Tag Archives: fresh start women’s foundation

Joan Brubacher, president and CFO, Beamz Interactive, Inc.

Fresh Start Women’s Foundation Selects Board

Fresh Start Women’s Foundation announced newly appointed leadership for fiscal year 2014 – 2015.

* Joan Brubacher, President, Chief Financial Officer, Beamz Interactive, Inc., Board Chair

* Terry Roman, Partner, Snell & Wilmer, L.L.P., Vice-chair

* Katie Scardello, Senior VP & Senior Client Manager, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Treasurer/Finance Chair

* Jude Miller-Burke, Ph.D., Executive Coach, JAMB Consulting, Secretary

Men’s Board: Brett Angner, Senior Vice President, Abart Properties Corporation, Board Chair

Fresh Start Women’s Foundation is dedicated to supporting women who want to thrive and empowers them to transform their lives through three core values: economic self-sufficiency, personal development and education. The Phoenix-based Jewell McFarland Lewis Fresh Start Women’s Resource Center offers free and low-cost services for any woman age 18 or older. Services include: counseling, mentoring, education, career services, legal services, child watch, an e-learning center and personal development/self esteem. Fresh Start also offers services in the East Valley at the Goodwill Career Center in Chandler and online at www.freshstartwomen.org.

Michelle Jager

Jager Elected to Fresh Start Foundation Board

Fennemore Craig, a leading Mountain West regional firm, announced Michelle Jager, a director in the firm’s Phoenix office, was elected to the Auxiliary Board for Fresh Start Women’s Foundation.

In her practice, Jager assists healthcare providers in defending against medical negligence lawsuits. She also assists small and large companies in the areas of personal injury, product liability, and commercial litigation. In addition to her commitment to Fresh Start Women’s Foundation, Jager volunteers for the Institutional Review Board for St. Joseph’s Hospital reviewing biomedical and behavioral research protocols. Jager earned her J.D. cum laude from Arizona State University, Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law and her B.A. magna cum laude from Arizona State University.

Fresh Start Women’s Foundation was formed in 1992 to help women transform their lives though engagement and education. The Jewell McFarland Lewis Fresh Start Women’s Resource Center offers counseling, mentoring, education, career services, legal services, child watch, an E-Learning center and personal development services.

172344883

Goodwill Partners With Fresh Start; Ribbon Cutting Today!

Goodwill of Central Arizona and Fresh Start Women’s Foundation have formed a new partnership aimed at helping women find self-sustaining employment.

Goodwill Career Center in Chandler now houses a team of Fresh Start staff delivering services throughout the week, including Social Work support, Career Readiness training, and Self Esteem resources to prepare for interviews.  Fresh Start staff will deliver both one-to-one support and workshops to clients.  Fresh Start clients will also have access to all of Goodwill’s employment services, free of charge.

“We’re very excited to be working with Goodwill. For many of these women, it’s the first time they’ve had access to employment services,” said Fresh Start CEO Susan Berman. “Working together, we can leverage our respective resources to create a mutually beneficial partnership and ultimately help women transform their lives and find employment.”

Over the past year, Goodwill has been assessing how to assist more women overcome barriers to employment. In 2012, Goodwill provided job preparation and placement services to over 21,000 women throughout Maricopa, Prescott and Yuma counties.

“The partnership is a natural fit,” said Kimberly Hall, program coordinator for Goodwill. “Our missions align nicely and together we’re going to be able to help women with their job search, interviewing skills, resume writing and more.”

A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held today at 3:30 p.m. at the Alma School Career Center to kick off the new partnership.  Light refreshments will be served and executives from Goodwill and Fresh Start Women’s Foundation will give remarks.

About Fresh Start Women’s Foundation:
Fresh Start Women’s Foundation empowers women to transform their lives through engagement and education.  Fresh Start focuses on three core values: personal development, lifelong learning and career development. This unique empowerment model offers a variety of services including legal, self-esteem, mentoring, social work, career, education and more.  The Jewell McFarland Lewis Women’s Resource in Phoenix also offers an e-learning center and child watch services.  Fresh Start also operates the Fresh Start Treasures resale boutique, wehelpwomen.com national website and East Valley Fresh Start at the Chandler Goodwill Career Center.  For more information, visit www.freshstartwomen.org.

hispanic

Cox honors Latina entrepreneurs

Cox Business announced today a partnership with Prensa Hispana newspaper, Azteca AméricaPhoenix and the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (AZHCC) to recognize successful Latina entrepreneurs whose talent and innovation in the businessworld are helping other small businesses grow throughout Arizona.

“According to the 2013 AZ Women-owned Business Enterprise Report we released earlier this year, Latinas make up the single largest minority group among women-owned businesses,” said Mónica Villalobos, Vice President for the AZHCC. “This is a tremendous accomplishment, and our partnership with Cox Business is a great way to show our support to these entrepreneurs that are making a tremendous impact in our community.”

This one-of-a-kind campaign includes a series of 30-second spots produced in English and Spanish, that highlight two outstanding Latina Entrepreneurs in Phoenix. These spots will run across the Cox channel line up throughout the month ofJune. Through the media partnerships, honorees’ stories will also appear on the pages of Prensa Hispana newspaper, Azteca América Phoenix’s newscasts and through communication vehicles of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

“These women embody a true entrepreneur spirit of creativity, dedication and hard work, that positively impacts our community and state’s economy,” said Steve Rizley, Sr. Vice President and General Manager, Cox Communications.  “We hope that all the efforts these Latina entrepreneurs are doing to contribute to Arizona’s business growth inspires others to do wonderful things for our state.”

The individuals featured in the Phoenix campaign are:

Linda Valenzuela, MIA Cosmetics
LindaValenzuela is a make up artist, master stylist, and owner of Mia Cosmetics, a growing force aimed at satisfying the real and fantasy beauty needs of individuals through quality products and services. A professional stylist for over 10 years, Linda’s work has appeared in fashion magazines, catalogues, and runways, including W Magazine, SkyMall and FIDM Prom Web LA. Linda is a popular guest teacher and lecturer at notable cosmetology and art schools, as well as volunteer instructor for the Fresh Start Women’s Foundation. Her talent is so hard to miss, that she was chosen to apply make up to President Barack Obama and Maria Elena Salinas – one of the most renowned Latina journalist in the U.S. – during their visit to Phoenix last year.

Beatriz Alatorre de Hong, Paletas Betty
Beatriz Alatorre de Hong is the president and owner of Paletas Betty, an ice cream and cream-pops shop in Chandler andTempe. Founded in 2011, Paletas Betty uses simple from scratch recipes that deliver the freshest experience possible. With classic Mexican flavors and newly invented flavors Paletas Betty is Betty’s way of sharing the happiness sheexperienced as a child eating paletas. This year, Betty is focusing on increasing their presence in existing markets by doing more community events and forming strategic partnerships.

Pamela Overton Risoleo

Greenberg Traurig Shareholder Honored

Pamela Overton Risoleo, a shareholder and co-chair of the Phoenix litigation practice of the international law firm Greenberg Traurig, will be honored Feb. 23 by YWCA Maricopa County as its “2013 Tribute to Leadership – Community Service Corporate Leader.” Overton’s recognition is for her many years dedicated to philanthropic causes and for her passion for serving the Phoenix community including her pivotal role as co-founder of the nonprofit Fresh Start Women’s Foundation. Established in 1992, the organization has supported a full-service women’s resource center serving more than 2,500 women in need each month in Phoenix.

In addition to decades of fundraising and leadership positions, Overton Risoleo also supports a broad range of philanthropic causes, having raised millions for Phoenix-based charities, including The American Heart Association, Liberty Wildlife and Trends Charitable Fund. In 2008, AZ Woman named her “Woman of the Year.” She is also an active fundraiser for the Phoenix Theatre and was recognized with the organization’s “Women Who Care” award in 2011.

“Not only has Pam been a leader and mentor for many within our Phoenix office, she has also served as a role model in serving the community,” said John E. Cummerford, Greenberg Traurig’s co-managing shareholder in Phoenix. “We are pleased and proud she is being recognized for her outstanding work.”

Overton Risoleo and 10 honorees in other leadership categories will be recognized at the YWCA Tribute to Leadership dinner event at the Phoenix Ritz-Carlton on Feb. 23. Others to be recognized include community leaders from PetSmart, Banner Health, Phoenix Theatre, Helios Education Foundation, Maricopa Medical Center, the U.S. Army Reserve, ONE Community Media, the Phoenix Mercury, the Arizona Centennial 2012 Foundation and the International Foundation for Education & Self-Help.

“To be recognized among this outstanding group is truly an honor,” said Overton Risoleo. “I continue to be inspired by those who make a difference, but even more so by those who are determined to make the most of what they have for themselves and their families. I will always assist and encourage those in need and challenge my colleagues, family and friends to do the same. The rewards are so much greater than the effort required.”

For the past 18 years YWCA Maricopa County, part of the oldest and largest multicultural organization in the world, has been honoring individuals who strive to eliminate discrimination against women in the community. Community service leader honorees were selected in areas of nonprofit, corporate, education, creative arts, advocacy, health and science, military, sports and racial justice. For more information on YWCA Maricopa County and the Tribute to Leadership event, visit ywcaaz.org or call (602) 258-0990.

CBRE - Pursuit of Success

CBRE's Pursuit Of Success Kicks Off Sept. 10

It was a success last year, and organizers are hoping for another big clothing collaboration.

Starting Sept. 10, CBRE will hold its second annual citywide business clothing drive.

The clothing drive, “PurSUIT of SUCCESS,” offers gently used business attire for men and women. It benefits two nonprofit organizations, Fresh Start Women’s Foundation and St. Joseph the Worker.

It is also the largest business clothing drive in Metro Phoenix.

The two organizations provide job training, career counseling and emotional support to both women and men in Metro Phoenix. The organizations aim to give men and women the tools they need to succeed in the business world by giving them confidence and a positive self-image.

In 2011 people donated more than 3,900 apparel items to PurSUIT of SUCCESS. With eight additional drop-off locations throughout Metro Phoenix this year, CBRE officials say they believe people will be able to donate even more.

CBRE’s office is located at 2415 E. Camelback. Drop offs can be made Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. until the drive ends on Sept. 21.

In addition to the main donation area, 21 CBRE-managed buildings in Chandler, Phoenix, Tempe, Scottsdale and Mesa are also accepting clothing donations.

To learn more about PurSUIT of SUCCESS, visit: cbre.com/purSUITofSUCCESS

Summer Spa Events and Specials

Scottsdale’s Hottest Spa Events, Specials

The summer heat might have us running for cover, but that doesn’t mean we can’t spoil ourselves. What better way to stay cool than by indulging in some of Scottsdale’s hottest spa events and spa specials?

Luxurious spas in and around the greater Phoenix area are coming together to celebrate this blazing season (in the air-conditioned shade, of course) and, in the process, will raise money for a wonderful cause.

Noteworthy spa events and specials in Scottsdale this summer include:

7th Annual Summer Spaaah Series

Arizona Spa Girls will host its seventh annual Summer Spaaah Series, a line-up of seven resort spa events, with a percentage of ticket sales targeted towards Fresh Start Women’s Foundation.

Fresh Start is a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering women through the services of the Jewell McFarland Lewis-Fresh Start Women’s Resource Center in Phoenix.

Tickets for the Summer Spaaah Series start at $110 and include an evening reception, featuring an excellent wine selection and scrumptious samplings of the chef’s picks. Guests receive a beach bag stuffed with luxury spa and beauty products, a charity raffle ticket and, of course, mini spa services.

Each attendee will receive a “Spaaah” certificate valid toward one full spa treatment, along with use of the spa amenities on a day of their choosing, within 30 days of the event.

2012 dates and destinations for the Summer Spaaah Series:

6/15: Spa Avania at Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort at Gainey Ranch
7/13: Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa at the Wigwam, Litchfield Park
7/27: Arizona Biltmore Spa, Phoenix
8/10: Agave, The Arizona Spa at Westin Kierland Resort, Scottsdale
8/24: Amara Spa at Amara Resort Hotel, Sedona

For information on purchasing tickets, visit summerspaseries.com/store.

Spa Nordstrom

This summer, Spa Nordstrom is offering its heavenly Grapefruit Ice Pedicure for $60 (normally $70). This hour-long pedicure includes an aromatherapy feet soak along with a grapefruit and walnut shell leg/foot exfoliation.

Also, anyone who purchases an hour-long facial can also receive a pedicure simultaneously, for an additional $55.

And, Spa Nordstrom is now carrying the fabulous Moroccan Oil Body Line!

Spa Nordstrom
7055 E. Camelback Rd
., Scottsdale
(480) 429-167
nordstrom.com

Bliss Spa

For those who plan to visit Bliss Spa at the W Hotel in the near future, be sure to ask about the Summer Spa Pass. For $300, you can choose three different services from its list of offerings, all targeting different areas of the body.

W Hotel

7277 E. Camelback Rd., 
Scottsdale
(480) 575-0164
blissworld.com

Spa Lamar

Looking for the perfect gift this summer that promises more bang for your buck? Fear not! At Spa Lamar, when you purchase a $100 gift card, you will receive a $25 gift card for your own personal use.

Spa Lamar
5115 N. Scottsdale Rd
., Scottsdale
(480) 945-7066
thelamar.com

Jurlique Spa

Just in time for the summer sizzle, Jurique Spa of Firesky Resort is boasting an all-new summer “de-stress for less” menu of services and prices. This special offer menu is available June 1st through September 30th.

Jurlique Spa
4925 N. Scottsdale Rd., 
Scottsdale
(480) 424-6072
fireskyresort.com

Joya Spa

Need to renew and replenish from the exhausting heat? Joya Spa presents its exclusive summer special: buy one, get one half off! Enjoy the luxurious list of services, along with access to Joya’s lavish, private terrace pool.

Montelucia Resort

4949 E. Lincoln Dr
., Scottsdale
(888) 691-5692
joyaspa.com

VH Spa for Vitality + Health

VH Spa at Valley Ho resort might offer the mother-load of summer savings! June and July offer massage and body treatments at a heavily discounted price.

On top of monthly deals, VH also has weekday summer specials. Check out its website for a complete list of the discounted services.

Hotel Valley Ho

6850 E. Main St
., Scottsdale
(480) 248-2000
vhspa.com

Blu Sol Spa

Talk about a super summer bargain — this boutique spa offers an hour-long massage for just $39, or an hour-long organic facial for $69! Call for more upcoming deals and specials.

Blu Sol Spa
7105 E. McDowell Rd
., Scottsdale
(480) 423-0145
blusolspa.com

Dolce Salon Spa

Dolce has overhauled its menu to offer client’s special deals and discounts this month. Save big on some of your spa favorites and ultra indulgent party packages.
Also featured, a Father’s Day gift card package, which you definitely don’t want to pass up!

Dolce Salon Spa
6166 N. Scottsdale Rd
., Scottsdale
(480) 722-0500
dolcesalonspa.com

The Spa at Talking Stick Resort

Talking Stick Spa, known for delivering the star treatment, is now offering a 50-minute pedicure for only $58 (regularly $70). Choose from three flirty colors to soften and brighten your toes, all while sipping your favorite summer drink.

Also available Sundays through Thursdays, guests can chose from one of the following body treatments for just $89: Desert Lavender Massage, Sweet Mesquite Body Polish, or the Repair and Prevent Facial.

The Spa at Talking Stick Resort
9800 E. Indian Bend Rd
., Scottsdale
(480) 850-4065
talkingstickresort.com


What are you waiting for? Stay cool, do something nice for yourself, and help a very worthwhile cause. A list this long guarantees a spa experience you’ll not soon forget.


 

La Maison

La Maison Interiors Hosts Fashion Show For Fresh Start Women's Foundation [PHOTOS]

HGTV designer and host Joe Ruggiero raffled off eight one-of-a-kind handbags at La Maison Interiors to benefit Fresh Start Women’s Foundation.

The raffle featured original Joe Ruggiero designs made with decorative but durable Sunbrella fabrics. The bags varied in style to cater to every situation, from a sophisticated night on the town to a lazy afternoon on the beach.

Catering to all needs is similar to the goal of the Fresh Start Women’s Foundation. Brandy Schade, self esteem manager for the foundation, says Fresh Start is a comprehensive center that helps women of all walks of life with a variety of fields. They offer everything from career coaching and legal counseling to providing professional wardrobes.

Alan K. Reinken, founder of La Maison Interiors, says he was happy to host and present “Fabric and Fashion for a Fresh Start” and thinks it is important for the store to give back.

Ruggiero agrees and has worked with the foundation before.

“I think it’s a great benefit and idea, and I think anything that helps anyone, male or female, get a job these days is great,” Ruggiero says.

Some of the bags offered at the raffle were work appropriate as well. The versatility of the bags was shown in a casual fashion show while guests enjoyed wine and hors d’oeuvres awaiting the announcement of the winners.

At the end of the night, all the money raised by the raffle was donated to the Fresh Start Women’s Foundation.

“Fresh Start is thrilled to partner with La Maison and Joe Ruggiero, and we are flattered to be receiving some of the proceeds tonight at this event,” Schade says.


View photos from the event on our Facebook!


For more information about Fresh Start Women’s Foundation or La Maison Interiors, respectively, visit wehelpwomen.com or lamaisonaz.com.

Arizona Bankers Association, Bankers Give Back - AZ Business Magazine November/December 2011

Arizona Bankers Association Impacts State’s Economy, Communities

Arizona Bankers Association Impacts State’s Economy, Communities

Ryan Suchala, Bank of Arizona, Arizona Bankers AssociationBank of Arizona President Ryan Suchala recognizes the importance of community.

“This is where we live, work and play and in many cases the city where we are shaping our families,” Suchala says. “As a father of three I give my time to better our community because this is where my boys will become men. Last year, Bank of Arizona employees spent close to 450 hours working in our community and I personally became a board member at Arizona Women Education and Employment.”

To show the Arizona banking industry’s impact on its communities, the Arizona Bankers Association (AzBA) produced a brochure titled “Arizona Banks Give Back.” The report provides a picture of the economic and charitable support the banking industry gives back to the communities it serves, and shows the influence banks have on Arizona’s economy.

Arizona Bankers Association is an organization with more than 70 members that works to create a unified voice and engage members in issues that affect the banking industry.

Lynne Herndon, city president at BBVA Compass“It’s clear the banking industry has been under a microscope the last few years,” says Lynne Herndon, city president of BBVA Compass. “We wanted to pull our information and be treated collectively as an industry to say we are looking to work with companies to help them with their financial needs.”

Arizona Bankers Association created the “Arizona Banks Give Back” survey in November 2010 to collect a variety of data from Arizona banks. The results were released in February 2011. The 12-page brochure includes statistical data that shows how banks provide financial and social stability in Arizona.

The banks that chose to participate in the survey felt that it provided a good opportunity to change the way people currently view banks. The biggest surprise to Paul Hickman, president and CEO of Arizona Bankers Association, was how high bank lending was in Arizona in 2010.

According to the survey results, Arizona banks lent $5.9 billion in new and renewed commercial loans, and more than $11 billion in new and renewed consumer loans in 2010.

“A lot of the feedback we’ve been getting is ‘Wow, I didn’t realize the volume of lending was that great in this economy,’” Hickman says.

The number is likely higher as only 35 AzBA-member institutions responded to the survey, which only represents 63 percent of the organization’s membership, and does not include information from non-member banks.

In today’s economy, banks are more cautious about lending, but the data proves that Arizona banks are continuing to lend to commercial businesses and consumers.

“We keep hearing banks won’t lend,” Hickman says. “But banks don’t make money if they don’t lend.”

Banks want to lend so they can pump money into Arizona’s economy.

Arizona banks provide direct loans to help the state government finance public improvements by improving water, sewer and public health facilities and by helping build schools.

Banks pay income tax to help support local communities as opposed to credit unions, which don’t pay federal income tax.

Arizona banks are also putting money into the economy by being a leading employer of local residents. Banks bring high-wage jobs to the local community, and employ more than 42,000 Arizonans.

Wells Fargo Bank was the fifth largest employer of Arizonans in 2010, and the average salary for an employee working at a bank was around $66,625 in 2010.

By providing jobs, banks provide a ripple effect in the community, because employees pay state taxes and are also consumers that put money back into local businesses.

Arizona banks are also doing more than just putting money into the economy. Members of Arizona banks are striving to aid their community through service.

According to the results from the Arizona Banks Give Back survey, bank employees donated 211,615 volunteer hours to community service in 2010, and donated $15.5 million to charitable and cultural organizations.

“Actions speak louder than words,” says Craig P. Doyle, Arizona regional president of Comerica Bank. “We get out and are active in making a difference in our communities. It’s better than just handing money out.”

To show their commitment to the communities they serve, Comerica employees work with nonprofits like Fresh Start Women’s Foundation, Homeward Bound, Junior Achievement, Sojourner Women’s Shelter, United Food Bank, Central AZ Shelter Services and many others.

An effort from Suchala and the Bank of Arizona helped improve literacy across the Valley.

“Last year, we hosted our annual Caring for Kids Book Drive and collected over 14,000 books for children and adults in our community,” Suchala says. “We educate with multiple employees teaching Junior Achievement programs and with educational programs to local school children. Our employees have worked together this past year sorting school supplies at the annual Salvation Army Pack to School Drive, serving food alongside Alice Cooper for the Cooperstown Christmas for Kids event and pounded nails at two Habitat for Humanity events.”

“These are good members of the community,” Hickman says. “These are people that are donating their money and time at philanthropies around the state and they’re trying hard to impart their discipline.”

Arizona banks participate in programs such as neighborhood revitalization, financial education and assistance for the underprivileged.

In 2008, Mohave State Bank created a program called “Junior Bankers.” Three years later, Mohave State bankers are still training children at Jamaica Elementary School in Lake Havasu about balancing accounts, taking deposits and bank rules. Volunteers meet each week with students before school. The program has expanded to three other elementary schools.

In 2010, the National Bank of Arizona donated one of its foreclosed homes in Glendale to Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona. The bank partnered with the organization to help renovate the property, and 118 people worked to build walls, paint and landscape the property.

Arizona banks are committed to helping the community both financially and through service, Hickman says.
“This industry is like the cardiovascular system of our economy and it needs to be robust and healthy,” Hickman says. “We don’t grow or recover without this industry.”

For more information about the Arizona Bankers Association, visit azbankers.org.

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Arizona Gives Back: By the Numbers

  • More than $5.9 billion distributed in commercial loans (new and renewed) in 2010
  • More than $11 billion distributed in consumer loans (new and renewed) in 2010
  • More than 1,300 banking center locations in Arizona
  • More than 42,000 people work for Arizona banks
  • $66,625 is the average bank employee salary

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Arizona Business Magazine November/December 2011

 

CFO of the Year Awards

CFO Of The Year Awards 2011 Finalists And Winners

The CFO of the Year Awards are given to professionals for outstanding performance in their roles as corporate financial stewards. This program provides many benefits to the business community by highlighting the important roles that financial executives play within the region. In addition to the awards, we’ll publish a special report that will accompany the November issue of Arizona Business Magazine.

Here are the CFO of the Year 2011 Finalists:

Karen M. Abraham

Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona

CFO of the Year Awards 2011 Finalists - AB Magazine November/December 2011Karen Abraham is responsible for providing direction and accountability regarding all financial matters at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona. That was evident as she helped the company’s revenue grow from $313 million when she took over as vice president of finance in 1997 to $1.5 billion as CFO today.
In addition to the revenue boost, Abraham provided the vision and leadership to partner with other BCBS plans to decentralize the infrastructure necessary to process transactions, which will save the company millions of dollars.
Along with her many achievements, Abraham was responsible for getting the BCBS Association requirement to obtain a rating from S&P. Because of this rating, Abraham implemented a change in how the organization is managed, specifically providing an additional discipline in the budgeting, forecasting and rating of its products.
Abraham is a member of the Ethics and Compliance Committee that wrote the book for the organization’s policies for the finance and purchasing departments and other parts of the organization. She sits on several community boards, including the YMCA Town Hall Board and the W.P. Carey School Finance Advisory Board.


Darryl Baker

Chief Financial Officer
iGo, Inc.

CFO of the Year Awards 2011 Finalists - AB Magazine November/December 2011Through his role as CFO, Darryl Baker has been instrumental in the revenue growth of iGo, Inc., a technology and consumer products company.
In the past year, Baker has boosted iGo’s product diversity by adding three new product categories, and has been instrumental in the acquisitions of Adapt Mobile and Aerial7, and teaming up with Pure Energy.
Baker is the driving force behind the iGo Code of Business Conduct and Ethics document, which he adheres to. In addition to this code, Baker leads iGo in an ethical manner and ensures that the financial reporting process is carried out smoothly to ensure the safeguarding of company assets.
As CFO, Baker is responsible for safeguarding company assets, maintaining its balance sheet, providing timely and accurate financial and operating performance reporting, implementing cost controls and reducing unnecessary expense, and forecasting and planning to ensure appropriate financing for the company’s business objectives.


Dan Behrendt

Chief Financial Officer
TASER International, Inc.

CFO of the Year Awards 2011 Finalists - AB Magazine November/December 2011Since 2004, Dan Behrendt has been revamping TASER International, Inc. in order to ensure success.
Behrendt successfully redesigned TASER’s warranty programs, leading to a $25 million increase in revenue. In addition to this redesign, he created key performance indicators for each company department. This process measures growth and ensures that the company is moving toward its goals.
During a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation, Behrendt made the decision to use an open door policy when others were against the idea. Because of his decision, after a 30 percent drop in revenue, TASER witnessed revenue growths of 42 percent and 47 percent the next two years.
In addition to his achievements, Behrendt oversees all aspects of corporate finance to make sure TASER is performing at the highest possible degree for its shareholders. He also runs the information technology department to ensure the company is being provided with the highest level of support and service.
In addition to building the company, Behrendt created the TASER Foundation for Fallen Officers as a way to give back to the community.


Karen Bretz

Vice President Finance
Fresh Start Women’s Foundation

CFO of the Year Awards 2011 Finalists - AB Magazine November/December 2011Karen Bretz relies on her unique ability of blending her analytical and creative mind to financially manage and grow Fresh Start Women’s Foundation.
Bretz refinanced the foundation’s main building, expanded a second site, and developed the thrift store initiative with ease. Since she became CFO, Fresh Start Women’s Foundation has received a clean audit. In addition, Bretz’s financial leadership led to the foundation’s first profitable year from operations since 2003.
She revised the employee handbook to make the company’s policies and practices more clear. Bretz also created an internal grievance committee to implement processes to identify and resolve client complaints and grievances.
Bretz is responsible for the management of foundation finances, along with support for the Finance Committee and the Board of Directors. She manages strategic initiatives, including job placement services, the development of a thrift store, and managing the facilities of both of the Women’s Resource Center buildings.


Thomas R. Castellanos

Chief Financial Officer
Valle del Sol Inc.

CFO of the Year Awards 2011 Finalists - AB Magazine November/December 2011In tough times for nonprofits and state-funded service providers, Valle del Sol is lucky to have Thomas Castellanos improving its finances.
By forming a Multiple Employer Welfare Association as a strategic cost reduction, Castellanos saved more than $600,000 in the group’s first year. Castellanos has been a change agent for Valle del Sol in order to achieve its goal of providing services to the underserved community. He focuses on the finance, accounting, facilities, and information technology side of the business. In the past year, four new clinics have opened and become licensed in Maricopa County with Castellanos’ assistance.
Castellanos created the idea of a chair of the board fund to address shortfalls in funding, given Arizona state budget cuts. This would allow services to be provided for AHCCCS recipients for a limited time until they could find coverage.
In addition to these achievements, Castellanos has increased Valle del Sol’s accountability by instituting internal controls within finance.


Mark D. Cavanaugh – Winner, Small Private Company

CFO of the YearSenior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Firetrace USA, LLC

CFO of the Year Awards 2011 Finalists - AB Magazine November/December 2011It’s been said that “without Mark Cavanaugh, Firetrace would cease to function.”
When Cavanaugh began working at Firetrace in 20005, the aerospace and defense business had $189,000 in revenue. In 2010, that amount rocketed to more than $64 million. Focusing on the industrial commercial markets, Cavanaugh has strategically grown operations to India, Dubai, Singapore, Australia, and, in 2011, Brazil.
Using his public policy efforts, Cavanaugh secured more than $100 million for fuel tank fire suppression and got fire suppression mandated for all military vehicles.
Leading the Firetrace team in the adoption of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and UK Bribery Act, Cavanaugh is safeguarding the company’s financial assets.
Cavanaugh has been instrumental in the growth of the aerospace and defense team by using the philosophy, “Hire the best people and get out of their way.”
Cavanaugh is active in the community, coaching youth soccer, baseball, softball and basketball.


Thomas B. Fischer

Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer
Express Messenger Systems, Inc. dba OnTrac

CFO of the Year Awards 2011 Finalists - AB Magazine November/December 2011Thomas Fischer provides leadership and coordination in OnTrac’s financial, business planning, accounting and budgeting efforts.
During Fisher’s tenure, revenues at the overnight package delivery company have increased more than 200 percent, stockholders’ equity has increased 200 percent, and long-term debt has decreased from 75 percent to 10 percent.
Fischer also has played a crucial role in defining and executing the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP.) The ESOP currently is worth more than $15 million for 550 active participants.
Fischer’s aptitude for budgeting, cost control principles and managing resources is critical to the company’s success. His abilities in contracting and negotiating have allowed OnTrac to grow and expand.
Fischer works with the regional management team to foster healthy relationships within the company. He also exhibits leadership by encouraging his team to think critically and promote an enriched personal and work atmosphere.
He is an avid runner and a member of a Tucson running club.


William “Bill” McClung – Winner, Non-Profit

CFO of the YearChief Financial Officer
Southwest Human Development, Inc.

CFO of the Year Awards 2011 Finalists - AB Magazine November/December 2011After just three years at Southwest Human Development, Bill McClung has helped the agency grow and improve. In the past three years, the company has seen a positive gain in net assets of more than $1.5 million.
This can be attributed to changes McClung made to budgeting, financial reporting and cost containment systems. In fiscal 2011. Southwest Human Development reported revenue in excess of $45 million. Budgeted revenue for fiscal 2012 is $53 million.
In preparation for the tri-annual federal review of Southwest Human Development’s largest program, Head Start, McClung and his team completely rewrote agency policies and procedures to meet federal requirements.
McClung has developed a top-of-the-line board of directors financial oversight committee and has made technological improvements, acting as the organization’s chief information officer. He has proven to be adept in preparing internal financial statements for management and the board of directors that enable them to better understand and manage finances at all levels.
Under his method of “leading by example,” the company has experienced almost no turnover in staff.


Steven L. Ortega

Chief Financial Officer
Leslie’s Poolmart LLC

CFO of the Year Awards 2011 Finalists - AB Magazine November/December 2011For the past six years, Steven Ortega has kept Leslie’s Poolmart functioning swimmingly.
Leading the company through the national economic downturn, Ortega has helped it achieve 47 straight years of sales growth and 47 quarters of consecutive operating profitability.
During Ortega’s tenure, the company has developed a comprehensive five-year strategic growth plan. This plan was created as a roadmap to achieve the company’s goal of growing to $1  billion in annual sales revenues.
Ortega was instrumental in a financial transaction with CVC Capital Partners to invest in the company, which helped provide capital structure. Since 2005, Ortega has opened 172 retail stores, 17 new commercial service centers, relocated 12 retail stores, and remodeled more than 200 stores. In addition, Ortega was a key part in two strategic company acquisitions that led to market growth in both Texas and Arizona.
Ortega provides strategic leadership in which he revamped the new store development process, enhanced the company’s compensation plans, and enhanced the review and approval process for all contracts and agreements.


Tanya Perry

Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Goodwill of Central Arizona

CFO of the Year Awards 2011 Finalists - AB Magazine November/December 2011Respected for her leadership, Perry has led Goodwill of Central Arizona to a new level of growth and success.
During her four-year tenure, Goodwill of Central Arizona has grown from 37 retail locations to 46. Along with retail growth, revenue has grown from $60.1 million to a projected $87 million.
Perry has been responsible for the stability, credibility, and overall effectiveness of the financial operations of the organization. Goodwill’s balance sheet has greatly improved, and debt balances have decreased from $22.3 million to $13.9 million.
Perry has created a financial culture that is focused on transparency, credibility (internally and externally), integrity, and a culture that is consultative, synergistic, supportive and advisory.
She was instrumental to the development of an innovative campaign called “Band Together to Spread Goodwill,” which features “Giving Bands” that are being sold at all Goodwill locations. Proceeds benefit nine different charities.


Kellie S. Pruitt

Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and Secretary
Healthcare Trust of America, Inc.

CFO of the Year Awards 2011 Finalists - AB Magazine November/December 2011Healthcare Trust of America (HTA) has been in business for just four years, and its seasoned leader, Kellie Pruitt, is steering it in the right direction.
During Pruitt’s tenure, the company increased its financial flexibility by obtaining a $575 million unsecured credit facility, and was assigned an investment grade credit rating by Moody’s and S&P. In the past two years, Pruitt and efforts by the management team have led to a $1.6 billion increase in equity. As CFO, Pruitt is responsible for managing HTA’s accounting, tax, and finance, treasury and investor relations functions. She established the company’s corporate headquarters and closed over $1.2 billion of acquisitions   has helped hire and train all the company’s employees with the CEO.
Pruitt is involved in all strategic operating and financial decisions, but also actively drives and monitors the results. Her leadership has been essential to leading the company through the recession, always with HTA’s financial health and the best interest of the company’s investors in mind.
Displaying the highest level of ethics, integrity and trust, Pruitt believes in transparency with employees, the board of directors, and investors. She always believes in doing the right thing, even if it isn’t the most popular decision.


Dena L. Richter

Chief Financial Officer
SynCardia Systems, Inc.

CFO of the Year Awards 2011 Finalists - AB Magazine November/December 2011By overseeing all financial activities of SynCardia, Dena Richter leads the company that manufactures the Total Artificial Heart that helps people who suffer from heart failure. Her roles as both CFO and HR Director allow her to utilize her talents as a financial director and employee mentor. Financial reporting, cash management and five regulatory audits per year are just a few of Richter’s extensive responsibilities. Her leadership ability resulted in the vertical integration of a supply chain with an $800,000 purchase of a supplier’s Segmented Polyurethane Solution (SPUS) reactor. Trinity Capital Investment’s confidence in Richter led to their approval of an additional leasing capacity of $2 million along with a $1 million investment in SynCardia’s Series E equity round. These are just a few of her financial accomplishments. Her fiscal management of the company has resulted in explosive growth and sales. SynCardia’s success through Richter’s example has increased product manufacturing, allowing a great number of people to receive the care their lives depend on.


Jack Seaver

Chief Financial Officer/Human Resources Manager
CCS Presentation Systems

CFO of the Year Awards 2011 Finalists - AB Magazine November/December 2011Jack Seaver’s fiscal actions help the company provide quality audio and video systems for clients such as Intel, Arizona State University and Ratheon. With 13 years of experience, Seaver plays an essential role in making CCS one of the largest A/V integrators in the United States. His collection policies put the company’s current accounts receivable percentage at 90.4 percent based on approximately $5 million in receivables. Due to his initiation of the American Express “Plum” Credit Card, CCS receives 2 percent cash credit for all payments made accordingly. Seaver’s unparalleled leadership style has the company recognized for having one of the best operational practices in the industry. Known as the “rock” of the company, his generosity always shines through. Whether making a personal donation to a struggling employee or raising money for the Red Cross and local charities, Seaver goes above and beyond his written responsibilities through selfless acts of kindness.


Andrew A. Stevens

Chief Financial Officer
Liberty Distribution Company, LLC

CFO of the Year Awards 2011 Finalists - AB Magazine November/December 2011As CFO and board member, Andrew Stevens is responsible for all financial aspects of Liberty Distribution, including financial reporting, treasury and risk management, investor relations, planning and analysis. As a crucial member of the company’s board, Stevens sets the strategic direction of the business while providing valuable feedback to the group. He works with sales to competitively price new account acquisition proposals, and significantly contributed to the acquisition of a competitor’s assets in 2008. Stevens seeks “balance” between risk and reward when analyzing opportunities, and is known by co-workers as both a leader and team player. His dedication to the success of Liberty Distribution does not hinder his commitment to service. Stevens has been an active member of organizations such as Childsplay, the America West Airlines Foundation and the University of Arizona Alumni Association. An active member of the church and the community, Stevens strives to bring people together through his discipline learned as a CPA.


Brian Swartz

Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Apollo Group, Inc.

CFO of the Year Awards 2011 Finalists - AB Magazine November/December 2011After previously joining the Apollo Group as vice president, corporate controller and chief accounting officer in 2007, Brian Swartz was appointed CFO two years later.
Swartz is recognized by the company for his influence on goals and performance. Despite a 40 percent decline in new enrollment, he helped Apollo maintain its fiscal strength. His review of the company’s cost structure resulted in the identification and reduction of more than $100 million in costs through operational initiatives. With the help of colleagues, Swartz spearheaded a comprehensive overhaul of the governance practices at Apollo after discovering a stock option backdating issue. His oversight of the “Apollo Excellence” program helps ensure business processes are streamlined and cost-efficient. These are just a few ways Swartz continues to contribute his expertise toward the company’s enormous success.
Stevens also is actively involved in the community through serving on the board of directors of the Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation and the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce.


Susan Sweeney

Chief Financial Officer
CyraCom International, Inc.

CFO of the Year Awards 2011 Finalists - AB Magazine November/December 2011As CFO of CyraCom International, a provider of language services for people with limited English proficiency, Susan Sweeney executes an extensive array of financial duties.
During her four-year tenure, Sweeney has accomplished an incredible amount for CyraCom. Under her guidance, the company doubled revenues to $37.4 million, and increased the earnings per share by 180 percent. The company also met all cost and revenue budgets for 41 of the past 42 months, with a staff that expanded from 248 employees to 600. Sweeney’s leadership helped increase CyraCom’s borrowing capacity from $1.5 million to $18 million, enabling its first acquisition. As a result of these successes, CyraCom was honored as the second-fastest growing company in Southern Arizona by the Arizona Daily Star, as well as listed in the Inc. 5,000 list of fastest growing companies for 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2011.
Sweeney’s grasp of cost-control and decision management has made her an admirable part of CyraCom’s team. Her personal interest in the well-being of employees has them continuing to hold a full suite of benefits.


Dan Urness – Winner, Public Company

CFO of the YearChief Financial Officer, Vice President and Treasurer
Cavco Industries, Inc.

CFO of the Year Awards 2011 Finalists - AB Magazine November/December 2011Dan Urness has led Cavco Industries to financial success.
He is responsible for IT functions, payroll, human resources oversight, corporate development work, as well as all financial affairs. More importantly, he has been highly influential in the company’s growth.
By providing innovative ideas into Fleetwood Homes’ and Palm Harbor Homes’ bid strategies, Cavco changed from a regional manufacturer to the second-largest national supplier, retailer, financier, and insurer of systems-built housing in the U.S.
During the 2008 economic market crisis, Urness demonstrated his valuable leadership by actively managing the company’s excess cash and investments to prevent that loss in value and liquidity that many other companies experienced. This proved critical when funding subsequent expansion.
By recognizing that the implementation of a company-wide enterprise resource planning IT system would be critical to future success, he worked closely with the IT department to identify and retain the chosen provider.
Urness volunteers as a youth leader in his free time.


Dale Wanek

Chief Financial Officer
Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix

CFO of the Year Awards 2011 Finalists - AB Magazine November/December 2011With 12 locations and growing, the Boy & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix relies on Dale Wanek to oversee the accounting, information technology, human resources, and facilities functions.
In his role, Wanek has worked with the organization to achieve many milestones. During his tenure, the organization has had yearly clean audits without discrepancies. His vendor negotiations have resulted in savings of $150,000 in the past year. The Boys & Girls Clubs also remodeled existing locations, and has undertaken an expansion plan for a dental clinic that is expected to be completed in 2012.
Wanek’s innovative approach to finance has helped establish new policies, such as fortifying the organization’s reserves to maintain a minimum of 90 days of cash on hand, and strengthening the business relationships in the community to solicit donations.
Wanek also helped secure a $10.8 million new construction loan to build three new clubhouses. The organization recognizes him as both an easygoing and engaging person with whom to work.


Steve Ward

Chief Financial Officer/Chief Operating Officer
Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS

CFO of the Year Awards 2011 Finalists - AB Magazine November/December 2011Steve Ward serves as both CFO and COO for the Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS, Arizona’s oldest and largest nonprofit AIDS organization.
Ward’s timely and effective tactics regarding finance have helped the agency excel during the economic crisis and beyond. By helping the agency with effective banking arrangements, it continues to have strong months of fundraising.
His ability to submit financial, operational, and qualitative program narrative data directly addresses grantor’s needs. The Southwest Center benefitted from Ward’s financial planning by receiving voter approval for $3.6 million in public funding to establish a community center.
He oversees a clinical trial program which previously lost $300,000 per year, but is now breaking even and growing in revenue thanks to his leadership.
Ward has been called an ambassador of collaborative, creative solutions among community partners. His popular “can-do” attitude and optimism have helped the agency become a critical outlet for those suffering from HIV/AIDS.


Margaret Wolford

Chief Financial Officer
Children’s Museum of Phoenix

CFO of the Year Awards 2011 Finalists - AB Magazine November/December 2011Margaret Wolford has assembled financial reporting systems and procedures that have advanced the Children’s Museum of Phoenix to an unparalleled level.
When her fiscal management began, the organization was staffed with a small operational planning group that oversaw $22 million in multi-year charitable gifts. After her influence and leadership, Wolford converted the museum’s systems to sophisticated management software.
The reporting systems she established advanced the museum to a level of efficiency many mature organizations have not yet seen. As a brand new museum, Wolford increased operational staff members from 12 to 85 in three weeks. The budget also skyrocketed to $3 million.
Aside from her museum duties, she is an activist working on issues of human understanding and world peace. She models both peaceful and humane behavior in the workplace, and embeds the principles of ethical practices into everything she does.


Michael Zimmerman – Winner, Large Private Company

CFO of the YearChief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President
The Go Daddy Group, Inc.

CFO of the Year Awards 2011 Finalists - AB Magazine November/December 2011Under the financial supervision of Michael Zimmerman, the Go Daddy Group is the world’s No. 1 domain name registrar and largest Web hosting company.
Responsible for financial reporting, budgeting, forecasting, as well as daily financial affairs, Zimmerman has taken the initiative as a true leader over the past 10 years. He was instrumental in managing a financial deal with other investors worth more than $2 billion. Amid the economic recession, Go Daddy earned double-digit growth, thanks to Zimmerman’s relentless approach with financial tracking.
Under his leadership, Go Daddy also increased sales by 21 percent, added a new facility and hired 400 employees. Zimmerman also oversees Go Daddy Cares, which donated more than $4.7 million in 2011, surpassing previous contributions.
After negotiating a partnership with the “.co” domain name that resulted in a Super Bowl commercial, the marketing strategy generated more than a 500 percent spike in domain name sales.
Zimmerman shows commitment to doing the right thing with each decision he makes, and is known as a “down-to-Earth and appreciative person.”

Arizona Business Magazine November/December 2011

 

 

CB Richard Ellis Clothing Drive

CBRE Drive Nets 3,900 Articles Of Professional Clothing For Unemployed Job Seekers

CBRE collected more than 3,900 articles of professional clothing to donate to jobless people seeking employment in a Phoenix clothing drive held from Aug. 15-26.

“Business attire is one of those things most of us take for granted — until we don’t have it when we need it,” says Craig Henig, CBRE’s senior managing director. “It has truly been our privilege to be able to make a significant difference in the lives of these displaced workers by helping them get back on their feet and back to work through the donation of thousands of suits, ties, slacks and blouses.”

Local employees of the company, as well as 18 CBRE-managed buildings in Phoenix and their tenants, participated in the event, called PurSUIT of Success. CBRE donated the clothing to Fresh Start Women’s Foundation and St. Joseph the Worker.

Fresh Start is a non-profit organization that helps to build women’s self-sufficiency and self-esteem. St. Joseph the Worker helps homeless and low-income people become independent though good employment.

“The PurSUIT of Success provided our job seeking clients much more than clothing,” says Amy Caffarello, executive director of St. Joseph the Worker. “It provided positive transformations of self-image, allowing them to gain confidence and pride, two things very necessary for a successful job search.

“CBRE went above and beyond by not only filling our clothing-closet shelves but saving the organization valuable time by delivering pre-sorted, pressed, ready-to-wear clothing which we could quickly get to our clients.”

“Fresh Start is so thankful to CBRE for this clothing drive,” added Barbara Ralston, CEO of Fresh Start Women’s Foundation. “Our self-esteem center wardrobes women every week for upcoming job interviews and court appearances; it is a major part of the services we provide to women.

“We were overwhelmed with the amount of business clothing that came to Fresh Start from the PurSUIT of Success and look forward to utilizing every piece for the ladies at Fresh Start.”

 

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CBRE

www.cbre.com

Fresh Start Women’s Foundation

phoenix.wehelpwomen.com

St. Joseph the Worker

www.sjwjobs.org

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