians and Americans to do business, move to or invest in one another’s respective countries. It always intrigues me, even when I am providing serious personal or business advice, of how often people make critical financial decisions, most often erroneously, based on the media-hyped topic du jour.

The numerous different opinions as portrayed on the news media have created fear in the minds of many Canadians investing in the U.S. or even Americans doing the same. Most rational observers would agree there is no doubt that the U.S. does have to do something relatively soon deal with these concerns. How the U.S. deals with these concerns is probably where the focus of people’s attention should lie.

I believe the U.S. will both survive and thrive through this economic crisis for the following reasons:

  • U.S. remains the largest free economy in the world, about 40 percent of the total world financial market.
  • Most of the U.S. debt is internal debt — American-to-American as opposed to American with other countries.
  • At the very hint of any crisis anywhere in the world, investors continually to rush to the U.S. dollar and U.S. treasuries as the safest place to hold their funds on the planet. This not only provides a lot of liquidity for the U.S., but it also keeps U.S. interest rates servicing its debt very low.
  • Like Canada in the 1990s, and Greece, Italy and Spain in 2011, governments eventually come to the realization they must take decisive and painful actions to reduce their debt burden down to manageable levels. I’m sure the U.S. government will come to that point soon if they haven’t already.
  • The U.S. has the largest gold reserve of any country in the world, and we all know what has happened to the value of gold over the past decade.
  • U.S. is the largest exporter of food items that help feed the world; people need to eat so the demand is reliable and growing.
  • The U.S. federal government is considered the biggest landlord in the world owning or controlling billions of dollars of commercial land and properties.
  • Because of the rule of law, knowhow and freedom given to its citizens, the U.S. continues to lead in innovation continuing to create the largest and some of the most successful corporations in the world like Apple, Google, Facebook, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Wal-Mart, IBM, Boeing, and the list goes on.
  • The U.S. continues to be the destination of choice for legal immigrants from around the world most of whom are very well educated. Because of immigration and one of the best birthrates in the developed economies of the world, U.S. has sustainable population growth whereas other countries, such as Japan, indicate their populations are shrinking.
  • The U.S. and its citizens have been rated the most charitable in the world.
  • The latest in oil and gas drilling technology and the new discoveries in the Dakotas along with the Keystone pipeline from the Canadian oil sands indicate that the U.S., in a very short time, could be at least North American energy independent and will no longer need to import oil from the Middle East or other unfriendly areas of the world.
  • The U.S., in its 235-year history, has gone through substantially worse crises and rebounded with equal or greater economic growth.

For more information about KeatsConnelly, visit keatsconnelly.com.

Weak dollar

A Weak Dollar Isn’t Always A Bad Thing For The Economy

For years, we have experienced a rise or decline of our dollar relative to other major currencies. However, this may not be a huge concern right now, but we must start thinking about it for our future. If we track our dollar over the long term it has been weakening due to several factors.

Some of the primary factors that cause the U.S. dollar to decline are currency exchange rates, treasury notes, and the amount of dollars held by foreign countries. These three factors are constantly changing and will affect the value of the dollar now and in our future.

If we look back at the dollar’s value from 1913, it steadily increased until the 1950s. Since the 1950s, the dollar has decreased and most likely will continue if changes are not made. Today, low interest rates and domestic trade deficit are the variables that have been a main cause of our weakening dollar. Hopefully as our economy strengthens and government policies are implemented, we’ll begin to see some stability in the U.S. dollar.

Most Americans view a “weak” dollar as a bad thing and in many cases it is. An interesting side note, a weak dollar can be a useful tool in the business of world trade. It encourages people and businesses of other countries to buy from the U.S. A weak dollar stimulates the exporting of goods and services, which can increase U.S. economic growth. By increasing exports it provides opportunities for American manufacturing companies to produce more “stuff” so other countries can buy at a cheaper cost.

On one side, a weak dollar is a bad thing, but on another it can spark opportunity. Many times the factors that cause a weak dollar are issues that need to be addressed and not the dollar itself. If we continue to experience a weak dollar for the long term, it will certainly be painful for future investors and will increase the challenge the U.S. will have in maintaining its global status. We must be attentive to the variables that affect our dollar and take action to make a change for our future.

Richard Adkerson, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold - AZ Business Magazine May/June 2011

Richard Adkerson CEO Freeport-McMoRan Copper And Gold

CEO Richard Adkerson discusses the global Copper market, and how the recent economic recession has affected Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold.

Richard Adkerson
Title: CEO
Company: Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold

How did the recession affect Freeport’s global markets?
Copper, which is our primary product, but all of our products actually, is sold on the basis of a globally set price. When the financial meltdown occurred in the second half of 2008, it had a dramatic effect on copper prices and the prices of other commodities that we produce. When I say dramatic, it was very sudden and very significant. In the third quarter of 2008, the price of copper averaged $3.50 a pound. By mid-December, it was below $1.50 a pound, and many analysts expected it to go even lower.

We sell about 4 billion pounds of copper per year, so when we lost $2 a pound that was like $8 billion gone very rapidly off of our top line. We had to respond very quickly. And I’m very proud of our organization on how we did respond. We cut back hard cost production, we deferred capital projects, we cut back on our corporate G&A expenses and adjusted the cost structure of our business to deal with the lower prices. And we were prepared to deal with that for some period of time. Fortunately, as 2009 progressed, by mid-year China had emerged with such strength that prices came back stronger and quicker than most in the industry and analysts expected. But we were prepared to deal with it for some time because it was so uncertain.

Where do you see prices trending in the next few months?
We never know and we never try to predict what prices are going to do in the near term and we don’t run our business on any particular projections of a price. We have a lot of confidence about the world’s need for copper and about the longer run positive nature of the markets that we’re in.  In the near term, though, you can develop different scenarios where prices may increase, prices may drop in today’s world — with all the events going on in Northern Africa and the Middle-East, with the issues associated with Japan … and with the issue in China of the government trying to slow economic growth and trying to avoid a bubble situation.

Having said that, as we sit here talking today, prices are well above where they were at their highest in 2007-2008. As a result of that, we are generating lots of cash flow, which has allowed us to increase the dividends that we pay to our shareholders.

What global markets are seeing increases in demand?
(China) developed originally on its export business, but now its internal economy is so strong and it continues to build infrastructure: housing, transportation, communications systems — and all of that requires a lot of copper and other basic materials to support that. … Behind China are the rest of the undeveloped nations in Asia … Beyond that, Eastern Europe, South America and Africa are going to be major markets.

How has Freeport reached out to former Phelps Dodge mining communities in Arizona?
We have a lot of high regard for the historical importance of Phelps Dodge to Arizona and the Southwest United States. … In Arizona we’ve gone into the communities and continued to interact with those communities to form partnerships … I think we spent $25 million last year in supporting communities and activities in Arizona alone.

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Vital Stats: Richard Adkerson

  • Joined Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold in 1989
  • A former partner and managing director of Arthur Andersen & Co
  • From 1976 to 1978, he was a Professional Accounting Fellow with the Securities
    and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C.
  • Chairman of the International Council on Mining and Metals
  • Executive Board member of the International Copper Association
  • President of the Mississippi State University Foundation board of directors
  • Serves on the boards of the Greater Phoenix Leadership and the Greater Phoenix
 Economic Council


Arizona Business Magazine May/June 2011

West Coast based companies, were surveyed on their predictions for 2011 in terms of cutbacks and staff reorganization.

Firms Forecast Fewer Job Cutbacks in 2011

After the housing market housing burst in late 2006, the economy has seen its worst years since the Great Depression.  As our country struggled with enormous financial dishonesty, billions in bailout money, an astronomically high national debt, and over 9% unemployment, job security has seemed to be wildly unstable — until now.

According to a recent survey by Right Management, the worlds largest career and talent management consulting firm,  few cutbacks are predicted for the new year.

Over 700 national firms, of which 83 are West Coast based companies, were surveyed on their predictions for 2011 in terms of cutbacks and staff reorganization.  Of the surveyed companies, 22% of western firms forecast fewer cutbacks in 2011, and not a single national firm predicted a significant number of cutbacks.

Forecast Fewer Job Cutbacks

Right Management has offices in over 50 countries and more than 80% of Fortune 500 companies currently utilize the company to work efficiently and increase productivity.

In hopes to revive the economy, business growth is the first step.  An expansive job market would provide the American people with a feeling of economic growth and stability, of which they haven’t felt in over four years.

President Obama’s address last Monday to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce spoke directly at business owners across the country.   “Make government an ally rather than an obstacle to companies as they emerge from the worst economic downturn in generations” said Obama, according to the Washington Post.  In a direct challenge to the American people, Obama urged the need for  business’s to put their employee’s first, and start hiring again.

“An organization’s people are, in the end, the only differentiators that may be sustained” said Douglas Sietsema, Right Management’s talent leader in the Western region.  Sietsema believed 2011 needs a “coherent strategy around talent in order to deliver on increasingly aggressive business goals”.

For more information, visit Right.com