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Executives from Sprouts Farmers Market accept an Industry Leaders of Arizona Award Wednesday at the Camelback Inn. Photo by Shavon Rose, AZ Big Media

Az Business honors Industry Leaders of Arizona winners

Some of the most dynamic businesses in Arizona were honored Wednesday as winners at the 2015 Industry Leaders of Arizona (ILoA) Awards, which recognize the contributions and impact of Arizona‐based companies on both the economy of Arizona and in the communities they serve.

Companies were selected from five key industries:

• Aerospace and defense
• Commercial and residential real estate service contractors
• Food and beverage (non-hospitality)
• Healthcare support services
• Software/data support

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““This is one of the most prestigious corporate award programs in Arizona,” said says Cheryl Green, publisher of Az Business magazine, which hosts the awards. “It recognizes both the CEO and CFO along with the contributions and impact these Industry Leaders bring to the state of Arizona.”

Sponsors of the awards were Arizona Central Credit Union, CRESA, Lovitt & Touche, McGladrey, Polsinelli, Stat Doctors and Merestone.

Here are the 2015 winners:

Commercial and Residential Real Estate Service Company of the Year:

Parker and Sons
Leadership: Paul E. Kelly, CEO; Erika Doyle, controller
Address: 3636 E. Anne St., Phoenix
Website: parkerandsons.com
What it does: Parker and Sons, celebrating its 40th year in business, is a leader in the HVAC and plumbing industry.
How it leads: At the heart of its success is Parker and Sons’ value system, which it calls its SPIRIT values — Service, Performance, Integrity, Respect, Innovation and Teamwork. The leaders of Parker and Sons say the company’s success is driven by team members who not only care, but care enough to do the right thing and go the extra mile.

Aerospace and Defense Company of the Year:

Robertson Fuel Systems, LLC
Leadership: Tom Harrison, CEO; Barry Sullivan, CFO
Address: 800 W. Carver Rd., Tempe
Website: robbietanks.com
What it does: Robertson Fuel Systems designs and manufactures crashworthy and ballistically self-sealing fuel systems for helicopters and ground combat vehicles for U.S. and international customers.
How it leads: Robertson is the acknowledged world leader in fuel containment and ballistic tolerance, having designed, manufactured, and fielded more than 4,500 crashworthy, ballistically self-sealing primary and auxiliary fuel systems for rotary and fixed winged aircraft and ground combat vehicles since 1976.  Robertson systems self-seal against ballistic threats ranging from 7.62mm and .50 caliber Armor Piercing (AP) straight and tumbled projectiles to 23mm High Explosive Incendiary (HEI) and meet/exceed military crashworthy requirements.

Food and Beverage Company of the Year:

Sprouts Farmers Market
Leadership: Doug Sanders, CEO; Amin Maredia, CFO
Address: 11811 N. Tatum Blvd., #2400, Phoenix
Website: sprouts.com
What it does: Sprouts is a healthy grocery store committed to healthy living that offers fresh, natural and organic foods at great prices.
How it leads: Recently named one of the top five supermarket chains by Consumer Reports and headquartered in Phoenix, Sprouts employs more than 15,000 team members and operates more than 175 stores in 10 states. Central to Sprouts’ identity is a genuine commitment to responsible retailing, which includes constructing and operating its farmers markets in a way that reduces energy use.

Healthcare Support Services Company of the Year:

Avella Specialty Pharmacy
Leadership: Rebecca M. Shanahan, CEO; Prem Goyal, CFO
Address: 1606 W. Whispering Wind Dr., Phoenix
Website: avella.com
What it does: Avella is a national specialty pharmacy offering breakthrough medications, clinical excellence and support to individuals with complex healthcare issues.
How it leads: Avella offers more than just innovative specialty medications. Its clinicians and staff members provide guidance that helps individuals manage complex health conditions like cancer, hepatitis, HIV, infertility and others. Avella partners with prescribing physicians to serve as a valuable member of a patient’s healthcare team. Avella complements these efforts with the latest technology, including mobile health tools that offer convenience to its patients.

Software and Data Support Company of the Year:

InEight
Leadership: Bill Ponseti, CEO; Jason Trueblood, CFO
Address: 9977 N. 90th St., #200, Scottsdale
Website: ineight.com
What it does: InEight’s technology solutions help companies design, estimate, control and connect all aspects of their capital and maintenance projects, from the back office to the job site.
How it leads: In May 2014, the company introduced the InEight name which represents the vision to empower customers with an innate ability to more effectively manage their capital and maintenance projects from start to finish. More than 500 companies now use InEight products, including some of the largest companies in the engineering, construction and operations; mining; oil and gas; and utilities industries.

Innovator of the Year:

GPS Insight
Leadership: Robert Donat, CEO; Wayne Holder, CFO
Address: 19001 N. Scottsdale Rd., #400, Scottsdale
Website: gpsinisght.com
What it does: GPS Insight is a leading GPS tracking software provider for commercial and
government fleets.
How it leads: GPS Insight innovates most in its technology and is typically the first to bring new capabilities to the GPS tracking space. The way in which it innovates most, however, is by continuously working with customers and prospects to hear about what they require. By pairing its technology with user requirements, GPS Insight brings its product continuously to the next
level while satisfying existing and future customers.

Transformation Award:

Inventure Foods
Leadership: Terry McDaniel, CEO; Steve Weinberger, CFO
Address: 5415 E. High St., Phoenix
Website: inventurefoods.com
What it does: Inventure Foods is a sales and marketing company that focuses on healthy and natural snacks and frozen foods. Its brands include company-owned brands Boulder Canyon, Poore Brothers, Rader Farms, Fresh Frozen Foods andlicense brands including Jamba, Seattle’s Best Coffee, TGI Friday’s, Nathan’s Famous and Vidalia Brands snacks.
How it leads: As a smaller food company, Inventure’s ability to develop unique product concepts that are brought to the market quickly has enable it to compete against some of the industry giants.

Founder’s Award:

Sunstate Equipment
Leadership: Chris Watts, president and COO; Garth Price, CFO
Address: 5552 E. Washington St., Phoenix
Website: sunstateequip.com
What it does: Sunstate provides top quality rental equipment and tools to its customers so they can get the job done safely and efficiently.
How it leads: With the trend toward users outsourcing their construction equipment rentals, Sunstate has successfully navigated the changing face of the industry for more than 30 years. The company is defined by its core values: people, integrity, safety, challenge, empowerment, teamwork and fun. Sunstate’s leadership believes that if they take care of their employees, the employees will take care of their customers.

technology

Az Business names Industry Leaders of Arizona finalists

Az Business magazine is proud to present the Industry Leaders of Arizona (ILoA) Awards, which recognize the contributions and impact of Arizona‐based companies on both the economy of Arizona and in the communities they serve. Companies were selected from five key industries:

• Aerospace and defense
• Commercial and residential real estate service contractors
• Food and beverage (non-hospitality)
• Healthcare support services
• Software/data support

Winners will be recognized at an awards dinner that will be held Wednesday, Feb. 4 at the Camelback Inn. Here are the 30 finalists for this year’s ILoA Awards:

AppointmentPlus
Leadership: Bob La Loggia, CEO; Debbie James, CFO
Address: 15300 N. 90th St., #100, Scottsdale
Website: appointment-plus.com
What it does: AppointmentPlus is a web-based scheduling software that empowers businesses through configurable online calendars, reminder management, online payment processing and plug-in integration.
How it leads: Scheduling problems cost companies more than $150 billion annually. AppointmentPlus’ software eliminates this problem by offering an easy-to-use platform for online scheduling. AppointmentPlus can take a small company from using paper appointment books to the increased accuracy of online booking. Departments within larger companies can use AppointmentPlus for scheduling trucks at distribution centers or scheduling job candidate screenings.

Avella Specialty Pharmacy
Leadership: Rebecca M. Shanahan, CEO; Prem Goyal, CFO
Address: 1606 W. Whispering Wind Dr., Phoenix
Website: avella.com
What it does: Avella is a national specialty pharmacy offering breakthrough medications, clinical excellence and support to individuals with complex healthcare issues.
How it leads: Avella offers more than just innovative specialty medications. Its clinicians and staff members provide guidance that helps individuals manage complex health conditions like cancer, hepatitis, HIV, infertility and others. Avella partners with prescribing physicians to serve as a valuable member of a patient’s healthcare team. Avella complements these efforts with the latest technology, including mobile health tools that offer convenience to its patients.

Benson Systems
Leadership: Shawn Benson, CEO; James Spiel, CFO
Address: 2065 W. Obispo Ave., #101, Gilbert
Website: bensonsys.com
What it does: Benson Systems’s mission is to be a single-source provider of vital facilities services, system integration and installation, including security systems, fire alarms, air conditioning systems, electrical, plumbing and more.
How it leads: Earlier this year, Benson created a fundraising arm of Benson Systems called the Benson Charities Foundation. Focusing on his passion of youth development and health and wellness, Benson funnels his personal and company community efforts into the Benson Charities Foundation so that he can more effectively support causes that are important to him and his family.

BeyondTrust
Leadership: Kevin Hickey, CEO; Bryce Hancock, CFO
Address: 5090 N. 40th St., #400, Phoenix
Website: beyondtrust.com
What it does: BeyondTrust delivers privileged account management and vulnerability management solutions that reduce IT security risks and simplify compliance reporting across heterogeneous IT environments.
How it leads: One of Hickey’s first, and largest initiatives since his appointment as CEO was the development and launch of the company’s first cloud-based vulnerability scanning solution, BeyondSaaS. This allowed BeyondTrust to offer a more cost-effective security solution and target a new segment of the market. It also created a new space inside the company for innovation to occur — the cloud space.

Burns Pest Elimination
Leadership: Dave Burns, CEO
Address: 2620 W. Grovers Ave., Phoenix
Website: burnspestelimination.com
What it does: Burns Pest Elimination is a full- service commercial and residential pest elimination company. Specialties include scorpions, roaches, ants and rodents, bird exclusion and trapping services. Commercial industries include healthcare, multi-family housing, homeowners associations, call centers, hospitality and food handling.
How it leads: Burns was the first in Arizona to operate a division devoted to locating and exterminating bed bugs by the use of specially trained canines, then exterminating them through both traditional methods and the company’s specially designed Enviro-heat treatment.

Crescent Crown Distributing
Leadership: James “Bubba” Moffett, CEO; Neil Baier, CFO
Address: 1640 W. Broadway Rd., Mesa
Website: crescentcrown.com
What it does: Crescent Crown is one of the ten largest beer distributors in the country, selling and delivering over 27 million cases of beer and other fine beverages throughout Arizona and Louisiana.
How it leads: Crescent Crown holds as a core value the importance of supporting the local community. Crescent Crown employees are past or current board members of the Mesa Arts Center Foundation, Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce, Habitat for Humanity, Rebuilding Together and the Mesa Chamber of Commerce.

Enghouse Interactive
Leadership: Christoph Mosing, CEO; Doug Bryson, CFO
Address: 2095 W. Pinnacle Peak Rd., #110, Phoenix
Website: enghouseinteractive.com
What it does: Enghouse Interactive is a global leader in providing contact center solutions that deliver differentiated customer experiences and maximize the value of every customer interaction.
How it leads: Enghouse is steadfast in both its commitment to and investment in making the Phoenix community its headquarters. Unlike many technology companies, Enghouse boasts an incredibly strong balance sheet and consistent year-over-year growth. Second quarter revenue, for example, was $55 million, an increase of 23 percent over revenue of $44.5 million in the second quarter last year.

Exodyne
Leadership: Ralph Rockow, CEO; Julie Rossignol, CFO
Address: 8433 N. Black Canyon Hwy., #200, Phoenix
Website: exodyne.com
What it does: Dynamic Science, Inc. (DSI), a subsidiary of Exodyne, Inc., has provided defense-related services since 1942 in aviation, test and evaluation, and research and development.
How it leads: DSI was established in 1942 to assist in a crash injury research project at Cornell University. It is know for its longevity, innovative track record, consistency and impressive variety of areas of expertise. The Air National Guard chose DSI to provide air traffic control and navigational aid maintenance services at seven locations throughout the U.S. DSI also expanded into train, bus, and motorcycle investigations.

FacilitySource
Leadership: Bill Hayden, CEO; Richard Montero, CFO
Address: 3600 E. University Dr., #C-1550, Phoenix
Website: facilitysource.com
What it does: Since 2001, FacilitySource has provided high quality alternatives to traditional facility support solutions to multi-location retailers, restaurants and other enterprises.
How it leads: FacilitySource is a leader in the facility management industry because of its unique perspective on integrated facility management. To deliver on this vision, FacilitySource employs industry leading solution components that help its clients operate their facilities in best-in-class fashion. These differentiated solutions include FacilitySource’s applied business intelligence, elite network of service providers, its industry leading software platform — fmPilot and its transaction center.

GPS Insight
Leadership: Robert Donat, CEO; Wayne Holder, CFO
Address: 19001 N. Scottsdale Rd., #400, Scottsdale
Website: gpsinisght.com
What it does: GPS Insight is a leading GPS tracking software provider for commercial and
government fleets.
How it leads: GPS Insight innovates most in its technology and is typically the first to bring new capabilities to the GPS tracking space. The way in which it innovates most, however, is by continuously working with customers and prospects to hear about what they require. By pairing its technology with user requirements, GPS Insight brings its product continuously to the next
level while satisfying existing and future customers.

InEight
Leadership: Bill Ponseti, CEO; Jason Trueblood, CFO
Address: 9977 N. 90th St., #200, Scottsdale
Website: ineight.com
What it does: InEight’s technology solutions help companies design, estimate, control and connect all aspects of their capital and maintenance projects, from the back office to the job site.
How it leads: In May 2014, the company introduced the InEight name which represents the vision to empower customers with an innate ability to more effectively manage their capital and maintenance projects from start to finish. More than 500 companies now use InEight products, including some of the largest companies in the engineering, construction and operations; mining; oil and gas; and utilities industries.

Inventure Foods
Leadership: Terry McDaniel, CEO; Steve Weinberger, CFO
Address: 5415 E. High St., Phoenix
Website: inventurefoods.com
What it does: Inventure Foods is a sales and marketing company that focuses on healthy and natural snacks and frozen foods. Its brands include company-owned brands Boulder Canyon, Poore Brothers, Rader Farms, Fresh Frozen Foods andlicense brands including Jamba, Seattle’s Best Coffee, TGI Friday’s, Nathan’s Famous and Vidalia Brands snacks.
How it leads: As a smaller food company, Inventure’s ability to develop unique product concepts that are brought to the market quickly has enable it to compete against some of the industry giants.

Isagenix International, LLC
Leadership: Kevin Adams, CEO; Darren Fujii, CFO
Address: 2225 S. Price Rd., Chandler
Website: isagenix.com
What it does: Isagenix offers health-and-wellness solutions that provide real results, a compelling business opportunity and a global vision of helping people achieve their dreams — physically and financially.
How it leads: Isagenix is a world-class leader in the network marketing industry, offering solutions to transform lives in four key areas: weight loss, energy and performance, healthy aging and wealth creation. With cumulative sales over $2.5 billion, the company is undeniably one of the most successful in the industry.

JDA Software Group, Inc.
Leadership: Bal Dail, chairman and CEO; Marc Levine, CFO
Address: 14400 N. 87th St., Scottsdale
Website: jda.com
What it does: JDA Software is a leader in global supply chain management, offering a broad portfolio of integrated planning and execution solutions and services to help firms manage the entire supply chain through any channel.
How it leads: A powerful cloud delivery platform enables JDA customers to achieve and maintain long-term value from their software investments. From rapid deployment to ongoing optimization services, JDA Cloud customers benefit from the synthesis of technology, support, system management, and industry and solution expertise.

Maverick Healthcare
Leadership: Robert Fahlman, CEO; Jeff Reynolds, CFO
Address: 4601 E. Hilton Ave., Phoenix
Website: preferredhomecare.com
What it does: Maverick provides multiple value-based in-home services.
How it leads: In December 1997, Preferred Homecare started as a small company with 27 employees and 9 branch locations in Arizona and set a course to grow organically. Preferred Homecare also set forth a plan to grow through acquisitions and purchased Park InfusionCare in Texas in 2007; Centura, a hospital-based durable medical equipment company, in 2010; and LifeCare Solutions, a home healthcare provider in 2011. The company now has nearly 2,000 employees in more than 60 locations.

OneNeck IT Solutions
Leadership: Phil LaForge, CEO; Clint Harder, chief technology officer and general manager of managed hosting and cloud services
Address: 5301 N. Pima Rd., #100, Scottsdale
Website: oneneck.com
What it does: OneNeck delivers tailored, end-to-end enterprise-class IT solutions, including everything from engineering and managing IT infrastructure to enterprise resource planning (ERP) application management, managed services, cloud services and Tier 3 data centers.
How it leads: An ERP system isn’t just a software application. It is a platform upon which businesses are run and OneNeck is the leading ERP managed hosting provider for mid-market companies.

Option 1 Healthcare Solutions
Leadership: Rick Winterich, CEO; Al Charlesworth, CFO
Address: 2460 E. Germann Rd., #18, Chandler
Website: option1nutrition.com
What it does: Option 1 is a tube feeding and medical nutrition provider that combines outstanding care, clinical expertise and a wide variety of products to support its patients.
How it leads: Option 1 has developed a program that is much more than simply delivering supplies.  Option 1 has studied and strived to create a program that outperforms other enteral therapy providers in both patient care and cost savings. Its model is focused on the patient’s needs rather than business convenience or internal cost savings.

Parchment
Leadership: Matthew Pittinsky, CEO; Robert Colletti, CFO
Address: 6263 N. Scottsdale Rd., #330, Scottsdale
Website: parchment.com
What it does: Parchment is an education technology company that makes it easier to request, verify and share educational and professional credentials electronically.
How it leads: Parchment’s advanced technology platform takes people’s transcripts, degrees, licenses and certifications and helps turn them into realized opportunities. Parchment is changing what has become an archaic process of credentials management. Parchment’s challenge is trying to educate students, professionals and organizations on how the company can save them time and help them with their goals by managing their credentials quickly and securely on-line.

Parker and Sons
Leadership: Paul E. Kelly, CEO; Erika Doyle, controller
Address: 3636 E. Anne St., Phoenix
Website: parkerandsons.com
What it does: Parker and Sons, celebrating its 40th year in business, is a leader in the HVAC and plumbing industry.
How it leads: At the heart of its success is Parker and Sons’ value system, which it calls its SPIRIT values — Service, Performance, Integrity, Respect, Innovation and Teamwork. The leaders of Parker and Sons say the company’s success is driven by team members who not only care, but care enough to do the right thing and go the extra mile.

Paul Johnson Drywall
Leadership: Cole Johnson, CEO; Bernd Linzbach, controller
Address: 1720 W. Parkside Lane, Phoenix
Website: pauljohnsondrywall.com
What it does: Paul Johnson Drywall is a family-owned drywall contractor providing services to single-family, multifamily and commercial projects throughout the Southwest.
How it leads: Earlier this year, the company implemented a classification initiative in conjunction with the Department of Labor and reclassified 1,325 workers as W-2 employees and hired another 627 W-2 employees. PJD and the Department of Labor collaborated to develop and implement the construction-industry-focused effort, which addresses classification and overtime issue of traditionally piece-rate trades by providing industry best practices.

Phoenix Heliparts
Leadership: Tina Cannon, president; Andy Guiterrez, controller and director of HR
Address: 3130 N. Oakland, #110, Mesa
Website: phoenixheliparts.com
What it does: Phoenix Heliparts is a female-owned helicopter maintenance, repair and overhaul facility which specializes in custom modifications and integration.
How it leads: Since the company was founded in Cannon’s garage less than 12 years ago, Phoenix Heliparts has become a prime contractor for the U.S. Department of State, Boeing, the U.S. Army and the South Korean army. Phoenix Heliparts has received awards from the U.S. Department of State for superior performance and a supplier excellence award from Boeing.

Plexus Worldwide
Leadership: Tarl Robinson, CEO; Stephen Howard, CFO
Address: 15649 N. Greenway Hayden Loop, Scottsdale
Website: plexusworldwide.com
What it does: Plexus Worldwide is committed to providing its ambassadors with life-changing products and a unique and rewarding business opportunity, opening the door to personal and financial success.
How it leads: The Plexus Plan may soon be considered the standard in its industry for sustainable, secure income and growth for distributors. The balance is clear – everything Plexus does, from the compensation plan to its product line to the people its hires, must be both good for the company and good for the ambassadors.

Robertson Fuel Systems, LLC
Leadership: Tom Harrison, CEO; Barry Sullivan, CFO
Address: 800 W. Carver Rd., Tempe
Website: robbietanks.com
What it does: Robertson Fuel Systems designs and manufactures crashworthy and ballistically self-sealing fuel systems for helicopters and ground combat vehicles for U.S. and international customers.
How it leads: Robertson is the acknowledged world leader in fuel containment and ballistic tolerance, having designed, manufactured, and fielded more than 4,500 crashworthy, ballistically self-sealing primary and auxiliary fuel systems for rotary and fixed winged aircraft and ground combat vehicles since 1976.  Robertson systems self-seal against ballistic threats ranging from 7.62mm and .50 caliber Armor Piercing (AP) straight and tumbled projectiles to 23mm High Explosive Incendiary (HEI) and meet/exceed military crashworthy requirements.

Simpleview
Leadership: Ryan George, CEO; Scott Meredith, CFO
Address: 7458 N. La Cholla Blvd., Tucson
Website: simpleviewinc.com
What it does: Simpleview offers integrated products and services, including the industry’s most advanced customer relationship management (CRM) and content management system (CMS) platforms, dynamic websites, SEO and interactive marketing.
How it leads: Simpleview provides a comprehensive cloud-based technology platform which connects Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) around the world to travelers, meeting planners, and local businesses. Simpleview is able to exemplify their core competency of helping DMOs attract travelers and drive economic impact through a streamlined sales and marketing processes.

Sonora Quest Laboratories/Laboratory Sciences of Arizona
Leadership: Dave Dexter, CEO; David Lutich, CFO
Address: 1255 W. Washington St., Tempe
Website: sonoraquest.com
What it does: Sonora Quest Laboratories provides award-winning diagnostic testing and information services to physicians, hospitals, managed care organizations and patients throughout Arizona.
How it leads: Sonora Quest Laboratories has more than 2,700 employees statewide and performs more than 75,000 diagnostic tests per day, including the latest and most innovative testing for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, to name a few. The company is the only healthcare company ever to receive our state’s highest quality award, the Arizona Governor’s Award for Quality.

Sprouts Farmers Market
Leadership: Doug Sanders, CEO; Amin Maredia, CFO
Address: 11811 N. Tatum Blvd., #2400, Phoenix
Website: sprouts.com
What it does: Sprouts is a healthy grocery store committed to healthy living that offers fresh, natural and organic foods at great prices.
How it leads: Recently named one of the top five supermarket chains by Consumer Reports and headquartered in Phoenix, Sprouts employs more than 15,000 team members and operates more than 175 stores in 10 states. Central to Sprouts’ identity is a genuine commitment to responsible retailing, which includes constructing and operating its farmers markets in a way that reduces energy use.

StandardAero
Leadership: Russell Ford, CEO; Mike Scott, CFO
Address: 1524 W. 14th St., #110, Tempe
Website: standardaero.com
What it does: StandardAero is one of the world’s largest independent providers of aviation services including engine, component and airframe maintenance, repair and overhaul, interior completions and paint.
How it leads: StandardAero has multiple strengths that serve as competitive advantages and provide the company with a unique value proposition. Greatest among these is the breadth of services among complementary aviation markets. StandardAero is able to serve a diverse array of aviation markets as a “tip-to-tail” service provider and authorized MRO service center among the top engine original equipment manufacturers.

SunRenu Solar
Leadership: John McDonnell, CEO; Christy McDonnel, controller
Address: 4300 N. Miller Rd., #130, Scottsdale
Website: sunrenu.com
What it does: SunRenu Solar provides installation and contracting services with industry leading solar solutions that accelerate the rate of return on solar investments.
How it leads: SunRenu was named to Solar Power World magazine’s list of the “Top 400 Solar Contractors in America,” landing at No. 197. Specializing in mid-market commercial solar installation and finance, SunRenu has seen exponential growth in a market sector that is shrinking. SunRenu’s growth pattern shows it will grow from $6 million in revenue in 2014 to $10 million in 2015.

Sunstate Equipment
Leadership: Chris Watts, president and COO; Garth Price, CFO
Address: 5552 E. Washington St., Phoenix
Website: sunstateequip.com
What it does: Sunstate provides top quality rental equipment and tools to its customers so they can get the job done safely and efficiently.
How it leads: With the trend toward users outsourcing their construction equipment rentals, Sunstate has successfully navigated the changing face of the industry for more than 30 years. The company is defined by its core values: people, integrity, safety, challenge, empowerment, teamwork and fun. Sunstate’s leadership believes that if they take care of their employees, the employees will take care of their customers.

Universal Avionics Systems Corporation
Leadership: Paul DeHerrera, CEO; Michael Delgado, CFO
Address: 3260 E. Universal Way, Tucson
Website: uasc.com
What it does: Universal Avionics is a leading manufacturer of avionics systems, used worldwide on aircraft types from helicopters to corporate turbine aircraft and commercial airliners.
How it leads: Universal Avionics credits much of its success in growing the company to its involvement in the community. Most of the company’s initial hiring for its manufacturing workforce was done through a unique program developed in partnership with Pima Community College, Pima County, the City of Tucson, the Pima County Workforce Investment Board and others.

phoenix

Now is the time to invest in Arizona

It used to be when I traveled to different business meetings across the country, people would ask me about Arizona’s politics. While we still have reputation issues to repair, the questions I’ve been getting recently are more focused on the buzz they’re hearing about our growing technology sector.

There’s good reason Arizona is getting noticed for its growth. Over the last five years, Arizona has developed one of the most robust technology entrepreneurial ecosystems in the country. The state is home to five of Deloitte’s 2013 “Technology Fast 500” firms, specifically First Solar, LifeLock, Telesphere, Inilex and GPS Insight. Other startups that have been home grown in Arizona into industry leaders include Axosoft, GoDaddy, iCrossing, Infusionsoft, Insight Enterprises, LimeLight Networks and WebPT.

We were able to accomplish our strong entrepreneurial spirit in part by drawing the attention of the media and the state’s policy makers to the need to diversify our economy away from construction and climate into a knowledge-based economy with higher paying jobs. Our efforts resulted in a tax credit for qualified research and development that is the best in the nation and a successful angel investment tax credit.

A lot of other resources have been invested. Over a dozen business incubators and accelerators call Arizona home, providing resources to support technology entrepreneurs. In addition to graduating a vibrant workforce to fuel quality jobs, Arizona’s world-renowned universities and community colleges are also heavily engaged.

Arizona State University (ASU) runs the Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative and the ASU SkySong Innovation Center was recently awarded one of the best organizations of its kind in the country. University of Arizona (UA) is helping create the technology of tomorrow in its Bridges/UA Bio Park and UA Tech Park that includes a Solar Zone. UA also participates in Startup Tucson – an organization dedicated to growing a vibrant ecosystem of entrepreneurship through educational events. Northern Arizona University fosters business growth through it Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology and benefits from its affiliation with NASA. All of that bodes well for Arizona’s innovation economy.

Other efforts are focused solely on exciting people about technology and science. We just celebrated the third annual statewide Arizona SciTech Festival with over 300K people attending more than 500 events this year.

And although we have a long way to go, there’s a growing pool of capital. We’re home to two of the largest and top rated angel investor networks in the U.S. ─ ATIF and Desert Angels. The Arizona Commence Authority has created the Arizona Innovation Challenge that awards the most money in the country to the most promising entrepreneurs meeting technology challenges. Grayhawk Capital just raised $70 million in funds for early and growth stage technology investments. And Tallwave Capital recently announced it has deployed $500,000 in capital in early-stage ventures.

The 2010 census reports Arizona’s population at 6.4 million, with a median age of 35.9 years. The predicted growth rates for Arizona by the federal and state government expect that between 1.5 million and 3 million people will move to Arizona by the year 2020. That type of robust regional population growth combined with an improved U.S. economy translates into high potential for investors.

It’s true we enjoy more than 300 days of sunshine each year. But we offer a lot more than golf and spas. Venture capital sitting on the sidelines should put money into promising Arizona high tech firms and startup ventures.

Now is the time to invest in Arizona.

Henkel-cut

GPS Insight Relocates to Henkel Center in Scottsdale

GPS Insight, a GPS fleet tracking company, has signed a lease to relocate its corporate headquarters at Henkel Corporate Center, 19001 N. Scottsdale Rd.

GPS Insight is a leading technology provider of GPS fleet tracking software for fleet-based companies. They utilize high quality GPS hardware and add the customization and enhancements which fleet-based companies demand. GPS Insight leased 49,571 SF of space at the prestigious property for a term of approximately seven years. The firm plans to relocate in October from 21803 N. Scottsdale Rd. This lease brings the 348,000 SF building to 95 percent occupancy.

“Rob Donat and his team were great to work with. We set out to find the ideal location for GPS to grow their company and build a collaborative and innovative culture,” said Matt Coxhead, director with Cushman & Wakefield of Arizona.  “It is exciting to see GPS find that cool, cutting edge space to help them achieve these goals and establish themselves with a major presence in Scottsdale.  I look forward to many great things from them in future.”

Coxhead and Ryan Bartos of Cushman & Wakefield of Arizona represented GPS Insight in the lease negotiations. Steve Corney and Andrew Medley of Jones Lang LaSalle represented the owner/landlord of the property, Henkel/The Dial Corporation.

gps insight

GPS Insight Is A Finalist For The 2012 Red Herring Top 100 Americas Award

Scottsdale-based GPS Insight, a leading technology provider of GPS fleet tracking solutions for commercial and government fleets, announced today it has been selected as a finalist for Red Herring’s Top 100 Americas Award, a prestigious list honoring the year’s most promising private technology ventures from the North American business region.

The Red Herring editorial team selected the most innovative companies from a pool of hundreds from across North America. The nominees are evaluated on both quantitative and qualitative criteria, such as financial performance, technology innovation, quality of management, execution of strategy, and integration into their respective industries.

This unique assessment of potential is complemented by a review of the actual track record and standing of a company, which allows Red Herring to see past the “buzz” and make the list a valuable instrument for discovering and advocating the greatest business opportunities in the industry.

“This year was very rewarding,” said Alex Vieux, Publisher and Chairman of Red Herring. “There are so many great companies producing truly innovative and amazing products and technologies. We had a very difficult time narrowing the field and selecting the finalists from such a group of future stars. GPS Insight shows great promise therefore deserves to be on the short list. Now we are faced with the difficult task of selecting the Top 100 winners.”

Rob Donat, Founder and CEO for GPS Insight, said, “We at GPS Insight are honored and thrilled to be a finalist for this significant award. I look forward to attending the awards conference in Santa Monica later this month and meeting the award committee, as well as representatives from the other companies up for the Red Herring Top 100 Americas Award.”

The finalists are asked to present their winning strategies at the Red Herring Americas Forum in Santa Monica, California, May 21-23, 2012. The Top 100 winners will be announced at a special awards ceremony the evening of May 23 at the event.

For more information on GPS Insight, visit GPS Insight’s website at gpsinsight.com.