Tag Archives: GPEC

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.

118315706

Youngtown becomes GPEC’s 21st member community

The Town of Youngtown recently joined the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) as its 21st member community. Youngtown is located at the Agua Fria River between Peoria, Sun City and El Mirage, and has a current population of approximately 6,200.

“We’re thrilled to have the Town of Youngtown on board at GPEC,” said GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome. “Youngtown is a unique, up-and-coming community with tremendous potential for economic growth. We’re excited to assist with their plans to move forward as a community.”

“The 21st GPEC community for the 21st Century — we’re proud to take a seat at the GPEC table,” Youngtown Mayor Michael LeVault said. “Youngtown is well positioned to be a vibrant and vital player in the region’s bright economic future.”

Youngtown was originally designed as a retirement community but has since evolved to accommodate young people and families. The community’s “village” feel sets the town apart from the rest of the region. The Town’s general plan for 2025 has a robust focus on economic development, targeting community revitalization, public relations and marketing, and business enhancement, attraction and diversification.

“Youngtown’s addition to GPEC’s family of communities speaks volumes about the depth and breadth of services available to its member communities and companies,” said Jim Lundy, GPEC’s board chairman and CEO of Alliance Bank of Arizona. “Whether an established business or startup, an older community or one just starting to rev up its economic engine, like Youngtown, GPEC offers expert economic development advice, marketing, research and prospect leads.”

boeing-phantom-ray

GPEC analyzes impact of potential defense cuts

The Greater Phoenix Economic Council today released findings and recommendations from its Aerospace and Defense Market Intelligence Program, a two-phase initiative that took an in-depth look at the region’s aerospace and defense companies to determine their strengths, weaknesses and readiness for the sequestration, federally-mandated automatic spending cuts scheduled to take place on March 1 unless Congress intervenes.

As a result of the sequestration, the Department of Defense (DoD) must cut $1 trillion from its budget. Arizona has the sixth largest share of DoD contracts, and stands to lose as much as $2.3 billion in annual revenue on account of sequestration-based cuts.  Until it happens, however, the size or effects of the cuts in Arizona remain ambiguous.

In anticipation of these massive cuts, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) – along with its Economic Development Directors Team and the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce – last year undertook a major market intelligence initiative to determine the existing strengths and weaknesses of Arizona’s aerospace and defense companies. Based on this data snapshot, the analysis also sought to understand the potential impact of sequestration on our local companies, communities, workforce and innovation base.

“As part of GPEC’s program, I personally sat down with several aerospace and defense companies located in Phoenix. The message I heard from them was resoundingly clear – the uncertainty over the timing and severity of these cuts has many of them paralyzed, and they want guidance,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “With 49,000 Arizona aerospace and defense jobs at stake, it’s critical that our federal leaders work together to avert this crisis or at least provide a strategic direction for where we go on March 2 and beyond.”

“Sequestration is a bad way to budget. Local companies and individuals get caught up in a political game that does little to solve our nation’s long-term financial challenges,” Mesa Mayor Scott Smith said. “Washington should follow the example of cities and make smart cuts to fix the budget rather than making arbitrary cuts that do more harm than good.”

The program consisted of two main components. The first developed an in-depth profile and analysis of 114 local companies identified by GPEC using data from the Office of Management and Budget. The second was an extensive door-to-door outreach effort to these companies, conducted by mayors, local chambers of commerce, GPEC Ambassadors (volunteers from GEC’s member companies) and municipal economic development directors and their teams.

“As a top-ranked defense state, Arizona has much to lose with the budget cuts associated with the 2011 Budget Control Act. The West Valley, proud home to Luke Air Force Base, has worked tirelessly to protect the mission of the base and to secure the F-35 aircraft,” Avondale Mayor Marie Lopez Rogers said. “Sequestration and the drastic budget cuts to defense and aerospace will undermine the efforts of the communities in the West Valley and negatively impact our local economy, which is tied closely to Luke Air Force Base and the defense-related industry.”

It’s also important to note that nearly 75 percent of the state’s research and development expenditures are housed within Arizona’s corporate infrastructure – companies like Intel, Boeing, Raytheon and Honeywell. As such, drastic reductions in their DoD contracts could result in losses in some of the state’s most significant research programs, which affect Arizona’s science position, its universities, and opportunities for increased investments and exports.

“These looming cuts represent a crossroads for our region,” GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome said. “The region’s corporate, science, civic and government partners must convene to not only mitigate job loss but also to support and protect the region’s physical assets, workforce talent and innovation from being moved out of the market.”

The findings represent a snapshot of the Greater Phoenix region’s aerospace and defense industry for a specific period of time, from May through December 2012 when the data was collected. During this time period, sequestration was considered more of a threat and less of a reality.

Top-line analysis revealed that 76 percent of the companies reported to be either stable (52 percent) or expanding (24 percent). Twenty-six percent reported that their businesses were contracting – primarily companies and operations where DoD contracts represent the largest share of their revenue base. Those that were expanding focused on diversification, including commercial and international markets, or DoD growth areas like intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, cyber technology, space technology and counterterrorism.

Because 2,000 companies throughout Arizona were awarded $13 billion in defense contacts in 2012 – and the industry represents 43,000 direct jobs – even a 25 percent contraction could be detrimental to one of the state’s major employment bases. For larger, Tier 1 companies, the short-term outlook is more stable as many have expanded products and services in anticipation of the cuts. However, Tier 2 companies that generally represent the industry’s supply chain are less likely to withstand the cuts due to their reliance on Tier 1 companies for contracts and subcontracts. Some of these companies have neither the access to capital or the working capital to wait it out – meaning they could be forced to lay off workers or cease operations.

Based on the program’s findings, GPEC’s five recommendations include:

1. A federal-level strategy from Arizona’s congressional leadership to either fully reverse sequestration or provide a “go forward” strategy to ensure Arizona’s aerospace and defense assets – including R&D and skilled workforce – are retained and redeployed.
2. Public and bilateral support for Governor Brewer and the Arizona Commerce Authority in their efforts to secure an FAA-designated test site.
3. A major commitment to science and technology to ensure the aerospace and defense industry’s existing knowledge and technology assets are leveraged to generate new and higher-value economic growth opportunities for our existing workforce talent while also attracting new, skill ed workers to Greater Phoenix.
4. Increased support for regional export opportunities from state and regional leaders.
5. An ongoing commitment to business retention and expansion, particularly with regards to sequestration.

To view the Aerospace and Defense Market Intelligence Report in its entirety, as well as all five recommendations, please visit http://www.gpec.org/aerospace.

technology

GPEC puts together a science and technology strategy

Even when the state was known for copper, cattle and citrus, Arizona has relied on being an innovator to drive its economy.

“Arizona’s economic position has historically been defined by science and technology,” says Steven M. Shope, president of Mesa-based Sandia Research Corporation, “especially if you look back to the 1940s and 1950s, when the state put a wealth of resources into attracting new technologies.”

Those efforts, Shope says, paid off and made Arizona a leader in the electronics, semiconductor, aerospace and defense industries.

“Now, we need more science and technology to transform Arizona into a knowledge economy and lift our productivity and export growth from below national average,” Shope says.

To help make that happen, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) has directed its Innovation Council — which is co chaired by Shope and Todd Hardy, associate vice president of economic affairs for Arizona State University — to study the community’s high-potential assets, look for commercialization opportunities and put together and science and technology strategy that will help drive a knowledge-based economy in Arizona. The backbone of that strategy will be building on the state’s existing strengths.

According to Sethuraman Panchanathan, senior vice president at ASU’s Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development, those strengths include the state’s world-class research universities, research centers and institutes, a large highly trained workforce, a vibrant entrepreneurship ecosystem, a concerted effort on improving business climate in the cities and the state, plans for rapid growth by existing science and technology businesses, and an enhanced quality of life.

“Our best strengths come from the companies already here — established businesses like Intel, Avnet, Boeing and Honeywell,” Shope says. “Arizona also has lower workforce costs and good transportation connectivity to other markets, both of which are attractive for science- or technology-based businesses.”

So how does Arizona tranlate those assets into further expansion and enhancement of the science and technology sectors?

“We’re already world leaders in solar research and development and manufacturing and there is still strong potential for innovation within our aerospace and electronics industries, as well as in healthcare and personalized medicine,” Shope says. “However, we need to fill in the gaps with regards to access to capital, markets and talent in order to realize that potential. GPEC’s Innovation Council is working to develop a strategy that leverages these resources, harnesses new ones and further diversifies our economy into these areas.”

Panchanathan says the key to creating a successful strategy will be, “Convergence of purpose between the various economic development entities in Arizona, securing investments that can be deployed to attract new businesses to Arizona, and creating incentives for attracting local and global businesses to Arizona.”

Already driving Arizona’s electronics sector is Intel, with its recent $5 billion expansion, and companies like Boeing and Honeywell are fueling the aerospace sector. Those three companies are driving innovation within our communities and their local supply chains, Shope points out.

Top develop its science and technology strategy, Shope says says GPEC’s Innovation Council is conducting a deep market analysis to identify long-term opportunities in science and technology, and learning how to target growth from initiatives in other regions. GPEC is building the business case among private leaders to establish focus and build resources around a few select initiatives.

“A well thought-out strategy should include building up each community’s unique assets and driving growth into new markets by establishing centers of excellence around emerging products and technologies,” Shope says. “Increasing funding to the universities for R&D is also critical, as is developing funding and resources for entrepreneurs. Educating the entrepreneur is also an important goal. In particular, R&D funding from federal sources, such as (Small Business Innovation Research) SBIR and (Small Business Technology Transfer Program) STTR, is an ideal mechanism for launching new technologies. However, this funding is becoming increasingly competitive. We need to be sure that Arizona small businesses can be highly competitive in these funding programs.”

Chris Camacho Original

GPEC executive wins national ‘40 Under 40’ award

GPEC Executive Vice President Chris Camacho, 32, has been recognized as a rising star among the nation’s top economic development professionals. Development Counsellors International (DCI), a New York-based firm that specializes in economic development marketing, named Camacho to its distinguished “40 Under 40″ panel, the first-ever awards program recognizing young talent in the economic development profession. A five-member selection committee chose the winners from a pool of more than 150 candidates based on their exceptional contributions to the economic development industry.

“Chris Camacho has an extremely bright future and I couldn’t be more proud of his success,” GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome said. “GPEC is a hard-charging organization with some of the most talented young professionals I’ve ever seen. Chris is testament to that talent, as is Rodrick Miller – a former GPEC staffer who is now president and CEO of the New Orleans Business Alliance and was also recognized as part of this prestigious group.”

Camacho oversees GPEC’s business development efforts, with particular expertise in renewable energy, emerging technology, tax policy and international economic development.He manages the domestic and international strategies in attracting new industry to the market. In addition, he has directly assisted more than 100 companies in their expansions or relocations to Greater Phoenix.

DCI’s “40 Under 40″ award was designed to discover the economic development profession’s rising stars.

“The people chosen by the selection committee represent a bright future for the economic development world,” said Andy Levine, president of DCI. “They are a new breed of results-driven, place makers.  We’re very pleased to see Chris Camacho among the winners.”

DCI officially announced the winners last weekend at an awards reception during the International Economic Development Council Leadership Summit in Orlando, and will feature an in-depth profile of each on its website during 2013.

For more information on DCI&rsquo ;s “40 Under 40″ winners, visit www.aboutdci.com/40under40.

Funding Startup Companies Jumpstart Economy

GPEC boosts state’s economy by attracting more foreign direct investment

The Greater Phoenix Economic Council’s California 50 program — which aimed to fly 50 Golden State CEOs to Phoenix for an opportunity to tour and explore the region’s business-friendly environment — proved to be so popular that they expanded it to 100 a week after its launch.

But it may be GPEC’s pitch to CEOs even farther away that makes the biggest impact on Arizona’s economy.

“GPEC is focused on a specific region in China, defined by Shanghai and 10 other cities connected by high-speed rail,” says Ron Butler, managing partner at Ernst & Young in Phoenix and co-chair of GPEC’s International Leadership Council. “This region (known as the ‘Z Corridor’) features China’s largest concentration of industries, including solar, medical device, IT, pharmaceuticals, high-tech manufacturing and chemicals. GPEC has made tremendous strides over the past several years in China, particularly with solar and renewable energy companies. Now, the organization is looking to leverage those relationships and expand into other, capital-intensive industries.”

GPEC’s effort is significant, Butler says, because export industries and foreign direct investment (FDI) drive economic growth, create wealth within the region, and tend to be capital-intensive operations that pay higher-than-average wages. Currently, FDI accounts for 73,000 jobs in Arizona and the state saw a 235 percent increase in FDI from 2005-2010, from just over $270 million to more than $904 million.

“By focusing on the Z corridor, a zone known for its solar, high-tech, bio-medical, and chemical industries, GPEC has identified a region that can appreciate what Arizona and — more importantly Arizona workers — can do well,” says Ilya A. Iussa, assistant professor of law at Phoenix School of Law.

But it’s not just investment from China that is giving Arizona an economic boost within the solar and renewable energy industries. In addition to China’s Suntech, the region has seen investments from Spain’s Rioglass and Abengoa, England’s Faist, Germany’s Solon, France’s Saint-Gobain, and Canada’s Cosma International.

“GPEC smartly targets the regions and countries that represent significant growth opportunities, like Canada, China and Western Europe, and works these markets with effective marketing and business development strategies,” Butler says. “Now, with a more concentrated effort underway in China and successful positioning as both a leader in the U.S. solar market and an on-the-record supporter of expanded free trade with China, the Greater Phoenix region is poised for amplified growth in FDI, particularly from China.”

Despite its success, experts says Arizona still has some work to do.

“Our neighboring states and biggest competitors far outrank us in national FDI and export-trade rankings,” Butler says. “California is first for FDI and second for exports, while Texas is second for FDI and first for exports. As such, we must continue evaluating our market for additional FDI and export industry opportunities, and look for ways to increase our competitiveness in these areas.”

Lawmakers have identified one area that needs to be addressed to gain a competitive edge on other states.

“One of the first things we should do is focus on developing a highly educated workforce that will attract companies and businesses looking to move their headquarters,” says Rep. Matt Salmon, R-5. “In addition, it is equally important for us to create a pro-business environment and that comes by reducing harmful regulations that hamper economic growth. Both would increase Arizona’s role in the global economy.”

In order to be increase its global presence and become more competitive with neighboring states like California and Texas, Butler says Arizona must increase the number of export industries operating in the state.

“We can increase our competitiveness for these types of investments,” he says, “with a targeted economic development program for export industries, similar to the Renewable Energy Tax Incentive Program (SB1403), which has brought significant investments to the region and the Qualified Facilities Tax Credit (HB2815), which expanded the successful renewable energy program to include qualified, export-based investments.”

SRP Study Reveals How Businesses Reacted, Adapted To Economy

GPEC helps region build solid foundation amidst economic downturn

The economic downturn rattled almost every industry in Arizona at its foundation.

“The recession served as a necessary wake-up call for both the Valley and the entire state,” says Andy Warren, CEO of Maracay Home and Greater Phoenix Economic Council board member. “In the years leading up to the recession, many people in Arizona had a mindset that economic expansion was invulnerable to setbacks. The recession has changed that mindset.”

But in the middle of the unstable economic environment, analysts would have a hard time identifying Arizona as one of the states that was hit the hardest by the economic downturn if they looked only at GPEC’s success during that time.

In fiscal year 2012, GPEC helped 36 companies expand or relocate to the region — the most in the economic catalyst’s 23-year history. That topped GPEC’s previous record of 31 companies, which it set in 2011, giving GPEC its two best years when times were toughest and competition for companies was at its most fierce.

So how did GPEC achieve such success in a down economy?

“GPEC has distinguished itself as a true public-private partnership where the cities, county and business leaders have a working forum to collaborate around economic development issues,” says Don Smith, president and CEO of SCF Arizona and vice chairman of GPEC’s board of directors. “It also possesses an outstanding research capability that can reliability assist other economic development interests in making successful decisions. The strategies and tactics at GPEC are robust, and comprehensive, covering local, national and global interests on behalf of the state, and the ground game both internationally and domestically is exceptional.”

The economic impact of GPEC’s success is staggering. The 36 companies it assisted in 2012 will create more than 4,000 jobs for the Greater Phoenix region, will generate $178 million of net new payroll, and absorb or build approximately 3.8 million square feet with their phase one investments. Companies GPEC helped relocate to the Valley include CyrusOne, one of the largest data centers in the country, and Silicon Valley Bank, an expansion from California creating 250 jobs at an average salary of $88,000. Advanced business services, general business services, transportation and distribution, manufacturing and healthcare continue to drive the majority of GPEC’s relocation activity, with environmental technologies rounding out the lion’s share.

GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome credits part of his organization’s success to a major policy achievement for Arizona, the Qualified Facilities Income Tax Credit.

“Gov. Jan Brewer, House Speaker Andy Tobin, Senate President Steve Pierce and the entire Arizona legislature have worked hard to improve our business climate as evidenced by the Qualified Facilities Income Tax Credit,” Broome said. “Moving forward, key economic development programs are still needed to compete with other markets to attract high impact, export-oriented companies and investment — working together as we have done in recent years, I have no doubt we’ll get there.”

More than 11 percent of GPEC’s locates were international companies, primarily due to ramped-up efforts on the organization’s foreign-direct investment program and 16.7 percent were from California, another highly concentrated effort with partners throughout the state to draw investment to the Sun Corridor.

“We now have strong consensus that nurturing high quality job growth is our top priority,” Warren says. “Leadership at the state level, municipal level and from the private sector are now fully aligned with a singular focus toward specific growth industries applicable to Arizona. We are creating a fiscal environment where Arizona is fully competitive with other growth-oriented states … This clear mission and focus is on growth industries that will drive the future economy such as healthcare, clean technology, technology, aerospace and defense.”

From left: Steven Murray, president of Direct Energy; Jim Lundy, chairman of GPEC; Kevin Sullivan and Matt George of the Arizona Commerce Authority. Photo by Huan Vo/Az Business

Direct Energy bringing 500 jobs to Valley

Wednesday marked the official announcement of the expansion into Arizona of Direct Energy, a multibillion-dollar energy company which promises to create about 500 new jobs by the end of this year.

Based in Houston and specializing in upstream production and downstream delivery, Direct Energy is one of North America’s largest energy services providers with approximately 6,000 employees.

The company worked with the Arizona Commerce Authority and Greater Phoenix Economic Council to open a new call center in Tempe, which is expected to bring $7 million of capital investment to the region and create 250 to 300 new jobs when it’s open.

“I can’t tell you how easy they have made it for us to expand and invest in Arizona,” said Steven Murray, president of Direct Energy. “It’s an easy, pleasant experience.”

Expected to be fully functional by the end of the first quarter year of 2013, the new call center will be tasked with call taking for the residential energy business, which will enable Direct Energy to “offer a wide range of products and services in one location,” according to the company’s news release.

Working with the ACA and GPEC gave Direct Energy an understanding of and access to a quality workforce that attracted Direct Energy in the first place, Murray said.

“Beyond the ease, I mean the quality workforce, you can have an entirely educated, motivated, hardworking people, and it really makes it easy,” he said.

“I think this commitment just illustrates that we do have a quality workforce in addition to the quality, smart economics policies that GPEC and ACA, the governor’s office, the state Legislature have been working behind the scenes just to get this economy going again,” said Jim Lundy, chairman of GPEC’s board of directors and CEO of Alliance Bank of Arizona.

Direct Energy is on a mission to make a difference to its customers through the provision of choice, which will help families with tight budgets.

“In a world of constraint household economics, people on tight budgets need to have products that meet their needs and give them control of how they are actually consuming and spending money,” Murray said.

Murray said Direct Energy has grown quickly over the years, and with each step in growth, the company is doing its best to invest and create jobs in communities where it started.

Direct Energy is accepting job applications online at www.directyourenergy.com, and at the Nation Career Fair at Phoenix Airport Marriott, 1101 N. 44thSt., from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on January 21.

economy

GPEC expands ‘California 50’ program

Less than a week after the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) launched the California 50 program, the organization today announced it is expanding the program – which aims to fly 50 Golden State CEOs to the Phoenix metro region for an opportunity to tour and explore the market – to 100 California-based CEOs due to high demand.

“The response to the California 50 program has been overwhelming. We’ve heard from CEOs up and down the California coast, representing firms in the technology, medical device, financial and life sciences industries and ranging in size from 30 to 10,000 employees,” GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome said. “Clearly, the increasingly anti-business policies coming out of California, like Proposition 30, have struck a nerve with the state’s brightest and best-performing innovators. We think the Greater Phoenix region offers a clear contrast in terms of its value proposition, which is why we’ve expanded the program to 100 executives.”

Over the past two years, Arizona has implemented many business-friendly policies in an effort to attract more high-capital investment to the Grand Canyon state. Visiting CEOs will be briefed on the region’s business-friendly policies, including lower capital gains taxes and a corporate income tax rate that will go down to 4.9 percent by 2017, a $9,000 jobs tax credit, an R&D tax credit and a $630 million tax credit program for export industries.

Last week, California voters passed Proposition 30, a $6 billion tax initiative that will raise sales taxes on all Californians and income taxes on the high-performers making more than $250,000 annually. Yesterday, President Obama called for additional tax revenue to the tune of $1.6 trillion over the next decade, also on the backs of the nation’s top innovators and professionals.

To qualify for the program, applicants must be CEOs at high-tech companies or with corporate facilities with 200 or more employees, or at emerging technology companies with compelling intellectual property.

A total of 100 qualified California CEOs will receive complimentary airfare, transportation and hotel accommodations. Exclusive, one-on-one visits into the market will include an in-depth industry and market overview, CEO introductions and a regional asset tour.
Please contact GPEC’s Barbara Miller at 602.262.8632 or bmiller@gpec.org to be considered or to learn more about the program.

For more information about GPEC, visit www.gpec.org.

rsz_hense_phelps_2-29-12051

Early Success Drives GPEC to Expand 'California 50' program

After the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) launched the California 50 program, the organization announced it is expanding the program – which aims to fly 50 Golden State CEOs to the Phoenix metro region for an opportunity to tour and explore the market – to 100 California-based CEOs due to high demand.

“The response to the California 50 program has been overwhelming. We’ve heard from CEOs up and down the California coast, representing firms in the technology, medical device, financial and life sciences industries and ranging in size from 30 to 10,000 employees,” GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome said.

“Clearly, the increasingly anti-business policies coming out of California, like Proposition 30, have struck a nerve with the state’s brightest and best-performing innovators. We think the Greater Phoenix region offers a clear contrast in terms of its value proposition, which is why we’ve expanded the program to 100 executives.”

Over the past two years, Arizona has implemented many business-friendly policies in an effort to attract more high-capital investment to the Grand Canyon state. Visiting CEOs will be briefed on the region’s business-friendly policies, including lower capital gains taxes and a corporate income tax rate that will go down to 4.9% by 2017, a $9,000 jobs tax credit, an R&D tax credit and a $630M tax credit program for export industries.

California voters passed Proposition 30, a $6 billion tax initiative that will raise sales taxes on all Californians and income taxes on the high-performers making more than $250,000 annually. Additionally, President Obama called for additional tax revenue to the tune of $1.6 trillion over the next decade, also on the backs of the nation’s top innovators and professionals.

To qualify for the program, applicants must be CEOs at high-tech companies or with corporate facilities with 200 or more employees, or at emerging technology companies with compelling intellectual property.

A total of 100 qualified California CEOs will receive complimentary airfare, transportation and hotel accommodations.

Exclusive, one-on-one visits into the market will include an in-depth industry and market overview, CEO introductions and a regional asset tour.

For more information, visit gpec.org.

 

education.business

Penley Appointed President of Thunderbird

The Board of Trustees announced that Larry E. Penley, Ph.D., has been elected president and chief academic officer of Thunderbird School of Global Management effective Thursday, November 1, 2012. The appointment  follows a search that attracted top-tier candidates from both business and academic organizations.

Dr. Penley’s record of results over a distinguished 35-year career makes him a great leader for Thunderbird. As president of Colorado State University, he reversed declining enrollment and oversaw the doubling of fundraising. As dean of the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, Dr. Penley led the creation of a strategic plan that produced a top 25 ranking among public MBA programs.

Dr. Penley also applied his learnings for diplomacy and management skills as chairman of The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), a world leader in accreditation services. INROADS Arizona and the Greater Phoenix Economic Council have honored Dr. Penley for his service.

As a leader, Dr. Penley’s extensive overseas experience gives him great passion for Thunderbird’s global mission. He has lectured on four continents, speaks Spanish, and has held faculty and administrative roles in Mexico and Venezuela. While at ASU, he also oversaw the launch of successful MBA programs in Chinaand Mexico.

“Thunderbird is very fortunate to have Dr. Penley at the helm,” said Ann Iverson, Chair of Thunderbird’s Board of Trustees. “He is a lifelong learner who embraces innovation, fosters collaboration, and welcomes diverse viewpoints.”

146068593

GPEC honors Maracay Homes’ president, House Speaker

The Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) honored Arizona House Speaker Andy Tobin and GPEC Board Director Andy Warren, president of Maracay Homes, at its annual dinner.

Speaker Tobin was awarded GPEC’s Outstanding Regional Contribution award for his successful legislative efforts to help increase Arizona’s economic competitiveness, particularly with this year’s passage and enactment of HB2815, the Qualified Facilities Tax Credit and 2011’s HB2001, the Arizona Competitiveness Package. HB2815 expanded the Renewable Energy Tax Incentive Program to other export-based manufacturers and lowered long-term capital gains taxes. HB2001 created the Quality Jobs Program, reduced corporate income taxes and increased the state’s Research and Development tax credit, among many other accomplishments.

“Speaker Tobin moved the ball forward enormously with the Qualified Facilities Tax Credit, which single-handedly raised Arizona’s competitiveness ranking from last to fourth,” said GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome. “This $630 million program is the most aggressive investment tax credit in the country – a game-changer for the region’s economic development prospects. I’m very grateful to Speaker Tobin for his leadership both at the legislature and within the economic development community.”

Warren received the Distinguished Service Award for his leadership in spearheading GPEC’s resource development efforts, including a new focus on multi-year commitments. He was successful in securing 50 percent of private investments for the next three-to-five years, helping to ensure a continued sustainability with GPEC’s key strategic initiatives in the international, science, technology and innovation sectors.

“In the span of just a few years, Andy has catapulted from a Valley newcomer to an exemplary community leader,” Broome said. “His work on GPEC’s resource development efforts has been successful largely because of his enthusiasm and commitment to the work we do diversifying the region’s economy and creating sustainable job growth.”

The dinner, GPEC’s premier annual event, celebrated GPEC’s success in the 2012 fiscal year, including a new record of 36 companies expanding or relocating to the region – the most ever in the organization’s 23-year history. This exceeds last year’s record-breaking 31
companies, making fiscal years 2011 and 2012 the best two years in terms of companies assisted since GPEC’s inception. This year’s dinner was sold out with an all-time high attendance of nearly 600.

“GPEC is proud to recognize Speaker Tobin and Andy Warren as two extraordinary leaders in the Greater Phoenix community,” said Jim Lundy, CEO of Alliance Bank of Arizona and GPEC’s new board chairman. “Both men have done tremendous jobs to cultivate economic growth and further GPEC’s mission and we are proud to celebrate their achievements.”
For more details about GPEC’s successes in FY12, visit www.gpecannualreport2012.com.

114338026

GPEC makes case against solar tariffs

In support of the prospering solar industry in the Greater Phoenix metro area, City of Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord testified against proposed tariffs on Chinese-manufactured photovoltaic cells and modules at a hearing of the International Trade Commission in Washington. The City of Goodyear is a member of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) and home to the only U.S. manufacturing hub for China-based Suntech, the world’s largest solar manufacturer. Mayor Lord is the only elected official testifying at the hearing.

“Greater Phoenix was one of the hardest hit regions in the nation during the economic downturn, but thanks to the hard work of leaders in our community, we’ve created an industry cluster for renewable companies to create a more diverse and sustainable employer base,” said Barry Broome, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, the region’s premier economic development organization. “Now, we’re home to more than 260 companies within the solar supply chain, 27 manufacturing facilities and more than 9,000 jobs associated with renewable energy companies and utility-scale projects – a significant number when considering that parts of our state are at more than 20 percent unemployment.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that if implemented, these tariffs would have a detrimental effect not only on our existing solar and renewable energy industry but also in our ability to attract further investments in this sector from around the world,” Broome added. “It would send a signal that the U.S. is closed for business when it comes to this flourishing global industry.”

GPEC works closely with companies on their expansion and relocation plans, including a concentrated approach to those making a foreign-direct investment in the United States. In recent years, it championed a renewable energy-specific incentive that has drawn numerous solar companies to Arizona, including Suntech. Additionally, there are another dozen Chinese companies with investments totaling $400 million that have identified the Greater Phoenix region as a potential location for their projects.

GPEC recently filed a formal letter of protest to the U.S. Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission against the tariffs. To view the letters, please visit www.gpec.org/tariff .

“Many of Goodyear’s economic development efforts center on solar or foreign-direct investment. As a small city located in a Foreign Trade Zone, we want more Suntechs – not less,” Mayor Lord said in her testimony. “In Goodyear, a town of just 70,000, Suntech employs more than 100 well-trained professionals and, if market demand continues, has plans to more than double that number.

“I’m worried that the imposition of punitive duties will put both current and future jobs at risk, in addition to those at related companies within the supply chain and the residual effects they could have on the people, schools and welfare of my community,” she added.

The Brattle Group recently reported that a 100 percent tariff would result in estimated job losses between 17,000 and 50,000 in 2014. Clearly, if implemented these tariffs would be detrimental not only to Arizona’s solar industry but also the entire industry nationwide and the U.S. economy as a whole, in addition to substantial job losses.

118315706

GPEC announces new Board of Directors

The Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) announced the appointment of its Board of Directors for the 2013 fiscal year.

Alliance Bank of Arizona CEO James Lundy will lead the Board of Directors as chairman. He previously served as vice chair on GPEC’s Board.

“As the economy starts to rebound, we face new challenges but also many opportunities – making it an exciting time for Greater Phoenix,” Lundy said.  “I look forward to working with my fellow board directors to seize these opportunities to improve the region’s business environment, and most importantly, spur the creation of sustainable, high-wage jobs.”

Rounding out the Board’s leadership is SCF Arizona President and CEO Don Smith as vice chair, APS Vice President and Chief Customer Officer Tammy McLeod as secretary and Bryan Cave, LLP’s R. Neil Irwin as treasurer.

New Board Directors include: David Cavazos, city manager for the City of Phoenix; Hyman Sukiennik, vice president at Cox Communications; Duane Woods, senior vice president at Waste Management; Timothy Bidwill, vice president at Vermilion IDG; George Forristall, director of project development at Mortenson Construction; Dan Henderson, economic development director for the Town of Gilbert; Debra Callicutt, partner at Henry and Horne; the Honorable Linda Kavanagh, mayor of the Town of Fountain Hills; the Honorable Marie Lopez Rogers, mayor of the City of Avondale; Vicki Martin, vice president at AT&T; the Honorable Mark Mitchell, mayor of the City of Tempe; the Honorable Max Wilson, Maricopa County Board of Supervisors; Tim Powell, area president, Republic Services; Linda Hunt, senior vice president of operations CEO of Dignity Health Arizona; John Zidich, publisher and president, The Arizona Republic; Ed Novak, managing partner at Polsinelli Shughart; Kal Patel, senior vice president at Walmart; the Honorable Christian Price, mayor of the City of Maricopa; John Welch, managing partner at Squire Sanders; and the Honorable Sharon Wolcott, mayor of the City of Surprise.

“GPEC’s Board of Directors plays an important role in our operations and strong leadership is critical,” GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome said. “I’m confident that this year’s board, led by Jim Lundy, will play a key role in helping us meet our goals with their talent, leadership and support. I look forward to working with them.”

Mayors from GPEC’s member communities and the organization’s Nominating Committee are responsible for nominating and appointing Board Directors. The one-year terms are approved annually during GPEC’s September Board meeting.

GPEC FY 2013 Board of Directors:
* Bold Print Denotes Executive Committee Member

James Lundy – Chairman
CEO
Alliance Bank of Arizona

Don Smith – Vice Chair
President and CEO
SCF Arizona

Tammy McLeod – Secretary
Vice President and Chief Customer Officer
Arizona Public Service Company

R. Neil Irwin – Treasurer
Partner
Bryan Cave, LLP

William Pepicello, Ph.D. – Immediate Past Chair
President
University of Phoenix

Barry Broome
President and CEO
Greater Phoenix Economic Council

Richard C. Adkerson
President andCEO
Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold

Jason Bagley
Government Affairs Manager
Intel

Steve Betts
Former Chief Executive Officer
SunCor Development Company

Ron Butler
Managing Partner
Ernst & Young LLP

Don Budinger
Chairman and Founding Director
Rodel Foundation

David Cavazos
City Manager
City of Phoenix

Brian Campbell
Attorney
Campbell & Mahoney, Chartered

Michael Crow, Ph.D.
President
Arizona State University

Kathleen H. Goeppinger, Ph.D.
President and CEO
Midwestern University

Derrick Hall
President and CEO
Arizona Diamondbacks

Sharon Harper
President and CEO
The Plaza Companies

Don Kile
President, Master Planned Communities
The Ellman Companies

Paul Luna
President and CEO
Helios Education Foundation

David Rousseau
President
Salt River Project

Joseph Stewart
Chairman and CEO
JPMorgan Chase Arizona

Hyman Sukiennik
Vice President
Cox Communications

Gerrit van Huisstede
Regional President Desert Mountain Region
Wells Fargo

Andy Warren
President
Maracay Homes

Richard B. West, III
President
Carefree Partners

Duane Woods
Senior Vice President
Waste Management

Chris Zaharis
Executive Vice President
Empire Southwest

John Zidich
Publisher & President
The Arizona Republic

Chuck Allen
Managing Director, Gov’t & Community Relations
US Airways

Jason Barney
Principal and Partner
Landmark Investments

The Honorable Robert Barrett
Mayor
City of Peoria

Timothy Bidwill
Vice President
Vermilion IDG

Norman Butler
Market Executive
Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Debra Callicutt
Partner
Henry and Horne

Jeff Crockett
Shareholder
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

Wyatt Decker, M.D.
CEO
Mayo Clinic Arizona

George Forristall
Director of Project Development
Mortenson Construction

Rufus Glasper, Ph.D.
Chancellor
Maricopa Community Colleges

Barry Halpern
Partner
Snell and Wilmer

G. Todd Hardy
Associate Vice President, Corporate Engagement
Arizona State University

Dan Henderson
Economic Development Director
Town of Gilbert

Lynne Herndon
Phoenix City President
BBVA Compass

Linda Hunt
Senior VP of Operations and President/CEO
Dignity Health Arizona

The Honorable Robert Jackson
Mayor
City of Casa Grande

The Honorable Linda Kavanagh
Mayor
Town of Fountain Hills

The Honorable Andy Kunasek
County Supervisor, District 3
Maricopa County Board of Supervisors

The Honorable John Lewis
Mayor
Town of Gilbert

The Honorable Marie Lopez Rogers
Mayor
City of Avondale

The Honorable Georgia Lord
Mayor
City of Goodyear

Jeff Lowe
President
MidFirst Bank

Paul Magallanez
Economic Development Director
City of Tolleson

Kate Maracas
Vice President
Abengoa

Vicki Martin
Vice President
AT&T

The Honorable Brian McAchran
Vice Mayor
Town of Buckeye

The Honorable Mark Mitchell
Mayor
City of Tempe

Ed Novak
Managing Partner
Polsinelli Shughart

Kal Patel
Senior Vice President
Walmart

Rui Pereira
General Manager
Rancho de Los Caballeros

Tim Powell
Area President
Republic Services

The Honorable Christian Price
Mayor
City of Maricopa

Craig Robb
Managing Director
Zions Energy Link

The Honorable Jeff Serdy
Councilmember
City of Apache Junction

Steven M. Shope, Ph.D.
President
Sandia Research Corporation

James T. Swanson
President and CEO
Kitchell Corporation

Karrin Kunasek Taylor
Executive Vice President and Chief Entitlements Officer
DMB Associates, Inc.

Richard J. Thompson
President and CEO
Power-One

John Welch
Managing Partner
Squire Sanders

The Honorable Jeff Weninger
Vice Mayor
City of Chandler

The Honorable Max Wilson
County Supervisor, District 4
Maricopa County Board of Supervisors

Dan Withers
President
D.L. Withers Construction

The Honorable Sharon Wolcott
Mayor
City of Surprise

GENERAL COUNSEL
Bryant Barber
Attorney at Law
Lewis and Roca

Graph 1

GPEC: Plans To Revive The Economy

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

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

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

Municipalities

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

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

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

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

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

Technology

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Housing

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

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

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

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

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

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

Law

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

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

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

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

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

Banking

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

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

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

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

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

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

Education

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Manufacturing

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

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

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

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

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

For more information about GPEC visit, gpec.org

Arizona Business Magazine January/February 2012

GPEC - AZ Business Magazine January/February 2012

GPEC Leads Cooperative Effort To Draw More ‘Clean Tech’ Industry To Arizona

Insight into innovation: GPEC leads cooperative effort to draw more ‘clean tech’ industry to Arizona

Green technology is still a relatively small part of Arizona’s economy, but its potential for growth is a bright spot on the state’s horizon.

“At a time when other economic engines have been sputtering, anticipated green job growth among Arizona’s green economy firms is quite promising,” say authors of a report prepared for state economic development officials by The Council for Community and Economic Research. It is one of two recent reports that assesses the industry and its growth potential.

While there is no standard definition of “green tech” or “clean tech,” it has been described by Clean Edge, a clean-tech research firm, as “a diverse range of products, services, and processes that harness renewable materials and energy sources, dramatically reduce the use of natural resources, and cut or eliminate emissions and wastes.” So even defining “green tech” or “clean tech” can be difficult, The Council for Community and Economic Research acknowledges.

That is why the Greater Phoenix Economic Council ( GPEC ) is embarking on a 12- to 18-month study to better define Arizona’s clean tech sector, says its president and CEO Barry Broome.

It’s a big undertaking, Broome says, but an important one given the impact that clean tech, particularly renewable energy, will likely play in driving the state’s future economy.

In fact, Broome predicts that renewable energy — particularly solar energy companies and the extensive supply chains that grow up around them, as well as companies that produce energy-efficient technologies — will become major players in Arizona in the future.

“It’s going to be our biggest industry outside of healthcare,” he says. “In 10 years, 100 percent (of homes built in Arizona) will be solarized at some level.”

That economy includes not just traditional solar manufacturers, but also materials producers — companies that make smart meters, water-use monitors and biodegradable drywall, for example.

The numbers

Overall, Arizona was home to 30,716 green jobs in 2010, about 1.3 percent of total statewide employment, according to the research report, titled “Green Jobs in Arizona 2010.”

But it says green jobs were expected to grow at a healthy 8.6 percent clip in 2011, outpacing the projected rate of 0.7 percent for all other jobs.

A second report by Battelle, a non-profit research organization, parallels the assessment that the green economy in Arizona is still emerging, but can expect strong future growth, particularly in renewable energy, greenhouse gas reduction and energy-efficiency sectors.

One key factor in this growth is a state leadership that creates a business climate that promotes innovation, the report says.

Faces behind the numbers

If you want to put a name to those numbers, turn to Greg Armstrong, chief operation officer for Rioglass Solar, a Spanish company that makes tempered glass reflectors and is the primary manufacturer for Abengoa Solar, which is building a 280-megawat solar power plant near Gila Bend.

Rioglass placed its U.S. headquarters and manufacturing operation in Surprise and plans another $45 million in capital investments.

The company was considering sites in Denver, Albuquerque and even Mexico when it visited the Surprise location, Armstrong says. The method GPEC used to draw Rioglass Solar to Arizona is a good example of what the state needs to continue to do to lure renewable energy companies, he says.

GPEC organized a meeting on site, in a tent, that brought together all the principal players in the effort: state officials, Surprise representatives, utility employees and economic development officials.

That was a first for Rioglass, Armstrong says, and an indication of what came next:  Surprise waived some fees involved in the expensive process of siting the plant, invested in infrastructure upgrades and created an expedited permit package that enabled Rioglass to break ground in January and take occupancy by July.

For more information about GPEC, visit gpec.org.

Arizona Business Magazine January/February 2012

 

Barry Broome, GPEC - AZ Business Magazine January/February 2012

GPEC’s Barry Broome Outlines Plan To Attract More High-Paying Jobs

Roadmap for the future: GPEC President Barry Broome outlines plan to attract more high-paying jobs, keep the ones we have

The Greater Phoenix Economic Council ( GPEC ) is beginning 2012 with an updated roadmap, the first leg of a five-year strategic plan, says its CEO and President Barry Broome.

Along with its historical mission to attract high-quality, high-paying jobs to the Valley, Broome says 2012 will also see GPEC bolstering its retention and expansion efforts, particularly in the aerospace industry.

Broome took time recently to list four of this year’s goals in the strategic plan. Look for GPEC to:

1. Help the Arizona Commerce Authority get off the ground. The public-private entity was established last year to create jobs and investment in Arizona. Broome says GPEC is working to coordinate efforts, leverage each other’s strengths and avoid duplicating efforts.

2. Work more diligently on retention and expansion, particularly in the aerospace industry, which is facing potential cuts by Congress’ Joint Select Committee on Debt Reduction, otherwise known as the Supercommittee.

“We’re analyzing 800 aerospace companies as we speak,” Broome says. “We want to make sure we really understand the aerospace sector.”  Information gleaned from analyses will be used to help cities identify companies under threat of budget cuts and find ways to support them.

Using the analytical skills of GPEC’s research team and internalizing it to Arizona is a new undertaking, he says, one that will help everyone better understand the sectors that drive the Valley’s economy. Historically, researchers have — among other things — focused on understanding the California market and which companies there may be candidates for relocation.

3. Support with data and information solid economic development tools. GPEC will be “meticulously” going over Gov. Jan Brewer’s veto letter for Senate Bill 1041, which would have cut the rate at which a business’ property is assessed if it committed to constructing or expanding in Arizona. The bill was meant to complement the larger, business-friendly tax package passed earlier by the Legislature. Broome says if a policy effort emerges to resurrect some of those ideas, GPEC will support it with data and technical expertise.

4. Focus on science and technology. GPEC established an Innovation Council last summer whose mission is to better understand and cultivate opportunities in the high-tech sector, says GPEC board member Steve Shope, president of Sandia Research Corporation and a member of the council.

For more information about GPEC and CEO/President Barry Broome, visit gpec.org.

Arizona Business Magazine January/February 2012

 

AZ Business Magazine - Digital Issue

AZ Business Magazine January/February 2012

Arizona Business Magazine January/February 2012

The Centennial Issue

In this special Arizona Centennial issue of AZ Business Magazine, we not not only take a look back on the Arizona’s rich history, but also look ahead at another 100 promising years, asking experts in various fields, “What’s in store for Arizona’s next century?” Flip through, and you’ll also find out who the 27 Arizona Corporate Counsel Awards finalists and winners are, GPEC’s supplement looking into the future of the Valley economy for 2012, the future of technology in Arizona, the 50 largest employers in the state and more.

Read more articles from this issue on Azbigmedia.com

 

GPEC Forum

GPEC Hosts Forum For New And Expanding Businesses

The Greater Phoenix Economic Council ( GPEC ) hosted a forum on Dec. 8 to welcome three green and sustainable businesses to Arizona. While Arizona provides particular benefits for these businesses, including climate, educated workforce and tax credits, these businesses will provide benefits for Arizona and its communities by creating jobs, in addition to upholding the reputation of Phoenix as a leader in sustainability.

GPEC Introduces Clear Energy Systems, Maxwell Technologies Inc. and Bryan University to Arizona


Clear Energy Systems

GPECClear Energy Systems, is a research and design company based out of Tempe since 2001, but now that the company is ready to go into production mode, it was time to determine a home base.

Clear Energy Systems developed a clean burning, one-megawatt generator that is powered using natural gas, opposed to traditional diesel generators.

The Clear Energy Systems generator has been designed to meet or exceed the EPA and the CARB emissions requirements. The company expects to have its first saleable unit produced in 2Q of 2012, but even with the generator still in production, the company already has orders for 200 units.

Clear Energy Systems is gearing up to have a local workforce of 350 employees and represent five percent of the exports of the state of Arizona by 2016.

“We want Clear Energy Systems to be a place that people are banging down the doors to come work at,” says Joel Borovay, chief operating officer (COO) of Clear Energy Systems. “By 2014, we’ve committed to the state of Arizona that we will have 225 employees; today we have 11.”


Maxwell Technologies Inc.

GPECMaxwell Technologies Inc. representative, Earl Wiggins, the vice president of operations, was enthusiastic about expanding the company to Peoria.

Maxwell Technologies Inc. will be manufacturing Ultracapacitors in the Peoria plant. These Ultracapacitors are used in heavy transportation vehicles, such as buses, trains, trams and metros around the world. The mechanism stores the energy created when the vehicle stops and uses that energy for the vehicle to accelerate. This type of technology is also used in energy windmills to control the direction of the blades as the wind changes.

The Ultracapacitors have to be manufactured in a low- to zero-humidity environment, so choosing the Southwest was a no-brainer. Cities such as Albuquerque and San Antonio were competing for the patronage of Maxwell Technologies, but according to Wiggins, “Phoenix won out because of GPEC’s outstanding communication with our company and the current availability of facilities. The other cities were willing to build a facility for us, but time was a factor.”

Maxwell Technologies sells its Ultracapacitor model to 40 different countries and expects to bring 150 jobs to Phoenix in the next three years.


Bryan University

GPECBryan University is relocating its headquarters from Los Angeles to Tempe.

The online-based university offers a variety of courses for higher education seeking students. Eric Evans, chief technology/compliance officer for Bryan University, explained the high tech systems used to facilitate a successful and engaging learning environment that is available on the Internet.

The university uses programs such as Moodle, eDiscovery and Illuminate to facilitate a face-to-face learning environment with access to all the amenities that a student would receive if they attended a university in person, just simply eliminating the carbon footprint.

Bryan University was considering other locations in addition to Arizona as the optimal relocation for its headquarters; however, Arizona won top spot for its close proximity to its current location in California, the growing population of Arizona, the need and desire for online education and avaliablity for persons with higher education degrees to fit employment qualifications.

“In the next two years, we expect to hire between 150 to 200 employees with higher education degrees to fill positions with our university,” Evans says.


All three of these companies were in talks with other cities as the new manufacturing site or headquarters, but Phoenix won out as Arizona’s climate, population and desire for economic expansion won these companies over. Each feature of our state contributes to our success — expanding population, the sustainable technology programs provided by Arizona’s colleges and universities, the warm sunny weather and the continuing interest by the Greater Phoenix Economic Council for Arizona’s economic and sustainable improvement.

Bill Pepicello, chairman of GPEC and president of University of Phoenix - AZ Business Magazine Jan/Feb 2011

Q&A Bill Pepicello, GPEC Chairman And University Of Phoenix President

What are your top goals as chairman of GPEC?
First, and foremost, my goal is to build on the momentum that Michael Bidwill, GPEC’s immediate past chairman, and Barry Broome, GPEC’s president and CEO, have driving the region toward new high-quality jobs. … I also want to expand on their vision and ideas to build a healthy economy. Many of the pieces of the puzzle are coming together now. Arizona’s Renewable Energy Tax Incentive Program is driving hundreds of new jobs and millions in capital investment. In addition, many leaders are focused on moving Arizona’s economy beyond its former reliance on the construction, retail and real estate industries.

How would you characterize Greater Phoenix to companies looking to expand here?
Greater Phoenix is a strong investment decision for companies. We have ground-floor business opportunities for companies looking for the right place to expand their businesses. Renewable energy companies and bioscience companies do very well here. The semiconductor and aerospace industry are intertwined in Arizona’s history. Also, Greater Phoenix is an ideal location to launch a business and export products to California, which has a more expensive business environment. … We have highly skilled labor, an affordable operating environment and new available buildings.

Why is GPEC targeting the renewable energy industry?
The industry provides high-quality jobs for local communities, injects millions in capital investment, and draws other companies that serve as suppliers. … GPEC will continue to focus on renewable energy policy and the state’s aggressive Renewable Energy Standard that appeals to companies. Michael will continue to play a pivotal role in advancing the renewable energy industry, as Gov. Brewer has appointed him to lead the Arizona Commerce Authority’s Renewable Energy Growth Sector Committee.

What is GPEC doing this year to advance the region?
We are partnering with the Legislature to bring more high-quality jobs to Arizona, and we are working with lawmakers to modernize the state’s Enterprise Zone to draw more companies here. We are continuing with rebranding efforts to move Arizona’s national image beyond the immigration debates. I believe our efforts to continue diversifying the region’s economy will have a lasting impact for the region and Arizona. GPEC is working very hard to strengthen the economy. We have many tasks to accomplish this year but we are definitely up for the challenge.

AZ Business Magazine Jan/Feb 2011

GPEC Profile: Candace Wiest, President And CEO Of West Valley National Bank

Candace Wiest
President and CEO, West Valley National Bank

Even before West Valley National Bank opened its doors on Dec. 23, 2006, a decision was made to join the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. Becoming an active member of GPEC made good business sense.

“What I like about GPEC is its economic development focus,” says Candace Wiest, president and CEO of the community bank. “It goes to the heart of what community banks do. I’m a firm believer in the saying that a rising tide lifts all ships.”

One of the first benefits Wiest saw for her bank was how GPEC helped attract the Cancer Treatment Centers of America to the West Valley. The nation’s fourth Cancer Treatment Centers of America, located in Goodyear, opened on Dec. 29, 2008, bringing with it quality care for cancer patients and 200 high-paying jobs. But there’s more.

“It certainly helped with some of the housing issues in the West Valley, created a lot of options in terms of health care, and gave the area national recognition,” Wiest says. “I couldn’t bank the hospital itself, maybe, but I certainly can be the banker for a lot of the people out there.”

GPEC efforts benefit the Greater Phoenix’s economy on a macro level, Wiest says, as well as on a micro level helping its individual members.

She enjoys serving on GPEC Next, which is an advisory group through which some of the newer ideas flow before being submitted to GPEC’s board of directors. She applauds GPEC’s role in supporting solar energy, which produces a benefit for her bank.

“I certainly cannot finance any big solar companies,” Wiest says, “but we have launched a program to finance construction for businesses that want to convert to solar.”

The solid relationship between West Valley National Bank and GPEC is ongoing. Wiest is on the board of the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, maintaining a link between the cancer facility and GPEC; and she is a trustee of New Hampshire’s Franklin Pierce University, named after the 14th U.S. president. The university already holds some classes in Goodyear and is considering an expansion, Wiest says, adding that GPEC is playing a role in that project.

Wiest says GPEC has done wonders to enhance the Valley’s image. While serving a pair of three-year terms as a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, she heard numerous negative comments about the Phoenix area.

“GPEC has helped to debunk some of those myths,” Wiest says.

www.wvnb.net


Arizona Business Magazine

February 2010

GPEC Profile: Mike Tully, President And CEO Of AAA Arizona

Mike Tully
President and CEO, AAA Arizona

As president and CEO of AAA Arizona, Mike Tully has a keen interest in getting the state back on the road to prosperity. That probably explains why for the past seven years Tully, who joined AAA Arizona in 1998 as chief financial officer, has been a member of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council’s Finance Committee.

“GPEC’s role in our community is critical,” Tully says. “Attracting high-quality jobs to our state improves our health and economic performance, and makes the state a more attractive place for residents, as well as people moving to our beautiful state. As a membership organization representing nearly 800,000 people, AAA has a vested interest in the livelihood of Arizona.”

In addition to Tully’s position on the Finance Committee, AAA Arizona has a representative on the GPEC board of directors. That’s just part of the relationship.

“From a business perspective, we have used GPEC as a resource when we evaluated expansion opportunities, moving a large portion of our California operations to Arizona,” Tully says. “GPEC was invaluable in our ultimate decision, which resulted in nearly 800 new jobs being brought to our state.”
GPEC’s mission to create a competitive, vibrant, diverse and self-sustaining regional economy is critical to all of Arizona’s industries, Tully says.

“Ensuring that Arizona continues to improve the diversity of high-paying quality jobs is more obvious than ever, as seen by our recent recession,” he says. “Our precipitous decline as the No. 1 job growth state to No. 50 is symptomatic of our lack of industry diversity.”

Tully has been instrumental in driving the tremendous growth of AAA over the past decade, including expansion of its membership, financial services, insurance and travel operations. Prior to joining AAA, Tully owned an export finance company that arranged structured trade finance transactions for exporters throughout the United States.

The AAA executive has deep Arizona roots, having earned his Bachelor of Science degree in finance in 1987, and a master’s in business administration in 1991, both from Arizona State University. In 2007, he graduated from the advanced management program at Harvard Business School. Tully also holds a CPA certification.

As for travel trends in Arizona, Tully says the future remains murky.

“Our short-term forecast is flat, although shorter trips and drive trips continue to be popular,” he says. “While business travel is picking up in many areas of the country, it has yet to rebound in the Southwest.”

Likewise, international travel to Arizona continues to be weak, which hurts even more because international travelers generally spend four to five times the amount of money as domestic visitors.

www.aaaaz.com

Arizona Business Magazine

February 2010

GPEC Profile: Craig Robb, Executive Vice President And Director Of Finance And Administration, National Bank Of Arizona

Craig Robb
Executive vice president and director of finance and administration, National Bank of Arizona

With a 17-year career in land development prior to joining National Bank of Arizona seven years ago, Craig Robb was a natural to become an active member of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council.

Robb, executive vice president and director of finance and administration for the bank, is in his first year on the GPEC board of directors. He also serves on the GPEC Next Committee, which reviews possible projects and initiatives before forwarding them to the board.

But it was his two-plus years on GPEC’s Community Development Committee that enabled him to draw extensively from his combined experience in real estate and banking. Comprised primarily of real estate brokers and developers, with some bankers, the panel focused on shovel-ready projects as the construction industry’s fortunes plunged.

One of the areas his committee worked on involves sustainability and LEED certification.

“GPEC maintains a strong effort to identify programs and buildings that are more attractive to potential companies coming into the Phoenix area,” Robb says. “It’s an effort to match companies to a building that is LEED certified and sustainable, whether it’s office or industrial. That’s very attractive to a company that might be interested in relocating here.”

The bank’s relationship with GPEC is a two-way street.

“We are glad to be a contributor to GPEC, which is absolutely the right organization for promoting Greater Phoenix,” Robb says, “especially how difficult it is now, with the competition we face in a national and global economy. On a reciprocal basis, we have benefited. GPEC has given us a greater interest in sustainability.”

The bank, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2009, decided to upgrade some of its nearly 80 branches that were facing energy challenges.

“We started our own effort to see what we could do to create a more sustainable platform for our own buildings,” Robb says.

About the same time in late 2008, Robb, through a GPEC event, met the CEO of Solar City.

“That blossomed forward, and we ended up with a $1.5 million installation at our Biltmore location, improving our energy efficiency,” he says. “In addition, the bank has committed $25 million to provide a lease program that allows individuals to lease solar equipment for their homes.

“We made our contribution to GPEC, and as a result here is a relationship that has blossomed into well over a $50 million investment related to solar.”

www.nbarizona.com


Arizona Business Magazine

February 2010

GPEC Profile: Steve Cowman, CEO Of Stirling Energy Systems Inc.

Steve Cowman
CEO, Stirling Energy Systems Inc. (SES)

With more than a hint of an Irish brogue, Steve Cowman sounds like he has found a home in what he calls the solar capital of the Southwest.

The CEO of Stirling Energy Systems Inc. (SES) is enthused about the prospects for an expanding solar energy industry, the strategic access to his market that Phoenix provides, and the proactive reputation of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. SES is a pioneer in the design and development of Concentrated Solar Power solutions.

Cowman joined the company in May 2008, after having worked for General Electric for 10 years, including eight in the United States. He’s been living in the U.S., mostly on the East Coast, for 12 of the past 20 years.

Barely a year after taking the helm of Stirling, and choosing Phoenix for its corporate headquarters, Cowman joined GPEC and sits on the economic development organization’s executive committee. Though a relative newcomer to the Valley, Cowman, who has a background in semiconductor engineering, had a longtime involvement with Intel, Motorola and Arizona State University.

With Stirling targeting markets in Nevada, New Mexico, California, Texas, and of course, Arizona, Cowman says of Phoenix, “I liked the location and the infrastructure.”

While Cowman was working in Dublin, GPEC dispatched a representative to his company to reinforce the story about what Phoenix offers.

“I was impressed with the people and with the vision they have to reverse the trend of losing engineering and manufacturing-intensive businesses in the Valley,” Cowman says. “I like GPEC, and I want to stay here and grow here.”

Cowman applauds the efforts of GPEC to attract more solar energy businesses.

“A number of companies are looking to relocate their design or manufacturing operations to the Phoenix area,” he says. “The larger solar infrastructure we build in the Valley, the better it is for companies like Stirling. It improves the gene pool we can all draw from and helps with collaborative programs.”
In addition to marketing and promoting the Phoenix area from coast to coast, GPEC also gets into what Cowan refers to the “hard stuff,” pushing legislation that helps the solar industry.

On the lost manufacturing jobs, Cowman says, “These jobs are not going overseas. A lot of them are going to places like Nevada and New Mexico.
Arizona has some catching up to do, and GPEC is doing that. GPEC is trying to make the Valley look more attractive, and state officials need to wake up to the reality that we have a competitive disadvantage.”

www.stirlingenergy.com

Arizona Business Magazine

February 2010