Tag Archives: greater phoenix chamber of commerce

phoenix

Phoenix Chamber appoints new VP of public affairs

huckinsThe Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce today announced the appointment of Mike Huckins as Vice President of Public Affairs. Huckins will spearhead the Chamber’s lobbying efforts at the Capitol, oversee the Chamber’s public affairs and seven issue committees, as well as provide leadership for the Chamber’s internal public affairs team.

“We are thrilled to welcome Mike to the Chamber’s public affairs team,” said Todd Sanders, President and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. “His extensive knowledge of the Legislative process, strong connections with members and staff, as well as his deep understanding of the State’s budget process, make him a valuable addition to the Chamber.”

“I’m very excited to join the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce,” said Mike Huckins, Vice President of Public Affairs. “I’m looking forward to my new advocacy role as the “voice of business” for the Chamber’s 2,500+ member organizations and collaborating on critical input to policy decisions to best represent the interests of business during the upcoming legislative session.”

Added Sanders, “We are confident Mike’s expertise, guidance, and leadership will result in many successful legislative cycles for the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce and our member businesses. The voice of local business will be heard at the Capitol and at the City of Phoenix.”

Prior to joining the Chamber, Huckins served as Director of Research for the House of Representatives, a position he has held with distinction since 2009. His tenure at the House began in 1999 as a Legislative intern. He was subsequently promoted to assistant research analyst and then to senior research analyst for the Appropriations Committee.

With the legislative session just on the other side of the new year, Huckins is very busy, but took time out to answer a few questions about his experience and new role. To read the Q & A with Mike Huckins in its entirety, click here.

Q. Give us a sense of your background in public affairs, which has led you to this position.
A. I started my career as an intern at the Arizona House of Representatives in 1999 and spent the last 15 years there. For the last five years, I have been the House’s Research Director, responsible for the research team of analysts, assistant analysts and interns. I also staffed the Appropriations Committee where I was responsible for presenting and explaining bills with fiscal impact, the final budget proposals to House members and coordinating the flow of amendments on bills.

Q. What was attractive to you about your new position as vice president of public affairs?
A. When you’ve been inside the legislature for that long, it’s easy to get insulated and not really see the impact that bills make on actual business people. It was intriguing to me to have the chance now to see how things that go on at the legislature actually impact business from the other side. The opportunity to make a difference and to help Arizona’s economy is quite an attractive proposition.

Q. With the new legislative session just over a month away, obviously to call it “hitting the ground running” is an understatement. What are your objectives going into the session?
A. I hope to ensure the Chamber remains very visible at the Capitol, which entails everything from meeting with legislators to showing the business community that they are actively represented and that we’re working on and monitoring bills that impact them. I’m trying to get up to speed very quickly on our internal processes so we can be efficient and make the most of the time in the leadup to the session. And veterans like PAC Chairman John Moody and Public Affairs Committee Chair Susan Anable will be invaluable to me. They’re the experts, and while I have experience in the legislative world, I’m new to this side of it, so I will be learning from them.

Q. How do you see the Chamber’s role in making sure the voice of business is heard by elected officials at all levels of government?
A. I think our biggest role will be making sure members get involved and stay involved. If they don’t do that, it doesn’t matter what we do. Whether it’s coming to public affairs committee meetings or being a part of an issue committee, our members have a multitude of ways to really “get their hands dirty” in the process. And anyone who thinks the legislature does things in secret should attend for an afternoon or a day and see how it all happens. It’s good for legislators to see more than just the “usual suspects” they see on a daily basis. And it helps reinforce that the business community is involved.

Staying Innovative as a One Man Operation

Phoenix Chamber seeks nominees for IMPACT Awards

The Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce (GPCC) seeks nominations for its 2015 IMPACT Awards, which honor the accomplishments of outstanding Valley businesses and the positive impact they’ve made on the Greater Phoenix business community.

Nominations — which can come from anyone in the community — are open from now until January 9, 2015, and can be submitted through the Chamber’s website. Two businesses — one with fewer than 250 employees and one with 250 or more employees — will be honored in each of the four categories:  Community Champion, Economic Driver, Entrepreneurial Excellence and Response to Adversity. An IMPACT Business of the Year will be selected from among the four category recipients in each business sector and will be announced at the 28th Annual IMPACT Awards Luncheon on May 13, 2015.

Since 1987, the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce has recognized local companies that demonstrate superior levels of success while maintaining extensive community involvement, that excel entrepreneurially, that have survived tremendous adversity or that contribute to the Valley’s economic vitality. The GPCC encourages community members to nominate a deserving business — or even their own business — that has a strong footprint in the Valley that are deserving of special recognition.

“The Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce has celebrated some of the finest Valley businesses over the past 28 years and it is an honor to continue this great tradition,” said Todd Sanders, President and CEO, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. “We are proud to recognize the outstanding achievements of local companies who continue to innovate and set new standards that positively impact the greater Phoenix business community.”

For more information and to access the nomination form, please visit www.phoenixchamber.com/impact or contact Janelle Tassart at 602-495-6480 or jtassart@phoenixchamber.com.

global

Experts: Slow, steady economic recovery for Arizona

Our economy continues to slowly improve, with the healthcare and biosciences industry having the most potential for local employment growth. That was just one of the positive signs that came out of last week’s Economic Outlook 2015, presented by the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce (GPCC) and Cox Communications. Nearly 800 business leaders attended the 32nd annual event at the Arizona Biltmore on Friday, September 5, 2014, to hear an analysis of the state’s economic challenges and what opportunities lie ahead for Arizona’s economy.

Attendees gained insight from local, national and global economic experts, including presentations by Dr. Quincy Krosby, Chief Market Strategist at Prudential Annuities, local Valley economist Elliott Pollack of Elliott D. Pollack & Company, and financial markets expert Jim Huntzinger of BOK Financial.

In an exclusive GPCCTV video, Pollack points out the positive developments he sees and why continued economic growth will be slow for Arizona.

Stated Pollack, “I’m more optimistic than I was a year ago. The housing market is going to improve and continue to grow, but very slowly. While it’s a little disappointing in the housing market, overall it’s not a bad picture. There is no recession on the horizon. Consumer confidence surveys are really starting to improve in a meaningful way. But essentially, things are moving forward.”

Huntzinger, executive vice president and chief investment officer of BOK Financial, provided a national perspective of the economy and his impression of improving economic indicators, the impact of events overseas and the outlook for the markets.

“I feel pretty confident about the way the economy is setting up right now,” said Huntzinger. “The U.S. economy is stable and improving. The auto industry is doing quite well. The retail industry is doing OK. Manufacturers are improving. We have a slow-growing, but deliberate economy that’s gaining some steam.”

Prudential Annuities Chief Market Strategist Dr. Quincy Krosby, a former diplomat with an impressive career in international finance, provided a global perspective and discussed the current status of industries abroad, future economic drivers and the role Phoenix plays in the global economy. In this exclusive GPCCTV video of Dr. Krosby, she shares how events on the other side of the globe can impact the entire world and American economies.

“A healthy global economy is good for all countries…we’re always optimistic,” stated Krosby. “Terrorism is the biggest worry in a volatile climate, but the U.S. economy is resilient.”

Cox Communications once again showcased its mobile technologies with the Cox Media Mobile Survey, which asked attendees at Economic Outlook 2015 to share their sentiments via text message on local industry growth, national policy and local industry growth.

Thirty-three percent of attendees who responded said that the healthcare and biosciences industry has the most potential for local employment growth.
Twenty-seven percent of respondents indicated that their number-one concern next year from an economic perspective was election results, while 25 percent of survey respondents indicated that international unrest was their top concern.
Global risks were also on everyone’s mind, with 26 percent of survey respondents citing political and social instability as the top global risk, while 18 percent of respondents indicated that fiscal crises in key economies were high on their radar.

Full results of the Cox Media Mobile Survey are available, along with the presentations and interviews from Economic Outlook 2015, at http://www.phoenixchamber.com/eo2015.

The GPCC has been hosting this event since 1982, and uses it as an opportunity to bring the community together to learn about both the global and local economic indicators. The Chamber’s Economic Development Annual Report was also presented during Friday’s event. The report communicates the Chamber’s commitment to support community businesses in their efforts to grow, retain and expand and can be found online at www.phoenixchamber.com/yearinreview.

“The Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce is proud to work with a strong community partner like Cox Communications to present the state of the economy from a local, national and international perspective to business leaders across the Valley,” stated Todd Sanders, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. “Although Arizona’s economic recovery remains on a slow, but steady path as the presenters stated at this year’s event, I am confident that Arizona will see continued improvements in job growth, consumer spending and economic development in 2015.”

Added Sanders, “In collaboration with the City of Phoenix and the Arizona Commerce Authority, the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce’s PHOENIX FORWARD>> initiative will deliver a strategic and sustainable, economic development plan. This initiative focuses on strengthening and growing existing business in three key industry sectors: Health Care & Biosciences, Transportation & Logistics and Advanced Business Services. Together, we will remove barriers to success for the region’s businesses and grow Arizona’s economy from within.”

diversity

United Way Announces New Board Members

Valley of the Sun United Way welcomes six new Board Members: Ruben Alvarez, Co-founder and Managing Partner, Molera Alvarez, LLC; Bridget Olesiewicz, Principal, The Vanguard Group; Steve Purves, President and CEO, Maricopa Integrated Health System; Todd Sanders, President and CEO, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce; Rob Schaffer, Vice President and General Manager, USAA; and Farzana Scofield, Social Media Specialist for Honeywell Aerospace in Phoenix.

As new Board Members, each will provide dynamic leadership to achieve United Way’s three Community Objectives: 1) Ensure Children and Youth Succeed; 2) End Hunger and Homelessness; and, 3) Increase Financial Stability of Families and Individuals.

“The depth and breadth of experience of our 2015 Board Members represent the diverse voices in our community, will facilitate even greater change in the Valley and broaden our impact,” said Merl Waschler, Valley of the Sun United Way President and CEO. “Each has significant influence personally and professionally and will advance long-term community solutions as we transform individual lives.”

The new members will work with the existing Board and United Way executives to engage a broader base of community members to inspire them to give, advocate and volunteer with United Way. With a keen focus on creating new connections with businesses, seasoned professionals, young leaders and Millennials, United Way will build a stronger community.

“We appreciate our Board Members’ willingness to serve and look forward to working together to ensure each member of our community has the ability to achieve the aspirations we all share: a good education for our kids, food on the table, a roof over our heads and the security of financial self-sufficiency,” Waschler added.

122401693

Each Class of Dropouts costs Arizona $7.6B

The more than 18,000 Arizona students who dropped out of high school this year will produce $7.6 billion less economic activity over their lifetimes than if those same students had graduated, according to a new report by the Arizona Mayors Education Roundtable.

Cutting the dropout rate in half would generate $3.8 billion more in economic benefits to the state for each graduating class.

Mayor Greg Stanton and several Valley mayors released the research report today, which measured the economic impact of high school dropouts in Arizona.

Key takeaways from the study include:

· Each Arizona high school dropout results in a $421,280 loss in economic activity over his or her lifetime. This figure includes lost earnings, increased health care and crime-related costs, lost economic productivity and lost tax revenue.

· In the City of Phoenix, the number is higher: each dropout results in a $463,500 economic loss – creating a $1.42 billion economic loss per graduating class.

· In Arizona, each dropout will earn $271,040 less over the course of their lifetime than counterparts who graduate. Dropouts face higher risks of unemployment and economic insecurity.

· Each dropout will cost taxpayers an additional $98,520 more in crime-related expenses over the course of their lifetime.

· Of the $7.6 billion in Arizona economic loss, $1.5 billion represents lost revenue and increased expenses for state and local governments.

· In 2012, Arizona’s disconnected youth population – that is, young people who are neither in school nor working – was 183,200, or 22 percent of population aged 16 to 24. This disconnected population results in an aggregate economic loss of more than $127 billion.

The full report is available at http://azmayors.org/resources/college-and-career-readiness/.

“This report should be a wake up call to everyone in our state about why it is so important that we work together to get every student to graduate high school,” said Mayor Greg Stanton. “It’s important for us to have city-level data so every elected official understands that if we sit idly by and leave this problem for others to solve, we do so at our own peril. In Phoenix, we’re working to tackle the dropout rate by making sure our kids read by the third grade, and opening an online high school that helps those who have dropped out get back into class and earn their diploma.”

“We’ve all known that dropouts have a cost to our society, but this report displays it in a startling way,” remarked Todd Sanders, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. “We at the Greater Phoenix Chamber commend the Arizona Mayors Education Roundtable for illuminating the stark reality of the economic burden of dropouts in our cities and state, and we look forward to working collaboratively with the mayors and the community to seek educational reforms and provide programs that will ease the economic burden of dropouts and improve our future economy.”

“We appreciate the leadership of the Mayors Roundtable in shedding more light on a critical issue like the impact of the dropout rate on our state’s future economic viability,” said Paul J. Luna, president and CEO of Helios Education Foundation. “Having the Mayors hold these statewide discussions will help enable our communities to identify and respond to the contributing factors and set goals that will re-engage students and put them back on the path toward college and career readiness.”

“Beyond the profound consequences to individuals and their families, we are now able to quantify the impact of school dropouts on Arizona’s economy,” said Paul H. Koehler, director of WestEd’s Policy Center and coordinator of the Mayors Roundtable. “This report should serve as a clarion call to action for state educators, policy makers, and all Arizonans.”

Russell W. Rumberger, a professor of education at the University of California, Santa Barbara and director of the California Dropout Research Project served as lead author. Data was compiled from the Arizona Department of Education, U.S. Census American Community Survey and the 2014 study, “The Economic Losses from High School Dropouts and Disconnected Youth: Evidence from Across Arizona,” written by Clive R. Belfield, a professor at Queens College, City University of New York.

“The losses from failure to graduate from high school are sizeable, robust and pervasive,” Belfield said. “The social loss amounts to more than a high school dropout will earn in their lifetime; and the fiscal loss is almost equivalent to total spending per student over their entire K-12 years in the Arizona school system.”

economic development - 8 honored

TGen recognized as ‘2014 Economic Driver’

The Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce has selected the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) for one of its 2014 Impact Awards.

TGen was selected among small to medium business in the category of 2014 Economic Driver.

“These companies represent the spirit of the entrepreneur — a spirit that truly makes an impact on our community and our Chamber,” Todd Sanders, GPCC President and CEO, said in a press release. “It’s a privilege to honor those who continue to innovate, take risks, boost our economy and create jobs. Their ability, tenacity and sense of community are an inspiration to all.”

The IMPACT Awards honor the accomplishments of small and large businesses and the impact they have on the Valley’s business community and economy.

“TGen is honored to be recognized by the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. Through our research into the human genome, we strive to not only make an impact on the Arizona economy, but also endeavor — though precision medicine — to help develop new tools, capabilities and therapies that benefit our patients, and benefit Arizona patients first,” said Tess Burleson, TGen’s Chief Operating Officer.

This year, GPCC recognizes two recipients in each of four categories: Community Champion, Economic Driver, Entrepreneurial Excellence, and Response to Adversity.

Small to Medium Business Category:

2014 Community Champion: Native American Connections

2014 Economic Driver: Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen)

2014 Entrepreneurial Excellence: Risas Dental and Braces

2014 Response to Adversity: NJOY, Inc.



Large Business Category:

2014 Community Champion: Phoenix Children’s Hospital

2014 Economic Driver: Sundt Construction, Inc.

2014 Entrepreneurial Excellence: The CORE Institute

2014 Response to Adversity: Phoenix Zoo

The 2014 IMPACT Businesses of the Year will be selected from these honorees and announced at the 27th annual IMPACT Awards luncheon, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. May 15, at the Arizona Biltmore. For more information, visit www.phoenixchamber.com/impact.

pt

CORE Institute Opens 69K SF HQ Facility

On January 22, Councilwoman Thelda Williams, The Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, City and community leaders, will join Phoenix-based orthopedic group The CORE Institute for its ribbon cutting and grand opening reception of its new national headquarters and its new North Phoenix Clinic at 5:30pm.

The new facility serves as The CORE Institute’s national headquarters as it continues to expand both locally and nationally, and includes a clinic with nearly 60 exam rooms and research center.  CBRE completed the 69,251-square-foot 15-year lease of the Union Hills Corporate Center office building located at 18444 N. 25th Ave. in Phoenix last March.  Construction of the facility upgrades were completed in December.  The company hopes to add as many as 750 new employees across the country within the next 24 months and the new location will help facilitate that growth.

“We’re very pleased that The CORE Institute has committed to stay within our City and grow its national presence with Phoenix proudly listed as its national headquarters,” said Greg Stanton, Mayor of the City of Phoenix.  “The CORE Institute is yet another example of the excellent business climate that Phoenix provides to companies as they grow both inside, and outside of Arizona.”

“We outgrew our existing 50,000-square-foot facilities but we knew that we wanted to keep our headquarters in Phoenix as we took the next steps to grow our company outside of Arizona,” said The CORE Institute Chairman and CEO David Jacofsky, MD.  “The Union Hills Corporate Center facility allows us the flexibility to add staff as necessary as we expand and implement our Excellence through Evidence® platform across the nation.”

“The CORE Institute is excited we have reached this milestone of expansion,” said Arizona Market President, Dr. John Brown. “Combining the clinical expertise will allow us to create a Center of Excellence, helping us achieve our future vision of continued growth and better serving those in need of our orthopedic services.”

188 Employees working at The CORE Institute facilities in North Phoenix, Central Phoenix, Administration, Physical Therapy, and Research Lab have all moved into one Center of Excellence.  A key factor in the building selection was that it allowed The CORE Institute room for expansion by taking additional square footage to add employees as it continues to grow.

Since The CORE Institute’s inception in 2005, it has expanded in Arizona from four providers to over 100 and cared for over 43,000 new patients in its Arizona clinics. Its growth has been built on a platform of evidence-based medicine and meticulous outcomes tracking managed by a proprietary IT platform.  The CORE Institute has cared for hundreds of thousands of patients, from all 50 states and eight countries.  The CORE Institute currently has locations Arizona and Michigan.

Union Hills Corporate Center is located at a full diamond interchange on the southeast corner of Interstate 17 and Union Hills Drive and one mile south of the Loop 101 freeway interchange.  Its proximity to Interstate 17 and the Loop 101 offer tenants access to the Northwest Valley labor market and an abundant supply of amenities in the neighboring residential areas. Ashworth Construction, Inc., was selected by The CORE Institute to perform tenancy construction for the newly renovated facility with interior design work performed by Archicon.

penrose

Beauty School Education gets a Makeover

Trade schools have often had the unfair reputation of being less-desirable educational institutions when compared to four-year colleges. However, in an ever-changing economic landscape with evolving student needs, non-traditional schools have become a unique path to career opportunities for many.

Jill and Burt Kohler, founders of Scottsdale’s Penrose Academy, a school for cosmetology and esthetics, have led the charge in giving the image of specialty education an overdue makeover. Seeing a desperate need for a level of real-world training beyond what beauty schools were teaching at the time, these 19-year beauty industry veterans launched what is now Penrose Academy in 2006.

Penrose Academy’s revolutionary approach to education goes beyond the industry status quo that in the past had left students ill-prepared to enter the beauty field. Seven years after its inception, its unique hands-on programs and business management training have reshaped the career options available to graduates.

“The advanced skills our students gain during their experience at Penrose prepare them for an endless number of jobs they never realized they could pursue,” Jill Kohler said. “In addition to working in spas and salons, careers in beauty industry marketing, PR, runway work and education are all at their fingertips at graduation.”

The Kohler’s groundbreaking educational style, which focuses on improving students’ lives on both a personal and professional level, has set them apart in the industry. Most notably, students receive a long list of résumé-boosting opportunities before they even graduate. From editorial work to runway shows, trade show demonstrations to traveling abroad, Penrose Academy students do not just learn the business … they live it.

Penrose Academy’s push to inspire students to achieve more than simply earning a license has garnered it national attention and positioned the school as a respected industry leader. Most recently, the academy was recognized with the Business of the Year and Overcoming Adversity awards at the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce’s 2013 IMPACT Awards.

Penrose Academy offers a 4-day schedule for cosmetology students and a 3-day schedule for esthetics students. Convenient weekly schedules and year-round start dates give students the valuable flexibility to gain an education and dedicate time to family, work and other responsibilities outside of school. For more information on Penrose Academy’s programs, visit www.penroseacademy.com or call (480) 222-9540.

penrose

Scottsdale Beauty School Education gets a Makeover

Trade schools have often had the unfair reputation of being less-desirable educational institutions when compared to four-year colleges. However, in an ever-changing economic landscape with evolving student needs, non-traditional schools have become a unique path to career opportunities for many.

Jill and Burt Kohler, founders of Scottsdale’s Penrose Academy, a school for cosmetology and esthetics, have led the charge in giving the image of specialty education an overdue makeover. Seeing a desperate need for a level of real-world training beyond what beauty schools were teaching at the time, these 19-year beauty industry veterans launched what is now Penrose Academy in 2006.

Penrose Academy’s revolutionary approach to education goes beyond the industry status quo that in the past had left students ill-prepared to enter the beauty field. Seven years after its inception, its unique hands-on programs and business management training have reshaped the career options available to graduates.

“The advanced skills our students gain during their experience at Penrose prepare them for an endless number of jobs they never realized they could pursue,” Jill Kohler said. “In addition to working in spas and salons, careers in beauty industry marketing, PR, runway work and education are all at their fingertips at graduation.”

The Kohler’s groundbreaking educational style, which focuses on improving students’ lives on both a personal and professional level, has set them apart in the industry. Most notably, students receive a long list of résumé-boosting opportunities before they even graduate. From editorial work to runway shows, trade show demonstrations to traveling abroad, Penrose Academy students do not just learn the business … they live it.

Penrose Academy’s push to inspire students to achieve more than simply earning a license has garnered it national attention and positioned the school as a respected industry leader. Most recently, the academy was recognized with the Business of the Year and Overcoming Adversity awards at the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce’s 2013 IMPACT Awards.

Penrose Academy offers a 4-day schedule for cosmetology students and a 3-day schedule for esthetics students. Convenient weekly schedules and year-round start dates give students the valuable flexibility to gain an education and dedicate time to family, work and other responsibilities outside of school. For more information on Penrose Academy’s programs, visit www.penroseacademy.com or call (480) 222-9540.

sales.tax

Arizona Business Community Supports HB2111

The undersigned organizations and businesses want to express their strong support for the passage of HB2111 with the floor amendment that will be offered by Senator Steve Yarbrough. This final amendment represents major concessions to address concerns that have been expressed by the city representatives.

This final amendment reflects the cities’ request for a separate online portal for the collection of sales taxes in the 18 non-program cities. In addition, the amendment reflects the cities’ demand to maintain the authority to audit single-location businesses in their city. Lastly, the amendment removes all of the changes to prime contracting tax except for the trade and service contractors.

While the Yarbrough amendment reflects major concessions to the cities that undermine some of the important reforms recommended by the Transaction Privilege (Sales) Tax Simplification Task Force, we believe this final proposal still reflects historic progress that deserves final passage.

The Senator Yarbrough floor amendment will provide for the following:

* Single Point of Administration – the Department of Revenue (DOR) will become the single point of administration and collection of TPT. However, at the request of the cities, there will be a separate online portal for the 18 non-program cities. Despite this concession, the cities remain opposed because they want to continue to require businesses making paper sales tax remissions to pay the state and city separately. Their proposal provides most small businesses no administrative relief from making multiple payments to multiple jurisdictions each month.

* Single and Uniform Audit – DOR will administer a standardized state audit program where all state and city auditors are trained and certified by DOR. Despite major concessions from the business community to allow cities to continue to audit local businesses, the cities continue to push for further changes that will undermine much needed reforms to standardize state and local audits.

* Trade/Service Contracting Reform – Service contractors working directly for an owner to maintain, repair, and replace existing property would pay tax on materials at retail and not be subject to the Prime Contracting Tax. During Task Force deliberations, the cities repeatedly conceded that this area of the prime contracting tax was problematic and should be changed. However, after almost a year of study and discussion, they have offered a change to the taxation of service contractors that provides no administrative relief and couples that change with a request that the state give the cities $80 million from use tax collections.

Arizona’s chaotic and dysfunctional sales tax system has been the subject of considerable controversy at the Capitol for over 30 years. The creation of the Task Force, as well as the appearance for the first time that the cities recognized the need for reform, gave Arizona businesses great hope that this system would finally be reformed. We strongly encourage state policymakers to pass a sales tax reform bill that is grounded in sound tax policy and focuses on reducing the extraordinary compliance costs on Arizona businesses.

Kevin McCarthy, President, Arizona Tax Research Association
Michelle Lind, Chief Executive Officer, Arizona Association of REALTORS
Bas Aja, Executive Vice President, Arizona Cattlemen’s Association
Glenn Hamer, President & CEO, Arizona Chamber of Commerce
Steve Macias, Chairman, Arizona Manufacturer’s Council
Francis McAllister, Chairman, Arizona Mining Association
Courtney LeVinus, Arizona Multihousing Association
Michelle Allen Ahlmer, Executive Director, Arizona Retailers Association
Steve Chucri, President/CEO, Arizona Restaurant Association
Rick Murray, Chief Executive Officer, Arizona Small Business Association
Steve Zylstra, President & CEO, Arizona Technology Council
Greg Turner, Vice President, Senior Tax Council, Council On State Taxation (COST)
Lisa Rigler, President, Small Business Alliance AZ
Todd Sanders, President & CEO, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce
Tom Franz, President, Greater Phoenix Leadership
Connie Wilhelm, President, Home Builders Association of Central Arizona
Tim Lawless, Chapter President, NAIOP
Farrell Quinlan, Arizona State Director, NFIB
Ronald E. Shoopman, President, Southern Arizona Leadership Council
Scot Mussi, President, The Arizona Free Enterprise Club
Matt Beckler, Vice President, Treasurer & Chief Tax Officer, Apollo Group, Inc.
Steve Barela, State & Local Tax Manager, Arizona Public Service
Steve Trussell, Executive Director, Arizona Rock Products Association
Michael DiMaria, Director of Legislative Affairs, CenturyLink, Inc.
Gayle Shanks, Owner, Changing Hands Bookstore
Michelle Bolton, Director of Public Affairs, Cox Communications
Nikki Daly, Owner, Flair! Salons
David Karsten, President, Karsten’s Ace Hardware
Reuben Minkus, Minkus Advertising Specialties
PetSmart, Inc.
Tina Danloe, General Manager, Pima Ace Hardware
Molly Greene, Senior Government Relations Representative, Salt River Project
Les Orchekowsky, President & Co-Owner, Sierra Ace Hardware, Inc.
Ann Seiden, Administrator/Corporate Public Affairs, Southwest Gas Corporation
Joseph Hughes, Director of Government Affairs, U.S. Airways
Walgreens Co.

Glenn Hamer is president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry is committed to advancing Arizona’s competitive position in the global economy by advocating free-market policies that stimulate economic growth and prosperity for all Arizonans.

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.

Faver.Robert

UMB Promotes Faver to President of Arizona Region

UMB Bank, n.a., of UMB Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: UMBF), announced that Robert Faver has been promoted to president of UMB’s Arizona region. In this role, he is responsible for leading the UMB commercial banking team in Arizona, building long-term client relationships and targeting new business relationships in the community.

Faver brings to this position 19 years of experience in the financial services industry. Prior to this position, he was senior vice president and chief credit officer at UMB.  Before joining UMB, Faver was employed with M&I Bank in Phoenix, Ariz., where he served as vice president of commercial banking for 14 years.

“We are pleased to have someone of Robert’s caliber in this position,” said Jim Patterson, chairman and chief executive officer of UMB’s Arizona region. “He has been an outstanding performer and leader in our bank, and he brings invaluable experience, integrity and expertise to this expanded role.”

Faver earned a bachelor’s degree in finance and a master’s degree in business administration from Arizona State University. He is a member of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce.

Evening on the Diamond Presented by University of Phoenix

D-Backs CEO earns Goldwater award

Arizona Diamondbacks President & CEO Derrick Hall has been named the 2012 recipient of the Goldwater Community Service Award and will be honored at the 29th Noche de Gourmet Friday, Nov. 9, 2012, at the Wrigley Mansion. The Goldwater Community Service Awards, presented by the Active 20-30 Club of Phoenix, honors a community leader with a strong record of philanthropic involvement, professional success in their field of work, and a desire to give back to the Phoenix area through serving on charitable and corporate boards and through public service.

“I am honored to be the first recipient of this prestigious award in a category where every nominee is truly deserving,” said Hall. “The Active 20-30 Club is a distinguished philanthropic club that works hard to improve the lives of children across the Valley, and I am proud to represent and be recognized by such an illustrious group of individuals.”

Hall was chosen among five nominees, including Arizona Treasurer and former Founder & CEO of Cold Stone Doug Ducey, Phoenix City Councilmember and Attorney for PING William Gates, Founder of Beyond the Flames Jason Schechterle and Executive Director of The First Tee of Phoenix Hugh Smith, Jr. The annual award is given to an individual who shows high moral and ethical character and will set the standard for the men of the Active 20-30 Club of Phoenix to achieve as they continue to grow and develop in their profession and in their community.

A proven leader in the Arizona community, Hall currently serves as Chairman of the Board for Valley of the Sun United Way and leads the Hunger-Free Communities Plan Steering Committee, and is an active member of the Thunderbirds and Young President’s Organization. He serves on 27 boards, including the Arizona Mexico Commission, Great Hearts Academies, Arizona Chamber of Commerce, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau, Muscular Dystrophy Association, National Advisory Council for Pancreatic Cancer, US Airways Education Foundation, St. Vincent de Paul and Florence Crittendon. He has also raised money by serving as an event chairman for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC) and the Foundation for Blind Children.

Athena Awards

ATHENA Award Winners Announced

Susan Cordts, Sharon Knutson-Felix and Rachel Bennett Yanof were recipients of 2010 ATHENA Businesswoman of the Year Awards presented today at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa,

Cordts, President & CEO of Adaptive Technologies Inc., was 2010 ATHENA Businesswoman of the Year in the Private Sector; Knutson-Felix, Executive Director – 100 Club of Arizona, was 2010 ATHENA Businesswoman of the Year award in the Public Sector; and Bennett Yanof, Executive Director – Phoenix Collegiate Academy, won the 2010 ATHENA Young Professional Award.

The event marks the 23rd year the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce has honored Valley businesswomen with the ATHENA Award, named after the Greek goddess of courage and wisdom, and a program of ATHENA International, a foundation dedicated to creating leadership opportunities for women.

Cordts, Knutson-Felix and Bennett Yanof were chosen from among 11 other ATHENA finalists who were selected from a large group of nominations received in August.

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Greater Phoenix Economic Forecast 2011: “Painfully Slow”

The economy may be better in 2011 than it was in 2010, but the road to full recovery will remain long and full of potholes. But hey, it could be worse. It could be 2009.

That’s according to economist Elliott D. Pollack, CEO of Elliot D. Pollack & Company. Pollack was speaking at the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Outlook 2011 breakfast today at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa.

Pollack said population growth in the Valley should settle at 1 percent this year and rise to 2 percent in 2011. Net job growth will contract by 1 percent in 2010 and climb by 2 percent in 2011. Retail sales will increase 1 percent this year and rise by 8 percent next year. Building permits will increase by 20 percent in 2010 before jumping 50 percent in 2011.

In summarizing his 2011 forecast for the Valley, Pollack read a laundry list of good news and bad news:

  • The housing market is at or past bottom, but there are many negatives still trumping a full recovery, most notably slower migration flows.
  • The commercial real estate market is at or past bottom, but recovery will be slow and “take a long time.”
  • Sales tax revenues are no longer falling, but they aren’t growing quickly enough to fix the state’s battered budget.
  • Retail sales have past bottom and there is pent-up demand among consumers, however, those same consumers are still so worried about personal debt that they will continue to curb spending, thus thwarting a big recovery.

While Pollack said the Valley’s economic recovery will be “painfully slow,” he points out that a recovery is indeed underway. For example, the state’s standing in employment growth compared to the rest of the nation is gradually improving — but only after a precipitous decline. In 2006, Arizona ranked second in the nation in job growth; that dropped to 22nd in 2007; 47th in 2008; and 49th in 2009. Up to July of this year, the state had moved up to 42nd in job growth.

Another indication that the Valley’s economy is showing improvement is in the number of economic sectors that have shown net job gains. Of the state’s 12 major economic sectors, five have shown net job gains so far this year (education and health services; trade; leisure and hospitality; professional and business services; other services). That compares to the same time last year, when no economic sectors reported net job gains.

But, Pollack pointed out again, the Valley and state can’t expect the robust and recoveries that have accompanied past recessions.

He says the Valley’s housing market continues to be weighed down by:

  • Weak job growth
  • Tough underwriting standards
  • Negative home equity
  • Loan modification failures
  • High foreclosures
  • Option ARMs (adjustable rate mortgages) peaking in 2011

In terms of equity, 51 percent of houses in the state have negative equity. The national average is 23 percent. Such negative equity severely curtails people’s ability to buy and sell homes. In addition, supply still outstrips demand in the single-family home market, with an excess inventory of houses somewhere between 40,000 to 50,000 units, Pollack said. A balance between supply and demand will not be fully achieved until about 2014, he added.

The picture is bleaker for the commercial real estate market, with delinquencies on loans still very high. In the office market, Pollack cited forecasts from CB Richard Ellis that said vacancy rates would peak at 25.6 percent in 2010 before dropping to 23.9 percent in 2011. As Pollack pointed out, there currently is no multi-tenant office space under construction in the Valley. In fact, he expects “no significant office building in Greater Phoenix for the next five years.”

Industrial space vacancy rates are faring only slightly better, with CB Richard Ellis predicting year-end vacancy rates of 16.4 percent for 2010 before falling to 15.2 percent in 2011. As for the retail market, the vacancy rate will rise to 12.3 percent in 2010 and hit 12.9 percent in 2011.

For office, industrial and retail commercial real estate, Pollack said he did not expect vacancy rates to reach normal levels until 2014-2015.

Still, Pollack maintained that the economic outlook for the Valley “remains favorable,” thanks to the recovering national economy, increased affordable housing in the Valley, a rise in single-family home building permits, unemployment bottoming out, consumer spending improving and continued problems in California.

Katie Pushor - AZ Business Magazine October/November 2006

CEO Katie Pushor Adds Fresh Ideas To Greater Phoenix Chamber Of Commerce

New President and CEO Katie Pushor adds fresh ideas to Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce


Katie Pushor gets a rush as she looks out of her 27th floor office, taking in the booming development in downtown Phoenix. The president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce mentions the expanding ASU campus, the expanding convention center and the TGen headquarters. “I just like to see what’s going on,” says Pushor, who took the helm of the 4,000-member chamber early this year.

“The most important thing I bring is the knowledge of actually running a business, being in business in the Valley for 27 years, and I understand the challenges that business owners and executives face,” Pushor says. “When we look at programs or events or opportunities we might have here at the chamber, I am able to say, ‘When I was in the business community, would that have had value for me? Is that something I would have wanted to go to?’”

Pushor agrees with others who say her leadership style is “calm and collaborative.” But she feels she is most noted for building superior management teams, “and getting accomplished through a team, what you could never accomplish through a collection of individuals.”

She’s also process-oriented. “I see structure,” she says. “Here at the chamber, I’ve been very interested in understanding our business processes and improving them so that they can better serve the needs of our growing community.”

Her main strength, Pushor says, is the diversity of her experience, but that’s not all. “My genuine interest in people and wanting their business to be successful is probably my greatest strength,” she says. “That’s what provides my motivation and passion when I come to work each day. I love to hear about other people’s business models, I like to understand what makes it work, how they get their customers, what their profit margin is, what their challenges are.”

Not surprisingly, Pushor says her weakness is impatience. “I’m able to see exactly what needs to get done, and I have a hard time understanding why it wasn’t done yesterday,” she says.

Working at the Arizona Lottery provided Pushor with a bridge to her current role. The Lottery is a quasi-public business that deals with 2,600 retail outlets, does a lot of consumer advertising and acts like a privately-held business, but is bound by legislative mandate.

“It was an opportunity for me to learn what it’s like to work with an administration and with elected officials and how to work within a legislative cycle,” she says. “And how a great deal of our value to the business community is advocating for them within the legislative and executive branches.”

Since coming on board at the Phoenix Chamber, Pushor has made it her business to meet with chambers and other groups in the Valley, such as the Greater Phoenix Economic Council and other economic development officials.

“That has helped me understand what they do, and helped me to differentiate in my mind what we’re doing,” she says. “What is the unique slot that we’re fitting in and where can we be of help to other people? Where can we join forces? A lot of it is communication and to be willing to be a student, and not come in and think you know all the answers.”

While high-tech is a key driving force of the Arizona economy, and a sector where Pushor excelled for several years, she now takes a broader view. “What the chamber really does is accelerate business growth and retention within the Valley,” she says. “What’s different about us is we look horizontally across the Valley. We don’t see you only as a bioscience company or only as a technology company or only as an agricultural company. We see you as a business partner.”

So the focus is on the challenges that all businesses face, such as workers’’ compensation, safety, human resource issues and employee retention. Pushor says her mission is to get the word out to non-member businesses about the services the chamber provides. “That’s why they hired me,” she says.

And she emphasizes that the chamber is not competing with business recruitment organizations. “They’re looking out of state, out of the country, to bring people here,” Pushor says. “We want you to start here and stay here and grow here. If they bring the fish in, then we’re the aquarium.”


Quick Facts about Katie Pushor

Katie Pushor’s resume reads like a been-there, done-that array of business and executive experience. She came to the Greater Phoenix Chamber from the Arizona Lottery, where under her leadership, revenues and profits soared. Beginning her career as a CPA, Pushor has started and operated two small businesses, held several executive positions at MicroAge starting in 1989, and in 2002, co-authored a book, “Into the Boardroom.”



Arizona Business Magazine October/November 2006