Tag Archives: gilbert

Gehan Bridges at Gilbert

Texas homebuilder makes its East Valley debut

Gehan Homes, a Dallas-based homebuilder, announced the grand opening of its third community in Arizona, Palazzo at The Bridges, in the new Bridges at Gilbert master-planned community located at the southeast corner of Higley and Queen Creek roads. Two model homes are open at 3625 E. Cassia Lane in Gilbert, where move-up homebuyers can see the six new Palazzo floor plans and 18 new front elevations that are exclusive to Gehan Homes’ Gilbert community.

Homebuyers can choose from 72 homesites with energy-efficient floor plans ranging from 2,397 to 4,312 sq. ft. Each modern home will feature 10-foot ceilings, eight-foot interior doors, maple kitchen cabinetry, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, great rooms, flex rooms and three-car split or four-car garages with a variety of options, including snail showers, game rooms, pocket offices, media rooms, walk decks and outdoor kitchens. In addition, energy-saving construction, such as R-38 attic insulation and radiant barrier roofing makes owning a Gehan Home a luxurious and smart choice. Architectural styles include Ranch, Spanish and Prairie. Prices start at $349,000.

“We knew early on that our expansion to Arizona would include a community in metro Phoenix’s East Valley,” said Tim Gehan, CEO of Gehan Homes. “It’s exciting to see how the East Valley’s housing market has rebounded and discerning homebuyers are reinvigorated by the variety of lifestyle features they find at The Bridges at Gilbert. It’s really the perfect fit for our Palazzo designs, which provide open floor plans, flexible spaces, family-friendly amenities and stylish exteriors.”

Located within the highly-rated Higley Unified School District, The Bridges at Gilbert master-planned community is already receiving accolades for its features, which include a lake, community splash pad, amphitheaters, play structures, parks, trails and waterfalls. The growing mecca of San Tan Village is only minutes away, offering premier shopping, dining and nightlife. In addition, living at The Bridges means easy access to the Loop 202 and Loop 101 Freeways and Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.

One of the top 30 builders in the U.S., Gehan Homes first entered the Arizona market in April, with the grand opening of its Hacienda at Greer Ranch community in Surprise. The Texas homebuilder opened its second Valley community, Vista Pointe in The Village at Vistancia, in Peoria in August. Similar upscale homes will be built in the Palm Valley community by the end of 2013.

For information about Gehan Homes’ Palazzo at the Bridges, call (480) 621-8786 or visit www.gehanhomes.com.

maracay

Maracay Homes Opens 14th New Community for 2013

Maracay Homes celebrates the opening of two new East Valley neighborhoods at the Bridges of Gilbert master-planned community in Gilbert this month, where all-new floor plans with thoughtfully designed features await buyers eager to purchase a home in one of metro Phoenix’s most popular residential areas.

Prospective buyers are invited to virtually tour Arch Crossing at Bridges at Gilbert and Trestle Place at Bridges at Gilbert at www.MaracayHomes.com. Models also will be open for in-person tours starting from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, September 28th, at the neighborhoods, located on Ocotillo Road, east of Higley Road.

With its abundant recreation paths, neighborhood parks and family-friendly amenities, The Bridges at Gilbert is the perfect setting to showcase Maracay Homes’ New Arizona Living Collection of all-new contemporary home designs featuring more convenience, connectivity and choices. Arch Crossing offers six one- and two-story designs from the Insignia Collection, ranging from 1,980 to 3,769 square feet. A broad selection of features, such as spacious great rooms for centralized gatherings, walk-in kitchen pantries for additional storage and a secret passageway from the master closet to the laundry room, anticipate the lifestyles of today’s buyers. Bonus suites, 3-car garages, wrap-around porches and more, depending on the plan, complete the layouts.

Maracay Homes’ Trestle Place neighborhood at The Bridges at Gilbert, meanwhile, features one- and two-story plans from the New Arizona Living Collection’s popular Hallmark Collection. Front courtyards, expansive great rooms, walk-in pantries, bonus/teen/game rooms, generation suites and casitas, Jack-n-Jill bathrooms, 3- and 4-car garages and more, depending on the plan, are available in these spacious homes, which range from 2,302 to 4,152 square feet.

Home plans – which buyers can customize according to their individual needs using Maracay Homes’ FlexDesign® options – have been created with residents’ needs in mind. Each home in these two Gilbert new home communities are ENERGYSTAR® certified and built according to Maracay Homes’ LivingSmart® program for maximum performance and cost efficiency.

Arch Crossing and Trestle Place at The Bridges at Gilbert are among 11 new-home communities Maracay Homes is opening throughout Arizona this year, and are expected to be welcome additions to the East Valley new homes landscape. With easy access to both the Loop 202 San Tan and Superstition freeways, The Bridges at Gilbert community is within easy driving distance of a wide variety of shopping, entertainment and employment opportunities.

For more information or to schedule a tour, please contact Maracay Homes sales representative Shelly Miller at 480-458-7160.

Todd Hatch

Washington Federal hires local talent

Washington Federal has announced that Todd Hatch has joined the bank as assistant vice president/regional sales manager. With over 14 years in corporate banking, he brings extensive experience to his new position, including a strong background specializing in the financing of transportation and construction equipment.

In his new role, Hatch will oversee equipment finance business development in a variety of markets, including healthcare, transportation, manufacturing and heavy commercial equipment.

Hatch received his bachelor’s degree in Spanish with minor in Latin American literature from Brigham Young University.

He is a Gilbert resident.

stem.cell

Celebration Stem Cell Centre Attains Accreditation

Celebration Stem Cell Centre (CSCC), a hybrid public and private umbilical cord blood bank, stem cell contract manufacturer, and stem cell research facility, announced that it has obtained AABB Accreditation, which demonstrates CSCC’s commitment to quality and assures that the highest quality of cellular therapy products are manufactured at CSCC.

The AABB Accreditation process strives to improve the quality and safety of collecting, processing, testing, distributing and administering blood and cellular therapy products. The program consists of a comprehensive assessment of the quality and operational systems in place within the facility on the basis of standards, Code of Federal Regulations and federal guidance documents.

“Attainment of the AABB Accreditation reinforces Celebration Stem Cell Centre’s expertise as one of the leading facilities for cord blood stem cell research, processing, and storage.  Additionally, it accentuates our commitment to providing the highest quality cell therapy products” said Sherry Lund, Founder of CSCC.  “This accreditation coupled with the expertise of our Medical Director, Jeffery Schriber, M.D., F.R.C.P. and our new Laboratory Director, Todd R. Flower, Ph.D., we are positioned to expand our services and become one of the leading adult stem cell facilities.”

Dr. Jeffery Schriber has over 20 years of experience in stem cell transplantation. In addition to serving as the CSCC Medical Director, he is a former Assistant Professor of Medicine at Roswell Park Cancer Institute and is currently the Medical Director of the Cancer Transplant Institute at the Virginia Piper Cancer Center in Scottsdale. He has published extensively in the field and has been involved in numerous research studies in the field of transplantation. He is a past member of the American Society of Bone Marrow Transplant board of directors and is a current member of the Advisory Council on Blood Stem Cell Transplantation.

Dr. Todd R. Flower has 10 years of experience in stem cells and stem cell banking.  In addition to serving as the Laboratory Director for CSCC he is a former Professor of Biology and Natural and Applied Sciences, served as the Laboratory Director for 2 other stem cell banking and research facilities, and performed numerous research studies.

“Congratulations to Celebration Stem Cell Centre in its steadfast pursuit of the distinguished AABB designation. This accreditation is a testament to CSCC’s ongoing commitment to best practices and excellence within their field of work. We are thrilled to have innovative science and technology firms like CSCC in our community!” said Gilbert, Arizona Mayor John W. Lewis.

sex

Valley doctors seek women for clinical trial

Two East Valley doctors are working with Radiant Research to conduct a stage III clinical trial that will assess an investigational treatment for Female Orgasmic Disorder (FOD). Women experiencing FOD typically have trouble achieving a satisfying completion during sexual intimacy despite adequate arousal. Recent studies show that as many as one in four women are affected by this condition; however, there are currently no FDA-approved treatments for FOD.

Dr. Debra Wickman, Co-Founder of SHE, Sexual Health Experts in Gilbert, along with Dr. Randall Severance, Principal Investigator for Radiant Research, will be testing an intranasal testosterone gel that aims to treat FOD on an as-needed basis. SHE, part of the MomDoc family of practices, is the only clinic dedicated to sexual health in Arizona. Radiant Research is a comprehensive research company supporting the biopharmaceutical, medical device and consumer products industries. They have conducted more than 8,900 clinical and consumer trials.

For this clinical trial, researchers are seeking women between the ages of ages 18 – 65, who are generally healthy, in a sexually active relationship and have not experienced an orgasm in the past six months.   The trial will be conducted at SHE, which is located at 1760 East Pecos Road (Suite 516), Gilbert, AZ 85295. Participants may be eligible for compensation.  For more information, call 866-429-3707. The SHE clinic is unique in its focus on the mind-body connection.  A gynecologist and clinical psychologist team to diagnose and treat sexual health.

Dr. Debra Wickman is a gynecologist certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. After several years in private practice she completed a post graduate fellowship in Female Sexual Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is a certified menopause practitioner and has experience in prescribing hormone therapy and treating problems related to aging, menopause and sexual concerns.

Dr. Shannon Chavez is a licensed clinical psychologist with a certification in the diagnosis and treatment of sexual disorders. She completed her post-doctoral Fellowship at the Institute for Sexual Health in Beverly Hills, California where she worked with individuals and couples dealing with sexual compulsive behavior ad sexual health concerns.

SHE joins other practices under the MomDoc umbrella: Drs. Goodman and Partridge, OB/GYN in the valley for over thirty years; MomDoc Women for Women, a practice with all female providers; Healthy Pregnancy Perinatology, specializing in high risk pregnancy; Mi Doctora, a fully Spanish speaking women’s healthcare practice; MomDoc Midwives, where midwives provide excellent hospital based deliveries.

 

 

Banner Good Samaritan

E.V. residents can preview Banner Health Center

East Valley residents and visitors can be among the first to see the new Banner Health Center at a free “Community Preview” from 8 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 3, at the center located at 1435 S. Alma Road, south of the Loop 202 between West Pecos and West Germann Roads.

Participants can hear the opening remarks and join in the dedication at 8:30 a.m., followed by a celebration including healthy snacks, giveaways, children’s activities and information about Banner Health facilities and services. Community members are invited to meet the center’s primary care physicians and staff, tour the new center, and even make an appointment to see a physician.

Banner Health Center in Chandler will open for patient care on Wednesday, Aug. 7 starting at 7 a.m. Staff physicians will include two pediatricians, three family medicine physicians and one internal medicine physician with plans to increase in the future. Along with 18 exam rooms, basic imaging and laboratory services are also available on site for added patient convenience.

Banner Health Centers accept most insurance plans. The center will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday with same day and next day appointments available. Concierge staff answers the phones one hour before and one hour after center hours. To schedule an appointment or for more information, call (480) 668-1600.

The center will offer a wide range of services including:
·         Well-child checkups and immunizations
·         Adult physcials
·         Care for chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and asthma
·         Treatment for ear aches, sore throats and infections
·         Sports injury and fracture care
·         Minor skin irritation treatment
·         Cuts and suture removal

The Banner Health Center in Chandler is the third of four in the East Valley to open after a shared groundbreaking on Oct. 25, 2012. Banner Health Center in Queen Creek opened May 1; a center in Gilbert opened May 22 and another will open in East Mesa in early September. An additional Banner Health Center opened in Goodyear within the planned community of Estrella on July 10, joining the existing Banner Health Centers in Peoria/Sun City West, Surprise, Buckeye in the Verrado Community, Maricopa, and South Loveland, CO.

Banner Good Samaritan Hospital

Banner Health Center preview on June 29

West Valley residents can tour the new Banner Health Center in Goodyear from 8 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 29.The Center is designed to support high quality, convenient health care for the entire family.

Attendees will hear remarks by Banner Medical Group CEO Jim Brannon and Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord at 8:30 a.m., followed by a celebration including food, tours, giveaways, children’s activities and information about Banner Health facilities and services. Community members are invited to meet physicians and staff and even make an appointment.

“We want to become part of the fabric of the community by becoming the medical home residents look to for help in keeping their families healthy,” said Jim Brannon, chief executive officer of Banner Medical Group. “This Banner Health Center is designed to provide primary care to the entire family in one space. We want it to be the place you would choose for prevention, wellness, basic and complex medical care and the advice you need to thrive with chronic health conditions.”

At opening on July 10, staff physicians will include family practitioners and pediatricians. Banner Health Centers accept most insurance plans. The Center will be open extended hours from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Same-day appointments will also be available. Laboratory and X-ray services are also on-site.

Banner Health Center in Estrella will also be the gateway to the incredibly comprehensive services offered throughout Banner Health system, including Banner Estrella Medical Center and specialty facilities such as Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center, Cardon Children’s Medical Center and Banner Concussion Center.

This location at 9780 South Estrella Parkway joins the existing Banner Health Centers offering health care where you want it and how you want it in Gilbert, Queen Creek, Surprise, Verrado and Maricopa, Ariz. as well as South Loveland, Colo. For more information on the Banner Health Center in Estrella, visit www.BannerHealth.com/HealthCenterEstrella.

volunteer

SRP Donates $94,500 to Nonprofit Agencies

Salt River Project employees are turning their volunteer hours into much-needed funds for the nonprofit organizations they assist through the SRP Dollars for Doers program.

The program contributes funds, ranging from $250 to $1,000, directly to community nonprofits based upon the number of volunteer hours donated during the 2012 calendar year by SRP employees. The grant program is designed to provide funding to nonprofit agencies that are also supported by the volunteer efforts of SRP employees.

“SRP has a distinct heritage built upon responding to the needs of our customers and the communities in which they live, and we recognize the value of providing support to organizations whose programs are improving the lives of our community,” said Jen Martyn who manages the SRP Volunteer Program.

SRP donated $94,500 to 106 nonprofit agencies in which 141 SRP employees donated more than 29,000 hours of their time and experience in cities throughout the Valley, including Avondale, Camp Verde, Casa Grande, Chandler, Douglas, El Mirage, Gilbert, Glendale, Higley, Litchfield Park, Mesa, Page, Peoria, Phoenix, Pine Top, Queen Creek, San Tan Valley, Scottsdale, St. Johns, Tempe and Tolleson and Tucson.

Employees contributed to their community in a number of ways, including:

· coaching youth football, baseball, soccer and swimming,
· providing children with special needs horse therapy rides,
· ushering during arts and cultural events,
· preparing meals for those in need,
· mentoring and providing leadership to youth and
· assisting schools through parent-teacher organizations and booster clubs.

GPEC Forum

GPEC hosts forum with 4 new companies

On May 29, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) will host a forum featuring some of its locates, or businesses that GPEC and its partners have assisted in expanding or relocating to the Greater Phoenix region.
The companies, who have relocated or expanded from Minnesota, New York, Canada and the Netherlands, will discuss their decision to establish a presence in Greater Phoenix and their experiences since locating to the region.
The forum is part of GPEC’s ongoing ambassador event series.  Ambassadors are GPEC investors who help educate and inform stakeholders, policy-makers, citizens and media about key regional economic development issues.

FEATURED LOCATES INCLUDE:

Dalsin Industries:  Founded in Minnesota in 1945, Dalsin Industries has grown into a full-service job shop and contract manufacturer, specializing in sheet-metal fabrication and metal stamping. The company opened a new facility in Phoenix in December 2012.

Silent-Aire: A Canada-based, privately held family enterprise, Silent-Aire has been designing and manufacturing custom HVAC systems for more than 20 years, shipping its products all over the globe. Silent-Aire located in Gilbert in April 2013.

STEALTH Software: STEALTH Software is a Dutch-based software development company specializing in seamlessly and securely integrating applications and storage infrastructure. In February, STEALTH announced it will locate its U.S. headquarters in Greater Phoenix.

ZocDoc: ZocDoc, founded in New York in 2007, is a free service that allows patients to find a nearby doctor or dentist who accepts their insurance and to instantly book an appointment. In March, ZocDoc announced its plans to locate to Scottsdale.

Kitty_Plumbing_02

Maloney-Langmade becomes leader of men

There are not many people in the world who can say they are a licensed plumber, have an MBA in International Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management, and are a mother to three daughters, ages 7, 11 and 12.

Kathryn “Kitty” Maloney-Langmade can make those claims.

The president of W.J. Maloney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling leads a vibrant plumbing contracting company in a male-dominated industry. Some of her company’s recent projects include the new Chicago Cubs spring training complex in Mesa, the Veteran’s Administration Southeast Healthcare Clinic in Gilbert, Phase IV of CityScape Phoenix, a major solar thermal project at the University of Arizona in Tucson, and the Sky Train Project at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Az Business magazine caught up with Maloney-Langmade — whose company won consecutive Best of the Best Awards for safety from SCF Arizona — for a Q&A.

How did you get into the plumbing business?
My father and mother started W.J. Maloney Plumbing in 1964.  I grew up in and around the business. My dad was always working in the field and my mother performed the bookkeeping. Upon returning from my honeymoon, I learned my mother’s secretary had left the company.  My mother asked me to come to the plumbing shop to help her out with payroll and I never left.

Are there any aspects of the industry that are made more difficult because you are a woman?
Growing up, I always heard and learned about construction but I was not in the field with my father.  Often times, I wish I had the mechanical, hands-on expertise and years of experience that my father had.  To carry on his tradition of quality workmanship, I have had to surround myself with key people who have the same mechanical skill that he possessed.

Are there any benefits to being a woman in a male-dominated industry?
My experience is that both men and women in construction go out of their way to be supportive, kind, courteous and helpful.  People want me to succeed.  They know construction is a tough road.  I am lucky to have received good advice and help.

What has been your biggest challenge?
Turning the company around during difficult times.  We were in a pattern of winning work and doing jobs, but were losing money. Meeting and listening to my key foremen who have been with the company for years, I was able to learn and understand changes that needed to happen. I was able to get the company moving in the right direction when I put together a solid leadership team.  We are now able to estimate, win and perform good work.  We have a great team in place now and the momentum continues to build and grow.

Heliae Algae

Valley algae company develops beauty products

Heliae, a Gilbert-based algae technology company, and The Clarecastle Group announced today that they have entered into a strategic partnership to bring novel algae-based products to the health and beauty industry. The partnership pairs a leader in algae science and production technology with a seasoned consortium of personal care and beauty industry executives with a track record of bringing innovative products to market.

Heliae’s technology platform, Volaris™, offers the next generation of product innovation and customization to the health and beauty industry. Combined with a world-class algae science team and a robust library of species, Heliae is forging a path to a novel category of sustainable marine ingredients for cosmetics and personal care.

“There are over one hundred thousand strains of algae on the planet, each with a different product profile,” said Heliae President and CEO, Dan Simon. “Until now, the industry has barely scratched the surface with algae as a feedstock. Linking Heliae’s technology with the industry experience of Clarecastle is an opportunity to bring algae to the forefront of the cosmetics world.”

“We’ve watched algae with interest, but Heliae is offering a true differentiator,” said Robert Phillips, managing director of The Clarecastle Group. “The concept of a sustainable marine ingredient that is natural, customized, and grounded in sound science is one which will endure. We are eager to work with Heliae – there is no better technology partner to enable this novel ingredient category.”

A firm comprised of former cosmetic and personal care industry executives, The Clarecastle Group boasts a century of collective relevant expertise in designing, formulating, branding and launching novel cosmetic and personal care products.

“We are thrilled to have Clarecastle as a strategic partner,” said Paula Simpson, nutricosmetics expert and health & beauty advisor to Heliae. “Heliae has the science and product development ability, but Clarecastle brings a market understanding which will help connect passionate demand with the next generation of sustainable ingredients. This is a powerful partnership for the industry.”

homes

Shea Homes reports steady sales for Q1

Shea Homes saw its sales hold steady through the first quarter of 2013, with its West Valley communities seeing higher than normal sales. Close to two thirds of the sales for Q1 came from Shea’s West Valley communities in Peoria, Buckeye, and Litchfield Park, which is a turn from the boom of its East Valley communities.

“Our overall traffic is up and sales have remained steady from last year, which was a huge recovery over 2011,” said Ken Peterson, VP of Sales and Marketing for Shea Homes. “We have seen hot spots in the West Valley- specifically our luxury homes at Vista Montaña in Peoria, where home prices have averaged $600,000.”

Shea’s two newest product lines, luxury homes and luxury villas, have shown tremendous growth so much so that an additional 23, out of a total of 43 homesites, were opened at Vista Montaña II earlier this year and the luxury villas are being expanded to a new community breaking ground in Verrado later this summer. The new community, called Vallarta at Verrado, will feature 63 homesites with luxury villa floor plans similar to Shea’s Vistancia community; Caletas at Blackstone.

Shea has been active in the East Valley as well, specifically San Tan Valley and Gilbert, where its innovative product SPACES at Evans Ranch has only one inventory home left. Evans Ranch was opened in May 2012 and has sold out ahead of projections. Shea Homes is currently building 9 models at Marbella Vineyards opening late-summer and getting ready to break ground for models at their Bridges communities in Gilbert. With close to 500 lots soon available and showcasing a completely new approach to homebuilding Shea Homes continues to challenge industry standards.

“Our homes at Marbella will be something the Valley has never seen before in homebuilding, it will completely redefine the concept of how the industry has built homes in the past,” said Peterson. “This summer will be an exciting one for us.”

volunteer

11 SRP Employees Honored for Volunteer Work

In recognition of the invaluable contribution of their time, efforts and expertise to their communities, 11 SRP employee volunteers were awarded the SRP Presidents’ Volunteer Spirit Awards. These dedicated employees have given countless hours of their time to help families put food on their tables; provide guidance to Latino youths as they prepare for college and give children with special needs horse therapy rides.

“Each year SRP recognizes inspiring employee volunteers who give of their time to helping Arizonans through a wide variety of community organizations,” said Rosemary Gannon, manager of SRP Community Outreach, who added that SRP employees and retirees, with help from their friends and families, donate thousands of volunteer hours a year to their communities. “Strong, thriving communities rely on the volunteer efforts of individuals like these recipients.”

This year, in addition to the SRP Presidents’ Volunteer Spirit Award, SRP employee Kyle Bridges was honored with the Karl F. Abel Volunteer Recognition Award for his sustained leadership role in addressing significant human service needs in his community. The late Karl F. Abel, a Glendale resident who served as president of SRP from 1972 to 1982, was a strong community advocate and  provided volunteer leadership to numerous organizations.

The 2013 SRP Presidents’ Volunteer Spirit Award honorees and the nonprofits they assist are:

Chandler resident Holly Schaefer – AZ Happy Tails Animal Rescue
Holly Schaefer is a founding member of AZ Happy Tails Animal Rescue, which was established in 2009 to rescue and find loving homes for animals that are stray, abandoned or at risk of euthanasia. To date, AZ Happy Tails has rescued and found homes for more than 400 animals. Schaefer is responsible for all animal intake and adoption decisions, and she coordinates with foster homes to supply them with food and bedding and help with any other needs they may have.

Gilbert resident Barbara Sprungl – The Centers for Habilitation (TCH)
The Centers for Habilitation (TCH) provides promotes independence for Arizonans with developmental and physical disabilities. In 2010, Barbara Sprungl joined TCH’s board of directors, and she volunteers more than 20 hours a month. She chairs the Fund Development Committee and is vice chair of the Finance, Governance and Executive committee. She volunteers for fundraising events and helps with everything from setup and operation to planning. Sprungl implemented a new formal fundraising model and trained the rest of the board on the new approach. In 2012, she raised $12,500 for the Monster Mash Sponsorship Committee.

Glendale resident David Larson – Cactus High School Robotics Team
The Cactus High School Robotics Team is experienced in building, maintaining and operating robots. David Larson has been a mentor and coach since 2009 and volunteers an average of 67 hours a month. Because of his time investment, the robotics team has shown dramatic improvement. Larson readies the team for FIRST Robotics competition and this year they built a robot that plays basketball. Larson also holds workshops for welding, tube and wire soldering, painting, and many other skills. He also started a safety program, complete with a study guide and an exam for the program.

Mesa resident Kyle Tilghman – American Youth Soccer Organization — Region 1079
The American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) provides soccer programs for children ages 4–19 and Region 1079 is the largest soccer program in the East Valley. The region is run completely by volunteer coaches and referees, and a number of volunteers dedicate a lot of time to securing soccer fields and marketing the organization. Kyle Tilghman has been a volunteer coach with AYSO’s Region 1079 since 2006. Six years ago, he was volunteering three hours a month, but over the years, he has taken on more responsibilities. In addition to coaching and refereeing, he serves as the coach administrator for the region.

Peoria resident John Buonagurio – Theater Works
Theater Works is a nonprofit performing arts organization that has been serving Peoria and the West Valley for more than 25 years. John Buonagurio is a volunteer of nearly three years and is chairman of the board. He also serves on the Governance, Development and Artistic committees. It has been a challenging time for Theater Works, like many other arts organizations, as support at all levels has waned because of the recession. Buonagurio’s leadership over the past few years has brought continuity to Theater Works during a time of change and challenges.

Peoria resident Mark Burkhart – St. Mary’s Food Bank  Alliance
St. Mary’s Food Bank alleviates hunger by gathering and distributing food to  two-thirds of Arizona’s 15 counties and is committed to volunteerism, building community relationships and improving the quality of life for Arizonans in need. Mark Burkhart has planned and managed a golf tournament that raises between $10,000 and $15,000 annually. Burkhart is dedicated to St. Mary’s and knows that every dollar he raises means seven meals for the hungry. In the 10 years he has been coordinating the golf tournament, he has helped St. Mary’s serve more than 900,000 meals.

Peoria resident Jim Custis – Joni and Friends Arizona
Joni and Friends Arizona works with local churches and organizations to form outreach programs for those who face the daily challenge of life with a disability. For the past six years, Jim Custis has been fundraising for the organization’s Family Retreat program, which provides a respite for families affected by disabilities. Custis and his family have raised more than $20,000 and spend about 15 hours a month volunteering with Joni and Friends and one week of vacation every summer serving families affected by disabilities.

Peoria resident Christopher Rodriguez – AGUILA Youth Leadership Institute
AGUILA Youth Leadership Institute prepares Latino/Latina youth, beginning as high school freshmen, for college admissions and graduation. Christopher Rodriguez fundraises, serves on the board of advisors and uses his bilingual skill to help Spanish-speaking parents understand the benefits of AGUILA and the importance of higher education for their children. He’s also a mentor, helping these students pursue their goals of higher education. Rodriguez is dedicated to this program because he knows many of the youth who attend AGUILA will be the first in their families to attend college.

Phoenix resident Shari Brady – Arizona FIRST Lego League
Arizona FIRST Lego League (FLL) is a robotics program for students ages 9–14 that promotes science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) projects. Shari Brady began volunteering when she was an ASU student and continues to volunteer about 17 hours a week. She serves on the Advisory Committee, which plans regional tournaments and helps develop volunteer recruiting strategies. This year, the tournament was expanded to include remote northern Arizona teams, allowing a number of school teams from Native American communities to participate without long travel times to tournament venues.

San Tan Valley resident Kyle Bridges – Epic Food Mission
Epic Food Mission provides hope, help and support to families facing financial difficulty in the Queen Creek/San Tan Valley area. Every first and third Saturday of the month, Epic Food Mission provides food boxes, baby food and personal hygiene items for distribution to those in need. For five years, Kyle Bridges has volunteered with Epic Food Mission, serving as the organization’s distribution coordinator. He is responsible for organizing 50 volunteers and six team leaders to prepare hundreds of care packages for families. Bridges donates 50 hours of his time each month. For the past three years, he has also found time to volunteer with Compassion Connect, which helps unite and mobilize local churches, nonprofits, schools, and businesses to provide free dental and medical care for underserved populations.

San Tan Valley resident Marty Sonnenberg – Angel Acres Inc.
Angel Acres Inc. is a program created by Marty Sonnenberg in 2003, successfully combining her love of working with special-needs children with her love of working with horses. Every year from October through May, Sonnenberg and other volunteers teach grooming and horse therapy riding as part of a six-week program. During that time, Sonnenberg donates nearly 90 hours a month to keep program costs low and allow all the funds raised to go directly to the program. To date, the program has helped more than 446 children and given more than 2,680 therapy rides.

pharmaceuticals

Arizona bioscience job growth outpaces nation

Arizona’s bioscience sector added jobs at nearly four times the national rate over the past decade and experienced double-digit job growth during the economic recovery, a new report shows.

Since Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap was launched in 2002, Arizona’s bioscience jobs have increased by 45 percent to 99,018 in 2011. Nationally, the growth rate during this time was 12 percent. While hospitals dominate Arizona’s bioscience jobs, the state’s non-hospital subsectors grew 14 percent in 2011 alone.  During the economic recovery years of 2009-11, the state’s bioscience jobs increased 11 percent while there was no gain across the state’s private sector.

The new performance analysis of Arizona’s bioscience sector, commissioned by the Flinn Foundation, also found that the number of bioscience establishments in Arizona continues to grow faster than the national average and bioscience wages in the state are outpacing those in other private-sector industries.

The 10th-annual study, released Feb. 5 by the Battelle Technology Partnership Practice, did reveal funding challenges for the state.  In 2012, Arizona fell to its lowest venture capital investment level since 2009 and suffered a drop in National Institutes of Health funding while the top-10 funded states advanced.

“Arizona’s bioscience sector continues to significantly outperform the nation in terms of job and establishment growth and has made impressive gains in building a more concentrated industry base,” said Walter Plosila, senior advisor to the Battelle Technology Partnership Practice.  “However, more attention must be paid to academic research performance and venture capital investment to continue the trend in years to come.”

Plosila added that progress has been made over the past decade on all 19 actions recommended by Battelle in 2002, including substantial progress on nine.

The Roadmap was launched in 2002 as a long-range plan to make the state’s bioscience sector globally competitive. The Roadmap was commissioned by the Phoenix-based Flinn Foundation, which committed to 10 years of major funding of Arizona biosciences and formed a network of committees involving statewide experts to implement its recommendations.

There was also a major increase in bioscience establishments, rising 31 percent since 2002 to 892 firms, which is above the national growth rate of 23 percent.

Bioscience jobs in Arizona pay an average salary of $56,328, or 28 percent higher than the $44,098 for all private-sector industries. Since 2002, bioscience salaries have increased 44 percent.

“After 10 years, Arizona has carved a niche in the highly lucrative and competitive biosciences field,” said Martin Shultz, chair of Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap Steering Committee. “We’re one of the nation’s top emerging bioscience states, and our growth in high-wage jobs continued during both good economic times and bad.”

In terms of research dollars, NIH funding in 2012 was $174 million, or 19 percent greater, than the 2002 figure. This is a decrease from $184 million in 2011. While NIH funding, the gold standard for biomedical research funding, did increase slightly faster than the national average of 18 percent over the past decade, Arizona is no longer meeting its goal of obtaining funding at a growth rate higher than the top-10 funded states. In addition, its share of the funding pool remains nearly the same as it was in 2002.

The latest data also shows:
•    The largest non-hospital bioscience subsector continues to be research, testing and medical laboratories. This group now boasts about 8,900 workers across 466 establishments, roughly a 60 percent increase in both employees and firms since 2002. The other subsectors are drugs, pharmaceuticals and diagnostics; hospitals; medical devices and equipment; and agricultural feedstock and chemicals.
•    Venture capital investment was $22 million in 2012, which is the lowest figure since 2009. This was a drop of 68 percent from 2011, compared with a national decline of 49 percent.
•    Bioscience-related academic research and development expenditures at Arizona’s universities reached a record $452 million in 2011, a 55 percent increase since 2002. Arizona’s growth had outpaced the nation until 2009, but now trails the overall U.S. growth rate of 74 percent.
•    Arizona universities spun out seven bioscience companies in 2012. University discoveries have now led to 67 new bioscience startups since 2002 as well as 180 bioscience patents.

There were a number of major developments in 2012 that showed the collaborative nature of Arizona biosciences, including the completion of major projects, the approval of future pursuits, and an emphasis on education.

The University of Arizona opened its new Health Sciences Education Building on the Phoenix Biomedical Campus that enabled the UA College of Medicine-Phoenix to increase enrollment and for Northern Arizona University to begin Phoenix-based physician assistant and physical therapy programs. In addition, final approval was granted by the Arizona Board of Regents for the UA Cancer Center-Phoenix to be built on the same campus in partnership with St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center.

A number of incubators and accelerators opened or expanded with more in the planning stages. BioInspire, an incubator for medical-device startups, opened in Peoria; GateWay Community College in Phoenix opened the Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation; the Arizona Center for Innovation at the UA Science and Technology Park in Tucson opened upgraded facilities and launched new programming; Flagstaff received funding for a planned accelerator; and the statewide Arizona Furnace accelerator began awarding seed money and access to incubation space.

Among other major developments, the inaugural Arizona SciTech Festival attracted 200,000 participants from across the state during February and March 2012, making it one of the largest in the nation; Banner Alzheimer’s Institute launched a $100 million trial to prevent or delay Alzheimer’s disease; a new skin-cancer drug first tested by Translational Genomics Research Institute and Scottsdale Healthcare received expedited approval from the Food and Drug Administration; Arizona State University began leading the first national algae biofuel testbed; Mayo Clinic announced plans for a new cancer center on its north Phoenix campus; and Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center in Gilbert announced a $63 million expansion.

On Dec. 4, 2012, the Flinn Foundation and bioscience leaders from across Arizona came together at the Arizona Biltmore to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the launching of Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap. The Foundation announced it has committed to continue funding Arizona biosciences and coordinating the Roadmap as it enters its next chapter.

“We recognize this is a long-term pursuit,” said Jack Jewett, president and CEO of the Flinn Foundation. “We will continue to strive to improve the lives of Arizonans today and tomorrow through new medical discoveries, access to clinical trials and the recruitment of top researchers, while also attracting high-wage jobs that will strengthen Arizona’s economy.”

The Flinn Foundation is a Phoenix-based, private, nonprofit philanthropic endowment. It was established by Dr. and Mrs. Robert S. Flinn in 1965 with the mission of improving the quality of life in Arizona to benefit future generations. The nonprofit philanthropy supports the advancement of Arizona’s bioscience sector, the Flinn Scholars program, arts and culture, and the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership.

roosevelt row arts district

Nominations announced for Governor's Arts Awards

Sixty-two nominations from 18 Arizona communities were submitted in six categories for the 32nd annual Governor’s Arts Awards for individuals and businesses who have made substantial and outstanding contributions to arts and culture statewide.

Winners will be announced on Wednesday, March 6, at The Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe.  The Governor’s Arts Awards are presented by Arizona Citizens Action for the Arts in partnership with the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the Office of the Governor.

Since 1981, 152 artists, individuals, arts and cultural organizations, educators and businesses have received Governor’s Arts Awards

Nominees, by category, and their hometowns are:

Artist: Lee Berger, Phoenix; Charles Bruffy, Phoenix; Daniel Buckely, Tucson; Michael Christie, Phoenix; Bobb Cooper, Phoenix; Barbara Dahlstedt, Glendale;  Maria Isabel Delgado, Chandler; Shawn Franks, Phoenix; Deb Gessner, Mayer; Kristine Kollasch, Phoenix; Bruce Marion, Chandler; Fredric Myers, Apache Junction; Monica Saldana, Goodyear; Mike Vax, Dewey; Jim Waid, Tucson.

Arts in Education – Individual: Annica Benning, Scottsdale; Kathryn Blake, Phoenix; Dennis Bourret, Tucson; Simon Donovan, Tucson; Patti Hannon, Phoenix; Marion Kirk Jones, Phoenix; Sherry Koopot, Paradise Valley; Barbara Nueske Perez, Gilbert; Charles St. Clair, Glendale; Joshua Thye, Phoenix.

Arts In Education – Organization: Arizona Dance Education Organization, Phoenix; Copperstar Repertory Company, Chandler; The Glendale Arts Council, Glendale; Lovena Ohl Foundation, Scottsdale; Marshall Magnet Elementary School, Flagstaff; OpendanceAZ, Phoenix; Phoenix Conservatory of Music, Phoenix; The Phoenix Symphony, Phoenix; Sonoran Glass School, Tucson; UAPresents, Tucson; West Valley Conservatory of Ballet, Surprise.

Business: BMO Harris Bank, Phoenix; LDVinci Art Studio, Chandler; Southwest Ambulance, Mesa.

Community: Alwun House Foundation, Phoenix; Contemporary Forum, Phoenix; Del E. Webb Center for the Performing Arts, Wickenburg; Flagstaff Cultural Partners, Flagstaff;
James E. Garcia, Phoenix; KXCI Community Radio, Tucson; Mesa Arts Center, Mesa; Release the Fear, Phoenix; Scottsdale International Film Festival, Scottsdale; Virginia G. Piper Charitable Foundation, Phoenix; Warehouse Arts Management Organization, Tucson; Young Arts Arizona Ltd., Phoenix.

Individual: Marco Albaran, Tempe; James K. Ballinger, Phoenix; Richard A. Bowers, Phoenix; Ted G. Decker, Phoenix; Faith Hibbs-Clark, Phoenix; Kaitlyn Mackay, Glendale;
Constance W. McMillin, Sun City; Nichole Newman-Colter, Litchfield; Hope Ozer, Paradise Valley; Rebecca Taylor, Yuma.

Honorees will be selected by an independent panel of judges.

The eighth annual Shelley Award also will be presented to an Arizona individual who has advanced the arts through strategic and innovative work in creating or supporting public policy beneficial to the arts in Arizona.  The award is named for Shelley Cohn, who spent more than 25 years as executive director of the Arizona Commission on the Arts.

Ticket prices are $135 for members of Arizona Citizens for the Arts and $150 for nonmembers.  Sponsorships are available.
For information and to make reservations go to www.governorsartsawards.org.

roosevelt row arts district

Nominations announced for Governor’s Arts Awards

Sixty-two nominations from 18 Arizona communities were submitted in six categories for the 32nd annual Governor’s Arts Awards for individuals and businesses who have made substantial and outstanding contributions to arts and culture statewide.

Winners will be announced on Wednesday, March 6, at The Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe.  The Governor’s Arts Awards are presented by Arizona Citizens Action for the Arts in partnership with the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the Office of the Governor.

Since 1981, 152 artists, individuals, arts and cultural organizations, educators and businesses have received Governor’s Arts Awards

Nominees, by category, and their hometowns are:

Artist: Lee Berger, Phoenix; Charles Bruffy, Phoenix; Daniel Buckely, Tucson; Michael Christie, Phoenix; Bobb Cooper, Phoenix; Barbara Dahlstedt, Glendale;  Maria Isabel Delgado, Chandler; Shawn Franks, Phoenix; Deb Gessner, Mayer; Kristine Kollasch, Phoenix; Bruce Marion, Chandler; Fredric Myers, Apache Junction; Monica Saldana, Goodyear; Mike Vax, Dewey; Jim Waid, Tucson.

Arts in Education – Individual: Annica Benning, Scottsdale; Kathryn Blake, Phoenix; Dennis Bourret, Tucson; Simon Donovan, Tucson; Patti Hannon, Phoenix; Marion Kirk Jones, Phoenix; Sherry Koopot, Paradise Valley; Barbara Nueske Perez, Gilbert; Charles St. Clair, Glendale; Joshua Thye, Phoenix.

Arts In Education – Organization: Arizona Dance Education Organization, Phoenix; Copperstar Repertory Company, Chandler; The Glendale Arts Council, Glendale; Lovena Ohl Foundation, Scottsdale; Marshall Magnet Elementary School, Flagstaff; OpendanceAZ, Phoenix; Phoenix Conservatory of Music, Phoenix; The Phoenix Symphony, Phoenix; Sonoran Glass School, Tucson; UAPresents, Tucson; West Valley Conservatory of Ballet, Surprise.

Business: BMO Harris Bank, Phoenix; LDVinci Art Studio, Chandler; Southwest Ambulance, Mesa.

Community: Alwun House Foundation, Phoenix; Contemporary Forum, Phoenix; Del E. Webb Center for the Performing Arts, Wickenburg; Flagstaff Cultural Partners, Flagstaff;
James E. Garcia, Phoenix; KXCI Community Radio, Tucson; Mesa Arts Center, Mesa; Release the Fear, Phoenix; Scottsdale International Film Festival, Scottsdale; Virginia G. Piper Charitable Foundation, Phoenix; Warehouse Arts Management Organization, Tucson; Young Arts Arizona Ltd., Phoenix.

Individual: Marco Albaran, Tempe; James K. Ballinger, Phoenix; Richard A. Bowers, Phoenix; Ted G. Decker, Phoenix; Faith Hibbs-Clark, Phoenix; Kaitlyn Mackay, Glendale;
Constance W. McMillin, Sun City; Nichole Newman-Colter, Litchfield; Hope Ozer, Paradise Valley; Rebecca Taylor, Yuma.

Honorees will be selected by an independent panel of judges.

The eighth annual Shelley Award also will be presented to an Arizona individual who has advanced the arts through strategic and innovative work in creating or supporting public policy beneficial to the arts in Arizona.  The award is named for Shelley Cohn, who spent more than 25 years as executive director of the Arizona Commission on the Arts.

Ticket prices are $135 for members of Arizona Citizens for the Arts and $150 for nonmembers.  Sponsorships are available.
For information and to make reservations go to www.governorsartsawards.org.

ImageAve_2783

Valley media company creatively adapts for 40 years

There’s a quaint studio located in the East Valley that houses beautiful backgrounds, sets and camera equipment that can make any business owner or musician feel like a rock star. With its innovative technology, it is no wonder why so many different customers flock to Image Ave Studios, which is located on the border of Chandler and Gilbert. While the brand-new studios opened just three years ago, this video production company has deep roots in Arizona that go back almost 40 years.

Founded in 1972 by Arizona native James Rinkenberger when he was just out of college, the company started out offering only photography and other media production services. As the business became successful, Rinkenberger discovered an opportunity that would allow him to expand his business and reach more clients throughout the Valley. Rinkenberger decided that in addition to his photography services, he would also offer video production services to local companies.  From this concept arose Video Media Productions in 1975, which strived to create videos for businesses that would increase business-to-business communication.

“The challenge for me was, ‘Does anybody want what I do?’” Rinkenberger said. “I wanted to create clear and concise images to communicate. I have been passionate and overzealous about this topic because visually, in the 1970s, people just were not trained properly.”

The studio quickly made a name for itself in the Arizona business community and soon, Video Media Productions landed big-name clients — including the United States Supreme Court for a campaign to allow cameras in the courtroom; the National Guard during Operation Desert Storm; various cities to promote Senate bills; and with President Ronald Reagan on a public service announcement for the Boy Scouts of America.

As Video Media Productions continued to evolve, Rinkenberger wanted to create a definitive space for producers and their clients. So, in 2009, James founded Image Ave Studios, a company that combined his video and photo companies and allowed both businesses to operate as one entity. Very quickly, however, the company faced challenges because of the economic crisis. Despite the economic setback, Image Ave Studio was able to stay afloat by continuing to think of methods that differentiated itself from the competition.

“Starting in the middle of a recession, it made my company more creative and more efficient,” Rinkenberger said. “It is a whole new world now because there are so many creative kids and they offer their services cheaply. The only difference is that we have more experience with creating and meeting the needs of businesses today. We have had to re-invent ourselves and we have had to find more ways to fit in. Our success back then doesn’t mean anything now.”

Even with early hardships, Image Ave Studios has proved that it can stand the test of time. As Rinkenberger approaches retirement, he hopes his company will live on and that his love and passion will be shared with generations to come.

“My dream for the future of my business is, I’d like to pass the studio down to someone,” Rinkenberger said. “It has to be someone who is passionate and loves making communication processes for businesses like I do.”

Image Ave Studios
175 S. Hamilton Place, #115, Gilbert
602-926-0118
imageavestudios.com

Grand-Canyon-University

Grand Canyon University looks to expand

Administrators at Grand Canyon University say they’re seeking bids from Tempe, Gilbert, Mesa, Queen Creek and Chandler for another campus.

The Arizona Republic reports that GCU also may build elsewhere in the southwest such as Las Vegas and Albuquerque, N.M.

Officials with the private Christian college say a growing number of students from the Mesa area attend GCU’s main campus in west Phoenix, but most find the commute too difficult.

The 63-year-old university went public with stock traded on Nasdaq in 2008 and has been expanding its campus since then.

A deal that would have allowed GCU to move into a vacant campus in Massachusetts earlier this year fell through because the land was too remote and underdeveloped.

healthcare

East Valley Pediatrics joins Banner Medical Group

Banner Health announced that East Valley Pediatrics, with 18 physicians and three nurse practitioners serving patients in 11 east Valley locations, has joined Banner Medical Group (BMG). BMG, a part of Banner Health, will continue operating these East Valley Pediatric clinics in Apache Junction, Casa Grande, Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa and Queen Creek. Two sites in Mesa and Gilbert will continue to provide after-hours services, as well.

“We are excited and honored that this high quality physician organization is joining Banner Medical Group,” said BMG CEO Jim Brannon. “East Valley Pediatrics has been serving families with outstanding care since 1998, and it’s our privilege to help continue this legacy of excellence.”

In addition to the 18 pediatricians and three nurse practitioners, 75 other health professionals will transition into BMG. The complete transition of East Valley Pediatrics into BMG is anticipated to be complete by Feb. 1, 2013.

“This is a wonderful complement to our overall development of Banner Children’s services,” said Brannon. “These services are across the Valley and include both outpatient settings like these clinics and inpatient facilities like Cardon Children’s Medical Center in Mesa and the Banner Thunderbird Children’s Center in Glendale,” Brannon added.

social.media

Home builder uses social media to attract buyers

Lennar Arizona has just surpassed 250,000 “views” on YouTube, has nearly 5500 Facebook “likes”, and 4,000 Twitter followers.  In fact, social media has become such a critical component of the Valley home builder that it has created a new “I Team”, standing for Information, Integrity and Internet. The five member I-Team is a strategic addition to the marketing department and will dedicate themselves to the on-line dialogue with customers.

In any given day, you can watch 30videos of their YouTube that take the viewer through a visual tour of any number of Lennar model homes available in Arizona, provide insights into the company’s innovations such as the new NextGen Home Within a Home® series, or point you in the direction to clear up a troubled credit score.

Lennar has a number of communities in the greater Phoenix area including Montecito in El Mirage, San Tan Heights and Skyline Ranch in San Tan Valley, Lone Mountain in Cave Creek, Evans Ranch and Layton Lakes in Gilbert and Stetson Valley in Phoenix.

In the era of 24-7, second by second streaming information, the communication begins long before that prospective buyer walks into the sales office. For the uninitiated, social media is a group of Internet, web based and mobile applications that have redefined the way many people communicate.  The user-generated content has put the general public in the forefront of defining the conversation, compared to the traditional methods such as newspapers, magazines, broadcast and websites that were controlled by professional journalists and company marketers.

For buyers Linn and Kelly Shaw who purchased a Lennar home at the Layton Lakes community in Gilbert, the social media presence made their search process easy.  “The ability to look at financing options and view new model homes prompted me to look into Lennar as a builder.  I really enjoyed the YouTube videos of the models.  With my wife’s and my busy schedules, we didn’t have a lot of time to tour model homes or communities, so their social media content streamlined the process for us.  Access to the homes through the videos and online detail description of the homes was a huge benefit to us,” said Linn Shaw.

Mike Lyon of the real estate sales training company Do You Convert says that content is the key in the success of social media.  “If the information a company presents is entertaining or educational, it will spread.”  And that’s the key.  “Social spaces are not about selling; it’s about educating and spreading information naturally, and Lennar was one of the first home builders to really commit to creating and spreading content,” he noted.

A number of the big home builders have embraced social media, but Lennar has taken the communication to a higher level. The company has tremendous visibility online whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Flickr, Instagram, FourSquare, or LinkedIn, Lennar is all over it. The company also has four very active blogs.

“For several years now, Lennar has aggressively pursued the social media path.  “There is no question that our social media initiatives have created relationships that have led directly to home purchases,” said Mike Dowell, senior vice president of marketing for Lennar’s Arizona operations.

Buyers who have utilized the social media connections often pass along those tools to friends. “I watch real estate closely and haven’t seen another builder do what Lennar does on-line.  It was so easy to share the Lennar YouTube videos with our friends who were also looking for a home,” homebuyer Lin Shaw added.

The cultural shift is well underway. For many people of all ages, social media is becoming a preferred communication method. Social media is an effective way to communicate facts. “The customers seem to appreciate the ability to research the home opportunities on their own, and to review comments from current Lennar home owners via the company’s Facebook page, blog and other social media sites,” noted Dowell.

A home builder with nationwide presence, at the national level Lennar has more than 800,000 YouTube views, over 200,000 “likes” on Facebook and over 130,000 followers on Twitter. Additionally, each of Lennar’s Divisions across the nation has a strong and growing social media presence in their respective markets.

Lennar, founded in 1954, is one of the nation’s leading builders of quality homes for all generations. The company builds affordable, move-up, and retirement homes primarily under the Lennar brand name. The company has been building in Arizona for nearly 40 years and owns considerable land holdings in the state. For the latest Lennar information, visit any of the following: Lennar.com, Facebook.com/LennarPhoenix; Facebook.com/LennarTucson; YouTube.com/LennarPhoenix; YouTube.com/Lennar Tucson; Twitter.com/LennarPhoenix, Twitter.com/LennarTucson.

golf

Tour Player Opens Golf Academy

On Saturday, December 1st, the Outback Golf Academy will be hosting a free grand opening event at Western Skies Golf Club in Gilbert, Arizona.  The Academy’s vision is to enhance the coaching experience for all golfers in the Southeast Valley, especially juniors.  The family event will feature free golf clinics by academy staff, live entertainment from local band “Power Road”, and a live performance by world-renowned golf trick shot artist and Director of Coaching, Craig Hocknull.  There will be free equipment and coaching packages given away to some lucky attendees as well.

“While playing on tour I created a system to cultivate the natural talents of the athlete, while systematically addressing weaknesses, which is how we will approach teaching here at the Academy,” said Craig Hocknull, Director of Coaching at the Academy.  “At the Outback Golf Academy, we will provide “Tour quality coaching, Outback Style!”  We focus on the process and not the result, and we make the process so enjoyable that our students just can’t get enough of it.”

Through tour quality coaching, each student athlete will be equipped with the tools needed to advance to the next level in their golf game.  State-of-the-art launch monitors, like Flightscope and Trackman, are used, as well as online swing analysis using iPads and smart phones.

The free grand opening event will be held between 6pm – 8pm at Western Skies Golf Club, located at 1245 E. Warner Road Gilbert, Arizona 85296.  For more information, please call (602) 561-4653.

The Outback Golf Academy provides private individual coaching and private classes.  CJ Orton, a TPI certified instructor, and Brandon Sutton, an expert club fitter and repair technician, both accompany Hocknull at the Academy.  The Academy is located at Western Skies Golf Club in Gilbert, Arizona.  For more information about the Academy, please contact Craig Hocknull at (602) 561-4653 or via email at outbackgolfacademy@gmail.com.

solar

Shea Homes partners with Sunrun

Shea Homes is proud to announce a partnership with Sunrun, the nation’s largest home solar company, to help homeowners go solar without the high cost and hassle of owning and maintaining a solar system.

Through this partnership, homeowners can opt to have affordable solar preinstalled on their new homes.  The solar is lower in cost than typical solar installations because Sunrun owns, maintains and insures the systems.  Homeowners pay a low amount upfront for the solar power, taking control of their electric bills for 20 years.  Sunrun works with top local installation company American Solar to design and install the systems.

“Offering solar is in alignment with our overall goal to continually build homes that are highly energy efficient for our customers,” said Ken Peterson, VP of Sales and Marketing for Shea Homes. “Having this partnership with Sunrun is an added benefit to provide solar solutions to our customers which will ultimately reduce the monthly investment of operating their homes.”

“Sunrun invented solar service so that homeowners don’t have to choose between the planet and their wallets, and now it’s becoming a standard option for new homes,” said Sunrun Co-CEO Lynn Jurich.  “As solar adoption continues to grow, solar will be as common a consideration as countertop finish or flooring material.”

The Sunrun solar power service program will be available at Vista Montaña, Ridgeview and Hideaway at Johnson Ranch, Lantana at Power Ranch and SPACES at Evans Ranch. Homeowners can choose between three different system sizes, and systems will be custom-designed according to the square footage and orientation of the home. Check out a video about the new partnership here.

For specific pricing details, contact Shea Homes at 1-866-696-7432 or visit http://www.sheahomes.com/arizona.

Superstorm Sandy

Hunter Douglas creates fund to help storm victims

In immediate response to the unprecedented destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy on the East Coast and particularly in the New York tri-state area, Hunter Douglas, the leading manufacturer and marketer of custom window fashions in North America, announced today that it has created the Hunter Douglas Hurricane Sandy Relief & Recovery Fund.  The Company will make an initial donation of $100,000 and, in addition to that $100,000, will match every employee donation on a dollar-for-dollar basis up to $250,000.

The Hunter Douglas Horizontal Blinds Division and Custom Shutters Division are located in Gilbert with a plant in Phoenix.  Comfortex Window Fashions, a Hunter Douglas company, also has a facility in Phoenix.

“All of us at Hunter Douglas are deeply saddened by the devastating effect of Hurricane Sandy on the lives of so many of our fellow Americans.  We want to do what we can to help those who are suffering and most in need of support,” said Marv Hopkins, Hunter Douglas North America President and CEO.

The monies are being donated to two highly efficient and effective nonprofits: The New York Times Neediest Cases Hurricane Sandy Relief Effort and Team Rubicon.

Managed by The New York Times Company, which absorbs all administrative costs, The New York Times Neediest Cases Hurricane Sandy Relief Effort is providing direct assistance through key area social service agencies to those people in the tri-state region most severely affected.

Team Rubicon, a veteran service organization that repurposes the ready-made organizational and operational skills of military veterans for disaster relief, has mobilized 1,000 veteran volunteers in the tri-state to assist in the response and recovery process.  Team Rubicon teams are currently working street by street, home by home, for post-disaster damage assessments, debris management and emergency coordination. All resources are devoted to the direct coordination and execution of disaster response and recovery efforts.

 

fulton

Report: Fulton Homes leads E.V. Home Sales

Fulton Homes’ domination in new home sales continues.   According to the latest KnowledgeBase Market Insights report released by Phoenix-based Belfiore Real Estate consulting, Fulton Homes had three communities ranked among ten of the best-selling Phoenix-area subdivisions over the past two months.  The Tempe-based homebuilder placed Queen Creek’s Paradise at Ironwood Crossing, and both Mediterranean at Freeman Farms and Caribbean at Freeman Farms in Gilbert. Overall, six of the Top 10 Phoenix area subdivisions were in the East Valley, with the remaining four in the West Valley.

“We provide the best, quality-built home in Arizona,” Doug Fulton, Fulton Homes CEO, said. “We are tremendously pleased by the public’s response to all of our East Valley communities. We have an extraordinary team of professionals who every day help people realize their dream of homeownership.”

Fulton Homes is also outpacing the market when it comes to monthly sales in each community.  Belfiore Real Estate Consulting anticipates an average of 3.3 sales per subdivision per month for the year.  Fulton Homes is currently selling more than twice that, on average.

Belfiore Real Estate consulting is a full-service residential market research firm, offering a variety of residential data and analyses.