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lawyers

Az Business announces finalists for ACC Awards

Az Business magazine, in conjunction with the State Bar of Arizona, have announced the finalists for the 2015 Arizona Corporate Counsel (ACC) Awards.

The finalists and winners will be honored at an awards dinner and reception on Jan. 15, 2015 at the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa in Scottsdale. Click here for more information about the event.

Here are the finalists:

Arizona State University legal department
David Bixby, Banner Health
Kelleen Brennan, Universal Technical Institute
Franc Del Fosse, Insys
Brad Gazaway, The Dial Corporation
Illya Iussa, Arizona Summit Law School
JDA Software legal department
John T. Jozwick, Rider Levett Bucknall
Alan Kelly, Scottsdale Lincoln Health Network
David Mulvihill, Make-A-Wish Foundation
Wendy Neal, Arcadia Biosciences
Carmen Neuberger, Phoenix Children’s Hospital
Mary Beth Orson, Apollo Education Group
Michael Reagan, Kahala Corporation
Michael Rissman, Republic Services
Brian Roberts, Grand Canyon University
Scottsdale Lincoln Health Network legal department
Karen Stein, IO
Jason Steiner, Insight Enterprises
Jenny Holsman Tetreault, Rural/Metro
Tiffanie Woodie, Petsmart

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McDowell Sonoran Preserve to close early July

Fire danger prompts restrictions and increased patrols –

Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve will close at 3 p.m. on Thursday, July 4, to reduce the threat of wild fires during the Independence Day holiday. Summer temperatures dry out vegetation and create an extreme fire threat that can endanger lives, property and the Valley’s fragile desert. The availability and popularity of fireworks during the Fourth of July holiday increases that threat.

All trailheads into the 27,800-acre-acre preserve will have “closed” signs posted. Scottsdale police, staff and volunteer stewards will patrol the area to advise visitors about the closure and fire threat. Violating the closure is a Class 2 Misdemeanor punishable by up to four months in jail and a $750 fine.

The use of fireworks is prohibited in Scottsdale, but sales are permitted. Fireworks should not be used in Scottsdale – or anywhere near a natural desert environment.

“While the legislature mandated that firework sales are permitted throughout the state, our local ordinance prohibits the use of any type of consumer fireworks within city limits,” said Deputy Fire Chief Jim Ford. “Fireworks should not be used in Scottsdale – or anywhere near a natural desert environment.”

Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve encompasses the McDowell Mountains and large areas of the Sonoran Desert north of Dynamite Boulevard.

Visit www.scottsdaleaz.gov/fire.

Rendering of the amphitheater at the Great Park at Eastmark.

Eastmark Grand Opening Set For June 1 With Full Day of Activities

 

The first new large-scale integrated community to launch in Metro Phoenix in 10 years will hold a grand opening from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 1 to showcase its first phase of residential homes and the first phase of the Eastmark Great Park.

Eastmark, located in the heart of the East Valley, is a new community focused on creating a connected life for its residents, employers and visitors.

To debut Eastmark to the public, DMB is planning a day of festivities that will include music throughout the parks system, family games and entertainment and activities for all ages to encourage the community to discover the lifestyle at Eastmark.

Tours of 14 new home models from seven homebuilders will be available to guests. Every home design in Eastmark features a new floorplan designed for this community.

Eastmark’s phase one builders are:

>> Maracay Homes

>> Mattamy Homes

>> Taylor Morrison

>> Woodside Homes

>> Ryland Homes

>> Standard Pacific Homes

>> Meritage Homes Corporation

At the grand opening, visitors will be able to explore The ‘Mark, Eastmark’s Visitors and Community Center; enjoy the first 10 acres of the Eastmark Great Park; 11 neighborhood parks, piazzas and plazas; and landscaped, tree-lined streets and parkways.

Trollies and pedicabs will take guests around the community to enjoy outdoor concerts, kite flying and other demonstrations, food trucks and refreshments throughout the day.

“Eastmark is one of the most thoughtfully designed communities in the country. In our planning, we’ve artfully blended residential areas, employment cores, recreation and commerce to complement each other,” said Dea McDonald, DMB’s Senior Vice President and Eastmark’s General Manager.

“Eastmark’s grand opening will give guests an opportunity to engage in ‘Life in Motion’ and enjoy fun, family-friendly activities and exciting looks at this community which is unlike anything else in Arizona.”

If you go 

WHAT: Eastmark’s Grand Opening – Life in Motion

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 1, 2013

WHERE: Ray and Ellsworth Roads in Mesa

COST: Admission is Free

 

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Spirit of Enterprise Award Finalists Boast Job Creation, Charity Work, Innovation

Despite the slow economic recovery, Arizona already has many businesses showing impressive growth and even job creation. The W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University is recognizing 10 of the state’s biggest achievers as finalists for this year’s prestigious Spirit of Enterprise Awards.

The awards, now in their 16th year, honor firms for ethics, energy and excellence in entrepreneurship. Past winners include well-known names like Cold Stone Creamery, Ollie the Trolley and Sundt Construction. Finalists are noted for creating a positive culture both internally and in the community as a whole.

This year’s finalists are:

180 Degrees Automotive, a woman-owned, full-service auto repair center that caters especially to women and minorities. The company has moved to bigger locations four times in six years, provides free car classes to women, hosts an art exhibit, gives free rides home, and leaves a gift in each car with each visit.

CyberMark International, a full-service Internet marketing firm named one of the best in North America by a panel of marketing professionals. CyberMark won a 2011 ethics award from the local Better Business Bureau, offers 24/7 availability for its clients, gives employees flexible hours, and donates service free of charge to several nonprofit organizations.

Daphne’s Headcovers, a novelty golf-club cover business started when the owner was just 16 years old, that once grew 400 percent in just one quarter. Daphne’s now serves fine resorts and golf shops in 75 countries, has covers in the bags of more than 200 touring pro golfers, and offers customers a lifetime guarantee to repair or replace products for free.

GlobalMed, a company that offers telemedicine solutions like innovative cameras, medical devices and software, so health practitioners can provide care to remote patients via telecommunications or satellite. GlobalMed made Inc. Magazine’s 2012 list of the nation’s 500 fastest-growing private companies, and it also made large donations to charity, including the Marine Corps Toys for Tots Program.

Hard Dollar, a Scottsdale-based firm that provides software for planning, budgeting and managing big projects in construction, mining and energy. Hard Dollar has more than 200,000 global users, 30-percent year-over-year growth, a company-wide wellness program, and a cost-management system that can increase productivity by 300 percent.

LawLogix Group, a fast-growing provider of immigration, I-9 and E-Verify software. The company boasts a 96.9-percent client-retention rate, low 3-percent employee turnover, a large amount of nonprofit work, and more than 155,000 organizations as customers, including Fortune 500 companies.

NJOY Electronic Cigarettes, a company founded in 2006 that now has a 40-percent share of the electronic cigarette industry, which offers smokers a tobacco-free alternative to traditional cigarettes. The firm sells in most of the nation’s biggest convenience-store chains and offers a recycling program for its products.

Optimal Performance Training, a team of health and fitness professionals started by one man inside a small chiropractor’s office. The company has grown to a large studio, where high school and college Division 1 athletes train, and it promotes a community perspective.

Real Property Management East Valley, a full-service residential property management company that grew to a multi-million dollar business in less than five years. This family-owned firm prides itself on positive client referrals, which have led to about 40 percent of its new growth, as well as involvement with community groups, including the Boy Scouts and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Divers Posse.

Total Transit, a comprehensive mobility management company that runs the Discount Cab brand throughout Arizona. Total Transit has the largest fleet of environmentally friendly Prius cabs in North America and also provides innovative Dial-a-Ride services for Valley Metro and many large Medicaid and Medicare providers, while also donating to the community through its charitable Total Transit Foundation.

Hundreds of Valley entrepreneurs, community leaders, Arizona State University students and others are expected to attend the annual awards luncheon when the winners will be announced Nov. 1 at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix.

These awards are just one focus of the Spirit of Enterprise Center, which helps hundreds of businesses each year. The center offers companies the chance to recruit and meet with top student talent, while also allowing students to get hands-on business experience. One key program, Student Teams for Entrepreneurship Projects (STEP), matches teams of W. P. Carey School of Business students with Valley companies to help tackle real-world challenges and opportunities. Companies can also use the center to access other ASU business resources. The center is self-funded and utilizes community sponsorships and volunteers to sustain its activities.

For more information on the Spirit of Enterprise Center, visit www.spiritofenterprise.org. For sponsorship opportunities or awards luncheon reservations, please call (480) 965-0474 or visit www.spiritofenterprise.org.

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2009 HR Team Of The Year Finalists

American Express LogoCompany: American Express Service Center – Phoenix
Web: www.americanexpress.com

Company established: 1850 | No. of employees in AZ: 7,400
No. of employees in HR dept.: 17

The 17 professionals in the human resources department at American Express’ service center in Phoenix have had a busy year and met many challenges amidst difficult circumstances.

The team fulfills its responsibilities by following two philosophies. First, it approaches its work as a partner with the center’s 2,900 employees. Team members participate in business meetings, listen to customer calls with employees and keep in touch with everyone who works there. Second, it believes all team members are “in it together.” They share information, focus on the most important priorities and support each other as a cohesive group.

The year began with work force reductions at the center, but the human resources team was expected to ramp up in areas needing additional attention. As part of that effort, the team successfully convinced existing front-line employees to take a chance and move into different jobs, even as the recession ravaged the financial-services sector.

Significant attention also was devoted to leadership development within the center’s management ranks. The team developed a new team-new leader assimilation program that reduced the learning curve for new managers. Four team members who specialize in leadership development conducted focus groups to help managers understand the needs and expectations of the employees they lead.

In addition, American Express selected its Phoenix service center to pilot a global wellness strategy this year. More than 1,300 employees participated in a kick-off event and 90 percent of employees who took on a healthy-living challenge completed it. The HR team also hired a full-time wellness coach and nutritionist.


Arizona Public Service Co.Company: Arizona Public Service Co.
Web: www.aps.com

Company established: 1886 | No. of employees in AZ: 7,147
No. of employees in HR dept.: 85

To say that the human resources department at Arizona Public Service Co. (APS) is busy is a vast understatement. This team of 85 professionals has its hands full.

APS faces a staffing challenge at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station west of Phoenix. As operator of North America’s largest nuclear power plant, APS must deal with the fact that the majority of the employees there will near retirement age at the end of this decade. Human resources has launched an intense 18-month program to train college engineering recruits on the operation of highly technical aspects of the plant. Also, existing Palo Verde engineers are being groomed as mentors for the college graduates.

Human resources overhauled APS’ leadership development programs, as well. Few succession plans were in place for key leaders, and many emerging leaders were not receiving the breadth and depth of assignments they needed to progress to the next level. All existing leaders are given values-based training and new leaders receive basic training in supervisory skills. And, for the first time, APS’ middle managers have a program that enhances their skill sets and gives them feedback from peers. In addition, human resources is developing an emerging-leaders program.

Another duty for human resources was modernizing the company’s compensation model. It also has revamped compensation philosophy, moving APS away from cost-of-living pay increases to a performance-based merit system. Starting in 2010, APS will have an incentive program impacting 95 percent of its work force that will be tied directly to performance of the company and its employees.


St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical CenterCompany: St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center
Web: www.stjosephs-phx.org


Company established: 1895 | No. of employees in AZ: 5,000+
No. of employees in HR dept.: 26

The human resources team at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center played a significant role in helping the Phoenix hospital reach two milestones this year.

St. Joseph’s became the only hospital in Arizona to be recognized by BestCompaniesAZ as a best place to work for seven consecutive years. And for the first time, St. Joseph’s was named by Modern Healthcare as one of the industry’s top 100 best places to work nationally. BestCompaniesAZ administers best-places-to-work recognition programs in Arizona. Modern Healthcare is a national health care business news magazine.

Employee satisfaction may have something to do with St. Joseph’s open-door and two-way communication policies. Staff members have ample opportunities to ask questions and provide input. Each department holds daily employee meetings, with the hospital’s president hosting monthly employee forums. In addition, senior management conducts employee town halls throughout the year. To promote a work-life balance, the hospital offers telecommuting, flex hours, compressed work weeks, summer hours and job sharing.

The 25-member human resources team encourages diversity at St. Joseph’s. It partners with the Center for Transitional Rehab to integrate brain-injured patients into the hospital’s staff. The team partners with local and national job boards to reach out to ethnic groups and has developed programs to support a large Hispanic and Filipino work force. Disabled workers are encouraged to apply for employment or volunteer at the hospital.

Reaching out to the community, the human resources staff hosted five workshops this year to help the unemployed use alternative job-search tools such as Twitter and LinkedIn. gement, and employee relations. Its clients include startup companies and Fortune 50 firms.

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2009 HR Industry Leader Of The Year Finalists

Denise GredlerName: Denise Gredler
Title: President and Founder
Company: BestCompaniesAZ

Years with company: 8
Years in current position: 8
Company established: 2001
No. of employees in AZ: 2.5
www.bestcompaniesaz.com

Eight years ago, Denise Gredler had a vision that great places to work should be recognized for providing an environment in which employees thrive and grow.

Gredler founded BestCompaniesAZ and has realized her dream through an annual competition that fosters a competitive spirit in Arizona’s business community. Those companies that are recognized as best places to work are promoted on Gredler’s Web site and through the news media. Underlying all this effort is a desire by Gredler to help Arizona employers attract and retain talented employees.

The first competition attracted 100 applicants and 20 were selected as winners. Today, about 300 companies participate in the competition and 100 are recognized as outstanding places to work. 
But Gredler doesn’t stop there. She provides a mix of human resources, public relations, marketing, branding and award-consultation services to winning companies and those that aspire to win. She also sponsors a variety of programs, workshops and events to give employers cost-effective tools to improve the workplace and help them reap the benefits associated with being named an outstanding place to work. Gredler visits member-based organizations to promote the financial rewards and benefits of employee engagement and best-place-to-work programs.

Gredler also reaches out to job seekers. For example, she recently introduced the Arizona’s BEST Give Back Campaign, a program designed to help mid-level career professionals find employment. Gredler and her staff also conduct free weekly workshops for the unemployed. Job hunters can go to her Web site to identify and research Arizona’s best places to work.


Cindy JonesName: Cindy Jones
Title: Vice President of the Human Resources Division
Company: Synergy Seven

Years with company: 7.5
Years in current position: 7.5
Company established: 2002
No. of employees in AZ: 75
No. of employees in HR dept.: 6
www.synergyseven.com

As vice president of the human resources division at Synergy Seven, Cindy Jones draws upon a strong background and 20 years of experience to keep the firm at the forefront of human resources consulting.

Combining her skills as a behavioral analyst, trained mediator and human resources veteran, Jones has extensive experience in helping managers implement effective people practices that engage employees, while maintaining compliance with employment regulations. She is described as a results-oriented consultant and strategist with a proven track record of helping organizations manage the human side of their business.

Jones also leads Synergy Seven’s human resources consulting practice. She and her team of professionals shape the company’s services by combining results-oriented business practices with certified expertise in a variety of areas.

Jones is certified in senior professional human resources and is a certified professional behavioral analyst, certified attributes index analyst and certified professional values analyst. In addition, Jones serves on the board of a nonprofit charter school, leading their rewards and compensation committee. She is sought out by companies throughout Phoenix as a featured speaker on human resources regulations and trends.

All of Jones’ experience is brought to bear on her responsibilities at Synergy Seven, a certified woman-owned Phoenix firm that is a national provider of human resources consulting, technological contract and direct-hire staffing services. Synergy Seven provides expertise in training and development, regulatory compliance, benefits and compensation, administration and records, recruitment and selection, risk management, and employee relations. Its clients include startup companies and Fortune 50 firms.

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2009 Small Business HR Director Of The Year Finalists


Jerrie MartinezName: Jerrie Martinez-Palombo, M. Ed., SPHR
Title: Human Resource Manager
Company: Jaburg & Wilk P.C.

Years with company: 2
Years in current position: 2
Company established: 1984
Employees in AZ: 70
Employees in HR department: 2
www.jaburgwilk.com

Jaburg & Wilk P.C., has a significant investment in its employees. That’s why the law firm places a strong emphasis on mentoring and other techniques to help employees integrate into the company and remain on the job.

Human Resource Manager Jerrie Martinez is involved in the firm’s mentoring and law clerk programs, which are designed to help attorneys develop specific skills and enhance their work experience. Each new attorney hired at Jaburg & Wilk is placed in mentoring. Each mentoring pair works toward at least three goals, one of which is a balance between work and personal life. Mentors also help younger attorneys attain partnerships.

For support staff, Martinez established what the firm calls a “guide team” that was patterned after the formal attorney mentoring program. The team helps integrate new staff into the organization, provides a variety of resources and offers informal mentoring. In addition, Martinez was instrumental in establishing a customized, on-demand training program to help support staff with their professional development.

Jaburg & Wilk also believes in offering unusual activities so employees can have fun. Martinez spearheads Speed Chatting, which is much like speed dating. Employees spend five minutes getting to know each other before they move on to the next person. Last January, employees rode the light rail system to Downtown Tempe, where they participated in a scavenger hunt. Employees also pay $5 for the privilege of wearing jeans to work, and the employee of the month selects his or her favorite charity to receive the money. The firm matches the contribution.



Hopi SlaughterName: Hopi Slaughter
Title: Human Resources and Legal Assistant
Company: Rose Law Group pc

Years with company: 3
Years in current position: 3
Company established: 2005
Employees in AZ: 25
Employees in HR department: 1
www.roselawgroup.com

As Rose Law Group pc goes about its business of providing legal services, there is a concerted effort unfolding behind the scenes to make the Scottsdale firm a great place to work.

The company focuses on identifying internal problems before they mushroom into issues that might prompt employees to seek jobs elsewhere. Hopi Slaughter, human resources and legal assistant, is charged with making that happen. She is known for her open-door policy; any employee can talk to her about any topic. Also, partners who notice employee conflicts alert Slaughter and she intervenes.

Rose Law Group is committed to being a true family and Slaughter helps with numerous efforts that are undertaken to make that a reality. Celebrations out of the office are common when an attorney wins a large case or someone fulfills a major company goal. Awards are given for hours billed and bonuses are handed out for positive reviews.

Weekly newsletters and updates recognize employee accomplishments and hard work. Those successes also are discussed at weekly team meetings. Monthly get-togethers are held for team-building exercises and simply to have some down time. At monthly brown-bag lunches, an employee gives a presentation on a topic so that, over time, employees have a better understanding of what the law firm does as a business and the areas in which it specializes.

Employees also receive tuition reimbursement for approved classes, along with a flexible work schedule so they can attend the classes. They are encouraged to attend lectures and seminars on any topic, as well.

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2009 Medium Business HR Director Of The Year Finalists

Anthony NardiName: Anthony Nardi
Title: Director of Employee Services
Company: Roskamp Sun Health

Years with company: 13
Years in current position: 13
Company established: 1998
Employees in AZ: 450
Employees in HR dept.: 4
www.rshaz.com

What does a carrot named Garrett have to do with attracting and retaining quality employees? Quite a bit at Roskamp Sun Health, a Surprise-based company that operates senior residential-care communities in northwest Phoenix.

Realizing that not all managers praise staff members for a job well done, Anthony Nardi — Roskamp’s director of employee services — developed a program called Carrot Culture. Employees who excel in their performance are praised and presented with a small stuffed carrot named Garrett that they can wear. Employees who receive the honor are given the opportunity to award a Garrett to another employee, who is singled out for recognition. Employees who receive a Garrett are inducted into the Carrot Culture Club. All Roskamp employees, from management to entry level, are eligible for the recognition.

Community residents, visitors or other employees also may nominate staff members for performance recognition in a Caught In the Act program. Employees are honored with a quarterly customer-service award, as well.

Among his many responsibilities, Nardi also gets residents involved in employee development. He coordinates a program in residents tutor employees in English and U.S. citizenship testing. Roskamp employees from Iraq, Mexico, Turkey, Poland, Jordan and Russia have benefited from the tutoring. Web-based training also helps employees grow professionally.

Roskamp visibly demonstrates work force diversity in the high number of women and minorities it employs. Diversity is celebrated in Food From Around the World events in which employees wear native dress, enact country dance themes and share their ethnic cultures.


Elizabeth ToshName: Elizabeth Tosh
Title: Human Resources Generalist for Arizona and New Mexico
Company: Diamond Resorts International

Years with company: 4
Years in current position: 4
Company established: 1994
No. of employees in AZ: 430
No. of employees in HR dept.: 2
www.diamondresorts.com

As a global hospitality company, Diamond Resorts International has a diverse customer base. That’s why diversity in its employee ranks is vital to providing quality customer service.

With Elizabeth Tosh serving as human resources generalist in Scottsdale, the Las Vegas-based company can boast a truly varied work force in Arizona. For example, an employee at one resort gift shop is more than 80 years old. She happily works alongside employees in their 20s. One of the company’s Arizona salespersons is deaf. She not only interacts efficiently with her co-workers, she also conducts sales tours in sign language for deaf guests.

With duties covering both Arizona and New Mexico, Tosh plays an active role in recruiting and retaining talented employees. She holds classes for managers and supervisors on how to effectively advertise, interview and retain high-quality staff. Knowing that great employees usually know other outstanding employees, Tosh makes sure Diamond Resorts’ staff members are aware of the company’s international employee referral program. She also directs employees to a variety of training programs offered by the company and conducts in-office training on a variety of topics.

Tosh works diligently to help employees understand they can grow professionally with Diamond Resorts and that she will assist them with changing positions or applying for a promotion.

Tosh also leads classes on the company’s benefits options and how employees can determine which package is best for them. In addition, she empowers managers to work with employees at times of illness or family-related issues when a leave of absence is needed.