Tag Archives: Greater Phoenix Economic Council

Aerospace and defense industry - AZ Business Magazine March/April 2012

Aerospace & Defense Forum launches Arizona Chapter

The Aerospace & Defense Forum, a global aerospace and defense organization promoting collaboration and commerce among industry leaders, has established an Arizona chapter which will launch in October.

An impressive line-up of Arizona business leaders will lead the Arizona Chapter Steering Committee and host monthly meetings and networking events. The Phoenix meetings will be hosted by the international law firm Greenberg Traurig and the Tucson meetings will be hosted by law firm Snell & Wilmer. Monthly chapter meetings will take place the second Tuesday of each month, alternating between Phoenix and Tucson, and include networking opportunities, presentations by aerospace and defense industry experts and small group discussions and at least once a year, a tour of an A&D facility not generally available to the public.

Ivan Rosenberg, President and CEO of Frontier Associates is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of A&D Forum. Stephane Frijia, Director, Research and Strategy at the Greater Phoenix Economic Council will serve as Chapter Chair of the Arizona A&D Forum.

In addition, those serving on the founding Arizona A&D Steering Committee include:
* Jerry Fellows, Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig, Phoenix
* Brett Johnson, Partner, Snell & Wilmer, Phoenix
* Richard Katz, Counsel, Snell & Wilmer, Tucson
* Bruce Macdonough, Co-Managing Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig, Phoenix
* Peter Vedder, Director, Civil Space and Space Services, General Dynamics C4 Systems

“We’re thrilled to bring this proven collaborative format to the Arizona A&D community,” said Rosenberg. “A&D companies have discovered that A&D Forum membership and group involvement provides an unmatched source of new ideas for improving both their top and bottom lines, as well as a forum for learning best practices and solving problems.”

The inaugural meeting of the Arizona chapter will take place Oct. 8, with a keynote presentation by Lt. Gen. Gene Tattini, Deputy Director, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), entitled,  “Dare Mighty Things: Turning Around Two A&D Organizations.” Tattini is also former Commander of the United States Air Force Space and Missile System Center.

Currently, there are more than 700 international leaders involved in the A&D Forum. Other A&D Chapters are located in Los Angeles, San Diego and Orange County, Calif. In Arizona, there are more than 2,000 companies in the aerospace and defense industry providing more than 43,000 jobs and significant positive economic impact.

“The Greater Phoenix Economic Council reported more than $13 billion in defense contracts with Arizona ties in 2012 alone. These high-paying jobs make a significant economic impact in our state and we are proud to support and encourage industry growth,” said Greenberg Traurig Co-Managing Shareholder Bruce Macdonough. “We also look forward to raising the visibility of Arizona a top-tier destination for the best aerospace and defense companies to grow and prosper.”

Each monthly meeting is free of charge, but registration is required. To RSVP for the Oct. 8 meeting, visit: https://adfazoct13.eventbrite.com.

Business Credit Score

Progrexion Announces Phoenix Office, Hundreds of Jobs

Progrexion, the nation’s leading provider of services in the credit repair industry, today announced it is opening a new office in Phoenix, bringing hundreds of new jobs to the region.

“We are excited to enter such a dynamic and high-quality market like Phoenix to meet our growth demands. We acquired 30,000 square feet in North Phoenix for a sales call center and plan to add hundreds of hires initially, and then grow from there”, said Gene Abernethy, Senior Vice President – Human Resources for Progrexion, based in North Salt Lake, Utah.

“We are excited that Progrexion has chosen Phoenix as its new site,” said Mayor Greg Stanton. “This is one example of how Phoenix is making a big comeback in the job market. Our competitive and dynamic workforce makes us a top choice for companies looking for new opportunities.”
Progrexion used Dallas-based global location advisory firm Site Selection Group, LLC to assist in its national site search to expand its credit repair telesales operations.

“We worked closely with Progrexion to filter through a large number of potential cities to determine which location had the best chance to provide high quality associates and community support to meet Progrexion’s growth needs. Phoenix was the clear choice,” stated Samuel J. Pruitt, Executive Vice President & Principal of Site Selection Group, LLC.

“Progrexion is the national market leader in its industry, and its new Phoenix operations will allow the company to access a high-quality workforce to propel its growth initiatives,” said Arizona Commerce Authority President and CEO Sandra Watson. “Progrexion’s capital investment and expansion in Phoenix will bring hundreds of jobs to Arizonans while strengthening our state’s overall economy.”

Progrexion will host a job fair September 20 from 3-7 p.m. and September 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 20620 North 19th Avenue in Phoenix. They are looking for candidates to fill call center and sales agents positions. On Friday, burgers and live music will also be available. On Saturday, the job fair will feature a family carnival with a bounce house, petting zoo, face painting and prizes.

In addition, Progrexion intends to bring to the Phoenix area its robust corporate giving program, which was launched in Utah in 2012 and has already raised more than $100,000. During the job fair, Progrexion will collect food and cash contributions to benefit St. Mary’s Food Bank. For every 10 pounds of food or $10 in cash, attendees of the job fair will be entered into a drawing for many great prizes, including a flat-screen TV and a mountain bike.

“St. Mary’s Food Bank would like to welcome Progrexion to the valley and we look forward to working with a new partner in the fight against hunger,” St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance President and CEO Beverly Damore said. “Progrexion has been a hunger hero in their home state of Utah and were quick to reach out to the World’s First Food Bank upon their arrival in Arizona – where one in four children are affected by food insecurity. We look forward to this great new partnership.”

“Progrexion’s compassion for helping others succeed is a welcome addition to the Greater Phoenix region,” said Barry Broome, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. “The region’s workforce and community strengths played a major role in their decision, and we’re proud to welcome them to Phoenix.”

“We look forward to being involved in the Phoenix community and establishing ourselves as a true employer of choice,” Abernethy said.

To find out about Progrexion’s career opportunities, visit http://www.progrexion.com/careers.

KrispyKreme

SRS Real Estate Partners Sells Building at The Park in Chandler to Krispy Kreme

SRS Real Estate Partners announced the sale of a 53,492-square-foot shopping center outparcel which includes a 3,504-square-foot former bank building located at the southwest corner of Chandler Boulevard and Alma School Road in Chandler, Ariz.

Alan Houston and Jeff Alba with SRS Real Estate Partners represented the seller, Grossman/Robson Associates in the transaction.  Andy Kroot with Velocity Retail represented the buyer, Hot Glazed Enchantment, Inc.

Kroot announced Krispy Kreme Doughnuts purchased the former Washington Mutual Bank building at the southwest corner of Chandler Boulevard and Alma School Road in Chandler. The transaction closed escrow on August 26, 2013 with Andy Kroot of Velocity Retail Group, LLC representing the buyer – Hot Glazed Enchantment, Inc., a New Mexico corporation and SRS Real Estate Partners representing the seller – Grossman/Robson Associates. The building was +/-3,504 SF on 1.23 acres of land and sold for $837,500.

“We are pleased to be able to help Krispy Kreme expand their presence and product offering in the greater Phoenix area,” said Kroot, “and we are continuing to look for sites (for sale or for lease) in the 1,500 to 3,500 square-feet range on freestanding locations or end caps with drive-thru.”

At the moment, Krispy Kreme has four stores open in the greater Phoenix area; the Mesa factory at Superstition Springs Boulevard/US 60 Freeway, 7055 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale AZ, 1984 W. Main St., Mesa, and 3201 W. Indian School Rd., Phoenix, with other stores in the works. Krispy Kreme was founded in 1937 in Winston-Salem, NC, and is well known for its signature hot Original Glazed® doughnut. There are 649 Krispy Kreme locations in 21 countries around the world.

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Karen Dickinson joins Polsinelli

National law firm Polsinelli has added Karen Dickinson to its Phoenix office. Dickinson has extensive experience negotiating and advising on complex international and e-commerce legal issues involving international contracting, joint ventures and alliances, software and intellectual property licensing, joint developments, trademark prosecution and licensing, and web development.

“I chose to move my practice to Polsinelli because the firm is dynamic and growing. Polsinelli’s extensive international and cross-border practice capabilities will be beneficial to my clients and to me. The firm’s bigger footprint and larger resource base are a great platform for companies interested in doing business internationally, and for companies outside the U.S. wanting to invest here,” said Dickinson.

Dickinson has experience as a senior manager of in house lawyers for a large U.S. multinational conglomerate where she negotiated multimillion dollar transactions in Europe, Canada, Japan and the People’s Republic of China. She has also been a partner in a start-up online business, and is a sought-after speaker on issues involving international business.

“Karen brings a valuable combination of legal savvy and hands-on business experience to the firm from working both within a Fortune 100 company and as an entrepreneur. Our clients will benefit from her ability to understand their business challenges as well as their legal needs,” said General Corporate Chair Jonathan Henderson.

“We are excited to have Karen join our team. She has the depth of experience and a commitment to clients to help them achieve success,” said Phoenix Office Managing Partner Ed Novak. “We’re growing the Phoenix office in key areas important to our clients.”

Dickinson is the chair of the Arizona District Export Council, a member of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) International Leadership Committee and a founding member of Arizona Women in International Trade. She earned her B.A., cum laude, from Duke University and her J.D., magna cum laude, from Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. Upon graduation from law school she clerked for Judge Mary M. Schroeder of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Dickinson was also a Fulbright Scholar during her career, studying European Union law at the University College London, and working with the global law firm of Allen & Overy in London.

The firm was recently recognized as the fastest-growing law firm in America over the past five years by The American Lawyer. This year, the firm moved to the 69th position from 78th in The National Law Journal’s ranking of the largest U.S. based law firms. The firm’s nationally recognized Health Care Practice is the fourth largest in the nation according to the American Health Lawyers Association. The American Lawyer Magazine featured Polsinelli in its June 2013 issue.

GPEC Forum

GPEC targets international business executives

The Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) this week officially launched an international toolkit and forum series, called “Doing Business in Greater Phoenix, U.S.A,” with additional support from the City of Phoenix. The toolkit is designed to assist foreign companies with investment and expansion decisions in the United States and, specifically, the Greater Phoenix region.

From accessing capital to forming strategic partnerships with universities and purchasing land in Arizona – the toolkit is a compilation of how-to advice ranging from human resources issues, immigration law, investment parameters, taxes, import/export laws and banking.

“Phoenix is open for business,” Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said. “In order for our economy to be globally competitive, we have to reach out internationally so we can attract the businesses and jobs that will propel Phoenix toward a stronger future. Making our city a place where it’s easier to do business makes it even more attractive to investment. It’s a win-win.”

The toolkit was officially launched last month in Shanghai, where GPEC joined representatives from Green Card Fund, Polsinelli and BDO for the first forum, held in conjunction with the International Photovoltaic Power Generation Conference and Exhibition (SNEC).

“The response we received to our forum was incredible, with 75 attendees at the forum and nearly 1,000 online views to date – and we are just now starting to actively promote it,” GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome said. “In China, executives are hungry for this type of information so they can grow their businesses abroad. Fortunately for them, Greater Phoenix is primed for growth and is very hospitable in helping companies that are considering foreign-direct investments with their options in the City of Phoenix and the surrounding region.”

Arizona has taken giant strides over the past few years to keep business taxes low and improve available economic development programs. The City of Phoenix has a 24-hour business permitting program that allows businesses to apply for a permit and start construction on the same day.

“The response from businesspeople and government officials in China to the toolkit we presented was excellent. Helping executives understand the benefits that GPEC has to offer companies is a key component to positioning our region for future business opportunities,” said Melissa Ho, a shareholder of the national law firm Polsinelli. “Our international law team is excited to partner with GPEC and the City of Phoenix as we explore the possibilities in China.”

Since last month’s launch in Shanghai, the toolkit’s website has received nearly 1,000 hits without any additional promotion beyond the first forum. As such, the region’s international brand – of which the City of Phoenix is a central part – is receiving a significant boost from the toolkit. The media impact from the initial rollout in Shanghai was also substantial, with media impressions of 370 million from last month’s trip alone.

“By taking the initiative and launching the International Toolkit, GPEC, along with local business leaders and the City of Phoenix, have shown their steadfast commitment to providing foreign firms and individuals with the knowledge and resources needed to successfully invest and expand to the Greater Phoenix region,” said Kyle Walker, Managing Partner at Green Card Fund, which specializes in EB-5 visas and presented at the forum in Shanghai.

“I couldn’t be more excited about GPEC’s creativity in developing ways to attract new businesses to Arizona and am proud to contribute the strength of the BDO network to those efforts,” said Susan Wolak, Office Business Line Leader at BDO USA, which has 37 offices and 4,700 employees in China, and also assisted in the recent trip to Shanghai.

The toolkit is currently available in English, Mandarin and Spanish, and plans are underway for further translations. Both short and long versions of the toolkit are available at http://www.gpec.org/toolkit.

GPEC Forum

GPEC hosts forum with 4 new companies

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

FEATURED LOCATES INCLUDE:

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

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

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

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

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Youngtown becomes GPEC’s 21st member community

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

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

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

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

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

Dark Star Orchestra

Concerts Take The Center Stage At Musical Instrument Museum In April

Musical Instrument Museum marks the start of a series of events focusing on concerts, bringing performances by local and national artists to the Valley.

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Mini Music Makers Series
Mondays and Wednesdays in April (1, 3, 8, 10, 15, 17, 22, 24)
9:30-10 a.m. for children ages 0-18 months
10:15-10:50 a.m. for children ages 18 months-3 years
11-11:45 a.m. for children ages 3-5 years
Tickets: $12 per class or $40 for all four
Introduce your child to the wonderful world of music! MIM’s Mini Music Makers Series, an early childhood music-education program, aims to enrich children’s lives by providing a safe, interactive and engaging environment for children to explore a variety of music from around the world. Each class is structured around developmentally appropriate activities for children to interact with and create their own music. This session’s classes will focus on the sights and sounds of African music. Reservations required. To reserve a space, please contact Annabel Rimmer at 480-245-6919 or grouptours@MIM.org.

 

 

Dark Star Orchestra: Continuing the Grateful Dead Concert Experience
Monday, April 1, 7 p.m.
Tickets: $36.50-$39.50
Performing Grateful Dead classics in the same way that an orchestra interprets music of classical composers, Dark Star Orchestra selects from among the nearly 2,500 shows that the Grateful Dead performed during their 30-year tenure as fathers of improvisational rock. The composer spirit is derived and channeled as the musicians capture the excitement and innovation of the original performances and compositions. On most performances, Dark Star Orchestra presents the complete original set list, song by song and in consecutive order, while adapting their phrasing, voice arrangements, and specific musical equipment for the various eras of the Grateful Dead shows that they perform.

Colin Hay
Tuesday, April 2, 7 p.m. (SOLD OUT)
Wednesday, April 3, 7 p.m.
Tickets: $34.50-$39.50
Colin Hay wrote some of the quirkiest pop hits of the early 1980s as the principal songwriter of the Australian-based Men at Work (“Down Under,” “Overkill,” “Who Can It Be Now?”), which became an international pop sensation, seemed to dominate early MTV, and garnered a Grammy Award for Best New Band. As the band’s guitarist and lead singer, Hay’s voice and appearance are still familiar to millions. The past 20 years have found him quietly yet tenaciously reintroducing himself to new generations of fans. In the process, he’s become a respected songwriter whose stage humor and storytelling are nearly as renowned as his music. He’s now enjoying life as a masterful writer and vocalist who is at the peak of his craft.

Alpin Hong
Friday, April 5, 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $37.50-$42.50
Whirlwind American tours and performances across the globe have earned pianist Alpin Hong the reputation as a modern-day Pied Piper. His combination of stunning technique, emotional range, and rare humor continues to bring audiences young and old to their feet. The New York Times lauded his “crystalline energy . . . clear and persuasive ideas . . . and remarkable breadth of coloration,” and called him “a pianistic firebrand” in a review of his standing-room-only New York recital debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall.

Arizona Opera Up Close Series: Double Entendre
Thursday, April 11, 7 p.m.
Tickets: $37.50-$42.50
Enjoy this rare opportunity to hear the two lead couples from both casts of “The Marriage of Figaro” as they share the spotlight on stage for one night only at the MIM Music Theater. With an impressive collection of debuts and accolades spanning the globe, the quartet will perform from their signature operatic roles and other selections from a variety of genres. Featuring Sari Gruber, Jo駘le Harvey, Jason Hardy, and Daniel Okulitch with Arizona Opera Head of Music Allen Perriello on piano.

MIM Homeschool Day: Compass Guided Tour and Signature Workshop (West African Percussion and Dance)
Monday, April 15
Tickets: $10 per student, $10 per chaperone above the 1:5 ratio
Led by docents, this exciting “trip around the world” introduced students to the diversity of the world’s musical traditions, ranging from an Indonesian gong workshop to a re-created workshop featuring Martin acoustic guitars. Students learn ways that instruments have changed over time, as humans move around the globe and interact with each other. Content and curriculum align with Arizona State Standards in science, social studies, and music education. Students will also participate in a Signature Workshop on West African Percussion and Dance where they will be introduced to different drumming styles and traditions from several cultural groups in Ghana, Mali and Guinea. Students will play along using the djembe, agogo double bell and shekere. There will also be a family-friendly menu available at the MIM Caf・ Best for grades 3‒12. To register, please contact Annabel Rimmer at 480-245-6919 or grouptours@MIM.org.

I Am AZ Music: The Best of the Valley: Open Mic Showcase
Tuesday, April 16, 7 p.m.
Tickets: $10
Featuring Andrew Duncan Brown, Ruca (Haley Grigaitis), Tim Allyn, Amanda Morgan and Jason Messer for an evening of local and diverse music.

Bang a Gong: Balinese Gamelan Workshop Series
Saturday, April 20, 10:30 a.m.
Tickets: $12 per class ($10 per class when purchased with museum admission)
Learn to play a gong – and all the other instruments that make up the sounds of a Balinese gamelan at MIM’s workshop! Led by assistant curator Colin Pearson, these bimonthly workshops include an introduction to Indonesian culture and music and easy lessons to play authentic Balinese instruments. No experience is required, and musicians and non-musicians alike will enjoy this unique musical form, so come join us! Please note that each workshop is an introductory class but participants are welcome to register for more than one session and hone their musical skills. Best for ages 8 and older. To register, please contact Annabel Rimmer at 480-245-6919 or grouptours@MIM.org.

The Klezmatics
Sunday, April 21, 7 p.m.
Tickets: $39.50-$47.50
The Klezmatics take one of the wildest approaches to klezmer, the traditional dance music of Eastern European Jews. Although their music is heavily influenced by the recordings of Abraham Ellstein and Dave Tarras in the 1940s and 1950s, their lyrics comment on a wide variety of political and social issues and have led the group to be labeled “the planet’s radical Jewish roots band.”

I Am AZ Music: Local Singer-Songwriters in the Round
Tuesday, April 23, 7 p.m.
Tickets: $15
Five Arizona singers sitting on stage trading stories and songs. It’s like being invited into the living room with some of Arizona’s best musical talent. Featuring Hans Olson, Walt Richardson, Jesse Valenzuela and the Zubia Brothers.

MIM Musical Interludes Series Featuring ASU: French Chamber Music
Wednesday, April 24, 10:30 a.m.
Tickets: Free with museum admission or $7 performance only
Elizabeth Buck, playing flute, with Lynne Aspnes, playing harp, will perform both delightful and triumphant French chamber music in honor of “La Marseillaise,” national anthem of France, which was composed on April 24, 1792.

Molly Ringwald
Wednesday, April 24, 7 p.m.
Tickets: $37.50-$42.50
American actress, singer, dancer, and author Molly Ringwald is frequently named the greatest teen star of all time. The daughter of jazzman Bob Ringwald and the leader of the Great Pacific Jazz Band, Ringwald, will soon be releasing her new CD featuring the talents of Clayton Cameron (Tony Bennett, Nancy Wilson, B.B. King) Winston Byrd (Natalie Cole, Roy Hargrove, Charles Tolliver), Trevor Ware (Hubert Laws, Jimmy Heath) and Allen Mezquida (Brad Mehldau, Bill Charlap).

Music In Motion: Dry River Yacht Club
Thursday, April 25, 6-8:30 p.m.
Tickets: Free with museum admission or $7 performance only
Groove to the sounds of Arizona under the stars and take a musical journey around the world in MIM’s galleries! The last thing one would think of when it comes to Arizona would be yacht clubs. Yet, in the heart of the Valley of the Sun, the dry riverbed of the Salt River winds its way through the metropolis. If you follow it east, straight to the waters of Tempe Town Lake, a yacht club most certainly exists: the Dry River Yacht Club (DRYC). The band, using no amplification, plays an eclectic mix of instruments, including a bassoon, violin, tuba, accordion, acoustic guitar, and bass clarinet, to create a unique combination of gypsy, Western, folk and rock music.

Hayes Carll
Thursday, April 25, 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $19.50-$24.50
Texas singer and songwriter Hayes Carll received his first guitar at age 15 and almost immediately began writing songs, influenced by the likes of Bob Dylan, John Prine, Kris Kristofferson, Dead Poets Society and the Beat novels and writings of Jack Kerouac, all of which continued to reverberate in his mature songwriting style. In 2002, he signed with Compadre Records and released his debut album “Flowers and Liquor,” which garnered him favorable comparisons to Townes Van Zandt. His song “Another Like You” was named #1 on AmericanSongwriter.com’s Top 50 Songs of 2011, and is now firmly established in the Van Zandt/Guy Clark/Ray Wylie Hubbard style of maverick country-folk.

Vladimir Pleshakov & Elena Winther: Rachmaninoff Anniversary Concert
Friday, April 26, 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $27.50‒$37.50
Vladimir Pleshakov and Elena Winther, husband-and-wife pianists, have been hailed by the Russian press as “European heirs to the great Russian pianistic tradition.” Playing two nine-foot Steinway pianos, they will masterfully convey the history, drama and passion of the last great romantic composer.

Get the Beat! World Drumming Series: Rhythms of the Middle East
Saturday, April 27, 2:30‒3:30 p.m.
Tickets: $12 per class (museum admission may be purchased separately)
Join the circle and get the beat! Each month, Frank Thompson, founder of AZ Rhythm Connection, offers a chance to experience community drumming for all levels, from absolute beginners to enthusiastic professionals. Each fun, relaxing and family-friendly session will highlight a new culture or genre, plus provide plenty of time for making music and jam sessions. Guest artists and MIM curators will stop in to demonstrate or share information about instruments, cultures or rhythms. Bring your own drum or use one provided. To register, please contact Annabel Rimmer at 480-245-6919 or grouptours@MIM.org.

 

Jan Brewer

Brewer, GM announce Chandler Innovation Center

Michigan-based General Motors (GM), together with Governor Jan Brewer, Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny, the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) and the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC), announced today GM has selected Chandler as the site of its fourth Information Technology Innovation Center.  These IT Innovation Centers enable GM to in-source the company’s innovation capabilities, strengthening its global competitiveness.

With the announcement, GM expects to invest $21 million in the new Chandler facility and hire 1,000 high-wage employees over the next five years.

“GM could have chosen to locate this premier facility anywhere in the country, so it is a tremendous credit to our state and everything we have to offer that GM has decided to build right here in Arizona,” said Governor Jan Brewer.  “Today’s announcement speaks volumes about the business-friendly environment we have created in Arizona, including our high-tech workforce, competitive tax policies and lean regulations. I could not be prouder of our state or what this announcement means for the future of the Arizona economy.”

With today’s GM announcement, Chandler joins previously disclosed locations for Innovation Centers in Warren, Mich., Austin, Texas, and Roswell, Georgia.

“The greater Phoenix area is a fantastic hub of emerging technical talent – from university graduates to working professionals. GM needs these kinds of world-class and skilled employees to be as successful as we want to be,” said GM Chief Information Officer Randy Mott.  “Chandler is the perfect addition to our overall Innovation Center market strategy, locating in great communities that are on the leading edge of innovation and technology.”

GM’s IT Innovation Centers are part of a companywide transformation to improve performance, reduce the cost of on-going operations and increase its delivery of innovation.

“This is exactly the type of technology employer we need in Chandler and in our state,” said Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny. “The GM Innovation Center is a perfect complement to Chandler’s Price Corridor, and furthers the City’s reputation as a regional hub for innovation and high-tech businesses.”

GM will begin recruiting and hiring software developers, database administrators and system analysts immediately.  The new Innovation Center is expected to be operational by first quarter 2014. Interested candidates can apply for positions at http://jobs.gm.com/.

“We are thrilled with GM’s selection of Arizona and its significant increased investment in our community.  The company’s long-term commitment grows and strengthens our economy in the form of quality jobs, high wages and capital investment, building on the technology and economic base in our state,” said Sandra Watson, president and CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority.  “It has been wonderful working with GM’s team throughout this process, and we look forward to a continued successful partnership for many years to come.”

“General Motors could not have found a better innovation partner than the City of Chandler, which has worked hard to earn its well-deserved status as one of the western U.S.’s top technology cities,” said GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome. “GM’s investment is testament to our skilled workforce and quality lifestyle, as well as competitive and uncomplicated business landscape. Indeed, today’s announcement is a win for the entire region, and we look forward to developing a lasting partnership with General Motors.”

boeing-phantom-ray

GPEC analyzes impact of potential defense cuts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

technology

GPEC puts together a science and technology strategy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

srp installs solar energy systems

Energy Consortium’s Roadmap puts state of path to build industry

Imagine Arizona as the energy hub of the Southwest — where major regional transmission lines tie into infrastructure in the state and serve a growing regional demand for energy. Arizona would be a place where an increasing percentage of jobs are related to the energy industry, whether in manufacturing, generation, transmission, energy efficiency, service or technology innovation. Many of these jobs would be higher-wage jobs requiring a skilled labor force fed by Arizona’s schools and universities. Arizona could be a hub of energy-sector jobs, with factories making equipment for the industry and power plants shipping electricity to neighboring states via new power lines, all contributing to a better economy.

That is the essence of the Arizona Energy Consortium’s Energy Roadmap, which the group hopes with be a catalyst for the state’s energy industry in the same way Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap helped the state increase bioscience jobs by 41 percent and helped increase the number of bioscience establishments by 27 percent during its 10-year plan.

“It was important to create this document to give the energy industry a unified voice and direction,” said said Michelle De Blasi, co-chair of the AEC and a shareholder at Greenberg Traurig. “The energy industry is going to be here forever. We are always going to need energy. So the Roadmap was designed to make the industry better for everyone — consumers, developers, legislators. So it was critical that we get it right.”

This is the vision the Roadmap hopes to realize over the next decade: Arizona is the energy hub of the Southwest, with a diverse energy mix supporting reliable transmission, a strong base of manufacturing facilities, increased numbers of higher wage jobs, and world-class research institutions, resulting in increased economic development for the state and region.

Once that vision is realized, De Blasi said the state can expect to reap these benefits:
• Enhanced job creation and higher-wage jobs within Arizona
• Increased state economic revenue
• Enhanced energy export potential
• Heightened energy self-sufficiency and national and state security
• Increased transmission reliability
• Continued low cost energy

“This Roadmap is going to help Arizona be looked at differently from outside its borders,” said Chris Davey, co-chair with De Blasi of the AEC and president of EnviroMission, which is developing a solar tower in Western Arizona. “The Roadmap will create a sense of certainty, which appeals to the finance community. So when they are looking to invest, that certainty creates a more attractive environment for developers and investors.”

Davey and De Blasi said they will be rolling out the Roadmap this year, presenting it to groups throughout the state. For more information on the Roadmap, visit aztechcouncil.org.

ROADMAP CONTRIBUTORS

Arizona Commerce Authority
Arizona Governor’s Office of Energy Policy
Arizona Public Service
Bridge Strategy Group
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck
City of Mesa, the Office of the Mayor
Cleantech Open
Dircks
DIRTT
DMB Associates
Energy Services Coalition
EnviroMission
Faithful+Gould
Greater Phoenix Economic Council
Greenberg Traurig
The Green Chamber – Greater Phoenix
Golder Associates
Hensel Phelps
Ikoloji
Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals
J.D. Porter & Associates
Kolbe Connect
Matthew McDonnell
Ormond Group, LLC
RG Schmelzer, Inc.
Salt River Project
Stream Energy
Tucson Electric Power
Valley Forward
Valley Partnership

Chris Camacho Original

GPEC executive wins national ‘40 Under 40’ award

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Funding Startup Companies Jumpstart Economy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SRP Study Reveals How Businesses Reacted, Adapted To Economy

GPEC helps region build solid foundation amidst economic downturn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Direct Energy bringing 500 jobs to Valley

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

economy

GPEC expands ‘California 50’ program

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

rsz_dt_1

GPEC Launches Unique Program After California Passes Massive Tax Initiative

The Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) announced The California 50, a program that offers Golden State CEOs an insider’s look at the Greater Phoenix market.

The first 50 qualified California-based CEOs who would like to evaluate the Greater Phoenix market for business growth opportunities will receive complimentary airfare and accommodations.

The announcement comes on the heels of the passage of Proposition 30, a $6B tax initiative that will raise income taxes on those making more than $250,000 annually and sales taxes on all Californians.

Meanwhile, Arizona spent the last few years lowering capital gains and corporate income taxes, crafting economic development programs that drive capital-intensive and export-based industries and initiating business-friendly policies. Just this week the City of Phoenix extended its 24-hour business permitting program to also include 24-hour inspections. Now, businesses can literally apply for a permit and start construction on the very same day.

“In Arizona, we need California to turn its economy around – we depend on it. Unfortunately, policies like Proposition 30 are driving the state’s best innovators away in droves,” GPEC President & CEO Barry Broome said. “But lately we’ve found that California companies are calling us instead as they consider expanding into the Greater Phoenix market or relocating their management teams in order to save money.

“No doubt, this is because Arizona has worked to provide a business-friendly environment that welcomes business and free enterprise while California has enacted policies that are the equivalent of a ‘closed for business’ sign.

“That’s why we’re giving California CEOs a chance to preview the Greater Phoenix market and consider expanding their management teams to the region as a way to cut costs,” Broome continued. “With more than 70 direct flights between Phoenix and San Jose alone every day, it’s both convenient and cost-effective for CEOs to operate their companies while residing in Greater Phoenix.”

Over the past three years, Greater Phoenix has seen a surge in investment from California-based companies including Silicon Valley Bank, PayPal, Yelp, Maxwell Technologies, Power-One and APL.

GPEC is a public-private partnership that’s been responsible for the region’s economic growth since 1989. It provides in-depth market data and analysis, operational cost analysis, site-selection assistance and connectivity to the region’s business and university leaders, as well as public officials, throughout the state. It targets the following industries: renewable energy; biomedical/personalized medicine; advanced business services; high-tech manufacturing and logistics; mission critical; aerospace and aviation; and emerging technology.

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

The first 50 qualified CEOs that contact GPEC by Nov. 16 will receive complimentary airfare, transportation and hotel accommodations. Exclusive, one-on-one visits into the market will include an in-depth industry and market overview, CEO introductions and a regional asset tour.

Please contact GPEC’s Barbara Miller at (602) 262-8632 or bmiller@gpec.org to be considered.

 

education.business

Penley Appointed President of Thunderbird

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

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

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

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

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

146068593

GPEC honors Maracay Homes’ president, House Speaker

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

114338026

GPEC makes case against solar tariffs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

118315706

GPEC announces new Board of Directors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

James Lundy – Chairman
CEO
Alliance Bank of Arizona

Don Smith – Vice Chair
President and CEO
SCF Arizona

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

R. Neil Irwin – Treasurer
Partner
Bryan Cave, LLP

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

Barry Broome
President and CEO
Greater Phoenix Economic Council

Richard C. Adkerson
President andCEO
Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold

Jason Bagley
Government Affairs Manager
Intel

Steve Betts
Former Chief Executive Officer
SunCor Development Company

Ron Butler
Managing Partner
Ernst & Young LLP

Don Budinger
Chairman and Founding Director
Rodel Foundation

David Cavazos
City Manager
City of Phoenix

Brian Campbell
Attorney
Campbell & Mahoney, Chartered

Michael Crow, Ph.D.
President
Arizona State University

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

Derrick Hall
President and CEO
Arizona Diamondbacks

Sharon Harper
President and CEO
The Plaza Companies

Don Kile
President, Master Planned Communities
The Ellman Companies

Paul Luna
President and CEO
Helios Education Foundation

David Rousseau
President
Salt River Project

Joseph Stewart
Chairman and CEO
JPMorgan Chase Arizona

Hyman Sukiennik
Vice President
Cox Communications

Gerrit van Huisstede
Regional President Desert Mountain Region
Wells Fargo

Andy Warren
President
Maracay Homes

Richard B. West, III
President
Carefree Partners

Duane Woods
Senior Vice President
Waste Management

Chris Zaharis
Executive Vice President
Empire Southwest

John Zidich
Publisher & President
The Arizona Republic

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

Jason Barney
Principal and Partner
Landmark Investments

The Honorable Robert Barrett
Mayor
City of Peoria

Timothy Bidwill
Vice President
Vermilion IDG

Norman Butler
Market Executive
Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Debra Callicutt
Partner
Henry and Horne

Jeff Crockett
Shareholder
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

Wyatt Decker, M.D.
CEO
Mayo Clinic Arizona

George Forristall
Director of Project Development
Mortenson Construction

Rufus Glasper, Ph.D.
Chancellor
Maricopa Community Colleges

Barry Halpern
Partner
Snell and Wilmer

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

Dan Henderson
Economic Development Director
Town of Gilbert

Lynne Herndon
Phoenix City President
BBVA Compass

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

The Honorable Robert Jackson
Mayor
City of Casa Grande

The Honorable Linda Kavanagh
Mayor
Town of Fountain Hills

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

The Honorable John Lewis
Mayor
Town of Gilbert

The Honorable Marie Lopez Rogers
Mayor
City of Avondale

The Honorable Georgia Lord
Mayor
City of Goodyear

Jeff Lowe
President
MidFirst Bank

Paul Magallanez
Economic Development Director
City of Tolleson

Kate Maracas
Vice President
Abengoa

Vicki Martin
Vice President
AT&T

The Honorable Brian McAchran
Vice Mayor
Town of Buckeye

The Honorable Mark Mitchell
Mayor
City of Tempe

Ed Novak
Managing Partner
Polsinelli Shughart

Kal Patel
Senior Vice President
Walmart

Rui Pereira
General Manager
Rancho de Los Caballeros

Tim Powell
Area President
Republic Services

The Honorable Christian Price
Mayor
City of Maricopa

Craig Robb
Managing Director
Zions Energy Link

The Honorable Jeff Serdy
Councilmember
City of Apache Junction

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

James T. Swanson
President and CEO
Kitchell Corporation

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

Richard J. Thompson
President and CEO
Power-One

John Welch
Managing Partner
Squire Sanders

The Honorable Jeff Weninger
Vice Mayor
City of Chandler

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

Dan Withers
President
D.L. Withers Construction

The Honorable Sharon Wolcott
Mayor
City of Surprise

GENERAL COUNSEL
Bryant Barber
Attorney at Law
Lewis and Roca

GPEC - AZ Business Magazine January/February 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The numbers

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

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

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

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

Faces behind the numbers

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

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

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

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

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

For more information about GPEC, visit gpec.org.

Arizona Business Magazine January/February 2012

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Arizona Business Magazine January/February 2012