Tag Archives: education

bioscience

Bioscience Roadmap gets an extension through 2025

The strategic plan that has guided Arizona’s fast-growing bioscience sector for nearly 12 years is gearing up for a new decade.

“Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap: 2014-2025” will be unveiled starting April 8 at events in Phoenix, Tucson, and Flagstaff, the state’s three metropolitan areas that feature growing bioscience hubs. The plan includes updated strategies that can strengthen and diversify Arizona’s economy while providing Arizonans access to the latest health care innovations.

“The updated Bioscience Roadmap builds on the successes of its first decade and adds contemporary strategies to take Arizona’s bioscience base to the next level,” said Jack Jewett, President & CEO of the Flinn Foundation, which commissioned the update and the original Bioscience Roadmap in 2002. “Arizona is now known as a top emerging bioscience state, but we have far to go to reach our full potential.”

The updated Roadmap will continue to focus on developing Arizona’s biomedical research infrastructure but will emphasize turning this research into new therapies, products, diagnostics, jobs, firms, and other benefits to Arizona. Commercialization, entrepreneurship, creating a critical mass of bioscience firms, and the development of talent are prime themes.

The Roadmap’s overarching vision is for Arizona—a young but rapidly growing state in the biosciences—to become a global competitor and national leader in select areas of the biosciences by 2025.

Over the first decade, Arizona built major research facilities at its universities, formed new private research institutes, attracted top talent, created high-tech business incubators, and greatly expanded statewide STEM (science, technology, education, math) education programs. The number of Arizona bioscience industry jobs grew by 45 percent, nearly four times greater than the nation.

“Arizona has many bioscience strengths and opportunities, but a substantial increase in private and public investment will be needed over the next decade to realize the Roadmap’s goals,” said Walter Plosila, senior advisor to the Battelle Technology Partnership Practice, the Columbus, Ohio-based nonprofit research and development organization that authored the original Roadmap and its update.

Plosila noted that Arizona’s greatest needs are access to risk capital by startup and emerging bioscience firms, building a stronger bioscience entrepreneurship culture, and an expansion of the research infrastructure combined with commercialization at the state’s universities.

The new Roadmap plan features five goals, 17 strategies, and 77 proposed actions. The actions are meant to evolve as needs change over the course of the decade. The plan was developed by Battelle following research, interviews, and focus groups with more than 150 local and national bioscience leaders, including extensive input from Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap Steering Committee, a body of more than 100 statewide leaders in science, business, academia, and government.

“An emphasis on the full spectrum of the biosciences—from research to hospitals to bio-agriculture—and a renewed focus on resources, collaboration, and long-term patience is needed for Arizona to continue its ascent in the biosciences,” said Martin Shultz, Senior Policy Director for Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, who chairs the Roadmap Steering Committee. “The impact can be profound—the biosciences are a multibillion-dollar industry for Arizona.”

There are six industry segments that comprise the biosciences in Arizona: agricultural feedstock and chemicals; drugs, pharmaceuticals, and diagnostics; medical devices and equipment; research, testing, and medical labs; bioscience-related distribution; and hospitals. A new economic-impact analysis by Battelle estimates the total revenue generated annually by Arizona’s bioscience industry—not counting hospitals—to be $14 billion. With hospitals included, the figure exceeds $36 billion.

Based on the latest industry data (2012), Arizona currently has 106,846 bioscience jobs spread across 1,382 establishments and an annual average wage of $62,775—39 percent higher than the private-sector average. These numbers do not include academic research jobs at the state universities or private research institutes.

Hospitals account for the majority of the state’s bioscience jobs. With hospitals removed from the equation, the other segments combine for 23,545 jobs, 1,266 establishments, and average annual wages of $85,571. Growth in the non-hospital segments accelerated dramatically over the last few years.

The bioscience-related distribution subsector is a new addition to Arizona’s bioscience definition, following the lead of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, the nation’s bioscience trade association. Companies in this subsector coordinate the delivery of bioscience-related products through processes such as cold storage and product monitoring, and new technologies such as automated pharmaceutical distribution systems. This change also called for several smaller industries to be dropped from Arizona’s definition.

The Roadmap also presents updated data on Arizona’s performance in generating grants from the National Institutes of Health, academic research expenditures, venture capital, and tech-transfer measures involving the state universities. These metrics plus industry measures will be tracked throughout the decade by Battelle and reported by the Flinn Foundation.

The Roadmap also includes analyses of Arizona’s bioscience sector that were critical in developing the strategies and actions, such as an assessment of Arizona’s bioscience strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges. It identified Arizona’s core competencies as cancer research, neurosciences, bioengineering, agricultural biotechnology, imaging sciences, precision medicine, diagnostics, health information technologies, and health economics.

The Flinn Foundation is a privately endowed, philanthropic grantmaking organization established in 1965 by Dr. Robert S. and Irene P. Flinn to improve the quality of life in Arizona to benefit future generations. The Phoenix-based foundation supports the advancement of the biosciences in Arizona, as well as a merit-based college scholarship program, arts and culture, and the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership. “Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap: 2014-2025” is available for download at www.flinn.org.

cybercrime

U. of Phoenix offers Cybersecurity Scholarships

University of Phoenix, a subsidiary of Apollo Education Group, Inc., and the (ISC)2® Foundation, today announced they are offering nine full-tuition scholarships. (ISC)2 Foundation is the non-profit charitable trust for (ISC)² that aims to empower students, teachers and the general public to secure their online lives with community cyber security education and awareness. The scholarships will provide education opportunities for individuals interested in entering or furthering their information security careers.

Each scholarship recipient will have the opportunity to complete an undergraduate or master’s degree program at University of Phoenix and will receive a voucher from (ISC)² to take either the SSCP® or CISSP® certification exam within one year of graduation.

(ISC)² and University of Phoenix are both working to advance the skills of information technology and security professionals to address the growing skills gaps in these fields. The collaboration will also be reflected in curriculum that meets the needs of today’s information security economy.

The (ISC)² sixth annual Global Information Security Workforce Study (GISWS) revealed that the lack of skilled and qualified information security professionals is negatively affecting both companies and consumers and causing a global economic ripple effect. In fact, more than half (56 percent) of survey respondents indicated that the staffing shortage is significantly impacting their organizations. Security concerns indicated by respondents included brand damage, breaches of laws and regulations, service downtime, customer privacy violations, and customer identity and corporate intellectual property theft.

“Educating cybersecurity professionals should be one of the top global priorities,” said Julie Peeler, director, (ISC)2 Foundation. “The profound staffing and skills shortages in this industry put organizations’ reputations and customer data at risk. We are proud to collaborate with University of Phoenix to offer these scholarships and provide learning and career opportunities to the next generation of information security professionals.”

“University of Phoenix is committed to providing degree programs and curriculum that reflect real industry needs,” said Dr. Tim Welsh, senior vice president for Industry Strategy at Apollo Education Group. “There is a clear demand for information security professionals and the University is pleased to collaborate with (ISC)², a globally renowned leader in the information security field, to directly align our education programs with industry staffing needs.”

Applications for the University of Phoenix/(ISC)² Cybersecurity Scholarships are currently being accepted. The deadline to apply is June 3, 2014. Each scholarship recipient will have the opportunity to complete an undergraduate or master’s degree program at University of Phoenix and can choose to attend a local University of Phoenix campus or online. (ISC)² will also provide recipients with a voucher to take either the SSCP or CISSP certification exam within one year of graduation. The exam voucher will be provided to the awarded recipients upon proof of graduation in an area of study with an emphasis on cybersecurity and/or information assurance. For scholarship terms and conditions or to learn more about the scholarship, visit www.phoenix.edu/isc2scholar.

To learn more about University of Phoenix efforts to better equip the workforce through innovative corporate alliances, learning tools and educational programs, visit phoenix.edu/industry.

red-header-2014

RED AWARDS 2014: Most Sustainable Project

On Feb. 26, AZRE hosted the 9th Annual RED Awards reception at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix to recognize the most notable commercial real estate projects of 2013 and the construction teams involved. AZRE held an open call for nominations and more than 100 projects were submitted by architects, contractors, developers and brokerage firms in Arizona. Click here to view all 2014 RED Awards Winners.‎


Lookout Mountain 
Elementary School
Developer: Washington Elementary School District
Contractor: Adolfson & Peterson Construction
Architect: Orcutt | Winslow
Brokerage: The H2 Group, LLC
Size: 85,000 SF
Location: 15 W. Coral Gables Dr., Phoenix
Completed: August 2013

The process of demolishing Lookout Elementary took place on an occupied and functioning campus. Now completed, the 21st century learning environment features classrooms equipped with smart technology. Perhaps the biggest accomplishment of the redevelopment was its implementation of an energy-efficient geothermal system. This system attached geothermal heat pumps to a series of buried plastic pipes and is anticipated to save the district 40 percent on cooling and heating costs, estimated to be $1.8M. Additionally, the school has water-efficient landscaping in its courtyard, multi-layered insulation throughout its buildings, high-performance window glass, and ergonomically integrated and multifunctional sustainable design concepts.
01_Lookout Mountain Elementary School

SONY DSC

McCarthy Building Companies Promotes Bryan Kuster

McCarthy Building Companies promoted Bryan Kuster to Project Director for the Education Services business unit of the Southwest division.

In this position, Kuster will oversee K-12 projects in Arizona and will forge a true collaboration with the owner, design team and subcontractors; serve as a liaison between the office and field teams; champion job-site safety efforts and proactively manage project budgets and schedules. He previously served as project manager.

Kuster joined McCarthy in 2005 as a project engineer. He has specialized in education construction and has completed dozens of projects in Arizona and New Mexico over the past decade, including the LEED Silver-certified Sedona Performing Arts Center at Red Rock High School in Sedona, Ariz.

“Bryan’s confident management style and ability to foster ideas and concepts from team members will serve him well in this role,” said Justin Kelton, leader of the Education Services team at McCarthy. “His strong project management background and his respect and discipline to McCarthy’s team approach to construction make Bryan a great candidate for this role.”

Kuster has a bachelor’s degree in construction management from Arizona StateUniversity. He is also a LEED Accredited Professional and a member of the U.S. Green Building Council.

LHartsock 2013 photo2

Hartsock Named CEO of P.V. Nonprofit Organization

The Be Kind People Project™, a Paradise Valley nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the nation’s educational environment by recognizing teachers and positively impacting students, announced today that Lisa Hartsock has been named Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director. Working with founder Marcia Meyer, Hartsock will spearhead the next phase of the organization’s rapid growth and the expansion of its nationwide programming to provide K-8th grade students with character development tools that build positive relationship skills while celebrating teachers and their contributions to society.

“The Board of Directors and I are delighted to welcome Lisa to lead our team as we expand the reach and scope of our programs and establish a national platform of advocacy and grassroots action to transform our schools and communities,” said Meyer. “Lisa is a consummate professional, with a proven track record for building strategic alliances with partners, affiliates and donors that will serve us well as we implement our strategic growth plan over the coming months. She is also a caring and compassionate individual who embodies our values as an organization and our commitment to children, teachers and community service.”

“I’m honored to join The Be Kind People Project at this critical stage of its evolution from a regional start-up to a highly regarded nonprofit organization with strong partnerships, comprehensive programs, and a national presence,” said Hartsock. “The Be Kind People Project has developed a unique approach to character building that fully engages students, recognizes teachers and employs classroom materials that meet the highest and most stringent educational standards. I look forward to working closely with Marcia Meyer and the Board as we continue our mission to transform classrooms and inspire communities through the power of kindness.”

As CEO, Hartsock will hold overall strategic and operational responsibility for executing The Be Kind People Project’s mission and directing its staff, programs, financial performance, capacity planning and growth initiatives. During the 2013-14 school year, she will spearhead the organization’s comprehensive national program of classroom events, contests and character development activities designed to provide K-8th grade students with opportunities to practice intentional acts of kindness while celebrating teachers and their critical role in inspiring our next generation of leaders. This branded program combines grade-specific character building lesson plans and classroom resources with video and essay contests that encourage students to express the kindness message through the spoken word, music, dance and the visual arts.

Four times during the school year, The Be Kind People Project also collaborates with Teach For America to deliver gifts of appreciation and classroom supplies to K-8th grade teachers at Title 1 schools across the U.S. The organization also mounts high-energy school and after-school assemblies featuring The Be Kind Crew™, a group of energetic and gifted young performers who use hip hop, street fusion dance, and the spoken word to bring the kindness pledge to life and reinforce the teacher appreciation message in ways that kids find exciting, engaging and fun. The 2013-14 program launched in August/September in ten markets nationwide.

Vince Roig 02.2011

Helios Founding Chair Named 2013 Afterschool Champion

Education advocate and founding chairman of the Helios Education Foundation, Vince Roig, has been named the 2013 Afterschool Champion by the Arizona Center for Afterschool Excellence (AzCASE).

Roig will receive the award on Saturday, Nov. 2 at the 12th Annual Arizona Statewide Afterschool Conference & Awards of Excellence Luncheon at the Phoenix Convention Center, North Building Ballroom, in downtown Phoenix.  Also at the luncheon, innovative afterschool programs and staff from around the state will be recognized for their exemplary work in delivering quality youth development programs.

Roig joins an impressive list of past honorees that includes former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Lattie Coor, Eddie Basha and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton.

“Vince Roig’s entire career has been focused on and dedicated to education,” said Melanie McClintock, executive director, Arizona Center for Afterschool Excellence.  “His efforts have touched the lives of students at every level of the educational spectrum.”

Roig holds both Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in secondary education.  He founded Helios Education Foundation, the largest nonprofit organization serving Arizona and Florida focused solely on education, in 2004.  The Foundation has invested millions of dollars in education-related programs and initiatives in three impact areas:  Early Childhood Education, the Transition Years  and Postsecondary Scholarships.

Before founding Helios, Roig was president and chief executive officer of Southwest Student Services Corporation, a full-service provider of student loan products and services. He serves or has served on the boards of numerous organizations including: Teach for America National, Stand for Children National, Take Stock in Children, Greater Phoenix Leadership, Phoenix Aviation Advisory Board, Stand for Children Arizona Advisory Committee, Valley of the Sun United Way and the Phoenix Art Museum.  He also currently serves as chair of the board for the Arizona College Scholarship Foundation.

For information about the Statewide Afterschool Conference & Awards of Excellence Luncheon, including sponsorships opportunities, registration and individual tickets, visit http://azafterschool.org/Events/Awards-of-Excellence-Luncheon.aspx.

Nurses in a line

First Nurses Graduate from UA's Phoenix Campus

Sixteen students are the first to receive a Master of Science degree for Entry to the Profession of Nursing (MEPN) from the University of Arizona College of Nursing at the Phoenix Campus. The students attended a celebration in Phoenix on Aug. 6, then joined the Tucson-based graduates of the same program at a commencement ceremony in Tucson on Aug. 8.

The MEPN is an accelerated nursing program for students with a non-nursing baccalaureate degree who would like to enter the profession of nursing as registered nurses (RN). One class is admitted per year, with students beginning the 15-month program in May and completing it the following year in August.

“It’s exciting that we have the only program of this kind in Arizona and now are offering it at the Phoenix Campus,” said Terry A. Badger, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN, professor and director of the Community & Systems Health Science Division at the UA College of Nursing. “Students in the master entry to professional nursing program already have university degrees in other fields, and bring depth and breadth from their previous careers to nursing. MEPN graduates are going to be our future leaders and change agents in health care.”

The first Phoenix graduates hold degrees that include veterinary science, education, anthropology, exercise science, law, philosophy, biology and anatomy.

At the celebration, students were joined by Phoenix core faculty members Vladimir Semin, MS, CCRN; Deborah A. Gorombei, RN, MS, CFRN, LNCC; and Amy L. Haycraft, RN, MSN, ANP-C, as well as faculty from the Tucson campus, the students’ families and friends, and community partners who helped in their education.

For the first two years, the Phoenix-based MEPN program is being supported by the Arizona Area Health Education Centers), which is directed by Sally J. Reel, PhD, RN, FNP, BC, FAAN, FAANP, associate dean of academic practice in the UA College of Nursing. Maricopa Integrated Healthcare System was pivotal in helping establish the Phoenix MEPN program and serves as the major clinical practice site. Students also learned nursing skills in several other Phoenix-area health-care agencies.

Nurses in a line

First Nurses Graduate from UA’s Phoenix Campus

Sixteen students are the first to receive a Master of Science degree for Entry to the Profession of Nursing (MEPN) from the University of Arizona College of Nursing at the Phoenix Campus. The students attended a celebration in Phoenix on Aug. 6, then joined the Tucson-based graduates of the same program at a commencement ceremony in Tucson on Aug. 8.

The MEPN is an accelerated nursing program for students with a non-nursing baccalaureate degree who would like to enter the profession of nursing as registered nurses (RN). One class is admitted per year, with students beginning the 15-month program in May and completing it the following year in August.

“It’s exciting that we have the only program of this kind in Arizona and now are offering it at the Phoenix Campus,” said Terry A. Badger, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN, professor and director of the Community & Systems Health Science Division at the UA College of Nursing. “Students in the master entry to professional nursing program already have university degrees in other fields, and bring depth and breadth from their previous careers to nursing. MEPN graduates are going to be our future leaders and change agents in health care.”

The first Phoenix graduates hold degrees that include veterinary science, education, anthropology, exercise science, law, philosophy, biology and anatomy.

At the celebration, students were joined by Phoenix core faculty members Vladimir Semin, MS, CCRN; Deborah A. Gorombei, RN, MS, CFRN, LNCC; and Amy L. Haycraft, RN, MSN, ANP-C, as well as faculty from the Tucson campus, the students’ families and friends, and community partners who helped in their education.

For the first two years, the Phoenix-based MEPN program is being supported by the Arizona Area Health Education Centers), which is directed by Sally J. Reel, PhD, RN, FNP, BC, FAAN, FAANP, associate dean of academic practice in the UA College of Nursing. Maricopa Integrated Healthcare System was pivotal in helping establish the Phoenix MEPN program and serves as the major clinical practice site. Students also learned nursing skills in several other Phoenix-area health-care agencies.

Robin Milne

Robin Milne – 50 Most Influential Women in Arizona Business

Robin Milne – Executive director, Phoenix Suns Charities

Milne said her job is “a dream” because she can combine her passion for sports and philanthropy. Milne works with the organization’s board of directors to raise and grant more than $1 million annually to programs in the areas of education, health, human services, the arts, rehabilitation, sports and recreation.

Surprising fact: “In college, I was a ‘lock’ on the scrum of a women’s rugby club. We were the Phoenix ‘Squash Blossoms‘ — our name said it all.”

Biggest challenge: “The organization took on a first-time initiative to ‘adopt’ Central High, in an effort to significantly increase graduation rates. We brought in ASU Teacher’s College’s iTeach AZ graduating teachers to mentor Central High teachers and its students to deliver that individual attention needed.”

Fifty Most Influential Women in Arizona Business – Every year in its July/August issue Arizona Business Magazine features 50 women who make an impact on Arizona business. To see the full list, read the digital issue >>

childbirth

Arizona Community Foundation awards $25K to AFHP

The Arizona Community Foundation has awarded the Arizona Family Health Partnership (AFHP) a $25,000 grant to implement a statewide public awareness and education campaign for young women about the importance of taking B vitamin folic acid before and during pregnancy to prevent birth defects.

Research consistently shows that the highest rate of unintended pregnancies is among women 18 to 24, a population with the lowest awareness of the benefits of folic acid and its role in preventing birth defects.  Folic acid has been proven highly effective preventing birth defects known as neural tube defects (NTDs), which affect the brain and spine.

AFHP will use the funds to activate the Project B Aware campaign, first piloted in 2010 in Phoenix-area high schools by the March of Dimes Arizona Chapter and the Arizona Department of Health Services through a one-time federal grant.

The result of the pilot program was a 50 percent increase in knowledge about folic acid among participating high school students.

“Young women, particularly those who are low-income, are at high risk of unplanned pregnancies and at higher risk of having a baby born with an NTD due to their lack of knowledge about folic acid,” said AFHP CEO Brenda “Bré” Thomas.  “Despite being described as an ‘astounding public health silver bullet’ by a 2008 Gallup poll, only 39 percent of women ages 18 to 45 take folic acid daily.”

Research shows that lack of awareness and lack of advice in recommending foliate supplements before and during pregnancies is the primary reason young women don’t take folic acid.

“This important funding from the Arizona Community Foundation will enable us to use the previously created March of Dimes Folic Acid 400 curriculum to reach a much broader statewide audience with this critical health information,” Thomas said.
AFHP will use the March of Dimes-developed curriculum that has been adapted for teens.
The Project B Aware program includes a folic acid pre-test administered to all students and teachers, a PowerPoint presentation about folic acid with interactive student participation, a post-test, a list of foliate-rich foods and information about the importance of taking folic acid daily, and a survey to assess the presentation.

AFHP will recruit and train folic acid educators, identify and coordinate program presentations at specific high schools and administer the pre-and-post tests.  The program ends in April 2014.  AFHP will partner with Kappa Delta Chi sorority to provide the folic acid education.

AFHP expects to complete presentations to approximately 1,400 students.
For more information about the Arizona Family Health Partnership and Project B Aware, visit www.arizonafamilyhealth.org or call (602) 258-5777 in Maricopa County and (888) 272-5652 outside Maricopa County.

Diane Enos - 50 Most Influential Women in AZ Business

Diane Enos – 50 Most Influential Women in Arizona Business

Diane Enos – President,  Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community

Enos is the second woman elected as president of the SRPMIC. She is dedicated to promoting education for the SRPMIC people and creating new opportunities that allow the traditional O’odham (Pima) and Piipaash (Maricopa) lifestyle to flourish within the community. Enos is the first member of the SRPMIC to become an attorney and is chair of the executive board for the Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona.

Surprising fact: “I am a painter at heart. My undergrad degree is in fine arts and I had started on a career in painting and sculpture before getting the political bug.

Biggest challenge: “Time management and learning how to accomplish as much as I can without being scattered.”

Fifty Most Influential Women in Arizona Business – Every year in its July/August issue Arizona Business Magazine features 50 women who make an impact on Arizona business. To see the full list, read the digital issue >>

online sales tax issue

Legislative Session Improves Business Landscape in Arizona

The Arizona Small Business Association (ASBA), the largest trade association in Arizona representing over 11,000 member businesses in all 15 counties, tracked 65 bills during Arizona’s 51st Legislature (Jan. 14 – June 13, 2013), eight of which were Priority Bills. ASBA has announced all eight Priority Bills passed.

“We have a strong sense of responsibility to our members and Arizona’s business community,” states Jerry Bustamante, ASBA sr. vice president of public policy. “We understand that our actions influence how our elected officials vote and that our members hold us to a high standard.”

To advocate for businesses throughout Arizona, ASBA focused on five legislative priorities: 1) Taxation, 2) Regulation, 3) Economic Development, 4) Health Care and 5) Education.

“Bills signed into law such as HB 2147 and 2324 are excellent examples of a good public policy that, collectively, make Arizona more business-friendly and provide relief to existing businesses,” says Rick Murray, CEO of ASBA. “HB 2111, commonly known as TPT, on the other hand, is a single bill that will make a dramatic contribution that will completely change the landscape in which businesses operate. TPT will provide a much needed overhaul to an overly burdensome tax system.”

Bustamante adds, “ASBA is proud to have been part of, and have taken a leadership role in, the coalition of business groups that fought to reform TPT and bring much-needed relief to Arizona.”

The following were ASBA’s 2013 Priority Bills:

HB 2111: Transaction Privilege Tax Change (TPT)

  • Sponsor: Rep. Debbie Lesko, LD 21
  • Summary: This is the Transaction Privilege Tax (TPT) simplification bill that intends to significantly reform how sales taxes are collected in Arizona. The intent of the bill is to provide Arizona businesses with, and return Arizona to, a single organization that manages all tax and audit activities. The Arizona Department of Revenue would be charged with creating an online portal to provide a single location to get a TPT permit, file TPT returns and make TPT payments for all jurisdictions in the state.
  • Result: After much debate and compromise, HB 2111 passed out of the House with a 58-1 vote, passed out of the Senate with a 29-0 vote on the legislature’s final day and will soon arrive on Governor Brewer’s desk to be signed into law.

HB 2147: Unemployment Benefits; Proof; Eligibility

  • Sponsor: Rep. Warren Petersen, LD 12
  • Summary: This bill is the latest effort to reform how unemployment benefits are delivered in Arizona and attempts to level the playing field where businesses have been at a disadvantage. This bill provides much-needed relief to Arizona businesses by shifting the burden of proof on an applicant who resigned their employment but claims they were fired. Unemployment insurance applicants, rather than the employer, will have to demonstrate that they involuntarily left employment.
  • Result: HB 2147 passed out of the House with a 34-24 vote, passed out of the Senate with a 17-12 vote and was signed into law by the Governor.

HB 2324: TPT Exemption; Leases; Affiliated Companies

(Municipal Tax Code; Leases)

  • Sponsor: Rep. Eddie Farnsworth, LD 12
  • Summary: This bill exempts commercial leases from TPT tax when the owner of the business and the building being leased is one in the same. Municipalities and special taxing districts are prohibited from levying a transaction privilege or use tax on gross income derived from leasing real property between affiliated companies, businesses or persons, or by a reciprocal insurer. Cities that do collect such taxes may continue to require payment until October of 2013.
  • Result: HB 2324 passed out of the House with a 58-0 vote, passed out of the Senate with a 29-0 vote and was signed into law by the Governor.

HB 2336: Taxation; Retail Classification; Cash Equivalents

  • Sponsor: Rep. Tom Forese, LD 17
  • Summary: This bill exempts a number of items referred to as “cash equivalents” purchased in advanced in a dollar value denomination from retail TPT tax. These cash equivalents are gift cards, vouchers, money orders and traveler’s checks. No TPT is paid to buy a gift card, but TPT is paid when a gift card is used to purchase goods.
  • Result: HB 2336 passed out of the House with a 59-0 vote, passed out of the Senate with a 29-0 vote on the legislature’s final day and will soon arrive on Governor Brewer’s desk to be signed into law.

HB 2599: Procurement Code; Amendments

  • Sponsor: Rep. Justin Pierce, LD 25
  • Summary: This bill amends Arizona’s procurement code to more closely scrutinize state employees involved in purchasing decisions who move back and forth between government and private sector jobs. The bill also makes technical changes in how the state selects the winner of an RFP, and its overall intent is for government to operate more like the private sector.
  • Result: HB 2599 passed out of the House with a 59-0 vote, passed out of the Senate with a 24-0 vote and was signed into law by the Governor.

SB 1168: Internal Revenue Code Conformity

  • Sponsor: Steve Yarbrough, LD 17
  • Summary: This bill makes changes to Arizona’s income tax laws to ensure that they conform to the federal IRS code in effect as of January 1, 2013.
  • Result: SB 1168 passed out of the Senate with a 28-0 vote, passed out of the House with a 58-0 vote and was signed into law by the Governor.

SB 1169: Prop 117, Conformity

  • Sponsor: Steve Yarbrough, LD 17
  • Summary: This bill makes various changes to the Arizona revised statutes in order to conform to Proposition 117 (property tax assessed valuation; limitation), which was passed by Arizona voters during the 2012 general election. Proposition 117 had nothing to do with the tax rate, but caps at five percent the maximum increase in property value that taxable real property can grow in a certain year.
  • Result: SB 1169 passed out of the Senate with a 28-0 vote, passed out of the House with a 58-0 vote and was signed into law by the Governor.

SB 1233: Limited Liability Companies; Ownership Interests

  • Sponsor: Senator Adam Driggs, LD 28
  • Summary: We refer to this bill as the estate planning bill. This bill amends the Limited Liability Company Act by adding a new provision that governs members as it relates to forms of ownership. An interest in a limited liability company (LLC) may be held by two or more people as joint tenants with right of survivorship, or by a married couple as community property with right of survivorship, except as prohibited or restricted in an operating agreement.
  • Result: SB 1233 passed out of the Senate with a 28-0 vote, passed out of the House with a 56-0 vote and was signed into law by the Governor.

ASBA develops its policy positions and statements through its Public Policy Committee, which is comprised of ASBA members providing volunteer leadership and key ASBA staff. Under the direction of ASBA’s Board of Directors, the Public Policy Committee is charged with conducting research, surveying the membership, developing ASBA legislative priorities tracking bills and taking action to influence the passage or defeat of bills. Learn more about ASBA and its role in public policy, visit www.asba.com or call 602-306-4000 or 520.327.0222.

Phoenix Children’s Hospital - Pediatric Liver Transplant Program

PCH gets $5K CVS Community Grant

Phoenix Children’s Hospital has received a $5,000 CVS Caremark Community Grant. The Community Grants Program was created by CVS Caremark as part of its commitment to helping people on the path to better health by creating greater access to health care and health education for at-risk and underserved populations.

The support from CVS Caremark will help Phoenix Children’s Hospital provide nutrition education to at-risk children and families that will help fight obesity and encourage healthier eating and lifestyles. Through nutrition education, the Hospital works to prevent children from becoming patients and suffering from the results of unhealthy lifestyles and the health-related consequences of obesity.

The Cardiometabolic Risk Assessment, Research, and Education (CARE) Program at Phoenix Children’s is Arizona’s only multidisciplinary program committed to preventing and medically managing premature, obesity-related health problems in children. Through the CARE Clinic, children and adolescents receive comprehensive, multidisciplinary evaluation and medical management for premature cardiovascular disease, Type 2 Diabetes, or other obesity-related medical conditions. To improve patient outcomes, CARE conducts research and projects to advance prevention, diagnosis and medical treatment of obesity-related disease among children.

“The incidence in obesity has tripled since 1980. Unfortunately, Arizona has experienced the largest state-wide increase within the last ten years at 45 percent,” said Dr. Donald McClellan, Division Chief of Endocrinology at Phoenix Children’s. “Obese children are more likely to grow up to be obese adults, which can lead to lifelong health problems. The CVS Caremark grant will greatly impact our ability to reach these families and make a tremendous difference in their health and lives.”

The program also provides medical management and follow up services that are used to evaluate the program’s success, including Body Mass Index measurements, blood pressure, and other risk factors for chronic disease.

Phoenix Children’s was selected to receive a grant through the CVS Caremark Community Grants 2013 application process.  Grants were awarded to organizations that support CVS Caremark’s commitment to enhance the health and well-being for at-risk and underserved populations by offering quality health and rehabilitation services and health education. The goal of the CVS Caremark Community Grants Program is to provide relief for both adults and children who lack medical insurance and help ensure they receive the proper medical care they need.

“As a pharmacy innovation company, we are committed to helping people on their path to better health and supporting organizations that reduce barriers and increase access to quality health care services to at-risk and underserved populations,” said Hanley Wheeler, senior vice president, WEST operations. “We are proud to support the work that Phoenix Children’s Hospital does in the community and we look forward to working with them in fulfilling their program’s mission.”

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Cole Real Estate Investments, Inc. Announces Tender Offer

Cole Real Estate Investments, Inc., (NYSE: COLE), formerly known as Cole Credit Property Trust III, Inc., announced today that it has commenced a modified “Dutch auction” tender offer to purchase for cash up to $250 million in value of its shares of common stock on the terms and subject to the conditions described in its Offer to Purchase dated June 20, 2013. Under the terms of the tender offer, the company intends to select the lowest price, not greater than $13.00 nor less than $12.25 per share, net to the tendering stockholder in cash, less any applicable withholding taxes and without interest, which would enable the company to purchase the maximum number of shares having an aggregate purchase price not exceeding $250 million. Stockholders may tender all or a portion of their shares of common stock. Stockholders also may choose not to tender any of their shares of common stock. If the tender offer is oversubscribed, shares will be accepted on a prorated basis, subject to “odd lot” priority. The company intends to fund the purchase price for shares of common stock accepted for payment pursuant to the tender offer, and all related fees and expenses, from available cash and/or borrowings under the existing senior unsecured credit facility.

The tender offer and withdrawal rights will expire at 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on August 8, 2013, unless the tender offer is extended or withdrawn. If stockholders elect to tender shares of common stock, they must choose the price or prices at which they wish to tender their shares and follow the instructions described in the Offer to Purchase, the related letter of transmittal and the other documents related to the tender offer filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Susan Glamour Tan smaller size 1.25 mb

Scottsdale League for the Arts Appoints Board Member

Susan E. Wells, partner of business law firm Jaburg Wilk, has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Scottsdale League for the Arts.

The Scottsdale League for the Arts is a non-profit volunteer organization supporting artists, arts programs and education through fundraising and special events, including the Scottsdale Culinary Festival. Funds raised are granted to arts-focused organizations.

Wells has been a member of the organization for three years and has been actively involved for five. In April 2013, she chaired the VIP Passport to the Picnic Experience at the Scottsdale Culinary Festival. She founded and chaired the “Take the Cake Competition,” a cake decorating contest for professionals and culinary art students that showcased participant’s creativity and talents to top pastry chefs and Wine Country Brunch guests. In 2014, she will co-chair the “Friends of James Beard Benefit Dinner,” a culinary feast prepared by several James Beard award-winning chefs and held at the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa.

“The Scottsdale League for the Arts has issued millions of dollars of grant money to arts-focused organizations over its 35-year history,” said Wells. “This past year has been one of the League’s best years in terms of fundraising. I look forward to working with Jerry McMahon, the incoming President, and the League directors and members in making 2014 an even better year by enhancing the League’s legacy and positively impacting the community.”

Wells is an attorney at Phoenix Business law firm Jaburg Wilk. Practice areas include Business/Corporate law, Franchise law, Healthcare law and Employment law. She is a 2008 Super Lawyer, listed in Best Lawyers of America, named 2012 Best Lawyers in Franchise Law and named 2013 Lawyer of the year by Best Lawyers. Wells has achieved the Martindale Hubbell AV Preeminent® peer review rating, the highest rating in legal ability and ethical standards.

carey school - graduate

Creating high performance schools

A central part of this year’s state budget debate is over Governor Brewer’s Performance Funding proposal for district and charter schools. Her plan helps ensure that tax investment in our schools yields measurable results.

Employers from across the state have fought against across-the-board cuts to our K-12 system, and we’ve supported the governor’s budget request to help make new, more rigorous standards successful. But we cannot support millions of dollars in additional new funding without some exchange for true accountability. Lest we forget, the voters agreed with this premise last November when they overwhelmingly rejected a ballot measure that would have raised taxes for education, but with little oversight in how the dollars would be spent.

A modern school funding system should be based on transparency, giving parents the information they need to choose schools and to choose communities in which to live and work. And the job creators we work hard every day to keep and recruit deserve a system that makes clear that our elected leaders are serious about excellent educational outcomes that prepare today’s kids for tomorrow’s jobs.

For more than a decade we have been building and adjusting such a system. We started with school accountability that tells us how schools and districts perform. We articulate this information using the same A-F letter grades that our students receive. More recently, Arizona implemented a teacher and principal evaluation system to ensure schools intervene with struggling educators, amplify the impact of high performing teachers and engage all educators in between.

These and other mechanisms implemented thus far seem to be moving the needle in most schools and providing the kind of transparency education hawks have demanded. But some persistent challenges remain. With billions of taxpayer dollars going to fund our K-12 system, Arizonans are demanding accountability that doesn’t just advertise performance, but also predicates some amount of schools’ annual funding – particularly hard-to-get new resources – on learning outcomes.

In response, the governor is proposing a first-of-its-kind model for schools to earn more funding than they currently receive. What’s really revolutionary is that a small amount of their current funding will be on the line as well. This percentage will grow over the course of the next five years.

Under Gov. Brewer’s plan, districts and charters at all performance levels can earn new dollars for improving their outcomes. For schools that reach state performance levels, even more money can be earned. But the greatest earning potential is in doing more than before, rather than being rewarded for perpetuating the status quo, the theme of the current funding model.

The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry has called for a redesign of the education funding system that provides the right incentives to focus on outcomes rather than just seat time. The governor has proposed a modest move towards such a model. For fiscal year 2014, 1 percent of total funding is set aside for this model, reaching 5 percent at the end of five years.  One third of the funding would be from existing revenue, but nearly two thirds – more than $150 million by Year Five – would be new funding that all schools and districts would have an opportunity to earn simply by showing improvement.

A variety of reforms have been tried over the years and more will be tried during our time and after. Not all of them will work, but not trying at all is unacceptable. Combined with new standards, Gov. Brewer’s Performance Funding plan provides the right amount of tension in the system to move Arizona schools to the next tier.

Glenn Hamer is the president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry is committed to advancing Arizona’s competitive position in the global economy by advocating free-market policies that stimulate economic growth and prosperity for all Arizonans.  

marketing budget

How could budget cuts impact Arizona?

The White House released a list of impacts to Arizona from automatic budget cuts that are set to take hold this week.

The White House compiled the numbers from federal agencies and its own budget office. The numbers reflect the impact of the cuts this year. Unless Congress acts by Friday, $85 billion in cuts are set to take effect from March-September.

As to whether states could move money around to cover shortfalls, the White House said that depends on state budget structures and the specific programs. The White House didn’t have a list of which states or programs might have flexibility.

The White House says the losses that Arizona would incur as a result of the automatic budget cuts include:

EDUCATION: $17.7 million in lost funding for K-12 schools. The lost funding could result in about 240 teaching and aide jobs being put at risk. Additionally, Arizona would lose about $10 million for 120 teachers and staff who help children with disabilities.

— Head Start services would be eliminated for about 1,000 children in Arizona.

— About 2,300 fewer low-income students in Arizona would receive aid to help them finance the costs of college and around 330 fewer students will get work-study jobs that help them pay for college.

ENVIRONMENT: Arizona would lose $2.1 million in funding for efforts to protect air and water and guard against pollution from pesticides and hazardous waste.

MILITARY: About 10,000 civilian employees for the Department of Defense would be furloughed. That would reduce gross pay by $52 million.

LAW ENFORCEMENT: Arizona would lose $298,000 in grants for law enforcement.

JOBS: Arizona would lose $781,000 in funding for job-search assistance. That translates to 26,000 fewer people getting help to find jobs.

CHILDREN: Up to 500 disadvantaged and vulnerable children could lose access to child care.

HEALTH: About 2,500 fewer children will receive vaccines for measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, whooping cough, influenza and Hepatitis B.

— The state will lose $611,000 for improving its ability to respond to public health threats, such as infectious diseases, natural disasters and other events. In addition, Arizona will lose about $1.9 million in grants to help prevent and treat substance abuse. The state also will lose $186,000 resulting in around 4,600 fewer HIV tests.

WOMEN: Arizona could lose up to $132,000 for services to victims of domestic violence, meaning 500 fewer victims could be served.

SENIORS: More than $1 million for providing meals to seniors could be lost.

BORDER: U.S. Customs and Border Protection will not be able to keep the same staffing levels of Border Patrol agents and CBP officers. Funding and staffing reductions would increase wait times at airports and weaken security between ports of entry. The White House didn’t provide specific financial figures on how the budget cuts will affect ports of entry in Arizona.

videogames

Video Games Go to College for groundbreaking ASU Program

Much is being made over the explosion of video games in the classroom to teach a future generation of K-12 students. But what about the future teachers who will be teaching them?

At Arizona State University, education students are reaching into their virtual future with the click of a mouse to test their teaching skills in typical school scenarios. Playing the video game is part of a first-semester course requirement for undergraduate students in ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. Focused on professional success, the video game is being played by 277 teaching students in 396 field experience courses at the university this semester.

“This cutting-edge preparation for future teachers is the first of its kind in the nation,” said Mari Koerner, dean of Teachers College. “Our students may have grown up with technology, but using it to role play as real-life teachers is something new.

“The game is used to enhance their experiences in real classrooms. Our students practice in the virtual world, so they can be more successful in the real world.”

“Teacher Leader: Pursuit of Professionalism” is the first in a series of interactive, three-dimensional video games being designed by the Sanford Inspire Program and ASU’s Center for Games and Impact. Field experience educators and clinical staff recognized the importance of preparing novice teachers with the professional skills they need to be successful in the workplace. Content for the game is rooted in Teach For America’s professional values. A video trailer of the game is available at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nD1b9Ktf9hY&feature=player_embedded.

As this initial version of the game is implemented in ASU classes, educators and staff are evaluating its success. The public is invited to the official launch of the video game at 8 a.m. March 26 at ASU SkySong in Scottsdale. Those interested can register at
http://sanfordinspire.eventbrite.com/#. This fall, a second video game featuring a different topic but also directed toward teacher candidates is expected to be rolled out.

An ASU student playing “Teacher Leader” first creates a student teacher avatar, selecting the color and style of hair, clothing and shoes. Next, the avatar encounters a couple of scenarios at school and the student has to respond. One scenario involves an uncomfortable situation with the student teacher’s mentor, while the other addresses being diplomatic in the teachers’ lounge. That evening, the avatar must choose how to spend time preparing for the next day’s lesson.

The student is scored as he or she plays, with choices having consequences later in the game as the avatar implements the lesson plan. A video of students playing the game is available at https://asunews.asu.edu/node/26765.

“It’s a different application compared to how we normally are taught,” said Marcy Steiner, an ASU student from Peoria, Ariz. “With the video game, you can see how your decisions shape your image as a teaching professional. There are options that are good and options that are better. It really makes you think.”

During the lesson, teaching students receive immediate feedback on their performance in various situations based on four areas or competencies. The professional competencies were adapted from the Teach For America teacher preparation curriculum:

*    Suspending judgment: Identifying moments when they might be unfairly judging someone
*    Asset-based thinking: Consciously seeking out the positive aspects of a person or situation
*    Locus of control: Focusing on what is within their own ability to control
*    Interpersonal awareness: Recognizing the limits of their own perspective and trying to understand the viewpoints of others

At the same time, the course is designed so that instructors of the field experience courses can build on lessons learned through the video game as part of their classroom instruction. Teachers also can access data on student progress and decision-making.

At the end of the game, the students receive their scores and get a chance to re-play the game so they can improve their responses, Koerner explained.

“The game-based technology allows these students to take their teaching for a test drive, even make mistakes, without causing negative consequences they might experience in a real-life situation,” she said.

The partnership that created the video game underpins a broader effort to refine best practices in teacher education. The end goal is to improve America’s public schools. Known as the Sanford Inspire Program, funding comes from entrepreneur and philanthropist T. Denny Sanford who invested $18.85 million in 2010 to launch the Teachers College-Teach for America partnership. The program has garnered national attention for its innovative approaches to preparing teacher candidates. More information is available at http://sanfordinspireprogram.org/.

Despite its effectiveness in readying future teachers for the classroom, the new technology will not take the place of traditional methods anytime soon, Koerner said.

“It’s not replacing, it’s not instead of,” she said. “It’s enhancing how we teach our students to become professionals.”

healthcare

Maricopa County Medical Society Names new CEO

Sara Presler, JD has been named CEO/Executive Director of the Maricopa County Medical Society (MCMS) and Medical Society Business Services. The appointment, which was made by MCMS’ Board of Directors, will begin in December 2012. Founded in 1892, the Maricopa County Medical Society is a not-for-profit, voluntary association for physicians committed to promoting excellence in the quality of care and the health of the community, and to present and serve its members by acting as a strong, collective physician voice. More than 2600 members strong, MCMS supports physicians through a wide range of resources, advocacy efforts, education, volunteerism, philanthropy and professional development activities.

Presler brings more than 10 years of experience in law, community relations, and organizational management to the Maricopa County Medical Society. Before her appointment to MCMS, Presler served two terms as Flagstaff Mayor, General Counsel for Southwest Windpower, and in private law practice focusing on ethics and business law. She began her career as an attorney for children and behavioral health patients.

In each of her positions, she has focused on establishing and maintaining sustainable operations by applying strong expertise to long-term, mission-centric strategic planning. Presler will collaboratively work with the Board to achieve data-driven outcomes based growth, and the development of innovative products and services for Members and the community. The focus of Presler’s career has been the innovation and enrichment of programs to improve community health.

Board President, Michael R. Mills, MD, MPH said Presler has been a key Arizona leader and looks forward to her leading the Medical Society. Dr. Mills states, “Presler is a seasoned professional and is well suited to serve our Physician Members. I am a native Phoenician and I encourage our community to welcome Presler. You will find Sara has the expertise and passion to serve our medical profession and our community.”

Daniel Lieberman, MD, President-elect emphasizes Presler’s strong philanthropic and community relation skills as an asset to Members. “As physicians, we are closest to the patients, and, therefore, have the best understanding of what is wrong with the current system and how to fix it. We have traditionally helped our patients navigate the healthcare system; it is now our responsibility to change the system for the better on their behalf. Presler will lead the Maricopa County Medical Society toward fulfilling this responsibility.”

Presler holds a degree in History and English from Northern Arizona University and a J.D. from Michigan State University.  She is a Flinn Brown Fellow and alumni of the Flinn Foundation’s Civic Leadership Academy’s inaugural class. Presler is an active member of the State Bar of Arizona and serves on the board of the United Way of Northern Arizona, Northern Arizona Healthcare Childhood Obesity Board, and is an Honoree for the Donor Network of Arizona, a few of her many philanthropic and community efforts.

Presler will succeed interim executive director, Alex Miles, who assumed the duties of the position after Daniel Mitten’s relocation to Oregon in November of 2012.

About Maricopa County Medical Society: Celebrating its 120 year anniversary in 2012, the Maricopa County Medical Society encompasses the Bureau of Medical Economics, a medical collection agency; Medabytes computer services; Greater Arizona Central Credential Program, a primary source, auditing and application service; and was the founding incorporator for what is now known as the Arizona Foundation for Medical Care. For more information, visit www.mcmsonline.com.

education.business

Executives look to broaden knowledge base

The economic downturn created new levels of pressure that businesses never experienced.
Costs had to be contained. Operations had to be streamlined. The workforce had to be as lean and as efficient as possible.

It created pressure and questions for employees, too, as they questioned whether or not they had the skill sets necessary to survive and thrive during any economic crisis.

“We have seen a number of people enter our Ken Blanchard Executive MBA and MBA program as a response to the most recent (economic) downturn,” says Kevin Barksdale, dean of the Ken Blanchard College of Business at Grand Canyon University. “Some have done so because they had become unexpectedly unemployed.  Others as a hedge against that possibility.”

One thing educators say you can bank on, though, is that in the wake of the recession, fewer firms are paying for school.

“The current economic conditions have created more of a ‘hirers’ market and firms are looking for more educated people for their talent pool,” says Bill Berry, dean of the University of Phoenix School of Business. “These firms are paying less for education, but still want a well-educated workforce.”

As a result, Valley educators who cater to executives who aspire to prepare themselves for new levels of leadership have had to learn to become more nimble and adaptable with their curriculum and methods.

“The environment has been so unstable and change has become so constant,” Barksdale says, “that we have had to be willing to move quickly to support our executive students.”

One new program that is catering to the changing demands of the workforce and need for immediacy in the business community is the Master’s in Management (MiM) program at Arizona State University’s W. P. Carey School of Business. The program launches this semester.

(MiM) degrees are shortened programs that cost less, don’t require years of work experience, and provide recent graduates with the business fundamentals they will need to launch themselves into the workforce faster than MBA programs. A survey by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) reports a 69 percent spike in applications for MiM programs in the United States.

“GMAT takers and MBA applicants are getting younger and have less experience, signaling an increased demand for graduate business training without the work experience typically associated with an MBA,” says Dawn Feldman, executive director of the Center for Executive and Professional Development at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “In addition, employers have been indicating they need employees with strong problem-solving skills and fundamental business knowledge. Our MiM program is just nine months long and helps new grads to complement their existing knowledge from other fields with a basic business foundation. MiM programs already have a long record of success with students and employers in other areas of the world, such as Europe. We’re enthusiastic about the diversity of our incoming class.”

ASU’s MiM program is designed to take aspiring entrepreneurs and students from non-business backgrounds and teach them real-world skills that can immediately be translated and applied to a professional work environment and give them an edge in the competitive job market.

The University of Phoenix also offers its own Master of Management degree.
“Because University of Phoenix adapts our course curriculum based on changing industry trends and skills employers are looking for in their workforce,” Berry says, “the Master of Management degree is best fitting with the stated needs of today’s employers focusing on the skills required to work in a highly collaborative and culturally diverse organization.”

While those entering the workplace are looking for an edge on the competition, developing talent already working in the trenches was something that was a luxury during the economic downturn.

But as the economy transitions from recession to recovery mode, businesses are starting to focus on positioning themselves for future growth and developing internal talent.

“In the last six months we’ve seen a real increase in the number of organizations inquiring about leadership development opportunities for their employees,” Feldman says. “They know that their internal efforts alone aren’t enough. They’re seeking opportunities to develop people by exposing them to the business perspectives and practical knowledge that faculty at the W. P. Carey School of Business are uniquely positioned to share.”

With that in mind, the Center for Executive and Professional Development created the Leadership Development Workshops, a series of five standalone courses on topics that range from driving employee engagement to leading effective team processes. The workshops are designed for managers, project or team leaders, and those looking to advance into management roles. They can also provide a strong foundation for seasoned professionals who have little formal management education.

“W. P. Carey faculty are recognized worldwide for their research and thought leadership,” according to Gerry Keim, chairman of the department of management. “Yet it’s their skill at bringing new trends and best practice discussions into the classroom, focusing on the practical application of concepts in the current business environment, that makes the W. P. Carey School an incredible resource for managers and executives.”

The 2012 workshop topics include Driving Employee Engagement, Effective Negotiations, Inspiration and Motivation as Leadership Tools, Harvesting Knowledge From Frontline Employees, Leading Effective Team Processes. Topics for the 2013 workshops are being developed.

“Whether individuals attend all five or just one workshop, they will come away with new skills and approaches to business practices that will ultimately positively affect their employees and their organization’s bottom line,” Feldman says.

Regardless of what route business executives take to get there — whether it’s a workshop or going back to school to get and MBA — educators say the current focus of executive education is on the practical application of knowledge.

“Executives want learning opportunities that build capabilities and immediately allow participants to do their jobs better,” Feldman says. “Second, technology has given us the opportunity to build engaging learning experiences that connect people regardless of location, so online programs mirror the way work is done in today’s global business environment.”

The availability on online education has made it easier than ever for executives to expand their knowledge base.

“Our eMBA is an accelerated and blended model with face-to-face interaction during three distinct residencies and online learning in between,” Barksdale says. “Our MBA programs are offered face to face — traditional style — and online.”

In addition to the online options available, Barksdale says he has observed another change in executive education.

“I think the biggest shift has been the increased desire on the part of the student to learn more about themselves, their personal styles, and subsequently their leadership skills,” Barksdale acknowledges. “We have found executive learners to be more open than ever to receiving critical feedback with respect to how they lead and what might need to change.”
While executives may see furthering their education as a solo endeavor, educators urge them to seek out the guidance of others before embarking on their journey.

“Seek advice from your personal board of directors,” Barksdale says. “Discuss the reasons you want to go back to school. What would you do with the new knowledge?  Talk to students in the programs you are considering. Ask them questions around the curriculum, the learning environment, and the learning culture. Consider whether the programs you are looking at devote significant time to leadership development or not. This to me is critical in the life of an executive.  Finally, some people might suggest to choose a program that fits your lifestyle.  While this is not bad advice, I might add that if you are looking for the MBA or graduate degree to be a transformational journey, perhaps you might consider a program that intentionally alters your lifestyle. The disruption can be a good thing if you use it to re-focus and re-center your career and life trajectory.”

The W. P. Carey School of Business contributed to this story. To learn more, visit knowwpcarey.com.

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Science Foundation releases 5-year plan to strengthen STEM education

Ask any leader of a technology company in Arizona what their biggest hurdles are and there is always one common challenge: finding enough homegrown qualified workers to fill their needs.

“Arizona is transitioning to an economy that is increasingly dependent upon a knowledge-based workforce,” said Steve Sanghi, CEO of Microchip in Chandler. “Out No. 1 challenge is to improve the schools. Arizona high schools are near the bottom and if we don’t improve them soon, it’s really going to impact the future.”

Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz) is doing something to help Sanghi and other business leader. The nonprofit public-private partnership has launched the Arizona STEM Network. The STEM Network is a first-of-its-kind strategic effort to help transform Arizona’s educational system for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

“The vision for a statewide, strategic commitment to STEM education is coming to fruition,” said Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer. “The Arizona STEM Network will help build a common agenda for STEM education that will lead our teachers and students forward.”

The five-year plan being led by SFAz will leverage effective education practices and teaching advances, including the state-adopted, internationally benchmarked Common Core Standards. The Arizona STEM Network will provide educators, the business community and donors with a centralized infrastructure, tools, resources and the framework needed to measure performance and achieve collective impact in Arizona classrooms. The plan’s driving force is to help Arizona children be successful in school, careers and life.

The Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Foundation — which provided $2.2 million for the establishment of SFAz’s STEM initiative, announced a new three-year, $2.1 commitment beginning in this year that will allow SFAz to roll out its plan for the Arizona STEM Network. Also providing financial support for the launch were the Helios Education Foundation, Intel, JPMorgan Chase Foundation and Research Corporation for Science Advancement.

“We believe that the private sector must play an active role in developing the next generation to keep our businesses competitive and our economy vibrant,” said Tracy Bame, president of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Foundation. “A first-rate education that encompasses the STEM disciplines is a foundational step to provide students with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed.”

The STEM Network focuses on four strategic areas:

* Integrating STEM learning into Arizona schools and districts.

* Developing and deploying a predictive analytics system to measure impacts.

* Strengthening teacher effectiveness in STEM teaching.

* Creating opportunities for the private business sector to meaningfully engage with schools.

“Arizona must develop a globally competitive educational system and STEM disciplines will lead the way,” said Darcy Renfro, vice president of education and coordinator of the Arizona STEM Network at SFAz. “The Network will link existing STEM assets in Arizona, build on best practices and foster innovative teaching approaches for school districts to help students improve in these areas.”

Smiling Graduate Holding up Diploma

Vi At Grayhawk Residents Award $100,000 In Scholarships To Employees, Family Members

Vi at Grayhawk’s resident charitable foundation, the Grayhawk Classic Residence Residents’ Foundation, has awarded $100,000 in scholarships to support the educational efforts for 20 Vi at Grayhawk employees and/or their dependents for the 2012/2013 academic year.

Vi at Grayhawk is an award-winning Continuing Care Retirement Community located in North Scottsdale that was developed and is owned by Vi and Peoria, Arizona based Plaza Companies. The Foundation awarded scholarships to six employees in 2003, and that number has increased significantly over time. The scholarship program is designed to reward the individuals who work diligently to provide an exceptional quality of life at the community.

“Our residents never let the hard work of our employees go unnoticed,” said John Koselak, Executive Director, Vi at Grayhawk. “They are considered to be invaluable assets to our community and the Grayhawk Classic Residents’ Foundation strives to give back to employees for their service.”

Vi at Grayhawk employees who meet pre-determined criteria may annually apply for college scholarships for themselves or their children who are dependents. The scholarship application process involves completing and providing a personal essay, letter of reference(s) and school transcripts. Applicants are then interviewed by the Foundation’s Scholarship Committee before final recipients are determined. The scholarships cover tuition and academic fees.

The Grayhawk Classic Residents’ Foundation was established in 2002 by residents of Classic Residence by Hyatt and the Plaza Companies, now Vi at Grayhawk. The Foundation is dedicated to improving the quality of life in the community by promoting the cultural and intellectual welfare of its residents and employees.

The scholarship program is a one-of-a-kind effort with an impact that is unmatched by any other retirement community in Arizona.

“Employees of Vi at Grayhawk provide exceptional care and service,” said Jane McGrath, President, Grayhawk Classic Residence Residents’ Foundation. “Because our residents value education, we feel this is a wonderful way for us to express our gratitude.”

Recipients are attending a variety of local college campuses and studies range across the board. Hospitality Management, Nursing, Business, Physical Therapy, Marketing, and Astrophysics are just a few examples of majors and programs employees have enrolled in with previous scholarships.

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GPEC: Plans To Revive The Economy

Look past the Valley’s long, slow climb out of a difficult recession to the next 10, 20, even 100 years and you see a potential hotbed of wealth and productivity: a regional economy that has diversified from its traditional reliance on growth and housing. That’s the vision painted by board members and financial supporters of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council ( GPEC ), which has been working since 1989 to leverage the many strengths of the entire metro area.

In the 22 years since its inception, GPEC already has assisted 488 companies in their moves to the Valley, which by its own count translates into 88,610 jobs, $9.96 billion
in capital investment and $3.1 billion in payroll.

In the next century, look for GPEC to shape the following sectors and services:

Municipalities

The greatest influence GPEC will have on Valley cities will be to help leaders think of themselves as a unified economy, says Mayor Scott Smith of Mesa, which is one of the 19 cities and towns that contribute financially to GPEC.

“That sounds like a simple thing, but it’s actually been a very challenging task,” Smith says, with the East Valley vying against the West Valley, city fighting city, and “Phoenix fighting everyone else” for economic development opportunities.

In the coming decades, economic activity will continue to consolidate in cities, Smith says. Already, about 85 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product is generated in cities and it is estimated that 90 percent of the new jobs created will be in metro areas. GPEC will continue to play a major role in helping cities get beyond parochialism and work together to create a regional economic powerhouse.

“The Sun Corridor is not some figment of someone’s imagination,” says Smith, referring to the corridor stretching from the middle of Yavapai County south to Tucson that is expected in the next century to merge into one integrated metro area. “We see it growing every day.”

“GPEC plays a central role in that,” he says. “We are learning how to work better together.”

Technology

The Arizona of the future will do a better job developing a culture of innovation for small, high-tech companies, says Steve Shope, president of Sandia Research Corporation and a
GPEC board member.

A short-term goal that may reap long-term benefits would be to help companies attain funding through the U.S. government’s Small Business Innovation Research program, which awards funds for research and development that has the potential to be commercialized.

“In Arizona, we’re not doing a very good job of bringing that money into the state,” says Shope, who would like to see the figure double to $50 million.

The state needs a better representation of venture capital in general, he says, and thus needs to nurture venturecapital-ready companies.

Shope is a member of GPEC’s new Innovation Council, which he says is developing a framework for how it will operate and hopes to have a master plan this year.

Another way GPEC will shape the future of the technology industry is by continuing to focus on clean tech companies, particularly renewable energy companies and those involved in residential construction and high-efficiency housing.

Unmanned aerial vehicles, a subset of Arizona’s already mature aerospace and defense industry, is a sector that “is in the Model T stage, but has potential for gigantic growth,” Shope says.

Housing

Looking back, one can see how homebuilding and construction became primary drivers of the state’s economy, says Andy Warren, president of Maracay Homes and a GPEC board member.

Looking forward to the next century, GPEC will play a major role in helping to diversify the Valley’s economy so housing plays a less dominant role in it. If GPEC can do that, Arizonans won’t be held hostage to vicious boom-and-bust cycles inherent in the real estate industry.

“If GPEC is successful, the housing industry will be a less significant player in our economy over the next century and that will be a wonderful thing,” Warren says. “The amplitude of those cycles can be pretty extreme.”

It has been estimated that Arizona has lost 300,000 jobs in the recession, with the bulk of those coming from the construction and retail sectors.

GPEC’s efforts to lure high-wage, high-quality jobs in the clean technology, healthcare and aerospace sectors and its efforts to strengthen manufacturing will be instrumental in diversifying the economy of the future, he says.

A key to that strategy is GPEC’s commitment to supporting competitive tax incentives and policies that promote growth, and its work bringing together officials and policy makers throughout the region. “It’s a great collaborative effort,” he says.

Law

When GPEC reaches out to businesses considering a site in the Valley, one of the first things business leaders ask is, “‘Do you have the legal talent in Arizona and in Phoenix to do the things we want done?’” says Barry Halpern, a GPEC board member and partner at Snell & Wilmer.

In that respect, GPEC and the legal community have a symbiotic relationship that will only deepen in the next century as GPEC brings more sophisticated and diverse industries to the Valley, Halpern says.

The legal profession in the Valley — already a diverse community — will have to rise to the needs of emergent industries.

Almost all aspects of economic development require legal representation, including the demand for capital financing or the need for representation in emerging niches like the solar industry, agrees Scott Henderson, a shareholder at Polsinelli Shughart and a GPEC board member.

“GPEC will shape the legal practice as it attracts more businesses and more industry and those businesses will require a greater depth of legal talent,” Henderson says. “To that extent, local law firms will want to play a greater role in the growth of the state. The growth of the economy helps everybody—lawyers are no exception.”

Banking

The near future for banking in Arizona is brightening as lending activity has increased and most banks’ biggest problems are behind them, says Jim Lundy, GPEC vice chairman and president and CEO of Alliance Bank of Arizona.

“The recovery is slow, it’s bumping along the bottom, but it is there,” says Lundy, who also serves as chairman of the Arizona Bankers Association.

The long-term prognosis for banks is a bit harder to predict, but Lundy says he is sure of one thing: it is inextricably linked with a diversified Arizona economy that is not dependent on population growth.

In that sense, GPEC’s goal of fostering cooperation between cities and creating a diversified economy will directly shape the industry.

“Our success and our growth depends on companies that actually produce something,” Lundy says. All the important emerging industries — like healthcare, clean tech and aerospace — create spin-offs in the economy that are good business for the banking sector.

“We need successful enterprises to make those loans to,” he says. “At the end of the day, if the banking sector is going to grow successfully it needs GPEC and its role in helping get Arizona’s economy growing again.”

Education

It’s not hard to figure out why leaders in the field of education sit on GPEC’s board of directors: education is essential to economic development, and vice versa.

“As we look to the future, we see that growing the right talent for the new markets that will be out there is imperative,” says GPEC chairman Bill Pepicello, president of the University of Phoenix.

That may require more coordination between Arizona’s “robust” array of higher education institutions—statefunded universities, community colleges and private institutions. “I envision campuses as multi-functional areas that are working cooperatively on the ground and online to serve Arizona,” he says.

Arizona’s education of the future will also need to be “efficient and effective,” says Rufus Glasper, chancellor of the Maricopa County Community College District.

In the next 30 years, he says more than 1.8 million new jobs will be created in Arizona and these jobs will require students who are competent in what is know as the STEM fields: science, technology, engineering and math.

Educational delivery systems will include more online, hybrid and fast-track training, he says, and willuse mobile devices and social media to create more access to new ideas, networks and educational exchanges.

Like Pepicello, Glasper envisions closer relationships between secondary schools, post-secondary colleges and universities.

Manufacturing

The Midwest has always been known as the heavy industry manufacturing hub of the United States. But Arizona in the next century could attract more technology manufacturing, says Steven Zylstra, president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council, which has worked alongside GPEC in the past to nurture the tech industry here.

“To the surprise of a lot of people, manufacturing is actually coming back to the United States,” he says. Wages and manufacturing costs in China are rising, so companies that sent manufacturing overseas are finding that once they pay for shipping, it’s cheaper at home.

Areas of promise include the manufacturing of medical devices, bioscience-related products, renewable-energy equipment and the semiconductor industry.

When it comes to the semiconductor industry, that optimism is warranted, agrees Jason Bagley, a government affairs manager at Intel in Arizona.

Intel has always manufactured most of its leading-edge products in the United States, he says, and plans to continue doing so. Since 1996, it has invested $12 billion in manufacturing in Arizona, not including two projects currently under construction in Chandler.

For more information about GPEC visit, gpec.org

Arizona Business Magazine January/February 2012