Tag Archives: Greg Stanton

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UA, SynDaver Announce Collaboration

Medical education at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix has received a big boost with the latest in simulation technology from SynDaver™ Labs – and the city will get an economic boost as well.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, UA College of Medicine – Phoenix Dean Stuart D. Flynn, MD, and SynDaver™ Labs’ President Christopher Sakezles, PhD, on Wednesday, announced an exclusive collaboration between the medical school and Tampa, Fla.,-based SynDaver™ Labs. Sakezles said it could create up to 1,000 jobs over the next several years.

“We are bringing SynDaver to the forefront of medical education,” said Teresa Wu, MD, an emergency room physician at Maricopa Medical Center and faculty member of the college. “We are developing a team of practitioners that is going to help enhance medical education and improve patient safety.”

The announcement was during in an exclusive demonstration event at the Arizona Center for Simulation and Experiential Learning, on the fourth floor of the Health Sciences Education Building on campus.

“This collaboration places our college on a trajectory as a national leader among elite medical schools in simulation technology,” Dr. Flynn said. “We are ensuring medical education is not just on the cutting edge, but visionary in preparing our students to serve for the decades to come.”

Developed by SynDaver Labs, the teaching tools helps in anatomy and physiology instruction for medical and other health-related education. The company manufactures the world’s most sophisticated synthetic human tissues and body parts.

“This is all about medical education and reducing the cost of health care in general,” said Sakezles, the founder of SynDaver™ Labs. “Simulation is one of the ways we are going to do that. This particular technology is transformational. It’s been in the works for about two decades now.”

The technology is used to replace live animals, cadavers, and human patients in clinical training and surgical simulation.

“SynDaver models are unique and they are one of the best in the country, they were actually developed to allow medical students the opportunity to practice procedures and to develop skills they normally would have to do on patients in the past,” Dr. Wu said. “But now they have these task trainers that are realistic and life-like that they can practice their procedures on prior to doing it on a live patient.”

The simulation center is a new, state-of-the-art endeavor that combines technology with healthcare-focused education. Students get to learn the difficulties faced every day in the medical world, no matter how much experience they have. The simulation lab can be set up to encompass a wide variety of situations, training the students for the world they will soon enter in real patient care.

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Sky Train Project Recognized with Environmental Award

The PHX Sky Train™ has been selected for a top honor in the prestigious Arizona Forward Environmental Excellence Awards, receiving the first-place Crescordia award in the Multi-modal Transportation & Connectivity category. In addition, a public art project featured on one of the PHX Sky Train™ pedestrian bridges received special recognition.

Arizona Forward, in partnership with SRP, presented the 33rd Annual Valley Forward Environmental Excellence Awards on Saturday September 14. Considered the “Academy Awards” of the environmental community, the event is the oldest competition of its kind in Arizona. This year, there were more than 100 entries.

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport’s PHX Sky Train™ provides a connection between Valley Metro light rail, East Economy Parking and Terminal 4, which serves 80 percent of the Airport’s passengers. The project was recognized for providing a vital transit link to the Phoenix area, alleviating roadway congestion and enhancing customer service. The PHX Sky Train™ project reduces vehicular traffic and emissions, energy consumption and water use. It attained LEED Gold certification from the US Green Building Council.

“The PHX Sky Train™ is a shining example of what we can accomplish when we work to improve our transportation system in a way that improves the air we breathe and reduces the water we use,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “Phoenix will continue to reduce our energy consumption through green construction and energy efficient facilities.”

The stunning glass mural project incorporated into the walls of the walkways between Terminal 4 and the PHX Sky Train station™ was also recognized. Artist Daniel Mayer, glass fabricator Franz Mayer, glass installers Walters and Wolf and the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture were honored with an Award of Merit in the Art in Public Places category.

“We are humbled by this recognition,” said Phoenix Aviation Director, Danny Murphy. “We owe the success of this project to our employees city-wide and to our business partners who put in countless hours of work to ensure a world-class experience for our customers on the PHX Sky Train.™”

Mr. Murphy thanked the Phoenix Aviation Department’s many partners in the project, including: Bombardier Transportation, Gannett Fleming, HOK, Fore Dimensions, Hensel Phelps, Kimley Horn & Associates, MEP Engineer, Dinter Engineering and Advance Terrazzo.

Vince Roig 02.2011

Helios Founding Chair Named 2013 Afterschool Champion

Education advocate and founding chairman of the Helios Education Foundation, Vince Roig, has been named the 2013 Afterschool Champion by the Arizona Center for Afterschool Excellence (AzCASE).

Roig will receive the award on Saturday, Nov. 2 at the 12th Annual Arizona Statewide Afterschool Conference & Awards of Excellence Luncheon at the Phoenix Convention Center, North Building Ballroom, in downtown Phoenix.  Also at the luncheon, innovative afterschool programs and staff from around the state will be recognized for their exemplary work in delivering quality youth development programs.

Roig joins an impressive list of past honorees that includes former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Lattie Coor, Eddie Basha and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton.

“Vince Roig’s entire career has been focused on and dedicated to education,” said Melanie McClintock, executive director, Arizona Center for Afterschool Excellence.  “His efforts have touched the lives of students at every level of the educational spectrum.”

Roig holds both Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in secondary education.  He founded Helios Education Foundation, the largest nonprofit organization serving Arizona and Florida focused solely on education, in 2004.  The Foundation has invested millions of dollars in education-related programs and initiatives in three impact areas:  Early Childhood Education, the Transition Years  and Postsecondary Scholarships.

Before founding Helios, Roig was president and chief executive officer of Southwest Student Services Corporation, a full-service provider of student loan products and services. He serves or has served on the boards of numerous organizations including: Teach for America National, Stand for Children National, Take Stock in Children, Greater Phoenix Leadership, Phoenix Aviation Advisory Board, Stand for Children Arizona Advisory Committee, Valley of the Sun United Way and the Phoenix Art Museum.  He also currently serves as chair of the board for the Arizona College Scholarship Foundation.

For information about the Statewide Afterschool Conference & Awards of Excellence Luncheon, including sponsorships opportunities, registration and individual tickets, visit http://azafterschool.org/Events/Awards-of-Excellence-Luncheon.aspx.

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Spirit Airlines Joins Phoenix Sky Harbor

Spirit Airlines announced today that it will begin operations at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport on October 24. This news comes on the heels of the US Airways, now the New American, increasing the presence of the largest airline in the world in Phoenix and of Volaris Airlines announcing nonstop flights to Mexico starting October 19.

“Phoenix is open for business,” Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said. “Our economy continues to grow with more visitors and clients traveling to our city and investing in our region. America’s Friendliest Airport serves as a hub of economic growth for Phoenix and we welcome expanded flight options at Sky Harbor.”

Spirit will fly nonstop daily to Dallas/Fort Worth beginning October 24 and add daily service to Chicago O’Hare and Denver International beginning November 7.  DFW is currently served by American/US Airways with 14 daily flights; O’Hare is served by American/US Airways and United with 5 daily flights; Denver is served by US Airways, United, Southwest and Frontier with 24 flights per day.

“These additional flights are evidence that the city and the airport have weathered the tough economic times and are ready for growth,” Phoenix City Manager David Cavazos said. “With their strong presence in Latin America, we hope that these are the first of many domestic and international cities that Spirit will serve from Sky Harbor.”

Spirit Airlines is based in Miramar, Florida and allows customers to save money on travel by offering ultra low base fares with a range of optional services, allowing customers the freedom to choose the extras they value. Spirit’s all-Airbus fleet currently operates flights throughout the U.S., Latin America and Caribbean. The airline will move into Sky Harbor’s north concourse in Terminal 3.

“Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport fits Spirit’s growth strategy by continuing to take customers to the big cities they want to go to at an affordable price,” said Spirit’s Senior Director of Network Planning, Mark Kopczak.  “We look forward to serving even more travelers to and from the Phoenix area with Spirit’s ultra low fares and optional add-ons for a total price that’s tough to beat.”

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is among the top 10 busiest airports in the country, with over 1,200 daily nonstop flights to 100 destinations.

“We are delighted to welcome the airline into the Phoenix Sky Harbor family, and to offer passengers additional options to some of their favorite destinations,” said Phoenix Aviation Director, Danny Murphy.

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Plans advance for Arizona Biomedical Corridor

Plans to establish a biomedical and advanced technology research and development campus in northeast Phoenix advanced this week as KUD International, a subsidiary of one of the world’s largest development, design and construction companies, announced its plans and submitted an application to acquire 225 acres for the project from the Arizona State Land Department.

The proposed campus is the cornerstone of the Arizona Biomedical Corridor, a collaboration between the City of Phoenix, Arizona State University and Mayo Clinic announced in 2012 to expand the state’s bioscience industry by clustering compatible organizations in the corridor, located in northeast Phoenix at 56th Street and Mayo Boulevard, just south of the Loop 101 freeway. The development lies adjacent to the Phoenix campus of Mayo Clinic.

Acquiring the land could take up to a year, KUD officials anticipate. In the meantime, KUD is moving forward on plans for the first building at the more than $1 billion research park, which upon completion could generate thousands of jobs in the region.

Wyatt Decker, Vice President, Mayo Clinic and CEO Mayo Clinic in Arizona, said the project aligns well with Mayo Clinic’s plans in Phoenix and will play an integral part in its vision to continue to provide innovative, patient-centered medical care, supported by robust programs in research and education.

“The Arizona Biomedical Corridor will further strengthen the region’s growth as a national and international destination for healthcare-related research, education and private sector interests,” Decker said. “Our work with the City of Phoenix and ASU led to our relationship with KUD, a firm we believe will successfully complement and support our vision.”

Arizona State University President Michael Crow agreed, saying, “The development of the area adjacent to the Mayo Clinic Hospital, with its focus on biomedical and advanced technology research and manufacturing, is well aligned with ASU’s partnership with Mayo Clinic to create new health education and research facilities. We are encouraged that KUD shares our collective vision.”

KUD International LLC specializes in developing public-private projects around the world. It has extensive experience with large-scale developments that are founded on research and education and supported with a complementary mix of uses. The company is constructing a research park in Israel in conjunction with Ben-Gurion University that is similar to the one proposed in northeast Phoenix.

KUD International President and CEO Marvin Suomi said the collaboration with Mayo Clinic presented KUD with a sound basis to make a significant investment in establishing a major biomedical research and healthcare complex in north Phoenix. “We consider this a mission-driven project in alliance with Mayo Clinic, and procuring the land is the first step in realizing its vision set long ago,” Suomi said.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer added, “I’m pleased the Arizona Land Department has accepted and advanced an application for this proposal, paving the way for the development of a premier medical and research facility in north Phoenix. Not only will this project create thousands of high-quality jobs, it will strengthen and secure our position as a global leader in providing world-class medical care. With the involvement of partners like the Mayo Clinic and Arizona State University, I know this project will be a point of pride for the entire state.”

Others involved with the project identify KUD’s relationship with Mayo Clinic, its expertise and its initiative in acquiring the state land as important factors that will help the Arizona Biomedical Corridor become a reality.

“I think this is another example of Arizona’s economic recovery and an indication of the growing strength of the Arizona real estate market,” said Arizona State Land Commissioner Vanessa Hickman. “This is a big win for State Trust Land beneficiaries and the result of careful negotiations between the Arizona State Land Department and the other collaborators.”

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said, “In January 2012, I announced a vision to grow more high-wage jobs in Phoenix by creating a second bioscience campus on a 1,000-acre corridor in Desert Ridge in Northeast Phoenix. Because we already have great partners like Mayo Clinic and Arizona State University, KUD’s investment plans are the key private interest we need to unlock the potential at this location for education and research and create a greater magnet to attract high-wage jobs to Phoenix.”

District 2 Councilman Jim Waring adds, “In February 2013, the City Council adopted a formal strategy to focus on high-wage, bioscience and technology uses within this corridor. I am very pleased to see that the private sector agrees and validates the City’s concept. The City of Phoenix will be a great partner in the project, focused on helping KUD start their development projects as quickly as possible.  Our business community tells us time and again that five-day site plan reviews and one-day construction permitting provides great value and we look forward to delivering this same great service to KUD.”

Phoenix Sky Harbor, Photo: Flickr, flavouz

Volaris will fly out of Sky Harbor

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is welcoming a new airline that will operate direct flights to two cities in Mexico.

Officials say Volaris, the largest Mexican low-cost airline, will fly nonstop, three times a week from Phoenix to Mexico City and Phoenix to Guadalajara beginning later this year.

Details on exact days and times have not yet been released.

Volaris CEO Enrique Beltranena and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton say the new flights will strengthen economic ties and bolster tourism.

Sky Harbor currently offers nonstop flights to 20 international cities, including several daily flights to Guadalajara and Mexico City.

Volaris also serves airports in California, Colorado, Nevada, Illinois and Florida.

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 France-Stanton, office managing partner, Quarles & Brady.

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.

Masiulewicz

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