Tag Archives: Greg Stanton

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.

Valley Metro - Bike Equals One Less Car

Stanton eyes more spending on bike projects

Phoenix would spend $1.5 million of its state transportation funding on making the city more bicycle friendly if Mayor Greg Stanton gets his way.

Stanton is proposing that the money be used to add more bike lanes, launch a bike-share program and prepare a citywide bicycle plan.

The Arizona Republic reports that Stanton’s proposals are included in a proposed budget that is scheduled for an initial City Council vote on Tuesday.

Phoenix has not previously used money from the state Highway User Revenue Fund for bicycle projects.

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Stanton pitches Phoenix to Silicon Valley businesses

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton wants businesses in Silicon Valley to relocate to Arizona.

Stanton traveled to California this week to sell Phoenix as a prime location for technology and manufacturing jobs.

Stanton says Phoenix needs to proactively attract employers.

Stanton’s office would not say what companies he is approaching in California because the meetings are confidential.

Stanton has traveled to Silicon Valley in the past to persuade companies there to relocate or open new branches in Phoenix.

He also has made several recent trips to Mexico to promote international trade.

Stanton was elected mayor in 2011.

Nicole Stanton

Stanton honored by Echo Magazine

The national law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP announced that Nicole France Stanton, a partner in the firm’s Phoenix office, received an Echo Magazine Readers’ Choice Award in the category of “Outstanding Service by a Woman.” Stanton’s husband Mayor Greg Stanton was also named in the category of “Leader of Political Action and Advocacy.”

Developed in 2006, Echo Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards name the community’s favorite leaders, events and hot spots. This year, 26 categories covered community leadership, community and cultural events, bars and other establishments. Winners are determined by online voting. Honorees were named at the Readers’ Choice event on April 4 in Phoenix and will also be featured in the April 11 edition of Echo Magazine.

Stanton is a member of the Quarles & Brady Commercial Litigation Group. Her experience includes defense of local and national law firms in legal malpractice actions and other business litigation disputes. She also is a member of Charter 100 Women, serves as a founding board member and past president of the Women’s Metropolitan Arts Council of the Phoenix Art Museum, and she is an adjunct professor at Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, teaching Professional Responsibility. Within the past year, Stanton received the Outstanding Service by Straight Ally Award and was named Man and Woman of the Year with husband Mayor Greg Stanton by Echo Magazine.

A graduate of Valley Leadership Class XXIX, Stanton was the YWCA of Maricopa County’s 2011 Tribute to Women honoree. She received her law degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Arizona and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Utah.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, second from left, joined city leaders March 14 at the American Animal Hospital Association’s annual conference to celebrate the millionth delegate to visit the Phoenix Convention Center since its $650 million expansion in January 2009. The millionth delegate, veterinarian Monique Weldon of Aurora, Colo., accepted a donation in her honor to the Rescue Operation for the Animals of the Reservation (ROAR). Pictured from left are Phoenix Convention Center Director Debbie Cotton, Mayor Stanton, AHAA President Mark Russak, ROAR spokeswoman Helen Oliff, Greater Phoenix CVB President Steve Moore, Weldon, and Phoenix City Manager David Cavazos.

Convention Center welcomes millionth delegate

A huge milestone at the Phoenix Convention Center arrived last week in the form of a petite veterinarian from Colorado.

Dr. Monique Weldon, owner of Loving Family Animal Hospital in Aurora, Colo., was the one millionth delegate to visit the Phoenix Convention Center since it emerged four years ago from a $600 million expansion.

Weldon, a veterinary professional in town for the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) annual conference, was honored by Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and City Manager David Cavazos in the convention center’s palatial North Ballroom during the AAHA’s May 14 opening general session. Phoenix Convention Center Director Debbie Cotton and Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau President Steve Moore also participated in the celebration.

“One million delegates is a testament to the drawing power of our city, our airport, our remade downtown, and this beautiful convention center,” Mayor Stanton said.

Cavazos pointed out that one million convention delegates visiting downtown Phoenix equates to nearly $1.5 billion in estimated spending for Phoenix’s economy.

The Phoenix Convention Center welcomed its first convention attendees in January 2009. With a glass-and-stone design inspired by the turquoise waters and red rock of the Grand Canyon, the convention center boasts nearly 900,000 square feet of exhibition and meeting space.

Mayor Stanton characterized the new convention center as a game changer, and called attention to several other developments that either dove-tailed with the facility’s construction or followed in its wake:

* METRO Light Rail began operation with 20 miles of line and 32 stations
* More than 60 new restaurants have opened downtown
* Every major hotel in downtown Phoenix is either completely new or has undergone multimillion-dollar renovations.
* CityScape was built, adding 2 blocks of new dining and entertainment options within a short stroll of the convention center’s doors.

On a more whimsical note, in the four years since expansion was completed, the convention center’s catering staff has served nearly 400,000 chicken breasts and 68,000 gallons of Starbucks coffee.

In addition to honoring Dr. Weldon with an array of gifts that included a return visit to Phoenix, representatives from the Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau and three downtown hotels—the Hyatt Regency Phoenix, Renaissance Phoenix Downtown and Sheraton Phoenix Downtown—donated $1,000 to the Phoenix branch of AAHA’s charity of choice, the Rescue Operation for the Animals of the Reservation (ROAR).

The AAHA matched that donation to ROAR, and another $2,500 was given to the group’s cause by BlogPaws, a collection of bloggers who write about pet-care information.

ROAR is a nonprofit that provides food, shelter and medical care to dogs and cats rescued from American Indian reservations. According to the organization’s website, extreme poverty and limited access to medical care lead to tens of thousands of animals being orphaned on Indian reservations each year; there are at least 1,500 stray dogs and cats roaming the Navajo Nation alone.

On hand Thursday to help ROAR accept the donations was Lucy, a German Shepherd mix who was found in a roadside cardboard box in a New Mexico pueblo. Lucy now lives in a mountainside home in South Phoenix, where she enjoys daily walks and swims in a backyard pool.

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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.

Local Initiatives Check Pres 2-11-13_sml

Wells Fargo grants $1 million to six area nonprofits

Wells Fargo & Company, one of America’s leading community banks and the nation’s largest home mortgage lender, announced the company will make donations totaling $1 million shared across six Arizona nonprofits to help further strengthen and stabilize Arizona communities.

The local grant recipients were identified in close collaboration with the City of Phoenix and Mayor Greg Stanton.  Grants are targeted to support five key areas:  Support services for the homeless, neighborhood beautification and improvement, education and workforce programs, small business and economic development, and the environment.

Wells Fargo is making $1 million in grants to the following Phoenix nonprofits:
· Arizona Citizens for the Arts — $50,000 to support the organization’s efforts in neighborhood beautification efforts and the arts.
· Keep Phoenix Beautiful — $100,000 in support of Phoenix neighborhood beautification efforts and the environment.
· Arizona Women’s Education and Employment, Inc. (AWEE) — $150,000 in support of education and workforce programs, homelessness, and economic development.
· Maricopa County Community College (MCCC)/Arizona Small Business Development Center — $200,000 to support small business programs and economic development.
· Teach for America – Phoenix — $200,000 to support the organization’s education programs.
· Valley of the Sun United Way — $300,000 to support the homelessness community, education, employment, and economic development.

The grants are funded through the Wells Fargo’s NeighborhoodLIFTSM  program that was launched early last year.  The program is an innovative effort created to help stabilize neighborhoods and help people buy homes by making properties more affordable with down payment assistance available for eligible prospective buyers.

“Wells Fargo is the leading mortgage lender in Arizona and we are proud to support our communities to help ensure a thriving and healthy community base,” said Pam Conboy, Wells Fargo Arizona Lead Regional President.  “These nonprofits are actively leading efforts to help stabilize neighborhoods and promote jobs and education programs, and we are excited to help support their tremendous efforts with the NeighborhoodLIFTSM program local initiatives funds.”

“City government is a key player in moving our economy forward, ending homelessness and advocating for quality education for our kids, but we cannot do it alone,” said Mayor Stanton.  “Our partners in the nonprofit and faith communities are indispensable to ending homelessness and ensuring a stronger economic future in Phoenix and the region.  Thanks to Wells Fargo’s NeighborhoodLIFT program and their continued efforts in our communities and for being a conduit for boosting programs that build our city up to a more promising future.”

In addition to the local grants, the NeighborhoodLIFTSM program is helping further the nation’s housing recovery by providing down payment assistance to help more local families achieve successful, sustainable homeownership. In Phoenix, more than $2 million is still available for down payment assistance grants of $15,000 for local eligible hombuyers as part of the $8 million commitment to provide down payment assistance grants, homebuyer support programs and local initiatives to help consumers achieve successful, sustainable home ownership.  Wells Fargo collaborates with the City of Phoenix and the non-profit organization NeighborWorks America and its local affiliate, Neighborhood Housing Services of Phoenix, to implement the program.

Down payment assistance of $15,000 is available to those who qualify, buy and reside in a home in the city of Phoenix.  To qualify for down payment assistance that may be applied to mortgage purchase loans with any lender, applicants must meet certain criteria including annual income not exceeding 120 percent of the median income for the area. Income maximums vary based on family size.  An event was held in Phoenix last March to kick-off the program and nearly 1,000 prospective homebuyers attended. Wells Fargo committed $8 million in the city of Phoenix to fund the NeighborhoodLIFTSM program designed to stabilize neighborhoods and help residents become homeowners.

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Masiulewicz takes leadership role in MPI

Donna Masiulewicz, a native of Chicago, was named president of the Arizona Sunbelt Chapter of Meeting Professionals International for the 2012 – 2013 year.

Masiulewicz earned her BA from Northern Illinois University in Spanish Translation and International Marketing.  She began her career in the hospitality industry working in association meetings management and tenured in corporate meeting and event operations.  A move to Arizona in 2001 carried over her role in corporate meetings and introduced her to incentive travel programs.

As president at Timeline Meetings and Events, LLC, Masiulewicz manages programs and events in domestic and international destinations with delegations from 12-2500.
Over the years, Masiulewicz has earned several industry awards, including the Rising Star for MPI (both Chicago and Arizona chapters) and the MPI Special Commendation award in Arizona. Masiulewicz won the prestigious 2008-2009 AZMPI Planner of the Year.
She recently sat down with Arizona Business Magazine to talk about the state of the hospitality industry in Arizona.

Question: What motivated you to become a meeting and event producer?
Masiulewicz; I started working the association market as an internal meeting/registration coordinator for a national nursing council. I truly loved the job and all the facets of the meetings industry. Wanting to learn more, I moved to the corporate side of meetings and conferences, got involved in MPI and continued to grow, learn and focus on perfecting each event.

Q: What are your duties and focus as president at Timeline Meetings and Events, LLC?
M: I am an independent senior meeting planner who is proficient in operations management for conferences, events and incentive programs. I manage all facets of program logistics including on-line registration support team, housing, custom program itinerary, ancillary meetings/activities, food/beverage selection, implementation, budget management, client relations, on-site execution and production, accounting and financial reconciliation.

Q: How did you become involved in the Arizona Sunbelt Chapter of MPI?
M: I joined the Chicago chapter of MPI in 1997 and served on several committees; also receiving the Rising Star award in 2001. I transferred my membership to the Arizona Sunbelt Chapter when I moved in 2001. I was going to sit back and take it all in, but quickly jumped onto two committees. Over the next few years, I served on several committees including host and hospitality, membership, holiday party, special events/fundraising, and education forum. I joined the board of directors as director of special events/ fundraising in 2006-2007 and served as vice president of finance for a year before becoming president-elect in 2011-2012.

Q: How have some of the political and social issues — SB1070 and the lesbian couple being asked to leave a downtown Phoenix hotel restaurant — impacted the meeting and events industry in Arizona?
M: While we continue to be sensitive to the special interests of all our clients, we have a responsibility to remain focused on the task at hand which is the organization and execution of the best event we can produce. At times this may entail distancing that task from any group’s social or political views. While some may protest such an approach, the resultant neutrality assures both the organizers and the clients a well-run event without the distractions of any alternate agendas.

Q: What are your goals as president of the chapter?
M: My theme for the year is “Meeting Momentum.” We have the energy and resources laid in the foundation for the hospitality industry and it’s up to us as the Arizona Sunbelt Chapter to keep the movement and mobility in motion by doing four things:
* Offering top notch education to our membership.
* Encouraging members to live MPI and share the message throughout the industry and beyond.
* Paving the path for our future leaders.
* Having fun with networking events and helping others via our community outreach efforts.

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Technology expands meeting and conference industry

We don’t catch up over coffee anymore, we catch up on Facebook.

Technology has changed the way we date, invite people to parties, and even watch TV. It’s only natural that technology will change the face of business meetings and conferences.

“As a chapter and in addition to our website, we utilize social media outlets — Facebook and LinkedIn — to promote our meetings and events and to share information industry-wide,” says Donna Masiulewicz. president of the Arizona Sunbelt Chapter of Meeting Professionals International. “We also use these means to educate those outside the industry about the power of meetings.”

Mara Weber, global marketing and communications director for Honeywell Process Solutions in Phoenix, has taken the use of technology a step far beyond Facebook.

“We held a global sales and service kickoff meeting on a virtual platform, with live broadcasts of a general session in two time zones,” Weber says. “The objective was to align our global team on growth initiatives, portfolio offerings, key messages and how to sell the value to our customers.”

While Weber says virtual meetings — which experts expect to triple in the next five years — give companies the ability to create a global footprint and bring content to an audience when and where it’s convenient for them, there are logistical challenges that need to be overcome.

“To be honest, the time and energy required and cost is far more than people realize,” she says. “You need to start with a very specific plan of attack, keeping goals and results in mind and making sure you are creating the right content in the right format. Video format, platform format, firewalls, testing in varied browsers and software versions, ability to convert files and stay flexible at all times is just the start. You also need to think past the technical to the end-user experience and also branding to create a visual environment and help messages that guide attendees or they quickly get frustrated and jump off. It’s not like being lost at a trade show and being able to view a map and ask people for directions. The audience is largely on their own and you have to think about their experience every step of the way, how they behave, how you want them to behave, download, ask, engage.”

Weber believe the best use of virtual meetings are as a component of a live, face-to-face event, extending the value of the content through the web to attendees who cannot travel or have abbreviated schedules.

“We chose to do a fully virtual kickoff meeting because we have over 3,500 sales and service team members in more than 100 countries,” she says. “The cost and logistics of face to face meeting is not reasonable.”

Weber says Honeywell has piloted virtual meeting a couple of times with customers when they can focus on a specific, targeted topic. And even in the high-tech world that Honeywell does business in, change isn’t embraced easily.

“Our customer base does not seem to be accepting,” Weber says. “By nature, they are engineers and like live demonstrations, talking face to face with experts and networking.”

TECHNOLOGY IMPACTS THE MEETING INDUSTRY

Here are five way ways experts say the use virtual technology is changing the face of the convention, conference, meeting, event, and trades how industries: ways he says you can use virtual technology to enhance your meetings.

WEB CONFERENCING: Connects meeting attendees and speakers in different locations by using VoIP (voice over Internet protocol), which allows real-time streaming of audio and video. More hotels and business centers are also adding high-definition virtual conference rooms that can be used to host hybrid sessions.

ONLINE COLLABORATION TOOLS: Open source your meetings and events by allowing virtual participants to share documents, Web pages, whiteboards, slide decks, audio, and video … all in real-time. Some Web conferencing systems allow you to record your events, thereby creating a collective knowledge base. These tools can be used for small meetings or for larger groups of thousands.

SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS: Often called the “backchannel,” social media represent the virtual conversations taking place in the background before, during, and often long after your live meeting or event. Take the time to set up and promote social media activity through things like assigning a specific Twitter hashtag for your event, creating event-specific Facebook and LinkedIn pages, and setting up Foursquare check-in locations.

REMOTE PRESENTERS: Use a streaming video feed of a speaker who is in a different physical location. This can be done as a realistic 3-D hologram, or a live feed of your guest speaker. Remote presenter options can be a great way to attract high-profile speakers who may not have the time to travel to a physical event.

LIVE WEBCASTS: Broadcast your keynotes, general sessions and breakouts by streaming your live audio and visual presentations via the Internet in real-time.

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Meetings and conventions drive tourism industry

Steve Moore, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau, knows his industry is big business.

“If Arizona’s tourism industry were a publicly traded entity,” he says, “it would be the third-largest company in the state—just behind Avnet and Freeport-McMoran, and just ahead of US Airways and PetSmart.”

Despite the economic downturn and the hit that the state’s tourism industry has taken because of human rights concerns, the numbers back up Moore’s statement. According to a study released this year by Dean Runyan Associates:
* Total direct travel spending in Arizona was $18.3 billion in 2011. Travel spending increased by 5.4 percent in current dollars compared with 2010.
* The tourism industry employs 157,700 people in Arizona. Combined with secondary employment that is generated through this direct travel spending, total job generation for Arizona is nearly 300,000. Tourism-related employment increased in 2011 by 1.7 percent – an addition of 2,700 jobs. This is the first increase in employment since 2006.
* The re-spending of travel-related revenues by businesses and employees supported 136,000 additional jobs outside of the travel industry, with earnings of $5.4 billion.
* The biggest economic boost came from conferences, conventions and business travel, which accounted for more than $6 billion in spending, or the equivalent economic impact of hosting a Super Bowl every month.

“Conventions and meetings are essential to Phoenix’s economy,” Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton says. “Their attendees stay in our hotels, go shopping at our local businesses and eat in our restaurants, which generates revenue and creates jobs.”

In many ways, experts says, conventions and meetings are a key indicator of the state’s ongoing economic recovery.

“Our industry is in a unique position in that our economic recovery has a direct effect on the recovery of the country as a whole,” says Donna Masiulewicz, president of the Arizona Sunbelt Chapter of Meeting Professionals International. “For most organizations, the first step in such a rebuilding phase is to regroup, reorganize and set out plans for the future. What better place to accomplish these things than at a company-wide event or convention? That means, in essence, that when we are hired to set up these events we are not only helping our own industry get back on financial track but we are serving as a conduit for other organizations to do so as well.”

The gross domestic product of Arizona’s travel industry was $7.3 billion in 2011, according to the Runyan study, making it the state’s top export-oriented industry, ranking above microelectronics, aerospace, and mining.

A big chunk of that revenue comes from meetings and conventions, which account for about two-thirds of the total revenue at Phoenix hotels and resorts, according to Douglas MacKenzie, director of communications for the Greater Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“That’s higher than the national average,” MacKenzie says, “because our destination holds great appeal as a meeting destination.”

MacKenzie is quick to point out that when a big event like Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game or the Super Bowl comes to Arizona, the public hears about the economic impact it has on the community because those events get a lot of media attention. But people often don’t realize that big conventions similarly bring thousands—and in some cases tens of thousands —of visitors to Phoenix on a regular basis.

“When a large convention comes to the Phoenix Convention Center, it’s like entire small town moving into downtown for a week,” says Douglas MacKenzie, director of communications for the Greater Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau. “And each one of these temporary ‘residents’ directly puts dollars into the economy and generates tax revenue. By a very conservative industry estimate, each convention attendee who comes here spends more than $1,500.”

Meetings not only play a critical role in Scottsdale’s $3 billion tourism industry, according to Kelli Blubaum, vice president of Convention Sales & Services at the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, they are economic catalysts that extend beyond the singular event.

“Meetings and events not only help fill thousands of resort and hotel room nights each year, but also provide an opportunity to introduce new visitors and business decision makers to the area,’ she says. “These events often lead to repeat visitors and even economic development opportunities for the city.”

Scottsdale Mayor W.J. “Jim” Lane says that meetings and conventions sometimes open the attracting new industry to Arizona.

“Sometimes, people who get a taste for Scottsdale end up buying a home here, or even moving a business here,” Lane says. “In fact, (convention-goers) may represent larger groups and businesses who may ultimately do more business in Scottsdale based on an initial stay here.”

MacKenzie says Arizona’s robust meeting and convention industry brings people into the state who might not otherwise be exposed to the benefits of doing business in Arizona.

“Many conventions and corporate meetings deliver to our doorstep the very manufacturing and knowledge industries economic developers want to attract to the city,” MacKenzie says.

And while meetings and conventions represent about one-third of the tourism revenue in Tucson, city officials have used their success as an attraction in the meetings industry to attract more revenue in the future.

“Many of Tucson’s larger resorts and hotels rely exclusively on group business to maintain occupancy and revenue throughout the year,” says Graeme Hughes, director of convention sales for the Metropolitan Tucson Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We are also very successful in converting meetings attendees into leisure visitors.”

Since 2008 and 2009 — the low point for Arizona tourism in the wake of the economic downturn — tourism-related tax revenue has risen across the state and as much as 60 percent in some regions of Arizona.

“The hospitality industry is a primary driver of the Arizona economy,” says Andy Ernst, regional vice president of Robert Half International, a professional staffing and consulting service. “We anticipate that Arizona will continue to experience healthy growth in the coming years as hotel occupancy continues to rise, and business comes back to the state.”

With a bright financial outlook for the meeting and convention industry nationally, experts expect Arizona to ride the momentum.
“At this point, Arizona is positioned to follow the national trend,” Hughes says. “As the economy improves, travel increases. Organizations will soon be willing to reinvest in the positive outcomes that meetings and conventions provide.”

The groups that met at the Phoenix Convention Center in 2011 accounted for more than 240,000 attendees and $350 million in estimated direct spending, according the MacKenzie. That surpassed the previous year’s direct-spend total by nearly $10 million, and it reflects the drawing power of the renovated and expanded convention center and additions to downtown, including CityScape.

“However, that’s a performance that likely will not be repeated soon,” MacKenzie says. “The number of convention attendees we’ve booked for 2012 is down 20 percent compared with 2011.”

MacKenzie attributes the decline to the recession, a 30 percent cut to the CVB’s budget, the removal of half of our Prop 302 marketing funds, and client backlash from Arizona’s role in the immigration debate, and the “A.I.G. effect,” the tendency of corporations to cut down on lavish expenditures and luxuries in areas like travel and meetings to avoid appearing wasteful in times of economic downturn. The A.I.G. effect became a reality because of the negative publicity generated by some practices of the insurance giant A.I.G.

“Keep in mind: This year’s and next year’s conventions were booked from 2008 to 2010, during the depths of the recession and during the first year of the immigration debate,” MacKenzie says. “The typical booking window for citywide conventions is two to five years out—i.e., a group usually selects the site of its 2012 convention by 2010.”

Despite some challenges, experts agree that the long-term appeal of Arizona should allow the state’s convention and meeting industry to fluorish.

“We’re seeing an increase in business from third-party planners, and the corporate segment is strengthening as well,” Blubaum points out. “Plus, healthcare continues to be a strong segment. Canada also is a growing market for Scottsdale, which is why we are increasing our efforts to drive additional meetings business from key Canadian cities.”

Hamer - June 2011-fornewsletter

The 2012 Hammer Awards

It’s that time of year to hand out some honors for the year’s best. So it is without further ado that I bring you the Third Annual Hammer Awards.
Impact Player of the Year: State Treasurer Doug Ducey
The keeper of the state’s checkbook took down Proposition 204 in a rout, and for that Doug Ducey wins a Hammer. Before he arrived on the scene, the tax measure was poised to coast to victory with no opposition. Ducey rallied opponents to make a clear case to voters why Arizona could do better by its education system than to saddle the state with a permanent tax increase that wouldn’t advance proven reforms. Ducey hit the exacta when Proposition 118, which would help create a more reliable funding stream into the K-12 system, also passed.
Best Public Policy Effort of the Year: (tie) Personnel Reform and Competitiveness Package 2.0
Two major policy efforts in 2012 deserve Hammers.
Gov. Jan Brewer and the Legislature, led by Senate President Steve Pierce and House Speaker Andy Tobin, were firing on all cylinders in 2012 with their passage of a sweeping personnel reform package that injects a new and much needed level of accountability and professionalism into the state’s employment system. Newly appointed Brewer chief of staff Scott Smith deserves kudos for shepherding the package through the Legislature with the help of two of  the state House ’s brightest rising stars, Justin Olson and Justin Pierce.
As if that weren’t enough, though, the governor and Legislature also passed a major economic competitiveness package in 2012 that built on the gains passed in 2011. Who says you can’t have back-to-back once-in-a-generation job creation bills? This year’s wins included the state’s first ever reduction in the tax on investment income (capital gains), and it now makes Arizona more attractive from a tax standpoint to service providers who sell their services beyond the state’s borders, bringing the service sector into alignment with manufacturers. Gov. Brewer’s lead policy adviser and tax guru Michael Hunter, state Rep. J.D. Mesnard, who was honored as the Arizona Chamber’s Representative of the Year, and Arizona Commerce Authority CEO Sandra Watson all deserve a Hammer for a job well done.
Comeback Player of the Year: Matt Salmon
The Hammer goes to former and now Congressman-once-again Matt Salmon for his return to the U.S. House 12 years after he stayed faithful to his term limits pledge that he made when he was a member of the class of 1994. As someone who had the honor of spending a good chunk of his professional life working for Matt, the East Valley will be well served by its incoming congressman who, by having served three terms in the 1990s, brings to his job a perspective (and seniority) few have.
Expect Big Things: Steve Chucri
Maricopa County Supervisor-elect Steve Chucri is one to watch, so he earns the Expect Big Things Hammer. Steve is one of the most affable guys you’ll ever meet. Adding his voice to the Board of Supervisors will ensure that the needs of Maricopa County will always come before any personal political agenda. Drawing on his experience as the chief of the Arizona Restaurant Association, I expect he’ll inject a pro-business point of view into the Board’s work that will help Maricopa County grow more jobs.
Southern Arizona Star: Lea Marquez-Peterson
Lea Marquez-Peterson, the president and CEO of the fast-growing Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, wins the Hammer for her groundbreaking work to illuminate business issues for southern Arizona’s Hispanic and Spanish-speaking community. Through her work on votaaz.org, an online guide to candidates and election information, Lea is ensuring that more people than ever understand public policy’s impact on business.
I’ll Be Back: Kirk Adams
Former state House Speaker Kirk Adams may have come up short in his bid for Congress, but he’s simply too talented a leader and respected as a conservative voice to be gone from the scene long. Here’s hoping it’s won’t be too long until Kirk returns to a position of influence.
Emerging Mayor: Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton
If I were pressed, I might be able rattle off the names of a dozen or so big city mayors around the country. Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton gets the Hammer Award for now having clearly joined that small list of mayors whose influence exceeds the borders of his or her city. Mayor Stanton and his colleagues on the Council are doing great things in Phoenix. The Mayor has taken the lead in advancing trade with Mexico, developing a biotech hub, education and pension reform. Because of Stanton and City Manager David Cavazos, when cities around the country are looking for best practices, they’ll look to Phoenix.
Councilmen of the Year:  Sal DiCiccio and Tom Simplot
Phoenix has dramatically reduced the time it takes to get a project through the permitting process, an initiative headed up by Councilmen Sal DiCiccio and Tom Simplot.  This effort has received national attention, including from columnist George Will.
Buy this Stock: Danny Seiden
Danny Seiden, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery’s political adviser, wins the Hammer for being a stock to watch in 2013. He was on the inside of two big wins in the 2012 election cycle: the defeat of Props 204 and 121, the so-called open primary measure, all while working with Montgomery to return the office of county attorney to respectability. And to boot, he’s married to one of Arizona’s most talented women, Southwest Gas executive Ann Seiden. Buy this stock!
The Next Generation: Martinez and Romero
They’re barely old enough to rent a car, but Gretchen Martinez (formerly Conger) and Lorna Romero each wins a Hammer for representing the next generation of Arizona politics. Martinez was the successful No on 204 campaign manager while doing her day job directing advocacy efforts at the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Romero last month was named Gov. Brewer’s director of legislative affairs, where she helps shepherd the governor’s priorities through the legislative process.
Serious Work for a Funny Man: Chris Bliss and the Bill of Rights Memorial
Professional juggler and comedian Chris Bliss wins a Hammer for his dogged determination to install monuments to the Bill of Rights in civic spaces across America. Thanks to Bliss’ work and legislation introduced by U.S. Rep.-elect Kyrsten Sinema, Arizona last week became the first state to dedicate a monument. The limestone pieces with the words of the first 10 amendments to the Constitution can be found at Wesley Bolin Plaza at the state Capitol.
Former Roommate of the Year: Steve Voeller
This is no slight to anyone else who split the rent check with me during my 20s, but Steve Voeller wins the Hammer for Former Roommate of the Year for his tireless and effective tax policy work at the state Capitol as head of the Arizona Free Enterprise Club. Steve is now headed off to serve as Sen.-elect Jeff Flake’s chief of staff. A trusted adviser for years to the senator-elect, Steve will be an excellent leader for the Flake office as he shuttles between D.C. and Arizona. The Chamber wishes him the best of luck in his new post.

Glenn Hamer is the 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. http://www.azchamber.com/.

Lanning headshot

Phoenix Looks to Award Contracts to Local Businesses

Local First Arizona believes the leadership at Phoenix City Hall is moving in the right direction with respect to the inclusion of Arizona owned companies bidding for new contracts for the city’s towing.  A new towing contract proposes that Phoenix be divided into four zones, with local companies All City Towing and DV Towing being recommended for three of the four zones. The fourth zone is expected to go to an out of state company, Western Towing. The Phoenix City Council is reviewing staff’s recommendation that supports local businesses and will ultimately vote on the matter. Previously, the towing contract went to United Towing, a company based in Chicago that had a monopoly for many years.

The city’s actions will keep far more dollars, more jobs and more economic impact in the community due in large part to the fact that the locally owned towing companies being considered are rooted in Arizona. They utilize local accountants, payroll service providers, web developers, attorneys and more local businesses. Those dollars stay here and recirculate, retaining jobs and creating additional tax revenue for other city services. A procurement study done by Local First Arizona focusing on Arizona based office supply company Wist showed that locally owned companies keep three times of their total revenue in Arizona than an out of state company.  Another study shows that for every $100 spent with a locally owned business, roughly $45 remains right here in Arizona. When the same $100 is spent in a national business, only $13 remains here.

Phoenix is making a concerted effort to make sure more tax dollars spent on city contracts go to Arizona based companies. Recently Mayor Greg Stanton implemented a policy to encourage more contracts valued at $50,000 or less to local companies. This new policy shift is expected to generate an estimated $18-$20 million in new business in the local community each year.

Local First Founder and President Kimber Lanning said, “We are now seeing large and small City of Phoenix contracts go to local companies and the positive impact will be measurable and significant.  While I hope I am never in the unfortunate situation to have my car towed by the City, it’s encouraging to know that predominately local companies are on the job in three-fourths of the city of Phoenix.”

Phoenix community mural

Phoenix Festival Of The Arts To Feature More than 80 Artists, Performers [VIDEO]

Come and enjoy three days of live entertainment and several art vendors, as well as food, wine and beer as the City of Phoenix celebrates the inaugural Phoenix Festival of the Arts.

More than 80 artists and performers will be featured at the festival, along with several beverage bars for all ages, and 14 food trucks with a variety of cuisine. Sugar Thieves, Dry River Yacht Club, Phonetic Spit Poetry Slam, Turkish Folk Dance and more are scheduled to perform at the festival. For the entire line-up of live entertainment, visit phoenixfestivalofthearts.org/entertaiment.

Join City of Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton as he announces the inaugural Mayor’s Arts Awards at the event. Stanton is the Honorary Chair of this year’s festival and will choose from the nominees who will be selected by a community panel. All nominees will be determined and announced on Friday, November 30.

Admission is free to the festival, which will take place on December 7-9 at Hance Park in Phoenix. The City of Phoenix estimates more than 20,000 art enthusiasts and Phoenicians will join in the festivities.

Born out of the annual holiday arts sale, the festival will host a vendor line-up doubling the amount participating artists. The festival’s kick-off will coincide with the Downtown Phoenix First Friday Art Walk.

The goal of the event is to showcase the Phoenix art culture and unify the local arts community in the Valley.

One of the event’s highlights will be the making of a Phoenix community mural. All guests are invited to join more than 80 local artists in creating the mural by painting panels located throughout the festival. When the panels are completed and arranged, the community mural will measure longer than 1,000 feet.

Children are welcome to the event as well and can participate in the Kidz Korner. Children can enjoy drawing as well as other hands-on arts activities, face painting and more in the Kidz Korner.

The Phoenix Festival of the Arts is produced by the Phoenix Center for the Arts. Up to 5,000 free Phoenix art guides will be handed out at the festival by the center for the arts. The guide will feature coupons to future valley arts events as well as information on the participating arts organizations.

Street parking is limited so take the Valley Metro light rail to the McDowell/Central Avenue or Roosevelt/Central Avenue stations to avoid any problems.


Mayor Stanton’s invitation to the Phoenix Festival of the Arts:

Mayor Stanton Invitation to the Phoenix Festival of the Arts from Phoenix Festival of the Arts on Vimeo.


For more information about the event, visit phoenixfestivalofthearts.org or call (602) 254-3100.

Phoenix Festival of the Arts

When: December 7-9
Where: Hance Park, 1202 N. 3rd, Phoenix, AZ 85004
Cost: Free
Online: phoenixfestivalofthearts.org

 

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AWEE presents 2012 Faces of Success

A formerly homeless veteran who lost his hearing from an explosion in Vietnam, an ex-offender who chose drugs over her children and today counsels individuals in similar circumstances, and a Baltimore transplant who had to rely on the financial support of family when she couldn’t find a fulltime job despite a steady work history will tell their turnaround stories and be honored at the 18th annual Faces of Success Luncheon on Thursday, Nov. 15 at The Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa.

The annual fund-raising luncheon supports Arizona Women’s Education & Employment (AWEE), a workforce development organization using a diverse range of evidence-based training and support services to advance Arizona’s workforce and change the lives of women, men, young adults and special populations through the dignity of work.

Also at the luncheon, Michelle King Robson, who overcame life-threatening health issues to start the widely praised social health website EmpowHER.com for women will receive the Jeanne Lind Herberger Award.

More than 700 people are expected at the luncheon, which is presented by Bank of America.  Registration and reception begin at 11 a.m.   The highly entertaining, rapid-fire program of giveaways, raffles and remarkably moving stories of success will be co-hosted by television personality Tara Hitchcock and Alfredo J. Molina of Molina Fine Jewelers.  Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton will make brief congratulatory remarks.

Molina also has donated a stunning pair of 18-karat white gold earrings with .39 carats of brilliant diamonds surrounding black onyx for a raffle.  The earrings are valued at $4,990.  Raffle tickets are $25 each or 6 for $100 and can be purchased at the event or online at www.awee.org.

Individual tickets for the Faces of Success Luncheon are $100 each and also can be purchased online or the day of the event.  Sponsorships are still available.

The highlight of the annual luncheon comes midway through the program when the three Faces of Success take the audience through their personal journeys from rock bottom to steady employment and self sufficiency thanks to AWEE programs, services and support.

The 2012 Faces of Success are:

• Craig Leighton, a U.S. Marine Corp photographer whose life fell apart after returning from Vietnam in 1974 deaf and angry.  Leighton eventually found himself battling alcohol and drug addiction, homeless and in jail.  “I needed help,” he said.  “Coming out of prison, you have a choice:  Go back to your old behavior or start over.  AWEE is what saved my life.”

• Vicki Rainey, the mother of two children who grew up in Phoenix living a “wonderful childhood” until the family moved to a new neighborhood.  That’s when she started making a series of bad choices with alcohol, drugs and criminal behavior and wound up homeless and in and out of prison.  Prison let her come out of the meth-induced fog she had lived in for months when she chose the drug over her kids.  She learned about AWEE in prison workshops and classes, rebuilt her self-esteem and her life and is now the marketing manager at Recovery Opportunity Center.  “The simple fact is, I wouldn’t be where I am today without AWEE.”

• Tanya Smith moved to Phoenix from Baltimore after her mother died.  Smith wanted warmth and sunshine.  Unfortunately, she couldn’t find permanent work and ran out of money between assignments through a temporary agency, needing help from family members.  Surgery complicated matters.   After getting on AHCCCS, she was referred to AWEE where resume writing and interview training keyed her turnaround.  Today, she’s working fulltime in the Home Modification Division of the Arizona Department of Economic Security.

Jeanne Lind Herberger honoree Robson combines a successful track record as a businesswoman and entrepreneur with nearly two decades of civic and community leadership to lead one of the fastest-growing social health companies on the Web.  She started EmpowHER following her own personal struggle with a debilitating health issue and the challenges she experienced in finding the health resources she needed.  “I thought ‘If this happened to me, what is happening to women all over the world?’  At that moment, I decided I would dedicate my life to making sure no other woman would suffer as I had by creating the resources I wish I had when I was sick.”

Kathey Wagner, CEO, B-On The Obvious and Nicole Spracale, Senior Vice President, Jobing, are co-chairs of the 2012 Faces of Success Luncheon.  Bank of America is the Presenting Sponsor with additional support from: The Herberger Foundation, Bruce T. Halle Familiy Foundation, APS, B-On The Obvious, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Discover Financial Services, Jobing, EmpowHER.com, First Solar, Molina Fine Jewelers, SRP, State Farm, Lewis & Roca, MidFirst Bank, Wells Fargo, Avnet, Comerica Bank and University of Phoenix.

For sponsorship information, contact Chief Development Officer Jamie Craig Dove at jamiecraigdove@awee.org or by calling (602) 223-4333.  For ticket information, visit www.awee.org.

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Valley High School Students Compete at JA Stock Market Challenge

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and more than 400 high schools students from nearly 20 Arizona schools will come together for Junior Achievement of Arizona’s Sixth Annual Student Stock Market Challenge, in which teams compete to see who can grow their mock-stock portfolio and create the highest net worth. The event will be held at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel on Thursday, Nov. 1.

Mayor Stanton will sound the closing bell at the event and congratulate the winning team.
Students have been preparing for the Challenge the past two months by participating in lessons designed to help them grasp the concepts they’ll need in stock trading, led by Junior Achievement (JA) volunteer instructors and our partner teachers. The JA Student Stock Market Challenge gives students a chance to practice those skills in a fun and dynamic environment. Particularly pertinent is that lessons learned during the Challenge are the focus of reflection exercises that will help today’s youth make smart financial choices as adults.

“Bestowing financial knowledge into high school students is crucial for our economic future,” said Joyce Richards, president of Junior Achievement of Arizona.  “Through the Stock Market Challenge and other JA programs, students are learning lessons on which to build effective personal financial habits for life.”

The Sixth Annual Stock Market Challenge is sponsored by: The Charles Schwab Foundation, Title and TruWest Credit Union, Champion of Hope.
For more information, visit www.jaaz.org.

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Mayo plans $130 million cancer center

Mayo Clinic has been granted approval for construction of a 217,200 square-foot building on its Phoenix campus, a major expansion that will create a single-site, integrated Cancer Center. Mayo Clinic Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center with a multi-site, national presence, which allows us to serve a broad and diverse group of patients.

The $130 million facility features three additional floors of clinical and office space that will be built above the first level of Mayo Clinic’s Proton Beam Therapy Building currently under construction. Proton beam therapy is a precise form of cancer treatment that allows greater control over radiation doses, using pencil-beam scanning. Project design and programming for the new building is expected to take three years, with staged occupancy expected in 2015.

The project signals a significant milestone for Mayo Clinic in Arizona in that it creates a consolidated and integrated Cancer Center on one campus, providing enhanced convenience for cancer patients and their families. Pivotal to that consolidation will be the relocation of the Hematology/Oncology Department from its current location on the Scottsdale campus to the new building on the Phoenix campus. Other cancer-related units such as Bone Marrow Transplant, Chemotherapy Infusion and Research will also transfer to the new building. Consolidation to one campus will also include relocation of 32 chemotherapy infusion stations currently located on the Scottsdale campus to the new cancer facility, as well as the planned addition of 18 more infusion stations.

The vertical expansion project will also include three outpatient operating rooms, expanded space for Transplant and relocation of some clinical units from the adjacent Mayo Clinic Hospital to create 12 more inpatient hospital beds.

Future plans include moving other units from the hospital to create space for 24 additional hospital beds.

Exam rooms in the new cancer building will feature a new design concept intended to accommodate the integrated team care concept for the evaluation and treatment of patients. Also planned for the convenience of patients are kiosks that will allow virtual check-in and access to timely information.

“Our patients will welcome this single-site Cancer Center, because under one roof we will be able to leverage personalized, comprehensive cancer care that includes medical and surgical oncology, infusion and chemotherapy, proton beam therapy and cancer research,” said Wyatt W. Decker, M.D., CEO, Mayo Clinic in Arizona. “This project firmly aligns Mayo Clinic’s strategic focus in cancer care and provides patients a destination for innovative, world-class cancer treatment in the Southwest.”

“This is great news for Mayo Clinic, for Phoenix and all cancer patients in the Valley and beyond,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “This project will have a significant economic impact in Phoenix in terms of job creation and helps confirm the Phoenix area’s reputation for being a destination for health care and scientific research. This is timely, considering our region anticipates unprecedented growth over the next 10 years, creating more demand for outstanding health care options.”

Approval for the new facility was granted by the Mayo Clinic Board of Trustees at its meeting on Aug. 10, 2012.

Phoenix Sky Harbor, Photo: Flickr, flavouz

HMSHost Transforms Dining at Sky Harbor’s Terminal 4

HMSHost, a world leader in travel-venue food, beverage and retail experiences, is currently in the process of updating and renovating Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport’s Terminal 4 — bringing more than 20 new restaurants to the terminal.

The transformation will include the addition of several popular local restaurants, including NYPD Pizza, Press Coffee, Modern Burger, Blanco Tacos + Tequila and four La Grande Orange brand restaurants.

“This is a busy and exciting time of year for vacations and summer travel, and we are very happy to be able to begin providing a new experience at Sky Harbor Airport that will truly showcase an authentic taste of Phoenix,” says Stephen Douglas, vice president of business development for HMSHost. “Terminal 4 is the busiest spot in one of America’s busiest airports, and we’re bringing out the best-of-the-best to showcase the great dining in the city of Phoenix.”

HMSHost was awarded its current 10-year food and beverage agreement after a 2011 competitive bidding process. The company is thrilled to continue its relationship with Sky Harbor and the City of Phoenix.

“HMSHost has had a presence at Sky Harbor International Airport for more than 40 years,” Douglas says. “We have watched with admiration the growth of the city of Phoenix, and we’ve shared in the expansion and development of Sky Harbor. Continuing our commitment to serve the city and Phoenix travelers was an easy decision, and we are thrilled to have been awarded the opportunity to continue a tradition of excellence at what has been recognized as the world’s friendliest airport.”

HMSHost carefully selected the chosen restaurants in order to best reflect the local flavor of Phoenix.

“We want to show everyone who travels through Terminal 4 the very best of Phoenix, so it’s our privilege to partner with some of the very best chefs and restaurateurs in the city,” Douglas says. “With local restaurants such as Barrio Café and Chelsea’s Kitchen, travelers will now experience a truly authentic taste of Phoenix.”

The Terminal 4 project offers a unique opportunity for the local businesses to offer travelers excellent dining options, increase brand visibility and act as representatives for the community.

“It’s our belief that just because you are traveling, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to enjoy a great meal,” says Sam Fox, CEO and founder of Fox Restaurant Concepts. “We hope that locals will recognize their favorites, and travelers will enjoy a new experience comparable to as if they had stepped into one of our restaurants across the Valley.”

La Grande Orange Hospitality Partner and CFO, Jennifer E. Cole, says La Grande Orange is excited to continue investing in the Phoenix area.

“The airport venture lets us bring local flavors to customers that know us and to customers new to the Valley,” Cole says. “With [HMSHost], we will be able to take the quality of food and service to higher levels.”

NYPD Pizza CEO, Richard Stark, adds that being in such a high-traffic location will have a positive effect on the businesses’ locations outside the airport.

“We are very excited about the Sky Harbor restaurant’s opening as it will introduce the NYPD brand to Valley residents and visitors alike,” Stark says. “We foresee this location serving as a powerful ‘brand builder’ and reaffirming our standing as the Valley’s best, authentic New York pizzeria.”

Press Coffee Roasters’ owner/operator, Steve Kraus, sees the Terminal 4 project as an opportunity to spread his passion for great coffee.

“We are thrilled to be at Sky Harbor Airport, especially in Terminal 4,” Kraus says. “Being at Sky Harbor Airport gives us an opportunity to not only expand and share our love for coffee, but also showcase to the world how great coffee can taste. We are extremely proud of our product and to be representing the best coffee the Valley has to offer.”

Included in the renovations are certain technological advances to improve service, including a mobile app, which can be used to have food delivered to your gate, as well as a tabletop ordering device currently being tested.

Douglas adds that, when the project is completed in early October, Sky Harbor will feature more local restaurants in one terminal than any other airport in the country.

“When travelers come to visit Phoenix or pass through our airport, I want them to know what Phoenix is all about, and soon they’ll be able to taste it,” says Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “They’ll know that our city and our airport support our local businesses, and that Phoenix is an epicenter of high-quality, modern and authentic dining.”

For more information about HMSHost and/or Sky Harbor’s Terminal 4 transformation, including when the local restaurants are expected to open, visit hmshost.com or skyharbor.com, respectively.

hmshost transforms phoenix sky harbor dining experience

HMSHost Brings New Dining Experience To Sky Harbor

HMSHost, the world leader in creating dining and shopping for travel venues, is transforming the Phoenix traveler’s experience at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport’s Terminal 4, bringing more than 20 new restaurants including local favorites like Sauce, Barrio Cafe, La Grande Orange and Cowboy Ciao, along with national brands like Starbucks.

The update is a result of last year’s decision by the city of Phoenix to award HMSHost a 10-year food and beverage agreement, following a 2011 competitive bid process.  

The first restaurants, Sauce, Dilly’s Deli and Focaccia Fiorentine, opened recently and feature grab-and-go items, perfect for travelers to take on the plane. Staples such as El Bravo, Paradise Bakery and Cafe and Starbucks will remain in Terminal 4, but will be moving to new locations. 

“This is a busy and exciting time of year for vacations and summer travel and we are very happy to be able to begin providing a new experience at Sky Harbor Airport that will truly showcase an authentic taste of Phoenix,” said Steve Douglas, vice president of business development for HMSHost.  “Terminal 4 is the busiest spot in one of America’s busiest airports and we’re bringing out the best of the best to showcase the great dining in the city of Phoenix.” 

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said the update to Terminal 4, when complete, will reflect the flavor of America’s sixth largest city. 

“When travelers come to visit Phoenix or pass through our airport, I want them to know what Phoenix is all about, and soon they’ll be able to taste it,” Mayor Greg Stanton said. “They’ll know that our city and our airport support our local businesses, and that Phoenix is an epicenter of high-quality, modern and authentic dining.” 

Local Phoenix restaurateurs Sam Fox of Fox Restaurant Group and Bob Lynn of LGO Hospitality have partnered with HMSHost to bring an unprecedented level of culinary expertise to Terminal 4 throughout its North and South wings. Travelers passing through the A gates will find the full range of Sam Fox’s food imagination: Modern Burger’s juicy burger sliders, and Blanco Tacos + Tequila’s delicious, award-winning traditional Mexican fare of guacamole, tacos and margaritas inspired by Baja and Sonora. 

The transformation, which features a new off-site commissary and technological improvements that will speed and ease service for travelers, has already begun. 

“This transformation was carefully planned and balances the practical needs of travelers with a range of options, pre-security and post-security, for on-the-go or for those with more time to spare,” said Derek Boettcher, senior director of food & beverage for HMSHost at Sky Harbor Airport. 

Visitors to the D Concourse will enjoy Bob Lynn’s popular LGO restaurant brands.  The La Grande Orange experience will offer four distinct and delicious options — LGO Burger, LGO Deli and the LGO Pizza with Grateful Spoon Gelato.

The dining experience at Phoenix Sky Harbor extends further with these enticing offerings:

  • Fans of the New York Pizza Department (NYPD) will tell you it’s the best authentic New York-style pizza in Arizona.
  • Press Coffee offers more than outstanding coffee with fresh roasted beans.  Press offers salads, daily soups, and Panini sandwiches to satisfy any appetite.
  • One of Phoenix’s must-try restaurants, Cowboy Ciao is coming to the high B gates in Sky Harbor’s international concourse. What started as a very unique Southwest-meets-Italian premise has evolved into a style best described as eclectic American.
  • The French countryside makes a trip to this Concourse in the form of la Madeleine, luring travelers with healthy offerings including salads, vegetarian fare, and delicious sweet treats.
  • Barrio Café is the creation of chef and owner Silvana Salcido-Esparza who makes her Mexico-inspired dishes a must-taste for everyone. Barrio Café will be located in the D concourse. Chef Esparza is a 2010 and 2011 James Beard Foundation nominee for Best Chef-Southwest. 
  • Also in B and C gates, HMSHost’s busy baristas at Starbucks will fuel weary travelers with great beverages and snacks — no matter what time zone they are entering or have just departed. 
  • Travelers to the C gates will find the much-beloved Paradise Bakery (now open), along with a Tucson tradition come-to-life in Sir Veza’s Taco Garage — offering something for everyone from hand-bored guacamole and imaginatively sauced wings, to Nitro Nachos and Tricked Out Tacos, as well as the local legend in coffee, Cartel Coffee Lab. 
  • The pre-security Terminal 4 lobby will showcase Bob Lynn’s Chelsea’s Kitchen, specializing in gourmet burgers, upscale taco platters, rotisserie meats and American comfort food.  It will be joined by Sam Fox’s Sauce (now open) where guests will get a full complement of pizza, salad and pasta.  Also pre-security, Starbucks fans will greet their favorite java in the lobby as they wait happily for family members. 

The tentative schedule of openings for the summer and fall: 

June
Blanco Tacos & Tequila
Modern Burger
Barrio Cafe
La Madeline 

July
Press Coffee
El Bravo
September
Sir Veza’s
Cartel Coffee Lab
Chelsea’s Kitchen
Starbucks
La Grande Orange

October
NYPD Pizza 
Cowboy Ciao

For more information on HMSHost, visit hmshost.com

Runoff Election, Early Voting Phoenix Mayor, Council

Phoenix Mayor And Council Runoff Election Early Voting

Phoenix Mayor And Council Runoff Election Early Voting

Do you know who you’re voting for for Phoenix mayor? After viewing that heated debate between Greg Stanton and Wes Gullett, you’re probably ready to submit your vote early. Luckily you can, in just a few days ― Thursday, October 13th. The mayoral election takes place November 8.

As many know, the race for mayor has been dwindled down to the final two, who held a debate on Wednesday, October 5. The debate covered Gullett’s lobbying firm, SB 1070 and the candidates rated City Manager David Cavozos’s performance.

Debate Highlights:

Regarding Gullett’s lobbying firm, Stanton suggested he would have too many conflicts of interested as mayor. Gullett ensured there would be no conflicts, as he will divest interest in his firm if elected.

Gullett also brought up an investigation dating back to 2007 when Stanton supported Maricopa Community Colleges as an elected official while simultaneously paid by the district. Stanton admitted he had a few slips and that these were unintentional.

Regarding SB 1070, candidates were asked if they would have voted for the bill as it had passed in the state legislature two years ago. Gullett said yes, supporting the fight against drug cartels and human smuggling; Stanton said no.

Stanton refused to rate City Manager David Carvazos’ performance on a scale of one to 10, saying good leaders don’t “prejudge people.” He said that if elected, he would rate Carvazos then. Gullett said that Carvazos hasn’t acted urgently enough.

Early Voting for the Runoff Election:

Mark your calendars; early voting for the city of Phoenix Mayor and Council November Runoff Election begins October 13 and continues through November 4.

Voters can cast their early ballots during business hours at Phoenix City Hall:

Phoenix City Hall
200 W. Washington St., 15th floor
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In addition to electing a mayor, voters in Districts 1 and 5 will elect a council member.


More Voting Sites:

Voting sites open Saturday, October 22. Here are the locations, dates and times:

 

Saturday, October 22
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Mesquite Branch Library

4525 E. Paradise Village Pkwy.

Sunnyslope Community Center

802 E. Vogel Ave.

South Mountain Community Center

212 E. Alta Vista Rd.

Saturday, October 29
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Deer Valley Community Center

2001 W. Wahalla Ln.

Desert West Community Center

6501 W. Virginia Ave.

Devonshire Senior Center

2802 E. Devonshire Ave.

 


Voting Via Mail:

If you’re interested in voting for the Phoenix Mayor and Council November Runoff Election via snail mail, request forms for a city ballot are available for download at the Elections Division website. The City Clerk Department must receive your request by Friday, Oct. 28, no later than 5 p.m.

Voters can call (602) 261-VOTE (8683) and request an early ballot request postcard, or mail a signed letter listing their name, address and phone number to:
City Clerk Department, Elections Division
200 W. Washington St., 15th Floor
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Deadline for Voted Early Ballots:

Voted early ballots must be received by the City Clerk no later than 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 8 ― Election Day.

Early ballots may also be dropped off at an early voting site or voting center during voting hours.

 

[stextbox id="grey"]For more information about the Phoenix Mayor and Council November Runoff Election, please visit the city of Phoenix’s website phoenix.gov/election or call the City Clerk Department at (602) 261-VOTE (8683).[/stextbox]

 

Election Results, Phoenix 2011

Mayoral And Council Election Results Are In

The City of Phoenix election results are in for the mayoral and council election.

The results were announced last night, August 30, at 8 p.m., with votes submitted from nearly 650,000 registered voters — 646,995, to be exact — with a little more than two percent of the votes from voting centers, and a little more than 13 percent casting their votes via early voting (nearly 90,000 votes).

According to the City of Phoenix’s website, these unofficial results do not include provisional ballots; the remaining early ballots and provisional ballots expected to be tabulated on Friday, Sept. 2. Check back here for those results.

Mayoral Election Results

Greg Stanton received most of the votes, more than 37 percent and more than 37,000 votes. Read Stanton’s statement on his website.

Wes Gullett came in second — more than 20 percent and more than 20,000 votes. Read Gullett’s statement on his website.

Here’s a breakdown of the mayoral election results:

Votes

Percent

1. Greg Stanton

37,759

37.85%

2. Wes Gullett

20,492

20.54%

3. Peggy Neely
12,622
12.65%
4. Claude Mattox
12,090

12.12%

5. Jennifer Wright
11,442
11.47%
6. Anna Brennan

4,910

4.92%

Proposition 1 — Expenditure Limit

Proposition 1 passed, with a little less than three-quarters of voters voting YES.

What is Prop 1? Read more about it.

Votes

Percent

YES
63,723
71.44%
NO
25,472
28.56%

Proposition 2 — Zoning Referendum

Proposition 2 did not pass, with more than 60 percent voting NO.

What is Prop 2? Read more about it.

Votes

Percent

NO
58,922
61.49%

YES

36,908

38.51%

[stextbox id="grey"]Visit the City of Phoenix’s website for the Council District 1 – 3, 5 and 7 results. [/stextbox]

 

 

Election Social Media: Wright & Brennan

Phoenix Election Social Media Wars: Wright & Brennan

Election Social Media Wars: Wright & Brennan

Social media has become an important and effective marketing tool, with businesses creating Facebook pages and Twitter accounts for their customers, sharing deals and special offers. And it’s no less important in a race for mayor, especially for the Phoenix election mayoral candidates.

We visited all of the Phoenix mayoral candidates’ respective social media pages to get a better idea of how they represent themselves and their campaigns. It’s one thing to believe what the media and rival candidates say about one another, but how are they connecting with their supporters and how are they bettering their campaigns via social media?

Yesterday, we covered Wes Gullett and Peggy Neely. Today, we’ll look at Jennifer Wright and Anna Brennan.

Jennifer Wright

Jennifer Wright’s website states her campaign focuses on the following issues: repealing the food tax, creating a more open, transparent government, enforcing SB 1070, increasing public safety, creating more jobs and improving small businesses and small business creation.

Facebook & Twitter

Wright’s Twitter thoroughly updates her followers of her responses at mayoral debates. She’s informative, and she seems active on her account, responding to her followers’ questions. For instance:

Jennifer Wright's Twitter, Election Social Media “@rbcarter 2 make sure jobs & oppy’s thrive, ‘hoods r safe & secure, & the city is fiscally responsible. VOTE WRIGHT!”
“@RPongratz Thanks for your support!”
Jennifer Wright's Twitter, Election Social Media “Q1: B4 be sworn in, I will identify 20 biz stuck in city process & make sure they are up & running by inauguration day. #PhxDebate”
“Q5: Fiscal responsibility KEY. Review proposed line-item budget b4 passing, cut fat and admin bloat. Hold depts accountable. #PhxDebate”

As for Wright’s Facebook, with 507 followers, it’s updated frequently with video posts, shared links of articles relating to the mayoral race, as well as her thoughts and opinions. She seems more active and personable on Facebook, determined to increase the number of followers every day:

Jennifer Wright's Facebook Page, Election Social Media “‘I have no interest in being a household name or having personal fame or notoriety. I do not seek to be a career politician. Instead, my desire is to serve and lead Phoenix back on a path to prosperity. I would be honored if the highest office I ever held were that of Mayor of Phoenix. I humbly ask for your vote.’ Jennifer Wright”
“500! LET’S RAISE IT TO 510!””Today’s goal is 490!”
Jennifer Wright's Facebook Page, Election Social Media “Have you seen and shared my web-ad?
The Wright Change for Phoenix
www.youtube.com”
“Jennifer Wright Press Conference Post-Chamber Debate
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhPqG2u8s3s “

Anna Brennan

Anna Brennan focuses on the community for her campaign. She pledges to “have the most open, accountable, and transparent government that the City of Phoenix has ever seen,” work on the city’s budget by proposing a zero-based budget, emphasize the importance of education by advocating for public school reform, and spotlight illegal immigration.

Brennan’s social media usage, both Facebook and Twitter, have identical posts — all video links to Brennan’s unique, live broadcasts from her cell phone (using bambuser, an app that streams live video for others to view), updated very frequently.

Facebook & Twitter

Anna Brennan's Twitter, Election Social Media Anna Brennan's Twitter, Election Social Media

 

Anna Brennan's Facebook Page, Election Social Media Anna Brennan Facebook, Election Social Media

No. of Friends & Followers for each Mayoral Candidate:

As of August 18, 2011, sourced from the social media pages linked to each candidates’ website:

Claude Mattox

Greg Stanton Facebook Page, Election Social Media 2,942 Friends
Greg Stanton Twitter, Election Social Media 775 Followers

Greg Stanton

Greg Stanton Facebook Page, Election Social Media 1,349 Friends
Greg Stanton Twitter, Election Social Media 583 Followers

Wes Gullett

Wes Gullett Facebook Page, Election Social Media 759 Friends
Wes Gullett Twitter, Election Social Media 235 Followers

Peggy Neely

Peggy Neely Facebook Page, Election Social Media 509 Friends
Peggy Neely Twitter, Election Social Media 452 Followers

Jennifer Wright

Jennifer Wright Facebook Page, Election Social Media 507 Friends
Jennifer Wright Twitter, Election Social Media 125 Followers

Anna Brennan

Anna Brennan Facebook Page, Election Social Media 104 Friends
Anna Brennan Twitter, Election Social Media 40 Followers

[stextbox id="grey"]

Election Voting Dates & Times:

Saturday, August 27, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Monday, August 29, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Tuesday, August 30 (Election Day), 6 a.m. – 7 p.m.
[/stextbox]

Election social media — is it important to winning an election? What do you think?
Do you think the candidates’ social media pages, “friends” and “followers” have any impact on the election and who will win the mayoral race? Let us know. If it is, it looks like Mattox is leading the pack.

 

Phoenix Election Social Media: Wes Gullett & Peggy Neely

Phoenix Election Social Media Wars: Gullett And Neely

Election Social Media Wars: Gullett & Neely

Social media has become an important and effective marketing tool, with businesses creating Facebook pages and Twitter accounts for their customers, sharing deals and special offers. And it’s no less important in a race for mayor, especially for the Phoenix election mayoral candidates.

We visited all of the Phoenix mayoral candidates’ respective social media pages to get a better idea of how they represent themselves and their campaigns. It’s one thing to believe what the media and rival candidates say about one another, but how are they connecting with their supporters and how are they bettering their campaigns via social media?

Yesterday, we covered Claude Mattox and Greg Stanton. Today, we’ll look at Wes Gullett and Peggy Neely.

Wes Gullett

Based off Wes Gullett’s website, his campaign doesn’t pinpoint just one or two topics, but an array of issues, including the following: his Seven Point Jobs Plan, working toward a better government, safe and affordable water for the city, “making Phoenix the small business capital of America,” increasing public safety, creating pay raises for employees and enforcing SB 1070.

Facebook & Twitter

In addition to Gullett’s Tweets thanking his volunteers and supporters as well as posts providing updates on his campaign — including links to articles and video posts, there are many Tweets from supporters. Here are few posts from his Twitter:

Wes Gullett Twitter, Election Social Media “As a Phoenix resident, I am proud to support for @wesgullett for mayor.”
“@wesgullett, funny humane thoughtful guy is running for Mayor of Phoenix. Pretty great when guys like him are willing to step up.”
Wes Gullett Twitter, Election Social Media “We cannot elect the same politicians and expect things to get better. We need new leadership new ideas and real results”
“A big thank you to all our volunteers! They are working hard and spreading our message. Come join the fun this weekend – … “

As for Gullett’s Facebook, the posts are very similar to those on his Twitter page. However, Deb & Wes Gullett do respond very quickly to questions and posts by supporters — very thorough responses, too. For instance:

Wes Gullett Facebook Page, Election Social Media

“Can you please clarify your position on SB 1070? Peggy Neely sent out a flier saying you opposed it then flip flopped.”

Response: “Peggy Neely’s campaign is clearly in free fall and she is desperate and willing to say anything or attempt to deflect attention from herself so that she keep her power. Her campaign’s efforts to confuse voters especially after the devastating article in the media today. I have been consistent that the City of Phoenix must and will enforce the laws of Arizona including SB 1070 if I am Mayor. … “

Peggy Neely

Based off Peggy Neely’s website, she has focused her campaign on spotlighting the local economy, including attracting jobs and small businesses, balancing the city budget and reducing the size of government, protecting public safety, increasing government accessibility and transparency, encouraging quality education, and supporting strong neighborhoods.

Peggy Neely is close behind Gullett regarding the number of “friends” and “followers” she has on her Facebook and Twitter. This is what I gathered from her usage of social media…

Facebook & Twitter

Much like her website, Neely’s Twitter account emphasizes her plans and her endorsements. Here a few:

Peggy Neely Twitter, Election Social Media “Proud to be a consensus builder. That is why I am proud to be endorsed by both Councilmembers Johnson and DiCiccio.”
“View my plans and my comprehensive plans at PeggyNeely.com. #phxmayor”
“I am proud of Councilman Michael Johnson’s endorsement. He is a long time friend and an early supporter.”

As for Neely’s Facebook page, which has over 500 followers, her posts are — like Gullett’s — very similar to those on Twitter, sharing the same links, almost as if they both use an auto-post feature.

Neely shares on Facebook her accomplishments and endorsements as well as her comments regarding the other candidates, including:

Peggy Neely Facebook Page, Election Social Media I am proud of my track record of bringing people together to build consensus and find solutions. Phoenix has been a well-run city and a place we can all be proud of, but it is time to do more.
We need more transparency in government. We don’t even know who Mr. Gullett’s clients are. How could the taxpayers ever trust he was serving them instead of himself?
Peggy Neely Facebook Page, Election Social Media I am proud to be endorsed by Councilman Michael Johnson. We share a desire to focus on the development and economic growth of the city, the creation of more jobs for Phoenix residents, a commitment to the community, and our ability to maintain the quality of basic city services.

No. of Friends & Followers for each Mayoral Candidate:

As of August 17, 2011, sourced from the social media pages linked to each candidates’ website:

Claude Mattox

Greg Stanton Facebook Page, Election Social Media 2,936 Friends
Greg Stanton Twitter, Election Social Media 774 Followers

Greg Stanton

Greg Stanton Facebook Page, Election Social Media 1,309 Friends
Greg Stanton Twitter, Election Social Media 578 Followers

Wes Gullett

Wes Gullett Facebook Page, Election Social Media 757 Friends
Wes Gullett Twitter, Election Social Media 234 Followers

Peggy Neely

Peggy Neely Facebook Page, Election Social Media 507 Friends
Peggy Neely Twitter, Election Social Media 450 Followers

Jennifer Wright

Jennifer Wright Facebook Page, Election Social Media 494 Friends
Jennifer Wright Twitter, Election Social Media 126 Followers

Anna Brennan

Anna Brennan Facebook Page, Election Social Media 101 Friends
Anna Brennan Twitter, Election Social Media 40 Followers

[stextbox id="grey"]

Election Voting Dates & Times:

Saturday, August 27, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Monday, August 29, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Tuesday, August 30 (Election Day), 6 a.m. – 7 p.m.
[/stextbox]

Election social media — is it important to winning an election? What do you think?
Do you think the candidates’ social media pages, “friends” and “followers” have any impact on the election and who will win the mayoral race? Let us know. If it is, it looks like Mattox is leading the pack.

 

Phoenix Election Social Media Wars: Stanton & Mattox

Phoenix Election Social Media Wars: Stanton & Mattox

Election Social Media Wars: Stanton & Mattox

Social media has become an important and effective marketing tool, with businesses creating Facebook pages and Twitter accounts for their customers, sharing deals and special offers. And it’s no less important in a race for mayor, especially for the Phoenix election mayoral candidates.

We visited all of the Phoenix mayoral candidates’ respective social media pages to get a better idea of how they represent themselves and their campaigns. It’s one thing to believe what the media and rival candidates say about one another, but how are they connecting with their supporters and how are they bettering their campaigns via social media?

This is what we found.

Claude Mattox

According to Claude Mattox’s website, Mattox focuses on building stronger and safer neighborhoods, quality schools and career jobs — focusing on crime rates, establishing neighborhood volunteer groups, and economic recovery, to name a few.

Facebook & Twitter

His Twitter account is ridden with ways he plans to correct the issues he identifies in his campaign. He also shows his support for the Phoenix area and its neighborhoods. For instance:

Greg Stanton Twitter, Election Social Media “Focus on failing schools and helping them to succeed, and graduate students who are great employees!””Thank a police officer or fire fighter today, they risk their lives daily in order that our neighborhoods and communities are safe.”

Furthermore, Mattox stresses his opinions regarding his components’ strategies and ideas on his Twitter page, including:

Greg Stanton Twitter, Election Social Media “To Wes about dealing with union contracts. Wes has incorrect info. I have worked with unions to negotiate and cut budgets together.””Neely wants to open phoenix for business, but if she plans to do it like she did with city north, we will be in big trouble.”

While Mattox doesn’t have a Facebook page specific to his mayoral campaign, his personal page does have nearly 3,000 followers or “Friends.” On his page, he stresses his gratitude to his supporters and volunteers — nearly every single post.

Greg Stanton Facebook Page, Election Social Media

“Thanks to my many supporters who came out last night, and those of you who watched from your homes. I appreciated the opportunity to share my plan and my vision with Phoenix voters.”

Greg Stanton

According to Greg Stanton’s website, his campaign crux focuses on local economic development — growing local businesses and increasing the number of available high-wage jobs, long-term, as well as sustainable development. But exactly how is Stanton getting his message across on Facebook and Twitter?

Facebook & Twitter

His mayoral Facebook page is ridden with updates, photos and support from over 1,000 people who follow the page. And Stanton stresses his appreciation for his supporters.

Greg Stanton Facebook Page, Election Social Media “Nicole and I were BLOWN AWAY with the success of this weekend’s ‘Get Out The Vote’ effort. The core of our campaign is the passion, dedication and professionalism of our volunteers. Thank you to all who ‘hit the streets.’ And thank you in advance for your help throughout the remainder of this campaign.”

Regarding his campaign focus, his passion and dedication is evident:

Greg Stanton Facebook Page, Election Social Media “Watch the debate tonight at 7 PM on channel 5. I am the only candidate with a comprehensive plan to bring high-wage jobs to Phoenix.”
Greg Stanton Twitter, Election Social Media “Stanton pledges that neither he nor anyone in his administration will hold a financial interest in a lobbying firm.”
Greg Stanton Twitter, Election Social Media “Stanton: We’re not like those people at the legislature, we’re normal! We’re pro-business and pro-people”

No. of Friends & Followers for each Mayoral Candidate:

As of August 16, 2011, sourced from the social media pages linked to each candidates’ website:

Claude Mattox

Greg Stanton Facebook Page, Election Social Media 2,929 Friends
Greg Stanton Twitter, Election Social Media 771 Followers

Greg Stanton

Greg Stanton Facebook Page, Election Social Media 1,304 Friends
Greg Stanton Twitter, Election Social Media 565 Followers

Wes Gullett

Greg Stanton Facebook Page, Election Social Media 753 Friends
Greg Stanton Twitter, Election Social Media 229 Followers

Peggy Neely

Greg Stanton Facebook Page, Election Social Media 508 Friends
Greg Stanton Twitter, Election Social Media 450 Followers

Jennifer Wright

Greg Stanton Facebook Page, Election Social Media 470 Friends
Greg Stanton Twitter, Election Social Media 120 Followers

Anna Brennan

Greg Stanton Facebook Page, Election Social Media 97 Friends
Greg Stanton Twitter, Election Social Media 35 Followers

[stextbox id="grey"]

Election Voting Dates & Times:

Saturday, August 27, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Monday, August 29, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.


Tuesday, August 30 (Election Day), 6 a.m. – 7 p.m.
[/stextbox]

Election social media, is it important to winning an election?  What do you think?

Phoenix Mayoral Debate, Real Estate

Phoenix Mayoral Candidates Debate Commercial Real Estate Issues

Filling existing vacant commercial buildings, impact fees and economic development incentives were some of the issues discussed by the six City of Phoenix mayoral candidates Friday at Valley Partnership’s monthly breakfast meeting.

Anna Brennan, Wes Gullett, Claude Mattox, Peggy Neely, Greg Stanton and Jennifer Wright answered questions and made their pitch why they should be Phoenix’s next mayor before a packed audience at the Phoenix Country Club.

The first question: Arizona’s economy has taken its toll on commercial real estate is our state. What is your plan for attracting users to existing vacant commercial buildings and jumpstarting new commercial development in Phoenix?

Gullett said his focus was on helping small businesses, attracting new jobs, and making sure there is also job growth. He also said the challenge he sees is a lack of investment capital. His vision is for a partnership with banks to create an investment pool.

Neely stressed the importance of job creation, and the fact that the Valley needs to become more competitive as a region. Wright pointed out the 30 percent vacancy rate among commercial buildings in Phoenix. She added the city’s development department must be more business friendly.

The second question: Most cities in the Valley assess development impact fees on commercial development. Some subsidize certain categories of impact fees to attract certain kinds of development. Others have very limited categories of fees. What do you think the City of Phoenix’s approach should be to assessing impact fees for commercial development?

Stanton alluded to the ill-fated CityNorth project because it was a public-private partnership in which part of the impact fees helped build the development’s parking garage. He added that impact fees should generate “growth that pays for itself.”

The third question: Are you in favor of providing economic development incentives like infrastructure reimbursements to commercial projects?

Stanton, Brennan, Gullett and Maddox said yes. Gullet said it’s a “good gamble as jobs are created.. It has to be applied across the board.”

The fourth question involved a zoning case. A Fortune 500 company wants to relocate its corporate headquarters on Camelback Road and has a site tied up. They want 10 stories. If they can’t get 10 stories, the building goes to a Tempe Town Lake site. The General Plan dictates the Phoenix site can have a maximum of four stories. A highly organized neighborhood group says it was promised that high rises wouldn’t go this far east and that the city shouldn’t break that promise. How do you vote?

Wright, Brennan, Maddox and Neely voted in favor of rezoning the property. Gullett and Staton voted against.

And finally, when asked to describe their leadership style in one word, their responses:

Gullett – patience; Maddox – committed; Neely – decisive; Stanton – smart; Wright – determined; and Brennan – a facilitator.

The City of Phoenix mayoral election is Aug. 30.